Mariana Archipelago Fisheries; Remove the CNMI Medium and Large Vessel Bottomfish Prohibited Areas, 38123-38126 [2016-13852]

Download as PDF Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 113 / Monday, June 13, 2016 / Proposed Rules explained our reasons for this action in the preamble to the direct final rule. If we receive no adverse comment, we will not take further action on this proposed rule. If we receive adverse comment on all or a distinct portion of this direct final rule, we will publish a timely withdrawal in the Federal Register informing the public that some or all of the direct final rule will not take effect. We would address all public comments in any subsequent final rule based on the proposed rule. If we receive adverse comment on a distinct provision of the direct final rule, we will publish a timely withdrawal in the Federal Register indicating which provisions we are withdrawing. The provisions that are not withdrawn will become effective on the date set out in the direct final rule, notwithstanding adverse comment on any other provision. We do not intend to institute a second comment period on this action. Any parties interested in commenting must do so at this time. The regulatory text for this proposal is identical to that for the direct final rule published in the ‘‘Rules and Regulations’’ section of this Federal Register. For further supplementary information, the detailed rationale for this proposal, and the regulatory revisions, see the direct final rule published in the ‘‘Rules and Regulations’’ section of this Federal Register. II. Does this action apply to me? Categories and entities potentially regulated by this proposed rule include: NAICS code 1 Category Primary Aluminum Production Facilities. Secondary Aluminum Production Facilities. Aluminum Sheet, Plate, and Foil Manufacturing Facilities. Aluminum Extruded Product Manufacturing Facilities. Other Aluminum Rolling and Drawing Facilities. Aluminum Die Casting Facilities ... Aluminum Foundry Facilities ......... mstockstill on DSK3G9T082PROD with PROPOSALS 1 North System. American Industry 331312 331314 331315 331316 331319 331521 331524 Classification This table is not intended to be exhaustive, but rather provides a guide for readers regarding entities likely to be regulated by this proposed rule. To determine whether your facility is affected, you should examine the applicability criteria in 40 CFR 63.1500. If you have any questions regarding the applicability of any aspect of this action to a particular entity, consult either the air permitting authority for the entity or VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:50 Jun 10, 2016 Jkt 238001 your EPA regional representative as listed in 40 CFR 63.13. III. Statutory and Executive Orders For a complete discussion of the rationale, regulatory text, and all of the administrative requirements applicable to this action, see the direct final rule in the ‘‘Rules and Regulations’’ section of this Federal Register. Dated: May 27, 2016. Gina McCarthy, Administrator. [FR Doc. 2016–13504 Filed 6–10–16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560–50–P DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration 50 CFR Part 665 [Docket No. 150908833–6479–01] RIN 0648–BF37 Mariana Archipelago Fisheries; Remove the CNMI Medium and Large Vessel Bottomfish Prohibited Areas National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Commerce. ACTION: Proposed rule; request for comments. AGENCY: This proposed rule would remove the medium and large vessel bottomfish prohibited fishing areas in the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI). Conditions in the fishery that led to establishing the prohibited areas are no longer present, and the restriction is no longer necessary. The Western Pacific Fishery Management Council recommended Amendment 4 to the Fishery Ecosystem Plan for the Mariana Archipelago (FEP) to remove these prohibited areas, and this proposed rule would implement the recommended change. The intent of the proposed rule is to improve the viability of the CNMI bottomfish fishery and promote optimum yield while preventing overfishing. This proposed rule would also make an administrative housekeeping change to the regulations for the CNMI management subarea crustacean fishing. DATES: NMFS must receive comments by July 28, 2016. ADDRESSES: You may submit comments on this document, identified by NOAA– NMFS–2015–0115, by either of the following methods: • Electronic Submission: Submit all electronic public comments via the SUMMARY: PO 00000 Frm 00011 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 38123 Federal e-Rulemaking Portal. Go to www.regulations.gov/ #!docketDetail;D=NOAA-NMFS-20150115, click the ‘‘Comment Now!’’ icon, complete the required fields, and enter or attach your comments. • Mail: Send written comments to Michael D. Tosatto, Regional Administrator, NMFS Pacific Islands Region (PIR), 1845 Wasp Blvd., Bldg. 176, Honolulu, HI 96818. Instructions: NMFS may not consider comments sent by any other method, to any other address or individual, or received after the end of the comment period. 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). The Western Pacific Fishery Management Council (Council) and NMFS prepared an environmental analysis that describes the potential impacts on the human environment that could result from the proposed rule. The environmental analysis and other supporting documents are available at www.regulations.gov. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Sarah Ellgen, NMFS PIRO Sustainable Fisheries, 808–725–5173. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: In 2008, the Council recommended establishing, and NMFS implemented, prohibited areas for commercial fishing for Mariana bottomfish management unit species (BMUS) in the CNMI. Federal regulations currently prohibit medium and large vessels (40 ft and greater) from commercial fishing for BMUS in certain Federal waters around the CNMI. The prohibited areas include waters within approximately 50 nm of the Southern Islands (i.e., Rota, Aguigan (alt. Aguijan), Tinian, Saipan, and Farallon de Medinilla) and within 10 nm of Alamagan Island. The Council established the prohibited areas to prevent large bottomfish vessels based in Guam from traveling to CNMI fishing grounds. At the time, the Council was concerned that the Guam vessels could negatively affect fish stocks and local fisheries through stock depletion, catch competition, and gear conflicts. You may read more about the establishment of the prohibited areas in the 2008 proposed rule (73 FR 51992, September E:\FR\FM\13JNP1.SGM 13JNP1 Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 113 / Monday, June 13, 2016 / Proposed Rules mstockstill on DSK3G9T082PROD with PROPOSALS 8, 2008) and final rule (73 FR 75615, December 12, 2008). The CNMI bottomfish fishery has changed since 2008, and the conditions that led the Council and NMFS to establish the prohibited areas are no longer present. Large vessels from Guam have not shown interest in fishing for CNMI bottomfish. The prohibited areas may also be negatively impacting the CNMI bottomfish fishery. Only a few small vessels have been operating on a regular basis, and the few medium and large vessels have faced declining VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:50 Jun 10, 2016 Jkt 238001 participation, possibly resulting from higher fuel costs that prevent them from traveling beyond the prohibited areas. The prohibited areas may be contributing to the potential underutilization of the bottomfish resource in CNMI and removing them may promote optimum yield. To address fishery conditions resulting from the CNMI prohibited areas, the Council recommended that NMFS remove them. The Council and NMFS would continue to manage the fishery under a suite of management PO 00000 Frm 00012 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4725 requirements that include the specification of annual catch limits and accountability measures, post-season review of catches and effort including against ACLs, requirements for vessel markings, Federal catch and sales reporting, and the vessel monitoring system. The fishing requirements for the Marianas Trench Marine National Monument would also remain unchanged. Figure 1 shows the current prohibited areas. E:\FR\FM\13JNP1.SGM 13JNP1 EP13JN16.015</GPH> 38124 Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 113 / Monday, June 13, 2016 / Proposed Rules This proposed rule is intended to improve the efficiency and economic viability of the CNMI bottomfish fishery. The Council and NMFS would annually review the effects of the proposed action. Any proposed changes would be subject to additional environmental review and opportunity for public review and comment. This proposed rule would also include two administrative housekeeping changes: Corrections to the description of the CNMI management subarea and to the CNMI permit area designation for crustacean fishing. First, prior to 2013, the CNMI management subarea was divided into an inshore area (the EEZ within 3 nm of the shoreline) and an offshore area (the EEZ seaward of 3 nm from the shoreline). In 2013, under Public Law 113–34 (which amended Public Law 94–435) the United States transferred nearshore waters (0–3 nm) to the CNMI, so this distinction is no longer necessary. Second, the regulations at § 665.442(a)(1) currently incorrectly refer to Permit Area 3, which is associated with American Samoa. The correct reference for the CNMI is Crustacean Permit Area 5. mstockstill on DSK3G9T082PROD with PROPOSALS Classification Pursuant to section 304(b)(1)(A) of the Magnuson-Stevens Act, the NMFS Assistant Administrator for Fisheries has determined that this proposed rule is consistent with the FEP, other provisions of the Magnuson-Stevens Act, and other applicable laws, subject to further consideration after public comment. Regulatory Flexibility Act: Certification of Finding of No Significant Impact on Substantial Number of Small Entities The Chief Counsel for Regulation of the Department of Commerce has certified to the Chief Counsel for Advocacy of the Small Business Administration that this proposed rule, if adopted, would not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. A description of the proposed action, why it is being considered, and the legal basis for it are contained in the preamble to this proposed rule. The Western Pacific Fishery Management Council recommended a prohibited area in the U.S. Exclusive Economic Zone around the Commonwealth of the Mariana Islands (CNMI), among other requirements, for medium and large (i.e., vessels 40 ft and greater) vessels commercially fishing for bottomfish to separate the fishing activity of these vessels from that of smaller vessels. NMFS implemented the VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:50 Jun 10, 2016 Jkt 238001 Council’s recommendation in 2008 (73 FR 75615; December 12, 2008). The Council established the prohibited area as a precaution in response to concerns expressed by CNMI fishermen that Guam bottomfish fishermen would travel to fish in CNMI waters after establishment of the large vessel prohibited fishing area in Guam. CNMI fishermen were concerned that such additional fishing by the vessels from Guam would create localized depletion of bottomfish, gear conflicts, and catch competition. Few medium and large vessels, however, are capable of bottomfish fishing, and it appears that few medium and large vessels would enter the CNMI bottomfish fishery. Recent CNMI bottomfish harvests are far below recent Annual Catch Limits set for the fishery. Therefore, the current prohibited area may not be needed to ensure the sustainability of the CNMI bottomfish fishery and, in fact, may be constraining it. This proposed rule would provide economic relief to the CNMI medium and large bottomfish vessel fleet, through removing the prohibition from commercial fishing for BMUS within the prohibited areas. The proposed action would allow the medium and large longline vessels to fish within additional areas within Federal waters. The proposed action would improve the efficiency and economic viability of the CNMI bottomfish longline fleet. The proposed action would directly apply to operators of medium and large bottomfish vessels that would potentially fish within CNMI currently prohibited areas, in particular, CNMI and Guam bottomfish permit holders. This permit is required of all vessels commercially fishing for, landing, or transshipping BMUS in the EEZ around the CNMI. Based on information presented below, NMFS has determined that all affected entities are small entities under the SBA definition of a small entity, i.e., they are engaged in the business of fish harvesting, are independently owned or operated, are not dominant in their field of operation, and have gross annual receipts below $20.5 million (NAICS code: 114111). Since 2012, NMFS has issued fewer than five CNMI and Guam bottomfish permits to medium or large vessels annually. Between 2012 and 2014 NMFS issued an average of eight CNMI Bottomfish permits with less than one classified as CNMI medium or large bottomfish vessel. In Guam, only large bottomfish vessels (50 ft or greater) are required to have a permit. Between 2012 and 2014, NMFS issued an average of two Guam bottomfish permits. During that same time, annual revenue from all PO 00000 Frm 00013 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 38125 bottomfish species landed by the CNMI bottomfish fishery ranged from $23,947– $85,294, and ranged from $13,650– $65,676 when only considering BMUS catch. For Guam based bottomfish boats, revenue earned from bottomfish catch ranged from $18,433–$36,635. Therefore, NMFS estimates that this action would potentially affect up to five medium to large bottomfish vessels directly, at least initially before the potential for expansion of the larger boat sector is realized. This proposed action would lift restrictions for the directly affected entities without imposing obligations. Bottomfish vessel owners could choose to upgrade to larger vessels or continue fishing with their current vessels. NMFS does not expect the rule to have disproportionate economic impacts between large and small entities directly affected by this rule, although the small vessels currently allowed to fish throughout the prohibited areas may be indirectly affected by the potential increase in the number of medium and large bottomfish vessels fishing within a portion of the prohibited areas. There would be no disproportionate economic impacts among the universe of potentially affected vessels based on gear, or vessel length. However, due to their proximity to the prohibited areas, vessels based in CNMI would stand to see greater benefit from this action, relative to those based in Guam. The implementation of this action will not result in significant adverse economic impacts to individual vessels. The proposed action does not duplicate, overlap, or conflict with other Federal rules and is not expected to have significant impact on a substantial number of small entities (as discussed above), organizations, or government jurisdictions. As such, an initial regulatory flexibility analysis is not required and none has been prepared. Executive Order 12866 This proposed rule has been determined to be not significant for purposes of Executive Order 12866. List of Subjects in 50 CFR Part 665 Administrative practice and procedure, Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, Mariana Archipelago Fisheries, Fisheries, Fishing, Guam, Permits, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements. E:\FR\FM\13JNP1.SGM 13JNP1 38126 Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 113 / Monday, June 13, 2016 / Proposed Rules Dated: June 7, 2016. Samuel D. Rauch III, Deputy Assistant Administrator for Regulatory Programs, National Marine Fisheries Service. PART 665—FISHERIES IN THE WESTERN PACIFIC 1. The authority citation for 50 CFR part 665 continues to read as follows: ■ Authority: 16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq. 2. In § 665.402, revise paragraphs (b) and (c) to read as follows: ■ § 665.402 mstockstill on DSK3G9T082PROD with PROPOSALS * * * * (b) CNMI Management Subarea means the EEZ seaward of the CNMI, with the inner boundary defined as a line coterminous with the seaward boundary of the CNMI. VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:50 Jun 10, 2016 Jkt 238001 § 665.442 [Amended] Permits. 3. In § 665.403, remove and reserve paragraph (b). ■ 4. In § 665.405, revise paragraphs (e) and (f), and remove paragraphs (g) and (h) to read as follows: (a) * * * (1) The owner of any vessel used to fish for lobster in Permit Area 5 must have a permit issued for such a vessel. * * * * * § 665.405 [FR Doc. 2016–13852 Filed 6–10–16; 8:45 am] ■ Management subareas. * (e) Use a vessel to fish commercially for Mariana bottomfish MUS in the CNMI management subarea without a valid CNMI commercial bottomfish permit registered for use with that vessel, in violation of § 665.404(a)(2). (f) Falsify or fail to make, keep, maintain, or submit a Federal logbook as required under § 665.14(b) when using a vessel to engage in commercial fishing for Mariana bottomfish MUS in the CNMI management subarea in violation of § 665.14(b). ■ 6. In § 665.442, revise paragraph (a)(1) to read as follows: § 665.403 For the reasons set out in the preamble, NMFS proposes to amend 50 CFR part 665 as follows: (c) The outer boundary of each fishery management area is a line drawn in such a manner that each point on it is 200 nautical miles from the baseline from which the territorial sea is measured, or is coterminous with adjacent international maritime boundaries. The boundary between the fishery management areas of Guam and the CNMI extends to those points which are equidistant between Guam and the island of Rota in the CNMI. CNMI and Guam management subareas are divided by a line intersecting these two points: 148° E. long., 12° N. lat., and 142° E. long., 16° N. lat. * PO 00000 * Prohibitions. * Frm 00014 * Fmt 4702 * Sfmt 9990 BILLING CODE 3510–22–P E:\FR\FM\13JNP1.SGM 13JNP1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 81, Number 113 (Monday, June 13, 2016)]
[Proposed Rules]
[Pages 38123-38126]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2016-13852]


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DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

50 CFR Part 665

[Docket No. 150908833-6479-01]
RIN 0648-BF37


Mariana Archipelago Fisheries; Remove the CNMI Medium and Large 
Vessel Bottomfish Prohibited Areas

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

ACTION: Proposed rule; request for comments.

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

SUMMARY: This proposed rule would remove the medium and large vessel 
bottomfish prohibited fishing areas in the Commonwealth of the Northern 
Mariana Islands (CNMI). Conditions in the fishery that led to 
establishing the prohibited areas are no longer present, and the 
restriction is no longer necessary. The Western Pacific Fishery 
Management Council recommended Amendment 4 to the Fishery Ecosystem 
Plan for the Mariana Archipelago (FEP) to remove these prohibited 
areas, and this proposed rule would implement the recommended change. 
The intent of the proposed rule is to improve the viability of the CNMI 
bottomfish fishery and promote optimum yield while preventing 
overfishing. This proposed rule would also make an administrative 
housekeeping change to the regulations for the CNMI management subarea 
crustacean fishing.

DATES: NMFS must receive comments by July 28, 2016.

ADDRESSES: You may submit comments on this document, identified by 
NOAA-NMFS-2015-0115, 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-2015-0115, click the 
``Comment Now!'' icon, complete the required fields, and enter or 
attach your comments.
     Mail: Send written comments to Michael D. Tosatto, 
Regional Administrator, NMFS Pacific Islands Region (PIR), 1845 Wasp 
Blvd., Bldg. 176, Honolulu, HI 96818.
    Instructions: NMFS may not consider comments sent by any other 
method, to any other address or individual, or received after the end 
of the comment period. 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).
    The Western Pacific Fishery Management Council (Council) and NMFS 
prepared an environmental analysis that describes the potential impacts 
on the human environment that could result from the proposed rule. The 
environmental analysis and other supporting documents are available at 
www.regulations.gov.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Sarah Ellgen, NMFS PIRO Sustainable 
Fisheries, 808-725-5173.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: In 2008, the Council recommended 
establishing, and NMFS implemented, prohibited areas for commercial 
fishing for Mariana bottomfish management unit species (BMUS) in the 
CNMI. Federal regulations currently prohibit medium and large vessels 
(40 ft and greater) from commercial fishing for BMUS in certain Federal 
waters around the CNMI. The prohibited areas include waters within 
approximately 50 nm of the Southern Islands (i.e., Rota, Aguigan (alt. 
Aguijan), Tinian, Saipan, and Farallon de Medinilla) and within 10 nm 
of Alamagan Island. The Council established the prohibited areas to 
prevent large bottomfish vessels based in Guam from traveling to CNMI 
fishing grounds. At the time, the Council was concerned that the Guam 
vessels could negatively affect fish stocks and local fisheries through 
stock depletion, catch competition, and gear conflicts. You may read 
more about the establishment of the prohibited areas in the 2008 
proposed rule (73 FR 51992, September

[[Page 38124]]

8, 2008) and final rule (73 FR 75615, December 12, 2008).
    The CNMI bottomfish fishery has changed since 2008, and the 
conditions that led the Council and NMFS to establish the prohibited 
areas are no longer present. Large vessels from Guam have not shown 
interest in fishing for CNMI bottomfish. The prohibited areas may also 
be negatively impacting the CNMI bottomfish fishery. Only a few small 
vessels have been operating on a regular basis, and the few medium and 
large vessels have faced declining participation, possibly resulting 
from higher fuel costs that prevent them from traveling beyond the 
prohibited areas. The prohibited areas may be contributing to the 
potential under-utilization of the bottomfish resource in CNMI and 
removing them may promote optimum yield.
    To address fishery conditions resulting from the CNMI prohibited 
areas, the Council recommended that NMFS remove them. The Council and 
NMFS would continue to manage the fishery under a suite of management 
requirements that include the specification of annual catch limits and 
accountability measures, post-season review of catches and effort 
including against ACLs, requirements for vessel markings, Federal catch 
and sales reporting, and the vessel monitoring system. The fishing 
requirements for the Marianas Trench Marine National Monument would 
also remain unchanged. Figure 1 shows the current prohibited areas.
[GRAPHIC] [TIFF OMITTED] TP13JN16.015


[[Page 38125]]


    This proposed rule is intended to improve the efficiency and 
economic viability of the CNMI bottomfish fishery. The Council and NMFS 
would annually review the effects of the proposed action. Any proposed 
changes would be subject to additional environmental review and 
opportunity for public review and comment.
    This proposed rule would also include two administrative 
housekeeping changes: Corrections to the description of the CNMI 
management subarea and to the CNMI permit area designation for 
crustacean fishing. First, prior to 2013, the CNMI management subarea 
was divided into an inshore area (the EEZ within 3 nm of the shoreline) 
and an offshore area (the EEZ seaward of 3 nm from the shoreline). In 
2013, under Public Law 113-34 (which amended Public Law 94-435) the 
United States transferred nearshore waters (0-3 nm) to the CNMI, so 
this distinction is no longer necessary. Second, the regulations at 
Sec.  665.442(a)(1) currently incorrectly refer to Permit Area 3, which 
is associated with American Samoa. The correct reference for the CNMI 
is Crustacean Permit Area 5.

Classification

    Pursuant to section 304(b)(1)(A) of the Magnuson-Stevens Act, the 
NMFS Assistant Administrator for Fisheries has determined that this 
proposed rule is consistent with the FEP, other provisions of the 
Magnuson-Stevens Act, and other applicable laws, subject to further 
consideration after public comment.

Regulatory Flexibility Act: Certification of Finding of No Significant 
Impact on Substantial Number of Small Entities

    The Chief Counsel for Regulation of the Department of Commerce has 
certified to the Chief Counsel for Advocacy of the Small Business 
Administration that this proposed rule, if adopted, would not have a 
significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. 
A description of the proposed action, why it is being considered, and 
the legal basis for it are contained in the preamble to this proposed 
rule.
    The Western Pacific Fishery Management Council recommended a 
prohibited area in the U.S. Exclusive Economic Zone around the 
Commonwealth of the Mariana Islands (CNMI), among other requirements, 
for medium and large (i.e., vessels 40 ft and greater) vessels 
commercially fishing for bottomfish to separate the fishing activity of 
these vessels from that of smaller vessels. NMFS implemented the 
Council's recommendation in 2008 (73 FR 75615; December 12, 2008).
    The Council established the prohibited area as a precaution in 
response to concerns expressed by CNMI fishermen that Guam bottomfish 
fishermen would travel to fish in CNMI waters after establishment of 
the large vessel prohibited fishing area in Guam. CNMI fishermen were 
concerned that such additional fishing by the vessels from Guam would 
create localized depletion of bottomfish, gear conflicts, and catch 
competition. Few medium and large vessels, however, are capable of 
bottomfish fishing, and it appears that few medium and large vessels 
would enter the CNMI bottomfish fishery. Recent CNMI bottomfish 
harvests are far below recent Annual Catch Limits set for the fishery. 
Therefore, the current prohibited area may not be needed to ensure the 
sustainability of the CNMI bottomfish fishery and, in fact, may be 
constraining it.
    This proposed rule would provide economic relief to the CNMI medium 
and large bottomfish vessel fleet, through removing the prohibition 
from commercial fishing for BMUS within the prohibited areas. The 
proposed action would allow the medium and large longline vessels to 
fish within additional areas within Federal waters. The proposed action 
would improve the efficiency and economic viability of the CNMI 
bottomfish longline fleet.
    The proposed action would directly apply to operators of medium and 
large bottomfish vessels that would potentially fish within CNMI 
currently prohibited areas, in particular, CNMI and Guam bottomfish 
permit holders. This permit is required of all vessels commercially 
fishing for, landing, or transshipping BMUS in the EEZ around the CNMI.
    Based on information presented below, NMFS has determined that all 
affected entities are small entities under the SBA definition of a 
small entity, i.e., they are engaged in the business of fish 
harvesting, are independently owned or operated, are not dominant in 
their field of operation, and have gross annual receipts below $20.5 
million (NAICS code: 114111). Since 2012, NMFS has issued fewer than 
five CNMI and Guam bottomfish permits to medium or large vessels 
annually. Between 2012 and 2014 NMFS issued an average of eight CNMI 
Bottomfish permits with less than one classified as CNMI medium or 
large bottomfish vessel. In Guam, only large bottomfish vessels (50 ft 
or greater) are required to have a permit. Between 2012 and 2014, NMFS 
issued an average of two Guam bottomfish permits. During that same 
time, annual revenue from all bottomfish species landed by the CNMI 
bottomfish fishery ranged from $23,947-$85,294, and ranged from 
$13,650-$65,676 when only considering BMUS catch. For Guam based 
bottomfish boats, revenue earned from bottomfish catch ranged from 
$18,433-$36,635. Therefore, NMFS estimates that this action would 
potentially affect up to five medium to large bottomfish vessels 
directly, at least initially before the potential for expansion of the 
larger boat sector is realized.
    This proposed action would lift restrictions for the directly 
affected entities without imposing obligations. Bottomfish vessel 
owners could choose to upgrade to larger vessels or continue fishing 
with their current vessels. NMFS does not expect the rule to have 
disproportionate economic impacts between large and small entities 
directly affected by this rule, although the small vessels currently 
allowed to fish throughout the prohibited areas may be indirectly 
affected by the potential increase in the number of medium and large 
bottomfish vessels fishing within a portion of the prohibited areas. 
There would be no disproportionate economic impacts among the universe 
of potentially affected vessels based on gear, or vessel length. 
However, due to their proximity to the prohibited areas, vessels based 
in CNMI would stand to see greater benefit from this action, relative 
to those based in Guam.
    The implementation of this action will not result in significant 
adverse economic impacts to individual vessels. The proposed action 
does not duplicate, overlap, or conflict with other Federal rules and 
is not expected to have significant impact on a substantial number of 
small entities (as discussed above), organizations, or government 
jurisdictions. As such, an initial regulatory flexibility analysis is 
not required and none has been prepared.

Executive Order 12866

    This proposed rule has been determined to be not significant for 
purposes of Executive Order 12866.

List of Subjects in 50 CFR Part 665

    Administrative practice and procedure, Commonwealth of the Northern 
Mariana Islands, Mariana Archipelago Fisheries, Fisheries, Fishing, 
Guam, Permits, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.


[[Page 38126]]


    Dated: June 7, 2016.
Samuel D. Rauch III,
Deputy Assistant Administrator for Regulatory Programs, National Marine 
Fisheries Service.

    For the reasons set out in the preamble, NMFS proposes to amend 50 
CFR part 665 as follows:

PART 665--FISHERIES IN THE WESTERN PACIFIC

0
1. The authority citation for 50 CFR part 665 continues to read as 
follows:

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

0
2. In Sec.  665.402, revise paragraphs (b) and (c) to read as follows:


Sec.  665.402  Management subareas.

* * * * *
    (b) CNMI Management Subarea means the EEZ seaward of the CNMI, with 
the inner boundary defined as a line coterminous with the seaward 
boundary of the CNMI.
    (c) The outer boundary of each fishery management area is a line 
drawn in such a manner that each point on it is 200 nautical miles from 
the baseline from which the territorial sea is measured, or is 
coterminous with adjacent international maritime boundaries. The 
boundary between the fishery management areas of Guam and the CNMI 
extends to those points which are equidistant between Guam and the 
island of Rota in the CNMI. CNMI and Guam management subareas are 
divided by a line intersecting these two points: 148[deg] E. long., 
12[deg] N. lat., and 142[deg] E. long., 16[deg] N. lat.


Sec.  665.403  [Amended]

0
3. In Sec.  665.403, remove and reserve paragraph (b).
0
4. In Sec.  665.405, revise paragraphs (e) and (f), and remove 
paragraphs (g) and (h) to read as follows:


Sec.  665.405  Prohibitions.

* * * * *
    (e) Use a vessel to fish commercially for Mariana bottomfish MUS in 
the CNMI management subarea without a valid CNMI commercial bottomfish 
permit registered for use with that vessel, in violation of Sec.  
665.404(a)(2).
    (f) Falsify or fail to make, keep, maintain, or submit a Federal 
logbook as required under Sec.  665.14(b) when using a vessel to engage 
in commercial fishing for Mariana bottomfish MUS in the CNMI management 
subarea in violation of Sec.  665.14(b).
0
6. In Sec.  665.442, revise paragraph (a)(1) to read as follows:


Sec.  665.442  Permits.

    (a) * * *
    (1) The owner of any vessel used to fish for lobster in Permit Area 
5 must have a permit issued for such a vessel.
* * * * *
[FR Doc. 2016-13852 Filed 6-10-16; 8:45 am]
 BILLING CODE 3510-22-P