Atlantic Coastal Fisheries Cooperative Management Act Provisions; American Lobster Fishery, 75705-75707 [E6-21448]

Download as PDF Federal Register / Vol. 71, No. 242 / Monday, December 18, 2006 / Proposed Rules 8161; e-mail address: jones.robert@epa.gov. This document extends the public comment period established in the Federal Register issued on October 20, 2006 (71 FR 61926) (FRL–8081–3). In that document, EPA proposed to require testing for certain chemicals on the ATSDR/EPA Priority List of Hazardous Substances which is compiled under the Comprehensive Environmental Response Compensation and Liability Act (CERCLA), and solicited proposals for enforceable consent agreements (ECAs). EPA proposed the test rule under section 4(a) of the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) that would require manufacturers (including importers) and processors of four chemical substances (chloroethane, hydrogen cyanide, methylene chloride, and sodium cyanide) to conduct testing for certain health effects relating to the manufacture, distribution in commerce, processing, use, or disposal of these substances. The data that would be obtained under the testing program are intended to be used to address health effects data needs identified by ATSDR and EPA for these substances, which are among the hazardous substances most frequently found at sites listed on the CERCLA National Priorities List (NPL) and which are also hazardous air pollutants (HAPs) under section 112 of the Clean Air Act (CAA). EPA solicited proposals for ECAs involving the conduct of physiologically based pharmacokinetics (PBPK) studies as an alternative to the testing proposed in the rule, as appropriate. Alternatively, if ECA proposals involving the conduct of PBPK studies are not received, or if received, are not considered by the Agency to be adequate, EPA may consider ECA proposals which cover some or all of the testing identified for a given chemical in this proposed rule. EPA is hereby extending the comment period on the proposed rule, which was set to end on December 19, 2006, to March 19, 2007. This extension is being made as a result of a request by a member of the public for additional time to submit comments. Please go to the proposed rule to review the details of the Agency’s proposed action and follow the instructions provided in the proposed rule for how to comment. To view the electronic docket for this proposed rule and submit comments on-line, please go to http://www.regulations.gov. The docket identification number of this action is EPA–HQ–OPPT–2002–0073. jlentini on PROD1PC65 with PROPOSAL SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: VerDate Aug<31>2005 17:45 Dec 15, 2006 Jkt 211001 List of Subjects in 40 CFR Part 799 Environmental protection, Chemicals, Hazardous substances, Laboratories, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements. Dated: December 12, 2006. Susan B. Hazen, Acting Assistant Administrator, Office of Prevention, Pesticides and Toxics Substances. [FR Doc. E6–21494 Filed 12–15–06; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560–50–S DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration 50 CFR Part 697 [Docket No. 051129315–6314–02; I.D. 112505A] RIN 0648–AU07 Atlantic Coastal Fisheries Cooperative Management Act Provisions; American Lobster Fishery National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Commerce. ACTION: Advance notice of proposed rulemaking (ANPR); request for comments. AGENCY: SUMMARY: NMFS announces that it is considering and seeking public comment on the implementation of further minimum carapace length (gauge) increases, escape vent size increases, and trap reductions in the offshore American lobster fishery, consistent with recommendations for Federal action in the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission’s (Commission) Interstate Fishery Management Plan for American Lobster (ISFMP) and pending management actions of the Commission’s American Lobster Management Board (Board). A similar announcement, published in the Federal Register on December 13, 2005, notified the public that NMFS was considering and requesting comment on gauge and escape vent size increases in multiple lobster conservation management areas (LCMAs). However, since the publication of that document, many LCMA-specific Commission recommendations were modified in response to information in an updated peer-reviewed stock assessment published January 2006. Subsequent Commission deliberations resulted in the Board making changes to the fishery management plan, adding and repealing measures, such that many of the newer PO 00000 Frm 00022 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 75705 plan elements focused primarily on LCMA 3. Some measures relevant to this action, still under Board consideration, are included within the scope of this rulemaking. Accordingly, NMFS announces that this present ANPR revises the December 13, 2005, ANPR and invites public comment on changes to the ISFMP, either formally approved by the Board or pending approval. Any repealed measures, having previously been raised in the December 13, 2005, ANPR, will remain within the scope of this present ANPR, although the Board’s repeal is notable and NMFS invites comment on the Board’s withdrawal of the measures. DATES: Comments must be received by January 17, 2007. ADDRESSES: Written comments should be sent to Harold Mears, Director, State, Federal and Constituent Programs Office, Northeast Region, NMFS, One Blackburn Drive, Gloucester, MA 01930. Comments may also be sent via e-mail to Lob1106@noaa.gov, via fax (978) 281– 9117 or via the Federal e-Rulemaking portal at www.regulations.gov. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Peter Burns, Fishery Management Specialist, (978) 281–9144, fax (978) 281–9117, e-mail peter.burns@noaa.gov. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Scope of This ANPR With respect to the scope of this action, additional management measures are identified for LCMA 3 that have yet to be proposed or implemented by NMFS. These include: four additional 1/32 inch (0.08 centimeters (cm)) gauge increases that would result in a 3 1/2 inch (8.89–cm) minimum gauge size requirement for LCMA 3 by July 1, 2008; and escape vent size increases in LCMA 3 to 2 1/16 inches X 5 3/4 inches rectangular (5.24 cm X 14.61 cm) or two circular vents at 2 11/ 16 inches diameter (6.83 cm) by July 1, 2010. Additionally, NMFS also is considering a suite of trap reductions in LCMA 3. First, Addendum IV to Amendment 3 of the ISFMP calls for a 10–percent active trap reduction implemented over two consecutive years with a scheduled 5–percent reduction for 2007 and a 5–percent reduction in 2008. To address the need for further fishing mortality and fishing effort reductions in the offshore fishery as identified in the updated stock assessment released in 2005, the Board is developing an addendum to consider an additional 5–percent reduction in traps in LCMA 3 to be implemented as a 2.5–percent reduction each year for two consecutive years following the E:\FR\FM\18DEP1.SGM 18DEP1 75706 Federal Register / Vol. 71, No. 242 / Monday, December 18, 2006 / Proposed Rules initial 10–percent active trap reduction. The two 2.5–percent reductions have not been included as part of the ISFMP, but are in an addendum being drafted for review by the Board, and consequently, NMFS includes this measure for public consideration. Table 1 illustrates the LCMA 3 gauge increases, escape vent size increases and the 10–percent trap reductions currently recommended in the ISFMP for Federal implementation. Also included in the table are the two additional 2.5–percent trap reductions for LCMA 3 pending Board adoption. Although not officially part of the ISFMP, these pending trap reductions are included within the scope of this ANPR because they are relevant to the 10–percent reductions already adopted into the ISFMP and recommended for Federal implementation. Several management measures previously included in the ISFMP and addressed in a previous NMFS ANPR, published in the Federal Register on December 13, 2005 (70 FR 73717) , have since been repealed by the Board based on an updated American lobster stock assessment approved in January 2006. The updated stock assessment indicated stable stock abundance for the Georges Bank and majority of the Gulf of Maine stocks. However, decreased stock abundance and recruitment due to high fishing mortality were evident in the assessment of the Southern New England stock and the statistical area 514 portion of the Gulf of Maine stock that includes Massachusetts Bay and Stellwagen Bank. Upon review of these findings, the Board determined that many of the additional gauge increases and escape vent size increases were not necessary for conservation and, with the exception for those in LCMA 3, were repealed. The repealed measures include the additional escape vent size increase for LCMA 1 (2 inches X 5 3/4 inches (5.08 cm X 14.61 cm) rectangular or 2 5/8 inches (6.67 cm) circular by 2008); in the Outer Cape Cod LCMA, four additional 1/32 inch–(0.08–cm) gauge increases up to 3 1/2 inches (8.89 cm) by July 2008 and an escape vent increase to 2 1/16 inches X 5 3/4 inches (5.24 cm X 14.61 cm) rectangular or 2 11/16 inches (6.83 cm) circular by 2008. Recommendations for delay in the LCMA 3 escape vent size increase until 2010, is included in draft Addendum XI to Amendment 3 of the ISFMP, scheduled for Board review in January 2007. NMFS invites the public to comment on the revised management scenario and extends the scope of this ANPR to include the measures subsequently withdrawn by the Board as well, given their potential impacts on the resource and industry. TABLE 1. AMERICAN LOBSTER ISFMP GAUGE, ESCAPE VENT AND TRAP REDUCTION SCHEDULE FOR LCMA 3 AND CORRESPONDING FEDERAL ACTION (INCLUDES ONLY THE MEASURES CURRENTLY RECOMMENDED IN THE ISFMP FOR FEDERAL IMPLEMENTATION AND RELEVANT TRAP REDUCTIONS PENDING BOARD ADOPTION). [Measurements are in inches] Addenda II-VIII Current Federal Lobster Regulations LCMA gauge LCMA3 3 3 3 3 3 trap reductions vent* 3/8 July 2004 13/32 July 2005 7/16 July 2006 15/32 July 2007 1/2 July 2008 2 X 5 3/4 rectangular or 2 5/8 circular by 2004 5% in 2007 gauge 3 3/8 vent* 2 X 5 3/4 rectangular or 2 5/8 circular 5% in 2008 2 1/16 X 5 3/4 rectangular or 2 11/16 circular by 2008 This ANPR Considers gauge 3 13/32 3 7/16 3 15/32 vent* 2 1/16 X 5 3/4 rectangular or 2 11/16 circular by 2010 3 1/2 by 2008 trap reductions** 5% in 2007 5% in 2008 2.5% in 2009 2.5% in 2010 * All vent sizes include a rectangular and corresponding circular vent size. In all cases, each trap is required to have one rectangular vent or two circular vents at the sizes indicated. The ANPR considers a proposed action by the Board to postpone the escape vent increase for LCMA 3 until 2010. ** The two 5% trap reductions scheduled for 2007 and 2008 were established in Addendum IV; the two 2.5% reductions are being considered in this ANPR, concurrent with Board review. jlentini on PROD1PC65 with PROPOSAL Background and Description of Relevant ISFMP Actions Addenda I through IX are part of an overall lobster fishery management regime set forth inAmendment 3 to the ISFMP. The intent of Amendment 3, approved by the Board in December 1997, is to achieve a healthy American lobster resource and to develop a management regime that provides for sustained harvest, maintains opportunities for participation, and provides for the cooperative development of conservation measures by all stakeholders. In short, Amendment 3 was envisioned to provide much of the framework upon VerDate Aug<31>2005 16:14 Dec 15, 2006 Jkt 211001 which future lobster management - to be set forth in later addenda - would be based. In particular, Amendment 3 employed a participatory management approach by creating the seven lobster management areas, each with its own lobster conservation management team (LCMT) comprised of industry members. Amendment 3 tasked the LCMTs with providing recommendations for area-specific management measures to the Board to meet the lobster egg production and effort reduction goals of the ISFMP. NMFS has the authority under the Atlantic Coastal Fisheries Cooperative Management Act (ACFCMA) to implement regulations in Federal waters PO 00000 Frm 00023 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 that are compatible with the effective implementation of the ISFMP and consistent with the national standards of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act. These Federal regulations are promulgated pursuant to the ACFCMA and are codified at 50 CFR part 697. Addendum I to Amendment 3 focused largely on effort control measures. The Board approved Addendum I in August 1999, with NMFS promulgating compatible regulations on March 27, 2003 (68 FR 14902). This action, in part, established a limited access program in the lobster trap fishery in LCMAs 3, 4 and 5, based on historical participation and additional sliding scale trap E:\FR\FM\18DEP1.SGM 18DEP1 Federal Register / Vol. 71, No. 242 / Monday, December 18, 2006 / Proposed Rules jlentini on PROD1PC65 with PROPOSAL reductions in LCMA 3 through 2006. The Board approved Amendment 3’s egg production measures as Addenda II and III in February 2001 and February 2002, respectively, and recommended that NMFS implement complementary Federal regulations. In response, NMFS published a final rule on March 14, 2006 (71 FR 13027), implementing multiple management measures, including a gauge increase and escape vent size increase in all LCMAs, except LCMA 1, to 3 3/8 inches (8.57 cm) and 2 X 5 3/4 inches (5.08 X 14.61 cm), respectively. In December 2003, the Board approved Addendum IV which, in part, included additional egg production measures. One such measure, the sliding scale trap reduction plan, was adopted to facilitate additional active trap reductions in LCMA 3 by 10 percent by imposing a 5– percent trap reduction in both 2007 and 2008. The 10–percent trap reduction is part of the suite of measures considered in this ANPR. Addenda V and VI did not include any further measures VerDate Aug<31>2005 16:14 Dec 15, 2006 Jkt 211001 pertinent to egg production and therefore, are not included within the scope of this ANPR but are being addressed in a separate rulemaking action. Addendum VII, approved by the Board in November 2005, facilitates effort control measures and constitutes a limited access program for the lobster trap fishery in the state waters of LCMA 2, based on historical participation, with recommendations for complementary actions in the Federal waters of LCMA 2. In approving Addendum VII, the Board opted not to continue with the previously adopted schedule of minimum carapace length increases up to 3 1/2 inches (8.89 cm) in LCMA 2 (Addendum III) and voted to maintain the minimum legal carapace length (gauge) at 3 3/8 inches (8.57 cm). Following the updated stock assessment results, at a meeting in May 2006, the Board rescinded gauge increases beyond 3 3/8 inches (8.57 cm), and a complementary escape vent increase in the Outer Cape LCMA, and an escape vent increase in LCMA 1. Addendum PO 00000 Frm 00024 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 75707 VIII, adopted by the Board in May 2006, established new data collection requirements and adopted new biological reference points to facilitate the assessment of the lobster resource. NMFS will address the data collection issue in a separate rulemaking outside the scope of this ANPR. Addendum IX, adopted by the Board in October 2006, will impose a 10–percent conservation tax on the sale of lobster traps in LCMA 2. Classification This ANPR has been determined to be not significant for the purposes of Executive Order 12866. Authority: 16 U.S.C. 5101 et seq. Dated: December 11, 2006. Samuel D. Rauch III, Deputy Assistant Administrator for Regulatory Programs, National Marine Fisheries Service. [FR Doc. E6–21448 Filed 12–15–06; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510–22–S E:\FR\FM\18DEP1.SGM 18DEP1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 71, Number 242 (Monday, December 18, 2006)]
[Proposed Rules]
[Pages 75705-75707]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: E6-21448]


=======================================================================
-----------------------------------------------------------------------

DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

50 CFR Part 697

[Docket No. 051129315-6314-02; I.D. 112505A]
RIN 0648-AU07


Atlantic Coastal Fisheries Cooperative Management Act Provisions; 
American Lobster Fishery

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

ACTION:  Advance notice of proposed rulemaking (ANPR); request for 
comments.

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

SUMMARY: NMFS announces that it is considering and seeking public 
comment on the implementation of further minimum carapace length 
(gauge) increases, escape vent size increases, and trap reductions in 
the offshore American lobster fishery, consistent with recommendations 
for Federal action in the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission's 
(Commission) Interstate Fishery Management Plan for American Lobster 
(ISFMP) and pending management actions of the Commission's American 
Lobster Management Board (Board). A similar announcement, published in 
the Federal Register on December 13, 2005, notified the public that 
NMFS was considering and requesting comment on gauge and escape vent 
size increases in multiple lobster conservation management areas 
(LCMAs). However, since the publication of that document, many LCMA-
specific Commission recommendations were modified in response to 
information in an updated peer-reviewed stock assessment published 
January 2006. Subsequent Commission deliberations resulted in the Board 
making changes to the fishery management plan, adding and repealing 
measures, such that many of the newer plan elements focused primarily 
on LCMA 3. Some measures relevant to this action, still under Board 
consideration, are included within the scope of this rulemaking. 
Accordingly, NMFS announces that this present ANPR revises the December 
13, 2005, ANPR and invites public comment on changes to the ISFMP, 
either formally approved by the Board or pending approval. Any repealed 
measures, having previously been raised in the December 13, 2005, ANPR, 
will remain within the scope of this present ANPR, although the Board's 
repeal is notable and NMFS invites comment on the Board's withdrawal of 
the measures.

DATES:  Comments must be received by January 17, 2007.

ADDRESSES:  Written comments should be sent to Harold Mears, Director, 
State, Federal and Constituent Programs Office, Northeast Region, NMFS, 
One Blackburn Drive, Gloucester, MA 01930. Comments may also be sent 
via e-mail to Lob1106@noaa.gov, via fax (978) 281-9117 or via the 
Federal e-Rulemaking portal at www.regulations.gov.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:  Peter Burns, Fishery Management 
Specialist, (978) 281-9144, fax (978) 281-9117, e-mail 
peter.burns@noaa.gov.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Scope of This ANPR

    With respect to the scope of this action, additional management 
measures are identified for LCMA 3 that have yet to be proposed or 
implemented by NMFS. These include: four additional 1/32 inch (0.08 
centimeters (cm)) gauge increases that would result in a 3 1/2 inch 
(8.89-cm) minimum gauge size requirement for LCMA 3 by July 1, 2008; 
and escape vent size increases in LCMA 3 to 2 1/16 inches X 5 3/4 
inches rectangular (5.24 cm X 14.61 cm) or two circular vents at 2 11/
16 inches diameter (6.83 cm) by July 1, 2010. Additionally, NMFS also 
is considering a suite of trap reductions in LCMA 3. First, Addendum IV 
to Amendment 3 of the ISFMP calls for a 10-percent active trap 
reduction implemented over two consecutive years with a scheduled 5-
percent reduction for 2007 and a 5-percent reduction in 2008. To 
address the need for further fishing mortality and fishing effort 
reductions in the offshore fishery as identified in the updated stock 
assessment released in 2005, the Board is developing an addendum to 
consider an additional 5-percent reduction in traps in LCMA 3 to be 
implemented as a 2.5-percent reduction each year for two consecutive 
years following the

[[Page 75706]]

initial 10-percent active trap reduction. The two 2.5-percent 
reductions have not been included as part of the ISFMP, but are in an 
addendum being drafted for review by the Board, and consequently, NMFS 
includes this measure for public consideration. Table 1 illustrates the 
LCMA 3 gauge increases, escape vent size increases and the 10-percent 
trap reductions currently recommended in the ISFMP for Federal 
implementation. Also included in the table are the two additional 2.5-
percent trap reductions for LCMA 3 pending Board adoption. Although not 
officially part of the ISFMP, these pending trap reductions are 
included within the scope of this ANPR because they are relevant to the 
10-percent reductions already adopted into the ISFMP and recommended 
for Federal implementation.
    Several management measures previously included in the ISFMP and 
addressed in a previous NMFS ANPR, published in the Federal Register on 
December 13, 2005 (70 FR 73717) , have since been repealed by the Board 
based on an updated American lobster stock assessment approved in 
January 2006. The updated stock assessment indicated stable stock 
abundance for the Georges Bank and majority of the Gulf of Maine 
stocks. However, decreased stock abundance and recruitment due to high 
fishing mortality were evident in the assessment of the Southern New 
England stock and the statistical area 514 portion of the Gulf of Maine 
stock that includes Massachusetts Bay and Stellwagen Bank. Upon review 
of these findings, the Board determined that many of the additional 
gauge increases and escape vent size increases were not necessary for 
conservation and, with the exception for those in LCMA 3, were 
repealed. The repealed measures include the additional escape vent size 
increase for LCMA 1 (2 inches X 5 3/4 inches (5.08 cm X 14.61 cm) 
rectangular or 2 5/8 inches (6.67 cm) circular by 2008); in the Outer 
Cape Cod LCMA, four additional 1/32 inch-(0.08-cm) gauge increases up 
to 3 1/2 inches (8.89 cm) by July 2008 and an escape vent increase to 2 
1/16 inches X 5 3/4 inches (5.24 cm X 14.61 cm) rectangular or 2 11/16 
inches (6.83 cm) circular by 2008. Recommendations for delay in the 
LCMA 3 escape vent size increase until 2010, is included in draft 
Addendum XI to Amendment 3 of the ISFMP, scheduled for Board review in 
January 2007. NMFS invites the public to comment on the revised 
management scenario and extends the scope of this ANPR to include the 
measures subsequently withdrawn by the Board as well, given their 
potential impacts on the resource and industry.

 Table 1. American Lobster ISFMP Gauge, Escape Vent and Trap Reduction Schedule for LCMA 3 and Corresponding Federal Action (Includes only the measures
                   currently recommended in the ISFMP for Federal implementation and relevant trap reductions pending Board adoption).
                                                              [Measurements are in inches]
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                               Addenda II-VIII                     Current Federal Lobster               This ANPR Considers
                             ---------------------------------------------------         Regulations        --------------------------------------------
            LCMA                                                       trap     ----------------------------                                    trap
                                     gauge             vent*        reductions       gauge         vent*         gauge          vent*       reductions**
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
LCMA3                         3 3/8 July 2004     2 X 5 3/4        5%            3 3/8         2 X 5 3/4     3 13/32       2 1/16 X 5 3/4   5%
                              3 13/32 July 2005   rectangular      in 2007       ............  rectangular   ............  rectangular      in 2007
                              3 7/16 July 2006    or               ............  ............  or            3 7/16        or               ............
                              3 15/32 July 2007   2 5/8 circular   5%            ............  2 5/8         ............  2 11/16          5%
                              3 1/2 July 2008     by 2004          in 2008       ............  circular      3 15/32       circular         in 2008
                              ..................  ...............  ............  ............  ............  ............  by 2010          ............
                              ..................  2 1/16 X 5 3/4   ............  ............  ............  3 1/2         ...............  2.5%
                              ..................  rectangular      ............  ............  ............  by 2008       ...............  in 2009
                              ..................  or               ............  ............  ............  ............  ...............  ............
                              ..................  2 11/16          ............  ............  ............  ............  ...............  2.5%
                                                   circular
                              ..................  by 2008          ............  ............  ............  ............  ...............  in 2010
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
* All vent sizes include a rectangular and corresponding circular vent size. In all cases, each trap is required to have one rectangular vent or two
  circular vents at the sizes indicated. The ANPR considers a proposed action by the Board to postpone the escape vent increase for LCMA 3 until 2010.
** The two 5% trap reductions scheduled for 2007 and 2008 were established in Addendum IV; the two 2.5% reductions are being considered in this ANPR,
  concurrent with Board review.

Background and Description of Relevant ISFMP Actions

    Addenda I through IX are part of an overall lobster fishery 
management regime set forth inAmendment 3 to the ISFMP. The intent of 
Amendment 3, approved by the Board in December 1997, is to achieve a 
healthy American lobster resource and to develop a management regime 
that provides for sustained harvest, maintains opportunities for 
participation, and provides for the cooperative development of 
conservation measures by all stakeholders. In short, Amendment 3 was 
envisioned to provide much of the framework upon which future lobster 
management - to be set forth in later addenda - would be based. In 
particular, Amendment 3 employed a participatory management approach by 
creating the seven lobster management areas, each with its own lobster 
conservation management team (LCMT) comprised of industry members. 
Amendment 3 tasked the LCMTs with providing recommendations for area-
specific management measures to the Board to meet the lobster egg 
production and effort reduction goals of the ISFMP. NMFS has the 
authority under the Atlantic Coastal Fisheries Cooperative Management 
Act (ACFCMA) to implement regulations in Federal waters that are 
compatible with the effective implementation of the ISFMP and 
consistent with the national standards of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery 
Conservation and Management Act. These Federal regulations are 
promulgated pursuant to the ACFCMA and are codified at 50 CFR part 697.
    Addendum I to Amendment 3 focused largely on effort control 
measures. The Board approved Addendum I in August 1999, with NMFS 
promulgating compatible regulations on March 27, 2003 (68 FR 14902). 
This action, in part, established a limited access program in the 
lobster trap fishery in LCMAs 3, 4 and 5, based on historical 
participation and additional sliding scale trap

[[Page 75707]]

reductions in LCMA 3 through 2006. The Board approved Amendment 3's egg 
production measures as Addenda II and III in February 2001 and February 
2002, respectively, and recommended that NMFS implement complementary 
Federal regulations. In response, NMFS published a final rule on March 
14, 2006 (71 FR 13027), implementing multiple management measures, 
including a gauge increase and escape vent size increase in all LCMAs, 
except LCMA 1, to 3 3/8 inches (8.57 cm) and 2 X 5 3/4 inches (5.08 X 
14.61 cm), respectively. In December 2003, the Board approved Addendum 
IV which, in part, included additional egg production measures. One 
such measure, the sliding scale trap reduction plan, was adopted to 
facilitate additional active trap reductions in LCMA 3 by 10 percent by 
imposing a 5-percent trap reduction in both 2007 and 2008. The 10-
percent trap reduction is part of the suite of measures considered in 
this ANPR. Addenda V and VI did not include any further measures 
pertinent to egg production and therefore, are not included within the 
scope of this ANPR but are being addressed in a separate rulemaking 
action. Addendum VII, approved by the Board in November 2005, 
facilitates effort control measures and constitutes a limited access 
program for the lobster trap fishery in the state waters of LCMA 2, 
based on historical participation, with recommendations for 
complementary actions in the Federal waters of LCMA 2. In approving 
Addendum VII, the Board opted not to continue with the previously 
adopted schedule of minimum carapace length increases up to 3 1/2 
inches (8.89 cm) in LCMA 2 (Addendum III) and voted to maintain the 
minimum legal carapace length (gauge) at 3 3/8 inches (8.57 cm). 
Following the updated stock assessment results, at a meeting in May 
2006, the Board rescinded gauge increases beyond 3 3/8 inches (8.57 
cm), and a complementary escape vent increase in the Outer Cape LCMA, 
and an escape vent increase in LCMA 1. Addendum VIII, adopted by the 
Board in May 2006, established new data collection requirements and 
adopted new biological reference points to facilitate the assessment of 
the lobster resource. NMFS will address the data collection issue in a 
separate rulemaking outside the scope of this ANPR. Addendum IX, 
adopted by the Board in October 2006, will impose a 10-percent 
conservation tax on the sale of lobster traps in LCMA 2.

Classification

    This ANPR has been determined to be not significant for the 
purposes of Executive Order 12866.
    Authority: 16 U.S.C. 5101 et seq.

    Dated: December 11, 2006.
Samuel D. Rauch III,
Deputy Assistant Administrator for Regulatory Programs, National Marine 
Fisheries Service.
[FR Doc. E6-21448 Filed 12-15-06; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 3510-22-S