[Federal Register Volume 77, Number 27 (Thursday, February 9, 2012)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 6682-6683]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2012-3052]



National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

50 CFR Part 216

[Docket No. 110781394-2048-02]
RIN 0648-BB09

Marine Mammals; Subsistence Taking of Northern Fur Seals; Harvest 

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

ACTION: Final estimates of annual fur seal subsistence needs.


SUMMARY: Pursuant to the regulations governing the subsistence taking 

[[Page 6683]]

northern fur seals, NMFS is publishing the annual fur seal subsistence 
harvests on St. George and St. Paul Islands (the Pribilof Islands) for 
2008 to 2010, and the annual estimates for the fur seal subsistence 
needs for 2011 through 2013. Alaska Natives on St. Paul harvested 328, 
341, and 357 fur seals from 2008, 2009 and 2010, respectively, and 170, 
113, and 78 fur seals on St. George Island during the same period. NMFS 
estimates the annual subsistence needs are 1,645-2,000 seals on St. 
Paul and 300-500 seals on St. George.

DATES: Effective March 12, 2012.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Michael Williams, (907) 271-5117, 
email Michael.Williams@noaa.gov; Kim Rivera, (907) 586-7424, email 
Kim.Rivera@noaa.gov; or Shannon Bettridge, (301) 427-8402, email 


Electronic Access

    A Final Environmental Impact Statement, harvest reports, and other 
relevant information are available on the Internet at the following 
address: http://www.alaskafisheries.noaa.gov/protectedresources/seals/fur.htm.
    The subsistence harvest from the depleted stock of northern fur 
seals, Callorhinus ursinus, on the Pribilof Islands, Alaska, is 
governed by regulations found in 50 CFR part 216, subpart F, Taking for 
Subsistence Purposes. The regulations require NMFS to publish every 3 
years a summary of the harvest in the preceding 3 years, and to discuss 
the number of fur seals expected to be taken over the next 3 years to 
satisfy the subsistence requirements of residents of the Pribilof 
Islands (St. Paul and St. George). After a 30-day comment period, NMFS 
must publish a final notification of the expected annual harvest levels 
for the next 3 years.
    On July 29, 2011 (76 FR 45499), NMFS published the summary of the 
2008-2010 fur seal harvests and provided a 30-day comment period on the 
estimates of subsistence needs for the 2011-2013. No comments were 
received. Based on past studies, NMFS estimates the annual subsistence 
needs for Alaskan Natives for the next 3 years are 1,645-2,000 juvenile 
male fur seals on St. Paul Island, and 300-500 juvenile male fur seals 
on St. George Island. Background information related to these estimates 
was included in the proposed harvest estimates published in the Federal 
Register on July 29, 2011.


National Environmental Policy Act

    NMFS prepared an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) evaluating 
the impacts on the human environment of the subsistence harvest of 
northern fur seals. The Final EIS, which is available on the NMFS Web 
site (see Electronic Access) was subjected to public review (69 FR 
53915, September 3, 2004), and the comments were incorporated into the 
final EIS (May 2005). Therefore, no further environmental impact 
analyses are required.

Executive Order 12866 and Regulatory Flexibility Act

    This action has been determined not to be a significant rule under 
Executive Order (E.O.) 12866.
    The Chief Counsel for Regulation, Department of Commerce, certified 
to the Chief Counsel for Advocacy of the Small Business Administration 
that this action would not have a significant economic impact on a 
substantial number of small entities. The harvest of northern fur seals 
on the Pribilof Islands, Alaska, is for subsistence purposes only, and 
the estimate of subsistence need would not have an adverse economic 
impact on any small entities. Background information related to the 
certification was included in the proposed estimates published in the 
Federal Register on July 29, 2011. We received no comments on this 
certification; therefore a regulatory flexibility analysis is not 
required for this action, and none has been prepared.

Paperwork Reduction Act

    This action does not require the collection of information.

Executive Order 13132--Federalism

    This action does not contain policies with federalism implications 
sufficient to warrant preparation of a federalism assessment under E.O. 
13132 because this action does not have substantial direct effects on 
the states, on the relationship between the national government and the 
states, or on the distribution of power and responsibilities among the 
various levels of government. Nonetheless, NMFS worked closely with 
local governments in the Pribilof Islands, and these estimates of 
subsistence needs were prepared by the local governments in St. Paul 
and St. George, with assistance from NMFS officials.

Executive Order 13175--Native Consultation

    Executive Order 13175 of November 6, 2000 (25 U.S.C. 450 Note), the 
executive Memorandum of April 29, 1994 (25 U.S.C. 450 note), and the 
American Indian Native Policy of the U.S. Department of Commerce (March 
30, 1995) outline the responsibilities of the National Marine Fisheries 
Service in matters affecting tribal interests. Section 161 of Public 
Law 108-100 (188 Stat. 452) as amended by section 518 of Public Law 
108-447 (118 Stat. 3267), extends the consultation requirements of E.O. 
13175 to Alaska Native corporations. NMFS has contacted the tribal 
governments of St. Paul and St. George Islands and their respective 
local Native corporations (Tanadgusix and Tanaq) about setting the next 
three years harvest estimates and received their input.

    Dated: February 3, 2012.
Alan D. Risenhoover,
Acting Deputy Assistant Administrator for Regulatory Programs, National 
Marine Fisheries Service.
[FR Doc. 2012-3052 Filed 2-8-12; 8:45 am]