Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Pacific Cod in the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Management Area
NMFS is opening directed fishing for Pacific cod by catcher vessels less than 60 feet (18.3 meters) length overall (LOA) using hook-and-line or pot gear in the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Management Area (BSAI). This action is necessary to fully use the 2019 total allowable catch of Pacific cod allocated to catcher vessels less than 60 feet LOA using hook-and-line or pot gear in the BSAI.
Atlantic Highly Migratory Species; Amendment 12 to the 2006 Consolidated Atlantic Highly Migratory Species Fishery Management Plan
NMFS announces the availability of a scoping document and its intent to initiate an amendment to the 2006 Consolidated Highly Migratory Species (HMS) Fishery Management Plan (FMP). Given recent revisions to the National Standard guidelines and recent NMFS policy directives, which aim to improve and streamline fishery management procedures to enhance their utility for managers and the public, NMFS has determined it is necessary to: Reassess current HMS FMP objectives to reflect the changing needs of the HMS fisheries, and potentially adopt revised FMP objectives; review stock status determination criteria (SDC) for internationally-managed HMS and adopt such criteria, rather than continue to apply domestic criteria, which at times differ; review the standardized bycatch reporting methodology (SBRM) for certain HMS fisheries and update, if necessary; consider triggers for initiating allocation reviews for quota-managed HMS stocks and adopt such triggers, if appropriate; and consider revising the publication date of the annual HMS Stock Assessment and Fishery Evaluation (SAFE) Report and adopt such revision. The goal of the scoping document is to examine potential options and modify domestic HMS fishery management measures to be consistent with the national standards guidelines and recent NMFS policy directives, and to request additional information and input from consulting parties and the public prior to development of Amendment 12 to the 2006 Consolidated Atlantic HMS FMP.
Takes of Marine Mammals Incidental to Specified Activities; Taking Marine Mammals Incidental to Construction Activities Associated With the Raritan Bay Pipeline
NMFS has received a request from Transcontinental Gas Pipe Line Company, LLC (Transco), a subsidiary of Williams Partners L.P., to take marine mammals incidental to construction activities associated with the Raritan Bay Pipeline. 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 Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico, and South Atlantic; 2019 Commercial Closure for Atlantic Migratory Group Cobia
NMFS implements a closure for Atlantic migratory group cobia (Atlantic cobia) that are sold (commercial) and harvested from Atlantic Federal waters. NMFS projects that commercial landings of Atlantic cobia have reached the commercial quota. Therefore, NMFS closes the commercial sector for Atlantic cobia in Federal waters on September 4, 2019, and it will remain closed until the start of the next fishing year on January 1, 2020. This closure is necessary to protect the Atlantic cobia resource.
Taking of Marine Mammals Incidental to Specific Activities; Taking of Marine Mammals Incidental to Pile Driving Activities During Construction of a Ferry Terminal at Seaplane Lagoon, Alameda Point, San Francisco, California
In accordance with the regulations implementing the Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA) as amended, notification is hereby given that NMFS has issued an incidental harassment authorization (IHA) to the City of Alameda (City) to incidentally harass, by Level A and B harassment only, marine mammals during pile driving and removal activities during construction of a ferry terminal at Seaplane Lagoon, Alameda Point, San Francisco, California.
Marine Mammals; File No. 23117
Notice is hereby given that BBC Worldwide Americas, 1120 Avenue of the Americas, New York, NY 10036 (Responsible Party: Orla Doherty), has applied in due form for a permit to conduct commercial or educational photography on Weddell seals (Leptonychotes weddellii), minke whales (Balaenoptera acutorostrata) and killer whales (Orcinus orca).
Plan for Periodic Review of Regulations
Regulatory Flexibility Act (RFA) section 610 requires that NOAA Office of National Marine Sanctuaries (ONMS) periodically review existing regulations that have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities, such as small businesses, small organizations, and small governmental jurisdictions. The RFA does not require agencies to periodically review existing regulations that were originally certified under RFA section 605 as a rule that will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. However, an agency may exercise its discretion to review certified rules to assess whether changed conditions may mean that the existing rules now have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. This plan describes how ONMS will exercise its discretion to conduct this assessment for specified rules certified under RFA section 605 and describes the regulations proposed for review in 2020.