Fisheries off West Coast States and in the Western Pacific; Western Pacific Pelagic Fisheries; Control Date for Domestic Purse Seine and Longline Pelagic Fisheries in U.S. EEZ of Western Pacific Region, 47782-47783 [05-16122]

Download as PDF 47782 Federal Register / Vol. 70, No. 156 / Monday, August 15, 2005 / Proposed Rules about $9.3 million (19.4 percent) were from non-longline methods. Control dates are intended to discourage speculative entry into fisheries, as new entrants entering the fishery after the control date are forewarned that they are not guaranteed future participation in the fishery. Establishment of this control date does not commit the WPFMC or NMFS to any particular management regime or criteria for entry into the non-longline commercial pelagic fisheries. Fishermen are not guaranteed future participation in this fishery, regardless of their level of participation before or after the control date. The WPFMC may recommend a different control date or it may choose a management regime that does not involve a control date. Other criteria, such as documentation of commercial landings and sales, may be used to determine eligibility for participation in a limited access fishery. The WPFMC and/or NMFS also may choose to take no further action to control entry or access to the fishery, in which case the control date may be rescinded. Classification This advance notice of proposed rulemaking has been determined to be not significant for the purposes of Executive Order 12866. Authority: 16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq. Dated: August 10, 2005. James W. Balsiger, Acting Deputy Assistant Administrator for Regulatory Programs, National Marine Fisheries Service. [FR Doc. 05–16121 Filed 8–12–05; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510–22–S DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration 50 CFR Part 660 [Docket No. 050801213–5213–01; I.D. 072805B] RIN 0648–AT53 Fisheries off West Coast States and in the Western Pacific; Western Pacific Pelagic Fisheries; Control Date for Domestic Purse Seine and Longline Pelagic Fisheries in U.S. EEZ of Western Pacific Region National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Commerce. AGENCY: VerDate jul<14>2003 15:39 Aug 12, 2005 Jkt 205001 Proposed rule; advance notice of proposed rulemaking; notification of control date. ACTION: SUMMARY: NMFS announces that persons who enter the pelagic purse seine and longline fisheries in the U.S. exclusive economic zone (EEZ) of the western Pacific region after June 2, 2005 (‘‘control date’’) are not guaranteed future participation in the fishery if the Western Pacific Fishery Management Council (WPFMC) recommends, and NMFS approves, a program limiting entry or effort. This action does not commit the WPFMC or NMFS to limit entry, or prevent any other date from being selected for eligibility to participate in the pelagic purse seine or longline fisheries. The WPFMC or NMFS may also use other criteria to limit fishing effort or participation in a limited entry program that is developed in the future. DATES: Comments must be submitted in writing by October 14, 2005. ADDRESSES: You may submit comments on this notice identified by I.D. 072805B by any of the following methods: • E-mail: AT53–PSLLDate@noaa.gov. Include I.D. 072805B in the subject line of the e-mail comment following document identifier: Purse seine and longline control date. Comments sent via e-mail, including all attachments, must not exceed a 10 megabyte file size. • Federal e-Rulemaking portal: www.regulations.gov. Follow the instructions for submitting comments. • Mail: William L. Robinson, Administrator, NMFS Pacific Islands Region (PIR), 1601 Kapiolani Blvd., Suite 1110, Honolulu, HI 96814. • Fax: 808–973–2941 FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Robert Harman, NMFS PIR, at 808–944– 2271. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: On June 2, 2005, at its 127th meeting, the WPFMC recommended a ‘‘control date’’ of June 2, 2005, applicable to persons who are contemplating entering the pelagic purse seine (for tunas) and longline fisheries in the U.S. exclusive economic zone (EEZ) around islands of the western Pacific region. The WPFMC requested that this control date be published in the Federal Register to notify fishermen that if they enter these fisheries after June 2, 2005, they may not be assured of future access if the WPFMC and/or NMFS decide to limit entry or impose other measures to manage these fisheries. Establishment of a control date responds to NMFS’ notice to the WPFMC, dated December 30, 2004 (69 FR 78397), that overfishing is occurring PO 00000 Frm 00053 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 Pacific-wide on bigeye tuna, and that management action must be taken by the WPFMC to end this overfishing. The WPFMC tentatively has determined that limited access programs for purse seine and longline fisheries in the U.S. EEZ of the western Pacific region might be one of the viable mechanisms to reduce fishing mortality in Pacific bigeye tuna, as a step toward ending overfishing in the pelagic fisheries. Domestic longline and purse seine vessels operate in the U.S. EEZ, on the high seas, and in foreign EEZs under specific arrangements. Fishery access (in terms of both number of participants and geographical operations) is already limited in several of these fisheries. There is a limited access program in the Hawaii longline fishery, and a similar program will limit access to the American Samoa longline fishery on December 1, 2005. In Hawaii, the pelagic longline fishery is limited to 164 vessels, with about 120 active in recent years. In American Samoa, participation will likely be limited to 138 vessels. There are 65 additional general (openaccess) longline permits in the region. Some 64 of these are located in American Samoa, and many of these are expected to qualify under the American Samoa limited entry program. One more general longline permit holder is located in the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, but the vessel is inactive. Currently, there are no domestic longline vessels operating out of Guam. Domestic purse seine vessels have access to foreign EEZs under the arrangements of the South Pacific Tuna Treaty. The treaty limits U.S. participation to 40 vessels, plus an additional five for joint ventures. The number of active U.S. purse seine vessels has decreased gradually from 36 in 1999 to 17 in 2005. There has been limited activity in recent years within the U.S. EEZ by purse seiners, specifically around the Pacific Remote Island Areas. Control dates are intended to discourage speculative entry into fisheries, as new entrants entering the fisheries after the control date are forewarned that they are not guaranteed future participation in the fisheries. Establishment of this control date does not commit the WPFMC or NMFS to any particular management regime or criteria for entry into the pelagic purse seine or longline fisheries. Fishermen are not guaranteed future participation in the fisheries, regardless of their level of participation before or after the control date. The WPFMC may recommend a different control date or it may recommend a management regime that does not involve a control date. E:\FR\FM\15AUP1.SGM 15AUP1 Federal Register / Vol. 70, No. 156 / Monday, August 15, 2005 / Proposed Rules Other criteria, such as documentation of commercial landings and sales, may be used to determine eligibility for participation in a limited access fishery. The WPFMC and/or NMFS also may choose to take no further action to control entry or access to the fisheries, VerDate jul<14>2003 15:39 Aug 12, 2005 Jkt 205001 in which case the control date may be rescinded. Classification This advance notice of proposed rulemaking has been determined to be not significant for the purposes of Executive Order 12866. PO 00000 Frm 00054 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 47783 Authority: 16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq. Dated: August 10, 2005. James W. Balsiger, Acting Deputy Assistant Administrator for Regulatory Programs, National Marine Fisheries Service. [FR Doc. 05–16122 Filed 8–12–05; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510–22–S E:\FR\FM\15AUP1.SGM 15AUP1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 70, Number 156 (Monday, August 15, 2005)]
[Proposed Rules]
[Pages 47782-47783]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 05-16122]


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DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

50 CFR Part 660

[Docket No. 050801213-5213-01; I.D. 072805B]
RIN 0648-AT53


Fisheries off West Coast States and in the Western Pacific; 
Western Pacific Pelagic Fisheries; Control Date for Domestic Purse 
Seine and Longline Pelagic Fisheries in U.S. EEZ of Western Pacific 
Region

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

ACTION: Proposed rule; advance notice of proposed rulemaking; 
notification of control date.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

SUMMARY: NMFS announces that persons who enter the pelagic purse seine 
and longline fisheries in the U.S. exclusive economic zone (EEZ) of the 
western Pacific region after June 2, 2005 (``control date'') are not 
guaranteed future participation in the fishery if the Western Pacific 
Fishery Management Council (WPFMC) recommends, and NMFS approves, a 
program limiting entry or effort. This action does not commit the WPFMC 
or NMFS to limit entry, or prevent any other date from being selected 
for eligibility to participate in the pelagic purse seine or longline 
fisheries. The WPFMC or NMFS may also use other criteria to limit 
fishing effort or participation in a limited entry program that is 
developed in the future.

DATES: Comments must be submitted in writing by October 14, 2005.

ADDRESSES: You may submit comments on this notice identified by I.D. 
072805B by any of the following methods:
     E-mail: AT53-PSLLDate@noaa.gov. Include I.D. 072805B in 
the subject line of the e-mail comment following document identifier: 
Purse seine and longline control date. Comments sent via e-mail, 
including all attachments, must not exceed a 10 megabyte file size.
     Federal e-Rulemaking portal: www.regulations.gov. Follow 
the instructions for submitting comments.
     Mail: William L. Robinson, Administrator, NMFS Pacific
    Islands Region (PIR), 1601 Kapiolani Blvd., Suite 1110, Honolulu, 
HI 96814.
     Fax: 808-973-2941

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Robert Harman, NMFS PIR, at 808-944-
2271.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: On June 2, 2005, at its 127th meeting, the 
WPFMC recommended a ``control date'' of June 2, 2005, applicable to 
persons who are contemplating entering the pelagic purse seine (for 
tunas) and longline fisheries in the U.S. exclusive economic zone (EEZ) 
around islands of the western Pacific region. The WPFMC requested that 
this control date be published in the Federal Register to notify 
fishermen that if they enter these fisheries after June 2, 2005, they 
may not be assured of future access if the WPFMC and/or NMFS decide to 
limit entry or impose other measures to manage these fisheries.
    Establishment of a control date responds to NMFS' notice to the 
WPFMC, dated December 30, 2004 (69 FR 78397), that overfishing is 
occurring Pacific-wide on bigeye tuna, and that management action must 
be taken by the WPFMC to end this overfishing. The WPFMC tentatively 
has determined that limited access programs for purse seine and 
longline fisheries in the U.S. EEZ of the western Pacific region might 
be one of the viable mechanisms to reduce fishing mortality in Pacific 
bigeye tuna, as a step toward ending overfishing in the pelagic 
fisheries.
    Domestic longline and purse seine vessels operate in the U.S. EEZ, 
on the high seas, and in foreign EEZs under specific arrangements. 
Fishery access (in terms of both number of participants and 
geographical operations) is already limited in several of these 
fisheries. There is a limited access program in the Hawaii longline 
fishery, and a similar program will limit access to the American Samoa 
longline fishery on December 1, 2005. In Hawaii, the pelagic longline 
fishery is limited to 164 vessels, with about 120 active in recent 
years. In American Samoa, participation will likely be limited to 138 
vessels. There are 65 additional general (open-access) longline permits 
in the region. Some 64 of these are located in American Samoa, and many 
of these are expected to qualify under the American Samoa limited entry 
program. One more general longline permit holder is located in the 
Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, but the vessel is 
inactive. Currently, there are no domestic longline vessels operating 
out of Guam. Domestic purse seine vessels have access to foreign EEZs 
under the arrangements of the South Pacific Tuna Treaty. The treaty 
limits U.S. participation to 40 vessels, plus an additional five for 
joint ventures. The number of active U.S. purse seine vessels has 
decreased gradually from 36 in 1999 to 17 in 2005. There has been 
limited activity in recent years within the U.S. EEZ by purse seiners, 
specifically around the Pacific Remote Island Areas.
    Control dates are intended to discourage speculative entry into 
fisheries, as new entrants entering the fisheries after the control 
date are forewarned that they are not guaranteed future participation 
in the fisheries.
    Establishment of this control date does not commit the WPFMC or 
NMFS to any particular management regime or criteria for entry into the 
pelagic purse seine or longline fisheries. Fishermen are not guaranteed 
future participation in the fisheries, regardless of their level of 
participation before or after the control date. The WPFMC may recommend 
a different control date or it may recommend a management regime that 
does not involve a control date.

[[Page 47783]]

 Other criteria, such as documentation of commercial landings and 
sales, may be used to determine eligibility for participation in a 
limited access fishery. The WPFMC and/or NMFS also may choose to take 
no further action to control entry or access to the fisheries, in which 
case the control date may be rescinded.

Classification

    This advance notice of proposed rulemaking has been determined to 
be not significant for the purposes of Executive Order 12866.

    Authority: 16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq.

    Dated: August 10, 2005.
James W. Balsiger,
Acting Deputy Assistant Administrator for Regulatory Programs, National 
Marine Fisheries Service.
[FR Doc. 05-16122 Filed 8-12-05; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 3510-22-S