Fisheries of the Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico, and South Atlantic; Reef Fish Fishery of the Gulf of Mexico; Red Snapper Management Measures, 24832-24836 [2015-10088]

Download as PDF 24832 Federal Register / Vol. 80, No. 84 / Friday, May 1, 2015 / Rules and Regulations Community No. State and location Huntington County, Unincorporated Areas. Markle, Town of, Huntington and Wells Counties. Roanoke, Town of, Huntington County 180438 180457 Warren, Town of, Huntington County .... 180095 Region VI Oklahoma: Kiowa, Town of, Pittsburg County ......... 400168 Pittsburg County, Unincorporated Areas 400494 Region VIII Utah: Ogden, City of, Weber County .............. 490189 Riverdale, City of, Weber County .......... 490190 Roy, City of, Weber County .................. 490223 South Ogden, City of, Weber County ... 490191 Uintah, City of, Weber County .............. 490192 Weber County, Unincorporated Areas .. 490187 180096 Date certain Federal assistance no longer available in SFHAs Effective date authorization/cancellation of sale of flood insurance in community Current effective map date August 21, 1978, Emerg; July 18, 1983, Reg; June 2, 2015, Susp. N/A, Emerg; November 7, 1991, Reg; June 2, 2015, Susp. July 28, 1982, Emerg; December 1, 1982, Reg; June 2, 2015, Susp. February 19, 1975, Emerg; September 30, 1982, Reg; June 2, 2015, Susp. ......do ............... Do. ......do ............... Do. ......do ............... Do. ......do ............... Do. N/A, Emerg; May 11, 2012, Reg; June 2, 2015, Susp. November 26, 2002, Emerg; November 1, 2007, Reg; June 2, 2015, Susp. ......do ............... Do. ......do ............... Do. December 27, 1974, Emerg; January 19, 1983, Reg; June 2, 2015, Susp. October 4, 1974, Emerg; February 3, 1982, Reg; June 2, 2015, Susp. January 16, 1976, Emerg; October 24, 1978, Reg; June 2, 2015, Susp. August 2, 1974, Emerg; March 1, 1982, Reg; June 2, 2015, Susp. April 30, 1974, Emerg; May 19, 1981, Reg; June 2, 2015, Susp. March 25, 1975, Emerg; July 19, 1982, Reg; June 2, 2015, Susp. ......do ............... Do. ......do ............... Do. ......do ............... Do. ......do ............... Do. ......do ............... Do. ......do ............... Do. *-do- =Ditto. Code for reading third column: Emerg.—Emergency; Reg.—Regular; Susp.—Suspension. Dated: April 27, 2015. Roy E. Wright, Deputy Associate Administrator, Federal Insurance and Mitigation Administration, Department of Homeland Security, Federal Emergency Management Agency. [FR Doc. 2015–10229 Filed 4–30–15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 9110–12–P DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration 50 CFR Part 622 [Docket No. 150226189–5389–02] RIN 0648–BE91 mstockstill on DSK4VPTVN1PROD with RULES Fisheries of the Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico, and South Atlantic; Reef Fish Fishery of the Gulf of Mexico; Red Snapper Management Measures National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Commerce. ACTION: Final rule. AGENCY: NMFS implements management measures described in a SUMMARY: VerDate Sep<11>2014 15:47 Apr 30, 2015 Jkt 235001 framework action to the Fishery Management Plan for the Reef Fish Resources of the Gulf of Mexico (FMP) prepared by the Gulf of Mexico (Gulf) Fishery Management Council (Council). The final rule increases commercial and recreational quotas for red snapper in the Gulf of Mexico reef fish fishery for the 2015, 2016, and 2017 fishing years. Quotas for subsequent fishing years would remain at 2017 levels unless changed by future rulemaking. This rule also announces the closure dates for the red snapper recreational sector components (private angling and forhire components) in the Gulf. The private angling component will close at 12:01 a.m., local time, June 11, 2015, and the for-hire component will close at 12:01 a.m., local time, on July 15, 2015. This rule is intended to help achieve optimum yield for the Gulf red snapper resource without increasing the risk of red snapper experiencing overfishing. DATES: This rule is effective June 1, 2015. Electronic copies of the 2015 Gulf red snapper framework action, which includes an environmental assessment, Regulatory Flexibility Act (RFA) analysis and a regulatory impact review, may be obtained from the Southeast Regional Office Web site at http:// sero.nmfs.noaa.gov/sustainable_ fisheries/gulf_fisheries/reef_fish. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Cynthia Meyer, telephone 727–824– 5305; email: Cynthia.Meyer@noaa.gov. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: NMFS and the Council manage the Gulf reef fish fishery, including red snapper, under the FMP. The Council prepared the FMP and NMFS implements the FMP through regulations at 50 CFR part 622 under the authority of the MagnusonStevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (Magnuson-Stevens Act). On April 1, 2015, NMFS published a proposed rule for the framework action and requested public comment (80 FR 17380). The proposed rule and the framework action set forth the rationale for the actions contained in this final rule. A summary of the actions implemented by this final rule is provided below. Management Measures Contained in This Final Rule This final rule sets the commercial and recreational quotas (equal to the ADDRESSES: PO 00000 Frm 00054 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 E:\FR\FM\01MYR1.SGM 01MYR1 mstockstill on DSK4VPTVN1PROD with RULES Federal Register / Vol. 80, No. 84 / Friday, May 1, 2015 / Rules and Regulations commercial and recreational annual catch limit (ACLs)) and the recreational annual catch targets (ACTs) for the 2015, 2016, and 2017 fishing years for red snapper based on the acceptable biological catch levels chosen by the Council, as recommended by its Scientific and Statistical Committee, and on the current commercial and recreational allocations (51-percent commercial and 49-percent recreational). Quotas for subsequent fishing years will remain at 2017 levels unless changed by future rulemaking. All values contained in this final rule are given in round weight. For 2015, the commercial quota is set at 7.293 million lb (3.308 million kg) and the recreational quota is set at 7.007 million lb (3.178 million kg); for 2016, the commercial quota is set at 7.120 million lb (3.230 million kg) and the recreational quota is set at 6.840 million lb (3.103 million kg); and for 2017 and subsequent fishing years, the commercial quota is set at 7.007 million lb (3.178 million kg) and the recreational quota is set at 6.733 million lb (3.054 million kg). Based on the revised recreational quotas contained in this final rule, the revised recreational ACTs for the 2015, 2016, and 2017 fishing years are as follows: 5.606 million lb (2.543 million kg) for 2015; 5.472 million lb (2.482 million kg) for 2016; and 5.384 million lb (2.442 million kg) for 2017. Recreational ACTs for subsequent fishing years will remain at 2017 levels unless changed by future rulemaking. Implementation of Amendment 40 to the FMP established two components within the recreational sector for Gulf red snapper (a Federal charter vessel/ headboat (for-hire) component and a private angling component), allocated the red snapper recreational quota and ACT between the components, and established separate seasonal closures for the two components. These component quotas and ACTs are effective through 2017. In addition, the final rule for Amendment 40 established ACLs for the commercial and recreational sectors, which are equal to the commercial and recreational quotas, respectively. The Secretary of Commerce approved Amendment 40 on April 10, 2015, and a final rule published on April 22, 2015 (80 FR 22422), effective May 22, 2015. Based on the component allocations set in Amendment 40 and the increased recreational quotas (equal to the recreational ACLs) contained in this final rule, the resulting recreational component quotas and ACTs are as follows. The for-hire component quota and private angling component quota, VerDate Sep<11>2014 15:47 Apr 30, 2015 Jkt 235001 respectively, are: 2.964 million lb (1.344 million kg) and 4.043 million lb (1.834 million kg) for 2015; 2.893 million lb (1.312 million kg) and 3.947 million lb (1.790 million kg) for 2016; 2.848 million lb (1.292 million kg) and 3.885 million lb (1.762 million kg) for 2017. The for-hire component ACT and private angling component ACT, respectively, are: 2.371 million lb (1.075 million kg) and 3.234 million lb (1.467 million kg) for 2015; 2.315 million lb (1.050 million kg) and 3.158 million lb (1.432 million kg) for 2016; and 2.278 million lb (1.033 million kg) and 3.108 million lb (1.410 million kg) for 2017. Red Snapper Recreational Fishing Season In accordance with 50 CFR 622.34(b) and 50 CFR 622.41(q)(2)(i), the red snapper recreational fishing season opens each year on June 1 and closes when the applicable component ACT is projected to be reached. To project the 2015 recreational fishing season lengths, NMFS used finalized 2014 landings data, catch rates for each state, state season lengths, as well as other information. The method used to project these season lengths can be found in SERO–LAPP–2015–04: 2015 Gulf of Mexico Red Snapper Recreational Season Length Estimates on the SERO Web site. After analysis of the information referenced above, NMFS determined that the season for the private angling component is 10 days and the season for the for-hire component is 44 days. As required by 50 CFR 622.34(b) and 50 CFR 622.41(q)(2)(i), NMFS announces the closure dates for the recreational sector components (private angling and forhire components) in the Gulf through this final rule. NMFS opens both components on June 1 and closes the private angling component at 12:01 a.m., local time, June 11, 2015, and the for-hire component at 12:01 a.m., local time, on July 15, 2015. Additional Changes to Codified Text This final rule makes two administrative changes to the Gulf Individual Fishing Quota (IFQ) program regulations. In §§ 622.21 and 622.22, the Web site for the Gulf IFQ program changes from ‘‘ifq.sero.fisheries.noaa.gov’’ to ‘‘https:// portal.southeast.fisheries.noaa.gov/cs/ main.html’’ to align with the renaming of NMFS Web sites for all of the regions in the U.S. In § 622.21(b)(6)(ii), NMFS revises the minimum share transfer percentage for the Gulf red snapper IFQ program from ‘‘0.0001 percent’’ to ‘‘0.000001 percent’’ to align with the Gulf grouper/tilefish program minimum PO 00000 Frm 00055 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 24833 share transfer percentage and allows for smaller percentages of red snapper IFQ shares to be transferred. When the red snapper IFQ program was implemented in 2007, NMFS determined, based on the share cap and red snapper commercial quota, that 0.0001 percent was the appropriate minimum share transfer percentage. Because the red snapper commercial quota has been increasing, NMFS has now determined that the minimum share transfer percentage should be 0.000001 percent. This gives shareholders greater flexibility by allowing transfers of smaller increments of shares. In addition, modifying the minimum share transfer percentage for red snapper helps avoid confusion among shareholders who trade both red snapper and grouper/tilefish shares because both programs have the same minimum share transfer percentage. Comments and Responses During the comment period, NMFS received 20 comments, including 17 from private anglers, 1 from a recreational fishing organization, and 2 from charter fishermen. Comments pertinent to the rule unanimously supported increasing the red snapper quota and did not raise any additional issues within the scope of this rulemaking. NMFS agrees with the commenters that the quota increases are appropriate, and are in accordance with the red snapper rebuilding plan. Many of these same commenters provided additional observations and suggestions for alternative strategies to manage the recreational red snapper harvest that were beyond the scope of the rule. The Council has considered many of the public suggestions in the past and may consider alternative management options for the recreational harvest of red snapper in the future. NMFS agrees that alternative recreational management strategies may prove to be viable options for the management of red snapper in the future; however, these comments and suggestions are beyond the scope of this rulemaking and will not be further addressed in this rule. Classification The Regional Administrator, Southeast Region, NMFS determined that this final rule and the framework action are necessary for the conversation and management of Gulf red snapper and are consistent with the FMP, the Magnuson-Stevens Act and other applicable law. This final rule has been determined to be not significant for purposes of Executive Order 12866. E:\FR\FM\01MYR1.SGM 01MYR1 24834 Federal Register / Vol. 80, No. 84 / Friday, May 1, 2015 / Rules and Regulations The Chief Counsel for Regulation of the Department of Commerce certified to the Chief Counsel for Advocacy of the Small Business Administration during the proposed rule stage that this action would not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. The factual basis for this determination was published in the proposed rule and is not repeated here. No comments were received regarding the certification and NMFS has not received any new information that would affect its determination. As a result, neither an initial nor final regulatory flexibility analysis was required and therefore, neither was prepared. List of Subjects in 50 CFR Part 622 Commercial, Fisheries, Fishing, Gulf of Mexico, Quotas, Recreational, Red Snapper. Dated: April 27, 2015. Samuel D. Rauch III, Deputy Assistant Administrator for Regulatory Programs, National Marine Fisheries Service. For the reasons set out in the preamble, 50 CFR part 622 is 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 § 622.21, the third sentence in paragraph (b)(1), the second sentence in paragraph (b)(2), the last sentence in paragraph (b)(3)(i), the first sentence in paragraph (b)(3)(iii), the second sentence in paragraph (b)(3)(iv), the only sentence in paragraph (b)(5)(i)(B), the third sentence in paragraph (b)(5)(v), the second and third sentences in paragraph (b)(6)(ii), the second sentence in paragraph (b)(6)(iv), and the first sentence in paragraph (b)(10) are revised to read as follows: ■ § 622.21 Individual fishing quota (IFQ) program for Gulf red snapper. mstockstill on DSK4VPTVN1PROD with RULES * * * * * (b) * * * (1) * * * An owner of a vessel with a commercial vessel permit for Gulf reef fish, who has established an IFQ account for Gulf red snapper as specified in paragraph (a)(3)(i) of this section, online via the NMFS IFQ Web site https:// portal.southeast.fisheries.noaa.gov/cs/ main.html, may establish a vessel account through that IFQ account for that permitted vessel. * * * VerDate Sep<11>2014 15:47 Apr 30, 2015 Jkt 235001 (2) * * * A dealer with a Gulf and South Atlantic dealer permit can download a Gulf IFQ dealer endorsement from the NMFS IFQ Web site. * * * (3) * * * (i) * * * All IFQ landings and their actual ex-vessel prices must be reported via the IFQ Web site. * * * * * (iii) The dealer must complete a landing transaction report for each landing of Gulf red snapper via the IFQ Web site on the day of offload, except if the fish are being trailered for transport to a dealer as specified in paragraph (b)(5)(iv) of this section (in which case the landing transaction report may be completed prior to the day of offload), and within 96 hours from the time of landing reported on the most recent landing notification, in accordance with the reporting form(s) and instructions provided on the Web site. * * * (iv) * * * This form is available via the IFQ Web site. * * * * * * * * (5) * * * (i) * * * (B) * * * Authorized methods for contacting NMFS and submitting the report include calling IFQ Customer Service at 1–866–425–7627, completing and submitting to NMFS a landing notification provided through the VMS unit, or providing the required information to NMFS through the webbased form available on the IFQ Web site. * * * * * (v) * * * Proposed landing locations may be submitted online via the IFQ Web site, or by calling IFQ Customer Service at 1–866–425–7627, at any time; however, new landing locations will be approved only at the end of each calendar-year quarter. * * * * * * * * (6) * * * (ii) * * * An IFQ shareholder must initiate a share transfer request by logging onto the IFQ Web site. Following the instructions provided on the IFQ Web site, the shareholder must enter pertinent information regarding the transfer request including, but not limited to, amount of shares to be transferred, which must be a minimum of 0.000001 percent; name of the eligible transferee; and the value of the transferred shares. * * * * * * * * (iv) * * * An IFQ account holder must initiate an allocation transfer by logging onto the IFQ Web site, entering the required information, including but not limited to, name of an eligible PO 00000 Frm 00056 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 transferee and amount of IFQ allocation to be transferred and price, and submitting the transfer electronically. * * * * * * * * (10) * * * On or about January 1 each year, IFQ shareholders will be notified, via the IFQ Web site, of their IFQ share and allocation for the upcoming fishing year. * * * * * * * * ■ 3. In § 622.22, the third sentence in paragraph (b)(1), the second sentence in paragraph (b)(2), the last sentence in paragraph (b)(3)(i), the first sentence in paragraph (b)(3)(iii), the second sentence in paragraph (b)(3)(iv), the only sentence in paragraph (b)(5)(i)(B), the third sentence in paragraph (b)(5)(v), the second sentence in paragraph (b)(6)(ii), the second sentence in paragraph (b)(6)(iv), and the first sentence in paragraph (b)(10) are revised to read as follows: § 622.22 Individual fishing quota (IFQ) program for Gulf groupers and tilefishes. * * * * * (b) * * * (1) * * * An owner of a vessel with a commercial vessel permit for Gulf reef fish, who has established an IFQ account for the applicable species, as specified in paragraph (a)(3)(i) of this section, online via the NMFS IFQ Web site https:// portal.southeast.fisheries.noaa.gov/cs/ main.html, may establish a vessel account through that IFQ account for that permitted vessel. * * * (2) * * * A dealer with a Gulf and South Atlantic dealer permit can download a Gulf IFQ dealer endorsement from the NMFS IFQ Web site. * * * (3) * * * (i) * * * All IFQ landings and their actual ex-vessel prices must be reported via the IFQ Web site. * * * * * (iii) The dealer must complete a landing transaction report for each landing of Gulf groupers or tilefishes via the IFQ Web site on the day of offload, except if the fish are being trailered for transport to a dealer as specified in paragraph (b)(5)(iv) of this section (in which case the landing transaction report may be completed prior to the day of offload), and within 96 hours from the time of landing reported on the most recent landing notification, in accordance with the reporting form(s) and instructions provided on the Web site. * * * (iv) * * * This form is available via the IFQ Web site. * * * * * * * * E:\FR\FM\01MYR1.SGM 01MYR1 Federal Register / Vol. 80, No. 84 / Friday, May 1, 2015 / Rules and Regulations (5) * * * (i) * * * (B) * * * Authorized methods for contacting NMFS and submitting the report include calling IFQ Customer Service at 1–866–425–7627, completing and submitting to NMFS a landing notification provided through the VMS unit, or providing the required information to NMFS through the webbased form available on the IFQ Web site. * * * * * (v) * * * Proposed landing locations may be submitted online via the IFQ Web site, or by calling IFQ Customer Service at 1–866–425–7627, at any time; however, new landing locations will be approved only at the end of each calendar-year quarter. * * * * * * * * (6) * * * (ii) * * * An IFQ shareholder must initiate a share transfer request by logging onto the IFQ Web site. * * * * * * * * (iv) * * * An IFQ account holder must initiate an allocation transfer by logging onto the IFQ Web site, entering the required information, including but not limited to, the name of an eligible transferee and amount of IFQ allocation to be transferred and price, and submitting the transfer electronically. * * * * * * * * (10) * * * On or about January 1 each year, IFQ shareholders will be notified, via the IFQ Web site, of their IFQ shares and allocations, for each of the five share categories, for the upcoming fishing year. * * * * * * * * ■ 4. In § 622.39, paragraphs (a)(1)(i) and (a)(2)(i) are revised to read as follows: § 622.39 Quotas. mstockstill on DSK4VPTVN1PROD with RULES * * * * * (a) * * * (1) * * * (i) Commercial quota for red snapper. (A) For fishing year 2015—7.293 million lb (3.308 million kg), round weight. (B) For fishing year 2016—7.120 million lb (3.230 million kg), round weight. (C) For fishing year 2017 and subsequent fishing years—7.007 million lb (3.178 million kg), round weight. * * * * * (2) * * * (i) Recreational quota for red snapper. (A) Total recreational quota (Federal charter vessel/headboat and private angling component quotas combined). (1) For fishing year 2015—7.007 million lb (3.178 million kg), round weight. VerDate Sep<11>2014 15:47 Apr 30, 2015 Jkt 235001 (2) For fishing year 2016—6.840 million lb (3.103 million kg), round weight. (3) For fishing year 2017 and subsequent fishing years—6.733 million lb (3.054 million kg), round weight. (B) Federal charter vessel/headboat component quota. The Federal charter vessel/headboat component quota applies to vessels that have been issued a valid Federal charter vessel/headboat permit for Gulf reef fish any time during the fishing year. This component quota is effective for only the 2015, 2016, and 2017 fishing years. For the 2018 and subsequent fishing years, the applicable total recreational quota specified in § 622.39(a)(2)(i)(A) will apply to the recreational sector. (1) For fishing year 2015—2.964 million lb (1.344 million kg), round weight. (2) For fishing year 2016—2.893 million lb (1.312 million kg), round weight. (3) For fishing year 2017—2.848 million lb (1.292 million kg), round weight. (C) Private angling component quota. The private angling component quota applies to vessels that fish under the bag limit and have not been issued a Federal charter vessel/headboat permit for Gulf reef fish any time during the fishing year. This component quota is effective for only the 2015, 2016, and 2017 fishing years. For the 2018 and subsequent fishing years, the applicable total recreational quota specified in § 622.39(a)(2)(i)(A) will apply to the recreational sector. (1) For fishing year 2015—4.043 million lb (1.834 million kg), round weight. (2) For fishing year 2016—3.947 million lb (1.790 million kg), round weight. (3) For fishing year 2017—3.885 million lb (1.762 million kg), round weight. * * * * * ■ 5. In § 622.41, paragraph (q) is revised to read as follows: § 622.41 Annual catch limits (ACLs), annual catch targets (ACTs), and accountability measures (AMs). * * * * * (q) Red snapper—(1) Commercial sector. The IFQ program for red snapper in the Gulf of Mexico serves as the accountability measure for commercial red snapper. The commercial ACL for red snapper is equal to the applicable commercial quota specified in § 622.39(a)(1)(i). (2) Recreational sector. (i) The AA will determine the length of the red snapper recreational fishing season PO 00000 Frm 00057 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 24835 based on when recreational landings are projected to reach the applicable recreational ACT specified in paragraph (q)(2)(iii) of this section, and announce the closure date in the Federal Register. This will serve as an in-season accountability measure. On and after the effective date of the recreational closure notification, the bag and possession limit for red snapper is zero. The recreational ACL is equal to the applicable total recreational quota specified in § 622.39(a)(2)(i). (ii) In addition to the measures specified in paragraph (q)(2)(i) of this section, if red snapper recreational landings, as estimated by the SRD, exceed the applicable recreational ACL (quota) specified in § 622.39(a)(2)(i), and red snapper are overfished, based on the most recent Status of U.S. Fisheries Report to Congress, the AA will file a notification with the Office of the Federal Register to reduce the recreational ACL (quota) by the amount of the quota overage in the prior fishing year, and reduce the applicable recreational ACT specified in paragraph (q)(2)(iii) of this section (based on the buffer between the ACT and the quota specified in the FMP), unless the best scientific information available determines that a greater, lesser, or no overage adjustment is necessary. (iii) Recreational ACT for red snapper. (A) Total recreational ACT (Federal charter vessel/headboat and private angling component ACTs combined). (1) For fishing year 2015—5.606 million lb (2.543 million kg), round weight. (2) For fishing year 2016—5.472 million lb (2.482 million kg), round weight. (3) For fishing year 2017 and subsequent fishing years—5.384 million lb (2.442 million kg), round weight. (B) Federal charter vessel/headboat component ACT. The Federal charter vessel/headboat component ACT applies to vessels that have been issued a valid Federal charter vessel/headboat permit for Gulf reef fish any time during the fishing year. This component ACT is effective for only the 2015, 2016, and 2017 fishing years. For the 2018 and subsequent fishing years, the applicable total recreational quota specified in § 622.39(a)(2)(i)(A) will apply to the recreational sector. (1) For fishing year 2015—2.371 million lb (1.075 million kg), round weight. (2) For fishing year 2016—2.315 million lb (1.050 million kg), round weight. E:\FR\FM\01MYR1.SGM 01MYR1 24836 Federal Register / Vol. 80, No. 84 / Friday, May 1, 2015 / Rules and Regulations (3) For fishing year 2017—2.278 million lb (1.033 million kg), round weight. (C) Private angling component ACT. The private angling component ACT applies to vessels that fish under the bag limit and have not been issued a Federal charter vessel/headboat permit for Gulf reef fish any time during the fishing year. This component ACT is effective for only the 2015, 2016, and 2017 fishing years. For the 2018 and subsequent fishing years, the applicable total recreational quota specified in § 622.39(a)(2)(i)(A) will apply to the recreational sector. (1) For fishing year 2015—3.234 million lb (1.467 million kg), round weight. (2) For fishing year 2016—3.158 million lb (1.432 million kg), round weight. (3) For fishing year 2017—3.108 million lb (1.410 million kg), round weight. [FR Doc. 2015–10088 Filed 4–30–15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510–22–P DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration 50 CFR Part 635 [Docket No. 140429387–4971–02] RIN 0648–XD911 Atlantic Highly Migratory Species; Commercial Blacktip Sharks, Aggregated Large Coastal Sharks, and Hammerhead Sharks in the Gulf of Mexico Region National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Commerce. ACTION: Temporary rule; closure. AGENCY: NMFS is closing the commercial fisheries for blacktip sharks, aggregated large coastal sharks (LCS), and hammerhead sharks in the Gulf of Mexico region. This action is necessary because the commercial landings of blacktip sharks in the Gulf of Mexico region for the 2015 fishing season are projected to exceed 80 percent of the available commercial quota as of May 1, 2015, commercial landings of aggregated LCS in the Gulf of Mexico region have exceeded 80 percent of the available commercial quota, and the aggregated LCS and hammerhead shark fisheries are quota-linked under the current regulations. DATES: The commercial fisheries for blacktip sharks, aggregated LCS, and mstockstill on DSK4VPTVN1PROD with RULES SUMMARY: VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:33 Apr 30, 2015 Jkt 235001 hammerhead sharks are closed effective 11:30 p.m. local time May 3, 2015, until the end of the 2015 fishing season on December 31, 2015, or until and if NMFS announces via a notice in the Federal Register that additional quota is available and the season is reopened. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Alexis Jackson or Karyl Brewster-Geisz 301–427–8503; fax 301–713–1917. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The Atlantic shark fisheries are managed under the 2006 Consolidated Highly Migratory Species (HMS) Fishery Management Plan (FMP), its amendments, and implementing regulations (50 CFR part 635) issued under authority of the MagnusonStevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq.). Under § 635.5(b)(1), dealers must electronically submit reports on sharks that are first received from a vessel on a weekly basis through a NMFSapproved electronic reporting system. Reports must be received by no later than midnight, local time, of the first Tuesday following the end of the reporting week unless the dealer is otherwise notified by NMFS. Under § 635.28(b)(2), the quotas of certain species/fisheries and/or management groups are linked. If quotas are linked, when the specified quota threshold for one management group or species/ fishery is reached and is closed, the linked management group or fishery closes at the same time. The quotas for aggregated LCS and the hammerhead shark management groups in the Gulf of Mexico region are linked (§ 635.28(b)(3)(ii)). The blacktip shark quota is not linked to the aggregated LCS or hammerhead shark quotas. Regulations at § 635.28(b)(1) and § 635.28(b)(4) authorize closure of the blacktip shark management group when landings have reached or are expected to reach 80 percent of the quota or before those situations occur. Under § 635.28(b)(1) and § 635.28(b)(2), when NMFS calculates that the landings for any species and/or management group of either a nonlinked or a linked group have reached or are projected to reach a threshold of 80 percent of the available quota, NMFS will file for publication with the Office of the Federal Register a notice of closure for all of the species and/or management groups of either a nonlinked or linked group that will be effective no fewer than 5 days from date of filing. From the effective date and time of the closure until and if NMFS announces, via a notice in the Federal Register, that additional quota is PO 00000 Frm 00058 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 available and the season is reopened, the fisheries for all linked species and/ or management groups and specified non-linked species and/or management groups are closed, even across fishing years. On December 2, 2014 (79 FR 71331), NMFS announced that the commercial Gulf of Mexico blacktip shark quota was 328.6 mt dw (724,302 lb dw), the Gulf of Mexico aggregated LCS quota for 2015 was 156.5 metric tons (mt) dressed weight (dw) (344,980 lb dw), and the Gulf of Mexico hammerhead shark quota was 25.3 mt dw (55,722 lb dw). Dealer reports recently received through April 24, 2015, indicate that that 261.1 mt dw or 79 percent of the available Gulf of Mexico blacktip shark quota has been landed, 128.6 mt dw or 82 percent of the available Gulf of Mexico aggregated LCS quota has been landed, and that 12.4 mt dw or 49 percent of the available Gulf of Mexico hammerhead shark quota has been landed. Based on these dealer reports, NMFS estimates that the 80-percent limit specified for a closure notice in the regulations for blacktip sharks will be exceeded as of May 1, 2015, and has been exceeded for aggregated LCS. Accordingly, NMFS is closing the commercial blacktip, aggregated LCS, and hammerhead management groups in the Gulf of Mexico region as of 11:30 p.m. local time May 3, 2015. All other shark species or management groups that are currently open will remain open, including the commercial Gulf of Mexico non-blacknose small coastal sharks (SCS), blacknose sharks, blue sharks, and pelagic sharks other than porbeagle or blue. At § 635.27(b)(1), the boundary between the Gulf of Mexico region and the Atlantic region is defined as a line beginning on the East Coast of Florida at the mainland at 25°20.4′ N. lat, proceeding due east. Any water and land to the south and west of that boundary is considered for the purposes of monitoring and setting quotas, to be within the Gulf of Mexico region. During the closure, retention of blacktip sharks, aggregated LCS, and/or hammerhead sharks in the Gulf of Mexico region is prohibited for persons fishing aboard vessels issued a commercial shark limited access permit under § 635.4. However, persons aboard a commercially permitted vessel that is also properly permitted to operate as a charter vessel or headboat for HMS and is engaged in a for-hire trip could fish under the recreational retention limits for sharks and ‘‘no sale’’ provisions (§ 635.22(a) and (c)). Similarly, persons E:\FR\FM\01MYR1.SGM 01MYR1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 80, Number 84 (Friday, May 1, 2015)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 24832-24836]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2015-10088]


=======================================================================
-----------------------------------------------------------------------

DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

50 CFR Part 622

[Docket No. 150226189-5389-02]
RIN 0648-BE91


Fisheries of the Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico, and South Atlantic; 
Reef Fish Fishery of the Gulf of Mexico; Red Snapper Management 
Measures

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

ACTION: Final rule.

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

SUMMARY: NMFS implements management measures described in a framework 
action to the Fishery Management Plan for the Reef Fish Resources of 
the Gulf of Mexico (FMP) prepared by the Gulf of Mexico (Gulf) Fishery 
Management Council (Council). The final rule increases commercial and 
recreational quotas for red snapper in the Gulf of Mexico reef fish 
fishery for the 2015, 2016, and 2017 fishing years. Quotas for 
subsequent fishing years would remain at 2017 levels unless changed by 
future rulemaking. This rule also announces the closure dates for the 
red snapper recreational sector components (private angling and for-
hire components) in the Gulf. The private angling component will close 
at 12:01 a.m., local time, June 11, 2015, and the for-hire component 
will close at 12:01 a.m., local time, on July 15, 2015. This rule is 
intended to help achieve optimum yield for the Gulf red snapper 
resource without increasing the risk of red snapper experiencing 
overfishing.

DATES: This rule is effective June 1, 2015.

ADDRESSES: Electronic copies of the 2015 Gulf red snapper framework 
action, which includes an environmental assessment, Regulatory 
Flexibility Act (RFA) analysis and a regulatory impact review, may be 
obtained from the Southeast Regional Office Web site at http://sero.nmfs.noaa.gov/sustainable_fisheries/gulf_fisheries/reef_fish.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Cynthia Meyer, telephone 727-824-5305; 
email: Cynthia.Meyer@noaa.gov.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: NMFS and the Council manage the Gulf reef 
fish fishery, including red snapper, under the FMP. The Council 
prepared the FMP and NMFS implements the FMP through regulations at 50 
CFR part 622 under the authority of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery 
Conservation and Management Act (Magnuson-Stevens Act).
    On April 1, 2015, NMFS published a proposed rule for the framework 
action and requested public comment (80 FR 17380). The proposed rule 
and the framework action set forth the rationale for the actions 
contained in this final rule. A summary of the actions implemented by 
this final rule is provided below.

Management Measures Contained in This Final Rule

    This final rule sets the commercial and recreational quotas (equal 
to the

[[Page 24833]]

commercial and recreational annual catch limit (ACLs)) and the 
recreational annual catch targets (ACTs) for the 2015, 2016, and 2017 
fishing years for red snapper based on the acceptable biological catch 
levels chosen by the Council, as recommended by its Scientific and 
Statistical Committee, and on the current commercial and recreational 
allocations (51-percent commercial and 49-percent recreational). Quotas 
for subsequent fishing years will remain at 2017 levels unless changed 
by future rulemaking. All values contained in this final rule are given 
in round weight. For 2015, the commercial quota is set at 7.293 million 
lb (3.308 million kg) and the recreational quota is set at 7.007 
million lb (3.178 million kg); for 2016, the commercial quota is set at 
7.120 million lb (3.230 million kg) and the recreational quota is set 
at 6.840 million lb (3.103 million kg); and for 2017 and subsequent 
fishing years, the commercial quota is set at 7.007 million lb (3.178 
million kg) and the recreational quota is set at 6.733 million lb 
(3.054 million kg).
    Based on the revised recreational quotas contained in this final 
rule, the revised recreational ACTs for the 2015, 2016, and 2017 
fishing years are as follows: 5.606 million lb (2.543 million kg) for 
2015; 5.472 million lb (2.482 million kg) for 2016; and 5.384 million 
lb (2.442 million kg) for 2017. Recreational ACTs for subsequent 
fishing years will remain at 2017 levels unless changed by future 
rulemaking.
    Implementation of Amendment 40 to the FMP established two 
components within the recreational sector for Gulf red snapper (a 
Federal charter vessel/headboat (for-hire) component and a private 
angling component), allocated the red snapper recreational quota and 
ACT between the components, and established separate seasonal closures 
for the two components. These component quotas and ACTs are effective 
through 2017. In addition, the final rule for Amendment 40 established 
ACLs for the commercial and recreational sectors, which are equal to 
the commercial and recreational quotas, respectively. The Secretary of 
Commerce approved Amendment 40 on April 10, 2015, and a final rule 
published on April 22, 2015 (80 FR 22422), effective May 22, 2015.
    Based on the component allocations set in Amendment 40 and the 
increased recreational quotas (equal to the recreational ACLs) 
contained in this final rule, the resulting recreational component 
quotas and ACTs are as follows. The for-hire component quota and 
private angling component quota, respectively, are: 2.964 million lb 
(1.344 million kg) and 4.043 million lb (1.834 million kg) for 2015; 
2.893 million lb (1.312 million kg) and 3.947 million lb (1.790 million 
kg) for 2016; 2.848 million lb (1.292 million kg) and 3.885 million lb 
(1.762 million kg) for 2017. The for-hire component ACT and private 
angling component ACT, respectively, are: 2.371 million lb (1.075 
million kg) and 3.234 million lb (1.467 million kg) for 2015; 2.315 
million lb (1.050 million kg) and 3.158 million lb (1.432 million kg) 
for 2016; and 2.278 million lb (1.033 million kg) and 3.108 million lb 
(1.410 million kg) for 2017.

Red Snapper Recreational Fishing Season

    In accordance with 50 CFR 622.34(b) and 50 CFR 622.41(q)(2)(i), the 
red snapper recreational fishing season opens each year on June 1 and 
closes when the applicable component ACT is projected to be reached. To 
project the 2015 recreational fishing season lengths, NMFS used 
finalized 2014 landings data, catch rates for each state, state season 
lengths, as well as other information. The method used to project these 
season lengths can be found in SERO-LAPP-2015-04: 2015 Gulf of Mexico 
Red Snapper Recreational Season Length Estimates on the SERO Web site. 
After analysis of the information referenced above, NMFS determined 
that the season for the private angling component is 10 days and the 
season for the for-hire component is 44 days. As required by 50 CFR 
622.34(b) and 50 CFR 622.41(q)(2)(i), NMFS announces the closure dates 
for the recreational sector components (private angling and for-hire 
components) in the Gulf through this final rule. NMFS opens both 
components on June 1 and closes the private angling component at 12:01 
a.m., local time, June 11, 2015, and the for-hire component at 12:01 
a.m., local time, on July 15, 2015.

Additional Changes to Codified Text

    This final rule makes two administrative changes to the Gulf 
Individual Fishing Quota (IFQ) program regulations. In Sec. Sec.  
622.21 and 622.22, the Web site for the Gulf IFQ program changes from 
``ifq.sero.fisheries.noaa.gov'' to ``https://portal.southeast.fisheries.noaa.gov/cs/main.html'' to align with the 
renaming of NMFS Web sites for all of the regions in the U.S. In Sec.  
622.21(b)(6)(ii), NMFS revises the minimum share transfer percentage 
for the Gulf red snapper IFQ program from ``0.0001 percent'' to 
``0.000001 percent'' to align with the Gulf grouper/tilefish program 
minimum share transfer percentage and allows for smaller percentages of 
red snapper IFQ shares to be transferred. When the red snapper IFQ 
program was implemented in 2007, NMFS determined, based on the share 
cap and red snapper commercial quota, that 0.0001 percent was the 
appropriate minimum share transfer percentage. Because the red snapper 
commercial quota has been increasing, NMFS has now determined that the 
minimum share transfer percentage should be 0.000001 percent. This 
gives shareholders greater flexibility by allowing transfers of smaller 
increments of shares. In addition, modifying the minimum share transfer 
percentage for red snapper helps avoid confusion among shareholders who 
trade both red snapper and grouper/tilefish shares because both 
programs have the same minimum share transfer percentage.

Comments and Responses

    During the comment period, NMFS received 20 comments, including 17 
from private anglers, 1 from a recreational fishing organization, and 2 
from charter fishermen. Comments pertinent to the rule unanimously 
supported increasing the red snapper quota and did not raise any 
additional issues within the scope of this rulemaking. NMFS agrees with 
the commenters that the quota increases are appropriate, and are in 
accordance with the red snapper rebuilding plan.
    Many of these same commenters provided additional observations and 
suggestions for alternative strategies to manage the recreational red 
snapper harvest that were beyond the scope of the rule. The Council has 
considered many of the public suggestions in the past and may consider 
alternative management options for the recreational harvest of red 
snapper in the future. NMFS agrees that alternative recreational 
management strategies may prove to be viable options for the management 
of red snapper in the future; however, these comments and suggestions 
are beyond the scope of this rulemaking and will not be further 
addressed in this rule.

Classification

    The Regional Administrator, Southeast Region, NMFS determined that 
this final rule and the framework action are necessary for the 
conversation and management of Gulf red snapper and are consistent with 
the FMP, the Magnuson-Stevens Act and other applicable law.
    This final rule has been determined to be not significant for 
purposes of Executive Order 12866.

[[Page 24834]]

    The Chief Counsel for Regulation of the Department of Commerce 
certified to the Chief Counsel for Advocacy of the Small Business 
Administration during the proposed rule stage that this action would 
not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small 
entities. The factual basis for this determination was published in the 
proposed rule and is not repeated here. No comments were received 
regarding the certification and NMFS has not received any new 
information that would affect its determination. As a result, neither 
an initial nor final regulatory flexibility analysis was required and 
therefore, neither was prepared.

List of Subjects in 50 CFR Part 622

    Commercial, Fisheries, Fishing, Gulf of Mexico, Quotas, 
Recreational, Red Snapper.

    Dated: April 27, 2015.
Samuel D. Rauch III,
Deputy Assistant Administrator for Regulatory Programs, National Marine 
Fisheries Service.

    For the reasons set out in the preamble, 50 CFR part 622 is 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.  622.21, the third sentence in paragraph (b)(1), the second 
sentence in paragraph (b)(2), the last sentence in paragraph (b)(3)(i), 
the first sentence in paragraph (b)(3)(iii), the second sentence in 
paragraph (b)(3)(iv), the only sentence in paragraph (b)(5)(i)(B), the 
third sentence in paragraph (b)(5)(v), the second and third sentences 
in paragraph (b)(6)(ii), the second sentence in paragraph (b)(6)(iv), 
and the first sentence in paragraph (b)(10) are revised to read as 
follows:


Sec.  622.21  Individual fishing quota (IFQ) program for Gulf red 
snapper.

* * * * *
    (b) * * *
    (1) * * * An owner of a vessel with a commercial vessel permit for 
Gulf reef fish, who has established an IFQ account for Gulf red snapper 
as specified in paragraph (a)(3)(i) of this section, online via the 
NMFS IFQ Web site https://portal.southeast.fisheries.noaa.gov/cs/main.html, may establish a vessel account through that IFQ account for 
that permitted vessel. * * *
    (2) * * * A dealer with a Gulf and South Atlantic dealer permit can 
download a Gulf IFQ dealer endorsement from the NMFS IFQ Web site. * * 
*
    (3) * * *
    (i) * * * All IFQ landings and their actual ex-vessel prices must 
be reported via the IFQ Web site.
* * * * *
    (iii) The dealer must complete a landing transaction report for 
each landing of Gulf red snapper via the IFQ Web site on the day of 
offload, except if the fish are being trailered for transport to a 
dealer as specified in paragraph (b)(5)(iv) of this section (in which 
case the landing transaction report may be completed prior to the day 
of offload), and within 96 hours from the time of landing reported on 
the most recent landing notification, in accordance with the reporting 
form(s) and instructions provided on the Web site. * * *
    (iv) * * * This form is available via the IFQ Web site. * * *
* * * * *
    (5) * * *
    (i) * * *
    (B) * * * Authorized methods for contacting NMFS and submitting the 
report include calling IFQ Customer Service at 1-866-425-7627, 
completing and submitting to NMFS a landing notification provided 
through the VMS unit, or providing the required information to NMFS 
through the web-based form available on the IFQ Web site.
* * * * *
    (v) * * * Proposed landing locations may be submitted online via 
the IFQ Web site, or by calling IFQ Customer Service at 1-866-425-7627, 
at any time; however, new landing locations will be approved only at 
the end of each calendar-year quarter. * * *
* * * * *
    (6) * * *
    (ii) * * * An IFQ shareholder must initiate a share transfer 
request by logging onto the IFQ Web site. Following the instructions 
provided on the IFQ Web site, the shareholder must enter pertinent 
information regarding the transfer request including, but not limited 
to, amount of shares to be transferred, which must be a minimum of 
0.000001 percent; name of the eligible transferee; and the value of the 
transferred shares. * * *
* * * * *
    (iv) * * * An IFQ account holder must initiate an allocation 
transfer by logging onto the IFQ Web site, entering the required 
information, including but not limited to, name of an eligible 
transferee and amount of IFQ allocation to be transferred and price, 
and submitting the transfer electronically. * * *
* * * * *
    (10) * * * On or about January 1 each year, IFQ shareholders will 
be notified, via the IFQ Web site, of their IFQ share and allocation 
for the upcoming fishing year. * * *
* * * * *

0
3. In Sec.  622.22, the third sentence in paragraph (b)(1), the second 
sentence in paragraph (b)(2), the last sentence in paragraph (b)(3)(i), 
the first sentence in paragraph (b)(3)(iii), the second sentence in 
paragraph (b)(3)(iv), the only sentence in paragraph (b)(5)(i)(B), the 
third sentence in paragraph (b)(5)(v), the second sentence in paragraph 
(b)(6)(ii), the second sentence in paragraph (b)(6)(iv), and the first 
sentence in paragraph (b)(10) are revised to read as follows:


Sec.  622.22  Individual fishing quota (IFQ) program for Gulf groupers 
and tilefishes.

* * * * *
    (b) * * *
    (1) * * * An owner of a vessel with a commercial vessel permit for 
Gulf reef fish, who has established an IFQ account for the applicable 
species, as specified in paragraph (a)(3)(i) of this section, online 
via the NMFS IFQ Web site https://portal.southeast.fisheries.noaa.gov/cs/main.html, may establish a vessel account through that IFQ account 
for that permitted vessel. * * *
    (2) * * * A dealer with a Gulf and South Atlantic dealer permit can 
download a Gulf IFQ dealer endorsement from the NMFS IFQ Web site. * * 
*
    (3) * * *
    (i) * * * All IFQ landings and their actual ex-vessel prices must 
be reported via the IFQ Web site.
* * * * *
    (iii) The dealer must complete a landing transaction report for 
each landing of Gulf groupers or tilefishes via the IFQ Web site on the 
day of offload, except if the fish are being trailered for transport to 
a dealer as specified in paragraph (b)(5)(iv) of this section (in which 
case the landing transaction report may be completed prior to the day 
of offload), and within 96 hours from the time of landing reported on 
the most recent landing notification, in accordance with the reporting 
form(s) and instructions provided on the Web site. * * *
    (iv) * * * This form is available via the IFQ Web site. * * *
* * * * *

[[Page 24835]]

    (5) * * *
    (i) * * *
    (B) * * * Authorized methods for contacting NMFS and submitting the 
report include calling IFQ Customer Service at 1-866-425-7627, 
completing and submitting to NMFS a landing notification provided 
through the VMS unit, or providing the required information to NMFS 
through the web-based form available on the IFQ Web site.
* * * * *
    (v) * * * Proposed landing locations may be submitted online via 
the IFQ Web site, or by calling IFQ Customer Service at 1-866-425-7627, 
at any time; however, new landing locations will be approved only at 
the end of each calendar-year quarter. * * *
* * * * *
    (6) * * *
    (ii) * * * An IFQ shareholder must initiate a share transfer 
request by logging onto the IFQ Web site. * * *
* * * * *
    (iv) * * * An IFQ account holder must initiate an allocation 
transfer by logging onto the IFQ Web site, entering the required 
information, including but not limited to, the name of an eligible 
transferee and amount of IFQ allocation to be transferred and price, 
and submitting the transfer electronically. * * *
* * * * *
    (10) * * * On or about January 1 each year, IFQ shareholders will 
be notified, via the IFQ Web site, of their IFQ shares and allocations, 
for each of the five share categories, for the upcoming fishing year. * 
* *
* * * * *

0
4. In Sec.  622.39, paragraphs (a)(1)(i) and (a)(2)(i) are revised to 
read as follows:


Sec.  622.39  Quotas.

* * * * *
    (a) * * *
    (1) * * *
    (i) Commercial quota for red snapper. (A) For fishing year 2015--
7.293 million lb (3.308 million kg), round weight.
    (B) For fishing year 2016--7.120 million lb (3.230 million kg), 
round weight.
    (C) For fishing year 2017 and subsequent fishing years--7.007 
million lb (3.178 million kg), round weight.
* * * * *
    (2) * * *
    (i) Recreational quota for red snapper. (A) Total recreational 
quota (Federal charter vessel/headboat and private angling component 
quotas combined).
    (1) For fishing year 2015--7.007 million lb (3.178 million kg), 
round weight.
    (2) For fishing year 2016--6.840 million lb (3.103 million kg), 
round weight.
    (3) For fishing year 2017 and subsequent fishing years--6.733 
million lb (3.054 million kg), round weight.
    (B) Federal charter vessel/headboat component quota. The Federal 
charter vessel/headboat component quota applies to vessels that have 
been issued a valid Federal charter vessel/headboat permit for Gulf 
reef fish any time during the fishing year. This component quota is 
effective for only the 2015, 2016, and 2017 fishing years. For the 2018 
and subsequent fishing years, the applicable total recreational quota 
specified in Sec.  622.39(a)(2)(i)(A) will apply to the recreational 
sector.
    (1) For fishing year 2015--2.964 million lb (1.344 million kg), 
round weight.
    (2) For fishing year 2016--2.893 million lb (1.312 million kg), 
round weight.
    (3) For fishing year 2017--2.848 million lb (1.292 million kg), 
round weight.
    (C) Private angling component quota. The private angling component 
quota applies to vessels that fish under the bag limit and have not 
been issued a Federal charter vessel/headboat permit for Gulf reef fish 
any time during the fishing year. This component quota is effective for 
only the 2015, 2016, and 2017 fishing years. For the 2018 and 
subsequent fishing years, the applicable total recreational quota 
specified in Sec.  622.39(a)(2)(i)(A) will apply to the recreational 
sector.
    (1) For fishing year 2015--4.043 million lb (1.834 million kg), 
round weight.
    (2) For fishing year 2016--3.947 million lb (1.790 million kg), 
round weight.
    (3) For fishing year 2017--3.885 million lb (1.762 million kg), 
round weight.
* * * * *

0
5. In Sec.  622.41, paragraph (q) is revised to read as follows:


Sec.  622.41  Annual catch limits (ACLs), annual catch targets (ACTs), 
and accountability measures (AMs).

* * * * *
    (q) Red snapper--(1) Commercial sector. The IFQ program for red 
snapper in the Gulf of Mexico serves as the accountability measure for 
commercial red snapper. The commercial ACL for red snapper is equal to 
the applicable commercial quota specified in Sec.  622.39(a)(1)(i).
    (2) Recreational sector. (i) The AA will determine the length of 
the red snapper recreational fishing season based on when recreational 
landings are projected to reach the applicable recreational ACT 
specified in paragraph (q)(2)(iii) of this section, and announce the 
closure date in the Federal Register. This will serve as an in-season 
accountability measure. On and after the effective date of the 
recreational closure notification, the bag and possession limit for red 
snapper is zero. The recreational ACL is equal to the applicable total 
recreational quota specified in Sec.  622.39(a)(2)(i).
    (ii) In addition to the measures specified in paragraph (q)(2)(i) 
of this section, if red snapper recreational landings, as estimated by 
the SRD, exceed the applicable recreational ACL (quota) specified in 
Sec.  622.39(a)(2)(i), and red snapper are overfished, based on the 
most recent Status of U.S. Fisheries Report to Congress, the AA will 
file a notification with the Office of the Federal Register to reduce 
the recreational ACL (quota) by the amount of the quota overage in the 
prior fishing year, and reduce the applicable recreational ACT 
specified in paragraph (q)(2)(iii) of this section (based on the buffer 
between the ACT and the quota specified in the FMP), unless the best 
scientific information available determines that a greater, lesser, or 
no overage adjustment is necessary.
    (iii) Recreational ACT for red snapper. (A) Total recreational ACT 
(Federal charter vessel/headboat and private angling component ACTs 
combined).
    (1) For fishing year 2015--5.606 million lb (2.543 million kg), 
round weight.
    (2) For fishing year 2016--5.472 million lb (2.482 million kg), 
round weight.
    (3) For fishing year 2017 and subsequent fishing years--5.384 
million lb (2.442 million kg), round weight.
    (B) Federal charter vessel/headboat component ACT. The Federal 
charter vessel/headboat component ACT applies to vessels that have been 
issued a valid Federal charter vessel/headboat permit for Gulf reef 
fish any time during the fishing year. This component ACT is effective 
for only the 2015, 2016, and 2017 fishing years. For the 2018 and 
subsequent fishing years, the applicable total recreational quota 
specified in Sec.  622.39(a)(2)(i)(A) will apply to the recreational 
sector.
    (1) For fishing year 2015--2.371 million lb (1.075 million kg), 
round weight.
    (2) For fishing year 2016--2.315 million lb (1.050 million kg), 
round weight.

[[Page 24836]]

    (3) For fishing year 2017--2.278 million lb (1.033 million kg), 
round weight.
    (C) Private angling component ACT. The private angling component 
ACT applies to vessels that fish under the bag limit and have not been 
issued a Federal charter vessel/headboat permit for Gulf reef fish any 
time during the fishing year. This component ACT is effective for only 
the 2015, 2016, and 2017 fishing years. For the 2018 and subsequent 
fishing years, the applicable total recreational quota specified in 
Sec.  622.39(a)(2)(i)(A) will apply to the recreational sector.
    (1) For fishing year 2015--3.234 million lb (1.467 million kg), 
round weight.
    (2) For fishing year 2016--3.158 million lb (1.432 million kg), 
round weight.
    (3) For fishing year 2017--3.108 million lb (1.410 million kg), 
round weight.
[FR Doc. 2015-10088 Filed 4-30-15; 8:45 am]
 BILLING CODE 3510-22-P