News + Announcements
FR Notice- Fishing Restrictions in Purse Seine Fisheries and 2022 Longline Bigeye Tuna Catch Limit (Sept. 12, 2022)
National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Commerce.
Proposed rule; request for comments.
This proposed rule would modify existing limits on fishing effort by U.S. purse seine vessels in the U.S. exclusive economic zone (EEZ) and on the high seas between the latitudes of 20° N and 20° S, in the area of application of the Convention on the Conservation and Management of Highly Migratory Fish Stocks in the Western and Central Pacific Ocean (Convention). In addition, this proposed rule would adjust the 2022 bigeye tuna catch limit in the area of application of the Convention (Convention Area) for U.S. longline commercial fishing vessels to 3,358 metric tons (mt), due to an overage of the 2021 catch limit. The proposed rule would clarify that adjustments to the purse seine fishing effort limits or longline bigeye tuna catch limits could occur each year, due to any overage of the prior year’s limit. This proposed rule would also modify the following: the process for closing the fishery once NMFS expects the effort limits will be reached; the process for obtaining daily purse seine fishing effort reports; and the process for adjusting established annual catch and effort limits in the Convention Area. This action is necessary for the United States to implement provisions of a conservation and management measure adopted by the Commission for the Conservation and Management of Highly Migratory Fish Stocks in the Western and Central Pacific Ocean (WCPFC or Commission) and to satisfy the obligations of the United States under the Convention, to which it is a Contracting Party. NMFS is seeking comments on this proposed rule and will respond to those comments in a subsequent final rule.
Comments on the proposed rule must be submitted in writing by October 3, 2022.
You may submit comments on the proposed rule and the regulatory impact review (RIR) prepared for the proposed rule, identified by NOAA-NMFS-2022-0082 by any of the following methods:
• Electronic submission: Submit all electronic public comments via the Federal e-Rulemaking Portal. Go to https://www.regulations.gov and enter NOAA-NMFS-2022-0082 in the Search box. Click on the “Comment” icon, complete the required fields, and enter or attach your comments.
• Mail: Submit written comments to Sarah Malloy, Acting Regional Administrator, NMFS, Pacific Islands Regional Office (PIRO), 1845 Wasp Blvd., Building 176, Honolulu, HI 96818.
• Fax: (808) 725-5215; Attn: Sarah Malloy.
Instructions: 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 will generally be posted for public viewing on www.regulations.gov without change. All personal identifying information ( e.g., name and address), 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).
Copies of the RIR and the 2015 programmatic environmental assessment (PEA), 2021 supplemental environmental assessment, and 2022 Supplemental Information Report prepared for National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) purposes are available at www.regulations.gov or may be obtained from Sarah Malloy, Acting Regional Administrator, NMFS PIRO (see address above).
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:
Rini Ghosh, NMFS PIRO, 808-725-5033.
For complete FR notice, click here.