Fisheries Off West Coast States; West Coast Salmon Fisheries; 2016 Management Measures and a Temporary Rule
Through this final rule, NMFS establishes fishery management measures for the 2016 ocean salmon fisheries off Washington, Oregon, and California and the 2017 salmon seasons opening earlier than May 1, 2017. The temporary rule for emergency action (emergency rule), under the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (MSA), implements the 2016 annual management measures for the West Coast ocean salmon fisheries for the area from the U.S./Canada border to Cape Falcon, OR from May 1, 2016, through October 28, 2016. The emergency rule is required because preseason forecast abundance of several stocks of coho from the Washington coast and Puget Sound is below the stock- specific spawning escapement goals (i.e., conservation objective) specified in the Pacific Coast Salmon Fishery Management Plan (FMP) and allocation of coho harvest in the recreational fishery will not be distributed consistent with the FMP in order to limit fishery impacts on these weak coho stocks. The fishery management measures for the area from Cape Falcon, OR, to the U.S./Mexico border are consistent with the FMP and are implemented through a final rule. Specific fishery management measures vary by fishery and by area. The measures establish fishing areas, seasons, quotas, legal gear, recreational fishing days and catch limits, possession and landing restrictions, and minimum lengths for salmon taken in the U.S. exclusive economic zone (EEZ) (3- 200 NM) off Washington, Oregon, and California. The management measures are intended to prevent overfishing and to apportion the ocean harvest equitably among treaty Indian, non-treaty commercial, and recreational fisheries. The measures are also intended to allow a portion of the salmon runs to escape the ocean fisheries in order to provide for spawning escapement and inside fisheries (fisheries occurring in state internal waters).
Pacific Fishery Management Council; Public Meeting
The Pacific Fishery Management Council's (Pacific Council) Ad Hoc Ecosystem Workgroup (EWG) will hold a webinar, which is open to the public, to discuss and draft comments on the NOAA Fisheries Climate Science Strategy (NCSS) Western Regional Action Plan (WRAP).
Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council (MAFMC); Public Hearings
The Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council (Council) will hold seven public hearings in May and June 2016 to solicit public input on the Unmanaged Forage Omnibus Amendment. The Council is also soliciting written comments on the amendment through 11:59 p.m. on Friday, June 17, 2016. The goal of this amendment is to prohibit the development of new and expansion of existing directed commercial fisheries on unmanaged forage species in Mid-Atlantic Federal waters until the Council has had an adequate opportunity to both assess the scientific information relating to any new or expanded directed fisheries and consider potential impacts to existing fisheries, fishing communities, and the marine ecosystem.
Availability of Seats for National Marine Sanctuary Advisory Councils
ONMS is seeking applications for vacant seats for six of its 13 national marine sanctuary advisory councils and Northwestern Hawaiian Islands Coral Reef Ecosystem Reserve Advisory Council (advisory councils). Vacant seats, including positions (i.e., primary member and alternate), for each of the advisory councils are listed in this notice under SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION. Applicants are chosen based upon their particular expertise and experience in relation to the seat for which they are applying; community and professional affiliations; views regarding the protection and management of marine or Great Lake resources; and possibly the length of residence in the area affected by the sanctuary. Applicants chosen as members or alternates should expect to serve two or three year terms, pursuant to the charter of the specific national marine sanctuary advisory council or Northwestern Hawaiian Islands Coral Reef Ecosystem Reserve Advisory Council.
Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act Provisions; Fisheries of the Northeastern United States; Northeast Groundfish Fishery; Fishing Year 2016; Recreational Management Measures
This action sets the recreational management measures for Gulf of Maine cod and haddock for the 2016 fishing year. This action is intended to increase recreational fishing opportunities for cod and haddock consistent with the 2016 catch limits for these stocks, while ensuring the quotas are not exceeded. This action is expected to facilitate the recreational fishery achieving the recreational quotas for 2016.
Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act Provisions; Fisheries of the Northeastern United States; Northeast Groundfish Fishery; Framework Adjustment 55
This final rule approves and implements Framework Adjustment 55 to the Northeast Multispecies Fishery Management Plan. This rule sets 2016-2018 catch limits for all 20 groundfish stocks, adjusts the groundfish at-sea monitoring program, and adopts several sector measures. This action is necessary to respond to updated scientific information and achieve the goals and objectives of the Fishery Management Plan. The final measures are intended to help prevent overfishing, rebuild overfished stocks, achieve optimum yield, and ensure that management measures are based on the best scientific information available.