Listing Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Designating Critical Habitat; 12-Month Determination on How To Proceed With a Petition To Revise Designated Critical Habitat for the Endangered Leatherback Sea Turtle
We, the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), announce our 12-month determination on how to proceed with a petition to revise the critical habitat designation for leatherback sea turtles pursuant to the Endangered Species Act (ESA) of 1973, as amended. The petition from Sierra Club requested a revision of the existing critical habitat designation for the leatherback sea turtle by adding the coastline and offshore waters of the Northeast Ecological Corridor in Puerto Rico. Based on the lack of reasonably defined physical or biological features that are essential to the leatherback turtle's conservation and that may require special management considerations or protection, we are denying the petitioned revision.
Takes of Marine Mammals Incidental to Specified Activities; Pile Driving in the Columbia River, WA
In accordance with the Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA) regulations, notification is hereby given that NMFS has issued an Incidental Harassment Authorization (IHA) to the Port of Vancouver, USA (Port), allowing the take of small numbers of marine mammals, by Level B harassment only, incidental to pile driving during construction of the Terminal 5 Bulk Potash Handling Facility.
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 2012. 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 2012 and will be announced in a future notice.
Snapper-Grouper Fishery of the South Atlantic; 2012 Recreational Accountability Measure and Closure for South Atlantic Golden Tilefish
NMFS implements accountability measures (AMs) for the recreational sector of golden tilefish in the South Atlantic for the 2012 fishing year through this temporary rule. Average recreational landings from 2010 and 2011 exceeded the recreational annual catch limit (ACL) for golden tilefish. To account for this overage and to prevent an overage in 2012, this rule reduces the length of the 2012 recreational fishing season and NMFS closes the recreational sector for golden tilefish on June 8, 2012. This closure is necessary to protect the golden tilefish resource.
Accountability Measures for the Recreational Sector of Gray Triggerfish in the Gulf of Mexico for the 2012 Fishing Year
NMFS implements accountability measures (AMs) for the recreational sector of gray triggerfish in the Gulf of Mexico (Gulf) for the 2012 fishing year through this final temporary rule. Based on the projected recreational landings estimates, NMFS determined that the recreational annual catch target (ACT) for Gulf gray triggerfish will be met by June 11, 2012. Therefore, NMFS closes the recreational sector for Gulf gray triggerfish on June 11, 2012, and it will remain closed through December 31, 2012. This action is necessary to reduce overfishing of the Gulf gray triggerfish resource.