Takes of Marine Mammals Incidental to Specified Activities; Taking Marine Mammals Incidental to Unexploded Ordnance Investigation Survey off the Coast of Virginia
NMFS has received a request from Virginia Electric and Power Company d/b/a Dominion Energy Virginia (Dominion) for authorization to take marine mammals incidental to unexploded ordnance (UXO) investigation surveys off the coast of Virginia as part of site characterization surveys in the area of the Research Lease of Submerged Lands for Renewable Energy Development on the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS-A 0497) (Lease Area) and coastal waters where a cable route corridor will be established. 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.
Fisheries of the Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico, and South Atlantic; Reef Fish Fishery of Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands; Exempted Fishing Permit
NMFS announces the receipt of an application for an exempted fishing permit (EFP) from Puerto Rico's Department of Natural and Environmental Resources (DNER). If granted, the EFP would authorize persons aboard DNER research vessels and commercial fishing vessels contracted through DNER to collect selected reef fish species in waters of the U.S. Caribbean exclusive economic zone (EEZ) off Puerto Rico without complying with certain seasonal and gear closures, and size and bag limits. Reef fish would be harvested by hook-and-line and bottom longline gear and monitored by underwater camera gear. The operations would take place in the U.S. Caribbean EEZ off both the west and east coasts of Puerto Rico. All reef fish, including undersized and seasonally prohibited reef fish species, would be retained, except for goliath grouper, Nassau grouper, and all species of parrotfish. The purpose of the EFP is to determine spatial and temporal variations in stock abundance of Caribbean reef fish resources off Puerto Rico.