Federal Register Notices

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FR Notice – 2017 U.S. Territorial Longline Bigeye Tuna Catch Limits

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

ACTION: Final specifications.

SUMMARY: In this final rule, NMFS specifies a 2017 limit of 2,000 mt of longline-caught bigeye tuna for each U.S. participating territory (American Samoa, Guam, and the NorthernMariana Islands). NMFS will allow each territory to allocate up to 1,000 mt 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 and fisheries development in the U.S. territories.
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FR notice – List of Fisheries for 2018

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

ACTION: Proposed rule.

SUMMARY: The National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) publishes its proposed List of Fisheries (LOF) for 2018, as required by the Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA). The LOF for 2018 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 – Permanent Advisory Committee To Advise the U.S. Commissioners to the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission (Sept. 12, 2017)

SUMMARY: NMFS announces a meeting of the Permanent Advisory Committee (PAC) to advise the U.S. Commissioners to the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission (WCPFC) on October 24–October 25, 2017. Meeting topics are provided under the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section of this notice.
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FR Notice – 2017 U.S. Territorial Longline Bigeye Tuna Catch Limits (Aug. 31, 2017)

AGENCY: National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Commerce.
ACTION: Proposed specifications; request for comments.

SUMMARY: NMFS proposes a 2017 limit of 2,000 metric tons (mt) of longline- caught bigeye tuna for each U.S. Pacific territory (American Samoa, Guam, and the Northern Mariana Islands). NMFS would allow each territory to allocate up to 1,000 mt each year to U.S. longline fishing vessels in a specified fishing agreement that meets established criteria. As an accountability measure, NMFS would monitor, attribute, and restrict (if necessary) catches of longline-caught bigeye tuna, including catches made under a specified fishing agreement. The proposed catch limits and accountability measures would support the long-term sustainability of fishery resources of the U.S. Pacific Islands.
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FR Notice – 2017 Commercial Pacific Bluefin Tuna Fishery Closure in the Eastern Pacific Ocean (Aug. 28, 2017)

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

ACTION: Temporary rule; closure.

SUMMARY: NMFS is temporarily closing the U.S. commercial fishery for Pacific bluefin tuna in the eastern Pacific Ocean (EPO) through December 31, 2017, because the 2017 catch limit of 425 metric tons has been exceeded. This action is necessary to prevent the fishery from further exceeding the applicable catch limit established by the Inter-American
Tropical Tuna Commission (IATTC) in Resolution C–16–08 (Measures for the Conservation and Management of Pacific Bluefin Tuna in the Eastern Pacific Ocean).

DATES: The rule is effective 12 a.m. local time August 28, 2017, through 11:59 p.m. local time December 31, 2017.
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Celia Barroso, NMFS West Coast Region, 562–432–1850.

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FR Notice – Marine Conservation Plan for Guam (Aug. 16, 2017)

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

ACTION: Notice of agency decision.

SUMMARY: NMFS announces approval of a Marine Conservation Plan (MCP) for Guam.

DATES: This agency decision is valid from August 4, 2017, through August 3, 2020.

ADDRESSES: You may obtain a copy of the MCP, identified by NOAA–NMFS–2017–0075, from the Federal e-Rulemaking Portal, http://www.regulations.gov/#!docketDetail;D=NOAA-NMFS-2017-0075, or from the Western Pacific Fishery Management Council (Council), 1164 Bishop St., Suite 1400, Honolulu, HI 96813, tel 808–522–8220, www.wpcouncil.org.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:
Melanie Brown, Sustainable Fisheries, NMFS Pacific Islands Regional Office, 808–725–5171.

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FR Notice – 2017 Bigeye Tuna Longline Fishery Closure (Aug. 14, 2017)

ACTION: Temporary rule; fishery closure.

SUMMARY: NMFS is closing the U.S. pelagic longline fishery for bigeye tuna in the western and  central Pacific Ocean because the fishery has reached the 2017 catch limit. This action is necessary to ensure compliance with NMFS regulations that  implement decisions of the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission (WCPFC).

DATES: Effective 12:01 a.m. local time September 1, 2017, 2017, through December 31, 2017.

ADDRESSES: NMFS prepared a plain language guide and frequently asked questions that explain how to comply with this rule; both are available at https://www.regulations.gov/docket?D=NOAA-NMFS-2017-0092.

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FR notice – Marine Conservation Plan for Pacific Insular Areas Other Than American Samoa, Guam, and the Northern Mariana Islands (Aug. 11, 2017)

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

ACTION: Notice of agency decision.

SUMMARY: NMFS announces approval of a Marine Conservation Plan (MCP) for Pacific Insular Areas other than American Samoa, Guam, and the Northern Mariana Islands.
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FR Notice – Marine Conservation Plan for the Pacific Insular Area for the Northern Mariana Islands; Western Pacific Sustainable Fisheries Fund (Aug. 9, 2017)

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

ACTION: Notice of agency decision.

SUMMARY: NMFS announces approval of a Marine Conservation Plan (MCP) for the Northern Mariana
Islands.

DATES: This agency decision is valid from August 4, 2017, through August 3, 2020.

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FR Notice – Notice of 12-Month Finding on a Petition To List the Pacific Bluefin Tuna as Threatened or Endangered Under the Endangered Species Act (Aug. 8, 2017)

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

ACTION: Notice of 12-month petition finding.

SUMMARY: We, NMFS, announce a 12- month finding on a petition to list the Pacific bluefin tuna
(Thunnus orientalis) as a threatened or endangered species under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) and to designate critical habitat concurrently with the listing. We have completed a comprehensive
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