Endangered Species; File No. 21233
Notice is hereby given that the NMFS Southeast Fisheries Center (SEFSC), 75 Virginia Beach Drive, Miami, FL 33149 (Responsible Party: Theophilus Brainerd, Ph.D.), has applied in due form for a permit to take loggerhead (Caretta caretta), Kemp's ridley (Lepidochelys kempii), green (Chelonia mydas), leatherback (Dermochelys coriacea), hawksbill (Eretmochelys imbricata), olive ridley (Lepidochelys olivacea), and unidentified sea turtles for purposes of scientific research.
Tuna Conventions Act; Advance Notice of Rulemaking; Regulatory Amendments to Procedures for the Active and Inactive Vessel Register
The National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) is considering amending regulations governing the utilization of purse seine vessel capacity limits associated with the Regional Vessel Register of the Inter-American Tropical Tuna Commission. This advance notice of proposed rulemaking (ANPR) is intended to provide notice to the public of our planning efforts and request comment that will assist in identifying revised administrative processes to improve the efficient utilization and management of capacity limits. This information will help inform our evaluation of what, if any, regulatory amendments are necessary and advisable.
Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Northern Rockfish in the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Management Area
NMFS is opening directed fishing for northern rockfish in the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Management Area (BSAI). This action is necessary to fully use the 2018 total allowable catch (TAC) of northern rockfish in the BSAI.
Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council; Public Meeting
The Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council (Council) will hold a five-day meeting to consider actions affecting the Gulf of Mexico fisheries in the exclusive economic zone (EEZ).
Fisheries of the Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico, and South Atlantic; Reef Fish Fishery of the Gulf of Mexico; Modifications to Greater Amberjack Recreational Fishing Year and Fixed Closed Season
NMFS issues regulations to implement management measures described in a framework action to the Fishery Management Plan for the Reef Fish Resources of the Gulf of Mexico (FMP), as prepared by the Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council (Council). This final rule revises the recreational fishing year and modifies the recreational fixed closed season for greater amberjack in the Gulf of Mexico (Gulf) exclusive economic zone (EEZ). The purposes of this final rule and the framework action are to constrain recreational harvest to assist in ending overfishing, and to rebuild the greater amberjack stock in the Gulf, while achieving optimum yield of the stock in the Gulf.
Fisheries Off West Coast States; Pacific Coast Groundfish Fishery Management Plan; Authorization of an Oregon Recreational Fishery for Midwater Groundfish Species
This final rule authorizes the use of midwater long-leader gear for recreational fishing in waters seaward of a boundary line approximating the 40 fathoms depth contour off the coast of Oregon. Both charter and private vessels are authorized to use midwater long- leader gear seaward of the 40 fathom seasonal depth closure, while being monitored with the existing Oregon Ocean Recreational Boat Sampling (ORBS) program. The use of midwater long-leader gear is intended to limit bycatch of overfished and rebuilding rockfish species, such as bottom-dwelling yelloweye rockfish, while still allowing for the catch of abundant midwater species such as yellowtail and widow rockfish. The season will occur between April and September, months currently subject to depth restrictions.
North Pacific Fishery Management Council; Public Meeting
The Center of Independent Experts will meet April 16 through April 18, 2018 to review the stock assessments for Bering Sea and Aleutian Island yellowfin sole, northern rock sole, and Alaska plaice.
Fisheries of the Northeastern United States; Summer Flounder, Scup, and Black Sea Bass Fisheries; Scoping Process
The Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council has been preparing an amendment to the Summer Flounder, Scup, and Black Sea Bass Fishery Management Plan, known as the ``Comprehensive Summer Flounder Amendment,'' to modify aspects of the fishery management plan related to summer flounder commercial and recreational management. To avoid delaying the amendment while waiting for updated recreational information, the Council is now splitting several issues within this original action, including fishery management plan goals and objectives, commercial allocation, commercial moratorium permits, and commercial framework provisions into a separate action that will continue to be developed as an EIS. The Council is taking comments on this modified action, which is now being referred to as the ``Summer Flounder Commercial Issues Amendment.'' Following completion of this ``Commercial Issues'' amendment, the Council may then develop at least one future action relating to recreational fishery issues and commercial/recreational allocation to incorporate updated recreational fishery data when it becomes available later this year. The purpose of this notification is to alert and seek comment from the public about the Council's consideration of splitting this amendment, by delaying some issues to be pursued via later actions.
Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council (MAFMC); Public Meetings
The Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council's (Council) Surfclam and Ocean Quahog Advisory Panel will hold a public meeting.