Western and Central Pacific Fisheries for Highly Migratory Species; 2016 Bigeye Tuna Longline Fishery Closure
NMFS is closing the U.S. pelagic longline fishery for bigeye tuna in the western and central Pacific Ocean because the fishery has reached the 2016 catch limit. This action is necessary to ensure compliance with NMFS regulations that implement decisions of the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission (WCPFC).
Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council; Public Meeting
The Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council will hold a meeting of its Standing and Reef Fish Scientific and Statistical Committees (SSC) via Webinar.
Science Advisory Board; Meetings
The Science Advisory Board (SAB) was established by a Decision Memorandum dated September 25, 1997, and is the only Federal Advisory Committee with responsibility to advise the Under Secretary of Commerce for Oceans and Atmosphere on strategies for research, education, and application of science to operations and information services. SAB activities and advice provide necessary input to ensure that National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) science programs are of the highest quality and provide optimal support to resource management. Time and Date: The meeting will be held Tuesday August 2 from 9:15 a.m. CDT to 5:30 p.m. CDT and on Wednesday August 3 from 8:15 a.m. CDT to 1:30 p.m. CDT. These times and the agenda topics described below are subject to change. Please refer to the Web page http:// www.sab.noaa.gov/Meetings/meetings.html for the most up-to-date meeting times and agenda. Place: The meeting will be held at the Bryant Conference Center, 240 Paul W. Bryant Dr., Tuscaloosa, Alabama. Please check the SAB Web site http://www.sab.noaa.gov/Meetings/meetings.html for directions to the meeting location. Status: The meeting will be open to public participation with a 15- minute public comment period on August 2 from 12:30-12:45 p.m. CDT (check Web site to confirm time). The SAB expects that public statements presented at its meetings will not be repetitive of previously submitted verbal or written statements. In general, each individual or group making a verbal presentation will be limited to a total time of two (2) minutes. Individuals or groups planning to make a verbal presentation should contact the SAB Acting Executive Director by July 26, 2016 to schedule their presentation. Written comments should be received in the SAB Executive Director's Office by July 26, 2016, to provide sufficient time for SAB review. Written comments received by the SAB Executive Director after July 26, 2016, will be distributed to the SAB, but may not be reviewed prior to the meeting date. Seating at the meeting will be available on a first-come, first-served basis. Special Accommodations: These meetings are physically accessible to people with disabilities. Requests for special accommodations may be directed no later than 12:00 p.m. on July 26, 2016, to Dr. Cynthia Decker, SAB Executive Director, SSMC3, Room 11230, 1315 East-West Highway, Silver Spring, MD 20910; Email: Cynthia.Decker@noaa.gov. Matters To Be Considered: The meeting will include the following topics: (1) Report on Arctic Research Review from the Ecosystem Sciences and Management Working Group; (2) Updates from the NOAA Administrator and Chief Scientist; (3) NOAA Response to the SAB GOES-R Level 0 Data report; (4) SAB Strategy Discussion and Implications for NOAA; (5) Discussion of SAB Issue Papers; and (6) Discussion of Working Group and SAB Concepts of Operations.
Magnuson-Stevens Act Provisions; General Provisions for Domestic Fisheries; Application for Exempted Fishing Permits
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. The Exempted Fishing Permit would allow one commercial fishing vessel to fish outside of the summer flounder, scup, and black sea bass regulations in support of research conducted by the Cornell Cooperative Extension. These exemptions would enable research designed to quantify codend mesh selectivity for summer flounder, black sea bass, and scup. 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; Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Crab Rationalization Cost Recovery Program
NMFS publishes notification of a 1.60 percent fee for cost recovery under the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Crab Rationalization Program. This action is intended to provide holders of crab allocations with the fee percentage for the 2016/2017 crab fishing year so they can calculate the required payment for cost recovery fees that must be submitted by July 31, 2017.
Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Reapportionment of the 2016 Gulf of Alaska Pacific Halibut Prohibited Species Catch Limits for the Trawl Deep-Water and Shallow-Water Fishery Categories
NMFS is reapportioning the seasonal apportionments of the 2016 Pacific halibut prohibited species catch (PSC) limits for the trawl deep-water and shallow-water species fishery categories in the Gulf of Alaska. This action is necessary to account for the actual halibut PSC use by the trawl deep-water and shallow-water species fishery categories from May 15, 2016, through June 30, 2016. This action is consistent with the goals and objectives of the Fishery Management Plan for Groundfish of the Gulf of Alaska.
Atlantic Coastal Fisheries Cooperative Management Act Provisions; General Provisions for Domestic Fisheries; Application for Exempted Fishing Permits
The Assistant Regional Administrator for Sustainable Fisheries, Greater Atlantic Region, NMFS, has made a preliminary determination that an Exempted Fishing Permit application from the Massachusetts Division of Marine Fisheries contains all of the required information and warrants further consideration. This Exempted Fishing Permit would allow a commercial fishing vessel to retain approximately 600 sublegal-sized male, and egg-bearing, v-notched, and sublegal-sized female lobsters during normal fishing operations in Lobster Management Area 2 for use in reproductive laboratory research being conducted by Massachusetts Division of Marine Fisheries. Regulations under the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act and the Atlantic Coastal Fisheries Cooperative 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 Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico, and South Atlantic; Snapper-Grouper Fishery Off the Southern Atlantic States; Regulatory Amendment 25
NMFS issues regulations to implement Regulatory Amendment 25 for the Fishery Management Plan (FMP) for the Snapper-Grouper Fishery of the South Atlantic Region (Regulatory Amendment 25) as prepared and submitted by the South Atlantic Fishery Management Council (Council). This final rule revises the commercial and recreational annual catch limits (ACLs), the commercial trip limit, and the recreational bag limit for blueline tilefish. Additionally, this final rule revises the black sea bass recreational bag limit and the commercial and recreational fishing years for yellowtail snapper. The purpose of this final rule for blueline tilefish is to increase the optimum yield (OY) and ACLs based on a revised acceptable biological catch (ABC) recommendation from the Council's Scientific and Statistical Committee (SSC). The purpose of this final rule is also to achieve OY for black sea bass, and adjust the fishing year for yellowtail snapper to better protect these species and allow for increased economic benefits to fishers.
Proposed Information Collection; Comment Request; Western Alaska Community Development Quota (CDQ) Program
The Department of Commerce, as part of its continuing effort to reduce paperwork and respondent burden, invites the general public and other Federal agencies to take this opportunity to comment on proposed and/or continuing information collections, as required by the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995.
Fisheries of the Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico, and South Atlantic; 2016 Commercial Accountability Measure and Closure for Gulf of Mexico Greater Amberjack
NMFS implements accountability measures (AMs) for commercial greater amberjack in the Gulf of Mexico (Gulf) reef fish fishery for the 2016 fishing year through this temporary rule. NMFS projects commercial landings for greater amberjack, will reach the commercial annual catch target (ACT) by July 17, 2016. Therefore, NMFS closes the commercial sector for greater amberjack in the Gulf on July 17, 2016, and it will remain closed until the start of the next fishing season on January 1, 2017. This closure is necessary to protect the Gulf greater amberjack resource.
South Atlantic Fishery Management Council; Public Meetings
The South Atlantic Fishery Management Council's (Council) Law Enforcement Advisory Panel and Law Enforcement Committee will meet jointly to address issues pertaining to enforcement of fisheries regulations in the South Atlantic Region.
North Pacific Fishery Management Council; Public Meeting
The North Pacific Fishery Management Council (Council) Electronic Monitoring Workgroup (EMWG) will hold a public meeting on July 26, 2016.
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 3 LCS other than sandbar sharks per vessel per trip to 45 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 45 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. This retention limit adjustment affects anyone with a directed shark limited access permit fishing for LCS in the Atlantic region.
Fisheries of the South Atlantic; Southeast Data, Assessment, and Review (SEDAR); Public Meeting
The SEDAR Data Best Practices Panel will develop, review, and evaluate best practice recommendations for SEDAR Data Workshops. See SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION.
Pacific Fishery Management Council; Public Meeting (Webinar)
The Pacific Fishery Management Council's (Pacific Council's) Coastal Pelagic Species Management Team (CPSMT) will meet via webinar to discuss potential management options for the northern anchovy. The meeting is open to the public.
International Whaling Commission; 66th Meeting; Nominations
This notice is a call for nominees for the U.S. Delegation to the October 2016 International Whaling Commission (IWC) meeting. The non-federal representative(s) selected as a result of this nomination process is (are) responsible for providing input and recommendations to the U.S. IWC Commissioner representing the positions of non- governmental organizations.
Privacy Act of 1974; System of Records
This notice announces the Department of Commerce's (Department's) proposal for a new system of records under the Privacy Act. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's (NOAA's) National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) is creating a new system of records for the Financial Services Division's financial assistance programs. Information will be collected from individuals and businesses under the authority of title XI of the Merchant Marine Act of 1936, as amended and codified, and the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act, as amended. This new record system is necessary to determine whether applicants for program financing, Fishermen's Contingency claims, or participants in Capital Construction Fund accounts or Fishery Capacity Reduction programs are eligible and are creditworthy.
Takes of Marine Mammals Incidental to Specified Activities; Taking Marine Mammals Incidental to the U.S. Air Force 86 Fighter Weapons Squadron Conducting Long Range Strike Weapon Systems Evaluation Program at the Pacific Missile Range Facility at Kauai, Hawaii
NMFS (hereinafter, ``we'' or ``our'') received an application from the U.S. Department of the Air Force, 86 Fighter Weapons Squadron (86 FWS), requesting an Incidental Harassment Authorization (IHA) to take marine mammals, by harassment, incidental to a Long Range Strike Weapon Systems Evaluation Program (LRS WSEP) in the Barking Sands Underwater Range Extension (BSURE) area of the Pacific Missile Range Facility (PMRF) at Kauai, Hawaii. 86 FWS's activities are military readiness activities per the Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA), as amended by the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year 2004. Pursuant to the MMPA, NMFS requests comments on its proposal to issue an IHA to 86 FWS to incidentally take, by Level A and Level B harassment, two species of marine mammals, the dwarf sperm whale (Kogia sima) and pygmy sperm whale (Kogia breviceps) during the specified activity.
Pacific Island Pelagic Fisheries; 2016 U.S. Territorial Longline Bigeye Tuna Catch Limits
NMFS proposes a 2016 limit of 2,000 metric tons (mt) of longline-caught bigeye tuna for each U.S. Pacific territory (American Samoa, Guam, and the Northern Mariana Islands). NMFS would allow each territory to allocate up to 1,000 mt each year to U.S. longline fishing vessels in a specified fishing agreement that meets established criteria. As an accountability measure, NMFS would monitor, attribute, and restrict (if necessary) catches of longline-caught bigeye tuna, including catches made under a specified fishing agreement. The proposed catch limits and accountability measures would support the long-term sustainability of fishery resources of the U.S. Pacific Islands.
Marine Mammals; Pinniped Removal Authority; Approval of Application
NMFS announces approval of an application for a Letter of Authorization (LOA) from the states of Oregon, Washington, and Idaho for lethal removal of individually identifiable predatory California sea lions (Zalophus californianus) in the vicinity of Bonneville Dam to minimize pinniped predation on Pacific salmon and steelhead (Oncorhynchus spp.) listed as threatened or endangered under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) in the Columbia River in Washington and Oregon. This authorization is pursuant to the Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA). NMFS also announces availability of decision documents and other information relied upon in making this determination.
Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Observer Coverage Requirements for Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Management Area Trawl Catcher Vessels
NMFS is proposing regulations to modify observer coverage requirements for catcher vessels participating in the trawl limited access fisheries in the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands management area (BSAI). If approved, this proposed rule would allow the owner of a trawl catcher vessel to request, on an annual basis, that NMFS place the vessel in the full observer coverage category for all directed fishing for groundfish using trawl gear in the BSAI in the following calendar year. This action is necessary to relieve vessel owners who request full observer coverage of the reporting requirements and observer fee liability associated with the partial observer coverage category. In addition, this proposed rule makes minor technical corrections to observer program regulations. This proposed rule is intended to promote the goals and objectives of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (Magnuson-Stevens Act), the Fishery Management Plan for Groundfish of the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Management Area (BSAI FMP), and other applicable laws.
Fisheries of the Northeastern United States; Atlantic Sea Scallop Fishery; Closure of the Mid-Atlantic Access Area to General Category Individual Fishing Quota Scallop Vessels
NMFS announces that the Mid-Atlantic Scallop Access Area will close to Limited Access General Category Individual Fishing Quota scallop vessels for the remainder of the 2016 fishing year as of the effective date below. After the effective date, no vessel issued a Limited Access General Category Individual Fishing Quota permit may fish for, possess, or land scallops from the Mid-Atlantic Scallop Access Area. Regulations require this action once it is projected that 100 percent of trips allocated to the Limited Access General Category Individual Fishing Quota scallop vessels for the Mid-Atlantic Scallop Access Area will be taken.
Endangered and Threatened Species; Removal of the Puget Sound/Georgia Basin Distinct Population Segment of Canary Rockfish From the Federal List of Threatened and Endangered Species, and Removal of Designated Critical Habitat, and Update and Amend the Listing Descriptions for the Yelloweye Rockfish DPS and Bocaccio DPS
We, NMFS, are issuing a proposed rule to remove the Puget Sound/Georgia Basin canary rockfish (Sebastes pinniger) Distinct Population Segment (DPS) from the Federal List of Threatened and Endangered Species and remove its critical habitat designation as recommended in the recent five-year review under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). We propose these actions based on newly obtained genetic information that demonstrates that the Puget Sound/Georgia Basin canary rockfish population does not meet the DPS criteria and therefore does not qualify for listing under the ESA. We also propose to update and amend the listing description for the Puget Sound/Georgia Basin yelloweye rockfish (S. ruberrimus) DPS based on a geographic description to include fish within specified boundaries. Further, although the current listing description is not based on boundaries, with this proposal we are also correcting a descriptive boundary for the DPS depicted on maps to include an area in the northern Johnstone Strait and Queen Charlotte Channel in waters of Canada consistent with newly obtained genetic information on yelloweye rockfish population grouping. We also propose to update and amend the listing description for the bocaccio DPS based on a geographic description and to include fish within specified boundaries.
Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill; Notice of Intent To Prepare an Environmental Impact Statement and Conduct Restoration Planning To Provide and Enhance Recreational Use in Alabama, and To Conduct Scoping
The Federal and state natural resource trustees for the Alabama Trustee Implementation Group for the Deepwater Horizon (DWH) oil spill (Alabama TIG) intend to prepare an EIS under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) to evaluate the environmental consequences of a range of restoration projects that the Alabama TIG will propose in an RP developed pursuant to the Oil Pollution Act (OPA) to compensate the public for lost recreational use opportunities in Alabama caused by the DWH oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. Restoration planning to compensate the public for lost recreational opportunities in Alabama is expected to be phased. This initial restoration planning activity will occur during the 2016 planning year. This restoration planning activity is occurring, in part, in accordance with the February 16, 2016, decision in Gulf Restoration Network v. Jewell, Case 1:15-cv-00191-CB-C (S.D. Ala.), in which the court enjoined the use of $58.5 million in DWH early restoration funds pending additional analysis under NEPA and OPA. This restoration planning activity fulfills the Federal and state natural resources trustees' responsibilities under this court order while looking more broadly at the potential to provide restoration for lost recreational use within Alabama. Accordingly, this initial recreational use restoration planning activity may develop restoration projects to compensate for the full remaining allocated amount of Alabama's recreational use injury caused by the DWH oil spill (approximately $83.5 million), or for some portion thereof. This restoration planning activity is proceeding in accordance with the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill: Final Programmatic Damage Assessment and Restoration Plan (PDARP) and Final Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement (PEIS). Information on the Restoration Type: Provide and Enhance Recreational Opportunities, as well as the OPA criteria against which project ideas are being evaluated, can be found in the PDARP/PEIS (http://www.gulfspillrestoration.noaa.gov/2016/04/trustees- settle-with-bp-for-natural-resource-injuries-to-the-gulf-of-m exico/) and in the Overview of the PDARP/PEIS (http:// www.gulfspillrestoration.noaa.gov/2016/04/trustees-settle-wit h-bp-for- natural-resource-injuries-to-the-gulf-of-mexico/). The Alabama TIG would like to hear your project ideas for addressing lost recreational use in Alabama and encourages you to submit restoration project ideas in response to this notice (see ADDRESSES for instructions). If you have submitted project ideas in the past, we will consider those projects along with additional ideas submitted at this time. The Trustees also seek public involvement in the scoping process and development of the recreational use RP/EIS. This notice explains the scoping process the Alabama TIG will use to gather input from the public. In addition to restoration project ideas, the Alabama TIG invites public comments regarding the scope, content, and any significant issues it should consider in the RP/EIS. Comments may be submitted at any time during the 30-day public scoping period via mail or the internet.
Takes of Marine Mammals Incidental to Specified Activities; Taking Marine Mammals Incidental to the San Francisco Ferry Terminal Expansion Project, South Basin Improvements Project
In accordance with the regulations implementing the Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA) as amended, notification is hereby given that we have issued an incidental harassment authorization (IHA) to The San Francisco Bay Area Water Emergency Transportation Authority (WETA) to incidentally harass marine mammals during construction activities associated with the San Francisco Ferry Terminal, South Basin Improvements project in San Francisco, CA.
Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council (MAFMC); Public Meeting
The Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council's (MAFMC's) Summer Flounder, Scup, and Black Sea Bass Monitoring Committee (MC) will hold a public meeting.
Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council (MAFMC); Public Meeting
The Ecosystem and Ocean Planning Committee (EOP) of the Mid- Atlantic Fishery Management Council (Council) will hold a meeting.
Endangered Species; File Nos. 17304, 18238, 18926, 19496, 19528, 19621, 19637, and 19716
Notice is hereby given that seven permits and one permit modification have been issued permits to take green (Chelonia mydas), hawksbill (Eretmochelys imbricata), Kemp's ridley (Lepidochelys kempii), leatherback (Dermochelys coriacea), loggerhead (Caretta caretta) and/or olive ridley (Lepidochelys olivacea) sea turtles for purposes of scientific research. See SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION for additional information regarding permittees.
Marine Mammals; File No. 20324
Notice is hereby given that a permit has been issued to Living Planet Productions/Silverback Films, 1 St Augustines Yard, Gaunts Lane, Bristol, BS1 5DE, United Kingdom [Responsible Party: Emily Lascelles], to conduct commercial or educational photography on bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus).
Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council (MAFMC); Public Meetings
The Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council (Council) will hold a webinar-based meeting with its for-hire advisory panel members and the public to gather input regarding an upcoming Council Omnibus Framework action that could require electronic reporting of for-hire Vessel Trip Reports (VTRs) starting January 1, 2017 for all Council- managed fisheries that require for-hire VTR reporting.
Notice of Intent to Prepare a Joint Environmental Impact Statement for a Programmatic Review of Harvest Actions for Salmon and Steelhead in the Columbia River Basin Related to U.S. v. Oregon
Pursuant to the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), this notice announces that NMFS and USFWS (together, the Services) intend to prepare a joint Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) conducting a programmatic review of harvest actions for salmon and steelhead in the action area, which is the Columbia River Basin (the Proposed Action), to inform the Services' proposed signing of the post-2017 U.S. v. Oregon Management Agreement and the Endangered Species Act (ESA) Section 7 consultation process. The Services provide this notice to advise other agencies and the public of their plans to analyze effects related to the action and to 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
NMFS has evaluated three Resource Management Plans (RMPs) submitted to NMFS pursuant to the limitation on take prohibitions for actions conducted under Limit 6 of the 4(d) Rule for salmon and steelhead promulgated under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). The RMPs specify the propagation of three species of salmon in the Dungeness River watershed of Washington State. This document serves to notify the public that NMFS, by delegated authority from the Secretary of Commerce, has determined pursuant to Limit 6 of the ESA 4(d) Rule for salmon and steelhead that implementing and enforcing the plans will not appreciably reduce the likelihood of survival and recovery of the Puget Sound Chinook salmon and Puget Sound steelhead.
North Pacific Fishery Management Council; Public Meeting
The North Pacific Fishery Management Council's Stock Structure and Spatial Management public workshop will meet July 21, 2016.