Atlantic Highly Migratory Species; Exempted Fishing, Scientific Research, Display, and Shark Research Fishery Permits; Letters of Acknowledgment
NMFS announces its intent to issue exempted fishing permits (EFPs), scientific research permits (SRPs), display permits, letters of acknowledgment (LOAs), and shark research fishery permits for Atlantic highly migratory species (HMS) in 2020. EFPs and related permits would authorize collection of a limited number of HMS, including tunas, swordfish, billfishes, and sharks, from Federal waters in the Atlantic Ocean, Caribbean Sea, and Gulf of Mexico for the purposes of scientific research, data collection, the investigation of bycatch, and public display, among other things. LOAs acknowledge that scientific research activity aboard a scientific research vessel is being conducted. Generally, EFPs and related permits would be valid from the date of issuance through December 31, 2020, unless otherwise specified, subject to the terms and conditions of individual permits. This notice also schedules a public webinar/conference call for applicants, during which NMFS will provide a general overview of the EFP program and hold a question and answer session.
Coastal Migratory Pelagic Resources of the Gulf of Mexico and Atlantic Region; 2019-2020 Commercial Closure for King Mackerel in the Gulf of Mexico Western Zone
NMFS implements an accountability measure (AM) for commercial king mackerel in the western zone of the Gulf of Mexico (Gulf) exclusive economic zone (EEZ) through this temporary rule. NMFS has determined that the commercial quota for king mackerel in the western zone of the Gulf EEZ will be reached by November 21, 2019. Therefore, NMFS closes the western zone of the Gulf EEZ to commercial king mackerel fishing on November 21, 2019. This closure is necessary to protect the Gulf king mackerel resource.