Taking and Importing Marine Mammals; Taking Marine Mammals Incidental to Space Vehicle Launch Operations
NMFS has received a request from the Alaska Aerospace Corporation (AAC) for authorization to take marine mammals incidental to conducting space vehicle launch operations over the course of five years, from February 1, 2017 through January 31, 2022. Pursuant to regulations implementing the Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA), NMFS is announcing receipt of the AAC's request for the development and implementation of regulations governing the incidental taking of marine mammals and inviting information, suggestions, and comments on the AAC's application and request.
Fisheries of the Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico, and South Atlantic; Atlantic Coastal Migratory Pelagic Fishery; Atlantic Dolphin and Wahoo Fishery; and South Atlantic Snapper-Grouper Fishery; Control Date
This proposed rule announces the establishment of a control date of June 15, 2016. The South Atlantic Fishery Management Council (Council) may use this control date if it decides to create restrictions limiting participation in the exclusive economic zone for the Federal charter vessel/headboat (for-hire) component of the recreational sectors of the coastal migratory pelagics fishery in the Atlantic, dolphin and wahoo fishery in the Atlantic, and snapper- grouper fishery in the South Atlantic. Anyone obtaining a Federal for- hire permit for these recreational sectors after the control date will not be assured of future access should a management regime that limits participation in the sector be prepared and implemented. This announcement is intended, in part, to promote awareness of the potential eligibility criteria for future access so as to discourage speculative entry into the Federal for-hire component of the recreational sectors of the Atlantic coastal migratory pelagics, Atlantic dolphin and wahoo, or the South Atlantic snapper-grouper fisheries, while the Council and NMFS consider whether and how access to these recreational sector components should be managed. NMFS invites comments on the establishment of this control date.
Fisheries of the Northeastern United States; Atlantic Mackerel, Squid, and Butterfish Fisheries; Amendment 16
NMFS proposes regulations to implement measures in Amendment 16 to the Atlantic Mackerel, Squid, and Butterfish Fishery Management Plan. The Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council developed Amendment 16 to protect deep-sea corals from the impacts of commercial fishing gear in the Mid-Atlantic. Amendment 16 management measures include: A deep-sea coral protection area; a prohibition on the use of bottom- tending commercial fishing gear within the deep-sea coral protection area; an exemption for American lobster and deep-sea red crab pots and traps from the gear prohibition; a vessel monitoring system requirement for limited access Illex squid moratorium permit holders; provisions for vessels transiting through the deep-sea coral area; and expanded framework adjustment provisions for future modifications to the deep- sea coral protection measures. These proposed management measures are intended to protect deep-sea coral and deep-sea coral habitat while promoting the sustainable utilization and conservation of several different marine resources managed under the authority of the Mid- Atlantic Fishery Management Council.
Fisheries of the Northeastern United States; Atlantic Bluefish Fishery; 2016-2018 Atlantic Bluefish Specifications; Correction
This action corrects the recreational harvest limit value published in the 2016-2018 Atlantic bluefish specifications final rule, which is effective August 1, 2016, through December 31, 2018. This action is necessary and intended to ensure the correct 2016-2018 bluefish recreational harvest limit values are provided to the public.
Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Revisions to the Regulations for Petitions
We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the National Marine Fisheries Service (Services), finalize changes to the regulations concerning petitions, to improve the content and specificity of petitions and to enhance the efficiency and effectiveness of the petition process to support species conservation. Our revisions to the regulations clarify and enhance the procedures by which the Services evaluate petitions under section 4(b)(3) of the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended. These revisions will also maximize the efficiency with which the Services process petitions, making the best use of available resources.