Essential Fish Habitat Components of Fishery Management Plans; 5-Year Review, 44214-44216 [2012-18400]

Download as PDF 44214 Federal Register / Vol. 77, No. 145 / Friday, July 27, 2012 / Notices layered corrosion-resistant carbon steel flat-rolled products less than 4.75 mm in composite thickness that consist of a carbon steel flat-rolled product clad on both sides with stainless steel in a 20%–60%–20% ratio. Further, the Department made three changed circumstances determination with respect to the order on Germany. The Department partially revoked the order with respect to deep-drawing carbon steel strip, roll-clad on both sides with aluminum (AlSi) foils in accordance with St3 LG as to EN 10139/ 10140.5 The Department also partially revoked the order with respect to certain wear plate products.6 In addition, the Department partially revoked the order with respect to the following products: Certain corrosion-resistant carbon steel from Germany, meeting the following description: electrolytically zinc coated flat steel products, with a coating mass between 35 and 72 grams per meter squared on each side; with a thickness range of 0.67 mm or more but not more than 2.95 mm and width 817 mm or more but not over 1830 mm; having the following chemical composition (percent by weight): carbon not over 0.08, silicon not over 0.25, manganese not over 0.9, phosphorous not over 0.025, sulfur not over 0.012, chromium not over 0.1, titanium not over 0.005 and niobium not over 0.05; with a minimum yield strength of 310 Mpa and a minimum tensile strength of 390 Mpa; additionally coated on one or both sides with an organic coating containing not less than 30 percent and not more than 60 percent zinc and free of hexavalent chrome.7 erowe on DSK2VPTVN1PROD with NOTICES Analysis of Comments Received All issues raised in these reviews are addressed in the Issues and Decision Memorandum (‘‘Decision Memorandum’’) from Susan Kuhbach, Director, Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Operations Office 1, to Paul Piquado, Assistant Secretary for Import Administration, dated concurrent with this notice of preliminary results, which is hereby adopted by this notice. The issues 5 See Notice of Final Results of Changed Circumstances Antidumping Duty and Countervailing Duty Reviews and Revocation of Orders in Part: Certain Corrosion-Resistant Carbon Steel Flat Products From Germany, 64 FR 51292 (September 22, 1999). 6 See Notice of Final Results of Antidumping Duty Changed Circumstances Reviews and Revocation of Orders In Part: Certain Corrosion-Resistant Carbon Steel Flat Products From Canada and Germany, 71 FR 14498 (March 22, 2006). 7 See Notice of Final Results of Antidumping Duty Changed Circumstances Review and Revocation of Order In Part: Certain Corrosion-Resistant Carbon Steel Flat Products from Germany, 71 FR 66163 (November 13, 2006). VerDate Mar<15>2010 15:32 Jul 26, 2012 Jkt 226001 discussed in the Decision Memorandum include the likelihood of continuation or recurrence of dumping and the magnitude of the margin likely to prevail if the orders were revoked. In our analysis, the Department addresses the concerns raised by interested parties with regard to the Final Modification for Reviews. Parties can find a complete discussion of all issues raised in these sunset reviews and the corresponding recommendations in this public memorandum, which is on file electronically via Import Administration’s Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Centralized Electronic Service System (‘‘IA ACCESS’’). Access to IA ACCESS is available in the Central Records Unit (‘‘CRU’’), Room 7046 of the main Department of Commerce building. In addition, a complete version of the Decision Memorandum can be accessed directly on the Web at http:// ia.ita.doc.gov/frn, under the heading ‘‘July 2012.’’ The signed version and the electronic versions are identical in content. Preliminary Results of Review The Department preliminarily determines that the magnitude of the margin likely to prevail were the antidumping duty orders on CORE from Germany and Korea to be revoked is at least 9.35 percent for Thyssen Stahl AG and all other German producers and exporters of CORE and at least 12.85 percent for all Korean producers and exporters of CORE, other than POSCO.8 Interested parties may submit case briefs no later than 50 days after the date of publication of the preliminary results of these full sunset reviews, in accordance with 19 CFR 351.309(c)(1)(i). Any interested party may request a hearing within 30 days of publication of this notice in accordance with 19 CFR 351.310(c). Rebuttal briefs, which must be limited to issues raised in the case briefs, may be filed not later than the five days after the time limit for filing case briefs in accordance with 19 CFR 351.309(d). A hearing, if requested, will be held two days after the date the rebuttal briefs are due. The Department will issue a notice of final results of these full sunset reviews, which will include the results of its analysis of issues raised 8 The order was revoked with respect to Pohang Iron & Steel Co., Ltd. and Pohang Coated Steel Co., Ltd. (collectively, ‘‘POSCO’’), who was the only respondent examined in the original antidumping investigation. See Certain Corrosion-Resistant Carbon Steel Flat Products From the Republic of Korea: Notice of Final Results of the 2009–2010 Administrative Review and Revocation, in Part, 77 FR 14501 (March 12, 2012). PO 00000 Frm 00008 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 in any such comments, no later than November 28, 2012.9 The Department is issuing and publishing the results and notice in accordance with sections 751(c), 752, and 777(i)(1) of the Act. Dated: July 23, 2012. Paul Piquado, Assistant Secretary for Import Administration. [FR Doc. 2012–18423 Filed 7–26–12; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510–DS–P DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration RIN 0648–XR75 Essential Fish Habitat Components of Fishery Management Plans; 5-Year Review National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Commerce. ACTION: Supplemental notice of intent (NOI) to prepare an environmental impact statement (EIS). AGENCY: The New England Fishery Management Council is in the process of preparing an Essential Fish Habitat Omnibus Amendment to the fishery management plans for Northeast multispecies, Atlantic sea scallop, monkfish, Atlantic herring, skates, Atlantic salmon, and Atlantic deep-sea red crab. The Council is seeking comments about removing the range of alternatives pertaining to deep-sea corals from this action and developing them as a separate omnibus amendment. DATES: Written comments must be received on or before 5 p.m. e.s.t., August 27, 2012. ADDRESSES: You may submit comments by any of the following methods: • Email: CoralNOI@noaa.gov. • Mail: Paul J. Howard, Executive Director, New England Fishery Management Council, 50 Water Street, Newburyport, MA 01950. • Fax: (978) 465–3116. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Paul J. Howard, Executive Director, New England Fishery Management Council (978) 465–0492. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The New England Fishery Management Council’s (Council) Essential Fish Habitat (EFH) Omnibus Amendment 2 (OA2) currently includes: (1) Review and update of EFH designations, (2) review and update of SUMMARY: 9 See E:\FR\FM\27JYN1.SGM CORE Extension Notice. 27JYN1 erowe on DSK2VPTVN1PROD with NOTICES Federal Register / Vol. 77, No. 145 / Friday, July 27, 2012 / Notices Habitat Area of Particular Concern (HAPC) designations, (3) other EFH requirements of fishery management plans including prey species information and non-fishing impacts, (4) alternatives to minimize, to the extent practicable, the adverse effects of Council-managed fisheries on EFH, and (5) alternatives to minimize fishing effects on deep-sea corals developed under the authority granted in the fishery management plan (FMP) discretionary provisions (section 303(b)) of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (Magnuson-Stevens Act). Alternatives developed under item 4 will include options related to the groundfish closed areas as well as options to designate spatially-overlapping dedicated habitat research areas. The Council added review of the groundfish closed areas to OA2 in April 2011 (76 FR 35408). Approval of a range of adverse effects minimization, groundfish area, and research area alternatives (item 3) has not yet occurred. The purpose of this notification is to alert and seek comment from the public about Council’s consideration of splitting the deep-sea coral discretionary provision alternatives from OA2, and including them in a separate omnibus amendment. The Magnuson-Stevens Act section 303(b) discretionary authority gives Councils broad latitude to develop measures to minimize the impacts of fishing on deep-sea corals. Because most of the deep-sea corals occur beyond the limits of EFH, the Council is considering conservation measures under these discretionary provisions of the Magnuson-Stevens Act. This authority was added when the Magnuson-Stevens Act was reauthorized in 2007. The Council first directed its Habitat Plan Development Team to evaluate information related to deep-sea corals and develop alternatives for their protection in February 2008. The coral alternatives were folded into OA2 as a matter of convenience, because it was an ongoing habitatrelated action. A range of coral alternatives were approved by the Council for further development and analysis in April 2012. The following considerations were discussed by the Council and its Habitat Committee during recent meetings, and may be helpful to members of the public who wish to submit comments. The range of coral alternatives developed by NEFMC includes broad zones beginning at 300, 400, or 500 m on the continental slope and extending to the Exclusive Economic Zone boundary, and discrete zones VerDate Mar<15>2010 15:32 Jul 26, 2012 Jkt 226001 encompassing submarine canyons on the continental slope off Georges Bank and Southern New England, four seamounts within the EEZ, and two locations in the Gulf of Maine. The range of possible management measures for these zones includes mobile bottomtending gear restrictions or bottomtending gear restrictions, with exceptions for deep-sea red crab traps, special access programs, and exploratory fishing programs. The Council anticipates allowing these management measures to be revised via framework action. More detailed information can be found on the Council’s Habitat Web page (http:// www.nefmc.org/habitat/index.html). The fishing restriction alternatives as currently drafted are gear-based, not fishery or FMP based, and would apply to vessels operating in fisheries managed by both the New England and Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Councils. The Mid-Atlantic Council initiated their own action related to deep-sea corals at their April 2012 meeting. Assuming the New England Council implements coral-related measures north of the inter-council boundary, and Mid-Atlantic Council does so south of the boundary, consistency in management approaches will be critically important, because fisheries managed by both Councils operate near or within coral habitats and are prosecuted both sides of the boundary line. To facilitate inter-council coordination, the Councils are in the process of drafting a memorandum of understanding between the New England, Mid-Atlantic, and South Atlantic Councils. This document will identify areas of consensus and common strategy related to conservation of corals and mitigation of the negative impacts of fishery/coral interactions. At their June meeting, the New England Council reiterated that this is a priority issue for the short term. If additional development time is necessary to ensure that management actions related to deep sea corals are consistent throughout the region, these delays could impact completion of OA2 if the coral measures remain in the same action. Conversely, there have been delays associated with groundfish-related aspects of alternatives development for OA2 (item 3 above), and it might be possible to move the coral alternatives forward first if those delays continue. Overall, placing the two sets of actions on separate tracks could allow increased flexibility as the Council re-evaluates its priorities over time. Separate actions for corals and EFH could be clearer and easier to PO 00000 Frm 00009 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 44215 understand than a single combined action, since each one would be focused towards a narrower set of goals and objectives. However, there would be overlaps in terms of some of the content of the two separate amendments, especially background information for the slope and seamount areas (at a minimum, the EFH action will designate EFH along the slope and on the seamounts, so these areas will need to be discussed in that amendment even if the coral alternatives are removed). If the actions are being developed and implemented in parallel, which seems most likely, it might be difficult to incorporate this material by reference. Also, there is a linkage between the coral discretionary provision alternatives and the other alternatives in the EFH amendment because portions of the submarine canyons and seamounts harboring deep-sea corals and other associated ecosystem components were recommended as HAPCs during Phase 1 of OA2 development (June 2007). Because HAPCs are a subset of designated EFH, HAPC designations would remain as part of the EFH Omnibus Amendment, and would not be split off into a separate coral omnibus amendment, even though some of the HAPCs were developed with corals in mind. Each of the HAPC alternatives (and EFH alternatives) developed during Phase 1 are pending implementation and subject to change until final action is taken by the Council on Omnibus EFH Amendment 2. Thus, there remains an opportunity to rectify any inconsistencies between the coral zones developed under the discretionary authority and the HAPCs developed under the EFH authority, bearing in mind that objectives for the two sets of areas may be different. A comparison of the two sets of areas will be undertaken whether they are developed via one action or two separate actions. It is possible that some of the impacts analyses of both the coral and adverse effects/groundfish would be streamlined if coral alternatives and adverse effects/ groundfish alternatives continue to be developed in a single amendment, because restrictions in one area could increase fishing activity in other areas. However, as there are few spatial overlaps between the coral zone alternatives and the adverse effects minimization areas as currently drafted, and different fisheries are associated with both sets of areas, this may not be a major issue. This could be a more important consideration for the two coral areas proposed in the Gulf of Maine near Mt Desert Rock and in western Jordan Basin. With this possible exception, splitting could simplify the E:\FR\FM\27JYN1.SGM 27JYN1 44216 Federal Register / Vol. 77, No. 145 / Friday, July 27, 2012 / Notices NMFS publishes a notification of a zero (0) percent fee for cost recovery under the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Crab Rationalization Program. This action is intended to provide holders of crab allocations with the fee percentage for the 2012/2013 crab fishing year. DATES: Fee liability payments made by the Crab Rationalization Program Registered Crab Receiver permit holders, if necessary, are due to NMFS on or before July 31, 2013. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Karen Palmigiano, 907–586–7240. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Conservation and Management Act (Magnuson-Stevens Act). The Program includes a cost recovery provision to collect fees to recover the actual costs directly related to the management, data collection, and enforcement of the Program. NMFS developed the cost recovery provision to conform to statutory requirements and to partially reimburse the agency for the unique added costs of management, data collection, and enforcement of the Program. Section 313(j) of the Magnuson-Stevens Act provided supplementary authority to section 304(d)(2)(A) and additional detail for cost recovery provisions specific to the Program. The cost recovery provision allows collection of 133 percent of the actual management, data collection, and enforcement costs up to 3 percent of the ex-vessel value of crab harvested under the Program. Additionally, section 313(j) requires the harvesting and processing sectors to each pay half the cost recovery fees. Catcher/processor quota share holders are required to pay the full fee percentage for crab processed at sea. A crab allocation holder generally incurs a cost recovery fee liability for every pound of crab landed. The crab allocations include Individual Fishing Quota, Crew Individual Fishing Quota, Individual Processing Quota, Community Development Quota, and the Adak community allocation. The Registered Crab Receiver (RCR) permit holder must collect the fee liability from the crab allocation holder who is landing crab. Additionally, the RCR permit holder must collect his or her own fee liability for all crab delivered to the RCR. The RCR permit holder is responsible for submitting this payment to NMFS on or before the due date of July 31, in the year following the crab fishing year in which landings of crab were made. The dollar amount of the fee due is determined by multiplying the fee percentage (not to exceed 3 percent) by the ex-vessel value of crab debited from the allocation. Specific details on the Program’s cost recovery provision may be found in the implementing regulations set forth at § 680.44. Background NMFS Alaska Region administers the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Crab Rationalization Program (Program) in the North Pacific. Fishing under the Program began on August 15, 2005. Regulations implementing the Program are set forth at 50 CFR part 680. The Program is a limited access system authorized by section 313(j) of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Fee Percentage Each year, NMFS calculates and publishes in the Federal Register the fee percentage according to the factors and methodology described in Federal regulations at § 680.44(c)(2). The formula for determining the fee percentage is the ‘‘direct program costs’’ divided by ‘‘value of the fishery,’’ where ‘‘direct program costs’’ are the direct program costs for the Program for the analysis required because the combined effect of the two sets of alternatives would be limited to the cumulative effects analyses in each of the amendment documents. The Council is requesting comments on: splitting the deep-sea coral discretionary provision alternatives out of the EFH action and into a separate amendment, the range of deep-sea coral alternatives themselves, and coordination and consultation with the other Atlantic coast Councils, particularly the Mid-Atlantic Council. Authority: 16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq. Dated: July 24, 2012. James P. Burgess, Acting Deputy Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine Fisheries Service. [FR Doc. 2012–18400 Filed 7–26–12; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510–22–P DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration RIN 0648–XC118 Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Crab Rationalization Cost Recovery Program National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Commerce. ACTION: Notification of fee percentage. AGENCY: erowe on DSK2VPTVN1PROD with NOTICES SUMMARY: VerDate Mar<15>2010 15:32 Jul 26, 2012 Jkt 226001 PO 00000 Frm 00010 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 previous fiscal year, and ‘‘value of the fishery’’ is the ex-vessel value of the catch subject to the crab cost recovery fee liability for the current year. Fee collections for any given year may be less than, or greater than, the actual costs and fishery value for that year, because, by regulation, the fee percentage is established in the first quarter of a crab fishery year based on the fishery value and the costs of the prior year. The fee percentage has declined over time because of a variety of factors, including the increasing value of the fishery due to increased total allowable catch limits for various crab species such as Bristol Bay red king crab (Paralithodes camtshaticus) and Bering Sea snow crab (Chionoecetes opilio), increased ex-vessel price per pound of crab relative to previous years, and decreased management costs relative to previous years primarily due to decreased staff and contract costs. Using the fee percentage formula described above, the estimated percentage of costs to value for the 2010/2011 and 2011/2012 crab fishing years was 2.67 percent and 1.23 percent, respectively. These fee levels have resulted in a fee collection greater than the actual management, data collection, and enforcement costs for the 2010/2011 and 2011/2012 crab fishing years. Therefore, fee revenues remain to cover projected actual costs for 2012/2013. As a result, NMFS has determined that the fee percentage will be zero (0) percent for the 2012/2013 fishing year. Authority: 16 U.S.C. 1862; Pub. L. 109– 241; Pub. L. 109–479. Dated: July 24, 2012. James P. Burgess, Acting Deputy Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine Fisheries Service. [FR Doc. 2012–18403 Filed 7–26–12; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510–22–P DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration RIN 0648–XC130 Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council (MAFMC); Public Meetings National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Commerce. ACTION: Notice of public meetings. AGENCY: The Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council (Council) and its Strategic Planning Working Group, its SUMMARY: E:\FR\FM\27JYN1.SGM 27JYN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 77, Number 145 (Friday, July 27, 2012)]
[Notices]
[Pages 44214-44216]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2012-18400]


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

DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

RIN 0648-XR75


Essential Fish Habitat Components of Fishery Management Plans; 5-
Year Review

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

ACTION: Supplemental notice of intent (NOI) to prepare an environmental 
impact statement (EIS).

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

SUMMARY: The New England Fishery Management Council is in the process 
of preparing an Essential Fish Habitat Omnibus Amendment to the fishery 
management plans for Northeast multispecies, Atlantic sea scallop, 
monkfish, Atlantic herring, skates, Atlantic salmon, and Atlantic deep-
sea red crab. The Council is seeking comments about removing the range 
of alternatives pertaining to deep-sea corals from this action and 
developing them as a separate omnibus amendment.

DATES: Written comments must be received on or before 5 p.m. e.s.t., 
August 27, 2012.

ADDRESSES: You may submit comments by any of the following methods:
     Email: CoralNOI@noaa.gov.
     Mail: Paul J. Howard, Executive Director, New England 
Fishery Management Council, 50 Water Street, Newburyport, MA 01950.
     Fax: (978) 465-3116.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Paul J. Howard, Executive Director, 
New England Fishery Management Council (978) 465-0492.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The New England Fishery Management Council's 
(Council) Essential Fish Habitat (EFH) Omnibus Amendment 2 (OA2) 
currently includes: (1) Review and update of EFH designations, (2) 
review and update of

[[Page 44215]]

Habitat Area of Particular Concern (HAPC) designations, (3) other EFH 
requirements of fishery management plans including prey species 
information and non-fishing impacts, (4) alternatives to minimize, to 
the extent practicable, the adverse effects of Council-managed 
fisheries on EFH, and (5) alternatives to minimize fishing effects on 
deep-sea corals developed under the authority granted in the fishery 
management plan (FMP) discretionary provisions (section 303(b)) of the 
Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (Magnuson-
Stevens Act). Alternatives developed under item 4 will include options 
related to the groundfish closed areas as well as options to designate 
spatially-overlapping dedicated habitat research areas. The Council 
added review of the groundfish closed areas to OA2 in April 2011 (76 FR 
35408). Approval of a range of adverse effects minimization, groundfish 
area, and research area alternatives (item 3) has not yet occurred.
    The purpose of this notification is to alert and seek comment from 
the public about Council's consideration of splitting the deep-sea 
coral discretionary provision alternatives from OA2, and including them 
in a separate omnibus amendment.
    The Magnuson-Stevens Act section 303(b) discretionary authority 
gives Councils broad latitude to develop measures to minimize the 
impacts of fishing on deep-sea corals. Because most of the deep-sea 
corals occur beyond the limits of EFH, the Council is considering 
conservation measures under these discretionary provisions of the 
Magnuson-Stevens Act. This authority was added when the Magnuson-
Stevens Act was reauthorized in 2007. The Council first directed its 
Habitat Plan Development Team to evaluate information related to deep-
sea corals and develop alternatives for their protection in February 
2008. The coral alternatives were folded into OA2 as a matter of 
convenience, because it was an ongoing habitat-related action. A range 
of coral alternatives were approved by the Council for further 
development and analysis in April 2012.
    The following considerations were discussed by the Council and its 
Habitat Committee during recent meetings, and may be helpful to members 
of the public who wish to submit comments.
    The range of coral alternatives developed by NEFMC includes broad 
zones beginning at 300, 400, or 500 m on the continental slope and 
extending to the Exclusive Economic Zone boundary, and discrete zones 
encompassing submarine canyons on the continental slope off Georges 
Bank and Southern New England, four seamounts within the EEZ, and two 
locations in the Gulf of Maine. The range of possible management 
measures for these zones includes mobile bottom-tending gear 
restrictions or bottom-tending gear restrictions, with exceptions for 
deep-sea red crab traps, special access programs, and exploratory 
fishing programs. The Council anticipates allowing these management 
measures to be revised via framework action. More detailed information 
can be found on the Council's Habitat Web page (http://www.nefmc.org/habitat/index.html).
    The fishing restriction alternatives as currently drafted are gear-
based, not fishery or FMP based, and would apply to vessels operating 
in fisheries managed by both the New England and Mid-Atlantic Fishery 
Management Councils. The Mid-Atlantic Council initiated their own 
action related to deep-sea corals at their April 2012 meeting. Assuming 
the New England Council implements coral-related measures north of the 
inter-council boundary, and Mid-Atlantic Council does so south of the 
boundary, consistency in management approaches will be critically 
important, because fisheries managed by both Councils operate near or 
within coral habitats and are prosecuted both sides of the boundary 
line.
    To facilitate inter-council coordination, the Councils are in the 
process of drafting a memorandum of understanding between the New 
England, Mid-Atlantic, and South Atlantic Councils. This document will 
identify areas of consensus and common strategy related to conservation 
of corals and mitigation of the negative impacts of fishery/coral 
interactions. At their June meeting, the New England Council reiterated 
that this is a priority issue for the short term. If additional 
development time is necessary to ensure that management actions related 
to deep sea corals are consistent throughout the region, these delays 
could impact completion of OA2 if the coral measures remain in the same 
action. Conversely, there have been delays associated with groundfish-
related aspects of alternatives development for OA2 (item 3 above), and 
it might be possible to move the coral alternatives forward first if 
those delays continue. Overall, placing the two sets of actions on 
separate tracks could allow increased flexibility as the Council re-
evaluates its priorities over time.
    Separate actions for corals and EFH could be clearer and easier to 
understand than a single combined action, since each one would be 
focused towards a narrower set of goals and objectives. However, there 
would be overlaps in terms of some of the content of the two separate 
amendments, especially background information for the slope and 
seamount areas (at a minimum, the EFH action will designate EFH along 
the slope and on the seamounts, so these areas will need to be 
discussed in that amendment even if the coral alternatives are 
removed). If the actions are being developed and implemented in 
parallel, which seems most likely, it might be difficult to incorporate 
this material by reference.
    Also, there is a linkage between the coral discretionary provision 
alternatives and the other alternatives in the EFH amendment because 
portions of the submarine canyons and seamounts harboring deep-sea 
corals and other associated ecosystem components were recommended as 
HAPCs during Phase 1 of OA2 development (June 2007). Because HAPCs are 
a subset of designated EFH, HAPC designations would remain as part of 
the EFH Omnibus Amendment, and would not be split off into a separate 
coral omnibus amendment, even though some of the HAPCs were developed 
with corals in mind. Each of the HAPC alternatives (and EFH 
alternatives) developed during Phase 1 are pending implementation and 
subject to change until final action is taken by the Council on Omnibus 
EFH Amendment 2. Thus, there remains an opportunity to rectify any 
inconsistencies between the coral zones developed under the 
discretionary authority and the HAPCs developed under the EFH 
authority, bearing in mind that objectives for the two sets of areas 
may be different. A comparison of the two sets of areas will be 
undertaken whether they are developed via one action or two separate 
actions.
    It is possible that some of the impacts analyses of both the coral 
and adverse effects/groundfish would be streamlined if coral 
alternatives and adverse effects/groundfish alternatives continue to be 
developed in a single amendment, because restrictions in one area could 
increase fishing activity in other areas. However, as there are few 
spatial overlaps between the coral zone alternatives and the adverse 
effects minimization areas as currently drafted, and different 
fisheries are associated with both sets of areas, this may not be a 
major issue. This could be a more important consideration for the two 
coral areas proposed in the Gulf of Maine near Mt Desert Rock and in 
western Jordan Basin. With this possible exception, splitting could 
simplify the

[[Page 44216]]

analysis required because the combined effect of the two sets of 
alternatives would be limited to the cumulative effects analyses in 
each of the amendment documents.
    The Council is requesting comments on: splitting the deep-sea coral 
discretionary provision alternatives out of the EFH action and into a 
separate amendment, the range of deep-sea coral alternatives 
themselves, and coordination and consultation with the other Atlantic 
coast Councils, particularly the Mid-Atlantic Council.

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

    Dated: July 24, 2012.
James P. Burgess,
Acting Deputy Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National 
Marine Fisheries Service.
[FR Doc. 2012-18400 Filed 7-26-12; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 3510-22-P