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DOC/NOAA RIN: 0648-BF82 Publication ID: Fall 2016 
Title: Omnibus Essential Fish Habitat Amendment 2  

The New England Fishery Management Council voted to issue this update rulemaking that would revise the essential fish habitat and habitat areas of particular concern designation based on recent groundfish data. This rule would update groundfish seasonal spawning closures and identify Habitat Research Areas. The proposed revisions include adding a habitat management area in the eastern Gulf of Maine and modifying the existing habitat management areas in the central and western Gulf of Maine, while maintaining additional protections for large-mesh groundfish, including cod. In addition, the amendment would allow for the potential for development of a scallop access area within Georges Bank. A habitat management area would be established on Georges Shoal, with allowances for the clam dredge fishery. In Southern New England, a habitat management area in the Great South Channel would replace the current habitat protections further west. These revisions are intended to comply with the Magnuson-Stevens Act requirement to minimize to the extent practicable the adverse effects of fishing on essential fish habitat.

Agency: Department of Commerce(DOC)  Priority: Substantive, Nonsignificant 
RIN Status: Previously published in the Unified Agenda Agenda Stage of Rulemaking: Proposed Rule Stage 
Major: No  Unfunded Mandates: No 
CFR Citation: 50 CFR 648   
Legal Authority: 16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq.   
Legal Deadline:  None
Action Date FR Cite
NPRM  11/00/2016 
Regulatory Flexibility Analysis Required: Yes  Government Levels Affected: None 
Small Entities Affected: Businesses  Federalism: No 
Included in the Regulatory Plan: No 
RIN Data Printed in the FR: Yes 
Agency Contact:
John K. Bullard
Regional Administrator, Greater Atlantic Region
Department of Commerce
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
55 Great Republic Drive,
Gloucester, MA 01930
Phone:978 281-9287