Taking of Marine Mammals Incidental to Commercial Fishing Operations; Atlantic Large Whale Take Reduction Plan (ALWTRP)
The Assistant Administrator for Fisheries (AA), NOAA, announces temporary restrictions consistent with the requirements of the ALWTRP's implementing regulations. These regulations apply to lobster trap/pot and anchored gillnet fishermen in an area totaling approximately 1,235 nm\2\ (4,236 km\2\), southeast of Chatham, MA for 15 days. The purpose of this action is to provide protection to an aggregation of northern right whales (right whales).
Privacy Act of 1974; System of Records, Commerce/NOAA System-17, Permits and Registrations for Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) off the Coast of Alaska
The Department of Commerce (Commerce) publishes this notice to announce the effective date of a Privacy Act System of Records notice entitled Commerce/NOAA System-17, Permits and Registrations for Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) off the Coast of Alaska.
Privacy Act of 1974; System of Records; Commerce/NOAA System-16, Crab Economic Data Report for Bering Sea/Aleutian Islands Management Area (BSAI) Off the Coast of Alaska
The Department of Commerce (Commerce) publishes this notice to announce the effective date of a Privacy Act System of Records notice entitled Commerce/NOAA System-16, Crab Economic Data Report for Bering Sea/Aleutian Islands Management Area (BSAI) off the Coast of Alaska.
North Pacific Fishery Management Council; Public Meeting
The North Pacific Fishery Management Council's (Council) Non- Target Species Committee will meet at the Alyeska Prince Hotel, May 31, 2005, in Ballroom C, 2 pm - 6 pm.
Western Pacific Fishery Management Council; Public Meetings
The Western Pacific Fishery Management Council (Council) will hold its 127\th\ meeting and Advisory Panel meetings to consider and take actions on fishery management issues in the Western Pacific Region.
New England Fishery Management Council; Public Meetings
The New England Fishery Management Council (Council) is scheduling a public meeting of its Scallop Advisory Panel in May, 2005 to consider actions affecting New England fisheries in the exclusive economic zone (EEZ). Recommendations from this group will be brought to the full Council for formal consideration and action, if appropriate.
Fisheries of the Gulf of Mexico; Southeastern Data, Assessment, and Review (SEDAR); Gulf of Mexico Vermillion Snapper, Greater Amberjack, and Gray Triggerfish
The SEDAR assessments of the Gulf of Mexico stocks of vermillion snapper, greater amberjack, and gray triggerfish will consist of a series of three workshops: a Data Workshop, an Assessment Workshop, and a Review Workshop. This is the ninth SEDAR. See SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION.
Federal Consistency Appeal by Singleton Development Corporation From an Objection by the Mississippi Department of Marine Resources
This announcement provides notice that the decision record has been closed for an administrative appeal filed with the Department of Commerce by Singleton Development Corporation.
Fisheries of the Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico, and South Atlantic; Reef Fish Fishery of the Gulf of Mexico; Red Snapper
NOAA announces receipt of a petition for emergency regulations or interim measures, filed by The Coastal Conservation Association (CCA) under authority of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act and the Administrative Procedure Act. CCA has petitioned the U.S. Department of Commerce to promulgate emergency regulations or interim measures to address overfishing of red snapper in the Gulf of Mexico primarily by further reducing bycatch of juvenile red snapper in the Gulf shrimp fishery. NMFS is soliciting public comment on this petition to help determine whether NMFS should proceed with the development of regulations suggested by the petitioner.
Endangered Species; File No. 1356
Notice is hereby given that Inwater Research Group Inc. has been issued a modification to scientific research Permit No. 1356.
Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Alaska Plaice in the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Management Area
NMFS is prohibiting retention of Alaska plaice in the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands management area (BSAI). NMFS is requiring that catch of Alaska plaice in this area be treated in the same manner as prohibited species and discarded at sea with a minimum of injury. This action is necessary because the 2005 total allowable catch (TAC) of Alaska plaice in the BSAI has been reached.
Fisheries Off West Coast States and in the Western Pacific; West Coast Salmon Fisheries; Inseason Action #1-Adjustment of the Commercial Fisheries From the Cape Falcon, Oregon, to the Oregon-California Border
NMFS announces that the commercial salmon fisheries in the area from the Cape Falcon, Oregon, to the Oregon-California Border were modified by inseason action. This action was necessary to conform to the 2004 management goals. The intended effect of this action was to allow the fishery to operate within the seasons and quotas specified in the 2004 annual management measures.
Pacific Fishery Management Council; Model Evaluation Workgroup Meeting
The Pacific Fishery Management Council's (Council) MEW will hold a work session, which is open to the public.
Small Takes of Marine Mammals Incidental to Specified Activities; Marine Geophysical Survey Across the Arctic Ocean
NMFS has received an application from the University of Alaska Fairbanks (UAF) for an Incidental Harassment Authorization (IHA) to take small numbers of marine mammals, by harassment, incidental to conducting a marine seismic survey across the Arctic Ocean from northern Alaska to Svalbard. Under the Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA), NMFS is requesting comments on its proposal to issue an authorization to UAF to incidentally take, by harassment, small numbers of several species of cetaceans and pinnipeds from August 5 to September 30, 2005, during the seismic survey.
Atlantic Highly Migratory Species; Commercial Shark Management Measures
NMFS announces the receipt of, and requests public comment on, a petition from the North Carolina Department of Environment and Natural Resources, Division of Marine Fisheries (Petitioner) to initiate rulemaking to amend the extent of the current time/area closure for Atlantic sharks off the Mid-Atlantic region.
Atlantic Coastal Fisheries Cooperative Management Act Provisions; American Lobster Fishery
NMFS announces its intent to consider revisions to the Federal lobster regulations in response to the effort control recommendations of the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission (Commission) in Addenda II, III, IV, V and VI to Amendment 3 of the Interstate Fishery Management Plan for American Lobster (ISFMP), and prepare an EIS to assess the impact on the human environment of controlling fishing effort in the American lobster fishery, in the U.S. Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ). Written comments are requested from the public regarding issues that NMFS should address in this EIS relative to fishing effort reduction measures as proposed in Addenda II through VI.
Marine Mammals; File No. 1074-1779-00
Notice is hereby given that Marc Dantzker, Principal Investigator, Producer, Sound Recording, Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Macaulay Library, Cornell University, 159 Sapsucker Woods Road, Ithaca, NY 14850-1999, has been issued a permit to take marine mammals during photographic activities for commercial and educational purposes.
Proposed Information Collection; Comment Request; Application To Shuck Surf Clams/Ocean Quahogs at Sea.
The Department of Commerce, as part of its continuing effort to reduce paperwork and respondent burden, invites the general public and other Federal agencies to take this opportunity to comment on proposed and/or continuing information collections, as required by the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995.
Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council; Public Meetings
The Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council will convene its Special Coral Scientific and Statistical Committee (SSC).
North Pacific Fishery Management Council; Notice of Public Meeting
The North Pacific Fishery Management Council (Council) Joint Protocol Committee of the Alaska Board of Fisheries and Council will meet on May 25, 2005 in Anchorage at the Hawthorn Suite, Ltd, Ballroom B.
Western Pacific Fishery Management Council; Public Scoping Meeting
There are two shark tour operations based in Haleiwa. The operations are banned from operating in Hawaii State Waters. The staff of the Western Pacific Fishery Management Council (Council) will convene a public scoping meeting to: (1) gather comment on shark viewing operations in Federal waters, and (2) to disseminate and gather information on the Council's Community Based Management initiatives.
Fisheries of the Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico, and South Atlantic, Southeastern Data Assessment and Review (SEDAR) 8 Review Workshop
The SEDAR process consists of a series of three workshops: a data workshop, an assessment workshop, and a review workshop. This is notification that the location for the Review workshop has changed. See SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION.
Office of Oceanic and Atmospheric Research; External Review of NOAA's Hurricane Intensity Research and Development Enterprise
The Under Secretary of Commerce for Oceans and Atmosphere has requested the NOAA Science Advisory Board (SAB) to conduct an external review of NOAA's hurricane intensity research and development enterprise. The SAB is chartered under the Federal Advisory Committee Act and is the only Federal Advisory Committee with the responsibility to advise the Under Secretary on long- and short-range strategies for research, education, and application of science to resource management and environmental assessment and prediction. The SAB is forming an external panel to conduct a review and draft recommendations that will lead to future generations of numerical hurricane model forecasts as well as improvements in operational forecasting. Nominations to the panel are being solicited. The intent is to select from the nominees; however, the SAB retains the prerogative to name people to the review team that were not nominated if it deems it necessary to achieve the desired balance. Once selected, the SAB will post the review panel members' names at http://www.sab.noaa.gov.
Office of Oceanic and Atmospheric Research; Request for Nomination of Members to the NOAA Science Advisory Board
NOAA is soliciting nominations for members of the NOAA Science Advisory Board (SAB). The SAB is the only Federal Advisory Committee with the responsibility to advise the Under Secretary of Commerce for Oceans and Atmosphere and NOAA Administrator on long- and short-range strategies for research, education, and application of science to resource management and environmental assessment and prediction. The SAB consists of 15 members reflecting the full breadth of NOAA's areas of responsibility and assists NOAA in maintaining a complete and accurate understanding of scientific issues critical to the agency's missions. As a Federal Advisory Committee the SAB's membership is required to be balanced in terms of viewpoints represented and the functions to be performed as well as including the interests of geographic regions of the country and the diverse sectors of our society (business and industry, science, academia, and the public at large).
Endangered and Threatened Species; Proposed Threatened Status for Elkhorn Coral and Staghorn Coral
We, the NMFS, have completed a comprehensive status review of elkhorn (Acropora palmata) and staghorn (A. cervicornis) corals and determined that a petitioned action to list both species is warranted. We have determined that fused-staghorn coral (A. prolifera) is a hybrid and therefore does not warrant listing. We have made our determination based on the best scientific and commercial data available and efforts being made to protect the species, and we propose to place both elkhorn and staghorn corals on the list of threatened species under the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended (ESA). We are announcing that hearings will be held at four locations in June to provide additional opportunities and formats to receive public input.
Atlantic Highly Migratory Species; Exempted Fishing Permits
NMFS has decided not to proceed at this time with issuing exempted fishing permits (EFPs) for conducting bycatch reduction research in the following regions of the Atlantic Ocean: North of Cape Hatteras, South of Cape Hatteras, and Gulf of Mexico (GOM) until such time as an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) can be prepared to further assess the impacts associated with fishing in existing pelagic longline closed areas.
New England Fishery Management Council; Public Meetings
The New England Fishery Management Council (Council) is scheduling a public meeting of its Research Steering Committee in May, 2005. Recommendations from the committee will be brought to the full Council for formal consideration and action, if appropriate.
Small Takes of Marine Mammals Incidental to Specified Activities; Movement of Barges through the Beaufort Sea between West Dock and Cape Simpson or Point Lonely, Alaska
NMFS has received a request from FEX L.P. (FEX), a subsidiary of Talisman Energy, Inc for an authorization to take small numbers of marine mammals by harassment incidental to conducting a barging operation within the U.S. Beaufort Sea. Under the Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA), NMFS is requesting comments on its proposal to authorize FEX to incidentally take, by harassment, small numbers of bowhead whales, beluga whales, ringed seals, bearded seals, and spotted seals in the above mentioned area between approximately July 1 and November 30, 2005.
Fisheries of the Economic Exclusive Zone Off Alaska; Deep-Water Species Fishery by Vessels Using Trawl Gear in the Gulf of Alaska
NMFS is prohibiting directed fishing for species that comprise the deep-water species fishery by vessels using trawl gear in the Gulf of Alaska (GOA). This action is necessary because the second seasonal apportionment of the 2005 Pacific halibut bycatch allowance specified for the deep-water species fishery in the GOA has been reached.
Magnuson-Stevens Act Provisions; Fisheries of the Northeastern United States; Northeast Multispecies Fishery; Commercial Haddock Harvest
NMFS announces that the Administrator, Northeast Region, NMFS (Regional Administrator), is eliminating the daily and maximum haddock trip limits for the groundfish fishery for the remainder of the 2005 fishing year, through April 30, 2006. Accordingly, there is no trip limit on the amount of haddock that can be harvested or landed for the rest of the fishing year for vessels subject to these regulations. The Regional Administrator has projected that less than 75 percent of the haddock target total allowable catch (TAC) will be harvested for the 2005 fishing year under the restrictive daily possession and trip limits. This action is intended to allow fishermen to catch the haddock TAC, without exceeding the TAC.
Pacific Halibut Fisheries; Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Individual Fishing Quota Program; Community Development Quota Program
NMFS proposes an amendment to the Pacific halibut regulations for waters in and off Alaska. This proposed action modifies the Individual Fishing Quota (IFQ) Program and the Western Alaska Community Development Quota (CDQ) Program by allowing quota share holders in International Pacific Halibut Commission (IPHC) Regulatory Area (Area) 4C to fish their Area 4C IFQ in Area 4D. This proposed action is intended to enhance harvesting opportunities for halibut by IFQ and CDQ fishermen and is necessary to promote the objectives of the Northern Pacific Halibut Act of 1982 (Halibut Act) with respect to the IFQ and CDQ Pacific halibut fisheries, consistent with the regulations and resource management objectives of the IPHC.
Endangered Species; File No. 1409
Notice is hereby given that Karen Holloway-Adkins has been issued a modification to scientific research Permit No. 1409.
Fisheries Off West Coast States and in the Western Pacific; Pacific Coast Groundfish Fishery; Spiny Dogfish; Open Access; Routine Management Measure; Closure Authority
This emergency rule establishes routine management measure authority, under the Pacific Coast Groundfish Fishery Management Plan (Pacific Coast Groundfish FMP), to reduce trip limits to incidental levels in the open access fishery for groundfish before the sector has taken its full target groundfish species' allocations, to minimize impacts on overfished species. This action establishes a mechanism that can be used to quickly restrict the directed open access groundfish fishery if NMFS estimates that the incidental catch of an overfished species is too high.
U.S. Climate Change Science Program Workshop: Climate Science in Support of Decisionmaking
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration publishes this notice to announce the U.S. Climate Change Science Program (CCSP) Workshop: Climate Science in Support of Decisionmaking, addressing the capability of science to inform decisionmaking. This workshop will include discussion of decisionmaker needs for scientific information on climate variability and change, as well as expected outcomes of CCSP's research and assessment activities that are necessary for resource management, adaptive planning, and policy formulation.
New England Fishery Management Council; Public Meetings
The New England Fishery Management Council (Council) is scheduling a public meeting of its Groundfish Oversight Committee in May, 2005. Recommendations from the committee will be brought to the full Council for formal consideration and action, if appropriate.
Fisheries Off West Coast States and in the Western Pacific; West Coast Salmon Fisheries; 2005 Management Measures
NMFS establishes fishery management measures for the 2005 ocean salmon fisheries off Washington, Oregon, and California and the 2006 salmon seasons opening earlier than May 1, 2006. Specific fishery management measures vary by fishery and by area. The measures establish fishing areas, seasons, quotas, legal gear, recreational fishing days and catch limits, possession and landing restrictions, and minimum lengths for salmon taken in the U.S. exclusive economic zone (EEZ)(3- 200 nm) off Washington, Oregon, and California. The management measures are intended to prevent overfishing and to apportion the ocean harvest equitably among treaty Indian, non-treaty commercial, and recreational fisheries. The measures are also intended to allow a portion of the salmon runs to escape the ocean fisheries in order to provide for spawning escapement and to provide for inside fisheries (fisheries occurring in state internal waters).
Magnuson-Stevens Act Provisions; Fisheries of the Northeastern United States; Northeast Multispecies Fishery; 2005 Georges Bank Cod Hook Sector Operations Plan and Agreement and Allocation of Georges Bank Cod Total Allowable Catch
NMFS announces approval of an Operations Plan and Sector Contract titled ``Amendment 1 to Georges Bank (GB) Cod Hook Sector Operations Plan and Agreement'' (Sector Agreement), and the associated allocation of GB cod, consistent with regulations implementing Amendment 13 to the Northeast (NE) Multispecies Fishery Management Plan (FMP). The intent is to allow regulated harvest of groundfish by the GB cod Hook Sector (Sector), consistent with the objectives of the FMP.
Fisheries Off West Coast States and in the Western Pacific; Pacific Coast Groundfish Fishery; Specifications and Management Measures; Inseason Adjustments; Pacific Halibut Fisheries; Corrections
NMFS announces changes to management measures in the commercial and recreational Pacific Coast groundfish fisheries. NMFS also announces regulations for the retention of Pacific halibut landed incidentally in the limited entry longline primary sablefish fishery north of Pt. Chehalis, WA (46[deg]53.30' N. lat.). This document also contains notification of a voluntary closed area (also called an ``area to be avoided'') off Washington for salmon trollers. These actions, which are authorized by the Pacific Coast Groundfish Fishery Management Plan (FMP), will allow fisheries to access more abundant groundfish stocks while protecting overfished and depleted stocks. This action also corrects the trawl gear regulatory language for chafing gear and selective flatfish trawl gear.
Magnuson-Stevens Act Provisions; Fisheries Off West Coast States and in the Western Pacific; Pacific Coast Groundfish Fishery; Biennial Specifications and Management Measures; Correction
This final rule establishes the 2005 fishery specifications for Pacific whiting (whiting) in the U.S. exclusive economic zone (EEZ) and state waters off the coasts of Washington, Oregon, and California, as authorized by the Pacific Coast Groundfish Fishery Management Plan (FMP). It also adjusts the bycatch limits in the whiting fishery. This Federal Register document also corrects the final rule implementing the specifications and management measures, which was published December 23, 2004. These specifications include the level of the acceptable biological catch (ABC), optimum yield (OY), tribal allocation, and allocations for the non-tribal commercial sectors. The intended effect of this action is to establish allowable harvest levels of whiting based on the best available scientific information.
Contracting Policy for Mapping and Charting Services
The NOAA National Ocean Service (NOS) established a contracting policy for mapping and charting services in 1996 that the NOAA Hydrographic and Shoreline Mapping Programs have followed since that time. NOAA seeks public comment on this policy in accordance with the FY 2005 Consolidated Appropriations Act request to work with the private mapping community to develop a strategy for expanding contracting with private entities to minimize duplication and take maximum advantage of private sector capabilities in fulfillment of NOAA's mapping and charting responsibilities. Comments on the contracting policy and strategies to expand contracting will be factored into the NOAA Hydrographic Services Review Panel (http:// nauticalcharts.noaa.gov/ocs/hsrp/hsrp.htm) Federal Advisory Committee's (HSRP FAC) recommendations to NOAA on the same issues. NOAA will consider both HSRP FAC recommendations and comments from the public in its update of the current contracting policy. NOAA will publish a draft revised policy and seek a second comment period before publishing the final contracting policy by March 2006.
Fisheries of the Northeastern United States; Spiny Dogfish Fishery
NMFS announces final specifications for the 2005 fishing year, which is May 1, 2005, through April 30, 2006.
Western Pacific Fishery Management Council; Public Hearings
The Western Pacific Fishery Management Council (Council) will hold hearings on fishery data collection management options in Hilo, HI and Honolulu, HI. See SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION for specific times, dates, and agenda items).
New England Fishery Management Council; Public Meetings
The New England Fishery Management Council (Council) is scheduling public meetings of its Herring and Habitat/MPA/Ecosystems Oversight Committees in May, 2005 to consider actions affecting New England fisheries in the exclusive economic zone (EEZ). Recommendations from these groups will be brought to the full Council for formal consideration and action, if appropriate.
Western Pacific Fishery Management Council; Public Meeting
The Western Pacific Fishery Management Council (Council) will hold a meeting of its Marine Mammal Advisory Committee (MMAC) to discuss issues relating to the interactions of marine mammals with pelagic fisheries in the Hawaiian Islands.
New England Fishery Management Council; Public Meetings
The New England Fishery Management Council (Council) is scheduling public meetings of its Recreational Fishing; Herring; Scallop; Joint Groundfish/Monkfish and Joint Red Crab, Skates and Whiting Advisory Panels in May 2005, to consider actions affecting New England fisheries in the exclusive economic zone (EEZ). Recommendations from these groups will be brought to the full Council for formal consideration and action, if appropriate.
Magnuson-Stevens Act Provisions; General Provisions for Domestic Fisheries; Application for Exempted Fishing Permits
NMFS announces that the Assistant Regional Administrator for Sustainable Fisheries, Northeast Region, NMFS (Assistant Regional Administrator), has determined that an application for revised Exempted Fishing Permits (EFPs) contains all of the required information and warrants further consideration. The Assistant Regional Administrator is considering the impacts of the activities to be authorized under the EFPs with respect to the Northeast (NE) Multispecies Fishery Management Plan (FMP). However, further review and consultation may be necessary before a final determination is made to issue EFPs. Therefore, NMFS announces that the Assistant Regional Administrator proposes to issue revised EFPs in response to an application submitted by the Cape Cod Commercial Hook Fisherman's Association (CCCHFA), in collaboration with Maine Division of Marine Resources (MEDMR), and Research, Environmental and Management Support (REMSA). Previous public comment was solicited on these EFPs, which would allow up to 20 commercial vessels to conduct an experimental demersal longline fishery for haddock in Georges Bank (GB) Closed Area (CA) II and portions of the Eastern U.S./Canada Area. This action would revise these EFPs by including an exemption from the May GB Seasonal Closure Area. This fishery would take place at various times from May 2005 through February 2006. The purpose of the proposed study is to determine if hook-and-line gear could be used to target haddock with minimal bycatch of cod in order to establish potential future Special Access Programs (SAPs) in these areas as allowed under Amendment 13 to the FMP.
Pacific Halibut Fishery; Guideline Harvest Levels for the Guided Recreational Halibut Fishery
NMFS provides notice of the guideline harvest level (GHL) for the guided sport halibut fishery (charter fishery) in the International Pacific Halibut Commission (IPHC) regulatory area 2C of 1,432,000 pounds (649.5 mt), and a GHL in the IPHC regulatory area 3A of 3,650,000 pounds (1,655.6 mt). The GHLs are intended to serve as a benchmark for participants in the charter fishery.