Western Pacific Pelagic Fisheries; Revised Limits on Sea Turtle Interactions in the Hawaii Shallow-Set Longline Fishery
NMFS proposes to revise the annual number of allowable incidental interactions that may occur between the Hawaii-based shallow-set pelagic longline fishery and leatherback and loggerhead sea turtles. NMFS also proposes administrative housekeeping changes to the regulations relating to the shallow-set longline fishery. The proposed rule would implement terms and conditions of the current biological opinion on this fishery, and clarify the regulations.
Marine Mammals; File No. 17178
Notice is hereby given that a permit has been issued to Virginia Institute of Marine Science [Responsible Party: Elizabeth Canuel, Ph.D.], P.O. Box 1346, Route 1208 Greate Road, Gloucester Point, VA 23062 to import marine mammal parts for scientific research.
Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Pacific Ocean Perch in the Western Aleutian District of the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Management Area
NMFS is prohibiting directed fishing for Pacific ocean perch in the Western Aleutian District of the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands management area (BSAI) by vessels participating in the BSAI trawl limited access fishery. This action is necessary to prevent exceeding the 2012 allocation of Pacific ocean perch in this area allocated to vessels participating in the BSAI trawl limited access fishery.
Atlantic Highly Migratory Species; Notice of Public Scoping Meetings
NMFS has scheduled an additional scoping meeting for Amendment 7 to the 2006 Consolidated Atlantic Highly Migratory Species Fishery Management Plan, which will focus on management issues related to Atlantic bluefin tuna. A Notice of Intent published on April 23, 2012, which notified the public that NMFS intended to hold public scoping meetings and that it anticipated preparing a draft environmental impact statement. That Federal Register document provided the public with specific dates and times for four scheduled scoping meetings. This notice notifies the public of another scoping meeting on Amendment 7 in Portland, ME.
Western Pacific Fishery Management Council; Public Meetings
The Western Pacific Fishery Management Council (Council) announces a change in the agenda for the 154th Council Meeting.
New England Fishery Management Council; Public Meeting
The New England Fishery Management Council (Council) is scheduling a public meeting of its Research Steering Committee (Committee) in June, 2012, to consider actions affecting New England fisheries in the exclusive economic zone (EEZ). Recommendations from this group will be brought to the full Council for formal consideration and action, if appropriate.
National Appeals Office Rules of Procedure
This proposed rule would establish procedures governing the National Appeals Office (NAO), a division of NMFS' Office of Management and Budget within NOAA. NAO's central mission is to provide an efficient means of adjudicating appeals by providing due process and consistency to NMFS' administrative decisions. This proposed rule would establish a process by which NMFS could review, and if necessary correct, decisions about certain limited access privilege programs under Section 303A of the Magnuson-Steven Fishery Conservation and Management Act. The proposed procedures could also be used to adjudicate appeals from other offices that incorporate these rules into their regulations or otherwise notify potential appellants of the procedures' applicability to their proceedings.
Endangered and Threatened Species; Take of Anadromous Fish
Notice is hereby given that NMFS has received a scientific research permit application request relating to salmonids listed under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). The proposed research is intended to increase knowledge of the species and to help guide management and conservation efforts. The application and related documents may be viewed online at: https://apps.nmfs.noaa.gov/preview/previewopen forcomment.cfm. These documents are also available upon written request or by appointment by contacting NMFS by phone (707) 575-6097 or fax (707) 578-3435).
Taking and Importing Marine Mammals: Taking Marine Mammals Incidental to Navy Training Exercises in the Mariana Islands Range Complex
NMFS has received an application from the U.S. Navy (Navy) for a Letter of Authorization (LOA) to take marine mammals, by harassment, incidental to conducting training exercises within the Navy's Mariana Islands Range Complex (MIRC) in the Pacific Ocean between August 12, 2012 and August 3, 2015. Pursuant to the Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA), NMFS requests comments on its proposal to issue an LOA to the Navy that includes the use of time delayed firing devices (TDFDs), which have not been explicitly addressed previously, to incidentally take marine mammals by harassment during the specified activity.
Availability of Seats for the Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary Advisory Council
The ONMS is seeking applications for the following vacant seats on the Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary Advisory Council: (2) Education Members; (1) Education Alternate; (1) Whalewatching Member; (2) Fixed Gear Commercial Fishing Member and Alternate; (2) Business and Industry Member and Alternate; (2) Diving Member and Alternate; and, (1) Youth Alternate seat. Applicants are chosen based upon their particular expertise and experience in relation to the seat for which they are applying; community and professional affiliations; philosophy regarding the protection and management of marine resources; and possibly the length of residence in the area affected by the sanctuary. Applicants who are chosen as members should expect to serve 3-year terms, pursuant to the council's charter.
Marine Mammals; File No. 16473
Notice is hereby given that a permit has been issued to D. Ann Pabst, Ph.D., University of North Carolina Wilmington, to conduct research on marine mammals.
Marine Mammals; File No. 17217
Notice is hereby given that Saint Louis Zoo, 1 Government Drive, St. Louis, MO 63110, has been issued a permit to import four harbor seals (Phoca vitulina) for public display.
Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council (MAFMC); Meeting
Meeting of the Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council's (Council) Summer Flounder, Scup, Black Sea Bass, and Bluefish Advisory Panels (APs).
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.