Western Pacific Pelagic Fisheries; Modification of American Samoa Large Vessel Prohibited Area, 23654-23657 [2012-9599]

Download as PDF 23654 Federal Register / Vol. 77, No. 77 / Friday, April 20, 2012 / Proposed Rules revise the commercial quota for greater amberjack. Management Measure Contained in This Proposed Rule Greater Amberjack Commercial Quota The final rule to implement the Comprehensive ACL Amendment (77 FR 15916, March 16, 2012) implemented ACLs and AMs for greater amberjack. However, as noted above, NMFS inadvertently failed to revise the commercial quota for greater amberjack. Because the commercial quota serves as the commercial sector ACL, which acts as the trigger for the commercial sector’s AM, without the revised commercial quota, the commercial sector ACL is incomplete. This rule would revise the greater amberjack commercial quota to accurately reflect the actions within the amendment and meet the intent of the Council. This rule reduces the current commercial sector quota of 1,169,931 lb (530,672 kg), gutted weight, to 769,388 lb (348,989 kg), gutted weight. tkelley on DSK3SPTVN1PROD with PROPOSALS 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 Comprehensive ACL Amendment, 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. The Chief Counsel for Regulation of the Department of Commerce certified to the Chief Counsel for Advocacy of the Small Business Administration that the final rule to implement the Comprehensive ACL Amendment would not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. The purpose of this proposed rule, as described in the preamble, is to revise the commercial greater amberjack quota that was inadvertently not revised in the final rule implementing the Comprehensive ACL Amendment (77 FR 15916, March 16, 2012), consistent with the intent of the Council. The effects of the commercial quota, 800,163 lb (362,948 kg), round weight, or 769,388 lb (348,989 kg), gutted weight, were fully described in the Comprehensive ACL Amendment. This revised commercial quota is approximately 400,000 lb (181,437 kg), gutted weight, less than the existing commercial quota. However, the average annual commercial greater amberjack harvest for 2005 to 2009 was only 690,725 lb (313,308 kg), gutted weight, VerDate Mar<15>2010 16:09 Apr 19, 2012 Jkt 226001 which is substantially less than the existing commercial quota, and which is still less than the quota proposed here. Because the new commercial quota would be more than the average annual commercial greater amberjack harvest, the specification of the new quota is not expected to have any direct adverse economic effects on the commercial harvesters of greater amberjack or associated industries. These results and conclusions were provided in the Comprehensive ACL Amendment. The Classification section of the proposed rule (76 FR 74757, December 1, 2011) and the final rule (77 FR 15916, March 16, 2012) implementing the Comprehensive ACL Amendment, however, focused on the actions which were expected to have direct adverse economic effects on small entities. Because the revision of the greater amberjack commercial quota (commercial ACL) is not expected to have any direct adverse economic effects on small entities, no reference to, or discussion of the expected economic effects of this revision was included in the Classification sections of these two rules. In summary, this proposed rule, if implemented, would simply correct an administrative oversight in a previous rulemaking. For the reasons above, if implemented this rule will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. List of Subjects in 50 CFR Part 622 Fisheries, Fishing, Puerto Rico, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements, Virgin Islands. Dated: April 17, 2012. Alan D. Risenhoover, Acting Deputy Assistant Administrator for Regulatory Programs, National Marine Fisheries Service. For the reasons set out in the preamble, 50 CFR part 622 is proposed to be amended as follows: PART 622—FISHERIES OF THE CARIBBEAN, GULF, AND SOUTH ATLANTIC 1. The authority citation for part 622 continues to read as follows: Authority: 16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq. 2. In § 622.42, paragraph (e)(3) is revised to read as follows: § 622.42 * PO 00000 Quotas. * * (e) * * * Frm 00018 * Fmt 4702 * Sfmt 4702 (3) Greater amberjack—769,388 lb (348,989 kg). * * * * * [FR Doc. 2012–9600 Filed 4–19–12; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510–22–P DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration 50 CFR Part 665 [Docket No. 110909578–1582–01] RIN 0648–BB45 Western Pacific Pelagic Fisheries; Modification of American Samoa Large Vessel Prohibited Area National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Commerce. ACTION: Proposed rule; request for comments. AGENCY: NMFS proposes to modify certain boundaries of the large fishing vessel prohibited area around Tutuila, the Manua Islands, and Rose Atoll in American Samoa to align with the boundaries of the Rose Atoll Marine National Monument. The proposed action would simplify enforcement and administration of the management area. DATES: NMFS must receive comments on the proposed rule by May 11, 2012. ADDRESSES: You may send comments on the proposed rule, identified by NOAA– NMFS–2011–0226, to either of the following addresses: • Electronic Submission: Submit all electronic public comments via the Federal e-Rulemaking Portal www.regulations.gov; or • Mail: Michael D. Tosatto, Regional Administrator, NMFS, Pacific Islands Region (PIR), 1601 Kapiolani Blvd., Suite 1110, Honolulu, HI 96814–4700. Instructions: You must send any comments to one of the above two addresses to ensure that NMFS receives, documents, and considers the comments. Comments sent to any other address or individual, or received after the end of the comment period, may not be considered. All comments received are a part of the public record and NMFS will generally post them to www.regulations.gov without change. All personal identifying information (e.g., name, address, etc.) submitted voluntarily by the commenter may be publicly accessible. Do not submit confidential business information, or otherwise sensitive or protected information. NMFS will accept SUMMARY: E:\FR\FM\20APP1.SGM 20APP1 23655 Federal Register / Vol. 77, No. 77 / Friday, April 20, 2012 / Proposed Rules tkelley on DSK3SPTVN1PROD with PROPOSALS anonymous comments (enter ‘‘N/A’’ in the required name and organization fields if you wish to remain anonymous). Attachments to electronic comments will be accepted in Microsoft Word or Excel, WordPerfect, or Adobe PDF file formats only. The Western Pacific Fishery Management Council (Council) prepared a regulatory amendment, including an environmental assessment and regulatory impact review, that provides background information on this proposed rule. The regulatory amendment is available from www.regulations.gov or the Council, 1164 Bishop St., Suite 1400, Honolulu, HI 96813, tel 808–522–8220, fax 808– 522–8226, www.wpcouncil.org. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Adam Bailey, Sustainable Fisheries, NMFS PIR, 808–944–2248. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The Council and NMFS manage offshore fisheries around American Samoa under the Fishery Ecosystem Plan for Pelagic Fisheries of the Western Pacific. A mix of small troll and longline vessels and larger longline and purse seine vessels target tunas and related fish in the U.S. Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) around the islands. A decade ago, small vessels known as alias dominated the fisheries. The alia use trolling or longline gear to target skipjack and yellowfin tuna and albacore for the fresh fish market and for canning in Pago Pago. More recently, larger vessels have made up most of the longline fishery. The large longliners also target albacore for canning, and they catch substantial quantities of yellowfin and skipjack tuna. In addition, U.S. purse seiners have occasionally fished around American Samoa to supply skipjack and yellowfin tuna for canning. The mixture of small and large vessels operating in the same area for the same fish prompted concerns over the potential for gear conflicts and catch competition among the various fishing groups. Concerned that potential competition and conflicts could lead to reduced opportunities for sustained participation in the fisheries by smaller vessels, the Council recommended prohibiting large vessels from fishing in VerDate Mar<15>2010 16:09 Apr 19, 2012 Jkt 226001 two areas of the EEZ around American Samoa. In 2002, NMFS implemented these ‘‘large vessel prohibited areas,’’ or LVPA, one around Swain’s Island and one around Tutuila, the Manua Islands, and Rose Atoll (67 FR 4369, January 30, 2002). The two areas prohibit fishing from vessels 50 ft in length overall or longer, and appear to have prevented conflicts between small and large vessels. In 2009, Presidential Proclamation 8337 created the Rose Atoll Marine National Monument (74 FR 1577, January 12, 2009). The monument comprises Rose Atoll and surrounding waters to a distance approximately 50 nm around the atoll. The Proclamation prohibits commercial fishing in monument waters. The monument and the LVPA around Tutuila, the Manua Islands, and Rose Atoll overlap, but the boundaries do not align. The Council is concerned that the non-alignment of the boundaries may confuse operators of large fishing vessels and reduce compliance with the fishing prohibitions in each area. To simplify administration and enforcement of the two areas, the Council recommended adjusting certain boundaries of the LVPA. The boundaries of the existing LVPA are described in Title 50, Code of Federal Regulations, Part 806, by straight lines connecting the following coordinates: Point S. lat. W. long. AS–1–A ............. 13°30′ 167°25′ AS–1–B ............. 15°13′ 167°25′ and from Point AS–1–A westward along the latitude 13°30′ S. until intersecting the U.S. EEZ boundary with Samoa, and from Point AS–1–B westward along the latitude 15°13′ S. until intersecting the U.S. EEZ boundary with Samoa. The corners of the Rose Atoll monument are marked by the following coordinates: Point S. lat. 1 ........................ 2 ........................ 3 ........................ PO 00000 Frm 00019 W. long. 13°41′54″ 13°41′54″ 15°23′10″ 169°00′2″ 167°17′0″ 167°17′0″ Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 Point 4 ........................ S. lat. W. long. 15°23′10″ 169°00′42″ This proposed rule would do the following: (a) Move the existing northernmost LVPA boundary southward to align with the northern boundary of the monument, (b) Move the eastern LVPA boundary eastward to align with the eastern boundary of the monument, and (c) Move a portion of the southern LVPA boundary southward to align with the southern boundary of the monument. The western and most of the southern boundaries of the existing LVPA would remain unchanged. The resulting proposed LVPA would be described by straight lines connecting the following coordinates (see Fig. 1): Point S. lat. W. long. AS–1–A ............. 13°41′54″ 167°17′ AS–1–B ............. 15°23′10″ 167°17′ AS–1–C ............. 15°23′10″ 169°00′42″ AS–1–D ............. 15°13′ 169°00′42″ and from point AS–1–A westward along latitude 13°41′54″ S. until intersecting the U.S. EEZ boundary with Samoa, and from point AS–1–D westward along latitude 15°13′ S. until intersecting the U.S. EEZ boundary with Samoa. This proposed rule aligns the northern, eastern, and southern boundaries of the monument with those of the LVPA, reducing the area of the LVPA by 326 nm2. In other words, under this rule the portion of the EEZ around American Samoa where large vessels may fish would increase by 0.3 percent. The Council and NMFS do not believe that this modest change in the size of the LVPA will significantly affect fishing operations or result in potential environmental impacts, including social impacts, or impacts on target and nontarget fish, or protected resources and their habitats. NMFS must receive any public comments on this proposed rule by the close of business on May 11, 2012, and will not consider late comments. E:\FR\FM\20APP1.SGM 20APP1 23656 tkelley on DSK3SPTVN1PROD with PROPOSALS 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 Pelagics FEP, other provisions of the Magnuson-Stevens Act, and other applicable laws, subject to further consideration after public comment. This proposed rule has been determined to be not significant for purposes of Executive Order 12866. The Chief Council for Regulation of the Department of Commerce certified to the Chief Council for Advocacy of the Small Business Administration that this proposed rule, if adopted, would not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. The analysis follows: VerDate Mar<15>2010 16:09 Apr 19, 2012 Jkt 226001 ‘‘The large vessel prohibited areas (LVPA) were created to separate activities of large vessel fishing activities from those of smaller vessels. The LVPA were implemented in 2002 under the Fishery Management Plan for Pelagic Fisheries of the Western Pacific Region. Subsequent Presidential Proclamation 8337 (74 FR 1577; January 12, 2009) established the Rose Atoll Marine National Monument (MNM). The Proclamation established the Rose Atoll MNM and banned all commercial fishing from the monument. The proposed action would modify the boundaries of the LVPA around Tutuila Island, the Manua Islands, and Rose Atoll to align with those of the Rose Atoll MNM. The proposed action would move the northern boundary of the LVPA toward shore, while PO 00000 Frm 00020 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 extending the eastern boundary and a portion of the southern boundary farther from shore to encompass the MNM. This would expand the area in which large vessels are allowed to fish by 326 nm2, an increase of 0.3 percent in the area where large vessels are allowed to fish in the EEZ around American Samoa. The proposed action would directly affect operators of vessels 50 feet in length overall and longer, i.e., American Samoa–based longline vessels with Class C and D permits and all purse seine vessels. All Class C and D longline vessels that were active in 2009 and 2010 are assumed to be small entities for the purposes of this analysis, because they have revenues below $4.0 million (see SBA size regulations at 13 CFR Part 121.201), while most purse seine vessels E:\FR\FM\20APP1.SGM 20APP1 EP20AP12.002</GPH> Federal Register / Vol. 77, No. 77 / Friday, April 20, 2012 / Proposed Rules 23657 Federal Register / Vol. 77, No. 77 / Friday, April 20, 2012 / Proposed Rules tkelley on DSK3SPTVN1PROD with PROPOSALS are not small entities. Based on limited financial information available on the purse seine fleet, NMFS believes that up to a quarter of purse seine vessels operating in 2009 were owned by small entities (74 FR 26160; June 1, 2009). However, when considering that the proposed action represents only minor adjustments to the boundaries, and that it would result in only a very small increase in the overall available fishing area for large vessels, the proposed action is not expected to have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. In addition, by aligning boundaries of two areas where fishing is prohibited for these vessels, compliance with fishing prohibitions in both of these areas would be enhanced. Other options that met the objectives of the proposed action were considered, including the no action alternative and two action alternatives. The two action alternatives would also have re-defined the boundaries of the prohibited area to encompass the monument, but would have increased the LVPA by 3,560 nm2 or 1,339 nm2, respectively. The Council rejected these alternatives in favor of the preferred alternative, because it VerDate Mar<15>2010 16:09 Apr 19, 2012 Jkt 226001 achieved the goal of addressing the mismatch of the LVPA and monument boundaries and was the only one of the three action alternatives that would not further decrease the remaining area in which large vessels, such as longline and purse seine vessels could fish.’’ As a result, an initial regulatory flexibility analysis is not required and none has been prepared. List of Subjects in 50 CFR Part 665 Administrative practice and procedure, American Samoa, Fishing, Longline, Marine national monuments, Prohibited area management, Purse seine, Rose Atoll. Dated: April 17, 2012. Samuel D. Rauch III, Acting Assistant Administrator for Fisheries, National Marine Fisheries Service. For the reasons set out in the preamble, 50 CFR chapter VI is proposed to be amended as follows: PART 665—FISHERIES IN THE WESTERN PACIFIC 1. The authority citation for part 665 continues to read as follows: Authority: 16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq. PO 00000 Frm 00021 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 9990 2. In § 665.806, (b)(1) revise the paragraph and table to read as follows: § 665.806 Prohibited area management. * * * * * (b) * * * (1) Tutuila Island, Manua Islands, and Rose Atoll (AS–1). The large vessel prohibited area around Tutuila Island, the Manua Islands, and Rose Atoll consists of the waters of the EEZ around American Samoa enclosed by straight lines connecting the following coordinates: Point S. lat. W. long. AS–1–A ............. 13°41′54″ 167°17′ AS–1–B ............. 15°23′10″ 167°17′ AS–1–C ............. 15°23′10″ 169°00′42″ AS–1–D ............. 15°13′ 169°00′42″ and from point AS–1–A westward along latitude 13°41′54″ S. until intersecting the U.S. EEZ boundary with Samoa, and from point AS–1–D westward along latitude 15°13′ S. until intersecting the U.S. EEZ boundary with Samoa. * * * * * [FR Doc. 2012–9599 Filed 4–19–12; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510–22–P E:\FR\FM\20APP1.SGM 20APP1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 77, Number 77 (Friday, April 20, 2012)]
[Proposed Rules]
[Pages 23654-23657]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2012-9599]


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

DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

50 CFR Part 665

[Docket No. 110909578-1582-01]
RIN 0648-BB45


Western Pacific Pelagic Fisheries; Modification of American Samoa 
Large Vessel Prohibited Area

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

ACTION: Proposed rule; request for comments.

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

SUMMARY: NMFS proposes to modify certain boundaries of the large 
fishing vessel prohibited area around Tutuila, the Manua Islands, and 
Rose Atoll in American Samoa to align with the boundaries of the Rose 
Atoll Marine National Monument. The proposed action would simplify 
enforcement and administration of the management area.

DATES: NMFS must receive comments on the proposed rule by May 11, 2012.

ADDRESSES: You may send comments on the proposed rule, identified by 
NOAA-NMFS-2011-0226, to either of the following addresses:
     Electronic Submission: Submit all electronic public 
comments via the Federal e-Rulemaking Portal www.regulations.gov; or
     Mail: Michael D. Tosatto, Regional Administrator, NMFS, 
Pacific Islands Region (PIR), 1601 Kapiolani Blvd., Suite 1110, 
Honolulu, HI 96814-4700.
    Instructions: You must send any comments to one of the above two 
addresses to ensure that NMFS receives, documents, and considers the 
comments. Comments sent to any other address or individual, or received 
after the end of the comment period, may not be considered. All 
comments received are a part of the public record and NMFS will 
generally post them to www.regulations.gov without change. All personal 
identifying information (e.g., name, address, etc.) submitted 
voluntarily by the commenter may be publicly accessible. Do not submit 
confidential business information, or otherwise sensitive or protected 
information. NMFS will accept

[[Page 23655]]

anonymous comments (enter ``N/A'' in the required name and organization 
fields if you wish to remain anonymous). Attachments to electronic 
comments will be accepted in Microsoft Word or Excel, WordPerfect, or 
Adobe PDF file formats only.
    The Western Pacific Fishery Management Council (Council) prepared a 
regulatory amendment, including an environmental assessment and 
regulatory impact review, that provides background information on this 
proposed rule. The regulatory amendment is available from 
www.regulations.gov or the Council, 1164 Bishop St., Suite 1400, 
Honolulu, HI 96813, tel 808-522-8220, fax 808-522-8226, 
www.wpcouncil.org.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Adam Bailey, Sustainable Fisheries, 
NMFS PIR, 808-944-2248.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The Council and NMFS manage offshore 
fisheries around American Samoa under the Fishery Ecosystem Plan for 
Pelagic Fisheries of the Western Pacific. A mix of small troll and 
longline vessels and larger longline and purse seine vessels target 
tunas and related fish in the U.S. Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) around 
the islands. A decade ago, small vessels known as alias dominated the 
fisheries. The alia use trolling or longline gear to target skipjack 
and yellowfin tuna and albacore for the fresh fish market and for 
canning in Pago Pago. More recently, larger vessels have made up most 
of the longline fishery. The large longliners also target albacore for 
canning, and they catch substantial quantities of yellowfin and 
skipjack tuna. In addition, U.S. purse seiners have occasionally fished 
around American Samoa to supply skipjack and yellowfin tuna for 
canning.
    The mixture of small and large vessels operating in the same area 
for the same fish prompted concerns over the potential for gear 
conflicts and catch competition among the various fishing groups. 
Concerned that potential competition and conflicts could lead to 
reduced opportunities for sustained participation in the fisheries by 
smaller vessels, the Council recommended prohibiting large vessels from 
fishing in two areas of the EEZ around American Samoa. In 2002, NMFS 
implemented these ``large vessel prohibited areas,'' or LVPA, one 
around Swain's Island and one around Tutuila, the Manua Islands, and 
Rose Atoll (67 FR 4369, January 30, 2002). The two areas prohibit 
fishing from vessels 50 ft in length overall or longer, and appear to 
have prevented conflicts between small and large vessels.
    In 2009, Presidential Proclamation 8337 created the Rose Atoll 
Marine National Monument (74 FR 1577, January 12, 2009). The monument 
comprises Rose Atoll and surrounding waters to a distance approximately 
50 nm around the atoll. The Proclamation prohibits commercial fishing 
in monument waters.
    The monument and the LVPA around Tutuila, the Manua Islands, and 
Rose Atoll overlap, but the boundaries do not align. The Council is 
concerned that the non-alignment of the boundaries may confuse 
operators of large fishing vessels and reduce compliance with the 
fishing prohibitions in each area. To simplify administration and 
enforcement of the two areas, the Council recommended adjusting certain 
boundaries of the LVPA.
    The boundaries of the existing LVPA are described in Title 50, Code 
of Federal Regulations, Part 806, by straight lines connecting the 
following coordinates:

------------------------------------------------------------------------
              Point                     S. lat.            W. long.
------------------------------------------------------------------------
AS-1-A..........................  13[deg]30'          167[deg]25'
AS-1-B..........................  15[deg]13'          167[deg]25'
and from Point AS-1-A westward along the latitude 13[deg]30' S. until
 intersecting the U.S. EEZ boundary with Samoa, and from Point AS-1-B
 westward along the latitude 15[deg]13' S. until intersecting the U.S.
 EEZ boundary with Samoa.
------------------------------------------------------------------------
------------------------------------------------------------------------

    The corners of the Rose Atoll monument are marked by the following 
coordinates:

------------------------------------------------------------------------
              Point                     S. lat.            W. long.
------------------------------------------------------------------------
1...............................  13[deg]41'54''      169[deg]00'2''
2...............................  13[deg]41'54''      167[deg]17'0''
3...............................  15[deg]23'10''      167[deg]17'0''
4...............................  15[deg]23'10''      169[deg]00'42''
------------------------------------------------------------------------

    This proposed rule would do the following:
    (a) Move the existing northernmost LVPA boundary southward to align 
with the northern boundary of the monument,
    (b) Move the eastern LVPA boundary eastward to align with the 
eastern boundary of the monument, and
    (c) Move a portion of the southern LVPA boundary southward to align 
with the southern boundary of the monument.
    The western and most of the southern boundaries of the existing 
LVPA would remain unchanged. The resulting proposed LVPA would be 
described by straight lines connecting the following coordinates (see 
Fig. 1):

------------------------------------------------------------------------
              Point                     S. lat.            W. long.
------------------------------------------------------------------------
AS-1-A..........................  13[deg]41'54''      167[deg]17'
AS-1-B..........................  15[deg]23'10''      167[deg]17'
AS-1-C..........................  15[deg]23'10''      169[deg]00'42''
AS-1-D..........................  15[deg]13'          169[deg]00'42''
and from point AS-1-A westward along latitude 13[deg]41'54'' S. until
 intersecting the U.S. EEZ boundary with Samoa, and from point AS-1-D
 westward along latitude 15[deg]13' S. until intersecting the U.S. EEZ
 boundary with Samoa.
------------------------------------------------------------------------
------------------------------------------------------------------------

    This proposed rule aligns the northern, eastern, and southern 
boundaries of the monument with those of the LVPA, reducing the area of 
the LVPA by 326 nm\2\. In other words, under this rule the portion of 
the EEZ around American Samoa where large vessels may fish would 
increase by 0.3 percent. The Council and NMFS do not believe that this 
modest change in the size of the LVPA will significantly affect fishing 
operations or result in potential environmental impacts, including 
social impacts, or impacts on target and non-target fish, or protected 
resources and their habitats.
    NMFS must receive any public comments on this proposed rule by the 
close of business on May 11, 2012, and will not consider late comments.

[[Page 23656]]

[GRAPHIC] [TIFF OMITTED] TP20AP12.002

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 Pelagics FEP, other provisions of the Magnuson-
Stevens Act, and other applicable laws, subject to further 
consideration after public comment.
    This proposed rule has been determined to be not significant for 
purposes of Executive Order 12866.
    The Chief Council for Regulation of the Department of Commerce 
certified to the Chief Council for Advocacy of the Small Business 
Administration that this proposed rule, if adopted, would not have a 
significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. 
The analysis follows:
    ``The large vessel prohibited areas (LVPA) were created to separate 
activities of large vessel fishing activities from those of smaller 
vessels. The LVPA were implemented in 2002 under the Fishery Management 
Plan for Pelagic Fisheries of the Western Pacific Region. Subsequent 
Presidential Proclamation 8337 (74 FR 1577; January 12, 2009) 
established the Rose Atoll Marine National Monument (MNM). The 
Proclamation established the Rose Atoll MNM and banned all commercial 
fishing from the monument.
    The proposed action would modify the boundaries of the LVPA around 
Tutuila Island, the Manua Islands, and Rose Atoll to align with those 
of the Rose Atoll MNM. The proposed action would move the northern 
boundary of the LVPA toward shore, while extending the eastern boundary 
and a portion of the southern boundary farther from shore to encompass 
the MNM. This would expand the area in which large vessels are allowed 
to fish by 326 nm\2\, an increase of 0.3 percent in the area where 
large vessels are allowed to fish in the EEZ around American Samoa.
    The proposed action would directly affect operators of vessels 50 
feet in length overall and longer, i.e., American Samoa-based longline 
vessels with Class C and D permits and all purse seine vessels. All 
Class C and D longline vessels that were active in 2009 and 2010 are 
assumed to be small entities for the purposes of this analysis, because 
they have revenues below $4.0 million (see SBA size regulations at 13 
CFR Part 121.201), while most purse seine vessels

[[Page 23657]]

are not small entities. Based on limited financial information 
available on the purse seine fleet, NMFS believes that up to a quarter 
of purse seine vessels operating in 2009 were owned by small entities 
(74 FR 26160; June 1, 2009). However, when considering that the 
proposed action represents only minor adjustments to the boundaries, 
and that it would result in only a very small increase in the overall 
available fishing area for large vessels, the proposed action is not 
expected to have a significant economic impact on a substantial number 
of small entities. In addition, by aligning boundaries of two areas 
where fishing is prohibited for these vessels, compliance with fishing 
prohibitions in both of these areas would be enhanced.
    Other options that met the objectives of the proposed action were 
considered, including the no action alternative and two action 
alternatives. The two action alternatives would also have re-defined 
the boundaries of the prohibited area to encompass the monument, but 
would have increased the LVPA by 3,560 nm\2\ or 1,339 nm\2\, 
respectively. The Council rejected these alternatives in favor of the 
preferred alternative, because it achieved the goal of addressing the 
mismatch of the LVPA and monument boundaries and was the only one of 
the three action alternatives that would not further decrease the 
remaining area in which large vessels, such as longline and purse seine 
vessels could fish.''
    As a result, an initial regulatory flexibility analysis is not 
required and none has been prepared.

List of Subjects in 50 CFR Part 665

    Administrative practice and procedure, American Samoa, Fishing, 
Longline, Marine national monuments, Prohibited area management, Purse 
seine, Rose Atoll.

    Dated: April 17, 2012.
Samuel D. Rauch III,
Acting Assistant Administrator for Fisheries, National Marine Fisheries 
Service.

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

PART 665--FISHERIES IN THE WESTERN PACIFIC

    1. The authority citation for part 665 continues to read as 
follows:

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

    2. In Sec.  665.806, (b)(1) revise the paragraph and table to read 
as follows:


Sec.  665.806  Prohibited area management.

* * * * *
    (b) * * *
    (1) Tutuila Island, Manua Islands, and Rose Atoll (AS-1). The large 
vessel prohibited area around Tutuila Island, the Manua Islands, and 
Rose Atoll consists of the waters of the EEZ around American Samoa 
enclosed by straight lines connecting the following coordinates:

------------------------------------------------------------------------
              Point                     S. lat.            W. long.
------------------------------------------------------------------------
AS-1-A..........................  13[deg]41'54''      167[deg]17'
AS-1-B..........................  15[deg]23'10''      167[deg]17'
AS-1-C..........................  15[deg]23'10''      169[deg]00'42''
AS-1-D..........................  15[deg]13'          169[deg]00'42''
and from point AS-1-A westward along latitude 13[deg]41'54'' S. until
 intersecting the U.S. EEZ boundary with Samoa, and from point AS-1-D
 westward along latitude 15[deg]13' S. until intersecting the U.S. EEZ
 boundary with Samoa.
------------------------------------------------------------------------
------------------------------------------------------------------------


* * * * *
[FR Doc. 2012-9599 Filed 4-19-12; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 3510-22-P