Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Observer Coverage Requirements for Small Catcher/Processor in the Gulf of Alaska and Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Groundfish Fisheries
The North Pacific Fishery Management Council (Council) has submitted Amendment 112 to the Fishery Management Plan for Groundfish of the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Management Area (BSAI FMP) and Amendment 102 to the Fishery Management Plan for Groundfish of the Gulf of Alaska (GOA FMP). If approved, Amendments 112 and 102 would modify the criteria for NMFS to place small catcher/processors in the partial observer coverage category under the North Pacific Groundfish and Halibut Observer Program (Observer Program). Under Amendments 112 and 102, the GOA and BSAI FMPs would each be amended to allow certain catcher/processors with relatively small levels of groundfish production to be placed in the partial observer coverage category. Amendments 112 and 102 are intended to promote the goals of the BSAI and GOA FMPs and to promote the goals and objectives of the Magnuson- Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (Magnuson-Stevens Act) and other applicable laws.
Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Other Hook-and-Line Fishery by Catcher Vessels in the Gulf of Alaska
NMFS is prohibiting directed fishing for groundfish, other than demersal shelf rockfish, by catcher vessels (C/Vs) using hook-and- line gear in the Gulf of Alaska (GOA). This action is necessary because the Pacific halibut bycatch allowance specified for the other hook-and- line fishery by C/Vs in the GOA has been reached.
Endangered and Threatened Species; Recovery Plans
We, NMFS, announce the extension of the comment period for the Proposed Endangered Species Act (ESA) Recovery Plan for Snake River Fall Chinook Salmon (Proposed Plan) published on November 2, 2015. The Proposed Plan addresses the Snake River Fall Chinook Salmon (Oncorhynchus 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 costs required to implement recovery actions. We are soliciting review and comment from the public and all interested parties on the Proposed Plan. The close of the comment period is being extendedfrom January 4, 2016, to February 5, 2016to provide additional opportunity for public comment.
Fisheries of the Gulf of Mexico; Southeast Data, Assessment, and Review (SEDAR); Public Meeting
The SEDAR 45 assessment of the Gulf of Mexico Vermilion Snapper will consist of one in-person workshop and a series of webinars. See SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION.
Pacific Fishery Management Council; Public Meeting
The Pacific Fishery Management Council's (Council) Ecosystem Workgroup (EWG) will host a series of five webinars in January and February 2016, which are open to the public. Each webinar will begin at 1:30 p.m.
Indirect Cost Rates for the Damage Assessment, Remediation, and Restoration Program for Fiscal Year 2014
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's (NOAA's) Damage Assessment, Remediation, and Restoration Program (DARRP) is announcing new indirect cost rates on the recovery of indirect costs for its component organizations involved in natural resource damage assessment and restoration activities for fiscal year (FY) 2014. The indirect cost rates for this fiscal year and date of implementation are provided in this notice. More information on these rates and the DARRP policy can be found at the DARRP Web site at www.darrp.noaa.gov.
Fisheries of the Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico, and South Atlantic; Coastal Migratory Pelagic Resources in the Gulf of Mexico and Atlantic Region; Framework Amendment 3
In this final rule, NMFS implements management measures described in Framework Amendment 3 to the Fishery Management Plan (FMP) for the Coastal Migratory Pelagic Resources (CMP) in the exclusive economic zone (EEZ) of the Gulf of Mexico and Atlantic Region (Framework Amendment 3), as prepared and submitted by the Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council (Council). This final rule modifies the trip limit, accountability measures (AMs), dealer reporting requirements, and gillnet permit requirements for commercial king mackerel landed by run-around gillnet fishing gear in the Gulf of Mexico (Gulf). The purpose of this final rule is to increase the efficiency, stability, and accountability, and to reduce the potential for regulatory discards of king mackerel in the commercial gillnet component of the CMP fishery in the Gulf.
Taking of Threatened or Endangered Marine Mammals Incidental to Commercial Fishing Operations; Proposed Permit
NMFS proposes to issue a permit for a period of three years to authorize the incidental, but not intentional, taking of individuals from five marine mammal stocks listed under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) by the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands (BSAI) flatfish trawl, the BSAI pollock trawl, and the BSAI Pacific cod longline fisheries. In accordance with the MMPA, NMFS must issue this permit provided it can make the determinations that: The incidental take will have a negligible impact on the affected stocks; a recovery plan for all affected stocks of threatened or endangered marine mammals has been developed or is being developed; and a take reduction plan and monitoring program have been implemented, and vessels in these fisheries are registered. NMFS has made a preliminary determination that incidental taking from commercial fishing will have a negligible impact on the endangered Western North Pacific (WNP) stock of humpback whales, endangered Central North Pacific (CNP) stock of humpback whales, endangered Western U.S. stock of Steller sea lions, threatened Alaska stock of ringed seals, and Alaska stock of bearded seals. Accordingly, NMFS solicits public comments on the draft negligible impact determination (NID) and on the proposal to issue a permit to vessels that operate in these fisheries for the taking of affected endangered or threatened stocks of marine mammals.