Incidental Takes of Marine Mammals During Specified Activities; Geophysical Surveys in South San Francisco Bay South of the Dumbarton Bridge
In accordance with provisions of the Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA) as amended, notification is hereby given that an Incidental Harassment Authorization (IHA) has been issued to Fugro West, Inc. (Fugro), to take small numbers of California sea lions, Pacific harbor seals, harbor porpoises, and gray whales, by harassment, incidental to geographical seismic surveys being conducted in south San Francisco Bay (SFB or Bay) in California.
Endangered and Threatened Species; Recovery Plans
The National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) announces the availability of the Proposed Upper Columbia Spring Chinook Salmon, Steelhead, and Bull Trout Recovery Plan (Plan) for public review and comment. The Plan addresses the Upper Columbia Spring Chinook Salmon (Oncorhynchus tshawytscha) Evolutionarily Significant Unit (ESU), the Upper Columbia Steelhead (Oncorhynchus mykiss) Distinct Population Segment (DPS), and Bull Trout (Salvelinus confluentus) in the Upper Columbia region. The Plan was prepared by the Upper Columbia Salmon Recovery Board (UCSRB) in conjunction with NMFS. Bull trout, listed as threatened, are under the jurisdiction of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) and are the subject of a draft recovery plan published by the USFWS in 2002. NMFS is soliciting review and comment from the public and all interested parties on the spring Chinook salmon and steelhead portions of the Proposed Plan. If comments are received on the bull trout portion of the Plan, NMFS will pass them on to the USFWS.
Climate Change Science Program (CCSP) Product Development Committee (CPDC) for Synthesis and Assessment Product 3.3
In accordance with the provisions of the Federal Advisory Committee Act, 5 U.S.C. App. 2, and the General Services Administration (GSA) rule of Federal Advisory Committee Management, 41 CFR part 102-3, and after consultation with GSA, the Secretary of Commerce has determined that the establishment of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Climate Change Science Program (CCSP) Product Development Committee (CPDC) for Synthesis and Assessment Product 3.3 (CPDCS&A 3.3) is in the public interest, in connection with the performance of duties imposed on the Department by law. The CPDCS&A 3.3 will advise the Secretary, through the Under Secretary of Commerce for Oceans and Atmosphere, on CCSP Topic 3.3: ``Weather and Climate Extremes in a Changing Climate''. This advice will be provided in the form of a draft Synthesis and Assessment product intended to be used by NOAA to develop a final product in accordance with the Guidelines for Producing the CCSP Synthesis and Assessment Products, the OMB Peer Review Bulletin, and the Information Quality Act Guidelines. The CPDCS&A 3.3 will consist of no more than 35 members to be appointed by the Under Secretary to assure a balanced representation among preeminent scientists, educators, and experts reflecting the full scope of the scientific issues addressed in CCSP Synthesis and Assessment Product 3.3. The CPDCS&A 3.3 will function solely as an advisory body, and in compliance with the provisions of the Federal Advisory Committee Act. Its charter will be filed under the Act, fifteen days from the date of publication of this notice. Following establishment of CPDC-S&A 3.3, the first committee meeting will be held. All sessions of the meeting will be open to the public. Place: The first meeting of CPDCS&A 3.3.will be held at the International Pacific Research Center, Honolulu, Hawaii. Time and Date: The meeting will convene at 8:30 a.m. on Monday, October 30, 2006 and adjourn at 12 noon on Thursday, November 2, 2006. Meeting information will be available online on the CPDCS&A 3.3 Web site (https://www.climate.noaa.gov/index.jsp?pg=./ccsp/33.jsp). Please note that meeting times and agenda topics described below are subject to change. Status: The meeting will be open to public participation and will include a 60-minute public comment period on October 30 from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. (check Web site to confirm this time). The CPDCS&A 3.3 expects that public statements presented at its meetings will not be repetitive of previously submitted verbal or written statements. In general, each individual or group making a verbal presentation will be limited to a total time of five (5) minutes. Written comments (at least 35 copies) should be received by the CPDCS&A 3.3 Designated Federal Official (DFO) by October 20, 2006 to provide sufficient time for review. Written comments received after October 20 will be distributed to the CPDCS&A 3.3, but may not be reviewed prior to the meeting date. Seats will be available to the public on a first-come, first- served basis. Matters To Be Considered: The meeting will (1) work on an initial draft document based on detailed outline presented in the final Prospectus (2) review of plans for completion and submission of the First Draft of Synthesis and Assessment Product 3.3 to the National Research Council for expert review.
Advisory Committee to the U.S. Section to the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas; Fall Meeting
In preparation for the 2006 ICCAT meeting, the Advisory Committee to the U.S. Section to International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas (ICCAT) will meet in October 2006.
Magnuson-Stevens Act Provisions; Fisheries off West Coast States; Pacific Coast Groundfish Fishery; Biennial Specifications and Management Measures; Amendment 16-4; Pacific Coast Salmon Fishery
NMFS proposes a rule to implement Amendment 16-4 to the Pacific Coast Groundfish Fishery Management Plan (FMP) and to set the 2007-2008 harvest specifications and management measures for groundfish taken in the U.S. exclusive economic zone (EEZ) off the coasts of Washington, Oregon, and California. Amendment 16-4 would modify the FMP to implement revised rebuilding plans for seven overfished species: bocaccio, canary rockfish, cowcod, darkblotched rockfish, Pacific ocean perch (POP), widow rockfish, and yelloweye rockfish. Groundfish harvest specifications and management measures for 2007-2008 are intended to: achieve but not exceed optimum yields (OYs); prevent overfishing; rebuild overfished species; reduce and minimize the bycatch and discard of overfished and depleted stocks; provide harvest opportunity for the recreational and commercial fishing sectors; and, within the commercial fisheries, achieve harvest guidelines and limited entry and open access allocations as closely as possible. Together, Amendment 16-4 and the 2007-2008 harvest specifications and management measures are intended to rebuild overfished stocks as soon as possible, taking into account the status and biology of the stocks, the needs of fishing communities, and the interaction of the overfished stocks within the marine environment. In addition to the management measures implemented for directed and incidental groundfish fisheries, this proposed rule would implement a new Yelloweye Rockfish Conservation Area off Washington State, which will be closed to commercial salmon troll fishing.
Fishing Capacity Reduction Program for the Longline Catcher Processor Subsector of the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Non-pollock Groundfish Fishery
NMFS issues a final rule implementing the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands (BSAI) Catcher Processor Capacity Reduction Program (Reduction Program) for the longline catcher processor subsector of the BSAI non-pollock groundfish fishery (Reduction Fishery), in compliance with the FY 2005 Appropriations Act. This program is voluntary and permit holders of the Reduction Fishery (Subsector Members) are eligible to participate. Subsector Members must sign and abide by the Capacity Reduction Agreement (Reduction Agreement) and, if their offers are selected, a Fishing Capacity Reduction Contract (Reduction Contract) with the U.S. Government. These key components of the Capacity Reduction Plan (Reduction Plan) were prepared by the Freezer Longline Conservation Cooperative (FLCC) and are implemented by the final regulations. The aggregate of all Reduction Agreements and those Reduction Contracts signed by Subsector Members whose offers were accepted by \2/3\ votes of the Subsector Members, will together with the FLCC's supporting documents and rationale that these offers represent the expenditure of the least money for the greatest capacity reduction, constitute the Reduction Plan to be submitted to the Secretary of Commerce for approval. Subsector Members participating in the Reduction Program will receive up to $36 million in exchange for relinquishing valid non-interim Federal License Limitation Program BSAI groundfish licenses endorsed for catcher processor fishing activity, Catcher/Processor (C/P), Pacific cod, and hook and line gear, as well as any present or future claims of eligibility for any fishing privilege based on such permit (the Groundfish Reduction Permit) and additionally, any future fishing privilege of the vessel named on the permit. Individual fishing quota (IFQ) quota shares would be excluded from relinquishment. Following submission of the Reduction Plan and approval by the Secretary, NMFS will conduct an industry referendum to determine the industry's willingness to repay a fishing capacity reduction loan to effect the Reduction Plan. A \2/3\ majority vote in favor would bind all parties and complete the reduction process. NMFS will issue a 30-year loan to be repaid by those harvesters remaining in the Reduction Fishery. The intent of this final rule is to permanently reduce harvesting capacity in the Reduction Fishery. This should result in increased harvesting productivity for post-reduction Subsector Members and help with conservation and management of the Reduction Fishery.