Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Big Skate in the Central Regulatory Area of the Gulf of Alaska, 67215-67216 [2016-23830]

Download as PDF Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 190 / Friday, September 30, 2016 / Rules and Regulations DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration 50 CFR Part 622 [Docket No. 100812345–2142–03] RIN 0648–XE896 Fisheries of the Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico, and South Atlantic; 2016 Commercial Accountability Measures and Closure for South Atlantic Greater Amberjack National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Commerce. ACTION: Temporary rule; closure. AGENCY: NMFS implements accountability measures (AMs) for commercial greater amberjack in the exclusive economic zone (EEZ) of the South Atlantic. NMFS projects commercial landings of greater amberjack will reach the commercial annual catch limit (ACL) by October 4, 2016. Therefore, NMFS closes the commercial sector for greater amberjack in the South Atlantic EEZ on October 4, 2016, and it will remain closed until the start of the next fishing year on March 1, 2017. This closure is necessary to protect the greater amberjack resource. DATES: This rule is effective at 12:01 a.m., local time, October 4, 2016, until 12:01 a.m., local time, March 1, 2017. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Mary Vara, NMFS Southeast Regional Office, telephone: 727–824–5305, email: mary.vara@noaa.gov. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The snapper-grouper fishery of the South Atlantic includes greater amberjack and is managed under the Fishery Management Plan for the SnapperGrouper Fishery of the South Atlantic Region (FMP). The FMP was prepared by the South Atlantic Fishery Management Council and is implemented by NMFS under the authority of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (Magnuson-Stevens Act) by regulations at 50 CFR part 622. The commercial ACL for greater amberjack is equivalent to the commercial quota. The commercial quota for greater amberjack in the South Atlantic is 769,388 lb (348,989 kg), gutted weight, as specified in 50 CFR 622.190(a)(3). Under 50 CFR 622.193(k)(1), NMFS is required to close the commercial sector for greater amberjack when the commercial ACL (commercial quota) is asabaliauskas on DSK3SPTVN1PROD with RULES SUMMARY: VerDate Sep<11>2014 18:28 Sep 29, 2016 Jkt 238001 reached, or is projected to be reached, by filing a notification to that effect with the Office of the Federal Register. NMFS projects that commercial landings of South Atlantic greater amberjack will reach the commercial ACL by October 4, 2016. Accordingly, the commercial sector for South Atlantic greater amberjack is closed effective at 12:01 a.m., local time, October 4, 2016, until 12:01 a.m., local time, March 1, 2017. The operator of a vessel with a valid Federal commercial vessel permit for South Atlantic snapper-grouper with greater amberjack on board must have landed and bartered, traded, or sold such greater amberjack prior to 12:01 a.m., local time, October 4, 2016. During the commercial closure, harvest and possession of greater amberjack in or from the South Atlantic EEZ is limited to the bag and possession limits, as specified in § 622.187(b)(1) and (c)(1). Also during the commercial closure, the sale or purchase of greater amberjack taken from the South Atlantic EEZ is prohibited. The prohibition on sale or purchase does not apply to the sale or purchase of greater amberjack that were harvested, landed ashore, and sold prior to 12:01 a.m., local time, October 4, 2016, and were held in cold storage by a dealer or processor, as specified in § 622.190(c)(1)(i). For a person on board a vessel issued a valid Federal commercial or charter vessel/headboat permit for the South Atlantic snapper-grouper fishery, the bag and possession limits and the sale and purchase provisions of the commercial closure for greater amberjack apply regardless of whether the fish are harvested in state or Federal waters, as specified in 50 CFR 622.190(c)(1)(ii). Classification The Regional Administrator, Southeast Region, NMFS, has determined this temporary rule is necessary for the conservation and management of greater amberjack and the South Atlantic snapper-grouper fishery and is consistent with the Magnuson-Stevens Act and other applicable laws. This action is taken under 50 CFR 622.193(k)(1) and is exempt from review under Executive Order 12866. These measures are exempt from the procedures of the Regulatory Flexibility Act, because the temporary rule is issued without opportunity for prior notice and comment. This action responds to the best scientific information available. The Assistant Administrator for NOAA Fisheries (AA) finds that the need to immediately implement this action to PO 00000 Frm 00125 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 67215 close the commercial sector for greater amberjack constitutes good cause to waive the requirements to provide prior notice and opportunity for public comment pursuant to the authority set forth in 5 U.S.C. 553(b)(B), as such procedures would be unnecessary and contrary to the public interest. Such procedures are unnecessary because the AMs have already been subject to notice and comment, and all that remains is to notify the public of the closure. Such procedures are contrary to the public interest because of the need to immediately implement this action to protect greater amberjack since the capacity of the fishing fleet allows for rapid harvest of the commercial ACL (commercial quota). Prior notice and opportunity for public comment would require time and would potentially result in a harvest well in excess of the established commercial ACL (commercial quota). For the aforementioned reasons, the AA also finds good cause to waive the 30-day delay in the effectiveness of this action under 5 U.S.C. 553(d)(3). Authority: 16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq. Dated: September 26, 2016. Emily H. Menashes, Acting Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine Fisheries Service. [FR Doc. 2016–23587 Filed 9–29–16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510–22–P DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration 50 CFR Part 679 [Docket No. 150818742–6210–02] RIN 0648–XE922 Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Big Skate in the Central Regulatory Area of the Gulf of Alaska National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Commerce. ACTION: Temporary rule; closure. AGENCY: NMFS is prohibiting retention of big skate in the Central Regulatory Area of the Gulf of Alaska (GOA). This action is necessary because the 2016 total allowable catch of big skate in the Central Regulatory Area of the GOA will be reached. DATES: Effective 1200 hours, Alaska local time (A.l.t.), September 29, 2016, through 2400 hours, A.l.t., December 31, 2016. SUMMARY: E:\FR\FM\30SER1.SGM 30SER1 67216 Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 190 / Friday, September 30, 2016 / Rules and Regulations FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: asabaliauskas on DSK3SPTVN1PROD with RULES Obren Davis, 907–586–7228. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: 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 2016 total allowable catch (TAC) of big skate in the Central Regulatory Area of the GOA is 1,850 metric tons (mt) as established by the final 2016 and 2017 harvest specifications for groundfish of the GOA (81 FR 14740, March 18, 2016). In accordance with § 679.20(d)(2), the Administrator, Alaska Region, NMFS (Regional Administrator), has VerDate Sep<11>2014 18:28 Sep 29, 2016 Jkt 238001 determined that the 2016 TAC of big skate in the Central Regulatory Area of the GOA will be reached. Therefore, NMFS is requiring that big skate in the Central Regulatory Area of the GOA be treated as prohibited species in accordance with § 679.21(b). Classification This action responds to the best available information recently obtained from the fishery. The Assistant Administrator for Fisheries, NOAA (AA), finds good cause to waive the requirement to provide prior notice and opportunity for public comment pursuant to the authority set forth at 5 U.S.C. 553(b)(B) as such requirement is impracticable and contrary to the public interest. This requirement is impracticable and contrary to the public interest as it would prevent NMFS from responding to the most recent fisheries data in a timely fashion and would delay prohibiting the retention of big PO 00000 Frm 00126 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 9990 skate in the Central Regulatory Area of the GOA. NMFS was unable to publish a notice providing time for public comment because the most recent, relevant data only became available as of September 27, 2016. The AA also finds good cause to waive the 30-day delay in the effective date of this action under 5 U.S.C. 553(d)(3). This finding is based upon the reasons provided above for waiver of prior notice and opportunity for public comment. This action is required by § 679.20 and § 679.21 and is exempt from review under Executive Order 12866. Authority: 16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq. Dated: September 28, 2016. Emily H. Menashes, Acting Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine Fisheries Service. [FR Doc. 2016–23830 Filed 9–28–16; 4:15 pm] BILLING CODE 3510–22–P E:\FR\FM\30SER1.SGM 30SER1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 81, Number 190 (Friday, September 30, 2016)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 67215-67216]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2016-23830]


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DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

50 CFR Part 679

[Docket No. 150818742-6210-02]
RIN 0648-XE922


Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Big Skate in 
the Central Regulatory Area of the Gulf of Alaska

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

ACTION: Temporary rule; closure.

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SUMMARY: NMFS is prohibiting retention of big skate in the Central 
Regulatory Area of the Gulf of Alaska (GOA). This action is necessary 
because the 2016 total allowable catch of big skate in the Central 
Regulatory Area of the GOA will be reached.

DATES: Effective 1200 hours, Alaska local time (A.l.t.), September 29, 
2016, through 2400 hours, A.l.t., December 31, 2016.

[[Page 67216]]


FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Obren Davis, 907-586-7228.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: 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 Magnuson-
Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act. Regulations governing 
fishing by U.S. vessels in accordance with the FMP appear at subpart H 
of 50 CFR part 600 and 50 CFR part 679.
    The 2016 total allowable catch (TAC) of big skate in the Central 
Regulatory Area of the GOA is 1,850 metric tons (mt) as established by 
the final 2016 and 2017 harvest specifications for groundfish of the 
GOA (81 FR 14740, March 18, 2016).
    In accordance with Sec.  679.20(d)(2), the Administrator, Alaska 
Region, NMFS (Regional Administrator), has determined that the 2016 TAC 
of big skate in the Central Regulatory Area of the GOA will be reached. 
Therefore, NMFS is requiring that big skate in the Central Regulatory 
Area of the GOA be treated as prohibited species in accordance with 
Sec.  679.21(b).

Classification

    This action responds to the best available information recently 
obtained from the fishery. The Assistant Administrator for Fisheries, 
NOAA (AA), finds good cause to waive the requirement to provide prior 
notice and opportunity for public comment pursuant to the authority set 
forth at 5 U.S.C. 553(b)(B) as such requirement is impracticable and 
contrary to the public interest. This requirement is impracticable and 
contrary to the public interest as it would prevent NMFS from 
responding to the most recent fisheries data in a timely fashion and 
would delay prohibiting the retention of big skate in the Central 
Regulatory Area of the GOA. NMFS was unable to publish a notice 
providing time for public comment because the most recent, relevant 
data only became available as of September 27, 2016.
    The AA also finds good cause to waive the 30-day delay in the 
effective date of this action under 5 U.S.C. 553(d)(3). This finding is 
based upon the reasons provided above for waiver of prior notice and 
opportunity for public comment.
    This action is required by Sec.  679.20 and Sec.  679.21 and is 
exempt from review under Executive Order 12866.

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

    Dated: September 28, 2016.
Emily H. Menashes,
Acting Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine 
Fisheries Service.
[FR Doc. 2016-23830 Filed 9-28-16; 4:15 pm]
BILLING CODE 3510-22-P