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Atlantic Highly Migratory Species; Advisory Panel for Atlantic Highly Migratory Species Southeast Data, Assessment, and Review Workshops

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AGENCY:

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

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ACTION:

Notice; nominations for shark stock assessment Advisory Panel.

SUMMARY:

NMFS solicits nominations for the “SEDAR Pool,” also known as the Advisory Panel for Atlantic Highly Migratory Species (HMS) Southeast Data, Assessment, and Review (SEDAR) Workshops. The SEDAR Pool is comprised of a group of individuals who may be selected to consider data and advise NMFS regarding the scientific information, including but not limited to data and models, used in stock assessments for oceanic sharks in the Atlantic Ocean, Gulf of Mexico, and Caribbean Sea. Nominations are being sought for a 5-year appointment (2017-2022). 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 on the SEDAR Pool.

DATES:

Nominations must be received on or before September 22, 2016.

ADDRESSES:

You may submit nominations and request the SEDAR Pool Statement of Organization, Practices, and Procedures by any of the following methods:

  • Email: SEDAR.pool@noaa.gov.
  • Mail: Karyl Brewster-Geisz, Highly Migratory Species Management Division, NMFS, 1315 East-West Highway, Silver Spring, MD 20910. Include on the envelope the following identifier: “SEDAR Pool Nomination.”
  • Fax: 301-713-1917.

Additional information on SEDAR and the SEDAR guidelines can be found at http://www.sefsc.noaa.gov/​sedar/​. The terms of reference for the SEDAR Pool, along with a list of current members, can be found at http://www.nmfs.noaa.gov/​sfa/​hms/​SEDAR/​SEDAR.htm.

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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Delisse Ortiz, (240-681-9037) or Karyl Brewster-Geisz, (301) 425-8503.

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SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Background

Section 302(g)(2) of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (Magnuson-Stevens Act), 16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq., states that each Council shall establish such advisory panels as are necessary or appropriate to assist it in carrying out its functions under the Act. For the purposes of this section, NMFS applies the above Council provision to the HMS Management Division (See Section 304(g)(1) of the Magnuson-Stevens Act, which provides that the Secretary will prepare fishery management plans for HMS and consult with Advisory Panels under section 302(g) for such FMPs). As such, NMFS has established the SEDAR Pool under this section. The SEDAR Pool currently consists of 27 individuals, each of whom may be selected to review data and advise NMFS regarding the scientific information, including but not limited to data and models, used in stock assessments for oceanic sharks in the Atlantic Ocean, Gulf of Mexico, and Caribbean Sea. While the SEDAR Pool was created specifically for Atlantic oceanic sharks, it may be expanded to include other HMS, as needed.

The primary purpose of the individuals in the SEDAR Pool is to review, at SEDAR workshops, the scientific information (including but not limited to data and models) used in stock assessments that are used to advise NMFS, as a delegate to the Secretary of Commerce (Secretary), about the conservation and management of the Atlantic HMS, specifically but not limited to, Atlantic sharks. Individuals in the SEDAR Pool, if selected, may participate in the various data, assessment, and review workshops during the SEDAR process of any HMS stock assessment. In order to ensure that the peer review is unbiased, individuals who participated in a data and/or assessment workshop for a particular stock assessment will not be allowed to serve as reviewers for the same stock assessment. However, these individuals may be asked to attend the review workshop to answer specific questions from the reviewers concerning the data and/or assessment workshops. Members of the SEDAR Pool may serve as members of other Advisory Panels concurrent with, or following, their service on the SEDAR Pool.

Procedures and Guidelines

A. Participants

The SEDAR Pool is comprised of individuals representing the commercial and recreational fishing communities for Atlantic sharks, the environmental community active in the conservation and management of Atlantic sharks, and the academic community that have relevant expertise either with sharks and/or stock assessment methodologies for marine fish species. Also, individuals who may not necessarily work directly with sharks, but who are involved in fisheries with similar life history, biology and fishery issues may be part of the SEDAR panel. Members of the SEDAR Pool must have demonstrated experience in the fisheries, related industries, research, teaching, writing, conservation, or management of marine organisms. The distribution of representation among the interested parties is not defined or limited.

Additional members of the SEDAR Pool may also include representatives from each of the five Atlantic Regional Fishery Management Councils, each of the 18 Atlantic states, both the U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico, and each of the interstate commissions: the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission and the Gulf States Marine Fisheries Commission.

If NMFS requires additional members to ensure a diverse pool of individuals for data or assessment workshops, NMFS may request individuals to become members of the SEDAR Pool outside of the annual nomination period.

Panel members serve at the discretion of the Secretary. Not all members will attend each SEDAR workshop. Rather, NMFS will invite certain members to participate at specific stock assessment workshops dependent on their ability to participate, discuss, and recommend scientific decisions regarding the species being assessed.

NMFS is not obligated to fulfill any requests (e.g., requests for an assessment of a certain species) that may be made by the SEDAR Pool or its individual members. Members of the SEDAR Pool who are invited to attend stock assessment workshops will not be compensated for their services but may be reimbursed for their travel-related expenses to attend such workshops.

B. Nomination Procedures for Appointments to the SEDAR Pool

Member tenure will be for 5 years. Nominations are sought for terms beginning early in 2017 and expiring in 2022. Nomination packages should include:

1. The name, address, phone number, and email of the applicant or nominee;

2. A description of the applicant's or nominee's interest in Atlantic shark stock assessments or the Atlantic shark fishery;

3. A statement of the applicant's or nominee's background and/or qualifications; and

4. A written commitment that the applicant or nominee shall participate actively and in good faith in the tasks of the SEDAR Pool, as requested.

C. Meeting Schedule

Individual members of the SEDAR Pool meet to participate in stock assessments at the discretion of the Office of Sustainable Fisheries, NMFS. Stock assessment timing, frequency, and relevant species will vary depending on Start Printed Page 57567the needs determined by NMFS and SEDAR staff. In 2017, NMFS intends to update the Gulf of Mexico blacktip shark stock assessment and conduct a standard assessment for sandbar sharks. In 2018, NMFS intends to conduct a benchmark assessment for Atlantic blacktip sharks. During an assessment year, meetings and meeting logistics will be determined according to the SEDAR Guidelines. All meetings are open for observation by the public.

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Dated: August 18, 2016.

Alan D. Risenhoover,

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

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[FR Doc. 2016-20103 Filed 8-22-16; 8:45 am]

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