Fisheries of the Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico, and South Atlantic, 51501-51503 [2014-20554]

Download as PDF Federal Register / Vol. 79, No. 168 / Friday, August 29, 2014 / Rules and Regulations NATIONAL AERONAUTICS AND SPACE ADMINISTRATION DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE 48 CFR Part 1852 National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration RIN 2700–AE08 50 CFR Part 622 NASA Federal Acquisition Regulation Supplement (NFS): Contractor Whistleblower Protections; Technical Amendments Fisheries of the Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico, and South Atlantic National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). AGENCY: ACTION: Final rule. Effective: August 29, 2014. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Leigh Pomponio via email at leigh.pomponio@NASA.gov, or (202) 358–0592. An interim rule was published in the Federal Register on July 29, 2014 (79 FR 43956–43961), amending 48 CFR part 1852. In order to correct certain elements in 48 CFR part 1852, this document makes editorial changes to the NFS. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: List of Subject in 48 CFR Part 1852 Government procurement. Cynthia Boots, Alternate Federal Register Liaison. Therefore, NASA amends 48 CFR part 1852 as set forth below: PART 1852—SOLICITATION PROVISIONS AND CONTRACT CLAUSES 1. The authority citation for 48 CFR part 1852 continues to read as follows: ■ Authority: 51 U.S.C. 20113(a) and 48 CFR chapter 1. 1852.203–71 [Amended] 2. Section 1852.203–71(a) is amended by removing ‘‘1803.09’’ and replacing it with ‘‘1803.9’’. wreier-aviles on DSK5TPTVN1PROD with RULES ■ 1852.216–90 [Amended] 3. Section 1852.216–90 is amended by removing ‘‘As prescribed in 216.307– 70(g)’’ and replacing it with ‘‘As prescribed in 1816.307–70(g)’’. ■ [FR Doc. 2014–20612 Filed 8–28–14; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 7510–13–P VerDate Mar<15>2010 15:18 Aug 28, 2014 Jkt 232001 In Title 50 of the Code of Federal Regulations, Parts 600 to 659, revised as of October 1, 2013, on page 389, Appendix F to Part 622 is reinstated to read as follows: ■ Appendix F to Part 622—Specifications for Sea Turtle Mitigation Gear and Sea Turtle Handling and Release Requirements This document makes amendments to the NASA FAR Supplement (NFS) in order to make editorial changes. SUMMARY: DATES: CFR Correction A. Sea turtle mitigation gear. 1. Long-handled line clipper or cutter. Line cutters are intended to cut high test monofilament line as close as possible to the hook, and assist in removing line from entangled sea turtles to minimize any remaining gear upon release. NMFS has established minimum design standards for the line cutters. The LaForce line cutter and the Arceneaux line clipper are models that meet these minimum design standards, and may be purchased or fabricated from readily available and low-cost materials. One longhandled line clipper or cutter and a set of replacement blades are required to be onboard. The minimum design standards for line cutters are as follows: (a) A protected and secured cutting blade. The cutting blade(s) must be capable of cutting 2.0–2.1 mm (0.078 in.–0.083 in.) monofilament line (400-lb test) or polypropylene multistrand material, known as braided or tarred mainline, and must be maintained in working order. The cutting blade must be curved, recessed, contained in a holder, or otherwise designed to facilitate its safe use so that direct contact between the cutting surface and the sea turtle or the user is prevented. The cutting instrument must be securely attached to an extended reach handle and be easily replaceable. One extra set of replacement blades meeting these standards must also be carried on board to replace all cutting surfaces on the line cutter or clipper. (b) An extended reach handle. The line cutter blade must be securely fastened to an extended reach handle or pole with a minimum length equal to, or greater than, 150 percent of the freeboard, or a minimum of 6 ft (1.83 m), whichever is greater. It is recommended, but not required, that the handle break down into sections. There is no restriction on the type of material used to construct this handle as long as it is sturdy and facilitates the secure attachment of the cutting blade. 2. Long-handled dehooker for internal hooks. A long-handled dehooking device is intended to remove internal hooks from sea turtles that cannot be boated. It should also be used to engage a loose hook when a turtle is entangled but not hooked, and line is being PO 00000 Frm 00049 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 51501 removed. The design must shield the barb of the hook and prevent it from re-engaging during the removal process. One longhandled device to remove internal hooks is required onboard. The minimum design standards are as follows: (a) Hook removal device. The hook removal device must be constructed of approximately 3⁄16-inch (4.76 mm) to 5⁄16-inch (7.94 mm) 316 L stainless steel or similar material and have a dehooking end no larger than 1 7⁄8-inches (4.76 cm) outside diameter. The device must securely engage and control the leader while shielding the barb to prevent the hook from re-engaging during removal. It may not have any unprotected terminal points (including blunt ones), as these could cause injury to the esophagus during hook removal. The device must be of a size appropriate to secure the range of hook sizes and styles used in the South Atlantic snapper-grouper fishery. (b) Extended reach handle. The dehooking end must be securely fastened to an extended reach handle or pole with a minimum length equal to or greater than 150 percent of the freeboard, or a minimum of 6 ft (1.83 m), whichever is greater. It is recommended, but not required, that the handle break down into sections. The handle must be sturdy and strong enough to facilitate the secure attachment of the hook removal device. 3. Long-handled dehooker for external hooks. A long-handled dehooker is required for use on externally-hooked sea turtles that cannot be boated. The long-handled dehooker for internal hooks described in paragraph 2. of this Appendix F would meet this requirement. The minimum design standards are as follows: (a) Construction. A long-handled dehooker must be constructed of approximately 3⁄16inch (4.76 mm) to 5⁄16-inch (7.94 mm) 316 L stainless steel rod and have a dehooking end no larger than 1 7⁄8-inches (4.76 cm) outside diameter. The design should be such that a fish hook can be rotated out, without pulling it out at an angle. The dehooking end must be blunt with all edges rounded. The device must be of a size appropriate to secure the range of hook sizes and styles used in the South Atlantic snapper-grouper fishery. (b) Extended reach handle. The handle must be a minimum length equal to the freeboard of the vessel or 6 ft (1.83 m), whichever is greater. 4. Long-handled device to pull an ‘‘inverted V’’. This tool is used to pull a ‘‘V’’ in the fishing line when implementing the ‘‘inverted V’’; dehooking technique, as described in the document entitled ‘‘Careful Release Protocols for Sea Turtle Release With Minimal Injury,’’ for disentangling and dehooking entangled sea turtles. One longhandled device to pull an ‘‘inverted V’’ is required onboard. If a 6-ft (1.83 m) J-style dehooker is used to comply with paragraph 4. of this Appendix F, it will also satisfy this requirement. Minimum design standards are as follows: (a) Hook end. This device, such as a standard boat hook, gaff, or long-handled Jstyle dehooker, must be constructed of stainless steel or aluminum. The semicircular or ‘‘J’’ shaped end must be securely attached to a handle. A sharp point, such as on a gaff hook, is to be used only for holding the E:\FR\FM\29AUR1.SGM 29AUR1 wreier-aviles on DSK5TPTVN1PROD with RULES 51502 Federal Register / Vol. 79, No. 168 / Friday, August 29, 2014 / Rules and Regulations monofilament fishing line and should never contact the sea turtle. (b) Extended reach handle. The handle must have a minimum length equal to the freeboard of the vessel, or 6 ft (1.83 m), whichever is greater. The handle must be sturdy and strong enough to facilitate the secure attachment of the gaff hook. 5. Dipnet. One dipnet is required onboard. Dipnets are to be used to facilitate safe handling of sea turtles by allowing them to be brought onboard for fishing gear removal, without causing further injury to the animal. Turtles must not be brought onboard without the use of a dipnet or hoist. The minimum design standards for dipnets are as follows: (a) Size of dipnet. The dipnet must have a sturdy net hoop of at least 31 inches (78.74 cm) inside diameter and a bag depth of at least 38 inches (96.52 cm) to accommodate turtles below 3 ft (0.914 m) carapace length. The bag mesh openings may not exceed 3 inches (7.62 cm) by 3 inches (7.62 cm). There must be no sharp edges or burrs on the hoop, or where it is attached to the handle. There is no requirement for the hoop to be circular as long as it meets the minimum specifications. (b) Extended reach handle. The dipnet hoop must be securely fastened to an extended reach handle or pole with a minimum length equal to, or greater than, 150 percent of the freeboard, or at least 6 ft (1.83 m), whichever is greater. The handle must be made of a rigid material strong enough to facilitate the sturdy attachment of the net hoop and be able to support a minimum of 100 lb (34.1 kg) without breaking or significant bending or distortion. It is recommended, but not required, that the extended reach handle break down into sections. 6. Cushion/support device. A standard automobile tire (free of exposed steel belts), a boat cushion, a large turtle hoist, or any other comparable cushioned elevated surface, is required for supporting a turtle in an upright orientation while the turtle is onboard. The cushion/support device must be appropriately sized to fully support a range of turtle sizes. 7. Short-handled dehooker for internal hooks. One short-handled device for removing internal hooks is required onboard. This dehooker is designed to remove ingested hooks from boated sea turtles. It can also be used on external hooks or hooks in the front of the mouth. Minimum design standards are as follows: (a) Hook removal device. The hook removal device must be constructed of approximately 3⁄16-inch (4.76 mm) to 5⁄16-inch (7.94 mm) 316 L stainless steel, and must allow the hook to be secured and the barb shielded without reengaging during the removal process. It must be no larger than 1 7⁄8-inches (4.76 cm) outside diameter. It may not have any unprotected terminal points (including blunt ones), as this could cause injury to the esophagus during hook removal. A sliding PVC bite block must be used to protect the beak and facilitate hook removal if the turtle bites down on the dehooking device. The bite block should be constructed of a 3⁄4-inch (1.91 cm) inside diameter high impact plastic cylinder (e.g., Schedule 80 PVC) that is 4 to VerDate Mar<15>2010 15:18 Aug 28, 2014 Jkt 232001 6 inches (10.2 to 15.2 cm) long to allow for 5 inches (12.7 cm) of slide along the shaft. The device must be of a size appropriate to secure the range of hook sizes and styles used in the South Atlantic snapper-grouper fishery. (b) Handle length. The handle should be approximately 16 to 24 inches (40.64 cm to 60.69 cm) in length, with approximately a 4 to 6-inch (10.2 to 15.2-cm) long tube Thandle of approximately 1 inch (2.54 cm) in diameter. 8. Short-handled dehooker for external hooks. One short-handled dehooker for external hooks is required onboard. The short-handled dehooker for internal hooks required to comply with paragraph 7. of this Appendix F will also satisfy this requirement. Minimum design standards are as follows: (a) Hook removal device. The dehooker must be constructed of approximately 3⁄16inch (4.76 cm) to 5⁄16-inch (7.94 cm) 316 L stainless steel, and the design must be such that a hook can be rotated out without pulling it out at an angle. The dehooking end must be blunt, and all edges rounded. The device must be of a size appropriate to secure the range of hook sizes and styles used in the South Atlantic snapper-grouper fishery. (b) Handle length. The handle should be approximately 16 to 24 inches (40.64 to 60.69 cm) long with approximately a 5-inch (12.7 cm) long tube T-handle, wire loop handle or similar, of approximately 1 inch (2.54 cm) in diameter. 9. Long-nose or needle-nose pliers. One pair of long-nose or needle-nose pliers is required on board. Required long-nose or needle-nose pliers can be used to remove deeply embedded hooks from the turtle’s flesh that must be twisted during removal or for removing hooks from the front of the mouth. They can also hold PVC splice couplings, when used as mouth openers, in place. Minimum design standards are as follows: (a) General. They must be approximately 12 inches (30.48 cm) in length, and should be constructed of stainless steel material. (b) [Reserved] 10. Bolt cutters. One pair of bolt cutters is required on board. Required bolt cutters may be used to cut hooks to facilitate their removal. They should be used to cut off the eye or barb of a hook, so that it can safely be pushed through a sea turtle without causing further injury. They should also be used to cut off as much of the hook as possible, when the remainder of the hook cannot be removed. Minimum design standards are as follows: (a) General. They must be approximately 14 to 17 inches (35.56 to 43.18 cm) in total length, with approximately 4-inch (10.16 cm) long blades that are 21⁄4 inches (5.72 cm) wide, when closed, and with approximately 10 to 13-inch (25.4 to 33.02-cm) long handles. Required bolt cutters must be able to cut hard metals, such as stainless or carbon steel hooks, up to 1⁄4-inch (6.35 mm) diameter. (b) [Reserved] 11. Monofilament line cutters. One pair of monofilament line cutters is required on board. Required monofilament line cutters PO 00000 Frm 00050 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 must be used to remove fishing line as close to the eye of the hook as possible, if the hook is swallowed or cannot be removed. Minimum design standards are as follows: (a) General. Monofilament line cutters must be approximately 71⁄2 inches (19.05 cm) in length. The blades must be 1 inch (4.45 cm) in length and 5⁄8 inches (1.59 cm) wide, when closed. (b) [Reserved] 12. Mouth openers/mouth gags. Required mouth openers and mouth gags are used to open sea turtle mouths, and to keep them open when removing internal hooks from boated turtles. They must allow access to the hook or line without causing further injury to the turtle. Design standards are included in the item descriptions. At least two of the seven different types of mouth openers/gags described below are required: (a) A block of hard wood. Placed in the corner of the jaw, a block of hard wood may be used to gag open a turtle’s mouth. A smooth block of hard wood of a type that does not splinter (e.g. maple) with rounded edges should be sanded smooth, if necessary, and soaked in water to soften the wood. The dimensions should be approximately 11 inches (27.94 cm) by 1 inch (2.54 cm) by 1 inch (2.54 cm). A long-handled, wire shoe brush with a wooden handle, and with the wires removed, is an inexpensive, effective and practical mouth-opening device that meets these requirements. (b) A set of three canine mouth gags. Canine mouth gags are highly recommended to hold a turtle’s mouth open, because the gag locks into an open position to allow for hands-free operation after it is in place. These tools are only for use on small and medium sized turtles, as larger turtles may be able to crush the mouth gag. A set of canine mouth gags must include one of each of the following sizes: Small (5 inches) (12.7 cm), medium (6 inches) (15.24 cm), and large (7 inches) (17.78 cm). They must be constructed of stainless steel. The ends must be covered with clear vinyl tubing, friction tape, or similar, to pad the surface. (c) A set of two sturdy dog chew bones. Placed in the corner of a turtle’s jaw, canine chew bones are used to gag open a sea turtle’s mouth. Required canine chews must be constructed of durable nylon, zylene resin, or thermoplastic polymer, and strong enough to withstand biting without splintering. To accommodate a variety of turtle beak sizes, a set must include one large (51⁄2–8 inches (13.97 cm-20.32 cm) in length), and one small (31⁄2–41⁄2 inches (8.89 cm–11.43 cm) in length) canine chew bones. (d) A set of two rope loops covered with protective tubing. A set of two pieces of poly braid rope covered with light duty garden hose or similar flexible tubing each tied or spliced into a loop to provide a one-handed method for keeping the turtle’s mouth open during hook and/or line removal. A required set consists of two 3-ft (0.91 m) lengths of poly braid rope (3⁄8-inch (9.52 mm) diameter suggested), each covered with an 8-inch (20.32 cm) section of 1⁄2 inch (1.27 cm) or 3⁄4 inch (1.91 cm) tubing, and each tied into a loop. The upper loop of rope covered with hose is secured on the upper beak to give control with one hand, and the second piece E:\FR\FM\29AUR1.SGM 29AUR1 wreier-aviles on DSK5TPTVN1PROD with RULES Federal Register / Vol. 79, No. 168 / Friday, August 29, 2014 / Rules and Regulations of rope covered with hose is secured on the lower beak to give control with the user’s foot. (e) A hank of rope. Placed in the corner of a turtle’s jaw, a hank of rope can be used to gag open a sea turtle’s mouth. A 6-ft (1.83 m) lanyard of approximately 3⁄16-inch (4.76 mm) braided nylon rope may be folded to create a hank, or looped bundle, of rope. Any size soft-braided nylon rope is allowed, however it must create a hank of approximately 2–4 inches (5.08 cm–10.16 cm) in thickness. (f) A set of four PVC splice couplings. PVC splice couplings can be positioned inside a turtle’s mouth to allow access to the back of the mouth for hook and line removal. They are to be held in place with the needle-nose pliers. To ensure proper fit and access, a required set must consist of the following Schedule 40 PVC splice coupling sizes: 1 inch (2.54 cm), 11⁄4 inch (3.18 cm), 11⁄2 inch (3.81 cm), and 2 inches (5.08 cm). (g) A large avian oral speculum. A large avian oral speculum provides the ability to hold a turtle’s mouth open and to control the head with one hand, while removing a hook with the other hand. The avian oral speculum must be 9-inches (22.86 cm) long, and constructed of 3⁄16-inch (4.76 mm) wire diameter surgical stainless steel (Type 304). It must be covered with 8 inches (20.32 cm) of clear vinyl tubing (5⁄16-inch (7.9 mm) outside diameter, 3⁄16-inch (4.76 mm) inside diameter), friction tape, or similar to pad the surface. B. Sea turtle handling and release requirements. Sea turtle bycatch mitigation gear, as specified in paragraphs A.1. through 4. of this Appendix F, must be used to disengage any hooked or entangled sea turtles that cannot be brought onboard. Sea turtle bycatch mitigation gear, as specified in paragraphs A.5. through 12. of this Appendix F, must be used to facilitate access, safe handling, disentanglement, and hook removal or hook cutting of sea turtles that can be brought onboard, where feasible. Sea turtles must be handled, and bycatch mitigation gear must be used, in accordance with the careful release protocols and handling/release guidelines provided by NMFS and in accordance with the onboard handling and resuscitation requirements specified in § 223.206(d)(1)of this title. 1. Boated turtles. When practicable, active and comatose sea turtles must be brought on board, with a minimum of injury, using a dipnet as specified in paragraph A.5. of this Appendix F. All turtles less than 3 ft (.91 m) carapace length should be boated, if sea conditions permit. (a) A boated turtle should be placed on a cushioned/support device, as specified in paragraph A.6. of this Appendix F, in an upright orientation to immobilize it and facilitate gear removal. Then, it should be determined if the hook can be removed without causing further injury. All externally embedded hooks should be removed, unless hook removal would result in further injury to the turtle. No attempt to remove a hook should be made if it has been swallowed and the insertion point is not visible, or if it is determined that removal would result in further injury. If a hook cannot be removed, as much line as possible should be removed VerDate Mar<15>2010 15:18 Aug 28, 2014 Jkt 232001 from the turtle using monofilament cutters as specified in paragraph A.11. of this Appendix F, and the hook should be cut as close as possible to the insertion point before releasing the turtle, using bolt cutters as specified in paragraph A.10. of this Appendix F. If a hook can be removed, an effective technique may be to cut off either the barb, or the eye, of the hook using bolt cutters, and then to slide the hook out. When the hook is visible in the front of the mouth, a mouth-opener, as specified in paragraph A.12. of this Appendix F, may facilitate opening the turtle’s mouth and a gag may facilitate keeping the mouth open. Shorthandled dehookers for internal hooks, or long-nose or needle-nose pliers, as specified in paragraphs A.7. and A.8. of this Appendix F, respectively, should be used to remove visible hooks from the mouth that have not been swallowed on boated turtles, as appropriate. As much gear as possible must be removed from the turtle without causing further injury prior to its release. Refer to the careful release protocols and handling/ release guidelines required in § 622.10(c)(1), and the handling and resuscitation requirements specified in § 223.206(d)(1) of this title, for additional information. (b) [Reserved] 2. Non-boated turtles. If a sea turtle is too large, or hooked in a manner that precludes safe boating without causing further damage or injury to the turtle, sea turtle bycatch mitigation gear specified in paragraphs A.1. through 4. of this Appendix F must be used to disentangle sea turtles from fishing gear and disengage any hooks, or to clip the line and remove as much line as possible from a hook that cannot be removed, prior to releasing the turtle, in accordance with the protocols specified in § 622.10(c)(1). (a) Non-boated turtles should be brought close to the boat and provided with time to calm down. Then, it must be determined whether or not the hook can be removed without causing further injury. All externally embedded hooks must be removed, unless hook removal would result in further injury to the turtle. No attempt should be made to remove a hook if it has been swallowed, or if it is determined that removal would result in further injury. If the hook cannot be removed and/or if the animal is entangled, as much line as possible must be removed prior to release, using a line cutter as specified in paragraph A.1. of this Appendix F. If the hook can be removed, it must be removed using a long-handled dehooker as specified in paragraphs A.2. and A.3. of this Appendix F. Without causing further injury, as much gear as possible must be removed from the turtle prior to its release. Refer to the careful release protocols and handling/release guidelines required in § 622.10(c)(1), and the handling and resuscitation requirements specified in § 223.206(d)(1) for additional information. (b) [Reserved] [FR Doc. 2014–20554 Filed 8–28–14; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 1505–01–D PO 00000 Frm 00051 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 51503 DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration 50 CFR Part 648 [Docket No. 140106011–4338–02] RIN 0648–XD458 Fisheries of the Northeastern United States; Northeast Multispecies Fishery; Closure for the Common Pool Fishery National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Commerce. ACTION: Temporary rule; area closure. AGENCY: This action closes the Eastern U.S./Canada Area for Northeast multispecies common pool vessels for the remainder of fishing year 2014, through April 30, 2015. Based on recent data, the common pool fishery has caught 130 percent of its Eastern Georges Bank cod total allowable catch, triggering the regulatory requirement to close the area for the remainder of the fishing year. This action is intended to prevent further overage of the common pool’s annual quota of Eastern Georges Bank cod. DATES: This action is effective August 26, 2014, through April 30, 2015. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Liz Sullivan, Fishery Management Specialist, 978–282–8493. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Federal regulations at § 648.85(a)(3)(iv)(E) require the Regional Administrator to close the Eastern U.S./Canada Area when any individual total allowable catch (TAC) allocation for the area is projected to be caught. In such cases, the Eastern U.S./Canada Area (including any Special Access Programs (SAPs) that reside in this area) closes to all common pool vessels, i.e. Northeast (NE) multispecies limited access nonsector vessels and NE multispecies open access vessels. The fishing year 2014 (May 1, 2014, through April 30, 2015) common pool TAC for Eastern Georges Bank cod is 3.0 mt. Based on the most recent data and information, which include vessel trip reports, dealerreported landings, and vessel monitoring system information, we have determined that 130 percent of the fishing year TAC was caught as of August 19, 2014. Because of the low catch limit and the rate at which a common pool vessel can harvest Eastern Georges Bank cod, it was not possible to initiate this action before the point that the fishing year TAC was exceeded. SUMMARY: E:\FR\FM\29AUR1.SGM 29AUR1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 79, Number 168 (Friday, August 29, 2014)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 51501-51503]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2014-20554]


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DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

50 CFR Part 622


Fisheries of the Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico, and South Atlantic

CFR Correction

0
In Title 50 of the Code of Federal Regulations, Parts 600 to 659, 
revised as of October 1, 2013, on page 389, Appendix F to Part 622 is 
reinstated to read as follows:

 Appendix F to Part 622--Specifications for Sea Turtle Mitigation Gear 
and Sea Turtle Handling and Release Requirements

    A. Sea turtle mitigation gear.
    1. Long-handled line clipper or cutter. Line cutters are 
intended to cut high test monofilament line as close as possible to 
the hook, and assist in removing line from entangled sea turtles to 
minimize any remaining gear upon release. NMFS has established 
minimum design standards for the line cutters. The LaForce line 
cutter and the Arceneaux line clipper are models that meet these 
minimum design standards, and may be purchased or fabricated from 
readily available and low-cost materials. One long-handled line 
clipper or cutter and a set of replacement blades are required to be 
onboard. The minimum design standards for line cutters are as 
follows:
    (a) A protected and secured cutting blade. The cutting blade(s) 
must be capable of cutting 2.0-2.1 mm (0.078 in.-0.083 in.) 
monofilament line (400-lb test) or polypropylene multistrand 
material, known as braided or tarred mainline, and must be 
maintained in working order. The cutting blade must be curved, 
recessed, contained in a holder, or otherwise designed to facilitate 
its safe use so that direct contact between the cutting surface and 
the sea turtle or the user is prevented. The cutting instrument must 
be securely attached to an extended reach handle and be easily 
replaceable. One extra set of replacement blades meeting these 
standards must also be carried on board to replace all cutting 
surfaces on the line cutter or clipper.
    (b) An extended reach handle. The line cutter blade must be 
securely fastened to an extended reach handle or pole with a minimum 
length equal to, or greater than, 150 percent of the freeboard, or a 
minimum of 6 ft (1.83 m), whichever is greater. It is recommended, 
but not required, that the handle break down into sections. There is 
no restriction on the type of material used to construct this handle 
as long as it is sturdy and facilitates the secure attachment of the 
cutting blade.
    2. Long-handled dehooker for internal hooks. A long-handled 
dehooking device is intended to remove internal hooks from sea 
turtles that cannot be boated. It should also be used to engage a 
loose hook when a turtle is entangled but not hooked, and line is 
being removed. The design must shield the barb of the hook and 
prevent it from re-engaging during the removal process. One long-
handled device to remove internal hooks is required onboard. The 
minimum design standards are as follows:
    (a) Hook removal device. The hook removal device must be 
constructed of approximately \3/16\-inch (4.76 mm) to \5/16\-inch 
(7.94 mm) 316 L stainless steel or similar material and have a 
dehooking end no larger than 1 \7/8\-inches (4.76 cm) outside 
diameter. The device must securely engage and control the leader 
while shielding the barb to prevent the hook from re-engaging during 
removal. It may not have any unprotected terminal points (including 
blunt ones), as these could cause injury to the esophagus during 
hook removal. The device must be of a size appropriate to secure the 
range of hook sizes and styles used in the South Atlantic snapper-
grouper fishery.
    (b) Extended reach handle. The dehooking end must be securely 
fastened to an extended reach handle or pole with a minimum length 
equal to or greater than 150 percent of the freeboard, or a minimum 
of 6 ft (1.83 m), whichever is greater. It is recommended, but not 
required, that the handle break down into sections. The handle must 
be sturdy and strong enough to facilitate the secure attachment of 
the hook removal device.
    3. Long-handled dehooker for external hooks. A long-handled 
dehooker is required for use on externally-hooked sea turtles that 
cannot be boated. The long-handled dehooker for internal hooks 
described in paragraph 2. of this Appendix F would meet this 
requirement. The minimum design standards are as follows:
    (a) Construction. A long-handled dehooker must be constructed of 
approximately \3/16\-inch (4.76 mm) to \5/16\-inch (7.94 mm) 316 L 
stainless steel rod and have a dehooking end no larger than 1 \7/8\-
inches (4.76 cm) outside diameter. The design should be such that a 
fish hook can be rotated out, without pulling it out at an angle. 
The dehooking end must be blunt with all edges rounded. The device 
must be of a size appropriate to secure the range of hook sizes and 
styles used in the South Atlantic snapper-grouper fishery.
    (b) Extended reach handle. The handle must be a minimum length 
equal to the freeboard of the vessel or 6 ft (1.83 m), whichever is 
greater.
    4. Long-handled device to pull an ``inverted V''. This tool is 
used to pull a ``V'' in the fishing line when implementing the 
``inverted V''; dehooking technique, as described in the document 
entitled ``Careful Release Protocols for Sea Turtle Release With 
Minimal Injury,'' for disentangling and dehooking entangled sea 
turtles. One long-handled device to pull an ``inverted V'' is 
required onboard. If a 6-ft (1.83 m) J-style dehooker is used to 
comply with paragraph 4. of this Appendix F, it will also satisfy 
this requirement. Minimum design standards are as follows:
    (a) Hook end. This device, such as a standard boat hook, gaff, 
or long-handled J-style dehooker, must be constructed of stainless 
steel or aluminum. The semicircular or ``J'' shaped end must be 
securely attached to a handle. A sharp point, such as on a gaff 
hook, is to be used only for holding the

[[Page 51502]]

monofilament fishing line and should never contact the sea turtle.
    (b) Extended reach handle. The handle must have a minimum length 
equal to the freeboard of the vessel, or 6 ft (1.83 m), whichever is 
greater. The handle must be sturdy and strong enough to facilitate 
the secure attachment of the gaff hook.
    5. Dipnet. One dipnet is required onboard. Dipnets are to be 
used to facilitate safe handling of sea turtles by allowing them to 
be brought onboard for fishing gear removal, without causing further 
injury to the animal. Turtles must not be brought onboard without 
the use of a dipnet or hoist. The minimum design standards for 
dipnets are as follows:
    (a) Size of dipnet. The dipnet must have a sturdy net hoop of at 
least 31 inches (78.74 cm) inside diameter and a bag depth of at 
least 38 inches (96.52 cm) to accommodate turtles below 3 ft (0.914 
m) carapace length. The bag mesh openings may not exceed 3 inches 
(7.62 cm) by 3 inches (7.62 cm). There must be no sharp edges or 
burrs on the hoop, or where it is attached to the handle. There is 
no requirement for the hoop to be circular as long as it meets the 
minimum specifications.
    (b) Extended reach handle. The dipnet hoop must be securely 
fastened to an extended reach handle or pole with a minimum length 
equal to, or greater than, 150 percent of the freeboard, or at least 
6 ft (1.83 m), whichever is greater. The handle must be made of a 
rigid material strong enough to facilitate the sturdy attachment of 
the net hoop and be able to support a minimum of 100 lb (34.1 kg) 
without breaking or significant bending or distortion. It is 
recommended, but not required, that the extended reach handle break 
down into sections.
    6. Cushion/support device. A standard automobile tire (free of 
exposed steel belts), a boat cushion, a large turtle hoist, or any 
other comparable cushioned elevated surface, is required for 
supporting a turtle in an upright orientation while the turtle is 
onboard. The cushion/support device must be appropriately sized to 
fully support a range of turtle sizes.
    7. Short-handled dehooker for internal hooks. One short-handled 
device for removing internal hooks is required onboard. This 
dehooker is designed to remove ingested hooks from boated sea 
turtles. It can also be used on external hooks or hooks in the front 
of the mouth. Minimum design standards are as follows:
    (a) Hook removal device. The hook removal device must be 
constructed of approximately \3/16\-inch (4.76 mm) to \5/16\-inch 
(7.94 mm) 316 L stainless steel, and must allow the hook to be 
secured and the barb shielded without re-engaging during the removal 
process. It must be no larger than 1 \7/8\-inches (4.76 cm) outside 
diameter. It may not have any unprotected terminal points (including 
blunt ones), as this could cause injury to the esophagus during hook 
removal. A sliding PVC bite block must be used to protect the beak 
and facilitate hook removal if the turtle bites down on the 
dehooking device. The bite block should be constructed of a \3/4\-
inch (1.91 cm) inside diameter high impact plastic cylinder (e.g., 
Schedule 80 PVC) that is 4 to 6 inches (10.2 to 15.2 cm) long to 
allow for 5 inches (12.7 cm) of slide along the shaft. The device 
must be of a size appropriate to secure the range of hook sizes and 
styles used in the South Atlantic snapper-grouper fishery.
    (b) Handle length. The handle should be approximately 16 to 24 
inches (40.64 cm to 60.69 cm) in length, with approximately a 4 to 
6-inch (10.2 to 15.2-cm) long tube T-handle of approximately 1 inch 
(2.54 cm) in diameter.
    8. Short-handled dehooker for external hooks. One short-handled 
dehooker for external hooks is required onboard. The short-handled 
dehooker for internal hooks required to comply with paragraph 7. of 
this Appendix F will also satisfy this requirement. Minimum design 
standards are as follows:
    (a) Hook removal device. The dehooker must be constructed of 
approximately \3/16\-inch (4.76 cm) to \5/16\-inch (7.94 cm) 316 L 
stainless steel, and the design must be such that a hook can be 
rotated out without pulling it out at an angle. The dehooking end 
must be blunt, and all edges rounded. The device must be of a size 
appropriate to secure the range of hook sizes and styles used in the 
South Atlantic snapper-grouper fishery.
    (b) Handle length. The handle should be approximately 16 to 24 
inches (40.64 to 60.69 cm) long with approximately a 5-inch (12.7 
cm) long tube T-handle, wire loop handle or similar, of 
approximately 1 inch (2.54 cm) in diameter.
    9. Long-nose or needle-nose pliers. One pair of long-nose or 
needle-nose pliers is required on board. Required long-nose or 
needle-nose pliers can be used to remove deeply embedded hooks from 
the turtle's flesh that must be twisted during removal or for 
removing hooks from the front of the mouth. They can also hold PVC 
splice couplings, when used as mouth openers, in place. Minimum 
design standards are as follows:
    (a) General. They must be approximately 12 inches (30.48 cm) in 
length, and should be constructed of stainless steel material.
    (b) [Reserved]
    10. Bolt cutters. One pair of bolt cutters is required on board. 
Required bolt cutters may be used to cut hooks to facilitate their 
removal. They should be used to cut off the eye or barb of a hook, 
so that it can safely be pushed through a sea turtle without causing 
further injury. They should also be used to cut off as much of the 
hook as possible, when the remainder of the hook cannot be removed. 
Minimum design standards are as follows:
    (a) General. They must be approximately 14 to 17 inches (35.56 
to 43.18 cm) in total length, with approximately 4-inch (10.16 cm) 
long blades that are 2\1/4\ inches (5.72 cm) wide, when closed, and 
with approximately 10 to 13-inch (25.4 to 33.02-cm) long handles. 
Required bolt cutters must be able to cut hard metals, such as 
stainless or carbon steel hooks, up to \1/4\-inch (6.35 mm) 
diameter.
    (b) [Reserved]
    11. Monofilament line cutters. One pair of monofilament line 
cutters is required on board. Required monofilament line cutters 
must be used to remove fishing line as close to the eye of the hook 
as possible, if the hook is swallowed or cannot be removed. Minimum 
design standards are as follows:
    (a) General. Monofilament line cutters must be approximately 
7\1/2\ inches (19.05 cm) in length. The blades must be 1 inch (4.45 
cm) in length and \5/8\ inches (1.59 cm) wide, when closed.
    (b) [Reserved]
    12. Mouth openers/mouth gags. Required mouth openers and mouth 
gags are used to open sea turtle mouths, and to keep them open when 
removing internal hooks from boated turtles. They must allow access 
to the hook or line without causing further injury to the turtle. 
Design standards are included in the item descriptions. At least two 
of the seven different types of mouth openers/gags described below 
are required:
    (a) A block of hard wood. Placed in the corner of the jaw, a 
block of hard wood may be used to gag open a turtle's mouth. A 
smooth block of hard wood of a type that does not splinter (e.g. 
maple) with rounded edges should be sanded smooth, if necessary, and 
soaked in water to soften the wood. The dimensions should be 
approximately 11 inches (27.94 cm) by 1 inch (2.54 cm) by 1 inch 
(2.54 cm). A long-handled, wire shoe brush with a wooden handle, and 
with the wires removed, is an inexpensive, effective and practical 
mouth-opening device that meets these requirements.
    (b) A set of three canine mouth gags. Canine mouth gags are 
highly recommended to hold a turtle's mouth open, because the gag 
locks into an open position to allow for hands-free operation after 
it is in place. These tools are only for use on small and medium 
sized turtles, as larger turtles may be able to crush the mouth gag. 
A set of canine mouth gags must include one of each of the following 
sizes: Small (5 inches) (12.7 cm), medium (6 inches) (15.24 cm), and 
large (7 inches) (17.78 cm). They must be constructed of stainless 
steel. The ends must be covered with clear vinyl tubing, friction 
tape, or similar, to pad the surface.
    (c) A set of two sturdy dog chew bones. Placed in the corner of 
a turtle's jaw, canine chew bones are used to gag open a sea 
turtle's mouth. Required canine chews must be constructed of durable 
nylon, zylene resin, or thermoplastic polymer, and strong enough to 
withstand biting without splintering. To accommodate a variety of 
turtle beak sizes, a set must include one large (5\1/2\-8 inches 
(13.97 cm-20.32 cm) in length), and one small (3\1/2\-4\1/2\ inches 
(8.89 cm-11.43 cm) in length) canine chew bones.
    (d) A set of two rope loops covered with protective tubing. A 
set of two pieces of poly braid rope covered with light duty garden 
hose or similar flexible tubing each tied or spliced into a loop to 
provide a one-handed method for keeping the turtle's mouth open 
during hook and/or line removal. A required set consists of two 3-ft 
(0.91 m) lengths of poly braid rope (\3/8\-inch (9.52 mm) diameter 
suggested), each covered with an 8-inch (20.32 cm) section of \1/2\ 
inch (1.27 cm) or \3/4\ inch (1.91 cm) tubing, and each tied into a 
loop. The upper loop of rope covered with hose is secured on the 
upper beak to give control with one hand, and the second piece

[[Page 51503]]

of rope covered with hose is secured on the lower beak to give 
control with the user's foot.
    (e) A hank of rope. Placed in the corner of a turtle's jaw, a 
hank of rope can be used to gag open a sea turtle's mouth. A 6-ft 
(1.83 m) lanyard of approximately \3/16\-inch (4.76 mm) braided 
nylon rope may be folded to create a hank, or looped bundle, of 
rope. Any size soft-braided nylon rope is allowed, however it must 
create a hank of approximately 2-4 inches (5.08 cm-10.16 cm) in 
thickness.
    (f) A set of four PVC splice couplings. PVC splice couplings can 
be positioned inside a turtle's mouth to allow access to the back of 
the mouth for hook and line removal. They are to be held in place 
with the needle-nose pliers. To ensure proper fit and access, a 
required set must consist of the following Schedule 40 PVC splice 
coupling sizes: 1 inch (2.54 cm), 1\1/4\ inch (3.18 cm), 1\1/2\ inch 
(3.81 cm), and 2 inches (5.08 cm).
    (g) A large avian oral speculum. A large avian oral speculum 
provides the ability to hold a turtle's mouth open and to control 
the head with one hand, while removing a hook with the other hand. 
The avian oral speculum must be 9-inches (22.86 cm) long, and 
constructed of \3/16\-inch (4.76 mm) wire diameter surgical 
stainless steel (Type 304). It must be covered with 8 inches (20.32 
cm) of clear vinyl tubing (\5/16\-inch (7.9 mm) outside diameter, 
\3/16\-inch (4.76 mm) inside diameter), friction tape, or similar to 
pad the surface.
    B. Sea turtle handling and release requirements. Sea turtle 
bycatch mitigation gear, as specified in paragraphs A.1. through 4. 
of this Appendix F, must be used to disengage any hooked or 
entangled sea turtles that cannot be brought onboard. Sea turtle 
bycatch mitigation gear, as specified in paragraphs A.5. through 12. 
of this Appendix F, must be used to facilitate access, safe 
handling, disentanglement, and hook removal or hook cutting of sea 
turtles that can be brought onboard, where feasible. Sea turtles 
must be handled, and bycatch mitigation gear must be used, in 
accordance with the careful release protocols and handling/release 
guidelines provided by NMFS and in accordance with the onboard 
handling and resuscitation requirements specified in Sec.  
223.206(d)(1)of this title.
    1. Boated turtles. When practicable, active and comatose sea 
turtles must be brought on board, with a minimum of injury, using a 
dipnet as specified in paragraph A.5. of this Appendix F. All 
turtles less than 3 ft (.91 m) carapace length should be boated, if 
sea conditions permit.
    (a) A boated turtle should be placed on a cushioned/support 
device, as specified in paragraph A.6. of this Appendix F, in an 
upright orientation to immobilize it and facilitate gear removal. 
Then, it should be determined if the hook can be removed without 
causing further injury. All externally embedded hooks should be 
removed, unless hook removal would result in further injury to the 
turtle. No attempt to remove a hook should be made if it has been 
swallowed and the insertion point is not visible, or if it is 
determined that removal would result in further injury. If a hook 
cannot be removed, as much line as possible should be removed from 
the turtle using monofilament cutters as specified in paragraph 
A.11. of this Appendix F, and the hook should be cut as close as 
possible to the insertion point before releasing the turtle, using 
bolt cutters as specified in paragraph A.10. of this Appendix F. If 
a hook can be removed, an effective technique may be to cut off 
either the barb, or the eye, of the hook using bolt cutters, and 
then to slide the hook out. When the hook is visible in the front of 
the mouth, a mouth-opener, as specified in paragraph A.12. of this 
Appendix F, may facilitate opening the turtle's mouth and a gag may 
facilitate keeping the mouth open. Short-handled dehookers for 
internal hooks, or long-nose or needle-nose pliers, as specified in 
paragraphs A.7. and A.8. of this Appendix F, respectively, should be 
used to remove visible hooks from the mouth that have not been 
swallowed on boated turtles, as appropriate. As much gear as 
possible must be removed from the turtle without causing further 
injury prior to its release. Refer to the careful release protocols 
and handling/release guidelines required in Sec.  622.10(c)(1), and 
the handling and resuscitation requirements specified in Sec.  
223.206(d)(1) of this title, for additional information.
    (b) [Reserved]
    2. Non-boated turtles. If a sea turtle is too large, or hooked 
in a manner that precludes safe boating without causing further 
damage or injury to the turtle, sea turtle bycatch mitigation gear 
specified in paragraphs A.1. through 4. of this Appendix F must be 
used to disentangle sea turtles from fishing gear and disengage any 
hooks, or to clip the line and remove as much line as possible from 
a hook that cannot be removed, prior to releasing the turtle, in 
accordance with the protocols specified in Sec.  622.10(c)(1).
    (a) Non-boated turtles should be brought close to the boat and 
provided with time to calm down. Then, it must be determined whether 
or not the hook can be removed without causing further injury. All 
externally embedded hooks must be removed, unless hook removal would 
result in further injury to the turtle. No attempt should be made to 
remove a hook if it has been swallowed, or if it is determined that 
removal would result in further injury. If the hook cannot be 
removed and/or if the animal is entangled, as much line as possible 
must be removed prior to release, using a line cutter as specified 
in paragraph A.1. of this Appendix F. If the hook can be removed, it 
must be removed using a long-handled dehooker as specified in 
paragraphs A.2. and A.3. of this Appendix F. Without causing further 
injury, as much gear as possible must be removed from the turtle 
prior to its release. Refer to the careful release protocols and 
handling/release guidelines required in Sec.  622.10(c)(1), and the 
handling and resuscitation requirements specified in Sec.  
223.206(d)(1) for additional information.
    (b) [Reserved]

[FR Doc. 2014-20554 Filed 8-28-14; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 1505-01-D