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New England Fishery Management Council; Public Meeting

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National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), National Oceanic and Start Printed Page 45217Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Commerce.


Notice of a public meeting.


The New England Fishery Management Council (Council) is scheduling a public meeting of its Scallop Advisory Panel, in August, 2008, to consider actions affecting New England fisheries in the exclusive economic zone (EEZ). Recommendations from this group will be brought to the full Council for formal consideration and action, if appropriate.


This meeting will be held on Wednesday, August 20, 2008, at 8:30 a.m.


This meeting will be held at the Radisson Airport Hotel, 2081 Post Road, Warwick, RI 02886; telephone: (401) 739-3000; fax: (401) 732-9309.

Council address: New England Fishery Management Council, 50 Water Street, Mill 2, Newburyport, MA 01950.

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Paul J. Howard, Executive Director, New England Fishery Management Council; telephone: (978) 465-0492.

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The committee will review public scoping comments on Amendment 15 and provide initial input on a range of alternatives developed by the Scallop Committee to date. The scoping issues included: implementation of annual catch limits (ACLs); measures to rationalize the limited access scallop fishery; revision of the overfishing definition; modifications to specific aspects of the general category limited entry program implemented by Amendment 11; measures to address essential fish habitat (EFH) closed areas in the Scallop Fishery Management Plan (FMP) if the EFH Omnibus Amendment is delayed; alternatives to improve the research set-aside program; and modifying the start date of the scallop fishing year. Other issues may also be discussed based on input from scoping hearings and a previous Scallop Committee meeting on July 8, 2008. The committee will also review Scallop Plan Development Team (PDT) discussion of Section 7 Endangered Species Act Consultation for the Scallop FMP (Biological Opinion). Overall, the biological opinion concluded that the scallop fishery may adversely affect, but is not likely to jeopardize, continued existence of four sea turtle species. Thus, NMFS is required to identify and implement reasonable and prudent measures (RPMs) necessary to minimize impacts of any incidental take. The Advisors may review PDT recommendations for how best to comply with these measures and provide input for the Scallop Committee to consider. The committee may discuss other topics at their discretion.

Although non-emergency issues not contained in this agenda may come before this group for discussion, in accordance with the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (Magnuson-Stevens Act), those issues may not be the subject of formal action during this meeting. Actions will be restricted to those issues specifically identified in this notice and any issues arising after publication of this notice that require emergency action under section 305 ( c ) of the Magnuson-Stevens Act, provided the public has been notified of the Council's intent to take final action to address the emergency.

Special Accommodations

This meeting is physically accessible to people with disabilities. Requests for sign language interpretation or other auxiliary aids should be directed to Paul J. Howard, Executive Director, at (978) 465-0492, at least 5 days prior to the meeting date.

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Authority: 16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq.

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Dated: July 29, 2008.

Tracey L. Thompson,

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

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[FR Doc. E8-17735 Filed 8-1-08; 8:45 am]