National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration – Federal Register Recent Federal Regulation Documents

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Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Pollock in Statistical Area 610 in the Gulf of Alaska
Document Number: 2019-04313
Type: Rule
Date: 2019-03-11
Agency: Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
NMFS is prohibiting directed fishing for pollock in Statistical Area 610 in the Gulf of Alaska (GOA). This action is necessary to prevent exceeding the A season allowance of the 2019 total allowable catch of pollock for Statistical Area 610 in the GOA.
Schedules for Atlantic Shark Identification Workshops and Safe Handling, Release, and Identification Workshops
Document Number: 2019-04302
Type: Notice
Date: 2019-03-11
Agency: Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
Free Atlantic Shark Identification Workshops and Safe Handling, Release, and Identification Workshops will be held in April, May, and June of 2019. Certain fishermen and shark dealers are required to attend a workshop to meet regulatory requirements and to maintain valid permits. Specifically, the Atlantic Shark Identification Workshop is mandatory for all federally permitted Atlantic shark dealers. The Safe Handling, Release, and Identification Workshop is mandatory for vessel owners and operators who use bottom longline, pelagic longline, or gillnet gear, and who have also been issued shark or swordfish limited access permits. Additional free workshops will be conducted during 2019 and will be announced in a future notice.
Procedural Changes to the Coastal Zone Management Act Federal Consistency Process
Document Number: 2019-04199
Type: Proposed Rule
Date: 2019-03-11
Agency: Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is issuing this advance notice of proposed rulemaking (ANPR) to seek the public and regulated community's input on what changes could be made to NOAA's Coastal Zone Management Act (CZMA) federal consistency regulations to make the federal consistency process more efficient across all stages of OCS oil and gas projects from leasing to development, as well as renewable energy projects. NOAA is also seeking comments on whether NOAA could process appeals in less time and increase the predictability in the outcome of an appeal. NOAA further invites comment on the potential costs that could be incurred by small entities during CZMA consistency appeals if NOAA revises the federal consistency regulations to provide greater efficiency and predictability as discussed in this Notice.
Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council (MAFMC); Public Meeting
Document Number: 2019-04225
Type: Notice
Date: 2019-03-08
Agency: Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
The Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council (Council) will hold a public meeting of its Advisory Panels (AP) for management plans requiring commercial permits.
Pacific Fishery Management Council; Public Meeting
Document Number: 2019-04224
Type: Notice
Date: 2019-03-08
Agency: Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
The Pacific Fishery Management Council (Pacific Council) will convene a pre-assessment workshop to review proposed data and modeling approaches for groundfish stock assessments scheduled for assessment this year. The pre-assessment workshop will be followed by a skates historical catch reconstruction workshop to prepare for assessments of big and longnose skates scheduled for later this year. Both workshops are open to the public. The workshops will also be streamed online via webinar to facilitate remote participation.
Fisheries of the Gulf of Mexico; Southeast Data, Assessment, and Review (SEDAR); Public Meeting
Document Number: 2019-04223
Type: Notice
Date: 2019-03-08
Agency: Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
The SEDAR 61 stock assessment process for Gulf of Mexico red grouper will consist of an In-person Workshop, and a series of data and assessment webinars. See SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION.
New England Fishery Management Council; Public Meeting
Document Number: 2019-04221
Type: Notice
Date: 2019-03-08
Agency: Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
The New England Fishery Management Council (Council) is scheduling a public meeting of its Herring Advisory Panel to consider actions affecting New England fisheries in the exclusive economic zone (EEZ). Recommendations from this group will be brought to the full Council for formal consideration and action, if appropriate.
Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Pacific Cod by Hook-and-Line Catcher/Processors in the Central Regulatory Area of the Gulf of Alaska
Document Number: 2019-04217
Type: Rule
Date: 2019-03-08
Agency: Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
NMFS is prohibiting directed fishing for Pacific cod by hook- and-line catcher/processors in the Central Regulatory Area of the Gulf of Alaska (GOA). This action is necessary to prevent exceeding the A season allowance of the 2019 Pacific cod total allowable catch apportioned to hook-and-line catcher/processors in the Central Regulatory Area of the GOA.
41st Meeting of the U.S. Coral Reef Task Force; Public Meeting
Document Number: 2019-04205
Type: Notice
Date: 2019-03-08
Agency: Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the U.S. Department of Interior (DOI) will hold a public meeting of the 41st U.S. Coral Reef Task Force (USCRTF).
Discharge of Oil From the Plains All American Pipeline Line 901 Into the Pacific Ocean Near Santa Barbara County, California, May 19, 2015
Document Number: 2019-04198
Type: Notice
Date: 2019-03-08
Agency: Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
On May 19, 2015, Line 901, a 24-inch diameter underground oil pipeline owned by Plains All-American Pipeline Company (``Plains'') ruptured, releasing what has been estimated to be at least 2,940 barrels of crude oil. Much of the heavy crude oil flowed into the Pacific Ocean near Refugio Beach State Park in Santa Barbara County, California. The oil spread southward and eastward impacting adjoining shorelines in Santa Barbara county and downcoast. The discharge affected natural resources in the general area. All of the foregoing is referred to as the ``Incident.'' Pursuant to section 1006 of the Oil Pollution Act (``OPA''), 33 U.S.C. 2701, et seq., federal and state trustees for natural resources are authorized to (1) assess natural resource injuries resulting from a discharge of oil or the substantial threat of a discharge and response activities, and (2) develop and implement a plan for restoration of such injured resources. The federal trustees are designated pursuant to the National Contingency Plan, 40 CFR Section 300.600 and Executive Order 12777. State trustees for California are designated pursuant to the National Contingency Plan, 40 CFR Section 300.605 and the Governor's Designation of State Natural Resource Trustees under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act of 1980, the Oil Pollution Act of 1990, and California Health and Safety Code section 25352(c), dated October 5, 2007. The natural resources trustees (``Trustees'') under OPA for this Incident are the United States Department of Commerce, acting through the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (``NOAA''); the United States Department of the Interior (``DOI''), acting through the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (``FWS''); the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (``CDFW''); and the California Department of Parks and Recreation (``CDPR''). The California State Lands Commission (``CSLC'') is participating as a Trustee for the Incident pursuant to its jurisdiction under California state law over all state sovereign lands, including un-granted tidelands and submerged lands. The Regents of the University of California (``UC'') is participating as a Trustee for the Incident pursuant to its jurisdiction under California state law over lands within the Natural Land and Water Reserves System. Plains is the Responsible Party (``RP'') for this Incident. The Trustees have coordinated with representatives of the RP on Natural Resource Damage Assessment (``NRDA'') activities. The Trustees began the Preassessment Phase of the NRDA in accordance with 15 CFR 990.40, to determine if they had jurisdiction to pursue restoration under OPA, and, if so, whether it was appropriate to do so. During the Preassessment Phase, the Trustees collected and analyzed the following: (1) Data reasonably expected to be necessary to make a determination of jurisdiction or a determination to conduct restoration planning, (2) ephemeral data (i.e., environmental data collected in the immediate aftermath of the spill), and/or (3) information needed to design or implement anticipated emergency restoration and/or assessment activities as part of the Restoration Planning Phase. The NRDA Regulations under OPA, 15 CFR part 990 (``NRDA regulations''), provide that the Trustees are to prepare a Notice of Intent to Conduct Restoration Planning (Notice) if they determine certain conditions have been met, and if they decide to quantify the injuries to natural resources and to develop a restoration plan. This Notice is to announce, pursuant to 15 CFR 990.44, that the Trustees, having collected and analyzed data, intend to proceed with restoration planning actions to address injuries to natural resources resulting from the Incident. The purpose of this restoration planning effort is to further evaluate injuries to natural resources and services and to use that information to determine the need for, type of, and scale of restoration actions. Opportunity to comment: Pursuant to 15 CFR 990.14(d), the Trustees seek public involvement in restoration planning for this Incident through public review of, and comment on, documents contained in the Record. The Trustees also intend to seek public comment on a draft Damage Assessment and Restoration Plan. Comments should be sent to the following email address: refugiorestoration@fws.gov.
Hydrographic Services Review Panel
Document Number: 2019-04196
Type: Notice
Date: 2019-03-08
Agency: Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is seeking nominations for members to serve on the Hydrographic Services Review Panel.
Endangered and Threatened Species; Take of Anadromous Fish
Document Number: 2019-04181
Type: Notice
Date: 2019-03-08
Agency: Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
Notice is hereby given that NMFS has received four scientific research permit application requests relating to Pacific salmon, steelhead, and eulachon. The proposed research is intended to increase knowledge of species listed under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) and to help guide management and conservation efforts. The applications may be viewed online at: https://apps.nmfs.noaa.gov/preview/ preview_open_for_comment.cfm.
Magnuson-Stevens Act Provisions; Fisheries of the Northeastern United States; Northeast Multispecies Fishery; 2019 and 2020 Sector Operations Plans and 2019 Allocation of Northeast Multispecies Annual Catch Entitlements
Document Number: 2019-04141
Type: Proposed Rule
Date: 2019-03-07
Agency: Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
We propose to approve Northeast multispecies sector operations plans and grant regulatory exemptions for fishing years 2019 and 2020, approve the formation of a new sector, and provide preliminary annual catch entitlements to approved sectors for fishing year 2019. Approval of sector operations plans and contracts is necessary to allocate annual catch entitlements to the sectors and for the sectors to operate. This action is intended to allow limited access permit holders to form sectors, as authorized under the Northeast Multispecies Fishery Management Plan, and to exempt them from certain effort control regulations to improve the efficiency and economics of sector vessels.
Takes of Marine Mammals Incidental to Specified Activities; Taking Marine Mammals Incidental to Biorka Island Dock Replacement Project
Document Number: 2019-04134
Type: Notice
Date: 2019-03-07
Agency: Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
NMFS has received a request from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) for an incidental harassment authorization (IHA) that would cover a subset of the take authorized in an IHA previously issued to FAA to incidentally take marine mammals, by Level A and Level B harassment, during construction activities associated with the Biorka dock replacement project in Symonds Bay, Alaska. The applicant was unable to complete the work before the expiration date of the 2018 IHA and NMFS is proposing to issue, an IHA authorizing incidental take for the remaining activities. 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-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.
Atlantic Highly Migratory Species; Meeting of the Atlantic Highly Migratory Species Advisory Panel
Document Number: 2019-04108
Type: Notice
Date: 2019-03-07
Agency: Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
NMFS will hold a 3-day Atlantic Highly Migratory Species (HMS) Advisory Panel (AP) meeting in May 2019. The intent of the meeting is to consider options for the conservation and management of Atlantic HMS. The meeting is open to the public.
Taking and Importing Marine Mammals; Taking Marine Mammals Incidental to National Park Service's Research and Monitoring Activities in Southern Alaska National Parks
Document Number: 2019-04107
Type: Rule
Date: 2019-03-07
Agency: Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
NMFS, upon request from the National Park Service (NPS), hereby issues regulations to govern the unintentional taking of marine mammals incidental to research and monitoring activities in southern Alaska over the course of five years (2019-2024). These regulations, which allow for the issuance of Letters of Authorization (LOA) for the incidental take of marine mammals during the described activities and specified timeframes, prescribe the permissible methods of taking and other means of effecting the least practicable adverse impact on marine mammal species or stocks and their habitat, as well as requirements pertaining to the monitoring and reporting of such taking. In accordance with the Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA), as amended, and implementing regulations, notification is hereby additionally given that two LOAs have been issued to NPS to take marine mammals incidental to research and monitoring activities in southern Alaska national parks.
Proposed Information Collection; Comment Request; Alaska Region Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Crab Economic Data Reports
Document Number: 2019-04103
Type: Notice
Date: 2019-03-07
Agency: Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
The Department of Commerce, as part of its continuing effort to reduce paperwork and respondent burden, invites the general public and other Federal agencies to take this opportunity to comment on proposed and/or continuing information collections, as required by the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995.
Proposed Information Collection; Comment Request; West Coast Region U.S. Pacific Highly Migratory Species Logbook Family of Forms
Document Number: 2019-04102
Type: Notice
Date: 2019-03-07
Agency: Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
The Department of Commerce, as part of its continuing effort to reduce paperwork and respondent burden, invites the general public and other Federal agencies to take this opportunity to comment on proposed and/or continuing information collections, as required by the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995.
Takes of Marine Mammals Incidental to Specified Activities; Taking Marine Mammals Incidental to Rocky Intertidal Monitoring Surveys Along the Oregon and California Coasts
Document Number: 2019-04077
Type: Notice
Date: 2019-03-07
Agency: Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
NMFS received a request from the Partnership for Interdisciplinary Study of Coastal Oceans (PISCO) at the University of California Santa Cruz (UCSC) for the Renewal of their currently active incidental harassment authorization (IHA) to take marine mammals incidental to rocky intertidal monitoring surveys along the coasts of Oregon and California. These activities are nearly identical to those covered in the current authorization. Pursuant to the Marine Mammal Protection Act, prior to issuing the currently active IHA, NMFS requested comments on both the proposed IHA and the potential for renewing the initial authorization if certain requirements were satisfied. The Renewal requirements have been satisfied and NMFS is now providing an additional 15-day comment period to allow for any additional comments on the proposed Renewal not previously provided during the initial 30-day comment period. Any comments received on the potential Renewal, along with relevant comments on the initial IHA, have been considered in the development of this proposed IHA Renewal, and a summary of agency responses to applicable comments is included in this notice. NMFS will consider any additional public comments prior to making any final decision on the issuance of the requested Renewal, 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 Lighthouse Repair and Tour Operations at Northwest Seal Rock, California
Document Number: 2019-04075
Type: Notice
Date: 2019-03-07
Agency: Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
NMFS received a request from the St. George Reef Lighthouse Preservation Society (Society) for the renewal of their currently- active, incidental harassment authorization (IHA) to take marine mammals incidental to aircraft operations, lighthouse renovations, and tour operations associated with preservation of the St. George Reef Lighthouse Station (Station) on Northwest Seal Rock (NWSR) in the northeast Pacific Ocean. These activities are identical to those covered in the current authorization. Pursuant to the Marine Mammal Protection Act. Prior to issuing the currently-active IHA, NMFS requested comments on both the proposed IHA and the potential for renewing the initial authorization if certain requirements were satisfied. The renewal requirements have been satisfied, and NMFS is now providing an additional 15-day comment period to allow for any additional comments on the proposed renewal not previously provided during the initial 30-day comment period. Any comments received on the potential renewal, along with relevant comments on the initial IHA, have been considered in the development of this proposed IHA renewal, and a summary of agency responses to applicable comments is included in this notice. NMFS will consider any additional public comments prior to making any final decision on the issuance of the requested renewal, and agency responses will be summarized in the final notice of our decision.
Fisheries of the South Atlantic; Southeast Data, Assessment, and Review (SEDAR); Public Meeting
Document Number: 2019-04062
Type: Notice
Date: 2019-03-06
Agency: Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
The SEDAR 59 assessment of the South Atlantic stock of Greater Amberjack will consist of a series of webinars.
National Estuarine Research Reserve System
Document Number: 2019-03969
Type: Notice
Date: 2019-03-06
Agency: Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
Notice is hereby given that the Office for Coastal Management, National Ocean Service, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce is announcing a thirty-day public comment period for the Hudson River National Estuarine Research Reserve Management Plan revision. The revision of the existing management plan is necessitated by the applicable requirements of the National Estuarine Research Reserve System. The Hudson River Reserve revised plan will replace the plan approved in 2009.
Fisheries of the Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico, and South Atlantic; Snapper-Grouper Resources of the South Atlantic; 2019 Red Snapper Commercial and Recreational Fishing Seasons
Document Number: 2019-03933
Type: Rule
Date: 2019-03-05
Agency: Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
NMFS announces the limited opening of commercial and recreational red snapper in the exclusive economic zone (EEZ) of the South Atlantic for the 2019 fishing year. This notice announces the red snapper commercial season opening date and the opening and closing dates for the red snapper recreational season, according to the accountability measures (AMs). This season announcement for South Atlantic red snapper allows fishers to maximize their opportunity to harvest the commercial and recreational annual catch limits (ACLs) while also managing harvest to protect the red snapper resource.
Takes of Marine Mammals Incidental to Specified Activities; Taking Marine Mammals Incidental to City of Juneau Waterfront Improvement Project
Document Number: 2019-03930
Type: Notice
Date: 2019-03-05
Agency: Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
NMFS has received a request from the City and Borough of Juneau (CBJ) for authorization to take marine mammals incidental to the Juneau Dock and Harbor waterfront improvement project in Juneau, Alaska. Pursuant to the Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA), NMFS is requesting comments on its proposal to issue an IHA to incidentally take marine mammals during the specified activities. NMFS is also requesting comments on a possible 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.
Fisheries of the Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico, and South Atlantic; Reef Fish Fishery of the Gulf of Mexico; Revisions to Red Snapper and Hogfish Management Measures
Document Number: 2019-03900
Type: Rule
Date: 2019-03-05
Agency: Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
NMFS issues regulations to implement management measures described in two framework actions to the Fishery Management Plan (FMP) for the Reef Fish Resources of the Gulf of Mexico (Gulf), as prepared by the Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council (Council). The framework actions are titled ``Modify the Annual Catch Limit (ACL) for the Gulf Red Snapper and Hogfish Stocks'' (ACL Framework Action) and ``Modify the Red Snapper Recreational Annual Catch Targets (ACT)'' (ACT Framework Action). This final rule modifies Gulf red snapper commercial and recreational ACLs (quotas) and ACTs, as well as the Gulf hogfish (West Florida stock) stock ACL, as a result of recent stock assessments for each species. Additionally, this final rule reduces the Federal charter vessel/headboat (for-hire) component's red snapper ACT buffer to a level that will allow a greater harvest in 2019 while continuing to constrain landings to the component and total recreational ACLs. The purposes of this final rule are to respond to updated stock assessment information, maximize socio-economic opportunities for red snapper in the Federal for-hire component, and to continue to achieve optimum yield (OY) for each stock.
Temporary Rule To Establish Management Measures for Red Grouper in the Gulf of Mexico
Document Number: 2019-03829
Type: Proposed Rule
Date: 2019-03-05
Agency: Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
NMFS proposes to issue an emergency rule as requested by the Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council (Council) to address concerns regarding the Gulf of Mexico (Gulf) red grouper stock. The Council made this request after receiving new information that indicates the stock may be in decline. This proposed emergency rule would reduce the commercial and recreational annual catch limits (ACLs) and annual catch targets (ACTs). This emergency rule would be effective for 180 days, although NMFS may extend the emergency rule's effectiveness for a maximum of an additional 186 days. The intended effect of this emergency rule is to provide a temporary rapid reduction in Gulf red grouper harvest levels to protect the stock from overharvest while the Council develops permanent rulemaking.
Atlantic Highly Migratory Species; Atlantic Bluefin Tuna Fisheries
Document Number: 2019-03816
Type: Rule
Date: 2019-03-04
Agency: Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
NMFS closes the General category fishery for large medium and giant (i.e., measuring 73 inches curved fork length or greater) Atlantic bluefin tuna (BFT) for the January subquota time period and thus until the General category reopens on June 1, 2019. The intent of this closure is to prevent overharvest of the available General category January 2019 BFT subquota of 100 metric tons (mt).
Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Pacific Cod by Catcher Vessels Greater Than or Equal to 50 Feet Length Overall Using Hook-and-Line Gear in the Central Regulatory Area of the Gulf of Alaska
Document Number: 2019-03813
Type: Rule
Date: 2019-03-04
Agency: Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
NMFS is prohibiting directed fishing for Pacific cod by catcher vessels greater than or equal to 50 feet length overall (LOA) using hook-and-line gear in the Central Regulatory Area of the Gulf of Alaska (GOA). This action is necessary to prevent exceeding the A season allowance of the 2019 Pacific cod total allowable catch apportioned to catcher vessels greater than or equal to 50 feet LOA using hook-and-line gear in the Central Regulatory Area of the GOA.
Fisheries off West Coast States; Highly Migratory Fisheries; Amendment 6 to Fishery Management Plan for U.S. West Coast Fisheries for Highly Migratory Species; Authorization of Deep-Set Buoy Gear
Document Number: 2019-03493
Type: Proposed Rule
Date: 2019-03-04
Agency: Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
NMFS and the Pacific Fishery Management Council (Council) announce their intent to prepare an EIS, in accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) of 1969, to analyze the potential short- and long-term impacts of the proposed action to authorize deep-set buoy gear under the Fishery Management Plan for U.S. West Coast Fisheries for Highly Migratory Species (HMS FMP) on the human (biological, physical, social, and economic) environment. This notice of intent to prepare an EIS invites interested parties to provide comments on alternatives to be considered in an EIS and to identify potential issues, concerns, and any reasonable additional alternatives that should be considered.
Fisheries of the Northeastern United States; Atlantic Sea Scallop Fishery; Intent To Prepare an Environmental Impact Statement; Scoping Process; Request for Comments
Document Number: 2019-03782
Type: Notice
Date: 2019-03-01
Agency: Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
The New England Fishery Management Council announces its intention to prepare, in cooperation with NMFS, an environmental impact statement in accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act. An environmental impact statement may be necessary to provide analytic support for Amendment 21 to the Atlantic Sea Scallop Fishery Management Plan. Amendment 21 would consider measures related to the Northern Gulf of Maine Scallop Management Area, Limited Access General Category individual fishing quota possession limits, and the ability of Limited Access vessels with Limited Access General Category individual fishing quota permits to transfer quota to Limited Access General Category individual fishing quota-only vessels. The purpose of this notice is to announce a public process for determining the scope of issues to be addressed, to alert the interested public of the scoping process, the potential development of a draft environmental impact statement, and the opportunity for participation in that process.
Takes of Marine Mammals Incidental to Specified Activities; Taking Marine Mammals Incidental to the O'Connell Bridge Lightering Float Pile Replacement Project in Sitka, Alaska
Document Number: 2019-03684
Type: Notice
Date: 2019-03-01
Agency: Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
NMFS has received a request from City and Borough of Sitka (CBS) for authorization to take marine mammals incidental to the O'Connell Bridge Lightering Float Pile Replacement Project in Sitka, 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-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.
Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Pollock in the West Yakutat District of the Gulf of Alaska
Document Number: 2019-03671
Type: Rule
Date: 2019-03-01
Agency: Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
NMFS is prohibiting directed fishing for pollock in the West Yakutat District of the Gulf of Alaska (GOA). This action is necessary to prevent exceeding the 2019 total allowable catch of pollock in the West Yakutat District of the GOA.
Takes of Marine Mammals Incidental to Specified Activities: Taking Marine Mammals Incidental to U.S. Navy Surveillance Towed Array Sensor System Low Frequency Active Sonar Training and Testing in the Central and Western North Pacific Ocean and Eastern Indian Ocean
Document Number: 2019-03298
Type: Proposed Rule
Date: 2019-03-01
Agency: Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
NMFS has received a request from the U.S. Navy (Navy) for authorization to take marine mammals incidental to the use of Surveillance Towed Array Sensor System Low Frequency Active (SURTASS LFA) sonar systems onboard U.S. Navy surveillance ships for training and testing activities conducted under the authority of the Secretary of the Navy in the western and central North Pacific Ocean and eastern Indian Ocean (SURTASS LFA sonar activities) beginning August 2019. Pursuant to section 101(a)(5)(A) of the MMPA, NMFS is requesting comments on its proposal to issue regulations to govern the incidental take of marine mammals by Level B harassment during SURTASS LFA sonar activities. The Fiscal Year 2019 (FY19) National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), signed on August 13, 2018, amended the Marine Mammal Protection Act to extend the maximum authorization period of permitted incidental takings of marine mammals under section 101(a)(5)(A) in the course of specified military readiness activities by the Department of Defense from five to seven years. Therefore, the authorization, if issued, would be in effect from August 2019 to August 2026. NMFS will consider public comments prior to making any final decision on the issuance of the requested MMPA authorization and agency responses will be summarized in the final notice of our decision. The Navy's activities are considered military readiness activities pursuant to the Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA), as amended by the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2004 (FY 2004 NDAA).
Atlantic Highly Migratory Species; Atlantic Bluefin Tuna Fisheries
Document Number: 2019-03554
Type: Rule
Date: 2019-02-28
Agency: Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
NMFS is adjusting the Atlantic bluefin tuna (BFT) Purse Seine and Reserve category quotas for 2019, as it has done annually since 2015. NMFS also is transferring 25 metric tons (mt) of BFT quota from the Reserve category to the General category January 2019 period (from January 1 through March 31, 2019, or until the available subquota for this period is reached, whichever comes first). The transfer to the General category is 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 category permitted vessels with a commercial sale endorsement when fishing commercially for BFT.
Submission for OMB Review; Comment Request
Document Number: 2019-03509
Type: Notice
Date: 2019-02-28
Agency: Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Pacific Cod by Trawl Catcher Vessels in the Western Regulatory Area of the Gulf of Alaska
Document Number: 2019-03492
Type: Rule
Date: 2019-02-28
Agency: Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
NMFS is prohibiting directed fishing for Pacific cod by catcher vessels using trawl gear in the Western Regulatory Area of the Gulf of Alaska (GOA). This action is necessary to prevent exceeding the A season allowance of the 2019 Pacific cod total allowable catch apportioned to trawl catcher vessels in the Western Regulatory Area of the GOA.
Fisheries of the Northeastern United States; Small-Mesh Multispecies Fishery; Inseason Adjustment to the Northern Red Hake Possession Limit
Document Number: 2019-03457
Type: Rule
Date: 2019-02-28
Agency: Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
This action reduces that the commercial per-trip possession limit for northern red hake for the remainder of the 2018 fishing year. Regulations governing the small-mesh multispecies fishery require this action because the northern red hake fishery is projected to reach 37.9 percent of its total allowable landing limit for the year. This action is intended to prevent this limit from being exceeded. This announcement also informs the public of the reduced northern red hake possession limit.
Meeting of the Columbia Basin Partnership Task Force of the Marine Fisheries Advisory Committee
Document Number: 2019-03380
Type: Notice
Date: 2019-02-27
Agency: Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
This notice sets forth the proposed schedule and agenda of a forthcoming meeting of the Marine Fisheries Advisory Committee's (MAFAC's) Columbia Basin Partnership Task Force (CBP Task Force). The CBP Task Force will discuss the issues outlined in the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION below.
Public Conference Call Regarding Atlantic Bluefin Tuna Management Strategy Evaluation
Document Number: 2019-03323
Type: Notice
Date: 2019-02-27
Agency: Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
NMFS is holding a stakeholder meeting by conference call to provide information on recent progress related to the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas (ICCAT) bluefin tuna management strategy evaluation (MSE). NMFS will also receive input on issues to be considered at an upcoming intersessional meeting of ICCAT's Panel 2, which will focus on initial operational management objectives for the bluefin tuna MSE. The conference call is open to the public.
Taking and Importing Marine Mammals; Taking Marine Mammals Incidental to Southeast Fisheries Science Center and Texas Parks and Wildlife Department Fisheries Research
Document Number: 2019-02738
Type: Proposed Rule
Date: 2019-02-27
Agency: Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
NMFS' Office of Protected Resources has received a request from NMFS' Southeast Fisheries Science Center (SEFSC) for authorization to take marine mammals incidental to fisheries research conducted in the Atlantic Ocean along the southeastern U.S. coast and select estuaries, the Gulf of Mexico and select estuaries, and the Caribbean Sea over the course of five years from the date of issuance. We have also received a request from the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD) for authorization to take marine mammals incidental to fisheries research in Texas bay systems. Pursuant to the Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA), NMFS is requesting comments on its proposal to issue regulations to the SEFSC and, separately, TPWD, to incidentally take marine mammals during the specified activities. 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.
Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act Provisions; Small-Mesh Multispecies Fishery; Notice of Intent To Withdraw Existing Draft Environmental Impact Statement for Amendment 22 to the Northeast Multispecies Fishery Management Plan
Document Number: 2019-03199
Type: Notice
Date: 2019-02-25
Agency: Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
The New England Fishery Management Council initiated development of Amendment 22 to the Northeast Multispecies Fishery Management Plan, which considered limited access alternatives for the small-mesh multispecies fishery, in 2015. At its December 2018 meeting, the Council voted to take no action on any of the limited access alternatives analyzed in the draft amendment and draft environmental impact statement. With this decision the Council and the National Marine Fisheries Service have completed all the necessary work on this action and hereby withdraw the draft environmental impact statement from further consideration.
Coastal Migratory Pelagic Resources of the Gulf of Mexico and Atlantic Region; 2018-2019 Commercial Hook-and-Line Closure for King Mackerel in the Gulf of Mexico Southern Zone
Document Number: 2019-03190
Type: Rule
Date: 2019-02-25
Agency: Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
NMFS implements an accountability measure (AM) to close the hook-and-line component of the commercial sector for king mackerel in the Gulf of Mexico (Gulf) southern zone. This closure is necessary to protect the Gulf king mackerel resource.
Notification of Receipt of a Petition To Ban Imports of All Fish and Fish Products From New Zealand That Do Not Satisfy the Marine Mammal Protection Act
Document Number: 2019-03132
Type: Proposed Rule
Date: 2019-02-25
Agency: Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
NMFS announces receipt of a petition for emergency rulemaking under the Administrative Procedure Act. Sea Shepherd Legal, Sea Shepherd New Zealand Ltd., and Sea Shepherd Conservation Society petitioned the U.S. Department of Commerce and other relevant Departments to initiate emergency rulemaking under the Marine Mammal Protection Act (``MMPA''), to ban importation of commercial fish or products from fish that have been caught with commercial fishing technology that results in incidental mortality or serious injury of M[amacr]ui dolphin in excess of United States standards.
Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Alaska Groundfish and Halibut Seabird Working Group; Public Meeting
Document Number: 2019-03013
Type: Notice
Date: 2019-02-22
Agency: Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
NMFS Alaska Groundfish and Halibut Seabird Working Group will meet to discuss use of leading indicators as tool to assess inseason seabird bycatch risk, vessel-specific seabird bycatch mortality, and an update on studies examining seabird bycatch in the trawl fisheries.
Pacific Island Pelagic Fisheries; False Killer Whale Take Reduction Plan; Closure of Southern Exclusion Zone
Document Number: 2019-02995
Type: Rule
Date: 2019-02-21
Agency: Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
NMFS is closing the Southern Exclusion Zone (SEZ) to deep-set longline fishing for all vessels registered under the Hawaii longline limited access program, as a result of the fishery reaching the established annual trigger of two observed false killer whale mortalities or serious injuries (M&SI) in the fishery within the U.S. Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) around Hawaii. This action is necessary to comply with False Killer Whale Take Reduction Plan (Plan) regulations that establish the SEZ closure trigger and procedures to limit M&SI of false killer whales in the Hawaii deep-set longline fishery.
Pacific Island Fisheries; 2019 Northwestern Hawaiian Islands Lobster Harvest Guideline
Document Number: 2019-02986
Type: Rule
Date: 2019-02-21
Agency: Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
NMFS establishes the annual harvest guideline for the commercial lobster fishery in the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands (NWHI) for calendar year 2019 at zero lobsters.
Submission for OMB Review; Comment Request
Document Number: 2019-02972
Type: Notice
Date: 2019-02-21
Agency: Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
North Pacific Fishery Management Council; Public Meeting
Document Number: 2019-02963
Type: Notice
Date: 2019-02-21
Agency: Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
The North Pacific Fishery Management Council (Council) Fishery Monitoring Advisory Committee Subgroup will hold a teleconference on March 27, 2019.
Caribbean Fishery Management Council; Public Meeting
Document Number: 2019-02962
Type: Notice
Date: 2019-02-21
Agency: Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
The Caribbean Fishery Management Council's (Council) Scientific and Statistical Committee (SSC) and Districts Advisory Panels (DAPs) will hold a 3-day joint meeting, in March, to discuss the items contained in the agenda in the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION.
Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council (MAFMC); Public Meeting
Document Number: 2019-02961
Type: Notice
Date: 2019-02-21
Agency: Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
The Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council's (Council) Scientific and Statistical Committee (SSC) will hold a meeting.