[Federal Register Volume 75, Number 126 (Thursday, July 1, 2010)]
[Proposed Rules]
[Pages 38070-38071]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2010-16066]


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DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

50 CFR Part 216

[Docket No. 0907301201-91203-01]
RIN 0648-AY15


Implementation of Fish and Fish Product Import Provisions of the 
Marine Mammal Protection Act

AGENCY: National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), National Oceanic and 
Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Commerce.

ACTION: Advance notice of proposed rulemaking; reopening of comment 
period.

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SUMMARY: NMFS is reopening the comment period, in order to provide 
additional opportunities for the public, foreign nations that export 
fish and fish products to the United States, and other interested 
parties to comment on the advance notice of proposed rulemaking to 
implement the provisions of section 101(a)(2)(A) of the Marine Mammal 
Protection Act for imports of fish and fish products. On April 30, 
2010, NMFS published the advance notice of proposed rulemaking, with a 
June 29, 2010, deadline for comments. NMFS is now reopening the comment 
period until August 30, 2010. NMFS is seeking advance public comment on 
the development of procedures to implement section 101(a)(2)(A) of the 
Marine Mammal Protection Act and on the types of information to be 
considered in the process.

DATES: Written comments must be received by 5 p.m. on August 30, 2010.

ADDRESSES: You may submit comments by any of the following methods:
    (1) Electronic Submissions: Submit all electronic public comments 
via the Federal eRulemaking Portal at http://www.regulations.gov.
    (2) Mail: Director, Office of International Affairs, Attn: MMPA 
Fish Import Provisions, NMFS, F/IA, 1315 East-West Highway, Silver 
Spring, MD 20910.
    (3) Fax: (301) 713-2313.
    All comments received are a part of the public record and will 
generally be posted to http://www.regulations.gov without change. All 
Personal Identifying Information (e.g., name, address) voluntarily 
submitted by the commenter may be publicly accessible. Do not submit 
Confidential Business Information or otherwise sensitive or protected 
information.
    NMFS will accept anonymous comments (enter N/A in the required 
fields, if you wish to remain anonymous). Attachments to electronic 
comments will be accepted in Microsoft Word, Excel, WordPerfect, or 
Adobe portable document file (pdf) formats only.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Kristy Long at Kristy.Long@noaa.gov or 
301-713-2322.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA), 16 
U.S.C. 1361-1423h, contains provisions addressing bycatch, or the 
incidental mortality and serious injury, of marine mammals in both 
domestic and foreign fisheries. With respect to foreign fisheries, 
section 101(a)(2) of the MMPA (16 U.S.C. 1371(a)(2)) states that 
``[t]he Secretary of the Treasury shall ban the importation of 
commercial fish or products from fish which have been caught with 
commercial fishing technology which results in the incidental kill or 
incidental serious injury of ocean mammals in excess of United States 
standards. For purposes of applying the preceding sentence, the 
Secretary [of Commerce]- (A) shall insist on reasonable proof from the 
government of any nation from which fish or fish products will be 
exported to the United States of the effects on ocean mammals of the 
commercial fishing technology in use for such fish or fish products 
exported from such nation to the United States.''

[[Page 38071]]

    On April 30, 2010, NMFS published an advance notice of proposed 
rulemaking to implement section 101(a)(2)(A) of the Marine Mammal 
Protection Act, with a June 29, 2010, deadline for comments. NMFS is 
now reopening the comment period until August 30, 2010, in order to 
provide additional opportunities for the public, foreign nations that 
export fish and fish products to the United States, and other 
interested parties to comment.
    This rulemaking would define the ``United States standards'' 
referred to in MMPA section 101(a)(2), along with any associated 
criteria by which the United States would assess foreign fisheries that 
supply fish and fish product imports to the United States (hereafter 
``import-supplying fisheries'') with respect to marine mammal bycatch. 
The rule also would describe procedures for ensuring the established 
standards and their associated criteria are met, as well as procedures 
for developing recommendations regarding import prohibitions if those 
standards and associated criteria are not met.
    NMFS requests comments on the standards to be used when evaluating 
foreign import-supplying fisheries, including any suggestions of other 
standards or associated criteria NMFS should consider or modifications 
of the standards suggested above; and whether to apply one or more 
standards.
    NMFS also requests comments on the procedures under consideration 
for ensuring that foreign fisheries imports meet U.S. marine mammal 
bycatch standards, including whether to apply one or more of the 
possible standards when evaluating import-supplying fisheries to make 
decisions regarding initiating consultation or banning imports, which 
standards to apply, and whether to apply different standards for making 
the decision to initiate consultation than are used to make the 
decision to ban imports. Further, NMFS requests comments on what issues 
and conditions should be considered during consultation and whether and 
what kind of alternative procedures should be established for 
implementing import prohibitions on a shipment-by-shipment or shipper-
by-shipper basis. Finally, NMFS is requesting comments regarding if and 
how intermediary nations should be addressed by the procedures under 
consideration.

    Dated: June 28, 2010.
 Samuel D. Rauch III,
Deputy Assistant Administrator for Regulatory Programs, National Marine 
Fisheries Service.
[FR Doc. 2010-16066 Filed 6-30-10; 8:45 am]
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