Draft of the Education Strategic Plan for NOAA: Engaging Educators, Students and the Public To Meet NOAA's Mission Goals
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is revising its Education Strategic Plan (Plan). NOAA recently received broad legislative authority from Congress through the America COMPETES Act to develop, support, promote, and coordinate education activities to enhance public awareness and understanding of the ocean, coastal, Great Lakes, and atmospheric science. The draft Plan establishes goals for NOAA education for the next twenty years as specified by the America COMPETES Act. NOAA encourages all stakeholders and users to review the Plan and provide comments.
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 2008 SARs.
Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Greenland Turbot in the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Management Area
NMFS apportions amounts of the non-specified reserve of groundfish to the Greenland turbot initial total allowable catch (ITAC) in the Bering Sea subarea of the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands management area (BSAI). This action is necessary to allow the fishery to continue operating. It is intended to promote the goals and objectives of the fishery management plan for the BSAI.
Atlantic Highly Migratory Species (HMS); Caribbean Management Measures
NMFS previously published, on May 27, 2008, a notice of intent (NOI) to initiate an amendment to the 2006 Consolidated Highly Migratory Species (HMS) Fishery Management Plan (FMP), including preparation of an Environmental Impact Statement. NMFS now announces the availability of an issues and options document describing potential measures for inclusion in the proposed Amendment 4 to the Consolidated HMS FMP and provides details for five scoping meetings to discuss and collect comments on the issues described in the issues and options document. Comments received by NMFS on the NOI and issues and options document as well as in the scoping meetings will be used in the development of Amendment 4 to the Consolidated HMS FMP.
Fisheries of the Northeastern United States; Northeast Multispecies Fishery; Allowance of New Gear (Haddock Rope Trawl, Previously Referred to as the Eliminator Trawl) in Specific Special Management Programs
NMFS approves the use of an additional type of trawl gear known as the ``haddock rope trawl'' (formerly called the ``eliminator trawl'') in the Regular B Days-at-Sea (DAS) Program and the Eastern U.S./Canada Haddock Special Access Program (SAP). Vessels fishing in the Regular B DAS Program or the Eastern U.S./Canada Haddock SAP must use approved trawl gear in order to reduce the catch of Northeast (NE) multispecies (groundfish) stocks of concern. The NE Regional Administrator, NMFS, may approve additional gears for use in these programs if research demonstrates that the gear meets specific standards for the reduction of catch of stocks of concern. The intent of this action is to reduce catch of stocks of concern in the NE multispecies fishery and to provide for the conservation and management of stocks managed by the NE Multispecies Fishery Management Plan (FMP).
North Pacific Fishery Management Council; Public Meeting
The North Pacific Fishery Management Council's (NPFMC) will host a Crab Workshop.
This notice advises the public that the public comment period has been extended for the NOAA, FWS, and the State of Hawaii's Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR), and Office of Hawaiian Affairs' Draft Monument Management Plan (MMP) and associated environmental assessment (EA) for the Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument (Monument). See SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION for details.
Endangered Species; File Nos. 13306 and 13307
Notice is hereby given that Karen Holloway-Adkins, East Coast Biologists, Inc., P.O. Box 33715, Indialantic, FL, 32903 (File No. 13306) and Kristen Hart, 3205 College Ave., Davie, FL, 33314 (File No. 13307) have been issued permits to take green (Chelonia mydas), loggerhead (Caretta caretta), and hawksbill (Eretmochelys imbricata) sea turtles for purposes of scientific research.
Marine Mammals; File No. 716-1705
Notice is hereby given that Fred Sharpe, Ph.D., Alaska Whale Foundation, 4739 University Way NE, 1239, Seattle Washington 98105 has been issued an amendment to scientific research Permit No. 716-1705-00.
Fisheries Off West Coast States; Pacific Coast Groundfish Fishery; Amendment 15
NMFS issues this proposed rule to implement Amendment 15 to the Pacific Coast Groundfish Fishery Management Plan (FMP). Amendment 15 would modify the FMP to implement a limited entry program for the non-tribal Pacific whiting fishery. Amendment 15 was approved by NMFS on June 18, 2008, and in accordance with the notification procedures of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act, the Pacific Fishery Management Council was notified of this approval. Amendment 15 is intended to serve as an interim measure to limit potential participation in the Pacific whiting fishery within the U.S. West Coast Exclusive Economic Zone until implementation of a trawl rationalization program under Amendment 20 to the Groundfish FMP.
International Fisheries; Pacific Tuna Fisheries; Revisions to Regulations for Vessels Authorized To Fish for Tuna and Tuna-like Species in the Eastern Tropical Pacific Ocean and to Requirements for the Submission of Fisheries Certificates of Origin
NMFS proposes to revise regulations governing vessels authorized by the United States to fish for tuna and tuna-like species in the eastern tropical Pacific Ocean (ETP). This proposed rule would update and clarify regulations promulgated by NMFS to implement the Marine Mammal Protection Act, the Tuna Conventions Act, the Dolphin Protection Consumer Information Act, and resolutions adopted by the Inter-American Tropical Tuna Commission (IATTC) and by the Parties to the Agreement on the International Dolphin Conservation Program (AIDCP). This proposed rule would modify the procedures and requirements for the Vessel Register, the list of vessels authorized to fish for tuna and tuna-like species in the ETP. Requirements for the submission of certifications by importers would also be revised. This proposed rule is intended to clarify the regulations, facilitate management of U.S. vessels, and update the regulations to be consistent with resolutions adopted by the members of the IATTC and the Parties to the AIDCP.
Fisheries of the Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico, and South Atlantic; Reef Fish Fishery of the Gulf of Mexico; Environmental Impact Statement for Amendment 30B
NMFS, in cooperation with the Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council (Council), is preparing an EIS in accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) for Amendment 30B to the Fishery Management Plan (FMP) for the Reef Fish Resources of the Gulf of Mexico. This notice is intended to inform the public of the reconsideration from preparing an environmental assessment (EA) to preparing a draft EIS for Amendment 30B.
U.S. Climate Change Science Program Synthesis and Assessment Product Draft Report 2.3 “Aerosol properties and their impacts on climate”
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration publishes this notice to announce a 45-day public comment period for the draft report titled, U.S. Climate Change Science Program Synthesis and Assessment Product 2.3 ``Aerosol properties and their impacts on climate.''This draft report is being released solely for the purpose of pre-dissemination peer review under applicable information quality guidelines. This document has not been formally disseminated by NOAA. It does not represent and should not be construed to represent any Agency policy or determination. After consideration of comments received on the draft report, a revised version along with the comments received will be published on the CCSP web site.
Availability of Grant Funds for Fiscal Year 2009
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) publishes this notice to provide the general public with a consolidated source of program and application information related to its competitive grant and cooperative agreement (CA) award offerings for fiscal year (FY) 2009. This Omnibus notice is designed to replace the multiple Federal Register notices that traditionally advertised the availability of NOAA's discretionary funds for its various programs. It should be noted that additional program initiatives unanticipated at the time of the publication of this notice may be announced through subsequent Federal Register notices. All announcements will also be available through the Grants.gov Web site.
Fisheries of the Northeastern United States; Northeast Multispecies Fishery; Adjustment to the Total Allowable Catch of Georges Bank Yellowtail Flounder from the United States/Canada Management Area for Fishing Year 2008
NMFS announces that the Total Allowable Catch (TAC) in the U.S./Canada Management Area for Georges Bank (GB) yellowtail flounder was exceeded for fishing year (FY) 2007, requiring an adjustment of the GB yellowtail flounder TAC for FY 2008. This action complies with the Fishery Management Plan for the Northeast Multispecies Fishery (FMP) and is intended to continue the rebuilding program for yellowtail flounder in the FMP by taking into account previous overages of the yellowtail flounder quota.
Fisheries off West Coast States; Pacific Coast Groundfish Fishery; Suspension of the Primary Pacific Whiting Season for the Shore-based Sector South of 42° North Latitude
NMFS announces the suspension of the primary season forPacific whiting (whiting) fishery for the shore-based sector south of 42[deg] N. lat. at noon local time (l.t.) May 21, 2008. ``Per trip'' limits for whiting were reinstated until 0001 hours June 15, 2008, at which time the primary season for the shore-based sector opened coastwide. This action is authorized by regulations implementing the Pacific Coast Groundfish Fishery Management Plan (FMP), which governs the groundfish fishery off Washington, Oregon, and California. This action is intended to keep the harvest of whiting at the 2008 allocation levels.
Caribbean Fishery Management Council; Public Meeting
The Caribbean Fishery Management Council's (CFMC) Advisory Panel (AP) will hold a meeting.
Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act Provisions; Fisheries of the Northeastern United States; Monkfish Fishery
NMFS is proposing to implement a new management measure for the monkfish fishery recommended in Framework Adjustment 6 (Framework 6) to the Monkfish Fishery Management Plan (FMP), which has been submitted jointly by the New England and Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Councils (Councils). This action would eliminate the backstop provision adopted in Framework Adjustment 4 (Framework 4) to the FMP, which was implemented in October 2007. This provision would have adjusted, and possibly closed, the directed monkfish fishery in fishing year (FY) 2009 if the landings in FY 2007 exceeded the target total allowable catch (TTAC). Given the most recent information on the status of monkfish stocks, the backstop provision is no longer deemed necessary.
Fisheries of the Northeastern United States; Atlantic Sea Scallop Fishery; Framework Adjustment 19; Announcing OMB Approval of Information Collection
The National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) announces that the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) has approved the following collection of information pursuant to the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995: OMB 0648-0546, ``Northeast Region Observer Providers Requirements.'' This rule publishes the OMB control number for these collections and makes effective the collection-of-information requirements published in a final rule to implement measures included in Framework Adjustment 19 (Framework 19) to the Atlantic Sea Scallop Fishery Management Plan (FMP).
Marine Mammals; File Nos. 848-1695 and 932-1489
Notice is hereby given that the NMFS Pacific Islands Fisheries Science Center, Marine Mammal Research Program (MMRP) has been issued an amendment to scientific research and enhancement Permit No. 848-1695; and Dr. Teri Rowles, NMFS Marine Mammal Health and Stranding Response Program, has been issued an amendment to scientific research and enhancement Permit No. 932-1489.
Taking and Importing of Marine Mammals
The Assistant Administrator for Fisheries, NMFS, (Assistant Administrator) has granted a request for an affirmative finding for the Republic of El Salvador under the Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA). This affirmative finding will allow yellowfin tuna harvested in the eastern tropical Pacific Ocean (ETP) in compliance with the International Dolphin Conservation Program (IDCP) by El Salvadorian- flag purse seine vessels or purse seine vessels operating under El Salvadorian jurisdiction to be imported into the United States. The affirmative finding was based on review of documentary evidence submitted by the Republic of El Salvador and obtained from the Inter- American Tropical Tuna Commission (IATTC) and the U.S. Department of State.
Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Northern Rockfish in the Western Regulatory Area of the Gulf of Alaska
NMFS is prohibiting directed fishing for northern rockfish in the Western Regulatory Area of the Gulf of Alaska (GOA). This action is necessary to prevent exceeding the 2008 total allowable catch (TAC) of northern rockfish in the Western Regulatory Area of the GOA.
Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council; Public Meeting
The Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council will convene a Reef Fish Advisory Panel (AP).
Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council; Public Meeting
The Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council will convene a joint meeting of the Standing and Special Reef Fish Scientific and Statistical Committees (SSCs).
Proposed Information Collection; Comment Request; Application for Commercial Fisheries Authorization Under Section 118 of the Marine Mammal Protection Act
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.
Hydrographic Services Review Panel Meeting
The Hydrographic Services Review Panel (HSRP) was established by the Secretary of Commerce to advise the Under Secretary of Commerce for Oceans and Atmosphere on matters related to the responsibilities and authorities set forth in section 303 of the Hydrographic Services Improvement Act of 1998, its amendments, and such other appropriate matters that the Under Secretary refers to the Panel for review and advice. Date and Time: The public meeting will be held July 29-30, 2008, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on July 29th and 8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. on July 30th. Location: San Francisco, California. Sheraton Fisherman's Wharf, 2500 Mason Street, San Francisco, CA, 94133. The times and agenda topics are subject to change. Refer to the HSRP website listed below for the most current meeting agenda.
Federal Consistency Appeal by Foothill/Eastern Transportation Corridor Agency
This notice provides information about a public hearing to be held by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) in Irvine, California. The hearing involves an administrative appeal filed with the Department of Commerce by the Foothill/Eastern Transportation Corridor Agency and its board of directors (TCA). This notice also announces the reopening of the public and Federal agency comment period for the TCA Consistency Appeal, beginning July 21, 2008 and running through August 4, 2008.
Taking and Importing Marine Mammals; Taking Marine Mammals Incidental to Construction and Operation of Offshore Oil and Gas Facilities in the Beaufort Sea, Alaska
In accordance with the Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA), as amended, and implementing regulations, notice is hereby given that NMFS has issued a letter of authorization (LOA) to BP Exploration (Alaska), Inc. (BPXA) to take marine mammals incidental to the production of offshore oil and gas at the Northstar development in the Beaufort Sea off Alaska.
Taking of Marine Mammals Incidental to Specified Activities; Taking Marine Mammals Incidental to Navy Training Operations Conducted Within the Navy Cherry Point Range Complex
NMFS has received requests from the U.S. Navy (Navy) for an authorization for the take of marine mammals incidental to training operations conducted within the Navy Cherry Point Range Complex off the coast of North Carolina for the period beginning May 29, 2009 and ending May 28, 2014. 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.
Magnuson-Stevens Act Provisions; General Provisions for Domestic Fisheries; Application for Exempted Fishing Permits
The Assistant Regional Administrator for Sustainable Fisheries, Northeast Region, NMFS (Assistant Regional Administrator), has made a preliminary determination that an Exempted Fishing Permit (EFP) application submitted by the University of New England (UNE) and the New England Aquarium (NEA) contains all of the required information and warrants further consideration. The Assistant Regional Administrator has made a preliminary determination that the activities authorized under this EFP would be consistent with the goals and objectives of the Northeast (NE) Skate Complex and NE Multispecies Fishery Management Plans (FMPs). However, further review and consultation may be necessary before a final determination is made to issue an EFP. Therefore, NMFS announces that the Assistant Regional Administrator proposes to recommend that an EFP be issued that would allow two commercial fishing vessels to conduct fishing operations that are otherwise restricted by the regulations governing the fisheries of the Northeastern United States. This EFP, which would enable researchers to study the immediate and short-term post-release mortality of skates, would grant exemptions from the regulations as follows: Retaining, possessing, or landing prohibited skate species, and skate possession limits for sampling purposes. Regulations under the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act require publication of this notification to provide interested parties the opportunity to comment on applications for proposed EFPs.
Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Pacific Ocean Perch in the Western Regulatory Area of the Gulf of Alaska
NMFS is prohibiting directed fishing for Pacific ocean perch in the Western Regulatory Area of the Gulf of Alaska (GOA). This action is necessary to prevent exceeding the 2008 total allowable catch (TAC) of Pacific ocean perch in the Western Regulatory Area of the GOA.
Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Pacific Ocean Perch for Catcher Processors Participating in the Rockfish Limited Access Fishery in the Central Regulatory Area of the Gulf of Alaska
NMFS is prohibiting directed fishing for Pacific ocean perch by catcher processors participating in the rockfish limited access fishery in the Central Regulatory Area of the Gulf of Alaska (GOA). This action is necessary to prevent exceeding the 2008 total allowable catch (TAC) of Pacific ocean perch allocated to catcher processors participating in the rockfish limited access fishery in the Central Regulatory Area of the GOA.
Federal Consistency Appeal by Broadwater Energy LLC and Broadwater Pipeline LLC
This announcement provides notice that Broadwater Energy LLC and Broadwater Pipeline LLC (collectively, Broadwater), have filed an administrative appeal with the Department of Commerce (Department), asking that the Department override an objection by the New York State Department of State (New York). New York objects to Broadwater's proposal to construct and operate a floating liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal and associated pipeline, that would be located in the New York waters of Long Island Sound.
National Estuarine Research Reserve System
Notice is hereby given that the Estuarine Reserves Division, Office of Ocean and Coastal Resource Management, National Ocean Service, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), U.S. Department of Commerce is announcing a thirty day public comment period on the revised management plan for the Padilla Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve. The Padilla Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve is located in Skagit County, Washington. The Reserve was designated in 1980 pursuant to Section 315 of the Coastal Zone Management Act of 1972, as amended, 16 U.S.C. 1461. The reserve is revising their plan pursuant to 15 CFR. The submission of this revised plan sets a course for successful implementation of the goals and objectives of the reserve. New facilities, a focus on broad Puget Sound issues and climate change, and updated programmatic objectives are notable revisions to the previous approved management plan. The revised management plan outlines the administrative structure; the education, stewardship, and research goals of the reserve; and the plans for future land acquisition and facility development to support reserve operations. Since 2002, the reserve has added a coastal training program that delivers science-based information to key decision makers in Washington State. The reserve has realized nearly all aspects of the original plan and expanded its programs dramatically since the original plan. The reserve has completed major facility expansion and renovation projects that provide classrooms, lab space, exhibit space, dormitory, and office space. The reserve has expanded, but not yet completed, its ownership of in-holdings within its boundary and increased staff which have resulted in the implementation of research, education, stewardship, GIS, and volunteer activities at the reserve. This management plan calls for continued land acquisition within its boundaries from willing sellers, implementation of a habitat mapping and change plan, responsiveness to existing and emerging regional partnerships focusing on the management of Puget Sound, a focus on climate change within all reserve programs, implementation of the National Estuarine Research Reserve's K-12 Estuarine Education Program and continued implementation of the graduate research fellowship, coastal training, and system-wide monitoring programs.
National Estuarine Research Reserve System
Notice is hereby given that the Estuarine Reserves Division, Office of Ocean and Coastal Resource Management, National Ocean Service, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), U.S. Department of Commerce is announcing a thirty-day public comment period on the revised Management Plan for the Guana Tolomato Matanzas National Estuarine Research Reserve in Florida. The Guana Tolomato Matanzas National Estuarine Research Reserve is located in St. Johns and Flagler counties and is geographically separated into a northern and southern component separated by the City of St. Augustine. The reserve was designated in 1999. Pursuant to 15 CFR Section 921.33(c), a state must revise their management plan every five years. The submission of this plan brings the Reserve into compliance and sets a course for successful implementation of the goals and objectives of the Reserve. Updated programmatic objectives, new facilities, and a boundary expansion are notable revisions from the previous management plan. The revised management plan outlines the administrative structure; the education, stewardship, and research goals of the reserve; and the plans for future land acquisition and facility development to support reserve operations. The reserve management goals and objectives can be categorized within the following five management challenges: Public use, habitat and species management, watershed land use, cultural preservation and interpretation, and global processes. These issues can be directly or indirectly linked to anthropogenic land use of increasing population densities accompanied by increasing development, recreation and economic pressures. The Guana Tolomato Matanzas Environmental Education Center is a notable addition since the last management plan and serves as the administrative, education, research, and stewardship facility for the northern component of the Reserve. The facility will provide an opportunity for further outreach to the community and serve as a center of excellence for regional science, education and stewardship forums. This management plan calls for a boundary expansion incorporating 8,865 acres of publicly owned land in the southern component of the reserve. Approximately 4,166 acres of the Faver-Dykes State Park adding to the 1,333 acres of Faver-Dykes State Park incorporated at designation. The additional park lands will provide new resources and allow for an extension of the existing partnership. Additionally, 4,699 acres of the Matanzas State Forest will be added to the Reserve boundary. This property will be incorporated to further protect the last remaining undisturbed salt marsh within the Reserve and is part of a 16,000 acre continuous conservation corridor. This land is comprised 75% by upland pine and 25% by wetlands. The area serves as an important bird habitat and contains significant natural and cultural resources. These additions will bring the total Reserve acreage to 73,352 acres protected for long-term research, education and stewardship.
Cooperative Institute: Eastern U.S. Continental Shelf Frontier Exploration, Research, and Technology Development
The Office of Oceanic and Atmospheric Research (OAR) invites applications for the establishment of a cooperative institute (CI) that will: Explore and research continental shelf frontier ecosystems; advance the state of knowledge of both shallow and deep coral ecosystems under U.S. jurisdiction; and develop, test and evaluate advanced ocean technologies and tools. This CI will facilitate a long- term collaborative environment between NOAA and the recipient(s) within which broad-based exploration, research, technology development, and education and outreach capabilities that focus on NOAA's priorities for the living and non-living marine resources within and beyond the eastern U.S. Continental Shelf can be developed and sustained. The CI may consist of one or more research institutions with expertise and capabilities in the NOAA priority areas that contribute to the areas of research described as research themes listed below. The CI should possess outstanding capabilities to conduct ocean exploration, research and technology development in the three research themes summarized below. Additionally, the CI should possess the ability to conduct outreach and education activities in support of these three research themes. i. Develop advanced underwater technologies. The CI will expand the scope and efficiency of exploration and research by developing, testing, and applying new and/or innovative uses of existing technologies to ocean exploration and research activities. ii. Explore and research the frontier regions of the eastern U.S. Continental Shelf and beyond. The CI will focus on the exploration and research of ecosystems and habitats of economic, hazardous, scientific or cultural importance within and beyond the eastern U.S. Continental Shelf as defined by the NOAA Ocean Exploration and Research program. iii. Vulnerable Deep and Shallow Coral Ecosystems. Priority activities will include supporting ocean exploration and research using advanced underwater technologies and techniques to improve the understanding of coral and sponge ecosystems. This announcement provides requirements for the proposed CI and includes details for the technical program, evaluation criteria, and competitive selection procedures. Applicants should review NOAA's CI Policy and CI Interim Handbook (both available at http:// www.nrc.noaa.gov/ci) prior to preparing a proposal for this announcement.
Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council; Public Meetings
The Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council's (Council) Summer Flounder Monitoring Committee, Scup Monitoring Committee, Black Sea Bass Monitoring Committee, and Bluefish Monitoring Committee will hold public meetings.
Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council; Public Meetings
The Mid-Atlantic Council's Scientific and Statistical Committee (SSC) will hold a public meeting.
Western Pacific Fishery Management Council; Public Meetings
This notice advises the public that the Western Pacific Fishery Management Council (Council) will convene a meeting of the American Samoa Archipelago Advisory Panel and a meeting of the American Samoa Archipelago Plan Team in Pago Pago, American Samoa. The Council will also convene a public scoping meeting to solicit comments on minimizing sea turtles interactions in the American Samoa pelagic longline fishery.
Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument Proclamation Provisions
NOAA and the USFWS are proposing regulations to establish a ship reporting system for the Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument. This action would implement measures adopted by the International Maritime Organization requiring notification by ships passing through the Monument without interruption. A draft environmental assessment has been prepared for this proposed action pursuant to the National Environmental Policy Act. A copy of the draft environmental assessment is available for public review at http:// hawaiireef.noaa.gov/ and comment concurrently with this proposed rule.
Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act Provisions; Fisheries of the Northeastern United States; Expansion of Emergency Fishery Closure Due to the Presence of the Toxin that Causes Paralytic Shellfish Poisoning
This action expands an area currently closed to the harvest of bivalve shellfish, except for sea scallop adductor muscles harvested and shucked at sea, identified in a temporary final rule initially published on October 18, 2005. The regulations contained in the temporary rule, emergency action, published on October 18, 2005, and subsequently extended several times at the request of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), were effective through December 31, 2008. This temporary rule supersedes the previous rule. This rule will expire on December 29, 2008. This temporary rule expands the closure area of Federal waters previously closed since the original emergency closure. The FDA has determined that current oceanographic conditions and alga sampling data warrant expanding the Northern Temporary Paralytic Shellfish Poison (PSP) Closure Area to encompass the current closure area and an adjacent area in the Federal waters southeast of Massachusetts around Nantucket Island and eastward to the George's Bank PSP Closure Area. This expanded area is closed to the harvest of bivalve molluscan shellfish, except for sea scallop adductor muscles harvested and shucked at sea. The remaining segment of the Southern Temporary PSP Closure Area continues to be closed to the harvest of whole or roe-on scallops only.
Fisheries of the Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico, and South Atlantic; Shrimp Fishery of the Gulf of Mexico; Revisions to Allowable Bycatch Reduction Devices
Due to a request from the Gulf of Mexico shrimp industry, and based on new information collected through a NMFS-funded cooperative research proposal, NMFS is reopening the comment period on the proposed rule that would revise the list of allowable bycatch reduction devices (BRDs) certified for use in the shrimp fishery of the Gulf of Mexico. Reopening the comment period would allow interested constituents adequate time to prepare comments based on the new information regarding the performance of BRDs. NMFS is reopening the comment period for the proposed rule on July 7, 2008 and it will remain open through August 6, 2008. The proposed rule is intended to improve bycatch reduction in the shrimp fishery and better meet the requirements of national standard 9.
Atlantic Highly Migratory Species; Renewal of Atlantic Tunas Longline Limited Access Permits; Atlantic Shark Dealer Workshop Attendance Requirements
This final rule amends the regulations governing the renewal of Atlantic tunas longline limited access permits (LAPs), and amends the workshop attendance requirements for businesses issued Atlantic shark dealer permits. Specifically, these regulatory changes allow for the renewal of Atlantic tunas longline LAPs that have been expired for more than one year by the most recent permit holder of record, provided that the applicant has been issued a swordfish LAP (other than a handgear LAP) and a shark LAP, and all other requirements for permit renewal are met. Also, this rule amends the Atlantic Shark Identification Workshop requirements by: specifying that a workshop certificate be submitted upon permit renewal, and later possessed and available for inspection, for each place of business listed on the dealer permit which first receives Atlantic sharks by way of purchase, barter, or trade (rather than for each location listed on their dealer permit); and requiring that extensions of a dealer's business, such as trucks or other conveyances, must possess a copy of a valid dealer or proxy certificate issued to a place of business listed on the dealer permit.
Taking of Marine Mammals Incidental to Specified Activities; Construction of the East Span of the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge
NMFS has received a request from the California Department of Transportation (CALTRANS) for renewal of an authorization to take small numbers of California sea lions, Pacific harbor seals, harbor porpoises, and gray whales, by harassment, incidental to construction of a replacement bridge for the East Span of the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge (SF-OBB) in California. Under the Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA), NMFS is requesting comments on its proposal to issue an authorization to CALTRANS to incidentally take, by harassment, small numbers of these species of pinnipeds and cetaceans during the next 12 months.
Taking of Marine Mammals Incidental to Specified Activities; Taking Marine Mammals Incidental to Navy Research, Development, Test, and Evaluation Activities Conducted within the Naval Surface Warfare Center Keyport Range Complex Extension
NMFS has received requests from the U.S. Navy (Navy) for authorizations for the take of marine mammals incidental to Navy research, development, test, and evaluation (RDT&E) activities within the Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA) Naval Undersea Warfare Center (NUWC) Keyport Range Complex and the associated proposed extensions in the State of Washington for the period beginning September 25, 2009 and ending September 24, 2014. Pursuant to the implementing regulations of the Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA), NMFS is announcing our receipt of the Navy's requests for the development and implementation of regulations governing the incidental taking of marine mammals and inviting information, suggestions, and comments on the Navy's applications and requests.
Small Takes of Marine Mammals Incidental to Specified Activities; Harbor Activities Related to the Delta IV/Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicle at Vandenberg Air Force Base, CA
NMFS received a request from United Launch Alliance (ULA) for a one-year authorization to take small numbers of marine mammals by harassment incidental to Delta Mariner operations, cargo unloading activities, harbor maintenance dredging, and kelp habitat mitigation activities related to the Delta IV/Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicle (EELV) at south Vandenberg Air Force Base, CA (VAFB). Pursuant to the Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA), NMFS requests comments on its proposal to authorize ULA to take, by Level B harassment, small numbers of several species of pinnipeds at south VAFB beginning August 2008.
Fisheries of the Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico, and South Atlantic; Reef Fish Fishery of the Gulf of Mexico; Amendment 30A
NMFS issues this final rule to implement Amendment 30A to the Fishery Management Plan for the Reef Fish Resources of the Gulf of Mexico (FMP) prepared by the Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council (Council). This final rule establishes accountability measures for the commercial and recreational fisheries for greater amberjack and gray triggerfish, establishes commercial quotas for greater amberjack and gray triggerfish, establishes a recreational quota for greater amberjack and recreational catch limits for gray triggerfish, increases the commercial and recreational minimum size limit for gray triggerfish, increases the recreational minimum size limit for greater amberjack, and reduces the greater amberjack bag limit to zero for captain and crew of a vessel operating as a charter vessel or headboat. In addition, Amendment 30A establishes management targets and thresholds for gray triggerfish consistent with the requirements of the Sustainable Fisheries Act. This final rule is intended to end overfishing of greater amberjack and gray triggerfish and to rebuild these stocks to sustainable levels.
Caribbean Fishery Management Council; Public Meeting
The Caribbean Fishery Management Council's (CFMC) Scientific and Statistical Committee (SSC) will hold a meeting.
Caribbean Fishery Management Council; Public Hearings
The Caribbean Fishery Management Council will hold public hearings to obtain input from fishers, the general public, and the local agencies representatives on the Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) amendment 4 to the Spiny Lobster Fishery Management Plan of Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
New England Fishery Management Council; Public Meeting
The New England Fishery Management Council's (Council) Herring Oversight Committee will meet to consider actions affecting New England fisheries in the exclusive economic zone (EEZ).