Atlantic Highly Migratory Species (HMS); Atlantic Shark Management Measures; Research Fishery, 35834-35835 [E8-13960]

Download as PDF 35834 Federal Register / Vol. 73, No. 122 / Tuesday, June 24, 2008 / Notices National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration RIN 0648–XH17 Atlantic Highly Migratory Species (HMS); Atlantic Shark Management Measures; Research Fishery National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Commerce. ACTION: Notice of intent; request for applications. ebenthall on PRODPC60 with NOTICES2 AGENCY: SUMMARY: NMFS announces its request for applications for the 2008 shark research fishery from commercial shark fishermen. The shark research fishery will allow for the collection of fisherydependent data for future stock assessments while also allowing NMFS and commercial fishermen to conduct cooperative research to meet the shark research objectives for the Agency. Only commercial vessels participating in the shark research fishery would be able to land sandbar sharks. These vessels would also land non-sandbar large coastal sharks (LCS), small coastal sharks (SCS), and pelagic sharks. Commercial vessels not participating in the shark research fishery may only land non-sandbar LCS, SCS, and pelagic sharks. Commercial shark fishermen who are interested in participating in the shark research fishery need to submit a completed Shark Research Fishery Permit Application in order to be considered. Generally, these permits will be valid through December 31, 2008, unless otherwise specified, subject to the terms and conditions of individual permits. DATES: Shark Research Fishery Applications must be received no latter than 5 p.m., local time, on July 15, 2008. ADDRESSES: Please submit completed applications to the HMS Management Division at: • Mail: HMS Management Division (F/ SF1), NMFS, 1315 East-West Highway, Silver Spring, MD 20910. • Fax: (301) 713–1917 For copies of the Shark Research Fishery Application please write to the HMS Management Division at the address listed above, or call (301) 713– 2347 (phone), or (301) 713–1917 (fax). Copies of the Shark Research Fishery Application are also available at the HMS website at http:// www.nmfs.noaa.gov/sfa/hms/index.htm. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: LeAnn Southward Hogan or Jess Beck, at (301) 713–2347 (phone) or (301) 713– 1917 (fax). VerDate Aug<31>2005 14:20 Jun 23, 2008 Jkt 214001 The Atlantic shark fisheries are managed under the authority of the MagnusonStevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (Magnuson-Stevens Act). The Consolidated HMS Fishery Management Plan (FMP) is implemented by regulations at 50 CFR part 635. The final rule for Amendment 2 to the Consolidated HMS FMP (published in the Rules section of today’s Federal Register) established, among other things, a shark research fishery to maintain time series data for stock assessments and to meet NMFS’ 2008 research objectives. The shark research fishery also allows selected commercial fishermen the opportunity to earn revenue from selling more sharks, including sandbar sharks, than allowed in the rest of the commercial shark fishery. Only the commercial shark fishermen selected to participate in the shark research fishery would be able to land/harvest sandbars subject to the sandbar quota available for each year (87.9 mt dw/year through December 31, 2012; 116.6 mt dw/year as of January 1, 2013). The selected commercial shark fishermen would also have access to the non-sandbar LCS, SCS, and pelagic shark quotas. Commercial shark fishermen not participating in the shark research fishery may land non-sandbar LCS, SCS, and pelagic sharks subject to quotas and the retention limits per 50 CFR 635.27 and 635.24, respectively. In order to participate in the shark research fishery, commercial shark fishermen need to submit a completed Shark Research Fishery Application showing the vessel and owner(s) meet the specific criteria outlined below. Research Objectives Each year, NMFS will determine the research objectives for the upcoming shark research fishery. The research objectives are developed by a shark board, which is comprised of representatives within NMFS including representatives from the Southeast Fisheries Science Center (SEFSC) Panama City Laboratory, Northeast Fisheries Science Center (NEFSC) Narragansett Laboratory, the Southeast Regional Office of Protected Resources Division (SERO\PRD), and the HMS Management Division. The research objectives of the shark research fishery are primarily based on the research needs identified in shark stock assessments. Many of the research objectives for 2008 come from the Southeast Data, Assessment and Review (SEDAR) 11, 2005/2006 LCS stock assessment. These objectives were developed with input from non- governmental organizations, industry representatives, fishery managers, and academics present during the stock assessment workshops. In addition, the shark board identified additional needs for tagging studies, collection of genetic material, and controlled bottom longline (BLL) experiments to assess the impact of different hook types. Specifically, the research objectives for 2008 are to: • collect reproductive and age data from sandbar sharks throughout the calendar year; • collect reproductive and age data for Gulf of Mexico blacktip sharks for determination of the reproductive cycle (i.e., annual or biennial frequency); • collect reproductive and age data from all species of sharks for additional species-specific assessments; • monitor the size distribution of sandbar sharks and other species captured in the fishery; • continue on-going tagging programs for identification of migration corridors and stock structure; • maintain time-series of abundance from previously derived indices for the shark BLL observer program; • acquire fin-clip samples of all species for genetic analysis; • attach satellite archival tags to endangered smalltooth sawfish to provide information on critical habitat and preferred depth; • attach satellite archival tags to prohibited dusky sharks to provide information on daily and seasonal movement patterns, and preferred depth; and, • evaluate the effects of controlled gear experiments in order to determine the effects of potential hook changes to prohibited species interactions and fishery yields. Selection Criteria Shark Research Fishery Applications will only be accepted from commercial shark fishermen that hold a current directed or incidental limited access permit. The Shark Research Fishery Application includes, but is not limited to, a request for the following information: type of commercial shark permit possessed; past participation in the commercial shark fishery; past involvement and compliance with HMS observer programs per 50 CFR 635.7; past compliance with HMS regulations at 50 CFR part 635; availability to participate in the shark research fishery; willingness to fish in the regions and season requested; willingness to attend necessary meetings regarding the objectives and research protocols of the shark research fishery; and willingness to carry out the research objectives of the Agency. An applicant that has been SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE PO 00000 Frm 00001 Fmt 4701 Sfmt 4703 E:\FR\FM\24JNN2.SGM 24JNN2 Federal Register / Vol. 73, No. 122 / Tuesday, June 24, 2008 / Notices charged criminally or civilly (i.e., issued a Notice of Violation and Assessment (NOVA) or Notice of Permit Sanction) for any HMS related violation will not be considered for participation in the shark research fishery. In addition, applicants that were selected to carry an observer in the previous two years for any HMS fishery, but failed to communicate with NMFS observer programs in order to arrange the placement of an observer before commencing any fishing trip that would have resulted in the incidental catch or harvest of any Atlantic HMS, per 50 CFR 635.7, will not be considered for participation in the 2008 shark research fishery. This includes applicants that were selected to carry an observer in the previous two years for any HMS fishery and failed to comply with all the observer regulations per 50 CFR 635.7, including failure to provide adequate sleeping accommodations per 50 CFR 635.7(e)(1), a sufficiently sized survival craft per 50 CFR 600.746(f)(6), or failure to pass a USCG safety examination per 50 CFR 600.746(c)(2). Exceptions will be made for applicants that were selected for HMS observer coverage but did not fish in the quarter when selected. Applicants that have been noncompliant with any of the HMS observer program regulations in the previous two years, as described above, may be eligible for future participation in shark research fishery activities by demonstrating compliance with observer regulations at 50 CFR 635.7. Selection Process ebenthall on PRODPC60 with NOTICES2 NMFS will review all submitted applications that are deemed complete and develop a list of qualified applicants. A qualified applicant is an VerDate Aug<31>2005 14:20 Jun 23, 2008 Jkt 214001 applicant that has submitted a complete application and has met the selection criteria detailed above. Qualified applicants are eligible to be selected by the SEFSC to participate in the shark research fishery for 2008. NMFS will provide the list of qualified applicants to the SEFSC. The SEFSC will then evaluate the list of qualified applicants and, based on the temporal and spatial needs of the research objectives, the availability of qualified applicants, and the available quota for a given year, will randomly select approximately 10 qualified applicants to conduct the prescribed research. If deemed necessary, NMFS may hold a public meeting to allow the public to witness the selection of shark research permit recipients from the qualified applicant pool. If a public meeting is held, the public is welcome to observe the selection process, but will not be allowed to participate in or comment during the selection process. If a public meeting is deemed necessary, NMFS will announce details of a public selection meeting in a subsequent Federal Register notice. Once the selection process is complete, NMFS will notify the selected applicants and issue the shark research fishery permits. If needed, NMFS will communicate with the shark research fishery permit holders to arrange a captain’s meeting to discuss the research objectives and protocols. The shark research permit holders must contact the NMFS observer coordinator to arrange the placement of a NMFSapproved observer for each shark research trip. A shark research permit will only be valid for the vessel and owner(s) and terms and conditions listed on the PO 00000 Frm 00002 Fmt 4701 Sfmt 4703 35835 permit, and thus, cannot be transferred to another vessel or owner(s). Issuance of a shark research permit does not guarantee that the permit holder will be assigned a NMFS-approved observer on any particular trip. Rather, issuance indicates that a vessel may be issued a NMFS-approved observer for a particular trip, and on such trips, may be allowed to harvest Atlantic sharks, including sandbar sharks, in excess of the retention limits described in 50 CFR 635.24(a). The vessel would still be able to participate land non-sandbar, SCS, and pelagic sharks subject to existing retention limits on trips without a NMFS-approved observer. The shark research permit may be revoked or modified at any time and does not confer the right to engage in activities beyond those listed on the shark research fishery permit. Commercial shark permit holders (directed and incidental) are invited to submit an application to participate in the shark research fishery on an annual basis. Permit applications can be found on the HMS Management Division’s website at: http://www.nmfs.noaa.gov/ sfa/hms/index.htm or by calling (301) 713–2347. Final decisions on the issuance of a shark research fishery permit will depend on the submission of all required information, and NMFS’ review of applicant information as outlined above. Authority: 16 U.S.C. 971 et seq. and 16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq. Dated: June 16, 2008. Alan D. Risenhoover Director Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine Fisheries Service. [FR Doc. E8–13960 Filed 6–23–08; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510–22–S E:\FR\FM\24JNN2.SGM 24JNN2

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 73, Number 122 (Tuesday, June 24, 2008)]
[Notices]
[Pages 35834-35835]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: E8-13960]



Federal Register / Vol. 73, No. 122 / Tuesday, June 24, 2008 / 
Notices

[[Page 35834]]


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DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

RIN 0648-XH17


Atlantic Highly Migratory Species (HMS); Atlantic Shark 
Management Measures; Research Fishery

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

ACTION: Notice of intent; request for applications.

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

SUMMARY: NMFS announces its request for applications for the 2008 shark 
research fishery from commercial shark fishermen. The shark research 
fishery will allow for the collection of fishery-dependent data for 
future stock assessments while also allowing NMFS and commercial 
fishermen to conduct cooperative research to meet the shark research 
objectives for the Agency. Only commercial vessels participating in the 
shark research fishery would be able to land sandbar sharks. These 
vessels would also land non-sandbar large coastal sharks (LCS), small 
coastal sharks (SCS), and pelagic sharks. Commercial vessels not 
participating in the shark research fishery may only land non-sandbar 
LCS, SCS, and pelagic sharks. Commercial shark fishermen who are 
interested in participating in the shark research fishery need to 
submit a completed Shark Research Fishery Permit Application in order 
to be considered. Generally, these permits will be valid through 
December 31, 2008, unless otherwise specified, subject to the terms and 
conditions of individual permits.

DATES: Shark Research Fishery Applications must be received no latter 
than 5 p.m., local time, on July 15, 2008.

ADDRESSES: Please submit completed applications to the HMS Management 
Division at:
     Mail: HMS Management Division (F/SF1), NMFS, 1315 East-
West Highway, Silver Spring, MD 20910.
     Fax: (301) 713-1917
For copies of the Shark Research Fishery Application please write to 
the HMS Management Division at the address listed above, or call (301) 
713-2347 (phone), or (301) 713-1917 (fax). Copies of the Shark Research 
Fishery Application are also available at the HMS website at http://
www.nmfs.noaa.gov/sfa/hms/index.htm.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: LeAnn Southward Hogan or Jess Beck, at 
(301) 713-2347 (phone) or (301) 713-1917 (fax).

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The Atlantic shark fisheries are managed 
under the authority of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and 
Management Act (Magnuson-Stevens Act). The Consolidated HMS Fishery 
Management Plan (FMP) is implemented by regulations at 50 CFR part 635.
    The final rule for Amendment 2 to the Consolidated HMS FMP 
(published in the Rules section of today's Federal Register) 
established, among other things, a shark research fishery to maintain 
time series data for stock assessments and to meet NMFS' 2008 research 
objectives. The shark research fishery also allows selected commercial 
fishermen the opportunity to earn revenue from selling more sharks, 
including sandbar sharks, than allowed in the rest of the commercial 
shark fishery. Only the commercial shark fishermen selected to 
participate in the shark research fishery would be able to land/harvest 
sandbars subject to the sandbar quota available for each year (87.9 mt 
dw/year through December 31, 2012; 116.6 mt dw/year as of January 1, 
2013). The selected commercial shark fishermen would also have access 
to the non-sandbar LCS, SCS, and pelagic shark quotas. Commercial shark 
fishermen not participating in the shark research fishery may land non-
sandbar LCS, SCS, and pelagic sharks subject to quotas and the 
retention limits per 50 CFR 635.27 and 635.24, respectively. In order 
to participate in the shark research fishery, commercial shark 
fishermen need to submit a completed Shark Research Fishery Application 
showing the vessel and owner(s) meet the specific criteria outlined 
below.

Research Objectives

    Each year, NMFS will determine the research objectives for the 
upcoming shark research fishery. The research objectives are developed 
by a shark board, which is comprised of representatives within NMFS 
including representatives from the Southeast Fisheries Science Center 
(SEFSC) Panama City Laboratory, Northeast Fisheries Science Center 
(NEFSC) Narragansett Laboratory, the Southeast Regional Office of 
Protected Resources Division (SERO\PRD), and the HMS Management 
Division. The research objectives of the shark research fishery are 
primarily based on the research needs identified in shark stock 
assessments. Many of the research objectives for 2008 come from the 
Southeast Data, Assessment and Review (SEDAR) 11, 2005/2006 LCS stock 
assessment. These objectives were developed with input from non-
governmental organizations, industry representatives, fishery managers, 
and academics present during the stock assessment workshops. In 
addition, the shark board identified additional needs for tagging 
studies, collection of genetic material, and controlled bottom longline 
(BLL) experiments to assess the impact of different hook types. 
Specifically, the research objectives for 2008 are to:
     collect reproductive and age data from sandbar sharks 
throughout the calendar year;
     collect reproductive and age data for Gulf of Mexico 
blacktip sharks for determination of the reproductive cycle (i.e., 
annual or biennial frequency);
     collect reproductive and age data from all species of 
sharks for additional species-specific assessments;
     monitor the size distribution of sandbar sharks and other 
species captured in the fishery;
     continue on-going tagging programs for identification of 
migration corridors and stock structure;
     maintain time-series of abundance from previously derived 
indices for the shark BLL observer program;
     acquire fin-clip samples of all species for genetic 
analysis;
     attach satellite archival tags to endangered smalltooth 
sawfish to provide information on critical habitat and preferred depth;
     attach satellite archival tags to prohibited dusky sharks 
to provide information on daily and seasonal movement patterns, and 
preferred depth; and,
     evaluate the effects of controlled gear experiments in 
order to determine the effects of potential hook changes to prohibited 
species interactions and fishery yields.

Selection Criteria

    Shark Research Fishery Applications will only be accepted from 
commercial shark fishermen that hold a current directed or incidental 
limited access permit. The Shark Research Fishery Application includes, 
but is not limited to, a request for the following information: type of 
commercial shark permit possessed; past participation in the commercial 
shark fishery; past involvement and compliance with HMS observer 
programs per 50 CFR 635.7; past compliance with HMS regulations at 50 
CFR part 635; availability to participate in the shark research 
fishery; willingness to fish in the regions and season requested; 
willingness to attend necessary meetings regarding the objectives and 
research protocols of the shark research fishery; and willingness to 
carry out the research objectives of the Agency. An applicant that has 
been

[[Page 35835]]

charged criminally or civilly (i.e., issued a Notice of Violation and 
Assessment (NOVA) or Notice of Permit Sanction) for any HMS related 
violation will not be considered for participation in the shark 
research fishery. In addition, applicants that were selected to carry 
an observer in the previous two years for any HMS fishery, but failed 
to communicate with NMFS observer programs in order to arrange the 
placement of an observer before commencing any fishing trip that would 
have resulted in the incidental catch or harvest of any Atlantic HMS, 
per 50 CFR 635.7, will not be considered for participation in the 2008 
shark research fishery. This includes applicants that were selected to 
carry an observer in the previous two years for any HMS fishery and 
failed to comply with all the observer regulations per 50 CFR 635.7, 
including failure to provide adequate sleeping accommodations per 50 
CFR 635.7(e)(1), a sufficiently sized survival craft per 50 CFR 
600.746(f)(6), or failure to pass a USCG safety examination per 50 CFR 
600.746(c)(2). Exceptions will be made for applicants that were 
selected for HMS observer coverage but did not fish in the quarter when 
selected. Applicants that have been non-compliant with any of the HMS 
observer program regulations in the previous two years, as described 
above, may be eligible for future participation in shark research 
fishery activities by demonstrating compliance with observer 
regulations at 50 CFR 635.7.

Selection Process

    NMFS will review all submitted applications that are deemed 
complete and develop a list of qualified applicants. A qualified 
applicant is an applicant that has submitted a complete application and 
has met the selection criteria detailed above. Qualified applicants are 
eligible to be selected by the SEFSC to participate in the shark 
research fishery for 2008. NMFS will provide the list of qualified 
applicants to the SEFSC. The SEFSC will then evaluate the list of 
qualified applicants and, based on the temporal and spatial needs of 
the research objectives, the availability of qualified applicants, and 
the available quota for a given year, will randomly select 
approximately 10 qualified applicants to conduct the prescribed 
research.
    If deemed necessary, NMFS may hold a public meeting to allow the 
public to witness the selection of shark research permit recipients 
from the qualified applicant pool. If a public meeting is held, the 
public is welcome to observe the selection process, but will not be 
allowed to participate in or comment during the selection process. If a 
public meeting is deemed necessary, NMFS will announce details of a 
public selection meeting in a subsequent Federal Register notice.
    Once the selection process is complete, NMFS will notify the 
selected applicants and issue the shark research fishery permits. If 
needed, NMFS will communicate with the shark research fishery permit 
holders to arrange a captain's meeting to discuss the research 
objectives and protocols. The shark research permit holders must 
contact the NMFS observer coordinator to arrange the placement of a 
NMFS-approved observer for each shark research trip.
    A shark research permit will only be valid for the vessel and 
owner(s) and terms and conditions listed on the permit, and thus, 
cannot be transferred to another vessel or owner(s). Issuance of a 
shark research permit does not guarantee that the permit holder will be 
assigned a NMFS-approved observer on any particular trip. Rather, 
issuance indicates that a vessel may be issued a NMFS-approved observer 
for a particular trip, and on such trips, may be allowed to harvest 
Atlantic sharks, including sandbar sharks, in excess of the retention 
limits described in 50 CFR 635.24(a). The vessel would still be able to 
participate land non-sandbar, SCS, and pelagic sharks subject to 
existing retention limits on trips without a NMFS-approved observer. 
The shark research permit may be revoked or modified at any time and 
does not confer the right to engage in activities beyond those listed 
on the shark research fishery permit.
    Commercial shark permit holders (directed and incidental) are 
invited to submit an application to participate in the shark research 
fishery on an annual basis. Permit applications can be found on the HMS 
Management Division's website at: http://www.nmfs.noaa.gov/sfa/hms/
index.htm or by calling (301) 713-2347. Final decisions on the issuance 
of a shark research fishery permit will depend on the submission of all 
required information, and NMFS' review of applicant information as 
outlined above.

    Authority: 16 U.S.C. 971 et seq. and 16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq.

    Dated: June 16, 2008.
Alan D. Risenhoover
Director Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine Fisheries 
Service.
[FR Doc. E8-13960 Filed 6-23-08; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 3510-22-S