/Vol. 78, No. 159/Friday, August 16, 2013/Notices
threat that may be creating an extinctionrisk for whale shark populations.CITES can be an effective tool tocontrol, track and regulate trade, but itis not intended to replace fisheries andother forms of management. At least adozen countries have developednational conservation measures forwhale sharks, including bans on captureand killing of whale sharks in thosecountries where targeted whale sharkfishing was once relatively intense(Rowat and Brooks, 2012). Whale sharksalso receive protection under the SharkConservation Act of 2010 (Pub. L. 111–348, January 4, 2011), which prohibitsremoving fins from sharks harvestedseaward of state waters or possessingsuch unattached shark fins at port or atsea by any person subject to thejurisdiction of the United States; theHigh Seas Driftnet MoratoriumProtection Act (16 U.S.C. 1826h–k),which, among other provisions, allowsfor the identification and certification of nations by the United States to address bycatch of protected species and sharkcatches; and through the fisheriesmanagement actions by the WCPFC,IOTC and IATTC. In additional severalU.S. coastal states have adoptedmeasures to conserve sharks. Whalesharks are listed on Appendix II of theConvention of Migratory Species of Wild Animals (‘‘the Bonn Convention’’),which provides an international forumfor the development of a conservationand management plan (Rowat andBrooks, 2012). Whale sharks are alsolikely to benefit from the United NationsFood and Agriculture Organization’sInternational Plan of Action for theConservation and Management of Sharks, which calls for conservation andmanagement of sharks to allow for long-term, sustainable use and has alreadystimulated the development of over adozen national plans of action (Rowatand Brooks, 2012). Conservation effortsmay be further bolstered by theincreasing demand for live whale sharksin countries where ecotourism hasreplaced fishing as a source of revenue(Norman, 2005).In conclusion, we find that theinformation presented in the petitionand available in our files does notcomprise substantial informationindicating inadequacies of existingregulatory mechanisms such that listingmay be warranted.
Other Natural and Manmade Factors
The petition lists the whale shark’ssusceptibility to fishing and naturalhistory strategy as additional threats towhale sharks. Several biologicalcharacteristics of whale sharks—including large body size, long life span,and late maturation—do suggest thatthis species cannot sustain high levelsof exploitation. This statement issupported by the reported declines inlandings in the now closed whale sharkfisheries in Taiwan, India and thePhilippines following the increase inpopularity and price of whale sharkmeat in the 1990’s (Compagno, 2002;Hsu
2012). In fact, the IUCNlisting was based largely on theobserved and projected declines infisheries from the Indian and Philippinefisheries, both of which are now closed(Rowat and Brooks, 2012). In theabsence of these targeted fisheries orevidence of overutilization of whalesharks, the natural historycharacteristics of whale sharks do notinherently pose a threat to the species.Broad statements in the petition thatwhale sharks are ‘‘currentlyexperiencing the type of rapid chaoticchange that makes their K-selected lifehistory pattern a liability,’’ and that theyare ‘‘being fished from their remaininghabitat at a rate greater than they canreplenish their numbers’’ are notaccompanied by supporting data orinformation about whale sharks. Inconclusion, we find that there is notsubstantial information indicating thatthe other natural or manmade factorsnamed in the petition are operating suchthat listing may be warranted.
After reviewing the informationcontained in the petition, as well asinformation readily available in ourfiles, we conclude the petition does notpresent substantial scientific orcommercial information indicating thepetitioned action may be warranted.
A complete list of references isavailable upon request to the Office of Protected Resources (see
The authority for this action is theEndangered Species Act of 1973, asamended (16 U.S.C. 1531
Dated: August 12, 2013.
Samuel D. Rauch III,
Deputy Assistant Administrator for Regulatory Programs, performing the functions and duties of the Assistant Administrator, National Marine FisheriesService.
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BILLING CODE 3510–22–P
DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCENational Oceanic and AtmosphericAdministrationHydrographic Services Review Panel
National Ocean Service,National Oceanic and AtmosphericAdministration (NOAA), Department of Commerce.
Notice of MembershipSolicitation for Hydrographic ServicesReview Panel.
This notice responds to theHydrographic Service ImprovementsAct Amendments of 2002, Public Law107–372, which requires theAdministrator of the National Oceanicand Atmospheric Administration(NOAA), to solicit nominations formembership on the HydrographicServices Review Panel (HSRP). TheHSRP, a Federal advisory committee,advises the Administrator on mattersrelated to the responsibilities andauthorities set forth in section 303 of theHydrographic Services ImprovementAct (HSIA) of 1998 (as amended) andsuch other appropriate matters as theAdministrator refers to the Panel forreview and advice. Thoseresponsibilities and authorities include, but are not limited to: Acquiring anddisseminating hydrographic data andproviding hydrographic services, asthose terms are defined in the Act;promulgating standards forhydrographic data and services;ensuring comprehensive geographiccoverage of hydrographic services; andtesting, developing, and operatingvessels, equipment, and technologiesnecessary to ensure safe navigation andmaintain operational expertise inhydrographic data acquisition andhydrographic services.The Act states that ‘‘voting membersof the Panel shall be individuals who, by reason of knowledge, experience, ortraining, are especially qualified in oneor more of the disciplines and fieldsrelating to hydrographic data andhydrographic services, marinetransportation, port administration,vessel pilotage, coastal and fisherymanagement, and other disciplines asdetermined appropriate by theAdministrator.’’ The NOAAAdministrator welcomes applicationsfrom individuals with expertise innavigation data, products and services;marine cartography and geospatialinformation systems; geodesy; physicaloceanography; coastal resourcemanagement, including fisheriesmanagement and regional marineplanning; and other science-related
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