| Specification of bigeye tuna catch and allocation limits for pelagic longline fisheries in U.S. Pacific Island Territories in 2015 and 2016, including a regulatory impact review : final environmental assessment - :14980 | National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) | National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA)
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Specification of bigeye tuna catch and allocation limits for pelagic longline fisheries in U.S. Pacific Island Territories in 2015 and 2016, including a regulatory impact review : final environmental assessment
  • Published Date:
    2015
Filetype[PDF-2.49 MB]


Details:
  • Corporate Authors:
    United States, National Marine Fisheries Service., Office of Protected Resources, ; United States, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration., Office of General Counsel, ; Western Pacific Fishery Management Council (U.S.)
  • Description:
    The National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) proposes to specify a catch limit of 2,000 metric tons (mt) of longline-caught bigeye tuna for each of the pelagic longline fisheries of American Samoa, Guam and the Northern Mariana Islands in 2015. Without this catch limit, the U.S. territories would not be subject to a limit because international measures adopted by the Western and Central Fisheries Commission (WCPFC) for bigeye tuna do not apply to Small Island Developing States (SIDS) or to Participating Territories (PT) to the WCPFC. The WCPFC treats each U.S. territory as a PT. NMFS also proposes to authorize each U.S. territory to allocate up to 1,000 mt of its 2,000-mt bigeye tuna limit to a U.S. longline fishing vessel or vessels (holding a valid permit issued under Title 50, Code of Federal Regulations, Section 665.801 (50 CFR 665.801)) identified in a valid specified fishing agreement with a U.S. territory. NMFS would attribute the catches of bigeye tuna made by vessels identified in a valid specified fishing agreement to the U.S. territory to which the agreement applies in accordance with the procedures set forth in 50 CFR 665.819. Funds received under a specified fishing agreement are applied toward fisheries development projects identified in a territorial marine conservation plan (MCP). NMFS would monitor catches of bigeye tuna caught by the longline fisheries of each U.S. territory, including catches made by U.S. longline vessels operating under specified fishing agreements. When NMFS projects a territorial catch or allocation limit would be reached, NMFS would, as an accountability measure (AM), prohibit the retention of longline-caught bigeye tuna by vessels in the applicable U.S. territory (if the territorial catch limit is projected to be reached), and/or by vessels operating under the applicable specified fishing agreement (if the allocation limit is projected to be reached). Recognizing that the WCPFC did not adopt big eye tuna limits for PTs or SIDS, the Western Pacific Fishery Management Council recommended the proposed catch and allocation limits and AM in accordance with the Fishery Ecosystem Plan for Pelagic Fisheries of the Western Pacific (Pelagic FEP) and implementing federal regulations at 50 CFR 665.819. The proposed 2015 catch and allocation limits and AM are identical to those NMFS specified in 2014 (79 FR 64097, October 28, 2014).

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