Revisions to Framework Adjustment 50 to the Northeast Multispecies Fishery Management Plan and Sector Annual Catch Entitlements; Updated Annual Catch Limits for Sectors and the Common Pool for Fishing Year 2013, 34928-34934 [2013-13866]

Download as PDF 34928 Federal Register / Vol. 78, No. 112 / Tuesday, June 11, 2013 / Rules and Regulations provisions in § 15.35 for limiting peak emissions apply. [FR Doc. 2013–13696 Filed 6–10–13; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6712–01–P DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration 50 CFR Part 648 [Docket No. 130219149–3524–03] RIN 0648–BC97 Revisions to Framework Adjustment 50 to the Northeast Multispecies Fishery Management Plan and Sector Annual Catch Entitlements; Updated Annual Catch Limits for Sectors and the Common Pool for Fishing Year 2013 National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Commerce. ACTION: Temporary final rule; adjustment to specifications. AGENCY: SUMMARY: Based on the final Northeast (NE) multispecies sector rosters submitted as of May 1, 2013, we are adjusting the fishing year (FY) 2013 specification of annual catch limits for commercial groundfish vessels, as well as sector annual catch entitlements for groundfish stocks. This revision to fishing year 2013 catch levels is necessary to account for changes in the number of participants electing to fish in either sectors or the common pool fishery. Effective June 10, 2013, through April 30, 2014. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Allison Murphy, Fishery Policy Analyst, (978) 281–9122. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The New England Fishery Management Council (Council) developed Amendment 16 to the NE Multispecies Fishery Management Plan (FMP), in part, to establish a process for setting groundfish annual catch limits (also wreier-aviles on DSK5TPTVN1PROD with RULES DATES: VerDate Mar<15>2010 17:24 Jun 10, 2013 Jkt 229001 referred to as ACLs or catch limits) and accountability measures. The Council has a biennial review process to develop catch limits and revise management measures. Framework Adjustment (FW) 50 and concurrent emergency actions set annual catch limits for nine groundfish stocks and three jointly managed U.S./Canada stocks for FY 2013–2015. We recently partially approved FW 50, which became effective on May 1, 2013 (78 FR 26172; May 3, 2013). In addition to the specification set by FW 50, we took emergency action to set the catch limits for Georges Bank (GB) yellowtail flounder and white hake. For more information on these emergency actions, please see the preamble to FW 50. Along with FW 50 and the concurrent emergency rule, we recently approved FY 2013 sector operations plans and allocations (78 FR 25591; May 2, 2013; ‘‘sector rule’’). A sector receives an allocation of each stock, or annual catch entitlement (referred to as ACE, or allocation), based on its members’ catch histories. State-operated permit banks also receive an allocation that can be transferred to qualifying sector vessels (for more information, see the final rule implementing Amendment 17 (77 FR 16942; March 23, 2012)). The sum of all sector and state-operated permit bank allocations is referred to as the sector sub-ACL in the FMP. Whatever groundfish allocation remains after sectors and state-operated permit banks receive their allocations is then allocated to vessels not enrolled in a sector (referred to as the common pool). This allocation is also referred to as the common pool sub-ACL. Changes in sector membership require ACL and ACE adjustments. This rule adjusts the FY 2013 sector and common pool allocations based on final sector membership as of May 1, 2013. Permitted vessels that wish to fish in a sector must enroll by December 1 of each year, with the fishing year beginning the following May 1 and lasting through April 30 of the next year. However, due to a delay in distributing each vessel’s potential contribution to a sector’s quota for FY PO 00000 Frm 00062 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 2013, we delayed the deadline to join a sector until March 29, 2013. Because this deadline followed the publication of the FW 50 and sector proposed rules, FY 2012 membership was used to estimate sector ACEs for FY 2013. In addition, vessels had until April 30, 2013 (the day before the beginning of FY 2013) to drop out of a sector and fish in the common pool. If the sector allocation increases as a result of sector membership changes, the common pool allocation decreases—the opposite is true as well. Because sector membership has changed since FY 2012, which was used in the FW 50 and sector rules, we need to update the allocations to all sectors and to the common pool. The final number of permits enrolled in a sector or state-operated permit bank for FY 2013 is 851 (the same number of permits enrolled in FY 2012 and a decrease of 3 permits from March 29, 2013). All sector allocations assume that each NE multispecies vessel enrolled in a sector has a valid permit for FY 2013. Tables 1, 2, and 3 (below) explain the revised FY 2013 allocations as a percentage and absolute amount (in metric tons and pounds). Table 4 compares the preliminary allocations based on FY 2012 membership published in the FW 50 proposed and final rules, with the revised allocations based on the final sector and state-operated permit bank rosters as of May 1, 2013. The table shows that changes in sector allocations due to updated rosters range from a decrease of 0.32 percent of Gulf of Maine (GOM) haddock, to an increase of 4.04 percent of Southern New England/ Mid-Atlantic (SNE/MA) yellowtail flounder. Common pool allocation adjustments range between a 16.17percent decrease in SNE/MA yellowtail flounder, to a 59.09-percent increase in GOM haddock. The changes in the common-pool allocations are greater because the common pool has a significantly lower allocation for all stocks, so even small changes appear large when viewed as a percentage increase or decrease. BILLING CODE 3510–22–P E:\FR\FM\11JNR1.SGM 11JNR1 wreier-aviles on DSK5TPTVN1PROD with RULES VerDate Mar<15>2010 Jkt 229001 Sector Name (Defined Below) PO 00000 Number of Permits GB Cod FGS 108 MCCS 46 GOM Haddock GB Yellowtail Flounder SNEIMA Yellowtail Flounder Cape Cod (CC)/GOM Yellowtail Flounder Plaice Witch Flounder GB Winter Flounder GOM Winter Flounder SNEIMA Winter Flounder GOMCod GB Haddock 27.71 2.43 5.76 1.84 0.01 0.30 2.75 0.91 2.10 0.03 3.73 1.65 2.74 5.68 7.38 0.21 4.59 0.04 2.55 0.00 0.66 1.05 7.56 5.06 0.01 1.96 0.19 2.50 4.40 3.80 Redfish White Hake Pollock Frm 00063 Fmt 4700 11 0.13 1.15 0.04 1.12 0.01 0.03 0.32 1.16 0.73 0.00 0.42 0.02 0.82 1.65 1.69 26 0.17 0.75 0.12 0.35 0.84 0.73 0.61 0.15 0.22 0.07 0.90 0.30 0.43 0.79 0.42 NEFS2 82 6.19 18.38 11.94 16.57 1.96 1.51 19.37 8.10 12.98 3.30 18.47 3.71 16.04 6.32 12.19 NEFS3 79 1.25 14.38 0.15 9.64 0.01 0.36 8.55 4.06 2.85 0.03 9.32 0.77 1.34 4.73 6.75 NEFS4 50 4.14 9.60 5.32 8.35 2.16 2.27 5.47 9.29 8.49 0.69 6.24 0.87 6.64 8.06 6.14 NEFS 5 31 0.79 0.0\ 1.05 0.29 1.61 22.98 0.48 0.49 0.67 0.52 0.07 12.37 0.08 0.12 0.10 NEFS6 21 2.86 2.91 2.92 3.83 2.70 5.17 3.56 3.88 5.17 1.46 4.37 1.89 5.31 3.91 3.29 NEFS7 23 5.21 0.39 4.95 0.47 11.29 4.57 2.86 3.59 3.29 14.86 0.83 6.35 0.59 0.83 0.73 NEFS 8 20 6.15 0.49 5.67 0.21 10.90 5.84 6.40 1.65 2.54 14.63 3.35 10.08 0.54 0.50 0.60 E:\FR\FM\11JNR1.SGM NEFS9 60 14.24 1.73 11.60 4.79 26.78 7.96 10.41 8.27 8.28 39.50 2.43 18.62 5.83 4.15 4.23 NEFS 10 44 0.73 5.26 0.25 2.54 0.02 0.55 12.82 1.78 2.43 0.01 26.97 0.75 0.55 0.91 1.39 NEFS 11 42 0.39 11.21 0.04 2.35 0.00 0.02 2.10 1.35 1.47 0.00 1.93 0.02 0.94 2.34 6.46 NEFS 12 11 0.02 2.42 0.00 0.86 0.00 0.00 0.48 0.75 0.61 0.00 0.32 0.00 1.06 2.50 2.96 NEFS 13 54 7.96 0.95 16.08 0.99 24.97 18.92 5.03 5.16 6.27 7.46 2.34 11.04 3.98 1.74 2.27 NH 4 0.00 1.14 0.00 0.03 0.00 0.00 0.02 0.03 0.0\ 0.00 0.06 0.00 0.02 0.08 0.11 11JNR1 Sfmt 4725 Maine NCCS SHS 1 118 19.69 19.49 33.09 42.18 13.19 8.24 12.84 39.31 34.27 16.32 10.27 18.46 50.02 50.42 38.73 SHS3 Sectors Total 21 0.44 0.52 0.64 0.18 2.33 3.13 2.08 0.75 0.82 0.49 2.31 1.67 0.19 0.15 0.06 99.30 851 98.27 97.80 99.68 99.15 98.80 83.23 97.20 98.25 98.25 99.37 96.30 88.77 99.60 99.29 -Georges Bank Cod Fixed Gear Sector (FGS), Maine Coast Community Sector (MCCS), Maine Permit Bank (Maine), Northeast Coastal Communities Sector (NCCS), , Northeast Fishery Sectors (NEFS), New Hampshire Permit Bank (NH), and Sustainable Harvest Sector (SHS) I All ACE values for sectors outlined in Table 1 assume that each sector permit is valid for FY 2013. Federal Register / Vol. 78, No. 112 / Tuesday, June 11, 2013 / Rules and Regulations 15:08 Jun 10, 2013 Table 1. FINAL PERCENTAGE (%) OF ACE FOR EACH SECTOR BY STOCK FOR FY 2013 1 34929 ER11JN13.003</GPH> wreier-aviles on DSK5TPTVN1PROD with RULES 34930 VerDate Mar<15>2010 Jkt 229001 PO 00000 Sector Name GB Cod East GB Cod West GOM Cod GB Haddock East GB Haddock West GOM Haddock GB Yellowtail Flounder SNEIMA Yellowtail Flounder CC/GOM Yellowtail Flounder Plaice Witch Flounder GB Winter Flounder GOM Winter Flounder SNEIMA Winter Flounder FGS 25 475 20 216 1293 3 0 2 13 13 13 1 27 20 MCCS 0 4 38 1 9 5 0 4 Maine 0 2 10 2 10 2 0 0 5 107 31 0 14 2 17 4 0 3 ! Redfish White Hake Pollock 277 219 951 2 253 169 490 0 83 64 218 Frm 00064 Fmt 4700 NCCS 0 3 6 5 27 1 1 4 3 2 1 2 6 4 44 30 54 NEFS2 6 106 153 448 2679 31 2 9 93 115 79 116 132 45 1625 243 1572 NEFS3 1 22 119 5 33 18 0 2 41 58 17 1 67 9 136 182 870 NEFS4 4 71 80 200 1193 16 3 13 26 132 52 24 45 11 673 310 792 NEFS5 1 13 0 40 236 1 2 131 2 7 4 18 0 150 8 5 14 NEFS6 3 49 24 110 656 7 3 29 17 55 32 51 31 23 538 151 425 NEFS7 5 89 3 186 1112 1 13 26 14 51 20 524 6 77 59 32 94 Sfmt 4725 NEFS8 6 105 4 213 1273 0 13 33 31 23 16 516 24 122 54 19 77 NEFS9 13 244 14 436 2604 9 31 45 50 117 50 1394 17 225 591 160 545 E:\FR\FM\11JNR1.SGM NEFS 10 1 12 44 9 56 5 0 3 61 25 15 0 193 9 56 35 180 NEFS 11 0 7 93 1 8 4 0 0 10 19 9 0 14 0 95 90 833 11JNR1 NEFS 12 0 0 20 0 1 2 0 0 2 11 4 0 2 0 107 96 382 NEFS 13 7 136 8 604 3609 2 29 108 24 73 38 263 17 134 403 67 293 NH 0 0 9 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 3 14 SHS 1 18 338 162 1242 7425 79 15 47 61 558 209 576 73 223 5068 1941 4994 SHS3 0 8 4 24 144 0 3 18 10 11 5 17 16 20 20 6 8 Sectors Total 90 1685 812 3742 22369 185 115 474 Common Pool 2 18 12 2 1 30 73 96 rAil ACE values for sectors outlined in Table 2 assume that each sector permit is valid for FY 2013. 466 1395 599 3506 688 1074 10092 3822 12802 13 25 11 22 26 136 40 27 91 2Tbese values do not include any potential ACE carryover or deductions from FY 2012 sector ACE underages or overages. Adjustments for any carryover or deductions will be made in a future action following reconciliation. ER11JN13.004</GPH> i Federal Register / Vol. 78, No. 112 / Tuesday, June 11, 2013 / Rules and Regulations 15:08 Jun 10, 2013 Table 2. FINAL ACE FOR EACH SECTOR BY STOCK FOR FY 2013 (mt)12 wreier-aviles on DSK5TPTVN1PROD with RULES VerDate Mar<15>2010 Jkt 229001 PO 00000 GB Cod East GB Cod West GOM Cod GB Haddock East GB Haddock West GOM Haddock GB Yellowtail Flounder SNEIMA Yellowtail Flounder CC/GOM Yellowtail Flounder FGS 56 1048 44 477 2852 8 0 4 MCCS 0 8 84 3 20 11 0 Maine 0 5 21 4 22 5 0 Sector Name Plaice Witch Flounder GB Winter Flounder GOM Winter Flounder SNEIMA Winter Flounder Redfish White Hake Pollock 29 28 28 2 59 44 612 482 2097 8 11 237 68 1 31 5 559 373 1080 0 3 36 10 0 7 0 184 140 480 Frm 00065 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4725 E:\FR\FM\11JNR1.SGM NCCS 0 6 14 10 60 1 2 9 6 5 3 5 14 8 96 67 120 NEFS2 13 234 336 988 5905 68 5 19 205 254 175 257 291 99 3583 537 3465 NEFS3 3 47 263 12 72 40 0 4 90 127 38 2 147 21 299 401 1917 NEFS4 8 156 176 440 2630 34 6 29 58 291 114 54 98 23 1483 684 1746 NEFS5 2 30 0 87 521 1 4 289 5 15 9 40 1 330 17 10 30 NEFS6 6 108 53 242 1446 16 7 65 38 121 70 113 69 51 1186 332 936 NEFS7 11 197 7 410 2451 2 29 57 30 112 44 1155 13 169 131 70 206 NEFS8 12 232 9 469 2806 1 28 73 68 52 34 1138 53 269 120 43 170 NEFS9 29 538 32 960 5741 20 69 100 110 259 III 3073 38 497 1303 352 1202 NEFS 10 1 28 96 21 124 10 0 7 135 56 33 1 425 20 122 77 396 NEFS 11 1 15 205 3 18 10 0 0 22 42 20 0 30 0 209 199 1837 NEFS 12 0 I 44 0 I 4 0 0 5 23 8 0 5 0 237 212 842 646 NEFS 13 16 301 17 1331 7958 4 64 238 53 162 84 580 37 294 889 148 NH 0 0 21 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 1 0 4 7 32 SHS 1 40 745 357 2738 16370 174 34 104 136 1231 461 1269 162 493 11172 4279 11009 11JNR1 1 SHS 3 Sectors Total Common Pool 17 9 53 318 1 6 39 22 23 11 38 36 44 43 13 17 199 3716 1790 8249 49316 409 254 1046 1026 3076 1321 7729 1517 2368 22249 8425 28225 4 65 40 27 160 4 3 211 30 55 24 49 58 300 88 60 200 All ACE values for sectors outlined in Table 3 assume that each sector permit is valid for FY 2013. 2 These values do not include any potential ACE carryover or deductions from FY 2012 sector ACE underages or overages. Adjustments for any carryover or deductions will be made in a future action following reconciliation. Federal Register / Vol. 78, No. 112 / Tuesday, June 11, 2013 / Rules and Regulations 15:08 Jun 10, 2013 Table 3. FINAL ACE FOR EACH SECTOR BY STOCK FOR FY 2013 (1,000 Ib)12 34931 ER11JN13.005</GPH> wreier-aviles on DSK5TPTVN1PROD with RULES 34932 Frm 00066 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 11JNR1 finish reconciling differences in catch accounting between our data and each E:\FR\FM\11JNR1.SGM It is important to point out that this is only a temporary final rule. After we PO 00000 ER11JN13.006</GPH> GOM Cod GB Haddock GOM Haddock GB Yellowtail Flounder SNEIMA Yellowtail Flounder CC/GOM Yellowtail Flounder Plaice Witch Flounder GB Winter Flounder GOM Winter Flounder SNEIMA Winter Flounder Redfish White Hake Pollock Total Commercial Allocation Jkt 229001 GBCod 1807 830 26196 187 116.8 570 479 1420 610 3528 714.7 1210 10132 3949 12893 FY2013 Common Pool Allocation based on FY2012 sector membership 30 16 72 I 1.3 114 12 24 9 20 24 142 41 31 83 Adjusted FY2013 Common Pool Allocation 32 18 85 2 1 96 13 25 11 22 26 136 40 27 91 % Change 6.67% 14.24% 18.06% 59.09% 7.69% -16.17% 11.69% 3.75% 18.44% 10.87% 10.04% -4.27% -2.11% - 9.04% 1777 814 26124 186 115.4 456 467 1396 601 3508 690 1068 10091 3818 12810 1775 812 26111 185 115 474 466 1395 599 3506 688 1074 10092 3822 12802 -0.11 % -0.28% -0.05% -0.32% 0.00% 4.04% -0.30% -0.06% -0.28% -0.06% -0.25% 0.57% 0.01% 0.10% -0.06% FY2013 Sector Allocation based on FY2012 sector membership Adjusted FY2013 Sector Allocation % Change I All values for sectors outlined in Table 4 assume that each sector permit is valid for FY 2013. 11.73% Federal Register / Vol. 78, No. 112 / Tuesday, June 11, 2013 / Rules and Regulations 15:08 Jun 10, 2013 BILLING CODE 3510–22–C VerDate Mar<15>2010 Table 4. COMPARISON OF ALLOCATIONS BETWEEN THE FW 50 FINAL RULE, AND MAY 1,2013, SECTOR ROSTERS (mt) I 34933 Federal Register / Vol. 78, No. 112 / Tuesday, June 11, 2013 / Rules and Regulations sector manager’s data, each sector will have 2 weeks to trade FY 2012 ACE to account for any overharvesting during that period. After that 2-week trading window, a sector that still has exceeded its FY 2012 allocation will have its FY 2013 allocation reduced, pursuant to regulatory requirements. Because data reconciliation and the 2-week trading window take place after the new fishing year has begun, we reserve 20 percent of each sector’s FY 2013 allocation until FY 2012 catch data are reconciled, with the exception of SNE/MA winter flounder, which was newly allocated for FY 2013. This reserve is held to ensure that each sector has sufficient ACE to balance any overages from the previous fishing year. For FY 2013, sectors are also able to carry over up to 10 percent of their initial allocation of all regulated stocks to the next fishing year, with the exception of GOM cod, which can be carried over only up to 1.85 percent. We will publish a final follow-up rule detailing any carryover of FY 2012 sector allocation or reduction in FY 2013 allocation resulting from sectors under or overharvesting their allocations. FW 50 also specifies incidental catch limits (or incidental total allowable catches, ‘‘TACs’’) applicable to the common pool and NE multispecies Special Management Programs for FY 2013–2015, including the B day-at-sea (DAS) Program. Special Management Programs are designed to allow fishing for healthy stocks that can support additional fishing effort without undermining the other goals of the FMP. Incidental catch limits are specified to limit catch of certain stocks of concern for common pool vessels fishing in the Special Management Programs. Because these incidental catch limits are based on the changed common-pool allocation, they also must be revised. Final incidental catch limits are included in Tables 5–8 below. TABLE 5—FY 2013 COMMON POOL INCIDENTAL CATCH TACS Percentage of common pool subACL Stock GB cod .............. GOM cod .......... GB yellowtail flounder ......... CC/GOM yellowtail flounder ......... American Plaice Witch Flounder SNE/MA winter flounder ......... Incidental catch TAC (mt) 2 1 0.6 0.2 2 0.03 1 5 5 0.1 1.3 0.6 1 1.4 TABLE 6—DISTRIBUTION OF COMMON POOL INCIDENTAL CATCH TACS TO EACH SPECIAL MANAGEMENT PROGRAM Regular B DAS program (percent) Stock GB cod ............................................................................................. GOM cod ......................................................................................... GB yellowtail flounder ...................................................................... CC/GOM yellowtail flounder ............................................................ American Plaice ............................................................................... Witch Flounder ................................................................................. SNE/MA winter flounder .................................................................. Closed Area I hook gear haddock SAP 50 100 50 100 100 100 100 Eastern U.S./CA haddock SAP (percent) 16 NA NA NA NA NA NA Southern closed Area II haddock SAP 34 NA 50 NA NA NA NA TABLE 7—FY 2013 COMMON POOL INCIDENTAL CATCH TACS FOR EACH SPECIAL MANAGEMENT PROGRAM (MT) Regular B DAS program Stock GB cod ....................................................................................................................... GOM cod ................................................................................................................... GB yellowtail flounder ................................................................................................ CC/GOM yellowtail flounder ...................................................................................... American Plaice ......................................................................................................... Witch Flounder ........................................................................................................... SNE/MA winter flounder ............................................................................................ Closed area I hook gear haddock SAP 0.3 0.2 0.01 0.1 1.2 0.5 1.4 Eastern U.S./ Canada haddock SAP 0.1 n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a 0.2 n/a 0.01 n/a n/a n/a n/a TABLE 8—FY 2013 COMMON POOL REGULAR B DAS PROGRAM QUARTERLY INCIDENTAL CATCH TACS (MT) wreier-aviles on DSK5TPTVN1PROD with RULES 1st Quarter (13%) GB cod ....................................................................................... GOM cod ................................................................................... GB yellowtail flounder ................................................................ CC/GOM yellowtail flounder ...................................................... American Plaice ......................................................................... Witch Flounder ........................................................................... SNE/MA winter flounder ............................................................ Classification Pursuant to section 304(b)(1)(A) of the Magnuson-Stevens Act, the NMFS Assistant Administrator has determined VerDate Mar<15>2010 15:08 Jun 10, 2013 Jkt 229001 2nd Quarter (29%) 0.04 0.02 0.002 0.02 0.16 0.07 0.18 0.09 0.05 0.004 0.04 0.36 0.15 0.39 that this final rule is consistent with the NE Multispecies FMP, other provisions of the Magnuson-Stevens Act, and other applicable law. PO 00000 Frm 00067 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 3rd Quarter (29%) 0.09 0.05 0.004 0.04 0.36 0.15 0.39 4th Quarter (29%) 0.09 0.05 0.004 0.04 0.36 0.15 0.39 This final rule has been determined to be not significant for purposes of Executive Order 12866. Pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 553(b)(3)(B), we find good cause to waive prior public E:\FR\FM\11JNR1.SGM 11JNR1 34934 Federal Register / Vol. 78, No. 112 / Tuesday, June 11, 2013 / Rules and Regulations wreier-aviles on DSK5TPTVN1PROD with RULES notice and opportunity for public comment on the catch limit and allocation adjustments because allowing time for notice and comment is impracticable and contrary to the public interest. We also find good cause to waive the 30-day delay in effectiveness pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 553(d)(3), so that this final rule may become effective upon filing. Notice and comment are impracticable and contrary to the public interest because a delay would potentially impair achievement of the management plan’s objectives of preventing overfishing and achieving optimum yield by staying within ACLs or allocations. The proposed and final rules for FY 2013 sector operations plans and contracts explained the need and likelihood for adjustments of sector and common pool allocations based on final sector rosters. No comments were received on the potential for these adjustments, which provide an accurate accounting of a sector’s or common pool’s allocation at this time. If this rule is not effective immediately, the sector and common pool vessels will be operating under incorrect information on the catch limits for each stock for sectors and the common pool. This VerDate Mar<15>2010 15:08 Jun 10, 2013 Jkt 229001 could cause negative economic impacts to the both sectors and the common pool, depending on the size of the allocation, the degree of change in the allocation, and the catch rate of a particular stock. Further, these adjustments are based purely on objective sector enrollment data and are not subject to NMFS’ discretion, so there would be no benefit to allowing time for prior notice and comment. Waiving the 30-day delay in effectiveness allows harvesting in a manner that prevents catch limits of species from being exceeded in fisheries that are important to coastal communities. Until the final stock allocations are made, the affected fishing entities will not know how many fish of a particular stock they can catch without going over their ultimate limits. Fishermen may make both short- and long-term business decisions based on the catch limits in a given sector or the common pool. Any delays in adjusting these limits may cause the affected fishing entities to slow down, or speed up, their fishing activities during the interim period before this rule becomes effective. Both of these reactions could negatively affect the fishery and the businesses and communities that PO 00000 Frm 00068 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 9990 depend on them. The fishing industry and the communities it supports could be affected by potentially reducing harvests and delaying profits. Lastly, the catch limit and allocation adjustments are not controversial and the need for them was clearly explained in the proposed and final rules for FY 2013 sector operations plans and contracts. As a result, the NE multispecies permit holders are expecting these adjustments and awaiting their implementation. Therefore, it is important to implement adjusted catch limits and allocations as soon as possible. For these reasons, we are waiving the public comment period and delay in effectiveness for this rule, pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 553(b)(3)(B) and (d), respectively. Authority: 16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq. Dated: June 5, 2013. 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. 2013–13866 Filed 6–10–13; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510–22–P E:\FR\FM\11JNR1.SGM 11JNR1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 78, Number 112 (Tuesday, June 11, 2013)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 34928-34934]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2013-13866]


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DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

50 CFR Part 648

[Docket No. 130219149-3524-03]
RIN 0648-BC97


Revisions to Framework Adjustment 50 to the Northeast 
Multispecies Fishery Management Plan and Sector Annual Catch 
Entitlements; Updated Annual Catch Limits for Sectors and the Common 
Pool for Fishing Year 2013

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

ACTION: Temporary final rule; adjustment to specifications.

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

SUMMARY: Based on the final Northeast (NE) multispecies sector rosters 
submitted as of May 1, 2013, we are adjusting the fishing year (FY) 
2013 specification of annual catch limits for commercial groundfish 
vessels, as well as sector annual catch entitlements for groundfish 
stocks. This revision to fishing year 2013 catch levels is necessary to 
account for changes in the number of participants electing to fish in 
either sectors or the common pool fishery.

DATES: Effective June 10, 2013, through April 30, 2014.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Allison Murphy, Fishery Policy 
Analyst, (978) 281-9122.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The New England Fishery Management Council 
(Council) developed Amendment 16 to the NE Multispecies Fishery 
Management Plan (FMP), in part, to establish a process for setting 
groundfish annual catch limits (also referred to as ACLs or catch 
limits) and accountability measures. The Council has a biennial review 
process to develop catch limits and revise management measures. 
Framework Adjustment (FW) 50 and concurrent emergency actions set 
annual catch limits for nine groundfish stocks and three jointly 
managed U.S./Canada stocks for FY 2013-2015. We recently partially 
approved FW 50, which became effective on May 1, 2013 (78 FR 26172; May 
3, 2013). In addition to the specification set by FW 50, we took 
emergency action to set the catch limits for Georges Bank (GB) 
yellowtail flounder and white hake. For more information on these 
emergency actions, please see the preamble to FW 50.
    Along with FW 50 and the concurrent emergency rule, we recently 
approved FY 2013 sector operations plans and allocations (78 FR 25591; 
May 2, 2013; ``sector rule''). A sector receives an allocation of each 
stock, or annual catch entitlement (referred to as ACE, or allocation), 
based on its members' catch histories. State-operated permit banks also 
receive an allocation that can be transferred to qualifying sector 
vessels (for more information, see the final rule implementing 
Amendment 17 (77 FR 16942; March 23, 2012)). The sum of all sector and 
state-operated permit bank allocations is referred to as the sector 
sub-ACL in the FMP. Whatever groundfish allocation remains after 
sectors and state-operated permit banks receive their allocations is 
then allocated to vessels not enrolled in a sector (referred to as the 
common pool). This allocation is also referred to as the common pool 
sub-ACL.
    Changes in sector membership require ACL and ACE adjustments. This 
rule adjusts the FY 2013 sector and common pool allocations based on 
final sector membership as of May 1, 2013. Permitted vessels that wish 
to fish in a sector must enroll by December 1 of each year, with the 
fishing year beginning the following May 1 and lasting through April 30 
of the next year. However, due to a delay in distributing each vessel's 
potential contribution to a sector's quota for FY 2013, we delayed the 
deadline to join a sector until March 29, 2013. Because this deadline 
followed the publication of the FW 50 and sector proposed rules, FY 
2012 membership was used to estimate sector ACEs for FY 2013. In 
addition, vessels had until April 30, 2013 (the day before the 
beginning of FY 2013) to drop out of a sector and fish in the common 
pool. If the sector allocation increases as a result of sector 
membership changes, the common pool allocation decreases--the opposite 
is true as well. Because sector membership has changed since FY 2012, 
which was used in the FW 50 and sector rules, we need to update the 
allocations to all sectors and to the common pool.
    The final number of permits enrolled in a sector or state-operated 
permit bank for FY 2013 is 851 (the same number of permits enrolled in 
FY 2012 and a decrease of 3 permits from March 29, 2013). All sector 
allocations assume that each NE multispecies vessel enrolled in a 
sector has a valid permit for FY 2013. Tables 1, 2, and 3 (below) 
explain the revised FY 2013 allocations as a percentage and absolute 
amount (in metric tons and pounds).
    Table 4 compares the preliminary allocations based on FY 2012 
membership published in the FW 50 proposed and final rules, with the 
revised allocations based on the final sector and state-operated permit 
bank rosters as of May 1, 2013. The table shows that changes in sector 
allocations due to updated rosters range from a decrease of 0.32 
percent of Gulf of Maine (GOM) haddock, to an increase of 4.04 percent 
of Southern New England/Mid-Atlantic (SNE/MA) yellowtail flounder. 
Common pool allocation adjustments range between a 16.17-percent 
decrease in SNE/MA yellowtail flounder, to a 59.09-percent increase in 
GOM haddock. The changes in the common-pool allocations are greater 
because the common pool has a significantly lower allocation for all 
stocks, so even small changes appear large when viewed as a percentage 
increase or decrease.
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    It is important to point out that this is only a temporary final 
rule. After we finish reconciling differences in catch accounting 
between our data and each

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sector manager's data, each sector will have 2 weeks to trade FY 2012 
ACE to account for any overharvesting during that period. After that 2-
week trading window, a sector that still has exceeded its FY 2012 
allocation will have its FY 2013 allocation reduced, pursuant to 
regulatory requirements. Because data reconciliation and the 2-week 
trading window take place after the new fishing year has begun, we 
reserve 20 percent of each sector's FY 2013 allocation until FY 2012 
catch data are reconciled, with the exception of SNE/MA winter 
flounder, which was newly allocated for FY 2013. This reserve is held 
to ensure that each sector has sufficient ACE to balance any overages 
from the previous fishing year. For FY 2013, sectors are also able to 
carry over up to 10 percent of their initial allocation of all 
regulated stocks to the next fishing year, with the exception of GOM 
cod, which can be carried over only up to 1.85 percent. We will publish 
a final follow-up rule detailing any carryover of FY 2012 sector 
allocation or reduction in FY 2013 allocation resulting from sectors 
under or overharvesting their allocations.
    FW 50 also specifies incidental catch limits (or incidental total 
allowable catches, ``TACs'') applicable to the common pool and NE 
multispecies Special Management Programs for FY 2013-2015, including 
the B day-at-sea (DAS) Program. Special Management Programs are 
designed to allow fishing for healthy stocks that can support 
additional fishing effort without undermining the other goals of the 
FMP. Incidental catch limits are specified to limit catch of certain 
stocks of concern for common pool vessels fishing in the Special 
Management Programs. Because these incidental catch limits are based on 
the changed common-pool allocation, they also must be revised. Final 
incidental catch limits are included in Tables 5-8 below.

           Table 5--FY 2013 Common Pool Incidental Catch TACs
------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                 Percentage
                                                 of common    Incidental
                     Stock                       pool sub-    catch TAC
                                                    ACL          (mt)
------------------------------------------------------------------------
GB cod........................................            2          0.6
GOM cod.......................................            1          0.2
GB yellowtail flounder........................            2         0.03
CC/GOM yellowtail flounder....................            1          0.1
American Plaice...............................            5          1.3
Witch Flounder................................            5          0.6
SNE/MA winter flounder........................            1          1.4
------------------------------------------------------------------------


          Table 6--Distribution of Common Pool Incidental Catch TACs to each Special Management Program
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                            Regular B DAS     Closed Area I    Eastern U.S./CA   Southern closed
                  Stock                        program          hook gear        haddock SAP     Area II haddock
                                              (percent)        haddock SAP        (percent)            SAP
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
GB cod..................................                50                16                34
GOM cod.................................               100                NA                NA
GB yellowtail flounder..................                50                NA                50
CC/GOM yellowtail flounder..............               100                NA                NA
American Plaice.........................               100                NA                NA
Witch Flounder..........................               100                NA                NA
SNE/MA winter flounder..................               100                NA                NA
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


           Table 7--FY 2013 Common Pool Incidental Catch TACs for Each Special Management Program (mt)
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                              Closed area I      Eastern U.S./
                         Stock                             Regular B DAS        hook gear        Canada haddock
                                                              program          haddock SAP            SAP
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
GB cod.................................................                0.3                0.1                0.2
GOM cod................................................                0.2                n/a                n/a
GB yellowtail flounder.................................               0.01                n/a               0.01
CC/GOM yellowtail flounder.............................                0.1                n/a                n/a
American Plaice........................................                1.2                n/a                n/a
Witch Flounder.........................................                0.5                n/a                n/a
SNE/MA winter flounder.................................                1.4                n/a                n/a
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


             Table 8--FY 2013 Common Pool Regular B DAS Program Quarterly Incidental Catch TACs (mt)
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                                                   4th Quarter
                                       1st Quarter (13%)  2nd Quarter (29%)  3rd Quarter (29%)        (29%)
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
GB cod...............................              0.04               0.09               0.09               0.09
GOM cod..............................              0.02               0.05               0.05               0.05
GB yellowtail flounder...............              0.002              0.004              0.004             0.004
CC/GOM yellowtail flounder...........              0.02               0.04               0.04               0.04
American Plaice......................              0.16               0.36               0.36               0.36
Witch Flounder.......................              0.07               0.15               0.15               0.15
SNE/MA winter flounder...............              0.18               0.39               0.39               0.39
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Classification

    Pursuant to section 304(b)(1)(A) of the Magnuson-Stevens Act, the 
NMFS Assistant Administrator has determined that this final rule is 
consistent with the NE Multispecies FMP, other provisions of the 
Magnuson-Stevens Act, and other applicable law.
    This final rule has been determined to be not significant for 
purposes of Executive Order 12866.
    Pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 553(b)(3)(B), we find good cause to waive 
prior public

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notice and opportunity for public comment on the catch limit and 
allocation adjustments because allowing time for notice and comment is 
impracticable and contrary to the public interest. We also find good 
cause to waive the 30-day delay in effectiveness pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 
553(d)(3), so that this final rule may become effective upon filing.
    Notice and comment are impracticable and contrary to the public 
interest because a delay would potentially impair achievement of the 
management plan's objectives of preventing overfishing and achieving 
optimum yield by staying within ACLs or allocations. The proposed and 
final rules for FY 2013 sector operations plans and contracts explained 
the need and likelihood for adjustments of sector and common pool 
allocations based on final sector rosters. No comments were received on 
the potential for these adjustments, which provide an accurate 
accounting of a sector's or common pool's allocation at this time. If 
this rule is not effective immediately, the sector and common pool 
vessels will be operating under incorrect information on the catch 
limits for each stock for sectors and the common pool. This could cause 
negative economic impacts to the both sectors and the common pool, 
depending on the size of the allocation, the degree of change in the 
allocation, and the catch rate of a particular stock. Further, these 
adjustments are based purely on objective sector enrollment data and 
are not subject to NMFS' discretion, so there would be no benefit to 
allowing time for prior notice and comment.
    Waiving the 30-day delay in effectiveness allows harvesting in a 
manner that prevents catch limits of species from being exceeded in 
fisheries that are important to coastal communities. Until the final 
stock allocations are made, the affected fishing entities will not know 
how many fish of a particular stock they can catch without going over 
their ultimate limits. Fishermen may make both short- and long-term 
business decisions based on the catch limits in a given sector or the 
common pool. Any delays in adjusting these limits may cause the 
affected fishing entities to slow down, or speed up, their fishing 
activities during the interim period before this rule becomes 
effective. Both of these reactions could negatively affect the fishery 
and the businesses and communities that depend on them. The fishing 
industry and the communities it supports could be affected by 
potentially reducing harvests and delaying profits. Lastly, the catch 
limit and allocation adjustments are not controversial and the need for 
them was clearly explained in the proposed and final rules for FY 2013 
sector operations plans and contracts. As a result, the NE multispecies 
permit holders are expecting these adjustments and awaiting their 
implementation. Therefore, it is important to implement adjusted catch 
limits and allocations as soon as possible. For these reasons, we are 
waiving the public comment period and delay in effectiveness for this 
rule, pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 553(b)(3)(B) and (d), respectively.

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

    Dated: June 5, 2013.
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. 2013-13866 Filed 6-10-13; 8:45 am]
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