Taking of Marine Mammals Incidental to Commercial Fishing Operations; Atlantic Large Whale Take Reduction Plan, 58942-58943 [E8-23880]

Download as PDF 58942 Federal Register / Vol. 73, No. 196 / Wednesday, October 8, 2008 / Notices mammals to assist in management decisions for wild populations. A permit is requested for five years. Concurrent with the publication of this notice in the Federal Register, NMFS is forwarding copies of this application to the Marine Mammal Commission and its Committee of Scientific Advisors. ADDRESSES: Copies of the previous rulemaking documents associated with the ALWTRP, ALWTRT meeting summaries, and progress reports on implementation of the ALWTRP may also be obtained by writing Diane Borggaard, NMFS/Northeast Region, One Blackburn Drive, Gloucester, MA 01930. Dated: October 3, 2008. P. Michael Payne, Chief, Permits, Conservation and Education Division, Office of Protected Resources, National Marine Fisheries Service. [FR Doc. E8–23872 Filed 10–7–08; 8:45 am] FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: BILLING CODE 3510–22–S Electronic Access DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration RIN 0648–XK98 Taking of Marine Mammals Incidental to Commercial Fishing Operations; Atlantic Large Whale Take Reduction Plan Diane Borggaard, NMFS/Northeast Region, 978–281–9300 x6503; or Kristy Long, NMFS, Office of Protected Resources, 301–713–2322. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Several of the background documents for the ALWTRP and the take reduction planning process can be downloaded from the ALWTRP web site at http:// www.nero.noaa.gov/whaletrp/. The complete text of the regulations implementing the ALWTRP can be found either in the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) at 50 CFR 229.32 or downloaded from the website, along with a guide to the regulations. AGENCY: Background SUMMARY: Pursuant to a preliminary injunction issued in the case, The Humane Society of the Unites States, et al. v. Gutierrez, et al., in U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia (Civil Action No. 08–cv–1593 (ESH)), NMFS is reinstating the Dynamic Area Management (DAM) program that was terminated by the October 5, 2007, final rule amending the Atlantic Large Whale Take Reduction Plan (ALWTRP). The DAM program will be implemented consistent with the previous regulations for this program, except that it will only be reinstated north of the pre–existing Seasonal Area Management boundaries (i.e., north of 42°30′ N. latitude). DAM zones will be established through future notice in the Federal Register. The restrictions will be announced to state officials, fishermen, Atlantic Large Whale Take Reduction Team (ALWTRT) members, and other interested parties through e–mail, phone contact, NOAA website, and other appropriate media immediately upon issuance of a rule by the AA. DATES: Effective beginning at 0001 hours October 5, 2008, until the broad–based sinking groundline requirements for trap/pot and lobster trap/pot fisheries established by the October 5, 2007, final rule go into effect. In response to the continued serious injury and mortality of large whales (e.g., right, humpback, and fin whales) from entanglement in commercial fishing gear, NMFS determined that additional modifications to the ALWTRP were warranted. Subsequently, in October 2007, NMFS finalized an amendment to the ALWTRP, which implemented a broad– based gear modification strategy that included additional regulated fisheries; expanded weak link and sinking groundline requirements; additional gear marking requirements; changes in boundaries; seasonal restrictions for gear modifications; expanded exempted areas; and regulatory language changes for the purposes of clarification and consistency (72 FR 57104, October 5, 2007; 73 FR 19171, April 9, 2008). The October 2007 rule eliminated the Dynamic Area Management (DAM) Program on April 5, 2008, when most of the broad–based gear modifications became effective. Additionally, gillnet and trap/pot fishermen were given one year (through October 5, 2008) to convert floating groundline to sinking groundline as part of the broad–based gear modification requirements. On September 2, 2008, NMFS published a final rule that provided an additional six months (through April 5, 2009) for trap/pot fishermen along the Atlantic coast to comply with the AWLTRP’s broad–based sinking groundline requirement (73 FR 51228, jlentini on PROD1PC65 with NOTICES National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Commerce. ACTION: Notice. VerDate Aug<31>2005 18:10 Oct 07, 2008 Jkt 217001 PO 00000 Frm 00019 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 September 2, 2008). Pursuant to a preliminary injunction issued in the case, The Humane Society of the United States, et al. v. Gutierrez, et al., in U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia (Civil Action No. 08–cv–1593 (ESH)), NMFS is reinstating the DAM program, which was terminated by the October 5, 2007, final rule (72 FR 57104). The DAM program will be implemented consistent with the previous regulations for this program (67 FR 1133, January 9, 2002; 67 FR 65722, October 28, 2002; 68 FR 51195, August 26, 2003; 72 FR 57104, October 5, 2007), except that it will only be reinstated north of the pre–existing Seasonal Area Management boundaries (i.e., north of 42°30′ N. latitude). DAM zones will be established through future notice in the Federal Register. Future DAM zone restrictions will be announced to state officials, fishermen, ALWTRT members, and other interested parties through e–mail, phone contact, NOAA website, and other appropriate media immediately upon issuance of a temporary rule by the Assistant Administrator for Fisheries (AA). The DAM program will be reinstated until the Court’s resolution on the merits of the case or the broad–based sinking groundline requirements for trap/pot and lobster trap/pot fisheries established by the October 5, 2007, final rule go into effect, whichever occurs earlier. In addition to those gear modifications currently implemented under the ALWTRP at 50 CFR 229.32, the following gear modifications may be required in a DAM zone. In such a case, the ALWTRP management areas impacted would be dependent on the area of overlap with the DAM zone. If the requirements and exceptions for gear modification in a DAM zone, as described below, differ from other ALWTRP requirements for any overlapping areas and times, then the more restrictive requirements would apply in the DAM zone. Lobster Trap/Pot Gear Fishermen utilizing lobster trap/pot gear within portions of Northern Inshore Lobster Waters, Northern Nearshore Lobster Waters, and Stellwagen Bank/ Jeffreys Ledge Restricted Area that overlap with a DAM zone may be required to utilize all of the following gear modifications when a DAM zone is in effect: 1. Groundlines must be made of sinking line. Floating groundlines are prohibited; 2. All buoy lines must be made of sinking line, except the bottom portion of the line, which may be a section of E:\FR\FM\08OCN1.SGM 08OCN1 Federal Register / Vol. 73, No. 196 / Wednesday, October 8, 2008 / Notices floating line not to exceed one-third the overall length of the buoy line; 3. Fishermen are allowed to use two buoy lines per trawl; and 4. A weak link with a maximum breaking strength of 600 lb (272.4 kg) must be placed at all buoys. Fishermen utilizing lobster trap/pot gear within the portion of the Offshore Lobster Waters Area that overlap with the DAM zone may be required to utilize all of the following gear modifications when a DAM zone is in effect: 1. Groundlines must be made of sinking line. Floating groundlines are prohibited; 2. All buoy lines must be made of sinking line, except the bottom portion of the line, which may be a section of floating line not to exceed one-third the overall length of the buoy line; 3. Fishermen are allowed to use two buoy lines per trawl; and 4. A weak link with a maximum breaking strength of 1,500 lb (680.4 kg) must be placed at all buoys. jlentini on PROD1PC65 with NOTICES Anchored Gillnet Gear Fishermen utilizing anchored gillnet gear within the portions of the Other Northeast Gillnet Waters and Stellwagen Bank/Jeffreys Ledge Restricted Area that overlap with the DAM zone may be required to utilize all the following gear modifications when a DAM zone is in effect: 1. Groundlines must be made of sinking line. Floating groundlines are prohibited; 2. All buoy lines must be made of sinking line, except the bottom portion of the line, which may be a section of floating line not to exceed one-third the overall length of the buoy line; 3. Fishermen are allowed to use two buoy lines per string; 4. The breaking strength of each net panel weak link must not exceed 1,100 lb (498.8 kg). The weak link requirements apply to all variations in net panel size. One weak link must be placed in the center of the floatline and one weak link must be placed in the center of each of the up and down lines at both ends of the net panel. Additionally, one weak link must be placed as close as possible to each end of the net panels on the floatline; or, one weak link must be placed between floatline tie-loops between net panels and one weak link must be placed where the floatline tie-loops attach to the bridle, buoy line, or groundline at each end of a net string; 5. A weak link with a maximum breaking strength of 1,100 lb (498.8 kg) must be placed at all buoys; and VerDate Aug<31>2005 18:10 Oct 07, 2008 Jkt 217001 6. All anchored gillnets, regardless of the number of net panels, must be securely anchored with the holding power of at least a 22 lb (10.0 kg) Danforth-style anchor at each end of the net string. Dated: October 2, 2008. John Oliver Deputy Assistant Administrator for Operations, National Marine Fisheries Service. [FR Doc. E8–23880 Filed 10–7–08; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510–22–S DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE United States Patent and Trademark Office Submission for OMB Review; Comment Request The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) will submit to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for clearance the following proposal for collection of information under the provisions of the Paperwork Reduction Act (44 U.S.C. Chapter 35). Agency: United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). Title: Board of Patent Appeals and Interferences (BPAI) Actions. Form Number(s): No forms. Agency Approval Number: 0651– 00xx. Type of Request: New information collection. Burden: 773,895 hours annually. In the future, once this proposed collection and 0651–0031 are approved by the OMB, the USPTO expects to move the notices of appeal and requests for oral hearing before the BPAI into this collection. The USPTO estimates that this will add a minimum of 5,719 hours per year to this collection. Number of Respondents: 31,828 responses per year. The USPTO estimates that once the notices of appeal and requests for oral hearing before the BPAI are moved into this collection, a minimum of 28,595 responses will be added to this collection. Avg. Hours Per Response: The USPTO estimates that it takes the public approximately 5 to 30 hours to complete this information, depending on the brief, petition, or request. This includes the time to gather the necessary information, prepare the briefs, petitions, and requests, and submit them to the USPTO. The USPTO estimates that it takes the public approximately 12 minutes (0.20 hours) to complete the notices of appeal and requests for oral hearing before the BPAI. Needs and Uses: This collection PO 00000 Frm 00020 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 58943 of information is required by 35 U.S.C. 134, 135, 306, and 315 and is implemented through the appeal rules found in Part 41. The Board of Patent Appeals and Interferences was established under 35 U.S.C. 6(b). This collection permits applicants and registrants to prepare appeal and reply briefs which set forth the claims, issues, and arguments on appeal to the BPAI and permits the filing of petitions requesting extensions of time to respond to the agency, petitions requesting an increase in the page limit of a brief, and requests for rehearing before the BPAI. The BPAI uses the information to aid in rendering a decision on the claims, issues, and arguments outlined in the appeal and reply briefs and to determine whether the petitions for extensions of time, the petitions to increase the page limit of a brief, and requests for rehearings before the BPAI should be granted. There are no forms associated with the items in this collection, but they are governed by the rules in Part 41. The Board publishes its opinions and decisions for publicly available files on the USPTO Web site. Affected Public: Primarily businesses or other for-profit organizations. Frequency: On occasion. Respondent’s Obligation: Required to obtain or retain benefits. OMB Desk Officer: Nicholas A. Fraser, e-mail: Nicholas_A._Fraser@omb.eop.gov. Copies of the above information collection proposal can be obtained by any of the following: • E-mail: Susan.Fawcett@uspto.gov. Include ‘‘0651–00xx Board of Patent Appeals and Interferences (BPAI) Actions copy request’’ in the subject line of the message. • Fax: 571–273–0112, marked to the attention of Susan K. Fawcett. • Mail: Susan K. Fawcett, Records Officer, Office of the Chief Information Officer, Customer Information Services Group, Public Information Services Division, U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, P.O. Box 1450, Alexandria, VA 22313–1450. Written comments and recommendations for the proposed information collection should be submitted on or before November 7, 2008 to Nicholas A. Fraser, OMB Desk Officer, via e-mail at Nicholas_A._Fraser@omb.eop.gov or by fax (202) 395–5167, marked to the attention of Nicholas A. Fraser. E:\FR\FM\08OCN1.SGM 08OCN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 73, Number 196 (Wednesday, October 8, 2008)]
[Notices]
[Pages 58942-58943]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: E8-23880]


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DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

RIN 0648-XK98


Taking of Marine Mammals Incidental to Commercial Fishing 
Operations; Atlantic Large Whale Take Reduction Plan

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

ACTION: Notice.

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

SUMMARY: Pursuant to a preliminary injunction issued in the case, The 
Humane Society of the Unites States, et al. v. Gutierrez, et al., in 
U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia (Civil Action No. 08-
cv-1593 (ESH)), NMFS is reinstating the Dynamic Area Management (DAM) 
program that was terminated by the October 5, 2007, final rule amending 
the Atlantic Large Whale Take Reduction Plan (ALWTRP). The DAM program 
will be implemented consistent with the previous regulations for this 
program, except that it will only be reinstated north of the pre-
existing Seasonal Area Management boundaries (i.e., north of 42[deg]30' 
N. latitude). DAM zones will be established through future notice in 
the Federal Register. The restrictions will be announced to state 
officials, fishermen, Atlantic Large Whale Take Reduction Team (ALWTRT) 
members, and other interested parties through e-mail, phone contact, 
NOAA website, and other appropriate media immediately upon issuance of 
a rule by the AA.

DATES: Effective beginning at 0001 hours October 5, 2008, until the 
broad-based sinking groundline requirements for trap/pot and lobster 
trap/pot fisheries established by the October 5, 2007, final rule go 
into effect.

ADDRESSES: Copies of the previous rulemaking documents associated with 
the ALWTRP, ALWTRT meeting summaries, and progress reports on 
implementation of the ALWTRP may also be obtained by writing Diane 
Borggaard, NMFS/Northeast Region, One Blackburn Drive, Gloucester, MA 
01930.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Diane Borggaard, NMFS/Northeast 
Region, 978-281-9300 x6503; or Kristy Long, NMFS, Office of Protected 
Resources, 301-713-2322.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Electronic Access

    Several of the background documents for the ALWTRP and the take 
reduction planning process can be downloaded from the ALWTRP web site 
at http://www.nero.noaa.gov/whaletrp/. The complete text of the 
regulations implementing the ALWTRP can be found either in the Code of 
Federal Regulations (CFR) at 50 CFR 229.32 or downloaded from the 
website, along with a guide to the regulations.

Background

    In response to the continued serious injury and mortality of large 
whales (e.g., right, humpback, and fin whales) from entanglement in 
commercial fishing gear, NMFS determined that additional modifications 
to the ALWTRP were warranted. Subsequently, in October 2007, NMFS 
finalized an amendment to the ALWTRP, which implemented a broad-based 
gear modification strategy that included additional regulated 
fisheries; expanded weak link and sinking groundline requirements; 
additional gear marking requirements; changes in boundaries; seasonal 
restrictions for gear modifications; expanded exempted areas; and 
regulatory language changes for the purposes of clarification and 
consistency (72 FR 57104, October 5, 2007; 73 FR 19171, April 9, 2008). 
The October 2007 rule eliminated the Dynamic Area Management (DAM) 
Program on April 5, 2008, when most of the broad-based gear 
modifications became effective. Additionally, gillnet and trap/pot 
fishermen were given one year (through October 5, 2008) to convert 
floating groundline to sinking groundline as part of the broad-based 
gear modification requirements.
    On September 2, 2008, NMFS published a final rule that provided an 
additional six months (through April 5, 2009) for trap/pot fishermen 
along the Atlantic coast to comply with the AWLTRP's broad-based 
sinking groundline requirement (73 FR 51228, September 2, 2008). 
Pursuant to a preliminary injunction issued in the case, The Humane 
Society of the United States, et al. v. Gutierrez, et al., in U.S. 
District Court for the District of Columbia (Civil Action No. 08-cv-
1593 (ESH)), NMFS is reinstating the DAM program, which was terminated 
by the October 5, 2007, final rule (72 FR 57104). The DAM program will 
be implemented consistent with the previous regulations for this 
program (67 FR 1133, January 9, 2002; 67 FR 65722, October 28, 2002; 68 
FR 51195, August 26, 2003; 72 FR 57104, October 5, 2007), except that 
it will only be reinstated north of the pre-existing Seasonal Area 
Management boundaries (i.e., north of 42[deg]30' N. latitude). DAM 
zones will be established through future notice in the Federal 
Register. Future DAM zone restrictions will be announced to state 
officials, fishermen, ALWTRT members, and other interested parties 
through e-mail, phone contact, NOAA website, and other appropriate 
media immediately upon issuance of a temporary rule by the Assistant 
Administrator for Fisheries (AA). The DAM program will be reinstated 
until the Court's resolution on the merits of the case or the broad-
based sinking groundline requirements for trap/pot and lobster trap/pot 
fisheries established by the October 5, 2007, final rule go into 
effect, whichever occurs earlier.
    In addition to those gear modifications currently implemented under 
the ALWTRP at 50 CFR 229.32, the following gear modifications may be 
required in a DAM zone. In such a case, the ALWTRP management areas 
impacted would be dependent on the area of overlap with the DAM zone. 
If the requirements and exceptions for gear modification in a DAM zone, 
as described below, differ from other ALWTRP requirements for any 
overlapping areas and times, then the more restrictive requirements 
would apply in the DAM zone.

Lobster Trap/Pot Gear

    Fishermen utilizing lobster trap/pot gear within portions of 
Northern Inshore Lobster Waters, Northern Nearshore Lobster Waters, and 
Stellwagen Bank/Jeffreys Ledge Restricted Area that overlap with a DAM 
zone may be required to utilize all of the following gear modifications 
when a DAM zone is in effect:
    1. Groundlines must be made of sinking line. Floating groundlines 
are prohibited;
    2. All buoy lines must be made of sinking line, except the bottom 
portion of the line, which may be a section of

[[Page 58943]]

floating line not to exceed one-third the overall length of the buoy 
line;
    3. Fishermen are allowed to use two buoy lines per trawl; and
    4. A weak link with a maximum breaking strength of 600 lb (272.4 
kg) must be placed at all buoys.
    Fishermen utilizing lobster trap/pot gear within the portion of the 
Offshore Lobster Waters Area that overlap with the DAM zone may be 
required to utilize all of the following gear modifications when a DAM 
zone is in effect:
    1. Groundlines must be made of sinking line. Floating groundlines 
are prohibited;
    2. All buoy lines must be made of sinking line, except the bottom 
portion of the line, which may be a section of floating line not to 
exceed one-third the overall length of the buoy line;
    3. Fishermen are allowed to use two buoy lines per trawl; and
    4. A weak link with a maximum breaking strength of 1,500 lb (680.4 
kg) must be placed at all buoys.

Anchored Gillnet Gear

    Fishermen utilizing anchored gillnet gear within the portions of 
the Other Northeast Gillnet Waters and Stellwagen Bank/Jeffreys Ledge 
Restricted Area that overlap with the DAM zone may be required to 
utilize all the following gear modifications when a DAM zone is in 
effect:
    1. Groundlines must be made of sinking line. Floating groundlines 
are prohibited;
    2. All buoy lines must be made of sinking line, except the bottom 
portion of the line, which may be a section of floating line not to 
exceed one-third the overall length of the buoy line;
    3. Fishermen are allowed to use two buoy lines per string;
    4. The breaking strength of each net panel weak link must not 
exceed 1,100 lb (498.8 kg). The weak link requirements apply to all 
variations in net panel size. One weak link must be placed in the 
center of the floatline and one weak link must be placed in the center 
of each of the up and down lines at both ends of the net panel. 
Additionally, one weak link must be placed as close as possible to each 
end of the net panels on the floatline; or, one weak link must be 
placed between floatline tie-loops between net panels and one weak link 
must be placed where the floatline tie-loops attach to the bridle, buoy 
line, or groundline at each end of a net string;
    5. A weak link with a maximum breaking strength of 1,100 lb (498.8 
kg) must be placed at all buoys; and
    6. All anchored gillnets, regardless of the number of net panels, 
must be securely anchored with the holding power of at least a 22 lb 
(10.0 kg) Danforth-style anchor at each end of the net string.

    Dated: October 2, 2008.
John Oliver
Deputy Assistant Administrator for Operations, National Marine 
Fisheries Service.
[FR Doc. E8-23880 Filed 10-7-08; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 3510-22-S