Draft National Procedure for Permit Applications To Retain Releasable Rehabilitated Marine Mammals for Public Display, 52880-52881 [2017-24642]

Download as PDF 52880 Federal Register / Vol. 82, No. 219 / Wednesday, November 15, 2017 / Notices Advisory Council on Doing Business in Africa, via email: dbia@trade.gov. DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE International Trade Administration President’s Advisory Council on Doing Business in Africa International Trade Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce. ACTION: Notice of an open meeting. AGENCY: The President’s Advisory Council on Doing Business in Africa (PAC–DBIA or Council) will meet to deliberate on analysis of the top three obstacles U.S. companies face in approaching African markets, competing for business opportunities, and operating business activities. Topics may include: Market risk, capital market development, market size, localization requirements, foreign government support to enable competitors, procurement practices, local skilled workforce availability, foreign exchange, trade facilitation, and infrastructure. The final agenda for the meeting will be posted at least one week in advance of the meeting on the Council’s Web site at http://trade.gov/pac-dbia. DATES: November 29, 2017, 9:30 a.m. (EST). ADDRESSES: The President’s Advisory Council on Doing Business in Africa meeting will be broadcast via live webcast on the Internet at http:// whitehouse.gov/live. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Giancarlo Cavallo or Ashley Bubna, Designated Federal Officers, President’s Advisory Council on Doing Business in Africa, Department of Commerce, 1401 Constitution Ave. NW., Room 22004, Washington, DC 20230 telephone: 202– 482–2091, email: dbia@trade.gov. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Background: The Council was established on November 4, 2014, to advise the President, through the Secretary of Commerce, on strengthening commercial engagement between the United States and Africa. The Council’s charter was renewed for a second, two-year term in September 2017. The Council was established in accordance with the provisions of the Federal Advisory Committee Act (FACA), as amended, 5 U.S.C. App. Public Submissions: The public is invited to submit written statements to the Council. Statements must be received by 5:00 p.m. November 22, 2017 by either of the following methods: sradovich on DSK3GMQ082PROD with NOTICES SUMMARY: a. Electronic Submissions Submit statements electronically to Giancarlo Cavallo and Ashley Bubna, Designated Federal Officers, President’s VerDate Sep<11>2014 19:58 Nov 14, 2017 Jkt 244001 b. Paper Submissions Send paper statements to Giancarlo Cavallo and Ashley Bubna, Designated Federal Officers, President’s Advisory Council on Doing Business in Africa, Department of Commerce, 1401 Constitution Ave. NW., Room 22004, Washington, DC 20230. Statements will be provided to the members in advance of the meeting for consideration and also will be posted on the Council Web site (http://trade.gov/ pac-dbia). Any business proprietary information should be cleared and designated as such. All statements received, including attachments and other supporting materials, are part of the public record and subject to public disclosure. 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: November 8, 2017. Fred Stewart, Director, Office of Africa. [FR Doc. 2017–24664 Filed 11–14–17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510–DR–P DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration RIN 0648–XF100 Draft National Procedure for Permit Applications To Retain Releasable Rehabilitated Marine Mammals for Public Display National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Commerce. ACTION: Notice; request for comments. AGENCY: The National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) has developed a draft national Procedural Directive clarifying the process for eligible permit applicants to obtain releasable marine mammals for public display purposes under the Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA). Releasable marine mammals are those that were successfully rehabilitated by the Marine Mammal Health and Stranding Response Program’s network of stranding centers and have been determined by the rehabilitation facility’s attending veterinarian to be candidates for return to the wild. NMFS will no longer grant permits for the specific purpose of retaining releasable SUMMARY: PO 00000 Frm 00008 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 marine mammals for public display. Instead, applicants will now need to apply for a permit to take (collect) animals from the wild pursuant to the MMPA. Non-releasable animals, on the other hand, may still be obtained through NMFS’ administrative procedures. Comments must be received by December 15, 2017. ADDRESSES: The draft Procedural Directive is available in electronic form via the Internet at http:// www.nmfs.noaa.gov/pr/permits/public display_permit.htm. You may submit comments by including NOAA–NMFS– 2017–0096 by either of the following methods: Federal e-Rulemaking Portal: Go to www.regulations.gov/#!docketDetail;D= NOAA-NMFS-2017-0096, click the ‘‘Comment Now!’’ icon, complete the required fields, and enter or attach your comments. Mail: Send comments to: Chief, Marine Mammal and Sea Turtle Conservation Division, Office of Protected Resources, National Marine Fisheries Service, 1315 East-West Highway, Silver Spring, MD 20910– 3226, Attn: Releasable Rehabilitated Marine Mammal Procedural Directive. Instructions: NMFS may not consider comments if they are sent by any other method, to any other address or individual, or received after the comment period ends. All comments received are a part of the public record and will generally be posted to http:// www.regulations.gov without change. All personal identifying information (e.g., name, address, etc.), confidential business information, or otherwise sensitive information submitted voluntarily by the sender is publicly accessible. NMFS will also accept anonymous comments (enter ‘‘N/A’’ in the required fields if you wish to remain anonymous). FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Jaclyn Taylor, NMFS, Office of Protected Resources, 301–427–8402, Jaclyn.Taylor@noaa.gov. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Section 104 of the MMPA (16 U.S.C. 1361 et seq.) allows permits to be issued to take or import marine mammals for public display purposes, and section 109 requires the release of rehabilitated marine mammals to their natural habitat whenever feasible. The MMPA regulations at 50 CFR 216.27(b)(4) allow the NMFS OPR Director to require the use of a rehabilitated marine mammal for public display (or research or enhancement) in lieu of a take from the wild. DATES: E:\FR\FM\15NON1.SGM 15NON1 sradovich on DSK3GMQ082PROD with NOTICES Federal Register / Vol. 82, No. 219 / Wednesday, November 15, 2017 / Notices From 2005–2016, NMFS issued three permits authorizing the retention of releasable marine mammals (rehabilitated animals cleared for release back to the wild) for public display purposes under section 104 of the MMPA and NMFS’ implementing regulations at 50 CFR part 216. A permit was required for placement of releasable stranded animals (as opposed to nonreleasable animals, which NMFS places in accordance with an administrative process rather than a permit) because NMFS views retention of a releasable marine mammal as the functional equivalent of a take from the wild (i.e., the animal would have otherwise been released and would presumably have contributed to the wild population). These three permits were based upon NMFS’ interpretation of the regulations at 50 CFR 216.27(b)(4), which state the NMFS OPR Director may require use of a rehabilitated marine mammal for public display purposes in lieu of animals taken from the wild. The three previous permit applicants were not required to request an actual ‘‘take’’ of animals from the wild, as the placement of a releasable animal was considered in lieu of such take. However, NMFS received numerous public comments on the three issued permits asserting that permits to retain releasable marine mammals are in direct contradiction to the purpose of Title IV and section 109(h) of the MMPA, which mandate the rescue and rehabilitation of stranded marine mammals with the goal of releasing the animals to the wild when feasible. Commenters specifically expressed concerns that the process for assessing the actual impact of a take from the wild was largely circumvented. After evaluation and reconsideration of this permit process and as a result of public comments on the three permits issued, NMFS has developed a new draft Procedural Directive to clarify its interpretation of MMPA regulations and procedures for authorizing releasable rehabilitated marine mammals to be retained for purposes of public display. In the Procedural Directive, NMFS is proposing to no longer issue permits for the specific purpose of obtaining releasable marine mammals from the National Stranding Network for public display. Instead, would-be applicants must apply for a permit to take (collect) from the wild pursuant to the MMPA. In the event NMFS decides to grant such a permit, the NMFS OPR Director may then, at his or her discretion, require that a releasable rehabilitated marine mammal be substituted for capturing an animal from the wild, in accordance with 50 CFR 216.27. VerDate Sep<11>2014 19:58 Nov 14, 2017 Jkt 244001 NMFS believes this approach is more consistent with the statutory provisions governing rehabilitation and release of stranded marine mammals (MMPA section 109(h) and MMPA Title IV), which are separate and distinct from the provisions governing issuance of permits for the take of animals from the wild for purposes of public display (MMPA section 104). Dated: November 6, 2017. Donna S. Wieting, Director, Office of Protected Resources, National Marine Fisheries Service. [FR Doc. 2017–24642 Filed 11–14–17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510–22–P 52881 Matters To Be Considered This meeting time and agenda are subject to change. The meeting is convened to hear presentations and updates and to discuss policies and guidance on the following topics: The importance of timely data for fisheries resiliency; Columbia Basin Partnership Task Force efforts on the conservation and restoration of salmon and steelhead; aquaculture; citizen science; NMFS communications, outreach, and FishWatch; and the budget outlook for FY2018. MAFAC will discuss various administrative and organizational matters, and meetings of subcommittees and working groups will be convened. DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE Special Accommodations National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration The meeting is physically accessible to people with disabilities. Requests for sign language interpretation or other auxiliary aids should be directed to Heidi Lovett; 301–427–8034 by November 15, 2017. RIN 0648–XF772 Marine Fisheries Advisory Committee Meeting National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Commerce. ACTION: Notice of open public meeting. AGENCY: This notice sets forth the proposed schedule and agenda of a forthcoming meeting of the Marine Fisheries Advisory Committee (MAFAC). The members will discuss and provide advice on issues outlined under SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION below. Dated: November 9, 2017. Jennifer Lukens, Director for the Office of Policy, National Marine Fisheries Service. [FR Doc. 2017–24720 Filed 11–14–17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510–22–P SUMMARY: The meeting will be held November 28 and 29, 2017, from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., and November 30, from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. ADDRESSES: The meeting will be held at the Sheraton Silver Spring Hotel, 8777 Georgia Ave., Silver Spring, MD 20910; 301–589–0800. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Heidi Lovett, MAFAC Assistant Director; 301–427–8034; email: Heidi.Lovett@noaa.gov. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: As required by section 10(a)(2) of the Federal Advisory Committee Act, 5 U.S.C. App. 2, notice is hereby given of a meeting of MAFAC. The MAFAC was established by the Secretary of Commerce (Secretary), and, since 1971, advises the Secretary on all living marine resource matters that are the responsibility of the Department of Commerce. The complete charter and summaries of prior meetings are located online at http://www.nmfs.noaa.gov/ ocs/mafac/. DATES: PO 00000 Frm 00009 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration RIN 0648–XF773 Meeting of the Columbia Basin Partnership Task Force of the Marine Fisheries Advisory Committee National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Department of Commerce. ACTION: Notice of open public meeting. AGENCY: This notice sets forth the proposed schedule and agenda of a forthcoming meeting of the Marine Fisheries Advisory Committee’s (MAFAC’s) Columbia Basin Partnership Task Force (CBP Task Force). The CBP Task Force will discuss the issues outlined in the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION below. DATES: The meeting will be held December 5, 2017, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. and on December 6, 2017, from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. ADDRESSES: The meeting will be held at the Davenport Grand Hotel, 333 Spokane Falls Blvd., Spokane, WA 99201; 509–458–3330. SUMMARY: E:\FR\FM\15NON1.SGM 15NON1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 82, Number 219 (Wednesday, November 15, 2017)]
[Notices]
[Pages 52880-52881]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2017-24642]


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DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

RIN 0648-XF100


Draft National Procedure for Permit Applications To Retain 
Releasable Rehabilitated Marine Mammals for Public Display

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

ACTION: Notice; request for comments.

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

SUMMARY: The National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) has developed a 
draft national Procedural Directive clarifying the process for eligible 
permit applicants to obtain releasable marine mammals for public 
display purposes under the Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA). 
Releasable marine mammals are those that were successfully 
rehabilitated by the Marine Mammal Health and Stranding Response 
Program's network of stranding centers and have been determined by the 
rehabilitation facility's attending veterinarian to be candidates for 
return to the wild. NMFS will no longer grant permits for the specific 
purpose of retaining releasable marine mammals for public display. 
Instead, applicants will now need to apply for a permit to take 
(collect) animals from the wild pursuant to the MMPA. Non-releasable 
animals, on the other hand, may still be obtained through NMFS' 
administrative procedures.

DATES: Comments must be received by December 15, 2017.

ADDRESSES: The draft Procedural Directive is available in electronic 
form via the Internet at http://www.nmfs.noaa.gov/pr/permits/publicdisplay_permit.htm. You may submit comments by including NOAA-
NMFS-2017-0096 by either of the following methods:
    Federal e-Rulemaking Portal: Go to www.regulations.gov/#!docketDetail;D=NOAA-NMFS-2017-0096, click the ``Comment Now!'' icon, 
complete the required fields, and enter or attach your comments.
    Mail: Send comments to: Chief, Marine Mammal and Sea Turtle 
Conservation Division, Office of Protected Resources, National Marine 
Fisheries Service, 1315 East-West Highway, Silver Spring, MD 20910-
3226, Attn: Releasable Rehabilitated Marine Mammal Procedural 
Directive.
    Instructions: NMFS may not consider comments if they are sent by 
any other method, to any other address or individual, or received after 
the comment period ends. All comments received are a part of the public 
record and will generally be posted to http://www.regulations.gov 
without change. All personal identifying information (e.g., name, 
address, etc.), confidential business information, or otherwise 
sensitive information submitted voluntarily by the sender is publicly 
accessible. NMFS will also accept anonymous comments (enter ``N/A'' in 
the required fields if you wish to remain anonymous).

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Jaclyn Taylor, NMFS, Office of 
Protected Resources, 301-427-8402, Jaclyn.Taylor@noaa.gov.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Section 104 of the MMPA (16 U.S.C. 1361 et 
seq.) allows permits to be issued to take or import marine mammals for 
public display purposes, and section 109 requires the release of 
rehabilitated marine mammals to their natural habitat whenever 
feasible. The MMPA regulations at 50 CFR 216.27(b)(4) allow the NMFS 
OPR Director to require the use of a rehabilitated marine mammal for 
public display (or research or enhancement) in lieu of a take from the 
wild.

[[Page 52881]]

    From 2005-2016, NMFS issued three permits authorizing the retention 
of releasable marine mammals (rehabilitated animals cleared for release 
back to the wild) for public display purposes under section 104 of the 
MMPA and NMFS' implementing regulations at 50 CFR part 216. A permit 
was required for placement of releasable stranded animals (as opposed 
to non-releasable animals, which NMFS places in accordance with an 
administrative process rather than a permit) because NMFS views 
retention of a releasable marine mammal as the functional equivalent of 
a take from the wild (i.e., the animal would have otherwise been 
released and would presumably have contributed to the wild population). 
These three permits were based upon NMFS' interpretation of the 
regulations at 50 CFR 216.27(b)(4), which state the NMFS OPR Director 
may require use of a rehabilitated marine mammal for public display 
purposes in lieu of animals taken from the wild. The three previous 
permit applicants were not required to request an actual ``take'' of 
animals from the wild, as the placement of a releasable animal was 
considered in lieu of such take.
    However, NMFS received numerous public comments on the three issued 
permits asserting that permits to retain releasable marine mammals are 
in direct contradiction to the purpose of Title IV and section 109(h) 
of the MMPA, which mandate the rescue and rehabilitation of stranded 
marine mammals with the goal of releasing the animals to the wild when 
feasible. Commenters specifically expressed concerns that the process 
for assessing the actual impact of a take from the wild was largely 
circumvented.
    After evaluation and reconsideration of this permit process and as 
a result of public comments on the three permits issued, NMFS has 
developed a new draft Procedural Directive to clarify its 
interpretation of MMPA regulations and procedures for authorizing 
releasable rehabilitated marine mammals to be retained for purposes of 
public display.
    In the Procedural Directive, NMFS is proposing to no longer issue 
permits for the specific purpose of obtaining releasable marine mammals 
from the National Stranding Network for public display. Instead, would-
be applicants must apply for a permit to take (collect) from the wild 
pursuant to the MMPA. In the event NMFS decides to grant such a permit, 
the NMFS OPR Director may then, at his or her discretion, require that 
a releasable rehabilitated marine mammal be substituted for capturing 
an animal from the wild, in accordance with 50 CFR 216.27.
    NMFS believes this approach is more consistent with the statutory 
provisions governing rehabilitation and release of stranded marine 
mammals (MMPA section 109(h) and MMPA Title IV), which are separate and 
distinct from the provisions governing issuance of permits for the take 
of animals from the wild for purposes of public display (MMPA section 
104).

    Dated: November 6, 2017.
Donna S. Wieting,
Director, Office of Protected Resources, National Marine Fisheries 
Service.
[FR Doc. 2017-24642 Filed 11-14-17; 8:45 am]
 BILLING CODE 3510-22-P