National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration June 4, 2015 – Federal Register Recent Federal Regulation Documents
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Atlantic Coastal Fisheries Cooperative Management Act Provisions; General Provisions for Domestic Fisheries; Application for Exempted Fishing Permits
The NMFS Assistant Regional Administrator for Sustainable Fisheries, Greater Atlantic Region, has made a preliminary determination that an Exempted Fishing Permit application contains all of the required information and warrants further consideration. This Exempted Fishing Permit would allow eight commercial lobster vessels to participate in a lobster growth and abundance study, under the direction of Massachusetts Division of Marine Fisheries in state and Federal waters off the coast of Massachusetts. Regulations under the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act and the Atlantic Coastal Fisheries Cooperative Management Act require publication of this notification to provide interested parties the opportunity to comment on Exempted Fishing Permit applications.
Fisheries Off West Coast States; Highly Migratory Species Fishery Management Plan; Revision to Prohibited Species Regulations
NMFS is proposing regulations under the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (MSA) to revise the prohibited species regulations so that each of the exceptions to the policy in the Fishery Management Plan are explicitly identified in the regulations. The specific exceptions will allow HMS fishermen to retain: (1) Salmon and Pacific halibut, if all of the necessary regulations for those respective fisheries are followed; and (2) basking, megamouth, and great white sharks, if they are sold or donated to a scientific or educational organization. This action is necessary to more accurately reflect the intent of the Fishery Management Plan for U.S. West Coast Fisheries for Highly Migratory Species (HMS FMP).
Magnuson-Stevens Act Provisions; Fisheries Off West Coast States; Pacific Coast Groundfish Fishery; 2015-2016 Biennial Specifications and Management Measures; Inseason Adjustments
This final rule announces inseason changes to management measures in the Pacific Coast groundfish fisheries. This action, which is authorized by the Pacific Coast Groundfish Fishery Management Plan (PCGFMP), is intended to protect overfished and depleted stocks while allowing fisheries to access more abundant groundfish stocks.
Pacific Island Fisheries; 2014-15 Annual Catch Limits and Accountability Measures; Main Hawaiian Islands Deep 7 Bottomfish
NMFS specifies an annual catch limit (ACL) of 346,000 lb for Deep 7 bottomfish in the main Hawaiian Islands (MHI) for the 2014-15 fishing year. As an accountability measure (AM), if the ACL is projected to be reached, NMFS would close the commercial and non- commercial fisheries for MHI Deep 7 bottomfish for the remainder of the fishing year. The ACL and AM specifications support the long-term sustainability of Hawaii bottomfish.
Nominations to the Marine Fisheries Advisory Committee
Nominations are being sought for appointment by the Secretary of Commerce to fill vacancy openings on the Marine Fisheries Advisory Committee (MAFAC or Committee) pending late October 2015. MAFAC is the only Federal advisory committee with the responsibility to advise the Secretary of Commerce (Secretary) on all matters concerning living marine resources that are the responsibility of the Department of Commerce. The Committee makes recommendations to the Secretary to assist in the development and implementation of Departmental regulations, policies, and programs critical to the mission and goals of NMFS. Nominations are encouraged from all interested parties involved with or representing interests affected by NMFS actions in managing living marine resources. Nominees should possess demonstrable expertise in a field related to the management of living marine resources and be able to fulfill the time commitments required for two annual meetings and year round subcommittee work. Individuals serve for a term of three years for no more than two consecutive terms if re- appointed. NMFS is seeking qualified nominees to fill upcoming vacancies being created by term limits.
Fisheries of the Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico, and South Atlantic; Snapper-Grouper Fishery Off the Southern Atlantic States; Regulatory Amendment 22
NMFS proposes regulations to implement Regulatory Amendment 22 to the Fishery Management Plan for the Snapper-Grouper Fishery of the South Atlantic Region (FMP) (Regulatory Amendment 22), as prepared and submitted by the South Atlantic Fishery Management Council (Council). If implemented, this proposed rule would revise the annual catch limits (ACLs) for gag grouper (gag) and wreckfish, and the directed commercial quota for gag, based upon revisions to the acceptable biological catch (ABC) and the optimum yield (OY) for gag and wreckfish. The purpose of this proposed rule is to help achieve OY and prevent overfishing of gag and wreckfish in the South Atlantic region while minimizing, to the extent practicable, adverse social and economic effects to the snapper- grouper fishery.
Fisheries of the Northeastern United States; Blueline Tilefish Fishery; Secretarial Emergency Action
This temporary rule implements possession limits for the blueline tilefish fishery in waters north of the Virginia/North Carolina border as requested by the Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council. These emergency management measures are necessary to temporarily constrain fishing effort on the blueline tilefish stock while a long-term management plan is developed. The rule is expected to reduce fishing mortality and help ensure the long-term sustainability of the stock.