Atlantic Highly Migratory Species; Atlantic Bluefin Tuna Fisheries, 50257-50259 [07-4283]

Download as PDF Federal Register / Vol. 72, No. 169 / Friday, August 31, 2007 / Rules and Regulations *Elevation in feet (NGVD) +Elevation in feet (NAVD) # Depth in feet above ground. Modified Flooding source(s) Location of referenced elevation Magazine Branch ...................... Starts at approximately 920 feet downstream of Pennsylvania Avenue. +594 Ends approximately at 100 feet upstream of Pacific Street ...... Begins at approximately 480 feet downstream of Middle Fork Road. Ends approximately at 135 feet upstream of Middle Fork Road Begins at approximately 90 feet downstream of Rail Road Bridge. Ends approximately at 4550 feet upstream of Mill Creek Road Begins at approximately 220 feet downstream of U.S. Route 60. Ends approximately at 1880 feet upstream of Cane Fork Road +688 +606 Middle Fork ............................... Mill Creek .................................. Two and Three Quarter Mile Creek. +630 +605 +775 +589 50257 Communities affected City of Charleston, Kanawha County (Unincorporated Areas). Kanawha County (Unincorporated Areas). Kanawha County (Unincorporated Areas). Kanawha County (Unincorporated Areas). +618 *National Geodetic Vertical Datum. #Depth in feet above ground. +North American Vertical Datum. ADDRESSES City of Charleston Maps are available for inspection at 501 East Virginia Street, Charleston, WV 25301. City of Dunbar Maps are available for inspection at 210 12th Street, Dunbar, WV 25064. Kanawha County (Unincorporated Areas) Maps are available for inspection at 501 East Virginia Street, Charleston, WV 25301. (Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance No. 97.022, ‘‘Flood Insurance.’’) Dated: August 22, 2007. David I. Maurstad, Federal Insurance Administrator of the National Flood Insurance Program, Department of Homeland Security, Federal Emergency Management Agency. [FR Doc. E7–17319 Filed 8–30–07; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 9110–12–P DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: RIN 0648–XC23 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. sroberts on PROD1PC70 with RULES AGENCY: SUMMARY: NMFS has determined that the Atlantic tunas General category daily Atlantic bluefin tuna (BFT) retention limit should be adjusted for the September and October time period Jkt 211001 Brad McHale, 978–281–9260. 50 CFR Part 635 19:52 Aug 30, 2007 The effective dates for the BFT daily retention limits are provided in Table 1 under SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION. DATES: FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration VerDate Aug<31>2005 of the 2007 fishing year. The adjustment will allow for maximum utilization of the General category quota. Therefore, NMFS increases the daily BFT retention limits to provide enhanced commercial fishing opportunities without risking overharvest of the General category quota. 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. Section 635.27 subdivides the U.S. BFT quota recommended by the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas (ICCAT) among the various domestic fishing categories. The 2007 fishing year began on June 1, 2007, and ends December 31, 2007. NMFS proposed 2007 fishing year specifications to set BFT quotas and PO 00000 Frm 00057 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 General category effort controls on April 4, 2007 (72 FR 16318). These proposed specifications considered adjusting the daily retention limits throughout the 2007 season and received favorable public support. NMFS published final specifications on June 18, 2007 (72 FR 33401) and increased the default General category retention limit of one large medium or giant BFT (measuring 73 inches (185 cm) curved fork length (CFL) or greater) per vessel per day/trip to three large medium or giant BFT, measuring 73 inches CFL or greater, per vessel per day/trip through August 31, 2007. This action enhances commercial BFT fishing opportunities to those vessels permitted in the Atlantic tunas General category and the Highly Migratory Species (HMS) Charter/ Headboat category, while fishing commercially. In addition, NMFS stated that it would consider adjustment of retention of retention limits for future time periods, if warranted. Daily Retention Limits Pursuant to this action, the daily BFT retention limits for the Atlantic tunas General and HMS Charter/Headboat categories are as follows: E:\FR\FM\31AUR1.SGM 31AUR1 50258 Federal Register / Vol. 72, No. 169 / Friday, August 31, 2007 / Rules and Regulations TABLE 1. EFFECTIVE DATES FOR RETENTION LIMIT ADJUSTMENTS Permit Category Effective Dates Areas BFT Size Class Daily Limit June 1 through August 31, 2007, inclusive. All Three BFT per vessel per trip, measuring 73 inches (185 cm) curved fork length (CFL) or greater. September 1 through October 31, 2007, inclusive. All Three BFT per vessel per trip, measuring 73 inches (185 cm) CFL or greater. November 1 through December 31, 2007, inclusive. All One BFT per vessel per trip, measuring 73 inches (185 cm) CFL or greater. sroberts on PROD1PC70 with RULES Atlantic tunas General and HMS Charter/ Headboat (while fishing commercially) Adjustment of General Category Daily Retention Limits Under 50 CFR 635.23(a)(4), NMFS may increase or decrease the daily retention limit of large medium and giant BFT over a range of zero to a maximum of three per vessel to provide for maximum utilization of the General category quota for BFT. Such adjustments to the commercial retention limit are based on NMFS’ consideration of the criteria provided under § 635.27(a)(8), which include: the usefulness of information obtained from catches in the particular category for biological sampling and monitoring of the status of the stock; the catches of the particular category quota to date and the likelihood of closure of that segment of the fishery if no adjustment is made; the projected ability of the vessels fishing under the particular category quota to harvest the additional amount of BFT before the end of the fishing year; the estimated amounts by which quotas for other gear categories of the fishery might be exceeded; effects of the adjustment on BFT rebuilding and overfishing; effects of the adjustment on accomplishing the objectives of the fishery management plan; variations in seasonal distribution, abundance, or migration patterns of BFT; effects of catch rates in one area precluding vessels in another area from having a reasonable opportunity to harvest a portion of the category’s quota; and a review of dealer reports, daily landing trends, and the availability of the BFT on the fishing grounds. As of August 24, 2007, the coast wide General category has landed 29.4 metric tons (mt) out of a possible 643.6 mt, and catch rates remain less that 1.0 mt per day even though the General category retention limit was increased to three BFT per vessel per trip, measuring 73 inches (185 cm) CFL or greater for the June through August time period. Starting on September 1, 2007, the General category daily retention limit, located at § 635.23(a)(2), is scheduled to VerDate Aug<31>2005 19:52 Aug 30, 2007 Jkt 211001 revert back to the default retention limit of one large medium or giant BFT (measuring 73 inches (185 cm) CFL) or greater per vessel per day/trip. This scheduled retention limit applies to General category permitted vessels and HMS Charter/Headboat category permitted vessels (when fishing commercially for BFT). NMFS has considered the set of criteria cited above and their applicability to the commercial BFT retention limit for the September and October portion of the 2007 fishing year. The criteria include but are not limited to: the usefulness of information obtained from catches for biological sampling and monitoring of the status of the stock; the date and the likelihood of closure if no adjustment is made; the effects of the adjustment on BFT rebuilding and overfishing; variations in seasonal distribution, abundance, or migration patterns of BFT; effects of catch rates in one area precluding vessels in another area from having a reasonable opportunity to harvest a portion of the category’s quota; and a review of dealer reports, daily landing trends, and the availability of the BFT on the fishing grounds. Based on these considerations, NMFS has determined that the General category retention should be adjusted. Therefore, NMFS increases the General category retention limit from the default limits effective September 1 through October 31, 2007. This adjustment increases the General category daily retention limit to three large medium or giant BFT, measuring 73 inches (185 cm) CFL or greater, per vessel per day/trip. This General category retention limit is effective in all areas, except for the Gulf of Mexico, and applies to those vessel permitted in the General category as well as to those HMS Charter/Headboat permitted vessels fishing commercially for BFT. Monitoring and Reporting NMFS selected the daily retention limit and the duration after examining an array of data as it pertains to the determination criteria. These data PO 00000 Frm 00058 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 included, but were not limited to, current and previous catch and effort rates, quota availability, previous public comments on inseason management measures, stock status, etc. NMFS will continue to monitor the BFT fishery closely through the mandatory dealer landing reports. 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 continues to receive information refining its understanding of the commercial sector’s specific needs regarding retention limits midway through the 2007 season. NMFS assessments and analyses show catch rates to date have been low and that there is sufficient quota for an increase to the General category retention limit during the months of September and October. NMFS has recently become aware of increased availability of large medium and giant BFT off northern Atlantic fishing grounds from fishing reports, vessels participating in other fisheries, and landings data from dealers. This increase in abundance provides the potential to increase General category landings rates if fishery participants are E:\FR\FM\31AUR1.SGM 31AUR1 Federal Register / Vol. 72, No. 169 / Friday, August 31, 2007 / Rules and Regulations sroberts on PROD1PC70 with RULES authorized to harvest three large medium or giant BFT per day. The regulations implementing the HMS 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. 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 available on the fishing grounds. Analysis of available data shows that the General category BFT retention limits may be increased with minimal risks of exceeding the ICCAT allocated quota. Delays in increasing these retention limits would adversely affect those General and Charter/Headboat category VerDate Aug<31>2005 20:04 Aug 30, 2007 Jkt 211001 vessels that would otherwise have an opportunity to harvest more than the default retention limit of one BFT per day and may exacerbate the problem of low catch rates and quota rollovers. Limited opportunities to harvest the respective quotas may have negative social and economic impacts to U.S. fishermen that either depend upon catching the available quota within the time periods designated in the HMS FMP. Adjustment to the retention limit needs to be effective September 1, 2007, to minimize any unnecessary disruption in fishing patterns and for the impacted sectors to benefit from the adjustments so as to not preclude fishing opportunities from fishermen who only have access to the fishery during this time period. Therefore, the AA finds good cause under 5 U.S.C. 553(b)(B) to waive prior notice and the opportunity for public PO 00000 Frm 00059 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 50259 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 (b)(3) and is exempt from review under Executive Order 12866. Authority: 16 U.S.C. 971 et seq. and 1801 et seq. Dated: August 28, 2007. Alan D. Risenhoover, Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine Fisheries Service. [FR Doc. 07–4283 Filed 8–28–07; 1:20 pm] BILLING CODE 3510–22–S E:\FR\FM\31AUR1.SGM 31AUR1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 72, Number 169 (Friday, August 31, 2007)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 50257-50259]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 07-4283]


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DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

50 CFR Part 635

RIN 0648-XC23


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 Atlantic tunas General category 
daily Atlantic bluefin tuna (BFT) retention limit should be adjusted 
for the September and October time period of the 2007 fishing year. The 
adjustment will allow for maximum utilization of the General category 
quota. Therefore, NMFS increases the daily BFT retention limits to 
provide enhanced commercial fishing opportunities without risking 
overharvest of the General category quota.

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

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:  Brad McHale, 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. Section 635.27 subdivides the U.S. BFT quota recommended by 
the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas 
(ICCAT) among the various domestic fishing categories.
    The 2007 fishing year began on June 1, 2007, and ends December 31, 
2007. NMFS proposed 2007 fishing year specifications to set BFT quotas 
and General category effort controls on April 4, 2007 (72 FR 16318). 
These proposed specifications considered adjusting the daily retention 
limits throughout the 2007 season and received favorable public 
support. NMFS published final specifications on June 18, 2007 (72 FR 
33401) and increased the default General category retention limit of 
one large medium or giant BFT (measuring 73 inches (185 cm) curved fork 
length (CFL) or greater) per vessel per day/trip to three large medium 
or giant BFT, measuring 73 inches CFL or greater, per vessel per day/
trip through August 31, 2007. This action enhances commercial BFT 
fishing opportunities to those vessels permitted in the Atlantic tunas 
General category and the Highly Migratory Species (HMS) Charter/
Headboat category, while fishing commercially. In addition, NMFS stated 
that it would consider adjustment of retention of retention limits for 
future time periods, if warranted.

Daily Retention Limits

    Pursuant to this action, the daily BFT retention limits for the 
Atlantic tunas General and HMS Charter/Headboat categories are as 
follows:

[[Page 50258]]



                            Table 1. Effective Dates for Retention Limit Adjustments
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
          Permit Category                   Effective Dates              Areas       BFT Size Class Daily Limit
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                     June 1 through August 31,      All             Three BFT per vessel per
                                      2007, inclusive.                               trip, measuring 73 inches
                                                                                     (185 cm) curved fork length
                                                                                     (CFL) or greater.
                                    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Atlantic tunas General and HMS       September 1 through October    All             Three BFT per vessel per
 Charter/Headboat (while fishing      31, 2007, inclusive.                           trip, measuring 73 inches
 commercially)                                                                       (185 cm) CFL or greater.
                                    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                     November 1 through December    All             One BFT per vessel per trip,
                                      31, 2007, inclusive.                           measuring 73 inches (185
                                                                                     cm) CFL or greater.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Adjustment of General Category Daily Retention Limits

    Under 50 CFR 635.23(a)(4), NMFS may increase or decrease the daily 
retention limit of large medium and giant BFT over a range of zero to a 
maximum of three per vessel to provide for maximum utilization of the 
General category quota for BFT. Such adjustments to the commercial 
retention limit are based on NMFS' consideration of the criteria 
provided under Sec.  635.27(a)(8), which include: the usefulness of 
information obtained from catches in the particular category for 
biological sampling and monitoring of the status of the stock; the 
catches of the particular category quota to date and the likelihood of 
closure of that segment of the fishery if no adjustment is made; the 
projected ability of the vessels fishing under the particular category 
quota to harvest the additional amount of BFT before the end of the 
fishing year; the estimated amounts by which quotas for other gear 
categories of the fishery might be exceeded; effects of the adjustment 
on BFT rebuilding and overfishing; effects of the adjustment on 
accomplishing the objectives of the fishery management plan; variations 
in seasonal distribution, abundance, or migration patterns of BFT; 
effects of catch rates in one area precluding vessels in another area 
from having a reasonable opportunity to harvest a portion of the 
category's quota; and a review of dealer reports, daily landing trends, 
and the availability of the BFT on the fishing grounds.
    As of August 24, 2007, the coast wide General category has landed 
29.4 metric tons (mt) out of a possible 643.6 mt, and catch rates 
remain less that 1.0 mt per day even though the General category 
retention limit was increased to three BFT per vessel per trip, 
measuring 73 inches (185 cm) CFL or greater for the June through August 
time period. Starting on September 1, 2007, the General category daily 
retention limit, located at Sec.  635.23(a)(2), is scheduled to revert 
back to the default retention limit of one large medium or giant BFT 
(measuring 73 inches (185 cm) CFL) or greater per vessel per day/trip. 
This scheduled retention limit applies to General category permitted 
vessels and HMS Charter/Headboat category permitted vessels (when 
fishing commercially for BFT).
    NMFS has considered the set of criteria cited above and their 
applicability to the commercial BFT retention limit for the September 
and October portion of the 2007 fishing year. The criteria include but 
are not limited to: the usefulness of information obtained from catches 
for biological sampling and monitoring of the status of the stock; the 
date and the likelihood of closure if no adjustment is made; the 
effects of the adjustment on BFT rebuilding and overfishing; variations 
in seasonal distribution, abundance, or migration patterns of BFT; 
effects of catch rates in one area precluding vessels in another area 
from having a reasonable opportunity to harvest a portion of the 
category's quota; and a review of dealer reports, daily landing trends, 
and the availability of the BFT on the fishing grounds. Based on these 
considerations, NMFS has determined that the General category retention 
should be adjusted. Therefore, NMFS increases the General category 
retention limit from the default limits effective September 1 through 
October 31, 2007. This adjustment increases the General category daily 
retention limit to three large medium or giant BFT, measuring 73 inches 
(185 cm) CFL or greater, per vessel per day/trip. This General category 
retention limit is effective in all areas, except for the Gulf of 
Mexico, and applies to those vessel permitted in the General category 
as well as to those HMS Charter/Headboat permitted vessels fishing 
commercially for BFT.
    Monitoring and Reporting
    NMFS selected the daily retention limit and the duration after 
examining an array of data as it pertains to the determination 
criteria. These data included, but were not limited to, current and 
previous catch and effort rates, quota availability, previous public 
comments on inseason management measures, stock status, etc. NMFS will 
continue to monitor the BFT fishery closely through the mandatory 
dealer landing reports. 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 continues to receive information refining its understanding of 
the commercial sector's specific needs regarding retention limits mid-
way through the 2007 season. NMFS assessments and analyses show catch 
rates to date have been low and that there is sufficient quota for an 
increase to the General category retention limit during the months of 
September and October.
    NMFS has recently become aware of increased availability of large 
medium and giant BFT off northern Atlantic fishing grounds from fishing 
reports, vessels participating in other fisheries, and landings data 
from dealers. This increase in abundance provides the potential to 
increase General category landings rates if fishery participants are

[[Page 50259]]

authorized to harvest three large medium or giant BFT per day.
    The regulations implementing the HMS 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. 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 available on the fishing 
grounds. Analysis of available data shows that the General category BFT 
retention limits may be increased with minimal risks of exceeding the 
ICCAT allocated quota.
    Delays in increasing these retention limits would adversely affect 
those General and Charter/Headboat category vessels that would 
otherwise have an opportunity to harvest more than the default 
retention limit of one BFT per day and may exacerbate the problem of 
low catch rates and quota rollovers. Limited opportunities to harvest 
the respective quotas may have negative social and economic impacts to 
U.S. fishermen that either depend upon catching the available quota 
within the time periods designated in the HMS FMP. Adjustment to the 
retention limit needs to be effective September 1, 2007, to minimize 
any unnecessary disruption in fishing patterns and for the impacted 
sectors to benefit from the adjustments so as to not preclude fishing 
opportunities from fishermen who only have access to the fishery during 
this time period.
    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 (b)(3) and 
is exempt from review under Executive Order 12866.

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

    Dated: August 28, 2007.
Alan D. Risenhoover,
Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine Fisheries 
Service.
[FR Doc. 07-4283 Filed 8-28-07; 1:20 pm]
BILLING CODE 3510-22-S