Taking of Marine Mammals Incidental to Commercial Fishing Operations; Atlantic Large Whale Take Reduction Plan Regulations, 30367-30379 [2015-12869]

Download as PDF Federal Register / Vol. 80, No. 102 / Thursday, May 28, 2015 / Rules and Regulations 30367 APPENDIX A TO PART 234—SCHEDULE OF CIVIL PENALTIES 1—Continued Section Violation (a)(1)–(9) Railroad fails to maintain in its records the minimum information required for each ENS report received ......................................................................................................................................................... (c)(1)–(2) Responsible railroad(s) fail(s) to record in writing an appointment of a railroad, pursuant to § 234.306, or properly retain a copy of the document .................................................................................. (d)(1) Railroad fails to properly retain records ................................................................................................. (d)(2) Railroad fails to provide FRA access to records .................................................................................... 234.315 Electronic recordkeeping: (a)–(b) Railroad fails to comply with electronic recordkeeping requirements .................................................. Willful violation 2,500 5,000 2,500 2,500 2,500 5,000 5,000 5,000 2,500 5,000 1A penalty may be assessed against an individual only for a willful violation. The Administrator reserves the right to assess a penalty of up to $105,000 for any violation where circumstances warrant. See 49 CFR part 209, appendix A. To facilitate the assessment of penalty amounts, the specific types of violations of a given section are sometimes designated by the paragraph of the section (e.g., ‘‘(a)’’) and a code not corresponding to the legal citation for the violation (e.g., ‘‘(1)’’), so that the complete citation in the penalty schedule is e.g., ‘‘(a)(1).’’ FRA reserves the right to revise the citation of the violation in the Summary of Alleged Violations issued by FRA in the event of litigation. 2 Either this section or the parallel section of subpart C of this part may be cited, but not both. 3 FRA does not plan to assess civil penalties against a third-party telephone service, under § 234.307(c) or (e). However, FRA plans to assess violations against the dispatching and maintaining railroads for failing to ensure that the third-party telephone service complies with the requirements of §§ 234.307, 234.313, or 234.315, if applicable. See § 234.307(a), (b), (e). 4 For a violation of § 234.307(d)(4), a penalty should be assessed for the specific type of violation according to the penalty schedule for a violation of § 234.305. 5 For a violation of § 234.307(e) pertaining to recordkeeping, a penalty should be assessed for the specific type of violation in the penalty schedule for a violation of §§ 234.313 or 234.315, as applicable. 6 FRA reserves the right to cite a violation for each item of required information omitted from a sign. 7 FRA reserves the right to cite a violation for each physical characteristic that is nonconforming. Issued in Washington, DC, on May 21, 2015. Sarah Feinberg, Acting Administrator. addition, this rule includes additional gear marking requirements for those waters allowing single traps as well as two new high use areas for humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae) and North Atlantic right whales (Eubalaena glacialis). [FR Doc. 2015–12775 Filed 5–27–15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910–06–P 50 CFR Part 229 This rule is effective May 28, 2015, except for the amendment to § 229.32(b)(3), which is effective July 1, 2015, and the amendment to § 229.32(b)(1)(i) and (ii), which is effective September 1, 2015. [Docket No. 150122067–5453–02] ADDRESSES: DATES: DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration RIN 0648–BE83 Taking of Marine Mammals Incidental to Commercial Fishing Operations; Atlantic Large Whale Take Reduction Plan Regulations National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Commerce. ACTION: Final rule. AGENCY: NMFS issues this final rule to amend the regulations implementing the Atlantic Large Whale Take Reduction Plan. This action will change the minimum number of traps per trawl to allow fishing with a single trap in certain Massachusetts and Rhode Island state waters; and modifies the requirement to use one endline on trawls within certain areas in Massachusetts state waters. Also, this rule creates a 1⁄4 mile buffer in waters surrounding certain islands in Maine to allow fishing with a single trap. In wreier-aviles on DSK5TPTVN1PROD with RULES SUMMARY: VerDate Sep<11>2014 15:08 May 27, 2015 Jkt 235001 Copies of the supporting documents for this action, as well as the Atlantic Large Whale Take Reduction Team meeting summaries and supporting documents, may be obtained from the Plan Web site (http:// www.greateratlantic.fisheries.noaa.gov/ protected/whaletrp/index.html). Written comments regarding the burden hour estimates or other aspects of the collection of information requirements contained in this final rule can be submitted to Kimberly Damon-Randall, NMFS, Greater Atlantic Regional Fisheries Office, 55 Great Republic Dr, Gloucester, MA 10930 or Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs by email at OIRA_submissions@ omb.eop.gov. Kate Swails, NMFS Greater Atlantic Regional Fisheries Office, 978–282–8481, Kate.Swails@noaa.gov; or, Kristy Long, NMFS Office of Protected Resources, 206–526–4792, Kristy.Long@noaa.gov. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: PO 00000 Frm 00035 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 Background NMFS published an amendment to the Atlantic Large Whale Take Reduction Plan (Plan) on June 27, 2014 (79 FR 36586) to address large whale entanglement risks associated with vertical line (or buoy lines) from commercial trap/pot fisheries. This amendment included gear modifications, gear setting requirements, a seasonal closure (Massachusetts Restricted Area) and gear marking for both the trap/pot and the gillnet fisheries. In consultation with the Atlantic Large Whale Take Reduction Team (Team), NMFS developed protocols for considering modifications or exemptions to the regulations implementing the Plan. Following these protocols, on August 18, 2014, the Massachusetts Division of Marine Fisheries (DMF) submitted a proposal to modify the Massachusetts Bay Restricted Area and to exempt several areas from the gear setting requirements to address safety and economic concerns raised by their industry members. The DMF proposal adequately addressed the Team’s established protocols and criteria for considering modifications or exemptions to the Plan’s regulations, which enabled NMFS to consult with the Team on the DMF proposal. We decided to address the modifications to the Massachusetts Restricted Area and the exemption of the minimum number of traps per trawl requirements separately, beginning with the Massachusetts Restricted Area. After discussions with the Team, NMFS E:\FR\FM\28MYR1.SGM 28MYR1 30368 Federal Register / Vol. 80, No. 102 / Thursday, May 28, 2015 / Rules and Regulations wreier-aviles on DSK5TPTVN1PROD with RULES published an amendment to the Plan on December 12, 2014 (79 FR 73848) changing the timing and size of the Massachusetts Restricted Area. Along with the DMF proposal, NMFS also received proposals from other state partners requesting certain waters be exempt from the minimum number of traps per trawl requirements due to safety concerns. The conservation members of the Team also submitted a proposal in an effort to offset this potential increase in vertical lines should NMFS approve the proposed state exemptions. NMFS convened the Team in January 2015 to discuss these proposals. At the conclusion of the January meeting, the Team, by near consensus, recommended that we amend the Plan as proposed by the states. The Team also recommended that the current gear marking scheme be updated to include unique marks for those fishing single traps in the proposed exempted areas and a unique mark for both gillnets and trap/pots fished in Jeffreys Ledge and Jordan Basin. The Team’s recommendations form the basis for the action described below. Changes to the Plan for Trap/Pot Gear This action exempts Rhode Island state waters and portions of Massachusetts state waters from the minimum number of traps per trawl requirement and allow single traps to be fished in certain state waters (see Figures 1 and 2, respectively). This exemption is based on safety and financial concerns raised by the industry. In addition, in Rhode Island state waters and portions of Massachusetts state waters (particularly in Southern Massachusetts waters) the co-occurrence of fishing effort and whale distribution is minimal. According to DMF, along the Outer Cape there are dynamic tides and featureless substrate that dictate the use of single traps in this area. Massachusetts also has a student lobster permit that allows for permit holders to fish alone and with small boats. Single traps are used in this fishery and other inshore waters as a matter of safety. In addition, those fishing in all Massachusetts state waters are required to have one endline for trawls less than or equal to three traps. The current requirement of one endline for trawls less than or equal to five traps remains in place in all other management areas. Larger trawls (i.e., ≥6 traps/pots) will not be required to have only one endline. An exemption from the minimum number of traps per trawl requirement is also granted for a 1⁄4 mile buffer in VerDate Sep<11>2014 15:08 May 27, 2015 Jkt 235001 waters surrounding the following islands in Maine—Matinicus Island Group (Metinic, Small Green, Large Green, Seal, and Wooden Ball) and Isles of Shoals Island Group (Duck, Appledore, Cedar, and Smuttynose). Boats within this 1⁄4 mile buffer are allowed to continue fishing single traps rather than multiple trap trawls due to safety issues since these waters are generally less than 30 fathoms deep with rocky edges and boats fishing close to shore areas are usually small. A similar exemption for the inhabited islands of Monhegan, Matinicus, and Ragged Islands was established in the June 2014 rule. The islands in this current rule have the same bottom habitat as the previously exempted islands and many residents from many island communities fish around these islands. Similarly, the New Hampshire side of the Isles of Shoals group was also exempted from the minimum number of traps per trawl requirement in the June 2014 rule. Allowing the islands in the chain that fall on the Maine side of the border to have the same exemption would provide parity to fishermen using islands on both sides of the border. Maine Department of Marine Resources (ME DMR) estimates that the fishing effort within the proposed buffer areas is small (0.3% of total vertical lines in the Northeast), consists of around 20 fishermen and has peak use in the summer months. In addition, ME DMR is pursuing funding for aerial surveys that would determine the use by marine mammals of these coastal areas and document the gear density. Changes to the Plan for Gear Marking This action implements a gear marking scheme that builds off the current color combinations and the size and frequency of the current gear marking requirements. In an effort to learn if entanglements occur in these newly exempted areas, this action adds a unique gear mark to those single vertical lines fished in the exempted areas of Rhode Island, Massachusetts, and Matinicus Island Group, Maine. Also, this action proposes unique trap/ pot and gillnet gear marking in two important high use areas for both humpback and right whales—Jeffreys Ledge (Figure 3) and Jordan Basin (Figure 4). The mark must equal 12inches (30.5 cm) in length and buoy lines must be marked three times (top, middle, bottom) with the appropriate unique color combination for that area. There will be a phased-in implementation of the new gear marking. Industry would have until July 1, 2015 to mark gear fished in the newly PO 00000 Frm 00036 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 exempted areas and until September 1, 2015 to mark gear in Jeffreys Ledge and Jordan Basin areas. Comments and Responses NMFS published the proposed rule to amend the Plan in the Federal Register on March 19, 2015 (80 FR 14345). Upon its publication, NMFS issued a press email announcing the proposed rule; posted the proposed rule on the Plan Web site; and notified affected fishermen and interested parties via several NMFS email distribution outlets. The publication of the proposed rule was followed by a 30-day public comment period, which ended on April 20, 2015. NMFS received ten substantive comments via electronic submission. All comments received were thoroughly reviewed by NMFS. Most comments were in full support of the action or in partial support of the action with some concerns. One commenter was unsupportive of the rule. The comments addressed several topics including the need for enforcement of the measures and time required to implement new gear marking scheme. The comments received are summarized below, followed by NMFS’s responses. Adequacy of Co-Occurrence Model Comment 1: Two commenters questioned the adequacy of the cooccurrence model and the data used to develop the model. The commenters stated that the model remains flawed due to lack of updated data, inappropriate spatial scaling of data, and assumptions about whale distribution. Despite this, the commenters recognized that NMFS uses the co-occurrence model as the basis for assessing relative risk and did not object to its use for analysis of the states’ proposals. The commenters suggested that NMFS update the model with new data for both whale distribution and fishing effort, being sure to factor in recent management changes to the fishing industry. Response 1: We believe the information in the model is accurate but does have some limitations. We previously provided model documentation describing the fishing effort data upon which the model relies, including a detailed discussion of the models limitations. Despite these limitations, the data are the best information available. We updated the sightings per unit effort (SPUE) data since the previous rule and plan on updating the model with more current fishing effort information as time allows for future rulemakings. Gear Marking E:\FR\FM\28MYR1.SGM 28MYR1 wreier-aviles on DSK5TPTVN1PROD with RULES Federal Register / Vol. 80, No. 102 / Thursday, May 28, 2015 / Rules and Regulations Comment 2: Most commenters were in support of the new gear marking scheme, stating it is a step in the right direction to determine specific spatial resolution of the origin of entanglements. One commenter suggested the color scheme for single traps be ‘sunsetted’ after five or more years if analyses reveal that inshore single trap/pot gear is not resulting in increased entanglement risk. Response 2: We will continue to monitor the Plan via our Monitoring Strategy. This strategy includes both annual monitoring reports and a multiyear status summary intended to review the Plan’s effectiveness and compliance over a 5-year timeframe. If analyses determine that the amended Plan is not achieving its goals, NMFS will review the multi-year status summary to evaluate the potential causes for not achieving the management objectives and consult with the Team on the development of appropriate actions to address any identified shortcomings of the Plan and its amendments. Comment 3: One commenter suggested that NMFS consider allowing Massachusetts lobstermen to put the second color in the middle of the 12″ mark instead of having each mark equal 6″ as currently written. Response 3: The two color marking scheme has been used in the Southeast fisheries since the beginning of the Plan. For consistency in marking schemes across regions we feel the current marking scheme of abutting colors is adequate. NMFS and the Team will evaluate any future gear marking scheme and make necessary adjustments through a future rulemaking if warranted. Comment 4: One commenter disagreed with the proposed action to mark gear in Jeffreys Ledge and Jordan Basin due to their significance as ‘high use areas’ stating it goes against the intent of the Team to evaluate management actions in terms of cooccurrence. Response 4: We disagree. The Team chose to develop the June 2014 vertical line management measures using the cooccurrence model. The development of the gear marking scheme in ‘high use areas’ was an outgrowth of discussions at the January 2015 meeting in response to exemption requests submitted by our state partners. These gear marking areas were a compromise for allowing state exemption requests to move forward and do not go against the intent of the Team when evaluating management options. Comment 5: One commenter reluctantly agreed to the new gear marking scheme, stating that the VerDate Sep<11>2014 15:08 May 27, 2015 Jkt 235001 Canadian lobster industry is not required to follow similar procedures. He stated that efforts need to be initiated to address trans-boundary aspects of this problem. Response 5: Coordination between Canada and the U.S. concerning transboundary issues has been ongoing since the mid-1990s. We are continuing to work with the Canadian government to develop and implement protective measures for right whales in Canadian waters. Comment 6: One commenter stated that gear marking requirements do nothing to reduce immediate entanglement risk. They recommended developing new gear marking requirements for all fishermen to mark lines on all traps and gillnets, including in all exempted areas beyond the COLREG line, which reflects a systematic, region-wide approach to maximize information on the location, fishery, and gear part of lines found on entangled whales. Response 6: Although gear marking will not reduce entanglements by itself, it is expected to facilitate monitoring of entanglement rates and assist in designing future entanglement reduction measures in targeted areas deemed important by the Team. We feel that the proposed gear marking combined with the current gear marking scheme is sufficient and will help us target specific areas for future management if further measures are deemed necessary. Implementation Date Comment 7: Two commenters requested a delayed implementation date for the gear marking portion of the rule. They stated that having a start date of 30-days and 90-days from publication is operationally restrictive in the middle of a fishing year and instead suggested a start date of June 2016. Response 7: The gear marking will go into effect 30-days from publication for those fishing singles in the proposed exempted inshore areas and 90-days from publication for those fishing in the high use areas of Jeffreys Ledge and Jordan Basin. NMFS feels this is timing is adequate, particularly because states have encouraged their inshore industry to mark their gear in anticipation of the final rule and NMFS has already provided a year for fishermen to comply with its gear marking scheme implemented in the June 2014 final rule. Exemption Areas Comment 8: One commenter noted that the Maine island exemption areas are not consistently identified in state and Federal rules. He also suggested PO 00000 Frm 00037 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 30369 that this rule be amended to clarify that islets and ledges adjacent to Matinicus Island but not within 1⁄4 mile (Two Bush Island, No Man’s Land, Ten Pound Island, Black Ledge and others) be included in the exemption request. Response 8: We will work with our partners at Maine Department of Marine Resources to ensure that state and Federal rules mirror each other. We believe that, working with DMR, we have identified the appropriate islands and island groups for the 1⁄4 mile island buffer provision and are not amending the exemption request. Comment 9: One commenter stated that it is not feasible for a small vessel to fish ten trap trawls and should be allowed to fish 5 to 6 traps as is currently commonplace. Response 9: This rule is in response to proposals from state partners to address safety concerns of small boats in inshore waters fishing singles. The proposals did not address those fishing 5 or 6 traps. Comment 10: One commenter does not support the proposed rule. The commenter stated that the proposals requested state waters be exempt from the Plan; however, the proposals did not provide adequate measures to compensate for a potential for reduced protection of large whales as a result of these exemption requests. The commenter felt that the states’ proposals should be deferred until each state had developed options that that would reduce the potential for entanglement risks (i.e, a trade-off). Response 10: We disagree. The Team felt that there was little increase in overall entanglement risk with improved safety, economics and operational considerations for the smaller vessels. That said, some were concerned about the conservation implications of any increase in lines; therefore, the proposals triggered extensive discussions about the need for distinct and unique gear-markings to improve the NMFS ability to identify the likely source of entanglements if an increase in lines were to occur as a result of the proposals. This unique gear marking discussed at the January meeting (in particular the marking in two new ‘high use areas’) is the approach the Team agreed was an appropriate ‘‘trade-off’’ for the potential for an increased risk. The Team identified the need for distinct and unique gear-markings to improve the NMFS ability to identify the likely source of entanglements if an increase in lines were to occur as a result of the proposals. E:\FR\FM\28MYR1.SGM 28MYR1 30370 Federal Register / Vol. 80, No. 102 / Thursday, May 28, 2015 / Rules and Regulations Enforcement and Monitoring Comment 11: One commenter stated that if the combination of the sinking groundline and vertical line rule do not reduce serious injuries and mortalities then NMFS will be required to take further action. Response 11: We agree and are committed to monitoring the Plan to ensure that it is effective. See response to comment 2. Comment 12: One commenter stated that there is a need for strict enforcement of compliance with the rules and suggested non-regulatory measures expressed at the January meeting. The commenter suggested that the Plan’s provisions require robust monitoring and enforcement efforts. Response 12: We agree that the efficacy of the Plan depends on strong monitoring and enforcement of the regulations. NMFS works closely with the U.S. Coast Guard, NOAA Office of Law Enforcement and state partners through Joint Enforcement Agreements to enforce the regulations. See response to comment 2. wreier-aviles on DSK5TPTVN1PROD with RULES NEPA/ESA Analysis Comment 13: One commenter was concerned with the analysis the Agency conducted for this action under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) and National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) saying that it is not sufficient. The commenter stressed that changes to the Plan require a reinitiation of the ESA Section 7 consultation and the Draft EA omitted several factors not considered in the previous Environmental Impact Statement. Response 13: We believe that the changes to the Plan being made by this rule do not constitute a modification to the operation of the Plan that would have an effect on ESA-listed species or critical habitat that was not considered in the previous consultations. Further, we completed an ESA Section 7 consultation on the proposed modifications to the regulations implementing the Plan. We consulted previously on the Plan, resulting in our issuance of a biological opinion (Opinion) on July 15, 1997. Five subsequent informal consultations have been completed in 2004, 2008, and 2014, when we changed several measures to the Plan. Based on NMFS’ analysis of the re-initiation triggers, we have determined that these proposed modifications to the Plan will not cause any effects that were not already considered in the Opinion and subsequent informal consultations. None of the other reinitiation triggers have been met; therefore, reinitiation of VerDate Sep<11>2014 15:08 May 27, 2015 Jkt 235001 consultation is not necessary. The conclusions reached in the Opinion remain valid, and no further consultation is necessary at this time. Should activities under this action change or new information become available that changes the basis for this determination, then consultation will be reinitiated. Therefore, the measures in this rule do not trigger reinitiation of consultation. In addition, while we believe the analysis conducted for this action is sufficient under NEPA, we have updated sections of the Final EA to respond to the commenter’s concerns. Classification The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) has determined that this action is not significant for the purposes of Executive Order 12866. This action contains collection of information requirements subject to the Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA), specifically, the marking of fishing gear. The collection of information requirement was approved by OMB under control number (0648–0364). Public comment was sought regarding whether this proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance and function of the agency, including: the practical utility of the information; the accuracy of the burden estimate; the opportunities to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and the ways to minimize the burden of the collection of information, including the use of automated collection techniques or other forms of information technology. Send comments regarding this burden estimate, or any other aspect of this data collection, including suggestions for reducing the burden, to NMFS (see ADDRESSEES) and by email to OIRA_Submission@omb.eop.gov, or fax to (202) 395–7285. This revision to the collection of information requirement applies to a total of 399 vessels. The estimated number of vessels affected by the overall gear marking provisions in the Plan is 4,008. The estimated number of those vessels affected only by the proposed amendment is 399. Model vessel types were developed for gillnet fisheries, lobster trap/pot fisheries, and other trap/pot fisheries. Total burden hours for all affected vessels in the Plan are 35,571 hours over three years or 11,857 hours per year. Total cost burden for all affected vessels in the Plan is $24,758 over three years or $8,253 per year. The total cost burden for those vessels affected by the proposed amendment is $3,450 over three years or $1,150 per year. For more information, please see PO 00000 Frm 00038 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 the PRA approval associated with this rulemaking. Notwithstanding any other provision of the law, no person is required to respond to, nor shall any person be subject to a penalty for failure to comply with, a collection of information subject to the requirements of the PRA, unless that collection of information displays a currently valid OMB Control Number. As required by the Regulatory Flexibility Act, NMFS prepared a final regulatory flexibility analysis (FRFA) for this final rule. A description of this action, its objectives, and the legal basis for this action can be found in the Summary section and earlier in the Supplementary Information section of this final rule, and are not repeated here. This rule does not duplicate, overlap, or conflict with any other federal rules. The small entities affected by this rule are commercial gillnet and trap/pot fishermen. The geographic range of the action is the Northeast Atlantic waters. By changing the minimum number of traps per trawl requirement to allow single traps in the lobster trap/pot fishery there are potentially 182 vessels that would be affected. Additionally, in the other trap/pot fisheries, there are potentially 123 vessels that would be affected. All vessels are assumed to be small entities within the meaning of the Regulatory Flexibility Act. Alternatives were evaluated using model vessels, each of which represents a group of vessels that share similar operating characteristics and would face similar requirements under a given regulatory alternative. Both an upper and lower bound of annual economic savings for lobster and other trap/pot were analyzed. A summary of analysis describing the potential range of savings resulting from allowing singles to be fished follows: 1. NMFS considered a ‘‘no action’’ or status quo alternative (Alternative 1) that would result in no changes to the current measures under the Plan and, as such, would result in no additional economic effects on the fishing industry. 2. Alternative 2, the preferred alternative, will modify the Plan by allowing the use of single traps in Rhode Island state waters, in most Massachusetts state waters, and some waters around Maine Islands. This change will constitute an exemption to the minimum two-trap-per-trawl requirement specified for these areas under the 2014 vertical line rulemaking. Those who until now have fished single traps in these areas will avoid the costs associated with converting their gear E:\FR\FM\28MYR1.SGM 28MYR1 Federal Register / Vol. 80, No. 102 / Thursday, May 28, 2015 / Rules and Regulations wreier-aviles on DSK5TPTVN1PROD with RULES from single traps to double traps, and would also avoid other possible costs, such as a loss in revenue due to a reduction in catch. The action also revises gear marking requirements that would apply to vessels fishing in waters that would be exempt from trawling requirements, as well as to vessels fishing in two additional regions (Jordan Basin and Jeffreys Ledge). The changes will require the use of colors that will differentiate gear set in these areas from gear fished in other waters. NMFS has determined, however, that the marking requirements will introduce minimal additional burden for the affected vessels; thus, a substantial increase in compliance costs is unlikely. The rule does not include any other reporting, recordkeeping, or compliance requirements. Overall, the economic impacts of the preferred alternative results in a vessel cost savings that will equal or range from $163,200 to $345,700 for lobster trap/pot vessels and $257,00 to $512,500 for other trap/pot vessels when compared to the no action alternative, resulting in a largely positive impact. NMFS has determined that this action is consistent to the maximum extent practicable with the approved coastal management programs of Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Rhode Island. This determination was submitted for review by the responsible VerDate Sep<11>2014 15:08 May 27, 2015 Jkt 235001 state agencies under section 307 of the Coastal Zone Management Act. The following state agreed with NMFS’s determination: New Hampshire. Maine, Massachusetts, and Rhode Island did not respond; therefore, consistency is inferred. This final rule contains policies with federalism implications as that term is defined in Executive Order 13132. Accordingly, the Assistant Secretary for Legislative and Intergovernmental Affairs provided notice of the proposed action to the appropriate official(s) of affected state, local, and/or tribal governments. No concerns were raised by the states contacted; hence, NMFS will infer that these states concur with the finding that the regulations for amending the Plan were consistent with fundamental federalism principles and federalism policymaking criteria. An informal consultation under the ESA for this final rule to modify the Plan was concluded on March 30, 2015. As a result of the informal consultation, the Regional Administrator determined that the measures to modify the Plan do not meet the triggers for reinitiation of consultation. NMFS completed an ESA Section 7 consultation on the implementation of the Plan on July 15, 1997, and concluded that the action was not likely to adversely affect any ESAlisted species under NMFS jurisdiction. Two subsequent consultations were completed in 2004 and 2008, when PO 00000 Frm 00039 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 30371 NMFS changed some of the measures in the Plan. An informal consultation on the most recent vertical line rule was completed on August 16, 2013. NMFS, as both the action agency and the consulting agency, reviewed the changes and determined that the measures as revised through rulemaking would not affect ESA-listed species under NMFS jurisdiction in a manner that had not been previously considered. The Assistant Administrator finds good cause under 5 U.S.C. 553(d)(3) to waive the 30-day delay in effectiveness. The contents of this action serve to remove existing commercial fishing restrictions and to prevent negative safety impacts from otherwise occurring as the current minimum trap per trawl requirements would have been effective beginning June 1, 2015. Delaying the effectiveness of this rule is contrary to the public interest, because any delay will prevent the removal of the ban on single traps in certain state waters implemented by this rule, thereby increasing safety risk, and providing no additional meaningful benefit to large whales. Accordingly, the 30-day delay in effectiveness is both unnecessary and contrary to the public interest, and as such, portions of this rule will become effective immediately. BILLING CODE 3510–22–P E:\FR\FM\28MYR1.SGM 28MYR1 30372 Federal Register / Vol. 80, No. 102 / Thursday, May 28, 2015 / Rules and Regulations Figure 1. Rhode Island Exempted Waters N 2.5 0 ' I A 5 I I 10 I I I Nautical Miles Legend VerDate Sep<11>2014 15:08 May 27, 2015 Jkt 235001 PO 00000 Frm 00040 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4725 E:\FR\FM\28MYR1.SGM 28MYR1 ER28MY15.000</GPH> wreier-aviles on DSK5TPTVN1PROD with RULES H~~~J Rhode Island State waters Federal Register / Vol. 80, No. 102 / Thursday, May 28, 2015 / Rules and Regulations 30373 Figure 2. Massachusetts Exempted Waters ~ Mass. Proposal- NorthemState waters VerDate Sep<11>2014 15:08 May 27, 2015 Jkt 235001 PO 00000 Frm 00041 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4725 E:\FR\FM\28MYR1.SGM 28MYR1 ER28MY15.001</GPH> wreier-aviles on DSK5TPTVN1PROD with RULES Hilmm Mass. Proposal- Southern State waters 30374 Federal Register / Vol. 80, No. 102 / Thursday, May 28, 2015 / Rules and Regulations Figure 3. Jeffreys Ledge Area for Trap/Pot and Gillnet Gear Marking N 0 5 I II 10 I I 20 I II Nautical Miles I A Legend VerDate Sep<11>2014 15:08 May 27, 2015 Jkt 235001 PO 00000 Frm 00042 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4725 E:\FR\FM\28MYR1.SGM 28MYR1 ER28MY15.002</GPH> wreier-aviles on DSK5TPTVN1PROD with RULES ~ Jeffreys Ledge Gear Marking Area Federal Register / Vol. 80, No. 102 / Thursday, May 28, 2015 / Rules and Regulations Administrative practice and procedure, Confidential business information, Fisheries, Marine mammals, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements. wreier-aviles on DSK5TPTVN1PROD with RULES List of Subjects in 50 CFR Part 229 PART 229—AUTHORIZATION FOR COMMERCIAL FISHERIES UNDER THE MARINE MAMMAL PROTECTION ACT OF 1972 ■ Dated: May 22, 2015. Samuel D. Rauch, III, Deputy Assistant Administrator for Regulatory Programs, National Marine Fisheries Service. 15:08 May 27, 2015 Jkt 235001 Authority: 16 U.S.C. 1361 et seq.; § 229.32(f) also issued under 16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq. 2. In § 229.32, paragraphs (a)(3), (a)(6), (b), and (c)(2) are revised to read as follows: ■ For the reasons set out in the preamble, 50 CFR part 229 is amended as follows: VerDate Sep<11>2014 1. The authority citation for 50 CFR part 229 continues to read as follows: § 229.32 Atlantic large whale take reduction plan regulations. * * * (a) * * * PO 00000 Frm 00043 * Fmt 4700 (3) Exempted waters. (i) The regulations in this section do not apply to waters landward of the 72 COLREGS demarcation lines (International Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea, 1972), as depicted or noted on nautical charts published by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (Coast Charts 1:80,000 scale), and as described in 33 CFR part 80 with the exception of the COLREGS lines for Casco Bay (Maine), Portsmouth Harbor (New Hampshire), Gardiners Bay and Long Island Sound (New York), and the state of Massachusetts. (ii) Other exempted waters. * Sfmt 4700 E:\FR\FM\28MYR1.SGM 28MYR1 ER28MY15.003</GPH> BILLING CODE 3510–22–C 30375 Federal Register / Vol. 80, No. 102 / Thursday, May 28, 2015 / Rules and Regulations Maine wreier-aviles on DSK5TPTVN1PROD with RULES 30376 lines are exempt from all the regulations in this section. A line from 42°53.691′ N. lat., 70°48.516′ W. long. to 42°53.516′ N. lat., 70°48.748′ W. long. (Hampton Harbor) A line from 42°59.986′ N. lat., 70°44.654′ W. long. to 42°59.956′ N., 70°44.737′ W. long. (Rye Harbor) The regulations in this section do not apply to waters landward of a line connecting the following points (Quoddy Narrows/US-Canada border to Odiornes Pt., Portsmouth, New Hampshire): 44°49.67′ N. lat., 66°57.77′ W. long. (R N ‘‘2’’, Quoddy Narrows) 44°48.64′ N. lat., 66°56.43′ W. long. (G ‘‘1’’ Whistle, West Quoddy Head) 44°47.36′ N. lat., 66°59.25′ W. long. (R N ‘‘2’’, Morton Ledge) 44°45.51′ N. lat., 67°02.87′ W. long. (R ‘‘28M’’ Whistle, Baileys Mistake) 44°37.70′ N. lat., 67°09.75′ W. long. (Obstruction, Southeast of Cutler) 44°27.77′ N. lat., 67°32.86′ W. long. (Freeman Rock, East of Great Wass Island) 44°25.74′ N. lat., 67°38.39′ W. long. (R ‘‘2SR’’ Bell, Seahorse Rock, West of Great Wass Island) 44°21.66′ N. lat., 67°51.78′ W. long. (R N ‘‘2’’, Petit Manan Island) 44°19.08′ N. lat., 68°02.05′ W. long. (R ‘‘2S’’ Bell, Schoodic Island) 44°13.55′ N. lat., 68°10.71′ W. long. (R ‘‘8BI’’ Whistle, Baker Island) 44°08.36′ N. lat., 68°14.75′ W. long. (Southern Point, Great Duck Island) 43°59.36′ N. lat., 68°37.95′ W. long. (R ‘‘2’’ Bell, Roaring Bull Ledge, Isle Au Haut) 43°59.83′ N. lat., 68°50.06′ W. long. (R ‘‘2A’’ Bell, Old Horse Ledge) 43°56.72′ N. lat., 69°04.89′ W. long. (G ‘‘5TB’’ Bell, Two Bush Channel) 43°50.28′ N. lat., 69°18.86′ W. long. (R ‘‘2 OM’’ Whistle, Old Man Ledge) 43°48.96′ N. lat., 69°31.15′ W. long. (GR C ‘‘PL’’, Pemaquid Ledge) 43°43.64′ N. lat., 69°37.58′ W. long. (R ‘‘2BR’’ Bell, Bantam Rock) 43°41.44′ N. lat., 69°45.27′ W. long. (R ‘‘20ML’’ Bell, Mile Ledge) 43°36.04′ N. lat., 70°03.98′ W. long. (RG N ‘‘BS’’, Bulwark Shoal) 43°31.94′ N. lat., 70°08.68′ W. long. (G ‘‘1’’, East Hue and Cry) 43°27.63′ N. lat., 70°17.48′ W. long. (RW ‘‘WI’’ Whistle, Wood Island) 43°20.23′ N. lat., 70°23.64′ W. long. (RW ‘‘CP’’ Whistle, Cape Porpoise) 43°04.06′ N. lat., 70°36.70′ W. long. (R N ‘‘2MR’’, Murray Rock) 43°02.93′ N. lat., 70°41.47′ W. long. (R ‘‘2KR’’ Whistle, Kittery Point) 43°02.55′ N. lat., 70°43.33′ W. long. (Odiornes Pt., Portsmouth, New Hampshire) Rhode Island Rhode Island state waters are exempt from the minimum number of traps per trawl requirement in paragraph (c)(2)(iii) of this section. Harbor waters landward of the following lines are exempt from all the regulations in this section. A line from 41°22.441′ N. lat., 71°30.781′ W. long. to 41°22.447′ N. lat., 71°30.893′ W. long. (Pt. Judith Pond Inlet) A line from 41°21.310′ N. lat., 71°38.300′ W. long. to 41°21.300′ N. lat., 71°38.330′ W. long. (Ninigret Pond Inlet) A line from 41°19.875′ N. lat., 71°43.061′ W. long. to 41°19.879′ N. lat., 71°43.115′ W. long. (Quonochontaug Pond Inlet) A line from 41°19.660′ N. lat., 71°45.750′ W. long. to 41°19.660′ N. lat., 71°45.780′ W. long. (Weekapaug Pond Inlet) A line from 41°26.550′ N. lat., 71°26.400′ W. long. to 41°26.500′ N. lat, 71°26.505′ W. long. (Pettaquamscutt Inlet) New York The regulations in this section do not apply to waters landward of a line that follows the territorial sea baseline through Block Island Sound (Watch Hill Point, RI, to Montauk Point, NY). Massachusetts The regulations in this section do not apply to waters landward of the first bridge over any embayment, harbor, or inlet in Massachusetts. The following Massachusetts state waters are exempt from the minimum number of traps per trawl requirement in paragraph (c)(2)(iii) of this section: From the New Hampshire border to 70° W longitude south of Cape Cod, waters in EEZ Nearshore Management Area 1 and the Outer Cape Lobster Management Area (as defined in the American Lobster Fishery regulations under § 697.18 of this title), from the shoreline to 3 nautical miles from shore, New Hampshire and including waters of Cape Cod Bay New Hampshire state waters are southeast of a straight line connecting exempt from the minimum number of 41° 55.8′ N lat., 70°8.4′ W long. and traps per trawl requirement in 41°47.2′ N lat., 70°19.5′ W long. paragraph (c)(2)(iii) of this section. From 70° W longitude south of Cape Harbor waters landward of the following Cod to the Rhode Island border, all VerDate Sep<11>2014 15:08 May 27, 2015 Jkt 235001 PO 00000 Frm 00044 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 Massachusetts state waters in EEZ Nearshore Management Area 2 and the Outer Cape Lobster Management Area (as defined in the American Lobster Fishery regulations under § 697.18 of this title), including federal waters of Nantucket Sound west of 70° W longitude. South Carolina The regulations in this section do not apply to waters landward of a line connecting the following points from 32°34.717′ N. lat., 80°08.565′ W. long. to 32°34.686′ N. lat., 80°08.642′ W. long. (Captain Sams Inlet) * * * * * (6) Island buffer. Those fishing in waters within 1⁄4 nautical miles of the following Maine islands are exempt from the minimum number of traps per trawl requirement in paragraph (c)(2)(iii) of this section: Monhegan Island, Matinicus Island Group (Metinic Island, Small Green Island, Large Green Island, Seal Island, Wooden Ball Island, Matinicus Island, Ragged Island) and Isles of Shoals Island Group (Duck Island, Appledore Island, Cedar Island, Smuttynose Island). (b) Gear marking requirements—(1) Specified areas. The following areas are specified for gear marking purposes: Northern Inshore State Trap/Pot Waters, Cape Cod Bay Restricted Area, Massachusetts Restricted Area, Stellwagen Bank/Jeffreys Ledge Restricted Area, Northern Nearshore Trap/Pot Waters Area, Great South Channel Restricted Trap/Pot Area, Great South Channel Restricted Gillnet Area, Great South Channel Sliver Restricted Area, Southern Nearshore Trap/Pot Waters Area, Offshore Trap/Pot Waters Area, Other Northeast Gillnet Waters Area, Mid/South Atlantic Gillnet Waters Area, Other Southeast Gillnet Waters Area, Southeast U.S. Restricted Areas, and Southeast U.S. Monitoring Area. (i) Jordan Basin. The Jordan Basin Restricted Area is bounded by the following points connected by straight lines in the order listed: Point JBRA1 JBRA2 JBRA3 JBRA4 JBRA5 JBRA1 ............... ............... ............... ............... ............... ............... N. Lat. 43°15′ 43°35′ 43°25′ 43°05′ 43°05′ 43°15′ W. Long. 68°50′ 68°20′ 68°05′ 68°20′ 68°35′ 68°50′ (ii) Jeffreys Ledge Restricted Area— The Jeffreys Ledge Restricted Area is bounded by the following points connected by a straight line in the order listed: E:\FR\FM\28MYR1.SGM 28MYR1 Federal Register / Vol. 80, No. 102 / Thursday, May 28, 2015 / Rules and Regulations Point JLRA1 JLRA2 JLRA3 JLRA4 JLRA1 N. Lat. ............... ............... ............... ............... ............... W. Long. 43°15′ 43°15′ 42°50′ 42°50′ 43°15′ 70°25′ 70°00′ 70°00′ 70°25′ 70°25′ (2) Markings. All specified gear in specified areas must be marked with the color code shown in paragraph (b)(3) of this section. The color of the color code must be permanently marked on or along the line or lines specified below under paragraphs (b)(2)(i) and (ii) of this section. Each color mark of the color codes must be clearly visible when the gear is hauled or removed from the water, including if the color of the rope is the same as or similar to the respective color code. The rope must be marked at least three times (top, middle, bottom) and each mark must total 12inch (30.5 cm) in length. If the mark consists of two colors then each color mark may be 6-inch (15.25 cm) for a total mark of 12-inch (30.5 cm). In marking or affixing the color code, the line may be dyed, painted, or marked with thin colored whipping line, thin colored plastic, or heat-shrink tubing, or other material; or a thin line may be woven into or through the line; or the line may be marked as approved in writing by the Assistant Administrator. A brochure illustrating the techniques for marking gear is available from the Regional Administrator, NMFS, Greater Atlantic Region upon request. (i) Buoy line markings. All buoy lines must be marked as stated above. Shark gillnet gear in the Southeast U.S. Restricted Area S, Southeast U.S. Monitoring Area and Other Southeast Gillnet Waters, greater than 4 feet (1.22 m) long must be marked within 2 feet (0.6 m) of the top of the buoy line (closest to the surface), midway along the length of the buoy line, and within 2 feet (0.6 m) of the bottom of the buoy line. (ii) Net panel markings. Shark gillnet gear net panels in the Southeast U.S. Restricted Area S, Southeast U.S. Monitoring Area and Other Southeast Gillnet Waters is required to be marked. The net panel must be marked along 30377 both the floatline and the leadline at least once every 100 yards (91.4 m). (iii) Surface buoy markings. Trap/pot and gillnet gear regulated under this section must mark all surface buoys to identify the vessel or fishery with one of the following: The owner’s motorboat registration number, the owner’s U.S. vessel documentation number, the Federal commercial fishing permit number, or whatever positive identification marking is required by the vessel’s home-port state. When marking of surface buoys is not already required by state or Federal regulations, the letters and numbers used to mark the gear to identify the vessel or fishery must be at least 1 inch (2.5 cm) in height in block letters or arabic numbers in a color that contrasts with the background color of the buoy. A brochure illustrating the techniques for marking gear is available from the Regional Administrator, NMFS, Greater Atlantic Region upon request. (3) Color code. Gear must be marked with the appropriate colors to designate gear types and areas as follows: COLOR CODE SCHEME Plan management area Color Trap/Pot Gear Massachusetts Restricted Area .................................................................................. Northern Nearshore .................................................................................................... Northern Inshore State ............................................................................................... Stellwagen Bank/Jeffreys Ledge Restricted Area ...................................................... Great South Channel Restricted Area overlapping with LMA 2 and/or Outer Cape Exempt RI state waters (single traps) ........................................................................ Exempt MA state waters in LMA 1 (single traps) ...................................................... Exempt MA state waters in LMA 2 (single traps) ...................................................... Exempt MA state waters in Outer Cape (single traps) .............................................. Isles of Shoals, ME (single traps) .............................................................................. Southern Nearshore ................................................................................................... Southeast Restricted Area North (State Waters) ....................................................... Southeast Restricted Area North (Federal Waters) ................................................... Offshore ...................................................................................................................... Great South Channel Restricted Area overlapping with LMA 2/3 and/or LMA 3 ...... Jordan Basin ............................................................................................................... Jeffreys Ledge ............................................................................................................ Red. Red. Red. Red. Red. Red and Blue. Red and White. Red and Black. Red and Yellow. Red and Orange. Orange. Blue and Orange. Green and Orange. Black. Black. Black and Purple (LMA 3); Red and and Purple (LMA 1). Red and Green. wreier-aviles on DSK5TPTVN1PROD with RULES Gillnet excluding shark gillnet Cape Cod Bay Restricted Area .................................................................................. Stellwagen Bank/Jeffreys Ledge Restricted Area ...................................................... Great South Channel Restricted Area ....................................................................... Great South Channel Restricted Sliver Area ............................................................. Other Northeast Gillnet Waters .................................................................................. Jordan Basin ............................................................................................................... Jeffreys Ledge ............................................................................................................ Mid/South Atlantic Gillnet Waters ............................................................................... Southeast US Restricted Area South ......................................................................... Other Southeast Gillnet Waters ................................................................................. Green. Green. Green. Green. Green. Green and Yellow. Green and Black. Blue. Yellow. Yellow. Shark Gillnet (with webbing of 5″ or greater) Southeast US Restricted Area South ......................................................................... Southeast Monitoring Area ......................................................................................... Other Southeast Waters ............................................................................................. VerDate Sep<11>2014 15:08 May 27, 2015 Jkt 235001 PO 00000 Frm 00045 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 Green and Blue. Green and Blue. Green and Blue. E:\FR\FM\28MYR1.SGM 28MYR1 30378 Federal Register / Vol. 80, No. 102 / Thursday, May 28, 2015 / Rules and Regulations * * * * * (c) * * * (2) Area specific gear requirements. Trap/pot gear must be set according to the requirements outlined below and in the table in paragraph (c)(2)(iii) of this section. (i) Single traps and multiple-trap trawls. All traps must be set according to the configuration outlined in the Table (c)(2)(iii) of this section. Trawls up to and including 5 or fewer traps must only have one buoy line unless specified otherwise in Table (c)(2)(iii) of this section. (ii) Buoy line weak links. All buoys, flotation devices and/or weights (except Location ME ME ME ME ME traps/pots, anchors, and leadline woven into the buoy line), such as surface buoys, high flyers, sub-surface buoys, toggles, window weights, etc., must be attached to the buoy line with a weak link placed as close to each individual buoy, flotation device and/or weight as operationally feasible and that meets the following specifications: (A) The breaking strength of the weak links must not exceed the breaking strength listed in paragraph (c)(2)(iii) of this section for a specified management area. (B) The weak link must be chosen from the following list approved by NMFS: swivels, plastic weak links, rope Mgmt area State and Pocket Waters 1 ....... Zones A–G (3–6 miles) 1 .... Zones A–C (6–12 miles) 1 ........ Zones D–G (6–12 miles) 1 ........ Zones A–E (12+ miles) ............. Minimum number traps/trawl Weak link strength Inshore State ................. Nearshore ..................... Nearshore ..................... Nearshore ..................... Nearshore and Offshore 2 (1 endline) ................................. 3 (1 endline) ................................. 5 (1 endline) ................................. 10 ................................................. 15 ................................................. ME Zones F–G (12+ miles) ............ Northern Nearshore and Offshore MA State Waters 2 ........................... Northern Inshore State and Massachusetts Restricted Area. Other MA State Waters ................... Northern Inshore State and Massachusetts Restricted Area. NH State Waters ............................. LMA 1 (3–12 miles) ......................... Northern Inshore State ................. Northern Nearshore and Massachusetts Restricted Area and Stellwagen Bank/Jeffreys Ledge Restricted Area. Northern Nearshore ..................... Northern Inshore State and Massachusetts Restricted Area. Northern Inshore State and Massachusetts Restricted Area. Northern Nearshore and Massachusetts Restricted Area. Northern Nearshore and Great South Channel Restricted Area. Northern Inshore State ................. 15 (Mar 1–Oct 31) 20 (Nov 1– Feb 28/29). No minimum number of traps per trawl. Trawls up to and including 3 or fewer traps must only have one buoy line. 2 (1 endline) Trawls up to and including 3 or fewer traps must only have one buoy line. No minimum trap/trawl ................. 10 ................................................. LMA 1 (12+ miles) ........................... LMA1/OC Overlap (0–3 miles) ........ OC (0–3 miles) ................................ OC (3–12 miles) .............................. OC (12+ miles) ................................ RI State Waters ............................... LMA 2 (3–12 miles) ......................... LMA 2 (12+ miles) ........................... LMA 2/3 Overlap (12+ miles) .......... LMA 3 (12+ miles) ........................... LMA 4,5,6 ........................................ FL State Waters .............................. GA State Waters ............................. wreier-aviles on DSK5TPTVN1PROD with RULES SC State Waters ............................. Federal Waters off FL, GA, SC ...... Northern Northern Northern Northern Northern of appropriate breaking strength, hog rings, rope stapled to a buoy stick, or other materials or devices approved in writing by the Assistant Administrator. A brochure illustrating the techniques for making weak links is available from the Regional Administrator, NMFS, Greater Atlantic Region upon request. (C) Weak links must break cleanly leaving behind the bitter end of the line. The bitter end of the line must be free of any knots when the weak link breaks. Splices are not considered to be knots for the purposes of this provision. (iii) Table of Area Specific Gear Requirements Northern Nearshore ..................... Northern Nearshore and Great South Channel Restricted Area. Offshore and Great South Channel Restricted Area. Offshore waters North of 40° and Great South Channel Restricted Area. Southern Nearshore ..................... Southeast US Restricted Area North i. Southeast US Restricted Area North 3. Southeast US Restricted Area North 3. Southeast US Restricted Area North 3. ≤600 lbs. ≤600 lbs. ≤600 lbs. ≤600 lbs. ≤600 lbs (≤1500 2,000 lbs if red ≤600 lbs (≤1500 2,000 lbs if red ≤600 lbs. ≤600 lbs. ≤600 lbs. ≤600 lbs. 20 ................................................. No minimum number of traps per trawl. No minimum number of traps per trawl. 10 ................................................. ≤600 lbs. ≤600 lbs. 20 ................................................. ≤600 lbs. No minimum number of traps per trawl.. 10 ................................................. 20 ................................................. ≤600 lbs. 20 ................................................. ≤1500 lbs (2,000 lbs if red crab trap/pot). ≤1500 lbs (2,000 lbs if red crab trap/pot). 20 ................................................. ≤600 lbs. ≤600 lbs. ≤600 lbs. ≤600 lbs. ....................................................... 1 ................................................... ≤600 lbs. ≤200 lbs. 1 ................................................... ≤600 lbs. 1 ................................................... ≤600 lbs. 1 ................................................... ≤600 lbs. 1 The pocket waters and 6-mile line as defined in paragraphs (a)(2)(ii)–(a)(2)(iii) of this section. State waters as defined as paragraph (a)(3)(iii) of this section. 3 See § 229.32(f)(1) for description of area. 2 MA VerDate Sep<11>2014 15:08 May 27, 2015 Jkt 235001 PO 00000 Frm 00046 Fmt 4700 lbs in offshore, crab trap/pot). lbs in offshore, crab trap/pot). Sfmt 4700 E:\FR\FM\28MYR1.SGM 28MYR1 Federal Register / Vol. 80, No. 102 / Thursday, May 28, 2015 / Rules and Regulations * * * * entity compliance guide are available from John K. Bullard, Regional Administrator, Greater Atlantic Region, National Marine Fisheries Service, 55 Great Republic Drive, Gloucester, MA 01930–2298. * [FR Doc. 2015–12869 Filed 5–27–15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510–22–P DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: 50 CFR Part 648 SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: [Docket No. 150205118–5443–02] Background RIN 0648–BE87 The small-mesh multispecies fishery is managed primarily through a serious of exemptions from the Northeast Multispecies Fishery Management Plan (FMP). The small-mesh multispecies fishery is composed of five stocks of three species of hakes (northern and southern silver hake, northern and southern red hake, and offshore hake). It is managed separately from the other stocks of groundfish such as cod, haddock, and flounders, primarily because the fishing is done with much smaller mesh and the fishery does not generally catch these other stocks. Amendment 19 to the Northeast Multispecies FMP (April 4, 2013; 78 FR 20260) established a process and framework for setting the small-mesh multispecies catch specifications. The New England Fishery Management Council’s Scientific and Statistical Committee (SSC) met on August 26, 2014, to discuss the specifications and to recommend ABCs for the 2015–2017 small-mesh fishery. The FMP’s implementing regulations require the involvement of an SSC in the specification process. Following the SSC, the Whiting Oversight Committee met on September 9 and October 30, 2014, to discuss and recommend smallmesh specifications. The Council approved the final specifications for recommendation to NMFS on November 17, 2014. Jason Berthiaume, Fishery Management Specialist, (978) 281–9177. Fisheries of the Northeastern United States; Small-Mesh Multispecies Specifications National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Commerce. ACTION: Final rule. AGENCY: This final rule implements the New England Fishery Management Council’s recommended fishing year 2015–2017 specifications and management measures for the smallmesh multispecies fishery, clarifies what measures can be modified in a specifications package, and corrects the northern red hake accountability measure. This action is necessary to ensure that catch of these species does not exceed applicable limits. DATES: Effective May 28, 2015. ADDRESSES: Copies of the specifications document, consisting of an Environmental Assessment (EA) and other supporting documents, are available on request from Thomas A. Nies, Executive Director, New England Fishery Management Council, 50 Water Street, Newburyport, MA 01950. This document is also available from the following internet addresses: www.greateratlantic.fisheries.noaa.gov/ or www.nefmc.org. Copies of the small SUMMARY: 30379 The purpose of this action is to set the specifications for small-mesh multispecies for the 2015–2017 fishing years. These specifications include overfishing limit (OFL), acceptable biological catch (ABC), and total allowable landings (TAL) for each of the small-mesh multispecies stocks. In 2012 and 2013, northern red hake catch rates exceeded the annual catch limits (ACL) and the ABC. Northern red hake was also determined to be experiencing overfishing. To reduce the risk of continued overfishing on this stock and better constrain catch to the ACL, this action implements the Council’s recommended reduction of the northern red hake possession limit from 5,000 lb (2,268 kg) to 3,000 lb (1,361 kg) per trip. It also creates a new trigger point at which possession limits are reduced inseason such that when landings of northern red hake reach 45 percent of the TAL, the possession limit will be reduced to 1,500 lb (680 kg). The possession limits and inseason trigger accountability measures for the other stocks of small-mesh multispecies remain unchanged from 2012–2014. This final rule also includes a correction to the small-mesh accountability measures and clarifies what measures can be modified in a small-mesh multispecies specifications action. Final Measures 1. 2015–2017 Small-Mesh Multispecies Specifications The Council process for developing its specifications recommendations for small-mesh multispecies can be found in the proposed rule for this action published in the Federal Register on April 8, 2015 (80 FR 18801), and is not repeated here. These specifications remain effective for fishing years 2015– 2017 unless otherwise changed during that time. TABLE 1—SUMMARY OF THE SMALL-MESH MULTISPECIES SPECIFICATIONS FOR 2015–2017 [All weights in metric tons] Stock OFL wreier-aviles on DSK5TPTVN1PROD with RULES N. Silver Hake .......................................... N. Red Hake ............................................ S. Whiting * ............................................... S. Red Hake ............................................ ABC 43,608 331 60,148 3,400 24,383 287 31,180 3,179 Percent change from 2012–2014 ACL 23,161 273 29,621 3,021 Discard rate (percent) 85 2.6 ¥8.2 ¥2.4 11.2 60.6 17.1 55.3 TAL 19,948.7 104.2 23,833.4 1,309.4 Percent change from 2012–2014 122.3 15.4 ¥12.6 ¥2.0 * Southern whiting includes southern silver hake and offshore hake. 2. Northern Red Hake Possession Limit Reduction This action reduces the northern red hake possession limit from 5,000 lb VerDate Sep<11>2014 15:08 May 27, 2015 Jkt 235001 (2,268 kg) in place for fishing year 2014 to 3,000 lb (1,361 kg) for fishing years 2015–2017. This reduction in possession limit is intended to delay the PO 00000 Frm 00047 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 in-season accountability measure (AM) until later in the year and to reduce the potential for northern red hake catches E:\FR\FM\28MYR1.SGM 28MYR1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 80, Number 102 (Thursday, May 28, 2015)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 30367-30379]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2015-12869]


=======================================================================
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DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

50 CFR Part 229

[Docket No. 150122067-5453-02]
RIN 0648-BE83


Taking of Marine Mammals Incidental to Commercial Fishing 
Operations; Atlantic Large Whale Take Reduction Plan Regulations

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

ACTION: Final rule.

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

SUMMARY: NMFS issues this final rule to amend the regulations 
implementing the Atlantic Large Whale Take Reduction Plan. This action 
will change the minimum number of traps per trawl to allow fishing with 
a single trap in certain Massachusetts and Rhode Island state waters; 
and modifies the requirement to use one endline on trawls within 
certain areas in Massachusetts state waters. Also, this rule creates a 
\1/4\ mile buffer in waters surrounding certain islands in Maine to 
allow fishing with a single trap. In addition, this rule includes 
additional gear marking requirements for those waters allowing single 
traps as well as two new high use areas for humpback whales (Megaptera 
novaeangliae) and North Atlantic right whales (Eubalaena glacialis).

DATES: This rule is effective May 28, 2015, except for the amendment to 
Sec.  229.32(b)(3), which is effective July 1, 2015, and the amendment 
to Sec.  229.32(b)(1)(i) and (ii), which is effective September 1, 
2015.

ADDRESSES: Copies of the supporting documents for this action, as well 
as the Atlantic Large Whale Take Reduction Team meeting summaries and 
supporting documents, may be obtained from the Plan Web site (http://www.greateratlantic.fisheries.noaa.gov/protected/whaletrp/index.html). 
Written comments regarding the burden hour estimates or other aspects 
of the collection of information requirements contained in this final 
rule can be submitted to Kimberly Damon-Randall, NMFS, Greater Atlantic 
Regional Fisheries Office, 55 Great Republic Dr, Gloucester, MA 10930 
or Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs by email at 
OIRA_submissions@omb.eop.gov.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Kate Swails, NMFS Greater Atlantic 
Regional Fisheries Office, 978-282-8481, Kate.Swails@noaa.gov; or, 
Kristy Long, NMFS Office of Protected Resources, 206-526-4792, 
Kristy.Long@noaa.gov.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Background

    NMFS published an amendment to the Atlantic Large Whale Take 
Reduction Plan (Plan) on June 27, 2014 (79 FR 36586) to address large 
whale entanglement risks associated with vertical line (or buoy lines) 
from commercial trap/pot fisheries. This amendment included gear 
modifications, gear setting requirements, a seasonal closure 
(Massachusetts Restricted Area) and gear marking for both the trap/pot 
and the gillnet fisheries.
    In consultation with the Atlantic Large Whale Take Reduction Team 
(Team), NMFS developed protocols for considering modifications or 
exemptions to the regulations implementing the Plan. Following these 
protocols, on August 18, 2014, the Massachusetts Division of Marine 
Fisheries (DMF) submitted a proposal to modify the Massachusetts Bay 
Restricted Area and to exempt several areas from the gear setting 
requirements to address safety and economic concerns raised by their 
industry members.
    The DMF proposal adequately addressed the Team's established 
protocols and criteria for considering modifications or exemptions to 
the Plan's regulations, which enabled NMFS to consult with the Team on 
the DMF proposal. We decided to address the modifications to the 
Massachusetts Restricted Area and the exemption of the minimum number 
of traps per trawl requirements separately, beginning with the 
Massachusetts Restricted Area. After discussions with the Team, NMFS

[[Page 30368]]

published an amendment to the Plan on December 12, 2014 (79 FR 73848) 
changing the timing and size of the Massachusetts Restricted Area.
    Along with the DMF proposal, NMFS also received proposals from 
other state partners requesting certain waters be exempt from the 
minimum number of traps per trawl requirements due to safety concerns. 
The conservation members of the Team also submitted a proposal in an 
effort to offset this potential increase in vertical lines should NMFS 
approve the proposed state exemptions. NMFS convened the Team in 
January 2015 to discuss these proposals. At the conclusion of the 
January meeting, the Team, by near consensus, recommended that we amend 
the Plan as proposed by the states. The Team also recommended that the 
current gear marking scheme be updated to include unique marks for 
those fishing single traps in the proposed exempted areas and a unique 
mark for both gillnets and trap/pots fished in Jeffreys Ledge and 
Jordan Basin. The Team's recommendations form the basis for the action 
described below.

Changes to the Plan for Trap/Pot Gear

    This action exempts Rhode Island state waters and portions of 
Massachusetts state waters from the minimum number of traps per trawl 
requirement and allow single traps to be fished in certain state waters 
(see Figures 1 and 2, respectively). This exemption is based on safety 
and financial concerns raised by the industry. In addition, in Rhode 
Island state waters and portions of Massachusetts state waters 
(particularly in Southern Massachusetts waters) the co-occurrence of 
fishing effort and whale distribution is minimal. According to DMF, 
along the Outer Cape there are dynamic tides and featureless substrate 
that dictate the use of single traps in this area. Massachusetts also 
has a student lobster permit that allows for permit holders to fish 
alone and with small boats. Single traps are used in this fishery and 
other inshore waters as a matter of safety.
    In addition, those fishing in all Massachusetts state waters are 
required to have one endline for trawls less than or equal to three 
traps. The current requirement of one endline for trawls less than or 
equal to five traps remains in place in all other management areas. 
Larger trawls (i.e., [gteqt]6 traps/pots) will not be required to have 
only one endline.
    An exemption from the minimum number of traps per trawl requirement 
is also granted for a \1/4\ mile buffer in waters surrounding the 
following islands in Maine--Matinicus Island Group (Metinic, Small 
Green, Large Green, Seal, and Wooden Ball) and Isles of Shoals Island 
Group (Duck, Appledore, Cedar, and Smuttynose).
    Boats within this \1/4\ mile buffer are allowed to continue fishing 
single traps rather than multiple trap trawls due to safety issues 
since these waters are generally less than 30 fathoms deep with rocky 
edges and boats fishing close to shore areas are usually small. A 
similar exemption for the inhabited islands of Monhegan, Matinicus, and 
Ragged Islands was established in the June 2014 rule. The islands in 
this current rule have the same bottom habitat as the previously 
exempted islands and many residents from many island communities fish 
around these islands. Similarly, the New Hampshire side of the Isles of 
Shoals group was also exempted from the minimum number of traps per 
trawl requirement in the June 2014 rule. Allowing the islands in the 
chain that fall on the Maine side of the border to have the same 
exemption would provide parity to fishermen using islands on both sides 
of the border. Maine Department of Marine Resources (ME DMR) estimates 
that the fishing effort within the proposed buffer areas is small (0.3% 
of total vertical lines in the Northeast), consists of around 20 
fishermen and has peak use in the summer months. In addition, ME DMR is 
pursuing funding for aerial surveys that would determine the use by 
marine mammals of these coastal areas and document the gear density.

Changes to the Plan for Gear Marking

    This action implements a gear marking scheme that builds off the 
current color combinations and the size and frequency of the current 
gear marking requirements. In an effort to learn if entanglements occur 
in these newly exempted areas, this action adds a unique gear mark to 
those single vertical lines fished in the exempted areas of Rhode 
Island, Massachusetts, and Matinicus Island Group, Maine. Also, this 
action proposes unique trap/pot and gillnet gear marking in two 
important high use areas for both humpback and right whales--Jeffreys 
Ledge (Figure 3) and Jordan Basin (Figure 4). The mark must equal 12-
inches (30.5 cm) in length and buoy lines must be marked three times 
(top, middle, bottom) with the appropriate unique color combination for 
that area.
    There will be a phased-in implementation of the new gear marking. 
Industry would have until July 1, 2015 to mark gear fished in the newly 
exempted areas and until September 1, 2015 to mark gear in Jeffreys 
Ledge and Jordan Basin areas.

Comments and Responses

    NMFS published the proposed rule to amend the Plan in the Federal 
Register on March 19, 2015 (80 FR 14345). Upon its publication, NMFS 
issued a press email announcing the proposed rule; posted the proposed 
rule on the Plan Web site; and notified affected fishermen and 
interested parties via several NMFS email distribution outlets. The 
publication of the proposed rule was followed by a 30-day public 
comment period, which ended on April 20, 2015. NMFS received ten 
substantive comments via electronic submission. All comments received 
were thoroughly reviewed by NMFS. Most comments were in full support of 
the action or in partial support of the action with some concerns. One 
commenter was unsupportive of the rule. The comments addressed several 
topics including the need for enforcement of the measures and time 
required to implement new gear marking scheme. The comments received 
are summarized below, followed by NMFS's responses.

Adequacy of Co-Occurrence Model

    Comment 1: Two commenters questioned the adequacy of the co-
occurrence model and the data used to develop the model. The commenters 
stated that the model remains flawed due to lack of updated data, 
inappropriate spatial scaling of data, and assumptions about whale 
distribution. Despite this, the commenters recognized that NMFS uses 
the co-occurrence model as the basis for assessing relative risk and 
did not object to its use for analysis of the states' proposals. The 
commenters suggested that NMFS update the model with new data for both 
whale distribution and fishing effort, being sure to factor in recent 
management changes to the fishing industry.
    Response 1: We believe the information in the model is accurate but 
does have some limitations. We previously provided model documentation 
describing the fishing effort data upon which the model relies, 
including a detailed discussion of the models limitations. Despite 
these limitations, the data are the best information available. We 
updated the sightings per unit effort (SPUE) data since the previous 
rule and plan on updating the model with more current fishing effort 
information as time allows for future rulemakings.
    Gear Marking

[[Page 30369]]

    Comment 2: Most commenters were in support of the new gear marking 
scheme, stating it is a step in the right direction to determine 
specific spatial resolution of the origin of entanglements. One 
commenter suggested the color scheme for single traps be `sunsetted' 
after five or more years if analyses reveal that inshore single trap/
pot gear is not resulting in increased entanglement risk.
    Response 2: We will continue to monitor the Plan via our Monitoring 
Strategy. This strategy includes both annual monitoring reports and a 
multi-year status summary intended to review the Plan's effectiveness 
and compliance over a 5-year timeframe. If analyses determine that the 
amended Plan is not achieving its goals, NMFS will review the multi-
year status summary to evaluate the potential causes for not achieving 
the management objectives and consult with the Team on the development 
of appropriate actions to address any identified shortcomings of the 
Plan and its amendments.
    Comment 3: One commenter suggested that NMFS consider allowing 
Massachusetts lobstermen to put the second color in the middle of the 
12'' mark instead of having each mark equal 6'' as currently written.
    Response 3: The two color marking scheme has been used in the 
Southeast fisheries since the beginning of the Plan. For consistency in 
marking schemes across regions we feel the current marking scheme of 
abutting colors is adequate. NMFS and the Team will evaluate any future 
gear marking scheme and make necessary adjustments through a future 
rulemaking if warranted.
    Comment 4: One commenter disagreed with the proposed action to mark 
gear in Jeffreys Ledge and Jordan Basin due to their significance as 
`high use areas' stating it goes against the intent of the Team to 
evaluate management actions in terms of co-occurrence.
    Response 4: We disagree. The Team chose to develop the June 2014 
vertical line management measures using the co-occurrence model. The 
development of the gear marking scheme in `high use areas' was an 
outgrowth of discussions at the January 2015 meeting in response to 
exemption requests submitted by our state partners. These gear marking 
areas were a compromise for allowing state exemption requests to move 
forward and do not go against the intent of the Team when evaluating 
management options.
    Comment 5: One commenter reluctantly agreed to the new gear marking 
scheme, stating that the Canadian lobster industry is not required to 
follow similar procedures. He stated that efforts need to be initiated 
to address trans-boundary aspects of this problem.
    Response 5: Coordination between Canada and the U.S. concerning 
transboundary issues has been ongoing since the mid-1990s. We are 
continuing to work with the Canadian government to develop and 
implement protective measures for right whales in Canadian waters.
    Comment 6: One commenter stated that gear marking requirements do 
nothing to reduce immediate entanglement risk. They recommended 
developing new gear marking requirements for all fishermen to mark 
lines on all traps and gillnets, including in all exempted areas beyond 
the COLREG line, which reflects a systematic, region-wide approach to 
maximize information on the location, fishery, and gear part of lines 
found on entangled whales.
    Response 6: Although gear marking will not reduce entanglements by 
itself, it is expected to facilitate monitoring of entanglement rates 
and assist in designing future entanglement reduction measures in 
targeted areas deemed important by the Team. We feel that the proposed 
gear marking combined with the current gear marking scheme is 
sufficient and will help us target specific areas for future management 
if further measures are deemed necessary.

Implementation Date

    Comment 7: Two commenters requested a delayed implementation date 
for the gear marking portion of the rule. They stated that having a 
start date of 30-days and 90-days from publication is operationally 
restrictive in the middle of a fishing year and instead suggested a 
start date of June 2016.
    Response 7: The gear marking will go into effect 30-days from 
publication for those fishing singles in the proposed exempted inshore 
areas and 90-days from publication for those fishing in the high use 
areas of Jeffreys Ledge and Jordan Basin. NMFS feels this is timing is 
adequate, particularly because states have encouraged their inshore 
industry to mark their gear in anticipation of the final rule and NMFS 
has already provided a year for fishermen to comply with its gear 
marking scheme implemented in the June 2014 final rule.

Exemption Areas

    Comment 8: One commenter noted that the Maine island exemption 
areas are not consistently identified in state and Federal rules. He 
also suggested that this rule be amended to clarify that islets and 
ledges adjacent to Matinicus Island but not within \1/4\ mile (Two Bush 
Island, No Man's Land, Ten Pound Island, Black Ledge and others) be 
included in the exemption request.
    Response 8: We will work with our partners at Maine Department of 
Marine Resources to ensure that state and Federal rules mirror each 
other. We believe that, working with DMR, we have identified the 
appropriate islands and island groups for the \1/4\ mile island buffer 
provision and are not amending the exemption request.
    Comment 9: One commenter stated that it is not feasible for a small 
vessel to fish ten trap trawls and should be allowed to fish 5 to 6 
traps as is currently commonplace.
    Response 9: This rule is in response to proposals from state 
partners to address safety concerns of small boats in inshore waters 
fishing singles. The proposals did not address those fishing 5 or 6 
traps.
    Comment 10: One commenter does not support the proposed rule. The 
commenter stated that the proposals requested state waters be exempt 
from the Plan; however, the proposals did not provide adequate measures 
to compensate for a potential for reduced protection of large whales as 
a result of these exemption requests. The commenter felt that the 
states' proposals should be deferred until each state had developed 
options that that would reduce the potential for entanglement risks 
(i.e, a trade-off).
    Response 10: We disagree. The Team felt that there was little 
increase in overall entanglement risk with improved safety, economics 
and operational considerations for the smaller vessels. That said, some 
were concerned about the conservation implications of any increase in 
lines; therefore, the proposals triggered extensive discussions about 
the need for distinct and unique gear-markings to improve the NMFS 
ability to identify the likely source of entanglements if an increase 
in lines were to occur as a result of the proposals. This unique gear 
marking discussed at the January meeting (in particular the marking in 
two new `high use areas') is the approach the Team agreed was an 
appropriate ``trade-off'' for the potential for an increased risk. The 
Team identified the need for distinct and unique gear-markings to 
improve the NMFS ability to identify the likely source of entanglements 
if an increase in lines were to occur as a result of the proposals.

[[Page 30370]]

Enforcement and Monitoring

    Comment 11: One commenter stated that if the combination of the 
sinking groundline and vertical line rule do not reduce serious 
injuries and mortalities then NMFS will be required to take further 
action.
    Response 11: We agree and are committed to monitoring the Plan to 
ensure that it is effective. See response to comment 2.
    Comment 12: One commenter stated that there is a need for strict 
enforcement of compliance with the rules and suggested non-regulatory 
measures expressed at the January meeting. The commenter suggested that 
the Plan's provisions require robust monitoring and enforcement 
efforts.
    Response 12: We agree that the efficacy of the Plan depends on 
strong monitoring and enforcement of the regulations. NMFS works 
closely with the U.S. Coast Guard, NOAA Office of Law Enforcement and 
state partners through Joint Enforcement Agreements to enforce the 
regulations. See response to comment 2.

NEPA/ESA Analysis

    Comment 13: One commenter was concerned with the analysis the 
Agency conducted for this action under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) 
and National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) saying that it is not 
sufficient. The commenter stressed that changes to the Plan require a 
reinitiation of the ESA Section 7 consultation and the Draft EA omitted 
several factors not considered in the previous Environmental Impact 
Statement.
    Response 13: We believe that the changes to the Plan being made by 
this rule do not constitute a modification to the operation of the Plan 
that would have an effect on ESA-listed species or critical habitat 
that was not considered in the previous consultations. Further, we 
completed an ESA Section 7 consultation on the proposed modifications 
to the regulations implementing the Plan. We consulted previously on 
the Plan, resulting in our issuance of a biological opinion (Opinion) 
on July 15, 1997. Five subsequent informal consultations have been 
completed in 2004, 2008, and 2014, when we changed several measures to 
the Plan. Based on NMFS' analysis of the re-initiation triggers, we 
have determined that these proposed modifications to the Plan will not 
cause any effects that were not already considered in the Opinion and 
subsequent informal consultations. None of the other reinitiation 
triggers have been met; therefore, reinitiation of consultation is not 
necessary. The conclusions reached in the Opinion remain valid, and no 
further consultation is necessary at this time. Should activities under 
this action change or new information become available that changes the 
basis for this determination, then consultation will be reinitiated. 
Therefore, the measures in this rule do not trigger reinitiation of 
consultation. In addition, while we believe the analysis conducted for 
this action is sufficient under NEPA, we have updated sections of the 
Final EA to respond to the commenter's concerns.

Classification

    The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) has determined that this 
action is not significant for the purposes of Executive Order 12866.
    This action contains collection of information requirements subject 
to the Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA), specifically, the marking of 
fishing gear. The collection of information requirement was approved by 
OMB under control number (0648-0364). Public comment was sought 
regarding whether this proposed collection of information is necessary 
for the proper performance and function of the agency, including: the 
practical utility of the information; the accuracy of the burden 
estimate; the opportunities to enhance the quality, utility, and 
clarity of the information to be collected; and the ways to minimize 
the burden of the collection of information, including the use of 
automated collection techniques or other forms of information 
technology. Send comments regarding this burden estimate, or any other 
aspect of this data collection, including suggestions for reducing the 
burden, to NMFS (see ADDRESSEES) and by email to 
OIRA_Submission@omb.eop.gov, or fax to (202) 395-7285.
    This revision to the collection of information requirement applies 
to a total of 399 vessels. The estimated number of vessels affected by 
the overall gear marking provisions in the Plan is 4,008. The estimated 
number of those vessels affected only by the proposed amendment is 399. 
Model vessel types were developed for gillnet fisheries, lobster trap/
pot fisheries, and other trap/pot fisheries. Total burden hours for all 
affected vessels in the Plan are 35,571 hours over three years or 
11,857 hours per year. Total cost burden for all affected vessels in 
the Plan is $24,758 over three years or $8,253 per year. The total cost 
burden for those vessels affected by the proposed amendment is $3,450 
over three years or $1,150 per year. For more information, please see 
the PRA approval associated with this rulemaking.
    Notwithstanding any other provision of the law, no person is 
required to respond to, nor shall any person be subject to a penalty 
for failure to comply with, a collection of information subject to the 
requirements of the PRA, unless that collection of information displays 
a currently valid OMB Control Number.
    As required by the Regulatory Flexibility Act, NMFS prepared a 
final regulatory flexibility analysis (FRFA) for this final rule.
    A description of this action, its objectives, and the legal basis 
for this action can be found in the Summary section and earlier in the 
Supplementary Information section of this final rule, and are not 
repeated here. This rule does not duplicate, overlap, or conflict with 
any other federal rules.
    The small entities affected by this rule are commercial gillnet and 
trap/pot fishermen. The geographic range of the action is the Northeast 
Atlantic waters. By changing the minimum number of traps per trawl 
requirement to allow single traps in the lobster trap/pot fishery there 
are potentially 182 vessels that would be affected. Additionally, in 
the other trap/pot fisheries, there are potentially 123 vessels that 
would be affected. All vessels are assumed to be small entities within 
the meaning of the Regulatory Flexibility Act.
    Alternatives were evaluated using model vessels, each of which 
represents a group of vessels that share similar operating 
characteristics and would face similar requirements under a given 
regulatory alternative. Both an upper and lower bound of annual 
economic savings for lobster and other trap/pot were analyzed. A 
summary of analysis describing the potential range of savings resulting 
from allowing singles to be fished follows:
    1. NMFS considered a ``no action'' or status quo alternative 
(Alternative 1) that would result in no changes to the current measures 
under the Plan and, as such, would result in no additional economic 
effects on the fishing industry.
    2. Alternative 2, the preferred alternative, will modify the Plan 
by allowing the use of single traps in Rhode Island state waters, in 
most Massachusetts state waters, and some waters around Maine Islands. 
This change will constitute an exemption to the minimum two-trap-per-
trawl requirement specified for these areas under the 2014 vertical 
line rulemaking. Those who until now have fished single traps in these 
areas will avoid the costs associated with converting their gear

[[Page 30371]]

from single traps to double traps, and would also avoid other possible 
costs, such as a loss in revenue due to a reduction in catch. The 
action also revises gear marking requirements that would apply to 
vessels fishing in waters that would be exempt from trawling 
requirements, as well as to vessels fishing in two additional regions 
(Jordan Basin and Jeffreys Ledge). The changes will require the use of 
colors that will differentiate gear set in these areas from gear fished 
in other waters. NMFS has determined, however, that the marking 
requirements will introduce minimal additional burden for the affected 
vessels; thus, a substantial increase in compliance costs is unlikely. 
The rule does not include any other reporting, recordkeeping, or 
compliance requirements.
    Overall, the economic impacts of the preferred alternative results 
in a vessel cost savings that will equal or range from $163,200 to 
$345,700 for lobster trap/pot vessels and $257,00 to $512,500 for other 
trap/pot vessels when compared to the no action alternative, resulting 
in a largely positive impact.
    NMFS has determined that this action is consistent to the maximum 
extent practicable with the approved coastal management programs of 
Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Rhode Island. This 
determination was submitted for review by the responsible state 
agencies under section 307 of the Coastal Zone Management Act. The 
following state agreed with NMFS's determination: New Hampshire. Maine, 
Massachusetts, and Rhode Island did not respond; therefore, consistency 
is inferred.
    This final rule contains policies with federalism implications as 
that term is defined in Executive Order 13132. Accordingly, the 
Assistant Secretary for Legislative and Intergovernmental Affairs 
provided notice of the proposed action to the appropriate official(s) 
of affected state, local, and/or tribal governments. No concerns were 
raised by the states contacted; hence, NMFS will infer that these 
states concur with the finding that the regulations for amending the 
Plan were consistent with fundamental federalism principles and 
federalism policymaking criteria.
    An informal consultation under the ESA for this final rule to 
modify the Plan was concluded on March 30, 2015. As a result of the 
informal consultation, the Regional Administrator determined that the 
measures to modify the Plan do not meet the triggers for reinitiation 
of consultation. NMFS completed an ESA Section 7 consultation on the 
implementation of the Plan on July 15, 1997, and concluded that the 
action was not likely to adversely affect any ESA-listed species under 
NMFS jurisdiction. Two subsequent consultations were completed in 2004 
and 2008, when NMFS changed some of the measures in the Plan. An 
informal consultation on the most recent vertical line rule was 
completed on August 16, 2013. NMFS, as both the action agency and the 
consulting agency, reviewed the changes and determined that the 
measures as revised through rulemaking would not affect ESA-listed 
species under NMFS jurisdiction in a manner that had not been 
previously considered.
    The Assistant Administrator finds good cause under 5 U.S.C. 
553(d)(3) to waive the 30-day delay in effectiveness. The contents of 
this action serve to remove existing commercial fishing restrictions 
and to prevent negative safety impacts from otherwise occurring as the 
current minimum trap per trawl requirements would have been effective 
beginning June 1, 2015. Delaying the effectiveness of this rule is 
contrary to the public interest, because any delay will prevent the 
removal of the ban on single traps in certain state waters implemented 
by this rule, thereby increasing safety risk, and providing no 
additional meaningful benefit to large whales. Accordingly, the 30-day 
delay in effectiveness is both unnecessary and contrary to the public 
interest, and as such, portions of this rule will become effective 
immediately.
BILLING CODE 3510-22-P

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BILLING CODE 3510-22-C

List of Subjects in 50 CFR Part 229

    Administrative practice and procedure, Confidential business 
information, Fisheries, Marine mammals, Reporting and recordkeeping 
requirements.

    Dated: May 22, 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 229 is amended 
as follows:

PART 229--AUTHORIZATION FOR COMMERCIAL FISHERIES UNDER THE MARINE 
MAMMAL PROTECTION ACT OF 1972

0
1. The authority citation for 50 CFR part 229 continues to read as 
follows:

    Authority:  16 U.S.C. 1361 et seq.; Sec.  229.32(f) also issued 
under 16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.


0
2. In Sec.  229.32, paragraphs (a)(3), (a)(6), (b), and (c)(2) are 
revised to read as follows:


Sec.  229.32  Atlantic large whale take reduction plan regulations.

* * * * *
    (a) * * *
    (3) Exempted waters. (i) The regulations in this section do not 
apply to waters landward of the 72 COLREGS demarcation lines 
(International Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea, 1972), as 
depicted or noted on nautical charts published by the National Oceanic 
and Atmospheric Administration (Coast Charts 1:80,000 scale), and as 
described in 33 CFR part 80 with the exception of the COLREGS lines for 
Casco Bay (Maine), Portsmouth Harbor (New Hampshire), Gardiners Bay and 
Long Island Sound (New York), and the state of Massachusetts.
    (ii) Other exempted waters.

[[Page 30376]]

Maine

    The regulations in this section do not apply to waters landward of 
a line connecting the following points (Quoddy Narrows/US-Canada border 
to Odiornes Pt., Portsmouth, New Hampshire):
44[deg]49.67' N. lat., 66[deg]57.77' W. long. (R N ``2'', Quoddy 
Narrows)
44[deg]48.64' N. lat., 66[deg]56.43' W. long. (G ``1'' Whistle, West 
Quoddy Head)
44[deg]47.36' N. lat., 66[deg]59.25' W. long. (R N ``2'', Morton Ledge)
44[deg]45.51' N. lat., 67[deg]02.87' W. long. (R ``28M'' Whistle, 
Baileys Mistake)
44[deg]37.70' N. lat., 67[deg]09.75' W. long. (Obstruction, Southeast 
of Cutler)
44[deg]27.77' N. lat., 67[deg]32.86' W. long. (Freeman Rock, East of 
Great Wass Island)
44[deg]25.74' N. lat., 67[deg]38.39' W. long. (R ``2SR'' Bell, Seahorse 
Rock, West of Great Wass Island)
44[deg]21.66' N. lat., 67[deg]51.78' W. long. (R N ``2'', Petit Manan 
Island)
44[deg]19.08' N. lat., 68[deg]02.05' W. long. (R ``2S'' Bell, Schoodic 
Island)
44[deg]13.55' N. lat., 68[deg]10.71' W. long. (R ``8BI'' Whistle, Baker 
Island)
44[deg]08.36' N. lat., 68[deg]14.75' W. long. (Southern Point, Great 
Duck Island)
43[deg]59.36' N. lat., 68[deg]37.95' W. long. (R ``2'' Bell, Roaring 
Bull Ledge, Isle Au Haut)
43[deg]59.83' N. lat., 68[deg]50.06' W. long. (R ``2A'' Bell, Old Horse 
Ledge)
43[deg]56.72' N. lat., 69[deg]04.89' W. long. (G ``5TB'' Bell, Two Bush 
Channel)
43[deg]50.28' N. lat., 69[deg]18.86' W. long. (R ``2 OM'' Whistle, Old 
Man Ledge)
43[deg]48.96' N. lat., 69[deg]31.15' W. long. (GR C ``PL'', Pemaquid 
Ledge)
43[deg]43.64' N. lat., 69[deg]37.58' W. long. (R ``2BR'' Bell, Bantam 
Rock)
43[deg]41.44' N. lat., 69[deg]45.27' W. long. (R ``20ML'' Bell, Mile 
Ledge)
43[deg]36.04' N. lat., 70[deg]03.98' W. long. (RG N ``BS'', Bulwark 
Shoal)
43[deg]31.94' N. lat., 70[deg]08.68' W. long. (G ``1'', East Hue and 
Cry)
43[deg]27.63' N. lat., 70[deg]17.48' W. long. (RW ``WI'' Whistle, Wood 
Island)
43[deg]20.23' N. lat., 70[deg]23.64' W. long. (RW ``CP'' Whistle, Cape 
Porpoise)
43[deg]04.06' N. lat., 70[deg]36.70' W. long. (R N ``2MR'', Murray 
Rock)
43[deg]02.93' N. lat., 70[deg]41.47' W. long. (R ``2KR'' Whistle, 
Kittery Point)
43[deg]02.55' N. lat., 70[deg]43.33' W. long. (Odiornes Pt., 
Portsmouth, New Hampshire)

New Hampshire

    New Hampshire state waters are exempt from the minimum number of 
traps per trawl requirement in paragraph (c)(2)(iii) of this section. 
Harbor waters landward of the following lines are exempt from all the 
regulations in this section.
A line from 42[deg]53.691' N. lat., 70[deg]48.516' W. long. to 
42[deg]53.516' N. lat., 70[deg]48.748' W. long. (Hampton Harbor)
A line from 42[deg]59.986' N. lat., 70[deg]44.654' W. long. to 
42[deg]59.956' N., 70[deg]44.737' W. long. (Rye Harbor)

Rhode Island

    Rhode Island state waters are exempt from the minimum number of 
traps per trawl requirement in paragraph (c)(2)(iii) of this section. 
Harbor waters landward of the following lines are exempt from all the 
regulations in this section.
A line from 41[deg]22.441' N. lat., 71[deg]30.781' W. long. to 
41[deg]22.447' N. lat., 71[deg]30.893' W. long. (Pt. Judith Pond Inlet)
A line from 41[deg]21.310' N. lat., 71[deg]38.300' W. long. to 
41[deg]21.300' N. lat., 71[deg]38.330' W. long. (Ninigret Pond Inlet)
A line from 41[deg]19.875' N. lat., 71[deg]43.061' W. long. to 
41[deg]19.879' N. lat., 71[deg]43.115' W. long. (Quonochontaug Pond 
Inlet)
A line from 41[deg]19.660' N. lat., 71[deg]45.750' W. long. to 
41[deg]19.660' N. lat., 71[deg]45.780' W. long. (Weekapaug Pond Inlet)
A line from 41[deg]26.550' N. lat., 71[deg]26.400' W. long. to 
41[deg]26.500' N. lat, 71[deg]26.505' W. long. (Pettaquamscutt Inlet)

New York

    The regulations in this section do not apply to waters landward of 
a line that follows the territorial sea baseline through Block Island 
Sound (Watch Hill Point, RI, to Montauk Point, NY).

Massachusetts

    The regulations in this section do not apply to waters landward of 
the first bridge over any embayment, harbor, or inlet in Massachusetts. 
The following Massachusetts state waters are exempt from the minimum 
number of traps per trawl requirement in paragraph (c)(2)(iii) of this 
section:
    From the New Hampshire border to 70[deg] W longitude south of Cape 
Cod, waters in EEZ Nearshore Management Area 1 and the Outer Cape 
Lobster Management Area (as defined in the American Lobster Fishery 
regulations under Sec.  697.18 of this title), from the shoreline to 3 
nautical miles from shore, and including waters of Cape Cod Bay 
southeast of a straight line connecting 41[deg] 55.8' N lat., 
70[deg]8.4' W long. and 41[deg]47.2' N lat., 70[deg]19.5' W long.
    From 70[deg] W longitude south of Cape Cod to the Rhode Island 
border, all Massachusetts state waters in EEZ Nearshore Management Area 
2 and the Outer Cape Lobster Management Area (as defined in the 
American Lobster Fishery regulations under Sec.  697.18 of this title), 
including federal waters of Nantucket Sound west of 70[deg] W 
longitude.

South Carolina

    The regulations in this section do not apply to waters landward of 
a line connecting the following points from 32[deg]34.717' N. lat., 
80[deg]08.565' W. long. to 32[deg]34.686' N. lat., 80[deg]08.642' W. 
long. (Captain Sams Inlet)
* * * * *
    (6) Island buffer. Those fishing in waters within \1/4\ nautical 
miles of the following Maine islands are exempt from the minimum number 
of traps per trawl requirement in paragraph (c)(2)(iii) of this 
section: Monhegan Island, Matinicus Island Group (Metinic Island, Small 
Green Island, Large Green Island, Seal Island, Wooden Ball Island, 
Matinicus Island, Ragged Island) and Isles of Shoals Island Group (Duck 
Island, Appledore Island, Cedar Island, Smuttynose Island).
    (b) Gear marking requirements--(1) Specified areas. The following 
areas are specified for gear marking purposes: Northern Inshore State 
Trap/Pot Waters, Cape Cod Bay Restricted Area, Massachusetts Restricted 
Area, Stellwagen Bank/Jeffreys Ledge Restricted Area, Northern 
Nearshore Trap/Pot Waters Area, Great South Channel Restricted Trap/Pot 
Area, Great South Channel Restricted Gillnet Area, Great South Channel 
Sliver Restricted Area, Southern Nearshore Trap/Pot Waters Area, 
Offshore Trap/Pot Waters Area, Other Northeast Gillnet Waters Area, 
Mid/South Atlantic Gillnet Waters Area, Other Southeast Gillnet Waters 
Area, Southeast U.S. Restricted Areas, and Southeast U.S. Monitoring 
Area.
    (i) Jordan Basin. The Jordan Basin Restricted Area is bounded by 
the following points connected by straight lines in the order listed:

------------------------------------------------------------------------
                     Point                        N. Lat.      W. Long.
------------------------------------------------------------------------
JBRA1.........................................   43[deg]15'   68[deg]50'
JBRA2.........................................   43[deg]35'   68[deg]20'
JBRA3.........................................   43[deg]25'   68[deg]05'
JBRA4.........................................   43[deg]05'   68[deg]20'
JBRA5.........................................   43[deg]05'   68[deg]35'
JBRA1.........................................   43[deg]15'   68[deg]50'
------------------------------------------------------------------------

    (ii) Jeffreys Ledge Restricted Area--The Jeffreys Ledge Restricted 
Area is bounded by the following points connected by a straight line in 
the order listed:

[[Page 30377]]



------------------------------------------------------------------------
                     Point                        N. Lat.      W. Long.
------------------------------------------------------------------------
JLRA1.........................................   43[deg]15'   70[deg]25'
JLRA2.........................................   43[deg]15'   70[deg]00'
JLRA3.........................................   42[deg]50'   70[deg]00'
JLRA4.........................................   42[deg]50'   70[deg]25'
JLRA1.........................................   43[deg]15'   70[deg]25'
------------------------------------------------------------------------

    (2) Markings. All specified gear in specified areas must be marked 
with the color code shown in paragraph (b)(3) of this section. The 
color of the color code must be permanently marked on or along the line 
or lines specified below under paragraphs (b)(2)(i) and (ii) of this 
section. Each color mark of the color codes must be clearly visible 
when the gear is hauled or removed from the water, including if the 
color of the rope is the same as or similar to the respective color 
code. The rope must be marked at least three times (top, middle, 
bottom) and each mark must total 12-inch (30.5 cm) in length. If the 
mark consists of two colors then each color mark may be 6-inch (15.25 
cm) for a total mark of 12-inch (30.5 cm). In marking or affixing the 
color code, the line may be dyed, painted, or marked with thin colored 
whipping line, thin colored plastic, or heat-shrink tubing, or other 
material; or a thin line may be woven into or through the line; or the 
line may be marked as approved in writing by the Assistant 
Administrator. A brochure illustrating the techniques for marking gear 
is available from the Regional Administrator, NMFS, Greater Atlantic 
Region upon request.
    (i) Buoy line markings. All buoy lines must be marked as stated 
above. Shark gillnet gear in the Southeast U.S. Restricted Area S, 
Southeast U.S. Monitoring Area and Other Southeast Gillnet Waters, 
greater than 4 feet (1.22 m) long must be marked within 2 feet (0.6 m) 
of the top of the buoy line (closest to the surface), midway along the 
length of the buoy line, and within 2 feet (0.6 m) of the bottom of the 
buoy line.
    (ii) Net panel markings. Shark gillnet gear net panels in the 
Southeast U.S. Restricted Area S, Southeast U.S. Monitoring Area and 
Other Southeast Gillnet Waters is required to be marked. The net panel 
must be marked along both the floatline and the leadline at least once 
every 100 yards (91.4 m).
    (iii) Surface buoy markings. Trap/pot and gillnet gear regulated 
under this section must mark all surface buoys to identify the vessel 
or fishery with one of the following: The owner's motorboat 
registration number, the owner's U.S. vessel documentation number, the 
Federal commercial fishing permit number, or whatever positive 
identification marking is required by the vessel's home-port state. 
When marking of surface buoys is not already required by state or 
Federal regulations, the letters and numbers used to mark the gear to 
identify the vessel or fishery must be at least 1 inch (2.5 cm) in 
height in block letters or arabic numbers in a color that contrasts 
with the background color of the buoy. A brochure illustrating the 
techniques for marking gear is available from the Regional 
Administrator, NMFS, Greater Atlantic Region upon request.
    (3) Color code. Gear must be marked with the appropriate colors to 
designate gear types and areas as follows:

                                                Color Code Scheme
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
       Plan management area                                            Color
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                  Trap/Pot Gear
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Massachusetts Restricted Area....  Red.
Northern Nearshore...............  Red.
Northern Inshore State...........  Red.
Stellwagen Bank/Jeffreys Ledge     Red.
 Restricted Area.
Great South Channel Restricted     Red.
 Area overlapping with LMA 2 and/
 or Outer Cape.
Exempt RI state waters (single     Red and Blue.
 traps).
Exempt MA state waters in LMA 1    Red and White.
 (single traps).
Exempt MA state waters in LMA 2    Red and Black.
 (single traps).
Exempt MA state waters in Outer    Red and Yellow.
 Cape (single traps).
Isles of Shoals, ME (single        Red and Orange.
 traps).
Southern Nearshore...............  Orange.
Southeast Restricted Area North    Blue and Orange.
 (State Waters).
Southeast Restricted Area North    Green and Orange.
 (Federal Waters).
Offshore.........................  Black.
Great South Channel Restricted     Black.
 Area overlapping with LMA 2/3
 and/or LMA 3.
Jordan Basin.....................  Black and Purple (LMA 3); Red and and Purple (LMA 1).
Jeffreys Ledge...................  Red and Green.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                         Gillnet excluding shark gillnet
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Cape Cod Bay Restricted Area.....  Green.
Stellwagen Bank/Jeffreys Ledge     Green.
 Restricted Area.
Great South Channel Restricted     Green.
 Area.
Great South Channel Restricted     Green.
 Sliver Area.
Other Northeast Gillnet Waters...  Green.
Jordan Basin.....................  Green and Yellow.
Jeffreys Ledge...................  Green and Black.
Mid/South Atlantic Gillnet Waters  Blue.
Southeast US Restricted Area       Yellow.
 South.
Other Southeast Gillnet Waters...  Yellow.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                 Shark Gillnet (with webbing of 5'' or greater)
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Southeast US Restricted Area       Green and Blue.
 South.
Southeast Monitoring Area........  Green and Blue.
Other Southeast Waters...........  Green and Blue.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


[[Page 30378]]

* * * * *
    (c) * * *
    (2) Area specific gear requirements. Trap/pot gear must be set 
according to the requirements outlined below and in the table in 
paragraph (c)(2)(iii) of this section.
    (i) Single traps and multiple-trap trawls. All traps must be set 
according to the configuration outlined in the Table (c)(2)(iii) of 
this section. Trawls up to and including 5 or fewer traps must only 
have one buoy line unless specified otherwise in Table (c)(2)(iii) of 
this section.
    (ii) Buoy line weak links. All buoys, flotation devices and/or 
weights (except traps/pots, anchors, and leadline woven into the buoy 
line), such as surface buoys, high flyers, sub-surface buoys, toggles, 
window weights, etc., must be attached to the buoy line with a weak 
link placed as close to each individual buoy, flotation device and/or 
weight as operationally feasible and that meets the following 
specifications:
    (A) The breaking strength of the weak links must not exceed the 
breaking strength listed in paragraph (c)(2)(iii) of this section for a 
specified management area.
    (B) The weak link must be chosen from the following list approved 
by NMFS: swivels, plastic weak links, rope of appropriate breaking 
strength, hog rings, rope stapled to a buoy stick, or other materials 
or devices approved in writing by the Assistant Administrator. A 
brochure illustrating the techniques for making weak links is available 
from the Regional Administrator, NMFS, Greater Atlantic Region upon 
request.
    (C) Weak links must break cleanly leaving behind the bitter end of 
the line. The bitter end of the line must be free of any knots when the 
weak link breaks. Splices are not considered to be knots for the 
purposes of this provision.
    (iii) Table of Area Specific Gear Requirements

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                Minimum number traps/
             Location                      Mgmt area                    trawl              Weak link strength
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
ME State and Pocket Waters \1\...  Northern Inshore State...  2 (1 endline)...........  <=600 lbs.
ME Zones A-G (3-6 miles) \ 1\....  Northern Nearshore.......  3 (1 endline)...........  <=600 lbs.
ME Zones A-C (6-12 miles) \1\....  Northern Nearshore.......  5 (1 endline)...........  <=600 lbs.
ME Zones D-G (6-12 miles) \1\....  Northern Nearshore.......  10......................  <=600 lbs.
ME Zones A-E (12+ miles).........  Northern Nearshore and     15......................  <=600 lbs (<=1500 lbs in
                                    Offshore.                                            offshore, 2,000 lbs if
                                                                                         red crab trap/pot).
ME Zones F-G (12+ miles).........  Northern Nearshore and     15 (Mar 1-Oct 31) 20      <=600 lbs (<=1500 lbs in
                                    Offshore.                  (Nov 1-Feb 28/29).        offshore, 2,000 lbs if
                                                                                         red crab trap/pot).
MA State Waters \2\..............  Northern Inshore State     No minimum number of      <=600 lbs.
                                    and Massachusetts          traps per trawl. Trawls
                                    Restricted Area.           up to and including 3
                                                               or fewer traps must
                                                               only have one buoy line.
Other MA State Waters............  Northern Inshore State     2 (1 endline) Trawls up   <=600 lbs.
                                    and Massachusetts          to and including 3 or
                                    Restricted Area.           fewer traps must only
                                                               have one buoy line.
NH State Waters..................  Northern Inshore State...  No minimum trap/trawl...  <=600 lbs.
LMA 1 (3-12 miles)...............  Northern Nearshore and     10......................  <=600 lbs.
                                    Massachusetts Restricted
                                    Area and Stellwagen Bank/
                                    Jeffreys Ledge
                                    Restricted Area.
LMA 1 (12+ miles)................  Northern Nearshore.......  20......................  <=600 lbs.
LMA1/OC Overlap (0-3 miles)......  Northern Inshore State     No minimum number of      <=600 lbs.
                                    and Massachusetts          traps per trawl.
                                    Restricted Area.
OC (0-3 miles)...................  Northern Inshore State     No minimum number of      <=600 lbs.
                                    and Massachusetts          traps per trawl.
                                    Restricted Area.
OC (3-12 miles)..................  Northern Nearshore and     10......................  <=600 lbs.
                                    Massachusetts Restricted
                                    Area.
OC (12+ miles)...................  Northern Nearshore and     20......................  <=600 lbs.
                                    Great South Channel
                                    Restricted Area.
RI State Waters..................  Northern Inshore State...  No minimum number of      <=600 lbs.
                                                               traps per trawl..
LMA 2 (3-12 miles)...............  Northern Nearshore.......  10......................  <=600 lbs.
LMA 2 (12+ miles)................  Northern Nearshore and     20......................  <=600 lbs.
                                    Great South Channel
                                    Restricted Area.
LMA 2/3 Overlap (12+ miles)......  Offshore and Great South   20......................  <=1500 lbs (2,000 lbs if
                                    Channel Restricted Area.                             red crab trap/pot).
LMA 3 (12+ miles)................  Offshore waters North of   20......................  <=1500 lbs (2,000 lbs if
                                    40[deg] and Great South                              red crab trap/pot).
                                    Channel Restricted Area.
LMA 4,5,6........................  Southern Nearshore.......  ........................  <=600 lbs.
FL State Waters..................  Southeast US Restricted    1.......................  <=200 lbs.
                                    Area North \i\.
GA State Waters..................  Southeast US Restricted    1.......................  <=600 lbs.
                                    Area North \3\.
SC State Waters..................  Southeast US Restricted    1.......................  <=600 lbs.
                                    Area North \3\.
Federal Waters off FL, GA, SC....  Southeast US Restricted    1.......................  <=600 lbs.
                                    Area North \3\.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
\1\ The pocket waters and 6-mile line as defined in paragraphs (a)(2)(ii)-(a)(2)(iii) of this section.
\2\ MA State waters as defined as paragraph (a)(3)(iii) of this section.
\3\ See Sec.   229.32(f)(1) for description of area.


[[Page 30379]]

* * * * *
[FR Doc. 2015-12869 Filed 5-27-15; 8:45 am]
 BILLING CODE 3510-22-P