Atlantic Coastal Fisheries Cooperative Management Act Provisions; Horseshoe Crabs; Application for Exempted Fishing Permit, 2016, 56602-56603 [2016-19996]

Download as PDF 56602 Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 162 / Monday, August 22, 2016 / Notices based Prohibited Species Catch (PSC) workshop will meet September 12, 2016. DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration The meeting will be held on Monday, September 12, 2016, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. DATES: RIN 0648–XE823 The meeting will be held at the Alaska Fishery Science Center 4600 Sand Point Way NE., Building 4, Traynor Room, Seattle, WA 98115. Council address: North Pacific Fishery Management Council, 605 W. 4th Ave., Suite 306, Anchorage, AK 99501–2252; telephone: (907) 271–2809. ADDRESSES: FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Diana Stram, Council staff; telephone: (907) 271–2809. Agenda September 12, 2016 The Council will host a public workshop to provide a presentation on the discussion paper being prepared by the interagency workgroup on halibut abundance-based PSC management approaches. The purpose of the workshop is to provide a public preview of the discussion paper prior to the Council’s review at the October Council meeting, to receive feedback on this discussion paper, to better inform the public of the progress on this initiative, and to better facilitate the development of comments from the public to the Council. The Agenda is subject to change, and the latest version will be posted at http://www.npfmc.org/ Special Accommodations The meeting is physically accessible to people with disabilities. Requests for sign language interpretation or other auxiliary aids should be directed to Shannon Gleason at (907) 271–2809 at least 7 working days prior to the meeting date. Dated: August 17, 2016. Tracey L. Thompson, Acting Deputy Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine Fisheries Service. asabaliauskas on DSK3SPTVN1PROD with NOTICES BILLING CODE 3510–22–P VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:13 Aug 19, 2016 Jkt 238001 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 (Limuli) of Cape May Court House, NJ, contains all the required information and warrants further consideration. The application seeks harvest of up to 10,000 horseshoe crabs from the Carl N. Shuster Jr. Horseshoe Crab Reserve (Reserve) for biomedical purposes and requires, as a condition of the EFP, the collection of data related to the status of horseshoe crabs within the reserve. The Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission’s (Commission) Horseshoe Crab Technical Committee and Delaware Bay Ecosystem Technical Committee were consulted on the scientific merits of the application. 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 Commission’s Horseshoe Crab Interstate Fisheries Management Plan. Therefore, NMFS announces that the Director 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 September 12, 2016. ADDRESSES: You may submit comments on this document, identified by NOAA– NMFS–2016–0113, by either of the following methods: SUMMARY: SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: [FR Doc. 2016–19950 Filed 8–19–16; 8:45 am] Atlantic Coastal Fisheries Cooperative Management Act Provisions; Horseshoe Crabs; Application for Exempted Fishing Permit, 2016 PO 00000 Frm 00026 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 Electronic Submission: Submit all electronic public comments via the Federal e-Rulemaking Portal. Go to www.regulations.gov/ #!docketDetail;D=NOAA-NMFS-20160113, Click the ‘‘Comment Now!’’ icon, complete the required fields Enter or attach your comments. Mail: Written comments should be sent to Chris Wright, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, NMFS, 1315 EastWest Highway, Room 13464, Silver Spring, MD 20910. Mark the outside of the envelope ‘‘Comments on Horseshoe Crab EFP Proposal.’’ Fax: Comments may also be sent via fax to (301) 713–0596. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Chris Wright, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, (301) 427–8570. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Background Limuli submitted an application for an EFP dated April 26, 2016, to collect up to 10,000 horseshoe crabs for biomedical and data collection purposes from the Reserve. Of the collected horseshoe crabs, a portion will be tagged and analyzed for data collection purposes. All collected horseshoe crabs will be returned to the sea after they are bled. The applicant has applied for a similar EFP every year from 2001–2015. Permits were issued each year from 2001–2013, however no harvest and data collection occurred in years 2008, 2009, and 2012. Permits were not issued in 2014 or 2015 due to the pending listing under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) of the rufa red knot (Calidris canutus rufa) and ultimate determination as threatened species status under the ESA of 1973 (December 11, 2014; 79 FR 73706) and time needed to consult under the Endangered Species Act with U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS). Limuli Laboratories EFP Application The current EFP application specifies that: (1) The same methods in the 2001– 2013 EFPs would be used, (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 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. E:\FR\FM\22AUN1.SGM 22AUN1 Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 162 / Monday, August 22, 2016 / Notices 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. Limuli last harvested horseshoe crabs from the reserve in 2013. The results of that collection were summarized in a Federal Register Notice relating to Limuli’s 2015 EFP application on October 7, 2015 (80 FR 60633). asabaliauskas on DSK3SPTVN1PROD with NOTICES Horseshoe Crab Technical Committee and Delaware Bay Ecosystem Technical Committee Consultation and Review NMFS consulted with the Commission’s Horseshoe Crab Technical Committee and Delaware Bay Ecosystem Technical Committee via conference call on June 8 and July 11, 2016, asking members comment on the utility of the data collected under the past EFPs. The Technical Committees had varying opinions on the overall quality of the data from the EFP. Technical Committees members pointed out that the EFP data was some of the only data on horseshoe crabs from the reserve, and that the data was included in past scientific papers. Most members believed that the collection of the data was at least generally useful, and many suggested that the data should be further considered as part of the 2018 benchmark stock assessment for horseshoe crabs. The meetings summaries are available upon request (see ADDRESSES). ESA Consultations On August 5, 2014, NMFS completed an intra-agency consultation under section 7 of the ESA for proposed approval of an EFP to allow the biomedical harvest of horseshoe crabs from the Reserve which determined that the proposed action is not likely to adversely affect any listed species under our jurisdiction. The consultation covers the years from 2014–2018. NMFS started to conference with FWS in May 2016 on starting the consultation under section 7 of the ESA for rufa red knot, because this species had no previous consultation. The consultation is ongoing and NMFS intends to conclude the consultation before making a final decision on the merits of the EFP application. Past EFP Conditions and Requirements Limuli Laboratories proposes to conduct an exempted fishery operation in 2016 using the same means, methods, and seasons proposed/utilized during the EFPs in 2001–2013. In past EFPs, NMFS required that the following VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:13 Aug 19, 2016 Jkt 238001 conditions and requirements be met for issuance of the EFP: 1. The permit must be carried on board the vessel named. 2. A State of New Jersey Division of Fish and Wildlife (NJDFW) supplied observer must be taken when requested to do so by the New Jersey Bureau of Marine Fisheries. 3. When fishing under the permit in the Reserve during the participation period specified above, the vessel: a. must use a 5 and 1⁄2 inch mesh flounder trawl net; b. must not exceed 30 minutes during any one tow (measured from the time trawl doors enter the water until they are removed from the water per 50 CFR 223.206(d)(3)(i)); c. must notify State of New Jersey Law Enforcement daily of when and where the collection will take place; d. must abide by any other federal fishery regulation in effect in the Reserve; e. must withdraw from this exempted fishery before enrolling or participating in any other exempted fishery. 4. The following species may be possessed by the vessel when fishing under this permit with the specified trawl gear during the participation period above: Horseshoe Crab. 5. The fishing vessel that is issued a permit to conduct this experimental fishing activity may not possess or land catch in excess of a combined total of 500 horseshoe crabs per day during the participation period. 6. The fishing vessel that is issued a permit to conduct this experimental fishing activity may not possess or land in excess of a combined total of 10,000 horseshoe crabs from the Reserve during the participation period. 7. Participant must return all captured horseshoe crabs to waters adjacent to those from which they were captured as soon as possible after blood collection. 8. Participant must supply to National Marine Fisheries Service, the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission (Commission), and the NJDFW, one month after the end of the participation period, the following data on all horseshoe crabs bled for biomedical purposes: a. sex ratio; and b. daily numbers of horseshoe crabs caught. 9. Participant must tag 15 percent of all horseshoe crabs bled for biomedical purposes, and supply to NMFS, the Commission, and NJDFW, one month after the end of the participation period, data on horseshoe crabs tagged, released, and recaptured. 10. Participant must supply to NMFS, the Commission, and the NJDFW, one PO 00000 Frm 00027 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 56603 month after the end of the participation period, the following data on a minimum of 200 randomly selected crabs tagged: a. morphometric data, by sex, e.g. interocular distance and weight; and b. levels of activity, as measured by a horseshoe crab struggles after being placed on a weighing scale or by distance traveled after release on beach. The EFP exempted 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. Proposed Modifications for the 2016 EFP Conditions and requirements may be added or amended prior to the issuance of the EFP or on an annual basis. NMFS is considering modifying past terms and conditions on the permit to possibly include or modify harvest, data collection and reporting requirements. A final decision on issuance of the EFP will depend on NMFS’ review of public comments received on the application, an ESA consultation with the FWS, and a determination that the EFP is consistent with all applicable laws. Authority: 16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq. Dated: August 17, 2016. Emily H. Menashes, Acting Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine Fisheries Service. [FR Doc. 2016–19996 Filed 8–19–16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510–22–P DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration RIN 0648–XE806 Endangered and Threatened Species; Take of Anadromous Fish National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Commerce. ACTION: Notice of receipt. AGENCY: Notice is hereby given that NMFS has received one permit application from the United States Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) to enhance the propagation and survival of species listed under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) of 1973, as amended, for a 10 year period. As part of this permit application, USFWS has submitted two HGMPs. The HGMPs specify methods for the operation of two SUMMARY: E:\FR\FM\22AUN1.SGM 22AUN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 81, Number 162 (Monday, August 22, 2016)]
[Notices]
[Pages 56602-56603]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2016-19996]


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

DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

RIN 0648-XE823


Atlantic Coastal Fisheries Cooperative Management Act Provisions; 
Horseshoe Crabs; Application for Exempted Fishing Permit, 2016

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 (Limuli) of Cape May 
Court House, NJ, contains all the required information and warrants 
further consideration. The application seeks harvest of up to 10,000 
horseshoe crabs from the Carl N. Shuster Jr. Horseshoe Crab Reserve 
(Reserve) for biomedical purposes and requires, as a condition of the 
EFP, the collection of data related to the status of horseshoe crabs 
within the reserve. The Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission's 
(Commission) Horseshoe Crab Technical Committee and Delaware Bay 
Ecosystem Technical Committee were consulted on the scientific merits 
of the application. 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 Commission's Horseshoe 
Crab Interstate Fisheries Management Plan. Therefore, NMFS announces 
that the Director 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 
September 12, 2016.

ADDRESSES: You may submit comments on this document, identified by 
NOAA-NMFS-2016-0113, by either of the following methods:
    Electronic Submission: Submit all electronic public comments via 
the Federal e-Rulemaking Portal. Go to www.regulations.gov/#!docketDetail;D=NOAA-NMFS-2016-0113, Click the ``Comment Now!'' icon, 
complete the required fields Enter or attach your comments.
    Mail: Written comments should be sent to Chris Wright, Office of 
Sustainable Fisheries, NMFS, 1315 East-West Highway, Room 13464, Silver 
Spring, MD 20910. Mark the outside of the envelope ``Comments on 
Horseshoe Crab EFP Proposal.''
    Fax: Comments may also be sent via fax to (301) 713-0596.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Chris Wright, Office of Sustainable 
Fisheries, (301) 427-8570.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: 

Background

    Limuli submitted an application for an EFP dated April 26, 2016, to 
collect up to 10,000 horseshoe crabs for biomedical and data collection 
purposes from the Reserve. Of the collected horseshoe crabs, a portion 
will be tagged and analyzed for data collection purposes. All collected 
horseshoe crabs will be returned to the sea after they are bled. The 
applicant has applied for a similar EFP every year from 2001-2015. 
Permits were issued each year from 2001-2013, however no harvest and 
data collection occurred in years 2008, 2009, and 2012. Permits were 
not issued in 2014 or 2015 due to the pending listing under the 
Endangered Species Act (ESA) of the rufa red knot (Calidris canutus 
rufa) and ultimate determination as threatened species status under the 
ESA of 1973 (December 11, 2014; 79 FR 73706) and time needed to consult 
under the Endangered Species Act with U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service 
(FWS).

Limuli Laboratories EFP Application

    The current EFP application specifies that: (1) The same methods in 
the 2001-2013 EFPs would be used, (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 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.

[[Page 56603]]

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.
    Limuli last harvested horseshoe crabs from the reserve in 2013. The 
results of that collection were summarized in a Federal Register Notice 
relating to Limuli's 2015 EFP application on October 7, 2015 (80 FR 
60633).

Horseshoe Crab Technical Committee and Delaware Bay Ecosystem Technical 
Committee Consultation and Review

    NMFS consulted with the Commission's Horseshoe Crab Technical 
Committee and Delaware Bay Ecosystem Technical Committee via conference 
call on June 8 and July 11, 2016, asking members comment on the utility 
of the data collected under the past EFPs.
    The Technical Committees had varying opinions on the overall 
quality of the data from the EFP. Technical Committees members pointed 
out that the EFP data was some of the only data on horseshoe crabs from 
the reserve, and that the data was included in past scientific papers. 
Most members believed that the collection of the data was at least 
generally useful, and many suggested that the data should be further 
considered as part of the 2018 benchmark stock assessment for horseshoe 
crabs. The meetings summaries are available upon request (see 
ADDRESSES).

ESA Consultations

    On August 5, 2014, NMFS completed an intra-agency consultation 
under section 7 of the ESA for proposed approval of an EFP to allow the 
biomedical harvest of horseshoe crabs from the Reserve which determined 
that the proposed action is not likely to adversely affect any listed 
species under our jurisdiction. The consultation covers the years from 
2014-2018.
    NMFS started to conference with FWS in May 2016 on starting the 
consultation under section 7 of the ESA for rufa red knot, because this 
species had no previous consultation. The consultation is ongoing and 
NMFS intends to conclude the consultation before making a final 
decision on the merits of the EFP application.

Past EFP Conditions and Requirements

    Limuli Laboratories proposes to conduct an exempted fishery 
operation in 2016 using the same means, methods, and seasons proposed/
utilized during the EFPs in 2001-2013. In past EFPs, NMFS required that 
the following conditions and requirements be met for issuance of the 
EFP:
    1. The permit must be carried on board the vessel named.
    2. A State of New Jersey Division of Fish and Wildlife (NJDFW) 
supplied observer must be taken when requested to do so by the New 
Jersey Bureau of Marine Fisheries.
    3. When fishing under the permit in the Reserve during the 
participation period specified above, the vessel:
    a. must use a 5 and \1/2\ inch mesh flounder trawl net;
    b. must not exceed 30 minutes during any one tow (measured from the 
time trawl doors enter the water until they are removed from the water 
per 50 CFR 223.206(d)(3)(i));
    c. must notify State of New Jersey Law Enforcement daily of when 
and where the collection will take place;
    d. must abide by any other federal fishery regulation in effect in 
the Reserve;
    e. must withdraw from this exempted fishery before enrolling or 
participating in any other exempted fishery.
    4. The following species may be possessed by the vessel when 
fishing under this permit with the specified trawl gear during the 
participation period above: Horseshoe Crab.
    5. The fishing vessel that is issued a permit to conduct this 
experimental fishing activity may not possess or land catch in excess 
of a combined total of 500 horseshoe crabs per day during the 
participation period.
    6. The fishing vessel that is issued a permit to conduct this 
experimental fishing activity may not possess or land in excess of a 
combined total of 10,000 horseshoe crabs from the Reserve during the 
participation period.
    7. Participant must return all captured horseshoe crabs to waters 
adjacent to those from which they were captured as soon as possible 
after blood collection.
    8. Participant must supply to National Marine Fisheries Service, 
the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission (Commission), and the 
NJDFW, one month after the end of the participation period, the 
following data on all horseshoe crabs bled for biomedical purposes:
    a. sex ratio; and
    b. daily numbers of horseshoe crabs caught.
    9. Participant must tag 15 percent of all horseshoe crabs bled for 
biomedical purposes, and supply to NMFS, the Commission, and NJDFW, one 
month after the end of the participation period, data on horseshoe 
crabs tagged, released, and recaptured.
    10. Participant must supply to NMFS, the Commission, and the NJDFW, 
one month after the end of the participation period, the following data 
on a minimum of 200 randomly selected crabs tagged:
    a. morphometric data, by sex, e.g. interocular distance and weight; 
and
    b. levels of activity, as measured by a horseshoe crab struggles 
after being placed on a weighing scale or by distance traveled after 
release on beach.
    The EFP exempted 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.

Proposed Modifications for the 2016 EFP

    Conditions and requirements may be added or amended prior to the 
issuance of the EFP or on an annual basis. NMFS is considering 
modifying past terms and conditions on the permit to possibly include 
or modify harvest, data collection and reporting requirements.
    A final decision on issuance of the EFP will depend on NMFS' review 
of public comments received on the application, an ESA consultation 
with the FWS, and a determination that the EFP is consistent with all 
applicable laws.

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

    Dated: August 17, 2016.
Emily H. Menashes,
Acting Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine 
Fisheries Service.
[FR Doc. 2016-19996 Filed 8-19-16; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 3510-22-P