AGENCY: National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), National Oceanic and
Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Commerce.
ACTION: Notice; request for comments.
SUMMARY: The Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council (Mid-Atlantic
Council) announces its intention to prepare, in cooperation with NMFS,
an EIS in accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act to
assess potential effects on the human environment of alternative
measures to protect deep-sea corals in the Mid-Atlantic region.
This notice announces a public process for determining the scope of
issues to be addressed, and for identifying the significant issues
related to deep-sea coral protections in the Mid-Atlantic. This notice
is to alert the interested public of the scoping process, the
development of the Draft EIS, and to provide for public participation
in that process. If, during development of the Draft EIS, it can be
determined that the alternatives are not expected to have significant
impacts on the human environment, an Environmental Assessment (EA) may
be prepared in place of an EIS. This determination will depend on the
scope of issues raised and the alternatives developed. Information
obtained during the scoping process will be used to develop either an
EIS or an EA as appropriate. This action is necessary to provide
analytical support for an amendment (Amendment 16) to the Fishery
Management Plan (FMP) for Atlantic Mackerel, Squid, and Butterfish
(MSB), which addresses protections of deep-sea corals from the impacts
of fishing gear.
DATES: Written comments must be received on or before 11:59 p.m., EST,
on February 15, 2013. Two public scoping meetings will be held during
this comment period. See SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION for dates, times,
ADDRESSES: Written comments may be sent by any of the following
Email to the following address: email@example.com;
Mail or hand deliver to Dr. Christopher M. Moore,
Executive Director, Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council, 800 North
State Street, Suite 201, Dover, DE 19901. Mark the outside of the
envelope "Deep Sea Corals Amendment Scoping Comments''; or
Fax to (302) 674-5399.
The scoping document may also be obtained from the Mid-Atlantic
Council office at the previously provided address, or by request to the
Mid-Atlantic Council by telephone (302) 674-2331, or via the Internet
Comments may also be provided verbally at either of the two public
scoping meetings. See SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION for dates, times, and
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Dr. Christopher M. Moore, Mid-Atlantic
Fishery Management Council, 800 North State Street, Suite 201, Dover,
DE 19901, (telephone 302-674-2331).