National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration November 2015 – Federal Register Recent Federal Regulation Documents

Fisheries Off West Coast States; Modifications of the West Coast Commercial and Recreational Salmon Fisheries; Inseason Actions #37 Through #39
Document Number: 2015-28674
Type: Rule
Date: 2015-11-12
Agency: Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
NMFS announces three inseason actions in the ocean salmon fisheries. These inseason actions modified the commercial salmon fisheries in the area from the U.S./Canada border to Humboldt South Jetty, CA.
Fraser River Sockeye and Pink Salmon Fisheries; Inseason Orders
Document Number: 2015-28673
Type: Rule
Date: 2015-11-12
Agency: Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
NMFS publishes Fraser River salmon inseason orders to regulate treaty and non-treaty (all citizen) commercial salmon fisheries in U.S. waters. The orders were issued by the Fraser River Panel (Panel) of the Pacific Salmon Commission (Commission) and subsequently approved and issued by NMFS during the 2015 salmon fisheries within the U.S. Fraser River Panel Area. These orders established fishing dates, times, and areas for the gear types of U.S. treaty Indian and all citizen commercial fisheries during the period the Panel exercised jurisdiction over these fisheries.
Fisheries of the Northeastern United States; Atlantic Coastal Fisheries Cooperative Management Act Provisions; American Lobster Fishery
Document Number: 2015-28544
Type: Rule
Date: 2015-11-10
Agency: Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
This action modifies the timing of the Lobster Conservation Management Area 4 seasonal closure. This action is necessary to ensure fishery regulations for the lobster fishery in Federal waters remain consistent with the Commission's Interstate Fishery Management Plan for American Lobster and previously implemented state measures and the intent of the Atlantic Coastal Fisheries Cooperative Management Act. This action is intended to ensure fishing effort is reduced in Area 4.
Fisheries of the Northeastern United States; Summer Flounder, Scup, and Black Sea Bass Fisheries; 2016-2018 Summer Flounder, Scup, and Black Sea Bass Specifications
Document Number: 2015-28444
Type: Proposed Rule
Date: 2015-11-09
Agency: Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
NMFS proposes specifications for the 2016-2018 summer flounder and scup fisheries and for the 2016-2017 black sea bass fishery. The implementing regulations for the Summer Flounder, Scup, and Black Sea Bass Fishery Management Plan require us to publish specifications for the upcoming fishing year for each of these species and to provide an opportunity for public comment. This action is intended to propose for implementation specifications necessary to constrain harvest for these three species within scientifically sound recommendations to prevent overfishing.
Submission for OMB Review; Comment Request
Document Number: 2015-28435
Type: Notice
Date: 2015-11-09
Agency: Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
Submission for OMB Review; Comment Request
Document Number: 2015-28434
Type: Notice
Date: 2015-11-09
Agency: Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council (MAFMC); Meeting
Document Number: 2015-28430
Type: Notice
Date: 2015-11-09
Agency: Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
The Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council's (Council) Scientific and Statistical Committee (SSC) will hold a meeting.
Magnuson-Stevens Act Provisions; Fisheries Off West Coast States; Pacific Coast Groundfish Fishery; Process for Divestiture of Excess Quota Shares in the Individual Fishing Quota Fishery
Document Number: 2015-28412
Type: Rule
Date: 2015-11-09
Agency: Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
In January 2011, NMFS implemented the trawl rationalization program (a catch share program) for the Pacific coast groundfish limited entry trawl fishery. The program was implemented through Amendment 20 to the Pacific Coast Groundfish Fishery Management Plan (FMP) and the corresponding implementing regulations. Amendment 20 established the trawl rationalization program, which includes an Individual Fishing Quota program for limited entry trawl participants. Under current regulations, quota share permit owners must divest quota share holdings that exceed accumulation limits by November 30, 2015. This final rule makes narrow procedural additions to regulations to clarify how divestiture and revocation of excess quota share will occur in November 2015, and establishes procedures for the future if divestiture becomes necessary.
Endangered and Threatened Species; Take of Anadromous Fish
Document Number: 2015-28333
Type: Notice
Date: 2015-11-06
Agency: Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
Notice is hereby given that NMFS has received five scientific research permit application requests relating to Pacific salmon, steelhead, and eulachon. The proposed research is intended to increase knowledge of species listed under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) and to help guide management and conservation efforts. The applications may be viewed online at: https://apps.nmfs.noaa.gov/preview/ preview_open_for_comment.cfm.
Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council (MAFMC); Public Meeting
Document Number: 2015-28332
Type: Notice
Date: 2015-11-06
Agency: Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
The Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council's (Council) River Herring and Shad (RH/S) Committee will hold a public meeting to review recent developments in RH/S conservation and to consider potential RH/S activities for 2016.
New England Fishery Management Council; Public Meeting
Document Number: 2015-28331
Type: Notice
Date: 2015-11-06
Agency: Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
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.
Western Pacific Fishery Management Council; Public Meeting
Document Number: 2015-28330
Type: Notice
Date: 2015-11-06
Agency: Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
The Western Pacific Fishery Management Council (Council) will convene a meeting of Habitat Areas of Particular Concern (HAPC) Working Group comprised of Fishery Ecosystem Plan Team members. The working group will explore and evaluate options in developing an HAPC designation process for the Western Pacific region.
Pacific Island Pelagic Fisheries; 2015 U.S. Territorial Longline Bigeye Tuna Catch Limits for Guam
Document Number: 2015-28298
Type: Rule
Date: 2015-11-06
Agency: Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
In this final rule, NMFS specifies a 2015 limit of 2,000 metric tons (mt) of longline-caught bigeye tuna for Guam. NMFS will allow the territory to allocate up to 1,000 mt each year to U.S. longline fishing vessels in a specified fishing agreement that meets established criteria. As an accountability measure, NMFS will monitor, attribute, and restrict (if necessary) catches of longline-caught bigeye tuna, including catches made under a specified fishing agreement. These catch limits and accountability measures support the long-term sustainability of fishery resources of the U.S. Pacific Islands.
Proposed Information Collection; Comment Request: Socioeconomics of Ocean Guardian Schools-An Office of the National Marine Sanctuaries Educational Program
Document Number: 2015-28287
Type: Notice
Date: 2015-11-06
Agency: Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
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.
Atlantic Highly Migratory Species; Advisory Panel
Document Number: 2015-28263
Type: Notice
Date: 2015-11-05
Agency: Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
NMFS solicits nominations for the Atlantic Highly Migratory Species (HMS) Advisory Panel (AP). NMFS consults with and considers the comments and views of the HMS AP when preparing and implementing Fishery Management Plans (FMPs) or FMP amendments for Atlantic tunas, swordfish, sharks, and billfish. Nominations are being sought to fill approximately one-third (11) of the seats on the HMS AP for a 3-year appointment. Individuals with definable interests in the recreational and commercial fishing and related industries, environmental community, academia, and non-governmental organizations are considered for membership on the HMS AP.
Atlantic Highly Migratory Species; Atlantic Shark Management Measures; 2016 Research Fishery
Document Number: 2015-28257
Type: Notice
Date: 2015-11-05
Agency: Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
NMFS announces its request for applications for the 2016 shark research fishery from commercial shark fishermen with directed or incidental shark limited access permits. The shark research fishery allows for the collection of fishery-dependent and biological data for future stock assessments and to meet the research objectives of the Agency. The only commercial vessels authorized to land sandbar sharks are those participating in the shark research fishery. Shark research fishery permittees may also land other large coastal sharks (LCS), small coastal sharks (SCS), and pelagic sharks. Commercial shark fishermen who are interested in participating in the shark research fishery need to submit a completed Shark Research Fishery Permit Application in order to be considered.
Taking and Importing Marine Mammals; Taking Marine Mammals Incidental to Southwest Fisheries Science Center Fisheries Research
Document Number: 2015-28221
Type: Notice
Date: 2015-11-05
Agency: Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
In accordance with the Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA), as amended, and implementing regulations, notification is hereby given that Letters of Authorization (LOA) have been issued to the NMFS Southwest Fisheries Science Center (SWFSC) for the take of marine mammals incidental to fisheries research conducted in multiple specified geographical regions.
Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Sablefish in the West Yakutat District of the Gulf of Alaska
Document Number: 2015-28071
Type: Rule
Date: 2015-11-04
Agency: Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
NMFS is prohibiting retention of sablefish by vessels using trawl gear in the West Yakutat District of the Gulf of Alaska (GOA). This action is necessary because the 2015 total allowable catch of sablefish allocated to vessels using trawl gear in the West Yakutat District of the GOA will be reached.
Atlantic Highly Migratory Species; Atlantic Bluefin Tuna Fisheries
Document Number: 2015-28070
Type: Rule
Date: 2015-11-04
Agency: Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
NMFS is transferring 35 metric tons (mt) of Atlantic bluefin tuna (BFT) quota from the Harpoon category and 65 mt from the Reserve category to the General category for the remainder of the 2015 fishing year. This transfer results in adjusted quotas of 566.7 mt, 43.6 mt and 82.1 mt for the General, Harpoon, and Reserve categories, respectively. This action is based on consideration of the regulatory determination criteria regarding inseason adjustments and applies to Atlantic tunas General category (commercial) permitted vessels and Highly Migratory Species (HMS) Charter/Headboat category permitted vessels when fishing commercially for BFT.
Atlantic Highly Migratory Species; Exempted Fishing, Scientific Research, Display, Shark Research Fishery, and Chartering Permits; Letters of Acknowledgment
Document Number: 2015-28051
Type: Notice
Date: 2015-11-04
Agency: Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
NMFS announces its intent to issue Exempted Fishing Permits (EFPs), Scientific Research Permits (SRPs), Display Permits, Letters of Acknowledgment (LOAs), Shark Research Fishery Permits, and Chartering Permits for Atlantic highly migratory species (HMS) in 2016. Exempted fishing permits and related permits would authorize collection of a limited number of tunas, swordfish, billfishes, and sharks (collectively known as HMS) from Federal waters in the Atlantic Ocean, Caribbean Sea, and Gulf of Mexico for the purposes of scientific data collection, bycatch research, and public display. Chartering permits allow the collection of HMS on the high seas or in the Exclusive Economic Zone of other nations under certain conditions. Generally, EFPs and related permits will be valid from the date of issuance through December 31, 2016, unless otherwise specified, subject to the terms and conditions of individual permits.
Fisheries of the Northeastern United States; Atlantic Herring Fishery; 2015 Management Area 1A Seasonal Annual Catch Limit Harvested
Document Number: 2015-27997
Type: Rule
Date: 2015-11-03
Agency: Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
NMFS is implementing a 2,000 lb possession limit for Atlantic herring in or from management Area 1A, based on the projection that 92 percent of the 2015 annual seasonal catch limit for that area will have been harvested by the effective date. Federally permitted vessels may not fish for, possess, transfer, receive, land, or sell more than 2,000 lb (907.2 kg) of Atlantic herring in or from Area 1A for the remainder of the fishing year, and federally permitted dealers may not purchase more than 2,000 lb (907.2 kg) of herring from federally permitted vessels for the duration of this action. This action is necessary to comply with the regulations implementing the Atlantic Herring Fishery Management Plan and is intended to prevent over harvest in Area 1A.
Magnuson-Stevens Act Provisions; Fisheries Off West Coast States; Pacific Coast Groundfish Fishery; 2015-2016 Biennial Specifications and Management Measures; Inseason Adjustments
Document Number: 2015-27995
Type: Rule
Date: 2015-11-03
Agency: Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
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 allow fisheries to access more abundant groundfish stocks while protecting overfished and depleted stocks.
Takes of Marine Mammals Incidental to Specified Activities; Marine Geophysical Survey in the Eastern Mediterranean Sea, Mid-November to December 2015
Document Number: 2015-27990
Type: Notice
Date: 2015-11-03
Agency: Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
In accordance with the Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA) implementing regulations, we hereby give notice that we have issued an Incidental Harassment Authorization (Authorization) to Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory (Lamont-Doherty), a component of Columbia University, in collaboration with the National Science Foundation (NSF), to take marine mammals, by harassment, in the eastern Mediterranean Sea, mid-November through December 2015.
Availability of Seats for National Marine Sanctuary Advisory Councils
Document Number: 2015-27987
Type: Notice
Date: 2015-11-03
Agency: Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
ONMS is seeking applications for vacant seats for five of its 13 national marine sanctuary advisory councils (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.
Takes of Marine Mammals Incidental to Specified Activities; Taking Marine Mammals Incidental to Construction of the Block Island Transmission System
Document Number: 2015-27974
Type: Notice
Date: 2015-11-03
Agency: Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
Notice is hereby given that we have revised an incidental harassment authorization (IHA) issued to The Narragansett Electric Company, doing business as National Grid (TNEC), to take marine mammals, by harassment, incidental to construction of the Block Island Transmission System (BITS). The project has been delayed and the effective dates revised accordingly.
New England Fishery Management Council; Public Meeting
Document Number: 2015-27951
Type: Notice
Date: 2015-11-03
Agency: Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
The New England Fishery Management Council (Council) is scheduling a public meeting of its Scallop Committee Meeting on Thursday, November 19, 2015 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.
New England Fishery Management Council; Public Meeting
Document Number: 2015-27950
Type: Notice
Date: 2015-11-03
Agency: Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
The New England Fishery Management Council (Council) is scheduling a public meeting of its Scallop Advisory Panel on Wednesday, November 18, 2015, 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.
New England Fishery Management Council; Public Meeting
Document Number: 2015-27949
Type: Notice
Date: 2015-11-03
Agency: Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
The New England Fishery Management Council (Council) is scheduling a public meeting of its Groundfish 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.
Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Inseason Adjustment to the 2015 Gulf of Alaska Pollock Seasonal Apportionments
Document Number: 2015-27864
Type: Rule
Date: 2015-11-02
Agency: Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
NMFS is adjusting the 2015 seasonal apportionments of the total allowable catch (TAC) for pollock in the Gulf of Alaska (GOA) by re-apportioning unharvested pollock TAC in Statistical Areas 610, 620, and 630 of the GOA. This action is necessary to provide opportunity for harvest of the 2015 pollock TAC, consistent with the goals and objectives of the Fishery Management Plan for Groundfish of the Gulf of Alaska.
Endangered and Threatened Species; Recovery Plans
Document Number: 2015-27854
Type: Notice
Date: 2015-11-02
Agency: Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
We, NMFS, announce that the Proposed Endangered Species Act (ESA) Recovery Plan for Snake River Fall Chinook Salmon (Proposed Plan) is available for public review and comment. The Proposed Plan addresses the Snake River Fall Chinook Salmon (Onchorhynchus tshawytscha) evolutionarily significant unit (ESU), which is listed as threatened under the ESA. The geographic area covered by the Proposed Plan is the lower and middle mainstem Snake River and tributaries as well as the mainstem Columbia River below its confluence with the Snake River. As required under the ESA, the Proposed Plan contains objective, measurable delisting criteria, site-specific management actions necessary to achieve the Proposed Plan's goals, and estimates of the time and cost required to implement recovery actions. We are soliciting review and comment from the public and all interested parties on the Proposed Plan.
Caribbean Fishery Management Council; Public Hearings; Correction
Document Number: 2015-27838
Type: Notice
Date: 2015-11-02
Agency: Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
The Caribbean Fishery Management Council (CFMC) is considering modifying the timing for the implementation of accountability measure (AM)-based closures in the Caribbean Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) and specifying how often to revisit the modification. The Council is considering these management measures in order to ensure AM-based closures successfully achieve their conservation objective and, to the extent practicable, minimize adverse economic impacts to fishers and fishing communities, consistent with National Standard 8 of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act. Following are the actions and management alternatives: The Draft Amendment consists of two actions: Action 1: Modify the timing for the implementation of AM-based closures in the EEZ; Alternative 1: No action. Continue AM-based closures resulting from an annual catch limit (ACL) overage beginning on December 31st of the closure year and extending backward into the year for the number of days neccesary to achieve the required reduction in landings. Preferred Alternative 2: Accountability measure-based closures resulting from an ACL overage will begin on September 30th of the closure year and would extend backward into the year for the number of days necessary to achieve the required reduction in landings. This closure start date would apply to all fishery management units (FMUs) for each of Puerto Rico commercial and recreational sectors, St. Thomas/St. John, St. Croix, and Caribbean-wide. If for any FMU in any year, the number of available days running from September 30th backward to the beginning of the year is not enough to achieve the required reduction in landings, then the additional days needed would be captured by extending the closure forward, beginning on October 1st and continuing for however many days are needed to fulfill the required reduction. Alternative 3: Accountability measure-based closures resulting from an ACL overage will begin on January 1st of the closure year and extend forward into the year for the number of days necessary to achieve the required reduction in landing. This closure start date would apply to all FMUs for each of Puerto Rico commercial and recreational sectors, St. Thomas/St. John, St. Croix, and Caribbean-wide. Alternative 4: Establish a fixed fishing closure start date for the implementation of AMs for each FMU by island/island group (A. Puerto Rico, B. St. Thomas/St. John, C. St. Croix, and D. Caribbean-wide). A different start date may be chosen for each FMU on each island/island group. The start date will begin on the last day of the identified month and go backward towards the beginning of the year. If for any FMU in any year, the number of days left in the year is not enough to achieve the required reduction in landings, then those additional days would be captured by extending the closure forward toward the end of the year.
New England Fishery Management Council; Public Meetings
Document Number: 2015-27835
Type: Notice
Date: 2015-11-02
Agency: Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
The New England Fishery Management Council (Council) will hold one public hearing and one webinar to solicit Public comments on Draft Amendment 19 to the Scallop Fishery Management Plan (FMP).
North Pacific Fishery Management Council; Public Meeting
Document Number: 2015-27832
Type: Notice
Date: 2015-11-02
Agency: Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
The North Pacific Fishery Management Council (Council) Groundfish Plan Team will meet in Seattle, WA.
Fisheries of the South Atlantic; Southeast Data, Assessment, and Review (SEDAR); Public Meeting
Document Number: 2015-27829
Type: Notice
Date: 2015-11-02
Agency: Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
The SEDAR 41 assessments of the South Atlantic stocks of red snapper and gray triggerfish will consist of a series of workshop and webinars: Data Workshops; an Assessment Workshop and webinars; and a Review Workshop. See SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION.
New England Fishery Management Council; Public Meeting
Document Number: 2015-27827
Type: Notice
Date: 2015-11-02
Agency: Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
The New England Fishery Management Council (Council) is scheduling a public meeting of its Recreational Advisory Panel 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.