Fisheries of the Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico, South Atlantic; Comprehensive Amendment, 30506 [2012-12436]

Download as PDF 30506 Federal Register / Vol. 77, No. 100 / Wednesday, May 23, 2012 / Notices DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration RIN 0648–BC22 Fisheries of the Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico, South Atlantic; Comprehensive Amendment National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Department of Commerce. ACTION: Notice of intent (NOI) to prepare a draft environmental impact statement (DEIS); request for comments. AGENCY: The NMFS intends to prepare a DEIS to assess impacts on the natural and human environment of management measures proposed in its draft Comprehensive Ecosystem-Based Amendment 3 (CE–BA 3). CE–BA 3 would amend the Fishery Management Plan (FMP) for: the Snapper-Grouper Fishery of the South Atlantic Region (Snapper-Grouper FMP); Coral, Coral Reefs, Live/Hardbottom Habitats in the South Atlantic (Coral FMP); the FMP for Coastal Migratory Pelagic Resources (Coastal Migratory Pelagics FMP) in the Gulf of Mexico and Atlantic Region; the Dolphin and Wahoo Fishery of the Atlantic (Dolphin Wahoo FMP); the Golden Crab Fishery of the Atlantic (Golden Crab FMP); the Shrimp Fishery of the South Atlantic Region (Shrimp FMP); and Spiny Lobster in the Gulf of Mexico and the South Atlantic (Spiny Lobster FMP). This NOI is intended to inform the public of the preparation of a DEIS in support of a comprehensive amendment to the South Atlantic Fishery Management Council’s (Council) FMPs. DATES: Written comments on the scope of the issues to be addressed in CE–BA 3 will be accepted until June 22, 2012, at 5 p.m. ADDRESSES: You may submit comments on the NOI identified by NOAA–NMFS– 2012–0109 by any of the following methods: • Electronic submissions: Submit electronic comments via the Federal eRulemaking Portal: http:// www.regulations.gov. Follow the instructions for submitting comments. • Mail: Karla Gore, Southeast Regional Office, NMFS, 263 13th Avenue South, St. Petersburg, FL 33701. Instructions: All comments received are a part of the public record and will generally be posted to http:// www.regulations.gov without change. All Personal Identifying Information (for example, name, address, etc.) mstockstill on DSK4VPTVN1PROD with NOTICES SUMMARY: VerDate Mar<15>2010 17:00 May 22, 2012 Jkt 226001 voluntarily submitted by the commenter may be publicly accessible. Do not submit Confidential Business Information or otherwise sensitive or protected information. NMFS will accept anonymous comments (enter N/ A in the required field if you wish to remain anonymous). To submit comments through the Federal e-Rulemaking Portal: http:// www.regulations.gov, click on ‘‘submit a comment,’’ then enter ‘‘NOAA–NMFS– 2012–0109’’ in the keyword search field and click on ‘‘search.’’ After you locate the document ‘‘Title,’’ click the ‘‘Submit a Comment’’ link in that row. This will display the comment web form. You can then enter your submitter information (unless you prefer to remain anonymous), and type your comment on the web form. You can also attach additional files (up to 10MB) in Microsoft Word, Excel, WordPerfect, or Adobe PDF file formats only. To view posted comments during the comment period, enter ‘‘NOAA–NMFS– 2012–0109’’ in the keyword search and click on ‘‘search.’’ Comments received through means not specified in this rule will not be considered. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Karla Gore, Southeast Regional Office, NMFS: telephone: 727–824–5305, email: Karla.Gore@noaa.gov. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Background The snapper-grouper, coral, coastal migratory pelagics, dolphin and wahoo, golden crab, shrimp and spiny lobster fisheries in the exclusive economic zone are managed under their respective FMPs. The FMPs were prepared by the Council and implemented by NMFS under the authority of the MagnusonStevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act by regulations at 50 CFR part 622. Measures in CE–BA 3 would amend the Coral FMP to expand and modify the Stetson-Miami Terrace and Cape Lookout deepwater Coral Habitat Areas of Particular Concern (CHAPC) that were established through the implementation of CE–BA 1 in 2010. These CHAPCs were originally developed to protect known sensitive deepwater coral habitat. New information and research has identified additional areas of deepwater coral. CE–BA 3 would amend the SnapperGrouper FMP to modify the Oculina Habitat Area of Particular Concern (HAPC) established through Amendment 13A to the SnapperGrouper FMP. CE–BA 3 would modify the northern and western boundaries of the present Oculina Bank HAPC based PO 00000 Frm 00010 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 9990 on research that has identified two newly discovered areas of high-relief Oculina coral mounds that lie outside of the current boundary. CE–BA 3 would amend the SnapperGrouper FMP to implement measures to reduce bycatch of speckled hind and warsaw grouper, which are undergoing overfishing. Amendment 17B to the Snapper-Grouper FMP, implemented a prohibition on the harvest of six deepwater snapper-grouper species (snowy grouper, blueline tilefish, yellowedge grouper, misty grouper, queen snapper, and silk snapper) in waters greater than 240 feet to reduce bycatch of speckled hind and warsaw grouper. However, there is now evidence that this prohibition is not effective at reducing bycatch of speckled hind and warsaw grouper, and different management measures are needed. As a result, Regulatory Amendment 11 to the Snapper Grouper FMP removed this harvest prohibition and the Council is considering more appropriate management measures to protect speckled hind and warsaw grouper in CE–BA 3. Options suggested thus far include modification to existing marine protected areas (MPAs) or the establishment of new MPAs. CE–BA 3 also proposes changes to data reporting requirements in the Snapper-Grouper FMP, Coastal Migratory Pelagics FMP, Dolphin and Wahoo FMP, Golden Crab FMP, Shrimp FMP and Spiny Lobster FMP. Public Hearings, Times, and Locations Public hearings for the Comprehensive Ecosystem-Based Amendment 3 will be held in August 2012. Exact dates, times, and locations will be announced by the Council. The public will be informed, via a notification in the Federal Register, of future scoping meetings and public hearings for CE–BA 3. The meetings will be physically accessible to people with disabilities. Requests for information packets or for sign language interpretation or other auxiliary equipment should be directed to the Council (see FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT). Authority: 16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq. Dated: May 17, 2012. Carrie Selberg, Acting Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine Fisheries Service. [FR Doc. 2012–12436 Filed 5–22–12; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510–22–P E:\FR\FM\23MYN1.SGM 23MYN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 77, Number 100 (Wednesday, May 23, 2012)]
[Notices]
[Page 30506]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2012-12436]



[[Page 30506]]

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DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

RIN 0648-BC22


Fisheries of the Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico, South Atlantic; 
Comprehensive Amendment

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

ACTION: Notice of intent (NOI) to prepare a draft environmental impact 
statement (DEIS); request for comments.

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

SUMMARY: The NMFS intends to prepare a DEIS to assess impacts on the 
natural and human environment of management measures proposed in its 
draft Comprehensive Ecosystem-Based Amendment 3 (CE-BA 3). CE-BA 3 
would amend the Fishery Management Plan (FMP) for: the Snapper-Grouper 
Fishery of the South Atlantic Region (Snapper-Grouper FMP); Coral, 
Coral Reefs, Live/Hardbottom Habitats in the South Atlantic (Coral 
FMP); the FMP for Coastal Migratory Pelagic Resources (Coastal 
Migratory Pelagics FMP) in the Gulf of Mexico and Atlantic Region; the 
Dolphin and Wahoo Fishery of the Atlantic (Dolphin Wahoo FMP); the 
Golden Crab Fishery of the Atlantic (Golden Crab FMP); the Shrimp 
Fishery of the South Atlantic Region (Shrimp FMP); and Spiny Lobster in 
the Gulf of Mexico and the South Atlantic (Spiny Lobster FMP).
    This NOI is intended to inform the public of the preparation of a 
DEIS in support of a comprehensive amendment to the South Atlantic 
Fishery Management Council's (Council) FMPs.

DATES: Written comments on the scope of the issues to be addressed in 
CE-BA 3 will be accepted until June 22, 2012, at 5 p.m.

ADDRESSES: You may submit comments on the NOI identified by NOAA-NMFS-
2012-0109 by any of the following methods:
     Electronic submissions: Submit electronic comments via the 
Federal e-Rulemaking Portal: http://www.regulations.gov. Follow the 
instructions for submitting comments.
     Mail: Karla Gore, Southeast Regional Office, NMFS, 263 
13th Avenue South, St. Petersburg, FL 33701.
    Instructions: All comments received are a part of the public record 
and will generally be posted to http://www.regulations.gov without 
change. All Personal Identifying Information (for example, name, 
address, etc.) voluntarily submitted by the commenter may be publicly 
accessible. Do not submit Confidential Business Information or 
otherwise sensitive or protected information. NMFS will accept 
anonymous comments (enter N/A in the required field if you wish to 
remain anonymous).
    To submit comments through the Federal e-Rulemaking Portal: http://www.regulations.gov, click on ``submit a comment,'' then enter ``NOAA-
NMFS-2012-0109'' in the keyword search field and click on ``search.'' 
After you locate the document ``Title,'' click the ``Submit a Comment'' 
link in that row. This will display the comment web form. You can then 
enter your submitter information (unless you prefer to remain 
anonymous), and type your comment on the web form. You can also attach 
additional files (up to 10MB) in Microsoft Word, Excel, WordPerfect, or 
Adobe PDF file formats only.
    To view posted comments during the comment period, enter ``NOAA-
NMFS-2012-0109'' in the keyword search and click on ``search.'' 
Comments received through means not specified in this rule will not be 
considered.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Karla Gore, Southeast Regional Office, 
NMFS: telephone: 727-824-5305, email: Karla.Gore@noaa.gov.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: 

Background

    The snapper-grouper, coral, coastal migratory pelagics, dolphin and 
wahoo, golden crab, shrimp and spiny lobster fisheries in the exclusive 
economic zone are managed under their respective FMPs. The FMPs were 
prepared by the Council and implemented by NMFS under the authority of 
the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act by 
regulations at 50 CFR part 622.
    Measures in CE-BA 3 would amend the Coral FMP to expand and modify 
the Stetson-Miami Terrace and Cape Lookout deepwater Coral Habitat 
Areas of Particular Concern (CHAPC) that were established through the 
implementation of CE-BA 1 in 2010. These CHAPCs were originally 
developed to protect known sensitive deepwater coral habitat. New 
information and research has identified additional areas of deepwater 
coral.
    CE-BA 3 would amend the Snapper-Grouper FMP to modify the Oculina 
Habitat Area of Particular Concern (HAPC) established through Amendment 
13A to the Snapper-Grouper FMP. CE-BA 3 would modify the northern and 
western boundaries of the present Oculina Bank HAPC based on research 
that has identified two newly discovered areas of high-relief Oculina 
coral mounds that lie outside of the current boundary.
    CE-BA 3 would amend the Snapper-Grouper FMP to implement measures 
to reduce bycatch of speckled hind and warsaw grouper, which are 
undergoing overfishing. Amendment 17B to the Snapper-Grouper FMP, 
implemented a prohibition on the harvest of six deepwater snapper-
grouper species (snowy grouper, blueline tilefish, yellowedge grouper, 
misty grouper, queen snapper, and silk snapper) in waters greater than 
240 feet to reduce bycatch of speckled hind and warsaw grouper. 
However, there is now evidence that this prohibition is not effective 
at reducing bycatch of speckled hind and warsaw grouper, and different 
management measures are needed. As a result, Regulatory Amendment 11 to 
the Snapper Grouper FMP removed this harvest prohibition and the 
Council is considering more appropriate management measures to protect 
speckled hind and warsaw grouper in CE-BA 3. Options suggested thus far 
include modification to existing marine protected areas (MPAs) or the 
establishment of new MPAs.
    CE-BA 3 also proposes changes to data reporting requirements in the 
Snapper-Grouper FMP, Coastal Migratory Pelagics FMP, Dolphin and Wahoo 
FMP, Golden Crab FMP, Shrimp FMP and Spiny Lobster FMP.

Public Hearings, Times, and Locations

    Public hearings for the Comprehensive Ecosystem-Based Amendment 3 
will be held in August 2012. Exact dates, times, and locations will be 
announced by the Council. The public will be informed, via a 
notification in the Federal Register, of future scoping meetings and 
public hearings for CE-BA 3. The meetings will be physically accessible 
to people with disabilities. Requests for information packets or for 
sign language interpretation or other auxiliary equipment should be 
directed to the Council (see FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT).

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

    Dated: May 17, 2012.
Carrie Selberg,
Acting Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine 
Fisheries Service.
[FR Doc. 2012-12436 Filed 5-22-12; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 3510-22-P