Science Advisory Board
This is a virtual meeting. However, members of the public may also come to 1315 East-West Highway, SSMC3 Room 8836. This notice sets forth the schedule and proposed agenda of a meeting of the NOAA Science Advisory Board (SAB). The members will discuss issues outlined in the section on Matters to be considered.
Atlantic Highly Migratory Species; Atlantic Bluefin Tuna Fisheries; Pelagic Longline Fishery Management
This notice announces an additional public hearing for a proposed rule NMFS published on July 12, 2019. The proposed rule would adjust regulatory measures that reduce bluefin tuna bycatch in the pelagic longline fishery for Atlantic highly migratory species (HMS).
Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Sablefish in the Central Regulatory Area of the Gulf of Alaska
NMFS is prohibiting retention of sablefish by vessels using trawl gear and not participating in the cooperative fishery of the Rockfish Program in the Central Regulatory Area of the Gulf of Alaska (GOA). This action is necessary because the 2019 total allowable catch of sablefish allocated to vessels using trawl gear and not participating in the cooperative fishery of the Rockfish Program in the Central Regulatory Area of the GOA has been reached.
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 October, November, and December 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 2020 and will be announced in a future notice.
Coastal Migratory Pelagic Resources of the Gulf of Mexico and Atlantic Region; Commercial Trip Limit Reduction for King Mackerel in the Atlantic Southern Zone
NMFS reduces the commercial trip limit for Atlantic migratory group king mackerel (Atlantic king mackerel) in or from Federal waters in the Atlantic southern zone off the Florida east coast between the border of Flagler and Volusia Counties and the border of Miami-Dade and Monroe Counties to 50 fish per day. This commercial trip limit reduction is necessary to protect the Atlantic king mackerel resource.
Magnuson-Stevens Act Provisions; Fisheries off West Coast States; Pacific Coast Groundfish Fishery; Pacific Coast Groundfish Fishery Management Plan; Amendment 21-4; Trawl Catch Share Program
NMFS announces that the Pacific Fishery Management Council submitted Amendment 21-4 to the Pacific Coast Groundfish Fishery Management Plan to the Secretary of Commerce for review. If approved, Amendment 21-4 would adjust the Pacific Coast Groundfish Fishery Catch Share Program to complete outstanding elements of the program, respond to problems identified after program implementation, and modify outdated regulations. The proposed Amendment would convert bycatch allocations of canary and widow rockfish to set-asides in the at-sea whiting fishery and remove fixed formulas used to determine bycatch amounts of Pacific Ocean Perch, darkblotched rockfish and widow rockfish in the at-sea whiting sectors. Bycatch amounts would instead be determined through the biennial harvest specification process, which would offer more flexible bycatch management for the at-sea sectors. The proposed rule implementing this proposed FMP amendment includes other regulatory changes which would provide increased opportunity to trade individual fishing quota, accumulation limits for catcher-processor permits, and expand economic data collections. The rule will help to ensure the Pacific Coast Groundfish fishery achieves optimum yield, minimize costs of participation, provide fair and equitable access to fishery resources, and avoid adverse economic impacts to fishing communities.
Notice of Availability of a Draft Environmental Impact Statement for the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary Restoration Blueprint; Announcement of Public Meetings
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has prepared a draft environmental impact statement (DEIS) to evaluate a range of alternatives for changes to the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary (FKNMS) to expand the boundary of the sanctuary, update sanctuary-wide regulations, update the individual marine zones and their associated regulations, and revise the sanctuary management plan. FKNMS protects 3,800 square miles of waters surrounding the Florida Keys, from south of Miami westward to the Dry Tortugas. Within the boundary of the sanctuary lie spectacular, unique, and nationally significant marine resources including North America's only coral barrier reef, extensive seagrass beds, mangrove-fringed islands, and more than 6,000 species of marine life. The sanctuary also protects pieces of our Nation's history such as shipwrecks and other archeological resources. The DEIS includes a proposed action and a range of alternatives that would help improve the condition of resources in the Florida Keys through a series of regulatory and management measures designed to reduce threats and, where appropriate, restore coral reefs, seagrasses, and other important habitats. NOAA is soliciting public comment on the DEIS, also referred to as the Restoration Blueprint.
Special Meeting of the Advisory Committee to the United States Delegation to the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas
The Advisory Committee (Committee) to the U.S. Section to the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas (ICCAT) announces a special meeting to be held September 5-6, 2019. The meeting is open to the public and will be accessible via conference call and webinar.
Marine Mammals; Pinniped Removal Authority
On June 13, 2019, NMFS received an application from the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife, the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, the Idaho Department of Fish and Game, on behalf of their respective states; the Nez Perce Tribe, the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation, the Confederated Tribes of the Warm Springs Reservation of Oregon, the Confederated Tribes and Bands of the Yakama Nation; and the Willamette Committee (hereafter called ``eligible entities''). The eligible entities are requesting authorization to intentionally take, by lethal methods, California sea lions (Zalophus californianus) and Steller sea lions (Eumetopias jubatus: Eastern stock) that are located in the main stem of the Columbia River between river mile 112 and McNary Dam (river mile 292), or in any tributary to the Columbia River that includes spawning habitat of threatened or endangered salmon or steelhead (Onchorynchus spp.). This action is intended to reduce or eliminate sea lion predation on the fishery stocks that are listed as threatened or endangered under the Endangered Species Act of 1973.