Magnuson-Stevens Act Provisions; Fisheries Off West Coast States; Pacific Coast Groundfish Fishery; 2015-2016 Biennial Specifications and Management Measures; Inseason Adjustments, 60288-60295 [2016-21091]

Download as PDF 60288 Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 170 / Thursday, September 1, 2016 / Rules and Regulations quota adjustments to the fishing categories, give them a reasonable opportunity to catch available quota, and provide them the opportunity for planning operations accordingly. This action is being taken under §§ 635.27(e) and 635.27(a)(10) and is exempt from review under Executive Order 12866. This final rule does not contain a collection-of-information requirement for purposes of the Paperwork Reduction Act. Because prior notice and opportunity for public comment are not required for this rule by 5 U.S.C. 553, or any other law, the analytical requirements of the Regulatory Flexibility Act, 5 U.S.C. 601 et seq., are inapplicable. Authority: 16 U.S.C. 971 et seq. and 1801 et seq. Dated: August 25, 2016. Samuel D. Rauch III, Deputy Assistant Administrator for Regulatory Programs, National Marine Fisheries Service. [FR Doc. 2016–21067 Filed 8–31–16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510–22–P DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration 50 CFR Part 660 [Docket No. 140904754–5188–02] RIN 0648–BG27 Magnuson-Stevens Act Provisions; Fisheries Off West Coast States; Pacific Coast Groundfish Fishery; 2015–2016 Biennial Specifications and Management Measures; Inseason Adjustments National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Commerce. ACTION: Final rule; inseason adjustments to biennial groundfish management measures. AGENCY: This final rule announces inseason changes to management measures in the Pacific Coast groundfish fisheries. This action, which is authorized by the Pacific Coast Groundfish Fishery Management Plan (PCGFMP), is intended to allow fisheries to access more abundant groundfish stocks while protecting overfished and depleted stocks. DATES: This final rule is effective September 1, 2016. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Benjamin Mann, phone: 206–526–6117, asabaliauskas on DSK3SPTVN1PROD with RULES SUMMARY: VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:43 Aug 31, 2016 Jkt 238001 fax: 206–526–6736, or email: benjamin.mann@noaa.gov. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Electronic Access This rule is accessible via the Internet at the Office of the Federal Register Web site at https://www.federalregister.gov. Background information and documents are available at the Pacific Fishery Management Council’s Web site at http://www.pcouncil.org/. Copies of the final environmental impact statement (FEIS) for the Groundfish Specifications and Management Measures for 2015– 2016 and Biennial Periods Thereafter are available from Chuck Tracy, Executive Director, Pacific Fishery Management Council (Council), 7700 NE Ambassador Place, Portland, OR 97220, phone: 503–820–2280. Background The Pacific Fishery Management Council (Council)—in coordination with Pacific Coast Treaty Indian Tribes and the States of Washington, Oregon, and California—recommended changes to groundfish management measures at its June 21–28, 2016, meeting. Specifically, the Council recommended taking a portion of the Pacific ocean perch (POP) initially deducted from the annual catch limit (ACL) and making it available to the mothership (MS) sector; a trip limit increase for black rockfish in the limited entry fixed gear (LEFG) and open access (OA) fisheries in northern California; and trip limit reductions in the OA sablefish daily trip limit (DTL) fishery north of 36° N. lat. Transferring POP to the Mothership Sector As part of biennial harvest specifications and management measures, ACLs are set for non-whiting groundfish species, deductions are made ‘‘off-the-top’’ from the ACL to account for various sources of mortality (including scientific research activities) and the remainder, the fishery harvest guideline, is allocated among the various groundfish fisheries. The limited availability of overfished species that can be taken as incidental catch in the Pacific whiting fishery, particularly darkblotched rockfish, POP, and canary rockfish, led NMFS to implement sector-specific allocations for these species to the Pacific whiting fisheries. If the sector-specific allocation for a non-whiting species is reached, NMFS may close one or more of the at-sea sectors automatically, per regulations at § 660.60(d). At the June, 2016 meeting, MS and catcher/processor (C/P) sectors requested more POP to accommodate PO 00000 Frm 00054 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 higher than anticipated harvest and prevent closure of the fishery prior to harvesting their allocations of Pacific whiting. At the start of 2016, the MS and C/P sectors of the Pacific whiting fishery were allocated 7.2 mt and 10.2 mt of POP respectively, per regulations at § 660.55(c)(1)(i)(B). According to the best fishery information available at the June 2016 meeting, POP bycatch in the MS sector was approximately double 2016 POP bycatch projections. At that time, best available information regarding bycatch rates of POP in the MS sector indicated that if those rates continued, only 53 percent (38,246 mt) of the Pacific whiting allocation would be harvested by the end of the 2016 fishery. Therefore, the Council recommended that NMFS monitor fishery harvest of Pacific whiting and POP relative to their respective at-sea sector allocations, update projections of Pacific whiting allocation attainment based on new, updated POP bycatch rates, and if necessary, transfer some POP that would otherwise go unharvested to either the MS or C/P sectors as needed. Current projections by the Northwest Fishery Science Center indicate that approximately 3.7 mt of POP off-the-top deductions for scientific research would remain unharvested through the end of the year. As of August 11, 2016, the C/ P sector has only harvested approximately 4.1 percent (0.41 mt) of its 2016 POP allocation indicating the C/P sector has sufficient POP allocation to cover their Pacific whiting harvests. However, approximately 70 percent (5.0 mt) of the total MS sector POP allocation has been harvested and only approximately 47 percent (34,256.46 mt) of the Pacific whiting allocation has been harvested. Using the most recent catch data through August 11, 2016, NMFS projects that at current rates, the MS sector will only harvest approximately 49 percent (35,486.35 mt) of its total Pacific whiting allocation (74,415 mt) before reaching the 7.2 mt POP allocation. Therefore, consistent with the Council’s June recommendation to take into account the best estimates of the amount of POP available and the updated bycatch rates in the MS and C/P fisheries, NMFS is transferring 3.0 mt of POP to the at-sea sectors. This rule transfers 3.0 mt of POP that is expected to go unharvested from the scientific research off-the-top deduction to the MS sector. This transfer increases the MS sector POP allocation from 7.2 mt to 10.2 mt. The remaining amount in the off-the-top deduction for scientific research is anticipated to go E:\FR\FM\01SER1.SGM 01SER1 Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 170 / Thursday, September 1, 2016 / Rules and Regulations unharvested (0.7 mt) but is not transferred at this time to buffer for uncertainty in the estimates of POP harvest in scientific research. This inseason action increases the POP amount available to the MS sector, and is expected to provide opportunity for the MS sector to obtain their entire Pacific whiting allocation (72,415 mt). Transfer of POP to the MS sector, when combined with projected impacts from all other sources, is not expected to result in greater impacts to POP than the 2016 ACL. This action is also not expected to increase impacts to other overfished species from those originally projected through the end of the year. asabaliauskas on DSK3SPTVN1PROD with RULES Increase in Trip Limits for the Black Rockfish LEFG and OA Fisheries Between 42° N. Lat. and 40°10′ N. Lat. Black rockfish are caught in nearshore commercial and recreational fisheries. Black rockfish is a healthy stock that cooccurs with nearshore overfished rockfish species (e.g. canary rockfish and yelloweye rockfish). Catch of black rockfish is managed, in part, to keep catch of co-occurring overfished species within the management targets for the nearshore fishery and the state of California. In 2016, reduced fishing effort as a result of poor weather and ocean conditions has significantly impacted catch rate of black rockfish in the area between 42° N. lat., and 40°10′ N. lat. for the LEFG and OA black rockfish commercial fisheries. The State of California reported 2016 black rockfish catch to be approximately 5 percent of the total allocation (19.9 mt of the 420 mt allocated). To provide the opportunity to harvest a larger portion of their allocation the Council recommended and NMFS is implementing an increase in the bimonthly trip limits for the LEFG fishery and the OA fishery between 42° N. lat., and 40°10′ N. lat. from ‘‘6,000 lbs/2 months which, no more than 1,200 lbs may be species other than black rockfish’’ to ‘‘7,000 lbs/2 months of which, no more than 1,200 lbs may be species other than black rockfish.’’ The increased trip limits described above will be effective in periods 5 and 6, beginning September 1. Reduction in Trip Limits in the OA Sablefish Fishery North of 36° N. Lat. Reduced opportunities in other fisheries (e.g. crab and salmon) in 2016 have resulted in higher than normal effort in the open access sablefish fishery north of 36° N. lat. Reports from the PacFIN Quota Species Monitoring (QSM) Best Estimate Report (BER) dated June 18, 2016 indicate actual landings have been approximately double 2016 VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:43 Aug 31, 2016 Jkt 238001 projections in the fishery. The Council’s groundfish advisory panel (GAP) recommended a reduction in trip limits to reduce effort in order to avoid exceeding 2016 sablefish allocations to the fishery. The Council’s GMT projected landings at the current rate of effort were 112 percent to 117 percent of the total OA allocation, through the end of the year. At its June 2016 meeting, the Council recommended and NMFS is implementing a trip limit adjustment from ‘‘300 lbs/day, or one landing per week of up to 850 lb, not to exceed 1,700 lb/2 months’’ to ‘‘300 lbs/ day, or one landing per week of up to 750 lbs, not to exceed 1,500 lbs/2 months.’’ Model projections through the end of the year with these adjustments show a total landing of 98 percent of the 2016 OA allocation. The reduced trip limits described above will be effective in periods 5 and 6, beginning September 1. Classification This final rule makes routine inseason adjustments to groundfish fishery management measures, based on the best available information. This document also serves as notice of an automatic action, based on the best available information. Both are consistent with the PCGFMP and its implementing regulations. This action is taken under the authority of 50 CFR 660.60(c) and (d) and 660.140(a)(3) and is exempt from review under Executive Order 12866. The aggregate data upon which these actions are based are available for public inspection at the Office of the Administrator, West Coast Region, NMFS, during business hours. NMFS finds good cause to waive prior public notice and comment on the revisions to groundfish management measures under 5 U.S.C. 553(b) because notice and comment would be impracticable and contrary to the public interest. Also, for the same reasons, NMFS finds good cause to waive the 30day delay in effectiveness pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 553(d)(3), so that the regulatory changes in this final rule may become effective September 1, 2016. At its June 2016 meeting, the Council recommended that NMFS consider a transfer of POP to the MS and C/P sectors, as needed based on the most recent fishery information. The Council recommended that the transfer be implemented as quickly as possible once the amount of POP, that would otherwise go unharvested in scientific research activities, was estimated. Updated catch information from scientific research activities became available in early August. There was not PO 00000 Frm 00055 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 60289 sufficient time after the June 2016 Council meeting or after research catch information was available to undergo proposed and final rulemaking before this action needs to be in effect. For the action implemented in this final rule, affording the time necessary for prior notice and opportunity for public comment would prevent transfer of POP to the MS sector until later in the season, or potentially eliminate the possibility of doing so during the 2016 calendar year entirely, and is therefore impracticable. Failing to transfer POP to the MS sector in a timely manner could result in unnecessary restriction of fisheries if the MS sector exceeded their allocations. Providing the MS sector fishermen an opportunity to harvest their limits of Pacific whiting without interruption and, when combined with harvest from other sectors, without exceeding the POP ACL, allows harvest as intended by the Council, consistent with the best scientific information available. The Pacific whiting fishery contributes a large amount of revenue to the coastal communities of Washington and Oregon and this change allows continued harvest of Pacific whiting while continuing to prevent ACLs of overfished species and the allocations for target species from being exceeded. The Council also recommended commercial trip limit changes for black rockfish and sablefish. These changes are based on the best available information, consistent with the PCGFMP and its implementing regulations. At the June Council meeting the Council recommended that increase to black rockfish trip limits be implemented as quickly as possible during the two-month cumulative limit period and that the decrease to sablefish trip limits be implemented as quickly as possible, by the start of the next cumulative limit period. There was not sufficient time after that meeting to draft this document and undergo proposed and final rulemaking before these actions need to be in effect. For the actions to be implemented in this final rule, affording the time necessary for prior notice and opportunity for public comment would prevent NMFS from managing fisheries using the best available science to approach, without exceeding, the ACLs for federally managed species in accordance with the PCGFMP and applicable law. The adjustments to management measures in this document affect commercial fisheries off Washington, Oregon, and California. These increases to trip limits must be implemented as quickly as possible during the two-month cumulative limit period to allow OA E:\FR\FM\01SER1.SGM 01SER1 60290 Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 170 / Thursday, September 1, 2016 / Rules and Regulations fixed gear fishermen an opportunity to harvest higher limits of black rockfish without exceeding the ACL. The decrease to sablefish trip limits must be implemented by the start of the next two-month cumulative limit period, September 1, to prevent exceedance of the ACL and allow year-round fishing opportunities for fishermen. It would be contrary to public interest to delay implementation of these changes until after public notice and comment, because making the regulatory changes by September 1, allows harvest as intended by the Council, consistent with the best scientific information available. The increase to black rockfish trip limits allows additional harvest in fisheries that are important to coastal communities while continuing to prevent the black rockfish ACL from being exceeded. The decrease to sablefish trip limits allows continued harvest in a fishery that is important to coastal communities while continuing to prevent sablefish ACL from being exceeded. For the actions to be implemented in this final rule, affording the time necessary for prior notice and opportunity for public comment would prevent NMFS from managing fisheries using the best available science to prevent overfishing in accordance with the PCGFMP and applicable law. Delaying these changes would also keep management measures in place that are not based on the best available information. Such delay would impair achievement of the PCGFMP goals and objectives of managing for appropriate harvest levels while providing for yearround fishing and marketing opportunities. Accordingly, for the reasons stated above, NMFS finds good cause to waive prior notice and comment and to waive the delay in effectiveness. List of Subjects in 50 CFR Part 660 Fisheries, Fishing, Indian fisheries. Dated: August 29, 2016. Emily H. Menashes, Acting Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine Fisheries Service. For the reasons set out in the preamble, 50 CFR part 660 is amended as follows: PART 660—FISHERIES OFF WEST COAST STATES 1. The authority citation for part 660 continues to read as follows: ■ Authority: 16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq., 16 U.S.C. 773 et seq., and 16 U.S.C. 7001 et seq. 2. Table 2b to part 660, subpart C, is revised to read as follows: ■ TABLE 2b TO PART 660, SUBPART C—2016, AND BEYOND, ALLOCATIONS BY SPECIES OR SPECIES GROUP [Weight in metric tons] Species Trawl Fishery HG or ACT Area % BOCACCIO a .......................................................................................... Canary rockfish a b .................................................................................. COWCOD a c .......................................................................................... DARKBLOTCHED ROCKFISH d ........................................................... Petrale sole a .......................................................................................... PACIFIC OCEAN PERCH e ................................................................... YELLOWEYE ROCKFISH a ................................................................... Arrowtooth flounder ............................................................................... Chilipepper ............................................................................................. Dover sole .............................................................................................. English sole ........................................................................................... Lingcod .................................................................................................. Lingcod .................................................................................................. Longnose skate a ................................................................................... Longspine thornyhead ........................................................................... Pacific cod ............................................................................................. Pacific whiting ........................................................................................ S of 40°10′ N. lat ...................... Coastwide ................................. S of 40°10′ N. lat ...................... Coastwide ................................. Coastwide ................................. N of 40°10′ N. lat ...................... Coastwide ................................. Coastwide ................................. S of 40°10′ N. lat ...................... Coastwide ................................. Coastwide ................................. N of 40°10′ N. lat ...................... S of 40°10′ N. lat ...................... Coastwide ................................. N of 34°27′ N. lat ...................... Coastwide ................................. Coastwide ................................. 353.7 109.8 4.0 325.2 2,673.4 149.0 13.2 3,241 1,595 48,406 6,991 2,441 937 1,927 2,969 1,091 301,731 Sablefish ................................................................................................ N of 36° N. lat ........................... 0 Sablefish ................................................................................................ Shortspine thornyhead ........................................................................... Shortspine thornyhead ........................................................................... Splitnose ................................................................................................ Starry flounder ....................................................................................... Widow rockfish f ..................................................................................... Yellowtail rockfish .................................................................................. Minor Shelf Rockfish complex a ............................................................. Minor Shelf Rockfish complex a ............................................................. Minor Slope Rockfish complex .............................................................. Minor Slope Rockfish complex .............................................................. Other Flatfish complex ........................................................................... S of 36° N. lat ........................... N of 34°27′ N. lat ...................... S of 34°27′ N. lat ...................... S of 40°10′ N. lat ...................... Coastwide ................................. Coastwide ................................. N of 40°10′ N. lat ...................... N of 40°10′ N. lat ...................... S of 40°10′ N. lat ...................... N of 40°10′ N. lat ...................... S of 40°10′ N. lat ...................... Coastwide ................................. 1,875 1,667 871 1,736 1,529 1,880 5,314 1,880 1,576 1,642 675 7,039 N/A N/A N/A 95 N/A 95 N/A 95 75 95 95 45 45 90 95 95 100 Mt 85.0 58.5 1.4 308.9 2,638.4 141.6 1.1 3,079 1,196 45,986 6,642 1,098 422 1,734 2,820 1,036 301,731 % N/A N/A N/A 5 N/A 5 N/A 5 25 5 5 55 55 10 5 5 0 Mt 268.7 51.3 2.6 16.3 35.0 7.5 12.1 162 399 2,420 350 1,342 515 193 148 55 0 See Table 1C 42 95 NA 95 50 91 88 60.2 12.2 81 63 90 a Allocations 788 1,583 50 1,649 764 1,711 4,677 1,132 192 1,330 425 6,335 58 5 NA 5 50 9 12 39.8 87.8 19 37 10 1,088 83 821 87 764 169 638 748 1,384 312 250 704 decided through the biennial specification process. mt of the total trawl allocation of canary rockfish is allocated to the at-sea whiting fisheries, as follows: 5.8 mt for the mothership fishery, and 8.2 mt for the catcher/processor fishery. c The cowcod fishery harvest guideline is further reduced to an ACT of 4.0 mt. d Consistent with regulations at § 660.55(c), 9 percent (27.8 mt) of the total trawl allocation for darkblotched rockfish is allocated to the whiting fisheries, as follows: 11.7 mt for the shorebased IFQ fishery, 6.7 mt for the mothership fishery, and 9.4 mt for the catcher/processor fishery. The tonnage calculated here for the whiting portion of the shorebased IFQ fishery contributes to the total shorebased trawl allocation, which is found at 660.140(d)(1)(ii)(D). e Consistent with regulations at § 660.55(c), 30 mt of the total trawl allocation for POP is allocated to the whiting fisheries, as follows: 12.6 mt for the shorebased IFQ fishery, 7.2 mt for the mothership fishery, and 10.2 mt for the catcher/processor fishery. The amount available to the mothership fishery was raised from 7.2 mt to 10.2 mt, by transferring 3.0 mt of the 5.2 mt initially deducted from the ACL to accunt for scientific research mortality, consistent with § 660.60(c)(3)(ii). The tonnage calculated here for the whiting portion of the shorebased IFQ fishery contributes to the total shorebased trawl allocation, which is found at 660.140(d)(1)(ii)(D). f Consistent with regulations at § 660.55(c), 500 mt of the total trawl allocation for widow rockfish is allocated to the whiting fisheries, as follows: 210 mt for the shorebased IFQ fishery, 120 mt for the mothership fishery, and 170 mt for the catcher/processor fishery. The tonnage calculated here for the whiting portion of the shorebased IFQ fishery contributes to the total shorebased trawl allocation, which is found at 660.140(d)(1)(ii)(D). b 14.0 asabaliauskas on DSK3SPTVN1PROD with RULES Non-trawl VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:43 Aug 31, 2016 Jkt 238001 PO 00000 Frm 00056 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 E:\FR\FM\01SER1.SGM 01SER1 60291 Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 170 / Thursday, September 1, 2016 / Rules and Regulations 3. Table 2 (North) to part 660, subpart E, is revised to read as follows: ■ BILLING CODE 3510–22–P Table 2 (North) to Part 660, Subpart E --Non-Trawl Rockfish Conservation Areas and Trip Limits for Limited Entry Fixed Gear North of 40°10' N. lat. Other limits and requirements apply-- Read §§660.10 through 660.399 before using this table JAN-FEB I MAR-APR I 9012016 I MAY-JUN JUL-AUG SEP-OCT I NOV-DEC Rockfish Conservation Area (RCA) 11 : shoreline- 100 fm line 11 1 North of 46' 16' N. lat. 2 46'16' N.lat.- 4iOO' N.lat. 30 fm line 11 - 100 fm line 11 3 4iOO' N.lat.- 40'10' N.lat. 30 fm line 11 - 100 fm line 11 See §§660.60 and 660.230 for additional gear, trip limit and conservation area requirements and restrictions. See §§660.70-660.74 and §§660.76-660.79 for conservation area descriptions and coordinates (including RCAs, YRCAs, CCAs, Farallon Islands, Cordell Banks, and EFHCAs). State trip limits and seasons may be more restrictive than Federal trip limits or seasons, particularly in waters off Oregon and California. 4 Minor Slope Rockfish 21 & Darkblotched rockfish 4,000 lb/2 months 5 Pacific ocean perch 1,800 lb/2 months 6 Sable fish 1,275 lb/week, not to exceed 3,375 lb/2 months 1,125 lb/week. not to exceed 3,375 lb/2 months I 7 8 Shortspine thornyhead 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 -1 10,000 lb/2 months Longspine thornyhead )> I 2,000 lb/2 months 2,500 lb/2 months South of 42' N. lat., when fishing for "other flatfish," vessels using hook-and-line gear with no more than 12 hooks per line, using hooks no larger than "Number 2" hooks, which measure 0.44 in (11 mm) point to shank. and up to two 1 lb (0.45 kg) weights per line. are not subject to the RCAs. Dover sole, arrowtooth flounder, petrale sole, English sole, starry flounder, Other Flatfish 31 r- m 1\) Whiting 10,000 lb/ trip 16 Minor Shelf Rockfish 21 , Shortbelly, Widow & Yellowtail rockfish 200 lb/ month 17 Canary rockfish CLOSED 18 Yelloweye rockfish CLOSED 19 Minor Nearshore Rockfish & Black rockfish z 0 20 North of 4i 00' N. lat. 21 42"00' N. lat. - 40' 10' N. lat. 22 5,000 lb/2 months, no more than 1,200 lb of which may be species other than black rockfish or blue rockfish 41 200 lb/2 months Pacific cod 1600 lb/ 1200 lb/ month month 1,200 lb/ 2 months I :::::r 7,000 lb/2 months, of which no more than 1,200 lb of which may be species other than black rockfish 8,500 lb/2 months, of which no more than 1,200 lb of which may be species other than black rockfish Lingcod 51 23 ""'' ........................................ ···-·-·-·-·-··-·-·-·-·-··-·-·-·-·-··-·-·-·-·- -·-·-·-·-·-·- ......................................................... -·-·-·-·-··-·-·-·-·-··-·-·-·-·-·-·-·-·-·-·-·-·-·-·-·-·-··-· ........................................................ ·-·-·-·-··-·-·-·-·-··-·-·-·-·-·-·-·-·-· 24 OJ 5,000 lb/ month 1,000 lb/2 months Spiny dogfish 200,000 lb/2 months I 150,000 lb/2 months I 25 Longnose skate Unlimited 26 Other Fish 61& Cabezon in Oregon and California 100,000 lb/2 months Unlimited depth contour boundary south of 4i N. lat.), and the boundary lines that define the RCA may close areas that are deeper or shallower than the depth contour. Vessels that are subject to RCA restrictions may not fish in the RCA, or operate in the RCA for any purpose other than transiting. 21 Bocaccio, chilipepper and cowcod are included in the trip limits for Minor Shelf Rockfish and splitnose rockfish is included in the trip limits for Minor Slope Rockfish. 3/"'0ther flatfish"' are defined at§ 660.11 and include butter sole, curlfin sole, flathead sole, Pacific sanddab, rex sole. rock sole. and sand sole. 4/ For black rockfish north of Cape !\lava (48°09.50' N. lat.). and between Destruction Is. (4r40" N. lat.) and Leadbetter Pnt. (46°38.17' N. lat.). there is an additional limit of 100 lb or 30 percent by weight of all fish on board, whichever is greater, per vessel. per fishing trip. 51 The minimum size limit for lingcod is 22 inches (56 em) total length North of 4i N. lat. and 24 inches (61 em) total length South of 42" N. lat. 6/"'0ther Fish"' are defined at§ 660.11 and include kelp greenling, leopard shark. and cabezon in Washington. To convert pounds to kilograms, divide by 2.20462, the number of pounds in one kilogram. 4. Tables 3 (North) and 3 (South) to part 660, subpart F, are revised to read ■ VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:43 Aug 31, 2016 Jkt 238001 as follows: PO 00000 Frm 00057 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 E:\FR\FM\01SER1.SGM 01SER1 ER01SE16.131</GPH> asabaliauskas on DSK3SPTVN1PROD with RULES 1/ The Rockfish Conservation Area is an area closed to fishing by particular gear types. bounded by lines specifically defined by latitude and longitude coordinates set out at§§ 660.71-660.74. This RCA is not defined by depth contours (with the exception of the 20-fm 60292 Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 170 / Thursday, September 1, 2016 / Rules and Regulations Table 3 (North) to Part 660, Subpart F --Non-Trawl Rockfish Conservation Areas and Trip Limits for Open Access Gears North of 40'10' N. lat. Other limits and requirements apply-- Read §§660.1 0 through 660.399 before using this table JAN-FEB I MAR-APR I 09012016 MAY-JUN JUL-AUG SEP-OCT I NOV-DEC Rockfish Conservation Area (RCA) 11 : shoreline -100 fm line 11 1 North of 45' 16' N. lat. 2 46,16' N. lat. -42'00' N. lat. 30 fm line 11 -100 fm line 11 3 4iOO' N. lat. - 40' 10' N. lat. 30 fm line 11 -100 fm line 11 See §§660.60, 660.330 and 660.333 for additional gear, trip limit and conservation area requirements and restrictions. See §§660.70-660.74 and §§660.76660.79 for conservation area descriptions and coordinates (including RCAs, YRCAs, CCAs, Farallon Islands, Cordell Banks, and EFHCAs). State trip limits and seasons may be more restrictive than Federal trip limits or seasons, particularly in waters off Oregon and California. 4 Minor Slope Rockfish 21 & Darkblotched rockfish 5 Pacific ocean perch 6 Sablefish 7 Shortpine thornyheads and longspine thornyheads Per trip, no more than 25% of weight of the sablefish landed 100 lb/ month 300 lb/ day, or 1 landing per week 300 lb/ day, or 1 landing per week of 300 lb/ day, or 1 landing per week of up to 1,000 lb, not to of up to 850 lb, not up to 750 lb, not to exceed 1,500 lb/2 exceed 2,000 lb/2 months to exceed 1, 700 lb/ months 2 months 3,000 lb/ month, no more than 300 lb of which may be species other than Pacific sanddabs. ,,, petrale sole, English sole, starry ~ flounder, Other Flatfish 31 t----;3 South of 42° N. lat., when fishing for ''other flatfish,'' vessels using hook-and-line gear with no more than 12 hooks per line, using hooks no larger than "Number 2" hooks, which measure 0.44 in (11 mm) point to shank, and up to two 1 lb (0.45 kg) weights per line are not subject to the RCAs. 14 Whiting 300 lb/ month 15 Minor Shelf Rockfish 21, Shortbelly, Widow & Yellowtail rockfish 200 lb/ month 16 Canary rockfish Yelloweye rockfish 4i 00' N. lat. - 40' 10' N. lat. ::::T 5,000 lb/2 months, no more than 1,200 lb of which may be species other than black rockfish North of 42' 00' N. lat. 20 8,500 lb/2 months, of which no more than 1,200 lb of which may be species other than black rockfish 21 Lingcod51 22 Pacific cod 23 Spiny dogfish 24 Longnose skate Other Fish 61 & Cabezon in Oregon and California 7,000 lb/2 months, of which no more than 1,200 lb of which may be species other than black rockfish 1100 lb/ month Unlimited 25 Unlimited VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:43 Aug 31, 2016 100 lb/ month 600 lb/ month I 1,000 lb/ 2 months 200,000 lb/2 months Jkt 238001 PO 00000 Frm 00058 I Fmt 4700 150,000 lb/2 months Sfmt 4725 100,000 lb/2 months E:\FR\FM\01SER1.SGM 01SER1 ER01SE16.132</GPH> asabaliauskas on DSK3SPTVN1PROD with RULES - Minor Nearshore Rockfish & Black rockfish 19 z .., CLOSED 18 0 CLOSED 17 liJ w t---c-:-- Dover sole, arrowtooth flounder, I )> rm CLOSED ~ -1 60293 Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 170 / Thursday, September 1, 2016 / Rules and Regulations Table 3 (North). Continued -1 26 )> m Salmon trollers may retain and land up to 1 lb of yellowtail rockfish for ewry 2 lbs of salmon landed, with a cumulatiw limit of 200 lblmonth, both within and outside of the RCA. This limit is within the 200 lb per month combined limit for minor shelf rockfish, widow rockfish and yellowtail rockfish, and not in addition to that limit. Salmon trollers may retain and land up to 1 lingcod per 15 Chinook per trip, plus 1 lingcod per trip, up to a trip limit of 10 lingcod, on a trip where any fishing occurs within the RCA. This limit only applies during times lllltlen lingcod retention is allo~Ned, and is not "CLOSED." This limit is within the per month limit for lingcod described in the table abow, and not in addition to that limit. All grounctfish species are subject to the open access limits, seasons, size limits and RCA restrictions listed in the table abow, unless otherwise stated here. 27 North 28 PINK SHRIMP NON-GROUNDFISH TRAWL (not subject to RCAs) 29 m z 0 ... Effective April1 -October 31: Grounctfish: 500 lb/day, multiplied by the number of days of the trip, not to exceed 1,500 lbltrip. The following sublimits also apply and are counted toward the owrall 500 lblday and 1,500 lb/trip grounctfish limits: lingcod 300 lb/month (minimum 24 inch size limit); sablefish 2,000 lb/month; canary, thomyheads and yello\llleye rockfish are PROHIBITED. All other grounctfish species taken are managed under the owrall 500 lb/day and 1,500 lb/trip groundfish limits. Landings of these species count toward the per day and per trip groundfish limits and do not haw species-specific limits. The amount of groundfish landed may not exceed the amount of pink shrimp landed. North r- ::::r n 0 ::I ""t c. there is an additional limit of 100 lbs or 30 percent by weight of all fish on board, whichever is greater, per vessel, per fishing trip. 5/ The minimum size limit for lingcod is 22 inches (56 em) total length North of 42° N. lat. and 24 inches (61 em) total length South of 42° N. lat. VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:43 Aug 31, 2016 Jkt 238001 PO 00000 Frm 00059 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4725 E:\FR\FM\01SER1.SGM 01SER1 ER01SE16.133</GPH> asabaliauskas on DSK3SPTVN1PROD with RULES 6/ "Other fish" are defined at§ 660.11 and include kelp greenling, leopard shark, and cabazon in Washington. To convert pounds to kilograms, divide by 2.20462, the nurriler of pounds in one kilogram 60294 Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 170 / Thursday, September 1, 2016 / Rules and Regulations Table 3 (South) to Part 660, Subpart F -- Non-Trawl Rockfish Conservation Areas and Trip Limits for Open Access Gears South of 40°1 0' N. lat. 09012016 !Other limits and requirements apply-- Read §§660.1 0 through 660.399 before using this table I I I JAN-FEB JUL-AUG SEP-OCT I M'\R-APR I MAY-JUN I NOV-DEC Rockfish Conservation Area (RCA)11 : 1 2 I I I I I I I I I 30 fm line 11 - 150 fm line 11 140°10' N. lat.- 34°27' N. lat. ISouth of 34°27' N. lat. 60 fm line 11 - 150 fm line 11 (also applies around islands) See §§660.60 and 660.230 for additional gear, trip linit and conservation area requirements and restrictions. See §§660.70-660.74 and §§660.76-660.79 for conservation area descriptions and coordinates (including RCAs, YRCAs, CCAs, Farallon Islands, Cordell Banks, and EFHCAs). State trip limits and seasons may be more restrictiw than Federal trip limits or seasons, particularly in waters off Oregon and California. 4 5 Splitnose rockfish Sable fish 7 ----u~ 16 17 18 300 lb/ day, or 1 landing per week of up to 1,600 lb, not to exceed 3,200 lb/2 months South of36"oo· N.lat. CLOSED 50 lb/ day, no more than 1,000 lb/2 months 40.10' N. lat.- 34"27' N.lat. South of 34"27' N. lat. Dover sole, arrowtooth flounder, petrale sole, English sole, starry flounder, Other Flatfish 31 South of 42° N. lat., when fishing for "other flatfish," vessels using hook-and-line gear with no more than 12 hooks per line, using hooks no larger than "Number 2" hooks, which measure 0.44 in (11 mm) point to shank, and up to two 1 lb (0.45 kg) weights per line are not subject to the RCAs. Whiting 300 lb/ month Minor Shelf Rockfish 21, Shortbelly, Widow rockfish and Chilipepper 19 40.10' N. lat.- 34"27' N.lat. 300 lb/ 2 months I South of 34"27' N. lat. 1500 lb/2 months I asabaliauskas on DSK3SPTVN1PROD with RULES VerDate Sep<11>2014 CLOSED I 200 lb/2 months m w 0 s:::: :::r 300 lb/ 2 months I CLOSED CLOSED CLOSED CLOSED 40.10' N. lat.- 34"27' N.lat. 200 lb/ 2 months South of 34"27' N. lat. 250 lb/ 2 months Jkt 238001 m r- 1500 lb/ 2 months Canary rockfish Yelloweye rockfish Cowcod Bronzespotted rockfish Bocaccio 16:43 Aug 31, 2016 )> C/) 3,000 lb/ month, no more than 300 lb of which may be species other than Pacific sanddabs. 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 -1 Shortpine thornyheads and longspine thornyheads 9 10 11 ~ 13 200 lb/ month 300 lb/ day, or 1 landing per week 300 lb/ day, or 1 landing per week of 300 lb/ day, or 1 landing per week of up to 1,000 lb, not to 40.10' N. lat.- 36.00' N.lat. of up to 850 lb, not up to 750 lb, not to exceed 1,500 lb/2 exceed 2,000 lb/2 months to exceed 1,700 lb/ months 2 months 6 8 10,000 lb/2 months, of which no more than 4751b may be 10,000 lb/2 months, of which no more than 550 lb may be blackgill rockfish blackgill rockfish PO 00000 I I CLOSED Frm 00060 I 100 lb/2 months I Fmt 4700 200 lb/ 2 months 250 lb/ 2 months Sfmt 4725 E:\FR\FM\01SER1.SGM 01SER1 ER01SE16.134</GPH> 3 Minor Slope Rockfish 21 & Darkblotched rockfish Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 170 / Thursday, September 1, 2016 / Rules and Regulations Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Commerce. ACTION: Temporary rule; closure. DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE SUMMARY: NMFS is prohibiting directed fishing for species that comprise the deep-water species fishery by vessels using trawl gear in the Gulf of Alaska (GOA). This action is necessary because the fourth seasonal apportionment of the Pacific halibut bycatch allowance specified for the trawl deep-water species fishery in the GOA has been reached. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration 50 CFR Part 679 asabaliauskas on DSK3SPTVN1PROD with RULES [Docket No. 150818742–6210–02] RIN 0648–XE835 Fisheries of the Economic Exclusive Zone Off Alaska; Deep-Water Species Fishery by Vessels Using Trawl Gear in the Gulf of Alaska DATES: National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), National Oceanic and FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: AGENCY: VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:43 Aug 31, 2016 Jkt 238001 Effective 1200 hours, Alaska local time (A.l.t.), September 1, 2016, through 1200 hours, A.l.t., October 1, 2016. Keaton, 907–586–7228. PO 00000 Frm 00061 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 Josh NMFS manages the groundfish fishery in the GOA exclusive economic zone according to the Fishery Management Plan for Groundfish of the Gulf of Alaska (FMP) prepared by the North Pacific Fishery Management Council under authority of the MagnusonStevens 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 fourth seasonal apportionment of the Pacific halibut bycatch allowance specified for the deep-water species in the GOA has been determined to be 0 metric tons (mt). This apportionment was established by the final 2016 and 2017 harvest specifications for groundfish of the GOA (81 FR 14740, SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: E:\FR\FM\01SER1.SGM 01SER1 ER01SE16.135</GPH> BILLING CODE 3510–22–C [FR Doc. 2016–21091 Filed 8–31–16; 8:45 am] 60295

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 81, Number 170 (Thursday, September 1, 2016)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 60288-60295]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2016-21091]


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

DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

50 CFR Part 660

[Docket No. 140904754-5188-02]
RIN 0648-BG27


Magnuson-Stevens Act Provisions; Fisheries Off West Coast States; 
Pacific Coast Groundfish Fishery; 2015-2016 Biennial Specifications and 
Management Measures; Inseason Adjustments

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

ACTION: Final rule; inseason adjustments to biennial groundfish 
management measures.

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

SUMMARY: This final rule announces inseason changes to management 
measures in the Pacific Coast groundfish fisheries. This action, which 
is authorized by the Pacific Coast Groundfish Fishery Management Plan 
(PCGFMP), is intended to allow fisheries to access more abundant 
groundfish stocks while protecting overfished and depleted stocks.

DATES: This final rule is effective September 1, 2016.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Benjamin Mann, phone: 206-526-6117, 
fax: 206-526-6736, or email: benjamin.mann@noaa.gov.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Electronic Access

    This rule is accessible via the Internet at the Office of the 
Federal Register Web site at https://www.federalregister.gov. 
Background information and documents are available at the Pacific 
Fishery Management Council's Web site at http://www.pcouncil.org/. 
Copies of the final environmental impact statement (FEIS) for the 
Groundfish Specifications and Management Measures for 2015-2016 and 
Biennial Periods Thereafter are available from Chuck Tracy, Executive 
Director, Pacific Fishery Management Council (Council), 7700 NE 
Ambassador Place, Portland, OR 97220, phone: 503-820-2280.

Background

    The Pacific Fishery Management Council (Council)--in coordination 
with Pacific Coast Treaty Indian Tribes and the States of Washington, 
Oregon, and California--recommended changes to groundfish management 
measures at its June 21-28, 2016, meeting. Specifically, the Council 
recommended taking a portion of the Pacific ocean perch (POP) initially 
deducted from the annual catch limit (ACL) and making it available to 
the mothership (MS) sector; a trip limit increase for black rockfish in 
the limited entry fixed gear (LEFG) and open access (OA) fisheries in 
northern California; and trip limit reductions in the OA sablefish 
daily trip limit (DTL) fishery north of 36[deg] N. lat.

Transferring POP to the Mothership Sector

    As part of biennial harvest specifications and management measures, 
ACLs are set for non-whiting groundfish species, deductions are made 
``off-the-top'' from the ACL to account for various sources of 
mortality (including scientific research activities) and the remainder, 
the fishery harvest guideline, is allocated among the various 
groundfish fisheries. The limited availability of overfished species 
that can be taken as incidental catch in the Pacific whiting fishery, 
particularly darkblotched rockfish, POP, and canary rockfish, led NMFS 
to implement sector-specific allocations for these species to the 
Pacific whiting fisheries. If the sector-specific allocation for a non-
whiting species is reached, NMFS may close one or more of the at-sea 
sectors automatically, per regulations at Sec.  660.60(d).
    At the June, 2016 meeting, MS and catcher/processor (C/P) sectors 
requested more POP to accommodate higher than anticipated harvest and 
prevent closure of the fishery prior to harvesting their allocations of 
Pacific whiting.
    At the start of 2016, the MS and C/P sectors of the Pacific whiting 
fishery were allocated 7.2 mt and 10.2 mt of POP respectively, per 
regulations at Sec.  660.55(c)(1)(i)(B). According to the best fishery 
information available at the June 2016 meeting, POP bycatch in the MS 
sector was approximately double 2016 POP bycatch projections. At that 
time, best available information regarding bycatch rates of POP in the 
MS sector indicated that if those rates continued, only 53 percent 
(38,246 mt) of the Pacific whiting allocation would be harvested by the 
end of the 2016 fishery. Therefore, the Council recommended that NMFS 
monitor fishery harvest of Pacific whiting and POP relative to their 
respective at-sea sector allocations, update projections of Pacific 
whiting allocation attainment based on new, updated POP bycatch rates, 
and if necessary, transfer some POP that would otherwise go unharvested 
to either the MS or C/P sectors as needed.
    Current projections by the Northwest Fishery Science Center 
indicate that approximately 3.7 mt of POP off-the-top deductions for 
scientific research would remain unharvested through the end of the 
year. As of August 11, 2016, the C/P sector has only harvested 
approximately 4.1 percent (0.41 mt) of its 2016 POP allocation 
indicating the C/P sector has sufficient POP allocation to cover their 
Pacific whiting harvests. However, approximately 70 percent (5.0 mt) of 
the total MS sector POP allocation has been harvested and only 
approximately 47 percent (34,256.46 mt) of the Pacific whiting 
allocation has been harvested. Using the most recent catch data through 
August 11, 2016, NMFS projects that at current rates, the MS sector 
will only harvest approximately 49 percent (35,486.35 mt) of its total 
Pacific whiting allocation (74,415 mt) before reaching the 7.2 mt POP 
allocation. Therefore, consistent with the Council's June 
recommendation to take into account the best estimates of the amount of 
POP available and the updated bycatch rates in the MS and C/P 
fisheries, NMFS is transferring 3.0 mt of POP to the at-sea sectors.
    This rule transfers 3.0 mt of POP that is expected to go 
unharvested from the scientific research off-the-top deduction to the 
MS sector. This transfer increases the MS sector POP allocation from 
7.2 mt to 10.2 mt. The remaining amount in the off-the-top deduction 
for scientific research is anticipated to go

[[Page 60289]]

unharvested (0.7 mt) but is not transferred at this time to buffer for 
uncertainty in the estimates of POP harvest in scientific research. 
This inseason action increases the POP amount available to the MS 
sector, and is expected to provide opportunity for the MS sector to 
obtain their entire Pacific whiting allocation (72,415 mt). Transfer of 
POP to the MS sector, when combined with projected impacts from all 
other sources, is not expected to result in greater impacts to POP than 
the 2016 ACL. This action is also not expected to increase impacts to 
other overfished species from those originally projected through the 
end of the year.

Increase in Trip Limits for the Black Rockfish LEFG and OA Fisheries 
Between 42[deg] N. Lat. and 40[deg]10' N. Lat.

    Black rockfish are caught in nearshore commercial and recreational 
fisheries. Black rockfish is a healthy stock that co-occurs with 
nearshore overfished rockfish species (e.g. canary rockfish and 
yelloweye rockfish). Catch of black rockfish is managed, in part, to 
keep catch of co-occurring overfished species within the management 
targets for the nearshore fishery and the state of California. In 2016, 
reduced fishing effort as a result of poor weather and ocean conditions 
has significantly impacted catch rate of black rockfish in the area 
between 42[deg] N. lat., and 40[deg]10' N. lat. for the LEFG and OA 
black rockfish commercial fisheries. The State of California reported 
2016 black rockfish catch to be approximately 5 percent of the total 
allocation (19.9 mt of the 420 mt allocated). To provide the 
opportunity to harvest a larger portion of their allocation the Council 
recommended and NMFS is implementing an increase in the bimonthly trip 
limits for the LEFG fishery and the OA fishery between 42[deg] N. lat., 
and 40[deg]10' N. lat. from ``6,000 lbs/2 months which, no more than 
1,200 lbs may be species other than black rockfish'' to ``7,000 lbs/2 
months of which, no more than 1,200 lbs may be species other than black 
rockfish.'' The increased trip limits described above will be effective 
in periods 5 and 6, beginning September 1.

Reduction in Trip Limits in the OA Sablefish Fishery North of 36[deg] 
N. Lat.

    Reduced opportunities in other fisheries (e.g. crab and salmon) in 
2016 have resulted in higher than normal effort in the open access 
sablefish fishery north of 36[deg] N. lat. Reports from the PacFIN 
Quota Species Monitoring (QSM) Best Estimate Report (BER) dated June 
18, 2016 indicate actual landings have been approximately double 2016 
projections in the fishery. The Council's groundfish advisory panel 
(GAP) recommended a reduction in trip limits to reduce effort in order 
to avoid exceeding 2016 sablefish allocations to the fishery. The 
Council's GMT projected landings at the current rate of effort were 112 
percent to 117 percent of the total OA allocation, through the end of 
the year. At its June 2016 meeting, the Council recommended and NMFS is 
implementing a trip limit adjustment from ``300 lbs/day, or one landing 
per week of up to 850 lb, not to exceed 1,700 lb/2 months'' to ``300 
lbs/day, or one landing per week of up to 750 lbs, not to exceed 1,500 
lbs/2 months.'' Model projections through the end of the year with 
these adjustments show a total landing of 98 percent of the 2016 OA 
allocation. The reduced trip limits described above will be effective 
in periods 5 and 6, beginning September 1.

Classification

    This final rule makes routine inseason adjustments to groundfish 
fishery management measures, based on the best available information. 
This document also serves as notice of an automatic action, based on 
the best available information. Both are consistent with the PCGFMP and 
its implementing regulations.
    This action is taken under the authority of 50 CFR 660.60(c) and 
(d) and 660.140(a)(3) and is exempt from review under Executive Order 
12866.
    The aggregate data upon which these actions are based are available 
for public inspection at the Office of the Administrator, West Coast 
Region, NMFS, during business hours.
    NMFS finds good cause to waive prior public notice and comment on 
the revisions to groundfish management measures under 5 U.S.C. 553(b) 
because notice and comment would be impracticable and contrary to the 
public interest. Also, for the same reasons, NMFS finds good cause to 
waive the 30-day delay in effectiveness pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 553(d)(3), 
so that the regulatory changes in this final rule may become effective 
September 1, 2016.
    At its June 2016 meeting, the Council recommended that NMFS 
consider a transfer of POP to the MS and C/P sectors, as needed based 
on the most recent fishery information. The Council recommended that 
the transfer be implemented as quickly as possible once the amount of 
POP, that would otherwise go unharvested in scientific research 
activities, was estimated. Updated catch information from scientific 
research activities became available in early August. There was not 
sufficient time after the June 2016 Council meeting or after research 
catch information was available to undergo proposed and final 
rulemaking before this action needs to be in effect. For the action 
implemented in this final rule, affording the time necessary for prior 
notice and opportunity for public comment would prevent transfer of POP 
to the MS sector until later in the season, or potentially eliminate 
the possibility of doing so during the 2016 calendar year entirely, and 
is therefore impracticable. Failing to transfer POP to the MS sector in 
a timely manner could result in unnecessary restriction of fisheries if 
the MS sector exceeded their allocations. Providing the MS sector 
fishermen an opportunity to harvest their limits of Pacific whiting 
without interruption and, when combined with harvest from other 
sectors, without exceeding the POP ACL, allows harvest as intended by 
the Council, consistent with the best scientific information available. 
The Pacific whiting fishery contributes a large amount of revenue to 
the coastal communities of Washington and Oregon and this change allows 
continued harvest of Pacific whiting while continuing to prevent ACLs 
of overfished species and the allocations for target species from being 
exceeded.
    The Council also recommended commercial trip limit changes for 
black rockfish and sablefish. These changes are based on the best 
available information, consistent with the PCGFMP and its implementing 
regulations. At the June Council meeting the Council recommended that 
increase to black rockfish trip limits be implemented as quickly as 
possible during the two-month cumulative limit period and that the 
decrease to sablefish trip limits be implemented as quickly as 
possible, by the start of the next cumulative limit period. There was 
not sufficient time after that meeting to draft this document and 
undergo proposed and final rulemaking before these actions need to be 
in effect. For the actions to be implemented in this final rule, 
affording the time necessary for prior notice and opportunity for 
public comment would prevent NMFS from managing fisheries using the 
best available science to approach, without exceeding, the ACLs for 
federally managed species in accordance with the PCGFMP and applicable 
law. The adjustments to management measures in this document affect 
commercial fisheries off Washington, Oregon, and California. These 
increases to trip limits must be implemented as quickly as possible 
during the two-month cumulative limit period to allow OA

[[Page 60290]]

fixed gear fishermen an opportunity to harvest higher limits of black 
rockfish without exceeding the ACL. The decrease to sablefish trip 
limits must be implemented by the start of the next two-month 
cumulative limit period, September 1, to prevent exceedance of the ACL 
and allow year-round fishing opportunities for fishermen. It would be 
contrary to public interest to delay implementation of these changes 
until after public notice and comment, because making the regulatory 
changes by September 1, allows harvest as intended by the Council, 
consistent with the best scientific information available. The increase 
to black rockfish trip limits allows additional harvest in fisheries 
that are important to coastal communities while continuing to prevent 
the black rockfish ACL from being exceeded. The decrease to sablefish 
trip limits allows continued harvest in a fishery that is important to 
coastal communities while continuing to prevent sablefish ACL from 
being exceeded.
    For the actions to be implemented in this final rule, affording the 
time necessary for prior notice and opportunity for public comment 
would prevent NMFS from managing fisheries using the best available 
science to prevent overfishing in accordance with the PCGFMP and 
applicable law.
    Delaying these changes would also keep management measures in place 
that are not based on the best available information. Such delay would 
impair achievement of the PCGFMP goals and objectives of managing for 
appropriate harvest levels while providing for year-round fishing and 
marketing opportunities.
    Accordingly, for the reasons stated above, NMFS finds good cause to 
waive prior notice and comment and to waive the delay in effectiveness.

List of Subjects in 50 CFR Part 660

    Fisheries, Fishing, Indian fisheries.

    Dated: August 29, 2016.
Emily H. Menashes,
Acting Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine 
Fisheries Service.

    For the reasons set out in the preamble, 50 CFR part 660 is amended 
as follows:

PART 660--FISHERIES OFF WEST COAST STATES

0
1. The authority citation for part 660 continues to read as follows:

    Authority: 16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq., 16 U.S.C. 773 et seq., and 16 
U.S.C. 7001 et seq.

0
2. Table 2b to part 660, subpart C, is revised to read as follows:

                               Table 2b to Part 660, Subpart C--2016, and Beyond, Allocations by Species or Species Group
                                                                 [Weight in metric tons]
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                                                                         Trawl             Non-trawl
                   Species                                            Area                         Fishery HG or ---------------------------------------
                                                                                                        ACT           %        Mt         %        Mt
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
BOCACCIO \a\.................................  S of 40[deg]10' N. lat...........................           353.7       N/A      85.0       N/A     268.7
Canary rockfish a b..........................  Coastwide........................................           109.8       N/A      58.5       N/A      51.3
COWCOD a c...................................  S of 40[deg]10' N. lat...........................             4.0       N/A       1.4       N/A       2.6
DARKBLOTCHED ROCKFISH \d\....................  Coastwide........................................           325.2        95     308.9         5      16.3
Petrale sole \a\.............................  Coastwide........................................         2,673.4       N/A   2,638.4       N/A      35.0
PACIFIC OCEAN PERCH \e\......................  N of 40[deg]10' N. lat...........................           149.0        95     141.6         5       7.5
YELLOWEYE ROCKFISH \a\.......................  Coastwide........................................            13.2       N/A       1.1       N/A      12.1
Arrowtooth flounder..........................  Coastwide........................................           3,241        95     3,079         5       162
Chilipepper..................................  S of 40[deg]10' N. lat...........................           1,595        75     1,196        25       399
Dover sole...................................  Coastwide........................................          48,406        95    45,986         5     2,420
English sole.................................  Coastwide........................................           6,991        95     6,642         5       350
Lingcod......................................  N of 40[deg]10' N. lat...........................           2,441        45     1,098        55     1,342
Lingcod......................................  S of 40[deg]10' N. lat...........................             937        45       422        55       515
Longnose skate \a\...........................  Coastwide........................................           1,927        90     1,734        10       193
Longspine thornyhead.........................  N of 34[deg]27' N. lat...........................           2,969        95     2,820         5       148
Pacific cod..................................  Coastwide........................................           1,091        95     1,036         5        55
Pacific whiting..............................  Coastwide........................................         301,731       100   301,731         0         0
                                                                                                                 ---------------------------------------
Sablefish....................................  N of 36[deg] N. lat..............................               0               See Table 1C
                                                                                                                 ---------------------------------------
Sablefish....................................  S of 36[deg] N. lat..............................           1,875        42       788        58     1,088
Shortspine thornyhead........................  N of 34[deg]27' N. lat...........................           1,667        95     1,583         5        83
Shortspine thornyhead........................  S of 34[deg]27' N. lat...........................             871        NA        50        NA       821
Splitnose....................................  S of 40[deg]10' N. lat...........................           1,736        95     1,649         5        87
Starry flounder..............................  Coastwide........................................           1,529        50       764        50       764
Widow rockfish \f\...........................  Coastwide........................................           1,880        91     1,711         9       169
Yellowtail rockfish..........................  N of 40[deg]10' N. lat...........................           5,314        88     4,677        12       638
Minor Shelf Rockfish complex \a\.............  N of 40[deg]10' N. lat...........................           1,880      60.2     1,132      39.8       748
Minor Shelf Rockfish complex \a\.............  S of 40[deg]10' N. lat...........................           1,576      12.2       192      87.8     1,384
Minor Slope Rockfish complex.................  N of 40[deg]10' N. lat...........................           1,642        81     1,330        19       312
Minor Slope Rockfish complex.................  S of 40[deg]10' N. lat...........................             675        63       425        37       250
Other Flatfish complex.......................  Coastwide........................................           7,039        90     6,335        10       704
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
\a\ Allocations decided through the biennial specification process.
\b\ 14.0 mt of the total trawl allocation of canary rockfish is allocated to the at-sea whiting fisheries, as follows: 5.8 mt for the mothership
  fishery, and 8.2 mt for the catcher/processor fishery.
\c\ The cowcod fishery harvest guideline is further reduced to an ACT of 4.0 mt.
\d\ Consistent with regulations at Sec.   660.55(c), 9 percent (27.8 mt) of the total trawl allocation for darkblotched rockfish is allocated to the
  whiting fisheries, as follows: 11.7 mt for the shorebased IFQ fishery, 6.7 mt for the mothership fishery, and 9.4 mt for the catcher/processor
  fishery. The tonnage calculated here for the whiting portion of the shorebased IFQ fishery contributes to the total shorebased trawl allocation, which
  is found at 660.140(d)(1)(ii)(D).
\e\ Consistent with regulations at Sec.   660.55(c), 30 mt of the total trawl allocation for POP is allocated to the whiting fisheries, as follows: 12.6
  mt for the shorebased IFQ fishery, 7.2 mt for the mothership fishery, and 10.2 mt for the catcher/processor fishery. The amount available to the
  mothership fishery was raised from 7.2 mt to 10.2 mt, by transferring 3.0 mt of the 5.2 mt initially deducted from the ACL to accunt for scientific
  research mortality, consistent with Sec.   660.60(c)(3)(ii). The tonnage calculated here for the whiting portion of the shorebased IFQ fishery
  contributes to the total shorebased trawl allocation, which is found at 660.140(d)(1)(ii)(D).
\f\ Consistent with regulations at Sec.   660.55(c), 500 mt of the total trawl allocation for widow rockfish is allocated to the whiting fisheries, as
  follows: 210 mt for the shorebased IFQ fishery, 120 mt for the mothership fishery, and 170 mt for the catcher/processor fishery. The tonnage
  calculated here for the whiting portion of the shorebased IFQ fishery contributes to the total shorebased trawl allocation, which is found at
  660.140(d)(1)(ii)(D).


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3. Table 2 (North) to part 660, subpart E, is revised to read as 
follows:
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4. Tables 3 (North) and 3 (South) to part 660, subpart F, are revised 
to read as follows:

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[FR Doc. 2016-21091 Filed 8-31-16; 8:45 am]
 BILLING CODE 3510-22-C