New England Fishery Management Council; Atlantic Sea Scallop; Scoping Process
The New England Fishery Management Council (Council) announces its intent to prepare an amendment to the Fishery Management Plan (FMP) for Atlantic Sea scallops (Placopecten magellanicus ((Gmelin)) and to prepare an EIS to analyze the impacts of any proposed management measures. The Council is also formally re-initiating a public process to determine the scope of alternatives to be addressed in the amendment and EIS. The purpose of this notification is to alert the interested public of the re-commencement of the scoping process and to provide for public participation in compliance with environmental documentation requirements.
Availability of a Draft Environmental Assessment/Habitat Conservation Plan, and Receipt of Applications for Incidental Take Permits from the Broughton Land Company, Columbia County, Washington
The FWS and the NMFS (collectively, the Services) announce the availability for public review of a combined draft Environmental Assessment/Habitat Conservation Plan (EA/HCP) pertaining to an application by the Broughton Land Company (BLC) for incidental take permits (ITPs) pursuant to the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended (ESA). The draft EA/HCP addresses the proposed issuance of ITPs by the Services to the BLC for land management activities in Columbia County, Washington, that are identified in the HCP portion of the draft document. The proposed ITPs would authorize take, incidental to otherwise lawful activities, of the following threatened fish species: the bull trout (Salvelinus confluentus); Snake River spring/summer Chinook salmon and the Snake River fall Chinook salmon (both Oncorhynchus tshawytscha); and the middle Columbia River steelhead trout and the Snake River steelhead trout (both O. mykiss). We request comments from the public on the permit applications and the draft EA/HCP, all of which are available for review. The EA/HCP describes the proposed action and the measures that the BLC will implement to minimize and mitigate take of the threatened fish species discussed above. To review the documents, see ``Availability of Documents'' in the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section below.
Taking and Importing Marine Mammals; Atlantic Fleet Active Sonar Training (AFAST) Activities
NMFS has received a request from the U.S. Navy (Navy) for authorization for the take of marine mammals incidental to Atlantic Fleet Active Sonar Training (AFAST) activities conducted off the Atlantic coast and in the Gulf of Mexico for the period beginning January 2009 and ending January 2014. Pursuant to the implementing regulations of the Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA), NMFS is announcing our receipt of the Navy's request for the development and implementation of regulations governing the incidental taking of marine mammals and inviting information, suggestions, and comments on the Navy's application and request.
Endangered Species; File No. 1614
Notice is hereby given that the NOAA Fisheries Northeast Region, Protected Resources Division [Responsible Party: Mary Colligan], One Blackburn Drive, Gloucester, MA 01930, has been issued a permit to take dead shortnose sturgeon for purposes of scientific research.
Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Individual Fishing Quota Program; Community Development Quota Program
NMFS proposes regulations to modify both the Individual Fishing Quota (IFQ) Program and the Community Development Quota (CDQ) Program for the fixed-gear commercial Pacific halibut and sablefish fisheries. This action would amend current regulations to remove a prohibition against the use of longline pot fishing gear in the Bering Sea sablefish IFQ and sablefish CDQ fisheries in the month of June. This action also would add regulatory provisions to allow members of the National Guard and military reserves who are mobilized to active duty to temporarily transfer their annual halibut and sablefish IFQ to other eligible IFQ recipients. This action is necessary to increase the efficiency of fishermen operating longline pot vessels in the Bering Sea sablefish fishery and to allow guardsmen and reservists to accrue some economic benefit from their annual IFQ if unable to harvest it due to military service. This proposed action is intended to promote the conservation and management provisions in the Fishery Management Plan for Groundfish of the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Management Area (FMP) and the Northern Pacific Halibut Act of 1982 (Halibut Act).
Incidental Takes of Marine Mammals During Specified Activities; Marine Geophysical Surveys in the Eastern Tropical Pacific Ocean in 2007
NMFS has received an application from the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory (L-DEO) for an Incidental Harassment Authorization (IHA) to take small numbers of marine mammals, by harassment, incidental to conducting two marine seismic surveys in the Eastern Tropical Pacific Ocean (ETP) during 2008. Under the Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA), NMFS is requesting comments on its proposed IHA for these activities.
Endangered and Threatened Species; Revised Recovery Plan for Distinct Population Segments of Steller Sea Lion
The National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) announces the availability of the Final Revised Recovery Plan, dated March 2008, for the western and eastern distinct population segments (DPS) of Steller sea lion (Eumetopias jubatus). NMFS also provides a link to the comprehensive and extensive responses to comments on the May 2007 Draft Revised Steller Sea Lion Recovery Plan posted on our website.
Listing Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Designating Critical Habitat; 90-day Finding for a Petition to Reclassify the Loggerhead Turtle in the Western North Atlantic Ocean
We, NMFS, announce the 90-day finding for a petition to reclassify loggerhead turtles (Caretta caretta) in the western North Atlantic Ocean as a Distinct Population Segment (DPS) with endangered status and designate critical habitat under the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended (ESA). The loggerhead is currently listed as threatened throughout its range. We find that the petition presents substantial scientific information indicating that the petitioned action may be warranted. We have initiated a review of the status of the species to determine whether the petitioned action is warranted and to determine whether any additional changes to the current listing of the loggerhead turtle are warranted. To ensure a comprehensive review, we solicit information and comments pertaining to this species from any interested party.
New England Fishery Management Council; Public Meeting
The New England Fishery Management Council's (Council) Herring Oversight Committee will meet to consider actions affecting New England fisheries in the exclusive economic zone (EEZ).
Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council; Public Meetings
The Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council will convene a public meeting of the Ad Hoc Recreational Red Snapper Advisory Panel (AP).
Taking of Marine Mammals Incidental to Commercial Fishing Operations; Atlantic Large Whale Take Reduction Plan
The Assistant Administrator for Fisheries (AA), NOAA, announces temporary restrictions consistent with the requirements of the Atlantic Large Whale Take Reduction Plan's (ALWTRP) implementing regulations. These regulations apply to lobster trap/pot and anchored gillnet fishermen in an area totaling approximately 1,238 nm\2\ (4,246 km\2\), east of Chatham, Massachusetts for 15 days. The purpose of this action is to provide protection to an aggregation of northern right whales (right whales).
Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Pacific Cod by Vessels Catching Pacific Cod for Processing by the Inshore Component in the Western Regulatory Area of the Gulf of Alaska
NMFS is prohibiting directed fishing for Pacific cod by vessels catching Pacific cod for processing by the inshore component in the Western Regulatory Area of the Gulf of Alaska (GOA). This action is necessary to prevent exceeding the A season allocation of the 2008 total allowable catch (TAC) of Pacific cod apportioned to vessels catching Pacific cod for processing by the inshore component of the Western Regulatory Area of the GOA.
Notice of Intent To Prepare a Draft Environmental Impact Statement for the Gray's Reef National Marine Sanctuary
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's (NOAA) Office of National Marine Sanctuaries (ONMS) is preparing a draft environmental impact statement to consider the establishment of a research (control) area in Gray's Reef National Marine Sanctuary (GRNMS). Activities are restricted within research areas in order to facilitate better understanding of resources and environmental processes. This notice announces the beginning of public scoping pursuant to the National Environmental Policy Act. The public scoping process, including public scoping meetings, is intended to solicit information and comments on the range and significance of issues related to the establishment of a research area at Gray's Reef. The results of this scoping process will assist NOAA in formulating alternatives for the draft environmental impact statement for the proposed research area. This notice contains times, dates, and locations for scoping meetings.