Removal of the Puget Sound/Georgia Basin DPS of Canary Rockfish From the Federal List of Threatened and Endangered Species; Update and Amend the Listing Descriptions for the Yelloweye Rockfish DPS and Bocaccio
We, NMFS, are issuing a proposed rule to remove the Puget Sound/Georgia Basin canary rockfish (Sebastes pinniger) Distinct Population Segment (DPS) from the Federal List of Threatened and Endangered Species and remove its critical habitat designation as recommended in the recent five-year review under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). We propose these actions based on newly obtained genetic information that demonstrates that the Puget Sound/Georgia Basin canary rockfish population does not meet the DPS criteria and therefore does not qualify for listing under the ESA.
We also propose to update and amend the listing description for the Puget Sound/Georgia Basin yelloweye rockfish (S. ruberrimus) DPS based on a geographic description to include fish within specified boundaries. Further, although the current listing description is not based on boundaries, with this proposal we are also correcting a descriptive boundary for the DPS depicted on maps to include an area in the northern Johnstone Strait and Queen Charlotte Channel in waters of Canada consistent with newly obtained genetic information on yelloweye rockfish population grouping.
We also propose to update and amend the listing description for the bocaccio DPS based on a geographic description and to include fish within specified boundaries.