[Federal Register Volume 78, Number 44 (Wednesday, March 6, 2013)]
[Notices]
[Page 14515]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2013-05201]


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DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

RIN 0648-XC280


Atlantic Highly Migratory Species; Atlantic Shark Management 
Measures; 2012 Research Fishery

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

ACTION: Notice of public meeting.

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SUMMARY: On November 13, 2012, we published a notice inviting qualified 
commercial shark permit holders to submit applications to participate 
in the 2013 shark research fishery. The shark research fishery allows 
for the collection of fishery-dependent data for future stock 
assessments and cooperative research with commercial fishermen to meet 
the shark research objectives of the Agency. Every year, the permit 
terms and permitted activities (e.g., number of hooks and trips, 
retention limits) specifically authorized for selected participants in 
the shark research fishery are designated depending on the scientific 
and research needs of the Agency, as well as the number of NMFS-
approved observers available. In order to inform selected participants 
of this year's specific permit requirements and ensure all terms and 
conditions of the permit are met, we are holding a mandatory permit 
holder meeting for selected participants. In this notice, we announce 
the date and time of that meeting.

DATES: A conference call will be held on March 18, 2013.

ADDRESSES: A conference call will be conducted. See SUPPLEMENTARY 
INFORMATION for information on how to access the conference call.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Karyl Brewster-Geisz or Delisse Ortiz 
at (301) 427-8503.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The Atlantic shark fisheries are managed 
under the authority of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and 
Management Act (Magnuson-Stevens Act). The 2006 Consolidated Highly 
Migratory species (HMS) Fishery Management Plan (FMP) is implemented by 
regulations at 50 CFR part 635.
    The final rule for Amendment 2 to the 2006 Consolidated HMS FMP (73 
FR 35778, June 24, 2008, corrected at 73 FR 40658, July 15, 2008) 
established, among other things, a shark research fishery to maintain 
time series data for stock assessments and to meet NMFS' research 
objectives. The shark research fishery gathers important scientific 
data and allows selected commercial fishermen the opportunity to earn 
more revenue from selling the sharks caught, including sandbar sharks. 
Only the commercial shark fishermen selected to participate in the 
shark research fishery are authorized to land/harvest sandbar sharks 
subject to the sandbar quota available each year. The sandbar shark 
base quota is 116.6 mt dw per year through December 31, 2013, although 
this number may be reduced in the event of overharvests, if any. The 
selected shark research fishery participants also have access to the 
non-sandbar large coastal sharks LCS, small coastal sharks SCS, and 
pelagic shark quotas subject to retention limits and quotas per 
Sec. Sec.  635.24 and 635.27, respectively.
    On November 13, 2012 (77 FR 67631), we published a notice inviting 
qualified commercial shark permit holders to submit an application to 
participate in the 2013 shark research fishery. We received 13 
applications, of which 12 applicants were determined to meet all the 
qualifications. From the 12 qualified applicants, we randomly selected 
6 participants after considering how to meet research objectives in 
particular regions. During the annual application period, commercial 
shark permit holders (directed and incidental) are invited to submit an 
application to participate in the shark research fishery. NMFS expects 
to invite qualified commercial shark permit holders to submit an 
application for the 2014 shark research fishery later this year.
    Every year, the permit terms and permitted activities (e.g., number 
of hooks and trips, retention limits) specifically authorized for 
selected participants in the shark research fishery are designated 
depending on the scientific and research needs of the Agency as well as 
the number of NMFS-approved observers available. In order to inform 
selected participants of this year's specific permit requirements and 
ensure all terms and conditions of the permit are met, per the 
requirements of Sec.  635.32 (f)(4), we are holding a mandatory permit 
holder meeting via conference call.
    The conference call will be held on March 18, 2013, from 2:00 to 
4:00 p.m. (EST). Participants and interested parties should call 888-
989-4986 and use the passcode 4136438. Selected participants who do not 
attend will not be allowed to participate in the shark research 
fishery. While the conference call is mandatory for selected 
participants, other interested parties may call in and listen to the 
discussion. Selected participants are encouraged to invite their 
captain, crew, or anyone else who may assist them in meeting the terms 
and conditions of the shark research research fishery permit.

    Dated: March 1, 2013.
Kara Meckley,
Acting Deputy Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National 
Marine Fisheries Service.
[FR Doc. 2013-05201 Filed 3-5-13; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 3510-22-P