Fisheries of the Northeastern United States; 2015 Summer Flounder, Scup, and Black Sea Specifications and 2015 Commercial Summer Flounder Quota Adjustments, 78311-78313 [2014-30500]

Download as PDF Federal Register / Vol. 79, No. 249 / Tuesday, December 30, 2014 / Rules and Regulations system. The fitting may be either ‘‘T’’ or inline, with a female 1⁄4 threaded National Pipe Thread (NPT) port, to enable connection to the pressure transducer (a component of the EM system). Before the scheduled date of installation, the NMFS-approved contractor may contact vessel operators in person or by phone to ask questions to help them determine power supply, vessel configuration, and other considerations necessary to facilitate installation of the EM system and to ensure the system’s compatibility with the vessel. The vessel owner and/or operator should be present on the day of installation to facilitate equipment installation and provide access to the vessel and information to Saltwater, Inc., about the power supply and other vessel infrastructure and other information as needed. The dates and locations of the EM installations are listed below in Table 1. These dates and locations were chosen based on several factors to reduce the potential for the installation schedule to interfere with fishing trips and to minimize the distances vessel may have to travel. In order to provide as much flexibility as possible for the locations of a limited number of installations, NMFS will announce any additional locations or changes in locations, if warranted, in a future notice (‘‘To Be Determined’’). TABLE 1—DATES AND LOCATIONS OF ELECTRONIC MONITORING INSTALLATIONS Name of port January 16 through 25. February 14 through 23. March 16 through 25 Cape Canaveral, FL. Panama City, FL. Cape Canaveral, FL. Dulac, LA. Wanchese, NC. Beaufort, NC. Wanchese, NC. Dulac, LA. To Be Determined. Barnegat Light, NJ. tkelley on DSK3SPTVN1PROD with RULES May 11 through 17, and 19 through 25. Other Installations If a vessel owner and/or operator of an eligible vessel is not able to coordinate installation with Saltwater, Inc., on one of the dates and locations listed in Table 1, the vessel operator should contact Saltwater, Inc., at 800–770–3241 to determine whether another mutuallyagreed upon location and date before June 1, 2015, is feasible for installation and training. NMFS cannot guarantee that an alternate location or date will be provided given the limited funding and time available to complete installation of the EM equipment and training. VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:00 Dec 29, 2014 Jkt 235001 Authority: 16 U.S.C. 971 et seq. and 1801 et seq. Dated: December 23, 2014. Alan D. Risenhoover, Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine Fisheries Service. [FR Doc. 2014–30521 Filed 12–24–14; 11:15 am] BILLING CODE 3510–22–P DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration 50 CFR Part 648 [Docket No. 140117052–4402–02] RIN 0648–XD651 Fisheries of the Northeastern United States; 2015 Summer Flounder, Scup, and Black Sea Specifications and 2015 Commercial Summer Flounder Quota Adjustments National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Commerce. ACTION: 2015 Summer Flounder, Scup, and Black Sea Specifications and 2015 commercial summer flounder state quotas. AGENCY: NMFS is announcing revised commercial quotas and recreational harvest limits for the 2015 summer flounder, scup, and black sea bass fisheries, as well as the commercial summer flounder state quotas for fishing year 2015. This is necessary to incorporate adjustments to the quotas due to the suspension of the Research Set-Aside program, implement an accountability measure for the commercial black sea bass fishery, and, for summer flounder state quotas, account for any previously unaccounted for overages from fishing year 2013 and any known overages to date from fishing year 2014. The intent of this action is to modify the established harvest levels to ensure that these species are not overfished or subject to overfishing in 2015. SUMMARY: Date range (2015) April 14 through 23 ... Therefore, vessel owners and/or operators should make a concerted effort to make plans to adhere to the EM installation schedule in Table 1. Effective January 1, 2015, through December 31, 2015. DATES: FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Moira Kelly, Fishery Policy Analyst, (978) 281–9218. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: PO 00000 Frm 00025 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 78311 Background The Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council and the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission cooperatively manage the summer flounder, scup, and black sea bass fisheries. Specifications for these fisheries include the acceptable biological catch (ABC) limit, various catch and landing subdivisions (such as the commercial and recreational sector annual catch limits (ACLs)), annual catch targets (ACTs), sector-specific landing limits (i.e., the commercial fishery quotas and recreational harvest limits), and research set-aside quotas established for one or more fishing years. Typically, these specifications are set on an annual or multi-year basis and announced in the Federal Register in December. The specifications rulemaking for 2014 was delayed because of a summer flounder stock assessment. This delay allowed the Council to establish the 2015 specifications in May 2014, in conjunction with the revised 2014 specifications (May 22, 2014; 79 FR 29371). The 2015 specifications were based on recommendations that the Council made in October 2013, and included commercial quotas and recreational harvest limits as adjusted for a 3-percent reduction in landings to accommodate the Research Set-Aside program. Research Set-Aside Quota Restoration The Research Set-Aside program has recently been the subject of significant debate regarding its effectiveness in providing useful research and for enforcement concerns. At its August 2014 meeting, the Council voted to suspend the Research Set-Aside program for fishing year 2015 and to conduct a comprehensive review of the program. As a result, the previously deducted Research Set-Aside amounts will be redistributed to the respective commercial quota and recreational harvest limits, as follows: TABLE 1—PREVIOUSLY DEDUCTED RESEARCH SET-ASIDE QUOTA lb Commercial Summer Flounder ................ Recreational Summer Flounder ................ Commercial Scup ..... Recreational Scup .... Commercial Black Sea Bass ............... Recreational Black Sea Bass ............... E:\FR\FM\30DER1.SGM 30DER1 mt 332,898 151 220,462 637,136 205,030 100 289 93 70,548 32 66,139 30 78312 Federal Register / Vol. 79, No. 249 / Tuesday, December 30, 2014 / Rules and Regulations Commercial Black Sea Bass Accountability Measure For each fishery, the ABC is equal to the sum of the commercial and recreational ACLs. Based on recommendations from the Council’s Summer Flounder, Scup, and Black Sea Bass Monitoring Committees, the ACT was set equal to the ACL for the commercial and recreational sectors for all three species for the 2015 fishing year. However, there was an overage of the 2013 black sea bass commercial ACL because discards were higher than projected. The non-landings deducted from the ACT for each fishery in order to establish the commercial quota or recreational harvest limit, respectively. accountability measure, specified at 50 CFR 648.143(b), requires the exact amount, in pounds, by which the commercial ACL was exceeded to be deducted, as soon as possible, from the applicable subsequent single fishing year commercial ACL. As such, the commercial black sea bass ACL of 2.60 million lb (1,180 mt) is reduced by the overage amount (22,564 lb (10 mt)), resulting in a commercial ACT of 2.58 million lb (1,170 mt). Projected discards, calculating using recent discard information, consistent with the requirements of the FMP, are then Revised 2015 Specifications Table 2 shows the revised specifications for the 2015 fishing year, including the sector-specific projected discards used to calculate the landings limits. These specifications include the restoration of the Research Set-Aside program quotas, as well as the commercial black sea bass accountability measure described above. TABLE 2—2015 SUMMER FLOUNDER, SCUP, AND BLACK SEA BASS SPECIFICATIONS Summer Flounder million lb ABC .......................................................... Commercial ACL ...................................... Commercial ACT ...................................... Commercial Discards ............................... Commercial Quota ................................... Recreational ACL/ACT ............................. Recreational Discards .............................. Recreational Harvest Limit ....................... mt 22.57 13.34 13.34 2.67 11.07 9.44 2.06 7.38 Summer Flounder State Quotas and Overages An important component of the annual specifications rulemaking is the notification of the commercial summer Scup Black Sea Bass million lb 10,239 6,049 6,049 1,028 5,021 4,280 933 3,347 mt 33.77 26.35 26.35 5.11 21.23 7.43 0.63 6.80 flounder state quotas and overages. Overages are calculated using final landings data from the previous fishing year and landings from the current fishing year through October 31. In this case, previously unaccounted for million lb 15,320 11,950 11,950 2,318 9,632 3,370 286 3,084 mt 5.50 2.60 2.58 0.37 2.21 2.90 0.57 2.33 2,494 1,180 1,170 166 1,004 1,314 258 1,056 overages from fishing year 2013 are combined with known overages through October 31, 2014. The 2015 summer flounder state quotas, adjusted for these overages, are as follows: TABLE 3—2015 COMMERCIAL SUMMER FLOUNDER STATE QUOTAS 2015 Initial quota State ........... ME ......... NH ......... MA ......... RI ........... CT .......... NY ......... NJ .......... DE 3 ....... MD ......... VA .......... NC ......... Total FMP percent share 0.04756 0.00046 6.82046 15.68298 2.25708 7.64699 16.72499 0.01779 2.03910 21.31676 27.44584 100.00 Quota overages (through 10/31/14) 1 lb kg 2 lb 5,265 51 754,985 1,736,013 249,845 846,477 1,851,358 1,969 225,716 2,359,640 3,038,093 2,390 20 342,460 787,440 113,330 383,960 839,760 890 102,380 1,070,310 1,378,060 0 0 ¥5,050 0 0 0 0 ¥51,430 0 0 0 11,069,410 5,021,000 ¥56,450 Adjusted 2015 quota, less overages kg 2 lb kg 2 0 0 ¥2,291 0 0 0 0 ¥23,328 0 0 0 5,265 51 749,935 1,736,013 249,845 846,477 1,851,358 ¥49,461 225,716 2,359,640 3,038,093 2,388 23 340,165 787,442 113,328 383,955 839,762 ¥22,435 102,383 1,070,315 1,378,056 ¥25,619 4 11,062,392 4 5,017,817 tkelley on DSK3SPTVN1PROD with RULES 1 2014 quota overage is determined by comparing landings for January through October 2014, plus any landings in 2013 in excess of the 2013 quota (that were not previously addressed in the 2014 specifications) for each state. 2 Kilograms are as converted from pounds and may not necessarily add due to rounding. 3 For Delaware, this includes continued repayment of overharvest from previous years. 4 Total quota is the sum for all states with an allocation. A state with a negative number has a 2015 allocation of zero (0). Delaware Summer Flounder Closure Table 3 shows that, for Delaware, the amount of overharvest from previous years is greater than the amount of commercial quota allocated to Delaware VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:00 Dec 29, 2014 Jkt 235001 for 2015. As a result, there is no quota available for 2015 in Delaware. The regulations at § 648.4(b) state that Federal permit holders, as a condition of their permit, must not land summer PO 00000 Frm 00026 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 flounder in any state that the Administrator, Greater Atlantic Region, NMFS, has determined no longer has commercial quota available for harvest. Therefore, effective January 1, 2015, E:\FR\FM\30DER1.SGM 30DER1 Federal Register / Vol. 79, No. 249 / Tuesday, December 30, 2014 / Rules and Regulations tkelley on DSK3SPTVN1PROD with RULES landings of summer flounder in Delaware by vessels holding commercial Federal summer flounder permits are prohibited for the 2015 calendar year, unless additional quota becomes available through a quota transfer and is announced in the Federal Register. VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:00 Dec 29, 2014 Jkt 235001 Federally permitted dealers are advised that they may not purchase summer flounder from federally permitted vessels that land in Delaware for the 2015 calendar year, unless additional quota becomes available through a transfer, as mentioned above. PO 00000 Frm 00027 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 9990 78313 Authority: 16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq. Dated: December 23, 2014. Alan D. Risenhoover, Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine Fisheries Service. [FR Doc. 2014–30500 Filed 12–29–14; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510–22–P E:\FR\FM\30DER1.SGM 30DER1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 79, Number 249 (Tuesday, December 30, 2014)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 78311-78313]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2014-30500]


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DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

50 CFR Part 648

[Docket No. 140117052-4402-02]
RIN 0648-XD651


Fisheries of the Northeastern United States; 2015 Summer 
Flounder, Scup, and Black Sea Specifications and 2015 Commercial Summer 
Flounder Quota Adjustments

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

ACTION: 2015 Summer Flounder, Scup, and Black Sea Specifications and 
2015 commercial summer flounder state quotas.

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

SUMMARY: NMFS is announcing revised commercial quotas and recreational 
harvest limits for the 2015 summer flounder, scup, and black sea bass 
fisheries, as well as the commercial summer flounder state quotas for 
fishing year 2015. This is necessary to incorporate adjustments to the 
quotas due to the suspension of the Research Set-Aside program, 
implement an accountability measure for the commercial black sea bass 
fishery, and, for summer flounder state quotas, account for any 
previously unaccounted for overages from fishing year 2013 and any 
known overages to date from fishing year 2014. The intent of this 
action is to modify the established harvest levels to ensure that these 
species are not overfished or subject to overfishing in 2015.

DATES: Effective January 1, 2015, through December 31, 2015.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Moira Kelly, Fishery Policy Analyst, 
(978) 281-9218.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: 

Background

    The Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council and the Atlantic States 
Marine Fisheries Commission cooperatively manage the summer flounder, 
scup, and black sea bass fisheries. Specifications for these fisheries 
include the acceptable biological catch (ABC) limit, various catch and 
landing subdivisions (such as the commercial and recreational sector 
annual catch limits (ACLs)), annual catch targets (ACTs), sector-
specific landing limits (i.e., the commercial fishery quotas and 
recreational harvest limits), and research set-aside quotas established 
for one or more fishing years. Typically, these specifications are set 
on an annual or multi-year basis and announced in the Federal Register 
in December. The specifications rulemaking for 2014 was delayed because 
of a summer flounder stock assessment. This delay allowed the Council 
to establish the 2015 specifications in May 2014, in conjunction with 
the revised 2014 specifications (May 22, 2014; 79 FR 29371). The 2015 
specifications were based on recommendations that the Council made in 
October 2013, and included commercial quotas and recreational harvest 
limits as adjusted for a 3-percent reduction in landings to accommodate 
the Research Set-Aside program.

Research Set-Aside Quota Restoration

    The Research Set-Aside program has recently been the subject of 
significant debate regarding its effectiveness in providing useful 
research and for enforcement concerns. At its August 2014 meeting, the 
Council voted to suspend the Research Set-Aside program for fishing 
year 2015 and to conduct a comprehensive review of the program. As a 
result, the previously deducted Research Set-Aside amounts will be 
redistributed to the respective commercial quota and recreational 
harvest limits, as follows:

          Table 1--Previously Deducted Research Set-Aside Quota
------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                        lb         mt
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Commercial Summer Flounder........................    332,898        151
Recreational Summer Flounder......................    220,462        100
Commercial Scup...................................    637,136        289
Recreational Scup.................................    205,030         93
Commercial Black Sea Bass.........................     70,548         32
Recreational Black Sea Bass.......................     66,139         30
------------------------------------------------------------------------


[[Page 78312]]

Commercial Black Sea Bass Accountability Measure

    For each fishery, the ABC is equal to the sum of the commercial and 
recreational ACLs. Based on recommendations from the Council's Summer 
Flounder, Scup, and Black Sea Bass Monitoring Committees, the ACT was 
set equal to the ACL for the commercial and recreational sectors for 
all three species for the 2015 fishing year. However, there was an 
overage of the 2013 black sea bass commercial ACL because discards were 
higher than projected. The non-landings accountability measure, 
specified at 50 CFR 648.143(b), requires the exact amount, in pounds, 
by which the commercial ACL was exceeded to be deducted, as soon as 
possible, from the applicable subsequent single fishing year commercial 
ACL. As such, the commercial black sea bass ACL of 2.60 million lb 
(1,180 mt) is reduced by the overage amount (22,564 lb (10 mt)), 
resulting in a commercial ACT of 2.58 million lb (1,170 mt). Projected 
discards, calculating using recent discard information, consistent with 
the requirements of the FMP, are then deducted from the ACT for each 
fishery in order to establish the commercial quota or recreational 
harvest limit, respectively.

Revised 2015 Specifications

    Table 2 shows the revised specifications for the 2015 fishing year, 
including the sector-specific projected discards used to calculate the 
landings limits. These specifications include the restoration of the 
Research Set-Aside program quotas, as well as the commercial black sea 
bass accountability measure described above.

                                         Table 2--2015 Summer Flounder, Scup, and Black Sea Bass Specifications
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                  Summer Flounder                      Scup                       Black Sea Bass
                                                         -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                            million lb          mt          million lb          mt          million lb          mt
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
ABC.....................................................           22.57          10,239           33.77          15,320            5.50           2,494
Commercial ACL..........................................           13.34           6,049           26.35          11,950            2.60           1,180
Commercial ACT..........................................           13.34           6,049           26.35          11,950            2.58           1,170
Commercial Discards.....................................            2.67           1,028            5.11           2,318            0.37             166
Commercial Quota........................................           11.07           5,021           21.23           9,632            2.21           1,004
Recreational ACL/ACT....................................            9.44           4,280            7.43           3,370            2.90           1,314
Recreational Discards...................................            2.06             933            0.63             286            0.57             258
Recreational Harvest Limit..............................            7.38           3,347            6.80           3,084            2.33           1,056
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Summer Flounder State Quotas and Overages

    An important component of the annual specifications rulemaking is 
the notification of the commercial summer flounder state quotas and 
overages. Overages are calculated using final landings data from the 
previous fishing year and landings from the current fishing year 
through October 31. In this case, previously unaccounted for overages 
from fishing year 2013 are combined with known overages through October 
31, 2014. The 2015 summer flounder state quotas, adjusted for these 
overages, are as follows:

                                                  Table 3--2015 Commercial Summer Flounder State Quotas
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                2015 Initial quota        Quota overages (through 10/31/     Adjusted 2015 quota, less
                                            FMP percent  --------------------------------             14) \1\                        overages
                  State                        share                                     ---------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                lb            kg \2\            lb            kg \2\            lb            kg \2\
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                          ..............  ..............  ..............  ..............  ..............
ME......................................         0.04756           5,265           2,390               0               0           5,265           2,388
NH......................................         0.00046              51              20               0               0              51              23
MA......................................         6.82046         754,985         342,460          -5,050          -2,291         749,935         340,165
RI......................................        15.68298       1,736,013         787,440               0               0       1,736,013         787,442
CT......................................         2.25708         249,845         113,330               0               0         249,845         113,328
NY......................................         7.64699         846,477         383,960               0               0         846,477         383,955
NJ......................................        16.72499       1,851,358         839,760               0               0       1,851,358         839,762
DE \3\..................................         0.01779           1,969             890         -51,430         -23,328         -49,461         -22,435
MD......................................         2.03910         225,716         102,380               0               0         225,716         102,383
VA......................................        21.31676       2,359,640       1,070,310               0               0       2,359,640       1,070,315
NC......................................        27.44584       3,038,093       1,378,060               0               0       3,038,093       1,378,056
                                         ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Total...............................       100.00         11,069,410       5,021,000         -56,450         -25,619  \4\ 11,062,392   \4\ 5,017,817
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
\1\ 2014 quota overage is determined by comparing landings for January through October 2014, plus any landings in 2013 in excess of the 2013 quota (that
  were not previously addressed in the 2014 specifications) for each state.
\2\ Kilograms are as converted from pounds and may not necessarily add due to rounding.
\3\ For Delaware, this includes continued repayment of overharvest from previous years.
\4\ Total quota is the sum for all states with an allocation. A state with a negative number has a 2015 allocation of zero (0).

Delaware Summer Flounder Closure

    Table 3 shows that, for Delaware, the amount of overharvest from 
previous years is greater than the amount of commercial quota allocated 
to Delaware for 2015. As a result, there is no quota available for 2015 
in Delaware. The regulations at Sec.  648.4(b) state that Federal 
permit holders, as a condition of their permit, must not land summer 
flounder in any state that the Administrator, Greater Atlantic Region, 
NMFS, has determined no longer has commercial quota available for 
harvest. Therefore, effective January 1, 2015,

[[Page 78313]]

landings of summer flounder in Delaware by vessels holding commercial 
Federal summer flounder permits are prohibited for the 2015 calendar 
year, unless additional quota becomes available through a quota 
transfer and is announced in the Federal Register. Federally permitted 
dealers are advised that they may not purchase summer flounder from 
federally permitted vessels that land in Delaware for the 2015 calendar 
year, unless additional quota becomes available through a transfer, as 
mentioned above.

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

    Dated: December 23, 2014.
Alan D. Risenhoover,
Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine Fisheries 
Service.
[FR Doc. 2014-30500 Filed 12-29-14; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 3510-22-P