NOAA declines to list Texas pipefish
76 Fed. Reg. 7820 (Friday, February 11, 2011) / Notices
DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
Docket No. 110131074–1069–02 / RIN 0648–XZ69
Endangered and Threatened Wildlife; 90-Day Finding on a Petition to List the Texas Pipefish as Threatened or Endangered Under the Endangered Species Act
AGENCY: National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Department of Commerce.
ACTION: Notice of 90-day petition finding.
SUMMARY: We (NMFS) announce a 90-day finding on a petition to list the Texas pipefish (Syngnathus affinis) as threatened or endangered under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). We find that the petition does not present substantial scientific or commercial information indicating that the petitioned action may be warranted. ADDRESSES: Copies of the petition and related materials are available... online at NMFS SERO Web site: http://sero.nmfs.noaa.gov/pr/ListingPetitions.htm
EXCERPT: After reviewing the information contained in the petition, we find that the best available information supports the conclusion that the Texas pipefish is not a ‘‘species’’ eligible for listing under the ESA. Over the past 30 years no specimens identified as S. affinis have been collected and the best scientific information presented in the petition indicates that the Texas pipefish and the Gulf pipefish are not separate species. Rather, the existing nominal museum specimens appear only to be misidentified phenotypes of the Gulf pipefish, based on the plasticity and high degree of overlap in identifying characteristics. After reviewing the information contained in the petition and in our files, we have concluded that the petition fails to present substantial scientific or commercial information indicating that the petitioned action may be warranted.