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Notice of Initiation of 5-year Essential Fish Habitat Review for Atlantic Highly Migratory Species and Request for Information
Monday, March 24, 2014

National Marine Fisheries Service announces a 5-year review of Essential Fish Habitat (EFH) for Atlantic Highly Migratory Species (HMS) under the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act. The purpose of the 5-year review is to evaluate the EFH provisions of the HMS FMP and revise or amend them as warranted.

To ensure that the 5-year review is complete and based on the best data available regarding Atlantic HMS and their habitats, NMFS is soliciting information from the public, government agencies, tribes, the scientific community, industry, environmental entities, and any other parties, concerning EFH of Atlantic HMS. The 5-year review will consider data available regarding Atlantic HMS and their habitats that have become available since publication of Final Amendment 1 to the 2006 Consolidated Atlantic HMS FMP in June 2009; Final Environmental Impact Statement for Amendment 3 to the 2006 Consolidated HMS FMP; and the interpretive rule and final action (September 22, 2010, 75 FR 57698) that defined EFH for roundscale spearfish.

Categories of requested information are based on the ten EFH components identified in FMP regulations. These include: (1) Description and identification of EFH; (2) Fishing activities that may adversely affect EFH; (3) Non-Magnuson-Stevens Act fishing activities that may adversely affect EFH; (4) Non-fishing related activities that may adversely affect EFH; (5) Cumulative impacts analysis; (6) Conservation and enhancement; (7) Prey species; (8) Identification of Habitat Areas of Particular Concern; (9) Research and information needs; and (10) Review and revision of EFH components of FMPs.

To allow adequate time to conduct this review, NMFS must receive information no later than May 23, 2014.

You may submit information by any of the following methods:
*   Electronic Submission: Submit information via email to: NMFS.HMSEFH@noaa.gov
*   Mail: Submit written information to Jenni Wallace, HMS Management Division, NMFS, SSMC3/F/SF1, 1315 East-West Highway, Silver Spring, MD 20910. Please mark the outside of the envelope "Atlantic HMS EFH 5-Year Review."

This email notice is a courtesy to Atlantic HMS fisheries interests to keep you informed about the fisheries. Official notice of Federal fishery actions is made through filing such notice with the Office of the Federal Register. For further information related to Atlantic HMS Management, please call (301) 427-8503 or see the HMS web page at http://www.nmfs.noaa.gov/sfa/hms/.

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