Endangered and Threatened Species; Revision of Species of Concern List, Candidate Species Definition, and Candidate Species List, 61022-61025 [E6-17249]

Download as PDF 61022 Federal Register / Vol. 71, No. 200 / Tuesday, October 17, 2006 / Notices advancements since 2003, standardization of monitoring and assessment efforts, and gaps in our understanding of the species’ long-term trends. At this time, we are formally announcing a status review of the black abalone. This species was harvested commercially and recreationally beginning in the mid–1800s with significant declines detected in the late 1970s, and withering syndrome continues to be a threat to the species. Comments Solicited To support this status review, we are soliciting information on the following topics: (1) long-term trends in abundance throughout the species range; (2) potential factors for the species’ decline throughout its range (e.g., overharvesting, natural predation, disease, habitat loss etc.); (3) status of the black abalone fishery in Mexico; (4) implication of low population size for black abalone conservation; (5) factors important for black abalone management; (6) current estimate of population size and available habitat; (7) knowledge of various life history parameters (size/age at maturity, fecundity, length of larval stage, larval dispersal dynamics, etc.); and (8) projections on population growth or decline and risk of extinction. See DATES and ADDRESSES for guidance on how, by when, and where to send information. Dated: October 10, 2006. James H. Lecky, Director, Office of Protected Resources, National Marine Fisheries Service. [FR Doc. E6–17247 Filed 10–16–06; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510–22–S DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration [I.D. 101106D] Endangered and Threatened Species; Revision of Species of Concern List, Candidate Species Definition, and Candidate Species List National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Commerce. ACTION: Notice; revision of species of concern list, candidate species definition, and species considered as candidates. bajohnson on PROD1PC69 with NOTICES AGENCY: SUMMARY: We, NMFS, revise: our species of concern list by adding three and removing six species; our definition of candidate species; and our candidate species list by adding four species and VerDate Aug<31>2005 04:06 Oct 18, 2006 Jkt 211001 removing two. We solicit information and comments on the status of, and research and stewardship opportunities for, species of concern. DATES: These actions are effective on October 17, 2006. ADDRESSES: Send comments and documentation regarding the status of any species of concern to the Chief of Endangered Species, NMFS, Office of Protected Resources, 1315 East-West Highway, F/PR3, Silver Spring, MD 20910. Comments may also be submitted by e-mail at soc.list@noaa.gov. Include in the subject line of the e-mail comment the following document identifier: Species of Concern List. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Marta Nammack at (301)713–1401, ext. 180, marta.nammack@noaa.gov, for general information on the Species of Concern program; Kim Damon-Randall at (978) 281–9300 x6535, kimberly.damon-randall@noaa.gov, for information on the newly designated species of concern. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The regulations implementing section 4 of the ESA (5 U.S.C. 1533) define ‘‘candidate’’ as ‘‘any species being considered by the Secretary [of Commerce or Interior] for listing as an endangered or a threatened species, but not yet the subject of a proposed rule’’ (50 CFR 424.02). Such a designation does not confer any procedural or substantive protections of the ESA on the candidate species. ‘‘Species of concern’’ are species about which we have some concerns regarding status and threats, but for which insufficient information is available to indicate a need to list the species under the ESA (69 FR 19975; April 15, 2004). Species can qualify as both species of concern and candidate species. This discussion is limited to species under NMFS jurisdiction and does not apply to the regulatory practices of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Definition of Candidate Species On April 15, 2004, (69 FR 19975) we stated that we would limit use of the term ‘‘candidate species’’ to refer to (1) species that are the subject of a petition to list and for which we have determined that listing may be warranted, pursuant to section 4(b)(3)(A), and (2) species for which we have determined, following a status review, that listing is warranted (whether or not they are the subject of a petition). However, in order to be consistent, we intend to include nonpetitioned species for which we have PO 00000 Frm 00009 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 announced the initiation of a formal status review in our definition of candidate species. ‘‘Candidate species’’ will henceforth refer to (1) species that are the subject of a petition to list and for which we have determined that listing may be warranted, pursuant to section 4(b)(3)(A), and (2) species that are not the subject of a petition but for which we have announced the initiation of a status review in the Federal Register. In other words, any species that is undergoing a status review that we have announced in a Federal Register notice will be considered a candidate species. Species of Concern In our April 15, 2004, notice establishing the species of concern list (69 FR 19975), we described factors that we consider when identifying species of concern. Rationale for identifying each species of concern is available at http:// www.nmfs.noaa.gov/pr/species/concern. We intend to publish annual updates of our species of concern list in the Federal Register. Table 1 at the end of this Notice lists the current species of concern. We are adding three species to and removing six species from the species of concern list. Also, two species are removed from the candidate species list, while four species of concern are added to the candidate list because they are undergoing formal status reviews. Initiation of a status review does not mean that an ESA listing is imminent. Even after a status review has been conducted, it is possible that the available information will be insufficient to make a determination on the status of the species or that the information will indicate that an ESA listing is not warranted. Species of concern status serves to promote conservation and research efforts for these species. Adding Three Species of Concern We have identified three new species of concern: the porbeagle (Lamna nasus), alewife (Alosa pseudoharengus), and blueback herring (Alosa aestivalis). A short synopsis of their status and factors for decline are presented here. More detailed information on these species is available at http:// www.nmfs.noaa.gov/pr/species/ concern/. The porbeagle is a slow growing coastal shark, with a relatively late age at maturity. It has been overfished over the last four decades, resulting in a 90 percent loss of the sexually mature population. In 2006 the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources assessed the status of E:\FR\FM\17OCN1.SGM 17OCN1 Federal Register / Vol. 71, No. 200 / Tuesday, October 17, 2006 / Notices bajohnson on PROD1PC69 with NOTICES this species as Vulnerable globally, Endangered in the Northwest Atlantic, and Critically Endangered in the Northeast Atlantic and Mediterranean. In May 2004, the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada recommended to the Canadian Minister of Fisheries that this species be listed as endangered under the Species at Risk Act. While the Highly Migratory Species Fishery Management Plan includes fishery restrictions for sharks in the United States, none of these restrictions, except for an annual quota of 92 metric tons, are specific to the porbeagle. The alewife and blueback herring are fishes collectively referred to as ‘‘river herring.’’ Due to difficulties in distinguishing the two species, they are often harvested and managed together. Landings statistics and the numbers of fish observed on annual spawning runs indicate a drastic decline in river herring populations throughout much of their range since the mid–1960s. Though factors responsible for this decline have yet to be identified, decreased access to spawning areas from the construction of dams, other impediments to migration, degradation of habitat, overfishing, and increased predation by recovering striped bass populations have likely contributed to their decline. Removing Six Species We have removed six species from the species of concern list. The southern distinct population segment (DPS) of green sturgeon (Acipenser medirostris), Lower Columbia River coho salmon evolutionarily significant unit (ESU) (Oncorhynchus kisutch), elkhorn coral (Acropora palmata), and staghorn coral (Acropora cervicornis) are being removed from this list because we have listed them as threatened (green sturgeon—67 FR 17757; April 7, 2006), (coho--70 FR 37160; June 28, 2005), (elkhorn coral and staghorn coral—71 FR 26852; May 9, 2006). We are removing the goliath grouper (Epinephelus itajara) from the species of concern list because the January 2006 status report written by a review team appointed by NMFS’ Southeast Region indicated that the species no longer met the criteria for being a species of concern (January 17, 2006, memorandum from Roy Crabtree, Regional Administrator, Southeast Region, to Jim Lecky; February 10, 2006, concurrence by Jim Lecky, Director, Office of Protected Resources). And the Oregon Coast coho salmon (Oncorhynchus kisutch) ESU is no longer a species of concern because, after proposing to list the species as threatened under the ESA, we withdrew VerDate Aug<31>2005 04:06 Oct 18, 2006 Jkt 211001 the proposal because of ongoing conservation efforts that are likely to improve the status of this species (71 FR 3033; January 19, 2006). Candidate Species Since we last published an updated species of concern list, there have also been changes to the candidate species list. Two former species of concern that were also candidate species because of ongoing status reviews are no longer species of concern or candidate species: the Lower Columbia River coho salmon ESU and the Oregon Coast coho salmon ESU. As described above, these species are no longer species of concern, and they are also no longer candidate species. New Candidate Species We are adding four species to the candidate species list. Since we are now including as candidate species those species for which we have initiated our own formal status reviews, the following three species are now considered to be candidate species: Atlantic sturgeon (Acipenser oxyrinchus oxyrinchus, this Federal Register notice), Atlantic salmon populations in Maine outside the range of the listed Gulf of Maine DPS (Salmo salar, 71 FR 55431; September 22, 2006), and black abalone (Haliotis cracherodii, announced in this issue of the Federal Register). The Cook Inlet DPS of the beluga whale (Delphinapterus leucas) is also a candidate species both because announced the initiation of a status review (71 FR 14836; March 24, 2006), and we also made a 90–day finding that the subsequent petition to list the species presented substantial information indicating that the petitioned action may be warranted (71 FR 44614; August 7, 2006). Atlantic sturgeon In 1998, in response to a petition to list Atlantic sturgeon under the ESA, NMFS and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) published a determination that listing the species was not warranted at that time (63 FR 50187; September 21, 1998). NMFS also retained this species on its candidate species list in order to continue to monitor its status (63 FR 50211; September 21, 1998) and later transferred it to its newly established species of concern list (69 FR 19975; April 15, 2004). In 2005, following two separate workshops which highlighted ongoing concerns regarding the current status of Atlantic sturgeon, NMFS initiated a new status review. We formed a biological review team (BRT) comprised of representatives from PO 00000 Frm 00010 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 61023 NMFS, FWS, and the U.S. Geological Survey to compile information on the status of Atlantic sturgeon. The BRT drafted a status review report which is undergoing peer review at this time. We expect to use the status review report to make a determination on whether listing Atlantic sturgeon or distinct population segments of this species is warranted at this time. Atlantic salmon A BRT consisting of biologists from the Maine Atlantic Salmon Commission, Penobscot Indian Nation, NMFS, and FWS has completed a status review report for Atlantic salmon Status Review for Anadromous Atlantic Salmon (Salmo salar) in the United States, July 2006). This updates the 1999 status review report on which we based our determination to list the Gulf of Maine DPS of Atlantic salmon as endangered (65 FR 69459; November 17, 2000) by analyzing new information and assessing the status of other populations in Maine in relation to the Gulf of Maine DPS. We published a Notice of Availability for the status review report in the Federal Register (71 FR 55431; September 22, 2006), and we will publish our determination on whether a modification to the existing listing or a new listing is warranted. Species of Concern Table Table 1 contains a complete list of NMFS’ species of concern. In Table 1, the common name appears as the first entry followed by the scientific name, the family name, and the area of concern. The area of concern denotes the general geographic range of the species or the vertebrate population for which concern has been expressed. Results of status reviews may narrow or expand the geographic areas or populations of concern in the future. Additionally, species of concern that are also considered to be candidate species because they are undergoing formal status reviews are denoted in boldface type. It is important to note that the species of concern list is limited by the information available. Any species of concern identified during the period between this revision and the next Federal Register publication will be listed on our web page (http:// www.nmfs.noaa.gov/pr/species/ concern). Comments Solicited We solicit information on the biology of, threats to, and relevant research and stewardship opportunities for species of concern (see ADDRESSES). This information will help guide us in future revisions of the species of concern list E:\FR\FM\17OCN1.SGM 17OCN1 61024 Federal Register / Vol. 71, No. 200 / Tuesday, October 17, 2006 / Notices and allocation of resources for species of concern. There is no deadline for submitting such information. Dated: October 10, 2006. James H. Lecky, Director, Office of Protected Resources,National Marine Fisheries Service. TABLE 1 - SPECIES OF CONCERN LIST Common Name Scientific Name 1 Family Area of Concern Delphinapterus leucas Monodontidae Pacific-AK (Cook Inlet population). sand tiger shark Odontaspis taurus Odontaspididae Atlantic, Gulf of Mexico. porbeagle Lamna nasus Lamnidae Atlantic, Newfoundland, Canada to New Jersey dusky shark Carcharhinus obscurus Carcharhinidae Atlantic, Gulf of Mexico-Western North Atlantic DPS. night shark Carcharinus signatus Carcharhinidae Atlantic, Gulf of Mexico. largetooth sawfish Pristis pristis Pristidae Atlantic-TX, FL. barndoor skate Pristis pristis Rajidae Atlantic-Newfoundland, Canada to Cape Hatteras, NC. thorny skate Raja radiata Rajidae Atlantic-West Greenland to NY. Atlantic sturgeon Acipenser oxyrinchus oxyrinchus Acipenseridae Atlantic-Labrador to St. Johns R., FL; anadromous. green sturgeon Acipenser medirostris Acipenseridae Pacific-northern DPS (including coastal spawning populations from the Eel River north, to the Klamath and Rogue rivers); anadromous. blueback herring Alosa aestivalis Clupeidae Atlantic-Cape Breton, Nova Scotia, to St. John’s River, FL. Alabama shad Alosa alabamae Clupeidae Gulf of Mexico-AL, FL, anadromous. alewife Alosa pseudoharengus Clupeidae Atlantic-Newfoundland to North Carolina. coho salmon Oncorhynchus kisutch Salmonidae Pacific-Puget Sound/Strait of Georgia coho ESU; anadromous. steelhead trout Oncorhynchus mykiss Salmonidae Pacific-OR Coast ESU; anadromous. Chinook salmon Oncorhynchus tshawytscha Salmonidae Pacific-Central Valley fall and late fall-run ESU Atlantic salmon Salmo salar Salmonidae Atlantic-Gulf of Maine (other populations in streams and rivers in Maine outside the range of the listed Gulf of Maine Atlantic salmon DPS); anadromous. rainbow smelt Osmerus mordax Osmeridae Atlantic-Labrador to NJ; anadromous. cusk Brosme brosme Gadidae Atlantic-Gulf of Maine. Pacific hake Merluccius productus Gadidae Pacific-Georgia Basin DPS. mangrove rivulus Rivulus marmoratus Aplocheilidae Atlantic-FL, estuarine. saltmarsh topminnow Fundulus jenkinsi Cyprinodontidae Atlantic-TX, LA, MS, AL, FL. key silverside Menidia conchorum Atherinidae Atlantic-Florida Keys. opossum pipefish Microphis brachyurus lineatus Syngnathidae Atlantic-Florida (Indian River Lagoon). striped croaker Bairdiella sanctaeluciae Sciaenidae Atlantic-FL, Antilles and Caribbean from Costa Rica to Guyana. humphead wrasse Cheilinus undulatus Labridae Indo-Pacific-Red Sea to the Tuamotus, north to the Ryukyus, east to Wake Islands, south to New Caledonia, throughout Micronesia; includes U.S. territories of Guam and American Samoa. Marine Mammals beluga whale bajohnson on PROD1PC69 with NOTICES Fishes VerDate Aug<31>2005 04:06 Oct 18, 2006 Jkt 211001 PO 00000 Frm 00011 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 E:\FR\FM\17OCN1.SGM 17OCN1 61025 Federal Register / Vol. 71, No. 200 / Tuesday, October 17, 2006 / Notices TABLE 1 - SPECIES OF CONCERN LIST—Continued Common Name Scientific Name Family Area of Concern 1 bumphead parrotfish Bolbometopon muricatum Scaridae Indo-Pacific-Red Sea and East Africa to the Line Islands and Samoa; north to Yaeyama, south to the Great Barrier Reef and New Caledonia; Paulau, Caroline, Mariana in Micronesia; in U.S. it occurs in Guam, American Samoa, CNMI and the Pacific Remote Island Areas (Wake Islands). Atlantic wolffish Anarhichas lupus Anarhichadidae Atlantic-Georges Bank and western Gulf of Maine. white marlin Tetrapturus albidus Istiophoridae Atlantic. cowcod Sebastes levis Scorpaenidae Pacific-Central OR to central Baja California and Guadalupe Island, Mexico. bocaccio Sebastes paucispinis Scorpaenidae Pacific-Southern DPS (Northern CA to Mexico). Atlantic halibut Hippoglossus hippoglossus Pleuronectidae Atlantic-Labrador to southern New England. speckled hind Epinephelus drummondhayi Serranidae Atlantic-NC to Gulf of Mexico. warsaw grouper Epinephelus nigritus Serranidae Atlantic-MA southward to Gulf of Mexico. Nassau grouper Epinephelus striatus Serranidae Atlantic-NC southward to Gulf of Mexico. Lingula reevii Lingulidae Pacific-Hawaii, only Kaneohe Bay. pink abalone Haliotis corrugata Haliotidae Pacific-Point Conception, CA, to Bahia de Tortuga, Baja California. black abalone Haliotis cracherodii Haliotidae Pacific-OR, CA, Baja California. green abalone Haliotis fulgens Haliotidae Pacific-Point Conception, CA, to Bahia Magdalena, Baja California. pinto abalone Haliotis kamtschatkana Haliotidae Pacific-Sitka, AK, to Point Conception, CA. Hawaiian reef coral Montipora dilitata Acroporidae Pacific-Hawaii (Kaneohe Bay, Midway atoll, and Maro Reef). ivory bush coral Oculina varicosa Oculinidae Atlantic-West Indies, Bermuda, NC, FL, Gulf of Mexico, Caribbean. Brachiopoda inarticulate brachiopod Mollusks Anthozoans (Corals) 1 Defines the general geographic area or populations of concern for the species. DPS = distinct population segment, which is a species for purposes of the ESA. ESU = evolutionarily significant unit, which is a DPS or species for purposes of the ESA [FR Doc. E6–17249 Filed 10–16–06; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510–22–S Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Commerce. ACTION: DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration bajohnson on PROD1PC69 with NOTICES [I.D. 101206A] Magnuson-Stevens Act Provisions; General Provisions for Domestic Fisheries; Application for Exempted Fishing Permits National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), National Oceanic and AGENCY: VerDate Aug<31>2005 04:06 Oct 18, 2006 Jkt 211001 Notice; request for comments. SUMMARY: The Assistant Regional Administrator for Sustainable Fisheries, Northeast Region, NMFS (Assistant Regional Administrator) has made a preliminary determination that the subject exempted fishing permit (EFP) application contains all the required information and warrants further consideration. The Assistant Regional Administrator has also made a preliminary determination that the activities authorized under the EFP would be consistent with the goals and PO 00000 Frm 00012 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 objectives of the Northeast (NE) Multispecies Fishery Management Plan (FMP). Based on preliminary review of this project, a Categorical Exclusion (CE) from requirements to prepare either an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) or an Environmental Assessment (EA) under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) appears to be justified. However, further review and consultation may be necessary before a final determination is made to issue the EFP. Therefore, NMFS announces that the Assistant Regional Administrator proposes to recommend that an EFP be issued that would allow two commercial fishing vessels to conduct E:\FR\FM\17OCN1.SGM 17OCN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 71, Number 200 (Tuesday, October 17, 2006)]
[Notices]
[Pages 61022-61025]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: E6-17249]


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DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

[I.D. 101106D]


Endangered and Threatened Species; Revision of Species of Concern 
List, Candidate Species Definition, and Candidate Species List

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

ACTION:  Notice; revision of species of concern list, candidate species 
definition, and species considered as candidates.

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

SUMMARY: We, NMFS, revise: our species of concern list by adding three 
and removing six species; our definition of candidate species; and our 
candidate species list by adding four species and removing two. We 
solicit information and comments on the status of, and research and 
stewardship opportunities for, species of concern.

DATES: These actions are effective on October 17, 2006.

ADDRESSES: Send comments and documentation regarding the status of any 
species of concern to the Chief of Endangered Species, NMFS, Office of 
Protected Resources, 1315 East-West Highway, F/PR3, Silver Spring, MD 
20910. Comments may also be submitted by e-mail at soc.list@noaa.gov. 
Include in the subject line of the e-mail comment the following 
document identifier: Species of Concern List.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Marta Nammack at (301)713-1401, ext. 
180, marta.nammack@noaa.gov, for general information on the Species of 
Concern program; Kim Damon-Randall at (978) 281-9300 x6535, 
kimberly.damon-randall@noaa.gov, for information on the newly 
designated species of concern.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The regulations implementing section 4 of 
the ESA (5 U.S.C. 1533) define ``candidate'' as ``any species being 
considered by the Secretary [of Commerce or Interior] for listing as an 
endangered or a threatened species, but not yet the subject of a 
proposed rule'' (50 CFR 424.02). Such a designation does not confer any 
procedural or substantive protections of the ESA on the candidate 
species.
     ``Species of concern'' are species about which we have some 
concerns regarding status and threats, but for which insufficient 
information is available to indicate a need to list the species under 
the ESA (69 FR 19975; April 15, 2004). Species can qualify as both 
species of concern and candidate species. This discussion is limited to 
species under NMFS jurisdiction and does not apply to the regulatory 
practices of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

Definition of Candidate Species

    On April 15, 2004, (69 FR 19975) we stated that we would limit use 
of the term ``candidate species'' to refer to (1) species that are the 
subject of a petition to list and for which we have determined that 
listing may be warranted, pursuant to section 4(b)(3)(A), and (2) 
species for which we have determined, following a status review, that 
listing is warranted (whether or not they are the subject of a 
petition). However, in order to be consistent, we intend to include 
non-petitioned species for which we have announced the initiation of a 
formal status review in our definition of candidate species. 
``Candidate species'' will henceforth refer to (1) species that are the 
subject of a petition to list and for which we have determined that 
listing may be warranted, pursuant to section 4(b)(3)(A), and (2) 
species that are not the subject of a petition but for which we have 
announced the initiation of a status review in the Federal Register. In 
other words, any species that is undergoing a status review that we 
have announced in a Federal Register notice will be considered a 
candidate species.

Species of Concern

    In our April 15, 2004, notice establishing the species of concern 
list (69 FR 19975), we described factors that we consider when 
identifying species of concern. Rationale for identifying each species 
of concern is available at http://www.nmfs.noaa.gov/pr/species/concern. 
We intend to publish annual updates of our species of concern list in 
the Federal Register. Table 1 at the end of this Notice lists the 
current species of concern. We are adding three species to and removing 
six species from the species of concern list. Also, two species are 
removed from the candidate species list, while four species of concern 
are added to the candidate list because they are undergoing formal 
status reviews.
    Initiation of a status review does not mean that an ESA listing is 
imminent. Even after a status review has been conducted, it is possible 
that the available information will be insufficient to make a 
determination on the status of the species or that the information will 
indicate that an ESA listing is not warranted. Species of concern 
status serves to promote conservation and research efforts for these 
species.

Adding Three Species of Concern

    We have identified three new species of concern: the porbeagle 
(Lamna nasus), alewife (Alosa pseudoharengus), and blueback herring 
(Alosa aestivalis). A short synopsis of their status and factors for 
decline are presented here. More detailed information on these species 
is available at http://www.nmfs.noaa.gov/pr/species/concern/.
    The porbeagle is a slow growing coastal shark, with a relatively 
late age at maturity. It has been overfished over the last four 
decades, resulting in a 90 percent loss of the sexually mature 
population. In 2006 the International Union for Conservation of Nature 
and Natural Resources assessed the status of

[[Page 61023]]

this species as Vulnerable globally, Endangered in the Northwest 
Atlantic, and Critically Endangered in the Northeast Atlantic and 
Mediterranean. In May 2004, the Committee on the Status of Endangered 
Wildlife in Canada recommended to the Canadian Minister of Fisheries 
that this species be listed as endangered under the Species at Risk 
Act. While the Highly Migratory Species Fishery Management Plan 
includes fishery restrictions for sharks in the United States, none of 
these restrictions, except for an annual quota of 92 metric tons, are 
specific to the porbeagle.
    The alewife and blueback herring are fishes collectively referred 
to as ``river herring.'' Due to difficulties in distinguishing the two 
species, they are often harvested and managed together. Landings 
statistics and the numbers of fish observed on annual spawning runs 
indicate a drastic decline in river herring populations throughout much 
of their range since the mid-1960s. Though factors responsible for this 
decline have yet to be identified, decreased access to spawning areas 
from the construction of dams, other impediments to migration, 
degradation of habitat, overfishing, and increased predation by 
recovering striped bass populations have likely contributed to their 
decline.

Removing Six Species

    We have removed six species from the species of concern list. The 
southern distinct population segment (DPS) of green sturgeon (Acipenser 
medirostris), Lower Columbia River coho salmon evolutionarily 
significant unit (ESU) (Oncorhynchus kisutch), elkhorn coral (Acropora 
palmata), and staghorn coral (Acropora cervicornis) are being removed 
from this list because we have listed them as threatened (green 
sturgeon--67 FR 17757; April 7, 2006), (coho--70 FR 37160; June 28, 
2005), (elkhorn coral and staghorn coral--71 FR 26852; May 9, 2006). We 
are removing the goliath grouper (Epinephelus itajara) from the species 
of concern list because the January 2006 status report written by a 
review team appointed by NMFS' Southeast Region indicated that the 
species no longer met the criteria for being a species of concern 
(January 17, 2006, memorandum from Roy Crabtree, Regional 
Administrator, Southeast Region, to Jim Lecky; February 10, 2006, 
concurrence by Jim Lecky, Director, Office of Protected Resources). And 
the Oregon Coast coho salmon (Oncorhynchus kisutch) ESU is no longer a 
species of concern because, after proposing to list the species as 
threatened under the ESA, we withdrew the proposal because of ongoing 
conservation efforts that are likely to improve the status of this 
species (71 FR 3033; January 19, 2006).

Candidate Species

    Since we last published an updated species of concern list, there 
have also been changes to the candidate species list. Two former 
species of concern that were also candidate species because of ongoing 
status reviews are no longer species of concern or candidate species: 
the Lower Columbia River coho salmon ESU and the Oregon Coast coho 
salmon ESU. As described above, these species are no longer species of 
concern, and they are also no longer candidate species.

New Candidate Species

    We are adding four species to the candidate species list. Since we 
are now including as candidate species those species for which we have 
initiated our own formal status reviews, the following three species 
are now considered to be candidate species: Atlantic sturgeon 
(Acipenser oxyrinchus oxyrinchus, this Federal Register notice), 
Atlantic salmon populations in Maine outside the range of the listed 
Gulf of Maine DPS (Salmo salar, 71 FR 55431; September 22, 2006), and 
black abalone (Haliotis cracherodii, announced in this issue of the 
Federal Register). The Cook Inlet DPS of the beluga whale 
(Delphinapterus leucas) is also a candidate species both because 
announced the initiation of a status review (71 FR 14836; March 24, 
2006), and we also made a 90-day finding that the subsequent petition 
to list the species presented substantial information indicating that 
the petitioned action may be warranted (71 FR 44614; August 7, 2006).

Atlantic sturgeon

    In 1998, in response to a petition to list Atlantic sturgeon under 
the ESA, NMFS and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) published a 
determination that listing the species was not warranted at that time 
(63 FR 50187; September 21, 1998). NMFS also retained this species on 
its candidate species list in order to continue to monitor its status 
(63 FR 50211; September 21, 1998) and later transferred it to its newly 
established species of concern list (69 FR 19975; April 15, 2004). In 
2005, following two separate workshops which highlighted ongoing 
concerns regarding the current status of Atlantic sturgeon, NMFS 
initiated a new status review. We formed a biological review team (BRT) 
comprised of representatives from NMFS, FWS, and the U.S. Geological 
Survey to compile information on the status of Atlantic sturgeon. The 
BRT drafted a status review report which is undergoing peer review at 
this time. We expect to use the status review report to make a 
determination on whether listing Atlantic sturgeon or distinct 
population segments of this species is warranted at this time.

Atlantic salmon

    A BRT consisting of biologists from the Maine Atlantic Salmon 
Commission, Penobscot Indian Nation, NMFS, and FWS has completed a 
status review report for Atlantic salmon Status Review for Anadromous 
Atlantic Salmon (Salmo salar) in the United States, July 2006). This 
updates the 1999 status review report on which we based our 
determination to list the Gulf of Maine DPS of Atlantic salmon as 
endangered (65 FR 69459; November 17, 2000) by analyzing new 
information and assessing the status of other populations in Maine in 
relation to the Gulf of Maine DPS. We published a Notice of 
Availability for the status review report in the Federal Register (71 
FR 55431; September 22, 2006), and we will publish our determination on 
whether a modification to the existing listing or a new listing is 
warranted.

Species of Concern Table

    Table 1 contains a complete list of NMFS' species of concern. In 
Table 1, the common name appears as the first entry followed by the 
scientific name, the family name, and the area of concern. The area of 
concern denotes the general geographic range of the species or the 
vertebrate population for which concern has been expressed. Results of 
status reviews may narrow or expand the geographic areas or populations 
of concern in the future. Additionally, species of concern that are 
also considered to be candidate species because they are undergoing 
formal status reviews are denoted in boldface type. It is important to 
note that the species of concern list is limited by the information 
available. Any species of concern identified during the period between 
this revision and the next Federal Register publication will be listed 
on our web page (http://www.nmfs.noaa.gov/pr/species/concern).

Comments Solicited

    We solicit information on the biology of, threats to, and relevant 
research and stewardship opportunities for species of concern (see 
ADDRESSES). This information will help guide us in future revisions of 
the species of concern list

[[Page 61024]]

and allocation of resources for species of concern. There is no 
deadline for submitting such information.

    Dated: October 10, 2006.
James H. Lecky,
Director, Office of Protected Resources,National Marine Fisheries 
Service.

                                        Table 1 - Species of Concern List
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
             Common Name                  Scientific Name           Family             Area of Concern \1\
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Marine Mammals                         .....................  .................  ...............................
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
beluga whale                           Delphinapterus leucas  Monodontidae       Pacific-AK (Cook Inlet
                                                                                  population).
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Fishes                                 .....................  .................  ...............................
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
sand tiger shark                       Odontaspis taurus      Odontaspididae     Atlantic, Gulf of Mexico.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
porbeagle                              Lamna nasus            Lamnidae           Atlantic, Newfoundland, Canada
                                                                                  to New Jersey
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
dusky shark                            Carcharhinus obscurus  Carcharhinidae     Atlantic, Gulf of Mexico-
                                                                                  Western North Atlantic DPS.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
night shark                            Carcharinus signatus   Carcharhinidae     Atlantic, Gulf of Mexico.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
largetooth sawfish                     Pristis pristis        Pristidae          Atlantic-TX, FL.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
barndoor skate                         Pristis pristis        Rajidae            Atlantic-Newfoundland, Canada
                                                                                  to Cape Hatteras, NC.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
thorny skate                           Raja radiata           Rajidae            Atlantic-West Greenland to NY.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Atlantic sturgeon                      Acipenser oxyrinchus   Acipenseridae      Atlantic-Labrador to St. Johns
                                        oxyrinchus                                R., FL; anadromous.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
green sturgeon                         Acipenser medirostris  Acipenseridae      Pacific-northern DPS (including
                                                                                  coastal spawning populations
                                                                                  from the Eel River north, to
                                                                                  the Klamath and Rogue rivers);
                                                                                  anadromous.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
blueback herring                       Alosa aestivalis       Clupeidae          Atlantic-Cape Breton, Nova
                                                                                  Scotia, to St. John's River,
                                                                                  FL.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Alabama shad                           Alosa alabamae         Clupeidae          Gulf of Mexico-AL, FL,
                                                                                  anadromous.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
alewife                                Alosa pseudoharengus   Clupeidae          Atlantic-Newfoundland to North
                                                                                  Carolina.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
coho salmon                            Oncorhynchus kisutch   Salmonidae         Pacific-Puget Sound/Strait of
                                                                                  Georgia coho ESU; anadromous.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
steelhead trout                        Oncorhynchus mykiss    Salmonidae         Pacific-OR Coast ESU;
                                                                                  anadromous.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Chinook salmon                         Oncorhynchus           Salmonidae         Pacific-Central Valley fall and
                                        tshawytscha                               late fall-run ESU
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Atlantic salmon                        Salmo salar            Salmonidae         Atlantic-Gulf of Maine (other
                                                                                  populations in streams and
                                                                                  rivers in Maine outside the
                                                                                  range of the listed Gulf of
                                                                                  Maine Atlantic salmon DPS);
                                                                                  anadromous.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
rainbow smelt                          Osmerus mordax         Osmeridae          Atlantic-Labrador to NJ;
                                                                                  anadromous.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
cusk                                   Brosme brosme          Gadidae            Atlantic-Gulf of Maine.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Pacific hake                           Merluccius productus   Gadidae            Pacific-Georgia Basin DPS.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
mangrove rivulus                       Rivulus marmoratus     Aplocheilidae      Atlantic-FL, estuarine.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
saltmarsh topminnow                    Fundulus jenkinsi      Cyprinodontidae    Atlantic-TX, LA, MS, AL, FL.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
key silverside                         Menidia conchorum      Atherinidae        Atlantic-Florida Keys.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
opossum pipefish                       Microphis brachyurus   Syngnathidae       Atlantic-Florida (Indian River
                                        lineatus                                  Lagoon).
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
striped croaker                        Bairdiella             Sciaenidae         Atlantic-FL, Antilles and
                                        sanctaeluciae                             Caribbean from Costa Rica to
                                                                                  Guyana.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
humphead wrasse                        Cheilinus undulatus    Labridae           Indo-Pacific-Red Sea to the
                                                                                  Tuamotus, north to the
                                                                                  Ryukyus, east to Wake Islands,
                                                                                  south to New Caledonia,
                                                                                  throughout Micronesia;
                                                                                  includes U.S. territories of
                                                                                  Guam and American Samoa.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

[[Page 61025]]

 
bumphead parrotfish                    Bolbometopon           Scaridae           Indo-Pacific-Red Sea and East
                                        muricatum                                 Africa to the Line Islands and
                                                                                  Samoa; north to Yaeyama, south
                                                                                  to the Great Barrier Reef and
                                                                                  New Caledonia; Paulau,
                                                                                  Caroline, Mariana in
                                                                                  Micronesia; in U.S. it occurs
                                                                                  in Guam, American Samoa, CNMI
                                                                                  and the Pacific Remote Island
                                                                                  Areas (Wake Islands).
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Atlantic wolffish                      Anarhichas lupus       Anarhichadidae     Atlantic-Georges Bank and
                                                                                  western Gulf of Maine.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
white marlin                           Tetrapturus albidus    Istiophoridae      Atlantic.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
cowcod                                 Sebastes levis         Scorpaenidae       Pacific-Central OR to central
                                                                                  Baja California and Guadalupe
                                                                                  Island, Mexico.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
bocaccio                               Sebastes paucispinis   Scorpaenidae       Pacific-Southern DPS (Northern
                                                                                  CA to Mexico).
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Atlantic halibut                       Hippoglossus           Pleuronectidae     Atlantic-Labrador to southern
                                        hippoglossus                              New England.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
speckled hind                          Epinephelus            Serranidae         Atlantic-NC to Gulf of Mexico.
                                        drummondhayi
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
warsaw grouper                         Epinephelus nigritus   Serranidae         Atlantic-MA southward to Gulf
                                                                                  of Mexico.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Nassau grouper                         Epinephelus striatus   Serranidae         Atlantic-NC southward to Gulf
                                                                                  of Mexico.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Brachiopoda                            .....................  .................  ...............................
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
inarticulate brachiopod                Lingula reevii         Lingulidae         Pacific-Hawaii, only Kaneohe
                                                                                  Bay.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Mollusks                               .....................  .................  ...............................
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
pink abalone                           Haliotis corrugata     Haliotidae         Pacific-Point Conception, CA,
                                                                                  to Bahia de Tortuga, Baja
                                                                                  California.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
black abalone                          Haliotis cracherodii   Haliotidae         Pacific-OR, CA, Baja
                                                                                  California.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
green abalone                          Haliotis fulgens       Haliotidae         Pacific-Point Conception, CA,
                                                                                  to Bahia Magdalena, Baja
                                                                                  California.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
pinto abalone                          Haliotis               Haliotidae         Pacific-Sitka, AK, to Point
                                        kamtschatkana                             Conception, CA.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Anthozoans (Corals)                    .....................  .................  ...............................
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Hawaiian reef coral                    Montipora dilitata     Acroporidae        Pacific-Hawaii (Kaneohe Bay,
                                                                                  Midway atoll, and Maro Reef).
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
ivory bush coral                       Oculina varicosa       Oculinidae         Atlantic-West Indies, Bermuda,
                                                                                  NC, FL, Gulf of Mexico,
                                                                                  Caribbean.
 
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
\1\ Defines the general geographic area or populations of concern for the species.
DPS = distinct population segment, which is a species for purposes of the ESA.
ESU = evolutionarily significant unit, which is a DPS or species for purposes of the ESA

[FR Doc. E6-17249 Filed 10-16-06; 8:45 am]
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