Fisheries of the Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico, and South Atlantic; Reef Fish Fishery of the Gulf of Mexico; Gag Management Measures, 11166-11168 [2016-04655]

Download as PDF 11166 Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 42 / Thursday, March 3, 2016 / Proposed Rules proposals would have different executive agencies receiving funds, the funds may be evenly divided among the executive agencies, with no more than two agencies being designated to receive funds, as determined by the postmaster general. (b) Proposals become the property of the Postal Service and are not returned to interested persons who submit them. Interested persons who submit proposals are not entitled to any remuneration, compensation, or any other form of payment, whether their proposals are selected or not, for any reason. (c) The following persons may not submit proposals: (1) Employees of the United States Postal Service; (2) Any contractor of the Postal Service that may stand to benefit financially from the Semipostal Stamp Program; or (3) Members of the Citizens’ Stamp Advisory Committee and their immediate families, and contractors of the Postal Service, and their immediate families, who are involved in any decision-making related to causes, recipient agencies, or artwork for the Semipostal Stamp Program. (d) Consideration for evaluation will not be given to proposals that request support for any of the following: Anniversaries; public works; people; specific organizations or associations; commercial enterprises or products; cities, towns, municipalities, counties, or secondary schools; hospitals, libraries, or similar institutions; religious institutions; causes that do not further human welfare; or causes determined by the Postal Service or the Citizens’ Stamp Advisory Committee to be inconsistent with the spirit, intent, or history of the Semipostal Authorization Act. (e) Artwork and stamp designs may not be submitted with proposals. ■ 5. Revise § 551.5 to read as follows: mstockstill on DSK4VPTVN1PROD with PROPOSALS § 551.5 (a) The Postal Service is authorized to issue semipostal stamps for a 10-year period beginning on the date on which semipostal stamps are first sold to the public under 39 U.S.C. 416. The Office of Stamp Services will determine the date of commencement of the 10-year period. (b) The Postal Service will offer only one discretionary semipostal stamp for sale at any given time during the 10-year period, although a discretionary semipostal stamp may be offered for sale at the same time as one or more congressionally mandated semipostal stamps. 17:24 Mar 02, 2016 Jkt 238001 § 551.6 Pricing. (a) The Semipostal Authorization Act, as amended by Public Law 107–67, section 652, 115 Stat. 514 (2001), prescribes that the price of a semipostal stamp is the rate of postage that would otherwise regularly apply, plus a differential of not less than 15 percent. The price of a semipostal stamp shall be an amount that is evenly divisible by five. For purposes of this provision, the First-Class Mail® single-piece stamped first-ounce rate of postage will be considered the rate of postage that would otherwise regularly apply. (b) The prices of semipostal stamps are determined by the Governors of the United States Postal Service in accordance with the requirements of 39 U.S.C. 416. Reconsideration must been filed by February 29, 2016, and replies to an opposition must be filed on or before March 25, 2016. This document corrects the due date for replies to an opposition. DATES: Replies to an opposition to the petition for reconsideration published February 12, 2016 (81 FR 7491) must be filed on or before March 10, 2016. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Hugh Van Tuyl, Policy and Rules Division, Office of Engineering and Technology, (202) 418–7506, email: Hugh.VanTuyl@fcc.gov. Paul Murray, Policy and Rules Division, Office of Engineering and Technology, (202) 418– 0688, email: Paul.Murray@fcc.gov. Correction In the Federal Register of February 12, 2016, in FR Doc. 2016–02899, on page 7491, in the second column, correct the DATES caption to read: DATES: Oppositions to Petitions for Reconsideration must been filed by February 29, 2016. Replies to an opposition must be filed on or before March 10, 2016. Federal Communications Commission. Marlene H. Dortch, Secretary. [FR Doc. 2016–04521 Filed 3–2–16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6712–01–P DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Stanley F. Mires, Attorney, Federal Compliance. 50 CFR Part 622 [FR Doc. 2016–04646 Filed 3–2–16; 8:45 am] RIN 0648–BF70 [Docket No. 160211104–6104–01] BILLING CODE 7710–12–P FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION Fisheries of the Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico, and South Atlantic; Reef Fish Fishery of the Gulf of Mexico; Gag Management Measures 47 CFR Parts 15 and 74 Frequency and other limitations. VerDate Sep<11>2014 (c) The sales period for any given discretionary semipostal stamp is limited to no more than two years, as determined by the Office of Stamp Services. (d) Prior to or after the issuance of a given discretionary semipostal stamp, the Postal Service may withdraw the semipostal stamp from sale, or to reduce the sales period, if, inter alia: (1) Its sales or revenue statistics are lower than expected, (2) The sales or revenue projections are lower than expected, or (3) The cause or recipient executive agency does not further, or does not comply with, the statutory purposes or requirements of the Semipostal Authorization Act. ■ 6. Revise § 551.6 to read as follows: AGENCY: [OET Docket Nos. 14–165, 14–166 and 12– 268; Report No. 3037] Petitions for Reconsideration of Action in a Rulemaking Proceeding; Correction Federal Communications Commission. ACTION: Petition for reconsideration; correction. AGENCY: On February 12, 2016, the Commission published a summary of Commission’s document, Report No. 3037, 81 FR 7491, announcing that oppositions to Petitions for SUMMARY: PO 00000 Frm 00035 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Commerce. ACTION: Proposed rule; request for comments. NMFS proposes 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). If implemented, this action would revise the recreational closed season for gag and the recreational minimum size limits for gag and black grouper in the SUMMARY: E:\FR\FM\03MRP1.SGM 03MRP1 Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 42 / Thursday, March 3, 2016 / Proposed Rules Gulf of Mexico (Gulf) exclusive economic zone. The purpose of this proposed rule is to optimize recreational opportunities to harvest gag and to address inconsistencies in the recreational minimum size limits for gag and black grouper in the Gulf and South Atlantic. Written comments must be received on or before April 4, 2016. DATES: You may submit comments on the proposed rule, identified by ‘‘NOAA–NMFS–2016–0010’’ 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-20160010, click the ‘‘Comment Now!’’ icon, complete the required fields, and enter or attach your comments. • Mail: Submit written comments to Richard Malinowski, 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 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 Web site at http://sero.nmfs.noaa. gov/sustainable_fisheries/gulf_fisheries/ reef_fish/2016/gag_and_black_grouper_ framework/index.html. ADDRESSES: FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: mstockstill on DSK4VPTVN1PROD with PROPOSALS Richard Malinowski, Southeast Regional Office, NMFS, telephone: 727–824– 5305, email: rich.malinowski@noaa.gov. The Gulf reef fish fishery, which includes gag and black grouper, is managed under the FMP. The FMP was prepared by the Council and is implemented through regulations at 50 CFR part 622 under the authority of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (Magnuson-Stevens Act). SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:24 Mar 02, 2016 Jkt 238001 Background The Magnuson-Stevens Act requires NMFS and regional fishery management councils to achieve on a continuing basis the optimum yield from federally managed fish stocks. This mandate is intended to ensure that fishery resources are managed for the greatest overall benefit to the nation, particularly with respect to providing food production and recreational opportunities, while also protecting marine ecosystems. The 2014 Southeast Data, Assessment and Review (SEDAR 33) benchmark stock assessment indicates that the Gulf gag stock is not overfished or undergoing overfishing as of 2012, the last year of data used in SEDAR 33. However, as described in the framework action, the Council’s Reef Fish Advisory Panel, the Council’s Science and Statistical Committee (SSC), and public testimony, all suggested that the Council use caution when setting the gag annual catch limits (ACL) and annual catch targets (ACT). Therefore, the Council decided not to modify the Gulf gag ACL or ACT in this framework action. Additionally, the 2010 SEDAR 19 benchmark assessment for black grouper found that the Gulf black grouper stock was neither overfished nor undergoing overfishing. Management Measures Contained in This Proposed Rule This rule would revise the recreational closed season for gag and the recreational minimum size limits for gag and black grouper in the Gulf. Gag Recreational Closed Season The current closed season for the gag recreational sector is January 1 through June 30 and December 3 through December 31, annually. This closed season was established in Amendment 32 to the FMP to help prevent the gag recreational ACL from being exceeded (77 FR 6988, February 10, 2012). This rule would revise the gag recreational closed season to be from January 1 to May 31, annually. The intent of this revised closed season would be to reduce the amount of dead discards of gag that occur during the Gulf’s recreational season for red snapper that begins on June 1, annually, and to extend the gag recreational fishing season beyond the current December closure date to provide the opportunity for the recreational sector to harvest the recreational ACL. The gag recreational ACT was only exceeded once, and the recreational ACL has never been exceeded since ACLs and ACTs were established for gag in 2011. PO 00000 Frm 00036 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 11167 Gag and Black Grouper Minimum Size Limits The current gag and black grouper recreational minimum size limits in Gulf Federal waters are both set at 22 inches (55.9 cm), total length (TL). The current gag and black grouper minimum size limit in South Atlantic Federal waters is 24 inches (61.0 cm), TL for both species and for both the commercial and recreational sectors. For the state of Florida, in state waters off Monroe County in the Gulf, the recreational minimum size limit for gag and black grouper is 24 inches (61.0 cm), TL. This proposed rule would increase the recreational minimum size limit for both species to 24 inches (61.0 cm), TL, to be consistent with the Federal waters of the South Atlantic and state waters off Monroe County, Florida. The Council decided that the benefits of having a size limit for these species that is consistent with both the South Atlantic and the state size limits for the waters off Monroe County, Florida, will outweigh any impacts of increased discard rates for these species. Furthermore, gag are sometimes misidentified as black grouper and having the same recreational minimum size limit for gag and black grouper may assist the public in complying with the applicable regulations for gag and black grouper. Additionally, increasing the recreational minimum size limit for these species is expected to provide the opportunity for more gag and black grouper to become sexually mature and spawn. Classification Pursuant to section 304(b)(1)(A) of the Magnuson-Stevens Act, the NMFS Assistant Administrator has determined that this proposed rule is consistent with the framework action, the FMP, other provisions of the MagnusonStevens Act, and other applicable law, subject to further consideration after public comment. This proposed rule has been determined to be not significant for purposes of Executive Order 12866. The Chief Counsel for Regulation of the Department of Commerce certified to the Chief Counsel for Advocacy of the Small Business Administration (SBA) that this rule, if adopted, would not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. The factual basis for this determination is as follows: A description of this proposed rule, why it is being considered, and the objectives of this proposed rule are contained in the preamble and in the SUMMARY section of the preamble. The E:\FR\FM\03MRP1.SGM 03MRP1 mstockstill on DSK4VPTVN1PROD with PROPOSALS 11168 Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 42 / Thursday, March 3, 2016 / Proposed Rules Magnuson-Stevens Act provides the statutory basis for this proposed rule. This proposed rule, if implemented, would not be expected to directly affect any small entities. This proposed rule would modify the gag and black grouper recreational minimum size limits and the gag recreational season in the Gulf. Only recreational anglers, who may fish from shore, man-made structures, private, rental, or charter vessels, and headboats, are allowed a bag or possession limit of grouper species in the Gulf. Captains or crew members on charter vessels or headboats, as well as commercial vessels, cannot harvest or possess gag or black grouper under the recreational bag limits. As a result of only recreational anglers being allowed a bag or possession limit, only recreational anglers would be directly affected by the proposed changes to the gag and black grouper recreational minimum size limits and the gag recreational season dates. Recreational anglers, however, are not considered to be small entities under the RFA and the economic effects of this proposed rule on these anglers are outside the scope of the RFA. Charter vessels and headboats (forhire vessels) sell fishing services to recreational anglers. Because the proposed change in the gag and black grouper minimum size limits and the change to the gag recreational season would not directly alter the services sold by these vessels, this proposed rule would not directly apply to or regulate their operations. Any change in demand for these fishing services, and associated economic effects, as a result of changing the minimum size limits and recreational season would be a consequence of behavioral change by anglers, secondary to any direct effect on anglers and, therefore, an indirect effect of the proposed rule. Because the effects on for-hire vessels would be indirect, they fall outside the scope of the RFA. The information provided above supports a determination that this rule would not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. Because this rule, if implemented, is not expected to have a significant economic impact on any small entities, an initial regulatory flexibility analysis is not required and none has been prepared. No duplicative, overlapping, or conflicting Federal rules have been identified. In addition, no new reporting, record-keeping, or other compliance requirements are introduced by this proposed rule. Accordingly, this rule does not implicate the Paperwork Reduction Act. VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:24 Mar 02, 2016 Jkt 238001 List of Subjects in 50 CFR Part 622 DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE Black grouper, Fisheries, Fishing, Gag, Gulf, Recreational, Reef fish, Size limits. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Dated: February 25, 2016. Samuel D. Rauch III, Deputy Assistant Administrator for Regulatory Programs, National Marine Fisheries Service. For the reasons set out in the preamble, 50 CFR part 622 is proposed to be 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: ■ Authority: 16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq. 2. In § 622.34, paragraph (e) is revised to read as follows: ■ § 622.34 Seasonal and area closures designed to protect Gulf reef fish. * * * * * (e) Seasonal closure of the recreational sector for gag. The recreational sector for gag, in or from the Gulf EEZ, is closed from January 1 through May 31. During the closure, the bag and possession limits for gag in or from the Gulf EEZ are zero. * * * * * ■ 3. In § 622.37, paragraphs (b)(1) and (b)(5)(ii) are revised to read as follows: § 622.37 Size limits. * * * * * (b) * * * (1) Gag—(i) For a person not subject to the bag limit specified in § 622.38 (b)(2)—22 inches (55.9 cm), TL. (ii) For a person subject to the bag limit specified in § 622.38(b)(2)—24 inches (61.0 cm), TL. * * * * * (5) * * * (ii) For a person subject to the bag limit specified in § 622.38(b)(2)—24 inches (61.0 cm), TL. * * * * * [FR Doc. 2016–04655 Filed 3–2–16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510–22–P PO 00000 Frm 00037 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 50 CFR Part 648 [Docket No. 160120042–6042–01] RIN 0648–BF69 Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act Provisions; Fisheries of the Northeastern United States; Northeast Groundfish Fishery; Recreational Management Measures National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Commerce. ACTION: Proposed rule; request for comments. AGENCY: NMFS proposes to modify recreational fishery management measures for Gulf of Maine cod and haddock, including daily bag limits, size limits, and seasonal possession restrictions. This action is necessary to increase recreational fishing opportunities and catch of cod and haddock in a manner consistent with anticipated catch limit increases. The intended effect of this action is to ensure the recreational fishery can achieve but not exceed its catch limits. DATES: Comments must be received by March 18, 2016. ADDRESSES: You may submit comments on this document, identified by NOAA– NMFS–2016–0011, by either of the following methods: Electronic Submission: Submit all electronic public comments via the Federal e-Rulemaking Portal. 1. Go to www.regulations.gov/ #!docketDetail;D=NOAA-NMFS-20160011. 2. Click the ‘‘Comment Now!’’ icon, complete the required fields, and 3. Enter or attach your comments. – OR – Mail: Submit written comments to: John K. Bullard, Regional Administrator, National Marine Fisheries Service, 55 Great Republic Drive, Gloucester, MA 01930. Mark the outside of the envelope, ‘‘Comments on groundfish recreational fishing management measures.’’ 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 SUMMARY: E:\FR\FM\03MRP1.SGM 03MRP1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 81, Number 42 (Thursday, March 3, 2016)]
[Proposed Rules]
[Pages 11166-11168]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2016-04655]


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DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

50 CFR Part 622

[Docket No. 160211104-6104-01]
RIN 0648-BF70


Fisheries of the Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico, and South Atlantic; 
Reef Fish Fishery of the Gulf of Mexico; Gag Management Measures

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

ACTION: Proposed rule; request for comments.

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

SUMMARY: NMFS proposes 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). If implemented, this 
action would revise the recreational closed season for gag and the 
recreational minimum size limits for gag and black grouper in the

[[Page 11167]]

Gulf of Mexico (Gulf) exclusive economic zone. The purpose of this 
proposed rule is to optimize recreational opportunities to harvest gag 
and to address inconsistencies in the recreational minimum size limits 
for gag and black grouper in the Gulf and South Atlantic.

DATES: Written comments must be received on or before April 4, 2016.

ADDRESSES: You may submit comments on the proposed rule, identified by 
``NOAA-NMFS-2016-0010'' 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-2016-0010, click the 
``Comment Now!'' icon, complete the required fields, and enter or 
attach your comments.
     Mail: Submit written comments to Richard Malinowski, 
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 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 Web site at http://sero.nmfs.noaa.gov/sustainable_fisheries/gulf_fisheries/reef_fish/2016/gag_and_black_grouper_framework/index.html.

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

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The Gulf reef fish fishery, which includes 
gag and black grouper, is managed under the FMP. The FMP was prepared 
by the Council and is implemented through regulations at 50 CFR part 
622 under the authority of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation 
and Management Act (Magnuson-Stevens Act).

Background

    The Magnuson-Stevens Act requires NMFS and regional fishery 
management councils to achieve on a continuing basis the optimum yield 
from federally managed fish stocks. This mandate is intended to ensure 
that fishery resources are managed for the greatest overall benefit to 
the nation, particularly with respect to providing food production and 
recreational opportunities, while also protecting marine ecosystems.
    The 2014 Southeast Data, Assessment and Review (SEDAR 33) benchmark 
stock assessment indicates that the Gulf gag stock is not overfished or 
undergoing overfishing as of 2012, the last year of data used in SEDAR 
33. However, as described in the framework action, the Council's Reef 
Fish Advisory Panel, the Council's Science and Statistical Committee 
(SSC), and public testimony, all suggested that the Council use caution 
when setting the gag annual catch limits (ACL) and annual catch targets 
(ACT). Therefore, the Council decided not to modify the Gulf gag ACL or 
ACT in this framework action.
    Additionally, the 2010 SEDAR 19 benchmark assessment for black 
grouper found that the Gulf black grouper stock was neither overfished 
nor undergoing overfishing.

Management Measures Contained in This Proposed Rule

    This rule would revise the recreational closed season for gag and 
the recreational minimum size limits for gag and black grouper in the 
Gulf.

Gag Recreational Closed Season

    The current closed season for the gag recreational sector is 
January 1 through June 30 and December 3 through December 31, annually. 
This closed season was established in Amendment 32 to the FMP to help 
prevent the gag recreational ACL from being exceeded (77 FR 6988, 
February 10, 2012).
    This rule would revise the gag recreational closed season to be 
from January 1 to May 31, annually. The intent of this revised closed 
season would be to reduce the amount of dead discards of gag that occur 
during the Gulf's recreational season for red snapper that begins on 
June 1, annually, and to extend the gag recreational fishing season 
beyond the current December closure date to provide the opportunity for 
the recreational sector to harvest the recreational ACL. The gag 
recreational ACT was only exceeded once, and the recreational ACL has 
never been exceeded since ACLs and ACTs were established for gag in 
2011.

Gag and Black Grouper Minimum Size Limits

    The current gag and black grouper recreational minimum size limits 
in Gulf Federal waters are both set at 22 inches (55.9 cm), total 
length (TL). The current gag and black grouper minimum size limit in 
South Atlantic Federal waters is 24 inches (61.0 cm), TL for both 
species and for both the commercial and recreational sectors. For the 
state of Florida, in state waters off Monroe County in the Gulf, the 
recreational minimum size limit for gag and black grouper is 24 inches 
(61.0 cm), TL. This proposed rule would increase the recreational 
minimum size limit for both species to 24 inches (61.0 cm), TL, to be 
consistent with the Federal waters of the South Atlantic and state 
waters off Monroe County, Florida. The Council decided that the 
benefits of having a size limit for these species that is consistent 
with both the South Atlantic and the state size limits for the waters 
off Monroe County, Florida, will outweigh any impacts of increased 
discard rates for these species. Furthermore, gag are sometimes 
misidentified as black grouper and having the same recreational minimum 
size limit for gag and black grouper may assist the public in complying 
with the applicable regulations for gag and black grouper. 
Additionally, increasing the recreational minimum size limit for these 
species is expected to provide the opportunity for more gag and black 
grouper to become sexually mature and spawn.

Classification

    Pursuant to section 304(b)(1)(A) of the Magnuson-Stevens Act, the 
NMFS Assistant Administrator has determined that this proposed rule is 
consistent with the framework action, the FMP, other provisions of the 
Magnuson-Stevens Act, and other applicable law, subject to further 
consideration after public comment.
    This proposed rule has been determined to be not significant for 
purposes of Executive Order 12866.
    The Chief Counsel for Regulation of the Department of Commerce 
certified to the Chief Counsel for Advocacy of the Small Business 
Administration (SBA) that this rule, if adopted, would not have a 
significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. 
The factual basis for this determination is as follows:
    A description of this proposed rule, why it is being considered, 
and the objectives of this proposed rule are contained in the preamble 
and in the SUMMARY section of the preamble. The

[[Page 11168]]

Magnuson-Stevens Act provides the statutory basis for this proposed 
rule.
    This proposed rule, if implemented, would not be expected to 
directly affect any small entities. This proposed rule would modify the 
gag and black grouper recreational minimum size limits and the gag 
recreational season in the Gulf. Only recreational anglers, who may 
fish from shore, man-made structures, private, rental, or charter 
vessels, and headboats, are allowed a bag or possession limit of 
grouper species in the Gulf. Captains or crew members on charter 
vessels or headboats, as well as commercial vessels, cannot harvest or 
possess gag or black grouper under the recreational bag limits. As a 
result of only recreational anglers being allowed a bag or possession 
limit, only recreational anglers would be directly affected by the 
proposed changes to the gag and black grouper recreational minimum size 
limits and the gag recreational season dates. Recreational anglers, 
however, are not considered to be small entities under the RFA and the 
economic effects of this proposed rule on these anglers are outside the 
scope of the RFA.
    Charter vessels and headboats (for-hire vessels) sell fishing 
services to recreational anglers. Because the proposed change in the 
gag and black grouper minimum size limits and the change to the gag 
recreational season would not directly alter the services sold by these 
vessels, this proposed rule would not directly apply to or regulate 
their operations. Any change in demand for these fishing services, and 
associated economic effects, as a result of changing the minimum size 
limits and recreational season would be a consequence of behavioral 
change by anglers, secondary to any direct effect on anglers and, 
therefore, an indirect effect of the proposed rule. Because the effects 
on for-hire vessels would be indirect, they fall outside the scope of 
the RFA.
    The information provided above supports a determination that this 
rule would not have a significant economic impact on a substantial 
number of small entities. Because this rule, if implemented, is not 
expected to have a significant economic impact on any small entities, 
an initial regulatory flexibility analysis is not required and none has 
been prepared.
    No duplicative, overlapping, or conflicting Federal rules have been 
identified. In addition, no new reporting, record-keeping, or other 
compliance requirements are introduced by this proposed rule. 
Accordingly, this rule does not implicate the Paperwork Reduction Act.

List of Subjects in 50 CFR Part 622

    Black grouper, Fisheries, Fishing, Gag, Gulf, Recreational, Reef 
fish, Size limits.

    Dated: February 25, 2016.
Samuel D. Rauch III,
Deputy Assistant Administrator for Regulatory Programs, National Marine 
Fisheries Service.

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

0
2. In Sec.  622.34, paragraph (e) is revised to read as follows:


Sec.  622.34  Seasonal and area closures designed to protect Gulf reef 
fish.

* * * * *
    (e) Seasonal closure of the recreational sector for gag. The 
recreational sector for gag, in or from the Gulf EEZ, is closed from 
January 1 through May 31. During the closure, the bag and possession 
limits for gag in or from the Gulf EEZ are zero.
* * * * *
0
3. In Sec.  622.37, paragraphs (b)(1) and (b)(5)(ii) are revised to 
read as follows:


Sec.  622.37  Size limits.

* * * * *
    (b) * * *
    (1) Gag--(i) For a person not subject to the bag limit specified in 
Sec.  622.38 (b)(2)--22 inches (55.9 cm), TL.
    (ii) For a person subject to the bag limit specified in Sec.  
622.38(b)(2)--24 inches (61.0 cm), TL.
* * * * *
    (5) * * *
    (ii) For a person subject to the bag limit specified in Sec.  
622.38(b)(2)--24 inches (61.0 cm), TL.
* * * * *
[FR Doc. 2016-04655 Filed 3-2-16; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 3510-22-P