Atlantic Highly Migratory Species; Atlantic Bluefin Tuna Fisheries, 79309-79311 [2010-31751]

Download as PDF jlentini on DSKJ8SOYB1PROD with RULES Federal Register / Vol. 75, No. 243 / Monday, December 20, 2010 / Rules and Regulations that it will set future minimum random drug and alcohol testing rates according to the rail industry’s overall positive rate, which is determined using annual railroad drug and alcohol program data taken from FRA’s Management Information System. Based on this data, the Administrator publishes a Federal Register notice of determination each year, announcing the minimum random drug and alcohol testing rates for the following year. See 49 CFR 219.602, 608. Under this performance-based system, FRA may lower the minimum random drug testing rate to 25 percent of covered railroad employees whenever the industry-wide random drug positive rate is less than 1.0 percent for two calendar years while testing at a 50 percent minimum rate. For both drugs and alcohol, FRA reserves the right to consider other factors, such as the number of positives in its post-accident testing program, before deciding whether to lower annual minimum random testing rates. If the industrywide random drug positive rate is 1.0 percent or higher in any subsequent calendar year, FRA will return the minimum random drug testing rate to 50 percent of covered railroad employees. If the industry-wide random alcohol violation rate is less than 1.0 percent but greater than 0.5 percent, the minimum random alcohol testing rate will be 25 percent of covered railroad employees. FRA will raise the minimum random rate to 50 percent of covered railroad employees if the industry-wide random alcohol violation rate is 1.0 percent or higher in any subsequent calendar year. FRA may lower the minimum random alcohol testing rate to 10 percent of covered railroad employees whenever the industry-wide violation rate is less than 0.5 percent for two calendar years while testing at a higher rate. In this notice of determination, FRA announces that the minimum random drug testing rate will remain at 25 percent of covered railroad employees for the period January 1, 2011, through December 31, 2011, because the industry random drug testing positive rate was below 1.0 percent for the last two years (.046 in 2008 and .037 in 2009). The minimum random alcohol testing rate will remain at 10 percent of covered railroad employees for the period January 1, 2011, through December 31, 2011, because the industry-wide violation rate for alcohol has remained below 0.5 percent for the last two years (.015 in 2008 and .014 in 2009). Railroads remain free, as always, to conduct random testing at higher rates. VerDate Mar<15>2010 19:04 Dec 17, 2010 Jkt 223001 Issued in Washington, DC, on December 13, 2010. Joseph C. Szabo, Administrator. [FR Doc. 2010–31805 Filed 12–17–10; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910–06–P 79309 December 9, 2010, correct the DATES section to read as follows: DATES: This rule is effective January 3, 2011 through June 1, 2011, unless NMFS publishes a superseding document in the Federal Register. Authority: 16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq. DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Dated: December 15, 2010. John Oliver, Deputy Assistant Administrator for Operations, National Marine Fisheries Service. [FR Doc. 2010–31917 Filed 12–17–10; 8:45 am] 50 CFR Part 622 BILLING CODE 3510–22–P [Docket No. 101124587–0586–01] RIN 0648–BA47 DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE Fisheries of the Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico, and South Atlantic; SnapperGrouper Fishery Off the South Atlantic States; Emergency Rule To Delay Effectiveness of the Snapper-Grouper Area Closure; Correction National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Commerce. ACTION: Temporary rule; correction. AGENCY: This document contains a correction to the temporary rule that delays the effective date of the area closure for snapper-grouper specified in Amendment 17A to the Fishery Management Plan for the SnapperGrouper Fishery of the South Atlantic Region (FMP) that was published in the Federal Register December 9, 2010. DATES: Effective December 20, 2010, the effective date of the rule published in the Federal Register December 9, 2010 (75 FR 76890), is corrected to January 3, 2011, through June 1, 2011, unless NMFS publishes a superseding document in the Federal Register. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Anik Clemens, 727–824–5305; fax: 727– 824–5308; e-mail: Anik.Clemens@noaa.gov. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: SUMMARY: Need for Correction On December 9, 2010 (75 FR 76890), NMFS published an incorrect effective date in the DATES section of the temporary rule. The DATES section contained an incorrect effective date of January 3, 2010. The correct effective date for the temporary rule is January 3, 2011, through June 1, 2011, unless NMFS publishes a superseding document in the Federal Register. This document corrects that effective date. Correction In FR Doc. 2010–30682 appearing on page 78158 in the Federal Register of PO 00000 Frm 00049 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration 50 CFR Part 635 RIN 0648–XA017 Atlantic Highly Migratory Species; Atlantic Bluefin Tuna Fisheries National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Commerce. ACTION: Temporary rule; inseason retention limit adjustment. AGENCY: NMFS has determined that the Atlantic tunas General category daily Atlantic bluefin tuna (BFT) retention limit should be adjusted for the month of January 2011, based on consideration of the regulatory determination criteria regarding inseason adjustments. This action applies to Atlantic tunas General category permitted vessels and Highly Migratory Species Charter/Headboat category permitted vessels (when fishing commercially for BFT). DATES: Effective January 1, 2011, through January 31, 2011. 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 (ATCA; 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 SUMMARY: E:\FR\FM\20DER1.SGM 20DER1 jlentini on DSKJ8SOYB1PROD with RULES 79310 Federal Register / Vol. 75, No. 243 / Monday, December 20, 2010 / Rules and Regulations established in the 2006 Consolidated Highly Migratory Species Fishery Management Plan (2006 Consolidated HMS FMP) (71 FR 58058, October 2, 2006). The 2011 BFT fishing year, which is managed on a calendar year basis and subject to an annual calendar year quota, begins January 1, 2011. Starting on January 1, 2011, the General category daily retention limit (§ 635.23(a)(2)) is scheduled to revert back to the default retention limit of one large medium or giant BFT (measuring 73 inches (185 cm) CFL) or greater per vessel per day/trip. This default retention limit applies to General category permitted vessels and HMS Charter/Headboat category permitted vessels (when fishing commercially for BFT, as specified and to the extent allowable under the regulations). Each of the General category time periods (January, June–August, September, October–November, and December) is allocated a portion of the annual General category quota, thereby ensuring extended fishing opportunities in years when catch rates are high. For the 2010 fishing year, NMFS adjusted the General category limit from the default level of one large medium or giant BFT as follows: Two large medium or giant BFT for January (74 FR 68709, December 29, 2009), and three large medium or giant BFT for June through December (75 FR 30730, June 2, 2010; and 75 FR 51182, August 19, 2010). The 2010 ICCAT recommendation regarding western BFT management resulted in a 2011 U.S. quota of 923.7 mt (not including a 25-mt allocation that the United States uses to account for bycatch of BFT in pelagic longline fisheries in the Northeast Distant Gear Restricted Area (NED)). Consistent with the allocation scheme established in the Consolidated HMS FMP, the baseline 2011 General category share would be 435.1 mt, and the baseline 2011 January General category subquota would be 23.1 mt. In order to implement the ICCAT recommendation, which enters into force in June 2011, NMFS is planning to publish proposed quota specifications in the beginning of 2011 to set BFT quotas for each of the established domestic fishing categories. Until the 2011 quota specifications are finalized (most likely in the spring of 2011), the January General category baseline quota of 23.8 mt (established for 2010) remains in effect. In the meantime, the General category BFT fishery remains active into the winter, with landings reported in November and December. VerDate Mar<15>2010 19:04 Dec 17, 2010 Jkt 223001 Adjustment of General Category Daily Retention Limits Under 50 CFR 635.23(a)(4), NMFS may increase or decrease the daily retention limit of large medium and giant BFT over a range of zero to a maximum of three per vessel 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; 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. NMFS has considered the set of criteria cited above and their applicability to the General category BFT retention limit for the January 2011 General category fishery. For example, under the 2-fish limit that applied in January 2010, January landings were low (2.7 out of the baseline subquota of 23.8 mt, later adjusted in the final 2010 specifications to 28.6 mt). Under the proposed 2011 BFT quota specifications, the baseline 2011 January subquota would be 23.1 mt. Based on these considerations, NMFS has determined that the General category retention limit should be adjusted to allow for retention of the anticipated 2011 General category quota, and that the same approach that was used (and that proved effective) for January 2010 is warranted. Therefore, NMFS increases the General category retention limit from the default limit to two large medium or giant BFT, measuring 73 inches CFL or greater, per vessel per day/trip, effective January 1, 2011, through January 31, 2011. Regardless of the duration of a fishing trip, the daily retention limit applies upon landing. For example, whether a vessel fishing under the General category limit takes a two-day trip or makes two trips in one day, the daily limit of two fish may not be exceeded upon landing. This General category retention limit is effective in all areas, except for the Gulf of Mexico, and applies to those vessels permitted in the General category as well as to those HMS Charter/Headboat permitted vessels fishing commercially for BFT. This adjustment is intended to provide a reasonable opportunity to PO 00000 Frm 00050 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 harvest the U.S. quota of BFT without exceeding it, while maintaining an equitable distribution of fishing opportunities, to help achieve optimum yield in the General category BFT fishery, to collect a broad range of data for stock monitoring purposes, and to be consistent with the objectives of the Consolidated HMS FMP. Monitoring and Reporting NMFS selected the daily retention limit for January 2011 after examining an array of data as it pertains to the determination criteria. These data included, but were not limited to, current and previous catch and effort rates, quota availability, previous public comments on inseason management measures, and stock status, among other data. NMFS will continue to monitor the BFT fishery closely through the mandatory dealer landing reports, which NMFS requires to be submitted within 24 hours of a dealer receiving BFT. Depending on the level of fishing effort and catch rates of BFT, NMFS may determine that additional retention limit adjustments are necessary to ensure available quota is not exceeded or to enhance scientific data collection from, and fishing opportunities in, all geographic areas. Closures or subsequent adjustments to the daily retention limits, if any, will be published in the Federal Register. In addition, fishermen may call the Atlantic Tunas Information Line at (888) 872–8862 or (978) 281–9260, or access http://www.hmspermits.gov, for updates on quota monitoring and retention limit adjustments. Classification The Assistant Administrator for NMFS (AA) finds that it is impracticable and contrary to the public interest to provide prior notice of, and an opportunity for public comment on, this action for the following reasons: 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. Affording prior notice and opportunity for public comment to implement these retention limits is impracticable as it would preclude NMFS from acting promptly to allow harvest of BFT that are available on the fishing grounds. Analysis of available data shows that the General category BFT retention limits may be increased with minimal risks of exceeding the ICCAT-allocated quota. E:\FR\FM\20DER1.SGM 20DER1 Federal Register / Vol. 75, No. 243 / Monday, December 20, 2010 / Rules and Regulations jlentini on DSKJ8SOYB1PROD with RULES Delays in increasing these retention limits would adversely affect those General and Charter/Headboat category vessels that would otherwise have an opportunity to harvest more than the default retention limit of one BFT per day and may exacerbate the problem of low catch rates and quota rollovers. Limited opportunities to harvest the respective quotas may have negative social and economic impacts for U.S. fishermen that depend upon catching the available quota within the time periods designated in the Consolidated HMS FMP. Adjustment of the retention limit needs to be effective January 1, VerDate Mar<15>2010 19:04 Dec 17, 2010 Jkt 223001 2011, to minimize any unnecessary disruption in fishing patterns and for the impacted sectors to benefit from the adjustments so as to not preclude fishing opportunities for fishermen who have access to the fishery only during this time period. Therefore, the AA finds good cause under 5 U.S.C. 553(b)(B) to waive prior notice and the opportunity for public comment. For all of the above reasons, and because this action relieves a restriction (i.e., the default General category retention limit is one fish per vessel/trip whereas this action increases that limit and allows retention of additional fish), there is PO 00000 Frm 00051 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 9990 79311 also good cause under 5 U.S.C. 553(d) to waive the 30-day delay in effectiveness. This action is being taken under 50 CFR 635.23(a)(4) and is exempt from review under Executive Order 12866. Authority: 16 U.S.C. 971 et seq. and 1801 et seq. Dated: December 13, 2010. Emily H. Menashes, Acting Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine Fisheries Service. [FR Doc. 2010–31751 Filed 12–17–10; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510–22–P E:\FR\FM\20DER1.SGM 20DER1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 75, Number 243 (Monday, December 20, 2010)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 79309-79311]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2010-31751]


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

DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

50 CFR Part 635

RIN 0648-XA017


Atlantic Highly Migratory Species; Atlantic Bluefin Tuna 
Fisheries

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

ACTION: Temporary rule; inseason retention limit adjustment.

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

SUMMARY: NMFS has determined that the Atlantic tunas General category 
daily Atlantic bluefin tuna (BFT) retention limit should be adjusted 
for the month of January 2011, based on consideration of the regulatory 
determination criteria regarding inseason adjustments. This action 
applies to Atlantic tunas General category permitted vessels and Highly 
Migratory Species Charter/Headboat category permitted vessels (when 
fishing commercially for BFT).

DATES: Effective January 1, 2011, through January 31, 2011.

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 (ATCA; 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

[[Page 79310]]

established in the 2006 Consolidated Highly Migratory Species Fishery 
Management Plan (2006 Consolidated HMS FMP) (71 FR 58058, October 2, 
2006).
    The 2011 BFT fishing year, which is managed on a calendar year 
basis and subject to an annual calendar year quota, begins January 1, 
2011. Starting on January 1, 2011, the General category daily retention 
limit (Sec.  635.23(a)(2)) is scheduled to revert back to the default 
retention limit of one large medium or giant BFT (measuring 73 inches 
(185 cm) CFL) or greater per vessel per day/trip. This default 
retention limit applies to General category permitted vessels and HMS 
Charter/Headboat category permitted vessels (when fishing commercially 
for BFT, as specified and to the extent allowable under the 
regulations).
    Each of the General category time periods (January, June-August, 
September, October-November, and December) is allocated a portion of 
the annual General category quota, thereby ensuring extended fishing 
opportunities in years when catch rates are high. For the 2010 fishing 
year, NMFS adjusted the General category limit from the default level 
of one large medium or giant BFT as follows: Two large medium or giant 
BFT for January (74 FR 68709, December 29, 2009), and three large 
medium or giant BFT for June through December (75 FR 30730, June 2, 
2010; and 75 FR 51182, August 19, 2010).
    The 2010 ICCAT recommendation regarding western BFT management 
resulted in a 2011 U.S. quota of 923.7 mt (not including a 25-mt 
allocation that the United States uses to account for bycatch of BFT in 
pelagic longline fisheries in the Northeast Distant Gear Restricted 
Area (NED)). Consistent with the allocation scheme established in the 
Consolidated HMS FMP, the baseline 2011 General category share would be 
435.1 mt, and the baseline 2011 January General category subquota would 
be 23.1 mt.
    In order to implement the ICCAT recommendation, which enters into 
force in June 2011, NMFS is planning to publish proposed quota 
specifications in the beginning of 2011 to set BFT quotas for each of 
the established domestic fishing categories. Until the 2011 quota 
specifications are finalized (most likely in the spring of 2011), the 
January General category baseline quota of 23.8 mt (established for 
2010) remains in effect. In the meantime, the General category BFT 
fishery remains active into the winter, with landings reported in 
November and December.

Adjustment of General Category Daily Retention Limits

    Under 50 CFR 635.23(a)(4), NMFS may increase or decrease the daily 
retention limit of large medium and giant BFT over a range of zero to a 
maximum of three per vessel 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; 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.
    NMFS has considered the set of criteria cited above and their 
applicability to the General category BFT retention limit for the 
January 2011 General category fishery. For example, under the 2-fish 
limit that applied in January 2010, January landings were low (2.7 out 
of the baseline subquota of 23.8 mt, later adjusted in the final 2010 
specifications to 28.6 mt). Under the proposed 2011 BFT quota 
specifications, the baseline 2011 January subquota would be 23.1 mt. 
Based on these considerations, NMFS has determined that the General 
category retention limit should be adjusted to allow for retention of 
the anticipated 2011 General category quota, and that the same approach 
that was used (and that proved effective) for January 2010 is 
warranted. Therefore, NMFS increases the General category retention 
limit from the default limit to two large medium or giant BFT, 
measuring 73 inches CFL or greater, per vessel per day/trip, effective 
January 1, 2011, through January 31, 2011. Regardless of the duration 
of a fishing trip, the daily retention limit applies upon landing. For 
example, whether a vessel fishing under the General category limit 
takes a two-day trip or makes two trips in one day, the daily limit of 
two fish may not be exceeded upon landing. This General category 
retention limit is effective in all areas, except for the Gulf of 
Mexico, and applies to those vessels permitted in the General category 
as well as to those HMS Charter/Headboat permitted vessels fishing 
commercially for BFT.
    This adjustment is 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, to help achieve 
optimum yield in the General category BFT fishery, to collect a broad 
range of data for stock monitoring purposes, and to be consistent with 
the objectives of the Consolidated HMS FMP.

Monitoring and Reporting

    NMFS selected the daily retention limit for January 2011 after 
examining an array of data as it pertains to the determination 
criteria. These data included, but were not limited to, current and 
previous catch and effort rates, quota availability, previous public 
comments on inseason management measures, and stock status, among other 
data. NMFS will continue to monitor the BFT fishery closely through the 
mandatory dealer landing reports, which NMFS requires to be submitted 
within 24 hours of a dealer receiving BFT. Depending on the level of 
fishing effort and catch rates of BFT, NMFS may determine that 
additional retention limit adjustments are necessary to ensure 
available quota is not exceeded or to enhance scientific data 
collection from, and fishing opportunities in, all geographic areas.
    Closures or subsequent adjustments to the daily retention limits, 
if any, will be published in the Federal Register. In addition, 
fishermen may call the Atlantic Tunas Information Line at (888) 872-
8862 or (978) 281-9260, or access http://www.hmspermits.gov, for 
updates on quota monitoring and retention limit adjustments.

Classification

    The Assistant Administrator for NMFS (AA) finds that it is 
impracticable and contrary to the public interest to provide prior 
notice of, and an opportunity for public comment on, this action for 
the following reasons:
    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. 
Affording prior notice and opportunity for public comment to implement 
these retention limits is impracticable as it would preclude NMFS from 
acting promptly to allow harvest of BFT that are available on the 
fishing grounds. Analysis of available data shows that the General 
category BFT retention limits may be increased with minimal risks of 
exceeding the ICCAT-allocated quota.

[[Page 79311]]

    Delays in increasing these retention limits would adversely affect 
those General and Charter/Headboat category vessels that would 
otherwise have an opportunity to harvest more than the default 
retention limit of one BFT per day and may exacerbate the problem of 
low catch rates and quota rollovers. Limited opportunities to harvest 
the respective quotas may have negative social and economic impacts for 
U.S. fishermen that depend upon catching the available quota within the 
time periods designated in the Consolidated HMS FMP. Adjustment of the 
retention limit needs to be effective January 1, 2011, to minimize any 
unnecessary disruption in fishing patterns and for the impacted sectors 
to benefit from the adjustments so as to not preclude fishing 
opportunities for fishermen who have access to the fishery only during 
this time period. Therefore, the AA finds good cause under 5 U.S.C. 
553(b)(B) to waive prior notice and the opportunity for public comment. 
For all of the above reasons, and because this action relieves a 
restriction (i.e., the default General category retention limit is one 
fish per vessel/trip whereas this action increases that limit and 
allows retention of additional fish), there is also good cause under 5 
U.S.C. 553(d) to waive the 30-day delay in effectiveness.
    This action is being taken under 50 CFR 635.23(a)(4) and is exempt 
from review under Executive Order 12866.

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

    Dated: December 13, 2010.
Emily H. Menashes,
Acting Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine 
Fisheries Service.
[FR Doc. 2010-31751 Filed 12-17-10; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 3510-22-P