64 FR 14054, Mar. 23, 1999, unless otherwise noted.
(a) The regulations of parts 222, 223, and 224 of this chapter implement the Endangered Species Act (Act), and govern the taking, possession, transportation, sale, purchase, barter, exportation, importation of, and other requirements pertaining to wildlife and plants under the jurisdiction of the Secretary of Commerce and determined to be threatened or endangered pursuant to section 4(a) of the Act. These regulations are implemented by the National Marine Fisheries Service, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce, This part pertains to general provisions and definitions. Specifically, parts 223 and 224 pertain to provisions to threatened species and endangered species, respectively. Part 226 enumerates designated critical habitat for endangered and threatened species. Certain of the endangered and threatened marine species enumerated in §§ 224.102 and 223.102 are included in Appendix I or II to the Convention on International Trade of Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora. The importation, exportation, and re-exportation of such species are subject to additional regulations set forth at 50 CFR part 23, chapter I.
(b) For rules and procedures relating to species determined to be threatened or endangered under the jurisdiction of the Secretary of the Interior, see 50 CFR parts 10 through 17. For rules and procedures relating to the general implementation of the Act jointly by the Departments of the Interior and Commerce and for certain species under the joint jurisdiction of both the Secretaries of the Interior and Commerce, see 50 CFR Chapter IV. Marine mammals listed as endangered or threatened and subject to these regulations may also be subject to additional requirements pursuant to the Marine Mammal Protection Act (for regulations implementing that act, see 50 CFR part 216).
(c) No statute or regulation of any state shall be construed to relieve a person from the restrictions, conditions, and requirements contained in parts 222, 223, and 224 of this chapter. In addition, nothing in parts 222, 223, and 224 of this chapter, including any permit issued pursuant thereto, shall be construed to relieve a person from any other requirements imposed by a statute or regulation of any state or of the United States, including any applicable health, quarantine, agricultural, or customs laws or regulations, or any other National Marine Fisheries Service enforced statutes or regulations.
Accelerator funnel means a device used to accelerate the flow of water through a shrimp trawl net.
Act means the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended, 16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.
Adequately covered means, with respect to species listed pursuant to section 4 of the Act, that a proposed conservation plan has satisfied the permit issuance criteria under section 10(a)(2)(B) of the Act for the species covered by the plan and, with respect to unlisted species, that a proposed conservation plan has satisfied the permit issuance criteria under section 10(a)(2)(B) of the Act that would otherwise apply if the unlisted species covered by the plan were actually listed. For the Services to cover a species under a conservation plan, it must be listed on the section 10(a)(1)(B) permit.
Alaska Regional Administrator means the Regional Administrator for the Alaska Region of the National Marine Fisheries Service, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce, or their authorized representative. Mail sent to the Alaska Regional Administrator should be addressed: Alaska Regional Administrator, F/AK, Alaska Regional Office, National Marine Fisheries Service, NOAA, P.O. Box 21668 Juneau, AK 99802-1668.
Approved turtle excluder device (TED) means a device designed to be installed in a trawl net forward of the cod end for the purpose of excluding sea turtles from the net, as described in 50 CFR 223.207.
Assistant Administrator means the Assistant Administrator for Fisheries of the National Marine Fisheries Service, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce, or his authorized representative. Mail sent to the Assistant Administrator should be addressed: Assistant Administrator for Fisheries, National Marine Fisheries Service, NOAA, 1315 East-West Highway, Silver Spring, MD 20910.
Atlantic Area means all waters of the Atlantic Ocean south of 36°33′00.8″ N. lat. (the line of the North Carolina/Virginia border) and adjacent seas, other than waters of the Gulf Area, and all waters shoreward thereof (including ports).
Atlantic Shrimp Fishery - Sea Turtle Conservation Area (Atlantic SFSTCA) means the inshore and offshore waters extending to 10 nautical miles (18.5 km) offshore along the coast of the States of Georgia and South Carolina from the Georgia-Florida border (defined as the line along 30°42′45.6″ N. lat.) to the North Carolina-South Carolina border (defined as the line extending in a direction of 135°34′55″ from true north from the North Carolina-South Carolina land boundary, as marked by the border station on Bird Island at 33°51′07.9″ N. lat., 078°32′32.6″ W. long.).
Authorized officer means:
(1) Any commissioned, warrant, or petty officer of the U.S. Coast Guard;
(2) Any special agent or enforcement officer of the National Marine Fisheries Service;
(3) Any officer designated by the head of a Federal or state agency that has entered into an agreement with the Secretary or the Commandant of the Coast Guard to enforce the provisions of the Act; or
(4) Any Coast Guard personnel accompanying and acting under the direction of any person described in paragraph (1) of this definition.
Bait shrimper means a shrimp trawler that fishes for and retains its shrimp catch alive for the purpose of selling it for use as bait.
Beam trawl means a trawl with a rigid frame surrounding the mouth that is towed from a vessel by means of one or more cables or ropes.
Certificate of exemption means any document so designated by the National Marine Fisheries Service and signed by an authorized official of the National Marine Fisheries Service, including any document which modifies, amends, extends or renews any certificate of exemption.
Chain mat means a device designed to be installed in a scallop dredge forward of the sweep, as described in 50 CFR 223.206, for the purpose of excluding sea turtles from the dredge.
Changed circumstances means changes in circumstances affecting a species or geographic area covered by a conservation plan that can reasonably be anticipated by plan developers and NMFS and that can be planned for (e.g., the listing of new species, or a fire or other natural catastrophic event in areas prone to such events).
Commercial activity means all activities of industry and trade, including, but not limited to, the buying or selling of commodities and activities conducted for the purpose of facilitating such buying and selling: Provided, however, that it does not include the exhibition of commodities by museums or similar cultural or historical organizations.
Conservation plan means the plan required by section 10(a)(2)(A) of the Act that an applicant must submit when applying for an incidental take permit. Conservation plans also are known as “habitat conservation plans” or “HCPs.”
Conserved habitat areas means areas explicitly designated for habitat restoration, acquisition, protection, or other conservation purposes under a conservation plan.
Cooperative Agreement means an agreement between a state(s) and the National Marine Fisheries Service, NOAA, Department of Commerce, which establishes and maintains an active and adequate program for the conservation of resident species listed as endangered or threatened pursuant to section 6(c)(1) of the Endangered Species Act.
Diamonds , with respect to dredge or dredge gear as defined in this section, means the triangular shaped portions of the ring bag on the “dredge bottom” as defined in 50 CFR 648.2.
Dredge or dredge gear , with respect to the fishery operating under the Atlantic Sea Scallop Fishery Management Plan, means gear consisting of a mouth frame attached to a holding bag constructed of metal rings, or any other modification to this design, that can be or is used in the harvest of sea scallops.
Fishing, or to fish, means:
(1) The catching, taking, or harvesting of fish or wildlife;
(2) The attempted catching, taking, or harvesting of fish or wildlife;
(3) Any other activity that can reasonably be expected to result in the catching, taking, or harvesting of fish or wildlife; or
(4) Any operations on any waters in support of, or in preparation for, any activity described in paragraphs (1) through (3) of this definition.
Footrope means a weighted rope or cable attached to the lower lip (bottom edge) of the mouth of a trawl net along the forward most webbing.
Footrope length means the distance between the points at which the ends of the footrope are attached to the trawl net, measured along the forward-most webbing.
Foreign commerce includes, among other things, any transaction between persons within one foreign country, or between persons in two or more foreign countries, or between a person within the United States and a person in one or more foreign countries, or between persons within the United States, where the fish or wildlife in question are moving in any country or countries outside the United States.
Four-seam, straight-wing trawl means a design of shrimp trawl in which the main body of the trawl is formed from a top panel, a bottom panel, and two side panels of webbing. The upper and lower edges of the side panels of webbing are parallel over the entire length.
Four-seam, tapered-wing trawl means a design of shrimp trawl in which the main body of the trawl is formed from a top panel, a bottom panel, and two side panels of webbing. The upper and lower edges of the side panels of webbing converge toward the rear of the trawl.
Gillnet means a panel of netting, suspended vertically in the water by floats along the top and weights along the bottom, to entangle fish that attempt to pass through it.
Gulf Area means all waters of the Gulf of Mexico west of 81° W. long. (the line at which the Gulf Area meets the Atlantic Area) and all waters shoreward thereof (including ports).
Gulf Shrimp Fishery-Sea Turtle Conservation Area (Gulf SFSTCA) means the offshore waters extending to 10 nautical miles (18.5 km) offshore along the coast of the States of Texas and Louisiana from the South Pass of the Mississippi River (west of 89°08.5′ W. long.) to the U.S.-Mexican border.
Habitat restoration activity means an activity that has the sole objective of restoring natural aquatic or riparian habitat conditions or processes.
Hard lay lines mean lines that are at least as stiff as5/16 inch (0.8 cm) diameter line composed of polyester wrapped around a blend of polypropylene and polyethylene and 42 visible twists of strands per foot of line.
Harm in the definition of “take” in the Act means an act which actually kills or injures fish or wildlife. Such an act may include significant habitat modification or degradation which actually kills or injures fish or wildlife by significantly impairing essential behavioral patterns, including, breeding, spawning, rearing, migrating, feeding or sheltering.
Headrope means a rope that is attached to the upper lip (top edge) of the mouth of a trawl net along the forward-most webbing.
Headrope length means the distance between the points at which the ends of the headrope are attached to the trawl net, measured along the forward-most webbing.
Import means to land on, bring into, or introduce into, or attempt to land on, bring into, or introduce into any place subject to the jurisdiction of the United States, whether or not such landing, bringing, or introduction constitutes an importation within the meaning of the tariff laws of the United States.
Inshore means marine and tidal waters landward of the 72 COLREGS demarcation line (International Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea, 1972), as depicted or noted on nautical charts published by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (Coast Charts, 1:80,000 scale) and as described in 33 CFR part 80.
Modified pound net leader means a pound net leader that is affixed to or resting on the sea floor and made of a lower portion of mesh and an upper portion of only vertical lines such that the mesh size is equal to or less than 8 inches (20.3 cm) stretched mesh; at any particular point along the leader, the height of the mesh from the seafloor to the top of the mesh must be no more than one-third the depth of the water at mean lower low water directly above that particular point; the mesh is held in place by a bottom chain that forms the lowermost part of the pound net leader; the vertical lines extend from the top of the mesh up to a top line, which is a line that forms the uppermost part of the pound net leader; the vertical lines are equal to or greater than5/16 inch (0.8 cm) in diameter and strung vertically at a minimum of every 2 feet (61 cm); and the vertical lines are hard lay lines.
Nearshore pound net leader or nearshore pound net means a pound net with every part of the leader (from the most offshore pole at the pound end of the leader to the most inshore pole of the leader) in less than 14 feet (4.3 m) of water at any tidal condition.
Northeast Regional Administrator means the Regional Administrator for the Northeast Region of the National Marine Fisheries Service, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce, or their authorized representative. Mail sent to the Northeast Regional Administrator should be addressed: Northeast Regional Administrator, F/NE, Northeast Regional Office, National Marine Fisheries Service, NOAA, One Blackburn Drive, Gloucester, MA 01930-2298.
Northwest Regional Administrator means the Regional Administrator for the Northwest Region of the National Marine Fisheries Service, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce, or their authorized representative. Mail sent to the Northwest Regional Administrator should be addressed: Northwest Regional Administrator, F/NW, Northwest Regional Office, National Marine Fisheries Service, NOAA, 7600 Sand Point Way NE, Seattle, WA 98115-0070.
Office of Enforcement means the national fisheries enforcement office of the National Marine Fisheries Service. Mail sent to the Office of Enforcement should be addressed: Office of Enforcement, F/EN, National Marine Fisheries Service, NOAA, 8484 Suite 415, Georgia Ave., Silver Spring, MD 20910.
Office of Protected Resources means the national program office of the endangered species and marine mammal programs of the National Marine Fisheries Service. Mail sent to the Office of Protected Resources should be addressed: Office of Protected Resources, F/PR, National Marine Fisheries Service, NOAA, 1315 East West Highway, Silver Spring, MD 20910.
Offshore means marine and tidal waters seaward of the 72 COLREGS demarcation line (International Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea, 1972), as depicted or noted on nautical charts published by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (Coast Charts, 1:80,000 scale) and as described in 33 CFR part 80.
Offshore pound net leader or offshore pound net means a pound net with any part of the leader (from the most offshore pole at the pound end of the leader to the most inshore pole of the leader) in water greater than or equal to 14 feet (4.3 m) at any tidal condition.
Operating conservation program means those conservation management activities which are expressly agreed upon and described in a Conservation Plan or its Implementing Agreement. These activities are to be undertaken for the affected species when implementing an approved Conservation Plan, including measures to respond to changed circumstances.
Permit means any document so designated by the National Marine Fisheries Service and signed by an authorized official of the National Marine Fisheries Service, including any document which modifies, amends, extends, or renews any permit.
Person means an individual, corporation, partnership, trust, association, or any other private entity, or any officer, employee, agent, department, or instrumentality of the Federal government of any state or political subdivision thereof or of any foreign government.
Possession means the detention and control, or the manual or ideal custody of anything that may be the subject of property, for one's use and enjoyment, either as owner or as the proprietor of a qualified right in it, and either held personally or by another who exercises it in one's place and name. Possession includes the act or state of possessing and that condition of facts under which persons can exercise their power over a corporeal thing at their pleasure to the exclusion of all other persons. Possession includes constructive possession that which means not an actual but an assumed existence one claims to hold by virtue of some title, without having actual custody.
Pound net means a fixed entrapment gear attached to posts or stakes with three continuous sections from offshore to inshore consisting of:
(1) A pound made of mesh netting that entraps the fish;
(2) At least one heart made of a mesh netting that is generally in the shape of a heart and aids in funneling fish into the pound; and
(3) A leader, which is a long, straight element consisting of mesh or vertical lines that directs the fish offshore towards the pound.
Pound net leader means a long straight net that directs fish offshore towards the pound, an enclosure that captures the fish. Some pound net leaders are all mesh, while others have stringers and mesh. Stringers, also known as vertical lines, are spaced a regular distance apart and are not crossed by other lines to form mesh.
Pound Net Regulated Area I means Virginia waters of the mainstem Chesapeake Bay and the portion of the James River seaward of the Hampton Roads Bridge Tunnel (Interstate Highway-64) and the York River seaward of the Coleman Memorial Bridge (Route 17), bounded to the south and east by the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel (Route 13; extending from approximately 37°07′ N. lat., 75°58′ W. long. to 36°55′ N. lat., 76°08′ W. long.), and to the north by the following points connected by straight lines and in the order listed:
|1||Where 37°19.0′ N. lat. meets the shoreline of the Severn River fork, near Stump Point, Virginia (western portion of Mobjack Bay), which is approximately 76°26.75′ W. long.|
|2||37°19.0′ N. lat., 76°13.0′ W. long.|
|3||37°13.0′ N. lat., 76°13.0′ W. long.|
|4||Where 37°13.0′ N. lat. meets the eastern shoreline of Chesapeake Bay, Virginia, near Elliotts Creek, which is approximately 76°00.75′ W. long.|
Pound Net Regulated Area II means Virginia waters of the Chesapeake Bay outside of Pound Net Regulated Area I, bounded by the Maryland-Virginia State line to the north and by the COLREGS line at the mouth of the Chesapeake Bay and 37°07′ N. lat. between Kiptopeke and Smith Island, Northampton County, Virginia to the south and east. This area includes the Great Wicomico River seaward of the Jessie Dupont Memorial Highway Bridge (Route 200), the Rappahannock River downstream of the Robert Opie Norris Jr. Bridge (Route 3), the Piankatank River downstream of the Route 3 Bridge, and all other tributaries within these boundaries.
Pre-Act endangered species part means any sperm whale oil, including derivatives and products thereof, which was lawfully held within the United States on December 28, 1973, in the course of a commercial activity; or any finished scrimshaw product, if such product or the raw material for such product was lawfully held within the United States on December 28, 1973, in the course of a commercial activity.
Properly implemented conservation plan means any conservation plan, implementing agreement, or permit whose commitments and provisions have been or are being fully implemented by the permittee.
Pusher-head trawl (chopsticks) means a trawl that is spread by two poles suspended from the bow of the trawler in an inverted “V” configuration.
Resident species means, for purposes of entering into cooperative agreements with any state pursuant to section 6(c) of the Act, a species that exists in the wild in that state during any part of its life.
Right whale means, as used in § 224.103(c), any whale that is a member of the western North Atlantic population of the northern right whale species (Eubalaena glacialis).
Roller trawl means a variety of beam trawl that is used, usually by small vessels, for fishing over uneven or vegetated sea bottoms.
Scrimshaw product means any art form which involves the substantial etching or engraving of designs upon, or the substantial carving of figures, patterns, or designs from any bone or tooth of any marine mammal of the order Cetacea. For purposes of this part, polishing or the adding of minor superficial markings does not constitute substantial etching, engraving, or carving.
Secretary means the Secretary of Commerce or an authorized representative.
Shrimp means any species of marine shrimp (Order Crustacea) found in the Atlantic Area or the Gulf Area, including, but not limited to:
(1) Brown shrimp (Penaeus aztecus).
(2) White shrimp (Penaeus setiferus).
(3) Pink shrimp (Penaeus duorarum).
(4) Rock shrimp (Sicyonia brevirostris).
(5) Royal red shrimp (Hymenopenaeus robustus).
(6) Seabob shrimp (Xiphopenaeus kroyeri).
Shrimp trawler means any vessel that is equipped with one or more trawl nets and that is capable of, or used for, fishing for shrimp, or whose on-board or landed catch of shrimp is more than 1 percent, by weight, of all fish comprising its on-board or landed catch.
Skimmer trawl means a trawl that is fished along the side of the vessel and is held open by a rigid frame and a lead weight. On its outboard side, the trawl is held open by one side of the frame extending downward and, on its inboard side, by a lead weight attached by cable or rope to the bow of the vessel.
Southeast Regional Administrator means the Regional Administrator for the Southeast Region of the National Marine Fisheries Service, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce, or their authorized representative. Mail sent to the Southeast Regional Administrator should be addressed: Southeast Regional Administrator, F/SE, Southeast Regional Office, National Marine Fisheries Service, NOAA, 9721 Executive Center Drive N., St. Petersburg, FL 33702-2432.
Southwest Regional Administrator means the Regional Administrator for the Southwest Region of the National Marine Fisheries Service, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce, or their authorized representative. Mail sent to the Southwest Regional Administrator should be addressed: Southwest Regional Administrator, F/SW, Southwest Regional Office, National Marine Fisheries Service, NOAA, 501 West Ocean Blvd, Suite 4200, Long Beach, CA 90802-4213.
Stretched mesh size means the distance between the centers of the two opposite knots in the same mesh when pulled taut.
Summer flounder means the species Paralichthys dentatus.
Summer flounder fishery-sea turtle protection area means all offshore waters, bounded on the north by a line along 37°05′ N. lat. (Cape Charles, VA) and bounded on the south by a line extending in a direction of 135°34′55″ from true north from the North Carolina-South Carolina land boundary, as marked by the border station on Bird Island at 33°51′07.9″ N. lat., 078°32′32.6″ W. long.(the North Carolina-South Carolina border).
Summer flounder trawler means any vessel that is equipped with one or more bottom trawl nets and that is capable of, or used for, fishing for flounder or whose on-board or landed catch of flounder is more than 100 lb (45.4 kg).
Sweep , with respect to dredge or dredge gear as defined in this section, means a chain extending, usually in an arc, from one end of the dredge frame to the other to which the ring bag, including the diamonds, is attached. The sweep forms the edge of the opening of the dredge bag.
Take means to harass, harm, pursue, hunt, shoot, wound, kill, trap, capture, or collect, or to attempt to harass, harm, pursue, hunt, shoot, wound, kill, trap, capture, or collect.
Taper, in reference to the webbing used in trawls, means the angle of a cut used to shape the webbing, expressed as the ratio between the cuts that reduce the width of the webbing by cutting into the panel of webbing through one row of twine (bar cuts) and the cuts that extend the length of the panel of webbing by cutting straight aft through two adjoining rows of twine (point cuts). For example, sequentially cutting through the lengths of twine on opposite sides of a mesh, leaving an uncut edge of twines all lying in the same line, produces a relatively strong taper called “all-bars”; making a sequence of 4-bar cuts followed by 1-point cut produces a more gradual taper called “4 bars to 1 point” or “4b1p”; similarly, making a sequence of 2-bar cuts followed by 1-point cut produces a still more gradual taper called “2b1p”; and making a sequence of cuts straight aft does not reduce the width of the panel and is called a “straight” or “all-points” cut.
Taut means a condition in which there is no slack in the net webbing.
Test net, or try net, means a net pulled for brief periods of time just before, or during, deployment of the primary net(s) in order to test for shrimp concentrations or determine fishing conditions (e.g., presence or absence of bottom debris, jellyfish, bycatch, seagrasses, etc.).
Tongue means any piece of webbing along the top, center, leading edge of a trawl, whether lying behind or ahead of the headrope, to which a towing bridle can be attached for purposes of pulling the trawl net and/or adjusting the shape of the trawl.
Transportation means to ship, convey, carry or transport by any means whatever, and deliver or receive for such shipment, conveyance, carriage, or transportation.
Triple-wing trawl means a trawl with a tongue on the top, center, leading edge of the trawl and an additional tongue along the bottom, center, leading edge of the trawl.
Two-seam trawl means a design of shrimp trawl in which the main body of the trawl is formed from a top and a bottom panel of webbing that are directly attached to each other down the sides of the trawl.
Underway with respect to a vessel, means that the vessel is not at anchor, or made fast to the shore, or aground.
Unforeseen circumstances means changes in circumstances affecting a species or geographic area covered by a conservation plan that could not reasonably have been anticipated by plan developers and NMFS at the time of the conservation plan's negotiation and development, and that result in a substantial and adverse change in the status of the covered species.
Vessel means a vehicle used, or capable of being used, as a means of transportation on water which includes every description of watercraft, including nondisplacement craft and seaplanes.
Vessel restricted in her ability to maneuver has the meaning specified for this term at 33 U.S.C. 2003(g).
Wildlife means any member of the animal kingdom, including without limitation any mammal, fish, bird (including any migratory, nonmigratory, or endangered bird for which protection is also afforded by treaty or other international agreement), amphibian, reptile, mollusk, crustacean, arthropod or other invertebrate, and includes any part, product, egg, or offspring thereof, or the dead body or parts thereof.
Wing net (butterfly trawl) means a trawl that is fished along the side of the vessel and that is held open by a four-sided, rigid frame attached to the outrigger of the vessel.
[64 FR 14054, Mar. 23, 1999, as amended at 64 FR 60731, Nov. 8, 1999; 67 FR 13101, Mar. 21, 2002; 67 FR 41203, June 17, 2002; 67 FR 71899, Dec. 3, 2002; 68 FR 8467, Feb. 21, 2003; 68 FR 17562, Apr. 10, 2003; 69 FR 25011, May 5, 2004; 70 FR 1832, Jan. 11, 2005; 71 FR 36032, June 23, 2006; 71 FR 50372, Aug. 25, 2006; 74 FR 46933, Sept. 14, 2009; 80 FR 6928, Feb. 9, 2015]
(a) Application for and renewal of cooperative agreements.
(1) The Assistant Administrator may enter into a Cooperative Agreement with any state that establishes and maintains an active and adequate program for the conservation of resident species listed as endangered or threatened. In order for a state program to be deemed an adequate and active program, the Assistant Administrator must find, and annually reconfirm that the criteria of either sections 6(c)(1) (A) through (E) or sections 6(c)(1) (i) and (ii) of the Act have been satisfied.
(2) Following receipt of an application by a state for a Cooperative Agreement with a copy of a proposed state program, and a determination by the Assistant Administrator that the state program is adequate and active, the Assistant Administrator shall enter into an Agreement with the state.
(3) The Cooperative Agreement, as well as the Assistant Administrator's finding upon which it is based, must be reconfirmed annually to ensure that it reflects new laws, species lists, rules or regulations, and programs and to demonstrate that it is still adequate and active.
(b) Allocation and availability of funds.
(1) The Assistant Administrator shall allocate funds, appropriated for the purpose of carrying out section 6 of the Act, to various states using the following as the basis for the determination:
(i) The international commitments of the United States to protect endangered or threatened species;
(ii) The readiness of a state to proceed with a conservation program consistent with the objectives and purposes of the Act;
(iii) The number of federally listed endangered and threatened species within a state;
(iv) The potential for restoring endangered and threatened species within a state; and
(v) The relative urgency to initiate a program to restore and protect an endangered or threatened species in terms of survival of the species.
(2) Funds allocated to a state are available for obligation during the fiscal year for which they are allocated and until the close of the succeeding fiscal year. Obligation of allocated funds occurs when an award or contract is signed by the Assistant Administrator.
(c) Financial assistance and payments.
(1) A state must enter into a Cooperative Agreement before financial assistance is approved by the Assistant Administrator for endangered or threatened species projects. Specifically, the Agreement must contain the actions that are to be taken by the Assistant Administrator and/or by the state, the benefits to listed species expected to be derived from these actions, and the estimated cost of these actions.
(2) Subsequent to such Agreement, the Assistant Administrator may further agree with a state to provide financial assistance in the development and implementation of acceptable projects for the conservation of endangered and threatened species. Documents to provide financial assistance will consist of an application for Federal assistance and an award or a contract. The availability of Federal funds shall be contingent upon the continued existence of the Cooperative Agreement and compliance with all applicable Federal regulations for grant administration and cost accounting principles.
(i) The payment of the Federal share of costs incurred when conducting activities included under a contract or award shall not exceed 75 percent of the program costs as stated in the agreement. However, the Federal share may be increased to 90 percent when two or more states having a common interest in one or more endangered or threatened resident species, the conservation of which may be enhanced by cooperation of such states, jointly enter into an agreement with the Assistant Administrator.
(ii) The state share of program costs may be in the form of cash or in-kind contributions, including real property, subject to applicable Federal regulations.
(4) Payments of funds, including payment of such preliminary costs and expenses as may be incurred in connection with projects, shall not be made unless all necessary or required documents are first submitted to and approved by the Assistant Administrator. Payments shall only be made for expenditures reported and certified by the state agency. Payments shall be made only to the state office or official designated by the state agency and authorized under the laws of the state to receive public funds for the state.
(a) The Assistant Administrator may exempt any pre-Act endangered species part from the prohibitions of sections 9(a)(1)(A), 9(a)(1)(E), or 9(a)(1)(F) of the Act.
(1) No person shall engage in any activities identified in such sections of the Act that involve any pre-Act endangered species part without a valid Certificate of Exemption issued pursuant to this subpart B.
(2) No person may export, deliver, receive, carry, transport or ship in interstate or foreign commerce in the course of a commercial activity; or sell or offer for sale in interstate or foreign commerce any pre-Act finished scrimshaw product unless that person has been issued a valid Certificate of Exemption and the product or the raw material for such product was held by such certificate holder on October 13, 1982.
(3) Any person engaged in activities otherwise prohibited under the Act or regulations shall bear the burden of proving that the exemption or certificate is applicable, was granted, and was valid and in force at the time of the otherwise prohibited activity.
(b) Certificates of Exemption issued under this subpart are no longer available to new applicants. However, the Assistant Administrator may renew or modify existing Certificates of Exemptions as authorized by the provisions set forth in this subpart.
(c) Any person granted a Certificate of Exemption, including a renewal, under this subpart, upon a sale of any exempted pre-Act endangered species part, must provide the purchaser in writing with a description (including full identification number) of the part sold and must inform the purchaser in writing of the purchaser's obligation under paragraph (b) of this section, including the address given in the certificate to which the purchaser's report is to be sent.
(d) Any purchaser of pre-Act endangered species parts included in a valid Certificate of Exemption, unless an ultimate user, within 30 days after the receipt of such parts, must submit a written report to the address given in the certificate. The report must specify the quantity of such parts or products received, the name and address of the seller, a copy of the invoice or other document showing the serial numbers, weight, and descriptions of the parts or products received, the date on which such parts or products were received, and the intended use of such parts by the purchaser. The term “ultimate user”, for purposes of this paragraph, means any person who acquired such endangered species part or product for his or her own consumption or for other personal use (including gifts) and not for resale.
(a) Any person to whom a Certificate of Exemption has been issued by the National Marine Fisheries Service may apply to the Assistant Administrator for renewal of such certificate. Any person holding a valid Certificate of Exemption which was renewed after October 13, 1982, and was in effect on March 31, 1988, may apply to the Secretary for one renewal for a period not to exceed 5 years.
(b) The sufficiency of the application shall be determined by the Assistant Administrator in accordance with the requirements of paragraph (c) of this section. At least 15 days should be allowed for processing. When an application for a renewal has been received and deemed sufficient, the Assistant Administrator shall issue a Certificate of Renewal to the applicant as soon as practicable.
(c) The following information will be used as the basis for determining whether an application for renewal of a Certificate of Exemption is complete:
(1) Title: Application for Renewal of Certificate of Exemption.
(2) The date of application.
(3) The identity of the applicant, including complete name, original Certificate of Exemption number, current address, and telephone number. If the applicant is a corporation, partnership, or association, set forth the details.
(4) The period of time for which a renewal of the Certificate of Exemption is requested. However, no renewal of Certificate of Exemption, or right claimed thereunder, shall be effective after the close of the 5-year period beginning on the date of the expiration of the previous renewal of the certificate of exemption.
(i) A complete and detailed updated inventory of all pre-Act endangered species parts for which the applicant seeks exemption. Each item on the inventory must be identified by the following information: A unique serial number; the weight of the item to the nearest whole gram; and a detailed description sufficient to permit ready identification of the item. Small lots, not exceeding five pounds (2,270 grams), of scraps or raw material, which may include or consist of one or more whole raw whale teeth, may be identified by a single serial number and total weight. All finished scrimshaw items subsequently made from a given lot of scrap may be identified by the lot serial number plus additional digits to signify the piece number of the individual finished item. Identification numbers will be in the following format: 00-000000-0000. The first two digits will be the last two digits of the appropriate certificate of exemption number; the next six digits, the serial number of the individual piece or lot of scrap or raw material; and the last four digits, where applicable, the piece number of an item made from a lot of scrap or raw material. The serial numbers for each certificate holder's inventory must begin with 000001, and piece numbers, where applicable, must begin with 0001 for each separate lot.
(ii) Identification numbers may be affixed to inventory items by any means, including, but not limited to, etching the number into the item, attaching a label or tag bearing the number to the item, or sealing the item in a plastic bag, wrapper or other container bearing the number. The number must remain affixed to the item until the item is sold to an ultimate user, as defined in § 222.201(d).
(iii) No renewals will be issued for scrimshaw products in excess of any quantities declared in the original application for a Certificate of Exemption.
(6) A Certification in the following language: I hereby certify that the foregoing information is complete, true, and correct to the best of my knowledge and belief. I understand that this information is submitted for the purpose of obtaining a renewal of my Certificate of Exemption under the Endangered Species Act, as amended, and the Department of Commerce regulations issued thereunder, and that any false statement may subject me to the criminal penalties of 18 U.S.C. 1001, or to the penalties under the Act.
(7) Signature of the applicant.
(d) Upon receipt of an incomplete or improperly executed application for renewal, the applicant shall be notified of the deficiency in the application for renewal. If the application for renewal is not corrected and received by the Assistant Administrator within 30 days following the date of receipt of notification, the application for renewal shall be considered abandoned.
(a) When circumstances have changed so that an applicant or certificate holder desires to have any material, term, or condition of the application or certificate modified, the applicant or certificate holder must submit in writing full justification and supporting information in conformance with the provisions of this part.
(b) All certificates are issued subject to the condition that the Assistant Administrator reserves the right to amend the provisions of a Certificate of Exemption for just cause at any time. Such amendments take effect on the date of notification, unless otherwise specified.
(c) Any violation of the applicable provisions of parts 222, 223, or 224 of this chapter, or of the Act, or of a condition of the certificate may subject the certificate holder to penalties provided in the Act and to suspension, revocation, or modification of the Certificate of Exemption, as provided in subpart D of 15 CFR part 904.
(a) The Certificate of Exemption covers the business or activity specified in the Certificate of Exemption at the address described therein. No Certificate of Exemption is required to cover a separate warehouse facility used by the certificate holder solely for storage of pre-Act endangered species parts, if the records required by this subpart are maintained at the address specified in the Certificate of Exemption served by the warehouse or storage facility.
(b) Certificates of Exemption issued under this subpart are not transferable. However, in the event of the lease, sale, or other transfer of the operations or activity authorized by the Certificate of Exemption, the successor is not required to obtain a new Certificate of Exemption prior to commencing such operations or activity. In such case, the successor will be treated as a purchaser and must comply with the record and reporting requirements set forth in § 222.201(d).
(c) The Certificate of Exemption holder must notify the Assistant Administrator, in writing, of any change in address, in trade name of the business, or in activity specified in the certificate. The Assistant Administrator must be notified within 10 days of a change of address, and within 30 days of a change in trade name. The certificate with the change of address or in trade name must be endorsed by the Assistant Administrator, who shall provide an amended certificate to the person to whom it was issued. A certificate holder who seeks amendment of a certificate may continue all authorized activities while awaiting action by the Assistant Administrator.
(d) A Certificate of Exemption issued under this subpart confers no right or privilege to conduct a business or an activity contrary to state or other law. Similarly, compliance with the provisions of any state or other law affords no immunity under any Federal laws or regulations of any other Federal agency.
(e) Any person authorized to enforce the Act may enter the premises of any Certificate of Exemption holder or of any purchaser during business hours, including places of storage, for the purpose of inspecting or of examining any records or documents and any endangered species parts.
(f) The records pertaining to pre-Act endangered species parts prescribed by this subpart shall be in permanent form and shall be retained at the address shown on the Certificate of Exemption or at the principal address of a purchaser in the manner prescribed by this subpart.
(1) Holders of Certificates of Exemption must maintain records of all pre-Act endangered species parts they receive, sell, transfer, distribute or dispose of otherwise. Purchasers of pre-Act endangered species parts, unless ultimate users, as defined in § 222.201(d), must similarly maintain records of all such parts or products they receive.
(2) Such records referred to in paragraph (g)(1) of this section may consist of invoices or other commercial records, which must be filed in an orderly manner separate from other commercial records maintained and be readily available for inspection. Such records must show the name and address of the purchaser, seller, or other transferor; show the type, quantity, and identity of the part or product; show the date of such sale or transfer; and be retained, in accordance with the requirements of this subpart, for a period of not less than 3 years following the date of sale or transfer. Each pre-Act endangered species part will be identified by its number on the updated inventory required to renew a Certificate of Exemption.
(i) Each Certificate of Exemption holder must submit a quarterly report (to the address given in the certificate) containing all record information required by paragraph (g)(2) of this section, on all transfers of pre-Act endangered species parts made in the previous calendar quarter, or such other record information the Assistant Administrator may specify from time to time.
(ii) Quarterly reports are due on January 15, April 15, July 15, and October 15.
(3) The Assistant Administrator may authorize the record information to be submitted in a manner other than that prescribed in paragraph (g)(2) of this section when the record holder demonstrates that an alternate method of reporting is reasonably necessary and will not hinder the effective administration or enforcement of this subpart.
(a) Any fish and wildlife subject to the jurisdiction of the National Marine Fisheries Service and is intended for importation into or exportation from the United States, shall not be imported or exported except at a port(s) designated by the Secretary of the Interior. Shellfish and fishery products that are neither endangered nor threatened species and that are imported for purposes of human or animal consumption or taken in waters under the jurisdiction of the United States or on the high seas for recreational purposes are excluded from this requirement. The Secretary of the Interior may permit the importation or exportation at nondesignated ports in the interest of the health or safety of the species for other reasons if the Secretary deems it appropriate and consistent with the purpose of facilitating enforcement of the Act and reducing the costs thereof. Importers and exporters are advised to see 50 CFR part 14 for importation and exportation requirements and information.
(b) No pre-Act endangered species part shall be imported into the United States. A Certificate of Exemption issued in accordance with the provisions of this subpart confers no right or privilege to import into the United States any such part.
(1) Any person exporting from the United States any pre-Act endangered species part must possess a valid Certificate of Exemption issued in accordance with the provisions of this subpart. In addition, the exporter must provide to the Assistant Administrator, in writing, not less than 10 days prior to shipment, the following information: The name and address of the foreign consignee, the intended port of exportation, and a complete description of the parts to be exported. No shipment may be made until these requirements are met by the exporter.
(2) The exporter must send a copy of the Certificate of Exemption, and any endorsements thereto, to the District Director of Customs at the port of exportation, which must precede or accompany the shipment in order to permit the appropriate inspection prior to lading. Upon receipt, the District Director may order such inspection, as deemed necessary; the District will clear the merchandise for export, prior to the lading of the merchandise. If they are satisfied that the shipment is proper and complies with the information contained in the certificate and any endorsement thereto. The certificate, and any endorsements, will be forwarded to the Chief of the Office of Enforcement for NMFS.
(3) No pre-Act endangered species part in compliance with the requirements of this subpart may be exported except at a port or ports designated by the Secretary of the Interior, pursuant to § 222.103.
(4) Notwithstanding any provision of this subpart, it shall not be required that the Assistant Administrator authorizes the transportation in interstate or foreign commerce of pre-Act endangered species parts.
(1) The regulations in this subpart C provide uniform rules and procedures for application, issuance, renewal, conditions, and general administration of permits issuable pursuant to parts 222, 223, and 224 of this chapter. While this section provides generic rules and procedures applicable to all permits, other sections may provide more specific rules and procedures with respect to certain types of permits. In such cases, the requirements in all applicable sections must be satisfied.
(2) Notwithstanding paragraph (a)(1) of this section, the Assistant Administrator may approve variations from the requirements of parts 222, 223, and 224 of this chapter when the Assistant Administrator finds that an emergency exists and that the proposed variations will not hinder effective administration of those parts and will not be unlawful. Other sections within parts 222, 223, and 224 of this chapter may allow for a waiver or variation of specific requirements for emergency situations, upon certain conditions. In such cases, those conditions must be satisfied in order for the waiver or variation to be lawful.
(b) No person shall take, import, export or engage in any other prohibited activity involving any species of fish or wildlife under the jurisdiction of the Secretary of Commerce that has been determined to be endangered under the Act, or that has been determined to be threatened and for which the prohibitions of section 9(a)(1) of the Act have been applied by regulation, without a valid permit issued pursuant to these regulations. The permit shall entitle the person to whom it is issued to engage in the activity specified in the permit, subject to the limitations of the Act and the regulations in parts 222, 223, and 224 of this chapter, for the period stated on the permit, unless sooner modified, suspended or revoked.
(c) Each person intending to engage in an activity for which a permit is required by parts 222, 223, and 224 of this chapter or by the Act shall, before commencing such activity, obtain a valid permit authorizing such activity. Any person who desires to obtain permit privileges authorized by parts 222, 223, and 224 of this chapter must apply for such permit in accordance with the requirements of these sections. If the information required for each specific, permitted activity is included, one application may be accepted for all permits required, and a single permit may be issued.
(1) Any permit issued under these regulations must be in the possession of the person to whom it is issued (or of an agent of such person) while any animal subject to the permit is in the possession of such person or agent. Specifically, a person or his/her agent must be in possession of a permit during the time of the authorized taking, importation, exportation, or of any other act and during the period of any transit incident to such taking, importation, exportation, or to any other act.
(2) A duplicate copy of the issued permit must be physically attached to the tank, container, package, enclosure, or other means of containment, in which the animal is placed for purposes of storage, transit, supervision, or care.
(e) The authorizations on the face of a permit setting forth specific times, dates, places, methods of taking, numbers and kinds of fish or wildlife, location of activity, authorize certain circumscribed transactions, or otherwise permit a specifically limited matter, are to be strictly construed and shall not be interpreted to permit similar or related matters outside the scope of strict construction.
(f) Permits shall not be altered, erased, or mutilated, and any permit which has been altered, erased, or mutilated shall immediately become invalid.
(h) Permittees may be required to file reports of the activities conducted under the permit. Any such reports shall be filed not later than March 31 for the preceding calendar year ending December 31, or any portion thereof, during which a permit was in force, unless the regulations of parts 222, 223, or 224 of this chapter or the provisions of the permit set forth other reporting requirements.
(i) From the date of issuance of the permit, the permittee shall maintain complete and accurate records of any taking, possession, transportation, sale, purchase, barter, exportation, or importation of fish or wildlife pursuant to such permit. Such records shall be kept current and shall include the names and addresses of persons with whom any fish or wildlife has been purchased, sold, bartered, or otherwise transferred, and the date of such transaction, and such other information as may be required or appropriate. Such records, unless otherwise specified, shall be entered in books, legibly written in the English language. Such records shall be retained for 5 years from the date of issuance of the permit.
(j) Any person holding a permit pursuant to parts 222, 223, and 224 of this chapter shall allow the Assistant Administrator to enter the permit holder's premises at any reasonable hour to inspect any fish or wildlife held or to inspect, audit, or copy any permits, books, or records required to be kept by these regulations or by the Act. Such person shall display any permit issued pursuant to these regulations or to the Act upon request by an authorized officer or by any other person relying on its existence.
(a) Applications must be submitted to the Assistant Administrator, by letter containing all necessary information, attachments, certification, and signature, as specified by the regulations in parts 222, 223, and 224 of this chapter, or by the Act. In no case, other than for emergencies pursuant to § 222.301(a)(2), will applications be accepted either orally or by telephone.
(b) Applications must be received by the Assistant Administrator at least 90 calendar days prior to the date on which the applicant desires to have the permit made effective, unless otherwise specified in the regulations or guidelines pertaining to a particular permit. The National Marine Fisheries Service will attempt to process applications deemed sufficient in the shortest possible time, but does not guarantee that the permit will be issued 90 days after notice of receipt of the application is published in the Federal Register.
(1) Upon receipt of an insufficiently or improperly executed application, the applicant shall be notified of the deficiency in the application. If the applicant fails to supply the deficient information or otherwise fails to correct the deficiency within 60 days following the date of notification, the application shall be considered abandoned.
(2) The sufficiency of the application shall be determined by the Assistant Administrator in accordance with the requirements of this part. The Assistant Administrator, however, may waive any requirement for information or require any elaboration or further information deemed necessary.
(1) No permit may be issued prior to the receipt of a written application unless an emergency pursuant to § 222.301(a)(2) exists, and a written variation from the requirements is recorded by the National Marine Fisheries Service.
(2) No representation of an employee or agent of the United States shall be construed as a permit unless it meets the requirements of a permit defined in § 222.102.
(3) Each permit shall bear a serial number. Upon renewal, such a number may be reassigned to the permittee to whom issued so long as the permittee maintains continuity of renewal.
(b) When an application for a permit received by the Assistant Administrator is deemed sufficient, the Assistant Administrator shall, as soon as practicable, publish a notice in the Federal Register. Information received by the Assistant Administrator as a part of the application shall be available to the public as a matter of public record at every stage of the proceeding. An interested party, within 30 days after the date of publication of such notice, may submit to the Assistant Administrator written data, views, or arguments with respect to the taking, importation, or to other action proposed in the application, and may request a hearing in connection with the action to be taken thereon.
(c) If a request for a hearing is made within the 30-day period referred to in paragraph (b) of this section, or if the Assistant Administrator determines that a hearing would otherwise be advisable, the Assistant Administrator may, within 60 days after the date of publication of the notice referred to in paragraph (b) of this section, afford to such requesting party or parties an opportunity for a hearing. Such hearing shall also be open to participation by any interested members of the public. Notice of the date, time, and place of such hearing shall be published in the Federal Register not less than 15 days in advance of such hearing. Any interested person may appear at the hearing in person or through a representative and may submit any relevant material, data, views, comments, arguments, or exhibits. A summary record of the hearing shall be kept.
(d) Except as provided in subpart D to 15 CFR part 904, as soon as practicable but not later than 30 days after the close of the hearing. If no hearing is held, as soon as practicable but not later than 30 days from the publication of the notice in the Federal Register, the Assistant Administrator shall issue or deny issuance of the permit. Notice of the decision of the Assistant Administrator shall be published in the Federal Register within 10 days after the date of the issuance or denial and indicate where copies of the permit, if issued, may be obtained.
(1) The Assistant Administrator shall issue the permit unless:
(i) Denial of the permit has been made pursuant to subpart D to 15 CFR part 904;
(ii) The applicant has failed to disclose material or information required, or has made false statements as to any material fact, in connection with the application;
(iii) The applicant has failed to demonstrate a valid justification for the permit or a showing of responsibility;
(iv) The authorization requested potentially threatens a fish or wildlife population; or
(v) The Assistant Administrator finds through further inquiry or investigation, or otherwise, that the applicant is not qualified.
(2) The applicant shall be notified in writing of the denial of any permit request, and the reasons thereof. If authorized in the notice of denial, the applicant may submit further information or reasons why the permit should not be denied. Such further information shall not be considered a new application. The final action by the Assistant Administrator shall be considered the final administrative decision of the Department of Commerce.
(f) If a permit is issued under § 222.308, the Assistant Administrator shall publish notice thereof in the Federal Register, including the Assistant Administrator's finding that such permit -
(1) Was applied for in good faith;
(2) Will not operate to the disadvantage of such endangered species; and
(3) Will be consistent with the purposes and policy set forth in section 2 of the Act.
(g) The Assistant Administrator may waive the 30-day period in an emergency situation where the health or life of an endangered animal is threatened and no reasonable alternative is available to the applicant. Notice of any such waiver shall be published by the Assistant Administrator in the Federal Register within 10 days following the issuance of the permit.
When the permit is renewable and a permittee intends to continue the activity described in the permit during any portion of the year ensuing its expiration, the permittee shall, unless otherwise notified in writing by the Assistant Administrator, file a request for permit renewal, together with a certified statement, verifying that the information in the original application is still currently correct. If the information is incorrect the permittee shall file a statement of all changes in the original application, accompanied by any required fee at least 30 days prior to the expiration of the permit. Any person holding a valid renewable permit, who has complied with the foregoing provision of this section, may continue such activities as were authorized by the expired permit until the renewal application is acted upon.
(1) Except as otherwise provided in this section, permits issued pursuant to parts 222, 223, and 224 of this chapter are not transferable or assignable. In the event that a permit authorizes certain business activities in connection with a business or commercial enterprise, which is then subject to any subsequent lease, sale or transfer, the successor to that enterprise must obtain a permit prior to continuing the permitted activity, with the exceptions provided in paragraphs (a)(2) and (a)(3) of this section.
(2) Certain persons, other than the permittee, are granted the right to carry on a permitted activity for the remainder of the term of a current permit, provided that they furnish the permit to the issuing officer for endorsement within 90 days from the date the successor begins to carry on the activity. Such persons are the following:
(i) The surviving spouse, child, executor, administrator, or other legal representative of a deceased permittee, and
(ii) The receiver or trustee in bankruptcy or a court designated assignee for the benefit of creditors.
(3) Incidental take permits issued under § 222.307, and enhancement permits issued under § 222.308, as part of a Safe Harbor Agreement with Assurances or Candidate Conservation Agreement with Assurances, may be transferred in whole or in part through a joint submission by the permittee and the proposed transferee, or in the case of a deceased permittee, the deceased permittee's legal representative and the proposed transferee, provided NMFS determines in writing that:
(i) The proposed transferee meets all of the qualifications under parts 222, 223, or 224 (as applicable) for holding a permit;
(ii) The proposed transferee has provided adequate written assurances that it will provide sufficient funding for the conservation plan or other agreement or plan associated with the permit and will implement the relevant terms and conditions of the permit, including any outstanding minimization and mitigation requirements; and
(iii) The proposed transferee has provided such other information as NMFS determines is relevant to process the transfer.
(b) Except as otherwise stated on the face of the permit, any person who is under the direct control of the permittee, or who is employed by or under contract to the permittee for purposes authorized by the permit, may carry out the activity authorized by the permit.
(a) When circumstances have changed so that an applicant or a permittee desires to have any term or condition of the application or permit modified, the applicant or permittee must submit in writing full justification and supporting information in conformance with the provisions of this part and the part under which the permit has been issued or requested. Such applications for modification are subject to the same issuance criteria as original applications.
(b) Notwithstanding the requirements of paragraph (a) of this section, a permittee may change the mailing address or trade name under which business is conducted without obtaining a new permit or being subject to the same issuance criteria as original permits. The permittee must notify the Assistant Administrator, in writing within 30 days, of any change in address or of any change in the trade name for the business or activity specified in the permit. The permit with the change of address or in trade name must be endorsed by the Assistant Administrator, who shall provide an amended permit to the person to whom it was issued.
(c) All permits are issued subject to the condition that the National Marine Fisheries Service reserves the right to amend the provisions of a permit for just cause at any time during its term. Such amendments take effect on the date of notification, unless otherwise specified.
(d) When any permittee discontinues the permitted activity, the permittee shall, within 30 days thereof, mail the permit and a request for cancellation to the issuing officer, and the permit shall be deemed void upon receipt. No refund of any part of an amount paid as a permit fee shall be made when the operations of the permittee are, for any reason, discontinued during the tenure of an issued permit.
(e) Any violation of the applicable provisions of parts 222, 223, or 224 of this chapter, or of the Act, or of a term or condition of the permit may subject the permittee to both the penalties provided in the Act and suspension, revocation, or amendment of the permit, as provided in subpart D to 15 CFR part 904.
(1) The Assistant Administrator may issue permits to take endangered and threatened species incidentally to an otherwise lawful activity under section 10(a)(1)(B) of the Act. The regulations in this section apply to all endangered species, and those threatened species for which the prohibitions of section 9(a)(1) of the Act, under the jurisdiction of the Secretary of Commerce, apply.
(2) If the applicant represents an individual or a single entity, such as a corporation, the Assistant Administrator will issue an individual incidental take permit. If the applicant represents a group or organization whose members conduct the same or a similar activity in the same geographical area with similar impacts on listed species for which a permit is required, the Assistant Administrator will issue a general incidental take permit. To be covered by a general incidental take permit, each individual conducting the activity must have a certificate of inclusion issued under paragraph (f) of this section.
(b) Permit application procedures. Applications should be sent to the Assistant Administrator. The Assistant Administrator shall determine the sufficiency of the application in accordance with the requirements of this section. At least 120 days should be allowed for processing. Each application must be signed and dated and must include the following:
(1) The type of application, either:
(i) Application for an Individual Incidental Take Permit under the Act; or
(ii) Application for a General Incidental Take Permit under the Act;
(2) The name, address, and telephone number of the applicant. If the applicant is a partnership or a corporate entity or is representing a group or an organization, the applicable details;
(3) The species or stocks, by common and scientific name, and a description of the status, distribution, seasonal distribution, habitat needs, feeding habits and other biological requirements of the affected species or stocks;
(4) A detailed description of the proposed activity, including the anticipated dates, duration, and specific location. If the request is for a general incidental take permit, an estimate of the total level of activity expected to be conducted;
(5) A conservation plan, based on the best scientific and commercial data available, which specifies the following:
(i) The anticipated impact (i.e., amount, extent, and type of anticipated taking) of the proposed activity on the species or stocks;
(ii) The anticipated impact of the proposed activity on the habitat of the species or stocks and the likelihood of restoration of the affected habitat;
(iii) The steps (specialized equipment, methods of conducting activities, or other means) that will be taken to monitor, minimize, and mitigate such impacts, and the funding available to implement such measures;
(iv) The alternative actions to such taking that were considered and the reasons why those alternatives are not being used; and
(v) A list of all sources of data used in preparation of the plan, including reference reports, environmental assessments and impact statements, and personal communications with recognized experts on the species or activity who may have access to data not published in current literature.
(c) Issuance criteria.
(1) In determining whether to issue a permit, the Assistant Administrator will consider the following:
(i) The status of the affected species or stocks;
(ii) The potential severity of direct, indirect, and cumulative impacts on the species or stocks and habitat as a result of the proposed activity;
(iii) The availability of effective monitoring techniques;
(iv) The use of the best available technology for minimizing or mitigating impacts; and
(v) The views of the public, scientists, and other interested parties knowledgeable of the species or stocks or other matters related to the application.
(2) To issue the permit, the Assistant Administrator must find that -
(i) The taking will be incidental;
(ii) The applicant will, to the maximum extent practicable, monitor, minimize, and mitigate the impacts of such taking;
(iii) The taking will not appreciably reduce the likelihood of the survival and recovery of the species in the wild;
(iv) The applicant has amended the conservation plan to include any measures (not originally proposed by the applicant) that the Assistant Administrator determines are necessary or appropriate; and
(v) There are adequate assurances that the conservation plan will be funded and implemented, including any measures required by the Assistant Administrator.
(d) Permit conditions. In addition to the general conditions set forth in this part, every permit issued under this section will contain such terms and conditions as the Assistant Administrator deems necessary and appropriate, including, but not limited to the following:
(1) Reporting requirements or rights of inspection for determining whether the terms and conditions are being complied with;
(2) The species and number of animals covered;
(3) The authorized method of taking;
(4) The procedures to be used to handle or dispose of any animals taken; and
(5) The payment of an adequate fee to the National Marine Fisheries Service to process the application.
(e) Duration of permits. The duration of permits issued under this section will be such as to provide adequate assurances to the permit holder to commit funding necessary for the activities authorized by the permit, including conservation activities. In determining the duration of a permit, the Assistant Administrator will consider the duration of the proposed activities, as well as the possible positive and negative effects on listed species associated with issuing a permit of the proposed duration, including the extent to which the conservation plan is likely to enhance the habitat of the endangered species or to increase the long-term survivability of the species.
(f) Certificates of inclusion.
(1) Any individual who wishes to conduct an activity covered by a general incidental take permit must apply to the Assistant Administrator for a Certificate of Inclusion. Each application must be signed and dated and must include the following:
(i) The general incidental take permit under which the applicant wants coverage;
(ii) The name, address, and telephone number of the applicant. If the applicant is a partnership or a corporate entity, the applicable details;
(iii) A description of the activity the applicant seeks to have covered under the general incidental take permit, including the anticipated dates, duration, and specific location; and
(iv) A signed certification that the applicant has read and understands the general incidental take permit and the conservation plan, will comply with their terms and conditions, and will fund and implement applicable measures of the conservation plan.
(2) To issue a Certificate of Inclusion, the Assistant Administrator must find that:
(i) The applicant will be engaged in the activity covered by the general permit, and
(ii) The applicant has made adequate assurances that the applicable measures of the conservation plan will be funded and implemented.
(g) Assurances provided to permittee in case of changed or unforeseen circumstances. The assurances in this paragraph (g) apply only to incidental take permits issued in accordance with paragraph (c) of this section where the conservation plan is being properly implemented, and apply only with respect to species adequately covered by the conservation plan. These assurances cannot be provided to Federal agencies. This rule does not apply to incidental take permits issued prior to March 25, 1998. The assurances provided in incidental take permits issued prior to March 25, 1998, remain in effect, and those permits will not be revised as a result of this rulemaking.
(1) Changed circumstances provided for in the plan. If additional conservation and mitigation measures are deemed necessary to respond to changed circumstances and were provided for in the plan's operating conservation program, the permittee will implement the measures specified in the plan.
(2) Changed circumstances not provided for in the plan. If additional conservation and mitigation measures are deemed necessary to respond to changed circumstances and such measures were not provided for in the plan's operating conservation program, NMFS will not require any conservation and mitigation measures in addition to those provided for in the plan without the consent of the permittee, provided the plan is being properly implemented.
(3) Unforeseen circumstances.
(i) In negotiating unforeseen circumstances, NMFS will not require the commitment of additional land, water, or financial compensation or additional restrictions on the use of land, water, or other natural resources beyond the level otherwise agreed upon for the species covered by the conservation plan without the consent of the permittee.
(ii) If additional conservation and mitigation measures are deemed necessary to respond to unforeseen circumstances, NMFS may require additional measures of the permittee where the conservation plan is being properly implemented. However, such additional measures are limited to modifications within any conserved habitat areas or to the conservation plan's operating conservation program for the affected species. The original terms of the conservation plan will be maintained to the maximum extent possible. Additional conservation and mitigation measures will not involve the commitment of additional land, water, or financial compensation or additional restrictions on the use of land, water, or other natural resources otherwise available for development or use under the original terms of the conservation plan without the consent of the permittee.
(iii) NMFS has the burden of demonstrating that unforeseen circumstances exist, using the best scientific and commercial data available. These findings must be clearly documented and based upon reliable technical information regarding the status and habitat requirements of the affected species. NMFS will consider, but not be limited to, the following factors:
(A) Size of the current range of the affected species;
(B) Percentage of range adversely affected by the conservation plan;
(C) Percentage of range conserved by the conservation plan;
(D) Ecological significance of that portion of the range affected by the conservation plan;
(E) Level of knowledge about the affected species and the degree of specificity of the species' conservation program under the conservation plan; and
(F) Whether failure to adopt additional conservation measures would appreciably reduce the likelihood of survival and recovery of the affected species in the wild.
(h) Nothing in this rule will be construed to limit or constrain the Assistant Administrator, any Federal, State, local, or tribal government agency, or a private entity, from taking additional actions at his or her own expense to protect or conserve a species included in a conservation plan.
(a) Scope. The Assistant Administrator may issue permits for scientific purposes or for the enhancement of the propagation or survival of the affected endangered or threatened species in accordance with the regulations in parts 222, 223, and 224 of this chapter and under such terms and conditions as the Assistant Administrator may prescribe, authorizing the taking, importation, or other acts otherwise prohibited by section 9 of the Act. Within the jurisdication of a State, more restrictive state laws or regulations in regard to endangered species shall prevail in regard to taking. Proof of compliance with applicable state laws will be required before a permit will be issued.
(b) Application procedures. Any person desiring to obtain such a permit may make application therefor to the Assistant Administrator. Permits for marine mammals shall be issued in accordance with the provisions of part 216, subpart D of this chapter. Permits relating to sea turtles may involve the Fish and Wildlife Service, in which case the applicant shall follow the procedures set out in § 222.309. The following information will be used as the basis for determining whether an application is complete and whether a permit for scientific purposes or for enhancement of propagation or survival of the affected species should be issued by the Assistant Administrator. An application for a permit shall provide the following information and such other information that the Assistant Administrator may require:
(1) Title, as applicable, either -
(i) Application for permit for scientific purposes under the Act; or
(ii) Application for permit for the enhancement of the propagation or survival of the endangered species Under the Act.
(2) The date of the application.
(3) The identity of the applicant including complete name, address, and telephone number. If the applicant is a partnership or a corporate entity, set forth the details. If the endangered species is to be utilized by a person other than the applicant, set forth the name of that person and such other information as would be required if such person were an applicant.
(4) A description of the purpose of the proposed acts, including the following:
(i) A detailed justification of the need for the endangered species, including a discussion of possible alternatives, whether or not under the control of the applicant; and
(ii) A detailed description of how the species will be used.
(5) A detailed description of the project, or program, in which the endangered species is to be used, including the following:
(i) The period of time over which the project or program will be conducted;
(ii) A list of the names and addresses of the sponsors or cooperating institutions and the scientists involved;
(iii) A copy of the formal research proposal or contract if one has been prepared;
(iv) A statement of whether the proposed project or program has broader significance than the individual researcher's goals. For example, does the proposed project or program respond directly or indirectly to recommendation of any national or international scientific body charged with research or management of the endangered species? If so, how?; and
(v) A description of the arrangements, if any, for the disposition of any dead specimen or its skeleton or other remains in a museum or other institutional collection for the continued benefit to science.
(6) A description of the endangered species which is the subject of the application, including the following:
(i) A list of each species and the number of each, including the common and scientific name, the subspecies (if applicable), population group, and range;
(ii) A physical description of each animal, including the age, size, and sex;
(iii) A list of the probable dates of capture or other taking, importation, exportation, and other acts which require a permit for each animal and the location of capture or other taking, importation, exportation, and other acts which require a permit, as specifically as possible;
(iv) A description of the status of the stock of each species related insofar as possible to the location or area of taking;
(v) A description of the manner of taking for each animal, including the gear to be used;
(vi) The name and qualifications of the persons or entity which will capture or otherwise take the animals; and
(vii) If the capture or other taking is to be done by a contractor, a statement as to whether a qualified member of your staff (include name(s) and qualifications) will supervise or observe the capture or other taking. Accompanying such statement shall be a copy of the proposed contract or a letter from the contractor indicating agreement to capture or otherwise take the animals, should a permit be granted.
(7) A description of the manner of transportation for any live animal taken, imported, exported, or shipped in interstate commerce, including the following:
(i) Mode of transportation;
(ii) Name of transportation company;
(iii) Length of time in transit for the transfer of the animal(s) from the capture site to the holding facility;
(iv) Length of time in transit for any planned future move or transfer of the animals;
(v) The qualifications of the common carrier or agent used for transportation of the animals;
(vi) A description of the pen, tank, container, cage, cradle, or other devices used to hold the animal at both the capture site and during transportation;
(vii) Special care before and during transportation, such as salves, antibiotics, moisture; and
(viii) A statement as to whether the animals will be accompanied by a veterinarian or by another similarly qualified person, and the qualifications of such person.
(8) Describe the contemplated care and maintenance of any live animals sought, including a complete description of the facilities where any such animals will be maintained including:
(i) The dimensions of the pools or other holding facilities and the number, sex, and age of animals by species to be held in each;
(ii) The water supply, amount, and quality;
(iii) The diet, amount and type, for all animals;
(iv) Sanitation practices used;
(v) Qualifications and experience of the staff;
(vi) A written certification from a licensed veterinarian or from a recognized expert who are knowledgeable on the species (or related species) or group covered in the application. The certificate shall verify that the veterinarian has personally reviewed the amendments for transporting and maintaining the animal(s) and that, in the veterinarian's opinion, they are adequate to provide for the well-being of the animal; and
(vii) The availability in the future of a consulting expert or veterinarian meeting paragraph requirements of (b)(8)(vi) in this section.
(9) A statement of willingness to participate in a cooperative breeding program and maintain or contribute data to a stud book.
(10) A statement of how the applicant's proposed project or program will enhance or benefit the wild population.
(11) For the 5 years preceding the date of application, the applicant shall provide a detailed description of all mortalities involving species under the control of or utilized by the applicant and are either presently listed as endangered species or are taxonomically related within the Order to the species which is the subject of this application, including:
(i) A list of all endangered species and related species that are the subject of this application that have been captured, transported, maintained, or utilized by the applicant for scientific purposes or for the enhancement of propagation or survival of the affected species, and/or of related species that are captured, transported, maintained, or utilized by the applicant for scientific purposes or for enhancement of propagation or survival of the affected species;
(ii) The numbers of mortalities among such animals by species, by date, by location of capture, i.e., from which population, and the location of such mortalities;
(iii) The cause(s) of any such mortality; and
(iv) The steps which have been taken by applicant to avoid or decrease any such mortality.
(12) A certification in the following language: I hereby certify that the foregoing information is complete, true, and correct to the best of my knowledge and belief. I understand that this information is submitted for the purpose of obtaining a permit under the Endangered Species Act, as amended, and regulations promulgated thereunder, and that any false statement may subject me to the criminal penalties of 18 U.S.C. 1001, or to penalties under the Act.
(13) The applicant and/or an officer thereof must sign the application.
(14) Assistance in completing this application may be obtained by writing Chief, Endangered Species Division, Office of Protected Resources, NMFS, 1315 East-West Highway, Silver Spring, MD 20910 or calling the Office of Protected Resources at 301-713-1401. Allow at least 90 days for processing.
(c) Issuance criteria. In determining whether to issue a permit for scientific purposes or to enhance the propagation or survival of the affected endangered species, the Assistant Administrator shall specifically consider, among other application criteria, the following:
(1) Whether the permit was applied for in good faith;
(2) Whether the permit, if granted and exercised, will not operate to the disadvantage of the endangered species;
(3) Whether the permit would be consistent with the purposes and policy set forth in section 2 of the Act;
(4) Whether the permit would further a bona fide and necessary or desirable scientific purpose or enhance the propagation or survival of the endangered species, taking into account the benefits anticipated to be derived on behalf of the endangered species;
(5) The status of the population of the requested species and the effect of the proposed action on the population, both direct and indirect;
(6) If a live animal is to be taken, transported, or held in captivity, the applicant's qualifications for the proper care and maintenance of the species and the adequacy of the applicant's facilities;
(7) Whether alternative non-endangered species or population stocks can and should be used;
(8) Whether the animal was born in captivity or was (or will be) taken from the wild;
(9) Provision for disposition of the species if and when the applicant's project or program terminates;
(10) How the applicant's needs, program, and facilities compare and relate to proposed and ongoing projects and programs;
(11) Whether the expertise, facilities, or other resources available to the applicant appear adequate to successfully accomplish the objectives stated in the application; and
(12) Opinions or views of scientists or other persons or organizations knowledgeable about the species which is the subject of the application or of other matters germane to the application.
(d) Terms and conditions. Permits applied for under this section shall contain terms and conditions as the Assistant Administrator may deem appropriate, including but not limited to the following:
(1) The number and kind of species covered;
(2) The location and manner of taking;
(3) Port of entry or export;
(4) The methods of transportation, care, and maintenance to be used with live species;
(5) Any requirements for reports or rights of inspections with respect to any activities carried out pursuant to the permit;
(6) The transferability or assignability of the permit;
(7) The sale or other disposition of the species, its progeny, or the species product; and
(8) A reasonable fee covering the costs of issuance of such permit, including reasonable inspections and an appropriate apportionment of overhead and administrative expenses of the Department of Commerce. All such fees will be deposited in the Treasury to the credit of the appropriation which is current and chargeable for the cost of furnishing the service.
(a) This section establishes specific procedures for issuance of the following permits: scientific purposes or to enhance the propagation or survival of endangered or threatened species of sea turtles; zoological exhibition or educational purposes for threatened species of sea turtles; and permits that requires coordination with the Fish and Wildlife Service. The National Marine Fisheries Service maintains jurisdiction for such species in the marine environment. The Fish and Wildlife Service maintains jurisdiction for such species of sea turtles in the land environment.
(c) For permits relating to any activity in the land environment exclusively, permit applicants must submit applications to the Wildlife Permit Office (WPO) of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in accordance with either 50 CFR 17.22(a), if the species is endangered, or 50 CFR 17.32(a), if the species is threatened.
(d) For permits relating to any activity in both the land and marine environments, applicants must submit applications to the WPO. WPO will forward the application to NMFS for review and processing of those activities under its jurisdiction. Based on this review and processing, WPO will issue either a permit or a letter of denial in accordance with its own regulations.
(e) For permits relating to any activity in a marine environment and that also requires a permit under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) (TIAS 8249, July 1, 1975) (50 CFR part 23), applicants must submit applications to the WPO. WPO will forward the application to NMFS for review and processing, after which WPO will issue a combination ESA/CITES permit or a letter of denial.
(a) This section constitutes a programmatic permit, pursuant to 16 U.S.C. 1539(a)(1)(A), that authorizes activities by agents and employees of Federal and state agencies, as described in paragraph (b) of this section, to aid stranded endangered sea turtles, and to salvage, collect data from, and dispose of, dead carcasses of endangered sea turtles in the marine environment. For purposes of this section, ‘stranded’ means endangered sea turtles, in the marine environment, that are alive but sick, injured, or entangled.
(b) If any member of any endangered species of sea turtle is found stranded or dead in the marine environment, any agent or employee of the National Marine Fisheries Service, the Fish and Wildlife Service, the U.S. Coast Guard, or any other Federal land or water management agency, or any agent or employee of a state agency responsible for fish and wildlife who is designated by his or her agency for such purposes, may, when acting in the course of his or her official duties, take such endangered sea turtles if such taking is necessary to aid a stranded sea turtle, or dispose of or salvage a dead sea turtle, or collect data from a dead sea turtle which may be useful for scientific and educational purposes. Live turtles will be handled as described in § 223.206(d)(1). Whenever possible, live sea turtles shall be returned to their aquatic environment as soon as possible. The following data collection activities for live turtles while they are in the marine environment are allowed:
(1) Turtles may be flipper and passive integrated transponder (PIT) tagged, prior to release. Flipper tags would be applied to the trailing edge of either the front or rear flippers with standard tagging applicators after the tagging area has been cleaned with alcohol or iodine solution. PIT tags would be inserted according to best practice, approved scientific protocols, after cleaning the insertion site with alcohol or iodine solution. Before application of flipper tags or insertion of PIT tags, all flippers and the neck/shoulder area will be examined and scanned for the presence of any pre-existing flipper or PIT tags.
(2) Turtles may also be weighed, measured, and photographed prior to release.
(3) When handling turtles exhibiting fibropapilloma, all equipment (tagging equipment, tape measures, etc.) that comes in contact with the turtle shall be cleaned with a mild bleach solution.
(c) Every action shall be reported in writing to the Assistant Administrator, or authorized representative, via the agency or institution designated by the state to record such events. Reports shall contain the following information:
(1) Name and position of the official or employee involved;
(2) Description of the sea turtle(s) involved including species and condition of the animal;
(3) When applicable, description of entangling gear, its location on the turtle, and the amount of gear left on the turtle at release;
(4) Method, date and location of disposal of the sea turtle(s), including, if applicable, where the sea turtle(s) has been retained in captivity; and
(5) Such other information as the Assistant Administrator, or authorized representative, may require.
[70 FR 42509, July 25, 2005]
72 FR 43185, Aug. 3, 2007, unless otherwise noted.
Any United States fishing vessel, either commercial or recreational, which operates within the territorial seas or exclusive economic zone of the United States or on the high seas, or any fishing vessel that is otherwise subject to the jurisdiction of the United States, operating in a fishery that is identified through the annual determination process specified in § 222.402 must carry aboard a NMFS-approved observer upon request by the NMFS Assistant Administrator, in consultation with NMFS Regional Administrators and Science Center Directors, as appropriate. NMFS and/or interested cooperating entities will pay direct costs for the observer. Owners and operators must comply with observer safety requirements specified at 50 CFR 600.725 and 50 CFR 600.746 and the terms and conditions specified in the written notification.
(a) The Assistant Administrator, in consultation with Regional Administrators and Science Center Directors, will make an annual determination identifying which fisheries the agency intends to observe. This determination will be based on the extent to which:
(1) The fishery operates in the same waters and at the same time as sea turtles are present;
(2) The fishery operates at the same time or prior to elevated sea turtle strandings; or
(3) The fishery uses a gear or technique that is known or likely to result in incidental take of sea turtles based on documented or reported takes in the same or similar fisheries; and
(4) NMFS intends to monitor the fishery and anticipates that it will have the funds to do so.
(b) The Assistant Administrator shall publish the proposed determination and any final determination in the Federal Register. Public comment will be sought at the time of publication of the proposed determination. In addition, a written notification of the final determination will be sent to the address specified for the vessel in either the NMFS or state fishing permit application, or to the address specified for registration or documentation purposes, or such notification will be otherwise served on the owners or operator of the vessel. Additionally, NMFS will notify state agencies and provide notification through publication in local newspapers, radio broadcasts, and any other means as appropriate. The proposed and any final determinations will include, to the extent practicable, information on fishing sector, targeted gear type, target fishery, temporal and geographic scope of coverage, or other information, as appropriate.
(c) Fisheries listed on the most recent annual Marine Mammal Protection Act List of Fisheries in any given year, in accordance with 16 U.S.C. 1387, will serve as the comprehensive set of commercial fisheries to be considered for inclusion in the annual determination. Recreational fisheries may also be included in the annual determination.
(d) Publication of the proposed and final determinations should be coordinated to the extent possible with the annual Marine Mammal Protection Act List of Fisheries process as specified at 50 CFR 229.8.
(e) Inclusion of a fishery in a proposed or final determination does not constitute a conclusion by NMFS that those participating in the fishery are illegally taking sea turtles.
(a) Fisheries included in the final annual determination in a given year will remain eligible for observer coverage under this rule for five years, without need for NMFS to include the fishery in the intervening proposed annual determinations, to enable the design of an appropriate sampling program and to ensure collection of scientific data. If NMFS wishes to continue observations beyond the fifth year, NMFS must include the fishery in the proposed annual determination and seek comment, prior to the expiration of the fifth year.
(b) A 30-day delay in effective date for implementing observer coverage will follow the annual notification, except for those fisheries that were included in a previous determination within the preceding five years or where the AA has determined that there is good cause pursuant to the Administrative Procedure Act to make the rule effective without a 30-day delay.
(a) During the program design, NMFS would be guided by the following standards in the distribution and placement of observers among fisheries and vessels in a particular fishery:
(1) The requirements to obtain the best available scientific information;
(2) The requirement that assignment of observers is fair and equitable among fisheries and among vessels in a fishery;
(3) The requirement that no individual person or vessel, or group of persons or vessels, be subject to inappropriate, excessive observer coverage; and
(4) The need to minimize costs and avoid duplication, where practicable.
(b) Consistent with 16 U.S.C. 1881(b), vessels where the facilities for accommodating an observer or carrying out observer functions are so inadequate or unsafe (due to size or quality of equipment, for example) that the health or safety of the observer or the safe operation of the vessel would be jeopardized, would not be required to take observers under this rule.
81 FR 33421, May 26, 2016, unless otherwise noted.
(a) The term experimental population means any introduced and/or designated population (including any off-spring arising solely therefrom) that has been so designated in accordance with the procedures of this subpart but only when, and at such times as, the population is wholly separate geographically from nonexperimental populations of the same species. Where part of an experimental population overlaps with nonexperimental populations of the same species on a particular occasion, but is wholly separate at other times, specimens of the experimental population will not be recognized as such while in the area of overlap. That is, experimental status will only be recognized outside the areas of overlap. Thus, such a population shall be treated as experimental only when the times of geographic separation are reasonably predictable; e.g., fixed migration patterns, natural or man-made barriers. A population is not treated as experimental if total separation will occur solely as a result of random and unpredictable events.
(b) The term essential experimental population means an experimental population whose loss would be likely to appreciably reduce the likelihood of the survival of the species in the wild. All other experimental populations are to be classified as nonessential.
(a) The Secretary may designate as an experimental population a population of endangered or threatened species that has been or will be released into suitable habitat outside the species' current range, subject to the further conditions specified in this section; provided, that all designations of experimental populations must proceed by regulation adopted in accordance with 5 U.S.C. 553 and the requirements of this subpart.
(b) Before authorizing the release as an experimental population of any population (including eggs, propagules, or individuals) of an endangered or threatened species, and before authorizing any necessary transportation to conduct the release, the Secretary must find by regulation that such release will further the conservation of the species. In making such a finding, the Secretary shall utilize the best scientific and commercial data available to consider:
(1) Any possible adverse effects on extant populations of a species as a result of removal of individuals, eggs, or propagules for introduction elsewhere;
(2) The likelihood that any such experimental population will become established and survive in the foreseeable future;
(3) The effects that establishment of an experimental population will have on the recovery of the species; and
(4) The extent to which the introduced population may be affected by existing or anticipated Federal or State actions or private activities within or adjacent to the experimental population area.
(c) Any regulation promulgated under paragraph (a) of this section shall provide:
(1) Appropriate means to identify the experimental population, including, but not limited to, its actual or proposed location; actual or anticipated migration; number of specimens released or to be released; and other criteria appropriate to identify the experimental population(s);
(2) A finding, based solely on the best scientific and commercial data available, and the supporting factual basis, on whether the experimental population is, or is not, essential to the continued existence of the species in the wild;
(3) Management restrictions, protective measures, or other special management concerns of that population, as appropriate, which may include, but are not limited to, measures to isolate and/or contain the experimental population designated in the regulation from nonexperimental populations and protective regulations established pursuant to section 4(d) of the Act; and
(4) A process for periodic review and evaluation of the success or failure of the release and the effect of the release on the conservation and recovery of the species.
(d) The Secretary may issue a permit under section 10(a)(1)(A) of the Act, if appropriate, to allow acts necessary for the establishment and maintenance of an experimental population.
(e) The National Marine Fisheries Service shall consult with appropriate State fish and wildlife agencies, affected tribal governments, local governmental entities, affected Federal agencies, and affected private landowners in developing and implementing experimental population rules. When appropriate, a public meeting will be conducted with interested members of the public. Any regulation promulgated pursuant to this section shall, to the maximum extent practicable, represent an agreement between the National Marine Fisheries Service, the affected State and Federal agencies, tribal governments, local government entities, and persons holding any interest in land or water which may be affected by the establishment of an experimental population.
(f) Any population of an endangered species or a threatened species determined by the Secretary to be an experimental population in accordance with this subpart shall be identified by special rule in part 223 as appropriate and separately listed in 50 CFR 17.11(h) (wildlife) or 17.12(h) (plants) as appropriate.
(g) The Secretary may designate critical habitat as defined in section (3)(5)(A) of the Act for an essential experimental population as determined pursuant to paragraph (c)(2) of this section. Any designation of critical habitat for an essential experimental population will be made in accordance with section 4 of the Act. No designation of critical habitat will be made for nonessential experimental populations.
(a) Any population determined by the Secretary to be an experimental population shall be treated as if it were listed as a threatened species for purposes of establishing protective regulations under section 4(d) of the Act with respect to such population.
(b) Accordingly, when designating, or revising, an experimental population under section 10(j) of the Act, the Secretary may also exercise his or her authority under section 4(d) of the Act to include protective regulations necessary and advisable to provide for the conservation of such species as part of the special rule for the experimental population. Any protective regulations applicable to the species from which the experimental population was sourced do not apply to the experimental population unless specifically included in the special rule for the experimental population.
(a) Any experimental population determined pursuant to paragraph (c) of this section not to be essential to the survival of that species and not occurring within the National Park System or the National Wildlife Refuge System, shall be treated for purposes of section 7 of the Act (other than subsection (a)(1) thereof) as a species proposed to be listed under the Act as a threatened species, and the provisions of section 7(a)(4) of the Act shall apply.
(b) Any experimental population that either has been determined pursuant to paragraph (c) of this section to be essential to the survival of that species, or occurs within the National Park System or the National Wildlife Refuge System as now or hereafter constituted, shall be treated for purposes of section 7 of the Act as a threatened species, and the provisions of section 7(a)(2) of the Act shall apply.
(c) For purposes of section 7 of the Act, any consultation on a proposed Federal action that may affect both an experimental and a nonexperimental population of the same species should consider that species' experimental and nonexperimental populations to constitute a single listed species for the purposes of conducting the analyses under section 7 of the Act.