Pacific Island Pelagic Fisheries; Deep-Set Tuna Longline Fisheries, 10467-10468 [2017-02820]

Download as PDF Federal Register / Vol. 82, No. 28 / Monday, February 13, 2017 / Notices a. Electronic Submissions Submit statements electronically to Joe Holecko, Executive Secretary, President’s Advisory Council on Doing Business in Africa, via email: dbia@ trade.gov. b. Paper Submissions Send paper statements to Joe Holecko, Executive Secretary, President’s Advisory Council on Doing Business in Africa, Ronald Reagan International Trade Center, 1300 Pennsylvania Ave. NW., Suite 800M Department of Commerce, Washington, DC, 20004. Statements will be provided to the members in advance of the meeting for consideration and also will be posted on the President’s Advisory Council on Doing Business in Africa Web site (http://trade.gov/pac-dbia) without change, including any business or personal information provided such as names, addresses, email addresses, or telephone numbers. All statements received, including attachments and other supporting materials, are part of the public record and subject to public disclosure. You should submit only information that you wish to make publicly available. Meeting minutes: Copies of the Council’s meeting minutes will be available within ninety (90) days of the meeting on the Council’s Web site at http://trade.gov/pac-dbia. Dated: February 8, 2017. Joe Holecko, Executive Secretary President’s Advisory Council on Doing Business in Africa. [FR Doc. 2017–02956 Filed 2–10–17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510–DR–P DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration RIN 0648–XF177 Pacific Island Pelagic Fisheries; DeepSet Tuna Longline Fisheries National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Commerce. ACTION: Notice of intent to prepare a Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement; public meetings; request for comments. jstallworth on DSK7TPTVN1PROD with NOTICES AGENCY: NMFS, in coordination with the Western Pacific Fishery Management Council (Council), intends to prepare a Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement (PEIS) to analyze the environmental impacts of SUMMARY: VerDate Sep<11>2014 13:41 Feb 10, 2017 Jkt 241001 the continued authorization and management of U.S. Pacific Island deepset tuna longline fisheries under the Fishery Ecosystem Plan for Pelagic Fisheries of the Western Pacific (FEP) and other applicable laws. The analysis would include certain longline fisheries based in Hawaii, the U.S. west coast, American Samoa, Guam, and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI). Publication of this notice begins the public scoping process to determine the scope of the environmental issues for consideration in the PEIS and allowing interested parties to suggest fishery management issues to be considered in the PEIS. The PEIS is intended to support management of U.S. pelagic longline fisheries. DATES: See SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section for meeting dates. NMFS must receive comments by April 14, 2017. ADDRESSES: You may submit comments on this action, identified by NOAA– NMFS–2017–0010, by any of the following methods: • Electronic Submission: Submit all electronic public comments via the Federal e-Rulemaking Portal. Go to http://www.regulations.gov/ docket?D=NOAA-NMFS-2017-0010, click the ‘‘Comment Now!’’ icon, complete the required fields, and enter or attach your comments. • Mail: Send written comments to Michael D. Tosatto, Regional Administrator, NMFS Pacific Islands Region (PIR), 1845 Wasp Blvd., Bldg. 176, Honolulu, HI 96818. • Scoping Meeting: Submit written comments at a scoping meeting. Instructions: You must submit comments by the above methods to ensure that NMFS receives, documents, and considers your comments. NMFS may not consider comments sent by any other method, to any other address or individual, or received after the end of the comment period. NMFS will consider all comments received as part of the public record and will generally post comments for public viewing on www.regulations.gov without change. All personal identifying information (e.g., name, address) submitted voluntarily by the sender will be publicly accessible. Do not submit confidential business information, or otherwise sensitive or protected information. NMFS will accept anonymous comments (enter ‘‘N/A’’ in the required fields if you wish to remain anonymous). Copies of the FEP, amendments, and previous EISs are available at http:// www.regulations.gov/docket?D=NOAANMFS-2017-0010. PO 00000 Frm 00018 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 10467 FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Ariel Jacobs, NMFS, Pacific Islands Regional Office, (808) 725–5182. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: NMFS and the Council manage domestic longline fisheries in U.S. Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ or Federal waters; generally 3–200 nautical miles from shore) around the U.S. Pacific Islands and on the high seas according to the FEP, as authorized by the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act. Shallow-set longline vessels target swordfish near the surface; the shallowset fisheries are covered by a separate analysis and will not be analyzed under the PEIS. Deep-set vessels target tunas deeper than 100 m. The deep-set fisheries have more participants, greater fishing effort, catch, and higher total revenues than the shallow-set fisheries. The primary deep-set longline fisheries are in Hawaii and American Samoa. Access to the Hawaii longline fisheries is limited to 164 vessels, of which about 140 are typically active. Of these, about 20 may also shallow-set during any given year. For example, in 2014 there were 1,350 deep-set trips and 81 shallow-set trips. Most vessels with Hawaii longline permits are based in Hawaii, and about 10 operate from ports on the U.S. west coast. Access to the American Samoa deepset tuna fishery is also limited, with a maximum of 60 permits divided into four classes based on vessel size. About 30 vessels are active in the American Samoa fishery, mostly Class D (vessels over 70 ft). Historically, a few deep-set tuna longline vessels operated out of Guam and the CNMI, but these fisheries have been inactive since 2011. Management provisions governing deep-set tuna longline fisheries include, but are not limited to the following requirements: • Limited entry/access programs; • Vessel size limits; • Mandatory permits and reporting of catch and effort; • Areas where fishing is prohibited; • Monitoring by on-board observers; • Satellite-based vessel monitoring system; • Catch limits or prohibitions for some fish species; • Gear configuration requirements; and • Specific methods for handling and releasing bycatch. See Title 50 of the Code of Federal Regulations Part 665 for most of the regulations. There are additional requirements under other authorities, including the Marine Mammal Protection Act, the Endangered Species Act, marine sanctuaries and E:\FR\FM\13FEN1.SGM 13FEN1 10468 Federal Register / Vol. 82, No. 28 / Monday, February 13, 2017 / Notices jstallworth on DSK7TPTVN1PROD with NOTICES monuments, international requirements, and other laws regulating shipping, pollution, etc. NMFS has evaluated the potential environmental impacts of the deep-set longline fisheries in previous National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) analyses. In a 2001 EIS, NMFS evaluated the potential impacts on target and non-target stocks, protected marine species (sea turtles, marine mammals, etc.), fishermen, and other parameters. In a 2005 EIS, NMFS evaluated the potential impacts on seabirds. In a 2009 PEIS, NMFS evaluated the potential impacts when the Council and NMFS developed and implemented five geographically based FEPs, including the Pelagic FEP. Additionally, NMFS has evaluated, through separate NEPA analyses, the potential impacts of several FEP amendments and additional regulatory changes since 2009. In the current PEIS, NMFS and the Council will evaluate the direct, indirect, and cumulative environmental impacts of U.S. Pacific Island deep-set longline fisheries. The proposed federal action is the continued authorization of the U.S. Pacific Island deep-set tuna longline fisheries of American Samoa, Guam, CNMI, and Hawaii, including vessels based on the U.S. west coast, as managed under the FEP and other applicable laws. The purpose of the proposed action is to maintain viable domestic deep-set tuna longline fisheries, while ensuring the long-term sustainability of fishery resources, and the conservation of protected species and their habitats. The need for the proposed action is to manage deep-set tuna longline fisheries under an adaptive management framework that allows for timely management responses to changing environmental conditions, consistent with domestic and international conservation and management measures. Although each deep-set longline fishery managed under the FEP generally operates in a similar manner, each fishery is subject to a unique set of conservation and management issues and regulatory framework. Accordingly, the scope of the analyses would be programmatic in nature. Specifically, NMFS is seeking input from the public on issues that NMFS should address in the draft PEIS related to management of the deep-set longline fisheries, including catch of target species (e.g., tunas) and non-target species (e.g., sharks), interactions with protected species, and impacts on the pelagic ecosystem. This will assist NMFS and the Council in determining the scope of the environmental issues, and in developing of a reasonable range of fishery management alternatives to analyze in the draft PEIS. There will be an opportunity for the public to comment on the draft PEIS when it is published. You may find more information about deep-set tuna longline fisheries managed under the FEP and the progress of the PEIS at http://www.fpir.noaa.gov/SFD/SFD_ regs_index.html. Public Involvement We are notifying the public that NMFS intends to prepare a PEIS, and will hold a series of public scoping meetings to describe the management of deep-set longline fisheries under the FEP. We invite comments from the public at the early stage of environmental effects analysis planning. 7. Mangilao, GU Thursday, March 9, 2017, University of Guam, CNAS 127, University Dr., Mangilao, GU 96923. VerDate Sep<11>2014 13:41 Feb 10, 2017 Jkt 241001 Meetings NMFS will hold public meetings at the dates and locations below. All meetings will be from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. 1. Hilo, HI Tuesday, February 21, 2017, Edith Kanakaole Hall, Room 122, University of Hawaii at Hilo, 200 W. Kawili St., Hilo, HI 96720. 2. Honolulu, HI Thursday, February 23, 2017, Nuuanu Elementary School, Cafeteria, 3055 Puiwa Ln., Honolulu, HI 96817. 3. Pago Pago, AS Tuesday, February 28, 2017, Sadie’s By the Sea, Upstairs Conference Room, Utulei Beach, Rte. 1, Pago Pago, AS 96799. 4. Tafuna, AS Wednesday, March 1, 2017, NOAA GMD/PIFSC Compound Tafuna (West Location), 8043 Tasi St., Tafuna, AS 96799. 5. Pago Pago, AS Thursday, March 2, 2017, PC Mauga Tasi Asuega Fale Tele (East Location), Village of Pago Pago, AS 96799. 6. Saipan, MP Tuesday, March 7, 2017, Pedro P. Tenorio Multipurpose Center, Beach Rd., Susupe, Saipan, MP 96950. Special Accommodations NMFS will make every attempt to make these meetings accessible to people with disabilities. Direct any PO 00000 Frm 00019 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 requests for sign language interpretation, physical assistance, or other auxiliary aids to Ariel Jacobs at (808) 725–5182 at least five days prior to the meeting date. Dated: February 7, 2017. Karen H. Abrams, Acting Deputy Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine Fisheries Service. [FR Doc. 2017–02820 Filed 2–10–17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510–22–P DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration RIN 0648–XF220 Fisheries of the Gulf of Mexico and Atlantic; Southeast Data, Assessment, and Review (SEDAR); Public Meeting National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Commerce. ACTION: Notice of SEDAR 54 Data webinar for HMS Sandbar Shark. AGENCY: The SEDAR 54 assessment process of HMS Sandbar Shark will consist of a series of assessment webinars. See SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION. DATES: The SEDAR 54 Data webinar will be held March 9, 2017, from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m., Eastern Time. ADDRESSES: The meeting will be held via webinar. The webinar is open to members of the public. Those interested in participating should contact Julie A. Neer at SEDAR (see FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT) to request an invitation providing webinar access information. Please request webinar invitations at least 24 hours in advance of each webinar. SEDAR address: 4055 Faber Place Drive, Suite 201, North Charleston, SC 29405. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Julie A. Neer, SEDAR Coordinator; (843) 571– 4366; email: Julie.neer@safmc.net. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The Gulf of Mexico, South Atlantic, and Caribbean Fishery Management Councils, in conjunction with NOAA Fisheries and the Atlantic and Gulf States Marine Fisheries Commissions have implemented the Southeast Data, Assessment and Review (SEDAR) process, a multi-step method for determining the status of fish stocks in the Southeast Region. SEDAR is a multistep process including: (1) Data Workshop, (2) a series of assessment webinars, and (3) A Review Workshop. SUMMARY: E:\FR\FM\13FEN1.SGM 13FEN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 82, Number 28 (Monday, February 13, 2017)]
[Notices]
[Pages 10467-10468]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2017-02820]


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DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

RIN 0648-XF177


Pacific Island Pelagic Fisheries; Deep-Set Tuna Longline 
Fisheries

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

ACTION: Notice of intent to prepare a Programmatic Environmental Impact 
Statement; public meetings; request for comments.

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

SUMMARY: NMFS, in coordination with the Western Pacific Fishery 
Management Council (Council), intends to prepare a Programmatic 
Environmental Impact Statement (PEIS) to analyze the environmental 
impacts of the continued authorization and management of U.S. Pacific 
Island deep-set tuna longline fisheries under the Fishery Ecosystem 
Plan for Pelagic Fisheries of the Western Pacific (FEP) and other 
applicable laws. The analysis would include certain longline fisheries 
based in Hawaii, the U.S. west coast, American Samoa, Guam, and the 
Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI). Publication of 
this notice begins the public scoping process to determine the scope of 
the environmental issues for consideration in the PEIS and allowing 
interested parties to suggest fishery management issues to be 
considered in the PEIS. The PEIS is intended to support management of 
U.S. pelagic longline fisheries.

DATES: See SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section for meeting dates. NMFS 
must receive comments by April 14, 2017.

ADDRESSES: You may submit comments on this action, identified by NOAA-
NMFS-2017-0010, by any of the following methods:
     Electronic Submission: Submit all electronic public 
comments via the Federal e-Rulemaking Portal. Go to http://www.regulations.gov/docket?D=NOAA-NMFS-2017-0010, click the ``Comment 
Now!'' icon, complete the required fields, and enter or attach your 
comments.
     Mail: Send written comments to Michael D. Tosatto, 
Regional Administrator, NMFS Pacific Islands Region (PIR), 1845 Wasp 
Blvd., Bldg. 176, Honolulu, HI 96818.
     Scoping Meeting: Submit written comments at a scoping 
meeting.
    Instructions: You must submit comments by the above methods to 
ensure that NMFS receives, documents, and considers your comments. NMFS 
may not consider comments sent by any other method, to any other 
address or individual, or received after the end of the comment period. 
NMFS will consider all comments received as part of the public record 
and will generally post comments for public viewing on 
www.regulations.gov without change. All personal identifying 
information (e.g., name, address) submitted voluntarily by the sender 
will be publicly accessible. Do not submit confidential business 
information, or otherwise sensitive or protected information. NMFS will 
accept anonymous comments (enter ``N/A'' in the required fields if you 
wish to remain anonymous).
    Copies of the FEP, amendments, and previous EISs are available at 
http://www.regulations.gov/docket?D=NOAA-NMFS-2017-0010.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Ariel Jacobs, NMFS, Pacific Islands 
Regional Office, (808) 725-5182.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: NMFS and the Council manage domestic 
longline fisheries in U.S. Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ or Federal 
waters; generally 3-200 nautical miles from shore) around the U.S. 
Pacific Islands and on the high seas according to the FEP, as 
authorized by the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management 
Act. Shallow-set longline vessels target swordfish near the surface; 
the shallow-set fisheries are covered by a separate analysis and will 
not be analyzed under the PEIS. Deep-set vessels target tunas deeper 
than 100 m. The deep-set fisheries have more participants, greater 
fishing effort, catch, and higher total revenues than the shallow-set 
fisheries.
    The primary deep-set longline fisheries are in Hawaii and American 
Samoa. Access to the Hawaii longline fisheries is limited to 164 
vessels, of which about 140 are typically active. Of these, about 20 
may also shallow-set during any given year. For example, in 2014 there 
were 1,350 deep-set trips and 81 shallow-set trips. Most vessels with 
Hawaii longline permits are based in Hawaii, and about 10 operate from 
ports on the U.S. west coast.
    Access to the American Samoa deep-set tuna fishery is also limited, 
with a maximum of 60 permits divided into four classes based on vessel 
size. About 30 vessels are active in the American Samoa fishery, mostly 
Class D (vessels over 70 ft). Historically, a few deep-set tuna 
longline vessels operated out of Guam and the CNMI, but these fisheries 
have been inactive since 2011.
    Management provisions governing deep-set tuna longline fisheries 
include, but are not limited to the following requirements:
     Limited entry/access programs;
     Vessel size limits;
     Mandatory permits and reporting of catch and effort;
     Areas where fishing is prohibited;
     Monitoring by on-board observers;
     Satellite-based vessel monitoring system;
     Catch limits or prohibitions for some fish species;
     Gear configuration requirements; and
     Specific methods for handling and releasing bycatch.
    See Title 50 of the Code of Federal Regulations Part 665 for most 
of the regulations. There are additional requirements under other 
authorities, including the Marine Mammal Protection Act, the Endangered 
Species Act, marine sanctuaries and

[[Page 10468]]

monuments, international requirements, and other laws regulating 
shipping, pollution, etc.
    NMFS has evaluated the potential environmental impacts of the deep-
set longline fisheries in previous National Environmental Policy Act 
(NEPA) analyses. In a 2001 EIS, NMFS evaluated the potential impacts on 
target and non-target stocks, protected marine species (sea turtles, 
marine mammals, etc.), fishermen, and other parameters. In a 2005 EIS, 
NMFS evaluated the potential impacts on seabirds. In a 2009 PEIS, NMFS 
evaluated the potential impacts when the Council and NMFS developed and 
implemented five geographically based FEPs, including the Pelagic FEP. 
Additionally, NMFS has evaluated, through separate NEPA analyses, the 
potential impacts of several FEP amendments and additional regulatory 
changes since 2009.
    In the current PEIS, NMFS and the Council will evaluate the direct, 
indirect, and cumulative environmental impacts of U.S. Pacific Island 
deep-set longline fisheries. The proposed federal action is the 
continued authorization of the U.S. Pacific Island deep-set tuna 
longline fisheries of American Samoa, Guam, CNMI, and Hawaii, including 
vessels based on the U.S. west coast, as managed under the FEP and 
other applicable laws.
    The purpose of the proposed action is to maintain viable domestic 
deep-set tuna longline fisheries, while ensuring the long-term 
sustainability of fishery resources, and the conservation of protected 
species and their habitats. The need for the proposed action is to 
manage deep-set tuna longline fisheries under an adaptive management 
framework that allows for timely management responses to changing 
environmental conditions, consistent with domestic and international 
conservation and management measures.
    Although each deep-set longline fishery managed under the FEP 
generally operates in a similar manner, each fishery is subject to a 
unique set of conservation and management issues and regulatory 
framework. Accordingly, the scope of the analyses would be programmatic 
in nature.

Public Involvement

    We are notifying the public that NMFS intends to prepare a PEIS, 
and will hold a series of public scoping meetings to describe the 
management of deep-set longline fisheries under the FEP. We invite 
comments from the public at the early stage of environmental effects 
analysis planning. Specifically, NMFS is seeking input from the public 
on issues that NMFS should address in the draft PEIS related to 
management of the deep-set longline fisheries, including catch of 
target species (e.g., tunas) and non-target species (e.g., sharks), 
interactions with protected species, and impacts on the pelagic 
ecosystem. This will assist NMFS and the Council in determining the 
scope of the environmental issues, and in developing of a reasonable 
range of fishery management alternatives to analyze in the draft PEIS.
    There will be an opportunity for the public to comment on the draft 
PEIS when it is published. You may find more information about deep-set 
tuna longline fisheries managed under the FEP and the progress of the 
PEIS at http://www.fpir.noaa.gov/SFD/SFD_regs_index.html.

Meetings

    NMFS will hold public meetings at the dates and locations below. 
All meetings will be from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.

1. Hilo, HI

Tuesday, February 21, 2017, Edith Kanakaole Hall, Room 122, University 
of Hawaii at Hilo, 200 W. Kawili St., Hilo, HI 96720.

2. Honolulu, HI

Thursday, February 23, 2017, Nuuanu Elementary School, Cafeteria, 3055 
Puiwa Ln., Honolulu, HI 96817.

3. Pago Pago, AS

Tuesday, February 28, 2017, Sadie's By the Sea, Upstairs Conference 
Room, Utulei Beach, Rte. 1, Pago Pago, AS 96799.

4. Tafuna, AS

Wednesday, March 1, 2017, NOAA GMD/PIFSC Compound Tafuna (West 
Location), 8043 Tasi St., Tafuna, AS 96799.

5. Pago Pago, AS

Thursday, March 2, 2017, PC Mauga Tasi Asuega Fale Tele (East 
Location), Village of Pago Pago, AS 96799.

6. Saipan, MP

Tuesday, March 7, 2017, Pedro P. Tenorio Multipurpose Center, Beach 
Rd., Susupe, Saipan, MP 96950.

7. Mangilao, GU

Thursday, March 9, 2017, University of Guam, CNAS 127, University Dr., 
Mangilao, GU 96923.

Special Accommodations

    NMFS will make every attempt to make these meetings accessible to 
people with disabilities. Direct any requests for sign language 
interpretation, physical assistance, or other auxiliary aids to Ariel 
Jacobs at (808) 725-5182 at least five days prior to the meeting date.

    Dated: February 7, 2017.
Karen H. Abrams,
Acting Deputy Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National 
Marine Fisheries Service.
[FR Doc. 2017-02820 Filed 2-10-17; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 3510-22-P