Fisheries of the Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico, and South Atlantic; 2016 Commercial Accountability Measure and Closure for South Atlantic Golden Tilefish Longline Component, 12828-12829 [2016-05552]

Download as PDF 12828 Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 48 / Friday, March 11, 2016 / Rules and Regulations DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration 50 CFR Part 622 [Docket No. 120404257–3325–02] RIN 0648–XE489 Fisheries of the Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico, and South Atlantic; 2016 Commercial Accountability Measure and Closure for South Atlantic Golden Tilefish Longline Component National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Commerce. ACTION: Temporary rule; closure. AGENCY: NMFS implements an accountability measure for the commercial longline component for golden tilefish in the exclusive economic zone (EEZ) of the South Atlantic. Commercial longline landings for golden tilefish are projected to reach the longline component’s commercial annual catch limit (ACL) on March 15, 2016. Therefore, NMFS closes the commercial longline component for golden tilefish in the South Atlantic EEZ on March 15, 2016, and it will remain closed until the start of the next fishing year, January 1, 2017. This closure is necessary to protect the golden tilefish resource. DATES: This rule is effective 12:01 a.m., local time, March 15, 2016, until 12:01 a.m., local time, January 1, 2017. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Nikhil Mehta, NMFS Southeast Regional Office, telephone: 727–824–5305, email: nikhil.mehta@noaa.gov. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The snapper-grouper fishery of the South Atlantic includes golden tilefish and is managed under the Fishery Management Plan for the SnapperGrouper Fishery of the South Atlantic Region (FMP). The FMP was prepared by the South Atlantic Fishery Management Council and is implemented by NMFS under the authority of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (Magnuson-Stevens Act) by regulations at 50 CFR part 622. On April 23, 2013, NMFS published a final rule to implement Amendment 18B to the FMP (78 FR 23858). Amendment 18B to the FMP established a longline endorsement program for the commercial golden tilefish component of the snapper-grouper fishery and allocated the commercial golden tilefish ACL (equivalent to the commercial asabaliauskas on DSK3SPTVN1PROD with RULES SUMMARY: VerDate Sep<11>2014 15:58 Mar 10, 2016 Jkt 238001 quota) between two gear groups, the longline and hook-and-line components as commercial quotas. The commercial quota for the longline component for golden tilefish in the South Atlantic is 405,971 lb (184,145 kg), gutted weight, for the current fishing year, January 1 through December 31, 2016, as specified in 50 CFR 622.190(a)(2)(iii). Under 50 CFR 622.193(a)(1)(ii), NMFS is required to close the commercial longline component for golden tilefish when the longline component’s commercial quota has been reached, or is projected to be reached, by filing a notification to that effect with the Office of the Federal Register. After the commercial quota for the longline component is reached or projected to be reached, golden tilefish may not be fished for or possessed by a vessel with a golden tilefish longline endorsement. NMFS has determined that the commercial quota for the longline component for golden tilefish in the South Atlantic will be reached on March 15, 2016. Accordingly, the commercial longline component for South Atlantic golden tilefish is closed effective 12:01 a.m., local time, March 15, 2016, until 12:01 a.m., local time, January 1, 2017. During the commercial longline closure, golden tilefish may still be harvested commercially using hookand-line gear. However, a vessel with a golden tilefish longline endorsement is not eligible to fish for or possess golden tilefish using hook-and-line gear under the hook-and-line trip limit, as specified in 50 CFR 622.191(a)(2)(ii). The operator of a vessel with a valid commercial vessel permit for South Atlantic snapper-grouper and a valid commercial longline endorsement for golden tilefish having golden tilefish on board must have landed and bartered, traded, or sold such golden tilefish prior to 12:01 a.m., local time, March 15, 2016. During the commercial longline closure, the bag limit and possession limits specified in 50 CFR 622.187(b)(2)(iii) and (c)(1), respectively, apply to all harvest or possession of golden tilefish in or from the South Atlantic EEZ by a vessel with a golden tilefish longline endorsement. The sale or purchase of longline-caught golden tilefish taken from the EEZ is prohibited during the commercial longline closure. The prohibition on sale or purchase does not apply to the sale or purchase of longline-caught golden tilefish that were harvested, landed ashore, and sold prior to 12:01 a.m., local time, March 15, 2016, and were held in cold storage by a dealer or processor. Additionally, the bag and possession limits and the sale and PO 00000 Frm 00034 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 purchase provisions of the commercial closure apply to a person on board a vessel with a golden tilefish longline endorsement, regardless of whether the golden tilefish are harvested in state or Federal waters, as specified in 50 CFR 622.190(c)(1). Classification The Regional Administrator, Southeast Region, NMFS, has determined this temporary rule is necessary for the conservation and management of South Atlantic golden tilefish and is consistent with the Magnuson-Stevens Act and other applicable laws. This action is taken under 50 CFR 622.193(a)(1)(ii) and is exempt from review under Executive Order 12866. These measures are exempt from the procedures of the Regulatory Flexibility Act, because the temporary rule is issued without opportunity for prior notice and comment. This action responds to the best scientific information available. The Assistant Administrator for Fisheries, NOAA (AA), finds that the need to immediately implement this action to close the commercial longline component for golden tilefish constitutes good cause to waive the requirements to provide prior notice and opportunity for public comment pursuant to the authority set forth in 5 U.S.C. 553(b)(B), as such procedures for this temporary rule would be unnecessary and contrary to the public interest. Such procedures are unnecessary, because the regulations at 50 CFR 622.193(a)(1)(ii) have already been subject to notice and comment, and all that remains is to notify the public of the closure. Prior notice and opportunity for public comment on this action are contrary to the public interest, because there is a need to immediately implement this action to protect the golden tilefish resource since the capacity of the fishing fleet allows for rapid harvest of the commercial quota for the longline component. Prior notice and opportunity for public comment would require time and would potentially result in a harvest well in excess of the established commercial quota for the longline component. For the aforementioned reasons, the AA also finds good cause to waive the 30-day delay in the effectiveness of this action under 5 U.S.C. 553(d)(3). Authority: 16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq. E:\FR\FM\11MRR1.SGM 11MRR1 Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 48 / Friday, March 11, 2016 / Rules and Regulations Dated: March 8, 2016. Emily H. Menashes, Acting Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine Fisheries Service. [FR Doc. 2016–05552 Filed 3–8–16; 4:15 pm] BILLING CODE 3510–22–P DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration 50 CFR Part 679 [Docket No. 141021887–5172–02] RIN 0648–XE494 Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Pacific Cod by Catcher Vessels Using Trawl Gear in the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Management Area National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Commerce. ACTION: Temporary rule; closure. AGENCY: NMFS is prohibiting directed fishing for Pacific cod by catcher vessels using trawl gear in the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands management area (BSAI). This action is necessary to prevent exceeding the A season apportionment of the 2016 Pacific cod total allowable catch allocated to trawl catcher vessels in the BSAI. DATES: Effective 1200 hours, Alaska local time (A.l.t.), March 9, 2016, through 1200 hours, A.l.t., April 1, 2016. SUMMARY: FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Josh Keaton, 907–586–7228. NMFS manages the groundfish fishery in the BSAI exclusive economic zone according to the Fishery Management Plan for Groundfish of the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Management Area (FMP) prepared by the North Pacific Fishery Management Council under authority of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act. Regulations governing fishing by U.S. vessels in accordance with the FMP appear at subpart H of 50 CFR part 600 and 50 CFR part 679. The A season apportionment of the 2016 Pacific cod total allowable catch (TAC) allocated to trawl catcher vessels in the BSAI is 36,732 metric tons (mt) as established by the final 2015 and 2016 harvest specifications for groundfish in the BSAI (80 FR 11919, March 5, 2015) and inseason adjustment (81 FR 184, January 5, 2016). asabaliauskas on DSK3SPTVN1PROD with RULES SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: VerDate Sep<11>2014 15:58 Mar 10, 2016 Jkt 238001 In accordance with § 679.20(d)(1)(i), the Administrator, Alaska Region, NMFS (Regional Administrator), has determined that the A season apportionment of the 2016 Pacific cod TAC allocated to trawl catcher vessels in the BSAI will soon be reached. Therefore, the Regional Administrator is establishing a directed fishing allowance of 36,000 mt and is setting aside the remaining 732 mt as bycatch to support other anticipated groundfish fisheries. In accordance with § 679.20(d)(1)(iii), the Regional Administrator finds that this directed fishing allowance has been reached. Consequently, NMFS is prohibiting directed fishing for Pacific cod by catcher vessels using trawl gear in the BSAI. After the effective date of this closure the maximum retainable amounts at § 679.20(e) and (f) apply at any time during a trip. Classification This action responds to the best available information recently obtained from the fishery. The Assistant Administrator for Fisheries, NOAA (AA), finds good cause to waive the requirement to provide prior notice and opportunity for public comment pursuant to the authority set forth at 5 U.S.C. 553(b)(B) and § 679.25(c)(1)(ii) as such requirement is impracticable and contrary to the public interest. This requirement is impracticable and contrary to the public interest as it would prevent NMFS from responding to the most recent fisheries data in a timely fashion and would delay the closure of directed fishing for Pacific cod by catcher vessels using trawl gear in the BSAI. NMFS was unable to publish a notice providing time for public comment because the most recent, relevant data only became available as of March 7, 2016. The AA also finds good cause to waive the 30-day delay in the effective date of this action under 5 U.S.C. 553(d)(3). This finding is based upon the reasons provided above for waiver of prior notice and opportunity for public comment. This action is required by § 679.20 and is exempt from review under Executive Order 12866. Authority: 16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq. Dated: March 8, 2016. Emily H. Menashes, Acting Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine Fisheries Service. [FR Doc. 2016–05528 Filed 3–8–16; 4:15 pm] BILLING CODE 3510–22–P PO 00000 Frm 00035 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 12829 DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration 50 CFR Part 679 [Docket No. 141021887–5172–02] RIN 0648–XE495 Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Reallocation of Pollock in the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Commerce. ACTION: Temporary rule. AGENCY: NMFS is reallocating the projected unused amounts of the Aleut Corporation pollock directed fishing allowance from the Aleutian Islands subarea to the Bering Sea subarea. This action is necessary to provide opportunity for harvest of the 2016 total allowable catch of pollock, consistent with the goals and objectives of the Fishery Management Plan for Groundfish of the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Management Area. DATES: Effective 1200 hrs, Alaska local time (A.l.t.), March 11, 2016 through 2400 hrs Alaska Local time, December 31, 2016. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Steve Whitney, 907–586–7228. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: NMFS manages the groundfish fishery in the BSAI exclusive economic zone according to the Fishery Management Plan for Groundfish of the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Management Area (FMP) prepared by the North Pacific Fishery Management Council (Council) under authority of the MagnusonStevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act. Regulations governing fishing by U.S. vessels in accordance with the FMP appear at subpart H of 50 CFR part 600 and 50 CFR part 679. In the Aleutian Islands subarea, the portion of the 2016 pollock total allowable catch (TAC) allocated to the Aleut Corporation directed fishing allowance (DFA) is 14,700 metric tons (mt) as established by the final 2015 and 2016 harvest specifications for groundfish in the BSAI (80 FR 11919, March 5, 2015), and as adjusted by an inseason adjustment (81 FR 184, January 5, 2016). As of March 4, 2016, the Administrator, Alaska Region, NMFS, (Regional Administrator) has determined that 5,000 mt of the Aleut Corporation pollock DFA in the SUMMARY: E:\FR\FM\11MRR1.SGM 11MRR1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 81, Number 48 (Friday, March 11, 2016)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 12828-12829]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2016-05552]



[[Page 12828]]

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DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

50 CFR Part 622

[Docket No. 120404257-3325-02]
RIN 0648-XE489


Fisheries of the Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico, and South Atlantic; 
2016 Commercial Accountability Measure and Closure for South Atlantic 
Golden Tilefish Longline Component

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

ACTION: Temporary rule; closure.

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SUMMARY: NMFS implements an accountability measure for the commercial 
longline component for golden tilefish in the exclusive economic zone 
(EEZ) of the South Atlantic. Commercial longline landings for golden 
tilefish are projected to reach the longline component's commercial 
annual catch limit (ACL) on March 15, 2016. Therefore, NMFS closes the 
commercial longline component for golden tilefish in the South Atlantic 
EEZ on March 15, 2016, and it will remain closed until the start of the 
next fishing year, January 1, 2017. This closure is necessary to 
protect the golden tilefish resource.

DATES: This rule is effective 12:01 a.m., local time, March 15, 2016, 
until 12:01 a.m., local time, January 1, 2017.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Nikhil Mehta, NMFS Southeast Regional 
Office, telephone: 727-824-5305, email: nikhil.mehta@noaa.gov.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The snapper-grouper fishery of the South 
Atlantic includes golden tilefish and is managed under the Fishery 
Management Plan for the Snapper-Grouper Fishery of the South Atlantic 
Region (FMP). The FMP was prepared by the South Atlantic Fishery 
Management Council and is implemented by NMFS under the authority of 
the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (Magnuson-
Stevens Act) by regulations at 50 CFR part 622.
    On April 23, 2013, NMFS published a final rule to implement 
Amendment 18B to the FMP (78 FR 23858). Amendment 18B to the FMP 
established a longline endorsement program for the commercial golden 
tilefish component of the snapper-grouper fishery and allocated the 
commercial golden tilefish ACL (equivalent to the commercial quota) 
between two gear groups, the longline and hook-and-line components as 
commercial quotas.
    The commercial quota for the longline component for golden tilefish 
in the South Atlantic is 405,971 lb (184,145 kg), gutted weight, for 
the current fishing year, January 1 through December 31, 2016, as 
specified in 50 CFR 622.190(a)(2)(iii).
    Under 50 CFR 622.193(a)(1)(ii), NMFS is required to close the 
commercial longline component for golden tilefish when the longline 
component's commercial quota has been reached, or is projected to be 
reached, by filing a notification to that effect with the Office of the 
Federal Register. After the commercial quota for the longline component 
is reached or projected to be reached, golden tilefish may not be 
fished for or possessed by a vessel with a golden tilefish longline 
endorsement. NMFS has determined that the commercial quota for the 
longline component for golden tilefish in the South Atlantic will be 
reached on March 15, 2016. Accordingly, the commercial longline 
component for South Atlantic golden tilefish is closed effective 12:01 
a.m., local time, March 15, 2016, until 12:01 a.m., local time, January 
1, 2017.
    During the commercial longline closure, golden tilefish may still 
be harvested commercially using hook-and-line gear. However, a vessel 
with a golden tilefish longline endorsement is not eligible to fish for 
or possess golden tilefish using hook-and-line gear under the hook-and-
line trip limit, as specified in 50 CFR 622.191(a)(2)(ii). The operator 
of a vessel with a valid commercial vessel permit for South Atlantic 
snapper-grouper and a valid commercial longline endorsement for golden 
tilefish having golden tilefish on board must have landed and bartered, 
traded, or sold such golden tilefish prior to 12:01 a.m., local time, 
March 15, 2016. During the commercial longline closure, the bag limit 
and possession limits specified in 50 CFR 622.187(b)(2)(iii) and 
(c)(1), respectively, apply to all harvest or possession of golden 
tilefish in or from the South Atlantic EEZ by a vessel with a golden 
tilefish longline endorsement. The sale or purchase of longline-caught 
golden tilefish taken from the EEZ is prohibited during the commercial 
longline closure. The prohibition on sale or purchase does not apply to 
the sale or purchase of longline-caught golden tilefish that were 
harvested, landed ashore, and sold prior to 12:01 a.m., local time, 
March 15, 2016, and were held in cold storage by a dealer or processor. 
Additionally, the bag and possession limits and the sale and purchase 
provisions of the commercial closure apply to a person on board a 
vessel with a golden tilefish longline endorsement, regardless of 
whether the golden tilefish are harvested in state or Federal waters, 
as specified in 50 CFR 622.190(c)(1).

Classification

    The Regional Administrator, Southeast Region, NMFS, has determined 
this temporary rule is necessary for the conservation and management of 
South Atlantic golden tilefish and is consistent with the Magnuson-
Stevens Act and other applicable laws.
    This action is taken under 50 CFR 622.193(a)(1)(ii) and is exempt 
from review under Executive Order 12866.
    These measures are exempt from the procedures of the Regulatory 
Flexibility Act, because the temporary rule is issued without 
opportunity for prior notice and comment.
    This action responds to the best scientific information available. 
The Assistant Administrator for Fisheries, NOAA (AA), finds that the 
need to immediately implement this action to close the commercial 
longline component for golden tilefish constitutes good cause to waive 
the requirements to provide prior notice and opportunity for public 
comment pursuant to the authority set forth in 5 U.S.C. 553(b)(B), as 
such procedures for this temporary rule would be unnecessary and 
contrary to the public interest. Such procedures are unnecessary, 
because the regulations at 50 CFR 622.193(a)(1)(ii) have already been 
subject to notice and comment, and all that remains is to notify the 
public of the closure. Prior notice and opportunity for public comment 
on this action are contrary to the public interest, because there is a 
need to immediately implement this action to protect the golden 
tilefish resource since the capacity of the fishing fleet allows for 
rapid harvest of the commercial quota for the longline component. Prior 
notice and opportunity for public comment would require time and would 
potentially result in a harvest well in excess of the established 
commercial quota for the longline component.
    For the aforementioned reasons, the AA also finds good cause to 
waive the 30-day delay in the effectiveness of this action under 5 
U.S.C. 553(d)(3).

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


[[Page 12829]]


    Dated: March 8, 2016.
Emily H. Menashes,
Acting Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine 
Fisheries Service.
[FR Doc. 2016-05552 Filed 3-8-16; 4:15 pm]
 BILLING CODE 3510-22-P