Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Pacific Cod by Hook-and-Line Catcher/Processors in the Western Regulatory Area of the Gulf of Alaska
NMFS is prohibiting directed fishing for Pacific cod by hook- and-line catcher/processors in the Western Regulatory Area of the Gulf of Alaska (GOA). This action is necessary to prevent exceeding the A season allowance of the 2018 Pacific cod total allowable catch apportioned to hook-and-line catcher/processors in the Western Regulatory Area of the GOA.
Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council; Public Meeting
The Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council will hold a one- day meeting of its Ad Hoc Red Snapper & Grouper-Tilefish Individual Fishing Quota (IFQ) Advisory Panel.
New England Fishery Management Council; Public Meeting
The New England Fishery Management Council (Council) is scheduling a public meeting of its Habitat 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.
Fisheries of the South Atlantic; Southeast Data, Assessment, and Review (SEDAR); Stock ID Workshop for Cobia (Rachycentron canadum)
The SEDAR 58 Cobia Stock ID Process will be a multi-step process consisting of a series of workshops and webinars: Stock ID Workshop; Stock ID Review Workshop; Joint Cooperator Technical Review; and a Science and Management Leadership Call. See SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION.
Fisheries of the Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico, and South Atlantic; 2018 Commercial Accountability Measure and Closure for South Atlantic Golden Tilefish
NMFS implements an accountability measure for the commercial longline component for golden tilefish in the exclusive economic zone (EEZ) of the South Atlantic. Commercial longline landings for golden tilefish are projected to reach the longline component's commercial quota on March 25, 2018. Therefore, NMFS closes the commercial longline component of golden tilefish in the South Atlantic EEZ on March 25, 2018. This closure is necessary to protect the golden tilefish resource.
Fisheries of the Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico, and South Atlantic; Snapper-Grouper Resources of the South Atlantic; 2018-2019 Recreational Fishing Season for Black Sea Bass
NMFS announces that the length of the recreational fishing season for black sea bass in the exclusive economic zone (EEZ) of the South Atlantic will extend throughout the species' 2018-2019 fishing year. Announcing the length of recreational season for black sea bass is one of the accountability measures (AMs) for the recreational sector. This announcement allows recreational fishers to maximize their opportunity to harvest the recreational annual catch limit (ACL) for black sea bass during the fishing season while managing harvest to protect the black sea bass resource.
Atlantic Highly Migratory Species; Atlantic Bluefin Tuna Fisheries; Pelagic Longline Fishery Management and Shortfin Mako Shark Management Measures
On March 2, 2018, NMFS published a Notice of Intent with scoping meeting dates for upcoming rulemaking for pelagic longline bluefin tuna area-based and weak hook management. On March 5, 2018, NMFS published a Notice of Intent with scoping meeting dates for Amendment 11 to the 2006 Consolidated HMS FMP. In this notice, per a request from constituents in that area, NMFS reschedules the New Jersey meeting date and provides a new meeting location.
Notice of Availability of the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill Louisiana Trustee Implementation Group Final Strategic Restoration Plan and Environmental Assessment #3
In accordance with the Oil Pollution Act of 1990 (OPA), the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), and a Consent Decree with BP Exploration & Production Inc. (BP), the Deepwater Horizon Federal and State natural resource trustee agencies for the Louisiana Trustee Implementation Group (LA TIG) have prepared the Final Strategic Restoration Plan and Environmental Assessment #3: Restoration of Wetlands, Coastal, and Nearshore Habitats in the Barataria Basin, Louisiana (SRP/EA). The Final SRP/EA identifies and, in conjunction with the associated Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI), selects a restoration strategy that will help prioritize future decisions regarding project selection and funding. Rather than selecting specific projects for construction, the Trustees evaluated a suite of restoration techniques and approaches, for example large-scale diversions or marsh creation, to determine how to best support restoring ecosystem-level injuries in the Gulf of Mexico through restoration in the Barataria Basin. This strategic approach to restoration will allow the Trustees to prioritize projects for further evaluation by the LA TIG. The purpose of this notice is to inform the public of the availability of the Final SRP/EA and FONSI.
Waiver of Requirements Under Sections 101(a) and 102(a) of the Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA) for the Mid-Barataria Sediment Diversion, the Mid-Breton Sound Sediment Diversion, and Calcasieu Ship Channel Salinity Control Measures Projects
On February 9, 2018, Congress passed the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018 (Budget Act), which included a requirement that the Secretary of Commerce, as delegated to the Assistant Administrator of the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), issue a waiver of the Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA) moratorium and prohibitions for the Mid- Barataria Sediment Diversion, Mid-Breton Sound Sediment Diversion, and the Calcasieu Ship Channel Salinity Control Measures projects, as selected in the Louisiana Comprehensive Master Plan for a Sustainable Coast. NMFS has issued the waiver.
Fisheries of the Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico, and South Atlantic; Reef Fish Fishery of the Gulf of Mexico; Modifications to Individual Fishing Quota Programs
NMFS proposes to implement management measures described in Amendment 36A to the Fishery Management Plan (FMP) for the Reef Fish Resources of the Gulf of Mexico (Gulf) (Amendment 36A), as prepared by the Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council (Council). This proposed rule would require owners or operators of federally permitted commercial Gulf reef fish vessels landing any commercially harvested, federally managed reef fish from the Gulf to provide notification prior to landing and to land at approved locations; require shares from the red snapper individual fishing quota (IFQ) (RS-IFQ) program and the groupers and tilefishes IFQ (GT-IFQ) program that are in non-activated IFQ accounts to be returned to NMFS for redistribution; and allow NMFS to withhold a portion of IFQ allocation at the start of a fishing year equal to an anticipated commercial quota reduction. The purpose of this proposed rule is to improve compliance and increase management flexibility in the RS-IFQ and GT-IFQ programs, and increase the likelihood of achieving optimum yield (OY) for Gulf reef fish stocks managed under these programs.