Fisheries of the Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico, and South Atlantic; Reef Fish Fishery of the Gulf of Mexico; Lane Snapper Management Measures
NMFS issues regulations to implement management measures described in a framework action to the Fishery Management Plan for the Reef Fish Resources of the Gulf of Mexico (FMP), as prepared by the Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council (Council). This final rule modifies catch limits in the Gulf of Mexico (Gulf) exclusive economic zone (EEZ) for lane snapper. The purpose of this final rule and the framework action is to modify the annual catch limit (ACL), to revise an accountability measure (AM), and to achieve optimum yield (OY) for the stock while preventing overfishing. This final rule also makes minor administrative changes to replace outdated NMFS website addresses and language about required software for the Individual Fishing Quota (IFQ) programs. Additionally, this final rule reopens the harvest of lane snapper for the commercial and recreational sectors as a result of the ACL increase.
Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Removal of Johnson's Seagrass From the Federal List of Threatened and Endangered Species and Removal of the Corresponding Designated Critical Habitat
We, NMFS, propose to remove Johnson's seagrass (Halophila johnsonii) from the Federal List of Threatened and Endangered Species. To correspond with this action, we are also proposing to remove the critical habitat designation for Johnson's seagrass. We propose these actions based on newly obtained genetic data that demonstrate that Johnson's seagrass is not a unique taxon but rather a clone of an Indo- Pacific species, Halophila ovalis.
Fisheries of the Northeastern United States; 2022 and Projected 2023 Summer Flounder, Scup, and Black Sea Bass Specifications
NMFS announces 2022 and projected 2023 specifications for the summer flounder, scup, and black sea fisheries. The implementing regulations for the Summer Flounder, Scup, and Black Sea Bass Fishery Management Plan require us to publish specifications for the upcoming fishing year for each of these species. This action is intended to inform the public of the specifications for the start of the 2022 fishing year for summer flounder, scup, and black sea bass.
Magnuson-Stevens Act Provisions; Fisheries Off West Coast States; Pacific Coast Groundfish Fishery; 2021-2022 Biennial Specifications and Management Measures; Inseason Adjustments
This final rule announces routine inseason adjustments to management measures in commercial and recreational groundfish fisheries. This action is intended to allow commercial and recreational fishery participants to access more abundant groundfish stocks while protecting rebuilding stocks.
Atlantic Highly Migratory Species; Atlantic Bluefin Tuna Fisheries
NMFS is transferring 19.5 metric tons (mt) of Atlantic bluefin tuna (BFT) quota from the 28.9-mt General category December 2022 subquota to the January through March 2022 subquota period. The adjusted General category January through March 2022 subquota is 49 mt. NMFS reminds General category participants that when the fishery reopens January 1, 2022, the daily retention limit will be one large medium or giant bluefin tuna (i.e., measuring 73 inches (185 cm) curved fork length or greater) per vessel per day/trip. This action is intended to provide further opportunities for General category fishermen to participate in the January through March General category fishery, based on consideration of the regulatory determination criteria regarding inseason adjustments and applies to Atlantic Tunas General category (commercial) permitted vessels and Highly Migratory Species (HMS) Charter/Headboat permitted vessels with a commercial sale endorsement when fishing commercially for BFT.
Fisheries of the Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico, and South Atlantic; Dolphin and Wahoo Fishery of the Atlantic; Amendment 10
The South Atlantic Fishery Management Council (Council) submitted Amendment 10 to the Fishery Management Plan (FMP) for the Dolphin and Wahoo Fishery of the Atlantic (Dolphin and Wahoo FMP) for review, approval, and implementation by NMFS. If approved by the Secretary of Commerce, Amendment 10 to the Dolphin and Wahoo FMP (Amendment 10) would revise the acceptable biological catch (ABC), annual catch limits (ACLs), sector allocations, accountability measures (AMs), and additional management measures for dolphin and wahoo. The additional management measures would address commercial trip limits, authorized fishing gear, the operator permit (card) requirement for dolphin and wahoo, and the recreational vessel limit for dolphin. The purpose of Amendment 10 is to base conservation and management measures for dolphin and wahoo on the best scientific information available and increase net benefits from the fishery.
Hydrographic Services Review Panel
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is seeking nominations for members to serve on the Hydrographic Services Review Panel with nominations due by April 15, 2022.