Magnuson-Stevens Act Provisions; General Provisions for Domestic Fisheries; Application for Exempted Fishing Permits, 26777-26779 [2016-10449]

Download as PDF Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 86 / Wednesday, May 4, 2016 / Notices Steelhead (Oncorhynchus mykiss): threatened, naturally and artificially produced in Puget Sound. Chinook salmon (O. tshawytscha): threatened, naturally and artificially produced in Puget Sound. Chum salmon (O. keta): threatened, naturally and artificially produced Hood Canal summer-run. Bull trout (Salvelinus confluentus): threatened Puget Sound/Washington Coast. the Duwamish-Green River basin. The hatchery programs also release nonlisted coho and fall-run chum salmon and summer-run steelhead into the Duwamish-Green River basin. One hatchery program releases coho salmon into marine waters adjacent to the Duwamish-Green River basin. Seven of the programs are currently operating, and three are new. NEPA requires Federal agencies to conduct environmental analyses of their proposed major actions to determine if the actions may affect the human environment. NMFS’s action of determining under Limit 6 of the 4(d) Rule for salmon and steelhead that implementation of the co-managers’ HGMPs would not appreciably reduce the likelihood of survival and recovery of affected threatened ESUs is a major Federal action subject to environmental review under NEPA. Therefore, NMFS is seeking public input on the scope of the required NEPA analysis, including the range of reasonable alternatives, recommendations for relevant analysis methods, and information associated with impacts of the alternatives to the resources listed below or other relevant resources. NMFS will perform an environmental review of the HGMPs and prepare an EIS that will identify potentially significant direct, indirect, and cumulative impacts on the following resources identified to have a potential for effect from the proposed action: • Listed and Non-listed Species and their habitats • Water Quantity • Socioeconomics • Environmental Justice • Cumulative Impacts NMFS will rigorously explore and objectively evaluate a full range of reasonable alternatives in the EIS, including the proposed action and a noaction alternative. Other alternatives may include a decreased production alternative. For all potentially significant impacts, the EIS will identify measures to avoid, minimize, and mitigate the impacts, where feasible. Background Request for Comments The WDFW, Muckleshoot Indian Tribe, and Suquamish Tribe have jointly submitted to NMFS HGMPs for 10 hatchery programs in the DuwamishGreen River basin in Washington State. The HGMPs were submitted to NMFS from 2013 to 2015, pursuant to limit 6 of the 4(d) Rule for salmon and steelhead. The hatchery programs include releases of ESA-listed Chinook salmon and winter-run steelhead into NMFS provides this notice to: (1) Advise other agencies and the public of its plans to analyze effects related to the action, and (2) obtain suggestions and information that may be useful to the scope of issues and the full range of alternatives to include in the EIS. NMFS invites comment from all interested parties to ensure that the full range of issues related to the 10 salmon and steelhead HGMPs is identified. the Duwamish-Green River basin in Washington State. NMFS provides this notice to advise other agencies and the public of its plans to analyze effects related to the action, and obtain suggestions and information that may be useful to the scope of issues and alternatives to include in the EIS. DATES: Written or electronic scoping comments must be received at the appropriate address or email mailbox (see ADDRESSES) no later than 5 p.m. Pacific Time June 3, 2016. ADDRESSES: Written comments may be sent by any of the following methods: • Email to the following address: GreenHatcheriesEIS.wcr@noaa.gov with the following identifier in the subject line: Green Hatcheries EIS. • Mail or hand-deliver to NMFS Sustainable Fisheries Division, 510 Desmond Drive SE., Suite 103, Lacey, WA 98503. • Fax to (360) 753–9517. Comments received will be available for public inspection, by appointment, during normal business hours at the above address. All Personal Identifying Information (for example, name, address, etc.) voluntarily submitted by the commenter may be publicly accessible. Do not submit Confidential Business Information or otherwise sensitive or protected information. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Steve Leider, NMFS, by phone at (360) 753–4650, or email to steve.leider@ noaa.gov. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: asabaliauskas on DSK3SPTVN1PROD with NOTICES ESA-Listed Species Covered in This Notice VerDate Sep<11>2014 18:44 May 03, 2016 Jkt 238001 PO 00000 Frm 00005 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 26777 Comments should be as specific as possible. Written comments concerning the proposed action and the environmental review should be directed to NMFS as described above (see ADDRESSES). All comments and materials received, including names and addresses, will become part of the administrative record and may be released to the public. Authority The environmental review of the 10 salmon and steelhead HGMPs in the Duwamish-Green River basin of Washington State will be conducted in accordance with requirements of the NEPA of 1969 as amended (42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.), NEPA Regulations (40 CFR parts 1500 through 1508), other appropriate Federal laws and regulations, and policies and procedures of NMFS for compliance with those regulations. This notice is being furnished in accordance with 40 CFR 1501.7 to obtain suggestions and information from other agencies and the public on the scope of issues and alternatives to be addressed in the EIS. Dated: April 29, 2016. Angela Somma, Chief, Endangered Species Division, Office of Protected Resources, National Marine Fisheries Service. [FR Doc. 2016–10426 Filed 5–3–16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510–22–P DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration RIN 0648–XE601 Magnuson-Stevens Act Provisions; General Provisions for Domestic Fisheries; Application for Exempted Fishing Permits National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Commerce. ACTION: Notice; request for comments. AGENCY: The Assistant Regional Administrator for Sustainable Fisheries, Greater Atlantic Region, NMFS, has made a preliminary determination that an Exempted Fishing Permit application contains all of the required information and warrants further consideration. This Exempted Fishing Permit would allow eight commercial fishing vessels to fish outside of the limited access sea scallop regulations in support of a study on seasonal bycatch distribution and optimal scallop meat yield on Georges Bank. SUMMARY: E:\FR\FM\04MYN1.SGM 04MYN1 26778 Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 86 / Wednesday, May 4, 2016 / Notices Regulations under the MagnusonStevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act require publication of this notification to provide interested parties the opportunity to comment on applications for proposed Exempted Fishing Permits. DATES: Comments must be received on or before May 19, 2016. ADDRESSES: You may submit written comments by any of the following methods: • Email: nmfs.gar.efp@noaa.gov. Include in the subject line ‘‘DA16–024 CFF Georges Bank Optimization Study EFP.’’ • Mail: John K. Bullard, Regional Administrator, NMFS, Greater Atlantic Regional Fisheries Office, 55 Great Republic Drive, Gloucester, MA 01930. Mark the outside of the envelope ‘‘DA16–024 CFF Georges Bank Optimization Study EFP.’’ FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Shannah Jaburek, Fisheries Management Specialist, 978–282–8456. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Coonamesset Farm Foundation (CFF) has submitted a proposal titled ‘‘Optimizing the Georges Bank Scallop Fishery by Maximizing Meat Yield and Minimizing Bycatch,’’ that has been favorably reviewed and is pending final approval by NOAA’s Grants Management Division under the 2016 Atlantic Sea Scallop Research Set-Aside (RSA) Program. CFF submitted a complete application for an exempted fishing permit (EFP) on March 7, 2016. The project would look primarily at seasonal distribution of bycatch on the northern part of Georges Bank in relation to sea scallop meat weight yield while minimizing impacts to other stocks. Additional objectives include continued testing of a modified scallop dredge bag design to reduce flatfish bycatch and collecting biological samples to examine scallop meat quality and yellowtail flounder liver disease. Project investigators working on this project would also work in cooperation with New Hampshire Fish and Game (NHFG) and the Atlantic Offshore Lobstermen’s Association (AOLA) to tag lobsters. CFF is requesting exemptions that would exempt eight commercial fishing vessels from the Atlantic sea scallop days-at-sea (DAS) allocations at 50 CFR 648.53(b); crew size restrictions at § 648.51(c); observer program requirements at § 648.11(g); Closed Area II (CAII) scallop gear restrictions specified at 648.81(b); and access area program requirements at § 648.60(a)(4). It would also exempt vessels from possession limits and minimum size requirements specified in 50 CFR part 648, subsections B and D through O, and 50 CFR 697.20 for sampling and tagging purposes only. Vessels would conduct scallop dredging in a year-round seasonal study on a total of eight 7-day trips, for a total of 56 DAS. Each trip would complete approximately 70 paired tows per trip for an overall total of 520 tows for the project. Closed Area II tows would take place in the central portion situated below the Closed Area II Habitat Closure Area, including the northern portion of Atlantic Sea Scallop Closed Area II Rotational Closed Area. Open area tows would be conducted on the northern half of Georges Bank, west of the boundary of Closed Area II. Although the proposed project included tow locations inside the Closed Area II Habitat Closure Area, we will not be authorizing tows in that area, consistent with previous requests by CFF to conduct dredging in this area. We will not grant access to the Habitat Closure Area for this project until a final outcome from the Omnibus Habitat Amendment II is determined. There is a potential for gear conflict with lobster gear in the central portion of Closed Area II. In an effort to help mitigate gear interactions, the project coordinator would distribute the time and location of stations to the lobster industry, work only during daylight hours, post an extra lookout to avoid gear, and conduct fishing operations in a way that avoids tangling in stationary gear. We do not expect the DAS, crew size, possession limits, or minimum size exemptions to generate any controversy or concern about the potential catch of egg-bearing female lobsters in this area during the months of June–October. The project would work in cooperation with NHFG and AOLA to tag lobsters with the primary goal of documenting their movement on and off Georges Bank. CFF would like to use data from the tagging project to provide data on the discard mortality of lobsters in the scallop fishery. All tows would be conducted with two tandem 15-foot (4.6-m) turtle deflector dredges for a duration of 30 minutes using an average tow speed of 4.8 knots. One dredge would be rigged with a 7-row apron and twine top hanging ratio of 2:1, while the other dredge would be rigged with a 5-row apron and 1.5:1 twine top hanging ratio. Both dredge frames would be rigged with identical rock and tickler chain configurations, 10-inch (25.4-cm) twine top, and 4-inch (10.2-cm) ring bag. For all tows the entire sea scallop catch would be counted into baskets and weighed. One basket from each dredge would be randomly selected and the scallops would be measured in 5milimeter increments to determine size selectivity. All finfish catch would be sorted by species and then counted and measured. Weight, sex, and reproductive state would be determined for a random subsample (n = 10) of yellowtail, winter, and windowpane flounders. Lobsters would be measured, sexed, and evaluated for damage and shell disease. With the exception of samples retained for further processing, no catch would be retained for longer than needed to conduct sampling and no catch would be landed for sale. All catch estimates for the project are listed in the table below. PROJECT CATCH ESTIMATES asabaliauskas on DSK3SPTVN1PROD with NOTICES Species lb Scallops ................................................................................................................................................................... Yellowtail Flounder .................................................................................................................................................. Winter Flounder ....................................................................................................................................................... Windowpane Flounder ............................................................................................................................................. Summer Flounder .................................................................................................................................................... Fourspot Flounder ................................................................................................................................................... American Plaice Flounder ....................................................................................................................................... Witch Flounder ......................................................................................................................................................... Haddock ................................................................................................................................................................... Atlantic Cod ............................................................................................................................................................. Monkfish ................................................................................................................................................................... Spiny Dogfish ........................................................................................................................................................... Barndoor Skate ........................................................................................................................................................ VerDate Sep<11>2014 18:44 May 03, 2016 Jkt 238001 PO 00000 Frm 00006 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 E:\FR\FM\04MYN1.SGM 04MYN1 kg 7,500 1,600 2,500 6,300 2,800 400 50 100 100 100 9,600 300 2,800 3,402 726 1,134 2,858 1,270 181 23 45 45 45 4,354 136 1,270 26779 Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 86 / Wednesday, May 4, 2016 / Notices PROJECT CATCH ESTIMATES—Continued Species lb Northeast Skate Complex ........................................................................................................................................ American Lobster ..................................................................................................................................................... 140,000 900* kg 63,503 ........................ * American lobster value is number of individuals. CFF needs these exemptions to allow them to conduct experimental dredge towing without being charged DAS, as well as deploy gear in areas that are currently closed to scallop fishing. Participating vessels need crew size waivers to accommodate science personnel. Possession waivers would enable researchers to sample finfish and lobster catch that exceeds possession limits or prohibitions. The project would be exempt from the sea scallop observer program requirements because activities conducted on the trip are not consistent with normal fishing operations. If approved, the applicant may request minor modifications and extensions to the EFP throughout the year. EFP modifications and extensions may be granted without further notice if they are deemed essential to facilitate completion of the proposed research and have minimal impacts that do not change the scope or impact of the initially approved EFP request. Any fishing activity conducted outside the scope of the exempted fishing activity would be prohibited. Authority: 16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq. Dated: April 28, 2016. Emily H. Menashes, Acting Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine Fisheries Service. [FR Doc. 2016–10449 Filed 5–3–16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510–22–P DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE Department of the Air Force Notice of Intent To Prepare an Environmental Impact Statement for the Presidential Aircraft Recapitalization Program at Joint Base Andrews-Naval Air Facility, Washington, Maryland United States Air Force, Department of Defense. ACTION: Notice of intent. asabaliauskas on DSK3SPTVN1PROD with NOTICES AGENCY: The United States Air Force (Air Force) is issuing this notice to advise the public of its intent to prepare an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the Presidential Aircraft Recapitalization (PAR) Program at Joint Base Andrews-Naval Air Facility, SUMMARY: VerDate Sep<11>2014 18:44 May 03, 2016 Jkt 238001 Washington, Maryland (JBA). The EIS will assess the potential environmental consequences of the proposal to beddown versions of the Boeing 747–8 passenger aircraft at JBA as replacements to the two existing VC– 25A aircraft currently used to transport the President of the United States (POTUS). DATES: The Air Force plans to hold one daytime and one nighttime public scoping meeting, at the locations and times below: 1. Daytime Scoping Meeting: Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 9619, 6527 Suitland Road, Morningside, MD 20746, on Tuesday, May 24th, 2016 from 9:00– 11:00 a.m. 2. Nighttime Scoping Meeting: Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 9619, 6527 Suitland Road, Morningside, MD 20746, on Monday, May 23rd, 2016 from 6:00–8:00 p.m. ADDRESSES: Additional information on the PAR Program and the EIS/EIAP process can be accessed at the project Web site at www.parprogrameis.com, and the JBA Web site at www.andrews.af.mil. Inquiries and comments-by-mail regarding the USAF proposal should be directed to AFCEC/ CZN, 2261 Hughes Ave., Ste. 155, JBSALackland, TX 78236–9853, ATTN: Mr. John Guerra. The project Web site can also be used to submit scoping comments and scoping comments may also be submitted by mail to the address listed below. Comments will be accepted at any time during the Environmental Impact Analysis Process (EIAP). However, to ensure the Air Force has sufficient time to consider public input in the preparation of the Draft EIS, scoping comments should be submitted to the Web site or the address listed below by May 28th, 2016. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The aircraft replacement was requested by the White House in April 2006 and was approved by the Secretary of the Air Force in a Strategic Basing decision on June 12, 2012. The EIS will assess the potential environmental consequences of bedding down the new aircraft, including construction of a new Presidential Complex with a multi-bay hangar facility, other necessary facility improvements and relocation of select PO 00000 Frm 00007 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 9990 facilities displaced by PAR activities. Facilities potentially requiring relocation include the Hazardous Cargo Pad (HCP), the Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) Proficiency Range, the Joint Air Defense Operations Center (JADOC) Satellite Site, areas of the existing golf course, and the Military Working Dog (MWD) Kennel. The EIS will analyze various alternatives for implementing the Proposed Action at JBA (beddown and operations of a new aircraft) including a No Action Alternative. The Air Force is preparing this EIS in accordance with National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) of 1969; 40 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR), Parts 1500–1508, the Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) regulations implementing NEPA; and the USAF Environmental Impact Analysis Process (EIAP) [32 CFR part 989]. Scoping and Agency Coordination: To effectively define the full range of issues and concerns to be evaluated in the EIS, the Air Force is soliciting scoping comments from interested local, state and federal agencies and interested members of the public. This NOI also serves to provide early notice of compliance with Executive Order (EO) 11990, ‘‘Protection of Wetlands’’ and EO 11988, ‘‘Floodplain Management.’’ State and federal regulatory agencies with special expertise in wetlands and floodplains have been contacted to request comment. The Air Force will hold two scoping meetings to inform the public as well as to solicit comments and concerns about the proposal. Scoping meetings will be held in the local community. Scheduled dates, locations, and addresses for each meeting will be published in the Washington Post, Prince George’s County Gazette, and the Andrews Gazette newspapers a minimum of fifteen (15) days prior to each meeting. Anh Trinh, Air Force Federal Register Liaison Officer. [FR Doc. 2016–10401 Filed 5–3–16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 5001–10–P E:\FR\FM\04MYN1.SGM 04MYN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 81, Number 86 (Wednesday, May 4, 2016)]
[Notices]
[Pages 26777-26779]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2016-10449]


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

DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

RIN 0648-XE601


Magnuson-Stevens Act Provisions; General Provisions for Domestic 
Fisheries; Application for Exempted Fishing Permits

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

ACTION: Notice; request for comments.

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

SUMMARY: The Assistant Regional Administrator for Sustainable 
Fisheries, Greater Atlantic Region, NMFS, has made a preliminary 
determination that an Exempted Fishing Permit application contains all 
of the required information and warrants further consideration. This 
Exempted Fishing Permit would allow eight commercial fishing vessels to 
fish outside of the limited access sea scallop regulations in support 
of a study on seasonal bycatch distribution and optimal scallop meat 
yield on Georges Bank.

[[Page 26778]]

    Regulations under the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and 
Management Act require publication of this notification to provide 
interested parties the opportunity to comment on applications for 
proposed Exempted Fishing Permits.

DATES: Comments must be received on or before May 19, 2016.

ADDRESSES: You may submit written comments by any of the following 
methods:
     Email: nmfs.gar.efp@noaa.gov. Include in the subject line 
``DA16-024 CFF Georges Bank Optimization Study EFP.''
     Mail: John K. Bullard, Regional Administrator, NMFS, 
Greater Atlantic Regional Fisheries Office, 55 Great Republic Drive, 
Gloucester, MA 01930. Mark the outside of the envelope ``DA16-024 CFF 
Georges Bank Optimization Study EFP.''

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Shannah Jaburek, Fisheries Management 
Specialist, 978-282-8456.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Coonamesset Farm Foundation (CFF) has 
submitted a proposal titled ``Optimizing the Georges Bank Scallop 
Fishery by Maximizing Meat Yield and Minimizing Bycatch,'' that has 
been favorably reviewed and is pending final approval by NOAA's Grants 
Management Division under the 2016 Atlantic Sea Scallop Research Set-
Aside (RSA) Program.
    CFF submitted a complete application for an exempted fishing permit 
(EFP) on March 7, 2016. The project would look primarily at seasonal 
distribution of bycatch on the northern part of Georges Bank in 
relation to sea scallop meat weight yield while minimizing impacts to 
other stocks. Additional objectives include continued testing of a 
modified scallop dredge bag design to reduce flatfish bycatch and 
collecting biological samples to examine scallop meat quality and 
yellowtail flounder liver disease. Project investigators working on 
this project would also work in cooperation with New Hampshire Fish and 
Game (NHFG) and the Atlantic Offshore Lobstermen's Association (AOLA) 
to tag lobsters. CFF is requesting exemptions that would exempt eight 
commercial fishing vessels from the Atlantic sea scallop days-at-sea 
(DAS) allocations at 50 CFR 648.53(b); crew size restrictions at Sec.  
648.51(c); observer program requirements at Sec.  648.11(g); Closed 
Area II (CAII) scallop gear restrictions specified at 648.81(b); and 
access area program requirements at Sec.  648.60(a)(4). It would also 
exempt vessels from possession limits and minimum size requirements 
specified in 50 CFR part 648, subsections B and D through O, and 50 CFR 
697.20 for sampling and tagging purposes only.
    Vessels would conduct scallop dredging in a year-round seasonal 
study on a total of eight 7-day trips, for a total of 56 DAS. Each trip 
would complete approximately 70 paired tows per trip for an overall 
total of 520 tows for the project. Closed Area II tows would take place 
in the central portion situated below the Closed Area II Habitat 
Closure Area, including the northern portion of Atlantic Sea Scallop 
Closed Area II Rotational Closed Area. Open area tows would be 
conducted on the northern half of Georges Bank, west of the boundary of 
Closed Area II. Although the proposed project included tow locations 
inside the Closed Area II Habitat Closure Area, we will not be 
authorizing tows in that area, consistent with previous requests by CFF 
to conduct dredging in this area. We will not grant access to the 
Habitat Closure Area for this project until a final outcome from the 
Omnibus Habitat Amendment II is determined.
    There is a potential for gear conflict with lobster gear in the 
central portion of Closed Area II. In an effort to help mitigate gear 
interactions, the project coordinator would distribute the time and 
location of stations to the lobster industry, work only during daylight 
hours, post an extra lookout to avoid gear, and conduct fishing 
operations in a way that avoids tangling in stationary gear. We do not 
expect the DAS, crew size, possession limits, or minimum size 
exemptions to generate any controversy or concern about the potential 
catch of egg-bearing female lobsters in this area during the months of 
June-October. The project would work in cooperation with NHFG and AOLA 
to tag lobsters with the primary goal of documenting their movement on 
and off Georges Bank. CFF would like to use data from the tagging 
project to provide data on the discard mortality of lobsters in the 
scallop fishery.
    All tows would be conducted with two tandem 15-foot (4.6-m) turtle 
deflector dredges for a duration of 30 minutes using an average tow 
speed of 4.8 knots. One dredge would be rigged with a 7-row apron and 
twine top hanging ratio of 2:1, while the other dredge would be rigged 
with a 5-row apron and 1.5:1 twine top hanging ratio. Both dredge 
frames would be rigged with identical rock and tickler chain 
configurations, 10-inch (25.4-cm) twine top, and 4-inch (10.2-cm) ring 
bag.
    For all tows the entire sea scallop catch would be counted into 
baskets and weighed. One basket from each dredge would be randomly 
selected and the scallops would be measured in 5-milimeter increments 
to determine size selectivity. All finfish catch would be sorted by 
species and then counted and measured. Weight, sex, and reproductive 
state would be determined for a random subsample (n = 10) of 
yellowtail, winter, and windowpane flounders. Lobsters would be 
measured, sexed, and evaluated for damage and shell disease. With the 
exception of samples retained for further processing, no catch would be 
retained for longer than needed to conduct sampling and no catch would 
be landed for sale. All catch estimates for the project are listed in 
the table below.

                         Project Catch Estimates
------------------------------------------------------------------------
                 Species                        lb              kg
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Scallops................................           7,500           3,402
Yellowtail Flounder.....................           1,600             726
Winter Flounder.........................           2,500           1,134
Windowpane Flounder.....................           6,300           2,858
Summer Flounder.........................           2,800           1,270
Fourspot Flounder.......................             400             181
American Plaice Flounder................              50              23
Witch Flounder..........................             100              45
Haddock.................................             100              45
Atlantic Cod............................             100              45
Monkfish................................           9,600           4,354
Spiny Dogfish...........................             300             136
Barndoor Skate..........................           2,800           1,270

[[Page 26779]]

 
Northeast Skate Complex.................         140,000          63,503
American Lobster........................            900*  ..............
------------------------------------------------------------------------
* American lobster value is number of individuals.

    CFF needs these exemptions to allow them to conduct experimental 
dredge towing without being charged DAS, as well as deploy gear in 
areas that are currently closed to scallop fishing. Participating 
vessels need crew size waivers to accommodate science personnel. 
Possession waivers would enable researchers to sample finfish and 
lobster catch that exceeds possession limits or prohibitions. The 
project would be exempt from the sea scallop observer program 
requirements because activities conducted on the trip are not 
consistent with normal fishing operations.
    If approved, the applicant may request minor modifications and 
extensions to the EFP throughout the year. EFP modifications and 
extensions may be granted without further notice if they are deemed 
essential to facilitate completion of the proposed research and have 
minimal impacts that do not change the scope or impact of the initially 
approved EFP request. Any fishing activity conducted outside the scope 
of the exempted fishing activity would be prohibited.

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

    Dated: April 28, 2016.
Emily H. Menashes,
Acting Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine 
Fisheries Service.
[FR Doc. 2016-10449 Filed 5-3-16; 8:45 am]
 BILLING CODE 3510-22-P