Sustainable Fisheries Division

Proposed Rules for Public Comment

  • May 2015. Interim Final Rule. Effort limits in purse seine fisheries in the Effort Limit Area for Purse Seine (ELAPS) for 2015. View the interim final rule in the Federal Register and supporting documentation here. This interim final rule is effective on May 21, 2015. A copy of the compliance guide for this interim final rule is available here. Comments on this rule are requested and should be submitted by June 5, 2015.

  • April 21, 2015. Proposed specifications; request for comments. NMFS proposes to specify an annual catch limit (ACL) of 346,000 lb for Deep 7 bottomfish in the main Hawaiian Islands (MHI) for the 2014–15 fishing year. If the ACL is projected to be reached, NMFS would close the commercial and non-commercial fisheries for MHI Deep 7 bottomfish for the remainder of the fishing year. The proposed specifications and fishery closure support the long-term sustainability of Hawaii bottomfish. NMFS must receive comments by May 6, 2015. View the Federal Register notice and supporting documents here.

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rulemaking and supporting documents,
visit: Regulations.gov.

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Recent Final Rules and Notices

For a complete set of regulations go to the CFR.

  • April 8, 2015. Notice of agency decision. NMFS announces approval of a Marine Conservation Plan for American Samoa, effective from April 1, 2015, through March 31, 2018. View the Federal Register notice View the Federal Register notice, Marine Conservation Plan, and supporting documents here.

  • March 25, 2015. Pacific Remote Islands Marine National Monument Expansion; final rule. In this final rule, NMFS establishes requirements for fishing in the Pacific Remote Islands Marine National Monument Expansion. This final rule implements fishery management measures required by Presidential Proclamation 9173. This final rule is effective on April 24, 2015. View the Federal Register notice and supporting documents here.
    • See the Monuments compliance guide here.

  • February 19, 2015. Final Rule. Fishing restrictions regarding the oceanic whitetip shark, the whale shark, and the silky shark in the western and central Pacific Ocean. View the final rule in the Federal Register and supporting documentation here. A copy of the compliance guide for this final rule is available here.

  • February 6, 2015. Notification of lobster harvest guideline. NMFS establishes the annual harvest guideline for the commercial lobster fishery in the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands for calendar year 2015 at zero lobsters. View the Federal Register notice here.
  • December 2, 2014. Final Rule. Restrictions on the use of fish aggregating devices (FADs) in purse seine fisheries for 2015 in the western and central Pacific Ocean. View the final rule in the Federal Register and supporting documentation here. A copy of the compliance guide for this final rule is available here.

  • October 28, 2014. Final rule; final specifications; effectiveness of collection-of-information requirements. This final rule implements a management framework for specifying catch and effort limits and accountability measures for pelagic fisheries in the U.S. Pacific territories of American Samoa, Guam, and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands. Using the established framework, NMFS is also specifying a catch limit of 2,000 metric tons (mt) of longline-caught bigeye tuna for each territory for 2014. A territory may allocate up to 1,000 mt of that limit to eligible U.S. longline fishing vessels. This final rule also makes several technical administrative changes to the regulations and announces the effectiveness of collection-of-information requirements. This action is consistent with international objectives of ending overfishing of bigeye tuna, while allowing for the limited transfer of available catch limits between U.S. participating territories and eligible U.S. fisheries, consistent with the conservation requirements of the bigeye tuna stock. This final rule and final specifications are effective October 24, 2014. The deadline to submit a specified fishing agreement for review pursuant to § 665.819(b)(3) is November 28, 2014. View the Federal Register notice and supporting documents here.

  • August 12, 2014. Notice of agency decision. NMFS announces approval of a Marine Conservation Plan for Guam, effective from August 4, 2014, through August 3, 2017. View the Federal Register notice and supporting documents here.

  • August 1, 2014. Notice of agency decision. NMFS announces approval of a Marine Conservation Plan for Pacific Insular Areas other than American Samoa, Guam, and the Northern Mariana Islands, effective from August 4, 2014, through August 3, 2017. View the Federal Register notice and supporting documents here.

  • July 25, 2014. Notice of agency decision. NMFS announces approval of a marine conservation plan for the Northern Mariana Islands, effective from August 4, 2014, through August 3, 2017. View the Federal Register notice and supporting documents here.

  • April 10, 2014. Notice. NMFS is requesting information about any individual's or company's plan or intent to seek authorization for a U.S. purse seine vessel to participate in the western and central Pacific Ocean purse seine fishery. Instructions on how to respond to the request for information can be found in the information request in the Federal Register. View the information request in the Federal Register here.

  • January 7, 2014. Final Specifications. NMFS specifies the final 2014 annual catch limits for Pacific Island bottomfish, crustacean, precious coral, and coral reef ecosystem fisheries, and accountability measures to correct or mitigate any overages of catch limits. The catch limits and accountability measures support the long-term sustainability of fishery resources of the U.S. Pacific Islands. The final specifications are effective February 26, 2014, through December 31, 2014. Read the Federal Register notice and supporting documents here.

  • Fishing in the Monuments. June 3, 2013. Final rule. NMFS establishes requirements for fishing in the Marianas Trench, Pacific Remote Islands, and Rose Atoll Marine National Monuments. View the rule and supporting documentation here.
    • July 2, 2013. Final rule; NMFS announces approval by the Office of Management and Budget of collection-of-information requirements for fishing in three marine national monuments. This rule is effective. View the rule and supporting documentation here.
    • See the Monuments compliance guide here.

  • May 29, 2013. Final rule. This final rule extends the region-wide moratorium on the harvest of gold corals in the U.S. Pacific Islands through June 30, 2018. NMFS intends this final rule to prevent overfishing and to stimulate research on gold corals. This rule is effective June 28, 2013, through June 30, 2018. View the notice here.

  • December 2012. Final rule. WCPFC transshipping, bunkering, reporting and purse siene discard requirements. View the Federal Register notice and supporting documentation here. A copy of the compliance guide for the 2012 WCPFC transshipping, bunkering, reporting and purse siene discard requirements is available here.

  • October 2012. Final rule. Revised leatherback and North Pacific loggerhead sea turtle interaction limits in the Hawaii shallow-set (swordfish) longline fishery. The new limits are effective November 5, 2012. View the Federal Register notice and supporting documentation here.

  • July 2012. Final rule. Revised swordfish trip limits in the Hawaii deep-set longline fishery. The new limits are effective August 27, 2012. View the Federal Register notice and supporting documentation here.

  • June 2012. Final rule. American Samoa large vessel prohibited area. Modified boundaries effective July 11, 2012. View the Federal Register notice, including the new boundaries, and supporting documents here.