Atlantic Coastal Fisheries Cooperative Management Act Provisions; Application for Exempted Fishing Permits, 17834-17836 [E6-5119]

Download as PDF 17834 Federal Register / Vol. 71, No. 67 / Friday, April 7, 2006 / Notices DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE International Trade Administration North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), Article 1904 Binational Panel Reviews: Notice of Stay of Panel Review NAFTA Secretariat, United States Section, International Trade Administration, Department of Commerce. AGENCY: Notice of Stay of Panel Review of the Final Results of Full Sunset Review made by the International Trade Commission, respecting Gray Portland Cement and Clinker from Mexico, Secretariat File No. USA–MEX–2000– 1904–10. SUMMARY: Pursuant to the negotiated settlement between the United States and Mexican industries, the panel proceedings of the above noted case is stayed as of April 3, 2006 until April 1, 2009. A panel was appointed to this panel review and no further action will be taken in the administration of this case effective April 3, 2006 through April 1, 2009. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Caratina L. Alston, United States Secretary, NAFTA Secretariat, Suite 2061, 14th and Constitution Avenue, Washington, DC 20230, (202) 482–5438. Chapter 19 of the North American Free-Trade Agreement (‘‘Agreement’’) establishes a mechanism to replace domestic judicial review of final determinations in antidumping and countervailing duty cases involving imports from a NAFTA country with review by independent binational panels. When a Request for Panel Review is filed, a panel is established to act in place of national courts to review expeditiously the final determination to determine whether it conforms with the antidumping or countervailing duty law of the country that made the determination. Under Article 1904 of the Agreement, which came into force on January 1, 1994, the Government of the United States, the Government of Canada and the Government of Mexico established Rules of Procedure for Article 1904 Binational Panel Reviews (‘‘Rules’’). These Rules were published in the Federal Register on February 23, 1994 (59 FR 8686). The panel review in this matter was requested pursuant to these Rules, stayed in accordance with the settlement agreement. wwhite on PROD1PC61 with NOTICES VerDate Aug<31>2005 19:13 Apr 06, 2006 Jkt 208001 BILLING CODE 3510–GT–P DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE Rules and terminated in accordance with the settlement agreement. Dated: April 3, 2006. Caratina L. Alston, United States Secretary, NAFTA Secretariat. [FR Doc. E6–5072 Filed 4–6–06; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510–GT–P International Trade Administration ACTION: SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Dated: April 3, 2006. Caratina L. Alston, United States Secretary, NAFTA Secretariat. [FR Doc. E6–5071 Filed 4–6–06; 8:45 am] DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), Article 1904 Binational Panel Reviews: Notice of Termination of Panel Review National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration NAFTA Secretariat, United States Section, International Trade Administration, Department of Commerce. ACTION: Notice of Termination of Panel Review of the final antidumping duty administrative review of the dumping order made by the International Trade Administration, respecting Gray Portland Cement and Clinker from Mexico, 14th Administrative Review (Secretariat File No. USA–MEX–2006– 1904–03). Atlantic Coastal Fisheries Cooperative Management Act Provisions; Application for Exempted Fishing Permits AGENCY: Pursuant to the negotiated settlement between the United States and Mexican industries, the panel review of the above noted case is terminated as of April 3, 2006. No panel has been appointed to this panel review. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Caratina L. Alston, United States Secretary, NAFTA Secretariat, Suite 2061, 14th and Constitution Avenue, Washington, DC 20230, (202) 482–5438. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Chapter 19 of the North American Free-Trade Agreement (‘‘Agreement’’) establishes a mechanism to replace domestic judicial review of final determinations in antidumping and countervailing duty cases involving imports from a NAFTA country with review by independent binational panels. When a Request for Panel Review is filed, a panel is established to act in place of national courts to review expeditiously the final determination to determine whether it conforms with the antidumping or countervailing duty law of the country that made the determination. Under Article 1904 of the Agreement, which came into force on January 1, 1994, the Government of the United States, the Government of Canada and the Government of Mexico established Rules of Procedure for Article 1904 Binational Panel Reviews (‘‘Rules’’). These Rules were published in the Federal Register on February 23, 1994 (59 FR 8686). The panel review in this matter was requested pursuant to these SUMMARY: PO 00000 Frm 00030 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 [I.D. 040306B] National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), NationalOceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Commerce. ACTION: Notification of a request for Exempted Fishing Permits to conduct experimental fishing; request for comments. AGENCY: SUMMARY: This Exempted Fishing Permit (EFP) application is a continuation of a collaborative project involving the University of New Hampshire (UNH), Durham, New Hampshire (NH); the Lobster Conservancy, Friendship, Maine; the New England Aquarium, Boston, Massachusetts; and the Atlantic Offshore Lobstermen’s Association, Candia, NH. The EFP proposes to continue monitoring a total of 150 legal sized egg bearing female lobsters (berried lobsters) carrying early-stage eggs until the eggs mature and are released. Each berried lobster will be tagged and fitted with a small ambient temperature recording device (Tidbit temperature-loggers) and then the movement and egg-development stages of these tagged berried lobsters will be documented. When a tagged berried lobster is recaptured in commercial lobster gear, participating lobstermen will download thermal data from the attached Tidbit temperature-logger, and also preserve a maximum of 10 eggs from each tagged berried lobster to allow researchers to estimate the egg developmental stage and time to maturity. The tagged berried lobsters will then be released unharmed. The EFP would waive the prohibition on removal of eggs specified at 50 CFR 697.7(c)(1)(iv) for a maximum of 16 participating vessels and is limited to the 150 pre-tagged berried lobsters in this project. The Director, State, Federal and Constituent Programs Office, Northeast E:\FR\FM\07APN1.SGM 07APN1 wwhite on PROD1PC61 with NOTICES Federal Register / Vol. 71, No. 67 / Friday, April 7, 2006 / Notices Region, NMFS (Office Director) has made a preliminary determination that the subject EFP application contains all the required information and warrants further consideration. The Office Director has also made a preliminary determination that the activities authorized under the EFPs would be consistent with the goals and objectives of Federal management of the American lobster resource. However, further review and consultation may be necessary before a final determination is made to issue EFPs. Therefore, NMFS announces that the Office Director proposes to issue EFPs that would allow a maximum of 16 Federally permitted commercial fishing vessels to participate in the continuation of a project designed to monitor the movement of berried lobsters in two inshore locations in the vicinity of Portsmouth, New Hampshire, and Friendship, Maine, and in two offshore locations along the northern edge of Georges Bank and in Corsair and Lydonia Canyons to the southeast of Georges Bank. This project would not involve the authorization of any additional trap gear, and all trap gear would conform to existing Federal lobster regulations. There would be no anticipated adverse effects on protected resources or habitat as a result of this research. Therefore, this document invites comments on the issuance of EFPs to allow a maximum of 16 commercial fishing vessels in possession of Federal lobster permits to remove a maximum of 10 eggs each time any one of the 150 tagged berried lobsters are captured during the course of normal fishing operations in the designated study areas. DATES: Comments on this lobster EFP notification for berried lobster monitoring and data collection must be received on or before April 24, 2006. ADDRESSES: Written comments should be sent to Patricia A. Kurkul, Regional Administrator, NMFS, Northeast Regional Office, 1 Blackburn Drive, Gloucester, MA 01930–2298. Mark the outside of the envelope ‘‘Comments Lobster EFP Proposal’’. Comments also may be sent via facsimile (fax) to 978– 281–9117. Comments on the Lobster EFP Proposal may be submitted by email. The mailbox address for providing e-mail comments is Lobster2006@noaa.gov. Include in the subject line of the e-mail comment the following document identifier: ‘‘Comments - Lobster EFP Proposal’’. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Bob Ross, Fishery Management Specialist, (978) 281–9234, fax (978)-281–9117. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: VerDate Aug<31>2005 19:13 Apr 06, 2006 Jkt 208001 Background The regulations that govern exempted fishing, at 50 CFR 600.745(b) and 697.22 allow the Regional Administrator to authorize for limited testing, public display, data collection, exploration, health and safety, environmental cleanup, and/or hazardous removal purposes, and the targeting or incidental harvest of managed species that would otherwise be prohibited. An EFP to authorize such activity may be issued, provided there is adequate opportunity for the public to comment on the EFP application, the conservation goals and objectives of Federal management of the American lobster resource are not compromised, and issuance of the EFP is beneficial to the management of the species. The American lobster fishery is one of the most valuable fisheries in the northeastern United States. In 2004, approximately 75 million pounds (34,169 metric tons (mt)) of American lobster were landed with an ex-vessel value of approximately 315 million dollars. Operating under the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission’s interstate management process, American lobster are managed in state waters under Amendment 3 to the American Lobster Interstate Fishery Management Plan (Amendment 3). In Federal waters of the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ), lobster is managed under Federal regulations at 50 CFR part 697. Amendment 3, and compatible Federal regulations established a framework for area management, which includes industry participation in the development of a management program which suits the needs of each lobster management area while meeting targets established in the Interstate Fisheries Management Program. The industry, through area management teams, with the support of state agencies, have played a vital role in advancing the area management program. American lobster experience very high fishing mortality rates throughout their range, from Canada to Cape Hatteras, North Carolina. Although harvest and population abundance are near record levels due to high recent recruitment and favorable environmental conditions, there is significant risk of a sharp drop in abundance, and such a decline would have serious implications. To facilitate the development of effective management tools, extensive monitoring and detailed data on the biology and composition of lobsters throughout the range of the resource are necessary. To facilitate effective management, this proposed EFP would monitor egg PO 00000 Frm 00031 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 17835 growth and development of tagged berried lobsters in four study areas using traditional lobster trap gear. Proposed EFP The EFP proposes to continue the collection of statistical and scientific information as part of a project, originally announced in the Federal Register on October 21, 2004 (69 FR 19165), that is designed to monitor the movement of tagged berried lobsters to collect data that will assist in the assessment of the lobster resource and in the development of management practices appropriate to the fishery. Participants in this project are funded by, and under the direction of the Northeast Consortium, a group of four research institutions (University of New Hampshire, University of Maine, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution) which are working together to foster this initiative. Each of the maximum of 16 commercial fishing vessels in possession of Federal lobster permits involved in this monitoring and data collection program would collect temperature data and a maximum of 10 eggs from each tagged berried lobster harvested using traditional lobster trap gear. Participating vessels would collect data from each of the four general study areas in the vicinity of Portsmouth, New Hampshire, and Friendship, Maine, the northern edge of Georges Bank and in the vicinity of Corsair and Lydonia Canyons along the southern edge of Georges Bank. This EFP would not involve the authorization of any additional lobster trap gear in the study areas. The participating vessels may retain on deck tagged egg bearing female lobsters, in addition to legal lobsters, for the purpose of collecting temperature data from the attached Tidbit temperature-loggers, and for the purpose of collecting a maximum of 10 eggs from each tagged berried lobster to allow researchers to estimate the egg developmental stage and time to maturity. All berried lobsters would be returned to the sea as quickly as possible after data collection. Pursuant to 50 CFR 600.745(b)(3)(v), the Regional Administrator may attach terms and conditions to the EFP consistent with the purpose of the exempted fishing. This project would not involve the authorization of any additional lobster trap gear. All traps fished by the participating vessels would comply with all applicable lobster regulations specified at 50 CFR part 697. To allow for the collection of temperature data and the removal of a maximum of 10 eggs from each tagged berried lobster, E:\FR\FM\07APN1.SGM 07APN1 17836 Federal Register / Vol. 71, No. 67 / Friday, April 7, 2006 / Notices the EFP would waive the American lobster prohibition on removal of eggs specified at 50 CFR 697.7(c)(1)(iv). All sample collections would be conducted by a maximum of 16 federally permitted commercial fishing vessels, during the course of regular commercial fishing operations. There would not be observers or researchers onboard every participating vessel. This project, including the lobster handling protocols, was initially developed in consultation with University of New Hampshire scientists. To the greatest extent practicable, these handling protocols are designed to avoid unnecessary adverse environmental impact on lobsters involved in this project, while achieving the data collection objectives of this project. Authority: 16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq. Dated: April 3, 2006. Alan D. Risenhoover, Acting Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine Fisheries Service. [FR Doc. E6–5119 Filed 4–6–06; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510–22–S DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration [I.D. 033006D] Taking and Importing of Marine Mammals National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Commerce. ACTION: Notice; affirmative finding renewal. wwhite on PROD1PC61 with NOTICES AGENCY: SUMMARY: The Assistant Administrator for Fisheries, NMFS, (Assistant Administrator) has renewed the affirmative finding for the Government of Spain under the Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA). This affirmative finding will allow yellowfin tuna harvested in the Eastern Tropical Pacific Ocean (ETP) in compliance with the International Dolphin Conservation Program (IDCP) by Spanish-flag purse seine vessels or purse seine vessels operating under Spanish jurisdiction to be imported into the United States. The affirmative finding was based on review of documentary evidence submitted by the Government of Spain and obtained from the Inter-American Tropical Tuna Commission (IATTC) and the U.S. Department of State. VerDate Aug<31>2005 19:13 Apr 06, 2006 Jkt 208001 The renewal is effective from April 1, 2006, through March 31, 2007. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Regional Administrator, Southwest Region, NMFS, 501 West Ocean Boulevard, Suite 4200, Long Beach, CA 90802–4213; phone 562–980–4000; fax 562–980–4018. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The MMPA, 16 U.S.C. 1361 et seq., allows the entry into the United States of yellowfin tuna harvested by purse seine vessels in the ETP under certain conditions. If requested by the harvesting nation, the Assistant Administrator will determine whether to make an affirmative finding based upon documentary evidence provided by the government of the harvesting nation, the IATTC, or the Department of State. The affirmative finding process requires that the harvesting nation is meeting its obligations under the IDCP and obligations of membership in the IATTC. Every 5 years, the government of the harvesting nation must request an affirmative finding and submit the required documentary evidence directly to the Assistant Administrator. On an annual basis, NMFS will review the affirmative finding and determine whether the harvesting nation continues to meet the requirements. A nation may provide information related to compliance with IDCP and IATTC measures directly to NMFS on an annual basis or may authorize the IATTC to release the information to NMFS to annually renew an affirmative finding determination without an application from the harvesting nation. An affirmative finding will be terminated, in consultation with the Secretary of State, if the Assistant Administrator determines that the requirements of 50 CFR 216.24(f) are no longer being met or that a nation is consistently failing to take enforcement actions on violations, thereby diminishing the effectiveness of the IDCP. As a part of the affirmative finding process set forth in 50 CFR 216.24(f), the Assistant Administrator considered documentary evidence submitted by the Government of Spain or obtained from the IATTC and the Department of State and has determined that Spain has met the MMPA’s requirements to receive an annual affirmative finding renewal. After consultation with the Department of State, the Assistant Administrator issued the Government of Spain’s annual affirmative finding renewal, allowing the continued importation into the United States of yellowfin tuna and products derived DATES: PO 00000 Frm 00032 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 from yellowfin tuna harvested in the ETP by Spanish-flag purse seine vessels or purse seine vessels operating under Spanish jurisdiction. Spain’s affirmative finding will remain valid through March 31, 2010, subject to subsequent annual reviews by NMFS. Dated: April 3, 2006. James W. Balsiger, Acting Assistant Administrator for Fisheries, National Marine Fisheries Service. [FR Doc. E6–5120 Filed 4–6–06; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510–22–S DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration [I.D. 033006C] Taking and Importing of Marine Mammals National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Commerce. ACTION: Notice; affirmative finding renewal. AGENCY: SUMMARY: The Assistant Administrator for Fisheries, NMFS, (Assistant Administrator) has renewed the affirmative finding for the Government of Mexico under the Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA). This affirmative finding will allow yellowfin tuna harvested in the Eastern Tropical Pacific Ocean(ETP) in compliance with the International Dolphin Conservation Program (IDCP) by Mexican-flag purse seine vessels or purse seine vessels operating under Mexican jurisdiction to be imported into the United States. The affirmative finding was based on review of documentary evidence submitted by the Government of Mexico and obtained from the Inter-American Tropical Tuna Commission (IATTC) and the U.S. Department of State. DATES: The renewal is effective from April 1, 2006, through March 31, 2007. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Regional Administrator, Southwest Region, NMFS, 501 West Ocean Boulevard, Suite 4200, Long Beach, CA 90802–4213; phone 562–980–4000; fax 562–980–4018. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The MMPA, 16 U.S.C. 1361 et seq., allows the entry into the United States of yellowfin tuna harvested by purse seine vessels in the ETP under certain conditions. If requested by the harvesting nation, the Assistant Administrator will determine whether to make an affirmative finding based E:\FR\FM\07APN1.SGM 07APN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 71, Number 67 (Friday, April 7, 2006)]
[Notices]
[Pages 17834-17836]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: E6-5119]


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

DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

[I.D. 040306B]


Atlantic Coastal Fisheries Cooperative Management Act Provisions; 
Application for Exempted Fishing Permits

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

ACTION: Notification of a request for Exempted Fishing Permits to 
conduct experimental fishing; request for comments.

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

SUMMARY: This Exempted Fishing Permit (EFP) application is a 
continuation of a collaborative project involving the University of New 
Hampshire (UNH), Durham, New Hampshire (NH); the Lobster Conservancy, 
Friendship, Maine; the New England Aquarium, Boston, Massachusetts; and 
the Atlantic Offshore Lobstermen's Association, Candia, NH. The EFP 
proposes to continue monitoring a total of 150 legal sized egg bearing 
female lobsters (berried lobsters) carrying early-stage eggs until the 
eggs mature and are released. Each berried lobster will be tagged and 
fitted with a small ambient temperature recording device (Tidbit 
temperature-loggers) and then the movement and egg-development stages 
of these tagged berried lobsters will be documented. When a tagged 
berried lobster is recaptured in commercial lobster gear, participating 
lobstermen will download thermal data from the attached Tidbit 
temperature-logger, and also preserve a maximum of 10 eggs from each 
tagged berried lobster to allow researchers to estimate the egg 
developmental stage and time to maturity. The tagged berried lobsters 
will then be released unharmed. The EFP would waive the prohibition on 
removal of eggs specified at 50 CFR 697.7(c)(1)(iv) for a maximum of 16 
participating vessels and is limited to the 150 pre-tagged berried 
lobsters in this project.
    The Director, State, Federal and Constituent Programs Office, 
Northeast

[[Page 17835]]

Region, NMFS (Office Director) has made a preliminary determination 
that the subject EFP application contains all the required information 
and warrants further consideration. The Office Director has also made a 
preliminary determination that the activities authorized under the EFPs 
would be consistent with the goals and objectives of Federal management 
of the American lobster resource. However, further review and 
consultation may be necessary before a final determination is made to 
issue EFPs. Therefore, NMFS announces that the Office Director proposes 
to issue EFPs that would allow a maximum of 16 Federally permitted 
commercial fishing vessels to participate in the continuation of a 
project designed to monitor the movement of berried lobsters in two 
inshore locations in the vicinity of Portsmouth, New Hampshire, and 
Friendship, Maine, and in two offshore locations along the northern 
edge of Georges Bank and in Corsair and Lydonia Canyons to the 
southeast of Georges Bank.
    This project would not involve the authorization of any additional 
trap gear, and all trap gear would conform to existing Federal lobster 
regulations. There would be no anticipated adverse effects on protected 
resources or habitat as a result of this research. Therefore, this 
document invites comments on the issuance of EFPs to allow a maximum of 
16 commercial fishing vessels in possession of Federal lobster permits 
to remove a maximum of 10 eggs each time any one of the 150 tagged 
berried lobsters are captured during the course of normal fishing 
operations in the designated study areas.

DATES: Comments on this lobster EFP notification for berried lobster 
monitoring and data collection must be received on or before April 24, 
2006.

ADDRESSES: Written comments should be sent to Patricia A. Kurkul, 
Regional Administrator, NMFS, Northeast Regional Office, 1 Blackburn 
Drive, Gloucester, MA 01930-2298. Mark the outside of the envelope 
``Comments - Lobster EFP Proposal''. Comments also may be sent via 
facsimile (fax) to 978-281-9117. Comments on the Lobster EFP Proposal 
may be submitted by e-mail. The mailbox address for providing e-mail 
comments is Lobster2006@noaa.gov. Include in the subject line of the e-
mail comment the following document identifier: ``Comments - Lobster 
EFP Proposal''.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Bob Ross, Fishery Management 
Specialist, (978) 281-9234, fax (978)-281-9117.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Background

    The regulations that govern exempted fishing, at 50 CFR 600.745(b) 
and 697.22 allow the Regional Administrator to authorize for limited 
testing, public display, data collection, exploration, health and 
safety, environmental clean-up, and/or hazardous removal purposes, and 
the targeting or incidental harvest of managed species that would 
otherwise be prohibited. An EFP to authorize such activity may be 
issued, provided there is adequate opportunity for the public to 
comment on the EFP application, the conservation goals and objectives 
of Federal management of the American lobster resource are not 
compromised, and issuance of the EFP is beneficial to the management of 
the species.
    The American lobster fishery is one of the most valuable fisheries 
in the northeastern United States. In 2004, approximately 75 million 
pounds (34,169 metric tons (mt)) of American lobster were landed with 
an ex-vessel value of approximately 315 million dollars. Operating 
under the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission's interstate 
management process, American lobster are managed in state waters under 
Amendment 3 to the American Lobster Interstate Fishery Management Plan 
(Amendment 3). In Federal waters of the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ), 
lobster is managed under Federal regulations at 50 CFR part 697. 
Amendment 3, and compatible Federal regulations established a framework 
for area management, which includes industry participation in the 
development of a management program which suits the needs of each 
lobster management area while meeting targets established in the 
Interstate Fisheries Management Program. The industry, through area 
management teams, with the support of state agencies, have played a 
vital role in advancing the area management program.
    American lobster experience very high fishing mortality rates 
throughout their range, from Canada to Cape Hatteras, North Carolina. 
Although harvest and population abundance are near record levels due to 
high recent recruitment and favorable environmental conditions, there 
is significant risk of a sharp drop in abundance, and such a decline 
would have serious implications. To facilitate the development of 
effective management tools, extensive monitoring and detailed data on 
the biology and composition of lobsters throughout the range of the 
resource are necessary. To facilitate effective management, this 
proposed EFP would monitor egg growth and development of tagged berried 
lobsters in four study areas using traditional lobster trap gear.

Proposed EFP

    The EFP proposes to continue the collection of statistical and 
scientific information as part of a project, originally announced in 
the Federal Register on October 21, 2004 (69 FR 19165), that is 
designed to monitor the movement of tagged berried lobsters to collect 
data that will assist in the assessment of the lobster resource and in 
the development of management practices appropriate to the fishery. 
Participants in this project are funded by, and under the direction of 
the Northeast Consortium, a group of four research institutions 
(University of New Hampshire, University of Maine, Massachusetts 
Institute of Technology, and Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution) 
which are working together to foster this initiative.
    Each of the maximum of 16 commercial fishing vessels in possession 
of Federal lobster permits involved in this monitoring and data 
collection program would collect temperature data and a maximum of 10 
eggs from each tagged berried lobster harvested using traditional 
lobster trap gear. Participating vessels would collect data from each 
of the four general study areas in the vicinity of Portsmouth, New 
Hampshire, and Friendship, Maine, the northern edge of Georges Bank and 
in the vicinity of Corsair and Lydonia Canyons along the southern edge 
of Georges Bank. This EFP would not involve the authorization of any 
additional lobster trap gear in the study areas. The participating 
vessels may retain on deck tagged egg bearing female lobsters, in 
addition to legal lobsters, for the purpose of collecting temperature 
data from the attached Tidbit temperature-loggers, and for the purpose 
of collecting a maximum of 10 eggs from each tagged berried lobster to 
allow researchers to estimate the egg developmental stage and time to 
maturity. All berried lobsters would be returned to the sea as quickly 
as possible after data collection. Pursuant to 50 CFR 600.745(b)(3)(v), 
the Regional Administrator may attach terms and conditions to the EFP 
consistent with the purpose of the exempted fishing.
    This project would not involve the authorization of any additional 
lobster trap gear. All traps fished by the participating vessels would 
comply with all applicable lobster regulations specified at 50 CFR part 
697. To allow for the collection of temperature data and the removal of 
a maximum of 10 eggs from each tagged berried lobster,

[[Page 17836]]

the EFP would waive the American lobster prohibition on removal of eggs 
specified at 50 CFR 697.7(c)(1)(iv). All sample collections would be 
conducted by a maximum of 16 federally permitted commercial fishing 
vessels, during the course of regular commercial fishing operations. 
There would not be observers or researchers onboard every participating 
vessel.
    This project, including the lobster handling protocols, was 
initially developed in consultation with University of New Hampshire 
scientists. To the greatest extent practicable, these handling 
protocols are designed to avoid unnecessary adverse environmental 
impact on lobsters involved in this project, while achieving the data 
collection objectives of this project.

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

    Dated: April 3, 2006.
Alan D. Risenhoover,
Acting Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine 
Fisheries Service.
[FR Doc. E6-5119 Filed 4-6-06; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 3510-22-S