Fisheries of the Northeastern United States; Amendment 17 to the Atlantic Surfclam and Ocean Quahog Fishery Management Plan
NMFS announces that the Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council has submitted Amendment 17 to the Atlantic Surfclam and Ocean Quahog Fishery Management Plan for review and approval by the Secretary of Commerce. We are requesting comments from the public on the amendment. Amendment 17 would establish cost recovery provisions for these individual transferable quota clam fisheries, modify how biological reference points are incorporated into the Fishery Management Plan, and remove the Plan's optimum yield range.
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.
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 exempt commercial fishing vessels from Atlantic sea scallop regulations in support of research conducted by the Coonamessett Farm Foundation. 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.
Fisheries of the Northeastern United States; Atlantic Sea Scallop Fishery; Framework Adjustment 27
NMFS proposes to approve and implement measures included in Framework Adjustment 27 to the Atlantic Sea Scallop Fishery Management Plan, which the New England Fishery Management Council adopted and submitted to NMFS for approval. The purpose of Framework 27 is to prevent overfishing, improve yield-per-recruit, and improve the overall management of the Atlantic sea scallop fishery. Framework 27 would: Set specifications for the scallop fishery for fishing year 2016, including days-at-sea allocations, individual fishing quotas, and sea scallop access area trip allocations; create a new rotational closed area south of Closed Area II to protect small scallops; and open the northern portion of the Nantucket Lightship Access Area to the Limited Access General Category fleet and transfer 19 percent of the Limited Access General Category access area trips from the Mid-Atlantic Access Area to the northern portion of the Nantucket Lightship Access Area.
Endangered and Threatened Species; Designation of Critical Habitat for Lower Columbia River Coho Salmon and Puget Sound Steelhead
We, the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), issue a final rule to designate critical habitat for lower Columbia River coho salmon (Oncorhynchus kisutch) and Puget Sound steelhead (O. mykiss) pursuant to the Endangered Species Act (ESA). The specific areas designated for lower Columbia River coho include approximately 2,300 mi (3,701 km) of freshwater and estuarine habitat in Oregon and Washington. The specific areas designated for Puget Sound steelhead include approximately 2,031 mi (3,269 km) of freshwater and estuarine habitat in Puget Sound, WA. In developing this final rule we considered public and peer review comments, as well as economic and other relevant impacts. We are excluding a number of particular areas from designation because the benefits of exclusion outweigh the benefits of inclusion, and exclusion will not result in the extinction of the species.