Gulf of Mexico Highly Migratory Species; Commercial Blacknose Sharks and Non-Blacknose Small Coastal Sharks in the Gulf of Mexico Region, 38016-38017 [2015-16355]

Download as PDF asabaliauskas on DSK5VPTVN1PROD with FRONTMATTER 38016 Federal Register / Vol. 80, No. 127 / Thursday, July 2, 2015 / Rules and Regulations NMFS closes the recreational sector for snowy grouper in the South Atlantic exclusive economic zone (EEZ) on July 6, 2015. This closure is necessary to protect the snowy grouper resource. DATES: This rule is effective 12:01 a.m., local time, July 6, 2015, until 12:01 a.m., local time, January 1, 2016. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Catherine Hayslip, NMFS Southeast Regional Office, telephone: 727–824– 5305, email: catherine.hayslip@ noaa.gov. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The snapper-grouper fishery of the South Atlantic, which includes snowy grouper, is managed under the Fishery Management Plan for the SnapperGrouper Fishery of the South Atlantic Region (FMP). The FMP was prepared by the South Atlantic Fishery Management Council and is implemented by NMFS under the authority of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (Magnuson-Stevens Act) by regulations at 50 CFR part 622. The recreational ACL for snowy grouper is 523 fish. In accordance with regulations at 50 CFR 622.193(b)(2), if the recreational ACL is exceeded, the Assistant Administrator, NOAA (AA), will file a notification with the Office of the Federal Register to reduce the length of the following fishing season by the amount necessary to ensure landings do not exceed the recreational ACL in the following fishing year. NMFS evaluates annual recreational landings with the recreational ACL for snowy grouper based on a 3-year running average of landings. For the 2015 fishing year, the most recent 3-year running average of recreational landings is the average of 2012–2014. Average landings from 2012–2014 exceeded the 2014 recreational ACL by 1,253 fish. Therefore, this temporary rule implements the post-season AM to reduce the fishing season for the recreational snowy grouper component of the snapper-grouper fishery by the amount necessary to ensure recreational landings do not exceed the recreational ACL in 2015. As a result, the recreational sector for snowy grouper will be closed effective 12:01 a.m., local time, July 6, 2015. During the closure, the bag and possession limits for snowy grouper in or from the South Atlantic EEZ are zero. These limits apply in the South Atlantic for a person on board a vessel for which a valid Federal commercial or charter vessel/headboat permit for the South Atlantic snapper-grouper fishery has been issued regardless of whether the fish are harvested in state or Federal VerDate Sep<11>2014 23:22 Jul 01, 2015 Jkt 235001 waters, as specified in 50 CFR 622.193(b)(2). The recreational sector for snowy grouper will reopen on January 1, 2016, the beginning of the 2016 recreational fishing season. Classification The Regional Administrator, Southeast Region, NMFS, has determined this temporary rule is necessary for the conservation and management of snowy grouper 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(b)(2) 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 snowy grouper constitutes good cause to waive the requirements to provide prior notice and opportunity for public comment on this temporary rule pursuant to the authority set forth in 5 U.S.C. 553(b)(B), as such procedures would be unnecessary and contrary to the public interest. Such procedures are unnecessary because the rule implementing the AMs established by Amendment 17B to the FMP (75 FR 82280, December 30, 2010) and located at 50 CFR 622.193(b)(2) has 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 of the need to immediately implement this action to protect the snowy grouper resource, since time for notice and public comment will allow for continued recreational harvest and exceedance of the recreational ACL. Additionally, there is a need to immediately notify the public of the reduced recreational fishing season for snowy grouper for the 2015 fishing year. Prior notice and opportunity for public comment would be contrary to the public interest because many of those affected by the length of the recreational fishing season, particularly charter vessel and headboat operations, book trips for clients in advance and, therefore, need as much time as possible to adjust business plans to account for the reduced recreational fishing season. For the aforementioned reasons, the AA also finds good cause to waive the PO 00000 Frm 00094 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 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 29, 2015. Emily H. Menashes, Acting Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine Fisheries Service. [FR Doc. 2015–16379 Filed 6–29–15; 4:15 pm] BILLING CODE 3510–22–P DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration 50 CFR Part 635 [Docket No. 140429387–4971–02] RIN 0648–XD954 Gulf of Mexico Highly Migratory Species; Commercial Blacknose Sharks and Non-Blacknose Small Coastal Sharks in the Gulf of Mexico Region National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Commerce. ACTION: Temporary rule; closure. AGENCY: NMFS is closing the fisheries for commercial non-blacknose small coastal sharks (SCS) and blacknose sharks in the Gulf of Mexico region. This action is necessary because the commercial landings of Gulf of Mexico non-blacknose SCS for the 2015 fishing season have exceeded 80 percent of the available commercial quota as of June 26, 2015, and the blacknose shark and non-blacknose SCS fisheries are quotalinked under current regulations. DATES: The commercial fisheries for blacknose sharks and non-blacknose SCS in the Gulf of Mexico region are closed effective 11:30 p.m. local time July 4, 2015, until the end of the 2015 fishing season on December 31, 2015, or until and if NMFS announces via notification in the Federal Register that additional quota is available and the season is reopened. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Guy DuBeck or Karyl Brewster-Geisz 301– 427–8503; fax 301–713–1917. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The Gulf of Mexico shark fisheries are managed under the 2006 Consolidated Highly Migratory Species (HMS) Fishery Management Plan (FMP), its amendments, and its implementing regulations (50 CFR part 635) issued under authority of the MagnusonStevens Fishery Conservation and SUMMARY: E:\FR\FM\02JYR1.SGM 02JYR1 asabaliauskas on DSK5VPTVN1PROD with FRONTMATTER Federal Register / Vol. 80, No. 127 / Thursday, July 2, 2015 / Rules and Regulations Management Act (16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq.). Under § 635.5(b)(1), dealers must electronically submit reports on sharks that are first received from a vessel on a weekly basis through a NMFSapproved electronic reporting system. Reports must be received by no later than midnight, local time, of the first Tuesday following the end of the reporting week unless the dealer is otherwise notified by NMFS. Under § 635.28(b)(2), the quotas of certain species and/or management groups are linked. The quotas for non-blacknose SCS and the blacknose shark management group in the Gulf of Mexico region are linked (§ 635.28(b)(3)(iv)). Under § 635.28(b)(2), when NMFS calculates that the landings for any species and/or management group of a linked group has reached or is projected to reach 80 percent of the available quota, NMFS will file for publication with the Office of the Federal Register a notice of closure for all of the species and/or management groups in a linked group that will be effective no fewer than 5 days from date of filing. From the effective date and time of the closure until and if NMFS announces, via notification in the Federal Register, that additional quota is available and the season is reopened, the fisheries for all linked species and/ or management groups are closed, even across fishing years. On December 2, 2014 (79 FR 71331), NMFS announced that the 2015 commercial Gulf of Mexico nonblacknose SCS quota is 45.5 metric tons (mt) dressed weight (dw) (100,317 lb dw) and the blacknose shark quota is 1.8 mt dw (4,076 lb dw). Dealer reports recently received through June 26, 2015, indicated that 36.9 mt dw or 81 percent of the available Gulf of Mexico non-blacknose SCS quota had been landed and 1.0 mt dw or 52 percent of the available Gulf of Mexico blacknose shark quota had been landed. Based on these dealer reports, landings of non-blacknose SCS have exceeded 80 percent of the quota by June 26, 2015. Accordingly, NMFS is closing both the commercial blacknose shark fishery and non-blacknose SCS management group in the Gulf of Mexico region as of 11:30 p.m. local time July 4, 2015. The only shark species or management groups that remain open in the Gulf of Mexico region are the research large coastal sharks, sandbar sharks within the shark research fishery, the blue shark, and pelagic sharks other than porbeagle or blue shark management groups. At § 635.27(b)(1), the boundary between the Gulf of Mexico region and VerDate Sep<11>2014 23:22 Jul 01, 2015 Jkt 235001 the Atlantic region is defined as a line beginning on the East Coast of Florida at the mainland at 25°20.4′ N. lat, proceeding due east. Any water and land to the south and west of that boundary is considered, for the purposes of monitoring and setting quotas, to be within the Gulf of Mexico region. During the closure, retention of blacknose sharks and non-blacknose SCS in the Gulf of Mexico region is prohibited for persons fishing aboard vessels issued a commercial shark limited access permit (LAP) under § 635.4. However, persons aboard a commercially permitted vessel that is also properly permitted to operate as a charter vessel or headboat for HMS and is engaged in a for-hire trip could fish under the recreational retention limits for sharks and ‘‘no sale’’ provisions (§ 635.22(a) and (c)). During this closure, a shark dealer issued a permit pursuant to § 635.4 may not purchase or receive blacknose sharks or non-blacknose SCS in the Gulf of Mexico region from a vessel issued a shark LAP, except that a permitted shark dealer or processor may possess blacknose sharks and/or non-blacknose SCS in the Gulf of Mexico region that were harvested, off-loaded, and sold, traded, or bartered prior to the effective date of the closure and were held in storage consistent with § 635.28(b)(5). Similarly, a shark dealer issued a permit pursuant to § 635.4 may, in accordance with relevant state regulations, purchase or receive blacknose sharks and/or nonblacknose SCS in the Gulf of Mexico region if the sharks were harvested, offloaded, and sold, traded, or bartered from a vessel that fishes only in state waters and that has not been issued a shark LAP, HMS Angling permit, or HMS Charter/Headboat permit pursuant to § 635.4. Classification Pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 553(b)(B), the Assistant Administrator for Fisheries, NOAA (AA), finds that providing prior notice and public comment for this action is impracticable and contrary to the public interest because the fisheries are currently underway and any delay in this action would result in overharvest of the Gulf of Mexico nonblacknose SCS quota and be inconsistent with management requirements and objectives. Similarly, affording prior notice and opportunity for public comment on this action is contrary to the public interest because if the quota is exceeded, the stock may be negatively affected and fishermen ultimately could experience reductions in the available quota and a lack of PO 00000 Frm 00095 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 38017 fishing opportunities in future seasons. For these reasons, the AA also finds good cause to waive the 30-day delay in effective date pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 553(d)(3). This action is required under § 635.28(b)(2) and is exempt from review under Executive Order 12866. Authority: 16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq. Dated: June 29, 2015. Emily H. Menashes, Acting Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine Fisheries Service. [FR Doc. 2015–16355 Filed 6–29–15; 4:15 pm] BILLING CODE 3510–22–P DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration 50 CFR Part 679 [Docket No. 141021887–5172–02] RIN 0648–XE023 Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Exchange of Flatfish in the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Management Area National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Commerce. ACTION: Temporary rule; reallocation. AGENCY: NMFS is exchanging unused Community Development Quota (CDQ) for CDQ acceptable biological catch (ABC) reserves. This action is necessary to allow the 2015 total allowable catch of flathead sole, rock sole, and yellowfin sole in the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands management area to be harvested. SUMMARY: Effective July 2, 2015 through 2400 hours, Alaska local time (A.l.t.), December 31, 2015. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Steve Whitney, 907–586–7228. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: NMFS manages the groundfish fishery in the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands management area (BSAI) according to the Fishery Management Plan for Groundfish of the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Management Area (FMP) prepared by the North Pacific Fishery Management Council under authority of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act. Regulations governing fishing by U.S. vessels in accordance with the FMP appear at subpart H of 50 CFR part 600 and 50 CFR part 679. The 2015 flathead sole, rock sole and yellowfin sole CDQ reserves specified in DATES: E:\FR\FM\02JYR1.SGM 02JYR1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 80, Number 127 (Thursday, July 2, 2015)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 38016-38017]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2015-16355]


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DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

50 CFR Part 635

[Docket No. 140429387-4971-02]
RIN 0648-XD954


Gulf of Mexico Highly Migratory Species; Commercial Blacknose 
Sharks and Non-Blacknose Small Coastal Sharks in the Gulf of Mexico 
Region

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

ACTION: Temporary rule; closure.

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SUMMARY: NMFS is closing the fisheries for commercial non-blacknose 
small coastal sharks (SCS) and blacknose sharks in the Gulf of Mexico 
region. This action is necessary because the commercial landings of 
Gulf of Mexico non-blacknose SCS for the 2015 fishing season have 
exceeded 80 percent of the available commercial quota as of June 26, 
2015, and the blacknose shark and non-blacknose SCS fisheries are 
quota-linked under current regulations.

DATES: The commercial fisheries for blacknose sharks and non-blacknose 
SCS in the Gulf of Mexico region are closed effective 11:30 p.m. local 
time July 4, 2015, until the end of the 2015 fishing season on December 
31, 2015, or until and if NMFS announces via notification in the 
Federal Register that additional quota is available and the season is 
reopened.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Guy DuBeck or Karyl Brewster-Geisz 
301-427-8503; fax 301-713-1917.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The Gulf of Mexico shark fisheries are 
managed under the 2006 Consolidated Highly Migratory Species (HMS) 
Fishery Management Plan (FMP), its amendments, and its implementing 
regulations (50 CFR part 635) issued under authority of the Magnuson-
Stevens Fishery Conservation and

[[Page 38017]]

Management Act (16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq.).
    Under Sec.  635.5(b)(1), dealers must electronically submit reports 
on sharks that are first received from a vessel on a weekly basis 
through a NMFS-approved electronic reporting system. Reports must be 
received by no later than midnight, local time, of the first Tuesday 
following the end of the reporting week unless the dealer is otherwise 
notified by NMFS. Under Sec.  635.28(b)(2), the quotas of certain 
species and/or management groups are linked. The quotas for non-
blacknose SCS and the blacknose shark management group in the Gulf of 
Mexico region are linked (Sec.  635.28(b)(3)(iv)). Under Sec.  
635.28(b)(2), when NMFS calculates that the landings for any species 
and/or management group of a linked group has reached or is projected 
to reach 80 percent of the available quota, NMFS will file for 
publication with the Office of the Federal Register a notice of closure 
for all of the species and/or management groups in a linked group that 
will be effective no fewer than 5 days from date of filing. From the 
effective date and time of the closure until and if NMFS announces, via 
notification in the Federal Register, that additional quota is 
available and the season is reopened, the fisheries for all linked 
species and/or management groups are closed, even across fishing years.
    On December 2, 2014 (79 FR 71331), NMFS announced that the 2015 
commercial Gulf of Mexico non-blacknose SCS quota is 45.5 metric tons 
(mt) dressed weight (dw) (100,317 lb dw) and the blacknose shark quota 
is 1.8 mt dw (4,076 lb dw).
    Dealer reports recently received through June 26, 2015, indicated 
that 36.9 mt dw or 81 percent of the available Gulf of Mexico non-
blacknose SCS quota had been landed and 1.0 mt dw or 52 percent of the 
available Gulf of Mexico blacknose shark quota had been landed. Based 
on these dealer reports, landings of non-blacknose SCS have exceeded 80 
percent of the quota by June 26, 2015. Accordingly, NMFS is closing 
both the commercial blacknose shark fishery and non-blacknose SCS 
management group in the Gulf of Mexico region as of 11:30 p.m. local 
time July 4, 2015. The only shark species or management groups that 
remain open in the Gulf of Mexico region are the research large coastal 
sharks, sandbar sharks within the shark research fishery, the blue 
shark, and pelagic sharks other than porbeagle or blue shark management 
groups.
    At Sec.  635.27(b)(1), the boundary between the Gulf of Mexico 
region and the Atlantic region is defined as a line beginning on the 
East Coast of Florida at the mainland at 25[deg]20.4' N. lat, 
proceeding due east. Any water and land to the south and west of that 
boundary is considered, for the purposes of monitoring and setting 
quotas, to be within the Gulf of Mexico region.
    During the closure, retention of blacknose sharks and non-blacknose 
SCS in the Gulf of Mexico region is prohibited for persons fishing 
aboard vessels issued a commercial shark limited access permit (LAP) 
under Sec.  635.4. However, persons aboard a commercially permitted 
vessel that is also properly permitted to operate as a charter vessel 
or headboat for HMS and is engaged in a for-hire trip could fish under 
the recreational retention limits for sharks and ``no sale'' provisions 
(Sec.  635.22(a) and (c)).
    During this closure, a shark dealer issued a permit pursuant to 
Sec.  635.4 may not purchase or receive blacknose sharks or non-
blacknose SCS in the Gulf of Mexico region from a vessel issued a shark 
LAP, except that a permitted shark dealer or processor may possess 
blacknose sharks and/or non-blacknose SCS in the Gulf of Mexico region 
that were harvested, off-loaded, and sold, traded, or bartered prior to 
the effective date of the closure and were held in storage consistent 
with Sec.  635.28(b)(5). Similarly, a shark dealer issued a permit 
pursuant to Sec.  635.4 may, in accordance with relevant state 
regulations, purchase or receive blacknose sharks and/or non-blacknose 
SCS in the Gulf of Mexico region if the sharks were harvested, off-
loaded, and sold, traded, or bartered from a vessel that fishes only in 
state waters and that has not been issued a shark LAP, HMS Angling 
permit, or HMS Charter/Headboat permit pursuant to Sec.  635.4.

Classification

    Pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 553(b)(B), the Assistant Administrator for 
Fisheries, NOAA (AA), finds that providing prior notice and public 
comment for this action is impracticable and contrary to the public 
interest because the fisheries are currently underway and any delay in 
this action would result in overharvest of the Gulf of Mexico non-
blacknose SCS quota and be inconsistent with management requirements 
and objectives. Similarly, affording prior notice and opportunity for 
public comment on this action is contrary to the public interest 
because if the quota is exceeded, the stock may be negatively affected 
and fishermen ultimately could experience reductions in the available 
quota and a lack of fishing opportunities in future seasons. For these 
reasons, the AA also finds good cause to waive the 30-day delay in 
effective date pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 553(d)(3). This action is required 
under Sec.  635.28(b)(2) and is exempt from review under Executive 
Order 12866.

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

    Dated: June 29, 2015.
Emily H. Menashes,
Acting Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine 
Fisheries Service.
[FR Doc. 2015-16355 Filed 6-29-15; 4:15 pm]
BILLING CODE 3510-22-P