Magnuson-Stevens Act Provisions; General Provisions for Domestic Fisheries; Application for Exempted Fishing Permit, 65698-65699 [2011-27479]

Download as PDF 65698 Federal Register / Vol. 76, No. 205 / Monday, October 24, 2011 / Notices National Marine Fisheries Service, Northeast Regional Office, 55 Great Republic Drive, Gloucester, MA 01930– 2298. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Anna Macan, Fishery Management Specialist, (978) 282–8483; fax (978) 281–9135. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The Federal Atlantic surfclam and ocean quahog fishery regulations at 50 CFR 648.75(b) authorize the Regional Administrator of the Northeast Region, NMFS, to specify in the Federal Register a vendor from whom cage tags, required under the Atlantic Surfclam and Ocean Quahog Fishery Management Plan (FMP), shall be purchased. Notice is hereby given that National Band and Tag Company of Newport, KY, is the authorized vendor of cage tags required for the fishing year 2012 Federal surfclam and ocean quahog fisheries. Detailed instructions for purchasing these cage tags will be provided in a letter to ITQ allocation holders in these fisheries from NMFS within the next several weeks. Authority: 16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq. Dated: October 19, 2011. Emily H. Menashes, Acting Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine Fisheries Service. [FR Doc. 2011–27477 Filed 10–21–11; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510–22–P DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration RIN 0648–XA730 Magnuson-Stevens Act Provisions; General Provisions for Domestic Fisheries; Application for Exempted Fishing Permit National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Department of Commerce. ACTION: Notice; request for comments. AGENCY: NMFS is soliciting public comment on an exempted fishing permit application that would exempt one commercial fishing vessel from the Atlantic surfclam and ocean quahog Georges Bank Closure Area to continue testing the safety and efficacy of harvesting Atlantic surfclams and ocean quahogs from the closure area. This would be a continuation of a research project that has been ongoing since 2006. NMS has made a preliminary determination that the exempted fishing permit application contains all of the tkelley on DSK3SPTVN1PROD with NOTICES SUMMARY: VerDate Mar<15>2010 15:34 Oct 21, 2011 Jkt 226001 required information and warrants further consideration. DATES: Comments must be received on or before November 8, 2011. ADDRESSES: Comments on this notice may be submitted by e-mail. The mailbox address for providing e-mail comments is NERO.EFP@noaa.gov. Include in the subject line of the e-mail comment the following document identifier: ‘‘Comments on 2012 GB PSP Closed Area Exemption.’’ Written comments should be sent to Patricia A. Kurkul, Regional Administrator, NMFS, Northeast Regional Office, 55 Great Republic Drive, Gloucester, MA 01930. Mark the outside of the envelope ‘‘Comments on 2012 GB PSP Closed Area Exemption.’’ Comments may also be sent via facsimile (fax) to (978) 281–9135. Copies of supporting documents referenced in this notice are available from NMFS, 55 Great Republic Drive, Gloucester, MA 01930, and are available via the Internet at http:// www.nero.noaa.gov/sfd/clams. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Jason Berthiaume, Fishery Management Specialist, phone 978–281–9177. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The applicant, Wallace & Associates, of Cambridge, MD, requests on behalf of Truex Enterprises a renewal of their current EFP, which is due to expire on December 31, 2011, to allow the catch and retention for sale of Atlantic surfclams and ocean quahog from within the Atlantic surfclam and ocean quahog Georges Bank (GB) Closure Area. The GB Closed Area is located east of 69°00’ W. long. and south of 42°20’ N. lat and has been closed since May 25, 1990, due to the presence of a toxin (saxotoxins) that cause paralytic shellfish poisoning (PSP). Due, in part, to the inability to test and monitor this area for the presence of PSP, this closure was made permanent through Amendment 12 to the Atlantic Surfclam and Ocean Quahog Fishery Management Plan in 1999. The primary goal of the proposed study is to test the efficacy of a sampling protocol that was developed by state and Federal regulatory agencies to test for presence of saxotoxins in shellfish, and thus has been in a trial period through previous EFPs since 2006. This protocol would facilitate the harvest of shellfish from waters susceptible to harmful algal blooms, which produce the saxotoxins, but that are not currently under rigorous water quality monitoring programs by either state or Federal management agencies. A copy of the sampling protocol is available from the PO 00000 Frm 00018 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 NMFS Northeast Region Web site: http://www.nero.noaa.gov/sfd/clams. This project is a pilot program with the goal of determining if the shellfish harvested from the GB Closure Area are safe for human consumption under the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) International Shellfish Sanitation Conference (ISSC) guidelines and requirements. The protocol in this pilot program will be presented to the ISSC meeting in October 2011 to adopt the protocol into the National Shellfish Sanitation Program (NSSP) and change it from a pilot program to a permanent part of the U.S. FDA ISSC Shellfish Sanitation Program. If adopted, additional vessel participants would be required to obtain an EFP to participate in this or similar projects. The proposed project would continue to conduct a trial for the sampling protocol in an exemption zone within the larger 1990 GB Closure Area with one fishing vessel. The exemption zone would not include any Northeast multispecies or essential fish habitat year-round closure areas. This proposed exempted fishing activity would occur during the 2012 calendar year, using surfclam quota allocated to Truex Enterprises under the Federal individual transferable quota program. The applicant has estimated a harvest of 250,000 bushels (8,809,768 L) of surfclams from the exemption area. The exemption area has been tested in cooperation with the FDA from 2006 to the present. It is expected that harvesting under an EFP would occur on approximately 60– 70 days during 2012. Species to be harvested are surfclams and ocean quahogs, utilizing a 170-inch (4.3 m) hydraulic clam dredge. Approximately 30 tows per day would be made for 10 minutes each, at a speed of about 2.5 knots. There are no discards or known interactions with protected species. Harvesting under an EFP is not expected to exceed two trips per week. Harvested clams would be delivered to Sea Watch International in New Bedford, MA. Harvests would be predominantly surfclams from the area known as Cultivator Shoals. The U.S. FDA would receive samples from each trip for their information and independent analyses in addition to the onboard screening and the dockside testing. Onboard screening is conducted on five samples taken from each corner and the center of each lot to be harvested (not more than 3-square miles (4.8 square kilometers)) by Jellett Rapid Test Kits and Abraxis Kits. Dockside testing would be conducted by the Massachusetts Division of Marine Fisheries laboratory in Gloucester, MA. E:\FR\FM\24OCN1.SGM 24OCN1 tkelley on DSK3SPTVN1PROD with NOTICES Federal Register / Vol. 76, No. 205 / Monday, October 24, 2011 / Notices State and Federal agencies would be notified of each trip, the place and time of landing, the results of onboard screening, and dockside laboratory results. Federal and state agencies are provided a copy of the Declaration of Harvest form from each trip, which details the location of harvest, cage tag numbers, and results of onboard screening. The applicant has obtained endorsements for the EFP and the sampling protocol from the states of Rhode Island, New Jersey, Delaware, and Massachusetts, the states in which it intends to land and process the product harvested under the EFP. Each state is responsible for regulating the molluscan shellfish industry within its jurisdiction and ensuring the safety of shellfish harvested within or entering its borders. The sampling protocol and the pilot project that would be authorized by this EFP have also since been endorsed by the Executive Board of the ISSC. Regulations under the MagnusonStevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act require publication of this notification to provide interested parties the opportunity to comment on applications for proposed exempted fishing permits. The Assistant Regional Administrator has made an initial determination that, based on a preliminary review of the proposed subject research and the criteria provided in section 5.05a-c and section 6.03c.3(a) of NOAA’s Administrative Order 216–6, a Categorical Exclusion appears to be justified for this EFP. In accordance with NOAA’s Administrative Order 216–6, a Categorical Exclusion, or other appropriate National Environmental Policy Act document, would be completed prior to the issuance of the exempted fishing permit. Further review and consultation may be necessary before a final determination is made to issue the exempted fishing permit. If approved, the applicant may request minor modifications and extensions to the EFP throughout the year. EFP modifications and extensions may be granted without further notice if they are deemed essential to facilitate completion of the proposed research and have minimal impacts that do not change the scope or impact of the initially approved EFP request. Any fishing activity conducted outside the scope of the exempted fishing activity would be prohibited. Authority: 16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq. VerDate Mar<15>2010 15:34 Oct 21, 2011 Jkt 226001 Dated: October 18, 2011. Emily H. Menashes, Acting Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine Fisheries Service. [FR Doc. 2011–27479 Filed 10–21–11; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510–22–P DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration RIN 0648–XA779 South Atlantic Fishery Management Council; Public Meetings National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Commerce. ACTION: Notice of public hearing series. AGENCY: The South Atlantic Fishery Management Council (Council) will hold a series of public hearings regarding Amendments 18A, 20A, and 24 to the Snapper Grouper Fishery Management Plan (FMP) for the South Atlantic Region. See SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION. Dates and Location: The series of seven public hearings will be held from November 14, 2011 through December 6, 2011. The hearings will be held from 4 p.m. until 7 p.m. with the exception of two hearings. The hearings on November 15, 2011 in Charleston, SC and the hearing on December 6, 2011 in Raleigh, NC will be conducted from 5:30 p.m.–7:30 p.m. Note that in some cases consecutive hearings will be held on the same date. Council staff will present an overview of the amendments and will be available for informal discussions and to answer questions. Members of the public will have an opportunity to go on record at any time during the meeting hours to record their comments on the public hearing topics for consideration by the Council. Local Council representatives will attend the meetings and take public comment. Written comments will be accepted from October 21, 2011 until 5 p.m. on November 21, 2011, See SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Amendment 18A is being developed by the Council to address overcapacity in the commercial black sea bass pot fishery and reduce the rate of harvest for both commercial and recreational sectors. The amendment includes actions to limit participation and effort in the black sea bass pot fishery, limit bycatch in the commercial pot fishery, and modify the current system of accountability measures. Management SUMMARY: PO 00000 Frm 00019 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 65699 measures being considered include increases in size limits, decreases in bag limits, a commercial trip limit, and a spawning season closure. The amendment also includes actions to update management parameters based on the 2011 Southeast Data, Assessment and Review (SEDAR) stock assessment for black sea bass, consider modifications to the rebuilding strategy to account for an increasing biomass, and improve the accuracy, timing and quantity of fisheries data. Amendment 20A addresses the current Individual Transferable Quota (ITQ) program currently in place for the wreckfish fishery. The amendment includes measures to adjust the distribution of wreckfish shares in order to remove inactive effort and allow the commercial sector’s Annual Catch Limit (ACL) to be harvested effectively. Amendment 24 to the Snapper Grouper FMP addresses the implementation of a rebuilding plan for red grouper in the South Atlantic as required by the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (MSFCMA). The rebuilding plan would specify ACLs, annual catch targets and accountability measures for the red grouper fishery. The amendment also establishes sector allocations. Public Hearing Schedule: 1. November 14, 2011—Avista Resort, 300 N. Ocean Blvd., North Myrtle Beach, SC 29582; telephone: (843) 249– 2521; 2. November 14, 2011—Hampton Inn & Suites Savannah/Midtown, 20 Johnson Street, Savannah, GA 31405; telephone: (912) 721–3700; 3. November 15, 2011—Charleston Marriott Hotel, 170 Lockwood Blvd., Charleston, SC 29403; telephone: (843) 723–3000; 4. November 15, 2011—Jacksonville Marriott, 4670 Salisbury Road, Jacksonville, FL 32256; telephone: (904) 296–2222; 5. November 16, 2011—Radisson Resort at the Port, 8701 Astronaut Boulevard, Cape Canaveral, FL 32920; telephone: (321) 784–0000; 6. November 17, 2011—Key Largo Bay Marriott, 103800 Overseas Hwy., Key Largo, FL 33037; telephone: (305) 453– 0000; 7. December 6, 2011—Holiday Inn Brownstone, 1707 Hillsborough Street, Raleigh, NC 27605; Phone: (919) 828– 0811. ADDRESSES: Written comments should be sent to Bob Mahood, Executive Director, South Atlantic Fishery Management Council, 4055 Faber Place Drive, Suite 201, North Charleston, SC 29405, or via e-mail to: E:\FR\FM\24OCN1.SGM 24OCN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 76, Number 205 (Monday, October 24, 2011)]
[Notices]
[Pages 65698-65699]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2011-27479]


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DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

RIN 0648-XA730


Magnuson-Stevens Act Provisions; General Provisions for Domestic 
Fisheries; Application for Exempted Fishing Permit

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

ACTION: Notice; request for comments.

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

SUMMARY: NMFS is soliciting public comment on an exempted fishing 
permit application that would exempt one commercial fishing vessel from 
the Atlantic surfclam and ocean quahog Georges Bank Closure Area to 
continue testing the safety and efficacy of harvesting Atlantic 
surfclams and ocean quahogs from the closure area. This would be a 
continuation of a research project that has been ongoing since 2006. 
NMS has made a preliminary determination that the exempted fishing 
permit application contains all of the required information and 
warrants further consideration.

DATES: Comments must be received on or before November 8, 2011.

ADDRESSES: Comments on this notice may be submitted by e-mail. The 
mailbox address for providing e-mail comments is NERO.EFP@noaa.gov. 
Include in the subject line of the e-mail comment the following 
document identifier: ``Comments on 2012 GB PSP Closed Area Exemption.''
    Written comments should be sent to Patricia A. Kurkul, Regional 
Administrator, NMFS, Northeast Regional Office, 55 Great Republic 
Drive, Gloucester, MA 01930. Mark the outside of the envelope 
``Comments on 2012 GB PSP Closed Area Exemption.'' Comments may also be 
sent via facsimile (fax) to (978) 281-9135.
    Copies of supporting documents referenced in this notice are 
available from NMFS, 55 Great Republic Drive, Gloucester, MA 01930, and 
are available via the Internet at http://www.nero.noaa.gov/sfd/clams.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Jason Berthiaume, Fishery Management 
Specialist, phone 978-281-9177.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The applicant, Wallace & Associates, of 
Cambridge, MD, requests on behalf of Truex Enterprises a renewal of 
their current EFP, which is due to expire on December 31, 2011, to 
allow the catch and retention for sale of Atlantic surfclams and ocean 
quahog from within the Atlantic surfclam and ocean quahog Georges Bank 
(GB) Closure Area. The GB Closed Area is located east of 69[deg]00' W. 
long. and south of 42[deg]20' N. lat and has been closed since May 25, 
1990, due to the presence of a toxin (saxotoxins) that cause paralytic 
shellfish poisoning (PSP). Due, in part, to the inability to test and 
monitor this area for the presence of PSP, this closure was made 
permanent through Amendment 12 to the Atlantic Surfclam and Ocean 
Quahog Fishery Management Plan in 1999.
    The primary goal of the proposed study is to test the efficacy of a 
sampling protocol that was developed by state and Federal regulatory 
agencies to test for presence of saxotoxins in shellfish, and thus has 
been in a trial period through previous EFPs since 2006. This protocol 
would facilitate the harvest of shellfish from waters susceptible to 
harmful algal blooms, which produce the saxotoxins, but that are not 
currently under rigorous water quality monitoring programs by either 
state or Federal management agencies. A copy of the sampling protocol 
is available from the NMFS Northeast Region Web site:  http://www.nero.noaa.gov/sfd/clams.
    This project is a pilot program with the goal of determining if the 
shellfish harvested from the GB Closure Area are safe for human 
consumption under the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) 
International Shellfish Sanitation Conference (ISSC) guidelines and 
requirements. The protocol in this pilot program will be presented to 
the ISSC meeting in October 2011 to adopt the protocol into the 
National Shellfish Sanitation Program (NSSP) and change it from a pilot 
program to a permanent part of the U.S. FDA ISSC Shellfish Sanitation 
Program. If adopted, additional vessel participants would be required 
to obtain an EFP to participate in this or similar projects.
    The proposed project would continue to conduct a trial for the 
sampling protocol in an exemption zone within the larger 1990 GB 
Closure Area with one fishing vessel. The exemption zone would not 
include any Northeast multispecies or essential fish habitat year-round 
closure areas. This proposed exempted fishing activity would occur 
during the 2012 calendar year, using surfclam quota allocated to Truex 
Enterprises under the Federal individual transferable quota program. 
The applicant has estimated a harvest of 250,000 bushels (8,809,768 L) 
of surfclams from the exemption area. The exemption area has been 
tested in cooperation with the FDA from 2006 to the present.
    It is expected that harvesting under an EFP would occur on 
approximately 60-70 days during 2012. Species to be harvested are 
surfclams and ocean quahogs, utilizing a 170-inch (4.3 m) hydraulic 
clam dredge. Approximately 30 tows per day would be made for 10 minutes 
each, at a speed of about 2.5 knots. There are no discards or known 
interactions with protected species. Harvesting under an EFP is not 
expected to exceed two trips per week. Harvested clams would be 
delivered to Sea Watch International in New Bedford, MA. Harvests would 
be predominantly surfclams from the area known as Cultivator Shoals.
    The U.S. FDA would receive samples from each trip for their 
information and independent analyses in addition to the onboard 
screening and the dockside testing. Onboard screening is conducted on 
five samples taken from each corner and the center of each lot to be 
harvested (not more than 3-square miles (4.8 square kilometers)) by 
Jellett Rapid Test Kits and Abraxis Kits. Dockside testing would be 
conducted by the Massachusetts Division of Marine Fisheries laboratory 
in Gloucester, MA.

[[Page 65699]]

State and Federal agencies would be notified of each trip, the place 
and time of landing, the results of onboard screening, and dockside 
laboratory results. Federal and state agencies are provided a copy of 
the Declaration of Harvest form from each trip, which details the 
location of harvest, cage tag numbers, and results of onboard 
screening.
    The applicant has obtained endorsements for the EFP and the 
sampling protocol from the states of Rhode Island, New Jersey, 
Delaware, and Massachusetts, the states in which it intends to land and 
process the product harvested under the EFP. Each state is responsible 
for regulating the molluscan shellfish industry within its jurisdiction 
and ensuring the safety of shellfish harvested within or entering its 
borders. The sampling protocol and the pilot project that would be 
authorized by this EFP have also since been endorsed by the Executive 
Board of the ISSC.
    Regulations under the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and 
Management Act require publication of this notification to provide 
interested parties the opportunity to comment on applications for 
proposed exempted fishing permits. The Assistant Regional Administrator 
has made an initial determination that, based on a preliminary review 
of the proposed subject research and the criteria provided in section 
5.05a-c and section 6.03c.3(a) of NOAA's Administrative Order 216-6, a 
Categorical Exclusion appears to be justified for this EFP. In 
accordance with NOAA's Administrative Order 216-6, a Categorical 
Exclusion, or other appropriate National Environmental Policy Act 
document, would be completed prior to the issuance of the exempted 
fishing permit. Further review and consultation may be necessary before 
a final determination is made to issue the exempted fishing permit.
    If approved, the applicant may request minor modifications and 
extensions to the EFP throughout the year. EFP modifications and 
extensions may be granted without further notice if they are deemed 
essential to facilitate completion of the proposed research and have 
minimal impacts that do not change the scope or impact of the initially 
approved EFP request. Any fishing activity conducted outside the scope 
of the exempted fishing activity would be prohibited.

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

    Dated: October 18, 2011.
Emily H. Menashes,
Acting Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine 
Fisheries Service.
[FR Doc. 2011-27479 Filed 10-21-11; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 3510-22-P