North Pacific Fishery Management Council; Notice of Public Meeting
The North Pacific Fishery Management Council (Council)/Board of Fisheries (BOF) Interim Joint Protocol committee will meet on July 14, 2005, at Anchorage at the Hilton Hotel.
Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council; Public Meetings
The Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council will convene public meetings.
Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council; Public Meetings
The Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council (Council) will convene will hold a series of public workshops to provide information about, and seek input on, ecosystem objectives for fisheries management.
Marine Mammals; Files No. 369-1757-00 and 522-1785-00
Notice is hereby given that Bruce R. Mate, Ph.D., Holder/ Principal Investigator, Oregon State University, Hatfield Marine Science Center, 2030 SE Marine Science Drive, Newport, OR 97365, and Randall S. Wells, Ph.D., Sarasota Dolphin Research Program, c/o Mote Marine Laboratory, 1600 Ken Thompson Parkway, Sarasota, FL 34236, have each been issued a permit to take marine mammals for scientific research.
Endangered Species; Permits
Notice is hereby given that on June 9, 2005, as authorized by the provisions of the Endangered Species Act, NMFS issued a permit (PRT-1488) to the Humboldt Bay Municipal Water District, Eureka, California subject to certain conditions set forth therein. The permit was granted only after NMFS determined that it was applied for in good faith, that granting the permit will not be to the disadvantage of the threatened species, and that it will be consistent with the purposes and policy set forth in the Endangered Species Act, as amended.
Notice of Availability of Draft Stock Assessment Reports
NMFS reviewed the Alaska, Atlantic, and Pacific regional marine mammal stock assessment reports (SARs) in accordance with the Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA). SARs for marine mammals in the Alaska, Atlantic, and Pacific regions were revised according to new information. NMFS solicits public comments on draft 2005 SARs.
Marine Mammals; File No. 358-1787 and Permit No. 821-1588-02
Notice is hereby given that the following applicants have applied in due form for a permit or permit amendment to conduct research on marine mammals: File No. 358-1787: Alaska Department of Fish and Game, D ivision of Wildlife Conservation, 1255 West 8th Street, Juneau, AK 99802 (Principal Investigator: Robert Smalls, Ph.D.); and Permit No. 821-1588-02: Texas A&M University, Department of Marine Biology, 5007 Avenue U, Galveston, TX 77551 (Principal Investigator: Randall Davis, Ph.D.).
Fisheries of the Northeastern United States; Northeast Multispecies Fishery; 2005 Trip Authorization for Closed Area II Yellowtail Flounder Special Access Program
NMFS announces that no trips are authorized into the Closed Area (CA) II Yellowtail Flounder Special Access Program (SAP) for the 2005 fishing year. The Administrator, Northeast Region, NMFS (Regional Administrator) has determined that the available catch of Georges Bank (GB) yellowtail flounder is insufficient to support a minimum level of fishing activity within the CA II Yellowtail Flounder SAP for the 2005 fishing year. This action is intended to help achieve optimum yield (OY) in the fishery by allowing Northeast (NE) multispecies days-at-sea (DAS) vessels to achieve, but not exceed, the GB yellowtail flounder total allowable catch (TAC) specified for the Eastern U.S./Canada Area throughout the 2005 fishing year, in accordance with the Magnuson- Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act.
Fisheries of the Northeastern United States; Tilefish Fishery; Quota Harvested for Full-time Tier 2 Category
NMFS announces that the percentage of the tilefish annual total allowable landings (TAL) available to the Full-time Tier 2 permit category for the 2005 fishing year has been harvested. In response, commercial vessels fishing under the Full-time Tier 2 tilefish category may not harvest tilefish from within the Golden Tilefish Management Unit for the remainder of the 2005 fishing year (through October 31, 2005). Regulations governing the tilefish fishery require publication of this notification to advise the public of this closure.
Marine Mammals; File No. 1073-1777
Notice is hereby given that Dr. Kathy Carlstead, Honolulu Zoo, 151 Kapahulu Ave., Honolulu, HI 96815, has been issued a permit to import marine mammal specimens for purposes of scientific research.
Fisheries of the Northeastern United States; Atlantic Mackerel, Squid, and Butterfish Fisheries; Adjustment of the Quarter III Quota Allocation for Loligo Squid
NMFS announces that it has adjusted the commercial quota allocation for the Quarter III fishery for Loligo squid in the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ). The regulations for the Atlantic mackerel, squid and butterfish fisheries require this adjustment to be made if landings in the Quarter I fishery exceed the commercial quota allocated to that period. This action is necessary to prevent the fishery from exceeding the annual commercial quota and to allow for effective management of this stock.
Endangered and Threatened Species: Final Listing Determinations for 16 ESUs of West Coast Salmon, and Final 4(d) Protective Regulations for Threatened Salmonid ESUs
We, NOAA's National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), are issuing final determinations to list 16 Evolutionarily Significant Units (ESUs) of West Coast salmon (chum, Oncorhynchus keta; coho, O. kisutch, sockeye, O. nerka; Chinook, O. tshawytscha; pink, O. gorbuscha) under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) of 1973, as amended. We have concluded that four ESUs are endangered, and twelve ESUs are threatened, in California, Oregon, Washington, and Idaho. Fifteen of these ESUs were previously listed as threatened or endangered under the ESA, and one ESU was previously designated as a candidate species. With respect to the Oregon Coast coho ESU and ten O. mykiss ESUs, we have found that substantial disagreement regarding the sufficiency or accuracy of the relevant data precludes making final listing determinations at this time, and accordingly we are extending the deadline for making our final determinations for these 11 ESUs for an additional 6 months. The findings regarding the extension of the final listing determination for the Oregon Coast coho ESU and for the ten O. mykiss ESUs appear in the Proposed Rules section in today's Federal Register issue. The ten O. mykiss ESUs were previously listed and remain listed pending final agency action. Also in this notice, we are finalizing amendments to the ESA 4(d) protective regulations for threatened salmonid ESUs. As part of the proposed listing determinations in June 2004, we proposed changes to these protective regulations to provide the necessary flexibility to ensure that fisheries and artificial propagation programs are managed consistently with the conservation needs of ESA-listed ESUs, and to clarify the existing regulations so that they can be more efficiently and effectively interpreted and followed by all affected parties. Finally, we are soliciting biological and economic information relevant to designating critical habitat for the Lower Columbia River coho salmon ESU.
Endangered and Threatened Species: 6-month Extension of the Final Listing Determination for the Oregon Coast Evolutionarily Significant Unit of Coho Salmon
In June 2004, we (NMFS) proposed that the Oregon Coast coho Evolutionarily Significant Unit (ESU) (Oncorhynchus kisutch) be listed as a threatened species under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). In March 2005, the State of Oregon released a draft Oregon Coastal Coho Assessment (draft assessment) of the viability of the Oregon Coast coho ESU and the contributions of the Oregon Plan for Salmon and Watersheds (OPSW) to conserving the Oregon Coast coho ESU. The draft assessment concluded that the Oregon Coast coho ESU is viable. On February 9, 2005, we announced in a Federal Register notice that we would consider the information presented by Oregon in determining the final listing status for the ESU, and we solicited public comment on the draft assessment. The comments received by NMFS and Oregon raised a number of concerns regarding the sufficiency and adequacy of the data and analyses used in the draft assessment. On May 6, 2005, Oregon released a final Oregon Coastal Coho Assessment (final assessment) that incorporates and responds to the comments received and includes several substantive changes in response, regarding the sufficiency and adequacy of the draft assessment. We are extending the deadline for the final listing determination for the Oregon Coast coho ESU by 6 months to analyze Oregon's final assessment in light of the comments received on the draft assessment. This extension will enable NMFS to make a final listing determination based upon the best available scientific information. Additionally, we are soliciting additional information regarding the sufficiency and adequacy of the final assessment.
Policy on the Consideration of Hatchery-Origin Fish in Endangered Species Act Listing Determinations for Pacific Salmon and Steelhead
We, the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), announce a final policy addressing the role of artificially propagated (hatchery produced) Pacific salmon (Oncorhynchus gorbuscha, O. keta, O. kisutch, O. nerka, O. tshawytscha) and steelhead (O. mykiss) in listing determinations under the Endangered Species Act of 1973 (ESA), as amended. This final policy supersedes the Interim Policy on Artificial Propagation of Pacific Salmon under the Endangered Species Act, published in the Federal Register on April 5, 1993. The Interim Policy is being revised in light of a 2001 United States District Court ruling that NMFS improperly listed only the naturally spawning component of Oregon Coast coho salmon under the ESA, excluding hatchery stocks that the agency had determined were part of the same ``distinct population segment'' (DPS) as the listed natural populations. The Court's ruling invalidated the practice described in the Interim Policy of generally excluding hatchery stocks in a DPS from listing unless it was determined that they contained a substantial proportion of the DPS's remaining genetic diversity and were ``essential for recovery.'' Under this new policy, hatchery stocks determined to be part of a DPS will be considered in determining whether a DPS is threatened or endangered under the ESA, and will be included in any listing of the DPS. This policy applies only to Pacific salmon and steelhead and only in the context of making ESA listing determinations.
Endangered and Threatened Species: 6-month Extension of the Final Listing Determinations for Ten Evolutionarily Significant Units of West Coast Oncorhynchus mykiss
In June 2004, we (NMFS) proposed that ten Evolutionarily Significant Units (ESUs) of West Coast Oncorhynchus mykiss (O. mykiss, which includes anadromous steelhead and resident rainbow trout) be listed as endangered or threatened species under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). In April-May 2005, we received three independent scientific reports containing information on the relationship of anadromous and resident O. mykiss and on the viability of ESUs containing a diversity of types of populations. In June 2005, we received a letter from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS), stating its concerns about the basis for final listing determinations for the ten O. mykiss ESUs and specifying three issues regarding the relationship between anadromous and resident O. mykiss, over which there is substantial disagreement about the underlying data. We are extending the deadline for final listing determinations for the ten O. mykiss ESUs for 6 months to analyze the three reports, to work with FWS to resolve the disagreements about the data relevant to its issues of concern, and to solicit additional information from scientific studies and other newly available data. Additionally, we are soliciting comments and information from the public regarding the reports, the issues raised by FWS, and about resident and anadromous O. mykiss generally. This extension will enable us to make a final listing determination based upon the best available scientific information.