Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act Provisions; Implementation of the Shark Conservation Act of 2010
This final action updates agency regulations consistent with provisions of the Shark Conservation Act of 2010 (SCA) and prohibits any person from removing any of the fins of a shark at sea, possessing shark fins on board a fishing vessel unless they are naturally attached to the corresponding carcass, transferring or receiving fins from one vessel to another at sea unless the fins are naturally attached to the corresponding carcass, landing shark fins unless they are naturally attached to the corresponding carcass, or landing shark carcasses without their fins naturally attached. This action amends existing regulations and makes them consistent with the SCA.
Fisheries of the Northeastern United States; Atlantic Mackerel, Squid, and Butterfish Fishery; 2016 Longfin Squid Trimester II Quota Harvested
NMFS is prohibitingbeginning June 27, 2016, and ending August 31, 2016Federal longfin squid vessel permit holders from fishing for, catching, possessing, transferring, or landing more than 2,500 lb (907.2 kg) of longfin squid per trip and landing such squid more than once per calendar day. This prohibition is required by regulation because NMFS projects that 90 percent of the 2016 annual Trimester II seasonal catch limit will have been caught by the effective date. In addition, based on this determination, other restrictions regarding catch of longfin squid by federally permitted Illex squid vessels and buying longfin squid by federally permit dealers go into place. This action is intended to prevent over harvest of longfin squid during Trimester II.
Takes of Marine Mammals Incidental to Specified Activities; Taking Marine Mammals Incidental to the Installation of the Block Island Wind Farm Export and Inter-Array Cables
In accordance with regulations implementing the Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA), notification is hereby given that NMFS has issued an Incidental Harassment Authorization (IHA) to Deepwater Wind Block Island, LLC (DWBI) to take marine mammals, by harassment, incidental to the installation of the Block Island Wind Farm (BIWF) Export and Inter-Array Cables.
Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council (MAFMC); Meeting
The Scientific and Statistical Committee (SSC) of the Mid- Atlantic Fishery Management Council (Council) will meet July 20, 2016, through July 21, 2016.
Hydrographic Services Review Panel Meeting
The Hydrographic Services Review Panel (HSRP) will hold a meeting that will be open to the public. Information about the HSRP and the meeting agenda will be posted at: http:// www.nauticalcharts.noaa.gov/ocs/hsrp/meetings_cleveland2016.h tm.
Interagency Working Group on the Harmful Algal Bloom and Hypoxia Research and Control Amendments Act Detailed Summary of the Great Lakes Plan on Harmful Algal Blooms (HABs) and Hypoxia; Correction
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration published a document in the Federal Register of June 3, 2016, entitled Interagency Working Group on the Harmful Algal Bloom and Hypoxia Research and Control Amendments Act. The information concerning the submission date has been updated. Other Information: The updated information for when stakeholders are invited to provide input related to concerns and successes pertaining to HABs and hypoxia in the Great Lakes region follows: Stakeholders are invited to submit questions and provide input related to concerns and successes pertaining to HABs and hypoxia in the Great Lakes region. The IWG-HABHRCA continues to seek general and technical feedback on topics including: Regional, Great Lakes-specific priorities for: [cir] Ecological, economic, and social research on the causes and impacts of HABs and hypoxia; [cir] Approaches to improving monitoring and early warnings, scientific understanding, prediction and modeling, and socioeconomics of these events; and [cir] Mitigating the causes and impacts of HABs and hypoxia. Communication and information dissemination methods that state, tribal, local, and international governments and organizations may undertake to educate and inform the public concerning HABs and hypoxia in the Great Lakes; and Perceived needs for handling Great Lakes HAB and hypoxia events, as well as an action strategy for managing future situations. Inquiries and comments may be submitted via email (IWG- HABHRCA@noaa.gov) or via U.S. mail to Caitlin Gould at NOAA, National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science, SSMC-4, #8237, 1305 East-West Highway, Silver Spring, MD 20910. Technical feedback in the form of brief annotated bibliographic entries would be welcome. The Interagency Working Group will gladly accept public input at any time; however, only those that are received on or before August 19, 2016, may be considered when the Interagency Working Group finalizes the plan.
Atlantic Highly Migratory Species; Atlantic Bluefin Tuna Fisheries
NMFS is announcing a change in the dealer landings reporting methodology for Atlantic bluefin tuna (BFT) from use of handwritten and faxed landings reports to use of an electronic reporting system via the Internet. The online BFT dealer report system is now available, and NMFS has determined that expedited transition to this online system is in the public interest and necessary to maintain accurate reporting given issues with the software currently being used to process faxed documents. This rule specifies the effective date for use of the online system and elimination of the fax option. These requirements apply to all Highly Migratory Species (HMS) dealers with a valid Atlantic Tunas dealer permit issued under applicable regulations.
Magnuson-Stevens Act Provisions; Fisheries Off West Coast States; Pacific Coast Groundfish Fishery; Widow Rockfish Reallocation in the Individual Fishing Quota Fishery
In January 2011, NMFS implemented the trawl rationalization program, a type of catch share program, for the Pacific coast groundfish fishery's limited entry trawl fleet, which includes an individual fishing quota program for limited entry trawl participants. At the time of implementation, the widow rockfish stock was overfished and quota shares were allocated to quota share permit owners in the individual fishing quota program using an overfished species formula. Now that the widow rockfish stock has been rebuilt, NMFS proposes to reallocate quota shares to initial recipients based on a target species formula that will more closely represent the fishing history of permit owners when widow rockfish was a targeted species. Through this rule, NMFS also proposes to allow the trading of widow rockfish quota shares, set a deadline for divestiture in case the reallocation of widow rockfish puts any QS permit owner over an accumulation limit, and remove the daily vessel limit for widow rockfish since it is no longer an overfished species.
Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants: Final Listing Determination on the Proposal To List the Nassau Grouper as Threatened Under the Endangered Species Act
We, NMFS, are publishing this final rule to implement our determination to list the Nassau grouper (Epinephelus striatus) as threatened under the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended (ESA). We have completed a status review of the Nassau grouper in response to a petition submitted by WildEarth Guardians. After reviewing the best scientific and commercial data available, including the status review and comments received on the proposed rule, we have determined that the Nassau grouper meets the definition of a threatened species. While the species still occupies its historical range, overutilization through historical harvest has reduced the number of individuals which in turn has reduced the number and size of spawning aggregations. Although harvest of Nassau grouper has diminished due to management measures, the reduced number and size of spawning aggregations and the inadequacy of law enforcement continue to present extinction risk to Nassau grouper. Based on these considerations, described in more detail within this action, we conclude that the Nassau grouper is not currently in danger of extinction throughout all or a significant portion of its range, but is likely to become so within the foreseeable future. We also solicit information that may be relevant to the designation of critical habitat for Nassau grouper, including information on physical or biological features essential to the species' conservation, areas containing these features, and potential impacts of a designation.