Taking of Threatened or Endangered Marine Mammals Incidental to Commercial Fishing Operations; Proposed Issuance of Permit
We, the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), are proposing to issue a permit for a period of three years to authorize the incidental, but not intentional, take of two stocks of marine mammals listed as threatened or endangered under the Endangered Species Act (ESA), under the Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA), by the California (CA) thresher shark/swordfish drift gillnet fishery (>14 inch mesh) and the Washington (WA)/Oregon (OR)/CA sablefish pot fishery. In accordance with the MMPA, NMFS issues this permit provided that it can make the determination that: The incidental take will have a negligible impact on the affected stocks; a recovery plan for all affected stocks of threatened or endangered marine mammals has been developed or is being developed; and as required by the MMPA, a take reduction plan and monitoring program have been implemented, and vessels in the CA thresher shark/swordfish drift gillnet fishery (>14 inch mesh) and the WA/OR/CA sablefish pot fisheries are registered. We have made a preliminary determination that incidental taking from commercial fishing will have a negligible impact on the ESA-listed humpback whale (CA/OR/WA stock) and sperm whale (CA/ OR/WA stock). Recovery plans have been completed for humpback and sperm whales. We solicit public comments on the draft negligible impact determination (NID) and on the proposal to issue a permit to vessels that operate in these fisheries for the taking of affected endangered stocks of marine mammals.
Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Inseason Adjustment to the 2017 Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Pollock, Atka Mackerel, and Pacific Cod Total Allowable Catch Amounts
NMFS is adjusting the 2017 total allowable catch (TAC) amounts for the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands (BSAI) pollock, Atka mackerel, and Pacific cod fisheries. This action is necessary because NMFS has determined these TACs are incorrectly specified, and will ensure the BSAI pollock, Atka mackerel, and Pacific cod TACs are the appropriate amounts based on the best available scientific information. Also, NMFS is announcing the Aleutian Islands Catcher Vessel (CV) Harvest Set- Aside and Bering Sea Trawl CV A-Season Sector Limitation will not be in effect for 2017, and TACs in this inseason adjustment will apply for 2017. This action is consistent with the goals and objectives of the Fishery Management Plan for Groundfish of the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Management Area.
Nominations for the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission Permanent Advisory Committee
NMFS, on behalf of the Secretary of Commerce, is seeking nominations for the advisory committee established under the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Convention Implementation Act (Act). The Permanent Advisory Committee, composed of individuals from groups concerned with the fisheries covered by the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Convention (Convention), will be given the opportunity to provide input to the United States Commissioners to the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission (Commission) regarding the deliberations and decisions of the Commission.
List of Foreign Fisheries
NMFS is seeking information on foreign commercial fishing operations that export fish and fish products to the United States and the level of incidental and intentional mortality and serious injury of marine mammals in those fisheries. NMFS will use this information to identify harvesting nations with commercial fishing operations that export fish and fish products to the United States and classify those fisheries based on their frequency of marine mammal interactions as either ``exempt'' or ``export'' fisheries.