Atlantic Coastal Fisheries Cooperative Management Act Provisions; Horseshoe Crabs; Application for Exempted Fishing Permit, 2015, 60633-60634 [2015-25540]

Download as PDF Federal Register / Vol. 80, No. 194 / Wednesday, October 7, 2015 / Notices DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration RIN 0648–XS35 Marine Mammals; File No. 14450 National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Commerce. ACTION: Notice; issuance of permit amendment. AGENCY: Notice is hereby given that a major amendment to Permit No. 14450– 03 has been issued to the National Marine Fisheries Service’s Southeast Fisheries Science Center (SEFSC), 75 Virginia Beach Drive, Miami, FL 33149 [Responsible Party: Bonnie Ponwith, Ph.D.]. SUMMARY: The permit amendment and related documents are available for review upon written request or by appointment in the following offices: Permits and Conservation Division, Office of Protected Resources, NMFS, 1315 East-West Highway, Room 13705, Silver Spring, MD 20910; phone (301) 427–8401; fax (301) 713–0376. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Jennifer Skidmore or Amy Hapeman, (301) 427–8401. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: On July 9, 2015, notice was published in the Federal Register (80 FR 39411) that a request for an amendment to Permit No. 14450–02 to conduct research on cetaceans had been submitted by the above-named applicant. The requested permit amendment has been issued under the authority of the Marine Mammal Protection Act of 1972, as amended (16 U.S.C. 1361 et seq.) and the regulations governing the taking and importing of marine mammals (50 CFR part 216). The permit amendment authorizes takes by harassment of non-ESA listed cetaceans during vessel surveys to support NMFS stock assessments as follows: 40 Bryde’s whales (Balaenoptera edeni), 40 of each species of short-finned (Globicephala macrorhynchus) and long-finned (G. melas) pilot whales, and 20 individuals each of the 21 other authorized nonlisted cetacean species, annually. Tags would be either suction cup attachments or minimally invasive dart attachments. A maximum of 2 tags could be placed on an animal at one time. Adults of both sexes without calves would be tagged. In addition, import and export of marine mammal samples from sources, other than asabaliauskas on DSK5VPTVN1PROD with NOTICES ADDRESSES: VerDate Sep<11>2014 18:12 Oct 06, 2015 Jkt 238001 current biopsy sampling, is authorized. The permit expires on February 28, 2019. In compliance with the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.), a final determination has been made that the activity proposed is categorically excluded from the requirement to prepare an environmental assessment or environmental impact statement. Dated: October 1, 2015. Julia Harrison, Chief, Permits and Conservation Division, Office of Protected Resources, National Marine Fisheries Service. [FR Doc. 2015–25502 Filed 10–6–15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510–22–P DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration RIN 0648–XE230 Atlantic Coastal Fisheries Cooperative Management Act Provisions; Horseshoe Crabs; Application for Exempted Fishing Permit, 2015 National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Commerce. ACTION: Notification of a proposal to conduct exempted fishing; request for comments. AGENCY: The Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, has made a preliminary determination that the subject exempted fishing permit (EFP) application submitted by Limuli Laboratories of Cape May Court House, NJ, contains all the required information and warrants further consideration. The proposed EFP would allow the harvest of up to 10,000 horseshoe crabs from the Carl N. Shuster Jr. Horseshoe Crab Reserve (Reserve) for biomedical purposes and require, as a condition of the EFP, the collection of data related to the status of horseshoe crabs within the reserve. The Director has also made a preliminary determination that the activities authorized under the EFP would be consistent with the goals and objectives of the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission’s (Commission) Horseshoe Crab Interstate Fisheries Management Plan (FMP). However, further review and consultation may be necessary before a final determination is made to issue the EFP. Therefore, NMFS announces that the Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, proposes to recommend that an EFP be issued that would allow up to two commercial SUMMARY: PO 00000 Frm 00023 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 60633 fishing vessels to conduct fishing operations that are otherwise restricted by the regulations promulgated under the Atlantic Coastal Fisheries Cooperative Management Act (Atlantic Coastal Act). The EFP would allow for an exemption from the Reserve. Regulations under the Atlantic Coastal Act require publication of this notification to provide interested parties the opportunity to comment on applications for proposed EFPs. DATES: Written comments on this action must be received on or before October 19, 2015. ADDRESSES: Written comments should be sent to Alan Risenhoover, Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, NMFS, 1315 East-West Highway, Room 13362, Silver Spring, MD 20910. Mark the outside of the envelope ‘‘Comments on Horseshoe Crab EFP Proposal.’’ Comments may also be sent via fax to (301) 713–0596. Comments on this notice may also be submitted by email to: nmfs.state-federal@noaa.gov. Include in the subject line of the email comment the following document identifier: ‘‘Horseshoe Crab EFP Proposal Comments.’’ FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Derek Orner, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, (301) 427–8567. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Background Limuli Laboratories submitted an application for an EFP dated January 31, 2014, to collect up to 10,000 horseshoe crabs for biomedical and data collection purposes from the Reserve. The applicant has applied for, and received, a similar EFP every year from 2001– 2013. The current EFP application specifies that: (1) The same methods would be used that were used in years 2001–2013, (2) at least 15 percent of the bled horseshoe crabs would be tagged, and (3) there had not been any sighting or capture of marine mammals or endangered species in the trawling nets of fishing vessels engaged in the collection of horseshoe crabs since 1993. The project submitted by Limuli Laboratories would provide morphological data on horseshoe crab catch, would tag a portion of the caught horseshoe crabs, and would use the blood from the caught horseshoe crabs to manufacture Limulus Amebocyte Lysate (LAL), an important health and safety product used for the detection of endotoxins. The LAL assay is used by medical professionals, drug companies, and pharmacies to detect endotoxins in intravenous pharmaceuticals and medical devices that come into contact with human blood or spinal fluid. E:\FR\FM\07OCN1.SGM 07OCN1 60634 Federal Register / Vol. 80, No. 194 / Wednesday, October 7, 2015 / Notices Result of 2013 EFP During the 2013 season, a total of 3,500 horseshoe crabs were gathered over a period of ten days, from the Reserve for the manufacture of LAL. After transportation to the laboratory, the horseshoe crabs were inspected for size, injuries, and responsiveness. The injured horseshoe crabs numbered 272, or 7.8% of the total, while 36, or 1.0%, were noted as slow moving. In addition, three horseshoe crabs were rejected due to small size. Overall, 3,189 horseshoe crabs were used (bled) in the manufacture of LAL. Two hundred of the bled horseshoe crabs were randomly selected for activity, morphometric and aging studies. The activity level was categorized as ‘‘active’’ for 192 studied animals and ‘‘extremely active’’ for eight. Morphometric studies noted that average inter-ocular distances, the prosoma widths and the weights of these 200 horseshoe crabs trended toward the higher end of the range established over the study period (2001– 2011). Of the 200 horseshoe crabs examined in 2013, more than half (57%) were categorized as medium aged followed by young (37%). Older animals numbered 10 or 5% which is much less than the percentages reported in 2010 and 2011 and similar to the 2007 year. The 200 studied horseshoe crabs and 325 additional bled horseshoe crabs were tagged and released into the Delaware Bay. To date, 116 live resightings have occurred from the release of 5,463 horseshoe crabs collected from the Reserve. The observed horseshoe crabs were found 1 to 8 years after release, primarily along the Delaware Bay shores during their spawning season. Data collected under previous EFPs were supplied to NMFS, the Commission and the State of New Jersey. There was no EFP issued for 2014. asabaliauskas on DSK5VPTVN1PROD with NOTICES Proposed 2015 EFP Limuli Laboratories proposes to conduct an exempted fishery operation in 2015 using the same means, methods, and seasons proposed/utilized during the EFPs in 2001–2013. Limuli proposes to annually continue to tag at least 15 percent of the bled horseshoe crabs as they did in 2013. NMFS would require that the following terms and conditions be met for issuance of the EFP for 2015: 1. Limiting the number of horseshoe crabs collected in the Reserve to no more than 500 crabs per day and to a total of no more than 10,000 crabs per year; 2. Requiring collections to take place over a total of approximately 20 days VerDate Sep<11>2014 18:12 Oct 06, 2015 Jkt 238001 during the months of July, August, September, October, and November. (Horseshoe crabs are readily available in harvestable concentrations nearshore earlier in the year, and offshore in the Reserve from July through November.); 3. Requiring that a 51⁄2 inch (14.0 cm) flounder net be used by the vessel to collect the horseshoe crabs. This condition would allow for continuation of traditional harvest gear and adds to the consistency in the way horseshoe crabs are harvested for data collection; 4. Limiting trawl tow times to 30 minutes as a conservation measure to protect sea turtles, which are expected to be migrating through the area during the collection period, and are vulnerable to bottom trawling; 5. Requiring that the collected horseshoe crabs be picked up from the fishing vessels at docks in the Cape May Area and transported to local laboratories, bled for LAL, and released alive the following morning into the Lower Delaware Bay; and 6. Requiring that any turtle take be reported to NMFS, Northeast Region, Assistant Regional Administrator of Protected Resources Division, within 24 hours of returning from the trip in which the incidental take occurred. As part of the terms and conditions of the EFP, for all horseshoe crabs bled for LAL, NMFS would require that the EFP holder provide data annually on sex ratio and daily harvest. Also, the EFP holder would be required to examine at least 200 horseshoe crabs annually for morphometric data. Terms and conditions may be added or amended prior to the issuance of the EFP or on an annual basis. The proposed EFP would exempt two commercial vessels from regulations at 50 CFR 697.7(e) and 697.23(f), which prohibit the harvest and possession of horseshoe crabs from the Reserve on a vessel with a trawl or dredge gear aboard. Authority: 16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq. Dated: October 2, 2015. Emily H. Menashes, Acting Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine Fisheries Service. [FR Doc. 2015–25540 Filed 10–6–15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510–22–P PO 00000 Frm 00024 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Notice of Intent to Conduct Scoping and to Prepare a Draft Environmental Impact Statement for the Proposed Mallows Bay—Potomac River National Marine Sanctuary Office of National Marine Sanctuaries (ONMS), National Ocean Service (NOS), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Department of Commerce (DOC). ACTION: Notice of intent to conduct scoping, hold public scoping meetings and to prepare a draft environmental impact statement and management plan. AGENCY: In accordance with section 304(a) of the National Marine Sanctuaries Act, as amended, (NMSA) (16 U.S.C. 1431 et seq.) and based on the resources and boundaries described in the community-based nomination submitted to NOAA on September 16, 2014 (nominate.noaa.gov/nominations) NOAA is initiating a process to consider designating Mallows Bay-Potomac River as a national marine sanctuary. The designation process, as required by the NMSA, will be conducted concurrently with a public process under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) (42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.). This notice also informs the public that NOAA will coordinate its responsibilities under section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA) (16 U.S.C. 470) with its ongoing NEPA process, pursuant to 36 CFR 800.8(a), including the use of NEPA documents and public and stakeholder meetings to also meet the requirements of section 106. The public scoping process is intended to solicit information and comments on the range of issues and the significant issues to be analyzed in depth in an environmental impact statement related to designating this area as a national marine sanctuary. The results of this scoping process will assist NOAA in moving forward with the designation process and in formulating alternatives for the draft environmental impact statement and proposed regulations, including developing sanctuary boundaries. It will also inform the initiation of any consultations with federal, state, or local agencies and other interested parties, as appropriate. DATES: Comments must be received by January 15, 2016. Public scoping meetings will be held as detailed below: (1) La Plata, MD Date: November 4, 2015 SUMMARY: E:\FR\FM\07OCN1.SGM 07OCN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 80, Number 194 (Wednesday, October 7, 2015)]
[Notices]
[Pages 60633-60634]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2015-25540]


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DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

RIN 0648-XE230


Atlantic Coastal Fisheries Cooperative Management Act Provisions; 
Horseshoe Crabs; Application for Exempted Fishing Permit, 2015

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

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

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

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

DATES: Written comments on this action must be received on or before 
October 19, 2015.

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

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

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Background

    Limuli Laboratories submitted an application for an EFP dated 
January 31, 2014, to collect up to 10,000 horseshoe crabs for 
biomedical and data collection purposes from the Reserve. The applicant 
has applied for, and received, a similar EFP every year from 2001-2013. 
The current EFP application specifies that: (1) The same methods would 
be used that were used in years 2001-2013, (2) at least 15 percent of 
the bled horseshoe crabs would be tagged, and (3) there had not been 
any sighting or capture of marine mammals or endangered species in the 
trawling nets of fishing vessels engaged in the collection of horseshoe 
crabs since 1993. The project submitted by Limuli Laboratories would 
provide morphological data on horseshoe crab catch, would tag a portion 
of the caught horseshoe crabs, and would use the blood from the caught 
horseshoe crabs to manufacture Limulus Amebocyte Lysate (LAL), an 
important health and safety product used for the detection of 
endotoxins. The LAL assay is used by medical professionals, drug 
companies, and pharmacies to detect endotoxins in intravenous 
pharmaceuticals and medical devices that come into contact with human 
blood or spinal fluid.

[[Page 60634]]

Result of 2013 EFP

    During the 2013 season, a total of 3,500 horseshoe crabs were 
gathered over a period of ten days, from the Reserve for the 
manufacture of LAL. After transportation to the laboratory, the 
horseshoe crabs were inspected for size, injuries, and responsiveness. 
The injured horseshoe crabs numbered 272, or 7.8% of the total, while 
36, or 1.0%, were noted as slow moving. In addition, three horseshoe 
crabs were rejected due to small size. Overall, 3,189 horseshoe crabs 
were used (bled) in the manufacture of LAL. Two hundred of the bled 
horseshoe crabs were randomly selected for activity, morphometric and 
aging studies. The activity level was categorized as ``active'' for 192 
studied animals and ``extremely active'' for eight. Morphometric 
studies noted that average inter-ocular distances, the prosoma widths 
and the weights of these 200 horseshoe crabs trended toward the higher 
end of the range established over the study period (2001-2011). Of the 
200 horseshoe crabs examined in 2013, more than half (57%) were 
categorized as medium aged followed by young (37%). Older animals 
numbered 10 or 5% which is much less than the percentages reported in 
2010 and 2011 and similar to the 2007 year.
    The 200 studied horseshoe crabs and 325 additional bled horseshoe 
crabs were tagged and released into the Delaware Bay. To date, 116 live 
re-sightings have occurred from the release of 5,463 horseshoe crabs 
collected from the Reserve. The observed horseshoe crabs were found 1 
to 8 years after release, primarily along the Delaware Bay shores 
during their spawning season.
    Data collected under previous EFPs were supplied to NMFS, the 
Commission and the State of New Jersey. There was no EFP issued for 
2014.

Proposed 2015 EFP

    Limuli Laboratories proposes to conduct an exempted fishery 
operation in 2015 using the same means, methods, and seasons proposed/
utilized during the EFPs in 2001-2013. Limuli proposes to annually 
continue to tag at least 15 percent of the bled horseshoe crabs as they 
did in 2013. NMFS would require that the following terms and conditions 
be met for issuance of the EFP for 2015:
    1. Limiting the number of horseshoe crabs collected in the Reserve 
to no more than 500 crabs per day and to a total of no more than 10,000 
crabs per year;
    2. Requiring collections to take place over a total of 
approximately 20 days during the months of July, August, September, 
October, and November. (Horseshoe crabs are readily available in 
harvestable concentrations nearshore earlier in the year, and offshore 
in the Reserve from July through November.);
    3. Requiring that a 5\1/2\ inch (14.0 cm) flounder net be used by 
the vessel to collect the horseshoe crabs. This condition would allow 
for continuation of traditional harvest gear and adds to the 
consistency in the way horseshoe crabs are harvested for data 
collection;
    4. Limiting trawl tow times to 30 minutes as a conservation measure 
to protect sea turtles, which are expected to be migrating through the 
area during the collection period, and are vulnerable to bottom 
trawling;
    5. Requiring that the collected horseshoe crabs be picked up from 
the fishing vessels at docks in the Cape May Area and transported to 
local laboratories, bled for LAL, and released alive the following 
morning into the Lower Delaware Bay; and
    6. Requiring that any turtle take be reported to NMFS, Northeast 
Region, Assistant Regional Administrator of Protected Resources 
Division, within 24 hours of returning from the trip in which the 
incidental take occurred.
    As part of the terms and conditions of the EFP, for all horseshoe 
crabs bled for LAL, NMFS would require that the EFP holder provide data 
annually on sex ratio and daily harvest. Also, the EFP holder would be 
required to examine at least 200 horseshoe crabs annually for 
morphometric data. Terms and conditions may be added or amended prior 
to the issuance of the EFP or on an annual basis.
    The proposed EFP would exempt two commercial vessels from 
regulations at 50 CFR 697.7(e) and 697.23(f), which prohibit the 
harvest and possession of horseshoe crabs from the Reserve on a vessel 
with a trawl or dredge gear aboard.

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

    Dated: October 2, 2015.
Emily H. Menashes,
Acting Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine 
Fisheries Service.
[FR Doc. 2015-25540 Filed 10-6-15; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 3510-22-P