Takes of Marine Mammals Incidental to Specified Activities; Taking Marine Mammals Incidental to the Railroad Dock Dolphin Installation Project, Skagway, Alaska
NMFS has received a request from White Pass & Yukon Route (WP&YR) for authorization to take marine mammals incidental to the Railroad Dock dolphin installation project in Skagway, 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 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.
Fisheries of the Northeastern United States; Summer Flounder, Scup, and Black Sea Bass Fisheries; 2019 Specifications
NMFS implements 2019 specifications for the summer flounder and black sea bass fisheries and maintains previously-established 2019 specifications for the scup fishery. Additionally, this action reopens the February 2018 black sea bass recreational fishery and adjusts 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. The intent of this action is to inform the public of the specifications and management measures for the start of the 2019 fishing year for these three species. These specifications may be revised mid-year based on the results of ongoing stock assessments.
Fisheries of the Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico, and South Atlantic; Reef Fish Resources of the Gulf of Mexico; Commercial Reef Fish Fishery of the Gulf of Mexico; 2019 Red Grouper Commercial Quota Retention
NMFS intends to withhold a portion of the red grouper commercial quota from the Individual Fishing Quota Program for Grouper and Tilefishes (IFQ) for the 2019 fishing year as a result of a proposed commercial quota reduction. The Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council (Council) requested that NMFS reduce the Gulf of Mexico (Gulf) red grouper commercial and recreational annual catch limits (ACLs) and associated annual catch targets (ACTs) through a temporary rule to provide increased protections to the stock. The commercial red grouper quota is equivalent to the commercial ACT. NMFS is currently evaluating the Council's request and may implement, in early 2019, a temporary rule to reduce the red grouper ACLs and ACTs. Because red grouper is managed under an IFQ program, NMFS distributes IFQ allocation to the program shareholders on January 1 of each year. After NMFS distributes the applicable commercial quota to shareholders, it cannot be recalled. Therefore, in anticipation of the possible commercial quota reduction, NMFS will withhold distribution of 59.4 percent, equivalent to 4.78 million lb (2.17 million kg), gutted weight, of red grouper IFQ allocation on January 1, 2019. If the quota reduction is not implemented by June 1, 2019, the withheld quota will be distributed to the shareholders. This action is necessary to protect the red grouper resource and to effectively manage the IFQ program in 2019.
Fisheries of the Northeastern United States; Summer Flounder Fishery; Quota Transfer
NMFS announces that the Commonwealth of Virginia is transferring a portion of its 2018 commercial summer flounder quota to the State of Connecticut. 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 Virginia and Connecticut.
Takes of Marine Mammals Incidental to Specified Activities; Taking Marine Mammals Incidental to US 101/Chehalis River Bridge-Scour Repair in Washington State
In accordance with the regulations implementing the Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA) as amended, notification is hereby given that we have issued an incidental harassment authorization (IHA) to Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) to take small numbers of marine mammals, by harassment, incidental to US 101/Chehalis River Bridge-Scour Repair in Washington State.