Endangered and Threatened Species; Take of Anadromous Fish
Notice is hereby given that NMFS has issued a scientific research permit (Permit 18761-2R) to the University of California, Santa Cruz, under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). The research is intended to increase knowledge of black abalone listed under the ESA and to help guide management and conservation efforts.
Fisheries of the Northeastern United States; Omnibus Framework Adjustment To Modify the Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council's Risk Policy
NMFS approves and implements changes to the Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council's Risk Policy. This action is intended to adjust the Council's risk policy by accepting a higher level of risk for stocks at or above biomass targets. These adjustments could lead to increases in catch limits for healthy fisheries managed by the Council.
Fisheries of the Northeastern United States; Summer Flounder Fishery; Quota Transfer From NC to CT
NMFS announces that the State of North Carolina is transferring a portion of its 2020 commercial summer flounder quota to the State of Connecticut. This quota adjustment is necessary to comply with the Summer Flounder, Scup, and Black Sea Bass Fishery Management Plan quota transfer provisions. This announcement informs the public of the revised commercial quotas for North Carolina and Connecticut.
Pacific Island Pelagic Fisheries; False Killer Whale Take Reduction Plan; New Trigger Value for Southern Exclusion Zone Closure
In accordance with the Marine Mammal Protection Act of 1972 and the False Killer Whale Take Reduction Plan, NMFS is publishing a new trigger value for the Southern Exclusion Zone closure. The new trigger is four observed mortality or serious injuries of false killer whales incidental to the deep-set longline fishery within the U.S. Exclusive Economic Zone.
Fisheries of the Northeastern United States; Atlantic Bluefish Fishery; Quota Transfers From MA to NC, DE to RI, and VA to NY
NMFS announces that the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, the State of Delaware, and the Commonwealth of Virginia are transferring a portion of their 2020 commercial bluefish quota to the State of North Carolina, the State of Rhode Island, and the State of New York, 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 Massachusetts, North Carolina, Delaware, Rhode Island, Virginia, and New York.
Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Reallocation of Pacific Cod in the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Management Area
NMFS is reallocating the projected unused amount of Pacific cod from vessels using jig gear and trawl catcher vessels (CVs) to CVs less than 60 feet (18.3 m) length overall (LOA) using hook-and-line or pot gear and American Fisheries Act (AFA) catcher/processors (CPs) in the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands (BSAI) management area. This action is necessary to allow the 2020 total allowable catch (TAC) of Pacific cod to be harvested.
Takes of Marine Mammals Incidental to Specified Activities; Taking Marine Mammals Incidental to the South Quay Wall Recapitalization Project, Mayport, Florida
NMFS has received a request from the United States Navy (Navy) for the re-issuance of a previously issued incidental harassment authorization (IHA) with the change being a modification to the effective dates. The initial IHA authorizes take of one species of marine mammal, by Level B harassment only, incidental to pile driving associated with the South Quay Wall Recapitalization Project, Naval Station Mayport, Florida. The project has been delayed and none of the work covered in the current IHA has been conducted. The Navy has requested the IHA be re-issued with the following effective dates: January 1, 2021, through December 31, 2021. The scope of the activities and anticipated effects remain the same, authorized take numbers are not changed, and the required mitigation, monitoring, and reporting remains the same as included in the initial IHA. Therefore, NMFS re- issued the IHA.
Schedules for Atlantic Shark Identification Workshops and Protected Species Safe Handling, Release, and Identification Workshops
NMFS announces that the date for the Atlantic Shark Identification workshop originally scheduled for November 12, 2020, in Largo, FL, has been changed. The new date is January 7, 2021. The workshop time and location remain unchanged: 12 p.m. to 4 p.m. on January 7, 2021, in Largo, FL. Atlantic Shark Identification workshops are mandatory for Atlantic shark dealers. Additional free workshops will be conducted during 2021.
Taking of Marine Mammals Incidental to Commercial Fishing Operations; Amendment to the Atlantic Pelagic Longline Take Reduction Plan
NMFS proposes to amend the regulations implementing the Atlantic Pelagic Longline Take Reduction Plan (hereinafter called the PLTRP or the Plan) to reduce mortalities and serious injuries of short- finned pilot whales incidental to the Atlantic pelagic longline fishery to meet the long-term goal of the Plan as required by the Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA). The PLTRP currently contains both regulatory and non-regulatory management measures to reduce mortality and serious injury of pilot whales (Globicephala spp.) and Risso's dolphins (Grampus griseus), in the Atlantic portion of the Category I Atlantic Ocean, Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico large pelagics longline fishery (hereinafter called Atlantic pelagic longline fishery). The proposed amendments to the PLTRP are based on consensus recommendations submitted by the Atlantic Pelagic Longline Take Reduction Team (hereinafter called the PLTRT or the Team) and include: Removing the Cape Hatteras Special Research Area and the associated special observer and research participation requirements for fishermen operating in that area, modifying the mainline length restrictions for pelagic longline sets in the U.S. exclusive economic zone (EEZ) portion of the Mid- Atlantic Bight, and implementing required hook and gangion modifications in the EEZ portion of the Florida East Coast, South Atlantic Bight, Mid-Atlantic Bight and Northeast Coastal fishing areas. Furthermore, NMFS is removing Risso's dolphins and long-finned pilot whales from the Plan's scope.