Draft NOAA Scientific Integrity Policy and Handbook; Availability
NOAA's draft scientific integrity policy is available for public review and comment until August 20, 2011. The draft incorporates the principles of scientific integrity contained in the President's March 9, 2009, memorandum and Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) director, John Holdren's December 17, 2010, memorandum on scientific integrity, and addresses how NOAA ensures quality science in its methods, review, and other aspects. NOAA also seeks comments on the accompanying handbook that outlines procedures to respond to allegations of misconduct.
Atlantic Highly Migratory Species; Vessel Monitoring Systems
The National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) proposes to require replacement of currently required Mobile Transmitting Unit (MTU) Vessel Monitoring System (VMS) units with Enhanced Mobile Transmitting Unit (E-MTU) VMS units in Atlantic HMS fisheries; implement a declaration system that requires vessels to declare target fishery and gear type(s) possessed on board; and require that a qualified marine electrician install all E-MTU VMS units. This proposed rulemaking would remove dated MTU VMS units from service in Atlantic HMS fisheries, make Atlantic HMS VMS requirements consistent with other VMS-monitored Atlantic fisheries, provide the National Marine Fisheries Service Office of Law Enforcement (NMFS Enforcement) with enhanced communication with HMS vessels at sea. This rule would affect all HMS pelagic longline (PLL), bottom longline (BLL), and shark gillnet fishermen who are currently required to have VMS onboard their vessels.
Taking and Importing Marine Mammals; Taking Marine Mammals Incidental to Operation and Maintenance of the Neptune Liquefied Natural Gas Facility of Massachusetts; Correction
NMFS, upon application from Neptune LNG LLC (Neptune), issued regulations pursuant to the Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA) to govern the unintentional taking of marine mammals, by harassment, incidental to port commissioning and operations, including maintenance and repair activities, at the Neptune Deepwater Port (the Port) in Massachusetts Bay for a period of 5 years. The final rule, which published in the Federal Register on June 13, 2011, contains an incorrect ending date for the period of effectiveness. The rule was to be effective 30 days after the date of filing for publication in the Federal Register, which was Friday, June 10, 2011, through 5 years and 30 days after the date of filing for publication in the Federal Register. The effectiveness dates in the current final rule are listed as July 11, 2011, through August 10, 2016, which is 1 month too long. This notice corrects the period of effectiveness for the final rule.