International Pacific Halibut Commission Appointments
In January 2013, NOAA Fisheries publicly solicited nominations for two presidential appointments to serve as U.S. Commissioners to the International Pacific Halibut Commission (IPHC). This multi-step nomination process provided for extensive participation by stakeholders in the Pacific halibut fishery and resulted in the appointment of two highly qualified individuals to serve in this important position. U.S. Commissioners to the IPHC Commission are appointed for a term not to exceed 2 years, but are eligible for reappointment. In order to ensure that the views of relevant stakeholders and others with an on-going interest in the Pacific halibut fishery are adequately reflected, NOAA is again soliciting nominations for two individuals to serve as U.S. Commissioners to the IPHC. Nominations are open to all qualified individuals and may include current Commissioners.
Atlantic Highly Migratory Species; North and South Atlantic 2015 Commercial Swordfish Quotas
This final rule adjusts the 2015 fishing season quotas for North and South Atlantic swordfish based upon 2014 quota underharvests and international quota transfers consistent with International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas (ICCAT) Recommendations 13-02 and 13-03. This final rule applies to commercial and recreational fishing for swordfish in the Atlantic Ocean, including the Caribbean Sea and Gulf of Mexico. This action implements ICCAT recommendations, consistent with the Atlantic Tunas Convention Act (ATCA), and furthers domestic management objectives under the Magnuson- Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (Magnuson-Stevens Act).
Proposed Information Collection; Comment Request; Southeast Region Permit Family of Forms
The Department of Commerce, as part of its continuing effort to reduce paperwork and respondent burden, invites the general public and other Federal agencies to take this opportunity to comment on proposed and/or continuing information collections, as required by the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995.
Northeast Regional Stock Assessment Workshop
NMFS and the Northeast Regional Stock Assessment Workshop (SAW) will convene the 60th SAW Stock Assessment Review Committee for the purpose of reviewing stock assessments of scup and the bluefish. The Northeast Regional SAW is a formal scientific peer-review process for evaluating and presenting stock assessment results to managers for fish stocks in the offshore US waters of the northwest Atlantic. Assessments are prepared by SAW working groups and reviewed by an independent panel of stock assessment experts called the Stock Assessment Review Committee, or SARC. The public is invited to attend the presentations and discussions between the review panel and the scientists who have participated in the stock assessment process.
Fisheries of the Northeastern United States; Recreational Management Measures for the Summer Flounder, Scup, and Black Sea Bass Fisheries; Fishing Year 2015
NMFS proposes management measures for the 2015 summer flounder, scup, and black sea bass recreational fisheries. The implementing regulations for these fisheries require NMFS to publish recreational measures for the fishing year and to provide an opportunity for public comment. The intent of these measures is to constrain recreational catch to established limits and prevent overfishing of the summer flounder, scup, and black sea bass resources.
Fisheries Off West Coast States; West Coast Salmon Fisheries; 2015 Management Measures
Through this final rule NMFS establishes fishery management measures for the 2015 ocean salmon fisheries off Washington, Oregon, and California and the 2016 salmon seasons opening earlier than May 1, 2016. Specific fishery management measures vary by fishery and by area. The measures establish fishing areas, seasons, quotas, legal gear, recreational fishing days and catch limits, possession and landing restrictions, and minimum lengths for salmon taken in the U.S. exclusive economic zone (EEZ) (3-200 NM) off Washington, Oregon, and California. The management measures are intended to prevent overfishing and to apportion the ocean harvest equitably among treaty Indian, non- treaty commercial, and recreational fisheries. The measures are also intended to allow a portion of the salmon runs to escape the ocean fisheries in order to provide for spawning escapement and inside fisheries (fisheries occurring in state internal waters). This document also announces the availability of an environmental assessment (EA) that analyzes the environmental impacts of implementing the 2015 ocean salmon management measures.
Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Small Vessel Exemptions; License Limitation Program
The National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) announces the approval of Amendment 108 to the Fishery Management Plan for Groundfish of the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Management Area (BSAI FMP), Amendment 100 to the Fishery Management Plan for Groundfish of the Gulf of Alaska (GOA FMP), and Amendment 46 to the Fishery Management Plan for Bering Sea/Aleutian Islands King and Tanner Crabs (Crab FMP). These amendments correct text omissions in the BSAI FMP, the GOA FMP, and the Crab FMP. These amendments make the fishery management plan (FMP) texts that establish vessel length limits for small vessels exempted from the license limitation program (LLP) in the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Management Area (BSAI) groundfish and king and Tanner crab fisheries, and the Gulf of Alaska (GOA) groundfish fisheries, consistent with the original intent of the LLP, current operations in the fisheries, and Federal regulations. This action promotes the goals and objectives of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act, the FMP, and other applicable laws.