Nominations to the Marine Mammal Scientific Review Groups, 32845-32846 [2018-15064]

Download as PDF Federal Register / Vol. 83, No. 136 / Monday, July 16, 2018 / Notices 622.435(a)(1)(i) & (ii) & (iii)). The applicant does not intend to retain any of these species caught during the respective seasonal closures. However, the EFP would allow the applicant to possess these species during those closure periods for sufficient time to collect and record length measurements, consistent with the goals of the EFP. If these species were caught outside of a closed season, the contracted commercial fishers would be able retain them, consistent with applicable law. These species also may be encountered in the Bajo de Sico closed area (50 CFR 622.435(a)(2)(iv)), and the EFP would allow the applicant to possess the species during the seasonal area closure for sufficient time to collect and record length measurements. No species caught as incidental catch during the seasonal or area closures would be retained during the EFP. NMFS finds this application warrants further consideration based on a preliminary review. Possible conditions the agency may impose on this permit, if it is granted, include but are not limited to, a prohibition on conducting sampling activities within marine protected areas, marine sanctuaries, or special management zones, without additional authorization, and requiring compliance with best practices in the event of interactions with any protected species. NMFS may also require annual reports summarizing the amount of reef fish species harvested during the seasonal and area closures, as well as during the period of effectiveness of any issued EFP. Additionally, NMFS would require any sea turtles taken incidentally during the course of the activities to be handled with due care to prevent injury to live specimens, observed for activity, and returned to the water. A final decision on issuance of the EFP will depend on NMFS’ review of public comments received on the application, consultations with the affected state(s), the Council, and the U.S. Coast Guard, and a determination that it is consistent with all applicable laws. sradovich on DSK3GMQ082PROD with NOTICES Authority: 16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq. Dated: July 10, 2018. Margo B. Schulze-Haugen, Acting Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine Fisheries Service. [FR Doc. 2018–15074 Filed 7–13–18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510–22–P VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:31 Jul 13, 2018 Jkt 244001 DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration RIN 0648–XG299 Nominations to the Marine Mammal Scientific Review Groups National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Commerce. ACTION: Notice; request for nominations. AGENCY: As required by of the Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA), the Secretary of Commerce established three independent regional scientific review groups (SRGs) to provide advice on a range of marine mammal science and management issues. NMFS conducted a membership review of the Alaska, Atlantic, and Pacific SRGs, and is soliciting nominations for new members to fill vacancies and gaps in expertise. DATES: Nominations must be received by August 15, 2018. ADDRESSES: Nominations can be emailed to Shannon.Bettridge@ noaa.gov, or mailed to: Marine Mammal and Sea Turtle Conservation Division, Office of Protected Resources, National Marine Fisheries Service, 1315 EastWest Highway, Silver Spring, MD 20910–3226, Attn: SRGs. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Shannon Bettridge, Office of Protected Resources, 301–427–8402, Shannon.Bettridge@noaa.gov. Information about the SRGs, including the SRG Terms of Reference, is available at https://www.fisheries.noaa.gov/ national/marine-mammal-protection/ scientific-review-groups. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Section 117(d) of the MMPA (16 U.S.C. 1386(d)) directs the Secretary of Commerce to establish three independent regional SRGs to advise the Secretary (authority delegated to NMFS). The Alaska SRG advises on marine mammals that occur in waters off Alaska that are under the jurisdiction of the United States. The Pacific SRG advises on marine mammals that occur in waters off the U.S. West Coast, Hawaiian Islands, and the U.S. Territories in the Central and Western Pacific that are under the jurisdiction of the United States. The Atlantic SRG advises on marine mammals that occur in waters off the Atlantic coast, Gulf of Mexico, and U.S. Territories in the Caribbean that are under the jurisdiction of the United States. SRGs members are highly qualified individuals with expertise in marine SUMMARY: PO 00000 Frm 00014 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 32845 mammal biology and ecology, population dynamics and modeling, commercial fishing technology and practices, and stocks taken under section 101(b) of the MMPA. The SRGs provide expert reviews of draft marine mammal stock assessment reports and other information related to the matters identified in section 117(d)(1) of the MMPA, including: A. Population estimates and the population status and trends of marine mammal stocks; B. Uncertainties and research needed regarding stock separation, abundance, or trends, and factors affecting the distribution, size, or productivity of the stock; C. Uncertainties and research needed regarding the species, number, ages, gender, and reproductive status of marine mammals; D. Research needed to identify modifications in fishing gear and practices likely to reduce the incidental mortality and serious injury of marine mammals in commercial fishing operations; E. The actual, expected, or potential impacts of habitat destruction, including marine pollution and natural environmental change, on specific marine mammal species or stocks, and for strategic stocks, appropriate conservation or management measures to alleviate any such impacts; and F. Any other issue which the Secretary or the groups consider appropriate. SRG members collectively serve as independent advisors to NMFS and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and provide their expert review and recommendations through participation in the SRG. Members attend annual meetings and undertake activities as independent persons providing expertise in their subject areas. Members are not appointed as representatives of professional organizations or particular stakeholder groups, including government entities, and are not permitted to represent or advocate for those organizations, groups, or entities during SRG meetings, discussions, and deliberations. SRG membership is voluntary; and, except for reimbursable travel and related expenses, service is without pay. The term of service for SRG members is three years, and members may serve up to three consecutive terms if reappointed. NMFS annually reviews the expertise available on the SRG and identifies gaps in the expertise that is needed to provide advice pursuant to section 117(d) of the MMPA. In conducting the reviews, NMFS attempts to achieve, to E:\FR\FM\16JYN1.SGM 16JYN1 32846 Federal Register / Vol. 83, No. 136 / Monday, July 16, 2018 / Notices sradovich on DSK3GMQ082PROD with NOTICES the maximum extent practicable, a balanced representation of viewpoints among the individuals on each SRG. design; and knowledge of the MMPA and processing of marine mammal stock assessments. Expertise Solicited For the Atlantic SRG (including waters off the Atlantic coast, Gulf of Mexico, and U.S. Territories in the Caribbean), NMFS seeks individuals with expertise in one or more of the following priority areas (not in order of priority): Acoustics methodology and anthropogenic effects of sound on cetaceans; line-transect methodology, mark-recapture methods and survey design, and quantitative ecology; Gulf of Mexico/southeast U.S. bottlenose dolphin population dynamics; and manatees. Additional areas of expertise areas include marine mammal bycatch reduction, Caribbean marine mammal species, and genetics. For the Pacific SRG (including waters off the Pacific coast, Hawaiian Islands and the U.S. Territories in the Central and Western Pacific), NMFS seeks individuals with expertise in one or more of the following areas (not in order of priority): Marine mammal stock definition and assessment under the MMPA and ESA; abundance estimation, especially distance sampling and markrecapture methods and survey design; West Coast and Alaska fishing gear/ techniques; West Coast pinnipeds, including assessment, life history, ecology, and human-pinniped interactions; large whales, particularly with regard to entanglement issues; ocean health and veterinary expertise, especially relative to disease and habitat change; fisheries oceanography and ecology, particularly decadal and longterm understanding; quantitative ecology, population dynamics, modeling, and statistics, especially as related to abundance and bycatch estimation, Bayesian methods, applications of new technologies, and methods for data-limited circumstances; State, Tribal, or regional/local fishery and/or marine mammal entanglement issues in the Pacific Islands and West Coast states; sea otters; sciencemanagement interface, such as management approaches with imperfect data; and interdisciplinary skills combining different fields of research. For the Alaska SRG, NMFS seeks individuals with expertise in one or more of the following areas, in order of priority: The Alaska commercial fishing industry and commercial fishery methods/gear, particularly fisheries with marine mammal bycatch interactions; population dynamics, modeling, and statistics; and abundance estimation, especially distance sampling and mark-recapture methods and survey Submitting a Nomination VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:31 Jul 13, 2018 Jkt 244001 Nominations for new members should be sent to Dr. Shannon Bettridge in the NMFS Office of Protected Resources (see ADDRESSES) and must be received by August 15, 2018. Nominations should be accompanied by the individual’s curriculum vitae and detailed information regarding how the recommended person meets the minimum selection criteria for SRG members (see below). Nominations should also include the nominee’s name, address, telephone number, and email address. Self-nominations are acceptable. Selection Criteria Although the MMPA does not explicitly prohibit Federal employees from serving as SRG members, NMFS interprets MMPA section 117(d)’s reference to the SRGs as ‘‘independent’’ bodies that are exempt from Federal Advisory Committee Act requirements to mean that SRGs are intended to augment existing Federal expertise and are not composed of Federal employees or contractors. Therefore, NMFS will not consider any nominee who is currently a Federal employee or a fulltime contractor supporting a Federal agency. When reviewing nominations, NMFS, in consultation with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, will consider the following six criteria: (1) Ability to make time available for the purposes of the SRG; (2) Knowledge of the species (or closely related species) of marine mammals in the SRG’s region; (3) Scientific or technical achievement in a relevant discipline, particularly the areas of expertise identified above, to be considered an expert peer reviewer for the topic; (4) Demonstrated experience working effectively on teams; (5) Expertise relevant to current and expected needs of the SRG, in particular, expertise required to provide adequate review and knowledgeable feedback on current or developing stock assessment issues, techniques, etc. In practice, this means that each member should have expertise in more than one topic as the species and scientific issues discussed in SRG meetings are diverse; and (6) No conflict of interest with respect to their duties as a member of the SRG. PO 00000 Frm 00015 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 Next Steps Following review, nominees who are identified by NMFS as potential new members must be vetted and cleared in accordance with Department of Commerce policy. NMFS will contact these individuals and ask them to provide written confirmation that they are not registered Federal lobbyists or registered foreign agents, and to complete a confidential financial disclosure form, which will be reviewed by the Ethics Law and Programs Division within the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Office of General Counsel. All nominees will be notified of a selection decision in advance of the 2019 SRG meetings. Dated: July 10, 2018. Donna S. Wieting, Director, Office of Protected Resources, National Marine Fisheries Service. [FR Doc. 2018–15064 Filed 7–13–18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510–22–P DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE Office of the Secretary [Docket ID: DOD–2018–OS–0023] Submission for OMB Review; Comment Request Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition and Sustainment, DoD. ACTION: 30-Day information collection notice. AGENCY: The Department of Defense has submitted to OMB for clearance the following proposal for collection of information under the provisions of the Paperwork Reduction Act. DATES: Consideration will be given to all comments received by August 15, 2018. ADDRESSES: Comments and recommendations on the proposed information collection should be emailed to Ms. Jasmeet Seehra, DoD Desk Officer, at oira_submission@ omb.eop.gov. Please identify the proposed information collection by DoD Desk Officer, Docket ID number, and title of the information collection. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Fred Licari, 571–372–0493, or whs.mcalex.esd.mbx.dd-dod-informationcollections@mail.mil. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Title; Associated Form; and OMB Number: Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) Military Base Reuse Status; DD Form 2740; OMB Control Number 0790– 0003. Type of Request: Reinstatement. SUMMARY: E:\FR\FM\16JYN1.SGM 16JYN1

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[Federal Register Volume 83, Number 136 (Monday, July 16, 2018)]
[Notices]
[Pages 32845-32846]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2018-15064]


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DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

RIN 0648-XG299


Nominations to the Marine Mammal Scientific Review Groups

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

ACTION: Notice; request for nominations.

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

SUMMARY: As required by of the Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA), the 
Secretary of Commerce established three independent regional scientific 
review groups (SRGs) to provide advice on a range of marine mammal 
science and management issues. NMFS conducted a membership review of 
the Alaska, Atlantic, and Pacific SRGs, and is soliciting nominations 
for new members to fill vacancies and gaps in expertise.

DATES: Nominations must be received by August 15, 2018.

ADDRESSES: Nominations can be emailed to [email protected], or 
mailed to: 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: SRGs.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Shannon Bettridge, Office of Protected 
Resources, 301-427-8402, [email protected]. Information about 
the SRGs, including the SRG Terms of Reference, is available at https://www.fisheries.noaa.gov/national/marine-mammal-protection/scientific-review-groups.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Section 117(d) of the MMPA (16 U.S.C. 
1386(d)) directs the Secretary of Commerce to establish three 
independent regional SRGs to advise the Secretary (authority delegated 
to NMFS). The Alaska SRG advises on marine mammals that occur in waters 
off Alaska that are under the jurisdiction of the United States. The 
Pacific SRG advises on marine mammals that occur in waters off the U.S. 
West Coast, Hawaiian Islands, and the U.S. Territories in the Central 
and Western Pacific that are under the jurisdiction of the United 
States. The Atlantic SRG advises on marine mammals that occur in waters 
off the Atlantic coast, Gulf of Mexico, and U.S. Territories in the 
Caribbean that are under the jurisdiction of the United States.
    SRGs members are highly qualified individuals with expertise in 
marine mammal biology and ecology, population dynamics and modeling, 
commercial fishing technology and practices, and stocks taken under 
section 101(b) of the MMPA. The SRGs provide expert reviews of draft 
marine mammal stock assessment reports and other information related to 
the matters identified in section 117(d)(1) of the MMPA, including:
    A. Population estimates and the population status and trends of 
marine mammal stocks;
    B. Uncertainties and research needed regarding stock separation, 
abundance, or trends, and factors affecting the distribution, size, or 
productivity of the stock;
    C. Uncertainties and research needed regarding the species, number, 
ages, gender, and reproductive status of marine mammals;
    D. Research needed to identify modifications in fishing gear and 
practices likely to reduce the incidental mortality and serious injury 
of marine mammals in commercial fishing operations;
    E. The actual, expected, or potential impacts of habitat 
destruction, including marine pollution and natural environmental 
change, on specific marine mammal species or stocks, and for strategic 
stocks, appropriate conservation or management measures to alleviate 
any such impacts; and
    F. Any other issue which the Secretary or the groups consider 
appropriate.
    SRG members collectively serve as independent advisors to NMFS and 
the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and provide their expert review and 
recommendations through participation in the SRG. Members attend annual 
meetings and undertake activities as independent persons providing 
expertise in their subject areas. Members are not appointed as 
representatives of professional organizations or particular stakeholder 
groups, including government entities, and are not permitted to 
represent or advocate for those organizations, groups, or entities 
during SRG meetings, discussions, and deliberations.
    SRG membership is voluntary; and, except for reimbursable travel 
and related expenses, service is without pay. The term of service for 
SRG members is three years, and members may serve up to three 
consecutive terms if reappointed.
    NMFS annually reviews the expertise available on the SRG and 
identifies gaps in the expertise that is needed to provide advice 
pursuant to section 117(d) of the MMPA. In conducting the reviews, NMFS 
attempts to achieve, to

[[Page 32846]]

the maximum extent practicable, a balanced representation of viewpoints 
among the individuals on each SRG.

Expertise Solicited

    For the Atlantic SRG (including waters off the Atlantic coast, Gulf 
of Mexico, and U.S. Territories in the Caribbean), NMFS seeks 
individuals with expertise in one or more of the following priority 
areas (not in order of priority): Acoustics methodology and 
anthropogenic effects of sound on cetaceans; line-transect methodology, 
mark-recapture methods and survey design, and quantitative ecology; 
Gulf of Mexico/southeast U.S. bottlenose dolphin population dynamics; 
and manatees. Additional areas of expertise areas include marine mammal 
bycatch reduction, Caribbean marine mammal species, and genetics.
    For the Pacific SRG (including waters off the Pacific coast, 
Hawaiian Islands and the U.S. Territories in the Central and Western 
Pacific), NMFS seeks individuals with expertise in one or more of the 
following areas (not in order of priority): Marine mammal stock 
definition and assessment under the MMPA and ESA; abundance estimation, 
especially distance sampling and mark-recapture methods and survey 
design; West Coast and Alaska fishing gear/techniques; West Coast 
pinnipeds, including assessment, life history, ecology, and human-
pinniped interactions; large whales, particularly with regard to 
entanglement issues; ocean health and veterinary expertise, especially 
relative to disease and habitat change; fisheries oceanography and 
ecology, particularly decadal and long-term understanding; quantitative 
ecology, population dynamics, modeling, and statistics, especially as 
related to abundance and bycatch estimation, Bayesian methods, 
applications of new technologies, and methods for data-limited 
circumstances; State, Tribal, or regional/local fishery and/or marine 
mammal entanglement issues in the Pacific Islands and West Coast 
states; sea otters; science-management interface, such as management 
approaches with imperfect data; and interdisciplinary skills combining 
different fields of research.
    For the Alaska SRG, NMFS seeks individuals with expertise in one or 
more of the following areas, in order of priority: The Alaska 
commercial fishing industry and commercial fishery methods/gear, 
particularly fisheries with marine mammal bycatch interactions; 
population dynamics, modeling, and statistics; and abundance 
estimation, especially distance sampling and mark-recapture methods and 
survey design; and knowledge of the MMPA and processing of marine 
mammal stock assessments.

Submitting a Nomination

    Nominations for new members should be sent to Dr. Shannon Bettridge 
in the NMFS Office of Protected Resources (see ADDRESSES) and must be 
received by August 15, 2018. Nominations should be accompanied by the 
individual's curriculum vitae and detailed information regarding how 
the recommended person meets the minimum selection criteria for SRG 
members (see below). Nominations should also include the nominee's 
name, address, telephone number, and email address. Self-nominations 
are acceptable.

Selection Criteria

    Although the MMPA does not explicitly prohibit Federal employees 
from serving as SRG members, NMFS interprets MMPA section 117(d)'s 
reference to the SRGs as ``independent'' bodies that are exempt from 
Federal Advisory Committee Act requirements to mean that SRGs are 
intended to augment existing Federal expertise and are not composed of 
Federal employees or contractors. Therefore, NMFS will not consider any 
nominee who is currently a Federal employee or a full-time contractor 
supporting a Federal agency.
    When reviewing nominations, NMFS, in consultation with the U.S. 
Fish and Wildlife Service, will consider the following six criteria:
    (1) Ability to make time available for the purposes of the SRG;
    (2) Knowledge of the species (or closely related species) of marine 
mammals in the SRG's region;
    (3) Scientific or technical achievement in a relevant discipline, 
particularly the areas of expertise identified above, to be considered 
an expert peer reviewer for the topic;
    (4) Demonstrated experience working effectively on teams;
    (5) Expertise relevant to current and expected needs of the SRG, in 
particular, expertise required to provide adequate review and 
knowledgeable feedback on current or developing stock assessment 
issues, techniques, etc. In practice, this means that each member 
should have expertise in more than one topic as the species and 
scientific issues discussed in SRG meetings are diverse; and
    (6) No conflict of interest with respect to their duties as a 
member of the SRG.

Next Steps

    Following review, nominees who are identified by NMFS as potential 
new members must be vetted and cleared in accordance with Department of 
Commerce policy. NMFS will contact these individuals and ask them to 
provide written confirmation that they are not registered Federal 
lobbyists or registered foreign agents, and to complete a confidential 
financial disclosure form, which will be reviewed by the Ethics Law and 
Programs Division within the U.S. Department of Commerce's Office of 
General Counsel. All nominees will be notified of a selection decision 
in advance of the 2019 SRG meetings.

    Dated: July 10, 2018.
Donna S. Wieting,
Director, Office of Protected Resources, National Marine Fisheries 
Service.
[FR Doc. 2018-15064 Filed 7-13-18; 8:45 am]
 BILLING CODE 3510-22-P