Fisheries of the Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico, and South Atlantic; Snapper-Grouper Fishery Off the Southern Atlantic States; Regulatory Amendment 16, 53109-53117 [2016-18998]

Download as PDF sradovich on DSK3GMQ082PROD with PROPOSALS Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 155 / Thursday, August 11, 2016 / Proposed Rules inconsistencies between or among the relevant sales data, the proposed price, and the catalog price (including any related discounts, refunds, rebates, offsets, or other adjustments)].’’; (C) For items priced based on market pricing, a description of the nature of the commercial market, the methodology used to establish a market price, and all relevant sales data. The description shall be adequate to permit the Department of Defense to verify the accuracy of the description; (D) For items included on an active Federal Supply Service Multiple Award Schedule contract, proof that an exception has been granted for the schedule item; or (E) For items provided by nontraditional defense contractors, a statement that the entity is not currently performing and has not performed, for at least the 1-year period preceding the solicitation of sources by the Department of Defense for the procurement or transaction, any contract or subcontract for the Department of Defense that is subject to full coverage under the cost accounting standards prescribed pursuant to 41 U.S.C. 1502 and the regulations implementing such section. (2) The Offeror grants the Contracting Officer or an authorized representative the right to examine, at any time before award, books, records, documents, or other directly pertinent records to verify any request for an exception under this provision, and to determine the reasonableness of price. (c) Requirements for certified cost or pricing data. If the Offeror is not granted an exception from the requirement to submit certified cost or pricing data, the following applies: (1) The Offeror shall submit certified cost or pricing data, data other than certified cost or pricing data, and supporting attachments in the following format: [Insert description of the data and format that are required, and include access to records necessary to permit an adequate evaluation of the proposed price in accordance with FAR 15.408, Table 15–2, Note 2. The Contracting Officer shall insert the description at the time of issuing the solicitation or specify that the format regularly maintained by the offeror or prospective subcontractor in its business operations will be acceptable. The Contracting Officer may amend the description as the result of negotiations]. (2) As soon as practicable after agreement on price, but before contract award (except for unpriced actions such as letter contracts), the Offeror shall submit a Certificate of Current Cost or Pricing Data, as prescribed by FAR 15.406–2. (d) Requirements for data other than certified cost or pricing data. (1) Data other than certified cost or pricing data submitted in accordance with this provision shall include all data necessary to permit a determination that the proposed price is fair and reasonable, to include the requirements in DFARS 215.402(a)(i) and DFARS 215.404–1(b). (2) In cases in which uncertified cost data is required, the information shall be provided in the form in which it is regularly maintained by the Offeror or prospective subcontractor in its business operations. VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:14 Aug 10, 2016 Jkt 238001 (3) The Offeror shall provide information described as follows: [Insert description of the data and the format that are required, including access to records necessary to permit an adequate evaluation of the proposed price in accordance with FAR 15.403–63]. (4) Within 10 days of a written request from the Contracting Officer for additional information to support proposal analysis, the Offeror shall provide either the requested information, or a written explanation for the inability to fully comply. (5) Subcontract price evaluation. (i) Offerors shall obtain from subcontractors the information necessary to support a determination of price reasonableness, as described in FAR part 15 and DFARS part 215. (ii) No cost information may be required from a prospective subcontractor in any case in which there are sufficient nongovernment sales of the same item to establish reasonableness of price. (iii) If the Offeror relies on relevant sales data for similar items to determine the price is reasonable, the Offeror shall obtain only that technical information necessary— (A) To support the conclusion that items are technically similar; and (B) To explain any technical differences that account for variances between the proposed prices and the sales data presented. (e) Subcontracts. The Offeror shall insert the substance of this provision, including this paragraph (e), in all subcontracts exceeding the simplified acquisition threshold defined in FAR part 2. The Offeror shall require prospective subcontractors to adhere to the requirements of— (1) Paragraph (c) and (d) of this provision for subcontracts above the threshold for submission of certified cost or pricing data in FAR 15.403–4; and (2) Paragraph (d) of this provision for subcontracts exceeding the simplified acquisition threshold defined in FAR part 2. (End of provision) 16. Add section 252.215–70YY to read as follows: ■ 252.215–70YY Requirements for Submission of Proposals to the Administrative Contracting Officer and Contract Auditor. As prescribed in 215.408(6)(ii), use the following provision: Requirements for Submission of Proposals to the Administrative Contracting Officer and Contract Auditor (Date) When the proposal is submitted, the Offeror shall also submit one copy each to— (a) The Administrative Contracting Officer; and (b) The Contract Auditor. (End of provision) 17. Add section 252.215–70ZZ to read as follows: ■ PO 00000 Frm 00019 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 53109 252.215–70ZZ Requirements for Submission of Proposals via Electronic Media. As prescribed in 215.408(6)(iii), use the following provision: Requirements for Submission of Proposals Via Electronic Media (Date) The Offeror shall submit the cost portion of the proposal via the following electronic media: [Insert media format, e.g., electronic spreadsheet format, electronic mail, etc.]. (End of provision) [FR Doc. 2016–18704 Filed 8–10–16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 5001–06–P DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration 50 CFR Part 622 [Docket No. 131113952–6673–01] RIN 0648–BD78 Fisheries of the Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico, and South Atlantic; SnapperGrouper Fishery Off the Southern Atlantic States; Regulatory Amendment 16 National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Commerce. ACTION: Proposed rule; request for comments. AGENCY: NMFS proposes regulations to implement Regulatory Amendment 16 to the Fishery Management Plan for the Snapper-Grouper Fishery of the South Atlantic Region (FMP) (Regulatory Amendment 16), as prepared and submitted by the South Atlantic Fishery Management Council (Council). If implemented, this proposed rule would revise the current seasonal prohibition on the use of black sea bass pot gear in the South Atlantic and add additional gear marking requirements for black sea bass pot gear. The purpose of this proposed rule is to reduce the adverse socioeconomic impacts from the current seasonal black sea bass pot gear prohibition while continuing to protect Endangered Species Act (ESA) listed whales in the South Atlantic. This proposed rule would also help better identify black sea bass pot gear in the South Atlantic. DATES: Written comments must be received on or before September 12, 2016. SUMMARY: You may submit comments on the proposed rule, identified by ADDRESSES: E:\FR\FM\11AUP1.SGM 11AUP1 sradovich on DSK3GMQ082PROD with PROPOSALS 53110 Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 155 / Thursday, August 11, 2016 / Proposed Rules ‘‘NOAA–NMFS–2013–0165’’ 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-20130165, click the ‘‘Comment Now!’’ icon, complete the required fields, and enter or attach your comments. • Mail: Submit written comments to Nikhil Mehta, Southeast Regional Office, NMFS, 263 13th Avenue South, St. Petersburg, FL 33701. 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). Electronic copies of Regulatory Amendment 16, which includes an environmental impact statement (EIS), a Regulatory Flexibility Act (RFA) analysis, and a regulatory impact review, may be obtained from the Southeast Regional Office Web site at https://sero.nmfs.noaa.gov/sustainable_ fisheries/s_atl/sg/2013/reg_am16/ index.html. Comments regarding the burden-hour estimates, clarity of the instructions, or other aspects of the collection-ofinformation requirements contained in this proposed rule (see the Classification section of the preamble) may be submitted in writing to Adam Bailey, Southeast Regional Office, NMFS, 263 13th Avenue South, St. Petersburg, FL 33701; or the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), by email at OIRA_ Submission@omb.eop.gov, or by fax to 202–395–5806. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Nikhil Mehta, telephone: 727–824– 5305, email: nikhil.mehta@noaa.gov. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Black sea bass is in the snapper-grouper fishery and is managed under the FMP. The FMP was prepared by the Council and is implemented through regulations at VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:14 Aug 10, 2016 Jkt 238001 50 CFR part 622 under the authority of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (Magnuson-Stevens Act). Background On December 4, 2013, NMFS published a notice of intent to prepare a draft EIS for Regulatory Amendment 16 and requested public comment (78 FR 72968). On October 23, 2015, the notice of availability for the draft EIS was published and public comment was also requested (80 FR 64409). The notice of availability for the final EIS for Regulatory Amendment 16 published on July 1, 2016 (81 FR 43198). The black sea bass stock in the South Atlantic was most recently assessed through the Southeast Data, Assessment, and Review (SEDAR) stock assessment process in 2013 (SEDAR 25 Update). The SEDAR 25 Update determined that the black sea bass stock in the South Atlantic is not undergoing overfishing and is not overfished. The SEDAR 25 Update indicated that the black sea bass commercial and recreational sector annual catch limits (ACLs) could be increased without jeopardizing the health of the population, and as a result, the black sea bass commercial and recreational ACLs were increased through the final rule to implement Regulatory Amendment 19 to the FMP (78 FR 58249, September 23, 2013). Additionally, Regulatory Amendment 19 established an annual prohibition on the use of black sea bass pots from November 1 through April 30. During this closure, no person is allowed to harvest or possess black sea bass in or from the South Atlantic exclusive economic zone (EEZ) either with sea bass pots or from a vessel with sea bass pots on board. In addition, sea bass pots must be removed from the water in the South Atlantic EEZ prior to November 1, and may not be on board a vessel in the South Atlantic EEZ during this seasonal closure. The black sea bass pot seasonal prohibition became effective on October 23, 2013. Through Regulatory Amendment 19, the seasonal sea bass pot prohibition was established as a precautionary measure to prevent interactions between black sea bass pot gear and ESA-listed whales during periods of large whale migrations and during the right whale calving season off the U.S. southeastern coast. The large whale migration period and the right whale calving season in PO 00000 Frm 00020 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 the South Atlantic extends from approximately November 1 through April 30, each year. Since 2010, black sea bass harvest levels have reached the commercial quota, thereby triggering accountability measures (AMs) to close the commercial sector. In recent years, these in-season commercial closures have occurred prior to November 1, the beginning of the right whale calving season, therefore, Council and NMFS actions to prevent black sea bass pot gear from being in the water during periods of higher whale concentrations had been unnecessary to restrict interactions between black sea bass pot fishers and ESA-listed whales. However, NMFS determined that the increase in the black sea bass commercial ACL implemented through Regulatory Amendment 19 could extend the commercial black sea bass fishing season beyond November 1, and into a time period when a higher concentration of endangered whales are known to migrate through black sea bass fishing grounds. Management Measures Contained in This Proposed Rule This proposed rule would implement modifications to the current black sea bass pot seasonal closure. This proposed rule would also modify the buoy line rope marking requirements for black sea bass pots. Black Sea Bass Pot Gear Seasonal Prohibition As established through Regulatory Amendment 19, black sea pot gear is prohibited in the South Atlantic EEZ annually from November 1 through April 30. This proposed rule would retain the November 1 through April 30 prohibition on the use of black sea bass pots, but would modify the boundaries of the prohibition. This rule would revise the South Atlantic EEZ-wide seasonal closure to a closure of two temporal and spatial components. The first closure period would be for the months of November and April, and the second closure period would be for the months of December through March each year. The first closure period is illustrated by the Figure 1 below. During November and April, the eastern boundary of the sea bass pot closed area off North and South Carolina is closer to shore than during the months of December through March. E:\FR\FM\11AUP1.SGM 11AUP1 Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 155 / Thursday, August 11, 2016 / Proposed Rules 53111 Figure 1. November and April Black Sea Bass Pot Prohibition 3 Atlantic Ocean Seasonal Black Sea Bass Pot Prohibition Nov 1-30 and Apr 1-30 MM I 0 15 30 60 90 120 150 During the second closure period from December through March each year, the sea bass pot closure area would be larger off the entire South Atlantic coast than it would be during November and April, particularly off Georgia and Florida. Waters off the coast of Georgia VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:14 Aug 10, 2016 Jkt 238001 and Florida represent the primary right whale calving grounds in the South Atlantic EEZ. This bathymetric area is based on right whale sightings (all demographic segments) and sightings per unit of effort (proxy of density) by depth and captures 97 percent and 96 PO 00000 Frm 00021 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 percent of right whale sightings off the North Carolina/South Carolina area, and Florida/Georgia area, respectively. The proposed sea bass pot prohibited area for December through March is illustrated in Figure 2 below. E:\FR\FM\11AUP1.SGM 11AUP1 EP11AU16.000</GPH> sradovich on DSK3GMQ082PROD with PROPOSALS Nautical Miles 53112 Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 155 / Thursday, August 11, 2016 / Proposed Rules Figure 2. December Through March Black Sea Bass Pot Prohibition Atlantic Ocean Seasonal Black Sea Bass Pot Prohibition Dec 1- Mar 31 M M I 0 15 30 60 90 120 150 The Council has determined that reducing the size of the current black sea bass pot prohibition would continue to provide the necessary protection to ESA-listed whales in the South Atlantic. The Council based this conclusion on an analysis that simulated the potential black sea bass landings of black sea bass pot endorsement holders during a VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:14 Aug 10, 2016 Jkt 238001 winter season and created overlays of the co-occurrence of the seasonal distribution of black sea bass pot gear and North Atlantic right whales as a proxy for the relative risk of right whale entanglements under each of the proposed alternatives in Regulatory Amendment 16. The findings of this analysis were recently published in the PO 00000 Frm 00022 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 peer-reviewed journal, ‘‘Marine and Coastal Fisheries’’ by Farmer et al. (2016) which is available at the following Web site: http://dx.doi.org/ 10.1080/19425120.2016.1146181. As described in Regulatory Amendment 16, the alternatives for all of the proposed black sea bass pot closures were developed considering E:\FR\FM\11AUP1.SGM 11AUP1 EP11AU16.001</GPH> sradovich on DSK3GMQ082PROD with PROPOSALS Nautical Miles Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 155 / Thursday, August 11, 2016 / Proposed Rules sradovich on DSK3GMQ082PROD with PROPOSALS the following spatial, temporal, and environmental variables. Spatial variation in the distribution of right whales is influenced by local environmental variables such as water temperature, depth, and distance to shore. The closed areas proposed in this rule incorporate these environmental variables and spatial distribution patterns to minimize the risk of interactions of marine mammals with black sea bass pot gear. During the months of November and April, the area proposed to be closed through this rule would prohibit black sea bass pots inshore of an area which represents 91 percent of historical right whale sightings off Florida and Georgia; and off North Carolina and South Carolina, the black sea bass pot prohibition would apply to Federal waters shallower than 25 m. During December through March, the area proposed to be closed through this rule would prohibit black sea bass pots shallower than 25 m off Florida and Georgia; and from the Georgia/ South Carolina border to Cape Hatteras, North Carolina, the prohibition would apply to Federal waters that are shallower than 30 m in depth. This bathymetric area is based on right whale sightings by depth and captures 97 percent and 96 percent of right whale sightings off the North Carolina/South Carolina area, and Florida/Georgia area, respectively. NMFS is currently conducting an ESA section 7 consultation. Additionally, the proposed closure areas listed in this rule are expected to minimize adverse socioeconomic effects of the current November through April black sea bass pot prohibition by increasing the area available to fish using black sea bass pots. This proposed rule would also allow for vessel transit through the proposed black sea bass pot closed areas providing the black sea bass pot gear is appropriately stowed on the vessel. Transit would be defined as non-stop progression through the closed area; fishing gear appropriately stowed means all black sea bass pot gear must be out of the water and on board the deck of the vessel. All buoys must either be disconnected from the gear or stowed within the sea bass pot. The disconnected buoys may remain on deck. Gear Marking Requirements Fish traps and pot buoy lines, including black sea bass pots, are currently required to have specific line marking requirements during certain times of the year and in the locations described in the Atlantic Large Whale Take Reduction Plan (ALWTRP)(see 50 VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:14 Aug 10, 2016 Jkt 238001 CFR 229.32(b)). The ALWTRP includes at least three trap/pot areas where black sea bass pots may be fished. This includes the Offshore Trap/Pot Waters Area, Southern Nearshore Trap/Pot Waters Area, and the U.S. Southeast Restricted Area North. Regulatory Amendment 16 would modify the current gear marking requirements under the FMP by requiring additional markings for black sea bass pot buoy lines. This proposed rule would require that an additional 12-inch (30.5 cm) wide purple band be added onto the buoy line at the end of, and directly adjacent to, each of the currently required 12-inch (30.5 cm) colored marks required through the ALWTRP described in 50 CFR 229.32(b). Within the Council’s jurisdiction for managing black sea bass, the proposed additional black sea bass gear marking requirements would be required to be in place in Federal waters from September 1 through May 31 in the Offshore Trap/Pot Waters Area and the Southern Nearshore Trap/Pot Waters Area, and from November 15 through May 31 in the Southeast U.S. Restricted Areas North. The Council’s requirement that sea bass pot gear have additional gear-specific marking would help distinguish black sea bass pots from other types of trap and pot gear in the South Atlantic EEZ. Classification Pursuant to section 304(b)(1)(A) of the Magnuson-Stevens Act, the NMFS Assistant Administrator has determined that this proposed rule is consistent with Regulatory Amendment 16, other provisions of the Magnuson-Stevens Act, and other applicable laws, subject to further consideration after public comment. This proposed rule has been determined to be not significant for purposes of Executive Order 12866. NMFS prepared an initial regulatory flexibility analysis (IRFA), as required by section 603 of the RFA, for this proposed rule. The IRFA describes the economic impact this proposed rule, if adopted, would have on small entities. A description of the action, why it is being considered, the objectives of, and legal basis for this action are contained at the beginning of this section in the preamble and in the SUMMARY section of the preamble. A copy of the full analysis is available from NMFS (see ADDRESSES). A summary of the IRFA follows. The Magnuson-Stevens Act provides the statutory basis for this proposed rule. No duplicative, overlapping, or conflicting Federal rules have been identified. In addition, no new reporting PO 00000 Frm 00023 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 53113 or record-keeping requirements are introduced by this proposed rule. However, the proposed rule would require that for each sea bass pot buoy line an additional 12-inch (30.5 cm) wide purple band be added at the end of, and directly adjacent to, each of the currently required 12-inch (30.5 cm) colored marks required under the ALWTRP discussed above. Similar to the current requirements under the ALWTRP, this marking requirement does not need an additional expertise on the part of fishermen. NMFS estimates that this requirement would cost each pot endorsement holder about an additional $5 annually if surveyor’s tape is used for line marking, or about an additional $90 annually if paint is used instead. The estimated additional annual time burden associated with the proposed marking requirement is up to approximately 3.5 hours annually. NMFS expects this proposed rule to directly affect federally permitted commercial fishermen fishing for black sea bass in the South Atlantic. For RFA purposes only, NMFS has established a small business size standard for businesses, including their affiliates, whose primary industry is commercial fishing (see 50 CFR 200.2). A business primarily engaged in commercial fishing (NAICS code 11411) is classified as a small business if it is independently owned and operated, is not dominant in its field of operation (including affiliates), and has combined annual receipts not in excess of $11 million for all its affiliated operations worldwide. The $11 million standard became effective on July 1, 2016, and is to be used in place of the U.S. Small Business Administration’s (SBA) current standards of $20.5 million, $5.5 million, and $7.5 million for the finfish (NAICS 114111), shellfish (NAICS 114112), and other marine fishing (NAICS 114119) sectors of the U.S. commercial fishing industry in all NMFS rules subject to the RFA after July 1, 2016. Pursuant to the RFA, and prior to July 1, 2016, an IRFA was developed for this regulatory action using SBA’s size standards. NMFS has reviewed the analyses prepared for this regulatory action in light of the new size standard. All of the entities directly affected by this regulatory action are commercial fishing businesses and were considered small under the SBA’s size standards, and they all would continue to be considered small under the new NMFS standard. Thus, NMFS has determined that the new size standard does not affect analyses prepared for this regulatory action. As of December 31, 2014, there were 32 holders of the Federal black sea bass E:\FR\FM\11AUP1.SGM 11AUP1 sradovich on DSK3GMQ082PROD with PROPOSALS 53114 Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 155 / Thursday, August 11, 2016 / Proposed Rules pot endorsement to the snapper-grouper commercial permit. Since that time one endorsement holder has dropped out of the black sea bass pot component of the commercial sector, but the current analysis uses 32 endorsement holders because historical records of these 32 endorsement holders were used in Regulatory Amendment 16. Retaining the records of 32 endorsement holders is not expected to inflate the analytical results because only an average of 31 vessels fished for black sea bass using pots. From the 2000/2001 through 2013/ 2014 fishing years, these endorsement holders used an average of 31 vessels fishing for black sea bass using pots. These vessels generated total combined revenues (2014 dollars) of $732,717 from black sea bass, $228,468 from other species jointly landed with black sea bass, and $248,662 from all other species in trips where black sea bass was not caught. The average annual revenue per vessel from all species, including black sea bass, landed by these vessels was $38,715 (2014 dollars). During the same time period, an average of 215 vessels using gear other than sea bass pots landed at least 1 lb (0.45 kg) of black sea bass. These vessels generated dockside total combined revenues (2014 dollars) of $199,574 from black sea bass, $3.838 million from other species jointly landed with black sea bass, and $7.680 million from all other species in trips where black sea bass was not caught. The average annual revenue per vessel from all species, including black sea bass, landed by these vessels was $54,651 (2014 dollars). Vessels that caught and landed black sea bass may also operate in other fisheries, the revenues of which are not known and are not reflected in these totals. Based on revenue information, all commercial vessels directly affected by the proposed rule may be assumed to be small entities. Because all entities expected to be directly affected by this proposed rule are assumed to be small entities, NMFS has determined that this proposed rule would affect a substantial number of small entities. However, the issue of disproportionate effects on small versus large entities does not arise in the present case. The proposed rule would modify the November 1 through April 30 prohibition on the use of black sea bass pot gear in the South Atlantic by allowing black sea bass pot fishing at depths greater than approximately 25 m from November 1 through April 30 from approximately Cape Canaveral, Florida, to the Georgia/South Carolina border; at VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:14 Aug 10, 2016 Jkt 238001 depths greater than approximately 25 m from November 1 through 30 and from April 1 through 30 off North and South Carolina; and, at depths greater than approximately 30 m from December 1 through March 31 off North and South Carolina. In addition, the proposed rule would require black sea bass pot endorsement holders to put three 12inch (30.5 cm) purple markings on each sea bass pot buoy line adjacent to the already required colors on these lines under the ALWTRP. The marks are commonly made with either paint or surveyor’s tape. As described in the codified text, other materials may also be used for marking the line. The proposed modification to the current prohibition on the use of black sea bass pot gear would have contrasting economic effects on the two major groups of participants in the commercial harvest of black sea bass. The proposed action would benefit those using pots for harvesting black sea bass, and given that the commercial ACL is predicted to be fully taken, benefits to users of other gear would decrease. The combined dockside revenues (2014 dollars) for all pot gear vessels are estimated to increase annually between $113,964 and $185,068 based on 2000–2013 average black sea bass price, or between $163,606 and $260,355 based on 2011– 2013 average black sea bass price. Two price levels are used to provide some bounds on the range of revenue effects. The lower bound is based on the 2000– 2013 average black sea bass price and the upper bound is based on the 2011– 2013 average black sea bass price. In contrast, the combined dockside revenues (2014 dollars) for all non-pot gear vessels are estimated to decrease annually between $68,323 and $141,527 based on 2000–2013 average black sea bass price, or between $116,650 and $241,631 based on 2011–2013 the average black sea bass price. The net revenue change for all vessels combined would be between $43,541 and $46,367 based on 2000–2013 average price for black sea bass, or between $43,889 and $46,553 based on 2010–2013 average price for black sea bass. Assuming that revenue increases for users of pot gear would be equally distributed among the 32 endorsement holders, revenues per pot endorsement holder would increase annually between $3,561 and $5,783, or between $5,113 and $8,136. However, revenue per vessel for the 215 users of non-pot gear would decrease between $318 and $658, or between $543 and $1,124. For vessels using pot gear, the expected revenue increases would be approximately 9 to 21 percent of their average annual revenue of $38,715 per PO 00000 Frm 00024 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 vessel. However, revenue losses to vessels using gear other than sea bass pots would be between 1 and 2 percent of their average annual revenue of $54,651 per vessel. Therefore, on a per vessel basis, the revenue gains to the pot endorsement holders could potentially be substantial, whereas the revenue losses to the other gear users would be relatively small. The proposed requirement on black sea bass pot endorsement holders to put three 12-inch (30.5 cm) purple markings on each pot buoy line adjacent to the already required colors under the ALWTRP would cost each endorsement holder about an additional $5 annually if surveyor’s tape is used, or about an additional $90 annually if paint is used instead. This cost is relatively small. The following discussion describes the alternatives that were not selected as preferred by the Council. In this section, the term ‘‘overall revenues’’ refers to the sum of revenues from vessels using black sea bass pots and revenues from vessels using gear other than black sea bass pots. Twelve alternatives, including the preferred alternative as described above, were considered for modifying the November 1 through April 30 prohibition on the use of black sea bass pot gear. The first alternative, the no action alternative, would maintain the current economic benefits to all participants in the fishery as well as provide the least likelihood of right whales getting entangled with black sea bass pot lines. However, this alternative would not address the need to reduce the adverse socioeconomic effects of the current prohibition on the use of black sea bass pot gear. The second alternative would apply the black sea bass pot closure to the area currently designated as North Atlantic right whale critical habitat from November 15 through April 15. This alternative would provide slightly more increases in overall revenues to commercial vessels than the preferred alternative, but it would also pose the highest threat of right whale entanglement with pot buoy lines. The third alternative would apply the black sea bass pot closure from approximately Ponce Inlet, Florida, to Cape Hatteras, North Carolina, annually from November 1 through April 30. Relative to the preferred alternative, this alternative would result in higher overall revenue increases but lower protection to right whales from getting entangled with pot buoy lines. The fourth alternative would apply the black sea bass pot closure from approximately Cape Canaveral, Florida, to Cape Hatteras, North Carolina, E:\FR\FM\11AUP1.SGM 11AUP1 sradovich on DSK3GMQ082PROD with PROPOSALS Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 155 / Thursday, August 11, 2016 / Proposed Rules annually from November 1 through April 30. Although this alternative would provide increased protection to right whales from entanglement with pot buoy lines, it would result in smaller overall revenue increases than the preferred alternative. The fifth alternative would apply the black sea bass pot closure from approximately Daytona Beach, Florida, to Cape Hatteras, North Carolina, annually from November 1 through April 30. Relative to the preferred alternative, this alternative would provide slightly more increases in overall revenues to commercial vessels but would provide less protection to right whales from entanglement with pot buoy lines. The sixth alternative would apply the black sea bass pot closure from approximately Sebastian Inlet, Florida, to Cape Hatteras, North Carolina, annually from November 1 through April 30. Although this alternative would provide the second greatest protection in comparison with the alternatives in Regulatory Amendment 16 to right whales from entanglement with pot buoy lines, it would result in lower overall revenue increases than the preferred alternative. The seventh alternative would apply the black sea bass pot closure from approximately the Altamaha River, Georgia, to Cape Hatteras, North Carolina, annually from November 1 through December 15 and March 15 through April 30; or annually from November 1 through December 15 and March 15 through April 30 for the area off North Carolina and South Carolina, and from November 15 through April 15 for the area off Georgia and Florida; or annually from February 15 through April 30 for the area off North Carolina and South Carolina, and from November 15 through April 15 for the area off Georgia and Florida. Relative to the preferred alternative, this alternative and its sub-alternatives would result in relatively higher overall revenue increases but would provide much reduced protection to right whales from entanglement with sea bass pot buoy lines. The eighth alternative would apply the black sea bass pot closure from approximately Daytona Beach, Florida, to Cape Hatteras, North Carolina, annually from November 1 through April 15; or annually from November 1 through December 15 and February 15 through April 30 for the area off North Carolina and South Carolina, and from November 15 through April 15 for the area off Georgia and Florida. Relative to the preferred alternative, this alternative and its sub-alternatives would result in VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:14 Aug 10, 2016 Jkt 238001 higher overall revenue increases but would afford a much reduced protection to right whales from entanglement with pot buoy lines. The ninth alternative would apply the black sea bass pot closure from approximately Daytona Beach, Florida, to Cape Hatteras, North Carolina, annually from November 1 through April 15; or annually from November 1 through December 15 and February 15 through April 30 for the area off North Carolina and South Carolina, and from November 15 through April 15 for the area off Georgia and Florida. Relative to the preferred alternative, this alternative and its sub-alternatives would result in higher overall revenue increases but would provide much reduced protection to right whales from entanglement with pot buoy lines. The tenth alternative would apply the black sea bass pot closure from approximately the Georgia/South Carolina border, to Cape Hatteras, North Carolina, annually from November 1 through December 15, with the following provision: From February 15 through April 30, the black sea bass pot closure applies to waters inshore of points 1–28 listed in Table 2.1.9 of Regulatory Amendment 16, approximately the Georgia/South Carolina border, to Cape Hatteras, North Carolina; from December 16 through February 14, there would be no closure off of the Carolinas; from November 15 through April 15, the black sea bass pot closure applies to waters inshore of points 20–28 listed in Table 2.1.8 of Regulatory Amendment 16, approximately the Georgia/South Carolina border, to approximately Daytona Beach, Florida. Relative to the preferred alternative, this alternative would result in higher overall revenue increases but would provide much reduced protection to right whales from entanglement with pot buoy lines. The eleventh alternative would apply the black sea bass pot closure from approximately Cape Canaveral, Florida, to Cape Hatteras, North Carolina, annually from November 1 through April 30. Relative to the preferred alternative, this alternative would result in higher overall revenue increases but would provide slightly reduced protection to right whales from entanglement with pot buoy lines. Four alternatives, including the preferred alternative, were considered in addition to the existing ALWTRP buoy line/weak link gear requirements and buoy line rope marking for black sea bass pots in the South Atlantic. The first alternative, the no action alternative, would not impose any additional cost on fishermen when PO 00000 Frm 00025 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 53115 fishing for black sea bass using pots but it would not meet the need for the action. The second alternative, with two sub-alternatives, would impose requirements in addition to those required under the current ALWTRP for buoy lines from November 1 through April 30 in Federal waters in the South Atlantic. The first sub-alternative would require that the breaking strength for buoy lines not exceed 2,200 lb (997 kg) and the second sub-alternative would require that the breaking strength for buoy lines not exceed 1,200 lb (544 kg). The first sub-alternative is currently required under the ALWTRP in Federal waters off South Carolina, Georgia, and Florida, and would affect only about 17 pot endorsement holders in North Carolina. The estimated cost to each of these 17 fishermen is a maximum of $716. The second sub-alternative would impose the same cost per fisherman of $716 but would affect all 32 pot endorsement holders. The third alternative would require that the breaking strength of the weak links of the buoy lines must not exceed 400 lb (181 kg) for black sea bass pots in the South Atlantic EEZ. This alternative is a decrease from the current requirement of 600 lb (272 kg) breaking strength of the weak links under the ALWTRP, and is estimated to cost each of the 32 pot endorsement holders $65. Relative to the preferred alternative, all these alternatives, except the no action alternative, would impose higher costs upon fishermen using black sea bass pots. This proposed rule contains collection-of-information requirements subject to the Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA). NMFS is proposing to revise the collection-of-information requirement under OMB Control Number 0648–0358. NMFS estimates the proposed requirement for sea bass pot gear marking would result in an additional annual cost of up to $90 per sea bass pot endorsement holder and require up to an additional 3.5 hours per response per year. Based upon feedback from fishermen, the cost and time burden for the proposed marking requirement may be slightly lower in subsequent years depending on the marking method used. However, NMFS estimates the requirement to endorsement holders would result in the same for cost and time burden for each subsequent year, because different materials used to mark sea bass pot gear are available and the longevity of the markings vary depending on factors such as the length of the fishing season and how often the gear is used. This estimate of the public reporting burden includes the time for E:\FR\FM\11AUP1.SGM 11AUP1 53116 Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 155 / Thursday, August 11, 2016 / Proposed Rules reviewing instructions, gathering and maintaining the data needed, and completing and reviewing the collection-of-information. NMFS will submit this revision request to OMB for approval. NMFS seeks public comment regarding: • Whether this proposed collection-ofinformation is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the agency, including whether the gear marking will have practical utility; • The accuracy of the burden estimate; • The instructions for how to mark the sea bass pot gear; and • Ways to minimize the burden of the collection-of-information, including through the use of automated collection techniques or other forms of information technology. Send comments regarding the burden estimate or any other aspect of the collection-of-information requirement, including suggestions for reducing the burden, to NMFS or to OMB (see ADDRESSES). Notwithstanding any other provision of law, no person is required to respond to, nor shall a person be subject to a penalty for failure to comply with, a collection-of-information subject to the requirements of the PRA, unless that collection-of-information displays a currently valid OMB control number. All currently approved collections of information may be viewed at: http:// www.cio.noaa.gov/services_programs/ prasubs.html. time period described in (b)(6)(i) and (b)(6)(ii) of this section, respectively. During the applicable closure, no person may harvest or possess black sea bass in or from the closed area within the South Atlantic EEZ either with sea bass pots or from a vessel with sea bass pots on board, except that a vessel with a valid commercial permit for snapper-grouper with a sea bass pot endorsement that is in transit and with black sea bass pot gear appropriately stowed as described in paragraph (b)(6)(iii) of this section may possess black sea bass. In addition, sea bass pots must be removed from the water in the applicable closed area within the South Atlantic EEZ before the applicable time period, and may not be on board a vessel in the closed area within the South Atlantic EEZ during the applicable closure, except for such sea bass pot gear appropriately stowed on board a vessel in transit through the closed area. See paragraph (b)(6)(iii) of this section for black sea bass pot transit and gear stowage requirements through the closed areas. (i) From November 1 through November 30 and from April 1 through April 30, no person may harvest or possess black sea bass in or from the closed area within the South Atlantic EEZ either with sea bass pots or from a vessel with sea bass pots on board in the South Atlantic EEZ inshore of the rhumb lines connecting, in order, the following points: Point List of Subjects in 50 CFR Part 622 Annual catch limits, Black Sea Bass, Fisheries, Fishing, South Atlantic. Dated: August 3, 2016. Samuel D. Rauch III, Deputy Assistant Administrator for Regulatory Programs, National Marine Fisheries Service. For the reasons set out in the preamble, 50 CFR part 622 is proposed to be amended as follows: PART 622—FISHERIES OF THE CARIBBEAN, GULF OF MEXICO, AND SOUTH ATLANTIC 1. The authority citation for part 622 continues to read as follows: ■ Authority: 16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq. 2. In § 622.183, revise paragraph (b)(6) to read as follows: sradovich on DSK3GMQ082PROD with PROPOSALS ■ § 622.183 Area and seasonal closures. * * * * * (b) * * * (6) Seasonal closure of the commercial black sea bass pot component of the snapper-grouper fishery. The closed area is that area and VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:14 Aug 10, 2016 Jkt 238001 North lat. 1 35°15′ 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 35°15′ 35°06′ 35°06′ 35°01′ 34°54′ 34°52′ 34°33′ 34°23′ 34°21′ 34°25′ 34°09′ 33°44′ 33°25′ 33°22′ 33°28′ 33°32′ 33°22′ 33°06′ 33°05′ 33°01′ 32°56′ 32°44′ 32°42′ 32°34′ 32°25′ 32°23′ 31°53′ 31°31′ 30°43′ 30°30′ PO 00000 Frm 00026 Fmt 4702 West long. State/EEZ boundary. 75°09′ 75°22′ 75°39′ 75°47′ 75°46′ 76°04′ 76°22′ 76°18′ 76°27′ 76°51′ 77°19′ 77°38′ 77°27′ 77°40′ 77°41′ 77°53′ 78°26′ 78°31′ 78°40′ 78°43′ 78°57′ 79°04′ 79°13′ 79°23′ 79°25′ 79°37′ 80°09′ 80°33′ 80°49′ 81°01′ Sfmt 4702 Point 32 33 34 35 North lat. 29°45′ 29°31′ 29°13′ 29°13′ West long. 81°01′ 80°58′ 80°52′ State/EEZ boundary. (ii) From December 1 through March 31, no person may harvest or possess black sea bass in or from the closed area within the South Atlantic EEZ either with sea bass pots or from a vessel with sea bass pots on board in the South Atlantic EEZ inshore of the rhumb lines connecting, in order, the following points: Point North lat. 1 35°15′ 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 35°15′ 34°58′ 34°49′ 34°47′ 34°31′ 34°20′ 34°12′ 33°43′ 33°21′ 33°18′ 33°22′ 33°12′ 33°05′ 33°01′ 32°40′ 32°36′ 32°19′ 32°16′ 32°03′ 31°39′ 30°58′ 30°13′ 29°32′ 29°22′ 28°50′ 28°21′ 28°21′ West long. State/EEZ boundary/ 75°08′ 75°41′ 75°50′ 76°05′ 76°18′ 76°13′ 77°00′ 77°30′ 77°21′ 77°41′ 77°56′ 78°20′ 78°22′ 78°38′ 79°01′ 79°18′ 79°22′ 79°37′ 79°48′ 80°27′ 80°47′ 81°01′ 80°39′ 80°44′ 80°22′ 80°18′ State/EEZ boundary. (iii) For the purpose of paragraph (b)(6) of this section, transit means nonstop progression through the area; fishing gear appropriately stowed means all black sea bass pot gear must be out of the water and on board the deck of the vessel. All buoys must either be disconnected from the gear or stowed within the sea bass pot. Disconnected buoys may remain on deck. * * * * * ■ 3. In § 622.189, add paragraph (g) to read as follows: § 622.189 Restrictions and requirements for sea bass pots. * * * * * (g) Sea bass pot buoy line marking requirement. In addition to the gear marking requirements specified in 50 CFR 229.32(b), from November 15 through April 15, each year, in the E:\FR\FM\11AUP1.SGM 11AUP1 Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 155 / Thursday, August 11, 2016 / Proposed Rules sradovich on DSK3GMQ082PROD with PROPOSALS Southeast U.S. Restricted Area North as described in 50 CFR 229.32(f) and from September 1 through May 31, each year in the Offshore Trap/Pot Waters Area and the Southern Nearshore Trap/Pot Waters Area, as described in 50 CFR 229.32(c)(6) and (9), respectively, the buoy line must be marked with a purple color band. The colored band must be VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:14 Aug 10, 2016 Jkt 238001 clearly visible when the gear is hauled or removed from the water, including if the color of the rope is the same as, or similar, to the colored band. The purple band must be marked directly onto the line and adjacent to the buoy line markings specified in 50 CFR 229.32(b), that is, at the top, middle, and bottom of each buoy line deployed by, or on PO 00000 Frm 00027 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 9990 53117 board, the vessel. Each of the three purple bands must be a 12-inch (30.5 cm) color mark. In marking or affixing the purple band, the line may be dyed, painted, or marked with thin colored whipping line, thin colored plastic, or heat-shrink tubing, or other material. [FR Doc. 2016–18998 Filed 8–10–16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510–22–P E:\FR\FM\11AUP1.SGM 11AUP1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 81, Number 155 (Thursday, August 11, 2016)]
[Proposed Rules]
[Pages 53109-53117]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2016-18998]


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

DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

50 CFR Part 622

[Docket No. 131113952-6673-01]
RIN 0648-BD78


Fisheries of the Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico, and South Atlantic; 
Snapper-Grouper Fishery Off the Southern Atlantic States; Regulatory 
Amendment 16

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

ACTION: Proposed rule; request for comments.

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

SUMMARY: NMFS proposes regulations to implement Regulatory Amendment 16 
to the Fishery Management Plan for the Snapper-Grouper Fishery of the 
South Atlantic Region (FMP) (Regulatory Amendment 16), as prepared and 
submitted by the South Atlantic Fishery Management Council (Council). 
If implemented, this proposed rule would revise the current seasonal 
prohibition on the use of black sea bass pot gear in the South Atlantic 
and add additional gear marking requirements for black sea bass pot 
gear. The purpose of this proposed rule is to reduce the adverse 
socioeconomic impacts from the current seasonal black sea bass pot gear 
prohibition while continuing to protect Endangered Species Act (ESA) 
listed whales in the South Atlantic. This proposed rule would also help 
better identify black sea bass pot gear in the South Atlantic.

DATES: Written comments must be received on or before September 12, 
2016.

ADDRESSES: You may submit comments on the proposed rule, identified by

[[Page 53110]]

``NOAA-NMFS-2013-0165'' 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-2013-0165, click the 
``Comment Now!'' icon, complete the required fields, and enter or 
attach your comments.
     Mail: Submit written comments to Nikhil Mehta, Southeast 
Regional Office, NMFS, 263 13th Avenue South, St. Petersburg, FL 33701.
    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).
    Electronic copies of Regulatory Amendment 16, which includes an 
environmental impact statement (EIS), a Regulatory Flexibility Act 
(RFA) analysis, and a regulatory impact review, may be obtained from 
the Southeast Regional Office Web site at https://sero.nmfs.noaa.gov/sustainable_fisheries/s_atl/sg/2013/reg_am16/index.html.
    Comments regarding the burden-hour estimates, clarity of the 
instructions, or other aspects of the collection-of-information 
requirements contained in this proposed rule (see the Classification 
section of the preamble) may be submitted in writing to Adam Bailey, 
Southeast Regional Office, NMFS, 263 13th Avenue South, St. Petersburg, 
FL 33701; or the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), by email at 
OIRA_Submission@omb.eop.gov, or by fax to 202-395-5806.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Nikhil Mehta, telephone: 727-824-5305, 
email: nikhil.mehta@noaa.gov.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Black sea bass is in the snapper-grouper 
fishery and is managed under the FMP. The FMP was prepared by the 
Council and is implemented through regulations at 50 CFR part 622 under 
the authority of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and 
Management Act (Magnuson-Stevens Act).

Background

    On December 4, 2013, NMFS published a notice of intent to prepare a 
draft EIS for Regulatory Amendment 16 and requested public comment (78 
FR 72968). On October 23, 2015, the notice of availability for the 
draft EIS was published and public comment was also requested (80 FR 
64409). The notice of availability for the final EIS for Regulatory 
Amendment 16 published on July 1, 2016 (81 FR 43198).
    The black sea bass stock in the South Atlantic was most recently 
assessed through the Southeast Data, Assessment, and Review (SEDAR) 
stock assessment process in 2013 (SEDAR 25 Update). The SEDAR 25 Update 
determined that the black sea bass stock in the South Atlantic is not 
undergoing overfishing and is not overfished. The SEDAR 25 Update 
indicated that the black sea bass commercial and recreational sector 
annual catch limits (ACLs) could be increased without jeopardizing the 
health of the population, and as a result, the black sea bass 
commercial and recreational ACLs were increased through the final rule 
to implement Regulatory Amendment 19 to the FMP (78 FR 58249, September 
23, 2013).
    Additionally, Regulatory Amendment 19 established an annual 
prohibition on the use of black sea bass pots from November 1 through 
April 30. During this closure, no person is allowed to harvest or 
possess black sea bass in or from the South Atlantic exclusive economic 
zone (EEZ) either with sea bass pots or from a vessel with sea bass 
pots on board. In addition, sea bass pots must be removed from the 
water in the South Atlantic EEZ prior to November 1, and may not be on 
board a vessel in the South Atlantic EEZ during this seasonal closure. 
The black sea bass pot seasonal prohibition became effective on October 
23, 2013.
    Through Regulatory Amendment 19, the seasonal sea bass pot 
prohibition was established as a precautionary measure to prevent 
interactions between black sea bass pot gear and ESA-listed whales 
during periods of large whale migrations and during the right whale 
calving season off the U.S. southeastern coast. The large whale 
migration period and the right whale calving season in the South 
Atlantic extends from approximately November 1 through April 30, each 
year. Since 2010, black sea bass harvest levels have reached the 
commercial quota, thereby triggering accountability measures (AMs) to 
close the commercial sector. In recent years, these in-season 
commercial closures have occurred prior to November 1, the beginning of 
the right whale calving season, therefore, Council and NMFS actions to 
prevent black sea bass pot gear from being in the water during periods 
of higher whale concentrations had been unnecessary to restrict 
interactions between black sea bass pot fishers and ESA-listed whales. 
However, NMFS determined that the increase in the black sea bass 
commercial ACL implemented through Regulatory Amendment 19 could extend 
the commercial black sea bass fishing season beyond November 1, and 
into a time period when a higher concentration of endangered whales are 
known to migrate through black sea bass fishing grounds.

Management Measures Contained in This Proposed Rule

    This proposed rule would implement modifications to the current 
black sea bass pot seasonal closure. This proposed rule would also 
modify the buoy line rope marking requirements for black sea bass pots.

Black Sea Bass Pot Gear Seasonal Prohibition

    As established through Regulatory Amendment 19, black sea pot gear 
is prohibited in the South Atlantic EEZ annually from November 1 
through April 30. This proposed rule would retain the November 1 
through April 30 prohibition on the use of black sea bass pots, but 
would modify the boundaries of the prohibition. This rule would revise 
the South Atlantic EEZ-wide seasonal closure to a closure of two 
temporal and spatial components. The first closure period would be for 
the months of November and April, and the second closure period would 
be for the months of December through March each year. The first 
closure period is illustrated by the Figure 1 below. During November 
and April, the eastern boundary of the sea bass pot closed area off 
North and South Carolina is closer to shore than during the months of 
December through March.

[[Page 53111]]

[GRAPHIC] [TIFF OMITTED] TP11AU16.000

    During the second closure period from December through March each 
year, the sea bass pot closure area would be larger off the entire 
South Atlantic coast than it would be during November and April, 
particularly off Georgia and Florida. Waters off the coast of Georgia 
and Florida represent the primary right whale calving grounds in the 
South Atlantic EEZ. This bathymetric area is based on right whale 
sightings (all demographic segments) and sightings per unit of effort 
(proxy of density) by depth and captures 97 percent and 96 percent of 
right whale sightings off the North Carolina/South Carolina area, and 
Florida/Georgia area, respectively. The proposed sea bass pot 
prohibited area for December through March is illustrated in Figure 2 
below.

[[Page 53112]]

[GRAPHIC] [TIFF OMITTED] TP11AU16.001

    The Council has determined that reducing the size of the current 
black sea bass pot prohibition would continue to provide the necessary 
protection to ESA-listed whales in the South Atlantic. The Council 
based this conclusion on an analysis that simulated the potential black 
sea bass landings of black sea bass pot endorsement holders during a 
winter season and created overlays of the co-occurrence of the seasonal 
distribution of black sea bass pot gear and North Atlantic right whales 
as a proxy for the relative risk of right whale entanglements under 
each of the proposed alternatives in Regulatory Amendment 16. The 
findings of this analysis were recently published in the peer-reviewed 
journal, ``Marine and Coastal Fisheries'' by Farmer et al. (2016) which 
is available at the following Web site: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/19425120.2016.1146181.
    As described in Regulatory Amendment 16, the alternatives for all 
of the proposed black sea bass pot closures were developed considering

[[Page 53113]]

the following spatial, temporal, and environmental variables. Spatial 
variation in the distribution of right whales is influenced by local 
environmental variables such as water temperature, depth, and distance 
to shore. The closed areas proposed in this rule incorporate these 
environmental variables and spatial distribution patterns to minimize 
the risk of interactions of marine mammals with black sea bass pot 
gear. During the months of November and April, the area proposed to be 
closed through this rule would prohibit black sea bass pots inshore of 
an area which represents 91 percent of historical right whale sightings 
off Florida and Georgia; and off North Carolina and South Carolina, the 
black sea bass pot prohibition would apply to Federal waters shallower 
than 25 m. During December through March, the area proposed to be 
closed through this rule would prohibit black sea bass pots shallower 
than 25 m off Florida and Georgia; and from the Georgia/South Carolina 
border to Cape Hatteras, North Carolina, the prohibition would apply to 
Federal waters that are shallower than 30 m in depth. This bathymetric 
area is based on right whale sightings by depth and captures 97 percent 
and 96 percent of right whale sightings off the North Carolina/South 
Carolina area, and Florida/Georgia area, respectively. NMFS is 
currently conducting an ESA section 7 consultation.
    Additionally, the proposed closure areas listed in this rule are 
expected to minimize adverse socioeconomic effects of the current 
November through April black sea bass pot prohibition by increasing the 
area available to fish using black sea bass pots.
    This proposed rule would also allow for vessel transit through the 
proposed black sea bass pot closed areas providing the black sea bass 
pot gear is appropriately stowed on the vessel. Transit would be 
defined as non-stop progression through the closed area; fishing gear 
appropriately stowed means all black sea bass pot gear must be out of 
the water and on board the deck of the vessel. All buoys must either be 
disconnected from the gear or stowed within the sea bass pot. The 
disconnected buoys may remain on deck.

Gear Marking Requirements

    Fish traps and pot buoy lines, including black sea bass pots, are 
currently required to have specific line marking requirements during 
certain times of the year and in the locations described in the 
Atlantic Large Whale Take Reduction Plan (ALWTRP)(see 50 CFR 
229.32(b)). The ALWTRP includes at least three trap/pot areas where 
black sea bass pots may be fished. This includes the Offshore Trap/Pot 
Waters Area, Southern Nearshore Trap/Pot Waters Area, and the U.S. 
Southeast Restricted Area North.
    Regulatory Amendment 16 would modify the current gear marking 
requirements under the FMP by requiring additional markings for black 
sea bass pot buoy lines. This proposed rule would require that an 
additional 12-inch (30.5 cm) wide purple band be added onto the buoy 
line at the end of, and directly adjacent to, each of the currently 
required 12-inch (30.5 cm) colored marks required through the ALWTRP 
described in 50 CFR 229.32(b). Within the Council's jurisdiction for 
managing black sea bass, the proposed additional black sea bass gear 
marking requirements would be required to be in place in Federal waters 
from September 1 through May 31 in the Offshore Trap/Pot Waters Area 
and the Southern Nearshore Trap/Pot Waters Area, and from November 15 
through May 31 in the Southeast U.S. Restricted Areas North. The 
Council's requirement that sea bass pot gear have additional gear-
specific marking would help distinguish black sea bass pots from other 
types of trap and pot gear in the South Atlantic EEZ.

Classification

    Pursuant to section 304(b)(1)(A) of the Magnuson-Stevens Act, the 
NMFS Assistant Administrator has determined that this proposed rule is 
consistent with Regulatory Amendment 16, other provisions of the 
Magnuson-Stevens Act, and other applicable laws, subject to further 
consideration after public comment.
    This proposed rule has been determined to be not significant for 
purposes of Executive Order 12866.
    NMFS prepared an initial regulatory flexibility analysis (IRFA), as 
required by section 603 of the RFA, for this proposed rule. The IRFA 
describes the economic impact this proposed rule, if adopted, would 
have on small entities. A description of the action, why it is being 
considered, the objectives of, and legal basis for this action are 
contained at the beginning of this section in the preamble and in the 
SUMMARY section of the preamble. A copy of the full analysis is 
available from NMFS (see ADDRESSES). A summary of the IRFA follows.
    The Magnuson-Stevens Act provides the statutory basis for this 
proposed rule. No duplicative, overlapping, or conflicting Federal 
rules have been identified. In addition, no new reporting or record-
keeping requirements are introduced by this proposed rule. However, the 
proposed rule would require that for each sea bass pot buoy line an 
additional 12-inch (30.5 cm) wide purple band be added at the end of, 
and directly adjacent to, each of the currently required 12-inch (30.5 
cm) colored marks required under the ALWTRP discussed above. Similar to 
the current requirements under the ALWTRP, this marking requirement 
does not need an additional expertise on the part of fishermen. NMFS 
estimates that this requirement would cost each pot endorsement holder 
about an additional $5 annually if surveyor's tape is used for line 
marking, or about an additional $90 annually if paint is used instead. 
The estimated additional annual time burden associated with the 
proposed marking requirement is up to approximately 3.5 hours annually.
    NMFS expects this proposed rule to directly affect federally 
permitted commercial fishermen fishing for black sea bass in the South 
Atlantic. For RFA purposes only, NMFS has established a small business 
size standard for businesses, including their affiliates, whose primary 
industry is commercial fishing (see 50 CFR 200.2). A business primarily 
engaged in commercial fishing (NAICS code 11411) is classified as a 
small business if it is independently owned and operated, is not 
dominant in its field of operation (including affiliates), and has 
combined annual receipts not in excess of $11 million for all its 
affiliated operations worldwide. The $11 million standard became 
effective on July 1, 2016, and is to be used in place of the U.S. Small 
Business Administration's (SBA) current standards of $20.5 million, 
$5.5 million, and $7.5 million for the finfish (NAICS 114111), 
shellfish (NAICS 114112), and other marine fishing (NAICS 114119) 
sectors of the U.S. commercial fishing industry in all NMFS rules 
subject to the RFA after July 1, 2016.
    Pursuant to the RFA, and prior to July 1, 2016, an IRFA was 
developed for this regulatory action using SBA's size standards. NMFS 
has reviewed the analyses prepared for this regulatory action in light 
of the new size standard. All of the entities directly affected by this 
regulatory action are commercial fishing businesses and were considered 
small under the SBA's size standards, and they all would continue to be 
considered small under the new NMFS standard. Thus, NMFS has determined 
that the new size standard does not affect analyses prepared for this 
regulatory action.
    As of December 31, 2014, there were 32 holders of the Federal black 
sea bass

[[Page 53114]]

pot endorsement to the snapper-grouper commercial permit. Since that 
time one endorsement holder has dropped out of the black sea bass pot 
component of the commercial sector, but the current analysis uses 32 
endorsement holders because historical records of these 32 endorsement 
holders were used in Regulatory Amendment 16. Retaining the records of 
32 endorsement holders is not expected to inflate the analytical 
results because only an average of 31 vessels fished for black sea bass 
using pots.
    From the 2000/2001 through 2013/2014 fishing years, these 
endorsement holders used an average of 31 vessels fishing for black sea 
bass using pots. These vessels generated total combined revenues (2014 
dollars) of $732,717 from black sea bass, $228,468 from other species 
jointly landed with black sea bass, and $248,662 from all other species 
in trips where black sea bass was not caught. The average annual 
revenue per vessel from all species, including black sea bass, landed 
by these vessels was $38,715 (2014 dollars). During the same time 
period, an average of 215 vessels using gear other than sea bass pots 
landed at least 1 lb (0.45 kg) of black sea bass. These vessels 
generated dockside total combined revenues (2014 dollars) of $199,574 
from black sea bass, $3.838 million from other species jointly landed 
with black sea bass, and $7.680 million from all other species in trips 
where black sea bass was not caught. The average annual revenue per 
vessel from all species, including black sea bass, landed by these 
vessels was $54,651 (2014 dollars). Vessels that caught and landed 
black sea bass may also operate in other fisheries, the revenues of 
which are not known and are not reflected in these totals. Based on 
revenue information, all commercial vessels directly affected by the 
proposed rule may be assumed to be small entities.
    Because all entities expected to be directly affected by this 
proposed rule are assumed to be small entities, NMFS has determined 
that this proposed rule would affect a substantial number of small 
entities. However, the issue of disproportionate effects on small 
versus large entities does not arise in the present case.
    The proposed rule would modify the November 1 through April 30 
prohibition on the use of black sea bass pot gear in the South Atlantic 
by allowing black sea bass pot fishing at depths greater than 
approximately 25 m from November 1 through April 30 from approximately 
Cape Canaveral, Florida, to the Georgia/South Carolina border; at 
depths greater than approximately 25 m from November 1 through 30 and 
from April 1 through 30 off North and South Carolina; and, at depths 
greater than approximately 30 m from December 1 through March 31 off 
North and South Carolina. In addition, the proposed rule would require 
black sea bass pot endorsement holders to put three 12-inch (30.5 cm) 
purple markings on each sea bass pot buoy line adjacent to the already 
required colors on these lines under the ALWTRP. The marks are commonly 
made with either paint or surveyor's tape. As described in the codified 
text, other materials may also be used for marking the line.
    The proposed modification to the current prohibition on the use of 
black sea bass pot gear would have contrasting economic effects on the 
two major groups of participants in the commercial harvest of black sea 
bass. The proposed action would benefit those using pots for harvesting 
black sea bass, and given that the commercial ACL is predicted to be 
fully taken, benefits to users of other gear would decrease. The 
combined dockside revenues (2014 dollars) for all pot gear vessels are 
estimated to increase annually between $113,964 and $185,068 based on 
2000-2013 average black sea bass price, or between $163,606 and 
$260,355 based on 2011-2013 average black sea bass price. Two price 
levels are used to provide some bounds on the range of revenue effects. 
The lower bound is based on the 2000-2013 average black sea bass price 
and the upper bound is based on the 2011-2013 average black sea bass 
price. In contrast, the combined dockside revenues (2014 dollars) for 
all non-pot gear vessels are estimated to decrease annually between 
$68,323 and $141,527 based on 2000-2013 average black sea bass price, 
or between $116,650 and $241,631 based on 2011-2013 the average black 
sea bass price. The net revenue change for all vessels combined would 
be between $43,541 and $46,367 based on 2000-2013 average price for 
black sea bass, or between $43,889 and $46,553 based on 2010-2013 
average price for black sea bass. Assuming that revenue increases for 
users of pot gear would be equally distributed among the 32 endorsement 
holders, revenues per pot endorsement holder would increase annually 
between $3,561 and $5,783, or between $5,113 and $8,136. However, 
revenue per vessel for the 215 users of non-pot gear would decrease 
between $318 and $658, or between $543 and $1,124. For vessels using 
pot gear, the expected revenue increases would be approximately 9 to 21 
percent of their average annual revenue of $38,715 per vessel. However, 
revenue losses to vessels using gear other than sea bass pots would be 
between 1 and 2 percent of their average annual revenue of $54,651 per 
vessel. Therefore, on a per vessel basis, the revenue gains to the pot 
endorsement holders could potentially be substantial, whereas the 
revenue losses to the other gear users would be relatively small.
    The proposed requirement on black sea bass pot endorsement holders 
to put three 12-inch (30.5 cm) purple markings on each pot buoy line 
adjacent to the already required colors under the ALWTRP would cost 
each endorsement holder about an additional $5 annually if surveyor's 
tape is used, or about an additional $90 annually if paint is used 
instead. This cost is relatively small.
    The following discussion describes the alternatives that were not 
selected as preferred by the Council. In this section, the term 
``overall revenues'' refers to the sum of revenues from vessels using 
black sea bass pots and revenues from vessels using gear other than 
black sea bass pots.
    Twelve alternatives, including the preferred alternative as 
described above, were considered for modifying the November 1 through 
April 30 prohibition on the use of black sea bass pot gear. The first 
alternative, the no action alternative, would maintain the current 
economic benefits to all participants in the fishery as well as provide 
the least likelihood of right whales getting entangled with black sea 
bass pot lines. However, this alternative would not address the need to 
reduce the adverse socioeconomic effects of the current prohibition on 
the use of black sea bass pot gear.
    The second alternative would apply the black sea bass pot closure 
to the area currently designated as North Atlantic right whale critical 
habitat from November 15 through April 15. This alternative would 
provide slightly more increases in overall revenues to commercial 
vessels than the preferred alternative, but it would also pose the 
highest threat of right whale entanglement with pot buoy lines.
    The third alternative would apply the black sea bass pot closure 
from approximately Ponce Inlet, Florida, to Cape Hatteras, North 
Carolina, annually from November 1 through April 30. Relative to the 
preferred alternative, this alternative would result in higher overall 
revenue increases but lower protection to right whales from getting 
entangled with pot buoy lines.
    The fourth alternative would apply the black sea bass pot closure 
from approximately Cape Canaveral, Florida, to Cape Hatteras, North 
Carolina,

[[Page 53115]]

annually from November 1 through April 30. Although this alternative 
would provide increased protection to right whales from entanglement 
with pot buoy lines, it would result in smaller overall revenue 
increases than the preferred alternative.
    The fifth alternative would apply the black sea bass pot closure 
from approximately Daytona Beach, Florida, to Cape Hatteras, North 
Carolina, annually from November 1 through April 30. Relative to the 
preferred alternative, this alternative would provide slightly more 
increases in overall revenues to commercial vessels but would provide 
less protection to right whales from entanglement with pot buoy lines.
    The sixth alternative would apply the black sea bass pot closure 
from approximately Sebastian Inlet, Florida, to Cape Hatteras, North 
Carolina, annually from November 1 through April 30. Although this 
alternative would provide the second greatest protection in comparison 
with the alternatives in Regulatory Amendment 16 to right whales from 
entanglement with pot buoy lines, it would result in lower overall 
revenue increases than the preferred alternative.
    The seventh alternative would apply the black sea bass pot closure 
from approximately the Altamaha River, Georgia, to Cape Hatteras, North 
Carolina, annually from November 1 through December 15 and March 15 
through April 30; or annually from November 1 through December 15 and 
March 15 through April 30 for the area off North Carolina and South 
Carolina, and from November 15 through April 15 for the area off 
Georgia and Florida; or annually from February 15 through April 30 for 
the area off North Carolina and South Carolina, and from November 15 
through April 15 for the area off Georgia and Florida. Relative to the 
preferred alternative, this alternative and its sub-alternatives would 
result in relatively higher overall revenue increases but would provide 
much reduced protection to right whales from entanglement with sea bass 
pot buoy lines.
    The eighth alternative would apply the black sea bass pot closure 
from approximately Daytona Beach, Florida, to Cape Hatteras, North 
Carolina, annually from November 1 through April 15; or annually from 
November 1 through December 15 and February 15 through April 30 for the 
area off North Carolina and South Carolina, and from November 15 
through April 15 for the area off Georgia and Florida. Relative to the 
preferred alternative, this alternative and its sub-alternatives would 
result in higher overall revenue increases but would afford a much 
reduced protection to right whales from entanglement with pot buoy 
lines.
    The ninth alternative would apply the black sea bass pot closure 
from approximately Daytona Beach, Florida, to Cape Hatteras, North 
Carolina, annually from November 1 through April 15; or annually from 
November 1 through December 15 and February 15 through April 30 for the 
area off North Carolina and South Carolina, and from November 15 
through April 15 for the area off Georgia and Florida. Relative to the 
preferred alternative, this alternative and its sub-alternatives would 
result in higher overall revenue increases but would provide much 
reduced protection to right whales from entanglement with pot buoy 
lines.
    The tenth alternative would apply the black sea bass pot closure 
from approximately the Georgia/South Carolina border, to Cape Hatteras, 
North Carolina, annually from November 1 through December 15, with the 
following provision: From February 15 through April 30, the black sea 
bass pot closure applies to waters inshore of points 1-28 listed in 
Table 2.1.9 of Regulatory Amendment 16, approximately the Georgia/South 
Carolina border, to Cape Hatteras, North Carolina; from December 16 
through February 14, there would be no closure off of the Carolinas; 
from November 15 through April 15, the black sea bass pot closure 
applies to waters inshore of points 20-28 listed in Table 2.1.8 of 
Regulatory Amendment 16, approximately the Georgia/South Carolina 
border, to approximately Daytona Beach, Florida. Relative to the 
preferred alternative, this alternative would result in higher overall 
revenue increases but would provide much reduced protection to right 
whales from entanglement with pot buoy lines.
    The eleventh alternative would apply the black sea bass pot closure 
from approximately Cape Canaveral, Florida, to Cape Hatteras, North 
Carolina, annually from November 1 through April 30. Relative to the 
preferred alternative, this alternative would result in higher overall 
revenue increases but would provide slightly reduced protection to 
right whales from entanglement with pot buoy lines.
    Four alternatives, including the preferred alternative, were 
considered in addition to the existing ALWTRP buoy line/weak link gear 
requirements and buoy line rope marking for black sea bass pots in the 
South Atlantic. The first alternative, the no action alternative, would 
not impose any additional cost on fishermen when fishing for black sea 
bass using pots but it would not meet the need for the action. The 
second alternative, with two sub-alternatives, would impose 
requirements in addition to those required under the current ALWTRP for 
buoy lines from November 1 through April 30 in Federal waters in the 
South Atlantic. The first sub-alternative would require that the 
breaking strength for buoy lines not exceed 2,200 lb (997 kg) and the 
second sub-alternative would require that the breaking strength for 
buoy lines not exceed 1,200 lb (544 kg). The first sub-alternative is 
currently required under the ALWTRP in Federal waters off South 
Carolina, Georgia, and Florida, and would affect only about 17 pot 
endorsement holders in North Carolina. The estimated cost to each of 
these 17 fishermen is a maximum of $716. The second sub-alternative 
would impose the same cost per fisherman of $716 but would affect all 
32 pot endorsement holders. The third alternative would require that 
the breaking strength of the weak links of the buoy lines must not 
exceed 400 lb (181 kg) for black sea bass pots in the South Atlantic 
EEZ. This alternative is a decrease from the current requirement of 600 
lb (272 kg) breaking strength of the weak links under the ALWTRP, and 
is estimated to cost each of the 32 pot endorsement holders $65. 
Relative to the preferred alternative, all these alternatives, except 
the no action alternative, would impose higher costs upon fishermen 
using black sea bass pots.
    This proposed rule contains collection-of-information requirements 
subject to the Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA). NMFS is proposing to 
revise the collection-of-information requirement under OMB Control 
Number 0648-0358. NMFS estimates the proposed requirement for sea bass 
pot gear marking would result in an additional annual cost of up to $90 
per sea bass pot endorsement holder and require up to an additional 3.5 
hours per response per year. Based upon feedback from fishermen, the 
cost and time burden for the proposed marking requirement may be 
slightly lower in subsequent years depending on the marking method 
used. However, NMFS estimates the requirement to endorsement holders 
would result in the same for cost and time burden for each subsequent 
year, because different materials used to mark sea bass pot gear are 
available and the longevity of the markings vary depending on factors 
such as the length of the fishing season and how often the gear is 
used. This estimate of the public reporting burden includes the time 
for

[[Page 53116]]

reviewing instructions, gathering and maintaining the data needed, and 
completing and reviewing the collection-of-information. NMFS will 
submit this revision request to OMB for approval.
    NMFS seeks public comment regarding:

     Whether this proposed collection-of-information is 
necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the agency, 
including whether the gear marking will have practical utility;
     The accuracy of the burden estimate;
     The instructions for how to mark the sea bass pot gear; 
and
     Ways to minimize the burden of the collection-of-
information, including through the use of automated collection 
techniques or other forms of information technology.

    Send comments regarding the burden estimate or any other aspect of 
the collection-of-information requirement, including suggestions for 
reducing the burden, to NMFS or to OMB (see ADDRESSES).
    Notwithstanding any other provision of law, no person is required 
to respond to, nor shall a person be subject to a penalty for failure 
to comply with, a collection-of-information subject to the requirements 
of the PRA, unless that collection-of-information displays a currently 
valid OMB control number. All currently approved collections of 
information may be viewed at: http://www.cio.noaa.gov/services_programs/prasubs.html.

List of Subjects in 50 CFR Part 622

    Annual catch limits, Black Sea Bass, Fisheries, Fishing, South 
Atlantic.

    Dated: August 3, 2016.
Samuel D. Rauch III,
Deputy Assistant Administrator for Regulatory Programs, National Marine 
Fisheries Service.

    For the reasons set out in the preamble, 50 CFR part 622 is 
proposed to be amended as follows:

PART 622--FISHERIES OF THE CARIBBEAN, GULF OF MEXICO, AND SOUTH 
ATLANTIC

0
1. The authority citation for part 622 continues to read as follows:

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

0
2. In Sec.  622.183, revise paragraph (b)(6) to read as follows:


Sec.  622.183  Area and seasonal closures.

* * * * *
    (b) * * *
    (6) Seasonal closure of the commercial black sea bass pot component 
of the snapper-grouper fishery. The closed area is that area and time 
period described in (b)(6)(i) and (b)(6)(ii) of this section, 
respectively. During the applicable closure, no person may harvest or 
possess black sea bass in or from the closed area within the South 
Atlantic EEZ either with sea bass pots or from a vessel with sea bass 
pots on board, except that a vessel with a valid commercial permit for 
snapper-grouper with a sea bass pot endorsement that is in transit and 
with black sea bass pot gear appropriately stowed as described in 
paragraph (b)(6)(iii) of this section may possess black sea bass. In 
addition, sea bass pots must be removed from the water in the 
applicable closed area within the South Atlantic EEZ before the 
applicable time period, and may not be on board a vessel in the closed 
area within the South Atlantic EEZ during the applicable closure, 
except for such sea bass pot gear appropriately stowed on board a 
vessel in transit through the closed area. See paragraph (b)(6)(iii) of 
this section for black sea bass pot transit and gear stowage 
requirements through the closed areas.
    (i) From November 1 through November 30 and from April 1 through 
April 30, no person may harvest or possess black sea bass in or from 
the closed area within the South Atlantic EEZ either with sea bass pots 
or from a vessel with sea bass pots on board in the South Atlantic EEZ 
inshore of the rhumb lines connecting, in order, the following points:

------------------------------------------------------------------------
       Point                North lat.                 West long.
------------------------------------------------------------------------
1                   35[deg]15'                 State/EEZ boundary.
2                   35[deg]15'                 75[deg]09'
3                   35[deg]06'                 75[deg]22'
4                   35[deg]06'                 75[deg]39'
5                   35[deg]01'                 75[deg]47'
6                   34[deg]54'                 75[deg]46'
7                   34[deg]52'                 76[deg]04'
8                   34[deg]33'                 76[deg]22'
9                   34[deg]23'                 76[deg]18'
10                  34[deg]21'                 76[deg]27'
11                  34[deg]25'                 76[deg]51'
12                  34[deg]09'                 77[deg]19'
13                  33[deg]44'                 77[deg]38'
14                  33[deg]25'                 77[deg]27'
15                  33[deg]22'                 77[deg]40'
16                  33[deg]28'                 77[deg]41'
17                  33[deg]32'                 77[deg]53'
18                  33[deg]22'                 78[deg]26'
19                  33[deg]06'                 78[deg]31'
20                  33[deg]05'                 78[deg]40'
21                  33[deg]01'                 78[deg]43'
22                  32[deg]56'                 78[deg]57'
23                  32[deg]44'                 79[deg]04'
24                  32[deg]42'                 79[deg]13'
25                  32[deg]34'                 79[deg]23'
26                  32[deg]25'                 79[deg]25'
27                  32[deg]23'                 79[deg]37'
28                  31[deg]53'                 80[deg]09'
29                  31[deg]31'                 80[deg]33'
30                  30[deg]43'                 80[deg]49'
31                  30[deg]30'                 81[deg]01'
32                  29[deg]45'                 81[deg]01'
33                  29[deg]31'                 80[deg]58'
34                  29[deg]13'                 80[deg]52'
35                  29[deg]13'                 State/EEZ boundary.
------------------------------------------------------------------------

    (ii) From December 1 through March 31, no person may harvest or 
possess black sea bass in or from the closed area within the South 
Atlantic EEZ either with sea bass pots or from a vessel with sea bass 
pots on board in the South Atlantic EEZ inshore of the rhumb lines 
connecting, in order, the following points:

------------------------------------------------------------------------
       Point                North lat.                 West long.
------------------------------------------------------------------------
1                   35[deg]15'                 State/EEZ boundary/
2                   35[deg]15'                 75[deg]08'
3                   34[deg]58'                 75[deg]41'
4                   34[deg]49'                 75[deg]50'
5                   34[deg]47'                 76[deg]05'
6                   34[deg]31'                 76[deg]18'
7                   34[deg]20'                 76[deg]13'
8                   34[deg]12'                 77[deg]00'
9                   33[deg]43'                 77[deg]30'
10                  33[deg]21'                 77[deg]21'
11                  33[deg]18'                 77[deg]41'
12                  33[deg]22'                 77[deg]56'
13                  33[deg]12'                 78[deg]20'
14                  33[deg]05'                 78[deg]22'
15                  33[deg]01'                 78[deg]38'
16                  32[deg]40'                 79[deg]01'
17                  32[deg]36'                 79[deg]18'
18                  32[deg]19'                 79[deg]22'
19                  32[deg]16'                 79[deg]37'
20                  32[deg]03'                 79[deg]48'
21                  31[deg]39'                 80[deg]27'
22                  30[deg]58'                 80[deg]47'
23                  30[deg]13'                 81[deg]01'
24                  29[deg]32'                 80[deg]39'
25                  29[deg]22'                 80[deg]44'
26                  28[deg]50'                 80[deg]22'
27                  28[deg]21'                 80[deg]18'
28                  28[deg]21'                 State/EEZ boundary.
------------------------------------------------------------------------

    (iii) For the purpose of paragraph (b)(6) of this section, transit 
means non-stop progression through the area; fishing gear appropriately 
stowed means all black sea bass pot gear must be out of the water and 
on board the deck of the vessel. All buoys must either be disconnected 
from the gear or stowed within the sea bass pot. Disconnected buoys may 
remain on deck.
* * * * *
0
3. In Sec.  622.189, add paragraph (g) to read as follows:


Sec.  622.189   Restrictions and requirements for sea bass pots.

* * * * *
    (g) Sea bass pot buoy line marking requirement. In addition to the 
gear marking requirements specified in 50 CFR 229.32(b), from November 
15 through April 15, each year, in the

[[Page 53117]]

Southeast U.S. Restricted Area North as described in 50 CFR 229.32(f) 
and from September 1 through May 31, each year in the Offshore Trap/Pot 
Waters Area and the Southern Nearshore Trap/Pot Waters Area, as 
described in 50 CFR 229.32(c)(6) and (9), respectively, the buoy line 
must be marked with a purple color band. The colored band must be 
clearly visible when the gear is hauled or removed from the water, 
including if the color of the rope is the same as, or similar, to the 
colored band. The purple band must be marked directly onto the line and 
adjacent to the buoy line markings specified in 50 CFR 229.32(b), that 
is, at the top, middle, and bottom of each buoy line deployed by, or on 
board, the vessel. Each of the three purple bands must be a 12-inch 
(30.5 cm) color mark. In marking or affixing the purple band, the line 
may be dyed, painted, or marked with thin colored whipping line, thin 
colored plastic, or heat-shrink tubing, or other material.

[FR Doc. 2016-18998 Filed 8-10-16; 8:45 am]
 BILLING CODE 3510-22-P