Announcement of Funding Opportunity for the Coastal and Estuarine Land Conservation Program
NOS/OCRM is soliciting coastal and estuarine land conservation acquisition projects from eligible coastal states. The Coastal and Estuarine Land Conservation Program (CELCP) was established ``for the purpose of protecting important coastal and estuarine areas that have significant conservation, recreation, ecological, historical, or aesthetic values, or that are threatened by conversion from their natural or recreational state to other uses.'' This announcement solicits proposals for land acquisition projects, up to 3 years in duration, with the purpose of protecting important coastal and estuarine areas. Project proposals should reflect priorities identified in an approved state CELC plan or, if a state plan has not been completed, by the state's approved coastal management program. This solicitation will result in a prioritized list of projects that will be submitted to Congress in March 2006 for consideration in the FY 2007 appropriations process. Proposals should be prepared assuming a cost of no more than $3,000,000 per project and three projects per eligible applicant.
Fisheries of the Gulf of Mexico; Southeastern Data, Assessment, and Review (SEDAR); Gulf of Mexico Vermilion Snapper, Greater Amberjack, and Gray Triggerfish
The SEDAR assessments of the Gulf of Mexico stocks of vermilion 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. The Data and Assessment workshops are completed. An additional workshop to complete the assessment will be held in December 2005 and the review workshop will be delayed until March 2006, see SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION.
Magnuson-Stevens Act Provisions; Atlantic Highly Migratory Species; Exempted Fishing, Scientific Research, Display, and Chartering Permits
NMFS announces the intent to issue Exempted Fishing Permits (EFPs), Scientific Research Permits (SRPs), Display Permits, and Chartering Permits for the collection of Atlantic highly migratory species (HMS). The permits would authorize collections of a limited number of tunas, swordfish, billfishes, and sharks from Federal waters in the Atlantic Ocean and Gulf of Mexico for the purposes of scientific data collection and public display. Generally, these permits would be valid from the date of issuance through December 31, 2006. NMFS also announces the intent to consider issuing permits upon receiving applications from U.S. fishermen whose vessels fish for Atlantic HMS while operating under chartering arrangements within the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) of other nations to collect data consistent with the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas (ICCAT) recommendations and to ensure consistency with that country's regulations without violating U.S. regulations.
Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Total Allowable Catch Amount for “Other Species” in the Groundfish Fisheries of the Gulf of Alaska
NMFS issues a proposed rule that would implement Amendment 69 to the Fishery Management Plan for Groundfish of the Gulf of Alaska (FMP). Amendment 69, if approved, would amend the manner in which the total allowable catch (TAC) for the ``other species'' complex is annually determined in the Gulf of Alaska (GOA). The FMP amendment would allow the TAC amount for the ``other species'' complex to be set less than or equal to 5 percent of the sum of groundfish targets species in the GOA. This proposed rule would revise the maximum retainable amount (MRA) of ``other species'' in the directed arrowtooth flounder fishery from 0 to 20 percent. This action would allow conservation and management of species within the ``other species'' category and is intended to promote the goals and objectives of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (Magnuson- Stevens Act), the FMP, and other applicable laws.
Magnuson-Stevens Act Provisions; Fishing Capacity Reduction Program; Pacific Coast Groundfish Fishery; California, Washington, and Oregon Fisheries for Coastal Dungeness Crab and Pink Shrimp; Industry Fee Collection System for Fishing Capacity Reduction Loan
NMFS publishes this proposed rule to clarify that the fee regulations for the Pacific Coast groundfish fishing capacity reduction program do not apply to any shrimp landed under Washington State fishing licenses for Puget Sound shrimp. The fee regulations remain otherwise unchanged. The intent of this proposed rule is to clarify that the fee rules do not apply to the Puget Sound licenses.
Sea Turtle Conservation; Shrimp Trawling Requirements
NMFS issues this 30-day temporary rule to allow shrimp fishermen to continue to use limited tow times as an alternative to Turtle Excluder Devices (TEDs) in inshore and offshore waters from the Florida/Alabama border, westward to the boundary shared by Matagorda and Brazoria Counties, Texas, and extending offshore 20 nautical miles. The previous 30-day variances of the TED requirements were from September 23 through October 23, 2005; October 11 through November 10, 2005; and from October 22 through November 23, 2005, for waters affected by Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. These variances were for 50 nautical miles offshore. After an investigation, NMFS has determined that excessive debris is still affecting fishermen's ability to use TEDs effectively; however, the debris field has decreased to approximately 20 nautical miles offshore. This action is necessary because environmental conditions resulting from Hurricanes Katrina and Rita persist on the fishing grounds, preventing some fishermen from using TEDs effectively.
Proposed Information Collection; Comment Request; Questionnaire To Support Review of Federal Assistance Applications
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.