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DOC/NOAA RIN: 0648-BM51 Publication ID: Fall 2023 
Title: ●Framework Adjustment for the Northeast Multispecies, Atlantic Sea Scallop, Monkfish, Northeast Skate Complex, and Atlantic Herring Fishery Management Plans 

This action proposes to implement the New England Fishery Management Council's Southern New England Habitat Area of Particular Concern framework that would designate a Habitat Area of Particular Concern (HAPC) offshore of southern New England. This rule would implement adjustments to the following fishery management plans: Northeast Multispecies; Atlantic Sea Scallop; Monkfish; Northeast Skate Complex; and Atlantic Herring. The proposed Habitat Area of Particular Concern would be within and around wind lease areas in Southern New England, including Cox Ledge, to focus conservation recommendations on cod spawning habitats and complex benthic habitats that are known to serve important habitat functions to Council-managed fishery species. The Council recommended the HAPC designation to NMFS, after voting to approve the proposal in June 2022, due to concerns about the potential adverse impact on essential fish habitat (EFH) from the development of offshore wind energy projects. The proposed designation would provide a conservation focus on important cod spawning grounds and areas of complex habitat, which provide shelter for certain species during their early life history, refuge from predators, and feeding opportunities.

Agency: Department of Commerce(DOC)  Priority: Substantive, Nonsignificant 
RIN Status: First time published in the Unified Agenda Agenda Stage of Rulemaking: Final 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  09/26/2023  88 FR 65944   
NPRM Comment Period End  10/26/2023 
Final Action  01/00/2024 
Regulatory Flexibility Analysis Required: No  Government Levels Affected: None 
Small Entities Affected: No  Federalism: No 
Included in the Regulatory Plan: No 
RIN Data Printed in the FR: No 
Agency Contact:
Michael Pentony
Regional Administrator, Greater Atlantic Region
Department of Commerce
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
55 Great Republic Drive,
Gloucester, MA 01930
Phone:978 281-9283