U.S. Integrated Ocean Observing System (IOOS®) Advisory Committee Meeting
Notice is hereby given of a virtual meeting of the U.S. Integrated Ocean Observing System (IOOS[supreg]) Advisory Committee (Committee).
Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Chinook Salmon Bycatch Management in the Gulf of Alaska Trawl Fisheries; Amendment 103
The North Pacific Fishery Management Council has submitted Amendment 103 to the Fishery Management Plan for Groundfish of the Gulf of Alaska (FMP). If approved, Amendment 103 would allow NMFS to reapportion unused Chinook salmon prohibited species catch (PSC) within and among specific trawl sectors in the Central and Western Gulf of Alaska (GOA), based on specific criteria and within specified limits. Amendment 103 would not increase the current combined annual PSC limit of 32,500 Chinook salmon that applies to Central and Western GOA trawl sectors under the FMP. Amendment 103 would provide for more flexible management of GOA trawl Chinook salmon PSC, increase the likelihood that groundfish resources are more fully harvested, reduce the potential for fishery closures, and maintain overall Chinook salmon PSC use in the Central and Western GOA within limits established under the FMP. Amendment 103 is intended to promote the goals and objectives of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act, the FMP, and other applicable laws.
Endangered and Threatened Species; 5-Year Reviews for 28 Listed Species of Pacific Salmon, Steelhead, and Eulachon
NMFS' West Coast Region announces the availability of 5-year reviews for 17 evolutionarily significant units (ESUs) of Pacific salmon (Oncorhynchus sp.), 10 distinct population segments (DPSs) of steelhead (O. mykiss), and the southern DPS of eulachon (Thaleichthys pacificus) as required by the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended (ESA). The purpose of the reviews was to evaluate whether the listing classifications of these species remains accurate or should be changed. After reviewing the best available scientific and commercial data, we conclude that no changes in the ESA-listing status for the 27 salmonid ESUs and DPSs, or the southern DPS of eulachon, are warranted at this time.
Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Notice of 12-Month Finding on a Petition To Delist the Snake River Fall-Run Chinook Salmon Evolutionarily Significant Unit Under the Endangered Species Act (ESA)
We, NMFS, announce a 12-month finding on a petition to delist the Snake River fall-run Chinook salmon (Oncorhynchus tshawytscha) (Snake River fall-run Chinook) Evolutionarily Significant Unit (ESU) under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). The Snake River fall-run Chinook ESU was listed as threatened under the ESA in 1992. We have completed a comprehensive review of the status of the species in response to the petition. Based on the best scientific and commercial data available, we have determined that delisting of the Snake River fall-run Chinook ESU is not warranted at this time. We conclude that the Snake River fall-run Chinook is likely to become an endangered species within the foreseeable future throughout all or a significant portion of its range, and will remain listed as a threatened species under the ESA. We also announce the availability of 5-year reviews, prepared pursuant to ESA, for four Snake River salmonid species: The Snake River fall-run Chinook ESU, the Snake River sockeye salmon ESU, the Snake River spring/summer Chinook salmon ESU, and the Snake River steelhead distinct population segment (DPS). We combined our evaluations and findings for these four species into a joint report. This 5-Year Review Report determined that the four Snake River salmon species, including the Snake River fall-run Chinook ESU, should retain their current listed status under the ESA.
Endangered Species; File No. 18029
Notice is hereby given that Tasha L. Metz, Ph.D., Texas A&M University at Galveston, Department of Marine Biology, P.O. Box 1675, Galveston, TX 77551 has been issued a permit to take loggerhead (Caretta caretta), green (Chelonia mydas), Kemp's ridley (Lepidochelys kempii), and hawksbill (Eretmochelys imbricata) sea turtles for purposes of scientific research.
Endangered and Threatened Species: Designation of Experimental Populations Under the Endangered Species Act
We, the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), issue final regulations to amend the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) to implement the Endangered Species Act (ESA) regarding experimental populations. This rule amends the CFR to establish definitions and procedures for: Establishing and/or designating certain populations of species otherwise listed as endangered or threatened as experimental populations; determining whether experimental populations are ``essential'' or ``nonessential;'' and promulgating appropriate protective measures for experimental populations.
Fisheries Off West Coast States; Coastal Pelagic Species Fisheries; Annual Specifications
NMFS proposes to implement annual management measures and harvest specifications to establish the allowable catch levels (i.e. annual catch limit (ACL)/harvest guideline (HG)) for the northern subpopulation of Pacific sardine (hereafter, simply Pacific sardine), in the U.S. Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) off the Pacific coast for the fishing season of July 1, 2016, through June 30, 2017. This rule is proposed according to the Coastal Pelagic Species (CPS) Fishery Management Plan (FMP). The proposed action would prohibit directed non- tribal Pacific sardine commercial fishing for Pacific sardine off the coasts of Washington, Oregon and California, which is required because the estimated 2016 biomass of Pacific sardine has dropped below the biomass threshold specified in the HG control rule. Under the proposed action, Pacific sardine may still be harvested as part of either the live bait or tribal fishery or as incidental catch in other fisheries; the incidental harvest of Pacific sardine would initially be limited to 40-percent by weight of all fish per trip when caught with other CPS or up to 2 metric tons (mt) when caught with non-CPS. The proposed annual catch limit (ACL) for the 2016-2017 Pacific sardine fishing year is 8,000 mt. This proposed rule is intended to conserve and manage the Pacific sardine stock off the U.S. West Coast.