Atlantic Coastal Fisheries Cooperative Management Act Provisions; Horseshoe Crabs; Application for Exempted Fishing Permit, 2012, 55457-55458 [2012-22223]

Download as PDF mstockstill on DSK4VPTVN1PROD with NOTICES Federal Register / Vol. 77, No. 175 / Monday, September 10, 2012 / Notices the address listed above. Comments may also be submitted by facsimile to (301) 713–0376, or by email to NMFS.Pr1Comments@noaa.gov. Please include the File No. in the subject line of the email comment. Those individuals requesting a public hearing should submit a written request to the Chief, Permits and Conservation Division at the address listed above. The request should set forth the specific reasons why a hearing on these applications would be appropriate. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Laura Morse or Amy Sloan, (301) 427– 8401. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The subject permit is requested under the authority of the Marine Mammal Protection Act of 1972, as amended (MMPA; 16 U.S.C. 1361 et seq.), the regulations governing the taking and importing of marine mammals (50 CFR part 216), the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended (ESA; 16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.), the regulations governing the taking, importing, and exporting of endangered and threatened species (50 CFR 222–226), and the Fur Seal Act of 1966, as amended (16 U.S.C. 1151 et seq.). The objectives of the proposed research are to obtain information on population status and distribution, stock structure, age distribution, mortality rates, productivity, feeding habits, and health status of twenty-six species of pinnipeds (excluding walrus) and cetaceans found in Alaskan waters; such data would be used for conservation and management purposes. The applicant is requesting authorization to collect, receive, import, and export marine mammal parts from legal foreign (Russia and Canada) and domestic subsistencehunts; scientists in academic, federal, and state institutions involved in legally authorized marine mammal research; dead beach-cast species; and incidental commercial fisheries bycatch. Import/ export activities would occur worldwide. No live animal takes are being requested under this permit. The requested duration of the permit is five years. In compliance with the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.), an initial determination has been made that the activities proposed are categorically excluded from the requirement to prepare an environmental assessment or environmental impact statement. Concurrent with the publication of this notice in the Federal Register, NMFS is forwarding a copy of the application to the Marine Mammal VerDate Mar<15>2010 16:57 Sep 07, 2012 Jkt 226001 Commission and its Committee of Scientific Advisors. Dated: September 4, 2012. P. Michael Payne, Chief, Permits and Conservation Division, Office of Protected Resources, National Marine Fisheries Service. [FR Doc. 2012–22214 Filed 9–7–12; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510–22–P DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration RIN 0648–XC220 Atlantic Coastal Fisheries Cooperative Management Act Provisions; Horseshoe Crabs; Application for Exempted Fishing Permit, 2012 National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Commerce. ACTION: Notification of a proposal to conduct exempted fishing; request for comments. AGENCY: The Deputy Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, has made a preliminary determination that the subject exempted fishing permit (EFP) application submitted by Limuli Laboratories of Cape May Court House, NJ, contains all the required information and warrants further consideration. The proposed EFP would allow the harvest of up to 10,000 horseshoe crabs from the Carl N. Shuster Jr. Horseshoe Crab Reserve (Reserve) for biomedical purposes and require, as a condition of the EFP, the collection of data related to the status of horseshoe crabs within the reserve. The Deputy Director has also made a preliminary determination that the activities authorized under the EFP would be consistent with the goals and objectives of the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission’s (Commission) Horseshoe Crab Interstate Fisheries Management Plan (FMP). However, further review and consultation may be necessary before a final determination is made to issue the EFP. Therefore, NMFS announces that the Deputy Director proposes to recommend that an EFP be issued that would allow up to two commercial fishing vessels to conduct fishing operations that are otherwise restricted by the regulations promulgated under the Atlantic Coastal Fisheries Cooperative Management Act (Atlantic Coastal Act). The EFP would allow for an exemption from the Reserve. Regulations under the Atlantic Coastal Act require publication of this SUMMARY: PO 00000 Frm 00007 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 55457 notification to provide interested parties the opportunity to comment on applications for proposed EFPs. DATES: Written comments on this action must be received on or before September 25, 2012. ADDRESSES: Written comments should be sent to Emily Menashes, Deputy Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, NMFS, 1315 East-West Highway, Room 13362, Silver Spring, MD 20910. Mark the outside of the envelope ‘‘Comments on Horseshoe Crab EFP Proposal.’’ Comments may also be sent via fax to (301) 713–0596. Comments on this notice may also be submitted by email to: derek.orner@noaa.gov. Include in the subject line of the email comment the following document identifier: ‘‘Horseshoe Crab EFP Proposal Comments.’’ FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Derek Orner, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, (301) 427–8567. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Background Limuli Laboratories submitted an application for an EFP on June 19, 2012, to collect up to 10,000 horseshoe crabs for biomedical and data collection purposes from the Reserve. The applicant has applied for, and received, a similar EFP every year from 2001– 2011. The current EFP application specifies that: (1) The same methods would be used in 2012 that were used in years 2001–2011, (2) at least 15 percent of the bled horseshoe crabs would be tagged, and (3) there had not been any sighting or capture of marine mammals or endangered species in the trawling nets of fishing vessels engaged in the collection of horseshoe crabs since 1993. The project submitted by Limuli Laboratories would provide morphological data on horseshoe crab catch, would tag a portion of the caught horseshoe crabs, and would use the blood from the caught horseshoe crabs to manufacture Limulus Amebocyte Lysate (LAL), an important health and safety product used for the detection of endotoxins. The LAL assay is used by medical professionals, drug companies, and pharmacies to detect endotoxins in intravenous pharmaceuticals and medical devices that come into contact with human blood or spinal fluid. Results of 2011 EFP During the 2011 season, a total of 3,500 horseshoe crabs were gathered over a period of seven days, from the Carl N. Schuster Jr. Horseshoe Crab Reserve (Reserve) for the manufacture of LAL. After transportation to the laboratory, the horseshoe crabs were E:\FR\FM\10SEN1.SGM 10SEN1 55458 Federal Register / Vol. 77, No. 175 / Monday, September 10, 2012 / Notices mstockstill on DSK4VPTVN1PROD with NOTICES inspected for size, injuries, and responsiveness. The injured horseshoe crabs numbered 310, or 8.86% of the total, while 71, or 2.03%, were noted as slow moving. An additional 16, or 4.06% were deemed mortal. In addition, six horseshoe crabs were rejected due to small size. Overall, 3,097 horseshoe crabs were used (bled) in the manufacture of a LAL. Two hundred of the bled horseshoe crabs were randomly selected for activity, morphometric and aging studies. The activity level for all 200 animals was categorized as ‘‘active’’. Morphometric studies noted that average inter-ocular distances, prosoma widths and weights of these 200 horseshoe crabs were comparable to previous years (2001–2010). Of the 200 horseshoe crabs examined in 2011, a little more than half (52%) were categorized as medium aged followed by young (31%). Older animals were greater in number (17%) than most of the other years with the exception of the 2004 year (19%) and the 2010 year (26%). The 200 studied horseshoe crabs and 325 additional bled horseshoe crabs were tagged and released into the Delaware Bay. To date, the tagging of 4,938 horseshoe crabs during 2001–2011 have resulted in 104 live recaptures. The observed horseshoe crabs were found 1 to 8 years after release, primarily along the Delaware Bay shores during their spawning season. Proposed 2012 EFP Limuli Laboratories proposes to conduct an exempted fishery operation using the same means, methods, and seasons proposed/utilized during the EFPs in 2001–2011. Limuli proposes to continue to tag at least 15 percent of the bled horseshoe crabs as they did in 2011. NMFS would require that the following terms and conditions be met for issuance and continuation of the EFP for 2012: 1. Limiting the number of horseshoe crabs collected in the Reserve to no more than 500 crabs per day and to a total of no more than 10,000 crabs per year; 2. Requiring collections to take place over a total of approximately 20 days during the months of July, August, September, October, and November. (Horseshoe crabs are readily available in harvestable concentrations nearshore earlier in the year, and offshore in the Reserve from July through November.); 3. Requiring that a 51⁄2 inch (14.0 cm) flounder net be used by the vessel to collect the horseshoe crabs. This condition would allow for continuation of traditional harvest gear and adds to VerDate Mar<15>2010 16:57 Sep 07, 2012 Jkt 226001 the consistency in the way horseshoe crabs are harvested for data collection; 4. Limiting trawl tow times to 30 minutes as a conservation measure to protect sea turtles, which are expected to be migrating through the area during the collection period, and are vulnerable to bottom trawling; 5. Requiring that the collected horseshoe crabs be picked up from the fishing vessels at docks in the Cape May Area and transported to local laboratories, bled for LAL, and released alive the following morning into the Lower Delaware Bay; and 6. Requiring that any turtle take be reported to NMFS, Northeast Region, Assistant Regional Administrator of Protected Resources Division, within 24 hours of returning from the trip in which the incidental take occurred. As part of the terms and conditions of the EFP, for all horseshoe crabs bled for LAL, NMFS would require that the EFP holder provide data on sex ratio and daily harvest. Also, the EFP holder would be required to examine at least 200 horseshoe crabs for morphometric data. Terms and conditions may be added or amended prior to the issuance of the EFP. The proposed EFP would exempt two commercial vessels from regulations at 50 CFR 697.7(e) and 697.23(f), which prohibit the harvest and possession of horseshoe crabs from the Reserve on a vessel with a trawl or dredge gear aboard. Authority: 16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq. Dated: September 5, 2012. Lindsay Fullenkamp, Acting Deputy Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine Fisheries Service. [FR Doc. 2012–22223 Filed 9–7–12; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510–22–P DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration [Docket No. 120807314–2314–01] RIN 0648–XC155 Endangered and Threatened Species; 90-Day Finding on Petition To Delist the Southern Oregon/Northern California Coast Evolutionarily Significant Unit of Coho Salmon Under the Endangered Species Act National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Commerce. ACTION: Notice of 90-day petition finding. AGENCY: PO 00000 Frm 00008 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 We, NMFS, announce a 90day finding on a petition to delist the Southern Oregon/Northern California Coast (SONCC) Evolutionarily Significant Unit (ESU) of coho salmon (Oncorhynchus kisutch) under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). We find that the petition does not present substantial scientific or commercial information indicating that the petitioned action may be warranted. ADDRESSES: Copies of the petition are available at: http://www.nmfs.noaa.gov/ pr/or upon request from the Assistant Regional Administrator, Protected Resources Division, NMFS, Southwest Regional Office, 501 West Ocean Blvd., Suite 4200, Long Beach, CA 90802. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Craig Wingert, NMFS, Southwest Region Office, (562) 980–4021; or Dwayne Meadows, Office of Protected Resources (301) 427–8403. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: SUMMARY: Background Section 4 of the ESA (16 U.S.C. 1533) contains provisions allowing interested persons to petition the Secretary of Commerce (Secretary) to add a species to or remove a species from the List of Endangered and Threatened Wildlife, and to designate critical habitat for any endangered or threatened species. The Secretary has delegated the authority for these actions to the NOAA Assistant Administrator for Fisheries. On July 3, 2012, we received a petition from the Siskiyou County Water Users Association and Dr. Richard Gierak (the petitioners) requesting that we delist the SONCC ESU of coho salmon under the ESA. The petitioners previously submitted four petitions requesting that we delist coho salmon. We analyzed those petitions and found that they did not present substantial scientific or commercial information indicating the petitioned action may be warranted. One negative 90-day finding notice for three of these petitions was published on October 7, 2011 (76 FR 62375) and a second negative 90-day finding for the fourth petition was published on January 11, 2012 (77 FR 1668). The new petition largely reiterates the petitioners’ previous arguments, including that the species is not native to northern California watersheds, including the Klamath River, the species abundance has increased since the early 1960s and is in good condition overall, and that nonman-made factors (e.g., ocean conditions, floods, fires, and drought) rather than man-made factors are responsible for the decline in coho salmon abundance. These arguments E:\FR\FM\10SEN1.SGM 10SEN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 77, Number 175 (Monday, September 10, 2012)]
[Notices]
[Pages 55457-55458]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2012-22223]


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DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

RIN 0648-XC220


Atlantic Coastal Fisheries Cooperative Management Act Provisions; 
Horseshoe Crabs; Application for Exempted Fishing Permit, 2012

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

ACTION: Notification of a proposal to conduct exempted fishing; request 
for comments.

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

SUMMARY: The Deputy Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, has made 
a preliminary determination that the subject exempted fishing permit 
(EFP) application submitted by Limuli Laboratories of Cape May Court 
House, NJ, contains all the required information and warrants further 
consideration. The proposed EFP would allow the harvest of up to 10,000 
horseshoe crabs from the Carl N. Shuster Jr. Horseshoe Crab Reserve 
(Reserve) for biomedical purposes and require, as a condition of the 
EFP, the collection of data related to the status of horseshoe crabs 
within the reserve. The Deputy Director has also made a preliminary 
determination that the activities authorized under the EFP would be 
consistent with the goals and objectives of the Atlantic States Marine 
Fisheries Commission's (Commission) Horseshoe Crab Interstate Fisheries 
Management Plan (FMP). However, further review and consultation may be 
necessary before a final determination is made to issue the EFP. 
Therefore, NMFS announces that the Deputy Director proposes to 
recommend that an EFP be issued that would allow up to two commercial 
fishing vessels to conduct fishing operations that are otherwise 
restricted by the regulations promulgated under the Atlantic Coastal 
Fisheries Cooperative Management Act (Atlantic Coastal Act). The EFP 
would allow for an exemption from the Reserve.
    Regulations under the Atlantic Coastal Act require publication of 
this notification to provide interested parties the opportunity to 
comment on applications for proposed EFPs.

DATES: Written comments on this action must be received on or before 
September 25, 2012.

ADDRESSES: Written comments should be sent to Emily Menashes, Deputy 
Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, NMFS, 1315 East-West 
Highway, Room 13362, Silver Spring, MD 20910. Mark the outside of the 
envelope ``Comments on Horseshoe Crab EFP Proposal.'' Comments may also 
be sent via fax to (301) 713-0596. Comments on this notice may also be 
submitted by email to: derek.orner@noaa.gov. Include in the subject 
line of the email comment the following document identifier: 
``Horseshoe Crab EFP Proposal Comments.''

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Derek Orner, Office of Sustainable 
Fisheries, (301) 427-8567.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Background

    Limuli Laboratories submitted an application for an EFP on June 19, 
2012, to collect up to 10,000 horseshoe crabs for biomedical and data 
collection purposes from the Reserve. The applicant has applied for, 
and received, a similar EFP every year from 2001-2011. The current EFP 
application specifies that: (1) The same methods would be used in 2012 
that were used in years 2001-2011, (2) at least 15 percent of the bled 
horseshoe crabs would be tagged, and (3) there had not been any 
sighting or capture of marine mammals or endangered species in the 
trawling nets of fishing vessels engaged in the collection of horseshoe 
crabs since 1993. The project submitted by Limuli Laboratories would 
provide morphological data on horseshoe crab catch, would tag a portion 
of the caught horseshoe crabs, and would use the blood from the caught 
horseshoe crabs to manufacture Limulus Amebocyte Lysate (LAL), an 
important health and safety product used for the detection of 
endotoxins. The LAL assay is used by medical professionals, drug 
companies, and pharmacies to detect endotoxins in intravenous 
pharmaceuticals and medical devices that come into contact with human 
blood or spinal fluid.

Results of 2011 EFP

    During the 2011 season, a total of 3,500 horseshoe crabs were 
gathered over a period of seven days, from the Carl N. Schuster Jr. 
Horseshoe Crab Reserve (Reserve) for the manufacture of LAL. After 
transportation to the laboratory, the horseshoe crabs were

[[Page 55458]]

inspected for size, injuries, and responsiveness. The injured horseshoe 
crabs numbered 310, or 8.86% of the total, while 71, or 2.03%, were 
noted as slow moving. An additional 16, or 4.06% were deemed mortal. In 
addition, six horseshoe crabs were rejected due to small size. Overall, 
3,097 horseshoe crabs were used (bled) in the manufacture of a LAL.
    Two hundred of the bled horseshoe crabs were randomly selected for 
activity, morphometric and aging studies. The activity level for all 
200 animals was categorized as ``active''. Morphometric studies noted 
that average inter-ocular distances, prosoma widths and weights of 
these 200 horseshoe crabs were comparable to previous years (2001-
2010). Of the 200 horseshoe crabs examined in 2011, a little more than 
half (52%) were categorized as medium aged followed by young (31%). 
Older animals were greater in number (17%) than most of the other years 
with the exception of the 2004 year (19%) and the 2010 year (26%).
    The 200 studied horseshoe crabs and 325 additional bled horseshoe 
crabs were tagged and released into the Delaware Bay. To date, the 
tagging of 4,938 horseshoe crabs during 2001-2011 have resulted in 104 
live recaptures. The observed horseshoe crabs were found 1 to 8 years 
after release, primarily along the Delaware Bay shores during their 
spawning season.

Proposed 2012 EFP

    Limuli Laboratories proposes to conduct an exempted fishery 
operation using the same means, methods, and seasons proposed/utilized 
during the EFPs in 2001-2011. Limuli proposes to continue to tag at 
least 15 percent of the bled horseshoe crabs as they did in 2011. NMFS 
would require that the following terms and conditions be met for 
issuance and continuation of the EFP for 2012:
    1. Limiting the number of horseshoe crabs collected in the Reserve 
to no more than 500 crabs per day and to a total of no more than 10,000 
crabs per year;
    2. Requiring collections to take place over a total of 
approximately 20 days during the months of July, August, September, 
October, and November. (Horseshoe crabs are readily available in 
harvestable concentrations nearshore earlier in the year, and offshore 
in the Reserve from July through November.);
    3. Requiring that a 5\1/2\ inch (14.0 cm) flounder net be used by 
the vessel to collect the horseshoe crabs. This condition would allow 
for continuation of traditional harvest gear and adds to the 
consistency in the way horseshoe crabs are harvested for data 
collection;
    4. Limiting trawl tow times to 30 minutes as a conservation measure 
to protect sea turtles, which are expected to be migrating through the 
area during the collection period, and are vulnerable to bottom 
trawling;
    5. Requiring that the collected horseshoe crabs be picked up from 
the fishing vessels at docks in the Cape May Area and transported to 
local laboratories, bled for LAL, and released alive the following 
morning into the Lower Delaware Bay; and
    6. Requiring that any turtle take be reported to NMFS, Northeast 
Region, Assistant Regional Administrator of Protected Resources 
Division, within 24 hours of returning from the trip in which the 
incidental take occurred.
    As part of the terms and conditions of the EFP, for all horseshoe 
crabs bled for LAL, NMFS would require that the EFP holder provide data 
on sex ratio and daily harvest. Also, the EFP holder would be required 
to examine at least 200 horseshoe crabs for morphometric data. Terms 
and conditions may be added or amended prior to the issuance of the 
EFP.
    The proposed EFP would exempt two commercial vessels from 
regulations at 50 CFR 697.7(e) and 697.23(f), which prohibit the 
harvest and possession of horseshoe crabs from the Reserve on a vessel 
with a trawl or dredge gear aboard.

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

    Dated: September 5, 2012.
Lindsay Fullenkamp,
Acting Deputy Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National 
Marine Fisheries Service.
[FR Doc. 2012-22223 Filed 9-7-12; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 3510-22-P