Fisheries of the Northeastern United States; Atlantic Herring Fishery; Adjustments to 2015 Annual Catch Limits, 7808-7810 [2015-02941]

Download as PDF 7808 Federal Register / Vol. 80, No. 29 / Thursday, February 12, 2015 / Rules and Regulations EPA APPROVED AMERICAN SAMOA NONREGULATORY PROVISIONS AND QUASI-REGULATORY MEASURES—Continued Applicable geographic or nonattainment area State submittal date Appendix A. American Samoa Environmental Quality Act, excluding section 35.0113. State-wide ....... 03/9/72 05/31/72, 37 FR 10842. Section 3. Air Quality Data ........................ State-wide ....... 01/27/72 Section 4. Emission Inventory ................... State-wide ....... 01/27/72 05/31/72, 37 FR 10842. 05/31/72, 37 FR 10842. Section 5. Control Strategy: Control Strategy ......................................... State-wide ....... 01/27/72 Letter from Peter T. Coleman, Governor, American Samoa, to Kathleen M. Bennett, EPA, dated November 12, 1982. Section 6. Compliance Schedule .............. State-wide ....... 11/12/82 State-wide ....... 01/27/72 Section 7. Air Quality Surveillance Network. Section 8. Review of New Sources and Modifications. Section 9. Source Surveillance ................. State-wide ....... 01/27/72 State-wide ....... 01/27/72 State-wide ....... 01/27/72 Section 10. Resources .............................. State-wide ....... 01/27/72 Section 11. Intergovernmental Cooperation. State-wide ....... 01/27/72 Name of SIP provision BILLING CODE 6560–50–P DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration 50 CFR Part 648 [Docket No. 141002820–5113–01] RIN 0648–XD536 Rmajette on DSK2VPTVN1PROD with RULES 37 FR 37 FR 37 FR 37 FR 37 FR Copies of supporting documents, including the 2013–2015 Specifications/Framework 2 to the Herring Fishery Management Plan (FMP), are available from the Sustainable Fisheries Division, Greater Atlantic Regional Fisheries Office, 55 Great Republic Drive, Gloucester, MA 01930, telephone (978) 281–9315, or online at: http:// www.greateratlantic.fisheries.noaa.gov/ sustainable/species/atlherring/ index.html. ADDRESSES: National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Commerce. ACTION: Temporary final rule; adjustment of specifications. This action adjusts 2015 annual catch limits for the Atlantic herring fishery to account for the underharvest of herring catch in 2013. The herring fishery caught less than its allocated catch in all herring management areas in 2013. As a result, this action adds unharvested 2013 catch to the 2015 herring catch limits, equal Jkt 235001 37 FR Effective February 12, 2015, through December 31, 2015. AGENCY: 13:49 Feb 11, 2015 05/31/72, 10842. 05/31/72, 10842. 05/31/72, 10842. 05/31/72, 10842. 05/31/72, 10842. 05/31/72, 10842. DATES: Fisheries of the Northeastern United States; Atlantic Herring Fishery; Adjustments to 2015 Annual Catch Limits VerDate Sep<11>2014 05/31/72, 37 FR 10842. 08/14/85, 50 FR 32697. to ten percent of the allocated 2013 annual catch limit for each area. While the annual catch limit for each area increases, the total annual catch limit for the herring fishery will not increase under this action. This will ensure that the carryover pounds do not cause overfishing of the herring resource in 2015. This action is necessary to ensure that NMFS accounts for herring catch consistent with the requirements of the Atlantic Herring Fishery Management Plan. [FR Doc. 2015–02856 Filed 2–11–15; 8:45 am] SUMMARY: EPA approval date FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Travis Ford, Fishery Policy Analyst, 978–281–9233, fax 978–281–9135. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: PO 00000 Frm 00012 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 Explanation Public Law 12–45. Chapter 35.01 of the Code of American Samoa. See 40 CFR 52.2823(c)(1). Section 35.0113 (‘‘Variances’’) was deleted without replacement at 62 FR 34641 (June 27, 1997)]. See 40 CFR 52.2823(b)(1). Included as part of the original SIP. See 40 CFR 52.2823(b). Included as part of the original SIP. See 40 CFR 52.2823(b). Included as part of the original SIP. See 40 CFR 52.2823(b). Negative declaration indicating no Lead sources in American Samoa. See 40 CFR 52.2823(c)(5)(i). Included as part of the original SIP. See 40 CFR 52.2823(b). Included as part of the original SIP. See 40 CFR 52.2823(b). Included as part of the original SIP. See 40 CFR 52.2823(b). Included as part of the original SIP. See 40 CFR 52.2823(b). Included as part of the original SIP. See 40 CFR 52.2823(b). Included as part of the original SIP. See 40 CFR 52.2823(b). Background The Atlantic herring harvest in the United States is managed under the Atlantic Herring Fishery Management Plan (Herring FMP) developed by the New England Fishery Management Council (Council). The Herring FMP divides the stock-wide herring ACL among three management areas, one of which has two sub-areas. It divides Area 1 (located in the Gulf of Maine (GOM)) into an inshore section (Area 1A) and an offshore section (Area 1B). Area 2 is located in the coastal waters between Massachusetts and North Carolina, and Area 3 is on Georges Bank (GB). The Herring FMP considers the herring stock complex to be a single stock, but there are inshore (GOM) and offshore (GB) stock components. The GOM and GB stock components segregate during spawning and mix during feeding and migration. Each management area has its own sub-ACL to allow greater control of the fishing mortality on each stock component. NMFS issued a final rule that implemented Amendment 4 to the Herring FMP (76 FR 11373, March 2, 2011) to address ACL and accountability measure (AM) requirements. As a way to account for ACL overages in the herring fishery, Amendment 4 established an AM that provided for E:\FR\FM\12FER1.SGM 12FER1 Federal Register / Vol. 80, No. 29 / Thursday, February 12, 2015 / Rules and Regulations overage deductions in the year immediately following the catch overage determination. If the catch of herring exceeds any ACL or sub-ACL, NMFS subsequently deducts the overage from the corresponding ACL/sub-ACL in the year following the catch overage determination. Amendment 4 also specified that NMFS will announce overage deductions in the Federal Register prior to the start of the fishing year, if possible. We also published a final rule implementing Framework 2 to the Herring FMP and the 2013–15 specifications for the herring fishery on October 4, 2013 (78 FR 61828). Among other measures, Framework 2 allows for the carryover of unharvested catch in the year immediately following the catch determination. Up to 10 percent of each sub-ACL may be carried over, provided the stock-wide catch did not exceed the stock-wide ACL. The carryover provision allows a sub-ACL increase for a management area, but it does not allow a corresponding increase to the stock-wide ACL. 7809 For fishing year 2015, the catch limits for the herring fishery, without any adjustments for catch overages or underages, are specified in Table 1. Research set-aside equal to 3 percent of each sub-ACL has been awarded to one research project. The 2015 Adjusted ACL in Table 1 is the catch, excluding carryover, that will be available to the commercial herring fishery in 2015 after removing research set-aside allocation from the 2015 sub-ACLs. TABLE 1—HERRING SUB-ACLS FOR 2015 [mt] Research set aside (3 percent of sub-ACL) 2015 ACL Area 1A ........................................ Area 1B ........................................ Area 2 .......................................... Area 3 .......................................... Stock-wide ................................... 31,200 4,600 30,000 42,000 107,800 Provisions Implemented Through This Final Rule After completing the 2013 catch determination in October 2014, NMFS determined that the herring fishery caught less than its allocated catch in all 2015 adjusted ACL 936 .................................................................................................... 138 .................................................................................................... 900 .................................................................................................... 1260 .................................................................................................. 3,234 (total of all sub-ACL set-asides) ............................................. herring management areas in 2013. As a result, this action adds unharvested 2013 catch to the 2015 herring catch limits, equal to the amount of the underage (up to ten percent of the allocated 2013 sub-annual catch limit) for each area. 30,264 4,462 29,100 40,740 104,566 In 2013, the herring fleet underharvested the stockwide ACL and each of the management areas’ subACLs. Table 2 provides the harvest details for 2013 and adjustments for 2015. TABLE 2—HERRING ACLS, CATCH, AND CARRYOVER [MT] 2013 ACL Area 1A ................ Area 1B ................ Area 2 .................. Area 3 .................. Stock-wide ............ 2013 catch 29,775 4,600 30,000 42,000 106,375 Underage 29,454 2,459 26,562 37,290 95,764 Carryover (max 10 percent of sub-ACL) * 321 2,141 3,438 4,170 10,611 2015 adjusted ACL (from Table 1) 321 460 3,000 4,170 NA 30,264 4,462 29,100 40,740 104,566 2015 ACLs adjusted for carryover 30,585 4,922 32,100 44,910 ** 104,566 Rmajette on DSK2VPTVN1PROD with RULES * Carryover is based on the initial sub-ACLs: Area 1A, 31,200 mt; Area 1B, 4,600 mt; Area 2, 30,000 mt; and Area 3, 42,000 mt (see Table 1). ** The sum of the 2015 adjusted sub-ACLs does not equal the overall ACL of 104,566 (as adjusted for RSA) because the overall ACL cannot be increased by carryover, as noted above. NMFS calculated the amount of herring landings in 2013 based on dealer reports (Federal and state) of herring purchases supplemented by vessel trip reports (VTRs) (Federal and State of Maine) of herring landings. We compared dealer reports to VTRs for all trips that landed herring in 2013. Because VTRs are generally a hail weight or estimate of landings, with an assumed 10-percent margin of error, dealer reports are a more accurate source of landings data. However, if the amount of herring reported via VTR exceeded the amount of herring reported by the dealer by 10 percent or VerDate Sep<11>2014 13:49 Feb 11, 2015 Jkt 235001 more, we assumed that the dealer report for that trip was in error. We used the higher amount of herring reported via VTR to determine the amount of herring landed on that trip to improve the likelihood of not exceeding ACLs. We checked the herring landings in the VTR database for accuracy against the scanned image of the paper VTRs submitted by the owner/operator of the vessel. NMFS also verified VTR landings by comparing reported landings to harvesting potential and applicable possession limits for each vessel. PO 00000 Frm 00013 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 We assigned herring landings reported on the VTRs to herring management areas using latitude and longitude coordinates. We also manually corrected VTRs with missing or invalid latitude/longitude coordinates using the statistical area reported on the VTR. If the fisherman did not report statistical area on the VTR, then we used a combination of recent fishing activity and a review of the scanned images of the original VTR to assign landings to herring management areas. Finally, we prorated dealer reports without corresponding VTRs to herring management area using E:\FR\FM\12FER1.SGM 12FER1 7810 Federal Register / Vol. 80, No. 29 / Thursday, February 12, 2015 / Rules and Regulations Rmajette on DSK2VPTVN1PROD with RULES the proportion of total herring landings stratified by week, gear type, and management area. As we were reviewing the 2013 herring data and comparing individual VTRs with individual dealer reports, we encountered data errors resulting from misreporting. These errors were resolved prior to calculating the final 2013 herring data. Common dealer reporting issues were: Missing dealer reports; incorrect or missing VTR serial numbers; incorrect or missing vessel permit numbers; and incorrect dates. VTRs had similar errors due to misreporting. Common VTR reporting issues were: Missing VTRs; missing or incorrect dealer information; incorrect amounts of landed herring; incorrect dates; and missing or incorrect statistical area. The quality of herring landings data is affected by unresolved data errors; therefore, we strongly encourage vessel owner/operators and dealers to double-check reports for accuracy and to ensure that reports are submitted on a timely basis. We will closely monitor reporting complianc1e in fishing year 2015 and will increase our compliance efforts, including referrals to the Office of Law Enforcement where appropriate. NMFS determined discards of herring in 2013 by extrapolating Northeast Fisheries Observer Program (observer) data to the entire herring fishery. We divided the amount of observed herring discards (‘‘Atlantic herring’’ and ‘‘herring unidentified’’) by the amount of observed fish landed. Then we multiplied that discard ratio by the amount of all fish landed for each trip to calculate total amount of herring discards in 2013. We determined the amount of discards for each management area and gear type, and calculated the total herring catch for 2013 by adding the amount of herring landings to the amount of herring discarded. The Council’s Herring Plan Development Team reviewed and approved this methodology used by NMFS to calculate the amount of landed VerDate Sep<11>2014 13:49 Feb 11, 2015 Jkt 235001 herring and the amount of discarded herring. Classification Pursuant to section 304 (b)(1)(A) of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (MSA), the NMFS Assistant Administrator has determined that this final rule is consistent with the Atlantic Herring FMP, other provisions of the MSA, and other applicable law. Pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 553(b)(B), there is good cause to waive prior notice and an opportunity for public comment on this action. This rule increases the 2015 herring management area catch limits by the amounts that were unharvested in 2013 (up to 10 percent). It thereby relieves a restriction. Further, notice and comment are contrary to the public interest because a delay would potentially impair achievement of the management plan’s objectives of preventing overfishing and achieving optimum yield due to vessels’ ability to harvest available catch allocations. Further, this is a nondiscretionary action required by provisions of Amendment 4 and Framework 2, which were previously subject to public comment. This action simply effectuates this mandatory calculation. The proposed and final rules for Framework 2 and Amendment 4 explained the need and likelihood for adjustments to the sub-ACLs based on final catch numbers. Framework 2, specifically, provided prior notice of the need to distribute carryover catch. These actions provided a full opportunity for the public to comment on the substance and process of this action. Allowing for prior notice and public comment on this adjustment is impracticable because the Atlantic herring fishing year already began on January 1, 2015. It is important for the herring fleet to have as much advance notice as possible to aid in developing their business plans for the remainder of the fishing year (January 1, 2015 through December 31, 2015). The PO 00000 Frm 00014 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 9990 opportunity to plan is expected to facilitate the fleet’s harvesting of available catch, thereby achieving optimum yield. Two areas are currently closed and will open on May 1 and June 1, respectively. Management Area 3 is already open and subject to a lower catch limit until this action is implemented. Putting in place the correct sub-ACLs as soon as possible will provide the fleet with this opportunity to develop their business plans in sufficient time to facilitate their harvest of available catch. There is good cause under 5 U.S.C. 553(d)(3) to waive the 30-day delay in effective date and make the rule effective upon publication in the Federal Register. The 2015 herring fishing year began on January 1, 2015. To prevent confusion and finalize the structure of the 2015 fishing year, it is necessary to have the proper sub-ACLs in place as soon as possible. In addition, having the updated sub-ACLs in place will allow the herring fleet to develop accurate business plan for the remainder of fishing year. Accordingly, any delay in the rule’s effectiveness would be contrary to the conservation objectives of the MSA and the Herring FMP. This final rule has been determined to be not significant for purposes of Executive Order 12866. This final rule does not contain a collection-ofinformation requirement for purposes of the Paperwork Reduction Act. 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., are inapplicable. Authority: 16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq. Dated: February 9, 2015. Samuel D. Rauch III, Deputy Assistant Administrator for Regulatory Programs, National Marine Fisheries Service. [FR Doc. 2015–02941 Filed 2–11–15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510–22–P E:\FR\FM\12FER1.SGM 12FER1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 80, Number 29 (Thursday, February 12, 2015)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 7808-7810]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2015-02941]


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DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

50 CFR Part 648

[Docket No. 141002820-5113-01]
RIN 0648-XD536


Fisheries of the Northeastern United States; Atlantic Herring 
Fishery; Adjustments to 2015 Annual Catch Limits

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

ACTION: Temporary final rule; adjustment of specifications.

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

SUMMARY: This action adjusts 2015 annual catch limits for the Atlantic 
herring fishery to account for the underharvest of herring catch in 
2013. The herring fishery caught less than its allocated catch in all 
herring management areas in 2013. As a result, this action adds 
unharvested 2013 catch to the 2015 herring catch limits, equal to ten 
percent of the allocated 2013 annual catch limit for each area. While 
the annual catch limit for each area increases, the total annual catch 
limit for the herring fishery will not increase under this action. This 
will ensure that the carryover pounds do not cause overfishing of the 
herring resource in 2015. This action is necessary to ensure that NMFS 
accounts for herring catch consistent with the requirements of the 
Atlantic Herring Fishery Management Plan.

DATES: Effective February 12, 2015, through December 31, 2015.

ADDRESSES: Copies of supporting documents, including the 2013-2015 
Specifications/Framework 2 to the Herring Fishery Management Plan 
(FMP), are available from the Sustainable Fisheries Division, Greater 
Atlantic Regional Fisheries Office, 55 Great Republic Drive, 
Gloucester, MA 01930, telephone (978) 281-9315, or online at: http://www.greateratlantic.fisheries.noaa.gov/sustainable/species/atlherring/index.html.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Travis Ford, Fishery Policy Analyst, 
978-281-9233, fax 978-281-9135.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Background

    The Atlantic herring harvest in the United States is managed under 
the Atlantic Herring Fishery Management Plan (Herring FMP) developed by 
the New England Fishery Management Council (Council). The Herring FMP 
divides the stock-wide herring ACL among three management areas, one of 
which has two sub-areas. It divides Area 1 (located in the Gulf of 
Maine (GOM)) into an inshore section (Area 1A) and an offshore section 
(Area 1B). Area 2 is located in the coastal waters between 
Massachusetts and North Carolina, and Area 3 is on Georges Bank (GB). 
The Herring FMP considers the herring stock complex to be a single 
stock, but there are inshore (GOM) and offshore (GB) stock components. 
The GOM and GB stock components segregate during spawning and mix 
during feeding and migration. Each management area has its own sub-ACL 
to allow greater control of the fishing mortality on each stock 
component.
    NMFS issued a final rule that implemented Amendment 4 to the 
Herring FMP (76 FR 11373, March 2, 2011) to address ACL and 
accountability measure (AM) requirements. As a way to account for ACL 
overages in the herring fishery, Amendment 4 established an AM that 
provided for

[[Page 7809]]

overage deductions in the year immediately following the catch overage 
determination. If the catch of herring exceeds any ACL or sub-ACL, NMFS 
subsequently deducts the overage from the corresponding ACL/sub-ACL in 
the year following the catch overage determination. Amendment 4 also 
specified that NMFS will announce overage deductions in the Federal 
Register prior to the start of the fishing year, if possible.
    We also published a final rule implementing Framework 2 to the 
Herring FMP and the 2013-15 specifications for the herring fishery on 
October 4, 2013 (78 FR 61828). Among other measures, Framework 2 allows 
for the carryover of unharvested catch in the year immediately 
following the catch determination. Up to 10 percent of each sub-ACL may 
be carried over, provided the stock-wide catch did not exceed the 
stock-wide ACL. The carryover provision allows a sub-ACL increase for a 
management area, but it does not allow a corresponding increase to the 
stock-wide ACL.
    For fishing year 2015, the catch limits for the herring fishery, 
without any adjustments for catch overages or underages, are specified 
in Table 1. Research set-aside equal to 3 percent of each sub-ACL has 
been awarded to one research project. The 2015 Adjusted ACL in Table 1 
is the catch, excluding carryover, that will be available to the 
commercial herring fishery in 2015 after removing research set-aside 
allocation from the 2015 sub-ACLs.

                                       Table 1--Herring Sub-ACLs for 2015
                                                      [mt]
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                Research set aside (3 percent
                                                  2015 ACL               of sub-ACL)           2015 adjusted ACL
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Area 1A....................................             31,200  936..........................             30,264
Area 1B....................................              4,600  138..........................              4,462
Area 2.....................................             30,000  900..........................             29,100
Area 3.....................................             42,000  1260.........................             40,740
Stock-wide.................................            107,800  3,234 (total of all sub-ACL              104,566
                                                                 set-asides).
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Provisions Implemented Through This Final Rule

    After completing the 2013 catch determination in October 2014, NMFS 
determined that the herring fishery caught less than its allocated 
catch in all herring management areas in 2013. As a result, this action 
adds unharvested 2013 catch to the 2015 herring catch limits, equal to 
the amount of the underage (up to ten percent of the allocated 2013 
sub-annual catch limit) for each area.
    In 2013, the herring fleet underharvested the stockwide ACL and 
each of the management areas' sub-ACLs. Table 2 provides the harvest 
details for 2013 and adjustments for 2015.

                                                       Table 2--Herring ACLs, Catch, and Carryover
                                                                          [mt]
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                                                 Carryover (max 10    2015  adjusted       2015 ACLs
                                             2013 ACL          2013 catch          Underage        percent of sub-   ACL (from Table      adjusted for
                                                                                                       ACL) *               1)             carryover
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Area 1A...............................             29,775             29,454                321                321             30,264             30,585
Area 1B...............................              4,600              2,459              2,141                460              4,462              4,922
Area 2................................             30,000             26,562              3,438              3,000             29,100             32,100
Area 3................................             42,000             37,290              4,170              4,170             40,740             44,910
Stock-wide............................            106,375             95,764             10,611                 NA            104,566         ** 104,566
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
* Carryover is based on the initial sub-ACLs: Area 1A, 31,200 mt; Area 1B, 4,600 mt; Area 2, 30,000 mt; and Area 3, 42,000 mt (see Table 1).
** The sum of the 2015 adjusted sub-ACLs does not equal the overall ACL of 104,566 (as adjusted for RSA) because the overall ACL cannot be increased by
  carryover, as noted above.

    NMFS calculated the amount of herring landings in 2013 based on 
dealer reports (Federal and state) of herring purchases supplemented by 
vessel trip reports (VTRs) (Federal and State of Maine) of herring 
landings. We compared dealer reports to VTRs for all trips that landed 
herring in 2013. Because VTRs are generally a hail weight or estimate 
of landings, with an assumed 10-percent margin of error, dealer reports 
are a more accurate source of landings data. However, if the amount of 
herring reported via VTR exceeded the amount of herring reported by the 
dealer by 10 percent or more, we assumed that the dealer report for 
that trip was in error. We used the higher amount of herring reported 
via VTR to determine the amount of herring landed on that trip to 
improve the likelihood of not exceeding ACLs. We checked the herring 
landings in the VTR database for accuracy against the scanned image of 
the paper VTRs submitted by the owner/operator of the vessel. NMFS also 
verified VTR landings by comparing reported landings to harvesting 
potential and applicable possession limits for each vessel.
    We assigned herring landings reported on the VTRs to herring 
management areas using latitude and longitude coordinates. We also 
manually corrected VTRs with missing or invalid latitude/longitude 
coordinates using the statistical area reported on the VTR. If the 
fisherman did not report statistical area on the VTR, then we used a 
combination of recent fishing activity and a review of the scanned 
images of the original VTR to assign landings to herring management 
areas. Finally, we prorated dealer reports without corresponding VTRs 
to herring management area using

[[Page 7810]]

the proportion of total herring landings stratified by week, gear type, 
and management area.
    As we were reviewing the 2013 herring data and comparing individual 
VTRs with individual dealer reports, we encountered data errors 
resulting from misreporting. These errors were resolved prior to 
calculating the final 2013 herring data. Common dealer reporting issues 
were: Missing dealer reports; incorrect or missing VTR serial numbers; 
incorrect or missing vessel permit numbers; and incorrect dates. VTRs 
had similar errors due to misreporting. Common VTR reporting issues 
were: Missing VTRs; missing or incorrect dealer information; incorrect 
amounts of landed herring; incorrect dates; and missing or incorrect 
statistical area. The quality of herring landings data is affected by 
unresolved data errors; therefore, we strongly encourage vessel owner/
operators and dealers to double-check reports for accuracy and to 
ensure that reports are submitted on a timely basis. We will closely 
monitor reporting complianc1e in fishing year 2015 and will increase 
our compliance efforts, including referrals to the Office of Law 
Enforcement where appropriate.
    NMFS determined discards of herring in 2013 by extrapolating 
Northeast Fisheries Observer Program (observer) data to the entire 
herring fishery. We divided the amount of observed herring discards 
(``Atlantic herring'' and ``herring unidentified'') by the amount of 
observed fish landed. Then we multiplied that discard ratio by the 
amount of all fish landed for each trip to calculate total amount of 
herring discards in 2013. We determined the amount of discards for each 
management area and gear type, and calculated the total herring catch 
for 2013 by adding the amount of herring landings to the amount of 
herring discarded. The Council's Herring Plan Development Team reviewed 
and approved this methodology used by NMFS to calculate the amount of 
landed herring and the amount of discarded herring.

Classification

    Pursuant to section 304 (b)(1)(A) of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery 
Conservation and Management Act (MSA), the NMFS Assistant Administrator 
has determined that this final rule is consistent with the Atlantic 
Herring FMP, other provisions of the MSA, and other applicable law.
    Pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 553(b)(B), there is good cause to waive prior 
notice and an opportunity for public comment on this action. This rule 
increases the 2015 herring management area catch limits by the amounts 
that were unharvested in 2013 (up to 10 percent). It thereby relieves a 
restriction. Further, notice and comment are contrary to the public 
interest because a delay would potentially impair achievement of the 
management plan's objectives of preventing overfishing and achieving 
optimum yield due to vessels' ability to harvest available catch 
allocations. Further, this is a nondiscretionary action required by 
provisions of Amendment 4 and Framework 2, which were previously 
subject to public comment. This action simply effectuates this 
mandatory calculation. The proposed and final rules for Framework 2 and 
Amendment 4 explained the need and likelihood for adjustments to the 
sub-ACLs based on final catch numbers. Framework 2, specifically, 
provided prior notice of the need to distribute carryover catch. These 
actions provided a full opportunity for the public to comment on the 
substance and process of this action.
    Allowing for prior notice and public comment on this adjustment is 
impracticable because the Atlantic herring fishing year already began 
on January 1, 2015. It is important for the herring fleet to have as 
much advance notice as possible to aid in developing their business 
plans for the remainder of the fishing year (January 1, 2015 through 
December 31, 2015). The opportunity to plan is expected to facilitate 
the fleet's harvesting of available catch, thereby achieving optimum 
yield. Two areas are currently closed and will open on May 1 and June 
1, respectively. Management Area 3 is already open and subject to a 
lower catch limit until this action is implemented. Putting in place 
the correct sub-ACLs as soon as possible will provide the fleet with 
this opportunity to develop their business plans in sufficient time to 
facilitate their harvest of available catch.
    There is good cause under 5 U.S.C. 553(d)(3) to waive the 30-day 
delay in effective date and make the rule effective upon publication in 
the Federal Register. The 2015 herring fishing year began on January 1, 
2015. To prevent confusion and finalize the structure of the 2015 
fishing year, it is necessary to have the proper sub-ACLs in place as 
soon as possible. In addition, having the updated sub-ACLs in place 
will allow the herring fleet to develop accurate business plan for the 
remainder of fishing year. Accordingly, any delay in the rule's 
effectiveness would be contrary to the conservation objectives of the 
MSA and the Herring FMP.
    This final rule has been determined to be not significant for 
purposes of Executive Order 12866. This final rule does not contain a 
collection-of-information requirement for purposes of the Paperwork 
Reduction Act.
    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., are inapplicable.

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

    Dated: February 9, 2015.
Samuel D. Rauch III,
Deputy Assistant Administrator for Regulatory Programs, National Marine 
Fisheries Service.
[FR Doc. 2015-02941 Filed 2-11-15; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 3510-22-P