Atlantic Highly Migratory Species; Atlantic Shark Management Measures; 2014 Research Fishery, 70018-70020 [2013-28101]

Download as PDF 70018 Federal Register / Vol. 78, No. 226 / Friday, November 22, 2013 / Notices hold its regular Business Session to receive Organizational Reports to include an update on forms and process for data collection for the surfclam and ocean quahog fisheries, South Atlantic and New England Liaison Reports, the Executive Director’s Report, Science Report, Committee Reports, and conduct any continuing and/or new business. Special Accommodations These meetings are physically accessible to people with disabilities. Requests for sign language interpretation or other auxiliary aid should be directed to M. Jan Saunders, (302) 526–5251, at least 5 days prior to the meeting date. Dated: November 19, 2013. Tracey L. Thompson, Acting Deputy Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine Fisheries Service. [FR Doc. 2013–28021 Filed 11–21–13; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510–22–P DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration RIN 0648–XC990 North Pacific Fishery Management Council; Public Meeting National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Commerce. ACTION: Notice of a public meeting of the North Pacific Fishery Management Council Charter Management Implementation Committee. AGENCY: The North Pacific Fishery Management Council (Council) Charter Implementation Committee will meet in Anchorage, AK. DATES: The meeting will be held on December 9, 2013, from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. ADDRESSES: The meeting will be held at the Council office, 605 W. 4th Avenue, Room 205, Anchorage, AK. Council address: North Pacific Fishery Management Council, 605 W. 4th Ave., Suite 306, Anchorage, AK 99501–2252. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Jane DiCosimo, Council staff, telephone: (907) 271–2809. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The agenda is to identify a preferred management measure(s), from the following committee recommendations. For Regulatory Area 2C: (1) Annual limit combined with maximum size limit; (2) Annual limit combined with reverse slot limit; (3) Bag limit of one emcdonald on DSK67QTVN1PROD with NOTICES SUMMARY: VerDate Mar<15>2010 16:47 Nov 21, 2013 Jkt 232001 fish with a maximum size limit; and (4) Status quo management of one fish less than 45 inches or greater than 68 inches. For Regulatory Area 3A: (1) Status quo management of a bag limit of two fish, with no size limit; (2) Bag limit of two fish, with a maximum size limit on second fish; (3) Annual limit, with bag limit of two fish; and (4) Prohibit retention of skipper/crew harvest. Committee recommendations will be incorporated into an analysis for Council review in December 2013. The Council will recommend a preferred measure(s) for each area for consideration by the International Pacific Halibut Commission for implementation in 2014. Although non-emergency issues not contained in this agenda may come before this group for discussion, those issues may not be the subject of formal action during this meeting. Action will be restricted to those issues specifically listed in this notice and any issues arising after publication of this notice that require emergency action under section 305(c) of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act, provided the public has been notified of the Council’s intent to take final action to address the emergency. Special Accommodations The meeting is physically accessible to people with disabilities. Requests for sign language interpretation or other auxiliary aids should be directed to Gail Bendixen at (907) 271–2809 at least 7 working days prior to the meeting date. Dated: November 19, 2013. Tracey L. Thompson, Acting Deputy Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine Fisheries Service. [FR Doc. 2013–28071 Filed 11–21–13; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510–22–P DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration RIN 0648–XC934 Atlantic Highly Migratory Species; Atlantic Shark Management Measures; 2014 Research Fishery National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Commerce. ACTION: Notice of intent; request for applications. AGENCY: NMFS announces its request for applications for the 2014 shark research fishery from commercial shark fishermen with directed or incidental SUMMARY: PO 00000 Frm 00007 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 shark limited access permits. The shark research fishery allows for the collection of fishery-dependent and biological data for future stock assessments to meet NMFS’s shark research objectives. The only commercial vessels authorized to land sandbar sharks are those participating in the shark research fishery. Shark research fishery permittees may also land other large coastal sharks (LCS), small coastal sharks (SCS), and pelagic sharks. Commercial shark fishermen who are interested in participating in the shark research fishery need to submit a completed Shark Research Fishery Permit Application in order to be considered. DATES: Shark Research Fishery Applications must be received no later than 5 p.m., local time, on December 23, 2013. ADDRESSES: Please submit completed applications to the Highly Migratory Species (HMS) Management Division at: • Mail: Attn: Delisse Ortiz, HMS Management Division (F/SF1), NMFS, 1315 East-West Highway, Silver Spring, MD 20910. • Fax: (301) 713–1917. For copies of the Shark Research Fishery Permit Application, please write to the HMS Management Division at the address listed above, call (301) 427– 8503 (phone), or fax a request to (301) 713–1917. Copies of the Shark Research Fishery Application are also available at the HMS Web site at http:// www.nmfs.noaa.gov/sfa/hms/index.htm. Additionally, please be advised that your application may be released under the Freedom of Information Act. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Karyl Brewster-Geisz or Delisse Ortiz, at (301) 427–8503 (phone) or (301) 713– 1917 (fax). SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The Atlantic shark fisheries are managed under the authority of the MagnusonStevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (Magnuson-Stevens Act). The 2006 Consolidated HMS Fishery Management Plan (FMP) is implemented by regulations at 50 CFR part 635. The final rule for Amendment 2 to the Consolidated HMS FMP (Amendment 2) (73 FR 35778, June 24, 2008, corrected at 73 FR 40658, July 15, 2008) established, among other things, a shark research fishery to maintain time series data for stock assessments and to meet NMFS’ research objectives. Since the shark research fishery was established in 2008, the research fishery has allowed for: the collection of fishery dependent data for current and future stock assessments; the operation of E:\FR\FM\22NON1.SGM 22NON1 emcdonald on DSK67QTVN1PROD with NOTICES Federal Register / Vol. 78, No. 226 / Friday, November 22, 2013 / Notices cooperative research to meet NMFS’ ongoing research objectives; the collection of updated life history information used in the sandbar shark (and other species) stock assessment; the collection of data on habitat preferences that might help reduce fishery interactions through bycatch mitigation; and the evaluation of the utility of the mid-Atlantic closed area on the recovery of dusky sharks and collection of hook timer and pop-up satellite tag information to determine atvessel and post-release mortality of dusky sharks. The shark research fishery also allows selected commercial fishermen the opportunity to earn revenue from selling additional sharks, including sandbar sharks. Only the commercial shark fishermen selected to participate in the shark research fishery are authorized to land sandbar sharks subject to the sandbar quota available each year. The base quota is 116 mt dw per year, although this number may be reduced in the event of overharvests, if any. The selected shark research fishery permittees will also be allowed to land other LCS, SCS, and pelagic sharks as specifically authorized on their shark research fishery permit. The shark research fishery permits are valid only for the calendar year for which they are issued. Specific 2014 trip limits and number of trips permitted per month will depend on the number of selected vessels, the availability of observers, the available quota, and the objectives of the research fishery and will be included in the permit terms at the time of issuance. The number of participants in the research fishery change each year. In 2013, six fishermen were chosen to participate. From 2008 through 2013, an average of eight participants each year were selected for permits, with a range from five to eleven annually. The trip limits and the number of trips taken per month have changed each year the research fishery has been active. Participants may also be limited on the amount of gear they can deploy on a given set (e.g., number of hooks and sets, soak times, length of longline). In 2013, we split the sandbar and LCS research fishery quotas equally among selected participants, with each vessel allocated 15.5 metric tons (mt) dressed weight (dw) of sandbar shark research fishery quota and 6.7 mt dw of other LCS research fishery quota. NMFS also established a dusky bycatch cap in six designated regions, which required that once vessels in a region had interacted with five dusky sharks, the region was closed to any fishing by shark research fishery participants for the rest of the VerDate Mar<15>2010 16:47 Nov 21, 2013 Jkt 232001 year. Participants were also required to keep any dead sharks, unless they were a prohibited species, in which case the permittees were required to release them, and were restricted to a certain number of longline sets as well as the number of hooks they could deploy and have on board the vessel. The vessels participating in the shark research fishery fished an average of one trip per month. In order to participate in the shark research fishery, commercial shark fishermen need to submit a completed Shark Research Fishery Application by the deadline noted above (see DATES) showing that the vessel and owner(s) meet the specific criteria outlined below. Research Objectives Each year, the research objectives are developed by a shark board, which is comprised of representatives within NMFS, including representatives from the Southeast Fisheries Science Center (SEFSC) Panama City Laboratory, Northeast Fisheries Science Center (NEFSC) Narragansett Laboratory, the Southeast Regional Office, Protected Resources Division (SERO\PRD), and the HMS Management Division. The research objectives for 2014 are based on various documents including the 2012 Biological Opinion for the Continued Authorization of the Atlantic Shark Fisheries and the Federal Authorization of a Smoothhound Fishery; 2010/2011 U.S. South Atlantic blacknose, U.S Gulf of Mexico blacknose, sandbar, and dusky sharks stock assessments; and the SEDAR 29, 2012 U.S. Gulf of Mexico blacktip shark stock assessment. The 2014 research objectives are: • Collect reproductive, length, sex, and age data from sandbar and other sharks throughout the calendar year for species-specific stock assessments; • Monitor the size distribution of sandbar sharks and other species captured in the fishery; • Continue on-going shark tagging programs for identification of migration corridors and stock structure using dart and/or spaghetti tags; • Maintain time-series of abundance from previously derived indices for the shark bottom longline observer program; • Acquire fin-clip samples of all shark and other species for genetic analysis; • Attach satellite archival tags to endangered smalltooth sawfish to provide information on critical habitat and preferred depth, consistent with ESA requirements for such tagging under the SEFSC observer program take permit obtained through the 2008 PO 00000 Frm 00008 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 70019 Section 7 Consultation and Biological Opinion for the Continued Authorization of Shark Fisheries (Commercial Shark Bottom Longline, Commercial Shark Gillnet and Recreational Shark Handgear Fisheries) as Managed under the Consolidated Fishery Management Plan for Atlantic Tunas, Swordfish, and Sharks (Consolidated HMS FMP), including Amendment 2 to the Consolidated HMS FMP (F/SER/2007/05044) • Attach satellite archival tags to prohibited dusky and other sharks, as needed, to provide information on daily and seasonal movement patterns, and preferred depth; • Evaluate hooking mortality and post-release survivorship of dusky, hammerhead, blacktip, and other sharks using hook timers and temperaturedepth recorders; • Evaluate the effects of controlled gear experiments in order to determine the effects of potential hook changes to prohibited species interactions and fishery yields; and • Examine the size distribution of sandbar and other sharks captured throughout the fishery including in the Mid-Atlantic shark time/area closure off the coast of North Carolina from January 1 through July 31. Selection Criteria Shark Research Fishery Permit Applications will be accepted only from commercial shark fishermen who hold a current directed or incidental shark limited access permit. While incidental permit holders are welcome to submit an application, to ensure that an appropriate number of sharks are landed to meet the research objectives for this year, NMFS will give priority to directed permit holders as recommended by the shark board. As such, qualified incidental permit holders will be selected only if there are not enough qualified directed permit holders to meet research objectives. The Shark Research Fishery Permit Application includes, but is not limited to, a request for the following information: Type of commercial shark permit possessed; past participation in the commercial shark fishery (not including sharks caught for display); past involvement and compliance with HMS observer programs per 50 CFR 635.7; past compliance with HMS regulations at 50 CFR part 635; availability to participate in the shark research fishery; ability to fish in the regions and season requested; ability to attend necessary meetings regarding the objectives and research protocols of the shark research fishery; and ability to carry out the research objectives of the E:\FR\FM\22NON1.SGM 22NON1 70020 Federal Register / Vol. 78, No. 226 / Friday, November 22, 2013 / Notices Agency. An applicant who has been charged criminally or civilly (e.g., issued a Notice of Violation and Assessment (NOVA) or Notice of Permit Sanction) for any HMS-related violation will not be considered for participation in the shark research fishery. In addition, applicants who were selected to carry an observer in the previous 2 years for any HMS fishery, but failed to contact NMFS to arrange the placement of an observer as required per 50 CFR 635.7, will not be considered for participation in the 2014 shark research fishery. Applicants who were selected to carry an observer in the previous 2 years for any HMS fishery and failed to comply with all the observer regulations per 50 CFR 635.7 will also not be considered. Exceptions will be made for vessels that were selected for HMS observer coverage but did not fish in the quarter when selected and thus did not require an observer. Applicants who do not possess a valid USCG safety inspection decal when the application is submitted will not be considered. Applicants who have been noncompliant with any of the HMS observer program regulations in the previous 2 years, as described above, may be eligible for future participation in shark research fishery activities by demonstrating 2 subsequent years of compliance with observer regulations at 50 CFR 635.7. emcdonald on DSK67QTVN1PROD with NOTICES Selection Process The HMS Management Division will review all submitted applications and develop a list of qualified applicants from those applications that are deemed complete. A qualified applicant is an applicant that has submitted a complete application by the deadline (see DATES) and has met the selection criteria listed above. Qualified applicants are eligible to be selected to participate in the shark research fishery for 2014. The HMS Management Division will provide the list of qualified applicants without identifying information to the SEFSC. The SEFSC will then evaluate the list of qualified applicants and, based on the temporal and spatial needs of the research objectives, the availability of observers, the availability of qualified applicants, and the available quota for a given year, will randomly select qualified applicants to conduct the prescribed research. Where there are multiple qualified applicants that meet the criteria, permittees will be randomly selected through a lottery system. If a public meeting is deemed necessary, NMFS will announce details of a public selection meeting in a subsequent Federal Register notice. VerDate Mar<15>2010 16:47 Nov 21, 2013 Jkt 232001 Once the selection process is complete, NMFS will notify the selected applicants and issue the shark research fishery permits. The shark research fishery permits will be valid only in calendar year 2014. If needed, NMFS will communicate with the shark research fishery permit holders to arrange a captain’s meeting to discuss the research objectives and protocols. The shark research fishery permit holders must contact the NMFS observer coordinator to arrange the placement of a NMFS-approved observer for each shark research trip. A shark research fishery permit will only be valid for the vessel and owner(s) and terms and conditions listed on the permit, and, thus, cannot be transferred to another vessel or owner(s). Issuance of a shark research permit does not guarantee that the permit holder will be assigned a NMFS-approved observer on any particular trip. Rather, issuance indicates that a vessel may be issued a NMFS-approved observer for a particular trip, and on such trips, may be allowed to harvest Atlantic sharks, including sandbar sharks, in excess of the retention limits described in 50 CFR 635.24(a). These retention limits will be based on available quota, number of vessels participating in the 2014 shark research fishery, the research objectives set forth by the shark board, the extent of other restrictions placed on the vessel, and may vary by vessel and/or location. When not operating under the auspices of the shark research fishery, the vessel would still be able to land LCS, SCS, and pelagic sharks subject to existing retention limits on trips without a NMFS-approved observer. The shark research permit may be revoked or modified at any time and does not confer the right to engage in activities beyond those listed on the shark research fishery permit. NMFS annually invites commercial shark permit holders (directed and incidental) to submit an application to participate in the shark research fishery. Permit applications can be found on the HMS Management Division’s Web site at http://www.nmfs.noaa.gov/sfa/hms/ index.htm or by calling (301) 427–8503. Final decisions on the issuance of a shark research fishery permit will depend on the submission of all required information by the deadline (see DATES), and NMFS’ review of applicant information as outlined above. The 2014 shark research fishery will start after the opening of the shark fishery and under available quotas as published in a separate Federal Register final rule. Authority: 16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq. PO 00000 Frm 00009 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 Dated: November 18, 2013. Kelly Denit, Acting Deputy Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine Fisheries Service. [FR Doc. 2013–28101 Filed 11–21–13; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510–22–P DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE Patent and Trademark Office Privacy Act of 1974; System of Records United States Patent and Trademark Office, Commerce. ACTION: Notice of proposed new Privacy Act system of records. AGENCY: In accordance with the requirements of the Privacy Act of 1974, as amended, the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) gives notice of a proposed new system of records entitled ‘‘COMMERCE/PAT– TM–24 Background Investigations.’’ We invite the public to comment on the system announced in this publication. DATES: Written comments must be received no later than December 23, 2013. The proposed system of records will be effective on December 23, 2013, unless the USPTO receives comments that would result in a contrary determination. SUMMARY: You may submit written comments by any of the following methods: • Email: Joseph.Burns@uspto.gov. Include ‘‘Privacy Act PAT–TM–24 comment’’ in the subject line of the message. • Fax: (571) 273–1537, marked to the attention of Joseph Burns, Office of Security and Safety, Office of Administrative Services. • Mail: Joseph Burns, Director, Office of Security and Safety, Office of Administrative Services, United States Patent and Trademark Office, P.O. Box 1450, Alexandria, VA 22313–1450. • Federal Rulemaking Portal: http:// www.regulations.gov. All comments received will be available for public inspection at the Federal rulemaking portal located at www.regulations.gov. ADDRESSES: FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Joseph Burns, Director, Office of Security and Safety, Office of Administrative Services, United States Patent and Trademark Office, P.O. Box 1450, Alexandria, VA 22313–1450, (571) 272–1537. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) is giving notice of a new E:\FR\FM\22NON1.SGM 22NON1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 78, Number 226 (Friday, November 22, 2013)]
[Notices]
[Pages 70018-70020]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2013-28101]


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DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

RIN 0648-XC934


Atlantic Highly Migratory Species; Atlantic Shark Management 
Measures; 2014 Research Fishery

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

ACTION: Notice of intent; request for applications.

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

SUMMARY: NMFS announces its request for applications for the 2014 shark 
research fishery from commercial shark fishermen with directed or 
incidental shark limited access permits. The shark research fishery 
allows for the collection of fishery-dependent and biological data for 
future stock assessments to meet NMFS's shark research objectives. The 
only commercial vessels authorized to land sandbar sharks are those 
participating in the shark research fishery. Shark research fishery 
permittees may also land other large coastal sharks (LCS), small 
coastal sharks (SCS), and pelagic sharks. Commercial shark fishermen 
who are interested in participating in the shark research fishery need 
to submit a completed Shark Research Fishery Permit Application in 
order to be considered.

DATES: Shark Research Fishery Applications must be received no later 
than 5 p.m., local time, on December 23, 2013.

ADDRESSES: Please submit completed applications to the Highly Migratory 
Species (HMS) Management Division at:
     Mail: Attn: Delisse Ortiz, HMS Management Division (F/
SF1), NMFS, 1315 East-West Highway, Silver Spring, MD 20910.
     Fax: (301) 713-1917.
    For copies of the Shark Research Fishery Permit Application, please 
write to the HMS Management Division at the address listed above, call 
(301) 427-8503 (phone), or fax a request to (301) 713-1917. Copies of 
the Shark Research Fishery Application are also available at the HMS 
Web site at http://www.nmfs.noaa.gov/sfa/hms/index.htm. Additionally, 
please be advised that your application may be released under the 
Freedom of Information Act.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Karyl Brewster-Geisz or Delisse Ortiz, 
at (301) 427-8503 (phone) or (301) 713-1917 (fax).

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The Atlantic shark fisheries are managed 
under the authority of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and 
Management Act (Magnuson-Stevens Act). The 2006 Consolidated HMS 
Fishery Management Plan (FMP) is implemented by regulations at 50 CFR 
part 635.
    The final rule for Amendment 2 to the Consolidated HMS FMP 
(Amendment 2) (73 FR 35778, June 24, 2008, corrected at 73 FR 40658, 
July 15, 2008) established, among other things, a shark research 
fishery to maintain time series data for stock assessments and to meet 
NMFS' research objectives. Since the shark research fishery was 
established in 2008, the research fishery has allowed for: the 
collection of fishery dependent data for current and future stock 
assessments; the operation of

[[Page 70019]]

cooperative research to meet NMFS' ongoing research objectives; the 
collection of updated life history information used in the sandbar 
shark (and other species) stock assessment; the collection of data on 
habitat preferences that might help reduce fishery interactions through 
bycatch mitigation; and the evaluation of the utility of the mid-
Atlantic closed area on the recovery of dusky sharks and collection of 
hook timer and pop-up satellite tag information to determine at-vessel 
and post-release mortality of dusky sharks.
    The shark research fishery also allows selected commercial 
fishermen the opportunity to earn revenue from selling additional 
sharks, including sandbar sharks. Only the commercial shark fishermen 
selected to participate in the shark research fishery are authorized to 
land sandbar sharks subject to the sandbar quota available each year. 
The base quota is 116 mt dw per year, although this number may be 
reduced in the event of overharvests, if any. The selected shark 
research fishery permittees will also be allowed to land other LCS, 
SCS, and pelagic sharks as specifically authorized on their shark 
research fishery permit. The shark research fishery permits are valid 
only for the calendar year for which they are issued.
    Specific 2014 trip limits and number of trips permitted per month 
will depend on the number of selected vessels, the availability of 
observers, the available quota, and the objectives of the research 
fishery and will be included in the permit terms at the time of 
issuance. The number of participants in the research fishery change 
each year. In 2013, six fishermen were chosen to participate. From 2008 
through 2013, an average of eight participants each year were selected 
for permits, with a range from five to eleven annually. The trip limits 
and the number of trips taken per month have changed each year the 
research fishery has been active. Participants may also be limited on 
the amount of gear they can deploy on a given set (e.g., number of 
hooks and sets, soak times, length of longline). In 2013, we split the 
sandbar and LCS research fishery quotas equally among selected 
participants, with each vessel allocated 15.5 metric tons (mt) dressed 
weight (dw) of sandbar shark research fishery quota and 6.7 mt dw of 
other LCS research fishery quota. NMFS also established a dusky bycatch 
cap in six designated regions, which required that once vessels in a 
region had interacted with five dusky sharks, the region was closed to 
any fishing by shark research fishery participants for the rest of the 
year. Participants were also required to keep any dead sharks, unless 
they were a prohibited species, in which case the permittees were 
required to release them, and were restricted to a certain number of 
longline sets as well as the number of hooks they could deploy and have 
on board the vessel. The vessels participating in the shark research 
fishery fished an average of one trip per month.
    In order to participate in the shark research fishery, commercial 
shark fishermen need to submit a completed Shark Research Fishery 
Application by the deadline noted above (see DATES) showing that the 
vessel and owner(s) meet the specific criteria outlined below.

Research Objectives

    Each year, the research objectives are developed by a shark board, 
which is comprised of representatives within NMFS, including 
representatives from the Southeast Fisheries Science Center (SEFSC) 
Panama City Laboratory, Northeast Fisheries Science Center (NEFSC) 
Narragansett Laboratory, the Southeast Regional Office, Protected 
Resources Division (SERO\PRD), and the HMS Management Division. The 
research objectives for 2014 are based on various documents including 
the 2012 Biological Opinion for the Continued Authorization of the 
Atlantic Shark Fisheries and the Federal Authorization of a Smoothhound 
Fishery; 2010/2011 U.S. South Atlantic blacknose, U.S Gulf of Mexico 
blacknose, sandbar, and dusky sharks stock assessments; and the SEDAR 
29, 2012 U.S. Gulf of Mexico blacktip shark stock assessment. The 2014 
research objectives are:
     Collect reproductive, length, sex, and age data from 
sandbar and other sharks throughout the calendar year for species-
specific stock assessments;
     Monitor the size distribution of sandbar sharks and other 
species captured in the fishery;
     Continue on-going shark tagging programs for 
identification of migration corridors and stock structure using dart 
and/or spaghetti tags;
     Maintain time-series of abundance from previously derived 
indices for the shark bottom longline observer program;
     Acquire fin-clip samples of all shark and other species 
for genetic analysis;
     Attach satellite archival tags to endangered smalltooth 
sawfish to provide information on critical habitat and preferred depth, 
consistent with ESA requirements for such tagging under the SEFSC 
observer program take permit obtained through the 2008 Section 7 
Consultation and Biological Opinion for the Continued Authorization of 
Shark Fisheries (Commercial Shark Bottom Longline, Commercial Shark 
Gillnet and Recreational Shark Handgear Fisheries) as Managed under the 
Consolidated Fishery Management Plan for Atlantic Tunas, Swordfish, and 
Sharks (Consolidated HMS FMP), including Amendment 2 to the 
Consolidated HMS FMP (F/SER/2007/05044)
     Attach satellite archival tags to prohibited dusky and 
other sharks, as needed, to provide information on daily and seasonal 
movement patterns, and preferred depth;
     Evaluate hooking mortality and post-release survivorship 
of dusky, hammerhead, blacktip, and other sharks using hook timers and 
temperature-depth recorders;
     Evaluate the effects of controlled gear experiments in 
order to determine the effects of potential hook changes to prohibited 
species interactions and fishery yields; and
     Examine the size distribution of sandbar and other sharks 
captured throughout the fishery including in the Mid-Atlantic shark 
time/area closure off the coast of North Carolina from January 1 
through July 31.

Selection Criteria

    Shark Research Fishery Permit Applications will be accepted only 
from commercial shark fishermen who hold a current directed or 
incidental shark limited access permit. While incidental permit holders 
are welcome to submit an application, to ensure that an appropriate 
number of sharks are landed to meet the research objectives for this 
year, NMFS will give priority to directed permit holders as recommended 
by the shark board. As such, qualified incidental permit holders will 
be selected only if there are not enough qualified directed permit 
holders to meet research objectives.
    The Shark Research Fishery Permit Application includes, but is not 
limited to, a request for the following information: Type of commercial 
shark permit possessed; past participation in the commercial shark 
fishery (not including sharks caught for display); past involvement and 
compliance with HMS observer programs per 50 CFR 635.7; past compliance 
with HMS regulations at 50 CFR part 635; availability to participate in 
the shark research fishery; ability to fish in the regions and season 
requested; ability to attend necessary meetings regarding the 
objectives and research protocols of the shark research fishery; and 
ability to carry out the research objectives of the

[[Page 70020]]

Agency. An applicant who has been charged criminally or civilly (e.g., 
issued a Notice of Violation and Assessment (NOVA) or Notice of Permit 
Sanction) for any HMS-related violation will not be considered for 
participation in the shark research fishery. In addition, applicants 
who were selected to carry an observer in the previous 2 years for any 
HMS fishery, but failed to contact NMFS to arrange the placement of an 
observer as required per 50 CFR 635.7, will not be considered for 
participation in the 2014 shark research fishery. Applicants who were 
selected to carry an observer in the previous 2 years for any HMS 
fishery and failed to comply with all the observer regulations per 50 
CFR 635.7 will also not be considered. Exceptions will be made for 
vessels that were selected for HMS observer coverage but did not fish 
in the quarter when selected and thus did not require an observer. 
Applicants who do not possess a valid USCG safety inspection decal when 
the application is submitted will not be considered. Applicants who 
have been non-compliant with any of the HMS observer program 
regulations in the previous 2 years, as described above, may be 
eligible for future participation in shark research fishery activities 
by demonstrating 2 subsequent years of compliance with observer 
regulations at 50 CFR 635.7.

Selection Process

    The HMS Management Division will review all submitted applications 
and develop a list of qualified applicants from those applications that 
are deemed complete. A qualified applicant is an applicant that has 
submitted a complete application by the deadline (see DATES) and has 
met the selection criteria listed above. Qualified applicants are 
eligible to be selected to participate in the shark research fishery 
for 2014. The HMS Management Division will provide the list of 
qualified applicants without identifying information to the SEFSC. The 
SEFSC will then evaluate the list of qualified applicants and, based on 
the temporal and spatial needs of the research objectives, the 
availability of observers, the availability of qualified applicants, 
and the available quota for a given year, will randomly select 
qualified applicants to conduct the prescribed research. Where there 
are multiple qualified applicants that meet the criteria, permittees 
will be randomly selected through a lottery system. If a public meeting 
is deemed necessary, NMFS will announce details of a public selection 
meeting in a subsequent Federal Register notice.
    Once the selection process is complete, NMFS will notify the 
selected applicants and issue the shark research fishery permits. The 
shark research fishery permits will be valid only in calendar year 
2014. If needed, NMFS will communicate with the shark research fishery 
permit holders to arrange a captain's meeting to discuss the research 
objectives and protocols. The shark research fishery permit holders 
must contact the NMFS observer coordinator to arrange the placement of 
a NMFS-approved observer for each shark research trip.
    A shark research fishery permit will only be valid for the vessel 
and owner(s) and terms and conditions listed on the permit, and, thus, 
cannot be transferred to another vessel or owner(s). Issuance of a 
shark research permit does not guarantee that the permit holder will be 
assigned a NMFS-approved observer on any particular trip. Rather, 
issuance indicates that a vessel may be issued a NMFS-approved observer 
for a particular trip, and on such trips, may be allowed to harvest 
Atlantic sharks, including sandbar sharks, in excess of the retention 
limits described in 50 CFR 635.24(a). These retention limits will be 
based on available quota, number of vessels participating in the 2014 
shark research fishery, the research objectives set forth by the shark 
board, the extent of other restrictions placed on the vessel, and may 
vary by vessel and/or location. When not operating under the auspices 
of the shark research fishery, the vessel would still be able to land 
LCS, SCS, and pelagic sharks subject to existing retention limits on 
trips without a NMFS-approved observer. The shark research permit may 
be revoked or modified at any time and does not confer the right to 
engage in activities beyond those listed on the shark research fishery 
permit.
    NMFS annually invites commercial shark permit holders (directed and 
incidental) to submit an application to participate in the shark 
research fishery. Permit applications can be found on the HMS 
Management Division's Web site at http://www.nmfs.noaa.gov/sfa/hms/index.htm or by calling (301) 427-8503. Final decisions on the issuance 
of a shark research fishery permit will depend on the submission of all 
required information by the deadline (see DATES), and NMFS' review of 
applicant information as outlined above. The 2014 shark research 
fishery will start after the opening of the shark fishery and under 
available quotas as published in a separate Federal Register final 
rule.

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

    Dated: November 18, 2013.
Kelly Denit,
Acting Deputy Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National 
Marine Fisheries Service.
[FR Doc. 2013-28101 Filed 11-21-13; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 3510-22-P