Magnuson-Stevens Act Provisions; Fisheries Off West Coast States; Pacific Coast Groundfish Fishery; 2010 Harvest Specifications for Yelloweye Rockfish and In-Season Adjustments to Fishery Management Measures, 38030-38041 [2010-16063]

Download as PDF WReier-Aviles on DSKGBLS3C1PROD with RULES 38030 Federal Register / Vol. 75, No. 126 / Thursday, July 1, 2010 / Rules and Regulations for the RFA because we have determined, and the Secretary certifies, that this interim final rule with comment period imposes no new requirements on small entities because use of NCPDP SCRIPT NCPDP SCRIPT 10.6 is voluntary, and as such, it will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. In addition, section 1102(b) of the Act requires us to prepare a regulatory impact analysis if a rule may have a significant impact on the operations of a substantial number of small rural hospitals. This analysis must conform to the provisions of section 604 for final rules of the RFA. For purposes of section 1102(b) of the Act, we define a small rural hospital as a hospital that is located outside of a Metropolitan Statistical Area for Medicare payment regulations and has fewer than 100 beds. We are not preparing an analysis for section 1102(b) of the Act because we have determined, and the Secretary certifies, that this interim final rule with comment period imposes no new requirements on small rural hospitals, because use of NCPDP SCRIPT 10.6 is voluntary and as such, it will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small rural hospitals. Section 202 of the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995 also requires that agencies assess anticipated costs and benefits before issuing any rule whose mandates require spending in any 1 year of $100 million in 1995 dollars, updated annually for inflation. In 2010, that threshold level is currently approximately $135 million. This rule will have no consequential effect on State, local, or tribal governments, or on the private sector because we have determined that this interim final rule with comment period imposes no new requirements on State, local, or tribal governments or on the private sector, because use NCPDP SCRIPT 10.6 is voluntary and as such, it will not have a significant economic impact on State, local, or tribal governments or on the private sector. Executive Order 13132 establishes certain requirements that an agency must meet when it promulgates a proposed rule (and subsequent final rule) that imposes substantial direct requirement costs on State and local governments, preempts State law, or otherwise has Federalism implications. Since this interim final rule with comment period does not impose any costs on State or local governments, the requirements of Executive Order 13132 are not applicable. VerDate Mar<15>2010 15:16 Jun 30, 2010 Jkt 220001 In accordance with the provisions of Executive Order 12866, this interim final rule with comment period was reviewed by the Office of Management and Budget. List of Subjects 42 CFR Part 423 Administrative practice and procedure, Emergency medical services, Health facilities, Health maintenance organizations (HMO), Health professions, Incorporation by Reference, Medicare, Penalties, Privacy, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements. ■ For the reasons set forth in the preamble, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services amends 42 CFR part 423 as follows: PART 423–VOLUNTARY MEDICARE PRESCRIPTION DRUG BENEFIT 1. The authority citation for part 423 continues to read as follows: ■ Authority: Sections 1102, 1106, 1860D–1 through 1860D–42, and 1871 of the Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. 1302, 1395w–101 through 1395w–152, and 1395hh). approved November 12, 2008 (incorporated by reference in paragraph (c)(1)(v) of this section) to provide for the communication of Medicare Part D medication history information among Medicare Part D sponsors, prescribers, and dispensers. (c) * * * (1) * * * (v) National Council for Prescription Drug Programs SCRIPT Standard, Implementation Guide Version 10.6, approved November 12, 2008. * * * * * (Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance Program No. 93.773, Medicare—Hospital Insurance; and Program No. 93.774, Medicare—Supplementary Medical Insurance Program) Dated: March 4, 2010. Charlene Frizzera, Acting Administrator, Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. Approved: May 26, 2010. Kathleen Sebelius, Secretary. [FR Doc. 2010–15505 Filed 6–28–10; 4:15 pm] 2. Section 423.160 is amended by— A. Revising the introductory text of paragraph (b)(2)(ii). ■ B. Revising paragraph (b)(4). ■ C. Adding a new paragraph (c)(1)(v). The revisions and addition read as follows: BILLING CODE 4120–01–P § 423.160 Standards for electronic prescribing. 50 CFR Part 660 ■ ■ * * * * * (b) * * * (2) * * * (ii) The National Council for Prescription Drug Programs SCRIPT standard, Implementation Guide Version 10.6, approved November 12, 2008 (incorporated by reference in paragraph (c)(1)(v) of this section), or the National Council for Prescription Drug Programs Prescriber/Pharmacist Interface SCRIPT Standard, Implementation Guide, Version 8, Release 1 (Version 8.1), October 2005 (incorporated by reference in paragraph (c)(1)(i) of this section), to provide for the communication of a prescription or prescription-related information between prescribers and dispensers, for the following: * * * * * (4) Medication history. The National Council for Prescription Drug Programs Prescriber/Pharmacist Interface SCRIPT Standard, Implementation Guide Version 8, Release 1 (Version 8.1), October 2005 (incorporated by reference in paragraph (c)(1)(v) of this section) or the National Council for Prescription Drug Programs SCRIPT Standard, Implementation Guide Version 10.6, PO 00000 Frm 00056 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration [Docket No. 090428799–9802–01] RIN 0648–BA00 Magnuson-Stevens Act Provisions; Fisheries Off West Coast States; Pacific Coast Groundfish Fishery; 2010 Harvest Specifications for Yelloweye Rockfish and In-Season Adjustments to Fishery Management Measures AGENCY: National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Commerce. ACTION: Final rule; in-season adjustments to biennial groundfish management measures; request for comments. SUMMARY: This final rule revises the 2010 harvest guidelines for yelloweye rockfish and makes in-season adjustments to trawl fishery management measures for several groundfish species taken in the U.S. exclusive economic zone (EEZ) off the coasts of Washington, Oregon, and California. These actions, which are authorized by the Pacific Coast Groundfish Fishery Management Plan (FMP), are intended to prevent exceeding the 2010 OYs for yelloweye E:\FR\FM\01JYR1.SGM 01JYR1 Federal Register / Vol. 75, No. 126 / Thursday, July 1, 2010 / Rules and Regulations rockfish, an overfished species, and for petrale sole and sablefish. DATES: Effective July 1, 2010. Comments on this final rule must be received no later than 5 p.m., local time on August 2, 2010. ADDRESSES: You may submit comments, identified by RIN 0648–BA00, by any one of the following methods: • Electronic Submissions: Submit all electronic public comments via the Federal eRulemaking Portal: http:// www.regulations.gov. • Fax: 206–526–6736, Attn: Gretchen Hanshew. • Mail: William W. Stelle, Jr., Regional Administrator, Northwest Region, NMFS, 7600 Sand Point Way, NE., Seattle, WA 98115–0070, Attn: Gretchen Hanshew. 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. 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. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Gretchen Hanshew (Northwest Region, NMFS), 206–526–6147, fax: 206–526– 6736, gretchen.hanshew@noaa.gov. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Electronic Access This final rule is accessible via the Internet at the Office of the Federal Register’s Web site at http:// www.gpoaccess.gov/fr/index.html. Background information and documents are available at the Pacific Fishery Management Council’s (the Council or PFMC) Web site at http:// www.pcouncil.org/. WReier-Aviles on DSKGBLS3C1PROD with RULES Background On December 31, 2008, NMFS published a proposed rule to implement the 2009–2010 specifications and management measures for the Pacific Coast groundfish fishery (73 FR 80516). A final rule was published on March 6, 2009 (74 FR 9874), which codified the specifications and management measures in the CFR (50 CFR part 660, subpart G). That action set the 2009– VerDate Mar<15>2010 15:16 Jun 30, 2010 Jkt 220001 2010 harvest specifications and management measures for groundfish taken in the U.S. exclusive zone (EEZ) off the coasts of Washington, Oregon, and California, and revised rebuilding plans for four of seven overfished species, consistent with the MagnusonStevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (MSA) and the Pacific Coast Groundfish Fishery Management Plan (FMP). 2010 Yelloweye Rockfish Harvest Specifications In response to the latest in a series of complaints filed in Natural Resources Defense Council v. Locke, Civil Action No. C 01–0421 JL, challenging the rebuilding provisions in the FMP, the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California vacated the 2010 Specifications for darkblotched rockfish, cowcod, and yelloweye rockfish. Order Granting in Part and Denying in Part Parties’ Cross-Motions for Summary Judgment, Dkt. No. 340 (April 23, 2010) (Opinion). The Order lowered the 2010 yelloweye rockfish OY. NMFS is issuing a final rule to amend the regulatory requirements for yelloweye rockfish in accordance with the court’s order, lowering the 2010 yelloweye rockfish OY from 17 mt to 14 mt. In the preamble to that rule, NMFS described that the Pacific Fishery Management Council (Council), through its in-season management process, would review the anticipated catch of yelloweye rockfish and recommend to the agency the appropriate management measures, including modifications to set asides or harvest guidelines (HGs), to manage the fishery within these OY levels. This rule makes those changes based on the information considered below. At the time that the Order established a 14 mt yelloweye rockfish OY, projected impacts to yelloweye rockfish was 17.0 mt. In an effort to reduce the severe fisheries restrictions that would be necessary to keep total mortality below the 14 mt OY, the states of Washington and Oregon cancelled a 2010 scientific research study that was intended to collect important biological information on yelloweye rockfish. The cancellation of this enhanced rockfish survey reduced projected impacts to yelloweye rockfish by 2.0 mt, resulting in total projected impacts of 15 mt for a 14 mt OY. NMFS also took action to reduce projected impacts to yelloweye rockfish by cancelling two exempted fishing permits (EFPs) that were scheduled to be issued in 2010. The cancellation of these two EFPs, and the resulting reduction in exempted fishing effort, reduced yelloweye rockfish impacts by PO 00000 Frm 00057 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 38031 0.1 mt, resulting in total projected impacts of 14.9 mt for a 14 mt OY. The limited entry trawl fishery model projects impacts to overfished species. Prior to the June Council meeting, the model was updated by incorporating the most recent (2009) west coast groundfish observer program (WCGOP) data. According to the 2009 WCGOP data, the bycatch rate of yelloweye rockfish was lower than previously thought, therefore the impacts to yelloweye rockfish in 2010 are projected to be lower than previously estimated. Updating the model, while leaving management measures unchanged, reduced projected impacts to yelloweye rockfish by 0.3 mt, resulting in total projected impacts of 14.6 mt for a 14 mt OY. At their June 11–17, 2010, meeting in Foster City, CA, the Council reviewed the most recent catch data in all groundfish fisheries and considered various ways to reduce projected impacts of yelloweye rockfish to a level at or below the 14 mt OY. Based on the most recent fishery data, projected catches of yelloweye rockfish in the limited entry fixed gear (LEFG) and open access fisheries are lower than anticipated due to inclement weather and lower than anticipated fishing effort on target species that co-occur with yelloweye rockfish. Because their projected impacts to yelloweye rockfish in the commercial fixed gear fisheries are lower than anticipated, the Council recommended reducing the catch sharing harvest guidelines in these sectors to a combined total of 2.0 mt, with 0.8 mt of yelloweye rockfish anticipated to be taken in the LEFG fishery and 1.2 mt of yelloweye rockfish anticipated to be taken in the directed open access fishery. This will allow for minimal disruption to summer fisheries, as no additional restrictions to fishery management measures are necessary at this time to stay below this lower HG. The states of Washington, Oregon and California already have management measures in place to keep projected impacts within their yelloweye rockfish HGs (Washington = 2.7 mt, Oregon = 2.4 mt, California = 2.8 mt). Because of the cancellation of the enhanced rockfish research survey activities and the savings it provided relative to yelloweye rockfish, recreational harvest guidelines for each state only had to be lowered by a small amount. The Council recommended reducing each state’s harvest guidelines by 0.1 mt, resulting in new yelloweye rockfish HGs (Washington = 2.6 mt, Oregon = 2.3 mt, California = 2.7 mt). No additional restrictions to management measures were necessary at this time to keep E:\FR\FM\01JYR1.SGM 01JYR1 38032 Federal Register / Vol. 75, No. 126 / Thursday, July 1, 2010 / Rules and Regulations projected impacts in recreational fisheries below these new HGs. As a result of the changes to the limited entry fixed gear, directed open access, and recreational fishery HGs, projected impacts to yelloweye rockfish were lowered by 0.5 mt, resulting in total projected impacts of 14.1 mt out for a 14 mt OY. The Council also considered reducing the yelloweye rockfish bycatch caps for the remaining EFP projects. If no changes to bycatch caps were made, the projected impacts to yelloweye rockfish, if all of the EFPs caught their entire yelloweye rockfish bycatch caps, would be 0.3 mt. One EFP holder proposed to voluntarily reduce the 2010 yelloweye rockfish bycatch cap for his project by 50 percent, because no yelloweye rockfish were caught in their EFP activities in 2009. The Council agreed and recommended that the bycatch cap for that EFP project be lowered from 0.2 mt to 0.1 mt. Changing the bycatch cap on this EFP project lowers impacts to yelloweye rockfish by 0.1 mt, resulting in total projected impacts to yelloweye rockfish of 14.0 mt out of a 14 mt OY. Based on the most recent fishery information, no additional changes to management measures are necessary to keep total projected impacts below the 2010 yelloweye rockfish OY of 14 mt at this time. The Council and NMFS will continue to monitor the most recent available fisheries information throughout the year and may make changes to management measures, if necessary, to keep projected impacts of yelloweye rockfish below the 2010 yelloweye rockfish OY of 14 mt. WReier-Aviles on DSKGBLS3C1PROD with RULES Limited Entry Non-Whiting Trawl Fishery Management Measures The final rule to implement the 2009– 2010 specifications and management measures for the Pacific Coast Groundfish Fishery was published on March 6, 2009 (74 FR 9874). This final rule was subsequently amended by inseason actions on April 27, 2009 (74 FR 19011), July 6, 2009 (74 FR 31874), October 28, 2009 (74 FR 55468), February 26, 2010 (75 FR 8820), and May 4, 2010 (75 FR 23620). Additional changes to the 2009–2010 specifications and management measures for petrale sole were made in two final rules: On November 4, 2009 (74 FR 57117), and December 10, 2009 (74 FR 65480). NMFS is issuing a final rule that will make additional changes in response to the duly issued court order (see 2010 Yelloweye Rockfish Harvest Specifications). These specifications and management measures are at 50 CFR part 660, subpart G. VerDate Mar<15>2010 15:16 Jun 30, 2010 Jkt 220001 Changes to the groundfish management measures implemented by this action were recommended by the Council, in consultation with Pacific Coast Treaty Indian Tribes and the States of Washington, Oregon, and California, at its June 11–17, 2010, meeting in Foster City, CA. The Council recommended adjusting the groundfish management measures to respond to updated fishery information and other in-season management needs. These changes include reductions to bimonthly cumulative limits in the limited entry non-whiting trawl commercial fisheries off Washington, Oregon, and California. These reductions to trip limits must be implemented by the start of the next bimonthly cumulative limit period, on or before July 1, 2010. Even a short delay in implementation could allow fisheries to take the entire two-month limit for this period. These changes are intended to reduce the catch of petrale sole and sablefish in order to keep the total mortality of these species within their 2010 OYs. The reductions to trip limits also slightly reduce the projected impacts to co-occurring overfished species. Estimated mortality of overfished and target species are the result of management measures designed to meet the Pacific Coast Groundfish FMP objective of achieving, to the extent possible, but not exceeding, OYs of target species, while fostering the rebuilding of overfished stocks by remaining within their rebuilding OYs. Catches of sablefish in the limited entry non-whiting trawl fishery are tracking ahead of projections. If no action is taken, and sablefish catch rates remain higher than previously expected throughout the year, catch of sablefish through the end of the year is projected to be 3,003 mt, exceeding the 2010 trawl allocation of 2,995 mt by 48 mt. To slow catch of sablefish and stay below the 2010 allocation, the Council recommended an in-season adjustment reducing cumulative limits for sablefish as well as other co-occurring target species (Dover sole) coastwide, beginning on July 1, 2010. Catches of petrale sole in the limited entry non-whiting trawl fishery are also tracking ahead of projections. If no action is taken, and petrale sole catch rates remain higher than previously expected throughout the year, total coastwide catch of petrale sole through the end of the year is projected to be 1,289 mt, exceeding the 2010 coastwide petrale sole OY of 1,200 mt by 89 mt. To slow catch of petrale sole and stay below the 2010 petrale sole OY, the Council recommended an in-season PO 00000 Frm 00058 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 adjustment reducing cumulative limits for petrale sole as well as other cooccurring target species (Dover sole and ‘‘other flatfish’’) coastwide, beginning on July 1, 2010. Based on the considerations outlined above, the Council recommended and NMFS is implementing the following changes to cumulative limits in the limited entry non-whiting trawl fishery for July 1, 2010: reduce sablefish cumulative limits caught with large and small footrope trawl gears coastwide to ‘‘21,000 lb (9,525 kg) per 2 months’’ in July–December; reduce petrale sole cumulative limits caught with large and small footrope trawl gears coastwide to ‘‘6,300 lb (2,858 kg) per 2 months’’ in July–December; reduce Dover sole cumulative limits caught with large and small footrope trawl gears coastwide to ‘‘100,000 lb (45,359 kg) per 2 months’’ in July–December; and reduce ‘‘other flatfish’’ cumulative limits caught with large and small footrope trawl gears coastwide to ‘‘100,000 lb (45,359 kg) per 2 months’’ in July–December. Classification This rule revises the 2010 catch sharing harvest guidelines for yelloweye rockfish to keep fishery impacts within the lowered yelloweye rockfish OY in accordance with the court’s order; makes routine in-season adjustments to groundfish fishery management measures based on the best available information; and is taken pursuant to the regulations implementing the Pacific Coast Groundfish FMP. These actions are taken under the authority of 50 CFR 660.370(c) and are exempt from review under Executive Order 12866. These in-season adjustments are taken under the authority of the MagnusonStevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (Magnuson-Stevens Act), and are in accordance with 50 CFR part 660, the regulations implementing the FMP. These actions are based on the most recent data available. The aggregate data upon which these actions are based are available for public inspection at the Office of the Administrator, Northwest Region, NMFS, (see ADDRESSES) during business hours. For the following reasons, NMFS finds good cause to waive prior public notice and comment on the revisions to groundfish management measures under 5 U.S.C. 553(b) because notice and comment would be impracticable and contrary to the public interest. Also, for the same reasons, NMFS finds good cause to waive the 30-day delay in effectiveness pursuant to 5 U.S.C. E:\FR\FM\01JYR1.SGM 01JYR1 Federal Register / Vol. 75, No. 126 / Thursday, July 1, 2010 / Rules and Regulations WReier-Aviles on DSKGBLS3C1PROD with RULES 553(d)(3), so that this final rule may become effective as quickly as possible. The recently available data upon which these recommendations were based was provided to the Council, and the Council made its recommendations, at its June 11–17, 2010, meeting in Foster City, CA. The Council recommended that these changes be implemented on or as close as possible to July 1, 2010. There was not sufficient time after that meeting to draft this document and undergo proposed and final rulemaking before these actions need to be in effect. For the actions to be implemented in this final rule, affording the time necessary for prior notice and opportunity for public comment would prevent the Agency from managing fisheries using the best available science to approach, without exceeding, the OYs for federally managed species in accordance with the FMP and applicable laws. The adjustments to management measures in this document affect commercial fisheries off Washington, Oregon, and California. These adjustments to management measures must be implemented in a timely manner to prevent 2010 OYs from being exceeded or to prevent premature closure of the fishery. Decreases to bi-monthly cumulative limits for sablefish, petrale sole, Dover sole, and other flatfish in the limited entry trawl fishery are intended to prevent exceeding the 2010 OYs for these species and co-occurring species, and prevent premature closure of fisheries that impact these species. VerDate Mar<15>2010 17:55 Jun 30, 2010 Jkt 220001 These changes must be implemented in a timely manner, on July 1, 2010. Bimonthly cumulative limits cover a twomonth period, so if implementation is delayed much past July 1, then fishermen could harvest the prior higher limit before the revised limit is effective. Decreases to cumulative limits for other flatfish and Dover sole in the limited entry trawl fishery are intended to reduce impacts to petrale sole, a cooccurring species for which a severely reduced OY was implemented for 2010 (74 FR 65480). Delaying these changes would keep management measures in place that are not based on the best available data, which could lead to exceeding OYs or early closures of the fishery if harvest of groundfish exceeds levels projected for 2010. Such delay would impair achievement of the Pacific Coast Groundfish FMP objective of approaching, but not exceeding, OYs. List of Subjects in 50 CFR Part 660 Fisheries, Fishing, Indian Fisheries. Dated: June 28, 2010. Carrie Selberg, Acting Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine Fisheries Service. For the reasons set out in the preamble, 50 CFR part 660 is amended as follows: ■ 38033 Authority: 16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq. ■ 2. Footnote ‘‘/aa’’ following Tables 1a through 1c to part 660, subpart G, is revised to read as follows: * * * * * aa/ Yelloweye rockfish was fully assessed in 2006 and an assessment update was completed in 2007. The 2007 stock assessment update estimated the spawning stock biomass in 2006 to be at 14 percent of its unfished biomass coastwide. The 31 mt coastwide ABC was derived from the base model in the new stock assessment with an FMSYproxy of F50%. The 17 mt OY is based on a rebuilding plan with a target year to rebuild of 2084 and an SPR harvest rate of 66.3 percent in 2009 and 2010 and an SPR harvest rate of 71.9 percent for 2011 and beyond. The OY is reduced by 2.8 mt for the amount anticipated to be taken during research activity, 2.3 mt the amount estimated to be taken in the tribal fisheries and 0.3 mt for the amount expected to be taken incidentally in non-groundfish fisheries. The catch sharing harvest guidelines for yelloweye rockfish in 2009 are: limited entry non-whiting trawl 0.6 mt, limited entry whiting 0.0 mt, limited entry fixed gear 1.4 mt, directed open access 1.1 mt, Washington recreational 2.7 mt, Oregon recreational 2.4 mt, California recreational 2.8 mt, and 0.3 mt for exempted fishing. * * * * * PART 660—FISHERIES OFF WEST COAST STATES 1. The authority citation for part 660 continues to read as follows: 3. Table 2a to part 660, subpart G, and footnote ‘‘/aa’’ following Tables 2a through 2c to part 660, subpart G, are revised to read as follows: BILLING CODE 3510–22–P ■ PO 00000 Frm 00059 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 ■ E:\FR\FM\01JYR1.SGM 01JYR1 VerDate Mar<15>2010 Federal Register / Vol. 75, No. 126 / Thursday, July 1, 2010 / Rules and Regulations 15:16 Jun 30, 2010 Jkt 220001 PO 00000 Frm 00060 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4725 E:\FR\FM\01JYR1.SGM 01JYR1 ER01JY10.000</GPH> WReier-Aviles on DSKGBLS3C1PROD with RULES 38034 VerDate Mar<15>2010 15:16 Jun 30, 2010 Jkt 220001 PO 00000 Frm 00061 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4725 E:\FR\FM\01JYR1.SGM 01JYR1 38035 ER01JY10.001</GPH> WReier-Aviles on DSKGBLS3C1PROD with RULES Federal Register / Vol. 75, No. 126 / Thursday, July 1, 2010 / Rules and Regulations Federal Register / Vol. 75, No. 126 / Thursday, July 1, 2010 / Rules and Regulations BILLING CODE 3510–22–C aa/ Yelloweye rockfish was fully assessed in 2006 and an assessment update was completed in 2007. The 2007 stock VerDate Mar<15>2010 18:03 Jun 30, 2010 Jkt 220001 assessment update estimated the spawning stock biomass in 2006 to be at 14 percent of its unfished biomass coastwide. The 32 mt coastwide ABC was derived from the base PO 00000 Frm 00062 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 model in the new stock assessment with an FMSY proxy of F50%. The 14 mt OY is based on the need to conform the 2010 yelloweye rockfish harvest specifications to the Court’s E:\FR\FM\01JYR1.SGM 01JYR1 ER01JY10.002</GPH> WReier-Aviles on DSKGBLS3C1PROD with RULES 38036 Federal Register / Vol. 75, No. 126 / Thursday, July 1, 2010 / Rules and Regulations VerDate Mar<15>2010 18:05 Jun 30, 2010 Jkt 220001 sharing harvest guidelines for yelloweye rockfish in 2010 are: Limited entry nonwhiting trawl 0.3 mt, limited entry whiting 0.0 mt, limited entry fixed gear 0.8 mt, directed open access 1.2 mt, Washington recreational 2.6 mt, Oregon recreational 2.3 PO 00000 mt, California recreational 2.7 mt, and 0.2 mt for exempted fishing. * * * * * ■ 4. Tables 3 (North) and 3 (South) to part 660, subpart G, are revised to read as follows: BILLING CODE 3510–22–P5 Frm 00063 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4725 E:\FR\FM\01JYR1.SGM 01JYR1 ER01JY10.003</GPH> WReier-Aviles on DSKGBLS3C1PROD with RULES Order in Natural Resources Defense Council v. Locke, Civil Action No. C 01–0421 JL. The amount anticipated to be taken during scientific research activity is 1.3 mt, the amount anticipated to be taken in the tribal fisheries is 2.3 mt, and the amount anticipated to be taken incidentally in nongroundfish fisheries is 0.3 mt. The catch 38037 VerDate Mar<15>2010 Federal Register / Vol. 75, No. 126 / Thursday, July 1, 2010 / Rules and Regulations 15:16 Jun 30, 2010 Jkt 220001 PO 00000 Frm 00064 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4725 E:\FR\FM\01JYR1.SGM 01JYR1 ER01JY10.004</GPH> WReier-Aviles on DSKGBLS3C1PROD with RULES 38038 VerDate Mar<15>2010 15:16 Jun 30, 2010 Jkt 220001 PO 00000 Frm 00065 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4725 E:\FR\FM\01JYR1.SGM 01JYR1 38039 ER01JY10.005</GPH> WReier-Aviles on DSKGBLS3C1PROD with RULES Federal Register / Vol. 75, No. 126 / Thursday, July 1, 2010 / Rules and Regulations VerDate Mar<15>2010 Federal Register / Vol. 75, No. 126 / Thursday, July 1, 2010 / Rules and Regulations 15:16 Jun 30, 2010 Jkt 220001 PO 00000 Frm 00066 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4725 E:\FR\FM\01JYR1.SGM 01JYR1 ER01JY10.006</GPH> WReier-Aviles on DSKGBLS3C1PROD with RULES 38040 Federal Register / Vol. 75, No. 126 / Thursday, July 1, 2010 / Rules and Regulations 38041 [FR Doc. 2010–16063 Filed 6–30–10; 8:45 am] VerDate Mar<15>2010 15:16 Jun 30, 2010 Jkt 220001 PO 00000 Frm 00067 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 9990 E:\FR\FM\01JYR1.SGM 01JYR1 ER01JY10.007</GPH> WReier-Aviles on DSKGBLS3C1PROD with RULES BILLING CODE 3510–22–C

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 75, Number 126 (Thursday, July 1, 2010)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 38030-38041]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2010-16063]


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DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

50 CFR Part 660

[Docket No. 090428799-9802-01]
RIN 0648-BA00


Magnuson-Stevens Act Provisions; Fisheries Off West Coast States; 
Pacific Coast Groundfish Fishery; 2010 Harvest Specifications for 
Yelloweye Rockfish and In-Season Adjustments to Fishery Management 
Measures

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

ACTION: Final rule; in-season adjustments to biennial groundfish 
management measures; request for comments.

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SUMMARY: This final rule revises the 2010 harvest guidelines for 
yelloweye rockfish and makes in-season adjustments to trawl fishery 
management measures for several groundfish species taken in the U.S. 
exclusive economic zone (EEZ) off the coasts of Washington, Oregon, and 
California. These actions, which are authorized by the Pacific Coast 
Groundfish Fishery Management Plan (FMP), are intended to prevent 
exceeding the 2010 OYs for yelloweye

[[Page 38031]]

rockfish, an overfished species, and for petrale sole and sablefish.

DATES: Effective July 1, 2010. Comments on this final rule must be 
received no later than 5 p.m., local time on August 2, 2010.

ADDRESSES: You may submit comments, identified by RIN 0648-BA00, by any 
one of the following methods:
     Electronic Submissions: Submit all electronic public 
comments via the Federal eRulemaking Portal: http://www.regulations.gov.
     Fax: 206-526-6736, Attn: Gretchen Hanshew.
     Mail: William W. Stelle, Jr., Regional Administrator, 
Northwest Region, NMFS, 7600 Sand Point Way, NE., Seattle, WA 98115-
0070, Attn: Gretchen Hanshew.
    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.
    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.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Gretchen Hanshew (Northwest Region, 
NMFS), 206-526-6147, fax: 206-526-6736, gretchen.hanshew@noaa.gov.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Electronic Access

    This final rule is accessible via the Internet at the Office of the 
Federal Register's Web site at http://www.gpoaccess.gov/fr/index.html. 
Background information and documents are available at the Pacific 
Fishery Management Council's (the Council or PFMC) Web site at http://www.pcouncil.org/.

Background

    On December 31, 2008, NMFS published a proposed rule to implement 
the 2009-2010 specifications and management measures for the Pacific 
Coast groundfish fishery (73 FR 80516). A final rule was published on 
March 6, 2009 (74 FR 9874), which codified the specifications and 
management measures in the CFR (50 CFR part 660, subpart G). That 
action set the 2009-2010 harvest specifications and management measures 
for groundfish taken in the U.S. exclusive zone (EEZ) off the coasts of 
Washington, Oregon, and California, and revised rebuilding plans for 
four of seven overfished species, consistent with the Magnuson-Stevens 
Fishery Conservation and Management Act (MSA) and the Pacific Coast 
Groundfish Fishery Management Plan (FMP).

2010 Yelloweye Rockfish Harvest Specifications

    In response to the latest in a series of complaints filed in 
Natural Resources Defense Council v. Locke, Civil Action No. C 01-0421 
JL, challenging the rebuilding provisions in the FMP, the U.S. District 
Court for the Northern District of California vacated the 2010 
Specifications for darkblotched rockfish, cowcod, and yelloweye 
rockfish. Order Granting in Part and Denying in Part Parties' Cross-
Motions for Summary Judgment, Dkt. No. 340 (April 23, 2010) (Opinion). 
The Order lowered the 2010 yelloweye rockfish OY. NMFS is issuing a 
final rule to amend the regulatory requirements for yelloweye rockfish 
in accordance with the court's order, lowering the 2010 yelloweye 
rockfish OY from 17 mt to 14 mt. In the preamble to that rule, NMFS 
described that the Pacific Fishery Management Council (Council), 
through its in-season management process, would review the anticipated 
catch of yelloweye rockfish and recommend to the agency the appropriate 
management measures, including modifications to set asides or harvest 
guidelines (HGs), to manage the fishery within these OY levels. This 
rule makes those changes based on the information considered below.
    At the time that the Order established a 14 mt yelloweye rockfish 
OY, projected impacts to yelloweye rockfish was 17.0 mt. In an effort 
to reduce the severe fisheries restrictions that would be necessary to 
keep total mortality below the 14 mt OY, the states of Washington and 
Oregon cancelled a 2010 scientific research study that was intended to 
collect important biological information on yelloweye rockfish. The 
cancellation of this enhanced rockfish survey reduced projected impacts 
to yelloweye rockfish by 2.0 mt, resulting in total projected impacts 
of 15 mt for a 14 mt OY.
    NMFS also took action to reduce projected impacts to yelloweye 
rockfish by cancelling two exempted fishing permits (EFPs) that were 
scheduled to be issued in 2010. The cancellation of these two EFPs, and 
the resulting reduction in exempted fishing effort, reduced yelloweye 
rockfish impacts by 0.1 mt, resulting in total projected impacts of 
14.9 mt for a 14 mt OY.
    The limited entry trawl fishery model projects impacts to 
overfished species. Prior to the June Council meeting, the model was 
updated by incorporating the most recent (2009) west coast groundfish 
observer program (WCGOP) data. According to the 2009 WCGOP data, the 
bycatch rate of yelloweye rockfish was lower than previously thought, 
therefore the impacts to yelloweye rockfish in 2010 are projected to be 
lower than previously estimated. Updating the model, while leaving 
management measures unchanged, reduced projected impacts to yelloweye 
rockfish by 0.3 mt, resulting in total projected impacts of 14.6 mt for 
a 14 mt OY.
    At their June 11-17, 2010, meeting in Foster City, CA, the Council 
reviewed the most recent catch data in all groundfish fisheries and 
considered various ways to reduce projected impacts of yelloweye 
rockfish to a level at or below the 14 mt OY. Based on the most recent 
fishery data, projected catches of yelloweye rockfish in the limited 
entry fixed gear (LEFG) and open access fisheries are lower than 
anticipated due to inclement weather and lower than anticipated fishing 
effort on target species that co-occur with yelloweye rockfish. Because 
their projected impacts to yelloweye rockfish in the commercial fixed 
gear fisheries are lower than anticipated, the Council recommended 
reducing the catch sharing harvest guidelines in these sectors to a 
combined total of 2.0 mt, with 0.8 mt of yelloweye rockfish anticipated 
to be taken in the LEFG fishery and 1.2 mt of yelloweye rockfish 
anticipated to be taken in the directed open access fishery. This will 
allow for minimal disruption to summer fisheries, as no additional 
restrictions to fishery management measures are necessary at this time 
to stay below this lower HG. The states of Washington, Oregon and 
California already have management measures in place to keep projected 
impacts within their yelloweye rockfish HGs (Washington = 2.7 mt, 
Oregon = 2.4 mt, California = 2.8 mt). Because of the cancellation of 
the enhanced rockfish research survey activities and the savings it 
provided relative to yelloweye rockfish, recreational harvest 
guidelines for each state only had to be lowered by a small amount. The 
Council recommended reducing each state's harvest guidelines by 0.1 mt, 
resulting in new yelloweye rockfish HGs (Washington = 2.6 mt, Oregon = 
2.3 mt, California = 2.7 mt). No additional restrictions to management 
measures were necessary at this time to keep

[[Page 38032]]

projected impacts in recreational fisheries below these new HGs. As a 
result of the changes to the limited entry fixed gear, directed open 
access, and recreational fishery HGs, projected impacts to yelloweye 
rockfish were lowered by 0.5 mt, resulting in total projected impacts 
of 14.1 mt out for a 14 mt OY.
    The Council also considered reducing the yelloweye rockfish bycatch 
caps for the remaining EFP projects. If no changes to bycatch caps were 
made, the projected impacts to yelloweye rockfish, if all of the EFPs 
caught their entire yelloweye rockfish bycatch caps, would be 0.3 mt. 
One EFP holder proposed to voluntarily reduce the 2010 yelloweye 
rockfish bycatch cap for his project by 50 percent, because no 
yelloweye rockfish were caught in their EFP activities in 2009. The 
Council agreed and recommended that the bycatch cap for that EFP 
project be lowered from 0.2 mt to 0.1 mt. Changing the bycatch cap on 
this EFP project lowers impacts to yelloweye rockfish by 0.1 mt, 
resulting in total projected impacts to yelloweye rockfish of 14.0 mt 
out of a 14 mt OY.
    Based on the most recent fishery information, no additional changes 
to management measures are necessary to keep total projected impacts 
below the 2010 yelloweye rockfish OY of 14 mt at this time. The Council 
and NMFS will continue to monitor the most recent available fisheries 
information throughout the year and may make changes to management 
measures, if necessary, to keep projected impacts of yelloweye rockfish 
below the 2010 yelloweye rockfish OY of 14 mt.

Limited Entry Non-Whiting Trawl Fishery Management Measures

    The final rule to implement the 2009-2010 specifications and 
management measures for the Pacific Coast Groundfish Fishery was 
published on March 6, 2009 (74 FR 9874). This final rule was 
subsequently amended by inseason actions on April 27, 2009 (74 FR 
19011), July 6, 2009 (74 FR 31874), October 28, 2009 (74 FR 55468), 
February 26, 2010 (75 FR 8820), and May 4, 2010 (75 FR 23620). 
Additional changes to the 2009-2010 specifications and management 
measures for petrale sole were made in two final rules: On November 4, 
2009 (74 FR 57117), and December 10, 2009 (74 FR 65480). NMFS is 
issuing a final rule that will make additional changes in response to 
the duly issued court order (see 2010 Yelloweye Rockfish Harvest 
Specifications). These specifications and management measures are at 50 
CFR part 660, subpart G.
    Changes to the groundfish management measures implemented by this 
action were recommended by the Council, in consultation with Pacific 
Coast Treaty Indian Tribes and the States of Washington, Oregon, and 
California, at its June 11-17, 2010, meeting in Foster City, CA. The 
Council recommended adjusting the groundfish management measures to 
respond to updated fishery information and other in-season management 
needs. These changes include reductions to bi-monthly cumulative limits 
in the limited entry non-whiting trawl commercial fisheries off 
Washington, Oregon, and California. These reductions to trip limits 
must be implemented by the start of the next bi-monthly cumulative 
limit period, on or before July 1, 2010. Even a short delay in 
implementation could allow fisheries to take the entire two-month limit 
for this period. These changes are intended to reduce the catch of 
petrale sole and sablefish in order to keep the total mortality of 
these species within their 2010 OYs. The reductions to trip limits also 
slightly reduce the projected impacts to co-occurring overfished 
species.
    Estimated mortality of overfished and target species are the result 
of management measures designed to meet the Pacific Coast Groundfish 
FMP objective of achieving, to the extent possible, but not exceeding, 
OYs of target species, while fostering the rebuilding of overfished 
stocks by remaining within their rebuilding OYs.
    Catches of sablefish in the limited entry non-whiting trawl fishery 
are tracking ahead of projections. If no action is taken, and sablefish 
catch rates remain higher than previously expected throughout the year, 
catch of sablefish through the end of the year is projected to be 3,003 
mt, exceeding the 2010 trawl allocation of 2,995 mt by 48 mt. To slow 
catch of sablefish and stay below the 2010 allocation, the Council 
recommended an in-season adjustment reducing cumulative limits for 
sablefish as well as other co-occurring target species (Dover sole) 
coastwide, beginning on July 1, 2010.
    Catches of petrale sole in the limited entry non-whiting trawl 
fishery are also tracking ahead of projections. If no action is taken, 
and petrale sole catch rates remain higher than previously expected 
throughout the year, total coastwide catch of petrale sole through the 
end of the year is projected to be 1,289 mt, exceeding the 2010 
coastwide petrale sole OY of 1,200 mt by 89 mt. To slow catch of 
petrale sole and stay below the 2010 petrale sole OY, the Council 
recommended an in-season adjustment reducing cumulative limits for 
petrale sole as well as other co-occurring target species (Dover sole 
and ``other flatfish'') coastwide, beginning on July 1, 2010.
    Based on the considerations outlined above, the Council recommended 
and NMFS is implementing the following changes to cumulative limits in 
the limited entry non-whiting trawl fishery for July 1, 2010: reduce 
sablefish cumulative limits caught with large and small footrope trawl 
gears coastwide to ``21,000 lb (9,525 kg) per 2 months'' in July-
December; reduce petrale sole cumulative limits caught with large and 
small footrope trawl gears coastwide to ``6,300 lb (2,858 kg) per 2 
months'' in July-December; reduce Dover sole cumulative limits caught 
with large and small footrope trawl gears coastwide to ``100,000 lb 
(45,359 kg) per 2 months'' in July-December; and reduce ``other 
flatfish'' cumulative limits caught with large and small footrope trawl 
gears coastwide to ``100,000 lb (45,359 kg) per 2 months'' in July-
December.

Classification

    This rule revises the 2010 catch sharing harvest guidelines for 
yelloweye rockfish to keep fishery impacts within the lowered yelloweye 
rockfish OY in accordance with the court's order; makes routine in-
season adjustments to groundfish fishery management measures based on 
the best available information; and is taken pursuant to the 
regulations implementing the Pacific Coast Groundfish FMP.
    These actions are taken under the authority of 50 CFR 660.370(c) 
and are exempt from review under Executive Order 12866.
    These in-season adjustments are taken under the authority of the 
Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (Magnuson-
Stevens Act), and are in accordance with 50 CFR part 660, the 
regulations implementing the FMP. These actions are based on the most 
recent data available. The aggregate data upon which these actions are 
based are available for public inspection at the Office of the 
Administrator, Northwest Region, NMFS, (see ADDRESSES) during business 
hours.
    For the following reasons, NMFS finds good cause to waive prior 
public notice and comment on the revisions to groundfish management 
measures under 5 U.S.C. 553(b) because notice and comment would be 
impracticable and contrary to the public interest. Also, for the same 
reasons, NMFS finds good cause to waive the 30-day delay in 
effectiveness pursuant to 5 U.S.C.

[[Page 38033]]

553(d)(3), so that this final rule may become effective as quickly as 
possible.
    The recently available data upon which these recommendations were 
based was provided to the Council, and the Council made its 
recommendations, at its June 11-17, 2010, meeting in Foster City, CA. 
The Council recommended that these changes be implemented on or as 
close as possible to July 1, 2010. There was not sufficient time after 
that meeting to draft this document and undergo proposed and final 
rulemaking before these actions need to be in effect. For the actions 
to be implemented in this final rule, affording the time necessary for 
prior notice and opportunity for public comment would prevent the 
Agency from managing fisheries using the best available science to 
approach, without exceeding, the OYs for federally managed species in 
accordance with the FMP and applicable laws. The adjustments to 
management measures in this document affect commercial fisheries off 
Washington, Oregon, and California.
    These adjustments to management measures must be implemented in a 
timely manner to prevent 2010 OYs from being exceeded or to prevent 
premature closure of the fishery. Decreases to bi-monthly cumulative 
limits for sablefish, petrale sole, Dover sole, and other flatfish in 
the limited entry trawl fishery are intended to prevent exceeding the 
2010 OYs for these species and co-occurring species, and prevent 
premature closure of fisheries that impact these species. These changes 
must be implemented in a timely manner, on July 1, 2010. Bi-monthly 
cumulative limits cover a two-month period, so if implementation is 
delayed much past July 1, then fishermen could harvest the prior higher 
limit before the revised limit is effective. Decreases to cumulative 
limits for other flatfish and Dover sole in the limited entry trawl 
fishery are intended to reduce impacts to petrale sole, a co-occurring 
species for which a severely reduced OY was implemented for 2010 (74 FR 
65480).
    Delaying these changes would keep management measures in place that 
are not based on the best available data, which could lead to exceeding 
OYs or early closures of the fishery if harvest of groundfish exceeds 
levels projected for 2010. Such delay would impair achievement of the 
Pacific Coast Groundfish FMP objective of approaching, but not 
exceeding, OYs.

List of Subjects in 50 CFR Part 660

    Fisheries, Fishing, Indian Fisheries.

    Dated: June 28, 2010.
Carrie Selberg,
Acting Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine 
Fisheries Service.

0
For the reasons set out in the preamble, 50 CFR part 660 is amended as 
follows:

PART 660--FISHERIES OFF WEST COAST STATES

0
1. The authority citation for part 660 continues to read as follows:

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


0
2. Footnote ``/aa'' following Tables 1a through 1c to part 660, subpart 
G, is revised to read as follows:
* * * * *
    aa/ Yelloweye rockfish was fully assessed in 2006 and an 
assessment update was completed in 2007. The 2007 stock assessment 
update estimated the spawning stock biomass in 2006 to be at 14 
percent of its unfished biomass coastwide. The 31 mt coastwide ABC 
was derived from the base model in the new stock assessment with an 
FMSYproxy of F50. The 17 mt OY is 
based on a rebuilding plan with a target year to rebuild of 2084 and 
an SPR harvest rate of 66.3 percent in 2009 and 2010 and an SPR 
harvest rate of 71.9 percent for 2011 and beyond. The OY is reduced 
by 2.8 mt for the amount anticipated to be taken during research 
activity, 2.3 mt the amount estimated to be taken in the tribal 
fisheries and 0.3 mt for the amount expected to be taken 
incidentally in non-groundfish fisheries. The catch sharing harvest 
guidelines for yelloweye rockfish in 2009 are: limited entry non-
whiting trawl 0.6 mt, limited entry whiting 0.0 mt, limited entry 
fixed gear 1.4 mt, directed open access 1.1 mt, Washington 
recreational 2.7 mt, Oregon recreational 2.4 mt, California 
recreational 2.8 mt, and 0.3 mt for exempted fishing.
* * * * *

0
3. Table 2a to part 660, subpart G, and footnote ``/aa'' following 
Tables 2a through 2c to part 660, subpart G, are revised to read as 
follows:
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    aa/ Yelloweye rockfish was fully assessed in 2006 and an 
assessment update was completed in 2007. The 2007 stock assessment 
update estimated the spawning stock biomass in 2006 to be at 14 
percent of its unfished biomass coastwide. The 32 mt coastwide ABC 
was derived from the base model in the new stock assessment with an 
FMSY proxy of F50. The 14 mt OY is 
based on the need to conform the 2010 yelloweye rockfish harvest 
specifications to the Court's

[[Page 38037]]

Order in Natural Resources Defense Council v. Locke, Civil Action 
No. C 01-0421 JL. The amount anticipated to be taken during 
scientific research activity is 1.3 mt, the amount anticipated to be 
taken in the tribal fisheries is 2.3 mt, and the amount anticipated 
to be taken incidentally in non-groundfish fisheries is 0.3 mt. The 
catch sharing harvest guidelines for yelloweye rockfish in 2010 are: 
Limited entry non-whiting trawl 0.3 mt, limited entry whiting 0.0 
mt, limited entry fixed gear 0.8 mt, directed open access 1.2 mt, 
Washington recreational 2.6 mt, Oregon recreational 2.3 mt, 
California recreational 2.7 mt, and 0.2 mt for exempted fishing.
* * * * *

0
4. Tables 3 (North) and 3 (South) to part 660, subpart G, are revised 
to read as follows:
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[FR Doc. 2010-16063 Filed 6-30-10; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 3510-22-C