Fisheries of the Northeastern United States; Atlantic Deep-Sea Red Crab Fishery; 2014-2016 Atlantic Deep-Sea Red Crab Specifications, 24356-24358 [2014-09893]

Download as PDF 24356 Federal Register / Vol. 79, No. 83 / Wednesday, April 30, 2014 / Rules and Regulations economic consequences for fishermen that participate in this fishery. The changes to the implementing regulations regarding the accountability measures for small-mesh multispecies are clarifications and do not substantively impact regulated entities. These corrections and clarifications more clearly delineate the different possession limit adjustment triggers for each stock, and revise the in-season adjustment accountability measure regulations to correctly cite the different possession limit adjustment triggers. As such, these corrections and clarifications are administrative in nature and will not affect the smallmesh multispecies fishery, possession limits, or how the accountability measures function. Because prior notice and opportunity for public comment are not required for this rule by 5 U.S.C. 553, or any other law, the analytical requirements of the Regulatory Flexibility Act, 5 U.S.C. 601 et seq., do not apply. This rule is not significant for the purposes of Executive Order 12866. List of Subjects in 50 CFR Part 648 Fisheries, Fishing, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements. Dated: April 24, 2014. Eileen Sobeck, Assistant Administrator for Fisheries, National Marine Fisheries Service. For the reasons set out in the preamble, 50 CFR part 648 is amended to read as follows: PART 648—FISHERIES OF THE NORTHEASTERN UNITED STATES 1. The authority citation for part 648 continues to read as follows: ■ Authority: 16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq. such a reduction in the possession limit would be expected to prevent the TAL from being reached. * * * * * DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE 3. In § 648.90, paragraph (b)(5) is revised to read as follows: 50 CFR Part 648 § 648.90 NE multispecies assessment, framework procedures and specifications, and flexible area action system. RIN 0648–XD069 ■ [Docket No. 140106010–4358–02] * * * (b) * * * (5) Accountability measures for the small-mesh multispecies fishery—(i) Inseason adjustment of possession limits. In-season adjustment accountability measures for the small-mesh multispecies fishery are specified in accordance with the procedures in § 648.86(d)(4). (ii) Post-season adjustment for an overage. If NMFS determines that a small-mesh multispecies ACL was exceeded in a given fishing year, the inseason accountability measure adjustment trigger, as specified in paragraph (b)(5)(iii) of this section, shall be reduced in a subsequent fishing year by 1 percent for each 1 percent by which the ACL was exceeded through notification consistent with the Administrative Procedure Act. For example, if the in-season adjustment trigger is 90 percent, and an ACL is exceeded by 5 percent, the adjustment trigger for the stock whose ACL was exceeded would be reduced to 85 percent for subsequent fishing years. (iii) Small-mesh multispecies inseason adjustment triggers. The smallmesh multispecies in-season accountability measure adjustment triggers are as follow: 2. In § 648.86, paragraph (d)(4) introductory text is revised to read as follows: ■ § 648.86 NE Multispecies possession restrictions. mstockstill on DSK4VPTVN1PROD with RULES * * * * * (d) * * * (4) In-season adjustment of smallmesh multispecies possession limits. If the Regional Administrator projects that an in-season adjustment TAL trigger level for any small-mesh multispecies stock, as specified in § 648.90(b)(5)(iii), has been reached or exceeded, the Regional Administrator shall reduce the possession limit of that stock to the incidental level for that stock, as specified in this paragraph (d)(4), for the remainder of the fishing year through notice consistent with the Administrative Procedure Act, unless VerDate Mar<15>2010 16:04 Apr 29, 2014 Jkt 232001 In-season adjustment trigger (percent) Species * * * 90 * [FR Doc. 2014–09875 Filed 4–29–14; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510–22–P PO 00000 Frm 00046 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 Fisheries of the Northeastern United States; Atlantic Deep-Sea Red Crab Fishery; 2014–2016 Atlantic Deep-Sea Red Crab Specifications National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Commerce. ACTION: Final rule. AGENCY: NMFS issues final specifications for the 2014–2016 Atlantic deep-sea red crab fishery, including an annual catch limit and total allowable landings. This action establishes the allowable 2014–2016 harvest levels and other management measures to achieve the target fishing mortality rate, consistent with the Atlantic Deep-Sea Red Crab Fishery Management Plan. DATES: The final specifications for the 2014–2016 Atlantic deep-sea red crab fishery are effective May 30, 2014, through February 28, 2017. ADDRESSES: Copies of the specifications document, including the Amendment 3 Environmental Assessment and Initial Regulatory Flexibility Analysis (EA/ IRFA) and other supporting documents for the specifications, are available from Thomas A. Nies, Executive Director, New England Fishery Management Council, 50 Water Street, Mill 2, Newburyport, MA 01950. The specifications document is also accessible via the Internet at: http:// www.nero.noaa.gov. SUMMARY: FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Carly Bari, Fishery Management Specialist, (978) 281–9224. 45 SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: 90 90 Background Northern Red Hake ................ Northern Silver Hake .............. Southern Red Hake ................ Southern Whiting .................... * National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration The Atlantic deep-sea red crab fishery is managed by the New England Fishery Management Council. Regulations implementing the Atlantic Deep-Sea Red Crab Fishery Management Plan (FMP) appear at 50 CFR part 648, subparts A and M. The regulations requiring specifications are found at § 648.260. The FMP requires the Council to recommend the annual catch limit (ACL) and total allowable landings (TAL) that will control the fishing E:\FR\FM\30APR1.SGM 30APR1 Federal Register / Vol. 79, No. 83 / Wednesday, April 30, 2014 / Rules and Regulations mortality rate (F) for up to three years. Estimates of stock size, coupled with the target F, allow for a calculation of acceptable biological catch (ABC), which is recommended by the Council’s Scientific and Statistical Committee (SSC). The annual review process for red crab requires that the SSC review and make recommendations based on the best available scientific information, including catch/landing statistics, current estimates of fishing mortality, stock abundance, and juvenile recruitment. Based on the recommendations of the SSC, the Council makes a recommendation to the NMFS Regional Administrator. The Council’s recommendations must include supporting documentation concerning the environmental, economic, and social impacts of the recommendations. NMFS is responsible for reviewing these recommendations to assure that they achieve the FMPs objectives, and may modify them if they do not. NMFS then publishes proposed specifications based on the recommendations in the Federal Register, and after considering public comment, NMFS publishes final specifications in the Federal Register. A proposed rule for this action published in the Federal Register on March 11, 2014 (79 FR 13607), and comments were accepted through March 26, 2014. The FMP was first implemented in October 2002 and was originally managed under a target total allowable catch (TAC) and days-at-sea (DAS) system that allocated DAS equally across the fleet of limited access permitted vessels. Amendment 3 to the FMP removed trip limit restrictions, and replaced the target TAC and DAS allocation with a TAL in order to ensure consistency with the ACL and accountability measure requirements of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (Magnuson-Stevens Act). Under Amendment 3, the 2011–2013 red crab specifications were set with an ABC equal to the long-term average landings of the directed red crab fishery (3.91 million lb, 1,775 mt), due to the lack of better scientific information on the red crab stock. mstockstill on DSK4VPTVN1PROD with RULES Final Specifications Biological and Management Reference Points Deep-sea red crab is a data poor stock. Estimates of a sustainable yield are based on the average catch in the fishery. Because discards in the red crab fishery are poorly estimated, the relationship between catch and landings is somewhat uncertain, so average VerDate Mar<15>2010 16:04 Apr 29, 2014 Jkt 232001 landings are used, adjusted by fisheryindependent estimates of the degree of stock depletion since inception of the fishery. This estimate, however, cannot be used for determining MSY or another OFL proxy, so OFL was determined to be unknown. There has not been an update to the red crab assessment and the MSY and the OFL remain unknown. 2014–2016 Catch Limits The Council’s recommendation for the 2014–2016 red crab specifications are based on the results of the most recent peer-reviewed assessment of the red crab fishery carried out by the Data Poor Stocks Working Group in 2009 and recommendations from the SSC. Other information considered included recent landings, landings per unit of effort, port samples, discard information, and economic data that suggest there has been no change in the size of the red crab stock since Amendment 3 was implemented in 2011. In the absence of a new stock assessment or other information, on August 21, 2013, the Council’s SSC recommended the status quo ABC for fishing years 2014–2016 of 1,775 mt for the directed fishery, which is equal to the long-term average landings of the directed red crab fishery for fishing years 2011–2013. The SSC concluded that the historical landings of male red crab and historical discarding practices appear to be sustainable and that an interim ABC based on long-term average landings is safely below an undetermined overfishing threshold and adequately accounts for scientific uncertainty. The Council agreed with this conclusion and recommended a TAL at the same levels as currently in effect under Amendment 3. Therefore, the specifications for the 2014–2016 fishing years are as follows: 24357 that this final rule is consistent with the Atlantic Deep-Sea Red Crab FMP, other provisions of the Magnuson-Stevens Act, and other applicable law. This final rule is exempt from review under Executive Order 12866. This final rule does not duplicate, conflict, or overlap with any existing Federal rules. The FRFA included in this final rule was prepared pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 604(a), and incorporates the IRFA and a summary of analyses completed to support the action. A public copy of the EA/RIR/IRFA is available from the Council (see ADDRESSES). The preamble to the proposed rule included a detailed summary of the analyses contained in the IRFA, and that discussion is not repeated here. Final Regulatory Flexibility Analysis Statement of Objective and Need A description of the reasons why this action is being taken, and the objectives of and legal basis for this final rule are contained in the preambles to the proposed rule and this final rule and are not repeated here. Summary of Significant Issues Raised in Public Comments No comments were submitted on the proposed rule. Therefore, none were specific to the IRFA or to the economic impacts of the proposed rule more generally. Description and Estimate of Number of Small Entities to Which the Rule Will Apply All of the entities (fishing vessels) affected by this action are considered small entities under the Small Business Administration size standards for small shellfishing businesses (i.e., they have less than $5.0 million in annual gross sales). Therefore, there are no mt Million lb disproportionate effects on small versus MSY ...................... undetermined large entities. The participants in the commercial OFL ....................... undetermined red crab fishery were defined as those vessels issued limited access red crab OY ......................... undetermined permits. Information about vessel ABC ...................... 1,775 3.91 ownership has been made available for ACL ....................... 1,775 3.91 all federal permit holders, which allows TAL ....................... 1,775 3.91 for the identification of business entities that comprise multiple fishing vessels. Comments and Responses As of December 2013, there are two business entities and four vessels with The public comment period for the proposed rule ended on March 26, 2014. limited access red crab permits actively operating in the red crab fishery. The No comments were received on the total value of landings from all sources proposed rule. from 2010 to 2012 averaged $3.46 Classification million, so all business entities in the Pursuant to section 304(b)(1)(A) of the harvesting sector can be categorized as Magnuson-Stevens Act, the NMFS small businesses for the purpose of the Assistant Administrator has determined RFA. PO 00000 Frm 00047 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 E:\FR\FM\30APR1.SGM 30APR1 24358 Federal Register / Vol. 79, No. 83 / Wednesday, April 30, 2014 / Rules and Regulations Description of Projected Reporting, Recordkeeping, and Other Compliance Requirements No additional reporting, recordkeeping, or other compliance requirements are included in this final rule. Description of the Steps Taken To Minimize Economic Impact on Small Entities mstockstill on DSK4VPTVN1PROD with RULES Specification of commercial quota is constrained by the conservation objectives of the FMP, under the authority of the Magnuson-Stevens Act. The 2014–2016 specifications will affect all business entities and four vessels in the directed red crab fishery. However, this rule is not expected to have any impact on the gross or average revenues for the fishery because it does not change the total allowable landings level, which remains 3.91 million lb (1,775 mt). This harvest level is substantially higher than average landings in recent years (3.10 million lb VerDate Mar<15>2010 16:04 Apr 29, 2014 Jkt 232001 (1,404 mt) from fishing years 2010– 2012), and is not expected to constrain landings unless markets for red crab substantially improve or major new markets develop. Information on costs in the fishery is not readily available and individual vessel profitability cannot be determined directly; therefore, expected changes in gross revenues were used as a proxy for profitability. For the four participating vessels in 2010–2012, average total sales were $865,272 per vessel per year. Because this action will retain current harvest levels, it will not directly constrain or reduce the gross revenues per vessel, nor will it impact the profits of individual vessels. Therefore, it is not necessary to analyze impacts according to the dependence of each vessel in the red crab fishery. Small Entity Compliance Guide Section 212 of the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act of 1996 states that, for each rule or group of related rules for which an agency is PO 00000 Frm 00048 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 9990 required to prepare a FRFA, the agency shall publish one or more guides to assist small entities in complying with the rule, and shall designate such publications as ‘‘small entity compliance guides.’’ The agency shall explain the actions a small entity is required to take to comply with a rule or group of rules. As part of this rulemaking process, a small entity compliance guide will be sent to all holders of Federal permits issued for the Atlantic deep-sea red crab fishery. In addition, copies of this final rule and guide (i.e., permit holder letter) are available upon request, and posted on the Greater Atlantic Regional Fisheries Office’s Web site at www.nero.noaa.gov. Authority: 16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq. Dated: April 24, 2014. Eileen Sobeck, Assistant Administrator for Fisheries, National Marine Fisheries Service. [FR Doc. 2014–09893 Filed 4–29–14; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510–22–P E:\FR\FM\30APR1.SGM 30APR1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 79, Number 83 (Wednesday, April 30, 2014)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 24356-24358]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2014-09893]


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DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

50 CFR Part 648

[Docket No. 140106010-4358-02]
RIN 0648-XD069


Fisheries of the Northeastern United States; Atlantic Deep-Sea 
Red Crab Fishery; 2014-2016 Atlantic Deep-Sea Red Crab Specifications

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

ACTION: Final rule.

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

SUMMARY: NMFS issues final specifications for the 2014-2016 Atlantic 
deep-sea red crab fishery, including an annual catch limit and total 
allowable landings. This action establishes the allowable 2014-2016 
harvest levels and other management measures to achieve the target 
fishing mortality rate, consistent with the Atlantic Deep-Sea Red Crab 
Fishery Management Plan.

DATES: The final specifications for the 2014-2016 Atlantic deep-sea red 
crab fishery are effective May 30, 2014, through February 28, 2017.

ADDRESSES: Copies of the specifications document, including the 
Amendment 3 Environmental Assessment and Initial Regulatory Flexibility 
Analysis (EA/IRFA) and other supporting documents for the 
specifications, are available from Thomas A. Nies, Executive Director, 
New England Fishery Management Council, 50 Water Street, Mill 2, 
Newburyport, MA 01950. The specifications document is also accessible 
via the Internet at: http://www.nero.noaa.gov.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Carly Bari, Fishery Management 
Specialist, (978) 281-9224.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Background

    The Atlantic deep-sea red crab fishery is managed by the New 
England Fishery Management Council. Regulations implementing the 
Atlantic Deep-Sea Red Crab Fishery Management Plan (FMP) appear at 50 
CFR part 648, subparts A and M. The regulations requiring 
specifications are found at Sec.  648.260.
    The FMP requires the Council to recommend the annual catch limit 
(ACL) and total allowable landings (TAL) that will control the fishing

[[Page 24357]]

mortality rate (F) for up to three years. Estimates of stock size, 
coupled with the target F, allow for a calculation of acceptable 
biological catch (ABC), which is recommended by the Council's 
Scientific and Statistical Committee (SSC). The annual review process 
for red crab requires that the SSC review and make recommendations 
based on the best available scientific information, including catch/
landing statistics, current estimates of fishing mortality, stock 
abundance, and juvenile recruitment. Based on the recommendations of 
the SSC, the Council makes a recommendation to the NMFS Regional 
Administrator.
    The Council's recommendations must include supporting documentation 
concerning the environmental, economic, and social impacts of the 
recommendations. NMFS is responsible for reviewing these 
recommendations to assure that they achieve the FMPs objectives, and 
may modify them if they do not. NMFS then publishes proposed 
specifications based on the recommendations in the Federal Register, 
and after considering public comment, NMFS publishes final 
specifications in the Federal Register. A proposed rule for this action 
published in the Federal Register on March 11, 2014 (79 FR 13607), and 
comments were accepted through March 26, 2014.
    The FMP was first implemented in October 2002 and was originally 
managed under a target total allowable catch (TAC) and days-at-sea 
(DAS) system that allocated DAS equally across the fleet of limited 
access permitted vessels. Amendment 3 to the FMP removed trip limit 
restrictions, and replaced the target TAC and DAS allocation with a TAL 
in order to ensure consistency with the ACL and accountability measure 
requirements of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and 
Management Act (Magnuson-Stevens Act). Under Amendment 3, the 2011-2013 
red crab specifications were set with an ABC equal to the long-term 
average landings of the directed red crab fishery (3.91 million lb, 
1,775 mt), due to the lack of better scientific information on the red 
crab stock.

Final Specifications

Biological and Management Reference Points

    Deep-sea red crab is a data poor stock. Estimates of a sustainable 
yield are based on the average catch in the fishery. Because discards 
in the red crab fishery are poorly estimated, the relationship between 
catch and landings is somewhat uncertain, so average landings are used, 
adjusted by fishery-independent estimates of the degree of stock 
depletion since inception of the fishery. This estimate, however, 
cannot be used for determining MSY or another OFL proxy, so OFL was 
determined to be unknown. There has not been an update to the red crab 
assessment and the MSY and the OFL remain unknown.

2014-2016 Catch Limits

    The Council's recommendation for the 2014-2016 red crab 
specifications are based on the results of the most recent peer-
reviewed assessment of the red crab fishery carried out by the Data 
Poor Stocks Working Group in 2009 and recommendations from the SSC. 
Other information considered included recent landings, landings per 
unit of effort, port samples, discard information, and economic data 
that suggest there has been no change in the size of the red crab stock 
since Amendment 3 was implemented in 2011.
    In the absence of a new stock assessment or other information, on 
August 21, 2013, the Council's SSC recommended the status quo ABC for 
fishing years 2014-2016 of 1,775 mt for the directed fishery, which is 
equal to the long-term average landings of the directed red crab 
fishery for fishing years 2011-2013. The SSC concluded that the 
historical landings of male red crab and historical discarding 
practices appear to be sustainable and that an interim ABC based on 
long-term average landings is safely below an undetermined overfishing 
threshold and adequately accounts for scientific uncertainty. The 
Council agreed with this conclusion and recommended a TAL at the same 
levels as currently in effect under Amendment 3. Therefore, the 
specifications for the 2014-2016 fishing years are as follows:

------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                     mt      Million lb
------------------------------------------------------------------------
MSY.............................................       undetermined
------------------------------------------------------------------------
OFL.............................................       undetermined
------------------------------------------------------------------------
OY..............................................       undetermined
------------------------------------------------------------------------
ABC.............................................     1,775          3.91
ACL.............................................     1,775          3.91
TAL.............................................     1,775          3.91
------------------------------------------------------------------------

Comments and Responses

    The public comment period for the proposed rule ended on March 26, 
2014. No comments were received on the proposed rule.

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 Atlantic Deep-Sea Red Crab FMP, other provisions of 
the Magnuson-Stevens Act, and other applicable law.
    This final rule is exempt from review under Executive Order 12866.
    This final rule does not duplicate, conflict, or overlap with any 
existing Federal rules.
    The FRFA included in this final rule was prepared pursuant to 5 
U.S.C. 604(a), and incorporates the IRFA and a summary of analyses 
completed to support the action. A public copy of the EA/RIR/IRFA is 
available from the Council (see ADDRESSES).
    The preamble to the proposed rule included a detailed summary of 
the analyses contained in the IRFA, and that discussion is not repeated 
here.

Final Regulatory Flexibility Analysis

Statement of Objective and Need

    A description of the reasons why this action is being taken, and 
the objectives of and legal basis for this final rule are contained in 
the preambles to the proposed rule and this final rule and are not 
repeated here.

Summary of Significant Issues Raised in Public Comments

    No comments were submitted on the proposed rule. Therefore, none 
were specific to the IRFA or to the economic impacts of the proposed 
rule more generally.

Description and Estimate of Number of Small Entities to Which the Rule 
Will Apply

    All of the entities (fishing vessels) affected by this action are 
considered small entities under the Small Business Administration size 
standards for small shellfishing businesses (i.e., they have less than 
$5.0 million in annual gross sales). Therefore, there are no 
disproportionate effects on small versus large entities.
    The participants in the commercial red crab fishery were defined as 
those vessels issued limited access red crab permits. Information about 
vessel ownership has been made available for all federal permit 
holders, which allows for the identification of business entities that 
comprise multiple fishing vessels. As of December 2013, there are two 
business entities and four vessels with limited access red crab permits 
actively operating in the red crab fishery. The total value of landings 
from all sources from 2010 to 2012 averaged $3.46 million, so all 
business entities in the harvesting sector can be categorized as small 
businesses for the purpose of the RFA.

[[Page 24358]]

Description of Projected Reporting, Recordkeeping, and Other Compliance 
Requirements

    No additional reporting, recordkeeping, or other compliance 
requirements are included in this final rule.

Description of the Steps Taken To Minimize Economic Impact on Small 
Entities

    Specification of commercial quota is constrained by the 
conservation objectives of the FMP, under the authority of the 
Magnuson-Stevens Act. The 2014-2016 specifications will affect all 
business entities and four vessels in the directed red crab fishery. 
However, this rule is not expected to have any impact on the gross or 
average revenues for the fishery because it does not change the total 
allowable landings level, which remains 3.91 million lb (1,775 mt). 
This harvest level is substantially higher than average landings in 
recent years (3.10 million lb (1,404 mt) from fishing years 2010-2012), 
and is not expected to constrain landings unless markets for red crab 
substantially improve or major new markets develop.
    Information on costs in the fishery is not readily available and 
individual vessel profitability cannot be determined directly; 
therefore, expected changes in gross revenues were used as a proxy for 
profitability. For the four participating vessels in 2010-2012, average 
total sales were $865,272 per vessel per year. Because this action will 
retain current harvest levels, it will not directly constrain or reduce 
the gross revenues per vessel, nor will it impact the profits of 
individual vessels. Therefore, it is not necessary to analyze impacts 
according to the dependence of each vessel in the red crab fishery.

Small Entity Compliance Guide

    Section 212 of the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness 
Act of 1996 states that, for each rule or group of related rules for 
which an agency is required to prepare a FRFA, the agency shall publish 
one or more guides to assist small entities in complying with the rule, 
and shall designate such publications as ``small entity compliance 
guides.'' The agency shall explain the actions a small entity is 
required to take to comply with a rule or group of rules. As part of 
this rulemaking process, a small entity compliance guide will be sent 
to all holders of Federal permits issued for the Atlantic deep-sea red 
crab fishery.
    In addition, copies of this final rule and guide (i.e., permit 
holder letter) are available upon request, and posted on the Greater 
Atlantic Regional Fisheries Office's Web site at www.nero.noaa.gov.

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

    Dated: April 24, 2014.
Eileen Sobeck,
Assistant Administrator for Fisheries, National Marine Fisheries 
Service.
[FR Doc. 2014-09893 Filed 4-29-14; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 3510-22-P