Magnuson-Stevens Act Provisions; General Provisions for Domestic Fisheries; Application for Exempted Fishing Permit, 65534-65535 [2012-26548]

Download as PDF 65534 Federal Register / Vol. 77, No. 209 / Monday, October 29, 2012 / Notices The Department of Commerce, as part of its continuing effort to reduce paperwork and respondent burden, invites the general public and other Federal agencies to take this opportunity to comment on proposed information collection, as required by the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995. DATES: Written comments must be submitted on or before December 31, 2012 December 28, 2012. ADDRESSES: Direct all written comments to Sarah Brabson, Departmental Paperwork Clearance Officer, Department of Commerce, Room 6616, 14th and Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20230 (or via the Internet at JJessup@doc.gov). FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Requests for additional information or copies of the information collection instrument and instructions should be directed to Dwight Trueblood, (603) 862–3580 or Dwight.Trueblood@noaa.gov. SUMMARY: SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: rmajette on DSK2TPTVN1PROD with I. Abstract The National Estuarine Research Reserve System (NERRS) Science Collaborative was created in 2009 to put Reserve-based science to work for coastal communities coping with the impacts of land use change, pollution, and habitat degradation in the context of a changing climate. The program operates on the belief that for science to be applied to solve coastal management problems, the people who need to use the science must be involved in its generation. The projects funded by the NERRS Science Collaborative are designed to bring the intended users of the science into the research process so that their perspectives can inform problem definition, research design and implementation, and ultimately, application of the project results. This is what is meant by ‘‘collaboration,’’ and it is the program’s goal to use this process to ensure that the good science happening in and around the Reserves gets put to good use. To help evaluate the efficacy of the NERRS Science Collaborative, NOAA is conducting a survey of the NERRS staff located in the 28 Reserves around the country to solicit their perspective about the program and how it has been implemented. II. Method of Collection 13:18 Oct 26, 2012 III. Data OMB Control Number: None. Form Number: None. Type of Review: Regular submission (request for a new information collection). Affected Public: Non-profit institutions; State, local, or tribal government. Estimated Number of Respondents: 140. Estimated Time per Response: 20 minutes. Estimated Total Annual Burden Hours: 47. Estimated Total Annual Cost to Public: $0 in recordkeeping/reporting costs. IV. Request for Comments Comments are invited on: (a) Whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the agency, including whether the information shall have practical utility; (b) the accuracy of the agency’s estimate of the burden (including hours and cost) of the proposed collection of information; (c) ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and (d) ways to minimize the burden of the collection of information on respondents, including through the use of automated collection techniques or other forms of information technology. Comments submitted in response to this notice will be summarized and/or included in the request for OMB approval of this information collection; they also will become a matter of public record. Dated: October 23, 2012. Gwellnar Banks, Management Analyst, Office of the Chief Information Officer. [FR Doc. 2012–26465 Filed 10–26–12; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510–08–P DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration [0648–XC242] 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), Commerce. AGENCY: Respondents will be surveyed electronically and the submission of results will be online. If requested, a VerDate Mar<15>2010 paper copy of the survey will be provided to the survey respondents. Jkt 229001 PO 00000 Frm 00004 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 ACTION: Notice; request for comments. The Assistant Regional Administrator for Sustainable Fisheries, Northeast Region, NMFS, has made a preliminary determination that the subject exempted fishing permit (EFP) application contains all the required information and warrants further consideration. The subject EFP would allow a commercial fishing vessel to conduct fishing operations that are otherwise restricted by the regulations governing the fisheries of the Northeastern United States. 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. DATES: Comments must be received on or before November 13, 2012. ADDRESSES: You may submit written comments by any of the following methods: • Email: nero.efp@noaa.gov. Include in the subject line ‘‘Comments on REDNET EFP.’’ • Mail: John K. Bullard, Regional Administrator, NMFS, NE Regional Office, 55 Great Republic Drive, Gloucester, MA 01930. Mark the outside of the envelope ‘‘Comments on REDNET EFP.’’ • Fax: (978) 281–9135. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Brett Alger, Fisheries Management Specialist, 978–675–2153, Brett.Alger@noaa.gov. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The School for Marine Science and Technology, University of Massachusetts, Dartmouth (SMAST), submitted a complete EFP application on September 5, 2012, to conduct a redfish trawl codend selectivity experiment. This is the third of six components for ‘‘REDNET: A Network to Redevelop a Sustainable Redfish (Sebastes fasciatus) Trawl Fishery in the Gulf of Maine’’, which is funded by the Northeast Fisheries Science Center’s (NEFSC) Cooperative Research Program. The overall objective of REDNET is to develop gear type(s), seasons, and/or area combinations to efficiently harvest the redfish resource in the Gulf of Maine (GOM) to maximize the long-term benefits while minimizing negative impacts, thereby providing a means to achieve the annual catch limit (ACL) for a rebuilt, but largely inaccessible, redfish resource. The REDNET project includes the following components: (1) Network development; (2) baseline catch and bycatch evaluation; (3) codend selectivity; (4) conservation SUMMARY: E:\FR\FM\29OCN1.SGM 29OCN1 rmajette on DSK2TPTVN1PROD with Federal Register / Vol. 77, No. 209 / Monday, October 29, 2012 / Notices engineering and bycatch reduction; (5) process and marketing; and (6) outreach and implementation. Components one and two have been completed. REDNET investigators were issued an EFP in support of component two, which authorized the use of a 4.5-in (11.4-cm) mesh codend to establish a baseline for target catch and bycatch in a targeted redfish fishery (see the Notice and Request for Comments from March 8, 2011 (76 FR 12716)). This EFP, which would be in support of component three of the project, would enable investigators to evaluate different codend mesh sizes in an effort to identify the optimal mesh size to selectively harvest legal-size redfish, as well as perform catch sampling activities. To execute the study, the participating vessel would need to be exempt from the following FMP regulations: NE multispecies minimum fish size for redfish specified at § 648.83(a); and minimum mesh size of 6.5 in (16.6 cm) for multispecies vessels fishing in the GOM specified at § 648.80(a)(3)(i). In addition, vessels would be exempt from the following regulations for all remaining large-mesh and small-mesh groundfish species, for sampling purposes only: Minimum fish size restrictions; fish possession limits; species quota closures; possession of prohibited groundfish species; and gearspecific fish possession restrictions. All non-compliant fish would be discarded as soon as practicable following data collection. No fish below the minimum size would be landed. Tows would be made using the trouser trawl method which consists of a regular trawl’s front end (including sweep, fishing line and headline) and a trouser section, which leads to two separate side-by-side codends. The applicants propose to assess codend selectivity by testing three codend mesh sizes. The test codend would use mesh sizes of either 4.5 in (11.4 cm), 5.5 in (14.0 cm), or 6.5 in (16.6 cm), and the control codend would use mesh sizes 2 in (5.1 cm) to 2.25 in (5.7 cm). The test and control codends would be switched regularly between port and starboard to reduce possible side effects, rather than keeping the test codend on the same side of the vessel for all tows. The vessel would conduct sea trials from early November 2012 to April 30, 2013, with a total of 18 sea-days (three 6-day trips including steaming time). The vessel expects to make seven tows on each of the 12 actual fishing days. The research activity would occur in the middle of the GOM, outside of closed areas, on known redfish concentrations, in statistical areas 513, 514, 515, 521, and 522. The trawl net would be towed VerDate Mar<15>2010 13:18 Oct 26, 2012 Jkt 229001 at typical fishing speed of approximately 3.2 kts, and the duration of each tow would depend primarily on the amount of fish in the net, rather than time. Acoustic gear monitoring devices would be used during trials to measure the performance of the gear and ensure constant geometry of the trawl’s front end. SMAST/Massachusetts Division of Marine Fisheries (DMF) technical staff, students, and/or qualified at-sea monitors contracted by SMAST/DMF would be on board the vessel for each trip and would document all catch and by catch encountered following NE Fishery Observer Program protocols. About 70 to 100 fish per codend per tow would be measured for both redfish and/or other groundfish species. Sampling work would occur during normal fishing operations and the exemptions for this EFP, if authorized, would not be expected to change vessel fishing behavior. Therefore, it is highly unlikely that this EFP would cause any impact to the physical environment/ essential fish habitat, non-sampled species, or protected resources. All marine mammal and turtle interactions would be noted and released, and all corals would be noted and samples kept for further identification and assessment. Codend and control catch data would be analyzed using established methods proposed by the International Council for the Exploration of the Seas in their Manual of Methods of Measuring the Selectivity of Towed Fishing Gears. All catch of stocks allocated to sectors by the vessel would be deducted from the sector’s annual catch entitlement for each NE multispecies stock, including redfish. Specifically, NMFS would apply the sector assumed discard rate to fishing trips by the vessel participating under this EFP, whether the recorded discard rates from the experimental fishing are higher or lower than the assumed discard rate of the sector. The participating vessel would be required to comply with all other applicable requirements and restrictions specified at 50 CFR part 648, unless specifically exempted in this EFP. If approved, the applicants may request minor modifications and extensions to the EFP throughout the course of research. EFP modifications and extensions may be granted without further public notice if they are deemed essential to facilitate completion of the proposed research and result in only a minimal change in the scope or impacts of the initially approved EFP request. In accordance with NAO Administrative Order 216–6, a Categorical Exclusion or other PO 00000 Frm 00005 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 65535 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. After publication of this document in the Federal Register, the EFP, if approved, may become effective following the public comment period. Authority: 16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq. Dated: October 24, 2012. James P. Burgess, Acting Deputy Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine Fisheries Service. [FR Doc. 2012–26548 Filed 10–26–12; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510–22–P DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration RIN 0648–XC314 North Pacific Fishery Management Council; Public Meetings National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Commerce. ACTION: Notice of public meetings. AGENCY: The North Pacific Fishery Management Council’s Gulf of Alaska (GOA) and Bering Sea/Aleutian Islands (BSAI) Groundfish Plan Teams will meet in Seattle, WA. DATES: The meetings will be held November 13–16, 2012. The meetings will begin at 9 a.m., November 13, and continue through Friday November 16, 2012. ADDRESSES: The meetings will be held at the Alaska Fisheries Science Center, 7600 Sand Point Way NE., Building 4, Observer Training Room 1055 (GOA Plan Team) and Traynor Room 2076 (BS/AI Plan Team), Seattle, WA. Council address: North Pacific Fishery Management Council, 605 W. 4th Ave., Suite 306, Anchorage, AK 99501–2252. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Jane DiCosimo or Diana Stram, North Pacific Fishery Management Council; telephone: (907) 271–2809. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The Plan Teams will compile and review the annual Groundfish Stock Assessment and Fishery Evaluation (SAFE) reports, including the Economic Report, the Ecosystems Consideration Chapter, the stock assessments for BSAI and GOA groundfishes, and recommend final groundfish harvest specifications for 2013/14. SUMMARY: E:\FR\FM\29OCN1.SGM 29OCN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 77, Number 209 (Monday, October 29, 2012)]
[Notices]
[Pages 65534-65535]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2012-26548]


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DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

[0648-XC242]


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), Commerce.

ACTION: Notice; request for comments.

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

SUMMARY: The Assistant Regional Administrator for Sustainable 
Fisheries, Northeast Region, NMFS, has made a preliminary determination 
that the subject exempted fishing permit (EFP) application contains all 
the required information and warrants further consideration. The 
subject EFP would allow a commercial fishing vessel to conduct fishing 
operations that are otherwise restricted by the regulations governing 
the fisheries of the Northeastern United States. 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.

DATES: Comments must be received on or before November 13, 2012.

ADDRESSES: You may submit written comments by any of the following 
methods:
     Email: nero.efp@noaa.gov. Include in the subject line 
``Comments on REDNET EFP.''
     Mail: John K. Bullard, Regional Administrator, NMFS, NE 
Regional Office, 55 Great Republic Drive, Gloucester, MA 01930. Mark 
the outside of the envelope ``Comments on REDNET EFP.''
     Fax: (978) 281-9135.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Brett Alger, Fisheries Management 
Specialist, 978-675-2153, Brett.Alger@noaa.gov.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The School for Marine Science and 
Technology, University of Massachusetts, Dartmouth (SMAST), submitted a 
complete EFP application on September 5, 2012, to conduct a redfish 
trawl codend selectivity experiment. This is the third of six 
components for ``REDNET: A Network to Redevelop a Sustainable Redfish 
(Sebastes fasciatus) Trawl Fishery in the Gulf of Maine'', which is 
funded by the Northeast Fisheries Science Center's (NEFSC) Cooperative 
Research Program. The overall objective of REDNET is to develop gear 
type(s), seasons, and/or area combinations to efficiently harvest the 
redfish resource in the Gulf of Maine (GOM) to maximize the long-term 
benefits while minimizing negative impacts, thereby providing a means 
to achieve the annual catch limit (ACL) for a rebuilt, but largely 
inaccessible, redfish resource. The REDNET project includes the 
following components: (1) Network development; (2) baseline catch and 
bycatch evaluation; (3) codend selectivity; (4) conservation

[[Page 65535]]

engineering and bycatch reduction; (5) process and marketing; and (6) 
outreach and implementation. Components one and two have been 
completed.
    REDNET investigators were issued an EFP in support of component 
two, which authorized the use of a 4.5-in (11.4-cm) mesh codend to 
establish a baseline for target catch and bycatch in a targeted redfish 
fishery (see the Notice and Request for Comments from March 8, 2011 (76 
FR 12716)). This EFP, which would be in support of component three of 
the project, would enable investigators to evaluate different codend 
mesh sizes in an effort to identify the optimal mesh size to 
selectively harvest legal-size redfish, as well as perform catch 
sampling activities. To execute the study, the participating vessel 
would need to be exempt from the following FMP regulations: NE 
multispecies minimum fish size for redfish specified at Sec.  
648.83(a); and minimum mesh size of 6.5 in (16.6 cm) for multispecies 
vessels fishing in the GOM specified at Sec.  648.80(a)(3)(i). In 
addition, vessels would be exempt from the following regulations for 
all remaining large-mesh and small-mesh groundfish species, for 
sampling purposes only: Minimum fish size restrictions; fish possession 
limits; species quota closures; possession of prohibited groundfish 
species; and gear-specific fish possession restrictions. All non-
compliant fish would be discarded as soon as practicable following data 
collection. No fish below the minimum size would be landed.
    Tows would be made using the trouser trawl method which consists of 
a regular trawl's front end (including sweep, fishing line and 
headline) and a trouser section, which leads to two separate side-by-
side codends. The applicants propose to assess codend selectivity by 
testing three codend mesh sizes. The test codend would use mesh sizes 
of either 4.5 in (11.4 cm), 5.5 in (14.0 cm), or 6.5 in (16.6 cm), and 
the control codend would use mesh sizes 2 in (5.1 cm) to 2.25 in (5.7 
cm). The test and control codends would be switched regularly between 
port and starboard to reduce possible side effects, rather than keeping 
the test codend on the same side of the vessel for all tows.
    The vessel would conduct sea trials from early November 2012 to 
April 30, 2013, with a total of 18 sea-days (three 6-day trips 
including steaming time). The vessel expects to make seven tows on each 
of the 12 actual fishing days. The research activity would occur in the 
middle of the GOM, outside of closed areas, on known redfish 
concentrations, in statistical areas 513, 514, 515, 521, and 522. The 
trawl net would be towed at typical fishing speed of approximately 3.2 
kts, and the duration of each tow would depend primarily on the amount 
of fish in the net, rather than time. Acoustic gear monitoring devices 
would be used during trials to measure the performance of the gear and 
ensure constant geometry of the trawl's front end.
    SMAST/Massachusetts Division of Marine Fisheries (DMF) technical 
staff, students, and/or qualified at-sea monitors contracted by SMAST/
DMF would be on board the vessel for each trip and would document all 
catch and by catch encountered following NE Fishery Observer Program 
protocols. About 70 to 100 fish per codend per tow would be measured 
for both redfish and/or other groundfish species. Sampling work would 
occur during normal fishing operations and the exemptions for this EFP, 
if authorized, would not be expected to change vessel fishing behavior. 
Therefore, it is highly unlikely that this EFP would cause any impact 
to the physical environment/essential fish habitat, non-sampled 
species, or protected resources. All marine mammal and turtle 
interactions would be noted and released, and all corals would be noted 
and samples kept for further identification and assessment. Codend and 
control catch data would be analyzed using established methods proposed 
by the International Council for the Exploration of the Seas in their 
Manual of Methods of Measuring the Selectivity of Towed Fishing Gears.
    All catch of stocks allocated to sectors by the vessel would be 
deducted from the sector's annual catch entitlement for each NE 
multispecies stock, including redfish. Specifically, NMFS would apply 
the sector assumed discard rate to fishing trips by the vessel 
participating under this EFP, whether the recorded discard rates from 
the experimental fishing are higher or lower than the assumed discard 
rate of the sector. The participating vessel would be required to 
comply with all other applicable requirements and restrictions 
specified at 50 CFR part 648, unless specifically exempted in this EFP.
    If approved, the applicants may request minor modifications and 
extensions to the EFP throughout the course of research. EFP 
modifications and extensions may be granted without further public 
notice if they are deemed essential to facilitate completion of the 
proposed research and result in only a minimal change in the scope or 
impacts of the initially approved EFP request.
    In accordance with NAO 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. After publication of this document in the 
Federal Register, the EFP, if approved, may become effective following 
the public comment period.

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

    Dated: October 24, 2012.
James P. Burgess,
Acting Deputy Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National 
Marine Fisheries Service.
[FR Doc. 2012-26548 Filed 10-26-12; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 3510-22-P