Fisheries of the Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico, and South Atlantic; 2016 Commercial Accountability Measure and Closure for South Atlantic Vermilion Snapper, 69008 [2016-24105]

Download as PDF 69008 Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 193 / Wednesday, October 5, 2016 / Rules and Regulations DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration 50 CFR Part 622 [Docket No. 130312235–3658–02] RIN 0648–XE910 Fisheries of the Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico, and South Atlantic; 2016 Commercial Accountability Measure and Closure for South Atlantic Vermilion Snapper National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Commerce. ACTION: Temporary rule; closure. AGENCY: NMFS implements accountability measures (AMs) for the commercial sector for vermilion snapper in the exclusive economic zone (EEZ) of the South Atlantic. NMFS projects that commercial landings of vermilion snapper will reach the commercial annual catch limit (ACL) for the July through December 2016 period on October 11, 2016. Therefore, NMFS closes the commercial sector for vermilion snapper in the South Atlantic EEZ on October 11, 2016, and it will remain closed until the start of the next fishing season on January 1, 2017. This closure is necessary to protect the South Atlantic vermilion snapper resource. DATES: This rule is effective 12:01 a.m., local time, October 11, 2016, until 12:01 a.m., local time, January 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 vermilion snapper 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 quota for vermilion snapper in the South Atlantic is divided into separate quotas for two 6-month time periods each year, January through June and July through December. For the July through December 2016 period, ehiers on DSK5VPTVN1PROD with RULES SUMMARY: VerDate Sep<11>2014 18:08 Oct 04, 2016 Jkt 241001 the commercial quota is 388,703 lb (176,313 kg), gutted weight (431,460 lb (195,707 kg), round weight), as specified in 50 CFR 622.190(a)(4)(ii)(D). On August 25, 2016 (81 FR 58411), NMFS published a temporary rule in the Federal Register to reduce the commercial trip limit for vermilion snapper in or from the EEZ of the South Atlantic to 500 lb (227 kg), gutted weight. The temporary rule was effective at 12:01 a.m., local time, August 28, 2016, until January 1, 2017, or until the commercial quota is reached and the commercial sector closes, whichever occurs first. In accordance with regulations at 50 CFR 622.193(f)(1), NMFS is required to close the commercial sector for vermilion snapper when the commercial quota for that 6-month portion of the fishing year is reached, or is projected to be reached, by filing a notification to that effect with the Office of the Federal Register. NMFS has determined that the commercial quota for South Atlantic vermilion snapper for the July through December 2016 period will be reached by October 11, 2016. Accordingly, the commercial sector for South Atlantic vermilion snapper is closed effective 12:01 a.m., local time, October 11, 2016, until 12:01 a.m., local time, January 1, 2017. The commercial quota for vermilion snapper in the South Atlantic is 388,703 lb (176,313 kg), gutted weight (431,460 lb (195,707 kg), round weight), for the January 1 through June 30, 2017 period as specified in 50 CFR 622.190(a)(4)(i)(D). The operator of a vessel with a valid commercial vessel permit for South Atlantic snapper-grouper having vermilion snapper onboard must have landed and bartered, traded, or sold such vermilion snapper prior to 12:01 a.m., local time, October 11, 2016. During the closure, the bag limit specified in 50 CFR 622.187(b)(5) and the possession limits specified in 50 CFR 622.187(c)(1), apply to all harvest or possession of vermilion snapper in or from the South Atlantic EEZ. During the closure, the sale or purchase of vermilion snapper taken from the EEZ is prohibited. As specified in 50 CFR 622.190(c)(1)(i), the prohibition on sale or purchase does not apply to the sale or purchase of vermilion snapper that were harvested, landed ashore, and sold prior to 12:01 a.m., local time, October 11, 2016, and were held in cold storage by a dealer or processor. For a person on board a vessel for which a Federal commercial or charter vessel/headboat permit for the South Atlantic snapper- PO 00000 Frm 00076 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 9990 grouper fishery has been issued, the bag and possession limits and the prohibition on sale and purchase 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 South Atlantic vermilion snapper and is consistent with the Magnuson-Stevens Act and other applicable laws. This action is taken under 50 CFR 622.193(f)(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 close the commercial sector for vermilion snapper 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 are unnecessary and contrary to the public interest. Such procedures are unnecessary because the rule implementing the AMs has already been subject to notice and comment, and all that remains is to notify the public of the closure. Allowing prior notice and opportunity for public comment is contrary to the public interest because of the need to immediately implement this action to protect vermilion snapper since the capacity of the fishing fleet allows for rapid harvest of the commercial quota. Prior notice and opportunity for public comment could result in a harvest well in excess of the established 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 30, 2016. Emily H. Menashes, Acting Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine Fisheries Service. [FR Doc. 2016–24105 Filed 10–4–16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510–22–P E:\FR\FM\05OCR1.SGM 05OCR1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 81, Number 193 (Wednesday, October 5, 2016)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Page 69008]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2016-24105]



[[Page 69008]]

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DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

50 CFR Part 622

[Docket No. 130312235-3658-02]
RIN 0648-XE910


Fisheries of the Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico, and South Atlantic; 
2016 Commercial Accountability Measure and Closure for South Atlantic 
Vermilion Snapper

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

ACTION: Temporary rule; closure.

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SUMMARY: NMFS implements accountability measures (AMs) for the 
commercial sector for vermilion snapper in the exclusive economic zone 
(EEZ) of the South Atlantic. NMFS projects that commercial landings of 
vermilion snapper will reach the commercial annual catch limit (ACL) 
for the July through December 2016 period on October 11, 2016. 
Therefore, NMFS closes the commercial sector for vermilion snapper in 
the South Atlantic EEZ on October 11, 2016, and it will remain closed 
until the start of the next fishing season on January 1, 2017. This 
closure is necessary to protect the South Atlantic vermilion snapper 
resource.

DATES: This rule is effective 12:01 a.m., local time, October 11, 2016, 
until 12:01 a.m., local time, January 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 vermilion snapper and is managed under the Fishery 
Management Plan for the Snapper-Grouper 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 quota for vermilion snapper in the South Atlantic is 
divided into separate quotas for two 6-month time periods each year, 
January through June and July through December. For the July through 
December 2016 period, the commercial quota is 388,703 lb (176,313 kg), 
gutted weight (431,460 lb (195,707 kg), round weight), as specified in 
50 CFR 622.190(a)(4)(ii)(D).
    On August 25, 2016 (81 FR 58411), NMFS published a temporary rule 
in the Federal Register to reduce the commercial trip limit for 
vermilion snapper in or from the EEZ of the South Atlantic to 500 lb 
(227 kg), gutted weight. The temporary rule was effective at 12:01 
a.m., local time, August 28, 2016, until January 1, 2017, or until the 
commercial quota is reached and the commercial sector closes, whichever 
occurs first.
    In accordance with regulations at 50 CFR 622.193(f)(1), NMFS is 
required to close the commercial sector for vermilion snapper when the 
commercial quota for that 6-month portion of the fishing year is 
reached, or is projected to be reached, by filing a notification to 
that effect with the Office of the Federal Register. NMFS has 
determined that the commercial quota for South Atlantic vermilion 
snapper for the July through December 2016 period will be reached by 
October 11, 2016. Accordingly, the commercial sector for South Atlantic 
vermilion snapper is closed effective 12:01 a.m., local time, October 
11, 2016, until 12:01 a.m., local time, January 1, 2017. The commercial 
quota for vermilion snapper in the South Atlantic is 388,703 lb 
(176,313 kg), gutted weight (431,460 lb (195,707 kg), round weight), 
for the January 1 through June 30, 2017 period as specified in 50 CFR 
622.190(a)(4)(i)(D).
    The operator of a vessel with a valid commercial vessel permit for 
South Atlantic snapper-grouper having vermilion snapper onboard must 
have landed and bartered, traded, or sold such vermilion snapper prior 
to 12:01 a.m., local time, October 11, 2016. During the closure, the 
bag limit specified in 50 CFR 622.187(b)(5) and the possession limits 
specified in 50 CFR 622.187(c)(1), apply to all harvest or possession 
of vermilion snapper in or from the South Atlantic EEZ. During the 
closure, the sale or purchase of vermilion snapper taken from the EEZ 
is prohibited. As specified in 50 CFR 622.190(c)(1)(i), the prohibition 
on sale or purchase does not apply to the sale or purchase of vermilion 
snapper that were harvested, landed ashore, and sold prior to 12:01 
a.m., local time, October 11, 2016, and were held in cold storage by a 
dealer or processor. For a person on board a vessel for which a Federal 
commercial or charter vessel/headboat permit for the South Atlantic 
snapper-grouper fishery has been issued, the bag and possession limits 
and the prohibition on sale and purchase 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 
South Atlantic vermilion snapper and is consistent with the Magnuson-
Stevens Act and other applicable laws.
    This action is taken under 50 CFR 622.193(f)(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 close the commercial sector for 
vermilion snapper 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 are 
unnecessary and contrary to the public interest. Such procedures are 
unnecessary because the rule implementing the AMs has already been 
subject to notice and comment, and all that remains is to notify the 
public of the closure. Allowing prior notice and opportunity for public 
comment is contrary to the public interest because of the need to 
immediately implement this action to protect vermilion snapper since 
the capacity of the fishing fleet allows for rapid harvest of the 
commercial quota. Prior notice and opportunity for public comment could 
result in a harvest well in excess of the established 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 30, 2016.
Emily H. Menashes,
Acting Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine 
Fisheries Service.
[FR Doc. 2016-24105 Filed 10-4-16; 8:45 am]
 BILLING CODE 3510-22-P