National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration September 13, 2007 – Federal Register Recent Federal Regulation Documents
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Marine Mammals; Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking
NMFS is considering proposing changes to its implementing regulations, and criteria governing the issuance of permits for scientific research and enhancement activities under section 104 of the Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA), and is soliciting public comment to better inform the process. Permits to take marine mammal species are governed by the MMPA and NMFS implementing regulations at 50 CFR part 216. For threatened and endangered marine mammal species, permits are also governed by the Endangered Species Act (ESA) and 50 CFR part 222. On May 10, 1996, a final rule was published establishing requirements for issuing permits to take, import, or export marine mammals (including endangered and threatened marine mammals) and marine mammal parts under NMFS jurisdiction for purposes of scientific research and enhancement, photography, and public display (for captures and initial imports), and providing procedures for determining the disposition of rehabilitated stranded marine mammals. NMFS intends to streamline and clarify general permitting requirements and requirements for scientific research and enhancement permits, simplify procedures for transferring marine mammal parts, possibly apply the General Authorization (GA) to research activities involving Level A harassment of non-ESA listed marine mammals, and implement a 'permit application cycle' for application submission and processing of all marine mammal permits. NMFS intends to write regulations for photography permits and is considering whether this activity should be covered by the GA. Any other recommendations received in response to this ANPR regarding regulations at 50 CFR part 216 will be considered prior to proposed rulemaking.
Science Advisory Board; Notice of Charter Renewal
The Department of Commerce's Chief Financial Officer and Assistant Secretary for Administration has renewed the charter for the Science Advisory Board (SAB) for a 2-year period, through August 8, 2009. The SAB is a federal advisory committee under the Federal Advisory Committee Act (Pub. L. 92-463).
Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Pollock in Statistical Area 620 of the Gulf of Alaska
NMFS is prohibiting directed fishing for pollock in Statistical Area 620 of the Gulf of Alaska (GOA). This action is necessary to prevent exceeding the C season allowance of the 2007 total allowable catch (TAC) of pollock for Statistical Area 620 of the GOA.