Fisheries of the Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico, and South Atlantic; Coastal Migratory Pelagic Resources in the Gulf of Mexico and Atlantic Region; Framework Amendment, 19056-19058 [2015-08069]

Download as PDF 19056 Federal Register / Vol. 80, No. 68 / Thursday, April 9, 2015 / Proposed Rules Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq.) This rule does not contain any new collections of information that require approval by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) under the Paperwork Reduction Act. This rule will not impose recordkeeping or reporting requirements on State or local governments, individuals, businesses, or organizations. An agency may not conduct or sponsor, and a person is not required to respond to, a collection of information unless it displays a currently valid OMB control number. National Environmental Policy Act (42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.) We have prepared a draft environmental assessment, as defined under the authority of the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969. For information on how to obtain a copy of the draft environmental assessment, see ADDRESSES, above. Rmajette on DSK2VPTVN1PROD with PROPOSALS Government-to-Government Relationship With Tribes In accordance with the President’s memorandum of April 29, 1994 (Government-to-Government Relations with Native American Tribal Governments; 59 FR 22951), Executive Order 13175 (Consultation and Coordination with Indian Tribal Governments), and the Department of the Interior’s manual at 512 DM 2, we readily acknowledge our responsibility to communicate meaningfully with recognized Federal Tribes on a government-to-government basis. In accordance with Secretarial Order 3206 of June 5, 1997 (American Indian Tribal Rights, Federal-Tribal Trust Responsibilities, and the Endangered Species Act), we readily acknowledge our responsibilities to work directly with tribes in developing programs for healthy ecosystems, to acknowledge that tribal lands are not subject to the same controls as Federal public lands, to remain sensitive to Indian culture, and to make information available to tribes. We determined that there are no known tribal lands within the range of the Georgetown salamander. Authors The primary authors of this proposed rule are the staff members of the Austin Ecological Services Field Office (see FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT) and the Southwest Regional Office. List of Subjects in 50 CFR Part 17 Endangered and threatened species, Exports, Imports, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements, Transportation. VerDate Sep<11>2014 15:12 Apr 08, 2015 Jkt 235001 Proposed Regulation Promulgation Accordingly, we propose to further amend part 17, subchapter B of chapter I, title 50 of the Code of Federal Regulations, as proposed to be amended at 79 FR 10077 (February 24, 2014) as set forth below: PART 17—[AMENDED] 1. The authority citation for part 17 continues to read as follows: ■ Authority: 16 U.S.C. 1361–1407; 1531– 1544; 4201–4245; unless otherwise noted. 2. Amend § 17.43 by revising paragraph (e)(2), as proposed to be added on February 24, 2014 (79 FR 10077), to read as follows: ■ § 17.43 Special rules—amphibians. * * * * * (e) * * * (2) Exemptions from prohibitions. Incidental take of the Georgetown salamander will not be considered a violation of section 9 of the Act if the take occurs on privately owned, State, or county land from regulated activities that are conducted consistent with the water quality protection measures contained in chapter 11.07 and Appendix A of the City of Georgetown (Texas) Unified Development Code (UDC) dated February 24, 2015. * * * * * Dated: March 31, 2015. Robert Dreher, Acting Director, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. [FR Doc. 2015–08093 Filed 4–8–15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4310–55–P DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration 50 CFR Part 622 [Docket No. 140819687–5314–01] RIN 0648–BE40 Fisheries of the Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico, and South Atlantic; Coastal Migratory Pelagic Resources in the Gulf of Mexico and Atlantic Region; Framework Amendment National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Commerce. ACTION: Proposed rule; request for comments. AGENCY: NMFS proposes to implement management measures described in SUMMARY: PO 00000 Frm 00020 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 Framework Amendment 2 to the Fishery Management Plan (FMP) for the Coastal Migratory Pelagic (CMP) Resources in the Gulf of Mexico and Atlantic Region (Framework Amendment 2), as prepared and submitted by the South Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Councils (Councils). If implemented, this proposed rule would remove the unlimited commercial trip limit for Spanish mackerel in Federal waters off the east coast of Florida on weekdays beginning December 1 of each year. Since the trip limit system has been in place, fishery conditions and regulations have changed. This proposed rule intends to modify the current trip limit system to better fit the current fishery conditions and catch limits for Atlantic migratory group Spanish mackerel in the southern zone, while increasing social and economic benefits of the CMP fishery. DATES: NMFS must receive written comments on the proposed rule by May 11, 2015. ADDRESSES: You may submit comments on the proposed rule, identified by ‘‘NOAA–NMFS–2014–0136’’ by any of the following methods: • Electronic Submission: Submit all electronic public comments via the Federal e-Rulemaking Portal. Go to www.regulations.gov/ #!docketDetail;D=NOAA-NMFS-20140136, click the ‘‘Comment Now!’’ icon, complete the required fields, and enter or attach your comments. • Mail: Submit written comments to Karla Gore, Southeast Regional Office, NMFS, 263 13th Avenue South St., Petersburg, FL 33701. Instructions: Comments sent by any other method, to any other address or individual, or received after the end of the comment period, may not be considered by NMFS. All comments received are a part of the public record and will generally be posted for public viewing on www.regulations.gov without change. All personal identifying information (e.g., name, address, etc.), confidential business information, or otherwise sensitive information submitted voluntarily by the sender will be publicly accessible. NMFS will accept anonymous comments (enter ‘‘N/ A’’ in the required fields if you wish to remain anonymous). Framework Amendment 2 to the FMP, which includes an environmental assessment and a regulatory impact review, is available from www.regulations.gov or the Southeast Regional Office Web site at http:// sero.nmfs.noaa.gov. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Karla Gore, NMFS Southeast Regional E:\FR\FM\09APP1.SGM 09APP1 Federal Register / Vol. 80, No. 68 / Thursday, April 9, 2015 / Proposed Rules Office, telephone: 727–824–5305, or email: karla.gore@noaa.gov. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The CMP fishery of the South Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico (Gulf) includes Spanish mackerel and is managed under the FMP. The FMP was prepared by the Councils and implemented through regulations at 50 CFR part 622 under the authority of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (Magnuson-Stevens Act). Background The Magnuson-Stevens Act requires that NMFS and regional fishery management councils prevent overfishing and achieve, on a continuing basis, the optimum yield from federally managed fish stocks. These mandates are intended to ensure that fishery resources are managed for the greatest overall benefit to the nation, particularly with respect to providing food production and recreational opportunities, and protecting marine ecosystems. To further this goal, the Magnuson-Stevens Act requires fishery managers to minimize bycatch and bycatch mortality to the extent practicable. Rmajette on DSK2VPTVN1PROD with PROPOSALS Management Measure Contained in This Proposed Rule This proposed rule would modify the commercial trip limit system for Atlantic migratory group Spanish mackerel. Since the current trip limit regime has been in place, changes in fishery conditions, such as an increase of the commercial annual catch limit (ACL), have necessitated modifications to some elements of the current trip limit system. Currently, the commercial trip limit for Atlantic migratory group Spanish mackerel in Federal waters off the eastern coast of Florida is 3,500 lb (1,588 kg) from the start of the fishing year on March 1 through November 30. Starting December 1, there is no trip limit on weekdays, and the trip limit is 1,500 lb (680 kg) on weekends. There is no trip limit on weekdays until 75 percent of the adjusted quota (set at 250,000 lb (113,400 kg) below the commercial ACL (adjusted quota)) is landed, after which the trip limit is 1,500 lb (680 kg) every day. When 100 percent of the adjusted quota is reached, the trip limit is reduced to 500 lb (227 kg) until the end of the fishing year or until the full quota is met or projected to be met. The adjusted quota provides a buffer to help prevent the commercial sector from exceeding the commercial ACL. North of a line extending offshore from the state boundary of Georgia and VerDate Sep<11>2014 15:12 Apr 08, 2015 Jkt 235001 Florida, the trip limit in Federal waters is 3,500 lb (1,588 kg) year-round. The lack of a commercial trip limit for Atlantic migratory group Spanish mackerel in Federal waters off the eastern coast of Florida on weekdays beginning December 1 may contribute to early closures. Therefore, this proposed rule would establish a trip limit of 3,500 lb (1,588 kg) for Spanish mackerel in Federal waters offshore of South Carolina, Georgia, and eastern Florida, which is the area recently established by the final rule implementing Amendment 20B to the FMP as the southern zone (80 FR 4216, January 27, 2015). When 75 percent of the adjusted southern zone quota (2,417,330 lb (1,096,482 kg)) is met or projected to be met, the trip limit would be reduced to 1,500 lb (680 kg). When 100 percent of the adjusted southern zone quota is met or projected to be met, the trip limit would be reduced to 500 lb (227 kg) until the end of the fishing year or until the southern zone commercial quota is met or projected to be met, at which time the commercial sector in the southern zone would be closed to harvest of Spanish mackerel. The modified system of trip limits described above would remove the unlimited weekday trip limit to control harvest more effectively. Classification Pursuant to section 304(b)(1)(A) of the Magnuson-Stevens Act, the NMFS Assistant Administrator has determined that this proposed rule is consistent with the FMP, other provisions of the Magnuson-Stevens Act, and other applicable laws, subject to further consideration after public comment. This proposed rule has been determined to be not significant for purposes of Executive Order 12866. The Chief Counsel for Regulation of the Department of Commerce certified to the Chief Counsel for Advocacy of the Small Business Administration (SBA) that this proposed rule, if implemented, would not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. The factual basis for this determination is as follows: The objective of this proposed rule is to respond to changing fishery characteristics for the Atlantic migratory group Spanish mackerel component of the CMP fishery, reduce the complexity of the commercial trip limit system for this component, and increase social and economic benefits while ensuring resource protection. The MagnusonStevens Act provides the statutory basis for this proposed rule. If implemented, NMFS expects this proposed rule to directly affect all commercial fishing vessels that harvest PO 00000 Frm 00021 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 19057 Atlantic migratory group Spanish mackerel. A Federal commercial permit is required to harvest Spanish mackerel in the Atlantic exclusive economic zone (EEZ) in excess of the bag limit and to sell these species. On May 6, 2014, 1,729 vessels possessed a valid Federal commercial Spanish mackerel permit. A valid permit is a permit that has not expired and may be actively fished. Because the Federal commercial Spanish mackerel permit is an open access permit, expired permits are not renewed; if a permit expires before renewal, a new permit would be issued (if applied for) instead of renewal of the expired permit. The Federal commercial Spanish mackerel permit allows fishermen to harvest commercial quantities of Atlantic and Gulf migratory group Spanish mackerel in the Atlantic and the Gulf EEZ. Over the 2007–2008 through 2011–2012 fishing years (March through February), an average of 387 vessels per year recorded harvests of Atlantic migratory group Spanish mackerel. More recent data on vessel identification and harvest revenues from all fishing activity by these vessels are not available. Therefore, NMFS expects this proposed rule would affect an estimated 387 commercial fishing vessels per year. NMFS has not identified any other small entities that this proposed rule would be expected to directly affect. The SBA has established size criteria for all major industry sectors in the U.S., including commercial fish harvesters. A business involved in commercial fish harvesting is classified as a small business if it is independently owned and operated, is not dominant in its field of operation (including its affiliates), and has combined annual receipts not in excess of $20.5 million (NAICS code 114111, finfish fishing) for all its affiliated operations worldwide. The estimated average annual gross revenue from all fishing activity by a commercial vessel that harvests Atlantic migratory group Spanish mackerel is approximately $32,100 (2013 dollars). Because the average annual revenue estimate provided above is significantly less than the SBA revenue threshold for this sector, all commercial vessels expected to be directly affected by this proposed rule are believed to be small business entities. This proposed rule would not require any new reporting, record-keeping, or other compliance requirements associated with reporting or recordkeeping that may require professional skills. If implemented, NMFS expects the effects of this proposed rule to range from no economic effects to a small E:\FR\FM\09APP1.SGM 09APP1 19058 Federal Register / Vol. 80, No. 68 / Thursday, April 9, 2015 / Proposed Rules Rmajette on DSK2VPTVN1PROD with PROPOSALS increase in revenue to directly affected fishing vessels. Analysis of the economic effects of the proposed rule was conducted with and without 2012– 2013 harvest data, which is the most recent final data available. The commercial harvest of Atlantic migratory group Spanish mackerel in 2012–2013 was approximately 3.15 million pounds (mp), compared to harvests in excess of 4 mp in the previous three fishing years. Commercial harvests of Atlantic migratory group Spanish mackerel have shown a cyclical harvest pattern of high, medium, and low harvests on approximately a three-year cycle. As a result, removal of data for the low harvest in 2012–2013 from the analysis may capture the potential effects of the proposed rule under high and low harvest rates. Based on data from the 2003–2004 through 2012–2013 fishing years, i.e., inclusive of 2012–2013 data, the proposed rule would be expected to result in a gain in revenue to all directly affected vessels combined of approximately $74,000 (2013 dollars), or approximately $190 per vessel. If data from the 2012–2013 fishing year are excluded from the analysis, the proposed rule would be expected to result in the same total harvest and revenue as the status quo. Although the actual effects may be between these estimates, neither harvest scenario would be expected to result in a reduction in revenue, or profit, to any directly affected small entities as a result of the proposed rule. Instead, this proposed rule would be expected to have a small beneficial to no economic effect on the affected small entities. As a result, this proposed rule, if implemented, would not be expected to have a significant economic effect on a VerDate Sep<11>2014 15:12 Apr 08, 2015 Jkt 235001 substantial number of small entities and an initial regulatory flexibility analysis is not required and none has been prepared. List of Subjects in 50 CFR Part 622 Annual catch limit, Fisheries, Fishing, Gulf of Mexico, Quotas, South Atlantic, Spanish mackerel. Dated: April 2, 2015. Eileen Sobeck, Assistant Administrator for Fisheries, National Marine Fisheries Service. For the reasons set out in the preamble, 50 CFR part 622 is proposed to be amended as follows: PART 622—FISHERIES OF THE CARIBBEAN, GULF OF MEXICO, AND SOUTH ATLANTIC 1. The authority citation for part 622 continues to read as follows: ■ Authority: 16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq. 2. In § 622.385, paragraphs (b)(1) and (2) are revised to read as follows: ■ § 622.385 Commercial trip limits. * * * * * (b) * * * (1) Atlantic migratory group. The following trip limits apply to vessels for which commercial permits for Spanish mackerel have been issued, as required under § 622.370(a)(3). (i) Northern zone. Spanish mackerel in or from the EEZ may not be possessed on board or landed in a day from a vessel for which a permit for Spanish mackerel has been issued, as required under § 622.370(a)(3), in amounts exceeding 3,500 lb (1,588 kg). (ii) Southern zone. Spanish mackerel in or from the EEZ may not be possessed on board or landed in a day from a vessel for which a permit for Spanish PO 00000 Frm 00022 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 9990 mackerel has been issued, as required under § 622.370(a)(3)— (A) From March 1 until 75 percent of the adjusted quota for the southern zone has been reached or is projected to be reached, in amounts exceeding 3,500 lb (1,588 kg). (B) After 75 percent of the adjusted quota for the southern zone has been reached or is projected to be reached, in amounts exceeding 1,500 lb (680 kg). (C) After 100 percent of the adjusted quota for the southern zone has been reached or is projected to be reached, and until the end of the fishing year or the southern zone’s quota has been reached or projected to be reached, in amounts exceeding 500 lb (227 kg). See § 622.384(e) for limitations regarding Atlantic migratory group Spanish mackerel after the southern zone’s quota is reached. (2) For the purpose of paragraph (b)(1)(ii) of this section, the adjusted quota for the southern zone is 2,417,330 lb (1,096,482 kg). The adjusted quota for the southern zone is the quota for the Atlantic migratory group Spanish mackerel southern zone reduced by an amount calculated to allow continued harvest of Atlantic migratory group Spanish mackerel at the rate of 500 lb (227 kg) per vessel per day for the remainder of the fishing year after the adjusted quota is reached. Total commercial harvest in the southern zone is still subject to the southern zone quota and accountability measures. By filing a notification with the Office of the Federal Register, the Assistant Administrator will announce when 75 percent and 100 percent of the adjusted quota are reached or is projected to be reached. * * * * * [FR Doc. 2015–08069 Filed 4–8–15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510–22–P E:\FR\FM\09APP1.SGM 09APP1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 80, Number 68 (Thursday, April 9, 2015)]
[Proposed Rules]
[Pages 19056-19058]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2015-08069]


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DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

50 CFR Part 622

[Docket No. 140819687-5314-01]
RIN 0648-BE40


Fisheries of the Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico, and South Atlantic; 
Coastal Migratory Pelagic Resources in the Gulf of Mexico and Atlantic 
Region; Framework Amendment

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

ACTION: Proposed rule; request for comments.

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

SUMMARY: NMFS proposes to implement management measures described in 
Framework Amendment 2 to the Fishery Management Plan (FMP) for the 
Coastal Migratory Pelagic (CMP) Resources in the Gulf of Mexico and 
Atlantic Region (Framework Amendment 2), as prepared and submitted by 
the South Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Councils 
(Councils). If implemented, this proposed rule would remove the 
unlimited commercial trip limit for Spanish mackerel in Federal waters 
off the east coast of Florida on weekdays beginning December 1 of each 
year. Since the trip limit system has been in place, fishery conditions 
and regulations have changed. This proposed rule intends to modify the 
current trip limit system to better fit the current fishery conditions 
and catch limits for Atlantic migratory group Spanish mackerel in the 
southern zone, while increasing social and economic benefits of the CMP 
fishery.

DATES: NMFS must receive written comments on the proposed rule by May 
11, 2015.

ADDRESSES: You may submit comments on the proposed rule, identified by 
``NOAA-NMFS-2014-0136'' by any of the following methods:
     Electronic Submission: Submit all electronic public 
comments via the Federal e-Rulemaking Portal. Go to 
www.regulations.gov/#!docketDetail;D=NOAA-NMFS-2014-0136, click the 
``Comment Now!'' icon, complete the required fields, and enter or 
attach your comments.
     Mail: Submit written comments to Karla Gore, Southeast 
Regional Office, NMFS, 263 13th Avenue South St., Petersburg, FL 33701.
    Instructions: Comments sent by any other method, to any other 
address or individual, or received after the end of the comment period, 
may not be considered by NMFS. All comments received are a part of the 
public record and will generally be posted for public viewing on 
www.regulations.gov without change. All personal identifying 
information (e.g., name, address, etc.), confidential business 
information, or otherwise sensitive information submitted voluntarily 
by the sender will be publicly accessible. NMFS will accept anonymous 
comments (enter ``N/A'' in the required fields if you wish to remain 
anonymous).
    Framework Amendment 2 to the FMP, which includes an environmental 
assessment and a regulatory impact review, is available from 
www.regulations.gov or the Southeast Regional Office Web site at http://sero.nmfs.noaa.gov.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Karla Gore, NMFS Southeast Regional

[[Page 19057]]

Office, telephone: 727-824-5305, or email: karla.gore@noaa.gov.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The CMP fishery of the South Atlantic and 
Gulf of Mexico (Gulf) includes Spanish mackerel and is managed under 
the FMP. The FMP was prepared by the Councils and implemented through 
regulations at 50 CFR part 622 under the authority of the Magnuson-
Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (Magnuson-Stevens Act).

Background

    The Magnuson-Stevens Act requires that NMFS and regional fishery 
management councils prevent overfishing and achieve, on a continuing 
basis, the optimum yield from federally managed fish stocks. These 
mandates are intended to ensure that fishery resources are managed for 
the greatest overall benefit to the nation, particularly with respect 
to providing food production and recreational opportunities, and 
protecting marine ecosystems. To further this goal, the Magnuson-
Stevens Act requires fishery managers to minimize bycatch and bycatch 
mortality to the extent practicable.

Management Measure Contained in This Proposed Rule

    This proposed rule would modify the commercial trip limit system 
for Atlantic migratory group Spanish mackerel. Since the current trip 
limit regime has been in place, changes in fishery conditions, such as 
an increase of the commercial annual catch limit (ACL), have 
necessitated modifications to some elements of the current trip limit 
system.
    Currently, the commercial trip limit for Atlantic migratory group 
Spanish mackerel in Federal waters off the eastern coast of Florida is 
3,500 lb (1,588 kg) from the start of the fishing year on March 1 
through November 30. Starting December 1, there is no trip limit on 
weekdays, and the trip limit is 1,500 lb (680 kg) on weekends. There is 
no trip limit on weekdays until 75 percent of the adjusted quota (set 
at 250,000 lb (113,400 kg) below the commercial ACL (adjusted quota)) 
is landed, after which the trip limit is 1,500 lb (680 kg) every day. 
When 100 percent of the adjusted quota is reached, the trip limit is 
reduced to 500 lb (227 kg) until the end of the fishing year or until 
the full quota is met or projected to be met. The adjusted quota 
provides a buffer to help prevent the commercial sector from exceeding 
the commercial ACL. North of a line extending offshore from the state 
boundary of Georgia and Florida, the trip limit in Federal waters is 
3,500 lb (1,588 kg) year-round.
    The lack of a commercial trip limit for Atlantic migratory group 
Spanish mackerel in Federal waters off the eastern coast of Florida on 
weekdays beginning December 1 may contribute to early closures. 
Therefore, this proposed rule would establish a trip limit of 3,500 lb 
(1,588 kg) for Spanish mackerel in Federal waters offshore of South 
Carolina, Georgia, and eastern Florida, which is the area recently 
established by the final rule implementing Amendment 20B to the FMP as 
the southern zone (80 FR 4216, January 27, 2015). When 75 percent of 
the adjusted southern zone quota (2,417,330 lb (1,096,482 kg)) is met 
or projected to be met, the trip limit would be reduced to 1,500 lb 
(680 kg). When 100 percent of the adjusted southern zone quota is met 
or projected to be met, the trip limit would be reduced to 500 lb (227 
kg) until the end of the fishing year or until the southern zone 
commercial quota is met or projected to be met, at which time the 
commercial sector in the southern zone would be closed to harvest of 
Spanish mackerel. The modified system of trip limits described above 
would remove the unlimited weekday trip limit to control harvest more 
effectively.

Classification

    Pursuant to section 304(b)(1)(A) of the Magnuson-Stevens Act, the 
NMFS Assistant Administrator has determined that this proposed rule is 
consistent with the FMP, other provisions of the Magnuson-Stevens Act, 
and other applicable laws, subject to further consideration after 
public comment.
    This proposed rule has been determined to be not significant for 
purposes of Executive Order 12866.
    The Chief Counsel for Regulation of the Department of Commerce 
certified to the Chief Counsel for Advocacy of the Small Business 
Administration (SBA) that this proposed rule, if implemented, would not 
have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small 
entities. The factual basis for this determination is as follows:
    The objective of this proposed rule is to respond to changing 
fishery characteristics for the Atlantic migratory group Spanish 
mackerel component of the CMP fishery, reduce the complexity of the 
commercial trip limit system for this component, and increase social 
and economic benefits while ensuring resource protection. The Magnuson-
Stevens Act provides the statutory basis for this proposed rule.
    If implemented, NMFS expects this proposed rule to directly affect 
all commercial fishing vessels that harvest Atlantic migratory group 
Spanish mackerel. A Federal commercial permit is required to harvest 
Spanish mackerel in the Atlantic exclusive economic zone (EEZ) in 
excess of the bag limit and to sell these species. On May 6, 2014, 
1,729 vessels possessed a valid Federal commercial Spanish mackerel 
permit. A valid permit is a permit that has not expired and may be 
actively fished. Because the Federal commercial Spanish mackerel permit 
is an open access permit, expired permits are not renewed; if a permit 
expires before renewal, a new permit would be issued (if applied for) 
instead of renewal of the expired permit. The Federal commercial 
Spanish mackerel permit allows fishermen to harvest commercial 
quantities of Atlantic and Gulf migratory group Spanish mackerel in the 
Atlantic and the Gulf EEZ. Over the 2007-2008 through 2011-2012 fishing 
years (March through February), an average of 387 vessels per year 
recorded harvests of Atlantic migratory group Spanish mackerel. More 
recent data on vessel identification and harvest revenues from all 
fishing activity by these vessels are not available. Therefore, NMFS 
expects this proposed rule would affect an estimated 387 commercial 
fishing vessels per year.
    NMFS has not identified any other small entities that this proposed 
rule would be expected to directly affect.
    The SBA has established size criteria for all major industry 
sectors in the U.S., including commercial fish harvesters. A business 
involved in commercial fish harvesting is classified as a small 
business if it is independently owned and operated, is not dominant in 
its field of operation (including its affiliates), and has combined 
annual receipts not in excess of $20.5 million (NAICS code 114111, 
finfish fishing) for all its affiliated operations worldwide. The 
estimated average annual gross revenue from all fishing activity by a 
commercial vessel that harvests Atlantic migratory group Spanish 
mackerel is approximately $32,100 (2013 dollars). Because the average 
annual revenue estimate provided above is significantly less than the 
SBA revenue threshold for this sector, all commercial vessels expected 
to be directly affected by this proposed rule are believed to be small 
business entities.
    This proposed rule would not require any new reporting, record-
keeping, or other compliance requirements associated with reporting or 
record-keeping that may require professional skills.
    If implemented, NMFS expects the effects of this proposed rule to 
range from no economic effects to a small

[[Page 19058]]

increase in revenue to directly affected fishing vessels. Analysis of 
the economic effects of the proposed rule was conducted with and 
without 2012-2013 harvest data, which is the most recent final data 
available. The commercial harvest of Atlantic migratory group Spanish 
mackerel in 2012-2013 was approximately 3.15 million pounds (mp), 
compared to harvests in excess of 4 mp in the previous three fishing 
years. Commercial harvests of Atlantic migratory group Spanish mackerel 
have shown a cyclical harvest pattern of high, medium, and low harvests 
on approximately a three-year cycle. As a result, removal of data for 
the low harvest in 2012-2013 from the analysis may capture the 
potential effects of the proposed rule under high and low harvest 
rates.
    Based on data from the 2003-2004 through 2012-2013 fishing years, 
i.e., inclusive of 2012-2013 data, the proposed rule would be expected 
to result in a gain in revenue to all directly affected vessels 
combined of approximately $74,000 (2013 dollars), or approximately $190 
per vessel. If data from the 2012-2013 fishing year are excluded from 
the analysis, the proposed rule would be expected to result in the same 
total harvest and revenue as the status quo. Although the actual 
effects may be between these estimates, neither harvest scenario would 
be expected to result in a reduction in revenue, or profit, to any 
directly affected small entities as a result of the proposed rule. 
Instead, this proposed rule would be expected to have a small 
beneficial to no economic effect on the affected small entities. As a 
result, this proposed rule, if implemented, would not be expected to 
have a significant economic effect on a substantial number of small 
entities and an initial regulatory flexibility analysis is not required 
and none has been prepared.

List of Subjects in 50 CFR Part 622

    Annual catch limit, Fisheries, Fishing, Gulf of Mexico, Quotas, 
South Atlantic, Spanish mackerel.

    Dated: April 2, 2015.
Eileen Sobeck,
Assistant Administrator for Fisheries, National Marine Fisheries 
Service.

    For the reasons set out in the preamble, 50 CFR part 622 is 
proposed to be amended as follows:

PART 622--FISHERIES OF THE CARIBBEAN, GULF OF MEXICO, AND SOUTH 
ATLANTIC

0
1. The authority citation for part 622 continues to read as follows:

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

0
2. In Sec.  622.385, paragraphs (b)(1) and (2) are revised to read as 
follows:


Sec.  622.385  Commercial trip limits.

* * * * *
    (b) * * *
    (1) Atlantic migratory group. The following trip limits apply to 
vessels for which commercial permits for Spanish mackerel have been 
issued, as required under Sec.  622.370(a)(3).
    (i) Northern zone. Spanish mackerel in or from the EEZ may not be 
possessed on board or landed in a day from a vessel for which a permit 
for Spanish mackerel has been issued, as required under Sec.  
622.370(a)(3), in amounts exceeding 3,500 lb (1,588 kg).
    (ii) Southern zone. Spanish mackerel in or from the EEZ may not be 
possessed on board or landed in a day from a vessel for which a permit 
for Spanish mackerel has been issued, as required under Sec.  
622.370(a)(3)--
    (A) From March 1 until 75 percent of the adjusted quota for the 
southern zone has been reached or is projected to be reached, in 
amounts exceeding 3,500 lb (1,588 kg).
    (B) After 75 percent of the adjusted quota for the southern zone 
has been reached or is projected to be reached, in amounts exceeding 
1,500 lb (680 kg).
    (C) After 100 percent of the adjusted quota for the southern zone 
has been reached or is projected to be reached, and until the end of 
the fishing year or the southern zone's quota has been reached or 
projected to be reached, in amounts exceeding 500 lb (227 kg). See 
Sec.  622.384(e) for limitations regarding Atlantic migratory group 
Spanish mackerel after the southern zone's quota is reached.
    (2) For the purpose of paragraph (b)(1)(ii) of this section, the 
adjusted quota for the southern zone is 2,417,330 lb (1,096,482 kg). 
The adjusted quota for the southern zone is the quota for the Atlantic 
migratory group Spanish mackerel southern zone reduced by an amount 
calculated to allow continued harvest of Atlantic migratory group 
Spanish mackerel at the rate of 500 lb (227 kg) per vessel per day for 
the remainder of the fishing year after the adjusted quota is reached. 
Total commercial harvest in the southern zone is still subject to the 
southern zone quota and accountability measures. By filing a 
notification with the Office of the Federal Register, the Assistant 
Administrator will announce when 75 percent and 100 percent of the 
adjusted quota are reached or is projected to be reached.
* * * * *
[FR Doc. 2015-08069 Filed 4-8-15; 8:45 am]
 BILLING CODE 3510-22-P