[Federal Register Volume 77, Number 105 (Thursday, May 31, 2012)]
[Page 32082]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2012-13178]

[[Page 32082]]



National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

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 three-day meeting on June 19-21, 2012 to consider actions affecting 
New England fisheries in the exclusive economic zone (EEZ).

DATES: The meeting will be held on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, 
June 19-21, starting at 9 a.m. on Tuesday, and at 8:30 a.m. on 
Wednesday and Thursday.

ADDRESSES: The meeting will be held at the Holiday Inn by the Bay, 88 
Spring Street, Portland, ME 04101; telephone: (207) 775-2311; fax: 
(207) 761-8224.
    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, June 19, 2012

    Following introductions and any announcements, brief reports will 
be provided by the NEFMC Chairman and Executive Director, the Acting 
NOAA Fisheries Regional Administrator (Northeast Region), the Northeast 
Fisheries Science Center and Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council 
liaisons, NOAA General Counsel, representatives of the U.S. Coast Guard 
and the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission, and staff from the 
regional Vessel Monitoring Systems Operations and Law Enforcement 
offices. The Council will then receive an update from NOAA Fisheries 
Northeast Regional Office staff about the development of a new 
amendment to address Standard Bycatch Reporting Methodology in all 
NEFMC fishery management plans (FMPs).
    Following a lunch break, the Northeast Fisheries Science Center 
(NEFSC) will present a briefing on their new social science data 
collection efforts. Following this report, the Council's Habitat 
Committee will provide an overview of the discretionary provisions of 
the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act that 
relate to deep sea corals. Its members may ask the Council to consider 
removing the coral alternatives from the Omnibus Essential Fish Habitat 
Amendment currently under development and address them in a separate 
action. There also will be an NEFSC presentation summarizing the most 
recent scientific information about climate change and its impact on 
fisheries in the Northeast. NOAA Fisheries staff will then address 
scoping for Amendment 7 to the Consolidated Highly Migratory Species 
Fishery Management Plan. This will include the scope and significance 
of issues to be analyzed in a draft environmental impact statement on 
management measures that address Atlantic bluefin tuna (BFT) 
management. Through the scoping process, NMFS will determine if 
existing measures are the best means of achieving certain management 
objectives for BFT and provide flexibility for future management. NMFS 
also will hold a scoping hearing on Monday evening, June 18 at the same 
location as the Council meeting for interested stakeholders and the 
public. Attendees are encouraged to check www.nero.noaa.gov or 
www.nefmc.org for the time. 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, June 20, 2012

    The Council will use the entire day on Wednesday to review and 
approve final measures to be included in Amendment 5 to the Atlantic 
Herring FMP. Amendment 5 proposes to establish a catch monitoring 
program for the herring fishery and address bycatch. It may include: 
adjustments to the fishery management program; measures to address 
carrier vessels and transfers at-sea; trip notification and permitting, 
and reporting requirements. If approved, other measures may address 
interactions with the Atlantic mackerel fishery, allocate observer 
coverage on limited access herring vessels, maximize sampling and 
address net slippage, address river herring bycatch and establish 
criteria for midwater trawl vessel access to groundfish closed areas.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

    The third and final day of the NEFMC meeting will begin with 
reports from the Monkfish and Whiting Committees. The Monkfish 
Committee will ask the Council to consider a motion deferred from the 
April Council meeting that would remove Individually Transferrable 
Quotas from the range of alternatives under development in Amendment 6 
to the Monkfish FMP. The Whiting Committee will ask for final approval 
of Amendment 19 draft management measures including alternatives to 
increase the whiting possession limit from 30,000 up to 40,000 pounds 
for vessels using trawls with 3-inch or larger mesh, in all or part of 
the Southern New England and Mid-Atlantic Exemption Areas. The rest of 
the day will be spent on issues that relate to the Northeast 
multispecies stock complex. The Council will discuss and possibly 
propose action to mitigate the impact of the low catch limits recently 
set for Georges Bank yellowtail flounder. It also will: receive a 
summary of the scoping comments submitted for proposed Amendment 18 to 
the Northeast Multispecies FMP; approve initial action on a framework 
adjustment to modify sector measures (including monitoring 
requirements), as well as set acceptable biological catches for fishing 
year 2013-15; and adjust annual catch limits and accountability 
    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 this 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

    This 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: May 25, 2012.
Tracey L. Thompson,
Acting Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine 
Fisheries Service.
[FR Doc. 2012-13178 Filed 5-30-12; 8:45 am]