Draft 2020 Marine Mammal Stock Assessment Reports, 78307-78311 [2020-26681]

Download as PDF Federal Register / Vol. 85, No. 234 / Friday, December 4, 2020 / Notices interested parties claimed interested party status within the meaning of section 771(9)(C) of the Act as U.S. producers in the United States of the domestic like product.4 On September 2, 2020, the domestic interested parties filed timely and adequate substantive responses, within the deadline specified in 19 CFR 351.218(d)(3)(i).5 Commerce did not receive substantive responses from any respondent interested party with respect to any of the AD Orders covered by these sunset reviews. As a result, pursuant to section 751(c)(3)(B) of the Act and 19 CFR 351.218(e)(1)(ii)(C)(2), Commerce conducted expedited (120day) sunset reviews of the AD Orders. Scope of the Orders The merchandise covered by the AD Orders is certain preserved mushrooms from Chile, India, Indonesia, and China. The subject merchandise is provided for in subheadings 2003.10.0127, 2003.10.0131, 2003.10.0137, 2003.10.0143, 2003.10.0147, 2003.10.0153, and 0711.51.0000 of the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS). Although HTSUS subheadings are provided for convenience and customs purposes, the written description of the scope is dispositive. A full description of the scope of the AD Orders is contained in the accompanying Issues and Decision Memorandum.6 Analysis of Comments Received A complete discussion of all issues raised in these sunset reviews, including the likelihood of continuation Orders on Certain Preserved Mushrooms from Chile, India, Indonesia, and the People’s Republic of China—Domestic Interested Parties’ Notice of Intent to Participate,’’ dated August 18, 2020 (Intent to Participate). 4 See Intent to Participate at 3. 5 See Domestic Interested Party’s Letters, ‘‘FiveYear (Fourth Sunset) Review of Antidumping Duty Order on Certain Preserved Mushrooms from Chile—Domestic Interested Parties’ Substantive Response to Notice of Initiation,’’ dated September 2, 2020; ‘‘Five-Year (Fourth Sunset) Review of the Antidumping Duty Order on Certain Preserved Mushrooms from India—Domestic Interested Parties’ Substantive Response to Notice of Initiation,’’ dated September 2, 2020; ‘‘Five-Year (Fourth Sunset) Review of the Antidumping Duty Order on Certain Preserved Mushrooms from Indonesia—Domestic Interested Parties’ Substantive Response to Notice of Initiation,’’ dated September 2, 2020; and ‘‘Five-Year (Sunset) Review of the Antidumping Duty Order on Certain Preserved Mushrooms from the People’s Republic of China— Domestic Interested Parties’ Substantive Response to Notice of Initiation,’’ dated September 2, 2020. 6 See Memorandum, ‘‘Issues and Decision Memorandum for the Expedited Sunset Reviews of the Antidumping Duty Orders on Certain Preserved Mushrooms from Chile, India, Indonesia, and the People’s Republic of China, ’’ dated concurrently with, and hereby adopted by, this notice (Issues and Decision Memorandum). VerDate Sep<11>2014 18:18 Dec 03, 2020 Jkt 253001 78307 or recurrence of dumping in the event of revocation of the AD Orders and the magnitude of the margins likely to prevail if the AD Orders were to be revoked, is provided in the Issues and Decision Memorandum. A list of the topics discussed in the Issues and Decision Memorandum is attached as an appendix to this notice. The Issues and Decision Memorandum is a public document and is on file electronically via Enforcement and Compliance’s Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Centralized Electronic Service System (ACCESS). ACCESS is available to registered users at https:// access.trade.gov. In addition, a complete version of the Issues and Decision Memorandum can be accessed directly at https://enforcement.trade.gov/frn/. The signed and electronic versions of the Issues and Decision Memorandum are identical in content. Dated: November 30, 2020. Jeffrey I. Kessler, Assistant Secretary for Enforcement and Compliance. Final Results of Sunset Reviews National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Pursuant to sections 751(c)(1) and 752(c)(1) and (3) of the Act, Commerce determines that revocation of the AD Orders on mushrooms from Chile, India, Indonesia, and China would be likely to lead to continuation or recurrence of dumping, and that the magnitude of the dumping margins likely to prevail would be weighted-average margins of up to 148.51 percent for Chile, 243.87 percent for India, 16.24 percent for Indonesia, and 198.63 percent for China. Notification Regarding Administrative Protective Orders This notice also serves as the only reminder to parties subject to administrative protective order (APO) of their responsibility concerning the return or destruction of proprietary information disclosed under APO in accordance with 19 CFR 351.305. Timely notification of the return or destruction of APO materials, or conversion to judicial protective orders, is hereby requested. Failure to comply with the regulations and terms of an APO is a violation which is subject to sanction. Notification to Interested Parties We are issuing and publishing these final results and notice in accordance with sections 751(c), 752(c), and 777(i)(1) of the Act, and 19 CFR 351.218 and 19 CFR 351.221(c)(5)(ii). PO 00000 Frm 00006 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 Appendix List of Topics Discussed in the Issues and Decision Memorandum I. Summary II. Background III. Scope of the AD Orders IV. History of the AD Orders V. Legal Framework VI. Discussion of the Issues 1. Likelihood of Continuation or Recurrence of Dumping 2. Magnitude of the Dumping Margins Likely to Prevail VII. Final Results of Sunset Reviews VIII. Recommendation [FR Doc. 2020–26728 Filed 12–3–20; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510–DS–P DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE [RTID 0648–XA349] Draft 2020 Marine Mammal Stock Assessment Reports National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Commerce. ACTION: Notice; request for comments and new information. AGENCY: NMFS reviewed the Alaska, Atlantic, and Pacific regional marine mammal stock assessment reports (SARs) in accordance with the Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA). SARs for marine mammals in the Alaska, Atlantic, and Pacific regions were revised according to new information. NMFS solicits public comments on the draft 2020 SARs. NMFS is also requesting new information for strategic stocks that were not updated in 2020. DATES: Comments must be received by March 4, 2021. ADDRESSES: The 2020 draft SARs are available in electronic form via the internet at https://www.fisheries .noaa.gov/national/marine-mammalprotection/draft-marine-mammal-stockassessment-reports. Copies of the Alaska Regional SARs may be requested from Marcia Muto, Alaska Fisheries Science Center; copies of the Atlantic, Gulf of Mexico, and Caribbean Regional SARs may be requested from Elizabeth Josephson, Northeast Fisheries Science Center; and copies of the Pacific Regional SARs may be requested from Jim Carretta, Southwest Fisheries Science Center (see SUMMARY: E:\FR\FM\04DEN1.SGM 04DEN1 78308 Federal Register / Vol. 85, No. 234 / Friday, December 4, 2020 / Notices FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT below). You may submit comments or new information, identified by NOAA– NMFS–2020–0130, through the Federal e-Rulemaking Portal: 1. Go to www.regulations.gov/ #!docketDetail;D=NOAA-NMFS-20200130. 2. Click the ‘‘Comment Now!’’ icon, and complete the required fields. 3. Enter or attach your comments. Instructions: NMFS may not consider comments if they are sent by any other method, to any other address or individual, or received after the end of the comment period. Due to delays in processing mail related to COVID–19 and health and safety concerns, no mail, courier, or hand deliveries will be accepted. All comments received are a part of the public record and will generally be posted for public viewing on 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 will be publicly accessible. NMFS will accept anonymous comments (enter ‘‘N/A’’ in the required fields if you wish to remain anonymous). FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Dr. Zachary Schakner, Office of Science and Technology, 301–427–8106, Zachary.Schakner@noaa.gov; Marcia Muto, 206–526–4026, Marcia.Muto@ noaa.gov, regarding Alaska regional stock assessments; Elizabeth Josephson, 508–495–2362, Elizabeth.Josephson@ noaa.gov, regarding Atlantic, Gulf of Mexico, and Caribbean regional stock assessments; or Jim Carretta, 858–546– 7171, Jim.Carretta@noaa.gov, regarding Pacific regional stock assessments. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Background Section 117 of the MMPA (16 U.S.C. 1361 et seq.) requires NMFS and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) to prepare stock assessments for each stock of marine mammals occurring in waters under the jurisdiction of the United States, including the U.S. Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ). These reports must contain information regarding the distribution and abundance of the stock, population growth rates and trends, estimates of annual human-caused mortality and serious injury (M/SI) from all sources, descriptions of the fisheries with which the stock interacts, and the status of the stock. Initial reports were completed in 1995. The MMPA requires NMFS and FWS to review the SARs at least annually for strategic stocks and stocks for which significant new information is available, and at least once every three years for non-strategic stocks. The term ‘‘strategic stock’’ means a marine mammal stock: (A) For which the level of direct humancaused mortality exceeds the potential biological removal level or PBR (defined by the MMPA as the maximum number of animals, not including natural mortalities, that may be removed from a marine mammal stock while allowing that stock to reach or maintain its optimum sustainable population); (B) which, based on the best available scientific information, is declining and is likely to be listed as a threatened species under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) within the foreseeable future; or (C) which is listed as a threatened species or endangered species under the ESA. NMFS and FWS are required to revise a SAR if the status of the stock has changed or can be more accurately determined. Prior to public review, the updated SARs under NMFS’ jurisdiction are peer-reviewed within NMFS Fisheries Science Centers and by members of three regional independent Scientific Review Groups, established under the MMPA to independently advise NMFS on information and uncertainties related to the status of marine mammals. The period covered by the 2020 draft SARs is 2014 through 2018. NMFS reviewed the status of all marine mammal strategic stocks as required and considered whether significant new information was available for all other stocks under NMFS’ jurisdiction. As a result of this review, NMFS revised a total of 81 reports representing 84 stocks in the Alaska, Atlantic, and Pacific regions to incorporate new information. The 2020 revisions to the SARs consist primarily of updated or revised humancaused mortality and serious injury (M/ SI) estimates and updated abundance estimates. For the Gulf of Maine humpback whale stock, the revisions include the application of an established capture-mark-recapture method to estimate the abundance and unobserved or cryptic mortality. Five stocks changed in status from ‘‘nonstrategic’’ to ‘‘strategic’’ (Eastern Bering Sea beluga whale, Gulf of Maine humpback whale, Gulf of Mexico spinner dolphin, Gulf of Mexico striped dolphin, and Gulf of Mexico Clymene dolphin stocks). The stock summary tables have been reformatted for consistency across each region. Highlights of the draft 2020 SAR revisions are discussed below. NMFS solicits public comments on the draft 2020 SARs. To ensure NMFS is aware of new information relevant to all strategic stocks, NMFS also requests new information for strategic stocks that were not updated in 2020. Specifically, new relevant information could include peer-reviewed information on humancaused M/SI, fishery interactions, abundance, distribution, stock structure, and habitat concerns, which could be incorporated into the SARs, and other information on emerging concerns for strategic stocks. Alaska Reports In 2020, NMFS reviewed new information for 28 stocks in the Alaska Region and revised 23 Stock Assessment Reports under NMFS’ jurisdiction: 16 strategic stocks and 7 non-strategic stocks. The Eastern Bering Sea beluga whale stock changed from ‘‘nonstrategic’’ to ‘‘strategic’’ (see below). A list of the revised stocks in 2020 for the Alaska region is presented in Table 1. Information on the remaining Alaska region stocks can be found in the final 2019 reports (Muto et al. 2020). TABLE 1—LIST OF MARINE MAMMAL STOCKS IN THE ALASKA REGION REVISED IN 2020 Strategic stocks • • • • • • • • • • Non-strategic stocks Steller sea lion, Western U.S.* ............................................................. Northern fur seal, Eastern Pacific * ....................................................... Bearded seal, Beringia ......................................................................... Ringed seal, Arctic ................................................................................ Beluga whale, Eastern Bering Sea * ..................................................... Beluga whale, Cook Inlet * .................................................................... Killer whale, AT1 Transient ................................................................... Harbor porpoise, Southeast Alaska. Harbor porpoise, Gulf of Alaska. Harbor porpoise, Bering Sea *. VerDate Sep<11>2014 18:18 Dec 03, 2020 Jkt 253001 PO 00000 Frm 00007 Fmt 4703 • • • • • • • Spotted seal, Bering. Ribbon seal. Beluga whale, Beaufort Sea. Beluga whale, Eastern Chukchi Sea.* Beluga whale, Bristol Bay.* Killer whale, Gulf of Alaska, Aleutian Islands. Killer whale, West Coast Transient.* Sfmt 4703 E:\FR\FM\04DEN1.SGM 04DEN1 Federal Register / Vol. 85, No. 234 / Friday, December 4, 2020 / Notices 78309 TABLE 1—LIST OF MARINE MAMMAL STOCKS IN THE ALASKA REGION REVISED IN 2020—Continued Strategic stocks • • • • • • Non-strategic stocks Sperm whale, North Pacific. Humpback whale, Western North Pacific. Humpback whale, Central North Pacific. Fin whale, Northeast Pacific. North Pacific right whale, Eastern North Pacific. Bowhead whale, Western Arctic. * Includes updated abundance estimates. Stock Name Changes NMFS changed the stock names for the four ice seal stocks (bearded seal, ribbon seal, ringed seal, and spotted seal) to reflect advice in the NMFS Policy Directive, ‘‘Guidelines for preparing stock assessment reports pursuant to the 1994 amendments to the Marine Mammal Protection Act’’ (NMFS 2016) regarding trans-boundary stocks. While the stocks extend beyond the boundaries of the U.S. EEZ, the stock assessment reports consider only the portions of the stocks that are within the U.S. EEZ because the relevant stock assessment data on abundance and human-caused mortality and serious injury are generally not available for the broader range of the stock or even for waters adjacent to the U.S. EEZ. Beluga Whale, Eastern Bering Sea The updated abundance estimate, derived from aerial surveys in 2017, is 9,242 beluga whales. This is an increase from the previous estimate of 6,994. The updated minimum population estimate is 8,357, previously considered unreliable for calculating a PBR as the survey data were more than eight years old. The Eastern Bering Sea beluga whale stock changed from non-strategic to strategic because the calculated PBR of 167 is less than the estimated humancaused mortality and serious injury of 198 beluga whales. Beluga Whales—Cook Inlet A new approach using video data was applied to address bias in the group-size estimation process of previous methods. The updated best estimate of abundance in 2018, derived using this new analytical method on aerial survey data from 2014, 2016, and 2018, is 279 beluga whales. This is a decrease from the previous estimate of 327. During the most recent 10-year time period (2008– 2018), the estimated exponential trend in the abundance estimates is a decline of 2.3 percent per year (95 percent Probability Interval: –4.1 percent to –0.6 percent), with a 99.7 percent probability of a decline, and a 93.0 percent probability of a decline that is more than 1 percent per year (Wade et al. 2019). Harbor Porpoise, Bering Sea The abundance estimate for harbor porpoise in the eastern Bering Sea, derived from vessel surveys in association with pollock stock assessment surveys in 2008, is 5,713 harbor porpoise. However, this estimate is for only a small portion of the range of this stock. Because the survey data are more than eight years old, the minimum population estimate (NMIN) is now considered unknown, and the PBR is now considered undetermined. Atlantic Reports In 2020, NMFS reviewed all 116 stocks in the Atlantic region for new information (including the Atlantic Ocean, Gulf of Mexico, and U.S. territories in the Caribbean). This year, NMFS revised 33 reports in the Atlantic region (13 strategic and 20 nonstrategic). Four stocks (Gulf of Maine humpback whale, Gulf of Mexico spinner dolphin, Gulf of Mexico striped dolphin, and Gulf of Mexico Clymene dolphin) changed from ‘‘non-strategic’’ to ‘‘strategic’’ (see below). A list of the revised stocks in the Atlantic region for 2020 is presented in Table 2. Information on the remaining Atlantic region stocks can be found in the final 2019 reports (Hayes et al. 2020). TABLE 2—LIST OF MARINE MAMMAL STOCKS IN THE ATLANTIC REGION REVISED IN 2020 Strategic stocks • • • • • • • • • • • • • Non-strategic stocks North Atlantic right whale, Western North Atlantic (WNA) * ................. Fin whale, WNA * .................................................................................. Sei whale, Nova Scotia ......................................................................... Humpback whale, Gulf of Maine .......................................................... Common bottlenose dolphin, WNA Northern Migratory coastal .......... Common bottlenose dolphin, WNA Southern Migratory coastal .......... Common bottlenose, Northern North Carolina Estuarine System ....... Common bottlenose, Southern North Carolina Estuarine System ....... Bryde’s whale, Gulf of Mexico * ............................................................ Clymene dolphin, Gulf of Mexico * ........................................................ Sperm whale, Gulf of Mexico * ............................................................. Spinner dolphin, Gulf of Mexico * ......................................................... Striped dolphin, Gulf of Mexico* ........................................................... • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • Minke whale, Canadian East Coast.* Common dolphin, WNA.* Harbor porpoise, Gulf of Maine. Gray seal, WNA. Blainville’s beaked whale, Gulf of Mexico.* Cuvier’s beaked whale, Gulf of Mexico.* Gervais’ beaked whale, Gulf of Mexico.* Bottlenose dolphin, Gulf of Mexico, Oceanic.* Dwarf sperm whale, Gulf of Mexico.* Pygmy sperm whale, Gulf of Mexico.* False killer whale, Gulf of Mexico.* Fraser’s dolphin, Gulf of Mexico.* Killer whale, Gulf of Mexico.* Harbor seal, WNA. Pantropical spotted dolphin, Gulf of Mexico.* Pygmy killer whale, Gulf of Mexico.* Risso’s dolphin, Gulf of Mexico.* Rough-toothed dolphin, Gulf of Mexico.* Short-finned pilot whale, Gulf of Mexico.* Melon-headed whale, Gulf of Mexico.* * Includes updated abundance estimates. VerDate Sep<11>2014 18:18 Dec 03, 2020 Jkt 253001 PO 00000 Frm 00008 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 E:\FR\FM\04DEN1.SGM 04DEN1 78310 Federal Register / Vol. 85, No. 234 / Friday, December 4, 2020 / Notices North Atlantic Right Whale, Western Atlantic For the second year, western North Atlantic right whale stock size is based on a state-space model of the sighting histories of individual whales (Pace et al. 2017). Using a hierarchical, statespace Bayesian open population model of these histories produced a median abundance value of 412 individuals (95 percent credible intervals 403–424). The previous best abundance estimate in the 2019 SAR was 428 (95 percent credible intervals 406–447). The estimated annual rate of total mortality using this modeling approach is 18.6 animals for the period 2013– 2017 (Pace et al. submitted). This estimated total mortality accounts for detected mortality and serious injury, as well as undetected (unobserved or cryptic) mortality within the population. When comparing the detected mortality and serious injury to the model estimates for the five-year period (2013–2017), the detection rate was 51 percent of the state space model’s annual morality estimate. Humpback Whale, Gulf of Maine For the Gulf of Maine humpback whale report, two independent abundance estimates are presented. One based on ship/aerial line-transect surveys, and a second based on applying mark and recapture methods to photo identification records (Robbins and Pace 2018). The best abundance estimate of 1,396 (95 percent credible intervals 1363–1429) is based on the mark and recapture method that utilizes a state-space model of the sighting histories of individual whales. Using the resulting NMIN associated with this abundance estimate of 1,380, the PBR for the Gulf of Maine Humpback whale stock is 22. The state-space model was also used to estimate total mortality as described above for North Atlantic right whales. The estimated annual rate of total mortality using this modeling method is 57.6 animals for the period 2011–2015 (estimated mortality for 2016 forward is not yet available due to ongoing processing of all photographs collected through 2020). The estimated human caused mortality and serious injury now exceeds PBR (22), and the Gulf of Maine humpback whale stock changed in status from ‘‘non-strategic’’ to ‘‘strategic.’’ Gulf of Mexico Stocks Abundance Estimates New abundance estimates for 20 Gulf of Mexico stocks were generated from vessel surveys conducted in the northern Gulf of Mexico and an updated methodology (Garrison et al. 2020). The new estimates were produced using a new double-platform data-collection procedure to allow estimation of the detection probability on the trackline using the independent observer approach assuming point independence (Laake and Borchers 2004). Unlike previous abundance estimates, these estimates were corrected for the probability of detection on the trackline. Three stocks changed from ‘‘nonstrategic’’ to ‘‘strategic’’ (spinner dolphin, striped dolphin, and Clymene dolphin) because the mean modeled annual human-caused mortality and serious injury due to the Deepwater Horizon (DWH) oil spill exceeds PBR. Deep Water Horizon Mortality and Serious Injury Estimates A population model was developed to estimate the injury and time to recovery for stocks affected by the DWH oil spill, taking into account long-term effects resulting from mortality, reproductive failure, reduced survival rates, and the proportion of the stock exposed to DWH oil (DWH MMIQT 2015). As a result, the mean modeled annual human-caused mortality and serious injury due to the DWH oil spill now exceeds PBR in Gulf of Mexico spinner dolphin, striped dolphin, and Clymene dolphin stocks. The mortality is not associated with commercial fishery-related mortality and serious injury and does not trigger action under section 118 of the MMPA. Common Bottlenose Dolphin, Western North Atlantic Stocks An analysis of coast-wide (New Jersey to Florida) trends in abundance for common bottlenose dolphins was included in the WNA Northern and Southern Migratory Coastal SARs and indicated a declining trend. There was a statistically significant change in slope between 2011 and 2016, indicating a decline in population size. The coastwide inverse-variance weighted average estimate for coastal common bottlenose dolphins during 2011 was 41,456 (Coefficient of Variation—CV = 0.30), while the estimate during 2016 was 19,470 (CV = 0.23; Garrison et al. 2017). This apparent decline in common bottlenose dolphin abundance in coastal waters along the eastern seaboard may be a result of the 2013–2015 Unusual Mortality Event. Pacific Reports In 2020, NMFS reviewed all 85 stocks in the Pacific region (waters along the west coast of the United States, within waters surrounding the main and Northwestern Hawaiian Islands, and within waters surrounding U.S. territories in the Western Pacific) for new information, and revised SARs for 28 stocks (7 strategic and 21 nonstrategic). A list revised stocks in 2020 for the Pacific region is presented in Table 3. Information on the remaining Pacific region stocks can be found in the final 2019 reports (Carretta et al. 2020). TABLE 3—LIST OF MARINE MAMMAL STOCKS IN THE PACIFIC REGION REVISED IN 2020 Strategic stocks • • • • • • • Non-strategic stocks False killer whale, Main Hawaiian Islands Insular ................................ Hawaiian monk seal * ............................................................................ Killer whale, Eastern N Pacific Southern * Resident ............................ Sperm whale, Hawaii * .......................................................................... Fin whale, Hawaii * ................................................................................ Fin whale, California/Oregon/Washington ............................................ Gray whale, Western North Pacific ...................................................... VerDate Sep<11>2014 18:18 Dec 03, 2020 Jkt 253001 PO 00000 Frm 00009 Fmt 4703 • • • • • • • • Æ Æ • • Æ Æ • • • Gray whale, Eastern North Pacific. Rough-toothed dolphin, Hawaii.* Risso’s dolphin, Hawaii.* Pantropical spotted dolphin, Hawaii Pelagic.* Bottlenose dolphin, Hawaii Pelagic.* Striped dolphin, Hawaii Pelagic.* Frasers dolphin, Hawaii.* Melon-headed whale.* Hawaiian islands. Kohala Resident. Pygmy killer whale, Hawaii.* False Killer whale.* Northwest Hawaiian Islands. Hawaii Pelagic. Killer whale, Hawaii.* Short-finned pilot whale, Hawaii.* Blainville’s beaked whale, Hawaii Pelagic.* Sfmt 4703 E:\FR\FM\04DEN1.SGM 04DEN1 Federal Register / Vol. 85, No. 234 / Friday, December 4, 2020 / Notices 78311 TABLE 3—LIST OF MARINE MAMMAL STOCKS IN THE PACIFIC REGION REVISED IN 2020—Continued Strategic stocks Non-strategic stocks • • • • • • Cuvier’s beaked whale, Hawaii Pelagic.* Longman’s beaked whale, Hawaii.* Pygmy sperm whale, Hawaii.* Dwarf sperm whale, Hawaii. Bryde’s whale, Hawaii.* Minke whale, Hawaii.* * Includes updated abundance estimates. Updated Abundance Estimates for Hawaiian Stocks The majority of Hawaii reports contain new abundance estimates for all Hawaiian Islands Cetacean Assessment Survey (HICEAS) years (2002, 2010, and 2017) using a consistent analysis approach across years. Some stocks use model-based estimates of abundance when available. False Killer Whale, All Pacific Stocks The stock range and boundaries of the three Hawaiian stocks of false killer whales were recently reevaluated, given significant new information on the occurrence and movements of each stock in Bradford et al. (2015), and further revised for the pelagic stock in Bradford et al. (2020). A new modelbased methodology, taking into account the removal of the inner stock boundary for the pelagic stock, was used to estimate abundance. This resulted in new abundance, NMIN, and PBR estimates for the Hawaii EEZ and broader central Pacific study area. Common Bottlenose Dolphin-Hawaii Pelagic There were no sightings of bottlenose dolphins during systematic survey effort in 2017, and therefore design-based estimates are not available. This results in an undetermined abundance estimate (previously 21,815) and correspondingly, the PBR for this population is now undetermined (previously 140). References Bradford, A.L., E.M. Oleson, R.W. Baird, C.H. Boggs, K.A. Forney, and N.C. Young. 2015. Revised stock boundaries for false killer whales (Pseudorca crassidens) in Hawaiian waters. U.S. Department of Commerce, NOAA Technical Memorandum. NOAA–TM–NMFS– PIFSC–47, 29 p. Bradford, A.L., E.A. Becker, E.M. Oleson, K.A. Forney, J.E. Moore, and J. Barlow. 2020. Abundance estimates of false killer whales in Hawaiian waters and the broader central Pacific. U.S. Department of Commerce, NOAA Technical Memorandum NOAA–TM–NMFS– PIFSC–104, 78 p. Carretta, J.V., K.A. Forney, E.M. Oleson, D.W. VerDate Sep<11>2014 18:18 Dec 03, 2020 Jkt 253001 Weller, A.R. Lang, J. Baker, M.M. Muto, B. Hanson, A.J. Orr, H. Huber, M.S. Lowry, J. Barlow, J.E. Moore, D. Lynch, L. Carswell, and R.L. Brownell Jr. 2020. U.S. Pacific marine mammal stock assessments: 2019. U.S. Department of Commerce, NOAA Technical Memorandum NMFS–SWFSC–629, 385 p. DWH MMIQT. 2015. Models and analyses for the quantification of injury to Gulf of Mexico cetaceans from the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill, MM_TR.01_ Schwacke_Quantification.of.Injury.to. GOM.Cetaceans. Southeast Fisheries Science Center Reference Document PRBD–2020–02. Garrison, L.P., J. Ortega-Ortiz, and G. Rappucci. 2020. Abundance of marine mammals in the waters of the U.S. Gulf of Mexico in the summer of 2017 and 2018. Southeast Fisheries Science Center Reference Document PRBD–2020–07, 55 p. Garrison, L.P., K. Barry, and W. Hoggard. 2017. The abundance of coastal morphotype bottlenose dolphins on the U.S. east coast: 2002–2016. Southeast Fisheries Science Center Reference Document PRBD–2017–01, 43 p. Hayes, S.A., E. Josephson, K. Maze-Foley, and P.E. Rosel, Editors. 2020. U.S. Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico marine mammal stock assessments—2019. U.S. Department of Commerce, NOAA Technical Memorandum NMFS–NE–264, 477 p. Laake, J.L. and D.L. Borchers. 2004. Methods for incomplete detection at distance zero, In: Advanced distance sampling, edited by S.T. Buckland, D.R. Andersen, K.P. Burnham, J.L. Laake, and L. Thomas, p. 108–189, Oxford University Press, New York. Muto, M.M., V.T. Helker, B.J. Delean, R.P. Angliss, P.L. Boveng, J.M. Breiwick, B.M. Brost, M.F. Cameron, P.J. Clapham, S.P. Dahle, M.E. Dahlheim, B.S. Fadely, M.C. Ferguson, L.W. Fritz, R.C. Hobbs, Y.V. Ivashchenko, A.S. Kennedy, J.M. London, S.A. Mizroch, R.R. Ream, E.L. Richmond, K.E.W. Shelden, K.L. Sweeney, R.G. Towell, P.R. Wade, J.M. Waite, and A.N. Zerbini. 2020. Alaska marine mammal stock assessments, 2019. U.S. Department of Commerce, NOAA Technical Memorandum NMFS– AFSC–404, 395 p. National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS). 2016. Guidelines for preparing stock assessment reports pursuant to the 1994 amendments to the Marine Mammal PO 00000 Frm 00010 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 Protection Act, 23 p. Pace, R.M., III, P.J. Corkeron, and S.D. Kraus. 2017. State-space mark-recapture estimates reveal a recent decline in abundance of North Atlantic right whales. Ecol. and Evol. 7:8730–8741. DOI: 10.1002/ece3.3406. Pace, R.M., III, R. Williams, A.R. Knowlton, H.M. Pettis, and S.D. Kraus. Submitted. Cryptic mortality of North Atlantic right whales. Robbins, J. and R.M. Pace, III. 2018. Trends in abundance of North Atlantic humpback whales in the Gulf of Maine. EE133F–17–SE–1320 Task I Contract Report. Northeast Fisheries Science Center, Woods Hole, MA. Wade, P.R., C. Boyd, K.E.W. Shelden, and C.L. Sims. 2019. Chapter 2: Group size estimates and revised abundance estimates and trend for the Cook Inlet beluga population. In K.E.W. Shelden and P.R. Wade (eds.), Aerial surveys, distribution, abundance, and trend of belugas (Delphinapterus leucas) in Cook Inlet, Alaska, June 2018. AFSC Processed Rep. 2019–09, 93 p. Alaska Fisheries Science Center, Seattle, WA. Dated: November 30, 2020. Christopher Wayne Oliver, Assistant Administrator for Fisheries, National Marine Fisheries Service. [FR Doc. 2020–26681 Filed 12–3–20; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510–22–P DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Agency Information Collection Activities; Submission to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for Review and Approval; Comment Request; West Coast Groundfish Trawl Economic Data National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Commerce. ACTION: Notice of Information Collection, request for comment. AGENCY: The Department of Commerce, in accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (PRA), invites the general public and other Federal agencies to comment on SUMMARY: E:\FR\FM\04DEN1.SGM 04DEN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 85, Number 234 (Friday, December 4, 2020)]
[Notices]
[Pages 78307-78311]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2020-26681]


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DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

[RTID 0648-XA349]


Draft 2020 Marine Mammal Stock Assessment Reports

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

ACTION: Notice; request for comments and new information.

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SUMMARY: NMFS reviewed the Alaska, Atlantic, and Pacific regional 
marine mammal stock assessment reports (SARs) in accordance with the 
Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA). SARs for marine mammals in the 
Alaska, Atlantic, and Pacific regions were revised according to new 
information. NMFS solicits public comments on the draft 2020 SARs. NMFS 
is also requesting new information for strategic stocks that were not 
updated in 2020.

DATES: Comments must be received by March 4, 2021.

ADDRESSES: The 2020 draft SARs are available in electronic form via the 
internet at https://www.fisheries .noaa.gov/national/marine-mammal-
protection/draft-marine-mammal-stock-assessment-reports.
    Copies of the Alaska Regional SARs may be requested from Marcia 
Muto, Alaska Fisheries Science Center; copies of the Atlantic, Gulf of 
Mexico, and Caribbean Regional SARs may be requested from Elizabeth 
Josephson, Northeast Fisheries Science Center; and copies of the 
Pacific Regional SARs may be requested from Jim Carretta, Southwest 
Fisheries Science Center (see

[[Page 78308]]

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT below).
    You may submit comments or new information, identified by NOAA-
NMFS-2020-0130, through the Federal e-Rulemaking Portal:
    1. Go to www.regulations.gov/#!docketDetail;D=NOAA-NMFS-2020-0130.
    2. Click the ``Comment Now!'' icon, and complete the required 
fields.
    3. Enter or attach your comments.
    Instructions: NMFS may not consider comments if they are sent by 
any other method, to any other address or individual, or received after 
the end of the comment period. Due to delays in processing mail related 
to COVID-19 and health and safety concerns, no mail, courier, or hand 
deliveries will be accepted. All comments received are a part of the 
public record and will generally be posted for public viewing on 
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 will be publicly accessible. NMFS will accept anonymous 
comments (enter ``N/A'' in the required fields if you wish to remain 
anonymous).

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Dr. Zachary Schakner, Office of 
Science and Technology, 301-427-8106, [email protected]; Marcia 
Muto, 206-526-4026, [email protected], regarding Alaska regional 
stock assessments; Elizabeth Josephson, 508-495-2362, 
[email protected], regarding Atlantic, Gulf of Mexico, and 
Caribbean regional stock assessments; or Jim Carretta, 858-546-7171, 
[email protected], regarding Pacific regional stock assessments.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Background

    Section 117 of the MMPA (16 U.S.C. 1361 et seq.) requires NMFS and 
the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) to prepare stock assessments 
for each stock of marine mammals occurring in waters under the 
jurisdiction of the United States, including the U.S. Exclusive 
Economic Zone (EEZ). These reports must contain information regarding 
the distribution and abundance of the stock, population growth rates 
and trends, estimates of annual human-caused mortality and serious 
injury (M/SI) from all sources, descriptions of the fisheries with 
which the stock interacts, and the status of the stock. Initial reports 
were completed in 1995.
    The MMPA requires NMFS and FWS to review the SARs at least annually 
for strategic stocks and stocks for which significant new information 
is available, and at least once every three years for non-strategic 
stocks. The term ``strategic stock'' means a marine mammal stock: (A) 
For which the level of direct human-caused mortality exceeds the 
potential biological removal level or PBR (defined by the MMPA as the 
maximum number of animals, not including natural mortalities, that may 
be removed from a marine mammal stock while allowing that stock to 
reach or maintain its optimum sustainable population); (B) which, based 
on the best available scientific information, is declining and is 
likely to be listed as a threatened species under the Endangered 
Species Act (ESA) within the foreseeable future; or (C) which is listed 
as a threatened species or endangered species under the ESA. NMFS and 
FWS are required to revise a SAR if the status of the stock has changed 
or can be more accurately determined.
    Prior to public review, the updated SARs under NMFS' jurisdiction 
are peer-reviewed within NMFS Fisheries Science Centers and by members 
of three regional independent Scientific Review Groups, established 
under the MMPA to independently advise NMFS on information and 
uncertainties related to the status of marine mammals.
    The period covered by the 2020 draft SARs is 2014 through 2018. 
NMFS reviewed the status of all marine mammal strategic stocks as 
required and considered whether significant new information was 
available for all other stocks under NMFS' jurisdiction. As a result of 
this review, NMFS revised a total of 81 reports representing 84 stocks 
in the Alaska, Atlantic, and Pacific regions to incorporate new 
information. The 2020 revisions to the SARs consist primarily of 
updated or revised human-caused mortality and serious injury (M/SI) 
estimates and updated abundance estimates. For the Gulf of Maine 
humpback whale stock, the revisions include the application of an 
established capture-mark-recapture method to estimate the abundance and 
unobserved or cryptic mortality. Five stocks changed in status from 
``non-strategic'' to ``strategic'' (Eastern Bering Sea beluga whale, 
Gulf of Maine humpback whale, Gulf of Mexico spinner dolphin, Gulf of 
Mexico striped dolphin, and Gulf of Mexico Clymene dolphin stocks). The 
stock summary tables have been reformatted for consistency across each 
region. Highlights of the draft 2020 SAR revisions are discussed below.
    NMFS solicits public comments on the draft 2020 SARs. To ensure 
NMFS is aware of new information relevant to all strategic stocks, NMFS 
also requests new information for strategic stocks that were not 
updated in 2020. Specifically, new relevant information could include 
peer-reviewed information on human-caused M/SI, fishery interactions, 
abundance, distribution, stock structure, and habitat concerns, which 
could be incorporated into the SARs, and other information on emerging 
concerns for strategic stocks.

Alaska Reports

    In 2020, NMFS reviewed new information for 28 stocks in the Alaska 
Region and revised 23 Stock Assessment Reports under NMFS' 
jurisdiction: 16 strategic stocks and 7 non-strategic stocks. The 
Eastern Bering Sea beluga whale stock changed from ``non-strategic'' to 
``strategic'' (see below). A list of the revised stocks in 2020 for the 
Alaska region is presented in Table 1. Information on the remaining 
Alaska region stocks can be found in the final 2019 reports (Muto et 
al. 2020).

  Table 1--List of Marine Mammal Stocks in the Alaska Region Revised in
                                  2020
------------------------------------------------------------------------
            Strategic stocks                   Non-strategic stocks
------------------------------------------------------------------------
 Steller sea lion, Western        Spotted seal, Bering.
 U.S.*.
 Northern fur seal, Eastern       Ribbon seal.
 Pacific *.
 Bearded seal, Beringia........   Beluga whale, Beaufort
                                          Sea.
 Ringed seal, Arctic...........   Beluga whale, Eastern
                                          Chukchi Sea.*
 Beluga whale, Eastern Bering     Beluga whale, Bristol
 Sea *.                                   Bay.*
 Beluga whale, Cook Inlet *....   Killer whale, Gulf of
                                          Alaska, Aleutian Islands.
 Killer whale, AT1 Transient...   Killer whale, West
                                          Coast Transient.*
 Harbor porpoise, Southeast
 Alaska.
 Harbor porpoise, Gulf of
 Alaska.
 Harbor porpoise, Bering Sea *.

[[Page 78309]]

 
 Sperm whale, North Pacific....
 Humpback whale, Western North
 Pacific.
 Humpback whale, Central North
 Pacific.
 Fin whale, Northeast Pacific..
 North Pacific right whale,
 Eastern North Pacific.
 Bowhead whale, Western Arctic.
------------------------------------------------------------------------
* Includes updated abundance estimates.

Stock Name Changes

    NMFS changed the stock names for the four ice seal stocks (bearded 
seal, ribbon seal, ringed seal, and spotted seal) to reflect advice in 
the NMFS Policy Directive, ``Guidelines for preparing stock assessment 
reports pursuant to the 1994 amendments to the Marine Mammal Protection 
Act'' (NMFS 2016) regarding trans-boundary stocks. While the stocks 
extend beyond the boundaries of the U.S. EEZ, the stock assessment 
reports consider only the portions of the stocks that are within the 
U.S. EEZ because the relevant stock assessment data on abundance and 
human-caused mortality and serious injury are generally not available 
for the broader range of the stock or even for waters adjacent to the 
U.S. EEZ.

Beluga Whale, Eastern Bering Sea

    The updated abundance estimate, derived from aerial surveys in 
2017, is 9,242 beluga whales. This is an increase from the previous 
estimate of 6,994. The updated minimum population estimate is 8,357, 
previously considered unreliable for calculating a PBR as the survey 
data were more than eight years old. The Eastern Bering Sea beluga 
whale stock changed from non-strategic to strategic because the 
calculated PBR of 167 is less than the estimated human-caused mortality 
and serious injury of 198 beluga whales.

Beluga Whales--Cook Inlet

    A new approach using video data was applied to address bias in the 
group-size estimation process of previous methods. The updated best 
estimate of abundance in 2018, derived using this new analytical method 
on aerial survey data from 2014, 2016, and 2018, is 279 beluga whales. 
This is a decrease from the previous estimate of 327. During the most 
recent 10-year time period (2008-2018), the estimated exponential trend 
in the abundance estimates is a decline of 2.3 percent per year (95 
percent Probability Interval: -4.1 percent to -0.6 percent), with a 
99.7 percent probability of a decline, and a 93.0 percent probability 
of a decline that is more than 1 percent per year (Wade et al. 2019).

Harbor Porpoise, Bering Sea

    The abundance estimate for harbor porpoise in the eastern Bering 
Sea, derived from vessel surveys in association with pollock stock 
assessment surveys in 2008, is 5,713 harbor porpoise. However, this 
estimate is for only a small portion of the range of this stock. 
Because the survey data are more than eight years old, the minimum 
population estimate (NMIN) is now considered unknown, and 
the PBR is now considered undetermined.

Atlantic Reports

    In 2020, NMFS reviewed all 116 stocks in the Atlantic region for 
new information (including the Atlantic Ocean, Gulf of Mexico, and U.S. 
territories in the Caribbean). This year, NMFS revised 33 reports in 
the Atlantic region (13 strategic and 20 non-strategic). Four stocks 
(Gulf of Maine humpback whale, Gulf of Mexico spinner dolphin, Gulf of 
Mexico striped dolphin, and Gulf of Mexico Clymene dolphin) changed 
from ``non-strategic'' to ``strategic'' (see below). A list of the 
revised stocks in the Atlantic region for 2020 is presented in Table 2. 
Information on the remaining Atlantic region stocks can be found in the 
final 2019 reports (Hayes et al. 2020).

 Table 2--List of Marine Mammal Stocks in the Atlantic Region Revised in
                                  2020
------------------------------------------------------------------------
            Strategic stocks                   Non-strategic stocks
------------------------------------------------------------------------
 North Atlantic right whale,      Minke whale, Canadian
 Western North Atlantic (WNA) *.          East Coast.*
 Fin whale, WNA *..............   Common dolphin, WNA.*
 Sei whale, Nova Scotia........   Harbor porpoise, Gulf
                                          of Maine.
 Humpback whale, Gulf of Maine.   Gray seal, WNA.
 Common bottlenose dolphin, WNA   Blainville's beaked
 Northern Migratory coastal.              whale, Gulf of Mexico.*
 Common bottlenose dolphin, WNA   Cuvier's beaked whale,
 Southern Migratory coastal.              Gulf of Mexico.*
 Common bottlenose, Northern      Gervais' beaked whale,
 North Carolina Estuarine System.         Gulf of Mexico.*
 Common bottlenose, Southern      Bottlenose dolphin,
 North Carolina Estuarine System.         Gulf of Mexico, Oceanic.*
 Bryde's whale, Gulf of Mexico    Dwarf sperm whale,
 *.                                       Gulf of Mexico.*
 Clymene dolphin, Gulf of         Pygmy sperm whale,
 Mexico *.                                Gulf of Mexico.*
 Sperm whale, Gulf of Mexico *.   False killer whale,
                                          Gulf of Mexico.*
 Spinner dolphin, Gulf of         Fraser's dolphin, Gulf
 Mexico *.                                of Mexico.*
 Striped dolphin, Gulf of         Killer whale, Gulf of
 Mexico*.                                 Mexico.*
                                          Harbor seal, WNA.
                                          Pantropical spotted
                                          dolphin, Gulf of Mexico.*
                                          Pygmy killer whale,
                                          Gulf of Mexico.*
                                          Risso's dolphin, Gulf
                                          of Mexico.*
                                          Rough-toothed dolphin,
                                          Gulf of Mexico.*
                                          Short-finned pilot
                                          whale, Gulf of Mexico.*
                                          Melon-headed whale,
                                          Gulf of Mexico.*
------------------------------------------------------------------------
* Includes updated abundance estimates.


[[Page 78310]]

North Atlantic Right Whale, Western Atlantic

    For the second year, western North Atlantic right whale stock size 
is based on a state-space model of the sighting histories of individual 
whales (Pace et al. 2017). Using a hierarchical, state-space Bayesian 
open population model of these histories produced a median abundance 
value of 412 individuals (95 percent credible intervals 403-424). The 
previous best abundance estimate in the 2019 SAR was 428 (95 percent 
credible intervals 406-447).
    The estimated annual rate of total mortality using this modeling 
approach is 18.6 animals for the period 2013-2017 (Pace et al. 
submitted). This estimated total mortality accounts for detected 
mortality and serious injury, as well as undetected (unobserved or 
cryptic) mortality within the population. When comparing the detected 
mortality and serious injury to the model estimates for the five-year 
period (2013-2017), the detection rate was 51 percent of the state 
space model's annual morality estimate.

Humpback Whale, Gulf of Maine

    For the Gulf of Maine humpback whale report, two independent 
abundance estimates are presented. One based on ship/aerial line-
transect surveys, and a second based on applying mark and recapture 
methods to photo identification records (Robbins and Pace 2018). The 
best abundance estimate of 1,396 (95 percent credible intervals 1363-
1429) is based on the mark and recapture method that utilizes a state-
space model of the sighting histories of individual whales. Using the 
resulting NMIN associated with this abundance estimate of 
1,380, the PBR for the Gulf of Maine Humpback whale stock is 22.
    The state-space model was also used to estimate total mortality as 
described above for North Atlantic right whales. The estimated annual 
rate of total mortality using this modeling method is 57.6 animals for 
the period 2011-2015 (estimated mortality for 2016 forward is not yet 
available due to ongoing processing of all photographs collected 
through 2020). The estimated human caused mortality and serious injury 
now exceeds PBR (22), and the Gulf of Maine humpback whale stock 
changed in status from ``non-strategic'' to ``strategic.''

Gulf of Mexico Stocks Abundance Estimates

    New abundance estimates for 20 Gulf of Mexico stocks were generated 
from vessel surveys conducted in the northern Gulf of Mexico and an 
updated methodology (Garrison et al. 2020). The new estimates were 
produced using a new double-platform data-collection procedure to allow 
estimation of the detection probability on the trackline using the 
independent observer approach assuming point independence (Laake and 
Borchers 2004). Unlike previous abundance estimates, these estimates 
were corrected for the probability of detection on the trackline. Three 
stocks changed from ``non-strategic'' to ``strategic'' (spinner 
dolphin, striped dolphin, and Clymene dolphin) because the mean modeled 
annual human-caused mortality and serious injury due to the Deepwater 
Horizon (DWH) oil spill exceeds PBR.

Deep Water Horizon Mortality and Serious Injury Estimates

    A population model was developed to estimate the injury and time to 
recovery for stocks affected by the DWH oil spill, taking into account 
long-term effects resulting from mortality, reproductive failure, 
reduced survival rates, and the proportion of the stock exposed to DWH 
oil (DWH MMIQT 2015). As a result, the mean modeled annual human-caused 
mortality and serious injury due to the DWH oil spill now exceeds PBR 
in Gulf of Mexico spinner dolphin, striped dolphin, and Clymene dolphin 
stocks. The mortality is not associated with commercial fishery-related 
mortality and serious injury and does not trigger action under section 
118 of the MMPA.

Common Bottlenose Dolphin, Western North Atlantic Stocks

    An analysis of coast-wide (New Jersey to Florida) trends in 
abundance for common bottlenose dolphins was included in the WNA 
Northern and Southern Migratory Coastal SARs and indicated a declining 
trend. There was a statistically significant change in slope between 
2011 and 2016, indicating a decline in population size. The coast-wide 
inverse-variance weighted average estimate for coastal common 
bottlenose dolphins during 2011 was 41,456 (Coefficient of Variation--
CV = 0.30), while the estimate during 2016 was 19,470 (CV = 0.23; 
Garrison et al. 2017). This apparent decline in common bottlenose 
dolphin abundance in coastal waters along the eastern seaboard may be a 
result of the 2013-2015 Unusual Mortality Event.

Pacific Reports

    In 2020, NMFS reviewed all 85 stocks in the Pacific region (waters 
along the west coast of the United States, within waters surrounding 
the main and Northwestern Hawaiian Islands, and within waters 
surrounding U.S. territories in the Western Pacific) for new 
information, and revised SARs for 28 stocks (7 strategic and 21 non-
strategic). A list revised stocks in 2020 for the Pacific region is 
presented in Table 3. Information on the remaining Pacific region 
stocks can be found in the final 2019 reports (Carretta et al. 2020).

 Table 3--List of Marine Mammal Stocks in the Pacific Region Revised in
                                  2020
------------------------------------------------------------------------
            Strategic stocks                   Non-strategic stocks
------------------------------------------------------------------------
 False killer whale, Main         Gray whale, Eastern
 Hawaiian Islands Insular.                North Pacific.
 Hawaiian monk seal *..........   Rough-toothed dolphin,
                                          Hawaii.*
 Killer whale, Eastern N          Risso's dolphin,
 Pacific Southern * Resident.             Hawaii.*
 Sperm whale, Hawaii *.........   Pantropical spotted
                                          dolphin, Hawaii Pelagic.*
 Fin whale, Hawaii *...........   Bottlenose dolphin,
                                          Hawaii Pelagic.*
 Fin whale, California/Oregon/    Striped dolphin,
 Washington.                              Hawaii Pelagic.*
 Gray whale, Western North        Frasers dolphin,
 Pacific.                                 Hawaii.*
                                          Melon-headed whale.*
                                         [cir] Hawaiian islands.
                                         [cir] Kohala Resident.
                                          Pygmy killer whale,
                                          Hawaii.*
                                          False Killer whale.*
                                         [cir] Northwest Hawaiian
                                          Islands.
                                         [cir] Hawaii Pelagic.
                                          Killer whale, Hawaii.*
                                          Short-finned pilot
                                          whale, Hawaii.*
                                          Blainville's beaked
                                          whale, Hawaii Pelagic.*

[[Page 78311]]

 
                                          Cuvier's beaked whale,
                                          Hawaii Pelagic.*
                                          Longman's beaked
                                          whale, Hawaii.*
                                          Pygmy sperm whale,
                                          Hawaii.*
                                          Dwarf sperm whale,
                                          Hawaii.
                                          Bryde's whale,
                                          Hawaii.*
                                          Minke whale, Hawaii.*
------------------------------------------------------------------------
* Includes updated abundance estimates.

Updated Abundance Estimates for Hawaiian Stocks

    The majority of Hawaii reports contain new abundance estimates for 
all Hawaiian Islands Cetacean Assessment Survey (HICEAS) years (2002, 
2010, and 2017) using a consistent analysis approach across years. Some 
stocks use model-based estimates of abundance when available.

False Killer Whale, All Pacific Stocks

    The stock range and boundaries of the three Hawaiian stocks of 
false killer whales were recently reevaluated, given significant new 
information on the occurrence and movements of each stock in Bradford 
et al. (2015), and further revised for the pelagic stock in Bradford et 
al. (2020). A new model-based methodology, taking into account the 
removal of the inner stock boundary for the pelagic stock, was used to 
estimate abundance. This resulted in new abundance, NMIN, 
and PBR estimates for the Hawaii EEZ and broader central Pacific study 
area.

Common Bottlenose Dolphin-Hawaii Pelagic

    There were no sightings of bottlenose dolphins during systematic 
survey effort in 2017, and therefore design-based estimates are not 
available. This results in an undetermined abundance estimate 
(previously 21,815) and correspondingly, the PBR for this population is 
now undetermined (previously 140).

References

Bradford, A.L., E.M. Oleson, R.W. Baird, C.H. Boggs, K.A. Forney, 
and N.C. Young. 2015. Revised stock boundaries for false killer 
whales (Pseudorca crassidens) in Hawaiian waters. U.S. Department of 
Commerce, NOAA Technical Memorandum. NOAA-TM-NMFS-PIFSC-47, 29 p.
Bradford, A.L., E.A. Becker, E.M. Oleson, K.A. Forney, J.E. Moore, 
and J. Barlow. 2020. Abundance estimates of false killer whales in 
Hawaiian waters and the broader central Pacific. U.S. Department of 
Commerce, NOAA Technical Memorandum NOAA-TM-NMFS-PIFSC-104, 78 p.
Carretta, J.V., K.A. Forney, E.M. Oleson, D.W. Weller, A.R. Lang, J. 
Baker, M.M. Muto, B. Hanson, A.J. Orr, H. Huber, M.S. Lowry, J. 
Barlow, J.E. Moore, D. Lynch, L. Carswell, and R.L. Brownell Jr. 
2020. U.S. Pacific marine mammal stock assessments: 2019. U.S. 
Department of Commerce, NOAA Technical Memorandum NMFS-SWFSC-629, 
385 p.
DWH MMIQT. 2015. Models and analyses for the quantification of 
injury to Gulf of Mexico cetaceans from the Deepwater Horizon Oil 
Spill, MM_TR.01_Schwacke_Quantification.of.Injury.to.GOM.Cetaceans. 
Southeast Fisheries Science Center Reference Document PRBD-2020-02.
Garrison, L.P., J. Ortega-Ortiz, and G. Rappucci. 2020. Abundance of 
marine mammals in the waters of the U.S. Gulf of Mexico in the 
summer of 2017 and 2018. Southeast Fisheries Science Center 
Reference Document PRBD-2020-07, 55 p.
Garrison, L.P., K. Barry, and W. Hoggard. 2017. The abundance of 
coastal morphotype bottlenose dolphins on the U.S. east coast: 2002-
2016. Southeast Fisheries Science Center Reference Document PRBD-
2017-01, 43 p.
Hayes, S.A., E. Josephson, K. Maze-Foley, and P.E. Rosel, Editors. 
2020. U.S. Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico marine mammal stock 
assessments--2019. U.S. Department of Commerce, NOAA Technical 
Memorandum NMFS-NE-264, 477 p.
Laake, J.L. and D.L. Borchers. 2004. Methods for incomplete 
detection at distance zero, In: Advanced distance sampling, edited 
by S.T. Buckland, D.R. Andersen, K.P. Burnham, J.L. Laake, and L. 
Thomas, p. 108-189, Oxford University Press, New York.
Muto, M.M., V.T. Helker, B.J. Delean, R.P. Angliss, P.L. Boveng, 
J.M. Breiwick, B.M. Brost, M.F. Cameron, P.J. Clapham, S.P. Dahle, 
M.E. Dahlheim, B.S. Fadely, M.C. Ferguson, L.W. Fritz, R.C. Hobbs, 
Y.V. Ivashchenko, A.S. Kennedy, J.M. London, S.A. Mizroch, R.R. 
Ream, E.L. Richmond, K.E.W. Shelden, K.L. Sweeney, R.G. Towell, P.R. 
Wade, J.M. Waite, and A.N. Zerbini. 2020. Alaska marine mammal stock 
assessments, 2019. U.S. Department of Commerce, NOAA Technical 
Memorandum NMFS-AFSC-404, 395 p.
National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS). 2016. Guidelines for 
preparing stock assessment reports pursuant to the 1994 amendments 
to the Marine Mammal Protection Act, 23 p.
Pace, R.M., III, P.J. Corkeron, and S.D. Kraus. 2017. State-space 
mark-recapture estimates reveal a recent decline in abundance of 
North Atlantic right whales. Ecol. and Evol. 7:8730-8741. DOI: 
10.1002/ece3.3406.
Pace, R.M., III, R. Williams, A.R. Knowlton, H.M. Pettis, and S.D. 
Kraus. Submitted. Cryptic mortality of North Atlantic right whales.
Robbins, J. and R.M. Pace, III. 2018. Trends in abundance of North 
Atlantic humpback whales in the Gulf of Maine. EE133F-17-SE-1320 
Task I Contract Report. Northeast Fisheries Science Center, Woods 
Hole, MA.
Wade, P.R., C. Boyd, K.E.W. Shelden, and C.L. Sims. 2019. Chapter 2: 
Group size estimates and revised abundance estimates and trend for 
the Cook Inlet beluga population. In K.E.W. Shelden and P.R. Wade 
(eds.), Aerial surveys, distribution, abundance, and trend of 
belugas (Delphinapterus leucas) in Cook Inlet, Alaska, June 2018. 
AFSC Processed Rep. 2019-09, 93 p. Alaska Fisheries Science Center, 
Seattle, WA.

    Dated: November 30, 2020.
Christopher Wayne Oliver,
Assistant Administrator for Fisheries, National Marine Fisheries 
Service.
[FR Doc. 2020-26681 Filed 12-3-20; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 3510-22-P