Endangered and Threatened Wildlife; 90-Day Finding on a Petition To List the Common Thresher Shark as Threatened or Endangered Under the Endangered Species Act
We, NMFS, announce the 90-day finding for a petition to list the common thresher shark (Alopias vulpinus) as either endangered or threatened under the U.S. Endangered Species Act (ESA) either worldwide or as one or more distinct population segments (DPSs) identified by the petitioners. We find that the petition presents substantial scientific or commercial information indicating that the petitioned action may be warranted for the species worldwide. We find that the petition fails to present substantial scientific or commercial information to support the identification of DPSs of the common thresher suggested by the petitioners, and, as such, we find that the petitioned action of listing one or more of these DPSs is not warranted. Accordingly, we will initiate a review of the status of the common thresher shark at this time. To ensure that the status review is comprehensive, we are soliciting scientific and commercial information regarding this species.
Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Proposed Rule To List the Tanzanian DPS of African Coelacanth as Threatened Under the Endangered Species Act
We, NMFS, have completed a comprehensive status review under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) for the African coelacanth (Latimeria chalumnae) in response to a petition to list that species. We have determined that, based on the best scientific and commercial data available, and after taking into account efforts being made to protect the species, L. chalumnae does not meet the definition of a threatened or endangered species when evaluated throughout all of its range. However, we determined that the Tanzanian population of the taxon represents a significant portion of the taxon's range, is threatened across that portion, and is a valid distinct population segment (DPS). Therefore, we propose to list the Tanzanian DPS of L. chalumnae as a threatened species under the ESA. We are not proposing to designate critical habitat for this DPS because the geographical areas occupied by the population are entirely outside U.S. jurisdiction, and we have not identified any unoccupied areas that are essential to the conservation of the DPS. We are soliciting comments on our proposal to list the Tanzanian DPS of the coelacanth as threatened under the ESA.
Fisheries of the Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico, and South Atlantic; Coastal Migratory Pelagic Resources of the Gulf of Mexico and South Atlantic; Trip Limit Increase
NMFS increases the trip limit in the commercial sector for king mackerel in the Florida east coast subzone to 75 fish per day in or from the exclusive economic zone (EEZ). This trip limit increase is necessary to maximize the socioeconomic benefits associated with harvesting the quota.
Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone off Alaska; Pacific Cod in the Aleutian Islands Subarea of the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Management Area
NMFS is prohibiting directed fishing for Pacific cod, except for the Community Development Quota program (CDQ), in the Aleutian Islands subarea of the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands management area (BSAI). This action is necessary to prevent exceeding the non-CDQ allocation of the 2015 Pacific cod total allowable catch (TAC) in the Aleutian Islands subarea of the BSAI.
Fisheries Off West Coast States and in the Western Pacific; Pacific Coast Groundfish Fishery; Application for an Exempted Fishing Permit (EFP)
NMFS announces the receipt of an exempted fishing permit (EFP) application for 2015 and 2016 that would continue work done in 2013 and 2014, and is considering issuance of EFPs for vessels participating in the EFP fishery. The EFPs are necessary to allow activities that are otherwise prohibited by Federal regulations. The EFPs would be effective no earlier than March 18, 2015, and would expire no later than December 31, 2016, but could be terminated earlier under terms and conditions of the EFPs and other applicable laws.
Takes of Marine Mammals Incidental to Specified Activities; Taking Marine Mammals Incidental to Shell Ice Overflight Surveys in the Beaufort and Chukchi Seas, Alaska
NMFS received an application from Shell Gulf of Mexico Inc. (Shell) for an Incidental Harassment Authorization (IHA) to take marine mammals, by harassment, incidental to ice overflight surveys in the Chukchi and Beaufort Seas, Alaska. Pursuant to the Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA), NMFS is requesting comments on its proposal to issue an IHA to Shell to take, by Level B harassment only, seven species of marine mammals during the specified activity.
Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act Provisions; Fisheries of the Northeastern United States; Northeast Groundfish Fishery; Fishing Year 2014; Interim Gulf of Maine Cod Management Measures; Correction
This document makes corrections to the Gulf of Maine cod interim regulations published in the Federal Register on November 13, 2014. This document corrects regulatory text by including the exemption from certain seasonal interim closure areas for vessels fishing for whiting in the Small Mesh Area 1 and 2 Exempted Areas with a raised footrope trawl. These two exempted areas, which overlap with certain seasonal closure areas, were inadvertently overlooked in the interim rule. This action does not make any substantive changes to the interim rule regulations.