Fisheries of the Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico, and South Atlantic; Spiny Lobster Fishery of the Gulf of Mexico and South Atlantic; Amendment 10, 54727-54729 [2011-22590]

Download as PDF Federal Register / Vol. 76, No. 171 / Friday, September 2, 2011 / Proposed Rules Vehicle Safety Standard No. 121 (49 CFR 571.121, S5.1.8 or S5.2.2) applicable to the vehicle at the time it was manufactured. 5. Amend Appendix G to Subchapter B by revising paragraph (1)(a)(5) to read as follows: Appendix G to Subchapter B of Chapter III—Minimum Periodic Inspection Standards * * * * * (1) * * * (a) * * * (5) Readjustment limits. The maximum pushrod travel or stroke must be less than the 54727 values given in the tables below and at § 393.47(e). Any brake 1⁄4″ or more past the readjustment limit, or any two brakes less than 1⁄4″ past the readjustment limit, will be rejected. Stroke must be measured with engine off and reservoir pressure of 80 to 90 psi with brakes fully applied. CLAMP-TYPE BRAKE CHAMBERS Type Outside diameter Brake adjustment limit: Standard stroke chamber Brake adjustment limit: Long stroke chamber 6 .............. 9 .............. 12 ............ 16 ............ 20 ............ 24 ............ 30 ............ 36 ............ 41⁄2 in. (114 mm) ....................................... 51⁄4 in. (133 mm) ....................................... 511⁄16 in. (145 mm) .................................... 63⁄8 in. (162 mm) ....................................... 625⁄32 in. (172 mm) .................................... 77⁄32 in. (184 mm) ...................................... 83⁄32 in. (206 mm) ...................................... 9 in. (229 mm) ........................................... 11⁄4 in. (32 mm). 13⁄8 in. (35 mm). 13⁄8 in. (35 mm) ......................................... 13⁄4 in. (45 mm) ......................................... 13⁄4 in. (45 mm) ......................................... 13⁄4 in. (45 mm) ......................................... 2 in. (51 mm) ............................................. 21⁄4 in. (57 mm). 13⁄4 in. (45 mm) 2 in. (51 mm) 2 in. (51 mm); 21⁄2 in. (64 mm) * 2 in. (51 mm); 21⁄2 in. (64 mm) ** 21⁄2 in. (64 mm) * For type 20 chambers with a 3-inch (76 mm) rated stroke. ** For type 24 chambers with a 3-inch (76 mm) rated stroke. BENDIX DD–3 BRAKE CHAMBERS Type Outside diameter 30 .... 81⁄8 in. (206 mm) Brake adjustment limit 21⁄4 in. (57 mm) Type A ...... 65⁄16 in. (176 mm). 93⁄16 in. (234 mm). 81⁄16 in. (205 mm). 51⁄4 in. (133 mm) 3⁄16 in. (157 6 mm). 11 in. (279 mm) .. 97⁄8 in. (251 mm) B ...... C ...... D ...... E ...... F ...... G ..... Outside diameter 9 ...... 49⁄32 in. (109 mm). 413⁄16 in. (122 mm). 513⁄32 in. (138 mm). 515⁄16 in. (151 mm). 613⁄32 in. (163 mm). 71⁄16 in. (180 mm). 75⁄8 in. (194 mm) 87⁄8 in. (226 mm) 12 .... 16 .... 20 .... erowe on DSK5CLS3C1PROD with PROPOSALS-1 24 .... 30 .... 36 .... 50 .... * * * Anne S. Ferro, Administrator. BILLING CODE 4910–EX–P 13⁄8 in. (35 mm) DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE 13⁄4 in. (45 mm) National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration 13⁄4 in. (45 mm) 50 CFR Parts 622 and 640 1 ⁄ in. (32 mm) 13⁄8 in. (35 mm) RIN 0648–AY72 21⁄4 in. (57 mm) 2 in. (51 mm) Fisheries of the Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico, and South Atlantic; Spiny Lobster Fishery of the Gulf of Mexico and South Atlantic; Amendment 10 14 11⁄2 in. (38 mm) National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Commerce. ACTION: Notice of availability; request for comments. 11⁄2 in. (38 mm) SUMMARY: AGENCY: Brake adjustment limit 2 in. (51 mm) 2 in. (51 mm) 2 in. (51 mm) 21⁄4 in. (57 mm) 23⁄4 in. (70 mm) 3 in. (76 mm) For actuator types not listed in these tables, the pushrod stroke must be less than 80 percent of the rated stroke marked on the VerDate Mar<15>2010 * Brake adjustment limit ROTOCHAMBER-TYPE BRAKE CHAMBERS Type * [FR Doc. 2011–22478 Filed 9–1–11; 8:45 am] BOLT-TYPE BRAKE CHAMBERS Outside diameter actuator by the actuator manufacturer, or less than the readjustment limit marked on the actuator by the actuator manufacturer. 14:06 Sep 01, 2011 Jkt 223001 The Gulf of Mexico and South Atlantic Fishery Management Councils (Councils) have submitted Amendment 10 to the Fishery Management Plan for the Spiny Lobster Fishery of the Gulf of Mexico and South Atlantic (FMP) for review, approval, and implementation by NMFS. Amendment 10 proposes actions to revise the lobster species contained within the fishery management unit; revise definitions of management thresholds; establish an acceptable biological catch control (ABC) rule, an annual catch limit (ACL), and an annual catch target (ACT) for PO 00000 Frm 00011 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 Caribbean spiny lobster; revise the Federal spiny lobster tail-separation permitting requirements; revise the regulations specifying the condition of spiny lobster landed during a fishing trip; modify the undersized attractant regulations; modify the framework procedures; and transfer to the state of Florida the authority to remove derelict spiny lobster traps within the exclusive economic zone (EEZ) off Florida. DATES: Written comments must be received on or before November 1, 2011. ADDRESSES: You may submit comments on the amendment identified by NOAA–NMFS–2011–0106 by any of the following methods: • Electronic submissions: Submit electronic comments via the Federal eRulemaking Portal: http:// www.regulations.gov. Follow the instructions for submitting comments. • Mail: Susan Gerhart, Southeast Regional Office, NMFS, 263 13th Avenue South, St. Petersburg, FL 33701. 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. To submit comments through the Federal e-rulemaking portal: http:// www.regulations.gov, click on ‘‘submit a comment,’’ then enter ‘‘NOAA–NMFS– 2011–0106’’ in the keyword search and click on ‘‘search.’’ To view posted comments during the comment period, enter ‘‘NOAA–NMFS–2011–0106’’ in the keyword search and click on E:\FR\FM\02SEP1.SGM 02SEP1 54728 Federal Register / Vol. 76, No. 171 / Friday, September 2, 2011 / Proposed Rules ‘‘search.’’ NMFS will accept anonymous comments (enter N/A in the required field if you wish to remain anonymous). You may submit attachments to electronic comments in Microsoft Word, Excel, WordPerfect, or Adobe PDF file formats only. Comments received through means not specified in this rule will not be considered. Electronic copies of the amendment may be obtained from the Southeast Regional Office Web site at http:// sero.nmfs.noaa.gov. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Susan Gerhart, telephone: 727–824– 5305, or e-mail: Susan.Gerhart@noaa.gov. The spiny lobster fishery of the Gulf of Mexico (Gulf) and the South Atlantic is managed under the FMP. The FMP was prepared by the Councils and implemented through regulations at 50 CFR parts 622 and 640 under the authority of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (Magnuson-Stevens Act). SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Background The 2006 revisions to the MagnusonStevens Act require that in 2011, for FMPs for fisheries determined by the Secretary to not be subject to overfishing, ACLs must be established at a level that prevents overfishing and helps to achieve optimum yield (OY) within a fishery. The Magnuson-Stevens Act requires NMFS and regional fishery management councils to prevent overfishing and achieve, on a continuing basis, the OY from Federally managed stocks. These mandates are intended to ensure fishery resources are managed for the greatest overall benefit to the nation, particularly with respect to providing food production and recreational opportunities, and protecting marine ecosystems. erowe on DSK5CLS3C1PROD with PROPOSALS-1 Actions Contained in the Amendment The amendment proposes to remove four species from the FMP; revise definitions of management thresholds; establish an ABC control rule, an ACL, and an ACT for Caribbean spiny lobster; revise the requirements for the Federal spiny lobster tail-separation permit; revise the regulations specifying the condition of lobster landed during a fishing trip; modify the regulations with respect to the use of undersized attractants; modify the framework procedures; and transfer to the state of Florida the authority to remove unclaimed lobster traps within the EEZ off of Florida. VerDate Mar<15>2010 14:06 Sep 01, 2011 Jkt 223001 Removal of Species From the Fishery Management Unit Five species of lobster are currently within the FMP: the Caribbean spiny lobster (Panulirus argus), the smoothtail spiny lobster (Panulirus laevicaus), the spotted spiny lobster (Panulirus guttatus), the Spanish slipper lobster (Scyllarides aequinoctialis), and the ridged slipper lobster (Scyllarides nodifer). At present, only the Caribbean spiny lobster and the ridged slipper lobster are managed with regulations; the other species are in the fishery management unit for data collection purposes only. Amendment 10 proposes to remove all species from the FMP except the Caribbean spiny lobster (spiny lobster). The Councils and NMFS have determined these other lobster species are not in need of Federal management at this time. Although these species are targeted in some areas, landings are relatively low. Individual states have the option to extend their regulations into Federal waters for these other lobster species. Furthermore, most landings of these species are off Florida, and Florida regulations concerning the taking of egg-bearing females, or stripping or removing eggs, are more conservative than Federal regulations for most of these species. Therefore, if Florida were to extend its regulations into Federal waters, these species could receive greater protection than under current management. If landings or effort changes for the other lobster species and the Councils determine management at the Federal level is needed, these species could be added back into the FMP at a later date. Spiny Lobster ABC Control Rule, ACL, and ACT In 2006, the Magnuson-Stevens Act was re-authorized and included a number of changes to improve the conservation of managed fishery resources. Included in these changes are requirements that fishery management councils establish both a mechanism for specifying ACLs at a level such that overfishing does not occur in a fishery and accountability measures (AMs) to help ensure that ACLs are not exceeded and to mitigate any ACL overages that may occur. Guidance also requires fishery management councils to establish a control rule to determine allowable biological catch (ABC). The Councils accepted the ABC control rule developed by the Gulf Council’s Scientific and Statistical Committee (SSC), which set the ABC for spiny lobster at 7.32 million lb (3.32 million kg). The Councils chose not to set sector allocations and set a stock PO 00000 Frm 00012 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 ACL equal to the ABC. Therefore, the spiny lobster stock ACL is proposed to be set at 7.32 million lb (3.32 million kg). An ACT was set at 90 percent of the ACL, which is 6.59 million lb (2.99 million kg). If the ACT is exceeded in any year, the Councils will convene a scientific panel to review the ACL and ACT, and determine if additional AMs are needed. The ACT is proposed to serve as the AM for the spiny lobster stock. Landings have not exceeded the ACT level since the 2000/2001 fishing year. Therefore, it is unlikely the ACT would be exceeded under the current ACT preferred alternative based on landings history. However, the updated framework procedure contained within this amendment would facilitate timely adjustments of the ACT or ACL of AM if necessary. Modify the Current Definitions for Management Thresholds Definitions of maximum sustainable yield (MSY), OY, overfishing, and overfished were set for Caribbean spiny lobster in Amendment 6 to the FMP. Currently, the Councils have different definitions for each reference point. The amendment would set a single definition for each biological reference point that could be used by both Councils and simplify management. The maximum fishing mortality threshold would be set based on the overfishing limit (OFL) recommendation of the SSC of 7.90 million lb (3.58 million kg). The MSY proxy would be set equal to the OFL. The minimum stock size threshold, which is the overfished definition, would be equal to (1¥M) × BMSY, where M equals natural mortality and B equals biomass. Revisions to Federal Spiny Lobster TailSeparation Permit Requirements Spiny Lobster Amendment 1 (July 15, 1987, 52 FR 22659) initially implemented the Federal spiny lobster tail-separation permit. The original intent of the Councils was to confine holders of this permit to the commercial sector. However, the current requirements for obtaining the Federal spiny lobster tail-separation permit do not restrict the permit to commercial fishermen, which is contrary to the original intent. Amendment 10 proposes to require applicants for a Federal spiny lobster tail-separation permit to possess either (1) a Federal spiny lobster permit or (2) a valid Florida Restricted Species Endorsement and a valid Crawfish Endorsement associated with a valid Florida Saltwater Products License to obtain a tailing permit. E:\FR\FM\02SEP1.SGM 02SEP1 Federal Register / Vol. 76, No. 171 / Friday, September 2, 2011 / Proposed Rules Condition of Spiny Lobster Landed During a Fishing Trip Under certain situations and with possession of a valid Federal tailseparation permit, Caribbean spiny lobster tails may be separated from the body onboard a fishing vessel. This tailseparation provision can create difficulties for law enforcement personnel in determining if the lobster were originally of legal size, especially when some lobster of the same catch are whole and some are tailed. Amendment 10 proposes to require lobster be landed all whole or all tailed during a single fishing trip. Use of Undersized Attractants Federal regulations allow as many as 50 spiny lobsters less than the minimum size limit or one per trap, whichever is greater, to be retained aboard a vessel to attract other lobsters for harvest. Currently, Federal regulations are not consistent with Florida regulations, which allow the retention of as many as 50 spiny lobsters less than the minimum size limit and one per trap. Amendment 10 proposes to change the Federal regulations specific to the use of undersized attractants to be consistent with current Florida regulations. Additionally, although approximately 10 percent mortality is associated with the use of undersized attractants, traps using non-lobster bait or no bait at all take up to two to three times longer to harvest the same amount of lobsters as traps that use undersized attractants. The resulting increase in effort may increase the bycatch and bycatch mortality of other species. Therefore, the use of undersized attractants that are consistent with Florida regulations provides both enforcement and biological benefits. erowe on DSK5CLS3C1PROD with PROPOSALS-1 Modification of Generic Framework Procedures To facilitate timely adjustments to harvest parameters and other management measures, the Councils have added the ability to adjust ACLs VerDate Mar<15>2010 14:06 Sep 01, 2011 Jkt 223001 and AMs, and establish and adjust target catch levels, including ACTs, to the current framework procedures. These adjustments or additions may be accomplished through a regulatory amendment which is less time intensive than an FMP amendment. By including ACLs, AMs, and ACTs in the framework procedure for specifying total allowable catch, the Councils and NMFS would have the flexibility to expeditiously alter those harvest parameters as new scientific information becomes available. The proposed addition of other management options into the framework procedures would also add flexibility and the ability to more timely respond to certain future Council decisions through the framework procedures. Removal of Derelict Spiny Lobster Traps in the EEZ Off Florida On August 27, 2009, an Endangered Species Act (ESA) biological opinion evaluating the impacts of the continued authorization of the spiny lobster fishery on ESA-listed species was completed. The opinion contained specific terms and conditions required to implement the prescribed reasonable and prudent measures, including allowing the public to remove traprelated marine debris in EEZ off Florida. Amendment 10 proposes to delegate authority to Florida to clean up derelict traps in Federal waters off Florida. Florida currently has a trap cleanup program that includes provisions for public participation. Other Actions Contained in Amendment 10 Currently, no allocations are set between the commercial and recreational sectors for spiny lobster. The Councils considered setting such allocations, but instead chose to not sector allocations and therefore allow for a stock ACL, stock ACT, and AM that affects both sectors. The Councils considered alternatives to meet requirements from the 2009 PO 00000 Frm 00013 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 9990 54729 biological opinion to establish lobster closed areas and lobster gear trap line marking requirements to protect threatened and endangered species; however, they chose to take no action at this time to allow time for additional stakeholder input. The Councils intend to develop Amendment 11 to the Spiny Lobster FMP to implement these measures prior to the beginning of the next spiny lobster commercial fishing season that begins on August 6, 2012. Proposed Rule for Amendment 10 A proposed rule that would implement measures outlined in Amendment 10 has been drafted. In accordance with the Magnuson-Stevens Act, NMFS is evaluating Amendment 10 to determine whether it is consistent with the FMP, the Magnuson-Stevens Act, and other applicable law. If the determination is affirmative, NMFS will publish the proposed rule in the Federal Register for public review and comment. Consideration of Public Comments The Councils submitted Amendment 10 for Secretarial review, approval, and implementation. NMFS’ decision to approve, partially approve, or disapprove Amendment 10 will be based, in part, on consideration of comments, recommendations, and information received during the comment period on this notice of availability. Public comments received by 5 p.m. eastern time, on November 1, 2011, will be considered by NMFS in the approval/ disapproval decision regarding Amendment 10. Authority: 16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq. Dated: August 30, 2011. James P. Burgess, Acting Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine Fisheries Service. [FR Doc. 2011–22590 Filed 9–1–11; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510–22–P E:\FR\FM\02SEP1.SGM 02SEP1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 76, Number 171 (Friday, September 2, 2011)]
[Proposed Rules]
[Pages 54727-54729]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2011-22590]


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DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

50 CFR Parts 622 and 640

RIN 0648-AY72


Fisheries of the Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico, and South Atlantic; 
Spiny Lobster Fishery of the Gulf of Mexico and South Atlantic; 
Amendment 10

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

ACTION: Notice of availability; request for comments.

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

SUMMARY: The Gulf of Mexico and South Atlantic Fishery Management 
Councils (Councils) have submitted Amendment 10 to the Fishery 
Management Plan for the Spiny Lobster Fishery of the Gulf of Mexico and 
South Atlantic (FMP) for review, approval, and implementation by NMFS. 
Amendment 10 proposes actions to revise the lobster species contained 
within the fishery management unit; revise definitions of management 
thresholds; establish an acceptable biological catch control (ABC) 
rule, an annual catch limit (ACL), and an annual catch target (ACT) for 
Caribbean spiny lobster; revise the Federal spiny lobster tail-
separation permitting requirements; revise the regulations specifying 
the condition of spiny lobster landed during a fishing trip; modify the 
undersized attractant regulations; modify the framework procedures; and 
transfer to the state of Florida the authority to remove derelict spiny 
lobster traps within the exclusive economic zone (EEZ) off Florida.

DATES: Written comments must be received on or before November 1, 2011.

ADDRESSES: You may submit comments on the amendment identified by NOAA-
NMFS-2011-0106 by any of the following methods:
     Electronic submissions: Submit electronic comments via the 
Federal e-Rulemaking Portal: http://www.regulations.gov. Follow the 
instructions for submitting comments.
     Mail: Susan Gerhart, Southeast Regional Office, NMFS, 263 
13th Avenue South, St. Petersburg, FL 33701.
    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.
    To submit comments through the Federal e-rulemaking portal: http://www.regulations.gov, click on ``submit a comment,'' then enter ``NOAA-
NMFS-2011-0106'' in the keyword search and click on ``search.'' To view 
posted comments during the comment period, enter ``NOAA-NMFS-2011-
0106'' in the keyword search and click on

[[Page 54728]]

``search.'' NMFS will accept anonymous comments (enter N/A in the 
required field if you wish to remain anonymous). You may submit 
attachments to electronic comments in Microsoft Word, Excel, 
WordPerfect, or Adobe PDF file formats only.
    Comments received through means not specified in this rule will not 
be considered.
    Electronic copies of the amendment may be obtained from the 
Southeast Regional Office Web site at http://sero.nmfs.noaa.gov.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Susan Gerhart, telephone: 727-824-
5305, or e-mail: Susan.Gerhart@noaa.gov.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The spiny lobster fishery of the Gulf of 
Mexico (Gulf) and the South Atlantic is managed under the FMP. The FMP 
was prepared by the Councils and implemented through regulations at 50 
CFR parts 622 and 640 under the authority of the Magnuson-Stevens 
Fishery Conservation and Management Act (Magnuson-Stevens Act).

Background

    The 2006 revisions to the Magnuson-Stevens Act require that in 
2011, for FMPs for fisheries determined by the Secretary to not be 
subject to overfishing, ACLs must be established at a level that 
prevents overfishing and helps to achieve optimum yield (OY) within a 
fishery. The Magnuson-Stevens Act requires NMFS and regional fishery 
management councils to prevent overfishing and achieve, on a continuing 
basis, the OY from Federally managed stocks. These mandates are 
intended to ensure fishery resources are managed for the greatest 
overall benefit to the nation, particularly with respect to providing 
food production and recreational opportunities, and protecting marine 
ecosystems.

Actions Contained in the Amendment

    The amendment proposes to remove four species from the FMP; revise 
definitions of management thresholds; establish an ABC control rule, an 
ACL, and an ACT for Caribbean spiny lobster; revise the requirements 
for the Federal spiny lobster tail-separation permit; revise the 
regulations specifying the condition of lobster landed during a fishing 
trip; modify the regulations with respect to the use of undersized 
attractants; modify the framework procedures; and transfer to the state 
of Florida the authority to remove unclaimed lobster traps within the 
EEZ off of Florida.

Removal of Species From the Fishery Management Unit

    Five species of lobster are currently within the FMP: the Caribbean 
spiny lobster (Panulirus argus), the smoothtail spiny lobster 
(Panulirus laevicaus), the spotted spiny lobster (Panulirus guttatus), 
the Spanish slipper lobster (Scyllarides aequinoctialis), and the 
ridged slipper lobster (Scyllarides nodifer). At present, only the 
Caribbean spiny lobster and the ridged slipper lobster are managed with 
regulations; the other species are in the fishery management unit for 
data collection purposes only. Amendment 10 proposes to remove all 
species from the FMP except the Caribbean spiny lobster (spiny 
lobster). The Councils and NMFS have determined these other lobster 
species are not in need of Federal management at this time. Although 
these species are targeted in some areas, landings are relatively low. 
Individual states have the option to extend their regulations into 
Federal waters for these other lobster species. Furthermore, most 
landings of these species are off Florida, and Florida regulations 
concerning the taking of egg-bearing females, or stripping or removing 
eggs, are more conservative than Federal regulations for most of these 
species. Therefore, if Florida were to extend its regulations into 
Federal waters, these species could receive greater protection than 
under current management. If landings or effort changes for the other 
lobster species and the Councils determine management at the Federal 
level is needed, these species could be added back into the FMP at a 
later date.

Spiny Lobster ABC Control Rule, ACL, and ACT

    In 2006, the Magnuson-Stevens Act was re-authorized and included a 
number of changes to improve the conservation of managed fishery 
resources. Included in these changes are requirements that fishery 
management councils establish both a mechanism for specifying ACLs at a 
level such that overfishing does not occur in a fishery and 
accountability measures (AMs) to help ensure that ACLs are not exceeded 
and to mitigate any ACL overages that may occur. Guidance also requires 
fishery management councils to establish a control rule to determine 
allowable biological catch (ABC).
    The Councils accepted the ABC control rule developed by the Gulf 
Council's Scientific and Statistical Committee (SSC), which set the ABC 
for spiny lobster at 7.32 million lb (3.32 million kg). The Councils 
chose not to set sector allocations and set a stock ACL equal to the 
ABC. Therefore, the spiny lobster stock ACL is proposed to be set at 
7.32 million lb (3.32 million kg). An ACT was set at 90 percent of the 
ACL, which is 6.59 million lb (2.99 million kg). If the ACT is exceeded 
in any year, the Councils will convene a scientific panel to review the 
ACL and ACT, and determine if additional AMs are needed. The ACT is 
proposed to serve as the AM for the spiny lobster stock. Landings have 
not exceeded the ACT level since the 2000/2001 fishing year. Therefore, 
it is unlikely the ACT would be exceeded under the current ACT 
preferred alternative based on landings history. However, the updated 
framework procedure contained within this amendment would facilitate 
timely adjustments of the ACT or ACL of AM if necessary.

Modify the Current Definitions for Management Thresholds

    Definitions of maximum sustainable yield (MSY), OY, overfishing, 
and overfished were set for Caribbean spiny lobster in Amendment 6 to 
the FMP. Currently, the Councils have different definitions for each 
reference point. The amendment would set a single definition for each 
biological reference point that could be used by both Councils and 
simplify management. The maximum fishing mortality threshold would be 
set based on the overfishing limit (OFL) recommendation of the SSC of 
7.90 million lb (3.58 million kg). The MSY proxy would be set equal to 
the OFL. The minimum stock size threshold, which is the overfished 
definition, would be equal to (1-M) x BMSY, where M equals 
natural mortality and B equals biomass.

Revisions to Federal Spiny Lobster Tail-Separation Permit Requirements

    Spiny Lobster Amendment 1 (July 15, 1987, 52 FR 22659) initially 
implemented the Federal spiny lobster tail-separation permit. The 
original intent of the Councils was to confine holders of this permit 
to the commercial sector. However, the current requirements for 
obtaining the Federal spiny lobster tail-separation permit do not 
restrict the permit to commercial fishermen, which is contrary to the 
original intent. Amendment 10 proposes to require applicants for a 
Federal spiny lobster tail-separation permit to possess either (1) a 
Federal spiny lobster permit or (2) a valid Florida Restricted Species 
Endorsement and a valid Crawfish Endorsement associated with a valid 
Florida Saltwater Products License to obtain a tailing permit.

[[Page 54729]]

Condition of Spiny Lobster Landed During a Fishing Trip

    Under certain situations and with possession of a valid Federal 
tail-separation permit, Caribbean spiny lobster tails may be separated 
from the body onboard a fishing vessel. This tail-separation provision 
can create difficulties for law enforcement personnel in determining if 
the lobster were originally of legal size, especially when some lobster 
of the same catch are whole and some are tailed. Amendment 10 proposes 
to require lobster be landed all whole or all tailed during a single 
fishing trip.

Use of Undersized Attractants

    Federal regulations allow as many as 50 spiny lobsters less than 
the minimum size limit or one per trap, whichever is greater, to be 
retained aboard a vessel to attract other lobsters for harvest. 
Currently, Federal regulations are not consistent with Florida 
regulations, which allow the retention of as many as 50 spiny lobsters 
less than the minimum size limit and one per trap. Amendment 10 
proposes to change the Federal regulations specific to the use of 
undersized attractants to be consistent with current Florida 
regulations. Additionally, although approximately 10 percent mortality 
is associated with the use of undersized attractants, traps using non-
lobster bait or no bait at all take up to two to three times longer to 
harvest the same amount of lobsters as traps that use undersized 
attractants. The resulting increase in effort may increase the bycatch 
and bycatch mortality of other species. Therefore, the use of 
undersized attractants that are consistent with Florida regulations 
provides both enforcement and biological benefits.

Modification of Generic Framework Procedures

    To facilitate timely adjustments to harvest parameters and other 
management measures, the Councils have added the ability to adjust ACLs 
and AMs, and establish and adjust target catch levels, including ACTs, 
to the current framework procedures. These adjustments or additions may 
be accomplished through a regulatory amendment which is less time 
intensive than an FMP amendment. By including ACLs, AMs, and ACTs in 
the framework procedure for specifying total allowable catch, the 
Councils and NMFS would have the flexibility to expeditiously alter 
those harvest parameters as new scientific information becomes 
available. The proposed addition of other management options into the 
framework procedures would also add flexibility and the ability to more 
timely respond to certain future Council decisions through the 
framework procedures.

Removal of Derelict Spiny Lobster Traps in the EEZ Off Florida

    On August 27, 2009, an Endangered Species Act (ESA) biological 
opinion evaluating the impacts of the continued authorization of the 
spiny lobster fishery on ESA-listed species was completed. The opinion 
contained specific terms and conditions required to implement the 
prescribed reasonable and prudent measures, including allowing the 
public to remove trap-related marine debris in EEZ off Florida. 
Amendment 10 proposes to delegate authority to Florida to clean up 
derelict traps in Federal waters off Florida. Florida currently has a 
trap cleanup program that includes provisions for public participation.

Other Actions Contained in Amendment 10

    Currently, no allocations are set between the commercial and 
recreational sectors for spiny lobster. The Councils considered setting 
such allocations, but instead chose to not sector allocations and 
therefore allow for a stock ACL, stock ACT, and AM that affects both 
sectors.
    The Councils considered alternatives to meet requirements from the 
2009 biological opinion to establish lobster closed areas and lobster 
gear trap line marking requirements to protect threatened and 
endangered species; however, they chose to take no action at this time 
to allow time for additional stakeholder input. The Councils intend to 
develop Amendment 11 to the Spiny Lobster FMP to implement these 
measures prior to the beginning of the next spiny lobster commercial 
fishing season that begins on August 6, 2012.

Proposed Rule for Amendment 10

    A proposed rule that would implement measures outlined in Amendment 
10 has been drafted. In accordance with the Magnuson-Stevens Act, NMFS 
is evaluating Amendment 10 to determine whether it is consistent with 
the FMP, the Magnuson-Stevens Act, and other applicable law. If the 
determination is affirmative, NMFS will publish the proposed rule in 
the Federal Register for public review and comment.

Consideration of Public Comments

    The Councils submitted Amendment 10 for Secretarial review, 
approval, and implementation. NMFS' decision to approve, partially 
approve, or disapprove Amendment 10 will be based, in part, on 
consideration of comments, recommendations, and information received 
during the comment period on this notice of availability.
    Public comments received by 5 p.m. eastern time, on November 1, 
2011, will be considered by NMFS in the approval/disapproval decision 
regarding Amendment 10.

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

    Dated: August 30, 2011.
James P. Burgess,
Acting Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine 
Fisheries Service.
[FR Doc. 2011-22590 Filed 9-1-11; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 3510-22-P