Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Sablefish Managed Under the Individual Fishing Quota Program
NMFS is opening directed fishing for sablefish with fixed gear managed under the Individual Fishing Quota (IFQ) Program and the Community Development Quota (CDQ) Program. The season will open 1200 hours, Alaska local time (A.l.t.), March 14, 2015, and will close 1200 hours, A.l.t., November 7, 2015. This period is the same as the 2015 commercial halibut fishery opening dates adopted by the International Pacific Halibut Commission. The IFQ and CDQ halibut season is specified by a separate publication in the Federal Register of annual management measures.
Pacific Halibut Fisheries; Catch Sharing Plan
The Assistant Administrator (AA) for Fisheries, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), on behalf of the International Pacific Halibut Commission (IPHC), publishes annual management measures governing the Pacific halibut fishery recommended as regulations by the IPHC and accepted by the Secretary of State. This action is intended to enhance the conservation of Pacific halibut and further the goals and objectives of the Pacific Fishery Management Council (PFMC) and the North Pacific Fishery Management Council (NPFMC).
Takes of Marine Mammals Incidental to Specified Activities; Marine Geophysical Survey in the Northwest Atlantic Ocean Offshore New Jersey, June to August, 2015
NMFS has received an application from the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory (Lamont-Doherty) in collaboration with the National Science Foundation (Foundation), for an Incidental Harassment Authorization (Authorization) to take marine mammals, by harassment incidental to conducting a marine geophysical (seismic) survey in the northwest Atlantic Ocean off the New Jersey coast June through August, 2015. The proposed dates for this action would be June 1, 2015 through August 31, 2015 to account for minor deviations due to logistics and weather. Per the Marine Mammal Protection Act, we are requesting comments on our proposal to issue an Authorization to Lamont-Doherty to incidentally take, by Level B harassment only, 32 species of marine mammals during the specified activity.
Fisheries of the Northeastern United States; Atlantic Sea Scallop Fishery and Northeast Multispecies Fishery; Framework Adjustment 26; Endangered and Threatened Wildlife; Sea Turtle Conservation
NMFS proposes to approve and implement through regulations measures included in Framework Adjustment 26 to the Atlantic Sea Scallop Fishery Management Plan, which the New England Fishery Management Council adopted and submitted to NMFS for approval. The purpose of Framework 26 is to prevent overfishing, improve yield-per- recruit, and improve the overall management of the Atlantic sea scallop fishery. The Framework 26 proposed measures would also: Close a portion of the Elephant Trunk Access Area and extend the boundaries of the Nantucket Lightship Access Area to protect small scallops; adjust the State Waters Exemption Program; allow for Vessel Monitoring System declaration changes for vessels to steam home with product on board; implement a proactive accountability measure to protect windowpane flounder and yellowtail flounder; align two gear measures designed to protect sea turtles; and implement other measures to improve the management of the scallop fishery. Aligning the gear designed to protect sea turtles involves modifying existing regulations implemented under the Endangered Species Act; therefore, this action would be implemented under joint authority of the Endangered Species Act and the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act.