Atlantic Highly Migratory Species; Atlantic Bluefin Tuna Fisheries, 33531-33533 [2010-14221]

Download as PDF Issued: June 8, 2010. David L. Strickland, Administrator. [FR Doc. 2010–14131 Filed 6–11–10; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910–59–C DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration 50 CFR Part 635 RIN 0648–XW79 wwoods2 on DSK1DXX6B1PROD with RULES_PART 1 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 Angling category retention limit adjustment; southern area trophy fishery closure; quota transfer. SUMMARY: NMFS has determined that the Atlantic bluefin tuna (BFT) daily retention limit should be adjusted for the remainder of 2010, based on consideration of the regulatory determination criteria regarding VerDate Mar<15>2010 14:20 Jun 11, 2010 Jkt 220001 inseason adjustments. These actions apply to vessels permitted in the Highly Migratory Species (HMS) Angling category and Charter/Headboat category (when fishing recreationally for BFT). NMFS also closes the southern area Angling category fishery for large medium and giant (‘‘trophy’’) BFT, and transfers 1.7 mt from the Reserve to the northern area trophy category subquota. These actions are being taken consistent with the BFT fishery management objectives of the 2006 Consolidated HMS Fishery Management Plan and to prevent overharvest of the 2010 Angling category quota. DATES: Effective June 12, 2010 through December 31, 2010. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Sarah McLaughlin or 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 PO 00000 Frm 00041 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 33531 International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas (ICCAT) among the various domestic fishing categories, per the allocations established in the 2006 Consolidated Highly Migratory Species Fishery Management Plan (2006 Consolidated HMS FMP) (71 FR 58058, October 2, 2006). The 2010 BFT fishing year, which is managed on a calendar-year basis and subject to an annual calendar-year quota, began January 1, 2010. The Angling category season opened January 1, 2010, and continues through December 31, 2010. Currently, the default Angling category daily retention limit of one school, large school, or small medium BFT (measuring 27 to less than 73 inches (68.5 to less than 185 cm)) applies (§ 635.23(b)(2)). An annual limit of one large medium or giant BFT (73 inches or greater) per vessel also applies (§ 635.23(b)(1)). These retention limits apply to HMS Angling and HMS Charter/Headboat category permitted vessels (when fishing recreationally for BFT). The 2008 ICCAT recommendation regarding Western BFT management resulted in a U.S. quota of 1,034.9 mt for 2009, and 977.4 mt for 2010. Consistent with the allocation scheme established E:\FR\FM\14JNR1.SGM 14JNR1 ER14JN10.004</GPH> Federal Register / Vol. 75, No. 113 / Monday, June 14, 2010 / Rules and Regulations 33532 Federal Register / Vol. 75, No. 113 / Monday, June 14, 2010 / Rules and Regulations wwoods2 on DSK1DXX6B1PROD with RULES_PART 1 in the Consolidated HMS FMP, the baseline Angling category share was 199 mt for 2009, and is 187.6 mt for 2010. In order to implement the ICCAT recommendation for the 2010 fishing year, NMFS has recently published final quota specifications to set BFT quotas for each of the established domestic fishing categories (75 FR 30732, June 2, 2010). The final 2010 Angling category quota is 225.4 mt (97.7 mt for school BFT, 122.5 mt for large school/small medium BFT, and 5.2 mt for large medium/giant BFT). Adjustment of Angling Category Daily Retention Limit Under § 635.23(b)(3), NMFS may increase or decrease the retention limit for any size class of BFT based on 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. Retention limits may be adjusted separately for specific vessel type, such as private vessels, headboats, or charterboats. NMFS has considered the set of criteria cited above and their applicability to the Angling category BFT retention limit for the 2010 Angling category fishery. NMFS examined the results of the 2007 through 2009 fishing seasons under the applicable daily retention limits, as well as the observed trend in the recreational fishery toward heavier fish, particularly in the large school and small medium size classes. Data and dockside observations from 2007 through 2009 indicate a shift in catch to the large school/small medium size class (47 to less than 73 inches (119 to less than 185 cm)), particularly to large school BFT (47 to less than 59 VerDate Mar<15>2010 14:20 Jun 11, 2010 Jkt 220001 inches (119 to less than 150 cm)) in 2008 and to small medium BFT (59 to less than 73 inches) in 2009. Large school and small medium BFT traditionally have been managed as one size class (47 to less than 73 inches). NMFS has found that as this cohort of fish ages and grows in weight but remains under 73 inches (i.e., the upper range of the large school/small medium size class), the large school/small medium subquota has been attained with fewer fish landed. NMFS has also considered recreational landings data from the North Carolina Tagging Program, which indicate that a quarter of the available large school/small medium quota (30.5 mt out of 122.5 mt) and nearly the entire coastwide trophy quota (5.1 out of 5.2 mt) was taken as of April 30, 2010. In order to constrain landings to the Consolidated HMS FMP-based Angling category allocations, NMFS needs to implement more restrictive daily retention limits in 2010 than in recent years. This is particularly important given the ICCAT-recommended 2-year balancing period for limiting the harvest of school-BFT and given that complete information regarding coastwide recreational BFT landings is not available until the end of the calendar year. It is also important that NMFS constrain landings to BFT subquotas not only to remain within the current FMP quota allocations but also to ensure that landings are as consistent as possible with the pattern of fishing mortality (e.g., fish caught at each age) that was assumed in the projections of stock rebuilding. Based on considerations of the available quota, fishery performance in recent years, and the availability of BFT on the fishing grounds, it is reasonable to assume that the large school/small medium subquota (and potentially the Angling category quota) would be exceeded under the default daily retention limit, particularly due to the high availability of small medium BFT. NMFS has determined that the Angling category retention limit should be adjusted to prohibit the retention of small medium BFT, and that implementation of separate limits for private and charter/headboat vessels is appropriate, recognizing the different nature, needs, and recent landings results of the two sectors. For example, charter operators historically have indicated that a multi-fish retention limit is vital to their ability to attract customers. In addition, recent Large Pelagics Survey estimates indicate that charter/headboat BFT landings constitute approximately 25 percent of recent recreational landings, with the PO 00000 Frm 00042 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 remaining 75 percent landed by private vessels. Therefore, for private vessels (i.e., those with HMS Angling category permits) the limit is one school or large school BFT per vessel per day/trip (i.e., one BFT measuring 27 to less than 59 inches). For charter vessels, i.e., those with HMS Charter/Headboat permits, the limit is one school BFT and one large school BFT per vessel per day/trip while fishing recreationally for BFT (i.e., one BFT measuring 27 to less than 47 inches, and one BFT measuring 47 to less than 59 inches). These retention limits will be effective in all areas, except for the Gulf of Mexico, where NMFS prohibits targeted fishing. Regardless of the duration of a fishing trip, the daily retention limit applies upon landing. NMFS may adjust the daily retention limit further with an inseason action if warranted. As discussed above, the determination to adjust the daily retention limit is primarily based on the catches of large school/small medium BFT in 2007 and the likelihood of closure of that segment of the fishery if no adjustment is made § 635.27(a)(8)(ii), and the anticipated availability of large school/small medium BFT on the fishing grounds § 635.27(a)(8)(ix). NMFS anticipates that reduction of the BFT daily retention limit will result in landings during 2010 that would not exceed the available subquota (122.5 mt) as set in the 2010 quota specifications. Large Medium and Giant ‘‘Trophy’’ Category Fishery; Closure and Quota Transfer Under § 635.27(a)(7), NMFS has the authority to allocate any portion of the Reserve to any category quota in the fishery, other than the Angling category school BFT subquota (for which there is a separate reserve), after considering determination criteria provided under § 635.27(a)(8). The 2010 annual BFT quota specifications provide for an adjusted quota of 5.2 mt of large medium and giant (trophy) BFT (measuring greater than 73 inches) to be harvested from the regulatory area by vessels fishing under the Angling category quota, with 1.7 mt for the area north of 39°18′ N. lat. (off Great Egg Inlet, NJ) and 3.5 mt for the area south of 39°18′ N. lat. Based on North Carolina Tagging Program information, NMFS has determined that the southern area trophy BFT Angling category subquota has been taken and that a closure of the southern area trophy BFT fishery is warranted at this time. Therefore, fishing for, retaining, possessing, or landing large medium or giant BFT south of 39°18′ N. lat. by persons aboard E:\FR\FM\14JNR1.SGM 14JNR1 Federal Register / Vol. 75, No. 113 / Monday, June 14, 2010 / Rules and Regulations wwoods2 on DSK1DXX6B1PROD with RULES_PART 1 vessels permitted in the HMS Angling category and the HMS Charter/Headboat category (while fishing recreationally) must cease at 11:30 p.m. local time on June 12, 2010. This action is taken consistent with the regulations at § 635.28(a)(1). Following consideration of the determination criteria described above and at§ 635.27(a)(8), NMFS transfers 1.7 mt from the Reserve to the Angling category northern area trophy subquota, so that 1.7 mt (the amount established in the 2010 BFT quota specifications) is available for the retention and landing of trophy BFT in the area north of 39°18′ N. lat. This action is consistent with the inseason adjustment regulations at § 635.27(a)(9). These Angling category actions are intended to provide a reasonable opportunity to harvest the U.S. quota of BFT without exceeding it, while maintaining an equitable distribution of fishing opportunities; and to be consistent with the objectives of the Consolidated HMS FMP. HMS Angling and HMS Charter/ Headboat category permit holders may catch and release (or tag and release) BFT of all sizes, subject to the requirements of the catch-and-release and tag-and-release programs at § 635.26. Anglers are also reminded that all released BFT must be returned to the sea immediately with a minimum of injury and without removing the fish from the water, consistent with requirements at § 635.21(a)(1). VerDate Mar<15>2010 14:20 Jun 11, 2010 Jkt 220001 If needed, subsequent Angling category adjustments 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 www.hmspermits.gov, for updates. 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: The regulations implementing the Consolidated 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. Based on available BFT quotas, fishery performance in recent years, and the availability of BFT on the fishing grounds, the reduction in Angling category daily retention limit and closure of the southern area Angling category trophy fishery is necessary to ensure sufficient quota remains available to ensure overall 2010 fishing year landings are consistent with ICCAT recommendations and the 2006 Consolidated HMS FMP. NMFS provides notification of closures and retention limit adjustments by publishing the notice in the Federal Register, e-mailing individuals who have subscribed to the Atlantic HMS PO 00000 Frm 00043 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 9990 33533 News electronic newsletter, and updating the information posted on the Atlantic Tunas Information Line and on www.hmspermits.gov. These fisheries are currently underway and delaying this action would be contrary to the public interest as it could result in excessive BFT landings that may result in future potential quota reductions for the Angling category and potentially other BFT quota categories, depending on the magnitude of a potential Angling category overharvest. NMFS must close the southern area trophy BFT fishery and preclude small medium BFT landings in all areas before additional landings of these size BFT accumulate. 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, there is 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(b)(3), 635.27(a)(9), and 635.28(a)(1), and is exempt from review under Executive Order 12866. Authority: 16 U.S.C. 971 et seq. and 1801 et seq. Dated: June 8, 2010. Emily H. Menashes, Acting Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine Fisheries Service. [FR Doc. 2010–14221 Filed 6–14–10; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510–22–S E:\FR\FM\14JNR1.SGM 14JNR1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 75, Number 113 (Monday, June 14, 2010)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 33531-33533]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2010-14221]


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DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

50 CFR Part 635

RIN 0648-XW79


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 Angling category retention limit 
adjustment; southern area trophy fishery closure; quota transfer.

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SUMMARY: NMFS has determined that the Atlantic bluefin tuna (BFT) daily 
retention limit should be adjusted for the remainder of 2010, based on 
consideration of the regulatory determination criteria regarding 
inseason adjustments. These actions apply to vessels permitted in the 
Highly Migratory Species (HMS) Angling category and Charter/Headboat 
category (when fishing recreationally for BFT). NMFS also closes the 
southern area Angling category fishery for large medium and giant 
(``trophy'') BFT, and transfers 1.7 mt from the Reserve to the northern 
area trophy category subquota. These actions are being taken consistent 
with the BFT fishery management objectives of the 2006 Consolidated HMS 
Fishery Management Plan and to prevent overharvest of the 2010 Angling 
category quota.

DATES: Effective June 12, 2010 through December 31, 2010.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Sarah McLaughlin or 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, per the 
allocations established in the 2006 Consolidated Highly Migratory 
Species Fishery Management Plan (2006 Consolidated HMS FMP) (71 FR 
58058, October 2, 2006).
    The 2010 BFT fishing year, which is managed on a calendar-year 
basis and subject to an annual calendar-year quota, began January 1, 
2010. The Angling category season opened January 1, 2010, and continues 
through December 31, 2010. Currently, the default Angling category 
daily retention limit of one school, large school, or small medium BFT 
(measuring 27 to less than 73 inches (68.5 to less than 185 cm)) 
applies (Sec.  635.23(b)(2)). An annual limit of one large medium or 
giant BFT (73 inches or greater) per vessel also applies (Sec.  
635.23(b)(1)). These retention limits apply to HMS Angling and HMS 
Charter/Headboat category permitted vessels (when fishing 
recreationally for BFT).
    The 2008 ICCAT recommendation regarding Western BFT management 
resulted in a U.S. quota of 1,034.9 mt for 2009, and 977.4 mt for 2010. 
Consistent with the allocation scheme established

[[Page 33532]]

in the Consolidated HMS FMP, the baseline Angling category share was 
199 mt for 2009, and is 187.6 mt for 2010. In order to implement the 
ICCAT recommendation for the 2010 fishing year, NMFS has recently 
published final quota specifications to set BFT quotas for each of the 
established domestic fishing categories (75 FR 30732, June 2, 2010). 
The final 2010 Angling category quota is 225.4 mt (97.7 mt for school 
BFT, 122.5 mt for large school/small medium BFT, and 5.2 mt for large 
medium/giant BFT).

Adjustment of Angling Category Daily Retention Limit

    Under Sec.  635.23(b)(3), NMFS may increase or decrease the 
retention limit for any size class of BFT based on 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. Retention limits may be adjusted separately for 
specific vessel type, such as private vessels, headboats, or 
charterboats.
    NMFS has considered the set of criteria cited above and their 
applicability to the Angling category BFT retention limit for the 2010 
Angling category fishery. NMFS examined the results of the 2007 through 
2009 fishing seasons under the applicable daily retention limits, as 
well as the observed trend in the recreational fishery toward heavier 
fish, particularly in the large school and small medium size classes. 
Data and dockside observations from 2007 through 2009 indicate a shift 
in catch to the large school/small medium size class (47 to less than 
73 inches (119 to less than 185 cm)), particularly to large school BFT 
(47 to less than 59 inches (119 to less than 150 cm)) in 2008 and to 
small medium BFT (59 to less than 73 inches) in 2009. Large school and 
small medium BFT traditionally have been managed as one size class (47 
to less than 73 inches). NMFS has found that as this cohort of fish 
ages and grows in weight but remains under 73 inches (i.e., the upper 
range of the large school/small medium size class), the large school/
small medium subquota has been attained with fewer fish landed.
    NMFS has also considered recreational landings data from the North 
Carolina Tagging Program, which indicate that a quarter of the 
available large school/small medium quota (30.5 mt out of 122.5 mt) and 
nearly the entire coastwide trophy quota (5.1 out of 5.2 mt) was taken 
as of April 30, 2010.
    In order to constrain landings to the Consolidated HMS FMP-based 
Angling category allocations, NMFS needs to implement more restrictive 
daily retention limits in 2010 than in recent years. This is 
particularly important given the ICCAT-recommended 2-year balancing 
period for limiting the harvest of school-BFT and given that complete 
information regarding coastwide recreational BFT landings is not 
available until the end of the calendar year. It is also important that 
NMFS constrain landings to BFT subquotas not only to remain within the 
current FMP quota allocations but also to ensure that landings are as 
consistent as possible with the pattern of fishing mortality (e.g., 
fish caught at each age) that was assumed in the projections of stock 
rebuilding.
    Based on considerations of the available quota, fishery performance 
in recent years, and the availability of BFT on the fishing grounds, it 
is reasonable to assume that the large school/small medium subquota 
(and potentially the Angling category quota) would be exceeded under 
the default daily retention limit, particularly due to the high 
availability of small medium BFT. NMFS has determined that the Angling 
category retention limit should be adjusted to prohibit the retention 
of small medium BFT, and that implementation of separate limits for 
private and charter/headboat vessels is appropriate, recognizing the 
different nature, needs, and recent landings results of the two 
sectors. For example, charter operators historically have indicated 
that a multi-fish retention limit is vital to their ability to attract 
customers. In addition, recent Large Pelagics Survey estimates indicate 
that charter/headboat BFT landings constitute approximately 25 percent 
of recent recreational landings, with the remaining 75 percent landed 
by private vessels. Therefore, for private vessels (i.e., those with 
HMS Angling category permits) the limit is one school or large school 
BFT per vessel per day/trip (i.e., one BFT measuring 27 to less than 59 
inches). For charter vessels, i.e., those with HMS Charter/Headboat 
permits, the limit is one school BFT and one large school BFT per 
vessel per day/trip while fishing recreationally for BFT (i.e., one BFT 
measuring 27 to less than 47 inches, and one BFT measuring 47 to less 
than 59 inches). These retention limits will be effective in all areas, 
except for the Gulf of Mexico, where NMFS prohibits targeted fishing. 
Regardless of the duration of a fishing trip, the daily retention limit 
applies upon landing. NMFS may adjust the daily retention limit further 
with an inseason action if warranted.
    As discussed above, the determination to adjust the daily retention 
limit is primarily based on the catches of large school/small medium 
BFT in 2007 and the likelihood of closure of that segment of the 
fishery if no adjustment is made Sec.  635.27(a)(8)(ii), and the 
anticipated availability of large school/small medium BFT on the 
fishing grounds Sec.  635.27(a)(8)(ix). NMFS anticipates that reduction 
of the BFT daily retention limit will result in landings during 2010 
that would not exceed the available subquota (122.5 mt) as set in the 
2010 quota specifications.

Large Medium and Giant ``Trophy'' Category Fishery; Closure and Quota 
Transfer

    Under Sec.  635.27(a)(7), NMFS has the authority to allocate any 
portion of the Reserve to any category quota in the fishery, other than 
the Angling category school BFT subquota (for which there is a separate 
reserve), after considering determination criteria provided under Sec.  
635.27(a)(8).
    The 2010 annual BFT quota specifications provide for an adjusted 
quota of 5.2 mt of large medium and giant (trophy) BFT (measuring 
greater than 73 inches) to be harvested from the regulatory area by 
vessels fishing under the Angling category quota, with 1.7 mt for the 
area north of 39[deg]18' N. lat. (off Great Egg Inlet, NJ) and 3.5 mt 
for the area south of 39[deg]18' N. lat.
    Based on North Carolina Tagging Program information, NMFS has 
determined that the southern area trophy BFT Angling category subquota 
has been taken and that a closure of the southern area trophy BFT 
fishery is warranted at this time. Therefore, fishing for, retaining, 
possessing, or landing large medium or giant BFT south of 39[deg]18' N. 
lat. by persons aboard

[[Page 33533]]

vessels permitted in the HMS Angling category and the HMS Charter/
Headboat category (while fishing recreationally) must cease at 11:30 
p.m. local time on June 12, 2010. This action is taken consistent with 
the regulations at Sec.  635.28(a)(1).
    Following consideration of the determination criteria described 
above and atSec.  635.27(a)(8), NMFS transfers 1.7 mt from the Reserve 
to the Angling category northern area trophy subquota, so that 1.7 mt 
(the amount established in the 2010 BFT quota specifications) is 
available for the retention and landing of trophy BFT in the area north 
of 39[deg]18' N. lat. This action is consistent with the inseason 
adjustment regulations at Sec.  635.27(a)(9).
    These Angling category actions are intended to provide a reasonable 
opportunity to harvest the U.S. quota of BFT without exceeding it, 
while maintaining an equitable distribution of fishing opportunities; 
and to be consistent with the objectives of the Consolidated HMS FMP.
    HMS Angling and HMS Charter/Headboat category permit holders may 
catch and release (or tag and release) BFT of all sizes, subject to the 
requirements of the catch-and-release and tag-and-release programs at 
Sec.  635.26. Anglers are also reminded that all released BFT must be 
returned to the sea immediately with a minimum of injury and without 
removing the fish from the water, consistent with requirements at Sec.  
635.21(a)(1).
    If needed, subsequent Angling category adjustments 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 www.hmspermits.gov, for updates.

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:
    The regulations implementing the Consolidated 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. Based 
on available BFT quotas, fishery performance in recent years, and the 
availability of BFT on the fishing grounds, the reduction in Angling 
category daily retention limit and closure of the southern area Angling 
category trophy fishery is necessary to ensure sufficient quota remains 
available to ensure overall 2010 fishing year landings are consistent 
with ICCAT recommendations and the 2006 Consolidated HMS FMP. NMFS 
provides notification of closures and retention limit adjustments by 
publishing the notice in the Federal Register, e-mailing individuals 
who have subscribed to the Atlantic HMS News electronic newsletter, and 
updating the information posted on the Atlantic Tunas Information Line 
and on www.hmspermits.gov.
    These fisheries are currently underway and delaying this action 
would be contrary to the public interest as it could result in 
excessive BFT landings that may result in future potential quota 
reductions for the Angling category and potentially other BFT quota 
categories, depending on the magnitude of a potential Angling category 
overharvest. NMFS must close the southern area trophy BFT fishery and 
preclude small medium BFT landings in all areas before additional 
landings of these size BFT accumulate. 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, there is 
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(b)(3), 635.27(a)(9), 
and 635.28(a)(1), and is exempt from review under Executive Order 
12866.

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

    Dated: June 8, 2010.
Emily H. Menashes,
Acting Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine 
Fisheries Service.
[FR Doc. 2010-14221 Filed 6-14-10; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 3510-22-S