Fisheries of the Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico, and South Atlantic; Snapper-Grouper Resources of the South Atlantic; 2019 Red Snapper Commercial and Recreational Fishing Seasons
NMFS announces the limited opening of commercial and recreational red snapper in the exclusive economic zone (EEZ) of the South Atlantic for the 2019 fishing year. This notice announces the red snapper commercial season opening date and the opening and closing dates for the red snapper recreational season, according to the accountability measures (AMs). This season announcement for South Atlantic red snapper allows fishers to maximize their opportunity to harvest the commercial and recreational annual catch limits (ACLs) while also managing harvest to protect the red snapper resource.
Takes of Marine Mammals Incidental to Specified Activities; Taking Marine Mammals Incidental to City of Juneau Waterfront Improvement Project
NMFS has received a request from the City and Borough of Juneau (CBJ) for authorization to take marine mammals incidental to the Juneau Dock and Harbor waterfront improvement project in Juneau, Alaska. Pursuant to the Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA), NMFS is requesting comments on its proposal to issue an 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 Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico, and South Atlantic; Reef Fish Fishery of the Gulf of Mexico; Revisions to Red Snapper and Hogfish Management Measures
NMFS issues regulations to implement management measures described in two framework actions to the Fishery Management Plan (FMP) for the Reef Fish Resources of the Gulf of Mexico (Gulf), as prepared by the Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council (Council). The framework actions are titled ``Modify the Annual Catch Limit (ACL) for the Gulf Red Snapper and Hogfish Stocks'' (ACL Framework Action) and ``Modify the Red Snapper Recreational Annual Catch Targets (ACT)'' (ACT Framework Action). This final rule modifies Gulf red snapper commercial and recreational ACLs (quotas) and ACTs, as well as the Gulf hogfish (West Florida stock) stock ACL, as a result of recent stock assessments for each species. Additionally, this final rule reduces the Federal charter vessel/headboat (for-hire) component's red snapper ACT buffer to a level that will allow a greater harvest in 2019 while continuing to constrain landings to the component and total recreational ACLs. The purposes of this final rule are to respond to updated stock assessment information, maximize socio-economic opportunities for red snapper in the Federal for-hire component, and to continue to achieve optimum yield (OY) for each stock.
Temporary Rule To Establish Management Measures for Red Grouper in the Gulf of Mexico
NMFS proposes to issue an emergency rule as requested by the Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council (Council) to address concerns regarding the Gulf of Mexico (Gulf) red grouper stock. The Council made this request after receiving new information that indicates the stock may be in decline. This proposed emergency rule would reduce the commercial and recreational annual catch limits (ACLs) and annual catch targets (ACTs). This emergency rule would be effective for 180 days, although NMFS may extend the emergency rule's effectiveness for a maximum of an additional 186 days. The intended effect of this emergency rule is to provide a temporary rapid reduction in Gulf red grouper harvest levels to protect the stock from overharvest while the Council develops permanent rulemaking.