Fisheries of the Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico, and South Atlantic; Reef Fish Fishery of the Gulf of Mexico; Extension of Commercial Trip Limits for Gulf of Mexico Grouper Fishery, 48323-48324 [05-16319]

Download as PDF Federal Register / Vol. 70, No. 158 / Wednesday, August 17, 2005 / Rules and Regulations Energy Supply, Distribution, or Use (Executive Order 13211) On May 18, 2001, the President issued Executive Order 13211 on regulations that significantly affect energy supply, distribution, and use. Executive Order 13211 requires agencies to prepare Statements of Energy Effects when undertaking certain actions. Because this rule is not a significant regulatory action under Executive Order 12866, it is not expected to significantly affect energy supplies, distribution, and use. Therefore, this action is a not a significant energy action and no Statement of Energy Effects is required. Dated: August 2, 2005. Paul Hoffman, Acting Assistant Secretary for Fish and Wildlife and Parks. [FR Doc. 05–16277 Filed 8–16–05; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4310–55–P DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration 50 CFR Part 622 [Docket No. 050209033–5033–01; I.D. 020405D] List of Subjects in 50 CFR Part 18 RIN 0648–AS97 Administrative practice and procedure, Alaska, Imports, Indians, Marine mammals, Oil and gas exploration, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements, Transportation. Fisheries of the Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico, and South Atlantic; Reef Fish Fishery of the Gulf of Mexico; Extension of Commercial Trip Limits for Gulf of Mexico Grouper Fishery PART 18—MARINE MAMMALS 1. The authority citation for 50 CFR part 18 continues to read as follows: I Authority: 16 U.S.C. 1361 et seq. 2. In § 18.3, revise the definition for Authentic native articles of handicrafts and clothing as follows: I § 18.3 Definitions. * * * * * Authentic native articles of handicrafts and clothing means items made by an Indian, Aleut, or Eskimo that (a) are composed wholly or in some significant respect of natural materials and (b) are significantly altered from their natural form and are produced, decorated, or fashioned in the exercise of traditional native handicrafts without the use of pantographs, multiple carvers, or similar mass-copying devices. Improved methods of production utilizing modern implements such as sewing machines or modern techniques at a tannery registered pursuant to § 18.23(c) may be used so long as no large-scale massproduction industry results. Traditional native handicrafts include, but are not limited to, weaving, carving, stitching, sewing, lacing, beading, drawing, and painting. The formation of traditional native groups, such as cooperatives, is permitted so long as no large-scale mass production results. * * * * * VerDate jul<14>2003 11:00 Aug 16, 2005 Jkt 205001 National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Commerce. ACTION: Temporary rule; emergency action; extended. AGENCY: In consideration of the foregoing, 50 CFR part 18, subpart A of chapter I, title 50 of the Code of Federal Regulations, is amended as follows: I SUMMARY: An emergency rule of February 17, 2005, that established trip limits for the commercial shallow-water and deep-water grouper fisheries in the exclusive economic zone of the Gulf of Mexico is in effect from March 3, 2005, through August 16, 2005. NMFS extends that emergency rule for an additional 180 days through February 12, 2006. The intended effects of that emergency rule are to moderate the rate of harvest of the available quotas, reduce the adverse social and economic effects of derby fishing, enable more effective quota monitoring, and reduce the probability of overfishing. DATES: Effective from August 17, 2005, through February 12, 2006. ADDRESSES: Copies of documents supporting this rule may be obtained from the Southeast Regional Office, NMFS, 263 13th Avenue South, St. Petersburg, FL 33701. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Phil Steele, 727–551–5784; fax: 727–824– 5308, e-mail: Phil.Steele@noaa.gov. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The fishery for reef fish is managed under the Fishery Management Plan for the Reef Fish Resources of the Gulf of Mexico (FMP) that was prepared by the Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council (Council). This FMP was approved by NMFS and implemented under the authority of the MagnusonStevens Fishery Conservation and PO 00000 Frm 00055 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 48323 Management Act (Magnuson-Stevens Act) by regulations at 50 CFR part 622. In response to a request from the Council, NMFS published an emergency rule (70 FR 8037, February 17, 2005) under section 305(c)(1) of the Magnuson-Stevens Act, that established trip limits for the commercial shallowwater and deep-water grouper fisheries in the exclusive economic zone of the Gulf of Mexico. The trip limits were, and remain, necessary to slow the rate of harvest of the available commercial grouper quotas, extend the fishing season, reduce the effects of derby fishing, and reduce the probability of overfishing. The trips limits were originally proposed to the Council by representatives of the commercial reef fish fishery as follows: (1) On January 1, all vessels will be limited to a 10,000– lb (4,536–kg), gutted-weight (GW), trip limit for deep-water grouper and shallow-water grouper combined; (2) if on or before August 1 the fishery is estimated to have landed more than 50 percent of either the shallow-water grouper or the red grouper quota, then a 7,500–lb (3,402–kg) GW trip limit takes effect; and (3) if on or before October 1 the fishery is estimated to have landed more than 75 percent of either the shallow-water grouper or the red grouper quota, then a 5,500–lb (2,495–kg) GW trip limit takes effect. Because implementation of the original emergency rule occurred after January 1, NMFS revised item (1) above to reflect the appropriate implementation date, March 3. This extension of the emergency rule will include at § 622.44(h)(1)(i) the period beginning January 1; therefore, this emergency rule modifies item (1) to again reflect the January 1 date consistent with the intent of the original proposal. NMFS also adds one other minor clarification in this emergency rule to explain that, although the trip limits are for shallowwater grouper and deep-water grouper are combined, if either fishery has reached its quota and has been closed, no fish subject to the closure may be possessed under the applicable trip limit. Under section 305(c)(3)(B) of the Magnuson-Stevens Act, NMFS may extend the effectiveness of an emergency rule for one additional period of 180 days, provided the public has had an opportunity to comment on the emergency rule and the Council is actively preparing proposed regulations to address the issue on a permanent basis. NMFS solicited comments on the initial emergency rule through March 21, 2005, and received one comment in E:\FR\FM\17AUR1.SGM 17AUR1 48324 Federal Register / Vol. 70, No. 158 / Wednesday, August 17, 2005 / Rules and Regulations support of the emergency rule. NMFS concurs that the emergency was, and remains, necessary to reduce adverse effects of derby fishing, extend the fishing season, and reduce the probability of overfishing. The Council is preparing a regulatory amendment and associated proposed regulations which will address measures, including trip limits, to moderate the rate of harvest in the Gulf grouper commercial fishery. Those measures, if approved and implemented by NMFS, would replace this emergency rule. Action to address these issues via the proposed regulations associated with the regulatory amendment cannot be implemented before the current emergency rule expires on August 17, 2005. Extension of the emergency rule is necessary to avoid a regulatory lapse and to ensure that the rate of harvest remains under proper control so the season can be extended as much as possible and the risk of overfishing is minimized. Additional details concerning the basis for these commercial trip limits are contained in the preamble to the initial emergency rule and are not repeated here. Classification The Assistant Administrator for Fisheries, NOAA (AA), has determined that this extension of the emergency rule is necessary to minimize adverse social and economic impacts, (i.e., derby fishing, market gluts, lower exvessel prices, potential safety-at-sea issues, and a shortened fishing season). The AA has also determined that this rule is consistent with the MagnusonStevens Act and other applicable laws. This emergency rule has been determined to be not significant for purposes of Executive Order 12866. This emergency rule is exempt from the procedures of the Regulatory Flexibility Act because the rule is issued VerDate jul<14>2003 11:00 Aug 16, 2005 Jkt 205001 without opportunity for prior notice and opportunity for public comment. The AA finds good cause to waive the requirement to provide prior notice and opportunity for public comment, pursuant to authority set forth at U.S.C. 553(b)(B), as such procedures would be impracticable and contrary to the public interest. This emergency rule merely extends the commercial trip limits established by the initial emergency rule which was subject to public comment. The only comment received supported the implementation of the emergency rule. This extension of the emergency rule is necessary to continue the moderation of the rate of harvest of the available quotas, thereby helping to keep the fishery open for more of the fishing year and reducing the effects of derby fishing and the associated adverse social and economic impacts. As previously indicated, preliminary January data indicated a 23–percent increase in landings over the comparable time frame in 2004. An early and disruptive closure is highly likely if the trip limits were to lapse. For these same reasons, under 5 U.S.C. 553(d)(3), the AA finds good cause that a 30-day delay in the effective date of this emergency rule would be contrary to the public interest. List of Subjects in 50 CFR Part 622 Fisheries, Fishing, Puerto Rico, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements, Virgin Islands. Dated: August 11, 2005. James W. Balsiger, Acting Deputy Assistant Administrator for Regulatory Programs, National Marine Fisheries Service. For the reasons set out in the preamble, 50 CFR part 622 is amended as follows: I PO 00000 PART 622—FISHERIES OF THE CARIBBEAN, GULF, AND SOUTH ATLANTIC 1. The authority citation for part 622 continues to read as follows: I Authority: 16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq. 2. In § 622.44, paragraph (g) is added to read as follows: I § 622.44 Commercial trip limits. * * * * * (g) Gulf deep-water and shallow-water grouper, combined. (1) For vessels operating under the quotas in § 622.42(a)(1)(ii) or § 622.42(a)(1)(iii), the following trip limits apply to Gulf deep-water and shallow-water grouper combined. However, when the quotas in § 622.42(a)(1)(ii) or § 622.42(a)(1)(iii) are reached and the respective fishery is closed, the commercial trip limit for the species subject to the closure is zero. (See § 622.42(a)(1)(ii) and § 622.42(a)(1)(iii) for the species included in the deep-water and shallowwater grouper categories, respectively.) (i) Beginning January 1—10,000 lb (4,536 kg), gutted weight. (ii) If on or before August 1 more than 50 percent of either the shallow-water grouper quota or red grouper quota specified in § 622.42(a)(1)(iii) is reached or is projected to be reached—7,500 lb (3,402 kg), gutted weight. (iii) If on or before October 1 more than 75 percent of either the shallowwater grouper quota or red grouper quota specified in § 622.42(a)(1)(iii) is reached or is projected to be reached-5,500 lb (2,495 kg), gutted weight. (2) The Assistant Administrator, by filing a notification of trip limit change with the Office of the Federal Register, will effect the trip limit changes specified in paragraphs (h)(1)(ii) and (iii) of this section when the applicable conditions have been met. [FR Doc. 05–16319 Filed 8–12–05; 2:30 pm] BILLING CODE 3510–22–S Frm 00056 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 E:\FR\FM\17AUR1.SGM 17AUR1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 70, Number 158 (Wednesday, August 17, 2005)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 48323-48324]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 05-16319]


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DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

50 CFR Part 622

[Docket No. 050209033-5033-01; I.D. 020405D]
RIN 0648-AS97


Fisheries of the Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico, and South Atlantic; 
Reef Fish Fishery of the Gulf of Mexico; Extension of Commercial Trip 
Limits for Gulf of Mexico Grouper Fishery

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

ACTION: Temporary rule; emergency action; extended.

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SUMMARY: An emergency rule of February 17, 2005, that established trip 
limits for the commercial shallow-water and deep-water grouper 
fisheries in the exclusive economic zone of the Gulf of Mexico is in 
effect from March 3, 2005, through August 16, 2005. NMFS extends that 
emergency rule for an additional 180 days through February 12, 2006. 
The intended effects of that emergency rule are to moderate the rate of 
harvest of the available quotas, reduce the adverse social and economic 
effects of derby fishing, enable more effective quota monitoring, and 
reduce the probability of overfishing.

DATES: Effective from August 17, 2005, through February 12, 2006.

ADDRESSES: Copies of documents supporting this rule may be obtained 
from the Southeast Regional Office, NMFS, 263 13\th\ Avenue South, St. 
Petersburg, FL 33701.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Phil Steele, 727-551-5784; fax: 727-
824-5308, e-mail: Phil.Steele@noaa.gov.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The fishery for reef fish is managed under 
the Fishery Management Plan for the Reef Fish Resources of the Gulf of 
Mexico (FMP) that was prepared by the Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management 
Council (Council). This FMP was approved by NMFS and implemented under 
the authority of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and 
Management Act (Magnuson-Stevens Act) by regulations at 50 CFR part 
622.
    In response to a request from the Council, NMFS published an 
emergency rule (70 FR 8037, February 17, 2005) under section 305(c)(1) 
of the Magnuson-Stevens Act, that established trip limits for the 
commercial shallow-water and deep-water grouper fisheries in the 
exclusive economic zone of the Gulf of Mexico. The trip limits were, 
and remain, necessary to slow the rate of harvest of the available 
commercial grouper quotas, extend the fishing season, reduce the 
effects of derby fishing, and reduce the probability of overfishing.
    The trips limits were originally proposed to the Council by 
representatives of the commercial reef fish fishery as follows: (1) On 
January 1, all vessels will be limited to a 10,000-lb (4,536-kg), 
gutted-weight (GW), trip limit for deep-water grouper and shallow-water 
grouper combined; (2) if on or before August 1 the fishery is estimated 
to have landed more than 50 percent of either the shallow-water grouper 
or the red grouper quota, then a 7,500-lb (3,402-kg) GW trip limit 
takes effect; and (3) if on or before October 1 the fishery is 
estimated to have landed more than 75 percent of either the shallow-
water grouper or the red grouper quota, then a 5,500-lb (2,495-kg) GW 
trip limit takes effect. Because implementation of the original 
emergency rule occurred after January 1, NMFS revised item (1) above to 
reflect the appropriate implementation date, March 3. This extension of 
the emergency rule will include at Sec.  622.44(h)(1)(i) the period 
beginning January 1; therefore, this emergency rule modifies item (1) 
to again reflect the January 1 date consistent with the intent of the 
original proposal. NMFS also adds one other minor clarification in this 
emergency rule to explain that, although the trip limits are for 
shallow-water grouper and deep-water grouper are combined, if either 
fishery has reached its quota and has been closed, no fish subject to 
the closure may be possessed under the applicable trip limit.
    Under section 305(c)(3)(B) of the Magnuson-Stevens Act, NMFS may 
extend the effectiveness of an emergency rule for one additional period 
of 180 days, provided the public has had an opportunity to comment on 
the emergency rule and the Council is actively preparing proposed 
regulations to address the issue on a permanent basis.
    NMFS solicited comments on the initial emergency rule through March 
21, 2005, and received one comment in

[[Page 48324]]

support of the emergency rule. NMFS concurs that the emergency was, and 
remains, necessary to reduce adverse effects of derby fishing, extend 
the fishing season, and reduce the probability of overfishing.
    The Council is preparing a regulatory amendment and associated 
proposed regulations which will address measures, including trip 
limits, to moderate the rate of harvest in the Gulf grouper commercial 
fishery. Those measures, if approved and implemented by NMFS, would 
replace this emergency rule. Action to address these issues via the 
proposed regulations associated with the regulatory amendment cannot be 
implemented before the current emergency rule expires on August 17, 
2005. Extension of the emergency rule is necessary to avoid a 
regulatory lapse and to ensure that the rate of harvest remains under 
proper control so the season can be extended as much as possible and 
the risk of overfishing is minimized.
    Additional details concerning the basis for these commercial trip 
limits are contained in the preamble to the initial emergency rule and 
are not repeated here.

Classification

    The Assistant Administrator for Fisheries, NOAA (AA), has 
determined that this extension of the emergency rule is necessary to 
minimize adverse social and economic impacts, (i.e., derby fishing, 
market gluts, lower ex-vessel prices, potential safety-at-sea issues, 
and a shortened fishing season). The AA has also determined that this 
rule is consistent with the Magnuson-Stevens Act and other applicable 
laws.
    This emergency rule has been determined to be not significant for 
purposes of Executive Order 12866.
    This emergency rule is exempt from the procedures of the Regulatory 
Flexibility Act because the rule is issued without opportunity for 
prior notice and opportunity for public comment.
    The AA finds good cause to waive the requirement to provide prior 
notice and opportunity for public comment, pursuant to authority set 
forth at U.S.C. 553(b)(B), as such procedures would be impracticable 
and contrary to the public interest. This emergency rule merely extends 
the commercial trip limits established by the initial emergency rule 
which was subject to public comment. The only comment received 
supported the implementation of the emergency rule. This extension of 
the emergency rule is necessary to continue the moderation of the rate 
of harvest of the available quotas, thereby helping to keep the fishery 
open for more of the fishing year and reducing the effects of derby 
fishing and the associated adverse social and economic impacts. As 
previously indicated, preliminary January data indicated a 23-percent 
increase in landings over the comparable time frame in 2004. An early 
and disruptive closure is highly likely if the trip limits were to 
lapse. For these same reasons, under 5 U.S.C. 553(d)(3), the AA finds 
good cause that a 30-day delay in the effective date of this emergency 
rule would be contrary to the public interest.

List of Subjects in 50 CFR Part 622

    Fisheries, Fishing, Puerto Rico, Reporting and recordkeeping 
requirements, Virgin Islands.

    Dated: August 11, 2005.
James W. Balsiger,
Acting Deputy Assistant Administrator for Regulatory Programs, National 
Marine Fisheries Service.

0
For the reasons set out in the preamble, 50 CFR part 622 is amended as 
follows:

PART 622--FISHERIES OF THE CARIBBEAN, GULF, AND SOUTH ATLANTIC

0
1. The authority citation for part 622 continues to read as follows:

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

0
2. In Sec.  622.44, paragraph (g) is added to read as follows:


Sec.  622.44  Commercial trip limits.

* * * * *
    (g) Gulf deep-water and shallow-water grouper, combined. (1) For 
vessels operating under the quotas in Sec.  622.42(a)(1)(ii) or Sec.  
622.42(a)(1)(iii), the following trip limits apply to Gulf deep-water 
and shallow-water grouper combined. However, when the quotas in Sec.  
622.42(a)(1)(ii) or Sec.  622.42(a)(1)(iii) are reached and the 
respective fishery is closed, the commercial trip limit for the species 
subject to the closure is zero. (See Sec.  622.42(a)(1)(ii) and Sec.  
622.42(a)(1)(iii) for the species included in the deep-water and 
shallow-water grouper categories, respectively.)
    (i) Beginning January 1--10,000 lb (4,536 kg), gutted weight.
    (ii) If on or before August 1 more than 50 percent of either the 
shallow-water grouper quota or red grouper quota specified in Sec.  
622.42(a)(1)(iii) is reached or is projected to be reached--7,500 lb 
(3,402 kg), gutted weight.
    (iii) If on or before October 1 more than 75 percent of either the 
shallow-water grouper quota or red grouper quota specified in Sec.  
622.42(a)(1)(iii) is reached or is projected to be reached--5,500 lb 
(2,495 kg), gutted weight.
    (2) The Assistant Administrator, by filing a notification of trip 
limit change with the Office of the Federal Register, will effect the 
trip limit changes specified in paragraphs (h)(1)(ii) and (iii) of this 
section when the applicable conditions have been met.
[FR Doc. 05-16319 Filed 8-12-05; 2:30 pm]
BILLING CODE 3510-22-S