Atlantic Highly Migratory Species; Atlantic Bluefin Tuna Fisheries
NMFS reopens the General category fishery for two days within the October through November 2020 General category subquota period. This action is intended to provide a reasonable opportunity to harvest the full annual U.S. bluefin tuna (BFT) quota without exceeding it, while maintaining an equitable distribution of fishing opportunities across time periods. This action applies to Atlantic tunas General category (commercial) permitted vessels and Atlantic Highly Migratory Species (HMS) Charter/Headboat category permitted vessels with a commercial sale endorsement when fishing commercially for BFT.
Magnuson-Stevens Act Provisions; General Provisions for Domestic Fisheries; Application for Exempted Fishing Permit
The Assistant Regional Administrator for Sustainable Fisheries, Greater Atlantic Region, NMFS, has made a preliminary determination that an Exempted Fishing Permit application contains all of the required information and warrants further consideration. This Exempted Fishing Permit would allow commercial fishing vessels to participate in a sampling survey in the eastern Gulf of Maine targeting adult cod with rod and reel while on commercial lobster trips. Regulations under the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act require publication of this notice to provide interested parties the opportunity to comment on Exempted Fishing Permit applications.
Marine Mammals; Issuance of Permits
Notice is hereby given that individuals and institutions have been issued Letters of Confirmation (LOCs) for activities conducted under the General Authorization for Scientific Research on marine mammals. See SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION for a list of names and address of recipients.
Pacific Island Pelagic Fisheries; 2021 U.S. Territorial Longline Bigeye Tuna Catch Limits
NMFS proposes a 2021 limit of 2,000 metric tons (t) of longline-caught bigeye tuna for each U.S. Pacific territory (American Samoa, Guam, and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI) (the territories)). NMFS would allow each territory to allocate up to 1,500 t in 2021 to U.S. longline fishing vessels through specified fishing agreements that meet established criteria. However, the overall allocation limit among all territories may not exceed 3,000 t. As an accountability measure, NMFS would monitor, attribute, and restrict (if necessary) catches of longline-caught bigeye tuna, including catches made under a specified fishing agreement. The proposed catch limits and accountability measures would support the long-term sustainability of fishery resources of the U.S. Pacific Islands.
Implementation of Fish and Fish Product Import Provisions of the Marine Mammal Protection Act-Notification of Rejection of Petition and Issuance of Comparability Findings
Under the authority of the Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA), the NMFS Assistant Administrator for Fisheries (Assistant Administrator) has denied a petition for emergency rulemaking from Sea Shepherd Legal. Additionally, the Assistant Administrator has issued comparability findings for the Government of New Zealand's (GNZ) following fisheries: West Coast North Island multi-species set net fishery, and West Coast North Island multi-species trawl fishery. NMFS bases the comparability findings on documentary evidence submitted by the GNZ and other relevant, readily-available information including the scientific literature.
Solicitation of Applications for the Ocean Exploration Advisory Board (OEAB)
NOAA is soliciting applications to fill up to four membership vacancies on the Ocean Exploration Advisory Board (OEAB).
Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; St. Matthew Blue King Crab Rebuilding Plan in the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands
The National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) announces the approval of Amendment 50 to the Fishery Management Plan (FMP) for Bering Sea/Aleutian Islands (BSAI) King and Tanner Crabs (Crab FMP) (Amendment 50). Amendment 50 adds a new rebuilding plan for St. Matthew blue king crab (SMBKC) to the Crab FMP. The objective of this amendment is to rebuild the SMBKC stock. In order to comply with provisions of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (Magnuson- Stevens Act), this action is necessary to implement a rebuilding plan prior to the start of the 2020/2021 fishing season. Amendment 50 is intended to promote the goals and objectives of the Magnuson-Stevens Act, the Crab FMP, and other applicable laws.