Atlantic Highly Migratory Species; Atlantic Bluefin Tuna Fisheries; Pelagic Longline Fishery Management; Rule Reconsideration
NMFS published a final rule on April 2, 2020, that, among other things, established the Spring Gulf of Mexico Monitoring Area in an area previously closed to pelagic longline fishing in April and May annually. This Monitoring Area is open to pelagic longline fishing to collect fishery-dependent data during a 3-year evaluation period. The rule also established a threshold amount of bluefin tuna incidental catch in the pelagic longline fishery in the area that, if reached, would close the area to pelagic longline fishing. Subsequently, the Congressional Joint Explanatory Statement (JES) that accompanied the 2021 Appropriations Act included text on ``Western Atlantic Bluefin Tuna'' directing NMFS to reconsider the decision in the final rule to open the Spring Gulf of Mexico Monitoring Area to pelagic longline fishing or to take additional monitoring action. This notice announces NMFS's request for public input and two public webinars to gather information regarding the Spring Gulf of Mexico Monitoring Area that may not have been considered in the final rule.
Takes of Marine Mammals Incidental to Specified Activities; Taking Marine Mammals Incidental to the Relocation of the Port of Alaska's South Floating Dock, Anchorage, Alaska
NMFS has received a request from the Port of Alaska (POA) for authorization to take marine mammals incidental to pile driving associated with the relocation of the POA's South Floating Dock (SFD) in Knik Arm, Alaska. Pursuant to the Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA), NMFS is requesting comments on its proposal to issue an incidental harassment authorization (IHA) to incidentally take marine mammals during the specified activities. NMFS is also requesting comments on a possible one-time, one-year renewal that could be issued under certain circumstances and if all requirements are met, as described in Request for Public Comments at the end of this notice. NMFS will consider public comments prior to making any final decision on the issuance of the requested MMPA authorizations and agency responses will be summarized in the final notice of our decision.
Takes of Marine Mammals Incidental to Specified Activities; Taking Marine Mammals Incidental to U.S. Navy Construction at Naval Station Norfolk in Norfolk, Virginia
In accordance with the Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA), as amended, and implementing regulations, notification is hereby given that a Letter of Authorization (LOA) has been issued to the U.S. Navy (Navy) for the take of marine mammals incidental to construction activities at Naval Station Norfolk in Norfolk, Virginia.
Ocean Exploration Advisory Board (OEAB); Meeting
This notice sets forth the schedule and proposed agenda for a meeting of the Ocean Exploration Advisory Board (OEAB). OEAB members will discuss and provide advice on Federal ocean exploration programs, with a particular emphasis on the topics identified in the section on Matters to Be Considered.