Fisheries of the Northeastern United States; Summer Flounder Fishery; Commercial Quota Harvested for the State of Connecticut
NMFS announces that the 2016 summer flounder commercial quota allocated to the State of Connecticut has been harvested. Vessels issued a commercial Federal fisheries permit for the summer flounder fishery may not land summer flounder in Connecticut for the remainder of calendar year 2016. Regulations governing the summer flounder fishery require publication of this notification to advise Connecticut that the quota has been harvested and to advise vessel permit holders and dealer permit holders that no Federal commercial quota is available for landing summer flounder in Connecticut.
Proposed Information Collection; Comment Request; Greater Atlantic Region Gear Identification
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 comment on continuing information collections, as required by the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995.
Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Inseason Adjustment to the 2017 Gulf of Alaska Pollock and Pacific Cod Total Allowable Catch Amounts
NMFS is adjusting the 2017 total allowable catch (TAC) amounts for the Gulf of Alaska (GOA) pollock and Pacific cod fisheries. This action is necessary because NMFS has determined these TACs are incorrectly specified, and will ensure the GOA pollock and Pacific cod TACs are the appropriate amounts based on the best available scientific information for pollock and Pacific cod in the GOA. This action is consistent with the goals and objectives of the Fishery Management Plan for Groundfish of the Gulf of Alaska.
Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Reallocation of Pacific Cod in the Central Regulatory Area of the Gulf of Alaska
NMFS is reallocating the projected unused amount of Pacific cod from catcher vessels using trawl gear to vessels using pot gear in the Central Regulatory Area of the Gulf of Alaska (GOA). This action is necessary to allow the 2016 total allowable catch of Pacific cod in the Central Regulatory Area of the GOA to be harvested.
Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Reallocation of Pacific Cod in the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Management Area
NMFS is reallocating the projected unused amount of Pacific cod from catcher vessels greater than or equal to 60 feet (18.3 meters (m)) length overall (LOA) using pot gear to catcher/processors (C/Ps) using hook-and-line gear in the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands (BSAI) management area. This action is necessary to allow the 2016 total allowable catch of Pacific cod to be harvested.
Fisheries of the Northeastern United States; Atlantic Surfclam and Ocean Quahog Fishery; 2017-2018 Fishing Quotas
This final rule implements status quo commercial quotas for the Atlantic surfclam and ocean quahog fisheries for 2017, suspends the minimum shell size for Atlantic surfclams for 2017, and provides projected status quo quotas for 2018. This action is necessary to establish allowable harvest levels of Atlantic surfclams and ocean quahogs that will prevent overfishing and allow harvesting of optimum yield.
Fisheries of the Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico, and South Atlantic; Shrimp Fishery of the Gulf of Mexico; Revision of Bycatch Reduction Device Testing Manual
In accordance with the framework procedures for adjusting management measures of the Fishery Management Plan for the Shrimp Fishery of the Gulf of Mexico (Gulf FMP), NMFS makes administrative revisions to the Bycatch Reduction Device Testing Manual (BRD Manual). The BRD Manual contains procedures for the testing and certification of BRDs for use in shrimp trawls in the exclusive economic zone (EEZ) in the Gulf of Mexico (Gulf) and South Atlantic. The changes to the BRD Manual remove outdated or obsolete data collection forms previously appended to the BRD Manual, and revise the text to make several procedural steps outlined in the BRD Manual clearer and easier to understand. The purpose of these revisions is to increase understanding of the BRD certification protocols.
Candidate Conservation Agreements With Assurances Policy
We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the National Marine Fisheries Service (Services when referring to both, and Service when referring to when the action is taken by one agency), announce revisions to the Candidate Conservation Agreements with Assurances policy under the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended. We added a definition of ``net conservation benefit'' to this policy and eliminated references to the confusing requirement of ``other necessary properties'' to clarify the level of conservation effort each agreement needs to include in order for the Services to approve an agreement. In a separate document published in today's Federal Register, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service changed its regulations regarding Candidate Conservation Agreements with Assurances to make them consistent with these changes to the policy.
Fisheries of the South Atlantic; Southeast Data, Assessment, and Review (SEDAR); Data Workshop for Atlantic blueline tilefish (Caulolatilus microps)
The SEDAR 50 assessment(s) of the Atlantic stock(s) of blueline tilefish will consist of a series of workshops and Webinars: Stock ID Work Group Meeting; Data Workshop; Assessment Workshop and Webinars; and a Review Workshop.
South Atlantic Fishery Management Council (Council)-Public Meetings
The South Atlantic Fishery Management Council (Council) will hold a series of public hearings/scoping meetings on four amendments to the Snapper Grouper Fishery Management Plan (FMP) for the South Atlantic Region: Amendment 43 addressing management options for red snapper and recreational reporting; Vision Blueprint Regulatory Amendment 26 addressing recreational management options based on the Council's Vision Blueprint for the Snapper Grouper Fishery; Vision Blueprint Regulatory Amendment 27 addressing commercial management options based on the Council's Vision Blueprint for the Snapper Grouper Fishery; and Amendment 44 addressing management measures for yellowtail snapper including allocations. Scoping comments will be accepted for Snapper Grouper Amendment 43 and the Vision Blueprint amendments. Public hearing comments will be accepted for Amendment 44. The Council will hold a Question & Answer Session via Webinar for measures proposed in Amendment 44 for yellowtail snapper and possible management actions pertaining to red snapper and recreational reporting to be addressed in Amendment 43.