Availability of Seats for the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary Advisory Council
The Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary (MBNMS or sanctuary) is seeking applicants for the following vacant seats on its Sanctuary Advisory Council (council): At-Large (two seats), Agriculture, Business/Industry, Commercial Fishing, Recreational Fishing, Recreation, Research, and Conservation. 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 3-year terms, pursuant to the council's Charter.
Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Inseason Adjustment to the 2007 Aleutian Islands Atka Mackerel Total Allowable Catch Amounts
NMFS is adjusting the annual total allowable catch amount (TAC) for the Central and Western Aleutian District Atka mackerel fisheries. This action is necessary because NMFS has determined these TACs are incorrectly specified. This action will ensure the A and B season harvests of Central and Western Aleutian District Atka mackerel do not exceed the appropriate amount based on the best available scientific information for Atka mackerel in the Aleutian Islands subarea. This action is consistent with the goals and objectives of the Fishery Management Plan for Groundfish of the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Management Area (FMP).
Pacific Fishery Management Council; Public Meeting
The Pacific Fishery Management Council's (Council) Groundfish Management Team (GMT) will hold a working meeting, which is open to the public.
Marine Mammals; File No. 775-1875
Notice is hereby given that the Northeast Fisheries Science Center (NEFSC), National Marine Fisheries Service (Dr. Richard Merrick, Principal Investigator), 166 Water Street, Woods Hole, MA 02543, has applied in due form for a permit to conduct scientific research on and import/export specimens collected from marine mammals.
Fisheries of the Northeastern United States; Atlantic Herring Fishery; 2007-2009 Specifications
NMFS proposes specifications for the 2007-2009 Atlantic herring fishery. The intent of the specifications is to conserve and manage the Atlantic herring resource and provide for a sustainable fishery.
Fisheries of the South Atlantic; South Atlantic Fishery Management Council; Public Meeting
The South Atlantic Fishery Management Council (Council) will hold a meeting of its Controlled Access Committee in Charleston, SC.
Alaska Coastal Management Program: Incorporation of Revised Coastal District Management Plans for Cities of Skagway, Hoonah, and Pelican; and Deletion of Coastal District Management Plans for Cities of Angoon, Hydaburg, Kake, Klawock, and St. Paul with Associated Areas Meriting Special Attention; Availability of Environmental Assessment and Finding of No Significant Impact
Notice is hereby given of the availability of the Environmental Assessment (EA) and Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI) for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's (NOAA) approval of the State of Alaska's Coastal Management Program (ACMP) request to incorporate revisions to the cities of Skagway, Hoonah and Pelican's coastal district management and plan and to delete the cites of Angoon, Hydaburg, Kake, Klawock, and St. Paul coastal district management plans and associated Areas Meriting Special Attention (AMSA) as a routine program change to the ACMP. The EA was prepared pursuant to the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) U.S.A. 4321 et seq. to assess the environmental impacts associated with the approval and implementation of these revisions to the ACMP, which were submitted to NOAA by the State of Alaska. Pursuant to Section 306(g) of the Coastal Zone Management Act of 1972 as amended (CZMA) and NOAA's Office of Ocean and Coastal Resource Management (OCRM) regulations (15 CFR part 923, subpart H), OCRM is required to approve any amendment, modification, or other change to a state's federally- approved coastal management program. This includes changes to local coastal management programs. See 15 CFR part 923, subpart E. For the purposes of this EA, the proposed action is approval of the proposed revisions to three district coastal management plans and deletion of the five district coastal management plans and associated AMSA. These changes to the ACMP will bring the three revised district coastal management plans into compliance with the recently-approved amendments to the ACMP, and eliminate five previously-approved district coastal management plans and their associated AMSA. The five districts will no longer participate at the local level in the State's federally- approved coastal zone management program. The coastal area in which the five deleted coastal management programs reside will continue to be covered by the ACMP's federally-approved statewide (rather than local) policies. However, due to other recent changes to the ACMP approved by OCRM, some district area uses and resources may not receive the same level of resource coverage, including subsistence resources. NOAA finds that the ACMP has met the requirements for submitting a routine program change to OCRM and proposes to approve the program change. Based upon the EA, NOAA proposes to conclude that a Finding of No Significant Impact is appropriate, and therefore, an Environmental Impact Statement is unnecessary. The Council on Environmental Quality's regulations to implement NEPA require agencies to provide public notice of the availability of environmental documents. 40 CFR 1506.6. This notice is part of NOAA's action to comply with this requirement. A copy of the final EA and the Finding of No Significant Impact may be found on OCRM's Web site at https://coastalmanagement.noaa.gov/ assessments/welcome.html or may be obtained upon request from: Helen Bass, Coastal Programs Division (N/ORM3), Office of Ocean and Coastal Resource Management, NOS, NOAA, 1305 East- West Highway, Silver Spring, Maryland 20910, telephone: (301) 713-3155, x175, e-mail: Helen.Bass@noaa.gov.
Taking of Marine Mammals Incidental to Specified Activities; Open Water Seismic Operations in Cook Inlet, Alaska
NMFS has received requests from ConocoPhillips Alaska, Inc. (CPAI) and from Union Oil Company of California (UOCC) for authorizations to take small numbers of five marine mammal species incidental to seismic operations in portions of Cook Inlet, Alaska. Under the Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA), NMFS is requesting comments on its proposal to issue authorizations to CPAI and UOCC to incidentally take, by harassment, small numbers of these species between approximately mid-March and mid-June, 2007.
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 authorization 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. Under the Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA), NMFS is requesting comments on its proposal to issue an authorization to CALTRANS to incidentally take, by harassment, small numbers of these species of pinnipeds and cetaceans during the next 12 months.
New England Fishery Management Council; Public Meeting
The New England Fishery Management Council (Council) is scheduling a public meeting of its Recreational Advisory Panel (Panel) in January, 2007 to consider actions affecting New England fisheries in the exclusive economic zone (EEZ). Recommendations from this group will be brought to the full Council for formal consideration and action, if appropriate.
Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council (Council); Public Meetings
The Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council will convene public meetings.
Notice of Availability of a Final Regional Restoration Plan for Region 2, for the Louisiana Regional Restoration Program
Notice is hereby given that a document entitled ``Final Regional Restoration Plan for Region 2'' is available to the public. This document has been prepared by the state and federal natural resource trustee agencies (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA); U.S. Department of the Interior (DOI); Louisiana Oil Spill Coordinator's Office (LOSCO); and Louisiana Departments of Environmental Quality (LDEQ); Natural Resources (LDNR); and Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF)) to address natural resource injuries resulting from discharges of oil in Region 2 of the State of Louisiana. The Final Regional Restoration Plan for Region 2 is the first of nine regional plans being prepared under the statewide Louisiana Regional Restoration Planning Program developed by NOAA, DOI, and the State of Louisiana. For Further Information Contact: Requests for copies of the ``Final Regional Restoration Plan for Region 2'' or for further information, request or contact Tony Penn, Southeast Branch Chief, NOAA/Assessment and Restoration Division, 1305 East-West Highway, SSMC 4, 10th floor, Silver Spring, MD 20910; phone number 301-713-3038 x197; fax number 301-713-4387; e-mail address: Tony.Penn@noaa.gov. Or contact Charles Armbruster, RRP Program Manager, Louisiana Oil Spill Coordinator's Office, 150 Third Street, Suite 405, Baton Rouge, LA 70801; phone number 225-219-5800; fax number 225-219-5802; e-mail address: Charles.Armbruster@losco.state.la.us. When submitting a request, please indicate whether you would like the document on compact disk, a hardcopy, or the Internet address to download an electronic copy. Supplementary Information: Louisiana's economy is based, in part, on the state's vast natural resources. Both renewable (hunting, fishing, forest products) and nonrenewable (cultural, oil, natural gas) resources are important, and the industries associated with each have coexisted for years. Although Louisiana's oil and gas industry tries to avoid adverse impacts on renewable natural resources, injuries do occur as a result of oil spill incidents. The impact of these incidents on fish, wildlife, and the environment can be significant and adversely affect the industries and communities depending on natural resources for commerce and recreation. Federal and Louisiana natural resource trustees have developed a statewide Louisiana Regional Restoration Planning Program (RRP Program) to assist them in carrying out their Natural Resource Damage Assessment (NRDA) responsibilities for discharges or substantial threats of discharges of oil. Goals of the statewide Louisiana RRP Program are to: (1) Expedite and reduce the cost of the NRDA process; (2) Provide for consistency and predictability by describing in detail the NRDA process, thereby increasing understanding of the process by the public and industry; and (3) Increase restoration of lost trust resources and services injured by oil spills. The Louisiana RRP Program identifies the statewide program structure, decision-making process, and criteria that are used to select the restoration project(s) that may be implemented to restore the trust resources and services injured by an oil spill. The Louisiana RRP Program divides the state into nine regions. For each region, a Regional Restoration Plan (RRP) will be developed that identifies: the affected environment and resources; potentially injured trust resources and services; appropriate restoration types for each of the potentially injured resources and services; and available restoration projects that have been identified to date. The Final RRP for Region 2 covers an area of southeast Louisiana, including all or part of the following parishes: Ascension, Assumption, Jefferson, Lafourche, Orleans, Plaquemines, St. Bernard, St. Charles, St. James, and St. John the Baptist. The natural resource trustees (NOAA, DOI, LOSCO, LDEQ, LDNR, LDWF) are designated pursuant to 33 U.S.C. 2706(c), Executive Order 12777, and the National Contingency Plan, 40 CFR 300.600 and 300.605. Pursuant to La. Rev. Stat. 30:2460, the State of Louisiana Oil Spill Contingency Plan (September 1995) describes the state trust resources to include the following: Vegetated wetlands, surface waters, ground waters, air, soil, wildlife, aquatic life, and the appropriate habitats on which they depend. DOI has been designated as trustee for the natural resources that it manages or controls. Examples of those resources are described in the National Contingency Plan, 40 CFR 300.600(b)(2) and (3), and include the following and their supporting ecosystems: migratory birds, anadromous fish, endangered species and marine mammals, federally owned minerals, certain federally managed water resources, and natural resources located on, over, or under land administered by DOI. NOAA's trust resources include, but are not limited to: commercial and recreational fish species, anadromous and catadromous fish species, marshes and other coastal habitats, marine mammals, and endangered and threatened marine species. Pursuant to 15 CFR 990.56, the natural resource trustees are authorized to develop regional restoration plans as part of the Oil Pollution Act's mandate for the trustees to restore, rehabilitate, replace, or acquire the equivalent of natural resources and services injured by oil spill incidents and to compensate for interim losses of such resources and services. The Administrative Record (AR) for the statewide RRP Program and RRP for Region 2 is being maintained at: (1) NOAA Assessment and Restoration Division, SSMC 4, 1305 East-West Highway, Silver Spring, Maryland 20910-3281; (2) Louisiana Oil Spill Coordinator's Office, Suite 405, 150 Third Street, Baton Rouge, LA 70801; and (3) https://www.losco.state.la.us/admin/RRP/RRPprogramview.asp. The AR includes documents that the trustees relied upon during the development of the Final RRP for Region 2. Pursuant to 15 CFR 990.23 & 990.56, the trustees sought public involvement in developing the Final RRP for Region 2, through public review and comment of the documents contained in the AR, as well as through publication of the ``Louisiana Regional Restoration Planning Program Final Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement (FPEIS)''.
Fisheries of the Northeastern United States; Atlantic Bluefish Fishery; Quota Transfers
NMFS announces that the Commonwealth of Massachusetts is transferring 20,000 lb (9,072 kg) of commercial bluefish quota to the State of Rhode Island from its 2006 quota. By this action, NMFS adjusts the quotas and announces the revised commercial quota for each state involved.
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 action reinstates a temporary final rule published on October 18, 2005. The regulations contained in the temporary rule, emergency action, published on October 18, 2005, at the request of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and that were subsequently extended on December 28, 2005, and again on June 30, 2006, expire on December 31, 2006. This temporary rule extends the closure through June 30, 2007. The FDA has determined that current oceanographic conditions and alga sampling data suggests that the northern section of the Temporary Paralytic Shellfish Poison (PSP) Closure Area remain closed to the harvest of bivalve molluscan shellfish and that the southern area remain closed to the harvest of whole or roe-on scallops. 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 through June 30, 2007.
Atlantic Highly Migratory Species (HMS); Atlantic Shark Management Measures
NMFS published a notice of intent (NOI) to initiate an amendment to the Consolidated Highly Migratory Species (HMS) Fishery Management Plan (FMP) on November 7, 2006. Today's notice announces the availability of an issues and options presentation describing potential measures for inclusion in the forthcoming Amendment 2 to the Consolidated HMS FMP and provides details for seven scoping meetings to discuss and collect comments on the issues described in the presentation. Comments received on the issues and options presentation, in the scoping meetings, and on the NOI will assist NMFS in developing Amendment 2 to the Consolidated HMS FMP. These scoping meetings will be combined with public hearings to gather comment on a proposed rule to utilize the North Atlantic swordfish quota. Those hearings are announced today in an separate Federal Register document.
Atlantic Highly Migratory Species (HMS); U.S. Atlantic Swordfish Fishery Management Measures
NMFS published a proposed rule on November 28, 2006, to amend regulations governing the U.S. Atlantic swordfish fishery that would provide a reasonable opportunity for U.S. vessels to more fully harvest the domestic U.S. North Atlantic swordfish quota. This notice announces the dates, locations, and times of seven public hearings to obtain public comment on the proposed rule. Comments received at these hearings will assist NMFS in selecting management measures to more fully utilize the International Commission on the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas (ICCAT)-recommended U.S. North Atlantic swordfish quota in recognition of the improved stock status of North Atlantic swordfish. These public hearings will be combined with scoping meetings on potential shark management measures that require an amendment to the Consolidated Atlantic Highly Migratory Species Fishery Management Plan (HMS FMP). Notice of the shark scoping meetings is published today in a separate Federal Register document.
Evaluation of State Coastal Management Programs and National Estuarine Research Reserves
The NOAA Office of Ocean and Coastal Resource Management (OCRM) announces its intent to evaluate the performance of the Massachusetts Coastal Management Program, the Guam Coastal Management Program, the Chesapeake Bay-Virginia National Estuarine Research Reserve, and the Weeks Bay (Alabama) National Estuarine Research Reserve. The Coastal Zone Management Programs evaluation will be conducted pursuant to section 312 of the Coastal Zone Management Act of 1972, as amended (CZMA) and regulations at 15 CFR Part 923, Subpart L. The National Estuarine Research Reserve evaluations will be conducted pursuant to sections 312 and 315 of the CZMA and regulations at 15 CFR Part 921, Subpart E and Part 923, Subpart L. The CZMA requires continuing review of the performance of states with respect to coastal program implementation. Evaluation of Coastal Management Programs and National Estuarine Research Reserves requires findings concerning the extent to which a state has met the national objectives, adhered to its Coastal Management Program document or Reserve final management plan approved by the Secretary of Commerce, and adhered to the terms of financial assistance awards funded under the CZMA. Each evaluation will include a site visit, consideration of public comments, and consultations with interested Federal, State, and local agencies and members of the public. A public meeting will be held as part of each site visit. Notice is hereby given of the dates of the site visits for the listed evaluations, and the dates, local times, and locations of the public meetings during the site visits. Dates and Times: The Massachusetts Coastal Management Program evaluation site visit will be held February 5-9, 2007. One public meeting will be held during the week. The public meeting will be held on Tuesday, February 6, 2007, at 5:30 p.m. at the Massachusetts Office of Coastal Zone Management, Atrium, 251 Causeway Street, Boston, Massachusetts. The Guam Coastal Management Program evaluation site visit will be held February 12-16, 2007. One public meeting will be held during the week. The public meeting will be held on Tuesday, February 13, 2007, at 5 p.m. at the Richardo J. Bordallo Governor's Complex, 513 Marine Drive, Adelup, Guam. The Chesapeake Bay-Virginia National Estuarine Research Reserve evaluation site visit will be held March 20-22, 2007. One public meeting will be held during the week. The public meeting will be held on Wednesday, March 21, 2007, at 6:30 p.m. at the College of William and Mary, Virginia Institute of Marine Science, Wilson House, Route 1208, Greate Road, Gloucester Point, Virginia. The Weeks Bay (Alabama) National Estuarine Research Reserve evaluation site visit will be held March 20-23, 2007. One public meeting will be held during the week. The public meeting will be held on Wednesday, March 21, 2007, at 6 p.m. at the Weeks Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve, Auditorium, 11300 U.S. Highway 98, Fairhope, Alabama.
Taking of Marine Mammals Incidental to Specified Activities; Repair of the South Jetty at the Mouth of the Columbia River, Clatsop County, Oregon
NMFS has received a request from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (ACOE), Portland District for an authorization to take small numbers of Steller sea lions, California sea lions, and Pacific harbor seals, incidental to repair work on the South Jetty at the Mouth of the Columbia River (MCR) in Clatsop County, Oregon. As a result of this request, NMFS is proposing to issue a 1-year incidental take authorization (IHA) to take marine mammals by Level B harassment incidental to this activity. Pursuant to the Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA), NMFS is requesting comments on ACOE's application and NMFS' proposal to issue an authorization to ACOE to incidentally take, by harassment, small numbers of these species of marine mammals for a period of 1 year.