Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants: Final Rulemaking To Establish Take Prohibitions for the Threatened Southern Distinct Population Segment of North American Green Sturgeon; Permit and Reporting Requirements
NMFS announces the approval of collection-of-information requirements contained in protective regulations established under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) for the threatened Southern Distinct Population Segment of North American green sturgeon (Acipenser medirostris; hereafter, Southern DPS). The intent of this final rule is to inform the public of the permitting and reporting requirements.
Taking of Marine Mammals Incidental to Specified Activities; Construction of the East Span of the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge
NMFS has received a request from the California Department of Transportation (CALTRANS) for renewal of an Incidental Harassment Authorization (IHA) to take small numbers of California sea lions, Pacific harbor seals, harbor porpoises, and gray whales, by harassment, incidental to construction of a replacement bridge for the East Span of the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge (SF-OBB) in California. Pursuant to the Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA), NMFS is requesting comments on its proposal to issue an IHA to CALTRANS to incidentally harass, by Level B Harassment only, four species of marine mammals during the specified activity.
Notice Requesting Nominations for the Marine Protected Areas Federal Advisory Committee
The Department of Commerce is seeking nominations for membership on the Marine Protected Areas Federal Advisory Committee (Advisory Committee). The Advisory Committee was established to advise the Secretary of Commerce and the Secretary of the Interior in implementing Section 4 of Executive Order 13158, specifically on strategies and priorities for developing the national system of marine protected areas (MPAs) and on practical approaches to further enhance and expand protection of new and existing MPAs. Nominations are sought for highly qualified non-Federal scientists, resource managers, and people representing other interests or organizations involved with or affected by marine conservation including in the Great Lakes. Six members of the Committee have terms that expire October 31, 2011, and nominations are sought to fill these vacancies. Individuals seeking membership on the Advisory Committee should possess demonstrable expertise in a related field or represent a stakeholder interest affected by MPAs. Nominees also will be evaluated based on the following factors: marine policy experience, leadership and organization skills, region of country represented, and diversity characteristics. The membership reflects the Department's commitment to attaining balance and diversity. The full text of the Advisory Committee Charter and its current membership can be viewed at the Agency's Web page at http://mpa.gov.
Availability of Seats for the Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary Advisory Council and Extension of Application Deadline
The ONMS is seeking applications for the following vacant seats on the Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary Advisory Council: Honolulu County (primary only), Research (alternate only), Commercial Shipping, Whale Watching, Ocean Recreation, Business/ Commerce, Citizen-at-Large, Conservation, Tourism, Lanai Island Representative, and Molokai Island Representative. Applicants are chosen based upon their particular expertise and experience in relation to the seat for which they are applying; community and professional affiliations; philosophy regarding the protection and management of marine resources; and possibly the length of residence in the area affected by the sanctuary. Applicants who are chosen as members should expect to serve two-year terms, pursuant to the council's charter.
Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; North Pacific Halibut and Sablefish Individual Fishing Quota Cost Recovery Programs
NMFS publishes individual fishing quota (IFQ) standard prices for the IFQ cost recovery program in the halibut and sablefish fisheries of the North Pacific. This action is intended to provide holders of halibut and sablefish IFQ permits with the 2010 standard prices and fee percentage to calculate the required payment for IFQ cost recovery fees due by January 31, 2011.
Marine Mammals; File No. 15415
Notice is hereby given that Scott D. Kraus, PhD, New England Aquarium Edgerton Research Laboratory, Central Wharf, Boston, MA 02110, has applied in due form for a permit to conduct research on North Atlantic right whales (Eubalaena glacialis).
Fisheries of the Northeastern United States; Summer Flounder Fishery; Quota Transfer
NMFS announces that the State of North Carolina is transferring a portion of its 2010 commercial summer flounder quota to the Commonwealth of Virginia. By this action, NMFS adjusts the quotas and announces the revised commercial quota for each state involved.
Light-Walled Rectangular Pipe and Tube From the People's Republic of China: Notice of Rescission of Antidumping Duty Administrative Review
On September 29, 2010, the U.S. Department of Commerce (the Department) published a notice of initiation of an administrative review of the antidumping duty order on light-walled rectangular pipe and tube from the People's Republic of China (PRC). The review covers Sun Group Co., Ltd. (Sun Group), a producer/exporter of light-walled rectangular pipe and tube from the PRC. We are now rescinding this administrative review in full.
Certain New Pneumatic Off-the-Road Tires From the People's Republic of China: Rescission, in Part, of Countervailing Duty Administrative Review
The Department of Commerce (the Department) is rescinding, in part, the administrative review of the countervailing duty order on certain new pneumatic off-the-road tires (OTR Tires) from the People's Republic of China (PRC) for the period January 1, 2009, through December 31, 2009, with respect to the following seven companies: Shandong Huitong Tyre Co., Ltd.; Qingdao Hengda Tyres Co., Ltd.; Qingdao Sinorient International Ltd.; Qingdao Qizhou Rubber Co., Ltd.; Techking Tires Limited; Qingda Etyre International Trade Co., Ltd.; and Wengdeng Sanfeng Tyre Co, Ltd. This partial rescission is based on the timely withdrawal by these companies of their requests for a review.
Endangered and Threatened Species; Proposed Threatened Status for Subspecies of the Ringed Seal
We, NMFS, have completed a comprehensive status review of the ringed seal (Phoca hispida) under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) and announce a 12-month finding on a petition to list the ringed seal as a threatened or endangered species. Based on consideration of information presented in the status review report, an assessment of the factors in the ESA, and efforts being made to protect the species, we have determined the Arctic (Phoca hispida hispida), Okhotsk (Phoca hispida ochotensis), Baltic (Phoca hispida botnica), and Ladoga (Phoca hispida ladogensis) subspecies of the ringed seal are likely to become endangered throughout all or a significant portion of their range in the foreseeable future. Accordingly, we issue a proposed rule to list these subspecies of the ringed seal as threatened species, and we solicit comments on this proposed action. At this time, we do not propose to designate critical habitat for the Arctic ringed seal because it is not currently determinable. In order to complete the critical habitat designation process, we also solicit information on essential physical and biological features of Arctic ringed seal habitat.
Endangered and Threatened Species; Proposed Threatened and Not Warranted Status for Subspecies and Distinct Population Segments of the Bearded Seal
We, NMFS, have completed a comprehensive status review of the bearded seal (Erignathus barbatus) under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) and announce a 12-month finding on a petition to list the bearded seal as a threatened or endangered species. The bearded seal exists as two subspecies: Erignathus barbatus nauticus and Erignathus barbatus barbatus. Based on the findings from the status review report and consideration of the factors affecting these subspecies, we conclude that E. b. nauticus consists of two distinct population segments (DPSs), the Beringia DPS and the Okhotsk DPS. Moreover, based on consideration of information presented in the status review report, an assessment of the factors in section 4(a)(1) of the ESA, and efforts being made to protect the species, we have determined the Beringia DPS and the Okhotsk DPS are likely to become endangered throughout all or a significant portion of their ranges in the foreseeable future. We have also determined that E. b. barbatus is not in danger of extinction or likely to become endangered throughout all or a significant portion of its range in the foreseeable future. Accordingly, we are now issuing a proposed rule to list the Beringia DPS and the Okhotsk DPS of the bearded seal as threatened species. No listing action is proposed for E. b. barbatus. We solicit comments on this proposed action. At this time, we do not propose to designate critical habitat for the Beringia DPS because it is not currently determinable. In order to complete the critical habitat designation process, we solicit information on the essential physical and biological features of bearded seal habitat for the Beringia DPS.
Endangered Species; File Nos. 13307, 13544, and 14586
Notice is hereby given that NMFS has issued a permit and two permit modifications to take sea turtles and marine mammals for purposes of scientific research.
Stainless Steel Sheet and Strip in Coils From Taiwan: Final Results of Antidumping Duty Administrative Review
On August 13, 2010, the Department of Commerce (the Department) published the preliminary results of the administrative review of the antidumping duty order on stainless steel sheet and strip in coils (SSSSC) from Taiwan. This review covers twenty producers/ exporters of the subject merchandise to the United States. The period of review (POR) is July 1, 2008, through June 30, 2009. Based on our analysis of the comments received, we have made no changes in the margin calculations. Therefore, the final results do not differ from the preliminary results. The final weighted-average dumping margin for the reviewed firms are listed below in the section entitled ``Final Results of Review.''
Marine Mammals; File No. 15750
Notice is hereby given that ABR, Inc. Environmental Research and Services, Fairbanks, AK, has applied in due form for a permit to conduct research on marine mammals.
Direct Investment Surveys: BE-577, Quarterly Survey of U.S. Direct Investment Abroad-Direct Transactions of U.S. Reporter With Foreign Affiliate
This final rule amends regulations of the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA), Department of Commerce, to set forth the reporting requirements for BE-577 quarterly survey of U.S. direct investment abroad. BEA conducts the survey quarterly and obtains sample data on transactions and positions between U.S.-owned foreign business enterprises and their U.S. parents. Through this rule, BEA will modify items on the survey form and the reporting criteria. Changes will bring the BE-577 forms and related instructions into conformity with the 2009 BE-10, Benchmark Survey of U.S. Direct Investment Abroad, and will raise the threshold for reporting.
Export Control Modernization: Strategic Trade Authorization License Exception
This proposed rule would add a new license exception to the Export Administration Regulations (EAR). The exception would allow exports, reexports and transfers (in-country) of specified items to destinations that pose little risk of unauthorized use of those items. To provide assurance against diversion to unauthorized destinations, transactions under this license exception would be subject to notification, destination control statement and consignee statement requirements. This proposed rule is part of the Administration's Export Control Reform Initiative undertaken as a result of the fundamental review of the U.S. export control system announced by the President in August 2009.
Commerce Control List: Revising Descriptions of Items and Foreign Availability
As part of the President's export control reform initiative, the Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) seeks public comments on how the descriptions of items controlled on the Commerce Control List (CCL) of the Export Administration Regulations (EAR) could be more clear and positive and ``tiered'' in a manner consistent with the control criteria the Administration has developed as part of the reform effort. The request for comments on how items on the CCL could be tiered includes a request for comments on the degree to which a controlled item provides the United States with a critical, substantial, or significant military or intelligence advantage; and the availability of the item outside certain groups of countries.
New England Fishery Management Council; Public Hearings
The New England Fishery Management Council (NEFMC) will hold public hearings to solicit comments on proposals to be included in the Draft Amendment 6 to the Monkfish Fishery Management Plan (FMP). The purpose of Amendment 6 is to consider one or more catch share management approaches for the monkfish fishery, including, but not limited to, Individual Fishery Quotas (IFQs), sectors and/or community quotas. The NEFMC is initiating a public process to determine the scope of issues and range of alternatives to be addressed in Amendment 6 and its environmental impact statement (EIS).
Fisheries of the Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico, and South Atlantic; Snapper-Grouper Fishery Off the South Atlantic States; Emergency Rule To Delay Effectiveness of the Snapper-Grouper Area Closure
NMFS issues this temporary rule to delay the effective date of the area closure for snapper-grouper specified in Amendment 17A to the Fishery Management Plan for the Snapper-Grouper Fishery of the South Atlantic Region (FMP). The area closure will become effective on January 3, 2011, through the final rule that implements Amendment 17A. A Southeast Data Assessment and Review (SEDAR) benchmark stock assessment for red snapper (SEDAR 24) was just completed on October 25, 2010, and was reviewed by the South Atlantic Fishery Management Council's (Council's) Scientific and Statistical Committee (SSC) during its meeting from November 9-11, 2010. The new stock assessment still shows red snapper to be overfished and undergoing overfishing, however, the rate of overfishing found in SEDAR 24 is less than the rate of overfishing found in the previous stock assessment (SEDAR 15). The SSC concluded that, based on SEDAR 24, the snapper-grouper area closure approved in Amendment 17A is more conservative that what is needed to end overfishing of red snapper. Temporarily delaying the effective date of the snapper-grouper area closure specified in Amendment 17A will allow the Council time to respond to the new stock assessment information through a regulatory amendment, which will be discussed at the Council's December meeting. This emergency action is necessary to mitigate negative socioeconomic impacts associated with the snapper- grouper area closure on South Atlantic snapper-grouper fishermen and to ensure the area closure is based upon the best scientific information available.
Fisheries of the Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico, and South Atlantic; Snapper-Grouper Fishery Off the Southern Atlantic States; Amendment 17A
NMFS issues this final rule to implement Amendment 17A to the Fishery Management Plan for the Snapper-Grouper Fishery of the South Atlantic Region (FMP), as prepared and submitted by the South Atlantic Fishery Management Council (Council). This final rule establishes an annual catch limit (ACL) of zero for red snapper, which means all harvest and possession of red snapper in or from the South Atlantic exclusive economic zone (EEZ) is prohibited, and for a vessel with a Federal commercial or charter vessel/headboat permit for South Atlantic snapper-grouper, harvest and possession of red snapper is prohibited in or from State or Federal waters. This rule also implements an area closure for South Atlantic snapper-grouper that extends from southern Georgia to northern Florida where harvest and possession of all snapper-grouper species is prohibited (except when fishing with black sea bass pots or spearfishing gear for species other than red snapper), and requires the use of non-stainless steel circle hooks when fishing for snapper-grouper species with hook and line gear north of 28[deg] N. latitude in the South Atlantic EEZ. Additionally, Amendment 17A establishes a rebuilding plan for red snapper and requires a monitoring program as the accountability measure (AM) for red snapper. The intended effects of this rule are to end overfishing of South Atlantic red snapper and rebuild the stock.
On November 9, 2010, NMFS published a Notice of Receipt that the Northwest Fisheries Science Center (NWFSC, Dr. M. Bradley Hanson, Principal Investigator), 2725 Montlake Blvd. East, Seattle, Washington 98112-2097, had applied for an amendment to Scientific Research Permit No. 781-1824-01. Public comments were due by December 09, 2010. NMFS has extended the comment period to allow additional time for submission of public comments on this action.
Endangered and Threatened Species; Take of Anadromous Fish
Notice is hereby given that NMFS has received two scientific research permit application requests relating to salmonids listed under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). The proposed research is intended to increase knowledge of the species and to help guide management and conservation efforts.
Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act Provisions; Fisheries of the Northeastern United States; Atlantic Surfclam (Surfclam) and Ocean Quahog Fishery
NMFS withdraws the proposed rule published on June 30, 2010, which proposed to open a portion of the Georges Bank (GB) Closed Area to the harvest of surfclams and ocean quahogs. The previously published proposed rule will not be issued as a final rule and will not become effective or enforceable. The current GB Closed Area remains in effect.
Notice is hereby given that Dr. Terrie Williams, Long Marine Lab, Institute of Marine Sciences, University of California at Santa Cruz, 100 Shaffer Road, Santa Cruz, CA 95060, has requested a change to the application for an amendment to Scientific Research Permit No. 13602.
Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act Provisions; Fisheries of the Northeastern United States; Extension of Emergency Fishery Closure Due to the Presence of the Toxin That Causes Paralytic Shellfish Poisoning
This temporary rule extends a closure of Federal waters. The FDA has determined that oceanographic conditions and alga sampling data suggest that the northern section of the Temporary Paralytic Shellfish Poison (PSP) Closure Area remain closed to the harvest of bivalve molluscan shellfish, with the exception of sea scallop adductor muscles harvested and shucked at sea, and that the southern area remain closed to the harvest of whole or roe-on scallops. The regulations contained in the temporary rule, emergency action, first published in 2005, and have been subsequently extended several times at the request of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). NMFS is publishing the regulatory text associated with this closure in this temporary emergency rule in order to ensure that current regulations accurately reflect the codified text that has been modified and extended numerous times, so that the public is aware of the regulations being extended.
Fisheries of the Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico, and South Atlantic; Emergency Fisheries Closure in the Gulf of Mexico Due to the Deepwater Horizon MC252 Oil Spill; Amendment 4
NMFS issues this temporary emergency rule to prohibit royal red shrimp fishing in a specific area of the Gulf of Mexico (Gulf) exclusive economic zone (EEZ), in response to a fishery interaction of the Gulf shrimp fishery with sub-surface oil byproducts from the Deepwater Horizon MC252 oil spill. This temporary emergency rule supersedes the temporary emergency rule published December 1, 2010 (75 FR 74648) and will remain in effect for 60 days. The intended effect of this temporary emergency rule is to assure seafood safety and consumer confidence in Gulf seafood.
Effectiveness of Federal Agency Participation in Standardization in Select Technology Sectors for National Science and Technology Council's Sub-Committee on Standardization
The National Institute of Standards and Technology, on behalf of the National Science and Technology Council's Sub-Committee on Standards, invites interested parties to provide their perspectives on the effectiveness of Federal agencies' participation in the development and implementation of standards and conformity assessment activities and programs. This information will help the Sub-Committee on Standards develop case studies that Federal agencies can consider in their future engagement in standards development and conformity assessment, particularly for multi-disciplinary technologies, or for technologies involving engagement from multiple Federal agencies.
Pilot Program for Extended Time Period To Reply to a Notice To File Missing Parts of Nonprovisional Application
The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) previously published a notice requesting comments on a proposed change to missing parts practice in nonprovisional applications. The USPTO has considered the comments and is implementing a pilot program (Extended Missing Parts Pilot Program) in which an applicant can request a twelve-month time period to pay certain fees and to reply to a Notice to File Missing Parts of Nonprovisional Application. Under the Extended Missing Parts Pilot Program, applicant must file a nonprovisional application within twelve months of the filing date of a provisional application and directly claim the benefit of the provisional application, as well as submit a certification and request to participate in the Extended Missing Parts Pilot Program with the nonprovisional application. In addition, applicant must not file a nonpublication request. Applicant will be given a twelve-month period to decide whether the nonprovisional application should be completed by paying the search fee, the examination fee, any excess claim fees, and the surcharge ($130.00 for non-small entity or $65.00 for small entity) for the late submission of the search fee and examination fee within that twelve-month period. The nonprovisional application will be published under the existing eighteen-month publication provisions. Therefore, applicant should also submit the basic filing fee, an executed oath or declaration, and application papers that are in condition for publication, on filing of the application with the request to participate in the pilot. If the basic filing fee, an executed oath declaration, and/or application papers that are in condition for publication are not submitted with the application and the request to participate in the pilot, applicant will need to submit these items within a two-month (extendable) time period. In view of the comments, the USPTO is cautiously moving forward by implementing the proposed procedure as a pilot program. Specifically, the pilot program will require applicant to submit a certification and request to participate in the pilot program, rather than automatically applying the procedure to all applicants. The USPTO is providing a certification and request form that includes educational information regarding domestic benefit claims, foreign filings, patent term adjustment (PTA) effects, the need for a complete disclosure of the invention, potential increase in fees, and the benefits of submitting a complete set of claims. In addition, the USPTO is implementing a number of educational initiatives to assist independent inventors and other applicants. The Extended Missing Parts Pilot Program will benefit applicants by permitting additional time to determine if patent protection should be soughtat a relatively low costand by permitting applicants to focus efforts on commercialization during this period. The Extended Missing Parts Pilot Program will benefit the USPTO and the public by adding publications to the body of prior art, and by removing from the USPTO's workload those nonprovisional applications for which applicants later decide not to pursue examination. Applicants are advised that the extended missing parts period does not affect the twelve-month priority period provided by the Paris Convention for the Protection of Industrial Property. Thus, any foreign filings must still be made within twelve months of the filing date of the provisional application if applicant wishes to rely on the provisional application in the foreign-filed application or if protection is desired in a country requiring filing within twelve months of the earliest application for which rights are left outstanding in order to be entitled to priority.
Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands; Proposed 2011 and 2012 Harvest Specifications for Groundfish
NMFS proposes 2011 and 2012 harvest specifications and prohibited species catch (PSC) allowances for the groundfish fisheries of the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands (BSAI) management area. This action is necessary to establish harvest limits for groundfish during the 2011 and 2012 fishing years, and to accomplish the goals and objectives of the Fishery Management Plan for Groundfish of the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Management Area. The intended effect of this action is to conserve and manage the groundfish resources in the BSAI in accordance with the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act.
Atlantic Highly Migratory Species; 2011 Commercial Fishing Season and Adaptive Management Measures for the Atlantic Shark Fishery
This final rule establishes opening dates and adjusts quotas for the 2011 fishing season for sandbar sharks, non-sandbar large coastal sharks (LCS), blacknose shark, non-blacknose small coastal shark (SCS), blue sharks, porbeagle sharks, and pelagic sharks (other than porbeagle or blue sharks) based on any over- and/or underharvests experienced during the 2009 and 2010 Atlantic commercial shark fishing seasons. NMFS is taking this action to establish the 2011 adjusted fishing quotas and to open the commercial fishing seasons for the Atlantic sandbar shark, non-sandbar LCS, blacknose shark, non-blacknose SCS, and pelagic shark fisheries based on over- and underharvests from the 2009 and 2010 fishing season. This action is expected to affect commercial shark fishermen in the Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico regions. In addition to establishing opening dates and adjusting annual quotas, this final rule implements adaptive management measures, including flexible opening dates for the fishing season, as well as inseason adjustments to shark trip limits, to provide flexibility in management in the furtherance of equitable fishing opportunities, to the extent practicable, for commercial shark fishermen in all regions and areas. These actions are expected to affect commercial shark fishermen in the Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico regions.
Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Gulf of Alaska; Proposed 2011 and 2012 Harvest Specifications for Groundfish
NMFS proposes 2011 and 2012 harvest specifications, apportionments, and Pacific halibut prohibited species catch limits for the groundfish fishery of the Gulf of Alaska (GOA). This action is necessary to establish harvest limits for groundfish during the 2011 and 2012 fishing years and to accomplish the goals and objectives of the Fishery Management Plan for Groundfish of the Gulf of Alaska. The intended effect of this action is to conserve and manage the groundfish resources in the GOA in accordance with the Magnuson- Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act.
Amendments to National Marine Sanctuary Regulations Regarding Low Overflights in Designated Zones
NOAA proposes to amend the regulations of the Channel Islands, Monterey Bay, Gulf of the Farallones, and Olympic Coast national marine sanctuaries relating to sanctuary overflights. Specifically, NOAA proposes to: amend the regulations requiring that motorized aircraft maintain certain minimum altitudes above specified locations within the boundaries of the listed sanctuaries; and state that failure to comply with these altitude limits is presumed to disturb marine mammals or seabirds and is a violation of the sanctuary regulations.