Western Pacific Fishery Management Council; Public Meetings, 9926-9928 [05-3944]

Download as PDF 9926 Federal Register / Vol. 70, No. 39 / Tuesday, March 1, 2005 / Notices notified of the Council’s intent to take final action to address the emergency. Schedule and Agenda for Council Standing Committee Meetings A. American Samoa Special Accommodations Monday, March 14, 2005 C. Hawaii These meetings are physically accessible to people with disabilities. Requests for sign language interpretation or other auxiliary aids should be directed to Gail Bendixen at (907) 271–2809 at least 7 working days prior to the meeting date. 1. 8a.m. - 10 a.m. - Enforcement/ Vessel Monitoring Systems Standing Committee 2. 8 a.m. - 10 a.m. - Ecosystem and Habitat Standing Committee 3. 10 a.m. - Noon - Pelagic and International Standing Committee 4. 10 a.m. - Noon - Bottomfish Standing Committee 5. 1:30 p.m. - 3:30 p.m. - Precious Corals/Crustaceans Standing Committee 6. 1:30 p.m. - 3:30 p.m. - Indigenous Rights Standing Committee 7. 3:30 p.m. - 5 p.m. - Executive/ Budget and Program Standing Committee D. CNMI 5. Reports from fishery agencies and organizations DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE Schedule and Agenda for Public Hearings C. State Department National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Tuesday, March 15, 2005 Dated: February 24, 2005. Peter H. Fricke, Acting Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine Fisheries Service. [FR Doc. 05–3940 Filed 2–28–05; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510–22–S [I.D. 022405A] Western Pacific Fishery Management Council; Public Meetings National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Commerce. AGENCY: Notice of public meetings and hearings. ACTION: SUMMARY: The Western Pacific Fishery Management Council (Council) will hold its 126th meeting to consider and take actions on fishery management issues in the Western Pacific Region. The 126th Council meeting and public hearings will be held on March 14–17, 2005. For specific times, and the agenda, see SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION. DATES: The 126th Council meeting and public hearings will be held at the Ala Moana Hotel,410 Atkinson Drive, Honolulu, HI; telephone: 808–955–4811. ADDRESSES: FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Kitty M. Simonds, Executive Director; telephone: (808)522–8220. In addition to the agenda items listed here, the Council will hear recommendations from other Council advisory groups. Public comment periods will be provided throughout the agenda. The order in which agenda items are addressed may change. The Council will meet as late as necessary to complete scheduled business. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: VerDate jul<14>2003 14:21 Feb 28, 2005 Jkt 205001 4:30 p.m. - 5 p.m. - Bigeye Overfishing Plan The Council will consider management action on overfishing occurring on Pacific bigeye stocks. 6:30 p.m. - 9 p.m. - Council action considered on Northwestern Hawaiian Islands (NWHI) Sanctuary Fishing Regulations for NWHI bottomfish, crustacean, precious coral, pelagic and coral reef ecosystem fisheries, pursuant to the proposed designation of the NWHI Coral Reef Ecosystem Reserve as a national marine sanctuary. Wednesday, March 16, 2005 9:45 a.m. - 10 a.m. - Council action considered on measures to manage Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI) bottomfish. 4:30 p.m. - 5 p.m. - Council action considered on NWHI Sanctuary Fishing Regulations for NWHI bottomfish, crustacean, precious coral, pelagic and coral reef ecosystem fisheries, pursuant to the proposed designation of the NWHI Coral Reef Ecosystem Reserve as a national marine sanctuary. The agenda during the full Council meeting will include the items listed here. For more information on public hearing items, see Background Information. Schedule and Agenda for Council Meeting Tuesday, March 14, 2005, 8:30 a.m – 5 p.m. 1. Introductions 2. Approval of agenda 3. Approval of 124th and 125th meeting minutes 4. Island reports PO 00000 Frm 00017 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 B. Guam A. Department of Commerce a. NMFS i. Pacific Islands Regional Office ii. Pacific Islands Fisheries Science Center b. National Marine Sanctuary Program i. Pacific Sanctuaries update c. NOAA General Counsel Southwest Region/Pacific Islands Region B. The Department of the Interior - The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) D. Report from non-governmental organizations 6. Enforcement/vessel monitoring systems A. US Coast Guard activities B. NOAA Office of Law Enforcement (OLE) Activities B.1 OLE Report C. Enforcement Activities of Local Agencies D. Status of Violations E. Hawaii Shallow-set Operational Plan F. American Samoa Limited Entry Program G. Bottomfish Fishery Permits and Reporting Requirements H. Update on Electronic Logbooks Amendment 7. Pelagic Fisheries (Domestic and International) A. Bigeye Overfishing Plan (ACTION ITEM) B. Institutional Arrangements for Pelagic Management in the Western Central Pacific Ocean C. American Samoa & Hawaii Longline Fisheries 1. 2004 Third and Fourth Quarter Reports 2. Shallow-set longline definition 3. Proposed changes to Hawaii-based longline fishery closed area D. International Issues 1. Prepatory Conference 7/Western and Central Pacific Fishery Management Commission 1 2. FAO Technical Consultation on Turtles 3. FAO/COFI 4. Sea Turtle Mitigation E:\FR\FM\01MRN1.SGM 01MRN1 Federal Register / Vol. 70, No. 39 / Tuesday, March 1, 2005 / Notices 5. International Fishers Forum 3 E. Recreational Fisheries 1. Hawaii Marine Recreational Fishing Survey Workshop F. Pelagic Ecosystem Modeling G. Sea Turtles 1. Biological Opinions and Section 10 Permits 2. Results from First Year of Conservation Measures 3. Vision for the Future 4. Second Turtle Advisory Committee Meeting 5. Report on Loggerhead Workshop 6. Report on Baysian Belief Network Workshop 7. 25th Annual Sea Turtle Symposium H. Marine Mammal issues 1. First Solicitation Reports a. Paepae He‘ei‘a Kea Project b. Moloka‘i Aku Fishing Training Project 2. Second Solicitation Report 3. Third Solicitation Report C. FAO/Secretariat of the Pacific Community/Council Coastal Fishery Management Workshop 8. Observer programs A. Report on the NWHI bottomfish observer program D. American Samoa Marine Conservation Plan B. Report on the native observer program 11. Program Planning and Budget A. Update on Legislation C. Report on the Hawaii longline observer program B. Status of Hawaii $5 Million Disaster Funds for Federal Fisheries D. Report on the American Samoa observer program C. Building Community Networks D. WPacFIN 9. Insular Fisheries E. National Environmental Policy Act Activities A. Bottomfish Fisheries 1. CNMI Bottomfish Management (ACTION ITEM) 2. Bottomfish Final Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) 3. Status of Guam’s 50/50 Measure F. Programmatic Grants Report G. Administration Response to the Ocean Commission Report H. Marine Debris Disposal Facility Project B. Precious Coral Fisheries 1. Update on Black Coral ResearchTony Montgomery 2. Precious Corals Draft EIS 12. Administrative Matters A. Financial Reports B. Administrative Report C. Crustaceans Fisheries 1. Update on Crustaceans Research 2. Crustaceans Draft EIS D. Ecosystems and Habitat 1. NWHI Sanctuary Fishing Regulations (ACTION ITEM) a. Process and Alternatives b. Impact Analyses c. Report on Public Meetings 2. NWHI Science Symposium Report 3. Hawaiian Archipelago Research Program Update 4. Status of NWHI Reserve and Sanctuary Designation 5. Ecosystem Based Fishery Management a. Update on Ecosystem Research b. Update on NOAA Ecosystem Research Review Panel 14:21 Feb 28, 2005 A. Community Demonstration Projects Program B. Update on Guam Community Development Program I. Petition to List Black-footed Albatrosses Under the Endangered Species Act VerDate jul<14>2003 c. Update on Council Ecosystem Workshop d. Update on Mariana Archipelago FEP Pilot Project e. Update on Programmatic EIS for FEPs 6. Shark Viewing 7. Coral Reef Plan Team Recommendations 10. Fishery Rights of Indigenous Peoples Jkt 205001 C. Meetings and Workshops D. Advisory Group Changes 1. Scientific and Statistical Committee changes 2. Advisory Panel Changes 3. Plan Team Changes 4. Working Group Changes 13. Other Business Background Information 1. Bigeye Overfishing Plan In December 2004, the Western Pacific and Pacific Councils were officially notified by the National Marine Fisheries Service, on behalf of the Secretary of Commerce, that overfishing is occurring on bigeye tuna in the Pacific. As required by the PO 00000 Frm 00018 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 9927 Magnuson-Stevens Act (16 U.S.C. 1854 (e)(3)) and the implementing regulations at 50 CFR 600.310(e)(3), the Councils must take action to address overfishing within one year of an identification by the Secretary that overfishing is occurring. The overfishing determination was made in the annual report on the status of fisheries in 2003, which was transmitted to Congress on June 15, 2004, which means that the Council has until June 14, 2005 in which to take remedial action to end overfishing. The Council asked the Pelagics Plan Team to hold a meeting on February 10th, in order to provide the SSC with its deliberations and recommendations on possible courses of action that appropriately might reduce total fishing mortality on bigeye tuna. The Pelagics Plan Team reviewed all the relevant materials, including a summary from the third meeting of the Scientific Coordinating Group of the Western & Central Pacific Management Fishery Commission on the feasibility of scientific analysis for different management measures for Pacific bigeye tuna. The SSC will be presented with the results of these deliberations and the recommendations that were formulated by the Pelagics Plan Team. The SSC will review these recommendations and may provide the Council with its own recommendations on the alternatives for the Council to address the overfishing of Pacific bigeye tuna 2. CNMI Bottomfish Management Amendment (Final Action) A public hearing will be held to solicit comments on alternatives to manage the bottomfish fishery around the CNMI. Based on comments received during public scoping meetings held in CNMI, the Council developed preliminary options including limiting the harvest of bottomfish, reporting requirements, establishing area closures, gear and vessel restrictions, and other control measures expressed by the public during the scoping meetings. At its 124nd meeting, the Council endorsed a recommendation to allow CNMI Division of Fish and Wildlife to take the range of alternatives to the CNMI public for additional comment. At the 126th meeting, the Council may take final action on a preferred alternative and direct staff to finalize an amendment to the Bottomfish FMP for regulatory action. 3. Final Action on NWHI Sanctuary Alternatives A Public hearing will be held to solicit public comments on alternatives to prepare draft fishing regulations for E:\FR\FM\01MRN1.SGM 01MRN1 9928 Federal Register / Vol. 70, No. 39 / Tuesday, March 1, 2005 / Notices the proposed NWHI Sanctuary. The National Marine Sanctuaries Amendment Act of 2000 (NMSA) and Executive Orders 13178 and 13196 direct the Secretary of Commerce to initiate the process to designate the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands Coral Reef Ecosystem Reserve as a National Marine Sanctuary. Pursuant to Section 304(a)(5) of the NMSA, the Council is provided with the opportunity to prepare draft fishing regulations for the proposed sanctuary as the Council may deem necessary to implement the proposed designation. Draft fishing regulations prepared by the Council shall be accepted by the Secretary of Commerce and issued as proposed regulations if they fulfill the purpose and policies of the NMSA and the goals and objectives of the proposed designation. On September 20, 2004, the National Marine Sanctuaries Program (NMSP) formally provided the Council the opportunity to prepare draft fishing regulations pursuant to Section 304(a)(5) of the NMSA and also provided the Council with the goals and objectives for the proposed designation. Although not required by the NMSA, the Council held a series of public hearings on Oahu, Kauai, Maui and the Island of Hawaii to gather public input and comments on a range of fishing alternatives the Council is considering in preparing draft fishing regulations for the proposed designation. The alternatives currently being considered by the Council are: (1A) Existing FMP regulations Status Quo; (1B) Coral Reef Ecosystem Reserve Status Quo; (2) Council Recommendations to Date; (3) Precautionary Modification 1; (4) Precautionary Modification 2; (5) Sanctuary Recommendation; and (6) Prohibit All Bottomfishing in Federal waters around Hawaii A full description of the alternatives is available at www.wpcouncil.org. The Council will review these alternatives and their potential impacts. Following the public hearing, the Council may take action to recommend a preferred alternative and associated regulations to the NMSP. Although non-emergency issues not contained in this agenda may come before the Council for discussion, those issues may not be the subject of formal Council action during this meeting. Council action will be restricted to those issues specifically listed in this document and any issue arising after publication of this document that requires emergency action under section 305(c) of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act, provided the public has been notified of VerDate jul<14>2003 14:21 Feb 28, 2005 Jkt 205001 the Council’s intent to take final action to address the emergency. Special Accommodations These meetings are physically accessible to people with disabilities. Requests for sign language interpretation or other auxiliary aids should be directed to Kitty M. Simonds, (808)522–8220 (voice) or (808)522–8226 (fax), at least 5 days prior to the meeting date. Authority: 16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq. Dated: February 24, 2005. Peter H. Fricke, Acting Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine Fisheries Service. [FR Doc. 05–3944 Filed 2–28–05; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510–22–S DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration [I.D. 022305A] Marine Mammals; Permits No. 782– 1719–00 and 774–1714–00 National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Commerce. ACTION: Receipt of application for permit amendment. AGENCY: SUMMARY: Notice is hereby given that the following organizations have applied in due form for a permit amendment to take marine mammals for purposes of scientific research: Permit No. 782–1719–00 – National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), National Marine Mammal Laboratory (NMML), 7600 Sand Point Way, N.E. Seattle, WA 98115; and Permit No. 774–1714–00 – National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), Southwest Fisheries Science Center, 8604 La Jolla Shores Dr., La Jolla, CA 92037. Written or telefaxed comments on the new applications and amendment request must be received on or before March 31, 2005. ADDRESSES: The amendment request and related documents are available for review upon written request or by appointment in the following office(s): See SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Ruth Johnson or Carrie Hubard, 301/ 713–2289, or email: Ruth.Johnson@noaa.gov. DATES: The subject amendment is requested under SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: PO 00000 Frm 00019 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 the authority of the Marine Mammal Protection Act of 1972, as amended (MMPA; 16 U.S.C. 1361 et seq.), the Regulations Governing the Taking and Importing of Marine Mammals (50 CFR part 216), the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended (ESA; 16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.), and the regulations governing the taking, importing, and exporting of endangered and threatened species (50 CFR 222–227). Permit No. 782–1719 authorizes NMML to take marine mammals during MMPA mandated stock assessment activities. NMML may conduct Level B harassment during overflights, vesselbased observations, and approaches for photography, and by Level A harassment when conducting biopsy sampling or tagging. The Permit Holder has requested an amendment to the permit to increase the number of bowhead and beluga whales to be taken and to increase the number of small cetaceans to be taken over a 5–year period. Permit No. 774–1714 authorizes the SWFSC to take marine mammals during MMPA mandated stock assessment activities. The SWFSC may conduct Level B harassment of pinniped and cetacean species during overflights, vessel based observations, and approaches for photography, biopsy sampling and tagging. The Permit Holder has requested an amendment to the permit to increase the number of humpback whales taken over the 5–year period. The research is part of the SPLASH program and takes place in the Gulf of Alaska, Bering Sea and along the Aleutian Island chain. The Center also requests authorization to tag and track 30 each of false killer whales and shortfinned pilot whales around the Hawaiian Islands. Concurrent with the publication of this notice in the Federal Register, NMFS is forwarding copies of the application to the Marine Mammal Commission and its Committee of Scientific Advisors. Documents are available in the following offices: Permits, Conservation and Education Division, Office of Protected Resources, NMFS, 1315 East-West Highway, Room 13705, Silver Spring, MD 20910; phone (301)713–2289; fax (301)713–0376; Assistant Regional Administrator for Protected Resources, Northwest Region, NMFS, 7600 Sand Point Way NE, BIN C15700, Bldg. 1, Seattle, WA 98115– 0700; phone (206)526–6150; fax (206)526–6426; Assistant Regional Administrator for Protected Resources, Alaska Region, NMFS, P.O. Box 21668, Juneau, AK E:\FR\FM\01MRN1.SGM 01MRN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 70, Number 39 (Tuesday, March 1, 2005)]
[Notices]
[Pages 9926-9928]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 05-3944]


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DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

[I.D. 022405A]


Western Pacific Fishery Management Council; Public Meetings

AGENCY: National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), National Oceanic and 
Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Commerce.

ACTION: Notice of public meetings and hearings.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

SUMMARY: The Western Pacific Fishery Management Council (Council) will 
hold its 126th meeting to consider and take actions on fishery 
management issues in the Western Pacific Region.

DATES: The 126th Council meeting and public hearings will be held on 
March 14-17, 2005. For specific times, and the agenda, see 
SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION.

ADDRESSES: The 126th Council meeting and public hearings will be held 
at the Ala Moana Hotel,410 Atkinson Drive, Honolulu, HI; telephone: 
808-955-4811.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Kitty M. Simonds, Executive Director; 
telephone: (808)522-8220.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: In addition to the agenda items listed here, 
the Council will hear recommendations from other Council advisory 
groups. Public comment periods will be provided throughout the agenda. 
The order in which agenda items are addressed may change. The Council 
will meet as late as necessary to complete scheduled business.

Schedule and Agenda for Council Standing Committee Meetings

Monday, March 14, 2005

    1. 8a.m. - 10 a.m. - Enforcement/Vessel Monitoring Systems Standing 
Committee
    2. 8 a.m. - 10 a.m. - Ecosystem and Habitat Standing Committee
    3. 10 a.m. - Noon - Pelagic and International Standing Committee
    4. 10 a.m. - Noon - Bottomfish Standing Committee
    5. 1:30 p.m. - 3:30 p.m. - Precious Corals/Crustaceans Standing 
Committee
    6. 1:30 p.m. - 3:30 p.m. - Indigenous Rights Standing Committee
    7. 3:30 p.m. - 5 p.m. - Executive/Budget and Program Standing 
Committee

Schedule and Agenda for Public Hearings

Tuesday, March 15, 2005

    4:30 p.m. - 5 p.m. - Bigeye Overfishing Plan
    The Council will consider management action on overfishing 
occurring on Pacific bigeye stocks.
    6:30 p.m. - 9 p.m. - Council action considered on Northwestern 
Hawaiian Islands (NWHI) Sanctuary Fishing Regulations for NWHI 
bottomfish, crustacean, precious coral, pelagic and coral reef 
ecosystem fisheries, pursuant to the proposed designation of the NWHI 
Coral Reef Ecosystem Reserve as a national marine sanctuary.

Wednesday, March 16, 2005

    9:45 a.m. - 10 a.m. - Council action considered on measures to 
manage Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI) bottomfish.
    4:30 p.m. - 5 p.m. - Council action considered on NWHI Sanctuary 
Fishing Regulations for NWHI bottomfish, crustacean, precious coral, 
pelagic and coral reef ecosystem fisheries, pursuant to the proposed 
designation of the NWHI Coral Reef Ecosystem Reserve as a national 
marine sanctuary.
    The agenda during the full Council meeting will include the items 
listed here.
    For more information on public hearing items, see Background 
Information.

Schedule and Agenda for Council Meeting

Tuesday, March 14, 2005, 8:30 a.m - 5 p.m.

    1. Introductions
    2. Approval of agenda
    3. Approval of 124\th\ and 125\th\ meeting minutes
    4. Island reports
A. American Samoa
B. Guam
C. Hawaii
D. CNMI
    5. Reports from fishery agencies and organizations
A. Department of Commerce
    a. NMFS
    i. Pacific Islands Regional Office
    ii. Pacific Islands Fisheries Science Center
    b. National Marine Sanctuary Program
    i. Pacific Sanctuaries update
    c. NOAA General Counsel Southwest Region/Pacific Islands Region
B. The Department of the Interior - The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service 
(USFWS)
C. State Department
D. Report from non-governmental organizations
    6. Enforcement/vessel monitoring systems
A. US Coast Guard activities
B. NOAA Office of Law Enforcement (OLE) Activities
B.1 OLE Report
C. Enforcement Activities of Local Agencies
D. Status of Violations
E. Hawaii Shallow-set Operational Plan
F. American Samoa Limited Entry Program
G. Bottomfish Fishery Permits and Reporting Requirements
H. Update on Electronic Logbooks Amendment
    7. Pelagic Fisheries (Domestic and International)
A. Bigeye Overfishing Plan (ACTION ITEM)
B. Institutional Arrangements for Pelagic Management in the Western 
Central Pacific Ocean
C. American Samoa & Hawaii Longline Fisheries
    1. 2004 Third and Fourth Quarter Reports
    2. Shallow-set longline definition
    3. Proposed changes to Hawaii-based longline fishery closed area
D. International Issues
    1. Prepatory Conference 7/Western and Central Pacific Fishery 
Management Commission 1
    2. FAO Technical Consultation on Turtles
    3. FAO/COFI
    4. Sea Turtle Mitigation

[[Page 9927]]

    5. International Fishers Forum 3
E. Recreational Fisheries
    1. Hawaii Marine Recreational Fishing Survey Workshop
F. Pelagic Ecosystem Modeling
G. Sea Turtles
    1. Biological Opinions and Section 10 Permits
    2. Results from First Year of Conservation Measures
    3. Vision for the Future
    4. Second Turtle Advisory Committee Meeting
    5. Report on Loggerhead Workshop
    6. Report on Baysian Belief Network Workshop
    7. 25th Annual Sea Turtle Symposium
H. Marine Mammal issues
I. Petition to List Black-footed Albatrosses Under the Endangered 
Species Act
    8. Observer programs
A. Report on the NWHI bottomfish observer program
B. Report on the native observer program
C. Report on the Hawaii longline observer program
D. Report on the American Samoa observer program
    9. Insular Fisheries
A. Bottomfish Fisheries
    1. CNMI Bottomfish Management (ACTION ITEM)
    2. Bottomfish Final Environmental Impact Statement (EIS)
    3. Status of Guam's 50/50 Measure
B. Precious Coral Fisheries
    1. Update on Black Coral ResearchTony Montgomery
    2. Precious Corals Draft EIS
C. Crustaceans Fisheries
    1. Update on Crustaceans Research
    2. Crustaceans Draft EIS
D. Ecosystems and Habitat
    1. NWHI Sanctuary Fishing Regulations (ACTION ITEM)
    a. Process and Alternatives
    b. Impact Analyses
    c. Report on Public Meetings
    2. NWHI Science Symposium Report
    3. Hawaiian Archipelago Research Program Update
    4. Status of NWHI Reserve and Sanctuary Designation
    5. Ecosystem Based Fishery Management
    a. Update on Ecosystem Research
    b. Update on NOAA Ecosystem Research Review Panel
    c. Update on Council Ecosystem Workshop
    d. Update on Mariana Archipelago FEP Pilot Project
    e. Update on Programmatic EIS for FEPs
    6. Shark Viewing
    7. Coral Reef Plan Team Recommendations
    10. Fishery Rights of Indigenous Peoples
A. Community Demonstration Projects Program
    1. First Solicitation Reports
    a. Paepae He`ei`a Kea Project
    b. Moloka`i Aku Fishing Training Project
    2. Second Solicitation Report
    3. Third Solicitation Report
B. Update on Guam Community Development Program
C. FAO/Secretariat of the Pacific Community/Council Coastal Fishery 
Management Workshop
D. American Samoa Marine Conservation Plan
    11. Program Planning and Budget
A. Update on Legislation
B. Status of Hawaii $5 Million Disaster Funds for Federal Fisheries
C. Building Community Networks
D. WPacFIN
E. National Environmental Policy Act Activities
F. Programmatic Grants Report
G. Administration Response to the Ocean Commission Report
H. Marine Debris Disposal Facility Project
    12. Administrative Matters
A. Financial Reports
B. Administrative Report
C. Meetings and Workshops
D. Advisory Group Changes
    1. Scientific and Statistical Committee changes
    2. Advisory Panel Changes
    3. Plan Team Changes
    4. Working Group Changes
    13. Other Business

Background Information

1. Bigeye Overfishing Plan

    In December 2004, the Western Pacific and Pacific Councils were 
officially notified by the National Marine Fisheries Service, on behalf 
of the Secretary of Commerce, that overfishing is occurring on bigeye 
tuna in the Pacific. As required by the Magnuson-Stevens Act (16 U.S.C. 
1854 (e)(3)) and the implementing regulations at 50 CFR 600.310(e)(3), 
the Councils must take action to address overfishing within one year of 
an identification by the Secretary that overfishing is occurring. The 
overfishing determination was made in the annual report on the status 
of fisheries in 2003, which was transmitted to Congress on June 15, 
2004, which means that the Council has until June 14, 2005 in which to 
take remedial action to end overfishing.
    The Council asked the Pelagics Plan Team to hold a meeting on 
February 10th, in order to provide the SSC with its deliberations and 
recommendations on possible courses of action that appropriately might 
reduce total fishing mortality on bigeye tuna. The Pelagics Plan Team 
reviewed all the relevant materials, including a summary from the third 
meeting of the Scientific Coordinating Group of the Western & Central 
Pacific Management Fishery Commission on the feasibility of scientific 
analysis for different management measures for Pacific bigeye tuna. The 
SSC will be presented with the results of these deliberations and the 
recommendations that were formulated by the Pelagics Plan Team. The SSC 
will review these recommendations and may provide the Council with its 
own recommendations on the alternatives for the Council to address the 
overfishing of Pacific bigeye tuna

2. CNMI Bottomfish Management Amendment (Final Action)

    A public hearing will be held to solicit comments on alternatives 
to manage the bottomfish fishery around the CNMI. Based on comments 
received during public scoping meetings held in CNMI, the Council 
developed preliminary options including limiting the harvest of 
bottomfish, reporting requirements, establishing area closures, gear 
and vessel restrictions, and other control measures expressed by the 
public during the scoping meetings. At its 124nd meeting, the Council 
endorsed a recommendation to allow CNMI Division of Fish and Wildlife 
to take the range of alternatives to the CNMI public for additional 
comment. At the 126th meeting, the Council may take final action on a 
preferred alternative and direct staff to finalize an amendment to the 
Bottomfish FMP for regulatory action.

3. Final Action on NWHI Sanctuary Alternatives

    A Public hearing will be held to solicit public comments on 
alternatives to prepare draft fishing regulations for

[[Page 9928]]

the proposed NWHI Sanctuary. The National Marine Sanctuaries Amendment 
Act of 2000 (NMSA) and Executive Orders 13178 and 13196 direct the 
Secretary of Commerce to initiate the process to designate the 
Northwestern Hawaiian Islands Coral Reef Ecosystem Reserve as a 
National Marine Sanctuary. Pursuant to Section 304(a)(5) of the NMSA, 
the Council is provided with the opportunity to prepare draft fishing 
regulations for the proposed sanctuary as the Council may deem 
necessary to implement the proposed designation. Draft fishing 
regulations prepared by the Council shall be accepted by the Secretary 
of Commerce and issued as proposed regulations if they fulfill the 
purpose and policies of the NMSA and the goals and objectives of the 
proposed designation.
    On September 20, 2004, the National Marine Sanctuaries Program 
(NMSP) formally provided the Council the opportunity to prepare draft 
fishing regulations pursuant to Section 304(a)(5) of the NMSA and also 
provided the Council with the goals and objectives for the proposed 
designation.
    Although not required by the NMSA, the Council held a series of 
public hearings on Oahu, Kauai, Maui and the Island of Hawaii to gather 
public input and comments on a range of fishing alternatives the 
Council is considering in preparing draft fishing regulations for the 
proposed designation. The alternatives currently being considered by 
the Council are: (1A) Existing FMP regulations Status Quo; (1B) Coral 
Reef Ecosystem Reserve Status Quo; (2) Council Recommendations to Date; 
(3) Precautionary Modification 1; (4) Precautionary Modification 2; (5) 
Sanctuary Recommendation; and (6) Prohibit All Bottomfishing in Federal 
waters around Hawaii A full description of the alternatives is 
available at www.wpcouncil.org.
    The Council will review these alternatives and their potential 
impacts. Following the public hearing, the Council may take action to 
recommend a preferred alternative and associated regulations to the 
NMSP.
    Although non-emergency issues not contained in this agenda may come 
before the Council for discussion, those issues may not be the subject 
of formal Council action during this meeting. Council action will be 
restricted to those issues specifically listed in this document and any 
issue arising after publication of this document that requires 
emergency action under section 305(c) of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery 
Conservation and Management Act, provided the public has been notified 
of the Council's intent to take final action to address the emergency.

Special Accommodations

    These meetings are physically accessible to people with 
disabilities. Requests for sign language interpretation or other 
auxiliary aids should be directed to Kitty M. Simonds, (808)522-8220 
(voice) or (808)522-8226 (fax), at least 5 days prior to the meeting 
date.

    Authority: 16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq.

    Dated: February 24, 2005.
Peter H. Fricke,
Acting Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine 
Fisheries Service.
[FR Doc. 05-3944 Filed 2-28-05; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 3510-22-S