Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone off Alaska; Pacific Cod in the Central Regulatory Area of the Gulf of Alaska
NMFS is prohibiting retention of Pacific cod by catcher vessels using trawl gear in the Central Regulatory Area of the Gulf of Alaska (GOA). This action is necessary because the 2020 total allowable catch (TAC) of Pacific cod allocated to catcher vessels using trawl gear in the Central Regulatory Area of the GOA has been reached.
Fisheries of the Northeastern United States; Atlantic Bluefish Fishery; Quota Transfers From ME to RI and NJ to NC
NMFS announces that the states of Maine and New Jersey are transferring a portion of their 2020 commercial bluefish quota to the states of Rhode Island and North Carolina, respectively. These quota adjustments are necessary to comply with the Atlantic Bluefish Fishery Management Plan quota transfer provisions. This announcement informs the public of the revised commercial bluefish quotas for Maine, Rhode Island, New Jersey, and North Carolina.
Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Pacific Cod in the Central Regulatory Area of the Gulf of Alaska
NMFS is prohibiting retention of Pacific cod by catcher/ processors using trawl gear in the Central Regulatory Area of the Gulf of Alaska (GOA). This action is necessary because the 2020 total allowable catch of Pacific cod allocated to catcher/processors using trawl gear in the Central Regulatory Area of the GOA has been reached.
Meeting of the Marine Fisheries Advisory Committee
This notice sets forth the proposed schedule and agenda of a forthcoming meeting of the Marine Fisheries Advisory Committee (MAFAC). The members will hear a presentation and consider approval of the final report of the Phase 2 work of the Columbia Basin Partnership Task Force and other topics including aquaculture and the Executive Order Promoting American Seafood competitiveness and Economic Growth, marine heatwaves, FY2021 budget, COVID-19 impacts on agency operations, and work of the Recreational Fisheries Subcommittee.
Deprecation of the United States (U.S.) Survey Foot
The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and the National Geodetic Survey (NGS), National Ocean Service (NOS), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), have taken collaborative action to provide national uniformity in the measurement of length. This notice announces the final decision to deprecate use of the ``U.S. survey foot'' on December 31, 2022. Beginning on January 1, 2023, the U.S. survey foot should not be used and will be superseded by the ``international foot'' definition (i.e., 1 foot = 0.3048 meter exactly) in all applications. The international foot is currently used throughout the U.S. for a large majority of applications and is typically referred to as simply the ``foot.'' Over time this terminology will become more prevalent in land surveying and mapping communities. Either the term ``foot'' or ``international foot'' may be used, as required for clarity in technical applications. This notice describes public comments received, along with the plan, resources, training, and other activities provided by NIST and NOAA to assist those affected by this transition.
Taking of Threatened or Endangered Marine Mammals Incidental to Commercial Fishing Operations; Proposed Issuance of Permits
The National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) is proposing to issue permits to authorize the incidental, but not intentional, take of specific Endangered Species Act (ESA)-listed marine mammal species or stocks under the Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA), in certain U.S. commercial fisheries.
Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act Provisions; Atlantic Bluefish Fishery; Withdrawal of Notice of Intent To Prepare Environmental Impact Statement for Amendment 7
The Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council initiated development of Amendment 7 to the Atlantic Bluefish Fishery Management Plan in late 2017. A notice of intent to develop an environmental impact statement for this action was published in June 2018. However, following a second round of scoping meetings in February and March 2020, it has been determined that the range of proposed alternatives included in this amendment are not expected to have significant impacts on the fishery or affected environment. Therefore, NMFS is withdrawing the notice of intent and will continue development of an environmental assessment instead.
Magnuson-Stevens Act Provisions; Fisheries Off West Coast States; Pacific Coast Groundfish Fishery; Pacific Coast Groundfish Fishery Management Plan; Amendment 29; 2021-22 Biennial Specifications and Management Measures
This proposed rule would establish the 2021-22 harvest specifications for groundfish taken in the U.S. exclusive economic zone off the coasts of Washington, Oregon, and California, consistent with the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act and the Pacific Coast Groundfish Fishery Management Plan (PCGFMP). This proposed rule would also revise the management measures that are intended to keep the total annual catch of each groundfish stock or stock complex within the annual catch limits. These proposed measures are intended to help prevent overfishing, rebuild overfished stocks, achieve optimum yield, and ensure that management measures are based on the best scientific information available. Additionally, this proposed rule announces the receipt of exempted fishing permit applications. NMFS has made a preliminary determination that these applications warrant further consideration. NMFS requests public comment on these applications. This action also would implement Amendment 29 to the PCGFMP, which would designate shortbelly rockfish as an ecosystem component species, and would make changes to the trawl/non-trawl allocations for blackgill rockfish within the southern slope complex south of 40[deg]10' North latitude (N lat.), petrale sole, lingcod south of 40[deg]10' N lat., and widow rockfish.
Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Exchange of Flatfish in the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Management Area
NMFS is exchanging allocations of Amendment 80 cooperative quota (CQ) for Amendment 80 acceptable biological catch (ABC) reserves. This action is necessary to allow the 2020 total allowable catch (TAC) of flathead sole, rock sole, and yellowfin sole in the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands management area (BSAI) to be harvested.
South Atlantic Fishery Management Council; Public Meetings
The South Atlantic Fishery Management Council (Council) will hold a meeting of its Habitat Protection and Ecosystem-Based Management Advisory Panel (Habitat AP).
Fisheries of the South Atlantic, Gulf of Mexico, and Caribbean; Southeast Data, Assessment, and Review (SEDAR); Public Meeting
The SEDAR Steering Committee will meet via webinar to discuss the SEDAR stock assessment process and assessment schedule. See SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION.
Meeting of the Advisory Committee on Commercial Remote Sensing
The Advisory Committee on Commercial Remote Sensing (``ACCRES'') will meet for 2 half-day meetings on October 27 and October 28, 2020.
Fisheries of the Northeastern United States; Atlantic Surfclam and Ocean Quahog Fisheries; Notice That Vendor Will Provide 2021 Cage Tags
NMFS informs surfclam and ocean quahog individual transferable quota allocation holders that they will be required to purchase their fishing year 2021 (January 1, 2021-December 31, 2021) cage tags from the National Band and Tag Company. The intent of this notice is to comply with regulations for the Atlantic surfclam and ocean quahog fisheries and to promote efficient distribution of cage tags.
Review of Nomination for Chumash Heritage National Marine Sanctuary
In May 2020, the Office of National Marine Sanctuaries (ONMS) of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) requested written comments to facilitate ONMS review of the nomination for Chumash Heritage National Marine Sanctuary (CHNMS). NOAA requested relevant information as it pertains to the 11 national significance criteria and management considerations that NOAA applied to evaluate the CHNMS nomination for inclusion in the national inventory of areas that NOAA may be considered for future designation as a national marine sanctuary. NOAA has synthesized the information gathered through the public process, completed an internal analysis, and the ONMS Director has determined that the CHNMS nomination will remain in the inventory until at least October 5, 2025.
Atlantic Highly Migratory Species; Adjustments to 2020 Northern Albacore Tuna Quota, 2020 North and South Atlantic Swordfish Quotas, and 2020 Atlantic Bluefin Tuna Reserve Category Quota
NMFS adjusts the 2020 baseline quotas for U.S. North Atlantic albacore tuna (northern albacore), North and South Atlantic swordfish, and the Atlantic bluefin Reserve category based on available underharvest of the 2019 adjusted U.S. quotas. This action is necessary to implement binding recommendations of the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas (ICCAT), as required by the Atlantic Tunas Convention Act (ATCA), and to achieve domestic management objectives under the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (Magnuson-Stevens Act).
Fisheries Off West Coast States; West Coast Salmon Fisheries; Rebuilding Coho Salmon Stocks
NMFS proposes to approve and implement rebuilding plans recommended by the Pacific Fishery Management Council (Council) for three overfished stocks: Juan de Fuca, Queets, and Snohomish natural coho salmon (collectively, the overfished coho stocks). NMFS determined in June 2018 that these stocks were overfished. NMFS also announces the availability for public review and comment of a draft environmental assessment (EA) analyzing the environmental impacts of implementing these rebuilding plans.