Capital Construction Fund; Fishing Vessel Capital Construction Fund Procedures
NMFS hereby amends the Capital Construction Fund (CCF) regulations to eliminate provisions that no longer meet the needs of CCF participants, and to simplify and clarify the regulations to better implement the purposes of the underlying statute. These amendments eliminate the minimum cost for reconstruction projects, requirements for minimum annual deposits and the requirement that any vessel acquired with CCF funds must be reconstructed, regardless of vessel condition. The new regulations also prohibit withdrawals of funds under the CCF program (program) for projects that increase harvesting capacity, unless the project is subject to a limited access system in which the fisheries management authority establishes harvesting limits.
Fisheries of the Northeastern United States; Northeast Multispecies Fishery; American Plaice Trimester Total Allowable Catch Area Closure for the Common Pool Fishery
This action closes the American Plaice Trimester Total Allowable Catch Area to Northeast multispecies common pool vessels fishing with trawl gear for the remainder of Trimester 1, through August 31, 2017. The closure is required by regulation because the common pool fishery has caught 90 percent of its Trimester 1 quota for American plaice. This closure is intended to prevent an overage of the common pool's quota for this stock.
Takes of Marine Mammals Incidental to Specified Activities; U.S. Navy Training Activities in the Gulf of Alaska Temporary Maritime Activities Area
In accordance with the Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA) as amended, and implementing regulations, notice is hereby given that a Letter of Authorization (LOA) has been issued to the U.S. Navy (Navy) to take marine mammals incidental to Navy training activities conducted in the Gulf of Alaska (GOA) Temporary Maritime Activities Area (Study Area). These activities are considered military readiness activities pursuant to the MMPA, as amended by the National Defense Authorization Act of 2004 (NDAA).
Takes of Marine Mammals Incidental to Specified Activities; Gull Monitoring and Research in Glacier Bay National Park, Alaska, 2017
In accordance with the regulations implementing the Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA) as amended, notification is hereby given that the NMFS has issued an incidental harassment authorization (IHA) to the National Park Service (NPS) to incidentally harass, by Level B harassment only, marine mammals during gull monitoring and research activities in Glacier Bay National Park (Glacier Bay NP) from May through September, 2017.
Fisheries Off West Coast States; Coastal Pelagic Species Fisheries; Annual Specifications
NMFS proposes to implement annual management measures and harvest specifications to establish the allowable catch levels (i.e., annual catch limit (ACL)/harvest guideline (HG)) for the northern subpopulation of Pacific sardine (hereafter, Pacific sardine), in the U.S. Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) off the Pacific coast for the fishing season of July 1, 2017, through June 30, 2018. This rule is proposed according to the Coastal Pelagic Species (CPS) Fishery Management Plan (FMP). The proposed action would prohibit directed non- tribal Pacific sardine commercial fishing for Pacific sardine off the coasts of Washington, Oregon, and California, which is required because the estimated 2017 biomass of Pacific sardine has dropped below the biomass threshold specified in the HG control rule. Under the proposed action, Pacific sardine may still be harvested as part of either the live bait or tribal fishery, or as incidental catch in other fisheries; the incidental harvest of Pacific sardine would initially be limited to 40-percent by weight of all fish per trip when caught with other CPS or up to 2 metric tons (mt) when caught with non-CPS. The proposed annual catch limit (ACL) for the 2017-2018 Pacific sardine fishing year is 8,000 mt. This proposed rule is intended to conserve and manage the Pacific sardine stock off the U.S. West Coast.