Atlantic Highly Migratory Species; North and South Atlantic 2016 Commercial Swordfish Quotas, 48719-48722 [2016-17630]

Download as PDF Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 143 / Tuesday, July 26, 2016 / Rules and Regulations (7) Sexual abuse. Constitutes fondling a child’s genitals, penetration, incest, rape, sodomy, indecent exposure, and exploitation through prostitution or the production of pornographic materials. (d) The contractor must insert this clause in all subcontracts under this award. (End of clause) Dated: June 29, 2016. Roy Plucknett, Chief Acquisition Officer. [FR Doc. 2016–16643 Filed 7–25–16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6116–01–P DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration 50 CFR Part 622 [Docket No. 1206013412–2517–02] RIN 0648–XE757 Reef Fish Fishery of the Gulf of Mexico; 2016 Recreational Accountability Measures and Closure for Gulf of Mexico Greater Amberjack National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Commerce. ACTION: Temporary rule; quota reduction and closure. AGENCY: NMFS implements accountability measures (AMs) for the greater amberjack recreational sector in the exclusive economic zone (EEZ) of the Gulf of Mexico (Gulf) for the 2016 fishing year through this temporary rule. NMFS has determined that the 2015 recreational annual catch limit (ACL) for Gulf greater amberjack was exceeded; therefore, NMFS reduces the greater amberjack recreational ACL and annual catch target (ACT) in 2016. NMFS has also determined that the recreational ACT for Gulf greater amberjack was reached prior to the June 1 annual season closure. Therefore, the greater amberjack recreational season in the Gulf EEZ will remain closed and will not be re-opening on August 1, 2016. This closure is necessary to protect the Gulf greater amberjack resource. DATES: This rule is effective from 12:01 a.m., local time, August 1, 2016, until 12:01 a.m., local time, on January 1, 2017. rmajette on DSK2TPTVN1PROD with RULES SUMMARY: Rich Malinowski, NMFS Southeast Regional Office, telephone: 727–824–5305, email: rich.malinowski@noaa.gov. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: NMFS manages the Gulf reef fish fishery, FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: VerDate Sep<11>2014 13:45 Jul 25, 2016 Jkt 238001 which includes greater amberjack, under the Fishery Management Plan for the Reef Fish Resources of the Gulf (FMP). The Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council (Council) prepared the FMP and NMFS implements the FMP under the authority of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (Magnuson-Stevens Act) by regulations at 50 CFR part 622. All greater amberjack weights discussed in this temporary rule are in round weight. The 2016 recreational ACL for Gulf greater amberjack specified in 50 CFR 622.41(b)(2)(iii) is 1,255,600 lb (569,531 kg) and the recreational ACT specified in 50 CFR 622.39(a)(2)(ii) is 1,092,372 lb (495,492 kg). However, in 2015, the recreational harvest of greater amberjack exceeded the 2015 recreational ACL by 57,930 lb (26,277 kg). Therefore, consistent with the requirements specified in 50 CFR 622.41(a)(2)(ii), NMFS reduces the recreational ACL for greater amberjack in 2016 to 1,197,670 lb (543,254 kg) and the recreational ACT to 1,034,442 lb (469,215 kg). Under 50 CFR 622.41(a)(2)(i), NMFS is required to close the recreational sector for greater amberjack when the recreational ACT is reached, or is projected to be reached, by filing a notification to that effect with the Office of the Federal Register. NMFS has determined the 2016 recreational ACT was reached prior to the annual season closure, which is effective from June 1 through July 31 each year. Accordingly, the recreational sector for Gulf greater amberjack will not re-open on August 1, because NMFS is closing recreational harvest of greater amberjack for the rest of the 2016 fishing year effective at 12:01 a.m., local time, August 1, 2016, until 12:01 a.m., local time, January 1, 2017, the start of the next fishing year. During the recreational closure, the bag and possession limits for greater amberjack in or from the Gulf EEZ are zero. The prohibition on possession in the Gulf on board a vessel for which a valid Federal charter vessel/headboat permit for Gulf reef fish has been issued applies regardless of whether greater amberjack were harvested in state or Federal waters. The recreational sector for greater amberjack will reopen on January 1, 2017, the beginning of the 2017 recreational fishing year. Classification The Regional Administrator, Southeast Region, NMFS, has determined this temporary rule is necessary for the conservation and management of Gulf greater amberjack PO 00000 Frm 00033 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 48719 and is consistent with the MagnusonStevens Act and other applicable laws. This action is taken under 50 CFR 622.41(a)(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 recreational sector for greater amberjack constitutes 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 establishing the closure provisions was subject to notice and comment, and all that remains is to notify the public of the closure. Such procedures are contrary to the public interest because of the need to immediately implement this action to protect greater amberjack. Prior notice and opportunity for public comment would require time and would potentially allow the recreational sector to exceed the recreational ACL. 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: July 21, 2016. Alan D. Risenhoover, Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine Fisheries Service. [FR Doc. 2016–17633 Filed 7–21–16; 4:15 pm] BILLING CODE 3510–22–P DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration 50 CFR Part 635 [160412328–6619–02] RIN 0648–BF97 Atlantic Highly Migratory Species; North and South Atlantic 2016 Commercial Swordfish Quotas National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Commerce. ACTION: Final rule. AGENCY: E:\FR\FM\26JYR1.SGM 26JYR1 48720 Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 143 / Tuesday, July 26, 2016 / Rules and Regulations This final rule adjusts the 2016 fishing season quotas for North and South Atlantic swordfish based upon 2015 commercial quota underharvests and international quota transfers consistent with the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas (ICCAT) Recommendations 13–02 and 13–03. This final rule also simplifies the annual North and South Atlantic quota adjustment process when the adjustment simply applies a previouslyadopted formula or measure. Finally, this final rule removes extraneous regulatory text about the percentage of the annual baseline quota allocation that may be carried over in a given year. This final rule could affect commercial and recreational fishing for swordfish in the Atlantic Ocean, including the Caribbean Sea and Gulf of Mexico. This action implements ICCAT recommendations, consistent with the Atlantic Tunas Convention Act (ATCA), and furthers domestic management objectives under the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (Magnuson-Stevens Act). DATES: Effective on August 25, 2016. ADDRESSES: Copies of the supporting documents—including the 2012 Environmental Assessment (EA), Regulatory Impact Review (RIR), and Final Regulatory Flexibility Analysis (FRFA) for North Atlantic swordfish (Final Rule to Implement the 2012 Atlantic Swordfish Quotas and Other Measures); the 2007 EA, RIR, and FRFA for South Atlantic swordfish (Final Rule to Modify the North and South Atlantic Swordfish Commercial Quotas Based on 2006 ICCAT Recommendations); the 2006 Consolidated Atlantic Highly Migratory Species (HMS) Fishery Management Plan (FMP) and its amendments; and associated documents—are available from the HMS Management Division Web site at http:// www.nmfs.noaa.gov/sfa/hms/ or by contacting Steve Durkee by phone at 202–670–6637. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Steve Durkee by phone at 202–670–6637 or Karyl Brewster-Geisz by phone at 301–427–8503. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: rmajette on DSK2TPTVN1PROD with RULES SUMMARY: Background The U.S. Atlantic swordfish fishery is managed under the 2006 Consolidated Atlantic HMS FMP (October 2, 2006; 71 FR 58058). Implementing regulations at 50 CFR part 635 are issued under the authority of the Magnuson-Stevens Act, 16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq., and ATCA, 16 U.S.C. 971 et seq. ATCA authorizes the VerDate Sep<11>2014 13:45 Jul 25, 2016 Jkt 238001 Secretary of Commerce (Secretary) to promulgate regulations as may be necessary and appropriate to implement ICCAT recommendations. For North Atlantic swordfish, this final action maintains the U.S. baseline quota of 2,937.6 metric tons (mt) dressed weight (dw) and authorizes the transfer of 18.8 mt dw from the United States to Mauritania as required by ICCAT Recommendation 13–02. For South Atlantic swordfish, this action maintains the U.S. South Atlantic swordfish quota at 75.2 mt dw (100 mt whole weight (ww)), carries over 75.1 mt dw of 2015 underharvest, and authorizes the transfer of 50 mt ww (37.6 mt dw) to Namibia, 25 mt ww ˆ (18.8 mt dw) to Cote d’Ivoire, and 25 mt ww (18.8 mt dw) to Belize, consistent with ICCAT Recommendation 13–03. More specific information regarding the quota calculations can be found below. Additional details regarding the quotas and other actions in this rule and their impacts can be found in the proposed rule (81 FR 36511, June 7, 2016). North Atlantic Swordfish Quota At the 2013 ICCAT annual meeting, Recommendation 13–02 was adopted, maintaining the North Atlantic swordfish total allowable catch (TAC) of 10,301 metric tons (mt) dressed weight (dw) (13,700 mt whole weight (ww)) through 2016. Of this TAC, the United States’ baseline quota is 2,937.6 mt dw (3,907 mt ww) per year. ICCAT Recommendation 13–02 also includes an 18.8 mt dw (25 mt ww) annual quota transfer from the United States to Mauritania and limits underharvest carryover to 15 percent of a contracting party’s baseline quota. Therefore, the United States may carry over a maximum of 440.6 mt dw (586.0 mt ww) of underharvest from 2015 to 2016. This final rule adjusts the U.S. baseline quota for the 2016 fishing year to account for the annual quota transfer to Mauritania and the 2015 underharvest. The 2016 North Atlantic swordfish baseline quota is 2,937.6 mt dw (3,907 mt ww). The preliminary estimate of North Atlantic swordfish underharvest for 2015 was 2,181.6 mt dw as of December 31, 2015; therefore, NMFS is carrying forward 440.6 mt dw, the maximum carryover allowed under Recommendation 13–02. The 2,937.6 mt dw baseline quota is reduced by the 18.8 mt dw annual quota transfer to Mauritania and increased by the underharvest carryover of 440.6 mt dw, resulting in a final adjusted North Atlantic swordfish quota for the 2016 fishing year of 3,359.4 mt dw PO 00000 Frm 00034 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 (2,937.6¥18.8 + 440.6 = 3,359.4 mt dw). From that adjusted quota, 50 mt dw will be allocated to the reserve category for inseason adjustments and research, and 300 mt dw will be allocated to the incidental category, which includes recreational landings and landings by incidental swordfish permit holders, in accordance with regulations at 50 CFR 635.27(c)(1)(i). This would result in an allocation of 3,009.4 mt dw (3,359.4¥50¥300 = 3,009.4 mt dw) for the directed category, which would be split equally between two seasons in 2016 (January through June, and July through December) (Table 1). For clarity, the final rule removes extraneous regulatory text about the percentage of the annual baseline quota allocation that may be carried over in a given year. Under prior ICCAT recommendations, 25 percent of the unused annual baseline could be carried over to the subsequent year. ICCAT Recommendation 13–02 changed the allowable carryover to 15 percent from 2015 on. This change simplifies the regulatory text by removing the reference to the 25-percent carryover allowance to avoid confusion. South Atlantic Swordfish Quota In 2013, ICCAT Recommendation 13– 03 established the South Atlantic swordfish TAC at 11,278.2 mt dw (15,000 mt ww) for 2014, 2015, and 2016. Of this, the United States receives 75.2 mt dw (100 mt ww). Recommendation 13–03 limits the amount of South Atlantic swordfish underharvest that can be carried forward, and the United States may carry forward up to 100 percent of its baseline quota (75.2 mt dw). Recommendation 13–03 also included a total of 75.2 mt dw (100 mt ww) of quota transfers from the United States to other countries. These transfers were 37.6 mt dw (50 mt ww) to Namibia, 18.8 ˆ mt dw (25 mt ww) to Cote d’Ivoire, and 18.8 mt dw (25 mt ww) to Belize. In 2015, U.S. fishermen landed no South Atlantic swordfish according to data available as of December 31, 2015. The adjusted 2015 South Atlantic swordfish quota was 75.1 mt dw due to nominal landings in previous years. Therefore, 75.1 mt dw of underharvest is available to carry over to 2016. NMFS is carrying forward 75.1 mt dw to be added to the 75.2 mt dw baseline quota. The quota is then reduced by the 75.2 mt dw of annual international quota transfers outlined above, resulting in an adjusted South Atlantic swordfish quota of 75.1 mt dw for the 2016 fishing year. E:\FR\FM\26JYR1.SGM 26JYR1 48721 Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 143 / Tuesday, July 26, 2016 / Rules and Regulations TABLE 1—2016 NORTH AND SOUTH ATLANTIC SWORDFISH QUOTAS North Atlantic Swordfish Quota (mt dw) 2015 2016 Baseline Quota .................................................................................................................. International Quota Transfer ............................................................................................. Total Underharvest from Previous Year + ......................................................................... Underharvest Carryover from Previous Year + ................................................................. Adjusted Quota .................................................................................................................. Quota Allocation: Directed Category ...................................................................................................... Incidental Category .................................................................................................... Reserve Category ...................................................................................................... 2,937.6 .............................. (¥)18.8 (to Mauritania) .... 1,337.4 .............................. (+)440.6 ............................ 3,359.4 .............................. 2,937.6 (¥)18.8 (to Mauritania) 2,181.6 (+)440.6 3,359.4 3,009.4 .............................. 300 .................................... 50 ...................................... 3,009.4 300 50 South Atlantic Swordfish Quota (mt dw) 2015 Baseline Quota .................................................................................................................. International Quota Transfers * ......................................................................................... Total Underharvest from Previous Year + ......................................................................... Underharvest Carryover from Previous Year + ................................................................. Adjusted quota .................................................................................................................. 75.2 ................................... (¥)75.2 ............................. 75.1 ................................... 75.1 ................................... 75.1 ................................... 2016 75.2 (¥)75.2 75.1 75.1 75.1 rmajette on DSK2TPTVN1PROD with RULES + Allowable underharvest carryover is now capped at 15 percent of the baseline quota allocation for the North Atlantic and 75.2 dw (100 mt ww) for the South Atlantic. The available 2014 and 2015 underharvests are based on data current as of December 31, 2015; they do not include dead discards, late reports, or changes to the data as a result of quality control adjustments. ˆ * Under Recommendation 13–03, the United States transfers 75.2 mt dw (100 mt ww) annually to Namibia (37.6 mt dw, 50 mt ww), Cote d’Ivoire (18.8 mt dw, 25 mt ww), and Belize (18.8 mt dw, 25 mt ww). Modification of the Annual Quota Adjustment Public Notification Process In the past, NMFS has published proposed swordfish quota specifications annually, allowed for a public comment period, and then issued a final rule. NMFS has done this when adopting new quotas, altering conservation and management measures pursuant to an ICCAT recommendation, or when simply adjusting the swordfish quotas based on formulas or measures codified in regulations previously adopted through notice-and-comment rulemaking (see, e.g., regulatory text at 50 CFR 635.27(c)). Where NMFS is simply administering a pre-established formula that is already embodied in regulations, it has limited discretion over implementation. Inviting public notice and comment on these actions may have unnecessarily confused the regulated community, which has not understood the scope of these actions and NMFS’ lack of discretion to make changes in these situations. Past public comments have included requests that go well beyond the scope of these actions, including suggestions to carry over underharvests in an amount exceeding the carryover limit, which would be inconsistent with ICCAT recommendations; requests not to carry over any underharvests, which would be inconsistent with the established regulatory formulas; and requests to shut down the commercial swordfish fishery. To address public confusion and streamline the regulatory process, NMFS notifies the public that beginning in 2017, it will annually adjust the North and South Atlantic swordfish VerDate Sep<11>2014 13:45 Jul 25, 2016 Jkt 238001 quotas through a final rule without an opportunity for public comment, as appropriate, when such adjustments simply apply a previously-adopted formula and are administrative in nature. NMFS takes such action consistent with requirements of the Administrative Procedure Act. NMFS would continue to undertake notice and comment rulemaking when adopting new quotas or otherwise altering conservation and management measures. Response to Comments During the proposed rule comment period, NMFS received one written comment; however, it was not relevant to the proposed action. Changes From the Proposed Rule The final rule contains no changes from the proposed rule. Classification Pursuant to the Magnuson-Stevens Act, the NMFS Assistant Administrator has determined that the final rule is consistent with the 2006 Consolidated HMS FMP and its amendments, other provisions of the Magnuson-Stevens Act, ATCA, and other applicable law. This final rule has been determined to be not significant for purposes of Executive Order 12866. Previously, NMFS determined that proposed rules to implement the North Atlantic swordfish quota (77 FR 25669, May 1, 2012) and South Atlantic swordfish quota (75 FR 35432, June 22, 2010) were consistent to the maximum extent practicable with the enforceable policies of the approved coastal PO 00000 Frm 00035 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 management program of coastal states on the Atlantic, including the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean Sea. Pursuant to 15 CFR 930.41(a), NMFS provided the Coastal Zone Management Program of each coastal state a 60-day period to review the consistency determination and to advise the Agency of their concurrence. NMFS received concurrence with the consistency determinations from several states and inferred consistency from those states that did not respond within the 60-day time period. This final action to establish the 2016 North and South Atlantic swordfish quotas does not change the framework previously consulted upon; therefore, no additional consultation is required. The Chief Counsel for Regulation of the Department of Commerce certified to the Chief Counsel for Advocacy of the Small Business Administration during the proposed rule stage that this action would not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. The factual basis for the certification was published in the proposed rule and is not repeated here. No comments were received regarding this certification. As a result, a regulatory flexibility analysis was not required and none was prepared. List of Subjects in 50 CFR Part 635 Fisheries, Fishing, Fishing vessels, Foreign relations, Imports, Penalties, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements, Treaties. E:\FR\FM\26JYR1.SGM 26JYR1 48722 Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 143 / Tuesday, July 26, 2016 / Rules and Regulations Dated: July 21, 2016. Samuel D. Rauch III, Deputy Assistant Administrator for Regulatory Programs, National Marine Fisheries Service. For reasons set out in the preamble, 50 CFR part 635 is amended as follows: PART 635—ATLANTIC HIGHLY MIGRATORY SPECIES 1. The authority citation for part 635 continues to read as follows: ■ Authority: 16 U.S.C. 971 et seq.; 16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq. 2. In § 635.27, revise paragraph (c)(3) to read as follows: ■ § 635.27 apportioned equally between the two semiannual fishing seasons. (iii) The dressed weight equivalent of the amount by which dead discards exceed the allowance specified at paragraph (c)(1)(i)(C) of this section will be subtracted from the landings quota in the following fishing year or from the reserve category. * * * * * [FR Doc. 2016–17630 Filed 7–25–16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510–22–P DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Quotas. * * * * * (c) * * * (3) Annual adjustments. NMFS will file with the Office of the Federal Register for publication notice of the following adjustments to or apportionments of the annual quota: (i) Adjustments to the quota necessary to meet the objectives of the Consolidated Highly Migratory Species Fishery Management Plan consistent with the quota provisions of paragraph (c)(1) of this section. (ii) If consistent with applicable ICCAT recommendations, total landings above or below the specific North Atlantic or South Atlantic swordfish annual quota will be subtracted from, or added to, the following year’s quota for that area. As necessary to meet management objectives, such adjustments may be apportioned to fishing categories and/or to the reserve. Carryover adjustments for the North Atlantic shall be limited to 15 percent of the annual baseline quota allocation. Carryover adjustments for the South Atlantic shall be limited to 100 mt ww (75.2 mt dw). Any adjustments to the 12-month directed fishery quota will be 50 CFR Part 679 [Docket No. 150916863–6211–02] RIN 0648–XE745 Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Exchange of Flatfish in the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Management Area National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Commerce. ACTION: Temporary rule; reallocation. AGENCY: NMFS is exchanging unused flathead sole Community Development Quota (CDQ) for rock sole CDQ acceptable biological catch (ABC) reserves in the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands management area. This action is necessary to allow the 2016 total allowable catch of flathead sole and rock sole in the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands management area to be harvested. DATES: Effective July 26, 2016 through December 31, 2016. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Steve Whitney, 907–586–7228. SUMMARY: NMFS manages the groundfish fishery in the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands management area (BSAI) according to the Fishery Management Plan for Groundfish of the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Management Area (FMP) prepared by the North Pacific Fishery Management Council under authority of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act. Regulations governing fishing by U.S. vessels in accordance with the FMP appear at subpart H of 50 CFR part 600 and 50 CFR part 679. The 2016 flathead sole and rock sole CDQ reserves specified in the BSAI are 2,232 metric tons (mt), and 5,760 mt as established by the final 2016 and 2017 harvest specifications for groundfish in the BSAI (81 FR 14773, March 18, 2016) and following revision (81 FR 41253, June 24, 2016). The 2016 flathead sole and rock sole CDQ ABC reserves are 4,857 mt and 11,478 mt as established by the final 2016 and 2017 harvest specifications for groundfish in the BSAI (81 FR 14773, March 18, 2016) and following revision (81 FR 41253, June 24, 2016). The Norton Sound Economic Development Corporation has requested that NMFS exchange 400 mt of flathead sole CDQ reserves for 400 mt of rock sole CDQ ABC reserves under § 679.31(d). Therefore, in accordance with § 679.31(d), NMFS exchanges 400 mt of flathead sole CDQ reserves for 400 mt of rock sole CDQ ABC reserves in the BSAI. This action also decreases and increases the TACs and CDQ ABC reserves by the corresponding amounts. Tables 11 and 13 of the final 2016 and 2017 harvest specifications for groundfish in the BSAI (81 FR 14773, March 18, 2016), and following revision (81 FR 41253, June 24, 2016), are revised as follows: SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: TABLE 11—FINAL 2016 COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT QUOTA (CDQ) RESERVES, INCIDENTAL CATCH AMOUNTS (ICAS), AND AMENDMENT 80 ALLOCATIONS OF THE ALEUTIAN ISLANDS PACIFIC OCEAN PERCH, AND BSAI FLATHEAD SOLE, ROCK SOLE, AND YELLOWFIN SOLE TACS [Amounts are in metric tons] Pacific Ocean perch rmajette on DSK2TPTVN1PROD with RULES Sector Eastern Aleutian District TAC .......................................................... CDQ ......................................................... ICA ........................................................... BSAI trawl limited access ........................ Amendment 80 ......................................... Alaska Groundfish Cooperative ............... Alaska Seafood Cooperative ................... 7,900 845 200 685 6,169 3,271 2,898 Central Aleutian District Flathead sole Western Aleutian District 7,000 749 75 618 5,558 2,947 2,611 Rock sole Yellowfin sole BSAI BSAI BSAI 9,000 963 10 161 7,866 4,171 3,695 20,585 1,832 5,000 0 13,753 1,411 12,342 Note: Sector apportionments may not total precisely due to rounding. VerDate Sep<11>2014 13:45 Jul 25, 2016 Jkt 238001 PO 00000 Frm 00036 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 E:\FR\FM\26JYR1.SGM 26JYR1 57,150 6,160 6,000 0 44,990 11,129 33,861 144,365 15,773 3,500 14,979 110,113 43,748 66,365

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 81, Number 143 (Tuesday, July 26, 2016)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 48719-48722]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2016-17630]


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DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

50 CFR Part 635

[160412328-6619-02]
RIN 0648-BF97


Atlantic Highly Migratory Species; North and South Atlantic 2016 
Commercial Swordfish Quotas

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

ACTION: Final rule.

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[[Page 48720]]

SUMMARY: This final rule adjusts the 2016 fishing season quotas for 
North and South Atlantic swordfish based upon 2015 commercial quota 
underharvests and international quota transfers consistent with the 
International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas (ICCAT) 
Recommendations 13-02 and 13-03. This final rule also simplifies the 
annual North and South Atlantic quota adjustment process when the 
adjustment simply applies a previously-adopted formula or measure. 
Finally, this final rule removes extraneous regulatory text about the 
percentage of the annual baseline quota allocation that may be carried 
over in a given year. This final rule could affect commercial and 
recreational fishing for swordfish in the Atlantic Ocean, including the 
Caribbean Sea and Gulf of Mexico. This action implements ICCAT 
recommendations, consistent with the Atlantic Tunas Convention Act 
(ATCA), and furthers domestic management objectives under the Magnuson-
Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (Magnuson-Stevens Act).

DATES: Effective on August 25, 2016.

ADDRESSES: Copies of the supporting documents--including the 2012 
Environmental Assessment (EA), Regulatory Impact Review (RIR), and 
Final Regulatory Flexibility Analysis (FRFA) for North Atlantic 
swordfish (Final Rule to Implement the 2012 Atlantic Swordfish Quotas 
and Other Measures); the 2007 EA, RIR, and FRFA for South Atlantic 
swordfish (Final Rule to Modify the North and South Atlantic Swordfish 
Commercial Quotas Based on 2006 ICCAT Recommendations); the 2006 
Consolidated Atlantic Highly Migratory Species (HMS) Fishery Management 
Plan (FMP) and its amendments; and associated documents--are available 
from the HMS Management Division Web site at http://www.nmfs.noaa.gov/sfa/hms/ or by contacting Steve Durkee by phone at 202-670-6637.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Steve Durkee by phone at 202-670-6637 
or Karyl Brewster-Geisz by phone at 301-427-8503.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Background

    The U.S. Atlantic swordfish fishery is managed under the 2006 
Consolidated Atlantic HMS FMP (October 2, 2006; 71 FR 58058). 
Implementing regulations at 50 CFR part 635 are issued under the 
authority of the Magnuson-Stevens Act, 16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq., and 
ATCA, 16 U.S.C. 971 et seq. ATCA authorizes the Secretary of Commerce 
(Secretary) to promulgate regulations as may be necessary and 
appropriate to implement ICCAT recommendations.
    For North Atlantic swordfish, this final action maintains the U.S. 
baseline quota of 2,937.6 metric tons (mt) dressed weight (dw) and 
authorizes the transfer of 18.8 mt dw from the United States to 
Mauritania as required by ICCAT Recommendation 13-02. For South 
Atlantic swordfish, this action maintains the U.S. South Atlantic 
swordfish quota at 75.2 mt dw (100 mt whole weight (ww)), carries over 
75.1 mt dw of 2015 underharvest, and authorizes the transfer of 50 mt 
ww (37.6 mt dw) to Namibia, 25 mt ww (18.8 mt dw) to C[ocirc]te 
d'Ivoire, and 25 mt ww (18.8 mt dw) to Belize, consistent with ICCAT 
Recommendation 13-03. More specific information regarding the quota 
calculations can be found below. Additional details regarding the 
quotas and other actions in this rule and their impacts can be found in 
the proposed rule (81 FR 36511, June 7, 2016).

North Atlantic Swordfish Quota

    At the 2013 ICCAT annual meeting, Recommendation 13-02 was adopted, 
maintaining the North Atlantic swordfish total allowable catch (TAC) of 
10,301 metric tons (mt) dressed weight (dw) (13,700 mt whole weight 
(ww)) through 2016. Of this TAC, the United States' baseline quota is 
2,937.6 mt dw (3,907 mt ww) per year. ICCAT Recommendation 13-02 also 
includes an 18.8 mt dw (25 mt ww) annual quota transfer from the United 
States to Mauritania and limits underharvest carryover to 15 percent of 
a contracting party's baseline quota. Therefore, the United States may 
carry over a maximum of 440.6 mt dw (586.0 mt ww) of underharvest from 
2015 to 2016. This final rule adjusts the U.S. baseline quota for the 
2016 fishing year to account for the annual quota transfer to 
Mauritania and the 2015 underharvest.
    The 2016 North Atlantic swordfish baseline quota is 2,937.6 mt dw 
(3,907 mt ww). The preliminary estimate of North Atlantic swordfish 
underharvest for 2015 was 2,181.6 mt dw as of December 31, 2015; 
therefore, NMFS is carrying forward 440.6 mt dw, the maximum carryover 
allowed under Recommendation 13-02. The 2,937.6 mt dw baseline quota is 
reduced by the 18.8 mt dw annual quota transfer to Mauritania and 
increased by the underharvest carryover of 440.6 mt dw, resulting in a 
final adjusted North Atlantic swordfish quota for the 2016 fishing year 
of 3,359.4 mt dw (2,937.6-18.8 + 440.6 = 3,359.4 mt dw). From that 
adjusted quota, 50 mt dw will be allocated to the reserve category for 
inseason adjustments and research, and 300 mt dw will be allocated to 
the incidental category, which includes recreational landings and 
landings by incidental swordfish permit holders, in accordance with 
regulations at 50 CFR 635.27(c)(1)(i). This would result in an 
allocation of 3,009.4 mt dw (3,359.4-50-300 = 3,009.4 mt dw) for the 
directed category, which would be split equally between two seasons in 
2016 (January through June, and July through December) (Table 1).
    For clarity, the final rule removes extraneous regulatory text 
about the percentage of the annual baseline quota allocation that may 
be carried over in a given year. Under prior ICCAT recommendations, 25 
percent of the unused annual baseline could be carried over to the 
subsequent year. ICCAT Recommendation 13-02 changed the allowable 
carryover to 15 percent from 2015 on. This change simplifies the 
regulatory text by removing the reference to the 25-percent carryover 
allowance to avoid confusion.

South Atlantic Swordfish Quota

    In 2013, ICCAT Recommendation 13-03 established the South Atlantic 
swordfish TAC at 11,278.2 mt dw (15,000 mt ww) for 2014, 2015, and 
2016. Of this, the United States receives 75.2 mt dw (100 mt ww). 
Recommendation 13-03 limits the amount of South Atlantic swordfish 
underharvest that can be carried forward, and the United States may 
carry forward up to 100 percent of its baseline quota (75.2 mt dw). 
Recommendation 13-03 also included a total of 75.2 mt dw (100 mt ww) of 
quota transfers from the United States to other countries. These 
transfers were 37.6 mt dw (50 mt ww) to Namibia, 18.8 mt dw (25 mt ww) 
to C[ocirc]te d'Ivoire, and 18.8 mt dw (25 mt ww) to Belize.
    In 2015, U.S. fishermen landed no South Atlantic swordfish 
according to data available as of December 31, 2015. The adjusted 2015 
South Atlantic swordfish quota was 75.1 mt dw due to nominal landings 
in previous years. Therefore, 75.1 mt dw of underharvest is available 
to carry over to 2016. NMFS is carrying forward 75.1 mt dw to be added 
to the 75.2 mt dw baseline quota. The quota is then reduced by the 75.2 
mt dw of annual international quota transfers outlined above, resulting 
in an adjusted South Atlantic swordfish quota of 75.1 mt dw for the 
2016 fishing year.

[[Page 48721]]



                             Table 1--2016 North and South Atlantic Swordfish Quotas
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
North Atlantic Swordfish Quota (mt
                dw)                                  2015                                   2016
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Baseline Quota....................  2,937.6..............................  2,937.6
International Quota Transfer......  (-)18.8 (to Mauritania)..............  (-)18.8 (to Mauritania)
Total Underharvest from Previous    1,337.4..............................  2,181.6
 Year \+\.
Underharvest Carryover from         (+)440.6.............................  (+)440.6
 Previous Year \+\.
Adjusted Quota....................  3,359.4..............................  3,359.4
Quota Allocation:
    Directed Category.............  3,009.4..............................  3,009.4
    Incidental Category...........  300..................................  300
    Reserve Category..............  50...................................  50
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
South Atlantic Swordfish Quota (mt  2015.................................  2016
 dw)
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Baseline Quota....................  75.2.................................  75.2
International Quota Transfers *...  (-)75.2..............................  (-)75.2
Total Underharvest from Previous    75.1.................................  75.1
 Year \+\.
Underharvest Carryover from         75.1.................................  75.1
 Previous Year \+\.
Adjusted quota....................  75.1.................................  75.1
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
+ Allowable underharvest carryover is now capped at 15 percent of the baseline quota allocation for the North
  Atlantic and 75.2 dw (100 mt ww) for the South Atlantic. The available 2014 and 2015 underharvests are based
  on data current as of December 31, 2015; they do not include dead discards, late reports, or changes to the
  data as a result of quality control adjustments.
* Under Recommendation 13-03, the United States transfers 75.2 mt dw (100 mt ww) annually to Namibia (37.6 mt
  dw, 50 mt ww), C[ocirc]te d'Ivoire (18.8 mt dw, 25 mt ww), and Belize (18.8 mt dw, 25 mt ww).

Modification of the Annual Quota Adjustment Public Notification Process

    In the past, NMFS has published proposed swordfish quota 
specifications annually, allowed for a public comment period, and then 
issued a final rule. NMFS has done this when adopting new quotas, 
altering conservation and management measures pursuant to an ICCAT 
recommendation, or when simply adjusting the swordfish quotas based on 
formulas or measures codified in regulations previously adopted through 
notice-and-comment rulemaking (see, e.g., regulatory text at 50 CFR 
635.27(c)). Where NMFS is simply administering a pre-established 
formula that is already embodied in regulations, it has limited 
discretion over implementation. Inviting public notice and comment on 
these actions may have unnecessarily confused the regulated community, 
which has not understood the scope of these actions and NMFS' lack of 
discretion to make changes in these situations. Past public comments 
have included requests that go well beyond the scope of these actions, 
including suggestions to carry over underharvests in an amount 
exceeding the carryover limit, which would be inconsistent with ICCAT 
recommendations; requests not to carry over any underharvests, which 
would be inconsistent with the established regulatory formulas; and 
requests to shut down the commercial swordfish fishery.
    To address public confusion and streamline the regulatory process, 
NMFS notifies the public that beginning in 2017, it will annually 
adjust the North and South Atlantic swordfish quotas through a final 
rule without an opportunity for public comment, as appropriate, when 
such adjustments simply apply a previously-adopted formula and are 
administrative in nature. NMFS takes such action consistent with 
requirements of the Administrative Procedure Act. NMFS would continue 
to undertake notice and comment rulemaking when adopting new quotas or 
otherwise altering conservation and management measures.

Response to Comments

    During the proposed rule comment period, NMFS received one written 
comment; however, it was not relevant to the proposed action.

Changes From the Proposed Rule

    The final rule contains no changes from the proposed rule.

Classification

    Pursuant to the Magnuson-Stevens Act, the NMFS Assistant 
Administrator has determined that the final rule is consistent with the 
2006 Consolidated HMS FMP and its amendments, other provisions of the 
Magnuson-Stevens Act, ATCA, and other applicable law.
    This final rule has been determined to be not significant for 
purposes of Executive Order 12866.
    Previously, NMFS determined that proposed rules to implement the 
North Atlantic swordfish quota (77 FR 25669, May 1, 2012) and South 
Atlantic swordfish quota (75 FR 35432, June 22, 2010) were consistent 
to the maximum extent practicable with the enforceable policies of the 
approved coastal management program of coastal states on the Atlantic, 
including the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean Sea. Pursuant to 15 CFR 
930.41(a), NMFS provided the Coastal Zone Management Program of each 
coastal state a 60-day period to review the consistency determination 
and to advise the Agency of their concurrence. NMFS received 
concurrence with the consistency determinations from several states and 
inferred consistency from those states that did not respond within the 
60-day time period. This final action to establish the 2016 North and 
South Atlantic swordfish quotas does not change the framework 
previously consulted upon; therefore, no additional consultation is 
required.
    The Chief Counsel for Regulation of the Department of Commerce 
certified to the Chief Counsel for Advocacy of the Small Business 
Administration during the proposed rule stage that this action would 
not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small 
entities. The factual basis for the certification was published in the 
proposed rule and is not repeated here. No comments were received 
regarding this certification. As a result, a regulatory flexibility 
analysis was not required and none was prepared.

List of Subjects in 50 CFR Part 635

    Fisheries, Fishing, Fishing vessels, Foreign relations, Imports, 
Penalties, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements, Treaties.


[[Page 48722]]


    Dated: July 21, 2016.
Samuel D. Rauch III,
Deputy Assistant Administrator for Regulatory Programs, National Marine 
Fisheries Service.
    For reasons set out in the preamble, 50 CFR part 635 is amended as 
follows:

PART 635--ATLANTIC HIGHLY MIGRATORY SPECIES

0
1. The authority citation for part 635 continues to read as follows:

    Authority: 16 U.S.C. 971 et seq.; 16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq.


0
2. In Sec.  635.27, revise paragraph (c)(3) to read as follows:


Sec.  635.27  Quotas.

* * * * *
    (c) * * *
    (3) Annual adjustments. NMFS will file with the Office of the 
Federal Register for publication notice of the following adjustments to 
or apportionments of the annual quota:
    (i) Adjustments to the quota necessary to meet the objectives of 
the Consolidated Highly Migratory Species Fishery Management Plan 
consistent with the quota provisions of paragraph (c)(1) of this 
section.
    (ii) If consistent with applicable ICCAT recommendations, total 
landings above or below the specific North Atlantic or South Atlantic 
swordfish annual quota will be subtracted from, or added to, the 
following year's quota for that area. As necessary to meet management 
objectives, such adjustments may be apportioned to fishing categories 
and/or to the reserve. Carryover adjustments for the North Atlantic 
shall be limited to 15 percent of the annual baseline quota allocation. 
Carryover adjustments for the South Atlantic shall be limited to 100 mt 
ww (75.2 mt dw). Any adjustments to the 12-month directed fishery quota 
will be apportioned equally between the two semiannual fishing seasons.
    (iii) The dressed weight equivalent of the amount by which dead 
discards exceed the allowance specified at paragraph (c)(1)(i)(C) of 
this section will be subtracted from the landings quota in the 
following fishing year or from the reserve category.
* * * * *
[FR Doc. 2016-17630 Filed 7-25-16; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 3510-22-P