Federal Register Notices

post

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).
Read More ª

post

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.
Read More ª

post

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.

Read More ª

post

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.
Read More ª

post

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.
Read More ª

post

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.

Click here for complete FR Notice

post

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.
Read More ª

post

FR Notice – U.S. Purse Seine Fishery in the WCPO Notice of Intent to Prepare an EIS (Aug. 23, 2018)

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

ACTION: Notice; intent to prepare an environmental impact statement; announcement of public scoping period; request for comments.

SUMMARY: NMFS is gathering information necessary to prepare an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for future management actions for the U.S. purse seine fishery in the western and central Pacific Ocean (WCPO). This notice of intent to prepare an EIS represents the beginning of the public scoping process and 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.
Read More ª

post

FR Notice – Request for Comments on Ecosystem Component Species (Aug. 8, 2018)

Action

Notice of availability of fishery ecosystem plan amendments; request for comments.

Summary

NMFS announces that the Western Pacific Fishery Management Council (Council) proposes to amend the Fishery Ecosystem Plans (FEP) for American Samoa, the Mariana Archipelago, and Hawaii. Amendment 4 to the American Samoa FEP, Amendment 5 to the Marianas FEP, and Amendment 5 to the Hawaii FEP would reclassify certain management unit species as ecosystem component species. The intent of these amendments is to focus management efforts on species that are in need of conservation and management, and improve efficiency of fishery management in the region.

Read More ª

post

FR Notice – Request for Comments on Proposed Specifications for 2018 US Territory Bigeye Tuna Catch Limits (Aug. 8, 2018)

Action

Proposed specifications; request for comments.

Summary

NMFS proposes 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 would allow each territory to allocate up to 1,000 t 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.

Read More ª