Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act Provisions; Fisheries of the Northeastern United States; Northeast Groundfish Fishery; Recreational Management Measures, 14817-14820 [2016-06179]

Download as PDF Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 53 / Friday, March 18, 2016 / Proposed Rules (CAL–BF–1) and one grab sample of offsite topsoil (CA–TPSL–01) were collected to confirm that the backfill material and topsoil did not contain contaminants above levels of concern. The samples were analyzed for VOCs, SVOCs, and metals (arsenic, barium, cadmium, chromium, lead, mercury, selenium, and silver). Laboratory results demonstrated that the backfill and topsoil samples did not contain any contaminants above current EPA RSLs. Following completion of backfilling, the site was restored in accordance with verbal agreements between the EPA and the property owner. The excavated area was completed with a swale that included rip-rap to serve as a drainage route, while the remaining portion of the site property was restored by hydroseeding. The swale was approximately 8 feet wide by 150 feet long, and the rock used for rip-rap was 6 to 8 inch Gabien stone. Following completion of site restoration activities, the removal action was considered complete. asabaliauskas on DSK3SPTVN1PROD with PROPOSALS Cleanup Levels The cleanup levels for the Callahan RA were the current EPAs RSLs. The process used during the RA was to excavate all visibly stained and/or odorous soils then field screen the excavation walls using an XRF and a PID. Once completed, confirmation soil samples were collected and submitted for analysis to ensure that all contaminants above RSLs had been excavated and removed from the site. Once the confirmation analytical results confirmed that levels were below RSLs, the excavated area was backfilled with clean material. Community Involvement The EPA has worked extensively with the Wildwood community through a variety of communication vehicles including but not limited to local speaking engagements, city council meetings, conducting public meetings, coverage on radio, television, and in local and national newspapers. The EPA also prepared letters and fact sheets that were distributed to mailing list recipients as well as hand-distributed to residences including information on the EPA Web site. The EPA has been performing outreach to Wildwood citizens, elected officials, the media, and others since becoming involved in the project in 1980 in an effort to convey information about the hazards and activities of the Site. The EPA has participated in numerous formal and informal meetings to explain the EPA’s role and commitment in Wildwood to convey information about the Superfund VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:28 Mar 17, 2016 Jkt 238001 process and to provide general information about the site and its contamination. Determination That the Criteria for Deletion Have Been Met In accordance with 40 CFR 300.425(e), Region 7 of the EPA finds that the Callahan property, OU3 of the Ellisville Superfund site (the subject of this deletion) meets the substantive criteria for partial NPL deletions. Activities at the Callahan property were completed consistent with the Action Memo and the Statement of Work, and the EPA policies and procedures. The EPA analytical methods were used for all investigations, including confirmation sampling and various levels of data validation as appropriate. The QA/QC program was rigorous and in conformance with the EPA standards. The EPA has determined that all analytical results were accurate to the degree necessary to assure satisfactory execution of the investigation and removal activities. All confirmation analytical results for soil samples were compared to the current EPA RSLs. All results were below the EPA RSLs except those for arsenic; however, all arsenic results were below the average concentration of 10.561 ppm for St. Louis County soils (USGS 2012). List of Subjects in 40 CFR Part 300 Environmental protection, Air pollution control, Chemicals, Hazardous waste, Hazardous substances, Intergovernmental relations, Penalties, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements, Superfund, Water pollution control, Water supply. Authority: 33 U.S.C. 1321(c)(2); 42 U.S.C. 9601–9657; E.O. 12777, 56 FR 54757, 3 CFR, 1991 Comp., p.351; E.O. 12580, 52 FR 2923, 3 CFR, 1987 Comp., p.193. Dated: February 26, 2016. Mark Hague, Regional Administrator, Region 7. [FR Doc. 2016–06221 Filed 3–17–16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560–50–P PO 00000 Frm 00017 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 14817 DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration 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: Supplemental notice of proposed rulemaking; extension of comment period. AGENCY: This action corrects an error in the Gulf of Maine haddock closed season in the proposed rule to implement 2016 recreational groundfish management measures for Gulf of Maine cod and haddock. NMFS is also extending the public comment period to provide additional time for the public to submit comments on the corrected measure. SUMMARY: The public comment period for the proposed rule published at 81 FR 11168, March 3, 2016, is extended from March 18, 2016, to March 25, 2016. Comments must be received no later than March 25, 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 http://www.regulations.gov/ #!submitComment;D=NOAA-NMFS2016-0011-0001. 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 DATES: E:\FR\FM\18MRP1.SGM 18MRP1 14818 Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 53 / Friday, March 18, 2016 / Proposed Rules 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). In support of the proposed action, NMFS prepared a supplemental environmental assessment (EA) to Framework Adjustment 55 to the Northeast Multispecies Fishery Management Plan. The Framework 55 EA was prepared by the New England Fishery Management Council. Copies of the Framework 55 EA and supplemental EA are available from: John K. Bullard, Regional Administrator, National Marine Fisheries Service, 55 Great Republic Drive, Gloucester, MA 01930. The Framework 55 EA and supplement are also accessible via the Internet at: http:// www.greateratlantic.fisheries.noaa.gov/ sustainable/species/multispecies/. Need for Modification NMFS intended to propose measures that were recommended by the New England Fishery Management Council. However, the proposed rule contained errors in the dates that GOM haddock possession would be prohibited. The New England Fishery Management Council recommended that haddock possession be prohibited in the GOM from March 1 through April 14, but NMFS inadvertently proposed a closed season from April 15 through April 30. Only the dates in the proposed rule and supplemental EA were incorrect. All of the information and analysis in the rule and supplemental EA were based on the correct dates and, therefore, are unaffected by this error. The final supplemental EA also will include the corrected dates. Table 1 in this rule summarizes the corrected proposed measures compared to the current fishing year 2015 measures. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Mark Grant, Sector Policy Analyst, phone: 978–281–9145; email: Mark.Grant@noaa.gov. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Proposed Modifications to Recreational Management Measures On March 3, 2016, NMFS published a proposed rule in the Federal Register (81 FR 11168) to increase recreational fishing opportunities for Gulf of Maine (GOM) cod and haddock starting May 1, 2016. The proposed changes would allow anglers to retain one cod per day during the months of August and September, and retain up to 15 haddock per day for most of the fishing year. TABLE 1—CORRECTED PROPOSED CHANGES TO GOM COD AND HADDOCK RECREATIONAL MANAGEMENT MEASURES Current 2015 measures Per day possession limit (fish per angler) Stock Minimum fish size Proposed 2016 measures Season when possession is permitted GOM Cod ....... 3 Minimum fish size Season when possession is permitted 1 24 inches (61.0 cm). August 1–September 30. 15 17 inches (43.2 cm). Year Round Except March 1–April 14. Possession Prohibited Year-Round GOM Haddock Per day possession limit (fish per angler) 17 inches (43.2 cm). May 1, 2015–August 31, 2015 and November 1, 2015–February 29, 2016. * The recreational cod prohibition is proposed to be rescinded in Framework 55. This action would establish the actual recreational fishing effort regulations if the prohibition is removed. The proposed rule published March 3, 2016 (81 FR 11168), contained additional detail on the recent stock assessments and the increase to recreational catch limits for GOM cod and GOM haddock that are included in Framework Adjustment 55; the bioeconomic model used to estimate 2016 recreational GOM cod and haddock mortality under various combinations of minimum sizes, possession limits, and closed seasons; and how management alternatives and the proposed measures were developed (see ADDRESSES). That information is not repeated here. Additional information and analyses on these alternatives is included in a supplemental Environmental Assessment (see ADDRESSES). Table 2 in this rule compares the estimated fishing year 2016 mortality of GOM cod and GOM haddock by the corrected management alternatives. TABLE 2—ESTIMATED FISHING YEAR 2016 MORTALITY OF GOM COD AND HADDOCK BY CORRECTED MANAGEMENT ALTERNATIVE* Haddock Total mortality (mt) Bag limit Size limit (in/ cm) Open season Total mortality (mt) Total mortality as percent of quota Closed Jul— Aug. Sept— Oct. Aug— Sept. 66 132 42 84 117,139 168,125 114 73 167,549 114–132 73–84 167,549– 168,125 Bag limit asabaliauskas on DSK3SPTVN1PROD with PROPOSALS Alternative Cod Total mortality as percent of quota Size limit (in/ cm) Current Recreational Measures ........ 2016 RAP Recommendation ............ 3 15 17/43.2 17/43.2 Waves 3, 4, 6, 1 ............................... All year, except March 1–April 14 .... 405 709 44 76 0 1 n/a 24/61.0 2016 Committee Recommendation .. 15 17/43.2 All year, except March 1–April 14 .... 707 76 1 24/61.0 2016 Council Recommendation ........ 15 17/43.2 All year, except March 1–April 14 .... 707–709 76 1 24/61.0 Open season Angler trips * The model cannot split a wave of data; the numbers provided under alternative 4 are a range between alternatives 2 and 3. Council recommended Framework 55 fishing year 2016 GOM haddock recreational catch limit = 928 mt. Council recommended Framework fishing year 2016 GOM cod recreational catch limit = 157 mt. VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:28 Mar 17, 2016 Jkt 238001 PO 00000 Frm 00018 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 E:\FR\FM\18MRP1.SGM 18MRP1 Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 53 / Friday, March 18, 2016 / Proposed Rules Public Comment Extension The public comment period for the original proposed rule ends on March 18, 2016. We provided a 15-day comment period for this rule which, coupled with extensive public comment periods at three different Councilrelated meetings during the development of this action, would provide sufficient opportunity for public input on the proposed measures. Because of the need to correct an error in the proposed rule, we have extended the comment period for an additional 7 days until March 25, 2016, to allow public comment on the corrected measures. These measures need to be in effect on May 1, 2016, and recreational fishing businesses and fishermen are currently scheduling fishing trips. This correction will provide them with additional information to assist their planning efforts. Because the proposed measures would increase fishing opportunities, announcing a final decision on these measures quickly will provide additional support to recreational fishing businesses. List of Subjects in 50 CFR Part 648 Fisheries, Fishing, Recordkeeping and reporting requirements. Dated: March 14, 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 648, as published at 81 FR 11168, March 3, 2016, is proposed to be further amended as follows: PART 648—FISHERIES OF THE NORTHEASTERN UNITED STATES 1. The authority citation for part 648 continues to read as follows: ■ Authority: 16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq. 2. In § 648.89, revise paragraphs (c)(1)(ii), (c)(2), and (c)(8) to read as follows: ■ § 648.89 Recreational and charter/party vessel restrictions. asabaliauskas on DSK3SPTVN1PROD with PROPOSALS * * * * * (c) * * * (1) * * * (ii) Each person on a private recreational fishing vessel, fishing from August 1 through September 30, may possess no more than one cod per day in, or harvested from, the EEZ when fishing in the GOM Regulated Mesh Area specified in § 648.80(a)(1); with the exception that each person on a private recreational vessel in possession of cod caught outside the GOM Regulated VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:28 Mar 17, 2016 Jkt 238001 Mesh Area specified in § 648.80(a)(1) may transit this area with more than one such cod per person up to the possession limit specified at § 648.89(c)(1)(i), provided all bait and hooks are removed from fishing rods and any cod on board has been gutted and stored. * * * * * (2) Charter or party vessels. (i) Each person on a charter/party fishing vessel permitted under this part and not fishing under a NE multispecies DAS program or on a sector trip may possess unlimited cod when fishing outside of the GOM Regulated Mesh Area specified in § 648.80(a)(1). (ii) Each person on a charter or party vessel permitted under this part, fishing from August 1 through September 30, and not fishing under the NE multispecies DAS program or on a sector trip, may possess no more than one cod per day in the GOM Regulated Mesh Area specified in § 648.80(a)(1); with the exception that each person on a charter or party vessel in possession of cod caught outside the GOM Regulated Mesh Area specified in § 648.80(a)(1) may transit this area with more than one such cod up to any possession limit under § 648.89(c)(2)(ii), provided all bait and hooks are removed from fishing rods and any cod on board has been gutted and stored. (iii) For purposes of counting fish, fillets will be converted to whole fish at the place of landing by dividing the number of fillets by two. If fish are filleted into a single (butterfly) fillet, such fillet shall be deemed to be from one whole fish. (iv) Cod harvested by a charter or party vessel with more than one person aboard may be pooled in one or more containers. Compliance with the possession limits will be determined by dividing the number of fish on board by the number of persons on board. If there is a violation of the possession limits on board a vessel carrying more than one person, the violation shall be deemed to have been committed by the owner or operator of the vessel. (v) Cod must be stored so as to be readily available for inspection. * * * * * (8) Haddock—(i) Outside the Gulf of Maine—(A) Private recreational vessels. Each person on a private recreational vessel may possess unlimited haddock in, or harvested from, the EEZ when fishing outside of the GOM Regulated Mesh Area specified in § 648.80(a)(1). (B) Charter or party vessels. Each person on a charter or party fishing vessel permitted under this part, and not fishing under the NE multispecies PO 00000 Frm 00019 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 14819 DAS program or on a sector trip, may possess unlimited haddock in, or harvested from, the EEZ when fishing outside of the GOM Regulated Mesh Area specified in § 648.80(a)(1). (ii) Gulf of Maine—(A) Private recreational vessels. Each person on a private recreational vessel in possession of haddock caught outside the GOM Regulated Mesh Area specified in § 648.80(a)(1) may transit this area with more than the GOM haddock possession limit specified at § 648.89(c)(8)(ii) up to the possession limit specified at § 648.89(c)(8)(i), provided all bait and hooks are removed from fishing rods and any haddock on board has been gutted and stored. (1) May through February. Each person on a private recreational fishing vessel, fishing from May 1 through February 28 (February 29 in leap years), may possess no more than 15 haddock per day in, or harvested from, the EEZ when fishing in the GOM Regulated Mesh Area specified in § 648.80(a)(1). (2) March 1 through April 14. When fishing in the GOM Regulated Mesh Area specified in § 648.80(a)(1), persons aboard private recreational fishing vessels may not fish for or possess any haddock from March 1 through April 14. (3) April 15 through April 30. Each person on a private recreational fishing vessel, fishing from April 15 through April 30, may possess no more than 15 haddock per day in, or harvested from, the EEZ when fishing in the GOM Regulated Mesh Area specified in § 648.80(a)(1). (B) Charter or party vessels. Each person on a charter or party fishing vessel permitted under this part, and not fishing under a NE multispecies DAS program or on a sector trip, in possession of haddock caught outside the GOM Regulated Mesh Area specified in § 648.80(a)(1) may transit this area with more than GOM haddock possession limit per person up to the possession limit specified at § 648.89(c)(8)(i), provided all bait and hooks are removed from fishing rods and any haddock on board has been gutted and stored. (1) May through February. Each person on a charter or party fishing vessel permitted under this part, and not fishing under the NE multispecies DAS program or on a sector trip, fishing from May 1 through February 28 (or 29 in leap years), may possess no more than 15 haddock per day in, or harvested from, the EEZ when fishing in the GOM Regulated Mesh Area specified in § 648.80(a)(1). (2) March 1 through April 14. When fishing in the GOM Regulated Mesh E:\FR\FM\18MRP1.SGM 18MRP1 14820 Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 53 / Friday, March 18, 2016 / Proposed Rules Area specified in § 648.80(a)(1), persons aboard a charter or party fishing vessel permitted under this part, and not fishing under the NE multispecies DAS program or on a sector trip, may not fish for or possess any haddock from March 1 through April 14. (3) April 15 through April 30. Each person on a charter or party fishing vessel permitted under this part, and not fishing under the NE multispecies DAS program or on a sector trip, fishing from April 15 through April 30, may possess no more than 15 haddock per day in, or harvested from, the EEZ when fishing in the GOM Regulated Mesh Area specified in § 648.80(a)(1). (iii) For purposes of counting fish, fillets will be converted to whole fish at the place of landing by dividing the number of fillets by two. If fish are filleted into a single (butterfly) fillet, such fillet shall be deemed to be from one whole fish. (iv) Haddock harvested in or from the EEZ by private recreational fishing boats or charter or party boats with more than one person aboard may be pooled in one or more containers. Compliance with the possession limit will be determined by dividing the number of fish on board by the number of persons on board. If there is a violation of the possession limit on board a vessel carrying more than one person, the violation shall be deemed to have been committed by the owner or operator of the vessel. (v) Haddock must be stored so as to be readily available for inspection. * * * * * [FR Doc. 2016–06179 Filed 3–17–16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510–22–P DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration 50 CFR Parts 223 and 224 RIN 0648–XC751 asabaliauskas on DSK3SPTVN1PROD with PROPOSALS Endangered and Threatened Species; Identification of 14 Distinct Population Segments of the Humpback Whale (Megaptera novaeangliae) and Proposed Revision of Species-Wide Listing National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Commerce. ACTION: Proposed rule; notice of availability of monitoring plan and opening of comment period. AGENCY: We, NMFS, in collaboration with Federal and state partners, have SUMMARY: VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:28 Mar 17, 2016 Jkt 238001 drafted a monitoring plan (MP) for the distinct population segments (DPSs) of humpback whale (Megaptera novaeangliae) that we did not propose to list as threatened or endangered under the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended (ESA), in our proposed revision of the species-wide listing. This document announces the availability of the draft MP and opens a 30-day public comment period on it. DATES: Comments must be received by April 18, 2016. ADDRESSES: Send comments to Marta Nammack, National ESA Listing Coordinator, NMFS Headquarters. You may submit comments, identified by FDMS Docket Number NOAA–NMFS– 2015–0035 by any of the following methods: • Electronic Submissions: Submit all electronic public comments via the Federal eRulemaking Portal http:// www.regulations.gov. Follow the instructions for submitting comments. • Hand-delivery: National ESA Listing Coordinator, Protected Resources Office, NMFS, 1315 EastWest Highway, Room 13536, Silver Spring, MD 20910. • Mail: NMFS, 1315 East-West Highway, Room 13536, Silver Spring, MD 20910. All comments received are a part of the public record and will generally be posted to http://www.regulations.gov without change. All Personal Identifying Information (for example, name, address, etc.) voluntarily submitted by the commenter may be publicly accessible. Do not submit Confidential Business Information or otherwise sensitive or protected information. NMFS will accept anonymous comments (enter N/A in the required fields, if you wish to remain anonymous). Attachments to electronic comments will be accepted in Microsoft Word, Excel, WordPerfect, or Adobe PDF file formats only. The draft MP, along with the proposed revision of the humpback whale species-wide listing (80 FR 22304; April 21, 2015) and the Biological Review Team’s Status Review Report (Bettridge et al., 2015) upon which the proposed revision relies upon can be found on the NMFS Web site at: http://nmfs.noaa.gov/pr/. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Marta Nammack, Office of Protected Resources, Silver Spring, MD (301) 427– 8469. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Background On April 21, 2015, we published a proposal to divide the globally listed PO 00000 Frm 00020 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 endangered humpback whale into 14 DPSs, remove the current species-level listing, and in its place list 2 DPSs as endangered and 2 DPSs as threatened. The remaining 10 DPSs were not proposed for listing because we determined that they are not threatened or endangered under the ESA. Section 4(g)(1) of the ESA requires that NMFS: ‘‘. . . implement a system in cooperation with the States to monitor effectively for not less than five years the status of all species which have recovered to the point at which the measures provided pursuant to this Act [the ESA] are no longer necessary and which, in accordance with the provisions of this section, have been removed from either of the lists published under subsection (c).’’ General guidance for monitoring plan development is provided by recommendations jointly developed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and NMFS (USFWS and NMFS 2008). This guidance, called the ‘‘Post-Delisting Monitoring Plan Guidance,’’ clarified that: ‘‘The primary goal of PDM is to monitor the species to ensure the status does not deteriorate, and if a substantial decline in the species . . . or an increase in threats is detected, to take measures to halt the decline so that reproposing it as a threatened or endangered species is not needed.’’ Although our determination that certain DPSs of humpback whale no longer qualify for listing is not technically a ‘‘delisting,’’ for the reasons explained in the proposed listing rule, we find that it is appropriate to monitor the status of the populations that will no longer be listed if the proposed rule is finalized. This is consistent with the intent of section 4(g)(1) of the Act. 16 U.S.C. 1533(g)(1). The Post-Delisting Monitoring Plan guidance thus guides us in our development of a monitoring plan for those humpback whale DPSs. Pursuant to ESA section 4(g)(1), we have drafted a MP for the humpback whale DPSs that we did not propose to list as threatened or endangered. Public Comments Solicited We are notifying the public of the availability of a draft MP and providing the public an opportunity to submit comments on the draft MP for 30 days. The comment period shall be limited to 30 days because the statutory deadline for our final listing determination on the proposed rule is April 21, 2016, and we must finalize the MP by this date, too. We will consider all comments we receive during the comment period and incorporate suggestions, as appropriate, before finalizing the MP. Please submit E:\FR\FM\18MRP1.SGM 18MRP1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 81, Number 53 (Friday, March 18, 2016)]
[Proposed Rules]
[Pages 14817-14820]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2016-06179]


=======================================================================
-----------------------------------------------------------------------

DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

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

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

ACTION: Supplemental notice of proposed rulemaking; extension of 
comment period.

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

SUMMARY: This action corrects an error in the Gulf of Maine haddock 
closed season in the proposed rule to implement 2016 recreational 
groundfish management measures for Gulf of Maine cod and haddock. NMFS 
is also extending the public comment period to provide additional time 
for the public to submit comments on the corrected measure.

DATES: The public comment period for the proposed rule published at 81 
FR 11168, March 3, 2016, is extended from March 18, 2016, to March 25, 
2016. Comments must be received no later than March 25, 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 http://www.regulations.gov/#!submitComment;D=NOAA-NMFS-
2016-0011-0001.
    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

[[Page 14818]]

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).
    In support of the proposed action, NMFS prepared a supplemental 
environmental assessment (EA) to Framework Adjustment 55 to the 
Northeast Multispecies Fishery Management Plan. The Framework 55 EA was 
prepared by the New England Fishery Management Council. Copies of the 
Framework 55 EA and supplemental EA are available from: John K. 
Bullard, Regional Administrator, National Marine Fisheries Service, 55 
Great Republic Drive, Gloucester, MA 01930. The Framework 55 EA and 
supplement are also accessible via the Internet at: http://www.greateratlantic.fisheries.noaa.gov/sustainable/species/multispecies/.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Mark Grant, Sector Policy Analyst, 
phone: 978-281-9145; email: Mark.Grant@noaa.gov.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Proposed Modifications to Recreational Management Measures

    On March 3, 2016, NMFS published a proposed rule in the Federal 
Register (81 FR 11168) to increase recreational fishing opportunities 
for Gulf of Maine (GOM) cod and haddock starting May 1, 2016. The 
proposed changes would allow anglers to retain one cod per day during 
the months of August and September, and retain up to 15 haddock per day 
for most of the fishing year.

Need for Modification

    NMFS intended to propose measures that were recommended by the New 
England Fishery Management Council. However, the proposed rule 
contained errors in the dates that GOM haddock possession would be 
prohibited. The New England Fishery Management Council recommended that 
haddock possession be prohibited in the GOM from March 1 through April 
14, but NMFS inadvertently proposed a closed season from April 15 
through April 30. Only the dates in the proposed rule and supplemental 
EA were incorrect. All of the information and analysis in the rule and 
supplemental EA were based on the correct dates and, therefore, are 
unaffected by this error. The final supplemental EA also will include 
the corrected dates. Table 1 in this rule summarizes the corrected 
proposed measures compared to the current fishing year 2015 measures.

                               Table 1--Corrected Proposed Changes to GOM Cod and Haddock Recreational Management Measures
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                    Current 2015 measures                                       Proposed 2016 measures
                                ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                     Per day                                                      Per day
             Stock                 possession                         Season when possession    possession                        Season when possession
                                   limit (fish    Minimum fish size        is permitted         limit (fish    Minimum fish size       is permitted
                                   per angler)                                                  per angler)
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
GOM Cod........................                Possession Prohibited Year-Round                            1  24 inches (61.0     August 1-September 30.
                                                                                                               cm).
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
GOM Haddock....................               3  17 inches (43.2     May 1, 2015-August 31,               15  17 inches (43.2     Year Round Except
                                                  cm).                2015 and November 1,                     cm).                March 1-April 14.
                                                                      2015-February 29, 2016.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
* The recreational cod prohibition is proposed to be rescinded in Framework 55. This action would establish the actual recreational fishing effort
  regulations if the prohibition is removed.

    The proposed rule published March 3, 2016 (81 FR 11168), contained 
additional detail on the recent stock assessments and the increase to 
recreational catch limits for GOM cod and GOM haddock that are included 
in Framework Adjustment 55; the bio-economic model used to estimate 
2016 recreational GOM cod and haddock mortality under various 
combinations of minimum sizes, possession limits, and closed seasons; 
and how management alternatives and the proposed measures were 
developed (see ADDRESSES). That information is not repeated here. 
Additional information and analyses on these alternatives is included 
in a supplemental Environmental Assessment (see ADDRESSES). Table 2 in 
this rule compares the estimated fishing year 2016 mortality of GOM cod 
and GOM haddock by the corrected management alternatives.

                                           Table 2--Estimated Fishing Year 2016 Mortality of GOM Cod and Haddock by Corrected Management Alternative*
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                         Haddock                                                               Cod
                                         ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                                                       Total                                                             Total
               Alternative                            Size                                  Total    mortality              Size                              Total    mortality   Angler trips
                                             Bag      limit           Open season         mortality      as        Bag      limit         Open season       mortality      as
                                            limit    (in/cm)                                 (mt)     percent     limit    (in/cm)                             (mt)     percent
                                                                                                      of quota                                                          of quota
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Current Recreational Measures...........         3   17/43.2  Waves 3, 4, 6, 1..........        405         44         0       n/a  Closed................         66         42         117,139
2016 RAP Recommendation.................        15   17/43.2  All year, except March 1-         709         76         1   24/61.0  Jul--Aug..............        132         84         168,125
                                                               April 14.
2016 Committee Recommendation...........        15   17/43.2  All year, except March 1-         707         76         1   24/61.0  Sept--Oct.............        114         73         167,549
                                                               April 14.
2016 Council Recommendation.............        15   17/43.2  All year, except March 1-     707-709         76         1   24/61.0  Aug--Sept.............    114-132      73-84  167,549-168,12
                                                               April 14.                                                                                                                       5
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
* The model cannot split a wave of data; the numbers provided under alternative 4 are a range between alternatives 2 and 3. Council recommended Framework 55 fishing year 2016 GOM haddock
  recreational catch limit = 928 mt. Council recommended Framework fishing year 2016 GOM cod recreational catch limit = 157 mt.


[[Page 14819]]

Public Comment Extension

    The public comment period for the original proposed rule ends on 
March 18, 2016. We provided a 15-day comment period for this rule 
which, coupled with extensive public comment periods at three different 
Council-related meetings during the development of this action, would 
provide sufficient opportunity for public input on the proposed 
measures. Because of the need to correct an error in the proposed rule, 
we have extended the comment period for an additional 7 days until 
March 25, 2016, to allow public comment on the corrected measures. 
These measures need to be in effect on May 1, 2016, and recreational 
fishing businesses and fishermen are currently scheduling fishing 
trips. This correction will provide them with additional information to 
assist their planning efforts. Because the proposed measures would 
increase fishing opportunities, announcing a final decision on these 
measures quickly will provide additional support to recreational 
fishing businesses.

List of Subjects in 50 CFR Part 648

    Fisheries, Fishing, Recordkeeping and reporting requirements.

    Dated: March 14, 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 648, as 
published at 81 FR 11168, March 3, 2016, is proposed to be further 
amended as follows:

PART 648--FISHERIES OF THE NORTHEASTERN UNITED STATES

0
1. The authority citation for part 648 continues to read as follows:

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

0
2. In Sec.  648.89, revise paragraphs (c)(1)(ii), (c)(2), and (c)(8) to 
read as follows:


Sec.  648.89  Recreational and charter/party vessel restrictions.

* * * * *
    (c) * * *
    (1) * * *
    (ii) Each person on a private recreational fishing vessel, fishing 
from August 1 through September 30, may possess no more than one cod 
per day in, or harvested from, the EEZ when fishing in the GOM 
Regulated Mesh Area specified in Sec.  648.80(a)(1); with the exception 
that each person on a private recreational vessel in possession of cod 
caught outside the GOM Regulated Mesh Area specified in Sec.  
648.80(a)(1) may transit this area with more than one such cod per 
person up to the possession limit specified at Sec.  648.89(c)(1)(i), 
provided all bait and hooks are removed from fishing rods and any cod 
on board has been gutted and stored.
* * * * *
    (2) Charter or party vessels. (i) Each person on a charter/party 
fishing vessel permitted under this part and not fishing under a NE 
multispecies DAS program or on a sector trip may possess unlimited cod 
when fishing outside of the GOM Regulated Mesh Area specified in Sec.  
648.80(a)(1).
    (ii) Each person on a charter or party vessel permitted under this 
part, fishing from August 1 through September 30, and not fishing under 
the NE multispecies DAS program or on a sector trip, may possess no 
more than one cod per day in the GOM Regulated Mesh Area specified in 
Sec.  648.80(a)(1); with the exception that each person on a charter or 
party vessel in possession of cod caught outside the GOM Regulated Mesh 
Area specified in Sec.  648.80(a)(1) may transit this area with more 
than one such cod up to any possession limit under Sec.  
648.89(c)(2)(ii), provided all bait and hooks are removed from fishing 
rods and any cod on board has been gutted and stored.
    (iii) For purposes of counting fish, fillets will be converted to 
whole fish at the place of landing by dividing the number of fillets by 
two. If fish are filleted into a single (butterfly) fillet, such fillet 
shall be deemed to be from one whole fish.
    (iv) Cod harvested by a charter or party vessel with more than one 
person aboard may be pooled in one or more containers. Compliance with 
the possession limits will be determined by dividing the number of fish 
on board by the number of persons on board. If there is a violation of 
the possession limits on board a vessel carrying more than one person, 
the violation shall be deemed to have been committed by the owner or 
operator of the vessel.
    (v) Cod must be stored so as to be readily available for 
inspection.
* * * * *
    (8) Haddock--(i) Outside the Gulf of Maine--(A) Private 
recreational vessels. Each person on a private recreational vessel may 
possess unlimited haddock in, or harvested from, the EEZ when fishing 
outside of the GOM Regulated Mesh Area specified in Sec.  648.80(a)(1).
    (B) Charter or party vessels. Each person on a charter or party 
fishing vessel permitted under this part, and not fishing under the NE 
multispecies DAS program or on a sector trip, may possess unlimited 
haddock in, or harvested from, the EEZ when fishing outside of the GOM 
Regulated Mesh Area specified in Sec.  648.80(a)(1).
    (ii) Gulf of Maine--(A) Private recreational vessels. Each person 
on a private recreational vessel in possession of haddock caught 
outside the GOM Regulated Mesh Area specified in Sec.  648.80(a)(1) may 
transit this area with more than the GOM haddock possession limit 
specified at Sec.  648.89(c)(8)(ii) up to the possession limit 
specified at Sec.  648.89(c)(8)(i), provided all bait and hooks are 
removed from fishing rods and any haddock on board has been gutted and 
stored.
    (1) May through February. Each person on a private recreational 
fishing vessel, fishing from May 1 through February 28 (February 29 in 
leap years), may possess no more than 15 haddock per day in, or 
harvested from, the EEZ when fishing in the GOM Regulated Mesh Area 
specified in Sec.  648.80(a)(1).
    (2) March 1 through April 14. When fishing in the GOM Regulated 
Mesh Area specified in Sec.  648.80(a)(1), persons aboard private 
recreational fishing vessels may not fish for or possess any haddock 
from March 1 through April 14.
    (3) April 15 through April 30. Each person on a private 
recreational fishing vessel, fishing from April 15 through April 30, 
may possess no more than 15 haddock per day in, or harvested from, the 
EEZ when fishing in the GOM Regulated Mesh Area specified in Sec.  
648.80(a)(1).
    (B) Charter or party vessels. Each person on a charter or party 
fishing vessel permitted under this part, and not fishing under a NE 
multispecies DAS program or on a sector trip, in possession of haddock 
caught outside the GOM Regulated Mesh Area specified in Sec.  
648.80(a)(1) may transit this area with more than GOM haddock 
possession limit per person up to the possession limit specified at 
Sec.  648.89(c)(8)(i), provided all bait and hooks are removed from 
fishing rods and any haddock on board has been gutted and stored.
    (1) May through February. Each person on a charter or party fishing 
vessel permitted under this part, and not fishing under the NE 
multispecies DAS program or on a sector trip, fishing from May 1 
through February 28 (or 29 in leap years), may possess no more than 15 
haddock per day in, or harvested from, the EEZ when fishing in the GOM 
Regulated Mesh Area specified in Sec.  648.80(a)(1).
    (2) March 1 through April 14. When fishing in the GOM Regulated 
Mesh

[[Page 14820]]

Area specified in Sec.  648.80(a)(1), persons aboard a charter or party 
fishing vessel permitted under this part, and not fishing under the NE 
multispecies DAS program or on a sector trip, may not fish for or 
possess any haddock from March 1 through April 14.
    (3) April 15 through April 30. Each person on a charter or party 
fishing vessel permitted under this part, and not fishing under the NE 
multispecies DAS program or on a sector trip, fishing from April 15 
through April 30, may possess no more than 15 haddock per day in, or 
harvested from, the EEZ when fishing in the GOM Regulated Mesh Area 
specified in Sec.  648.80(a)(1).
    (iii) For purposes of counting fish, fillets will be converted to 
whole fish at the place of landing by dividing the number of fillets by 
two. If fish are filleted into a single (butterfly) fillet, such fillet 
shall be deemed to be from one whole fish.
    (iv) Haddock harvested in or from the EEZ by private recreational 
fishing boats or charter or party boats with more than one person 
aboard may be pooled in one or more containers. Compliance with the 
possession limit will be determined by dividing the number of fish on 
board by the number of persons on board. If there is a violation of the 
possession limit on board a vessel carrying more than one person, the 
violation shall be deemed to have been committed by the owner or 
operator of the vessel.
    (v) Haddock must be stored so as to be readily available for 
inspection.
* * * * *
[FR Doc. 2016-06179 Filed 3-17-16; 8:45 am]
 BILLING CODE 3510-22-P