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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.

Published Document

This document has been published in the Federal Register. Use the PDF linked in the document sidebar for the official electronic format.

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AGENCY:

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

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 2009. Certain fishermen and shark dealers are required to attend a workshop to meet regulatory requirements and maintain valid permits. Specifically, the Atlantic Shark Identification Workshop is mandatory for all federally permitted Atlantic shark dealers. Also, the Protected Species Safe Handling, Release, and Identification Workshop is mandatory for vessel owners and operators who use bottom longline, pelagic longline, or gillnet gear, and have also been issued shark or Start Printed Page 72776swordfish limited access permits. Additional free workshops will be held in 2009 and announced in the Federal Register.

DATES:

The Atlantic Shark Identification Workshops will be held January 7, February 11, and March 11, 2009.

The Protected Species Safe Handling, Release, and Identification Workshops will be held January 13, February 25, March 11, and March 18, 2009.

See SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION for further details.

ADDRESSES:

The Atlantic Shark Identification Workshops will be held in Manahawkin, NJ; Madeira Beach, FL; and Greenville, NC.

The Protected Species Safe Handling, Release, and Identification Workshops will be held in Wilmington, NC; Warwick, RI; Corpus Christi, TX; and Fort Pierce, FL.

See SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION for further details on workshop locations.

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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Richard A. Pearson 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 which first receives Atlantic sharks (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. The certificate(s) are valid for three years.

Currently permitted 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 which first receives Atlantic sharks. 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. As of 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 which first receives Atlantic sharks has been submitted with the permit renewal application. The certificate(s) are valid for three years. Additionally, trucks or other conveyances which are extensions of a dealer's place of business must possess a copy of a valid dealer or proxy Atlantic Shark Identification Workshop certificate. Twelve free Atlantic Shark Identification Workshops were held in 2008.

Workshop Dates, Times, and Locations

1. January 7, 2009, from 9 a.m. - 2 p.m., Ocean County Library - Stafford Branch, 129 North Main Street, Manahawkin, NJ 08050.

2. February 11, 2009, from 9 a.m. - 2 p.m., Madeira Beach City Hall, 300 Municipal Drive, Madeira Beach, FL 33708.

3. March 11, 2009, from 12 p.m. - 5 p.m., Walter L. Stasavich Science and Nature Center, River Park North, 1000 Mumford Road, Greenville, NC 27858.

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 permitted Atlantic shark dealer for a specific business location, 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 who fish with longline or gillnet gear, 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). The certificate(s) are valid for three years. As such, vessel owners who have not already attended a workshop and received a NMFS certificate, or if the certificate(s) are due to expire in 2009, must attend one of the workshops offered in 2009 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 and receive a certificate. The certificate(s) are valid for three years. 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, 34 were held in 2007, and 16 were held in 2008.

Workshop Dates, Times, and Locations

1. January 13, 2009, from 9 a.m. - 5 p.m., Hilton Garden Inn at Mayfaire, 6745 Rock Spring Road, Wilmington, NC 28405.

2. February 25, 2009, from 9 a.m. - 5 p.m., Hilton Garden Inn at Providence Airport, 1 Thurber Street, Warwick, RI 02886.

3. March 11, 2009, from 9 a.m. - 5 p.m., Hilton Garden Inn, 6717 South Padre Island Drive, Corpus Christi, TX 78412.

4. March 18, 2009, from 9 a.m. - 5 p.m., Hampton Inn and Suites, 1985 Reynolds Drive, Fort Pierce, FL 34945.Start Printed Page 72777

Registration

To register for a scheduled Protected Species Safe Handling, Release, and Identification Workshop, please contact Angler Conservation Education at (877) 411-4272, 1640 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. These workshop certificates may be expiring in 2009. Vessel owners and operators whose certificates expire prior to permit renewal in 2009 must attend a workshop, successfully complete the course, and obtain a new certificate to renew their limited access shark and limited access swordfish permits. Failure to provide a valid NOAA workshop certificate may result in a permit denial.

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Dated: November 21, 2008.

Alan D. Risenhoover

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

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[FR Doc. E8-28471 Filed 11-28-08; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 3510-22-S