Higher Initial Maximum Uniform Allowance Rate; Uniform Allowances
The NMFS Office of Law Enforcement (OLE) publishes this notice to announce that it is establishing a higher initial maximum uniform allowance to procure and issue uniform items for its uniformed enforcement officers (EOs). Current OPM regulations allow an agency to establish one or more initial maximum uniform allowance rates greater than the government-wide maximum uniform allowance rate. OLE increases the current annual limit for NMFS EOs in order to maintain the uniform standards and professional image expected of its EOs under its new uniform standards.
Public Meetings and Request for Comments on a Draft Environmental Impact Statement Regarding the Makah Tribe's Request To Hunt Eastern North Pacific Gray Whales
We are issuing this notice to advise the public that NMFS has prepared a new Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) in response to the Makah Tribe's request that NMFS waive the take moratorium of the Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA) to allow for treaty right hunting of eastern North Pacific (ENP) gray whales in usual and accustomed grounds off the coast of Washington State. We are requesting written comments on the DEIS and announcing the dates and locations of two public meetings regarding the DEIS.
Takes of Marine Mammals Incidental to Specified Activities; Taking Marine Mammals Incidental to a Cruise Ship Terminal Project
NMFS has received a request from Huna Totem Corporation (HTC) for authorization to take marine mammals incidental to construction activities as part of the re-development of the Icy Strait Point Cruise Ship Terminal in Hoonah, Alaska. Pursuant to the Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA), NMFS is requesting comments on its proposal to issue an incidental harassment authorization (IHA) to HTC to incidentally take marine mammals, by Level B Harassment only, during the specified activity.
Availability of Draft NOAA Education Strategic Plan
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) publishes this notice to solicit comments on the draft NOAA Education Strategic Plan (Plan). NOAA received broad legislative authority from Congress through the America COMPETES Act (2007, 2010) to conduct, develop, support, promote, and coordinate formal and informal education activities at all levels to enhance public awareness and understanding of ocean, coastal, Great Lakes, and atmospheric science and stewardship by the general public and other coastal stakeholders, including underrepresented groups in ocean and atmospheric science and policy careers. The revision of the Plan establishes the goals for NOAA education programs for the next twenty years with revisions to the Plan every five years. NOAA is seeking broad public review of the NOAA Education Strategic Plan, and encourages all stakeholders and users to review the Plan and provide comments. All comments received will be reviewed and considered in the final drafting of the NOAA Education Strategic Plan.
Fisheries of the Northeastern United States; Atlantic Mackerel, Squid, and Butterfish Fisheries; Specifications and Management Measures
NMFS is implementing 2015 specifications and management measures for Atlantic mackerel, 2015-2017 specifications for Illex squid, 2015-2017 specifications for longfin squid, and 2015-2017 specifications for butterfish. This action also establishes a simplified butterfish fishery closure mechanism. These specifications set catch levels to prevent overfishing and allocate catch to commercial and recreational fisheries. Additionally, the simplified butterfish closure mechanism makes operation of the fishery more efficient and consistent with the higher catch limit for butterfish. These specifications and management measures are consistent with the Atlantic Mackerel, Squid, and Butterfish Fishery Management Plan and the recommendations of the Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council.
Marine Mammals; File Nos. 17278 and 17557
Notice is hereby given that James Shine, Ph.D., Harvard University School of Public Health, 401 Park Drive, 404H West, Boston, Massachusetts 02215, and the NMFS Forensics Office, 219 Fort Johnson Road, Charleston, SC 29412, have applied for amendments to their respective permits, Scientific Research Permit Nos. 17278 and 17557.
Marine Mammals; File No. 19133
Notice is hereby given that Tim Gallagher, Alaska Area Manager, HDR, Inc., 2525 C Street, Suite 305, Anchorage, AK 99503-2632, has applied in due form for a permit to conduct research on spotted seals (Phoca largha), ringed seals (Pusa hispida), bearded seals (Erignathus barbatus), bowhead whales (Balaena mysticetus), and Beluga whales (Delphinapteras leucas).
Takes of Marine Mammals Incidental to Specified Activities; Taking Marine Mammals Incidental to Seismic Surveys in Cook Inlet, Alaska
NMFS has received a request from SAExploration Inc. (SAE) for authorization to take marine mammals incidental to a proposed oil and gas exploration seismic survey program in Cook Inlet, Alaska between April 1, 2015 and December 31, 2015. Pursuant to the Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA), NMFS is requesting comments on its proposal to issue an incidental harassment authorization (IHA) to SAE to incidentally take marine mammals, by Level B harassment only, during the specified activity.
Takes of Marine Mammals Incidental to Specified Activities; Low-Energy Marine Geophysical Survey in the Southwest Pacific Ocean, East of New Zealand, May to June 2015
NMFS has received an application from the Scripps Institution of Oceanography (SIO), on behalf of SIO and the U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF), for an Incidental Harassment Authorization (IHA) to take marine mammals, by harassment, incidental to conducting a low- energy marine geophysical (seismic) survey in the Southwest Pacific Ocean, East of New Zealand, May to June 2015. Pursuant to the Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA), NMFS is requesting comments on its proposal to issue an IHA to SIO to incidentally harass, by Level B harassment only, 32 species of marine mammals during the specified activity.