Magnuson-Stevens Act Provisions; Fisheries of the Northeastern United States; Northeast Multispecies Fishery; 2015 and 2016 Sector Operations Plans and 2015 Contracts and Allocation of Northeast Multispecies Annual Catch Entitlements
We propose to approve 17 sector operations plans and contracts for fishing years 2015 and 2016, grant regulatory exemptions for fishing years 2015 and 2016, and provide Northeast multispecies annual catch entitlements to these sectors for fishing year 2015. We request comment on the proposed sector operations plans and contracts; the environmental assessment analyzing the impacts of the operations plans; and our proposal to grant (in whole or partially) 19 of the 22 regulatory exemptions requested by the sectors. Approval of sector operations plans is necessary to allocate annual catch entitlements to the sectors and for the sectors to operate. The Northeast Multispecies Fishery Management Plan allows limited access permit holders to form sectors, and requires sectors to submit their operations plans and contracts to us, NMFS, for approval or disapproval. Approved sectors are exempt from certain effort control regulations and receive allocation of Northeast multispecies based on its members' fishing history. This document also announces the target at-sea monitoring coverage rate for sector trips for fishing year 2015.
International Fisheries; Pacific Tuna Fisheries; 2015 and 2016 Commercial Fishing Restrictions for Pacific Bluefin Tuna in the Eastern Pacific Ocean
The National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) is proposing regulations under the Tuna Conventions Act to implement Resolution C- 14-06 of the Inter-American Tropical Tuna Commission (IATTC or the Commission) establishing limits on U.S. commercial catch of Pacific bluefin tuna from waters of the IATTC Convention Area for 2015 and 2016. This action is necessary for the United States to satisfy its obligations as a member of the IATTC.
Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act Provisions; Fisheries of the Northeastern United States; Northeast Groundfish Fishery; Framework Adjustment 53
This action proposes approval of, and regulations to implement, Framework Adjustment 53 to the Northeast Multispecies Fishery Management Plan. This rule would set fishing years 2015-2017 catch limits for several groundfish stocks, modify management measures for Gulf of Maine cod, and adopt other measures to improve the management of the groundfish fishery. This action is necessary to respond to updated scientific information and achieve the goals and objectives of the Fishery Management Plan. The proposed measures are intended to help prevent overfishing, rebuild overfished stocks, achieve optimum yield, and ensure that management measures are based on the best scientific information available.
Atlantic Highly Migratory Species; Large Coastal and Small Coastal Atlantic Shark Management Measures
On January 20, 2015, NMFS published a proposed rule with public hearing dates for Draft Amendment 6 to the 2006 Consolidated Highly Migratory Species (HMS) Fishery Management Plan (FMP). On February 25, 2015, NMFS announced that the public hearing in Manteo, NC, would be rescheduled due to inclement weather conditions expected for Manteo and surrounding areas. In this notice, NMFS announces the date and location for the rescheduled public hearing to provide opportunities for members of the public to comment on the management measures proposed in Draft Amendment 6.
Magnuson-Stevens Act Provisions; General Provisions for Domestic Fisheries; Application for Fishing Year 2014 Sector Exemption
The Regional Administrator, Greater Atlantic Region, NMFS, has approved a request for exemptions from two recently implemented Gulf of Maine cod interim management measures.