NOAA Commercial Space Policy
NOAA has released the final NOAA Commercial Space Policy (Policy). On September 1, 2015, NOAA released a draft Commercial Space Policy for a 30-day public comment period. During this comment period, 15 sets of comments were received (see www.regulations.gov/ #!docketDetail;D=NOAA-NMFS-2015-0109). All comments were reviewed, adjudicated and, where appropriate, incorporated or reflected in the final Policy.
Endangered and Threatened Species; Critical Habitat for Endangered North Atlantic Right Whale
We (NMFS) are issuing this final rule to replace the critical habitat for right whales in the North Atlantic with two new areas. The areas being designated as critical habitat contain approximately 29,763 nm \2\ of marine habitat in the Gulf of Maine and Georges Bank region (Unit 1) and off the Southeast U.S. coast (Unit 2). We have considered positive and negative economic, national security, and other relevant impacts of the critical habitat. We are not excluding any particular area from the final critical habitat. A Biological Source Document provides the basis for our identification of the physical and biological features essential to the conservation of the species that may require special management considerations or protection. A report was also prepared pursuant to section 4(b)(2) of the Endangered Species Act (ESA) in support of this rule.
Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Pollock in Statistical Area 630 in the Gulf of Alaska
NMFS is prohibiting directed fishing for pollock in Statistical Area 630 in the Gulf of Alaska (GOA). This action is necessary to prevent exceeding the A season allowance of the 2016 total allowable catch of pollock for Statistical Area 630 in the GOA.
Notice of Intent To Grant Exclusive License
Notice is hereby given that the U.S. Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), intends to grant to Handix, LLC of Boulder, Colorado, an exclusive global license to manufacture and distribute its ``OPEN PATH OPTICAL CELL''.
Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Crab Rationalization Program
This rule addresses how individual processing quota (IPQ) use caps apply to Bering Sea Chionoecetes bairdi Tanner crab fisheries: The eastern C. bairdi Tanner (EBT) and the western C. bairdi Tanner (WBT). This rule exempts EBT and WBT IPQ crab that is custom processed at a facility through contractual arrangements with the facility owners from being applied against the IPQ use cap of the facility owners. This rule applies to EBT and WBT IPQ crab received for custom processing during the 2015/2016 crab fishing year. Without this rule, substantial amounts of EBT and WBT Class A IFQ crab would remain unharvested, and fishermen, shoreside processors, and communities that participate in the EBT and WBT fisheries have no viable alternatives to mitigate the resulting significant, negative economic effects before the fisheries end for the season. This rule is necessary to temporarily relieve a restriction that is preventing the full harvest of EBT and WBT Class A IFQ crab. This rule is intended to promote the goals and objectives of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act, the Fishery Management Plan for Bering Sea/Aleutian Islands King and Tanner Crabs, and other applicable law.
Endangered and Threatened Species; Initiation of 5-Year Review for Southern Resident Killer Whales
We, NMFS, announce a 5-year review of Southern Resident killer whales (Orcinus orca) under the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended (ESA). The purpose of these reviews is to ensure that the listing classification of a species is accurate. The 5-year review will be based on the best scientific and commercial data available at the time of the review; therefore, we request submission of any such information on Southern Resident killer whales that has become available since their original listing as endangered in November 2005 or since the previous 5-year review completed in 2011. Based on the results of this 5-year review, we will make the requisite determination under the ESA.
Pacific Island Fisheries; Special Coral Reef Ecosystem Fishing Permit for Offshore Aquaculture
NMFS proposes to issue a Special Coral Reef Ecosystem Fishing Permit that would authorize Kampachi Farms, LLC, to stock, culture, and harvest fish that are part of the coral reef ecosystem management unit in a submerged net pen moored in Federal waters about 5.5 nm (10.2 km) off the west coast of the Island of Hawaii. This notice informs the public that NMFS prepared a draft environmental assessment (EA) of the potential impacts of the proposed activity.
Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone off Alaska; Application for an Exempted Fishing Permit
This notice announces receipt of an exempted fishing permit (EFP) application from the Alaska Seafood Cooperative (AKSC) and co- applicants. If granted, this EFP would allow the applicants to remove halibut from a trawl codend on the deck, and release those fish back to the water in a timely manner to increase survivability. These halibut would be sampled by NMFS-trained observers for length and physical condition using standard International Pacific Halibut Commission (IPHC) halibut mortality assessment methods. The objectives of the EFP application are to (1) test methods for sorting halibut on deck for suitability as an allowable fish handling mode for the non-pollock catcher/processor trawl fisheries (Amendment 80, community development quota (CDQ), and trawl limited access) in the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands under an eventual regulated program; (2) simplify and improve on elements that worked under a 2015 deck sorting EFP project; and (3) address challenges and issues that arose in the 2015 EFP. This experiment has the potential to promote the objectives of the Magnuson- Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act and the Northern Pacific Halibut Act.
Fisheries of the Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico, and South Atlantic; Reef Fish Fishery of the Gulf of Mexico; Red Snapper Management Measures; Amendment 28
NMFS proposes to implement management measures described in Amendment 28 to the Fishery Management Plan for the Reef Fish Resources of the Gulf of Mexico (FMP), as prepared by the Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council (Council) (Amendment 28). If approved and implemented by the Secretary of Commerce (Secretary), Amendment 28 would revise the Gulf of Mexico (Gulf) red snapper commercial and recreational sector allocations of the stock annual catch limits (ACLs). As a result of the revised sector allocations proposed in Amendment 28, this proposed rule would revise the red snapper commercial and recreational quotas (which are equivalent to the ACLs) and the recreational annual catch targets (ACTs). This proposed rule would also set the Federal charter vessel/headboat and private angling component quotas and ACTs based on the revised recreational sector's ACL and ACT. The purpose of this proposed rule and Amendment 28 is to reallocate the Gulf red snapper harvest consistent with the 2014 red snapper assessment update 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.
Fisheries of the Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico, and South Atlantic; Snapper-Grouper Fishery and Golden Crab Fishery of the South Atlantic, and Dolphin and Wahoo Fishery of the Atlantic
NMFS issues this final rule to implement management measures described in Amendment 34 to the Fishery Management Plan (FMP) for the Snapper-Grouper Fishery of the South Atlantic Region, Amendment 9 to the FMP for the Golden Crab Fishery of the South Atlantic Region, and Amendment 8 to the FMP for the Dolphin and Wahoo Fishery of the Atlantic; collectively referred to as the Generic Accountability Measures (AM) and Dolphin Allocation Amendment (Generic AM Amendment), as prepared and submitted by the South Atlantic Fishery Management Council (Council). This final rule revises the commercial and recreational AMs for numerous snapper-grouper species and golden crab. This final rule also revises commercial and recreational sector allocations for dolphin in the Atlantic. The actions are intended to make the AMs consistent for snapper-grouper species addressed in the final rule and for golden crab, and revise the allocations between the commercial and recreational sectors for dolphin.
Endangered and Threatened Species; Notice of Initiation of a 5-Year Review and Notice of Intent To Update the Recovery Plan for the U.S. Distinct Population Segment of Smalltooth Sawfish (Pristis pectinata)
We, NMFS, announce the initiation of a 5-year review for the U.S. distinct population segment (DPS) of smalltooth sawfish (hereafter referred to as `smalltooth sawfish'), and our intent to update the smalltooth sawfish recovery plan. A 5-year review is a periodic process conducted to ensure that the listing classification of a species is accurate. Recovery plans are guides to rebuild and assure the long-term viability of protected species in the wild. Each document is based on the best scientific and commercial data available at the time of the review/update. Therefore, we are requesting submission of any information on the status of smalltooth sawfish that has become available since the previous iterations of these documents in 2010 and 2009 respectively.
Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council (MAFMC); Public Meeting
The Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council (Council) will hold a three-day meeting.
Proposed Information Collection; Comment Request; Economic Impacts of Diving and Snorkeling Expenditures in Southern Florida
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; Atlantic Mackerel, Squid, and Butterfish Fisheries; Specifications and Management Measures
NMFS proposes 2016-2018 specifications for Atlantic mackerel and the river herring and shad catch cap for Atlantic mackerel. NMFS previously set specifications for butterfish, longfin squid, and Illex squid for 3 years in 2015 (2015-2017) and, therefore, new specifications will not be included in this year's specification rulemaking. This action also proposes to adjust the butterfish mesh requirement, clarify the use of strengtheners in the butterfish fishery, and suspend indefinitely the pre-trip notification system requirement in the longfin squid fishery. These proposed specifications and management measures are intended to promote the sustainable utilization and conservation of the Atlantic mackerel, squid, and butterfish resources.
Taking of Marine Mammals Incidental to Specified Activities; Coupeville Timber Towers Preservation Project
NMFS has received a request from the Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) for an authorization to take small numbers of 10 species of marine mammals, by Level B harassment, incidental to proposed construction activities for the Coupeville Timber Tower Preservation Project in Washington State. Pursuant to the Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA), NMFS is requesting comments on its proposal to issue an authorization to WDOT to incidentally take, by harassment, small numbers of marine mammals for a period of 1 year.
Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Western Alaska Community Development Quota Program
The North Pacific Fishery Management Council (Council) has submitted Amendment 109 to the Fishery Management Plan for Groundfish of the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Management Area (FMP) to the Secretary of Commerce (Secretary) for review. If approved, Amendment 109 would amend the FMP to support increased participation in local small-scale groundfish fisheries managed under the Western Alaska Community Development Quota (CDQ) Program. Specifically, Amendment 109 would amend the description of observer coverage requirements in the FMP to allow catcher vessels less than or equal to 46 feet (ft) (14.0 meters (m)) length overall (LOA) using hook-and-line gear to be placed in the partial observer coverage category when groundfish CDQ fishing. In addition, Amendment 109 would exempt operators of registered catcher vessels greater than 32 ft (9.8 m) LOA and less than or equal to 46 ft LOA using hook-and-line gear from the requirement to obtain and carry a License Limitation Program (LLP) license when conducting groundfish CDQ fishing. Amendment 109 also would update descriptive information about the CDQ Program in the FMP and make several editorial revisions. The objective of Amendment 109 is to facilitate increased participation by residents of CDQ communities in the groundfish CDQ fisheries in the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Management Area (BSAI), and to support economic development in western Alaska. This action would benefit the six CDQ groups and the operators of local small hook-and-line catcher vessels that the CDQ groups authorize to participate in the groundfish CDQ fisheries by reducing the costs of participating in those fisheries.
Fisheries of the Northeastern United States; Northeast Multispecies Fishery; Trip Limit Adjustment for the Common Pool Fishery
This action decreases the possession and trip limit for Southern New England/Mid-Atlantic yellowtail flounder for Northeast multispecies common pool vessels for the remainder of the 2015 fishing year. The most recent catch data indicates that the common pool is expected to reach its annual quota for this stock before the end of January. Decreasing the trip limit is intended to prevent the common pool fishery from exceeding its allocation for the stock in the 2015 fishing year, and from triggering an area closure for portions of Southern New England/Mid-Atlantic.
Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Final Listing Determinations on Proposal To List the Banggai Cardinalfish and Harrisson's Dogfish Under the Endangered Species Act
In response to a petition, we, NMFS, issue a final rule to list the Banggai cardinalfish (Pterapogon kauderni) as a threatened species under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). We have also determined that the proposed listing of Harrisson's dogfish shark (Centrophorus harrissoni) as a threatened species is not warranted at this time. We will not designate critical habitat for Banggai cardinalfish because the geographical areas occupied by this species are entirely outside U.S. jurisdiction, and we have not identified any unoccupied areas within U.S. jurisdiction that are currently essential to the conservation of this species.
Fisheries of the Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico, and South Atlantic; 2015 Commercial Accountability Measure and Closure for South Atlantic Greater Amberjack
NMFS implements accountability measures (AMs) for commercial greater amberjack in the exclusive economic zone (EEZ) of the South Atlantic. NMFS projects commercial landings of greater amberjack will reach the commercial annual catch limit (ACL) (equivalent to the commercial quota) by January 21, 2016. Therefore, NMFS closes the commercial sector for greater amberjack in the South Atlantic EEZ on January 21, 2016, and it will remain closed until the start of the next fishing year on March 1, 2016. This closure is necessary to protect the greater amberjack resource.
Nominations for the General Advisory Committee and the Scientific Advisory Subcommittee to the United States Delegation to the Inter-American Tropical Tuna Commission
NMFS, on behalf of the Secretary of Commerce, is seeking nominations for the General Advisory Committee to the U.S. delegation to the Inter-American Tropical Tuna Commission (IATTC or Commission), as well as to a Scientific Advisory Subcommittee of the General Advisory Committee. The purpose of the General Advisory Committee and its Scientific Advisory Subcommittee is to provide public input and advice to the United States delegation to the IATTC in the formulation of U.S. policy and positions at meetings of the IATTC and its subsidiary bodies. The Scientific Advisory Subcommittee shall also function as the National Scientific Advisory Committee provided for in the Agreement on the International Dolphin Conservation Program (AIDCP).
Marine Mammals; File No. 18727
Notice is hereby given that a permit has been issued to University of Alaska Museum of the North, 907 Yukon Drive, Fairbanks, AK 99775-6960 (Aren Gunderson, Responsible Party), to collect, import and export specimens of marine mammals for scientific research.
Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council (MAFMC); Public Meeting
The Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council (Council) will hold a meeting to develop recreational blueline tilefish catch estimates.
Marine Mammals; File No. 18902
Notice is hereby given that a permit has been issued to Colleen Reichmuth, Ph.D., Long Marine Laboratory, University of California at Santa Cruz, 100 Shaffer Road, Santa Cruz, CA 95060, to conduct research on pinnipeds in captivity.
Endangered Species; File No. 19637
Notice is hereby given that Allen Foley, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, Fish and Wildlife Research Institute, 370 Zoo Parkway, Jacksonville, FL 32218, has applied in due form for a permit to take green (Chelonia mydas), loggerhead (Caretta caretta), hawksbill (Eretmochelys imbricata) and Kemp's ridley (Lepidochelys kempii) sea turtles for purposes of scientific research.
Pacific Island Fisheries; 2016 Northwestern Hawaiian Islands Lobster Harvest Guideline
NMFS establishes the annual harvest guideline for the commercial lobster fishery in the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands for calendar year 2016 at zero lobsters.
Fisheries Off West Coast States; Pacific Coast Groundfish Fishery Management Plan; Trawl Rationalization Program; Flow Scale Requirements
This proposed rule would revise scale requirements for processing vessels that are required to weigh fish at sea, i.e. mothership and catcher/processor vessels, and Shorebased Individual Fishery Quota Program (IFQ) first receivers. For motherships and catcher/processors that weigh fish at sea, the proposed action would require the use of updated scale technology, require enhanced daily scale testing for flow scales (also known as belt scales), and require the use of video to monitor the flow scale and the area around the flow scale. For Shorebased IFQ first receivers, the proposed action would add criteria for inseason flow scale tests. In addition, the action includes housekeeping changes that are intended to better align the regulations with defined terms, and to provide clarity and consistency between paragraphs. Action is needed to provide precise and accurate catch estimates and to reduce the likelihood that vessels will under report harvests.
Notice of Intent To Prepare an Environmental Impact Statement for Hatchery Programs Along the Oregon Coast
Pursuant to the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), this notice announces that NMFS intends to obtain information necessary to prepare an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for Hatchery and Genetic Management Plans (HGMPs) submitted by the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW) for NMFS's evaluation and determination under Limit 5 of the Endangered Species Act (ESA) 4(d) Rule for threatened salmon and steelhead. The HGMPs specify the propagation of salmon, steelhead, and trout released in rivers, streams, and lakes throughout the Oregon Coast region. NMFS provides this notice to: (1) Advise other agencies and the public of its plans to analyze effects related to the action, and (2) obtain suggestions and information that may be useful to the scope of issues and alternatives to include in the EIS. This notice further serves to notify the public of the availability of the HGMPs for comment prior to a decision by NMFS on whether to approve the proposed hatchery programs.
Endangered and Threatened Species; Take of Anadromous Fish
Notice is hereby given that NMFS has issued Permit 1440-2R to the Interagency Ecological Program (IEP); Permit 13675-2R to the Fishery Foundation of California (FFC); Permit 13791-2R to the United States Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS), Stockton Fish and Wildlife Office (SFWO); Permit 14516-2R to Dr. Jerry Smith, Associate Professor in the Department of Biological Sciences at San Jose State University; Permit 15215 to the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW), Fisheries Branch, Fish Health Laboratory; Permit 16274 to the Mendocino Redwood Company (MRC); Permit 17063 to the United States Forest Service (USFS), Redwood Sciences Laboratory; Permit 17077-2R to Dr. Peter Moyle, with the University of California at Davis, Department of Wildlife, Fish and Conservation Biology; Permit 17219 and Permit 19320 to the NMFS Southwest Fisheries Science Center (SWFSC), Fisheries Ecology Division; Permit 17272 to the USFWS, Arcata Fish and Wildlife Office Fisheries Program (AFWO); Permit 17351 to the Green Diamond Resource Company (GDRC); Permit 17396 to the USFWS, Anadromous Fish Restoration Program (AFRP); Permit 17867 to the Humboldt Redwood Company (HRC); Permit 17877 to the Bureau of Reclamation (BOR); Permit 17916 to the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), Arcata Field Office; Permit 18012 to the CDFW, Bay Delta Region; Permit 18712 to H.T. Harvey & Associates; Permit 18937 to the Scripps Institution of Oceanography, University of California, San Diego, California Sea Grant College Program (CSGCP); Permit 19121 to the United States Geological Survey (USGS), California Water Survey; and Permit 19400 to ICF consulting.
International Fisheries; Pacific Tuna Fisheries; 2016 Commercial Pacific Bluefin Tuna Catch Limit in the Eastern Pacific Ocean
NMFS is announcing that the Pacific bluefin tuna catch limit applicable to U.S. commercial fishing vessels in the eastern Pacific Ocean (EPO) in 2016 is 425 metric tons (mt). This notice is necessary to inform fishery participants of the catch limit established in a final rule published on July 8, 2015.
Endangered and Threatened Species; Status Update on Preparation of Record of Decision, Mitchell Act Hatcheries Environmental Impact Statement
The National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) released its final Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) to Inform Columbia River Basin Hatchery Operations and the Funding of Mitchell Act Hatchery Programs in September 2014 (also known as the Mitchell Act Hatchery EIS). This notice serves as an update on preparation of the agency's record of decision (ROD).
Endangered Species; File No. 17225
Notice is hereby given that the NMFS Northeast Fisheries Science Center [Responsible Party: William Karp], 166 Water Street, Woods Hole, MA 02543, has applied in due form for a permit to take Atlantic sturgeon (Acipenser oxyrinchus oxyrinchus), loggerhead (Caretta caretta), Kemp's ridley (Lepidochelys kempii), green (Chelonia mydas), hawksbill (Eretmochelys imbricata) and leatherback (Dermochelys coraicea) sea turtles for purposes of scientific research.
Takes of Marine Mammals Incidental to Specified Activities; Taking Marine Mammals Incidental to a Marine Geophysical Survey in the South Atlantic Ocean, January to March 2016
In accordance with the Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA) implementing regulations, we hereby give notice that we have issued an Incidental Harassment Authorization (Authorization) to Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory (Lamont-Doherty), a component of Columbia University, in collaboration with the National Science Foundation (NSF), to take marine mammals, by harassment, in the South Atlantic Ocean, January through March 2016.
Atlantic Highly Migratory Species; Atlantic Shark Management Measures; 2016 Research Fishery
On November 4, 2015, NMFS published a notice inviting qualified commercial shark permit holders to submit applications to participate in the 2016 shark research fishery. The shark research fishery allows for the collection of fishery-dependent data for future stock assessments and cooperative research with commercial fishermen to meet the shark research objectives of the Agency. Every year, the permit terms and permitted activities (e.g., number of hooks and retention limits) specifically authorized for selected participants in the shark research fishery are designated depending on the scientific and research needs of the Agency, as well as the number of NMFS- approved observers available. In order to inform selected participants of this year's specific permit requirements and ensure all terms and conditions of the permit are met, NMFS is holding a mandatory permit holder meeting (via conference call) for selected participants. The date and time of that meeting is announced in this notice.
North Pacific Fishery Management Council; Public Meeting
The North Pacific Fishery Management Council (Council) and its advisory committees will meet February 1, 2016 through February 9, 2016.
Marine Fisheries Advisory Committee
This notice sets forth the schedule and proposed agenda of a forthcoming meeting of the Marine Fisheries Advisory Committee (MAFAC). The members will discuss and provide advice on issues outlined in the agenda below.
International Fisheries; Pacific Tuna Fisheries; Vessel Register Required Information, International Maritime Organization Numbering Scheme
NMFS is issuing regulations to implement a resolution adopted by the Inter-American Tropical Tuna Commission (IATTC) that requires U.S. vessels fishing for tuna and tuna-like species with a capacity equal to or greater than 100 gross resister tons (GRT) to have an International Maritime Organization (IMO) number. The IMO number will be included with information the United States sends to the IATTC for vessels authorized to fish for tuna and tuna-like species in the IATTC Convention Area, and will enable more effective tracking of vessels that may be engaging in illegal, unreported, and unregulated fishing.
Marine Mammals; File Nos. 14856 and 14809
Notice is hereby given that major amendments to Permit No. 14809-01 and Permit No. 14856-03 have been issued to Douglas Nowacek, Ph.D., Duke University Marine Laboratory, 135 Duke Marine Lab Rd., Beaufort, NC 28516 and Bruce R. Mate, Ph.D., Hatfield Marine Science Center, Oregon State University, Newport, OR 97365, respectively.
Endangered Species; File No. 19496
Notice is hereby given that Mariana Fuentes, Florida State University, 532 Hart Street, Tallahassee, FL 32301, has applied in due form for a permit to take loggerhead (Caretta caretta), Kemp's ridley (Lepidochelys kempii), green (Chelonia mydas), and hawksbill (Eretmochelys imbricata) sea turtles for purposes of scientific research.
Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Crab Rationalization Program
NMFS issues this final rule to implement Amendment 44 to the Fishery Management Plan for Bering Sea/Aleutian Islands King and Tanner Crabs (FMP) and a regulatory amendment that modifies regulations governing the Crab Rationalization (CR) Program. This rule revises regulations to reflect that a Right of First Refusal (ROFR) may continue with the current ROFR holder or a new ROFR holder when processor quota share (PQS) is transferred and to require PQS holders to make specific certifications regarding ROFR contracts when annually applying for individual processor quota (IPQ) and when transferring PQS that are subject to a ROFR. In addition, this final rule revises the CR Program regulations to separate the annual individual fishing quota (IFQ)/IPQ application into two separate applications and to require that each crab harvesting cooperative lists the name of each member of the cooperative in its application for IFQ rather than provide NMFS with copies of each member's IFQ application. This final rule is necessary to improve available information concerning transfer and use of PQS and IPQ subject to a ROFR, thereby enhancing the ability of eligible crab communities to retain their historical processing interests in the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands (BSAI) crab fisheries, and to improve the administration of the CR Program. This final rule is intended to promote the goals and objectives of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act, the FMP, and other applicable laws.
Fisheries of the Caribbean, Gulf, and South Atlantic; Aquaculture
NMFS issues this final rule to implement the Fishery Management Plan for Regulating Offshore Aquaculture in the Gulf of Mexico (FMP), as prepared by the Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council (Council). The FMP entered into effect by operation of law on September 3, 2009. This final rule establishes a comprehensive regulatory program for managing the development of an environmentally sound and economically sustainable aquaculture fishery in Federal waters of the Gulf of Mexico (Gulf), i.e., the Gulf exclusive economic zone (EEZ). The purpose of this final rule is to increase the yield of Federal fisheries in the Gulf by supplementing the harvest of wild caught species with cultured product.
Coral Reef Conservation Program
Notice is hereby given of a public meeting of the U.S. Coral Reef Task Force (USCRTF). The meeting will be held in Washington, DC, at the U.S. Department of Interior South Building, 1925 Constitution Avenue NW. The meeting provides a forum for coordinated planning and action among federal agencies, state and territorial governments, and nongovernmental partners. The meeting will be held Thursday, February 18, 2016. Additional workshops will be on Tuesday February 16; Wednesday, February 17; and Friday, February 19. Registration is requested for all events associated with the meeting. This meeting has time allotted for public comment. All public comments must be submitted in written format. A written summary of the meeting will be posted on the USCRTF Web site within two months of occurrence. For information about the meeting, registering and submitting public comments, go to https://www.coralreef.gov. Commenters may address the meeting, the role of the USCRTF, or general coral reef conservation issues. Before including your address, phone number, email address, or other personal identifying information in your comments, you should be aware that your entire comment, including personal identifying information may be made publicly available at any time. While you can ask us in your comment to withhold your personal identifying information from public review, we cannot guarantee that we will be able to do so. Established by Presidential Executive Order 13089 in 1998, the U.S. Coral Reef Task Force mission is to lead, coordinate and strengthen U.S. government actions to better preserve and protect coral reef ecosystems. Co-chaired by the Departments of Commerce and Interior, Task Force members include leaders of 12 federal agencies, seven U.S. states and territories and three freely associated states.
Marine Mammals; File No. 16239
Notice is hereby given that a major amendment to Permit No. 16239 has been issued to Dan Engelhaupt, Ph.D., HDR EOC, 5700 Lake Wright Drive, Norfolk, VA 23502-1859.
Interagency Working Group on the Harmful Algal Bloom and Hypoxia Research and Control Amendments Act Great Lakes Webinars; Correction
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration published a document in the Federal Register of January 7, 2016, entitled Interagency Working Group on the Harmful Algal Bloom and Hypoxia Research and Control Amendments Act. The information concerning the webinar dates and WebEx information have been updated.
Endangered and Threatened Wildlife; 90-Day Finding on a Petition To List the Oceanic Whitetip Shark as Threatened or Endangered Under the Endangered Species Act
We, NMFS, announce the 90-day finding on a petition to list the oceanic whitetip shark (Carcharhinus longimanus) range-wide, or in the alternative, as one or more distinct population segments (DPSs) identified by the petitioners as endangered or threatened under the U.S. Endangered Species Act (ESA). We find that the petition presents substantial scientific or commercial information indicating that the petitioned action may be warranted for the species worldwide. Accordingly, we will initiate a status review of oceanic whitetip shark range-wide at this time. To ensure that the status review is comprehensive, we are soliciting scientific and commercial information regarding this species.
Western Pacific Fishery Management Council; Public Meeting
The Western Pacific Fishery Management Council (Council) will hold a meeting of its Guam Mariana Archipelago Fishery Ecosystem Plan (FEP) Advisory Panel (AP) and Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI) Mariana Archipelago FEP AP Advisory Panel to discuss and make recommendations on fishery management issues in the Western Pacific Region.