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

Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone off Alaska; Fixed-Gear Commercial Halibut and Sablefish Fisheries; Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Crab Rationalization Program; Cost Recovery Authorized Payment Methods
Document Number: 2015-32966
Type: Proposed Rule
Date: 2015-12-31
Agency: Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
NMFS issues a proposed rule to revise the authorized methods for payment of cost recovery fees for the Halibut and Sablefish Individual Fishing Quota Program and the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Crab Rationalization Program. This proposed rule is necessary to improve data security procedures and to reduce administrative costs of processing cost recovery fee payments. The proposed rule is intended to promote the goals and objectives of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act, the Northern Pacific Halibut Act of 1982, the Fishery Management Plan for Groundfish of the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands, the Fishery Management Plan for Groundfish of the Gulf of Alaska, the Fishery Management Plan for Bering Sea/Aleutian Islands King and Tanner Crabs, and other applicable laws.
Magnuson-Stevens Act Provisions; Fisheries Off West Coast States; Pacific Coast Groundfish Fishery; Trawl Rationalization Program; 2016 Cost Recovery
Document Number: 2015-32946
Type: Notice
Date: 2015-12-31
Agency: Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
This action provides participants in the Pacific coast groundfish trawl rationalization program with the 2016 fee percentages and ``MS pricing'' needed to calculate the required payments for trawl rationalization program cost recovery fees due in 2016. For calendar year 2016, NMFS announces the following fee percentages by sector: 3.0 percent for the Shorebased Individual Fishing Quota (IFQ) Program; 2.5 percent for the MS Coop Program; and 0.7 percent for the Catcher/ Processer (C/P) Coop Program. For 2016, the MS pricing to be used as a proxy by the C/P Coop Program is: $0.11/lb for Pacific whiting.
National Estuarine Research Reserve System
Document Number: 2015-32942
Type: Notice
Date: 2015-12-31
Agency: Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
Under 15 CFR 921.33(d), notice is hereby given that the Stewardship Division, Office for Coastal Management, National Ocean Service, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce approves the Mission-Aransas, Texas National Estuarine Research Reserve Management Plan revision. The Mission- Aransas Reserve revised plan will replace the plan approved in 2006. The revised management plan outlines the administrative structure; the research/monitoring, stewardship, education, and training programs of the reserve; and the plans for future land acquisition and facility development to support reserve operations. The Mission-Aransas Reserve takes an integrated approach to management, linking research, education, coastal training, and stewardship functions. The Reserve has outlined how it will manage administration and its core program providing detailed actions that will enable it to accomplish specific goals and objectives. Since the last management plan, the Reserve has built out its core programs and monitoring infrastructure; constructed several facilities including a L.E.E.D. certified Estuarine Research Center that serves as the reserve headquarters and includes laboratories, offices, classrooms, interpretative areas and dormitories; and built new partnerships with organizations along the Coastal Bend of Texas. On October 1, 2015, NOAA issued a notice of a thirty day public comment period for the Mission-Aransas Reserve revised plan (80 FR 59138). Responses to the written and oral comments received, and an explanation of how comments were incorporated into the final revised plan, are available in Appendix K to the revised plan (http:// missionaransas.org/sites/default/files/manerr/files/final_201 5- 2020_manerr_management_plan_appendices_dec_2015.pdf). With the approval of this management plan, the Mission-Aransas Reserve will increase their total acreage from 185,708 acres to 186,189. The change is attributable to the recent acquisitions of several parcels by Reserve partners, totaling 481 acres. All of the proposed additions are owned by existing Reserve partners and will be managed for long-term protection and conservation value. These parcels have high ecological value and will enhance the Reserve's ability to provide increased opportunities for research, education, and stewardship. The revised management plan will serve as the guiding document for the expanded 186,189 acre Mission-Aransas Reserve for the next five years. The 2015-2020 Mission-Aransas, Texas Reserve Management Plan, which contains a more detailed description of the boundary change and acquired parcels, is available at (https:// sites.cns.utexas.edu/manerr/about/management-plan). The impacts of the revised management plan have not changed and the initial Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) prepared at the time of designation is still valid. NOAA has made the determination that the revision of the management plan will not have a significant effect on the human environment and therefore qualifies for a categorical exclusion under NOAA Administrative Order 216-6. An environmental assessment will not be prepared.
Pacific Fishery Management Council; Public Meetings and Hearings
Document Number: 2015-32927
Type: Notice
Date: 2015-12-31
Agency: Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
The Pacific Fishery Management Council (Pacific Council) has begun its annual preseason management process for the 2016 ocean salmon fisheries. This document announces the availability of Pacific Council documents as well as the dates and locations of Pacific Council meetings and public hearings comprising the Pacific Council's complete schedule of events for determining the annual proposed and final modifications to ocean salmon fishery management measures. The agendas for the March and April 2016 Pacific Council meetings will be published in subsequent Federal Register documents prior to the actual meetings.
Submission for OMB Review; Comment Request
Document Number: 2015-32915
Type: Notice
Date: 2015-12-31
Agency: Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
Magnuson-Stevens Act Provisions; Fisheries Off West Coast States; Pacific Coast Groundfish Fishery; 2015-2016 Biennial Specifications and Management Measures; Inseason Adjustments
Document Number: 2015-32884
Type: Rule
Date: 2015-12-31
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. This document also announces a prohibition on the use of midwater trawl gear in the Shorebased Individual Fishing Quota (IFQ) Program shoreward of the boundary line approximating the 150 fm (274 m) depth contour via automatic action, with actual notice (by phone and email) to participants, at noon local time, November 26, 2015 in order to reduce the risk of exceeding the canary rockfish annual catch limit (ACL).
Atlantic Highly Migratory Species; North Atlantic Swordfish Fishery
Document Number: 2015-32826
Type: Rule
Date: 2015-12-31
Agency: Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
NMFS is adjusting the Swordfish (SWO) General Commercial permit retention limits for the Northwest Atlantic, Gulf of Mexico, and U.S. Caribbean regions for January through June of the 2016 fishing year, unless otherwise noticed. The SWO General Commercial permit retention limits in each of these regions are increased from the default limits to six SWO per vessel per trip. The SWO General Commercial permit retention limit in the Florida SWO Management Area will remain unchanged at the default limit of zero SWO per vessel per trip. This adjustment applies to SWO General Commercial permitted vessels and Highly Migratory Species (HMS) Charter/Headboat permitted vessels when on a non for-hire trip. This action is based upon consideration of the applicable inseason regional retention limit adjustment criteria.
Extension of Deep Seabed Exploration Licenses: Response to Comments
Document Number: 2015-32889
Type: Notice
Date: 2015-12-30
Agency: Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
Due to a clerical error, comments submitted by the Center for Biological Diversity on a requested extension of Deep Seabed Hard Mineral Resources Act exploration licenses were not considered until after the licenses were extended. After reviewing and considering those comments, NOAA has found that they provide no basis for reconsidering the requested license extensions or revising the now-extended licenses.
New England Fishery Management Council; Public Meeting
Document Number: 2015-32867
Type: Notice
Date: 2015-12-30
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.
Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council (MAFMC); Public Meeting
Document Number: 2015-32866
Type: Notice
Date: 2015-12-30
Agency: Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
The Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council will hold a public meeting of its Summer Flounder, Scup, and Black Sea Bass Advisory Panel (AP) and its Mackerel, Squid, and Butterfish AP.
Trade Monitoring Procedures for Fishery Products; International Trade in Seafood; Permit Requirements for Importers and Exporters
Document Number: 2015-32743
Type: Proposed Rule
Date: 2015-12-29
Agency: Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
NMFS proposes regulations to revise procedures and requirements for filing import, export, and re-export documentation for certain fishery products to meet requirements for the SAFE Port Act of 2006, the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (MSA), other applicable statutes, and obligations that arise from U.S. participation in regional fishery management organizations (RFMOs) and other arrangements to which the United States is a member or contracting party. Specifically, NMFS proposes to integrate the collection of trade documentation within the government-wide International Trade Data System (ITDS) and require electronic information collection through the automated portal maintained by the Department of Homeland Security, Customs and Border Protection (CBP). Under this integration, NMFS would require annually renewable International Fisheries Trade Permits (IFTP) for the import, export, and re-export of certain regulated seafood commodities that are subject to trade monitoring programs of RFMOs and/or subject to trade documentation requirements under domestic law. These trade monitoring programs enable the United States to exclude products that do not meet the criteria for admissibility to U.S. markets, including products resulting from illegal, unregulated, and unreported (IUU) fishing activities. This proposed rule would consolidate existing international trade permits for regulated seafood products under the Antarctic Marine Living Resources (AMLR) and Highly Migratory Species International Trade Permit (HMS ITP) programs and expand the scope of the permit requirement to include regulated seafood products under the Tuna Tracking and Verification Program (TTVP). This proposed rule would also stipulate data and trade documentation for the above programs which must be provided electronically to CBP and address recordkeeping requirements for these programs in light of the proposed changes. Trade documentation excludes any programmatic documents that are not required at the time of entry/export (e.g., biweekly dealer reports).
Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off of Alaska; Observer Coverage Requirements for Small Catcher/Processors in the Gulf of Alaska and Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Groundfish Fisheries
Document Number: 2015-32742
Type: Proposed Rule
Date: 2015-12-29
Agency: Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
NMFS proposes regulations that would implement 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) and revise regulations for observer coverage requirements for certain small catcher/processors in the Gulf of Alaska (GOA) and Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Management Area (BSAI). If approved, this proposed rule 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 this proposed rule, the owner of a non-trawl catcher/processor could choose to be in the partial observer coverage category, on an annual basis, if the vessel processed less than 79,000 lb (35.8 mt) of groundfish on an average weekly basis in a particular prior year, as specified in this proposed rule. This proposed rule would not alter observer coverage requirements for a catcher/processor using trawl gear or for a catcher/processor when participating in a catch share program; these catcher/processors would continue to be required to be in the full observer coverage category. This proposed rule would provide a relatively limited exception to the general requirement that all catcher/processors are in the full observer coverage category, and maintain the full observer coverage requirement for all trawl catcher/ processors and catcher/processors participating in a catch share program that requires full coverage. The net impact of this proposed rule on the information available for fisheries management is expected to be small due, in part, to the small amount of fishing activity that would be impacted. This proposed rule is 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.
New England Fishery Management Council; Public Meeting
Document Number: 2015-32716
Type: Notice
Date: 2015-12-29
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.
New England Fishery Management Council; Public Meeting
Document Number: 2015-32715
Type: Notice
Date: 2015-12-29
Agency: Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
The New England Fishery Management Council (Council) is scheduling a public meeting of its Herring 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 Northeastern United States; Northeast Multispecies Fishery Management Plan; Notice of Intent To Prepare an Environmental Impact Statement; Scoping Process; Request for Comments; Extension of Comment Period
Document Number: 2015-32668
Type: Notice
Date: 2015-12-29
Agency: Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
In the Notice of Intent (NOI) that published on Monday, November 23, 2015, the Council and NMFS announced the intention to prepare an environmental impact statement in accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act. This notice is to alert the interested public of an additional public hearing and to extend the written comment period from January 7, 2016, to January 20, 2016, to ensure adequate time for the public to comment on the NOI.
Establish a Single Small Business Size Standard for Commercial Fishing Businesses
Document Number: 2015-32564
Type: Rule
Date: 2015-12-29
Agency: Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
NMFS issues this final rule to establish a small business size standard of $11 million in annual gross receipts for all businesses in the commercial fishing industry (NAICS 11411), for Regulatory Flexibility Act (RFA) compliance purposes only. For the purposes of this final rule, a ``commercial fishing business'' is a business primarily engaged in commercial fishing, the ``commercial fishing industry'' is composed of all such businesses, and the $11 million standard only applies to this industry. This standard does not apply to businesses primarily engaged in seafood processing (NAICS 311170), seafood wholesale activities (NAICS 424460), or any other activity within the seafood industry. The $11 million standard will be used in RFA analyses in place of the U.S. Small Business Administration's (SBA) current standards of $20.5 million, $5.5 million, and $7.5 million for the finfish (NAICS 114111), shellfish (NAICS 114112), and other marine fishing (NAICS 114119) sectors of the U.S. commercial fishing industry, respectively. Establishing a single size standard of $11 million for the commercial fishing industry will simplify the RFA analyses done in support of NMFS' rules, better meet the RFA's intent by more accurately representing expected disproportionate effects of NMFS' rules between small and large commercial fishing businesses, create a standard that more accurately reflects the size distribution of all businesses in the commercial fishing industry, and allow NMFS to determine when changes to the standard are necessary and appropriate.
International Fisheries; Pacific Tuna Fisheries; Fishing Restrictions for the Area of Overlap Between the Convention Areas of the Inter-American Tropical Tuna Commission and the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission
Document Number: 2015-32581
Type: Proposed Rule
Date: 2015-12-28
Agency: Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
NMFS hereby proposes regulations under the Tuna Conventions Act to implement Recommendation C-12-11 of the Inter-American Tropical Tuna Commission (IATTC). Recommendation C-12-11 revises the management regime for the area of overlapping jurisdiction between the IATTC and the Commission for the Conservation and Management of Highly Migratory Fish Stocks in the Western and Central Pacific Ocean (WCPFC). These proposed regulations provide that the management measures of the IATTC would no longer apply in the area of overlapping jurisdiction, with the exception of regulations governing the IATTC Regional Vessel Register. This action is necessary for the United States to satisfy its obligations as a member of the IATTC.
Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Revise Maximum Retainable Amounts for Skates in the Gulf of Alaska
Document Number: 2015-32577
Type: Rule
Date: 2015-12-28
Agency: Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
NMFS issues regulations to reduce the maximum retainable amount (MRA) of skates using groundfish and halibut as basis species in the Gulf of Alaska (GOA) from 20 percent to 5 percent. Reducing skate MRAs is necessary to decrease the incentive for fishermen to target skates and slow the catch rate of skates in these fisheries. This final rule will enhance conservation and management of skates and minimize skate discards in GOA groundfish and halibut fisheries. This final rule is intended to promote the goals and objectives of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (Magnuson-Stevens Act), the Fishery Management Plan for Groundfish of the Gulf of Alaska (FMP), and other applicable laws.
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: 2015-32562
Type: Rule
Date: 2015-12-28
Agency: Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
NMFS issues final specifications for the 2016-2018 summer flounder and scup fisheries, and the 2016 and 2017 black sea bass fishery. This final rule specifies allowed harvest limits for both commercial and recreational fisheries. This action prohibits federally permitted commercial fishing vessels from landing summer flounder in Delaware in 2016 due to continued quota repayment from previous years' overages. This action also reduces the 2016 black sea bass commercial quota to account for a catch overage in 2014. These actions are necessary to comply with regulations implementing the Summer Flounder, Scup, and Black Sea Bass Fishery Management Plan, and to ensure compliance with the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act. The intent of this action is to establish harvest levels and other management measures to ensure that these species are not overfished or subject to overfishing in 2016-2018.
Fisheries of the Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico, and South Atlantic; Dolphin and Wahoo Fishery Off the Atlantic States and Snapper-Grouper Fishery of the South Atlantic Region; Amendments 7/33
Document Number: 2015-32555
Type: Rule
Date: 2015-12-28
Agency: Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
NMFS issues regulations to implement Amendment 7 to the Fishery Management Plan (FMP) for the Dolphin and Wahoo Fishery off the Atlantic States (Dolphin and Wahoo FMP) and Amendment 33 to the FMP for the Snapper-Grouper Fishery of the South Atlantic Region (Snapper- Grouper FMP) (Amendments 7/33), as prepared and submitted by the South Atlantic Fishery Management Council (Council). This final rule revises the landing fish intact provisions for vessels that lawfully harvest dolphin, wahoo, or snapper-grouper in or from Bahamian waters and return to the U.S exclusive economic zone (EEZ). The U.S. EEZ as described in this final rule refers to the Atlantic EEZ for dolphin and wahoo and the South Atlantic EEZ for snapper-grouper species. The purpose of this final rule is to improve the consistency and enforceability of Federal regulations with regards to landing fish intact provisions for vessels transiting from Bahamian waters through the U.S. EEZ and to increase the social and economic benefits related to the recreational harvest of these species.
Submission for OMB Review; Comment Request
Document Number: 2015-32543
Type: Notice
Date: 2015-12-28
Agency: Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
Submission for OMB Review; Comment Request
Document Number: 2015-32542
Type: Notice
Date: 2015-12-28
Agency: Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council (MAFMC); Public Meeting
Document Number: 2015-32490
Type: Notice
Date: 2015-12-28
Agency: Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
The Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council's (MAFMC) Ecosystem and Ocean Planning Advisory Panel (AP) will hold a public webinar meeting.
Fisheries of the Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico, and South Atlantic; Reef Fish Fishery of the Gulf of Mexico; Red Snapper Management Measures; Amendment 28
Document Number: 2015-32445
Type: Proposed Rule
Date: 2015-12-24
Agency: Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
The Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council (Council) has submitted Amendment 28 to the Fishery Management Plan for the Reef Fish Resources of the Gulf of Mexico (FMP) for review, approval, and implementation by NMFS. Amendment 28 would revise the Gulf of Mexico (Gulf) red snapper commercial and recreational sector allocations of the stock annual catch limit (ACL). If Amendment 28 is approved and implemented, it would result in changes to the red snapper commercial and recreational quotas and the recreational annual catch target (ACT). Additionally, the Federal charter vessel/headboat and private angling component ACLs and ACTs, which are based on the recreational sector's ACL and ACT, would also be revised. The intent of Amendment 28 is to reallocate the Gulf red snapper harvest consistent with the 2014 red snapper update assessment while ensuring the allowable catch and recovery benefits from the rebuilding red snapper stock are fairly and equitably allocated between the commercial and recreational sectors to achieve optimum yield (OY).
Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Reallocation of Pacific Cod in the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Management Area
Document Number: 2015-32444
Type: Rule
Date: 2015-12-24
Agency: Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
NMFS is reallocating the projected unused amounts of Pacific cod from catcher vessels greater than or equal to 60 feet (18.3 meters (m)) length overall (LOA) using pot gear and catcher vessels less than 60 feet (18.3 m) LOA using hook-and-line or pot gear to catcher/ processors (C/Ps) using hook-and-line gear in the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands management area. This action is necessary to allow the 2015 total allowable catch of Pacific cod to be harvested.
New England Fishery Management Council; Public Meeting
Document Number: 2015-32432
Type: Notice
Date: 2015-12-24
Agency: Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
The New England Fishery Management Council (Council) is scheduling a public meeting of its Herring 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.
2016 Annual Determination To Implement the Sea Turtle Observer Requirement
Document Number: 2015-32425
Type: Notice
Date: 2015-12-24
Agency: Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
The National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) is providing notification that the agency will not identify additional fisheries to observe on the Annual Determination (AD) for 2016, pursuant to its authority under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). Through the AD, NMFS identifies U.S. fisheries operating in the Atlantic Ocean, Gulf of Mexico, and Pacific Ocean that will be required to take observers upon NMFS' request. The purpose of observing identified fisheries is to learn more about sea turtle interactions in a given fishery, evaluate measures to prevent or reduce sea turtle takes, and implement the prohibition against sea turtle takes. Fisheries identified on the 2015 AD (see Table 1) remain on the AD for a 5-year period and are required to carry observers upon NMFS' request until December 31, 2019.
Takes of Marine Mammals Incidental to Specified Activities; Seabird Research Activities in Central California, 2015-2016
Document Number: 2015-32409
Type: Notice
Date: 2015-12-24
Agency: Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
We, NMFS, give notice that we have revised an Incidental Harassment Authorization (Authorization) issued to Point Blue Conservation Science (Point Blue) to take marine mammals, by harassment, incidental to conducting seabird research activities on Southeast Farallon Island, A[ntilde]o Nuevo Island, and Point Reyes National Seashore in central California. Point Blue's current Authorization is effective until January 30, 2016, and authorizes the incidental harassment, by Level B harassment only, of approximately 9,871 California sea lions (Zalophus californianus). Current environmental conditions in the Pacific Ocean offshore California which researchers have attributed to an impending El Nino eventhave contributed to unprecedented numbers of California sea lions hauled out in areas where Point Blue conducts seabird surveys. As such, Point Blue requested a modification to their current Authorization to increase the number of authorized take for California sea lions to continue their research. Per the Marine Mammal Protection Act, we are revising the Authorization to Point Blue for the incidental harassment, by Level B harassment only, a total of 41,889 California sea lions.
New England Fishery Management Council; Public Meeting
Document Number: 2015-32298
Type: Notice
Date: 2015-12-23
Agency: Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
The New England Fishery Management Council (Council) is scheduling a public meeting of its Whiting Committee on January 21, 2016 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.
North Pacific Fishery Management Council; Public Meeting
Document Number: 2015-32297
Type: Notice
Date: 2015-12-23
Agency: Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
The North Pacific Fishery Management Council (Council) Crab Plan Team (CPT) will meet in Anchorage, AK.
North Pacific Fishery Management Council; Public Meeting
Document Number: 2015-32296
Type: Notice
Date: 2015-12-23
Agency: Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
The North Pacific Fishery Management Council (Council) Electronic Monitoring Workgroup (EMWG) will meet in Anchorage, AK.
Boundary Expansion of Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary; Correction and Expansion of Fagatele Bay National Marine Sanctuary, Regulatory Changes, and Sanctuary Name Change; Correction
Document Number: 2015-32265
Type: Rule
Date: 2015-12-23
Agency: Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
NOAA originally published final rules expanding the boundaries of Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary (TBNMS) and National Marine Sanctuary of American Samoa (NMSAS), and specifying new boundary coordinates for those sanctuaries, on September 5, 2014, and July 26, 2012, respectively. Upon adding the new boundaries for both sanctuaries to NOAA nautical charts, NOAA noticed that some of the coordinates did not match the description of the boundaries in the respective final rules. This action corrects those errors in the coordinates, and updates the format of the tables of coordinates for NMSAS. This action also makes corrections to the boundary description for the Swains Island unit of NMSAS and makes a correction to the use of the term ``mean high high water''. This correcting amendment will ensure proper mapping and enforcement of TBNMS and NMSAS. This action makes no substantive change to the regulations and does not expand or otherwise alter the size or geographic boundaries of the sanctuaries.
Proposed Information Collection; Comment Request; Antarctic Marine Living Resources Conservation and Management Measures
Document Number: 2015-32165
Type: Notice
Date: 2015-12-23
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.
Takes of Marine Mammals Incidental to Specified Activities; Taking Marine Mammals Incidental to a Dock Replacement Project
Document Number: 2015-32155
Type: Notice
Date: 2015-12-23
Agency: Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
NMFS has received a request from UniSea, Inc., for authorization to take marine mammals incidental to construction activities as part of a dock construction project at a commercial fish processing facility in Unalaska, AK. Pursuant to the Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA), NMFS is requesting comments on its proposal to issue an incidental harassment authorization (IHA) to UniSea to incidentally take marine mammals, by Level B Harassment only, during the specified activity.
Takes of Marine Mammals Incidental to Specified Activities; Taking Marine Mammals Incidental to the U.S. Air Force Conducting Maritime Weapon Systems Evaluation Program Operational Testing Within the Eglin Gulf Test and Training Range
Document Number: 2015-32154
Type: Notice
Date: 2015-12-23
Agency: Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
NMFS (hereinafter, ``we'' or ``our'') received an application from the U.S. Department of the Air Force, Headquarters 96th Air Base Wing (Air Force), Eglin Air Force Base (Eglin AFB), requesting an Incidental Harassment Authorization (Authorization) to take marine mammals, by harassment, incidental to a Maritime Weapon Systems Evaluation Program (Maritime WSEP) within a section of the Eglin Gulf Test and Training Range in the northern Gulf of Mexico. Eglin AFB's activities are military readiness activities per the Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA), as amended by the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year 2004. Per the MMPA, NMFS requests comments on its proposal to issue an Authorization to Eglin AFB to incidentally take, by Level B and Level A harassment, two species of marine mammals, the Atlantic bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus) and Atlantic spotted dolphin (Stenella frontalis), during the specified activity.
Proposed Information Collection; Comment Request; Evaluations of Coastal Zone Management Act Programs-State Coastal Management Programs and National Estuarine Research Reserves
Document Number: 2015-32100
Type: Notice
Date: 2015-12-23
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.
Fisheries of the Northeastern United States; Summer Flounder Fishery; Quota Transfer
Document Number: 2015-32109
Type: Rule
Date: 2015-12-22
Agency: Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
NMFS announces that the States of North Carolina and Maine and the Commonwealth of Virginia are transferring portions of their 2015 commercial summer flounder quotas to the State of Connecticut. These quota adjustments are necessary to comply with the Summer Flounder, Scup and Black Sea Bass Fishery Management Plan quota transfer provision. This announcement informs the public of the revised commercial quota for each state involved.
Fisheries of the Caribbean; Southeast Data, Assessment, and Review (SEDAR); Public Meeting
Document Number: 2015-31948
Type: Notice
Date: 2015-12-21
Agency: Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
The SEDAR 46 assessment of the Caribbean Data-limited Species will consist of one in-person workshop and a series of webinars. See SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION.
Fisheries of the South Atlantic; Southeast Data, Assessment, and Review (SEDAR); Public Meetings
Document Number: 2015-31947
Type: Notice
Date: 2015-12-21
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.
Fisheries of the South Atlantic; South Atlantic Fishery Management Council; Public Meeting
Document Number: 2015-31946
Type: Notice
Date: 2015-12-21
Agency: Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
The South Atlantic Fishery Management Council (Council) is considering developing a comprehensive citizen science program. This workshop will be convened to consider program goals and design, and gather input from constituents and potential regional partners and collaborators. See SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION.
Marine Mammals; File No. 16109
Document Number: 2015-31879
Type: Notice
Date: 2015-12-18
Agency: Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
Notice is hereby given that a major amendment to Permit No. 16109-02 has been issued to Versar, Inc. (formerly GeoMarine, Inc.) (Responsible Party: Susanne Bates), 700 International Parkway, Suite 104, Richardson, TX 75081.
Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council; Public Meetings
Document Number: 2015-31860
Type: Notice
Date: 2015-12-18
Agency: Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
The Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council (Council) will hold eight public hearings and a webinar to solicit public comments on Shrimp Amendment 17A.
Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council; Public Meeting
Document Number: 2015-31859
Type: Notice
Date: 2015-12-18
Agency: Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
The Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council will hold a two- day meeting of its Standing and Special Reef Fish Scientific and Statistical Committee (SSC).
Atlantic Highly Migratory Species; Smoothhound Shark Management Measures
Document Number: 2015-31782
Type: Rule
Date: 2015-12-18
Agency: Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
NMFS announces approval by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) of collection-of-information requirements contained in regulations pertaining to the U.S. Atlantic smoothhound shark fisheries in a final rule that was published on November 24, 2015. The intent of this final rule is to inform the public of the effectiveness of the collection-of-information requirements associated with the commercial smoothhound shark permit.
National Saltwater Angler Registry Program
Document Number: 2015-31776
Type: Notice
Date: 2015-12-18
Agency: Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
NMFS has established an annual fee of twenty-nine dollars ($29.00) for registration of anglers, spear fishers and for-hire fishing vessels to register under the National Saltwater Angler Registry Program.
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
Document Number: 2015-31761
Type: Proposed Rule
Date: 2015-12-17
Agency: Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
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
Document Number: 2015-31759
Type: Rule
Date: 2015-12-17
Agency: Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
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
Document Number: 2015-31748
Type: Notice
Date: 2015-12-17
Agency: Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
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
Document Number: 2015-31736
Type: Notice
Date: 2015-12-17
Agency: Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
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.