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Notice

Schedules for Atlantic Shark Identification Workshops and Protected Species Safe Handling, Release, and Identification Workshops

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.

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ACTION:

Notice of public workshops.

SUMMARY:

NMFS announces free Atlantic Shark Identification Workshops and Protected Species Safe Handling, Release, and Identification Workshops to be held in January, February, and March 2008. Fishermen and shark dealers are required to attend a workshop to meet new regulatory requirements and maintain valid permits. The Atlantic Shark Identification Workshops are mandatory for all federally permitted Atlantic shark dealers. The Protected Species Safe Handling, Release, and Identification Workshops are mandatory for vessel owners and operators who use bottom longline, pelagic longline, or gillnet gear, and have also been issued shark or swordfish limited access permits. Additional free workshops will be held in 2008 and announced in the Federal Register.

DATES:

The Atlantic Shark Identification Workshops will be held January 10 and March 13, 2008.

The Protected Species Safe Handling, Release, and Identification Workshops will be held January 9, 16, February 20, and March 19, 2008.

See SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION for further details.

ADDRESSES:

The Atlantic Shark Identification Workshops will be held in Fairhope, AL, and South Boston, MA.

The Protected Species Safe Handling, Release, and Identification Workshops will be held in Myrtle Beach, SC; Houston, TX; Key West, FL; and Boston, MA.

See SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION for further details on workshop locations.

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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Greg Fairclough by phone:(727) 824-5399, or by fax: (727) 824-5398.

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SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

The workshop schedules, registration information, and a list of frequently asked questions regarding these workshops are posted on the internet at: http://www.nmfs.noaa.gov/​sfa/​hms/​workshops/​.

Atlantic Shark Identification Workshop

Effective December 31, 2007, an Atlantic shark dealer may not receive, purchase, trade, or barter for Atlantic shark unless a valid Atlantic Shark Identification Workshop certificate is on the premises of each business listed under the shark dealer permit (71 FR 58057; October 2, 2006). Dealers who attend and successfully complete a workshop will be issued a certificate for each place of business that is permitted to receive sharks.

Dealers may send a proxy to an Atlantic Shark Identification Workshop, however, if a dealer opts to send a proxy, the dealer must designate a proxy for each place of business covered by the dealer's permit. Only one certificate will be issued to each proxy. A proxy must be a person who: is currently employed by a place of business covered by the dealer's permit; is a primary participant in the identification, weighing, and/or first receipt of fish as they are offloaded from a vessel; and fills out dealer reports. Additionally, after December 31, 2007, an Atlantic shark dealer may not renew a Federal shark dealer permit unless a valid Atlantic Shark Identification Workshop certificate for each business location has been submitted with the permit renewal application. Sixteen free Atlantic Shark Identification Workshops were held in 2007.

Workshop Dates, Times, and Locations

1. January 10, 2008, from 9:30 a.m. - 3 p.m. Fairhope Public Library, 501 Fairhope Avenue, Fairhope, AL 36532.

2. March 13, 2008, from 12:30 p.m. - 5 p.m. South Boston Public Library, 646 East Broadway, South Boston, MA 02127.

Registration

To register for a scheduled Atlantic Shark Identification Workshop, please contact Eric Sander by email at esander@peoplepc.com or by phone at (386) 852-8588.

Registration Materials

To ensure that workshop certificates are linked to the correct permits, participants will need to bring the following items to the workshop:

Atlantic shark dealer permit holders must bring proof that the individual is an agent of the business (such as articles of incorporation), a copy of the applicable permit, and proof of identification.

Atlantic shark dealer proxies must bring documentation from the shark dealer acknowledging that the proxy is attending the workshop on behalf of the Atlantic shark dealer, a copy of the appropriate permit, and proof of identification.

Workshop Objectives

The shark identification workshops are designed to reduce the number of unknown and improperly identified sharks reported in the dealer reporting form and increase the accuracy of species-specific dealer-reported information. Reducing the number of unknown and improperly identified sharks will improve quota monitoring and the data used in stock assessments. These workshops will train shark dealer permit holders or their proxies to properly identify Atlantic shark carcasses.

Protected Species Safe Handling, Release, and Identification Workshop

Effective January 1, 2007, shark limited access and swordfish limited access permit holders must submit a copy of their Protected Species Safe Handling, Release, and Identification Workshop certificate in order to renew either permit (71 FR 58057; October 2, 2006). As such, vessel owners who have not attended a workshop and received a NMFS certificate must attend one of the workshops offered in January, February, or March 2008 to fish with or renew either permit. Additionally, new shark and swordfish limited access permit applicants must attend a Protected Species Safe Handling, Release, and Identification Workshop and must submit a copy of their workshop certificate before such permits will be issued.

In addition to certifying permit holders, all longline and gillnet vessel operators fishing on a vessel issued a limited access swordfish or limited access shark permit are required to attend a Protected Species Safe Handling, Release, and Identification Workshop. Vessels that have been issued a limited access swordfish or limited access shark permit may not fish unless both the vessel owner and operator have valid workshop certificates. Vessel operators must possess on board the vessel valid workshop certificates for both the vessel owner and the operator at all times. Seven free Protected Species Safe Handling, Release, and Identification Workshops were held in 2006, and 34 were held in 2007.

Workshop Dates, Times, and Locations

1. January 9, 2008, from 9 a.m. - 5 p.m. Hilton Myrtle Beach Resort, 10000 Beach Club Drive, Myrtle Beach, SC 29572.

2. January 16, 2008, from 9 a.m. - 5 p.m. Houston Airport Marriott , 18700 John F. Kennedy Boulevard, Houston, TX 77032.

3. February 20, 2008, from 9 a.m. - 5 p.m. Doubletree Grand Key Resort, 3990 South Roosevelt Boulevard, Key West, FL 33040.

4. March 19, 2008, from 9 a.m. - 5 p.m. Doubletree Guest Suites Boston, 400 Soldiers Field Road, Boston, MA 02134.

Registration

To register for a scheduled Protected Species Safe Handling, Release, and Identification Workshop, please contact Start Printed Page 68862Aquatic Release Conservation ((877) 411-4272), 1870 Mason Ave., Daytona Beach, FL 32117.

Registration Materials

To ensure that workshop certificates are linked to the correct permits, participants will need to bring the following items with them to the workshop:

Individual vessel owners must bring a copy of the appropriate permit(s), a copy of the vessel registration or documentation, and proof of identification.

Representatives of a business owned or co-owned vessel must bring proof that the individual is an agent of the business (such as articles of incorporation), a copy of the applicable permit(s), and proof of identification.

Vessel operators must bring proof of identification.

Workshop Objectives

The protected species safe handling, release, and identification workshops are designed to teach longline and gillnet fishermen the required techniques for the safe handling and release of entangled and/or hooked protected species, such as sea turtles, marine mammals, and smalltooth sawfish. Identification of protected species will also be taught at these workshops in an effort to improve reporting. Additionally, individuals attending these workshops will gain a better understanding of the requirements for participating in these fisheries. The overall goal for these workshops is to provide participants the skills needed to reduce the mortality of protected species, which may prevent additional regulations on these fisheries in the future.

Grandfathered Permit Holders

Participants in the industry-sponsored workshops on safe handling and release of sea turtles that were held in Orlando, FL (April 8, 2005) and in New Orleans, LA (June 27, 2005) were issued a NOAA workshop certificate in December 2006 that is valid for three years. Grandfathered permit holders must include a copy of this certificate when renewing limited access shark and limited access swordfish permits each year. Failure to provide a valid NOAA workshop certificate may result in a permit denial.

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Dated: December 3, 2007.

Alan D. Risenhoover,

Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine Fisheries Service.

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[FR Doc. E7-23697 Filed 12-5-07; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 3510-22-S