National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration December 12, 2014 – Federal Register Recent Federal Regulation Documents
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Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Final Endangered Listing of Five Species of Sawfish Under the Endangered Species Act
We, NMFS, issue this final rule implementing our determination that the narrow sawfish (Anoxypristis cuspidata), dwarf sawfish (Pristis clavata), largetooth sawfish (collectively Pristis pristis; formerly Pristis pristis, Pristis microdon, and Pristis perotteti), green sawfish (Pristis zijsron), and the non-U.S. distinct population segment (DPS) of smalltooth sawfish (Pristis pectinata) are endangered species under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) of 1973, as amended. We also include a change in the scientific name for largetooth sawfish in this final rule to codify the taxonomic reclassification of P. perotteti to P. pristis. We are not designating critical habitat because the geographical areas occupied by the species are entirely outside U.S. jurisdiction and we have not identified any unoccupied areas within U.S. jurisdiction that are essential to the conservation of any of the five species. We have reviewed the status of the five species of sawfish, considered public and peer review comments, and conservation efforts being made to protect all five species, and we have made our determination based on the best available scientific and commercial data that all five species of sawfishthe narrow sawfish (Anoxypristis cuspidata), dwarf sawfish (Pristis clavata), largetooth sawfish (collectively Pristis pristis; formerly Pristis pristis, Pristis microdon, and Pristis perotteti), green sawfish (Pristis zijsron), and the non-U.S. DPS of smalltooth sawfish (Pristis pectinata)are at risk of extinction throughout all of their ranges and should be listed as endangered species.
National Invasive Lionfish Prevention and Management Plan
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) announces the availability of the National Invasive Lionfish Prevention and Management Plan (Plan). The Plan is available for public review and comment.
Taking of Marine Mammals Incidental to Commercial Fishing Operations and Atlantic Coastal Fisheries Cooperative Management Act Provisions; American Lobster Fishery
NMFS issues this final rule to amend the regulations implementing the Atlantic Large Whale Take Reduction Plan to modify the start date of the Massachusetts Restricted Area to begin on February 1, 2015, and to expand the Massachusetts Restricted Area by 912 square miles. In addition, this rule will revise the Federal lobster regulations to be consistent with the revised start date of the Massachusetts Restricted Area. Recent Federal lobster regulations closed the Outer Cape Lobster Management Area to lobster trap fishing from January 15 through March 15, which is consistent with the lobster trap haul-out period in the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission's Interstate Fishery Management Plan for American Lobster. This rule would adjust the Outer Cape Lobster Management Area closure dates to February 1 through March 31.
Magnuson-Stevens Act Provisions; General Provisions for Domestic Fisheries; Application for Exempted Fishing Permits
The Assistant Regional Administrator for Sustainable Fisheries, Northeast Region, NMFS, has made a preliminary determination that an exempted fishing permit application contains all of the required information and warrants further consideration. This Exempted Fishing Permit would exempt a commercial fishing vessel from mesh size requirements and butterfish possession limits to test experimental codend mesh configurations as a means to reduce juvenile butterfish bycatch in the directed butterfish fishery. Cornell University Cooperative Extension of Suffolk County, NY, will be conducting this research. Regulations under the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act require publication of this notification to provide interested parties the opportunity to comment on applications for proposed exempted fishing permits.
North Pacific Fishery Management Council; Public Meeting
The North Pacific Fishery Management Council's Pacific Northwest Crab Industry Advisory Committee (PNCIAC) will meet in Seattle, WA. The meeting is open to the public.
Fisheries of the South Atlantic; South Atlantic Fishery Management Council; Public Meeting
The South Atlantic Fishery Management Council (SAFMC) will hold a meeting of Golden Crab Advisory Panel (AP) in Dania Beach, FL. See SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION.