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NMFS Extends Comment Period for Atlantic Large Whale Take Reduction Plan
The National Marine Fisheries Service is reopening the comment period for its plan to protect the northern right whale from serious injury or mortality from entanglement in gillnet gear in their calving area in Atlantic Ocean waters off the southeast U.S. The public comment period is extended for 15 days beginning January 16, 2007.

The NMFS plan under comment expands the southeast U.S. restricted area to include waters out to 15 nautical miles from the South Carolina coast. The NMFS plan also modifies regulations pertaining to gilnetting within the southeast U.S. restricted area.

The comment period is being extended in response to requests by the State of North Carolina and the Marine Mammal Commission. The State and the MMC believe more public time is necessary for the North Carolina public to review fully and provide comments on the proposed NMFS actions.

Comments now must be received by NMFS on or before January 31, 2007.

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