Fisheries off West Coast States and in the Western Pacific; Western Pacific Pelagic Fisheries; Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Convention; Public Meetings, 60794-60796 [05-20940]

Download as PDF 60794 Federal Register / Vol. 70, No. 201 / Wednesday, October 19, 2005 / Notices 3. Discussion of potential long-term funding models for the observer program. Although non-emergency issues not contained in this agenda may come before this group for discussion, those issues may not be the subject of formal action during this meeting. Action will be restricted to those issues specifically identified in this notice and any issues arising after publication of this notice that require 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 This meeting is physically accessible to people with disabilities. Requests for sign language interpretation or other auxiliary aids should be directed to Paul J. Howard (see ADDRESSES) at least 5 days prior to the meeting date. Dated: October 14, 2005. Emily Menashes, Acting Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine Fisheries Service. [FR Doc. E5–5748 Filed 10–18–05; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510–22–S Paul J. Howard, Executive Director, New England Fishery Management Council; telephone: (978) 465–0492. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The Committee will meet to review and discuss social and economic information and analysis provided in Draft Amendment 1 to the Atlantic Herring Fishery Management Plan (FMP) and its Draft Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (DSEIS). The Committee will also develop recommendations regarding the social and economic analyses in Amendment 1 to the Herring FMP for Council consideration when selecting final management measures and developing the Final EIS for Amendment 1. Although non-emergency issues not contained in this agenda may come before this group for discussion, those issues may not be the subject of formal action during this meeting. Action will be restricted to those issues specifically listed in this notice and any issues arising after publication of this notice that require emergency action under section 305(c) of the Magnuson-Stevens Act, provided the public has been notified of the Council’s intent to take final action to address the emergency. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE Special Accommodations National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration This meeting is physically accessible to people with disabilities. Requests for sign language interpretation or other auxiliary aids should be directed to Paul J. Howard, Executive Director, at 978– 465–0492, at least 5 days prior to the meeting date. [I.D. 101305C] New England Fishery Management Council; Public Meeting National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Commerce. ACTION: Notice of a public meeting. AGENCY: SUMMARY: The New England Fishery Management Council (Council) is scheduling a public meeting of its Social Sciences Advisory Committee in November, 2005 to consider actions affecting New England fisheries in the exclusive economic zone (EEZ). Recommendations from this group will be brought to the full Council for formal consideration and action, if appropriate. DATES: The meeting will be held on Monday, November 7, 2005, at 10 a.m. ADDRESSES: The meeting will be held at the Holiday Inn, One Newbury Street, Peabody, MA 01960; telephone: (978) 535–4600; fax: (978) 535–8248. Council address: New England Fishery Management Council, 50 Water Street, Mill 2, Newburyport, MA 01950. VerDate Aug<31>2005 15:44 Oct 18, 2005 Jkt 205001 Dated: October 14, 2005. Emily Menashes, Acting Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine Fisheries Service. [FR Doc. E5–5749 Filed 10–18–05; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510–22–S DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration [I.D. 101305D] New England Fishery Management Council; Public Meeting National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Commerce ACTION: Notice of a public meeting. AGENCY: SUMMARY: The New England Fishery Management Council (Council) is PO 00000 Frm 00011 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 scheduling a public meeting of its Magnuson-Stevens Committee in November, 2005 to consider actions affecting New England fisheries in the exclusive economic zone (EEZ). Recommendations from this group will be brought to the full Council for formal consideration and action, if appropriate. The meeting will be held on Wednesday, November 9, 2005, at 10 a.m. DATES: The meeting will be held at the New England Fishery Management Council Office, 50 Water Street, Mill 2, Newburyport, MA 01950; telephone: (978) 465–0492; fax: (978) 465–3116. ADDRESSES: Council address: New England Fishery Management Council, 50 Water Street, Mill 2, Newburyport, MA 01950. Paul J. Howard, Executive Director, New England Fishery Management Council; telephone: (978) 465–0492. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: The Committee will meet to review and Council positions on issues related to Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation Management Act reauthorization and, if available, a new Senate staff draft of the Act. Any committee recommendations will be forwarded for approval at the Council’s November 15–17, 2005 meeting scheduled in Hyannis, MA. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Although non-emergency issues not contained in this agenda may come before this group for discussion, those issues may not be the subject of formal action during this meeting. Action will be restricted to those issues specifically listed in this notice and any issues arising after publication of this notice that require emergency action under section 305(c) of the Magnuson-Stevens Act, provided the public has been notified of the Council’s intent to take final action to address the emergency. Special Accommodations This meeting is physically accessible to people with disabilities. Requests for sign language interpretation or other auxiliary aids should be directed to Paul J. Howard, Executive Director, at 978– 465–0492, at least 5 days prior to the meeting date. Dated: October 14, 2005. Emily Menashes, Acting Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine Fisheries Service. [FR Doc. E5–5750 Filed 10–18–05; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510–22–S E:\FR\FM\19OCN1.SGM 19OCN1 Federal Register / Vol. 70, No. 201 / Wednesday, October 19, 2005 / Notices DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration [I.D. 101405A] Fisheries off West Coast States and in the Western Pacific; Western Pacific Pelagic Fisheries; Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Convention; Public Meetings National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Commerce. ACTION: Notice of public meetings; request for comments. AGENCY: SUMMARY: The Pacific Islands Regional Office of NMFS will hold two public meetings related to the Convention on the Conservation and Management of Highly Migratory Fish Stocks in the Western and Central Pacific Ocean (‘‘Convention’’). The purposes of the meetings are: to seek specific input for the U.S. delegation to the December 2005 session of the Commission established by the Convention, of which the United States is currently a cooperating non-member; and to provide general information about, and seek public input on, potential regulatory and other actions to be taken by NMFS should the U.S. Senate ratify the Convention and the Congress enact implementing legislation. DATES: The San Diego meeting will be held on November 1, 2005, from 6:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. The Honolulu meeting will be held November 15, 2005, from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. ADDRESSES: The San Diego meeting will be held at the Hyatt Regency Islandia, Room Mission B, 1441 Quivira Road, San Diego, CA. The Honolulu meeting will be held at the Pacific Islands Regional Office, NMFS, 1601 Kapiolani Blvd., Suite 1110, Honolulu, HI. Submit written comments to William L. Robinson, Regional Administrator, Pacific Islands Regional Office, NMFS, 1601 Kapiolani Blvd., Suite 1110, Honolulu, HI 96814. You may submit comments by email to pir.wcpfc@noaa.gov or facsimile (fax) to 808–973–2941. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Rhea Moss, NMFS, 808–944–2153. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Background on the Convention After over 4 years of complex negotiations among the coastal States of the western and central Pacific Ocean and States fishing in that region, the Convention was opened for signature at Honolulu on September 5, 2000. VerDate Aug<31>2005 14:50 Oct 18, 2005 Jkt 208001 The objective of the Convention is to ensure, through effective management, the long-term conservation and sustainable use of highly migratory fish stocks in the western and central Pacific Ocean in accordance with the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) and the 1995 United Nations Agreement for the Implementation of the Provisions of the UNCLOS of December 10, 1982, Relating to the Conservation and Management of Straddling Fish Stocks and Highly Migratory Fish Stocks (‘‘UN Fish Stocks Agreement’’). For this purpose, the Convention establishes, among other things, the Commission, and a Secretariat located in Pohnpei, Federated States of Micronesia. According to the Convention, the Commission has certain responsibilities and functions with respect to the conservation and management of highly migratory species (HMS) stocks within the Convention Area. Such HMS stocks include fish stocks of the species listed in Annex I of the UNCLOS and such other species as the Commission may determine. Conservation and management measures under the Convention may be applied throughout the range of the stocks, or to specific areas within the Convention Area, as determined by the Commission. The Convention Area is defined in article 3 of the Convention and comprises a large area of the Pacific Ocean predominantly west of the 150° meridian W. long. and north of the 55° parallel S. lat. The Convention was open for signature for 12 months from September 5, 2000, by the states and territories that participated in the Multilateral HighLevel Conference on the Conservation and Management of Highly Migratory Fish Stocks in the Western and Central Pacific, namely: Australia, Canada, China, Cook Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Fiji, France, Indonesia, Japan, Republic of Kiribati, Republic of the Marshall Islands, Republic of Nauru, New Zealand, Niue, Republic of Palau, Independent State of Papua New Guinea, Republic of the Philippines, Republic of Korea, Independent State of Samoa, Solomon Islands, Kingdom of Tonga, Tuvalu, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland in respect of Pitcairn, Henderson, Ducie and Oeno Islands, United States of America and Republic of Vanuatu. The depositary for the Convention is the Government of New Zealand. In accordance with the provisions of its article 36, the Convention entered into force on June 19, 2004, 6 months after the deposit of the thirteenth instrument of ratification, acceptance, PO 00000 Frm 00012 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 60795 approval or accession. As of October 2005, the following States had ratified or acceded to the Convention; Australia, China, Cook Islands, European Community, Federated States of Micronesia, Fiji, France, Japan, Korea, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Nauru, New Zealand, Niue, Papua New Guinea, Philippines, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga and Tuvalu. The Convention also contains special arrangements for participation by fishing entities and by territories situated within the Convention Area. In accordance with the Arrangement for the Participation of Fishing Entities, Chinese Taipei has agreed to be bound by the regime established by the Convention in accordance with its article 9, and to participate in the work of the Commission. In accordance with article 43 on the participation of territories, Tokelau, French Polynesia, New Caledonia and Wallis and Futuna are authorized to participate in the Commission and its subsidiary bodies. In accordance with paragraph 1 of article 35, the Convention shall remain open for accession by the States referred to in article 34, paragraph 1, and by any entity referred to in article 305, paragraph 1(c), (d) and (e) of the UNCLOS that is situated in the Convention Area. The Parties to the Convention may, by consensus, invite other States and regional economic integration organizations (e.g. European Union) whose nationals or fishing vessels wish to conduct fishing for HMS stocks in the Convention Area to accede to the Convention. Further background information may be obtained from the Commission’s website, http://www.wcpfc.org Potential NMFS action to implement the Convention Currently the scope of environmental review required under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) for potential NMFS action related to the Convention is undetermined. A Notice of Intent (NOI) to prepare an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) under the authority of the NEPA has not been published. However, by way of this notice and these public meetings, NMFS is seeking public input on potential action by NMFS in the event that the U.S. States Senate ratifies the Convention and Congress enacts legislation that gives authority to the Secretary of Commerce and in turn NMFS to implement the relevant provisions of the Convention. Comments received during these public meetings and written comments received in response to this notice may be considered by NMFS as part of the E:\FR\FM\19OCN1.SGM 19OCN1 60796 Federal Register / Vol. 70, No. 201 / Wednesday, October 19, 2005 / Notices scoping process for subsequent environmental review, such as if NMFS later issues an NOI to prepare an EIS for a proposed action related to the Convention. In the event of ratification of the Convention(in which case the United States would become a member of the Commission) and legislation the need for action would be limited to fulfilling the obligations of the United States with respect to the Convention provisions that are ready for decision-making. Examples of such provisions are in the articles of the Convention relating to: flag state duties; compliance and enforcement; boarding and inspection; port state measures; the implementation of a regional vessel observer program; and regulation and monitoring of transshipments. Commission’s Second Annual Session, December 2005, Pohnpei, Federated States of Micronesia The United States has not ratified the Convention as of this date and thus will participate in the second session of the Commission in December 2005 as a cooperating non-member. Anticipated items of interest at the December 2005 Commission session include the status of bigeye and yellowfin tuna stocks and consideration of conservation and management measures to ensure sustainable use of those stocks, the establishment of the Northern Committee (NC), and the first meeting of the Technical and Compliance Committee (TCC). The first meeting of the Commission’s Scientific Committee (SC), held in Noumea, New Caledonia, in August 2005, resulted in updated stock assessments for the four primary tuna species in the Convention Area. The most recent results for bigeye tuna confirm previous analyses that the current level of fishing mortality is likely greater than the level associated with maximum sustainable yield (MSY). In addition the most recent yellowfin tuna assessment is more pessimistic than previous analyses, and suggests this stock is also subject to a fishing mortality rate greater than the level associated with MSY. As the Commission previously resolved (2004) to adopt conservation and management measures at the 2005 annual session and the SC’s latest assessments suggest overfishing is occurring for two principal tuna stocks in the region, there will be considerable attention given to potential conservation and management measures for these stocks. The NC is to be established as a subsidiary body of the Commission with responsibility to develop VerDate Aug<31>2005 14:50 Oct 18, 2005 Jkt 208001 recommendations for conservation and management measures for those stocks primarily located and fished north of the 20° parallel N. lat. Actions of the NC, once established, may include, in addition to establishing institutional processes for itself, proposing a Memorandum of Understanding between the International Scientific Committee for Tuna and Tuna-like Species in the North Pacific Ocean and the Commission, and recommending that the Commission adopt a resolution to address the sustainable use of albacore tuna in the north Pacific. The first meeting of the Commission’s TCC is to be held immediately prior to the Commission session, and will likely focus on establishing a work plan for future action by the Committee. Other matters of priority will be the development of standards, specifications and procedures for the Commission’s vessel monitoring system, the regional vessel observer program and the United Nations Food and Agricultural Organization Port State Model Scheme. Special Accommodations These meetings are physically accessible to people with disabilities. Requests for sign language interpretation or other auxiliary aids should be directed to Rhea Moss, NMFS, 808–944–2153(voice) or 808– 973–2941 (fax), at least 5 working days prior to the meeting date. Authority: 16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq., and 16 U.S.C. 5501 et seq. Dated: October 14, 2005. Alan D. Risenhoover, Acting Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine Fisheries Service. [FR Doc. 05–20940 Filed 10–18–05; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510–22–S DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration [I.D. 101305A] Endangered Species; File No. 1552 National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Commerce. ACTION: Notice; receipt of application. AGENCY: SUMMARY: Notice is hereby given that the NMFS, Southeast Fisheries Science Center (SEFSC), 75 Virginia Beach Drive, Miami, Florida 33149, has applied in due form for a permit to take green (Chelonia mydas), loggerhead PO 00000 Frm 00013 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 (Caretta caretta), Kemp’s ridley (Lepidochelys kempii), hawksbill (Eretmochelys imbricata), leatherback (Dermochelys coriacea), and olive ridley (Lepidochelys olivacea) sea turtles for purposes of scientific research. DATES: Written, telefaxed, or e-mail comments must be received on or before November 18, 2005. ADDRESSES: The application and related documents are available for review upon written request or by appointment in the following office(s): 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)427–2521; andSoutheast Region, NMFS, 263 13th Avenue South, St. Petersburg, FL 33701; phone (727)824–5312; fax (727)824– 5309. Written comments or requests for a public hearing on this application should be mailed to the Chief, Permits, Conservation and Education Division, F/PR1, Office of Protected Resources, NMFS, 1315 East-West Highway, Room 13705, Silver Spring, MD 20910. Those individuals requesting a hearing should set forth the specific reasons why a hearing on this particular request would be appropriate. Comments may also be submitted by facsimile at (301)427–2521, provided the facsimile is confirmed by hard copy submitted by mail and postmarked no later than the closing date of the comment period. Comments may also be submitted by e-mail. The mailbox address for providing email comments is NMFS.Pr1Comments@noaa.gov. Include in the subject line of the e-mail comment the following document identifier: File No. 1552. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Patrick Opay or Kate Swails, (301)713– 2289. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The subject permit is requested under the authority of 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 222–226). The applicant proposes to handle, measure, weigh, photograph, flipper tag, passive integrated transponder tag, skin biopsy, and release up to 110 green, 550 loggerhead, 195 Kemp’s ridley, 110 hawksbill, 235 leatherback, 110 olive ridley, and 145 unidentified hardshell (combination of green, loggerhead, Kemp’s ridley, hawksbill, olive ridley, or hybrids that would not be able to be identified at the time of capture) sea E:\FR\FM\19OCN1.SGM 19OCN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 70, Number 201 (Wednesday, October 19, 2005)]
[Notices]
[Pages 60794-60796]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 05-20940]



[[Page 60795]]

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DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

[I.D. 101405A]


Fisheries off West Coast States and in the Western Pacific; 
Western Pacific Pelagic Fisheries; Western and Central Pacific 
Fisheries Convention; Public Meetings

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

ACTION: Notice of public meetings; request for comments.

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

SUMMARY: The Pacific Islands Regional Office of NMFS will hold two 
public meetings related to the Convention on the Conservation and 
Management of Highly Migratory Fish Stocks in the Western and Central 
Pacific Ocean (``Convention''). The purposes of the meetings are: to 
seek specific input for the U.S. delegation to the December 2005 
session of the Commission established by the Convention, of which the 
United States is currently a cooperating non-member; and to provide 
general information about, and seek public input on, potential 
regulatory and other actions to be taken by NMFS should the U.S. Senate 
ratify the Convention and the Congress enact implementing legislation.

DATES: The San Diego meeting will be held on November 1, 2005, from 
6:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. The Honolulu meeting will be held November 15, 
2005, from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.

ADDRESSES: The San Diego meeting will be held at the Hyatt Regency 
Islandia, Room Mission B, 1441 Quivira Road, San Diego, CA. The 
Honolulu meeting will be held at the Pacific Islands Regional Office, 
NMFS, 1601 Kapiolani Blvd., Suite 1110, Honolulu, HI. Submit written 
comments to William L. Robinson, Regional Administrator, Pacific 
Islands Regional Office, NMFS, 1601 Kapiolani Blvd., Suite 1110, 
Honolulu, HI 96814. You may submit comments by email to 
pir.wcpfc@noaa.gov or facsimile (fax) to 808-973-2941.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Rhea Moss, NMFS, 808-944-2153.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Background on the Convention

    After over 4 years of complex negotiations among the coastal States 
of the western and central Pacific Ocean and States fishing in that 
region, the Convention was opened for signature at Honolulu on 
September 5, 2000.
    The objective of the Convention is to ensure, through effective 
management, the long-term conservation and sustainable use of highly 
migratory fish stocks in the western and central Pacific Ocean in 
accordance with the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the 
Sea (UNCLOS) and the 1995 United Nations Agreement for the 
Implementation of the Provisions of the UNCLOS of December 10, 1982, 
Relating to the Conservation and Management of Straddling Fish Stocks 
and Highly Migratory Fish Stocks (``UN Fish Stocks Agreement''). For 
this purpose, the Convention establishes, among other things, the 
Commission, and a Secretariat located in Pohnpei, Federated States of 
Micronesia. According to the Convention, the Commission has certain 
responsibilities and functions with respect to the conservation and 
management of highly migratory species (HMS) stocks within the 
Convention Area. Such HMS stocks include fish stocks of the species 
listed in Annex I of the UNCLOS and such other species as the 
Commission may determine. Conservation and management measures under 
the Convention may be applied throughout the range of the stocks, or to 
specific areas within the Convention Area, as determined by the 
Commission.
    The Convention Area is defined in article 3 of the Convention and 
comprises a large area of the Pacific Ocean predominantly west of the 
150[deg] meridian W. long. and north of the 55[deg] parallel S. lat.
    The Convention was open for signature for 12 months from September 
5, 2000, by the states and territories that participated in the 
Multilateral High-Level Conference on the Conservation and Management 
of Highly Migratory Fish Stocks in the Western and Central Pacific, 
namely: Australia, Canada, China, Cook Islands, Federated States of 
Micronesia, Fiji, France, Indonesia, Japan, Republic of Kiribati, 
Republic of the Marshall Islands, Republic of Nauru, New Zealand, Niue, 
Republic of Palau, Independent State of Papua New Guinea, Republic of 
the Philippines, Republic of Korea, Independent State of Samoa, Solomon 
Islands, Kingdom of Tonga, Tuvalu, United Kingdom of Great Britain and 
Northern Ireland in respect of Pitcairn, Henderson, Ducie and Oeno 
Islands, United States of America and Republic of Vanuatu. The 
depositary for the Convention is the Government of New Zealand.
    In accordance with the provisions of its article 36, the Convention 
entered into force on June 19, 2004, 6 months after the deposit of the 
thirteenth instrument of ratification, acceptance, approval or 
accession. As of October 2005, the following States had ratified or 
acceded to the Convention; Australia, China, Cook Islands, European 
Community, Federated States of Micronesia, Fiji, France, Japan, Korea, 
Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Nauru, New Zealand, Niue, Papua New Guinea, 
Philippines, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga and Tuvalu. The Convention 
also contains special arrangements for participation by fishing 
entities and by territories situated within the Convention Area. In 
accordance with the Arrangement for the Participation of Fishing 
Entities, Chinese Taipei has agreed to be bound by the regime 
established by the Convention in accordance with its article 9, and to 
participate in the work of the Commission. In accordance with article 
43 on the participation of territories, Tokelau, French Polynesia, New 
Caledonia and Wallis and Futuna are authorized to participate in the 
Commission and its subsidiary bodies.
    In accordance with paragraph 1 of article 35, the Convention shall 
remain open for accession by the States referred to in article 34, 
paragraph 1, and by any entity referred to in article 305, paragraph 
1(c), (d) and (e) of the UNCLOS that is situated in the Convention 
Area. The Parties to the Convention may, by consensus, invite other 
States and regional economic integration organizations (e.g. European 
Union) whose nationals or fishing vessels wish to conduct fishing for 
HMS stocks in the Convention Area to accede to the Convention.
    Further background information may be obtained from the 
Commission's website, http://www.wcpfc.org

Potential NMFS action to implement the Convention

    Currently the scope of environmental review required under the 
National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) for potential NMFS action 
related to the Convention is undetermined. A Notice of Intent (NOI) to 
prepare an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) under the authority of 
the NEPA has not been published. However, by way of this notice and 
these public meetings, NMFS is seeking public input on potential action 
by NMFS in the event that the U.S. States Senate ratifies the 
Convention and Congress enacts legislation that gives authority to the 
Secretary of Commerce and in turn NMFS to implement the relevant 
provisions of the Convention. Comments received during these public 
meetings and written comments received in response to this notice may 
be considered by NMFS as part of the

[[Page 60796]]

scoping process for subsequent environmental review, such as if NMFS 
later issues an NOI to prepare an EIS for a proposed action related to 
the Convention.
    In the event of ratification of the Convention(in which case the 
United States would become a member of the Commission) and legislation 
the need for action would be limited to fulfilling the obligations of 
the United States with respect to the Convention provisions that are 
ready for decision-making. Examples of such provisions are in the 
articles of the Convention relating to: flag state duties; compliance 
and enforcement; boarding and inspection; port state measures; the 
implementation of a regional vessel observer program; and regulation 
and monitoring of transshipments.

Commission's Second Annual Session, December 2005, Pohnpei, Federated 
States of Micronesia

    The United States has not ratified the Convention as of this date 
and thus will participate in the second session of the Commission in 
December 2005 as a cooperating non-member. Anticipated items of 
interest at the December 2005 Commission session include the status of 
bigeye and yellowfin tuna stocks and consideration of conservation and 
management measures to ensure sustainable use of those stocks, the 
establishment of the Northern Committee (NC), and the first meeting of 
the Technical and Compliance Committee (TCC).
    The first meeting of the Commission's Scientific Committee (SC), 
held in Noumea, New Caledonia, in August 2005, resulted in updated 
stock assessments for the four primary tuna species in the Convention 
Area. The most recent results for bigeye tuna confirm previous analyses 
that the current level of fishing mortality is likely greater than the 
level associated with maximum sustainable yield (MSY). In addition the 
most recent yellowfin tuna assessment is more pessimistic than previous 
analyses, and suggests this stock is also subject to a fishing 
mortality rate greater than the level associated with MSY. As the 
Commission previously resolved (2004) to adopt conservation and 
management measures at the 2005 annual session and the SC's latest 
assessments suggest overfishing is occurring for two principal tuna 
stocks in the region, there will be considerable attention given to 
potential conservation and management measures for these stocks.
    The NC is to be established as a subsidiary body of the Commission 
with responsibility to develop recommendations for conservation and 
management measures for those stocks primarily located and fished north 
of the 20[deg] parallel N. lat. Actions of the NC, once established, 
may include, in addition to establishing institutional processes for 
itself, proposing a Memorandum of Understanding between the 
International Scientific Committee for Tuna and Tuna-like Species in 
the North Pacific Ocean and the Commission, and recommending that the 
Commission adopt a resolution to address the sustainable use of 
albacore tuna in the north Pacific.
    The first meeting of the Commission's TCC is to be held immediately 
prior to the Commission session, and will likely focus on establishing 
a work plan for future action by the Committee. Other matters of 
priority will be the development of standards, specifications and 
procedures for the Commission's vessel monitoring system, the regional 
vessel observer program and the United Nations Food and Agricultural 
Organization Port State Model Scheme.

Special Accommodations

    These meetings are physically accessible to people with 
disabilities. Requests for sign language interpretation or other 
auxiliary aids should be directed to Rhea Moss, NMFS, 808-944-
2153(voice) or 808-973-2941 (fax), at least 5 working days prior to the 
meeting date.

    Authority: 16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq., and 16 U.S.C. 5501 et seq.

    Dated: October 14, 2005.
Alan D. Risenhoover,
Acting Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine 
Fisheries Service.
[FR Doc. 05-20940 Filed 10-18-05; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 3510-22-S