Mariana Archipelago Fisheries; Remove the CNMI Medium and Large Vessel Bottomfish Prohibited Areas, 61625-61627 [2016-21422]

Download as PDF Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 173 / Wednesday, September 7, 2016 / Rules and Regulations J. Executive Order 12898: Federal Actions To Address Environmental Justice in Minority Populations and Low Income Populations Executive Order 12898 (59 FR 7629) establishes federal executive policy on environmental justice. Its main provision directs federal agencies, to the greatest extent practicable and permitted by law, to make environmental justice part of their mission by identifying and addressing, as appropriate, disproportionately high and adverse human health or environmental effects of their programs, policies, and activities on minority populations and low-income populations in the United States. The EPA determined that this rule will not have disproportionately high and adverse human health or environmental effects on minority or low-income populations because it does not affect the level of protection provided to human health or the environment. The EPA has assessed the overall protectiveness of modifying the Charleston ODMDS against the criteria established pursuant to the MPRSA to ensure that any adverse impact to the environment will be mitigated to the greatest extent practicable. We welcome comments on this action related to this Executive Order. List of Subjects in 40 CFR Part 228 Environmental protection, Water pollution control. Dated: August 24, 2016. V. Anne Heard, Acting Regional Administrator, Region 4. For the reasons set out in the preamble, the EPA amends chapter I, title 40 of the Code of Federal Regulations as follows: 1. The authority citation for part 228 continues to read as follows: ■ Authority: 33 U.S.C. 1412 and 1418. 2. Section 228.15 is amended by revising paragraphs (h)(5)(i) through (iii) and (vi) to read as follows: ehiers on DSK5VPTVN1PROD with RULES ■ § 228.15 Dumping sites designated on a final basis. * * * * (h) * * * (5) * * * (i) Location: 32°36.280′ N., 79°43.662′ W.; 32°37.646′ N., 79°46.576′ W.; 14:50 Sep 06, 2016 Jkt 238001 BILLING CODE 6560–50–P DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration 50 CFR Part 665 [Docket No. 150908833–6738–02] Mariana Archipelago Fisheries; Remove the CNMI Medium and Large Vessel Bottomfish Prohibited Areas National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Commerce. ACTION: Final rule. AGENCY: This final rule removes the medium and large vessel bottomfish prohibited fishing areas in the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI). Conditions in the fishery that led to establishing the prohibited areas are no longer present, and the restriction is no longer necessary. This rule also makes administrative housekeeping changes to the description of the CNMI management subarea and to the regulations for the CNMI management subarea crustacean fishing. The intent of this final rule is to improve the viability of the CNMI bottomfish fishery and promote optimum yield while preventing overfishing. DATES: Effective October 7, 2016. ADDRESSES: The Western Pacific Fishery Management Council (Council) and SUMMARY: PART 228—CRITERIA FOR THE MANAGEMENT OF DISPOSAL SITES FOR OCEAN DUMPING VerDate Sep<11>2014 [FR Doc. 2016–21454 Filed 9–6–16; 8:45 am] RIN 0648–BF37 Authority: This action is issued under the authority of Section 102 of the Marine Protection, Research, and Sanctuaries Act, as amended, 33 U.S.C. 1401, 1411, 1412. * 32°39.943′ N., 79°45.068′ W.; 32°38.579′ N., 79°42.152′ W. (ii) Size: Approximately 7.4 square nautical miles in size. (iii) Depth: Ranges from approximately 30 to 45 feet (9 to 13.5 meters). * * * * * (vi) Restrictions: (A) Disposal shall be limited to dredged material from the Charleston, South Carolina, area; (B) Disposal shall be limited to dredged material determined to be suitable for ocean disposal according to 40 CFR 227.13; (C) Disposal shall be managed by the restrictions and requirements contained in the currently-approved Site Management and Monitoring Plan (SMMP); (D) Monitoring, as specified in the SMMP, is required. * * * * * PO 00000 Frm 00043 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 61625 NMFS prepared Amendment 4 to the Fishery Ecosystem Plan for the Marianas Archipelago that provides background information on this final rule. Amendment 4, including a final environmental assessment and regulatory impact review, is identified as NOAA–NMFS–2015–0115 and is available from www.regulations.gov or the Council, 1164 Bishop St., Suite 1400, Honolulu, HI 96813, tel 808–522– 8220, fax 808–522–8226, www.wpcouncil.org. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Sarah Ellgen, NMFS PIRO Sustainable Fisheries, 808–725–5173. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Federal regulations currently prohibit medium and large vessels (40 ft and greater) from commercial fishing for bottomfish management unit species in certain Federal waters around the CNMI. The prohibited areas include waters within approximately 50 nm of the Southern Islands (i.e., Rota, Aguigan (alt. Aguijan), Tinian, Saipan, and Farallon de Medinilla) and within 10 nm of Alamagan Island. In 2008, the Council recommended, and NMFS implemented, the prohibited areas to prevent large bottomfish vessels based in Guam from traveling to CNMI fishing grounds. At the time, the Council was concerned that the Guam vessels could negatively affect fish stocks and local fisheries through stock depletion, catch competition, and gear conflicts. You may read more about the establishment of the prohibited areas in the 2008 proposed rule (73 FR 51992; September 8, 2008) and final rule (73 FR 75615; December 12, 2008). The CNMI bottomfish fishery has changed since 2008, and the conditions that led the Council and NMFS to establish the prohibited areas are no longer present. Large vessels from Guam have not shown interest in fishing for CNMI bottomfish. The prohibited areas may also be negatively affecting the CNMI bottomfish fishery. Only a few small vessels have been operating on a regular basis, and the few medium and large vessels have faced declining participation, possibly resulting from higher fuel costs that prevent them from traveling beyond the prohibited areas. The prohibited areas may be contributing to the potential underutilization of the bottomfish resource in CNMI, and removing them may promote optimum yield. To address fishery conditions resulting from the CNMI prohibited areas, the Council recommended that NMFS remove them. The Council and NMFS will continue to manage the fishery under a suite of management E:\FR\FM\07SER1.SGM 07SER1 61626 Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 173 / Wednesday, September 7, 2016 / Rules and Regulations requirements that include the specification of annual catch limits and accountability measures, post-season review of catches and effort, Federal permits, requirements for vessel markings, catch and sales reporting, and the vessel monitoring system. The fishing requirements for the Marianas Trench Marine National Monument also remain unchanged. The Council and NMFS intend this final rule to improve the efficiency and economic viability of the CNMI bottomfish fishery. The Council and NMFS will annually review the effects of the action. Any future changes would be subject to additional environmental review and opportunity for public review and comment. In addition to removing the prohibited areas, this final rule includes administrative housekeeping corrections to the description of the CNMI management subarea and to the CNMI permit area designation for crustacean fishing. First, prior to 2013, the CNMI management subarea was divided into an inshore area (the Exclusive Economic Zone, EEZ, within 3 nm of the shoreline) and an offshore area (the EEZ seaward of 3 nm from the shoreline). In 2013, under Public Law 113–34 (which amended Public Law 94–435) the United States transferred nearshore waters (0–3 nm) to the CNMI, so this distinction is no longer necessary. Second, the current regulations at § 665.442(a)(1) incorrectly refer to Permit Area 3, which is associated with American Samoa. The correct reference for the CNMI is Crustacean Permit Area 5, and this rule corrects that reference. Comments and Responses On June 13, 2016, NMFS published a proposed rule and request for public comments (81 FR 38123). The comment period ended on July 28, 2016. NMFS did not receive any comments. ehiers on DSK5VPTVN1PROD with RULES Changes From the Proposed Rule There are no changes from the proposed rule. Classification The Regional Administrator, Pacific Islands Region, NMFS, determined that Amendment 4 is necessary for the conservation and management of the bottomfish fisheries of the Marianas Archipelago, and that it is consistent with the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act and other applicable laws. The Chief Counsel for Regulation of the Department of Commerce certified to the Chief Counsel for Advocacy of the Small Business Administration during the proposed rule stage that this action VerDate Sep<11>2014 14:50 Sep 06, 2016 Jkt 238001 would not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. NMFS published the factual basis for the certification in the proposed rule (81 FR 38123, June 13, 2016), and does not repeat it here. NMFS received no comments on this certification. However, NMFS has updated its analysis under a new small business size standard of $11 million in annual gross receipts for all businesses primarily engaged in the commercial fishing industry (NAICS 11411). This new size standard was established after the proposed rule was published. On December 29, 2015, NMFS issued a final rule establishing the $11 million standard. This standard is for Regulatory Flexibility Act (RFA) compliance purposes only (80 FR 81194) and became effective on July 1, 2016, to be used in place of the U.S. Small Business Administration (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 that are subject to the RFA after July 1, 2016. Pursuant to the Regulatory Flexibility Act, and prior to July 1, 2016, a certification was developed for this regulatory action using the former SBA size standards. NMFS has reviewed the analyses prepared for this regulatory action in light of the new size standard. All of the entities directly regulated by this regulatory action are finfish commercial fishing businesses and were considered small under the SBA size standards, and they all would continue to be considered small under the new standard. Thus, NMFS has determined that the new size standard does not affect analyses prepared for this regulatory action and the factual basis for the certification submitted during the proposed rule stage stands. As a result, a regulatory flexibility analysis is not required, and none was prepared This final rule has been determined to be not significant for purposes of Executive Order 12866. List of Subjects in 50 CFR Part 665 Administrative practice and procedure, Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, Mariana Archipelago fisheries, Fisheries, Fishing, Guam, Permits, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements. PO 00000 Frm 00044 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 Dated: August 31, 2016. Samuel D. Rauch III, Deputy Assistant Administrator for Regulatory Programs, National Marine Fisheries Service. For the reasons set out in the preamble, NMFS amends 50 CFR part 665 as follows: PART 665—FISHERIES IN THE WESTERN PACIFIC 1. The authority citation for 50 CFR part 665 continues to read as follows: ■ Authority: 16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq. 2. In § 665.402, revise paragraphs (b) and (c) to read as follows: ■ § 665.402 Management subareas. * * * * * (b) CNMI Management Subarea means the EEZ seaward of the CNMI, with the inner boundary defined as a line coterminous with the seaward boundary of the CNMI. (c) The outer boundary of each fishery management area is a line drawn in such a manner that each point on it is 200 nautical miles from the baseline from which the territorial sea is measured, or is coterminous with adjacent international maritime boundaries. The boundary between the fishery management areas of Guam and the CNMI extends to those points that are equidistant between Guam and the island of Rota in the CNMI. CNMI and Guam management subareas are divided by a line intersecting these two points: 148° E. long., 12° N. lat., and 142° E. long., 16° N. lat. § 665.403 [Amended] 3. In § 665.403, remove and reserve paragraph (b). ■ 4. In § 665.405, revise paragraphs (e) and (f) and remove paragraphs (g) and (h). The revisions read as follows: ■ § 665.405 Prohibitions. * * * * * (e) Use a vessel to fish commercially for Mariana bottomfish MUS in the CNMI management subarea without a valid CNMI commercial bottomfish permit registered for use with that vessel, in violation of § 665.404(a)(2). (f) Falsify or fail to make, keep, maintain, or submit a Federal logbook as required under § 665.14(b) when using a vessel to engage in commercial fishing for Mariana bottomfish MUS in the CNMI management subarea in violation of § 665.14(b). ■ 6. In § 665.442, revise paragraph (a)(1) to read as follows: E:\FR\FM\07SER1.SGM 07SER1 Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 173 / Wednesday, September 7, 2016 / Rules and Regulations § 665.442 Permits. (1) The owner of any vessel used to fish for lobster in Crustacean Permit (a) * * * 61627 Area 5 must have a permit issued for such a vessel. * * * * * [FR Doc. 2016–21422 Filed 9–6–16; 8:45 am] ehiers on DSK5VPTVN1PROD with RULES BILLING CODE 3510–22–P VerDate Sep<11>2014 14:50 Sep 06, 2016 Jkt 238001 PO 00000 Frm 00045 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 9990 E:\FR\FM\07SER1.SGM 07SER1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 81, Number 173 (Wednesday, September 7, 2016)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 61625-61627]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2016-21422]


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DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

50 CFR Part 665

[Docket No. 150908833-6738-02]
RIN 0648-BF37


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

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

ACTION: Final rule.

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

SUMMARY: This final rule removes the medium and large vessel bottomfish 
prohibited fishing areas in the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana 
Islands (CNMI). Conditions in the fishery that led to establishing the 
prohibited areas are no longer present, and the restriction is no 
longer necessary. This rule also makes administrative housekeeping 
changes to the description of the CNMI management subarea and to the 
regulations for the CNMI management subarea crustacean fishing. The 
intent of this final rule is to improve the viability of the CNMI 
bottomfish fishery and promote optimum yield while preventing 
overfishing.

DATES: Effective October 7, 2016.

ADDRESSES: The Western Pacific Fishery Management Council (Council) and 
NMFS prepared Amendment 4 to the Fishery Ecosystem Plan for the 
Marianas Archipelago that provides background information on this final 
rule. Amendment 4, including a final environmental assessment and 
regulatory impact review, is identified as NOAA-NMFS-2015-0115 and is 
available from www.regulations.gov or the Council, 1164 Bishop St., 
Suite 1400, Honolulu, HI 96813, tel 808-522-8220, fax 808-522-8226, 
www.wpcouncil.org.

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

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Federal regulations currently prohibit 
medium and large vessels (40 ft and greater) from commercial fishing 
for bottomfish management unit species in certain Federal waters around 
the CNMI. The prohibited areas include waters within approximately 50 
nm of the Southern Islands (i.e., Rota, Aguigan (alt. Aguijan), Tinian, 
Saipan, and Farallon de Medinilla) and within 10 nm of Alamagan Island. 
In 2008, the Council recommended, and NMFS implemented, the prohibited 
areas to prevent large bottomfish vessels based in Guam from traveling 
to CNMI fishing grounds. At the time, the Council was concerned that 
the Guam vessels could negatively affect fish stocks and local 
fisheries through stock depletion, catch competition, and gear 
conflicts. You may read more about the establishment of the prohibited 
areas in the 2008 proposed rule (73 FR 51992; September 8, 2008) and 
final rule (73 FR 75615; December 12, 2008).
    The CNMI bottomfish fishery has changed since 2008, and the 
conditions that led the Council and NMFS to establish the prohibited 
areas are no longer present. Large vessels from Guam have not shown 
interest in fishing for CNMI bottomfish. The prohibited areas may also 
be negatively affecting the CNMI bottomfish fishery. Only a few small 
vessels have been operating on a regular basis, and the few medium and 
large vessels have faced declining participation, possibly resulting 
from higher fuel costs that prevent them from traveling beyond the 
prohibited areas. The prohibited areas may be contributing to the 
potential under-utilization of the bottomfish resource in CNMI, and 
removing them may promote optimum yield.
    To address fishery conditions resulting from the CNMI prohibited 
areas, the Council recommended that NMFS remove them. The Council and 
NMFS will continue to manage the fishery under a suite of management

[[Page 61626]]

requirements that include the specification of annual catch limits and 
accountability measures, post-season review of catches and effort, 
Federal permits, requirements for vessel markings, catch and sales 
reporting, and the vessel monitoring system. The fishing requirements 
for the Marianas Trench Marine National Monument also remain unchanged.
    The Council and NMFS intend this final rule to improve the 
efficiency and economic viability of the CNMI bottomfish fishery. The 
Council and NMFS will annually review the effects of the action. Any 
future changes would be subject to additional environmental review and 
opportunity for public review and comment.
    In addition to removing the prohibited areas, this final rule 
includes administrative housekeeping corrections to the description of 
the CNMI management subarea and to the CNMI permit area designation for 
crustacean fishing. First, prior to 2013, the CNMI management subarea 
was divided into an inshore area (the Exclusive Economic Zone, EEZ, 
within 3 nm of the shoreline) and an offshore area (the EEZ seaward of 
3 nm from the shoreline). In 2013, under Public Law 113-34 (which 
amended Public Law 94-435) the United States transferred nearshore 
waters (0-3 nm) to the CNMI, so this distinction is no longer 
necessary. Second, the current regulations at Sec.  665.442(a)(1) 
incorrectly refer to Permit Area 3, which is associated with American 
Samoa. The correct reference for the CNMI is Crustacean Permit Area 5, 
and this rule corrects that reference.

Comments and Responses

    On June 13, 2016, NMFS published a proposed rule and request for 
public comments (81 FR 38123). The comment period ended on July 28, 
2016. NMFS did not receive any comments.

Changes From the Proposed Rule

    There are no changes from the proposed rule.

Classification

    The Regional Administrator, Pacific Islands Region, NMFS, 
determined that Amendment 4 is necessary for the conservation and 
management of the bottomfish fisheries of the Marianas Archipelago, and 
that it is consistent with the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation 
and Management Act and other applicable laws.
    The Chief Counsel for Regulation of the Department of Commerce 
certified to the Chief Counsel for Advocacy of the Small Business 
Administration during the proposed rule stage that this action would 
not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small 
entities. NMFS published the factual basis for the certification in the 
proposed rule (81 FR 38123, June 13, 2016), and does not repeat it 
here. NMFS received no comments on this certification. However, NMFS 
has updated its analysis under a new small business size standard of 
$11 million in annual gross receipts for all businesses primarily 
engaged in the commercial fishing industry (NAICS 11411). This new size 
standard was established after the proposed rule was published.
    On December 29, 2015, NMFS issued a final rule establishing the $11 
million standard. This standard is for Regulatory Flexibility Act (RFA) 
compliance purposes only (80 FR 81194) and became effective on July 1, 
2016, to be used in place of the U.S. Small Business Administration 
(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 that are subject to the RFA after 
July 1, 2016.
    Pursuant to the Regulatory Flexibility Act, and prior to July 1, 
2016, a certification was developed for this regulatory action using 
the former SBA size standards. NMFS has reviewed the analyses prepared 
for this regulatory action in light of the new size standard. All of 
the entities directly regulated by this regulatory action are finfish 
commercial fishing businesses and were considered small under the SBA 
size standards, and they all would continue to be considered small 
under the new standard. Thus, NMFS has determined that the new size 
standard does not affect analyses prepared for this regulatory action 
and the factual basis for the certification submitted during the 
proposed rule stage stands. As a result, a regulatory flexibility 
analysis is not required, and none was prepared
    This final rule has been determined to be not significant for 
purposes of Executive Order 12866.

List of Subjects in 50 CFR Part 665

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

    Dated: August 31, 2016.
Samuel D. Rauch III,
Deputy Assistant Administrator for Regulatory Programs, National Marine 
Fisheries Service.

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

PART 665--FISHERIES IN THE WESTERN PACIFIC

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

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


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


Sec.  665.402  Management subareas.

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


Sec.  665.403  [Amended]

0
3. In Sec.  665.403, remove and reserve paragraph (b).

0
4. In Sec.  665.405, revise paragraphs (e) and (f) and remove 
paragraphs (g) and (h).
    The revisions read as follows:


Sec.  665.405  Prohibitions.

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

0
6. In Sec.  665.442, revise paragraph (a)(1) to read as follows:

[[Page 61627]]

Sec.  665.442  Permits.

    (a) * * *
    (1) The owner of any vessel used to fish for lobster in Crustacean 
Permit Area 5 must have a permit issued for such a vessel.
* * * * *
[FR Doc. 2016-21422 Filed 9-6-16; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 3510-22-P