National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration March 31, 2016 – Federal Register Recent Federal Regulation Documents
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Atlantic Highly Migratory Species; Commercial Aggregated Large Coastal Shark and Hammerhead Shark Management Group Retention Limit Adjustment
NMFS is adjusting the commercial aggregated large coastal shark (LCS) and hammerhead shark management group retention limit for directed shark limited access permit holders in the Atlantic region from 36 LCS other than sandbar sharks per vessel per trip to 3 LCS other than sandbar sharks per vessel per trip. This action is based on consideration of the regulatory determination criteria regarding inseason adjustments. The retention limit will remain at 3 LCS other than sandbar sharks per vessel per trip in the Atlantic region through the rest of the 2016 fishing season or until NMFS announces via a notice in the Federal Register another adjustment to the retention limit or a fishery closure is warranted. This retention limit adjustment will affect anyone with a directed shark limited access permit fishing for LCS in the Atlantic region.
Fisheries of the Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico, and South Atlantic; Snapper-Grouper Resources of the South Atlantic; 2016-2017 Recreational Fishing Season for Black Sea Bass
NMFS announces that the length of the recreational season for black sea bass in the exclusive economic zone (EEZ) of the South Atlantic will extend throughout the 2016-2017 fishing year. Announcing the length of recreational season for black sea bass is one of the accountability measures (AMs) for the recreational sector. This announcement allows recreational fishermen to maximize their opportunity to harvest the recreational annual catch limit (ACL) for black sea bass during the fishing season while managing harvest to protect the black sea bass resource.
Fishery of the Northeastern United States; Bluefish Fishery; 2016-2018 Bluefish Specifications
We propose specifications for the 2016-2018 bluefish fishery. This action is necessary to comply with the implementing regulations for the Bluefish Fishery Management Plan that require us to publish specifications and provide an opportunity for public comment. The proposed specifications are necessary to constrain harvest for this species within scientifically sound recommendations to prevent overfishing.
Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act; Seafood Import Monitoring Program
The National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) is announcing an extension to the comment period for the proposed rule on a seafood import monitoring program published in the Federal Register on February 5, 2016. The comment period is being extended from April 5, 2016 to April 12, 2016. Pursuant to the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (MSA), this proposed rule would establish filing and recordkeeping procedures relating to the importation of certain fish and fish products, in order to implement the MSA's prohibition on the import and trade, in interstate or foreign commerce, of fish taken, possessed, transported or sold in violation of any foreign law or regulation. The information to be filed is proposed to be collected at the time of entry, and makes use of an electronic single window consistent with the Safety and Accountability for Every (SAFE) Port Act of 2006 and other applicable statutes. Specifically, NMFS proposes to integrate collection of catch and landing documentation for certain fish and fish products within the government-wide International Trade Data System (ITDS) and require electronic information collection through the Automated Commercial Environment (ACE) maintained by the Department of Homeland Security, Customs and Border Protection (CBP). Under these procedures, NMFS would require an annually renewable International Fisheries Trade Permit (IFTP) and specific data for certain fish and fish products to be filed and retained as a condition of import to enable the United States to exclude the entry into commerce of products of illegal fishing activities. The information to be collected and retained will help authorities verify that the fish or fish products were lawfully acquired by providing information that traces each import shipment from point of harvest to entry-into commerce. The rule will also decrease the incidence of seafood fraud by collecting information at import and requiring retention of documentation so that the information reported (e.g., regarding species and harvest location) can be verified. This proposed rule stipulates the catch and landing data for imports of certain fish and fish products which would be required to be submitted electronically to NMFS through ACE and the requirements for recordkeeping concerning such imports.
United States Global Change Research Program
The U.S. Global Change Research Program (USGCRP) is initiating an Interagency Special Report on Physical Climate Science (referred to as ``the Report'' throughout this notice). The focus of the Report will be an update to the physical climate science presented in the 2014 National Climate Assessment (NCA). Specifically, the Report will update Chapter 2 and Appendices 3 and 4 of the 2014 NCA (https:// www.globalchange.gov/nca3-downloads-materials). The report will provide updated climate science findings and projections, and will be an important input to the authors of the next quadrennial NCA, expected in 2018. The Report will be a product of the USGCRP, organized and led by an interagency team. This request for public engagement seeks nominations for technical contributors with expertise in climate data sets and trends, climate processes and feedbacks, global/regional climate models and associated projections, climate extremes, attribution and detection studies, and particular components of the Earth system, as well as other physical science disciplines. Refer to the Report prospectus (accessible via www.globalchange.gov/notices for further information on the goals, outline, and timeline for the report, as well as the process for technical contributors' involvement. The report will adhere to the Information Quality Act requirements https://www.cio.noaa.gov/services_programs/info_quality.html for quality, transparency, and accessibility as appropriate for a Highly Influential Scientific Assessment (HISA).
Takes of Marine Mammals Incidental to Specified Activities; Taking Marine Mammals Incidental to Boost-Backs and Landings of Rockets at Vandenberg Air Force Base
NMFS has received a request from Space Explorations Technology Corporation (SpaceX), for authorization to take marine mammals incidental to boost-backs and landings of Falcon 9 rockets at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California, and at a contingency landing location approximately 30 miles offshore. Pursuant to the Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA), NMFS is requesting comments on its proposal to issue an incidental harassment authorization (IHA) to SpaceX to incidentally take marine mammals, by Level B Harassment only, during the specified activity.