Draft Policy on Interpretation of the Phrase “Significant Portion of Its Range” in the Endangered Species Act's Definitions of “Endangered Species” and “Threatened Species”
We, the United States Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) and the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) (collectively, the Services), announce a draft policy to provide our interpretation of the phrase ``significant portion of its range'' in the Endangered Species Act's (Act's) definitions of ``endangered species'' and ``threatened species.'' The purpose of this notice is to provide a draft interpretation and application of ``significant portion of its range'' that reflects a permissible reading of the law and its legislative history and minimizes undesirable policy outcomes, while fulfilling the conservation purposes of the Act. We seek public comments on this draft policy. It is our intent to publish a final policy that will provide a consistent standard for interpretation of the phrase and its role in listing determinations that will be accorded deference by the federal courts.
Atlantic Highly Migratory Species; Atlantic Bluefin Tuna Fisheries
NMFS has determined that the Atlantic tunas General category daily retention limit of Atlantic bluefin tuna (BFT) should be adjusted for the January 2012 subquota period, based on consideration of the regulatory determination criteria regarding inseason adjustments. This action applies to Atlantic tunas General category (commercial) permitted vessels and Highly Migratory Species (HMS) Charter/Headboat category permitted vessels (when fishing commercially for BFT).
Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Reallocation of Pacific Cod in the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Management Area
NMFS is reallocating the projected unused amounts of Pacific cod total allowable catch (TAC) from catcher vessels using trawl gear and jig gear sectors to American Fisheries Act (AFA) trawl catcher/ processors and catcher/processors using hook-and-line gear in the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands management area (BSAI). This action is necessary to allow the 2011 TAC of Pacific cod to be harvested.
Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Sculpins in the Bering Sea Subarea of the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Management Area
NMFS apportions amounts of the non-specified reserve to the initial total allowable catch of sculpins in the Bering Sea subarea of the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands management area. This action is necessary to allow fishing operations to continue. It is intended to promote the goals and objectives of the fishery management plan for the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands management area.
Endangered Species; File No. 16134
Notice is hereby given that Virginia Aquarium and Marine Science Center Foundation [Responsible Party: Mark Swingle], 717 General Booth Blvd. Virginia Beach, VA 23451, has applied in due form for a permit to take green (Chelonia mydas), Kemp's ridley (Lepidochelys kempii), hawksbill (Eretmochelys imbricata), leatherback (Dermochelys coriacea), and loggerhead (Caretta caretta) sea turtles for purposes of scientific research.
Marine Mammals; File No. 16473
Notice is hereby given that D. Ann Pabst, Ph.D., University of North Carolina Wilmington, has applied in due form for a permit to conduct research on marine mammals.
Notice is hereby given that NOAA's Office of Science and Technology, Silver Spring, MD, (Brandon Southall, Ph.D.Principal Investigator) has applied for an amendment to Scientific Research Permit No. 14534-01.