Fisheries of the Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico, and South Atlantic; Reef Fish Fishery of the Gulf of Mexico; 2016 Recreational Fishing Seasons for Red Snapper in the Gulf of Mexico, 25583-25584 [2016-09907]

Download as PDF Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 82 / Thursday, April 28, 2016 / Rules and Regulations is effective for only the 2015, 2016, and 2017 fishing years. For the 2018 and subsequent fishing years, the applicable total recreational quota specified in § 622.39(a)(2)(i)(A) will apply to the recreational sector. (1) For fishing year 2015—2.964 million lb (1.344 million kg), round weight. (2) For fishing year 2016—3.042 million lb (1.380 million kg), round weight. (3) For fishing year 2017—2.993 million lb (1.358 million kg), round weight. (C) Private angling component quota. The private angling component quota applies to vessels that fish under the bag limit and have not been issued a Federal charter vessel/headboat permit for Gulf reef fish any time during the fishing year. This component quota is effective for only the 2015, 2016, and 2017 fishing years. For the 2018 and subsequent fishing years, the applicable total recreational quota specified in § 622.39(a)(2)(i)(A) will apply to the recreational sector. (1) For fishing year 2015—4.043 million lb (1.834 million kg), round weight. (2) For fishing year 2016—4.150 million lb (1.882 million kg), round weight. (3) For fishing year 2017—4.083 million lb (1.852 million kg), round weight. * * * * * ■ 3. In § 622.41, revise (q)(2)(iii) to read as follows: subsequent fishing years, the applicable total recreational quota specified in § 622.39(a)(2)(i)(A) will apply to the recreational sector. (1) For fishing year 2015—2.371 million lb (1.075 million kg), round weight. (2) For fishing year 2016—2.434 million lb (1.104 million kg), round weight. (3) For fishing year 2017—2.395 million lb (1.086 million kg), round weight. (C) Private angling component ACT. The private angling component ACT applies to vessels that fish under the bag limit and have not been issued a Federal charter vessel/headboat permit for Gulf reef fish any time during the fishing year. This component ACT is effective for only the 2015, 2016, and 2017 fishing years. For the 2018 and subsequent fishing years, the applicable total recreational quota specified in § 622.39(a)(2)(i)(A) will apply to the recreational sector. (1) For fishing year 2015—3.234 million lb (1.467 million kg), round weight. (2) For fishing year 2016—3.320 million lb (1.506 million kg), round weight. (3) For fishing year 2017—3.266 million lb (1.481 million kg), round weight. [FR Doc. 2016–09892 Filed 4–27–16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510–22–P DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration * asabaliauskas on DSK3SPTVN1PROD with RULES § 622.41 Annual catch limits (ACLs), annual catch targets (ACTs), and accountability measures (AMs). 50 CFR Part 622 * * * * (q) * * * (2) * * * (iii) Recreational ACT for red snapper—(A) Total recreational ACT (Federal charter vessel/headboat and private angling component ACTs combined)—(1) For fishing year 2015— 5.606 million lb (2.543 million kg), round weight. (2) For fishing year 2016—5.754 million lb (2.610 million kg), round weight. (3) For fishing year 2017 and subsequent fishing years—5.661 million lb (2.568 million kg), round weight. (B) Federal charter vessel/headboat component ACT. The Federal charter vessel/headboat component ACT applies to vessels that have been issued a valid Federal charter vessel/headboat permit for Gulf reef fish any time during the fishing year. This component ACT is effective for only the 2015, 2016, and 2017 fishing years. For the 2018 and VerDate Sep<11>2014 21:32 Apr 27, 2016 Jkt 238001 [Docket No. 140818679–5356–02] RIN 0648–XE575 Fisheries of the Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico, and South Atlantic; Reef Fish Fishery of the Gulf of Mexico; 2016 Recreational Fishing Seasons for Red Snapper in the Gulf of Mexico National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Commerce. ACTION: Temporary rule; closures. AGENCY: NMFS announces the 2016 recreational fishing seasons for the private angling and Federal charter vessel/headboat (for-hire) components for red snapper in the exclusive economic zone (EEZ) of the Gulf of Mexico (Gulf) through this temporary rule. The Federal recreational seasons SUMMARY: PO 00000 Frm 00009 Fmt 4701 Sfmt 4700 25583 for red snapper in the Gulf EEZ begin at 12:01 a.m., local time, on June 1, 2016. For recreational harvest by the private angling component, the season closes at 12:01 a.m., local time, on June 10, 2016. For recreational harvest by the Federal for-hire component, the season closes at 12:01 a.m., local time, on July 17, 2016. These closures are necessary to prevent the private angling and Federal for-hire components from exceeding their respective quotas (annual catch limits (ACLs)) for the fishing year and prevent overfishing of the Gulf red snapper resource. DATES: The closure is effective at 12:01 a.m., local time, June 10, 2016, until 12:01 a.m., local time, January 1, 2017, for the private angling component. The closure is effective at 12:01 a.m., local time, July 17, 2016, until 12:01 a.m., local time, January 1, 2017, for the Federal for-hire component. The 2017 Federal recreational fishing seasons for the respective components begin on June 1, 2017. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Peter Hood, NMFS Southeast Regional Office, telephone: 727–824–5305, email: peter.hood@noaa.gov. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The Gulf reef fish fishery, which includes red snapper, is managed under the Fishery Management Plan for the Reef Fish Resources of the Gulf of Mexico (FMP). The FMP was prepared by the Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council (Council) and is implemented by NMFS under the authority of the MagnusonStevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (Magnuson-Stevens Act) by regulations at 50 CFR part 622. The final rule implementing Amendment 40 to the FMP established two components within the recreational sector fishing for Gulf red snapper, the private angling component and the Federal for-hire component (80 FR 22422, April 22, 2015). Amendment 40 also allocated the red snapper recreational ACL and annual catch target (ACT) between the components, and established separate seasonal closures for the two components. The seasonal closures are projected from the component ACTs (set 20 percent less than the component ACLs) to reduce the likelihood of harvests exceeding the component ACLs and total recreational ACL. Published in the same issue of the Federal Register is the final rule for Amendment 28 to the FMP to implement revised ACLs for the commercial sector and revised ACLs and ACTs for the private angling and Federal for-hire components of the recreational sector for 2016 and 2017. For 2016, the Amendment 28 final rule E:\FR\FM\28APR3.SGM 28APR3 25584 Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 82 / Thursday, April 28, 2016 / Rules and Regulations asabaliauskas on DSK3SPTVN1PROD with RULES set the private angling ACL at 4.150 million lb (1.882 million kg), round weight, and ACT at 3.320 million lb (1.506 million kg), round weight. The ACL and ACT for the Federal for-hire component in 2016 are 3.042 and 2.434 million lb (1.380 and 1.104 million kg), round weight, respectively. To project the 2016 recreational red snapper seasons for the private angling and Federal for-hire components, a tiered projection approach was taken for forecasting Gulf recreational red snapper average weight and catch rates for 2016. To account for Gulf state recreational red snapper seasons in 2016 that are inconsistent with Federal recreational seasons, state average weights and daily catch rates for 2016 were based on observed values from the 2014 and 2015 seasons. Ten projection scenarios were developed for determining Federal season lengths for the private angler component and Federal for-hire component; five projection scenarios were based on recent years’ data and five were based on regression methods using year, year of rebuilding, spawning stock biomass, fuel prices, per capita gross domestic product, and state and Federal season lengths as predictive covariates. As a result of the assumed inconsistent recreational season lengths for Gulf states in 2016, NMFS projects that landings from recreational harvest in state waters will be approximately half of the 2016 private angler component ACT. The results from the ten projection scenarios as well as additional details about the calculation of the 2016 projections can be viewed in a report located at http://sero.nmfs.noaa.gov/ sustainable_fisheries/gulf_fisheries/red_ snapper/index.html. Based upon the mean of projection scenarios using 2014 and 2015 observed catch rates and mean weights, NMFS VerDate Sep<11>2014 21:32 Apr 27, 2016 Jkt 238001 determines that the season for the private angling component will be 9 days and the season for the Federal forhire component will be 46 days. Therefore, the Federal season for the private angling component will begin at 12:01 a.m., local time, June 1, 2016, and close at 12:01 a.m., local time, June 10, 2016. The Federal season for the Federal for-hire component will begin at 12:01 a.m., local time, June 1, 2016, and close at 12:01 a.m., local time, July 17, 2016. The 2017 Federal recreational fishing seasons for the respective components begin on June 1, 2017. On and after the effective date of a recreational component closure, the bag and possession limits for red snapper in the respective component are zero. When the Federal charter vessel/ headboat component or entire recreational sector is closed, these bag and possession limits apply in the Gulf on board a vessel for which a valid Federal charter vessel/headboat permit for Gulf reef fish has been issued, without regard to where such species were harvested, i.e., in state or Federal waters. Classification The Regional Administrator for the NMFS Southeast Region has determined this temporary rule is necessary for the conservation and management of Gulf red snapper and is consistent with the Magnuson-Stevens Act and other applicable laws. This action is taken under 50 CFR 622.41(q)(2)(i) 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 NOAA PO 00000 Frm 00010 Fmt 4701 Sfmt 9990 Fisheries (AA), finds that the need to immediately implement this action to close the private angling and Federal for-hire components for the red snapper recreational sector constitute good cause to waive the requirements to provide prior notice and opportunity for public comment on this temporary rule pursuant to the authority set forth in 5 U.S.C. 553(b)(B), because such procedures are unnecessary and contrary to the public interest. Such procedures are unnecessary because the rule implementing the recreational red snapper ACLs and ACTs, and the rule implementing the requirement to close the recreational components when the ACTs are projected to be reached have already been subject to notice and comment, and all that remains is to notify the public of the closures. Providing prior notice and opportunity for public comment are contrary to the public interest because of the need to immediately implement this action to protect Gulf red snapper. Prior notice and opportunity for public comment would require time and many of those affected by the length of the recreational fishing seasons, particularly charter vessel and headboat operations that book trips for clients in advance, need as much advance notice as NMFS is able to provide to adjust their business plans to account for the recreational fishing seasons. 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. Dated: April 22, 2016. Emily H. Menashes, Acting Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine Fisheries Service. [FR Doc. 2016–09907 Filed 4–27–16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510–22–P E:\FR\FM\28APR3.SGM 28APR3

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 81, Number 82 (Thursday, April 28, 2016)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 25583-25584]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2016-09907]


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DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

50 CFR Part 622

[Docket No. 140818679-5356-02]
RIN 0648-XE575


Fisheries of the Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico, and South Atlantic; 
Reef Fish Fishery of the Gulf of Mexico; 2016 Recreational Fishing 
Seasons for Red Snapper in the Gulf of Mexico

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

ACTION: Temporary rule; closures.

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SUMMARY: NMFS announces the 2016 recreational fishing seasons for the 
private angling and Federal charter vessel/headboat (for-hire) 
components for red snapper in the exclusive economic zone (EEZ) of the 
Gulf of Mexico (Gulf) through this temporary rule. The Federal 
recreational seasons for red snapper in the Gulf EEZ begin at 12:01 
a.m., local time, on June 1, 2016. For recreational harvest by the 
private angling component, the season closes at 12:01 a.m., local time, 
on June 10, 2016. For recreational harvest by the Federal for-hire 
component, the season closes at 12:01 a.m., local time, on July 17, 
2016. These closures are necessary to prevent the private angling and 
Federal for-hire components from exceeding their respective quotas 
(annual catch limits (ACLs)) for the fishing year and prevent 
overfishing of the Gulf red snapper resource.

DATES: The closure is effective at 12:01 a.m., local time, June 10, 
2016, until 12:01 a.m., local time, January 1, 2017, for the private 
angling component. The closure is effective at 12:01 a.m., local time, 
July 17, 2016, until 12:01 a.m., local time, January 1, 2017, for the 
Federal for-hire component. The 2017 Federal recreational fishing 
seasons for the respective components begin on June 1, 2017.

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

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The Gulf reef fish fishery, which includes 
red snapper, is managed under the Fishery Management Plan for the Reef 
Fish Resources of the Gulf of Mexico (FMP). The FMP was prepared by the 
Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council (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.
    The final rule implementing Amendment 40 to the FMP established two 
components within the recreational sector fishing for Gulf red snapper, 
the private angling component and the Federal for-hire component (80 FR 
22422, April 22, 2015). Amendment 40 also allocated the red snapper 
recreational ACL and annual catch target (ACT) between the components, 
and established separate seasonal closures for the two components. The 
seasonal closures are projected from the component ACTs (set 20 percent 
less than the component ACLs) to reduce the likelihood of harvests 
exceeding the component ACLs and total recreational ACL. Published in 
the same issue of the Federal Register is the final rule for Amendment 
28 to the FMP to implement revised ACLs for the commercial sector and 
revised ACLs and ACTs for the private angling and Federal for-hire 
components of the recreational sector for 2016 and 2017. For 2016, the 
Amendment 28 final rule

[[Page 25584]]

set the private angling ACL at 4.150 million lb (1.882 million kg), 
round weight, and ACT at 3.320 million lb (1.506 million kg), round 
weight. The ACL and ACT for the Federal for-hire component in 2016 are 
3.042 and 2.434 million lb (1.380 and 1.104 million kg), round weight, 
respectively.
    To project the 2016 recreational red snapper seasons for the 
private angling and Federal for-hire components, a tiered projection 
approach was taken for forecasting Gulf recreational red snapper 
average weight and catch rates for 2016. To account for Gulf state 
recreational red snapper seasons in 2016 that are inconsistent with 
Federal recreational seasons, state average weights and daily catch 
rates for 2016 were based on observed values from the 2014 and 2015 
seasons. Ten projection scenarios were developed for determining 
Federal season lengths for the private angler component and Federal 
for-hire component; five projection scenarios were based on recent 
years' data and five were based on regression methods using year, year 
of rebuilding, spawning stock biomass, fuel prices, per capita gross 
domestic product, and state and Federal season lengths as predictive 
covariates. As a result of the assumed inconsistent recreational season 
lengths for Gulf states in 2016, NMFS projects that landings from 
recreational harvest in state waters will be approximately half of the 
2016 private angler component ACT. The results from the ten projection 
scenarios as well as additional details about the calculation of the 
2016 projections can be viewed in a report located at http://sero.nmfs.noaa.gov/sustainable_fisheries/gulf_fisheries/red_snapper/index.html.
    Based upon the mean of projection scenarios using 2014 and 2015 
observed catch rates and mean weights, NMFS determines that the season 
for the private angling component will be 9 days and the season for the 
Federal for-hire component will be 46 days. Therefore, the Federal 
season for the private angling component will begin at 12:01 a.m., 
local time, June 1, 2016, and close at 12:01 a.m., local time, June 10, 
2016. The Federal season for the Federal for-hire component will begin 
at 12:01 a.m., local time, June 1, 2016, and close at 12:01 a.m., local 
time, July 17, 2016. The 2017 Federal recreational fishing seasons for 
the respective components begin on June 1, 2017.
    On and after the effective date of a recreational component 
closure, the bag and possession limits for red snapper in the 
respective component are zero. When the Federal charter vessel/headboat 
component or entire recreational sector is closed, these bag and 
possession limits apply in the Gulf on board a vessel for which a valid 
Federal charter vessel/headboat permit for Gulf reef fish has been 
issued, without regard to where such species were harvested, i.e., in 
state or Federal waters.

Classification

    The Regional Administrator for the NMFS Southeast Region has 
determined this temporary rule is necessary for the conservation and 
management of Gulf red snapper and is consistent with the Magnuson-
Stevens Act and other applicable laws.
    This action is taken under 50 CFR 622.41(q)(2)(i) 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 NOAA Fisheries (AA), finds that the 
need to immediately implement this action to close the private angling 
and Federal for-hire components for the red snapper recreational sector 
constitute good cause to waive the requirements to provide prior notice 
and opportunity for public comment on this temporary rule pursuant to 
the authority set forth in 5 U.S.C. 553(b)(B), because such procedures 
are unnecessary and contrary to the public interest. Such procedures 
are unnecessary because the rule implementing the recreational red 
snapper ACLs and ACTs, and the rule implementing the requirement to 
close the recreational components when the ACTs are projected to be 
reached have already been subject to notice and comment, and all that 
remains is to notify the public of the closures. Providing prior notice 
and opportunity for public comment are contrary to the public interest 
because of the need to immediately implement this action to protect 
Gulf red snapper. Prior notice and opportunity for public comment would 
require time and many of those affected by the length of the 
recreational fishing seasons, particularly charter vessel and headboat 
operations that book trips for clients in advance, need as much advance 
notice as NMFS is able to provide to adjust their business plans to 
account for the recreational fishing seasons.
    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.

    Dated: April 22, 2016.
Emily H. Menashes,
Acting Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine 
Fisheries Service.
[FR Doc. 2016-09907 Filed 4-27-16; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 3510-22-P