Fisheries of the Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico, and South Atlantic; Reef Fish Fishery of the Gulf of Mexico; 2016 Red Snapper Commercial Quota Retention, 73999-74001 [2015-30194]

Download as PDF Federal Register / Vol. 80, No. 228 / Friday, November 27, 2015 / Rules and Regulations mstockstill on DSK4VPTVN1PROD with RULES ‘‘05090’’, and for CCN 070B22 should be ‘‘FAIRFIELD’’ and ‘‘07000.’’ Therefore, the ‘‘County Name’’ and ‘‘County Code’’ for CCN 050B21 will be corrected to read ‘‘FRESNO’’ and ‘‘05090’’, respectively; and the ‘‘County Name’’ and ‘‘County Code’’ for CCN 070B22 will be corrected to read ‘‘FAIRFIELD’’ and ‘‘07000’’, respectively. Table 3—WAGE INDEX TABLE BY CBSA—FY 2016 CORRECTION NOTICE. As described previously, the reclassifications for two hospitals (CCNs 050152 and 050228) to CBSA 36084 were not properly listed and are being corrected in Table 2. Therefore, we are making corresponding changes to the ‘‘Reclassified Wage Index’’ and ‘‘Reclassified GAF’’ column values for CBSA 36084 in Table 3. III. Waiver of Proposed Rulemaking and Delay in Effective Date We ordinarily publish a notice of proposed rulemaking in the Federal Register to provide a period for public comment before the provisions of a rule take effect in accordance with section 553(b) of the Administrative Procedure Act (APA) (5 U.S.C. 553(b)). However, we can waive this notice and comment procedure if the Secretary finds, for good cause, that the notice and comment process is impracticable, unnecessary, or contrary to the public interest, and incorporates a statement of the finding and the reasons therefore in the notice. Section 553(d) of the APA ordinarily requires a 30-day delay in effective date of final rules after the date of their publication in the Federal Register. This 30-day delay in effective date can be waived, however, if an agency finds for good cause that the delay is impracticable, unnecessary, or contrary to the public interest, and the agency incorporates a statement of the findings and its reasons in the rule issued. We believe that this correcting document does not constitute a rule that would be subject to the APA notice and comment or delayed effective date requirements. This correcting document corrects technical and typographic errors in the tables referenced in the FY 2016 IPPS/LTCH PPS final rule as revised by the FY 2016 IPPS/LTCH PPS correcting document but does not make substantive changes to the policies or payment methodologies that were adopted in the final rule. As a result, this correcting document is intended to ensure that the tables referenced in the FY 2016 IPPS/LTCH PPS final rule accurately reflect the policies adopted in that final rule. In addition, even if this were a rule to which the notice and comment VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:09 Nov 25, 2015 Jkt 238001 procedures and delayed effective date requirements applied, we find that there is good cause to waive such requirements. Undertaking further notice and comment procedures to incorporate the corrections in this document into the final rule or delaying the effective date would be contrary to the public interest because it is in the public’s interest for providers to receive appropriate payments in as timely a manner as possible, and to ensure that the FY 2016 IPPS/LTCH PPS final rule accurately reflects our policies. Furthermore, such procedures would be unnecessary, as we are not altering our payment methodologies or policies, but rather, we are simply implementing correctly the policies that we previously proposed, received comment on, and subsequently finalized. This correcting document is intended solely to ensure that the FY 2016 IPPS/LTCH PPS final rule accurately reflects these payment methodologies and policies. Therefore, we believe we have good cause to waive the notice and comment and effective date requirements. 73999 AGENCY: the Individual Fishing Quota (IFQ) program shareholders on January 1, 2016. This final rule allows the allocations being established through Amendment 28 to the FMP (Amendment 28) to be effective for the 2016 fishing year should Amendment 28 be approved by the Secretary of Commerce (Secretary) in 2016. This final rule also makes a technical correction to re-insert regulatory text that a previous rulemaking inadvertently omitted, which specifies that the recreational annual catch limit (ACL) for red snapper is equal to the total recreational quota. DATES: This rule is effective December 28, 2015. ADDRESSES: Electronic copies of the framework action, which includes an environmental assessment, a regulatory impact review, and a Regulatory Flexibility Act (RFA) analysis may be obtained from the Southeast Regional Office (SERO) Web site at http:// sero.nmfs.noaa.gov/sustainable_ fisheries/gulf_fisheries/reef_fish/2015/ rs_framework_2016_quota/documents/ pdfs/retain_2016_red_snapper_ commercial_quota_ea.pdf. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Richard Malinowski, NMFS SERO, telephone: 727–824–5305, or email: rich.malinowski@noaa.gov. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The Gulf of Mexico (Gulf) reef fish fishery is managed under the FMP. The FMP was prepared by the Council and is implemented by NMFS through regulations at 50 CFR part 622 under the authority of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (Magnuson-Stevens Act). On October 19, 2015, NMFS published a proposed rule for the framework action and requested public comment (80 FR 63190). The proposed rule and the framework action outline the rationale for the actions contained in this final rule. A summary of the actions implemented by the framework action and this final rule is provided below. NMFS issues regulations to implement management measures described in a framework action to the Fishery Management Plan for the Reef Fish Resources of the Gulf of Mexico (FMP), as prepared by the Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council (Council). This final rule withholds 4.9 percent of the 2016 red snapper commercial quota prior to the annual distribution of red snapper allocation to Management Measures Contained in This Final Rule This final rule withholds 4.9 percent of the 2016 red snapper commercial quota, equal to 352,000 lb (159,665 kg), round weight, and 317,117 lb (143,842 kg), gutted weight, prior to the annual distribution of allocation to the IFQ program shareholders on January 1, 2016. The framework procedures of the FMP include the authority to retain a portion of an annual quota in anticipation of future regulatory changes during the same fishing year. This final rule allows the allocations being Dated: November 18, 2015. Madhura Valverde, Executive Secretary to the Department, Department of Health and Human Services. [FR Doc. 2015–30248 Filed 11–25–15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4120–01–P DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration 50 CFR Part 622 [Docket No. 150826781–5999–02] RIN 0648–BF33, 0648–BE91 Fisheries of the Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico, and South Atlantic; Reef Fish Fishery of the Gulf of Mexico; 2016 Red Snapper Commercial Quota Retention National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Commerce. ACTION: Final rule. SUMMARY: PO 00000 Frm 00057 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 E:\FR\FM\27NOR1.SGM 27NOR1 74000 Federal Register / Vol. 80, No. 228 / Friday, November 27, 2015 / Rules and Regulations established through Amendment 28 to be effective for the 2016 fishing year should the Secretary approve Amendment 28 in 2016. If NMFS does not implement Amendment 28, NMFS will distribute the withheld 4.9 percent of the 2016 red snapper commercial quota to shareholders based on the shares held as of the date of distribution. mstockstill on DSK4VPTVN1PROD with RULES Other Changes to the Codified Text This final rule fixes an error in § 622.41(q)(2)(i) for the recreational sector of Gulf red snapper. This final rule re-inserts a sentence of regulatory text originally published in the final rule implementing Amendment 40 to the FMP (80 FR 22422, April 22, 2015), which specifies that the recreational ACL for red snapper is equal to the total recreational quota. The regulatory text was inadvertently omitted in a subsequent correcting amendment (80 FR 58219, September 28, 2015) to a final rule for a framework action that increased the commercial and recreational quotas for Gulf red snapper in the 2015, 2016, and 2017 fishing years (80 FR 24832, May 1, 2015). This final rule corrects the error by reinserting the regulatory text into § 622.41(q)(2)(i). This action is unrelated to the actions described in this framework action. Comments and Responses NMFS received 46 comment submissions from individuals, commercial fishermen, and a commercial fishermen’s association on the framework action and the proposed rule, along with other issues. Many of the comments NMFS received were about Amendment 28 and alternative management strategies for red snapper, for example, expanding state waters and advocating for state rather than Federal management. Such comments were beyond the scope of the proposed rule and, therefore, have not been addressed in this final rule. The comments that relate to the framework action and the proposed rule are summarized and responded to below. Comment 1: The red snapper commercial quota should not be withheld until Amendment 28 is approved and implemented by NMFS. The resulting reallocation of the red snapper commercial quota would then apply to the 2017 fishing year. Response: NMFS disagrees that the commercial quota necessary to implement Amendment 28 in the 2016 fishing year should not be withheld. The Council approved Amendment 28 for review and implementation in August 2015 with the expectation that VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:09 Nov 25, 2015 Jkt 238001 the revised allocations and quotas would be implemented in 2016, if approved by the Secretary. This will not be possible unless that portion of the commercial quota is not distributed to shareholders on January 1, 2016, the date on which NMFS distributes annual red snapper allocation to shareholders. If Amendment 28 is not approved by the Secretary, the withheld red snapper commercial quota will be distributed as soon as possible to the current red snapper IFQ shareholders based on their current shares held as of the date of distribution. Comment 2: Withholding IFQ allocation cannot be accomplished through framework procedures. NMFS regulations at 50 CFR 622.42(a) list actions that can be established or modified in accordance with the framework procedures of the FMP. Withholding IFQ allocation in anticipation of reallocation is not one of the described actions that can be accomplished by framework procedures. NMFS and the Council are not modifying approved framework items such as the red snapper quotas or the ACLs through this framework action; that is what Amendment 28 would do if and when it is approved. NMFS, therefore, lacks authority to implement this action using framework procedures. Response: NMFS disagrees. The regulations at 50 CFR 622.42(a) refer to the framework procedures of the FMP and list quotas as one of the management measures that may be modified. The framework procedures for the FMP that were established with the Generic ACL and Accountability Measures Amendment (76 FR 82044, December 29, 2011; http:// sero.nmfs.noaa.gov/sustainable_ fisheries/gulf_fisheries/generic/ archives/generic_acl_am_amend_sept_ 2011.pdf) list the regulatory changes that may be implemented and expressly include ‘‘retention of portion of an annual quota in anticipation of future regulatory changes during the same fishing year.’’ Thus, this framework action and regulations are in accordance with the FMP (as revised through the Generic ACL and Accountability Measures Amendment), and regulations at 50 CFR 622.42(a). Comment 3: Reducing each shareholder’s allocation of red snapper by approximately five percent could reduce access to quota that was leased out to the grouper fishery for bycatch coverage. This would result in negative biological consequences that are not analyzed in the framework action. Response: NMFS disagrees. Withholding the red snapper commercial quota until a decision to PO 00000 Frm 00058 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 approve or disapprove Amendment 28 is made does not restrict the ability of the shareholders to continue to contribute to the private quota bank they developed. Any long-term impacts on bycatch mortality anticipated from a permanent shift in allocation to the recreational sector would be a consequence of Amendment 28 and its implementing regulations, not this rule. Comment 4: Withholding a portion of an individual’s quota indefinitely disrupts fishermen’s business plans, particularly for fishermen who harvest large portions or all of their allocation early in the year, leading to inefficiencies in the allocation leasing marketplace which would reduce profitability and introduce economic and social costs to the IFQ program. Response: NMFS disagrees. As stated in the proposed rule for this framework action, withholding a portion of the commercial quota may result in a reduction in normal total revenue, alteration of the flow of receipts, and disruption of normal business operation, consistent with the comment. These effects, however, are expected to be minor because of the small amount of quota withheld (4.9 percent) and the likely short timeframe during which withholding occurs. Thus, the full value of the quota being withheld would not be lost. Because red snapper commercial harvest occurs throughout the year, and is not subject to ‘‘race to fish’’ (derby) conditions, withholding this small portion is not expected to severely limit the availability of allocation for purchase or trade early in the year, nor result in a market glut if allocation is subsequently returned to shareholders. This action only applies to the 2016 fishing year. As a result, the economic and social consequences are of limited scope and duration and are not expected to harm individual businesses or the industry beyond as already described. If Amendment 28 is approved by the Secretary of Commerce and the quota is not returned to shareholders, this would be a consequence of the rule for Amendment 28 and not this current framework action and final rule. Classification The Regional Administrator, Southeast Region, NMFS has determined that this final rule is consistent with the framework action, the FMP, the Magnuson-Stevens Act, and other applicable law. This final rule has been determined to be not significant for purposes of Executive Order 12866. The Magnuson-Stevens Act provides the statutory basis for this rule. No duplicative, overlapping, or conflicting E:\FR\FM\27NOR1.SGM 27NOR1 mstockstill on DSK4VPTVN1PROD with RULES Federal Register / Vol. 80, No. 228 / Friday, November 27, 2015 / Rules and Regulations Federal rules have been identified. In addition, no new reporting, recordkeeping, or other compliance requirements are introduced by this final rule. The Chief Counsel for Regulation of the Department of Commerce (DOC) certified to the Chief Counsel for advocacy of the Small Business Administration (SBA) during the proposed rule stage that this action would not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. The factual basis for this determination was published in the proposed rule and is not repeated here. NMFS received no significant comments regarding the certification. However, one general comment on the expected economic effects of this rule is addressed in the Comments and Response section of this rule. As a result, a final regulatory flexibility analysis was not required and was not prepared. As discussed in the background section of this final rule, this rule also re-inserts a sentence of regulatory text originally published in the final rule implementing Amendment 40 (80 FR 22422, April 22, 2015). The regulatory text was inadvertently omitted in a subsequent correcting amendment (80 FR 58219, September 28, 2015) to a final rule that implemented a framework amendment for red snapper in the Gulf reef fish fishery (80 FR 24832, May 1, 2015). The DOC Chief Counsel for Regulation certified to the Chief Counsel for advocacy of the SBA that the final rules implementing both Amendment 40 and the framework amendment would not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. The re-insertion of this regulatory text is not expected to have direct adverse economic effects on a substantial number of small entities because it is an administrative correcting action. The final rule that originally published the regulation was certified to not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities, and the public may believe the omitted text is already included in the regulations. This change is needed to ensure that the public is aware of the correct recreational harvest limit (quota) and accountability measures for recreationally-caught Gulf red snapper. Pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 553(b)(B), the Assistant Administrator for Fisheries, NOAA, finds good cause to waive prior notice and opportunity for additional public comment for this correcting action because it would be unnecessary and contrary to the public interest. Such procedures are unnecessary because the VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:09 Nov 25, 2015 Jkt 238001 public received notice and an opportunity to comment on the proposed rules for the framework amendment and Amendment 40 and the final rule for Amendment 40 included this regulatory text. This final rule reinstates the regulatory text that was inadvertently omitted from the correcting amendment that published on September 28, 2015 (80 FR 58219). If this final rule was delayed to allow for notice and opportunity for public comment, it could cause confusion because the public believes that the omitted text is already included in the regulations. List of Subjects in 50 CFR Part 622 Commercial, Fisheries, Fishing, Gulf of Mexico, Recreational, Red snapper, Reef fish. Dated: November 23, 2015. Eileen Sobeck, Assistant Administrator for Fisheries, National Marine Fisheries Service. For the reasons set out in the preamble, 50 CFR part 622 is amended as follows: PART 622—FISHERIES OF THE CARIBBEAN, GULF OF MEXICO, AND SOUTH ATLANTIC 74001 (i) The recreational ACL is equal to the total recreational quota specified in § 622.39(a)(2)(i)(A). The AA will determine the length of the red snapper recreational fishing season, or recreational fishing seasons for the Federal charter vessel/headboat and private angling components, based on when recreational landings are projected to reach the recreational ACT, or respective recreational component ACT specified in paragraph (q)(2)(iii) of this section, and announce the closure date(s) in the Federal Register. These seasons will serve as in-season accountability measures. On and after the effective date of the recreational closure or recreational component closure notifications, the bag and possession limit for red snapper or for the respective component is zero. When the recreational sector or Federal charter vessel/headboat component is closed, this bag and possession limit applies in the Gulf on board a vessel for which a valid Federal charter vessel/headboat permit for Gulf reef fish has been issued, without regard to where such species were harvested, i.e., in state or Federal waters. * * * * * [FR Doc. 2015–30194 Filed 11–25–15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510–22–P 1. The authority citation for part 622 continues to read as follows: ■ Authority: 16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq. DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE 2. In § 622.39, add paragraphs (a)(1)(i)(B)(1) and (2) to read as follows: National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration § 622.39 50 CFR Part 622 ■ Quotas. * * * * * (a) * * * (1) * * * (i) * * * (B) * * * (1) NMFS will withhold distribution of 4.9 percent of the 2016 IFQ allocation of red snapper commercial quota on January 1, 2016, totaling 352,000 lb (159,665 kg), round weight, of the 2016 red snapper commercial quota specified in this paragraph (a)(1)(i)(B). (2) As determined by NMFS, remaining 2016 IFQ allocation of red snapper will be distributed to the current shareholders based on their current shares held as of the date of distribution. * * * * * ■ 3. In § 622.41, revise paragraph (q)(2)(i) to read as follows: § 622.41 Annual catch limits (ACLs), annual catch targets (ACTs), and accountability measures (AMs). * * * (q) * * * (2) * * * PO 00000 Frm 00059 * Fmt 4700 * Sfmt 4700 [Docket No. 101206604–1758–02] RIN 0648–XE326 Coastal Migratory Pelagic Resources of the Gulf of Mexico and South Atlantic; 2015–2016 Accountability Measure and Closure for King Mackerel in the Florida West Coast Northern Subzone National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Commerce. ACTION: Temporary rule; closure. AGENCY: NMFS implements an accountability measure (AM) for commercial king mackerel in the Florida west coast northern subzone of the eastern zone of the Gulf of Mexico (Gulf) exclusive economic zone (EEZ) through this temporary final rule. NMFS has determined that the commercial quota for king mackerel in the eastern zone, Florida west coast northern subzone of the Gulf EEZ will be reached by SUMMARY: E:\FR\FM\27NOR1.SGM 27NOR1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 80, Number 228 (Friday, November 27, 2015)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 73999-74001]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2015-30194]


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DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

50 CFR Part 622

[Docket No. 150826781-5999-02]
RIN 0648-BF33, 0648-BE91


Fisheries of the Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico, and South Atlantic; 
Reef Fish Fishery of the Gulf of Mexico; 2016 Red Snapper Commercial 
Quota Retention

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

ACTION: Final rule.

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

SUMMARY: NMFS issues regulations to implement management measures 
described in a framework action to the Fishery Management Plan for the 
Reef Fish Resources of the Gulf of Mexico (FMP), as prepared by the 
Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council (Council). This final rule 
withholds 4.9 percent of the 2016 red snapper commercial quota prior to 
the annual distribution of red snapper allocation to the Individual 
Fishing Quota (IFQ) program shareholders on January 1, 2016. This final 
rule allows the allocations being established through Amendment 28 to 
the FMP (Amendment 28) to be effective for the 2016 fishing year should 
Amendment 28 be approved by the Secretary of Commerce (Secretary) in 
2016. This final rule also makes a technical correction to re-insert 
regulatory text that a previous rulemaking inadvertently omitted, which 
specifies that the recreational annual catch limit (ACL) for red 
snapper is equal to the total recreational quota.

DATES: This rule is effective December 28, 2015.

ADDRESSES: Electronic copies of the framework action, which includes an 
environmental assessment, a regulatory impact review, and a Regulatory 
Flexibility Act (RFA) analysis may be obtained from the Southeast 
Regional Office (SERO) Web site at http://sero.nmfs.noaa.gov/sustainable_fisheries/gulf_fisheries/reef_fish/2015/rs_framework_2016_quota/documents/pdfs/retain_2016_red_snapper_commercial_quota_ea.pdf.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Richard Malinowski, NMFS SERO, 
telephone: 727-824-5305, or email: rich.malinowski@noaa.gov.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The Gulf of Mexico (Gulf) reef fish fishery 
is managed under the FMP. The FMP was prepared by the Council and is 
implemented by NMFS through regulations at 50 CFR part 622 under the 
authority of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management 
Act (Magnuson-Stevens Act).
    On October 19, 2015, NMFS published a proposed rule for the 
framework action and requested public comment (80 FR 63190). The 
proposed rule and the framework action outline the rationale for the 
actions contained in this final rule. A summary of the actions 
implemented by the framework action and this final rule is provided 
below.

Management Measures Contained in This Final Rule

    This final rule withholds 4.9 percent of the 2016 red snapper 
commercial quota, equal to 352,000 lb (159,665 kg), round weight, and 
317,117 lb (143,842 kg), gutted weight, prior to the annual 
distribution of allocation to the IFQ program shareholders on January 
1, 2016. The framework procedures of the FMP include the authority to 
retain a portion of an annual quota in anticipation of future 
regulatory changes during the same fishing year. This final rule allows 
the allocations being

[[Page 74000]]

established through Amendment 28 to be effective for the 2016 fishing 
year should the Secretary approve Amendment 28 in 2016. If NMFS does 
not implement Amendment 28, NMFS will distribute the withheld 4.9 
percent of the 2016 red snapper commercial quota to shareholders based 
on the shares held as of the date of distribution.

Other Changes to the Codified Text

    This final rule fixes an error in Sec.  622.41(q)(2)(i) for the 
recreational sector of Gulf red snapper. This final rule re-inserts a 
sentence of regulatory text originally published in the final rule 
implementing Amendment 40 to the FMP (80 FR 22422, April 22, 2015), 
which specifies that the recreational ACL for red snapper is equal to 
the total recreational quota. The regulatory text was inadvertently 
omitted in a subsequent correcting amendment (80 FR 58219, September 
28, 2015) to a final rule for a framework action that increased the 
commercial and recreational quotas for Gulf red snapper in the 2015, 
2016, and 2017 fishing years (80 FR 24832, May 1, 2015). This final 
rule corrects the error by re-inserting the regulatory text into Sec.  
622.41(q)(2)(i). This action is unrelated to the actions described in 
this framework action.

Comments and Responses

    NMFS received 46 comment submissions from individuals, commercial 
fishermen, and a commercial fishermen's association on the framework 
action and the proposed rule, along with other issues. Many of the 
comments NMFS received were about Amendment 28 and alternative 
management strategies for red snapper, for example, expanding state 
waters and advocating for state rather than Federal management. Such 
comments were beyond the scope of the proposed rule and, therefore, 
have not been addressed in this final rule. The comments that relate to 
the framework action and the proposed rule are summarized and responded 
to below.
    Comment 1: The red snapper commercial quota should not be withheld 
until Amendment 28 is approved and implemented by NMFS. The resulting 
reallocation of the red snapper commercial quota would then apply to 
the 2017 fishing year.
    Response: NMFS disagrees that the commercial quota necessary to 
implement Amendment 28 in the 2016 fishing year should not be withheld. 
The Council approved Amendment 28 for review and implementation in 
August 2015 with the expectation that the revised allocations and 
quotas would be implemented in 2016, if approved by the Secretary. This 
will not be possible unless that portion of the commercial quota is not 
distributed to shareholders on January 1, 2016, the date on which NMFS 
distributes annual red snapper allocation to shareholders. If Amendment 
28 is not approved by the Secretary, the withheld red snapper 
commercial quota will be distributed as soon as possible to the current 
red snapper IFQ shareholders based on their current shares held as of 
the date of distribution.
    Comment 2: Withholding IFQ allocation cannot be accomplished 
through framework procedures. NMFS regulations at 50 CFR 622.42(a) list 
actions that can be established or modified in accordance with the 
framework procedures of the FMP. Withholding IFQ allocation in 
anticipation of reallocation is not one of the described actions that 
can be accomplished by framework procedures. NMFS and the Council are 
not modifying approved framework items such as the red snapper quotas 
or the ACLs through this framework action; that is what Amendment 28 
would do if and when it is approved. NMFS, therefore, lacks authority 
to implement this action using framework procedures.
    Response: NMFS disagrees. The regulations at 50 CFR 622.42(a) refer 
to the framework procedures of the FMP and list quotas as one of the 
management measures that may be modified. The framework procedures for 
the FMP that were established with the Generic ACL and Accountability 
Measures Amendment (76 FR 82044, December 29, 2011; http://sero.nmfs.noaa.gov/sustainable_fisheries/gulf_fisheries/generic/archives/generic_acl_am_amend_sept_2011.pdf) list the regulatory 
changes that may be implemented and expressly include ``retention of 
portion of an annual quota in anticipation of future regulatory changes 
during the same fishing year.'' Thus, this framework action and 
regulations are in accordance with the FMP (as revised through the 
Generic ACL and Accountability Measures Amendment), and regulations at 
50 CFR 622.42(a).
    Comment 3: Reducing each shareholder's allocation of red snapper by 
approximately five percent could reduce access to quota that was leased 
out to the grouper fishery for bycatch coverage. This would result in 
negative biological consequences that are not analyzed in the framework 
action.
    Response: NMFS disagrees. Withholding the red snapper commercial 
quota until a decision to approve or disapprove Amendment 28 is made 
does not restrict the ability of the shareholders to continue to 
contribute to the private quota bank they developed. Any long-term 
impacts on bycatch mortality anticipated from a permanent shift in 
allocation to the recreational sector would be a consequence of 
Amendment 28 and its implementing regulations, not this rule.
    Comment 4: Withholding a portion of an individual's quota 
indefinitely disrupts fishermen's business plans, particularly for 
fishermen who harvest large portions or all of their allocation early 
in the year, leading to inefficiencies in the allocation leasing 
marketplace which would reduce profitability and introduce economic and 
social costs to the IFQ program.
    Response: NMFS disagrees. As stated in the proposed rule for this 
framework action, withholding a portion of the commercial quota may 
result in a reduction in normal total revenue, alteration of the flow 
of receipts, and disruption of normal business operation, consistent 
with the comment. These effects, however, are expected to be minor 
because of the small amount of quota withheld (4.9 percent) and the 
likely short timeframe during which withholding occurs. Thus, the full 
value of the quota being withheld would not be lost. Because red 
snapper commercial harvest occurs throughout the year, and is not 
subject to ``race to fish'' (derby) conditions, withholding this small 
portion is not expected to severely limit the availability of 
allocation for purchase or trade early in the year, nor result in a 
market glut if allocation is subsequently returned to shareholders. 
This action only applies to the 2016 fishing year. As a result, the 
economic and social consequences are of limited scope and duration and 
are not expected to harm individual businesses or the industry beyond 
as already described. If Amendment 28 is approved by the Secretary of 
Commerce and the quota is not returned to shareholders, this would be a 
consequence of the rule for Amendment 28 and not this current framework 
action and final rule.

Classification

    The Regional Administrator, Southeast Region, NMFS has determined 
that this final rule is consistent with the framework action, the FMP, 
the Magnuson-Stevens Act, and other applicable law.
    This final rule has been determined to be not significant for 
purposes of Executive Order 12866.
    The Magnuson-Stevens Act provides the statutory basis for this 
rule. No duplicative, overlapping, or conflicting

[[Page 74001]]

Federal rules have been identified. In addition, no new reporting, 
record-keeping, or other compliance requirements are introduced by this 
final rule.
    The Chief Counsel for Regulation of the Department of Commerce 
(DOC) certified to the Chief Counsel for advocacy of the Small Business 
Administration (SBA) during the proposed rule stage that this action 
would not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of 
small entities. The factual basis for this determination was published 
in the proposed rule and is not repeated here. NMFS received no 
significant comments regarding the certification. However, one general 
comment on the expected economic effects of this rule is addressed in 
the Comments and Response section of this rule. As a result, a final 
regulatory flexibility analysis was not required and was not prepared.
    As discussed in the background section of this final rule, this 
rule also re-inserts a sentence of regulatory text originally published 
in the final rule implementing Amendment 40 (80 FR 22422, April 22, 
2015). The regulatory text was inadvertently omitted in a subsequent 
correcting amendment (80 FR 58219, September 28, 2015) to a final rule 
that implemented a framework amendment for red snapper in the Gulf reef 
fish fishery (80 FR 24832, May 1, 2015). The DOC Chief Counsel for 
Regulation certified to the Chief Counsel for advocacy of the SBA that 
the final rules implementing both Amendment 40 and the framework 
amendment would not have a significant economic impact on a substantial 
number of small entities. The re-insertion of this regulatory text is 
not expected to have direct adverse economic effects on a substantial 
number of small entities because it is an administrative correcting 
action. The final rule that originally published the regulation was 
certified to not have a significant economic impact on a substantial 
number of small entities, and the public may believe the omitted text 
is already included in the regulations. This change is needed to ensure 
that the public is aware of the correct recreational harvest limit 
(quota) and accountability measures for recreationally-caught Gulf red 
snapper.
    Pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 553(b)(B), the Assistant Administrator for 
Fisheries, NOAA, finds good cause to waive prior notice and opportunity 
for additional public comment for this correcting action because it 
would be unnecessary and contrary to the public interest. Such 
procedures are unnecessary because the public received notice and an 
opportunity to comment on the proposed rules for the framework 
amendment and Amendment 40 and the final rule for Amendment 40 included 
this regulatory text. This final rule reinstates the regulatory text 
that was inadvertently omitted from the correcting amendment that 
published on September 28, 2015 (80 FR 58219). If this final rule was 
delayed to allow for notice and opportunity for public comment, it 
could cause confusion because the public believes that the omitted text 
is already included in the regulations.

List of Subjects in 50 CFR Part 622

    Commercial, Fisheries, Fishing, Gulf of Mexico, Recreational, Red 
snapper, Reef fish.

    Dated: November 23, 2015.
Eileen Sobeck,
Assistant Administrator for Fisheries, National Marine Fisheries 
Service.

    For the reasons set out in the preamble, 50 CFR part 622 is 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.


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2. In Sec.  622.39, add paragraphs (a)(1)(i)(B)(1) and (2) to read as 
follows:


Sec.  622.39  Quotas.

* * * * *
    (a) * * *
    (1) * * *
    (i) * * *
    (B) * * *
    (1) NMFS will withhold distribution of 4.9 percent of the 2016 IFQ 
allocation of red snapper commercial quota on January 1, 2016, totaling 
352,000 lb (159,665 kg), round weight, of the 2016 red snapper 
commercial quota specified in this paragraph (a)(1)(i)(B).
    (2) As determined by NMFS, remaining 2016 IFQ allocation of red 
snapper will be distributed to the current shareholders based on their 
current shares held as of the date of distribution.
* * * * *

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3. In Sec.  622.41, revise paragraph (q)(2)(i) to read as follows:


Sec.  622.41  Annual catch limits (ACLs), annual catch targets (ACTs), 
and accountability measures (AMs).

* * * * *
    (q) * * *
    (2) * * *
    (i) The recreational ACL is equal to the total recreational quota 
specified in Sec.  622.39(a)(2)(i)(A). The AA will determine the length 
of the red snapper recreational fishing season, or recreational fishing 
seasons for the Federal charter vessel/headboat and private angling 
components, based on when recreational landings are projected to reach 
the recreational ACT, or respective recreational component ACT 
specified in paragraph (q)(2)(iii) of this section, and announce the 
closure date(s) in the Federal Register. These seasons will serve as 
in-season accountability measures. On and after the effective date of 
the recreational closure or recreational component closure 
notifications, the bag and possession limit for red snapper or for the 
respective component is zero. When the recreational sector or Federal 
charter vessel/headboat component is closed, this bag and possession 
limit applies in the Gulf on board a vessel for which a valid Federal 
charter vessel/headboat permit for Gulf reef fish has been issued, 
without regard to where such species were harvested, i.e., in state or 
Federal waters.
* * * * *
[FR Doc. 2015-30194 Filed 11-25-15; 8:45 am]
 BILLING CODE 3510-22-P