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Endangered and Threatened Species; Initiation of a Status Review under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) for the Black Abalone

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


Notice; initiation of a status review under the ESA.


We, NMFS, announce the initiation of an ESA status review of the black abalone (Haliotis cracherodii), and we solicit information on the species.


Information on the black abalone must be received by December 18, 2006.


You may submit information on the black abalone via mail to Melissa Neuman, NMFS, Southwest Region, 501 West Ocean Blvd., Suite 4200, Long Beach, CA, 90802-4213, e-mail at, or fax to 562-980-4027. Include in the subject line of any e-mail the following document identifier: Black abalone review.

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Melissa Neuman, (562) 980-4115,, or Marta Nammack, (301)713-1401,

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We initiated an informal ESA status review of the black abalone on July 15, 2003, and we conducted a biological scoping workshop on January 29-30, 2004, which served to bring together individuals who have research experience with black abalone and/or experience conducting status reviews and/or stock assessments. A second workshop was convened on July 31-August 1, 2006, to discuss research Start Printed Page 61022advancements since 2003, standardization of monitoring and assessment efforts, and gaps in our understanding of the species' long-term trends. At this time, we are formally announcing a status review of the black abalone. This species was harvested commercially and recreationally beginning in the mid-1800s with significant declines detected in the late 1970s, and withering syndrome continues to be a threat to the species.

Comments Solicited

To support this status review, we are soliciting information on the following topics: (1) long-term trends in abundance throughout the species range; (2) potential factors for the species' decline throughout its range (e.g., overharvesting, natural predation, disease, habitat loss etc.); (3) status of the black abalone fishery in Mexico; (4) implication of low population size for black abalone conservation; (5) factors important for black abalone management; (6) current estimate of population size and available habitat; (7) knowledge of various life history parameters (size/age at maturity, fecundity, length of larval stage, larval dispersal dynamics, etc.); and (8) projections on population growth or decline and risk of extinction. See DATES and ADDRESSES for guidance on how, by when, and where to send information.

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Dated: October 10, 2006.

James H. Lecky,

Director, Office of Protected Resources, National Marine Fisheries Service.

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[FR Doc. E6-17247 Filed 10-16-06; 8:45 am]