Fisheries of the Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico, and South Atlantic; Reef Fish Fishery of the Gulf of Mexico; Red Snapper Management Measures; Amendment 28, 80310-80311 [2015-32445]

Download as PDF 80310 Federal Register / Vol. 80, No. 247 / Thursday, December 24, 2015 / Proposed Rules the proposed rule would apply to a substantial number of small entities, it would not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. Jamal El-Hindi, Deputy Director, Financial Crimes Enforcement Network. [FR Doc. 2015–32378 Filed 12–23–15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE P DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration 50 CFR Part 622 RIN 0648–BD68 Fisheries of the Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico, and South Atlantic; Reef Fish Fishery of the Gulf of Mexico; Red Snapper Management Measures; Amendment 28 National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Commerce. ACTION: Notice of availability; request for comments. AGENCY: The Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council (Council) has submitted Amendment 28 to the Fishery Management Plan for the Reef Fish Resources of the Gulf of Mexico (FMP) for review, approval, and implementation by NMFS. Amendment 28 would revise the Gulf of Mexico (Gulf) red snapper commercial and recreational sector allocations of the stock annual catch limit (ACL). If Amendment 28 is approved and implemented, it would result in changes to the red snapper commercial and recreational quotas and the recreational annual catch target (ACT). Additionally, the Federal charter vessel/headboat and private angling component ACLs and ACTs, which are based on the recreational sector’s ACL and ACT, would also be revised. The intent of Amendment 28 is to reallocate the Gulf red snapper harvest consistent with the 2014 red snapper update assessment while ensuring the allowable catch and recovery benefits from the rebuilding red snapper stock are fairly and equitably allocated between the commercial and recreational sectors to achieve optimum yield (OY). DATES: Written comments must be received on or before February 22, 2016. ADDRESSES: You may submit comments on Amendment 28, identified by tkelley on DSK3SPTVN1PROD with PROPOSALS SUMMARY: VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:42 Dec 23, 2015 Jkt 238001 ‘‘NOAA–NMFS–2013–0146’’ by either of the following methods: • Electronic Submission: Submit all electronic public comments via the Federal e-Rulemaking Portal. Go to www.regulations.gov/ #!docketDetail;D=NOAA-NMFS-20130146, click the ‘‘Comment Now!’’ icon, complete the required fields, and enter or attach your comments. • Mail: Submit written comments to Peter Hood, Southeast Regional Office, NMFS, 263 13th Avenue South, St. Petersburg, FL 33701. Instructions: Comments sent by any other method, to any other address or individual, or received after the end of the comment period, may not be considered by NMFS. All comments received are a part of the public record and will generally be posted for public viewing on www.regulations.gov without change. All personal identifying information (e.g., name, address, etc.), confidential business information, or otherwise sensitive information submitted voluntarily by the sender will be publicly accessible. NMFS will accept anonymous comments (enter ‘‘N/ A’’ in the required fields if you wish to remain anonymous). Electronic copies of Amendment 28, which includes an environmental impact statement, a fishery impact statement, a Regulatory Flexibility Act analysis, and a regulatory impact review, may be obtained from the Southeast Regional Office Web site at http://sero.nmfs.noaa.gov. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Peter Hood, Southeast Regional Office, NMFS, telephone: 727–824–5305; email: Peter.Hood@noaa.gov. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (Magnuson-Stevens Act) requires each regional fishery management council to submit any FMP or amendment to NMFS for review and approval, partial approval, or disapproval. The Magnuson-Stevens Act also requires that NMFS, upon receiving a plan or amendment, publish an announcement in the Federal Register notifying the public that the plan or amendment is available for review and comment. The FMP being revised by Amendment 28 was prepared by the Council and implemented through regulations at 50 CFR part 622 under the authority of the Magnuson-Stevens Act. Background The Magnuson-Stevens Act requires NMFS and regional fishery management councils to prevent overfishing and achieve, on a continuing basis, OY from PO 00000 Frm 00020 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 federally managed fish stocks. The Magnuson-Stevens Act requires that in allocating fishing privileges among fishermen, such allocation shall be fair and equitable to all such fishermen, reasonably calculated to promote conservation, and carried out in such a manner that no particular individual, corporation, or other entity acquires an excessive share of such privileges. For stocks like red snapper, which are subject to a rebuilding plan, the Magnuson-Stevens Act also requires that harvest restrictions and recovery benefits are fairly and equitably allocated among the commercial, recreational, and charter fishing sectors. These mandates are intended to ensure fishery resources are managed for the greatest overall benefit to the nation, particularly with respect to providing food production and recreational opportunities, and protecting marine ecosystems. Amendment 28 would reallocate red snapper harvest from the commercial sector to the recreational sector. The reallocation would reduce the current commercial allocation from 51 percent to 48.5 percent of the stock ACL and the recreational allocation would increase from 49 percent to 51.5 percent of the stock ACL. All weights described in this notice are in round (whole) weight. Management Measures Contained in Amendment 28 The initial Gulf red snapper allocation was set in Reef Fish Amendment 1 to the FMP and was based on the percentage of total landings during the base period of 1979–1987 (55 FR 2078, January 22, 1990). In Amendment 28, the Council evaluated several different Gulf red snapper allocation alternatives. These alternatives included straightforward allocation percentage changes, changes based on the red snapper stock ACL increases, and changes in the recreational catch information used in the 2014 update assessment to the 2013 Gulf red snapper Southeast Data, Assessment, and Review (SEDAR) 31 benchmark assessment. The Council initially considered alternatives that would increase the commercial sector’s red snapper allocation. At that time, analyses from the NMFS Southeast Fisheries Science Center (SEFSC) suggested that shifting red snapper allocation from the commercial to the recreational sector would increase net economic benefits. Thus, the Council determined that reallocating red snapper to the commercial sector would not achieve the purpose of the amendment at that time, which was to increase the net benefits from red E:\FR\FM\24DEP1.SGM 24DEP1 Federal Register / Vol. 80, No. 247 / Thursday, December 24, 2015 / Proposed Rules tkelley on DSK3SPTVN1PROD with PROPOSALS snapper fishing and increase the stability of the red snapper component of the reef fish fishery, particularly for the recreational sector. Therefore, the Council removed these alternatives from the amendment. After the 2014 update assessment, the purpose and need statement of the amendment was revised to reallocating the red snapper harvest consistent with the assessment update to ensure the allowable catch and recovery benefits are fairly and equitably allocated between the commercial and recreational sectors. When the draft environmental impact statement (EIS) was published for comment, it included this revised purpose and need statement and two new alternatives added by the Council to address the new information and the revised purpose and need. The draft EIS did not include alternatives that would increase the commercial sector’s allocation because the new scientific information did not change any previous understanding of commercial landings. More information about the Council’s decision not to include these alternatives and an analysis of the environmental consequences of increasing the commercial allocation are provided in the response to comments VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:42 Dec 23, 2015 Jkt 238001 section (Appendix D) of Amendment 28 and integrated final EIS. The preferred alternative in Amendment 28 would revise the Gulf red snapper allocation to 48.5 percent of the stock ACL to the commercial sector and 51.5 percent of the stock ACL to the recreational sector. This results in proposed commercial quotas (48.5 percent of the stock ACL) of 6.768 million lb (3.070 million kg) and 6.664 million lb (3.023 million kg) for the 2016 and 2017 fishing years, respectively. The recreational quota (51.5 percent of the stock ACL) would be 7.192 million lb (3.262 million kg) and 7.076 million lb (3.210 million kg) for the 2016 and 2017 fishing years, respectively. For the recreational sector, the ACT would be set 20 percent less than the recreational quotas and, as described in Amendment 40 to the FMP, the recreational quota and ACT would be further divided into Federal charter vessel/headboat and private angling component quotas and ACTs (80 FR 22422, April 22, 2015). A proposed rule that would implement Amendment 28 has been drafted. In accordance with the Magnuson-Stevens Act, NMFS is evaluating Amendment 28 to determine PO 00000 Frm 00021 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 9990 80311 whether it is consistent with the FMP, the Magnuson-Stevens Act, and other applicable law. If the preliminary determination is affirmative, NMFS will publish the proposed rule in the Federal Register for public review and comment. Consideration of Public Comments The Council submitted Amendment 28 for Secretarial review, approval, and implementation. Comments received by February 22, 2016, whether specifically directed to the amendment or the proposed rule, will be considered by NMFS in its decision to approve, partially approve, or disapprove Amendment 28. Comments received after that date will not be considered by NMFS in this decision. All comments received by NMFS on the amendment or the proposed rule during their respective comment periods will be addressed in the final rule. Authority: 16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq. Dated: December 21, 2015. Alan D. Risenhoover, Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine Fisheries Service. [FR Doc. 2015–32445 Filed 12–23–15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510–22–P E:\FR\FM\24DEP1.SGM 24DEP1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 80, Number 247 (Thursday, December 24, 2015)]
[Proposed Rules]
[Pages 80310-80311]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2015-32445]


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DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

50 CFR Part 622

RIN 0648-BD68


Fisheries of the Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico, and South Atlantic; 
Reef Fish Fishery of the Gulf of Mexico; Red Snapper Management 
Measures; Amendment 28

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

ACTION: Notice of availability; request for comments.

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SUMMARY: The Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council (Council) has 
submitted Amendment 28 to the Fishery Management Plan for the Reef Fish 
Resources of the Gulf of Mexico (FMP) for review, approval, and 
implementation by NMFS. Amendment 28 would revise the Gulf of Mexico 
(Gulf) red snapper commercial and recreational sector allocations of 
the stock annual catch limit (ACL). If Amendment 28 is approved and 
implemented, it would result in changes to the red snapper commercial 
and recreational quotas and the recreational annual catch target (ACT). 
Additionally, the Federal charter vessel/headboat and private angling 
component ACLs and ACTs, which are based on the recreational sector's 
ACL and ACT, would also be revised. The intent of Amendment 28 is to 
reallocate the Gulf red snapper harvest consistent with the 2014 red 
snapper update assessment while ensuring the allowable catch and 
recovery benefits from the rebuilding red snapper stock are fairly and 
equitably allocated between the commercial and recreational sectors to 
achieve optimum yield (OY).

DATES: Written comments must be received on or before February 22, 
2016.

ADDRESSES: You may submit comments on Amendment 28, identified by 
``NOAA-NMFS-2013-0146'' by either of the following methods:
     Electronic Submission: Submit all electronic public 
comments via the Federal e-Rulemaking Portal. Go to 
www.regulations.gov/#!docketDetail;D=NOAA-NMFS-2013-0146, click the 
``Comment Now!'' icon, complete the required fields, and enter or 
attach your comments.
     Mail: Submit written comments to Peter Hood, Southeast 
Regional Office, NMFS, 263 13th Avenue South, St. Petersburg, FL 33701.
    Instructions: Comments sent by any other method, to any other 
address or individual, or received after the end of the comment period, 
may not be considered by NMFS. All comments received are a part of the 
public record and will generally be posted for public viewing on 
www.regulations.gov without change. All personal identifying 
information (e.g., name, address, etc.), confidential business 
information, or otherwise sensitive information submitted voluntarily 
by the sender will be publicly accessible. NMFS will accept anonymous 
comments (enter ``N/A'' in the required fields if you wish to remain 
anonymous).
    Electronic copies of Amendment 28, which includes an environmental 
impact statement, a fishery impact statement, a Regulatory Flexibility 
Act analysis, and a regulatory impact review, may be obtained from the 
Southeast Regional Office Web site at http://sero.nmfs.noaa.gov.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Peter Hood, Southeast Regional Office, 
NMFS, telephone: 727-824-5305; email: Peter.Hood@noaa.gov.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation 
and Management Act (Magnuson-Stevens Act) requires each regional 
fishery management council to submit any FMP or amendment to NMFS for 
review and approval, partial approval, or disapproval. The Magnuson-
Stevens Act also requires that NMFS, upon receiving a plan or 
amendment, publish an announcement in the Federal Register notifying 
the public that the plan or amendment is available for review and 
comment.
    The FMP being revised by Amendment 28 was prepared by the Council 
and implemented through regulations at 50 CFR part 622 under the 
authority of the Magnuson-Stevens Act.

Background

    The Magnuson-Stevens Act requires NMFS and regional fishery 
management councils to prevent overfishing and achieve, on a continuing 
basis, OY from federally managed fish stocks. The Magnuson-Stevens Act 
requires that in allocating fishing privileges among fishermen, such 
allocation shall be fair and equitable to all such fishermen, 
reasonably calculated to promote conservation, and carried out in such 
a manner that no particular individual, corporation, or other entity 
acquires an excessive share of such privileges. For stocks like red 
snapper, which are subject to a rebuilding plan, the Magnuson-Stevens 
Act also requires that harvest restrictions and recovery benefits are 
fairly and equitably allocated among the commercial, recreational, and 
charter fishing sectors. These mandates are intended to ensure fishery 
resources are managed for the greatest overall benefit to the nation, 
particularly with respect to providing food production and recreational 
opportunities, and protecting marine ecosystems. Amendment 28 would 
reallocate red snapper harvest from the commercial sector to the 
recreational sector. The reallocation would reduce the current 
commercial allocation from 51 percent to 48.5 percent of the stock ACL 
and the recreational allocation would increase from 49 percent to 51.5 
percent of the stock ACL. All weights described in this notice are in 
round (whole) weight.

Management Measures Contained in Amendment 28

    The initial Gulf red snapper allocation was set in Reef Fish 
Amendment 1 to the FMP and was based on the percentage of total 
landings during the base period of 1979-1987 (55 FR 2078, January 22, 
1990). In Amendment 28, the Council evaluated several different Gulf 
red snapper allocation alternatives. These alternatives included 
straightforward allocation percentage changes, changes based on the red 
snapper stock ACL increases, and changes in the recreational catch 
information used in the 2014 update assessment to the 2013 Gulf red 
snapper Southeast Data, Assessment, and Review (SEDAR) 31 benchmark 
assessment. The Council initially considered alternatives that would 
increase the commercial sector's red snapper allocation. At that time, 
analyses from the NMFS Southeast Fisheries Science Center (SEFSC) 
suggested that shifting red snapper allocation from the commercial to 
the recreational sector would increase net economic benefits. Thus, the 
Council determined that reallocating red snapper to the commercial 
sector would not achieve the purpose of the amendment at that time, 
which was to increase the net benefits from red

[[Page 80311]]

snapper fishing and increase the stability of the red snapper component 
of the reef fish fishery, particularly for the recreational sector. 
Therefore, the Council removed these alternatives from the amendment. 
After the 2014 update assessment, the purpose and need statement of the 
amendment was revised to reallocating the red snapper harvest 
consistent with the assessment update to ensure the allowable catch and 
recovery benefits are fairly and equitably allocated between the 
commercial and recreational sectors. When the draft environmental 
impact statement (EIS) was published for comment, it included this 
revised purpose and need statement and two new alternatives added by 
the Council to address the new information and the revised purpose and 
need. The draft EIS did not include alternatives that would increase 
the commercial sector's allocation because the new scientific 
information did not change any previous understanding of commercial 
landings. More information about the Council's decision not to include 
these alternatives and an analysis of the environmental consequences of 
increasing the commercial allocation are provided in the response to 
comments section (Appendix D) of Amendment 28 and integrated final EIS.
    The preferred alternative in Amendment 28 would revise the Gulf red 
snapper allocation to 48.5 percent of the stock ACL to the commercial 
sector and 51.5 percent of the stock ACL to the recreational sector. 
This results in proposed commercial quotas (48.5 percent of the stock 
ACL) of 6.768 million lb (3.070 million kg) and 6.664 million lb (3.023 
million kg) for the 2016 and 2017 fishing years, respectively. The 
recreational quota (51.5 percent of the stock ACL) would be 7.192 
million lb (3.262 million kg) and 7.076 million lb (3.210 million kg) 
for the 2016 and 2017 fishing years, respectively. For the recreational 
sector, the ACT would be set 20 percent less than the recreational 
quotas and, as described in Amendment 40 to the FMP, the recreational 
quota and ACT would be further divided into Federal charter vessel/
headboat and private angling component quotas and ACTs (80 FR 22422, 
April 22, 2015).
    A proposed rule that would implement Amendment 28 has been drafted. 
In accordance with the Magnuson-Stevens Act, NMFS is evaluating 
Amendment 28 to determine whether it is consistent with the FMP, the 
Magnuson-Stevens Act, and other applicable law. If the preliminary 
determination is affirmative, NMFS will publish the proposed rule in 
the Federal Register for public review and comment.

Consideration of Public Comments

    The Council submitted Amendment 28 for Secretarial review, 
approval, and implementation. Comments received by February 22, 2016, 
whether specifically directed to the amendment or the proposed rule, 
will be considered by NMFS in its decision to approve, partially 
approve, or disapprove Amendment 28. Comments received after that date 
will not be considered by NMFS in this decision. All comments received 
by NMFS on the amendment or the proposed rule during their respective 
comment periods will be addressed in the final rule.

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

    Dated: December 21, 2015.
Alan D. Risenhoover,
Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine Fisheries 
Service.
[FR Doc. 2015-32445 Filed 12-23-15; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 3510-22-P