Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Several Groundfish Species in the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Management Area, 52204-52205 [2015-21272]

Download as PDF Lhorne on DSK5TPTVN1PROD with RULES 52204 Federal Register / Vol. 80, No. 167 / Friday, August 28, 2015 / Rules and Regulations (a)(7)(ii) of this section. The size class subquotas for bluefin tuna are further subdivided as follows: (i) After adjustment for the school bluefin tuna quota held in reserve (under paragraph (a)(7)(ii) of this section), 52.8 percent (46.6 mt) of the school bluefin tuna Angling category quota may be caught, retained, possessed, or landed south of 39°18′ N. lat. The remaining school bluefin tuna Angling category quota (41.7 mt) may be caught, retained, possessed or landed north of 39°18′ N. lat. (ii) An amount equal to 52.8 percent (43.5 mt) of the large school/small medium bluefin tuna Angling category quota may be caught, retained, possessed, or landed south of 39°18′ N. lat. The remaining large school/small medium bluefin tuna Angling category quota (38.9 mt) may be caught, retained, possessed or landed north of 39°18′ N. lat. (iii) One third (1.5 mt) of the large medium and giant bluefin tuna Angling category quota may be caught retained, possessed, or landed, in each of the three following geographic areas: North of 39°18′ N. lat.; south of 39°18′ N. lat., and outside of the Gulf of Mexico; and in the Gulf of Mexico. For the purposes of this section, the Gulf of Mexico region includes all waters of the U.S. EEZ west and north of the boundary stipulated at 50 CFR 600.105(c). (3) Longline category quota. Pursuant to paragraph (a) of this section, the total amount of large medium and giant bluefin tuna that may be caught, discarded dead, or retained, possessed, or landed by vessels that possess Atlantic Tunas Longline category permits is 148.3 mt. In addition, 25 mt shall be allocated for incidental catch by pelagic longline vessels fishing in the Northeast Distant gear restricted area, and subject to the restrictions under § 635.15(b)(8). (4) Purse Seine category quota—(i) Baseline Purse Seine quota. Pursuant to paragraph (a) of this section, the baseline amount of large medium and giant bluefin tuna that may be caught, retained, possessed, or landed by vessels that possess Atlantic Tunas Purse Seine category permits is 184.3 mt, unless adjusted as a result of inseason and/or annual adjustments to quotas as specified in paragraphs (a)(9) and (10) of this section; or adjusted (prior to allocation to individual participants) based on the previous year’s catch as described under paragraph (a)(4)(v) of this section. Annually, NMFS will make a determination when the Purse Seine fishery will start, based on variations in seasonal distribution, abundance or VerDate Sep<11>2014 12:56 Aug 27, 2015 Jkt 235001 migration patterns of bluefin tuna, cumulative and projected landings in other commercial fishing categories, the potential for gear conflicts on the fishing grounds, or market impacts due to oversupply. NMFS will start the bluefin tuna purse seine season between June 1 and August 15, by filing an action with the Office of the Federal Register, and notifying the public. The Purse Seine category fishery closes on December 31 of each year. (ii) Allocation of bluefin quota to Purse Seine category participants. Annually, NMFS will make equal allocations of the baseline Purse Seine category quota described under paragraph (a)(4)(i) of this section to individual Purse Seine participants (i.e., 36.9 mt each), then make further determinations regarding the allocations per paragraph (a)(4)(v) of this section. Allocations of individual bluefin quota to individual Purse Seine participants may only be transferred through leasing in accordance with procedures and requirements at § 635.15(c) and other requirements under this paragraph (a)(4). * * * * * (5) Harpoon category quota. The total amount of large medium and giant bluefin tuna that may be caught, retained, possessed, landed, or sold by vessels that possess Harpoon category Atlantic Tunas permits is 38.6 mt. The Harpoon category fishery commences on June 1 of each year, and closes on November 15 of each year. (6) Trap category quota. The total amount of large medium and giant bluefin tuna that may be caught, retained, possessed, or landed by vessels that possess Trap category Atlantic Tunas permits is 1.0 mt. (7) * * * (i) The total amount of bluefin tuna that is held in reserve for inseason or annual adjustments and research using quota or subquotas is 24.8 mt, which may be augmented by allowable underharvest from the previous year, or annual reallocation of Purse Seine category quota as described under paragraph (a)(4)(v) of this section. Consistent with paragraphs (a)(8) through (10) of this section, NMFS may allocate any portion of the Reserve category quota for inseason or annual adjustments to any fishing category quota. (ii) The total amount of school bluefin tuna that is held in reserve for inseason or annual adjustments and fisheryindependent research is 18.5 percent (20.1 mt) of the total school bluefin tuna Angling category quota as described under paragraph (a)(2) of this section. PO 00000 Frm 00032 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 This amount is in addition to the amounts specified in paragraph (a)(7)(i) of this section. Consistent with paragraph (a)(8) of this section, NMFS may allocate any portion of the school bluefin tuna Angling category quota held in reserve for inseason or annual adjustments to the Angling category. * * * * * ■ 3. In § 635.29, revise paragraph (c) to read as follows: § 635.29 Transfer at sea and transshipment. * * * * * (c) An owner or operator of a vessel for which an Atlantic Tunas Purse Seine category permit has been issued under § 635.4 may use an auxiliary vessel (i.e., a skiff) associated with the permitted vessel to assist in routine purse seine fishery operations, provided that the auxiliary vessel has not been issued an Atlantic Tunas or HMS vessel permit and functions only in an auxiliary capacity during routine purse seine operations (i.e., it conducts limited assistance activities such as assistance with purse seine deployment and removal of BFT from the purse seine). The auxiliary vessel may transfer large medium and giant Atlantic BFT to its associated purse seine vessel during routine purse seine operations, provided that the amount transferred does not cause the receiving vessel to exceed its currently authorized vessel allocation, including incidental catch limits. [FR Doc. 2015–21147 Filed 8–27–15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510–22–P DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration 50 CFR Part 679 [Docket No. 141021887–5172–02] RIN 0648–XE144 Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Several Groundfish Species in the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Management Area National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Commerce. ACTION: Temporary rule; apportionment of reserves; request for comments. AGENCY: NMFS apportions amounts of the non-specified reserve to the initial total allowable catch (ITAC) of Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands (BSAI) northern rockfish, BSAI squids, Bering SUMMARY: E:\FR\FM\28AUR1.SGM 28AUR1 Federal Register / Vol. 80, No. 167 / Friday, August 28, 2015 / Rules and Regulations Lhorne on DSK5TPTVN1PROD with RULES Sea (BS) Greenland turbot, and BS Pacific ocean perch in the BSAI management area. This action is necessary to allow the fisheries to continue operating. It is intended to promote the goals and objectives of the fishery management plan for the BSAI management area. DATES: Effective August 27, 2015, through 2400 hrs, Alaska local time, December 31, 2015. Comments must be received at the following address no later than 4:30 p.m., Alaska local time, September 11, 2015. ADDRESSES: You may submit comments on this document, identified by FDMS Docket Number NOAA–NMFS–2014– 0134 by any of the following methods: • Electronic Submission: Submit all electronic public comments via the Federal e-Rulemaking Portal. Go to, http://www.regulations.gov/ #!docketDetail;D=NOAA-NMFS-20140134, click the ‘‘Comment Now!’’ icon, complete the required fields, and enter or attach your comments. • Mail: Submit written comments to Glenn Merrill, Assistant Regional Administrator, Sustainable Fisheries Division, Alaska Region NMFS, Attn: Ellen Sebastian. Mail comments to P.O. Box 21668, Juneau, AK 99802–1668. 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). FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Steve Whitney, 907–586–7228. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: NMFS manages the groundfish fishery in the (BSAI) exclusive economic zone according to the Fishery Management Plan for Groundfish of the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Management Area (FMP) prepared by the North Pacific VerDate Sep<11>2014 12:56 Aug 27, 2015 Jkt 235001 Fishery Management Council under authority of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act. Regulations governing fishing by U.S. vessels in accordance with the FMP appear at subpart H of 50 CFR part 600 and 50 CFR part 679. The 2015 ITAC of BSAI northern rockfish was established as 2,763 metric tons (mt), the 2015 ITAC of BSAI squids was established as 340 mt, the 2015 ITAC of BS Greenland turbot was established as 2,081 mt, and the 2015 ITAC of BS Pacific ocean perch was established as 6,818 mt by the final 2015 and 2016 harvest specifications for groundfish of the BSAI (80 FR 11919, March 5, 2015). In accordance with § 679.20(a)(3) the Regional Administrator, Alaska Region, NMFS, has reviewed the most current available data and finds that the ITACs for BSAI northern rockfish, BSAI squids, BS Greenland turbot, and BS Pacific ocean perch need to be supplemented from the non-specified reserve to promote efficiency in the utilization of fishery resources in the BSAI and allow fishing operations to continue. Therefore, in accordance with § 679.20(b)(3), NMFS apportions from the non-specified reserve of groundfish 3,500 mt to the BSAI northern rockfish ITAC, 1,630 mt to the BSAI squids ITAC, 105 mt to the BS Greenland turbot ITAC, and 1,203 mt to the BS Pacific ocean perch ITAC. These apportionments are consistent with § 679.20(b)(1)(i) and do not result in overfishing of any target species because the revised ITACs and total allowable catch (TAC) are equal to or less than the specifications of the acceptable biological catch in the final 2015 and 2016 harvest specifications for groundfish in the BSAI (80 FR 11919, March 5, 2015). The harvest specification for the 2015 ITACs and TACs included in the harvest specifications for groundfish in the BSAI are revised as follows: The ITAC and TAC is increased to 6,263 mt for BSAI northern rockfish and 1,970 mt for BSAI squids. The ITAC is increased to the full TAC of 2,448 mt for BS Greenland turbot, including 262 tons of Community Development Quota. And, PO 00000 Frm 00033 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 9990 52205 the ITAC is increased to the full TAC of 8,021 mt for BS Pacific ocean perch. Classification This action responds to the best available information recently obtained from the fishery. The Assistant Administrator for Fisheries, NOAA, (AA) finds good cause to waive the requirement to provide prior notice and opportunity for public comment pursuant to the authority set forth at 5 U.S.C. 553(b)(B) and § 679.20(b)(3)(iii)(A) as such a requirement is impracticable and contrary to the public interest. This requirement is impracticable and contrary to the public interest as it would prevent NMFS from responding to the most recent fisheries data in a timely fashion and would delay the apportionment of the non-specified reserves of groundfish to the BSAI northern rockfish, BSAI squids, BS Greenland turbot, and BS Pacific ocean perch fisheries in the BSAI. Immediate notification is necessary to allow for the orderly conduct and efficient operation of this fishery, to allow the industry to plan for the fishing season, and to avoid potential disruption to the fishing fleet and processors. NMFS was unable to publish a notice providing time for public comment because the most recent, relevant data only became available as of August 21, 2015. The AA also finds good cause to waive the 30-day delay in the effective date of this action under 5 U.S.C. 553(d)(3). This finding is based upon the reasons provided above for waiver of prior notice and opportunity for public comment. Under § 679.20(b)(3)(iii), interested persons are invited to submit written comments on this action (see ADDRESSES) until September 11, 2015. This action is required by § 679.20 and is exempt from review under Executive Order 12866. Authority: 16 U.S.C. 1801, et seq. Dated: August 24, 2015. Emily H. Menashes, Acting Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine Fisheries Service. [FR Doc. 2015–21272 Filed 8–27–15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510–22–P E:\FR\FM\28AUR1.SGM 28AUR1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 80, Number 167 (Friday, August 28, 2015)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 52204-52205]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2015-21272]


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

DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

50 CFR Part 679

[Docket No. 141021887-5172-02]
RIN 0648-XE144


Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Several 
Groundfish Species in the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Management 
Area

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

ACTION: Temporary rule; apportionment of reserves; request for 
comments.

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

SUMMARY: NMFS apportions amounts of the non-specified reserve to the 
initial total allowable catch (ITAC) of Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands 
(BSAI) northern rockfish, BSAI squids, Bering

[[Page 52205]]

Sea (BS) Greenland turbot, and BS Pacific ocean perch in the BSAI 
management area. This action is necessary to allow the fisheries to 
continue operating. It is intended to promote the goals and objectives 
of the fishery management plan for the BSAI management area.

DATES: Effective August 27, 2015, through 2400 hrs, Alaska local time, 
December 31, 2015. Comments must be received at the following address 
no later than 4:30 p.m., Alaska local time, September 11, 2015.

ADDRESSES: You may submit comments on this document, identified by FDMS 
Docket Number NOAA-NMFS-2014-0134 by any of the following methods:
     Electronic Submission: Submit all electronic public 
comments via the Federal e-Rulemaking Portal. Go to, http://www.regulations.gov/#!docketDetail;D=NOAA-NMFS-2014-0134, click the 
``Comment Now!'' icon, complete the required fields, and enter or 
attach your comments.
     Mail: Submit written comments to Glenn Merrill, Assistant 
Regional Administrator, Sustainable Fisheries Division, Alaska Region 
NMFS, Attn: Ellen Sebastian. Mail comments to P.O. Box 21668, Juneau, 
AK 99802-1668.
    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).

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Steve Whitney, 907-586-7228.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: NMFS manages the groundfish fishery in the 
(BSAI) exclusive economic zone according to the Fishery Management Plan 
for Groundfish of the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Management Area 
(FMP) prepared by the North Pacific Fishery Management Council under 
authority of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management 
Act. Regulations governing fishing by U.S. vessels in accordance with 
the FMP appear at subpart H of 50 CFR part 600 and 50 CFR part 679.
    The 2015 ITAC of BSAI northern rockfish was established as 2,763 
metric tons (mt), the 2015 ITAC of BSAI squids was established as 340 
mt, the 2015 ITAC of BS Greenland turbot was established as 2,081 mt, 
and the 2015 ITAC of BS Pacific ocean perch was established as 6,818 mt 
by the final 2015 and 2016 harvest specifications for groundfish of the 
BSAI (80 FR 11919, March 5, 2015). In accordance with Sec.  
679.20(a)(3) the Regional Administrator, Alaska Region, NMFS, has 
reviewed the most current available data and finds that the ITACs for 
BSAI northern rockfish, BSAI squids, BS Greenland turbot, and BS 
Pacific ocean perch need to be supplemented from the non-specified 
reserve to promote efficiency in the utilization of fishery resources 
in the BSAI and allow fishing operations to continue.
    Therefore, in accordance with Sec.  679.20(b)(3), NMFS apportions 
from the non-specified reserve of groundfish 3,500 mt to the BSAI 
northern rockfish ITAC, 1,630 mt to the BSAI squids ITAC, 105 mt to the 
BS Greenland turbot ITAC, and 1,203 mt to the BS Pacific ocean perch 
ITAC. These apportionments are consistent with Sec.  679.20(b)(1)(i) 
and do not result in overfishing of any target species because the 
revised ITACs and total allowable catch (TAC) are equal to or less than 
the specifications of the acceptable biological catch in the final 2015 
and 2016 harvest specifications for groundfish in the BSAI (80 FR 
11919, March 5, 2015).
    The harvest specification for the 2015 ITACs and TACs included in 
the harvest specifications for groundfish in the BSAI are revised as 
follows: The ITAC and TAC is increased to 6,263 mt for BSAI northern 
rockfish and 1,970 mt for BSAI squids. The ITAC is increased to the 
full TAC of 2,448 mt for BS Greenland turbot, including 262 tons of 
Community Development Quota. And, the ITAC is increased to the full TAC 
of 8,021 mt for BS Pacific ocean perch.

Classification

    This action responds to the best available information recently 
obtained from the fishery. The Assistant Administrator for Fisheries, 
NOAA, (AA) finds good cause to waive the requirement to provide prior 
notice and opportunity for public comment pursuant to the authority set 
forth at 5 U.S.C. 553(b)(B) and Sec.  679.20(b)(3)(iii)(A) as such a 
requirement is impracticable and contrary to the public interest. This 
requirement is impracticable and contrary to the public interest as it 
would prevent NMFS from responding to the most recent fisheries data in 
a timely fashion and would delay the apportionment of the non-specified 
reserves of groundfish to the BSAI northern rockfish, BSAI squids, BS 
Greenland turbot, and BS Pacific ocean perch fisheries in the BSAI. 
Immediate notification is necessary to allow for the orderly conduct 
and efficient operation of this fishery, to allow the industry to plan 
for the fishing season, and to avoid potential disruption to the 
fishing fleet and processors. NMFS was unable to publish a notice 
providing time for public comment because the most recent, relevant 
data only became available as of August 21, 2015.
    The AA also finds good cause to waive the 30-day delay in the 
effective date of this action under 5 U.S.C. 553(d)(3). This finding is 
based upon the reasons provided above for waiver of prior notice and 
opportunity for public comment.
    Under Sec.  679.20(b)(3)(iii), interested persons are invited to 
submit written comments on this action (see ADDRESSES) until September 
11, 2015.
    This action is required by Sec.  679.20 and is exempt from review 
under Executive Order 12866.

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

    Dated: August 24, 2015.
Emily H. Menashes,
Acting Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine 
Fisheries Service.
[FR Doc. 2015-21272 Filed 8-27-15; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 3510-22-P