Federal Register Notices

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FR Notice – 2018 U.S. Territorial Longline Bigeye Tuna Catch Limits for American Samoa (Dec. 10, 2018)

AGENCY: National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Commerce.

ACTION: Announcement of a valid specified fishing agreement.

SUMMARY: NMFS announces a valid specified fishing agreement that allocates up to 1,000 metric tons (t) of the 2018 bigeye tuna limit for the Territory of American Samoa to identified U.S. longline fishing vessels. The agreement supports the long-term sustainability of fishery resources of the U.S. Pacific Islands, and fisheries development in American Samoa.

DATES: December 7, 2018.

ADDRESSES: NMFS prepared environmental analyses that describe the potential impacts on the human environment that would result from the action. The analyses, identified by NOAA-NMFS-2018-0026, are available from https://www.regulations.gov/​docket?​D=​NOAA-NMFS-2018-0026, or from Michael D. Tosatto, Regional Administrator, NMFS Pacific Islands Region (PIR), 1845 Wasp Blvd., Bldg. 176, Honolulu, HI 96818.

The Fishery Ecosystem Plan for Pelagic Fisheries of the Western Pacific (Pelagic FEP) is available from the Western Pacific Fishery Management Council (Council), 1164 Bishop St., Suite 1400, Honolulu, HI 96813, tel 808-522-8220, fax 808-522-8226, or http://www.wpcouncil.org.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Rebecca Walker, NMFS PIRO Sustainable Fisheries, 808-725-5184.

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FR Notice – False Killer Whale Take Reduction Team; Meeting Announcement (Nov. 27, 2018)

AGENCY: National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Commerce.

ACTION: Notice of public meeting.

SUMMARY: NMFS announces a public meeting of the False Killer Whale Take Reduction Team (FKWTRT) on November 29, 2018 in order to provide recommendations on amendments to the False Killer Whale Take Reduction Plan (FKWTRP). The meeting will be held via conference call. Members of the public may submit written comments; the comments must be received within 14 days of the completion of the meeting.

DATES: The meeting of the FKWTRT will be held via conference call on November 29, 2018, from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. Hawaii Standard Time (or until business is concluded).

ADDRESSES: The public meeting will be conducted via conference call. For details on how to call in to the conference line, please contact Kevin Brindock, Comments may be submitted to the address provided in FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Kevin Brindock, NMFS Pacific Islands Regional Office; 1845 Wasp Blvd., Bldg. 176, Honolulu, HI 96818; telephone: 808–725–5146; facsimile: 808–725–5146; email: kevin.brindock@noaa.gov.

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FR Notice – Nominations to the Marine Fisheries Advisory Committee (Nov. 23, 2018)

ACTION: Notice; request for nominations.

SUMMARY: Nominations are being sought for appointment by the Secretary of Commerce to fill vacancies on the Marine Fisheries Advisory Committee (MAFAC or Committee). MAFAC is the only  Federal advisory committee with the responsibility to advise the Secretary of Commerce (Secretary) on all matters concerning living marine resources that are the  responsibility of the Department of Commerce. The Committee makes recommendations to the Secretary to assist in the development and implementation of Departmental regulations, policies, and programs critical to the mission and goals of NMFS. Nominations are encouraged from all interested parties involved with or representing interests affected by NMFS actions in managing living marine resources. Nominees should possess demonstrable expertise in a field related to the management of living marine resources and be able to fulfill the time commitments required for two annual meetings and year round subcommittee work. Individuals serve for a term of three years for no more than two consecutive terms if re- appointed. NMFS is seeking qualified nominees to fill current vacancies.

DATES: Nominations must be postmarked or have an email date stamp on or before December 24, 2018.

ADDRESSES: Nominations should be sent to Heidi Lovett, MAFAC Assistant Director, NMFS Office of Policy, 14th Floor, 1315 East-West Highway, Silver Spring, MD 20910 or email: heidi.lovett@noaa.gov.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Heidi Lovett, MAFAC Assistant Director; (301) 427–8034; email: heidi.lovett@noaa.gov.

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FR Notice – Regional Fishery Management Council Membership; Financial Disclosure and Recusal (Nov. 16, 2018)

ACTION: Proposed rule; request for comments.

SUMMARY: NMFS proposes changes to the regulations that address disclosure of financial interests by, and voting recusal of, council members appointed by the Secretary of Commerce (Secretary) to the regional fishery management councils established under the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act. The regulatory changes are needed to provide guidance to ensure consistency and transparency in the calculation of a Council member’s financial interests; determine whether a close causal link exists between a Council decision and a benefit to a Council member’s financial interest; and establish regional procedures for preparing and issuing recusal determinations. This proposed rule is intended to improve regulations implementing the statutory requirements governing disclosure of financial interests and voting recusal at section 302(j) of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (Magnuson-Stevens Act).
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FR Notice – 2018 U.S. Territorial Longline Bigeye Tuna Catch Limits for the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (Nov. 7, 2018)

AGENCY: National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Commerce.
ACTION: Announcement of a valid specified fishing agreement.

SUMMARY: NMFS announces a valid specified fishing agreement that allocates up to 1,000 metric tons (t) of the 2018 bigeye tuna limit for the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI) to identified U.S. longline fishing vessels. The agreement supports the long-term sustainability of fishery resources of the U.S. Pacific Islands, and fisheries development in the CNMI.
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FR Notice – 2018 U.S. Territorial Longline Bigeye Tuna Catch Limits (Oct. 23, 2018)

AGENCY: National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Commerce.
ACTION: Final specifications.

SUMMARY: In this final rule, NMFS specifies a 2018 limit of 2,000 metric tons (t) of longline-caught bigeye tuna for each U.S. Pacific territory (American Samoa, Guam, and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI)). NMFS will allow each territory to allocate up to 1,000 t each year to U.S. longline fishing vessels in a valid specified fishing agreement. As an accountability measure, NMFS will monitor, attribute, and restrict (if necessary), catches of longline-caught bigeye tuna, including catches made under a specified fishing agreement. These catch limits and accountability measures support the long-term sustainability of fishery resources of the U.S. Pacific Islands.

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FR Notice – List of Fisheries for 2019 (Oct. 23, 2018)

AGENCY: National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Commerce.

ACTION: Proposed rule, request for comment.

SUMMARY: The National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) publishes its proposed List of Fisheries (LOF) for 2019, as required by the Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA). The LOF for 2019 reflects new information on interactions between commercial fisheries and marine mammals. NMFS must classify each commercial fishery on the LOF into one of three categories under the MMPA based upon the level of mortality and serious injury of marine mammals that occurs incidental to each fishery. The classification of a fishery on the LOF determines whether participants in that fishery are subject to certain provisions of the MMPA, such as registration, observer coverage, and take reduction plan (TRP) requirements.
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FR Notice – Marine Protected Areas Federal Advisory Committee: Call for Nominations and Public Meeting (Oct. 24, 2018)

AGENCY: National Marine Protected Areas Center (MPAC), Office of National Marine Sanctuaries (ONMS), National Ocean Service (NOS), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Department of Commerce (DOC).

ACTION: Notice and call for nominations of new Marine Protected Areas Federal Advisory Committee (MPA FAC) members, and notice of public meeting via teleconference.

SUMMARY: The Department of Commerce (Department) is seeking nominations for membership on the Marine Protected Areas Federal Advisory Committee (Committee). The Committee advises the Secretaries of Commerce and Interior on implementing Section 4 of Executive Order 13158, focusing mainly on strategies and priorities for the design, monitoring and adaptive management of effective MPAs in U.S. waters. Nominations are sought for 11 highly qualified non-Federal scientists (natural and social), resource managers, and people representing other interests or organizations involved with, or affected by, marine protected areas, including in the Great Lakes. Additionally, notice is hereby given of a Committee meeting to be held via teleconference on Thursday, November 8, 2018, from 3:00–4:00 p.m. Eastern Time (12:00–1:00 p.m. Pacific Time). The teleconference is open to members of the public.
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FR Notice – Hawaii Shallow-Set Pelagic Longline Fishery; Court Order (Oct. 2, 2018)

AGENCY: National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Commerce.
ACTION: Final rule.
SUMMARY: This final rule revises from 34 to 17 the annual number of allowable incidental interactions that may occur between the Hawaii shallow-set pelagic longline fishery and North Pacific loggerhead sea turtles, in compliance with an order of the U.S. District Court, District of Hawaii.
DATES: Effective January 1, 2019.
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Bob Harman, NMFS Pacific Islands Regional Office, 808–725–5170.

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FR Notice – Reclassifying Management Unit Species to Ecosystem Component Species (Sept. 13, 2018)

AGENCY: National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Department of Commerce.

ACTION: Proposed rule; request for comments.

SUMMARY: NMFS proposes to reclassify certain management unit species in the Pacific Islands as ecosystem component species. The proposed rule would also update the scientific and local names of certain species. The intent of this proposed rule is to prioritize conservation and management efforts and to improve efficiency of fishery management in the region.
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