2013 Annual Determination for Sea Turtle Observer Requirement, 75999-76000 [2012-30966]

Download as PDF Federal Register / Vol. 77, No. 247 / Wednesday, December 26, 2012 / Notices 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 this full sunset review, which will include the results of its analysis of issues raised in any such comments, no later than March 29, 2013. The Department is issuing and publishing the results and notice in accordance with sections 751(c), 752(c), and 777(i)(1) of the Act. Dated: December 19, 2012. Paul Piquado, Assistant Secretary for Import Administration. [FR Doc. 2012–31101 Filed 12–21–12; 4:15 pm] BILLING CODE 3510–DS–P DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration RIN 0648–XC379 2013 Annual Determination for Sea Turtle Observer Requirement National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Commerce. ACTION: Notice. AGENCY: The National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) is providing notification that the agency will not identify additional fisheries to observe on the Annual Determination (AD) for 2013, pursuant to its authority under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). Through an AD, NMFS identifies U.S. fisheries operating in the Atlantic Ocean, Gulf of Mexico, and Pacific Ocean that will be required to take observers upon NMFS’ request. The purpose of observing identified fisheries is to learn more about sea turtle interactions in a given fishery, evaluate existing measures to prevent or reduce prohibited sea turtle takes, and to determine whether additional measures to implement the prohibition against sea turtle takes may be necessary. Fisheries identified in the 2010 AD (see Table 1) remain on the AD and are therefore required to carry observers upon NMFS’ request until December 31, 2014. ADDRESSES: See SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION for a listing of all Regional Offices. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Sara McNulty, Office of Protected Resources, 301–427–8402; Ellen Keane, Northeast Region, 978–282–8476; Dennis Klemm, tkelley on DSK3SPTVN1PROD with SUMMARY: VerDate Mar<15>2010 06:31 Dec 22, 2012 Jkt 229001 Southeast Region, 727–824–5312; Christina Fahy, Southwest Region, 562– 980–4023; Dawn Golden, Pacific Islands Region, 808–944–2252. Individuals who use a telecommunications device for the hearing impaired may call the Federal Information Relay Service at 1–800– 877–8339 between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. Eastern time, Monday through Friday, excluding Federal holidays. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Availability of Published Materials Information regarding the Sea Turtle Observer Requirement for Fisheries (72 FR 43176, August 3, 2007) may be obtained at www.nmfs.noaa.gov/pr/ species/turtles/regulations.htm or from any NMFS Regional Office at the addresses listed below: • NMFS, Northeast Region, 55 Great Republic Drive, Gloucester, MA 01930; • NMFS, Southeast Region, 263 13th Avenue South, St. Petersburg, FL 33701; • NMFS, Southwest Region, 501 W. Ocean Blvd., Suite 4200, Long Beach, CA 90802; • NMFS, Pacific Islands Region, Protected Resources, 1601 Kapiolani Boulevard, Suite 1100, Honolulu, HI 96814. Purpose of the Sea Turtle Observer Requirement Under the ESA, 16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq., NMFS has the responsibility to implement programs to conserve marine life listed as endangered or threatened. All sea turtles found in U.S. waters are listed as either endangered or threatened under the ESA. Kemp’s ridley (Lepidochelys kempii), loggerhead (Caretta caretta; North Pacific distinct population segment), leatherback (Dermochelys coriacea), and hawksbill (Eretmochelys imbricata) sea turtles are listed as endangered. Loggerhead (Caretta caretta; Northwest Atlantic distinct population segment), green (Chelonia mydas), and olive ridley (Lepidochelys olivacea) sea turtles are listed as threatened, except for breeding colony populations of green turtles in Florida and on the Pacific coast of Mexico, and breeding colony populations of olive ridleys on the Pacific coast of Mexico, which are listed as endangered. Due to the inability to distinguish between populations of green and olive ridley turtles away from the nesting beach, NMFS considers these turtles endangered wherever they occur in U.S. waters. While some sea turtle populations have shown signs of recovery, many populations continue to decline. Incidental take, or bycatch, in fishing gear is one of the main sources of sea turtle injury and mortality nationwide. PO 00000 Frm 00032 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 75999 Section 9 of the ESA prohibits the take (including harassing, harming, pursuing, hunting, shooting, wounding, killing, trapping, capturing, or collecting or attempting to engage in any such conduct), including incidental take, of endangered sea turtles. Pursuant to section 4(d) of the ESA, NMFS has issued regulations extending the prohibition of take, with exceptions, to threatened sea turtles (50 CFR 223.205 and 223.206). Sections 9 and 11 of the ESA authorize the issuance of regulations to enforce the take prohibitions. NMFS may grant exceptions to the take prohibitions with an incidental take statement or an incidental take permit issued pursuant to ESA section 7 or 10, respectively. To do so, NMFS must determine that the activity that will result in incidental take is not likely to jeopardize the continued existence of the affected listed species. For some Federal fisheries and most state fisheries, NMFS has not granted an exception primarily because we lack information about fishery-sea turtle interactions. The most effective way for NMFS to learn more about sea turtle-fishery interactions in order to prevent or minimize take is to place observers aboard fishing vessels. In 2007, NMFS issued a regulation (50 CFR 222.402) to establish procedures through which each year NMFS will identify, pursuant to specified criteria and after notice and opportunity for comment, those fisheries in which the agency intends to place observers (72 FR 43176, August 3, 2007). These regulations specify that NMFS may place observers on U.S. fishing vessels, either recreational or commercial, operating in U.S. territorial waters, the U.S. exclusive economic zone (EEZ), or on the high seas, or on vessels that are otherwise subject to the jurisdiction of the United States. Failure to comply with the requirements under this rule may result in civil or criminal penalties under the ESA. NMFS and/or interested cooperating entities will pay the direct costs for vessels to carry observers. These include observer salary and insurance costs. NMFS may also evaluate other potential direct costs, should they arise. Once selected, a fishery will be eligible to be observed for 5 years without further action by NMFS. This will enable NMFS to develop an appropriate sampling protocol to investigate whether, how, when, where, and under what conditions incidental takes are occurring; to evaluate whether existing measures are minimizing or preventing takes; and to determine whether additional measures are needed to conserve and recover turtles. E:\FR\FM\26DEN1.SGM 26DEN1 76000 Federal Register / Vol. 77, No. 247 / Wednesday, December 26, 2012 / Notices 2013 Annual Determination NMFS is providing notification that the agency will not identify additional fisheries to observe for the 2013 AD, pursuant to its authority under the ESA. NMFS is not identifying additional fisheries at this time given lack of resources to implement new or expand existing observer programs to focus on sea turtles (50 CFR 222.402(a)(4)). Fisheries identified in the 2010 AD (see Table 1) remain on the AD and are therefore required to carry observers upon NMFS’ request until December 31, 2014. NMFS did not identify additional fisheries to observe in the 2011 AD or in the 2012 AD. TABLE 1—STATE AND FEDERAL COMMERCIAL FISHERIES INCLUDED ON THE ANNUAL DETERMINATION Years Eligible to Carry Observers Fishery Trawl Fisheries Atlantic shellfish bottom trawl ................................................................................................................................................. Mid-Atlantic bottom trawl ........................................................................................................................................................ Mid-Atlantic mid-water trawl (including pair trawl) ................................................................................................................. Southeastern U.S. Atlantic, Gulf of Mexico shrimp trawl ....................................................................................................... Gillnet Fisheries CA halibut, white seabass and other species set gillnet (>3.5 in mesh) .............................................................................. CA yellowtail, barracuda, and white seabass drift gillnet (mesh size >3.5 in. and <14 in.) .................................................. Chesapeake Bay inshore gillnet ............................................................................................................................................. Long Island inshore gillnet ..................................................................................................................................................... Mid-Atlantic gillnet .................................................................................................................................................................. North Carolina inshore gillnet ................................................................................................................................................. Northeast sink gillnet .............................................................................................................................................................. Southeast Atlantic gillnet ........................................................................................................................................................ Trap/Pot Fisheries Atlantic blue crab trap/pot ...................................................................................................................................................... Atlantic mixed species trap/pot .............................................................................................................................................. Northeast/mid-Atlantic American lobster trap/pot ................................................................................................................... Pound Net/Weir/Seine Fisheries Mid-Atlantic haul/beach seine ................................................................................................................................................ Mid-Atlantic menhaden purse seine ....................................................................................................................................... U.S. mid-Atlantic mixed species stop seine/weir/pound net (except the NC roe mullet stop net) ........................................ Virginia pound net .................................................................................................................................................................. Dated: December 18, 2012. Helen M. Golde, Acting Director, Office of Protected Resources, National Marine Fisheries Service. [FR Doc. 2012–30966 Filed 12–21–12; 4:15 pm] NOAA Science Advisory Board (SAB) to announce the availability of the draft report of the SAB Research and Development Portfolio Review Task Force (PRTF) for public comment. BILLING CODE 3510–22–P DATES: Comments on this draft report must be received by 5:00 p.m. on January 23, 2013. DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE [Docket Number: 121129666–2666–01] RIN 0648–XC378 Notice of Availability of Draft Report of the NOAA Research and Development Portfolio Review Task Force and Request for Comments Office of Oceanic and Atmospheric Research (OAR), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Department of Commerce (DOC). ACTION: Notice of availability and request for public comment. tkelley on DSK3SPTVN1PROD with AGENCY: Authority: 5 U.S.C. App. NOAA’s Office of Oceanic and Atmospheric Research (OAR) publishes this notice on behalf of the SUMMARY: VerDate Mar<15>2010 06:31 Dec 22, 2012 Jkt 229001 The Draft Report of the PRTF will be available on the NOAA Science Advisory Board Web site at: http://www.sab.noaa.gov/Reports/prtf. html. The public is encouraged to submit comments electronically to noaa.sab.comments@noaa.gov. For individuals who do not have access to the Internet, comments may be submitted in writing to: NOAA Science Advisory Board (SAB) c/o Dr. Cynthia Decker, 1315 East-West Highway-R/ SAB, Silver Spring, Maryland 20910. ADDRESSES: National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Science Advisory Board Dr. Cynthia Decker, Executive Director, Science Advisory Board, NOAA, 1315 East-West Highway-R/SAB, Silver Spring, Maryland 20910. (Phone: 301– 734–1156, Fax: 301–734–1459) during normal business hours of 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Eastern Time, Monday through Friday, or visit the NOAA SAB Web site at http://www.sab.noaa.gov. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: PO 00000 Frm 00033 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 2010–2014 2010–2014 2010–2014 2010–2014 2010–2014 2010–2014 2010–2014 2010–2014 2010–2014 2010–2014 2010–2014 2010–2014 2010–2014 2010–2014 2010–2014 2010–2014 2010–2014 2010–2014 2010–2014 For general information about the PRTF please visit the SAB Web site: http://www.sab.noaa.gov/Working_ Groups/current/SAB%20R& D%20PRTF%20Terms%20of%20 Reference%20Final%2005–09–12.pdf. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The SAB is chartered under the Federal Advisory Committee Act and is the only Federal Advisory Committee with the responsibility to advise the Under Secretary of NOAA on long- and shortterm strategies for research, education, and application of science to resource management and environmental assessment and prediction. The PRTF is a subcommittee of the SAB. The PRTF is charged with providing recommendations on NOAA’s current and future scientific research; this draft report was prepared in response to a NOAA request in November 2011 for the SAB to conduct a needs-based review and prioritization of NOAA’s research and development (R&D) portfolio. The PRTF’s review was to include identification of gaps and areas appropriate for consolidation with ongoing efforts strongly linked to NOAA’s current Strategic Plan. NOAA, the SAB, and the PRTF recognize the high likelihood of constrained financial resources in the coming years and believe the PRTF’s review will provide E:\FR\FM\26DEN1.SGM 26DEN1

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[Federal Register Volume 77, Number 247 (Wednesday, December 26, 2012)]
[Notices]
[Pages 75999-76000]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2012-30966]


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DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

RIN 0648-XC379


2013 Annual Determination for Sea Turtle Observer Requirement

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

ACTION: Notice.

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

SUMMARY: The National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) is providing 
notification that the agency will not identify additional fisheries to 
observe on the Annual Determination (AD) for 2013, pursuant to its 
authority under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). Through an AD, NMFS 
identifies U.S. fisheries operating in the Atlantic Ocean, Gulf of 
Mexico, and Pacific Ocean that will be required to take observers upon 
NMFS' request. The purpose of observing identified fisheries is to 
learn more about sea turtle interactions in a given fishery, evaluate 
existing measures to prevent or reduce prohibited sea turtle takes, and 
to determine whether additional measures to implement the prohibition 
against sea turtle takes may be necessary. Fisheries identified in the 
2010 AD (see Table 1) remain on the AD and are therefore required to 
carry observers upon NMFS' request until December 31, 2014.

ADDRESSES: See SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION for a listing of all Regional 
Offices.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Sara McNulty, Office of Protected 
Resources, 301-427-8402; Ellen Keane, Northeast Region, 978-282-8476; 
Dennis Klemm, Southeast Region, 727-824-5312; Christina Fahy, Southwest 
Region, 562-980-4023; Dawn Golden, Pacific Islands Region, 808-944-
2252. Individuals who use a telecommunications device for the hearing 
impaired may call the Federal Information Relay Service at 1-800-877-
8339 between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. Eastern time, Monday through Friday, 
excluding Federal holidays.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Availability of Published Materials

    Information regarding the Sea Turtle Observer Requirement for 
Fisheries (72 FR 43176, August 3, 2007) may be obtained at 
www.nmfs.noaa.gov/pr/species/turtles/regulations.htm or from any NMFS 
Regional Office at the addresses listed below:
     NMFS, Northeast Region, 55 Great Republic Drive, 
Gloucester, MA 01930;
     NMFS, Southeast Region, 263 13th Avenue South, St. 
Petersburg, FL 33701;
     NMFS, Southwest Region, 501 W. Ocean Blvd., Suite 4200, 
Long Beach, CA 90802;
     NMFS, Pacific Islands Region, Protected Resources, 1601 
Kapiolani Boulevard, Suite 1100, Honolulu, HI 96814.

Purpose of the Sea Turtle Observer Requirement

    Under the ESA, 16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq., NMFS has the responsibility 
to implement programs to conserve marine life listed as endangered or 
threatened. All sea turtles found in U.S. waters are listed as either 
endangered or threatened under the ESA. Kemp's ridley (Lepidochelys 
kempii), loggerhead (Caretta caretta; North Pacific distinct population 
segment), leatherback (Dermochelys coriacea), and hawksbill 
(Eretmochelys imbricata) sea turtles are listed as endangered. 
Loggerhead (Caretta caretta; Northwest Atlantic distinct population 
segment), green (Chelonia mydas), and olive ridley (Lepidochelys 
olivacea) sea turtles are listed as threatened, except for breeding 
colony populations of green turtles in Florida and on the Pacific coast 
of Mexico, and breeding colony populations of olive ridleys on the 
Pacific coast of Mexico, which are listed as endangered. Due to the 
inability to distinguish between populations of green and olive ridley 
turtles away from the nesting beach, NMFS considers these turtles 
endangered wherever they occur in U.S. waters. While some sea turtle 
populations have shown signs of recovery, many populations continue to 
decline.
    Incidental take, or bycatch, in fishing gear is one of the main 
sources of sea turtle injury and mortality nationwide. Section 9 of the 
ESA prohibits the take (including harassing, harming, pursuing, 
hunting, shooting, wounding, killing, trapping, capturing, or 
collecting or attempting to engage in any such conduct), including 
incidental take, of endangered sea turtles. Pursuant to section 4(d) of 
the ESA, NMFS has issued regulations extending the prohibition of take, 
with exceptions, to threatened sea turtles (50 CFR 223.205 and 
223.206). Sections 9 and 11 of the ESA authorize the issuance of 
regulations to enforce the take prohibitions. NMFS may grant exceptions 
to the take prohibitions with an incidental take statement or an 
incidental take permit issued pursuant to ESA section 7 or 10, 
respectively. To do so, NMFS must determine that the activity that will 
result in incidental take is not likely to jeopardize the continued 
existence of the affected listed species. For some Federal fisheries 
and most state fisheries, NMFS has not granted an exception primarily 
because we lack information about fishery-sea turtle interactions.
    The most effective way for NMFS to learn more about sea turtle-
fishery interactions in order to prevent or minimize take is to place 
observers aboard fishing vessels. In 2007, NMFS issued a regulation (50 
CFR 222.402) to establish procedures through which each year NMFS will 
identify, pursuant to specified criteria and after notice and 
opportunity for comment, those fisheries in which the agency intends to 
place observers (72 FR 43176, August 3, 2007). These regulations 
specify that NMFS may place observers on U.S. fishing vessels, either 
recreational or commercial, operating in U.S. territorial waters, the 
U.S. exclusive economic zone (EEZ), or on the high seas, or on vessels 
that are otherwise subject to the jurisdiction of the United States. 
Failure to comply with the requirements under this rule may result in 
civil or criminal penalties under the ESA.
    NMFS and/or interested cooperating entities will pay the direct 
costs for vessels to carry observers. These include observer salary and 
insurance costs. NMFS may also evaluate other potential direct costs, 
should they arise. Once selected, a fishery will be eligible to be 
observed for 5 years without further action by NMFS. This will enable 
NMFS to develop an appropriate sampling protocol to investigate 
whether, how, when, where, and under what conditions incidental takes 
are occurring; to evaluate whether existing measures are minimizing or 
preventing takes; and to determine whether additional measures are 
needed to conserve and recover turtles.

[[Page 76000]]

2013 Annual Determination

    NMFS is providing notification that the agency will not identify 
additional fisheries to observe for the 2013 AD, pursuant to its 
authority under the ESA. NMFS is not identifying additional fisheries 
at this time given lack of resources to implement new or expand 
existing observer programs to focus on sea turtles (50 CFR 
222.402(a)(4)). Fisheries identified in the 2010 AD (see Table 1) 
remain on the AD and are therefore required to carry observers upon 
NMFS' request until December 31, 2014. NMFS did not identify additional 
fisheries to observe in the 2011 AD or in the 2012 AD.

 Table 1--State and Federal Commercial Fisheries Included on the Annual
                              Determination
------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                       Years Eligible to
                       Fishery                          Carry Observers
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Trawl Fisheries
    Atlantic shellfish bottom trawl..................          2010-2014
    Mid-Atlantic bottom trawl........................          2010-2014
    Mid-Atlantic mid-water trawl (including pair               2010-2014
     trawl)..........................................
    Southeastern U.S. Atlantic, Gulf of Mexico shrimp          2010-2014
     trawl...........................................
Gillnet Fisheries
    CA halibut, white seabass and other species set            2010-2014
     gillnet (>3.5 in mesh)..........................
    CA yellowtail, barracuda, and white seabass drift          2010-2014
     gillnet (mesh size >3.5 in. and <14 in.)........
    Chesapeake Bay inshore gillnet...................          2010-2014
    Long Island inshore gillnet......................          2010-2014
    Mid-Atlantic gillnet.............................          2010-2014
    North Carolina inshore gillnet...................          2010-2014
    Northeast sink gillnet...........................          2010-2014
    Southeast Atlantic gillnet.......................          2010-2014
Trap/Pot Fisheries
    Atlantic blue crab trap/pot......................          2010-2014
    Atlantic mixed species trap/pot..................          2010-2014
    Northeast/mid-Atlantic American lobster trap/pot.          2010-2014
Pound Net/Weir/Seine Fisheries
    Mid-Atlantic haul/beach seine....................          2010-2014
    Mid-Atlantic menhaden purse seine................          2010-2014
    U.S. mid-Atlantic mixed species stop seine/weir/           2010-2014
     pound net (except the NC roe mullet stop net)...
    Virginia pound net...............................          2010-2014
------------------------------------------------------------------------


    Dated: December 18, 2012.
Helen M. Golde,
Acting Director, Office of Protected Resources, National Marine 
Fisheries Service.
[FR Doc. 2012-30966 Filed 12-21-12; 4:15 pm]
BILLING CODE 3510-22-P