Main Hawaiian Islands Deep 7 Bottomfish Annual Catch Limits and Accountability Measures for 2012-13, 56791-56792 [2012-22736]

Download as PDF Federal Register / Vol. 77, No. 179 / Friday, September 14, 2012 / Rules and Regulations (b) Section 18 emergency exemptions. Time-limited tolerances are established for residues of the insecticide bifenthrin, including its metabolites and degradates, in connection with use of the pesticide under a Section 18 emergency exemption granted by EPA. Compliance with the tolerance levels specified below is to be determined by measuring only bifenthrin, (2-methyl [1,1′-biphenyl]-3-yl) methyl-3-(2-chloro3,3,3,-trifluoro-1-propenyl)-2,2dimethylcyclopropanecarboxylate. These tolerances will expire and are revoked on the dates specified in the following table: Parts per million Commodity Apple ............... Nectarine ........ Peach .............. 0.5 0.5 0.5 Expiration/ revocation date 12/31/2015 12/31/2015 12/31/2015 (c) Tolerances with regional registrations. Tolerances with regional registrations are established for residues of the insecticide bifenthrin, including its metabolites and degradates, in or on the commodities in the table below. Compliance with the tolerance levels specified below is to be determined by measuring only bifenthrin, (2-methyl [1,1′-biphenyl]-3-yl) methyl-3-(2-chloro3,3,3,-trifluoro-1-propenyl)-2,2dimethylcyclopropanecarboxylate. Parts per million Commodity Grass, forage ........................ Grass, hay ............................ * * * * 4.0 15 * [FR Doc. 2012–22772 Filed 9–13–12; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560–50–P DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration 50 CFR Part 665 [Docket No. 120628195–2414–02] wreier-aviles on DSK5TPTVN1PROD with RULES RIN 0648–XC089 Main Hawaiian Islands Deep 7 Bottomfish Annual Catch Limits and Accountability Measures for 2012–13 National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Commerce. ACTION: Final specifications. AGENCY: VerDate Mar<15>2010 14:15 Sep 13, 2012 Jkt 226001 In this rule, NMFS specifies a quota of 325,000 lb of Deep 7 bottomfish in the main Hawaiian Islands for the 2012–13 fishing year, based on an annual catch limit of 346,000 lb. The action supports the long-term sustainability of Hawaii bottomfish. DATES: The final specifications are effective October 15, 2012 through August 31, 2013, unless NMFS publishes a document in the Federal Register superseding these specifications. SUMMARY: Copies of the Fishery Ecosystem Plan for the Hawaiian Archipelago are available from the Western Pacific Fishery Management Council (Council), 1164 Bishop St., Suite 1400, Honolulu, HI 96813, tel 808–522–8220, fax 808–522–8226, or www.wpcouncil.org. ADDRESSES: FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Jarad Makaiau, NMFS PIR Sustainable Fisheries, 808–944–2108. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: On August 2, 2012, NMFS published proposed specifications that are finalized here, and a request for public comments (77 FR 46014). Additional background information on this action is found in the preamble to the proposed specifications, and is not repeated here. Through this action, NMFS is specifying a quota (annual catch target, ACT) of 325,000 lb of Deep 7 bottomfish in the main Hawaiian Islands (MHI) for the 2012–13 fishing year, based on an annual catch limit (ACL) of 346,000 lb. The MHI Management Subarea is the portion of U.S. Exclusive Economic Zone around the Hawaiian Archipelago lying to the east of 161° 20′ W. longitude. The Deep 7 bottomfish are onaga (Etelis coruscans), ehu (E. carbunculus), gindai (Pristipomoides zonatus), kalekale (P. sieboldii), opakapaka (P. filamentosus), lehi (Aphareus rutilans), and hapuupuu (Epinephelus quernus). The Council recommended the quota and ACL based on the best available scientific, commercial, and other information, taking into account the associated risk of overfishing. The MHI bottomfish fishing year starts September 1, 2012. NMFS will monitor the fishery, and if the is quota is projected to be reached before August 31, 2013, NMFS will close the noncommercial and commercial fisheries for Deep 7 bottomfish in Federal waters through August 31, 2013. During a fishery closure for Deep 7 bottomfish, no person may fish for, possess, or sell any of these fish in the MHI, except as otherwise authorized by law (specifically, vessels with valid Pacific PO 00000 Frm 00037 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 56791 Remote Island Areas bottomfish fishing permits are not affected by the closure). There is no prohibition on fishing for or selling other non-Deep 7 bottomfish species throughout the year. All other management measures continue to apply in the MHI bottomfish fishery. Comments and Responses The comment period for the proposed specifications ended on August 17, 2012. NMFS received comments and responds as follows: Comment 1: The annual catch limit is a management tool that will ensure fish stocks for future generations to come. Response: NMFS agrees. Federal law requires NMFS and the Council to manage fisheries using annual catch limits. NMFS and the Council developed the annual catch limit using the best available scientific and commercial information and in consideration of scientific uncertainty and social and economic factors. The use of an annual catch limit, annual catch target and accountability measure will help prevent overfishing and ensure sustainable, long-term catches for fishermen. Comment 2: The combination of measures to prevent overfishing by the Federal government (through ACL and AM), and by the State of Hawaii (through spatial restrictions, or bottomfish restricted fishing areas) are duplicative, disadvantaging certain fishing communities, and NMFS should remove the bottomfish restricted fishing areas, or at least those in Federal waters. Response: While the State and Federal bottomfish regulations may appear to be duplicative, they are not. In 1998, the State of Hawaii established by administrative rule the bottomfish restricted fishing areas. At that time, in the absence of Federal regulations these areas were intended specifically to prevent overfishing. Some of the restricted areas were located in Federal waters. The Council and NMFS recognized that the administration and enforcement of these areas were and continue to be, the responsibility of the State, and any change to the management of the bottomfish restricted fishing areas is the purview of the State. The Council subsequently (in 2008) developed, and NMFS implemented, the first Hawaii bottomfish quota system. The Federal quota measures complement, but do not duplicate, State restricted area measures. The combined State and Federal bottomfish management programs include a mix of minimum fish sizes, non-commercial bag limits, restricted fishing areas, catch limits, gear restrictions, permits and E:\FR\FM\14SER1.SGM 14SER1 56792 Federal Register / Vol. 77, No. 179 / Friday, September 14, 2012 / Rules and Regulations wreier-aviles on DSK5TPTVN1PROD with RULES logbooks reporting, and other measures, none of which duplicates the others. The Council may review its management program, as recommended to and implemented by NMFS, to gauge the overall effectiveness in achieving the objectives of the Hawaii fishery ecosystem plan, including whether or not the two programs working in concert are preventing overfishing and achieving optimum yield on a continuing basis. Mindful that the Magnuson-Stevens Act requires that all federally-managed U.S. fisheries be governed under a system of annual catch limits, if the Council finds that other parts of its Federal management program are superfluous in light of existing State measures, or that Federal programs are disadvantaging fishermen, it may recommend changes to the Federal requirements. Any changes to the Federal program would be coordinated with the State of Hawaii. Comment 3: NMFS must consider the State’s bottomfish restricted fishing areas and affiliated bottomfish resources when conducting bottomfish stock assessments and specifying annual catch limits. Response: NMFS agrees, but information is not currently available about the conservation effects of the State’s bottomfish restricted areas. The analyses in the most recent (2010) MHI Deep 7 bottomfish stock assessment, on which the annual catch limit and catch target are based, do not consider the impacts of the restricted areas. Rather, the assessment treats the main Hawaiian Islands as a single fishing area with no spatial restrictions. Until the State and NMFS can quantify the benefits of the bottomfish restricted fishing areas, stock assessments will likely continue to treat the main Hawaiian Islands as a single fishing area with no spatial restrictions. NMFS and the Council will continue to work with the State to obtain accurate information needed for stock assessments, including data on bottomfish distribution, relative abundance, stock structure, size and age VerDate Mar<15>2010 14:15 Sep 13, 2012 Jkt 226001 composition, and other biological characteristics, both within and outside the bottomfish restricted fishing areas. Comment 4: Bottomfish camera bait stations (‘‘BotCam’’) may not provide a true picture of the bottomfish stock because, while bottomfish may be attracted initially to the BotCam, once predators such as amberjacks and sharks arrive, bottomfish leave the area. Response: A wide range of survey and sampling methods provide scientists and managers with multiple sources of information on which to base stock assessments. NMFS developed the BotCam as a cost-effective and nonfishing method to assess and monitor bottomfish (and other commercially important deepwater species). NMFS recognizes that this technology has both advantages and shortcomings compared to other data collection methods, and because BotCam surveys are still being conducted, NMFS has not fully evaluated the data obtained from these surveys for use in bottomfish stock assessments. Comment 5: The most accurate way to get a true picture of the bottomfish stock is to open the bottomfish restricted fishing areas, and analyze the fish catch reports. Response: The State of Hawaii, which governs and administers the bottomfish restricted fishing areas, has begun fishery-dependent studies in some bottomfish restricted fishing areas that may provide information, as suggested by the commenter. Comment 6: Another option to help perpetuate the various Deep 7 bottomfish species is to increase the weight minimum for legal sale. Response: Generally, minimum sizes (length or weight) are set at the level associated with the onset of maturity and are intended to provide individual fish with an opportunity to reproduce before being caught and kept. Current Federal regulations do not contain minimum sizes for sale of Deep 7 bottomfish. However, the State has implemented a minimum sales weight PO 00000 Frm 00038 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 9990 of one pound for onaga (Etelis carbunculus) and opakapaka (Pristipomoides filamentosus); changes to these limits would be the purview of the State. NMFS will continue to work with the Council to review available scientific information and evaluate whether additional conservation and management measures, including size limits, are needed to meet the objectives of the plan. Changes From the Proposed Specifications There are no changes in the final specifications. Classification The Regional Administrator, NMFS PIR, determined that this action is necessary for the conservation and management of MHI bottomfish, and that it is consistent with the MagnusonStevens Act and other applicable laws. The Chief Counsel for Regulation of the Department of Commerce certified to the Chief Counsel for Advocacy of the Small Business Administration during the proposed specification stage that this action would not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. NMFS published the factual basis for certification in the proposed specifications, and does not repeat it here. NMFS did not receive comments regarding this certification. As a result, a final regulatory flexibility analysis is not required, and none was prepared. This action is exempt from review under Executive Order 12866. Authority: 16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq. Dated: September 11, 2012. Alan D. Risenhoover, Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, performing the functions and duties of the Deputy Assistant Administrator for Regulatory Programs, National Marine Fisheries Service. [FR Doc. 2012–22736 Filed 9–13–12; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510–22–P E:\FR\FM\14SER1.SGM 14SER1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 77, Number 179 (Friday, September 14, 2012)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 56791-56792]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2012-22736]


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DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

50 CFR Part 665

[Docket No. 120628195-2414-02]
RIN 0648-XC089


Main Hawaiian Islands Deep 7 Bottomfish Annual Catch Limits and 
Accountability Measures for 2012-13

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

ACTION: Final specifications.

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

SUMMARY: In this rule, NMFS specifies a quota of 325,000 lb of Deep 7 
bottomfish in the main Hawaiian Islands for the 2012-13 fishing year, 
based on an annual catch limit of 346,000 lb. The action supports the 
long-term sustainability of Hawaii bottomfish.

DATES: The final specifications are effective October 15, 2012 through 
August 31, 2013, unless NMFS publishes a document in the Federal 
Register superseding these specifications.

ADDRESSES: Copies of the Fishery Ecosystem Plan for the Hawaiian 
Archipelago are available from the Western Pacific Fishery Management 
Council (Council), 1164 Bishop St., Suite 1400, Honolulu, HI 96813, tel 
808-522-8220, fax 808-522-8226, or www.wpcouncil.org.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Jarad Makaiau, NMFS PIR Sustainable 
Fisheries, 808-944-2108.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: On August 2, 2012, NMFS published proposed 
specifications that are finalized here, and a request for public 
comments (77 FR 46014). Additional background information on this 
action is found in the preamble to the proposed specifications, and is 
not repeated here.
    Through this action, NMFS is specifying a quota (annual catch 
target, ACT) of 325,000 lb of Deep 7 bottomfish in the main Hawaiian 
Islands (MHI) for the 2012-13 fishing year, based on an annual catch 
limit (ACL) of 346,000 lb. The MHI Management Subarea is the portion of 
U.S. Exclusive Economic Zone around the Hawaiian Archipelago lying to 
the east of 161[deg] 20' W. longitude. The Deep 7 bottomfish are onaga 
(Etelis coruscans), ehu (E. carbunculus), gindai (Pristipomoides 
zonatus), kalekale (P. sieboldii), opakapaka (P. filamentosus), lehi 
(Aphareus rutilans), and hapuupuu (Epinephelus quernus). The Council 
recommended the quota and ACL based on the best available scientific, 
commercial, and other information, taking into account the associated 
risk of overfishing.
    The MHI bottomfish fishing year starts September 1, 2012. NMFS will 
monitor the fishery, and if the is quota is projected to be reached 
before August 31, 2013, NMFS will close the non-commercial and 
commercial fisheries for Deep 7 bottomfish in Federal waters through 
August 31, 2013. During a fishery closure for Deep 7 bottomfish, no 
person may fish for, possess, or sell any of these fish in the MHI, 
except as otherwise authorized by law (specifically, vessels with valid 
Pacific Remote Island Areas bottomfish fishing permits are not affected 
by the closure). There is no prohibition on fishing for or selling 
other non-Deep 7 bottomfish species throughout the year. All other 
management measures continue to apply in the MHI bottomfish fishery.

Comments and Responses

    The comment period for the proposed specifications ended on August 
17, 2012. NMFS received comments and responds as follows:
    Comment 1: The annual catch limit is a management tool that will 
ensure fish stocks for future generations to come.
    Response: NMFS agrees. Federal law requires NMFS and the Council to 
manage fisheries using annual catch limits. NMFS and the Council 
developed the annual catch limit using the best available scientific 
and commercial information and in consideration of scientific 
uncertainty and social and economic factors. The use of an annual catch 
limit, annual catch target and accountability measure will help prevent 
overfishing and ensure sustainable, long-term catches for fishermen.
    Comment 2: The combination of measures to prevent overfishing by 
the Federal government (through ACL and AM), and by the State of Hawaii 
(through spatial restrictions, or bottomfish restricted fishing areas) 
are duplicative, disadvantaging certain fishing communities, and NMFS 
should remove the bottomfish restricted fishing areas, or at least 
those in Federal waters.
    Response: While the State and Federal bottomfish regulations may 
appear to be duplicative, they are not. In 1998, the State of Hawaii 
established by administrative rule the bottomfish restricted fishing 
areas. At that time, in the absence of Federal regulations these areas 
were intended specifically to prevent overfishing. Some of the 
restricted areas were located in Federal waters. The Council and NMFS 
recognized that the administration and enforcement of these areas were 
and continue to be, the responsibility of the State, and any change to 
the management of the bottomfish restricted fishing areas is the 
purview of the State.
    The Council subsequently (in 2008) developed, and NMFS implemented, 
the first Hawaii bottomfish quota system. The Federal quota measures 
complement, but do not duplicate, State restricted area measures. The 
combined State and Federal bottomfish management programs include a mix 
of minimum fish sizes, non-commercial bag limits, restricted fishing 
areas, catch limits, gear restrictions, permits and

[[Page 56792]]

logbooks reporting, and other measures, none of which duplicates the 
others.
    The Council may review its management program, as recommended to 
and implemented by NMFS, to gauge the overall effectiveness in 
achieving the objectives of the Hawaii fishery ecosystem plan, 
including whether or not the two programs working in concert are 
preventing overfishing and achieving optimum yield on a continuing 
basis. Mindful that the Magnuson-Stevens Act requires that all 
federally-managed U.S. fisheries be governed under a system of annual 
catch limits, if the Council finds that other parts of its Federal 
management program are superfluous in light of existing State measures, 
or that Federal programs are disadvantaging fishermen, it may recommend 
changes to the Federal requirements. Any changes to the Federal program 
would be coordinated with the State of Hawaii.
    Comment 3: NMFS must consider the State's bottomfish restricted 
fishing areas and affiliated bottomfish resources when conducting 
bottomfish stock assessments and specifying annual catch limits.
    Response: NMFS agrees, but information is not currently available 
about the conservation effects of the State's bottomfish restricted 
areas. The analyses in the most recent (2010) MHI Deep 7 bottomfish 
stock assessment, on which the annual catch limit and catch target are 
based, do not consider the impacts of the restricted areas. Rather, the 
assessment treats the main Hawaiian Islands as a single fishing area 
with no spatial restrictions. Until the State and NMFS can quantify the 
benefits of the bottomfish restricted fishing areas, stock assessments 
will likely continue to treat the main Hawaiian Islands as a single 
fishing area with no spatial restrictions. NMFS and the Council will 
continue to work with the State to obtain accurate information needed 
for stock assessments, including data on bottomfish distribution, 
relative abundance, stock structure, size and age composition, and 
other biological characteristics, both within and outside the 
bottomfish restricted fishing areas.
    Comment 4: Bottomfish camera bait stations (``BotCam'') may not 
provide a true picture of the bottomfish stock because, while 
bottomfish may be attracted initially to the BotCam, once predators 
such as amberjacks and sharks arrive, bottomfish leave the area.
    Response: A wide range of survey and sampling methods provide 
scientists and managers with multiple sources of information on which 
to base stock assessments. NMFS developed the BotCam as a cost-
effective and non-fishing method to assess and monitor bottomfish (and 
other commercially important deepwater species). NMFS recognizes that 
this technology has both advantages and shortcomings compared to other 
data collection methods, and because BotCam surveys are still being 
conducted, NMFS has not fully evaluated the data obtained from these 
surveys for use in bottomfish stock assessments.
    Comment 5: The most accurate way to get a true picture of the 
bottomfish stock is to open the bottomfish restricted fishing areas, 
and analyze the fish catch reports.
    Response: The State of Hawaii, which governs and administers the 
bottomfish restricted fishing areas, has begun fishery-dependent 
studies in some bottomfish restricted fishing areas that may provide 
information, as suggested by the commenter.
    Comment 6: Another option to help perpetuate the various Deep 7 
bottomfish species is to increase the weight minimum for legal sale.
    Response: Generally, minimum sizes (length or weight) are set at 
the level associated with the onset of maturity and are intended to 
provide individual fish with an opportunity to reproduce before being 
caught and kept. Current Federal regulations do not contain minimum 
sizes for sale of Deep 7 bottomfish. However, the State has implemented 
a minimum sales weight of one pound for onaga (Etelis carbunculus) and 
opakapaka (Pristipomoides filamentosus); changes to these limits would 
be the purview of the State. NMFS will continue to work with the 
Council to review available scientific information and evaluate whether 
additional conservation and management measures, including size limits, 
are needed to meet the objectives of the plan.

Changes From the Proposed Specifications

    There are no changes in the final specifications.

Classification

    The Regional Administrator, NMFS PIR, determined that this action 
is necessary for the conservation and management of MHI bottomfish, and 
that it is consistent with the Magnuson-Stevens Act and other 
applicable laws.
    The Chief Counsel for Regulation of the Department of Commerce 
certified to the Chief Counsel for Advocacy of the Small Business 
Administration during the proposed specification stage that this action 
would not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of 
small entities. NMFS published the factual basis for certification in 
the proposed specifications, and does not repeat it here. NMFS did not 
receive comments regarding this certification. As a result, a final 
regulatory flexibility analysis is not required, and none was prepared.
    This action is exempt from review under Executive Order 12866.

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

    Dated: September 11, 2012.
Alan D. Risenhoover,
Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, performing the functions and 
duties of the Deputy Assistant Administrator for Regulatory Programs, 
National Marine Fisheries Service.
[FR Doc. 2012-22736 Filed 9-13-12; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 3510-22-P