Coastal Migratory Pelagic Resources of the Gulf of Mexico and South Atlantic; 2016-2017 Commercial Accountability Measures and Closure for King Mackerel in Western Zone of the Gulf of Mexico
NMFS implements accountability measures (AMs) for commercial king mackerel in the western zone of the Gulf of Mexico (Gulf) exclusive economic zone (EEZ) through this temporary rule. NMFS has determined that the commercial quota for king mackerel in the western zone of the Gulf EEZ will be reached by October 14, 2016. Therefore, NMFS closes the western zone of the Gulf EEZ to commercial king mackerel fishing on October 14, 2016. This closure is necessary to protect the Gulf king mackerel resource.
Fisheries of the Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico, and South Atlantic; Reef Fish Fishery of the Gulf of Mexico; Yellowtail Snapper Management Measures
NMFS proposes to implement management measures described in a framework action to the Fishery Management Plan for the Reef Fish Resources of the Gulf of Mexico (FMP), as prepared by the Gulf of Mexico (Gulf) Fishery Management Council (Gulf Council). If implemented, this proposed rule would revise the yellowtail snapper commercial and recreational fishing year and remove the requirement to use circle hooks for the commercial harvest of yellowtail snapper in the Gulf exclusive economic zone (EEZ) south of Cape Sable, Florida. The purpose of this proposed rule is to increase the operational efficiency of the yellowtail snapper component of the commercial reef fish fishery, achieve optimum yield, and decrease the regulatory burden of compliance with differing regulations established by separate regulatory agencies across the adjacent Gulf and South Atlantic jurisdictions.
Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act; General Provisions for Domestic Fisheries; Application for Exempted Fishing Permit
The Regional Administrator, NMFS West Coast Region, has determined that an application for an exempted fishing permit (EFP) warrants further consideration and requests public comment on the application. The application requests 2-year exemptions from various prohibitions under the Fishery Management Plan for U.S. West Coast Fisheries for Highly Migratory Species (HMS FMP) to test the effects and efficacy of using deep-set buoy gear (DSBG) to fish for swordfish and other highly migratory species (HMS) off the U.S. West Coast. This notice also announces NMFS' intent to extend two current DSBG EFPs through 2018 and also requests public comment on these EFPs.
Marine Fisheries Advisory Committee Meeting
This notice sets forth the proposed schedule and agenda of a forthcoming meeting of the Marine Fisheries Advisory Committee (MAFAC). The members will discuss and provide advice on issues outlined under SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION below.