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Request for Comment: Western and Central Pacific Fisheries for Highly Migratory Species; Fish Aggregating Device Design Requirements in Purse Seine Fisheries, IMO Number Requirements, and Bycatch Restrictions (comments due by Nov. 8, 2021)

Federal Register Notices

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

ACTION: Proposed rule; request for comments.

SUMMARY: NMFS seeks comments on this proposed rule issued under authority of the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Convention Implementation Act (WCPFC Implementation Act). The proposed rule would implement recent decisions of the Commission for the Conservation and Management of Highly Migratory Fish Stocks in the Western and Central Pacific Ocean (WCPFC or Commission) on fish aggregating device (FAD) design requirements, International Maritime Organization (IMO) number requirements, and bycatch restrictions for sharks and rays. This action is necessary to satisfy the obligations of the United States under the Convention on the Conservation and Management of Highly Migratory Fish Stocks in the Western and Central Pacific Ocean (Convention), to which it is a Contracting Party. The proposed rule would apply to owners and operators of U.S. fishing vessels used for commercial fishing for highly migratory species (HMS) in the area of application of the Convention.

DATES: Comments on the proposed rule must be submitted in writing by November 8, 2021.

ADDRESSES: You may submit comments on the proposed rule and the regulatory impact review (RIR) prepared for the proposed rule, identified by NOAA-NMFS-2021-0068, by any of the following methods:

• Electronic submission: Submit all electronic public comments via the Federal e-Rulemaking Portal. Go to and enter NOAA-NMFS-2021-0068 in the Search box. Click on the “Comment” icon, complete the required fields, and enter or attach your comments.

• Mail: Submit written comments to Michael D. Tosatto, Regional Administrator, NMFS, Pacific Islands Regional Office (PIRO), 1845 Wasp Blvd., Building 176, Honolulu, HI 96818.

• Fax: (808) 725-5215; Attn: Michael D. Tosatto.

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 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).

An initial regulatory flexibility analysis (IRFA) prepared under authority of the Regulatory Flexibility Act is included in the Classification section of the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section of this document.

Copies of the RIR and the Environmental Assessment are available at or may be obtained from Michael D. Tosatto, Regional Administrator, NMFS PIRO (see ADDRESSES above).

Written comments regarding the burden-hour estimates or other aspects of the collection-of-information requirements contained in this proposed rule may be submitted to PIRO at the address listed above and to​public/​do/​PRAMain.

Emily Crigler, NMFS PIRO, 808-725-5036.

Click here for complete FR notice.

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