Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.
Notice of availability of draft revised marine mammal stock assessment report for the southern sea otter in California; request for comments.
In accordance with the Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA), the Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) has developed a draft revised marine mammal stock assessment report for the southern sea otter (Enhydra lutris nereis) stock in the State of California, which is available for public review and comment.
Comments must be received by September 8, 2008.
Copies of the draft revised stock assessment report for the southern sea otter in California are available from the Field Supervisor, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Ventura Fish and Wildlife Office, 2493 Portola Road, Suite B, Ventura, CA 93003; (805) 644-1766. It can also be viewed in Adobe Acrobat by navigating to the species information page for the southern sea otter at http://www.fws.gov/ventura.
If you wish to submit comments on the draft revised stock assessment report for the southern sea otter in California, you may do so by any of the following methods:
1. You may mail or hand-deliver (during normal business hours) written comments to the Field Supervisor, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Ventura Fish and Wildlife Office, 2493 Portola Road, Suite B, Ventura, CA 93003.
2. You may fax your comments to (805) 644-3958.
3. You may send comments by electronic mail (e-mail) to fw8ssostock@ fws.gov.End Preamble Start Supplemental Information
One of the goals of the MMPA is to ensure that stocks of marine mammals occurring in waters under the jurisdiction of the United States do not experience a level of human-caused mortality and serious injury that is likely to cause the stock to be reduced below its optimum sustainable population level (OSP). OSP is defined as “the number of animals which will result in the maximum productivity of the population or the species, keeping in mind the carrying capacity of the habitat and the health of the ecosystem of which they form a constituent element.”
To help accomplish the goal of maintaining marine mammal stocks at their OSPs, section 117 of the MMPA (16 U.S.C. 1361-1407) requires the Service and the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) to prepare stock assessment reports for each marine mammal stock that occurs in waters under the jurisdiction of the United States. These stock assessments are to be based on the best scientific information available and are, therefore, prepared in consultation with established regional scientific review groups. Each stock assessment must include: (1) A description of the stock and its geographic range; (2) a minimum population estimate, maximum net productivity rate, and current population trend; (3) an estimate of human-caused mortality and serious injury; (4) a description of commercial fishery interactions; (5) the status of the stock; and (6) the potential biological removal level (PBR). The PBR is defined as “the maximum number of animals, not including natural mortalities, that may be removed from a marine mammal stock while allowing that stock to reach or maintain its OSP.” The PBR is the product of the minimum population estimate of the stock (Nmin), one-half the maximum theoretical or estimated net productivity rate of the stock at a small population size (Rmax); and a recovery factor (Fr) of between 0.1 and 1.0, which is intended to compensate for uncertainty and unknown estimation errors.
Section 117 of the MMPA also requires the Service and the NMFS to review the stock assessment reports: (A) At least annually for stocks that are specified as strategic stocks; (B) at least annually for stocks for which significant new information is available; and (C) at least once every 3 years for all other stocks.
A strategic stock is defined in the MMPA as a marine mammal stock: (A) For which the level of direct human-caused mortality exceeds the potential biological removal level; (B) which, based on the best available scientific information, is declining and is likely to be listed as a threatened species under the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended (16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.), within the foreseeable future; or (C) which is listed as a threatened or endangered species under the Endangered Species Act, or is designated as depleted under the MMPA.
A summary of the draft revised stock assessment report for southern sea otters Start Printed Page 32733in California is presented in Table 1. The table lists the stock's Nmin, Rmax, Fr, PBR, annual estimated human-caused mortality and serious injury, and status. After consideration of any public comments received, the Service will revise the stock assessment, as appropriate. We will publish a notice of availability and summary of the final stock assessment, including responses to comments we received.
In accordance with the MMPA, a list of the sources of information or public reports upon which the assessment is based is included in this notice.
|Stock||NMIN||RMAX||FR||PBR||Annual estimated average human-caused mortality||Stock status|
|Southern sea otters:|
|Mainland California San Nicolas Island (CA)||41||0.09||0.1||0||Unknown||Strategic.|
List of References
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Dated: June 3, 2008.
H. Dale Hall,
Director, Fish and Wildlife Service.
[FR Doc. E8-12890 Filed 6-9-08; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4310-55-P