National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration August 24, 2016 – Federal Register Recent Federal Regulation Documents

Protective Regulations for Hawaiian Spinner Dolphins Under the Marine Mammal Protection Act
Document Number: 2016-20324
Type: Proposed Rule
Date: 2016-08-24
Agency: Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
We, the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), propose regulations under the Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA) to prohibit swimming with and approaching a Hawaiian spinner dolphin within 50 yards (45.7 m) (for persons, vessels, and objects), including approach by interception. These proposed regulatory measures are intended to prevent take of Hawaiian spinner dolphins from occurring in marine areas where viewing pressures are most prevalent; prohibitions would apply in waters within 2 nautical miles (nm; 3.7 km) of the Hawaiian Islands and in the waters between the islands of Lanai, Maui, and Kahoolawe. This proposed rule to establish 50-yard swim-with and approach regulations would help ensure public compliance by providing clear notice of prohibited conduct that results in take, including harassment and disturbance. Although unauthorized take of marine mammals, including harassment of spinner dolphins, already is and continues to be prohibited under the MMPA throughout their range, the purpose of this regulation is to identify and prohibit specific human activities that result in take (including harassment) of spinner dolphins, and thus reduce disturbance and disruption of important Hawaiian spinner dolphin behaviors in areas where human-dolphin interactions are most likely to occur. These proposed regulations would reduce take of Hawaiian spinner dolphins and the impact of human viewing and interaction on these animals in the Main Hawaiian Islands (MHI). We developed this proposed rule after considering comments submitted in response to an Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPR), as well as information received during the public scoping period for the Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS), from community meetings, and from a dedicated scientific research project. Although not currently part of this proposal, we are also considering whether additional management measures may be necessary and appropriate to protect Hawaiian spinner dolphins from take, especially in essential daytime habitats that are regularly targeted by humans for dolphin-directed activities. Accordingly, we are soliciting public comment on the proposed swim-with and approach regulations, as well as alternative management options discussed in this rule and in detail in the DEIS.
Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Atka Mackerel in the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Management Area
Document Number: 2016-20317
Type: Rule
Date: 2016-08-24
Agency: Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
NMFS is prohibiting directed fishing for Atka mackerel in the Central Aleutian district (CAI) of the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands management area (BSAI) by vessels participating in the BSAI trawl limited access fishery. This action is necessary to prevent exceeding the 2016 total allowable catch (TAC) of Atka mackerel in this area allocated to vessels participating in the BSAI trawl limited access fishery.
Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Pacific Ocean Perch in the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Management Area
Document Number: 2016-20308
Type: Rule
Date: 2016-08-24
Agency: Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
NMFS is prohibiting directed fishing for Pacific ocean perch in the Central Aleutian district (CAI) of the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands management area (BSAI) by vessels participating in the BSAI trawl limited access fishery. This action is necessary to prevent exceeding the 2016 total allowable catch (TAC) of Pacific ocean perch in the CAI allocated to vessels participating in the BSAI trawl limited access fishery.
Fisheries of the Economic Exclusive Zone Off Alaska; Deep-Water Species Fishery by Vessels Using Trawl Gear in the Gulf of Alaska
Document Number: 2016-20264
Type: Rule
Date: 2016-08-24
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 third seasonal apportionment of the Pacific halibut bycatch allowance specified for the trawl deep-water species fishery in the GOA has been reached.
Proposed Information Collection; Comment Request; Green Sturgeon ESA 4(d) Rule Take Exceptions and Exemptions
Document Number: 2016-20252
Type: Notice
Date: 2016-08-24
Agency: Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
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.
Takes of Marine Mammals Incidental to Specified Activities; Taking Marine Mammals Incidental to BlueCrest Alaska Operating LLC Drilling Activities at Cosmopolitan State Unit, Alaska, 2016
Document Number: 2016-20251
Type: Notice
Date: 2016-08-24
Agency: Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
Notice is hereby given that BlueCrest Alaska Operating, LLC (BlueCrest) has withdrawn its application for an IHA to take marine mammals, by harassment, incidental to conducting an oil and gas production drilling program in lower Cook Inlet, AK, on State of Alaska Oil and Gas Lease 384403 under the program name of Cosmopolitan State during the 2016 open water season. Accordingly, NMFS has withdrawn its related proposed IHA.
Atlantic Highly Migratory Species (HMS); Porbeagle Shark Management Measures
Document Number: 2016-20157
Type: Rule
Date: 2016-08-24
Agency: Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
This final rule implements the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas (ICCAT) Recommendation 15-06 regarding porbeagle sharks (Lamna nasus) caught in association with ICCAT fisheries. Recommendation 15-06 requires, among other things, fishing vessels to promptly release unharmed, to the extent practicable, porbeagle sharks caught in association with ICCAT fisheries when brought alive alongside for taking on board the vessel. This action affects fishermen fishing in the commercial highly migratory species (HMS) pelagic longline fishery and the HMS recreational fisheries for tunas, swordfish, and billfish in the Atlantic Ocean, including the Caribbean Sea and Gulf of Mexico. This action implements an ICCAT recommendation, consistent with the Atlantic Tunas Convention Act (ATCA), and will further domestic management objectives under the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (Magnuson-Stevens Act).