NMFS proposes to amend its regulations implementing the Harbor Porpoise Take Reduction Plan. This proposed rule would revise the Plan by eliminating the consequence closure strategy enacted in 2010. NMFS says that this change is necessary to prevent the improper triggering of consequence closure areas based on target harbor porpoise bycatch rates that no longer accurately reflect actual bycatch in New England sink gillnets due to fishery-wide changes in fishing practices. Comments on the proposed rule are due to NMFS on or before September 10, 2013.
Click here to read NMFS’ Federal Register notice of proposed rule.