National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration March 22, 2007 – Federal Register Recent Federal Regulation Documents

Receipt of an Application for Incidental Take Permit (1603)
Document Number: E7-5272
Type: Notice
Date: 2007-03-22
Agency: Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
NMFS has received an application for an incidental take permit (Permit) from the North Carolina Division of Marine Fisheries (NCDMF) pursuant to the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended (ESA). As required by the ESA, NCDMF's application includes a conservation plan designed to minimize and mitigate any such take of endangered or threatened species. The Permit application is for the incidental take of ESA-listed adult and juvenile sea turtles associated with commercial shrimp trawling without the use of a turtle excluder device (TED) off the coast of North Carolina from Browns Inlet to Rich Inlet due to high concentrations of algae which clog shrimp trawls and TEDs. The duration of the proposed Permit is for 5 years. NMFS is furnishing this notice in order to allow other agencies and the public an opportunity to review and comment on this document. All comments received will become part of the public record and will be available for review.
Protective Regulations for Killer Whales in the Northwest Region under the Endangered Species Act and Marine Mammal Protection Act
Document Number: E7-5262
Type: Proposed Rule
Date: 2007-03-22
Agency: Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
We, the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), listed the Southern Resident killer whale distinct population segment (DPS) as endangered under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) on November 18, 2005. In the final rule announcing the listing, we identified vessel effects, including direct interference and sound, as a potential contributing factor in the recent decline of this population. Both the Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA) and the ESA prohibit take, including harassment, of killer whales, but these statutes do not prohibit specified acts. We are considering whether to propose regulations that would prohibit certain acts, under our general authorities under the ESA and MMPA and their implementing regulations. The Proposed Recovery Plan for Southern Resident killer whales (published November 29, 2006) includes as a management action the evaluation of current guidelines and the need for regulations and/or protected areas. The scope of this advance notice of proposed rulemaking (ANPR) encompasses the activities of any person or conveyance that may result in the unauthorized taking of killer whales and/or that may cause detrimental individual-level and population-level impacts. NMFS requests comments on whetherand if so, what type of conservation measures, regulations, or other measures would be appropriate to protect killer whales from the effects of these activities.
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