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Notice

Endangered Species; Permits

Document Details

Information about this document as published in the Federal Register.

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AGENCY:

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

ACTION:

Issuance of scientific research permit (1253) and a modification to a scientific research permit (1190).

SUMMARY:

Notice is hereby given of the following actions regarding permits for takes of endangered and threatened species for the purposes of scientific research and/or enhancement: NMFS has issued permits to: Carlos Diez and Robert Van Dam, Puerto Rico DNR (PR-DNR) (1253); and NMFS has issued modifications to scientific research permits to: NMFS-Southwest Region (1190).

DATES:

Comments or requests for a public hearing on any of the new applications or modification requests must be received at the appropriate address or fax number no later than 5 p.m. eastern standard time on November 6, 2000.

ADDRESSES:

Written comments on any of the new applications or modification requests should be sent to the appropriate office as indicated below. Comments may also be sent via fax to the number indicated for the application or modification request. Comments will not be accepted if submitted via e-mail or the Internet. The applications and related documents are available for review in the indicated office, by appointment:

For permits 1253, 1190: Office of Protected Resources, Endangered Species Division, F/PR3, 1315 East-West Highway, Silver Spring, MD 20910 (ph: 301-713-1401, fax: 301-713-0376).

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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Terri Jordan, Silver Spring, MD (ph: 301-713-1401, fax: 301-713-0376, e-mail: Terri.Jordan@noaa.gov).

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SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Authority

Issuance of permits and permit modifications, as required by the Endangered Species Act of 1973 (16 U.S.C. 1531-1543) (ESA), is based on a finding that such permits/modifications: (1) are applied for in good faith; (2) would not operate to the disadvantage of the listed species which are the subject of the permits; and (3) are consistent with the purposes and Start Printed Page 59395policies set forth in section 2 of the ESA. Authority to take listed species is subject to conditions set forth in the permits. Permits and modifications are issued in accordance with and are subject to the ESA and NMFS regulations governing listed fish and wildlife permits (50 CFR parts 222-226).

Those individuals requesting a hearing on an application listed in this notice should set out the specific reasons why a hearing on that application would be appropriate (see ADDRESSES). The holding of such hearing is at the discretion of the Assistant Administrator for Fisheries, NOAA. All statements and opinions contained in the permit action summaries are those of the applicant and do not necessarily reflect the views of NMFS.

Species Covered in This Notice

The following species are covered in this notice:

Sea Turtles

Green turtle (Chelonia mydas), Hawksbill turtle (Eretmochelys imbricata), Kemp's ridley turtle (Lepidochelys kempii), Leatherback turtle (Dermochelys coriacea), Loggerhead turtle (Caretta caretta).

Fish

Shortnose sturgeon (Acipenser brevirostrum).

Permits and Modifications Issued

Notice was published on May 23, 2000 (65 FR 34445) that Mr. Carlos E. Diez, of Department of Natural and Environmental Resources applied for a scientific research permit (1253). The purpose of the research is to provide information on the ecology and population dynamics of the hawksbill and green turtles that inhabit the waters surrounding Puerto Rico and its adjacent islands (Mona, Monito, Desecheo, Caja-de-Muertos, Viques and Culebra). This research will improve the effectiveness of management efforts by addressing priorities set forth in the recovery plans for both species: (1) identification of important marine habitats; (2) determination of adult and juvenile distribution and abundance; (3) determination of sex ratios in the juvenile population; (4) evaluation of the extent of ingestion of persistent marine debris; (5) determination of growth rates and age at sexual maturity, and (6) quantification of threats to adults and juveniles on foraging grounds. Permit 1253 was issued on September 22, 2000, authorizing take of listed species. Permit 1253 expires July 31, 2005.

Notice was published on April 14, 2000 (65 FR 20138) that the Southwest Region, NMFS applied for a modification to 1190. Modification #1 authorizes and increase in the annual take of olive ridley turtles from 10 to 25. The purpose of the research is to document and evaluate the incidental take of pelagic turtles by the longline fishery, to help estimate the impact of the fishery on listed turtles as individuals and as populations, and to determine methods to reduce that impact. Research will evaluate how incidental captures affect sea turtle anatomy and physiology as a function of season, location of take, water temperature, species, size, time of day, and gear configuration. The results of the research will help NMFS to better meet the goals and objectives of the Pacific Sea Turtle Recovery Plans, the Hooking Mortality Workshop, and the requirements of Section 7 Biological Opinions developed for this fishery, and ultimately, to fulfill ESA responsibilities to protect, conserve, and recover listed species.

Incidentally-captured turtles will be examined, tagged, weighed, measured, resuscitated using approved techniques, have tissue samples taken, and be released. Some of these turtles will have transmitters attached. Dead turtles will be removed from the marine environment for research purposes, including necropsy and collection of life history data. Tissue samples may be used lab studies including the following: toxicology, histopathology, and genetic studies to identify nesting origins of incidentally taken turtles. Modification #1 to Permit 1190 was issued on September 21, 2000, authorizing take of listed species. Permit 1190 expires March 31, 2004.

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Dated: September 29, 2000.

Wanda L. Cain,

Chief, Endangered Species Division, Office of Protected Resources, National Marine Fisheries Service.

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[FR Doc. 00-25622 Filed 10-4-00; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE: 3510-22 -S