Fisheries Off West Coast States; Amendment 27 to the Pacific Coast Groundfish Fishery Management Plan, 67287-67288 [2016-23684]

Download as PDF 67287 Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 190 / Friday, September 30, 2016 / Proposed Rules (4) Be divided into short sections and sentences; and (5) Use lists and tables wherever possible. If you feel that we have not met these requirements, send us comments by one of the methods listed in ADDRESSES. To better help us revise the rule, your comments should be as specific as possible. For example, you should tell us the numbers of the sections or paragraphs that are unclearly written, which sections or sentences are too long, the sections where you feel lists or tables would be useful, etc. National Environmental Policy Act (42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.) We have determined that environmental assessments and environmental impact statements, as defined under the authority of the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA; 42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.), need not be prepared in connection with listing Common name * CRUSTACEANS * PART 17—ENDANGERED AND THREATENED WILDLIFE AND PLANTS Authors The primary authors of this proposed rule are the staff members of the Chesapeake Bay Field Office and the Northeast Regional Office. List of Subjects in 50 CFR Part 17 Endangered and threatened species, Exports, Imports, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements, Transportation. * DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration 50 CFR Part 660 RIN 0648–BG17 Fisheries Off West Coast States; Amendment 27 to the Pacific Coast Groundfish Fishery Management Plan National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Commerce. ACTION: Notice of availability of proposed fishery management plan amendment; request for comments. AGENCY: Jkt 238001 2. In § 17.11(h), add an entry for ‘‘Amphipod, Kenk’s’’ to the List of Endangered and Threatened Wildlife in alphabetical order under CRUSTACEANS to read as set forth below: ■ * Fmt 4702 * * (h) * * * * Listing citations and applicable rules * * * * [Federal Register citation when published as a final rule] E * Sfmt 4702 * Status * * Wherever found ........................ * Frm 00071 Authority: 16 U.S.C. 1361–1407; 1531– 1544; 4201–4245; unless otherwise noted. § 17.11 Endangered and threatened wildlife. NMFS announces that the Pacific Fishery Management Council (Council) has submitted Amendment 27 to the Pacific Coast Groundfish Fishery Management Plan (PCGFMP) for Secretarial review. Amendment 27 would add deacon rockfish to the FMP, reclassifies big skate as an actively managed stock, add a new inseason management process for commercial and recreational in California, and several clarifications. DATES: Comments on Amendment 27 must be received on or before November 29, 2016. ADDRESSES: You may submit comments on this document, identified by NOAA– NMFS–2016–0094, by any of the following methods: • Federal e-Rulemaking Portal: Go to www.regulations.gov/ #!docketDetail;D=NOAA-NMFS-20160094, click the ‘‘Comment Now!’’ icon, complete the required fields, and enter or attach your comments. • Mail: Submit written comments to William Stelle, Regional Administrator, West Coast Region, NMFS, 7600 Sand PO 00000 1. The authority citation for part 17 continues to read as follows: ■ * SUMMARY: BILLING CODE 4333–15–P 18:55 Sep 29, 2016 * * Accordingly, we propose to amend part 17, subchapter B of chapter I, title 50 of the Code of Federal Regulations, as set forth below: Where listed * Stygobromus kenki ................... [FR Doc. 2016–23103 Filed 9–29–16; 8:45 am] asabaliauskas on DSK3SPTVN1PROD with PROPOSALS References Cited A complete list of references cited in this rulemaking is available on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov and upon request from the Chesapeake Bay Field Office (see FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT). * Dated: September 7, 2016. Stephen Guertin, Acting Director, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. VerDate Sep<11>2014 Proposed Regulation Promulgation Scientific name * * Amphipod, Kenk’s ..................... * a species as an endangered or threatened species under the Endangered Species Act. We published a notice outlining our reasons for this determination in the Federal Register on October 25, 1983 (48 FR 49244). * * Point Way NE., Seattle, WA 98115– 0070. Instructions: NMFS may not consider comments if they are sent by any other method, to any other address or individual, or received after the comment period ends. All comments received are a part of the public record and NMFS will post 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 is publicly accessible. NMFS will accept anonymous comments (enter ‘‘N/A’’ in the required fields if you wish to remain anonymous). Information relevant to Amendment 27, which includes a draft environmental assessment (EA), a regulatory impact review (RIR), and an initial regulatory flexibility analysis (IRFA) are available for public review during business hours at the NMFS West Coast Regional Office at 7600 Sand Point Way NE., Seattle, WA 98115. E:\FR\FM\30SEP1.SGM 30SEP1 67288 Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 190 / Friday, September 30, 2016 / Proposed Rules FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Gretchen Hanshew, phone: 206–526– 6147, fax: 206–526–6736, or email: Gretchen.hanshew@noaa.gov. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Electronic Access This notice is accessible via the Internet at the Office of the Federal Register Web site at http:// www.access.gpo.gov/su_docs/aces/ aces140.html. Background information and documents are available at the NMFS West Coast Region Web site at http:// www.westcoast.fisheries.noaa.gov/ fisheries/groundfish/index.html and at the Council’s Web site at http:// www.pcouncil.org. asabaliauskas on DSK3SPTVN1PROD with PROPOSALS Background The Magnuson-Stevens Act requires that each regional fishery management council submit any FMP or plan amendment it prepares to NMFS for review and approval, disapproval, or partial approval. The Magnuson-Stevens Act also requires that NMFS, upon receiving an FMP or amendment, immediately publish a notice that the FMP or amendment is available for public review and comment. NMFS will consider the public comments received during the comment period described above in determining whether to approve Amendment 27 to the PCGFMP. Amendment 27 consists of 5 components: (1) Reclassify big skate from an Ecosystem Component Species to ‘‘in the fishery’’, (2) add deacon rockfish to the list of species in the FMP, (3) establish a new inseason management process in California for black, canary, and yelloweye rockfish, (4) make updates to clarify several stock assessment descriptions, and (5) update several sections because canary rockfish and petrale sole are rebuilt. 1. Reclassify Big Skate as ‘‘in the fishery’’ Amendment 24 to PCGFMP classified several species, including big skate, as Ecosystem Component (EC) Species. However, when big skate was classified as an EC species it was not known that a majority of the skate species that were landed and described as ‘‘unspecified skate’’ in the Shorebased IFQ Program landings was actually big skate. In order for a stock to be classified as an EC species (according to National Standard Guideline 1), (a) it may not be determined to be subject to overfishing, approaching overfished, or overfished; (b) it must not be likely to become VerDate Sep<11>2014 18:55 Sep 29, 2016 Jkt 238001 subject to overfishing or overfished, according to the best available information, in the absence of conservation and management measures; and (c) it may not generally be retained for sale or personal use. As big skate are being targeted and therefore generally retained for sale, it can no longer be considered an EC species. Therefore, Amendment 27 reclassifies big skate as in the fishery and this rule proposes species specific harvest specifications. 2. New California Inseason Process The objective of any inseason management system is to be responsive to the needs of fishing participants while keeping catch with the established harvest specifications. The scope and magnitude of options available to address management issues is highly dependent on the amount of time between when an issue is identified and when corrective action(s) can be implemented. The summer months tend to be the busiest times for both the commercial and recreational fisheries in California and mortality tends to accumulate more quickly during these times The Council meets in June and September of each year. If an action is not warranted based on information available at the June meeting, there is a lag of up to four months before additional inseason actions can be implemented. Because fisheries are ongoing during this time, overages identified at the September meeting tend to be of a higher magnitude requiring more severe corrective actions (e.g., closing a fishery). Therefore, a new inseason process for only black rockfish, canary rockfish, and yelloweye rockfish, and only in California was developed. This system would allow NMFS to take inseason action outside of a Council meeting when a Federal harvest specification for one of these species was projected to be attained or had been attained prior to the start of a Council meeting. Allowing NMFS to take inseason action outside a Council meeting can reduce the severity of management actions and reduce negative economic impacts to the fleets and to the coastal communities which depend on the revenues generated from these fisheries. Similar inseason management processes were not explored for Washington or Oregon because they have rapid inseason management processes sufficient for their inseason management needs. PO 00000 Frm 00072 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 9990 3. Updates to the PCGFMP Minor edits are included in Amendment 27 which clarify several stock assessment procedures and categories resulting from Amendment 23 that were inadvertently omitted. Amendment 23 modified the PCGFMP consistent with the revised National Standard Guidelines in 2011. 4. Updates Based on New Science for Deacon Rockfish, Canary Rockfish, and Petrale Sole Deacon rockfish (Sebastes diaconus) was recently described and adopted as a new Sebastes species by the American Fisheries Society based on evidence of the presence of two genetically distinct cryptic species in central California. Deacon rockfish is therefore acknowledged as an FMP species that is ‘‘in the fishery’’ based on the FMP provision, ‘‘The category ‘‘rockfish’’ includes all genera and species of the family Scorpaenidae, even if not listed, that occur in the Washington, Oregon, and California area. The Scorpaenidae genera are Sebastes, Scorpaena, Sebastolobus, and Scorpaenodes. Finally, canary rockfish and petrale sole were declared rebuilt on August 4, 2015; therefore all references to them as overfished stocks must be updated. Public Comments NMFS welcomes comments on the proposed FMP amendment through the end of the comment period. A proposed rule to implement Amendment 27 has been submitted for Secretarial review and approval. NMFS expects to publish and request public review and comment on proposed regulations to implement Amendment 27, along with the groundfish specifications and management measures for 2017 and 2018, in the near future. Public comments on the proposed rule must be received by the end of the comment period on the amendment to be considered in the approval/disapproval decision on the amendment. All comments received by the end of the comment period for the amendment, whether specifically directed to the amendment or the proposed rule, will be considered in the approval/ disapproval decision. Authority: 16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq. Dated: September 27, 2016. Emily H. Menashes, Acting Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine Fisheries Service. [FR Doc. 2016–23684 Filed 9–29–16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510–22–P E:\FR\FM\30SEP1.SGM 30SEP1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 81, Number 190 (Friday, September 30, 2016)]
[Proposed Rules]
[Pages 67287-67288]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2016-23684]


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DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

50 CFR Part 660

RIN 0648-BG17


Fisheries Off West Coast States; Amendment 27 to the Pacific 
Coast Groundfish Fishery Management Plan

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

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

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SUMMARY: NMFS announces that the Pacific Fishery Management Council 
(Council) has submitted Amendment 27 to the Pacific Coast Groundfish 
Fishery Management Plan (PCGFMP) for Secretarial review. Amendment 27 
would add deacon rockfish to the FMP, reclassifies big skate as an 
actively managed stock, add a new inseason management process for 
commercial and recreational in California, and several clarifications.

DATES: Comments on Amendment 27 must be received on or before November 
29, 2016.

ADDRESSES: You may submit comments on this document, identified by 
NOAA-NMFS-2016-0094, by any of the following methods:
     Federal e-Rulemaking Portal: Go to www.regulations.gov/#!docketDetail;D=NOAA-NMFS-2016-0094, click the ``Comment Now!'' icon, 
complete the required fields, and enter or attach your comments.
     Mail: Submit written comments to William Stelle, Regional 
Administrator, West Coast Region, NMFS, 7600 Sand Point Way NE., 
Seattle, WA 98115-0070.
    Instructions: NMFS may not consider comments if they are sent by 
any other method, to any other address or individual, or received after 
the comment period ends. All comments received are a part of the public 
record and NMFS will post 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 is publicly 
accessible. NMFS will accept anonymous comments (enter ``N/A'' in the 
required fields if you wish to remain anonymous).
    Information relevant to Amendment 27, which includes a draft 
environmental assessment (EA), a regulatory impact review (RIR), and an 
initial regulatory flexibility analysis (IRFA) are available for public 
review during business hours at the NMFS West Coast Regional Office at 
7600 Sand Point Way NE., Seattle, WA 98115.

[[Page 67288]]


FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Gretchen Hanshew, phone: 206-526-6147, 
fax: 206-526-6736, or email: Gretchen.hanshew@noaa.gov.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: 

Electronic Access

    This notice is accessible via the Internet at the Office of the 
Federal Register Web site at http://www.access.gpo.gov/su_docs/aces/aces140.html. Background information and documents are available at the 
NMFS West Coast Region Web site at http://www.westcoast.fisheries.noaa.gov/fisheries/groundfish/index.html and at 
the Council's Web site at http://www.pcouncil.org.

Background

    The Magnuson-Stevens Act requires that each regional fishery 
management council submit any FMP or plan amendment it prepares to NMFS 
for review and approval, disapproval, or partial approval. The 
Magnuson-Stevens Act also requires that NMFS, upon receiving an FMP or 
amendment, immediately publish a notice that the FMP or amendment is 
available for public review and comment. NMFS will consider the public 
comments received during the comment period described above in 
determining whether to approve Amendment 27 to the PCGFMP.
    Amendment 27 consists of 5 components: (1) Reclassify big skate 
from an Ecosystem Component Species to ``in the fishery'', (2) add 
deacon rockfish to the list of species in the FMP, (3) establish a new 
inseason management process in California for black, canary, and 
yelloweye rockfish, (4) make updates to clarify several stock 
assessment descriptions, and (5) update several sections because canary 
rockfish and petrale sole are rebuilt.

1. Reclassify Big Skate as ``in the fishery''

    Amendment 24 to PCGFMP classified several species, including big 
skate, as Ecosystem Component (EC) Species. However, when big skate was 
classified as an EC species it was not known that a majority of the 
skate species that were landed and described as ``unspecified skate'' 
in the Shorebased IFQ Program landings was actually big skate. In order 
for a stock to be classified as an EC species (according to National 
Standard Guideline 1), (a) it may not be determined to be subject to 
overfishing, approaching overfished, or overfished; (b) it must not be 
likely to become subject to overfishing or overfished, according to the 
best available information, in the absence of conservation and 
management measures; and (c) it may not generally be retained for sale 
or personal use. As big skate are being targeted and therefore 
generally retained for sale, it can no longer be considered an EC 
species. Therefore, Amendment 27 reclassifies big skate as in the 
fishery and this rule proposes species specific harvest specifications.

2. New California Inseason Process

    The objective of any inseason management system is to be responsive 
to the needs of fishing participants while keeping catch with the 
established harvest specifications. The scope and magnitude of options 
available to address management issues is highly dependent on the 
amount of time between when an issue is identified and when corrective 
action(s) can be implemented. The summer months tend to be the busiest 
times for both the commercial and recreational fisheries in California 
and mortality tends to accumulate more quickly during these times The 
Council meets in June and September of each year. If an action is not 
warranted based on information available at the June meeting, there is 
a lag of up to four months before additional inseason actions can be 
implemented. Because fisheries are ongoing during this time, overages 
identified at the September meeting tend to be of a higher magnitude 
requiring more severe corrective actions (e.g., closing a fishery). 
Therefore, a new inseason process for only black rockfish, canary 
rockfish, and yelloweye rockfish, and only in California was developed. 
This system would allow NMFS to take inseason action outside of a 
Council meeting when a Federal harvest specification for one of these 
species was projected to be attained or had been attained prior to the 
start of a Council meeting. Allowing NMFS to take inseason action 
outside a Council meeting can reduce the severity of management actions 
and reduce negative economic impacts to the fleets and to the coastal 
communities which depend on the revenues generated from these 
fisheries. Similar inseason management processes were not explored for 
Washington or Oregon because they have rapid inseason management 
processes sufficient for their inseason management needs.

3. Updates to the PCGFMP

    Minor edits are included in Amendment 27 which clarify several 
stock assessment procedures and categories resulting from Amendment 23 
that were inadvertently omitted. Amendment 23 modified the PCGFMP 
consistent with the revised National Standard Guidelines in 2011.

4. Updates Based on New Science for Deacon Rockfish, Canary Rockfish, 
and Petrale Sole

    Deacon rockfish (Sebastes diaconus) was recently described and 
adopted as a new Sebastes species by the American Fisheries Society 
based on evidence of the presence of two genetically distinct cryptic 
species in central California. Deacon rockfish is therefore 
acknowledged as an FMP species that is ``in the fishery'' based on the 
FMP provision, ``The category ``rockfish'' includes all genera and 
species of the family Scorpaenidae, even if not listed, that occur in 
the Washington, Oregon, and California area. The Scorpaenidae genera 
are Sebastes, Scorpaena, Sebastolobus, and Scorpaenodes.
    Finally, canary rockfish and petrale sole were declared rebuilt on 
August 4, 2015; therefore all references to them as overfished stocks 
must be updated.

Public Comments

    NMFS welcomes comments on the proposed FMP amendment through the 
end of the comment period. A proposed rule to implement Amendment 27 
has been submitted for Secretarial review and approval. NMFS expects to 
publish and request public review and comment on proposed regulations 
to implement Amendment 27, along with the groundfish specifications and 
management measures for 2017 and 2018, in the near future. Public 
comments on the proposed rule must be received by the end of the 
comment period on the amendment to be considered in the approval/
disapproval decision on the amendment. All comments received by the end 
of the comment period for the amendment, whether specifically directed 
to the amendment or the proposed rule, will be considered in the 
approval/disapproval decision.

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

    Dated: September 27, 2016.
Emily H. Menashes,
Acting Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine 
Fisheries Service.
[FR Doc. 2016-23684 Filed 9-29-16; 8:45 am]
 BILLING CODE 3510-22-P