Atlantic Highly Migratory Species; Atlantic Swordfish Quotas, 29087-29089 [06-4693]

Download as PDF cprice-sewell on PROD1PC66 with RULES Federal Register / Vol. 71, No. 97 / Friday, May 19, 2006 / Rules and Regulations consumable items required for maintenance support of all equipment, excluding medical-peculiar repair parts; and (ii) Are being shipped to any of the following locations: (A) Defense Distribution Depot, Susquehanna, PA: DoDAAC W25G1U or SW3124. (B) Defense Distribution Depot, San Joaquin, CA: DoDAAC W62G2T or SW3224. (C) Defense Distribution Depot, Albany, GA: DoDAAC SW3121. (D) Defense Distribution Depot, Anniston, AL: DoDAAC W31G1Z or SW3120. (E) Defense Distribution Depot, Barstow, CA: DoDAAC SW3215. (F) Defense Distribution Depot, Cherry Point, NC: DoDAAC SW3113. (G) Defense Distribution Depot, Columbus, OH: DoDAAC SW0700. (H) Defense Distribution Depot, Corpus Christi, TX: DoDAAC W45H08 or SW3222. (I) Defense Distribution Depot, Hill, UT: DoDAAC SW3210. (J) Defense Distribution Depot, Jacksonville, FL: DoDAAC SW3122. 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(c) The Contractor shall ensure that— (1) The data encoded on each passive RFID tag are unique (i.e., the binary number is never repeated on any and all contracts) and conforms to the requirements in paragraph (d) of this clause; (2) Each passive tag is readable; and (3) The passive tag is affixed at the appropriate location on the specific VerDate Aug<31>2005 14:33 May 18, 2006 Jkt 208001 level of packaging, in accordance with MIL–STD–129 (Section 4.9.2) tag placement specifications. (d) Data syntax and standards. The Contractor shall encode an approved RFID tag using the instructions provided in the most recent EPCTM Tag Data Standards document, available at http:// www.epcglobalinc.org/ standards_technology/ specifications.html. (1) If the Contractor is an EPCglobalTM subscriber and possesses a unique EPCTM company prefix, the Contractor may use any of the identity types and encoding instructions described in the most recent EPCTM Tag Data Standards document to encode tags. (2) If the Contractor chooses to employ the DoD Identity Type, the Contractor shall use its previously assigned Commercial and Government Entity (CAGE) Code and shall encode the tags in accordance with the tag identity type details located at http:// www.acq.osd.mil/log/rfid/tag_data.htm. If the Contractor uses a third party packaging house to encode its tags, the CAGE code of the third party packaging house is acceptable. (3) Regardless of the selected encoding scheme, the Contractor is responsible for ensuring that each tag contains a globally unique identifier. (e) Receiving report. The Contractor shall electronically submit advance shipment notice(s) with the RFID tag identification (specified in paragraph (d) of this clause) in advance of the shipment in accordance with the procedures at http://www.acq.osd.mil/ log/rfid/advance_shipment_ntc.htm. * * * * * [FR Doc. 06–4682 Filed 5–18–06; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 5001–08–P DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration 50 CFR Part 635 [Docket No. 060201021–6124–02; I.D. 100405C] RIN 0648–AT73 Atlantic Highly Migratory Species; Atlantic Swordfish Quotas National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Commerce. ACTION: Final rule. AGENCY: SUMMARY: NMFS amends the regulations governing the North and South Atlantic PO 00000 Frm 00027 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 29087 swordfish fisheries to modify the North and South Atlantic Swordfish quotas for the 2005 fishing year (Junej 1, 2005, through May 31, 2006) to account for updated landings information from the 2003 and 2004 fishing years. This action is necessary to ensure that current quotas are based on the most recent landings information and account for any underharvest from previous fishing years, consistent with the regulations at 50 CFR part 635. Additionally, this action implements a subsequent recommendation by the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tuna (ICCAT)(Recommendation 04–02) to extend the 2005 North Atlantic swordfish management measures. DATES: Effective June 19, 2006. ADDRESSES: For copies of this rule, write to Highly Migratory Species Management Division (F/SF1), 1315 East-West Highway, Silver Spring, MD 20910. Copies are also available on the internet at http://www.nmfs.noaa.gov/ sfa/hms. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Megan Caldwell, by phone: 301–713– 2347; by fax: 301–713–1917; or by email: Megan.Caldwell@noaa.gov. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The U.S. Atlantic swordfish fishery is managed under the 1999 Fishery Management Plan for Atlantic Tunas, Swordfish, and Sharks (FMP). Implementing regulations at 50 CFR part 635 are issued under the authority of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (Magnuson-Stevens Act), 16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq. and the Atlantic Tunas Convention Act (ATCA), 16 U.S.C. 971 et seq. The ATCA authorizes the promulgation of regulations as may be necessary and appropriate to carry out ICCAT recommendations. Details regarding 2005 North and South Atlantic swordfish commercial quotas and the extension of the 2005 North Atlantic swordfish management measures were provided in the proposed rule (71 FR 7499, February 16, 2006) and are not repeated in this final rule. Response to Comments Comments on the proposed rule received during the public comment period are summarized below, together with NMFS’ responses. Comment 1: I am opposed to any increase in catch of swordfish due to the status of the North Atlantic swordfish stock. Response: North Atlantic swordfish is currently managed under an international rebuilding program to rebuild the stock by 2009. As long as the E:\FR\FM\19MYR1.SGM 19MYR1 cprice-sewell on PROD1PC66 with RULES 29088 Federal Register / Vol. 71, No. 97 / Friday, May 19, 2006 / Rules and Regulations catch levels established by this rebuilding program are not exceeded, the swordfish stock is projected to continue rebuilding and meet the biomass target by 2009. The rebuilding target is based on the biomass needed to produce maximum sustainable yield (Bmsy), which would be 14,340 mt. Atlantic swordfish was last assessed by the Standing Committee on Research and Statistics (SCRS) in 2002. The 2002 North Atlantic swordfish stock assessment results indicated that the biomass had improved due to strong recruitment since 1997 and a reduction in catch. The biomass had improved such that it was estimated to be at 94 percent of Bmsy. The biomass was projected to continue progressing towards MSY; therefore, the SCRS recommended an increased total allowable catch (TAC) for 2003–2005. This action does not increase the annual base quota recommended by ICCAT, rather it extends that base quota until a new recommendation for the U.S. quota is available. This action also provides for the use of unused quota from the previous fishing year. The overall North and South Atlantic swordfish TAC has not been exceeded during the rebuilding period. In fact, the U.S. catch continues to be under the allowable level for Atlantic swordfish under its rebuilding plan. A new stock assessment for Atlantic swordfish is expected to be conducted and reviewed in September 2006. Comment 2: If the biomass is 94 percent of that needed to produce maximum sustainable yield, why was there a time/area closure for swordfish in the first place? Response: The North Atlantic swordfish biomass was only 65 percent of MSY when the East Florida Coast (EFC) closure was implemented in 2001. The closure was implemented in part to reduce undersized swordfish mortality, as well as the bycatch of other HMS in the pelagic longline fishery. Management measures were needed to reduce bycatch, in general. Since the EFC closure was implemented, the stock status of North Atlantic swordfish has improved, but has not yet been rebuilt. The 2006 North Atlantic swordfish stock assessment will have the most updated information on the current status of this stock. Because the EFC time/area closure was implemented for several stocks, including swordfish, NMFS will consider the most current stock status information for all HMS and bycatch species, the impact to the fishery, as well as other factors, when examining the impact and need for a time/area closure. VerDate Aug<31>2005 14:33 May 18, 2006 Jkt 208001 Comment 3: Has the average harvested swordfish weight declined so dramatically that it is below the typical weight for a swordfish of reproductive age? It seems rigorous quotas are needed, not just matching catches from the previous year or two to be completely rebuilt. Response: While the average weight of the U.S. landings are below the average swordfish weight at reproductive age, U.S. swordfish landings do not indicate that the average swordfish weight has declined in recent years. U.S. landings are below the average swordfish weight at reproductive age because the ICCAT minimum size limits are set below this size. Additionally, the 2004 SCRS Report to ICCAT provided an update on the status of the North Atlantic swordfish stock and stated that the number of small fish reported in the catch has not increased despite increased recruitment in recent years. The U.S. swordfish quota is established by an ICCAT recommendation, which is then implemented domestically according to the ATCA. ICCAT’s recommended quotas are based on projections that the stock will rebuild if harvest (based on weight) is maintained at a particular level. In 2002, ICCAT established North Atlantic swordfish baseline quotas for 2003, 2004, and 2005 fishing years and the South Atlantic swordfish baseline quotas for 2003, 2004, 2005, and 2006. The 2004 ICCAT recommendation extended the 2005 North Atlantic swordfish baseline quota because an updated assessment, the basis for a quota recommendations, was not completed prior to the 2006 fishing year. Swordfish were last assessed in 2002, and will be assessed again later this year. At that time, SCRS will have more information about the current status of this stock, providing the basis for new ICCAT recommendation(s), which may include new TACs. Comment 4: Swordfish boats should switch to harpoons to reduce bycatch. Harpoons can be more selective allowing the juvenile swordfish to escape and grow to a reproductive age. A new market needs to be developed for harpooned fish. The fish are not in the water for long periods of time so the meat tastes better and stays fresh. Response: NMFS agrees fishermen can be selective with harpoon gear and that harpoons have low bycatch rates. Harpoons are an authorized gear type for the commercial swordfish fishery. Comment 5: The status of swordfish has improved dramatically and bycatch limits for incidental permit holders are being exceeded, especially for displaced PO 00000 Frm 00028 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 fishermen targeting tunas with pelagic longline due to the shark closed area off North Carolina. To reduce dead discards and provide U.S. fishermen with more opportunities, NMFS should increase the incidental limit to 15 swordfish. Response: NMFS did not consider an increase to the incidental catch limits in this action because a more current stock assessment is not yet available to evaluate the potential implications of increasing catch limit on the North Atlantic swordfish stock. The North Atlantic swordfish stock is scheduled to be assessed in September 2006. Upon completion, ICCAT would then review the assessment and consider new recommendations in November 2006. ICCAT’s recommendations and the stock assessment will provide the basis for considering changes to the incidental catch limit in a future rulemaking. Comment 6: The swordfish underharvest is a testament that HMS management is not working. There is something wrong when there is so much quota and the fishery cannot harvest it. With 40 nations at ICCAT and almost every one of them asking for quota, leading by example through conservation does nothing to maintain the U.S. quota. Response: During the public comment period for the Consolidated HMS FMP, NMFS received many comments stating the need to revitalize the swordfish fishery. As NMFS gathers information regarding catches, catch rates of target species and bycatch species with circle hooks, NMFS will continue to evaluate the need for all current regulations with regard to the effect on harvest rates and will work with fishermen to preserve the U.S. quota share while ensuring consistency with the Magnuson-Stevens Act, ATCA, and other applicable domestic laws. Any action would be in a future rulemaking and will depend, in part, on results from the upcoming swordfish stock assessment and ICCAT recommendation(s). Changes From the Proposed Rule There are no changes from the proposed rule (71 FR 7499, February 16, 2006). Classification This final rule is published under the authority of the Magnuson-Stevens Act, 16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq., and ATCA, 16 U.S.C. 971 et seq. The Assistant Administrator (AA) for Fisheries, NOAA, has determined that the regulations contained in this rule are consistent with conservation goals of the Magnuson-Stevens Act, ATCA, the 1999 FMP, and other applicable laws. E:\FR\FM\19MYR1.SGM 19MYR1 Federal Register / Vol. 71, No. 97 / Friday, May 19, 2006 / Rules and Regulations cprice-sewell on PROD1PC66 with RULES NMFS prepared an Environmental Assessment (EA) for this final rule, and the AA has concluded that there would be no significant impact on the human environment. The EA presents analyses of the anticipated impacts of these final actions and the alternatives considered. A copy of the EA, and other analytical documents prepared for this rule, are available from NMFS (see ADDRESSES). This final rule has been determined to be not significant for purposes of Executive Order 12866. The Chief Counsel for Regulation of the Department of Commerce certified to the Chief Counsel for Advocacy of the Small Business Administration during the proposed rule stage that this action would not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. The factual basis for the certification was published in the proposed rule and is not repeated here. As a result of this certification, a regulatory flexibility analysis was not required and none was prepared. No comments were received that would alter the determination to certify this rule, but two comments were submitted that indirectly relate to economic impacts on the swordfish commercial fishery. These two comments suggest altering the current swordfish management program to enable the fishery to harvest the available quota. Modifying the swordfish management program could have economic impacts to the fishery, but was beyond the scope of measures considered for this action. The purpose of this action was to implement ICCAT recommendations VerDate Aug<31>2005 14:33 May 18, 2006 Jkt 208001 pursuant to ATCA. Once the new assessment is complete and has been reviewed by ICCAT, the Agency may consider modifications to the swordfish management program based on the assessment results and any future recommendations from ICCAT. NMFS determined that these regulations will be implemented in a manner consistent to the maximum extent practicable with the enforceable policies of those Atlantic, Gulf of Mexico, and Caribbean coastal states that have approved coastal zone management programs. This determination was submitted for review by the responsible state agencies on January 31, 2006, when the proposed rule was filed with the Federal Register, under section 307 of the Coastal Zone Management Act. New Hampshire, Delaware, Virginia, North Carolina, Georgia, Florida, and Mississippi concur with the Agency’s consistency determination for this action. The remaining states have provided no response; therefore, consistency has been presumed. List of Subjects in 50 CFR Part 635 Fisheries, Fishing, Management, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements, Treaties. Dated: May 15,2006. John Oliver, Deputy Assistant Administrator for Operations, National Marine Fisheries Service. PART 635—ATLANTIC HIGHLY MIGRATORY SPECIES 1. The authority citation for part 635 continues to read as follows: I Authority: 16 U.S.C. 971 et seq.; 16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq. 2. In § 635.27, paragraph (c)(1)(i)(A) is revised to read as follows: I § 635.27 Quotas. * * * * * (c) * * * (1) * * * (i) * * * (A) A swordfish from the North Atlantic stock caught prior to the directed fishery closure by a vessel for which a directed fishery permit, or a handgear permit for swordfish, has been issued is counted against the directed fishery quota. The annual fishery quota, not adjusted for over- or underharvests, is 2,937.6 mt dw for each fishing year beginning June 1, 2004. The annual quota is subdivided into two equal semiannual quotas of 1,468.8 mt dw: one for June 1 through November 30, and the other for December 1 through May 31 of the following year. * * * * * [FR Doc. 06–4693 Filed 5–18–06; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510–22–S For the reasons set out in the preamble, 50 CFR part 635 is amended as follows: I PO 00000 Frm 00029 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 29089 E:\FR\FM\19MYR1.SGM 19MYR1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 71, Number 97 (Friday, May 19, 2006)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 29087-29089]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 06-4693]


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DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

50 CFR Part 635

[Docket No. 060201021-6124-02; I.D. 100405C]
RIN 0648-AT73


Atlantic Highly Migratory Species; Atlantic Swordfish Quotas

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

ACTION: Final rule.

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

SUMMARY: NMFS amends the regulations governing the North and South 
Atlantic swordfish fisheries to modify the North and South Atlantic 
Swordfish quotas for the 2005 fishing year (Junej 1, 2005, through May 
31, 2006) to account for updated landings information from the 2003 and 
2004 fishing years. This action is necessary to ensure that current 
quotas are based on the most recent landings information and account 
for any underharvest from previous fishing years, consistent with the 
regulations at 50 CFR part 635. Additionally, this action implements a 
subsequent recommendation by the International Commission for the 
Conservation of Atlantic Tuna (ICCAT)(Recommendation 04-02) to extend 
the 2005 North Atlantic swordfish management measures.

DATES: Effective June 19, 2006.

ADDRESSES: For copies of this rule, write to Highly Migratory Species 
Management Division (F/SF1), 1315 East-West Highway, Silver Spring, MD 
20910. Copies are also available on the internet at http://
www.nmfs.noaa.gov/sfa/hms.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Megan Caldwell, by phone: 301-713-
2347; by fax: 301-713-1917; or by email: Megan.Caldwell@noaa.gov.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The U.S. Atlantic swordfish fishery is 
managed under the 1999 Fishery Management Plan for Atlantic Tunas, 
Swordfish, and Sharks (FMP). Implementing regulations at 50 CFR part 
635 are issued under the authority of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery 
Conservation and Management Act (Magnuson-Stevens Act), 16 U.S.C. 1801 
et seq. and the Atlantic Tunas Convention Act (ATCA), 16 U.S.C. 971 et 
seq. The ATCA authorizes the promulgation of regulations as may be 
necessary and appropriate to carry out ICCAT recommendations. Details 
regarding 2005 North and South Atlantic swordfish commercial quotas and 
the extension of the 2005 North Atlantic swordfish management measures 
were provided in the proposed rule (71 FR 7499, February 16, 2006) and 
are not repeated in this final rule.

Response to Comments

    Comments on the proposed rule received during the public comment 
period are summarized below, together with NMFS' responses.
    Comment 1: I am opposed to any increase in catch of swordfish due 
to the status of the North Atlantic swordfish stock.
    Response: North Atlantic swordfish is currently managed under an 
international rebuilding program to rebuild the stock by 2009. As long 
as the

[[Page 29088]]

catch levels established by this rebuilding program are not exceeded, 
the swordfish stock is projected to continue rebuilding and meet the 
biomass target by 2009. The rebuilding target is based on the biomass 
needed to produce maximum sustainable yield (Bmsy), which would be 
14,340 mt. Atlantic swordfish was last assessed by the Standing 
Committee on Research and Statistics (SCRS) in 2002. The 2002 North 
Atlantic swordfish stock assessment results indicated that the biomass 
had improved due to strong recruitment since 1997 and a reduction in 
catch. The biomass had improved such that it was estimated to be at 94 
percent of Bmsy. The biomass was projected to continue progressing 
towards MSY; therefore, the SCRS recommended an increased total 
allowable catch (TAC) for 2003-2005.
    This action does not increase the annual base quota recommended by 
ICCAT, rather it extends that base quota until a new recommendation for 
the U.S. quota is available. This action also provides for the use of 
unused quota from the previous fishing year. The overall North and 
South Atlantic swordfish TAC has not been exceeded during the 
rebuilding period. In fact, the U.S. catch continues to be under the 
allowable level for Atlantic swordfish under its rebuilding plan. A new 
stock assessment for Atlantic swordfish is expected to be conducted and 
reviewed in September 2006.
    Comment 2: If the biomass is 94 percent of that needed to produce 
maximum sustainable yield, why was there a time/area closure for 
swordfish in the first place?
    Response: The North Atlantic swordfish biomass was only 65 percent 
of MSY when the East Florida Coast (EFC) closure was implemented in 
2001. The closure was implemented in part to reduce undersized 
swordfish mortality, as well as the bycatch of other HMS in the pelagic 
longline fishery. Management measures were needed to reduce bycatch, in 
general. Since the EFC closure was implemented, the stock status of 
North Atlantic swordfish has improved, but has not yet been rebuilt. 
The 2006 North Atlantic swordfish stock assessment will have the most 
updated information on the current status of this stock. Because the 
EFC time/area closure was implemented for several stocks, including 
swordfish, NMFS will consider the most current stock status information 
for all HMS and bycatch species, the impact to the fishery, as well as 
other factors, when examining the impact and need for a time/area 
closure.
    Comment 3: Has the average harvested swordfish weight declined so 
dramatically that it is below the typical weight for a swordfish of 
reproductive age? It seems rigorous quotas are needed, not just 
matching catches from the previous year or two to be completely 
rebuilt.
    Response: While the average weight of the U.S. landings are below 
the average swordfish weight at reproductive age, U.S. swordfish 
landings do not indicate that the average swordfish weight has declined 
in recent years. U.S. landings are below the average swordfish weight 
at reproductive age because the ICCAT minimum size limits are set below 
this size. Additionally, the 2004 SCRS Report to ICCAT provided an 
update on the status of the North Atlantic swordfish stock and stated 
that the number of small fish reported in the catch has not increased 
despite increased recruitment in recent years.
    The U.S. swordfish quota is established by an ICCAT recommendation, 
which is then implemented domestically according to the ATCA. ICCAT's 
recommended quotas are based on projections that the stock will rebuild 
if harvest (based on weight) is maintained at a particular level. In 
2002, ICCAT established North Atlantic swordfish baseline quotas for 
2003, 2004, and 2005 fishing years and the South Atlantic swordfish 
baseline quotas for 2003, 2004, 2005, and 2006. The 2004 ICCAT 
recommendation extended the 2005 North Atlantic swordfish baseline 
quota because an updated assessment, the basis for a quota 
recommendations, was not completed prior to the 2006 fishing year.
    Swordfish were last assessed in 2002, and will be assessed again 
later this year. At that time, SCRS will have more information about 
the current status of this stock, providing the basis for new ICCAT 
recommendation(s), which may include new TACs.
    Comment 4: Swordfish boats should switch to harpoons to reduce 
bycatch. Harpoons can be more selective allowing the juvenile swordfish 
to escape and grow to a reproductive age. A new market needs to be 
developed for harpooned fish. The fish are not in the water for long 
periods of time so the meat tastes better and stays fresh.
    Response: NMFS agrees fishermen can be selective with harpoon gear 
and that harpoons have low bycatch rates. Harpoons are an authorized 
gear type for the commercial swordfish fishery.
    Comment 5: The status of swordfish has improved dramatically and 
bycatch limits for incidental permit holders are being exceeded, 
especially for displaced fishermen targeting tunas with pelagic 
longline due to the shark closed area off North Carolina. To reduce 
dead discards and provide U.S. fishermen with more opportunities, NMFS 
should increase the incidental limit to 15 swordfish.
    Response: NMFS did not consider an increase to the incidental catch 
limits in this action because a more current stock assessment is not 
yet available to evaluate the potential implications of increasing 
catch limit on the North Atlantic swordfish stock. The North Atlantic 
swordfish stock is scheduled to be assessed in September 2006. Upon 
completion, ICCAT would then review the assessment and consider new 
recommendations in November 2006. ICCAT's recommendations and the stock 
assessment will provide the basis for considering changes to the 
incidental catch limit in a future rulemaking.
    Comment 6: The swordfish underharvest is a testament that HMS 
management is not working. There is something wrong when there is so 
much quota and the fishery cannot harvest it. With 40 nations at ICCAT 
and almost every one of them asking for quota, leading by example 
through conservation does nothing to maintain the U.S. quota.
    Response: During the public comment period for the Consolidated HMS 
FMP, NMFS received many comments stating the need to revitalize the 
swordfish fishery. As NMFS gathers information regarding catches, catch 
rates of target species and bycatch species with circle hooks, NMFS 
will continue to evaluate the need for all current regulations with 
regard to the effect on harvest rates and will work with fishermen to 
preserve the U.S. quota share while ensuring consistency with the 
Magnuson-Stevens Act, ATCA, and other applicable domestic laws. Any 
action would be in a future rulemaking and will depend, in part, on 
results from the upcoming swordfish stock assessment and ICCAT 
recommendation(s).

Changes From the Proposed Rule

    There are no changes from the proposed rule (71 FR 7499, February 
16, 2006).

Classification

    This final rule is published under the authority of the Magnuson-
Stevens Act, 16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq., and ATCA, 16 U.S.C. 971 et seq. 
The Assistant Administrator (AA) for Fisheries, NOAA, has determined 
that the regulations contained in this rule are consistent with 
conservation goals of the Magnuson-Stevens Act, ATCA, the 1999 FMP, and 
other applicable laws.

[[Page 29089]]

    NMFS prepared an Environmental Assessment (EA) for this final rule, 
and the AA has concluded that there would be no significant impact on 
the human environment. The EA presents analyses of the anticipated 
impacts of these final actions and the alternatives considered. A copy 
of the EA, and other analytical documents prepared for this rule, are 
available from NMFS (see ADDRESSES).
    This final rule has been determined to be not significant for 
purposes of Executive Order 12866.
    The Chief Counsel for Regulation of the Department of Commerce 
certified to the Chief Counsel for Advocacy of the Small Business 
Administration during the proposed rule stage that this action would 
not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small 
entities. The factual basis for the certification was published in the 
proposed rule and is not repeated here. As a result of this 
certification, a regulatory flexibility analysis was not required and 
none was prepared. No comments were received that would alter the 
determination to certify this rule, but two comments were submitted 
that indirectly relate to economic impacts on the swordfish commercial 
fishery. These two comments suggest altering the current swordfish 
management program to enable the fishery to harvest the available 
quota. Modifying the swordfish management program could have economic 
impacts to the fishery, but was beyond the scope of measures considered 
for this action. The purpose of this action was to implement ICCAT 
recommendations pursuant to ATCA. Once the new assessment is complete 
and has been reviewed by ICCAT, the Agency may consider modifications 
to the swordfish management program based on the assessment results and 
any future recommendations from ICCAT.
    NMFS determined that these regulations will be implemented in a 
manner consistent to the maximum extent practicable with the 
enforceable policies of those Atlantic, Gulf of Mexico, and Caribbean 
coastal states that have approved coastal zone management programs. 
This determination was submitted for review by the responsible state 
agencies on January 31, 2006, when the proposed rule was filed with the 
Federal Register, under section 307 of the Coastal Zone Management Act. 
New Hampshire, Delaware, Virginia, North Carolina, Georgia, Florida, 
and Mississippi concur with the Agency's consistency determination for 
this action. The remaining states have provided no response; therefore, 
consistency has been presumed.

List of Subjects in 50 CFR Part 635

    Fisheries, Fishing, Management, Reporting and recordkeeping 
requirements, Treaties.

    Dated: May 15,2006.
John Oliver,
Deputy Assistant Administrator for Operations, National Marine 
Fisheries Service.

0
For the reasons set out in the preamble, 50 CFR part 635 is amended as 
follows:

PART 635--ATLANTIC HIGHLY MIGRATORY SPECIES

0
1. The authority citation for part 635 continues to read as follows:

    Authority: 16 U.S.C. 971 et seq.; 16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq.

0
2. In Sec.  635.27, paragraph (c)(1)(i)(A) is revised to read as 
follows:


Sec.  635.27  Quotas.

* * * * *
    (c) * * *
    (1) * * *
    (i) * * *
    (A) A swordfish from the North Atlantic stock caught prior to the 
directed fishery closure by a vessel for which a directed fishery 
permit, or a handgear permit for swordfish, has been issued is counted 
against the directed fishery quota. The annual fishery quota, not 
adjusted for over- or underharvests, is 2,937.6 mt dw for each fishing 
year beginning June 1, 2004. The annual quota is subdivided into two 
equal semiannual quotas of 1,468.8 mt dw: one for June 1 through 
November 30, and the other for December 1 through May 31 of the 
following year.
* * * * *
[FR Doc. 06-4693 Filed 5-18-06; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 3510-22-S