Endangered and Threatened Wildlife; 90-Day Finding on a Petition To Identify the Central North Pacific Population of Humpback Whale as a Distinct Population Segment (DPS) and Delist the DPS Under the Endangered Species Act
We, NMFS, announce a 90-day finding on a petition to identify the Central North Pacific population of humpback whale (Megaptera novaeangliae) as a Distinct Population Segment (DPS) and delist the DPS under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). We find that the petition presents substantial scientific or commercial information indicating that the petitioned action may be warranted. Therefore, we are continuing our status review for the humpback whale to determine whether this population is a DPS and whether delisting is warranted. To ensure this status review is comprehensive, we solicit scientific and commercial information regarding this species.
Fisheries Off West Coast States; Coastal Pelagic Species Fisheries; Closure
Through this action NMFS is prohibiting directed fishing for Pacific sardine off the coasts of Washington, Oregon and California. This action is necessary because the non-tribal directed harvest allocation total of 5,446 mt for the interim harvest period of January 1, 2014, through June 30, 2014, has been projected to have been reached. From the effective date of this rule until July 1, 2014, Pacific sardine may be harvested only as part of either the live bait or tribal fishery or incidental to other fisheries; the incidental harvest of Pacific sardine is limited to 40-percent by weight of all fish per trip. Fishing vessels must cease fishing [be at shore and in the process of offloading] at or before the effective date of this closure.
Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Changes to the Definitions and Regulations for Designating Critical Habitat
We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) and the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) (collectively referred to as the ``Services'' or ``we''), announce the extension of the public comment periods on our May 12, 2014, proposals to revise definitions and regulations regarding critical habitat. Comments previously submitted need not be resubmitted, as they will be fully considered in preparation of each final rule.
Policy Regarding Implementation of Section 4(b)(2) of the Endangered Species Act
We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) and the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) (collectively referred to as the ``Services'' or ``we''), announce the extension of the public comment period on our May 12, 2014, draft policy regarding implementation of section 4(b)(2) of the Endangered Species Act. Comments previously submitted need not be resubmitted, as they will be fully considered in preparation of the final policy.