16 U.S. Code § 1386 - Stock assessments
(a) In generalNot later than August 1, 1994, the Secretary shall, in consultation with the appropriate regional scientific review group established under subsection (d), prepare a draft stock assessment for each marine mammal stock which occurs in waters under the jurisdiction of the United States. Each draft stock assessment, based on the best scientific information available, shall—
describe the geographic range of the affected stock, including any seasonal or temporal variation in such range;
(4) describe commercial fisheries that interact with the stock, including—
the approximate number of vessels actively participating in each such fishery;
seasonal or area differences in such incidental mortality or serious injury; and
the rate, based on the appropriate standard unit of fishing effort, of such incidental mortality and serious injury, and an analysis stating whether such level is insignificant and is approaching a zero mortality and serious injury rate;
(5) categorize the status of the stock as one that either—
is a strategic stock, with a description of the reasons therefor; and
estimate the potential biological removal level for the stock, describing the information used to calculate it, including the recovery factor.
(b) Public comment
The Secretary shall publish in the Federal Register a notice of the availability of a draft stock assessment or any revision thereof and provide an opportunity for public review and comment during a period of 90 days. Such notice shall include a summary of the assessment and a list of the sources of information or published reports upon which the assessment is based.
Subsequent to the notice of availability required under paragraph (1), if requested by a person to which section 1371(b) of this title applies, the Secretary shall conduct a proceeding on the record prior to publishing a final stock assessment or any revision thereof for any stock subject to taking under section 1371(b) of this title.
(3) After consideration of the best scientific information available, the advice of the appropriate regional scientific review group established under subsection (d), and the comments of the general public, the Secretary shall publish in the Federal Register a notice of availability and a summary of the final stock assessment or any revision thereof, not later than 90 days after—
the close of the public comment period on a draft stock assessment or revision thereof; or
(c) Review and revision
(1) The Secretary shall review stock assessments in accordance with this subsection—
at least annually for stocks for which significant new information is available; and
at least once every 3 years for all other stocks.
(d) Regional scientific review groups
(1) Not later than 60 days after April 30, 1994, the Secretary of Commerce shall, in consultation with the Secretary of the Interior (with respect to marine mammals under that Secretary’s jurisdiction), the Marine Mammal Commission, the Governors of affected adjacent coastal States, regional fishery and wildlife management authorities, Alaska Native organizations and Indian tribes, and environmental and fishery groups, establish three independent regional scientific review groups representing Alaska, the Pacific Coast (including Hawaii), and the Atlantic Coast (including the Gulf of Mexico), consisting of individuals with expertise in marine mammal biology and ecology, population dynamics and modeling, commercial fishing technology and practices, and stocks taken under section 1371(b) of this title. The Secretary of Commerce shall, to the maximum extent practicable, attempt to achieve a balanced representation of viewpoints among the individuals on each regional scientific review group. The regional scientific review groups shall advise the Secretary on—
population estimates and the population status and trends of such stocks;
uncertainties and research needed regarding the species, number, ages, gender, and reproductive status of marine mammals;
research needed to identify modifications in fishing gear and practices likely to reduce the incidental mortality and serious injury of marine mammals in commercial fishing operations;
any other issue which the Secretary or the groups consider appropriate.
The scientific review groups established under this subsection shall not be subject to the Federal Advisory Committee Act (5 App. U.S.C.).
Members of the scientific review groups shall serve without compensation, but may be reimbursed by the Secretary, upon request, for reasonable travel costs and expenses incurred in performing their obligations.
The Secretary may appoint or reappoint individuals to the regional scientific review groups under paragraph (1) as needed.
(e) Effect on section 1371(b) of this title
This section shall not affect or otherwise modify the provisions of section 1371(b) of this title.
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