Final Annual Determination for 2018
NOAA Fisheries publishes its final Annual Determination for 2018, pursuant to its authority under the Endangered Species Act. Through the Annual Determination, NOAA Fisheries identifies U.S. fisheries operating in the Atlantic Ocean, Gulf of Mexico, and Pacific Ocean that will be required to take fisheries observers upon NOAA Fisheries' request. The purpose of observing identified fisheries is to learn more about sea turtle interactions in a given fishery, evaluate measures to prevent or reduce sea turtle takes and to implement the prohibition against sea turtle takes. Fisheries identified on the 2018 Annual Determination will be eligible to carry observers as of the effective date of this rulemaking, and will remain on the Annual Determination for a five-year period until December 31, 2022.