Atlantic Highly Migratory Species (HMS); Atlantic Shark Management Measures; 2010 Research Fishery, 56177-56179 [E9-26224]

Download as PDF Federal Register / Vol. 74, No. 209 / Friday, October 30, 2009 / Notices I. Abstract The Department of Commerce is responsible for the Baldrige National Quality Program and the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality (BNQP) Award. Directly associated with this Award is the Board of Examiners, an integral part of the Baldrige National Quality Program. NIST manages the Baldrige Program. An applicant for the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award is required to perform two steps: (1) The applicant organization certifies that it meets eligibility requirements; and (2) the applicant organization prepares and completes an application form and the application process. The Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award Program Office will assist with or offer advice on any questions or issues that the applicant may have concerning the eligibility process or in completing the self-certification forms. NIST will use the application package to assess and provide feedback on the applicant’s quality and performance practices. The application to be a member of the Board of Examiners is a one-step process. Each year the Award Program recruits highly skilled experts in the fields of manufacturing, service, small business, health care, education, and nonprofit, the six Award eligibility categories, to evaluate the applications that the Program receives. Examiners serve for a one-year term; participation on the board is entirely voluntary. Estimated Total Annual Burden Hours: 8,200 Estimated Total Annual Cost to Public: $125,000 ($1,250 for each of the 100 Awardees—costs are for duplication and mailing). IV. Request for Comments Comments are invited on: (a) Whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the agency, including whether the information shall have practical utility; (b) the accuracy of the agency’s estimate of the burden (including hours and cost) of the proposed collection of information; (c) ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and (d) ways to minimize the burden of the collection of information on respondents, including through the use of automated collection techniques or other forms of information technology. Comments submitted in response to this notice will be summarized and/or included in the request for OMB approval of this information collection; they also will become a matter of public record. Dated: October 27, 2009. Gwellnar Banks, Management Analyst, Office of the Chief Information Officer. [FR Doc. E9–26155 Filed 10–29–09; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510–13–P II. Method of Collection DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE Award applicants must comply in writing according to the Baldrige Award Application Forms available at http:// www.baldrige.nist.gov/ Award_Application.htm. The application for the 2009 Board of Examiners can be found at http:// www.baldrige.nist.gov/ Examiner_Application.htm. It is submitted electronically. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration sroberts on DSKD5P82C1PROD with NOTICES III. Data OMB Control Number: 0693–0006. Form Number: None. Type of Review: Regular submission. Affected Public: Business or other forprofit organizations; not-for-profit institutions; and individuals or households. Estimated Number of Respondents: 900. (100 Applicants for the Malcolm Baldrige Award, 800 Applicants for the Board of Examiners). Estimated Time per Response: 74 hours for Applications for the Malcolm Baldrige Quality Award, and 1 hour for the Applications for the Board of Examiners. VerDate Nov<24>2008 16:30 Oct 29, 2009 Jkt 220001 RIN 0648–XQ61 Atlantic Highly Migratory Species (HMS); Atlantic Shark Management Measures; 2010 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 2010 shark research fishery from commercial shark fishermen with a directed or incidental permit. The shark research fishery allows 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. The only commercial vessels authorized to land sandbar sharks are those PO 00000 Frm 00006 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 56177 participating in the shark research fishery. Shark research fishery permittees may 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, 2010, unless otherwise specified, subject to the terms and conditions of individual permits. DATES: Shark Research Fishery Applications must be received no later than 5 p.m., local time, on November 30, 2009. ADDRESSES: Please submit completed applications to the HMS Management Division at: • Mail: Attn: Guy DuBeck, 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 Permit 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: Karyl Brewster-Geisz or Guy DuBeck, at (301) 713–2347 (phone) or (301) 713– 1917 (fax). SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: 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 (73 FR 35778, June 24, 2008, corrected at 73 FR 40658, July 15, 2008) established, among other things, a shark research fishery to maintain time series data for stock assessments and to meet NMFS’ 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 outside of the commercial shark fishery. Only the commercial shark fishermen selected to participate in the shark research fishery are authorized to land/ E:\FR\FM\30OCN1.SGM 30OCN1 56178 Federal Register / Vol. 74, No. 209 / Friday, October 30, 2009 / Notices sroberts on DSKD5P82C1PROD with NOTICES harvest sandbar sharks subject to the sandbar quota available each year. The base quota is 87.9 mt dw per year through December 31, 2012, although this number may be reduced in the event of overharvests, if any. The selected shark research fishery permittees will also have access to the non-sandbar LCS, SCS, and pelagic shark quotas. Commercial fishermen not participating in the shark research fishery may land non-sandbar LCS, SCS, and pelagic sharks subject to retention limits and quotas per 50 CFR 635.24 and 635.27, respectively. In 2009, selected vessels were allowed a trip limit of 45 sandbar sharks and 33 non-sandbar large coastal sharks. The vessels participating in the shark research fishery fished an average of 2 trips per month. The 2010 trip limits and number of trips per month will depend on the number of selected vessels, available quota, and objectives of the research fishery. Vessels selected for 2010 may not all have the same retention limit. 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, Protected Species Division (SERO\PSD), and the HMS Management Division. The research objectives for 2010 are similar to the research objectives for 2009, and the shark board based them on the Southeast Data, Assessment and Review (SEDAR) 11, 2005/2006 LCS stock assessment. These research objectives include: • 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; VerDate Nov<24>2008 16:30 Oct 29, 2009 Jkt 220001 • 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, consistent with ESA requirements for such tagging under the SEFSC observer program take permit obtained through the 2008 Section 7 Consultation and Biological Opinion (BiOp) for the Continued Authorization of Shark Fisheries (Commercial Shark Bottom Longline, Commercial Shark Gillnet and Recreational Shark Handgear Fisheries) as Managed under the Consolidated Fishery Management Plan for Atlantic Tunas, Swordfish, and Sharks (Consolidated HMS FMP), including Amendment 2 to the Consolidated HMS FMP (F/SER/2007/05044); • 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. In the 2010 shark research fishery, NMFS would like to examine the size distribution of sandbar sharks and other species captured in the Mid-Atlantic shark time/area closure off the coast of North Carolina from January 1 through July 31. The Mid-Atlantic shark timearea closure has been in effect since 2005 and NMFS would like to collect baseline data in the closed area under current conditions. Also, NMFS would like to collect data to examine the effectiveness of existing area closures to meet current conservation and harvesting goals. Additionally, some objectives were derived from the need for tagging studies, collection of genetic material, and controlled bottom longline (BLL) experiments to assess the impact of hook changes. The shark board decided to use the same objectives given for research in 2009. Selection Criteria Shark Research Fishery Permit Applications will only be accepted from commercial shark fishermen that hold a current directed or incidental limited access permit. While incidental permit holders are welcome to submit an application, to ensure that an PO 00000 Frm 00007 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 appropriate number of sharks are taken to meet the research objectives for this year, NMFS will be giving priority to directed permit holders. As such, qualified incidental permit holders will only be selected if there are not enough qualified directed permit holders to meet research objectives. The Shark Research Fishery Permit 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 (not including sharks caught for display); 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; ability to fish in the regions and season requested; ability to attend necessary meetings regarding the objectives and research protocols of the shark research fishery; and ability to carry out the research objectives of the Agency. An applicant that has been 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 who 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 2010 shark research fishery. Applicants who 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) will also not be considered. Exceptions will be made for vessels that were selected for HMS observer coverage but did not fish in the quarter when selected. Applicants that do not possess a valid Unites States Coast Guard (USCG) safety inspection decal when the application is submitted will not be considered. 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 E:\FR\FM\30OCN1.SGM 30OCN1 Federal Register / Vol. 74, No. 209 / Friday, October 30, 2009 / Notices sroberts on DSKD5P82C1PROD with NOTICES activities by demonstrating two subsequent years of compliance with observer regulations at 50 CFR 635.7. Selection Process The HMS Management Division 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. Qualified applicants are eligible to be selected to participate in the shark research fishery for 2010. The HMS Management Division 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. Where there are multiple qualified applicants that meet the criteria, permittees will be randomly selected through a lottery system. 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 fishery 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 fishery 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). These retention limits will be based on available quota, number of vessels participating in the 2010 shark research fishery, the research objectives set forth by the shark board, and may vary by vessel and/or location. When not operating under the auspices of the shark research fishery, the vessel would VerDate Nov<24>2008 16:30 Oct 29, 2009 Jkt 220001 still be able to 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. The 2010 shark research fishery will start after the opening of the shark fishery and under available quotas as published in a separate Federal Register final rule. 56179 FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Holly Phelps or Elizabeth Eastwood, AD/CVD Operations, Office 2, Import Administration, International Trade Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce, 14th Street & Constitution Avenue, NW., Washington, DC 20230; telephone: (202) 482–0656 and (202) 482–3874, respectively. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Background On July 1, 2009, the Department published the notice of initiation of the sunset reviews of the antidumping duty orders on SSWR from Italy, Japan, Korea, Spain, and Taiwan pursuant to section 751(c) of the Act. See Initiation of Five-Year (‘‘Sunset’’) Reviews, 74 FR 31412 (July 1, 2009) (Notice of Initiation). The Department received a notice of intent to participate from Carpenter Technology Corporation, a domestic interested party, within the deadline specified in 19 CFR 351.218(d)(1)(i). The company claimed interested party status under section 771(9)(C) of the Act Dated: October 26, 2009. as a manufacturer of a domestic like Emily H. Menashes, product in the United States. Deputy Director for Office of Sustainable The Department received a complete Fisheries, National Marine Fisheries Service. substantive response to the notice of [FR Doc. E9–26224 Filed 10–29–09; 8:45 am] initiation from the domestic interested party within the 30-day deadline BILLING CODE 3510–22–S specified in 19 CFR 351.218(d)(3)(i). We received no substantive responses from DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE respondent interested parties with respect to any of the orders covered by International Trade Administration these sunset reviews, nor was a hearing [A–475–820, A–588–843, A–580–829, A–469– requested. As a result, pursuant to 19 CFR 351.218(e)(1)(ii)(C)(2), the 807, A–583–828] Department conducted expedited (120Stainless Steel Wire Rod From Italy, day) sunset reviews of the antidumping Japan, the Republic of Korea, Spain, duty orders on SSWR from Italy, Japan, and Taiwan: Final Results of the Korea, Spain, and Taiwan. Expedited Sunset Reviews of the Scope of the Orders Antidumping Duty Orders The merchandise covered by these AGENCY: Import Administration, orders is SSWR, which comprises International Trade Administration, products that are hot-rolled or hot-rolled Department of Commerce. annealed and/or pickled and/or SUMMARY: On July 1, 2009, the descaled rounds, squares, octagons, Department of Commerce (the hexagons or other shapes, in coils, that Department) initiated sunset reviews of may also be coated with a lubricant the antidumping duty orders on containing copper, lime, or oxalate. stainless steel wire rod (SSWR) from SSWR is made of alloy steels Italy, Japan, the Republic of Korea containing, by weight, 1.2 percent or (Korea), Spain, and Taiwan, pursuant to less of carbon and 10.5 percent or more section 751(c) of the Tariff Act of 1930, of chromium, with or without other as amended (the Act). The Department elements. These products are has conducted expedited (120-day) manufactured only by hot-rolling or hotsunset reviews for these orders pursuant rolling, annealing, and/or pickling and/ to 19 CFR 351.218(e)(1)(ii)(C)(2). As a or descaling, are normally sold in coiled result of these sunset reviews, the form, and are of solid cross-section. The Department finds that revocation of the majority of SSWR sold in the United antidumping duty orders would be States is round in cross-sectional shape, likely to lead to continuation or annealed and pickled, and later coldrecurrence of dumping. finished into stainless steel wire or small-diameter bar. DATES: Effective Date: October 30, 2009. PO 00000 Frm 00008 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 E:\FR\FM\30OCN1.SGM 30OCN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 74, Number 209 (Friday, October 30, 2009)]
[Notices]
[Pages 56177-56179]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: E9-26224]


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DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

RIN 0648-XQ61


Atlantic Highly Migratory Species (HMS); Atlantic Shark 
Management Measures; 2010 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 2010 shark 
research fishery from commercial shark fishermen with a directed or 
incidental permit. The shark research fishery allows 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. The only 
commercial vessels authorized to land sandbar sharks are those 
participating in the shark research fishery. Shark research fishery 
permittees may 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, 2010, unless otherwise specified, subject to the terms and 
conditions of individual permits.

DATES:  Shark Research Fishery Applications must be received no later 
than 5 p.m., local time, on November 30, 2009.

ADDRESSES:  Please submit completed applications to the HMS Management 
Division at:
     Mail: Attn: Guy DuBeck, 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 Permit 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: Karyl Brewster-Geisz or Guy DuBeck, 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 (73 FR 
35778, June 24, 2008, corrected at 73 FR 40658, July 15, 2008) 
established, among other things, a shark research fishery to maintain 
time series data for stock assessments and to meet NMFS' 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 outside of the commercial shark 
fishery. Only the commercial shark fishermen selected to participate in 
the shark research fishery are authorized to land/

[[Page 56178]]

harvest sandbar sharks subject to the sandbar quota available each 
year. The base quota is 87.9 mt dw per year through December 31, 2012, 
although this number may be reduced in the event of overharvests, if 
any. The selected shark research fishery permittees will also have 
access to the non-sandbar LCS, SCS, and pelagic shark quotas. 
Commercial fishermen not participating in the shark research fishery 
may land non-sandbar LCS, SCS, and pelagic sharks subject to retention 
limits and quotas per 50 CFR 635.24 and 635.27, respectively.
    In 2009, selected vessels were allowed a trip limit of 45 sandbar 
sharks and 33 non-sandbar large coastal sharks. The vessels 
participating in the shark research fishery fished an average of 2 
trips per month. The 2010 trip limits and number of trips per month 
will depend on the number of selected vessels, available quota, and 
objectives of the research fishery. Vessels selected for 2010 may not 
all have the same retention limit.
    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, 
Protected Species Division (SERO\PSD), and the HMS Management Division. 
The research objectives for 2010 are similar to the research objectives 
for 2009, and the shark board based them on the Southeast Data, 
Assessment and Review (SEDAR) 11, 2005/2006 LCS stock assessment. These 
research objectives include:
     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, 
consistent with ESA requirements for such tagging under the SEFSC 
observer program take permit obtained through the 2008 Section 7 
Consultation and Biological Opinion (BiOp) for the Continued 
Authorization of Shark Fisheries (Commercial Shark Bottom Longline, 
Commercial Shark Gillnet and Recreational Shark Handgear Fisheries) as 
Managed under the Consolidated Fishery Management Plan for Atlantic 
Tunas, Swordfish, and Sharks (Consolidated HMS FMP), including 
Amendment 2 to the Consolidated HMS FMP (F/SER/2007/05044);
     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.
    In the 2010 shark research fishery, NMFS would like to examine the 
size distribution of sandbar sharks and other species captured in the 
Mid-Atlantic shark time/area closure off the coast of North Carolina 
from January 1 through July 31. The Mid-Atlantic shark time-area 
closure has been in effect since 2005 and NMFS would like to collect 
baseline data in the closed area under current conditions. Also, NMFS 
would like to collect data to examine the effectiveness of existing 
area closures to meet current conservation and harvesting goals.
     Additionally, some objectives were derived from the need for 
tagging studies, collection of genetic material, and controlled bottom 
longline (BLL) experiments to assess the impact of hook changes. The 
shark board decided to use the same objectives given for research in 
2009.

Selection Criteria

    Shark Research Fishery Permit Applications will only be accepted 
from commercial shark fishermen that hold a current directed or 
incidental limited access permit. While incidental permit holders are 
welcome to submit an application, to ensure that an appropriate number 
of sharks are taken to meet the research objectives for this year, NMFS 
will be giving priority to directed permit holders. As such, qualified 
incidental permit holders will only be selected if there are not enough 
qualified directed permit holders to meet research objectives.
    The Shark Research Fishery Permit 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 (not including sharks caught for display); 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; ability to fish in the regions and season 
requested; ability to attend necessary meetings regarding the 
objectives and research protocols of the shark research fishery; and 
ability to carry out the research objectives of the Agency. An 
applicant that has been 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 who 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 2010 shark research fishery. Applicants who 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) will also not be considered. 
Exceptions will be made for vessels that were selected for HMS observer 
coverage but did not fish in the quarter when selected. Applicants that 
do not possess a valid Unites States Coast Guard (USCG) safety 
inspection decal when the application is submitted will not be 
considered. 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

[[Page 56179]]

activities by demonstrating two subsequent years of compliance with 
observer regulations at 50 CFR 635.7.

Selection Process

    The HMS Management Division 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. Qualified applicants 
are eligible to be selected to participate in the shark research 
fishery for 2010. The HMS Management Division 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. Where there are multiple qualified applicants that meet the 
criteria, permittees will be randomly selected through a lottery 
system. 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 fishery 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 fishery 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). These retention limits will be 
based on available quota, number of vessels participating in the 2010 
shark research fishery, the research objectives set forth by the shark 
board, and may vary by vessel and/or location. When not operating under 
the auspices of the shark research fishery, the vessel would still be 
able to 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. The 2010 shark research fishery will start after the 
opening of the shark fishery and under available quotas as published in 
a separate Federal Register final rule.

    Dated: October 26, 2009.
Emily H. Menashes,
Deputy Director for Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine 
Fisheries Service.
[FR Doc. E9-26224 Filed 10-29-09; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 3510-22-S