Reef Fish Fishery of the Gulf of Mexico; Gulf of Mexico Individual Fishing Quota Programs, 56168-56169 [2012-22450]

Download as PDF 56168 Federal Register / Vol. 77, No. 177 / Wednesday, September 12, 2012 / Rules and Regulations * * * * DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration 50 CFR Part 622 [Docket No. 090206140–91081–03] RIN 0648–XC227 [FR Doc. 2012–22304 Filed 9–10–12; 4:15 pm] Reef Fish Fishery of the Gulf of Mexico; Gulf of Mexico Individual Fishing Quota Programs BILLING CODE 4161–18–C National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Commerce. ACTION: Temporary rule; determination of catastrophic conditions. srobinson on DSK4SPTVN1PROD with RULES AGENCY: In accordance with the regulations implementing the individual fishing quota (IFQ) programs for the commercial red snapper and grouper/ tilefish components of the reef fish fishery in the Gulf of Mexico (Gulf), the Regional Administrator, Southeast SUMMARY: VerDate Mar<15>2010 17:19 Sep 11, 2012 Jkt 226001 PO 00000 Frm 00076 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 Region, NMFS (RA) has determined that catastrophic conditions exist in the following Louisiana Parishes: Lafourche, St. Bernard, Plaquemines, and Jefferson, as a result of Hurricane Isaac. Consistent with those regulations, the RA has authorized IFQ participants within this affected area to temporarily use paper-based forms, if necessary, for basic required IFQ administrative functions, e.g., landing transactions. This temporary rule announcing the determination of catastrophic conditions and allowance of alternative methods for completing required IFQ administrative functions is intended to facilitate continuation of IFQ operations during the period of catastrophic conditions. This temporary rule is effective from September 12, 2012, through October 9, 2012. DATES: FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Anik Clemens, (727) 551–5611, email Anik.Clemens@noaa.gov. E:\FR\FM\12SER1.SGM 12SER1 ER12SE12.022</GPH> * Dated: September 5, 2012. John Howard, Administrator, World Trade Center Health Program and Director, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Department of Health and Human Services. Federal Register / Vol. 77, No. 177 / Wednesday, September 12, 2012 / Rules and Regulations The reef fish fishery of the Gulf of Mexico is managed under the Fishery Management Plan for Reef Fish Resources of the Gulf of Mexico (FMP). The FMP was prepared by the Council and is implemented through regulations at 50 CFR part 622 under the authority of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (Magnuson-Stevens Act). Amendment 26 to the FMP established an IFQ program for the commercial red snapper component of the Gulf reef fish fishery (71 FR 67447, November 22, 2006). Amendment 29 to the FMP established an IFQ program for the commercial grouper and tilefish components of the Gulf reef fish fishery (74 FR 44732, August 31, 2009). Regulations implementing these programs (50 CFR 622.16 and 622.20) require that IFQ participants have access to a computer and Internet access and that they conduct administrative functions associated with the IFQ program, e.g., landing transactions, online. However, these regulations also specify that during catastrophic conditions, as determined by the RA, the RA may authorize IFQ participants in the affected area who are unable to submit information electronically to use paper-based forms to complete IFQ administrative functions for the duration of the catastrophic conditions. The RA must determine that catastrophic conditions exist, specify the duration of the catastrophic conditions, and specify which participants or geographic areas are deemed affected by the catastrophic conditions. Hurricane Isaac made landfall in Plaquemines Parish, Louisiana, as a Category 1 hurricane on August 28, 2012. Strong winds and flooding from this hurricane impacted coastal communities throughout southeast Louisiana, resulting in power outages and damage to homes, businesses, and infrastructure. As a result, the RA has determined that catastrophic conditions exist in Lafourche, St. Bernard, Plaquemines, and Jefferson Parishes, srobinson on DSK4SPTVN1PROD with RULES SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: VerDate Mar<15>2010 17:19 Sep 11, 2012 Jkt 226001 Louisiana. Through this temporary rule, the RA is authorizing IFQ participants within this affected area to use paperbased forms from September 12, 2012, through October 9, 2012. NMFS will provide additional notification to affected participants via NOAA weather radio, Fishery Bulletin, and other appropriate means. NMFS previously provided each IFQ dealer with the necessary paper forms (sequentially coded) and instructions for submission in the event of catastrophic conditions. Paper forms are also available from the RA upon request. The electronic system for submitting information to NMFS will continue to be available to all participants, and participants in the affected area are encouraged to continue using this system, if accessible. The administrative program functions available to participants in the area affected by catastrophic conditions will be limited under the paper-based system. There will be no mechanism for transfers of IFQ shares or allocation under the paper-based system in effect during catastrophic conditions. Assistance in complying with the requirements of the paper-based system will be available via IFQ Customer Service 1–866–425–7627 Monday through Friday between 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. eastern time. Classification The Regional Administrator, Southeast Region, NMFS, has determined this temporary rule is necessary for the conservation and management of Gulf red snapper and grouper and tilefish species managed under the Gulf IFQ Programs, and is consistent with the Magnuson-Stevens Act and other applicable laws. This action is taken under 50 CFR 622.16(a)(3)(iii) and 622.20(a)(3)(iii) and is exempt from review under Executive Order 12866. These measures are exempt from the procedures of the Regulatory Flexibility Act because this temporary rule is issued without opportunity for prior notice and comment. PO 00000 Frm 00077 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 9990 56169 Pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 553(b)(B), there is good cause to waive the requirements to provide prior notice and opportunity for public comment on this temporary rule. Such procedures are unnecessary because the rules implementing the Gulf IFQ programs, namely Amendment 26 to the FMP (71 FR 67447, November 22, 2006) and Amendment 29 to the FMP (74 FR 44732, August 31, 2009), have already been subject to notice and comment. These rules authorize the RA to determine when catastrophic conditions exist, and which participants or geographic areas are deemed affected by catastrophic conditions. The rules also authorize the RA to provide timely notice to affected participants via publication of notification in the Federal Register, NOAA Weather Radio, fishery bulletins, and other appropriate means. All that remains is to notify the public that catastrophic conditions exist and that paper forms may be utilized in the affected area. Additionally, delaying this temporary rule to provide prior notice and opportunity for public comment would be contrary to the public interest because affected participants are still fishing for these species in the affected area and need a means of completing their landing transactions. With the power outages that have occurred in the affected area due to Hurricane Isaac numerous businesses are unable to complete landings transactions electronically. In order to continue with their businesses, they need to be aware they can still complete landing transactions using the paper forms. For the aforementioned reasons, the AA also finds good cause to waive the 30-day delay in the effectiveness of this action under 5 U.S.C. 553(d)(3). Authority: 16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq. Dated: September 6, 2012. Lindsay Fullenkamp, Acting Deputy Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine Fisheries Service. [FR Doc. 2012–22450 Filed 9–7–12; 4:15 pm] BILLING CODE 3510–22–P E:\FR\FM\12SER1.SGM 12SER1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 77, Number 177 (Wednesday, September 12, 2012)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 56168-56169]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2012-22450]


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DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

50 CFR Part 622

[Docket No. 090206140-91081-03]
RIN 0648-XC227


Reef Fish Fishery of the Gulf of Mexico; Gulf of Mexico 
Individual Fishing Quota Programs

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

ACTION: Temporary rule; determination of catastrophic conditions.

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SUMMARY: In accordance with the regulations implementing the individual 
fishing quota (IFQ) programs for the commercial red snapper and 
grouper/tilefish components of the reef fish fishery in the Gulf of 
Mexico (Gulf), the Regional Administrator, Southeast Region, NMFS (RA) 
has determined that catastrophic conditions exist in the following 
Louisiana Parishes: Lafourche, St. Bernard, Plaquemines, and Jefferson, 
as a result of Hurricane Isaac. Consistent with those regulations, the 
RA has authorized IFQ participants within this affected area to 
temporarily use paper-based forms, if necessary, for basic required IFQ 
administrative functions, e.g., landing transactions. This temporary 
rule announcing the determination of catastrophic conditions and 
allowance of alternative methods for completing required IFQ 
administrative functions is intended to facilitate continuation of IFQ 
operations during the period of catastrophic conditions.

DATES: This temporary rule is effective from September 12, 2012, 
through October 9, 2012.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Anik Clemens, (727) 551-5611, email 
Anik.Clemens@noaa.gov.

[[Page 56169]]


SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The reef fish fishery of the Gulf of Mexico 
is managed under the Fishery Management Plan for Reef Fish Resources of 
the Gulf of Mexico (FMP). The FMP was prepared by the Council and is 
implemented through regulations at 50 CFR part 622 under the authority 
of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act 
(Magnuson-Stevens Act).
    Amendment 26 to the FMP established an IFQ program for the 
commercial red snapper component of the Gulf reef fish fishery (71 FR 
67447, November 22, 2006). Amendment 29 to the FMP established an IFQ 
program for the commercial grouper and tilefish components of the Gulf 
reef fish fishery (74 FR 44732, August 31, 2009). Regulations 
implementing these programs (50 CFR 622.16 and 622.20) require that IFQ 
participants have access to a computer and Internet access and that 
they conduct administrative functions associated with the IFQ program, 
e.g., landing transactions, online. However, these regulations also 
specify that during catastrophic conditions, as determined by the RA, 
the RA may authorize IFQ participants in the affected area who are 
unable to submit information electronically to use paper-based forms to 
complete IFQ administrative functions for the duration of the 
catastrophic conditions. The RA must determine that catastrophic 
conditions exist, specify the duration of the catastrophic conditions, 
and specify which participants or geographic areas are deemed affected 
by the catastrophic conditions.
    Hurricane Isaac made landfall in Plaquemines Parish, Louisiana, as 
a Category 1 hurricane on August 28, 2012. Strong winds and flooding 
from this hurricane impacted coastal communities throughout southeast 
Louisiana, resulting in power outages and damage to homes, businesses, 
and infrastructure. As a result, the RA has determined that 
catastrophic conditions exist in Lafourche, St. Bernard, Plaquemines, 
and Jefferson Parishes, Louisiana. Through this temporary rule, the RA 
is authorizing IFQ participants within this affected area to use paper-
based forms from September 12, 2012, through October 9, 2012. NMFS will 
provide additional notification to affected participants via NOAA 
weather radio, Fishery Bulletin, and other appropriate means.
    NMFS previously provided each IFQ dealer with the necessary paper 
forms (sequentially coded) and instructions for submission in the event 
of catastrophic conditions. Paper forms are also available from the RA 
upon request. The electronic system for submitting information to NMFS 
will continue to be available to all participants, and participants in 
the affected area are encouraged to continue using this system, if 
accessible.
    The administrative program functions available to participants in 
the area affected by catastrophic conditions will be limited under the 
paper-based system. There will be no mechanism for transfers of IFQ 
shares or allocation under the paper-based system in effect during 
catastrophic conditions. Assistance in complying with the requirements 
of the paper-based system will be available via IFQ Customer Service 1-
866-425-7627 Monday through Friday between 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. eastern 
time.

Classification

    The Regional Administrator, Southeast Region, NMFS, has determined 
this temporary rule is necessary for the conservation and management of 
Gulf red snapper and grouper and tilefish species managed under the 
Gulf IFQ Programs, and is consistent with the Magnuson-Stevens Act and 
other applicable laws.
    This action is taken under 50 CFR 622.16(a)(3)(iii) and 
622.20(a)(3)(iii) and is exempt from review under Executive Order 
12866.
    These measures are exempt from the procedures of the Regulatory 
Flexibility Act because this temporary rule is issued without 
opportunity for prior notice and comment.
    Pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 553(b)(B), there is good cause to waive the 
requirements to provide prior notice and opportunity for public comment 
on this temporary rule. Such procedures are unnecessary because the 
rules implementing the Gulf IFQ programs, namely Amendment 26 to the 
FMP (71 FR 67447, November 22, 2006) and Amendment 29 to the FMP (74 FR 
44732, August 31, 2009), have already been subject to notice and 
comment. These rules authorize the RA to determine when catastrophic 
conditions exist, and which participants or geographic areas are deemed 
affected by catastrophic conditions. The rules also authorize the RA to 
provide timely notice to affected participants via publication of 
notification in the Federal Register, NOAA Weather Radio, fishery 
bulletins, and other appropriate means. All that remains is to notify 
the public that catastrophic conditions exist and that paper forms may 
be utilized in the affected area. Additionally, delaying this temporary 
rule to provide prior notice and opportunity for public comment would 
be contrary to the public interest because affected participants are 
still fishing for these species in the affected area and need a means 
of completing their landing transactions. With the power outages that 
have occurred in the affected area due to Hurricane Isaac numerous 
businesses are unable to complete landings transactions electronically.
    In order to continue with their businesses, they need to be aware 
they can still complete landing transactions using the paper forms.
    For the aforementioned reasons, the AA also finds good cause to 
waive the 30-day delay in the effectiveness of this action under 5 
U.S.C. 553(d)(3).

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

    Dated: September 6, 2012.
Lindsay Fullenkamp,
Acting Deputy Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National 
Marine Fisheries Service.
[FR Doc. 2012-22450 Filed 9-7-12; 4:15 pm]
BILLING CODE 3510-22-P