Fisheries of the Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico, and South Atlantic; Shrimp Fishery of the Gulf of Mexico; Amendment 17A
NMFS issues regulations to implement Amendment 17A to the Fishery Management Plan for the Shrimp Fishery of the Gulf of Mexico (FMP), as prepared and submitted by the Gulf of Mexico (Gulf) Fishery Management Council (Council). This final rule extends the current Gulf commercial shrimp permit moratorium for 10 more years. The intent of this final rule and Amendment 17A is to protect federally managed Gulf shrimp stocks while promoting catch efficiency, economic efficiency, and stability in the fishery.
Evaluation of State Coastal Management Programs
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Office for Coastal Management will hold a second public meeting to solicit comments on the performance evaluation of the Oregon Coastal Management Program.
National Estuarine Research Reserve System
Under 15 CFR 921.33(d), notice is hereby given that the Stewardship Division, Office for Coastal Management, National Ocean Service, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce approves the revised Management Plan for Padilla Bay, Washington National Estuarine Research Reserve Management Plan. In accordance with 15 CFR 921.33(c), the Padilla Bay Reserve revised its Management Plan, which will replace the plan previously approved in 2008. The revised Management Plan outlines the administrative structure; the research/monitoring, stewardship, education, and training programs of the Reserve; and the plans for future land acquisition and facility development to support Reserve operations. The Padilla Bay Reserve takes an integrated approach to management, linking research, education, coastal training, and stewardship functions. The Reserve has outlined how it will manage administration and its core program providing detailed actions that will enable it to accomplish specific goals and objectives. Since the last Management Plan, the Reserve has built out its core programs and monitoring infrastructure; conducted an educational market analysis and needs assessment to better meet teacher needs and underserved audiences; developed a Reserve Disaster Response Plan; and improved public access to the Reserve through construction of a new boat launch ramp and enhanced trails. On March 10, 2016, NOAA issued a notice of a thirty day public comment period for the Padilla Bay Reserve revised plan (81 FR 12716). Responses to the written and oral comments received, and an explanation of how comments were incorporated into the final revised plan, are available in Appendix G of the revised plan. Since the last management plan was approved in 2008, the Padilla Bay Reserve has acquired an additional 110 acres of tidelands inside the Reserve boundary. With the approval of this management plan, the Padilla Bay Reserve will increase their total acreage to 11,966. The change is attributable to the recent acquisitions of several parcels by the Reserve state agency, totaling 110 acres. All of the proposed additions are owned by the Washington Department of Ecology and will be managed for long-term protection and conservation value. These parcels have high ecological value and will enhance the Reserve's ability to provide increased opportunities for research, education, and stewardship. The revised Management Plan will serve as the guiding document for the expanded 11,966 acre Padilla Bay Reserve. View the Padilla Bay, Washington Reserve Management Plan at http:// www.padillabay.gov/pdfs/ManagementPlan_2016-2020.pdf. The impacts of the revised management plan have not changed and the initial Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) prepared at the time of designation is still valid. NOAA determined that the revision of the management plan will not have a significant effect on the human environment and therefore qualifies for a categorical exclusion under NOAA Administrative Order 216-6. An environmental assessment will not be prepared.
Threatened Species; Take of Steelhead
Notice is hereby given that NMFS has received an application from Stillwater Sciences for one U.S. Endangered Species Act (ESA) section 10(a)1(A) scientific enhancement permit (permit 20085) to conduct invasive species removal from a southern California watershed (Chorro Creek). Proposed activities within the requested permit are expected to affect the threatened Southern Central California Coast (SCCC) Distinct Population Segment of steelhead (Oncorhynchus mykiss). The public is hereby notified that the application for Permit 20085 is available for review and comment before NMFS either approves or disapproves the application.
Determination of Overfishing or an Overfished Condition
This action serves as a notice that NMFS, on behalf of the Secretary of Commerce (Secretary), has found that the Atlantic bigeye tuna stock is subject to overfishing. In addition, Gulf of Mexico gray triggerfish and Gulf of Mexico red snapper continue to be overfished. NMFS, on behalf of the Secretary, notifies the appropriate fishery management council (Council) whenever it determines that overfishing is occurring, a stock is in an overfished condition, a stock is approaching an overfished condition, or when a rebuilding plan has not resulted in adequate progress toward ending overfishing and rebuilding affected fish stocks.
International Affairs; Antarctic Marine Living Resources Convention Act
NMFS proposes revising the regulations that implement conservation measures adopted by the Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR or Commission). These revisions would be in addition to those proposed on December 29, 2015, that would revise procedures and requirements for filing import, export, and re-export documentation for certain fishery products, to integrate the collection of trade documentation within the government- wide International Trade Data System (ITDS) and require electronic information collection. The purposes of the revisions in this proposed rule are to streamline and clarify the regulations, shift deadlines for advance notice of intended fishing activities, distinguish between first receivers and dealers of Antarctic marine living resources (AMLR), reduce the time for advance notice of imports of Dissostichus species, and add transshipment notification requirements. The sections of these regulations would be reorganized to group requirements related to the trade of Antarctic marine living resources and those that apply to fishing activities. Additionally, this action would update the regulations to reflect Commission adopted revisions to existing conservation measures and changes made to the Antarctic Marine Living Resources Convention Act through the Illegal, Unreported, and Unregulated Fishing Enforcement Act of 2015.
Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act Provisions; Fisheries of the Northeastern United States; Amendment 19 to the Atlantic Sea Scallop Fishery Management Plan
The New England Fishery Management Council has submitted to NMFS Amendment 19 to the Atlantic Sea Scallop Fishery Management Plan which proposes to incorporate a specifications process into the Atlantic Sea Scallop Fishery Management Plan and to change the start of the fishing year from March 1 to April 1. The ability to develop specifications to set annual or biennial allocations would allow for a more timely process for setting annual allocations than currently possible with framework adjustments. By adjusting the start of the scallop fishing year from March 1 to April 1, NMFS would be able to implement simple specification actions at the start of the fishing year on a more consistent basis. NMFS requests public comments on whether NMFS should approve this amendment and the draft Environmental Assessment incorporated in the amendment.
Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council (MAFMC); Meeting
The Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council's (MAFMC) Ecosystem and Ocean Planning Committee will hold a public meeting.
Fisheries Off West Coast States; Coastal Pelagic Species Fisheries; Annual Specifications; Correction
This document corrects a typographical error in the ADDRESSES section to a proposed rule published on June 23, 2016.
Taking and Importing Marine Mammals; Taking Marine Mammals Incidental to Seismic Surveys in Cook Inlet, Alaska
NMFS is issuing regulations governing related Letters of Authorization (LOAs) in response to a request from Apache Alaska Corporation (Apache) for authorization to take marine mammals, by harassment, incidental to its oil and gas exploration seismic survey program in Cook Inlet, Alaska. This action will put the applicant into compliance with the Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA) and minimize impacts to marine mammals in Cook Inlet.
Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Management Area; Amendment 113
The North Pacific Fishery Management Council (Council) has submitted Amendment 113 to the Fishery Management Plan for Groundfish of the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Management Area (FMP) to the Secretary of Commerce (Secretary) for review. If approved, Amendment 113 to the FMP would modify the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands (BSAI) Pacific cod fishery to set aside a portion of the Aleutian Islands Pacific cod total allowable catch (TAC) for harvest by vessels directed fishing for Aleutian Islands Pacific cod and delivering their catch for processing to shoreside processors located on land west of 170 W. longitude in the Aleutian Islands (Aleutian Islands shoreplants). The harvest set-aside would apply only if specific notification and performance requirements are met, and only during the first few months of the fishing year. This harvest set-aside would provide the opportunity for catcher vessels operating in the Aleutian Islands Pacific cod fishery, Aleutian Islands shoreplants, and the communities where Aleutian Islands shoreplants are located to receive benefits from the Aleutian Islands Pacific cod fishery, while the notification and performance requirements would preserve an opportunity for the complete harvest of the BSAI Pacific cod resource. Amendment 113 is intended to promote the goals and objectives of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act, the FMP, and other applicable laws.
Reef Fish Fishery of the Gulf of Mexico; 2016 Recreational Accountability Measures and Closure for Gulf of Mexico Gray Triggerfish
NMFS implements accountability measures (AMs) for the gray triggerfish recreational sector in the exclusive economic zone (EEZ) of the Gulf of Mexico (Gulf) for the 2016 fishing year through this temporary rule. NMFS has determined that the 2015 recreational annual catch limit (ACL) for Gulf gray triggerfish was exceeded; therefore, NMFS reduces the gray triggerfish recreational ACL and annual catch target (ACT) in 2016. NMFS has also determined that the recreational ACT for Gulf gray triggerfish was reached prior to the June 1 annual season closure. Therefore, the gray triggerfish recreational season in the Gulf EEZ will remain closed and will not be re-opening on August 1, 2016. This closure is necessary to protect the Gulf gray triggerfish resource.
Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council; Public Meeting
The Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council will hold a joint meeting of its Shrimp Advisory Panel (AP), Coral Advisory Panel, and Coral Statistical and Scientific Committee (SSC).
Western Pacific Fishery Management Council; Public Meetings
The Western Pacific Fishery Management Council (Council) will hold its 167th meeting by teleconference and webinar to discuss and make recommendations on fishery management issues in the Western Pacific Region.
New England Fishery Management Council; Public Meeting
The New England Fishery Management Council (Council) is scheduling a public meeting of its Groundfish 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.
New England Fishery Management Council; Public Meeting
The New England Fishery Management Council (Council) is scheduling a public meeting of its Recreational Advisory Panel 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 Fishery Management Council; Webinar
The Pacific Fishery Management Council's (Pacific Council's) Scientific and Statistical Committee (SSC) will hold a webinar to approve new overfishing limit (OFL) estimates for Pacific ocean perch and to discuss plans for two upcoming workshops. The webinar is open to the public.
International Fisheries; Pacific Tuna Fisheries; 2016 Bigeye Tuna Longline Fishery Closure in the Eastern Pacific Ocean
NMFS is temporarily closing the U.S. pelagic longline fishery for bigeye tuna for vessels over 24 meters in overall length in the eastern Pacific Ocean (EPO) through December 31, 2016, because the 2016 catch limit of 500 metric tons is expected to be reached. This action is necessary to prevent the fishery from exceeding the applicable catch limit established by the Inter-American Tropical Tuna Commission (IATTC) in Resolution C-13-01 (Multiannual Program for the Conservation of Tuna in the Eastern Pacific Ocean During 2014-2016).
Fisheries of the Northeastern United States; Northeast Multispecies Fishery; Georges Bank Cod Trimester Total Allowable Catch Area Closure for the Common Pool Fishery
This action closes the Georges Bank Cod Trimester Total Allowable Catch Area to Northeast multispecies common pool vessels fishing with trawl gear, sink gillnet gear, and longline/hook gear for the remainder of Trimester 1, through August 31, 2016. The closure is required by regulation because the common pool fishery has caught 90 percent of its Trimester 1 quota for Georges Bank cod. This closure is intended to prevent an overage of the common pool's quota for this stock.This action is effective July 13, 2016, through August 31, 2016.
South Atlantic Fishery Management Council (SAFMC); Public Meetings
The South Atlantic Fishery Management Council (Council) will hold a series of public hearings pertaining to Framework Amendment 4 to the Coastal Migratory Pelagic (CMP) Fishery Management Plan for the Gulf of Mexico and South Atlantic addressing management measures for Atlantic cobia in federal waters, and Amendment 41 to the Snapper Grouper Fishery Management Plan for the South Atlantic addressing measures for mutton snapper in federal waters. Scoping comments will also be accepted for options being considered in Joint Dolphin Wahoo Amendment 10 and Snapper Grouper Amendment 44 to address allocations for dolphin fish and yellowtail snapper in federal waters. Question and Answer sessions for Framework Amendment 4 to the CMP Fishery Management Plan and for Amendment 41 to the Snapper Grouper Fishery Management Plan will also be held via webinar. A Question and Answer session for Joint Dolphin Wahoo Amendment 10 and Snapper Grouper Amendment 44 will be held as part of the scoping session.
Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council (MAFMC); Public Meeting
The Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council's (Council's) Summer Flounder, Scup, and Black Sea Bass Advisory Panel will hold a public meeting, jointly with the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission's (ASMFC) Summer Flounder, Scup, and Black Sea Bass Advisory Panel.
Western and Central Pacific Fisheries for Highly Migratory Species; 2016 Bigeye Tuna Longline Fishery Closure
NMFS is closing the U.S. pelagic longline fishery for bigeye tuna in the western and central Pacific Ocean because the fishery has reached the 2016 catch limit. This action is necessary to ensure compliance with NMFS regulations that implement decisions of the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission (WCPFC).
Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council; Public Meeting
The Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council will hold a meeting of its Standing and Reef Fish Scientific and Statistical Committees (SSC) via Webinar.
Science Advisory Board; Meetings
The Science Advisory Board (SAB) was established by a Decision Memorandum dated September 25, 1997, and is the only Federal Advisory Committee with responsibility to advise the Under Secretary of Commerce for Oceans and Atmosphere on strategies for research, education, and application of science to operations and information services. SAB activities and advice provide necessary input to ensure that National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) science programs are of the highest quality and provide optimal support to resource management. Time and Date: The meeting will be held Tuesday August 2 from 9:15 a.m. CDT to 5:30 p.m. CDT and on Wednesday August 3 from 8:15 a.m. CDT to 1:30 p.m. CDT. These times and the agenda topics described below are subject to change. Please refer to the Web page http:// www.sab.noaa.gov/Meetings/meetings.html for the most up-to-date meeting times and agenda. Place: The meeting will be held at the Bryant Conference Center, 240 Paul W. Bryant Dr., Tuscaloosa, Alabama. Please check the SAB Web site http://www.sab.noaa.gov/Meetings/meetings.html for directions to the meeting location. Status: The meeting will be open to public participation with a 15- minute public comment period on August 2 from 12:30-12:45 p.m. CDT (check Web site to confirm time). The SAB expects that public statements presented at its meetings will not be repetitive of previously submitted verbal or written statements. In general, each individual or group making a verbal presentation will be limited to a total time of two (2) minutes. Individuals or groups planning to make a verbal presentation should contact the SAB Acting Executive Director by July 26, 2016 to schedule their presentation. Written comments should be received in the SAB Executive Director's Office by July 26, 2016, to provide sufficient time for SAB review. Written comments received by the SAB Executive Director after July 26, 2016, will be distributed to the SAB, but may not be reviewed prior to the meeting date. Seating at the meeting will be available on a first-come, first-served basis. Special Accommodations: These meetings are physically accessible to people with disabilities. Requests for special accommodations may be directed no later than 12:00 p.m. on July 26, 2016, to Dr. Cynthia Decker, SAB Executive Director, SSMC3, Room 11230, 1315 East-West Highway, Silver Spring, MD 20910; Email: Cynthia.Decker@noaa.gov. Matters To Be Considered: The meeting will include the following topics: (1) Report on Arctic Research Review from the Ecosystem Sciences and Management Working Group; (2) Updates from the NOAA Administrator and Chief Scientist; (3) NOAA Response to the SAB GOES-R Level 0 Data report; (4) SAB Strategy Discussion and Implications for NOAA; (5) Discussion of SAB Issue Papers; and (6) Discussion of Working Group and SAB Concepts of Operations.
Magnuson-Stevens Act Provisions; General Provisions for Domestic Fisheries; Application for Exempted Fishing Permits
The Assistant Regional Administrator for Sustainable Fisheries, Greater Atlantic Region, NMFS, has made a preliminary determination that an Exempted Fishing Permit application contains all of the required information and warrants further consideration. The Exempted Fishing Permit would allow one commercial fishing vessel to fish outside of the summer flounder, scup, and black sea bass regulations in support of research conducted by the Cornell Cooperative Extension. These exemptions would enable research designed to quantify codend mesh selectivity for summer flounder, black sea bass, and scup. Regulations under the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act require publication of this notification to provide interested parties the opportunity to comment on applications for proposed Exempted Fishing Permits.
Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Crab Rationalization Cost Recovery Program
NMFS publishes notification of a 1.60 percent fee for cost recovery under the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Crab Rationalization Program. This action is intended to provide holders of crab allocations with the fee percentage for the 2016/2017 crab fishing year so they can calculate the required payment for cost recovery fees that must be submitted by July 31, 2017.
Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Reapportionment of the 2016 Gulf of Alaska Pacific Halibut Prohibited Species Catch Limits for the Trawl Deep-Water and Shallow-Water Fishery Categories
NMFS is reapportioning the seasonal apportionments of the 2016 Pacific halibut prohibited species catch (PSC) limits for the trawl deep-water and shallow-water species fishery categories in the Gulf of Alaska. This action is necessary to account for the actual halibut PSC use by the trawl deep-water and shallow-water species fishery categories from May 15, 2016, through June 30, 2016. This action is consistent with the goals and objectives of the Fishery Management Plan for Groundfish of the Gulf of Alaska.
Atlantic Coastal Fisheries Cooperative Management Act Provisions; General Provisions for Domestic Fisheries; Application for Exempted Fishing Permits
The Assistant Regional Administrator for Sustainable Fisheries, Greater Atlantic Region, NMFS, has made a preliminary determination that an Exempted Fishing Permit application from the Massachusetts Division of Marine Fisheries contains all of the required information and warrants further consideration. This Exempted Fishing Permit would allow a commercial fishing vessel to retain approximately 600 sublegal-sized male, and egg-bearing, v-notched, and sublegal-sized female lobsters during normal fishing operations in Lobster Management Area 2 for use in reproductive laboratory research being conducted by Massachusetts Division of Marine Fisheries. Regulations under the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act and the Atlantic Coastal Fisheries Cooperative Management Act require publication of this notification to provide interested parties the opportunity to comment on applications for proposed Exempted Fishing Permits.
Fisheries of the Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico, and South Atlantic; Snapper-Grouper Fishery Off the Southern Atlantic States; Regulatory Amendment 25
NMFS issues regulations to implement Regulatory Amendment 25 for the Fishery Management Plan (FMP) for the Snapper-Grouper Fishery of the South Atlantic Region (Regulatory Amendment 25) as prepared and submitted by the South Atlantic Fishery Management Council (Council). This final rule revises the commercial and recreational annual catch limits (ACLs), the commercial trip limit, and the recreational bag limit for blueline tilefish. Additionally, this final rule revises the black sea bass recreational bag limit and the commercial and recreational fishing years for yellowtail snapper. The purpose of this final rule for blueline tilefish is to increase the optimum yield (OY) and ACLs based on a revised acceptable biological catch (ABC) recommendation from the Council's Scientific and Statistical Committee (SSC). The purpose of this final rule is also to achieve OY for black sea bass, and adjust the fishing year for yellowtail snapper to better protect these species and allow for increased economic benefits to fishers.
Proposed Information Collection; Comment Request; Western Alaska Community Development Quota (CDQ) Program
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 take this opportunity to comment on proposed and/or continuing information collections, as required by the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995.
Fisheries of the Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico, and South Atlantic; 2016 Commercial Accountability Measure and Closure for Gulf of Mexico Greater Amberjack
NMFS implements accountability measures (AMs) for commercial greater amberjack in the Gulf of Mexico (Gulf) reef fish fishery for the 2016 fishing year through this temporary rule. NMFS projects commercial landings for greater amberjack, will reach the commercial annual catch target (ACT) by July 17, 2016. Therefore, NMFS closes the commercial sector for greater amberjack in the Gulf on July 17, 2016, and it will remain closed until the start of the next fishing season on January 1, 2017. This closure is necessary to protect the Gulf greater amberjack resource.
South Atlantic Fishery Management Council; Public Meetings
The South Atlantic Fishery Management Council's (Council) Law Enforcement Advisory Panel and Law Enforcement Committee will meet jointly to address issues pertaining to enforcement of fisheries regulations in the South Atlantic Region.
North Pacific Fishery Management Council; Public Meeting
The North Pacific Fishery Management Council (Council) Electronic Monitoring Workgroup (EMWG) will hold a public meeting on July 26, 2016.
Atlantic Highly Migratory Species; Commercial Aggregated Large Coastal Shark and Hammerhead Shark Management Group Retention Limit Adjustment
NMFS is adjusting the commercial aggregated large coastal shark (LCS) and hammerhead shark management group retention limit for directed shark limited access permit holders in the Atlantic region from 3 LCS other than sandbar sharks per vessel per trip to 45 LCS other than sandbar sharks per vessel per trip. This action is based on consideration of the regulatory determination criteria regarding inseason adjustments. The retention limit will remain at 45 LCS other than sandbar sharks per vessel per trip in the Atlantic region through the rest of the 2016 fishing season or until NMFS announces via a notice in the Federal Register another adjustment to the retention limit or a fishery closure. This retention limit adjustment affects anyone with a directed shark limited access permit fishing for LCS in the Atlantic region.
Fisheries of the South Atlantic; Southeast Data, Assessment, and Review (SEDAR); Public Meeting
The SEDAR Data Best Practices Panel will develop, review, and evaluate best practice recommendations for SEDAR Data Workshops. See SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION.
Pacific Fishery Management Council; Public Meeting (Webinar)
The Pacific Fishery Management Council's (Pacific Council's) Coastal Pelagic Species Management Team (CPSMT) will meet via webinar to discuss potential management options for the northern anchovy. The meeting is open to the public.
International Whaling Commission; 66th Meeting; Nominations
This notice is a call for nominees for the U.S. Delegation to the October 2016 International Whaling Commission (IWC) meeting. The non-federal representative(s) selected as a result of this nomination process is (are) responsible for providing input and recommendations to the U.S. IWC Commissioner representing the positions of non- governmental organizations.
Privacy Act of 1974; System of Records
This notice announces the Department of Commerce's (Department's) proposal for a new system of records under the Privacy Act. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's (NOAA's) National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) is creating a new system of records for the Financial Services Division's financial assistance programs. Information will be collected from individuals and businesses under the authority of title XI of the Merchant Marine Act of 1936, as amended and codified, and the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act, as amended. This new record system is necessary to determine whether applicants for program financing, Fishermen's Contingency claims, or participants in Capital Construction Fund accounts or Fishery Capacity Reduction programs are eligible and are creditworthy.
Takes of Marine Mammals Incidental to Specified Activities; Taking Marine Mammals Incidental to the U.S. Air Force 86 Fighter Weapons Squadron Conducting Long Range Strike Weapon Systems Evaluation Program at the Pacific Missile Range Facility at Kauai, Hawaii
NMFS (hereinafter, ``we'' or ``our'') received an application from the U.S. Department of the Air Force, 86 Fighter Weapons Squadron (86 FWS), requesting an Incidental Harassment Authorization (IHA) to take marine mammals, by harassment, incidental to a Long Range Strike Weapon Systems Evaluation Program (LRS WSEP) in the Barking Sands Underwater Range Extension (BSURE) area of the Pacific Missile Range Facility (PMRF) at Kauai, Hawaii. 86 FWS's activities are military readiness activities per the Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA), as amended by the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year 2004. Pursuant to the MMPA, NMFS requests comments on its proposal to issue an IHA to 86 FWS to incidentally take, by Level A and Level B harassment, two species of marine mammals, the dwarf sperm whale (Kogia sima) and pygmy sperm whale (Kogia breviceps) during the specified activity.
Pacific Island Pelagic Fisheries; 2016 U.S. Territorial Longline Bigeye Tuna Catch Limits
NMFS proposes a 2016 limit of 2,000 metric tons (mt) of longline-caught bigeye tuna for each U.S. Pacific territory (American Samoa, Guam, and the Northern Mariana Islands). NMFS would allow each territory to allocate up to 1,000 mt each year to U.S. longline fishing vessels in a specified fishing agreement that meets established criteria. As an accountability measure, NMFS would monitor, attribute, and restrict (if necessary) catches of longline-caught bigeye tuna, including catches made under a specified fishing agreement. The proposed catch limits and accountability measures would support the long-term sustainability of fishery resources of the U.S. Pacific Islands.
Marine Mammals; Pinniped Removal Authority; Approval of Application
NMFS announces approval of an application for a Letter of Authorization (LOA) from the states of Oregon, Washington, and Idaho for lethal removal of individually identifiable predatory California sea lions (Zalophus californianus) in the vicinity of Bonneville Dam to minimize pinniped predation on Pacific salmon and steelhead (Oncorhynchus spp.) listed as threatened or endangered under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) in the Columbia River in Washington and Oregon. This authorization is pursuant to the Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA). NMFS also announces availability of decision documents and other information relied upon in making this determination.
Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Observer Coverage Requirements for Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Management Area Trawl Catcher Vessels
NMFS is proposing 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). If approved, this proposed rule would allow 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. This action is 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. In addition, this proposed rule makes minor technical corrections to observer program regulations. This proposed 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.
Fisheries of the Northeastern United States; Atlantic Sea Scallop Fishery; Closure of the Mid-Atlantic Access Area to General Category Individual Fishing Quota Scallop Vessels
NMFS announces that the Mid-Atlantic Scallop Access Area will close to Limited Access General Category Individual Fishing Quota scallop vessels for the remainder of the 2016 fishing year as of the effective date below. After the effective date, no vessel issued a Limited Access General Category Individual Fishing Quota permit may fish for, possess, or land scallops from the Mid-Atlantic Scallop Access Area. Regulations require this action once it is projected that 100 percent of trips allocated to the Limited Access General Category Individual Fishing Quota scallop vessels for the Mid-Atlantic Scallop Access Area will be taken.
Endangered and Threatened Species; Removal of the Puget Sound/Georgia Basin Distinct Population Segment of Canary Rockfish From the Federal List of Threatened and Endangered Species, and Removal of Designated Critical Habitat, and Update and Amend the Listing Descriptions for the Yelloweye Rockfish DPS and Bocaccio DPS
We, NMFS, are issuing a proposed rule to remove the Puget Sound/Georgia Basin canary rockfish (Sebastes pinniger) Distinct Population Segment (DPS) from the Federal List of Threatened and Endangered Species and remove its critical habitat designation as recommended in the recent five-year review under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). We propose these actions based on newly obtained genetic information that demonstrates that the Puget Sound/Georgia Basin canary rockfish population does not meet the DPS criteria and therefore does not qualify for listing under the ESA. We also propose to update and amend the listing description for the Puget Sound/Georgia Basin yelloweye rockfish (S. ruberrimus) DPS based on a geographic description to include fish within specified boundaries. Further, although the current listing description is not based on boundaries, with this proposal we are also correcting a descriptive boundary for the DPS depicted on maps to include an area in the northern Johnstone Strait and Queen Charlotte Channel in waters of Canada consistent with newly obtained genetic information on yelloweye rockfish population grouping. We also propose to update and amend the listing description for the bocaccio DPS based on a geographic description and to include fish within specified boundaries.
Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill; Notice of Intent To Prepare an Environmental Impact Statement and Conduct Restoration Planning To Provide and Enhance Recreational Use in Alabama, and To Conduct Scoping
The Federal and state natural resource trustees for the Alabama Trustee Implementation Group for the Deepwater Horizon (DWH) oil spill (Alabama TIG) intend to prepare an EIS under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) to evaluate the environmental consequences of a range of restoration projects that the Alabama TIG will propose in an RP developed pursuant to the Oil Pollution Act (OPA) to compensate the public for lost recreational use opportunities in Alabama caused by the DWH oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. Restoration planning to compensate the public for lost recreational opportunities in Alabama is expected to be phased. This initial restoration planning activity will occur during the 2016 planning year. This restoration planning activity is occurring, in part, in accordance with the February 16, 2016, decision in Gulf Restoration Network v. Jewell, Case 1:15-cv-00191-CB-C (S.D. Ala.), in which the court enjoined the use of $58.5 million in DWH early restoration funds pending additional analysis under NEPA and OPA. This restoration planning activity fulfills the Federal and state natural resources trustees' responsibilities under this court order while looking more broadly at the potential to provide restoration for lost recreational use within Alabama. Accordingly, this initial recreational use restoration planning activity may develop restoration projects to compensate for the full remaining allocated amount of Alabama's recreational use injury caused by the DWH oil spill (approximately $83.5 million), or for some portion thereof. This restoration planning activity is proceeding in accordance with the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill: Final Programmatic Damage Assessment and Restoration Plan (PDARP) and Final Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement (PEIS). Information on the Restoration Type: Provide and Enhance Recreational Opportunities, as well as the OPA criteria against which project ideas are being evaluated, can be found in the PDARP/PEIS (http://www.gulfspillrestoration.noaa.gov/2016/04/trustees- settle-with-bp-for-natural-resource-injuries-to-the-gulf-of-m exico/) and in the Overview of the PDARP/PEIS (http:// www.gulfspillrestoration.noaa.gov/2016/04/trustees-settle-wit h-bp-for- natural-resource-injuries-to-the-gulf-of-mexico/). The Alabama TIG would like to hear your project ideas for addressing lost recreational use in Alabama and encourages you to submit restoration project ideas in response to this notice (see ADDRESSES for instructions). If you have submitted project ideas in the past, we will consider those projects along with additional ideas submitted at this time. The Trustees also seek public involvement in the scoping process and development of the recreational use RP/EIS. This notice explains the scoping process the Alabama TIG will use to gather input from the public. In addition to restoration project ideas, the Alabama TIG invites public comments regarding the scope, content, and any significant issues it should consider in the RP/EIS. Comments may be submitted at any time during the 30-day public scoping period via mail or the internet.
Takes of Marine Mammals Incidental to Specified Activities; Taking Marine Mammals Incidental to the San Francisco Ferry Terminal Expansion Project, South Basin Improvements Project
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 The San Francisco Bay Area Water Emergency Transportation Authority (WETA) to incidentally harass marine mammals during construction activities associated with the San Francisco Ferry Terminal, South Basin Improvements project in San Francisco, CA.