Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Big Skate in the Central Regulatory Area of the Gulf of Alaska
NMFS is prohibiting retention of big skate in the Central Regulatory Area of the Gulf of Alaska (GOA). This action is necessary because the 2016 total allowable catch of big skate in the Central Regulatory Area of the GOA will be reached.
Fishing Capacity Reduction Program for the Pacific Coast Groundfish Fishery
NMFS issues this notice to inform interested parties that the California Pink Shrimp sub-loan in the Pacific Coast Groundfish Capacity Reduction (Buyback) Program has been repaid. Therefore, Buyback fee collections on California Pink Shrimp sub-loan will cease for all landings after August 31, 2016.
Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council; Public Meeting
The Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council (Council) will hold a four-day meeting to consider actions affecting the Gulf of Mexico fisheries in the exclusive economic zone (EEZ).
New England Fishery Management Council; Public Meeting
The New England Fishery Management Council (Council) is scheduling a public meeting of its Scallop 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.
Pacific Island Fisheries; Aquaculture
NMFS, in coordination with the Western Pacific Fishery Management Council, intends to prepare a Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement (PEIS) to analyze the potential environmental impacts of a proposed Pacific Islands Region aquaculture management program and alternatives. The PEIS would support offshore aquaculture development, including appropriate management unit species for aquaculture, reasonably foreseeable types of offshore aquaculture operations, and permitting and reporting requirements for persons conducting aquaculture activities in Federal waters.
Fisheries Off West Coast States; Amendment 27 to the Pacific Coast Groundfish Fishery Management Plan
NMFS announces that the Pacific Fishery Management Council (Council) has submitted Amendment 27 to the Pacific Coast Groundfish Fishery Management Plan (PCGFMP) for Secretarial review. Amendment 27 would add deacon rockfish to the FMP, reclassifies big skate as an actively managed stock, add a new inseason management process for commercial and recreational in California, and several clarifications.
U.S. Integrated Ocean Observing System (IOOS®) Advisory Committee
Notice is hereby given of a meeting of the U.S. Integrated Ocean Observing System (IOOS[supreg]) Advisory Committee (Committee) in Seattle, WA and La Push, WA.
Takes of Marine Mammals Incidental to Specified Activities; Taking Marine Mammals Incidental to a Tidal Marsh Restoration Project
NMFS has received a request from the California Department of Fish and WildlifeCentral Region (CADFW) for authorization to take marine mammals incidental to construction activities as part of a tidal marsh restoration project within the Minhoto-Hester Marsh in Elkhorn Slough (Monterey, CA). Pursuant to the Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA), NMFS is requesting comments on its proposal to issue an incidental harassment authorization (IHA) to the CADFW to incidentally take marine mammals, by Level B harassment only, during the specified activity.
Taking of Marine Mammals Incidental to Specified Activities; Construction of the East Span of the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge
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 California Department of Transportation (CALTRANS) to incidentally harass, by Level B harassment only, seven species of marine mammals during activities associated with the East Span of the San Francisco- Oakland Bay Bridge (SFOBB) in the San Francisco Bay (SFB), California.
Fisheries of the Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico, and South Atlantic; 2016 Commercial Accountability Measures and Closure for South Atlantic Greater Amberjack
NMFS implements accountability measures (AMs) for commercial greater amberjack in the exclusive economic zone (EEZ) of the South Atlantic. NMFS projects commercial landings of greater amberjack will reach the commercial annual catch limit (ACL) by October 4, 2016. Therefore, NMFS closes the commercial sector for greater amberjack in the South Atlantic EEZ on October 4, 2016, and it will remain closed until the start of the next fishing year on March 1, 2017. This closure is necessary to protect the greater amberjack resource.
Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Observer Coverage Requirements for Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Management Area Trawl Catcher Vessels
NMFS issues 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). This final rule allows 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. These regulations are 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. Additionally, this final rule makes minor technical corrections to observer program regulations. This final 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.