Fisheries of the Northeastern United States; Atlantic Coastal Fisheries Cooperative Management Act Provisions; American Lobster Fishery, 51131-51132 [2013-20298]

Download as PDF 51131 Federal Register / Vol. 78, No. 161 / Tuesday, August 20, 2013 / Proposed Rules Authority The authority for this action is the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended (16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.). Comments must be received on or before September 19, 2013. ADDRESSES: You may submit comments on this document, identified by NOAA– NMFS–2013–0110, by any of the following methods: • Electronic Submission: Submit all electronic public comments via the Federal e-Rulemaking Portal. Go to www.regulations.gov/ #!docketDetail;D=NOAA-NMFS-20130110, click the ‘‘Comment Now!’’ icon, complete the required fields, and enter or attach your comments. • Mail: Submit written comments to John K. Bullard, Regional Administrator, NMFS, Northeast Regional Office, 55 Great Republic Drive, Gloucester, MA 01930. Mark the outside of the envelope: ‘‘Comments on American Lobster ANPR.’’ • Fax: 978–281–9135; Attn: Allison Murphy Instructions: Comments sent by any other method, to any other address or individual, or received after the end of the comment period, may not be considered by NMFS. All comments received are a part of the public record and will generally be posted for public viewing on www.regulations.gov without change. All personal identifying information (e.g., name, address, etc.), confidential business information, or otherwise sensitive information submitted voluntarily by the sender will be publicly accessible. NMFS will accept anonymous comments (enter ‘‘N/ A’’ in the required fields if you wish to remain anonymous). Attachments to electronic comments will be accepted in Microsoft Word, Excel, or Adobe PDF file formats only. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Allison Murphy, Fishery Policy Analyst, (978) 281–9122, fax (978) 281–9135. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: DATES: Dated: August 5, 2013. Dan Ashe, Director, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. [FR Doc. 2013–19705 Filed 8–19–13; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4310–55–P DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration 50 CFR Part 697 [Docket No. 130705590–3590–01] RIN 0648–BD45 Fisheries of the Northeastern United States; Atlantic Coastal Fisheries Cooperative Management Act Provisions; American Lobster Fishery National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Commerce. ACTION: Advance notice of proposed rulemaking. AGENCY: Based on Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission (Commission) recommendations, the NMFS is issuing this advance notice of proposed rulemaking to provide background information and request public comment on potential changes to Federal American lobster regulations. The proposed measures for the lobster trap fishery are intended to address the Commission’s recommendations for Federal action to address the poor condition of the Southern New England (SNE) lobster stock and foster stock rebuilding. The rulemaking action considers management measures that would reduce lobster exploitation by 10 percent and reduce trap fishing effort in the SNE lobster management areas. SUMMARY: Background The American lobster fishery is managed by the Commission under Amendment 3 to the Interstate Fishery Management Plan for American Lobster (ISFMP). Since 1997, the Commission has coordinated the efforts of the states and Federal Government toward sustainable management of the American lobster fishery. We, NMFS, manage the portion of the fishery conducted in Federal waters from 3 to 200 miles offshore, based on management recommendations made by the Commission. The American lobster management unit is divided between three lobster stocks and seven lobster conservation management areas (Areas). Recent data indicate that the SNE American lobster stock, which includes all or part of six Areas, is at a low level of abundance and is experiencing persistent recruitment failure, caused by a combination of environmental factors and continued fishing mortality. The Commission opted to address the poor condition of the SNE stock in two phases: First by reducing lobster exploitation by 10 percent through the adoption of multiple management measures in Addendum XVII in February 2012; and, second, by scaling the fishery to the size of the SNE stock through lobster trap reductions as mandated in Addendum XVIII, adopted in August 2012. Copies of the Addenda are available on the Commission’s Web site at: http://www.asmfc.org/. To achieve a 10-percent reduction in exploitation of the SNE American lobster stock under Addendum XVII, the Commission recommended several effort control measures for Areas 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6 to reduce the amount of American lobsters harvested from these Areas. We plan to develop proposed and final rules to implement these measures, which include: Minimum size increases; mandatory v-notching of egg-bearing female lobsters; and seasonal closures. See Table 1 for specific management measures by Area. TABLE 1—ADDENDUM XVII MANAGEMENT MEASURE CHANGES Area 2 Area 3 Area 4 Area 5 V-Notching* ....................... Mandatory for legal-sized egg-bearing females. n/a .................................... n/a ............... Mandatory for legal-sized egg-bearing females. n/a .................................... Mandatory for legal-sized egg-bearing females. n/a .................................... n/a. New Minimum Size ........... sroberts on DSK5SPTVN1PROD with PROPOSALS Management measures Seasonal Closure .............. n/a .................................... February 1–March 31 ...... February 1–March 31 ...... September 8–November 28. 3 17/32 in (8.97 cm). n/a ............... Area 6 n/a. * If v-notching is deemed insufficient to meet the conservation objectives, additional seasonal closures may be implemented. Under Addendum XVIII, the Commission proposed trap reductions VerDate Mar<15>2010 17:51 Aug 19, 2013 Jkt 229001 for Areas 2 and 3, following separate trap reduction schedules. Specifically, PO 00000 Frm 00034 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 measures for Area 2 would reduce a Federal lobster permit holder’s trap E:\FR\FM\20AUP1.SGM 20AUP1 51132 Federal Register / Vol. 78, No. 161 / Tuesday, August 20, 2013 / Proposed Rules sroberts on DSK5SPTVN1PROD with PROPOSALS allocation in Area 2 by 25 percent in the first year and by 5 percent each year over a 5-year period, ultimately reducing allocations by a total of 50 percent. Measures for Area 3 would reduce a Federal lobster permit holder’s Area 3 allocation by 5 percent each year for 5 years, for a total reduction of 25 percent. We intend to include these trap reductions in the proposed and final rules mentioned above. In addition to these upcoming measures, we recently published a proposed rule (78 FR 35217; June 12, 2013), based on Commission recommendations, seeking comment on establishing a limited access program in VerDate Mar<15>2010 17:51 Aug 19, 2013 Jkt 229001 two lobster conservation management areas, Area 2 and the Outer Cape Area, and implementing a Lobster Trap Transfer Program in Areas 2 and 3, and the Outer Cape Area. Because the Lobster Trap Transfer Program may ease economic impacts of trap reductions, we would attempt to time the implementation of the Lobster Trap Transfer Program with the implementation of the trap reduction program to mitigate any negative economic effects, and provide permit holders with operational flexibility. Public Comments To help determine the scope of issues to be addressed and to identify PO 00000 Frm 00035 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 9990 significant issues related to this action, we are soliciting written comments on this ANPR. The public is encouraged to submit comments related to the specific ideas mentioned in this ANPR, and the timing of the upcoming actions that are currently under development. Authority: 16 U.S.C. 5101 et seq. Dated: August 15, 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. 2013–20298 Filed 8–19–13; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510–22–P E:\FR\FM\20AUP1.SGM 20AUP1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 78, Number 161 (Tuesday, August 20, 2013)]
[Proposed Rules]
[Pages 51131-51132]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2013-20298]


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DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

50 CFR Part 697

[Docket No. 130705590-3590-01]
RIN 0648-BD45


Fisheries of the Northeastern United States; Atlantic Coastal 
Fisheries Cooperative Management Act Provisions; American Lobster 
Fishery

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

ACTION: Advance notice of proposed rulemaking.

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

SUMMARY: Based on Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission 
(Commission) recommendations, the NMFS is issuing this advance notice 
of proposed rulemaking to provide background information and request 
public comment on potential changes to Federal American lobster 
regulations. The proposed measures for the lobster trap fishery are 
intended to address the Commission's recommendations for Federal action 
to address the poor condition of the Southern New England (SNE) lobster 
stock and foster stock rebuilding. The rulemaking action considers 
management measures that would reduce lobster exploitation by 10 
percent and reduce trap fishing effort in the SNE lobster management 
areas.

DATES: Comments must be received on or before September 19, 2013.

ADDRESSES: You may submit comments on this document, identified by 
NOAA-NMFS-2013-0110, by any of the following methods:
     Electronic Submission: Submit all electronic public 
comments via the Federal e-Rulemaking Portal. Go to 
www.regulations.gov/#!docketDetail;D=NOAA-NMFS-2013-0110, click the 
``Comment Now!'' icon, complete the required fields, and enter or 
attach your comments.
     Mail: Submit written comments to John K. Bullard, Regional 
Administrator, NMFS, Northeast Regional Office, 55 Great Republic 
Drive, Gloucester, MA 01930. Mark the outside of the envelope: 
``Comments on American Lobster ANPR.''
     Fax: 978-281-9135; Attn: Allison Murphy
    Instructions: Comments sent by any other method, to any other 
address or individual, or received after the end of the comment period, 
may not be considered by NMFS. All comments received are a part of the 
public record and will generally be posted for public viewing on 
www.regulations.gov without change. All personal identifying 
information (e.g., name, address, etc.), confidential business 
information, or otherwise sensitive information submitted voluntarily 
by the sender will be publicly accessible. NMFS will accept anonymous 
comments (enter ``N/A'' in the required fields if you wish to remain 
anonymous). Attachments to electronic comments will be accepted in 
Microsoft Word, Excel, or Adobe PDF file formats only.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Allison Murphy, Fishery Policy 
Analyst, (978) 281-9122, fax (978) 281-9135.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: 

Background

    The American lobster fishery is managed by the Commission under 
Amendment 3 to the Interstate Fishery Management Plan for American 
Lobster (ISFMP). Since 1997, the Commission has coordinated the efforts 
of the states and Federal Government toward sustainable management of 
the American lobster fishery. We, NMFS, manage the portion of the 
fishery conducted in Federal waters from 3 to 200 miles offshore, based 
on management recommendations made by the Commission.
    The American lobster management unit is divided between three 
lobster stocks and seven lobster conservation management areas (Areas). 
Recent data indicate that the SNE American lobster stock, which 
includes all or part of six Areas, is at a low level of abundance and 
is experiencing persistent recruitment failure, caused by a combination 
of environmental factors and continued fishing mortality. The 
Commission opted to address the poor condition of the SNE stock in two 
phases: First by reducing lobster exploitation by 10 percent through 
the adoption of multiple management measures in Addendum XVII in 
February 2012; and, second, by scaling the fishery to the size of the 
SNE stock through lobster trap reductions as mandated in Addendum 
XVIII, adopted in August 2012. Copies of the Addenda are available on 
the Commission's Web site at: http://www.asmfc.org/.
    To achieve a 10-percent reduction in exploitation of the SNE 
American lobster stock under Addendum XVII, the Commission recommended 
several effort control measures for Areas 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6 to reduce 
the amount of American lobsters harvested from these Areas. We plan to 
develop proposed and final rules to implement these measures, which 
include: Minimum size increases; mandatory v-notching of egg-bearing 
female lobsters; and seasonal closures. See Table 1 for specific 
management measures by Area.

                                                    Table 1--Addendum XVII Management Measure Changes
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
        Management measures                  Area 2                  Area 3                 Area 4                 Area 5                 Area 6
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
V-Notching*........................  Mandatory for legal-    n/a..................  Mandatory for legal-   Mandatory for legal-   n/a.
                                      sized egg-bearing                              sized egg-bearing      sized egg-bearing
                                      females.                                       females.               females.
New Minimum Size...................  n/a...................  3 17/32 in (8.97 cm).  n/a..................  n/a..................  n/a.
Seasonal Closure...................  n/a...................  n/a..................  February 1-March 31..  February 1-March 31..  September 8-November
                                                                                                                                   28.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
* If v-notching is deemed insufficient to meet the conservation objectives, additional seasonal closures may be implemented.

    Under Addendum XVIII, the Commission proposed trap reductions for 
Areas 2 and 3, following separate trap reduction schedules. 
Specifically, measures for Area 2 would reduce a Federal lobster permit 
holder's trap

[[Page 51132]]

allocation in Area 2 by 25 percent in the first year and by 5 percent 
each year over a 5-year period, ultimately reducing allocations by a 
total of 50 percent. Measures for Area 3 would reduce a Federal lobster 
permit holder's Area 3 allocation by 5 percent each year for 5 years, 
for a total reduction of 25 percent. We intend to include these trap 
reductions in the proposed and final rules mentioned above.
    In addition to these upcoming measures, we recently published a 
proposed rule (78 FR 35217; June 12, 2013), based on Commission 
recommendations, seeking comment on establishing a limited access 
program in two lobster conservation management areas, Area 2 and the 
Outer Cape Area, and implementing a Lobster Trap Transfer Program in 
Areas 2 and 3, and the Outer Cape Area. Because the Lobster Trap 
Transfer Program may ease economic impacts of trap reductions, we would 
attempt to time the implementation of the Lobster Trap Transfer Program 
with the implementation of the trap reduction program to mitigate any 
negative economic effects, and provide permit holders with operational 
flexibility.

Public Comments

    To help determine the scope of issues to be addressed and to 
identify significant issues related to this action, we are soliciting 
written comments on this ANPR. The public is encouraged to submit 
comments related to the specific ideas mentioned in this ANPR, and the 
timing of the upcoming actions that are currently under development.

    Authority: 16 U.S.C. 5101 et seq.

    Dated: August 15, 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. 2013-20298 Filed 8-19-13; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 3510-22-P