[Federal Register Volume 77, Number 174 (Friday, September 7, 2012)]
[Pages 55192-55193]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2012-22025]



National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

RIN 0648-XC221

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 September 25-27, 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, 
September 25-27, starting at 9 a.m. on Tuesday, at 8:30 a.m. on 
Wednesday and 8 a.m. on Thursday.

ADDRESSES: The meeting will be held at the Radisson Hotel Plymouth 
Harbor, 180 Water Street, Plymouth, MA 02360; telephone: (508) 747-
4900; fax: (508) 746-2609; or online at www.radisson.com/plymouth-hotel-ma-02360/maplyhar.
    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, September 25, 2012

    Following introductions and any announcements, the annual election 
of Council officers will take place once all newly appointed members 
have been sworn in by the NOAA Fisheries Regional Administrator/
Northeast Region. Brief reports will then be provided by the NEFMC 
Chairman and Executive Director, the Northeast Fisheries Science Center 
and Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council liaisons, NOAA General 
Counsel, representatives of the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries 
Commission, and staff from the regional Vessel Monitoring Systems 
Operations and NOAA Law Enforcement offices. The Council also will 
receive an update about Northeast Regional Ocean Council activities. 
The new Coast Guard First District Commander will provide his 
perspective on fisheries issues, and following a lunch break, the 
Northeast Fisheries Science Center (NEFSC)

[[Page 55193]]

Director will present an overview of the Center's draft Strategic Plan. 
A question and answer period is scheduled to accompany the 
presentation. NEFMC staff will provide findings and recommendations 
concerning the use of socio-cultural information in the NEFMC process. 
Three additional reports will follow: the Spiny Dogfish Committee will 
ask for final approval of measures to be included in Amendment 3 to the 
Spiny Dogfish Fishery Management Plan (FMP); the Monkfish Committee 
will update the Council on its progress to develop management 
alternatives for inclusion in Amendment 6 to the Monkfish FMP; and the 
Council's Enforcement Committee will review any recommendations 
relative to NOAA's enforcement priorities for 2013, fishing gear 
stowage requirements, and new forms proposed by NOAA as part of a new 
information collection system. The day will end with a listening 
session that the audience and larger public may participate in via 
webinar. For this Council meeting, the focus will be on the new 
Northeast Regional Administrator, his views and opinions, and his 
recent visits to many coastal communities in the Northeast.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

    The Council will receive a report from the NEFSC summarizing the 
findings of the 54th Stock Assessment Workshop/Stock Assessment Review 
Committee meetings. The species addressed were Atlantic herring, and 
Southern New England/Mid-Atlantic yellowtail flounder. The Council's 
Scientific and Statistical Committee will report on its acceptable 
biological catch recommendations for groundfish stocks for fishing 
years 2013-15, Atlantic herring for 2013-15 and sea scallops for 2013-
14. The Herring Committee will address the recent court decision about 
Amendment 4 to the Atlantic Herring FMP and ask the Council to consider 
actions to address the court order. Discussion also will cover initial 
development of Atlantic herring fishery specifications for the upcoming 
fishing years 2013-15, including possible action to maintain the 2012 
specifications through 2013 and develop a separate package for 2014-16. 
The Scallop Committee will report later in the day about management 
measures proposed for Atlantic Sea Scallop FMP Framework Adjustment 24/
Groundfish FMP Framework Adjustment 49. Framework 24 is an action to 
set fishery specifications for fishing years 2013 and 2014, but 
includes other measures: a possible modification of the Georges Bank 
access area seasonal closures; measures to address yellowtail flounder 
bycatch in the limited access general category (LAGC) fishery; the 
potential allowance of quota transfer during the year for LAGC 
individual fishery quota vessels; and measures to expand the observer 
set-aside program to include LAGC scallop vessels in open areas. At the 
end of the day, the Council will hear about the 2012 assessments for 
the transboundary stocks of Eastern Georges Bank cod and haddock, and 
Georges Bank yellowtail flounder. The day will conclude with 
consideration and approval of fishing year 2013 quotas for these same 

Thursday, September 27, 2012

    The Council may approve a small mesh multispecies control date for 
the red hake, silver hake and offshore hake fisheries. This issue will 
be followed by a lengthy Groundfish Committee report on a range of 
issues including: the development of Framework 48 to the Northeast 
Multispecies (Groundfish) FMP, an action that may include fishing year 
2013-15 overfishing levels and acceptable biological catches for a 
number of stocks managed through this FMP; the creation of a Southern 
New England/Mid-Atlantic windowpane flounder sub-annual catch limit 
(sub-ACL) for the sea scallop fishery; adjustments to the Southern New 
England/Mid-Atlantic and Georges Bank yellowtail flounder sub-ACLs for 
the scallop fishery; sector monitoring issues; adjustments to 
recreational fishing measures if necessary; and consideration of other 
adjustments to the groundfish management measures. As part of this 
action, the Council also will consider recommendations for allowing 
increased access to the groundfish closed areas to mitigate expected 
low acceptable biological catches for groundfish stocks in fishing year 
    During the afternoon session on Thursday the Habitat Committee will 
request that the Council consider splitting the deep-sea coral 
alternatives off from the Omnibus EFH Amendment 2, and possibly 
initiating development of a coral-focused omnibus amendment. The 
Council also may endorse a Memorandum of Understanding related to deep-
sea corals, and will review the draft adverse effects minimization 
alternatives under development in Omnibus EFH Amendment 2. The day will 
conclude with an initial discussion of the Council's 2013 management 
    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: September 4, 2012.
Tracey L. Thompson,
Acting Deputy Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National 
Marine Fisheries Service.
[FR Doc. 2012-22025 Filed 9-6-12; 8:45 am]