National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration November 15, 2018 – Federal Register Recent Federal Regulation Documents

Takes of Marine Mammals Incidental to Specified Activities; Taking Marine Mammals Incidental to Boost-Back and Landing of Falcon 9 Rockets
Document Number: 2018-24977
Type: Notice
Date: 2018-11-15
Agency: Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
NMFS has received a request from Space Exploration Technology Corporation (SpaceX) for authorization to take marine mammals incidental to boost-back and landing of Falcon 9 rockets at Vandenberg Air Force Base (VAFB) in California, and at contingency landing locations in the Pacific Ocean. 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 is also requesting comments on a possible one-year renewal that could be issued under certain circumstances and if all requirements are met, as described in Request for Public Comments at the end of this notice. 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.
Magnuson-Stevens Act Provisions; Fisheries of the Northeastern United States; Northeast Multispecies Fishery; Approval of New Gear Under Small-Mesh Fisheries Accountability Measures
Document Number: 2018-24975
Type: Proposed Rule
Date: 2018-11-15
Agency: Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
We propose to approve new selective trawl gear for use in several non-groundfish fisheries when subject to the Georges Bank yellowtail flounder accountability measure. The proposed selective gear would reduce bycatch of groundfish species, while allowing the target fisheries to continue operating when selective trawl gear is required. Approving this selective trawl gear would provide the fishing industry with more flexibility because there are limited selective trawl gears currently approved for use. We also propose to disapprove the use of this gear in the southern windowpane accountability measure areas.
Northeast Regional Stock Assessment Workshop and Stock Assessment Review Committee Public Meeting
Document Number: 2018-24956
Type: Notice
Date: 2018-11-15
Agency: Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
NMFS and the Northeast Regional Stock Assessment Workshop (SAW) will convene the 66th SAW Stock Assessment Review Committee for the purpose of reviewing stock assessments of Summer Flounder and Striped Bass. The Northeast Regional SAW is a formal scientific peer- review process for evaluating and presenting stock assessment results to managers for fish stocks in the offshore U.S. waters of the northwest Atlantic. Assessments are prepared by SAW working groups and reviewed by an independent panel of stock assessment experts called the Stock Assessment Review Committee, or SARC. The public is invited to attend the presentations and discussions between the review panel and the scientists who have participated in the stock assessment process.
Atlantic Highly Migratory Species; Atlantic Bluefin Tuna Fisheries
Document Number: 2018-24954
Type: Rule
Date: 2018-11-15
Agency: Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
NMFS has determined that a reopening of the Atlantic bluefin tuna (BFT) General category fishery is warranted. This action is intended to provide a reasonable opportunity to harvest the full annual U.S. BFT quota without exceeding it, while maintaining an equitable distribution of fishing opportunities across time periods; help achieve optimum yield in the BFT fishery; and optimize the ability of all permit categories to harvest their full BFT quota allocations. This action applies to Atlantic tunas General category (commercial) permitted vessels and Atlantic Highly Migratory Species (HMS) Charter/ Headboat category permitted vessels with a commercial sale endorsement when fishing commercially for BFT.
Fisheries of the Northeastern United States; Summer Flounder, Scup, and Black Sea Bass Fisheries; 2019 Specifications
Document Number: 2018-24946
Type: Proposed Rule
Date: 2018-11-15
Agency: Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
NMFS proposes 2019 specifications for the summer flounder and black sea bass fisheries and maintains previously established 2019 specifications for the scup fishery. Additionally, this action proposes to reopen the February 2018 black sea bass recreational fishery and to adjust to the current commercial incidental possession limit for scup. The implementing regulations for the Summer Flounder, Scup, and Black Sea Bass Fishery Management Plan require us to publish specifications for the upcoming fishing year for each of these species and to provide an opportunity for public comment. This action is intended to inform the public of the proposed specifications and management measures for the start of the 2019 fishing year for these three species.
Proposed Information Collection; Comment Request; International Billfish Angler Survey
Document Number: 2018-24922
Type: Notice
Date: 2018-11-15
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.
Proposed Information Collection; Comment Request; Designation of Fishery Management Council Members and Application for Reinstatement of State Authority
Document Number: 2018-24921
Type: Notice
Date: 2018-11-15
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.
Snapper-Grouper Fishery of the South Atlantic; 2018 Commercial Closure for Hogfish in the Florida Keys/East Florida Area of the South Atlantic
Document Number: 2018-24915
Type: Rule
Date: 2018-11-15
Agency: Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
NMFS implements accountability measures (AMs) for the hogfish commercial sector in the exclusive economic zone (EEZ) of the South Atlantic for the Florida Keys/East Florida (FLK/EFL) stock for the 2018 fishing year through this temporary rule. NMFS estimates commercial hogfish landings for the FLK/EFL hogfish stock for the 2018 fishing year will reach the annual catch limit (ACL) on November 16, 2018. Therefore, NMFS closes the commercial sector for the FLK/EFL hogfish stock in the South Atlantic EEZ on November 16, 2018, through the remainder of the 2018 fishing year. This closure is necessary to protect the hogfish resource in the FLK/EFL region of the South Atlantic.
Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone off Alaska; Shortraker Rockfish in the Central Regulatory Area of the Gulf of Alaska
Document Number: 2018-24914
Type: Rule
Date: 2018-11-15
Agency: Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
NMFS is prohibiting retention of shortraker rockfish in the Central Regulatory Area of the Gulf of Alaska (GOA). This action is necessary because the 2018 total allowable catch of shortraker rockfish in the Central Regulatory Area of the GOA will be reached.