Extension of Public Comment Period For Revisions of Confidentiality In Magnuson

The National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) is extending the date by which public comments are due oncerning proposed regulations to revise existing regulations governing the confidentiality of information submitted in compliance with any requirement or regulation under the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (Magnuson-Stevens Act or MSA). NMFS published the proposed rule on May 23, 2012 and announced that the public comment period would end on June 22, 2012. With this notice, NMFS is extending the comment period to August 21, 2012.

DATES: The deadline for receipt of comments on the proposed rule published on May 23, 2012 (77 FR 30486), is extended to August 21, 2012.

ADDRESSES: You may submit comments on this document, identified by FDMS Docket Number NOAA-NMFS-2012-0030, by any of the following methods:

     Electronic Submission: Submit all electronic public comments via the Federal e-Rulemaking Portal www.regulations.gov. To submit comments via the e-Rulemaking Portal, first click the ``submit a comment'' icon, then enter NOAA-NMFS-2012-0030 in the keyword search. 

Locate the document you wish to comment on from the resulting list and click on the ``Submit a Comment'' icon on the right of that line.

     Mail: Submit written comments to Karl Moline, NMFS, Fisheries Statistics Division F/ST1, Room 12441, 1315 East West 

Highway, Silver Spring, MD 20910.

     Fax: (301) 713-1875; Attn: Karl Moline

    Instructions: Comments must be submitted by one of the above methods to ensure that the comments are received, documented, and considered by NMFS. Comments sent by any other method, to any other address or individual, or received after the end of the comment period, may not be considered. All comments received are a part of the public record and will generally be posted for public viewing on www.regulations.gov without change. All personal identifying information (e.g., name, address, etc.) submitted voluntarily by the sender will be publicly accessible. Do not submit confidential business information, or otherwise sensitive or protected information. NMFS will accept anonymous comments (enter ``N/A'' in the required fields if you wish to remain anonymous). Attachments to electronic comments will be accepted in Microsoft Word or Excel, WordPerfect, or Adobe PDF file formats only.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Karl Moline at 301-427-8225.



On May 23, 2012, NMFS published a proposed rule at 77 FR 30486 that would revise existing regulations on the handling of information required to be maintained as confidential under the Magnuson-Stevens Act. The purposes of the proposed rule is to make both substantive and non-substantive changes necessary to comply with the MSA as amended by the 2006 Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Reauthorization Act (MSRA) and the 1996 Sustainable Fisheries Act (SFA). In addition, the rule proposes to address some significant issues that concern NMFS' application of the MSA confidentiality provision to requests for information.

NMFS received several requests from fishery management councils and representatives of fishing and environmental organizations to extend the comment period on the proposed rule in order to allow the councils and other organizations to review the proposed rule and solicit feedback from their members. We have considered these requests and conclude that a 60-day extension is appropriate.