Endangered Species; File No. 18136
Notice is hereby given that Larry Wood, LDWood BioConsulting, Inc., 425 Kennedy Street, Jupiter, FL 33468, has requested a modification to scientific research Permit No. 18136.
Fisheries of the Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico, and South Atlantic; Snapper-Grouper Fishery Off the Southern Atlantic States, Dolphin and Wahoo Fishery Off the Atlantic States, and Coral and Coral Reefs Fishery in the South Atlantic; Exempted Fishing Permit
NMFS announces the receipt of two applications for exempted fishing permits (EFPs), one from Dr. Janelle Fleming, on behalf of the Eastern Carolina Artificial Reef Association (ECARA); and one from Dr. James Morris of the National Ocean Service (NOS). If granted, the EFPs would authorize the deployment of Maine lobster traps, crab pot Christmas trees, and horizontal structures (fish attracting devices) at several sites in the Federal waters off North Carolina to determine the efficacy of these gear types for attracting and collecting invasive lionfish.
Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Atka Mackerel in the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Management Area
NMFS is prohibiting directed fishing for Atka mackerel in critical habitat of the Central Aleutian district (CAI) of the Bering Sea and Aleutian Island management area (BSAI) by vessels participating in the BSAI trawl limited access fishery. This action is necessary to prevent exceeding the A season allowance of the 2015 Atka mackerel total allowable catch (TAC) in critical habitat of the CAI allocated to vessels participating in the BSAI trawl limited access fishery.
Council Coordination Committee Meeting
NMFS will host a meeting of the Council Coordination Committee (CCC), consisting of the Regional Fishery Management Council chairs, vice chairs, and executive directors on February 18-19, 2015. The intent of this meeting is to discuss issues of relevance to the Councils, including budget allocations for FY2015 and budget planning for FY2016 and beyond; FY2015 Priorities; an overview of the Saltonstall-Kennedy FY14-15 grants process; the FY2015 legislative outlook; updates on Magnuson-Stevens Act (MSA) National Standard 1, the Presidential Task Force on combatting Illegal, Unreported, and Unregulated (IUU) fishing and seafood fraud, MSA operational guidelines, NMFS climate science strategy, and habitat conservation initiatives; updates on electronic monitoring implementation plans, the Fisheries Forum Information Network, the report on Science Center 2013 data program review and 2014 assessment program review; and Council workgroup updates, including stock rebuilding, National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), allocation, and socioeconomic issues and other topics related to implementation of the MSA.
Pacific Halibut Fisheries; Catch Sharing Plan
NMFS proposes to approve changes to the Pacific Halibut Catch Sharing Plan (Plan) for the International Pacific Halibut Commission's (IPHC or Commission) regulatory Area 2A off Washington, Oregon, and California (Area 2A). In addition, NMFS proposes to implement the portions of the Plan and management measures that are not implemented through the IPHC. These measures include the sport fishery allocations and management measures for Area 2A. These actions are intended to conserve Pacific halibut, provide angler opportunity where available, and minimize bycatch of overfished groundfish species.
Revisions of Boundaries for Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary; Intent To Prepare Draft Environmental Impact Statement
In accordance with section 304(e) of the National Marine Sanctuaries Act, as amended, (NMSA), the Office of National Marine Sanctuaries (ONMS) of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is initiating a review of Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary (FGBNMS or Sanctuary) boundaries, based on the recommendation contained within the Sanctuary Expansion Action Plan of the FGBNMS Management Plan (April 2012). The review process, as required by the NMSA, will be conducted concurrently with a public process under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). This document also informs the public that NOAA will coordinate its responsibilities under section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA) with its ongoing NEPA process, including the use of NEPA documents and public and stakeholder meetings to also meet the requirements of section 106. The public scoping process is intended to solicit information and comments on the range and significance of issues related to the expansion of the FGBNMS boundaries. The results of this scoping process will assist NOAA in formulating alternatives for the draft environmental impact statement for the proposed revised sanctuary boundaries.