Daily Rules, Proposed Rules, and Notices of the Federal Government
The Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (Magnuson-Stevens Act) requires that each regional fishery management council submit any FMP amendment it prepares to NMFS for review and approval, disapproval, or partial approval by the Secretary of Commerce. The Magnuson-Stevens Act also requires that NMFS, upon receiving an FMP amendment, immediately publish a notice in the
On August 8, 2012, NMFS published the notice of availability for the amendments, with a comment period that ended on October 9, 2012 (77 FR 47356). NMFS did not receive any comments on these proposed amendments.
NMFS determined that these amendments are consistent with the Magnuson-Stevens Act and other applicable laws and approved the amendments on October 31, 2012. The notice of availability contains additional information on this action. No changes to Federal regulations are necessary to implement these FMP amendments.
NMFS and regional fishery management councils must describe and identify EFH in FMPs. The Magnuson-Stevens Act defines EFH as “those waters and substrate necessary to fish for spawning, breeding, feeding, or growth to maturity.” The FMPs contain various EFH components, including the requirement to review EFH every 5 years.
In 2009 and 2010, a 5-year EFH review was conducted for the North Pacific Fishery Management Council (Council), and the results of this review are documented in the Final EFH 5-year Review for 2010 Summary Report (see
The five amendments addressed by this notice revise the following FMP components for EFH:
• The EFH provisions of the BSAI and GOA Groundfish FMPs for 24 groundfish species or complexes.
• The EFH provisions of the BSAI Crab FMP for five crab species or complexes.
• The EFH provisions of the Scallop FMP for weathervane scallop.
• The EFH conservation recommendations for non-fishing activities in all five FMPs.
• The timeline for considering habitat areas of particular concern from 3 years to 5 years in all five FMPs.
• The research objectives for EFH in the four FMPs subject to the 2010 EFH 5-year review (excludes the Arctic FMP).
The details of these revisions are in each amendment (see
The 5-year review concluded that no change to the 2005 EFH EIS conclusions on the evaluation of fishing effects on EFH was warranted based on information from 2005 through 2010.
An Environmental Assessment was prepared for the amendments that describe the EFH background, the purpose and need for action, the EFH alternatives, and the environmental, social, and economic impacts of the alternatives (see
16 U.S.C. 1801