New Commercial Fishing Safety Requirement to Take Effect Next Tuesday, October 16, 2012

The Coast Guard urges commercial fishing vessel owners and operators to take advantage of voluntary dockside safety examinations prior to the enforcement of a new requirement Tuesday.  The new requirement mandates that all commercial fishing, fish tender and fish processing vessels that operate or transit more than three nautical miles offshore  demonstrate full compliance with all existing commercial fishing vessel safety regulations during a dockside safety examination.

Rigs to Reefs and Other Issues To Be Discussed at Sport Fishing & Boating Partnership Council Meeting

We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), announce a public meeting of the Sport Fishing and Boating Partnership Council (Council). The meeting will be held at the Texas A & M University--Corpus Christi, Harte Research Institute; 6300 Ocean Drive, Corpus Christi, TX 78412-5869

Meeting Agenda

The Council will hold a meeting to consider:

Aquatic Nuisance Species Task Force Meeting

This notice announces a meeting of the Aquatic Nuisance Species (ANS) Task Force. The ANS Task Force's purpose is to develop and implement a program for U.S. waters to prevent introduction and dispersal of aquatic nuisance species; to monitor, control, and study such species; and to disseminate related information. The meeting is open to the public.

November National Boating Safety Advisory Council Meeting

The National Boating Safety Advisory Council (NBSAC) and three of its subcommittees will meet on November 9-11, 2012, in Watsonville, CA, to discuss issues relating to recreational boating safety. The meetings will be open to the public.

Problem With Mustang Inflatable PFDS

The Coast Guard has become aware of certain Mustang Survival Inflatable PFDs with Hammar MA1hydrostatic (HIT) inflation systems which may not inflate and require a new re-arm kit to properly inflate by manual or automatic activation. This safety alert identifies which products are affected. Certain inflatable PDFs may be subject to delayed or non-inflations. To determine if you are impacted please follow the instructions below.

Time Bomb: Military Ordnance in Gulf of Mexico Poses Threat to Shipping, says Texas A&M Professor

Millions of pounds of unexploded bombs and other military ordnance that were dumped decades ago in the Gulf of Mexico, as well as off the coasts of both the Atlantic and Pacific oceans, could now pose serious threats to shipping lanes and the 4,000 oil and gas rigs in the Gulf, warns two Texas William Bryant and Neil Slowey, professors of oceanography who have more than 90 years of combined research experience in all of the Earth's oceans, along with fellow researcher Mike Kemp of Washington, D.C., say millions of pounds of bombs are scattered over the Gulf of Mexico and also off the coasts of at least 16 states, from New Jersey to Hawaii.

Washington Update on Hires and Departures for October 2012

Sen. Joe Lieberman's (D-Conn.) communications director, Marshall Wittmann, is leaving. He will be replaced by the Senator's press secretary, Whitney Phillips.

Mike Gruber, senior policy advisor on the Energy and Commerce Committee, is leaving to join the Grocery Manufacturers Association.

Chief of staff to Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.), Don Kent, is joining the Nickles Group.

At the Environment and Public Works Committee, counsel Matthew Hite is leaving to join the US Chamber of Commerce.

Chief counsel for the Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations, Todd Harrison, is leaving. Deputy chief counsel Karen Christian will take over the position.

Hull Identification Numbers for Recreational Vessels

The Coast Guard announces that it is requesting public comments regarding the existing regulatory requirement to indicate a boat's model year as part of the 12-character Hull Identification Number (HIN). Under current regulations in 33 CFR part 181, the HIN must consist of 12 characters, the last two of which indicate the boat's model year. This notice requests public comments on whether we should continue to require model year as part of the HIN or change the regulatory definition of ``model year.''

Comments and related material must either be submitted to our online docket via on or before November 27, 2012 or reach the Docket Management Facility by that date.

Background and Purpose

Marine Fisheries Advisory Committee Agenda

This notice sets forth the schedule and proposed agenda of a forthcoming meeting of the Marine Fisheries Advisory Committee (MAFAC). The members will discuss and provide advice on issues outlined below.

Hunting and Fishing Participants for 2011

Recently released data from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's (Service) 2011, which highlights the National Survey on Fishing, Hunting and Wildlife Associated Recreation and expenditures to mainstream industries showed the following; 

Highlights of the findings included: