Atlantic Highly Migratory Species; Atlantic Bluefin Tuna Fisheries
NMFS closes the coastwide General category fishery for large medium and giant (i.e., measuring 73 inches curved fork length or greater) Atlantic bluefin tuna (BFT) until the General category reopens on September 1, 2017. This action is being taken to prevent further overharvest of the General category June through August subquota and help ensure the fishery continues to the end of the calendar year.
Subsistence Taking of Northern Fur Seals on the Pribilof Islands; Final Annual Subsistence Harvest Levels for 2017-2019
Pursuant to the regulations governing the subsistence taking of North Pacific fur seals (Callorhinus ursinus) (northern fur seals), NMFS is publishing the expected harvest levels from 2017-2019 on St. George and St. Paul Islands, Alaska (the Pribilof Islands) to satisfy subsistence requirements of the Alaska Natives residing on the Pribilof Islands (Pribilovians). NMFS is establishing the 2017-2019 harvest levels at 1,645 to 2,000 fur seals for St. Paul Island and 300 to 500 fur seals for St. George Island.
Takes of Marine Mammals Incidental to Specified Activities; Taking Marine Mammals Incidental to a Low-Energy Geophysical Survey in the Northeastern Pacific Ocean
NMFS has received a request from the Scripps Institution of Oceanography (SIO) for authorization to take marine mammals incidental to a low-energy marine geophysical survey in the northeastern Pacific Ocean. Pursuant to the Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA), NMFS is requesting comments on its proposal to issue an incidental harassment authorization (IHA) to incidentally take marine mammals during the specified activities. NMFS will consider public comments prior to making any final decision on the issuance of the requested MMPA authorization and agency responses will be summarized in the final notice of our decision.
Endangered and Threatened Species; Designation of Critical Habitat for the Endangered New York Bight, Chesapeake Bay, Carolina and South Atlantic Distinct Population Segments of Atlantic Sturgeon and the Threatened Gulf of Maine Distinct Population Segment of Atlantic Sturgeon
We (NMFS) are issuing this final rule to designate critical habitat for the threatened Gulf of Maine distinct population segment (DPS) of Atlantic sturgeon, the endangered New York Bight DPS of Atlantic sturgeon, the endangered Chesapeake Bay DPS of Atlantic sturgeon, the endangered Carolina DPS of Atlantic sturgeon and the endangered South Atlantic DPS of Atlantic sturgeon pursuant to the Endangered Species Act (ESA). Specific occupied areas designated as critical habitat for the Gulf of Maine DPS of Atlantic sturgeon contain approximately 244 kilometers (km; 152 miles) of aquatic habitat in the following rivers of Maine, New Hampshire, and Massachusetts: Penobscot, Kennebec, Androscoggin, Piscataqua, Cocheco, Salmon Falls, and Merrimack. Specific occupied areas designated as critical habitat for the New York Bight DPS of Atlantic sturgeon contain approximately 547 km (340 miles) of aquatic habitat in the following rivers of Connecticut, Massachusetts, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Delaware: Connecticut, Housatonic, Hudson, and Delaware. Specific occupied areas designated as critical habitat for the Chesapeake Bay DPS of Atlantic sturgeon contain approximately 773 km (480 miles) of aquatic habitat in the following rivers of Maryland, Virginia, and the District of Columbia: Potomac, Rappahannock, York, Pamunkey, Mattaponi, James, Nanticoke, and the following other water body: Marshyhope Creek. Specific occupied areas designated as critical habitat for the Carolina DPS of Atlantic sturgeon contain approximately 1,939 km (1,205 miles) of aquatic habitat in the following rivers of North Carolina and South Carolina: Roanoke, Tar-Pamlico, Neuse, Cape Fear, Northeast Cape Fear, Waccamaw, Pee Dee, Black, Santee, North Santee, South Santee, and Cooper, and the following other water body: Bull Creek. Specific occupied areas designated as critical habitat for the South Atlantic DPS of Atlantic sturgeon contain approximately 2,883 km (1,791 miles) of aquatic habitat in the following rivers of South Carolina, Georgia, and Florida: Edisto, Combahee-Salkehatchie, Savannah, Ogeechee, Altamaha, Ocmulgee, Oconee, Satilla, and St. Marys Rivers.