Takes of Marine Mammals Incidental to Specified Activities; Taking Marine Mammals Incidental to Office of Naval Research Arctic Research Activities
NMFS has received a request from the U.S. Navy's Office of Naval Research (ONR) for authorization to take marine mammals incidental to Arctic Research Activities in the Beaufort and Chukchi Seas. Pursuant to the Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA), NMFS is requesting comments on its proposal to issue an incidental harassment authorization (IHA) to incidentally take marine mammals during the specified activities. NMFS is also requesting comments on a possible one-year renewal that could be issued under certain circumstances and if all requirements are met, as described in Request for Public Comments at the end of this notice. NMFS will consider public comments prior to making any final decision on the issuance of the requested MMPA authorizations and agency responses will be summarized in the final notice of our decision. ONR's activities are considered military readiness activities pursuant to the Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA), as amended by the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2004 (NDAA).
International Fisheries; Western and Central Pacific Fisheries for Highly Migratory Species; Fishing Restrictions in Purse Seine Fisheries
This interim final rule establishes limits on fishing effort by U.S. purse seine vessels in the U.S. exclusive economic zone (EEZ) and on the high seas between the latitudes of 20[deg] N. and 20[deg] S. in the area of application of the Convention on the Conservation and Management of Highly Migratory Fish Stocks in the Western and Central Pacific Ocean (Convention). The calendar year limit for 2019 is 1,616 fishing days. The calendar year limit for 2020 and subsequent years is 1,828 fishing days. This action is necessary for the United States to implement provisions of a conservation and management measure adopted by the Commission for the Conservation and Management of Highly Migratory Fish Stocks in the Western and Central Pacific Ocean (WCPFC or Commission) and to satisfy the obligations of the United States under the Convention, to which it is a Contracting Party. NMFS is seeking comments on this interim final rule and will respond to those comments in a subsequent final rule.
Fisheries of the Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico, and South Atlantic; 2019 Commercial Accountability Measure and Closure for South Atlantic Snowy Grouper
NMFS implements accountability measures (AMs) for commercial snowy grouper in the exclusive economic zone (EEZ) of the South Atlantic. NMFS projects commercial landings for snowy grouper will reach the commercial annual catch limit (ACL) by August 3, 2019. Therefore, NMFS closes the commercial sector for snowy grouper in the South Atlantic EEZ on August 3, 2019, and it will remain closed until the start of the next commercial fishing season on January 1, 2020. This closure is necessary to protect the snowy grouper resource.
Fisheries of the Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico, and South Atlantic; Spiny Lobster Fishery of the Gulf of Mexico and South Atlantic; Amendment 13
The Gulf of Mexico (Gulf Council) and South Atlantic Fishery Management Councils (South Atlantic Council) (Councils) have submitted Amendment 13 to the Fishery Management Plan for Spiny Lobster in the Gulf of Mexico and South Atlantic (FMP), for review, approval, and implementation by NMFS. The purpose of Amendment 13 and this final rule is to align Federal regulations for spiny lobster that apply to the EEZ off Florida with Florida state regulations, re-establish a procedure for an enhanced cooperative management system, and update the regulations to aid law enforcement and the public.
Changes to the Trademark Rules of Practice To Mandate Electronic Filing
The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO or Office) amends the Rules of Practice in Trademark Cases and the Rules of Practice in Filings Pursuant to the Protocol Relating to the Madrid Agreement Concerning the International Registration of Marks to mandate electronic filing of trademark applications and all submissions associated with trademark applications and registrations, and to require the designation of an email address for receiving USPTO correspondence, with limited exceptions. This rule advances the USPTO's IT strategy to achieve complete end-to-end electronic processing of trademark-related submissions, thereby improving administrative efficiency by facilitating electronic file management, optimizing workflow processes, and reducing processing errors.
North Pacific Fishery Management Council; Public Meeting
The North Pacific Fishery Management Council (Council) Trawl Electronic Monitoring Committee will meet August 21, 2019 through August 22, 2019.
Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council (MAFMC); Public Meetings
The Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council's (Council) Spiny Dogfish Advisory Panel (AP) will meet to review recent fishery performance and develop a Fishery Performance Report and/or other recommendations in preparation for review of the annual specifications that commence May 1, 2020. Potential federal trip limit modifications will also be discussed.
Judges Panel of the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award
The Judges Panel of the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award (Judges Panel) will meet in closed session on Wednesday, August 21, 2019, from 9:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Eastern time. The purpose of this meeting is to review the results of examiners' scoring of written applications. Panel members will vote on which applicants merit site visits by examiners to verify the accuracy of quality improvements claimed by applicants. The meeting is closed to the public in order to protect the proprietary data to be examined and discussed.
National Construction Safety Team Advisory Committee Meeting
The National Construction Safety Team (NCST) Advisory Committee (Committee) will hold an open in-person meeting on Friday, September 6, 2019, from 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Eastern Time. The primary purposes of this meeting are to update the Committee on the progress of the NCST technical investigation to study building failures and emergency response and evacuation during Hurricane Maria, which made landfall in the U.S. territory of Puerto Rico on September 20, 2017, and the implementation of recommendations from previous NCST investigations, including the Joplin tornado investigation. The agenda may change to accommodate Committee business. The final agenda will be posted on the NIST website at https://www.nist.gov/topics/disaster- failure-studies/national-construction-safety-team-ncst/adviso ry- committee.
Takes of Marine Mammals Incidental to Specified Activities; Taking Marine Mammals Incidental to Oil and Gas Activities in Cook Inlet, Alaska
NMFS, upon request from Hilcorp Alaska LLC (Hilcorp), hereby issues regulations to govern the unintentional taking of marine mammals incidental to oil and gas activities in Cook Inlet, Alaska, over the course of five years (2019-2024). These regulations, which allow for the issuance of Letters of Authorization (LOA) for the incidental take of marine mammals during the described activities and specified timeframes, prescribe the permissible methods of taking and other means of effecting the least practicable adverse impact on marine mammal species or stocks and their habitat, as well as requirements pertaining to the monitoring and reporting of such taking. In accordance with the Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA), as amended, and implementing regulations, notification is hereby additionally given that a LOA has been issued to Hilcorp to take marine mammals incidental to oil and gas activities.
Setting and Adjusting Patent Fees During Fiscal Year 2020
The United States Patent and Trademark Office (Office or USPTO) proposes to set or adjust patent fees as authorized by the Leahy-Smith America Invents Act (Act or AIA), as amended by the Study of Underrepresented Classes Chasing Engineering and Science Success Act of 2018 (SUCCESS Act). The USPTO is a business-like operation where the demand for patent products and services and the cost of our operations are affected by external factors, such as the economy, legislation, court decisions, and increases in the costs of supplies and contract services, as well as internal factors, such as changes in patent examination processes and procedures. The proposed fee adjustments are needed to provide the Office with a sufficient amount of aggregate revenue to recover the aggregate cost of patent operations in future years (based on current projections) and to allow the Office to continue progress towards achieving strategic goals.