Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Notice of 12-Month Finding on Petitions to List the Common Thresher Shark and Bigeye Thresher Shark as Threatened or Endangered Under the Endangered Species Act (ESA)
NMFS has completed comprehensive status reviews under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) for two species of thresher shark in response to petitions to list those species. These species are the common thresher shark (Alopias vulpinus) and the bigeye thresher shark (Alopias superciliosus). Based on the best scientific and commercial information available, including the status review report (Young et al., 2015), and after taking into account efforts being made to protect these species, we have determined that the common thresher (A. vulpinus) and bigeye thresher (A. superciliosus) do not warrant listing at this time. We conclude that neither species is currently in danger of extinction throughout all or a significant portion of its range nor likely to become so within the foreseeable future.
Pacific Halibut Fisheries; Catch Sharing Plan
This final rule announces the approval of the Catch Sharing Plan (Plan) for halibut fishing in Area 2A (waters off the U.S. West Coast) with modifications recommended by the Pacific Fishery Management Council (Council), and establishes implementing regulations for 2016. These actions are intended to conserve Pacific halibut, provide angler opportunity where available, and minimize bycatch of overfished groundfish species. The sport fishing management measures in this rule are an additional subsection of the regulations for the International Pacific Halibut Commission (IPHC) published on March 16, 2016.
Atlantic Highly Migratory Species; Implementation of the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas Electronic Bluefin Tuna Catch Documentation System
This final rule adopts regulations governing international trade documentation and tracking programs for Atlantic bluefin tuna to fulfill recommendations from recent meetings of the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas (ICCAT). The final rule transitions from the current ICCAT paper-based bluefin tuna catch documentation program (BCD program), used in the United States by highly migratory species (HMS) international trade permit (ITP) holders, to use of the ICCAT electronic bluefin tuna catch documentation system (eBCD system). The final rule also contains two unrelated regulatory text corrections related to bluefin tuna landings reports and cross-references related to prohibitions for fishing Atlantic tunas with speargun gear. Additionally, NMFS will hold three public conference call and webinars on April 21, April 22, and May 3, 2016, to provide further information on requirements of the final rule and use of the eBCD system (see SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION).
Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council; Public Meeting
The Gulf of Mexico and South Atlantic Fishery Management Councils will hold a Joint Spiny Lobster Advisory Panel (AP) meeting.
Caribbean Fishery Management Council; Public Meetings
The Caribbean Fishery Management Council's Scientific and Statistical Committee (SSC) will hold a three-day meeting to discuss the items contained in the following agenda:
Magnuson-Stevens Act Provisions; General Provisions for Domestic Fisheries; Application for Exempted Fishing Permit
The Assistant Regional Administrator for Sustainable Fisheries, Greater Atlantic Region, NMFS, has made a preliminary determination that an Exempted Fishing Permit application submitted by the Northeast Fisheries Science Center contains all of the required information and warrants further consideration. Regulations under the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act require publication of this notification to provide interested parties the opportunity to comment on Exempted Fishing Permit applications.
Proposed Information Collection; Comment Request; Greater Atlantic Region Permit Family of Forms
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.
Notice of Renewal of the Advisory Committee on Commercial Remote Sensing
In accordance with the provisions of the Federal Advisory Committee Act, 5 U.S.C. App 2, and the General Services Administration (GSA) rule on Federal Advisory Committee Management, 41 CFR part 101-6, and after consultation with GSA, the Secretary of Commerce has determined that the renewal of the Advisory Committee on Commercial Remote Sensing (ACCRES) is in the public interest in connection with the performance of duties imposed on the Department by law. ACCRES was renewed on March 9, 2016.