[Federal Register Volume 70, Number 158 (Wednesday, August 17, 2005)]
[Notices]
[Pages 48433-48434]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 05-16244]


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DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR

Fish and Wildlife Service


Availability of Draft National Management Plan for the Genus 
Caulerpa

AGENCY: Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.

ACTION: Notice of document availability and request for comments.

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SUMMARY: This notice announces the availability of the draft National 
Management Plan for the Genus Caulerpa (NMP) for public review and 
comment. The draft was prepared by the Caulerpa Working Group of the 
Aquatic Nuisance Species Task Force, as authorized by the Nonindigenous 
Aquatic Nuisance Prevention and Control Act of 1990 (16 U.S.C. 4701 et 
seq.). Comments received will be considered in preparing the final NMP, 
which will guide cooperative and integrated management of Caulerpa 
species in the United States.

DATES: Comments on the draft National Management Plan for the Genus 
Caulerpa should be received by September 16, 2005.

ADDRESSES: The document is available from the Chair, Caulerpa Working 
Group, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Stockton Fisheries Resource 
Office, 4001 N. Wilson Way, Stockton, CA 95205-2486; fax (209) 946-
6355. It also is available on our Web page at http://www.fws.gov/
contaminants/Library.cfm. Comments may be hand-delivered, mailed, or 
sent by fax to the address listed above. You may send comments by 
electronic mail to: David--Bergendorf@fws.gov.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: David Bergendorf, Chair, Caulerpa 
Working Group, at (209) 946-6400 ext. 342 or Kari Duncan, Acting 
Executive Secretary, Aquatic Nuisance Species Task Force at kari_
duncan@fws.gov.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: In 1999 the Aquatic Nuisance Species Task 
Force (ANSTF) established the Caulerpa taxifolia Prevention Committee, 
which drafted the ``Prevention Program for the Mediterranean strain of 
Caulerpa taxifolia.'' Caulerpa taxifolia is a species that can compete 
with native plant species and impact biodiversity, can alter predator-
prey interactions, is directly toxic to herbivores and indirectly toxic 
to invertebrates, and can shade and smother coral reefs.
    Before the prevention plan could be implemented, Caulerpa 
taxifolia, a non-native invasive marine alga, was discovered in two 
California harbors. As a result of this discovery and the difficulty in 
distinguishing this non-native invasive strain from other Caulerpa 
species, the ANSTF requested that the existing draft program be 
modified and expanded to a National Management Plan (NMP) for invasive 
Caulerpa species.
    The draft NMP, released today for public comment, outlines and 
prioritizes management strategies that Federal, State, and local 
agencies and the private sector can use to address Caulerpa 
introductions in U.S. waters. The goals of the draft NMP are: (1) 
Preventing the introduction and spread

[[Page 48434]]

of Caulerpa species to areas in U.S. waters where they are not native; 
(2) early detection and rapid response to non-native Caulerpa species 
in U.S. waters; (3) eradication of Caulerpa populations, in waters to 
which they are not native, where feasible; (4) providing long-term 
adaptive management and mitigating impacts of populations of Caulerpa 
species in U.S. waters where they are not native and where eradication 
is not feasible; (5) educating and informing the public, agencies and 
policymakers to advocate for preventing the introduction and spread of 
Caulerpa species; (6) identifying research needs and facilitating 
research to fill information gaps; and (7) reviewing and assessing 
progress and revising the management plan and continuing to develop 
information to meet national management plan goals.
    Many Caulerpa species are native to the warm coastal waters of 
North, Central and South America. Both Florida and Hawaii have native 
species of Caulerpa in their coastal waters. However, three Caulerpa 
species are of particular concern due to their invasions of U.S. and 
foreign waters: C. taxifolia, C. brachypus, and C. racemosa.
    Once introduced, invasive Caulerpa species can spread via 
fragmentation or other vectors. Caulerpa taxifolia (Mediterranean 
strain) was listed as a Federal noxious weed by the U.S. Department of 
Agriculture under the Plant Protection Act on March 16, 1999. This 
listing prohibits importation, entry, exportation, or movement in 
interstate commerce of this strain of C. taxifolia. To date, 
eradication efforts for C. taxifolia in California have cost over $3.7 
million, and over $500,000 has been allocated to study C. brachypus in 
Florida.

    Dated: July 29, 2005.
Everett Wilson,
Acting Co-Chair, Aquatic Nuisance Species Task Force, Acting Assistant 
Director--Fisheries & Habitat Conservation.
[FR Doc. 05-16244 Filed 8-16-05; 8:45 am]
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