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Federal Register Highlights – 12/7/15

December 7, 2015

Unpublished, time-sensitive and proposed rule for December 7, 2015:

PROPOSED RULE: We, NMFS, have completed comprehensive status reviews under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) for seven foreign marine elasmobranch species in response to a petition to list those species. These seven species are the daggernose shark (Isogomphodon oxyrhynchus), Brazilian guitarfish (Rhinobatos horkelii), striped smoothhound shark (Mustelus fasciatus), narrownose smoothhound shark (Mustelus schmitti), spiny angel shark (Squatina guggenheim), Argentine angel shark (Squatina argentina), and graytail skate (Bathyraja griseocauda). Based on the best scientific and commercial information available, and after taking into account efforts being made to protect these species, we have determined that the daggernose shark (I. oxyrhynchus), Brazilian guitarfish (R. horkelii), striped smoothhound shark (Mustelus fasciatus), and Argentine angel shark (S. argentina) meet the definition of an endangered species under the ESA. We have determined that the narrownose smoothhound shark (M. schmitti) and spiny angel shark (S. guggenheim) meet the definition of a threatened species under the ESA. Therefore, we propose to list these six species under the ESA. Additionally, we have determined that the graytail skate (B. griseocauda) does not warrant listing under the ESA at this time. We are not proposing to designate critical habitat for any of the species proposed for listing because the geographical areas occupied by these species are entirely outside U.S. jurisdiction, and we have not identified any unoccupied areas within U.S. jurisdiction that are currently essential to the conservation of any of these species. We are soliciting comments on our proposal to list these six foreign marine elasmobranch species. Comments on this proposed rule must be received by February 5, 2016. (To submit comments, visit www.regulations.gov, reference Docket Number NOAA-NMFS-2015-0161.)

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