Magnuson-Stevens Act Provisions; General Provisions for Domestic Fisheries; Application for Exempted Fishing Permit, 5492-5493 [2012-2515]

Download as PDF 5492 Federal Register / Vol. 77, No. 23 / Friday, February 3, 2012 / Notices DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Availability of Seat for the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary Advisory Council RIN 0648–XA958 Office of National Marine Sanctuaries (ONMS), National Ocean Service (NOS), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Department of Commerce (DOC). AGENCY: Notice and request for applications. ACTION: 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 up to three commercial fishing vessels from the Atlantic surfclam and ocean quahog Georges Bank Closure Area. This would continue research to assess the performance of an approved sampling protocol and to allow for continued sample collection and testing to obtain additional data in locations where toxin levels may be higher than were present during the pilot phase of the study. NMFS 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 February 21, 2012. ADDRESSES: Comments on this notice may be submitted by email. The mailbox address for providing email comments is NERO.EFP@noaa.gov. Include in the subject line of the email comment the following document identifier: ‘‘Comments on 2012 GB PSP Closed Area Exemption.’’ Written comments should be sent to Daniel Morris, Acting 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 www.nero.noaa.gov/ sfd/clams. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Jason Berthiaume, Fishery Management Specialist, phone (978) 281–9177. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: This notice is a revision to a previously published Federal Register notice (76 FR 65698). Complete project history is available in the previously published SUMMARY: The ONMS is seeking applications for the following positions on the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary Advisory Council: Tourism— Lower Keys (member), and Tourism— Lower Keys (alternate). Applicants are chosen based upon their particular expertise and experience in relation to the seat for which they are applying; community and professional affiliations; philosophy regarding the protection and management of marine resources; and possibly the length of residence in the area affected by the sanctuary. Applicants who are chosen as members should expect to serve 3-year terms, pursuant to the council’s Charter. SUMMARY: DATES: Applications are due by March 2, 2012. Application kits may be obtained from Lilli Ferguson, Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary, 33 East Quay Rd., Key West, FL 33040. Completed applications should be sent to the same address. ADDRESSES: Lilli Ferguson, Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary, 33 East Quay Rd., Key West, FL 33040; (305) 292–0311 x245; Lilli.Ferguson@noaa.gov. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Per the council’s Charter, if necessary, terms of appointment may be changed to provide for staggered expiration dates or member resignation mid term. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: tkelley on DSK3SPTVN1PROD with NOTICES Authority: 16 U.S.C. 1431, et seq. (Federal Domestic Assistance Catalog Number 11.429 Marine Sanctuary Program) Dated: January 13, 2012. Daniel J. Basta Director, Office of National Marine Sanctuaries, National Ocean Service, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. [FR Doc. 2012–2417 Filed 2–2–12; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510–NK–M VerDate Mar<15>2010 20:48 Feb 02, 2012 Jkt 226001 PO 00000 Frm 00013 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 notice. This Federal Register notice is being published because the objective of the proposed project and the list of participating vessels have changed. Truex Enterprises initially submitted an EFP application on September 20, 2011. Truex requested the EFP to authorize one fishing vessel to access the Georges Bank Paralytic Shellfish Poisoning (PSP) Closed Area in order to harvest clams and test them for the presence of PSP using a developmental sampling protocol. While this application was being reviewed and was available for public comment, the sampling protocol being tested was adopted into the National Shellfish Sanitation Program by the International Shellfish Sanitation Conference. Because testing of the sampling protocol was the primary objective of the pilot project, NMFS requested that Truex Enterprises resubmit an application for an EFP, as such testing no longer appeared necessary or relevant. Truex Enterprises submitted a revised application on January 10, 2012. The revised purpose and goal of the project is to continue research to assess the performance of the approved protocol and to allow for sample collection and testing for another year to gain additional data from locations where toxin levels may be higher than were present during the pilot phase of the study. Although the onboard screening protocol was approved in October 2011, the protocol has only been fully evaluated at sea under the pilot study conditions where toxin levels were relatively low, below the regulatory action level. This EFP would allow industry to continue testing through another year, increasing the possibility to evaluate the protocol under varying toxin concentrations. The revised application also requests up to two additional vessels, for a total of up to three vessels, to be listed under the EFP. With the additional vessels, it is expected that harvest levels would increase from 250,000 bushels (2,007,813 L) total in the original proposal, to approximately 250,000 bushels to 300,000 bushels (2,007,813 L–2,409,375 L) per vessel. It is expected that harvesting under an EFP would occur on approximately 70 fishing trips per vessel. Species to be harvested are surfclams and ocean quahogs utilizing a 170-inch (432-cm) hydraulic clam dredge for the vessel F/V SEAWATCHER I, and two 150-inch (381-cm) hydraulic clam dredges on the F/V PRIDE and F/V PURSUIT. Each vessel would make approximately 30 tows per day of 10 minutes each, at a speed of about 2.5 knots. There are no discards or known interactions with E:\FR\FM\03FEN1.SGM 03FEN1 tkelley on DSK3SPTVN1PROD with NOTICES Federal Register / Vol. 77, No. 23 / Friday, February 3, 2012 / Notices protected species and there would be no activity in any areas closed for Northeast multispecies. All harvest would be accounted for under Atlantic surfclam and ocean quahog quota allocations under the Federal individual transferable quota program. The additional vessels would help to study the expansion of the protocol from one vessel in a pilot study to more fishing vessels for a wider-spread implementation. Also, the area designated on GB where the research is proposed would be divided into three even sections in which each vessel would collect samples on a regular basis. If it appears that an algal bloom is forming in a given area, spatial and temporal sampling would be increased as needed. This also allows for samples to be collected over a wider area, ensuring samples collected are representative of evenly distributed portions of the entire closure area. State and Federal agencies will be notified of each trip, place and time of landing, the results of onboard screening, and the dockside laboratory results. Harvested clams would be landed in Massachusetts and Delaware. New Jersey and Rhode Island may be added as additional landing states pending agreements being developed according to the terms of the protocol. Harvested clams would be processed at Sea Watch International in New Bedford, MA, with independent samples from each trip landed being taken for shipment to an independent FDA certified laboratory in Brunswick, ME, and the shellfish held at the processing site under State supervision until the dockside tests are complete. All of the results from activities under the EFPs would be compiled, archived, and made public by the FDA. 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 EFPs. 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 EFP. Further review and consultation may be necessary before a final determination is made to issue the EFP. VerDate Mar<15>2010 20:48 Feb 02, 2012 Jkt 226001 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: January 31, 2012. Steven Thur, Acting Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine Fisheries Service. [FR Doc. 2012–2515 Filed 2–2–12; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510–22–P 5493 sampling to efficiently map the distributions of rockfishes on large scales and to direct the optical sampling. The COAST also uses accurate optical sampling to provide estimates of species composition and their length distributions. Thus, the COAST combines information from acoustic and optical sampling to obtain relatively precise and accurate estimates of the distributions and abundances of rockfishes, by species. The COAST was developed by the NOAA/NMFS Southwest Fisheries Science Center, Advanced Sampling Technology Program, and the Sportfishing Association of California. It may also have broad appeal to fisheries managers and researchers as a tool for ecosystembased management as well as evaluating the performance of marine protected areas. DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE Special Accommodations National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration This meeting is physically accessible to people with disabilities. Requests for sign language interpretation or other auxiliary aids should be directed to Mr. Dale Sweetnam (858) 546–7170 at least five days prior to the meeting date. RIN 0648–XA978 Southwest Fisheries Science Center; Public Meeting National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Commerce. ACTION: Notice of public meeting. AGENCY: A methods review of the Collaborative Optically-assisted Acoustic Survey Technique (COAST) by the Center for Independent Experts (CIE) and the Pacific Fishery Management Council (PFMC) and will be held February 15–17, 2012, that is open to the public. DATES: The methods review of the COAST process will be held beginning at 8:30 a.m., Wednesday, February 15, 2012, and end at 5:30 p.m. or as necessary to complete business for the day. The panel will reconvene on Thursday, February 16, 2012, and will continue through Friday, February 17, 2012, beginning at 8 a.m. and ending at 5:30 p.m. each day, or as necessary to complete business. ADDRESSES: The COAST methods review will be held at the Southwest Fisheries Science Center; Southwest Fisheries Science Center, 3333 North Torrey Pines Court, La Jolla, CA 92037– 1023; (858) 546–7000. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Mr. Dale Sweetnam, NMFS Southwest Fisheries Science Center; telephone: (858) 546–7170. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The COAST uses high-precision acoustic Dated: January 31, 2012. Steven Thur, Acting Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine Fisheries Service. [FR Doc. 2012–2491 Filed 2–2–12; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510–22–P SUMMARY: PO 00000 Frm 00014 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration RIN 0648–XA603 Marine Mammals; File No. 15802 National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Commerce. ACTION: Notice; requested change to permit application. AGENCY: Notice is hereby given that the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, 100 Eighth Avenue SE., St. Petersburg, FL 33701 [Gregg Poulakis, Responsible Party], has requested a change to the application for a permit (File No. 15802). DATES: Written, telefaxed, or email comments must be received on or before March 5, 2012. ADDRESSES: The application and related documents are available for review by selecting ‘‘Records Open for Public Comment’’ from the Features box on the Applications and Permits for Protected SUMMARY: E:\FR\FM\03FEN1.SGM 03FEN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 77, Number 23 (Friday, February 3, 2012)]
[Notices]
[Pages 5492-5493]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2012-2515]


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DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

RIN 0648-XA958


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 up to three commercial fishing 
vessels from the Atlantic surfclam and ocean quahog Georges Bank 
Closure Area. This would continue research to assess the performance of 
an approved sampling protocol and to allow for continued sample 
collection and testing to obtain additional data in locations where 
toxin levels may be higher than were present during the pilot phase of 
the study. NMFS 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 February 21, 2012.

ADDRESSES: Comments on this notice may be submitted by email. The 
mailbox address for providing email comments is NERO.EFP@noaa.gov. 
Include in the subject line of the email comment the following document 
identifier: ``Comments on 2012 GB PSP Closed Area Exemption.''
    Written comments should be sent to Daniel Morris, Acting 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 www.nero.noaa.gov/sfd/clams.

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

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: This notice is a revision to a previously 
published Federal Register notice (76 FR 65698). Complete project 
history is available in the previously published notice. This Federal 
Register notice is being published because the objective of the 
proposed project and the list of participating vessels have changed.
    Truex Enterprises initially submitted an EFP application on 
September 20, 2011. Truex requested the EFP to authorize one fishing 
vessel to access the Georges Bank Paralytic Shellfish Poisoning (PSP) 
Closed Area in order to harvest clams and test them for the presence of 
PSP using a developmental sampling protocol. While this application was 
being reviewed and was available for public comment, the sampling 
protocol being tested was adopted into the National Shellfish 
Sanitation Program by the International Shellfish Sanitation 
Conference. Because testing of the sampling protocol was the primary 
objective of the pilot project, NMFS requested that Truex Enterprises 
resubmit an application for an EFP, as such testing no longer appeared 
necessary or relevant.
    Truex Enterprises submitted a revised application on January 10, 
2012. The revised purpose and goal of the project is to continue 
research to assess the performance of the approved protocol and to 
allow for sample collection and testing for another year to gain 
additional data from locations where toxin levels may be higher than 
were present during the pilot phase of the study. Although the onboard 
screening protocol was approved in October 2011, the protocol has only 
been fully evaluated at sea under the pilot study conditions where 
toxin levels were relatively low, below the regulatory action level. 
This EFP would allow industry to continue testing through another year, 
increasing the possibility to evaluate the protocol under varying toxin 
concentrations.
    The revised application also requests up to two additional vessels, 
for a total of up to three vessels, to be listed under the EFP. With 
the additional vessels, it is expected that harvest levels would 
increase from 250,000 bushels (2,007,813 L) total in the original 
proposal, to approximately 250,000 bushels to 300,000 bushels 
(2,007,813 L-2,409,375 L) per vessel. It is expected that harvesting 
under an EFP would occur on approximately 70 fishing trips per vessel. 
Species to be harvested are surfclams and ocean quahogs utilizing a 
170-inch (432-cm) hydraulic clam dredge for the vessel F/V SEAWATCHER 
I, and two 150-inch (381-cm) hydraulic clam dredges on the F/V PRIDE 
and F/V PURSUIT. Each vessel would make approximately 30 tows per day 
of 10 minutes each, at a speed of about 2.5 knots. There are no 
discards or known interactions with

[[Page 5493]]

protected species and there would be no activity in any areas closed 
for Northeast multispecies. All harvest would be accounted for under 
Atlantic surfclam and ocean quahog quota allocations under the Federal 
individual transferable quota program.
    The additional vessels would help to study the expansion of the 
protocol from one vessel in a pilot study to more fishing vessels for a 
wider-spread implementation. Also, the area designated on GB where the 
research is proposed would be divided into three even sections in which 
each vessel would collect samples on a regular basis. If it appears 
that an algal bloom is forming in a given area, spatial and temporal 
sampling would be increased as needed. This also allows for samples to 
be collected over a wider area, ensuring samples collected are 
representative of evenly distributed portions of the entire closure 
area.
    State and Federal agencies will be notified of each trip, place and 
time of landing, the results of onboard screening, and the dockside 
laboratory results. Harvested clams would be landed in Massachusetts 
and Delaware. New Jersey and Rhode Island may be added as additional 
landing states pending agreements being developed according to the 
terms of the protocol. Harvested clams would be processed at Sea Watch 
International in New Bedford, MA, with independent samples from each 
trip landed being taken for shipment to an independent FDA certified 
laboratory in Brunswick, ME, and the shellfish held at the processing 
site under State supervision until the dockside tests are complete. All 
of the results from activities under the EFPs would be compiled, 
archived, and made public by the FDA.
    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 EFPs. 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 EFP. Further review and 
consultation may be necessary before a final determination is made to 
issue the EFP.
    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: January 31, 2012.
Steven Thur,
Acting Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine 
Fisheries Service.
[FR Doc. 2012-2515 Filed 2-2-12; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 3510-22-P