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Taking of Marine Mammals Incidental to Commercial Fishing Operations; Atlantic Large Whale Take Reduction Plan Regulations

By Docket No. I. D


SUMMARY: NMFS issues this final rule to amend the regulations implementing the Atlantic Large Whale Take Reduction Plan (ALWTRP). This final rule revises the management measures for reducing the incidental mortality and serious injury to the Northern right whale (Eubalaena glacialis), humpback whale (Megaptera novaeangliae), and fin whale (Balaenoptera physalus) in commercial fisheries to meet the goals of the Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA) and the Endangered Species Act (ESA). The measures identified in the ALWTRP are also intended to benefit minke whales (Balaenoptera acutorostrata), which are not strategic, but are known to be taken incidentally in commercial fisheries. This final rule implements additional regulations for the fisheries currently covered by the ALWTRP (the Northeast sink gillnet, Northeast/Mid-Atlantic American lobster trap/pot, Mid-Atlantic gillnet, Southeast Atlantic gillnet, and Southeastern U.S. Atlantic shark gillnet fisheries) and regulates several fisheries from the MMPA List of Fisheries for the first time under the ALWTRP, including the following: Northeast anchored float gillnet, Northeast drift gillnet, Atlantic blue crab, and Atlantic mixed species trap/pot fisheries targeting crab (red, Jonah, and rock), hagfish, finfish (black sea bass, scup, tautog, cod, haddock, pollock, redfish (ocean perch), and white hake), conch/whelk, and shrimp. DATES: The amendments to § § 229.2, 229.3, and 648.264(a)(6)(i) are effectiv

Topics: ACTION, Final rule
Year: 2007
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