New England Fishery Management Council; Public Meeting
The New England Fishery Management Council (Council) is scheduling a public meeting of its Joint Observer and Herring Committees to consider actions affecting New England fisheries in the exclusive economic zone (EEZ). Recommendations from these groups will be brought to the full Council for formal consideration and action, if appropriate.
Fisheries of the South Atlantic; Southeast Data, Assessment, and Review (SEDAR); Public Meeting
The SEDAR 41 assessments of the South Atlantic stocks of red snapper and gray triggerfish will consist of a series of workshops and webinars: Data Workshops; an Assessment Process; and a Review Workshop. This notice is for a webinar associated with the Data portion of the SEDAR process. See SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION.
Determination of Overfishing or an Overfished Condition
This action serves as a notice that NMFS, on behalf of the Secretary of Commerce (Secretary), has found that the following stocks are subject to overfishing or are in an overfished condition: Gulf of Maine/Northern Georges Bank red hake, which is managed by the New England Fishery Management Council, is now subject to overfishing, but is not overfished; and Southeast Florida hogfish, which is jointly managed by the Gulf of Mexico and South Atlantic Fishery Management Councils, is now subject to overfishing and is in an overfished condition. NMFS, on behalf of the Secretary, notifies the appropriate fishery management council (Council) whenever it determines that overfishing is occurring, a stock is in an overfished condition, a stock is approaching an overfished condition, or when a rebuilding plan has not resulted in adequate progress toward ending overfishing and rebuilding affected fish stocks.
Takes of Marine Mammals Incidental to Specified Activities; Taking Marine Mammals Incidental to Construction of the Block Island Transmission System
In accordance with regulations implementing the Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA), notification is hereby given that NMFS has issued a revised Incidental Harassment Authorization (IHA) 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).
Atlantic Highly Migratory Species; Atlantic Bluefin Tuna Quotas
NMFS proposes to modify the baseline annual U.S. quota and subquotas for Atlantic bluefin tuna (BFT). NMFS also proposes minor modifications to the regulatory text regarding Atlantic tuna purse seine auxiliary vessel activity under the ``transfer at sea'' provisions. This action is necessary to implement binding recommendations of the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas (ICCAT), as required by the Atlantic Tunas Convention Act (ATCA), and to achieve domestic management objectives under the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (Magnuson- Stevens Act).
Determination That Italy Is Not a Large-Scale High Seas Driftnet Nation
Under the High Seas Driftnet Fisheries Enforcement Act and the Dolphin Protection Consumer Information Act (DPCIA), the Secretary of Commerce has determined that Italy no longer has vessels that use large-scale driftnets to fish on the high seas. Therefore, shipments of certain fish and fish products from Italy are no longer required to be accompanied by a Fisheries Certificate of Origin (NOAA Form 370) for importation into the United States, and any NOAA Form 370 used for fish or fish products from Italy no longer requires certification that the fish was not harvested with large-scale driftnets on the high seas.
Schedules for Atlantic Shark Identification Workshops and Protected Species Safe Handling, Release, and Identification Workshops
Free Atlantic Shark Identification Workshops and Protected Species Safe Handling, Release, and Identification Workshops will be held in July, August, and September of 2015. Certain fishermen and shark dealers are required to attend a workshop to meet regulatory requirements and to maintain valid permits. Specifically, the Atlantic Shark Identification Workshop is mandatory for all federally permitted Atlantic shark dealers. The Protected Species Safe Handling, Release, and Identification Workshop is mandatory for vessel owners and operators who use bottom longline, pelagic longline, or gillnet gear, and who have also been issued shark or swordfish limited access permits. Additional free workshops will be conducted during 2015 and will be announced in a future notice.
Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Kamchatka Flounder in the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Management Area
NMFS is prohibiting directed fishing for Kamchatka flounder in the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands management area (BSAI). This action is necessary to prevent exceeding the 2015 Kamchatka flounder initial total allowable catch (ITAC) in the BSAI.
Marine Mammals; File No. 19108; Correction
On May 27 2015, a notice was published in the Federal Register announcing that Daniel P. Costa, Ph.D., University of California at Santa Cruz, Long Marine Laboratory, 100 Shaffer Road, Santa Cruz, CA 95064, had applied in due form for a permit to conduct research on northern elephant seals (Mirounga angustirostris) throughout their range. That notice contained an error.
Atlantic Coastal Fisheries Cooperative Management Act Provisions; American Lobster Fishery; Trap Transfer Program Implementation
This document announces the implementation of the American lobster trap transfer program. It is necessary because we deferred the start of the Program in the final rule approving the Program until a centralized trap transfer database was ready. Significant progress has been made on the centralized database. We are ready to announce that we will begin the Trap Transfer Program. This document alerts all Federal American lobster permit holders that trap transfer applications will soon be accepted.
Fisheries of the Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico, and South Atlantic; 2015 Recreational Accountability Measure and Closure for Blueline Tilefish in the South Atlantic Region
NMFS implements accountability measures (AMs) for recreational blueline tilefish in the exclusive economic zone (EEZ) of the South Atlantic. The NMFS Science and Research Director estimates that recreational landings for blueline tilefish have reached the recreational annual catch limit (ACL). Therefore, NMFS is closing the recreational sector for blueline tilefish in the South Atlantic EEZ at 12:01 a.m., local time, June 10, 2015, and it will remain closed until the 2016 recreational fishing season begins on May 1, 2016. This closure is necessary to protect the blueline tilefish resource.
Fisheries of the Northeastern United States; Special Management Zones for Delaware Artificial Reefs
NMFS issues final regulations to implement Special Management Zones for four Delaware artificial reefs under the black sea bass provisions of the Summer Flounder, Scup, and Black Sea Bass Fishery Management Plan. These measures are necessary to promote orderly use of fisheries resources on artificial reefs by reducing user group conflicts, and are intended to maintain the intended socioeconomic benefits of the artificial reefs to the maximum extent practicable.
Fisheries off West Coast States; Highly Migratory Fisheries; California Swordfish Drift Gillnet Fishery; Vessel Monitoring System Requirements
NMFS announces approval by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) of collection-of-information requirements contained in regulations pertaining to the U.S. West Coast drift gillnet (DGN) fishery in a final rule that published on February 26, 2015, pursuant to the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 under OMB control number 0648- 0498. The intent of this final rule is to publish the OMB control number for the collection-of-information requirements associated with the vessel monitoring system (VMS) regulations and to inform the public of their effectiveness.
Center for Independent Experts; Public Meeting
NMFS has requested the Center for Independent Experts (CIE) meet to conduct a peer review of the agency's stock assessment of the General Model for Alaskan Crabs Stocks (GMACs) and its implementation for Bristol Bay Red King Assessment (BBRKC). This notice lists the time and place of that meeting.
Atlantic Highly Migratory Species; Atlantic Bluefin Tuna Fisheries
NMFS closes the southern area Angling category fishery for large medium and giant (``trophy'' (i.e., measuring 73 inches curved fork length or greater)) Atlantic bluefin tuna (BFT). This action is being taken to prevent any further overharvest of the Angling category southern area trophy BFT subquota.
International Fisheries; Western and Central Pacific Fisheries for Highly Migratory Species; Closure of Purse Seine Fishery in the ELAPS in 2015
NMFS announces that the purse seine fishery in the Effort Limit Area for Purse Seine, or ELAPS, will close as a result of reaching the 2015 limit on purse seine fishing effort in the ELAPS. This action is necessary for the United States to implement provisions of a conservation and management measure adopted by the Commission for the Conservation and Management of Highly Migratory Fish Stocks in the Western and Central Pacific Ocean (WCPFC or Commission) and to satisfy the obligations of the United States under the Convention on the Conservation and Management of Highly Migratory Fish Stocks in the Western and Central Pacific Ocean (Convention), to which it is a Contracting Party.
Pacific Whiting; Advisory Panel; Joint Management Committee
NMFS is soliciting nominations for appointments to the United States Advisory Panel (AP) and the Joint Management Committee (JMC) established in the Agreement between the Government of the United States of America and the Government of Canada on Pacific Hake/Whiting (Pacific Whiting Treaty). Nominations are being sought to fill six positions on the AP beginning on September 16, 2015, and one position on the JMC starting November 1, 2015. Terms are 4 years, and appointees will be eligible for reappointment at the expiration of the terms.
Takes of Marine Mammals Incidental to Specified Activities; U.S. Navy Joint Logistics Over-the-Shore Training Activities in Virginia and North Carolina
In accordance with the Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA), as amended, and implementing regulations, notification is hereby given that a Letter of Authorization (LOA) has been issued to the U.S. Navy (NAVY) to take marine mammals, by harassment, incidental to the Joint Logistics Over-the-Shore (JLOTS) training activities conducted in nearshore waters at the Joint Expeditionary Base (JEB) Little Creek- Fort Story in Virginia and at Camp Lejeune in North Carolina, from June 2, 2015 through June 1, 2020.
Taking of Marine Mammals Incidental to Specified Activities; Vashon Seismic Retrofit Project
In accordance with the Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA) regulations, notification is hereby given that NMFS has issued an Incidental Harassment Authorization (IHA) to the Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) to take, by harassment, small numbers of nine species of marine mammals incidental to construction activities for Vashon Seismic Retrofit Project in Vashon Island, Washington, between August 1, 2015, and July 31, 2016.
Endangered and Threatened Species; Recovery Plans
We, NMFS, announce the adoption of an Endangered Species Act (ESA) recovery plan (Plan) for the Snake River Sockeye Salmon (Onchorhynchus nerka) evolutionarily significant unit (ESU) which is listed as endangered under the ESA. The geographic area covered by the plan is the Sawtooth Valley in Idaho including the Upper Salmon River and its tributaries, Stanley Lake, Redfish Lake, Yellowbelly Lake, Pettit Lake, and Alturas Lake, and the migration corridor from the Sawtooth Valley to the ocean. As required under the ESA, the Plan contains objective, measurable delisting criteria, site-specific management actions necessary to achieve the plan's goals, and estimates of the time and costs required to implement recovery actions. The Endangered Species Act (ESA) Recovery Plan for Snake River Sockeye Salmon and our summary of and responses to public comments on the Plan are now available.
Atlantic Highly Migratory Species; Commercial Blacknose Sharks and Non-Blacknose Small Coastal Sharks in the Atlantic Region
NMFS is closing the fisheries for commercial blacknose sharks and non-blacknose small coastal sharks (SCS) in the Atlantic region. This action is necessary because the commercial landings of Atlantic blacknose sharks for the 2015 fishing season have exceeded 80 percent of the available commercial quota as of May 29, 2015, and the blacknose shark and non-blacknose SCS fisheries are quota-linked under current regulations.
International Trade Data System Test Concerning the Electronic Submission of Certain Data Required for Imports
NMFS announces a pilot test of the International Trade Data System (ITDS) involving the electronic submission of forms and/or data, related to importations of fish products regulated by NMFS, using the Partner Government Agency (PGA) Message Set and Document Imaging System (DIS) components of the Automated Commercial Environment (ACE). The U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and NMFS have developed a pilot plan to test and assess the electronic transmission of import data for tuna, swordfish and toothfish. The pilot test will involve using the ACE, the NMFS PGA Message Set, the DIS and the Automated Broker Interface (ABI) to transmit the data required for admissibility determinations for entries of tuna, swordfish and toothfish. ABI is the electronic data interchange that enables participants to file electronically required import data with CBP and transfers that data into ACE. Initially, under this test, NMFS PGA Message Set data may be submitted only for formal and informal consumption entries (entry types 01 and 11), filed at certain ports.
Vessel Monitoring System, Enhanced Mobile Transceiver Unit Type-Approvals
This document provides notice that three enhanced mobile transceiver units (EMTU) that were previously approved for use to comply with vessel monitoring system (VMS) requirements in United States federal fisheries are no longer approved for use. This document also provides a link to the continually updated, online list of NOAA Fisheries Service Type-Approved VMS Units.
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.
Fisheries Off West Coast States; the Highly Migratory Species Fishery; Closure
NMFS is prohibiting fishing with large-mesh drift gillnet (DGN) gear (=14 inches mesh) off the coast of southern California east of 120[deg] W. meridian from the effective date of this rule through August 31, 2015. This prohibition is based on the Assistant Administrator for Fisheries' (AA) determination that El Ni[ntilde]o conditions are occurring off the coast of southern California. This action protects Endangered Species Act (ESA)-listed loggerhead sea turtles (Caretta caretta), specifically the endangered North Pacific Ocean Distinct Population Segment.
Caribbean Fishery Management Council (CFMC); Public Meeting
The Caribbean Fishery Management Council's (Council) Panel of Experts will hold a meeting.
Magnuson-Stevens Act Provisions; General Provisions for Domestic Fisheries; Application for Exempted Fishing Permits
The Assistant Regional Administrator for Sustainable Fisheries, Greater Atlantic Region, NMFS, 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 four commercial fishing vessels to fish outside of the limited access sea scallop regulations in support of bycatch reduction research. Regulations under the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act require publication of this notification to provide interested parties the opportunity to comment on applications for proposed Exempted Fishing Permits.
Meeting of the Advisory Committee on Commercial Remote Sensing
The Advisory Committee on Commercial Remote Sensing (ACCRES) will meet June 30, 2015.
Takes of Marine Mammals Incidental to Specified Activities; U.S. Navy Training and Testing Activities in the Northwest Training and Testing Study Area
NMFS has received a request from the U.S. Navy (Navy) for authorization to take marine mammals incidental to the training and testing activities conducted in the Northwest Training and Testing (NWTT) study area from November 2015 through November 2020. Pursuant to the Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA), NMFS is requesting comments on its proposal to issue regulations and subsequent Letters of Authorization (LOAs) to the Navy to incidentally harass marine mammals. The Navy has also requested that NMFS authorize modifications to watchstander requirements for observed behavior of marine mammals during Major Training Events (MTEs) in the Hawaii-Southern California Training and Testing (HSTT), Atlantic Fleet Training and Testing (AFTT), Mariana Islands Training and Testing (MITT), and Gulf of Alaska Training (GOA) study areas. Modifications to the Navy watchstander requirements would require a revision to regulatory text in current regulations governing the taking and importing of marine mammals during testing and/or training activities in these study areas. There are no MTEs associated with Navy training and testing activities in the NWTT study area.
Atlantic Coastal Fisheries Cooperative Management Act Provisions; Jonah Crab Fishery; Control Date for Jonah Crab Fishery
This notice announces a control date that may limit or restrict access into the Jonah crab fishery in Federal waters. This action is necessary to inform fishery participants that we are considering future action. We intend for this notice to promote awareness of possible future rulemaking, and discourage speculative entry into and/or investment in the Jonah crab fishery.
Fisheries of the South Atlantic; Southeast Data, Assessment and Review (SEDAR); Public Meetings
The SEDAR Procedural Workshop 7 will develop best practice recommendations for SEDAR Data Workshops. See SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION.
Takes of Marine Mammals Incidental to Specified Activities; U.S. Navy Joint Logistics Over-the-Shore Training Activities in Virginia and North Carolina
Upon application from the U.S. Navy (Navy), we (the National Marine Fisheries Service) are issuing regulations under the Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA) to govern the unintentional taking of marine mammals incidental to the Joint Logistics Over-the-Shore (JLOTS) training activities conducted in Virginia and North Carolina, from June 2015 through June 2020. These regulations allows us to issue a Letter of Authorization (LOA) for the incidental take of marine mammals during the Navy's specified activities and timeframes, set forth the permissible methods of taking, set forth other means of effecting the least practicable adverse impact on marine mammal species or stocks and their habitat, and set forth requirements pertaining to the monitoring and reporting of the incidental take.
Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act Provisions; Fisheries of the Northeastern United States; Omnibus Amendment To Simplify Vessel Baselines
NMFS proposes to approve an Omnibus Amendment to the Fishery Management Plans of the Northeastern United States to simplify vessel baselines. This Omnibus Amendment to Simplify Vessel Baselines, which was submitted by the Mid-Atlantic and New England Fishery Management Councils, would eliminate the one-time limit on vessel upgrades and remove gross and net tonnages from the vessel baseline specifications that are considered when determining a vessel's baseline for replacement purposes. Implementing these measures would reduce the administrative burden to permit holders and NMFS and would have little effect on fleet capacity. This proposed rule would also remove the requirement for vessels to send in negative fishing reports (i.e., ``did not fish'' reports) during months or weeks when fishing did not occur. NMFS no longer needs these reports due to improved trip-level matching. Therefore, NMFS is proposing to remove this requirement to simplify the regulations and reduce reporting burdens for the industry.
Proposed Information Collection; Comment Request; Transshipment Requirements Under the WCPFC
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 Cruise Ship Terminal Project
In accordance with the regulations implementing the Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA) as amended, notification is hereby given that we have issued an incidental harassment authorization (IHA) to the Huna Totem Corporation (HTC) of Hoonah, Alaska to incidentally harass, by Level B harassment only, nine species of marine mammals during construction activities associated with the re-development of the cruise ship terminal at Hoonah, Alaska.
New England Fishery Management Council (NEFMC); Public Meeting
The New England Fishery Management Council (Council) will hold a three-day meeting to consider actions affecting New England fisheries in the exclusive economic zone (EEZ).
Council Coordination Committee Meeting
The Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council (GMFMC) will host a meeting of the Council Coordination Committee (CCC) consisting of eight Regional Fishery Management Council (RFMC) chairs, vice chairs, and executive directors and its subcommittees in June 2015. The intent of this meeting is to discuss issues of relevance to the Councils, including: Budget issues, MSA reauthorization, National Standard 1, Bycatch Strategy, Presidential Task Force on Illegal, Unreported, and Unregulated (IUU) catches, NEPA, allocation working group report, Council Operational Guidelines, recreational fishery issues, habitat working group report, enforcement activities, other topics of concern to the RFMC, and decisions and follow-up activities.