Fisheries of the Northeastern United States; Atlantic Sea Scallop Fishery; Withdrawal of the Notice of Intent To Prepare an Environmental Impact Statement for Amendment 21 to the Atlantic Sea Scallop Fishery Management Plan, 78998-78999 [2020-26944]

Download as PDF jbell on DSKJLSW7X2PROD with NOTICES 78998 Federal Register / Vol. 85, No. 236 / Tuesday, December 8, 2020 / Notices of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act and regulations at 50 CFR 665.17. HLA would test the use of tori lines in the Hawaii deep-set longline fishery, without using strategic offal discharge (discharging bait and fish offal) when seabirds are present or blue-dyed bait, both of which are normally required while deploying longline gear (setting) north of 23° N (50 CFR 665.815(a)(2)). If approved, the EFP would allow up to four stern-setting vessels to test tori lines north of 23° N. The EFP would be effective for no longer than one year from the date of issuance, unless earlier revoked, suspended, or modified. Nearly all of the seabird interactions observed in the fishery are with blackfooted and Laysan albatrosses. Interaction rates for both species are higher in the first and second quarters (January through June). Accordingly, the applicant would focus fishing effort during periods of higher seabird abundance, as practicable. In 2017, the Western Pacific Fishery Management Council (Council) held a workshop to explore the cause of higher than typical fishery interactions with black-footed albatross. The workshop suggested that a positive (warm) Pacific Decadal Oscillation, with its cooler sea surface in the western Pacific and stronger westerly winds, may increase the overlap of fishing effort and blackfooted albatross foraging grounds, leading to more seabird interactions in the fishery. In 2018, the Council held a workshop to review seabird mitigation requirements and identify research needed to inform future fishing requirements to reduce interactions with seabirds. That workshop identified certain mitigation measures, including tori lines, as a high priority for further research and development due to their potential to provide an effective alternative to blue-dyed bait. Workshop participants also identified blue-dyed bait as a candidate for removal from the existing suite of seabird mitigation measures due to concerns with efficacy and practicality. The Council recommended the EFP research at its September 2020 meeting, based on results from a cooperative research project conducted in 2019– 2020. Results from that project had indicated that tori lines, when used in conjunction with blue-dyed bait, significantly reduced albatross feeding attempts and contact with longline gear. Project results also indicated the potential for offal discharge to increase bird interactions during gear setting. The project results led the Council to identify the need for additional research VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:19 Dec 07, 2020 Jkt 253001 to test the effectiveness of tori lines without blue-dyed bait and strategic offal discharge. With the exception of using tori lines without blue-dyed bait and strategic offal discharge, vessels participating under the EFP would carry out fishing operations consistent with conventional deep-set longline fishing targeting bigeye tuna, and would continue to employ all other required seabird mitigation measures, including weighted branch lines, line shooters, and safe handling practices. HLA anticipates that fishing under the EFP would have similar environmental impacts on target fish species, nontarget fish species, and non-seabird protected species to conventional deepset fishing, and hypothesizes that seabird interaction rates for the tori line treatment sets would be lower. The EFP application provides additional information about these anticipated impacts. Each vessel would carry an electronic monitoring system. A stern-mounted video camera would monitor the number of birds present, and seabird attacks and contacts, during gear setting. After a vessel returns to port, scientists would review the video recordings, and would verify seabird captures through logbook data. At the completion of the project, EFP findings would be available to support Council decision-making about measures to reduce seabird interactions. NMFS seeks comments on the proposed experimental activity. We will consider comments received when deciding whether to approve the permit, and whether to attach any additional terms and conditions. Authority: 16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq. Dated: December 3, 2020. Jennifer M. Wallace, Acting Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine Fisheries Service. [FR Doc. 2020–26966 Filed 12–7–20; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510–22–P PO 00000 Frm 00011 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration [RTID 0648–XA693] Fisheries of the Northeastern United States; Atlantic Sea Scallop Fishery; Withdrawal of the Notice of Intent To Prepare an Environmental Impact Statement for Amendment 21 to the Atlantic Sea Scallop Fishery Management Plan National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Commerce. ACTION: Notice of withdrawal. AGENCY: SUMMARY: The New England Fishery Management Council is drafting Amendment 21 to the Atlantic Sea Scallop Fishery Management Plan, which considers measures related to the Northern Gulf of Maine Scallop Management Area and various Limited Access General Category management measures. Based on the range of alternatives developed for this action, the Council has developed an environmental assessment to analyze the impacts. The purpose of this notice is to announce that the Council no longer intends to develop an environmental impact statement for Amendment 21. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Travis Ford, Fishery Policy Analyst, 978–281–9233, travis.ford@noaa.gov. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Background The New England Fishery Management Council initiated development of Amendment 21 to the Atlantic Sea Scallop Fishery Management Plan on January 29, 2019. Amendment 21 considers measures related to the Northern Gulf of Maine Scallop Management Area, Limited Access General Category (LAGC) individual fishing quota (IFQ) possession limits, and the ability of Limited Access vessels with LAGC IFQ permits to transfer quota to LAGC IFQonly vessels. At the recommendation of the Council, NMFS published a notice of intent (NOI) in the Federal Register on March 1, 2019 (84 FR 7041), to prepare an environmental impact statement (EIS) in accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act to analyze the impacts on the human environment resulting from Amendment 21. Additional details about the range of alternatives considered in this action are included in the March 1, 2019, NOI and are not repeated here. NMFS solicited E:\FR\FM\08DEN1.SGM 08DEN1 Federal Register / Vol. 85, No. 236 / Tuesday, December 8, 2020 / Notices jbell on DSKJLSW7X2PROD with NOTICES Authority: 16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq. VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:19 Dec 07, 2020 Jkt 253001 Dated: December 3, 2020. Jennifer M. Wallace, Acting Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine Fisheries Service. [FR Doc. 2020–26944 Filed 12–7–20; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510–22–P DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE Office of the Secretary [Transmittal No. 20–35] Arms Sales Notification Defense Security Cooperation Agency, Department of Defense. ACTION: Arms sales notice. AGENCY: PO 00000 Frm 00012 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4725 SUMMARY: The Department of Defense is publishing the unclassified text of an arms sales notification. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Karma Job at karma.d.job.civ@mail.mil or (703) 697–8976. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: This 36(b)(1) arms sales notification is published to fulfill the requirements of section 155 of Public Law 104–164 dated July 21, 1996. The following is a copy of a letter to the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Transmittal 20–35 with attached Policy Justification and Sensitivity of Technology. Dated: November 25, 2020. Kayyonne T. Marston, Alternate OSD Federal Register Liaison Officer, Department of Defense. E:\FR\FM\08DEN1.SGM 08DEN1 EN08DE20.023</GPH> public input on the scope of the analysis through a public comment period on the NOI from March 1, 2019, to April 15, 2019. Based on the range of alternatives developed for this action, the Council has determined that it is not necessary to prepare an EIS for Amendment 21 and, instead, is developing an environmental assessment to analyze the impacts of the Amendment. Consequently, we are informing the public that the Council will not be developing an EIS for Amendment 21 and that we are withdrawing the NOI published on March 1, 2019. 78999

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 85, Number 236 (Tuesday, December 8, 2020)]
[Notices]
[Pages 78998-78999]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2020-26944]


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DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

[RTID 0648-XA693]


Fisheries of the Northeastern United States; Atlantic Sea Scallop 
Fishery; Withdrawal of the Notice of Intent To Prepare an Environmental 
Impact Statement for Amendment 21 to the Atlantic Sea Scallop Fishery 
Management Plan

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

ACTION: Notice of withdrawal.

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SUMMARY: The New England Fishery Management Council is drafting 
Amendment 21 to the Atlantic Sea Scallop Fishery Management Plan, which 
considers measures related to the Northern Gulf of Maine Scallop 
Management Area and various Limited Access General Category management 
measures. Based on the range of alternatives developed for this action, 
the Council has developed an environmental assessment to analyze the 
impacts. The purpose of this notice is to announce that the Council no 
longer intends to develop an environmental impact statement for 
Amendment 21.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Travis Ford, Fishery Policy Analyst, 
978-281-9233, [email protected].

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Background

    The New England Fishery Management Council initiated development of 
Amendment 21 to the Atlantic Sea Scallop Fishery Management Plan on 
January 29, 2019. Amendment 21 considers measures related to the 
Northern Gulf of Maine Scallop Management Area, Limited Access General 
Category (LAGC) individual fishing quota (IFQ) possession limits, and 
the ability of Limited Access vessels with LAGC IFQ permits to transfer 
quota to LAGC IFQ-only vessels. At the recommendation of the Council, 
NMFS published a notice of intent (NOI) in the Federal Register on 
March 1, 2019 (84 FR 7041), to prepare an environmental impact 
statement (EIS) in accordance with the National Environmental Policy 
Act to analyze the impacts on the human environment resulting from 
Amendment 21. Additional details about the range of alternatives 
considered in this action are included in the March 1, 2019, NOI and 
are not repeated here. NMFS solicited

[[Page 78999]]

public input on the scope of the analysis through a public comment 
period on the NOI from March 1, 2019, to April 15, 2019.
    Based on the range of alternatives developed for this action, the 
Council has determined that it is not necessary to prepare an EIS for 
Amendment 21 and, instead, is developing an environmental assessment to 
analyze the impacts of the Amendment. Consequently, we are informing 
the public that the Council will not be developing an EIS for Amendment 
21 and that we are withdrawing the NOI published on March 1, 2019.

    Authority:  16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq.

    Dated: December 3, 2020.
Jennifer M. Wallace,
Acting Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine 
Fisheries Service.
[FR Doc. 2020-26944 Filed 12-7-20; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 3510-22-P