Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act Provisions; Fisheries of the Northeastern United States; Atlantic Sea Scallop Fishery; Amendment 15 to the Atlantic Sea Scallop Fishery Management Plan, 16595-16596 [2011-7025]

Download as PDF Federal Register / Vol. 76, No. 57 / Thursday, March 24, 2011 / Proposed Rules Dated: March 16, 2011. A. Stanley Meiburg, Acting Regional Administrator, Region 4. [FR Doc. 2011–6975 Filed 3–23–11; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560–50–P DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration 50 CFR Part 224 RIN 0648–XV30 Endangered and Threatened Species; Extension of Public Comment Period on Proposed Range Extension for Coho Salmon South of San Francisco Bay National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Commerce. ACTION: Proposed rule; extension of public comment period. AGENCY: We, NMFS, are extending the date by which public comments are due concerning the proposed rule to extend the southern boundary of the endangered Central California Coast (CCC) coho salmon Evolutionarily Significant Unit (ESU) southward from its current boundary at the San Lorenzo River to include Soquel and Aptos Creeks in Santa Cruz County, California. On February 4, 2011, we published a proposed rule in the Federal Register to extend the southern boundary of this ESU and announced a public comment period to end on April 5, 2011. Today we extend the public comment period to June 6, 2011. DATES: The deadline for receipt of comments on the proposed rule published on February 4, 2011, (76 FR 6383), is extended from April 5, 2011, to June 6, 2011, at 5 p.m. Pacific Daylight Time. ADDRESSES: You may submit comments on the proposed range extension, identified by the RIN 0648–XV30, by any of the following methods: • Electronic Submissions: Submit all electronic public comments via the Federal eRulemaking Portal http:// www.regulations.gov. Follow the instructions for submitting comments. • Mail: Submit written comments to the Assistant Regional Administrator, Protected Resources Division, Attn: Craig Wingert, Southwest Region, National Marine Fisheries Service, 501 W. Ocean Blvd., Suite 4200, Long Beach, CA 90802–4213. • Fax: (562) 980–4027; Attn: Craig Wingert. jdjones on DSK8KYBLC1PROD with PROPOSALS-1 SUMMARY: VerDate Mar<15>2010 14:51 Mar 23, 2011 Jkt 223001 All comments received are a part of the public record. Comments will generally be posted 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. We 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. A copy of our 12-month finding and proposed range extension and other relevant information may be obtained by submitting a request to the Assistant Regional Administrator, Protected Resources Division, Attn: Craig Wingert, Southwest Region, National Marine Fisheries Service, 501 W. Ocean Blvd., Suite 4200, Long Beach, CA 90802–4213 or from the Internet at http:// swr.nmfs.noaa.gov/. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Craig Wingert, NMFS Southwest Region, (562) 980–4021; or Dwayne Meadows, NMFS Office of Protected Resources, Silver Spring, MD, (301) 713–1401. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Background On February 4, 2011 (76 FR 6383), we published a proposed rule to extend the boundary of the endangered CCC coho salmon ESU from its current boundary at the San Lorenzo River southward to include Soquel and Aptos Creeks which are located in Santa Cruz County, CA. The proposed rule also concluded that this redefined ESU continues to be endangered. We received one request to extend the current public comment period on the rule to accommodate review of the proposed rule and all the supporting documentation. We have considered this request and conclude that a 60-day extension is appropriate and will not delay this rulemaking process. Accordingly, we are extending the public comment period to June 6, 2011, to allow additional time for public comment. Authority: 16 U.S.C. 1533 et seq. Dated: March 18, 2011. Helen Golde, Deputy Director, Office of Protected Resources, National Marine Fisheries Service. [FR Doc. 2011–7019 Filed 3–23–11; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510–22–P PO 00000 Frm 00047 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 16595 DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration 50 CFR Part 648 RIN 0648–BA71 Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act Provisions; Fisheries of the Northeastern United States; Atlantic Sea Scallop Fishery; Amendment 15 to the Atlantic Sea Scallop Fishery Management Plan National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Commerce. ACTION: Notice of availability of a fishery management plan amendment; request for comments. AGENCY: NMFS announces that the New England Fishery Management Council (Council) has submitted Amendment 15 to the Atlantic Sea Scallop Fishery Management Plan (FMP) (Amendment 15), incorporating the Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS) and the Initial Regulatory Flexibility Analysis (IRFA), for review by the Secretary of Commerce. NMFS is requesting comments from the public on Amendment 15, which was developed primarily to implement annual catch limits (ACLs) and accountability measures (AMs) to bring the Scallop FMP into compliance with new requirements of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (MSA). Amendment 15 includes additional measures recommended by the Council, including an adjustment to the overfishing definition, modification of the essential fish habitat (EFH) closed areas under the Scallop FMP, adjustments to measures for the Limited Access General Category fishery, adjustments to the scallop research set aside program, and additions to the list of measures that can be adjusted by framework adjustments. DATES: Comments must be received by 5 p.m., Eastern Standard Time, on May 23, 2011. ADDRESSES: An FEIS was prepared for Amendment 15 that describes the proposed action and its alternatives and provides a thorough analysis of the impacts of proposed measures and their alternatives. Copies of Amendment 15, including the FEIS and the IRFA, are available from Paul J. Howard, Executive Director, New England Fishery Management Council, 50 Water SUMMARY: E:\FR\FM\24MRP1.SGM 24MRP1 jdjones on DSK8KYBLC1PROD with PROPOSALS-1 16596 Federal Register / Vol. 76, No. 57 / Thursday, March 24, 2011 / Proposed Rules Street, Newburyport, MA 01950. These documents are also available online at http://www.nefmc.org. You may submit comments, identified by 0648–BA71, by any one of the following methods: • Electronic Submissions: Submit all electronic public comments via the Federal eRulemaking Portal http:// www.regulations.gov. • Fax: (978) 281–9135, Attn: Peter Christopher. • Mail: Patricia A. Kurkul, Regional Administrator, NMFS, Northeast Regional Office, 55 Great Republic Drive, Gloucester, MA 01930. Mark the outside of the envelope, ‘‘Comments on Scallop Amendment 15.’’ Instructions: All comments received are a part of the public record and will generally be posted to http:// www.regulations.gov without change. All Personal Identifying Information (for example, name, address, etc.) voluntarily submitted by the commenter may be publicly accessible. Do not submit Confidential Business Information or otherwise sensitive or protected information. NMFS will accept anonymous comments. Attachments to electronic comments will be accepted in Microsoft Word, Excel, WordPerfect, or Adobe PDF file formats only. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Peter Christopher, Fishery Policy Analyst, phone 978–281–9288, fax 978– 281–9135. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Background: In January 2007, the MSA was reauthorized and included a new provision requiring each FMP to use ACLs to prevent overfishing, including measures to ensure accountability should the ACLs be exceeded. For fishery resources that were determined to be overfished, the reauthorized MSA required that such measures must be implemented by 2010. For fishery resources that were not overfished, the reauthorized MSA required that such measures must be implemented by 2011. Scallop fishery management measures to comply with the reauthorized MSA’s ACL and AM requirements were required for 2011 because the scallop resource is not overfished. To meet this requirement, the Council initiated development of Amendment 15 when, on March 5, 2008, it published a Notice of Intent to develop Amendment 15 (73 FR 11888) and prepare and EIS to analyze the impacts of the proposed management alternatives. The Council intended that VerDate Mar<15>2010 14:51 Mar 23, 2011 Jkt 223001 Amendment 15 would address three goals: (1) Bring the Scallop FMP into compliance with new requirements of the re-authorized MSA; (2) address excess capacity in the limited access scallop fishery; and (3) consider measures to adjust several aspects of the overall program to make the scallop management plan more effective. Following the public comment period that ended on August 23, 2010, the Council adopted Amendment 15 on September 29, 2010. The Council voted to exclude permit stacking and leasing alternatives that were designed to address excess capacity after considering extensive written and oral public comment on the measures. Ultimately the Council rejected these measures due to concerns that the measures would have unacceptable negative economic and social impacts on the scallop fleet and fishing communities. As adopted by the Council, Amendment 15 includes the following measures: • An acceptable biological catch (ABC) control rule that would set ABC at a level that has a 25-percent probability of exceeding the overfishing limit to account for scientific uncertainty in the assessment of the status of the scallop resource; • Incidental and Northern Gulf of Maine (NGOM) catch limits; • Separate scallop ACLs and AMs for the limited access and LAGC fleets; • An annual catch target for the limited access fleet; • A ‘‘Limited Access Disclaimer’’ that would retract an impending limited access fleet AM if the fishery has not exceeded the fishing mortality rate associated with ABC, and an associated provision to re-allocate catch to the LAGC fleet if the Disclaimer provision is implemented; • A sub-ACL for yellowtail flounder coordinated with the Council’s Northeast (NE) Multispecies FMP and AMs for the scallop fishery if the scallop fishery’s yellowtail flounder sub-ACL is exceeded; • Modification of the overfishing definition for scallops to make it more compatible with rotational area management and to be consistent with the most recent formal scallop resource stock assessment; • An increase in the possession limit for limited access general category (LAGC) vessels from 400 to 600 lb per trip; • An allowance for carryover of unused individual fishing quota (IFQ) for LAGC vessels; PO 00000 Frm 00048 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 9990 • A provision to enable LAGC vessel owners to permanently transfer all or some IFQ separate from the vessel’s LAGC permit; • Revision of the essential fish habitat (EFH) closures under the Scallop FMP to make them consistent with EFH closed areas under the NE Multispecies FMP; • Inclusion of third year default management measures under the biennial framework adjustment process; • Additions to the list of frameworkable measures; and • Several changes to the scallop research set aside program. Amendment 15 would establish the mechanism for implementing ACLs and AMs, which would be the basis for scallop fishery specifications, including days-at-sea, access area trip allocations, and IFQs. Amendment 15 does not include actual limits and fishery specifications. These specifications would be established under Framework 22 to the FMP for fishing years 2011, 2012, and 2013. Framework 22 has been adopted and submitted by the Council for NMFS review. Public comments are being solicited on Amendment 15 and its incorporated documents through the end of the comment period stated in this notice of availability. A proposed rule that would implement Amendment 15 will be published in the Federal Register for public comment. Public comments on the proposed rule must be received by the end of the comment period provided in this notice of availability of Amendment 15 to be considered in the approval/disapproval decision on the amendment. All comments received by May 23, 2011, whether specifically directed to Amendment 15 or the proposed rule for Amendment 15, will be considered in the approval/ disapproval decision on Amendment 15. Comments received after that date will not be considered in the decision to approve or disapprove Amendment 15. To be considered, comments must be received by close of business on the last day of the comment period; that does not mean postmarked or otherwise transmitted by that date. Authority: 16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq. Dated: March 21, 2011. Margo Schulze-Haugen, Acting Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine Fisheries Service. [FR Doc. 2011–7025 Filed 3–23–11; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510–22–P E:\FR\FM\24MRP1.SGM 24MRP1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 76, Number 57 (Thursday, March 24, 2011)]
[Proposed Rules]
[Pages 16595-16596]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2011-7025]


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DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

50 CFR Part 648

RIN 0648-BA71


Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act 
Provisions; Fisheries of the Northeastern United States; Atlantic Sea 
Scallop Fishery; Amendment 15 to the Atlantic Sea Scallop Fishery 
Management Plan

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

ACTION: Notice of availability of a fishery management plan amendment; 
request for comments.

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

SUMMARY: NMFS announces that the New England Fishery Management Council 
(Council) has submitted Amendment 15 to the Atlantic Sea Scallop 
Fishery Management Plan (FMP) (Amendment 15), incorporating the Final 
Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS) and the Initial Regulatory 
Flexibility Analysis (IRFA), for review by the Secretary of Commerce. 
NMFS is requesting comments from the public on Amendment 15, which was 
developed primarily to implement annual catch limits (ACLs) and 
accountability measures (AMs) to bring the Scallop FMP into compliance 
with new requirements of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and 
Management Act (MSA). Amendment 15 includes additional measures 
recommended by the Council, including an adjustment to the overfishing 
definition, modification of the essential fish habitat (EFH) closed 
areas under the Scallop FMP, adjustments to measures for the Limited 
Access General Category fishery, adjustments to the scallop research 
set aside program, and additions to the list of measures that can be 
adjusted by framework adjustments.

DATES: Comments must be received by 5 p.m., Eastern Standard Time, on 
May 23, 2011.

ADDRESSES: An FEIS was prepared for Amendment 15 that describes the 
proposed action and its alternatives and provides a thorough analysis 
of the impacts of proposed measures and their alternatives. Copies of 
Amendment 15, including the FEIS and the IRFA, are available from Paul 
J. Howard, Executive Director, New England Fishery Management Council, 
50 Water

[[Page 16596]]

Street, Newburyport, MA 01950. These documents are also available 
online at http://www.nefmc.org.
    You may submit comments, identified by 0648-BA71, by any one of the 
following methods:
     Electronic Submissions: Submit all electronic public 
comments via the Federal eRulemaking Portal http://www.regulations.gov.
     Fax: (978) 281-9135, Attn: Peter Christopher.
     Mail: Patricia A. Kurkul, Regional Administrator, NMFS, 
Northeast Regional Office, 55 Great Republic Drive, Gloucester, MA 
01930. Mark the outside of the envelope, ``Comments on Scallop 
Amendment 15.''
    Instructions: All comments received are a part of the public record 
and will generally be posted to http://www.regulations.gov without 
change. All Personal Identifying Information (for example, name, 
address, etc.) voluntarily submitted by the commenter may be publicly 
accessible. Do not submit Confidential Business Information or 
otherwise sensitive or protected information. NMFS will accept 
anonymous comments. Attachments to electronic comments will be accepted 
in Microsoft Word, Excel, WordPerfect, or Adobe PDF file formats only.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Peter Christopher, Fishery Policy 
Analyst, phone 978-281-9288, fax 978-281-9135.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Background: In January 2007, the MSA was 
reauthorized and included a new provision requiring each FMP to use 
ACLs to prevent overfishing, including measures to ensure 
accountability should the ACLs be exceeded. For fishery resources that 
were determined to be overfished, the reauthorized MSA required that 
such measures must be implemented by 2010. For fishery resources that 
were not overfished, the reauthorized MSA required that such measures 
must be implemented by 2011. Scallop fishery management measures to 
comply with the reauthorized MSA's ACL and AM requirements were 
required for 2011 because the scallop resource is not overfished. To 
meet this requirement, the Council initiated development of Amendment 
15 when, on March 5, 2008, it published a Notice of Intent to develop 
Amendment 15 (73 FR 11888) and prepare and EIS to analyze the impacts 
of the proposed management alternatives. The Council intended that 
Amendment 15 would address three goals: (1) Bring the Scallop FMP into 
compliance with new requirements of the re-authorized MSA; (2) address 
excess capacity in the limited access scallop fishery; and (3) consider 
measures to adjust several aspects of the overall program to make the 
scallop management plan more effective. Following the public comment 
period that ended on August 23, 2010, the Council adopted Amendment 15 
on September 29, 2010. The Council voted to exclude permit stacking and 
leasing alternatives that were designed to address excess capacity 
after considering extensive written and oral public comment on the 
measures. Ultimately the Council rejected these measures due to 
concerns that the measures would have unacceptable negative economic 
and social impacts on the scallop fleet and fishing communities. As 
adopted by the Council, Amendment 15 includes the following measures:
     An acceptable biological catch (ABC) control rule that 
would set ABC at a level that has a 25-percent probability of exceeding 
the overfishing limit to account for scientific uncertainty in the 
assessment of the status of the scallop resource;
     Incidental and Northern Gulf of Maine (NGOM) catch limits;
     Separate scallop ACLs and AMs for the limited access and 
LAGC fleets;
     An annual catch target for the limited access fleet;
     A ``Limited Access Disclaimer'' that would retract an 
impending limited access fleet AM if the fishery has not exceeded the 
fishing mortality rate associated with ABC, and an associated provision 
to re-allocate catch to the LAGC fleet if the Disclaimer provision is 
implemented;
     A sub-ACL for yellowtail flounder coordinated with the 
Council's Northeast (NE) Multispecies FMP and AMs for the scallop 
fishery if the scallop fishery's yellowtail flounder sub-ACL is 
exceeded;
     Modification of the overfishing definition for scallops to 
make it more compatible with rotational area management and to be 
consistent with the most recent formal scallop resource stock 
assessment;
     An increase in the possession limit for limited access 
general category (LAGC) vessels from 400 to 600 lb per trip;
     An allowance for carryover of unused individual fishing 
quota (IFQ) for LAGC vessels;
     A provision to enable LAGC vessel owners to permanently 
transfer all or some IFQ separate from the vessel's LAGC permit;
     Revision of the essential fish habitat (EFH) closures 
under the Scallop FMP to make them consistent with EFH closed areas 
under the NE Multispecies FMP;
     Inclusion of third year default management measures under 
the biennial framework adjustment process;
     Additions to the list of frameworkable measures; and
     Several changes to the scallop research set aside program.
    Amendment 15 would establish the mechanism for implementing ACLs 
and AMs, which would be the basis for scallop fishery specifications, 
including days-at-sea, access area trip allocations, and IFQs. 
Amendment 15 does not include actual limits and fishery specifications. 
These specifications would be established under Framework 22 to the FMP 
for fishing years 2011, 2012, and 2013. Framework 22 has been adopted 
and submitted by the Council for NMFS review.
    Public comments are being solicited on Amendment 15 and its 
incorporated documents through the end of the comment period stated in 
this notice of availability. A proposed rule that would implement 
Amendment 15 will be published in the Federal Register for public 
comment. Public comments on the proposed rule must be received by the 
end of the comment period provided in this notice of availability of 
Amendment 15 to be considered in the approval/disapproval decision on 
the amendment. All comments received by May 23, 2011, whether 
specifically directed to Amendment 15 or the proposed rule for 
Amendment 15, will be considered in the approval/disapproval decision 
on Amendment 15. Comments received after that date will not be 
considered in the decision to approve or disapprove Amendment 15. To be 
considered, comments must be received by close of business on the last 
day of the comment period; that does not mean postmarked or otherwise 
transmitted by that date.

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

    Dated: March 21, 2011.
Margo Schulze-Haugen,
Acting Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine 
Fisheries Service.
[FR Doc. 2011-7025 Filed 3-23-11; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 3510-22-P