Federal Register Notices

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FR Notice – NMFS determines Pacific bluefin tuna ESA listing not warranted (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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FR Notice – Restrictions on Fishing for Sharks in the Eastern Pacific Ocean (Aug. 7, 2017)

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

ACTION: Proposed rule; request for comments.

SUMMARY: NMFS proposes regulations under the Tuna Conventions Act to implement Resolution C–16–05 (Resolution on the Management of Shark Species) of the Inter-American Tropical Tuna Commission (IATTC) adopted in July 2016. Per the Resolution, this proposed rule would require purse
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FR Notice – Bigeye Tuna Catch Limits in Longline Fisheries for 2017 (Aug. 4, 2017)

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

ACTION: Interim rule; request for comments.

SUMMARY: NMFS issues regulations under authority of the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Convention Implementation Act (WCPFC Implementation Act) to modify a limit on the amount of bigeye tuna (Thunnus obesus) that may be captured by U.S. longline vessels in the western and central Pacific Ocean (WCPO), to 3,138 metric tons (mt) for calendar year 2017. The limit does not apply to
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FR Notice – 2017–18 Annual Catch Limit and Accountability Measures; Main Hawaiian Islands Deep 7 Bottomfish (June 30, 2017)

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

ACTION: Final specifications.

SUMMARY: NMFS specifies an annual catch limit (ACL) of 306,000 lb for Deep 7 bottomfish in the main Hawaiian Islands (MHI) for the 2017–18 fishing year, which will begin on September 1, 2017, and end on August 31, 2018. If NMFS projects that the fishery will reach the ACL, NMFS would close the commercial and non-commercial fisheries for MHI Deep 7 bottomfish for the remainder of the fishing year as an accountability measure (AM). The ACL and AM support the long-term sustainability of Hawaii bottomfish.
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FR Notice – Review of National Marine Sanctuaries and Marine National Monuments Designated or Expanded Since April 28, 2007; Notice of Opportunity for Public Comment (June 26, 2017)

AGENCY: Office of National Marine Sanctuaries (ONMS), National Ocean Service (NOS), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

ACTION: Notice; request for public comments.

SUMMARY: Pursuant to Executive Order 13795—Implementing an America-First Offshore Energy Strategy, signed on April 28, 2017, the Department of Commerce is conducting a review of all designations and expansions of National Marine Sanctuaries and Marine National Monuments since April 28, 2007. The Secretary of Commerce will use the review to inform the preparation of a report under Executive Order 13795, Sec. 4(b)(ii). This Notice identifies 11 National Marine Sanctuaries and Marine National Monuments subject to the review and invites comments to inform the review.
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Executive Order – Implementing an America-First Offshore Energy Strategy (Apr. 28, 2017)

By the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, including the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act, 43 U.S.C. 1331 et seq., and in order to maintain global leadership in energy innovation, exploration, and production, it is hereby ordered as follows:
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FR Notice – Fishing Restrictions for Tropical Tuna in the Eastern Pacific Ocean (Apr. 11, 2017)

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

SUMMARY: NMFS is issuing regulations under the Tuna Conventions Act to implement Resolution C–17–01  (Conservation of Tuna in the Eastern Pacific Ocean During 2017), which was adopted by the Inter-American Tropical Tuna Commission (IATTC or Commission) in February 2017. Applicable to 2017 only, most provisions of Resolution C–17–01 are identical in content to the previous resolution on tropical tuna management that expired at the end of 2016. The provisions that are maintained in Resolution C–17–01 from the previous resolution include a 500 metric ton (mt) bigeye tuna (Thunnus obesus) calendar year catch limit applicable to longline vessels greater than 24 meters (m) in overall length and a 62-day closure period applicable each year to purse seine vessels of class size 4 to 6 (greater than 182 mt carrying capacity). In addition, the resolution includes a new requirement for total allowable catch limits (TACs) for yellowfin (Thunnus albacares) and bigeye tuna harvested in purse seine sets on floating objects (97,711 mt) and in sets involving chase and encirclement of dolphins (162,182 mt). This rule implements all of those requirements and revises related regulations for clarification purposes. This rule is necessary for the conservation of tropical tuna stocks in the eastern Pacific Ocean (EPO) and for the United States to satisfy its obligations as a member of the IATTC.

DATES: This final rule is effective May 11, 2017.

ADDRESSES: Copies of supporting documents that were prepared for this final rule, including the regulatory impact review (RIR) are available via the Federal e-Rulemaking Portal: http://www.regulations.gov, docket NOAA– NMFS–2017–0024 or contact with the Regional Administrator, Barry A. Thom, NMFS West Coast Region, 1201 NE Lloyd Blvd., Suite 1100, Portland, OR 97232–1274, or RegionalAdministrator.WCRHMS@ noaa.gov.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:
Rachael Wadsworth, NMFS at 562–980–4036.

Click here for complete FR notice

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FR Notice – Pacific Island Pelagic Fisheries; Deep-Set Tuna Longline Fisheries (02/13/2017)

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

ACTION: Notice of intent to prepare a Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement; public meetings; request for comments.

SUMMARY: NMFS, in coordination with the Western Pacific Fishery Management Council (Council), intends to prepare a Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement (PEIS) to analyze the environmental impacts of the continued authorization and management of U.S. Pacific Island deep-set tuna longline fisheries under the Fishery Ecosystem Plan for Pelagic Fisheries of the Western Pacific (FEP) and other applicable laws. The analysis would include certain longline fisheries based in Hawaii, the U.S. west coast, American Samoa, Guam, and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI). Publication of this notice begins the public scoping process to determine the scope of the environmental issues for consideration in the PEIS and allowing interested parties to suggest fishery management issues to be considered in the PEIS. The PEIS is intended to support management of U.S. pelagic longline fisheries.
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FR Notice – 12-Month Finding on a Petition To List Giant and Reef Manta Rays as Threatened or Endangered Under the Endangered Species Act 1/12/2017

AGENCY: National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Commerce.
ACTION: Proposed rule; 12-month petition finding; request for comments.

SUMMARY: We, NMFS, announce a 12- month finding on a petition to list the giant manta ray (Manta birostris) and reef manta ray (Manta alfredi) as threatened or endangered under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). We have completed a comprehensive status review of both species in response to this petition. Based on the best scientific and commercial information available, including the status review report(Miller and Klimovich 2016), and after taking into account efforts being made to protect these species, we have determined that the giant manta ray (M. birostris) is likely to become an endangered species within the foreseeable future throughout a significant portion of its range. Therefore, we propose to list the giant manta ray as a threatened species under the ESA. Any protective regulations determined to be necessary and
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FR Notice – List of Fisheries for 2017 1/12/2017

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

SUMMARY: The National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) publishes its final List of Fisheries (LOF) for 2017, as required by the Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA). The LOF for 2017 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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