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Atlantic Highly Migratory Species; Advisory Panel

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AGENCY:

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

ACTION:

Notice.

SUMMARY:

NMFS solicits nominations for the Atlantic Highly Migratory Species (HMS) Advisory Panel (AP). NMFS consults with and considers the comments and views of the AP when preparing and implementing Fishery Management Plans (FMPs) or FMP Start Printed Page 62483amendments for Atlantic tunas, swordfish, sharks, and billfish. Nominations are being sought to fill one-third (10) of the seats on the HMS AP for a 3-year appointment. Individuals with definable interests in the recreational and commercial fishing and related industries, environmental community, academia, and non-governmental organizations will be considered for membership in the AP.

DATES:

Nominations must be received on or before November 20, 2008.

ADDRESSES:

You may submit nominations and requests for the Advisory Panel Statement of Organization, Practices, and Procedures by any of the following methods:

  • Email: HMSAP.Nominations@noaa.gov. Include in the subject line the following identifier: “HMS AP Nominations.”
  • Mail: Margo Schulze-Haugen, Chief, Highly Migratory Species Management Division, NMFS, 1315 East-West Highway, Silver Spring, MD 20910.
  • Fax: 301-713-1917.
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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Chris Rilling at (301) 713-2347 x109.

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SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Introduction

The Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (Magnuson-Stevens Act), 16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq., as amended by the Sustainable Fisheries Act, Public Law 104-297, provided for the establishment of Advisory Panels to assist in the collection and evaluation of information relevant to the development of any Fishery Management Plan (FMP) or FMP amendment. The HMS AP has consulted with NMFS on the HMS FMP (April 1999), Amendment 1 to the Billfish FMP (April 1999), Amendment 1 to the HMS FMP (November 2003), the Consolidated HMS FMP (July 2006), and Amendments 1 and 2 to the Consolidated HMS FMP (April 2008 and September 2008, respectively).

Procedures and Guidelines

A. Nomination Procedures for Appointments to the Advisory Panel

Nomination packages should include:

1. The name of the applicant or nominee and a description of his/her interest in HMS or in particular species of sharks, swordfish, tunas, or billfish;

2. A statement of background and/or qualifications;

3. A written commitment that the applicant or nominee shall actively participate in good faith in the tasks of the AP; and

4. A list of outreach resources that the applicant has at his/her disposal to communicate HMS issues to various interest groups.

Tenure for the HMS AP

Member tenure will be for 3 years (36 months), with approximately one-third of the members' terms expiring on December 31 of each year. Nominations are sought for terms beginning January 2009 and expiring December 2011.

B. Participants

Nominations for the AP will be accepted to allow representation from commercial and recreational fishing interests, the scientific community, and the conservation community who are knowledgeable about Atlantic HMS and/or Atlantic HMS fisheries. Current representation on the HMS AP, as shown in Table 1, consists of 12 members representing commercial interests, 12 members representing recreational interests, 4 members representing environmental interests, 4 academic representatives, and 1 International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas (ICCAT) Advisory Committee Chairperson. Each AP member serves a three-year term with approximately one-third (11) of the total number of seats (33) expiring on December 31 of each year. NMFS seeks to fill 1 academic, 4 commercial, 3 recreational, and 2 environmental vacancies by December 31, 2008. NMFS will seek to fill vacancies based primarily on maintaining the current representation from each of the sectors, and secondarily by species expertise and/or representation from the regions (Northeast, Mid-Atlantic, South Atlantic, Gulf of Mexico, and Caribbean). Table 1 includes the current representation on the HMS AP by sector and species. It does not necessarily indicate that NMFS will only consider persons who have expertise in the species that are listed.

Table 1. Current representation on the HMS AP by sector and species.

Terms that are expiring or vacant are in bold.

SectorSpeciesDate AppointedDate Term Expires
AcademicTuna1/1/200712/31/2009
AcademicShark1/1/200712/31/2009
AcademicBillfish1/1/200612/31/2008
AcademicTuna/Shark1/1/200712/31/2009
CommercialHMS1/1/200612/31/2008
CommercialSwordfish/Tuna1/1/200712/31/2009
CommercialSwordfish/Tuna1/1/200812/31/2010
CommercialHMS1/1/200312/31/2008
CommercialTuna1/1/200812/31/2010
CommercialShark1/1/200712/31/2009
CommercialHMS1/1/200712/31/2009
CommercialHMS1/1/200612/31/2008
CommercialHMS1/1/200812/31/2010
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CommercialSwordfish1/1/200812/31/2010
CommercialTunaVACANT
CommercialHMS1/1/200812/31/2010
EnvironmentalShark1/1/200612/31/2008
EnvironmentalHMS1/1/200812/31/2010
EnvironmentalHMS1/1/200812/31/2010
EnvironmentalHMSVACANT
RecreationalHMS1/1/200812/31/2010
RecreationalSwordfish1/1/200712/31/2009
RecreationalHMS1/1/200712/31/2009
RecreationalHMS1/1/200712/31/2009
RecreationalBillfish1/1/200712/31/2009
RecreationalTuna1/1/200612/31/2008
RecreationalHMS1/1/200812/31/2010
RecreationalHMS1/1/200612/31/2008
RecreationalHMS1/1/200812/31/2010
RecreationalHMS1/1/200612/31/2008
RecreationalHMS1/1/200712/31/2009
RecreationalBillfish1/1/200812/31/2010
ICCAT ChairHMS

Each sector must be adequately represented, and the intent is to have a group that, as a whole, reflects an appropriate and equitable balance and mix of interests given the responsibilities of the AP. Criteria for membership include one or more of the following: (1) experience in the HMS recreational fishing industry; (2) experience in the HMS commercial fishing industry; (3) experience in fishery-related industries (e.g., marinas, bait and tackle shops); (4) experience in the scientific community working with HMS; and/or (5) representation of a private; non-governmental; regional, national, or international organization representing marine fisheries, environmental, governmental, or academic interests dealing with HMS.

Five additional members on the AP include one member representing each of the following Councils: New England Fishery Management Council, the Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council, the South Atlantic Fishery Management Council, the Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council, and the Caribbean Fishery Management Council. The AP also includes 22 ex-officio participants: 20 representatives of the coastal states and two representatives of the interstate commissions (the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission and the Gulf States Marine Fisheries Commission).

NMFS will provide the necessary administrative support, including technical assistance, for the AP. However, NMFS will not compensate participants with monetary support of any kind. Depending on availability of funds, members may be reimbursed for travel costs related to the AP meetings.

C. Meeting Schedule

Meetings of the AP will be held as frequently as necessary but are routinely held twice each year in the spring and fall. The meetings may be held in conjunction with public hearings.

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Dated: October 9, 2008.

Emily H. Menashes

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

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[FR Doc. E8-25078 Filed 10-20-08; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 3510-22-S