SUMMARY: This proposed rule would remove the medium and large vessel bottomfish prohibited fishing areas in the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI). Conditions in the fishery that led to establishing the prohibited areas are no longer present, and the restriction is no longer necessary. The Western Pacific Fishery Management Council recommended Amendment 4 to the Fishery Ecosystem Plan for the Mariana Archipelago (FEP) to remove these prohibited areas, and this proposed rule would implement the recommended change. The intent of the proposed rule is to improve the viability of the CNMI bottomfish fishery and promote optimum yield while preventing overfishing. This proposed rule would also make an administrative housekeeping change to the regulations for the CNMI management subarea crustacean fishing.
DATES: NMFS must receive comments by July 28, 2016.
ADDRESSES: You may submit comments on this document, identified by NOAA–NMFS–2015–0115, by either of the
- Electronic Submission: Submit all electronic public comments via the Federal e-Rulemaking Portal. Go to
www.regulations.gov/#!docketDetail;D=NOAA-NMFS-2015-0115, click the ‘‘Comment Now!’’ icon,
complete the required fields, and enter or attach your comments.
- Mail: Send written comments to
Michael D. Tosatto
NMFS Pacific Islands Region (PIR)
1845 Wasp Blvd., Bldg.176
Honolulu, HI 96818.
Instructions: NMFS may not consider comments sent by any other method, to any other address or individual, or received after the end of the comment period. All comments received are a part of the public record and will generally be posted for public viewing on www.regulations.gov without change. All personal identifying information (e.g., name, address, etc.), confidential business information, or otherwise sensitive information submitted voluntarily by the sender will be publicly accessible. NMFS will accept anonymous comments (enter ‘‘N/A’’ in the required fields if you wish to remain anonymous).
The Western Pacific Fishery Management Council (Council) and NMFS prepared an environmental analysis that describes the potential impacts on the human environment that could result from the proposed rule. The environmental analysis and other supporting documents are available at www.regulations.gov.
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