Atlantic Highly Migratory Species; Atlantic Bluefin Tuna Fisheries, 58287-58289 [06-8435]

Download as PDF Federal Register / Vol. 71, No. 191 / Tuesday, October 3, 2006 / Rules and Regulations § 412.25(e) when instead we were amending § 412.25(e)(1). Second, we inadvertently misquoted a portion of § 412.25(e)(1). Specifically, we stated that we were removing the phrase ‘‘paragraph (e)(2) and (e)(4)’’ in the existing regulations. However, the existing regulation states ‘‘paragraphs (e)(2) through (e)(4)’’. Third, we made a typographical error in describing the phrase that was replacing the crossreference described above. Specifically, we stated that ‘‘paragraph (e)(2) and (e)(5)’’ was replacing ‘‘paragraph (e)(2) and (e)(4).’’ (We note that our final regulations make paragraphs (e)(2) through (e)(5), not just paragraphs (e)(2) and (e)(5), applicable to satellite facilities.) Therefore, in section III. B. of this notice, we are correcting the aforementioned errors by revising the first amendatory statement of § 412.25 to indicate that in paragraph (e)(1) we are removing the cross-reference to ‘‘paragraphs (e)(2) through (e)(4)’’ and adding the cross-reference ‘‘paragraphs (e)(2) through (e)(5)’’ in its place. On pages 48191, 48201, and 48202, in Table 5—List of Diagnosis-Related Groups (DRGS), Relative Weighting Factors, and Geometric and Arithmetic Mean Length of Stay (LOS), we inadvertently listed the incorrect DRG title for several DRGs and the incorrect major diagnosis category (MDC) for DRG 566 and DRG 572. Therefore, we are correcting these errors in section III. C. of this notice. III. Correction of Errors In FR Doc. 06–6692 of August 18, 2006 (71 FR 47870), make the following corrections: A. Corrections to Errors in the Preamble On page 47944, first column, second full paragraph, lines 1 and 5, the figure ‘‘583’’ is corrected to read ‘‘577’’. B. Corrections to Errors in the Regulations Text § 412.25 303 304 305 543 568 Note: The addendum does not appear in the Code of Federal Regulations. 1. On pages 48191, 48201, and 48202 in Table 5—List of Diagnosis-Related Groups (DRGS), Relative Weighting Factors, and Geometric and Arithmetic Mean Length of Stay (LOS) the following DRG titles (column 6) are corrected to read as follows: [Corrected] Kidney and Ureter Procedures for Neoplasm. Kidney and Ureter Procedures for Non-Neoplasm With CC. Kidney and Ureter Procedures for Non-Neoplasm Without CC. Craniotomy With Major Device Implant or Acute Complex CNS Principal Diagnosis. Stomach, Esophageal & Duodenal Proc Age >17 W CC W/O Major GI DX. 2. On page 48202, in Table 5—List of Diagnosis-Related Groups (DRGS), Relative Weighting Factors, and Geometric and Arithmetic Mean Length of Stay (LOS),— a. Row 9, DRG 566, the MDC (column 4) ‘‘06’’ is corrected to read ‘‘04’’. b. Row 15, DRG 572, the MDC (column 4) ‘‘08’’ is corrected to read ‘‘06’’. IV. Waiver of Proposed Rulemaking and Delay in Effective Date mstockstill on PROD1PC61 with RULES C. Corrections to Errors in the Addendum DRG title ................. ................. ................. ................. ................. We ordinarily publish a notice of proposed rulemaking in the Federal Register to provide a period for public comment before the provisions of a rule take effect in accordance with section 553(b) of the Administrative Procedure Act (APA) (5 U.S.C. 553(b)). However, we can waive this notice and comment procedure if the Secretary finds, for good cause, that the notice and comment process is impracticable, unnecessary, or contrary to the public interest, and incorporates a statement of the finding and the reasons therefore in the notice. Section 553(d) of the APA ordinarily requires a 30-day delay in effective date of final rules after the date of their publication in the Federal Register. VerDate Aug<31>2005 statement for § 412.25, the sentence ‘‘In paragraph (e) introductory text, remove the cross-reference ‘paragraph (e)(2) and (e)(4)’ and add the cross-reference ‘paragraph (e)(2) and (e)(5)’ in its place.’’ is corrected to read, ‘‘In paragraph (e)(1), remove the cross-reference ‘paragraphs (e)(2) through (e)(4)’ and add the crossreference ‘paragraphs (e)(2) through (e)(5)’ in its place.’’ On page 48137, first column, lines 10 through 14, in the first amendatory DRG DRG DRG DRG DRG DRG 58287 14:44 Oct 02, 2006 Jkt 211001 This 30-day delay in effective date can be waived, however, if an agency finds for good cause that the delay is impracticable, unnecessary, or contrary to the public interest, and the agency incorporates a statement of the findings and its reasons in the rule issued. Therefore, we are waiving proposed rulemaking and the 30-day delayed effective date for the technical corrections in this notice. This notice merely corrects typographical and technical errors in the preamble, regulations text, and addendum of the FY 2007 IPPS final rule and does not make substantive changes to the policies or payment methodologies that were adopted in the final rule. As a result, this notice is intended to ensure that the FY 2007 IPPS final rule accurately reflects the policies adopted in the final rule. Therefore, we find that undertaking further notice and comment procedures to incorporate these corrections into the final rule or delaying the effective date of these changes is unnecessary and contrary to the public interest. (Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance Program No. 93.773, Medicare—Hospital Insurance; and Program No. 93.774, PO 00000 Frm 00045 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 Medicare—Supplementary Medical Insurance Program) Dated: September 28, 2006. Ann C. Agnew, Executive Secretary to the Department. [FR Doc. 06–8429 Filed 9–29–06; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4120–01–P DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration 50 CFR Part 635 [I.D. 092506B] Atlantic Highly Migratory Species; Atlantic Bluefin Tuna Fisheries National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Commerce. ACTION: Temporary rule; inseason retention limit adjustment. AGENCY: SUMMARY: NMFS has determined that the daily Atlantic bluefin tuna (BFT) retention limits for the Atlantic tunas General category should be adjusted to allow for a reasonable opportunity to E:\FR\FM\03OCR1.SGM 03OCR1 58288 Federal Register / Vol. 71, No. 191 / Tuesday, October 3, 2006 / Rules and Regulations harvest the General category October through January time-period subquota. Therefore, NMFS increases the daily BFT retention limits for October to provide enhanced commercial General category fishing opportunities in all areas while minimizing the risk of an overharvest of the General category BFT quota. DATES: The effective dates for the BFT daily retention limits are provided in Table 1 under SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Mark Murray-Brown, 978–281–9260. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Regulations implemented under the authority of the Atlantic Tunas Convention Act (16 U.S.C. 971 et seq.) and the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (Magnuson-Stevens Act; 16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq.) governing the harvest of BFT by persons and vessels subject to U.S. jurisdiction are found at 50 CFR part 635. The 2006 BFT fishing year began on June 1, 2006, and ends May 31, 2007. The final initial 2006 BFT specifications and General category effort controls were published on May 30, 2006 (71 FR 30619). These final specifications divided the General category quota among three subperiods (June through August, the month of September, and October through January) in accordance with the Highly Migratory Species Fishery Management Plan (1999 FMP) published in 1999 (May 29, 1999; 64 FR 29090), and implementing regulations at § 635.27. A three-fish General category retention limit was set for the first subperiod (June through August) due to the large amount of available quota and the low catch rate at the opening of the season. The three-fish General category retention limit was extended through the second subperiod (September) as catch rates remained low to provide enhanced fishing opportunities while minimizing the risk of exceeding available quota (71 FR 51529, August 30, 2006). Daily Retention Limits Pursuant to this action and the final initial 2006 BFT specifications, noted above, the daily BFT retention limits for Atlantic tunas General category are as follows: TABLE 1. EFFECTIVE DATES FOR RETENTION LIMIT ADJUSTMENTS Permit Category Effective Dates BFT Size Class Limit September 1, 2006, through September 30, 2006, inclusive All Three BFT per vessel per day/trip, measuring 73 inches (185 cm) curved fork length (CFL) or larger October 1, 2006, through October 31, 2006, inclusive All Three BFT per vessel per day/trip, measuring 73 inches (185 cm) curved fork length (CFL) or larger November 1, 2006, through January 31, 2007, inclusive General Areas All One BFT per vessel per day/trip, measuring 73 inches (185 cm) CFL or larger mstockstill on PROD1PC61 with RULES Adjustment of General Category Daily Retention Limits Under § 635.23(a)(4), NMFS may increase or decrease the General category daily retention limit of large medium and giant BFT over a range from zero (on Restricted Fishing Days) to a maximum of three per vessel to allow for a reasonable opportunity to harvest the quota for BFT. As part of the final specifications on May 30, 2006 (71 FR 30619), NMFS adjusted the commercial daily BFT retention limit, in all areas, for those vessels fishing under the General category quota, to three large medium or giant BFT, measuring 73 inches (185 cm) or greater curved fork length (CFL), per vessel per day/ trip. This retention limit was to remain in effect through August 31, 2006, inclusive, but on August 30, 2006, was extended through September (71 FR 51529). From October 1, 2006, through January 31, 2007, inclusive, the General category daily BFT retention limit was scheduled to revert to one large medium or giant BFT per vessel per day/trip. The June through September timeperiod subquota allocations for the 2006 fishing year totaled approximately 1,038 metric tons (mt). As of September 15, 2006, 75.8 mt have been landed in the VerDate Aug<31>2005 14:44 Oct 02, 2006 Jkt 211001 General category and catch rates are less than 1.0 mt per day. If catch rates remain at current levels, approximately 11 mt would be landed during the remainder of September. This projection would bring the June though September time-period subquota landings to approximately 88.4 mt, resulting in an underharvest of approximately 951 mt. This carryover combined with the October through January time-period subquota allocation of 115.3 mt would allow for 1,066 mt to be harvested during the months of October through January. In combination with the subquota rollover from the June through August time-period, the expected rollover from September time-period subquota allocation, and the October through January subquota allocation, current catch rates, and the daily retention limit reverting to one large medium or giant BFT per vessel per day on October 1, 2006, NMFS anticipates the full October through January timeperiod subquota will not be harvested. Adding an excessive amount of unused quota from one time-period subquota to the subsequent time period subquota is undesirable because it effectively changes the time-period subquota allocation percentages established in the PO 00000 Frm 00046 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 1999 FMP and may contribute to excessive carry-overs to subsequent fishing years. In the past, however the fishery has had the capability of increasing landings rates dramatically in the latter Fall and Winter months, particularly off southern states. If the fishery was to perform at these past levels with very high landings rates (although not witnessed during the winter of 2005/2006) it would alleviate concern of excessive roll-overs from one fishing year to the next but raises the possibility of a curtailed season without full extension of fishing opportunities through January. Therefore, based on a review of dealer reports, daily landing trends, available quota, and the availability of BFT on the fishing grounds, NMFS has determined that an increase in the General category daily BFT retention limit effective from October 1, 2006, through October 31, 2006, inclusive, is warranted. Thus, the General category daily retention limit of three large medium or giant BFT per vessel per day/trip (see Table 1) is extended through October 31, 2006. From November 1, 2006, through January 31, 2007, inclusive, the General category default daily BFT retention limit will be one large medium or giant E:\FR\FM\03OCR1.SGM 03OCR1 Federal Register / Vol. 71, No. 191 / Tuesday, October 3, 2006 / Rules and Regulations mstockstill on PROD1PC61 with RULES BFT per vessel per day/trip. NMFS anticipates that with a combination of the default retention limit starting on November 1, 2006, and the large amount of General category quota available, there will be sufficient quota for the coastwide General category season to extend into the winter months and allow for a southern Atlantic fishery to take place on an order of magnitude of prior years with minimal risk of landings exceeding available quota. However, to reduce the risks of excessive landings rates throughout the winter, NMFS has determined it necessary to only extend the three BFT daily retention limit for the one month of October and will re-examine the need to further extend the increased bag limit prior to November 1 based on landings rates and other fishery information. In addition, one of the preferred alternatives in the final Consolidated Highly Migratory Species FMP (July 14, 2006, 71 FR 40095), would formally allocate General category sub-quota to the December and January individual time-frames to provide for a late-season south Atlantic fishery. This adjustment is intended to provide a reasonable opportunity to harvest the U.S. landings quota of BFT while maintaining an equitable distribution of fishing opportunities, to help achieve optimum yield in the General category BFT fishery, to collect a broad range of data for stock monitoring purposes, and to be consistent with the objectives of the 1999 FMP. Monitoring and Reporting NMFS selected the daily retention limits and their duration after examining current and previous fishing year catch and effort rates, taking into consideration public comment on the annual specifications and inseason management measures for the General category received during the 2006 BFT quota specifications rulemaking process, and analyzing the available quota for the 2006 fishing year. NMFS will continue to monitor the BFT fishery closely through dealer landing reports, the Automated Landings Reporting System, state harvest tagging programs in North Carolina and Maryland, and the Large Pelagics Survey. Depending on the level of fishing effort and catch rates of BFT, NMFS may determine that additional retention limit adjustments are necessary to ensure available quota is not exceeded or, to enhance scientific data collection from, and fishing opportunities in, all geographic areas. Closures or subsequent adjustments to the daily retention limits, if any, will be published in the Federal Register. In VerDate Aug<31>2005 14:44 Oct 02, 2006 Jkt 211001 addition, fishermen may call the Atlantic Tunas Information Line at (888) 872–8862 or (978) 281–9260, or access the internet at www.hmspermits.gov, for updates on quota monitoring and retention limit adjustments. Classification The Assistant Administrator for NMFS (AA), finds that it is impracticable and contrary to the public interest to provide prior notice of, and an opportunity for public comment on, this action for the following reasons: NMFS has recently become aware of increased availability of large medium and giant BFT off southern New England fishing grounds from fishing reports and landings data from dealers. This increase in abundance provides the potential to increase General category landings rates for a late season, southern New England fishery if participants are authorized to harvest three large medium or giant BFT per day. Although landings to date have been low (i.e. less than one mt/day) there is the potential for increased availability of BFT off the southern New England coast during the Fall to allow for an increase in fishery landing rates. The regulations implementing the 1999 FMP provide for inseason retention limit adjustments to respond to the unpredictable nature of BFT availability on the fishing grounds, the migratory nature of this species, and the regional variations in the BFT fishery. Adjustment of retention limits is also necessary to avoid excessive quota rollovers to subsequent General category time-period subquotas. Affording prior notice and opportunity for public comment to implement these retention limits is impracticable as it would preclude NMFS from acting promptly to allow harvest of BFT that are still available on southern New England fishing grounds. Analysis of available data shows that the General category BFT retention limit may be increased for the Atlantic tuna General and HMS Charter/Headboat permit holders with minimal risks of exceeding the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas allocated quota. Delays in increasing the retention limits would be contrary to the public interest. Limited opportunities to harvest the respective quotas may have negative social and economic impacts to U.S. fishermen that either depend on catching the available quota within the time-periods designated in the 1999 FMP, or depend on multiple BFT retention limits to attract individuals to book charters. For both the General and the HMS Charter/Headboat sectors, the retention limits must be adjusted as PO 00000 Frm 00047 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 58289 expeditiously as possible so the impacted sectors can benefit from the adjustment. Therefore, the AA finds good cause under 5 U.S.C. 553(b)(B) to waive prior notice and the opportunity for public comment. For all of the above reasons, and because this action relieves a restriction (i.e., current default retention limit is one fish per vessel/trip but this action increases that limit and allows retention of more fish), there is also good cause under 5 U.S.C. 553(d) to waive the 30-day delay in effectiveness. This action is being taken under 50 CFR 635.23(a)(4) and is exempt from review under Executive Order 12866. Authority: 16 U.S.C. 971 et seq. and 1801 et seq. Dated: September 27, 2006. Alan D. Risenhoover, Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine Fisheries Service. [FR Doc. 06–8435 Filed 9–28–06; 2:57 pm] BILLING CODE 3510–22–S DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration 50 CFR Part 660 [Docket No. 051014263–6028–03; I.D. 092106A] Fisheries Off West Coast States; Pacific Coast Groundfish Fishery; Specifications and Management Measures; Inseason Adjustments National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Commerce. ACTION: Inseason adjustments to groundfish management measures; request for comments. AGENCY: SUMMARY: NMFS announces changes to management measures in the commercial and recreational Pacific Coast groundfish fisheries. These actions, which are authorized by the Pacific Coast Groundfish Fishery Management Plan (FMP), are intended to allow fisheries to access more abundant groundfish stocks while protecting overfished and depleted stocks. Effective 0001 hours (local time) October 1, 2006. Comments on this rule will be accepted through November 2, 2006. DATES: You may submit comments, identified by I.D. 092106A by any of the following methods: ADDRESSES: E:\FR\FM\03OCR1.SGM 03OCR1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 71, Number 191 (Tuesday, October 3, 2006)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 58287-58289]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 06-8435]


=======================================================================
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DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

50 CFR Part 635

[I.D. 092506B]


Atlantic Highly Migratory Species; Atlantic Bluefin Tuna 
Fisheries

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

ACTION: Temporary rule; inseason retention limit adjustment.

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

SUMMARY: NMFS has determined that the daily Atlantic bluefin tuna (BFT) 
retention limits for the Atlantic tunas General category should be 
adjusted to allow for a reasonable opportunity to

[[Page 58288]]

harvest the General category October through January time-period 
subquota. Therefore, NMFS increases the daily BFT retention limits for 
October to provide enhanced commercial General category fishing 
opportunities in all areas while minimizing the risk of an overharvest 
of the General category BFT quota.

DATES: The effective dates for the BFT daily retention limits are 
provided in Table 1 under SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Mark Murray-Brown, 978-281-9260.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Regulations implemented under the authority 
of the Atlantic Tunas Convention Act (16 U.S.C. 971 et seq.) and the 
Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (Magnuson-
Stevens Act; 16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq.) governing the harvest of BFT by 
persons and vessels subject to U.S. jurisdiction are found at 50 CFR 
part 635. The 2006 BFT fishing year began on June 1, 2006, and ends May 
31, 2007. The final initial 2006 BFT specifications and General 
category effort controls were published on May 30, 2006 (71 FR 30619). 
These final specifications divided the General category quota among 
three subperiods (June through August, the month of September, and 
October through January) in accordance with the Highly Migratory 
Species Fishery Management Plan (1999 FMP) published in 1999 (May 29, 
1999; 64 FR 29090), and implementing regulations at Sec.  635.27. A 
three-fish General category retention limit was set for the first 
subperiod (June through August) due to the large amount of available 
quota and the low catch rate at the opening of the season. The three-
fish General category retention limit was extended through the second 
subperiod (September) as catch rates remained low to provide enhanced 
fishing opportunities while minimizing the risk of exceeding available 
quota (71 FR 51529, August 30, 2006).

Daily Retention Limits

    Pursuant to this action and the final initial 2006 BFT 
specifications, noted above, the daily BFT retention limits for 
Atlantic tunas General category are as follows:

        Table 1. Effective dates for retention limit adjustments
------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                        BFT Size Class
   Permit Category      Effective Dates      Areas          Limit
------------------------------------------------------------------------
General               September 1, 2006,   All       Three BFT per
                       through September              vessel per day/
                       30, 2006,                      trip, measuring 73
                       inclusive                      inches (185 cm)
                                                      curved fork length
                                                      (CFL) or larger
                     ---------------------------------------------------
                      October 1, 2006,     All       Three BFT per
                       through October                vessel per day/
                       31, 2006,                      trip, measuring 73
                       inclusive                      inches (185 cm)
                                                      curved fork length
                                                      (CFL) or larger
                     ---------------------------------------------------
                      November 1, 2006,    All       One BFT per vessel
                       through January                per day/trip,
                       31, 2007,                      measuring 73
                       inclusive                      inches (185 cm)
                                                      CFL or larger
------------------------------------------------------------------------

Adjustment of General Category Daily Retention Limits

    Under Sec.  635.23(a)(4), NMFS may increase or decrease the General 
category daily retention limit of large medium and giant BFT over a 
range from zero (on Restricted Fishing Days) to a maximum of three per 
vessel to allow for a reasonable opportunity to harvest the quota for 
BFT. As part of the final specifications on May 30, 2006 (71 FR 30619), 
NMFS adjusted the commercial daily BFT retention limit, in all areas, 
for those vessels fishing under the General category quota, to three 
large medium or giant BFT, measuring 73 inches (185 cm) or greater 
curved fork length (CFL), per vessel per day/trip. This retention limit 
was to remain in effect through August 31, 2006, inclusive, but on 
August 30, 2006, was extended through September (71 FR 51529). From 
October 1, 2006, through January 31, 2007, inclusive, the General 
category daily BFT retention limit was scheduled to revert to one large 
medium or giant BFT per vessel per day/trip.
    The June through September time-period subquota allocations for the 
2006 fishing year totaled approximately 1,038 metric tons (mt). As of 
September 15, 2006, 75.8 mt have been landed in the General category 
and catch rates are less than 1.0 mt per day. If catch rates remain at 
current levels, approximately 11 mt would be landed during the 
remainder of September. This projection would bring the June though 
September time-period subquota landings to approximately 88.4 mt, 
resulting in an underharvest of approximately 951 mt. This carryover 
combined with the October through January time-period subquota 
allocation of 115.3 mt would allow for 1,066 mt to be harvested during 
the months of October through January. In combination with the subquota 
rollover from the June through August time-period, the expected 
rollover from September time-period subquota allocation, and the 
October through January subquota allocation, current catch rates, and 
the daily retention limit reverting to one large medium or giant BFT 
per vessel per day on October 1, 2006, NMFS anticipates the full 
October through January time-period subquota will not be harvested. 
Adding an excessive amount of unused quota from one time-period 
subquota to the subsequent time period subquota is undesirable because 
it effectively changes the time-period subquota allocation percentages 
established in the 1999 FMP and may contribute to excessive carry-overs 
to subsequent fishing years. In the past, however the fishery has had 
the capability of increasing landings rates dramatically in the latter 
Fall and Winter months, particularly off southern states. If the 
fishery was to perform at these past levels with very high landings 
rates (although not witnessed during the winter of 2005/2006) it would 
alleviate concern of excessive roll-overs from one fishing year to the 
next but raises the possibility of a curtailed season without full 
extension of fishing opportunities through January.
    Therefore, based on a review of dealer reports, daily landing 
trends, available quota, and the availability of BFT on the fishing 
grounds, NMFS has determined that an increase in the General category 
daily BFT retention limit effective from October 1, 2006, through 
October 31, 2006, inclusive, is warranted. Thus, the General category 
daily retention limit of three large medium or giant BFT per vessel per 
day/trip (see Table 1) is extended through October 31, 2006. From 
November 1, 2006, through January 31, 2007, inclusive, the General 
category default daily BFT retention limit will be one large medium or 
giant

[[Page 58289]]

BFT per vessel per day/trip. NMFS anticipates that with a combination 
of the default retention limit starting on November 1, 2006, and the 
large amount of General category quota available, there will be 
sufficient quota for the coastwide General category season to extend 
into the winter months and allow for a southern Atlantic fishery to 
take place on an order of magnitude of prior years with minimal risk of 
landings exceeding available quota. However, to reduce the risks of 
excessive landings rates throughout the winter, NMFS has determined it 
necessary to only extend the three BFT daily retention limit for the 
one month of October and will re-examine the need to further extend the 
increased bag limit prior to November 1 based on landings rates and 
other fishery information. In addition, one of the preferred 
alternatives in the final Consolidated Highly Migratory Species FMP 
(July 14, 2006, 71 FR 40095), would formally allocate General category 
sub-quota to the December and January individual time-frames to provide 
for a late-season south Atlantic fishery.
    This adjustment is intended to provide a reasonable opportunity to 
harvest the U.S. landings quota of BFT while maintaining an equitable 
distribution of fishing opportunities, to help achieve optimum yield in 
the General category BFT fishery, to collect a broad range of data for 
stock monitoring purposes, and to be consistent with the objectives of 
the 1999 FMP.

Monitoring and Reporting

    NMFS selected the daily retention limits and their duration after 
examining current and previous fishing year catch and effort rates, 
taking into consideration public comment on the annual specifications 
and inseason management measures for the General category received 
during the 2006 BFT quota specifications rulemaking process, and 
analyzing the available quota for the 2006 fishing year. NMFS will 
continue to monitor the BFT fishery closely through dealer landing 
reports, the Automated Landings Reporting System, state harvest tagging 
programs in North Carolina and Maryland, and the Large Pelagics Survey. 
Depending on the level of fishing effort and catch rates of BFT, NMFS 
may determine that additional retention limit adjustments are necessary 
to ensure available quota is not exceeded or, to enhance scientific 
data collection from, and fishing opportunities in, all geographic 
areas.
    Closures or subsequent adjustments to the daily retention limits, 
if any, will be published in the Federal Register. In addition, 
fishermen may call the Atlantic Tunas Information Line at (888) 872-
8862 or (978) 281-9260, or access the internet at www.hmspermits.gov, 
for updates on quota monitoring and retention limit adjustments.

Classification

    The Assistant Administrator for NMFS (AA), finds that it is 
impracticable and contrary to the public interest to provide prior 
notice of, and an opportunity for public comment on, this action for 
the following reasons:
    NMFS has recently become aware of increased availability of large 
medium and giant BFT off southern New England fishing grounds from 
fishing reports and landings data from dealers. This increase in 
abundance provides the potential to increase General category landings 
rates for a late season, southern New England fishery if participants 
are authorized to harvest three large medium or giant BFT per day. 
Although landings to date have been low (i.e. less than one mt/day) 
there is the potential for increased availability of BFT off the 
southern New England coast during the Fall to allow for an increase in 
fishery landing rates. The regulations implementing the 1999 FMP 
provide for inseason retention limit adjustments to respond to the 
unpredictable nature of BFT availability on the fishing grounds, the 
migratory nature of this species, and the regional variations in the 
BFT fishery. Adjustment of retention limits is also necessary to avoid 
excessive quota rollovers to subsequent General category time-period 
subquotas. Affording prior notice and opportunity for public comment to 
implement these retention limits is impracticable as it would preclude 
NMFS from acting promptly to allow harvest of BFT that are still 
available on southern New England fishing grounds. Analysis of 
available data shows that the General category BFT retention limit may 
be increased for the Atlantic tuna General and HMS Charter/Headboat 
permit holders with minimal risks of exceeding the International 
Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas allocated quota.
    Delays in increasing the retention limits would be contrary to the 
public interest. Limited opportunities to harvest the respective quotas 
may have negative social and economic impacts to U.S. fishermen that 
either depend on catching the available quota within the time-periods 
designated in the 1999 FMP, or depend on multiple BFT retention limits 
to attract individuals to book charters. For both the General and the 
HMS Charter/Headboat sectors, the retention limits must be adjusted as 
expeditiously as possible so the impacted sectors can benefit from the 
adjustment.
    Therefore, the AA finds good cause under 5 U.S.C. 553(b)(B) to 
waive prior notice and the opportunity for public comment. For all of 
the above reasons, and because this action relieves a restriction 
(i.e., current default retention limit is one fish per vessel/trip but 
this action increases that limit and allows retention of more fish), 
there is also good cause under 5 U.S.C. 553(d) to waive the 30-day 
delay in effectiveness.
    This action is being taken under 50 CFR 635.23(a)(4) and is exempt 
from review under Executive Order 12866.

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

    Dated: September 27, 2006.
Alan D. Risenhoover,
Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine Fisheries 
Service.
[FR Doc. 06-8435 Filed 9-28-06; 2:57 pm]
BILLING CODE 3510-22-S