Fisheries of the Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico, and South Atlantic; Snapper-Grouper Fishery Off the South Atlantic States; Regulatory Amendment 16, 72868-72869 [2013-29026]

Download as PDF EMCDONALD on DSK67QTVN1PROD with NOTICES 72868 Federal Register / Vol. 78, No. 233 / Wednesday, December 4, 2013 / Notices NMFS, in collaboration with the Council, will develop a DEIS to describe and analyze alternatives to address the management needs described above including the ‘‘no action’’ alternative. In accordance with NOAA’s Administrative Order 216–6, Section 5.02(c), Scoping Process, NMFS, in collaboration with the Council, has identified preliminary environmental issues as a means to initiate discussion for scoping purposes only. The public is invited to attend scoping meetings (dates and addresses below) and provide written comments on the preliminary issues, which are identified as actions and alternatives in the Regulatory Amendment 17 scoping document. These preliminary issues may not represent the full range of issues that eventually will be evaluated in the DEIS. A copy of the Regulatory Amendment 17 scoping document is available at http://sero.nmfs.noaa.gov/ sustainable_fisheries/s_atl/sg/ index.html. After the DEIS associated with Regulatory Amendment 17 is completed, it will be filed with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). After filing, the EPA will publish a notice of availability of the DEIS for public comment in the Federal Register. The DEIS will have a 45-day comment period. This procedure is pursuant to regulations issued by the Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) for implementing the procedural provisions of the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA; 40 CFR parts 1500–1508) and to NOAA’s Administrative Order 216–6 regarding NOAA’s compliance with NEPA and the CEQ regulations. The Council and NMFS will consider public comments received on the DEIS in developing the final environmental impact statement (FEIS), and before voting to submit the final amendment to NMFS for Secretarial review, approval, and implementation. NMFS will announce in the Federal Register the availability of the final amendment and FEIS for public review during the Secretarial review period, and will consider all public comments prior to final agency action to approve, disapprove, or partially approve the final amendment. NMFS will announce, through a document published in the Federal Register, all public comment periods on the final amendment, its proposed implementing regulations, and the availability of its associated FEIS. NMFS will consider all public comments received during the Secretarial review period, whether they are on the final amendment, the proposed regulations, or the FEIS, prior to final agency action. VerDate Mar<15>2010 17:09 Dec 03, 2013 Jkt 232001 Scoping Meetings, Times, and Locations All meetings will begin at 4 p.m. These meetings are physically accessible to people with disabilities. Requests for information packets or for sign language interpretation or other auxiliary aids should be directed to the Council office 3 days prior to the start of each meeting (see FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT). Tuesday, January 21, 2014—Bay Watch Resort and Conference Center, 2701 South Ocean Boulevard, North Myrtle Beach, SC 29582, telephone: 843–272–4600. Wednesday, January 22, 2014— DoubleTree by Hilton Atlantic Beach Oceanfront, 2717 West Fort Macon Road, Atlantic Beach, NC 28512, telephone: 252–240–1155. Monday, January 27, 2014—Key West Marriott Beachside, 3841 North Roosevelt Boulevard, Key West, FL 33040, telephone: 305–296–8100. Tuesday, January 28, 2014— Doubletree by Hilton Oceanfront, 2080 North Atlantic Avenue, Cocoa Beach, FL 32931, telephone: 321–783–9222. Wednesday, January 29, 2014— Wyndham Jacksonville Riverwalk, 1515 Prudential Drive, Jacksonville, FL 32207, telephone: 904–396–5100. Thursday, January 30, 2014—Mighty Eighth Air Force Museum, 175 Bourne Avenue, Pooler, GA 31322, telephone: 912–743–8888. Authority: 16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq. Dated: November 29, 2013. Karen Abrams, Acting Deputy Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine Fisheries Service. [FR Doc. 2013–29024 Filed 12–3–13; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510–22–P DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration RIN 0648–BD78 Fisheries of the Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico, and South Atlantic; SnapperGrouper Fishery Off the South Atlantic States; Regulatory Amendment 16 National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Commerce. ACTION: Notice of Intent (NOI) to prepare a draft environmental impact statement (DEIS); request for comments. AGENCY: NMFS, Southeast Region, in collaboration with the South Atlantic Fishery Management Council (Council), intends to prepare a DEIS to describe SUMMARY: PO 00000 Frm 00010 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 and analyze a range of alternatives for management actions to be included in Regulatory Amendment 16 to the Fishery Management Plan (FMP) for the Snapper-Grouper Fishery of the South Atlantic Region (Regulatory Amendment 16). Regulatory Amendment 16 will consider alternatives to the prohibition on the use of black sea bass pots in the South Atlantic exclusive economic zone (EEZ) annually from November 1 through April 30 that was implemented through Regulatory Amendment 19 to the FMP. The purpose of this NOI is to solicit public comments on the scope of issues to be addressed in the DEIS. DATES: Written comments on the scope of issues to be addressed in the DEIS will be accepted until January 3, 2014. ADDRESSES: You may submit comments on the amendment identified by ‘‘NOAA–NMFS–2013–0165’’ by any of the following methods: • Electronic submissions: Submit electronic comments via the Federal eRulemaking Portal: http:// www.regulations.gov. Go to www.regulations.gov/ #!docketDetail;D=NOAA-NMFS-20130165, click the ‘‘Comment Now!’’ icon, complete the required fields, and enter or attach your comments. • Mail: Submit written comments to Rick DeVictor, Southeast Regional Office, NMFS, 263 13th Avenue South, St. Petersburg, FL 33701. 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: Rick DeVictor, Southeast Regional Office, telephone: 727–824–5305, or email: rick.devictor@noaa.gov. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The black sea bass stock in the South Atlantic was assessed through the Southeast Data, Assessment, and Review (SEDAR) stock assessment process in 2013 (SEDAR 25 Update). The SEDAR 25 Update indicated that the black sea bass E:\FR\FM\04DEN1.SGM 04DEN1 EMCDONALD on DSK67QTVN1PROD with NOTICES Federal Register / Vol. 78, No. 233 / Wednesday, December 4, 2013 / Notices commercial and recreational sector annual catch limits (ACL) could be increased without jeopardizing the health of the population. The black sea bass commercial and recreational ACLs were increased through Regulatory Amendment 19 to the FMP (78 FR 58249, September 23, 2013). The Council and NMFS, also through Regulatory Amendment 19, established a prohibition on the use of black sea bass pots from November 1 through April 30, each year. During this closure, no person is allowed to harvest or possess black sea bass in or from the South Atlantic EEZ either with sea bass pots or from a vessel with sea bass pots on board. In addition, sea bass pots must be removed from the water in the South Atlantic EEZ prior to November 1, and may not be on board a vessel in the South Atlantic EEZ during this seasonal closure. The black sea bass pot seasonal prohibition became effective on October 23, 2013. The seasonal sea bass pot prohibition was established as a precautionary measure to prevent interactions between black sea bass pot gear and whales during periods of large whale migrations and during the right whale calving season off the U.S. southeastern coast. The large whale migration period and the right whale calving season in the South Atlantic extends from approximately November 1 through April 30, each year. Since 2010, black sea bass harvest levels have reached the commercial ACL, triggering accountability measures (AMs) to close the commercial sector. Because these inseason commercial AM closures have occurred prior to November 1 since 2010, Council and NMFS actions to prevent black sea bass pot gear from being in the water during periods of higher whale concentrations have been unnecessary. However, NMFS determined that the increase in the black sea bass commercial ACL implemented through Regulatory Amendment 19 could extend the commercial black sea bass fishing season beyond November 1 and into a time period when a higher concentration of endangered whales are known to migrate through black sea bass fishing grounds. The Council, through Regulatory Amendment 16, is considering removal of the seasonal sea bass pot closure and/ or modifications to the closure. Modifications currently under consideration include shortening of the duration of the seasonal closure and spatially designating the closure boundaries to be some area less than the entire South Atlantic EEZ. The intent of VerDate Mar<15>2010 17:09 Dec 03, 2013 Jkt 232001 the proposed action is to minimize socio-economic impacts to black sea bass pot fishers while maintaining protection for whales in the South Atlantic region that are listed as endangered and threatened under the Endangered Species Act. Changes to the current seasonal sea bass pot prohibition may positively affect the revenues and profits of the 32 commercial vessels which currently possess black sea bass pot endorsements to their Federal commercial snappergrouper permits. NMFS, in collaboration with the Council, will develop a DEIS to describe and analyze alternatives to address the management needs described above including the ‘‘no action’’ alternative. In accordance with NOAA’s Administrative Order 216–6, Section 5.02(c), Scoping Process, NMFS, in collaboration with the Council, has identified preliminary environmental issues as a means to initiate discussion for scoping purposes only. The public is invited to provide written comments on the preliminary issues, which are identified as actions and alternatives in the Regulatory Amendment 16 scoping document. These preliminary issues may not represent the full range of issues that eventually will be evaluated in the DEIS. A copy of the Regulatory Amendment 16 scoping document is available at http://sero.nmfs.noaa.gov/ sustainable_fisheries/s_atl/sg/ index.html. After the DEIS associated with Regulatory Amendment 16 is completed, it will be filed with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). After filing, the EPA will publish a notice of availability of the DEIS for public comment in the Federal Register. The DEIS will have a 45-day comment period. This procedure is pursuant to regulations issued by the Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) for implementing the procedural provisions of the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA; 40 CFR parts 1500–1508) and to NOAA’s Administrative Order 216–6 regarding NOAA’s compliance with NEPA and the CEQ regulations. The Council and NMFS will consider public comments received on the DEIS in developing the final environmental impact statement (FEIS), and before voting to submit the final amendment to NMFS for Secretarial review, approval, and implementation. NMFS will announce in the Federal Register the availability of the final amendment and FEIS for public review during the Secretarial review period, and will consider all public comments prior to final agency action to approve, PO 00000 Frm 00011 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 72869 disapprove, or partially approve the final amendment. NMFS will announce, through a document published in the Federal Register, all public comment periods on the final amendment, its proposed implementing regulations, and the availability of its associated FEIS. NMFS will consider all public comments received during the Secretarial review period, whether they are on the final amendment, the proposed regulations, or the FEIS, prior to final agency action. Authority: 16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq. Dated: November 27, 2013. Emily H. Menashes, Deputy Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine Fisheries Service. [FR Doc. 2013–29026 Filed 12–3–13; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510–22–P DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration RIN 0648–XC937 Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; North Pacific Halibut and Sablefish Individual Fishing Quota Cost Recovery Programs National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Commerce. ACTION: Notification of standard prices and fee percentage. AGENCY: NMFS publishes individual fishing quota (IFQ) standard prices and fee percentage for the IFQ cost recovery program in the halibut and sablefish fisheries of the North Pacific. The fee percentage for 2013 is 2.8%. This action is intended to provide holders of halibut and sablefish IFQ permits with the 2013 standard prices and fee percentage to calculate the required payment for IFQ cost recovery fees due by January 31, 2014. DATES: Effective December 4, 2013. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Troie Zuniga, Fee Coordinator, 907– 586–7231. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: SUMMARY: Background NMFS Alaska Region administers the halibut and sablefish individual fishing quota (IFQ) programs in the North Pacific. The IFQ programs are limited access systems authorized by the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (Magnuson-Stevens Act) and the Northern Pacific Halibut Act of 1982. E:\FR\FM\04DEN1.SGM 04DEN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 78, Number 233 (Wednesday, December 4, 2013)]
[Notices]
[Pages 72868-72869]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2013-29026]


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DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

RIN 0648-BD78


Fisheries of the Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico, and South Atlantic; 
Snapper-Grouper Fishery Off the South Atlantic States; Regulatory 
Amendment 16

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

ACTION: Notice of Intent (NOI) to prepare a draft environmental impact 
statement (DEIS); request for comments.

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

SUMMARY: NMFS, Southeast Region, in collaboration with the South 
Atlantic Fishery Management Council (Council), intends to prepare a 
DEIS to describe and analyze a range of alternatives for management 
actions to be included in Regulatory Amendment 16 to the Fishery 
Management Plan (FMP) for the Snapper-Grouper Fishery of the South 
Atlantic Region (Regulatory Amendment 16). Regulatory Amendment 16 will 
consider alternatives to the prohibition on the use of black sea bass 
pots in the South Atlantic exclusive economic zone (EEZ) annually from 
November 1 through April 30 that was implemented through Regulatory 
Amendment 19 to the FMP. The purpose of this NOI is to solicit public 
comments on the scope of issues to be addressed in the DEIS.

DATES: Written comments on the scope of issues to be addressed in the 
DEIS will be accepted until January 3, 2014.

ADDRESSES: You may submit comments on the amendment identified by 
``NOAA-NMFS-2013-0165'' by any of the following methods:
     Electronic submissions: Submit electronic comments via the 
Federal e-Rulemaking Portal: http://www.regulations.gov. Go to 
www.regulations.gov/#!docketDetail;D=NOAA-NMFS-2013-0165, click the 
``Comment Now!'' icon, complete the required fields, and enter or 
attach your comments.
     Mail: Submit written comments to Rick DeVictor, Southeast 
Regional Office, NMFS, 263 13th Avenue South, St. Petersburg, FL 33701.
    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: Rick DeVictor, Southeast Regional 
Office, telephone: 727-824-5305, or email: rick.devictor@noaa.gov.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The black sea bass stock in the South 
Atlantic was assessed through the Southeast Data, Assessment, and 
Review (SEDAR) stock assessment process in 2013 (SEDAR 25 Update). The 
SEDAR 25 Update indicated that the black sea bass

[[Page 72869]]

commercial and recreational sector annual catch limits (ACL) could be 
increased without jeopardizing the health of the population. The black 
sea bass commercial and recreational ACLs were increased through 
Regulatory Amendment 19 to the FMP (78 FR 58249, September 23, 2013).
    The Council and NMFS, also through Regulatory Amendment 19, 
established a prohibition on the use of black sea bass pots from 
November 1 through April 30, each year. During this closure, no person 
is allowed to harvest or possess black sea bass in or from the South 
Atlantic EEZ either with sea bass pots or from a vessel with sea bass 
pots on board. In addition, sea bass pots must be removed from the 
water in the South Atlantic EEZ prior to November 1, and may not be on 
board a vessel in the South Atlantic EEZ during this seasonal closure. 
The black sea bass pot seasonal prohibition became effective on October 
23, 2013.
    The seasonal sea bass pot prohibition was established as a 
precautionary measure to prevent interactions between black sea bass 
pot gear and whales during periods of large whale migrations and during 
the right whale calving season off the U.S. southeastern coast. The 
large whale migration period and the right whale calving season in the 
South Atlantic extends from approximately November 1 through April 30, 
each year. Since 2010, black sea bass harvest levels have reached the 
commercial ACL, triggering accountability measures (AMs) to close the 
commercial sector. Because these in-season commercial AM closures have 
occurred prior to November 1 since 2010, Council and NMFS actions to 
prevent black sea bass pot gear from being in the water during periods 
of higher whale concentrations have been unnecessary. However, NMFS 
determined that the increase in the black sea bass commercial ACL 
implemented through Regulatory Amendment 19 could extend the commercial 
black sea bass fishing season beyond November 1 and into a time period 
when a higher concentration of endangered whales are known to migrate 
through black sea bass fishing grounds.
    The Council, through Regulatory Amendment 16, is considering 
removal of the seasonal sea bass pot closure and/or modifications to 
the closure. Modifications currently under consideration include 
shortening of the duration of the seasonal closure and spatially 
designating the closure boundaries to be some area less than the entire 
South Atlantic EEZ. The intent of the proposed action is to minimize 
socio-economic impacts to black sea bass pot fishers while maintaining 
protection for whales in the South Atlantic region that are listed as 
endangered and threatened under the Endangered Species Act. Changes to 
the current seasonal sea bass pot prohibition may positively affect the 
revenues and profits of the 32 commercial vessels which currently 
possess black sea bass pot endorsements to their Federal commercial 
snapper-grouper permits.
    NMFS, in collaboration with the Council, will develop a DEIS to 
describe and analyze alternatives to address the management needs 
described above including the ``no action'' alternative. In accordance 
with NOAA's Administrative Order 216-6, Section 5.02(c), Scoping 
Process, NMFS, in collaboration with the Council, has identified 
preliminary environmental issues as a means to initiate discussion for 
scoping purposes only. The public is invited to provide written 
comments on the preliminary issues, which are identified as actions and 
alternatives in the Regulatory Amendment 16 scoping document. These 
preliminary issues may not represent the full range of issues that 
eventually will be evaluated in the DEIS. A copy of the Regulatory 
Amendment 16 scoping document is available at http://sero.nmfs.noaa.gov/sustainable_fisheries/s_atl/sg/index.html.
    After the DEIS associated with Regulatory Amendment 16 is 
completed, it will be filed with the Environmental Protection Agency 
(EPA). After filing, the EPA will publish a notice of availability of 
the DEIS for public comment in the Federal Register. The DEIS will have 
a 45-day comment period. This procedure is pursuant to regulations 
issued by the Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) for implementing 
the procedural provisions of the National Environmental Policy Act 
(NEPA; 40 CFR parts 1500-1508) and to NOAA's Administrative Order 216-6 
regarding NOAA's compliance with NEPA and the CEQ regulations.
    The Council and NMFS will consider public comments received on the 
DEIS in developing the final environmental impact statement (FEIS), and 
before voting to submit the final amendment to NMFS for Secretarial 
review, approval, and implementation. NMFS will announce in the Federal 
Register the availability of the final amendment and FEIS for public 
review during the Secretarial review period, and will consider all 
public comments prior to final agency action to approve, disapprove, or 
partially approve the final amendment.
    NMFS will announce, through a document published in the Federal 
Register, all public comment periods on the final amendment, its 
proposed implementing regulations, and the availability of its 
associated FEIS. NMFS will consider all public comments received during 
the Secretarial review period, whether they are on the final amendment, 
the proposed regulations, or the FEIS, prior to final agency action.

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

    Dated: November 27, 2013.
Emily H. Menashes,
Deputy Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine 
Fisheries Service.
[FR Doc. 2013-29026 Filed 12-3-13; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 3510-22-P