Fisheries of the Northeastern United States; Atlantic Herring Fishery; Regulatory Amendment
NMFS proposes revising the reporting requirements for vessels issued Atlantic herring (herring) permits, because more timely catch information is necessary to monitor herring catch against the stock- wide herring annual catch limit (ACL) and herring management area sub- ACLs, to help prevent sub-ACLs overages, and to reduce the chance of premature fishery closures. This proposal would require limited access herring vessels to report catch daily via vessel monitoring systems (VMS), open access herring vessels to report catch weekly via the interactive voice response (IVR) system, and all herring-permitted vessels to submit vessel trip reports (VTRs) weekly.
Endangered Species; File No. 10027
Notice is hereby given that the Center for Biodiversity and Conservation, American Museum of Natural History (Responsible Party: Eleanor Sterling, PhD), Central Park West at 79th Street, New York, New York 10024, has requested a modification to scientific research Permit No. 10027.
Pacific Halibut Fisheries; Limited Access for Guided Sport Charter Vessels in Alaska
This rule clarifies regulations that apply to vessels operating in the guided sport (charter) fishery for halibut in International Pacific Halibut Commission Regulatory Area 2C (Southeast Alaska) and Area 3A (Central Gulf of Alaska). Under regulations implementing the charter halibut limited access program, operators of a vessel in Area 2C or Area 3A with one or more charter vessel anglers onboard that catch and retain halibut must have an Alaska Department of Fish and Game (ADF&G) Saltwater Charter Logbook onboard which specifies the person named on the charter halibut permit(s) being used onboard the vessel, and the charter halibut permit number(s) being used onboard the vessel. This interpretation clarifies that a charter operator may use the ADF&G Saltwater Charter Logbook issued for the vessel to record the charter halibut permit information. A charter vessel operator is not required to have a separate ADF&G Saltwater Charter Logbook issued in the name of the charter halibut permit holder.
Revisions to Framework Adjustment 45 to the Northeast Multispecies Fishery Management Plan and Sector Annual Catch Entitlements; Updated Annual Catch Limits for Sectors and the Common Pool for Fishing Year 2011
Based on the final multispecies sector rosters submitted as of May 1, 2011, NMFS announces adjustments to the Northeast (NE) multispecies fishing year (FY) 2011 specification of annual catch limits (ACLs) for common pool vessels (common pool sub-ACLs), ACLs for sector vessels (sector sub-ACLs), and sector Annual Catch Entitlements (ACEs) for groundfish stocks managed under the NE Multispecies Fishery Management Plan (FMP). This revision to FY 2011 catch levels is necessary to account for changes to the number of participants electing to fish in either sectors or the common pool fishery in FY 2011.
Fisheries of the Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico, and South Atlantic; Snapper-Grouper Fishery of the South Atlantic; Snapper-Grouper Management Measures
NMFS issues this final rule to implement the approved actions identified in a regulatory amendment (Regulatory Amendment 9) to the Fishery Management Plan for the Snapper-Grouper Fishery of the South Atlantic Region (FMP) prepared by the South Atlantic Fishery Management Council (Council). This final rule reduces the recreational bag limit for black sea bass, increases the commercial trip limit for greater amberjack, and establishes commercial trip limits for vermilion snapper and gag. This rule also implements a minor revision to the mailing address for the NMFS Southeast Regional Administrator (RA), revises commercial trip limit codified text for greater amberjack to be consistent with respect to the commercial quota, and corrects two closed area coordinates published in a previous rulemaking. The intended effect of this final rule is to address derby-style fisheries for black sea bass, gag, and vermilion snapper while reducing the rate of harvest to extend the fishing seasons of these three species, to achieve optimum yield (OY) for greater amberjack, and to implement technical corrections to the regulations.
Magnuson-Stevens Act Provisions; Fisheries Off West Coast States; Pacific Coast Groundfish Fishery; Biennial Specifications and Management Measures
NMFS issues this interim final rule to revise the sablefish cumulative limits for the limited entry fixed gear primary fishery for the remainder of the 2011 groundfish fishery. This action is necessary to allow the limited entry fixed gear fishery to achieve their fishery harvest guideline, while keeping total impacts of all fisheries within the 2011 sablefish annual catch limit (ACL).
Marine Fisheries Advisory Committee Meeting
This notice sets forth the schedule and proposed agenda of a forthcoming meeting of the Marine Fisheries Advisory Committee (MAFAC). The members will discuss and provide advice on issues outlined under SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION below.
Marine Mammals; Notice of Intent To Prepare an Environmental Impact Statement for the Atlantic Large Whale Take Reduction Plan
NMFS announces its intention to amend the Atlantic Large Whale Take Reduction Plan (ALWTRP). An Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) will be prepared in accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), to analyze impacts to the environment of the management alternatives under consideration. The purpose of this action is to notify the public of upcoming scoping meetings to solicit public comments on ways to reduce the risk of serious injury or mortality of right, humpback, and finback whales as a result of entanglement in vertical lines associated with commercial trap/pot and gillnet fisheries off the U.S. East Coast. NMFS requests comments on management options for this action. These options will form the basis of the alternatives that will later be analyzed through the EIS process.
Taking and Importing Marine Mammals; Geological and Geophysical Exploration of Mineral and Energy Resources on the Outer Continental Shelf in the Gulf of Mexico
NMFS has received a revised application from the U.S. Department of the Interior (DOI), Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation, and Enforcement (BOEMRE), formerly Minerals Management Service (MMS), for authorization to take marine mammals, by Level A and Level B harassment, incidental to oil and gas industry sponsored seismic surveys for purposes of geological and geophysical (G&G) exploration on the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) in the Gulf of Mexico (GOM) from approximately 2012 to 2017. Pursuant to Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA) implementing regulations, NMFS is announcing receipt of BOEMRE's request for the development and implementation of regulations governing the incidental taking of marine mammals and inviting information, suggestions, and comments on BOEMRE's revised application.
Fisheries of the Caribbean; Southeast Data, Assessment, and Review (SEDAR); Public Meeting
The SEDAR assessments of the Caribbean stocks of silk snapper, queen snapper and redtail parrotfish will consist of a series of three workshops and webinars: a Data Workshop, an Assessment Workshop, and a Review Workshop.
International Whaling Commission; 63rd Annual Meeting; Nominations
This notice is a call for nominees for the U.S. Delegation to the July 2011 International Whaling Commission (IWC) annual meeting. The non-federal representative(s) selected as a result of this nomination process is(are) responsible for providing input and recommendations to the U.S. IWC Commissioner representing the positions of non-governmental organizations. Generally, only one non-governmental position is selected for the U.S. Delegation.
Schedules for Atlantic Shark Identification Workshops and Protected Species Safe Handling, Release, and Identification Workshops
Free Atlantic Shark Identification Workshops and Protected Species Safe Handling, Release, and Identification Workshops will be held in July, August, and September of 2011. Certain fishermen and shark dealers are required to attend a workshop to meet regulatory requirements and maintain valid permits. Specifically, the Atlantic Shark Identification Workshop is mandatory for all federally permitted Atlantic shark dealers. The Protected Species Safe Handling, Release, and Identification Workshop is mandatory for vessel owners and operators who use bottom longline, pelagic longline, or gillnet gear, and who have also been issued shark or swordfish limited access permits. Additional free workshops will be conducted during 2011.
Taking and Importing Marine Mammals; Taking Marine Mammals Incidental to Operation and Maintenance of the Neptune Liquefied Natural Gas Facility off Massachusetts
NMFS, upon application from Neptune LNG LLC (Neptune), is issuing 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 the period of July 2011 through July 2016. These regulations, which allow for the issuance of Letters of Authorization (LOAs) for the incidental take of marine mammals during the described activities and specified timeframes, prescribe the permissible methods of taking and other means of effecting the least practicable adverse impact on marine mammal species or stocks and their habitat, as well as requirements pertaining to the monitoring and reporting of such taking.
Endangered and Threatened Species; Proposed Protective Regulations for the Gulf of Maine Distinct Population Segment of Atlantic Sturgeon
This proposed rule proposes to extend the Endangered Species Act (ESA) section 9(a)(1)(A) through 9(a)(1)(G) prohibitions to all activities impacting the Gulf of Maine (GOM) Distinct Population Segment (DPS) of Atlantic sturgeon throughout its range except for two types of activities, scientific research and rescue/salvage activities, when those activities occur within the riverine range of the GOM DPS. The ESA section 9 prohibitions are comprehensive and pertain to any person subject to the jurisdiction of the United States. Specifically, section 9 of the ESA prohibits the import, export, taking, possession, sale or offering for sale in interstate or foreign commerce, delivery, receiving of, carrying, transportation, or shipping in interstate or foreign commerce any such species, or violation of any regulation pertaining to such species. On October 6, 2010, we, the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), proposed to list the DPS of Atlantic sturgeon in the GOM as threatened under the ESA. When a species is listed as ``threatened'' under the ESA, we are required to issue protective regulations under section 4(d) of the ESA. Such protective regulations are ones deemed ``necessary and advisable for the conservation of the species'' and may include any act prohibited for endangered species under section 9(a)(1) of the ESA. The prohibitions and exceptions proposed in this rule are deemed necessary and advisable for the conservation of this species. We expect that the result of extending such prohibitions will be to protect the GOM DPS of Atlantic sturgeon from direct forms of take, such as physical injury or killing, and from indirect forms of take, such as harm that results from habitat degradation while still allowing scientific research as well as salvage of dead fish and rescue of injured fish by experienced personnel. These actions will help preserve and recover the GOM DPS of Atlantic sturgeon by addressing the negative effects from stressors impeding recovery of the DPS.
Marine Mammals; File No. 16314
Notice is hereby given that Jennifer Lewis, Ph.D., Tropical Dolphin Research Foundation, Pembroke Pines, FL 33024 has applied in due form for a permit to conduct research on bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus).
Marine Mammal Stock Assessment Reports
As required by the Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA), NMFS has incorporated public comments into revisions of marine mammal stock assessment reports (SARs). The 2010 reports are final and available to the public.
Fisheries of the South Atlantic; Southeast Data, Assessment, and Review (SEDAR); Public Meeting
The SEDAR 25 Review of the South Atlantic stock of black sea bass and golden tilefish will consist of one workshop, held September 20-22, 2011. This is the twenty-fifth SEDAR.
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
In accordance with the Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA) regulations, notification is hereby given that NMFS has issued an Incidental Harassment Authorization (IHA) to United Launch Alliance (ULA), to take marine mammals, by Level B harassment, incidental to conducting Delta Mariner operations, cargo unloading activities, and harbor maintenance activities related to the Delta IV/Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicle (Delta IV/EELV) at south Vandenberg Air Force Base, CA (VAFB).
Endangered Species; Permit No. 16439
Notice is hereby given that the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, 21 South Putt Corners Rd., New Paltz, NY 12561 [Responsible Party: Kathryn Hattala] has applied in due form to take shortnose sturgeon (Acipenser brevirostrum) for purposes of scientific research.
Takes of Marine Mammals Incidental to Specified Activities; Marine Geophysical Survey in the Central Gulf of Alaska, June 2011
In accordance with the Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA) regulation, notification is hereby given that NMFS has issued an Incidental Harassment Authorization (IHA) to the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) to take marine mammals, by Level B harassment, incidental to conducting a marine geophysical survey in the central Gulf of Alaska (GOA), June 2011.
Incidental Taking of Marine Mammals; Taking of Marine Mammals Incidental to the Explosive Removal of Offshore Structures in the Gulf of Mexico
In accordance with the Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA) and implementing regulations, notification is hereby given that NMFS has issued one-year Letters of Authorization (LOA) to take marine mammals incidental to the explosive removal of offshore oil and gas structures (EROS) in the Gulf of Mexico.
Pacific Fishery Management Council; Public Meeting
The Pacific Fishery Management Council's (Pacific Council) Tule Chinook Workgroup (TCW) will hold a meeting to review work products and develop an abundance-based harvest management approach for Columbia River natural tule Chinook. This meeting of the TCW is open to the public.
Fisheries Off West Coast States; Coastal Pelagic Species Fisheries; Amendment 13 to the Coastal Pelagic Species Fishery Management Plan; Annual Catch Limits
NMFS announces that the Pacific Fishery Management Council (Council) has submitted Amendment 13 to the Coastal Pelagic Species (CPS) Fishery Management Plan (FMP) for review by the Secretary of Commerce. The intent of Amendment 13 is to ensure the FMP is consistent with NMFS advisory guidelines. The guidelines describe fishery management approaches to meet the objectives of National Standard 1 (NS1) of section 301 of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (MSA). National Standard 1 states ``Conservation and management measures shall prevent overfishing while achieving, on a continuing basis, the optimum yield (OY) from each fishery for the U.S. fishing industry.''
Taking and Importing Marine Mammals: Taking Marine Mammals Incidental to Navy Training Exercises in Three East Coast Range Complexes
In accordance with the Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA), as amended, and implementing regulations, notification is hereby given that NMFS has issued three one-year Letters of Authorization (LOAs) to take marine mammals by harassment incidental to the U.S. Navy's training activities within the Navy's Virginia Capes (VACAPES), Jacksonville (JAX), and Cherry Point (CHPT) Range Complexes to the Commander, U.S. Fleet Forces Command, 1562 Mitscher Avenue, Suite 250, Norfolk, VA 23551-2487 and persons operating under his authority.
Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Alaska Plaice in the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Management Area
NMFS apportions amounts of the non-specified reserve to the initial total allowable catch of Alaska plaice in the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands management area (BSAI). 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 Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands management area.
Takes of Marine Mammals Incidental to Specified Activities; Marine Geophysical Survey in the Central-Western Bering Sea, August 2011
NMFS has received an application from the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) for an Incidental Harassment Authorization (IHA) to take marine mammals, by harassment, incidental to conducting a marine geophysical survey in the central-western Bering Sea, August 2011. Pursuant to the Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA), NMFS requests comments on its proposal to issue an IHA to USGS to incidentally harass, by Level B harassment only, 12 species of marine mammals during the specified activity.
Endangered Species; File No. 15135
Notice is hereby given that Blake Price, 132 Conch Court, Emerald Isle, NC 28594, has been issued a permit to take threatened and endangered sea turtles for purposes scientific research.
Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Alaska Plaice in the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Management Area
NMFS is prohibiting directed fishing for Alaska plaice in the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands management area (BSAI). This action is necessary to prevent exceeding the 2011 Alaska plaice total allowable catch (TAC) specified for the BSAI.
Hydrographic Services Review Panel
This notice responds to the Hydrographic Service Improvements Act Amendments of 2002, Public Law 107-372, which requires the Administrator of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), to solicit nominations for membership on the Hydrographic Services Review Panel (HSRP). The HSRP, a Federal advisory committee, advises the Administrator on matters related to the responsibilities and authorities set forth in section 303 of the Hydrographic Services Improvement Act of 1998 (as amended) and such other appropriate matters as the Administrator refers to the Panel for review and advice. The Act states, ``the voting members of the Panel shall be individuals who, by reason of knowledge, experience, or training, are especially qualified in one or more of the disciplines and fields relating to hydrographic data and hydrographic services, marine transportation, port administration, vessel pilotage, coastal and fishery management, and other disciplines as determined appropriate by the Administrator.'' The NOAA Administrator is seeking to broaden the areas of expertise represented on the Panel and encourages individuals with expertise in navigation data, products and services; coastal management; fisheries management; coastal and marine spatial planning; geodesy; water levels; and other science-related fields to apply for Panel membership. To apply for membership on the Panel, applicants should submit a current resume as indicated in the ADDRESSES section. A cover letter highlighting specific areas of expertise relevant to the purpose of the Panel is helpful, but not required. NOAA is an equal opportunity employer.
Fisheries of the South Atlantic; Southeast Data, Assessment, and Review (SEDAR); Public Meeting
The SEDAR 26 assessments of the South Caribbean silk snapper, queen snapper, and redtail parrotfish will consist of a series of workshops and webinars. This notice is for a webinar associated with the Data and Assessment portions of the SEDAR process. See SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION.
Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council; Public Meeting
The Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council will convene a meeting of the Ecosystem Scientific and Statistical Committee.
Fisheries Off West Coast States; West Coast Salmon Fisheries; 2011 Management Measures; Correction
NMFS established fishery management measures for the 2011 ocean salmon fisheries off Washington, Oregon, and California and the 2012 salmon seasons opening earlier than May 1, 2012. The final rule published on May 4, 2011, included an incorrect area description for minimum size requirements for the commercial salmon fishery. This action corrects the incorrect language.
Fisheries of the Northeastern United States; 2011 Specifications for the Spiny Dogfish Fishery
NMFS announces specifications and management measures for the spiny dogfish fishery for the 2011 fishing year (FY) (May 1, 2011, through April 30, 2012). NMFS is implementing a spiny dogfish quota of 20 million lb (9,071.85 mt) for FY 2011, and is maintaining the possession limit of 3,000 lb (1.36 mt). These measures are consistent with the Spiny Dogfish Fishery Management Plan (FMP) and promote the utilization and conservation of the spiny dogfish resource.
Western Pacific Pelagic Fisheries; American Samoa Longline Gear Modifications To Reduce Turtle Interactions
This proposed rule would require specific gear configuration for pelagic longline fishing for vessels based in American Samoa, as well as other U.S. longline vessels longer than 40 ft (12.2 m), while fishing south of the Equator in the Pacific Ocean. The requirements include minimum float line and branch line lengths, number of hooks between floats, and distances between floats and adjacent hooks. The rule would also limit the number of swordfish taken. The proposed action is intended to ensure that longline hooks are set at depths of 100 meters (m) or deeper to reduce interactions between longline fishing and Pacific green sea turtles.
Endangered Species; File No. 15677
Notice is hereby given that South Carolina Department of Natural Resources (hereinafter ``Permit Holder''), P.O. Box 12559 Charleston, SC 29422 [Responsible Party: William C. Post], has been issued a permit to take shortnose sturgeon for purposes of scientific research.
Marine Mammals; File No. 15543
Notice is hereby given that Randall S. Wells, Ph.D. (Principal Investigator), Sarasota Dolphin Research Program, c/o Mote Marine Laboratory, 1600 Ken Thompson Parkway, Sarasota, FL 34236, has been issued a permit to conduct research on bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus).
Atlantic Highly Migratory Species; Atlantic Bluefin Tuna Fisheries
NMFS has determined that the Atlantic tunas General category daily Atlantic bluefin tuna (BFT) retention limit should be adjusted for the June through August 2011 time period, based on consideration of the regulatory determination criteria regarding inseason adjustments. This action applies to Atlantic tunas General category permitted vessels and Highly Migratory Species Charter/Headboat category permitted vessels (when fishing commercially for BFT).
Proposed Information Collection; Comment Request; Alaska Saltwater Sportfishing Economic Survey
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.
New England Fishery Management Council; Public Meeting
The New England Fishery Management Council (Council) will hold a three-day meeting on Tuesday through Thursday, June 21-23, 2011 to consider actions affecting New England fisheries in the exclusive economic zone (EEZ).
Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Groundfish Retention Standard; Emergency Rule Extension
NMFS is exempting, through this emergency rule extension, trawl catcher/processor vessels (C/Ps) that are not specified in regulation as American Fisheries Act (AFA) vessels, and Amendment 80 cooperatives from the groundfish retention standard (GRS) program in the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands management area. The GRS was implemented to increase the retention and utilization of groundfish caught by the non-AFA trawl C/Ps and to respond to bycatch reduction goals described in National Standard 9. NMFS recently discovered that the regulatory methodology used to calculate compliance with and to enforce the GRS percentages established for 2010 and 2011 effectively require the sector to meet a GRS well above that considered by the North Pacific Fishery Management Council or that implemented by NMFS. As a result, the retention requirements are expected to impose significantly higher costs due to the increased level of retention and to generate an unanticipated level of noncompliance in the Amendment 80 fleet. Further, monitoring and enforcement of the GRS have proven far more complex, challenging, and potentially costly than anticipated by NMFS. This emergency rule extension is necessary to exempt non-AFA trawl C/Ps and Amendment 80 cooperatives from the minimum retention requirements of the GRS program for the remainder of the 2011 fishing season. This action is intended to promote the goals and objectives of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act, the Fishery Management Plan for Groundfish of the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Management Area, and other applicable law.
Atlantic Coastal Fisheries Cooperative Management Act Provisions; Horseshoe Crabs; Application for Exempted Fishing Permit
The Acting Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, has made a preliminary determination that the subject exempted fishing permit (EFP) application submitted by Limuli Laboratories of Cape May Court House, NJ, contains all the required information and warrants further consideration. The proposed EFP would allow the harvest of up to 10,000 horseshoe crabs from the Carl N. Shuster Jr. Horseshoe Crab Reserve (Reserve) for biomedical purposes and require, as a condition of the EFP, the collection of data related to the status of horseshoe crabs within the reserve. The Acting Director has also made a preliminary determination that the activities authorized under the EFP would be consistent with the goals and objectives of the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission's (Commission) Horseshoe Crab Interstate Fisheries Management Plan (FMP). However, further review and consultation may be necessary before a final determination is made to issue the EFP. Therefore, NMFS announces that the Acting Director proposes to recommend that an EFP be issued that would allow up to two commercial fishing vessels to conduct fishing operations that are otherwise restricted by the regulations promulgated under the Atlantic Coastal Fisheries Cooperative Management Act (Atlantic Coastal Act). The EFP would allow for an exemption from the Reserve. Regulations under the Atlantic Coastal Act require publication of this notification to provide interested parties the opportunity to comment on applications for proposed EFPs.
Marine Mammals; File No. 15748
Notice is hereby given that a permit has been issued to the Alaska SeaLife Center (ASLC), Seward, AK, to conduct research on marine mammals.
Marine Mammals; File No. 14329
Notice is hereby given that a major amendment to Permit No. 14329 has been issued to the North Pacific Universities Marine Mammal Research Consortium (NPUMMRC), University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC., Canada.
Fisheries of the Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico, and South Atlantic; Reef Fish Fishery of the Gulf of Mexico; Gag Grouper Management Measures
This final temporary rule, issued pursuant to NMFS' authority to issue emergency and interim rules under the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (Magnuson-Stevens Act), replaces a temporary rule made effective January 1, 2011, and implements interim measures to reduce overfishing of gag in the Gulf of Mexico (Gulf). This rule reduces the commercial quota for gag and, thus, the combined commercial quota for shallow-water grouper species (SWG), establishes a 2-month recreational season for gag, and suspends red grouper multi-use allocation in the Gulf grouper and tilefish individual fishing quota (IFQ) program, as recommended by the Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council (Council). The rule will be effective for 180 days, unless superseded by subsequent rulemaking, although NMFS may extend its effectiveness for an additional 186 days pursuant to the Magnuson- Stevens Act. The intended effect of this final temporary rule is to reduce overfishing of the gag resource in the Gulf.
Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants: Proposed Rulemaking To Revise Critical Habitat for Hawaiian Monk Seals
We, the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), propose revising the current critical habitat for the Hawaiian monk seal (Monachus schauinslandi) by extending the current designation in the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands (NWHI) out to the 500-meter (m) depth contour and including Sand Island at Midway Islands; and by designating six new areas in the main Hawaiian Islands (MHI), pursuant to section 4 of the Endangered Species Act (ESA). Specific areas proposed for the MHI include terrestrial and marine habitat from 5 m inland from the shoreline extending seaward to the 500-m depth contour around: Kaula Island, Niihau, Kauai, Oahu, Maui Nui (including Kahoolawe, Lanai, Maui, and Molokai), and Hawaii (except those areas that have been identified as not included in the designation). We propose to exclude the following areas from designation because the national security benefits of exclusion outweigh the benefits of inclusion, and exclusion will not result in extinction of the species: Kingfisher Underwater Training area in marine areas off the northeast coast of Niihau; Pacific Missile Range Facility Main Base at Barking Sands, Kauai; Pacific Missile Range Facility Offshore Areas in marine areas off the western coast of Kauai; the Naval Defensive Sea Area and Puuloa Underwater Training Range in marine areas outside Pearl Harbor, Oahu; and the Shallow Water Minefield Sonar Training Range off the western coast of Kahoolawe in the Maui Nui area. We solicit comments on all aspects of the proposal, including information on the economic, national security, and other relevant impacts. We will consider additional information received prior to making a final designation.
Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Endangered Species Act Listing Determination for Atlantic Bluefin Tuna
After we, NMFS, received a petition to list Atlantic bluefin tuna (Thunnus thynnus) as threatened or endangered under the Endangered Species Act (ESA), we established a status review team (SRT) to conduct a review of the status of Atlantic bluefin tuna. We have reviewed the SRT's status review report (SRR) and other available scientific and commercial information and have determined that listing Atlantic bluefin tuna as threatened or endangered under the ESA is not warranted at this time. We also announce the availability of the SRR.
Endangered and Threatened Species; Take of Anadromous Fish
Notice is hereby given that NMFS has received four scientific research and enhancement permit application requests relating to salmonids listed under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). The proposed research programs are intended to increase knowledge of the species and to help guide management and conservation efforts.
Endangered and Threatened Wildlife; Notice of 90-Day Finding on a Petition To List Goliath Grouper as Threatened or Endangered Under the Endangered Species Act
We (NMFS) announce a 90-day finding on a petition to list goliath grouper (Epinephelus itajara) as threatened or endangered under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). We find that the petition does not present substantial scientific or commercial information indicating that the petitioned action may be warranted. Accordingly, we will not initiate a status review of the species at this time.
Endangered Species; File No. 15614
Notice is hereby given that Tom Savoy, Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection, Marine Fisheries, PO Box 719, Old Lyme, CT 06731, has been issued a permit to take shortnose sturgeon for purposes of scientific research.
Fisheries of the Northeastern United States; Atlantic Sea Scallop Fishery; Closure of the Nantucket Lightship Access Area
NMFS issues this temporary rule pursuant to its authority to implement emergency measures under the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (Magnuson-Stevens Act). This emergency rule closes the Nantucket Lightship Access Area (NLS) prior to its scheduled opening on June 15, 2011, and is consistent with Framework Adjustment 22 to the Atlantic Sea Scallop Fishery Management Plan (FMP) (Framework 22), which is currently being proposed and subject to public comments, and which would close the NLS in FY 2011 as well. This closure prevents potentially high levels of scallop and yellowtail flounder (yellowtail) catch that could result from opening the area prior to the approval and implementation of Framework 22, which could be detrimental to the long-term management and health of the scallop fishery.