[Federal Register Volume 77, Number 101 (Thursday, May 24, 2012)]
[Notices]
[Pages 31062-31063]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2012-12635]


=======================================================================
-----------------------------------------------------------------------

DEPARTMENT OF STATE

 [Public Notice 7894]


Programs To Reduce Incidental Capture of Sea Turtles in Shrimp 
Fisheries; Certifications Pursuant to Public Law 101-162

SUMMARY: On April 30, 2012, the Department of State certified, pursuant 
to Section 609 of Public Law 101-162, that 13 nations have adopted 
programs to reduce the incidental capture of sea turtles in their 
shrimp fisheries comparable to the program in effect in the United 
States. The Department also certified that the fishing environments in 
26 other countries and one economy do not pose a threat of the 
incidental taking of sea turtles protected under Section 609.

DATES: Effective Date: On publication.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Marlene M. Menard, Office of Marine 
Conservation, Bureau of Oceans and International Environmental and 
Scientific Affairs, Department of State, Washington, DC 20520-7818; 
telephone: (202) 647-5827.

[[Page 31063]]


SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Section 609 of Public Law 101-162 (``Section 
609'') prohibits imports of certain categories of shrimp unless the 
President certifies to the Congress not later than May 1 of each year 
either: (1) That the harvesting nation has adopted a program governing 
the incidental capture of sea turtles in its commercial shrimp fishery 
comparable to the program in effect in the United States and has an 
incidental take rate comparable to that of the United States; or (2) 
that the fishing environment in the harvesting nation does not pose a 
threat of the incidental taking of sea turtles. The President has 
delegated the authority to make this certification to the Department of 
State (``the Department''). Revised State Department guidelines for 
making the required certifications were published in the Federal 
Register on July 2, 1999 (Vol. 64, No. 130, Public Notice 3086).
    On April 30, 2012, the Department certified 13 nations on the basis 
that their sea turtle protection programs are comparable to that of the 
United States: Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, 
Guyana, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Nigeria, Pakistan, Panama, and 
Suriname. Costa Rica is re-certified this year based on improvement in 
the implementation and enforcement of its turtle excluder device 
regulatory program in their commercial shrimp trawl fishery. The 
Department also certified 26 shrimp harvesting nations and one economy 
as having fishing environments that do not pose a danger to sea 
turtles. Sixteen nations have shrimping grounds only in cold waters 
where the risk of taking sea turtles is negligible. They are: 
Argentina, Belgium, Canada, Chile, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Iceland, 
Ireland, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Russia, Sweden, the 
United Kingdom, and Uruguay. Ten nations and one economy only harvest 
shrimp using small boats with crews of less than five that use manual 
rather than mechanical means to retrieve nets, or catch shrimp using 
other methods that do not threaten sea turtles. Use of such small-scale 
technology does not adversely affect sea turtles. The 10 nations and 
one economy are: the Bahamas, Belize, China, the Dominican Republic, 
Fiji, Hong Kong, Jamaica, Oman, Peru, Sri Lanka, and Venezuela.
    The Department of State has communicated the certifications under 
Section 609 to the Office of Field Operations of U.S. Customs and 
Border Protection. All DS-2031 forms accompanying shrimp imports from 
uncertified nations must be originals and signed by the competent 
domestic fisheries authority.
    In order for shrimp harvested with turtle excluder devices (TEDs) 
in an uncertified nation to be eligible for importation into the United 
States under the DS-2031 section 7(A)(2) provision for ``shrimp 
harvested by commercial shrimp trawl vessels using TEDs comparable in 
effectiveness to those required in the United States'', the Department 
of State must determine in advance that the government of the 
harvesting nation has put in place adequate procedures to ensure the 
accurate completion of the DS-2031 forms. At this time, the Department 
has made such a determination only with respect to Australia, Brazil 
and France. Thus, the importation of TED-caught shrimp from any other 
uncertified nation will not be allowed. For Brazil, only shrimp 
harvested in the northern shrimp fishery are eligible for entry under 
this provision. For Australia, shrimp harvested in the Exmouth Gulf 
Prawn Fishery, the Northern Prawn Fishery, the Queensland East Coast 
Trawl Fishery, and the Torres Strait Prawn Fishery are eligible for 
entry under this provision. For France, shrimp harvested in the French 
Guiana domestic trawl fishery are eligible for entry under this 
provision. An official of the competent domestic fisheries authority 
for the country where the shrimp were harvested must sign the DS-2031 
form accompanying these imports into the United States.
    In addition, the Department has determined that shrimp harvested in 
the Spencer Gulf region in Australia may be exported to the United 
States under the DS-2031 section 7(A)(4) provision for ``shrimp 
harvested in a manner or under circumstances determined by the 
Department of State not to pose a threat of the incidental taking of 
sea turtles.'' An official of the Government of Australia must certify 
the DS-2031 form accompanying these imports into the United States.

    Dated: May 17, 2012.
 David A. Balton,
Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Oceans and Fisheries, 
Department of State.
[FR Doc. 2012-12635 Filed 5-23-12; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4710-09-P