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

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Notice of Availability of the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill Louisiana Trustee Implementation Group Final Strategic Restoration Plan and Environmental Assessment #3
Document Number: 2018-05691
Type: Notice
Date: 2018-03-21
Agency: Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
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
Document Number: 2018-05652
Type: Notice
Date: 2018-03-21
Agency: Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
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
Document Number: 2018-05628
Type: Proposed Rule
Date: 2018-03-21
Agency: Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
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.
Pacific Halibut Fisheries; Catch Sharing Plan
Document Number: 2018-05623
Type: Rule
Date: 2018-03-20
Agency: Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
NMFS is implementing this interim final rule to establish regulations for 2018 Pacific halibut catch limits in the following International Pacific Halibut Commission (IPHC) Regulatory Areas: Area 2C (Southeast Alaska), Area 3A (Central Gulf of Alaska), Area 3B (Western Gulf of Alaska), and Area 4 (subdivided into five areas, 4A through 4E, in the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands of Western Alaska). This interim final rule revises a catch sharing plan (CSP) for guided sport (charter) and commercial individual fishing quota (IFQ) halibut fisheries in Area 2C and Area 3A, revises regulations applicable to the charter halibut fisheries in Area 2C and Area 3A, and revises a CSP for the commercial IFQ and Western Alaska Community Development Quota (CDQ) halibut fisheries in Areas 4C, 4D, and 4E. This action is necessary because the IPHC, at its annual meeting, did not recommend new catch limits or specific CSP allocations and charter management measures for Areas 2C, 3A, 3B, 4A, 4B, 4C, 4D, and 4E for 2018, and the 2017 IPHC regulations are in effect until superseded. This interim final rule is necessary because immediate action is needed to ensure that halibut catch limits, charter halibut fishery management measures, and CSP allocations are in place at the start of the commercial IFQ and CDQ halibut fishery on March 24, 2018, that better protect the declining Pacific halibut resource. This action is intended to enhance the conservation of Pacific halibut and is within the authority of the Secretary of Commerce (Secretary) to establish additional regulations governing the taking of halibut which are more restrictive than those adopted by the IPHC.
Atlantic Highly Migratory Species; Atlantic Bluefin Tuna Fisheries
Document Number: 2018-05604
Type: Rule
Date: 2018-03-20
Agency: Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
NMFS closes the southern area Angling category fishery for large medium and giant (``trophy'' (i.e., measuring 73 inches curved fork length or greater)) Atlantic bluefin tuna (BFT). This action is being taken to prevent overharvest of the Angling category southern area trophy BFT subquota.
Fisheries of the Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico, and South Atlantic; Reef Fish Fishery of the Gulf of Mexico; Exempted Fishing Permit; Correction
Document Number: 2018-05603
Type: Notice
Date: 2018-03-20
Agency: Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
NMFS announces the receipt of five applications for exempted fishing permits (EFPs) from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC), Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (ADCNR), Mississippi Department of Marine Resources (MDMR), Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF), and Texas Parks & Wildlife Department (TPWD). If granted, the EFPs would authorize the applicants, with certain conditions, to set the season(s) for red snapper caught by the private angling component, the Federal charter vessel/headboat (for-hire) component, or both, as applicable, and landed in each respective state. The EFPs would do so by exempting persons from the annual closed Federal fishing seasons if they are landing red snapper in the participating states during the states' open seasons as set by those states, and described in more detail below. These annual closed Federal fishing seasons are the seasonal closure for red snapper which is January 1 through May 31 each year, and the closures that occur based on when NMFS projects that the red snapper annual catch targets will be reached. The private angling component includes state-permitted for-hire vessels and any red snapper landings by these for-hire vessels would be counted against the private angling component quota. However, these state-permitted for-hire vessels would not be able to fish in Federal waters. NMFS would set separate Federal seasons for Federally permitted for-hire vessels and private-anglers not covered by any EFP. Red snapper landings would be monitored by the respective states and the state seasons set under the EFPs would close when a state's assigned quota is reached, or projected to be reached. These studies, to be conducted in the exclusive economic zone (EEZ) of the Gulf of Mexico (Gulf), are intended to test the effectiveness of Gulf state management of recreationally caught red snapper. This notice is republished in its entirety and serves to correct information previously published in the Federal Register on March 12, 2018, concerning FWC, ADCNR, and TPWD application details.
Takes of Marine Mammals Incidental to Specified Activities; Taking Marine Mammals Incidental to Construction at the City Dock and Ferry Terminal, in Tenakee Springs, Alaska
Document Number: 2018-05559
Type: Notice
Date: 2018-03-20
Agency: Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
NMFS has received a request from the Alaska Department of Transportations and Public Facilities (ADOT&PF) for authorization to take marine mammals incidental to conducting improvements at the Tenakee Springs city dock and ferry terminal, in Tenakee Springs, Alaska. Pursuant to the Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA), NMFS is requesting comments on its proposal to issue an incidental harassment authorization (IHA) to incidentally take marine mammals during the specified activities. NMFS will consider public comments prior to making any final decision on the issuance of the requested MMPA authorization, and agency responses will be summarized in the final notice of our decision
Submission for OMB Review; Comment Request
Document Number: 2018-05509
Type: Notice
Date: 2018-03-19
Agency: Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
Proposed Information Collection; Comment Request; International Dolphin Conservation Program
Document Number: 2018-05508
Type: Notice
Date: 2018-03-19
Agency: Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
The Department of Commerce, as part of its continuing effort to reduce paperwork and respondent burden, invites the general public and other Federal agencies to take this opportunity to comment on proposed and/or continuing information collections, as required by the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995.
Submission for OMB Review; Comment Request
Document Number: 2018-05507
Type: Notice
Date: 2018-03-19
Agency: Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
Control Date for the Northeast Multispecies Charter/Party Fishery; Northeast Multispecies Fishery Management Plan
Document Number: 2018-05505
Type: Proposed Rule
Date: 2018-03-19
Agency: Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
This notice announces a new control date that may be used to determine future participation in the Northeast multispecies charter/ party fishery. This notice is necessary to inform interested parties that the New England Fishery Management Council is considering a future action that may affect or limit the number of participants in this fishery and that participants should locate and preserve all fishing related documents. The control date is intended to discourage speculative entry or fishing activity in the Northeast multispecies charter/party fishery while the Council considers how participation in the fishery may be affected.
Takes of Marine Mammals Incidental to Specified Activities; Taking Marine Mammals Incidental to Confined Blasting Operations in the East Channel by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers During the Tampa Harbor Big Bend Channel Expansion Project in Tampa Harbor, Tampa, Florida
Document Number: 2018-05504
Type: Notice
Date: 2018-03-19
Agency: Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
NMFS has received a request from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Jacksonville District, (USACE) for authorization to take marine mammals incidental to confined blasting in the East Channel of the Big Bend Channel in Tampa Harbor, Tampa, Florida. Pursuant to the Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA), NMFS is requesting comments on its proposal to issue an incidental harassment authorization (IHA) to incidentally take marine mammals during the specified activities. NMFS will consider public comments prior to making any final decision on the issuance of the requested MMPA authorizations and agency responses will be summarized in the final notice of our decision.
Pacific Fishery Management Council; Public Meetings
Document Number: 2018-05476
Type: Notice
Date: 2018-03-19
Agency: Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
The Pacific Fishery Management Council (Pacific Council) and its advisory entities will hold public meetings.
Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council; Public Meeting
Document Number: 2018-05475
Type: Notice
Date: 2018-03-19
Agency: Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
The Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council will hold a one- day meeting of its Shrimp Advisory Panel.
Caribbean Fishery Management Council; Public Meeting
Document Number: 2018-05474
Type: Notice
Date: 2018-03-19
Agency: Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
The Caribbean Fishery Management Council will hold its 162nd meeting in April to discuss the items contained in the agenda in the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION.
Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Pacific Cod by Catcher Vessels Greater Than or Equal to 50 Feet Length Overall Using Hook-and-Line Gear in the Central Regulatory Area of the Gulf of Alaska
Document Number: 2018-05412
Type: Rule
Date: 2018-03-16
Agency: Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
NMFS is prohibiting directed fishing for Pacific cod by catcher vessels greater than or equal to 50 feet length overall (LOA) using hook-and-line gear in the Central 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 catcher vessels greater than or equal to 50 feet LOA using hook-and-line gear in the Central Regulatory Area of the GOA.
New England Fishery Management Council; Public Meeting
Document Number: 2018-05397
Type: Notice
Date: 2018-03-16
Agency: Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
The New England Fishery Management Council's is convening an ad-hoc sub-panel of its Scientific and Statistical Committee to peer review two reports.
North Pacific Fishery Management Council; Public Meeting
Document Number: 2018-05396
Type: Notice
Date: 2018-03-16
Agency: Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
The North Pacific Fishery Management Council (Council) and its advisory committees will meet April 2 through April 10, 2018, in Anchorage, AK.
Takes of Marine Mammals Incidental to Specified Activities; Taking Marine Mammals Incidental to Rocky Intertidal Monitoring Surveys Along the Oregon and California Coasts
Document Number: 2018-05380
Type: Notice
Date: 2018-03-16
Agency: Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
In accordance with the regulations implementing the Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA) as amended, notification is hereby given that NMFS has issued an incidental harassment authorization (IHA) to the Partnership for Interdisciplinary Study of Coastal Oceans (PISCO) at the University of California Santa Cruz (UCSC) to incidentally harass, by Level B harassment only, marine mammals during rocky intertidal monitoring surveys.
Meeting of the Advisory Committee on Commercial Remote Sensing
Document Number: 2018-05360
Type: Notice
Date: 2018-03-16
Agency: Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
The Advisory Committee on Commercial Remote Sensing (``ACCRES'' or ``the Committee'') will meet April 3, 2018.
Marine Mammals; File No. 21348
Document Number: 2018-05352
Type: Notice
Date: 2018-03-16
Agency: Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
Notice is hereby given that the NMFS Northwest Fisheries Science Center (NWFSC), 2725 Montlake Boulevard East, Seattle, WA 98112-2097, (Responsible Party: M. Bradley Hanson, Ph.D.) has applied in due form for a permit to conduct research on marine mammals.
Fish and Fish Product Import Provisions of the Marine Mammal Protection Act List of Foreign Fisheries
Document Number: 2018-05348
Type: Notice
Date: 2018-03-16
Agency: Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
NMFS is publishing its final 2017 List of Foreign Fisheries (LOFF), as required by the regulations implementing the Fish and Fish Product Import Provisions of the Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA). The final LOFF reflects new information received during the comment period on interactions between commercial fisheries exporting fish and fish products to the United States and marine mammals, and updates and revisions to the draft LOFF. NMFS has classified each commercial fishery on the final LOFF into one of two categories, either ``export'' or ``exempt'', based upon frequency and likelihood of incidental mortality and serious injury of marine mammals likely to occur incidental to each fishery. The classification of a fishery on the final LOFF determines which regulatory requirements will be applicable to that fishery for it to receive a comparability finding necessary to export fish and fish products to the United States from that fishery. The final LOFF can be found at: https:// www.fisheries.noaa.gov/foreign/international-affairs/list-for eign- fisheries
Fisheries of the Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico, and South Atlantic; Exempted Fishing Permits
Document Number: 2018-05335
Type: Notice
Date: 2018-03-16
Agency: Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
NMFS announces the receipt of an application for an exempted fishing permit (EFP) from Salty Bones Fisheries, Inc. If granted, the EFP would authorize the deployment of modified wood and wire spiny lobster traps and non-containment purse traps in the Federal waters of the Gulf of Mexico (Gulf) and South Atlantic. The project would seek to determine the effectiveness of these gear types, as applicable, for attracting and collecting invasive lionfish while avoiding impacts to non-target species, protected species, and habitats.
Magnuson-Stevens Act Provisions; General Provisions for Domestic Fisheries; Application for Exempted Fishing Permit
Document Number: 2018-05334
Type: Notice
Date: 2018-03-16
Agency: Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
The Assistant Regional Administrator for Sustainable Fisheries, Greater Atlantic Region, NMFS, has made a preliminary determination that an Exempted Fishing Permit application submitted by the Northeast Fisheries Science Center contains all of the required information and warrants further consideration. This Exempted Fishing Permit would exempt participating vessels from the following types of fishery regulations: Minimum fish size restrictions; fish possession limits; and, in limited situations for research purposes only, retaining and landing prohibited fish species. Regulations under the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act require publication of this notice to provide interested parties the opportunity to comment on Exempted Fishing Permit applications.
Initiation of 5-Year Review for the Endangered New York Bight, Chesapeake Bay, Carolina and South Atlantic Distinct Population Segments of Atlantic Sturgeon and the Threatened Gulf of Maine Distinct Population Segment of Atlantic Sturgeon
Document Number: 2018-05306
Type: Notice
Date: 2018-03-16
Agency: Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
We, NMFS, announce our intent to conduct a 5-year review for the threatened Gulf of Maine distinct population segment (DPS) of Atlantic sturgeon (Acipenser oxyrinchus oxyrinchus), the endangered New York Bight DPS of Atlantic sturgeon, the endangered Chesapeake Bay DPS of Atlantic sturgeon, the endangered Carolina DPS of Atlantic sturgeon and the endangered South Atlantic DPS of Atlantic sturgeon under the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended (ESA). We are required by the ESA to conduct 5-year reviews to ensure that the listing classification of the species remains accurate. The 5-year review must be based on the best scientific and commercial data available at the time of the review; therefore, we are requesting submission of such information on the status of each DPS, particularly information on population trends, distribution, abundance, habitat amount and suitability, threats, and conservation measures for any DPS that has become available since their original listings under the ESA in 2012. Based on the results of this 5-year review, we will make the requisite findings under the ESA.
Fisheries of the Northeastern United States; Atlantic Herring Fishery; 2018 River Herring and Shad Catch Cap Reached for Midwater Trawl Vessels in the Mid-Atlantic/Southern New England Catch Cap Area
Document Number: 2018-05288
Type: Rule
Date: 2018-03-15
Agency: Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
NMFS is reducing the Atlantic herring possession limit for federally permitted vessels fishing with midwater trawl gear in the Mid-Atlantic/Southern New England Catch Cap Closure Area, based on a projection that the threshold catch for the corresponding catch cap area has been reached. This action is necessary to comply with the regulations implementing the Atlantic Herring Fishery Management Plan and is intended to limit the harvest of river herring and shad in the Mid- Atlantic/Southern New England Catch Cap Area.
Endangered and Threatened Species; Take of Anadromous Fish
Document Number: 2018-05257
Type: Notice
Date: 2018-03-15
Agency: Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
Notice is hereby given that NMFS has received twelve scientific research permit application requests relating to Pacific salmon, steelhead, eulachon, and green sturgeon. The proposed research is intended to increase knowledge of species listed under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) and to help guide management and conservation efforts. The applications may be viewed online at https:// apps.nmfs.noaa.gov/preview/preview_open_for_comment.cfm.
Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Pollock in Statistical Area 610 in the Gulf of Alaska
Document Number: 2018-05211
Type: Rule
Date: 2018-03-15
Agency: Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
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 B season allowance of the 2018 total allowable catch of pollock for Statistical Area 610 in the GOA.
Fisheries of the Northeastern United States; Framework Adjustment 29 to the Atlantic Sea Scallop Fishery Management Plan
Document Number: 2018-05155
Type: Proposed Rule
Date: 2018-03-15
Agency: Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
NMFS proposes to approve and implement the measures the portion of Framework Adjustment 29 (Framework 29) to the Atlantic Sea Scallop Fishery Management Plan that establishes scallop specifications and other measures for fishing years 2018 and 2019. The measures discussed in this proposed rule are in addition to the Northern Gulf of Maine (NGOM) management measures of Framework 29 that were published in a separate proposed rule on February 20, 2018. This action is necessary to prevent overfishing and improve both yield- per-recruit and the overall management of the Atlantic sea scallop resource. The intended effect of this rule is to notify the public of these proposed measures and to solicit comment on the potential scallop fishery management changes.
Fisheries of the Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico, and South Atlantic; Electronic Reporting for Federally Permitted Charter Vessels and Headboats in Atlantic Fisheries
Document Number: 2018-05191
Type: Proposed Rule
Date: 2018-03-14
Agency: Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
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
Document Number: 2018-05186
Type: Rule
Date: 2018-03-14
Agency: Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
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
Document Number: 2018-05175
Type: Notice
Date: 2018-03-14
Agency: Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
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
Document Number: 2018-05169
Type: Rule
Date: 2018-03-14
Agency: Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
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
Document Number: 2018-05167
Type: Rule
Date: 2018-03-14
Agency: Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
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
Document Number: 2018-05145
Type: Notice
Date: 2018-03-14
Agency: Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
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
Document Number: 2018-05133
Type: Rule
Date: 2018-03-14
Agency: Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
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.
Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Sablefish Managed Under the Individual Fishing Quota Program
Document Number: 2018-05059
Type: Rule
Date: 2018-03-13
Agency: Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
NMFS is opening directed fishing for sablefish with fixed gear managed under the Individual Fishing Quota (IFQ) Program and the Community Development Quota (CDQ) Program. The season will open 1200 hours, Alaska local time (A.l.t.), March 24, 2018, and will close 1200 hours, A.l.t., November 7, 2018. This period is the same as the 2018 commercial halibut fishery opening dates adopted by the International Pacific Halibut Commission. The IFQ and CDQ halibut season is specified by a separate publication in the Federal Register of annual management measures.
Atlantic Highly Migratory Species; Commercial Blacktip Sharks, Aggregated Large Coastal Sharks, and Hammerhead Sharks in the Western Gulf of Mexico Sub-Region; Closure
Document Number: 2018-05058
Type: Rule
Date: 2018-03-13
Agency: Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
NMFS is closing the commercial fishery for blacktip sharks, aggregated large coastal sharks (LCS), and hammerhead shark management groups in the western Gulf of Mexico sub-region. This action is necessary because the commercial landings of sharks in the aggregated LCS management group in the western Gulf of Mexico sub-region for the 2018 fishing season has reached 80 percent of the available commercial quota as of March 8, 2018, and the aggregated LCS and hammerhead shark management groups are quota-linked under the regulations. The blacktip shark fishery in the western Gulf of Mexico sub-region will be closed to help minimize regulatory discards of sharks in the aggregated LCS management group in the western Gulf of Mexico sub-region, since LCS are often caught in conjunction with blacktip sharks in the commercial shark fisheries. This closure will affect anyone commercially fishing for sharks in the western Gulf of Mexico sub-region.
Endangered and Threatened Species; Take of Anadromous Fish
Document Number: 2018-05027
Type: Notice
Date: 2018-03-13
Agency: Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
This notice advises the public that a direct take permit has been issued pursuant to section 10(a)(1)(A) of the Endangered Species Act of 1973 (ESA) for a program rearing and releasing summer steelhead in the Wenatchee River basin of Washington state (Columbia River basin). The permit is issued to the Public Utility District of Chelan County and the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife.
Fisheries of the Northeastern United States; Framework 2 to the Tilefish Fishery Management Plan
Document Number: 2018-04974
Type: Rule
Date: 2018-03-13
Agency: Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
This final rule implements the management measures contained in Framework Adjustment 2 to the Tilefish Fishery Management Plan and adjusts the 2018 specifications for this fishery. The Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council developed Framework Adjustment 2 to improve and simplify the administration of the golden tilefish fishery. These changes include removing an outdated reporting requirement, proscribing allowed gear for the recreational fishery, modifying the commercial incidental possession limit, requiring commercial golden tilefish be landed with the head and fins attached, and revising how assumed discards are accounted for when setting harvest limits. Based on new regulations implemented by this rule, this action updates previously published specifications for the commercial golden tilefish fishery for 2018 and projected specifications for 2019 and 2020.
Taking and Importing Marine Mammals; Taking Marine Mammals Incidental to the U.S. Navy Training and Testing Activities in the Atlantic Fleet Training and Testing Study Area
Document Number: 2018-04517
Type: Proposed Rule
Date: 2018-03-13
Agency: Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
NMFS has received a request from the U.S. Navy (Navy) for authorization to take marine mammals incidental to the training and testing activities conducted in the Atlantic Fleet Training and Testing (AFTT) Study Area. Pursuant to the Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA), NMFS is requesting comments on its proposal to issue regulations and subsequent Letters of Authorization (LOAs) to the Navy to incidentally take marine mammals during the specified activities. NMFS will consider public comments prior to issuing any final rule and making final decisions on the issuance of the requested MMPA authorizations. Agency responses to public comments will be summarized in the final notice of our decision. The Navy's activities qualify as military readiness activities pursuant to the MMPA, as amended by the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2004 (2004 NDAA).
New England Fishery Management Council; Public Meeting
Document Number: 2018-04871
Type: Notice
Date: 2018-03-12
Agency: Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
The New England Fishery Management Council (Council) is scheduling a public meeting of its Skate 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: 2018-04870
Type: Notice
Date: 2018-03-12
Agency: Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
The New England Fishery Management Council (Council) is scheduling a public meeting of its Groundfish 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.
New England Fishery Management Council; Public Meeting
Document Number: 2018-04869
Type: Notice
Date: 2018-03-12
Agency: Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
The New England Fishery Management Council (Council) is scheduling a public meeting of its Groundfish 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.
Fisheries of the South Atlantic; Southeast Data, Assessment, and Review (SEDAR); Public Meeting
Document Number: 2018-04868
Type: Notice
Date: 2018-03-12
Agency: Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
The SEDAR 59 assessment of the South Atlantic stock of Greater Amberjack will consist of a series of webinars. See SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION.
Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council; Public Meeting
Document Number: 2018-04867
Type: Notice
Date: 2018-03-12
Agency: Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
The Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council will hold a two day meeting of its Standing, Reef Fish, Shrimp, and Socioeconomics Scientific and Statistical Committees (SSC).
Pacific Fishery Management Council; Public Meeting
Document Number: 2018-04866
Type: Notice
Date: 2018-03-12
Agency: Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
The Pacific Fishery Management Council (Pacific Council) is sponsoring a meeting to review a new method proposed to improve catch estimation methods in sparsely sampled mixed stock fisheries. The Catch Estimation Methodology Review meeting is open to the public and may be streamed online as a ``listen only'' webinar.
New England Fishery Management Council; Public Meeting
Document Number: 2018-04865
Type: Notice
Date: 2018-03-12
Agency: Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
The New England Fishery Management Council's is convening an ad-hoc sub-panel of its Scientific and Statistical Committee to peer review two reports.
Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council (MAFMC); Public Meeting
Document Number: 2018-04864
Type: Notice
Date: 2018-03-12
Agency: Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
The Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council's (Council) Demersal Committee will hold a public meeting via webinar.
Fisheries of the South Atlantic; South Atlantic Fishery Management Council; Public Meetings
Document Number: 2018-04863
Type: Notice
Date: 2018-03-12
Agency: Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
The South Atlantic Fishery Management Council (Council) will hold meetings of the following Citizen Science Advisory Panel Action Teams: Volunteers; Communication/Outreach/Education; Projects/Topics Management; and Data Management via webinar.