Fisheries of the Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico, and South Atlantic; Reef Fish Fishery of the Gulf of Mexico; Amendment 30B Supplement, 17812-17813 [E9-8902]

Download as PDF 17812 Federal Register / Vol. 74, No. 73 / Friday, April 17, 2009 / Proposed Rules DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration 50 CFR Part 622 [Docket No. 090225239–9311–01] RIN 0648–AX73 Fisheries of the Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico, and South Atlantic; Reef Fish Fishery of the Gulf of Mexico; Amendment 30B Supplement dwashington3 on PROD1PC60 with PROPOSALS AGENCY: National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Commerce. ACTION: Proposed rule; request for comments. SUMMARY: NMFS issues this proposed rule to resolve an error contained in the proposed rule to implement Amendment 30B to the Fishery Management Plan for the Reef Fish Resources of the Gulf of Mexico (FMP) prepared by the Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council (Council) that published in the Federal Register on November 18, 2008. The error would have implemented a restriction for the Edges seasonal-area closure that was not intended. This proposed rule would establish the Edges seasonal-area closure consistent with the intent of Amendment 30B. DATES: Written comments must be received on or before May 4, 2009. ADDRESSES: You may submit comments on the proposed rule, identified by ‘‘0648–AX73’’ by any of the following methods: • Electronic Submissions: Submit all electronic public comments via the Federal e-Rulemaking Portal: http:// www.regulations.gov. • Mail: Peter Hood, Southeast Regional Office, NMFS, 263 13th Avenue South, St. Petersburg, FL 33701. Instructions: All comments received are a part of the public record and will generally be posted to http:// www.regulations.gov without change. All Personal Identifying Information (for example, name, address, etc.) voluntarily submitted by the commenter may be publicly accessible. Do not submit Confidential Business Information or otherwise sensitive or protected information. To submit comments through the Federal e-Rulemaking Portal: http:// www.regulations.gov, enter ‘‘NOAANMFS–2008–0203’’ in the keyword search, then select ‘‘Send a Comment or Submission.’’ NMFS will accept anonymous comments (enter N/A in the VerDate Nov<24>2008 15:03 Apr 16, 2009 Jkt 217001 required fields, if you wish to remain anonymous). You may submit attachments to electronic comments in Microsoft Word, Excel, WordPerfect, or Adobe PDF file formats only. Copies of Amendment 30B, which includes an environmental impact statement, an initial regulatory flexibility analysis (IRFA), and a regulatory impact review may be obtained from the Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council, 2203 North Lois Avenue, Suite 1100, Tampa, FL 33607; telephone 813–348–1630; fax 813–348–1711; e-mail gulfcouncil@gulfcouncil.org; or may be downloaded from the Council’s website at http://www.gulfcouncil.org/. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Peter Hood, 727–824–5305. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The reef fish fishery of the Gulf of Mexico is managed under the FMP. The FMP was prepared by the Council and is implemented through regulations at 50 CFR part 622 under the authority of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (Magnuson-Stevens Act). Background NMFS published a proposed rule to implement Amendment 30B on November 18, 2008, and requested public comment (73 FR 68390). That proposed rule contained an error that would have implemented a restriction applicable to the Edges seasonal-area closure that was not intended and was not supported by Amendment 30B. This proposed rule would correct that error and re-propose the provisions applicable to the Edges seasonal-area closure consistent with the intent of Amendment 30B. The Edges seasonalarea closure would prohibit fishing for any species under Council jurisdiction from January 1 through April 30 each year. This proposed closure would provide additional protection for grouper spawning aggregations, benefit other reef fish undergoing overfishing, reduce poaching, and facilitate enforcement. Additional rationale for the measures contained in Amendment 30B was correctly stated in the preamble to the original proposed rule and is not repeated here. Classification Pursuant to section 304(b)(1)(A) of the Magnuson-Stevens Act, the AA has determined that this proposed rule is consistent with Amendment 30B, other provisions of the Magnuson-Stevens Act, and other applicable law, subject to further consideration after public comment. PO 00000 Frm 00019 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 This proposed rule has been determined to be not significant for purposes of Executive Order 12866. NMFS prepared a Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) for Amendment 30B. A notice of availability for the DEIS was published on August 8, 2008 (73 FR 46269). A notice of availability for the final environmental impact statement was published on October 24, 2008 (73 FR 63470). NMFS prepared an IRFA, as required by section 603 of the Regulatory Flexibility Act, for the original proposed rule for Amendment 30B. Of the four alternatives considered for seasonal closure in the Edges, the proposed action provides the best balance between short-term adverse economic effects on small entities and adequate protection of gag. Two alternatives would create more adverse economic effects by imposing longer fishing closures than the proposed action while one alternative would result in less adverse economic effects but would open up the area to fishing during half of the peak spawning season for gag. A complete summary of the IRFA is provided in the proposed rule published on November 18, 2008 (73 FR 68390), and is not repeated here. A copy of the full analysis is available from the Council (see ADDRESSES). List of Subjects in 50 CFR Part 622 Fisheries, Fishing, Puerto Rico, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements, Virgin Islands. Dated: April 13, 2009. Samuel D. Rauch III, Deputy Assistant Administrator for Regulatory Programs, National Marine Fisheries Service. For the reasons set out in the preamble, 50 CFR part 622 is proposed to be amended as follows: PART 622—FISHERIES OF THE CARIBBEAN, GULF, AND SOUTH ATLANTIC 1. The authority citation for part 622 continues to read as follows: Authority: 16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq. 2. In § 622.34, the introductory heading of paragraph (k), paragraphs (k)(1)(iii), (k)(2), (k)(3), and the first sentence of paragraph (k)(5) are revised to read as follows: * * * * * § 622.34 Gulf EEZ seasonal and/or area closures. * * * * * (k) Closure provisions applicable to the Madison and Swanson sites, Steamboat Lumps, and the Edges. E:\FR\FM\17APP1.SGM 17APP1 Federal Register / Vol. 74, No. 73 / Friday, April 17, 2009 / Proposed Rules (1) * * * (iii) The Edges is bounded by rhumb lines connecting, in order, the following points: North lat. West long. A 28°51′ 85°16′ B 28°51′ 85°04′ C 28°14′ 84°42′ D 28°14′ 84°54′ A dwashington3 on PROD1PC60 with PROPOSALS Point 28°51′ 85°16′ VerDate Nov<24>2008 15:03 Apr 16, 2009 Jkt 217001 (2) Within the Madison and Swanson sites and Steamboat Lumps, possession of Gulf reef fish is prohibited, except for such possession aboard a vessel in transit with fishing gear stowed as specified in paragraph (k)(4) of this section. (3) Within the Madison and Swanson sites and Steamboat Lumps during November through April, and within the Edges during January through April, all fishing is prohibited, and possession of any fish species is prohibited, except for such possession aboard a vessel in transit with fishing gear stowed as PO 00000 Frm 00020 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 17813 specified in paragraph (k)(4) of this section. The provisions of this paragraph, (k)(3), do not apply to highly migratory species. * * * * * (5) Within the Madison and Swanson sites and Steamboat Lumps, during May through October, surface trolling is the only allowable fishing activity. * * * * * * * * [FR Doc. E9–8902 Filed 4–16–09; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510–22–S E:\FR\FM\17APP1.SGM 17APP1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 74, Number 73 (Friday, April 17, 2009)]
[Proposed Rules]
[Pages 17812-17813]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: E9-8902]



[[Page 17812]]

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DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

50 CFR Part 622

[Docket No. 090225239-9311-01]
RIN 0648-AX73


Fisheries of the Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico, and South Atlantic; 
Reef Fish Fishery of the Gulf of Mexico; Amendment 30B Supplement

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

ACTION: Proposed rule; request for comments.

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

SUMMARY: NMFS issues this proposed rule to resolve an error contained 
in the proposed rule to implement Amendment 30B to the Fishery 
Management Plan for the Reef Fish Resources of the Gulf of Mexico (FMP) 
prepared by the Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council (Council) 
that published in the Federal Register on November 18, 2008. The error 
would have implemented a restriction for the Edges seasonal-area 
closure that was not intended. This proposed rule would establish the 
Edges seasonal-area closure consistent with the intent of Amendment 
30B.

DATES: Written comments must be received on or before May 4, 2009.

ADDRESSES: You may submit comments on the proposed rule, identified by 
``0648-AX73'' by any of the following methods:
     Electronic Submissions: Submit all electronic public 
comments via the Federal e-Rulemaking Portal: http://www.regulations.gov.
     Mail: Peter Hood, Southeast Regional Office, NMFS, 263 
13th Avenue South, St. Petersburg, FL 33701.
    Instructions: All comments received are a part of the public record 
and will generally be posted to http://www.regulations.gov without 
change. All Personal Identifying Information (for example, name, 
address, etc.) voluntarily submitted by the commenter may be publicly 
accessible. Do not submit Confidential Business Information or 
otherwise sensitive or protected information.
    To submit comments through the Federal e-Rulemaking Portal: http://www.regulations.gov, enter ``NOAA-NMFS-2008-0203'' in the keyword 
search, then select ``Send a Comment or Submission.'' NMFS will accept 
anonymous comments (enter N/A in the required fields, if you wish to 
remain anonymous). You may submit attachments to electronic comments in 
Microsoft Word, Excel, WordPerfect, or Adobe PDF file formats only.
    Copies of Amendment 30B, which includes an environmental impact 
statement, an initial regulatory flexibility analysis (IRFA), and a 
regulatory impact review may be obtained from the Gulf of Mexico 
Fishery Management Council, 2203 North Lois Avenue, Suite 1100, Tampa, 
FL 33607; telephone 813-348-1630; fax 813-348-1711; e-mail 
gulfcouncil@gulfcouncil.org; or may be downloaded from the Council's 
website at http://www.gulfcouncil.org/.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Peter Hood, 727-824-5305.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The reef fish fishery of the Gulf of Mexico 
is managed under the FMP. The FMP was prepared by the Council and is 
implemented through regulations at 50 CFR part 622 under the authority 
of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act 
(Magnuson-Stevens Act).

Background

    NMFS published a proposed rule to implement Amendment 30B on 
November 18, 2008, and requested public comment (73 FR 68390). That 
proposed rule contained an error that would have implemented a 
restriction applicable to the Edges seasonal-area closure that was not 
intended and was not supported by Amendment 30B. This proposed rule 
would correct that error and re-propose the provisions applicable to 
the Edges seasonal-area closure consistent with the intent of Amendment 
30B. The Edges seasonal-area closure would prohibit fishing for any 
species under Council jurisdiction from January 1 through April 30 each 
year. This proposed closure would provide additional protection for 
grouper spawning aggregations, benefit other reef fish undergoing 
overfishing, reduce poaching, and facilitate enforcement. Additional 
rationale for the measures contained in Amendment 30B was correctly 
stated in the preamble to the original proposed rule and is not 
repeated here.

Classification

    Pursuant to section 304(b)(1)(A) of the Magnuson-Stevens Act, the 
AA has determined that this proposed rule is consistent with Amendment 
30B, other provisions of the Magnuson-Stevens Act, and other applicable 
law, subject to further consideration after public comment.
    This proposed rule has been determined to be not significant for 
purposes of Executive Order 12866.
    NMFS prepared a Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) for 
Amendment 30B. A notice of availability for the DEIS was published on 
August 8, 2008 (73 FR 46269). A notice of availability for the final 
environmental impact statement was published on October 24, 2008 (73 FR 
63470).
    NMFS prepared an IRFA, as required by section 603 of the Regulatory 
Flexibility Act, for the original proposed rule for Amendment 30B. Of 
the four alternatives considered for seasonal closure in the Edges, the 
proposed action provides the best balance between short-term adverse 
economic effects on small entities and adequate protection of gag. Two 
alternatives would create more adverse economic effects by imposing 
longer fishing closures than the proposed action while one alternative 
would result in less adverse economic effects but would open up the 
area to fishing during half of the peak spawning season for gag. A 
complete summary of the IRFA is provided in the proposed rule published 
on November 18, 2008 (73 FR 68390), and is not repeated here. A copy of 
the full analysis is available from the Council (see ADDRESSES).

List of Subjects in 50 CFR Part 622

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

    Dated: April 13, 2009.
Samuel D. Rauch III,
Deputy Assistant Administrator for Regulatory Programs, National Marine 
Fisheries Service.
    For the reasons set out in the preamble, 50 CFR part 622 is 
proposed to be amended as follows:

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

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

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

    2. In Sec.  622.34, the introductory heading of paragraph (k), 
paragraphs (k)(1)(iii), (k)(2), (k)(3), and the first sentence of 
paragraph (k)(5) are revised to read as follows:
* * * * *


Sec.  622.34  Gulf EEZ seasonal and/or area closures.

* * * * *
    (k) Closure provisions applicable to the Madison and Swanson sites, 
Steamboat Lumps, and the Edges.

[[Page 17813]]

    (1) * * *
    (iii) The Edges is bounded by rhumb lines connecting, in order, the 
following points:

------------------------------------------------------------------------
                  Point                      North lat.      West long.
------------------------------------------------------------------------
A                                         28[deg]51'         85[deg]16'
------------------------------------------------------------------------
B                                         28[deg]51'         85[deg]04'
------------------------------------------------------------------------
C                                         28[deg]14'         84[deg]42'
------------------------------------------------------------------------
D                                         28[deg]14'         84[deg]54'
------------------------------------------------------------------------
A                                         28[deg]51'         85[deg]16'
------------------------------------------------------------------------

    (2) Within the Madison and Swanson sites and Steamboat Lumps, 
possession of Gulf reef fish is prohibited, except for such possession 
aboard a vessel in transit with fishing gear stowed as specified in 
paragraph (k)(4) of this section.
    (3) Within the Madison and Swanson sites and Steamboat Lumps during 
November through April, and within the Edges during January through 
April, all fishing is prohibited, and possession of any fish species is 
prohibited, except for such possession aboard a vessel in transit with 
fishing gear stowed as specified in paragraph (k)(4) of this section. 
The provisions of this paragraph, (k)(3), do not apply to highly 
migratory species.
* * * * *
    (5) Within the Madison and Swanson sites and Steamboat Lumps, 
during May through October, surface trolling is the only allowable 
fishing activity. * * *
* * * * *
[FR Doc. E9-8902 Filed 4-16-09; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 3510-22-S