Western Pacific Fishery Management Council; Public Meeting
The Western Pacific Fishery Management Council (Council) will hold meetings of its Pelagics Plan Team (PPT) in Honolulu, HI to discuss fishery issues and develop recommendations for future management.
Atlantic Coastal Fisheries Cooperative Management Act Provisions; Application for Exempted Fishing Permits
The Director, State, Federal and Constituent Programs Office, Northeast Region, NMFS (Office Director) has made a preliminary determination that the subject Exempted Fishing Permit (EFP) application contains all the required information and warrants further consideration. The Office Director has also made a preliminary determination that the activities authorized under the EFPs would be consistent with the goals and objectives of Federal management of the American lobster resource. However, further review and consultation may be necessary before a final determination is made to issue EFPs. Therefore, NMFS announces that the Office Director proposes to issue EFPs that would allow a maximum of seven vessels to conduct fishing operations involving the use of one juvenile lobster collector trap per vessel that are otherwise restricted by the regulations governing the American lobster fisheries of the Northeastern United States. The EFP involves the non-destructive collection of size frequency and population data on legal and sublegal lobsters as part of an ongoing research project to monitor the offshore lobster fishery in Lobster Management Area 3. It would not involve the authorization of any additional trap gear in the area. A maximum of seven participating commercial fishing vessels will collect detailed abundance and size frequency data on the composition of lobsters in four general offshore study areas in a collaborative effort with the Atlantic Offshore Lobstermen's Association (AOLA). This EFP requests that each participating commercial fishing vessel utilize one modified juvenile lobster collector trap to collect population data. The lobster trap modifications are to the escape vents, and trap entrance head, not to the trap's size or configuration. Therefore, this modified trap would impact its environment no differently than the regular lobster trap it replaces and will add no additional traps to the area. After data is collected on lobsters in the trap, all sub-legal and berried female lobsters will be immediately returned to the sea. The EFP waives the American lobster escape vent requirement for a maximum of one trap per vessel for a maximum of seven vessels in the program. Therefore, this document invites comments on the issuance of EFPs to allow a maximum of seven commercial fishing vessels utilize a maximum of seven modified lobster traps and to collect statistical data using modified lobster trap gear.
Caribbean Fishery Management Council; Public Meeting
The Caribbean Fishery Management Council (Council) and its Administrative Committee will hold meetings.
Marine Mammals; Permit No. 782-1719
Notice is hereby given that the National Marine Mammal Laboratory, National Marine Fisheries Service, NOAA, 7600 Sand Point Way, NE, BIN C15700, Bldg. 1, Seattle, WA 98115-0070, [John L. Bengtson, Ph.D., Principal Investigator] has been issued an amendment to Permit No. 782-1719 for purposes of scientific research.
Taking of Marine Mammals Incidental to Specified Activities; On-ice Seismic Operations in the Beaufort Sea
In accordance with provisions of the Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA) as amended, notification is hereby given that an Incidental Harassment Authorization (IHA) to take small numbers of marine mammals, by harassment, incidental to conducting on-ice vibroseis seismic operations from Milne Point to the eastern channel of the Colville River in the U.S. Beaufort Sea to a distance offshore of 2.3 nautical miles (nm)(4.3 kilometers (km)) has been issued to ConocoPhillips Alaska (CPA) for a period of one year.
Marine Mammals; File Nos. 434-1669, 1010-1641, 800-1664, 881-1668, 782-1768, 358-1769, 715-1784, and 1034-1773
Notice is hereby given that the following individuals and institutions have applied for a permit or permit amendment to conduct research on Steller sea lions (Eumetopias jubatus): Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife, Corvallis, OR (ODFW; File No. 434-1669); the Aleutians East Borough, Juneau, AK (AEB: File No. 1010-1641); Dr. Randall Davis, Texas A&M University, Galveston, TX (File No. 800-1664); the Alaska SeaLife Center, Seward, AK (ASLC: File No. 881-1668); the National Marine Mammal Laboratory, Alaska Fisheries Science Center, Seattle, WA (NMML: File No. 782-1768); the Alaska Department of Fish and Game, Anchorage, AK (ADF&G: File No. 358-1769); The North Pacific Universities Marine Mammal Research Consortium, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, B.C. (NPUMMRC: File No. 715-1784); and Dr. Markus Horning, Texas A&M University, Galveston, TX (File No. 1034-1773).
Endangered Species; File No. 1507
Notice is hereby given that Llewellyn Ehrhart, University of Central Florida, 4000 Central Florida Blvd., Orlando, Florida 32816- 2368 has been issued a permit to take green (Chelonia mydas), loggerhead (Caretta caretta), hawksbill (Eretmochelys imbricata), Kemp's ridley (Lepidochelys kempii), and leatherback (Dermochelys coriacea) sea turtles for purposes of scientific research.
Atlantic Highly Migratory Species; Environmental Assessment; Exempted Fishing Permits
NMFS announces the availability of an Environmental Assessment (EA) prepared pursuant to the National Environmental Policy Act to analyze the potential impacts associated with exempting six pelagic longline vessels from existing area closures and other regulations for the purpose of evaluating whether gear modifications and/or various fishing techniques can avoid/reduce bycatch and associated regulatory discards of juvenile highly migratory species (HMS) in the Gulf of Mexico, Florida East Coast, South Atlantic Bight, Mid-Atlantic Bight, and Northeast Coastal statistical areas of the Atlantic Ocean. The EA examines alternatives available to authorize activities otherwise prohibited by regulations for the conduct of scientific research and the investigation of bycatch, consistent with the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (Magnuson-Stevens Act), and other relevant Federal laws. NMFS is requesting comments on the alternatives outlined in the EA.