National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration May 4, 2016 – Federal Register Recent Federal Regulation Documents

Candidate Conservation Agreements With Assurances Policy
Document Number: 2016-10479
Type: Notice
Date: 2016-05-04
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 proposed revisions to the Candidate Conservation Agreements with Assurances policy under the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended. We propose to add a definition of ``net conservation benefit'' to this policy and to eliminate 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 Service to approve an agreement. In a separate document published in today's Federal Register, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is proposing changes to its regulations regarding Candidate Conservation Agreements with Assurances to make them consistent with these proposed changes to the policy.
Magnuson-Stevens Act Provisions; General Provisions for Domestic Fisheries; Application for Exempted Fishing Permits
Document Number: 2016-10449
Type: Notice
Date: 2016-05-04
Agency: Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
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 allow eight commercial fishing vessels to fish outside of the limited access sea scallop regulations in support of a study on seasonal bycatch distribution and optimal scallop meat yield on Georges Bank. 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 Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Stock Assessment of Eastern Bering Sea Pollock; Peer Review Meeting
Document Number: 2016-10445
Type: Notice
Date: 2016-05-04
Agency: Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
NMFS has requested the Center for Independent Experts (CIE) to conduct a peer review of the agency's stock assessment of Eastern Bering Sea walleye pollock (Theragra chalcogramma). The CIE is a group affiliated with the University of Miami that provides independent peer reviews of NMFS science nationwide, including reviews of stock assessments for fish and marine mammals. The Eastern Bering Sea pollock stock assessment is reviewed annually by the Alaska Fisheries Science Center, the North Pacific Fishery Management Council (NPFMC) Plan Team, and the NPFMC Scientific and Statistical Committee. The CIE review will examine whether the assessment incorporates the best available scientific information and provides a reasonable approach to understanding the population dynamics and stock status of Eastern Bering Sea pollock. The public is invited to attend and observe the presentations and discussions between the CIE panel and the NMFS scientists who collected and processed the data, and designed the underlying model.
Fisheries of the Economic Exclusive Zone Off Alaska; Deep-Water Species Fishery by Vessels Using Trawl Gear in the Gulf of Alaska
Document Number: 2016-10444
Type: Rule
Date: 2016-05-04
Agency: Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
NMFS is prohibiting directed fishing for species that comprise the deep-water species fishery by vessels using trawl gear in the Gulf of Alaska (GOA). This action is necessary because the second seasonal apportionment of the Pacific halibut bycatch allowance specified for the deep-water species fishery in the GOA has been reached.
Fisheries of the Northeastern United States; Atlantic Sea Scallop Fishery; Framework Adjustment 27
Document Number: 2016-10439
Type: Rule
Date: 2016-05-04
Agency: Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
NMFS approves and implements through regulations the 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 sets specifications for the scallop fishery for fishing year 2016, including days-at-sea allocations, individual fishing quotas, and sea scallop access area trip allocations; creates a new rotational closed area south of Closed Area 2 to protect small scallops; opens the northern portion of the Nantucket Lightship Access Area to the Limited Access General Category fleet; transfers 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; and implements an accountability measure to the fishing year 2016 Northern Gulf of Maine Total Allowable Catch as a result of a fishing year 2015 catch overage.
Endangered and Threatened Species; Take of Anadromous Fish
Document Number: 2016-10426
Type: Notice
Date: 2016-05-04
Agency: Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
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 10 Hatchery and Genetic Management Plans (HGMPs) for salmon and steelhead hatchery programs jointly submitted by the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) with the Muckleshoot Indian Tribe and the Suquamish Tribe (referred to as the co-managers), for NMFS's evaluation and determination under Limit 6 of the Endangered Species Act (ESA) 4(d) Rule for threatened salmon and steelhead. The HGMPs specify the propagation of salmon and steelhead in the Duwamish-Green River basin in Washington State. NMFS provides this notice to advise other agencies and the public of its plans to analyze effects related to the action, and obtain suggestions and information that may be useful to the scope of issues and alternatives to include in the EIS.
Endangered and Threatened Species; Take of Anadromous Fish; Reopening of Comment Period
Document Number: 2016-10380
Type: Notice
Date: 2016-05-04
Agency: Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
On March 28, 2016, the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) announced the availability of a Hatchery and Genetic Management Plan (HGMP) pursuant to the protective regulations promulgated for Pacific salmon and steelhead under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). The HGMP, provided by the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, specifies the operation of a hatchery program rearing steelhead in the Mad River subbasin within the State of California. The announcement opened a 30-day public comment period on the HGMP and associated draft environmental assessment (EA). In response to a request received from the public, NMFS is reopening the comment period for an additional 15 days. This action reopens the comment period for the notice that published March 28, 2016.
Notice of Intent To Grant Exclusive License
Document Number: 2016-10372
Type: Notice
Date: 2016-05-04
Agency: Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
Notice is hereby given that the U.S. Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), intends to grant to Picarro, Inc. of Santa Clara, California, an exclusive global license to its rights in ``Methods For Rapid Gas Sampling With High Horizontal Spatial Resolution In A Manner Suitable For Subsequent Constituent Gas Analysis''.
Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Western Alaska Community Development Quota Program
Document Number: 2016-10356
Type: Rule
Date: 2016-05-04
Agency: Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
NMFS issues a final rule to implement Amendment 109 to the Fishery Management Plan for Groundfish of the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Management Area (BSAI FMP). This final rule amends regulations governing the Western Alaska Community Development Quota (CDQ) Program to support increased participation in the groundfish CDQ fisheries (primarily Pacific cod) by catcher vessels less than or equal to 46 feet (ft) (14.0 meters (m)) length overall (LOA) using hook-and-line gear. Specifically, this final rule exempts 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 groundfish CDQ fishing. This final rule also reduces observer coverage requirements for catcher vessels less than or equal to 46 ft LOA when groundfish CDQ fishing, and implements new in-season management and catch accounting requirements to properly account for the harvest of groundfish and halibut and the accrual of halibut prohibited species catch in these fisheries. In addition to the regulations necessary to implement Amendment 109, this final rule removes from the regulations a table and some explanatory text that are no longer necessary. This final rule is intended to facilitate increased participation by residents of CDQ communities in the groundfish fisheries in the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands management area (BSAI), and to support economic development in western Alaska. This final rule also is intended to promote the goals of the CDQ Program, the goals and objectives of the BSAI FMP, the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act, and other applicable laws.