Science Advisory Board
The Science Advisory Board (SAB) was established by a Decision Memorandum dated September 25, 1997, and is the only Federal Advisory Committee with responsibility to advise the Under Secretary of Commerce for Oceans and Atmosphere on strategies for research, education, and application of science to operations and information services. SAB activities and advice provide necessary input to ensure that National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) science programs are of the highest quality and provide optimal support to resource management. Time and Date: The meeting will be held Wednesday March 8, 2006, from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. and Thursday March 9, 2006, from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. These times and the agenda topics described below are subject to change. Refer to the Web page http://www.sab.noaa.gov/Meetings/ meetings.html for the most up-to-date meeting agenda. Place: The meeting will be held both days at the Courtyard Marriott Hotel, 8506 Fenton Street, Silver Spring, Maryland 20910. Status: The meeting will be open to public participation with a 30- minute public comment period on March 8 (check Web site to confirm time). The SAB expects that public statements presented at its meetings will not be repetitive of previously submitted verbal or written statements. In general, each individual or group making a verbal presentation will be limited to a total time of five (5) minutes. Written comments (at least 35 copies) should be received in the SAB Executive Director's Office by March 1, 2006 to provide sufficient time for SAB review. Written comments received by the SAB Executive Director after March 1 will be distributed to the SAB, but may not be reviewed prior to the meeting date. Seats will be available on a first-come, first-served basis. Matters to be Considered: The meeting will include the following topics: (1) Briefing on the Environmental Impact of Hurricane Katrina; (2) Update and discussion of the Preliminary Report of the Hurricane Intensity Research Working Group; (3) Update on the Review of NOAA Ecosystem Science and Research; (4) Report on the Status of Social Science in NOAA; (5) Briefing on Invasive Species Activities in NOAA; (6) Discussion of Stakeholder Input and NOAA's Annual Guidance Memorandum for Fiscal Years 2009-2013 and (7) Update on the NOAA Strategy for Environmental Literacy.
Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council; Public Meetings
The Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council (Council) will convene its SSC Selection Committee via conference call to select members for an Ad Hoc Shrimp Effort Working Group for recommendation to the Council.
New England Fishery Management Council; Public Meeting
The New England Fishery Management Council (Council) is scheduling a public meeting of its Research Steering Committee in March, 2006 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.
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 Louisiana/Texas border, and extending offshore 10 nautical miles. The previous 30-day variances of the TED requirements were from September 23 through October 24, 2005; October 11 through November 10, 2005; October 24 through November 23, 2005; November 23 through December 23, 2005; and from December 23, 2005, through January 23, 2006, for waters affected by Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. These variances were initially for 50 nautical miles, while the most recent variance was for 20 nautical miles. After an investigation, the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (ALDCNR), Mississippi Department of Marine Resources (MDMR), and the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LADWF) have determined that excessive debris is still affecting fishermen's ability to use TEDs effectively in an area extending approximately 10 nm 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.
Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Pollock in Statistical Area 630 of the Gulf of Alaska
NMFS is prohibiting directed fishing for pollock in Statistical Area 630 of the Gulf of Alaska (GOA). This action is necessary to prevent exceeding the A season allowance of the 2006 total allowable catch (TAC) of pollock for Statistical Area 630 of the GOA.