[Federal Register Volume 68, Number 141 (Wednesday, July 23, 2003)]
[Proposed Rules]
[Pages 43482-43483]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 03-18654]


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DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR

Fish and Wildlife Service

50 CFR Part 16

RIN 1018-AI87


Review of Information Concerning Silver Carp (Hypophthalmichthys 
molitrix)

AGENCY: Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.

ACTION: Proposed rule; notice of inquiry.

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SUMMARY: The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is reviewing available 
economic and biological information on silver carp (Hypophthalmichthys 
molitrix) for possible addition of that species to the list of 
injurious wildlife under the Lacey Act. The importation and 
introduction of silver carp into the natural ecosystems of the United 
States may pose a threat to agriculture, horticulture, forestry, the 
health and welfare of human beings, and the welfare and survival of 
wildlife and wildlife resources in the United States. Listing silver 
carp as injurious would prohibit their importation into, or 
transportation between, the continental United States, the District of 
Columbia, Hawaii, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, or any territory or 
possession of the United

[[Page 43483]]

States, with limited exceptions. This document seeks comments from the 
public to aid in determining if a proposed rule is warranted.

DATES: Comments must be submitted on or before September 22, 2003.

ADDRESSES: Comments may be mailed or sent by fax to the Chief, Division 
of Environmental Quality, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, 4401 North 
Fairfax Drive, Suite 322, Arlington, VA 22203; fax (703) 358-1800. You 
may also send comments by electronic mail (e-mail) to: 
SilverCarp@fws.gov. See the Public Comments Solicited section below for 
file format and other information about electronic filing.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Kari Duncan, Division of Environmental 
Quality, Branch of Invasive Species at (703) 358-2464 or kari_
duncan@fws.gov.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: On October 16, 2002, the U.S. Fish and 
Wildlife Service received a petition requesting that bighead carp, 
black carp, and silver carp be considered for inclusion in the 
injurious wildlife regulations pursuant to the Lacey Act. The 
petitioners expressed concern that silver carp could invade the Great 
Lakes from the Mississippi River basin, where they are established, 
through a manmade ship and sanitary canal. The petitioners, 25 members 
of Congress representing the Great Lakes region, are concerned that 
silver carp, because they are voracious eaters, may impact food 
supplies available to native fisheries in the Great Lakes, which are 
already struggling against other invasive species. The petitioners also 
noted that the Great Lakes fisheries are valued at approximately $4 
billion, and resource managers have spent decades trying to restore and 
protect them.
    Silver carp are native to several major Pacific drainages in 
eastern Asia from the Amur River of far eastern Russia, south through 
much of the eastern half of China to the Pearl River, possibly 
including northern Vietnam. Silver carp are filter feeders capable of 
eating large amounts of phytoplankton. They also feed on zooplankton, 
bacteria, and detritus (loose material produced directly from 
disintegration processes). They prefer standing or slow-flowing water 
of impoundments or river backwaters ranging in temperature from 43 to 
82 [deg]F. They can grow to maximum lengths of about 40 inches and 
weigh up to 110 pounds. They reach sexual maturity at about 18 inches 
and can live up to 20 years.
    Silver carp were imported into the United States in 1973 and 
stocked for phytoplankton control in eutrophic (nutrient rich) water 
bodies and as a food fish (Fuller, et al, 1999). By the mid-1970s, 
silver carp were being raised at six Federal, State, and private 
facilities, and had been stocked in several municipal sewage lagoons by 
the late 1970s. Silver carp have been recorded in 12 States.
    The Lacey Act (18 U.S.C. 42) and its implementing regulations in 50 
CFR part 16 restrict the importation into or the transportation between 
the continental United States, the District of Columbia, Hawaii, the 
Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, or any territory or possession of the 
United States of any species of wildlife, or eggs thereof, determined 
to be injurious or potentially injurious to certain interests, 
including those of agriculture, horticulture, forestry, the health and 
welfare of human beings, and the welfare and survival of wildlife and 
wildlife resources in the United States. However, injurious wildlife 
may be imported by permit for zoological, educational, medical, or 
scientific purposes in accordance with permit regulations at 50 CFR 
16.22, or by Federal agencies without a permit solely for their own 
use. If the process initiated by this notice results in the addition of 
silver carp to the list of injurious wildlife contained in 50 CFR part 
16, their importation into the United States would be prohibited except 
under the conditions, and for the purposes, described above.
    This notice solicits economic, biological, or other information 
concerning silver carp. The information will be used to determine if 
the species is a threat, or potential threat, to those interests of the 
United States delineated above, and thus warrants addition to the list 
of injurious wildlife in 50 CFR 16.13.

Public Comments Solicited

    Please send comments to Chief, Division of Environmental Quality, 
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, 4401 North Fairfax Drive, Suite 322, 
Arlington, VA 22030. Comments may be hand-delivered to the above 
address or faxed to (703) 358-1800. If you submit comments by e-mail, 
please submit comments as an ASCII file format and avoid the use of 
special characters and encryption. Please include ``Attn: [RIN 1018-
AI87]'' and your name and return address in your e-mail message. Please 
note that this email address will be closed at the termination of this 
public comment period.
    Our practice is to make comments, including names and home 
addresses of respondents, available for public review during regular 
business hours. Individual respondents may request that we withhold 
their home address from the rulemaking record, which we will honor to 
the extent allowable by law. There also may be circumstances in which 
we would withhold from the rulemaking record a respondent's identity, 
as allowable by law. If you wish us to withhold your name and/or 
address, you must state this prominently at the beginning of your 
comment. However, we will not consider anonymous comments. We will make 
all submissions from organizations or businesses, and from individuals 
identifying themselves as representatives or officials of organizations 
or businesses, available for public inspection in their entirety.

    Authority: This notice is issued under the authority of the 
Lacey Act (18 U.S.C. 42).

    Dated: June 27, 2003.
Craig Manson,
Assistant Secretary for Fish, Wildlife and Parks.
[FR Doc. 03-18654 Filed 7-22-03; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4310-55-P