Snapper-Grouper Fishery of the South Atlantic; 2018 Recreational Accountability Measure and Closure for South Atlantic Red Grouper
NMFS implements accountability measures (AMs) for the red grouper recreational sector in the exclusive economic zone (EEZ) of the South Atlantic for the 2018 fishing year through this temporary rule. NMFS estimates recreational landings of red grouper in 2018 have exceeded the recreational annual catch limit (ACL). Therefore, NMFS closes the red grouper recreational sector in the South Atlantic EEZ at 12:01 a.m., local time, on December 12, 2018 for the remainder of the 2018 fishing year. This closure is necessary to protect the red grouper resource.
Schedules for Atlantic Shark Identification Workshops and Safe Handling, Release, and Identification Workshops
Free Atlantic Shark Identification Workshops and Safe Handling, Release, and Identification Workshops will be held in January, February, and March of 2019. Certain fishermen and shark dealers are required to attend a workshop to meet regulatory requirements and to maintain valid permits. Specifically, the Atlantic Shark Identification Workshop is mandatory for all federally permitted Atlantic shark dealers. The Safe Handling, Release, and Identification Workshop is mandatory for vessel owners and operators who use bottom longline, pelagic longline, or gillnet gear, and who have also been issued shark or swordfish limited access permits. Additional free workshops will be conducted during 2019 and will be announced in a future notice.
Atlantic Highly Migratory Species (HMS); Atlantic HMS Tournament Registration and Reporting; Selection of All Atlantic HMS Tournaments for Reporting
NMFS announces that all Atlantic HMS tournaments will be selected for reporting beginning on January 1, 2019. Previously, only a portion of Atlantic HMS tournaments were selected for reporting. An Atlantic HMS tournament is a tournament that awards points or prizes for catching Atlantic HMS (i.e., swordfish, billfish, sharks and/or tunas). When selected for reporting, Atlantic HMS tournament operators are required to submit an HMS tournament catch summary report within seven days after tournament fishing has ended. NMFS uses the data to estimate the total annual catch of HMS and the impact of tournament operations in relation to other types of fishing activities.
Fishing Capacity Reduction Program for the Longline Catcher Processor Subsector of the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Non Pollock Groundfish Fishery
NMFS issues this notice to inform the public that there will be an increase of the fee rate required to repay the $35,000,000 reduction loan financing the non-pollock groundfish fishing capacity reduction program. Effective January 1, 2019, NMFS is increasing the Loan A fee rate to $0.017 per pound to ensure timely loan repayment. The fee rate for Loan B will remain unchanged at $0.001 per pound.
Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; North Pacific Halibut and Sablefish Individual Fishing Quota Cost Recovery Programs
NMFS publishes the individual fishing quota (IFQ) standard prices and fee percentage for cost recovery for the IFQ Program for the halibut and sablefish fisheries of the North Pacific (IFQ Program). The fee percentage for 2018 is 2.8 percent. This action is intended to provide holders of halibut and sablefish IFQ permits with the 2018 standard prices and fee percentage to calculate the required payment for IFQ cost recovery fees due by January 31, 2019.
Endangered Species; File Nos. 21857, 22078, and 22324
Notice is hereby given that three applicants have applied in due form for permits to take smalltooth sawfish (Pristis pectinata) for purposes of scientific research, with one also requesting to receive, import, and export parts of five foreign species of sawfish, including dwarf (P. clavata), narrow (Anoxypristis cuspidata), green (P. zijsron), largetooth (P. Pristis), and non-U.S. DPS smalltooth sawfish for scientific research.
Magnuson-Stevens Act Provisions; Fisheries Off West Coast States; Pacific Coast Groundfish Fishery; 2019-2020 Biennial Specifications and Management Measures
This final rule establishes the 2019-2020 harvest specifications and management measures for groundfish taken in the U.S. exclusive economic zone off the coasts of Washington, Oregon, and California, consistent with the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act and the Pacific Coast Groundfish Fishery Management Plan. This final rule revises the management measures that are intended to keep the total catch of each groundfish stock or stock complex within the harvest specifications. These measures are intended to help prevent overfishing, rebuild overfished stocks, achieve optimum yield, and ensure that management measures are based on the best scientific information available.