Tag Archives: Proposed Rule

NMFS Proposes State Water Exemptions for Scallop Fisheries in Maine and Massachusetts

The National Marine Fisheries Service is seeking comment on a proposed rule that would revise the State Waters Exemption Program under the Atlantic Sea Scallop Fishery Management Plan. Under this proposed rule, vessels holding both a Massachusetts state scallop permit and either a Limited Access General Category (LAGC) Individual Fishing Quota (IFQ) or LAGC Northern Gulf of Maine (NGOM) Federal scallop permit could continue to fish in state waters once the Federal Total Allowable Catch (TAC) for the NGOM Management Area has been fully harvested. This action would also modify the State Waters Exemption for Maine, which already has this exemption for vessels holding state scallop permits and LAGC NGOM permits, to include vessels that have both a state scallop permit and an LAGC IFQ permit. Read the notice in the Federal Register 12:17

NMFS Seeks Public Comment for Proposed Rule to Require Turtle Excluder Device Use for Skimmer Trawls, Pusher-Head Trawls, and Wing Nets (Butterfly Trawls)

In an effort to strengthen sea turtle conservation efforts, NOAA Fisheries NMFS is seeking comments on a newly proposed rule.  The rule, if implemented, would require all skimmer trawls, pusher-head trawls, and wing nets (butterfly trawls) to use turtle excluder devices (TEDs) in their nets.  A TED is a device that allows sea turtles to escape from trawl nets.  The purpose of the proposed rule is to aid in the protection and recovery of listed sea turtle populations by reducing incidental bycatch and mortality of sea turtles in the southeastern U.S. shrimp fisheries. We have scheduled six public hearings in January 2017 to solicit public comment on the proposed rule.  The dates, times, and locations of the hearings are as follows: Larose, LA – January 9, 2017, 4pm-6pm, Larose Regional Park and Civic Center, 307 East 5th Street, Larose, LA 70373. Gretna, LA – January 10, 2017, 12pm-2pm, Belle Chasse, LA – January 10, 2017, 4pm-6pm Biloxi, MS – January 11, 2017, 4pm-6pm, Bayou La Batre, AL – January 12, 2017, 10am-12pm Morehead City, NC – January 18, 2017, 12pm-2pm Read the bulletin here 09:33

NMFS Seeks Public Comment-Proposed Rule to Require Turtle Excluder Device Use for Skimmer Trawls, Pusher-Head Trawls, and Wing Nets (Butterfly Trawls)

More shrimp fishermen would have to use nets equipped with turtle escape hatches, to prevent sea turtle deaths, under proposed new federal rules. The National Marine Fisheries Service wants to require more shrimp fishermen to use “turtle excluder devices.” The devices are metal grates that allow turtles to escape the boats’ nets. The fisheries service announced the proposed rules Thursday. They will be subject to a public comment process through mid-February. Thursday was the deadline for the federal government to propose regulations to protect turtles under a settlement with the conservation nonprofit Oceana. Oceana sued the government in April 2015, arguing that government estimates indicate that more than 500,000 sea turtles get caught in shrimp nets each year, and more than 53,000 of them die. Link  NMFS Seeks Public Comment for Proposed Rule Click here  11:39

NMFS Announces Proposed Rule to Protect Deep-Sea Corals in the Mid-Atlantic

noaa nmfs logoOn September 26, 2016, NOAA Fisheries announced a proposed rule to designate a deep-sea coral protection area in the Mid-Atlantic. The area extends from the continental shelf/slope break off the Mid-Atlantic states (New York to North Carolina) to the border of the Exclusive Economic Zone.  If finalized, this proposed rule would be the first nationally to protect deep-sea corals under the new deep sea coral discretionary provisions of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act. The public has until November 1 to comment on this proposed rule, either online or by mail. It should be noted that 11 years ago, the New England Fishery Management Council used the essential fish habitat provisions of the Magnuson-Stevens Act to protect deep-sea corals located in two offshore canyon areas (Lydonia and Oceanographer) through an amendment to the Monkfish Fishery Management Plan. “This would protect 15 deep-sea canyons in a total area of about 24 million acres, about the size of Virginia, or about 20 times the size of the Grand Canyon National Park,” said John Bullard, regional administrator for NOAA Fisheries Greater Atlantic Region. Read the Proposed rule, request for comments here 17:01

More NOAA Over Reach: Proposed Rule to Protect Marine Mammals in International Fisheries

NOAA released a proposed rule designed to implement sections of the Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA) that aims to reduce marine mammal bycatch associated with foreign commercial fishing operations, ensuring that those fisheries support a healthy and diverse marine ecosystem. Under the proposed rule, nations wishing to export fish and fish products to the United States would be required to demonstrate that they have a regulatory program for reducing marine mammal incidental mortality and serious injury that is comparable in effectiveness to the U.S. program.  Read the rest here  20:07

Endangered and Threatened Species: Critical Habitat for Endangered North Atlantic Right Whale-Proposed rule; request for comments.

We, the NMFS, propose to replace the critical habitat for right whales in the North Atlantic with two new areas. The areas under consideration as critical habitat contain approximately 29,945 nm 2 of marine habitat in the  region (Unit 1) and off the Southeast U.S. coast (Unit 2). We have considered positive and negative economic, national security, and other relevant impacts of the proposed critical habitat. We do not propose to exclude any particular area from the proposed critical habitat. Read the rest here 14:10

Pay attention to this one. Proposed Rule. List of Fisheries for 2015

nmfs_logoThe National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) publishes its proposed List of Fisheries (LOF) for 2015, as required by the Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA). The proposed LOF for 2015 reflects new information on interactions between commercial fisheries and marine mammals. comment period that ends in 28 days (09/24/2014)  Samuel D. Rauch III, Deputy Assistant Administrator for Regulatory Programs, National Marine Fisheries Service. Read more here 09:43