[Federal Register Volume 86, Number 223 (Tuesday, November 23, 2021)]
[Pages 66536-66537]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2021-25562]



National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

[RTID 0648-XB602]

Marine Mammal Protection Act; Establishment of Time-Area Closures 
for Hawaiian Spinner Dolphins; Public Hearing

AGENCY: National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), National Oceanic and 
Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Commerce.

ACTION: Notice of public hearing.


SUMMARY: We, NMFS, will hold a public hearing related to our proposed 
rule to establish time-area closures for Hawaiian spinner dolphins 
(Stenella longirostris longirostris) under the Marine Mammal Protection 
Act (MMPA). The proposed rule to establish time-area closures for 
Hawaiian spinner dolphins published on September 28, 2021 (86 FR 
53844), and provided for a public comment period to end on December 27, 
2021. Comments must be received by December 27, 2021, as specified 
under ADDRESSES. Comments received after this date may not be accepted.

DATES: The public hearing will be held online on December 9, 2021 from 
17:00 to 20:00 HST. Since the hearing will be held online, any member 
of the public can join by internet or phone regardless of location. 
Instructions for joining the hearings are provided under ADDRESSES 

ADDRESSES: The public hearing will be conducted as Webex meeting. You 
may join the Webex meeting using a web browser, the Webex desktop app 
(app installation required), a mobile app on a phone (app installation 
required), or audio-only using just a phone call, as specified below.
    To join the hearing, click on the link https://noaanmfs-meets.webex.com/noaanmfs-meets/j.php?MTID=mce215a9ffa3f601324ffeca0ddcbc1b8 Password: ``dolphin''. If 
you do not have internet access, you may join by phone: US Toll +1-415-
527-5035 Access code: 276 477 10691. You may register for the public 
hearing in advance by clicking on the link https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLScvRZG_d_PTGKUsXi7s7cUmRndeu7rI2tfwn0uh8WMLooAW6Q/viewform?usp=sf_link.
    More information about the public hearing is provided under 
SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION. You may submit comments verbally at the 
public hearing, or in writing by any of the following means. Written 
comments must be received by December 27, 2021:
    Electronic Submissions: Submit all electronic public comments via 
the Federal eRulemaking Portal. Go to www.regulations.gov and enter 
NOAA-NMFS-2021-0091 in the search box. Click on the ``Comment'' icon, 
complete the required fields, and enter or attach your comments.
    Mail: Kevin Brindock, Deputy Assistant Regional Administrator, 
Protected Resources Division, National Marine Fisheries Service, 
Pacific Islands Regional Office, 1845 Wasp Blvd., Bldg. 176, Honolulu, 
HI 96818.
    Instructions: You must submit comments by one of the above methods 
to ensure that we receive, document, and consider them. 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 to http://www.regulations.gov without change. All Personal 
Identifying Information (for example, name, address, etc.) voluntarily 
submitted by the commenter may be publicly accessible. Do not submit 
confidential business information or otherwise sensitive or protected 
    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, Excel, WordPerfect, or 
Adobe PDF file formats only.

Regional Office; 1845 Wasp Blvd., Bldg. 176, Honolulu, HI 96818; 
telephone: 808-725-5146; email: [email protected].

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: On September 28, 2021, NMFS proposed a 
regulation under the MMPA to establish mandatory time-area closures of 
Hawaiian spinner dolphins' essential daytime habitats at five selected 
sites in the Main Hawaiian Islands. During designated times, unless 
subject to an exception as described in the proposed rule, these 
regulatory measures would prohibit any person or vessel, on or below 
the surface, to enter, cause to enter, solicit to enter, or remain 
within any of the five time-area closures, for the purpose of 
preventing take of Hawaiian spinner dolphins in areas identified as 
important essential daytime habitats for spinner dolphins. The proposed 
mandatory time-area closures would occur from 6 a.m. to 3 p.m. daily in 
areas of Kealakekua Bay, H[omacr]naunau Bay, Kauhak[omacr] Bay 
(Ho`okena), and Makako Bay on Hawai`i Island, and La Perouse Bay on 
    The proposed rule and other materials prepared in support of this 
action are available at: https://www.fisheries.noaa.gov/action/proposed-rule-establish-time-area-closures-hawaiian-spinner-dolphins-essential-habitats-main. We are accepting public comments for the 
proposed rule through December 27, 2021. Public comments can be 
submitted as described under ADDRESSES.

Public Hearings

    The public hearing will be conducted online as Webex meeting, as 
specified in ADDRESSES above. If you do not have internet access, you 
may join by phone at the numbers listed in ADDRESSES above. The hearing 
will begin with a brief presentation by NMFS that gives an overview of 
the proposed rule to

[[Page 66537]]

establish time-area closures at Hawaiian spinner dolphins' essential 
day time habitat. After the presentation but before public comments, 
there will be a question and answer session during which members of the 
public may ask NMFS staff questions about the proposed rule. Following 
the question and answer session, members of the public will have the 
opportunity to provide oral comments regarding proposed time-area 
closures. Oral comments may be limited to two minutes or less. Members 
of the public will also have the opportunity to submit written comments 
at the hearings. Written comments may also be submitted at any time 
during the relevant public comment period as described under ADDRESSES. 
All oral comments will be recorded (audio only), transcribed, and added 
to the public comment record for this proposed rule.

Special Accommodations

    Requests for sign language interpretation or other auxiliary aids 
should be directed to Kevin Brindock (telephone: 808-725-5146; email: 
[email protected]) at least 10 business days prior to the meeting 
    Authority: 16 U.S.C. 1361 et seq.

    Dated: November 18, 2021.
Kimberly Damon-Randall,
Director, Office of Protected Resources, National Marine Fisheries 
[FR Doc. 2021-25562 Filed 11-22-21; 8:45 am]