Incidental Takes of Marine Mammals During Specified Activities; On-ice Marine Geophysical and Seismic Operations in State/OCS Waters of the U.S. Beaufort Sea off Alaska
NMFS has received an application from CGGVeritas (Veritas) for an Incidental Harassment Authorization (IHA) to take small numbers of marine mammals, by Level B harassment, incidental to conducting an on-ice marine geophysical research and seismic survey in the U.S. Beaufort Sea from February to May, 2009. Pursuant to the Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA), NMFS is requesting comments on its proposed IHA for these activities.
Marine Mammals; File No. 14186
Notice is hereby given that Sea World Inc., 9205 South Park Center Loop, Suite 400, Orlando, FL 32819 [Brad Andrews, Responsible Party], has applied in due form for a permit take two non-releasable Guadalupe fur seals (Arctocephalus townsendi) with the option of holding up to six non-releasable furs seals at any given time for purposes of enhancement.
Fisheries Off West Coast States; Highly Migratory Species Fisheries
NMFS issues a proposed rule to initiate collection of a permit fee for vessel owners participating in commercial and charter recreational fishing for highly migratory species (HMS) in the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) off the West Coast of California, Oregon, and Washington. The HMS permits are issued under implementing regulations for the Fishery Management Plan for U.S. West Coast Fisheries for Highly Migratory Species (HMS FMP).
Taking of Marine Mammals Incidental to Commercial Fishing Operations; Bottlenose Dolphin Take Reduction Plan
The National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) issues this final rule amending the Bottlenose Dolphin Take Reduction Plan's (BDTRP) implementing regulations by extending, for an additional three years, fishing restrictions expiring on May 26, 2009. This action continues, without modification, current nighttime fishing restrictions of medium mesh gillnets operating in the North Carolina portion of the Winter-Mixed Management Unit during the winter. Medium mesh fishing restrictions are extended for an additional three years to ensure continued conservation of the Western North Atlantic coastal bottlenose dolphin stock, should a directed spiny dogfish fishery reemerge in North Carolina.
Taking and Importing Marine Mammals; Undersea Warfare Training Range Activities
NMFS has received a request from the U.S. Navy (Navy) for authorization for the take of marine mammals incidental to Navy training activities conducted in the Undersea Warfare Training Range (USWTR) off the east coast of the United States. Pursuant to the implementing regulations of the Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA), NMFS is announcing our receipt of the Navy's request for the development and implementation of regulations governing the incidental taking of marine mammals and inviting information, suggestions, and comments on the Navy's application and request.
NMFS has developed a policy and guidance document for implementation of the Steller sea lion (Eumetopias jubatus) and northern fur seal (Callorhinus ursinus) research permits and grants programs. This document establishes policy for implementation of the preferred alternative and recommendations in Chapter 5 of the 2007 Final Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for Steller Sea Lion and Northern Fur Seal Research.
Taking and Importing Marine Mammals; Taking Marine Mammals Incidental to Space Vehicle and Test Flight Activities from Vandenberg Air Force Base (VAFB), California
NMFS has received a request from the U.S. Air Force (USAF) for authorization for the take of marine mammals, by harassment, incidental to launching space launch vehicles, intercontinental ballistic and small missiles, and aircraft and helicopter operations at VAFB. By this document, NMFS is proposing regulations to govern that take. In order to issue a Letter of Authorization (LOA) and issue final regulations governing the take, NMFS must determine that the taking will have a negligible impact on the species or stocks and will not have an unmitigable adverse impact on the availability of such species or stock for taking for subsistence uses. NMFS must also prescribe the means of effecting the least practicable adverse impact on such species or stock and their habitats.
Fisheries of the Northeastern United States; Atlantic Bluefish Fishery; Quota Transfer
NMFS announces that the State of Maine is transferring commercial bluefish quota to the State of New York from its 2008 quota. By this action, NMFS adjusts the quotas and announces the revised commercial quota for each state involved.
Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Greenland Turbot and Rougheye Rockfish in the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Management Area
NMFS apportions amounts of the non-specified reserve to the initial total allowable catch (ITAC) of Greenland turbot in the Aleutian Islands subarea and rougheye rockfish in the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands (BSAI) management area. This action is necessary to allow the fisheries to continue operating. It is intended to promote the goals and objectives of the fishery management plan for the BSAI.
Changes to the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary Regulations; Technical Corrections and Minor Substantive Changes
NOAA proposes to amend the regulations implementing the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary to make technical corrections and modifications to clarify intent to several areas in the regulations. As part of these modifications, NOAA proposes to amend the definition of coral to specifically include the common sea fan, Gorgonia ventalina and Venus sea fan, Gorgonia flabellum, which are both important sanctuary resources and are currently managed under the category ``live rock;'' specify that ``touching'' coral is an injury and therefore, a prohibited activity in the FKNMS; amend the safe distance between vessels and ``divers down'' flags to be 100 yards instead of 100 feet; clarify that the prohibitions listed for Sanctuary Preservation Areas and Ecological Reserves also apply in Research-only Areas; and Correct several citations that are currently out of date.