Fisheries of the Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico, and South Atlantic; Shrimp Fishery of the Gulf of Mexico and South Atlantic; Revisions to Allowable Bycatch Reduction Devices, 20548-20550 [2010-9064]

Download as PDF erowe on DSK5CLS3C1PROD with PROPOSALS-1 20548 Federal Register / Vol. 75, No. 75 / Tuesday, April 20, 2010 / Proposed Rules species under section 4(a) of the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended (Act; 16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.), which are: (a) The present or threatened destruction, modification, or curtailment of its habitat or range; (b) Overutilization for commercial, recreational, scientific, or educational purposes; (c) Disease or predation; (d) The inadequacy of existing regulatory mechanisms; or (e) Other natural or manmade factors affecting its continued existence. (3) The potential effects global climate change may have on the Sacramento splittail or its habitat. Please include sufficient information with your submission (such as full references) to allow us to verify any scientific or commercial information you include. If, after the status review, we determine that listing the Sacramento splittail is warranted, we will propose critical habitat (see definition in section 3(5)(A) of the Act), as per section 4 of the Act, to the maximum extent prudent and determinable at the time we propose to list the species. Therefore, we also request specific comments and information as to what, if any, critical habitat you think should be proposed for designation if the species is proposed for listing, and why such habitat meets the requirements of the Act. Specifically, for areas within the geographical range currently occupied by the species, we request data on: (1) The amount and distribution of Sacramento splittail habitat; (2) The physical and biological features of Sacramento splittail habitat that are essential to the conservation of the species; (3) Special management considerations or protections that the features essential to the conservation of Sacramento splittail my require, including managing for the potential effects of climate change; (4) Any areas that are essential to the conservation of Sacramento splittail and why; (5) Land use designations and current or planned activities in Sacramento splittail habitats and their possible impacts on proposed critical habitat; (6) Conservation programs and plans that protect Sacramento splittail and its habitat; and, (7) Whether we could improve or modify our approach to designating critical habitat in any way to provide for greater public participation and understanding, or to better accommodate public concerns and comments. VerDate Nov<24>2008 14:14 Apr 19, 2010 Jkt 220001 In addition, we request data and information on ‘‘specific areas outside the geographical area occupied by the species.’’ Submissions merely stating support for or opposition to the action under consideration without providing supporting information, although noted, will not be considered in making a determination. Section 4(b)(1)(A) of the Act directs that determinations as to whether any species is an endangered or threatened species must be made ‘‘solely on the basis of the best scientific and commercial data available.’’ You may submit your information concerning this status review by one of the methods listed in the ADDRESSES section. If you submit information via http://www.regulations.gov, your entire submission—including any personal identifying information—will be posted on the website. If you submit a hardcopy that includes personal identifying information, you may request at the top of your document that we withhold this personal identifying information from public review. However, we cannot guarantee that we will be able to do so. We will post all hardcopy submissions on http:// www.regulations.gov. Information and supporting documentation that we received and used in preparing this finding, will be available for public inspection on http:// www.regulations.gov, or by appointment, during normal business hours, at the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Bay Delta Fish and Wildlife Office (see FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT). Previous Federal Actions On September 22, 2003, the Service published a Notice of Remanded Determination of Status for the Sacramento splittail in the Federal Register (68 FR 55140) that removed the Sacramento splittail from the endangered species list. Please refer to the September 22, 2003 Federal Register notice (68 FR 55140) for previous Federal actions taken on Sacramento splittail prior to September 22, 2003. On August 13, 2009 the Center for Biological Diversity (CBD) filed a complaint in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, challenging the Service on the merits of the 2003 determination and alleging improper political influence of the former Department of Interior, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Fish Wildlife and Parks, Julie MacDonald. In a settlement dated February 1, 2010 (Case4:09-cv03711-PJH), the Service agreed to open a 30–day public comment period to allow for the submission of additional PO 00000 Frm 00021 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 information by the public. The Service also agreed to submit to the Federal Register a new status review and 12– month finding as to whether listing the Sacramento splittail is warranted or not warranted. If warranted, the Service further agreed to publish, concurrently with the 12–month finding, a proposed rule to list the Sacramento splittail and a final determination on or before September 29, 2011. This notice constitutes notification of the opening of the 30–day public comment period. You may obtain copies of the 2003 remanded determination, and other previous Federal actions relating to the Sacramento splittail by mail from the San Francisco Bay-Delta Fish and Wildlife Office (see FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section), or on the Internet at http://www.fws.gov/ sfbaydelta/, or by visiting the Federal eRulemaking Portal at http:// www.regulations.gov. Author The primary authors of this notice are the staff members of the Bay-Delta Fish and Wildlife Office (see FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT). Authority The authority for this action is the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended (16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.). Dated: April 8, 2010. Rowan Gould, Acting Director, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. [FR Doc. 2010–8962 Filed 4–19–10; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4310–55–S DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration 50 CFR Part 622 [Docket No. 100121040–0178–01] RIN 0648–AY58 Fisheries of the Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico, and South Atlantic; Shrimp Fishery of the Gulf of Mexico and South Atlantic; Revisions to Allowable Bycatch Reduction Devices AGENCY: National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Commerce. ACTION: Proposed rule; request for comments. SUMMARY: In accordance with the framework procedures for adjusting management measures of the Fishery E:\FR\FM\20APP1.SGM 20APP1 Federal Register / Vol. 75, No. 75 / Tuesday, April 20, 2010 / Proposed Rules erowe on DSK5CLS3C1PROD with PROPOSALS-1 Management Plan for the Shrimp Fishery of the Gulf of Mexico (Gulf FMP) and the Fishery Management Plan for the Shrimp Fishery of the South Atlantic region (South Atlantic FMP) NMFS proposes to provisionally recertify two bycatch reduction devices (BRDs) and revise the construction and installation requirements of one of these BRD designs in the southeastern shrimp fishery. The intended effect of this proposed rule is to improve bycatch reduction in the shrimp fishery, reduce regulatory confusion, and better meet the requirements of National Standard 9. DATES: Comments must be received no later than 4:30 p.m., eastern time, on May 5, 2010. ADDRESSES: You may submit comments, identified by 0648–AY58, by any one of the following methods: • Electronic Submissions: Submit all electronic public comments via the Federal e-Rulemaking Portal http:// www.regulations.gov. • Mail: Steve Branstetter, Southeast Regional Office, NMFS, 263 13th Avenue South, St. Petersburg, FL 33701. Instructions: No comments will be posted for public viewing until after the comment period has closed. 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 at http:// www.regulations.gov, enter ‘‘NOAANMFS–2010–0020’’ in the keyword search, then select ‘‘Send a Comment or Submission.’’ NMFS will accept anonymous comments. Attachments to electronic comments will be accepted in Microsoft Word, Excel, Wordperfect, or Adobe PDF file formats only. Comments received through means not specified in this rule will not be considered. Copies of supporting documentation for this proposed rule, which includes a regulatory impact review and a regulatory flexibility act analysis, are available from NMFS at the address above. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Steve Branstetter, telephone: 727–824– 5305. The fishery for shrimp in the exclusive economic zone (EEZ) of the Gulf is SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: VerDate Nov<24>2008 14:14 Apr 19, 2010 Jkt 220001 managed under the FMP prepared by the Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council. The fishery for shrimp in the EEZ of the South Atlantic is managed under the FMP prepared by the South Atlantic Fishery Management Council. The FMPs are implemented under the authority of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (Magnuson-Stevens Act) by regulations at 50 CFR part 622. Background Regulations implementing Amendment 2 to the South Atlantic Shrimp FMP (73 FR 18536, April 16, 1997) established BRD requirements in the South Atlantic EEZ. The rule established a certification criterion, descriptions of BRD designs and configurations allowed for use in the South Atlantic shrimp fishery, as well as procedures to develop and test new BRDs for certification. Regulations implementing Amendment 9 to the Gulf Shrimp FMP were published April 14, 1998 (63 FR 18139), and established a requirement, with limited exceptions, for the use of certified BRDs in shrimp trawls towed in the Gulf EEZ shoreward of the 100– fm (183–m) depth contour west of 85 30’ W. longitude (western Gulf), the approximate longitude of Cape San Blas, FL. The rule established descriptions of BRD designs and configurations allowed for use in the western Gulf shrimp fishery. To better address the requirements of National Standard 9 of the MagnusonStevens Act, regulations implementing Amendment 10 to the Gulf FMP (69 FR 1538, January 9, 2004) required BRDs in shrimp trawls fished in the EEZ east of 85 30’ W. longitude (eastern Gulf). In accordance with the BRD framework procedures of the Gulf FMP, NMFS recently modified the existing BRD certification criterion for the western Gulf (73 FR 8219, February 13, 2008) to be consistent with the criterion for the eastern Gulf and South Atlantic. The new standardized certification criterion for the Gulf of Mexico and the South Atlantic specifies data must demonstrate a BRD achieves a 30– percent reduction in the weight of finfish bycatch to be certified for use in the southeastern shrimp fishery. In addition, this rule established a provisional certification criterion. To be provisionally certified, on a timelimited basis, the data must demonstrate that there is at least a 50–percent probability that the BRD reduces the weight of finfish bycatch by 25 percent. In accordance with these new criteria, NMFS provisionally certified the Extended Funnel BRD for use in the PO 00000 Frm 00022 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 20549 Gulf of Mexico, and the Composite Panel BRD for use in both the Gulf of Mexico and the South Atlantic. By regulation, the provisional certification of both BRDs automatically expired on February 16, 2010. However, no new information exists regarding the effectiveness of these BRDs as they are used in the fishery that would indicate if the BRDs have been improved, or that they do not continue to meet the provisional certification requirement. Collection of new data and sufficient industry-level evaluation of these BRDs was hindered, in part, because of delays in getting compatible regulations allowing their use in state waters off Texas and state waters off both the Gulf of Mexico and South Atlantic coasts of Florida. Texas developed compatible regulations allowing the use of these two BRDs in November 2008; Florida in December 2009. Thus, fishermen in these states have not had the opportunity to use these new BRDs or to make improvements to them. In addition, net shops that would be manufacturing these BRDs needed to wait on the final regulatory specifications before they could begin producing the BRDs, thus there was an initial shortage of these BRDs. Because no new information exists to decertify these BRDs, and because of the limited time fishermen in two major shrimping states have had to evaluate these BRDs, the proposed rule would reestablish a new provisional certification for these two BRD types for two additional years from the date of publication of the final rule in the Federal Register. This proposed rule would also revise the construction and installation requirements for the Composite Panel BRD in order to provide more flexibility for what material and size mesh may be used to construct this particular BRD design. The intended effect of this proposed rule is to maintain adequate bycatch reduction in the shrimp fishery, reduce regulatory confusion, and better meet the requirements of National Standard 9. Classification Pursuant to section 304(b)(1)(A) of the Magnuson-Stevens Act, the NMFS Assistant Administrator has determined that this proposed rule is consistent with the FMP, 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. The Chief Council for Regulation of the Department of Commerce certified E:\FR\FM\20APP1.SGM 20APP1 20550 Federal Register / Vol. 75, No. 75 / Tuesday, April 20, 2010 / Proposed Rules to the Chief Council for Advocacy of the Small Business Administration that this proposed rule, if adopted, would not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. This proposed rule would not impose any new requirements on fishing entities in the southeastern shrimp fishery. Shrimp trawlers in the Gulf and South Atlantic EEZ are already required to have a BRD installed in their shrimp nets and fishermen can continue to use their existing BRD. This proposed rule would simply allow fishermen, at their discretion, to use an alternative BRD in their shrimp nets, and provide greater flexibility in the construction and installation requirements for the Composite Panel BRD. Any decision to use this gear would be expected to occur only if it is expected to result in improved performance by the fishing vessel. As a result, any effects would be expected to be positive and no adverse economic impacts on any of the 2,144 vessels (which is the total number of unique vessels with a permit to harvest shrimp in the EEZ of the Gulf and South Atlantic) would be expected to accrue. Providing greater flexibility in the construction and installation requirements for the Composite Panel BRD is also expected to lower costs and result in no additional adverse economic impacts. As a result, an initial regulatory flexibility analysis is not required and none has been prepared. List of Subjects in 50 CFR Part 622 Fisheries, Fishing, Puerto Rico, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements, Virgin Islands. Dated: April 15, 2010. 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 § 622.41, paragraphs (g)(3)(ii)(A) and (B) are revised to read as follows: § 622.41 Species specific limitations. erowe on DSK5CLS3C1PROD with PROPOSALS-1 * * * * * (g) * * * (3) * * * (ii) * * * (A) Extended funnel—Gulf EEZ only; through [date 2 years after date of publication of the final rule in the Federal Register]. (B) Composite Panel—Gulf EEZ and South Atlantic EEZ; through [date 2 VerDate Nov<24>2008 14:14 Apr 19, 2010 Jkt 220001 years after date of publication of the final rule in the Federal Register]. * * * * * 3. In Appendix D to part 622, section G, the first sentence of paragraph 2(a), and paragraph 2(b) are revised to read as follows: DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE Appendix D to Part 622—Specifications for Certified BRDs RIN 0648–AY14 * * * * * G. * * * 2. * * * (a) * * * The webbing extension must be constructed from a single rectangular piece of 1 1⁄2–inch to 1 3⁄4–inch (3.8–cm to 4.5–cm) stretch mesh with dimensions of 24 1/2 meshes by 150 to 160 meshes. * * * (b) Funnel. The V-shaped funnel consists of two webbing panels attached to the extension along the leading edge of the panels. The top and bottom edges of the panels are sewn diagonally across the extension toward the center to form the funnel. The panels are 2–ply in design, each with an inner layer of 1 1⁄2–inch to 1 5⁄8–inch (3.8–cm to 4.1–cm) heat-set and depthstretched polyethylene webbing and an outer layer constructed of no larger than 2–inch (5.1–cm) square mesh webbing (1–inch bar). The inner webbing layer must be rectangular in shape, 36 meshes on the leading edge by 20 meshes deep. The 36–mesh leading edges of the polyethylene webbing should be sewn evenly to 24 meshes of the extension webbing 1 1⁄2 meshes from and parallel to the leading edge of the extension starting 12 meshes up from the bottom center on each side. Alternately sew 2 meshes of the polyethylene webbing to 1 mesh of the extension webbing then 1 mesh of the polyethylene webbing to 1 mesh of the extension webbing toward the top. The bottom 20–mesh edges of the polyethylene layers are sewn evenly to the extension webbing on a 2 bar 1 mesh angle toward the bottom back center forming a v-shape in the bottom of the extension webbing. The top 20–mesh edges of the polyethylene layers are sewn evenly along the bars of the extension webbing toward the top back center. The square mesh layers must be rectangular in shape and constructed of no larger than 2– inch (5.1–cm) webbing that is 18 inches (45.7 cm) in length on the leading edge. The depth of the square mesh layer must be no more than 2 inches (5.1 cm) less than the 20 mesh side of the inner polyethylene layer when stretched taught. The 18–inch (45.7–cm) leading edge of each square mesh layer must be sewn evenly to the 36–mesh leading edge of the polyethylene section and the sides are sewn evenly (in length) to the 20–mesh edges of the polyethylene webbing. This will form a v-shape funnel using the top of the extension webbing as the top of the funnel and the bottom of the extension webbing as the bottom of the funnel. * * * * * [FR Doc. 2010–9064 Filed 4–19–10; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510–22–S PO 00000 Frm 00023 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration 50 CFR Part 648 [Docket No. 0907301205–91207–01] Fisheries of the Northeastern United States; Atlantic Herring Fishery; Specifications AGENCY: National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Commerce. ACTION: Proposed rule, request for comments. SUMMARY: NMFS proposes 2010–2012 specifications for the Atlantic herring (herring) fishery. These proposed specifications and management measures promote the utilization and conservation of the herring resource and provide for a sustainable fishery. This proposed rule would also make minor corrections to existing regulations. DATES: Public comments must be received no later than 5 p.m., eastern standard time, on May 20, 2010. ADDRESSES: Copies of supporting documents used by the New England Fishery Management Council (Council), including the Environmental Assessment (EA) and Regulatory Impact Review (RIR)/Initial Regulatory Flexibility Analysis (IRFA), are available from: Paul J. Howard, Executive Director, New England Fishery Management Council, 50 Water Street, Mill 2, Newburyport, MA 01950, telephone (978) 465–0492. The EA/RIR/ IRFA is also accessible via the Internet at http://www.nero.nmfs.gov. You may submit comments, identified by 0648–AY14, by any one of the following methods: –Electronic Submissions: Submit all electronic public comments via the Federal e-Rulemaking portal http:// www.regulations.gov; –Fax: (978) 281–9135, Attn: Carrie Nordeen; –Mail to NMFS, Northeast Regional Office, 55 Great Republic Drive, Gloucester, MA 01930. Mark the outside of the envelope ‘‘Comments on 2010– 2012 Herring Specifications.’’ Instructions: No comments will be posted for public viewing until after the comment period has closed. 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 (e.g., name, address) E:\FR\FM\20APP1.SGM 20APP1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 75, Number 75 (Tuesday, April 20, 2010)]
[Proposed Rules]
[Pages 20548-20550]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2010-9064]


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

DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

50 CFR Part 622

[Docket No. 100121040-0178-01]
RIN 0648-AY58


Fisheries of the Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico, and South Atlantic; 
Shrimp Fishery of the Gulf of Mexico and South Atlantic; Revisions to 
Allowable Bycatch Reduction Devices

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

ACTION: Proposed rule; request for comments.

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

SUMMARY: In accordance with the framework procedures for adjusting 
management measures of the Fishery

[[Page 20549]]

Management Plan for the Shrimp Fishery of the Gulf of Mexico (Gulf FMP) 
and the Fishery Management Plan for the Shrimp Fishery of the South 
Atlantic region (South Atlantic FMP) NMFS proposes to provisionally 
recertify two bycatch reduction devices (BRDs) and revise the 
construction and installation requirements of one of these BRD designs 
in the southeastern shrimp fishery. The intended effect of this 
proposed rule is to improve bycatch reduction in the shrimp fishery, 
reduce regulatory confusion, and better meet the requirements of 
National Standard 9.

DATES: Comments must be received no later than 4:30 p.m., eastern time, 
on May 5, 2010.

ADDRESSES: You may submit comments, identified by 0648-AY58, by any one 
of the following methods:
     Electronic Submissions: Submit all electronic public 
comments via the Federal e-Rulemaking Portal http://www.regulations.gov.
     Mail: Steve Branstetter, Southeast Regional Office, NMFS, 
263 13th Avenue South, St. Petersburg, FL 33701.
    Instructions: No comments will be posted for public viewing until 
after the comment period has closed. 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 at 
http://www.regulations.gov, enter ``NOAA-NMFS-2010-0020'' in the 
keyword search, then select ``Send a Comment or Submission.'' NMFS will 
accept anonymous comments. Attachments to electronic comments will be 
accepted in Microsoft Word, Excel, Wordperfect, or Adobe PDF file 
formats only.
    Comments received through means not specified in this rule will not 
be considered.
    Copies of supporting documentation for this proposed rule, which 
includes a regulatory impact review and a regulatory flexibility act 
analysis, are available from NMFS at the address above.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Steve Branstetter, telephone: 727-824-
5305.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The fishery for shrimp in the exclusive 
economic zone (EEZ) of the Gulf is managed under the FMP prepared by 
the Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council. The fishery for shrimp 
in the EEZ of the South Atlantic is managed under the FMP prepared by 
the South Atlantic Fishery Management Council. The FMPs are implemented 
under the authority of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and 
Management Act (Magnuson-Stevens Act) by regulations at 50 CFR part 
622.

Background

    Regulations implementing Amendment 2 to the South Atlantic Shrimp 
FMP (73 FR 18536, April 16, 1997) established BRD requirements in the 
South Atlantic EEZ. The rule established a certification criterion, 
descriptions of BRD designs and configurations allowed for use in the 
South Atlantic shrimp fishery, as well as procedures to develop and 
test new BRDs for certification.
    Regulations implementing Amendment 9 to the Gulf Shrimp FMP were 
published April 14, 1998 (63 FR 18139), and established a requirement, 
with limited exceptions, for the use of certified BRDs in shrimp trawls 
towed in the Gulf EEZ shoreward of the 100-fm (183-m) depth contour 
west of 85 30' W. longitude (western Gulf), the approximate longitude 
of Cape San Blas, FL. The rule established descriptions of BRD designs 
and configurations allowed for use in the western Gulf shrimp fishery.
    To better address the requirements of National Standard 9 of the 
Magnuson-Stevens Act, regulations implementing Amendment 10 to the Gulf 
FMP (69 FR 1538, January 9, 2004) required BRDs in shrimp trawls fished 
in the EEZ east of 85 30' W. longitude (eastern Gulf).
    In accordance with the BRD framework procedures of the Gulf FMP, 
NMFS recently modified the existing BRD certification criterion for the 
western Gulf (73 FR 8219, February 13, 2008) to be consistent with the 
criterion for the eastern Gulf and South Atlantic. The new standardized 
certification criterion for the Gulf of Mexico and the South Atlantic 
specifies data must demonstrate a BRD achieves a 30-percent reduction 
in the weight of finfish bycatch to be certified for use in the 
southeastern shrimp fishery. In addition, this rule established a 
provisional certification criterion. To be provisionally certified, on 
a time-limited basis, the data must demonstrate that there is at least 
a 50-percent probability that the BRD reduces the weight of finfish 
bycatch by 25 percent.
    In accordance with these new criteria, NMFS provisionally certified 
the Extended Funnel BRD for use in the Gulf of Mexico, and the 
Composite Panel BRD for use in both the Gulf of Mexico and the South 
Atlantic. By regulation, the provisional certification of both BRDs 
automatically expired on February 16, 2010. However, no new information 
exists regarding the effectiveness of these BRDs as they are used in 
the fishery that would indicate if the BRDs have been improved, or that 
they do not continue to meet the provisional certification requirement. 
Collection of new data and sufficient industry-level evaluation of 
these BRDs was hindered, in part, because of delays in getting 
compatible regulations allowing their use in state waters off Texas and 
state waters off both the Gulf of Mexico and South Atlantic coasts of 
Florida. Texas developed compatible regulations allowing the use of 
these two BRDs in November 2008; Florida in December 2009. Thus, 
fishermen in these states have not had the opportunity to use these new 
BRDs or to make improvements to them. In addition, net shops that would 
be manufacturing these BRDs needed to wait on the final regulatory 
specifications before they could begin producing the BRDs, thus there 
was an initial shortage of these BRDs.
    Because no new information exists to decertify these BRDs, and 
because of the limited time fishermen in two major shrimping states 
have had to evaluate these BRDs, the proposed rule would reestablish a 
new provisional certification for these two BRD types for two 
additional years from the date of publication of the final rule in the 
Federal Register. This proposed rule would also revise the construction 
and installation requirements for the Composite Panel BRD in order to 
provide more flexibility for what material and size mesh may be used to 
construct this particular BRD design. The intended effect of this 
proposed rule is to maintain adequate bycatch reduction in the shrimp 
fishery, reduce regulatory confusion, and better meet the requirements 
of National Standard 9.

Classification

    Pursuant to section 304(b)(1)(A) of the Magnuson-Stevens Act, the 
NMFS Assistant Administrator has determined that this proposed rule is 
consistent with the FMP, 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.
    The Chief Council for Regulation of the Department of Commerce 
certified

[[Page 20550]]

to the Chief Council for Advocacy of the Small Business Administration 
that this proposed rule, if adopted, would not have a significant 
economic impact on a substantial number of small entities.

    This proposed rule would not impose any new requirements on 
fishing entities in the southeastern shrimp fishery. Shrimp trawlers 
in the Gulf and South Atlantic EEZ are already required to have a 
BRD installed in their shrimp nets and fishermen can continue to use 
their existing BRD. This proposed rule would simply allow fishermen, 
at their discretion, to use an alternative BRD in their shrimp nets, 
and provide greater flexibility in the construction and installation 
requirements for the Composite Panel BRD. Any decision to use this 
gear would be expected to occur only if it is expected to result in 
improved performance by the fishing vessel. As a result, any effects 
would be expected to be positive and no adverse economic impacts on 
any of the 2,144 vessels (which is the total number of unique 
vessels with a permit to harvest shrimp in the EEZ of the Gulf and 
South Atlantic) would be expected to accrue. Providing greater 
flexibility in the construction and installation requirements for 
the Composite Panel BRD is also expected to lower costs and result 
in no additional adverse economic impacts.

    As a result, an initial regulatory flexibility analysis is not 
required and none has been prepared.

List of Subjects in 50 CFR Part 622

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

    Dated: April 15, 2010.
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.  622.41, paragraphs (g)(3)(ii)(A) and (B) are revised to 
read as follows:


Sec.  622.41  Species specific limitations.

* * * * *
    (g) * * *
    (3) * * *
    (ii) * * *
    (A) Extended funnel--Gulf EEZ only; through [date 2 years after 
date of publication of the final rule in the Federal Register].
    (B) Composite Panel--Gulf EEZ and South Atlantic EEZ; through [date 
2 years after date of publication of the final rule in the Federal 
Register].
* * * * *
    3. In Appendix D to part 622, section G, the first sentence of 
paragraph 2(a), and paragraph 2(b) are revised to read as follows:

Appendix D to Part 622--Specifications for Certified BRDs

* * * * *
    G. * * *
    2. * * *
    (a) * * * The webbing extension must be constructed from a 
single rectangular piece of 1 \1/2\-inch to 1 \3/4\-inch (3.8-cm to 
4.5-cm) stretch mesh with dimensions of 24 1/2 meshes by 150 to 160 
meshes. * * *
    (b) Funnel. The V-shaped funnel consists of two webbing panels 
attached to the extension along the leading edge of the panels. The 
top and bottom edges of the panels are sewn diagonally across the 
extension toward the center to form the funnel. The panels are 2-ply 
in design, each with an inner layer of 1 \1/2\-inch to 1 \5/8\-inch 
(3.8-cm to 4.1-cm) heat-set and depth-stretched polyethylene webbing 
and an outer layer constructed of no larger than 2-inch (5.1-cm) 
square mesh webbing (1-inch bar). The inner webbing layer must be 
rectangular in shape, 36 meshes on the leading edge by 20 meshes 
deep. The 36-mesh leading edges of the polyethylene webbing should 
be sewn evenly to 24 meshes of the extension webbing 1 \1/2\ meshes 
from and parallel to the leading edge of the extension starting 12 
meshes up from the bottom center on each side. Alternately sew 2 
meshes of the polyethylene webbing to 1 mesh of the extension 
webbing then 1 mesh of the polyethylene webbing to 1 mesh of the 
extension webbing toward the top. The bottom 20-mesh edges of the 
polyethylene layers are sewn evenly to the extension webbing on a 2 
bar 1 mesh angle toward the bottom back center forming a v-shape in 
the bottom of the extension webbing. The top 20-mesh edges of the 
polyethylene layers are sewn evenly along the bars of the extension 
webbing toward the top back center. The square mesh layers must be 
rectangular in shape and constructed of no larger than 2-inch (5.1-
cm) webbing that is 18 inches (45.7 cm) in length on the leading 
edge. The depth of the square mesh layer must be no more than 2 
inches (5.1 cm) less than the 20 mesh side of the inner polyethylene 
layer when stretched taught. The 18-inch (45.7-cm) leading edge of 
each square mesh layer must be sewn evenly to the 36-mesh leading 
edge of the polyethylene section and the sides are sewn evenly (in 
length) to the 20-mesh edges of the polyethylene webbing. This will 
form a v-shape funnel using the top of the extension webbing as the 
top of the funnel and the bottom of the extension webbing as the 
bottom of the funnel.
* * * * *
[FR Doc. 2010-9064 Filed 4-19-10; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 3510-22-S