[Federal Register Volume 77, Number 55 (Wednesday, March 21, 2012)]
[Notices]
[Pages 16538-16539]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2012-6575]


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DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

RIN 0648-XB085


Endangered and Threatened Species; Initiation of 5-Year Review 
for the North Atlantic Right Whale and the North Pacific Right Whale

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

ACTION: Notice of initiation of 5-year reviews; request for 
information.

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SUMMARY: NMFS announces a 5-year review of North Atlantic right whale 
(Eubalaena glacialis) and North Pacific right whale (Eubalaena 
japonica) under the Endangered Species Act of 1973 (ESA), as amended. A 
5-year review is based on the best scientific and commercial data 
available at the time of the review; therefore, we are requesting 
submission of any such information on these whales that has become 
available since the last status review in 2006.

DATES: To allow us adequate time to conduct this review, we must 
receive your information no later than April 20, 2012. However, we will 
continue to accept new information about any listed species at any 
time.

ADDRESSES: You may submit comments on this document, identified by 
NOAA-NMFS-2012-0057, by any of the following methods:
     Electronic Submissions: Submit all electronic public 
comments via the Federal e-Rulemaking Portal www.regulations.gov. To 
submit comments via the e-Rulemaking Portal, first click the ``submit a 
comment'' icon, then enter NOAA-NMFS-2012-0057 in the keyword search. 
Locate the document you wish to comment on from the resulting list and 
click on the ``Submit a Comment'' icon to the right of that line.
     Mail or hand-delivery: Angela Somma, National Marine 
Fisheries Service, Office of Protected Resources, Endangered Species 
Division, 1325 East West Highway, Silver Spring, MD 20910.
    Instructions: Comments must be submitted by one of the above 
methods to ensure that the comments are received, documented, and 
considered by NMFS. Comments sent by any other method, to any other 
address or individual, or received after the end of the comment period, 
may not be considered. All comments received are a part of the public 
record and will generally be posted for public viewing on 
www.regulations.gov without change. All personal identifying 
information (e.g., name, address, etc.) submitted voluntarily by the 
sender will 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 or Excel, WordPerfect, or Adobe PDF file 
formats only.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Larissa Plants, Office of Protected 
Resources, 301-427-8471, or Shannon Bettridge, Office of Protected 
Resources 301-427-8437.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Section 4(c)(2)(A) of the ESA requires that 
we conduct a review of listed species at least once every five years. 
The regulations in 50 CFR 424.21 require that we publish a notice in 
the Federal Register announcing species currently under active review. 
This notice announces our active review of right whales, currently 
listed as endangered.
    To ensure that the 5-year review is complete and based on the best 
available scientific and commercial information, we are soliciting new 
information from the public, governmental agencies, Tribes, the 
scientific community, industry, environmental entities, and any other 
interested parties concerning the status of right whales. Categories of 
requested information include: (1) Species biology and demographics 
(population trends, distribution, abundance, genetics, etc.); (2) 
habitat conditions (amount, distribution, suitability, quality, etc.); 
(3) conservation measures that have been implemented that benefit the 
species; (4) status and trends of threats; and (5) other new 
information, data, or corrections including, but not limited to, 
taxonomic or nomenclatural changes, identification of erroneous 
information

[[Page 16539]]

contained in the list of threatened and endangered species, and 
improved analytical methods, if any. Any new information will be 
considered during the 5-year review and will also be useful in 
evaluating the ongoing recovery programs for these whales.

    Authority: 16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.

    Dated: March 12, 2012.
Angela Somma,
Chief, Endangered Species Division, Office of Protected Resources, 
National Marine Fisheries Service.
[FR Doc. 2012-6575 Filed 3-20-12; 8:45 am]
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