Atlantic Highly Migratory Species; Commercial Non-Blacknose Small Coastal Sharks in the Gulf of Mexico Region, 75436-75437 [2015-30540]

Download as PDF 75436 Federal Register / Vol. 80, No. 231 / Wednesday, December 2, 2015 / Rules and Regulations List of Subjects in 50 CFR Part 622 Commercial, Fisheries, Fishing, Greater amberjack, Gulf, Recreational, Reef fish. round weight. The recreational ACT for gray triggerfish is 217,100 lb (98,475 kg), round weight. * * * * * Dated: November 25, 2015. Eileen Sobeck, Assistant Administrator for Fisheries, National Marine Fisheries Service. ■ 5. In § 622.43, revise paragraph (a) to read as follows: § 622.43 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 1. The authority citation for part 622 continues to read as follows: ■ Commercial trip limits. * * * * * (a) Gulf greater amberjack. Until the quota specified in § 622.39(a)(1)(v) is reached, 1,500 lb (680 kg), gutted weight; 1,560 lb (708 kg), round weight. See § 622.39(b) for the limitations regarding greater amberjack after the quota is reached. * * * * * [FR Doc. 2015–30543 Filed 12–1–15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510–22–P Authority: 16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq. 2. In § 622.37, revise paragraph (c)(4) to read as follows: ■ § 622.37 Size limits. * * * * * (c) * * * (4) Greater amberjack—34 inches (86.4 cm), fork length, for a fish taken by a person subject to the bag limit specified in § 622.38(b)(1) and 36 inches (91.4 cm), fork length, for a fish taken by a person not subject to the bag limit. * * * * * ■ 3. In § 622.39, revise paragraphs (a)(1)(v) and (a)(2)(ii) to read as follows: § 622.39 * * * * (a) * * * (1) * * * (v) Greater amberjack—394,740 lb (179,051 kg), round weight. * * * * * (2) * * * (ii) Recreational quota for greater amberjack. The recreational quota for greater amberjack is 1,092,372 lb (495,492 kg), round weight. * * * * * ■ 4. In § 622.41, revise paragraphs (a)(1)(iii), (a)(2)(iii), and (b)(2)(iii) to read as follows: [Docket No. 140429387–4971–02] RIN 0648–XE334 Atlantic Highly Migratory Species; Commercial Non-Blacknose Small Coastal Sharks in the Gulf of Mexico Region NMFS is closing the fishery for commercial non-blacknose small coastal sharks (SCS) in the Gulf of Mexico region. This action is necessary because the commercial landings of Gulf of Mexico non-blacknose SCS for the 2015 fishing season are projected to exceed 80 percent of the available commercial quota as of November 27, 2015. SUMMARY: (a) * * * (1) * * * (iii) The commercial ACL for greater amberjack is 464,400 lb (210,648 kg), round weight. (2) * * * (iii) The recreational ACL for greater amberjack is 1,255,600 lb (569,531 kg), round weight. (b) * * * (2) * * * (iii) The recreational ACL for gray triggerfish is 241,200 lb (109,406 kg), Jkt 238001 The commercial fishery for nonblacknose SCS in the Gulf of Mexico region is closed effective 11:30 p.m. local time December 5, 2015, until the end of the 2015 fishing season on December 31, 2015, and will reopen on January 1, 2016. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Guy DuBeck or Karyl Brewster-Geisz 301– 427–8503; fax 301–713–1917. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico shark fisheries are managed under the 2006 Consolidated Highly Migratory Species (HMS) Fishery Management Plan (FMP), its amendments, and its implementing DATES: § 622.41 Annual catch limits (ACLs), annual catch targets (ACTs), and accountability measures (AMs). jstallworth on DSK7TPTVN1PROD with RULES 50 CFR Part 635 National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Commerce. ACTION: Temporary rule; closure. * 13:21 Dec 01, 2015 National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration AGENCY: Quotas. VerDate Sep<11>2014 DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE PO 00000 Frm 00018 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 regulations (50 CFR part 635) issued under authority of the MagnusonStevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq.). Under § 635.5(b)(1), dealers must report weekly on sharks they first receive from vessels through a NMFSapproved electronic reporting system. Under § 635.28(b)(2), when NMFS calculates that the landings for any species and/or management group with a ‘‘non-linked’’ quota has reached or is projected to reach 80 percent of the available quota, NMFS will file for publication with the Office of the Federal Register a notice of closure that will be effective no fewer than 5 days from date of filing. From the effective date and time of the closure until and if NMFS announces, via a notification in the Federal Register, that additional quota is available and the season is reopened, the fisheries remain closed, even across fishing years. On December 2, 2014 (79 FR 71331), NMFS announced that the 2015 commercial Gulf of Mexico nonblacknose SCS quota was 45.5 metric tons (mt) dressed weight (dw) (100,317 lb dw), while and the blacknose shark quota was 1.8 mt dw (4,076 lb dw). Dealer reports received through June 26, 2015, indicated that 36.9 mt dw or 81 percent of the available Gulf of Mexico non-blacknose SCS quota had been landed and 1.0 mt dw or 52 percent of the available Gulf of Mexico blacknose shark quota had been landed. Since the dealer landings of non-blacknose SCS exceeded 80 percent of the quota, and the non-blacknose SCS and blacknose shark fisheries were quota-linked, NMFS closed the blacknose shark and non-blacknose SCS fisheries on July 4, 2015 (80 FR 38016; July 2, 2016). On August 18, 2015 (80 FR 50073), NMFS published the final rule for Amendment 6 to the 2006 Consolidated HMS FMP which, among other things, established a new Gulf of Mexico nonblacknose SCS commercial quota of 112.6 mt dw (248,215 lb dw), prohibited the retention of blacknose sharks in the Gulf of Mexico, and removed the quota linkage between the blacknose shark fishery and the non-blacknose SCS commercial fishery. At that time, NMFS estimated that approximately 66.4 mt dw of the new Gulf of Mexico nonblacknose SCS commercial quota was available and re-opened the Gulf of Mexico non-blacknose SCS commercial fishery. Dealer reports received through November 20, 2015, indicated that a total of 89.4 mt dw or 79 percent of the available Gulf of Mexico non-blacknose SCS commercial quota had been landed. Based on these dealer reports, NMFS E:\FR\FM\02DER1.SGM 02DER1 jstallworth on DSK7TPTVN1PROD with RULES Federal Register / Vol. 80, No. 231 / Wednesday, December 2, 2015 / Rules and Regulations estimates that the 80 percent limit specified for closure will be exceeded by November 27, 2015. Accordingly, NMFS is closing the commercial nonblacknose SCS management group in the Gulf of Mexico region as of 11:30 p.m. local time December 5, 2015. The only shark species or management groups that remain open in the Gulf of Mexico region are the research large coastal sharks, sandbar sharks within the shark research fishery, the blue shark, and pelagic sharks other than porbeagle or blue shark management groups. At § 635.27(b)(1), the boundary between the Gulf of Mexico region and the Atlantic region is defined as a line beginning on the East Coast of Florida at the mainland at 25°20.4′ N. latitude, proceeding due east. Any water and land to the south and west of that boundary is considered, for the purposes of monitoring and setting quotas, to be within the Gulf of Mexico region. During the closure, retention of nonblacknose SCS in the Gulf of Mexico region is prohibited for persons fishing aboard vessels issued a commercial shark limited access permit (LAP) under § 635.4. However, persons aboard a commercially permitted vessel that is also properly permitted to operate as a charter vessel or headboat for HMS and is engaged in a for-hire trip could fish under the recreational retention limits for sharks and ‘‘no sale’’ provisions (§ 635.22(a) and (c)). During this closure, a shark dealer issued a permit pursuant to § 635.4 may not purchase or receive non-blacknose SCS in the Gulf of Mexico region from a vessel issued a shark LAP, except that a permitted shark dealer or processor may possess non-blacknose SCS in the Gulf of Mexico region that were harvested, off-loaded, and sold, traded, or bartered prior to the effective date of the closure and were held in storage consistent with § 635.28(b)(6). Similarly, a shark dealer issued a permit pursuant to § 635.4 may, in accordance with relevant state regulations, purchase or receive non-blacknose SCS in the Gulf of Mexico region if the sharks were harvested, off-loaded, and sold, traded, or bartered from a vessel that fishes only in state waters and that has not been issued a shark LAP, HMS Angling permit, or HMS Charter/Headboat permit pursuant to § 635.4. Classification Pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 553(b)(B), the Assistant Administrator for Fisheries, VerDate Sep<11>2014 13:21 Dec 01, 2015 Jkt 238001 NOAA (AA), finds that providing prior notice and public comment for this action is impracticable and contrary to the public interest because the fisheries are currently underway and any delay in this action would result in overharvest of the Gulf of Mexico nonblacknose SCS quota and be inconsistent with management requirements and objectives. Similarly, affording prior notice and opportunity for public comment on this action is contrary to the public interest because if the quota is exceeded, the stock may be negatively affected and fishermen ultimately could experience reductions in the available quota and a lack of fishing opportunities in future seasons. For these reasons, the AA also finds good cause to waive the 30-day delay in effective date pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 553(d)(3). This action is required under § 635.28(b)(2) and is exempt from review under Executive Order 12866. Authority: 16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq. Dated: November 27, 2015. Emily H. Menashes, Acting Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine Fisheries Service. [FR Doc. 2015–30540 Filed 11–30–15; 4:15 pm] BILLING CODE 3510–22–P DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration 50 CFR Part 665 RIN 0648–XD998 Pacific Island Pelagic Fisheries; 2015 U.S. Territorial Longline Bigeye Tuna Catch Limits for Guam National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Commerce. ACTION: Announcement of a valid specified fishing agreement. AGENCY: NMFS announces a valid specified fishing agreement that allocates 1,000 mt of the 2015 Guam bigeye tuna limit to U.S. longline fishing vessels. The agreement supports the long-term sustainability of fishery resources of the U.S. Pacific Islands. DATES: November 27, 2015. ADDRESSES: Copies of the environmental assessment and finding of no significant impact for this action, identified by NOAA–NMFS–2015–0077, are available from www.regulations.gov, or from SUMMARY: PO 00000 Frm 00019 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 9990 75437 Michael D. Tosatto, Regional Administrator, NMFS Pacific Islands Region (PIR), 1845 Wasp Blvd., Bldg. 176, Honolulu, HI 96818. Copies of the fishery ecosystem plans are available from the Western Pacific Fishery Management Council (Council), 1164 Bishop St., Suite 1400, Honolulu, HI 96813, tel 808–522–8220, fax 808– 522–8226, or www.wpcouncil.org. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Jarad Makaiau, NMFS PIRO Sustainable Fisheries, 808–725–5176. In a final rule published on November 6, 2015, NMFS specified a 2015 limit of 2,000 metric tons (mt) of longline-caught bigeye tuna for Guam (80 FR 68778). Of the 2,000 mt, NMFS allows the territory to allocate up to 1,000 mt to U.S. longline fishing vessels identified in a specified fishing agreement that meets established criteria. On November 25, 2015, NMFS received from the Western Pacific Fishery Management Council a specified fishing agreement between the Government of Guam and Quota Management, Inc. (QMI). In the transmittal memorandum, the Council’s Executive Director noted that the specified fishing agreement was consistent with the criteria set forth in 50 CFR 665.819(c)(1). NMFS reviewed the agreement and determined that it is consistent with the Fishery Ecosystem Plan for Pelagic Fisheries of the Western Pacific Region, the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act, implementing regulations, and other applicable laws. In accordance with 50 CFR 300.224(d) and 50 CFR 665.819(c)(9), vessels identified in the agreement may retain and land bigeye tuna in the western and central Pacific Ocean under the Guam limit. NMFS began attributing bigeye tuna caught by vessels identified in the agreement to Guam starting on November 25, 2015. If and when NMFS determines the fishery will reach the 1,000 mt attribution limit, we will restrict harvest of bigeye tuna caught by vessels identified in the agreement. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Authority: 16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq. Dated: November 27, 2015. Emily H. Menashes, Acting Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine Fisheries Service. [FR Doc. 2015–30544 Filed 11–27–15; 4:15 pm] BILLING CODE 3510–22–P E:\FR\FM\02DER1.SGM 02DER1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 80, Number 231 (Wednesday, December 2, 2015)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 75436-75437]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2015-30540]


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

DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

50 CFR Part 635

[Docket No. 140429387-4971-02]
RIN 0648-XE334


Atlantic Highly Migratory Species; Commercial Non-Blacknose Small 
Coastal Sharks in the Gulf of Mexico Region

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

ACTION: Temporary rule; closure.

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

SUMMARY: NMFS is closing the fishery for commercial non-blacknose small 
coastal sharks (SCS) in the Gulf of Mexico region. This action is 
necessary because the commercial landings of Gulf of Mexico non-
blacknose SCS for the 2015 fishing season are projected to exceed 80 
percent of the available commercial quota as of November 27, 2015.

DATES: The commercial fishery for non-blacknose SCS in the Gulf of 
Mexico region is closed effective 11:30 p.m. local time December 5, 
2015, until the end of the 2015 fishing season on December 31, 2015, 
and will reopen on January 1, 2016.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Guy DuBeck or Karyl Brewster-Geisz 
301-427-8503; fax 301-713-1917.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico shark 
fisheries are managed under the 2006 Consolidated Highly Migratory 
Species (HMS) Fishery Management Plan (FMP), its amendments, and its 
implementing regulations (50 CFR part 635) issued under authority of 
the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (16 U.S.C. 
1801 et seq.).
    Under Sec.  635.5(b)(1), dealers must report weekly on sharks they 
first receive from vessels through a NMFS-approved electronic reporting 
system. Under Sec.  635.28(b)(2), when NMFS calculates that the 
landings for any species and/or management group with a ``non-linked'' 
quota has reached or is projected to reach 80 percent of the available 
quota, NMFS will file for publication with the Office of the Federal 
Register a notice of closure that will be effective no fewer than 5 
days from date of filing. From the effective date and time of the 
closure until and if NMFS announces, via a notification in the Federal 
Register, that additional quota is available and the season is 
reopened, the fisheries remain closed, even across fishing years.
    On December 2, 2014 (79 FR 71331), NMFS announced that the 2015 
commercial Gulf of Mexico non-blacknose SCS quota was 45.5 metric tons 
(mt) dressed weight (dw) (100,317 lb dw), while and the blacknose shark 
quota was 1.8 mt dw (4,076 lb dw). Dealer reports received through June 
26, 2015, indicated that 36.9 mt dw or 81 percent of the available Gulf 
of Mexico non-blacknose SCS quota had been landed and 1.0 mt dw or 52 
percent of the available Gulf of Mexico blacknose shark quota had been 
landed. Since the dealer landings of non-blacknose SCS exceeded 80 
percent of the quota, and the non-blacknose SCS and blacknose shark 
fisheries were quota-linked, NMFS closed the blacknose shark and non-
blacknose SCS fisheries on July 4, 2015 (80 FR 38016; July 2, 2016).
    On August 18, 2015 (80 FR 50073), NMFS published the final rule for 
Amendment 6 to the 2006 Consolidated HMS FMP which, among other things, 
established a new Gulf of Mexico non-blacknose SCS commercial quota of 
112.6 mt dw (248,215 lb dw), prohibited the retention of blacknose 
sharks in the Gulf of Mexico, and removed the quota linkage between the 
blacknose shark fishery and the non-blacknose SCS commercial fishery. 
At that time, NMFS estimated that approximately 66.4 mt dw of the new 
Gulf of Mexico non-blacknose SCS commercial quota was available and re-
opened the Gulf of Mexico non-blacknose SCS commercial fishery. Dealer 
reports received through November 20, 2015, indicated that a total of 
89.4 mt dw or 79 percent of the available Gulf of Mexico non-blacknose 
SCS commercial quota had been landed. Based on these dealer reports, 
NMFS

[[Page 75437]]

estimates that the 80 percent limit specified for closure will be 
exceeded by November 27, 2015. Accordingly, NMFS is closing the 
commercial non-blacknose SCS management group in the Gulf of Mexico 
region as of 11:30 p.m. local time December 5, 2015. The only shark 
species or management groups that remain open in the Gulf of Mexico 
region are the research large coastal sharks, sandbar sharks within the 
shark research fishery, the blue shark, and pelagic sharks other than 
porbeagle or blue shark management groups.
    At Sec.  635.27(b)(1), the boundary between the Gulf of Mexico 
region and the Atlantic region is defined as a line beginning on the 
East Coast of Florida at the mainland at 25[deg]20.4' N. latitude, 
proceeding due east. Any water and land to the south and west of that 
boundary is considered, for the purposes of monitoring and setting 
quotas, to be within the Gulf of Mexico region.
    During the closure, retention of non-blacknose SCS in the Gulf of 
Mexico region is prohibited for persons fishing aboard vessels issued a 
commercial shark limited access permit (LAP) under Sec.  635.4. 
However, persons aboard a commercially permitted vessel that is also 
properly permitted to operate as a charter vessel or headboat for HMS 
and is engaged in a for-hire trip could fish under the recreational 
retention limits for sharks and ``no sale'' provisions (Sec.  635.22(a) 
and (c)).
    During this closure, a shark dealer issued a permit pursuant to 
Sec.  635.4 may not purchase or receive non-blacknose SCS in the Gulf 
of Mexico region from a vessel issued a shark LAP, except that a 
permitted shark dealer or processor may possess non-blacknose SCS in 
the Gulf of Mexico region that were harvested, off-loaded, and sold, 
traded, or bartered prior to the effective date of the closure and were 
held in storage consistent with Sec.  635.28(b)(6). Similarly, a shark 
dealer issued a permit pursuant to Sec.  635.4 may, in accordance with 
relevant state regulations, purchase or receive non-blacknose SCS in 
the Gulf of Mexico region if the sharks were harvested, off-loaded, and 
sold, traded, or bartered from a vessel that fishes only in state 
waters and that has not been issued a shark LAP, HMS Angling permit, or 
HMS Charter/Headboat permit pursuant to Sec.  635.4.

Classification

    Pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 553(b)(B), the Assistant Administrator for 
Fisheries, NOAA (AA), finds that providing prior notice and public 
comment for this action is impracticable and contrary to the public 
interest because the fisheries are currently underway and any delay in 
this action would result in overharvest of the Gulf of Mexico non-
blacknose SCS quota and be inconsistent with management requirements 
and objectives. Similarly, affording prior notice and opportunity for 
public comment on this action is contrary to the public interest 
because if the quota is exceeded, the stock may be negatively affected 
and fishermen ultimately could experience reductions in the available 
quota and a lack of fishing opportunities in future seasons. For these 
reasons, the AA also finds good cause to waive the 30-day delay in 
effective date pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 553(d)(3). This action is required 
under Sec.  635.28(b)(2) and is exempt from review under Executive 
Order 12866.

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

    Dated: November 27, 2015.
Emily H. Menashes,
Acting Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine 
Fisheries Service.
[FR Doc. 2015-30540 Filed 11-30-15; 4:15 pm]
 BILLING CODE 3510-22-P