Fisheries of the Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico, and South Atlantic; Electronic Reporting for Federally Permitted Charter Vessels and Headboats in Atlantic Fisheries
The South Atlantic Fishery Management Council (South Atlantic Council) and Gulf of Mexico (Gulf) Fishery Management Council (Gulf Council) have submitted the For-hire Reporting Amendment for review, approval, and implementation by NMFS. The For-hire Reporting Amendment includes Amendment 27 to the Fishery Management Plan (FMP) for Coastal Migratory Pelagic (CMP) Resources of the Gulf and Atlantic Region (CMP FMP), Amendment 9 to the FMP for the Dolphin and Wahoo Fishery off the Atlantic States (Dolphin Wahoo FMP), and Amendment 39 to the FMP for Snapper-Grouper Fishery of the South Atlantic Region (Snapper-Grouper FMP). If approved by the Secretary of Commerce, the For-hire Reporting Amendment would establish new, and revise existing, electronic reporting requirements for federally permitted charter vessels and headboats (for-hire vessels), respectively. The For-hire Reporting Amendment would require a charter vessel with a Federal charter vessel/ headboat permit for Atlantic CMP, Atlantic dolphin and wahoo, or South Atlantic snapper-grouper species to submit an electronic fishing report weekly, or at shorter intervals if notified by NMFS, through NMFS approved hardware and software. The For-hire Reporting Amendment would also reduce the time allowed for headboats to submit an electronic fishing report. The purpose of the For-hire Reporting Amendment is to increase and improve fisheries information collected from federally permitted for-hire vessels in the Atlantic. The information is expected to improve recreational fisheries management of the for-hire component in the Atlantic.
Fisheries Off West Coast States; Highly Migratory Fisheries; California Drift Gillnet Fishery; Implementation of a Federal Limited Entry Drift Gillnet Permit
NMFS is issuing regulations under the authority of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (MSA) to implement a March 2017 recommendation by the Pacific Fishery Management Council (Pacific Council) to amend the Fishery Management Plan for U.S. West Coast Fisheries for Highly Migratory Species (HMS FMP). The rule implements Amendment 5 to the HMS FMP and establishes a Federal limited entry (LE) permit system for the California/Oregon large-mesh drift gillnet (DGN) fishery using standards that are very similar to those used in the existing State of California LE permit program for the DGN fishery. Amendment 5 is intended to streamline management and future decision-making by placing all aspects of DGN fishery management under MSA authority. All current California LE DGN permit holders are eligible to apply for, and receive, a Federal LE DGN permit, and no additional LE DGN permits are created under this rule. This final rule is administrative in nature and is not anticipated to result in increased activity, effort, or capacity in the fishery.
Science Advisory Board (SAB); Public Meeting of the NOAA Science Advisory Board
The Science Advisory Board (SAB) was established by a Decision Memorandum dated September 25, 1997, and is the only Federal Advisory Committee with responsibility to advise the Under Secretary of Commerce for Oceans and Atmosphere on strategies for research, education, and application of science to operations and information services. SAB activities and advice provide necessary input to ensure that National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) science programs are of the highest quality and provide optimal support to resource management. Time and Date: The meeting will be held Monday, 9 April, 2018 from 9:45 a.m. EDT to 5:00 p.m. EDT and on Tuesday, April 10, 2018 from 9:00 a.m. EDT to 11:40 p.m. EDT. These times and agenda topics described below are subject to change. Please refer to the web page www.sab.noaa.gov/SABMeetings.aspx for the most up-to-date meeting times and agenda. Place: The meeting will be held at The Westin DC City Center, 1400 M Street NW, Washington, DC. Status: The meeting will be open to public participation with a 15- minute public comment period on April 9 from 4:45-5:00 p.m. EDT (check website to confirm time). The SAB expects that public statements presented at its meetings will not be repetitive of previously submitted verbal or written statements. In general, each individual or group making a verbal presentation will be limited to a total time of three (3) minutes. Individuals or groups planning to make a verbal presentation should contact the SAB Executive Director by April 2, 2018 to schedule their presentation. Written comments should be received in the SAB Executive Director's Office by April 2, 2018, to provide sufficient time for SAB review. Written comments received by the SAB Executive Director after April 2nd, will be distributed to the SAB, but may not be reviewed prior to the meeting date. Seating at the meeting will be available on a first-come, first-served basis. Special Accommodations: These meetings are physically accessible to people with disabilities. Requests for special accommodations may be directed no later than 12:00 p.m. on April 2, 2018, to Dr. Cynthia Decker, SAB Executive Director, SSMC3, Room 11230, 1315 East-West Highway, Silver Spring, MC 20910; Email: Cynthia.Decker@noaa.gov. Matters To Be Considered: The meeting will include the following topics: (1) SAB Biennial Work Plan: Discussion to Date and Discussion of Next Steps on SAB Biennial Work Plan; (2) Discussion of SAB Report on Arctic Research Review; (3) Discussion of SAB Report on Emerging Technologies for NOAA Ocean Research, Operations and Management in the Ecosystem Context; (4)Presentation of National Academy of Sciences Report: ``Thriving on Our Changing PlanetA Decadal Strategy of Earth Observations from Space''; (5) Presentation of Report from the Environmental Information Services Working Group (EISWG); (6) Updates to the Terms of Reference (TOR) for Climate, Data Archive and Access and Environmental Information Systems Working Groups; and (7) Updates from the Acting NOAA Administrator and Acting Chief Scientist.
Fisheries of the Northeastern United States; Summer Flounder Fishery; Quota Transfer
NMFS announces that the State of North Carolina is transferring a portion of its 2018 commercial summer flounder quota to the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. This quota adjustment is necessary to comply with the Summer Flounder, Scup, and Black Sea Bass Fishery Management Plan quota transfer provisions. This announcement informs the public of the revised commercial quotas for North Carolina and Massachusetts.
Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Pollock in Statistical Area 630 in the Gulf of Alaska
NMFS is prohibiting directed fishing for pollock in Statistical Area 630 in the Gulf of Alaska (GOA). This action is necessary to prevent exceeding the B season allowance of the 2018 total allowable catch of pollock for Statistical Area 630 in the GOA.
Western Pacific Fishery Management Council (Council); Public Meeting
The Western Pacific Stock Assessment Review (WPSAR) Steering Committee will convene a public meeting to discuss and approve the 5- year calendar for stock assessments, and to address any other concerns related to the WPSAR process.
Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Pollock in Statistical Area 610 in the Gulf of Alaska
NMFS is prohibiting directed fishing for pollock in Statistical Area 610 in the Gulf of Alaska (GOA). This action is necessary to prevent exceeding the A season allowance of the 2018 total allowable catch of pollock for Statistical Area 610 in the GOA.