Evaluation of National Estuarine Research Reserve
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Office for Coastal Management will hold a public meeting to solicit comments for the performance evaluation of the Padilla Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve.
International Fisheries; Pacific Tuna Fisheries; 2017 Commercial Pacific Bluefin Tuna Fishery Closure in the Eastern Pacific Ocean
NMFS is temporarily closing the U.S. commercial fishery for Pacific bluefin tuna in the eastern Pacific Ocean (EPO) through December 31, 2017, because the 2017 catch limit of 425 metric tons has been exceeded. This action is necessary to prevent the fishery from further exceeding the applicable catch limit established by the Inter- American Tropical Tuna Commission (IATTC) in Resolution C-16-08 (Measures for the Conservation and Management of Pacific Bluefin Tuna in the Eastern Pacific Ocean).
Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act; General Provisions for Domestic Fisheries; Application for Exempted Fishing Permit
The Regional Administrator, NMFS West Coast Region, has determined that twenty-seven exempted fishing permit (EFP) applications warrant further consideration; therefore, NMFS is requesting public comment on the applications. All EFP applicants request an exemption from various prohibitions under the Fishery Management Plan for U.S. West Coast Fisheries for Highly Migratory Species (HMS FMP) to test the effects and efficacy of using deep-set buoy gear (DSBG) and linked buoy gear (LBG) to harvest swordfish and other highly migratory species (HMS) off of the U.S. West Coast. This notice also announces and requests public comment on NMFS' intent to extend a DSBG EFP.
Fisheries of the Northeastern United States; Mid-Atlantic Unmanaged Forage Omnibus Amendment
NMFS partially approves and implements through regulations measures included in the Mid-Atlantic Unmanaged Forage Omnibus Amendment, as adopted by the Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council and approved by NMFS on June 13, 2017. The purpose of this action is to prevent the development of new, and the expansion of existing, commercial fisheries on certain forage species until the Council has adequate opportunity and information to evaluate the potential impacts of forage fish harvest on existing fisheries, fishing communities, and the marine ecosystem. This final rule implements an annual landing limit, possession limits, and permitting and reporting requirements for Atlantic chub mackerel and certain previously unmanaged forage species and species groups caught within Mid-Atlantic Federal waters; allows vessels to transit Mid-Atlantic Federal waters with forage species caught in other areas; and identifies measures that can be revised through a future framework adjustment.