Fisheries Off West Coast States; Pacific Coast Groundfish Fishery; 2012 Specifications and Management Measures and Secretarial Amendment 1, 59634-59655 [2011-24702]

Download as PDF 59634 Federal Register / Vol. 76, No. 187 / Tuesday, September 27, 2011 / Proposed Rules Regulations, any commercial, recreational, scientific, or educational collection activities, including the collection of Ursia furtiva, would require a permit by the National Park Service. Also, we have not identified any threat to the species under the other four listing factors requiring regulatory protection. Consequently, we do not find that the lack of regulatory mechanisms, other than the National Park Service’s permit requirement, constitutes an independent threat to the species. We conclude that the U. furtiva is not threatened by the inadequacy of existing regulatory mechanisms now or likely to become so. mstockstill on DSK7SPTVN1PROD with PROPOSALS Factor E. Other Natural or Manmade Factors Affecting Its Continued Existence For a more detailed description of how we consider the effects of climate change as a component of our analyses of species under the Act, please see Factor A, Climate Change, above under the Tamaulipan agapema. While it appears reasonable to assume that climate change will occur within Big Bend National Park where the only specimen of Ursia furtiva has been documented, we lack sufficient information to know specifically how climate change will affect the species. In addition, since we have no information of the habitat required by this species, we cannot make any predictions about the effects of climate change on the habitat. We have not identified, nor are we aware of, any data on an appropriate scale to evaluate habitat or population trends for the species, or to make predictions on future trends and whether the species will actually be impacted. Therefore, based on the best available information, we conclude that U. furtiva is not threatened by climate change now or likely to become so. Finding for the Ursia furtiva As required by the Act, we considered the five factors in assessing whether the Ursia furtiva is endangered or threatened throughout all of its range. We examined the best scientific and commercial information available regarding the past, present, and future threats faced by the U. furtiva. We reviewed the petition, information available in our files, and other available published and unpublished information, and we consulted with recognized moth experts and State agencies. Based on our review of the best available scientific and commercial information pertaining to the five factors, we found no information to indicate that there are threats to the VerDate Mar<15>2010 18:38 Sep 26, 2011 Jkt 223001 species or its habitat, from any of the five factors. This species is known from only one documented specimen. Therefore, we lack data about Ursia furtiva’s habitat, current or historical distributions, and susceptibility to threats. Based on the very Limited information about this species, we have determined that U. furtiva is not in danger of extinction or likely to become so. species, we will act to provide immediate protection. Significant Portion of the Range Having determined that Ursia furtiva is not in danger of extiontion or likely to become so throughout its range, we must next consider whether there are any significant portions of the range where the species is in danger of extinction or is likely to become endangered in the foreseeable future. Because the species is known from only one documented specimen, we lack information about U. furtiva’s habitat, current or historical distributions, and susceptibility to threats. There is nothing to suggest that threats are disproportionately acting on any portion of the species’ range such that the species is at risk of extinction now or in the foreseeable future. Therefore, we find that listing the U. furtiva as an endangered or threatened species is not warranted throughout all or a significant portion of its range. The primary author of this notice is a staff member of the Southwest Regional Office. Conclusion of 12-Month Finding We find the Tamaulipan agapema, Sphingicampa blanchardi, and Ursia furtiva are not in danger of extinction now, nor is any of these three species likely to become so throughout all or a significant portion of its range. Therefore, listing any of these three species as endangered or threatened under the Act is not warranted at this time. We request that you submit any new information concerning the status of, or threats to, the Taumalipan agapema or Sphingicampa blanchardi to our Corpus Christi Ecological Services Field Office (see ADDRESSES) whenever it becomes available. New information will help us monitor the species and encourage its conservation. If an emergency situation develops for either the Taumalipan agapema, S. blanchardi, or any other species, we will act to provide immediate protection. Also, we request that you submit any new information concerning the status of, or threats to, Ursia furtiva to our Austin Ecological Services Field Office (see ADDRESSES) whenever it becomes available. New information will help us monitor U. furtiva and encourage its conservation. If an emergency situation develops for U. furtiva, or any other PO 00000 Frm 00045 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 References Cited A complete list of references cited is available on the Internet at http:// www.regulations.gov and upon request from the Austin and Corpus Christi Ecological Services Field Offices (see ADDRESSES). Author Authority: The authority for this section is section 4 of the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended (16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.). Dated: September 7, 2011. Rowan W. Gould, Acting Director, Fish and Wildlife Service. [FR Doc. 2011–24528 Filed 9–26–11; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4310–55–P DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration 50 CFR Part 660 [Docket No. 110908575–1573–01] RIN 0648–BB27 Fisheries Off West Coast States; Pacific Coast Groundfish Fishery; 2012 Specifications and Management Measures and Secretarial Amendment 1 National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Commerce. ACTION: Proposed rule; request for comments. AGENCY: This proposed action would establish the 2012 harvest specifications and management measures for certain groundfish species taken in the U.S. exclusive economic zone (EEZ) off the coasts of Washington, Oregon, and California consistent with the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act and the Pacific Coast Groundfish Fishery Management Plan (PCGFMP). This action includes regulations to implement Secretarial Amendment 1 to the PCGFMP. Secretarial Amendment 1 contains the rebuilding plans for overfished species and new reference points for assessed flatfish species. DATES: Comments must be received no later than 5 p.m., local time on November 8, 2011. SUMMARY: E:\FR\FM\27SEP1.SGM 27SEP1 Federal Register / Vol. 76, No. 187 / Tuesday, September 27, 2011 / Proposed Rules You may submit comments, identified by NOAA–NMFS–2011–0207, by any of the following methods: • Electronic Submissions: Submit all electronic public comments via the Federal eRulemaking Portal at http:// www.regulations.gov. • Fax: 206–526–6736, Attn: Sarah Williams. • Mail: William W. Stelle, Jr., Regional Administrator, Northwest Region, NMFS, 7600 Sand Point Way, NE., Seattle, WA 98115–0070, Attn: Sarah Williams. 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. National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) will accept anonymous comments (enter N/A in the required fields if you wish to remain anonymous). Attachments to electronic comments will be accepted in Microsoft Word, Excel, WordPerfect, or Adobe PDF file formats only. Information relevant to this proposed rule, which includes a final environmental impact statement (FEIS), a regulatory impact review (RIR), and an initial regulatory flexibility analysis (IRFA) is available for public review during business hours at the office of the Pacific Fishery Management Council (Council), at 7700 NE Ambassador Place, Portland, OR 97220, phone: 503– 820–2280. Copies of additional reports referred to in this document may also be obtained from the Pacific Fishery Management Council (Council). FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Sarah Williams, phone: 206–526–4646, fax: 206–526–6736, or e-mail: sarah.williams@noaa.gov. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: mstockstill on DSK7SPTVN1PROD with PROPOSALS ADDRESSES: Electronic Access This rule is accessible via the Internet at the Office of the Federal Register Web site at http://www.access.gpo.gov/ su_docs/aces/aces140.html. Background information and documents are available at the NMFS Northwest Region Web site at http://www.nwr.noaa.gov/ Groundfish-Halibut/Groundfish-FisheryManagement/index.cfm and at the Council’s Web site at http:// www.pcouncil.org. Background Every other year, the Pacific Fishery Management Council (Council) makes VerDate Mar<15>2010 18:38 Sep 26, 2011 Jkt 223001 59635 recommendations to set biennial allowable harvest levels for Pacific Coast groundfish, and recommends management measures for commercial and recreational fisheries that are designed to achieve those harvest levels. For the 2011–2012 biennium, the Council recommended Amendment 16–5 to the PCGFMP and proposed specifications and management measures. Amendment 16–5 included one new and seven revised rebuilding plans, and new reference points for assessed flatfish species. A Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) was published in August 2010 that analyzed the effects of Amendment 16–5 and the 2011–2012 groundfish harvest specifications and management measures. During the comment period on the DEIS NMFS reviewed the DEIS and the comments and concluded that the analysis did not clearly explain the alternatives in such a way that NMFS could choose among them. Therefore the Amendment was disapproved on December 23, 2010. Because management measures were needed, NMFS published a final rule establishing harvest specifications and management measures for most species (75 FR 27508, May 11, 2011), pursuant to NFMS’ emergency authority under section 305(c) of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (MSA), 16 U.S.C. 1301 et seq. Accordingly, the provisions are effective for a maximum of 366 days. For more detail, see the ‘‘Comments and Responses’’ section of the final rule, 76 FR 27509. The provisions implemented pursuant to emergency authority included the rebuilding plans and corresponding harvest levels, new proxy reference points for assessed flatfish species, and the Overfishing Limits (OFLs), Acceptable Biological Catches (ABCs), and Annual Catch Limits (ACLs) for assessed flatfish based on the new reference points. This action proposes to implement specifications and management measures previously in place through the emergency rules discussed above. The specifics associated with the development and decision making processes for this action can be found in the proposed rule (75 FR 67810, November 3, 2010) and final rule (75 FR 27508, May 11, 2011. Regulations Implemented Through Secretarial Authority and Secretarial FMP Amendment 1 Under MSA section 304(a) (16 U.S.C. 1854(c)), when the Secretary of Commerce (the Secretary) disapproves of a Council’s FMP amendment, the Council may resubmit a revised amendment. If the Council does not submit a revised amendment, the Secretary, acting through NMFS, is authorized to prepare an amendment, 16 U.S.C. 1854(c)(1). NMFS disapproved of the Council’s FMP amendment, and in June 2011, the Council decided not to resubmit a revised amendment. NMFS therefore proposes to implement Secretarial Amendment 1 to the FMP pursuant to section 304(c) of the MSA. Secretarial Amendment 1 is a revised version of Amendment 16–5. While a Secretarial Amendment is rare, the substance of this Amendment is routine and implements provisions through notice and comment rulemaking that were previously created by emergency action. Specifically, this action proposes to update the regulations at 50 CFR part 660 to establish new and revised rebuilding plans, establish the 2012 harvest specifications consistent with those rebuilding plans and new flatfish proxies, and calculate the resulting shorebased trawl allocations. Secretarial Amendment 1 also proposes to make some non-substantive structural changes to the PCGFMP by moving the descriptions of rebuilding plans and associated text to an appendix. The appendix could be updated without requiring an FMP amendment, following notice and comment provisions as described in the FMP. This change would ensure that the rebuilding plans are easily accessible to the Council, agency, and members of the public. Currently, the PCGFMP allows the updating of rebuilding parameters, such as the target year to rebuild, through regulatory amendments rather than FMP amendments. However, the exact provisions of the rebuilding plans are frequently difficult to locate because they are imbedded in the rule’s text and in the main body of the FMP. By moving text to an appendix, Secretarial Amendment 1 would not change any substantive rebuilding policies or procedures described in the PCGFMP. Rather, it would enhance the public’s access to current rebuilding plans; if a rebuilding parameter or other element of a rebuilding plan changes through the biennial harvest specifications and management process, the appendix would be updated after the final rule is in place without a separate FMP amendment. Regulations Implemented Through Routine Rulemaking In addition to the regulations proposed to implement Secretarial Amendment 1, this action proposes two regulatory changes. First, this rule proposes to correct the 2012 limited PO 00000 Frm 00046 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 E:\FR\FM\27SEP1.SGM 27SEP1 mstockstill on DSK7SPTVN1PROD with PROPOSALS 59636 Federal Register / Vol. 76, No. 187 / Tuesday, September 27, 2011 / Proposed Rules entry fixed gear sablefish tier limits. On May 18, 2011, NMFS was notified by the Executive Director of the Council that there was a mistake in the calculation of the 2011 and 2012 sablefish cumulative limits during the development of the 2011–2012 biennial specifications and management measures. The Executive Director requested that NMFS correct the sablefish cumulative limits for the limited entry fixed gear primary fishery as quickly as possible, because the 2011 primary fishery season opened on April 1, and some vessels are actively fishing on their cumulative limits. A previous rule corrected the limits for 2011 (76 FR 34910, June 15, 2011), but no correction was made for 2012. These limits were incorrect in the 2011–2012 final rule, and therefore this rule proposes to correct these limits for 2012. The limits proposed in this rule are consistent with the analysis in the FEIS on the 2011–2012 Harvest Specifications and Management Measures and the intent of the previously published regulations because the tier limits corrected through this rule are the result of a minor calculation change and do not reflect a policy or management shift in regards to season structure, opening or closing dates of the fishery or any other management measure. Second, this rule proposes to update the lingcod regulations and allocation tables for the Trawl Individual Quota (TIQ) program at § 660.140, because of a new geographical split for lingcod. Lingcod is one of the Individual Fishing Quota (IFQ) species that is allocated through the TIQ program. NMFS initially issued Quota Share (QS) and Quota Pounds (QP) for lingcod on a coastwide basis. For the 2011–2012 harvest specifications, the lingcod OFLs, ABCs and ACLs were split at 42° N. lat; however, the trawl rationalization regulations were not conformed to the split. Therefore, this rule proposes to conform the trawl rationalization regulations to the split at 42° N. lat. Current regulations at 660.140(c)(3)(vii)(A)(1) state that, following initial QS allocation, if a species has a new geographical subdivision QS holders will be issued an amount of QS ‘‘for each newly created area that is equivalent to the amount they held for the area before it was subdivided.’’ Consistent with this provision, this rule proposes to update the list of IFQ species, the shorebased trawl allocations, the shorebased IFQ accumulation limits, update the shorebased IFQ vessel accumulation limits, the IFQ management areas, the Pacific Coast treaty Indian fisheries VerDate Mar<15>2010 18:38 Sep 26, 2011 Jkt 223001 allocations and harvest guidelines, and Table 2d (At-Sea whiting fishery annual set asides). Classification Pursuant to section 304(b)(1)(A) of the Magnuson-Stevens Act, the NMFS Assistant Administrator has determined that this proposed rule is consistent with the Secretarial Amendment 1, other provisions of the MagnusonStevens Act, and other applicable law, subject to further consideration after public comment. This proposed rule has been determined to be not significant for purposes of Executive Order 12866. A DEIS and FEIS were prepared for the 2011–2012 groundfish harvest specifications and management measures, which this action would implement in part. The DEIS includes an RIR and an IRFA; the FEIS includes a FRFA. The Environmental Protection Agency published a notice of availability for the final EIS associated with this action on March 11, 2011 (76 FR 13401). A copy of the DEIS and/or FEIS is available online at http:// www.pcouncil.org/. NMFS prepared an initial regulatory flexibility analysis (IRFA) for this rule, as required by section 603 of the RFA (RFA). The IRFA describes the economic impact this proposed rule, if adopted, would have on small entities. A description of the action, why it is being considered, and the legal basis for this action are contained at the beginning of this section and in the preamble. For the 2011–2012 biennium, NMFS published a final rule that established harvest specifications and management measures for most species (75 FR 27508, May 11, 2011). The IRFA and the FRFA associated with the May 11, 2011 rule making (and with the DEIS and FEIS) describe the economic impacts of the measures being proposed in this rule. The discussion below, except for the update on recent trends in the shorebased trawl fishery, repeats the FRFA discussion found in the preamble of the May 11, 2011 rule. A copy of the IRFA is available from NMFS (see ADDRESSES). The following summary is based on analyses discussed in Chapter 4 of the FEIS and in the May 2011 FRFA. NMFS considered five alternatives to the proposed action. A no action alternative, the Council’s final preferred alternative, and three alternatives which were discussed as a ‘‘low’’, ‘‘intermediate’’ and ‘‘high’’ options for overfished species ACLs. The No Action alternative would have retained the status quo in the fishery prior to NMFS’ implementing the emergency rules. The PO 00000 Frm 00047 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 Council’s preferred alternative, Alternative 3, was a mixture of ‘‘high’’ and ‘‘intermediate’’ ACLs for overfished species. It is discussed in detail below. NMFS’ preferred alternative was a slightly modified version of the Council’s preferred alternative and only varied in the ACL values for two overfished species. The low, intermediate, and high alternatives varied only in their ACLs for overfished species. After adjusting each alternative to have the same level of whiting harvests, there are no differences between the Council’s FPA and the NMFS preferred alternative in terms of ex-vessel revenues and recreational trips. The overall economic impact of NMFS’ preferred alternative is that many sectors are expected to achieve social and economic benefits similar to those under the current regulations, or the No Action alternative. For both 2011 and 2012, the combined total annual exvessel revenues associated with the NMFS preferred alternative including at-sea whiting, is expected to be about $90 million, compared with the NoAction level of $82 million. (Note that ex-vessel revenues are just one indicator of the commercial value of the fishery. For example, they understate the wholesale, export, and retail revenues earned from the fishery. Data on these other indicators is either incomplete or unavailable.) On a coastwide basis, excluding at-sea whiting, commercial ex-vessel revenues for the non-tribal and tribal groundfish sectors are estimated to be approximately $70 million per year under NMFS’ preferred alternative, compared with approximately $68 million under No Action; and the number of recreational bottom fish trips is estimated to be 646,000 under NMFS’ preferred alternative compared with 609,000 under No Action. However, there are differences in the distribution of ex-vessel revenue and angler trips on a regional basis and on a sector-bysector basis. These changes are driven by changes in the forecast abundance for target species and overfished species. The significant changes to major commercial target species are associated with Pacific whiting, Dover sole, petrale sole and sablefish. Compared to the NoAction Alternative, Pacific whiting harvests are expected to increase by 50 percent and Dover sole by 25 percent, while sablefish harvests are expected to decrease by 10 percent and petrale sole harvests by 23 percent. With the exception of the Pacific whiting and nearshore open access sectors, all other non-tribal commercial fisheries sectors are expected to receive lower levels of E:\FR\FM\27SEP1.SGM 27SEP1 mstockstill on DSK7SPTVN1PROD with PROPOSALS Federal Register / Vol. 76, No. 187 / Tuesday, September 27, 2011 / Proposed Rules ex-vessel revenues than under No Action. The limited entry fixed gear sector shows the greatest projected decline (¥10 percent) in revenue as a result of the sablefish ACL decrease. The Pacific whiting fishery at-sea sector (including tribal) revenues are expected to increase by 51 percent and the shoreside whiting trawl (excluding tribal) revenues are expected to increase by 33 percent. Ex-vessel revenues in both the non-whiting trawl (excluding tribal) and the tribal shoreside fisheries (trawl and fixed, including whiting) are expected to decrease by about 2 percent. A variety of time/area closures applicable to commercial vessels have been implemented in recent years. The most extensive of these are the Rockfish Conservation Areas (RCAs), which have been in place since 2002 to prohibit vessels from fishing in depths where overfished groundfish species are more abundant. Different RCA configurations apply to the limited entry trawl sector and the limited entry fixed gear and open access sectors. In addition, the depth ranges covered can vary by latitudinal zone and time period. The alternatives vary somewhat in terms of the extent of RCAs. In addition to the RCAs, two Cowcod Conservation Areas (CCAs) have been in place since 1999 in the Southern California Bight to reduce bycatch of the overfished cowcod stock, and yelloweye conservation areas have been established off the Washington Coast to reduce bycatch of the overfished yelloweye rockfish stock. The NMFS preferred alternative for the limited entry non-whiting trawl fleet generates slightly lower ex-vessel revenue on a coastwide basis when compared to revenues under the current regulations or No Action alternative. This difference is primarily driven by a decrease in the abundance of sablefish and petrale sole as opposed to changes in status of constraining species. Areabased management for the limited entry non-whiting trawl fleet under the NMFS preferred alternative will be comparable to what was in place in 2009 and 2010— the area north of Cape Alava, Washington and shoreward of the trawl RCA will remain closed in order to protect overfished rockfish species. Given the decreased amount of fishable area in northern Washington since 2009, fishery participants are expected to continue to experience higher costs due to increases in fuel required to travel to and fish at those deeper depths would remain. The fixed gear sablefish sector will generate lower revenue under NMFS’ preferred alternative than No Action because the sablefish ACL has decreased. However, the fixed gear fleet VerDate Mar<15>2010 18:38 Sep 26, 2011 Jkt 223001 will have somewhat more area available for fishing than under No Action, because fishing will be open at depths deeper than 100 fm (183 m) north of 40°10′ north latitude, whereas under No Action, depths between 100 fm (183 m) and 125 fm (229 m) will only open on days when the Pacific halibut fishery is open. Fixed gear fisheries south of 36° N. latitude will see sablefish harvest close to status quo levels. There are no recommended changes to area management relative to status quo. Under NMFS’ preferred alternative, the nearshore groundfish fishery is expected to have a moderate increase in ex-vessel revenues compared with No Action due to increased targeting opportunities for black rockfish (between 42° N. latitude and 40°10′ N. latitude) and cabezon south (South of 42° N. latitude). Fishing areas open to the nearshore fleets will be roughly the same as under No Action. Fishing opportunity and economic impacts to the nearshore groundfish sector are largely driven by the need to protect canary and especially yelloweye rockfish. Excluding whiting, the NMFS preferred alternative is projected to decrease ex-vessel revenues by 3%, thereby providing the west coast economy with slightly lower ex-vessel revenues than was generated by the fishery under No Action. However, effects on buyers and processors along the coast will vary depending location. In addition, NMFS’ preferred alternative attempts to take into account the desire expressed by buyers and processors to have a year-round groundfish fishery. Individual quota management for trawl fisheries should help accommodate this preference; however, in practice, in the absence of trip limits it is somewhat uncertain how trawl landings will be distributed in time and space. In terms of recreational angler effort, the number of angler trips under NMFS’ preferred alternative is slightly higher compared to No Action, but somewhat less than in 2009. However, an increase in angler effort under NMFS’ preferred alternative occurs primarily in south and central California, while northern Washington shows a slight increase and Oregon shows no change compared with No Action. It is expected that under the proposed 2011–2012 management measures, tribal groundfish fisheries will generate less revenue and personal income than under No Action due to a reduction in sablefish harvest. The 2011–2012 period will be the first groundfish management cycle in which the shoreside trawl sector fisheries will be conducted under the Amendment 20 trawl rationalization program, including PO 00000 Frm 00048 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 59637 issuance and tracking of individual fishing quotas (IFQ) for most trawlcaught groundfish species. IFQ management is designed to provide opportunities for fisherman and processors to maximize the value of their fishery by creating incentives to make the optimum use of available target and bycatch species. Since all trawl trips will be observed, catch of constraining overfished species will be monitored in real time, and individuals will be held directly responsible for ‘‘covering’’ all catch of groundfish species with IFQ. Since using IFQ to constrain catch of overfished species represents a real cost in terms of money and/or fishing opportunity, NMFS expects that fishers will take special care to avoid unnecessary catch of these species. At the same time there is uncertainty about how individuals will be able to manage the individual risk inherent in a system based on personal responsibility. This issue may present a considerable challenge, especially to small businesses that have access to only a single limited entry trawl permit. Exhausting all readily available supplies of IFQ for a particularly constraining species such as yelloweye may result in the business being effectively shut down for the remainder of the season. Partly for this reason it is expected that over time the number of vessels and permits engaging in the limited entry trawl fishery will decline as fishers strive to consolidate available IFQ onto a smaller number of vessels in order to reduce the costs of harvesting the quotas. A smaller number of active vessels will mean reductions in the number of crew hired and in expenditures made in local ports for materials, equipment, supplies and vessel maintenance. As such, while wages and profits for those crew and vessel owners that do remain in the fishery should increase, the amount and distribution of ex-vessel revenues and community income will change in ways that are not yet foreseeable, but probably to the detriment of some businesses and communities currently involved in the groundfish trawl fishery. Due to these types of countervailing uncertainties, impacts on trawl fisheries under the 2011–2012 management measures used in this analysis were estimated using a model designed to project overfished species bycatch levels under a status quo cumulative trip limit management regime. Likewise, the model used to estimate community income impacts was calibrated based on recently estimated spending patterns for regional vessels and processors. While providing a useful starting point for comparing gross-level effects under the E:\FR\FM\27SEP1.SGM 27SEP1 mstockstill on DSK7SPTVN1PROD with PROPOSALS 59638 Federal Register / Vol. 76, No. 187 / Tuesday, September 27, 2011 / Proposed Rules alternatives, the true range of economic impacts achievable under the rationalized, IFQ-managed fishery may reflect a considerable departure from these estimates. The above discussion indicates that there were uncertainties in the economic modeling because of the implementation of the IFQ program. In comparing 2011 to 2010 through June of each year: Effort in terms of number of trips has decreased by 50 percent; or in terms of vessels has decreased by 30 percent. Average catch per vessel has remained constant; however, average revenue per vessel has increased 27 percent. Total landings have decreased by 30 percent and total revenues have decreased by 10 percent. The fish are being processed by fewer buyers—the number of buyers has fallen from 41 to 25 while the number of ports where fish are processed has fallen from 18 to 15. Average ex-vessel price has increased from $0.49/lb to $0.62/lb. One of the major reasons for the increase in prices is related to sablefish. Trawl sablefish ex-vessel prices for January–June 2011 prices are up to an average of $2.41/lb. versus $1.83/lb. last year based on simple averages by port, for Jan–June. These estimates are preliminary and it is not clear if these trends will be maintained as the fishery moves into the summer and fall fisheries. The IRFA analysis includes a discussion of small businesses. This rule will regulate businesses that harvest groundfish. According to the Small Business Administration, a small commercial harvesting business is one that has annual receipts under $4 million, and a small charter boat business is one that has annual receipts under $7 million. The IRFA estimates that implementation of NMFS preferred alternative will affect about 2,600 small entities. These small entities are those that are directly regulated by this proposed rule that is being promulgated to support implementation of NMFS’ preferred alternative. These entities are associated with those vessels that either target groundfish or harvest groundfish as bycatch. Consequently, these are the vessels, other than catcher-processors, that participate in the limited entry portion of the fishery, the open access fishery, the charter boat fleet, and the tribal fleets. Catcher/processors also operate in the Alaska pollock fishery, and all are associated with larger companies such as Trident and American Seafoods. Therefore, it is assumed that all catcher/processors are ‘‘large’’ entities. Best estimates of the limited entry groundfish fleet are taken from the NMFS Limited Entry Permits Office. As VerDate Mar<15>2010 18:38 Sep 26, 2011 Jkt 223001 of June 2010, there are 399 limited entry permits, including 177 endorsed for trawl (172 trawl only, 4 trawl and longline, and 1 trawl and trap-pot); 199 endorsed for longline (191 longline only, 4 longline and trap-pot, and 4 trawl and longline); and 32 endorsed for trap-pot (27 trap-pot only, 4 longline and trap-pot, and 1 trawl and trap-pot). Of the longline and trap-pot permits, 164 are sablefish endorsed. Of these endorsements 130 are ‘‘stacked’’ (e.g. more than one permit registered to a single vessel) on 50 vessels. Ten of the limited entry trawl endorsed permits are used or owned by catcher/processor companies associated with the whiting fishery. The remaining 389 entities are assumed to be small businesses based on a review of sector revenues and average revenues per entity. The open access or nearshore fleet, depending on the year and level of participation, is estimated to be about 1,300 to 1,600 vessels. Again, these are assumed to be ‘‘small entities.’’ The tribal fleet includes about 53 vessels, and the charter boat fleet includes 525 vessels that are also assumed to be ‘‘small entities.’’ NMFS’ preferred alternative represents efforts to address the directions provided by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, which emphasizes the need to rebuild stocks in as short a time as possible, taking into account: (1) The status and biology of the stocks; (2) the needs of fishing communities; and (3) interactions of depleted stocks within the marine ecosystem. By taking into account the ‘‘needs of fishing communities,’’ NMFS simultaneously takes into account the ‘‘needs of small businesses,’’ as fishing communities rely on small businesses as a source of economic activity and income. The FEIS and RIR/IRFA include analysis of a range of alternatives that were considered by the Council, including analysis of the effects of setting allowable harvest levels necessary to rebuild the seven groundfish species that were previously declared overfished. An eighth species, petrale sole, was declared overfished in 2010 and this action includes a new rebuilding plan for this species along with the ACLs and management measures consistent with the adopted rebuilding plan. Associated rebuilding analyses for all eight species estimate the time to rebuild under various levels of harvest. The Council initially considered a wider range of alternatives, but ultimately rejected from further analysis alternatives allowing harvest levels higher than what is generally consistent with current policies for rebuilding PO 00000 Frm 00049 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 overfished stocks and a ‘‘no fishing’’ scenario (F=0). Section 2.4 of the FEIS describes six integrated alternatives including No Action, the Council’s FPA, the NMFS preferred alternative, and three other alternatives (including the Council’s Preliminary Preferred Alternative, which is similar to the Council’s FPA). NMFS finds that the F=0 and Alternatives 1A, 1B, and 2, while resulting in shorter rebuilding times for most of the overfished species, lead to projected major decreases in commercial revenues and recreational activity. Allowing too many communities to suffer commercial or recreational losses greater than 10 percent fails to take into account the needs of fishing communities. Alternative 3, the Council FPA, and NMFS’ preferred alternative all reduce the impacts to communities to less than 10 percent, but they differ in their impacts on rebuilding times. Alternative 3 reduces rebuilding times from status quo for many of the overfished species, but does not reduce the rebuilding time for yelloweye rockfish, and results in only minor reductions for cowcod and darkblotched and rockfish. The Council’s FPA improves upon Alternative 3 by reducing the rebuilding time for darkblotched rockfish by two years while maintaining Alternative 3’s small positive increases in commercial revenues and recreational activity. The NMFS preferred alternative improves over the Council FPA by further reducing the rebuilding times of cowcod and yelloweye by three years and ten years, respectively. Comparison of the action alternatives with the No Action alternative allows an evaluation of the economic implications to groundfish sectors, ports, and fishing communities; and the interaction of depleted species within the marine ecosystem of reducing ACLs for overfished species to rebuild stocks faster than they would under the rebuilding strategies that NMFS adopted and has modified consistent with new, scientific information on the status and biology of these stocks. Alternative 2011–2012 groundfish management measures are designed to provide opportunities to harvest healthy target species within the constraints of alternative ACLs for overfished species. The integrated alternatives allow estimation of target species catch under the suite of ACLs for overfished species both to demonstrate if target species ACLs are projected to be exceeded, and to estimate related socioeconomic impacts. The Council reviewed these analyses and read and heard testimony from E:\FR\FM\27SEP1.SGM 27SEP1 mstockstill on DSK7SPTVN1PROD with PROPOSALS Federal Register / Vol. 76, No. 187 / Tuesday, September 27, 2011 / Proposed Rules Council advisors, fishing industry representatives, representatives from non-governmental organizations, and the general public before deciding the Council’s FPA in June 2010. The Council’s final preferred management measures are intended to stay within all the final recommended harvest levels for groundfish species decided by the Council at their April and June 2010 meetings. NMFS reviewed these analyses, read and heard testimony from Council advisors, fishing industry representatives, representatives from non-governmental organizations, the general public, and considered legal obligations to comply with a court order (NRDC v. Locke) before deciding NMFS’ preferred alternative in February 2011. The NMFS preferred management measures are intended to stay within all the final recommended harvest levels for groundfish species that were part of the NMFS preferred alternative. NMFS issued Biological Opinions under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) on August 10, 1990, November 26, 1991, August 28, 1992, September 27, 1993, May 14, 1996, and December 15, 1999 pertaining to the effects of the Pacific Coast groundfish PCGFMP fisheries on Chinook salmon (Puget Sound, Snake River spring/summer, Snake River fall, upper Columbia River spring, lower Columbia River, upper Willamette River, Sacramento River winter, Central Valley spring, California coastal), coho salmon (Central California coastal, southern Oregon/northern California coastal), chum salmon (Hood Canal summer, Columbia River), sockeye salmon (Snake River, Ozette Lake), and steelhead (upper, middle and lower Columbia River, Snake River Basin, upper Willamette River, central California coast, California Central Valley, south/central California, northern California, southern California). These biological opinions have concluded that implementation of the PCGFMP for the Pacific Coast groundfish fishery is not expected to jeopardize the continued existence of any endangered or threatened species under the jurisdiction of NMFS, or result in the destruction or adverse modification of critical habitat. NMFS reinitiated a formal section 7 consultation under the ESA in 2005 for both the Pacific whiting midwater trawl fishery and the groundfish bottom trawl fishery. The December 19, 1999, Biological Opinion had defined an 11,000 Chinook incidental take threshold for the Pacific whiting fishery. During the 2005 Pacific whiting season, the 11,000 fish Chinook incidental take threshold was exceeded, triggering reinitiation. Also in 2005, new data VerDate Mar<15>2010 18:38 Sep 26, 2011 Jkt 223001 from the West Coast Groundfish Observer Program became available, allowing NMFS to complete an analysis of salmon take in the bottom trawl fishery. NMFS prepared a Supplemental Biological Opinion dated March 11, 2006, which addressed salmon take in both the Pacific whiting midwater trawl and groundfish bottom trawl fisheries. In its 2006 Supplemental Biological Opinion, NMFS concluded that catch rates of salmon in the 2005 whiting fishery were consistent with expectations considered during prior consultations. Chinook bycatch has averaged about 7,300 fish from 1991– 2005, and has only occasionally exceeded the reinitiation trigger of 11,000 fish. From 2005–2010 the average Chinook bycatch was 4,130 fish, well below the average from 1991–2005. The Chinook ESUs most likely affected by the whiting fishery have generally improved in status since the 1999 section 7 consultation. Although these species remain at risk, as indicated by their ESA listing, NMFS concluded that the higher observed bycatch in 2005 does not require a reconsideration of its prior ‘‘no jeopardy’’ conclusion with respect to the fishery. For the groundfish bottom trawl fishery, NMFS concluded that incidental take in the groundfish fisheries is within the overall limits articulated in the Incidental Take Statement of the 1999 Biological Opinion. The groundfish bottom trawl limit from that opinion was 9,000 fish annually. NMFS will continue to monitor and collect data to analyze take levels. NMFS also reaffirmed its prior determination that implementation of the Groundfish PCGFMP is not likely to jeopardize the continued existence of any of the affected ESUs. Lower Columbia River coho (70 FR 37160, June 28, 2005) and Oregon Coastal coho (73 FR 7816, February 11, 2008) were recently relisted as threatened under the ESA. The 1999 biological opinion concluded that the bycatch of salmonids in the Pacific whiting fishery were almost entirely Chinook salmon, with little or no bycatch of coho, chum, sockeye, and steelhead. The Southern Distinct Population Segment (DPS) of green sturgeon was listed as threatened under the ESA (71 FR 17757, April 7, 2006). The southern DPS of Pacific eulachon was listed as threatened on March 18, 2010, under the ESA (75 FR 13012). NMFS has reinitiated consultation on the fishery, including impacts on green sturgeon, eulachon, marine mammals, and turtles. PO 00000 Frm 00050 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 59639 After reviewing the available information, NMFS has concluded that, consistent with sections 7(a)(2) and 7(d) of the ESA, this action would not jeopardize any listed species, would not adversely modify any designated critical habitat, and would not result in any irreversible or irretrievable commitment of resources that would have the effect of foreclosing the formulation or implementation of any reasonable and prudent alternative measures. Pursuant to Executive Order 13175, this proposed rule was developed after meaningful consultation and collaboration with tribal officials from the area covered by the PCGFMP. Under the Magnuson-Stevens Act at 16 U.S.C. 1852(b)(5), one of the voting members of the Pacific Council must be a representative of an Indian tribe with federally recognized fishing rights from the area of the Council’s jurisdiction. In addition, regulations implementing the PCGFMP establish a procedure by which the tribes with treaty fishing rights in the area covered by the PCGFMP request new allocations or regulations specific to the tribes, in writing, before the first of the two meetings at which the Council considers groundfish management measures. The regulations at 50 CFR 660.324(d) further state ‘‘the Secretary will develop tribal allocations and regulations under this paragraph in consultation with the affected tribe(s) and, insofar as possible, with tribal consensus.’’ List of Subjects in 50 CFR Part 660 Fisheries, Fishing, and Indian fisheries. Dated: September 20, 2011. Samuel D. Rauch III, Deputy Assistant Administrator for Regulatory Programs, National Marine Fisheries Service. For the reasons set out in the preamble, 50 CFR part 660 is proposed to be amended as follows: PART 660—FISHERIES OFF WEST COAST STATES 1. The authority citation for part 660 continues to read as follows: Authority: 16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq., 16 U.S.C. 773 et seq., and 16 U.S.C. 7001 et seq. 2. Revise § 660.40 to read as follows: § 660.40 plans. Overfished species rebuilding For each overfished groundfish stock with an approved rebuilding plan, this section contains the standards to be used to establish annual or biennial ACLs, specifically the target date for rebuilding the stock to its MSY level E:\FR\FM\27SEP1.SGM 27SEP1 59640 Federal Register / Vol. 76, No. 187 / Tuesday, September 27, 2011 / Proposed Rules mstockstill on DSK7SPTVN1PROD with PROPOSALS and the harvest control rule to be used to rebuild the stock. The harvest control rule is expressed as a ‘‘Spawning Potential Ratio’’ or ‘‘SPR’’ harvest rate. (a) Bocaccio. Bocaccio south of 40°10′ N. latitude was declared overfished in 1999. The target year for rebuilding the bocaccio stock south of 40°10′ N. latitude to BMSY is 2022. The harvest control rule to be used to rebuild the southern bocaccio stock is an annual SPR harvest rate of 77.7 percent. (b) Canary rockfish. Canary rockfish was declared overfished in 2000. The target year for rebuilding the canary rockfish stock to BMSY is 2027. The harvest control rule to be used to rebuild the canary rockfish stock is an annual SPR harvest rate of 88.7 percent. (c) Cowcod. Cowcod was declared overfished in 2000. The target year for rebuilding the cowcod stock south of 40°10′ N. latitude to BMSY is 2068. The harvest control rule to be used to rebuild the cowcod stock is an annual SPR harvest rate of 82.7 percent. VerDate Mar<15>2010 18:38 Sep 26, 2011 Jkt 223001 (d) Darkblotched rockfish. Darkblotched rockfish was declared overfished in 2000. The target year for rebuilding the darkblotched rockfish stock to BMSY is 2025. The harvest control rule to be used to rebuild the darkblotched rockfish stock is an annual SPR harvest rate of 64.9 percent. (e) Pacific Ocean Perch (POP). POP was declared overfished in 1999. The target year for rebuilding the POP stock to BMSY is 2020. The harvest control rule to be used to rebuild the POP stock is an annual SPR harvest rate of 86.4 percent. (f) Petrale Sole. Petrale sole was declared overfished in 2010. The target year for rebuilding the petrale sole stock to BMSY is 2016. The harvest control rule is the 25–5 default adjustment, which corresponds to an annual SPR harvest rate of 32.4 percent in 2012. (g) Widow rockfish. Widow rockfish was declared overfished in 2001. The target year for rebuilding the widow rockfish stock to BMSY is 2010. The harvest control rule is a constant catch PO 00000 Frm 00051 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 of 600 mt, which corresponds to an annual SPR harvest rate of 91.3 percent in 2012. (h) Yelloweye rockfish. Yelloweye rockfish was declared overfished in 2002. The target year for rebuilding the yelloweye rockfish stock to BMSY is 2074. The harvest control rule to be used to rebuild the yelloweye rockfish stock is an annual SPR harvest rate of 76.0 percent. 3. Revise § 660.50(f)(3) to read as follows: * * * * * (f) * * * (1) * * * (2) * * * (3) Lingcod taken in the treaty fisheries are subject to an overall expected total lingcod catch of 250 mt, which is attributable to the stock north of 42° N. latitude. 4. Tables 2a, 2b, and 2d to Part 660, Subpart C are amended to read as follows: BILLING CODE 5001–06–P E:\FR\FM\27SEP1.SGM 27SEP1 VerDate Mar<15>2010 18:38 Sep 26, 2011 Jkt 223001 PO 00000 Frm 00052 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4725 E:\FR\FM\27SEP1.SGM 27SEP1 59641 EP27SE11.008</GPH> mstockstill on DSK7SPTVN1PROD with PROPOSALS Federal Register / Vol. 76, No. 187 / Tuesday, September 27, 2011 / Proposed Rules VerDate Mar<15>2010 Federal Register / Vol. 76, No. 187 / Tuesday, September 27, 2011 / Proposed Rules 18:38 Sep 26, 2011 Jkt 223001 PO 00000 Frm 00053 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4725 E:\FR\FM\27SEP1.SGM 27SEP1 EP27SE11.009</GPH> mstockstill on DSK7SPTVN1PROD with PROPOSALS 59642 VerDate Mar<15>2010 18:38 Sep 26, 2011 Jkt 223001 PO 00000 Frm 00054 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4725 E:\FR\FM\27SEP1.SGM 27SEP1 59643 EP27SE11.010</GPH> mstockstill on DSK7SPTVN1PROD with PROPOSALS Federal Register / Vol. 76, No. 187 / Tuesday, September 27, 2011 / Proposed Rules VerDate Mar<15>2010 Federal Register / Vol. 76, No. 187 / Tuesday, September 27, 2011 / Proposed Rules 18:38 Sep 26, 2011 Jkt 223001 PO 00000 Frm 00055 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4725 E:\FR\FM\27SEP1.SGM 27SEP1 EP27SE11.011</GPH> mstockstill on DSK7SPTVN1PROD with PROPOSALS 59644 VerDate Mar<15>2010 18:38 Sep 26, 2011 Jkt 223001 PO 00000 Frm 00056 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4725 E:\FR\FM\27SEP1.SGM 27SEP1 59645 EP27SE11.012</GPH> mstockstill on DSK7SPTVN1PROD with PROPOSALS Federal Register / Vol. 76, No. 187 / Tuesday, September 27, 2011 / Proposed Rules VerDate Mar<15>2010 Federal Register / Vol. 76, No. 187 / Tuesday, September 27, 2011 / Proposed Rules 18:38 Sep 26, 2011 Jkt 223001 PO 00000 Frm 00057 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4725 E:\FR\FM\27SEP1.SGM 27SEP1 EP27SE11.013</GPH> mstockstill on DSK7SPTVN1PROD with PROPOSALS 59646 VerDate Mar<15>2010 18:38 Sep 26, 2011 Jkt 223001 PO 00000 Frm 00058 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4725 E:\FR\FM\27SEP1.SGM 27SEP1 59647 EP27SE11.014</GPH> mstockstill on DSK7SPTVN1PROD with PROPOSALS Federal Register / Vol. 76, No. 187 / Tuesday, September 27, 2011 / Proposed Rules VerDate Mar<15>2010 Federal Register / Vol. 76, No. 187 / Tuesday, September 27, 2011 / Proposed Rules 18:38 Sep 26, 2011 Jkt 223001 PO 00000 Frm 00059 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4725 E:\FR\FM\27SEP1.SGM 27SEP1 EP27SE11.015</GPH> mstockstill on DSK7SPTVN1PROD with PROPOSALS 59648 VerDate Mar<15>2010 18:38 Sep 26, 2011 Jkt 223001 PO 00000 Frm 00060 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4725 E:\FR\FM\27SEP1.SGM 27SEP1 59649 EP27SE11.016</GPH> mstockstill on DSK7SPTVN1PROD with PROPOSALS Federal Register / Vol. 76, No. 187 / Tuesday, September 27, 2011 / Proposed Rules VerDate Mar<15>2010 Federal Register / Vol. 76, No. 187 / Tuesday, September 27, 2011 / Proposed Rules 18:38 Sep 26, 2011 Jkt 223001 PO 00000 Frm 00061 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4725 E:\FR\FM\27SEP1.SGM 27SEP1 EP27SE11.017</GPH> mstockstill on DSK7SPTVN1PROD with PROPOSALS 59650 VerDate Mar<15>2010 18:38 Sep 26, 2011 Jkt 223001 PO 00000 Frm 00062 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4725 E:\FR\FM\27SEP1.SGM 27SEP1 59651 EP27SE11.018</GPH> mstockstill on DSK7SPTVN1PROD with PROPOSALS Federal Register / Vol. 76, No. 187 / Tuesday, September 27, 2011 / Proposed Rules VerDate Mar<15>2010 Federal Register / Vol. 76, No. 187 / Tuesday, September 27, 2011 / Proposed Rules 18:38 Sep 26, 2011 Jkt 223001 PO 00000 Frm 00063 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4725 E:\FR\FM\27SEP1.SGM 27SEP1 EP27SE11.019</GPH> mstockstill on DSK7SPTVN1PROD with PROPOSALS 59652 Federal Register / Vol. 76, No. 187 / Tuesday, September 27, 2011 / Proposed Rules 5. In § 660.140 revise paragraph (c)(1), (c)(2), (d)(1)(ii)(D), (d)(4)(i)(C), and (e)(4)(i) to read as follows: § 660.140 Shorebased IFQ Program. mstockstill on DSK7SPTVN1PROD with PROPOSALS * * * * * (c) * * * (1) IFQ species. IFQ species are those groundfish species and Pacific halibut in the exclusive economic zone or adjacent state waters off Washington, Oregon and California, under the jurisdiction of the Pacific Fishery Management Council, for which QS and IBQ will be issued. Groupings and area subdivisions for IFQ species are those VerDate Mar<15>2010 18:38 Sep 26, 2011 Jkt 223001 groupings and area subdivisions for which ACLs or ACTs are specified in the Tables 1a through 2d, subpart C, and those for which there is an area-specific precautionary harvest policy. The lists of individual groundfish species included in the minor shelf complex north of 40°10′ N. lat., minor shelf complex south of 40°10′ N. lat., minor slope complex north 40°10′ N. lat., minor slope complex south of 40°10′ N. lat., and in the other flatfish complex are specified under the definition of ‘‘groundfish’’ at § 660.11. The following are the IFQ species: PO 00000 Frm 00064 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 IFQ SPECIES Roundfish Lingcod N of 42° Lingcod S of 42° Pacific cod Pacific whiting Sablefish N. of 36° Sablefish S. of 36° Flatfish Dover sole English sole Petrale sole Arrowtooth flounder Starry flounder E:\FR\FM\27SEP1.SGM 27SEP1 EP27SE11.020</GPH> BILLING CODE 5001–06–C 59653 59654 Federal Register / Vol. 76, No. 187 / Tuesday, September 27, 2011 / Proposed Rules IFQ SPECIES—Continued IFQ SPECIES—Continued Other flatfish stock complex Pacific halibut (IBQ) N. of 40°10′ Cowcod S. of 40°10′ Darkblotched rockfish Yelloweye rockfish Minor shelf rockfish complex N. of 40°10′ Minor shelf rockfish complex S. of 40°10′ Minor slope rockfish complex N. of 40°10′ Minor slope rockfish complex S. of 40°10′ Rockfish Pacific ocean perch N. of 40°10′ Widow rockfish Canary rockfish Chilipepper rockfish S. of 40°10′ Bocaccio S of 40°10′ Splitnose rockfish S. of 40°10′ Yellowtail rockfish N. of 40°10′ Shortspine thornyhead N. of 34°27′ Shortspine thornyhead S. of 34°27′ Longspine thornyhead N. of 34°27′ (2) IFQ Management areas. A vessel participating in the Shorebased IFQ Program may not fish in more than one IFQ management area during a trip. IFQ management areas are as follows: (i) Between the US/Canada border and 42°N. lat., (ii) Between 42°N. lat. and 40°10′ N. lat., (iii) Between 40°10′ N. lat. and 36° N. lat., (iv) Between 36°N. lat. and 34°27′ N. lat., (v) Between 34°27′ N. lat. and the US/Mexico border. * * * * * (d) * * * (1) * * * (ii) * * * (D) For the 2012 trawl fishery, NMFS will issue QP based on the following shorebased trawl allocations: Shorebased trawl allocation (mt) IFQ Species Management area Lingcod ................................................................................... Lingcod ................................................................................... Pacific cod .............................................................................. Pacific Whiting ........................................................................ Sablefish ................................................................................. Sablefish ................................................................................. Dover sole .............................................................................. English sole ............................................................................ Petrale sole ............................................................................. Arrowtooth flounder ................................................................ Starry flounder ........................................................................ Other flatfish ........................................................................... Pacific Ocean perch ............................................................... Widow rockfish ....................................................................... Canary rockfish ....................................................................... Chilipepper rockfish ................................................................ Bocaccio rockfish .................................................................... Splitnose rockfish ................................................................... Yellowtail rockfish ................................................................... Shortspine thornyhead ........................................................... Shortspine thornyhead ........................................................... Longspine thornyhead ............................................................ Cowcod ................................................................................... Darkblotched rockfish ............................................................. Yelloweye rockfish .................................................................. Minor shelf rockfish complex .................................................. Minor shelf rockfish complex .................................................. Minor slope rockfish complex ................................................. Minor slope rockfish complex ................................................. North of 42° N. lat .................................................................. South of 42° N. lat .................................................................. ................................................................................................. ................................................................................................. North of 36° N. lat .................................................................. South of 36° N. lat .................................................................. ................................................................................................. ................................................................................................. ................................................................................................. ................................................................................................. ................................................................................................. ................................................................................................. North of 40°10′ N. lat ............................................................. ................................................................................................. ................................................................................................. South of 40°10′ N. lat ............................................................. South of 40°10′ N. lat ............................................................. South of 40°10′ N. lat ............................................................. North of 40°10′ N. lat ............................................................. North of 34°27′ N. lat ............................................................. South of 34°27′ N. lat ............................................................. North of 34°27′ N. lat ............................................................. South of 40°10′ N. lat ............................................................. ................................................................................................. ................................................................................................. North of 40°10′ N. lat ............................................................. South of 40°10′ N. lat ............................................................. North of 40°10′ N. lat ............................................................. South of 40°10′ N. lat ............................................................. * * * * * (4) * * * (i) * * * (C) The Shorebased IFQ program accumulation limits are as follows: mstockstill on DSK7SPTVN1PROD with PROPOSALS Species category QS and IBQ control limit (in percent) Non-whiting groundfish species .................................... Lingcod—N. of 42° ............... Lingcod—S. of 42° ............... Pacific cod ............................ Pacific whiting (shoreside) .... Sablefish N. of 36° (Monterey north) S. of 36° (Conception area) .............................. Pacific ocean perch N. of 40°10′ ................................ VerDate Mar<15>2010 19:01 Sep 26, 2011 2.7 2.5 2.5 12.0 10.0 3.0 10.0 4.0 Jkt 223001 QS and IBQ control limit (in percent) Species category Widow rockfish ..................... Canary rockfish ..................... Chilipepper rockfish S. of 40°10′ ................................ Bocaccio S. of 40°10′ ........... Splitnose rockfish S. of 40°10′ ................................ Yellowtail rockfish N. of 40°10′ ................................ Shortspine thornyhead: N. of 34°27′ ....................... S. of 34°27′ ....................... Longspine thornyhead: N. of 34°27′ ................... Cowcod S. of 40°10′ ............ Darkblotched rockfish ........... Yelloweye rockfish ................ Minor rockfish complex N. of 40°10′: PO 00000 Frm 00065 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 5.1 4.4 10.0 13.2 10.0 5.0 6.0 6.0 6.0 17.7 4.5 5.7 840.00 970.65 1,135.00 TBD 2,467.00 514.08 22,234.50 9,542.50 1,054.60 9,462.45 671.50 4,197.40 119.50 342.62 26.60 1,331.25 60.00 1,454.45 3,107.36 1,415.45 50.00 1,914.00 1.80 248.94 0.60 522.00 86.00 829.52 377.37 QS and IBQ control limit (in percent) Species category Shelf species ..................... Slope species .................... Minor rockfish complex S. of 40°10′: Shelf species ..................... Slope species .................... Dover sole ............................ English sole .......................... Petrale sole ........................... Arrowtooth flounder .............. Starry flounder ...................... Other flatfish stock complex Pacific halibut (IBQ) N. of 40°10′ ................................ * * * (e) * * * (4) * * * E:\FR\FM\27SEP1.SGM 27SEP1 * * 5.0 5.0 9.0 6.0 2.6 5.0 3.0 10.0 10.0 10.0 5.4 Federal Register / Vol. 76, No. 187 / Tuesday, September 27, 2011 / Proposed Rules (i) Vessel limits. Vessel accounts may not have QP or IBQ pounds in excess of the QP Vessel Limit in any year, and, for species covered by Unused QP Vessel Limits, may not have QP or IBQ pounds in excess of the Unused QP Vessel Limit at any time. These amounts are as follows: QP vessel limit (annual limit) (in percent) Species category Unused QP vessel limit (daily limit) (in percent) 3.2 3.8 3.8 20.0 15.0 ........................ ........................ ........................ ........................ ........................ 4.5 15.0 6.0 8.5 10.0 15.0 15.4 15.0 7.5 ........................ ........................ 4.0 5.1 4.4 ........................ 13.2 ........................ ........................ 9.0 9.0 ........................ ........................ 9.0 17.7 6.8 11.4 ........................ 17.7 4.5 5.7 7.5 7.5 ........................ ........................ 13.5 9.0 3.9 7.5 4.5 20.0 20.0 15.0 14.4 ........................ ........................ ........................ ........................ ........................ ........................ ........................ ........................ 5.4 Non-whiting groundfish species ............................................................................................................................... Lingcod—N of 42° ................................................................................................................................................... Lingcod—S of 42° .................................................................................................................................................... Pacific cod ............................................................................................................................................................... Pacific whiting (shoreside) ....................................................................................................................................... Sablefish: N. of 36° (Monterey north) ............................................................................................................................... S. of 36° (Conception area) ............................................................................................................................. Pacific ocean perch N. of 40°10′ ............................................................................................................................. Widow rockfish 1 ...................................................................................................................................................... Canary rockfish ........................................................................................................................................................ Chilipepper rockfish S. of 40°10′ ............................................................................................................................. Bocaccio S. of 40°10′ .............................................................................................................................................. Splitnose rockfish S. of 40°10′ ................................................................................................................................ Yellowtail rockfish N. of 40°10′ ................................................................................................................................ Shortspine thornyhead:. N. of 34°27′ ...................................................................................................................................................... S. of 34°27′ ....................................................................................................................................................... Longspine thornyhead: N. of 34°27′ ...................................................................................................................................................... Cowcod S. of 40°10′ ................................................................................................................................................ Darkblotched rockfish .............................................................................................................................................. Yelloweye rockfish ................................................................................................................................................... Minor rockfish complex N. of 40°10′: Shelf species .................................................................................................................................................... Slope species ................................................................................................................................................... Minor rockfish complex S. of 40°10′: Shelf species .................................................................................................................................................... Slope species ................................................................................................................................................... Dover sole ................................................................................................................................................................ English sole ............................................................................................................................................................. Petrale sole .............................................................................................................................................................. Arrowtooth flounder ................................................................................................................................................. Starry flounder ......................................................................................................................................................... Other flatfish stock complex .................................................................................................................................... Pacific halibut (IBQ) N. of 40°10′ ............................................................................................................................ 1 If widow rockfish is rebuilt before initial allocation of QS, the vessel limit will be set at 1.5 times the control limit. * * * * * 6. In § 660.231 paragraph (b)(3)(i) is revised to read as follows: § 660.231 Limited entry fixed gear sablefish primary fishery. * mstockstill on DSK7SPTVN1PROD with PROPOSALS 59655 * * * * (b) * * * (3) Cumulative limits. (i) A vessel participating in the primary season will be constrained by the sablefish cumulative limit associated with each of the permits registered for use with that vessel. During the primary season, each vessel authorized to fish in that season under paragraph (a) of this section may take, retain, possess, and land sablefish, up to VerDate Mar<15>2010 18:38 Sep 26, 2011 Jkt 223001 the cumulative limits for each of the permits registered for use with that vessel (i.e., stacked permits). If multiple limited entry permits with sablefish endorsements are registered for use with a single vessel, that vessel may land up to the total of all cumulative limits announced in this paragraph for the tiers for those permits, except as limited by paragraph (b)(3)(ii) of this section. Up to 3 permits may be registered for use with a single vessel during the primary season; thus, a single vessel may not take and retain, possess or land more than 3 primary season sablefish cumulative limits in any one year. A vessel registered for use with multiple limited entry permits is subject to per PO 00000 Frm 00066 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 9990 vessel limits for species other than sablefish, and to per vessel limits when participating in the daily trip limit fishery for sablefish under § 660.232, subpart E. In 2011, the following annual limits are in effect: Tier 1 at 47,697 lb (21,635 kg), Tier 2 at 21,680 lb (9,834 kg), and Tier 3 at 12,389 lb (5,620kg). For 2012 and beyond, the following annual limits are in effect: Tier 1 at 46,238 lb (21,017 kg), Tier 2 at 21,017 lb (9553 kg), and Tier 3 at 12,010 lb (5,459 kg). * * * * * [FR Doc. 2011–24702 Filed 9–26–11; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510–22–P E:\FR\FM\27SEP1.SGM 27SEP1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 76, Number 187 (Tuesday, September 27, 2011)]
[Proposed Rules]
[Pages 59634-59655]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2011-24702]


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DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

50 CFR Part 660

[Docket No. 110908575-1573-01]
RIN 0648-BB27


Fisheries Off West Coast States; Pacific Coast Groundfish 
Fishery; 2012 Specifications and Management Measures and Secretarial 
Amendment 1

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

ACTION: Proposed rule; request for comments.

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SUMMARY: This proposed action would establish the 2012 harvest 
specifications and management measures for certain groundfish species 
taken in the U.S. exclusive economic zone (EEZ) off the coasts of 
Washington, Oregon, and California consistent with the Magnuson-Stevens 
Fishery Conservation and Management Act and the Pacific Coast 
Groundfish Fishery Management Plan (PCGFMP). This action includes 
regulations to implement Secretarial Amendment 1 to the PCGFMP. 
Secretarial Amendment 1 contains the rebuilding plans for overfished 
species and new reference points for assessed flatfish species.

DATES: Comments must be received no later than 5 p.m., local time on 
November 8, 2011.

[[Page 59635]]


ADDRESSES: You may submit comments, identified by NOAA-NMFS-2011-0207, 
by any of the following methods:
     Electronic Submissions: Submit all electronic public 
comments via the Federal eRulemaking Portal at http://www.regulations.gov.
     Fax: 206-526-6736, Attn: Sarah Williams.
     Mail: William W. Stelle, Jr., Regional Administrator, 
Northwest Region, NMFS, 7600 Sand Point Way, NE., Seattle, WA 98115-
0070, Attn: Sarah Williams.
    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.
    National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) will accept anonymous 
comments (enter N/A in the required fields if you wish to remain 
anonymous). Attachments to electronic comments will be accepted in 
Microsoft Word, Excel, WordPerfect, or Adobe PDF file formats only.
    Information relevant to this proposed rule, which includes a final 
environmental impact statement (FEIS), a regulatory impact review 
(RIR), and an initial regulatory flexibility analysis (IRFA) is 
available for public review during business hours at the office of the 
Pacific Fishery Management Council (Council), at 7700 NE Ambassador 
Place, Portland, OR 97220, phone: 503-820-2280. Copies of additional 
reports referred to in this document may also be obtained from the 
Pacific Fishery Management Council (Council).

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Sarah Williams, phone: 206-526-4646, 
fax: 206-526-6736, or e-mail: sarah.williams@noaa.gov.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Electronic Access

    This rule is accessible via the Internet at the Office of the 
Federal Register Web site at http://www.access.gpo.gov/su_docs/aces/aces140.html. Background information and documents are available at the 
NMFS Northwest Region Web site at http://www.nwr.noaa.gov/Groundfish-Halibut/Groundfish-Fishery-Management/index.cfm and at the Council's 
Web site at http://www.pcouncil.org.

Background

    Every other year, the Pacific Fishery Management Council (Council) 
makes recommendations to set biennial allowable harvest levels for 
Pacific Coast groundfish, and recommends management measures for 
commercial and recreational fisheries that are designed to achieve 
those harvest levels. For the 2011-2012 biennium, the Council 
recommended Amendment 16-5 to the PCGFMP and proposed specifications 
and management measures. Amendment 16-5 included one new and seven 
revised rebuilding plans, and new reference points for assessed 
flatfish species. A Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) was 
published in August 2010 that analyzed the effects of Amendment 16-5 
and the 2011-2012 groundfish harvest specifications and management 
measures. During the comment period on the DEIS NMFS reviewed the DEIS 
and the comments and concluded that the analysis did not clearly 
explain the alternatives in such a way that NMFS could choose among 
them. Therefore the Amendment was disapproved on December 23, 2010.
    Because management measures were needed, NMFS published a final 
rule establishing harvest specifications and management measures for 
most species (75 FR 27508, May 11, 2011), pursuant to NFMS' emergency 
authority under section 305(c) of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery 
Conservation and Management Act (MSA), 16 U.S.C. 1301 et seq. 
Accordingly, the provisions are effective for a maximum of 366 days. 
For more detail, see the ``Comments and Responses'' section of the 
final rule, 76 FR 27509. The provisions implemented pursuant to 
emergency authority included the rebuilding plans and corresponding 
harvest levels, new proxy reference points for assessed flatfish 
species, and the Overfishing Limits (OFLs), Acceptable Biological 
Catches (ABCs), and Annual Catch Limits (ACLs) for assessed flatfish 
based on the new reference points.
    This action proposes to implement specifications and management 
measures previously in place through the emergency rules discussed 
above. The specifics associated with the development and decision 
making processes for this action can be found in the proposed rule (75 
FR 67810, November 3, 2010) and final rule (75 FR 27508, May 11, 2011.

Regulations Implemented Through Secretarial Authority and Secretarial 
FMP Amendment 1

    Under MSA section 304(a) (16 U.S.C. 1854(c)), when the Secretary of 
Commerce (the Secretary) disapproves of a Council's FMP amendment, the 
Council may resubmit a revised amendment. If the Council does not 
submit a revised amendment, the Secretary, acting through NMFS, is 
authorized to prepare an amendment, 16 U.S.C. 1854(c)(1).
    NMFS disapproved of the Council's FMP amendment, and in June 2011, 
the Council decided not to resubmit a revised amendment. NMFS therefore 
proposes to implement Secretarial Amendment 1 to the FMP pursuant to 
section 304(c) of the MSA.
    Secretarial Amendment 1 is a revised version of Amendment 16-5. 
While a Secretarial Amendment is rare, the substance of this Amendment 
is routine and implements provisions through notice and comment 
rulemaking that were previously created by emergency action. 
Specifically, this action proposes to update the regulations at 50 CFR 
part 660 to establish new and revised rebuilding plans, establish the 
2012 harvest specifications consistent with those rebuilding plans and 
new flatfish proxies, and calculate the resulting shorebased trawl 
allocations.
    Secretarial Amendment 1 also proposes to make some non-substantive 
structural changes to the PCGFMP by moving the descriptions of 
rebuilding plans and associated text to an appendix. The appendix could 
be updated without requiring an FMP amendment, following notice and 
comment provisions as described in the FMP. This change would ensure 
that the rebuilding plans are easily accessible to the Council, agency, 
and members of the public. Currently, the PCGFMP allows the updating of 
rebuilding parameters, such as the target year to rebuild, through 
regulatory amendments rather than FMP amendments. However, the exact 
provisions of the rebuilding plans are frequently difficult to locate 
because they are imbedded in the rule's text and in the main body of 
the FMP. By moving text to an appendix, Secretarial Amendment 1 would 
not change any substantive rebuilding policies or procedures described 
in the PCGFMP. Rather, it would enhance the public's access to current 
rebuilding plans; if a rebuilding parameter or other element of a 
rebuilding plan changes through the biennial harvest specifications and 
management process, the appendix would be updated after the final rule 
is in place without a separate FMP amendment.

Regulations Implemented Through Routine Rulemaking

    In addition to the regulations proposed to implement Secretarial 
Amendment 1, this action proposes two regulatory changes. First, this 
rule proposes to correct the 2012 limited

[[Page 59636]]

entry fixed gear sablefish tier limits. On May 18, 2011, NMFS was 
notified by the Executive Director of the Council that there was a 
mistake in the calculation of the 2011 and 2012 sablefish cumulative 
limits during the development of the 2011-2012 biennial specifications 
and management measures. The Executive Director requested that NMFS 
correct the sablefish cumulative limits for the limited entry fixed 
gear primary fishery as quickly as possible, because the 2011 primary 
fishery season opened on April 1, and some vessels are actively fishing 
on their cumulative limits. A previous rule corrected the limits for 
2011 (76 FR 34910, June 15, 2011), but no correction was made for 2012. 
These limits were incorrect in the 2011-2012 final rule, and therefore 
this rule proposes to correct these limits for 2012.
    The limits proposed in this rule are consistent with the analysis 
in the FEIS on the 2011-2012 Harvest Specifications and Management 
Measures and the intent of the previously published regulations because 
the tier limits corrected through this rule are the result of a minor 
calculation change and do not reflect a policy or management shift in 
regards to season structure, opening or closing dates of the fishery or 
any other management measure.
    Second, this rule proposes to update the lingcod regulations and 
allocation tables for the Trawl Individual Quota (TIQ) program at Sec.  
660.140, because of a new geographical split for lingcod. Lingcod is 
one of the Individual Fishing Quota (IFQ) species that is allocated 
through the TIQ program. NMFS initially issued Quota Share (QS) and 
Quota Pounds (QP) for lingcod on a coastwide basis. For the 2011-2012 
harvest specifications, the lingcod OFLs, ABCs and ACLs were split at 
42[deg] N. lat; however, the trawl rationalization regulations were not 
conformed to the split. Therefore, this rule proposes to conform the 
trawl rationalization regulations to the split at 42[deg] N. lat.
    Current regulations at 660.140(c)(3)(vii)(A)(1) state that, 
following initial QS allocation, if a species has a new geographical 
subdivision QS holders will be issued an amount of QS ``for each newly 
created area that is equivalent to the amount they held for the area 
before it was subdivided.'' Consistent with this provision, this rule 
proposes to update the list of IFQ species, the shorebased trawl 
allocations, the shorebased IFQ accumulation limits, update the 
shorebased IFQ vessel accumulation limits, the IFQ management areas, 
the Pacific Coast treaty Indian fisheries allocations and harvest 
guidelines, and Table 2d (At-Sea whiting fishery annual set asides).

Classification

    Pursuant to section 304(b)(1)(A) of the Magnuson-Stevens Act, the 
NMFS Assistant Administrator has determined that this proposed rule is 
consistent with the Secretarial Amendment 1, other provisions of the 
Magnuson-Stevens Act, and other applicable law, subject to further 
consideration after public comment.
    This proposed rule has been determined to be not significant for 
purposes of Executive Order 12866.
    A DEIS and FEIS were prepared for the 2011-2012 groundfish harvest 
specifications and management measures, which this action would 
implement in part. The DEIS includes an RIR and an IRFA; the FEIS 
includes a FRFA. The Environmental Protection Agency published a notice 
of availability for the final EIS associated with this action on March 
11, 2011 (76 FR 13401). A copy of the DEIS and/or FEIS is available 
online at http://www.pcouncil.org/.
    NMFS prepared an initial regulatory flexibility analysis (IRFA) for 
this rule, as required by section 603 of the RFA (RFA). The IRFA 
describes the economic impact this proposed rule, if adopted, would 
have on small entities. A description of the action, why it is being 
considered, and the legal basis for this action are contained at the 
beginning of this section and in the preamble. For the 2011-2012 
biennium, NMFS published a final rule that established harvest 
specifications and management measures for most species (75 FR 27508, 
May 11, 2011). The IRFA and the FRFA associated with the May 11, 2011 
rule making (and with the DEIS and FEIS) describe the economic impacts 
of the measures being proposed in this rule. The discussion below, 
except for the update on recent trends in the shorebased trawl fishery, 
repeats the FRFA discussion found in the preamble of the May 11, 2011 
rule. A copy of the IRFA is available from NMFS (see ADDRESSES).
    The following summary is based on analyses discussed in Chapter 4 
of the FEIS and in the May 2011 FRFA.
    NMFS considered five alternatives to the proposed action. A no 
action alternative, the Council's final preferred alternative, and 
three alternatives which were discussed as a ``low'', ``intermediate'' 
and ``high'' options for overfished species ACLs. The No Action 
alternative would have retained the status quo in the fishery prior to 
NMFS' implementing the emergency rules. The Council's preferred 
alternative, Alternative 3, was a mixture of ``high'' and 
``intermediate'' ACLs for overfished species. It is discussed in detail 
below. NMFS' preferred alternative was a slightly modified version of 
the Council's preferred alternative and only varied in the ACL values 
for two overfished species. The low, intermediate, and high 
alternatives varied only in their ACLs for overfished species. After 
adjusting each alternative to have the same level of whiting harvests, 
there are no differences between the Council's FPA and the NMFS 
preferred alternative in terms of ex-vessel revenues and recreational 
trips.
    The overall economic impact of NMFS' preferred alternative is that 
many sectors are expected to achieve social and economic benefits 
similar to those under the current regulations, or the No Action 
alternative. For both 2011 and 2012, the combined total annual ex-
vessel revenues associated with the NMFS preferred alternative 
including at-sea whiting, is expected to be about $90 million, compared 
with the No-Action level of $82 million. (Note that ex-vessel revenues 
are just one indicator of the commercial value of the fishery. For 
example, they understate the wholesale, export, and retail revenues 
earned from the fishery. Data on these other indicators is either 
incomplete or unavailable.)
    On a coastwide basis, excluding at-sea whiting, commercial ex-
vessel revenues for the non-tribal and tribal groundfish sectors are 
estimated to be approximately $70 million per year under NMFS' 
preferred alternative, compared with approximately $68 million under No 
Action; and the number of recreational bottom fish trips is estimated 
to be 646,000 under NMFS' preferred alternative compared with 609,000 
under No Action. However, there are differences in the distribution of 
ex-vessel revenue and angler trips on a regional basis and on a sector-
by-sector basis. These changes are driven by changes in the forecast 
abundance for target species and overfished species. The significant 
changes to major commercial target species are associated with Pacific 
whiting, Dover sole, petrale sole and sablefish. Compared to the No-
Action Alternative, Pacific whiting harvests are expected to increase 
by 50 percent and Dover sole by 25 percent, while sablefish harvests 
are expected to decrease by 10 percent and petrale sole harvests by 23 
percent. With the exception of the Pacific whiting and nearshore open 
access sectors, all other non-tribal commercial fisheries sectors are 
expected to receive lower levels of

[[Page 59637]]

ex-vessel revenues than under No Action. The limited entry fixed gear 
sector shows the greatest projected decline (-10 percent) in revenue as 
a result of the sablefish ACL decrease. The Pacific whiting fishery at-
sea sector (including tribal) revenues are expected to increase by 51 
percent and the shoreside whiting trawl (excluding tribal) revenues are 
expected to increase by 33 percent. Ex-vessel revenues in both the non-
whiting trawl (excluding tribal) and the tribal shoreside fisheries 
(trawl and fixed, including whiting) are expected to decrease by about 
2 percent.
    A variety of time/area closures applicable to commercial vessels 
have been implemented in recent years. The most extensive of these are 
the Rockfish Conservation Areas (RCAs), which have been in place since 
2002 to prohibit vessels from fishing in depths where overfished 
groundfish species are more abundant. Different RCA configurations 
apply to the limited entry trawl sector and the limited entry fixed 
gear and open access sectors. In addition, the depth ranges covered can 
vary by latitudinal zone and time period. The alternatives vary 
somewhat in terms of the extent of RCAs. In addition to the RCAs, two 
Cowcod Conservation Areas (CCAs) have been in place since 1999 in the 
Southern California Bight to reduce bycatch of the overfished cowcod 
stock, and yelloweye conservation areas have been established off the 
Washington Coast to reduce bycatch of the overfished yelloweye rockfish 
stock. The NMFS preferred alternative for the limited entry non-whiting 
trawl fleet generates slightly lower ex-vessel revenue on a coastwide 
basis when compared to revenues under the current regulations or No 
Action alternative. This difference is primarily driven by a decrease 
in the abundance of sablefish and petrale sole as opposed to changes in 
status of constraining species. Area-based management for the limited 
entry non-whiting trawl fleet under the NMFS preferred alternative will 
be comparable to what was in place in 2009 and 2010--the area north of 
Cape Alava, Washington and shoreward of the trawl RCA will remain 
closed in order to protect overfished rockfish species. Given the 
decreased amount of fishable area in northern Washington since 2009, 
fishery participants are expected to continue to experience higher 
costs due to increases in fuel required to travel to and fish at those 
deeper depths would remain.
    The fixed gear sablefish sector will generate lower revenue under 
NMFS' preferred alternative than No Action because the sablefish ACL 
has decreased. However, the fixed gear fleet will have somewhat more 
area available for fishing than under No Action, because fishing will 
be open at depths deeper than 100 fm (183 m) north of 40[deg]10' north 
latitude, whereas under No Action, depths between 100 fm (183 m) and 
125 fm (229 m) will only open on days when the Pacific halibut fishery 
is open. Fixed gear fisheries south of 36[deg] N. latitude will see 
sablefish harvest close to status quo levels. There are no recommended 
changes to area management relative to status quo.
    Under NMFS' preferred alternative, the nearshore groundfish fishery 
is expected to have a moderate increase in ex-vessel revenues compared 
with No Action due to increased targeting opportunities for black 
rockfish (between 42[deg] N. latitude and 40[deg]10' N. latitude) and 
cabezon south (South of 42[deg] N. latitude). Fishing areas open to the 
nearshore fleets will be roughly the same as under No Action. Fishing 
opportunity and economic impacts to the nearshore groundfish sector are 
largely driven by the need to protect canary and especially yelloweye 
rockfish.
    Excluding whiting, the NMFS preferred alternative is projected to 
decrease ex-vessel revenues by 3%, thereby providing the west coast 
economy with slightly lower ex-vessel revenues than was generated by 
the fishery under No Action. However, effects on buyers and processors 
along the coast will vary depending location. In addition, NMFS' 
preferred alternative attempts to take into account the desire 
expressed by buyers and processors to have a year-round groundfish 
fishery. Individual quota management for trawl fisheries should help 
accommodate this preference; however, in practice, in the absence of 
trip limits it is somewhat uncertain how trawl landings will be 
distributed in time and space.
    In terms of recreational angler effort, the number of angler trips 
under NMFS' preferred alternative is slightly higher compared to No 
Action, but somewhat less than in 2009. However, an increase in angler 
effort under NMFS' preferred alternative occurs primarily in south and 
central California, while northern Washington shows a slight increase 
and Oregon shows no change compared with No Action. It is expected that 
under the proposed 2011-2012 management measures, tribal groundfish 
fisheries will generate less revenue and personal income than under No 
Action due to a reduction in sablefish harvest.
    The 2011-2012 period will be the first groundfish management cycle 
in which the shoreside trawl sector fisheries will be conducted under 
the Amendment 20 trawl rationalization program, including issuance and 
tracking of individual fishing quotas (IFQ) for most trawl-caught 
groundfish species. IFQ management is designed to provide opportunities 
for fisherman and processors to maximize the value of their fishery by 
creating incentives to make the optimum use of available target and 
bycatch species. Since all trawl trips will be observed, catch of 
constraining overfished species will be monitored in real time, and 
individuals will be held directly responsible for ``covering'' all 
catch of groundfish species with IFQ. Since using IFQ to constrain 
catch of overfished species represents a real cost in terms of money 
and/or fishing opportunity, NMFS expects that fishers will take special 
care to avoid unnecessary catch of these species.
    At the same time there is uncertainty about how individuals will be 
able to manage the individual risk inherent in a system based on 
personal responsibility. This issue may present a considerable 
challenge, especially to small businesses that have access to only a 
single limited entry trawl permit. Exhausting all readily available 
supplies of IFQ for a particularly constraining species such as 
yelloweye may result in the business being effectively shut down for 
the remainder of the season. Partly for this reason it is expected that 
over time the number of vessels and permits engaging in the limited 
entry trawl fishery will decline as fishers strive to consolidate 
available IFQ onto a smaller number of vessels in order to reduce the 
costs of harvesting the quotas. A smaller number of active vessels will 
mean reductions in the number of crew hired and in expenditures made in 
local ports for materials, equipment, supplies and vessel maintenance. 
As such, while wages and profits for those crew and vessel owners that 
do remain in the fishery should increase, the amount and distribution 
of ex-vessel revenues and community income will change in ways that are 
not yet foreseeable, but probably to the detriment of some businesses 
and communities currently involved in the groundfish trawl fishery.
    Due to these types of countervailing uncertainties, impacts on 
trawl fisheries under the 2011-2012 management measures used in this 
analysis were estimated using a model designed to project overfished 
species bycatch levels under a status quo cumulative trip limit 
management regime. Likewise, the model used to estimate community 
income impacts was calibrated based on recently estimated spending 
patterns for regional vessels and processors. While providing a useful 
starting point for comparing gross-level effects under the

[[Page 59638]]

alternatives, the true range of economic impacts achievable under the 
rationalized, IFQ-managed fishery may reflect a considerable departure 
from these estimates.
    The above discussion indicates that there were uncertainties in the 
economic modeling because of the implementation of the IFQ program. In 
comparing 2011 to 2010 through June of each year: Effort in terms of 
number of trips has decreased by 50 percent; or in terms of vessels has 
decreased by 30 percent. Average catch per vessel has remained 
constant; however, average revenue per vessel has increased 27 percent. 
Total landings have decreased by 30 percent and total revenues have 
decreased by 10 percent. The fish are being processed by fewer buyers--
the number of buyers has fallen from 41 to 25 while the number of ports 
where fish are processed has fallen from 18 to 15. Average ex-vessel 
price has increased from $0.49/lb to $0.62/lb. One of the major reasons 
for the increase in prices is related to sablefish. Trawl sablefish ex-
vessel prices for January-June 2011 prices are up to an average of 
$2.41/lb. versus $1.83/lb. last year based on simple averages by port, 
for Jan-June. These estimates are preliminary and it is not clear if 
these trends will be maintained as the fishery moves into the summer 
and fall fisheries.
    The IRFA analysis includes a discussion of small businesses. This 
rule will regulate businesses that harvest groundfish. According to the 
Small Business Administration, a small commercial harvesting business 
is one that has annual receipts under $4 million, and a small charter 
boat business is one that has annual receipts under $7 million. The 
IRFA estimates that implementation of NMFS preferred alternative will 
affect about 2,600 small entities. These small entities are those that 
are directly regulated by this proposed rule that is being promulgated 
to support implementation of NMFS' preferred alternative. These 
entities are associated with those vessels that either target 
groundfish or harvest groundfish as bycatch. Consequently, these are 
the vessels, other than catcher-processors, that participate in the 
limited entry portion of the fishery, the open access fishery, the 
charter boat fleet, and the tribal fleets. Catcher/processors also 
operate in the Alaska pollock fishery, and all are associated with 
larger companies such as Trident and American Seafoods. Therefore, it 
is assumed that all catcher/processors are ``large'' entities.
    Best estimates of the limited entry groundfish fleet are taken from 
the NMFS Limited Entry Permits Office. As of June 2010, there are 399 
limited entry permits, including 177 endorsed for trawl (172 trawl 
only, 4 trawl and longline, and 1 trawl and trap-pot); 199 endorsed for 
longline (191 longline only, 4 longline and trap-pot, and 4 trawl and 
longline); and 32 endorsed for trap-pot (27 trap-pot only, 4 longline 
and trap-pot, and 1 trawl and trap-pot). Of the longline and trap-pot 
permits, 164 are sablefish endorsed. Of these endorsements 130 are 
``stacked'' (e.g. more than one permit registered to a single vessel) 
on 50 vessels. Ten of the limited entry trawl endorsed permits are used 
or owned by catcher/processor companies associated with the whiting 
fishery. The remaining 389 entities are assumed to be small businesses 
based on a review of sector revenues and average revenues per entity. 
The open access or nearshore fleet, depending on the year and level of 
participation, is estimated to be about 1,300 to 1,600 vessels. Again, 
these are assumed to be ``small entities.'' The tribal fleet includes 
about 53 vessels, and the charter boat fleet includes 525 vessels that 
are also assumed to be ``small entities.''
    NMFS' preferred alternative represents efforts to address the 
directions provided by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, which 
emphasizes the need to rebuild stocks in as short a time as possible, 
taking into account: (1) The status and biology of the stocks; (2) the 
needs of fishing communities; and (3) interactions of depleted stocks 
within the marine ecosystem. By taking into account the ``needs of 
fishing communities,'' NMFS simultaneously takes into account the 
``needs of small businesses,'' as fishing communities rely on small 
businesses as a source of economic activity and income. The FEIS and 
RIR/IRFA include analysis of a range of alternatives that were 
considered by the Council, including analysis of the effects of setting 
allowable harvest levels necessary to rebuild the seven groundfish 
species that were previously declared overfished. An eighth species, 
petrale sole, was declared overfished in 2010 and this action includes 
a new rebuilding plan for this species along with the ACLs and 
management measures consistent with the adopted rebuilding plan. 
Associated rebuilding analyses for all eight species estimate the time 
to rebuild under various levels of harvest.
    The Council initially considered a wider range of alternatives, but 
ultimately rejected from further analysis alternatives allowing harvest 
levels higher than what is generally consistent with current policies 
for rebuilding overfished stocks and a ``no fishing'' scenario (F=0). 
Section 2.4 of the FEIS describes six integrated alternatives including 
No Action, the Council's FPA, the NMFS preferred alternative, and three 
other alternatives (including the Council's Preliminary Preferred 
Alternative, which is similar to the Council's FPA). NMFS finds that 
the F=0 and Alternatives 1A, 1B, and 2, while resulting in shorter 
rebuilding times for most of the overfished species, lead to projected 
major decreases in commercial revenues and recreational activity. 
Allowing too many communities to suffer commercial or recreational 
losses greater than 10 percent fails to take into account the needs of 
fishing communities. Alternative 3, the Council FPA, and NMFS' 
preferred alternative all reduce the impacts to communities to less 
than 10 percent, but they differ in their impacts on rebuilding times.
    Alternative 3 reduces rebuilding times from status quo for many of 
the overfished species, but does not reduce the rebuilding time for 
yelloweye rockfish, and results in only minor reductions for cowcod and 
darkblotched and rockfish. The Council's FPA improves upon Alternative 
3 by reducing the rebuilding time for darkblotched rockfish by two 
years while maintaining Alternative 3's small positive increases in 
commercial revenues and recreational activity. The NMFS preferred 
alternative improves over the Council FPA by further reducing the 
rebuilding times of cowcod and yelloweye by three years and ten years, 
respectively. Comparison of the action alternatives with the No Action 
alternative allows an evaluation of the economic implications to 
groundfish sectors, ports, and fishing communities; and the interaction 
of depleted species within the marine ecosystem of reducing ACLs for 
overfished species to rebuild stocks faster than they would under the 
rebuilding strategies that NMFS adopted and has modified consistent 
with new, scientific information on the status and biology of these 
stocks.
    Alternative 2011-2012 groundfish management measures are designed 
to provide opportunities to harvest healthy target species within the 
constraints of alternative ACLs for overfished species. The integrated 
alternatives allow estimation of target species catch under the suite 
of ACLs for overfished species both to demonstrate if target species 
ACLs are projected to be exceeded, and to estimate related 
socioeconomic impacts.
    The Council reviewed these analyses and read and heard testimony 
from

[[Page 59639]]

Council advisors, fishing industry representatives, representatives 
from non-governmental organizations, and the general public before 
deciding the Council's FPA in June 2010. The Council's final preferred 
management measures are intended to stay within all the final 
recommended harvest levels for groundfish species decided by the 
Council at their April and June 2010 meetings. NMFS reviewed these 
analyses, read and heard testimony from Council advisors, fishing 
industry representatives, representatives from non-governmental 
organizations, the general public, and considered legal obligations to 
comply with a court order (NRDC v. Locke) before deciding NMFS' 
preferred alternative in February 2011. The NMFS preferred management 
measures are intended to stay within all the final recommended harvest 
levels for groundfish species that were part of the NMFS preferred 
alternative.
    NMFS issued Biological Opinions under the Endangered Species Act 
(ESA) on August 10, 1990, November 26, 1991, August 28, 1992, September 
27, 1993, May 14, 1996, and December 15, 1999 pertaining to the effects 
of the Pacific Coast groundfish PCGFMP fisheries on Chinook salmon 
(Puget Sound, Snake River spring/summer, Snake River fall, upper 
Columbia River spring, lower Columbia River, upper Willamette River, 
Sacramento River winter, Central Valley spring, California coastal), 
coho salmon (Central California coastal, southern Oregon/northern 
California coastal), chum salmon (Hood Canal summer, Columbia River), 
sockeye salmon (Snake River, Ozette Lake), and steelhead (upper, middle 
and lower Columbia River, Snake River Basin, upper Willamette River, 
central California coast, California Central Valley, south/central 
California, northern California, southern California). These biological 
opinions have concluded that implementation of the PCGFMP for the 
Pacific Coast groundfish fishery is not expected to jeopardize the 
continued existence of any endangered or threatened species under the 
jurisdiction of NMFS, or result in the destruction or adverse 
modification of critical habitat.
    NMFS reinitiated a formal section 7 consultation under the ESA in 
2005 for both the Pacific whiting midwater trawl fishery and the 
groundfish bottom trawl fishery. The December 19, 1999, Biological 
Opinion had defined an 11,000 Chinook incidental take threshold for the 
Pacific whiting fishery. During the 2005 Pacific whiting season, the 
11,000 fish Chinook incidental take threshold was exceeded, triggering 
reinitiation. Also in 2005, new data from the West Coast Groundfish 
Observer Program became available, allowing NMFS to complete an 
analysis of salmon take in the bottom trawl fishery.
    NMFS prepared a Supplemental Biological Opinion dated March 11, 
2006, which addressed salmon take in both the Pacific whiting midwater 
trawl and groundfish bottom trawl fisheries. In its 2006 Supplemental 
Biological Opinion, NMFS concluded that catch rates of salmon in the 
2005 whiting fishery were consistent with expectations considered 
during prior consultations. Chinook bycatch has averaged about 7,300 
fish from 1991-2005, and has only occasionally exceeded the 
reinitiation trigger of 11,000 fish. From 2005-2010 the average Chinook 
bycatch was 4,130 fish, well below the average from 1991-2005. The 
Chinook ESUs most likely affected by the whiting fishery have generally 
improved in status since the 1999 section 7 consultation. Although 
these species remain at risk, as indicated by their ESA listing, NMFS 
concluded that the higher observed bycatch in 2005 does not require a 
reconsideration of its prior ``no jeopardy'' conclusion with respect to 
the fishery.
    For the groundfish bottom trawl fishery, NMFS concluded that 
incidental take in the groundfish fisheries is within the overall 
limits articulated in the Incidental Take Statement of the 1999 
Biological Opinion. The groundfish bottom trawl limit from that opinion 
was 9,000 fish annually. NMFS will continue to monitor and collect data 
to analyze take levels. NMFS also reaffirmed its prior determination 
that implementation of the Groundfish PCGFMP is not likely to 
jeopardize the continued existence of any of the affected ESUs.
    Lower Columbia River coho (70 FR 37160, June 28, 2005) and Oregon 
Coastal coho (73 FR 7816, February 11, 2008) were recently relisted as 
threatened under the ESA. The 1999 biological opinion concluded that 
the bycatch of salmonids in the Pacific whiting fishery were almost 
entirely Chinook salmon, with little or no bycatch of coho, chum, 
sockeye, and steelhead.
    The Southern Distinct Population Segment (DPS) of green sturgeon 
was listed as threatened under the ESA (71 FR 17757, April 7, 2006). 
The southern DPS of Pacific eulachon was listed as threatened on March 
18, 2010, under the ESA (75 FR 13012). NMFS has reinitiated 
consultation on the fishery, including impacts on green sturgeon, 
eulachon, marine mammals, and turtles.
    After reviewing the available information, NMFS has concluded that, 
consistent with sections 7(a)(2) and 7(d) of the ESA, this action would 
not jeopardize any listed species, would not adversely modify any 
designated critical habitat, and would not result in any irreversible 
or irretrievable commitment of resources that would have the effect of 
foreclosing the formulation or implementation of any reasonable and 
prudent alternative measures.
    Pursuant to Executive Order 13175, this proposed rule was developed 
after meaningful consultation and collaboration with tribal officials 
from the area covered by the PCGFMP. Under the Magnuson-Stevens Act at 
16 U.S.C. 1852(b)(5), one of the voting members of the Pacific Council 
must be a representative of an Indian tribe with federally recognized 
fishing rights from the area of the Council's jurisdiction. In 
addition, regulations implementing the PCGFMP establish a procedure by 
which the tribes with treaty fishing rights in the area covered by the 
PCGFMP request new allocations or regulations specific to the tribes, 
in writing, before the first of the two meetings at which the Council 
considers groundfish management measures. The regulations at 50 CFR 
660.324(d) further state ``the Secretary will develop tribal 
allocations and regulations under this paragraph in consultation with 
the affected tribe(s) and, insofar as possible, with tribal 
consensus.''

List of Subjects in 50 CFR Part 660

    Fisheries, Fishing, and Indian fisheries.

    Dated: September 20, 2011.
Samuel D. Rauch III,
Deputy Assistant Administrator for Regulatory Programs, National Marine 
Fisheries Service.

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

PART 660--FISHERIES OFF WEST COAST STATES

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

    Authority: 16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq., 16 U.S.C. 773 et seq., and 16 
U.S.C. 7001 et seq.

    2. Revise Sec.  660.40 to read as follows:


Sec.  660.40  Overfished species rebuilding plans.

    For each overfished groundfish stock with an approved rebuilding 
plan, this section contains the standards to be used to establish 
annual or biennial ACLs, specifically the target date for rebuilding 
the stock to its MSY level

[[Page 59640]]

and the harvest control rule to be used to rebuild the stock. The 
harvest control rule is expressed as a ``Spawning Potential Ratio'' or 
``SPR'' harvest rate.
    (a) Bocaccio. Bocaccio south of 40[deg]10' N. latitude was declared 
overfished in 1999. The target year for rebuilding the bocaccio stock 
south of 40[deg]10' N. latitude to BMSY is 2022. The harvest 
control rule to be used to rebuild the southern bocaccio stock is an 
annual SPR harvest rate of 77.7 percent.
    (b) Canary rockfish. Canary rockfish was declared overfished in 
2000. The target year for rebuilding the canary rockfish stock to 
BMSY is 2027. The harvest control rule to be used to rebuild 
the canary rockfish stock is an annual SPR harvest rate of 88.7 
percent.
    (c) Cowcod. Cowcod was declared overfished in 2000. The target year 
for rebuilding the cowcod stock south of 40[deg]10' N. latitude to 
BMSY is 2068. The harvest control rule to be used to rebuild 
the cowcod stock is an annual SPR harvest rate of 82.7 percent.
    (d) Darkblotched rockfish. Darkblotched rockfish was declared 
overfished in 2000. The target year for rebuilding the darkblotched 
rockfish stock to BMSY is 2025. The harvest control rule to 
be used to rebuild the darkblotched rockfish stock is an annual SPR 
harvest rate of 64.9 percent.
    (e) Pacific Ocean Perch (POP). POP was declared overfished in 1999. 
The target year for rebuilding the POP stock to BMSY is 
2020. The harvest control rule to be used to rebuild the POP stock is 
an annual SPR harvest rate of 86.4 percent.
    (f) Petrale Sole. Petrale sole was declared overfished in 2010. The 
target year for rebuilding the petrale sole stock to BMSY is 
2016. The harvest control rule is the 25-5 default adjustment, which 
corresponds to an annual SPR harvest rate of 32.4 percent in 2012.
    (g) Widow rockfish. Widow rockfish was declared overfished in 2001. 
The target year for rebuilding the widow rockfish stock to 
BMSY is 2010. The harvest control rule is a constant catch 
of 600 mt, which corresponds to an annual SPR harvest rate of 91.3 
percent in 2012.
    (h) Yelloweye rockfish. Yelloweye rockfish was declared overfished 
in 2002. The target year for rebuilding the yelloweye rockfish stock to 
BMSY is 2074. The harvest control rule to be used to rebuild 
the yelloweye rockfish stock is an annual SPR harvest rate of 76.0 
percent.
    3. Revise Sec.  660.50(f)(3) to read as follows:
* * * * *
    (f) * * *
    (1) * * *
    (2) * * *
    (3) Lingcod taken in the treaty fisheries are subject to an overall 
expected total lingcod catch of 250 mt, which is attributable to the 
stock north of 42[deg] N. latitude.
    4. Tables 2a, 2b, and 2d to Part 660, Subpart C are amended to read 
as follows:
BILLING CODE 5001-06-P

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BILLING CODE 5001-06-C
    5. In Sec.  660.140 revise paragraph (c)(1), (c)(2), (d)(1)(ii)(D), 
(d)(4)(i)(C), and (e)(4)(i) to read as follows:


Sec.  660.140  Shorebased IFQ Program.

* * * * *
    (c) * * *
    (1) IFQ species. IFQ species are those groundfish species and 
Pacific halibut in the exclusive economic zone or adjacent state waters 
off Washington, Oregon and California, under the jurisdiction of the 
Pacific Fishery Management Council, for which QS and IBQ will be 
issued. Groupings and area subdivisions for IFQ species are those 
groupings and area subdivisions for which ACLs or ACTs are specified in 
the Tables 1a through 2d, subpart C, and those for which there is an 
area-specific precautionary harvest policy. The lists of individual 
groundfish species included in the minor shelf complex north of 
40[deg]10' N. lat., minor shelf complex south of 40[deg]10' N. lat., 
minor slope complex north 40[deg]10' N. lat., minor slope complex south 
of 40[deg]10' N. lat., and in the other flatfish complex are specified 
under the definition of ``groundfish'' at Sec.  660.11. The following 
are the IFQ species:

                               IFQ Species
------------------------------------------------------------------------
 
-------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                Roundfish
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Lingcod N of 42[deg]
Lingcod S of 42[deg]
Pacific cod
Pacific whiting
Sablefish N. of 36[deg]
Sablefish S. of 36[deg]
------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                Flatfish
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Dover sole
English sole
Petrale sole
Arrowtooth flounder
Starry flounder

[[Page 59654]]

 
Other flatfish stock complex
Pacific halibut (IBQ) N. of 40[deg]10'
------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                Rockfish
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Pacific ocean perch N. of 40[deg]10'
Widow rockfish
Canary rockfish
Chilipepper rockfish S. of 40[deg]10'
Bocaccio S of 40[deg]10'
Splitnose rockfish S. of 40[deg]10'
Yellowtail rockfish N. of 40[deg]10'
Shortspine thornyhead N. of 34[deg]27'
Shortspine thornyhead S. of 34[deg]27'
Longspine thornyhead N. of 34[deg]27'
Cowcod S. of 40[deg]10'
Darkblotched rockfish
Yelloweye rockfish
Minor shelf rockfish complex N. of 40[deg]10'
Minor shelf rockfish complex S. of 40[deg]10'
Minor slope rockfish complex N. of 40[deg]10'
Minor slope rockfish complex S. of 40[deg]10'
------------------------------------------------------------------------

    (2) IFQ Management areas. A vessel participating in the Shorebased 
IFQ Program may not fish in more than one IFQ management area during a 
trip. IFQ management areas are as follows:
    (i) Between the US/Canada border and 42[deg]N. lat.,
    (ii) Between 42[deg]N. lat. and 40[deg]10' N. lat.,
    (iii) Between 40[deg]10' N. lat. and 36[deg] N. lat.,
    (iv) Between 36[deg]N. lat. and 34[deg]27' N. lat.,
    (v) Between 34[deg]27' N. lat. and the US/Mexico border.
* * * * *
    (d) * * *
    (1) * * *
    (ii) * * *
    (D) For the 2012 trawl fishery, NMFS will issue QP based on the 
following shorebased trawl allocations:

------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                       Shorebased trawl
         IFQ Species              Management area       allocation (mt)
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Lingcod......................  North of 42[deg] N.                840.00
                                lat.
Lingcod......................  South of 42[deg] N.                970.65
                                lat.
Pacific cod..................  .....................            1,135.00
Pacific Whiting..............  .....................                 TBD
Sablefish....................  North of 36[deg] N.              2,467.00
                                lat.
Sablefish....................  South of 36[deg] N.                514.08
                                lat.
Dover sole...................  .....................           22,234.50
English sole.................  .....................            9,542.50
Petrale sole.................  .....................            1,054.60
Arrowtooth flounder..........  .....................            9,462.45
Starry flounder..............  .....................              671.50
Other flatfish...............  .....................            4,197.40
Pacific Ocean perch..........  North of 40[deg]10'                119.50
                                N. lat.
Widow rockfish...............  .....................              342.62
Canary rockfish..............  .....................               26.60
Chilipepper rockfish.........  South of 40[deg]10'              1,331.25
                                N. lat.
Bocaccio rockfish............  South of 40[deg]10'                 60.00
                                N. lat.
Splitnose rockfish...........  South of 40[deg]10'              1,454.45
                                N. lat.
Yellowtail rockfish..........  North of 40[deg]10'              3,107.36
                                N. lat.
Shortspine thornyhead........  North of 34[deg]27'              1,415.45
                                N. lat.
Shortspine thornyhead........  South of 34[deg]27'                 50.00
                                N. lat.
Longspine thornyhead.........  North of 34[deg]27'              1,914.00
                                N. lat.
Cowcod.......................  South of 40[deg]10'                  1.80
                                N. lat.
Darkblotched rockfish........  .....................              248.94
Yelloweye rockfish...........  .....................                0.60
Minor shelf rockfish complex.  North of 40[deg]10'                522.00
                                N. lat.
Minor shelf rockfish complex.  South of 40[deg]10'                 86.00
                                N. lat.
Minor slope rockfish complex.  North of 40[deg]10'                829.52
                                N. lat.
Minor slope rockfish complex.  South of 40[deg]10'                377.37
                                N. lat.
------------------------------------------------------------------------

* * * * *
    (4) * * *
    (i) * * *
    (C) The Shorebased IFQ program accumulation limits are as follows:

------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                            QS and IBQ
                    Species category                       control limit
                                                           (in percent)
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Non-whiting groundfish species..........................             2.7
Lingcod--N. of 42[deg]..................................             2.5
Lingcod--S. of 42[deg]..................................             2.5
Pacific cod.............................................            12.0
Pacific whiting (shoreside).............................            10.0
Sablefish
  N. of 36[deg] (Monterey north)........................             3.0
  S. of 36[deg] (Conception area).......................            10.0
Pacific ocean perch N. of 40[deg]10'....................             4.0
Widow rockfish..........................................             5.1
Canary rockfish.........................................             4.4
Chilipepper rockfish S. of 40[deg]10'...................            10.0
Bocaccio S. of 40[deg]10'...............................            13.2
Splitnose rockfish S. of 40[deg]10'.....................            10.0
Yellowtail rockfish N. of 40[deg]10'....................             5.0
Shortspine thornyhead:
  N. of 34[deg]27'......................................             6.0
  S. of 34[deg]27'......................................             6.0
Longspine thornyhead:
    N. of 34[deg]27'....................................             6.0
Cowcod S. of 40[deg]10'.................................            17.7
Darkblotched rockfish...................................             4.5
Yelloweye rockfish......................................             5.7
Minor rockfish complex N. of 40[deg]10':
  Shelf species.........................................             5.0
  Slope species.........................................             5.0
Minor rockfish complex S. of 40[deg]10':
  Shelf species.........................................             9.0
  Slope species.........................................             6.0
Dover sole..............................................             2.6
English sole............................................             5.0
Petrale sole............................................             3.0
Arrowtooth flounder.....................................            10.0
Starry flounder.........................................            10.0
Other flatfish stock complex............................            10.0
Pacific halibut (IBQ) N. of 40[deg]10'..................             5.4
------------------------------------------------------------------------

* * * * *
    (e) * * *
    (4) * * *

[[Page 59655]]

    (i) Vessel limits. Vessel accounts may not have QP or IBQ pounds in 
excess of the QP Vessel Limit in any year, and, for species covered by 
Unused QP Vessel Limits, may not have QP or IBQ pounds in excess of the 
Unused QP Vessel Limit at any time. These amounts are as follows:

------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                             QP vessel       Unused QP
                                           limit (annual   vessel limit
            Species category                limit) (in     (daily limit)
                                             percent)      (in percent)
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Non-whiting groundfish species..........             3.2  ..............
Lingcod--N of 42[deg]...................             3.8  ..............
Lingcod--S of 42[deg]...................             3.8  ..............
Pacific cod.............................            20.0  ..............
Pacific whiting (shoreside).............            15.0  ..............
Sablefish:
    N. of 36[deg] (Monterey north)......             4.5  ..............
    S. of 36[deg] (Conception area).....            15.0  ..............
Pacific ocean perch N. of 40[deg]10'....             6.0             4.0
Widow rockfish \1\......................             8.5             5.1
Canary rockfish.........................            10.0             4.4
Chilipepper rockfish S. of 40[deg]10'...            15.0  ..............
Bocaccio S. of 40[deg]10'...............            15.4            13.2
Splitnose rockfish S. of 40[deg]10'.....            15.0  ..............
Yellowtail rockfish N. of 40[deg]10'....             7.5  ..............
Shortspine thornyhead:..................
    N. of 34[deg]27'....................             9.0  ..............
    S. of 34[deg]27'....................             9.0  ..............
Longspine thornyhead:
    N. of 34[deg]27'....................             9.0  ..............
Cowcod S. of 40[deg]10'.................            17.7            17.7
Darkblotched rockfish...................             6.8             4.5
Yelloweye rockfish......................            11.4             5.7
Minor rockfish complex N. of 40[deg]10':
    Shelf species.......................             7.5  ..............
    Slope species.......................             7.5  ..............
Minor rockfish complex S. of 40[deg]10':
    Shelf species.......................            13.5  ..............
    Slope species.......................             9.0  ..............
Dover sole..............................             3.9  ..............
English sole............................             7.5  ..............
Petrale sole............................             4.5  ..............
Arrowtooth flounder.....................            20.0  ..............
Starry flounder.........................            20.0  ..............
Other flatfish stock complex............            15.0  ..............
Pacific halibut (IBQ) N. of 40[deg]10'..            14.4             5.4
------------------------------------------------------------------------
\1\ If widow rockfish is rebuilt before initial allocation of QS, the
  vessel limit will be set at 1.5 times the control limit.

* * * * *
    6. In Sec.  660.231 paragraph (b)(3)(i) is revised to read as 
follows:


Sec.  660.231  Limited entry fixed gear sablefish primary fishery.

* * * * *
    (b) * * *
    (3) Cumulative limits.
    (i) A vessel participating in the primary season will be 
constrained by the sablefish cumulative limit associated with each of 
the permits registered for use with that vessel. During the primary 
season, each vessel authorized to fish in that season under paragraph 
(a) of this section may take, retain, possess, and land sablefish, up 
to the cumulative limits for each of the permits registered for use 
with that vessel (i.e., stacked permits). If multiple limited entry 
permits with sablefish endorsements are registered for use with a 
single vessel, that vessel may land up to the total of all cumulative 
limits announced in this paragraph for the tiers for those permits, 
except as limited by paragraph (b)(3)(ii) of this section. Up to 3 
permits may be registered for use with a single vessel during the 
primary season; thus, a single vessel may not take and retain, possess 
or land more than 3 primary season sablefish cumulative limits in any 
one year. A vessel registered for use with multiple limited entry 
permits is subject to per vessel limits for species other than 
sablefish, and to per vessel limits when participating in the daily 
trip limit fishery for sablefish under Sec.  660.232, subpart E. In 
2011, the following annual limits are in effect: Tier 1 at 47,697 lb 
(21,635 kg), Tier 2 at 21,680 lb (9,834 kg), and Tier 3 at 12,389 lb 
(5,620kg). For 2012 and beyond, the following annual limits are in 
effect: Tier 1 at 46,238 lb (21,017 kg), Tier 2 at 21,017 lb (9553 kg), 
and Tier 3 at 12,010 lb (5,459 kg).
* * * * *
[FR Doc. 2011-24702 Filed 9-26-11; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 3510-22-P