Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council; Public Meeting
The Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council (Council) will hold a meeting of its Standing and Special Reef Fish Scientific and Statistical Committees (SSC).
Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council (Council); Public Meeting
The Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council (Council) will hold a meeting of its Ad Hoc Reef Fish Headboat Advisory Panel (AP).
New England Fishery Management Council; Public Meeting
The New England Fishery Management Council (Council) is scheduling a public meeting of its Scientific & Statistical Committee to consider actions affecting New England fisheries in the exclusive economic zone (EEZ). Recommendations from this group will be brought to the full Council for formal consideration and action, if appropriate.
Pacific Fishery Management Council; Public Meeting
The Pacific Fishery Management Council (Pacific Council) will convene a webinar meeting of its Coastal Pelagic Species Management Team (CPSMT). Information on how to participate will be posted to the Pacific Council's Web site (www.pcouncil.org) in advance of the webinar.
Marine Mammals; File No. 18786
Notice is hereby given that the NMFS Office of Protected Resources, Marine Mammal Health and Stranding Response Program (MMHSRP; Responsible Party: Teri Rowles, D.V.M., Ph.D.), 1315 East-West Highway, Silver Spring, MD 20910, has applied in due form for a permit to take, import, and export marine mammals and marine mammal parts for research and enhancement purposes.
Marine Mammals; File No. 18881
Notice is hereby given that a permit has been issued to Texas Sealife Center, 14220 South Padre Island Drive, Corpus Christi, TX 78418, [Responsible Party: Tim Tristan] to conduct research on bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus).
Atlantic Highly Migratory Species; Commercial Blacktip Sharks, Aggregated Large Coastal Sharks, and Hammerhead Sharks in the Gulf of Mexico Region
NMFS is closing the commercial fisheries for blacktip sharks, aggregated large coastal sharks (LCS), and hammerhead sharks in the Gulf of Mexico region. This action is necessary because the commercial landings of blacktip sharks in the Gulf of Mexico region for the 2015 fishing season are projected to exceed 80 percent of the available commercial quota as of May 1, 2015, commercial landings of aggregated LCS in the Gulf of Mexico region have exceeded 80 percent of the available commercial quota, and the aggregated LCS and hammerhead shark fisheries are quota-linked under the current regulations.
Fisheries of the Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico, and South Atlantic; Reef Fish Fishery of the Gulf of Mexico; Red Snapper Management Measures
NMFS implements management measures described in a framework action to the Fishery Management Plan for the Reef Fish Resources of the Gulf of Mexico (FMP) prepared by the Gulf of Mexico (Gulf) Fishery Management Council (Council). The final rule increases commercial and recreational quotas for red snapper in the Gulf of Mexico reef fish fishery for the 2015, 2016, and 2017 fishing years. Quotas for subsequent fishing years would remain at 2017 levels unless changed by future rulemaking. This rule also announces the closure dates for the red snapper recreational sector components (private angling and for- hire components) in the Gulf. The private angling component will close at 12:01 a.m., local time, June 11, 2015, and the for-hire component will close at 12:01 a.m., local time, on July 15, 2015. This rule is intended to help achieve optimum yield for the Gulf red snapper resource without increasing the risk of red snapper experiencing overfishing.
Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act Provisions; Fisheries of the Northeastern United States; Northeast Groundfish Fishery; Framework Adjustment 53
This final rule approves and implements Framework Adjustment 53 to the Northeast Multispecies Fishery Management Plan. This rule sets fishing years 2015-2017 catch limits for several groundfish stocks, modifies management measures for Gulf of Maine cod, and adopts 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 final measures are intended to prevent overfishing, rebuild overfished stocks, achieve optimum yield, and ensure that management measures are based on the best scientific information available.
Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act Provisions; Fisheries of the Northeastern United States; Northeast Groundfish Fishery; Fishing Year 2015; Recreational Management Measures
This action implements a reduction to the minimum size for Gulf of Maine haddock taken in the recreational fishery. This action is necessary to ensure that the recreational catch of haddock and recreational bycatch of cod will not exceed the annual catch limits for the recreational fishery in fishing year 2015. The intended effect of this action is to reduce discards of cod and haddock by allowing recreational anglers to retain smaller haddock, which will result in anglers achieving their bag limit more quickly.
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 have partially approved sector operations plans and contracts for fishing years 2015 and 2016, granting regulatory exemptions for fishing years 2015 and 2016, and providing Northeast multispecies annual catch entitlements to approved sectors for fishing year 2015. 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 allocations of Northeast multispecies based on its members' fishing history.