Atlantic Highly Migratory Species; Atlantic Bluefin Tuna Fisheries, 32478-32479 [2015-13988]

Download as PDF 32478 Federal Register / Vol. 80, No. 110 / Tuesday, June 9, 2015 / Rules and Regulations DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration 50 CFR Part 622 [Docket No. 140501394–5279–02] RIN 0648–XD962 Fisheries of the Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico, and South Atlantic; 2015 Recreational Accountability Measure and Closure for Blueline Tilefish in the South Atlantic Region National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Commerce. ACTION: Temporary rule; closure. AGENCY: NMFS implements accountability measures (AMs) for recreational blueline tilefish in the exclusive economic zone (EEZ) of the South Atlantic. The NMFS Science and Research Director estimates that recreational landings for blueline tilefish have reached the recreational annual catch limit (ACL). Therefore, NMFS is closing the recreational sector for blueline tilefish in the South Atlantic EEZ at 12:01 a.m., local time, June 10, 2015, and it will remain closed until the 2016 recreational fishing season begins on May 1, 2016. This closure is necessary to protect the blueline tilefish resource. DATES: This rule is effective 12:01 a.m., local time, June 10, 2015, until 12:01 a.m., local time, January 1, 2016. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Catherine Hayslip, NMFS Southeast Region, telephone: 727–824–5305, email: catherine.hayslip@noaa.gov. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The snapper-grouper fishery of the South Atlantic includes blueline tilefish and is managed under the Fishery Management Plan for the SnapperGrouper Fishery of the South Atlantic Region (FMP). The South Atlantic Fishery Management Council and NMFS prepared the FMP, and the FMP is implemented under the authority of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (Magnuson-Stevens Act) by regulations at 50 CFR part 622. NMFS implemented management measures for blueline tilefish in Amendment 32 to the FMP for the Snapper-Grouper Fishery of the South Atlantic Region (Amendment 32) (80 FR 16583, March 30, 2015). Amendment 32 contains management measures that end overfishing of blueline tilefish in the South Atlantic. tkelley on DSK3SPTVN1PROD with RULES SUMMARY: VerDate Sep<11>2014 15:56 Jun 08, 2015 Jkt 235001 NMFS is required to close the recreational sector for blueline tilefish when the recreational ACL is reached, or is projected to be reached, by filing a notification to that effect with the Office of the Federal Register, as specified in 50 CFR 622.193(z)(2)(i). The recreational ACL for blueline tilefish in 2015 is 17,791 lb (8,070 kg), round weight. NMFS has determined that the recreational ACL for South Atlantic blueline tilefish has been reached. Accordingly, the recreational sector for South Atlantic blueline tilefish is closed effective June 10, 2015, until 12:01 a.m., local time, January 1, 2016, the start of the next fishing year. However, as described in 50 CFR 622.183(b)(7), the recreational sector for blueline tilefish is also closed from January 1 through April 30, and September 1 through December 31, each year. Therefore, the recreational sector may not harvest blueline tilefish until May 1, 2016. During the closure, the bag and possession limits for blueline tilefish in or from the South Atlantic EEZ are zero. Additionally, NMFS closed the commercial sector for blueline tilefish effective April 7, 2015, upon reaching the commercial ACL (80 FR 18551, April 7, 2015). Therefore, on June 10, 2015, no commercial or recreational harvest of blueline tilefish from the South Atlantic EEZ is permitted for the remainder of 2015. The commercial sector for blueline tilefish reopens on January 1, 2016. Classification The Regional Administrator, Southeast Region, NMFS, has determined this temporary rule is necessary for the conservation and management of blueline tilefish and the South Atlantic snapper-grouper fishery and is consistent with the MagnusonStevens Act and other applicable laws. This action is taken under 50 CFR 622.193(z)(2)(i) and is exempt from review under Executive Order 12866. These measures are exempt from the procedures of the Regulatory Flexibility Act because the temporary rule is issued without opportunity for prior notice and comment. This action responds to the best scientific information available. The Assistant Administrator for Fisheries, NOAA (AA), finds that the need to immediately implement this action to close the recreational sector for blueline tilefish constitutes good cause to waive the requirements to provide prior notice and opportunity for public comment pursuant to the authority set forth in 5 U.S.C. 553(b)(B), as such prior notice and opportunity for public comment are unnecessary and contrary to the public PO 00000 Frm 00040 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 interest. Such procedures are unnecessary because the regulations at 50 CFR 622.193(z)(2)(i) have already been subject to notice and comment, and all that remains is to notify the public of the closure. Such procedures are contrary to the public interest because there is a need to immediately implement this action to protect blueline tilefish, since the capacity of the recreational sector allows for rapid harvest of the recreational ACL. Prior notice and opportunity for public comment would require time and would potentially result in a harvest well in excess of the established recreational ACL. For the aforementioned reasons, the AA also finds good cause to waive the 30-day delay in the effectiveness of this action under 5 U.S.C. 553(d)(3). Authority: 16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq. Dated: June 4, 2015. Emily H. Menashes, Acting Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine Fisheries Service. [FR Doc. 2015–14048 Filed 6–5–15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510–22–P DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration 50 CFR Part 635 [Docket No. 120328229–4949–02] RIN 0648–XD973 Atlantic Highly Migratory Species; Atlantic Bluefin Tuna Fisheries National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Commerce. ACTION: Temporary rule; closure of Angling category southern area trophy fishery. AGENCY: NMFS closes the southern area Angling category fishery for large medium and giant (‘‘trophy’’ (i.e., measuring 73 inches curved fork length or greater)) Atlantic bluefin tuna (BFT). This action is being taken to prevent any further overharvest of the Angling category southern area trophy BFT subquota. SUMMARY: Effective June 7, 2015 through December 31, 2015. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Sarah McLaughlin or Brad McHale, 978–281–9260. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Regulations implemented under the authority of the Atlantic Tunas DATES: E:\FR\FM\09JNR1.SGM 09JNR1 Federal Register / Vol. 80, No. 110 / Tuesday, June 9, 2015 / Rules and Regulations tkelley on DSK3SPTVN1PROD with RULES Convention Act (ATCA; 16 U.S.C. 971 et seq.) and the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (Magnuson-Stevens Act; 16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq.) governing the harvest of BFT by persons and vessels subject to U.S. jurisdiction are found at 50 CFR part 635. Section 635.27 subdivides the U.S. BFT quota recommended by the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas (ICCAT) among the various domestic fishing categories, per the allocations established in the 2006 Consolidated Atlantic Highly Migratory Species Fishery Management Plan (2006 Consolidated HMS FMP) (71 FR 58058, October 2, 2006), as amended by Amendment 7 to the 2006 Consolidated HMS FMP (Amendment 7) (79 FR 71510, December 2, 2014), and in accordance with implementing regulations. NMFS is required, under § 635.28(a)(1), to file a closure notice with the Office of the Federal Register for publication when a BFT quota is reached or is projected to be reached. On and after the effective date and time of such notification, for the remainder of the fishing year or for a specified period as indicated in the notification, retaining, possessing, or landing BFT under that quota category is prohibited until the opening of the subsequent quota period or until such date as specified in the notice. Angling Category Large Medium and Giant Southern ‘‘Trophy’’ Fishery Closure The 2015 BFT fishing year, which is managed on a calendar-year basis and subject to an annual calendar-year quota, began January 1, 2015. The Angling category season opened January 1, 2015, and continues through December 31, 2015. The currently codified Angling category quota is 168.6 mt, of which 3.9 mt is allocated for the harvest of large medium and giant (trophy) BFT from the regulatory area by vessels fishing under the Angling category quota, with 1.3 mt allocated for each of the following areas: North of 39°18′ N. lat. (off Great Egg Inlet, NJ); south of 39°18′ N. lat. and outside the Gulf of Mexico; and in the Gulf of Mexico. Trophy BFT measure 73 inches (185 cm) curved fork length or greater. Reported landings from the NMFS Automated Catch Reporting System and the North Carolina Tagging Program total approximately 2 mt and NMFS has determined that the codified Angling category southern area trophy BFT subquota has been reached and that a closure of the southern area trophy BFT fishery is warranted at this time. VerDate Sep<11>2014 15:56 Jun 08, 2015 Jkt 235001 Therefore, retaining, possessing, or landing large medium or giant BFT south of 39°18′ N. lat. and outside the Gulf of Mexico by persons aboard vessels permitted in the HMS Angling category and the HMS Charter/Headboat category must cease at 11:30 p.m. local time on June 7, 2015. This closure will remain effective through December 31, 2015. This action is intended to prevent any further overharvest of the Angling category southern area trophy BFT subquota, and is taken consistent with the regulations at § 635.28(a)(1). NMFS has considered the fact that it is in the process of proposing a rule that would implement and give domestic effect to the 2014 ICCAT recommendation on western Atlantic BFT management, which increased the U.S. BFT quota for 2015 and 2016 by 14 percent from the 2014 level. The domestic subquotas to be proposed in that action would result from application of the allocation process established in Amendment 7 to the 2006 Consolidated HMS FMP to the increased U.S. quota, and would include an increase in the southern trophy BFT quota from the currently codified 1.3 mt to a total of 1.5 mt. However, because current landings exceed both the currently codified and the anticipated proposed quota for the Angling category southern area, closure of the southern area trophy BFT fishery needs to occur regardless of the proposed quota increase. If needed, subsequent Angling category adjustments will be published in the Federal Register. Information regarding the Angling category fishery for Atlantic tunas, including daily retention limits for BFT measuring 27 inches (68.5 cm) to less than 73 inches and any further Angling category adjustments, is available at hmspermits.noaa.gov or by calling (978) 281–9260. HMS Angling and HMS Charter/ Headboat category permit holders may catch and release (or tag and release) BFT of all sizes, subject to the requirements of the catch-and-release and tag-and-release programs at § 635.26. Anglers are also reminded that all BFT that are released must be handled in a manner that will maximize survival, and without removing the fish from the water, consistent with requirements at § 635.21(a)(1). For additional information on safe handling, see the ‘‘Careful Catch and Release’’ brochure available at www.nmfs.noaa.gov/sfa/hms/. and contrary to the public interest to provide prior notice of, and an opportunity for public comment on, this action for the following reasons: The regulations implementing the 2006 Consolidated HMS FMP, as amended, provide for inseason retention limit adjustments and fishery closures to respond to the unpredictable nature of BFT availability on the fishing grounds, the migratory nature of this species, and the regional variations in the BFT fishery. The closure of the southern area Angling category trophy fishery is necessary to prevent any further overharvest of the southern area trophy fishery subquota. NMFS provides notification of closures by publishing the notice in the Federal Register, emailing individuals who have subscribed to the Atlantic HMS News electronic newsletter, and updating the information posted on the Atlantic Tunas Information Line and on hmspermits.noaa.gov. These fisheries are currently underway and delaying this action would be contrary to the public interest as it could result in excessive trophy BFT landings that may result in future potential quota reductions for the Angling category, depending on the magnitude of a potential Angling category overharvest. NMFS must close the southern area trophy BFT fishery before additional landings of these sizes of BFT accumulate. Therefore, the AA finds good cause under 5 U.S.C. 553(b)(B) to waive prior notice and the opportunity for public comment. For all of the above reasons, there is good cause under 5 U.S.C. 553(d) to waive the 30day delay in effectiveness. This action is being taken under 50 CFR 635.28(a)(1), and is exempt from review under Executive Order 12866. Authority: 16 U.S.C. 971 et seq. and 1801 et seq. Dated: June 3, 2015. Emily H. Menashes, Acting Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine Fisheries Service. [FR Doc. 2015–13988 Filed 6–4–15; 4:15 pm] BILLING CODE 3510–22–P Classification The Assistant Administrator for NMFS (AA) finds that it is impracticable PO 00000 Frm 00041 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 9990 32479 E:\FR\FM\09JNR1.SGM 09JNR1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 80, Number 110 (Tuesday, June 9, 2015)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 32478-32479]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2015-13988]


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DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

50 CFR Part 635

[Docket No. 120328229-4949-02]
RIN 0648-XD973


Atlantic Highly Migratory Species; Atlantic Bluefin Tuna 
Fisheries

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

ACTION: Temporary rule; closure of Angling category southern area 
trophy fishery.

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SUMMARY: NMFS closes the southern area Angling category fishery for 
large medium and giant (``trophy'' (i.e., measuring 73 inches curved 
fork length or greater)) Atlantic bluefin tuna (BFT). This action is 
being taken to prevent any further overharvest of the Angling category 
southern area trophy BFT subquota.

DATES: Effective June 7, 2015 through December 31, 2015.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Sarah McLaughlin or Brad McHale, 978-
281-9260.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Regulations implemented under the authority 
of the Atlantic Tunas

[[Page 32479]]

Convention Act (ATCA; 16 U.S.C. 971 et seq.) and the Magnuson-Stevens 
Fishery Conservation and Management Act (Magnuson-Stevens Act; 16 
U.S.C. 1801 et seq.) governing the harvest of BFT by persons and 
vessels subject to U.S. jurisdiction are found at 50 CFR part 635. 
Section 635.27 subdivides the U.S. BFT quota recommended by the 
International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas (ICCAT) 
among the various domestic fishing categories, per the allocations 
established in the 2006 Consolidated Atlantic Highly Migratory Species 
Fishery Management Plan (2006 Consolidated HMS FMP) (71 FR 58058, 
October 2, 2006), as amended by Amendment 7 to the 2006 Consolidated 
HMS FMP (Amendment 7) (79 FR 71510, December 2, 2014), and in 
accordance with implementing regulations.
    NMFS is required, under Sec.  635.28(a)(1), to file a closure 
notice with the Office of the Federal Register for publication when a 
BFT quota is reached or is projected to be reached. On and after the 
effective date and time of such notification, for the remainder of the 
fishing year or for a specified period as indicated in the 
notification, retaining, possessing, or landing BFT under that quota 
category is prohibited until the opening of the subsequent quota period 
or until such date as specified in the notice.

Angling Category Large Medium and Giant Southern ``Trophy'' Fishery 
Closure

    The 2015 BFT fishing year, which is managed on a calendar-year 
basis and subject to an annual calendar-year quota, began January 1, 
2015. The Angling category season opened January 1, 2015, and continues 
through December 31, 2015. The currently codified Angling category 
quota is 168.6 mt, of which 3.9 mt is allocated for the harvest of 
large medium and giant (trophy) BFT from the regulatory area by vessels 
fishing under the Angling category quota, with 1.3 mt allocated for 
each of the following areas: North of 39[deg]18' N. lat. (off Great Egg 
Inlet, NJ); south of 39[deg]18' N. lat. and outside the Gulf of Mexico; 
and in the Gulf of Mexico. Trophy BFT measure 73 inches (185 cm) curved 
fork length or greater.
    Reported landings from the NMFS Automated Catch Reporting System 
and the North Carolina Tagging Program total approximately 2 mt and 
NMFS has determined that the codified Angling category southern area 
trophy BFT subquota has been reached and that a closure of the southern 
area trophy BFT fishery is warranted at this time. Therefore, 
retaining, possessing, or landing large medium or giant BFT south of 
39[deg]18' N. lat. and outside the Gulf of Mexico by persons aboard 
vessels permitted in the HMS Angling category and the HMS Charter/
Headboat category must cease at 11:30 p.m. local time on June 7, 2015. 
This closure will remain effective through December 31, 2015. This 
action is intended to prevent any further overharvest of the Angling 
category southern area trophy BFT subquota, and is taken consistent 
with the regulations at Sec.  635.28(a)(1).
    NMFS has considered the fact that it is in the process of proposing 
a rule that would implement and give domestic effect to the 2014 ICCAT 
recommendation on western Atlantic BFT management, which increased the 
U.S. BFT quota for 2015 and 2016 by 14 percent from the 2014 level. The 
domestic subquotas to be proposed in that action would result from 
application of the allocation process established in Amendment 7 to the 
2006 Consolidated HMS FMP to the increased U.S. quota, and would 
include an increase in the southern trophy BFT quota from the currently 
codified 1.3 mt to a total of 1.5 mt. However, because current landings 
exceed both the currently codified and the anticipated proposed quota 
for the Angling category southern area, closure of the southern area 
trophy BFT fishery needs to occur regardless of the proposed quota 
increase.
    If needed, subsequent Angling category adjustments will be 
published in the Federal Register. Information regarding the Angling 
category fishery for Atlantic tunas, including daily retention limits 
for BFT measuring 27 inches (68.5 cm) to less than 73 inches and any 
further Angling category adjustments, is available at 
hmspermits.noaa.gov or by calling (978) 281-9260.
    HMS Angling and HMS Charter/Headboat category permit holders may 
catch and release (or tag and release) BFT of all sizes, subject to the 
requirements of the catch-and-release and tag-and-release programs at 
Sec.  635.26. Anglers are also reminded that all BFT that are released 
must be handled in a manner that will maximize survival, and without 
removing the fish from the water, consistent with requirements at Sec.  
635.21(a)(1). For additional information on safe handling, see the 
``Careful Catch and Release'' brochure available at www.nmfs.noaa.gov/sfa/hms/.

Classification

    The Assistant Administrator for NMFS (AA) finds that it is 
impracticable and contrary to the public interest to provide prior 
notice of, and an opportunity for public comment on, this action for 
the following reasons:
    The regulations implementing the 2006 Consolidated HMS FMP, as 
amended, provide for inseason retention limit adjustments and fishery 
closures to respond to the unpredictable nature of BFT availability on 
the fishing grounds, the migratory nature of this species, and the 
regional variations in the BFT fishery. The closure of the southern 
area Angling category trophy fishery is necessary to prevent any 
further overharvest of the southern area trophy fishery subquota. NMFS 
provides notification of closures by publishing the notice in the 
Federal Register, emailing individuals who have subscribed to the 
Atlantic HMS News electronic newsletter, and updating the information 
posted on the Atlantic Tunas Information Line and on 
hmspermits.noaa.gov.
    These fisheries are currently underway and delaying this action 
would be contrary to the public interest as it could result in 
excessive trophy BFT landings that may result in future potential quota 
reductions for the Angling category, depending on the magnitude of a 
potential Angling category overharvest. NMFS must close the southern 
area trophy BFT fishery before additional landings of these sizes of 
BFT accumulate. Therefore, the AA finds good cause under 5 U.S.C. 
553(b)(B) to waive prior notice and the opportunity for public comment. 
For all of the above reasons, there is good cause under 5 U.S.C. 553(d) 
to waive the 30-day delay in effectiveness.
    This action is being taken under 50 CFR 635.28(a)(1), and is exempt 
from review under Executive Order 12866.

    Authority:  16 U.S.C. 971 et seq. and 1801 et seq.

    Dated: June 3, 2015.
Emily H. Menashes,
Acting Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine 
Fisheries Service.
[FR Doc. 2015-13988 Filed 6-4-15; 4:15 pm]
 BILLING CODE 3510-22-P