[Federal Register Volume 62, Number 166 (Wednesday, August 27, 1997)]
[Notices]
[Page 45398]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 97-22841]


-----------------------------------------------------------------------

DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
[I.D. 081997C]


International Whaling Commission: Environmental Assessment and 
Meetings

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

ACTION: Notice of availability of an Environmental Assessment (EA) and 
change in meeting location.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

SUMMARY: The Makah Tribe (Tribe) has indicated that it wishes to 
harvest up to five gray whales per year for subsistence and ceremonial 
purposes. Within the U.S. Government, whaling is managed by the 
Department of Commerce, which must therefore consider whether to 
support the Makah interest in continuing its tradition of whaling. NOAA 
has prepared a draft EA which weighs the impacts of supporting the 
Makah interest in whaling and considers alternatives to concurrence. 
This notice also announces a change in the room where the next IWC 
Interagency Committee will meet. The first notice of this meeting was 
published on June 26, 1997 (62 FR 34441).

DATES: Written comments must be received on or before September 22, 
1997.

ADDRESSES: Copies of the draft EA be obtained from the Office of 
Protected Resources, NMFS, 1315 East West Highway, Silver Spring, MD 
20910; telephone: 301-713-2332. Comments should be submitted in writing 
to the same address.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Angela Somma, Office of Protected 
Resources, NMFS, 1315 East West Highway, Silver Spring, MD 20910. 
Phone: (301) 713-2319.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The Tribe has indicated that it wishes to 
harvest up to five gray whales per year for subsistence and ceremonial 
purposes. Within the U.S. Government, whaling is managed by the 
Department of Commerce, which must therefore consider whether to 
support the Makah interest in continuing its tradition of whaling. This 
EA weighs the impacts of supporting the Makah interest in whaling and 
considers alternatives to concurrence. The EA analyzes alternatives, 
including the proposed action. The alternatives are: 1) Support the 
Tribe's decision to whale after receiving approval from the 
International Whaling Commission (IWC) [proposed action]; 2) delay 
consideration of support until after the five-year monitoring program 
of the eastern Pacific stock of gray whales is complete; 3) persuade 
the Tribe to engage in alternative activities such as ecotourism 
instead of whaling; and 4) no action.
    NMFS also announces that the Interagency Committee meeting for the 
IWC will be held September 9, 1997, at 2:00 pm in Room 5215, Herbert C. 
Hoover Building, Department of Commerce, 14th and Constitution, 
Washington, DC. The room will be opened at 12:00 pm to permit viewing 
of U.S. positions papers for the 49th Annual Meeting of the IWC. The 
Interagency Committee meeting will review recent events relating to the 
IWC and will review U.S. positions for the 1997 IWC meetings.

    Dated: August 20, 1997.
Hilda Diaz-Soltero,
Director, Office of Protected Resources, National Marine Fisheries 
Service.
[FR Doc. 97-22841 Filed 8-26-97; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 3510-22-F