Atlantic Highly Migratory Species; Commercial Aggregated Large Coastal Sharks and Hammerhead Sharks in the Western Gulf of Mexico Sub-Region; Closure
NMFS is closing the commercial fishery for the aggregated large coastal sharks (LCS) and hammerhead shark management groups in the western Gulf of Mexico sub-region. This action is necessary because the commercial landings of sharks in the aggregated LCS management group in the western Gulf of Mexico sub-region for the 2021 fishing season have reached 80 percent of the available commercial quota, and the aggregated LCS and hammerhead shark management groups quotas are linked under the regulations. This closure will affect anyone commercially fishing for sharks in the western Gulf of Mexico sub- region.
Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Sablefish Managed Under the Individual Fishing Quota Program
NMFS is opening directed fishing for sablefish with fixed gear managed under the Individual Fishing Quota (IFQ) Program and the Community Development Quota (CDQ) Program. The season will open 1200 hours, Alaska local time (A.l.t.), March 6, 2021, and will close 1200 hours, A.l.t., December 7, 2021. This period is the same as the 2021 commercial halibut fishery opening dates adopted by the International Pacific Halibut Commission. The IFQ and CDQ halibut season is specified by a separate publication in the Federal Register of annual management measures.
Endangered and Threatened Species; Designation of Critical Habitat for the Beringia Distinct Population Segment of the Bearded Seal; Extension of Public Comment Period
NMFS hereby extends the public comment period by 30 days for the proposed rule, published in the Federal Register on January 8, 2021, to designate critical habitat for the threatened Beringia distinct population segment (DPS) of the Pacific bearded seal subspecies (Erignathus barbatus nauticus) under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). The end of the public comment period is extended from March 9, 2021, to April 8, 2021.
Pacific Halibut Fisheries; Catch Sharing Plan
The Assistant Administrator for Fisheries, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), on behalf of the International Pacific Halibut Commission (IPHC), publishes as regulations the 2021 annual management measures governing the Pacific halibut fishery that have been recommended by the IPHC and accepted by the Secretary of State. This action is intended to enhance the conservation of Pacific halibut and further the goals and objectives of the Pacific Fishery Management Council (PFMC) and the North Pacific Fishery Management Council (NPFMC).
Endangered and Threatened Species; Designation of Critical Habitat for the Arctic Subspecies of the Ringed Seal; Extension of Public Comment Period
NMFS hereby extends the public comment period by 30 days for the revised proposed rule, published in the Federal Register on January 8, 2021, to designate critical habitat for the threatened Arctic subspecies of the ringed seal (Pusa hispida hispida) under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). The end of the public comment period is extended from March 9, 2021, to April 8, 2021.