Atlantic Highly Migratory Species; Atlantic Bluefin Tuna Fisheries
NMFS is adjusting the General category BFT daily retention limit for June 1 through August 31, 2015, and the Angling category BFT daily retention limit for the remainder of 2015. In addition, NMFS is announcing July 6, 2015, as the start date for this year's Purse Seine category fishery. The General category daily retention limit is adjusted to four large medium or giant BFT. This adjustment applies to Atlantic tunas General category (commercial) permitted vessels and HMS Charter/Headboat category permitted vessels when fishing commercially for BFT. The Angling category daily retention limit is adjusted to: Two school BFT and one large school/small medium BFT per vessel per day/ trip for charter vessels (i.e., those with HMS Charter/Headboat permits when fishing recreationally); and one school BFT and one large school/ small medium BFT per vessel per day/trip for private vessels (i.e., those with HMS Angling category permits). These retention limits are effective in all areas, except for the Gulf of Mexico, where NMFS prohibits targeted fishing for BFT. These actions are based on consideration of the applicable regulatory determination criteria.
FY 15 Coastal Ecosystem Resiliency Grants Program
The principal objective of the National Marine Fisheries Service's (NMFS) Coastal Ecosystem Resiliency Grants Program is to implement projects that use a proactive approach to improve or restore coastal habitat to: (1) Strengthen the resilience of our marine or coastal ecosystems to decrease the vulnerability of communities to extreme weather; and (2) support sustainable fisheries and contribute to the recovery of protected resources. See the full Coastal Ecosystem Resiliency Grants Federal Funding Opportunity (FFO), located on Grants.gov as described in the ADDRESSES section, for a complete description of program goals and how applications will be evaluated. Note that this funding opportunity is one of two competitions being administered by NOAA to build coastal resilience. The companion competition, the Regional Coastal Resilience Grants Program, is being administered by NOAA's National Ocean Service to support implementation of actions that directly build resilience of U.S. coastal communities using regional approaches. The Regional Coastal Resilience Grants FFO is expected to be posted in May 2015, and may be found on www.Grants.gov.
Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council (MAFMC); Fisheries of the Northeastern United States; Public Meetings
The Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council will hold five scoping hearings in June 2015 related to blueline tilefish management. The Council is considering developing a fishery management plan (FMP) for blueline tilefish and/or other deepwater species, or adding blueline tilefish to the existing golden tilefish FMP. There will also be a separate written comment period for Amendment scoping, which will be described in an upcoming Federal Register announcement as a ``Notice of Intent (NOI)'' to potentially develop an EIS that accompanies the Amendment. That NOI will also contain information regarding these scoping hearings, but to provide the public with sufficient advance notice of the hearings, this notice is being published now since the NOI will likely publish shortly before these hearings.
New England Fishery Management Council; Public Meeting
The New England Fishery Management Council (Council) is scheduling a public meeting of its Habitat 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.
Marine Mammals; File No. 19526
Notice is hereby given that Adam White, BBC Natural History Unit, The Limes, Lea, Malmesbury Wiltshire, SN16 9PG United Kingdom, has applied in due form for a permit to conduct commercial or educational photography on four species of cetaceans and five species of pinnipeds.
Takes of Marine Mammals Incidental to Specified Activities; Taking Marine Mammals Incidental to Shallow Geohazard Survey in the Beaufort Sea, Alaska
NMFS received an application from Hilcorp Alaska, LLC. (Hilcorp) for an Incidental Harassment Authorization (IHA) to take marine mammals, by harassment, incidental to shallow geohazard survey in the Beaufort Sea, Alaska. Pursuant to the Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA), NMFS is requesting comments on its proposal to issue an IHA to Hilcorp to take, by Level B harassment only, 6 species of marine mammals during the specified activity.
Endangered and Threatened Species; Draft Recovery Plan for the Cook Inlet Beluga Whale
The National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) announces the availability of the Cook Inlet Beluga Whale (Delphinapterus leucas) Draft Recovery Plan for public review. NMFS is soliciting review and comment from the public and all interested parties on the draft Plan, and will consider all substantive comments received during the review period before submitting the Plan for final approval.
Availability of Seats for National Marine Sanctuary Advisory Councils
ONMS is seeking applications for vacant seats for 7 of its 13 national marine sanctuary advisory councils and for the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands Coral Reef Ecosystem Reserve Advisory Council (advisory councils). Vacant seats, including positions (i.e., primary member and alternate), for each of the advisory councils are listed in this notice under SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION. Applicants are chosen based upon their particular expertise and experience in relation to the seat for which they are applying; community and professional affiliations; views regarding the protection and management of marine or Great Lake resources; and possibly the length of residence in the area affected by the sanctuary. Applicants who are chosen as members or alternates should expect to serve two- or three year terms, pursuant to the charter of the specific national marine sanctuary advisory council or the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands Coral Reef Ecosystem Reserve Advisory Council.