Fisheries of the Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico, and South Atlantic; Shrimp Fishery of the Gulf of Mexico; Amendment 15, 51523-51525 [2015-20954]

Download as PDF Federal Register / Vol. 80, No. 164 / Tuesday, August 25, 2015 / Proposed Rules for this determination in the Federal Register on October 25, 1983 (48 FR 49244). This position was upheld by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit (Douglas County v. Babbitt, 48 F.3d 1495 (9th Cir. 1995), cert. denied 516 U.S. 1042 (1996)). Government-to-Government Relationship With Tribes In accordance with the President’s memorandum of April 29, 1994 (Government-to-Government Relations with Native American Tribal Governments; 59 FR 22951), Executive Order 13175 (Consultation and Coordination With Indian Tribal Governments), and the Department of the Interior’s manual at 512 DM 2, we readily acknowledge our responsibility to communicate meaningfully with recognized Federal Tribes on a government-to-government basis. In accordance with Secretarial Order 3206 of June 5, 1997 (American Indian Tribal Rights, Federal-Tribal Trust Responsibilities, and the Endangered Species Act), we readily acknowledge our responsibilities to work directly with tribes in developing programs for healthy ecosystems, to acknowledge that tribal lands are not subject to the same controls as Federal public lands, to remain sensitive to Indian culture, and to make information available to tribes. There are no tribal lands designated as critical habitat for the marbled murrelet. asabaliauskas on DSK5VPTVN1PROD with PROPOSALS Clarity of the Rule We are required by Executive Orders 12866 and 12988 and by the Presidential Memorandum of June 1, 1998, to write all rules in plain language. This means that each rule we publish must: (1) Be logically organized; (2) Use the active voice to address readers directly; (3) Use clear language rather than jargon; (4) Be divided into short sections and sentences; and (5) Use lists and tables wherever possible. If you feel that we have not met these requirements, send us comments by one of the methods listed in ADDRESSES. To better help us revise the rule, your comments should be as specific as possible. For example, you should tell us the numbers of the sections or paragraphs that are unclearly written, which sections or sentences are too long, the sections where you feel lists or tables would be useful, etc. VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:31 Aug 24, 2015 Jkt 235001 References Cited A complete list of all references cited in this rule is available on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov. In addition, a complete list of all references cited herein, as well as others, is available upon request from the Washington Fish and Wildlife Office (see ADDRESSES). Authors The primary authors of this document are the staff members of the Washington Fish and Wildlife Office, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (see ADDRESSES). Authority The authority for this action is the Endangered Species Act of 1977, as amended (16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.). Dated: July 29, 2015. Michael J. Bean, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for Fish and Wildlife and Parks. [FR Doc. 2015–20837 Filed 8–24–15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4310–55–P DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration 50 CFR Part 622 [Docket No. 150302204–5204–01] RIN 0648–BE93 Fisheries of the Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico, and South Atlantic; Shrimp Fishery of the Gulf of Mexico; Amendment 15 National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Commerce. ACTION: Proposed rule; request for comments. AGENCY: NMFS proposes regulations to implement Amendment 15 to the Fishery Management Plan for the Shrimp Fishery of the Gulf of Mexico (FMP), as prepared and submitted by the Gulf of Mexico (Gulf) Fishery Management Council (Council). This rule would revise the FMP framework procedures to streamline the process for changing certain regulations affecting the shrimp fishery. Additionally, this rule proposes changes to the FMP that would revise the maximum sustainable yield (MSY), overfishing threshold, and overfished threshold definitions and values for three species of penaeid shrimp. The intent of this proposed rule and Amendment 15 are to streamline SUMMARY: PO 00000 Frm 00043 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 51523 the management process for Gulf shrimp stocks and to revise criteria for determining the overfished and overfishing status of each penaeid shrimp stock using the best available science. Written comments must be received on or before September 24, 2015. DATES: You may submit comments on the proposed rule, identified by ‘‘NOAA–NMFS–2015–0097’’ by any of the following methods: • Electronic Submission: Submit all electronic public comments via the Federal e-Rulemaking Portal. Go to www.regulations.gov/ #!docketDetail;D=NOAA-NMFS-20150097, click the ‘‘Comment Now!’’ icon, complete the required fields, and enter or attach your comments. • Mail: Submit written comments to Susan Gerhart, Southeast Regional Office, NMFS, 263 13th Avenue South, St. Petersburg, FL 33701. Instructions: Comments sent by any other method, to any other address or individual, or received after the end of the comment period, may not be considered by NMFS. All comments received are a part of the public record and will generally be posted for public viewing on www.regulations.gov without change. All personal identifying information (e.g., name, address, etc.), confidential business information, or otherwise sensitive information submitted voluntarily by the sender will be publicly accessible. NMFS will accept anonymous comments (enter ‘‘N/A’’ in the required fields if you wish to remain anonymous). Electronic copies of Amendment 15, which includes an environmental assessment, a Regulatory Flexibility Act analysis, and a regulatory impact review, may be obtained from the Southeast Regional Office Web site at http://sero.nmfs.noaa.gov/sustainable_ fisheries/gulf_fisheries/shrimp/2015/ Am%2015/index.html. ADDRESSES: FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Susan Gerhart, telephone: 727–824– 5305, or email: Susan.Gerhart@ noaa.gov. The shrimp fishery in the Gulf is managed under the FMP. The FMP was prepared by the Council and implemented through regulations at 50 CFR part 622 under the authority of the MagnusonStevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (Magnuson-Stevens Act). SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: E:\FR\FM\25AUP1.SGM 25AUP1 51524 Federal Register / Vol. 80, No. 164 / Tuesday, August 25, 2015 / Proposed Rules Management Measure Contained in This Proposed Rule This proposed rule would revise the FMP framework procedures at § 622.60(a) and (b) to allow for modification of accountability measures under the standard documentation process of the open framework procedure. Framework procedures for a FMP allow for changes in specific management measures and parameters that can be made more efficiently than changes made through a FMP plan amendment. This framework procedure was first implemented in the Generic Annual Catch Limit (ACL) Amendment (76 FR 82044, December 29, 2011). Also, this proposed rule would remove outdated terminology from the regulations, such as ‘‘total allowable catch,’’ and remove the phrase ‘‘transfer at sea provisions’’ from the list of framework procedures because this phrase was inadvertently included in the final rule for the Generic ACL Amendment (76 FR 82044, December 29, 2011). asabaliauskas on DSK5VPTVN1PROD with PROPOSALS Additional Measures Contained in Amendment 15 Amendment 15 also contains actions that are not being codified in the regulations, but guide the Council and NMFS in establishing other management measures, which are codifed. Amendment 15 would revise the MSY, overfishing threshold, and the overfished threshold definitions and values for penaeid shrimp stocks (brown, white, and pink shrimp). MSY is the largest average catch that can continuously be taken from a stock under existing environmental conditions. Overfishing occurs whenever the rate of removal is too high and jeopardizes the capacity of a stock or stock complex to produce the MSY on a continuing basis. A stock or stock complex is considered overfished when its biomass has declined below the capacity of the stock or stock complex to produce MSY on a continuing basis. The criteria and values for MSY, overfishing threshold, and overfished threshold for penaeid shrimp were established in Amendment 13 to the FMP (71 FR 56039, September 26, 2006). Historically, Gulf penaeid shrimp stocks were assessed with a virtual population analysis (VPA), which reported output in terms of number of parents. However, the 2007 pink shrimp stock assessment VPA incorrectly determined pink shrimp were undergoing overfishing because the model could not accommodate low effort. In 2009, NMFS stock assessment analysts determined that the stock VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:31 Aug 24, 2015 Jkt 235001 synthesis model was the best choice for modeling Gulf shrimp populations. Amendment 15 would modify these stock status determination criteria to match the biomass-based output of the stock synthesis model, which was deemed a better assessment model for shrimp by NMFS biologists and the Council’s Scientific and Statistical Committee. These revisions to the penaeid shrimp stock status criteria are expected to have little to no change in the biological, physical, or ecological environments because these changes are only to the stock status reference points and will not have a direct impact on the actual harvest of penaeid shrimp. Classification Pursuant to section 304(b)(1)(A) of the Magnuson-Stevens Act, the NMFS Assistant Administrator has determined that this proposed rule is consistent with Amendment 15, the FMP, other provisions of the Magnuson-Stevens Act, and other applicable law, subject to further consideration after public comment. This proposed rule has been determined to be not significant for purposes of Executive Order 12866. The Chief Counsel for Regulation of the Department of Commerce certified to the Chief Counsel for Advocacy of the Small Business Administration (SBA) that this rule, if adopted, would not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. The factual basis for this determination is as follows: A description of this proposed rule, why it is being considered, and the objectives of this proposed rule are contained in the preamble and in the SUMMARY section of the preamble. The Magnuson-Stevens Act provides the basis for this proposed rule. This proposed rule is expected to directly affect commercial fishermen holding valid or renewable Federal Gulf shrimp permits. The SBA established size criteria for all major industry sectors in the U.S. including fish harvesters and for-hire operations. A business involved in shellfish harvesting is classified as a small business if it is independently owned and operated, is not dominant in its field of operation (including its affiliates), and its combined annual receipts are not in excess of $5.5 million (NAICS code 114112, shellfish fishing) for all of its affiliated operations worldwide. The Federal shrimp permit for the commercial harvest of penaeid shrimp in the Gulf exclusive economic zone has been under a moratorium since 2007 (71 FR 56039, September 26, 2006). At the PO 00000 Frm 00044 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 start of the moratorium, 1,933 vessels qualified for and received the Federal shrimp permit. Over time, the number of permitted shrimp vessels has declined, and in 2013 there were 1,546 such permitted vessels. From 2006 through 2012, an average of 4,757 vessels fished for shrimp in the Gulf, of which 27 percent were federally permitted vessels and the rest, nonfederally permitted vessels that fished only in state waters. Despite the fewer number of vessels, federally permitted vessels accounted for an average of 67 percent of total shrimp landings and 77 percent of total ex-vessel revenues. A federally permitted vessel in the Gulf shrimp fishery, on average, generated revenues from commercial fishing of approximately $254,000 (2012 dollars) annually. Based on the revenue figures above, all vessels expected to be directly affected by this proposed rule are determined for the purpose of this analysis to be small business entities. The modifications to the MSY, overfishing threshold, and overfished threshold definitions and values for penaeid shrimp in Amendment 15 would make these parameters consistent with the model currently used in the stock assessment for penaeid shrimp species. Because modifications of these parameters would not affect the harvest of shrimp or restrict the operations of shrimp vessels, no direct economic effects would ensue from this action within the amendment. The proposed regulatory change to allow for modification of accountability measures under the standard documentation process of the open framework procedure would streamline the process for changing certain regulations affecting the shrimp fishery. This action would improve the administrative environment of developing regulations for the shrimp fishery, but would have no direct economic effects on the operations of affected shrimp vessels. This rule would also remove outdated terminology from the regulations, such as ‘‘total allowable catch,’’ and remove the phrase ‘‘transfer at sea provisions’’ from the list of framework procedures to correct an inadvertent error. Both these change would have no direct economic effects on the operations of affected shrimp vessels. Therefore, it is expected that the measures contained in this proposed rule would have no effects on the profits of any affected shrimp vessels. No duplicative, overlapping, or conflicting Federal rules have been identified. In addition, no new reporting, record-keeping, or other compliance requirements are introduced E:\FR\FM\25AUP1.SGM 25AUP1 Federal Register / Vol. 80, No. 164 / Tuesday, August 25, 2015 / Proposed Rules by this proposed rule. Accordingly, this rule does not implicate the Paperwork Reduction Act. The information provided above supports a determination that this rule, if implemented, would not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. Because of this determination, an initial regulatory flexibility analysis is not required and none has been prepared. MSY (or proxy), OY, management parameters such as overfished and overfishing definitions, gear restrictions (ranging from regulation to complete prohibition), gear markings and identification, vessel markings and identification, ABC and ABC control rules, rebuilding plans, and restrictions relative to conditions of harvested shrimp (maintaining shrimp in whole condition, use as bait). List of Subjects in 50 CFR Part 622 Fisheries, Fishing, Gulf of Mexico, Shrimp. [FR Doc. 2015–20954 Filed 8–24–15; 8:45 am] Dated: August 19, 2015. Samuel D. Rauch III, Deputy Assistant Administrator for Regulatory Programs, National Marine Fisheries Service. DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE For the reasons set out in the preamble, 50 CFR part 622 is proposed to be amended as follows: 50 CFR Part 660 PART 622—FISHERIES OF THE CARIBBEAN, GULF OF MEXICO, AND SOUTH ATLANTIC Fisheries Off West Coast States; Modifications of the West Coast Commercial, Recreational, and Treaty Indian Salmon Fisheries; Inseason Actions #16 Through #21 BILLING CODE 3510–22–P § 622.60 Adjustment of management measures. asabaliauskas on DSK5VPTVN1PROD with PROPOSALS RIN 0648–XE111 National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Commerce. ACTION: Modification of fishing seasons; request for comments. 2. In § 622.60, revise paragraphs (a) and (b) to read as follows: * * * * (a) Gulf penaeid shrimp. For a species or species group: Reporting and monitoring requirements, permitting requirements, size limits, vessel trip limits, closed seasons or areas and reopenings, quotas (including a quota of zero), MSY (or proxy), OY, management parameters such as overfished and overfishing definitions, gear restrictions (ranging from regulation to complete prohibition), gear markings and identification, vessel markings and identification, allowable biological catch (ABC) and ABC control rules, rebuilding plans, restrictions relative to conditions of harvested shrimp (maintaining shrimp in whole condition, use as bait), target effort and fishing mortality reduction levels, bycatch reduction criteria, BRD certification and decertification criteria, BRD testing protocol and certified BRD specifications. (b) Gulf royal red shrimp. Reporting and monitoring requirements, permitting requirements, size limits, vessel trip limits, closed seasons or areas and reopenings, annual catch limits (ACLs), annual catch targets (ACTs), quotas (including a quota of zero), accountability measures (AMs), Jkt 235001 [Docket No. 150316270–5270–01] AGENCY: Authority: 16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq. ■ 16:31 Aug 24, 2015 Peggy Mundy at 206–526–4323. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration 1. The authority citation for part 622 continues to read as follows: VerDate Sep<11>2014 considered by NMFS. All comments received are a part of the public record and will generally be posted for public viewing on www.regulations.gov without change. All personal identifying information (e.g., name, address, etc.), confidential business information, or otherwise sensitive information submitted voluntarily by the sender will be publicly accessible. NMFS will accept anonymous comments (enter ‘‘N/A’’ in the required fields if you wish to remain anonymous). FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: ■ * 51525 NMFS announces six inseason actions in the ocean salmon fisheries. These inseason actions modified the commercial, recreational, and treaty Indian salmon fisheries in the area from the U.S./Canada border to the U.S./Mexico border. DATES: The effective dates for the inseason actions are set out in this document under the heading Inseason Actions. Comments will be accepted through September 9, 2015. ADDRESSES: You may submit comments, identified by NOAA–NMFS–2015–0001, by any one of the following methods: • Electronic Submissions: Submit all electronic public comments via the Federal eRulemaking Portal. Go to www.regulations.gov/ #!docketDetail;D=NOAA-NMFS-20150001, click the ‘‘Comment Now!’’ icon, complete the required fields, and enter or attach your comments. • Mail: William W. Stelle, Jr., Regional Administrator, West Coast Region, NMFS, 7600 Sand Point Way NE., Seattle, WA 98115–6349. Instructions: Comments sent by any other method, to any other address or individual, or received after the end of the comment period, may not be SUMMARY: PO 00000 Frm 00045 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 Background In the 2015 annual management measures for ocean salmon fisheries (80 FR 25611, May 5, 2015), NMFS announced the commercial and recreational fisheries in the area from the U.S./Canada border to the U.S./ Mexico border, beginning May 1, 2015, and 2016 salmon fisheries opening earlier than May 1, 2016. NMFS is authorized to implement inseason management actions to modify fishing seasons and quotas as necessary to provide fishing opportunity while meeting management objectives for the affected species (50 CFR 660.409). Inseason actions in the salmon fishery may be taken directly by NMFS (50 CFR 660.409(a)—Fixed inseason management provisions) or upon consultation with the Pacific Fishery Management Council (Council) and the appropriate State Directors (50 CFR 660.409(b)—Flexible inseason management provisions). The state management agencies that participated in the consultations described in this document were: California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW), Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW) and Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW). Management of the salmon fisheries is generally divided into two geographic areas: North of Cape Falcon (U.S./ Canada border to Cape Falcon, OR) and south of Cape Falcon (Cape Falcon, OR, to the U.S./Mexico border). The inseason actions reported in this document affect fisheries north and south of Cape Falcon. Within the south of Cape Falcon area, the Klamath Management Zone (KMZ) extends from Humbug Mountain, OR, to Humboldt South Jetty, CA, and is divided at the Oregon/California border into the Oregon KMZ to the north and California KMZ to the south. All times mentioned refer to Pacific daylight time. E:\FR\FM\25AUP1.SGM 25AUP1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 80, Number 164 (Tuesday, August 25, 2015)]
[Proposed Rules]
[Pages 51523-51525]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2015-20954]


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DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

50 CFR Part 622

[Docket No. 150302204-5204-01]
RIN 0648-BE93


Fisheries of the Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico, and South Atlantic; 
Shrimp Fishery of the Gulf of Mexico; Amendment 15

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

ACTION: Proposed rule; request for comments.

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

SUMMARY: NMFS proposes regulations to implement Amendment 15 to the 
Fishery Management Plan for the Shrimp Fishery of the Gulf of Mexico 
(FMP), as prepared and submitted by the Gulf of Mexico (Gulf) Fishery 
Management Council (Council). This rule would revise the FMP framework 
procedures to streamline the process for changing certain regulations 
affecting the shrimp fishery. Additionally, this rule proposes changes 
to the FMP that would revise the maximum sustainable yield (MSY), 
overfishing threshold, and overfished threshold definitions and values 
for three species of penaeid shrimp. The intent of this proposed rule 
and Amendment 15 are to streamline the management process for Gulf 
shrimp stocks and to revise criteria for determining the overfished and 
overfishing status of each penaeid shrimp stock using the best 
available science.

DATES: Written comments must be received on or before September 24, 
2015.

ADDRESSES: You may submit comments on the proposed rule, identified by 
``NOAA-NMFS-2015-0097'' by any of the following methods:
     Electronic Submission: Submit all electronic public 
comments via the Federal e-Rulemaking Portal. Go to 
www.regulations.gov/#!docketDetail;D=NOAA-NMFS-2015-0097, click the 
``Comment Now!'' icon, complete the required fields, and enter or 
attach your comments.
     Mail: Submit written comments to Susan Gerhart, Southeast 
Regional Office, NMFS, 263 13th Avenue South, St. Petersburg, FL 33701.
    Instructions: Comments sent by any other method, to any other 
address or individual, or received after the end of the comment period, 
may not be considered by NMFS. All comments received are a part of the 
public record and will generally be posted for public viewing on 
www.regulations.gov without change. All personal identifying 
information (e.g., name, address, etc.), confidential business 
information, or otherwise sensitive information submitted voluntarily 
by the sender will be publicly accessible. NMFS will accept anonymous 
comments (enter ``N/A'' in the required fields if you wish to remain 
anonymous).
    Electronic copies of Amendment 15, which includes an environmental 
assessment, a Regulatory Flexibility Act analysis, and a regulatory 
impact review, may be obtained from the Southeast Regional Office Web 
site at http://sero.nmfs.noaa.gov/sustainable_fisheries/gulf_fisheries/shrimp/2015/Am%2015/index.html.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Susan Gerhart, telephone: 727-824-
5305, or email: Susan.Gerhart@noaa.gov.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The shrimp fishery in the Gulf is managed 
under the FMP. The FMP was prepared by the Council and implemented 
through regulations at 50 CFR part 622 under the authority of the 
Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (Magnuson-
Stevens Act).

[[Page 51524]]

Management Measure Contained in This Proposed Rule

    This proposed rule would revise the FMP framework procedures at 
Sec.  622.60(a) and (b) to allow for modification of accountability 
measures under the standard documentation process of the open framework 
procedure. Framework procedures for a FMP allow for changes in specific 
management measures and parameters that can be made more efficiently 
than changes made through a FMP plan amendment. This framework 
procedure was first implemented in the Generic Annual Catch Limit (ACL) 
Amendment (76 FR 82044, December 29, 2011). Also, this proposed rule 
would remove outdated terminology from the regulations, such as ``total 
allowable catch,'' and remove the phrase ``transfer at sea provisions'' 
from the list of framework procedures because this phrase was 
inadvertently included in the final rule for the Generic ACL Amendment 
(76 FR 82044, December 29, 2011).

Additional Measures Contained in Amendment 15

    Amendment 15 also contains actions that are not being codified in 
the regulations, but guide the Council and NMFS in establishing other 
management measures, which are codifed. Amendment 15 would revise the 
MSY, overfishing threshold, and the overfished threshold definitions 
and values for penaeid shrimp stocks (brown, white, and pink shrimp). 
MSY is the largest average catch that can continuously be taken from a 
stock under existing environmental conditions. Overfishing occurs 
whenever the rate of removal is too high and jeopardizes the capacity 
of a stock or stock complex to produce the MSY on a continuing basis. A 
stock or stock complex is considered overfished when its biomass has 
declined below the capacity of the stock or stock complex to produce 
MSY on a continuing basis.
    The criteria and values for MSY, overfishing threshold, and 
overfished threshold for penaeid shrimp were established in Amendment 
13 to the FMP (71 FR 56039, September 26, 2006). Historically, Gulf 
penaeid shrimp stocks were assessed with a virtual population analysis 
(VPA), which reported output in terms of number of parents. However, 
the 2007 pink shrimp stock assessment VPA incorrectly determined pink 
shrimp were undergoing overfishing because the model could not 
accommodate low effort. In 2009, NMFS stock assessment analysts 
determined that the stock synthesis model was the best choice for 
modeling Gulf shrimp populations. Amendment 15 would modify these stock 
status determination criteria to match the biomass-based output of the 
stock synthesis model, which was deemed a better assessment model for 
shrimp by NMFS biologists and the Council's Scientific and Statistical 
Committee. These revisions to the penaeid shrimp stock status criteria 
are expected to have little to no change in the biological, physical, 
or ecological environments because these changes are only to the stock 
status reference points and will not have a direct impact on the actual 
harvest of penaeid shrimp.

Classification

    Pursuant to section 304(b)(1)(A) of the Magnuson-Stevens Act, the 
NMFS Assistant Administrator has determined that this proposed rule is 
consistent with Amendment 15, the FMP, other provisions of the 
Magnuson-Stevens Act, and other applicable law, subject to further 
consideration after public comment.
    This proposed rule has been determined to be not significant for 
purposes of Executive Order 12866.
    The Chief Counsel for Regulation of the Department of Commerce 
certified to the Chief Counsel for Advocacy of the Small Business 
Administration (SBA) that this rule, if adopted, would not have a 
significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. 
The factual basis for this determination is as follows:
    A description of this proposed rule, why it is being considered, 
and the objectives of this proposed rule are contained in the preamble 
and in the SUMMARY section of the preamble. The Magnuson-Stevens Act 
provides the basis for this proposed rule.
    This proposed rule is expected to directly affect commercial 
fishermen holding valid or renewable Federal Gulf shrimp permits. The 
SBA established size criteria for all major industry sectors in the 
U.S. including fish harvesters and for-hire operations. A business 
involved in shellfish harvesting is classified as a small business if 
it is independently owned and operated, is not dominant in its field of 
operation (including its affiliates), and its combined annual receipts 
are not in excess of $5.5 million (NAICS code 114112, shellfish 
fishing) for all of its affiliated operations worldwide.
    The Federal shrimp permit for the commercial harvest of penaeid 
shrimp in the Gulf exclusive economic zone has been under a moratorium 
since 2007 (71 FR 56039, September 26, 2006). At the start of the 
moratorium, 1,933 vessels qualified for and received the Federal shrimp 
permit. Over time, the number of permitted shrimp vessels has declined, 
and in 2013 there were 1,546 such permitted vessels.
    From 2006 through 2012, an average of 4,757 vessels fished for 
shrimp in the Gulf, of which 27 percent were federally permitted 
vessels and the rest, non-federally permitted vessels that fished only 
in state waters. Despite the fewer number of vessels, federally 
permitted vessels accounted for an average of 67 percent of total 
shrimp landings and 77 percent of total ex-vessel revenues. A federally 
permitted vessel in the Gulf shrimp fishery, on average, generated 
revenues from commercial fishing of approximately $254,000 (2012 
dollars) annually.
    Based on the revenue figures above, all vessels expected to be 
directly affected by this proposed rule are determined for the purpose 
of this analysis to be small business entities.
    The modifications to the MSY, overfishing threshold, and overfished 
threshold definitions and values for penaeid shrimp in Amendment 15 
would make these parameters consistent with the model currently used in 
the stock assessment for penaeid shrimp species. Because modifications 
of these parameters would not affect the harvest of shrimp or restrict 
the operations of shrimp vessels, no direct economic effects would 
ensue from this action within the amendment.
    The proposed regulatory change to allow for modification of 
accountability measures under the standard documentation process of the 
open framework procedure would streamline the process for changing 
certain regulations affecting the shrimp fishery. This action would 
improve the administrative environment of developing regulations for 
the shrimp fishery, but would have no direct economic effects on the 
operations of affected shrimp vessels. This rule would also remove 
outdated terminology from the regulations, such as ``total allowable 
catch,'' and remove the phrase ``transfer at sea provisions'' from the 
list of framework procedures to correct an inadvertent error. Both 
these change would have no direct economic effects on the operations of 
affected shrimp vessels. Therefore, it is expected that the measures 
contained in this proposed rule would have no effects on the profits of 
any affected shrimp vessels.
    No duplicative, overlapping, or conflicting Federal rules have been 
identified. In addition, no new reporting, record-keeping, or other 
compliance requirements are introduced

[[Page 51525]]

by this proposed rule. Accordingly, this rule does not implicate the 
Paperwork Reduction Act.
    The information provided above supports a determination that this 
rule, if implemented, would not have a significant economic impact on a 
substantial number of small entities. Because of this determination, an 
initial regulatory flexibility analysis is not required and none has 
been prepared.

List of Subjects in 50 CFR Part 622

    Fisheries, Fishing, Gulf of Mexico, Shrimp.

    Dated: August 19, 2015.
Samuel D. Rauch III,
Deputy Assistant Administrator for Regulatory Programs, National Marine 
Fisheries Service.

    For the reasons set out in the preamble, 50 CFR part 622 is 
proposed to be amended as follows:

PART 622--FISHERIES OF THE CARIBBEAN, GULF OF MEXICO, AND SOUTH 
ATLANTIC

0
1. The authority citation for part 622 continues to read as follows:

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

0
2. In Sec.  622.60, revise paragraphs (a) and (b) to read as follows:


Sec.  622.60  Adjustment of management measures.

* * * * *
    (a) Gulf penaeid shrimp. For a species or species group: Reporting 
and monitoring requirements, permitting requirements, size limits, 
vessel trip limits, closed seasons or areas and reopenings, quotas 
(including a quota of zero), MSY (or proxy), OY, management parameters 
such as overfished and overfishing definitions, gear restrictions 
(ranging from regulation to complete prohibition), gear markings and 
identification, vessel markings and identification, allowable 
biological catch (ABC) and ABC control rules, rebuilding plans, 
restrictions relative to conditions of harvested shrimp (maintaining 
shrimp in whole condition, use as bait), target effort and fishing 
mortality reduction levels, bycatch reduction criteria, BRD 
certification and decertification criteria, BRD testing protocol and 
certified BRD specifications.
    (b) Gulf royal red shrimp. Reporting and monitoring requirements, 
permitting requirements, size limits, vessel trip limits, closed 
seasons or areas and reopenings, annual catch limits (ACLs), annual 
catch targets (ACTs), quotas (including a quota of zero), 
accountability measures (AMs), MSY (or proxy), OY, management 
parameters such as overfished and overfishing definitions, gear 
restrictions (ranging from regulation to complete prohibition), gear 
markings and identification, vessel markings and identification, ABC 
and ABC control rules, rebuilding plans, and restrictions relative to 
conditions of harvested shrimp (maintaining shrimp in whole condition, 
use as bait).

[FR Doc. 2015-20954 Filed 8-24-15; 8:45 am]
 BILLING CODE 3510-22-P