Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Application for an Exempted Fishing Permit, 13174-13175 [E5-1193]

Download as PDF 13174 Federal Register / Vol. 70, No. 52 / Friday, March 18, 2005 / Notices as NMFS observers, however, at the time of the experiment. The ‘‘sea samplers’’ would conduct the data collection and perform other observer duties that would normally be required for vessels directed fishing for pollock. The activities under the EFP are not expected to have a significant impact on the marine environment, but the potential effects on the marine environment will be further analyzed during review of the application. In accordance with § 679.6, NMFS has determined that the proposal warrants further consideration and has initiated consultation with the Council by forwarding the application to the Council. The Council will consider the EFP application during its April 4–11, 2005, meeting which will be held at the Hilton Hotel in Anchorage, AK. The applicants have been invited to appear in support of the application, if the applicants desire. Interested persons may comment on the application at the Council meeting during public testimony. A notice announcing the upcoming meeting will be published in the Federal Register. A copy of the application is available for review from NMFS (see ADDRESSES). Authority: 16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq. Dated: March 15, 2005. Alan D. Risenhoover, Acting Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine Fisheries Service. [FR Doc. E5–1186 Filed 3–17–05; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510–22–S DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration [I.D. 031505F] Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Application for an Exempted Fishing Permit National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Commerce. ACTION: Notice; receipt of amended application for an exempted fishing permit. AGENCY: SUMMARY: NMFS has received an amended application for an exempted fishing permit (EFP) from William Thornton Smith of the North Pacific Longline Association (NPLA). If granted, this EFP would authorize the applicant to conduct an experiment to evaluate the integrated weight groundline as a potential seabird avoidance measure in the 2005 Pacific cod hook-and-line VerDate jul<14>2003 16:14 Mar 17, 2005 Jkt 205001 fishery in the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Management Area (BSAI). The project is intended to promote the objectives of the Fishery Management Plan for Groundfish of the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Management Area (FMP) by reducing fishery interactions with the endangered short-tailed albatross (Phoebastria albatrus) and other seabird species. ADDRESSES: Copies of the EFP application may be requested from Sue Salveson, Assistant Regional Administrator for Sustainable Fisheries, Alaska Region, NMFS, Attn: Lori Durall by: mail to P.O. Box 21668, Juneau, AK 99802; fax to 907–586–7557; or email to Lori.Durall@noaa.gov. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Kim Rivera, 907–586–7424 or Kim.Rivera@noaa.gov. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: NMFS manages the domestic groundfish fisheries in the BSAI under the FMP. The North Pacific Fishery Management Council (Council) prepared the FMP under the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (Magnuson-Stevens Act). Regulations governing the groundfish fisheries of the BSAI appear at 50 CFR parts 600 and 679. The FMP and the implementing regulations at §§ 679.6 and 600.745(b) authorize the issuance of EFPs to allow fishing that would otherwise be prohibited. Procedures for issuing EFPs are contained in the implementing regulations. In June 2004, the Council approved the application for an EFP for this experiment which was submitted by the Washington Sea Grant Program (WSGP). The WSGP was unable to secure vessels for the work, and an EFP was not issued in 2004. In February 2005, NMFS received an amended application for this EFP from the NPLA. The purpose of this EFP is to authorize experimental fishing using integrated weight groundline to evaluate its effectiveness as a potential new seabird avoidance measure. The application calls for testing integrated weight groundlines against unweighted groundlines, with and without paired streamer lines. This proposed experiment builds on work that was completed in Alaska in 2002, and compliments efforts taking place in other fisheries. Information from this experiment could ultimately result in better and more effective seabird avoidance measures. The hook-and-line fishing industry appears especially interested in this experiment, because it may provide a better tool with which to avoid the incidental catch of the endangered short-tailed albatross and other seabird species. In addition, the PO 00000 Frm 00016 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 integrated weight groundline may improve fishing efficiency with better gear handling characteristics and increased target catch rates resulting from getting baited hooks down more quickly. The U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service issued a Biological Opinion (September 2003) that includes a conservation recommendation for NMFS to support research efforts to develop new and novel deterrent technologies such as integrated weight groundlines. This experiment would fulfill such a recommendation. The goal of the experiment is to reduce the incidental catch of the endangered short-tailed albatross and other seabird species in ways that are consistent with Magnuson-Stevens Act National Standard 9 which requires conservation and management measures to minimize bycatch and bycatch mortality and that the effects on birds should be considered when selecting these measures. A preliminary WSGP investigation in 2002 evaluated four weightings of integrated weight groundline (25g/m, 50g/m, 75g/m and 100 g/m). The four weighting treatments were compared to a control of unweighted groundline in the sablefish fishery in the Aleutian Islands and the Pacific cod fishery in the Gulf of Alaska. Preliminary results strongly suggest that 50g/m line was the optimal weighting. It was the most practical gear in terms of operational performance in mechanical baiting (auto-bait) hook-andline systems, and it sank quickly beyond the range of seabirds. Based on these initial results, NPLA proposes to continue this work by comparing the catch rates of all species, the abundance and behavior of seabirds, and the sink rate of groundlines under three scenarios: 50g/m integrated weight groundline, and un-weighted groundlines with and without paired streamer lines. Regulations at § 679.24(e)(4)(ii)(c) require the use of paired streamer lines by vessels greater than 55 ft (16.8 m) length overall (LOA). Because vessels used in the experiment would be greater than 55 ft (16.8 m) LOA, an EFP is necessary to conduct the experimental control treatments that call for the experimental gear to be deployed in the absence of paired streamer lines. Work will take place on two freezer-longliner vessels using autobait systems in the Pacific cod fishery in the BSAI during 2005 and 2006, if unforeseen circumstances prohibit completion of the work in 2005. Amendments to the application approved in June 2004, include: (1) starting the experimental fishing a month earlier (July 15, 2005 instead of August 15, 2005), (2) allocating E:\FR\FM\18MRN1.SGM 18MRN1 Federal Register / Vol. 70, No. 52 / Friday, March 18, 2005 / Notices specified amounts of Pacific cod and bycatch species to participating vessels, (3) harvesting Pacific cod beyond the total allowable catch and acceptable biological catch amounts specified for 2005, and (4) exemption from improved retention/improved utilization regulations at § 679.27. These levels of harvest and manner of harvest are not expected to have a significant impact on the marine environment, but the potential effects on the marine environment will be further analyzed during review of the application. In accordance with § 679.6, NMFS has determined that the application warrants further consideration and has initiated consultation with the Council by forwarding the amended application to the Council for consultation. The Council will consider the application during its April 4–11, 2005 meeting which will be held at the Hilton Hotel in Anchorage, AK. While the applicant has been invited to appear in support of the application, all interested parties may comment on the application at the meeting during public testimony. A notice announcing the upcoming meeting will be published in the Federal Register. The vessels that would conduct the experimental fishing were not identified on the application, but would be identified on the EFP, once they have been selected for the project. The NMFS Regional Administrator may consider and attach additional terms and conditions to the EFP that are consistent with the purpose of the experiment. Public comment may help determine such conditions. A copy of the amended application is available for review from NMFS (see ADDRESSES). Authority: 16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq. Dated: March 15, 2005. Alan D. Risenhoover, Acting Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine Fisheries Service. [FR Doc. E5–1193 Filed 3–17–05; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510–22–S Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Commerce. ACTION: Notice of vessel monitoring systems; approval. SUMMARY: This document provides notice of vessel monitoring systems (VMS) approved by NOAA for use by vessels participating in the Rock Shrimp Fishery of the South Atlantic Region and sets forth relevant features of the VMS, and supersedes all previous type approval notices for the South Atlantic Rock Shrimp Fishery. ADDRESSES: To obtain copies of the list of NOAA-approved VMS mobile transmitting units and NOAA-approved VMS communications service providers, or to obtain information regarding the status of VMS systems being evaluated by NOAA for approval, write to NOAA Fisheries Office for Law Enforcement (OLE), 8484 Georgia Avenue, Suite 415, Silver Spring, MD 20910. To submit a completed and signed checklist, mail or fax it to NOAA Enforcement, 9721 Executive Center Drive North, Koger Building, St. Petersburg, FL 33702, fax 727–570– 5355. For more addresses regarding approved VMS, see the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section, under the heading VMS Provider Addresses. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: For current listing information contact Mark Oswell, Outreach Specialist, phone 301–427–2300, fax 301–427–2055. For questions regarding VMS installation, activation checklists, and status of evaluations, contact Jonathan Pinkerton, National VMS Program Manager, phone 301–427–2300, fax 301–427–2055. For questions regarding the installation checklist, contact Beverly Lambert, Southeast Division VMS Program Manager, NMFS Office for Law Enforcement, phone 727–570–5344. The public may acquire this notice, installation checklist, and relevant updates via the OLE website http:// www.nmfs.noaa.gov/ole/vms.html. Telephone requests can be made by calling 301–427–2300. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: I. VMS Mobile Transceiver Units DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration [I.D. 122104A] Vessel Monitoring Systems; Approved Mobile Transmitting Units for use in the South Atlantic Rock Shrimp Fishery National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), National Oceanic and AGENCY: VerDate jul<14>2003 16:14 Mar 17, 2005 Jkt 205001 A. Inmarsat-C Transceivers The Inmarsat-C satellite communications VMS transmitting units that meet the minimum technical requirements for the Rock Shrimp Fishery are the Thrane & Thrane Fishery ‘‘Capsat’’ (part number TT–3022DNMFS) and the Thrane & Thrane Fishery ‘‘Mini-C’’ (part number TT– 3026–NMFS). The address for the Thrane & Thrane distributor (Thrane & Thrane) dealer contact is provided in PO 00000 Frm 00017 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 13175 this notice under the heading VMS Provider Addresses. Thrane & Thrane TT–3022D-NMFS features: The transceiver consists of an integrated GPS/Inmarsat-C unit in the wheelhouse and an antenna mounted atop the vessel. The unit is factory preconfigured for NMFS VMS operations (non-Global Maritime Distress & Safety System (non-GMDSS)). Satellite commissioning services are provided by Thrane & Thrane personnel. Automatic GPS position reporting starts after transceiver installation and power activation onboard the vessel. The unit is a car-radio-sized transceiver using a floating 10 to 32 VDC power supply. The unit is configured for automatic reduced position transmissions when the vessel is stationary (i.e., in port). It allows for port stays without power drain or power shut down. The unit restarts normal position transmission automatically when the vessel goes to sea. The outside antenna, model TT– 3005M, is a compact omni-directional Inmarsat-C/GPS antenna, providing operation down to +/-15 deg. angles. A configuration option is available to automatically send position reports to a private address, such as a fleet management company. Another available option is the ability to send and receive private e-mail and other messages with the purchase and installation of an input device such as a laptop, personal computer, or message display terminal. Thrane & Thrane TT–3026–NMFS features: The transceiver consists of an integrated GPS/Inmarsat-C unit mounted atop the vessel. The unit is factory pre-configured for NMFS VMS operations (non-Global Maritime Distress & Safety System (non-GMDSS)). Satellite commissioning services are provided by Thrane & Thrane personnel. Automatic GPS position reporting starts after transceiver installation and power activation onboard the vessel. The unit is an integrated transceiver/ antenna/GPS design using a floating 10 to 32 VDC power supply. The unit is configured for automatic reduced position transmissions when the vessel is stationary (i.e., in port). It allows for port stays without power drain or power shut down. The unit restarts normal position transmission automatically when the vessel goes to sea. The TT–3026–NMFS provides operation down to +/-15 degree angles. Although the unit has the capability of two-way communication to send and receive private e-mail and other messages, it can only use this capability when additional equipment - not E:\FR\FM\18MRN1.SGM 18MRN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 70, Number 52 (Friday, March 18, 2005)]
[Notices]
[Pages 13174-13175]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: E5-1193]


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

DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

[I.D. 031505F]


Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Application 
for an Exempted Fishing Permit

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

ACTION: Notice; receipt of amended application for an exempted fishing 
permit.

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

SUMMARY: NMFS has received an amended application for an exempted 
fishing permit (EFP) from William Thornton Smith of the North Pacific 
Longline Association (NPLA). If granted, this EFP would authorize the 
applicant to conduct an experiment to evaluate the integrated weight 
groundline as a potential seabird avoidance measure in the 2005 Pacific 
cod hook-and-line fishery in the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands 
Management Area (BSAI). The project is intended to promote the 
objectives of the Fishery Management Plan for Groundfish of the Bering 
Sea and Aleutian Islands Management Area (FMP) by reducing fishery 
interactions with the endangered short-tailed albatross (Phoebastria 
albatrus) and other seabird species.

ADDRESSES: Copies of the EFP application may be requested from Sue 
Salveson, Assistant Regional Administrator for Sustainable Fisheries, 
Alaska Region, NMFS, Attn: Lori Durall by: mail to P.O. Box 21668, 
Juneau, AK 99802; fax to 907-586-7557; or email to 
Lori.Durall@noaa.gov.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Kim Rivera, 907-586-7424 or 
Kim.Rivera@noaa.gov.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: NMFS manages the domestic groundfish 
fisheries in the BSAI under the FMP. The North Pacific Fishery 
Management Council (Council) prepared the FMP under the Magnuson-
Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (Magnuson-Stevens Act). 
Regulations governing the groundfish fisheries of the BSAI appear at 50 
CFR parts 600 and 679. The FMP and the implementing regulations at 
Sec. Sec.  679.6 and 600.745(b) authorize the issuance of EFPs to allow 
fishing that would otherwise be prohibited. Procedures for issuing EFPs 
are contained in the implementing regulations.
    In June 2004, the Council approved the application for an EFP for 
this experiment which was submitted by the Washington Sea Grant Program 
(WSGP). The WSGP was unable to secure vessels for the work, and an EFP 
was not issued in 2004. In February 2005, NMFS received an amended 
application for this EFP from the NPLA. The purpose of this EFP is to 
authorize experimental fishing using integrated weight groundline to 
evaluate its effectiveness as a potential new seabird avoidance 
measure. The application calls for testing integrated weight 
groundlines against unweighted groundlines, with and without paired 
streamer lines. This proposed experiment builds on work that was 
completed in Alaska in 2002, and compliments efforts taking place in 
other fisheries. Information from this experiment could ultimately 
result in better and more effective seabird avoidance measures. The 
hook-and-line fishing industry appears especially interested in this 
experiment, because it may provide a better tool with which to avoid 
the incidental catch of the endangered short-tailed albatross and other 
seabird species. In addition, the integrated weight groundline may 
improve fishing efficiency with better gear handling characteristics 
and increased target catch rates resulting from getting baited hooks 
down more quickly. The U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service issued a Biological 
Opinion (September 2003) that includes a conservation recommendation 
for NMFS to support research efforts to develop new and novel deterrent 
technologies such as integrated weight groundlines. This experiment 
would fulfill such a recommendation.
    The goal of the experiment is to reduce the incidental catch of the 
endangered short-tailed albatross and other seabird species in ways 
that are consistent with Magnuson-Stevens Act National Standard 9 which 
requires conservation and management measures to minimize bycatch and 
bycatch mortality and that the effects on birds should be considered 
when selecting these measures. A preliminary WSGP investigation in 2002 
evaluated four weightings of integrated weight groundline (25g/m, 50g/
m, 75g/m and 100 g/m). The four weighting treatments were compared to a 
control of unweighted groundline in the sablefish fishery in the 
Aleutian Islands and the Pacific cod fishery in the Gulf of Alaska. 
Preliminary results strongly suggest that 50g/m line was the optimal 
weighting. It was the most practical gear in terms of operational 
performance in mechanical baiting (auto-bait) hook-and-line systems, 
and it sank quickly beyond the range of seabirds.
    Based on these initial results, NPLA proposes to continue this work 
by comparing the catch rates of all species, the abundance and behavior 
of seabirds, and the sink rate of groundlines under three scenarios: 
50g/m integrated weight groundline, and un-weighted groundlines with 
and without paired streamer lines. Regulations at Sec.  
679.24(e)(4)(ii)(c) require the use of paired streamer lines by vessels 
greater than 55 ft (16.8 m) length overall (LOA). Because vessels used 
in the experiment would be greater than 55 ft (16.8 m) LOA, an EFP is 
necessary to conduct the experimental control treatments that call for 
the experimental gear to be deployed in the absence of paired streamer 
lines. Work will take place on two freezer-longliner vessels using 
auto-bait systems in the Pacific cod fishery in the BSAI during 2005 
and 2006, if unforeseen circumstances prohibit completion of the work 
in 2005.
    Amendments to the application approved in June 2004, include: (1) 
starting the experimental fishing a month earlier (July 15, 2005 
instead of August 15, 2005), (2) allocating

[[Page 13175]]

specified amounts of Pacific cod and bycatch species to participating 
vessels, (3) harvesting Pacific cod beyond the total allowable catch 
and acceptable biological catch amounts specified for 2005, and (4) 
exemption from improved retention/improved utilization regulations at 
Sec.  679.27.
    These levels of harvest and manner of harvest are not expected to 
have a significant impact on the marine environment, but the potential 
effects on the marine environment will be further analyzed during 
review of the application.
    In accordance with Sec.  679.6, NMFS has determined that the 
application warrants further consideration and has initiated 
consultation with the Council by forwarding the amended application to 
the Council for consultation. The Council will consider the application 
during its April 4-11, 2005 meeting which will be held at the Hilton 
Hotel in Anchorage, AK. While the applicant has been invited to appear 
in support of the application, all interested parties may comment on 
the application at the meeting during public testimony. A notice 
announcing the upcoming meeting will be published in the Federal 
Register.
    The vessels that would conduct the experimental fishing were not 
identified on the application, but would be identified on the EFP, once 
they have been selected for the project. The NMFS Regional 
Administrator may consider and attach additional terms and conditions 
to the EFP that are consistent with the purpose of the experiment. 
Public comment may help determine such conditions.
    A copy of the amended application is available for review from NMFS 
(see ADDRESSES).

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

    Dated: March 15, 2005.
Alan D. Risenhoover,
Acting Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine 
Fisheries Service.
[FR Doc. E5-1193 Filed 3-17-05; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 3510-22-S