Fisheries of the Northeastern United States; Tilefish Fishery; Scoping Process, 14650-14651 [E5-1281]

Download as PDF 14650 Federal Register / Vol. 70, No. 55 / Wednesday, March 23, 2005 / Notices Memorandum for Amended Final Results for S.C. Silcotub S.A. (March 9, 2005). The Department shall determine, and CBP shall assess, antidumping duties on all appropriate entries based on the amended final results. For details on the assessment of antidumping duties on all appropriate entries, see Final Results. Dated: March 16, 2005. Joseph A. Spetrini, Acting Assistant Secretary for Import Administration. [FR Doc. E5–1283 Filed 3–22–05; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510–DS–P DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration [I.D. 021105D] International Whaling Commission; 57th Annual Meeting; Nominations National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), NationalOceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Commerce. ACTION: Notice; request for nominations. AGENCY: This notice is a call for nominees for the U.S. Delegation to the June 2005 International Whaling Commission (IWC) annual meeting. The non-federal representative(s) selected as a result of this nomination process is(are) responsible for providing input and recommendations to the U.S. IWC Commissioner representing the positions of non-governmental organizations. Generally, only one nongovernmental position is selected for the U.S. Delegation. DATES: All written nominations for the U.S. Delegation to the IWC annual meeting must be received by April 22, 2005. ADDRESSES: All nominations for the U.S. Delegation to the IWC annual meeting should be addressed to Rolland Schmitten, U.S. Commissioner to the IWC, and sent via post to: Cheri McCarty, 13708, Office of Protected Resources, National Marine Fisheries Service, 1315 East West Highway, Silver Spring, MD 20910. Prospective Congressional advisors to the delegation should contact the Department of State directly. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Cheri McCarty, 301–713–2322, ext. 114. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The Secretary of Commerce is chargedwith the responsibility of discharging the obligations of theUnited States under the International Convention for the SUMMARY: VerDate jul<14>2003 16:27 Mar 22, 2005 Jkt 205001 Regulation of Whaling, 1946. The U.S. Commissioner has primary responsibility for the preparation and negotiation of U.S. positions on international issues concerning whaling and for all matters involving the IWC. He is staffed by the Department of Commerce and assisted by the Department of State, the Department of the Interior, the Marine Mammal Commission, and by other agencies. The non-federal representative(s) selected as a result of this nomination process is(are) responsible for providing input and recommendations to the U.S. IWC Commissioner representing the positions of non-governmental organizations. Generally, only one nongovernmental position is selected for the U.S. Delegation. The IWC is hosting its 57th annual meeting from June 20–24, 2005, in Ulsan, Korea. Dated: March 18, 2005. Laurie K. Allen, Director, Office of Protected Resources, National Marine Fisheries Service. [FR Doc. 05–5754 Filed 3–22–05; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510–22–S DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration [I.D. 031805B] Fisheries of the Northeastern United States; Tilefish Fishery; Scoping Process National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Commerce. ACTION: Notice of intent (NOI) to prepare an environmental impact statement (EIS); request for comments. AGENCY: SUMMARY: The Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council (Council) announces its intention to prepare, in cooperation with NMFS, an EIS in accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act to assess potential effects on the human environment of alternative measures for managing the golden tilefish (Lopholatilus chamaeleonticeps) fishery pursuant to the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (MSFCMA). The Council intends to develop Amendment 1 to the Tilefish Fishery Management Plan (FMP) to address: The possible implementation of an individual fishing quota system; consideration of possible new methods to collect landings information for the commercial fishery; possible PO 00000 Frm 00016 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 recreational management measures; possible establishment of required minimum hook size and/or hook configuration in the commercial tilefish fishery; and, methods to allow new entrants into the commercial fishery as the stock recovers. This notice announces a public process for determining the scope of issues to be addressed and for identifying the significant issues relating to management of tilefish. The intended effect of this notice is to alert the interested public of the scoping process, the development of the Draft EIS, and to provide for public participation. DATES: Written comments on the intent to prepare an EIS must be received on or before 5 p.m., local time, on April 22, 2005. ADDRESSES: Written comments on the intent to prepare the EIS or other information should be directed to Mr. Daniel T. Furlong, Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council, Room 2115 Federal Building, 300 S. New St., Dover, DE 19904, (telephone 302–674–2331). Comments may also be sent via facsimile (FAX) to (302) 674–5399 or by e-mail to TILEFISH.NOI@NOAA.GOV. Please note on your correspondence (or include in the subject line of your email): ‘‘Tilefish Amendment 1 Scoping Comments.’’ The scoping document may also be obtained from the Council office at the address and telephone number above or via the Internet at http://www.mafmc.org/mid-atlantic/ comments/comments.htm. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Mr. Daniel T. Furlong, Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council, Room 2115 Federal Building, 300 S. New St., Dover, DE 19904, (telephone 302–674–2331). SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The tilefish fishery is managed by the Council’s Tilefish FMP. The FMP was approved by the Secretary of Commerce on May 10, 2001, and became effective on November 26, 2001 (66 FR 49136; September 26, 2001). The management unit for this FMP is defined as all golden tilefish (Lopholatilus chamaeleonticeps) under United States jurisdiction in the Atlantic ocean north of the Virginia/North Carolina border. The FMP included management and administrative measures to ensure effective and sustainable management of the tilefish resource. The FMP established Total Allowable Landings (TAL) as the primary control on fishing mortality. The FMP also implemented a limited entry program and a tiered commercial quota allocation of the TAL. Other elements of the FMP include permits and reporting requirements for E:\FR\FM\23MRN1.SGM 23MRN1 Federal Register / Vol. 70, No. 55 / Wednesday, March 23, 2005 / Notices commercial vessels, operators, and dealers. A separate notice of scoping meetings for this amendment were published on March 3, 2005 (70 FR 10360), and March 18, 2005 (70 FR 13171). Issues Identified for Discussion Under this Amendment The Possible Implementation of an Individual Fishing Quota System An individual fishing quota program (IFQ) is a form of output control that allocates harvesting privileges to individual fishermen. The MSFCMA defines an IFQ as ‘‘a Federal permit under a limited access system to harvest a quantity of fish, expressed by a unit or units representing a percentage of the total allowable catch of a fishery that may be received or held for exclusive use by a person.’’ One type of IFQ program is an individual transferable quota (ITQ) program. Under an ITQ program quota shares are able to be transferred between eligible allocation holders. Under the current FMP, there are three fishing categories that the quota is divided among. There is an incidental, a part-time, and a full-time category for division of the quota. Under the Tilefish FMP, the ‘‘target’’ estimate of landings for the incidental category (5 percent of the TAL) is first deducted from the overall TAL, and then the remainder of the TAL is divided among the full-time tier 1 category, which receives 66 percent; the full-time tier 2 category, which receives 15 percent; and, the part-time category, which receives 19 percent. Trip limits are currently only imposed in the incidental permit category (open access) to achieve a ‘‘target’’ or soft quota. The quota-based limited access program currently in place is based on group quota shares (quotas allocated to incidental, part-time, and full time vessels). However, an IFQ system could be considered for the three directed categories of tilefish fishing vessels. The Tilefish FMP states that ‘‘It is important to note that the current Mid-Atlantic Council’s policy is that landings after 1998 will not assure future access to or an allocation of the tilefish resource. The purpose of this policy is to prevent a rush to fish on this overfished resource, in the hopes of obtaining a larger future allocation.’’ Therefore, any IFQ alternative will likely be based on historical catches from logbook data from the time period between 1984 and1998. One logical allocation of an IFQ system could be based on individual vessel catches over time, VerDate jul<14>2003 16:27 Mar 22, 2005 Jkt 205001 however, other alternatives to this system may be proposed. An IFQ system could be developed to include all directed categories (i.e., fulltime tier 1, full-time tier 2, and parttime) or it could be designed to include only 1 or two of the directed categories. However, it is possible that an IFQ system that includes all three directed categories would result in less of an administrative burden as there would be only one quota management program as opposed to 3 or 4 programs. Several alternatives can be used to divide the IFQ allocation among vessels within each directed category. For example, the following could be used to derive the IFQ allocation: (1) The IFQ allocation for a specific directed category could be divided among that category’s participants equally; (2) the IFQ allocation could be based on historic landings (such as the best 3 or 5 years of landings over a 10-year period) and then divided among participants; (3) in deriving an IFQ allocation the historic landings employed to derive the original FMP allocation could be used; or, (4) in deriving an IFQ allocation weighted landings that would allocate a greater weight to more current landings could be used. Consideration of Possible New Methods to Collect Landings Information For the Commercial Fishery Collection of information issues have arisen since the implementation of the original FMP. More specifically, stakeholders have recommended that the Council assess measures to improve the collection of landings information. The current FMP requires that ‘‘The owner or operator of any vessel issued a limited access permit for tilefish must submit a tilefish catch report via the Interactive Voice Response (IVR) system within 24 hours after returning to port and offloading as required by the Regional Administrator.’’ According to industry members not all landings are reported within the 24 hour period as required under current regulations. Therefore, real-time data may not be available to manage the fishery. This practice could potentially allow a category to remain open when, in fact, it should be closed. Lastly, tilefish fishermen use paper logbooks to report fishing activity. Stakeholders and scientists have suggested that the paper logbooks are very generic and do not allow for the collection of detailed information that could better assess effort in the fishery. More detailed/ relevant data could be collected that could be used to further refine the stock assessment for tilefish. PO 00000 Frm 00017 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 14651 Possible Recreational Management Measures The regulations allow for tilefish to be harvested by the recreational sector. When the FMP was first developed, the recreational participation in this fishery was very small. However, some Council members have indicated that they have seen an increase in recreational tilefish landings. There may be a need to assess how the recent increase in recreational landings can be accounted for in the FMP. Other Management Concerns A number of additional management concerns may also be considered in the development of Amendment 1 including: (1) Possible establishment of a required minimum hook size and/or hook configuration in the tilefish fishery; and, (2) methods to allow new entrants into the commercial fishery as the stock recovers. Authority: 16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq. Dated: March 18, 2005. Alan D. Risenhoover, Acting Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine Fisheries Service. [FR Doc. E5–1281 Filed 3–22–05; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510–22–S DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration [I.D. 020205E] Small Takes of Marine Mammals Incidental to Specified Activities; Harbor Activities Related to the Delta IV/Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicle at Vandenberg Air Force Base, CA National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Commerce. ACTION: Notice of receipt of application and proposed authorization for incidental harassment of marine mammals; request for comments. AGENCY: SUMMARY: NMFS has received a request from The Boeing Company (Boeing) for a reauthorization to take small numbers of marine mammals by harassment incidental to harbor activities related to the Delta IV/Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicle (EELV) at south Vandenberg Air Force Base, CA (VAFB). Under the Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA), NMFS is requesting comments on its proposal to authorize Boeing to take, by harassment, small numbers of several species of pinnipeds at south VAFB beginning in May 2005. E:\FR\FM\23MRN1.SGM 23MRN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 70, Number 55 (Wednesday, March 23, 2005)]
[Notices]
[Pages 14650-14651]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: E5-1281]


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DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

[I.D. 031805B]


Fisheries of the Northeastern United States; Tilefish Fishery; 
Scoping Process

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

ACTION: Notice of intent (NOI) to prepare an environmental impact 
statement (EIS); request for comments.

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

SUMMARY: The Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council (Council) 
announces its intention to prepare, in cooperation with NMFS, an EIS in 
accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act to assess 
potential effects on the human environment of alternative measures for 
managing the golden tilefish (Lopholatilus chamaeleonticeps) fishery 
pursuant to the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management 
Act (MSFCMA). The Council intends to develop Amendment 1 to the 
Tilefish Fishery Management Plan (FMP) to address: The possible 
implementation of an individual fishing quota system; consideration of 
possible new methods to collect landings information for the commercial 
fishery; possible recreational management measures; possible 
establishment of required minimum hook size and/or hook configuration 
in the commercial tilefish fishery; and, methods to allow new entrants 
into the commercial fishery as the stock recovers. This notice 
announces a public process for determining the scope of issues to be 
addressed and for identifying the significant issues relating to 
management of tilefish. The intended effect of this notice is to alert 
the interested public of the scoping process, the development of the 
Draft EIS, and to provide for public participation.

DATES: Written comments on the intent to prepare an EIS must be 
received on or before 5 p.m., local time, on April 22, 2005.

ADDRESSES: Written comments on the intent to prepare the EIS or other 
information should be directed to Mr. Daniel T. Furlong, Mid-Atlantic 
Fishery Management Council, Room 2115 Federal Building, 300 S. New St., 
Dover, DE 19904, (telephone 302-674-2331). Comments may also be sent 
via facsimile (FAX) to (302) 674-5399 or by e-mail to 
TILEFISH.NOI@NOAA.GOV. Please note on your correspondence (or include 
in the subject line of your e-mail): ``Tilefish Amendment 1 Scoping 
Comments.'' The scoping document may also be obtained from the Council 
office at the address and telephone number above or via the Internet at 
http://www.mafmc.org/mid-atlantic/comments/comments.htm.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Mr. Daniel T. Furlong, Mid-Atlantic 
Fishery Management Council, Room 2115 Federal Building, 300 S. New St., 
Dover, DE 19904, (telephone 302-674-2331).

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The tilefish fishery is managed by the 
Council's Tilefish FMP. The FMP was approved by the Secretary of 
Commerce on May 10, 2001, and became effective on November 26, 2001 (66 
FR 49136; September 26, 2001). The management unit for this FMP is 
defined as all golden tilefish (Lopholatilus chamaeleonticeps) under 
United States jurisdiction in the Atlantic ocean north of the Virginia/
North Carolina border.
    The FMP included management and administrative measures to ensure 
effective and sustainable management of the tilefish resource. The FMP 
established Total Allowable Landings (TAL) as the primary control on 
fishing mortality. The FMP also implemented a limited entry program and 
a tiered commercial quota allocation of the TAL. Other elements of the 
FMP include permits and reporting requirements for

[[Page 14651]]

commercial vessels, operators, and dealers.
    A separate notice of scoping meetings for this amendment were 
published on March 3, 2005 (70 FR 10360), and March 18, 2005 (70 FR 
13171).

Issues Identified for Discussion Under this Amendment

The Possible Implementation of an Individual Fishing Quota System

    An individual fishing quota program (IFQ) is a form of output 
control that allocates harvesting privileges to individual fishermen. 
The MSFCMA defines an IFQ as ``a Federal permit under a limited access 
system to harvest a quantity of fish, expressed by a unit or units 
representing a percentage of the total allowable catch of a fishery 
that may be received or held for exclusive use by a person.'' One type 
of IFQ program is an individual transferable quota (ITQ) program. Under 
an ITQ program quota shares are able to be transferred between eligible 
allocation holders.
    Under the current FMP, there are three fishing categories that the 
quota is divided among. There is an incidental, a part-time, and a 
full-time category for division of the quota. Under the Tilefish FMP, 
the ``target'' estimate of landings for the incidental category (5 
percent of the TAL) is first deducted from the overall TAL, and then 
the remainder of the TAL is divided among the full-time tier 1 
category, which receives 66 percent; the full-time tier 2 category, 
which receives 15 percent; and, the part-time category, which receives 
19 percent. Trip limits are currently only imposed in the incidental 
permit category (open access) to achieve a ``target'' or soft quota.
    The quota-based limited access program currently in place is based 
on group quota shares (quotas allocated to incidental, part-time, and 
full time vessels). However, an IFQ system could be considered for the 
three directed categories of tilefish fishing vessels. The Tilefish FMP 
states that ``It is important to note that the current Mid-Atlantic 
Council's policy is that landings after 1998 will not assure future 
access to or an allocation of the tilefish resource. The purpose of 
this policy is to prevent a rush to fish on this overfished resource, 
in the hopes of obtaining a larger future allocation.'' Therefore, any 
IFQ alternative will likely be based on historical catches from logbook 
data from the time period between 1984 and1998. One logical allocation 
of an IFQ system could be based on individual vessel catches over time, 
however, other alternatives to this system may be proposed.
    An IFQ system could be developed to include all directed categories 
(i.e., full-time tier 1, full-time tier 2, and part-time) or it could 
be designed to include only 1 or two of the directed categories. 
However, it is possible that an IFQ system that includes all three 
directed categories would result in less of an administrative burden as 
there would be only one quota management program as opposed to 3 or 4 
programs. Several alternatives can be used to divide the IFQ allocation 
among vessels within each directed category. For example, the following 
could be used to derive the IFQ allocation: (1) The IFQ allocation for 
a specific directed category could be divided among that category's 
participants equally; (2) the IFQ allocation could be based on historic 
landings (such as the best 3 or 5 years of landings over a 10-year 
period) and then divided among participants; (3) in deriving an IFQ 
allocation the historic landings employed to derive the original FMP 
allocation could be used; or, (4) in deriving an IFQ allocation 
weighted landings that would allocate a greater weight to more current 
landings could be used.

Consideration of Possible New Methods to Collect Landings Information 
For the Commercial Fishery

    Collection of information issues have arisen since the 
implementation of the original FMP. More specifically, stakeholders 
have recommended that the Council assess measures to improve the 
collection of landings information.
    The current FMP requires that ``The owner or operator of any vessel 
issued a limited access permit for tilefish must submit a tilefish 
catch report via the Interactive Voice Response (IVR) system within 24 
hours after returning to port and offloading as required by the 
Regional Administrator.'' According to industry members not all 
landings are reported within the 24 hour period as required under 
current regulations. Therefore, real-time data may not be available to 
manage the fishery. This practice could potentially allow a category to 
remain open when, in fact, it should be closed. Lastly, tilefish 
fishermen use paper logbooks to report fishing activity. Stakeholders 
and scientists have suggested that the paper logbooks are very generic 
and do not allow for the collection of detailed information that could 
better assess effort in the fishery. More detailed/relevant data could 
be collected that could be used to further refine the stock assessment 
for tilefish.

Possible Recreational Management Measures

    The regulations allow for tilefish to be harvested by the 
recreational sector. When the FMP was first developed, the recreational 
participation in this fishery was very small. However, some Council 
members have indicated that they have seen an increase in recreational 
tilefish landings. There may be a need to assess how the recent 
increase in recreational landings can be accounted for in the FMP.

Other Management Concerns

    A number of additional management concerns may also be considered 
in the development of Amendment 1 including: (1) Possible establishment 
of a required minimum hook size and/or hook configuration in the 
tilefish fishery; and, (2) methods to allow new entrants into the 
commercial fishery as the stock recovers.

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

    Dated: March 18, 2005.
Alan D. Risenhoover,
Acting Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine 
Fisheries Service.
[FR Doc. E5-1281 Filed 3-22-05; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 3510-22-S