Whaling Provisions; Aboriginal Subsistence Whaling Quotas
NMFS notifies the public of the aboriginal subsistence whaling quota for bowhead whales that it has assigned to the Alaska Eskimo Whaling Commission (AEWC), and of limitations on the use of the quota deriving from regulations of the International Whaling Commission (IWC). For 2015, the quota is 75 bowhead whales struck. This quota and other applicable limitations govern the harvest of bowhead whales by members of the AEWC.
Fisheries of the Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico, and South Atlantic; Snapper-Grouper Resources of the South Atlantic; Trip Limit Reduction
NMFS reduces the commercial trip limit for vermilion snapper in or from the exclusive economic zone (EEZ) of the South Atlantic to 500 lb (227 kg), gutted weight. This trip limit reduction is necessary to protect the South Atlantic vermilion snapper resource.
Fisheries of the Northeastern United States; Atlantic Herring Fishery; Notice of Intent To Prepare an Environmental Impact Statement; Scoping Process; Request for Comments
The New England Fishery Management Council announces its intention to prepare, in cooperation with NMFS, an environmental impact statement in accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act. An environmental impact statement may be necessary to provide analytical support for Amendment 8 to the Atlantic Herring Fishery Management Plan. Amendment 8 would specify a long-term acceptable biological catch control rule for the herring fishery and consider acceptable biological catch control rule alternatives that account for herring's role in the ecosystem. This notice is to alert the interested public of the scoping process and potential development of a draft environmental impact statement and to outline opportunity for public participation in that process.
Fisheries Off West Coast States; Highly Migratory Fisheries; California Swordfish Drift Gillnet Fishery; Vessel Monitoring System and Pre-Trip Notification Requirements
NMFS is issuing regulations that require use of a NMFS- approved vessel monitoring system (VMS) and institute a pre-trip notification requirement for West Coast large-mesh swordfish drift gillnet (DGN) vessel owners and operators. The DGN fishery operates under the authority of the Federal Fishery Management Plan for U.S. West Coast Fisheries for Highly Migratory Species (HMS FMP). Installing and operating VMS on vessels in this fishery will provide NMFS and law enforcement personnel with the ability to monitor the DGN fishery for compliance with conservation measures, efficiently deploy agents to inspect vessels, and provide the ability to more closely examine and compare the distribution of observed and unobserved fishing effort. The pre-trip notification will assist NMFS with timely and efficient placement of NMFS-trained observers on board DGN vessels. This action implements the recommendations of the Pacific Fishery Management Council (Council) and satisfies terms and conditions of the NMFS' 2013 Endangered Species Act (ESA) Section 7 Biological Opinion (Opinion).