Magnuson-Stevens Act Provisions; Fisheries Off West Coast States; Pacific Coast Groundfish Fishery; 2015-2016 Biennial Specifications and Management Measures; Inseason Adjustments, 50212-50224 [2015-20491]

Download as PDF 50212 * * Federal Register / Vol. 80, No. 160 / Wednesday, August 19, 2015 / Rules and Regulations * * List of Subject in 48 CFR Parts 1837 and 1852 * [FR Doc. 2015–20252 Filed 8–18–15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560–50–P Manuel Quinones, Federal Register Liaison. RIN 2700–AE01 and 2700–AE09 NASA Federal Acquisition Regulation Supplement; Correction The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) published a final rule in the Federal Register on Thursday, March 12, 2015 (80 FR 12935), as part of the NASA Federal Acquisition Regulation Supplement (NFS) regulatory review. That final rule became effective on April 13, 2015, however the date of effectivity for the affected clauses was inadvertently omitted. This document corrects the final rule by adding the missing clause dates and makes other minor editorial changes. DATES: Effective: August 19, 2015. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Manuel Quinones, NASA, Office of Procurement, Contract and Grant Policy Division, via email at manuel.quinones@nasa.gov, or telephone (202) 358–2143. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: I. Background rmajette on DSK2VPTVN1PROD with RULES PART 1852—SOLICITATION PROVISIONS AND CONTRACT CLAUSES Magnuson-Stevens Act Provisions; Fisheries Off West Coast States; Pacific Coast Groundfish Fishery; 2015–2016 Biennial Specifications and Management Measures; Inseason Adjustments ■ SUMMARY: NASA published a final rule in the Federal Register on March 12, 2015, which became effective April 13, 2015. This rule is part of the NASA FAR Supplement regulatory review. As published, the rule contains errors due to inadvertent omission of affected clause dates and other errors that need to be corrected. Specifically, clause date of ‘‘APR 2015’’ is to be added to NFS 1852.215–77, 1852.219–11, 1852.219– 18, 1852.219–75, 252.219–77, 1852.219– 79, 1852.223–71, 1852.223–73, 1852.227–11, 1852.227–14, 1852.227– 70, 1852.227–71, 1852.227–72, 1852.227–84, 1852.227–85, 1852.227– 86, and 1852.227–88. NASA is not altering the text of these NFS clauses, but merely adding the missing clause dates. Additionally, NFS clause prescription at 1809.206–71 was correctly removed. However, the corresponding clause at 1852.209–70 should also have been removed and reserved at amendatory instruction no. 66 on page 12945 (80 FR 12945). Jkt 235001 [Docket No. 140904754–5188–02] 1. The authority citation for part 1852 continues to read as follows: National Aeronautics and Space Administration. ACTION: Correcting amendments. AGENCY: 15:08 Aug 18, 2015 50 CFR Part 660 Accordingly, 48 CFR part 1852 is amended as follows: 48 CFR Parts 1837 and 1852 VerDate Sep<11>2014 National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Government procurement. NATIONAL AERONAUTICS AND SPACE ADMINISTRATION DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE Authority: 51 U.S.C. 20113(a) and 48 CFR chapter 1. 1852.215–77, 1852.219–11, 1852.219–18, 1852.219–75, 252.219–77, 1852.219–79, 1852.223–71, 1852.223–73, 1852.227–70, 1852.227–71, 1852.227–72, 1852.227–84, 1852.227–85, 1852.227–86, and 1852.227–88 [Amended] 2. Amend sections 1852.215–77, 1852.219–11, 1852.219–18, 1852.219– 75, 252.219–77, 1852.219–79, 1852.223– 71, 1852.223–73, 1852.227–70, 1852.227–71, 1852.227–72, 1852.227– 84, 1852.227–85, 1852.227–86, and 1852.227–88 by removing ‘‘MONTH/ YEAR’’ and adding ‘‘APR 2015’’ in its place. ■ 1852.209–70 [Removed and Reserved] 3. Remove and reserve section 1852.209–70. ■ 4. Amend section 1852.216–88: a. By removing clause date of ‘‘JAN 1997’’ and adding ‘‘APR 2015’’ in its place. ■ b. By revising the second sentence in paragraph (a)(1). The revision reads as follows: ■ ■ 1852.216–88 Performance incentive. * * * * * (a) * * * (1) * * * The performance incentive becomes effective when the item is put into service. * * * * * * * * 1852.223–76 [Amended] 5. Amend section 1852.223–76 by removing ‘‘http://fastweb.inel.gov/’’ and adding ‘‘https://fastweb.inel.gov/’’ in its place. ■ 1852.227–11 and 1852.227–14 [Amended] 6. Amend in sections 1852.227–11 and 1852.227–14 by removing ‘‘DATE’’ and adding ‘‘APR 2015’’ in its place. ■ [FR Doc. 2015–20418 Filed 8–18–15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 7510–13–P PO 00000 Frm 00024 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 RIN 0648–BF27 National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Commerce. ACTION: Final rule; inseason adjustments to biennial groundfish management measures. AGENCY: This final rule announces inseason changes to management measures in the Pacific Coast groundfish fisheries. This action, which is authorized by the Pacific Coast Groundfish Fishery Management Plan (PCGFMP), is intended to protect overfished and depleted stocks while allowing fisheries to access more abundant groundfish stocks. DATES: This final rule is effective August 14, 2015. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Gretchen Hanshew, phone: 206–526– 6147, fax: 206–526–6736, or email: gretchen.hanshew@noaa.gov. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: SUMMARY: Electronic Access This rule is accessible via the Internet at the Office of the Federal Register Web site at https://www.federalregister.gov. Background information and documents are available at the Pacific Fishery Management Council’s Web site at http://www.pcouncil.org/. Copies of the final environmental impact statement (FEIS) for the Groundfish Specifications and Management Measures for 2015– 2016 and Biennial Periods Thereafter are available from Donald McIsaac, Executive Director, Pacific Fishery Management Council (Council), 7700 NE Ambassador Place, Portland, OR 97220, phone: 503–820–2280. Background The PCGFMP and its implementing regulations at title 50 in the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR), part 660, subparts C through G, regulate fishing for over 90 species of groundfish off the coasts of Washington, Oregon, and California. Groundfish specifications E:\FR\FM\19AUR1.SGM 19AUR1 Federal Register / Vol. 80, No. 160 / Wednesday, August 19, 2015 / Rules and Regulations rmajette on DSK2VPTVN1PROD with RULES and management measures are developed by the Pacific Fishery Management Council (Council), and are implemented by NMFS. The final rule to implement the 2015– 2016 harvest specifications and management measures for most species of the Pacific coast groundfish fishery was published on March 10, 2015 (80 FR 12567). The Council—in coordination with Pacific Coast Treaty Indian Tribes and the States of Washington, Oregon, and California—recommended changes to current groundfish management measures at its June 10–16, 2015, meeting. Specifically, the Council recommended an increase to commercial fishery trip limits for sablefish, blackgill rockfish, big skate, Minor Shelf Rockfish, and California scorpionfish. The Council also recommended a decrease to commercial fishery trip limits for black rockfish. NMFS has determined that good cause exists to waive notice and comment for trip limit changes for sablefish, blackgill rockfish, black rockfish and big skate and this action implements those changes. However, NMFS has determined that the Councilrecommended increases to trip limits for Minor Shelf Rockfish and California scorpionfish cannot be implemented without a two-meeting process and notice and comment rulemaking. Therefore, those changes are not included in this action. Fishery Management Measures for the Limited Entry Fixed Gear (LEFG) and Open Access (OA) Sablefish Daily Trip Limit (DTL) Fisheries North of 36° N. lat. To increase harvest opportunities for the LEFG and OA fixed gear sablefish DTL fisheries north of 36° N. lat., the Council considered increases to trip limits. The Council’s Groundfish Management Team (GMT) made modelbased landings projections for the LEFG and OA fixed gear sablefish DTL fisheries north of 36° N. lat. for the remainder of the year. These projections were based on the most recent information available. The model predicted harvest of 83 percent (196 mt) of the LEFG harvest guideline (HG) (236 mt) and 62 percent (242 mt) of the OA HG (388 mt) under current trip limits. This indicates that projected catch in both the LEFG and OA fisheries was lower than anticipated when the trip limits were initially established (93 percent (220 mt) of the LEFG HG and 92 percent (358 mt) of the OA HG). With the increase in trip limits, predicted harvest assuming medium ex-vessel price curves is 90 percent (212 mt) of the LEFG HG (236 mt) and 83 percent VerDate Sep<11>2014 15:08 Aug 18, 2015 Jkt 235001 (323 mt) of the OA HG (388 mt). Projections for the fixed gear sablefish fisheries south of 36° N. lat. were similar to what they were anticipated to be in the biennial harvest specifications and management measures, and no requests were made by industry for changes; therefore, and no inseason actions were considered. Therefore, the Council recommended and NMFS is implementing trip limit changes for the LEFG and the OA sablefish DTL fisheries north of 36° N. lat. The trip limits for sablefish in the LEFG fishery north of 36° N. lat. increase from ‘‘1,025 lb (465 kg) per week, not to exceed 3,075 lb (1,394 kg) per two months’’ to ‘‘1,125 lb (510.3 kg) per week, not to exceed 3,375 lb (1,530 kg) per two months’’ beginning during period 4 through the end of the year. The trip limits for sablefish in the OA sablefish DTL fishery north of 36° N. lat. are increased from ‘‘300 lb (136 kg) per day, or one landing per week of up to 900 lb (408 kg), not to exceed 1,800 lb (817 kg) per two months’’ to ‘‘350 lb (159 kg) per day, or one landing per week of up to 1,600 lb (726 kg), not to exceed 3,200 lb (1,452 kg) per two months’’ during period 4 through the end of the year. Fishery Management Measures for Blackgill Rockfish in the Limited Entry Fixed Gear (LEFG) and Open Access (OA) Fisheries South of 40°10′ N. lat. Blackgill rockfish south of 40°10′ N. lat. was assessed in 2011. The 2011 assessment indicated the stock was in the precautionary zone with spawning biomass depletion estimated to be 30 percent of its unfished biomass at the start of 2011. The Council chose to leave blackgill rockfish as a stock within the Minor Slope Rockfish south complex. Beginning in 2013, the Council recommended, and NMFS established, annual HGs and management measures to keep anticipated catch of blackgill rockfish within its HG, including a species-specific sorting requirement and species-specific sub-limits. Annual HGs and trip limit management in non-IFQ fisheries continue to be utilized for management of blackgill rockfish south of 40°10′ N. lat. The most recently available information (2013) indicates that the Minor Slope Rockfish trip limit and the blackgill rockfish sub-limit set in 2013 kept catch of Minor Slope Rockfish south of 40°10′ N. lat. at 148 mt, which is less than 25 percent of the 2013 ACL (618 mt). Additionally, catch of blackgill was 18.5 mt, 42 percent of the 44 mt HG (LEFG HG of 26.4 mt and OA HG of 17.6 mt, combined). The same trip limits were in place in 2014, and 2014 PO 00000 Frm 00025 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 50213 inseason estimates indicate that similar catch patters are likely to be seen in the completed 2014 total mortality report. The best available 2015 inseason information at the June Council meeting indicated that catch of blackgill rockfish was approximately half of the amount of catch during that same time period in 2014. The Council recommended that the blackgill rockfish sub-limit be increased modestly to reduce regulatory discards since catch was well below the HG in 2013 and was likely similar in scale in 2014 and because catch in 2015 is below the levels observed in 2014. In addition, a modest increase in the sublimit will likely reduce regulatory discards of blackgill rockfish when caught incidentally with co-occurring species in the Minor Slope Rockfish complex. Therefore, the Council recommended, and NMFS is implementing, an increase to blackgill rockfish sub-limits for the LEFG and the OA fisheries south of 40°10′ N. lat. The blackgill rockfish sublimit, within the overall trip limit for Minor Slope Rockfish complex south of 40°10′ N. lat., is increased in the LEFG fishery from ‘‘40,000 lb (18,144 kg) per two months, of which no more than 1,375 lb (624 kg) may be blackgill rockfish’’ to ‘‘40,000 lb (18,144 kg) per two months, of which no more than 1,600 lb (726 kg) may be blackgill rockfish’’ beginning during period 4 through the end of the year. The blackgill rockfish sub-limit, within the overall trip limit for Minor Slope Rockfish complex south of 40°10′ N. lat., is increased in the OA fishery from ‘‘10,000 lb (4,536 kg) per two months, of which no more than 475 lb (216 kg) may be blackgill rockfish’’ to ‘‘10,000 lb (4,536 kg) per two months, of which no more than 550 lb (250 kg) may be blackgill rockfish’’ beginning during period 4 through the end of the year. Fishery Management Measures for Black Rockfish in the Limited Entry Fixed Gear (LEFG) and Open Access (OA) Fisheries Between 42° N. lat. and 40°10′ N. lat. Black rockfish are caught in nearshore commercial and recreational fisheries. Black rockfish is a healthy stock that cooccurs with nearshore overfished rockfish species (e.g., canary rockfish and yelloweye rockfish). Catch of black rockfish is managed, in part, to keep catch of co-occurring overfished species within the management targets for the nearshore fishery and the state of California. The best available information on commercial black rockfish catch in northern California through June 12, 2015, indicates that harvest so far in 2015 (58 mt) is much E:\FR\FM\19AUR1.SGM 19AUR1 50214 Federal Register / Vol. 80, No. 160 / Wednesday, August 19, 2015 / Rules and Regulations rmajette on DSK2VPTVN1PROD with RULES higher than what it was in this area for the entire year of 2014 (34 mt). In 2014, the shoreward boundary of the non-trawl rockfish conservation area (RCA) in this area between 42° N. lat. and 40°10′ N. lat. was the boundary line approximating the 20 fm depth contour. For 2015, the boundary line off northern California was shifted seaward to the boundary line approximating the 30 fm depth contour, opening the area to nearshore fishing between 20 fm line and the 30 fm line for the first time since 2009 (80 FR 12567, March 10, 2015). This change in the depth restriction in the non-trawl commercial fisheries is providing additional access to nearshore stocks, and may be part of the reason for the increased black rockfish landings in 2015 compared to 2014. Additionally, the change in depth restriction may be changing bycatch rates of co-occurring overfished species in the nearshore fishery, but little information is available to inform bycatch rates inseason. Based on the best available information, catch of black rockfish is much higher in 2015 compared to 2014. To reduce projected catch of cooccurring overfished species and reduce the risk of exceeding HGs for those overfished species, the Council considered reductions to black rockfish trip limits between 42° N. lat. and 40°10′ N. lat. The Council recommended decreasing the black rockfish trip limit to the same limit that was in effect when the northern California non-trawl RCA shoreward boundary was at the 30 fm line, as it is in 2015. Therefore, the Council recommended and NMFS is implementing decreased black rockfish trip limits for the LEFG and the OA fisheries between 42° N. lat. and 40°10′ N. lat. The black rockfish trip limit, within the overall trip limit for Minor Nearshore Rockfish complex, is decreased in the LEFG and OA fisheries from ‘‘8,500 lb (3,856 kg) per two months of which no more than 1,200 lb (544 kg) may be species other than black rockfish’’ to ‘‘6,000 lb (2,722 kg) per two months of which no more than 1,200 lb (544 kg) may be species other than black rockfish’’ beginning during period 4 through the end of the year. Fishery Management Measures for Big Skate in the Shorebased IFQ Program Before 2015, big skate was managed as a component stock within the Other Fish complex. The big skate OFL estimate, along with the estimated OFLs for the other species in the complex, contributed to the OFL specified in regulation for the Other Fish complex. Species managed in complexes do not VerDate Sep<11>2014 15:08 Aug 18, 2015 Jkt 235001 have OFLs specified in regulation. Therefore, the best estimate of a sustainable harvest for a single species that is managed in a complex is referred to as an ‘‘OFL contribution,’’ since the OFL for the complex is the sum of the contributing OFLs for all the component species. During development of the 2015–2016 harvest specifications and management measures, best estimates of mortality indicated that harvest of big skate was 18 percent of the big skate OFL contribution and that it was not in need of conservation and management. Big skate was removed from the Other Fish complex and designated as an ecosystem component (EC) species (80 FR 12567, March 10, 2015). If the Council had chosen to keep big skate in the fishery, with species specific harvest specifications, the 2015 big skate OFL endorsed by the Scientific Statistical Committee (SSC) would have been 541 mt. Since the Council chose to designate this species as an EC species, the big skate OFL estimate became unnecessary. Since development and implementation of the 2015–2016 harvest specifications and management measures, new information indicated that mortality of big skate is approaching or exceeding the 2014 big skate OFL contribution. At its April 2015 meeting, the Council recommended management measures to reduce mortality of big skate and reduce the risk of overfishing the stock. At that time, the best estimate of sustainable harvest for big skate was thought to be the 2014 OFL contribution. The Council recommended and NMFS implemented a trip limit reduction for big skate in the Shorebased IFQ Program and best estimates at that time indicated that total mortality of big skate through the end of 2015 under that trip limit structure would be 441 mt, 17 mt lower than the 2014 OFL contribution of 458 mt (80 FR 31858, June 4, 2015). The analysis by the Council’s GMT assumed 100 percent mortality of discarded big skate and assumed that, once a trip limit was reached, encounters of big skate would cease and no additional landings or discards would occur. The GMT acknowledged several issues with these assumptions, but noted that the April analysis was limited in scope due to time constraints. The Council acknowledged that the mortality estimates and the OFL contribution both have high degrees of uncertainty, and recommended precautionary management measures for conservation of big skate. The Council also acknowledged that additional information and analyses would likely become available, and that management measures for big skate would be PO 00000 Frm 00026 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 considered in light of emerging and improving information. At its June 2015 meeting, the Council considered additional analysis by the GMT, recommendations of its SSC, as well as updated fishery information, regarding big skate mortality and management measures. The West Coast Observer Program estimates that almost 80 percent of big skate caught in groundfish fisheries are discarded. Following a literature review, the SSC recommended that a 50 percent discard mortality rate for big skate caught with commercial trawl gear was more appropriate. This is consistent with the assumed discard mortality for another skate species for which trip limits are in place (longnose skate). In addition, projected estimates of big skate catch through the end of the year decreased because of reduced inseason estimates. This reduction likely resulted from an increased awareness and avoidance by the fishing fleet, and harvest projection changes resulting from the Council’s improved understanding of big skate discard mortality rate. At its June 2015 meeting, the Council also considered information regarding the best available estimate for a sustainable harvest level of big skate in 2015. In April 2015, the Council aimed to keep mortality of big skate below the 2014 OFL contribution, the best estimate available at that time. In June, the Council was reminded that the SSC endorsed a 2015 big skate OFL in November 2013. Since the Council recommended big skate be designated as an EC species, no harvest specifications were adopted for the 2015–2016 biennial cycle. However, in light of the need to better estimate big skate mortality, as it is approaching the best OFL contribution estimates, the SSCendorsed estimated 2015 OFL is the best available estimate of sustainable harvest. Therefore, the Council considered projected big skate mortality in 2015 compared to the estimated 2015 OFL, rather than the 2014 OFL contribution. The 541 mt estimated 2015 OFL for big skate is 83 mt higher than the 2014 OFL contribution that was used in the April 2015 GMT analyses. Therefore, the Council considered higher trip limits for big skate than those adopted in April 2015. June 2015 GMT estimates indicate that with higher trip limits for big skate of 35,000 pounds per two months, through the remainder of the year, big skate total mortality will still be below the currently available best estimate of the 2015 OFL (541 mt). As discussed above, the best estimate of the discard mortality rate decreased from 100 percent to 50 percent and the estimated 2015 OFL that is higher than E:\FR\FM\19AUR1.SGM 19AUR1 Federal Register / Vol. 80, No. 160 / Wednesday, August 19, 2015 / Rules and Regulations the 2014 OFL contribution. Therefore, increases to the big skate trip limits in the IFQ fishery are warranted. The Council considered increasing the trip limit for big skate in the Shorebased IFQ Program, beginning in Period 4 (JulyAugust). A range of trip limits was considered: 25,000 lb (11,340 kg) per two months, 30,000 lb (13,608 kg) per two months, and 35,000 lb (15,876 kg) per two months for Periods 4–6 (JulyDecember). All alternative trip limits are anticipated to bring total mortality below the estimated 2015 OFL of 541 mt, and the estimated 2015 Acceptable Biological Catch (ABC) (assuming the same P* as 2014 of 0.40) of 451 mt. The Council recommended, and NMFS is implementing, an increase in the big skate trip limit in the Shorebased IFQ Program from ‘‘20,000 lbs (9,072 kg) per two months’’ to ‘‘35,000 lb (15,876 kg) per two months’’ in periods 4–6 (from July through December). Best estimates indicate that total mortality of big skate through the end of 2015 under this trip limit structure would be between 414 mt and 420 mt, 121–127 mt lower than the estimated 2015 OFL contribution of 541 mt and 21–27 mt lower than the estimated 2015 ABC contribution of 441 mt. The estimated total mortality is considered as a range to account for uncertainty in how fishing behavior will change after the big skate trip limit is reached. The Council recommended a trip limit that would allow approximately a 5 percent increase in total mortality, but would still be below the estimated 2015 ABC. The increase in trip limit is intended to allow vessels opportunistically targeting big skate to continue to do so, while keeping total mortality below the estimated 2015 ABC. The Councilrecommended trip limits are codified in Tables 1 (North) and 1 (South) to Subpart C. Classification rmajette on DSK2VPTVN1PROD with RULES This final rule makes routine inseason adjustments to groundfish fishery management measures, based on the VerDate Sep<11>2014 15:08 Aug 18, 2015 Jkt 235001 best available information, consistent with the PCGFMP and its implementing regulations. This action is taken under the authority of 50 CFR 660.60(c) and is exempt from review under Executive Order 12866. The aggregate data upon which these actions are based are available for public inspection at the Office of the Administrator, West Coast Region, NMFS, during business hours. NMFS finds good cause to waive prior public notice and comment on the revisions to groundfish management measures under 5 U.S.C. 553(b) because notice and comment would be impracticable and contrary to the public interest. Also, for the same reasons, NMFS finds good cause to waive the 30day delay in effectiveness pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 553(d)(3), so that this final rule may become effective August 14, 2015. At the June Council meeting, the Council recommended that these changes be implemented as quickly as possible during the two-month cumulative limit period. There was not sufficient time after that meeting to draft this document and undergo proposed and final rulemaking before these actions need to be in effect. For the actions to be implemented in this final rule, affording the time necessary for prior notice and opportunity for public comment would prevent NMFS from managing fisheries using the best available science to approach, without exceeding, the ACLs for federally managed species in accordance with the PCGFMP and applicable law. The adjustments to management measures in this document affect commercial fisheries in Washington, Oregon and California. These increases to trip limits must be implemented as quickly as possible during the two-month cumulative limit period to allow LEFG and OA fixed gear fishermen an opportunity to harvest higher limits for: Sablefish without exceeding the ACL north of 36° N. lat.; big skate without exceeding the estimated 2015 OFL; and blackgill rockfish without exceeding the PO 00000 Frm 00027 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 50215 HG south of 40°10′ N. lat. The decrease to the black rockfish trip limit must be implemented by the start of the next two-month cumulative limit period, September 1, to keep catch of cooccurring overfished species within their HGs and rebuilding ACLs. It would be contrary to the public interest to delay implementation of these changes until after public notice and comment, because making this regulatory change by August 14, 2015, allows harvest as intended by the Council, consistent with the best scientific information available. These changes allow additional harvest in fisheries that are important to coastal communities while continuing to prevent ACLs of overfished and target species from being exceeded. No aspect of this action is controversial, and changes of this nature were anticipated in the biennial harvest specifications and management measures established for 2015–2016. Accordingly, for the reasons stated above, NMFS finds good cause to waive prior notice and comment and to waive the delay in effectiveness. List of Subjects in 50 CFR Part 660 Fisheries, Fishing, and Indian fisheries. Dated: August 14, 2015. Emily H. Menashes, Acting Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine Fisheries Service. For the reasons set out in the preamble, 50 CFR part 660 is amended as follows: PART 660—FISHERIES OFF WEST COAST STATES 1. The authority citation for part 660 continues to read as follows: ■ Authority: 16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq., 16 U.S.C. 773 et seq., and 16 U.S.C. 7001 et seq. 2. Table 1 (North) and 1 (South) to part 660, subpart D, are revised to read as follows: ■ BILLING CODE 3510–22–P E:\FR\FM\19AUR1.SGM 19AUR1 50216 Federal Register / Vol. 80, No. 160 / Wednesday, August 19, 2015 / Rules and Regulations Table 1 (North) to Part 660, Subpart D -- Limited Entry Trawl Rockfish Conservation Areas and Landing Allowances for non-IFQ Species and Pacific Whiting North of 40°1 0' N. Lat. This table describes Rockfish Conservation Areas for vessels using groundfish trawl gear. This table describes incidental landing allowances for vessels registered to a Federal limited entry trawl permit and using groundfish trawl or groundfish non-trawl gears to harvest individual fishing quota (IFQ) species. Other Limits and Requirements Apply-- Read§ 660.10- § 660.399 before using this table JAN-FEB Rockfish Conservation Area (RCA)1/: I I SEP-OCT I I I shoremodified21 200 line 11 2 48'10' N. lat.- 45'46' N. lat. 45'46' N. lat.- 40'10' N. lat. fm line11 100 fm line 11 - 150 fm line 11 3 08012015 NOV-DEC shore - 200 fm shore- 150 fm line11 line 11 fm line 11 JUL-AUG I shore- 200 fm m odified 21 200 North of 48'1 0' N. lat. 1 MAY-JUN MAR-APR shore- I 100 fm line11 - modified21 200 fm line11 Selective flatfish trawl gear is required shoreward of the RCA; all bottom trawl gear (large footrope, selective flatfish trawl, and small footrope trawl gear) is permitted seaward of the RCA Large footrope and small footrope trawl gears (except for selective flatfish trawl gear) are prohibited shoreward of the RCA Midwater trawl gear is permitted only for vessels participating in the primary whiting season. Vessels fishing groundfish trawl quota pounds with groundfish non-trawl gears, under gear switching provisions at § 660.140, are subject to the limited entry groundfish trawl fishery landing allowances in this table, regardless of the type of fishing gear used. Vessels fishing groundfish trawl quota pounds with groundfish non-trawl gears, under gear switching provisions at§ 660.140, are subject to the limited entry fixed gear non-trawl RCA, as described in Tables 2 (North) and 2 (South) to Part 660, Subpart E. See§ 660.60, § 660.130, and§ 660.140 for Additional Gear, Trip Limit, and Conservation Area Requirements and Restrictions. See§§ 660.70-660.74 and§§ 660.76-660.79 for Conservation Area Descriptions and Coordinates (including RCAs, YRCA, CCAs, Farallon Islands, Cordell Banks, and EFHCAs). State trip limits and seasons may be more restrictive than federal trip limits, particularly in waters off Oregon and California. Minor Nearshore Rockfish & Black rockfish 4 - -·-·-· ·-·-·-·-·-·-·-·-·-·-·-·-·-·-·-·-·-·-·-·-·-·-·-·-·-·-·-·-·-·-·-·-·-·-· ·-·-·-·-·-·-·-·-·-·-·-·-·-·-·-·-·-·-·-·-·-·-----------------------------------------·-·-·-·-·-·-·-·-·-·-·-·-·-·-·-·-·-·-·-·-·-·-·-·-· midwater trawl Before the primary whiling season: CLOSED.-- During the primary season: mid-water trawl permitted in the RCA See §660.131 for season and trip limit details. -- Mer the primary whiting season: CLOSED. large & small footrope gear 10 Before the primary whiting season: 20,000 lb/trip. -- During the primary season: 10,000 lbltrip. -- Mer the primary whiling season: 10,000 lbltrip. ···---r·----r B Cabezon41 9 r m z 0 ""' ::::r -··-··-··-··-··-··-··-··-··-··-··-··-··-··-··-··-··-··-··-··-··-··-··-··-··-··-··-··-··-··-··-··-··-··- -··-··-··-··-··-··-··-··-····· 7 m ....Jo. 300 lb/ month 5 Whiting 31 6 -1 )> North of 46'16' N. lat. r T r 46'16' N. lat.- 40'10' N. lat. T Unlimited r T r r·-----r·----- 50 lb/month 11 Shortbelly Unlimited 12 Spiny dogfish 60,000 lb/ month 13 Big skate 115,000 lb/ month Unlimited 14 Longnose skate 35,000 lb/ 2 months Unlimited Unlimited 15 Other Fish 41 I I I I I I I I 1/ The Rockfish Conservation kea is an area closed to fishino bv particular oear tvoes, bounded bv lines specificallv defined bv latitude and lonoitude !coordinates set out at§§ 660.71-660.74. This RCA is not defined by depth contours, and the boundary lines that define the RCA may close areas ithat are deeper or shallower than the depth contour. Vessels that are subject to the RCA restrictions may not fish in the RCA or operate in the IRCA for anv purpose other than transitino. 2/ The "modified" fathom lines are modified to exclude certain petrale sole areas from the RCA 3/ M. specificed at §660.131(d), when fishing in the Eureka kea, no more than 10,000 lb of whiling may be taken and retained, possessed, or landed by a vessel that, at any lime during the fishing trip, fished in the fishery management area shoreward of 100 fm contour. 41 "Other Fish" are defined at§ 660.11 and include kelp greenling, leopard shark, and cabezon in Washington VerDate Sep<11>2014 15:08 Aug 18, 2015 Jkt 235001 PO 00000 Frm 00028 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4725 E:\FR\FM\19AUR1.SGM 19AUR1 ER19AU15.009</GPH> rmajette on DSK2VPTVN1PROD with RULES To convert pounds to kilograms, divide by 2.20462, the number of pounds in one kilogram. 50217 Federal Register / Vol. 80, No. 160 / Wednesday, August 19, 2015 / Rules and Regulations Table 1 (South) to Part 660, Subpart D -- Limited Entry Trawl Rockfish Conservation Areas and Landing Allowances for non-IFQ Species Iand Pacific Whiting South of 40"10' N. Lat. This table describes Rockfish Conservation Areas for vessels using groundfish trawl gear. This table describes incidental landing allowances for vessels registered to a Federal limited entry trawl permit and using groundfish trawl or groundfish non-trawl gears to harvest individual fishing quota (IFQ) species. Other Limits and Requirements Apply·- Read§ 660.10- § 660.399 before using this table JAN-FEB I MAR-APR I 08012015 MAY-JUN I JUL-AUG I I SEP-OCT NOV-DEC Rockfish Conservation Area (RCA)1/: 1 100fm line 11 -150fm line South of 40"10' N. lat. 1121 Small footrope trawl gear is required shoreward of the RCA; all trawl gear (large footrope, selective flatfish trawl, midwater trawl, and small footrope trawl gear) is permilled seaward of the RCA. Large footrope trawl gear and midwater trawl gear are prohibited shoreward of the RCA. Vessels fishing groundfish trawl quota pounds with groundfish non-trawl gears, under gear switching provisions at § 660.140, are subject to the limited entrygroundfish trawl fishery landing allowances in this table, regardless of the type of fishing gear used. Vessels fishing groundfish trawl quota pounds with groundfish non-trawl gears, under gear switching provisions at§ 660.140, are subject to the limited entry fixed gear non-trawl RCA, as described in Tables 2 (North) and 2 (South) to Part 660, Subpart E. See§ 660.60, § 660.130, and§ 660.140 for Additional Gear, Trip Limit, and Conservation Area Requirements and Restrictions. See§§ 660.70-660.74 and§§ 660.76-660.79 for Conservation Area Descriptions and Coordinates (including RCAs, YRCA, CCAs, Farallon Islands, Cordell Banks, and EFHCAs). State trip limits and seasons may be more restrictive than federal trip limits, particularly in waters off Oregon and California. m 2 Longspine thornyhead 3 4 r 24,000 lb/2 months South of 34"27' N. lat. m Minor Nearshore Rockfish & Black rockfish 300 lb/ month ....Jro. 5 Whiting ·-··-··-··-··-··-··-··-··-··-··-··-··-··-··-··-··-··-··- -··-··-··- ··-·-·-·-·-·-·-·-·-·-·-·-·-·-·-·-·-··-· ··-··-··- midwater trawl 6 -··-··-······-··-··-··-··-··-··-··-··-··-··-··-··-··----··-··-··-··-· ··-··-··-··-··-··-··-··-··-··-··-··-··-··-· Before the primary whiting season: CLOSED.-- During the primary season: mid-water trawl permitted in the RCA. See §660.131 for season and trip limit details. -- After the primary whiting season: CLOSED. large & small footrope gear - CJ) 0 t: ....... 7 -1 )> Before the primary whiting season: 20,000 lb/trip. -- During the primary season: 10,000 lb/trip. -- After the primary whiting season: 10,000 lb/trip. 8 Cabezon - ::::r 50 lb/ month 9 Shortbelly Unlimited 10 Spiny dogfish 60,000 lb/ month 11 Big skate Unlimited 1 15.000 lb/ month I 12 Long nose skate Unlimited 13 California scorpionfish 35,000 lb/ 2 months Unlimited 14 Other Fish Unlimited 31 I - I I I I I 1/ The Rockfish Conservation Area is an area closed to fi~hiQg byp,.rti~ulilr9~ilrtypes, bounded by lines specifici3lly ~~fiQ~~ by li3titu~~ ilQ~ longitude coordinates set out at§§ 660.71-660.74. This RCA is not defined by depth contours, and the boundary lines that define the RCA may close areas that are deeper or shall_9wer than the depth contour. Vessels that are subject to the RCA restrictions may not fish in the RCA, or operate in the RCA for any purpose o!_her than transiting. 21 South of 34"27' N. lat., the RCA is 100 fm line- 150 fm line along the mainland coast; shoreline- 150 fm line around islands. 3/ "Other Fish" are defined at§ 660.11 and include kelp greenling, leopard shark, and cabezon in Washington To convert pounds to kilograms, divide by 2.20462, the number of pounds in one kilogram. VerDate Sep<11>2014 15:08 Aug 18, 2015 Jkt 235001 PO 00000 Frm 00029 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4725 E:\FR\FM\19AUR1.SGM 19AUR1 ER19AU15.010</GPH> rmajette on DSK2VPTVN1PROD with RULES 1 50218 Federal Register / Vol. 80, No. 160 / Wednesday, August 19, 2015 / Rules and Regulations 3. Table 2 (North) and 2 (South) to part 660, subpart E, are revised to read as follows: ■ Table 2 (North) to Part 660, Subpart E -- Non-Trawl RockfiSh Conservation Areas and Trip Limits for Limited Entry Fixed Gear North of 40°10' N. lat. I I JAN. FEB I MAR-APR I MAY-JUN JUL-AUG SEP-OCT I I I I I I I Other limits and requirements apply-- Read §§660.10 through 660.399 before using this table Rockfish Conservation Area (RCA) 11 : 1 North of46.16' N.lat. 2 46.16' N.lat.- 4iOO' N.lat. 4iOO' N.lat.- 40.10' N.lat. - 30 fm line 11 - 100 fm line11 3 NOV-DEC 30 fm line 11 - 100 fm line11 shoreline- 100 1m line 11 See §§660.60 and 660.230 for additional gear, trip limit and conservation area requirements and restrictions. See §§660.70-660.74 and §§660.76-660.79 for conservation area descriptions and coordinates (including RCAs, YRCAs, CCAs, Farallon Islands, Cordell Banks, and EFHCAs). State trip limits and seasons may be more restrictiw than Federal trip limits or seasons, particularly in waters off Oregon and California. Minor Slope Rockfish" & Darkblotched rockfish 4 5 Pacific ocean perch 6 Sablefish 71 7 4,000 lb/2 months Longspine thornyhead Shortspine thornyhead 8 r--w 1-----'ft 1,800 lb/2 months 1,025 lb/ week, not to exceed 3,075 lb/ 2 months 1,125 lb/ week, not to exceed 3,375 lb/2 months 10,000 lb/2 months 5,000 lb/ month South of 42' N. lat., when fishing for "other flatfish," vessels using hook-and-line gear with no more than 12 hooks per line, using hooks no larger than "Number 2" hooks, which measure 0.44 in (11 mm) point to shank, and up to two 1 lb (0.45 kg) weights per line, are not subject to the RCAs. m 2,500 lb/2 months 9 ~ 13 14 15 16 Dover sole, arrowtooth flounder, petrale sole, English sole, starry flounder, Other Flatfish 31 Whiting 10,000 lb/trip Rockfish 21, Minor Shelf Shortbelly, Widow & Yellowtail rockfish 17 Canary rockfish z CLOSED 18 Yelloweye rockfish CLOSED 19 Minor Nearshore Rockfish & Black rockfish North of 4iOO' N. lat. 21 42"00' N.lat.- 40.10' N.lat. 22 23 ... I 600 lb/ month 1,200 lb/ 2 months Pacific cod ::::r 6,000 lb/2 months, of which no more than 1,200 lb of which may be species other than black rockfish 8,500 lb/2 months, of which no more than 1,200 lb of which may be species other than black rockfish 200 lb/2 months 0 5,000 lb/2 months, no more than 1,200 lb of which may be species other than black rockfish or blue rockfish 41 Lingcod" r~ 200 lb/ month 20 -1 )> [D 2,000 lb/2 months 200 lb/ month 1,000 lb/2 months 200,000 lb/2 months 150,000 lb/2 months 24 Spiny dogfish 25 Longnose skate Unlimited 26 Other Fish"& Cabezon in Oregon and California Unlimited fishi~g pa~icular gelr I 100,000 lb/2 months ~ounded ~y ~efined b~ I 11 The Rockfish Conservation [Area is an area closed to by types, lines sJecifically latitude and longitude coordinates set out at§§ 660.71-660.74. This RCA is not defined by depth contours (with the exception of the 20-fm I I depth contour boundary south of 4i N. lat.), and the boundary lines that define the RCA may close areas that are deeper or shallower than the depth contour. Vessels that are subjectto RCA restrictions may not fish in the RCA or operate in the RCA for any purpose other than transiting. 21 Bocaccio, chilipepper and cowcod are included in the trip limits for Mnor Shelf Rockfish and splitnose rockfish is included in the 1. I .J _I _I I I I I I I [_trip limits for Mnor Slope Rockfish. 3/ "Other flatfish" are defined at§ 660.11 and include butter sole, cu~fin sole, flathead sole, Pacific sanddab, rex sole, rock sole, and sand sole. 4/ For blal~k rockfish north of Cape Alava (48'09.50' N. lat.), and between Destruction Is. (47'40' N. lat.) and Leadbetter Pnt. (46'38.17' N. lat.), there is an additional limit of 100 lb or 30 percent by weight of all fish on board, whichever is greater, per vessel, per fishing trip. 51 The minimum size limit for lingcod is 22 inches (56 em) total length North of 4i N. lat. and 24 inches (61 em) total length South of 42" N. lat. 71 Beginning on January 1, 2016, the following trip limits are in effect for sablefish north of 36. N. lat. from January through December 1,2751b/week, not to exceed 3,375 lb/2 months To convert pounds to kilograms, divide by 2.20462, the number of pounds in one kilogram. VerDate Sep<11>2014 15:08 Aug 18, 2015 Jkt 235001 PO 00000 Frm 00030 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4725 E:\FR\FM\19AUR1.SGM 19AUR1 ER19AU15.011</GPH> rmajette on DSK2VPTVN1PROD with RULES 6/ "Other Fish" are defined at§ 660.11 and include kelp greenling, leopard shark, and cabezon in Washington. 50219 Federal Register / Vol. 80, No. 160 / Wednesday, August 19, 2015 / Rules and Regulations Table 2 (South) to Part 660, Subpart E --Non-Trawl Rockfish Conservation Areas and Trip Limits for Limited Entry Fixed Gear South of 40"10' N.lat. Other limits and requirements apply-- Read §§660.10 through 660.399 before using this table JAN-FEB I MAR-APR I MAY-JUN I Rockfish Conservation Area (RCA) 11 : I I I 40'10' N. lat.- 34'27' N. lat. 1 2 I JUL-AUG I I I ~ I I I I 30 fm line 11 - 150 fm line11 South of34.27' N.lat. 60 fm line11 - 150 fm line11 (also applies around islands) See §§660.60 and 660.230 for additional gear, trip limit and conservation area requirements and restrictions. See §§660.70-660.74 and §§660.76-660.79 for conservation area descriptions and coordinates (including RCAs, YRCAs, CCAs, Farallon Islands, Cordell Banks, and EFHCAs). State trip limits and seasons may be more restrictiw than Federal trip limits or seasons, particular1y in waters off Oregon and California. 3 4 40,000 lb/2 months, of which no more than 1,375 lb may be blackgill rockfish Minor Slope rockfish 21 & Darkblotched rockfish Splitnose rockfish 6 40.10' N.lat.- 36.00' N.lat. 7 8 9 10 11 flounder, Other Flatfish 31 r-----t7 I 1,125 lb/ week, not to exceed 3,375 lb/2 months 2,000 lb/ week 10,000 lb/2 months I 2,000 lb/2 months r2,500 lb/2 months 3,000 lb/2 months South of34.27' N.lat. Dover sole, arrowtooth flounder, petrale sole, English sole, starry -1 )> [D 1,0251b/week, not to exceed 3,0751b/2 months South of36'oo· N.lat. Longspine thornyhead Shortspine thornyhead 40.10' N.lat.- 34'27' N.lat. r------u~ r---w- may be blackgill rockfish 40,000 lb/2 months ~ !!~!.>J.!.fl!!!~~-----·-·····--·--·--·-·--·---···-·---·-·····- ~ 13 I 40,000 lb/2 months, of which no more than 1,600 lb 5,000 lb/ month South of 4i N.lat., when fishing for "other flatfish," vessels using hook-and-line gear with no more than 12 hooks per line, using hooks no larger than "Number 2" hooks, which measure 0.44 in (11 mm) point to shank, and up to two 1 lb (0.45 kg) weights per line, are not subject to the RCAs. 18 Whiting 10,000 lb/trip 19 Minor Shelf Rockfish 21, Shortbelly, Widow rockfish (including Bocaccio and Chilipepper between 40'10'- 34'27' N. lat.) 20 40'10' N. lat.- 34'27' N. lat. 21 South of34.27' N.lat. Mnor shelf rockfish, shortbelly, widow rockfish, bocaccio & chilipepper: 2,500 lb/2 months, of which no more than 500 lb may be any species other than chilipepper. 4,000 lb/2 CLOSED 4,000 lb/2 months months 40.10' N.lat.- 34'27' N.lat. Chilipepper included under minor shelf rockfish, shortbelly, widow rockfish and bocaccio limits-- See above 22 I Chilipepper 23 24 I N en 0 s:::: :::r 2,000 lb/2 months, this opportunity only available seaward of the non-trawl RCA South of34.27' N.lat. 25 Canary rockfish 26 Yelloweye rockfish CLOSED 27 Cowcod CLOSED 28 29 30 31 Bronzespotted rockfish Bocaccio CLOSED VerDate Sep<11>2014 CLOSED 40.10' N.lat.- 34'27' N.lat. Bocaccio included under Mnor sheW rockfish, shortbelly, widow rockfish & chilipepper limits --See above South of34.27' N.lat. 750 lb/ 2 months 15:08 Aug 18, 2015 Jkt 235001 PO 00000 I Frm 00031 CLOSED Fmt 4700 I Sfmt 4725 750 lb/2 months E:\FR\FM\19AUR1.SGM 19AUR1 ER19AU15.012</GPH> rmajette on DSK2VPTVN1PROD with RULES m 50220 Federal Register / Vol. 80, No. 160 / Wednesday, August 19, 2015 / Rules and Regulations 32 I I Table 2 (South). Continued I I I I JAN-FEB MAR-APR MAY-JUN JUL-AUG I I I I SEP-OCT NOV-DEC -1 Minor Nearshore Rockfish & Black rockfish 33 34 600 lb/ 2 months Shallow nearshore CLOSED 900 lb/2 months 1800 lb/2 months 900 lb/ 2 months 1,000 lb/2 months Deeper nearshore 40°10' N.lat.- 34°27' N. lat. 700 lb/ 2 months 35 800 lb/2 months 1,000 lb/2 months r 700 lb/2 months CLOSED South of 34°27' N. lat. 500 lb/ 2 months 36 600 lb/2 months California scorpionfish 38 Lingcod41 39 CLOSED Spiny dogfish 41 CLOSED Pacific cod 40 1,200 lb/2 months 200 lb/ 2 months 37 Longnose skate 42 Other Fish 51 400 lb/ 1200 lb/ month month 800 lb/ 2 months 150,000 lb/2 months I I I en ::::r Unlimited I 0 s:::: 100,000 lb/2 months Unlimited & Cabezon m N 1,200 lb/2 months 1,000 lb/2 months 200,000 lb/ 2 months )> [D I I I I 1/ The Rockfish Conservation Area is an area closed to fishing by particular gear types, bounded by lines specifically defined by latitude and longitude coordinates set out at§§ 660.71-660.74. This RCA is not defined by depth contours (with the exception of the 20-fm depth contour boundary south of 42° N. lat.), and the boundary lines that define the RCA may close areas that are deeper or shallower than the depth contour. Vessels that are subject to RCA restrictions may not fish in the RCA or operate in the RCA for any purpose other than transiting. 21 POP is included in the trip limits for Mnor Slope Rockfish. Blackgill rockfish have a species specific trip sub-limit within the Minor Slope Rockfish cumulative limit. Yellowtail rockfish are included in the trip limits for Mnor SheW Rockfish. Bronzespotted rockfish have a species specific trip limit. 3/ "Other Flatfish" are defined at§ 660.11 and include butter sole, curlfin sole, flathead sole, Pacific sanddab, rex sole, rock sole, and sand sole. I 4/ The commercial mimimum size limit for lingcod is 24 inches (61 em) total length South of 42° N. lat. 5/ "Other Fish" are defined at§ 660.11 and include kelp greenling, leopard shark, and cabezon in Washington. 61 Beginning on January 1, 2016, the following trip limits are in effect for sablefish north of 36" N. lat. from January through December 1,2751b/week, not to exceed VerDate Sep<11>2014 15:08 Aug 18, 2015 Jkt 235001 PO 00000 Frm 00032 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4725 E:\FR\FM\19AUR1.SGM 19AUR1 ER19AU15.013</GPH> rmajette on DSK2VPTVN1PROD with RULES 3,375 lb/2 months. To convert pounds to kilograms, divide by 2.20462, the number of pounds in one kilogram. 50221 Federal Register / Vol. 80, No. 160 / Wednesday, August 19, 2015 / Rules and Regulations 4. Table 3 (North) and 3 (South) to part 660, subpart F, are revised to read ■ Table 3 (North) to Part as follows: 660, Subpart F --Non-Trawl Rockfish Conservation Areas and Trip Limits for Open Access Gears North of 40"10' N. lat. Other lim its and requirements apply-- Read §§660.1 0 through 660.399 before using this table JAN-FEB Rockfish Conservation Area (RCA) 11 : I MAR-APR I I I I I I JUL-AUG I SEP-OCT I NOV-DEC I I I I I I I shoreline -100fm line" North of 46"16' N. lat. 1 ##- fiMY-JUN 2 46.16' N. lat. - 4iOO' N. lat. 301m line" -100fm line" 3 4iOO' N. lat. - 40"10' N. lat. 301m line 11 -100fm line11 See §§660.60, 660.330 and 660.333 for additional gear, trip linit and conservation area requirements and restrictions. See §§660.70-660.74 and §§660.76660.79 for conservation area descriptions and coordinates (including RCAs, YRCAs, CCAs, Farallon Islands, Cordell Banks, and EFHCAs). State trip limits and seasons may be more restrictiw than Federal trip limits or seasons, particularly in waters off Oregon and California. 5 Minor Slope Rockfish" & Darkblotched rockfish Pacific ocean perch 6 Sablefish71 7 Shortpine thornyheads and longspine thornyheads 4 Per trip, no more than 25% of weight of the sablefish landed 100 lbl month 300 lb/ day, or 1 landing per week of up to 900 lb, not to 1350 lb/ day, or 1 landing per week of up to 1,600 lb, not to exceed 1,600 lb/2 months exceed 3,200 lbl 2 months r3,000 lb/ month, no more than 300 lb of which may be species other than Pacific sanddabs. to ---t1 ~ 13 Dover sole, arrowtooth flounder, petrale sole, English sole, starry flounder, Other Flatfish" m South of 42' N. lat., when fishing for "other flatfish,'' vessels using hook-and-line gear with no more than 12 hooks per line, using hooks no larger than "Number 2" hooks, which measure 0.44 in (11 mm) point to shank, and up to two 1 lb (0.45 kg) weights per line are not subject to the RCAs. w Whiting 300 lbl month 16 Minor Shelf Rockfish", Shortbelly, Widow & Yellowtail rockfish Canary rockfish 17 Yelloweye rockfish 18 Minor Nearshore Rockfish & Black rockfish 15 200 lbl month 4iOO' N. lat.- 40"10' N. lat. 21 5,000 lb/2 months, no more than 1,200 lb of which may be species other than black rockfish Spiny dogfish I Pacific cod 23 1·6,000 lb/2 months, of which no more . . . 8,500 lbl 2 months, ofwh1ch no more than 1,200 lb ofwh1ch may be spec1es than 1,200 lb of which may be species other than black rockfish other than black rockfish Lingcod51 22 :::r North of 4iOO' N. lat. 20 z 0 ... CLOSED CLOSED 19 100 lbl month 1100 lb/ month 600 lbl month 1,000 lb/2 months 200,000 lb/2 months I 150,000 lb/2 months I Longnose skate Unlimited 25 Other Fish" & Cabezon in Oregon and California 100,000 lb/2 months Unlimited VerDate Sep<11>2014 15:08 Aug 18, 2015 Jkt 235001 PO 00000 Frm 00033 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4725 E:\FR\FM\19AUR1.SGM 19AUR1 ER19AU15.014</GPH> 24 rmajette on DSK2VPTVN1PROD with RULES )> m CLOSED 8 9 14 -1 50222 Federal Register / Vol. 80, No. 160 / Wednesday, August 19, 2015 / Rules and Regulations I Table 3 (North). Continued I 26 JAN-FEB I I I MAR-APR I I I fiMY-JUN I I I JUL-AUG I I I SEP-OCT I I I NOV-DEC -1 SALMON TROLL (subject to RCAs v.hen retaining all species of groundfish, except for yel/ov.iail rockfish and lingcod, as described beloW) )> m 27 28 r- Salmon trollers may retain and land up to 1 lb of yellowtail rockfish for ewry 2 lbs of salmon landed, with a cumulatiw limit of 200 lb/month, both within and outside of the RCA. This limit is within the 200 lb per month combined limit for minor shelf rockfish, widow rockfish and yellowtail rockfish, and not in addition to that limit. Salmon trollers may retain and land up to 1 lingcod per 15 Chinook per trip, plus 1 lingcod per trip, up to a trip limit of 10 lingcod, on a trip where any fishing occurs within the RCA This limit only applies during times when lingcod retention is allowed, and is not "CLOSED." This limit is within the per month limit for lingcod described in the table abow, and not in addition to that limit. All groundfish species are subject to the open access limits, seasons, size limits and RCA restrictions listed in the table above, unless otherwise stated here. North m w z - PINK SHRIMP NON-GROUNDFISH TRAWL (not subject to RCAs) 0 ""' 29 :::r Effective April1 -October 31: Groundfish: 500 lb/day, multiplied by the number of days of the trip, not to exceed 1,500 lb/trip. The following sublimits also apply and are counted toward the overall 500 lb/day and 1,500 lb/trip groundfish limits: lingcod 300 lb/month (minimum 24 inch size limit); sablefish 2,000 lb/month; canary, thomyheads and yelloweye rockfish are PROHIBilED. All other groundfish species taken are managed under the owrall 500 lb/day and 1,500 lb/trip groundfish limits. Landings of these species count toward the per day and per trip groundfish limits and do not haw species-specific limits. The amount of groundfish landed may not exceed the amount of pink shrimp landed. North n 0 ::I ""t c. I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I 11 The Rockfish Conservation Area is an area closed to fishing by particular gear types, bounded by lines specifically defined by latitude and longitude coordinates set out at §§ 660. 71-<360.74. This RCA is not defined by depth contours (with the exception of the 20-fm depth contour boundary south of 42" N. lat.), and the boundary lines that define the RCA may close areas that are deeper or shallower than the depth contour. Vessels that are subject to RCA restrictions may not fish in the RCA, or operate in the RCA for any purpose Splitnose rockfish is included in the trip limits for minor slope rockfish. I I I 41 For black rockfish north of Cape Alava (48°09.50' N. lat.), and between Destruction Is. (47"40' N. lat.) and Leadbetter Pnt. (46°38.17' N. lat.), !there is an additional lim it of 100 lbs or 30 percent by weight of all fish on board, whichever is greater, per vessel, per fishing trip. 5/The minimum size limit for lingcod is 22 inches (56 em) total length North of 42' N. lat. and 24 inches (61 em) total length South of 42" N. lat. 61 "Other fish" are defined at§ 660.11 and include kelp greenling, leopard shark, and cabezon in Washington. 71 Beginning on January 1, 2016, the following trip limits are in effect for sablefish north of 36 N. lat. 300 lbl day, or 1 landing per week of up to 1,000 lb, not to exceed 2,000 lb/2 VerDate Sep<11>2014 15:08 Aug 18, 2015 Jkt 235001 PO 00000 Frm 00034 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4725 I I I E:\FR\FM\19AUR1.SGM I 19AUR1 I I I ER19AU15.015</GPH> rmajette on DSK2VPTVN1PROD with RULES months. To convert pounds to kilograms, divide by 2.20462, the nurmer of pounds in one kilogram 50223 Federal Register / Vol. 80, No. 160 / Wednesday, August 19, 2015 / Rules and Regulations Table 3 (South) to Part 660, Subpart F -- Non-Trawl Rockfish Conservation Areas and Trip Limits for Open Access Gears South of 40°10' N. lat. Other lim its and requirements apply-- Read §§660.1 0 through 660.399 before using this table ##JAN-FEB I MAR-APR I r.AAY-JUN I JUL-AUG I SEP-OCT I NOV-DEC Rockfish Conservation kea (RCA) 11 : 1 2 I I I South of 34'27' N. lat. I 40'10' N. lat.- 34'27' N. lat. I I I I I I I 301m line 11 -150fm line11 60 fm line11 - 150 fm line11 (also applies around is lands) See §§660.60 and 660.230 for additional gear, trip limit and conservation area requirements and restrictions. See §§660.70-660.74 and §§660.76-660.79 for conservation area descriptions and coordinates (including RCAs, YRCAs, CCAs, Farallon Islands, Cordell Banks, and EFHCAs). State trip limits and seasons may be more restrictiw than Federal trip limits or seasons, particular1y in waters off Oregon and California. 4 5 Splitnose rockfish Sablefish61 6 200 lbl month 40.10' N.lat. -36·oo· N.lat. 7 10,000 lb/2 months, of which no more than 475 lb may be 110,000 lb/2 months, of which no more than 550 lb may be blackgill rockfish blackgill rockfish 300 lb/ day, or 1 landing per week of up to 1,600 lb, not to exceed 3,200 lb/2 months Shortpine thornyheads and longspine thornyheads 8 9 10 11 ~ 3,000 lb/ month, no more than 300 lb of which may be species other than Pacific sanddabs. Dover sole, arrowtooth flounder, petrale sole, English sole, starry ~ flounder, Other Flatfish" 1'4 50 lb/ day, no more than 1,000 lb/ 2 months South of 34'27' N. lat. 16 17 18 South of 42' N. lat., when fishing for "other flatfish,'' vessels using hook-and-line gear with no more than 12 hooks per line, using hooks no larger than "Number 2" hooks, which measure 0.44 in (11 mm) point to shank, and up to two 1 lb (0.45 kg) weights per line are not subject to the RCAs. Whitin!l Minor Shelf Rockfish", Shortbelly, Widow rockfish and Chilipepper 300 lbl month 19 40'1 0' N. lat. - 34'27' N. lat. 300 lb/2 months 20 South of 34'27' N. lat. 1500 lb/2 months 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 VerDate Sep<11>2014 I I CLOSED Canary rockfish Yelloweye rockfish Cowcod Bronzespotted rockfish Bocaccio 40.10' N.lat. -34.27' N.lat. 200 lb/2 months South of 34'27' N. lat. 250 lb/2 months 15:08 Aug 18, 2015 Jkt 235001 PO 00000 I I CLOSED Frm 00035 I 200 lb/ 2 months I I I Fmt 4700 m r- m w CLOSED 40.10' N.lat. -34'27' N. lat. ~ rmajette on DSK2VPTVN1PROD with RULES )> 300 lb/ day, or 1 landing per week of up to 900 lb, not to 1350 lb/ day, or 1 landing per week of up to 1,600 lb, not to exceed 1,800 lb/2 months exceed 3,200 lb/2 months South of 36'00' N. lat. -1 en 0 c ::::r I 300 lb/2 months 1500 lb/ 2 months CLOSED CLOSED CLOSED CLOSED 100 lb/2 months I 200 lb/2 months 250 lbl 2 months Sfmt 4725 E:\FR\FM\19AUR1.SGM 19AUR1 ER19AU15.016</GPH> 3 Minor Slope Rockfish" & Darkblotched rockfish 50224 Federal Register / Vol. 80, No. 160 / Wednesday, August 19, 2015 / Rules and Regulations [FR Doc. 2015–20491 Filed 8–14–15; 4:15 pm] VerDate Sep<11>2014 15:08 Aug 18, 2015 Jkt 235001 PO 00000 Frm 00036 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 9990 E:\FR\FM\19AUR1.SGM 19AUR1 ER19AU15.017</GPH> rmajette on DSK2VPTVN1PROD with RULES BILLING CODE 3510–22–C

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 80, Number 160 (Wednesday, August 19, 2015)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 50212-50224]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2015-20491]


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

DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

50 CFR Part 660

[Docket No. 140904754-5188-02]
RIN 0648-BF27


Magnuson-Stevens Act Provisions; Fisheries Off West Coast States; 
Pacific Coast Groundfish Fishery; 2015-2016 Biennial Specifications and 
Management Measures; Inseason Adjustments

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

ACTION: Final rule; inseason adjustments to biennial groundfish 
management measures.

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

SUMMARY: This final rule announces inseason changes to management 
measures in the Pacific Coast groundfish fisheries. This action, which 
is authorized by the Pacific Coast Groundfish Fishery Management Plan 
(PCGFMP), is intended to protect overfished and depleted stocks while 
allowing fisheries to access more abundant groundfish stocks.

DATES: This final rule is effective August 14, 2015.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Gretchen Hanshew, phone: 206-526-6147, 
fax: 206-526-6736, or email: gretchen.hanshew@noaa.gov.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: 

Electronic Access

    This rule is accessible via the Internet at the Office of the 
Federal Register Web site at https://www.federalregister.gov. 
Background information and documents are available at the Pacific 
Fishery Management Council's Web site at http://www.pcouncil.org/. 
Copies of the final environmental impact statement (FEIS) for the 
Groundfish Specifications and Management Measures for 2015-2016 and 
Biennial Periods Thereafter are available from Donald McIsaac, 
Executive Director, Pacific Fishery Management Council (Council), 7700 
NE Ambassador Place, Portland, OR 97220, phone: 503-820-2280.

Background

    The PCGFMP and its implementing regulations at title 50 in the Code 
of Federal Regulations (CFR), part 660, subparts C through G, regulate 
fishing for over 90 species of groundfish off the coasts of Washington, 
Oregon, and California. Groundfish specifications

[[Page 50213]]

and management measures are developed by the Pacific Fishery Management 
Council (Council), and are implemented by NMFS.
    The final rule to implement the 2015-2016 harvest specifications 
and management measures for most species of the Pacific coast 
groundfish fishery was published on March 10, 2015 (80 FR 12567).
    The Council--in coordination with Pacific Coast Treaty Indian 
Tribes and the States of Washington, Oregon, and California--
recommended changes to current groundfish management measures at its 
June 10-16, 2015, meeting. Specifically, the Council recommended an 
increase to commercial fishery trip limits for sablefish, blackgill 
rockfish, big skate, Minor Shelf Rockfish, and California scorpionfish. 
The Council also recommended a decrease to commercial fishery trip 
limits for black rockfish. NMFS has determined that good cause exists 
to waive notice and comment for trip limit changes for sablefish, 
blackgill rockfish, black rockfish and big skate and this action 
implements those changes. However, NMFS has determined that the 
Council-recommended increases to trip limits for Minor Shelf Rockfish 
and California scorpionfish cannot be implemented without a two-meeting 
process and notice and comment rulemaking. Therefore, those changes are 
not included in this action.

Fishery Management Measures for the Limited Entry Fixed Gear (LEFG) and 
Open Access (OA) Sablefish Daily Trip Limit (DTL) Fisheries North of 
36[deg] N. lat.

    To increase harvest opportunities for the LEFG and OA fixed gear 
sablefish DTL fisheries north of 36[deg] N. lat., the Council 
considered increases to trip limits. The Council's Groundfish 
Management Team (GMT) made model-based landings projections for the 
LEFG and OA fixed gear sablefish DTL fisheries north of 36[deg] N. lat. 
for the remainder of the year. These projections were based on the most 
recent information available. The model predicted harvest of 83 percent 
(196 mt) of the LEFG harvest guideline (HG) (236 mt) and 62 percent 
(242 mt) of the OA HG (388 mt) under current trip limits. This 
indicates that projected catch in both the LEFG and OA fisheries was 
lower than anticipated when the trip limits were initially established 
(93 percent (220 mt) of the LEFG HG and 92 percent (358 mt) of the OA 
HG). With the increase in trip limits, predicted harvest assuming 
medium ex-vessel price curves is 90 percent (212 mt) of the LEFG HG 
(236 mt) and 83 percent (323 mt) of the OA HG (388 mt). Projections for 
the fixed gear sablefish fisheries south of 36[deg] N. lat. were 
similar to what they were anticipated to be in the biennial harvest 
specifications and management measures, and no requests were made by 
industry for changes; therefore, and no inseason actions were 
considered.
    Therefore, the Council recommended and NMFS is implementing trip 
limit changes for the LEFG and the OA sablefish DTL fisheries north of 
36[deg] N. lat. The trip limits for sablefish in the LEFG fishery north 
of 36[deg] N. lat. increase from ``1,025 lb (465 kg) per week, not to 
exceed 3,075 lb (1,394 kg) per two months'' to ``1,125 lb (510.3 kg) 
per week, not to exceed 3,375 lb (1,530 kg) per two months'' beginning 
during period 4 through the end of the year.
    The trip limits for sablefish in the OA sablefish DTL fishery north 
of 36[deg] N. lat. are increased from ``300 lb (136 kg) per day, or one 
landing per week of up to 900 lb (408 kg), not to exceed 1,800 lb (817 
kg) per two months'' to ``350 lb (159 kg) per day, or one landing per 
week of up to 1,600 lb (726 kg), not to exceed 3,200 lb (1,452 kg) per 
two months'' during period 4 through the end of the year.

Fishery Management Measures for Blackgill Rockfish in the Limited Entry 
Fixed Gear (LEFG) and Open Access (OA) Fisheries South of 40[deg]10' N. 
lat.

    Blackgill rockfish south of 40[deg]10' N. lat. was assessed in 
2011. The 2011 assessment indicated the stock was in the precautionary 
zone with spawning biomass depletion estimated to be 30 percent of its 
unfished biomass at the start of 2011. The Council chose to leave 
blackgill rockfish as a stock within the Minor Slope Rockfish south 
complex. Beginning in 2013, the Council recommended, and NMFS 
established, annual HGs and management measures to keep anticipated 
catch of blackgill rockfish within its HG, including a species-specific 
sorting requirement and species-specific sub-limits. Annual HGs and 
trip limit management in non-IFQ fisheries continue to be utilized for 
management of blackgill rockfish south of 40[deg]10' N. lat.
    The most recently available information (2013) indicates that the 
Minor Slope Rockfish trip limit and the blackgill rockfish sub-limit 
set in 2013 kept catch of Minor Slope Rockfish south of 40[deg]10' N. 
lat. at 148 mt, which is less than 25 percent of the 2013 ACL (618 mt). 
Additionally, catch of blackgill was 18.5 mt, 42 percent of the 44 mt 
HG (LEFG HG of 26.4 mt and OA HG of 17.6 mt, combined). The same trip 
limits were in place in 2014, and 2014 inseason estimates indicate that 
similar catch patters are likely to be seen in the completed 2014 total 
mortality report. The best available 2015 inseason information at the 
June Council meeting indicated that catch of blackgill rockfish was 
approximately half of the amount of catch during that same time period 
in 2014. The Council recommended that the blackgill rockfish sub-limit 
be increased modestly to reduce regulatory discards since catch was 
well below the HG in 2013 and was likely similar in scale in 2014 and 
because catch in 2015 is below the levels observed in 2014. In 
addition, a modest increase in the sub-limit will likely reduce 
regulatory discards of blackgill rockfish when caught incidentally with 
co-occurring species in the Minor Slope Rockfish complex.
    Therefore, the Council recommended, and NMFS is implementing, an 
increase to blackgill rockfish sub-limits for the LEFG and the OA 
fisheries south of 40[deg]10' N. lat. The blackgill rockfish sub-limit, 
within the overall trip limit for Minor Slope Rockfish complex south of 
40[deg]10' N. lat., is increased in the LEFG fishery from ``40,000 lb 
(18,144 kg) per two months, of which no more than 1,375 lb (624 kg) may 
be blackgill rockfish'' to ``40,000 lb (18,144 kg) per two months, of 
which no more than 1,600 lb (726 kg) may be blackgill rockfish'' 
beginning during period 4 through the end of the year.
    The blackgill rockfish sub-limit, within the overall trip limit for 
Minor Slope Rockfish complex south of 40[deg]10' N. lat., is increased 
in the OA fishery from ``10,000 lb (4,536 kg) per two months, of which 
no more than 475 lb (216 kg) may be blackgill rockfish'' to ``10,000 lb 
(4,536 kg) per two months, of which no more than 550 lb (250 kg) may be 
blackgill rockfish'' beginning during period 4 through the end of the 
year.

Fishery Management Measures for Black Rockfish in the Limited Entry 
Fixed Gear (LEFG) and Open Access (OA) Fisheries Between 42[deg] N. 
lat. and 40[deg]10' N. lat.

    Black rockfish are caught in nearshore commercial and recreational 
fisheries. Black rockfish is a healthy stock that co-occurs with 
nearshore overfished rockfish species (e.g., canary rockfish and 
yelloweye rockfish). Catch of black rockfish is managed, in part, to 
keep catch of co-occurring overfished species within the management 
targets for the nearshore fishery and the state of California. The best 
available information on commercial black rockfish catch in northern 
California through June 12, 2015, indicates that harvest so far in 2015 
(58 mt) is much

[[Page 50214]]

higher than what it was in this area for the entire year of 2014 (34 
mt).
    In 2014, the shoreward boundary of the non-trawl rockfish 
conservation area (RCA) in this area between 42[deg] N. lat. and 
40[deg]10' N. lat. was the boundary line approximating the 20 fm depth 
contour. For 2015, the boundary line off northern California was 
shifted seaward to the boundary line approximating the 30 fm depth 
contour, opening the area to nearshore fishing between 20 fm line and 
the 30 fm line for the first time since 2009 (80 FR 12567, March 10, 
2015). This change in the depth restriction in the non-trawl commercial 
fisheries is providing additional access to nearshore stocks, and may 
be part of the reason for the increased black rockfish landings in 2015 
compared to 2014. Additionally, the change in depth restriction may be 
changing bycatch rates of co-occurring overfished species in the 
nearshore fishery, but little information is available to inform 
bycatch rates inseason.
    Based on the best available information, catch of black rockfish is 
much higher in 2015 compared to 2014. To reduce projected catch of co-
occurring overfished species and reduce the risk of exceeding HGs for 
those overfished species, the Council considered reductions to black 
rockfish trip limits between 42[deg] N. lat. and 40[deg]10' N. lat. The 
Council recommended decreasing the black rockfish trip limit to the 
same limit that was in effect when the northern California non-trawl 
RCA shoreward boundary was at the 30 fm line, as it is in 2015.
    Therefore, the Council recommended and NMFS is implementing 
decreased black rockfish trip limits for the LEFG and the OA fisheries 
between 42[deg] N. lat. and 40[deg]10' N. lat. The black rockfish trip 
limit, within the overall trip limit for Minor Nearshore Rockfish 
complex, is decreased in the LEFG and OA fisheries from ``8,500 lb 
(3,856 kg) per two months of which no more than 1,200 lb (544 kg) may 
be species other than black rockfish'' to ``6,000 lb (2,722 kg) per two 
months of which no more than 1,200 lb (544 kg) may be species other 
than black rockfish'' beginning during period 4 through the end of the 
year.

Fishery Management Measures for Big Skate in the Shorebased IFQ Program

    Before 2015, big skate was managed as a component stock within the 
Other Fish complex. The big skate OFL estimate, along with the 
estimated OFLs for the other species in the complex, contributed to the 
OFL specified in regulation for the Other Fish complex. Species managed 
in complexes do not have OFLs specified in regulation. Therefore, the 
best estimate of a sustainable harvest for a single species that is 
managed in a complex is referred to as an ``OFL contribution,'' since 
the OFL for the complex is the sum of the contributing OFLs for all the 
component species.
    During development of the 2015-2016 harvest specifications and 
management measures, best estimates of mortality indicated that harvest 
of big skate was 18 percent of the big skate OFL contribution and that 
it was not in need of conservation and management. Big skate was 
removed from the Other Fish complex and designated as an ecosystem 
component (EC) species (80 FR 12567, March 10, 2015). If the Council 
had chosen to keep big skate in the fishery, with species specific 
harvest specifications, the 2015 big skate OFL endorsed by the 
Scientific Statistical Committee (SSC) would have been 541 mt. Since 
the Council chose to designate this species as an EC species, the big 
skate OFL estimate became unnecessary. Since development and 
implementation of the 2015-2016 harvest specifications and management 
measures, new information indicated that mortality of big skate is 
approaching or exceeding the 2014 big skate OFL contribution.
    At its April 2015 meeting, the Council recommended management 
measures to reduce mortality of big skate and reduce the risk of 
overfishing the stock. At that time, the best estimate of sustainable 
harvest for big skate was thought to be the 2014 OFL contribution. The 
Council recommended and NMFS implemented a trip limit reduction for big 
skate in the Shorebased IFQ Program and best estimates at that time 
indicated that total mortality of big skate through the end of 2015 
under that trip limit structure would be 441 mt, 17 mt lower than the 
2014 OFL contribution of 458 mt (80 FR 31858, June 4, 2015).
    The analysis by the Council's GMT assumed 100 percent mortality of 
discarded big skate and assumed that, once a trip limit was reached, 
encounters of big skate would cease and no additional landings or 
discards would occur. The GMT acknowledged several issues with these 
assumptions, but noted that the April analysis was limited in scope due 
to time constraints. The Council acknowledged that the mortality 
estimates and the OFL contribution both have high degrees of 
uncertainty, and recommended precautionary management measures for 
conservation of big skate. The Council also acknowledged that 
additional information and analyses would likely become available, and 
that management measures for big skate would be considered in light of 
emerging and improving information.
    At its June 2015 meeting, the Council considered additional 
analysis by the GMT, recommendations of its SSC, as well as updated 
fishery information, regarding big skate mortality and management 
measures. The West Coast Observer Program estimates that almost 80 
percent of big skate caught in groundfish fisheries are discarded. 
Following a literature review, the SSC recommended that a 50 percent 
discard mortality rate for big skate caught with commercial trawl gear 
was more appropriate. This is consistent with the assumed discard 
mortality for another skate species for which trip limits are in place 
(longnose skate). In addition, projected estimates of big skate catch 
through the end of the year decreased because of reduced inseason 
estimates. This reduction likely resulted from an increased awareness 
and avoidance by the fishing fleet, and harvest projection changes 
resulting from the Council's improved understanding of big skate 
discard mortality rate.
    At its June 2015 meeting, the Council also considered information 
regarding the best available estimate for a sustainable harvest level 
of big skate in 2015. In April 2015, the Council aimed to keep 
mortality of big skate below the 2014 OFL contribution, the best 
estimate available at that time. In June, the Council was reminded that 
the SSC endorsed a 2015 big skate OFL in November 2013. Since the 
Council recommended big skate be designated as an EC species, no 
harvest specifications were adopted for the 2015-2016 biennial cycle. 
However, in light of the need to better estimate big skate mortality, 
as it is approaching the best OFL contribution estimates, the SSC-
endorsed estimated 2015 OFL is the best available estimate of 
sustainable harvest. Therefore, the Council considered projected big 
skate mortality in 2015 compared to the estimated 2015 OFL, rather than 
the 2014 OFL contribution. The 541 mt estimated 2015 OFL for big skate 
is 83 mt higher than the 2014 OFL contribution that was used in the 
April 2015 GMT analyses. Therefore, the Council considered higher trip 
limits for big skate than those adopted in April 2015. June 2015 GMT 
estimates indicate that with higher trip limits for big skate of 35,000 
pounds per two months, through the remainder of the year, big skate 
total mortality will still be below the currently available best 
estimate of the 2015 OFL (541 mt).
    As discussed above, the best estimate of the discard mortality rate 
decreased from 100 percent to 50 percent and the estimated 2015 OFL 
that is higher than

[[Page 50215]]

the 2014 OFL contribution. Therefore, increases to the big skate trip 
limits in the IFQ fishery are warranted. The Council considered 
increasing the trip limit for big skate in the Shorebased IFQ Program, 
beginning in Period 4 (July-August). A range of trip limits was 
considered: 25,000 lb (11,340 kg) per two months, 30,000 lb (13,608 kg) 
per two months, and 35,000 lb (15,876 kg) per two months for Periods 4-
6 (July-December). All alternative trip limits are anticipated to bring 
total mortality below the estimated 2015 OFL of 541 mt, and the 
estimated 2015 Acceptable Biological Catch (ABC) (assuming the same P* 
as 2014 of 0.40) of 451 mt.
    The Council recommended, and NMFS is implementing, an increase in 
the big skate trip limit in the Shorebased IFQ Program from ``20,000 
lbs (9,072 kg) per two months'' to ``35,000 lb (15,876 kg) per two 
months'' in periods 4-6 (from July through December). Best estimates 
indicate that total mortality of big skate through the end of 2015 
under this trip limit structure would be between 414 mt and 420 mt, 
121-127 mt lower than the estimated 2015 OFL contribution of 541 mt and 
21-27 mt lower than the estimated 2015 ABC contribution of 441 mt. The 
estimated total mortality is considered as a range to account for 
uncertainty in how fishing behavior will change after the big skate 
trip limit is reached. The Council recommended a trip limit that would 
allow approximately a 5 percent increase in total mortality, but would 
still be below the estimated 2015 ABC. The increase in trip limit is 
intended to allow vessels opportunistically targeting big skate to 
continue to do so, while keeping total mortality below the estimated 
2015 ABC. The Council-recommended trip limits are codified in Tables 1 
(North) and 1 (South) to Subpart C.

Classification

    This final rule makes routine inseason adjustments to groundfish 
fishery management measures, based on the best available information, 
consistent with the PCGFMP and its implementing regulations.
    This action is taken under the authority of 50 CFR 660.60(c) and is 
exempt from review under Executive Order 12866.
    The aggregate data upon which these actions are based are available 
for public inspection at the Office of the Administrator, West Coast 
Region, NMFS, during business hours.
    NMFS finds good cause to waive prior public notice and comment on 
the revisions to groundfish management measures under 5 U.S.C. 553(b) 
because notice and comment would be impracticable and contrary to the 
public interest. Also, for the same reasons, NMFS finds good cause to 
waive the 30-day delay in effectiveness pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 553(d)(3), 
so that this final rule may become effective August 14, 2015.
    At the June Council meeting, the Council recommended that these 
changes be implemented as quickly as possible during the two-month 
cumulative limit period. There was not sufficient time after that 
meeting to draft this document and undergo proposed and final 
rulemaking before these actions need to be in effect. For the actions 
to be implemented in this final rule, affording the time necessary for 
prior notice and opportunity for public comment would prevent NMFS from 
managing fisheries using the best available science to approach, 
without exceeding, the ACLs for federally managed species in accordance 
with the PCGFMP and applicable law. The adjustments to management 
measures in this document affect commercial fisheries in Washington, 
Oregon and California. These increases to trip limits must be 
implemented as quickly as possible during the two-month cumulative 
limit period to allow LEFG and OA fixed gear fishermen an opportunity 
to harvest higher limits for: Sablefish without exceeding the ACL north 
of 36[deg] N. lat.; big skate without exceeding the estimated 2015 OFL; 
and blackgill rockfish without exceeding the HG south of 40[deg]10' N. 
lat. The decrease to the black rockfish trip limit must be implemented 
by the start of the next two-month cumulative limit period, September 
1, to keep catch of co-occurring overfished species within their HGs 
and rebuilding ACLs. It would be contrary to the public interest to 
delay implementation of these changes until after public notice and 
comment, because making this regulatory change by August 14, 2015, 
allows harvest as intended by the Council, consistent with the best 
scientific information available. These changes allow additional 
harvest in fisheries that are important to coastal communities while 
continuing to prevent ACLs of overfished and target species from being 
exceeded.
    No aspect of this action is controversial, and changes of this 
nature were anticipated in the biennial harvest specifications and 
management measures established for 2015-2016.
    Accordingly, for the reasons stated above, NMFS finds good cause to 
waive prior notice and comment and to waive the delay in effectiveness.

List of Subjects in 50 CFR Part 660

    Fisheries, Fishing, and Indian fisheries.

    Dated: August 14, 2015.
Emily H. Menashes,
Acting Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine 
Fisheries Service.

    For the reasons set out in the preamble, 50 CFR part 660 is amended 
as follows:

PART 660--FISHERIES OFF WEST COAST STATES

0
1. The authority citation for part 660 continues to read as follows:

    Authority: 16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq., 16 U.S.C. 773 et seq., and 16 
U.S.C. 7001 et seq.


0
2. Table 1 (North) and 1 (South) to part 660, subpart D, are revised to 
read as follows:
BILLING CODE 3510-22-P

[[Page 50216]]

[GRAPHIC] [TIFF OMITTED] TR19AU15.009


[[Page 50217]]


[GRAPHIC] [TIFF OMITTED] TR19AU15.010


[[Page 50218]]


0
3. Table 2 (North) and 2 (South) to part 660, subpart E, are revised to 
read as follows:
[GRAPHIC] [TIFF OMITTED] TR19AU15.011


[[Page 50219]]


[GRAPHIC] [TIFF OMITTED] TR19AU15.012


[[Page 50220]]


[GRAPHIC] [TIFF OMITTED] TR19AU15.013


[[Page 50221]]


0
4. Table 3 (North) and 3 (South) to part 660, subpart F, are revised to 
read as follows:
[GRAPHIC] [TIFF OMITTED] TR19AU15.014


[[Page 50222]]


[GRAPHIC] [TIFF OMITTED] TR19AU15.015


[[Page 50223]]


[GRAPHIC] [TIFF OMITTED] TR19AU15.016


[[Page 50224]]


[GRAPHIC] [TIFF OMITTED] TR19AU15.017

[FR Doc. 2015-20491 Filed 8-14-15; 4:15 pm]
BILLING CODE 3510-22-C