Fisheries of the Northeastern United States; Atlantic Bluefish Fishery; Quota Transfer
NMFS announces its approval of the State of North Carolina transferring a portion of its 2016 commercial bluefish quota to the State of New York. This approval of the quota complies with the Atlantic Bluefish Fishery Management Plan quota transfer provision. This announcement also informs the public of the revised commercial quotas for North Carolina and New York.
Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Inseason Adjustment to the 2016 Gulf of Alaska Pollock Seasonal Apportionments
NMFS is adjusting the 2016 C seasonal apportionments of the total allowable catch (TAC) for pollock in the Gulf of Alaska (GOA) by re-apportioning unharvested pollock TAC in Statistical Areas 610, 620, and 630 of the GOA. This action is necessary to provide opportunity for harvest of the 2016 pollock TAC, consistent with the goals and objectives of the Fishery Management Plan for Groundfish of the Gulf of Alaska.
Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act
NMFS has completed a Draft Environmental Assessment (EA) to consider the potential impacts of authorizing an exempted fishing permit (EFP) for longline vessels to fish within the U.S. West Coast exclusive economic zone (EEZ).
Schedules for Atlantic Shark Identification Workshops and Protected Species Safe Handling, Release, and Identification Workshops
Free Atlantic Shark Identification Workshops and Protected Species Safe Handling, Release, and Identification Workshops will be held in October, November, and December of 2016. Certain fishermen and shark dealers are required to attend a workshop to meet regulatory requirements and to maintain valid permits. Specifically, the Atlantic Shark Identification Workshop is mandatory for all federally permitted Atlantic shark dealers. The Protected Species Safe Handling, Release, and Identification Workshop is mandatory for vessel owners and operators who use bottom longline, pelagic longline, or gillnet gear, and who have also been issued shark or swordfish limited access permits. Additional free workshops will be conducted during 2017 and will be announced in a future notice.
Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act Provisions; Fisheries of the Northeastern United States; Atlantic Mackerel, Squid, and Butterfish Fisheries; Amendment 16
NMFS announces that the Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council has submitted Amendment 16 to the Atlantic Mackerel, Squid, and Butterfish Fishery Management Plan, incorporating the Environmental Assessment and the Initial Regulatory Flexibility Analysis, for review by the Secretary of Commerce, and is requesting comments from the public. Amendment 16 would establish a deep-sea coral protection area in Mid-Atlantic waters where fishing vessels would be prohibited from using most fishing gear that contacts the ocean bottom. The Council developed Amendment 16 to protect deep- sea corals under the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act's discretionary provision for deep-sea coral protection. The coral protection measures would prevent expansion of fisheries using ocean bottom-tending fishing gear in areas where there is a high likelihood of deep-sea coral presence and would prevent damage to deep- sea corals in areas where they been observed.
New England Fishery Management Council; Public Meeting
The New England Fishery Management Council (Council) is scheduling a public meeting of its Ecosystem Based Fishery Management (EBFM) Committee to consider actions affecting New England fisheries in the exclusive economic zone (EEZ). Recommendations from this group will be brought to the full Council for formal consideration and action, if appropriate.
North Pacific Fishery Management Council; Public Meeting
The North Pacific Fishery Management Council (Council) Observer Advisory Committee (OAC) will meet in Seattle, WA.
North Pacific Fishery Management Council; Public Meeting
The North Pacific Fishery Management Council (Council) Crab Plan Team (CPT) will meet September 20 through September 23, 2016.
Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council; Public Meeting
The Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council will hold a one and a half day meeting of its Standing, Reef Fish, Shrimp, Coastal Migratory Pelagics Scientific and Statistical Committees (SSC).
Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act Provisions; Fisheries of the Northeastern United States; Northeast Skate Complex; Framework Adjustment 3; Correction
This action corrects two errors in the total allowable landing values specified in the final rule to implement Framework Adjustment 3 to the Northeast Skate Complex Fishery Management Plan published in the Federal Register on August 17, 2016.
Revisions to Framework Adjustment 55 to the Northeast Multispecies Fishery Management Plan and Sector Annual Catch Entitlements; Updated Annual Catch Limits for Sectors and the Common Pool for Fishing Year 2016
We, NMFS, are adjusting the 2016 fishing year sub-annual catch limits for commercial groundfish vessels, including sector allocations based on the final Northeast multispecies sector rosters submitted as of May 1, 2016. The revisions to 2016 catch limits are necessary to account for changes in the number of participants electing to fish in either sectors or the common pool fishery. These adjustments are routine and formulaic, and are required to match allocations to sector enrollment.
Solicitation for Members of the NOAA Science Advisory Board
NOAA is soliciting nominations for members of the NOAA Science Advisory Board (SAB). The SAB is the only Federal Advisory Committee with the responsibility to advise the Under Secretary of Commerce for Oceans and Atmosphere and NOAA Administrator on long- and short-range strategies for research, education, and application of science to resource management and environmental assessment and prediction. The SAB consists of approximately fifteen members reflecting the full breadth of NOAA's areas of responsibility and assists NOAA in maintaining a complete and accurate understanding of scientific issues critical to the agency's missions. Composition and Points of View: The Board will consist of approximately fifteen members, including a Chair, designated by the Under Secretary in accordance with FACA requirements. Members will be appointed for three-year terms, renewable once, and serve at the discretion of the Under Secretary. If a member resigns before the end of his or her first term, the vacancy appointment shall be for the remainder of the unexpired term, and shall be renewable twice if the unexpired term is less than one year. Members will be appointed as special government employees (SGEs) and will be subject to the ethical standards applicable to SGEs. Members are reimbursed for actual and reasonable travel and per diem expenses incurred in performing such duties but will not be reimbursed for their time. As a Federal Advisory Committee, the Board's membership is required to be balanced in terms of viewpoints represented and the functions to be performed as well as the interests of geographic regions of the country and the diverse sectors of U.S. society. The SAB meets in person three times each year, exclusive of teleconferences or subcommittee, task force, and working group meetings. Board members must be willing to serve as liaisons to SAB working groups and/or participate in periodic reviews of the NOAA Cooperative Institutes and overarching reviews of NOAA's research enterprise. Nominations: Interested persons may nominate themselves or third parties. Applications: An application is required to be considered for Board membership, regardless of whether a person is nominated by a third party or self-nominated. The application package must include: (1) The nominee's full name, title, institutional affiliation, and contact information; (2) the nominee's area(s) of expertise; (3) a short description of his/her qualifications relative to the kinds of advice being solicited by NOAA in this Notice; and (4) a current resume (maximum length four  pages).
Notice of Public Hearing and Availability of the Draft Environmental Impact Statement and Draft Management Plan for the Proposed Designation of the He`eia National Estuarine Research Reserve in Hawai`i
Notice is hereby given that, pursuant to the Coastal Zone Management Act, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Office for Coastal Management (OCM) is announcing a forty-five day public comment period and will hold a public hearing for the purpose of receiving comments on the Draft Environmental Impact Statement and Draft Management Plan (DEIS/DMP) prepared for the proposed designation of the He`eia National Estuarine Research Reserve in Hawai`i. The DMP addresses research, monitoring, education, and stewardship/cultural resource needs for the proposed reserve, and the DEIS analyzes alternatives to the proposed action along with their potential environmental impacts. The National Estuarine Research Reserve System (NERRS) is a federal-state partnership administered by NOAA. The system protects more than 1.3 million acres of estuarine habitat for long-term research, monitoring, education and stewardship throughout the coastal United States. Established by the Coastal Zone Management Act of 1972, as amended, each reserve is managed by a lead state agency or university, with input from local partners. NOAA provides funding and national programmatic guidance.