Control Date for Trawl Groundfish Fisheries in the Aleutian Islands, 74744-74745 [2015-30302]

Download as PDF 74744 Federal Register / Vol. 80, No. 229 / Monday, November 30, 2015 / Proposed Rules For information about the meetings, contact Cheryl Whetsel by phone at 202–366– 4431 or by email at cheryl.whetsel@ dot.gov or for technical contents about the proposed rule contact Mike Israni by phone at 202–366–4595 or by email at mike.israni@dot.gov. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: I. Meeting Details Members of the public may attend and make a statement during the advisory committee meetings. For a better chance to speak at the meetings, please contact the individual listed under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT by December 1, 2015. jstallworth on DSK7TPTVN1PROD with PROPOSALS II. Committee Background The GPAC is a statutorily mandated committee that advises PHMSA on proposed safety standards, risks assessments, and safety policies for natural gas pipelines. The committee falls under the Federal Advisory Committee Act (Pub. L. 92–463, 5 U.S.C. App. 1) and is mandated by the pipeline safety law (49 U.S.C. Chap. 601). The committee consists of 15 members— with membership evenly divided among the federal and state government, the regulated industry, and the public. The committee advises PHMSA on technical feasibility, practicability, and costeffectiveness of each proposed pipeline safety standard. PHMSA staff may also provide an update on several regulatory and policy initiatives if time allows. III. Preliminary Agenda The agenda will include the committee’s discussion and vote on the proposed rule, ‘‘Pipeline Safety: Expanding the Use of Excess Flow Valves in Gas Distribution Systems to Applications Other Than Single-Family Residences’’ published in the Federal Register on July 15, 2015 (80 FR 41460) and on the associated regulatory analysis and environmental assessment. The NPRM proposes to expand requirements for the use of excess flow valves beyond certain single-family homes to include additional homes and small commercial natural gas customers. Further, the NPRM proposes that manual service line shut-off valves (e.g., curb valves) be installed on new or replaced service lines servicing customers that use large quantities of natural gas, such as industrial facilities. Excess flow valves or curb valves are used in natural gas distribution pipelines to restrict the flow of gas if a line is broken or damaged, limiting the impact of a leak or explosion.’’ An informational presentation on EFVs was given to the advisory committee at a VerDate Sep<11>2014 15:18 Nov 27, 2015 Jkt 238001 meeting held on August 26, 2015. The presentation (day 2, agenda item 8b) may be found on the Web site: http:// www.phmsa.dot.gov/pipeline/regs/ technical-advisory-comm/meeting/ august-25-and-26-2015-joint-meetinggas-and-liquid. Issued in Washington, DC, on November 23, 2015, under authority delegated in 49 CFR 1.97. Alan K. Mayberry, Deputy Associate Administrator for Policy and Programs. [FR Doc. 2015–30208 Filed 11–27–15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910–60–P DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration 50 CFR Part 679 [Docket No. 151029999–5999–01] RIN 0648–BF50 Control Date for Trawl Groundfish Fisheries in the Aleutian Islands National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Commerce. ACTION: Advance notice of proposed rulemaking (ANPR); control date. AGENCY: At the request of the North Pacific Fishery Management Council (Council), this document announces a control date of December 31, 2015, that may be used as a reference date for a future management action to limit future access to the offshore sector of the trawl groundfish fisheries in the Aleutian Islands. This date corresponds to the end of the 2015 fishing season in these fisheries. In October 2015, the Council announced its intent to evaluate participation and effort in the offshore sector of the trawl groundfish fisheries in the Aleutian Islands fisheries in response to a public request to consider further limits on access to the fisheries. This document is intended to promote awareness of possible rulemaking and provide notice to the public that any participation in the offshore sector of the trawl groundfish fisheries in the Aleutian Islands after the control date may not ensure continued access to those fisheries under a future management action. This document is also intended to discourage speculative entry into the fisheries while the Council considers whether and how access to the fisheries may be further limited under a future management action. SUMMARY: PO 00000 Frm 00030 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 December 31, 2015, shall be known as the control date for the offshore sector of the trawl groundfish fisheries in the Aleutian Islands and may be used as a reference date for participation in a future management action that is consistent with the Council’s objectives and applicable Federal laws. ADDRESSES: Please consult the Council’s Web site at http://www.npfmc.org/ for information on public participation in the Council’s decision-making process. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Rachel Baker: 907–586–7228 or rachel.baker@noaa.gov. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: NMFS manages the groundfish fisheries in the U.S. exclusive economic zone (EEZ) of the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands (BSAI) under the Fishery Management Plan for Groundfish of the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Management Area (FMP). The Council prepared, and NMFS approved, the FMP under the authority of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (Magnuson-Stevens Act), 16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq. Regulations governing U.S. fisheries and implementing the FMP appear at 50 CFR parts 600 and 679. This advance notice of proposed rulemaking would apply to owners and operators of vessels that participate in Federal groundfish fisheries with trawl gear in the Aleutian Islands subarea (AI). The AI is defined at § 679.2 and shown in Figure 1 to 50 CFR part 679. Vessels that participate in the AI trawl groundfish fisheries harvest Pacific cod, Atka mackerel, and Pacific Ocean perch. Vessels that participate in the offshore sector of the AI trawl groundfish fisheries include catcher vessels, catcher/processors, and motherships. Catcher vessels participate in the offshore sector by delivering groundfish to catcher/processors or motherships for processing. Catcher/processors participate in the offshore sector by catching and processing groundfish or by receiving and processing deliveries of groundfish from catcher vessels. Motherships participate in the offshore sector by receiving and processing deliveries of groundfish from catcher vessels. This advance notice of proposed rulemaking would not apply to owners and operators of trawl catcher vessels that participate in the inshore sector of the BSAI trawl groundfish fisheries (i.e., vessels that deliver groundfish to shoreside processors rather than to catcher/processors or motherships). The Council and NMFS annually establish biological thresholds and annual total allowable catch limits for DATES: E:\FR\FM\30NOP1.SGM 30NOP1 Federal Register / Vol. 80, No. 229 / Monday, November 30, 2015 / Proposed Rules jstallworth on DSK7TPTVN1PROD with PROPOSALS groundfish species to sustainably manage the groundfish fisheries in the AI. To achieve these objectives, NMFS requires vessel operators participating in AI groundfish fisheries to comply with various regulatory restrictions, such as fishery closures, to maintain catch within specified total allowable catch limits. The Council and NMFS have long sought to control fishing effort in the North Pacific Ocean to ensure that fisheries are conservatively managed and do not exceed established biological thresholds. One of the measures used by the Council and NMFS is the license limitation program (LLP), which limits access to the groundfish, crab, and scallop fisheries in the BSAI and the Gulf of Alaska. The LLP is intended to limit entry into federally managed fisheries. For groundfish, the LLP requires that persons hold and assign a license to each vessel that is used to fish in federally managed fisheries, with some limited exemptions. The preamble to the final rule implementing the groundfish LLP provides a more detailed explanation of the rationale for specific provisions in the LLP (October 1, 1998; 63 FR 52642). In October 2015, the Council received public testimony from participants in the offshore sector of the AI trawl groundfish fisheries. These participants VerDate Sep<11>2014 15:18 Nov 27, 2015 Jkt 238001 indicated that new vessels have entered the fisheries in recent years. The testimony indicated that this new entry may negatively impact the ability of historical participants to maintain groundfish harvests in the AI. After considering this public testimony, the Council stated its intent to evaluate methods for further limiting access to the offshore sector of the AI trawl groundfish fisheries in a future management action. To dampen the effect of speculative entry into the offshore sector of the AI trawl groundfish fisheries in anticipation of potential future action to limit access to the fisheries, the Council announced a control date of December 31, 2015. The control date may be used as a reference date for a future management action to further limit access to the offshore sector of the AI trawl groundfish fisheries. The Council clarified that the control date would not obligate the Council to use this control date in any future management action. Further, the control date would not obligate the Council to take any action or prevent the Council from selecting another control date. Accordingly, this document is intended to promote awareness that the Council may develop a future management action to achieve its objectives for the offshore sector of the AI trawl groundfish fisheries; to PO 00000 Frm 00031 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 9990 74745 provide notice to the public that any current or future access to the offshore sector of the AI trawl groundfish fisheries may be affected or restricted; and to discourage speculative participation and behavior in the fisheries while the Council considers whether to initiate a management action to further limit access to the fisheries. Any measures the Council considers may require changes to the FMP. Such measures may be adopted in a future amendment to the FMP, which would include opportunity for further public participation and comment. NMFS encourages public participation in the Council’s consideration of a management action to further limit access to the offshore sector of the AI trawl groundfish fisheries. Please consult the Council’s Web site at http://www.npfmc.org/ for information on public participation in the Council’s decision-making process. This notification and control date do not impose any legal obligations, requirements, or expectations. Authority: 16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq. Dated: November 24, 2015. Eileen Sobeck, Assistant Administrator for Fisheries, National Marine Fisheries Service. [FR Doc. 2015–30302 Filed 11–27–15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510–22–P E:\FR\FM\30NOP1.SGM 30NOP1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 80, Number 229 (Monday, November 30, 2015)]
[Proposed Rules]
[Pages 74744-74745]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2015-30302]


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DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

50 CFR Part 679

[Docket No. 151029999-5999-01]
RIN 0648-BF50


Control Date for Trawl Groundfish Fisheries in the Aleutian 
Islands

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

ACTION: Advance notice of proposed rulemaking (ANPR); control date.

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SUMMARY: At the request of the North Pacific Fishery Management Council 
(Council), this document announces a control date of December 31, 2015, 
that may be used as a reference date for a future management action to 
limit future access to the offshore sector of the trawl groundfish 
fisheries in the Aleutian Islands. This date corresponds to the end of 
the 2015 fishing season in these fisheries. In October 2015, the 
Council announced its intent to evaluate participation and effort in 
the offshore sector of the trawl groundfish fisheries in the Aleutian 
Islands fisheries in response to a public request to consider further 
limits on access to the fisheries. This document is intended to promote 
awareness of possible rulemaking and provide notice to the public that 
any participation in the offshore sector of the trawl groundfish 
fisheries in the Aleutian Islands after the control date may not ensure 
continued access to those fisheries under a future management action. 
This document is also intended to discourage speculative entry into the 
fisheries while the Council considers whether and how access to the 
fisheries may be further limited under a future management action.

DATES: December 31, 2015, shall be known as the control date for the 
offshore sector of the trawl groundfish fisheries in the Aleutian 
Islands and may be used as a reference date for participation in a 
future management action that is consistent with the Council's 
objectives and applicable Federal laws.

ADDRESSES: Please consult the Council's Web site at http://www.npfmc.org/ for information on public participation in the Council's 
decision-making process.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Rachel Baker: 907-586-7228 or 
rachel.baker@noaa.gov.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: NMFS manages the groundfish fisheries in the 
U.S. exclusive economic zone (EEZ) of the Bering Sea and Aleutian 
Islands (BSAI) under the Fishery Management Plan for Groundfish of the 
Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Management Area (FMP). The Council 
prepared, and NMFS approved, the FMP under the authority of the 
Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (Magnuson-
Stevens Act), 16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq. Regulations governing U.S. 
fisheries and implementing the FMP appear at 50 CFR parts 600 and 679.
    This advance notice of proposed rulemaking would apply to owners 
and operators of vessels that participate in Federal groundfish 
fisheries with trawl gear in the Aleutian Islands subarea (AI). The AI 
is defined at Sec.  679.2 and shown in Figure 1 to 50 CFR part 679. 
Vessels that participate in the AI trawl groundfish fisheries harvest 
Pacific cod, Atka mackerel, and Pacific Ocean perch.
    Vessels that participate in the offshore sector of the AI trawl 
groundfish fisheries include catcher vessels, catcher/processors, and 
motherships. Catcher vessels participate in the offshore sector by 
delivering groundfish to catcher/processors or motherships for 
processing. Catcher/processors participate in the offshore sector by 
catching and processing groundfish or by receiving and processing 
deliveries of groundfish from catcher vessels. Motherships participate 
in the offshore sector by receiving and processing deliveries of 
groundfish from catcher vessels. This advance notice of proposed 
rulemaking would not apply to owners and operators of trawl catcher 
vessels that participate in the inshore sector of the BSAI trawl 
groundfish fisheries (i.e., vessels that deliver groundfish to 
shoreside processors rather than to catcher/processors or motherships).
    The Council and NMFS annually establish biological thresholds and 
annual total allowable catch limits for

[[Page 74745]]

groundfish species to sustainably manage the groundfish fisheries in 
the AI. To achieve these objectives, NMFS requires vessel operators 
participating in AI groundfish fisheries to comply with various 
regulatory restrictions, such as fishery closures, to maintain catch 
within specified total allowable catch limits.
    The Council and NMFS have long sought to control fishing effort in 
the North Pacific Ocean to ensure that fisheries are conservatively 
managed and do not exceed established biological thresholds. One of the 
measures used by the Council and NMFS is the license limitation program 
(LLP), which limits access to the groundfish, crab, and scallop 
fisheries in the BSAI and the Gulf of Alaska. The LLP is intended to 
limit entry into federally managed fisheries. For groundfish, the LLP 
requires that persons hold and assign a license to each vessel that is 
used to fish in federally managed fisheries, with some limited 
exemptions. The preamble to the final rule implementing the groundfish 
LLP provides a more detailed explanation of the rationale for specific 
provisions in the LLP (October 1, 1998; 63 FR 52642).
    In October 2015, the Council received public testimony from 
participants in the offshore sector of the AI trawl groundfish 
fisheries. These participants indicated that new vessels have entered 
the fisheries in recent years. The testimony indicated that this new 
entry may negatively impact the ability of historical participants to 
maintain groundfish harvests in the AI. After considering this public 
testimony, the Council stated its intent to evaluate methods for 
further limiting access to the offshore sector of the AI trawl 
groundfish fisheries in a future management action. To dampen the 
effect of speculative entry into the offshore sector of the AI trawl 
groundfish fisheries in anticipation of potential future action to 
limit access to the fisheries, the Council announced a control date of 
December 31, 2015. The control date may be used as a reference date for 
a future management action to further limit access to the offshore 
sector of the AI trawl groundfish fisheries. The Council clarified that 
the control date would not obligate the Council to use this control 
date in any future management action. Further, the control date would 
not obligate the Council to take any action or prevent the Council from 
selecting another control date. Accordingly, this document is intended 
to promote awareness that the Council may develop a future management 
action to achieve its objectives for the offshore sector of the AI 
trawl groundfish fisheries; to provide notice to the public that any 
current or future access to the offshore sector of the AI trawl 
groundfish fisheries may be affected or restricted; and to discourage 
speculative participation and behavior in the fisheries while the 
Council considers whether to initiate a management action to further 
limit access to the fisheries. Any measures the Council considers may 
require changes to the FMP. Such measures may be adopted in a future 
amendment to the FMP, which would include opportunity for further 
public participation and comment.
    NMFS encourages public participation in the Council's consideration 
of a management action to further limit access to the offshore sector 
of the AI trawl groundfish fisheries. Please consult the Council's Web 
site at http://www.npfmc.org/ for information on public participation 
in the Council's decision-making process.
    This notification and control date do not impose any legal 
obligations, requirements, or expectations.

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

     Dated: November 24, 2015.
Eileen Sobeck,
Assistant Administrator for Fisheries, National Marine Fisheries 
Service.
[FR Doc. 2015-30302 Filed 11-27-15; 8:45 am]
 BILLING CODE 3510-22-P