National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration March 2, 2018 – Federal Register Recent Federal Regulation Documents

Atlantic Highly Migratory Species; Atlantic Bluefin Tuna Fisheries; Pelagic Longline Fishery Management
Document Number: 2018-04315
Type: Notice
Date: 2018-03-02
Agency: Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
NMFS announces its intent to prepare a draft environmental impact analysis to assess the potential effects of alternative measures under the 2006 Consolidated Atlantic Highly Migratory Species Fishery Management Plan (2006 Consolidated HMS FMP) for management of the pelagic longline fishery. This notice announces a public process for determining the scope of issues to be addressed and for identifying the significant issues relating to the management of Atlantic HMS, with a focus on area-based management measures and weak hook management measures that were implemented to reduce dead discards of bluefin tuna in the pelagic longline fishery. NMFS would use the scoping process and the draft environmental impact analysis to develop a regulatory action applicable to the pelagic longline fishery. The scoping process and draft environmental impact analysis are intended to determine if existing area-based and weak hook management measures are the best means of achieving the current management objectives and providing flexibility to adapt to fishing variability in the future, consistent with the 2006 Consolidated HMS FMP, the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (Magnuson-Stevens Act), the Atlantic Tunas Convention Act (ATCA), and other relevant Federal laws. NMFS is also announcing the availability of a scoping document describing potential measures for inclusion in a future regulatory action. NMFS will hold scoping meetings to gather public comment on potential management options for area based and weak hook requirements. The time and location details of the scoping meetings are available in the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section of this notice. NMFS is requesting comments on the NOI to develop environmental impact assessments. NMFS also requests comments on the management options described in the scoping document concerning bluefin area-based management and weak hook measures that were implemented to minimize bluefin tuna bycatch and/or interactions, and relevant options that would meet the purpose and need for this action.
New England Fishery Management Council; Public Meeting
Document Number: 2018-04313
Type: Notice
Date: 2018-03-02
Agency: Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
The New England Fishery Management Council (Council) is scheduling a public meeting of its Scallop 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
Document Number: 2018-04312
Type: Notice
Date: 2018-03-02
Agency: Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
The New England Fishery Management Council (Council) is scheduling a public meeting of its Scallop 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.
Emergency Measures To Address Overfishing of Atlantic Shortfin Mako Shark
Document Number: 2018-04262
Type: Rule
Date: 2018-03-02
Agency: Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
NMFS is taking emergency action through this interim final rule, in response to a new stock assessment for North Atlantic shortfin mako sharks to implement measures required by International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas (ICCAT) Recommendation 17-08. Based on the results of the stock assessment, on December 13, 2017, NMFS determined the North Atlantic shortfin mako shark stock to be overfished, with overfishing occurring. The emergency management measures will reduce shortfin mako shark landings in commercial and recreational shark fisheries, with retention allowed only in certain limited circumstances. The emergency management measures are expected to meet the United States' obligations in relation to ending overfishing, but are not expected to result in significant economic impacts.