Fisheries of the Northeastern United States; Atlantic Mackerel, Squid, and Butterfish Fisheries; Phase 1 Reopening for the Directed Butterfish Fishery, 18844-18845 [2014-07612]

Download as PDF TKELLEY on DSK3SPTVN1PROD with RULES 18844 Federal Register / Vol. 79, No. 65 / Friday, April 4, 2014 / Rules and Regulations (a) * * * (1) * * * (iii) A vessel issued a Tier 3 Limited Access Mackerel Permit is authorized to fish for, possess, or land up to 100,000 lb (45.36 mt) of Atlantic mackerel in the EEZ per trip, and may only land Atlantic mackerel once on any calendar day, which is defined as the 24-hr period beginning at 0001 hours and ending at 2400 hours, provided that the fishery has not been closed because 90 percent of the Tier 3 allocation has been harvested, or 95 percent of the DAH has been harvested, as specified in § 648.24(b)(1)(i) and (ii). * * * * * (b) Longfin squid. (1) Unless specified in paragraph (b)(2) of this section, during a closure of the directed fishery for longfin squid vessels may not fish for, possess, or land more than 2,500 lb (1.13 mt) of longfin squid per trip at any time, and may only land longfin squid once on any calendar day, which is defined as the 24-hr period beginning at 0001 hours and ending at 2400 hours. If a vessel has been issued a longfin squid incidental catch permit (as specified at § 648.4(a)(5)(ii)), then it may not fish for, possess, or land more than 2,500 lb (1.13 mt) of longfin squid per trip at any time and may only land longfin squid once on any calendar day, unless such a vessel meets the criteria outlined in paragraph (b)(2) of this section. (2) During a closure of the directed fishery for longfin squid for Trimester II, a vessel with a longfin squid/butterfish moratorium permit that is on a directed Illex squid fishing trip (i.e., possess over 10,000 lb (4.54 mt) of Illex) and is seaward of the coordinates specified at § 648.23 (a)(3), may possess up to 15,000 lb (6.80 mt) of longfin squid. Once landward of the coordinates specified at § 648.23 (a)(3), such vessels must stow all fishing gear, as specified at § 648.23(b), in order to possess more than 2,500 lb (1.13 mt) of longfin squid per trip. * * * * * (d) * * * (3) Phase 3. When butterfish harvest is projected to reach the trip limit reduction threshold for phase 3 (as described in § 648.24), all vessels issued a longfin squid/butterfish moratorium permit, regardless of mesh size used, may not fish for, possess, or land more than 600 lb (0.27 mt) of butterfish per trip at any time, and may only land butterfish once on any calendar day, which is defined as the 24-hr period beginning at 0001 hours and ending at 2400 hours. If a vessel has been issued a longfin squid/butterfish incidental catch permit (as specified at VerDate Mar<15>2010 16:26 Apr 03, 2014 Jkt 232001 § 648.4(a)(5)(ii)), it may not fish for, possess, or land more than 600 lb (0.27 mt) of butterfish per trip at any time. [FR Doc. 2014–07610 Filed 4–3–14; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510–22–P DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration 50 CFR Part 648 [Docket No. 130903775–4276–02] RIN 0648–XD205 Fisheries of the Northeastern United States; Atlantic Mackerel, Squid, and Butterfish Fisheries; Phase 1 Reopening for the Directed Butterfish Fishery National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Commerce. ACTION: Temporary rule. AGENCY: NMFS announces that phase 1 of the directed butterfish fishery will be reopened to provide the opportunity for vessels targeting butterfish to fish with a higher possession limit. Vessels issued a longfin squid/butterfish moratorium permit may fish for, catch, possess, or land unlimited amounts of butterfish when using greater than or equal to 3-inch (76-mm) mesh. The possession limit remains 2,500-lb (1.13 mt) per trip or calendar day for vessels fishing less than 3-inch (76-mm) mesh. The incidental possession limit also remains unchanged at 600 lb (0.27 mt). DATES: Effective April 4, 2014, through December 31, 2014. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Aja Szumylo, Fishery Policy Analyst, 978– 281–9195, Fax 978–281–9135. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Regulations at 50 CFR part 648 govern the butterfish fishery. The regulations require specifications for maximum sustainable yield, initial optimum yield, allowable biological catch, annual catch limit (ACL), domestic annual harvest (DAH), domestic annual processing (DAP), joint venture processing, and total allowable levels of foreign fishing for the species managed under the Atlantic Mackerel, Squid, and Butterfish (MSB) Fishery Management Plan (FMP). The procedures for setting the annual initial specifications are described in § 648.22. Due to the increase in the butterfish DAH from previous years, the 2013 MSB specifications implemented a 3-phase butterfish management system to allow SUMMARY: PO 00000 Frm 00080 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 for maximum utilization of the butterfish resource without exceeding the stock-wide ACL. In phase 1, there is no trip limit for vessels issued longfin squid/butterfish moratorium permits using mesh greater than or equal to 3 inches (76 mm), a 2,500-lb (1.13-mt) trip limit for longfin squid/butterfish moratorium permits using mesh less than 3 inches (76 mm), and a trip limit of 600 lb (0.27 mt) for vessels issued squid/butterfish incidental catch permits. Once butterfish harvest reaches the trip hold reduction threshold to move from phase 1 to phase 2, the trip limit for longfin squid/butterfish moratorium permit holders will be reduced while in phase 2 to 5,000 lb (2.27 mt) for vessels using greater than or equal to 3-inch (7.62 cm) mesh. The limit remains unchanged at 2,500-lb (1.13 mt) per trip or calendar day for vessels issued a Federal longfin squid/ butterfish moratorium permits and fishing with less than 3-inch (76-mm); and the incidental limit remains at 600 lb (0.27 mt). When we project butterfish harvest to reach the trip hold reduction thresholds to move from phase 2 to phase 3, the trip limit for all longfin squid/butterfish moratorium permit holders will be reduced while in phase 3 to 500 lb (0.23 mt) to avoid quota overages. For phases 2 and 3, the quota thresholds to reduce the trip limits will vary bimonthly throughout the year. The 2013 MSB specifications set the 2013 butterfish DAH at 2,570 mt (77 FR 3346, January 16, 2013). The regulations at § 648.22(d) state that, if annual specifications for the MSB fisheries are not published in the Federal Register prior to the start of the fishing year (January 1), the previous year’s annual specifications, will remain in effect. On March 18, 2014 (79 FR 15046), NMFS announced a trip limit reduction for the butterfish fishery based on the phase 2 trip limit reduction threshold for the 2013 butterfish quota. The final rule for 2014 MSB specifications and management measures is published elsewhere in this issue. The 2014 butterfish specifications were implemented upon publication of that action, and immediately superseded the 2013 specifications. The 2014 butterfish specifications increase the butterfish quota by 630 mt. Relative to the increased 2014 butterfish quota, only 45 percent of the butterfish quota has been harvested. Because the 2014 March/April phase 2 trip limit reduction threshold for butterfish is 57 percent, effective April 4, 2014, the butterfish fishery can return to phase 1. Longfin squid/butterfish moratorium permit holders using mesh sizes greater than 3 inches (76 mm) may fish for, E:\FR\FM\04APR1.SGM 04APR1 Federal Register / Vol. 79, No. 65 / Friday, April 4, 2014 / Rules and Regulations catch, possess, or land unlimited amounts of butterfish until the phase 2 trip limit reduction threshold is triggered. The trip limits for vessels issued longfin squid/butterfish moratorium permits fishing with mesh less than 3 inches (76 mm) will remain at 2,500 lb (1.13 mt) of butterfish per trip and the incidental trip limit will remain at 600 lb (0.27 mt). When butterfish harvest is projected to reach the phase 2 trip limit reduction threshold specified for 2014, butterfish trip limits for longfin squid/butterfish moratorium permit holders will be reduced to 5,000 lb (2.27 mt) for vessels fishing with mesh sizes greater than 3 inches (76 mm), through a subsequent action in the Federal Register. DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE Classification SUMMARY: This action is required by 50 CFR part 648 and is exempt from review under Executive Order 12866. The Assistant Administrator for Fisheries, NOAA (AA), finds good cause pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 553(b)(B) to waive prior notice and the opportunity for public comment because it would be contrary to the public interest. This action reopens the phase 1 of the directed butterfish fishery until the 2014 phase 2 trip limit reduction threshold is reached. If implementation of this reopening was delayed to solicit prior public comment, vessels would be prevented from fishing with a higher possession limit and may not be able to fully harvest the 2014 butterfish quota, thereby undermining the conservation objectives of the FMP. The AA further finds, pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 553(d)(3), good cause to waive the 30-day delayed effectiveness period for the reason stated above. Authority: 16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq. Dated: April 1, 2014. James P. Burgess, Acting Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine Fisheries Service. [FR Doc. 2014–07612 Filed 4–3–14; 8:45 am] TKELLEY on DSK3SPTVN1PROD with RULES BILLING CODE 3510–22–P VerDate Mar<15>2010 16:26 Apr 03, 2014 Jkt 232001 National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration 50 CFR Part 679 [Docket No. 130925836–4174–02] RIN 0648–XD225 Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Pacific Cod by Trawl Catcher Vessels in the Central Regulatory Area of the Gulf of Alaska National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Commerce. ACTION: Temporary rule; closure. AGENCY: NMFS is prohibiting directed fishing for Pacific cod by catcher vessels using trawl gear in the Central Regulatory Area of the Gulf of Alaska (GOA). This action is necessary to prevent exceeding the A season allowance of the 2014 Pacific cod total allowable catch apportioned to trawl catcher vessels in the Central Regulatory Area of the GOA. DATES: Effective 1200 hours, Alaska local time (A.l.t.), April 1, 2014, through 1200 hours, A.l.t., June 10, 2014. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Josh Keaton, 907–586–7228. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: NMFS manages the groundfish fishery in the GOA exclusive economic zone according to the Fishery Management Plan for Groundfish of the Gulf of Alaska (FMP) prepared by the North Pacific Fishery Management Council under authority of the MagnusonStevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act. Regulations governing fishing by U.S. vessels in accordance with the FMP appear at subpart H of 50 CFR part 600 and 50 CFR part 679. Regulations governing sideboard protections for GOA groundfish fisheries appear at subpart B of 50 CFR part 680. The A season allowance of the 2014 Pacific cod total allowable catch (TAC) apportioned to trawl catcher vessels in the Central Regulatory Area of the GOA is 8,249 metric tons (mt), as established by the final 2014 and 2015 harvest specifications for groundfish of the GOA (79 FR 12890, March 6, 2014). In accordance with § 679.20(d)(1)(i), the Administrator, Alaska Region, NMFS (Regional Administrator) has PO 00000 Frm 00081 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 9990 18845 determined that the A season allowance of the 2014 Pacific cod TAC apportioned to trawl catcher vessels in the Central Regulatory Area of the GOA will soon be reached. Therefore, the Regional Administrator is establishing a directed fishing allowance of 7,749 mt and is setting aside the remaining 500 mt as bycatch to support other anticipated groundfish fisheries. In accordance with § 679.20(d)(1)(iii), the Regional Administrator finds that this directed fishing allowance has been reached. Consequently, NMFS is prohibiting directed fishing for Pacific cod by catcher vessels using trawl gear in the Central Regulatory Area of the GOA. After the effective date of this closure the maximum retainable amounts at § 679.20(e) and (f) apply at any time during a trip. Classification This action responds to the best available information recently obtained from the fishery. The Assistant Administrator for Fisheries, NOAA (AA), finds good cause to waive the requirement to provide prior notice and opportunity for public comment pursuant to the authority set forth at 5 U.S.C. 553(b)(B) as such requirement is impracticable and contrary to the public interest. This requirement is impracticable and contrary to the public interest as it would prevent NMFS from responding to the most recent fisheries data in a timely fashion and would delay the directed fishing closure of Pacific cod by catcher vessels using trawl gear in the Central Regulatory Area of the GOA. NMFS was unable to publish a notice providing time for public comment because the most recent, relevant data only became available as of March 31, 2014. The AA also finds good cause to waive the 30-day delay in the effective date of this action under 5 U.S.C. 553(d)(3). This finding is based upon the reasons provided above for waiver of prior notice and opportunity for public comment. This action is required by § 679.20 and is exempt from review under Executive Order 12866. Authority: 16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq. Dated: April 1, 2014. James P. Burgess, Acting Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine Fisheries Service. [FR Doc. 2014–07578 Filed 4–1–14; 4:15 pm] BILLING CODE 3510–22–P E:\FR\FM\04APR1.SGM 04APR1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 79, Number 65 (Friday, April 4, 2014)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 18844-18845]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2014-07612]


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DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

50 CFR Part 648

[Docket No. 130903775-4276-02]
RIN 0648-XD205


Fisheries of the Northeastern United States; Atlantic Mackerel, 
Squid, and Butterfish Fisheries; Phase 1 Reopening for the Directed 
Butterfish Fishery

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

ACTION: Temporary rule.

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SUMMARY: NMFS announces that phase 1 of the directed butterfish fishery 
will be reopened to provide the opportunity for vessels targeting 
butterfish to fish with a higher possession limit. Vessels issued a 
longfin squid/butterfish moratorium permit may fish for, catch, 
possess, or land unlimited amounts of butterfish when using greater 
than or equal to 3-inch (76-mm) mesh. The possession limit remains 
2,500-lb (1.13 mt) per trip or calendar day for vessels fishing less 
than 3-inch (76-mm) mesh. The incidental possession limit also remains 
unchanged at 600 lb (0.27 mt).

DATES: Effective April 4, 2014, through December 31, 2014.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Aja Szumylo, Fishery Policy Analyst, 
978-281-9195, Fax 978-281-9135.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Regulations at 50 CFR part 648 govern the 
butterfish fishery. The regulations require specifications for maximum 
sustainable yield, initial optimum yield, allowable biological catch, 
annual catch limit (ACL), domestic annual harvest (DAH), domestic 
annual processing (DAP), joint venture processing, and total allowable 
levels of foreign fishing for the species managed under the Atlantic 
Mackerel, Squid, and Butterfish (MSB) Fishery Management Plan (FMP). 
The procedures for setting the annual initial specifications are 
described in Sec.  648.22.
    Due to the increase in the butterfish DAH from previous years, the 
2013 MSB specifications implemented a 3-phase butterfish management 
system to allow for maximum utilization of the butterfish resource 
without exceeding the stock-wide ACL. In phase 1, there is no trip 
limit for vessels issued longfin squid/butterfish moratorium permits 
using mesh greater than or equal to 3 inches (76 mm), a 2,500-lb (1.13-
mt) trip limit for longfin squid/butterfish moratorium permits using 
mesh less than 3 inches (76 mm), and a trip limit of 600 lb (0.27 mt) 
for vessels issued squid/butterfish incidental catch permits. Once 
butterfish harvest reaches the trip hold reduction threshold to move 
from phase 1 to phase 2, the trip limit for longfin squid/butterfish 
moratorium permit holders will be reduced while in phase 2 to 5,000 lb 
(2.27 mt) for vessels using greater than or equal to 3-inch (7.62 cm) 
mesh. The limit remains unchanged at 2,500-lb (1.13 mt) per trip or 
calendar day for vessels issued a Federal longfin squid/butterfish 
moratorium permits and fishing with less than 3-inch (76-mm); and the 
incidental limit remains at 600 lb (0.27 mt). When we project 
butterfish harvest to reach the trip hold reduction thresholds to move 
from phase 2 to phase 3, the trip limit for all longfin squid/
butterfish moratorium permit holders will be reduced while in phase 3 
to 500 lb (0.23 mt) to avoid quota overages. For phases 2 and 3, the 
quota thresholds to reduce the trip limits will vary bimonthly 
throughout the year.
    The 2013 MSB specifications set the 2013 butterfish DAH at 2,570 mt 
(77 FR 3346, January 16, 2013). The regulations at Sec.  648.22(d) 
state that, if annual specifications for the MSB fisheries are not 
published in the Federal Register prior to the start of the fishing 
year (January 1), the previous year's annual specifications, will 
remain in effect. On March 18, 2014 (79 FR 15046), NMFS announced a 
trip limit reduction for the butterfish fishery based on the phase 2 
trip limit reduction threshold for the 2013 butterfish quota.
    The final rule for 2014 MSB specifications and management measures 
is published elsewhere in this issue. The 2014 butterfish 
specifications were implemented upon publication of that action, and 
immediately superseded the 2013 specifications. The 2014 butterfish 
specifications increase the butterfish quota by 630 mt. Relative to the 
increased 2014 butterfish quota, only 45 percent of the butterfish 
quota has been harvested. Because the 2014 March/April phase 2 trip 
limit reduction threshold for butterfish is 57 percent, effective April 
4, 2014, the butterfish fishery can return to phase 1. Longfin squid/
butterfish moratorium permit holders using mesh sizes greater than 3 
inches (76 mm) may fish for,

[[Page 18845]]

catch, possess, or land unlimited amounts of butterfish until the phase 
2 trip limit reduction threshold is triggered. The trip limits for 
vessels issued longfin squid/butterfish moratorium permits fishing with 
mesh less than 3 inches (76 mm) will remain at 2,500 lb (1.13 mt) of 
butterfish per trip and the incidental trip limit will remain at 600 lb 
(0.27 mt). When butterfish harvest is projected to reach the phase 2 
trip limit reduction threshold specified for 2014, butterfish trip 
limits for longfin squid/butterfish moratorium permit holders will be 
reduced to 5,000 lb (2.27 mt) for vessels fishing with mesh sizes 
greater than 3 inches (76 mm), through a subsequent action in the 
Federal Register.

Classification

    This action is required by 50 CFR part 648 and is exempt from 
review under Executive Order 12866.
    The Assistant Administrator for Fisheries, NOAA (AA), finds good 
cause pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 553(b)(B) to waive prior notice and the 
opportunity for public comment because it would be contrary to the 
public interest. This action reopens the phase 1 of the directed 
butterfish fishery until the 2014 phase 2 trip limit reduction 
threshold is reached. If implementation of this reopening was delayed 
to solicit prior public comment, vessels would be prevented from 
fishing with a higher possession limit and may not be able to fully 
harvest the 2014 butterfish quota, thereby undermining the conservation 
objectives of the FMP. The AA further finds, pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 
553(d)(3), good cause to waive the 30-day delayed effectiveness period 
for the reason stated above.

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

    Dated: April 1, 2014.
James P. Burgess,
Acting Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine 
Fisheries Service.
[FR Doc. 2014-07612 Filed 4-3-14; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 3510-22-P