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 January, February, and March of 2016. Certain fishermen and shark dealers are required to attend a workshop to meet regulatory requirements and to 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 2016 and will be announced in a future notice.
Taking and Importing Marine Mammals; Taking Marine Mammals Incidental to Fisheries Research
NMFS' Office of Protected Resources has received a request from the NMFS Pacific Islands Fisheries Science Center (PIFSC) for authorization to take small numbers of marine mammals incidental to conducting fisheries research, over the course of five years from the date of issuance. Pursuant to regulations implementing the Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA), NMFS is announcing receipt of the PIFSC's request for the development and implementation of regulations governing the incidental taking of marine mammals. NMFS invites the public to provide information, suggestions, and comments on the PIFSC's application and request.
Takes of Marine Mammals Incidental to Specified Activities; Taking Marine Mammals Incidental to the Bravo Wharf Recapitalization Project
NMFS has received a request from the U.S. Navy (Navy) for authorization to take marine mammals incidental to construction activities as part of a wharf recapitalization project. Pursuant to the Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA), NMFS is requesting public comment on its proposal to issue an incidental harassment authorization (IHA) to the Navy to incidentally take marine mammals, by Level B harassment only, during the specified activity.
Proposed Information Collection; Comment Request; Atlantic Highly Migratory Species Recreational Landings and Bluefin Tuna Catch Reports
The Department of Commerce, as part of its continuing effort to reduce paperwork and respondent burden, invites the general public and other Federal agencies to take this opportunity to comment on proposed and/or continuing information collections, as required by the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995.
Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; 12-Month Finding for 7 Foreign Species of Elasmobranchs Under the Endangered Species Act
We, NMFS, have completed comprehensive status reviews under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) for seven foreign marine elasmobranch species in response to a petition to list those species. These seven species are the daggernose shark (Isogomphodon oxyrhynchus), Brazilian guitarfish (Rhinobatos horkelii), striped smoothhound shark (Mustelus fasciatus), narrownose smoothhound shark (Mustelus schmitti), spiny angel shark (Squatina guggenheim), Argentine angel shark (Squatina argentina), and graytail skate (Bathyraja griseocauda). Based on the best scientific and commercial information available, and after taking into account efforts being made to protect these species, we have determined that the daggernose shark (I. oxyrhynchus), Brazilian guitarfish (R. horkelii), striped smoothhound shark (Mustelus fasciatus), and Argentine angel shark (S. argentina) meet the definition of an endangered species under the ESA. We have determined that the narrownose smoothhound shark (M. schmitti) and spiny angel shark (S. guggenheim) meet the definition of a threatened species under the ESA. Therefore, we propose to list these six species under the ESA. Additionally, we have determined that the graytail skate (B. griseocauda) does not warrant listing under the ESA at this time. We are not proposing to designate critical habitat for any of the species proposed for listing because the geographical areas occupied by these species are entirely outside U.S. jurisdiction, and we have not identified any unoccupied areas within U.S. jurisdiction that are currently essential to the conservation of any of these species. We are soliciting comments on our proposal to list these six foreign marine elasmobranch species.