Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act Provisions; Fisheries of the Northeastern United States; Amendment 19 to the Atlantic Sea Scallop Fishery Management Plan, 47152-47154 [2016-17158]

Download as PDF 47152 Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 139 / Wednesday, July 20, 2016 / Proposed Rules monomers: Acrylamide, diethyl maleate, dioctyl maleate, maleic acid, maleic anhydride, monoethyl maleate, monooctyl maleate, N-methyl acrylamide, N,N-dimethyl acrylamide, N-octylacrylamide; and their corresponding ammonium, isopropylamine, monoethanolamine, potassium, sodium triethylamine, and/ or triethanolamine salts; the resulting polymer having a minimum number average molecular weight (in amu), 1,200 when used as a pesticide inert ingredient in pesticide formulations under 40 CFR 180.960 to include the monomers lauryl acrylate and acrylamidopropyl methyl sulfonic acid. The petitioner believes no analytical method is needed because the request is for an exemption from the requirement of a tolerance. Contact: RD Authority: 21 U.S.C. 346a. Dated: June 30, 2016. Susan Lewis, Director, Registration Division, Office of Pesticide Programs. [FR Doc. 2016–17164 Filed 7–19–16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560–50–P AGENCY FOR INTERNATIONAL DEVELOPMENT 48 CFR Part 752 RIN 0412–AA82 Agency for International Development Acquisition Regulation (AIDAR): Preference for Privately Owned U.S.Flag Commercial Vessels U.S. Agency for International Development. ACTION: Proposed rule. AGENCY: This proposed rule is a companion document to the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) direct final rule (published in the ‘‘Rules and Regulations’’ section of this Federal Register), amending the AIDAR to conform to the current requirements of the Cargo Preference Act of 1954 and provide up-to-date submission instructions to the Maritime Administration (MARAD). DATES: Submit comments on or before September 19, 2016. ADDRESSES: Address all comments concerning this notice to Lyudmila Bond, Bureau for Management, Office of Acquisition and Assistance, Policy Division (M/OAA/P), Room 867–G, SA– 44, Washington, DC 20523–2052. Submit comments by any of the following methods: mstockstill on DSK3G9T082PROD with PROPOSALS SUMMARY: VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:58 Jul 19, 2016 Jkt 238001 Federal eRulemaking Portal: http:// www.regulations.gov. Follow the instructions for submitting comments. Email: Submit electronic comments to lbond@usaid.gov. See SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION for file formats and other information about electronic filing. Mail: USAID, Bureau for Management, Office of Acquisition & Assistance, Policy Division, Room 867–G, SA–44, 1300 Pennsylvania Ave. NW., Washington, DC 20523–2052. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Lyudmila Bond, Telephone: 202–567– 4753 or Email: lbond@usaid.gov. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: USAID is publishing this amendment as a direct final rule because the Agency views it as a conforming and administrative amendment and does not anticipate any adverse comments. A detailed discussion of the rule is set forth in the preamble of the direct final rule. If no adverse comments are received in response to the direct final rule, no further action will be taken related to this proposed rule. If adverse comment(s) are received on the direct final rule, USAID will publish a timely withdrawal in the Federal Register informing the public that the direct final rule will not take effect. All public comments received on the direct final rule will be addressed in a subsequent final rule based on this proposed rule. USAID will not institute a second comment period. Any parties interested in commenting on this action should do so at this time. A. Instructions All comments must be in writing and submitted through one of the methods specified in the Addresses section above. All submissions must include the title of the action and RIN for this rulemaking. Please include your name, title, organization, postal address, telephone number, and email address in the text of the message. Comments submitted by email must be included in the text of the email or attached as a PDF file. Please avoid using special characters and any form of encryption. Please note, however, that because security screening precautions have slowed the delivery and dependability of surface mail to USAID/ Washington, USAID recommends sending all comments to the Federal eRulemaking Portal. After receipt of a comment and until finalization of the action, all comments will be made available at http:// www.regulations.gov for public review without change, including any personal information provided. Do not submit information that you consider to be PO 00000 Frm 00104 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 Confidential Business Information (CBI), Personally Identifiable Information or any information that is otherwise protected from disclosure by statute. As noted above, in the ‘‘Rules and Regulations’’ section of this Federal Register, USAID is publishing a direct final rule with the same title that announces revisions to the Agency for International Development Acquisition Regulation (AIDAR). For detailed information on these revisions, please see the direct final rule. Dated: July 1, 2016. Mark Walter, Acting Chief Acquisition Officer. [FR Doc. 2016–17136 Filed 7–19–16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6116–01–P DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration 50 CFR Part 648 RIN 0648–BF72 Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act Provisions; Fisheries of the Northeastern United States; Amendment 19 to the Atlantic Sea Scallop Fishery Management Plan National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Commerce. ACTION: Notice of availability of fishery management plan amendment; request for comments. AGENCY: The New England Fishery Management Council has submitted to NMFS Amendment 19 to the Atlantic Sea Scallop Fishery Management Plan which proposes to incorporate a specifications process into the Atlantic Sea Scallop Fishery Management Plan and to change the start of the fishing year from March 1 to April 1. The ability to develop specifications to set annual or biennial allocations would allow for a more timely process for setting annual allocations than currently possible with framework adjustments. By adjusting the start of the scallop fishing year from March 1 to April 1, NMFS would be able to implement simple specification actions at the start of the fishing year on a more consistent basis. NMFS requests public comments on whether NMFS should approve this amendment and the draft Environmental Assessment incorporated in the amendment. SUMMARY: E:\FR\FM\20JYP1.SGM 20JYP1 Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 139 / Wednesday, July 20, 2016 / Proposed Rules Comments must be received on or before September 19, 2016. ADDRESSES: You may submit comments, identified by NOAA–NMFS–2016–0028, by any one of the following methods. Electronic Submission: Submit all electronic public comments via the Federal e-Rulemaking Portal. 1. Go to www.regulations.gov/ #!docketDetail;D=NOAA-NMFS-20160028, 2. Click the ‘‘Comment Now!’’ icon, complete the required fields. 3. Enter or attach your comments. Instructions: Comments sent by any other method, to any other address or individual, or received after the end of the comment period, may not be considered by NMFS. All comments received are a part of the public record and will generally be posted for public viewing on www.regulations.gov without change. All personal identifying information (e.g., name, address, etc.), confidential business information, or otherwise sensitive information submitted voluntarily by the sender will be publicly accessible. NMFS will accept anonymous comments (enter ‘‘N/ A’’ in the required fields if you wish to remain anonymous). Copies of Amendment 19 to the Atlantic Sea Scallop Fishery Management Plan (Amendment 19), and of the draft Environmental Assessment (EA) and Regulatory Impact Review, are available from the Greater Atlantic Regional Fisheries Office, 55 Great Republic Drive, Gloucester, MA 01930. The EA/RIR is also accessible via the Internet at: www.greateratlantic.fisheries.noaa.gov. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Emily Gilbert, Fishery Policy Analyst, 978–281–9244. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (Magnuson-Stevens Act) requires that each Regional Fishery Management Council submit any Fishery Management Plan (FMP) amendment it prepares to NMFS for review and approval, disapproval, or partial approval. The Magnuson-Stevens Act also requires that NMFS, upon receiving an FMP amendment, immediately publish notification in the Federal Register that the amendment is available for public review and comment. The New England Fishery Management Council approved Amendment 19, which would authorize the Council to develop specifications to set annual or biennial allocations and change the start of the scallop fishing year from March 1 to April 1. The Council submitted its final version of mstockstill on DSK3G9T082PROD with PROPOSALS DATES: VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:58 Jul 19, 2016 Jkt 238001 Amendment 19 to NMFS for review on June 16, 2016. NMFS has declared a transmittal date of July 14, 2016. The Council has reviewed the Amendment 19 proposed rule regulations as drafted by NMFS and deemed them to be necessary and appropriate as specified in section 303(c) of the MSA. If approved by NMFS, this amendment would simplify the specificationssetting process and enable scallop allocations to be implemented closer to the scallop fishing year. Background The scallop fishery’s management unit ranges from the shorelines of Maine through North Carolina to the outer boundary of the Exclusive Economic Zone. The Atlantic Sea Scallop Fishery Management Plan (FMP), established in 1982, includes a number of amendments and framework adjustments that have revised and refined the fishery’s management. The Council has had to rely on the framework adjustment process to set scallop fishery measures, often referred to as specifications, that occur annually or biennially. Typically, these specifications include annual catch limits, days-at-sea (DAS), rotational area management, possession limits, access area trip allocations, individual fishing quota (IFQ) allocations, and allocations for vessels with Northern Gulf of Maine permits. These framework adjustments often include other management measures and are often implemented 2 to 3 months after the March 1 start of the scallop fishing year (March 1 through February 28/29). Amendment 4 to the Scallop FMP (59 FR 2757, January 19, 1994), was a major shift in scallop fishery management. It established a limited access permit and effort control program and the new permits and effort control became effective on March 1, 1994. Framework Adjustment 1 (59 FR 36720, July 19, 1994) formally adopted March1 as the start of the scallop fishing year. There was no biological or economic rationale originally for selecting this date as the start of the fishing year: Framework 1 codified the March 1 Amendment 4 effective date as the start of the fishing year so that allocations for 1994 spanned a 12-month period in order to ensure a reduction in fishing effort the first year of the DAS effort-control program. This fishing year has remained in place since that time, even though specifications have become increasingly more complicated with the development of the scallop access area rotation program in 2004 and IFQ fishery in 2010. PO 00000 Frm 00105 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 47153 In the last 16 years following Framework 11, there have been 12 actions that set annual scallop specifications. Four of those actions set specifications for 2 years, which ensured that the second year’s specifications for each of those actions were implemented on March 1. Aside from these biennial frameworks, we have only been able to set specifications by March 1 on two occasions, both involving special circumstances (i.e., the proposed rule was waived for one framework action and Council took final action 2 months earlier than usual for the other action). Typically, the Council begins developing a specifications-setting framework in June. Scallop biomass estimates are provided through scallop surveys conducted by NMFS and other research institutions in the spring and summer. These estimates are not generally available for consideration until the early fall, at which point the Scallop Plan Development Team (PDT) develops and analyzes fishery allocation alternatives for Council consideration. In order to incorporate the most recent available scallop survey information into these alternatives, which has proved essential in setting appropriate access area catch levels, the Council has been taking final action in November and NMFS has typically implemented allocations in May or June. In 2013, the Council began developing specifications on an annual basis via frameworks at the request of the industry to avoid biennial specifications that resulted in the second year specifications being out of sync with what the most recent annual surveys indicate could be harvested in a given area. However, this meant that the annual specifications were likely to be late every year due to availability of relevant data. To address this problem, the Council has been specifying ‘‘default’’ specifications for the year after annual specifications are set to fill the gap between the end of the fishing year and the setting of new specifications for the next fishing year. Implementing these ‘‘default’’ specifications every year is an administrative burden to NMFS staff and can result in complex inseason changes in fishery specifications. In addition, default specifications lead to confusion and uncertainty for the fleet, as well as potentially negative impacts on the resource and fishery if effort shifts into areas or seasons that are less desirable as a result of delayed measures. The Council initiated Amendment 19 to develop an alternative to the framework adjustment process to E:\FR\FM\20JYP1.SGM 20JYP1 mstockstill on DSK3G9T082PROD with PROPOSALS 47154 Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 139 / Wednesday, July 20, 2016 / Proposed Rules implement specifications closer to the start of the scallop fishing year. To address these timing issues while still supporting the current timeline for integrating the best available science in to the management process, Amendment 19 proposes to: • Establish a specifications process so that allocations would not be tied only to actions that tend to have longer timelines (e.g., frameworks or amendments); and • Adjust the scallop fishing year to April 1 through March 31. Adding the ability to adjust allocations through a specifications setting process would produce some time-savings because the Council would not be required to discuss measures over the course of two Council meetings, as is required under the framework adjustment process. However, it would not guarantee allocations would be in place by March 1 of each year. As a result, the Council is recommending that the fishing year be changed to April 1 through March 31. Pushing the fishing year back one month would increase the likelihood that NMFS would be able to implement simple specifications actions at the start of the scallop fishing year on a more consistent basis, avoiding the need to implement default measures. Amendment 19 would also adjust the scallop permit year so that it continues to match the official fishing year (i.e., scallop permits would need to be renewed by April 1 of each year). In addition, NMFS and Council staff discussed other, non-regulatory streamlining initiatives that will result in time-savings in implementing final allocations. These include preparing a decision draft of an EA immediately following the Council’s final action on a framework and publishing a proposed rule prior to NMFS’ formal review of the EA. These measures will assist in implementing simple, non-controversial specifications actions on a quicker timeline than typical frameworks. We are soliciting public comments on Amendment 19 and its incorporated documents through the end of the comment period stated in this notice of availability. A proposed rule that would implement Amendment 19 will be published in the Federal Register for additional public comment. NMFS will evaluate the proposed rule under the procedures of the Magnuson-Stevens Act. Public comments on the proposed rule must be received by the end of the VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:58 Jul 19, 2016 Jkt 238001 comment period provided in this notice of availability to be considered in the approval/disapproval decision on Amendment 19. All comments received by close of business on September 19, 2016, whether specifically directed to Amendment 19 or the proposed rule, will be considered in the approval/ disapproval decision on the amendment. Comments received after that date will not be considered in the decision to approve or disapprove Amendment 19, including those postmarked or otherwise transmitted, but not received by NMFS, by the last day of the comment period. Authority: 16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq. Dated: July 15, 2016. Emily H. Menashes, Acting Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine Fisheries Service. [FR Doc. 2016–17158 Filed 7–19–16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510–22–P DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration 50 CFR Part 660 [Docket No. 160617540–6540–01] RIN 0648–XE695 Fisheries Off West Coast States; Coastal Pelagic Species Fisheries; Annual Specifications; Correction National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Commerce. ACTION: Proposed rule; correction. AGENCY: This document corrects a typographical error in the ADDRESSES section to a proposed rule published on June 23, 2016. DATES: Comments on the proposed rule must be submitted on or before July 25, 2016. ADDRESSES: You may submit comments on this document identified by NOAA– NMFS–2016–0048, by any of the following methods: • Electronic Submissions: Submit all electronic public comments via the Federal e-Rulemaking Portal. Go to www.regulations.gov/ #!docketDetail;D=NOAA-NMFS-2016SUMMARY: PO 00000 Frm 00106 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 9990 0048, click the ‘‘Comment Now!’’ icon, complete the required fields, and enter or attach your comments. • Mail: Submit written comments to William W. Stelle, Jr., Regional Administrator, West Coast Region, NMFS, 7600 Sand Point Way NE., Seattle, WA 98115–0070; Attn: Joshua Lindsay. Instructions: Comments must be submitted by one of the above methods to ensure that the comments are received, documented, and considered by NMFS. 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. 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.) submitted voluntarily by the sender will 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). Copies of the report ‘‘Pacific Mackerel (Scomber japonicus) Stock Assessment for USA Management in the 2015–2016 Fishing Year’’ may be obtained from the West Coast Region (see ADDRESSES). FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Joshua Lindsay, West Coast Region, NMFS, (562) 980–4034, Joshua.Lindsay@noaa.gov. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Need for Correction In the ADDRESSES section of a proposed rule (81 FR 40844, June 23, 2016) on page 40845, in the first column, NMFS used an incorrect year, ‘‘2015’’ rather than ‘‘2016’’, in the document identifier and Federal eRulemaking Portal hyperlink. The ADDRESSES section has been corrected in this document. Authority: 16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq. Dated: July 14, 2016. Samuel D. Rauch III, Deputy Assistant Administrator for Regulatory Programs, National Marine Fisheries Service. [FR Doc. 2016–17130 Filed 7–19–16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510–22–P E:\FR\FM\20JYP1.SGM 20JYP1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 81, Number 139 (Wednesday, July 20, 2016)]
[Proposed Rules]
[Pages 47152-47154]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2016-17158]


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DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

50 CFR Part 648

RIN 0648-BF72


Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act 
Provisions; Fisheries of the Northeastern United States; Amendment 19 
to the Atlantic Sea Scallop Fishery Management Plan

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

ACTION: Notice of availability of fishery management plan amendment; 
request for comments.

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

SUMMARY: The New England Fishery Management Council has submitted to 
NMFS Amendment 19 to the Atlantic Sea Scallop Fishery Management Plan 
which proposes to incorporate a specifications process into the 
Atlantic Sea Scallop Fishery Management Plan and to change the start of 
the fishing year from March 1 to April 1. The ability to develop 
specifications to set annual or biennial allocations would allow for a 
more timely process for setting annual allocations than currently 
possible with framework adjustments. By adjusting the start of the 
scallop fishing year from March 1 to April 1, NMFS would be able to 
implement simple specification actions at the start of the fishing year 
on a more consistent basis. NMFS requests public comments on whether 
NMFS should approve this amendment and the draft Environmental 
Assessment incorporated in the amendment.

[[Page 47153]]


DATES: Comments must be received on or before September 19, 2016.

ADDRESSES: You may submit comments, identified by NOAA-NMFS-2016-0028, 
by any one of the following methods.
    Electronic Submission: Submit all electronic public comments via 
the Federal e-Rulemaking Portal.
    1. Go to www.regulations.gov/#!docketDetail;D=NOAA-NMFS-2016-0028,
    2. Click the ``Comment Now!'' icon, complete the required fields.
    3. Enter or attach your comments.
    Instructions: Comments sent by any other method, to any other 
address or individual, or received after the end of the comment period, 
may not be considered by NMFS. All comments received are a part of the 
public record and will generally be posted for public viewing on 
www.regulations.gov without change. All personal identifying 
information (e.g., name, address, etc.), confidential business 
information, or otherwise sensitive information submitted voluntarily 
by the sender will be publicly accessible. NMFS will accept anonymous 
comments (enter ``N/A'' in the required fields if you wish to remain 
anonymous).
    Copies of Amendment 19 to the Atlantic Sea Scallop Fishery 
Management Plan (Amendment 19), and of the draft Environmental 
Assessment (EA) and Regulatory Impact Review, are available from the 
Greater Atlantic Regional Fisheries Office, 55 Great Republic Drive, 
Gloucester, MA 01930. The EA/RIR is also accessible via the Internet 
at: www.greateratlantic.fisheries.noaa.gov.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Emily Gilbert, Fishery Policy Analyst, 
978-281-9244.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation 
and Management Act (Magnuson-Stevens Act) requires that each Regional 
Fishery Management Council submit any Fishery Management Plan (FMP) 
amendment it prepares to NMFS for review and approval, disapproval, or 
partial approval. The Magnuson-Stevens Act also requires that NMFS, 
upon receiving an FMP amendment, immediately publish notification in 
the Federal Register that the amendment is available for public review 
and comment. The New England Fishery Management Council approved 
Amendment 19, which would authorize the Council to develop 
specifications to set annual or biennial allocations and change the 
start of the scallop fishing year from March 1 to April 1. The Council 
submitted its final version of Amendment 19 to NMFS for review on June 
16, 2016. NMFS has declared a transmittal date of July 14, 2016. The 
Council has reviewed the Amendment 19 proposed rule regulations as 
drafted by NMFS and deemed them to be necessary and appropriate as 
specified in section 303(c) of the MSA. If approved by NMFS, this 
amendment would simplify the specifications-setting process and enable 
scallop allocations to be implemented closer to the scallop fishing 
year.

Background

    The scallop fishery's management unit ranges from the shorelines of 
Maine through North Carolina to the outer boundary of the Exclusive 
Economic Zone. The Atlantic Sea Scallop Fishery Management Plan (FMP), 
established in 1982, includes a number of amendments and framework 
adjustments that have revised and refined the fishery's management. The 
Council has had to rely on the framework adjustment process to set 
scallop fishery measures, often referred to as specifications, that 
occur annually or biennially. Typically, these specifications include 
annual catch limits, days-at-sea (DAS), rotational area management, 
possession limits, access area trip allocations, individual fishing 
quota (IFQ) allocations, and allocations for vessels with Northern Gulf 
of Maine permits. These framework adjustments often include other 
management measures and are often implemented 2 to 3 months after the 
March 1 start of the scallop fishing year (March 1 through February 28/
29).
    Amendment 4 to the Scallop FMP (59 FR 2757, January 19, 1994), was 
a major shift in scallop fishery management. It established a limited 
access permit and effort control program and the new permits and effort 
control became effective on March 1, 1994. Framework Adjustment 1 (59 
FR 36720, July 19, 1994) formally adopted March1 as the start of the 
scallop fishing year. There was no biological or economic rationale 
originally for selecting this date as the start of the fishing year: 
Framework 1 codified the March 1 Amendment 4 effective date as the 
start of the fishing year so that allocations for 1994 spanned a 12-
month period in order to ensure a reduction in fishing effort the first 
year of the DAS effort-control program. This fishing year has remained 
in place since that time, even though specifications have become 
increasingly more complicated with the development of the scallop 
access area rotation program in 2004 and IFQ fishery in 2010.
    In the last 16 years following Framework 11, there have been 12 
actions that set annual scallop specifications. Four of those actions 
set specifications for 2 years, which ensured that the second year's 
specifications for each of those actions were implemented on March 1. 
Aside from these biennial frameworks, we have only been able to set 
specifications by March 1 on two occasions, both involving special 
circumstances (i.e., the proposed rule was waived for one framework 
action and Council took final action 2 months earlier than usual for 
the other action).
    Typically, the Council begins developing a specifications-setting 
framework in June. Scallop biomass estimates are provided through 
scallop surveys conducted by NMFS and other research institutions in 
the spring and summer. These estimates are not generally available for 
consideration until the early fall, at which point the Scallop Plan 
Development Team (PDT) develops and analyzes fishery allocation 
alternatives for Council consideration. In order to incorporate the 
most recent available scallop survey information into these 
alternatives, which has proved essential in setting appropriate access 
area catch levels, the Council has been taking final action in November 
and NMFS has typically implemented allocations in May or June.
    In 2013, the Council began developing specifications on an annual 
basis via frameworks at the request of the industry to avoid biennial 
specifications that resulted in the second year specifications being 
out of sync with what the most recent annual surveys indicate could be 
harvested in a given area. However, this meant that the annual 
specifications were likely to be late every year due to availability of 
relevant data. To address this problem, the Council has been specifying 
``default'' specifications for the year after annual specifications are 
set to fill the gap between the end of the fishing year and the setting 
of new specifications for the next fishing year. Implementing these 
``default'' specifications every year is an administrative burden to 
NMFS staff and can result in complex inseason changes in fishery 
specifications. In addition, default specifications lead to confusion 
and uncertainty for the fleet, as well as potentially negative impacts 
on the resource and fishery if effort shifts into areas or seasons that 
are less desirable as a result of delayed measures.
    The Council initiated Amendment 19 to develop an alternative to the 
framework adjustment process to

[[Page 47154]]

implement specifications closer to the start of the scallop fishing 
year. To address these timing issues while still supporting the current 
timeline for integrating the best available science in to the 
management process, Amendment 19 proposes to:
     Establish a specifications process so that allocations 
would not be tied only to actions that tend to have longer timelines 
(e.g., frameworks or amendments); and
     Adjust the scallop fishing year to April 1 through March 
31.
    Adding the ability to adjust allocations through a specifications 
setting process would produce some time-savings because the Council 
would not be required to discuss measures over the course of two 
Council meetings, as is required under the framework adjustment 
process. However, it would not guarantee allocations would be in place 
by March 1 of each year. As a result, the Council is recommending that 
the fishing year be changed to April 1 through March 31. Pushing the 
fishing year back one month would increase the likelihood that NMFS 
would be able to implement simple specifications actions at the start 
of the scallop fishing year on a more consistent basis, avoiding the 
need to implement default measures. Amendment 19 would also adjust the 
scallop permit year so that it continues to match the official fishing 
year (i.e., scallop permits would need to be renewed by April 1 of each 
year).
    In addition, NMFS and Council staff discussed other, non-regulatory 
streamlining initiatives that will result in time-savings in 
implementing final allocations. These include preparing a decision 
draft of an EA immediately following the Council's final action on a 
framework and publishing a proposed rule prior to NMFS' formal review 
of the EA. These measures will assist in implementing simple, non-
controversial specifications actions on a quicker timeline than typical 
frameworks.
    We are soliciting public comments on Amendment 19 and its 
incorporated documents through the end of the comment period stated in 
this notice of availability. A proposed rule that would implement 
Amendment 19 will be published in the Federal Register for additional 
public comment. NMFS will evaluate the proposed rule under the 
procedures of the Magnuson-Stevens Act. Public comments on the proposed 
rule must be received by the end of the comment period provided in this 
notice of availability to be considered in the approval/disapproval 
decision on Amendment 19. All comments received by close of business on 
September 19, 2016, whether specifically directed to Amendment 19 or 
the proposed rule, will be considered in the approval/disapproval 
decision on the amendment.
    Comments received after that date will not be considered in the 
decision to approve or disapprove Amendment 19, including those 
postmarked or otherwise transmitted, but not received by NMFS, by the 
last day of the comment period.

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

    Dated: July 15, 2016.
Emily H. Menashes,
Acting Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine 
Fisheries Service.
[FR Doc. 2016-17158 Filed 7-19-16; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 3510-22-P