Magnuson-Stevens Act Provisions; Fisheries Off West Coast States; Pacific Coast Groundfish Fishery; 2015-2016 Biennial Specifications and Management Measures; Inseason Adjustments, 61318-61326 [2015-25986]

Download as PDF 61318 Federal Register / Vol. 80, No. 197 / Tuesday, October 13, 2015 / Rules and Regulations Background DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration 50 CFR Part 660 [Docket No. 140904754–5188–02] RIN 0648–BF40 Magnuson-Stevens Act Provisions; Fisheries Off West Coast States; Pacific Coast Groundfish Fishery; 2015–2016 Biennial Specifications and Management Measures; Inseason Adjustments National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Commerce. AGENCY: Final rule; inseason adjustments to biennial groundfish management measures. ACTION: 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 prevent exceeding the 2015 Area 2A Pacific halibut quota for incidental retention in the sablefish primary fishery and the Area 2A Total Allowable Catch (TAC) and to prevent exceeding the annual catch limit (ACL) for sablefish north 36° N. lat. SUMMARY: This final rule is effective October 13, 2015. DATES: FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Sarah Williams, phone: 206–526–4646, fax: 206–526–6736, or email: sarah.williams@noaa.gov. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: asabaliauskas on DSK5VPTVN1PROD with RULES 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. VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:03 Oct 09, 2015 Jkt 238001 Closing Incidental Pacific Halibut Retention in the Sablefish Primary Fishery The International Pacific Halibut Commission (IPHC) sets the Pacific halibut total allowable catch (TAC) on an annual basis. A portion of the TAC is available to fisheries in Area 2A (waters off the U.S. West Coast). The Council’s Catch Sharing Plan (CSP) guides allocation of the Area 2A portion of the TAC to the various commercial and recreational fisheries in Area 2A. Specifically, it provides that if the Area 2A TAC is greater than 900,000 lb, the portion of the Washington sport allocation that is in excess of 214,110 lb is available to the sablefish primary fishery north of Point Chehalis, WA. The final Area 2A halibut TAC for 2015 was adopted by the IPHC at their January 26 through January 30, 2015 meeting. Following this meeting, NMFS published two final rules implementing the 2015 halibut TAC and the CSP. The first rule implementing the TAC published on March 17, 2015 (80 FR 13771) and second rule implementing the CSP published on April 1, 2015 (80 FR 17344). The final 2A TAC resulted in an allocation to the limited entry fixed gear (LEFG) sablefish primary fishery of 10,348 lb. The incidental fishery opened on April 1, 2015, with a landing limit of 75 lb dressed weight of halibut per 1,000 lb dressed weight of sablefish, and up to two additional Pacific halibut in excess of this ratio. This ratio is implemented in LEFG sablefish primary fishery regulations at § 660.231(b)(3)(iv). In late August 2015, the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) notified NMFS and IPHC that the incidental Pacific halibut quota was projected to be attained and that a closure was likely before the end of the scheduled season on October 31. Following this notification, NMFS, IPHC, and WDFW met on August 25, 2015, reviewed the catch data, and the IPHC closed incidental Pacific halibut retention in the LEFG sablefish primary fishery at 12:01 a.m. on September 1, 2015. This action was taken consistent with IPHC’s inseason authority, as described in section 5 of the annual IPHC regulations and in the CSP. The Council was notified of the IPHC inseason action at its September 11–16, 2015, meeting. To make clear that retention of incidentally caught Pacific halibut in the LEFG sablefish primary fishery north of Pt. Chehalis, WA, is closed, the Council recommended and NMFS is implementing a modification to § 660.231(b)(3)(iv). Currently that PO 00000 Frm 00042 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 regulation states the incidental retention ratio; the modification would state that incidental retention is closed. Closure of the Limited Entry Fixed Gear and Open Access Sablefish Daily Trip Limit Fisheries North of 36° N. Lat. The best available fisheries information indicates that catch of sablefish in the commercial non-trawl fisheries north of 36° N. lat. is higher than anticipated. The Council considered updated projections and the status of ongoing groundfish fisheries at its September 11–16, 2015, meeting. Fishery models, updated with the best estimate reports from the Pacific Fishery Information Network through August 31, 2015, project that sablefish landings through the end of the year would exceed the sablefish allocations in both the LEFG and open access (OA) daily trip limit (DTL) fisheries north of 36° N. lat. Projected landings in the LEFG DTL fishery north of 36° N. lat. vary based on assumptions on the price per pound. If no action is taken and this higher than anticipated catch continues in the LEFG DTL fishery, projected landings range from 126 percent of the allocation (low price assumption) to 139 percent of the allocation (high price assumption). Also, if no action is taken and higher than anticipated catch continues in the OA fishery, projected landings are 126 percent of the allocation. Sablefish is managed, in part, with two-month cumulative limits. Information regarding higher than anticipated catch of sablefish in these fisheries came during the Period 5 twomonth cumulative limit period (September–October). It is very likely that most participating vessels will have caught their Period 5 two-month limits by the time a closure could be in effect. Therefore, the Council recommended a closure beginning at the start of the next bi-monthly cumulative limit period (Period 6, November–December), rather than during Period 5. Closing these sablefish fisheries November 1 is projected to reduce the overage of the allocations for both LEFG and OA DTL fisheries. Landings in the LEFG DTL fishery would be reduced to 111 percent—116 percent of the allocation and landings in the OA fishery reduced to 102 percent of the allocation. The Period 6 closure reduces the risk of exceeding the north 36° N. lat. ACL due to the overages in the LEFG and OA DTL allocations, and keeps total projected impacts across all fisheries below the 2015 sablefish north 36° N. lat. ACL (4,608 mt out of a 4,792 mt ACL) NMFS agrees with the Council recommendation and rationale and is E:\FR\FM\13OCR1.SGM 13OCR1 Federal Register / Vol. 80, No. 197 / Tuesday, October 13, 2015 / Rules and Regulations implementing a closure for sablefish in the LEFG and OA DTL fisheries north of 36° N. lat., beginning November 1, 2015. Starting November 1, it will be prohibited to take and retain, possess, or land sablefish in the LEFG and OA DTL fisheries north 36° N. lat. asabaliauskas on DSK5VPTVN1PROD with RULES 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 and the Halibut Act 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 October 13, 2015. At the September Council meeting, the Council recommended that these changes be implemented as quickly as possible to make the groundfish regulation consistent with the IPHC VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:03 Oct 09, 2015 Jkt 238001 inseason action which has already been taken and the sablefish closure based on information available at the September Council meeting. 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 halibut allocation to the sablefish fishery and ACLs for federally managed species in accordance with the PCGFMP and applicable law and the halibut allocations implemented under the authority in the Halibut Act. These adjustments to management measures must be implemented in a timely manner to prevent the Area 2A portion of the 2015 halibut TAC and the 2015 sablefish north 36° N. lat. ACL from being exceeded. The elimination of Pacific halibut retention in the LEFG sablefish primary fishery is intended to prevent exceeding the Area 2A portion of the 2015 Pacific halibut TAC and the allocation to the sablefish primary fishery. The closure of the sablefish fishery for LEFG and OA DTL fisheries is intended to prevent exceeding the 2015 sablefish ACL north 36° N. lat. No aspect of this action is controversial, and changes of this nature were anticipated in the groundfish biennial harvest specifications and management measures established for 2015–2016 and the 2015 Pacific halibut final rules. PO 00000 Frm 00043 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 61319 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, Indian Fisheries. Dated: October 7, 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. In § 660.231, paragraph (b)(3)(iv) is revised to read as follows: ■ § 660.231 Limited entry fixed gear sablefish primary fishery. * * * * * (b) * * * (3) * * * (iv) Incidental halibut retention north of Pt. Chehalis, WA (46°53.30′ N. lat.). No halibut retention is allowed during the sablefish primary fishery. * * * * * 3. Table 2 (North) and 2 (South) to part 660, subpart E, are revised to read as follows: ■ E:\FR\FM\13OCR1.SGM 13OCR1 61320 Federal Register / Vol. 80, No. 197 / Tuesday, October 13, 2015 / Rules and Regulations 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. IOther limits and requirements apply-- Read §§660.1 0 through 660.399 before using this table JAN-FEB MAR-APR I I Rockfish Conservation Area (RCA) 11: -fiNorth of 46.16' N. lat. I I I I I I I MAY-JUN JUL-AUG SEP-OCT NOV-DEC I I I I 9252015 shoreline- 100 fm line 11 2 146.16' N.lat.- 4iOO' N.lat. 30 fm line 11 - 100 fm line 11 3 142'00' N.lat.- 40'10' N. lat. 30 fm line"- 100 fm line" 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 restricti\E than Federal trip limits or seasons, particularly in waters off Oregon and California. 4 IMinor Slope Rockfish 21 & IDarkblotched rockfish 5 Pacific ocean perch 6 Sablefish 71 7 4,000 lb/ 2 months Longspine thomyhead 1,800 lb/ 2 months [J] 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. flounder, Other Flatfish 31 IWhiting I 16 Minor Shelf Shortbelly, Widow & Yellowtail rockfish 17 Canary rockfish Yelloweye rockfish CLOSED 19 Minor Nearshore Rockfish & Black rockfish 200 lb/ month 0 ... ::::r 1-20 North of 42' 00' N. lat. 21 4iOO' N. lat.- 40'10' N. lat. 22 m z CLOSED 18 r N 10,000 lb/ trip Rockfish 21 , -I > 2,500 lb/2 months 5,000 lb/ month 1---u15 I 2,000 lb/2 months Dover sole, arrowtooth flounder, petrale sole, English sole, starry 1-~ 1-~ CLOSED 10,000 lb/2 months l=~Shortspine thornyhead 1-~ 1,1251b/week, not to exceed 3,375 lb/2 months 1,025 lb/ week, not to exceed 3,075 lb/ 2 months 5,000 lb/2 months, no more than 1,200 lb of which may be species other than black rocklish or blue 6,000 lb/2 months, of which no more than 1,200 lb of which may be species other than black rocklish 8,500 lb/2 months, of which no more than 1,200 lb of which may be species other than black rocklish ILingcod 51 200 lb/2 months 600 lb/ 1200 lb/ month month 1,200 lb/ 2 months I 23 Pacific cod 24 Spiny dogfish 25 Longnose skate Unlimited 26 !Other & Cabezon in Oregon land California rocklish 41 Unlimited 1,000 lb/ 2 months 200,000 lb/2 months I 150,000 lb/2 months Fish 61 100,000 lb/2 months _ _____j ____________ j _________ ____L_ ____ L______l __ ___j__ ____l_________ ___l__ ____ L_____l ___ ___L__ ___l _____ L ___ __l____ __ I 1/ The Rocklish Conservation Area is an area closed to fishing by particular gear types, bounded by lines specifically defined by latitude. _ _ ll_f!'!_l_tmgitude ~.<>!.'!nates se!_'!_'!!_llt. §§ 660,.?.!::§§0. 74. Thi_!!_~_gA is not '!Elfl_ll_Eld by dep!l_l_~_ntours (with_!l_l~ exceptio_n_~_!he 20-fm __________________ 1 depth contour boundary south of 42 N. lat.), and the boundary lines that define the RCA may close areas that are deeper or shallower _ _ !l_l_ll_rl_!he depth _c:_c>_rl!clur. Vess_El!_s_tllat are su_t>j_e_c:_tto RCA rEl_~_ric:_tions ma}'__rl'!_t_fish in the_13_g~ or operi!!El.J.~ the RCA!~_a_ny purpos_El_______________ 1 1 ~~~- J [___I _____ __l Li ~/The mi~f!l_l:l!!l size lim_!!!~_lingcod is_~__i_rlches (56~_":V_totalleng!l_l_~'!_rth of 4i ~.:.~.!:and 24 i_rl~~~ (61 cm)_t_c>~.!_length S~'!!~_c>f 4i N. ll!l:...J_____ pt "Other ~~tr:_are defin~<!.l!t..§ 660.111l_f!l!_irlclude kelpjl_rEl_enling, le<J_e_~_c! shark, a_rl'!~ll_bezon in l{'{_~_llington. ______________________________ 71 Beginning on January 1, 2016, the following trip limits are in effect for sablefish north of36' N. lat. from January through December 1,2751b/week, not to exceed 3,3751b/2 1 1 months !oconve~_e_<J_undsro~~~Q!arns,di~t!~_t>y2.2046~~~~numbe~<J_~e_oundsi~<J_~~kilogra~-----------------------------------------------J VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:03 Oct 09, 2015 Jkt 238001 PO 00000 Frm 00044 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4725 E:\FR\FM\13OCR1.SGM 13OCR1 ER13OC15.000</GPH> asabaliauskas on DSK5VPTVN1PROD with RULES 2/BoCaCciO~chilipepper andcowcod areinCiuded in thetriP limits forMnor Shelf Rockfish and sPI:tnose rocklishTs-ilicluded in-iile_I___ _ __j!f:ijl_lll:nits for M_n_<>!_§lope Roc_k!i~~:J:___j_ ____L__l______L ____ L_~ ___ ___L ____L_l___ ___ _ _ ___ __ I I I 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 I. I I I I I I I 4/ For black rocklish 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.), I I I I -----riiiereis an additiOnal limit of foolil or 30 percentbyweightot-ali fish on board: whicheveriSgreater, pervessel, perfishin~---1---r-------r----l 61321 Federal Register / Vol. 80, No. 197 / Tuesday, October 13, 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. I Rockfish Conservation Area (RCA) 11 : 1 2 I South ot34'27' N.lat. I I 40.10' N. lat.- 34'27' N. lat. I I I I JUL-AUG SEP-OCT NOV-DEC I Other limits and requirements apply-- Read §§660.10 through 660.399 before using this table JAN. FEB I M'\R-APR I MAY-JUN I I I 9252015 30 fm line"- 150 fm line11 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, particularly in waters off Oregon and California. 3 4 Splitnose rockfish 5 40,000 lb/2 months, of which no more than 1,375 lb may be blackgill rockfish Minor Slope rockfish 21 & Darkblotched rockfish I 40,000 lb/2 months, of which no more than 1,600 lb Sablefish 61 -1 6 40.10' N.lat.- 36'oo· N.lat. 7 1,0251b/week, not to exceed 3,0751b/2 months South ot36'oo· N.lat. Longspine thornyhead Shortspine thornyhead 8 9 10 ~ 14 ~ 16 11,125 lb/ week, nolle exceed 3,375 lb/2 months CLOSED 2,000 lb/ week 10,000 lb/2 months I 2,000 lb/2 months 40'10' N. lat.- 34'27' N. lat. South of34.27' N.lat. 11 12 may be blackgill rockfish 40,000 lb/2 months r2,500 lb/2 months flounder, Other Flatfish 31 ~ 3,000 lb/2 months N 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. en 0 18 Whiting 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 I I ~ C:.~j-~P.!!.'P..!~----·---·-----·--·---·--·--···--·--·- -·--·---·-----·--·---·--·--·-·--·--·---·--·---·-----·--·---·--·--·-·--·--·---·--·---·----·-·--·---·--·--·---·--·---·--·---·----·-·--·---·--·--·---·--· 40.10' N.lat.- 34'27' N.lat. 24 s:::: ::::r Chilipepper included under minor shelf rockfish, shortbelly, widow rockfish and bocaccio limits-- See above South of34.27' N.lat. 2,000 lb/2 months, this opportunity only available seaward of the non-trawl RCA 25 Canary rockfish 26 Yelloweye rockfish CLOSED 27 Cowcod CLOSED 28 Bronzespotted rockfish CLOSED 29 Bocaccio 31 VerDate Sep<11>2014 CLOSED Bocaccio included under Mnor sheW rockfish, shortbelly, widow rockfish & chilipepper limits --See above 40'10' N. lat.- 34'27' N. lat. CLOSED 750 lb/2 months South of34.27' N.lat. 750 lb/ 2 months I 17:03 Oct 09, 2015 Jkt 238001 PO 00000 Frm 00045 I Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4725 E:\FR\FM\13OCR1.SGM 13OCR1 ER13OC15.001</GPH> 30 asabaliauskas on DSK5VPTVN1PROD with RULES m 10,000 lb/trip Dover sole, arrowtooth flounder, petrale sole, English sole, starry 23 )> [D Federal Register / Vol. 80, No. 197 / Tuesday, October 13, 2015 / Rules and Regulations 4. Table 3 (North) and 3 (South) to part 660, subpart F, are revised to read asabaliauskas on DSK5VPTVN1PROD with RULES ■ VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:03 Oct 09, 2015 Jkt 238001 as follows: PO 00000 Frm 00046 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 E:\FR\FM\13OCR1.SGM 13OCR1 ER13OC15.002</GPH> 61322 61323 Federal Register / Vol. 80, No. 197 / Tuesday, October 13, 2015 / Rules and Regulations Table 3 (North) to Part 660, Subpart F --Non-Trawl Rockfish Conservation Areas and Trip Limits for Open Access Gears North of 40'10' N. lat. Other limits and requirements apply-- Read §§660.1 0 through 660.399 before using this table JAN-FEB I MAR-APR I 9252015 I MAY-JUN I JUL-AUG SEP-OCT I NOV-DEC Rockfish Conservation Area (RCA) 11 : shoreline -100 fm line11 1 North of 46' 16' N. lat. 2 46,16' N. lat. -42'00' N. lat. 30 fm line 11 -100 fm line11 3 4iOO' N. lat. - 40' 10' N. lat. 30 fm line 11 -100 fm line11 See §§660.60, 660.330 and 660.333 for additional gear, trip limit 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 restrictive than Federal trip limits or seasons, particularly in waters off Oregon and California. 4 Minor Slope Rockfish 21 & Darkblotched rockfish 5 Pacific ocean perch Per trip, no more than 25% of weight of the sablefish landed 100 lbl month . 1350 lbl day, or 1 landing per week of 300 lbl day, or 1 land1ng per week of up to 900 lb, not to t 1 600 lb tt d 3 200 lbl up 0 ' , 2n~o~t~:cee ' exceed 1,800 lb/2 months 6 Sablefish 71 7 Shortpine thornyheads and longspine thornyheads 8 9 ~ Dover sole, arrowtooth flounder, petrale sole, English sole, starry flounder, Other Flatfish 31 r 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. Whiting 300 lbl month 15 Minor Shelf Rockfish 21, Shortbelly, Widow & Yellowtail rockfish 200 lbl month 16 Canary rockfish CLOSED 17 Yelloweye rockfish CLOSED 18 Minor Nearshore Rockfish & Black rockfish 19 42'00' N. lat. - 40' 10' N. lat. . . 8,500 lb/2 months, of wh1ch no more than 1,200 lb of wh1ch may be spec1es other than black rockfish 100 lbl month 1 - 6,000 lb/2 months, of which no more 1 than 1,200 lb of which may be species other than black rockfish 1100 lbl month 600 lbl month I 1,000 lb/ 2 months Pacific cod 23 .., 5,000 lb/2 months, no more than 1,200 lb of which may be species other than black rockfish Lingcod51 22 z 0 --- . 21 w ::::; North of 42'00' N. lat. 20 -I > m CLOSED 14 Spiny dogfish 200,000 lb/2 months I 150,000 lb/2 months I Longnose skate Unlimited 25 Other Fish 61 & Cabezon in Oregon and California 100,000 lb/2 months Unlimited VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:03 Oct 09, 2015 Jkt 238001 PO 00000 Frm 00047 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4725 E:\FR\FM\13OCR1.SGM 13OCR1 ER13OC15.003</GPH> 24 asabaliauskas on DSK5VPTVN1PROD with RULES CLOSED 3,000 lbl month, no more than 300 lb of which may be species other than Pacific sanddabs. r--:-:-- I ;: I 61324 Federal Register / Vol. 80, No. 197 / Tuesday, October 13, 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 17:03 Oct 09, 2015 Jkt 238001 PO 00000 Frm 00048 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4725 I I I E:\FR\FM\13OCR1.SGM I 13OCR1 I I I ER13OC15.004</GPH> asabaliauskas on DSK5VPTVN1PROD with RULES months. To convert pounds to kilograms, divide by 2.20462, the nurmer of pounds in one kilogram 61325 Federal Register / Vol. 80, No. 197 / Tuesday, October 13, 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. 9252015 Other lim its and requirements apply-- Read §§660.1 0 through 660.399 before using this table I I I I I I JAN-FEB I MAR-APR I fiMY-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 140'10' 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 linit 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. 3 Minor Slope Rockfish" & Darkblotched rockfish 4 5 Splitnose rockfish Sablefish" 6 200 lbl month 40'1 0' N. lat. - 36'00' 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 I CLOSED 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 10 CLOSED 50 lb/ day, no more than 1,000 lb/ 2 months ~ ___g_ 13 ~ ~ 16 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" 17 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. Whiting 18 300 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 VerDate Sep<11>2014 I I CLOSED Canary rockfish Yelloweye rockfish Cowcod Bronzespotted rockfish I 200 lb/ 2 months I - (/) 0 c I 300 lb/2 months 1500 lb/ 2 months CLOSED CLOSED CLOSED CLOSED Bocaccio 40'1 0' N. lat. - 34'27' N. lat. 200 lb/2 months South of 34'27' N. lat. 250 lb/2 months 17:03 Oct 09, 2015 Jkt 238001 PO 00000 I I CLOSED Frm 00049 Fmt 4700 I I 100 lb/2 months I 200 lb/2 months 250 lbl 2 months Sfmt 4725 E:\FR\FM\13OCR1.SGM 13OCR1 ER13OC15.005</GPH> 27 m :::r Minor Shelf Rockfish", Shortbelly, Widow rockfish and Chilipepper 21 22 23 24 25 26 m r- w 40.10' N.lat. -34.27' N. lat. South of 34'27' N. lat. 9 asabaliauskas on DSK5VPTVN1PROD with RULES )> . 1350 lb/ day, or 1 landing per week of 300 lb/ day, or 1 land1ng per week of up to 900 lb, not to t 1 600 lb at t d 3 200 lbl exceed 1,800 lb/2 months up 0 ' • 2nmo~t~~cee ' South of 36'00' N. lat. -1 61326 Federal Register / Vol. 80, No. 197 / Tuesday, October 13, 2015 / Rules and Regulations [FR Doc. 2015–25986 Filed 10–7–15; 4:15 pm] VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:03 Oct 09, 2015 Jkt 238001 PO 00000 Frm 00050 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 9990 E:\FR\FM\13OCR1.SGM 13OCR1 ER13OC15.006</GPH> asabaliauskas on DSK5VPTVN1PROD with RULES BILLING CODE 3510–22–P

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 80, Number 197 (Tuesday, October 13, 2015)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 61318-61326]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2015-25986]



[[Page 61318]]

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DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

50 CFR Part 660

[Docket No. 140904754-5188-02]
RIN 0648-BF40


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.

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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 prevent exceeding the 2015 Area 2A Pacific 
halibut quota for incidental retention in the sablefish primary fishery 
and the Area 2A Total Allowable Catch (TAC) and to prevent exceeding 
the annual catch limit (ACL) for sablefish north 36[deg] N. lat.

DATES: This final rule is effective October 13, 2015.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Sarah Williams, phone: 206-526-4646, 
fax: 206-526-6736, or email: sarah.williams@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

Closing Incidental Pacific Halibut Retention in the Sablefish Primary 
Fishery

    The International Pacific Halibut Commission (IPHC) sets the 
Pacific halibut total allowable catch (TAC) on an annual basis. A 
portion of the TAC is available to fisheries in Area 2A (waters off the 
U.S. West Coast). The Council's Catch Sharing Plan (CSP) guides 
allocation of the Area 2A portion of the TAC to the various commercial 
and recreational fisheries in Area 2A. Specifically, it provides that 
if the Area 2A TAC is greater than 900,000 lb, the portion of the 
Washington sport allocation that is in excess of 214,110 lb is 
available to the sablefish primary fishery north of Point Chehalis, WA.
    The final Area 2A halibut TAC for 2015 was adopted by the IPHC at 
their January 26 through January 30, 2015 meeting. Following this 
meeting, NMFS published two final rules implementing the 2015 halibut 
TAC and the CSP. The first rule implementing the TAC published on March 
17, 2015 (80 FR 13771) and second rule implementing the CSP published 
on April 1, 2015 (80 FR 17344). The final 2A TAC resulted in an 
allocation to the limited entry fixed gear (LEFG) sablefish primary 
fishery of 10,348 lb. The incidental fishery opened on April 1, 2015, 
with a landing limit of 75 lb dressed weight of halibut per 1,000 lb 
dressed weight of sablefish, and up to two additional Pacific halibut 
in excess of this ratio. This ratio is implemented in LEFG sablefish 
primary fishery regulations at Sec.  660.231(b)(3)(iv).
    In late August 2015, the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife 
(WDFW) notified NMFS and IPHC that the incidental Pacific halibut quota 
was projected to be attained and that a closure was likely before the 
end of the scheduled season on October 31. Following this notification, 
NMFS, IPHC, and WDFW met on August 25, 2015, reviewed the catch data, 
and the IPHC closed incidental Pacific halibut retention in the LEFG 
sablefish primary fishery at 12:01 a.m. on September 1, 2015. This 
action was taken consistent with IPHC's inseason authority, as 
described in section 5 of the annual IPHC regulations and in the CSP.
    The Council was notified of the IPHC inseason action at its 
September 11-16, 2015, meeting. To make clear that retention of 
incidentally caught Pacific halibut in the LEFG sablefish primary 
fishery north of Pt. Chehalis, WA, is closed, the Council recommended 
and NMFS is implementing a modification to Sec.  660.231(b)(3)(iv). 
Currently that regulation states the incidental retention ratio; the 
modification would state that incidental retention is closed.

Closure of the Limited Entry Fixed Gear and Open Access Sablefish Daily 
Trip Limit Fisheries North of 36[deg] N. Lat.

    The best available fisheries information indicates that catch of 
sablefish in the commercial non-trawl fisheries north of 36[deg] N. 
lat. is higher than anticipated. The Council considered updated 
projections and the status of ongoing groundfish fisheries at its 
September 11-16, 2015, meeting. Fishery models, updated with the best 
estimate reports from the Pacific Fishery Information Network through 
August 31, 2015, project that sablefish landings through the end of the 
year would exceed the sablefish allocations in both the LEFG and open 
access (OA) daily trip limit (DTL) fisheries north of 36[deg] N. lat. 
Projected landings in the LEFG DTL fishery north of 36[deg] N. lat. 
vary based on assumptions on the price per pound. If no action is taken 
and this higher than anticipated catch continues in the LEFG DTL 
fishery, projected landings range from 126 percent of the allocation 
(low price assumption) to 139 percent of the allocation (high price 
assumption). Also, if no action is taken and higher than anticipated 
catch continues in the OA fishery, projected landings are 126 percent 
of the allocation.
    Sablefish is managed, in part, with two-month cumulative limits. 
Information regarding higher than anticipated catch of sablefish in 
these fisheries came during the Period 5 two-month cumulative limit 
period (September-October). It is very likely that most participating 
vessels will have caught their Period 5 two-month limits by the time a 
closure could be in effect. Therefore, the Council recommended a 
closure beginning at the start of the next bi-monthly cumulative limit 
period (Period 6, November-December), rather than during Period 5. 
Closing these sablefish fisheries November 1 is projected to reduce the 
overage of the allocations for both LEFG and OA DTL fisheries. Landings 
in the LEFG DTL fishery would be reduced to 111 percent--116 percent of 
the allocation and landings in the OA fishery reduced to 102 percent of 
the allocation. The Period 6 closure reduces the risk of exceeding the 
north 36[deg] N. lat. ACL due to the overages in the LEFG and OA DTL 
allocations, and keeps total projected impacts across all fisheries 
below the 2015 sablefish north 36[deg] N. lat. ACL (4,608 mt out of a 
4,792 mt ACL)
    NMFS agrees with the Council recommendation and rationale and is

[[Page 61319]]

implementing a closure for sablefish in the LEFG and OA DTL fisheries 
north of 36[deg] N. lat., beginning November 1, 2015. Starting November 
1, it will be prohibited to take and retain, possess, or land sablefish 
in the LEFG and OA DTL fisheries north 36[deg] N. lat.

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 and the 
Halibut Act 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 October 13, 2015.
    At the September Council meeting, the Council recommended that 
these changes be implemented as quickly as possible to make the 
groundfish regulation consistent with the IPHC inseason action which 
has already been taken and the sablefish closure based on information 
available at the September Council meeting. 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 halibut allocation to the sablefish 
fishery and ACLs for federally managed species in accordance with the 
PCGFMP and applicable law and the halibut allocations implemented under 
the authority in the Halibut Act. These adjustments to management 
measures must be implemented in a timely manner to prevent the Area 2A 
portion of the 2015 halibut TAC and the 2015 sablefish north 36[deg] N. 
lat. ACL from being exceeded. The elimination of Pacific halibut 
retention in the LEFG sablefish primary fishery is intended to prevent 
exceeding the Area 2A portion of the 2015 Pacific halibut TAC and the 
allocation to the sablefish primary fishery. The closure of the 
sablefish fishery for LEFG and OA DTL fisheries is intended to prevent 
exceeding the 2015 sablefish ACL north 36[deg] N. lat. No aspect of 
this action is controversial, and changes of this nature were 
anticipated in the groundfish biennial harvest specifications and 
management measures established for 2015-2016 and the 2015 Pacific 
halibut final rules.
    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, Indian Fisheries.

    Dated: October 7, 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. In Sec.  660.231, paragraph (b)(3)(iv) is revised to read as 
follows:


Sec.  660.231  Limited entry fixed gear sablefish primary fishery.

* * * * *
    (b) * * *
    (3) * * *
    (iv) Incidental halibut retention north of Pt. Chehalis, WA 
(46[deg]53.30' N. lat.). No halibut retention is allowed during the 
sablefish primary fishery.
* * * * *

0
3. Table 2 (North) and 2 (South) to part 660, subpart E, are revised to 
read as follows:

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[GRAPHIC] [TIFF OMITTED] TR13OC15.002

0
4. Table 3 (North) and 3 (South) to part 660, subpart F, are revised to 
read as follows:

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[GRAPHIC] [TIFF OMITTED] TR13OC15.004


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[FR Doc. 2015-25986 Filed 10-7-15; 4:15 pm]
BILLING CODE 3510-22-P