Multi-Species Habitat Conservation Plan
This document announces the availability of the Final Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) on the applications from the Fruit Growers Supply Company (FGS) for Incidental Take Permits (ITPs) and a multi-species Habitat Conservation Plan (HCP) for take of endangered and threatened species in accordance with the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended (ESA). The National Marine Fisheries Service and the Fish and Wildlife Service (Services) and FGS have also developed an Implementing Agreement (IA) which details how the Services and FGS will work together to implement the HCP. The applicant seeks the ITPs to authorize incidental take of the covered species during forest management and timber harvest in Siskiyou County, CA, where FGS owns lands, during the term of the proposed 50-year ITPs and HCP. This document is provided under National Environmental Policy Act regulations to inform the public that the Final EIS and multi-species HCP, and the Services' responses to public comments are available for review, and that we have filed the Final EIS with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for public notice. The Services will not make a decision on issuing ITPs to FGS sooner than 45 days after publication of EPA's notice.
Atlantic Highly Migratory Species; Silky Shark Management Measures
This rule would implement the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas (ICCAT) recommendation 11-08, which prohibits retaining, transshipping, or landing of silky sharks (Carcharhinus falciformis) caught in association with ICCAT fisheries. In order to improve domestic enforcement capabilities, the National Marine Fisheries Service is also proposing to prohibit the storing, selling and purchasing of the species. This rule would affect the commercial HMS pelagic longline fishery for tuna and tuna-like species in the Atlantic Ocean, including the Caribbean Sea and Gulf of Mexico. This rule would not affect commercial fishermen fishing for sharks with bottom longline, gillnet, or handgear; nor would the rule affect recreational fishermen as harvesting silky sharks is already prohibited in the recreational fishery. This action implements the ICCAT recommendation, consistent with the Atlantic Tunas Convention Act (ATCA), and furthers domestic management objectives under the Magnuson- Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (Magnuson-Stevens Act).
Sea Turtle Conservation; Shrimp Trawling Requirements; Public Hearing Notification
NMFS announces a sixth public hearing to be held in Miami, FL on July 6, 2012, to answer questions and receive public comments on the proposed rule to withdraw the alternative tow time restriction and require all skimmer trawls, pusher-head trawls, and wing nets (butterfly trawls) rigged for fishing to use turtle excluder devices (TEDs) in their nets, which was published in the Federal Register on May 10, 2012. In the proposed rule, we announced five public hearings to be held in Morehead City, NC, Larose, LA, Belle Chasse, LA, D'Iberville, MS, and Bayou La Batre, AL.