FR Notice – Emergency Measures to Address Fishery Observer Coverage During the COVID-19 Coronavirus Pandemic (March 27, 2020)

Federal Register Notices, News and Updates

AGENCY: National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Commerce.
ACTION: Temporary rule; emergency action; request for comments.

SUMMARY: NMFS issues this temporary rule (also referred to herein as “emergency action”) to provide it with authority to waive observer coverage requirements established in regulations promulgated under the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (MSA) and other statutes, consistent with applicable law and international obligations. NMFS is taking this action to address public health concerns relating to the evolving pandemic of Coronavirus Disease 19 (COVID-19). NMFS is taking this action to protect public health, economic security, and food security, and to safeguard the health and safety of fishermen, observers, and other persons involved with such monitoring programs, while safeguarding the ability of fishermen to continue business operations and produce seafood for the Nation. This action also authorizes NMFS to waive some training or other program requirements to ensure that as many observers are available as possible while ensuring the safety and health of the observers and trainers.

Effective March 24, 2020 through September 23, 2020. Comments must be received by April 27, 2020.

Written comments, identified by NOAA-NMFS-2020-0036, may be submitted to NMFS using an electronic submission via the Federal e-Rulemaking portal. Go to​docket?​D=​NOAA-NMFS-2020-0036, click the “Comment Now!” icon, complete the required fields, and enter or attach your comments.

Comments sent by any other method, to any other address or individual, or received after the end of the comment period, may not be considered by NMFS. All comments received are a part of the public record and generally will be posted for public viewing on 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).

Kelly Denit at 301-427-8517.

Click here for complete FR Notice.

Upcoming Events

all-day 137th Scientific and Statistical... @ TBD
137th Scientific and Statistical... @ TBD
Sep 9 – Sep 11 all-day
Date: Sept. 9-11, 2020 Location: TBD
all-day 183rd Council Meeting (TBD: Mari... @ TBD: Marianas
183rd Council Meeting (TBD: Mari... @ TBD: Marianas
Sep 15 – Sep 18 all-day
Date: Sept. 15-18, 2020 Location: TBD: Marianas
all-day Council Coordination Committee M... @ TBD
Council Coordination Committee M... @ TBD
Sep 22 – Sep 25 all-day
Date: Sept. 22-25 (T – F) Location:Silver Spring/DC Area (Location TBD)
all-day 138th Scientific and Statistical... @ TBD
138th Scientific and Statistical... @ TBD
Dec 1 – Dec 3 all-day
Date: Dec. 1-3, 2020 Location: TBD