[Federal Register Volume 77, Number 67 (Friday, April 6, 2012)]
[Pages 20792-20793]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2012-8378]



National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

RIN 0648-XB151

New England Fishery Management Council (NEFMC); Public Meeting

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

ACTION: Notice of a public meeting.


SUMMARY: The New England Fishery Management Council (Council) will hold 
a 3-day meeting from Tuesday through Thursday, April 24-April 26, 2012, 
to consider actions affecting New England fisheries in the exclusive 
economic zone (EEZ).

DATES: The meeting will be held on Tuesday, April 24th, Wednesday, 
April 25th and Thursday, April 26th beginning at 9 a.m. on Tuesday, and 
8:30 a.m. on Wednesday and Thursday.

ADDRESSES: The meeting will be held at the Hilton Hotel, 20 Coogan 
Boulevard, Mystic, CT 06355-1900; telephone: (860) 572-0731; fax: (860) 
    Council address: New England Fishery Management Council, 50 Water 
Street, Mill 2, Newburyport, MA 01950; telephone: (978) 465-0492.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Paul J. Howard, Executive Director, 
New England Fishery Management Council; telephone: (978) 465-0492.


Tuesday, April 24, 2012

    Following introductions and any announcements, brief reports will 
be presented by the Council Chairman and Executive Director, NOAA 
Fisheries Regional Administrator (Northeast Region), Northeast 
Fisheries Science Center and Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council 
liaisons, as well as NOAA General Counsel, representatives of the U.S. 
Coast Guard and the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission, and 
staff from the Vessel Monitoring Systems Operations and NOAA's Law 
Enforcement offices. During this period, the Council will receive an 
overview of activities related to the development of a Standard Bycatch 
Reporting Methodology amendment and the possible establishment of a 
joint Mid-Atlantic and New England Council Committee. That discussion 
will be followed by a review of any experimental fishery permit 
applications that have been made available since the January 2012 
Council meeting.
    Prior to a lunch break, the Council will discuss revising its list 
of management priorities for 2012 in the context of an Endangered 
Species Act listing for Atlantic sturgeon and the Council resources 
that may be required to address that issue.
    Following a lunch break, the Council may revise its policies 
concerning procedures for advisory panel and plan development team 
operations. The Sea Scallop Committee will ask for approval of research 
priorities to be used in soliciting proposals funded through the 
NEFMC's sea scallop research set-aside program. During this report, the 
Northeast Fisheries Science Center will present information about 
future plans for the federal sea scallop survey, including the 
integration of Habcam (towed underwater camera) results with existing 
survey technologies. The Enforcement Committee will provide 
recommendations and ask for approval of comments related to: Amendment 
5 to the Atlantic Herring Fishery Management Plan (FMP), NOAA's revised 
enforcement priorities, issues related to coral reef protection, sector 
landings monitoring and correspondence to the Secretary of Commerce 
requesting NOAA General Counsel/Northeast participation in

[[Page 20793]]

NEFMC Enforcement Committee meetings and the continuation of efforts to 
address the case backlog in New England. The day will conclude with a 
public listening session during which the Council will hold an informal 
question and answer session for stakeholders and the public. There also 
will be an opportunity for anyone to briefly comment on items relevant 
to Council business that is not otherwise listed on the agenda.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

    The second day of the meeting will begin with an overview of the 
status of Atlantic sturgeon and the implications of its Endangered 
Species Act listing for NEFMC fishery management plans, as well as 
other protected species-related updates. The Monkfish Committee will 
report next and summarize its discussions about potential remedies to 
the bycatch of Atlantic sturgeon in the monkfish fishery. There also 
will be an update on progress to develop Amendment 6 to the Monkfish 
FMP, an action that will include a catch share management alternative. 
Prior to a lunch break, representatives of the Northeast Fisheries 
Science Center will summarize the recent assessment and data updates to 
13 Northeast groundfish stocks. The Council's Scientific and 
Statistical Committee will add to this information by reporting on its 
review of additional information relating to the status of Gulf of 
Maine cod. The committee also will provide recommendations for fishing 
year 2013 Acceptable Biological Catches for a number of stocks in the 
multispecies complex. The day will conclude with a report from the 
Groundfish Committee. That group will continue discussions about the 
management of Gulf of Maine cod, provide an update on the committee's 
efforts to develop a number of solutions and remedies concerning the 
sector management program and update the Council about other committee 

Thursday, February 2, 2012

    The final day of the Council meeting will begin with a report from 
the Whiting Committee. It will review the recent public hearing 
comments and then approve final action on the management measures to be 
included in Amendment 19 to the Northeast Multispecies FMP. The action 
would establish annual catch limits and accountability measures for 
stocks of red hake, silver hake and offshore hake. The Habitat 
Committee will ask for approval of deep sea coral management 
alternatives to be analyzed further for potential inclusion in 
Essential Fish Habitat (EFH) Omnibus 2. Following a lunch break, there 
will be a report on the Spiny Dogfish Fishery Management Plan during 
which the Council will be asked to approve a range of alternatives for 
inclusion in the Draft Environmental Impact Statement for Amendment 3 
to the plan. The document will be the subject of public review and 
further decision-making by the Mid-Atlantic and New England Councils. 
The day will conclude with an update on the development of Draft 
Amendment 5 to the Herring FMP and its Draft Environmental l Impact 
Statement including a review of comments received during the Amendment 
5 public hearings held in March, 2012 and the Amendment 5 timeline and 
schedule for completion. The Council also may address any other 
outstanding business that related to this agenda.
    Although other non-emergency issues not contained in this agenda 
may come before this Council for discussion, those issues may not be 
the subjects of formal action during the meeting. Council action will 
be restricted to those issues specifically listed in this notice and 
any issues arising after publication of this notice that require 
emergency action under section 305(c) of the Magnuson-Stevens Act, 
provided that the public has been notified of the Council's intent to 
take final action to address the emergency.

Special Accommodations

    The meeting is physically accessible to people with disabilities. 
Requests for sign language interpretation or other auxiliary aids 
should be directed to Paul J. Howard (see ADDRESSES) at least 5 days 
prior to the meeting date.

    Dated: April 3, 2012.
William D. Chappell,
Acting Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine 
Fisheries Service.
[FR Doc. 2012-8378 Filed 4-5-12; 8:45 am]