Nominations to the Marine Mammal Scientific Review Groups, 42902-42904 [2019-17756]

Download as PDF jspears on DSK3GMQ082PROD with NOTICES 42902 Federal Register / Vol. 84, No. 160 / Monday, August 19, 2019 / Notices monitoring device (VMS); 2 hours for annual VMS maintenance; 45 minutes to mark a vessel; 40 minutes to mark buoys; 10 hours to mark pot gear; 6 minutes to mark trawl nets; 15 minutes to apply for a first receiver permit; 15 minutes to complete and submit a toothfish catch document; 15 minutes to apply for pre-approval of toothfish imports; 15 minutes to complete and submit re-export catch documents; 15 minutes to submit import tickets. Burden Hours: 364. Needs and Uses: This request is for extension of a currently approved information collection. The 1982 Convention on the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (Convention) established the Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR). The United States is a Contracting Party to the Convention. The Antarctic Marine Living Resources Convention Act (AMLRCA) directs and authorizes the United States to take actions necessary to meet its treaty obligations as a Contracting Party to the Convention. The regulations implementing AMLRCA are at 50 CFR part 300, subpart G. The record keeping and reporting requirements at 50 CFR part 300 form the basis for this collection of information. This collection of information concerns research in, and the harvesting and importation of, marine living resources from waters regulated by CCAMLR related to ecosystem research, U.S. harvesting permit application and/or harvesting vessel operators and to importers and re-exporters of Antarctic marine living resources. The collection is necessary in order for the United States to meet its treaty obligations as a contracting party to the Convention. Affected Public: Business or other for profit organizations; not-for-profit institutions; individuals or households. Frequency: Annually and on occasion. Respondent’s Obligation: Mandatory. This information collection request may be viewed at reginfo.gov. Follow the instructions to view Department of Commerce collections currently under review by OMB. Written comments and recommendations for the proposed information collection should be sent within 30 days of publication of this notice to OIRA_Submission@ omb.eop.gov or fax to (202) 395–5806. Sheleen Dumas, Departmental Lead PRA Officer, Office of the Chief Information Officer, Commerce Department. [FR Doc. 2019–17726 Filed 8–16–19; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510–22–P VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:29 Aug 16, 2019 Jkt 247001 DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration RIN 0648–XV029 New England Fishery Management Council; Public Meeting National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Commerce. ACTION: Notice; public meeting. AGENCY: The New England Fishery Management Council (Council) is scheduling a joint public meeting of its Skate Committee and Advisory Panel to consider actions affecting New England fisheries in the exclusive economic zone (EEZ). Recommendations from this group will be brought to the full Council for formal consideration and action, if appropriate. DATES: This meeting will be held on Thursday, September 5, 2019 at 8:30 a.m. ADDRESSES: The meeting will be held at the Hilton Providence, 21 Atwells Ave., Providence, RI 02903; telephone: (401) 831–3900. Council address: New England Fishery Management Council, 50 Water Street, Mill 2, Newburyport, MA 01950. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Thomas A. Nies, Executive Director, New England Fishery Management Council; telephone: (978) 465–0492. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The Joint Committee and Advisory Panel will discuss the Plan Development Team analysis and draft Framework Adjustment 8 (FW 8) alternatives including updated status determinations for the Northeast Skate Complex, recommendations for the Skate Allowable Biological Catch (ABC), and associated possession limits. They will also select preferred alternatives for FW 8. The group plans to continue discussion of objectives for a limited access program in the skate bait and wing fisheries (Amendment 5). Update on ongoing limited access (Amendment 5) analyses. They will also discuss recommendations for the Council to consider for 2020 priorities for the Northeast Skate Complex FMP. The Council is scheduled to have an initial discussion of potential 2020 priorities at the September Council meeting. Additionally, the plan to receive an update on the Commercial Electronic Vessel Trip Reporting (eVTR) Omnibus Framework, which proposes to implement electronic VTRs for all vessels with commercial permits for SUMMARY: PO 00000 Frm 00015 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 species managed by the Mid-Atlantic and New England Fishery Management Councils. Other business will be discussed as necessary. Although non-emergency issues not contained on this agenda may come before this Council for discussion, those issues may not be the subject of formal action during this meeting. Council action will be restricted to those issues specifically listed in this notice and any issues arising after publication of this notice that require emergency action under section 305(c) of the MagnusonStevens Act, provided the public has been notified of the Council’s intent to take final action to address the emergency. Special Accommodations This meeting is physically accessible to people with disabilities. This meeting will be recorded. Consistent with 16 U.S.C. 1852, a copy of the recording is available upon request. Requests for sign language interpretation or other auxiliary aids should be directed to Thomas A. Nies, Executive Director, at (978) 465–0492, at least 5 days prior to the meeting date. Authority: 16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq. Dated: August 14, 2019. Tracey L. Thompson, Acting Deputy Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine Fisheries Service. [FR Doc. 2019–17750 Filed 8–16–19; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510–22–P DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration RIN 0648–XR018 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 September 18, 2019. SUMMARY: E:\FR\FM\19AUN1.SGM 19AUN1 Federal Register / Vol. 84, No. 160 / Monday, August 19, 2019 / Notices Nominations can be emailed to Zachary.Schakner@noaa.gov, or mailed to: Protected Species Science Branch, Office of Science and Technology, National Marine Fisheries Service, 1315 East-West Highway, Silver Spring, MD 20910–6233, Attn: SRGs. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Dr. Zachary Schakner, Office of Science and Technology, 301–427–8106, Zachary.Schakner@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 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, jspears on DSK3GMQ082PROD with NOTICES ADDRESSES: VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:29 Aug 16, 2019 Jkt 247001 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 the maximum extent practicable, a balanced representation of viewpoints among the individuals on each SRG. Expertise Solicited For the Alaska SRG, NMFS seeks individuals with expertise in one or more of the following areas (not in order of priority): Abundance estimation, especially distance sampling and markrecapture methods and survey design; anthropogenic impacts, particularly marine mammal bycatch estimation and the effects of anthropogenic sound; Alaska Native harvest and use of marine mammals for subsistence and handicraft purposes; oceanographic changes impacting marine mammals; and genetics as a method of identifying population structure. 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): Sea otters; genetics; marine mammal stock definition and assessment under the MMPA and ESA, and science-management interface; West PO 00000 Frm 00016 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 42903 Coast, Pacific Islands, and Alaska fishing gear/techniques; West Coast pinnipeds, including assessment, life history, ecology, and human-pinniped interactions; large whales, particularly with regard to assessment, life history, ecology, and anthropogenic threats; oceanography and marine ecology, particularly decadal and long-term understanding; quantitative ecology, population dynamics, modeling, and statistics, especially as related to abundance and bycatch estimation, survey design, Bayesian methods, applications of new technologies, and methods for data-limited circumstances; and fishery/marine mammal interaction issues in the Pacific Islands and West Coast states, including for State, Tribal, or regional/local fisheries. 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): Line-transect methodology, mark-recapture methods and survey design, and quantitative ecology; Gulf of Mexico cetacean population dynamics; phocids; Northeast U.S. Large Marine Ecosystem (LME); transboundary science; marine mammal health, physiology, and toxicology; genetics; fishing practices and fishery interactions, and marine mammal bycatch reduction; ecosystem climate impacts; and manatees. Submitting a Nomination Nominations for new members should be sent to Dr. Zachary Schakner in the NMFS Office of Science & Technology (see ADDRESSES) and must be received by September 18, 2019. 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. NMFS will not consider any nominee who is currently a Federal E:\FR\FM\19AUN1.SGM 19AUN1 42904 Federal Register / Vol. 84, No. 160 / Monday, August 19, 2019 / Notices employee or a full-time contractor supporting the Departments of Commerce or Interior. 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 2020 SRG meetings. Dated: August 14, 2019. Cathryn E. Tortorici, Acting Director, Office of Protected Resources, National Marine Fisheries Service. [FR Doc. 2019–17756 Filed 8–16–19; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510–22–P jspears on DSK3GMQ082PROD with NOTICES DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Submission for OMB Review; Comment Request The Department of Commerce will submit to the Office of Management and VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:29 Aug 16, 2019 Jkt 247001 Budget (OMB) for clearance the following proposal for collection of information under the provisions of the Paperwork Reduction Act (44 U.S.C. Chapter 35). Agency: National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). Title: NMFS Implementation of International Trade Data System. OMB Control Numbers: 0648–0732; 0648–0739; 0648–0776. Form Number(s): None. Type of Request: Regular; This is a revision of a currently approved collection. Number of Respondents: 1800. Average Hours per Response: 20 minutes. Burden Hours: 103,717. Needs and Uses: Pursuant to domestic statutory authorities and/or multilateral agreements, NMFS has implemented a number of trade monitoring programs to collect information from the seafood industry regarding the origin of certain fishery products. The purpose of these programs is to determine the admissibility of the products in accordance with the specific criteria of the trade measure or documentation requirements in effect for the species of fish that are being imported or exported. The Security and Accountability for Every Port Act of 2006 (SAFE Port Act, Pub. L. 109–347) requires all Federal agencies with a role in import admissibility decisions to collect information electronically through the International Trade Data System (ITDS). U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) developed the Automated Commercial Environment (ACE) as an internet-based system for the collection and dissemination of information for ITDS. NMFS works with CBP to designate certain codes from the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States as requiring additional information when an entry is electronically filed in ACE. That information (harvesting vessel, ocean area of catch, fishing gear, date and port of landing, etc.) is used by NMFS to determine that the fish products in the shipment were lawfully acquired, properly labeled and are admissible into U.S. commerce. Trade permits are issued by NMFS to importers and exporters of the designated fish species so that the import/export documentation requirements can be communicated to the trade community and to provide a point of contact when shipment documentation problems are encountered at the border. Electronic reporting of trade data has been approved by OMB under three separate information collections: 0648– PO 00000 Frm 00017 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 0732, 0648–0739 and 0648–0776. This information collection request proposes to merge the three collections under 0648–0732 and extend the approval for an additional three years. Affected Public: Importers and exporters of seafood subject to catch documentation requirements. Frequency: Annual trade permits; electronic reports upon import/export; provision of supply chain documents when selected for audit. Respondent’s Obligation: Affected importers and exporters must obtain an annual trade permit from NMFS. An electronic message set specific to NMFS must be filed electronically in ACE upon import/export of fish species subject to documentation requirements. When imports are selected for audit, the importer must furnish supply-chain records to NMFS for examination. This information collection request may be viewed at reginfo.gov. Follow the instructions to view Department of Commerce collections currently under review by OMB. Written comments and recommendations for the proposed information collection should be sent within 30 days of publication of this notice to OIRA_Submission@ omb.eop.gov or fax to (202) 395–5806. Sheleen Dumas, Departmental Lead PRA Officer, Office of the Chief Information Officer, Commerce Department. [FR Doc. 2019–17727 Filed 8–16–19; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510–22–P DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Submission for OMB Review; Comment Request The Department of Commerce will submit to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for clearance the following proposal for collection of information under the provisions of the Paperwork Reduction Act (44 U.S.C. Chapter 35). Agency: National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). Title: West Coast Region Seattle Federal Fisheries Permits. OMB Control Number: 0648–0203. Form Number(s): None. Type of Request: Regular submission (extension of a currently approved collection). Number of Respondents: 552. Average Hours per Response: Permit renewals: 20 minutes; Permit transfers: 30 minutes; Sablefish Ownership E:\FR\FM\19AUN1.SGM 19AUN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 84, Number 160 (Monday, August 19, 2019)]
[Notices]
[Pages 42902-42904]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2019-17756]


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DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

RIN 0648-XR018


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 September 18, 2019.

[[Page 42903]]


ADDRESSES: Nominations can be emailed to [email protected], or 
mailed to: Protected Species Science Branch, Office of Science and 
Technology, National Marine Fisheries Service, 1315 East-West Highway, 
Silver Spring, MD 20910-6233, Attn: SRGs.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Dr. Zachary Schakner, Office of 
Science and Technology, 301-427-8106, [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 the maximum extent practicable, a balanced 
representation of viewpoints among the individuals on each SRG.

Expertise Solicited

    For the Alaska SRG, NMFS seeks individuals with expertise in one or 
more of the following areas (not in order of priority): Abundance 
estimation, especially distance sampling and mark-recapture methods and 
survey design; anthropogenic impacts, particularly marine mammal 
bycatch estimation and the effects of anthropogenic sound; Alaska 
Native harvest and use of marine mammals for subsistence and handicraft 
purposes; oceanographic changes impacting marine mammals; and genetics 
as a method of identifying population structure.
    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): Sea otters; genetics; 
marine mammal stock definition and assessment under the MMPA and ESA, 
and science-management interface; West Coast, Pacific Islands, and 
Alaska fishing gear/techniques; West Coast pinnipeds, including 
assessment, life history, ecology, and human-pinniped interactions; 
large whales, particularly with regard to assessment, life history, 
ecology, and anthropogenic threats; oceanography and marine ecology, 
particularly decadal and long-term understanding; quantitative ecology, 
population dynamics, modeling, and statistics, especially as related to 
abundance and bycatch estimation, survey design, Bayesian methods, 
applications of new technologies, and methods for data-limited 
circumstances; and fishery/marine mammal interaction issues in the 
Pacific Islands and West Coast states, including for State, Tribal, or 
regional/local fisheries.
    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): Line-transect methodology, mark-
recapture methods and survey design, and quantitative ecology; Gulf of 
Mexico cetacean population dynamics; phocids; Northeast U.S. Large 
Marine Ecosystem (LME); transboundary science; marine mammal health, 
physiology, and toxicology; genetics; fishing practices and fishery 
interactions, and marine mammal bycatch reduction; ecosystem climate 
impacts; and manatees.

Submitting a Nomination

    Nominations for new members should be sent to Dr. Zachary Schakner 
in the NMFS Office of Science & Technology (see ADDRESSES) and must be 
received by September 18, 2019. 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. NMFS will not consider any nominee 
who is currently a Federal

[[Page 42904]]

employee or a full-time contractor supporting the Departments of 
Commerce or Interior.
    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 2020 SRG meetings.

    Dated: August 14, 2019.
Cathryn E. Tortorici,
Acting Director, Office of Protected Resources, National Marine 
Fisheries Service.
[FR Doc. 2019-17756 Filed 8-16-19; 8:45 am]
 BILLING CODE 3510-22-P