50 CFR 229.33 - Harbor Porpoise Take Reduction Plan Regulations

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§ 229.33 Harbor Porpoise Take Reduction Plan Regulations—New England.
(a) Restrictions—
(1) Northeast Closure Area—
(i) Area restrictions. From August 15 through September 13, it is prohibited to fish with, set, haul back, possess on board a vessel unless stowed in accordance with § 229.2, or fail to remove sink gillnet gear or gillnet gear capable of catching multispecies from the Northeast Closure Area. This restriction does not apply to vessels fishing with a single pelagic gillnet (as described and used as set forth in § 648.81(f)(2)(ii) of this title).
(ii) Area boundaries. The Northeast Closure Area is bounded by straight lines connecting the following points in the order stated:
Northeast Closure Area
Point N. Lat. W. Long.
NE1 44°27.3′ 68°55.0′ (ME shoreline)
NE2 43°29.6′ 68°55.0′
NE3 44°04.4′ 67°48.7′
NE4 44°06.9′ 67°52.8′
NE5 44°31.2′ 67°02.7′
NE6 44°45.8′ 67°02.7′ (ME shoreline)
(2) Mid-Coast Management Area—
(i) Area restrictions. From September 15 through May 31, it is prohibited to fish with, set, haul back, possess on board a vessel unless stowed in accordance with § 229.2, or fail to remove sink gillnet gear or gillnet gear capable of catching multispecies from the Mid-Coast Management Area, unless the gillnet gear is equipped with pingers in accordance with paragraphs (b) and (c) of this section. This prohibition does not apply to vessels fishing with a single pelagic gillnet (as described and used as set forth in § 648.81(f)(2)(ii) of this title).
(ii) Area boundaries. The Mid-Coast Management Area is the area bounded by straight lines connecting the following points in the order stated:
Mid-Coast Management Area
Point N. Lat. W. Long.
MC1 42°30.0′ 70°50.1′ (MA shoreline)
MC2 42°30.0′ 70°15.0′
MC3 42°40.0′ 70°15.0′
MC4 42°40.0′ 70°00.0′
MC5 43°00.0′ 70°00.0′
MC6 43°00.0′ 69°30.0′
MC7 43°30.0′ 69°30.0′
MC8 43°30.0′ 69°00.0′
MC9 44°17.8′ 69°00.0′ (ME shoreline)
(iii) Closing procedures. According to paragraphs (d)(1), (d)(3), and (d)(4) of this section, NMFS shall close the western portion of the Mid-Coast Management Area (west of 70°15′ W. long.) from October 1 through November 30 annually by incorporating it into the Coastal Gulf of Maine Closure Area if, after two full, consecutive management seasons, the average observed bycatch rate of harbor porpoises for the Mid-Coast, Massachusetts Bay, and Stellwagen Bank Management Areas combined exceeds the target harbor porpoise bycatch rate of 0.031 harbor porpoises per metric tons of landings.
(3) Massachusetts Bay Management Area—
(i) Area restrictions. From November 1 through February 28/29 and from April 1 through May 31, it is prohibited to fish with, set, haul back, possess on board a vessel unless stowed in accordance with § 229.2, or fail to remove sink gillnet gear or gillnet gear capable of catching multispecies from the Massachusetts Bay Management Area, unless the gillnet gear is equipped with pingers in accordance with paragraphs (b) and (c) of this section. From March 1 through March 31, it is prohibited to fish with, set, haul back, possess on board a vessel unless stowed in accordance with § 229.2, or fail to remove sink gillnet gear or gillnet gear capable of catching multispecies from the Massachusetts Bay Management Area. These restrictions do not apply to vessels fishing with a single pelagic gillnet (as described in § 648.81(f)(2)(ii) of this title).
(ii) Area boundaries. The Massachusetts Bay Management Area is bounded by straight lines connecting the following points in the order stated:
Massachusetts Bay Management Area
Point N. Lat. W. Long.
MB1 42°30.0′ 70°50.1′ (MA shoreline)
MB2 42°30.0′ 70°30.0′
MB3 42°15.0′ 70°30.0′
MB4 42°15.0′ 70°00.0′
MB5 42°00.0′ 70°00.0′
MB6 42°00.0′ 70°01.2′ (MA shoreline)
MB7 42°00.0′ 70°04.8′ (MA shoreline)
MB8 42°00.0′ 70°42.2′ (MA shoreline)
(iii) Closing procedures. According to paragraphs (d)(1), (d)(3), and (d)(4) of this section, NMFS shall close a portion of the Massachusetts Bay Management Area (north of 42°15′ N. lat.) from October 1 through November 30 annually by incorporating it into the Coastal Gulf of Maine Closure Area if, after two full, consecutive management seasons, the average observed bycatch rate of harbor porpoises for the Massachusetts Bay, Mid-Coast, and Stellwagen Bank Management Areas combined exceeds the target harbor porpoise bycatch rate of 0.031 harbor porpoises per metric tons of landings.
(4) Stellwagen Bank Management Area—
(i) Area restrictions. From November 1 through May 31, it is prohibited to fish with, set, haul back, possess on board a vessel unless stowed in accordance with § 229.2, or fail to remove sink gillnet gear or gillnet gear capable of catching multispecies from the Stellwagen Bank Management Area, unless the gillnet gear is equipped with pingers in accordance with paragraphs (b) and (c) of this section. This restriction does not apply to vessels fishing with a single pelagic gillnet (as described in § 648.81(f)(2)(ii) of this title).
(ii) Area boundaries. The Stellwagen Bank Management Area is bounded by straight lines connecting the following points in the order stated:
Stellwagen Bank Management Area
Point N. Lat. W. Long.
SB1 42°30.0′ 70°30.0′
SB2 42°30.0′ 70°15.0′
SB3 42°15.0′ 70°15.0′
SB4 42°15.0′ 70°30.0′
SB1 42°30.0′ 70°30.0′
(iii) Closing procedures. According to paragraphs (d)(1), (d)(3), and (d)(4) of this section, NMFS shall close the Stellwagen Bank Management Area from October 1 through November 30 annually by incorporating it into the Coastal Gulf of Maine Closure Area if, after two full, consecutive management seasons, the average observed bycatch rate of harbor porpoises for the Stellwagen Bank, Mid-Coast, and Massachusetts Bay Management Areas combined exceeds the target harbor porpoise bycatch rate of 0.031 harbor porpoises per metric tons of landings.
(5) Southern New England Management Area—
(i) Area restrictions. From December 1 through May 31, it is prohibited to fish with, set, haul back, possess on board a vessel unless stowed in accordance with § 229.2, or fail to remove sink gillnet gear or gillnet gear capable of catching multispecies from the Southern New England Management Area, unless the gillnet gear is equipped with pingers in accordance with paragraphs (b) and (c) of this section. This prohibition does not apply to vessels fishing with a single pelagic gillnet (as described in § 648.81(f)(2)(ii) of this title).
(ii) Area boundaries. The Southern New England Management Area is bounded by straight lines connecting the following points in the order stated:
Southern New England Management Area
Point N. Lat. W. Long.
1 Bounded on the west by a line running from the Rhode Island shoreline at 41°18.2′ N. lat. and 71°51.5′ W. long. (Watch Hill, RI), southwesterly through Fishers Island, NY, to Race Point, Fishers Island, NY; and from Race Point, Fishers Island, NY; southeasterly to the intersection of the 3-nautical mile line east of Montauk Point; southwesterly along the 3-nautical mile line to the intersection of 72°30.0′ W. long.
SNE1 Western boundary as specified 1.
SNE2 40°00.0′ 72°30.0′
SNE3 40°00.0′ 69°30.0′
SNE4 42°15.0′ 69°30.0′
SNE5 42°15.0′ 70°00.0′
SNE6 41°58.3′ 70°00.0′ (MA shoreline)
(iii) Closing procedures. According to paragraphs (d)(2), (d)(3), and (d)(4) of this section, NMFS shall close two areas (Cape Cod South Expansion Closure Area and Eastern Cape Cod Closure Area) within the Southern New England Management Area from February 1 through April 30 annually if, after two full, consecutive management seasons, the average observed bycatch rate of harbor porpoises for the Southern New England Management Area exceeds the target harbor porpoise bycatch rate of 0.023 harbor porpoises per metric tons of landings.
(6) Cape Cod South Closure Area—
(i) Area restrictions. From March 1 through March 31, it is prohibited to fish with, set, haul back, possess on board a vessel unless stowed in accordance with § 229.2, or fail to remove sink gillnet gear or gillnet gear capable of catching multispecies from the Cape Cod South Closure Area. This prohibition does not apply to vessels fishing with a single pelagic gillnet (as described in § 648.81(f)(2)(ii) of this title).
(ii) Area boundaries. The Cape Cod South Closure Area is bounded by straight lines connecting the following points in the order stated:
Cape Cod South Closure Area
Point N. Lat. W. Long.
CCS1 41°19.6′ 71°45.0′ (RI shoreline)
CCS2 40°40.0′ 71°45.0′
CCS3 40°40.0′ 70°30.0′
CCS4 41°20.9′ 70°30.0′
CCS5 41°23.1′ 70°30.0′
CCS6 41°33.1′ 70°30.0′ (MA shoreline)
(iii) Closing procedures. According to paragraphs (d)(2), (d)(3), and (d)(4) of this section, NMFS shall close the Cape Cod South Closure Area and an area to its south (Cape Cod South Expansion Closure Area) from February 1 through April 30 annually if, after two full, consecutive management seasons, the average observed bycatch rate of harbor porpoises for the Southern New England Management Area exceeds the target harbor porpoise bycatch rate of 0.023 harbor porpoises per metric tons of landings.
(7) Offshore Management Area—
(i) Area restrictions. From November 1 through May 31, it is prohibited to fish with, set, haul back, possess on board a vessel unless stowed in accordance with § 229.2, or fail to remove sink gillnet gear or gillnet gear capable of catching multispecies from the Offshore Management Area, unless the gillnet gear is equipped with pingers in accordance with paragraphs (b) and (c) of this section. This restriction does not apply to vessels fishing with a single pelagic gillnet (as described in § 648.81(f)(2)(ii) of this title).
(ii) Area boundaries. The Offshore Management Area is bounded by straight lines connecting the following points in the order stated:
Offshore Management Area
Point N. Lat. W. Long.
OFS1 42°50.0′ 69°30.0′
OFS2 43°10.0′ 69°10.0′
OFS3 43°10.0′ 67°40.0′
OFS4 43°05.8′ 67°40.0′ (EEZ boundary)
OFS5 42°53.1′ 67°44.5′ (EEZ boundary)
OFS6 42°47.3′ 67°40.0′ (EEZ boundary)
OFS7 42°10.0′ 67°40.0′
OFS8 42°10.0′ 69°30.0′
OFS1 42°50.0′ 69°30.0′
(8) Cashes Ledge Closure Area—
(i) Area restrictions. During the month of February, it is prohibited to fish with, set, haul back, possess on board a vessel unless stowed in accordance with § 229.2, or fail to remove sink gillnet gear or gillnet gear capable of catching multispecies from the Cashes Ledge Closure Area. This restriction does not apply to vessels fishing with a single pelagic gillnet (as described in § 648.81(f)(2)(ii) of this title).
(ii) Area boundaries. The Cashes Ledge Closure Area is bounded by straight lines connecting the following points in the order stated:
Cashes Ledge Closure Area
Point N. Lat. W. Long.
CL1 42°30.0′ 69°00.0′
CL2 42°30.0′ 68°30.0′
CL3 43°00.0′ 68°30.0′
CL4 43°00.0′ 69°00.0′
CL1 42°30.0′ 69°00.0′
(b) Pingers—
(1) Pinger specifications. For the purposes of this subpart, a pinger is an acoustic deterrent device which, when immersed in water, broadcasts a 10 kHz (plus or minus 2 kHz) sound at 132 dB (plus or minus 4 dB) re 1 micropascal at 1 m, lasting 300 milliseconds (plus or minus 15 milliseconds), and repeating every 4 seconds (plus or minus 0.2 seconds).
(2) Pinger attachment. An operating and functional pinger must be attached at each end of a string of gillnets and at the bridle of every net, or every 300 feet (91.4 m or 50 fathoms), whichever is closer.
(c) Pinger training and authorization. The operator of a vessel may not fish with, set, haul back, possess on board a vessel unless stowed in accordance with § 229.2, or fail to remove sink gillnet gear or gillnet gear capable of catching multispecies in closed areas where pingers are required as specified under paragraph (b) of this section, unless the operator has satisfactorily received pinger training and possesses and retains on board the vessel a valid pinger training authorization issued by NMFS.
(d) Annual review for consequence area actions—
(1) Coastal Gulf of Maine Closure Area—
(i) Establishment. If, after two full, consecutive management seasons, the calculated average observed bycatch rate of the Mid-Coast, Massachusetts Bay, and Stellwagen Bank Management Areas exceeds the target bycatch rate of 0.031 harbor porpoises per metric tons of landings, the Coastal Gulf of Maine Closure Area shall be established.
(ii) Restrictions. From October 1 through November 30, it will be prohibited to fish with, set, haul back, possess on board a vessel unless stowed in accordance with § 229.2, or fail to remove sink gillnet gear or gillnet gear capable of catching multispecies from the Coastal Gulf of Maine Closure Area. This prohibition will not apply to vessels fishing with a single pelagic gillnet (as described in § 648.81(f)(2)(ii) of this title). When the area is open to fishing, the requirements of the Mid-Coast (as described in paragraph (a)(2) of this section), Massachusetts Bay (as described in paragraph (a)(3) of this section), and Stellwagen Bank (as described in paragraph (a)(4) of this section) Management Areas will remain in effect.
(iii) Area boundaries. The Coastal Gulf of Maine Closure Area is bounded by straight lines connecting the following points in the order stated:
Coastal Gulf of Maine Closure Area
Point N. Lat. W. Long.
CGM1 43°33.0′ 70°15.0′ (ME shoreline)
CGM2 42°15.0′ 70°15.0′
CGM3 42°15.0′ 70°46.0′ (MA shoreline)
(2) Cape Cod South Expansion and Eastern Cape Cod Closure Areas—
(i) Establishment. If, after two full, consecutive management seasons, the calculated average observed bycatch rate of the Southern New England Management Area exceeds the target bycatch rate of 0.023 harbor porpoises per metric tons of landings, the Cape Cod South Expansion Closure Area and the Eastern Cape Cod Closure Area shall be established.
(ii) Restrictions. From February 1 through April 30, it will be prohibited to fish with, set, haul back, possess on board a vessel unless stowed in accordance with § 229.2, or fail to remove sink gillnet gear or gillnet gear capable of catching multispecies from the Cape Cod South Expansion Closure Area and the Eastern Cape Cod Closure Area. This prohibition will not apply to vessels fishing with a single pelagic gillnet (as described in § 648.81(f)(2)(ii) of this title). When the areas are open to fishing, the requirements of the Southern New England Management Area, as described in paragraph (a)(5) of this section, will remain in effect.
(iii) Area boundaries.
(A) The Cape Cod South Expansion Closure Area is bounded by straight lines connecting the following points in the order stated:
Cape Cod South Expansion Closure Area
Point N. Lat. W. Long.
CCSE1 41°19.6′ 71°45.0′ (RI shoreline)
CCSE2 40°00.0′ 71°45.0′
CCSE3 40°00.0′ 70°00.0′
CCSE4 40°30.0′ 70°00.0′
CCSE5 40°30.0′ 70°30.0′
CCSE6 41°20.9′ 70°30.0′
CCSE7 41°23.1′ 70°30.0′
CCSE8 41°33.1′ 70°30.0′ (MA shoreline)
(B) The Eastern Cape Cod Closure Area is bounded by straight lines connecting the following points in the order stated:
Eastern Cape Cod Closure Area
Point N. Lat. W. Long.
ECC1 41°58.3′ 70°00.0′ (MA shoreline)
ECC2 42°15.0′ 70°00.0′
ECC3 42°15.0′ 69°30.0′
ECC4 41°40.0′ 69°30.0′
ECC5 41°40.0′ 69°56.8′ (MA shoreline)
(3) Notification. Upon determining that establishing a consequence closure area as described in paragraphs (d)(1) and (d)(2) of this section is necessary, NMFS will notify, in advance of the closure, the Harbor Porpoise Take Reduction Team and gillnet permit holders through mail notification. NMFS will also publish notification in the Federal Register and post information on the Harbor Porpoise Take Reduction Plan Web site related to the establishment of the closure area(s).
(4) If any or all of the closure areas discussed in paragraphs (d)(1) and (d)(2) are implemented, NMFS will monitor harbor porpoise bycatch rates throughout the New England region. The provisions set forth in paragraphs (d)(1) and (d)(2) shall remain in effect each year after implementation until bycatch levels approach a zero mortality and serious injury rate (ZMRG), or until NMFS, in collaboration with the Harbor Porpoise Take Reduction Team, develops and implements new measures.
(e) Research permits. An exemption to the requirements set forth in this section may be acquired for the purposes of conducting scientific or gear research within the restricted areas described in this section. A scientific research permit must be acquired through NMFS's existing permit application process, administered by NMFS.
(f) Other special measures. The Assistant Administrator may revise the requirements of this section through notification published in the Federal Register if:
(1) NMFS determines that pinger operating effectiveness in the commercial gillnet fishery is inadequate to reduce bycatch below the stock's PBR level; or
(2) NMFS determines that the boundary or timing of a closed area is inappropriate, or that gear modifications (including pingers) are not reducing bycatch to below the PBR level.
[75 FR 7396, Feb. 19, 2010]

Title 50 published on 2013-10-01

The following are only the Rules published in the Federal Register after the published date of Title 50.

For a complete list of all Rules, Proposed Rules, and Notices view the Rulemaking tab.

  • 2014-08-22; vol. 79 # 163 - Friday, August 22, 2014
    1. 79 FR 49718 - Taking of Marine Mammals Incidental to Commercial Fishing Operations; Atlantic Large Whale Take Reduction Plan Regulations
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      DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
      Final rule; correction.
      Effective August 26, 2014.
      50 CFR Part 229

Title 50 published on 2013-10-01

The following are ALL rules, proposed rules, and notices (chronologically) published in the Federal Register relating to 50 CFR 229 after this date.

  • 2014-08-25; vol. 79 # 164 - Monday, August 25, 2014
    1. 79 FR 50589 - List of Fisheries for 2015
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      DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
      Proposed rule.
      Comments must be received by September 24, 2014.
      50 CFR Part 229