National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration 2016 – Federal Register Recent Federal Regulation Documents

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Submission for OMB Review; Comment Request
Document Number: 2016-31716
Type: Notice
Date: 2016-12-30
Agency: Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
Fisheries Off West Coast States; Pacific Coast Groundfish Fishery; Application for an Exempted Fishing Permit (EFP)
Document Number: 2016-31704
Type: Notice
Date: 2016-12-30
Agency: Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
NMFS announces the receipt of an exempted fishing permit (EFP) application from the West Coast Seafood Processors Association, Environmental Defense Fund, Oregon Trawl Commission, and Pacific Seafoods for an EFP Program to monitor and minimize salmon bycatch when vessels target rockfish in the shorebased individual fishing quota (IFQ) fishery. The NMFS West Coast Region's Assistant Regional Administrator for Sustainable Fisheries has made a preliminary determination that the subject EFP application contains all the required information and the EFP Program warrants further consideration. Therefore, NMFS announces that the Assistant Regional Administrator for Sustainable Fisheries proposes to recommend that EFPs be issued under an EFP Program that would allow as many as 50 commercial fishing vessels to conduct fishing operations that are otherwise restricted by the regulations governing the fisheries of the west coast of the United States. If awarded, the EFP Program would exempt participating limited entry bottom trawl vessels from the requirement to use selective flatfish trawl gear shoreward of the Trawl Rockfish Conservation Area (RCA) north of 40[deg]10' N. latitude in waters off the west coast. In addition, if awarded, the EFP Program would also allow participating bottom trawl vessels that fish any place along the west coast an exemption to the minimum mesh size requirement of 4.5 inches. The EFP Program is intended to provide additional flexibility in the configuration and use of bottom trawl gear for the vessels, as well as provide additional information on potential impacts to protected resources, particularly Chinook salmon bycatch, resulting from this added flexibility. The additional information would be used to enhance the management of the groundfish fishery and promote the objectives of the Pacific Coast Groundfish Fishery Management Plan (FMP). This EFP would be effective for 2017 and would expire no later than December 31, 2017, but could be terminated earlier under the terms and conditions of the EFP and other applicable laws. Additionally, NMFS, with input from the Pacific Fishery Management Council (Council), may extend the EFP beyond 2017, if appropriate. 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 EFPs.
Taking and Importing Marine Mammals; Taking Marine Mammals Incidental to Russian River Estuary Management Activities
Document Number: 2016-31592
Type: Proposed Rule
Date: 2016-12-30
Agency: Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
NMFS has received a request from the Sonoma County Water Agency (SCWA) for authorization to take marine mammals incidental to Russian River estuary management activities in Sonoma County, California, over the course of five years (2017-2022). As required by the Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA), NMFS is proposing regulations to govern that take and requests comments on the proposed regulations.
Fisheries of the Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico, and South Atlantic; Dolphin and Wahoo Fishery Off the Atlantic States; Regulatory Amendment 1
Document Number: 2016-31463
Type: Rule
Date: 2016-12-30
Agency: Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
NMFS issues regulations to implement Regulatory Amendment 1 for the Fishery Management Plan for the Dolphin and Wahoo Fishery off the Atlantic States (FMP), as prepared and submitted by the South Atlantic Fishery Management Council (Council). This final rule establishes a commercial trip limit for Atlantic dolphin for vessels with a Federal commercial permit for Atlantic dolphin and wahoo. The purpose of this final rule is to reduce the chance of an in-season closure of the dolphin commercial sector as a result of the annual catch limit (ACL) being reached during the fishing year, and to reduce the severity of economic or social impacts caused by these closures.
Magnuson-Stevens Act Provisions; Fisheries Off West Coast States; Pacific Coast Groundfish Fishery; Trawl Rationalization Program; 2017 Cost Recovery
Document Number: 2016-31624
Type: Notice
Date: 2016-12-29
Agency: Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
This action provides participants in the Pacific coast groundfish trawl rationalization program with the 2017 fee percentages and ``MS pricing'' needed to calculate the required payments for trawl rationalization program cost recovery fees due in 2017. It also provides a redetermination of previous years' fees. For calendar year 2017, NMFS announces the following fee percentages by sector: 3.0 percent for the Shorebased Individual Fishing Quota (IFQ) Program, 0 percent for the MS Coop Program, 0 percent for the Catcher/Processer (C/P) Coop Program. For 2017, the MS pricing to be used as a proxy by the C/P Coop Program is: $0.08/lb for Pacific whiting.
Proposed Information Collection; Comment Request; Nautical Discrepancy Reporting System
Document Number: 2016-31614
Type: Notice
Date: 2016-12-29
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.
New England Fishery Management Council; Public Meeting
Document Number: 2016-31612
Type: Notice
Date: 2016-12-29
Agency: Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
The New England Fishery Management Council (Council) is scheduling a public meeting of its Scientific and Statistical Committee (SSC) 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; Atlantic Herring Fishery; Adjustment to the Atlantic Herring Management Area 1A Annual Catch Limit
Document Number: 2016-31588
Type: Rule
Date: 2016-12-29
Agency: Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
NMFS adjusts the 2016 fishing year annual catch limit for Atlantic Herring Management Area 1A due to an underharvest in the New Brunswick weir fishery. This action is necessary to comply with the 2016-2018 specifications and management measures for the Atlantic Herring Fishery Management Plan and to ensure that accounting of the annual catch limit is accurate for fishing year 2016.
Submission for OMB Review; Comment Request
Document Number: 2016-31585
Type: Notice
Date: 2016-12-29
Agency: Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
National Estuarine Research Reserve System
Document Number: 2016-31573
Type: Notice
Date: 2016-12-29
Agency: Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
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 is announcing a thirty-day public comment period for the Weeks Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve Management Plan revision. Pursuant to 15 CFR Section 921.33(c), the revised plan will bring the reserve into compliance. The Weeks Bay Reserve revised plan will replace the plan approved in 2007. 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 Weeks Bay Reserve takes an integrated approach to management, linking research, education, coastal training, and stewardship functions. The Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources has outlined how it will administer the Reserve and its core programs by 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 Resource Center that supports education, training, and outreach events; participated in more than 35 research projects and conducted over 100 coastal training program events; convened a permanent Restoration Advisory Board; and built new partnerships with organizations within the Mobile Bay of Alabama. With the approval of this management plan, the Weeks Bay Reserve will increase their total acreage from, 6,594 acres to 9,317. The change is attributable to the recent acquisitions of several parcels by the Reserve, totaling 933 acres, as well as the incorporation of 1,790 acres of water bottoms adjacent to the newly acquired land. 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 9,317 acre Weeks Bay Reserve for the next five years. View the Weeks Bay Reserve Management Plan revision at (http:// www.weeksbayreserve.com) and provide comments to the Reserve's Manager, LG Adams (LG.Adams@dcnr.alabama.gov).
Fraser River Sockeye Salmon Fisheries; Inseason Orders
Document Number: 2016-31526
Type: Rule
Date: 2016-12-29
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 2016 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. In 2016, only treaty Indian fisheries were affected by these orders.
Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Proposed Threatened Listing Determination for the Oceanic Whitetip Shark Under the Endangered Species Act (ESA)
Document Number: 2016-31460
Type: Proposed Rule
Date: 2016-12-29
Agency: Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
NMFS has completed a comprehensive status review under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) for the oceanic whitetip shark (Carcharhinus longimanus) in response to a petition from Defenders of Wildlife to list the species. Based on the best scientific and commercial information available, including the status review report (Young et al., 2016), and after taking into account efforts being made to protect the species, we have determined that the oceanic whitetip shark warrants listing as a threatened species. We conclude that the oceanic whitetip shark is likely to become endangered throughout all or a significant portion of its range within the foreseeable future. Any protective regulations determined to be necessary and advisable for the conservation of the species under ESA section 4(d) would be proposed in a subsequent Federal Register announcement. Should the proposed listing be finalized, we would also designate critical habitat for the species, to the maximum extent prudent and determinable. We solicit information to assist in this listing determination, the development of proposed protective regulations, and the designation of critical habitat in the event this proposed listing determination is finalized.
Fisheries of the Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico, and South Atlantic; Snapper-Grouper Fishery Off the Southern Atlantic States; Regulatory Amendment 16
Document Number: 2016-31363
Type: Rule
Date: 2016-12-29
Agency: Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
NMFS issues regulations to implement Regulatory Amendment 16 to the Fishery Management Plan for the Snapper-Grouper Fishery of the South Atlantic Region (FMP), as prepared and submitted by the South Atlantic Fishery Management Council (Council). This final rule revises the current seasonal prohibition on the use of black sea bass pot gear in the South Atlantic and adds an additional gear marking requirement for black sea bass pot gear. The purpose of this final rule is to reduce the adverse socioeconomic impacts from the current seasonal black sea bass pot gear prohibition while continuing to protect Endangered Species Act (ESA) listed North Atlantic right whales (NARW)in the South Atlantic. This final rule also helps to better identify black sea bass pot gear in the South Atlantic.
Atlantic Highly Migratory Species; Individual Bluefin Quota Program; Inseason Transfers
Document Number: 2016-31357
Type: Rule
Date: 2016-12-29
Agency: Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
NMFS modifies the Atlantic highly migratory species (HMS) regulations regarding the distribution of inseason Atlantic bluefin tuna (BFT) quota transfers to the Longline category. This final rule provides NMFS the ability to distribute quota inseason either to all qualified Individual Bluefin Quota (IBQ) share recipients (i.e., share recipients who have associated their permit with a vessel) or only to permitted Atlantic Tunas Longline vessels with recent fishing activity, whether or not they are associated with IBQ shares. This action is necessary to optimize fishing opportunity in the directed pelagic longline fishery for target species such as tuna and swordfish and to improve the functioning of the IBQ Program and its leasing provisions consistent with the objectives of Amendment 7 to the 2006 Consolidated HMS Fishery Management Plan (FMP).
SAW-SARC 63 Public Meeting
Document Number: 2016-31087
Type: Notice
Date: 2016-12-29
Agency: Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
NMFS and the Northeast Regional Stock Assessment Workshop (SAW) will convene the 63rd SAW Stock Assessment Review Committee for the purpose of reviewing the stock assessment of Ocean Quahog. The Northeast Regional SAW is a formal scientific peer-review process for evaluating and presenting stock assessment results to managers for fish stocks in the offshore U.S. waters of the northwest Atlantic. Assessments are prepared by SAW working groups and reviewed by an independent panel of stock assessment experts called the Stock Assessment Review Committee, or SARC. The public is invited to attend the presentations and discussions between the review panel and the scientists who have participated in the stock assessment process.
Fisheries of the Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico, and South Atlantic; Coastal Migratory Pelagic Resources in the Gulf of Mexico and Atlantic Region; Amendment 26
Document Number: 2016-31066
Type: Proposed Rule
Date: 2016-12-29
Agency: Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
NMFS proposes to implement management measures described in Amendment 26 to the Fishery Management Plan for the Coastal Migratory Pelagics Fishery of the Gulf of Mexico and Atlantic Region (FMP) as prepared and submitted jointly by the Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council (Gulf Council) and South Atlantic Fishery Management Council (South Atlantic Council). Amendment 26 and this proposed rule would adjust the management boundary for the Gulf of Mexico (Gulf) and Atlantic migratory groups of king mackerel; revise acceptable biological catch (ABC), commercial and recreational annual catch limits (ACLs), commercial quotas and recreational annual catch targets (ACTs) for Atlantic migratory group king mackerel; allow limited retention and sale of Atlantic migratory group king mackerel incidentally caught in the shark gillnet fishery; establish a commercial split season for Atlantic migratory group king mackerel in the Atlantic southern zone; establish a commercial trip limit system for Atlantic migratory group king mackerel in the Atlantic southern zone; revise the commercial and recreational ACLs for Gulf migratory group king mackerel; revise commercial zone quotas for Gulf migratory group king mackerel; and modify the recreational bag limit for Gulf migratory group king mackerel. The purpose of Amendment 26 and this proposed rule is to ensure that king mackerel management is based on the best scientific information available, while increasing the social and economic benefits of the fishery.
Fisheries of the Northeastern United States; Northeast Multispecies Fishery; Possession and Trip Limit Modifications for the Common Pool Fishery
Document Number: 2016-31403
Type: Rule
Date: 2016-12-28
Agency: Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
This action increases the possession and trip limits for Southern New England/Mid-Atlantic yellowtail flounder and reduces the possession and trip limits for Georges Bank cod in place for Northeast multispecies common pool vessels for the remainder of the 2016 fishing year. The Regional Administrator is authorized to adjust possession and trip limits for common pool vessels to facilitate harvesting, or prevent exceeding, the pertinent common pool quotas during the fishing year. Increasing the possession and trip limits on Southern New England/Mid-Atlantic yellowtail flounder is intended to provide additional fishing opportunities and help allow the common pool fishery to catch its allowable quota for the stock, while reducing the possession and trip limits for Georges Bank cod is necessary to prevent overharvest of the common pool quota for that stock.
Fisheries of the Northeastern United States; Atlantic Herring Fishery; Adjustments to 2017 Management Area Annual Catch Limits
Document Number: 2016-31392
Type: Rule
Date: 2016-12-28
Agency: Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
In accordance with the regulations implementing the Atlantic Herring Fishery Management Plan, this action adjusts the 2017 catch limits in the four herring management areas (Areas 1A, 1B, 2, and 3) to account for underages in those areas during 2015. In order to ensure that the carryover of underages do not cause overfishing of the herring resource, management area-specific carryover does not increase the stock-wide annual catch limit. This action is necessary to ensure that NMFS accounts for herring catch consistent with the requirements of the Atlantic Herring Fishery Management Plan.
New England Fishery Management Council; Public Meeting
Document Number: 2016-31328
Type: Notice
Date: 2016-12-28
Agency: Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
The New England Fishery Management Council (Council) is scheduling a public meeting of its Groundfish 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.
New England Fishery Management Council; Public Meeting
Document Number: 2016-31327
Type: Notice
Date: 2016-12-28
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.
Pacific Fishery Management Council; Public Meetings and Hearings
Document Number: 2016-31326
Type: Notice
Date: 2016-12-28
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 2017 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 2017 Pacific Council meetings will be published in subsequent Federal Register documents prior to the actual meetings.
New England Fishery Management Council; Public Meeting
Document Number: 2016-31325
Type: Notice
Date: 2016-12-28
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.
Meeting of the Columbia Basin Partnership Task Force of the Marine Fisheries Advisory Committee
Document Number: 2016-31278
Type: Notice
Date: 2016-12-28
Agency: Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
This notice sets forth the proposed schedule and agenda of a forthcoming meeting of the Marine Fisheries Advisory Committee's (MAFAC) Columbia Basin Partnership Task Force. The Task Force will discuss the issues outlined under SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION below.
Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Allow the Use of Longline Pot Gear in the Gulf of Alaska Sablefish Individual Fishing Quota Fishery; Amendment 101
Document Number: 2016-31057
Type: Rule
Date: 2016-12-28
Agency: Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
NMFS issues regulations to implement Amendment 101 to the Fishery Management Plan for Groundfish of the Gulf of Alaska (GOA FMP) for the sablefish individual fishing quota (IFQ) fisheries in the Gulf of Alaska (GOA). This final rule authorizes the use of longline pot gear in the GOA sablefish IFQ fishery. In addition, this final rule establishes management measures to minimize potential conflicts between hook-and-line and longline pot gear used in the sablefish IFQ fisheries in the GOA. This final rule also includes regulations developed under the Northern Pacific Halibut Act of 1982 (Halibut Act) to authorize harvest of halibut IFQ caught incidentally in longline pot gear used in the GOA sablefish IFQ fishery. This final rule is necessary to improve efficiency and provide economic benefits for the sablefish IFQ fleet and minimize potential fishery interactions with whales and seabirds. This action is intended to promote the goals and objectives of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act, the Halibut Act, the GOA FMP, and other applicable laws.
Fisheries of the Northeastern United States; Summer Flounder Fishery; Commercial Quota Harvested for the State of Connecticut
Document Number: 2016-31194
Type: Rule
Date: 2016-12-27
Agency: Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
NMFS announces that the 2016 summer flounder commercial quota allocated to the State of Connecticut has been harvested. Vessels issued a commercial Federal fisheries permit for the summer flounder fishery may not land summer flounder in Connecticut for the remainder of calendar year 2016. Regulations governing the summer flounder fishery require publication of this notification to advise Connecticut that the quota has been harvested and to advise vessel permit holders and dealer permit holders that no Federal commercial quota is available for landing summer flounder in Connecticut.
Proposed Information Collection; Comment Request; Greater Atlantic Region Gear Identification
Document Number: 2016-31192
Type: Notice
Date: 2016-12-27
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 comment on continuing information collections, as required by the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995.
Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Inseason Adjustment to the 2017 Gulf of Alaska Pollock and Pacific Cod Total Allowable Catch Amounts
Document Number: 2016-31163
Type: Rule
Date: 2016-12-27
Agency: Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
NMFS is adjusting the 2017 total allowable catch (TAC) amounts for the Gulf of Alaska (GOA) pollock and Pacific cod fisheries. This action is necessary because NMFS has determined these TACs are incorrectly specified, and will ensure the GOA pollock and Pacific cod TACs are the appropriate amounts based on the best available scientific information for pollock and Pacific cod in the GOA. This action is consistent with the goals and objectives of the Fishery Management Plan for Groundfish of the Gulf of Alaska.
Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Reallocation of Pacific Cod in the Central Regulatory Area of the Gulf of Alaska
Document Number: 2016-31155
Type: Rule
Date: 2016-12-27
Agency: Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
NMFS is reallocating the projected unused amount of Pacific cod from catcher vessels using trawl gear to vessels using pot gear in the Central Regulatory Area of the Gulf of Alaska (GOA). This action is necessary to allow the 2016 total allowable catch of Pacific cod in the Central Regulatory Area of the GOA to be harvested.
Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Reallocation of Pacific Cod in the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Management Area
Document Number: 2016-31151
Type: Rule
Date: 2016-12-27
Agency: Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
NMFS is reallocating the projected unused amount of Pacific cod from catcher vessels greater than or equal to 60 feet (18.3 meters (m)) length overall (LOA) using pot gear to catcher/processors (C/Ps) using hook-and-line gear in the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands (BSAI) management area. This action is necessary to allow the 2016 total allowable catch of Pacific cod to be harvested.
Submission for OMB Review; Comment Request
Document Number: 2016-31134
Type: Notice
Date: 2016-12-27
Agency: Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
Fisheries of the Northeastern United States; Atlantic Surfclam and Ocean Quahog Fishery; 2017-2018 Fishing Quotas
Document Number: 2016-31077
Type: Rule
Date: 2016-12-27
Agency: Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
This final rule implements status quo commercial quotas for the Atlantic surfclam and ocean quahog fisheries for 2017, suspends the minimum shell size for Atlantic surfclams for 2017, and provides projected status quo quotas for 2018. This action is necessary to establish allowable harvest levels of Atlantic surfclams and ocean quahogs that will prevent overfishing and allow harvesting of optimum yield.
Fisheries of the Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico, and South Atlantic; Shrimp Fishery of the Gulf of Mexico; Revision of Bycatch Reduction Device Testing Manual
Document Number: 2016-31067
Type: Rule
Date: 2016-12-27
Agency: Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
In accordance with the framework procedures for adjusting management measures of the Fishery Management Plan for the Shrimp Fishery of the Gulf of Mexico (Gulf FMP), NMFS makes administrative revisions to the Bycatch Reduction Device Testing Manual (BRD Manual). The BRD Manual contains procedures for the testing and certification of BRDs for use in shrimp trawls in the exclusive economic zone (EEZ) in the Gulf of Mexico (Gulf) and South Atlantic. The changes to the BRD Manual remove outdated or obsolete data collection forms previously appended to the BRD Manual, and revise the text to make several procedural steps outlined in the BRD Manual clearer and easier to understand. The purpose of these revisions is to increase understanding of the BRD certification protocols.
Candidate Conservation Agreements With Assurances Policy
Document Number: 2016-31061
Type: Notice
Date: 2016-12-27
Agency: Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior
We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the National Marine Fisheries Service (Services when referring to both, and Service when referring to when the action is taken by one agency), announce revisions to the Candidate Conservation Agreements with Assurances policy under the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended. We added a definition of ``net conservation benefit'' to this policy and eliminated references to the confusing requirement of ``other necessary properties'' to clarify the level of conservation effort each agreement needs to include in order for the Services to approve an agreement. In a separate document published in today's Federal Register, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service changed its regulations regarding Candidate Conservation Agreements with Assurances to make them consistent with these changes to the policy.
Fisheries of the South Atlantic; Southeast Data, Assessment, and Review (SEDAR); Data Workshop for Atlantic blueline tilefish (Caulolatilus microps)
Document Number: 2016-31048
Type: Notice
Date: 2016-12-27
Agency: Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
The SEDAR 50 assessment(s) of the Atlantic stock(s) of blueline tilefish will consist of a series of workshops and Webinars: Stock ID Work Group Meeting; Data Workshop; Assessment Workshop and Webinars; and a Review Workshop.
South Atlantic Fishery Management Council (Council)-Public Meetings
Document Number: 2016-30999
Type: Notice
Date: 2016-12-27
Agency: Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
The South Atlantic Fishery Management Council (Council) will hold a series of public hearings/scoping meetings on four amendments to the Snapper Grouper Fishery Management Plan (FMP) for the South Atlantic Region: Amendment 43 addressing management options for red snapper and recreational reporting; Vision Blueprint Regulatory Amendment 26 addressing recreational management options based on the Council's Vision Blueprint for the Snapper Grouper Fishery; Vision Blueprint Regulatory Amendment 27 addressing commercial management options based on the Council's Vision Blueprint for the Snapper Grouper Fishery; and Amendment 44 addressing management measures for yellowtail snapper including allocations. Scoping comments will be accepted for Snapper Grouper Amendment 43 and the Vision Blueprint amendments. Public hearing comments will be accepted for Amendment 44. The Council will hold a Question & Answer Session via Webinar for measures proposed in Amendment 44 for yellowtail snapper and possible management actions pertaining to red snapper and recreational reporting to be addressed in Amendment 43.
Fisheries of the Northeastern United States; Summer Flounder, Scup, and Black Sea Bass Fisheries; 2017-2018 Summer Flounder Specifications and Announcement of 2017 Summer Flounder and Black Sea Bass Commercial Accountability Measures
Document Number: 2016-30876
Type: Rule
Date: 2016-12-22
Agency: Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
In this rule, NMFS issues revised final 2017 and 2018 specifications for the summer flounder fishery, which include commercial and recreational catch limits and prohibit federally permitted commercial fishing vessels from landing summer flounder in Delaware in 2017 due to continued quota repayment from previous years' overages. NMFS also announces a black sea bass commercial accountability measure that revises the 2017 annual catch target and commercial quota to account for a catch overage in 2015. 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 based on updated scientific information to ensure that summer flounder are not overfished or subject to overfishing in 2017 and 2018, and to enact the catch limit adjustments that are required by the fishery management plan.
Pacific Fishery Management Council; Public Meeting
Document Number: 2016-30722
Type: Notice
Date: 2016-12-22
Agency: Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
The Pacific Fishery Management Council's (Pacific Council) Groundfish Management Team (GMT) will hold a week-long work session that is open to the public.
Endangered and Threatened Species; Initiation of 5-Year Review for the Endangered Black Abalone and the Endangered White Abalone
Document Number: 2016-30710
Type: Notice
Date: 2016-12-22
Agency: Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
NMFS announces its intent to conduct 5-year reviews for the black abalone (Haliotis cracherodii) and the white abalone (Haliotis sorenseni) under the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended (ESA). Both the black abalone and white abalone are listed as endangered under the ESA. NMFS is required by the ESA to conduct 5-year reviews to ensure that the listing classifications of the species are accurate. The 5-year reviews must be based on the best scientific and commercial data available at the time. We request submission of any such information on black abalone and white abalone, particularly information on the status, threats, and recovery of the species that has become available since the final listing decision for white abalone in May 2001 and black abalone in January 2009.
Proposed Information Collection; Comment Request; Chesapeake Bay Watershed Environmental Literacy Indicator Tool
Document Number: 2016-30757
Type: Notice
Date: 2016-12-21
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.
Proposed Information Collection; Comment Request; Conflict of Interest Disclosure for Nonfederal Government Individuals Who Are Candidates To Conduct Peer Reviews
Document Number: 2016-30724
Type: Notice
Date: 2016-12-21
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.
Joint U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and National Marine Fisheries Service Habitat Conservation Planning Handbook
Document Number: 2016-30673
Type: Notice
Date: 2016-12-21
Agency: Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior
We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the National Marine Fisheries Service (Services), announce the availability of the final revised Habitat Conservation Planning (HCP) Handbook, which describes requirements, procedures, and guidance for permit issuance and conservation plan development for incidental take permits under the Endangered Species Act. The purpose of the newly revised joint HCP Handbook is to instruct the Services on how to assist applicants to develop HCPs in an efficient and effective manner, while ensuring adequate conservation of listed species. Although the Handbook is designed for the Services, it also can be useful to other HCP practitioners, such as applicants, consultants, and partners.
Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants: Notice of 12-Month Finding on a Petition To List the Gulf of Mexico Bryde's Whale as Endangered Under the Endangered Species Act (ESA); Correction
Document Number: 2016-30659
Type: Proposed Rule
Date: 2016-12-20
Agency: Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
NMFS published in the Federal Register on December 8, 2016, a document proposing to list the Gulf of Mexico Bryde's whale as an endangered species under the Endangered Species Act of 1973 (ESA). This document corrects an error regarding the January 30, 2017, scheduled close date of the public comment period and identifies that comments must be received by February 6, 2017. This document also corrects the reference number used to identify public comments submitted electronically through the Federal eRulemaking portal.
Proposed Information Collection; Comment Request; Southeast Region Permit Family of Forms
Document Number: 2016-30594
Type: Notice
Date: 2016-12-20
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 (PRA) of 1995.
Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council; Public Meeting
Document Number: 2016-30500
Type: Notice
Date: 2016-12-20
Agency: Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
The Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council will hold a meeting of its Pulley Ridge Working Group via webinar.
Taking and Importing Marine Mammals; Taking Marine Mammals Incidental to Geophysical Surveys in the Gulf of Mexico
Document Number: 2016-30492
Type: Notice
Date: 2016-12-20
Agency: Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
NMFS has received a revised application for ITRs from the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM), on behalf of oil and gas industry operators. The specified activity considered in the application is geophysical survey activity conducted in the Gulf of Mexico (GOM), over the course of five years from the date of issuance. Pursuant to regulations implementing the Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA), NMFS is announcing receipt of BOEM's request for the development of regulations governing the incidental taking of marine mammals. NMFS invites the public to provide information, suggestions, and comments on BOEM's application. The original notice announcing receipt of the revised application (81 FR 88664; December 8, 2016) indicated that comments and information must be received no later than January 9, 2017, which allowed 30 days for public input. We subsequently received a request to extend the comment period by a period of 14 days and have granted that request.
Fisheries of the Northeastern United States; Amendment 18 to the Northeast Multispecies Fishery Management Plan
Document Number: 2016-30356
Type: Proposed Rule
Date: 2016-12-20
Agency: Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
We are proposing regulations to implement Amendment 18 to the Northeast Multispecies Fishery Management Plan. Amendment 18 was developed by the New England Fishery Management Council to promote fleet diversity in the groundfish fishery and enhance sector management. This action proposes to limit the number of permits and annual groundfish allocation that an entity could hold. This action also removes several effort restrictions to increase operational flexibility for limited access handgear vessels.
Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Crab Rationalization Program
Document Number: 2016-30068
Type: Rule
Date: 2016-12-20
Agency: Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
NMFS issues regulations to implement Amendment 47 to the Fishery Management Plan for Bering Sea/Aleutian Islands King and Tanner Crabs (Crab FMP) and to make minor clarifications to regulations implementing the Crab FMP. This final rule addresses how individual processing quota (IPQ) use caps apply to the Bering Sea Chionoecetes bairdi Tanner crab fisheries: the eastern C. bairdi Tanner (EBT) and the western C. bairdi Tanner (WBT). This regulation exempts EBT and WBT IPQ crab that is custom processed at a facility through contractual arrangements with the processing facility owners from being applied against the IPQ use cap of the processing facility owners, thereby allowing a facility to process more crab without triggering the IPQ use cap. This exemption is necessary to allow all of the EBT and WBT Class A individual fishing quota crab to be processed at the facilities currently processing EBT and WBT crab, and will have significant positive economic effects on the fishermen, processors, and communities that participate in the EBT and WBT 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 Crab FMP, and other applicable law.
Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council; Public Meeting
Document Number: 2016-30484
Type: Notice
Date: 2016-12-19
Agency: Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
The Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council will hold a one and a half day meeting of its Standing, Reef Fish, Coastal Migratory Pelagics (CMP) and Socioeconomics Scientific and Statistical Committees (SSC).
Atlantic Highly Migratory Species; Atlantic Bluefin Tuna Fisheries
Document Number: 2016-30481
Type: Rule
Date: 2016-12-19
Agency: Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
NMFS is transferring 16.3 metric tons (mt) of Atlantic bluefin tuna (BFT) quota from the 24.3-mt General category December 2017 subquota to the January 2017 subquota period (from January 1 through March 31, 2017, or until the available subquota for this period is reached, whichever comes first). NMFS also is adjusting the Atlantic tunas General category BFT daily retention limit for the January 2017 subquota period to three large medium or giant BFT from the default retention limit of one. 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.
Programmatic Environmental Assessment
Document Number: 2016-30439
Type: Notice
Date: 2016-12-19
Agency: Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
NOAA is issuing this notice to advise the public that NOS is preparing a programmatic environmental assessment (PEA) in accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) to evaluate the environmental impacts of NOS hydroacoustic surveys, mapping, and other related data gathering activities. NOS offices that conduct hydroacoustic surveys, mapping, and other related data-gathering activities which may be covered under this PEA include: Center for Operational Oceanographic Products and Services, National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science, Office of Coast Survey, Office for Coastal Management, Office of National Marine Sanctuaries, Office of Response and Restoration, Office of National Geodetic Survey, and the U.S. Integrated Ocean Observing System Program Office. The PEA will encompass the environment of all geographic areas where NOS conducts these activities, to include terrestrial areas, but primarily focusing on U.S. waters from the coastline to the limits of the U.S. Exclusive Economic Zone, which extends no more than 200 nautical miles from the territorial sea baseline. NOAA provides this notice to advise other Federal and State agencies, Territories, Tribal Governments, local governments, private parties, and the public of our intent to prepare a PEA, to provide information on the nature of the analysis, and to invite input.