Magnuson-Stevens Act Provisions; Fisheries Off West Coast States; Pacific Coast Groundfish Fishery; 2017-2018 Biennial Specifications and Management Measures; Amendment 27, 75266-75314 [2016-25517]

Download as PDF 75266 Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 209 / Friday, October 28, 2016 / Proposed Rules DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration 50 CFR Part 660 [Docket No. 160808696–6696–01] RIN 0648–BG17 Magnuson-Stevens Act Provisions; Fisheries Off West Coast States; Pacific Coast Groundfish Fishery; 2017–2018 Biennial Specifications and Management Measures; Amendment 27 National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Commerce. ACTION: Proposed rule; request for comments. AGENCY: This proposed rule would establish the 2017–2018 harvest specifications and management measures for groundfish taken in the U.S. exclusive economic zone off the coasts of Washington, Oregon, and California, consistent with the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (MSA) and the Pacific Coast Groundfish Fishery Management Plan (PCGFMP). This proposed rule would also revise the management measures that are intended to keep the total catch of each groundfish species or species complex within the harvest specifications. This action also includes regulations to implement Amendment 27 to the PCGFMP, which adds deacon rockfish to the PCGFMP, reclassifies big skate as an actively managed stock, add a new inseason management process for commercial and recreational in California, and makes several clarifications. DATES: Comments must be received no later than November 28, 2016. ADDRESSES: Submit your comments, identified by NOAA–NMFS–2016–0094, by either of the following methods: • Federal e-Rulemaking Portal: Go to www.regulations.gov/ #!docketDetail;D=NOAA-NMFS-2016094, 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 mstockstill on DSK3G9T082PROD with PROPOSALS2 SUMMARY: VerDate Sep<11>2014 19:55 Oct 27, 2016 Jkt 241001 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). 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 proposed rule 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 Pacific Fishery Management Council’s Web site at http:// www.pcouncil.org. Executive Summary Purpose of the Regulatory Action This proposed rule would implement the 2017–2018 harvest specifications and management measures for groundfish species taken in the U.S. exclusive economic zone off the coasts of Washington, Oregon, and California, implement harvest specifications consistent with default harvest control rules, and implement Amendment 27 to the PCGFMP. The purpose of the proposed action is to conserve and manage Pacific Coast groundfish fishery resources to prevent overfishing, to rebuild overfished stocks, to ensure conservation, to facilitate long-term protection of essential fish habitats (EFH), and to realize the full potential of the Nation’s fishery resources. This action proposes harvest specifications for 2017–2018 consistent with existing or revised default harvest control rules for all stocks, and establishes management measures designed to keep catch within the appropriate limits. The harvest specifications are set consistent with the optimum yield (OY) harvest management framework described in Chapter 4 of the PCGFMP. The proposed rule would also implement Amendment 27 to the PCGFMP. Amendment 27 adds deacon rockfish to the PCGFMP, reclassifies big skate as ‘‘in the fishery,’’ PO 00000 Frm 00002 Fmt 4701 Sfmt 4702 adds a new inseason management process for California fisheries, and makes several clarifications. This rule is authorized by 16 U.S.C. 1854 and 1855 and by the PCGFMP. Major Provisions This proposed rule contains two types of major provisions. The first are the harvest specifications (overfishing limits (OFLs), acceptable biological catches (ABCs), and annual catch limits (ACLs)), and the second are management measures designed to keep fishing mortality within the ACLs. The harvest specifications (OFLs, ABCs, and ACLs) in this rule have been developed through a rigorous scientific review and decision making process, which is described later in this proposed rule. In summary, the OFL is the maximum sustainable yield (MSY) harvest level and is an estimate of the catch level above which overfishing is occurring. OFLs are based on recommendations by the Pacific Fishery Management Council’s (Council) Scientific and Statistical Committee (SSC) as the best scientific information available. The ABC is an annual catch specification that is the stock or stock complex’s OFL reduced by an amount associated with scientific uncertainty. The SSCrecommended method for incorporating scientific uncertainty is referred to as the P star-sigma approach and is discussed in detail in the proposed and final rules for the 2011–2012 (75 FR 67810, November 3, 2010; 76 FR 27508, May 11, 2011) and 2013–2014 (77 FR 67974, November 12, 2012; 78 FR 580, January 3, 2013) biennial harvest specifications and management measures. The ACL is a harvest specification set equal to or below the ABC. The ACLs are decided in a manner to achieve OY from the fishery, which is the amount of fish that will provide the greatest overall benefit to the Nation, particularly with respect to food production and recreational opportunities, and taking into account the protection of marine ecosystems. The ACLs are based on consideration of conservation objectives, socio-economic concerns, management uncertainty, and other factors. All known sources of fishing and scientific research catch are counted against the ACL. This proposed rule includes ACLs for the five overfished species managed under the PCGFMP. For the 2017–2018 biennium darkblotched rockfish and Pacific ocean perch (POP) have rebuilding plan changes to their Harvest Control Rules, while maintaining the current target year for rebuilding (TTARGET). TTARGET is the year by which the stock can be rebuilt as soon as E:\FR\FM\28OCP2.SGM 28OCP2 mstockstill on DSK3G9T082PROD with PROPOSALS2 Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 209 / Friday, October 28, 2016 / Proposed Rules possible, taking into account the status and biology of the stock, the needs of fishing communities, and the interaction of the stock of fish within the marine ecosystem. For darkblotched rockfish, a new assessment indicates the stock will be rebuilt during 2015, with a stock status above MSY in 2016 and beyond. Therefore, this rule proposes to establish harvest specifications for darkblotched rockfish in 2017–2018 based on the default harvest control rules for healthy stocks. Under this harvest control rule, the stock is anticipated to rebuild 10 years earlier than the TTARGET of 2025. For POP, new information is available regarding the needs of fishing communities that rely on revenue from fisheries on healthy stocks that take POP incidentally. Changes to the harvest control rule are necessary to meet the needs of communities. Accordingly, the rebuilding plan would be revised, setting a constant catch ACL for 2017– 2018, followed in 2019 and beyond by harvest specifications derived from the SPR harvest rate in the current rebuilding plan (86.4 percent). Under this harvest control rule, the stock is anticipated to rebuild by the TTARGET in the current rebuilding plan of 2051. The remaining overfished species are making adequate progress towards rebuilding. Therefore, this rule proposes to establish harvest specifications consistent with the existing rebuilding plan provisions for those species. This rulemaking also proposes to implement Amendment 27 to the PCGFMP. Amendment 27 consists of five components that would: (1) Reclassify big skate from an ecosystem component species to ‘‘in the fishery,’’ (2) add deacon rockfish to the list of species in the PCGFMP, (3) establish a new inseason management process in California for black, canary, and yelloweye rockfishes, (4) make updates to clarify several stock assessment descriptions, and (5) update several sections of the PCGFMP because canary rockfish and petrale sole are rebuilt. The Notice of Availability for Amendment 27 to the PCGFMP published on September 30, 2016 (81 FR 67287) and is available for public comment (see ADDRESSES). The public comment period on the Notice of Availability closes on November 29, 2016. In order to keep mortality of the species managed under the PCGFMP within the ACLs the Council also recommended management measures. Generally speaking, management measures are intended to rebuild overfished species, prevent ACLs from being exceeded, and allow for the harvest of healthy stocks. Management VerDate Sep<11>2014 19:55 Oct 27, 2016 Jkt 241001 measures include time and area restrictions, gear restrictions, trip or bag limits, size limits, and other management tools. Management measures may vary by fishing sector because different fishing sectors require different types of management to control catch. Most of the management measures the Council recommended for 2017–2018 were slight variations to existing management measures, and do not represent a change from current management practices. These types of changes include changes to trip limits, bag limits, closed areas, etc. Additionally, several new management measures were recommended by the Council including: Changes to flatfish retention in the Oregon recreational fishery, creation of a new inseason process for changes to recreational and commercial fisheries in California outside of a Council meeting, changes to petrale sole and starry flounder season in the California recreational fishery, and management measures resulting from reclassifying big skate as ‘‘in the fishery.’’ Table of Contents I. Background A. Specification and Management Measure Development Process B. Amendment 24—Default Harvest Specifications & Management Measures Clarifications II. Amendment 27 to the PCGFMP A. Reclassify Big Skate as ‘‘in the Fishery’’ B. New California Inseason Process C. Updates to the PCGFMP D. Updates Based on New Science for Deacon Rockfish, Canary Rockfish, and Petrale Sole III. Harvest Specifications A. Proposed OFLs for 2017 and 2018 B. Proposed ABCs for 2017 and 2018 C. Proposed ACLs for 2017 and 2018 IV. Management Measures A. Deductions From the ACLs B. Biennial Fishery Allocations C. Modifications to the Boundaries Defining Rockfish Conservation Areas (RCAs) D. Sorting Requirements Resulting From Big Skate Designation to ‘‘in the Fishery’’ E. New Inseason Process for Commercial and Recreational Fisheries in California F. Limited Entry Trawl G. Limited Entry Fixed Gear and Open Access Nontrawl Fishery H. Recreational Fisheries I. Tribal Fisheries V. Classification I. Background The Pacific Coast Groundfish fishery is managed under the PCGFMP. The PCGFMP was prepared by the Council, approved on July 30, 1984, and has been amended numerous times. Regulations at 50 CFR part 660, subparts C through PO 00000 Frm 00003 Fmt 4701 Sfmt 4702 75267 G, implement the provisions of the PCGFMP. The PCGFMP requires the harvest specifications and management measures for groundfish to be set at least biennially. This proposed rule is based on the Council’s final recommendations that were made at its June 2016 meeting as well as harvest specifications for some stocks adopted at the Council’s November 2015 and April 2016 meetings. A. Specification and Management Measure Development Process The process for setting the 2017–2018 harvest specifications began in 2014 with the preparation of stock assessments. A stock assessment is the scientific and statistical process where the status of a fish population or subpopulation (stock) is assessed in terms of population size, reproductive status, fishing mortality, and sustainability. In the terms of the PCGFMP, stock assessments generally provide: (1) An estimate of the current biomass (reproductive potential); (2) an FMSY or proxy (a default harvest rate for the fishing mortality rate that is expected to achieve the maximum sustainable yield), translated into exploitation rate; (3) an estimate of the biomass that produces the maximum sustainable yield (BMSY); and, (4) a precision estimate (e.g., confidence interval) for current biomass. Stock assessments, including data moderate assessments, are reviewed by the Council’s stock assessment review panel (STAR panel). The STAR panel is designed to review the technical merits of stock assessments and is responsible for determining if a stock assessment document is sufficiently complete. Finally, the SSC reviews the stock assessment and STAR panel reports and makes recommendations to the Council. In addition to full stock assessments, stock assessment updates that run new data through existing models without changing the model are also prepared. When spawning stock biomass falls below the minimum stock size threshold (MSST), a stock is declared overfished and a rebuilding plan must be developed that determines the strategy for rebuilding the stock to BMSY in the shortest time possible, while considering needs of fishing communities and other factors (16 U.S.C. 1854(e)). The current MSST reference point for assessed flatfish stocks is 12.5 percent of initial biomass or B12.5%. For all other assessed groundfish stocks, the current MSST reference point is 25 percent of initial biomass or B25%. The following overfished groundfish stocks would be E:\FR\FM\28OCP2.SGM 28OCP2 75268 Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 209 / Friday, October 28, 2016 / Proposed Rules mstockstill on DSK3G9T082PROD with PROPOSALS2 managed under rebuilding plans in 2017–2018: Bocaccio south of 40°10′ N. lat.; cowcod south of 40°10′ N. lat.; darkblotched rockfish; POP; and yelloweye rockfish. For overfished stocks, in addition to any stock assessments or stock assessment updates, rebuilding analyses may also be prepared. The rebuilding analysis is used to project the future status of the overfished resource under a variety of alternative harvest strategies and to determine the probability of recovering to BMSY or its proxy within a specified time-frame. The Council considered new stock assessments, stock assessment updates, rebuilding analysis for POP, public comment, and advice from its advisory bodies over the course of six Council meetings during development of its recommendations for the 2017–2018 harvest specifications and management measures. At each Council meeting between June 2015 and June 2016, the Council made a series of decisions and recommendations that were, in some cases, refined after further analysis and discussion. Detailed information, including the supporting documentation the Council considered at each meeting is available at the Council’s Web site, www.pcouncil.org. The 2017–2018 biennial management cycle was the first cycle following PCGFMP Amendment 24, which established default harvest control rules and included an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS). The EIS described the ongoing implementation of the PCGFMP and default harvest control rules, along with ten year projections for harvest specifications and a range of management measures. Therefore, a draft Environmental Assessment (EA) identifying the preferred alternative new management measures and other decision points that were not described in the 2015 EIS is posted on the NMFS WCR along with this proposed rule. At the Council’s June 2016, meeting, following public comment and Council consideration, the Council made its final recommendations for the 2017– 2018 harvest specifications and management measures as well as for Amendment 27 to the PCGFMP. B. Amendment 24—Default Harvest Specifications & Management Measures Clarifications This biennial cycle is the first since the implementation of Amendment 24, which established default harvest control rules for most stocks and evaluated ten year projections for harvest specifications and routinely adjusted management measures (80 FR 12567, March 10, 2015). This resulted in VerDate Sep<11>2014 19:55 Oct 27, 2016 Jkt 241001 a streamlined decision making process for the 2017–2018 biennial cycle. The use of default harvest control rules and their addition to the PCGFMP was intended to simplify the Council’s harvest specifications process and acknowledge that the Council generally maintains the policy choices from the previous biennium to determine the harvest specifications for the next biennium. Under Amendment 24, the harvest control rules used to determine the previous biennium’s harvest specifications (i.e., OFLs, ABCs, and ACLs) would automatically be applied to the best scientific information available to determine the future biennium’s harvest specifications. NMFS would implement harvest specifications based on the default harvest control rules unless the Council makes a different recommendation. Therefore, this rule implements the default harvest specifications, consistent with Amendment 24, for most stocks and discusses departures from the defaults. In addition to the use of defaults to simplify the harvest specifications process, Amendment 24 made changes to the description of the type of management measures that may be addressed through the biennial process. Under Amendment 24, management measures that may be implemented during the biennial process include: (1) Measures that will be classified as routine for future biennial cycles; (2) adjustments to current management measures that are already classified as routine; and (3) new management measures not previously analyzed. This was intended to simplify the management measures proposed through each biennial cycle. Information regarding the OFLs, ABCs, and ACLs proposed for groundfish stocks and stock complexes in 2017–2018 is presented below, followed by a discussion of the proposed management measures for commercial and recreational groundfish fisheries. II. 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 PCGFMP, (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 to reflect the rebuilt status of canary rockfish and petrale sole. PO 00000 Frm 00004 Fmt 4701 Sfmt 4702 A. Reclassify Big Skate as ‘‘in the Fishery’’ Amendment 24 to PCGFMP classified several species, including big skate, as ecosystem component species. The information available during development of Amendment 24 indicated that big skate was not targeted and had only small amounts of landings. However, a majority of the unspecified skate landed in the Shorebased IFQ Program is now known to be big skate. According to National Standard Guideline 1, a stock may be classified as an ecosystem component species if it is not determined to be (1) a target species or target stock; (2) subject to overfishing, approaching overfished, or overfished; (3) likely to become subject to overfishing or overfished, according to the best available information, in the absence of conservation and management measures; and (4) generally retained for sale or personal use. Such large landings indicate big skate are being targeted and therefore generally retained for sale, and can no longer be considered an ecosystem species. Therefore, Amendment 27 reclassifies big skate as ‘‘in the fishery,’’ and this rule proposes species specific harvest specifications. B. New California Inseason Process The objective of any inseason management system is to be responsive to the needs of fishing participants while keeping catch within 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 was developed for only black rockfish, canary rockfish, and yelloweye rockfish, and only in California. This system would allow NMFS to take inseason action outside of a Council meeting when a Federal harvest E:\FR\FM\28OCP2.SGM 28OCP2 Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 209 / Friday, October 28, 2016 / Proposed Rules specification for one of these species is projected to be attained or had been attained prior to the start of the next scheduled Council meeting. Allowing NMFS to take inseason action outside of a Council meeting can reduce the severity of management actions and thus 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. C. Updates to the PCGFMP Minor edits in Amendment 27 clarify the applicability of several stock assessment procedures and categories that were inadvertently omitted when Amendment 23 modified the PCGFMP consistent with the revised National Standard Guidelines in 2011. D. 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 and blue rockfish. Deacon rockfish is therefore acknowledged as a PCGFMP species that is ‘‘in the fishery,’’ based on the PCGFMP provision stating, ‘‘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. The Notice of Availability for the PCGFMP Amendment 27 was published on September 30, 2016 (81 FR 67287). mstockstill on DSK3G9T082PROD with PROPOSALS2 III. Harvest Specifications The PCGFMP requires the Council to set harvest specifications and management measures for groundfish at least biennially. This proposed rule would set 2017–2018 harvest specifications and management measures for all of the 90 plus groundfish species or species groups managed under the PCGFMP, except for Pacific whiting. Pacific whiting harvest specifications are established annually VerDate Sep<11>2014 19:55 Oct 27, 2016 Jkt 241001 through a separate bilateral process with Canada. A. Proposed OFLs for 2017 and 2018 Introduction This section describes the proposed OFLs for overfished species managed under rebuilding plans, non-overfished species managed with individual species-specific harvest specifications, and species managed within stock complexes. The OFLs for groundfish species with stock assessments are derived by applying the FMSY harvest rate proxy to the current estimated biomass. Fx% harvest rates are the rates of fishing mortality that will reduce the female spawning biomass per recruit (SPR) to X percent of its unfished level. A rate of F40% is a more aggressive harvest rate than F45% or F50%. For 2017–2018, the Council maintained a policy of using a default harvest rate as a proxy for the fishing mortality rate that is expected to achieve the maximum sustainable yield (FMSY). A proxy is used because there is insufficient information for most Pacific Coast groundfish stocks to estimate species-specific FMSY values. Taxonspecific proxy fishing mortality rates are used due to perceived differences in the productivity among different taxa of groundfish. A lower value is used for stocks with relatively high resilience to fishing while higher values are used for less resilient stocks with low productivity. In 2017–2018, the following default harvest rate proxies, based on the SSC’s recommendations, were used: F30% for flatfish, F40% for Pacific whiting, F50% for rockfish (including longspine and shortspine thornyheads), F50% for elasmobranchs, and F45% for other groundfish such as sablefish and lingcod. For the 2017–2018 biennial specification process, seven full stock assessments and three stock assessment updates were prepared. Full stock assessments, those that consider the appropriateness of the assessment model and that revise the model as necessary, were prepared for the following stocks: Black rockfish, bocaccio south of 40°10′ N. lat., canary rockfish, China rockfish, darkblotched rockfish, kelp greenling between 46°16′ N. lat. and 42° N. lat., and widow rockfish. A stock assessment update, which runs new data through an existing model, was prepared for chilipepper rockfish south of 42° N. lat., petrale sole, and sablefish. Updated projections from existing models, where actual catches for recent years replaced assumed catches for those same years in PO 00000 Frm 00005 Fmt 4701 Sfmt 4702 75269 the model, were also prepared for arrowtooth flounder, blue rockfish south of 42° N. lat., greenspotted rockfish, Dover sole, lingcod, POP, and yelloweye rockfish. Each new stock assessment includes a base model and two alternative models. The alternative models are developed from the base model by bracketing the dominant dimension of uncertainty (e.g., stock-recruitment steepness, natural mortality rate, survey catchability, recent year-class strength, weights on conflicting catch per unit effort series, etc.) and are intended to be a means of expressing uncertainty within the model by showing the contrast in management implications. Once a base model has been bracketed on either side by alternative model scenarios, capturing the overall degree of uncertainty in the assessment, a twoway decision table analysis (states-ofnature versus management action) is used to present the repercussions of uncertainty to decision makers. As noted above, the SSC makes recommendations to the Council on the appropriateness of using the different stock assessments for management purposes, after which the Council considers adoption of the stock assessments, use of the stock assessments for the development of rebuilding analyses, and the OFLs resulting from the base model runs of the stock assessments. For individually managed species that did not have new stock assessments or update assessments prepared, the Council recommended OFLs derived from applying the FMSY harvest rate proxy to the estimated exploitable biomass from the most recent stock assessment or update, the results of rudimentary stock assessments, or the historical landings data approved by the Council for use in setting harvest specifications. These stocks include: Arrowtooth flounder, big skate, blackgill rockfish, cabezon (off California), cabezon (off Oregon), California scorpionfish, cowcod, Dover sole, lingcod north and south of 42° N. lat., longnose skate, Pacific cod, shortbelly rockfish, shortspine thornyhead, spiny dogfish, splitnose rockfish, and yellowtail rockfish. Proposed OFLs for these species can be found in Tables 1a and 2a to subpart C. There are currently eight stock complexes used to manage groundfish stocks pursuant to the PCGFMP. These stock complexes are: (1) Minor Nearshore Rockfish north; (2) Minor Nearshore Rockfish south; (3) Minor Shelf Rockfish north; (4) Minor Shelf Rockfish south (5) Minor Slope Rockfish north; (6) Minor Slope Rockfish south; E:\FR\FM\28OCP2.SGM 28OCP2 75270 Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 209 / Friday, October 28, 2016 / Proposed Rules (7) Other Flatfish; and (8) Other Fish. Stock complexes are used to manage the harvest of many of the unassessed groundfish stocks. The proposed OFLs for stock complexes are the sum of the OFL contributions for the component stocks, when known. For the 2017–2018 biennial specification process—similar to 2011–2012, 2013–2014, and 2015– 2016—Depletion-Corrected Average Catch (DCAC), Depletion-Based Stock Reduction Analysis (DB–SRA), or other SSC-endorsed methodologies were used to determine the OFL contributions made by category three species (data limited species). In general, OFL contribution estimates should not vary from year to year for the category three stocks; the OFL contributions for unassessed component stocks that remain in the eight stock complexes are the same in 2017–2018 as in 2015–2016 and 2013–2014. The proposed OFLs for each complex can also be found in tables 1a and 2a of this proposed rule. In addition to OFL contributions derived by DCAC, DB– SRA, or other SSC approved estimates, OFL contributions for the following stocks were determined by applying the FMSY harvest rate proxy to the estimated exploitable biomass from the most recent stock assessment for chilipepper rockfish. A summary table below describes the scientific basis for the proposed OFLs for stocks with new or updated stock assessments, Minor Slope Rockfish complex south of 40°10′ N. lat., and big skate. In addition, a detailed description of the scientific basis for all of the SSCrecommended OFLs proposed in this rule are included in the Stock Assessment and Fishery Evaluation (SAFE) document for 2016. TABLE 1—SCIENTIFIC BASIS FOR PROPOSED OFLS FOR STOCKS WITH NEW OR UPDATED STOCK ASSESSMENTS, MINOR SLOPE ROCKFISH COMPLEX SOUTH OF 40°10′ N. LAT. AND BIG SKATE Stock 2017 OFL 2018 OFL 2,139 2,013 New/Updated Assessment .. DARKBLOTCHED ROCKFISH. Big skate ............................... 671 683 New/Updated Assessment .. 541 541 Black rockfish (CA) ............... 349 347 Reclassification from EC species. New/Updated Assessment .. Black rockfish (OR) ............... 577 570 New/Updated Assessment .. Black rockfish (WA) .............. 319 315 New/Updated Assessment .. Canary rockfish ..................... 1,793 1,596 New/Updated Assessment .. Chilipepper S. of 40°10′ N. lat. 2,727 2,623 New/Updated Assessment .. Petrale Sole .......................... 3,280 3,152 New/Updated Assessment .. Sablefish (coastwide) ............ 8,050 8,329 New/Updated Assessment .. Widow rockfish ...................... 14,130 13,237 New/Updated Assessment .. 2,303 2,302 No change ........................... 205 197 New/Updated Assessment .. Minor Slope Rockfish complex south. Blackgill S. of 40°10′ N. lat a 827 829 No change ........................... 143 146 No change ........................... Other Fish ............................. 537 501 No change ........................... Kelp greenling (OR) a ............ 239 203 New/Updated Assessment .. BOCACCIO S. of 40°10′ N. lat. Minor Shelf Rockfish complex north. Chilipepper N. of 40°10′ N. lat. mstockstill on DSK3G9T082PROD with PROPOSALS2 a Values Basis Projected using a 50% SPR from the 2015 full stock assessment with a 7.4% reduction to subtract the portion of the assessed stock north of 40° 10′ N. lat. Projected using a 50% SPR from the 2015 full assessment. Trawl survey biomass * M calculated in 2014 for 2015 and beyond. Projected using a 50% SPR from the 2015 full assessment. Projected using a 50% SPR from the 2015 full assessment. Projected using a 50% SPR from the 2015 full assessment. Projected using a 50% SPR from the 2015 full assessment. Projected using a 50% SPR from the 2015 full assessment. The portion of the coastwide stock south of 40° 10′ N. lat. (93%) is based on average historical landings. Projected using a 30% SPR from the 2015 full assessment. Projected using a 45% SPR from the 2015 full assessment. Projected using a 50% SPR from the 2015 full assessment. Sum of OFL contributions of component stocks in the complex. Projected using a 50% SPR from the 2015 full assessment. The portio of the coastwide stock north of 40° 10′ N. lat. (7%) is based on average historical landings. Sum of OFL contributions of component stocks in the complex. Projected using 50% SPR from the 2011 full assessment Contributes to the complex OFL in 2017 and 2018. Sum of OFL contributions of component stocks in the complex. Projected using a 45% SPR from the 2015 full assessment. for this stock contribute to the OFL of the complex and are not specified in regulation. Pacific Ocean Perch (Sebastes alutus) POP was last assessed in 2011. For this cycle, the 2011 rebuilding analysis was updated with actual catches for 2011–2014. The POP OFLs of 964 mt for 2017 and 984 mt for 2018 are based on the FMSY harvest rate proxy of F50% as applied to the estimated exploitable VerDate Sep<11>2014 19:55 Oct 27, 2016 Jkt 241001 biomass from the 2011 stock assessment. The OFLs for POP were endorsed by the SSC after the June 2016 Council meeting, during a public webinar on August 2, 2016. PO 00000 Frm 00006 Fmt 4701 Sfmt 4702 Big Skate (Raja binoculata) Big skate was one of several species that NMFS and the Council designated as ecosystem component species beginning in 2015, as described in the proposed and final rules for the 2015– 2016 biennial harvest specifications and management measures (80 FR 687, E:\FR\FM\28OCP2.SGM 28OCP2 75271 Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 209 / Friday, October 28, 2016 / Proposed Rules January 6, 2015, and 80 FR 12567, March 10, 2015). As described above in ‘‘Amendment 27 to the PCGFMP,’’ big skate is proposed to be classified as ‘‘in the fishery,’’ added to the list of species in the PCGFMP, and managed with species-specific harvest specifications. Big skate is proposed to have speciesspecific OFLs in 2017–2018 of 541 mt each year, based on an estimate of abundance from the recurring bottom trawl survey. mstockstill on DSK3G9T082PROD with PROPOSALS2 Blackgill Rockfish (Sebastes melanostomus) and Minor Slope Rockfish Complex (S. of 40°10′ N. Lat.) The Minor Slope Rockfish south complex is comprised of: Aurora rockfish (Sebastes aurora), bank rockfish (S. rufus), blackgill rockfish (S. melanostomus), blackspotted rockfish (S. melanostictus), Pacific ocean perch (S. alutus), redbanded rockfish (S. babcocki), rougheye rockfish (S. aleutianus), sharpchin rockfish (S. zacentrus), shortraker rockfish (S. borealis), sunset rockfish (S. crocotulus) and yellowmouth rockfish (S. reedi). No changes are proposed to the species composition of the complexes, and there are no proposed changes to the calculation of the complex OFL. Blackgill rockfish south was assessed in 2011. Blackgill rockfish contributes 143 mt in 2017 and 146 mt for 2018 to the Minor Slope Rockfish south OFL. The 2017 and 2018 OFL contributions are based on the FMSY harvest rate proxy of F50% as applied to the estimated exploitable biomass from the 2011 stock assessment. B. Proposed ABCs for 2017 and 2018 Introduction The ABC is the stock or stock complex’s OFL reduced by an amount associated with scientific uncertainty. The SSC-recommended P star-Sigma approach determines the amount by which the OFL is reduced to establish the ABC. Under this approach, the SSC recommends a sigma (s) value. The s value is generally based on the scientific uncertainty in the biomass estimates generated from stock assessments. After the SSC determines the appropriate s value, the Council chooses a P star (P*) based on its chosen level of risk aversion considering the scientific uncertainties. As the P* value is reduced, the probability of the ABC being greater than the ‘‘true’’ OFL becomes lower. In combination, the P* and s values determine the amount by which the OFL will be reduced to establish the SSC-endorsed ABC. Since 2011, the SSC has quantified major sources of scientific uncertainty in the estimate of OFL and generally recommended a s value of 0.36 for category one stocks, a s value of 0.72 for category two stocks, and a s value of 1.44 for category three stocks. For category two and three stocks, there is typically greater scientific uncertainty in the estimate of OFL because the stock assessments have less data to inform them. Therefore, the scientific uncertainty buffer is generally greater than that recommended for stocks with quantitative stock assessments. Assuming the same P* is applied, a larger s value results in a larger reduction from the OFL. For 2017–2018, the Council continued the general policy of using the SSC-recommended s values for each species category. However, an exception to the general s values assigned to each category was made by the SSC for kelp greenling (off Oregon) and aurora rockfish as described below. Two stocks in 2017–2018 have unique sigma values calculated because the proxy sigma values are not deemed the best available by the SSC. Kelp greenling was assessed in 2015. A unique sigma of 0.44 was calculated for kelp greenling (off Oregon) because the variance in estimated spawning biomass was greater than the 0.36 sigma used as a proxy for other category 1 stocks. For the same reason, a unique sigma value for aurora rockfish of 0.39 has been used to calculate the ABC since 2015 and will continue to be used in 2017–2018. The PCGFMP specifies that the upper limit of P* will be 0.45. A P* of 0.5 equates to no additional reduction for scientific uncertainty beyond the sigma value reduction. A lower P* is more risk averse than a higher value, meaning that the probability of the ABC being greater than the ‘‘true’’ OFL is lower. For 2017– 2018, the Council largely maintained the P* policies it established for the 2011–2012, 2013–2014, and 2015–2016 bienniums. The Council recommended using P* values of 0.45 for all individually managed category one species, except sablefish, as was done in 2015–2016. Combining the category one s value of 0.36 with the P* value of 0.45 results in a reduction of 4.4 percent from the OFL when deriving the ABC. For category two and three stocks, the Council’s general policy was to use a P* of 0.4, with a few exceptions. The Council recommended a P* of 0.45 for all of the stocks managed in the Minor Rockfish complexes and the Other Fish complex, as was done in 2015–2016. When combined with the s values of 0.72 and 1.44 for category two and three stocks, a P* value of 0.40 corresponds to 16.7 percent and 30.6 percent reductions, respectively. The Council recommended using P* values of 0.40 for all individually managed category two and three species, except those described below. The Council recommended a P* of 0.45 for big skate, California scorpionfish south of 40°10′ N. lat., cowcod, English sole, and yellowtail rockfish south of 40°10′ N. lat., as was done in 2015–2016 because there was no new scientific information indicating a change in P* value was warranted. The Council also maintained the P* of 0.45 for the Minor Rockfish complexes and the Other Fish complex, that been used since 2011. For 2017– 2018 the Council recommended a P* of 0.45 for big skate and black rockfish off Oregon. The P* recommendations for 2017–2018 that deviated from the Council’s general policies are described here and are shown in the table below. Additional information about the s values used for different species categories as well as the P*- s approach can be found in the proposed and final rules from the 2011–2012 biennium (75 FR 67810, November 3, 2010; 76 FR 27508, May 11, 2011) and the 2013– 2014 biennium (77 FR 67974, November 14, 2012; 78 FR 580, January 3, 2013). Those rules also include a discussion of the P* values used in combination with the s values. Tables 1a and 2a of this proposed rule present the harvest specifications for each stock and stock complex, including the proposed ABCs, while the footnotes to these tables describe how the proposed specifications were derived. Below is a summary table showing stocks for which the P*- s approach deviated from the policies that the SSC and Council generally apply, as explained above. TABLE 2—DESCRIPTION OF THE P*- s POLICIES AND ABCS FOR 2017–2018 Stock Category Sigma P* COWCOD S. of 40°10′ N. lat. 2&3 .......... Based on stock assessment category a. P* of 0.45 was maintained ........... VerDate Sep<11>2014 19:55 Oct 27, 2016 Jkt 241001 PO 00000 Frm 00007 Fmt 4701 Sfmt 4702 E:\FR\FM\28OCP2.SGM 2017 ABC 28OCP2 63 2018 ABC 64 75272 Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 209 / Friday, October 28, 2016 / Proposed Rules TABLE 2—DESCRIPTION OF THE P*- s POLICIES AND ABCS FOR 2017–2018—Continued Stock Category Sigma P* Big skate ...................... 2 ............... Based on stock assessment category a. Black Rockfish (OR) .... 2 ............... Based on stock assessment category a. California scorpionfish S. of 40°10′ N. 2 .............. Based on stock assessment category a. English Sole ................ 2 ............... Based on stock assessment category a. Sablefish (coastwide) .. 1 ............... Based on stock assessment category a. Yellowtail rockfish N. of 40°10′ N. lat. 2 .............. Based on stock assessment category a. Minor Nearshore Rockfish North. Minor Shelf Rockfish North. Minor Slope Rockfish North. Mix ........... Aurora rockfish b ... Minor Nearshore Rockfish South. Minor Shelf Rockfish South. Minor Slope Rockfish South. 1 ............... Mix ........... Aurora rockfish b ... Other Fish .................... 1 ............... Mix ........... Kelp greenling (OR) b. 1 ............... Based on stock assessment category a. Based on stock assessment category a. Based on stock assessment category a except for aurora rockfish. Unique sigma = 0.39 .................... Based on stock assessment category a. Based on stock assessment category a. Based on stock assessment category a except for aurora rockfish. Unique sigma = 0.39 .................... Based on stock assessment category a except for kelp greenling off Oregon. Unique sigma = 0.44 .................... P* of 0.45 was maintained, as it had when it was managed in the Other Fish complex. The 2016 P* of 0.45 was maintained. The stock assessment moved from a category 1 to a category 2. The 2016 P* of 0.45 was maintained; the stock assessment category was downgraded because of the age of the assessment. P* of 0.45 was chosen because the stock is healthy and underutilized. More precautionary P* of 0.40 was chosen because the stock is in the precautionary zone, highly utilized, and of large economic importance. P* of 0.45 was chosen because the stock is healthy and underutilized. P* of 0.45 was maintained Mix ........... Mix ........... Mix ........... Mix ........... 2017 ABC 2018 ABC 494 494 527 520 264 254 9,964 7,537 7,350 7,604 6,196 6,002 105 105 2,049 2,048 1,755 1,754 17 1,166 17 1,180 1,624 1,625 718 719 P* of 0.45 was maintained ........... 71 474 71 441 0.45 ............................................... 226 192 P* of 0.45 was maintained ........... a Unless otherwise specified, category 1 stocks have a sigma value of 0.36; category 2 stocks have a sigma of 0.72; category 3 stocks have a sigma of 1.44. b Values for this stock contribute to the ABC of the complex and are not specified in regulation. C. Proposed ACLs for 2017 and 2018 mstockstill on DSK3G9T082PROD with PROPOSALS2 Introduction ACLs are specified for each stock and stock complex that is ‘‘in the fishery.’’ An ACL is a harvest specification set equal to or below the ABC to address conservation objectives, socioeconomic concerns, management uncertainty, or other factors necessary to meet management objectives. Under PCGFMP Amendment 24, the Council set up default harvest control rules, which established default policies that would be applied to the best available scientific information to set ACLs each biennial cycle, unless the Council has reasons to diverge from that harvest control rule. A complete description of the default harvest control rules for VerDate Sep<11>2014 19:55 Oct 27, 2016 Jkt 241001 setting ACLs is described in the proposed and final rule for the 2015– 2016 harvest specifications and management measures and PCGFMP Amendment 24 (80 FR 687, January 6, 2015; 80 FR 12567, March 10, 2015). That discussion includes a description of the harvest policies applied to stocks based on their depletion level (i.e., healthy, precautionary, overfished) and other factors. Under the PCGFMP, the Council may recommend setting the ACL at a different level than what the default harvest control rules specify as long as the ACL does not exceed the ABC and complies with the requirements of the MSA. For many of the species or stock complexes ‘‘in the fishery,’’ the Council chose to maintain the default harvest control rules from PO 00000 Frm 00008 Fmt 4701 Sfmt 4702 the previous biennial cycle. A summary table of the proposed ACL policies for 2017–2018 is presented below. The following sections discuss proposed ACLs where the Council’s recommended ACLs were established based on something other than the default harvest control rule. Many groundfish stocks are managed with species-specific harvest specifications. Often these species have been assessed and their stock status is known, or individual management of the stock is recommended to address conservation objectives, socioeconomic concerns, management uncertainty, or other factors necessary to meet management objectives. The default harvest control rule for stocks above MSY is to set the ACL equal to the ABC. E:\FR\FM\28OCP2.SGM 28OCP2 mstockstill on DSK3G9T082PROD with PROPOSALS2 Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 209 / Friday, October 28, 2016 / Proposed Rules The default harvest control rule for stocks below MSY but above the overfished threshold is to take a precautionary reduction to set the ACL below the ABC (also called 40–10 or 25– 5 reductions), as described in the proposed and final rules for the 2015– 2016 biennium (80 FR 687, January 6, 2015; 80 FR 12567, March 10, 2015). Stocks may be grouped into complexes for various reasons, including: When stocks in a multispecies fishery cannot be targeted independent of one another and MSY cannot be defined on a stock-by-stock basis, when there is insufficient data to measure the stocks’ status, or when it is not feasible for fishermen to distinguish individual stocks among their catch. Most groundfish species managed in a stock complex are data-poor stocks without full stock assessments. All of the ACLs for stock complexes are less than or equal to the summed ABC contributions of each component stock in each complex as described in the following paragraphs. Generally, default harvest control rules are based on stock status. According to the framework in the PCGFMP, when the species composition of a stock complex is revised, the default harvest control rule will still be based on status of the stocks that remain in the complex. When a stock has been declared overfished, a rebuilding plan must be developed and the stock must be managed in accordance with the rebuilding plan (i.e., the default harvest control rule for overfished species is to set the ACL based on the rebuilding plan). The following overfished groundfish stocks would be managed under rebuilding plans in 2017 and beyond: bocaccio south of 40°10′ N. lat.; cowcod south of 40°10′ N. lat.; darkblotched rockfish; POP; and yelloweye rockfish. Changes to rebuilding plans for darkblotched rockfish and POP are proposed, as described below. The remaining overfished species have proposed ACLs based on their current rebuilding plans, described at § 660.40 and in Appendix F of the PCGFMP. The proposed rules for the 2011–2012 (75 FR 67810, November 3, 2010) and 2013–2014 (77 FR 67974, November 14, 2012) harvest specifications, and management measures contain extensive discussions on the management approach used for overfished species, which are not repeated here. Further, the SAFE document posted on the Council’s Web site at http://www.pcouncil.org/ groundfish/safe-documents/ contains a detailed description of each overfished species, its status and management, as well as how rebuilding analyses are VerDate Sep<11>2014 19:55 Oct 27, 2016 Jkt 241001 conducted. Finally, Appendix F to the PCGFMP contains the most recent rebuilding plan parameters as well as a history of each overfished species and can be found at http:// www.pcouncil.org/groundfish/ fisherymanagement-plan/. New for the 2017–2018 biennium, the Council proposed the creation of an emergency buffer. The buffer is specific amounts of yield that are deducted from the ACLs for canary rockfish, darkblotched rockfish, and POP, to account for unforeseen catch events. The buffer approach is described below in ‘‘Deductions from the ACLs.’’ This new management measure would set the fishery harvest guideline, the catch amount from which the allocations are based, on the amount after the buffer is subtracted from the ACL. The result is an amount of yield for these three species that is unallocated at the start of the year, but is held in reserve as a buffer, and can be distributed to fisheries in need after an unforeseen catch event occurs inseason. Darkblotched Rockfish (S. crameri) Darkblotched rockfish was declared overfished in 2000. From 2011 through 2016 the darkblotched rockfish rebuilding plan has been based on an annual SPR harvest rate of 64.9 percent with a target year to rebuild the stock to BMSY of 2025. Additional discussion regarding the establishment of this rebuilding plan can be found in the proposed and final rules for the 2011– 2012 biennial period (75 FR 67810, November 3, 2010; 76 FR 27508, May 11, 2011) and is not repeated here. The 2013 assessment indicated that darkblotched rockfish was at 36 percent of its unfished biomass, and was projected to be rebuilt in 2015. The Council did not change the rebuilding plan at that time, and prioritized a new darkblotched rockfish assessment for 2015. The 2015 assessment indicated that darkblotched rockfish is at 39 percent of unfished biomass, and is projected to be rebuilt during 2015. Under any harvest level less than or equal to the OFL in 2015 and beyond, and under all of the harvest alternatives considered by the Council for 2017 and beyond, the stock is projected to be rebuilt by the start of 2016 and not fall below B40≠in the next 10 years. All of the alternatives result in a TTARGET that is 10 years earlier than the current rebuilding plan. The Council considered two alternative harvest control rules. The first was 406 mt and 409 mt in 2017– 2018, which are the ACLs that result from applying the default harvest control rule of an SPR harvest rate of PO 00000 Frm 00009 Fmt 4701 Sfmt 4702 75273 64.9 percent. This is the same harvest control rule that was applied in 2016. The default harvest control rule results in an ACL higher than the 2016 ACL of 356 mt due to the more optimistic stock assessment results. Because the Pacific whiting fisheries have been constrained by the catch of darkblotched rockfish in recent years, the Pacific whiting sectors are expected to be constrained under this alternative. The at-sea Pacific whiting fleets have been managed with an allocation for darkblotched rockfish for several years, such that attainment of that allocation results in automatic closure of the fishery, and have taken extensive measures to keep incidental catch rates low. The shorebased Pacific whiting fleets have been managed with individual fishing quota (IFQ) for darkblotched rockfish for several years, and have also made efforts to keep incidental catch low. Despite this, unexpected darkblotched rockfish catch events, where several tons of darkblotched rockfish have been incidentally taken in single hauls, have continued to occur in the Pacific whiting fishery. As the darkblotched rockfish stock rebuilds, avoiding such events is increasingly more difficult. With 406–409 mt ACLs there is a higher likelihood that such an event would result in the closure of one or more of the at-sea fishery coops or a shorebased vessel reaching its vessel limit and be forced to cease fishing in the IFQ fishery. The second ACL alternative was 641 mt and 653 mt in 2017 and 2018, respectively, and results from applying the default harvest control rule for healthy stocks (setting the ACL equal to the ABC) for calculating the 2017–2018 ACLs for darkblotched rockfish because the stock is anticipated to be rebuilt by 2016. This harvest control rule results in higher ACLs of 641 mt and 653 mt in 2017 and 2018, respectively. The higher ACL alternative may provide additional opportunities for some sectors of the fishery. It is less likely that Pacific whiting sectors would be closed before harvesting their Pacific whiting allocations under this alternative. Setting the ACL equal to the ABC, darkblotched rockfish is still projected to remain healthy (depletion above 40 percent) over the next ten years. The Council recommended applying the default harvest control rule for healthy stocks for calculating the 2017–2018 ACLs for darkblotched rockfish: setting the ACL equal to the ABC. Under this harvest control rule, setting the ACL equal to the ABC, darkblotched rockfish is projected to remain healthy (depletion above 40 percent) over the E:\FR\FM\28OCP2.SGM 28OCP2 mstockstill on DSK3G9T082PROD with PROPOSALS2 75274 Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 209 / Friday, October 28, 2016 / Proposed Rules next ten years. As described above in the ‘‘Introduction’’ to this section, the Council also proposed to set an amount of darkblotched yield aside from the ACL as a buffer that will be available for distribution through routine inseason action, see ‘‘Deductions from the ACLs’’ below for details on the buffer approach. Though the 2015 assessment indicates that the stock will be rebuilt by the start of 2016 regardless of the harvest control rule chosen for 2017–2018 and beyond, the Council chose not to modify the TTARGET of 2025 because of uncertainty in the assessment. There is uncertainty in the assessment because of the model’s sensitivity to catch trends in the NMFS trawl survey, assumptions of steepness, and assumption of natural mortality. Sensitivity in the model means that projections in stock status can vary widely if the assumed steepness or natural mortality are revised. However, the SSC has endorsed the 2015 darkblotched rockfish assessment as the best available science and has recommended that the next darkblotched assessment be an update assessment, where model parameters like steepness and natural mortality are held constant from the full assessment. In the past, the SSC has also recommended against changing the TTARGET as stocks rebuild, because it can result in repeated changes to rebuilding plans that are driven primarily by model sensitivity and not by true changes in stock status. Therefore, the Council chose not to change the TTARGET in the rebuilding plan. This harvest control rule meets the requirements to rebuild as quickly as possible, taking into account the needs of fishing communities and other relevant factors, as the stock is estimated to already be rebuilt. This is 10 years ahead of the TTARGET in the current rebuilding plan of 2025. The change in the harvest control rule is also anticipated to better meet the needs of fishing communities because a higher ACL and resulting trawl allocation (this species is predominately caught in trawl fisheries) could help mitigate negative impacts to communities if encounters with darkblotched rockfish continue to increase as the stock rebuilds. A higher darkblotched rockfish ACL may increase access to other co-occurring target stocks, increasing landings of groundfish, which would benefit coastal communities. Pacific Ocean Perch (S. alutus) POP was declared overfished in 1999. Since 2007, the Council has recommended ACLs for POP based on an SPR harvest rate of 86.4 percent. The rebuilding analysis for POP was last VerDate Sep<11>2014 19:55 Oct 27, 2016 Jkt 241001 updated in the 2013–2014 biennial process based on the 2011 stock assessment and rebuilding analysis. The detailed description and rationale for the current rebuilding plan parameters, an SPR harvest rate of 86.4 percent and a TTARGET of 2051, is described in the 2013–2014 Harvest Specifications and Management Measures proposed rule (77 FR 67974, November 14, 2016). The SPR harvest rate of 86.4 percent and a TTARGET of 2051 is the default harvest control rule for POP. The 2011 rebuilding analysis projected ACLs for 2017–2018 under the default harvest control rule. However, that rebuilding analysis assumed that mortality of POP from 2011 and beyond would be equal to the ACL each year. Harvest of POP has been well below the ACL in recent years. Therefore, the 2011 rebuilding analysis for POP was updated using 2011–2014 actual catches, resulting in updated projected ACLs for 2017–2018. The updated ACLs for 2017–2018 were slightly higher than the 2017–2018 ACLs in the original 2011 rebuilding plan because actual removals were lower than those assumed in the original 2011 rebuilding analysis. The 2017–2018 ACLs, after applying the default harvest control rule (i.e., based on the SPR harvest rate of 86.4 percent, with a TTARGET of 2051), are 171 mt and 176 mt in 2017 and 2018, respectively. The updated 2011 rebuilding plan showed a small increase in the projected ACLs for 2017–2018 from those predicted in the original 2011 rebuilding plan (169 mt and 173 mt for 2017 and 2018, respectively). In addition to the ACLs described above, the Council considered two ACL alternatives for 2017–2018 that would temporarily modify the rebuilding plan, set higher ACLs in 2017, or both 2017 and 2018, and return to lower ACLs based on the SPR harvest rate of 86.4 percent, with a TTARGET of 2051 in 2019 and beyond. The alternative ACLs considered by the Council included: (1) 388 mt in 2017 and an ACL based on the default harvest control rule in 2018 (175 mt) and beyond; and (2) 281 mt constant catch amounts in 2017 and 2018 and an ACL based on the default harvest control rule in 2019 and beyond. All of the alternatives correspond to a median time to rebuild of 2051. The alternatives that modify the harvest control rule result in a less than one percent decrease in the probability of rebuilding by TTARGET. The Council considered this range of POP ACL alternatives to examine the effects of varying POP mortality on the ‘‘needs of fishing communities’’ and the POP rebuilding trajectory. All of the PO 00000 Frm 00010 Fmt 4701 Sfmt 4702 alternatives would maintain the SPR harvest rate as the default harvest control rule in 2019 and beyond, and consider varying the level of harvest in 2017 and 2018 under different harvest control rules. Generally, larger POP ACL alternatives would allow targeting opportunities on midwater non-whiting trawl fisheries and harvest of available Pacific whiting. POP is a slow growing rockfish species that is primarily taken in the trawl fisheries. Generally, lower POP ACL alternatives would reduce flexibility of trawl vessels to fish deeper when targeting Pacific whiting and nonwhiting species on slope fishing grounds north of 40°10′ N. lat. POP has been one of the limiting factors for harvest opportunities of Pacific whiting in recent years. At the June 2016 meeting, the Council considered updated fishery information regarding harvest of POP in at-sea Pacific whiting fisheries and requests from industry for higher amounts of POP to be made available to their sectors to allow continued harvest of available Pacific whiting. Low rebuilding ACLs, rigidity in the allocation scheme, and unpredictable and sudden large incidents of POP bycatch in the Pacific whiting fisheries have resulted in POP limiting access to Pacific whiting, whose harvest benefits coastal communities. The Council recommended a temporary revision to the rebuilding strategy for POP, with a constant catch ACL of 281 mt in 2017 and 2018, returning to an SPR harvest rate of 86.4 percent in 2019 and beyond. This is an increase of 105–110 mt from the ACLs under the default harvest control rule. The TTARGET is maintained at 2051, which is the median time to rebuild and is eight years longer than TF=0. As described above in the ‘‘Introduction’’ to this section, the Council also proposed to set an amount of POP yield aside from the ACL as a buffer that will be available for distribution through routine inseason action, see ‘‘Deductions from the ACLs’’ below for details on the buffer approach. Total catch mortality of POP is projected to be considerably less than the Councilrecommended 281 mt constant catch ACLs in 2017 and 2018. The constant catch ACLs of 281 mt, combined with the deduction from the ACL further described below in ‘‘Deductions from the ACLs,’’ will keep harvest to a level that is less than the annual ACL and continue to maintain the stocks rebuilding trajectory, while reducing the likelihood of inseason restrictions to fisheries that catch POP and while targeting co-occurring healthy stocks. E:\FR\FM\28OCP2.SGM 28OCP2 Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 209 / Friday, October 28, 2016 / Proposed Rules The Council’s new harvest control rule for POP will reduce the risk of earlierthan-anticipated closures of such fisheries due to unforeseen catch events. Those early closures would inhibit harvest of available Pacific whiting, whose revenue is important to coastal communities. Big Skate As described in the sections above regarding OFLs and ABCs, big skate is proposed to be considered ‘‘in the fishery,’’ and no longer considered an ecosystem component species. The stock will be managed with species- specific harvest specifications. The ACL is based on the default harvest control rule for healthy stocks. Blackgill Rockfish ACL/HG and Future Changes to Allocations Blackgill rockfish south is in the Minor Slope Rockfish South complex and contributes to the harvest specifications of that complex in 2017 and 2018. Blackgill rockfish will have a harvest guideline each year that is equal to its ACL contribution to the complex. No changes to the species composition of Minor Slope Rockfish South allocations are proposed at this time. 75275 The Council took final action on Amendment 26 to the PCGFMP which would make changes to management of blackgill rockfish. However, this amendment has not been implemented at this time and therefore this rule continues to manage blackgill as part of the Minor Slope South complex. If a future action considers changes to the species composition of the Minor Slope Rockfish South complex and allocations for blackgill rockfish, those changes would be implemented in that rule and are not discussed further here. TABLE 3—SUMMARY OF ACL POLICIES 2016 Stock ACL (mt) 2017 ACL (mt) Policy 2018 2017–2018 ACL (mt) Policy Summary of policy change BOCACCIO S. of 40°10′ N. lat. COWCOD S. of 40°10′ N. lat. DARKBLOTCHED ROCKFISH. 362 SPR = 77.7% .................. 790 741 SPR = 77.7% .................. New 2015 assessment. No change in policy. 10 10 10 641 653 SPR = 82.7% (F = 0.007); ACT = 4 mt. ACL = ABC (P* = 0.45) .. No change. 346 SPR = 82.7% (F = 0.007); ACT = 4 mt. SPR = 64.9% .................. PACIFIC OCEAN PERCH 164 SPR = 86.4% .................. 281 281 19 5,328 SPR = 76.0% .................. ACL = ABC (P* = 0.40) .. 20 13,804 20 13,743 Constant catch stretegy for 2017–2018; SPR = 86.4% for 2019 and beyond. SPR = 76.0% .................. ACL = ABC (P* = 0.40) .. Big skate ........................... Ecosystem component species; no harbest specifications 494 494 ACL = ABC (P* = 0.45) .. Species added to the FMP. Applied default harvest control rule of ACL = ABC, with a P* = 0.45 because it is a healthy stock. Black rockfish (CA) ........... ............ ......................................... 334 332 ACL = ABC (P* = 0.45) .. Black rockfish (OR) ........... 1,000 Constant catch strategy 527 520 ACL = ABC (P* = 0.45) .. Black rockfish (WA) .......... Cabezon (CA) ................... 404 151 ACL = ABC (P* = 0.45) .. ACL = ABC (P* = 0.45) .. 305 150 301 149 Cabezon (OR) ................... California scorpionfish S. of 40°10′ N. lat. Canary rockfish ................. 47 111 ACL = ABC (P* = 0.45) .. ACL = ABC (P* = 0.45) .. 47 150 47 150 ACL = ABC (P* = 0.45) .. 40–10 rule applied (P* = 0.45). ACL = ABC (P* = 0.45) .. ACL = ABC (P* = 0.45) .. New 2015 assessment. Applied default harvest control rule of ACL = ABC, with a P* = 0.45 because this is a healthy, category 1 stock. New 2015 assessment. Applied default harvest control rule of ACL = ABC, with a P* = 0.45 because this is a healthy, category 1 stock. New 2015 assessment. No change in policy. No change. 125 SPR = 88.7% .................. 1,714 1,526 ACL = ABC (P* = 0.45) .. Chilipepper S. of 40°10′ N. lat. Dover sole ......................... English sole ...................... Lingcod N. of 40°10′ N. lat Lingcod S. of 40°10′ N. lat Longnose skate ................ Longspine thornyhead N. of 34°27′ N. lat. Pacific Cod ........................ Petrale Sole ...................... 1,619 ACL = ABC (P* = 0.45) .. 2,607 2,507 ACL = ABC (P* = 0.45) .. 50,000 7,204 2,719 946 2,000 3,015 Constant catch strategy ACL = ABC (P* = 0.45) .. ACL = ABC (P* = 0.45) .. ACL = ABC (P* = 0.4) .... Constant catch strategy ACL = 76% of coastwide ABC (P* = 0.40). ACL = 50% of OFL ......... 25–5 rule applied to the ABC (P* = 0.45). 50,000 9,964 3,333 1,251 2,000 2,894 50,000 7,537 3,110 1,144 2,000 2,747 1,600 3,136 1,600 3,013 Constant catch strategy ACL = ABC (P* = 0.45) .. ACL = ABC (P* = 0.45) .. ACL = ABC (P* = 0.4) .... Constant catch strategy ACL = 76% of coastwide ABC (P* = 0.40). ACL = 50% of OFL ......... ACL = ABC (P* = 0.45) .. 6,041 6,299 1,075 1,120 500 1,713 500 1,698 mstockstill on DSK3G9T082PROD with PROPOSALS2 YELLOWEYE ROCKFISH Arrowtouch flounder .......... 1,600 2,910 Sablefish N. of 36° N. lat .. 5,241 Sablefish S. of 36° N. lat .. 1,880 Shortbelly rockfish ............ Shortspine thornyhead N. of 34°27′ N. lat. 500 1,726 VerDate Sep<11>2014 19:55 Oct 27, 2016 40–10 rule applied to 73.6% of coastwide ABC (P* = 0.40). 40–10 rule applied to 26.4% of coastwide ABC (P* = 0.40). Constant catch strategy ACL = 65.4% of coastwide ABC (P* = 0.40). Jkt 241001 PO 00000 Frm 00011 Fmt 4701 40–10 rule applied to 84.9% of coastwide ABC (P* = 0.40). 40-10 rule applied to 15.1% of coastwide ABC (P* = 0.40). Constant catch strategy ACL = 65.4% of coastwide ABC (P* = 0.40). Sfmt 4702 New 2015 assessment. Stock is projected to be rebuilt by 2015 under any harvest level, therefore the default harvest control rule of ACL = ABC, with a P* = 0.45 was applied because it is projected to be a healthy, category 1 stock. Two-year ACL increase to meet the needs of communities, while still rebuilding as quickly as possible, by the Target specified in the current rebuilding plan. No charge. No charge. No change. No change. New 2015 assessment. Applied default harvest control rule of ACL = ABC, with a P* = 0.45 because this is a healthy, category 1 stock. New 2015 assessment. No change. No No No No No No change. change. change. change. change. change. No change. New 2015 assessment. Applied default harvest control rule of ACL = ABC, with a P* = 0.45 because this is a healthy, category 1 stock. New 2015 assessment and updated north/south apportionment. No change. New 2015 assessment and updated north/south apportionment. No change. No change. No change. E:\FR\FM\28OCP2.SGM 28OCP2 75276 Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 209 / Friday, October 28, 2016 / Proposed Rules TABLE 3—SUMMARY OF ACL POLICIES—Continued 2016 Stock ACL (mt) Shortspine thornyhead S. of 34°27′ N. lat. Policy 2018 ACL (mt) ACL (mt) 2017–2018 Policy Summary of policy change Spiny dogfish .................... Splitnose rockfish S. of 40°10′ N. lat. Starry flounder .................. Widow rockfish .................. 2,085 1,746 ACL = 34.6% of coastwide ABC (P* = 0.40). ACL = ABC (P* = 0.40) .. ACL = ABC (P* = 0.45) .. 1,539 2,000 ACL = ABC (P* = 0.40) .. Constant catch strategy 1,282 13,508 1,282 12,655 ACL = ABC (P* = 0.40) .. ACL = ABC (P* = 0.45) .. Yellowtail N. of 40°10′ N. lat. Minor Nearshore Rockfish north. 6,344 ACL = ABC (P* = 0.45) .. 6,196 6,002 ACL = ABC (P* = 0.45) .. 69 105 105 Minor Shelf Rockfish north 1,952 2,049 2,047 Minor Slope Rockfish north. Minor Nearshore Rockfish south. 1,706 ACL = ABC (P* = 0.45); 40–10 adj. ACL contrib. for blue RF in CA and China RF. ACL = ABC (P* = 0.45); 40–10 adj. ACL contrib. for greenspotted RF in CA. ACL = ABC (P* = 0.45) .. 1,755 1,754 Minor Shelf Rockfish south Minor Slope Rockfish south. Other Flatfish .................... Other Fish ......................... 913 2017 mstockstill on DSK3G9T082PROD with PROPOSALS2 898 2,094 1,760 2,083 1,761 ACL = 34.6% of coastwide ABC (P* = 0.40). ACL = ABC (P* = 0.40) .. ACL = ABC (P* = 0.45) .. 1,006 ACL = ABC (P* = 0.45); 40–10 adj. ACL contrib. for blue RF N of 34°27′ N. lat.. 1,163 1,179 1,625 ACL = ABC (P* = 0.45); 40–10 adj. ACL contrib. for greenspotted RF in CA. ACL = ABC (P* = 0.45); 40–10 adj. ACL contrib. for blackgill RF. ACL = ABC (P* = 0.4) .... ACLs = ABCs (ABC contribution from only selected stocks in the complex; for all those species P* = 0.45). 1,623 1,624 707 709 8,510 474 7,281 441 695 7,243 243 IV. Management Measures New management measures being proposed for the 2017–2018 biennial cycle would work in combination with current management measures to control fishing. This management structure should ensure that the catch of overfished groundfish species does not exceed the rebuilding ACLs while allowing harvest of healthier groundfish stocks to occur to the extent possible. Routine management measures are used to modify fishing behavior during the fishing year. Routine management measures for the commercial fisheries include trip and cumulative landing limits, time/area closures, size limits, and gear restrictions. Routine management measures for the recreational fisheries include bag limits, size limits, gear restrictions, fish dressing requirements, and time/area closures. The groundfish fishery is managed with a variety of other regulatory requirements that are not routinely adjusted, many of which are not changed through this rulemaking, and are found at 50 CFR part 660, VerDate Sep<11>2014 906 19:55 Oct 27, 2016 Jkt 241001 Frm 00012 Fmt 4701 No change. No change. No change. New 2015 assessment. Applied default harvest control rule of ACL = ABC, with a P* = 0.45 because this is a healthy, category 1 stock. No change. ACL = ABC (P* = 0.45); New 2015 China RF assessment. No change. 40–10 adj. ACL contrib. for blue RF in CA. ACL = ABC (P* = 0.45); New 2015 chilipepper assessment. No change. 40–10 adj. ACL contrib. for greenspotted RF in CA. ACL = ABC (P* = 0.45) .. No change. ACL = ABC (P* = 0.45); 40–10 adj. ACL contrib. for blue RF N of 34°27′ N. lat. and China RF. ACL = ABC (P* = 0.45); 40–10 adj. ACL contrib. for greenspotted RF in CA. ACL = ABC (P* = 0.45); 40–10 adj. ACL contrib. for blackgill RF. ACL = ABC (P* = 0.4) .... ACLs = ABCs (P* = 0.45) subparts C through G. The regulations at 50 CFR part 660, subparts C through G, include, but are not limited to, longterm harvest allocations, recordkeeping and reporting requirements, monitoring requirements, license limitation programs, and essential fish habitat (EFH) protection measures. The routine management measures, specified at 50 CFR 660.60(c), in combination with the entire collection of groundfish regulations, are used to manage the Pacific Coast groundfish fishery during the biennium to achieve harvest guidelines, quotas, or allocations, that result from the harvest specifications identified in this proposed rule, while protecting overfished and depleted stocks. In addition to changes to routine management measures, this section describes biennial fishery allocations and set-asides, and new management measures proposed for 2017–2018 including: creation of a new off-the-top deduction for canary rockfish, POP, and darkblotched rockfish to address unforeseen catch events (the buffer), PO 00000 No change. Sfmt 4702 New 2015 China RF assessment. No change. New 2015 chilipepper assessment. No change. No change. No change. New 2015 kelp greenling (off Oregon) assessment. All species in the complex contribute to the harvest specifications. classification of big skate in the PCGFMP, flatfish retention during seasonal depth closures in Oregon, a new inseason process for California recreational and commercial fisheries, and petrale sole and starry flounder retention in the California recreational fishery. The management measures being proposed reflect the Council’s recommendations from its June 2016 meeting, as transmitted to NMFS. At its June 2016 meeting, the Council recommended the creation a buffer for canary rockfish, POP, and darkblotched rockfish, that would be included in the final rule for this action; therefore NMFS is specifically seeking public comment on that item. This rule also proposes changes to recreational regulations in Washington and Oregon to allow flatfish retention during days open to Pacific halibut fishing. This would make groundfish regulations consistent with past modifications to the Council’s Pacific Halibut Catch Sharing Plan. E:\FR\FM\28OCP2.SGM 28OCP2 Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 209 / Friday, October 28, 2016 / Proposed Rules A. Deductions From the ACLs mstockstill on DSK3G9T082PROD with PROPOSALS2 Before allocations are made to groundfish fisheries, deductions are made from ACLs to set aside fish for certain types of activities, also called ‘‘off-the-top deductions.’’ The deductions from the ACL have been associated with four distinct sources of groundfish mortality. The sources of groundfish mortality accounted for are: harvest in Pacific Coast treaty Indian tribal fisheries; harvest in scientific research activities; harvest in nongroundfish fisheries; and harvest that occurs under exempted fishing permits (EFPs). For 2017–2018, a new category of deductions from the ACL is proposed to account for unforeseen catch events for three species (canary rockfish, POP, and darkblotched rockfish), also called the buffer. All the deductions from the ACL, including the proposed amount for unforeseen catch events, are described at § 660.55(b) and specified in the footnotes to Tables 1a and 2a to subpart C. Under current regulations, modifications to these amounts is permitted through routine inseason action. In order to keep the public informed about these changes, any movement of fish from the deductions from the ACL to other fisheries will be announced in the Federal Register. for receiving such a distribution not for the sole purpose of extending a fishery before a need is demonstrated. Therefore, this rule proposes that any buffer amounts would be available for distribution through routine inseason action and, when making any distribution decisions on the buffer through an inseason action, the Council would consider the existing allocation framework criteria and objectives to maintain or extend fishing and marketing opportunities as stated in the PCGFMP, while taking into account the best available fishery information on sector needs. This means NMFS does not see a way to apportion the buffer prior to a fishery starting. It is anticipated that in that situation, sectors would use currently available inseason tools to prosecute their fishery. Other Buffer Considerations For each of these three species, the buffer approach and the choice of ACLs are linked because the ACLs recommended by the Council in June 2016 and proposed in this rule are higher than the ACLs the Council preliminarily recommended at their April meeting. The increased ACLs are proposed to accommodate the buffer amounts. For canary and darkblotched The Buffer the Council recommended ACLs based the default harvest control rule for At its June 2016 meeting the Council recommended the addition of a new off- healthy stocks, and for POP the Council recommended a constant catch ACL of the-top deduction to account for 281 mt in 2017 and 2018. For a more unforeseen catch events in any sector, detailed discussion of the ACLs for POP also known as a buffer, and specifically and darkblotched rockfish, see the established buffer amounts for canary ‘‘Proposed ACLs for 2017 and 2018’’ rockfish, POP, and darkblotched section above. rockfish. Under the buffer approach, for Currently, off-the-top deductions may darkblotched rockfish and POP all be distributed to any sector through sectors would receive lower allocations routine inseason after the Council has than if the entire ACL were allocated. made the appropriate considerations. It For canary rockfish, the nontrawl is NMFS’s interpretation that the allocation is not reduced with the buffer Council intended to apply the current because the nontrawl allocation was inseason distribution procedures and held constant. In other words, there is Council considerations to the buffer amounts (i.e., the Council did not intend potential foregone yield by most sectors to create new criteria for distributing the (either through targeting or increased access to bycatch) by establishing the buffer). Also, NMFS interprets the buffer. The forgone yield by Council’s intent was not to apportion the buffer simply because allocations of implementing the buffer could be bycatch species are lower or allocations considered the price for addressing uncertainty in the assessment and of target species are higher than in projected catches while achieving previous years; rather, any distribution conservation goals and objectives and would be based on demonstrated need. providing stability in management of Consistent with the Council’s recommendation that the buffer be used the fishery, as envisioned in the PCGFMP and under MSA. Overall, to account for unforeseen catch events, however, the forgone yield is expected this proposed rule provides that any to be inconsequential since historic ACL buffer amounts could only be attainment for these species has been distributed due to an unforeseen catch event. Further, any distribution must go low. From 2011–2014, on average 42 to a sector that has demonstrated a need percent of the canary ACLs were VerDate Sep<11>2014 19:55 Oct 27, 2016 Jkt 241001 PO 00000 Frm 00013 Fmt 4701 Sfmt 4702 75277 attained, 41 percent of the darkblotched ACLs, and 35 percent of the POP ACLs. Another consideration for the buffer is the accumulation limits in the IFQ fishery. Accumulation limits in the IFQ program limit the amount of quota share (QS) that a person, individually or collectively, may own or control (i.e. QS control limits), and set limits on the amount of quota pounds (QP) that a vessel may catch or hold in its vessel account during the year (i.e. annual vessel limits). Identical to the current off-the-top deductions, any buffer amount that is apportioned to the Shorebased IFQ Program would change allocations, and therefore would also affect the individual amounts associated with the QS and QP accumulation limits. Relative to QS, there would be no change in the percentage that applies for the QS accumulation limits; the existing percentage would be applying to a larger poundage that may result in a higher poundage at the individual level. Relative to QP, in the Shorebased IFQ Program a limited amount of surplus QP in a vessel account may be carried over from one year to the next, and a deficit in a vessel account in one year may be covered with QP from a subsequent year, up to a carryover limit. QP made available to the Shorebased IFQ Program from the buffer amounts, will not count towards calculations for carryover, consistent with the current procedures of off-the-top deductions. The Pacific whiting final rule (77 FR 28497, May 15, 2012, comment 15) addressed this issue in the context of reapportionment of Pacific whiting to the Shorebased IFQ Program. Any release of additional QP resulting from deductions from the ACL is similar to reapportionment of Pacific whiting in that both may be added to the shorebased trawl allocation during the year but were not part of the annual allocation. Because reapportionment of Pacific whiting is not included in the calculation for the carryover limit in the Shorebased IFQ Program, and because release of additional QP is a similar provision, NMFS proposes that that release of additional QP resulting from redistribution of any buffer amounts would also not count toward the carryover limit. Current regulations at § 660.140(e)(5) state that these additional amounts do not count toward calculation of the carryover limit. No changes to the regulations at § 660.140(e)(5)(ii) regarding deficit carryover are proposed. Therefore, if a vessel has already opted out of the fishery, it would not have the option of covering its deficit with the additional QP that were released from the buffer. Also, current regulations at § 660.140(e)(5)(i) are not proposed to be E:\FR\FM\28OCP2.SGM 28OCP2 75278 Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 209 / Friday, October 28, 2016 / Proposed Rules changed, and state that surplus carryover QP or IBQ pounds are deposited straight into vessel accounts and do not change the shorebased trawl allocation. B. Biennial Fishery Allocations Two-year trawl and nontrawl allocations are decided during the biennial process for those species without long-term allocations or species where the long-term allocation is suspended because the species was declared overfished. For all species, except sablefish north of 36° N. lat., allocations for the trawl and nontrawl sectors are calculated from the fishery harvest guideline. The fishery harvest guideline is the tonnage that remains after subtracting from the ACL harvest in Tribal fisheries, scientific research activities, non-groundfish fisheries, some activities conducted under exempted fishing permits, and the yield to account for unforeseen catch events. The two-year allocations and recreational harvest guidelines are designed to accommodate anticipated mortality in each sector as well as to accommodate variability and uncertainty in those estimates of mortality. Allocations described below are specified in the harvest specification tables appended to 50 CFR part 660, subpart C. mstockstill on DSK3G9T082PROD with PROPOSALS2 Bocaccio The following are the Council’s recommended allocations for bocaccio in 2017: Limited entry trawl, 302.4 mt; limited entry and open access nonnearshore fixed gears, 144.3 mt; limited entry and open access nearshore fixed gear, 1.8 mt; and California recreational 326.1 mt. The following are the Council’s recommended allocations for bocaccio in 2018: Limited entry trawl, 283.3 mt; limited entry and open access non-nearshore fixed gears, 135.1 mt; Limited entry and open access nearshore fixed gear, 1.7 mt; California recreational 305.5 mt. These allocations are anticipated to accommodate estimates of mortality of bocaccio, by sector, in 2017–2018 and maintain a similar allocation scheme as in 2016. Canary Rockfish Since the last biennium canary rockfish has been declared rebuilt and continues to be allocated biennially. The following are the Council’s recommended allocations for canary rockfish in 2017: Shorebased IFQ Program, 1014.1 mt; at-sea sectors of the Pacific whiting fishery, 46 mt (catcher/ processor (C/P), 16 mt; and mothership (MS), 30 mt); limited entry and open access non-nearshore fixed gears, 46.5 VerDate Sep<11>2014 19:55 Oct 27, 2016 Jkt 241001 mt; limited entry and open access nearshore fixed gear, 100 mt; Washington recreational, 50 mt; Oregon recreational, 75 mt; and California recreational, 135 mt. The following are the Council’s recommended allocations for canary rockfish in 2018: Shorebased IFQ Program, 1,014.1 mt; at-sea sectors of the Pacific whiting fishery, 46 mt (C/ P, 16 mt; and MS, 30 mt); limited entry and open access non-nearshore fixed gears, 46.5 mt; limited entry and open access nearshore fixed gear, 100 mt; Washington recreational, 50 mt; Oregon recreational, 75 mt; and California recreational, 135 mt. These allocations are anticipated to accommodate estimates of mortality of canary rockfish, by sector, in 2017–2018 and address the newly rebuilt status. Cowcod For 2017–2018, the Council recommended setting a cowcod ACT at 4 mt, and having it function as a fishery harvest guideline similar to the 2015– 2016 biennium; it is the amount that would be allocated across groundfish fisheries. The cowcod allocation is proposed to be 36 percent (1.4 mt) trawl and 64 percent (2.6 mt) nontrawl for 2017–2018. NMFS anticipates the proposed allocation structure will keep catch below the 2017–2018 cowcod ACTs without having to make changes to fishery management measures and maintains the same allocation scheme as in 2016. Petrale Sole Petrale sole was declared rebuilt since the last biennium and is an Amendment 21 allocated species. Therefore, this rule proposes allocations of 95 percent trawl and 5 percent nontrawl. For petrale sole, 2,745.3 mt is allocated to Shorebased IFQ Program and 144.8 mt is allocated to the nontrawl fishery in 2017. For 2018, 2,628.5 mt is allocated to the Shorebased IFQ Program and 138.6 mt is allocated to the nontrawl fishery. Yelloweye Rockfish The Council recommended that the fishery HG be divided into trawl and nontrawl allocations as follows: 1.10 mt to trawl and 13.1 mt to nontrawl in 2017; and 1.1 mt to trawl and 12.9 mt to nontrawl in 2018. The following are the Council’s recommended HGs for yelloweye rockfish in 2017: Limited entry and open access non-nearshore fixed gears, 0.8; limited entry and open access nearshore fixed gear, 2.1; Washington recreational, 3.3; Oregon recreational 3 mt; and California recreational 3.9 mt. The following are the Council’s recommended HGs for yelloweye rockfish in 2018: Limited PO 00000 Frm 00014 Fmt 4701 Sfmt 4702 entry trawl, 1.1 mt; limited entry and open access non-nearshore fixed gears, 0.7; limited entry and open access nearshore fixed gear, 2; Washington recreational, 3.3; Oregon recreational 3 mt; and California recreational 3.9 mt. These allocations are anticipated to accommodate estimates of mortality of yelloweye by sector in 2017–2018, and maintain the same allocation scheme that was in place for yelloweye rockfish in 2016. Black Rockfish off Oregon and California Washington, Oregon, and California will have state-specific HGs for black rockfish in 2017–2018. This is a change from 2015–2016 where the OregonCalifornia federal fishery HG was combined. For 2017, the harvest guidelines are: Washington 287 mt, Oregon 526.4, California 333 mt. For 2018, the harvest guidelines are as follows: Washington 283 mt, Oregon 519.4 mt, and California 331 mt. Longnose Skate The Council recommended a two-year trawl and nontrawl HG for longnose skate of 90 percent to the trawl fishery and 10 percent to the nontrawl fishery. The allocation percentages reflect historical catch of longnose skate between the two sectors. This maintains the same allocation scheme that was in place for longnose skate in 2016. Therefore the 2017–2018 trawl allocations are 1,667.7 mt and 185.3 mt nontrawl. Minor Nearshore Rockfish California will continue to have a state-specific harvest guideline for blue/ deacon rockfish. Amendment 27 would add deacon rockfish to the PCGFMP and this rule proposes to apply current regulations for blue rockfish to blue/ deacon as recent information indicates that catch histories of deacon and blue rockfish are conflated since they were not distinguished until recently. The blue rockfish harvest guideline for the area south of 42° N. latitude is the sum of three components: (1) The assessed stock’s contribution to the Minor Nearshore Rockfish complex ABC (south of 40°10′ N. lat.), (2) the contribution for the unassessed portion south of Point Conception, and (3) the contribution to the Nearshore Rockfish complex ABC for the area between 40°10′ N. lat. and 42° N. lat. For 2017 and 2018, this results in a 305 and 311 mt HG, respectively, for blue/deacon rockfish south of 42° N. lat. Harvest specifications for Minor Nearshore Rockfish north of 40°10’ N. lat. are increased from the 69 mt in E:\FR\FM\28OCP2.SGM 28OCP2 Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 209 / Friday, October 28, 2016 / Proposed Rules mstockstill on DSK3G9T082PROD with PROPOSALS2 2015–2016 to 103.2 mt in 2017–2018. The states intend to manage catch using state-specific harvest guidelines: 16.9 mt for Washington; 46.1 mt for Oregon, and 40.2 mt for California north of 40°10′ N. lat. However, instead of implementing state specific harvest guidelines in Federal regulations, the state Council representatives from Oregon and Washington committed to heightened inseason communication regarding catches of species managed in the complex relative to the harvest guidelines consistent with the current state coordinated management. California will have a Federal harvest guideline for this complex from 42° N. lat. to 40°10′ N. lat. to facilitate inseason action if needed, and has committed to increased catch reporting at Council meetings. In California, the HG of 40.2 mt would be specified in Federal regulation and apply only in the area between 40°10′ N. lat. and 42° N. lat. California, through the Council, could propose changes through Federal regulations. Under state management, landed component species within the Minor Nearshore Rockfish complex must be sorted to species. Because the states may also take inseason action independent of NMFS, the proposed action is not anticipated to result in exceeding the complex ACL in 2017– 2018. Although the Minor Nearshore Rockfish North ACL attainment has been high in recent years, reaching 100 percent in 2011, management measures have prevented the ACL from being exceeded. State nearshore management plans and policies mitigate the risk of overfishing. State HGs and a federal HG for Minor Nearshore Rockfish in the area between 40°10′ and 42° N. lat. under the proposed action will reduce the risk of exceeding the complex ACL. Minor Shelf Rockfish Allocations for Minor Shelf Rockfish are recommended by the Council each biennial cycle. For Minor Shelf Rockfish north of 40°10′ N. lat., 1,183.1 mt (60.2 percent of the fishery harvest guideline) is allocated to the trawl fishery and 782.1 mt (39.8 percent of the fishery harvest guideline) is allocated to the nontrawl fishery for 2017. For Minor Shelf Rockfish south of 40°10′ N. lat., 192.2 mt (12.2 percent of the fishery harvest guideline) is allocated to the trawl fishery and 1,383.6 mt (87.8 percent of the fishery harvest guideline) is allocated to the nontrawl fishery for 2017. For 2018, the same percentages are applied resulting in allocations of 1,181.8 mt to the trawl fishery and 781.4 mt to the nontrawl fishery north of 40°10′ N. lat., and 192.37 mt to the trawl VerDate Sep<11>2014 19:55 Oct 27, 2016 Jkt 241001 fishery and 1,384.4 mt to the nontrawl fishery south of 40°10′ N. lat. This maintains the same allocation percentages as were in place for the Minor Shelf Rockfish complexes since 2011. Minor Slope Rockfish Minor Slope Rockfish were allocated between the trawl and nontrawl fisheries in PCGFMP Amendment 21. This action applies those Amendment 21 allocation percentages to the updated 2017–2018 fishery harvest guidelines. Blackgill rockfish in California was assessed in 2011 and has continued to be managed within the Minor Slope Rockfish complex, but with a speciesspecific HG south of 40°10′ N. lat. beginning in 2013. For 2017–2018 the Council recommended a blackgill rockfish harvest guideline equal to the ABC contribution for the portion of the stock south of 40°10′ N. lat., reduced by the 40–10 adjustment because the stock is in the precautionary zone. South of 40°10′ N. lat., the blackgill rockfish harvest guideline is 120.2 mt in 2017 and 122.4 mt in 2018. C. Modifications to the Boundaries Defining Rockfish Conservation Areas (RCAs) RCAs are large area closures intended to reduce the catch of a species or species complex by restricting fishing activity at specific depths. The boundaries for RCAs are defined by straight lines connecting a series of latitude and longitude coordinates that approximate depth contours. A set of coordinates define lines that approximate various depth contours. These sets of coordinates, or lines, in and of themselves, are not gear or fishery specific, but are used in combination to define an area. That area may then be described with fishing restrictions implemented for a specific gear and/or fishery. For the 2017–2018 cycle, changes to refine selected coordinates are being proposed for: 30 fm, 40 fm, and 150 fm in California. The changes to the coordinates around Noon Day rock in California are proposed to address an area where the current RCA is not enforceable because it is too small. The other changes are proposed to more accurately define the depth contours. D. Sorting Requirements Resulting From Big Skate Designation to ‘‘in the Fishery’’ In the non-whiting groundfish fishery, catch is sorted to species or species group in order to account for catch against the various harvest specifications and management PO 00000 Frm 00015 Fmt 4701 Sfmt 4702 75279 measures that are specific to those species or species groups. Except for vessels participating in the Pacific whiting fishery (see § 660.130(d)(2)(ii) and (d)(3)), groundfish regulations require that species or species groups with a trip limit, size limit, scientific sorting designation, quota, harvest guideline, ACT, or ACL, be sorted (see § 660.12(a)(8)). Therefore, this rule proposes to modify the trawl sorting requirements so that big skate is required to be sorted coastwide by all trawl fisheries. E. New Inseason Process for Commercial and Recreational Fisheries in California The new inseason process in California is described above in the ‘‘Amendment 27 to the PCGFMP’’ section. F. Limited Entry Trawl Limited Entry Trawl Fishery The Council recommended several changes to trawl management measures for the 2017–2018 biennium. Generally, management measures in the trawl fishery apply to the portions of the limited entry trawl fishery described here. As stated above in the ‘‘Sorting Requirements Resulting from Big Skate Designation to ‘‘in the Fishery’’ ’’ section, sorting requirements are proposed. Other changes to management measures in the limited entry trawl fishery are described in the sections that follow. Incidental Trip Limits for IFQ Vessels For vessels fishing in the Shorebased IFQ Program, with either groundfish trawl gear or nontrawl gears, the following incidentally caught species are managed with trip limits: Minor nearshore rockfish north and south, black rockfish, cabezon (46°16′ to 40°10′ N. lat. and south of 40°10′ N. lat.), spiny dogfish, shortbelly rockfish, big skate, Pacific whiting, and the Other Fish complex. No changes to trip limits in the IFQ fishery are proposed for the start of the 2017–2018 biennium; however, changes to trip limits are considered a routine measure under § 660.60(c) and may be implemented or adjusted, if determined necessary, through inseason action. Proposed regulations clarify that midwater gear is allowed for vessels targeting non-whiting during the dates of the primary Pacific whiting fishery, and that midwater gear can be used in the RCA when targeting non-whiting. RCA Configurations for Vessels Using Trawl Gear Based on analysis of West Coast Groundfish Observer Data and vessel logbook data, the boundaries of the E:\FR\FM\28OCP2.SGM 28OCP2 75280 Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 209 / Friday, October 28, 2016 / Proposed Rules mstockstill on DSK3G9T082PROD with PROPOSALS2 RCAs were developed to prohibit groundfish fishing within a range of depths where encounters with overfished species were most likely to occur. The lines that approximate depth contours are defined by latitude and longitude coordinates and may be used to define any of the depth-based area closures, primarily RCAs. The choice of which depth-based line(s) to use to define the RCA boundaries varies by season, latitude, and gear group. Boundaries for limited entry trawl vessels are different from those for the limited entry fixed-gear and open access gears. The trawl RCAs apply to vessels fishing with groundfish trawl gear. The nontrawl RCAs apply to the limited entry fixed-gear and open access gears other than non-groundfish trawl. The non-groundfish trawl RCAs are fisheryspecific. For 2017–2018, the Council recommended modifying the trawl RCA in the area north of Cape Alava (48°10′ N. lat.). Specifically, the trawl RCA seaward boundary is proposed to be changed from 150 fm and 200 fm modified to 150 fm and the shoreward boundary will be changed from shore to 100 fm. The proposed RCA configuration will be consistent with the RCA currently south of Cape Alava to 45°46′ N. lat. G. Limited Entry Fixed Gear and Open Access Nontrawl Fishery Management measures for the limited entry fixed gear (LEFG) and open access (OA) nontrawl fisheries tend to be similar because the majority of participants in both fisheries use hookand-line gear. Management measures, including area restrictions and trip limits in these nontrawl fisheries, are generally designed to allow harvest of target species while keeping catch of overfished species low. For 2017–2018, changes to management measures include: Changes to sablefish trip limits based on changes to the sharing percentages between limited entry and open access, changes to trip limits for minor nearshore shelf, bocaccio, yellowtail rockfish, minor nearshore rockfish, canary rockfish, deeper nearshore rockfish, a change to the seaward boundary of the nontrawl RCA from 40°10′ N. lat. to 34°27′ N. lat., and a change to the shoreward boundary south of 34°27′ N. lat. Nontrawl RCA The nontrawl RCA applies to vessels that take, retain, possess, or land groundfish using nontrawl gears, unless they are incidental fisheries that are exempt from the nontrawl RCA (e.g., the pink shrimp non-groundfish trawl VerDate Sep<11>2014 19:55 Oct 27, 2016 Jkt 241001 fishery). The seaward and shoreward boundaries of the nontrawl RCAs vary along the coast, and are divided at various commonly used geographic coordinates, defined in § 660.11, subpart C. In 2009, the shoreward boundary of the nontrawl RCA was established based on fishery information indicating that fishing in some areas in the nontrawl fishery have higher yelloweye rockfish bycatch than in others, and the RCA boundaries were adjusted to reduce mortality of yelloweye rockfish in these areas. The nontrawl RCA boundaries proposed for 2017–2018 are the same as those in place for the nontrawl fisheries in 2015–2016, except for the seaward boundary from 40°10′ N. lat. to 34°27′ N. lat., which is proposed to be shifted from 150 fm to 125 fm, and the shoreward boundary south of 34°27′ N. lat., which is proposed to be shifted from 60 fm to 75 fm. This management measure would affect nearshore and shelf rockfish species in California south of 40°10′ N. lat. Modifications to the shoreward RCA boundary will allow access to deeper nearshore species (blue, brown, copper, olive rockfishes) and shelf rockfish species (chilipepper, greenblotched, Mexican, vermilion). Modifications to the seaward RCA will allow access to shelf rockfish species and sablefish. These changes are expected to increase catch of chilipepper and other healthy shelf rockfish species by allowing access to depths in which they are more prevalent. The nontrawl fisheries are currently managed with cumulative trip limits, and any increases in catch are expected to remain within allowable harvest limits. Nontrawl Fishery Trip Limits Trip limits proposed for the nontrawl fisheries in 2017–2018 are similar to those that applied to these fisheries since 2011. To help achieve, but not exceed, the allocations of sablefish in the limited entry fixed gear and open access fisheries, changes to trip limits are proposed. Changes are also proposed in the limited entry and open access fixed gear fisheries for yellowtail rockfish, Minor Shelf Rockfish between 40°10′ N. lat. and 34°27′ N. lat., canary rockfish, bocaccio south of 40°10′ N. lat., and Minor Nearshore Rockfish and black rockfish south of 40°10′ N. lat. Proposed 2015–2016 trip limits for these changes are specified in Table 2 (North), Table 2 (South) to subpart E and in Table 3 (North) and Table 3 (South) to subpart F. PO 00000 Frm 00016 Fmt 4701 Sfmt 4702 Primary Sablefish Fishery Tier Limits Some limited entry fixed gear permits are endorsed to receive annual sablefish quota, or ‘‘tier limits,’’ and vessels registered with one, two, or up to three of these permits may participate in the primary sablefish fishery, described at § 660.231. Tier limits proposed for the limited entry fixed gear primary sablefish fleet are higher in 2017–2018, reflecting the higher sablefish harvest specifications. The proposed tier limits are as follows: Tier 1 at 51,947 lb (23,562 kg), Tier 2 at 23,612 lb (10,710 kg), and Tier 3 at 13,493 lb (6,120 kg). In 2018, Tier 1 at 54,179 lb (24,575 kg), Tier 2 at 24,627 lb (11,170 kg), and Tier 3 at 14,072 lb (6,382 kg). Yellowtail Rockfish North of 40°10′ N. Lat. This rule proposes establishing stockspecific yellowtail rockfish trip limits in both limited entry and open access fixed gear fisheries north of 40°10′ N. lat. by removing yellowtail rockfish from the combined trip limits for Minor Shelf Rockfish, shortbelly rockfish, and widow rockfish. NMFS is soliciting comments on this interpretation because, while the Council’s yellowtail rockfish trip limit recommendation was clear, the removal of yellowtail rockfish from the combined trip limit was not explicit in the Council’s discussion. This change is proposed because of the increase in and rebuilt status of widow rockfish (which co-occurs with yellowtail rockfish) and would increase the yellowtail rockfish trip limit from a combined limit with several other species of 200 lb/month to 500 lb/ month, just for yellowtail rockfish. Minor Shelf Rockfish Between 40°10′ N. lat.–34°27′ N. Lat. Specifications for the complex are established for the area south of 40°10′ N. lat., however the changes proposed in this rule are only for the area between 40°10′ N. lat. and 34°27′ N. lat. This increase is intended to provide greater access to a small number of commercial vessels in this area. This rule proposes increases to trip limits in the open access fixed gear fisheries due to the projected low attainment of the species managed in this complex. The 2016 nontrawl allocation of 1,383 mt is unchanged from 2015. Canary Rockfish This rule proposes to allow canary retention in both limited entry and open access fixed gear fisheries by establishing trip limits for the limited entry fishery at 300 lb/2 months and for the open access fishery at 150 lb/2 months. These trip limits are proposed E:\FR\FM\28OCP2.SGM 28OCP2 Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 209 / Friday, October 28, 2016 / Proposed Rules because canary rockfish was declared rebuilt. The Council recommended these trip limits to allow retention of the majority of incidental catch. Bocaccio South of 40°10′ N. Lat. This rule proposes to remove bocaccio from the Minor Shelf Rockfish aggregate trip limits for limited entry and open access fixed gear between 40°10′ N. lat. and 34°27′ N. lat. and establish stockspecific trip limits for bocaccio to reduce discarding as the stock continues to rebuild and encounters increase. mstockstill on DSK3G9T082PROD with PROPOSALS2 Minor Nearshore Rockfish & Black Rockfish South of 40°10′ N. Lat. This rule proposes modifications to the existing Minor Nearshore Rockfish and black rockfish trip limits for limited entry and open access fixed gear fisheries and modifications to the area split for deeper nearshore rockfish. For deeper nearshore rockfish, one trip limit is proposed for the entire area south of 40°10′ N. lat. These changes are proposed due to the rebuilt status of canary rockfish, which is caught in nearshore fishery, and the low attainment of the complex ACL, which has averaged 10 percent or less over the last decade. H. Recreational Fisheries This section describes the recreational fisheries management measures proposed for 2017–2018. Most of the changes to recreational management measures are modifications to existing measures. Changes to recreational management measures are discussed below for each state and include: (1) Modifications of recreational season structures, closed areas, and bag limits; (2) removal of the 1 canary rockfish subbag limit and 10 inch (25 cm) kelp greenling size restriction in Oregon; (3) creation of potential expansion areas for the Stonewall Bank YRCA in Oregon; (4) addition of a one canary rockfish subbag limit in Marine Areas 1 and 2 in Washington; (5) reduction of the lingcod closed area in Washington; (6) removal of prohibition on canary rockfish retention in California; and (7) changes to petrale sole and starry flounder management measures in California. Recreational fisheries management measures are designed to limit catch of overfished species and provide fishing opportunity for anglers targeting nearshore groundfish species. Overfished species that are taken in recreational fisheries include bocaccio, cowcod, and yelloweye rockfish. Because sport fisheries are more concentrated in nearshore waters, the 2017–2018 recreational fishery management measures are intended to VerDate Sep<11>2014 19:55 Oct 27, 2016 Jkt 241001 constrain catch of nearshore species such as Minor Nearshore Rockfish, black rockfish, blue rockfish, and cabezon. These protections are particularly important for fisheries off California, where the majority of West Coast recreational fishing occurs. Depth restrictions and groundfish conservation areas (GCAs) are the primary tools used to keep overfished species impacts under the prescribed harvest levels for the California recreational fishery. Washington, Oregon, and California each proposed, and the Council recommended, different combinations of seasons, bag limits, area closures, and size limits, to best fit the requirements to rebuild overfished species found in their regions, and the needs and constraints of their particular recreational fisheries. Recreational fisheries management measures for Washington, Oregon, and California in 2017–2018 are proposed to be similar to the recreational fishery management measures that were in place during 2015–2016. Recreational fisheries off Oregon, and Washington are limited by the need to reduce yelloweye rockfish impacts. Changes to recreational fishery management measures off Washington, Oregon, and California are in response to: Updated fishery and modeling information in a manner that allows increased harvest of underutilized healthy stocks while keeping impacts to overfished species within their rebuilding ACLs. The following sections describe the recreational management measures proposed in each state. Washington Off Washington, recreational fishing for groundfish and Pacific halibut, as proposed, will continue to be prohibited inside the North Coast Recreational YRCA, a C-shaped closed area off the northern Washington coast, the South Coast Recreational YRCA, and the Westport Offshore YRCA. Coordinates for YRCAs are defined at § 660.70. Similar to 2016, this proposed rule includes the Washington State lingcod recreational fishing closure area off Washington Marine Areas 1 and 2, a portion of which are closed to lingcod fishing, except on days that the Pacific halibut fishery is open. However, for 2017–2018, the southern boundary of this lingcod area closure would be shifted five miles north (from 46°28′ N. lat. to 46°33′ N. lat.) to allow additional access to deepwater lingcod areas without expected increases in yelloweye rockfish catches. The aggregate groundfish bag limits off Washington will continue to be 12 fish. The rockfish and lingcod sub-limits will be similar to PO 00000 Frm 00017 Fmt 4701 Sfmt 4702 75281 2015–2016 sub-limits. For rockfish, NMFS proposes a 10 rockfish sub-limit with no retention of canary or yelloweye rockfish except in Marine Areas 1 and 2 where there will be a one canary rockfish sub-limit (with a new option to expand and increase canary rockfish retention inseason). For lingcod, NMFS proposes a two lingcod sub-limit, with the lingcod minimum size of 22 inches (56 cm). NMFS proposes cabezon restrictions will remain as in 2016. Changes to the Washington recreational fishery Marine Areas 1–4 for groundfish season dates are proposed for 2017–2018, shortening the season by five months. The recreational groundfish fishery would open the second Saturday in March, and close the third Saturday in October. This is not expected to result in significant changes because very little fishing effort occurs in Marine Areas 1–4 from October through February. The primary purpose of the change is to cap groundfish fishing effort at current levels, and minimize additional effort that could potentially develop in the future. Lingcod seasons are proposed to be the same dates as the recreational groundfish season described above for Marine Areas 1–3, and open April 15 through October 15 in Marine Area 4. The depth restrictions (i.e. recreational RCA) for recreational fishing off Washington is proposed to be the same as in 2016. One change to the restrictions on groundfish retention during the Pacific halibut season is proposed for 2017– 2018. This rule proposes to allow flatfish retention in the Columbia River area along with Pacific halibut when halibut are onboard. This change comes from a 2014 change to the Council’s Pacific Halibut Catch Sharing Plan, and was inadvertently omitted from the 2015–2016 groundfish regulations. Starting in Washington Marine Area 1, when the nearshore incidental halibut fishery is open, taking, retaining, possessing or landing incidental Pacific halibut on groundfish trips are allowed only in the nearshore area on days not open to all-depth Pacific halibut fisheries in the area shoreward of the boundary line approximating the 30 fm (55 m) depth contour extending from Leadbetter Point, Washington, to the Washington-Oregon border, and from there, connecting to the boundary line approximating the 40 fm (73 m) depth contour in Oregon. The nearshore incidental Pacific halibut fishery will remain open Monday through Wednesday following the opening of the early season all-depth fishery, until the nearshore Pacific halibut allocation is taken. E:\FR\FM\28OCP2.SGM 28OCP2 75282 Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 209 / Friday, October 28, 2016 / Proposed Rules Oregon Management Areas would be extended by two and a half months, through December 31. Allowable fishing depths would be increased in the Northern Management Area from 20 fm to 30 fm during May 1 through October 31. Due to high yelloweye rockfish encounters in the Mendocino Management Area, the depth restriction will remain at 20 fathoms from May 1 through October 31. However, from November through December, the depth restriction would be eliminated in both the Northern and Mendocino Management Areas; fishing would be permissible at all depths. Allowable fishing depths would also be increased in the San Francisco and Central Management Areas by 10 fathoms to 40 and 50 fathoms, respectively. Due to projected cowcod impacts, the season structure in the Southern Management Area would remain the same as in 2016. Similarly, the California scorpionfish season will remain the same as in 2016 (i.e. closed September through December), except for the opening date in the Mendocino area will be changed to May 1 instead of May 15. Size, bag, and sub-bag limits would remain the same as 2016 except for black rockfish, bocaccio, canary rockfish, and lingcod. To keep within allowable limits, the black rockfish subbag limit would be reduced from five to three fish within the 10 fish aggregate RCG complex bag limit. For bocaccio, the sub-bag limit of three fish within the 10 fish aggregate RCG complex bag limit would be eliminated to reduce discarding; anglers would be able to retain up to 10 bocaccio. For canary rockfish, due to newly rebuilt status, retention would be allowed with a subbag limit of one fish within the 10 fish aggregate RCG complex bag limit. Finally, for lingcod, the bag limit would be reduced from three fish to two fish. Oregon recreational fisheries in 2017– 2018 would operate under the same season structures and GCAs as 2015– 2016. This rule also proposes to define, but not implement, two options for expansion of the Stonewall Bank YRCA, available for inseason implementation. Aggregate bag limits and size limits in Oregon recreational fisheries remain the same as in 2015–2016: Three lingcod per day, with a minimum size of 22 inches (56 cm); 25 flatfish per day, excluding Pacific halibut; and a marine fish aggregate bag limit of 10 fish per day, where cabezon have a minimum size of 16 inches (41 cm). However, the marine fish bag limit is proposed to be modified for 2017–2018, removing the kelp greenling size restriction and the one fish sub-bag limit for canary rockfish. The seasonal one fish sub-bag limit for cabezon was removed in 2015– 2016 to allow ODFW increased flexibility for initiating inseason changes. Cabezon is proposed to have no sub-bag limit throughout 2017–2018. One change to groundfish retention during the Pacific halibut season is proposed for 2017–2018. This rule proposes to add ‘‘other flatfish species’’ to the list of incidental species allowed to be landed with Pacific halibut. Taking, retaining, possessing or landing incidental halibut on groundfish trips will be allowed only in the Columbia River nearshore area on days not open to all-depth Pacific halibut fisheries in the area shoreward of the boundary line approximating the 30 fm (55 m) depth contour extending from Leadbetter Point, Washington to the WashingtonOregon border, and from there, connecting to the boundary line approximating the 40 fm (73 m) depth contour in Oregon. The nearshore incidental Pacific halibut fishery will continue to be open Monday through Wednesday following the opening of the early season all-depth fishery, until the nearshore Pacific halibut allocation is taken. mstockstill on DSK3G9T082PROD with PROPOSALS2 California For 2017–2018, recreational fisheries off California will continue to be managed as five separate areas, to reduce complexity while retaining flexibility in minimizing impacts on overfished stocks. Season and area closures differ between California regions to better prevent incidental catch of overfished species according to where those species occur and where fishing effort is greatest, while providing as much fishing opportunity as possible. Compared to the 2016 season structure, the Northern and Mendocino VerDate Sep<11>2014 19:55 Oct 27, 2016 Jkt 241001 New Inseason Process As described above in the ‘‘Amendment 27 to the PCGFMP’’ section, this rule proposes a new inseason process for fisheries that occur in the waters off California and for which there are California-specific federal harvest limits. This new system would allow NMFS to take inseason action for black, canary, and yelloweye rockfish, outside of a Council meeting. This would be similar to the current inseason process, except that it will allow for action to be taken during the summer months when the majority of catch accrues and absent Council action. PO 00000 Frm 00018 Fmt 4701 Sfmt 4702 Exempt Petrale Sole and Starry Flounder From Season and Depth Restrictions This rule proposes to remove petrale sole and starry flounder from the recreational season and depth restrictions; anglers could retain petrale sole and starry flounder year round, without depth constraint. Petrale sole and starry flounder are commonly encountered while anglers are pursuing other species which have different seasons and/or allowable depth (e.g., Pacific halibut) or open year round without depth constraint (e.g., Pacific sanddab). As a result, this management measure would reduce regulatory discarding. I. Tribal Fisheries Tribes implement management measures for Tribal fisheries both separately and cooperatively with those management measures that are described in the Federal regulations. The Tribes may adjust their Tribal fishery management measures, inseason, to stay within the overall harvest targets and estimated impacts to overfished species. Trip limits are the primary management measure that the Tribes specify in Federal regulations at § 660.50, subpart C. Continued from previous cycles, the Tribes proposed trip limit management in Tribal fisheries during 2017–2018 for several species, including several rockfish species and species groups. For rockfish species, Tribal regulations will continue to require full retention of all overfished rockfish species and marketable nonoverfished rockfish species. No changes to trip limits are proposed for the Tribal fisheries from those that were in place in 2016. Proposed sablefish Tribal setasides would be set at 10 percent of the Monterey through Vancouver area ACL minus 1.5 percent (reduced from 1.6 percent in 2016) to account for estimated discard mortality. The percentage reduction is based on a sablefish discard model output that can vary with changes in size of discarded fish. Widow rockfish are proposed to be managed by Tribal regulation to stay within the annual 440,000 lb (200 mt) Tribal catch limit. Trip limits for Dover sole, English sole, and other flatfish and arrowtooth flounder will be established through Tribal regulation only. Trip limits are proposed to be adjusted inseason to stay within the overall harvest targets and overfished species limits. This proposal would be a change from the 2016 limits of 110,000 lbs per two months for Dover sole, English sole and other flatfish, and 150,000 lbs per two months for arrowtooth flounder. E:\FR\FM\28OCP2.SGM 28OCP2 Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 209 / Friday, October 28, 2016 / Proposed Rules mstockstill on DSK3G9T082PROD with PROPOSALS2 The Tribes will continue to develop management measures, including depth, area, and time restrictions, in the directed Tribal Pacific halibut fishery in order to minimize incidental catch of yelloweye rockfish. Tribal fishing regulations, as recommended by the Tribes and the Council, and adopted as proposed by NMFS, are in Federal regulations at § 660.50, subpart C. V. Classification Pursuant to section 304 (b)(1)(A) of the Magnuson-Stevens Act, the NMFS Assistant Administrator has determined that this proposed rule and Amendment 27 to the PCGFMP are consistent with the Pacific Coast Groundfish Fishery Management Plan, other provisions of the Magnuson-Stevens Act, and other applicable law, subject to further consideration after public comment. In making its final determination, NMFS will take into account the complete record, including the data, views, and comments received during the comment period. NMFS prepared an EA for this action and Amendment 27 that discusses the impact on the environment as a result of some of the components of this rule. The full suite of alternatives analyzed by the Council can be found on the Council’s Web site at www.pcouncil.org. This EA does not contain all the alternatives because an EIS was prepared for the 2015–2016 biennial harvest specifications and management measures and is available from NMFS (see ADDRESSES). This EIS examined the harvest specifications and management measures for 2015–2016 and ten year projections for routinely adjusted harvest specifications and management measures. The ten year projections were produced to evaluate the impacts of the ongoing implementation of harvest specifications and management measures and to evaluate the impacts of the routine adjustments that are the main component of each biennial cycle. Therefore, the EA for the 2017–2018 cycle tiers from the 2015–2016 EIS and focuses on the harvest specifications and management measures that were not within the scope of the ten year projections in the 2015–2016 EIS. A copy of the EA is available from NMFS (see ADDRESSES). This action also announces a public comment period on the EA. An initial regulatory flexibility analysis (IRFA) was prepared, as required by section 603 of the Regulatory Flexibility Act (RFA) (5 U.S.C. 603). The IRFA describes the economic impact this proposed rule, if adopted, would have on small entities. A description of the action, why it is VerDate Sep<11>2014 19:55 Oct 27, 2016 Jkt 241001 being considered, and the legal basis for this action is contained in the SUMMARY section and at the beginning of the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section of the preamble. A summary of the analysis follows. A copy of this analysis is available from NMFS (see ADDRESSES). The RFA (5 U.S.C. 601 et seq.) requires government agencies to assess the effects that regulatory alternatives would have on small entities, defined as any business/organization independently owned and operated, not dominant in its field of operation (including its affiliates). A small harvesting business has combined annual receipts of $11 million 1 or less for all affiliated operations worldwide. A small fish-processing business is one that employs 750 or fewer persons for all affiliated operations worldwide. NMFS is applying this standard to catcher/processors for the purposes of this rulemaking, because these vessels earn the majority of their revenue from selling processed fish. For marinas and charter/party boats, a small business is one that has annual receipts not in excess of $7.5 million. A wholesale business servicing the fishing industry is a small business if it employs 100 or fewer persons on a fulltime, part-time, temporary, or other basis, at all its affiliated operations worldwide. For the purposes of this rulemaking, a nonprofit organization is determined to be ‘‘not dominant in its field of operation’’ if it is considered small under one of the following SBA size standards: environmental, conservation, or professional organizations are considered small if they have combined annual receipts of $15 million or less, and other organizations are considered small if they have combined annual receipts of $7.5 million or less. The RFA defines small governmental jurisdictions as governments of cities, counties, towns, townships, villages, school districts, or special districts with populations of less than 50,000. 1 On December 29, 2015, the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) issued a final rule establishing a small business size standard of $11 million in annual gross receipts for all businesses primarily engaged in the commercial fishing industry (NAICS 11411) for Regulatory Flexibility Act (RFA) compliance purposes only (80 FR 81194, December 29, 2015). The $11 million standard became effective on July 1, 2016, and after that date it is to be used in all NMFS rules subject to the RFA. Id. at 81194. This NMFS rule is to be used in place of the U.S. Small Business Administration’s (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, respectively. PO 00000 Frm 00019 Fmt 4701 Sfmt 4702 75283 When an agency proposes regulations, the RFA requires the agency to prepare and make available for public comment an IRFA that describes the impact on small businesses, non-profit enterprises, local governments, and other small entities. The IRFA is to aid the agency in considering all reasonable regulatory alternatives that would minimize the economic impact on affected small entities. Description and Estimate of the Number of Small Entities to Which the Rule Applies, and Estimate of Economic Impacts by Entity Size and Industry This proposed rule will regulate businesses that participate in the groundfish fishery. This rule directly affects limited entry fixed gear permit holders, trawl quota share (QS) holders and Pacific whiting catch history endorsed permit holders (which include shorebased whiting processors), tribal vessels, charterboat vessels, and open access vessels. QS holders are directly affected as their QS are affected by the ACLs. Vessels that fish under the trawl rationalization program receive their quota pounds from the QS holders, and thus are indirectly affected. Similarly, MS processors are indirectly affected as they receive the fish they process from limited entry permits that are endorsed with Pacific whiting catch history assignments. To determine the number of small entities potentially affected by this rule, NMFS reviewed analyses of fish ticket data and limited entry permit data, information on charterboat, tribal, and open access fleets, available costearnings data developed by NWFSC, and responses associated with the permitting process for the Trawl Rationalization Program where applicants were asked if they considered themselves a small business based on SBA definitions. This rule will regulate businesses that harvest groundfish. Charter Operations There were 355 active Commercial Passenger Fishing Vessels (charter) engaged in groundfish fishing in California in 2014. In 2014, an estimated 189 charter boats targeted groundfish in Oregon and Washington. All 544 of these vessels and associated small businesses are likely to be impacted by changes in recreational harvest levels for groundfish. Commercial Vessels and Shorebased Buyers With limited access to data for all the affiliated business operations for vessels and buyers, particularly in the open E:\FR\FM\28OCP2.SGM 28OCP2 75284 Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 209 / Friday, October 28, 2016 / Proposed Rules access and fixed gear fisheries, NMFS estimates the type of impacted vessels and buyer entities based solely on West Coast ex-vessel revenue. This may be an underestimate of the number of largeentities in the fishery, as many vessels and buyers may be affiliated, and may have income from non-West Coast sources (particularly Alaska). Open access vessels are not federally permitted so counts based on landings can provide an estimate of the affected. The DEIS Analysis for the 2013–14 Pacific Groundfish Harvest Specifications and Management Measures contained the following assessment, which is deemed as containing reasonable estimates for this rule, as these fisheries have not changed significantly in recent years. In 2011, 682 directed open access vessels fished while 284 incidental open access vessels fished for a total of 966 vessels. Over the 2005–2010 period, 1,583 different directed open access vessels fished, and 837 different incidental open access vessels fished, for a total of 2,420 different vessels. The four tribal fleets sum to a total of 54 longline vessels, 5 Pacific whiting trawlers, and 5 non-whiting trawlers, for an overall total of 64 vessels. Available information on average revenue per vessel suggests that all the entities in these groups can be considered small. It is expected that a total of 873 catcher vessels (CVs), 227 buyer, 9 C/P and 6 MS entities will be impacted by this rule, for a total of 1,115, if commercial groundfish participation in 2017–2018 follows similar patterns to the last full year data are available for (2015), and counting only those vessels and buyers who had at least $1,000 worth of groundfish sales or purchases in 2015. GROUNDFISH EX-VESSEL REVENUES BY FISHERY West coast total groundfish revenue ($) N LE Trawl ........................................ LE Fixed Gear ............................... OA .................................................. Research ....................................... Tribal .............................................. C/P .................... MS ..................... CV ..................... MS/CV ............... Buyers ............... Primary .............. DTL ................... Buyers ............... CV ..................... Buyers ............... CV ..................... CV ..................... Buyers ............... Revenues reported from 2015 obtained from the Pacific Fisheries Information Network (PacFIN); those from 2014 obtained from 2016 Economic Data Collection Reports. Limited Entry Permit Owners As part of the permitting process for the trawl rationalization program or for participating in nontrawl limited entry 9 5 83 19 16 89 152 108 831 307 4 198 19 Average groundfish revenue $99,180,000 (2014 wholesale) ..... $46,385,000 (2014 wholesale) ..... $30,832,277 (2015 ex-vessel) ...... $17,300,000 (2014 ex-vessel) ...... $137,600,000 (2014 wholesale) ... $8,357,122 (2015 ex-vessel) ........ $16,623,889 (2015 ex-vessel) ...... N/A ................................................ $7,281,894 (2015 ex-vessel) ........ N/A ................................................ $174,394 (2015 ex-vessel) ........... $4,933,911 (2015 ex-vessel) ........ N/A ................................................ permit fisheries, applicants were asked if they considered themselves a small business. NMFS reviewed the ownership and affiliation relationships of QS permit holders, vessel account holders, catcher processor permits, MS processing, and first receiver/shore processor permits. As of August 1, 2016, Dock Street Brokers has West Coast $11,020,000 (2014 wholesale). $9,277,000 (2014 wholesale). $371,473 (2015 ex-vessel). $910,536.31 (2014 ex-vessel). $8,600,000 (2014 wholesale). $93,900 (2015 ex-vessel). $109,368 (2015 ex-vessel). N/A. $8,763 (2015 ex-vessel). N/A. $43,599 (2015 ex-vessel). $24,918 (2015 ex-vessel). N/A. limited entry trawl endorsed permits for sale for $60,000 for a 46.1’ permit, and two 43’ West Coast longline permits for $135,000–$140,000. QS may be valued anywhere from tens of thousands to millions of dollars, depending on the species and amount owned, although not enough sales have occurred yet to be able to confidently estimate their value. LIMITED ENTRY PERMIT-OWNER ENTITIES BY SMALL BUSINESS SELF-DESIGNATION Small business designation Permit type Total Small LE Trawl .......................................................... mstockstill on DSK3G9T082PROD with PROPOSALS2 LE Fixed Gear ................................................ If permit ownership in 2017–2018 follows similar patterns to the last full year (data are available for 2015), it is expected that a total of 312 permit owning entities will be impacted by this rule. An estimated 222 of these entities own both permits and vessels, and 16 of VerDate Sep<11>2014 19:55 Oct 27, 2016 Jkt 241001 C/P .................................................................. MS .................................................................. CV ................................................................... FR ................................................................... QS .................................................................. Primary ........................................................... DTL ................................................................. the first receiver permit holding companies actually received groundfish, and are thus included in the table above. Accounting for joint vessel and permit ownership in the limited entry fisheries to the extent possible, an estimated PO 00000 Frm 00020 Fmt 4701 Sfmt 4702 Large 0 4 142 36 N/A 159 52 10 2 21 8 N/A 3 8 10 6 163 44 173 162 60 1,189 commercial entities and 544 charter entities will be impacted by this rule; 16 of these entities are considered large, and the remaining 1,717 are small. As some of these entities are likely owned by the same parent companies, E:\FR\FM\28OCP2.SGM 28OCP2 Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 209 / Friday, October 28, 2016 / Proposed Rules this number is likely an overestimate of the true value. There are no reporting and recordkeeping requirements associated with this action. There are no relevant Federal rules that may duplicate, overlap, or conflict with this action. A Description of Any Significant Alternatives to the Proposed Rule That Accomplish the Stated Objectives of Applicable Statutes and That Minimize Any Significant Economic Impact of the Proposed Rule on Small Entities There are no significant alternatives to the proposed rule that accomplish the stated objectives of applicable statutes and that minimize any of the significant economic impact of the proposed rule on small entities. mstockstill on DSK3G9T082PROD with PROPOSALS2 Considered but Rejected Measures A summary of the three measures that were analyzed but were excluded from the preferred alternative, and rationale for excluding them in the preferred alternative, are summarized below. Manage Starry Flounder in the Other Flatfish Complex The most recent assessment of starry flounder does not contain an OFL or ABC projection beyond 2016. At the 2015 mop-up Stock Assessment Review (STAR) Panel, it was recommended that 2016 harvest specifications be carried forward for 2017 and 2018, and starry flounder be changed from a Category 2 to a Category 3 stock. The STAR panel questioned whether starry flounder should continue to be managed as a stand-alone stock or would be better included in the Other Flatfish complex. The proposal to manage starry flounder in the Other Flatfish complex turned out to be more complicated than anticipated, due to a mismatch between the Amendment 21 allocations of starry flounder and the Other Flatfish complex. The Other Flatfish complex is allocated 90 percent to trawl and 10 percent to nontrawl, while starry flounder is allocated 50 percent to trawl and nontrawl. Annual catches of starry flounder in 2012–2014 were 1–2 percent of the ACL, therefore there would be little risk that the mortality would exceed the stockspecific harvest specifications whether it is managed in a complex or with stock-specific harvest specifications. The Council rejected the proposal to manage starry flounder within the Other Flatfish complex since there were no conservation issues with status quo management. Further, initial scoping of the measure indicated there would be a high workload to reconfigure allocations and QS. VerDate Sep<11>2014 19:55 Oct 27, 2016 Jkt 241001 During discussions, California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) mentioned that some anglers would like the opportunity to retain starry flounder year-round, while current regulations do not provide for such an allowance. In 2016, starry flounder is restricted to the same months and depths as the groundfish season; however, species in the Other Flatfish complex are allowed to be targeted and retained year round. If starry flounder were included in the Other Flatfish complex, they would then be allowed to be targeted and retained year round in the California recreational fishery. In order to facilitate year round starry flounder fishing, the Council added starry flounder to the new management measure analysis for allowing petrale sole year round and all depths in the California recreational fishery. Transfer of Shorebased Quota Pounds (QP) to the MS Sector This management measure would allow limited transfer of canary rockfish, darkblotched rockfish, POP, and widow rockfish quota pounds from the shorebased IFQ sector to MS Coops. The measure is intended to reduce the risk of the mothership sector not attaining their whiting allocation, based on the incidental catch of these species. The Council excluded the measure from the preferred alternative based on the complexities of the analysis, implementation challenges, and other matters raised by NMFS. Additionally, the Council is considering a measure outside of the harvest specifications and management measures process that proposes to change the Amendment 21 allocations and management (from quota to set-asides) for darkblotched rockfish and POP for both the MS and C/P sectors (75 FR 78344, December 15, 2010). Overfished Species Hotspot Closures in California Nine new area closures in California were analyzed to mitigate increases in overfished species impacts, which may occur as a result of the proposed 2017– 2018 California recreational season structures. The proposed season structures allow access to deeper depths than what has been allowed in nearly a decade. As such, there is uncertainty in angler behavior and the model projections for overfished species. If catch was tracking higher than anticipated, the overfished species hotspot closures could be implemented to reduce catch. The Council excluded the overfished species hotspot closures from the PO 00000 Frm 00021 Fmt 4701 Sfmt 4702 75285 preferred alternative based on changes in outreach, inseason tracking and management, current fishery performance, and other matters raised by CDFW. The Council decision to exclude this measure was also related to the management measure that would grant NMFS authority to change routine management measures in the recreational and commercial fisheries based upon attainment or projected attainment of a Federal harvest limit for black rockfish, canary rockfish, and yelloweye rockfish. That is, the ability to control catch inseason would increase with the ability to take action outside a Council meeting. As such, the hotspot closures may no longer be needed. Regulatory Flexibility Act Determination of a Significant Impact The Regulatory Flexibility Act (RFA) requires Federal agencies to conduct an analysis of the impact of the proposed rule on small entities. The IRFA that NMFS prepared (and noted above) estimates that 1,717 charter small entities are potentially impacted by this proposed rule and concludes that this action is not anticipated to have a substantial or significant economic impact on those small entities. We are requesting comments on this conclusion. NMFS issued Biological Opinions under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) (16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.) on August 10, 1990, November 26, 1991, August 28, 1992, September 27, 1993, May 14, 1996, and December 15, 1999, pertaining to the effects of the PCGFMP fisheries on Chinook salmon (Puget Sound, Snake River spring/summer, Snake River fall, upper Columbia River spring, lower Columbia River, upper Willamette River, Sacramento River winter, Central Valley spring, California coastal), coho salmon (Central California coastal, southern Oregon/northern California coastal), chum salmon (Hood Canal summer, Columbia River), sockeye salmon (Snake River, Ozette Lake), and steelhead (upper, middle and lower Columbia River, Snake River Basin, upper Willamette River, central California coast, California Central Valley, south/central California, northern California, southern California). These biological opinions have concluded that implementation of the PCGFMP is not expected to jeopardize the continued existence of any endangered or threatened species under the jurisdiction of NMFS, or result in the destruction or adverse modification of critical habitat. NMFS issued a Supplemental Biological Opinion on March 11, 2006, E:\FR\FM\28OCP2.SGM 28OCP2 mstockstill on DSK3G9T082PROD with PROPOSALS2 75286 Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 209 / Friday, October 28, 2016 / Proposed Rules concluding that neither the higher observed bycatch of Chinook salmon in the 2005 Pacific whiting fishery nor new data regarding salmon bycatch in the groundfish bottom trawl fishery required a reconsideration of its prior ‘‘no jeopardy’’ conclusion. NMFS also reaffirmed its prior determination that implementation of the PCGFMP is not likely to jeopardize the continued existence of any of the affected evolutionarily significant units. Lower Columbia River coho salmon (70 FR 37160, June 28, 2005) and Oregon Coastal coho salmon (73 FR 7816, February 11, 2008) were recently relisted as threatened under the ESA. The 1999 biological opinion concluded that the bycatch of salmonids in the Pacific whiting fishery were almost entirely Chinook salmon, with little or no bycatch of coho salmon, chum salmon, sockeye salmon, and steelhead. NMFS has reinitiated section 7 consultation on the PCGFMP with respect to its effects on listed salmonids. In the event the consultation identifies either reasonable and prudent alternatives to address jeopardy concerns or reasonable and prudent measures to minimize incidental take, NMFS would exercise necessary authorities, in coordination to the extent possible with the Council, to put such additional alternatives or measures into place. On December 7, 2012, NMFS completed a biological opinion concluding that the groundfish fishery is not likely to jeopardize non-salmonid marine species including listed eulachon, green sturgeon, humpback whales, Steller sea lions, and leatherback sea turtles. The opinion also concludes that the fishery is not likely to adversely modify critical habitat for green sturgeon and leatherback sea turtles. An analysis included in the same document as the opinion concludes that the fishery is not likely to adversely affect green sea turtles, olive ridley sea turtles, loggerhead sea turtles, sei whales, North Pacific right whales, blue whales, fin whales, sperm whales, Southern Resident killer whales, Guadalupe fur seals, or the critical habitat for Steller sea lions. At the Council’s June 2015 meeting, new estimates of eulachon take from fishing activity under the PCGFMP indicated that the incidental take statement in the 2012 biological opinion was exceeded in 2011 and 2013. The increased bycatch may be due to increased eulachon abundance. In light of the new fishery and abundance information, NMFS has reinitiated consultation on eulachon. In the event the consultation identifies either VerDate Sep<11>2014 19:55 Oct 27, 2016 Jkt 241001 reasonable and prudent alternatives to address jeopardy concerns, or reasonable and prudent measures to minimize incidental take, NMFS would coordinate with the Council to put additional alternatives or measures into place, as required. On November 21, 2012, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) issued a biological opinion concluding that the groundfish fishery will not jeopardize the continued existence of the shorttailed albatross. The FWS also concurred that the fishery is not likely to adversely affect the marbled murrelet, California least tern, southern sea otter, bull trout, or bull trout critical habitat. NMFS reinitiated section 7 consultation on the Pacific Coast Groundfish FMP with respect to its effects on short-tailed albatross. In accordance with sections 7(a)(2) and 7(d) of the ESA, NMFS determines that this action will not jeopardize listed species, would not adversely modify any designated critical habitat, and will not result in any irreversible or irretrievable commitment of resources that would have the effect of foreclosing the formulation or implementation of any reasonable and prudent alternative measures. This proposed rule would not alter the effects on marine mammals over what has already been considered for the fishery. West Coast pot fisheries for sablefish are considered Category II fisheries under the MMPA’s List of Fisheries, indicating occasional interactions. All other West Coast groundfish fisheries, including the trawl fishery, are considered Category III fisheries under the MMPA, indicating a remote likelihood of or no known serious injuries or mortalities to marine mammals. On February 27, 2012, NMFS published notice that the incidental taking of Steller sea lions in the West Coast groundfish fisheries is addressed in NMFS’ December 29, 2010 Negligible Impact Determination (NID), and this fishery has been added to the list of fisheries authorized to take Steller sea lions (77 FR 11493, February 27, 2012). NMFS is currently working on the process leading to any necessary authorization of incidental taking under MMPA section 101(a)(5)(E) (16 U.S.C. 1371(a)(5)(E)). Pursuant to Executive Order 13175, this proposed rule was developed after meaningful consultation and collaboration with tribal officials from the area covered by the PCGFMP. Under the Magnuson-Stevens Act at 16 U.S.C. 1852(b)(5), one of the voting members of the Pacific Council must be a representative of an Indian tribe with federally recognized fishing rights from the area of the Council’s jurisdiction. In PO 00000 Frm 00022 Fmt 4701 Sfmt 4702 addition, regulations implementing the PCGFMP establish a procedure by which the tribes with treaty fishing rights in the area covered by the PCGFMP request new allocations or regulations specific to the tribes, in writing, before the first of the two meetings at which the Council considers groundfish management measures. The regulations at 50 CFR 660.324(d) further state, ‘‘the Secretary will develop tribal allocations and regulations under this paragraph in consultation with the affected tribe(s) and, insofar as possible, with tribal consensus.’’ The tribal management measures in this proposed rule have been developed following these procedures. The tribal representative on the Council made a motion to adopt the non-whiting tribal management measures, which was passed by the Council. Those management measures, which were developed and proposed by the tribes, are included in this proposed rule. This proposed rule has been determined to be not significant for purposes of Executive Order 12866. List of Subjects in 50 CFR Part 660 Fisheries, Fishing, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements. Dated: October 18, 2016. Samuel D. Rauch III, Deputy Assistant Administrator for Regulatory Programs, National Marine Fisheries Service. For the reasons set out in the preamble, 50 CFR part 660 is proposed to be 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. In § 660.11 in the definition of ‘‘Groundfish,’’ paragraphs (7)(i)(A) and (7)(i)(B)(2) are revised to read as follows: ■ § 660.11 General definitions. * * * * * (7) * * * (i) * * * (A) North of 40°10′ N. lat.: Black and yellow rockfish, S. chrysomelas; blue rockfish, S. mystinus; brown rockfish, S. auriculatus; calico rockfish, S. dalli; China rockfish, S. nebulosus; copper rockfish, S. caurinus; deacon rockfish, S. diaconus, gopher rockfish, S. carnatus; grass rockfish, S. rastrelliger; kelp rockfish, S. atrovirens; olive rockfish, S. serranoides; quillback rockfish, S. maliger; treefish, S. serriceps. E:\FR\FM\28OCP2.SGM 28OCP2 Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 209 / Friday, October 28, 2016 / Proposed Rules (B) * * * (2) Deeper nearshore rockfish consists of black rockfish, S. melanops; blue rockfish, S. mystinus; brown rockfish, S. auriculatus; calico rockfish, S. dalli; copper rockfish, S. caurinus; deacon rockfish, S. diaconus; olive rockfish, S. serranoides; quillback rockfish, S. maliger; treefish, S. serriceps. * * * * * ■ 3. Section 660.40 is revised to read as follows: mstockstill on DSK3G9T082PROD with PROPOSALS2 § 660.40 plans. Overfished species rebuilding For each overfished groundfish stock with an approved rebuilding plan, this section contains the standards to be used to establish annual or biennial ACLs, specifically the target date for rebuilding the stock to its MSY level and the harvest control rule to be used to rebuild the stock. The harvest control rule may be expressed as a ‘‘Spawning Potential Ratio’’ or ‘‘SPR’’ harvest rate. (a) Bocaccio. Bocaccio south of 40°10′ N. latitude was declared overfished in 1999. The target year for rebuilding the bocaccio stock south of 40°10′ N. latitude to BMSY is 2022. The harvest control rule to be used to rebuild the southern bocaccio stock is an annual SPR harvest rate of 77.7 percent. (b) Cowcod. Cowcod was declared overfished in 2000. The target year for rebuilding the cowcod stock south of 40°10′N. lat. to BMSY is 2020. The harvest control rule to be used to rebuild the cowcod stock is an annual SPR harvest rate of 82.7 percent. (c) Darkblotched rockfish. Darkblotched rockfish was declared overfished in 2000. The target year for rebuilding the darkblotched rockfish stock to BMSY is 2025. The harvest control rule is ACL = ABC (P* = 0.45). (d) Pacific ocean perch (POP). POP was declared overfished in 1999. The target year for rebuilding the POP stock to BMSY is 2051. The harvest control rule to be used to rebuild the POP stock in 2017 and 2018 is a constant catch ACL of 281 mt per year. In 2019 and thereafter the harvest control rule to be used to rebuild POP is an annual SPR harvest rate of 86.4 percent. (e) Yelloweye rockfish. Yelloweye rockfish was declared overfished in 2002. The target year for rebuilding the yelloweye rockfish stock to BMSY is 2074. The harvest control rule to be used to rebuild the yelloweye rockfish stock is an annual SPR harvest rate of 76.0 percent. ■ 4. In § 660.50, revise paragraphs (f)(2)(ii), (f)(3), add paragraph (f)(9), and revise paragraph (g) to read as follows: VerDate Sep<11>2014 19:55 Oct 27, 2016 Jkt 241001 § 660.50 Pacific Coast treaty Indian fisheries. * * * * * (f) * * * (2) * * * (ii) The tribal allocation is 604 mt in 2017 and 630 mt in 2018 per year. This allocation is, for each year, 10 percent of the Monterey through Vancouver area (North of 36° N. lat.) ACL. The tribal allocation is reduced by 1.5 percent for estimated discard mortality. (3) Lingcod. Lingcod taken in the treaty fisheries are subject to a harvest guideline of 250 mt. * * * * * (9) Widow rockfish. Widow rockfish taken in the directed tribal midwater trawl fisheries are subject to a catch limit of 200 mt for the entire fleet, per year. (g) Pacific Coast treaty Indian fisheries management measures. Trip limits for certain species were recommended by the tribes and the Council and are specified here. (1) Rockfish. The tribes will require full retention of all overfished rockfish species and all other marketable rockfish species during treaty fisheries. (2) Yelloweye rockfish are subject to a 100-lb (45-kg) trip limit. (3) Other rockfish—(i) Minor nearshore rockfish. Minor nearshore rockfish are subject to a 300-lb (136-kg) trip limit per species or species group, or to the non-tribal limited entry trip limit for those species if those limits are less restrictive than 300 lb (136 kg) per trip. Limited entry trip limits for waters off Washington are specified in Table 1 (North) to subpart D, and Table 2 (North) to subpart E of this part. (ii) Minor shelf rockfish and minor slope rockfish. Redstripe rockfish are subject to an 800 lb (363 kg) trip limit. Minor shelf (excluding redstripe rockfish), and minor slope rockfish groups are subject to a 300 lb (136 kg) trip limit per species or species group, or to the non-tribal limited entry fixed gear trip limit for those species if those limits are less restrictive than 300 lb (136 kg) per trip. Limited entry fixed gear trip limits are specified in Table 2 (North) to subpart E of this part. (iii) Other rockfish. All other rockfish, not listed specifically in paragraph (g) of this section, are subject to a 300 lb (136 kg) trip limit per species or species group, or to the non-tribal limited entry trip limit for those species if those limits are less restrictive than 300 lb (136 kg) per trip. Limited entry trip limits for waters off Washington are specified in Table 1 (North) to subpart D, and Table 2 (North) to subpart E of this part. (4) Pacific whiting. Tribal whiting processed at-sea by non-tribal vessels, PO 00000 Frm 00023 Fmt 4701 Sfmt 4702 75287 must be transferred within the tribal U&A from a member of a Pacific Coast treaty Indian tribe fishing under this section. (5) Groundfish without a tribal allocation. Makah tribal members may use midwater trawl gear to take and retain groundfish for which there is no tribal allocation and will be subject to the trip landing and frequency and size limits applicable to the limited entry fishery. (6) EFH. Measures implemented to minimize adverse impacts to groundfish EFH, as described in § 660.12 of this subpart, do not apply to tribal fisheries in their U&A fishing areas described at § 660.4, subpart A. (7) Small footrope trawl gear. Makah tribal members fishing in the bottom trawl fishery may use only small footrope (less than or equal to 8 inches (20.3 cm)) bottom trawl gear. ■ 5. In § 660.55, revise paragraph (b) introductory text to read as follows: § 660.55 Allocations. * * * * * (b) Fishery harvest guidelines and reductions made prior to fishery allocations. Prior to the setting of fishery allocations, the TAC, ACL, or ACT when specified, is reduced by the Pacific Coast treaty Indian Tribal harvest (allocations, set-asides, and estimated harvest under regulations at § 660.50); projected scientific research catch of all groundfish species, estimates of fishing mortality in nongroundfish fisheries; and, as necessary, deductions to account for unforeseen catch events and deductions for EFPs. Deductions are listed in the footnotes of Tables 1a and 2a of subpart C of this part. The remaining amount after these deductions is the fishery harvest guideline or quota. (Note: recreational estimates are not deducted here.) * * * * * ■ 6. In § 660.60, paragraphs (c)(1)(i) and (c)(3)(ii) are revised and paragraph (c)(4) is added to read as follows: § 660.60 Specifications and management measures. * * * * * (c) * * * (1) * * * (i) Trip landing and frequency limits, size limits, all gear. Trip landing and frequency limits have been designated as routine for the following species or species groups: Widow rockfish, canary rockfish, yellowtail rockfish, Pacific ocean perch, yelloweye rockfish, black rockfish, blue/deacon rockfish, splitnose rockfish, blackgill rockfish in the area south of 40°10′ N. lat., chilipepper, bocaccio, cowcod, Minor Nearshore E:\FR\FM\28OCP2.SGM 28OCP2 mstockstill on DSK3G9T082PROD with PROPOSALS2 75288 Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 209 / Friday, October 28, 2016 / Proposed Rules Rockfish or shallow and deeper Minor Nearshore Rockfish, shelf or Minor Shelf Rockfish, and Minor Slope Rockfish; Dover sole, sablefish, shortspine thornyheads, and longspine thornyheads; petrale sole, rex sole, arrowtooth flounder, Pacific sanddabs, big skate, and the Other Flatfish complex, which is composed of those species plus any other flatfish species listed at § 660.11; Pacific whiting; lingcod; Pacific cod; spiny dogfish; longnose skate; cabezon in Oregon and California and ‘‘Other Fish’’ as defined at § 660.11. In addition to the species and species groups listed above, sublimits or aggregate limits may be specified, specific to the Shorebased IFQ Program, for the following species: Big skate, California skate, California scorpionfish, leopard shark, soupfin shark, finescale codling, Pacific rattail (grenadier), ratfish, kelp greenling, shortbelly rockfish, and cabezon in Washington. Size limits have been designated as routine for sablefish and lingcod. Trip landing and frequency limits and size limits for species with those limits designated as routine may be imposed or adjusted on a biennial or more frequent basis for the purpose of keeping landings within the harvest levels announced by NMFS, and for the other purposes given in paragraphs (c)(1)(i)(A) and (B) of this section. * * * * * (3) * * * (ii) Non-tribal deductions from the ACL. Changes to the non-tribal amounts deducted from the TAC, ACLs, or ACT when specified, described at § 660.55(b)(2) through (4) and specified in the footnotes to Tables 1a through 1c, and 2a through 2c, to subpart C, have been designated as routine to make fish that would otherwise go unharvested available to other fisheries during the fishing year. Adjustments may be made to provide additional harvest opportunities in groundfish fisheries when catch in scientific research activities, non-groundfish fisheries, and EFPs are lower than the amounts that were initially deducted off the TAC, ACL, or ACT when specified, during the biennial specifications or to allocate yield from the deduction to account for unforeseen catch events to groundfish fisheries. When recommending adjustments to the non-tribal deductions, the Council shall consider the allocation framework criteria outlined in the PCGFMP and the objectives to maintain or extend fishing and marketing opportunities taking into account the best available fishery information on sector needs. VerDate Sep<11>2014 19:55 Oct 27, 2016 Jkt 241001 (4) Inseason action for canary rockfish, yelloweye rockfish, and black rockfish in California State-Specific Federal Harvest Limits outside of a Council meeting. The Regional Administrator, NMFS West Coast Region, after consultation with the Chairman of the Pacific Fishery Management Council and the Fishery Director of the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, or their designees, is authorized to modify the following designated routine management measures for canary rockfish, yelloweye rockfish, and black rockfish off the coast of California. For black rockfish in commercial fisheries trip landing and frequency limits; and depth based management measures. For black, canary, and yelloweye rockfish in recreational fisheries bag limits; time/ area closures; depth based management. Any modifications may be made only after NMFS has determined that a California state-specific federal harvest limit for canary rockfish, yelloweye rockfish, or black rockfish, is attained or projected to be attained prior to the first day of the next Council meeting. Any modifications may only be used to restrict catch of canary rockfish, yelloweye rockfish, or black rockfish off the coast of California. * * * * * ■ 7. In § 660.70, paragraphs (g) through (p) are redesignated as (i) through (r), and new paragraphs (g) and (h) are added to read as follows: Oregon, near Stonewall Bank, intended to protect yelloweye rockfish. The Stonewall Bank YRCA Expansion 2 is defined by straight lines connecting the following specific latitude and longitude coordinates in the order listed: (1) 44°38.54′ N. lat.; 124°27.41′ W. long.; (2) 44°38.54′ N. lat.; 124°23.86′ W. long.; (3) 44°27.13′ N. lat.; 124°21.50′ W. long.; (4) 44°27.13′ N. lat.; 124°26.89′ W. long.; (5) 44°31.30′ N. lat.; 124°28.35′ W. long.; and connecting back to 44°38.54′ N. lat.; 124°27.41′ W. long. * * * * * ■ 8. Amend § 660.71 as follows: ■ a. Redesignate paragraphs (e)(143) through (332) as paragraphs (e)(147) through (336), respectively and redesignate paragraphs (e)(140) through (142) as paragraphs (e)(141) through (143), respectively; ■ b. Add new paragraphs (e)(140) and (e)(144) through (146); ■ c. Redesignate paragraphs (k)(128) through (214) as paragraphs (k)(130) through (216), respectively and redesignate paragraphs (k)(120) through (127) as paragraphs (k)(121) through (128), respectively; ■ d. Add new paragraphs (k)(120) and (129); ■ e. Revise newly redesignated paragraphs (e)(168) and (k)(128) to read as follows: § 660.70 § 660.71 Latitude/longitude coordinates defining the 10-fm (18-m) through 40-fm (73m) depth contours. Groundfish conservation areas. * * * * * (g) Stonewall Bank Yelloweye Rockfish Conservation Area, Expansion 1. The Stonewall Bank Yelloweye Rockfish Conservation Area (YRCA) Expansion 1 is an area off central Oregon, near Stonewall Bank, intended to protect yelloweye rockfish. The Stonewall Bank YRCA Expansion 1 is defined by straight lines connecting the following specific latitude and longitude coordinates in the order listed: (1) 44°41.76′ N. lat.; 124°30.02′ W. long.; (2) 44°41.73′ N. lat.; 124°21.60′ W. long.; (3) 44°25.25′ N. lat.; 124°16.94′ W. long.; (4) 44°25.29′ N. lat.; 124°30.14′ W. long.; (5) 44°41.76′ N. lat.; 124°30.02′ W. long.; and connecting back to 44°41.76′ N. lat.; 124°30.02′ W. long. (h) Stonewall Bank Yelloweye Rockfish Conservation Area, Expansion 2. The Stonewall Bank Yelloweye Rockfish Conservation Area (YRCA) Expansion 2 is an area off central PO 00000 Frm 00024 Fmt 4701 Sfmt 4702 * * * * * (e) * * * (140) 39°37.50′ N. lat., 123°49.20′ W. long.; * * * * * (144) 39°13.00′ N. lat., 123°47.65′ W. long.; (145) 39°11.06′ N. lat., 123°47.16′ W. long.; (146) 39°10.35′ N. lat., 123°46.75′ W. long.; * * * * * (168) 37°39.85.′ N. lat., 122°49.90′ W. long.; * * * * * (k) * * * (120) 38°30.57′ N. lat., 123°18.60′ W. long.; * * * * * (128) 37°48.22′ N. lat., 123°10.62′ W. long.; (129) 37°47.53′ N. lat., 123°11.54′ W. long.; * * * * * ■ 9. In § 660.72, paragraph (a)(107) is revised to read as follows: E:\FR\FM\28OCP2.SGM 28OCP2 75289 Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 209 / Friday, October 28, 2016 / Proposed Rules § 660.72 Latitude/longitude coordinates defining the 50 fm (91 m) through 75 fm (137 m) depth contours. * * * * * (a) * * * (107) 37°45.57′ N. lat., 123°9.46′ W. long.; * * * * * ■ 10. In § 660.73, redesignate paragraphs (h)(248) through (309) as (h)(252) through (313), respectively, and add new paragraphs (h)(248) through (251); to read as follows: § 660.73 Latitude/longitude coordinates defining the 100 fm (183 m) through 150 fm (274 m) depth contours. * * * * * (h) * * * (248) 36°47.60′ N. lat., 121°58.88′ W. long.; (249) 36°48.24′ N. lat., 121°51.40′ W. long.; (250) 36°45.84′ N. lat., 121°57.21′ W. long.; (251) 36°45.77′ N. lat., 121°57.61′ W. long.; * * * * * ■ 11a. Tables 1a through 1d to part 660, subpart C, are revised to read as follows: TABLE 1a TO PART 660, SUBPART C—2017, SPECIFICATIONS OF OFL, ABC, ACL, ACT AND FISHERY HARVEST GUIDELINES [Weights in metric tons] Species Area BOCACCIO c ..................................... COWCOD d ....................................... DARKBLOTCHED ROCKFISH e ....... PACIFIC OCEAN PERCH f ............... YELLOWEYE ROCKFISH g .............. Arrowtooth flounder h ......................... Big skate i .......................................... Black rockfish j .................................. Black rockfish k .................................. S. of 40°10′ N. lat ............................ S. of 40°10′ N. lat ............................. Coastwide ......................................... N. of 40°10′ N. lat ............................ Coastwide ......................................... Coastwide ......................................... Coastwide ......................................... California (South of 42° N. lat.) ........ Oregon (Between 46°16′ N. lat. and 42° N. lat.). Washington (N. of 46°16′ N. lat.) ..... S. of 40°10′ N. lat ............................. California (South of 42° N. lat.) ........ Oregon (Between 46°16′ N. lat. and 42° N. lat.). S. of 34°27′ N. lat ............................. Coastwide ......................................... S. of 40°10′ N. lat ............................. Coastwide ......................................... Coastwide ......................................... N. of 40°10′ N. lat ............................ S. of 40°10′ N. lat ............................. Coastwide ......................................... Coastwide ......................................... N. of 34°27′ N. lat ............................ S. of 34°27′ N. lat ............................. Coastwide ......................................... Coastwide ......................................... Coastwide ......................................... Coastwide ......................................... N. of 36° N. lat ................................. S. of 36° N. lat ................................. Coastwide ......................................... Coastwide ......................................... N. of 34°27′ N. lat ............................ S. of 34°27′ N. lat ............................. Coastwide ......................................... S. of 40°10′ N. lat ............................ Coastwide ......................................... Coastwide ......................................... N. of 40°10′ N. lat ............................ N. of 40°10′ N. lat ............................ N. of 40°10′ N. lat ............................ N. of 40°10′ N. lat ............................ S. of 40°10′ N. lat ............................. S. of 40°10′ N. lat ............................. S. of 40°10′ N. lat ............................. Coastwide ......................................... Coastwide ......................................... mstockstill on DSK3G9T082PROD with PROPOSALS2 Black rockfish l .................................. Blackgill rockfish m ............................. Cabezon n .......................................... Cabezon o .......................................... California scorpionfish p ..................... Canary rockfish q ............................... Chilipepper r ...................................... Dover sole s ....................................... English sole t ..................................... Lingcod u ............................................ Lingcod v ............................................ Longnose skate w .............................. Longspine thornyhead x .................... Longspine thornyhead ...................... Longspine thornyhead ...................... Pacific cod y ....................................... Pacific whiting z ................................. Petrale sole aa .................................... Sablefish ........................................... Sablefish bb ........................................ Sablefish cc ........................................ Shortbelly rockfish dd ......................... Shortspine thornyhead ee ................... Shortspine thornyhead ...................... Shortspine thornyhead ...................... Spiny dogfish ff .................................. Splitnose rockfish gg .......................... Starry flounder hh ............................... Widow rockfish ii ................................ Yellowtail rockfish jj ........................... Minor Nearshore Rockfish kk ............. Minor Shelf Rockfish ll ....................... Minor Slope Rockfish mm ................... Minor Nearshore Rockfish nn ............. Minor Shelf Rockfish oo ..................... Minor Slope Rockfish pp .................... Other Flatfish qq ................................. Other Fish rr ....................................... OFL ABC ACL a Fishery HG b 2,139 70 671 964 57 16,571 541 349 577 2,044 63 641 922 47 13,804 494 334 527 790 10 641 281 20 13,804 494 334 527 775 8 564 232 15 11,706 437 333 526 319 NA 157 49 305 NA 150 47 305 NA 150 47 287 NA 150 47 289 1,793 2,727 89,702 10,914 3,549 1,502 2,556 4,571 NA NA 3,200 (z) 3,280 8,050 NA NA 6,950 3,144 NA NA 2,514 1,841 1,847 14,130 6,786 118 2,303 1,897 1,329 1,917 827 11,165 537 264 1,714 2,607 85,755 9,964 3,333 1,251 2,444 3,808 NA NA 2,221 (z) 3,136 7,350 NA NA 5,789 2,619 NA NA 2,094 1,760 1,282 13,508 6,196 105 2,049 1,755 1,166 1,624 718 8,510 474 150 1,714 2,607 50,000 9,964 3,333 1,251 2,000 NA 2,894 914 1,600 (z) 3,136 NA 6,041 1,075 500 NA 1,713 906 2,094 1,760 1,282 13,508 6,196 105 2,049 1,755 1,163 1,623 707 8,510 474 148 1,467 2,561 48,406 9,751 3,055 1,242 1,853 NA 2,847 911 1,091 (z) 2,895 NA See Table 1c 1,070 489 NA 1,654 864 1,756 1,749 1,272 13,290 5,166 103 1,965 1,690 1,159 1,576 687 8,306 474 a Annual catch limits (ACLs), annual catch targets (ACTs) and harvest guidelines (HGs) are specified as total catch values. harvest guidelines means the harvest guideline or quota after subtracting Pacific Coast treaty Indian tribes allocations and projected catch, projected research catch, deductions for fishing mortality in non-groundfish fisheries, and deductions for EFPs from the ACL or ACT. b Fishery VerDate Sep<11>2014 19:55 Oct 27, 2016 Jkt 241001 PO 00000 Frm 00025 Fmt 4701 Sfmt 4702 E:\FR\FM\28OCP2.SGM 28OCP2 mstockstill on DSK3G9T082PROD with PROPOSALS2 75290 Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 209 / Friday, October 28, 2016 / Proposed Rules c Bocaccio. A stock assessment was conducted in 2015 for the bocaccio stock between the U.S.-Mexico border and Cape Blanco. The stock is managed with stock-specific harvest specifications south of 40°10′ N. lat. and within the Minor Shelf Rockfish complex north of 40°10′ N. lat. A historical catch distribution of approximately 7.4 percent was used to apportion the assessed stock to the area north of 40°10′ N. lat. The bocaccio stock was estimated to be at 36.8 percent of its unfished biomass in 2015. The OFL of 2,139 mt is projected in the 2015 stock assessment using an FMSY proxy of F50%. The ABC of 2,044 mt is a 4.4 percent reduction from the OFL (s = 0.36/P* = 0.45) because it is a category 1 stock. The 790 mt ACL is based on the current rebuilding plan with a target year to rebuild of 2022 and an SPR harvest rate of 77.7 percent. 15.4 mt is deducted from the ACL to accommodate the incidental open access fishery (0.8 mt), EFP catch (10 mt) and research catch (4.6 mt), resulting in a fishery HG of 774.6 mt. The California recreational fishery has an HG of 326.1 mt. d Cowcod. A stock assessment for the Conception Area was conducted in 2013 and the stock was estimated to be at 33.9 percent of its unfished biomass in 2013. The Conception Area OFL of 58 mt is projected in the 2013 rebuilding analysis using an FMSY proxy of F50%. The OFL contribution of 12 mt for the unassessed portion of the stock in the Monterey area is based on depletion-based stock reduction analysis. The OFLs for the Monterey and Conception areas were summed to derive the south of 40°10′ N. lat. OFL of 70 mt. The ABC for the area south of 40°10′ N. lat. is 63 mt. The assessed portion of the stock in the Conception Area is considered category 2, with a Conception area contribution to the ABC of 53 mt, which is an 8.7 percent reduction from the Conception area OFL (s = 0.72/P* = 0.45). The unassessed portion of the stock in the Monterey area is considered a category 3 stock, with a contribution to the ABC of 10 mt, which is a 16.6 percent reduction from the Monterey area OFL (s = 1.44/P* = 0.45). A single ACL of 10 mt is being set for both areas combined. The ACL of 10 mt is based on the rebuilding plan with a target year to rebuild of 2020 and an SPR harvest rate of 82.7 percent, which is equivalent to an exploitation rate (catch over age 11+ biomass) of 0.007. 2 mt is deducted from the ACL to accommodate the incidental open access fishery (less than 0.1 mt), EFP fishing (less than 0.1 mt) and research activity (2 mt), resulting in a fishery HG of 8 mt. Any additional mortality in research activities will be deducted from the ACL. A single ACT of 4 mt is being set for both areas combined. e Darkblotched rockfish. A 2015 stock assessment estimated the stock to be at 39 percent of its unfished biomass in 2015. The OFL of 671 mt is projected in the 2015 stock assessment using an FMSY proxy of F50%. The ABC of 641 mt is a 4.4 percent reduction from the OFL (s = 0.36/ P* = 0.45) because it is a category 1 stock. The ACL is set equal to the ABC, as the stock is projected to be above its target biomass of B40% in 2017. 77.3 mt is deducted from the ACL to accommodate the Tribal fishery (0.2 mt), the incidental open access fishery (24.5 mt), EFP catch (0.1 mt), research catch (2.5 mt) and an additional deduction for unforeseen catch events (50 mt), resulting in a fishery HG of 563.8 mt. f Pacific ocean perch. A stock assessment was conducted in 2011 and the stock was estimated to be at 19.1 percent of its unfished biomass in 2011. The OFL of 964 mt for the area north of 40°10′ N. lat. is based on an updated catch-only projection of the 2011 rebuilding analysis using an F50% FMSY proxy. The ABC of 922 mt is a 4.4 percent reduction from the OFL (s = 0.36/P* = 0.45) because it is a category 1 stock. The ACL is based on the current rebuilding plan with a target year to rebuild of 2051 and a constant catch amount of 281 mt in 2017 and 2018, followed in 2019 and beyond by ACLs based on an SPR harvest rate of 86.4 percent. 49.4 mt is deducted from the ACL to accommodate the Tribal fishery (9.2 mt), the incidental open access fishery (10 mt), research catch (5.2 mt) and an additional deduction for unforeseen catch events (25 mt), resulting in a fishery HG of 231.6 mt. g Yelloweye rockfish. A stock assessment update was conducted in 2011. The stock was estimated to be at 21.4 percent of its unfished biomass in 2011. The 57 mt coastwide OFL is based on a catch-only update of the 2011 stock assessment, assuming actual catches since 2011 and using an FMSY proxy of F50%. The ABC of 47 mt is a 16.7 percent reduction from the OFL (s = 0.72/P* = 0.40) because it is a category 2 stock. The 20 mt ACL is based on the current rebuilding plan with a target year to rebuild of 2074 and an SPR harvest rate of 76.0 percent. 5.4 mt is deducted from the ACL to accommodate the Tribal fishery (2.3 mt), the incidental open access fishery (0.4 mt), EFP catch (less than 0.1 mt) and research catch (2.7 mt), resulting in a fishery HG of 14.6 mt. Recreational HGs are: 3.3 mt (Washington); 3 mt (Oregon); and 3.9 mt (California). h Arrowtooth flounder. The arrowtooth flounder stock was last assessed in 2007 and was estimated to be at 79 percent of its unfished biomass in 2007. The OFL of 16,571 mt is derived from a catch-only update of the 2007 stock assessment assuming actual catches since 2007 and using an F30% FMSY proxy. The ABC of 13,804 mt is a 16.7 percent reduction from the OFL (s = 0.72/P* = 0.40) because it is a category 2 stock. The ACL is set equal to the ABC because the stock is above its target biomass of B25%. 2,098.1 mt is deducted from the ACL to accommodate the Tribal fishery (2,041 mt), the incidental open access fishery (40.8 mt), and research catch (16.4 mt), resulting in a fishery HG of 11,705.9 mt. i Big skate. The OFL of 541 mt is based on an estimate of trawl survey biomass and natural mortality. The ABC of 494 mt is an 8.7 percent reduction from the OFL (s = 0.72/P* = 0.45) as it is a category 2 stock. The ACL is set equal to the ABC. 57.4 mt is deducted from the ACL to accommodate the Tribal fishery (15 mt), the incidental open access fishery (38.4 mt), and research catch (4 mt), resulting in a fishery HG of 436.6 mt. j Black rockfish (California). A 2015 stock assessment estimated the stock to be at 33 percent of its unfished biomass in 2015. The OFL of 349 mt is projected in the 2015 stock assessment using an FMSY proxy of F50%. The ABC of 334 mt is a 4.4 percent reduction from the OFL (s = 0.36/P* = 0.45) because it is a category 1 stock. The ACL is set equal to the ABC because the stock is projected to be above its target biomass of B40% in 2017. 1 mt is deducted from the ACL to accommodate EFP catch (1 mt), resulting in a fishery HG of 333 mt. k Black rockfish (Oregon). A 2015 stock assessment estimated the stock to be at 60 percent of its unfished biomass in 2015. The OFL of 577 mt is projected in the 2015 stock assessment using an FMSY proxy of F50%. The ABC of 527 mt is an 8.7 percent reduction from the OFL (s = 0.72/P* = 0.45) because it is a category 2 stock. The ACL is set equal to the ABC because the stock is above its target biomass of B40%. 0.6 mt is deducted from the ACL to accommodate the incidental open access fishery (0.6 mt), resulting in a fishery HG of 526.4 mt. l Black rockfish (Washington). A 2015 stock assessment estimated the stock to be at 43 percent of its unfished biomass in 2015. The OFL of 319 mt is projected in the 2015 stock assessment using an FMSY proxy of F50%. The ABC of 305 mt is a 4.4 percent reduction from the OFL (s = 0.36/P* = 0.45) because it is a category 1 stock. The ACL is set equal to the ABC because the stock is above its target biomass of B40%. 18 mt is deducted from the ACL to accommodate the Tribal fishery, resulting in a fishery HG of 287 mt. m Blackgill rockfish. Blackgill rockfish contributes to the harvest specifications for the Minor Slope Rockfish South complex. See footnote/pp. n Cabezon (California). A cabezon stock assessment was conducted in 2009. The cabezon spawning biomass in waters off California was estimated to be at 48.3 percent of its unfished biomass in 2009. The OFL of 157 mt is calculated using an FMSY proxy of F45%. The ABC of 150 mt is based on a 4.4 percent reduction from the OFL (s = 0.36/P* = 0.45) because it is a category 1 stock. The ACL is set equal to the ABC because the stock is above its target biomass of B40%. 0.3 mt is deducted from the ACL to accommodate the incidental open access fishery, resulting in a fishery HG of 149.7 mt. o Cabezon (Oregon). A cabezon stock assessment was conducted in 2009. The cabezon spawning biomass in waters off Oregon was estimated to be at 52 percent of its unfished biomass in 2009. The OFL of 49 mt is calculated using an FMSY proxy of F45%. The ABC of 47 mt is based on a 4.4 percent reduction from the OFL (s = 0.36/P* = 0.45) because it is a category 1 species. The ACL is set equal to the ABC because the stock is above its target biomass of B40%. There are no deductions from the ACL so the fishery HG is also equal to the ACL of 47 mt. p California scorpionfish. A California scorpionfish assessment was conducted in 2005 and was estimated to be at 79.8 percent of its unfished biomass in 2005. The OFL of 289 mt is based on projections from a catch-only update of the 2005 assessment assuming actual catches since 2005 and using an FMSY harvest rate proxy of F50%. The ABC of 264 mt is an 8.7 percent reduction from the OFL (s = 0.72/P* = 0.45) because it is a category 2 stock. The ACL is set at a constant catch amount of 150 mt. 2.2 mt is deducted from the ACL to accommodate the incidental open access fishery (2 mt) and research catch (0.2 mt), resulting in a fishery HG of 147.8 mt. An ACT of 111 mt is established. q Canary rockfish. A stock assessment was conducted in 2015 and the stock was estimated to be at 55.5 percent of its unfished biomass coastwide in 2015. The coastwide OFL of 1,793 mt is projected in the 2015 assessment using an FMSY harvest rate proxy of F50%. The ABC of 1,714 mt is a 4.4 percent reduction from the OFL (s = 0.36/P* = 0.45) because it is a category 1 stock. The ACL is set equal to the ABC because the stock is above its target biomass of B40%. 247 mt is deducted from the ACL to accommodate the Tribal fishery (50 mt), the incidental open access fishery (1.2 mt), EFP catch (1 mt), research catch (7.2 mt), and an additional deduction for unforeseen catch events (188 mt), resulting in a fishery HG of 1,466.6 mt. Recreational HGs are: 50 mt (Washington); 75 mt (Oregon); and 135 mt (California). VerDate Sep<11>2014 19:55 Oct 27, 2016 Jkt 241001 PO 00000 Frm 00026 Fmt 4701 Sfmt 4702 E:\FR\FM\28OCP2.SGM 28OCP2 mstockstill on DSK3G9T082PROD with PROPOSALS2 Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 209 / Friday, October 28, 2016 / Proposed Rules 75291 r Chilipepper. A coastwide update assessment of the chilipepper stock was conducted in 2015 and estimated to be at 64 percent of its unfished biomass in 2015. Chilipepper are managed with stock-specific harvest specifications south of 40°10′ N. lat. and within the Minor Shelf Rockfish complex north of 40°10′ N. lat. Projected OFLs are stratified north and south of 40°10′ N. lat. based on the average historical assessed area catch, which is 93 percent for the area south of 40°10′ N. lat. and 7 percent for the area north of 40°10′ N. lat. The OFL of 2,727 mt for the area south of 40°10′ N. lat. is projected in the 2015 assessment using an FMSY proxy of F50%. The ABC of 2,607 mt is a 4.4 percent reduction from the OFL (s = 0.36/P* = 0.45) because it is a category 1 stock. The ACL is set equal to the ABC because the stock is above its target biomass of B40%. 45.9 mt is deducted from the ACL to accommodate the incidental open access fishery (5 mt), EFP fishing (30 mt), and research catch (10.9 mt), resulting in a fishery HG of 2,561.1 mt. s Dover sole. A 2011 Dover sole assessment estimated the stock to be at 83.7 percent of its unfished biomass in 2011. The OFL of 89,702 mt is based on an updated catch-only projection from the 2011 stock assessment assuming actual catches since 2011 and using an FMSY proxy of F30%. The ABC of 85,755 mt is a 4.4 percent reduction from the OFL (s = 0.36/P* = 0.45) because it is a category 1 stock. The ACL could be set equal to the ABC because the stock is above its target biomass of B25%. However, the ACL of 50,000 mt is set at a level below the ABC and higher than the maximum historical landed catch. 1,593.7 mt is deducted from the ACL to accommodate the Tribal fishery (1,497 mt), the incidental open access fishery (54.8 mt), and research catch (41.9 mt), resulting in a fishery HG of 48,406.3 mt. t English sole. A 2013 stock assessment was conducted, which estimated the stock to be at 88 percent of its unfished biomass in 2013. The OFL of 10,914 mt is projected in the 2013 assessment using an FMSY proxy of F30%. The ABC of 9,964 mt is an 8.7 percent reduction from the OFL (s = 0.72/P* = 0.45) because it is a category 2 stock. The ACL is set equal to the ABC because the stock is above its target biomass of B25%. 212.8 mt is deducted from the ACL to accommodate the Tribal fishery (200 mt), the incidental open access fishery (7.0 mt) and research catch (5.8 mt), resulting in a fishery HG of 9,751.2 mt. u Lingcod north. The 2009 lingcod assessment modeled two populations north and south of the California-Oregon border (42° N. lat.). Both populations were healthy with stock depletion estimated at 62 and 74 percent for the north and south, respectively in 2009. The OFL is based on an updated catch-only projection from the 2009 assessment assuming actual catches since 2009 and using an FMSY proxy of F45%. The OFL is apportioned north of 40°10′ N. lat. by adding 48% of the OFL from California, resulting in an OFL of 3,549 mt for the area north of 40°10′ N. lat. The ABC of 3,333 mt is based on a 4.4 percent reduction (s = 0.36/P* = 0.45) from the OFL contribution for the area north of 42° N. lat. because it is a category 1 stock, and an 8.7 percent reduction (s = 0.72/P* = 0.45) from the OFL contribution for the area between 42° N. lat. and 40°10′ N. lat. because it is a category 2 stock. The ACL is set equal to the ABC because the stock is above its target biomass of B40%. 278.2 mt is deducted from the ACL for the Tribal fishery (250 mt), the incidental open access fishery (16 mt), EFP catch (0.5 mt) and research catch (11.7 mt), resulting in a fishery HG of 3,054.8 mt. v Lingcod south. The 2009 lingcod assessment modeled two populations north and south of the California-Oregon border (42° N. lat.). Both populations were healthy with stock depletion estimated at 62 and 74 percent for the north and south, respectively in 2009.The OFL is based on an updated catch-only projection of the 2009 stock assessment assuming actual catches since 2009 using an FMSY proxy of F45%. The OFL is apportioned by subtracting 48% of the California OFL, resulting in an OFL of 1,502 mt for the area south of 40°10′ N. lat. The ABC of 1,251 mt is based on a 16.7 percent reduction from the OFL (s = 0.72/P* = 0.40) because it is a category 2 stock. The ACL is set equal to the ABC because the stock is above its target biomass of B40%. 9 mt is deducted from the ACL to accommodate the incidental open access fishery (6.9 mt), EFP fishing (1 mt), and research catch (1.1 mt), resulting in a fishery HG of 1,242 mt. w Longnose skate. A stock assessment was conducted in 2007 and the stock was estimated to be at 66 percent of its unfished biomass. The OFL of 2,556 mt is derived from the 2007 stock assessment using an FMSY proxy of F50%. The ABC of 2,444 mt is a 4.4 percent reduction from the OFL (s = 0.36/P* = 0.45) because it is a category 1 stock. The ACL of 2,000 mt is a fixed harvest level that provides greater access to the stock and is less than the ABC. 147 mt is deducted from the ACL to accommodate the Tribal fishery (130 mt), incidental open access fishery (3.8 mt), and research catch (13.2 mt), resulting in a fishery HG of 1,853 mt. x Longspine thornyhead. A 2013 longspine thornyhead coastwide stock assessment estimated the stock to be at 75 percent of its unfished biomass in 2013. A coastwide OFL of 4,571 mt is projected in the 2013 stock assessment using an F50% FMSY proxy. The coastwide ABC of 3,808 mt is a 16.7 percent reduction from the OFL (s = 0.72/P* = 0.40) because it is a category 2 stock. For the portion of the stock that is north of 34°27′ N. lat., the ACL is 2,894 mt, and is 76 percent of the coastwide ABC based on the average swept-area biomass estimates (2003–2012) from the NMFS NWFSC trawl survey. 46.8 mt is deducted from the ACL to accommodate the Tribal fishery (30 mt), the incidental open access fishery (3.3 mt), and research catch (13.5 mt), resulting in a fishery HG of 2,847.2 mt. For that portion of the stock south of 34°27′ N. lat. the ACL is 914 mt and is 24 percent of the coastwide ABC based on the average swept-area biomass estimates (2003–2012) from the NMFS NWFSC trawl survey. 3.2 mt is deducted from the ACL to accommodate the incidental open access fishery (1.8 mt), and research catch (1.4 mt), resulting in a fishery HG of 910.8 mt. y Pacific cod. The 3,200 mt OFL is based on the maximum level of historic landings. The ABC of 2,221 mt is a 30.6 percent reduction from the OFL (s = 1.44/P* = 0.40) because it is a category 3 stock. The 1,600 mt ACL is the OFL reduced by 50 percent as a precautionary adjustment. 509 mt is deducted from the ACL to accommodate the Tribal fishery (500 mt), research catch (7 mt), and the incidental open access fishery (2 mt), resulting in a fishery HG of 1,091 mt. z Pacific whiting. Pacific whiting. Pacific whiting are assessed annually. The final specifications will be determined consistent with the U.S.-Canada Pacific Whiting Agreement and will be announced after the Council’s April 2017 meeting. aa Petrale sole. A 2015 stock assessment update was conducted, which estimated the stock to be at 31 percent of its unfished biomass in 2015. The OFL of 3,280 mt is projected in the 2015 assessment using an FMSY proxy of F30%. The ABC of 3,136 mt is a 4.4 percent reduction from the OFL (s = 0.36/P* = 0.45) because it is a category 1 stock. The ACL is set equal to the ABC because the stock is above its target biomass of B25%. 240.9 mt is deducted from the ACL to accommodate the Tribal fishery (220 mt), the incidental open access fishery (3.2 mt) and research catch (17.7 mt), resulting in a fishery HG of 2,895.1 mt. bb Sablefish north. A coastwide sablefish stock assessment update was conducted in 2015. The coastwide sablefish biomass was estimated to be at 33 percent of its unfished biomass in 2015. The coastwide OFL of 8,050 mt is projected in the 2015 stock assessment using an FMSY proxy of F45%. The ABC of 7,350 mt is an 8.7 percent reduction from the OFL (s = 0.36/P* = 0.40). The 40–10 adjustment is applied to the ABC to derive a coastwide ACL value because the stock is in the precautionary zone. This coastwide ACL value is not specified in regulations. The coastwide ACL value is apportioned north and south of 36° N. lat., using the 2003–2014 average estimated swept area biomass from the NMFS NWFSC trawl survey, with 84.9 percent apportioned north of 36° N. lat. and 15.1 percent apportioned south of 36° N. lat. The northern ACL is 6,041 mt and is reduced by 604 mt for the Tribal allocation (10 percent of the ACL north of 36° N. lat.). The 604 mt Tribal allocation is reduced by 1.5 percent to account for discard mortality. Detailed sablefish allocations are shown in Table 1c. cc Sablefish south. The ACL for the area south of 36° N. lat. is 1,075 mt (15.1 percent of the calculated coastwide ACL value). 5 mt is deducted from the ACL to accommodate the incidental open access fishery (2 mt) and research catch (3 mt), resulting in a fishery HG of 1,070 mt. dd Shortbelly rockfish. A non-quantitative shortbelly rockfish assessment was conducted in 2007. The spawning stock biomass of shortbelly rockfish was estimated to be 67 percent of its unfished biomass in 2005. The OFL of 6,950 mt is based on the estimated MSY in the 2007 stock assessment. The ABC of 5,789 mt is a 16.7 percent reduction of the OFL (s = 0.72/P* = 0.40) because it is a category 2 stock. The 500 mt ACL is set to accommodate incidental catch when fishing for co-occurring healthy stocks and in recognition of the stock’s importance as a forage species in the California Current ecosystem. 10.9 mt is deducted from the ACL to accommodate the incidental open access fishery (8.9 mt) and research catch (2 mt), resulting in a fishery HG of 489.1 mt. ee Shortspine thornyhead. A 2013 coastwide shortspine thornyhead stock assessment estimated the stock to be at 74.2 percent of its unfished biomass in 2013. A coastwide OFL of 3,144 mt is projected in the 2013 stock assessment using an F50% FMSY proxy. The coastwide ABC of 2,619 mt is a 16.7 percent reduction from the OFL (s = 0.72/P* = 0.40) because it is a category 2 stock. For the portion of the stock that is north of 34°27′ N. lat., the ACL is 1,713 mt. The northern ACL is 65.4 percent of the coastwide ABC based on the average swept-area biomass estimates (2003–2012) from the NMFS NWFSC trawl survey. 59 mt is deducted from the ACL to accommodate the Tribal fishery (50 mt), the incidental open access fishery (1.8 mt), and research catch (7.2 mt), resulting in a fishery HG of 1,654 mt for the area north of 34°27′ N. lat. For that portion of the stock south of 34°27′ N. lat. the ACL is 906 mt. The southern ACL is 34.6 percent of the coastwide ABC based on the average swept-area biomass estimates (2003–2012) from the NMFS NWFSC trawl survey. 42.3 mt is deducted from the ACL to accommodate the incidental open access fishery (41.3 mt) and research catch (1 mt), resulting in a fishery HG of 863.7 mt for the area south of 34°27′ N. lat. VerDate Sep<11>2014 19:55 Oct 27, 2016 Jkt 241001 PO 00000 Frm 00027 Fmt 4701 Sfmt 4702 E:\FR\FM\28OCP2.SGM 28OCP2 mstockstill on DSK3G9T082PROD with PROPOSALS2 75292 Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 209 / Friday, October 28, 2016 / Proposed Rules ff Spiny dogfish. A coastwide spiny dogfish stock assessment was conducted in 2011. The coastwide spiny dogfish biomass was estimated to be at 63 percent of its unfished biomass in 2011. The coastwide OFL of 2,514 mt is derived from the 2011 assessment using an FMSY proxy of F50%. The coastwide ABC of 2,094 mt is a 16.7 percent reduction from the OFL (s = 0.72/P* = 0.40) because it is a category 2 stock. The ACL is set equal to the ABC because the stock is above its target biomass of B40%. 338 mt is deducted from the ACL to accommodate the Tribal fishery (275 mt), the incidental open access fishery (49.5 mt), EFP catch (1 mt), and research catch (12.5 mt), resulting in a fishery HG of 1,756 mt. gg Splitnose rockfish. A coastwide splitnose rockfish assessment was conducted in 2009 that estimated the stock to be at 66 percent of its unfished biomass in 2009. Splitnose rockfish in the north is managed in the Minor Slope Rockfish complex and with stock-specific harvest specifications south of 40°10′ N. lat. The coastwide OFL is projected in the 2009 assessment using an FMSY proxy of F50%. The coastwide OFL is apportioned north and south of 40°10′ N. lat. based on the average 1916–2008 assessed area catch, resulting in 64.2 percent of the coastwide OFL apportioned south of 40°10′ N. lat., and 35.8 percent apportioned for the contribution of splitnose rockfish to the northern Minor Slope Rockfish complex. The southern OFL of 1,841 mt results from the apportionment described above. The southern ABC of 1,760 mt is a 4.4 percent reduction from the southern OFL (s = 0.36/P* = 0.45) because it is a category 1 stock. The ACL is set equal to the ABC because the stock is estimated to be above its target biomass of B40%. 10.7 mt is deducted from the ACL to accommodate the incidental open access fishery (0.2 mt), research catch (9 mt) and EFP catch (1.5 mt), resulting in a fishery HG of 1,749.3 mt. hh Starry flounder. The stock was assessed in 2005 and was estimated to be above 40 percent of its unfished biomass in 2005 (44 percent in Washington and Oregon, and 62 percent in California). The coastwide OFL of 1,847 mt is set equal to the 2016 OFL, which was derived from the 2005 assessment using an FMSY proxy of F30%. The ABC of 1,282 mt is a 30.6 percent reduction from the OFL (s = 1.44/P* = 0.40) because it is a category 3 stock. The ACL is set equal to the ABC because the stock was estimated to be above its target biomass of B25% in 2017. 10.3 mt is deducted from the ACL to accommodate the Tribal fishery (2 mt), and the incidental open access fishery (8.3 mt), resulting in a fishery HG of 1,271.7 mt. ii Widow rockfish. The widow rockfish stock was assessed in 2015 and was estimated to be at 75 percent of its unfished biomass in 2015. The OFL of 14,130 mt is projected in the 2015 stock assessment using the F50% FMSY proxy. The ABC of 13,508 mt is a 4.4 percent reduction from the OFL (s = 0.36/P* = 0.45) because it is a category 1 stock. The ACL is set equal to the ABC because the stock is above its target biomass of B40%. 217.7 mt is deducted from the ACL to accommodate the Tribal fishery (200 mt), the incidental open access fishery (0.5 mt), EFP catch (9 mt) and research catch (8.2 mt), resulting in a fishery HG of 13,290.3 mt. jj Yellowtail rockfish. A 2013 yellowtail rockfish stock assessment was conducted for the portion of the population north of 40°10′ N. lat. The estimated stock depletion was 67 percent of its unfished biomass in 2013. The OFL of 6,786 mt is projected in the 2013 stock assessment using an FMSY proxy of F50%. The ABC of 6,196 mt is an 8.7 percent reduction from the OFL (s = 0.72/P* = 0.45) because it is a category 2 stock. The ACL is set equal to the ABC because the stock is above its target biomass of B40%. 1,030 mt is deducted from the ACL to accommodate the Tribal fishery (1,000 mt), the incidental open access fishery (3.4 mt), EFP catch (10 mt) and research catch (16.6 mt), resulting in a fishery HG of 5,166.1 mt. kk Minor Nearshore Rockfish north. The OFL for Minor Nearshore Rockfish north of 40°10′ N. lat. of 118 mt is the sum of the OFL contributions for the component species managed in the complex. The ABCs for the minor rockfish complexes are based on a sigma value of 0.72 for category 2 stocks (blue/deacon rockfish in California, brown rockfish, China rockfish, and copper rockfish) and a sigma value of 1.44 for category 3 stocks (all others) with a P* of 0.45. The resulting ABC of 105 mt is the summed contribution of the ABCs for the component species. The ACL of 105 mt is the sum of contributing ABCs of healthy assessed stocks and unassessed stocks, plus the ACL contributions for blue/deacon rockfish in California where the 40–10 adjustment was applied to the ABC contribution for this stock because it is in the precautionary zone. 1.8 mt is deducted from the ACL to accommodate the Tribal fishery (1.5 mt) and the incidental open access fishery (0.3 mt), resulting in a fishery HG of 103.2 mt. Between 40°10′ N. lat. and 42° N. lat. the Minor Nearshore Rockfish complex north has a harvest guideline of 40.2 mt. Blue/deacon rockfish south of 42° N. lat. has a stock-specific HG, described in footnote nn. ll Minor Shelf Rockfish north. The OFL for Minor Shelf Rockfish north of 40°10′ N. lat. of 2,303 mt is the sum of the OFL contributions for the component species within the complex. The ABCs for the minor rockfish complexes are based on a sigma value of 0.36 for a category 1 stock (chilipepper), a sigma value of 0.72 for category 2 stocks (greenspotted rockfish between 40°10′ and 42° N. lat. and greenstriped rockfish), and a sigma value of 1.44 for category 3 stocks (all others) with a P* of 0.45. The resulting ABC of 2,049 mt is the summed contribution of the ABCs for the component species. The ACL of 2,049 mt is the sum of contributing ABCs of healthy assessed stocks and unassessed stocks, plus the ACL contribution of greenspotted rockfish in California where the 40–10 adjustment was applied to the ABC contribution for this stock because it is in the precautionary zone. 83.8 mt is deducted from the ACL to accommodate the Tribal fishery (30 mt), the incidental open access fishery (26 mt), EFP catch (3 mt), and research catch (24.8 mt), resulting in a fishery HG of 1,965.2 mt. mm Minor Slope Rockfish north. The OFL for Minor Slope Rockfish north of 40°10′ N. lat. of 1,897 mt is the sum of the OFL contributions for the component species within the complex. The ABCs for the Minor Slope Rockfish complexes are based on a sigma value of 0.39 for aurora rockfish, a sigma value of 0.36 for the other category 1 stock (splitnose rockfish), a sigma value of 0.72 for category 2 stocks (rougheye rockfish, blackspotted rockfish, and sharpchin rockfish), and a sigma value of 1.44 for category 3 stocks (all others) with a P* of 0.45. A unique sigma of 0.39 was calculated for aurora rockfish because the variance in estimated spawning biomass was greater than the 0.36 used as a proxy for other category 1 stocks. The resulting ABC of 1,755 mt is the summed contribution of the ABCs for the component species. The ACL is set equal to the ABC because all the assessed component stocks (i.e., rougheye rockfish, blackspotted rockfish, sharpchin rockfish, and splitnose rockfish) are above the target biomass of B40%. 65.1 mt is deducted from the ACL to accommodate the Tribal fishery (36 mt), the incidental open access fishery (18.6 mt), EFP catch (1 mt), and research catch (9.5 mt), resulting in a fishery HG of 1,689.9 mt. nn Minor Nearshore Rockfish south. The OFL for the Minor Nearshore Rockfish complex south of 40°10′ N. lat. of 1,329 mt is the sum of the OFL contributions for the component species within the complex. The ABC for the southern Minor Nearshore Rockfish complex is based on a sigma value of 0.72 for category 2 stocks (i.e., blue/deacon rockfish north of 34°27′ N. lat., brown rockfish, China rockfish, and copper rockfish) and a sigma value of 1.44 for category 3 stocks (all others) with a P* of 0.45. The resulting ABC of 1,166 mt is the summed contribution of the ABCs for the component species. The ACL of 1,163 mt is the sum of the contributing ABCs of healthy assessed stocks and unassessed stocks, plus the ACL contribution for blue/deacon rockfish north of 34°27′ N. lat. and China rockfish where the 40–10 adjustment was applied to the ABC contributions for these two stocks because they are in the precautionary zone. 4.1 mt is deducted from the ACL to accommodate the incidental open access fishery (1.4 mt) and research catch (2.7 mt), resulting in a fishery HG of 1,158.9 mt. Blue/deacon rockfish south of 42° N. lat. has a stock-specific HG set equal to the 40–10-adjusted ACL for the portion of the stock north of 34°27′ N lat. (243.7 mt) plus the ABC contribution for the unassessed portion of the stock south of 34°27′ N. lat. (60.8 mt). The California (i.e. south of 42° N. lat.) blue/deacon rockfish HG is 304.5 mt. oo Minor Shelf Rockfish south. The OFL for the Minor Shelf Rockfish complex south of 40°10′ N. lat. of 1,917 mt is the sum of the OFL contributions for the component species within the complex. The ABC for the southern Minor Shelf Rockfish complex is based on a sigma value of 0.72 for category 2 stocks (greenspotted and greenstriped rockfish) and a sigma value of 1.44 for category 3 stocks (all others) with a P* of 0.45. The resulting ABC of 1,624 mt is the summed contribution of the ABCs for the component species. The ACL of 1,623 mt is the sum of contributing ABCs of healthy assessed stocks and unassessed stocks, plus the ACL contribution of greenspotted rockfish in California where the 40–10 adjustment was applied to the ABC contribution for this stock because it is in the precautionary zone. 47.2 mt is deducted from the ACL to accommodate the incidental open access fishery (8.6 mt), EFP catch (30 mt), and research catch (8.6 mt), resulting in a fishery HG of 1,575.8 mt. VerDate Sep<11>2014 19:55 Oct 27, 2016 Jkt 241001 PO 00000 Frm 00028 Fmt 4701 Sfmt 4702 E:\FR\FM\28OCP2.SGM 28OCP2 75293 Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 209 / Friday, October 28, 2016 / Proposed Rules pp Minor Slope Rockfish south. The OFL of 827 mt is the sum of the OFL contributions for the component species within the complex. The ABC for the southern Minor Slope Rockfish complex is based on a sigma value of 0.39 for aurora rockfish, a sigma value of 0.72 for category 2 stocks (blackgill rockfish, rougheye rockfish, blackspotted rockfish, and sharpchin rockfish) and a sigma value of 1.44 for category 3 stocks (all others) with a P* of 0.45. A unique sigma of 0.39 was calculated for aurora rockfish because the variance in estimated biomass was greater than the 0.36 used as a proxy for other category 1 stocks. The resulting ABC of 718 mt is the summed contribution of the ABCs for the component species. The ACL of 707 mt is the sum of the contributing ABCs of healthy assessed stocks and unassessed stocks, plus the ACL contribution of blackgill rockfish where the 40–10 adjustment was applied to the ABC contribution for this stock because it is in the precautionary zone. 20.2 mt is deducted from the ACL to accommodate the incidental open access fishery (17.2 mt), EFP catch (1 mt), and research catch (2 mt), resulting in a fishery HG of 686.8 mt. Blackgill rockfish has a stock-specific HG for the entire groundfish fishery south of 40°10′ N lat. set equal to the species’ contribution to the 40–10-adjusted ACL. Harvest of blackgill rockfish in all groundfish fisheries counts against this HG of 120.2 mt. Nontrawl fisheries are subject to a blackgill rockfish HG of 44.5 mt. qq Other Flatfish. The Other Flatfish complex is comprised of flatfish species managed in the PCGFMP that are not managed with stock-specific OFLs/ABCs/ACLs. Most of the species in the Other Flatfish complex are unassessed and include: Butter sole, curlfin sole, flathead sole, Pacific sanddab, rock sole, sand sole, and rex sole. The Other Flatfish OFL of 11,165 mt is based on the sum of the OFL contributions of the component stocks. The ABC of 8,510 mt is based on a sigma value of 0.72 for a category 2 stock (rex sole) and a sigma value of 1.44 for category 3 stocks (all others) with a P* of 0.40. The ACL is set equal to the ABC. The ACL is set equal to the ABC because all of the assessed stocks (i.e., Pacific sanddabs and rex sole) were above their target biomass of B25%. 204 mt is deducted from the ACL to accommodate the Tribal fishery (60 mt), the incidental open access fishery (125 mt), and research catch (19 mt), resulting in a fishery HG of 8,306 mt. rr Other Fish. The Other Fish complex is comprised of kelp greenling coastwide, cabezon off Washington, and leopard shark coastwide. The 2015 assessment for the kelp greenling stock off of Oregon projected an estimated depletion of 80 percent in 2015. All other stocks are unassessed. The OFL of 537 mt is the sum of the OFL contributions for kelp greenling coastwide, cabezon off Washington, and leopard shark coastwide. The ABC for the Other Fish complex is based on a sigma value of 0.44 for kelp greenling off Oregon and a sigma value of 1.44 for category 3 stocks (all others) with a P* of 0.45. A unique sigma of 0.44 was calculated for kelp greenling off Oregon because the variance in estimated spawning biomass was greater than the 0.36 sigma used as a proxy for other category 1 stocks. The resulting ABC of 474 mt is the summed contribution of the ABCs for the component species. The ACL is set equal to the ABC because all of the assessed stocks (kelp greenling off Oregon) were above their target biomass of B40%. There are no deductions from the ACL so the fishery HG is equal to the ACL of 474 mt. TABLE 1b TO PART 660, SUBPART C—2017, ALLOCATIONS BY SPECIES OR SPECIES GROUP [Weight in metric tons] Species Area Fishery HG or ACT S. of 40°10′ N. lat ......... S. of 40°10′ N. lat ......... Coastwide ..................... N. of 40°10′ N. lat ......... Coastwide ..................... Coastwide ..................... 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 ..................... Coastwide ..................... 774.6 4.0 563.8 231.6 14.6 11,705.9 436.6 1,466.6 2,561.1 48,406.3 9,751.2 3,054.8 1,242.0 1,853.0 2,847.2 1,091.0 TBD 2,895.1 Sablefish ........................................... mstockstill on DSK3G9T082PROD with PROPOSALS2 BOCACCIO a ..................................... COWCOD a b ..................................... DARKBLOTCHED ROCKFISH c ....... PACIFIC OCEAN PERCH e .............. YELLOWEYE ROCKFISH a .............. Arrowtooth flounder .......................... Big skate a ......................................... Canary rockfish a d ............................. Chilipepper ........................................ Dover sole ......................................... English sole ...................................... Lingcod ............................................. Lingcod ............................................. Longnose skate a ............................... Longspine thornyhead ...................... Pacific cod ........................................ Pacific whiting ................................... Petrale sole ....................................... N. of 36° N. lat ............. 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 ......... N. of 40°10′ N. lat ......... S. of 40°10′ N. lat ......... S. of 40°10′ N. lat ......... Coastwide ..................... 1,070.0 1,654.0 863.7 1,749.3 1,271.7 13,290.3 5,166.1 1,965.2 1,689.9 1,575.8 686.8 8,306.0 Percent NA Sablefish ........................................... Shortspine thornyhead ...................... Shortspine thornyhead ...................... Splitnose rockfish .............................. Starry flounder .................................. Widow rockfish f ................................ Yellowtail rockfish ............................. Minor Shelf Rockfish a ....................... Minor Slope Rockfish ........................ Minor Shelf Rockfish a ....................... Minor Slope Rockfish ........................ Other Flatfish .................................... Trawl 39 36 95 95 NA 95 95 NA 75 95 95 45 45 90 95 95 100 95 Non-trawl Mt Percent 302.4 1.4 535.6 220.0 1.1 11,120.6 414.8 1,060.1 1,920.8 45,986.0 9,263.6 1,374.7 558.9 1,667.7 2,704.8 1,036.4 TBD 2,750.3 Mt 61 64 5 5 NA 5 5 NA 25 5 5 55 55 10 5 5 0 5 472.2 2.6 28.2 11.6 13.1 585.3 21.8 406.5 640.3 2,420.3 487.6 1,680.2 683.1 185.3 142.4 54.5 TBD 144.8 58 5 NA 5 50 9 12 40 19 88 37 10 620.6 82.7 813.7 87.5 635.9 1,196.1 619.9 782.1 321.1 1,383.6 254.1 830.6 See Table 1c 42 95 NA 95 50 91 88 60 81 12 63 90 449.4 1,571.3 50.0 1,661.8 635.9 12,094.2 4,546.1 1,183.1 1,368.8 192.2 432.7 7,475.4 a Allocations decided through the biennial specification process. cowcod fishery harvest guideline is further reduced to an ACT of 4.0 mt. c Consistent with regulations at § 660.55(c), 9 percent (48.2 mt) of the total trawl allocation for darkblotched rockfish is allocated to the Pacific whiting fishery, as follows: 20.2 mt for the Shorebased IFQ Program, 11.6 mt for the MS sector, and 16.4 mt for the C/P sector. The tonnage calculated here for the Pacific whiting IFQ fishery contributes to the total shorebased trawl allocation, which is found at § 660.140(d)(1)(ii)(D). d Canary rockfish is allocated approximately 72 percent to trawl and 28 percent to non-trawl. 46 mt of the total trawl allocation of canary rockfish is allocated to the MS and C/P sectors, as follows: 30 mt for the MS sector, and 16 mt for the C/P sector. e Consistent with regulations at § 660.55(c), 17 percent (37.4 mt) of the total trawl allocation for POP is allocated to the Pacific whiting fishery, as follows: 15.7 mt for the Shorebased IFQ Program, 9.0 mt for the MS sector, and 12.7 mt for the C/P sector. The tonnage calculated here for the Pacific whiting IFQ fishery contributes to the total shorebased trawl allocation, which is found at § 660.140(d)(1)(ii)(D). b The VerDate Sep<11>2014 19:55 Oct 27, 2016 Jkt 241001 PO 00000 Frm 00029 Fmt 4701 Sfmt 4702 E:\FR\FM\28OCP2.SGM 28OCP2 75294 Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 209 / Friday, October 28, 2016 / Proposed Rules f Consistent with regulations at § 660.55(c), 10 percent (1,209.4 mt) of the total trawl allocation for widow rockfish is allocated to the whiting fisheries, as follows: 508.0 mt for the shorebased IFQ fishery, 290.3 mt for the mothership fishery, and 411.2 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). TABLE 1c. TO PART 660, SUBPART C—SABLEFISH NORTH OF 36° N. LAT. ALLOCATIONS, 2017 Set-asides Year ACL Tribal a 2017 .............................. 6,041 Research 604 Recreational estimate 26 Commercial HG EFP 6.1 1 Limited entry HG Percent 5,404 Limited entry trawl c Year LE All 2017 .............................. All trawl 4,896 At-sea whiting 2,840 50 Open access HG mt 90.6 Percent 4,896 mt b 9.4 508 Limited entry fixed gear d Shorebased IFQ All FG 2,790 2,056 Primary DTL 1,748 308 a The tribal allocation is further reduced by 1.5 percent for discard mortality resulting in 595 mt in 2017. b The open access HG is taken by the incidental OA fishery and the directed OA fishery. c The trawl allocation is 58 percent of the limited entry HG. d The limited entry fixed gear allocation is 42 percent of the limited entry HG. TABLE 1d. TO PART 660, SUBPART C—AT-SEA WHITING FISHERY ANNUAL SET-ASIDES, 2017 Set aside (mt) Species or species complex Area BOCACCIO ........................................................................................... COWCOD ............................................................................................. DARKBLOTCHED ROCKFISH a ........................................................... PACIFIC OCEAN PERCH a .................................................................. YELLOWEYE ROCKFISH .................................................................... Arrowtooth flounder .............................................................................. Canary rockfish a ................................................................................... Chilipepper ............................................................................................ Dover sole ............................................................................................. English sole .......................................................................................... Lingcod ................................................................................................. Lingcod ................................................................................................. Longnose skate .................................................................................... Longspine thornyhead .......................................................................... Longspine thornyhead .......................................................................... Minor Nearshore Rockfish .................................................................... Minor Nearshore Rockfish .................................................................... Minor Shelf Rockfish ............................................................................. Minor Shelf Rockfish ............................................................................. Minor Slope Rockfish ............................................................................ Minor Slope Rockfish ............................................................................ Other Fish ............................................................................................. Other Flatfish ........................................................................................ Pacific cod ............................................................................................ Pacific Halibut b ..................................................................................... Pacific Whiting ...................................................................................... Petrale sole ........................................................................................... Sablefish ............................................................................................... Sablefish ............................................................................................... Shortspine thornyhead .......................................................................... Shortspine thornyhead .......................................................................... Starry flounder ...................................................................................... Widow Rockfish a .................................................................................. Yellowtail rockfish ................................................................................. S. of 40°10′ N. lat ........................................... S. of 40°10′ N. lat ........................................... Coastwide ....................................................... N. of 40°10′ N. lat ........................................... Coastwide ....................................................... 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 ........................................... S. of 34°27′ 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 ........................................... N. of 40°10′ N. lat ........................................... S. of 40°10′ N. lat ........................................... Coastwide ....................................................... Coastwide ....................................................... Coastwide ....................................................... Coastwide ....................................................... Coastwide ....................................................... Coastwide ....................................................... N. of 36° N. lat ................................................ S. of 36° N. lat ................................................ N. of 34°27′ N. lat ........................................... S. of 34°27′ N. lat ........................................... Coastwide ....................................................... Coastwide ....................................................... N. of 40°10′ N. lat ........................................... a See NA. NA. Allocation. Allocation. 0. 70. Allocation. NA. 5. 5. 15. NA. 5. 5. NA. NA. NA. 35. NA. 100. NA. NA. 20. 5. 10. Allocation. 5. 50. NA. 20. NA. 5. Allocation. 300. Table 1.b., to Subpart C, for the at-sea whiting allocations for these species. stated in § 660.55 (m), the Pacific halibut set-aside is 10 mt, to accommodate bycatch in the at-sea Pacific whiting fisheries and in the shorebased trawl sector south of 40°10′ N. lat. (estimated to be approximately 5 mt each). mstockstill on DSK3G9T082PROD with PROPOSALS2 b As * * * VerDate Sep<11>2014 * * 19:55 Oct 27, 2016 11b. Tables 2a through 2d to part 660, subpart C, are revised to read as follows: ■ Jkt 241001 PO 00000 Frm 00030 Fmt 4701 Sfmt 4702 E:\FR\FM\28OCP2.SGM 28OCP2 75295 Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 209 / Friday, October 28, 2016 / Proposed Rules TABLE 2a TO PART 660, SUBPART C—2018, AND BEYOND, SPECIFICATIONS OF OFL, ABC, ACL, ACT AND FISHERY HARVEST GUIDELINES [Weights in metric tons] Species Area BOCACCIO c ...................................... COWCOD d ........................................ DARKBLOTCHED ROCKFISH e ........ PACIFIC OCEAN PERCH f ................ YELLOWEYE ROCKFISH g ............... Arrowtooth flounder h .......................... Big skate i ........................................... Black rockfish j .................................... Black rockfish k ................................... S. of 40°10′ N. lat .............................. S. of 40°10′ N. lat .............................. Coastwide .......................................... N. of 40°10′ N. lat .............................. Coastwide .......................................... Coastwide .......................................... Coastwide .......................................... California (South of 42° N. lat.) ......... Oregon (Between 46°16′ N. lat. and 42° N. lat.). Washington (N. of 46°16′ N. lat.) ...... S. of 40°10′ N. lat .............................. California (South of 42° N. lat.) ......... Oregon (Between 46°16′ N. lat. and 42° N. lat.). S. of 34°27′ N. lat .............................. Coastwide .......................................... S. of 40°10′ N. lat .............................. Coastwide .......................................... Coastwide .......................................... N. of 40°10′ N. lat .............................. S. of 40°10′ N. lat .............................. Coastwide .......................................... Coastwide .......................................... N. of 34°27′ N. lat .............................. S. of 34°27′ N. lat .............................. Coastwide .......................................... Coastwide .......................................... Coastwide .......................................... Coastwide .......................................... N. of 36° N. lat ................................... S. of 36° N. lat ................................... Coastwide .......................................... Coastwide .......................................... N. of 34°27′ N. lat .............................. S. of 34°27′ N. lat .............................. Coastwide .......................................... S. of 40°10′ N. lat .............................. Coastwide .......................................... Coastwide .......................................... N. of 40°10′ N. lat .............................. N. of 40°10′ N. lat .............................. N. of 40°10′ N. lat .............................. N. of 40°10′ N. lat .............................. S. of 40°10′ N. lat .............................. S. of 40°10′ N. lat .............................. S. of 40°10′ N. lat .............................. Coastwide .......................................... Coastwide .......................................... Black rockfish l .................................... Blackgill rockfish m .............................. Cabezon n ........................................... Cabezon o ........................................... California scorpionfish p ...................... Canary rockfish q ................................ Chilipepper r ........................................ Dover sole s ........................................ English sole t ...................................... Lingcod u ............................................. Lingcod v ............................................. Longnose skate w ............................... Longspine thornyhead x ..................... Longspine thornyhead ....................... Longspine thornyhead ....................... Pacific cod y ........................................ Pacific whiting z .................................. Petrale sole aa .................................... Sablefish ............................................ Sablefish bb ......................................... Sablefish cc ......................................... Shortbelly rockfish dd .......................... Shortspine thornyhead ee ................... Shortspine thornyhead ....................... Shortspine thornyhead ....................... Spiny dogfish ff ................................... Splitnose rockfish gg ........................... Starry flounder hh ................................ Widow rockfish ii ................................. Yellowtail rockfish jj ............................. Minor Nearshore Rockfish kk .............. Minor Shelf Rockfish ll ........................ Minor Slope Rockfish mm .................... Minor Nearshore Rockfish nn .............. Minor Shelf Rockfish oo ...................... Minor Slope Rockfish pp ..................... Other Flatfish qq .................................. Other Fish rr ........................................ OFL ACL a ABC 2,013 71 683 984 58 16,498 541 347 570 1,924 64 653 941 48 13,743 494 332 520 741 10 653 281 20 13,743 494 332 520 315 NA 156 49 301 NA 149 47 301 NA 149 47 278 1,596 2,623 90,282 8,255 3,310 1,373 2,526 4,339 NA NA 3,200 (z) 3,152 8,329 NA NA 6,950 3,116 NA NA 2,500 1,842 1,847 13,237 6,574 119 2,302 1,896 1,344 1,918 829 9,690 501 254 1,526 2,507 86,310 7,537 3,110 1,144 2,415 3,614 NA NA 2,221 (z) 3,013 7,604 NA NA 5,789 2,596 NA NA 2,083 1,761 1,282 12,655 6,002 105 2,048 1,754 1,180 1,625 719 7,281 441 150 1,526 2,507 50,000 7,537 3,110 1,144 2,000 NA 2,747 867 1,600 (z) 3,013 NA 6,299 1,120 500 NA 1,698 898 2,083 1,761 1,282 12,655 6,002 105 2,047 1,754 1,179 1,624 709 7,281 441 a Annual 726 8 576 232 14 11,645 437 331 519 283 NA 149 47 148 1,467 2,461 48,406 7,324 2,832 1,135 1,853 NA 2,700 864 1,091 (z) 2,772 NA See Table 1c 1,115 489 NA 1,639 856 1,745 1,750 1,272 12,437 4,972 103 1,963 1,689 1,175 1,577 689 7,077 441 catch limits (ACLs), annual catch targets (ACTs) and harvest guidelines (HGs) are specified as total catch values. harvest guidelines means the harvest guideline or quota after subtracting Pacific Coast treaty Indian tribes allocations and projected catch, projected research catch, deductions for fishing mortality in non-groundfish fisheries, and deductions for EFPs from the ACL or ACT. c Bocaccio. A stock assessment was conducted in 2015 for the bocaccio stock between the U.S.-Mexico border and Cape Blanco. The stock is managed with stock-specific harvest specifications south of 40°10′ N. lat. and within the Minor Shelf Rockfish complex north of 40°10′ N. lat. A historical catch distribution of approximately 7.4 percent was used to apportion the assessed stock to the area north of 40°10′ N. lat. The bocaccio stock was estimated to be at 36.8 percent of its unfished biomass in 2015. The OFL of 2,013 mt is projected in the 2015 stock assessment using an FMSY proxy of F50%. The ABC of 1,924 mt is a 4.4 percent reduction from the OFL (s = 0.36/P* = 0.45) because it is a category 1 stock. The 741 mt ACL is based on the current rebuilding plan with a target year to rebuild of 2022 and an SPR harvest rate of 77.7 percent. 15.4 mt is deducted from the ACL to accommodate the incidental open access fishery (0.8 mt), EFP catch (10 mt) and research catch (4.6 mt), resulting in a fishery HG of 725.6 mt. The California recreational fishery has an HG of 305.5 mt. b Fishery mstockstill on DSK3G9T082PROD with PROPOSALS2 Fishery HG b VerDate Sep<11>2014 19:55 Oct 27, 2016 Jkt 241001 PO 00000 Frm 00031 Fmt 4701 Sfmt 4702 E:\FR\FM\28OCP2.SGM 28OCP2 mstockstill on DSK3G9T082PROD with PROPOSALS2 75296 Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 209 / Friday, October 28, 2016 / Proposed Rules d Cowcod. A stock assessment for the Conception Area was conducted in 2013 and the stock was estimated to be at 33.9 percent of its unfished biomass in 2013. The Conception Area OFL of 59 mt is projected in the 2013 rebuilding analysis using an FMSY proxy of F50%. The OFL contribution of 12 mt for the unassessed portion of the stock in the Monterey area is based on depletion-based stock reduction analysis. The OFLs for the Monterey and Conception areas were summed to derive the south of 40°10′ N. lat. OFL of 71 mt. The ABC for the area south of 40°10′ N. lat. is 64 mt. The assessed portion of the stock in the Conception Area is considered category 2, with a Conception area contribution to the ABC of 54 mt, which is an 8.7 percent reduction from the Conception area OFL (s = 0.72/P* = 0.45). The unassessed portion of the stock in the Monterey area is considered a category 3 stock, with a contribution to the ABC of 10 mt, which is a 16.6 percent reduction from the Monterey area OFL (s = 1.44/P* = 0.45). A single ACL of 10 mt is being set for both areas combined. The ACL of 10 mt is based on the rebuilding plan with a target year to rebuild of 2020 and an SPR harvest rate of 82.7 percent, which is equivalent to an exploitation rate (catch over age 11+ biomass) of 0.007. 2 mt is deducted from the ACL to accommodate the incidental open access fishery (less than 0.1 mt), EFP fishing (less than 0.1 mt) and research activity (2 mt), resulting in a fishery HG of 8 mt. Any additional mortality in research activities will be deducted from the ACL. A single ACT of 4 mt is being set for both areas combined. e Darkblotched rockfish. A 2015 stock assessment estimated the stock to be at 39 percent of its unfished biomass in 2015. The OFL of 683 mt is projected in the 2015 stock assessment using an FMSY proxy of F50%. The ABC of 653 mt is a 4.4 percent reduction from the OFL (s = 0.36/P* = 0.45) because it is a category 1 stock. The ACL is set equal to the ABC, as the stock is projected to be above its target biomass of B40% in 2017. 77.3 mt is deducted from the ACL to accommodate the Tribal fishery (0.2 mt), the incidental open access fishery (24.5 mt), EFP catch (0.1 mt), research catch (2.5 mt) and an additional deduction for unforeseen catch events (50 mt), resulting in a fishery HG of 575.8 mt. f Pacific ocean perch. A stock assessment was conducted in 2011 and the stock was estimated to be at 19.1 percent of its unfished biomass in 2011. The OFL of 984 mt for the area north of 40°10′ N. lat. is based on an updated catch-only projection of the 2011 rebuilding analysis using an F50% FMSY proxy. The ABC of 941 mt is a 4.4 percent reduction from the OFL (s = 0.36/P* = 0.45) as it is a category 1 stock. The ACL is based on the current rebuilding plan with a target year to rebuild of 2051 and a constant catch amount of 281 mt in 2017 and 2018, followed in 2019 and beyond by ACLs based on an SPR harvest rate of 86.4 percent. 49.4 mt is deducted from the ACL to accommodate the Tribal fishery (9.2 mt), the incidental open access fishery (10 mt), research catch (5.2 mt) and an additional deduction for unforeseen catch events (25 mt), resulting in a fishery HG of 231.6 mt. g Yelloweye rockfish. A stock assessment update was conducted in 2011. The stock was estimated to be at 21.4 percent of its unfished biomass in 2011. The 58 mt coastwide OFL is based on a catch-only update of the 2011 stock assessment, assuming actual catches since 2011 and using an FMSY proxy of F50%. The ABC of 48 mt is a 16.7 percent reduction from the OFL (s = 0.72/P* = 0.40) as it is a category 2 stock. The 20 mt ACL is based on the current rebuilding plan with a target year to rebuild of 2074 and an SPR harvest rate of 76.0 percent. 6 mt is deducted from the ACL to accommodate the Tribal fishery (2.3 mt), the incidental open access fishery (0.4 mt), EFP catch (less than 0.1 mt) and research catch (3.27 mt) resulting in a fishery HG of 14 mt. Recreational HGs are: 3.3 mt (Washington); 3 mt (Oregon); and 3.9 mt (California). h Arrowtooth flounder. The arrowtooth flounder stock was last assessed in 2007 and was estimated to be at 79 percent of its unfished biomass in 2007. The OFL of 16,498 mt is derived from a catch-only update of the 2007 assessment assuming actual catches since 2007 and using an F30% FMSY proxy. The ABC of 13,743 mt is a 16.7 percent reduction from the OFL (s = 0.72/P* = 0.40) as it is a category 2 stock. The ACL is set equal to the ABC because the stock is above its target biomass of B25%. 2,098.1 mt is deducted from the ACL to accommodate the Tribal fishery (2,041 mt), the incidental open access fishery (40.8 mt), and research catch (16.4 mt), resulting in a fishery HG of 11,644.9 mt. i Big skate. The OFL of 541 mt is based on an estimate of trawl survey biomass and natural mortality. The ABC of 494 mt is a 8.7 percent reduction from the OFL (s = 0.72/P* = 0.45) as it is a category 2 stock. The ACL is set equal to the ABC. 57.4 mt is deducted from the ACL to accommodate the Tribal fishery (15 mt), the incidental open access fishery (38.4 mt), and research catch (4 mt), resulting in a fishery HG of 436.6 mt. j Black rockfish (California). A 2015 stock assessment estimated the stock to be at 33 percent of its unfished biomass in 2015. The OFL of 347 mt is projected in the 2015 stock assessment using an FMSY proxy of F50%. The ABC of 332 mt is a 4.4 percent reduction from the OFL (s = 0.36/P* = 0.45) because it is a category 1 stock. The ACL is set equal to the ABC because the stock is projected to be above its target biomass of B40% in 2018. 1 mt is deducted from the ACL for EFP catch, resulting in a fishery HG of 331 mt. k Black rockfish (Oregon). A 2015 stock assessment estimated the stock to be at 60 percent of its unfished biomass in 2015. The OFL of 570 mt is projected in the 2015 stock assessment using an FMSY proxy of F50%. The ABC of 520 mt is an 8.7 percent reduction from the OFL (s = 0.72/P* = 0.45) because it is a category 2 stock. The ACL is set equal to the ABC because the stock is above its target biomass of B40%. 0.6 mt is deducted from the ACL to accommodate the incidental open access fishery, resulting in a fishery HG of 519.4 mt. l Black rockfish (Washington). A 2015 stock assessment estimated the stock to be at 43 percent of its unfished biomass in 2015. The OFL of 315 mt is projected in the 2015 stock assessment using an FMSY proxy of F50%. The ABC of 301 mt is a 4.4 percent reduction from the OFL (s = 0.36/P* = 0.45) because it is a category 1 stock. The ACL is set equal to the ABC because the stock is above its target biomass of B40%. 18 mt is deducted from the ACL to accommodate the Tribal fishery, resulting in a fishery HG of 283 mt. m Blackgill rockfish. Blackgill rockfish contributes to the harvest specifications for the Minor Slope Rockfish South complex. See footnote pp. n Cabezon (California). A cabezon stock assessment was conducted in 2009. The cabezon spawning biomass in waters off California was estimated to be at 48.3 percent of its unfished biomass in 2009. The OFL of 156 mt is calculated using an FMSY proxy of F50%. The ABC of 149 mt is based on a 4.4 percent reduction from the OFL (s = 0.36/P* = 0.45) because it is a category 1 stock. The ACL is set equal to the ABC because the stock is above its target biomass of B40%. 0.3 mt is deducted from the ACL to accommodate the incidental open access fishery (0.3 mt), resulting in a fishery HG of 148.7 mt. o Cabezon (Oregon). A cabezon stock assessment was conducted in 2009. The cabezon spawning biomass in waters off Oregon was estimated to be at 52 percent of its unfished biomass in 2009. The OFL of 49 mt is calculated using an FMSY proxy of F45%. The ABC of 47 mt is based on a 4.4 percent reduction from the OFL (s = 0.36/P* = 0.45) because it is a category 1 species. The ACL is set equal to the ABC because the stock is above its target biomass of B40%. There are no deductions from the ACL so the fishery HG is also equal to the ACL of 47 mt. p California scorpionfish. A California scorpionfish assessment was conducted in 2005 and was estimated to be at 79.8 percent of its unfished biomass in 2005. The OFL of 278 mt is based on projections from a catch-only update of the 2005 assessment assuming actual catches since 2005 and using an FMSY harvest rate proxy of F50%. The ABC of 254 mt is an 8.7 percent reduction from the OFL (s = 0.72/P* = 0.45) because it is a category 2 stock. The ACL is set at a constant catch amount of 150 mt. 2.2 mt is deducted from the ACL to accommodate the incidental open access fishery (2 mt) and research catch (0.2 mt), resulting in a fishery HG of 147.8 mt. An ACT of 111 mt is established. q Canary rockfish. A stock assessment was conducted in 2015 and the stock was estimated to be at 55.5 percent of its unfished biomass coastwide in 2015. The coastwide OFL of 1,596 mt is projected in the 2015 assessment using an FMSY harvest rate proxy of F50%. The ABC of 1,526 mt is a 4.4 percent reduction from the OFL (s = 0.36/P* = 0.45) as it is a category 1 stock. The ACL is set equal to the ABC because the stock is above its target biomass of B40%. 59.4 mt is deducted from the ACL to accommodate the Tribal fishery (50 mt), the incidental open access fishery (1.2 mt), EFP catch (1 mt) and research catch (7.2 mt) resulting in a fishery HG of 1,466.6 mt. Recreational HGs are: 50 mt (Washington); 75 mt (Oregon); and 135 mt (California). r Chilipepper. A coastwide update assessment of the chilipepper stock was conducted in 2015 and estimated to be at 64 percent of its unfished biomass in 2015. Chilipepper are managed with stock-specific harvest specifications south of 40°10′ N. lat. and within the Minor Shelf Rockfish complex north of 40°10′ N. lat. Projected OFLs are stratified north and south of 40°10′ N. lat. based on the average historical assessed area catch, which is 93 percent for the area south of 40°10′ N. lat. and 7 percent for the area north of 40°10′ N. lat. The OFL of 2,623 mt for the area south of 40°10′ N. lat. is projected in the 2015 assessment using an FMSY proxy of F50%. The ABC of 2,507 mt is a 4.4 percent reduction from the OFL (s = 0.36/P* = 0.45) because it is a category 1 stock. The ACL is set equal to the ABC because the stock is above its target biomass of B40%. 45.9 mt is deducted from the ACL to accommodate the incidental open access fishery (5 mt), EFP fishing (30 mt), and research catch (10.9 mt), resulting in a fishery HG of 2,461.1 mt. s Dover sole. A 2011 Dover sole assessment estimated the stock to be at 83.7 percent of its unfished biomass in 2011. The OFL of 90,282 mt is based on an updated catch-only projection from the 2011 stock assessment assuming actual catches since 2011 and using an FMSY proxy of F30%. The ABC of 86,310 mt is a 4.4 percent reduction from the OFL (s = 0.36/P* = 0.45) because it is a category 1 stock. The ACL could be set equal to the ABC because the stock is above its target biomass of B25%. However, the ACL of 50,000 mt is set at a level below the ABC and higher than the maximum historical landed catch. 1,593.7 mt is deducted from the ACL to accommodate the Tribal fishery (1,497 mt), the incidental open access fishery (54.8 mt), and research catch (41.9 mt), resulting in a fishery HG of 48,406.3 mt. VerDate Sep<11>2014 19:55 Oct 27, 2016 Jkt 241001 PO 00000 Frm 00032 Fmt 4701 Sfmt 4702 E:\FR\FM\28OCP2.SGM 28OCP2 mstockstill on DSK3G9T082PROD with PROPOSALS2 Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 209 / Friday, October 28, 2016 / Proposed Rules 75297 t English sole. A 2013 stock assessment was conducted, which estimated the stock to be at 88 percent of its unfished biomass in 2013. The OFL of 8,255 mt is projected in the 2013 assessment using an FMSY proxy of F30%. The ABC of 7,537 mt is an 8.7 percent reduction from the OFL (s = 0.72/P* = 0.45) because it is a category 2 stock. The ACL is set equal to the ABC because the stock is above its target biomass of B25%. 212.8 mt is deducted from the ACL to accommodate the Tribal fishery (200 mt), the incidental open access fishery (7 mt) and research catch (5.8 mt), resulting in a fishery HG of 7,324.2 mt. u Lingcod north. The 2009 lingcod assessment modeled two populations north and south of the California-Oregon border (42° N. lat.). Both populations were healthy with stock depletion estimated at 62 and 74 percent for the north and south, respectively in 2009.The OFL is based on an updated catch-only projection from the 2009 assessment assuming actual catches since 2009 and using an FMSY proxy of F45%. The OFL is apportioned by adding 48% of the OFL from California, resulting in an OFL of 3,310 mt for the area north of 40°10′ N. lat. The ABC of 3,110 mt is based on a 4.4 percent reduction (s = 0.36/P* = 0.45) from the OFL contribution for the area north of 42° N. lat. because it is a category 1 stock, and an 8.7 percent reduction (s = 0.72/P* = 0.45) from the OFL contribution for the area between 42° N. lat. and 40°10′ N. lat. because it is a category 2 stock. The ACL is set equal to the ABC because the stock is above its target biomass of B40%. 278.2 mt is deducted from the ACL for the Tribal fishery (250 mt), the incidental open access fishery (16 mt), EFP catch (0.5 mt) and research catch (11.7 mt), resulting in a fishery HG of 2,831.8 mt. v Lingcod south. The 2009 lingcod assessment modeled two populations north and south of the California-Oregon border (42° N. lat.). Both populations were healthy with stock depletion estimated at 62 and 74 percent for the north and south, respectively in 2009. The OFL is based on an updated catch-only projection of the 2009 stock assessment assuming actual catches since 2009 and using an FMSY proxy of F45%. The OFL is apportioned by subtracting 48% of the California OFL, resulting in an OFL of 1,373 mt for the area south of 40°10′ N. lat. The ABC of 1,144 mt is based on a 16.7 percent reduction from the OFL (s = 0.72/P* = 0.40) because it is a category 2 stock. The ACL is set equal to the ABC because the stock is above its target biomass of B40%. 9 mt is deducted from the ACL to accommodate the incidental open access fishery (6.9 mt), EFP fishing (1 mt), and research catch (1.1 mt), resulting in a fishery HG of 1,135 mt. w Longnose skate. A stock assessment was conducted in 2007 and the stock was estimated to be at 66 percent of its unfished biomass. The OFL of 2,526 mt is derived from the 2007 stock assessment using an FMSY proxy of F50%. The ABC of 2,415 mt is a 4.4 percent reduction from the OFL (s = 0.36/P* = 0.45) because it is a category 1 stock. The ACL of 2,000 mt is a fixed harvest level that provides greater access to the stock and is less than the ABC. 147 mt is deducted from the ACL to accommodate the Tribal fishery (130 mt), incidental open access fishery (3.8 mt), and research catch (13.2 mt), resulting in a fishery HG of 1,853 mt. x Longspine thornyhead. A 2013 longspine thornyhead coastwide stock assessment estimated the stock to be at 75 percent of its unfished biomass in 2013. A coastwide OFL of 4,339 mt is projected in the 2013 stock assessment using an F50% FMSY proxy. The coastwide ABC of 3,614 mt is a 16.7 percent reduction from the OFL (s = 0.72/P* = 0.40) because it is a category 2 stock. For the portion of the stock that is north of 34°27′ N. lat., the ACL is 2,747 mt, and is 76 percent of the coastwide ABC based on the average swept-area biomass estimates (2003–2012) from the NMFS NWFSC trawl survey. 46.8 mt is deducted from the ACL to accommodate the Tribal fishery (30 mt), the incidental open access fishery (3.3 mt), and research catch (13.5 mt), resulting in a fishery HG of 2,700.2 mt. For that portion of the stock south of 34°27′ N. lat. the ACL is 867 mt and is 24 percent of the coastwide ABC based on the average swept-area biomass estimates (2003–2012) from the NMFS NWFSC trawl survey. 3.2 mt is deducted from the ACL to accommodate the incidental open access fishery (1.8 mt), and research catch (1.4 mt), resulting in a fishery HG of 863.8 mt. y Pacific cod. The 3,200 mt OFL is based on the maximum level of historic landings. The ABC of 2,221 mt is a 30.6 percent reduction from the OFL (s = 1.44/P* = 0.40) as it is a category 3 stock. The 1,600 mt ACL is the OFL reduced by 50 percent as a precautionary adjustment. 509 mt is deducted from the ACL to accommodate the Tribal fishery (500 mt), research catch (7 mt), and the incidental open access fishery (2 mt), resulting in a fishery HG of 1,091 mt. z Pacific whiting. Pacific whiting. Pacific whiting are assessed annually. The final specifications will be determined consistent with the U.S.-Canada Pacific Whiting Agreement and will be announced after the Council’s April 2018 meeting. aa Petrale sole. A 2015 stock assessment update was conducted, which estimated the stock to be at 31 percent of its unfished biomass in 2015. The OFL of 3,152 mt is projected in the 2015 assessment using an FMSY proxy of F30%. The ABC of 3,013 mt is a 4.4 percent reduction from the OFL (s = 0.36/P* = 0.45) because it is a category 1 stock. The ACL is set equal to the ABC because the stock is above its target biomass of B25%. 240.9 mt is deducted from the ACL to accommodate the Tribal fishery (220 mt), the incidental open access fishery (3.2 mt) and research catch (17.7 mt), resulting in a fishery HG of 2,772.1 mt. bb Sablefish north. A coastwide sablefish stock assessment update was conducted in 2015. The coastwide sablefish biomass was estimated to be at 33 percent of its unfished biomass in 2015. The coastwide OFL of 8,329 mt is projected in the 2015 stock assessment using an FMSY proxy of F45%. The ABC of 7,604 mt is an 8.7 percent reduction from the OFL (s = 0.36/P* = 0.40). The 40–10 adjustment is applied to the ABC to derive a coastwide ACL value because the stock is in the precautionary zone. This coastwide ACL value is not specified in regulations. The coastwide ACL value is apportioned north and south of 36° N. lat., using the 2003–2014 average estimated swept area biomass from the NMFS NWFSC trawl survey, with 84.9 percent apportioned north of 36° N. lat. and 15.1 percent apportioned south of 36° N. lat. The northern ACL is 6,299 mt and is reduced by 630 mt for the Tribal allocation (10 percent of the ACL north of 36° N. lat.). The 630 mt Tribal allocation is reduced by 1.5 percent to account for discard mortality. Detailed sablefish allocations are shown in Table 1c. cc Sablefish south. The ACL for the area south of 36° N. lat. is 1,120 mt (15.1 percent of the calculated coastwide ACL value). 5 mt is deducted from the ACL to accommodate the incidental open access fishery (2 mt) and research catch (3 mt), resulting in a fishery HG of 1,115 mt. dd Shortbelly rockfish. A non-quantitative shortbelly rockfish assessment was conducted in 2007. The spawning stock biomass of shortbelly rockfish was estimated to be 67 percent of its unfished biomass in 2005. The OFL of 6,950 mt is based on the estimated MSY in the 2007 stock assessment. The ABC of 5,789 mt is a 16.7 percent reduction of the OFL (s = 0.72/P* = 0.40) because it is a category 2 stock. The 500 mt ACL is set to accommodate incidental catch when fishing for co-occurring healthy stocks and in recognition of the stock’s importance as a forage species in the California Current ecosystem. 10.9 mt is deducted from the ACL to accommodate the incidental open access fishery (8.9 mt) and research catch (2 mt), resulting in a fishery HG of 489.1 mt. ee Shortspine thornyhead. A 2013 coastwide shortspine thornyhead stock assessment estimated the stock to be at 74.2 percent of its unfished biomass in 2013. A coastwide OFL of 3,116 mt is projected in the 2013 stock assessment using an F50% FMSY proxy. The coastwide ABC of 2,596 mt is a 16.7 percent reduction from the OFL (s = 0.72/P* = 0.40) because it is a category 2 stock. For the portion of the stock that is north of 34°27′ N. lat., the ACL is 1,698 mt. The northern ACL is 65.4 percent of the coastwide ABC based on the average swept-area biomass estimates (2003–2012) from the NMFS NWFSC trawl survey. 59 mt is deducted from the ACL to accommodate the Tribal fishery (50 mt), the incidental open access fishery (1.8 mt), and research catch (7.2 mt), resulting in a fishery HG of 1,639 mt for the area north of 34°27′ N. lat. For that portion of the stock south of 34°27′ N. lat. the ACL is 898 mt. The southern ACL is 34.6 percent of the coastwide ABC based on the average swept-area biomass estimates (2003–2012) from the NMFS NWFSC trawl survey. 42.3 mt is deducted from the ACL to accommodate the incidental open access fishery (41.3 mt) and research catch (1 mt), resulting in a fishery HG of 855.7 mt for the area south of 34°27′ N. lat. ff Spiny dogfish. A coastwide spiny dogfish stock assessment was conducted in 2011. The coastwide spiny dogfish biomass was estimated to be at 63 percent of its unfished biomass in 2011. The coastwide OFL of 2,500 mt is derived from the 2011 assessment using an FMSY proxy of F50%. The coastwide ABC of 2,083 mt is a 16.7 percent reduction from the OFL (s = 0.72/P* = 0.40) because it is a category 2 stock. The ACL is set equal to the ABC because the stock is above its target biomass of B40%. 338 mt is deducted from the ACL to accommodate the Tribal fishery (275 mt), the incidental open access fishery (49.5 mt), EFP catch (1 mt), and research catch (12.5 mt), resulting in a fishery HG of 1,745 mt. gg Splitnose rockfish. A coastwide splitnose rockfish assessment was conducted in 2009 that estimated the stock to be at 66 percent of its unfished biomass in 2009. Splitnose rockfish in the north is managed in the Minor Slope Rockfish complex and with stock-specific harvest specifications south of 40°10′ N. lat. The coastwide OFL is projected in the 2009 assessment using an FMSY proxy of F50%. The coastwide OFL is apportioned north and south of 40°10′ N. lat. based on the average 1916–2008 assessed area catch resulting in 64.2 percent of the coastwide OFL apportioned south of 40°10′ N. lat., and 35.8 percent apportioned for the contribution of splitnose rockfish to the northern Minor Slope Rockfish complex. The southern OFL of 1,842 mt results from the apportionment described above. The southern ABC of 1,761 mt is a 4.4 percent reduction from the southern OFL (s = 0.36/P* = 0.45) because it is a category 1 stock. The ACL is set equal to the ABC because the stock is estimated to be above its target biomass of B40%. 10.7 mt is deducted from the ACL to accommodate the incidental open access fishery (0.2 mt), research catch (9 mt) and EFP catch (1.5 mt), resulting in a fishery HG of 1,750.3 mt. VerDate Sep<11>2014 19:55 Oct 27, 2016 Jkt 241001 PO 00000 Frm 00033 Fmt 4701 Sfmt 4702 E:\FR\FM\28OCP2.SGM 28OCP2 mstockstill on DSK3G9T082PROD with PROPOSALS2 75298 Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 209 / Friday, October 28, 2016 / Proposed Rules hh Starry flounder. The stock was assessed in 2005 and was estimated to be above 40 percent of its unfished biomass in 2005 (44 percent in Washington and Oregon, and 62 percent in California). The coastwide OFL of 1,847 mt is set equal to the 2016 OFL, which was derived from the 2005 assessment using an FMSY proxy of F30%. The ABC of 1,282 mt is a 30.6 percent reduction from the OFL (s = 1.44/P* = 0.40) because it is a category 3 stock. The ACL is set equal to the ABC because the stock was estimated to be above its target biomass of B25% in 2018. 10.3 mt is deducted from the ACL to accommodate the Tribal fishery (2 mt), and the incidental open access fishery (8.3 mt), resulting in a fishery HG of 1,271.7 mt. ii Widow rockfish. The widow rockfish stock was assessed in 2015 and was estimated to be at 75 percent of its unfished biomass in 2015. The OFL of 13,237 mt is projected in the 2015 stock assessment using the F50% FMSY proxy. The ABC of 12,655 mt is a 4.4 percent reduction from the OFL (s = 0.36/P* = 0.45) because it is a category 1 stock. The ACL is set equal to the ABC because the stock is above its target biomass of B40%. 217.7 mt is deducted from the ACL to accommodate the Tribal fishery (200 mt), the incidental open access fishery (0.5 mt), EFP catch (9 mt) and research catch (8.2 mt), resulting in a fishery HG of 12,437.3 mt. jj Yellowtail rockfish. A 2013 yellowtail rockfish stock assessment was conducted for the portion of the population north of 40°10′ N. lat. The estimated stock depletion is 67 percent of its unfished biomass in 2013. The OFL of 6,574 mt is projected in the 2013 stock assessment using an FMSY proxy of F50%. The ABC of 6,002 mt is an 8.7 percent reduction from the OFL (s = 0.72/P* = 0.45) because it is a category 2 stock. The ACL is set equal to the ABC because the stock is above its target biomass of B40%. 1,030 mt is deducted from the ACL to accommodate the Tribal fishery (1,000 mt), the incidental open access fishery (3.4 mt), EFP catch (10 mt) and research catch (16.6 mt), resulting in a fishery HG of 4,972.1 mt. kk Minor Nearshore Rockfish north. The OFL for Minor Nearshore Rockfish north of 40°10′ N. lat. of 119 mt is the sum of the OFL contributions for the component species managed in the complex. The ABCs for the minor rockfish complexes are based on a sigma value of 0.72 for category 2 stocks (blue/deacon rockfish in California, brown rockfish, China rockfish, and copper rockfish) and a sigma value of 1.44 for category 3 stocks (all others) with a P* of 0.45. The resulting ABC of 105 mt is the summed contribution of the ABCs for the component species. The ACL of 105 mt is the sum of contributing ABCs. 1.8 mt is deducted from the ACL to accommodate the Tribal fishery (1.5 mt), and the incidental open access fishery (0.3 mt), resulting in a fishery HG of 103.2 mt. Between 40°10′ N. lat. and 42° N. lat. the Minor Nearshore Rockfish complex north has a harvest guideline of 40.2 mt. Blue/deacon rockfish south of 42° N. lat. has a species-specific HG, described in footnote pp. ll Minor Shelf Rockfish north. The OFL for Minor Shelf Rockfish north of 40°10′ N. lat. of 2,302 mt is the sum of the OFL contributions for the component species within the complex. The ABCs for the minor rockfish complexes are based on a sigma value of 0.36 for a category 1 stock (chilipepper), a sigma value of 0.72 for category 2 stocks (greenspotted rockfish between 40°10′ and 42° N. lat. and greenstriped rockfish) and a sigma value of 1.44 for category 3 stocks (all others) with a P* of 0.45. The resulting ABC of 2,048 mt is the summed contribution of the ABCs for the component species. The ACL of 2,047 mt is the sum of contributing ABCs of healthy assessed stocks and unassessed stocks, plus the ACL contribution of greenspotted rockfish in California where the 40–10 adjustment was applied to the ABC contribution for this stock because it is in the precautionary zone. 83.8 mt is deducted from the ACL to accommodate the Tribal fishery (30 mt), the incidental open access fishery (26 mt), EFP catch (3 mt), and research catch (24.8 mt), resulting in a fishery HG of 1,963.2 mt. mm Minor Slope Rockfish north. The OFL for Minor Slope Rockfish north of 40°10′ N. lat. of 1,896 mt is the sum of the OFL contributions for the component species within the complex. The ABCs for the Minor Slope Rockfish complexes are based on a sigma value of 0.39 for aurora rockfish, a sigma value of 0.36 for the other category 1 stock (splitnose rockfish), a sigma value of 0.72 for category 2 stocks (rougheye rockfish, blackspotted rockfish, and sharpchin rockfish), and a sigma value of 1.44 for category 3 stocks (all others) with a P* of 0.45. A unique sigma of 0.39 was calculated for aurora rockfish because the variance in estimated spawning biomass was greater than the 0.36 used as a proxy for other category 1 stocks. The resulting ABC of 1,754 mt is the summed contribution of the ABCs for the component species. The ACL is set equal to the ABC because all the assessed component stocks (rougheye rockfish, blackspotted rockfish, sharpchin rockfish, and splitnose rockfish) are above the target biomass of B40%. 65.1 mt is deducted from the ACL to accommodate the Tribal fishery (36 mt), the incidental open access fishery (18.6 mt), EFP catch (1 mt), and research catch (9.5 mt), resulting in a fishery HG of 1,688.9 mt. nn Minor Nearshore Rockfish south. The OFL for the Minor Nearshore Rockfish complex south of 40°10′ N. lat. of 1,344 mt is the sum of the OFL contributions for the component species within the complex. The ABC for the southern Minor Nearshore Rockfish complex is based on a sigma value of 0.72 for category 2 stocks (blue/deacon rockfish north of 34°27′ N. lat., brown rockfish, China rockfish, and copper rockfish) and a sigma value of 1.44 for category 3 stocks (all others) with a P* of 0.45. The resulting ABC of 1,180 mt is the summed contribution of the ABCs for the component species. The ACL of 1,179 mt is the sum of the contributing ABCs of healthy assessed stocks and unassessed stocks, plus the ACL contribution for China rockfish where the 40–10 adjustment was applied to the ABC contribution for this stock because it is in the precautionary zone. 4.1 mt is deducted from the ACL to accommodate the incidental open access fishery (1.4 mt) and research catch (2.7 mt), resulting in a fishery HG of 1,174.9 mt. Blue/deacon rockfish south of 42° N. lat. has a species-specific HG set equal to the 40–10-adjusted ACL for the portion of the stock north of 34°27′ N. lat. (250.3 mt) plus the ABC contribution for the unassessed portion of the stock south of 34°27′ N. lat. (60.8 mt). The California (i.e., south of 42° N. lat.) blue/deacon rockfish HG is 311.1 mt. oo Minor Shelf Rockfish south. The OFL for the Minor Shelf Rockfish complex south of 40°10′ N. lat. of 1,918 mt is the sum of the OFL contributions for the component species within the complex. The ABC for the southern Minor Shelf Rockfish complex is based on a sigma value of 0.72 for category 2 stocks (i.e., greenspotted and greenstriped rockfish) and a sigma value of 1.44 for category 3 stocks (all others) with a P* of 0.45. The resulting ABC of 1,625 mt is the summed contribution of the ABCs for the component species. The ACL of 1,624 mt is the sum of contributing ABCs of healthy assessed stocks and unassessed stocks, plus the ACL contribution of greenspotted rockfish in California where the 40– 10 adjustment was applied to the ABC contribution for this stock because it is in the precautionary zone. 47.2 mt is deducted from the ACL to accommodate the incidental open access fishery (8.6 mt), EFP catch (30 mt), and research catch (8.6 mt), resulting in a fishery HG of 1,576.8 mt. pp Minor Slope Rockfish south. The OFL of 829 mt is the sum of the OFL contributions for the component species within the complex. The ABC for the southern Minor Slope Rockfish complex is based on a sigma value of 0.39 for aurora rockfish, a sigma value of 0.72 for category 2 stocks (blackgill rockfish, rougheye rockfish, blackspotted rockfish, and sharpchin rockfish) and a sigma value of 1.44 for category 3 stocks (all others) with a P* of 0.45. A unique sigma of 0.39 was calculated for aurora rockfish because the variance in estimated biomass was greater than the 0.36 used as a proxy for other category 1 stocks. The resulting ABC of 719 mt is the summed contribution of the ABCs for the component species. The ACL of 709 mt is the sum of the contributing ABCs of healthy assessed stocks and unassessed stocks, plus the ACL contribution of blackgill rockfish where the 40–10 adjustment was applied to the ABC contribution for this stock because it is in the precautionary zone. 20.2 mt is deducted from the ACL to accommodate the incidental open access fishery (17.2 mt), EFP catch (1 mt), and research catch (2 mt), resulting in a fishery HG of 688.8 mt. Blackgill rockfish has a stock-specific HG for the entire groundfish fishery south of 40°10′ N lat. set equal to the species’ contribution to the 40–10-adjusted ACL. Harvest of blackgill rockfish in all groundfish fisheries counts against this HG of 122.4 mt. Nontrawl fisheries are subject to a blackgill rockfish HG of 45.3 mt. qq Other Flatfish. The Other Flatfish complex is comprised of flatfish species managed in the PCGFMP that are not managed with species-specific OFLs/ABCs/ACLs. Most of the species in the Other Flatfish complex are unassessed and include: Butter sole, curlfin sole, flathead sole, Pacific sanddab, rock sole, sand sole, and rex sole. The Other Flatfish OFL of 9,690 mt is based on the sum of the OFL contributions of the component stocks. The ABC of 7,281 mt is based on a sigma value of 0.72 for a category 2 stock (rex sole) and a sigma value of 1.44 for category 3 stocks (all others) with a P* of 0.40. The ACL is set equal to the ABC. The ACL is set equal to the ABC because all of the assessed stocks (i.e., Pacific sanddabs and rex sole) were above their target biomass of B25%. 204 mt is deducted from the ACL to accommodate the Tribal fishery (60 mt), the incidental open access fishery 125 mt), and research catch (19 mt), resulting in a fishery HG of 7,077 mt. rr Other Fish. The Other Fish complex is comprised of kelp greenling coastwide, cabezon off Washington, and leopard shark coastwide. The 2015 assessment for the kelp greenling stock off of Oregon projected an estimated depletion of 80 percent. All other stocks are unassessed. The OFL of 501 mt is the sum of the OFL contributions for kelp greenling coastwide, cabezon off Washington, and leopard shark coastwide. The ABC for the Other Fish complex is based on a sigma value of 0.44 for kelp greenling off Oregon and a sigma value of 1.44 for category 3 stocks (all others) with a P* of 0.45. A unique sigma of 0.44 was calculated for kelp greenling off Oregon because the variance in estimated spawning biomass was greater than the 0.36 sigma used as a proxy for other category 1 stocks. The resulting ABC of 441 mt is the summed contribution of the ABCs for the component species. The ACL is set equal to the ABC because all of the assessed stocks (kelp greenling off Oregon) were above their target biomass of B40%. There are no deductions from the ACL so the fishery HG is equal to the ACL of 441 mt. VerDate Sep<11>2014 19:55 Oct 27, 2016 Jkt 241001 PO 00000 Frm 00034 Fmt 4701 Sfmt 4702 E:\FR\FM\28OCP2.SGM 28OCP2 75299 Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 209 / Friday, October 28, 2016 / Proposed Rules TABLE 2b TO PART 660, SUBPART C—2018, AND BEYOND, ALLOCATIONS BY SPECIES OR SPECIES GROUP [Weight in metric tons] Species Trawl Fishery HG or ACT Area BOCACCIO a ................................ COWCOD a b ................................ DARKBLOTCHED ROCKFISH c .. PACIFIC OCEAN PERCH d ......... YELLOWEYE ROCKFISH a ......... Arrowtooth flounder ...................... Big skate a .................................... Canary rockfish a e ........................ Chilipepper ................................... Dover sole .................................... English sole .................................. Lingcod ......................................... Lingcod ......................................... Longnose skate a ......................... Longspine thornyhead ................. Pacific cod .................................... Pacific whiting .............................. Petrale sole .................................. S. of 40°10′ N. lat ...... S. of 40°10′ N. lat ...... Coastwide .................. N. of 40°10′ N. lat ..... Coastwide .................. Coastwide .................. 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 .................. Coastwide .................. 725.6 4.0 575.8 231.6 14.0 11,644.9 436.6 1,466.6 2,461.1 48,406.3 7,324.3 2,831.8 1,135.0 1,853.0 2,700.2 1,091.0 TBD 2,772.1 Sablefish ...................................... N. of 36° N. lat .......... 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 ..... N. of 40°10′ N. lat ..... S. of 40°10′ N. lat ...... S. of 40°10′ N. lat ...... Coastwide .................. 1,115.0 1,639.0 855.7 1,750.3 1,271.7 12,437.3 4,972.1 1,963.2 1,688.9 1,576.8 688.8 7,077.0 Mt NA Sablefish ...................................... Shortspine thornyhead ................. Shortspine thornyhead ................. Splitnose rockfish ......................... Starry flounder ............................. Widow rockfish f ........................... Yellowtail rockfish ........................ Minor Shelf Rockfish a .................. Minor Slope Rockfish ................... Minor Shelf Rockfish a .................. Minor Slope Rockfish ................... Other Flatfish ............................... Percent Non-trawl 39 36 95 95 NA 95 95 NA 75 95 95 45 45 90 95 95 100 95 Percent 283.3 1.4 547.0 220.0 1.1 11,062.6 414.8 1,060.1 1,845.8 45,986.0 6,958.0 1,274.3 510.8 1,667.7 2,565.2 1,036.4 TBD 2,633.5 Mt 61 64 5 5 NA 5 5 NA 25 5 5 55 55 10 5 5 0 5 442.3 2.6 28.8 11.6 12.9 582.2 21.8 406.5 615.3 2,420.3 366.2 1,557.5 624.3 185.3 135.0 54.5 TBD 138.6 58 5 NA 5 50 9 12 40 19 88 37 10 646.7 81.9 805.7 87.5 635.9 1,119.4 596.6 781.4 320.9 1,384.4 254.9 707.7 See Table 2c 42 95 NA 95 50 91 88 60 81 12 63 90 468.3 1,557.0 50.0 1,662.8 635.9 11,317.9 4,375.4 1,181.8 1,368.0 192.37 433.9 6,369.3 a Allocations decided through the biennial specification process. cowcod fishery harvest guideline is further reduced to an ACT of 4.0 mt. c Consistent with regulations at § 660.55(c), 9 percent (49.2 mt) of the total trawl allocation for darkblotched rockfish is allocated to the Pacific whiting fishery, as follows: 20.7 mt for the Shorebased IFQ Program, 11.8 mt for the MS sector, and 16.7 mt for the C/P sector. The tonnage calculated here for the Pacific whiting IFQ fishery contributes to the total shorebased trawl allocation, which is found at § 660.140(d)(1)(ii)(D). d Consistent with regulations at § 660.55(c), 17 percent (37.4 mt) of the total trawl allocation for POP is allocated to the Pacific whiting fishery, as follows: 15.7 mt for the Shorebased IFQ Program, 9.0 mt for the MS sector, and 12.7 mt for the C/P sector. The tonnage calculated here for the Pacific whiting IFQ fishery contributes to the total shorebased trawl allocation, which is found at § 660.140(d)(1)(ii)(D). e Canary rockfish is allocated approximately 72 percent to trawl and 28 percent to non-trawl. 46 mt of the total trawl allocation of canary rockfish is allocated to the MS and C/P sectors, as follows: 30 mt for the MS sector, and 16 mt for the C/P sector. f Consistent with regulations at § 660.55(c), 10 percent (1,131.8 mt) of the total trawl allocation for widow rockfish is allocated to the Pacific whiting fishery, as follows: 475.4 mt for the Shorebased IFQ Program, 271.6 mt for the MS sector, and 348.8 mt for the C/P sector. The tonnage calculated here for the Pacific whiting IFQ fishery contributes to the total shorebased trawl allocation, which is found at § 660.140(d)(1)(ii)(D). b The TABLE 2c TO PART 660, SUBPART C—SABLEFISH NORTH OF 36° N. LAT. ALLOCATIONS, 2018 AND BEYOND Set-asides Year ACL Tribal a 2018 .............................. 6,299 Research 630 Recreational estimate 26 mstockstill on DSK3G9T082PROD with PROPOSALS2 Limited entry Year LE All 2018 .............................. All trawl 5,106 At-sea whiting 2,961 50 Commercial HG EFP 6.1 1 Limited entry HG Percent 5,636 trawl c mt 90.6 All FG 2,911 2,145 DTL 1,823 322 tribal allocation is further reduced by 1.5 percent for discard mortality resulting in 620 mt in 2018. b The open access HG is taken by the incidental OA fishery and the directed OA fishery. c The trawl allocation is 58 percent of the limited entry HG. d The limited entry fixed gear allocation is 42 percent of the limited entry HG. 19:55 Oct 27, 2016 Jkt 241001 PO 00000 Frm 00035 Fmt 4701 Sfmt 4702 E:\FR\FM\28OCP2.SGM 9.4 gear d Primary a The VerDate Sep<11>2014 mt b Percent 5,106 Limited entry fixed Shorebased IFQ Open access HG 28OCP2 530 75300 Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 209 / Friday, October 28, 2016 / Proposed Rules TABLE 2d. TO PART 660, SUBPART C—AT-SEA WHITING FISHERY ANNUAL SET-ASIDES, 2018 AND BEYOND Set aside (mt) Species or species complex Area BOCACCIO ...................................................................................................... COWCOD ......................................................................................................... DARK BLOTCHED ROCKFISH a ..................................................................... PACIFIC OCEAN PERCH a ............................................................................. YELLOWEYE ROCKFISH ................................................................................ Arrowtooth flounder .......................................................................................... Canary rockfish a .............................................................................................. Chilipepper ....................................................................................................... Dover sole ........................................................................................................ English sole ...................................................................................................... Lingcod ............................................................................................................. Lingcod ............................................................................................................. Longnose skate ................................................................................................ Longspine thornyhead ...................................................................................... Longspine thornyhead ...................................................................................... Minor Nearshore Rockfish ................................................................................ Minor Nearshore Rockfish ................................................................................ Minor Shelf Rockfish ........................................................................................ Minor Shelf Rockfish ........................................................................................ Minor Slope Rockfish ....................................................................................... Minor Slope Rockfish ....................................................................................... Other Fish ......................................................................................................... Other Flatfish .................................................................................................... Pacific cod ........................................................................................................ Pacific Halibut b ................................................................................................ Pacific Whiting .................................................................................................. Petrale sole ...................................................................................................... Sablefish ........................................................................................................... Sablefish ........................................................................................................... Shortspine thornyhead ..................................................................................... Shortspine thornyhead ..................................................................................... Starry flounder .................................................................................................. Widow Rockfish a .............................................................................................. Yellowtail rockfish ............................................................................................. S. of 40°10 N. lat .................................................... S. of 40°10 N. lat .................................................... Coastwide ................................................................ N. of 40°10 N. lat .................................................... Coastwide ................................................................ 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 .................................................... S. of 34°27 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 .................................................... N. of 40°10 N. lat .................................................... S. of 40°10 N. lat .................................................... Coastwide ................................................................ Coastwide ................................................................ Coastwide ................................................................ Coastwide ................................................................ Coastwide ................................................................ Coastwide ................................................................ N. of 36°10 N. lat .................................................... S. of 36°10 N. lat .................................................... N. of 34°27 N. lat .................................................... S. of 34°27 N. lat .................................................... Coastwide ................................................................ Coastwide ................................................................ N. of 40°10 N. lat .................................................... NA NA Allocation. Allocation. 0 70 Allocation. NA 5 5 15 NA 5 5 NA NA NA 35 NA 100 NA NA 20 5 10 Allocation. 5 50 NA 20 NA 5 Allocation. 300 a See Table 1.b., to subpart C, for the at-sea whiting allocations for these species. stated in § 660.55(m), the Pacific halibut set-aside is 10 mt, to accommodate bycatch in the at-sea Pacific whiting fisheries and in the shorebased trawl sector south of 40°10 N. lat. (estimated to be approximately 5 mt each). b As * * * * * 12. In § 660.130, paragraph (d)(1)(i) is revised to read as follows: ■ § 660.130 Trawl fishery-management measures. * * * * * (d) * * * (1) * * * (i) Coastwide. Widow rockfish, canary rockfish, darkblotched rockfish, yelloweye rockfish, shortbelly rockfish, black rockfish, blue/deacon rockfish, minor nearshore rockfish, minor shelf rockfish, minor slope rockfish, shortraker rockfish, rougheye/ blackspotted rockfish, shortspine and longspine thornyhead, Dover sole, arrowtooth flounder, petrale sole, starry flounder, English sole, other flatfish, lingcod, sablefish, Pacific cod, spiny dogfish, other fish, longnose skate, Pacific whiting, and big skate. * * * * * 13. In § 660.140, paragraphs (d)(1)(ii)(D) and (e)(4)(i) are revised to read as follows: ■ § 660.140 Shorebased IFQ Program. * * * * * (d) * * * (1) * * * (ii) * * * (D) For the trawl fishery, NMFS will issue QP based on the following shorebased trawl allocations: 2017 Shorebased trawl allocation (mt) mstockstill on DSK3G9T082PROD with PROPOSALS2 IFQ species Area Arrowtooth flounder ...................................................... BOCACCIO ................................................................... Canary rockfish ............................................................. Chilipepper .................................................................... COWCOD ..................................................................... DARKBLOTCHED ROCKFISH .................................... Dover sole .................................................................... English sole .................................................................. Lingcod ......................................................................... Lingcod ......................................................................... Longspine thornyhead .................................................. Coastwide ..................................................................... South of 40°10′ N. lat ................................................... Coastwide ..................................................................... South of 40°10′ N. lat ................................................... South of 40°10′ N. lat ................................................... Coastwide ..................................................................... Coastwide ..................................................................... Coastwide ..................................................................... North of 40°10′ N. lat ................................................... South of 40°10′ N. lat ................................................... North of 34°27′ N. lat ................................................... VerDate Sep<11>2014 19:55 Oct 27, 2016 Jkt 241001 PO 00000 Frm 00036 Fmt 4701 Sfmt 4702 E:\FR\FM\28OCP2.SGM 28OCP2 11,050.6 302.4 1,014.1 1,920.8 1.40 507.6 45,981.0 9,258.6 1,359.7 558.9 2,699.8 2018 Shorebased trawl allocation (mt) 10,992.6 283.3 1,014.1 1,845.8 1.40 518.4 45,981.0 6,953.0 1,259.32 510.75 2,560.2 75301 Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 209 / Friday, October 28, 2016 / Proposed Rules IFQ species Area 2017 Shorebased trawl allocation (mt) Minor Shelf Rockfish complex ...................................... Minor Shelf Rockfish complex ...................................... Minor Slope Rockfish complex ..................................... Minor Slope Rockfish complex ..................................... Other Flatfish complex ................................................. Pacific cod .................................................................... PACIFIC OCEAN PERCH ............................................ Pacific whiting ............................................................... Petrale sole ................................................................... Sablefish ....................................................................... Sablefish ....................................................................... Shortspine thornyhead ................................................. Shortspine thornyhead ................................................. Splitnose rockfish ......................................................... Starry flounder .............................................................. Widow rockfish ............................................................. YELLOWEYE ROCKFISH ............................................ Yellowtail rockfish ......................................................... North of 40°10′ N. lat ................................................... South of 40°10′ N. lat ................................................... North of 40°10′ N. lat ................................................... South of 40°10′ N. lat ................................................... Coastwide ..................................................................... Coastwide ..................................................................... North of 40°10′ N. lat ................................................... Coastwide ..................................................................... Coastwide ..................................................................... North of 36° N. lat ........................................................ South of 36° N. lat ........................................................ North of 34°27′ N. lat ................................................... South of 34°27′ N. lat ................................................... South of 40°10′ N. lat ................................................... Coastwide ..................................................................... Coastwide ..................................................................... Coastwide ..................................................................... North of 40°10′ N. lat ................................................... 1,148.1 192.2 1,268.8 432.7 7,455.4 1,031.4 198.3 ........................ 2,745.3 2,789.6 449.4 1551.3 50.0 1661.8 630.9 11,392.7 1.10 4,246.1 * * * * * (e) * * * (4) * * * (i) Vessel limits. For each IFQ species or species group specified in this paragraph, vessel accounts may not have QP or IBQ pounds in excess of the QP vessel limit (annual limit) in any year, and, for species covered by unused QP vessel limits (daily limit), may not have QP or IBQ pounds in excess of the unused QP vessel limit at any time. The QP vessel limit (annual limit) is calculated as all QPs transferred in mstockstill on DSK3G9T082PROD with PROPOSALS2 Jkt 241001 PO 00000 Frm 00037 Unused QP vessel limit (daily limit) (in percent) QP vessel limit (annual limit) (in percent) Arrowtooth flounder ..................................................................................................................................... Bocaccio S. of 40°10′ N. lat ........................................................................................................................ Canary rockfish ............................................................................................................................................ Chilipepper S. of 40°10′ N. lat ..................................................................................................................... Cowcod S. of 40°10′ N. lat .......................................................................................................................... Darkblotched rockfish .................................................................................................................................. Dover sole .................................................................................................................................................... English sole ................................................................................................................................................. Lingcod: N. of 40°10′ N. lat ................................................................................................................................. S. of 40°10′ N. lat ................................................................................................................................. Longspine thornyhead: N. of 34°27′ N. lat ................................................................................................................................. Minor Shelf Rockfish complex: N. of 40°10′ N. lat ................................................................................................................................. S. of 40°10′ N. lat ................................................................................................................................. Minor Slope Rockfish complex: N. of 40°10′ N. lat ................................................................................................................................. S. of 40°10′ N. lat ................................................................................................................................. Other flatfish complex .................................................................................................................................. Pacific cod ................................................................................................................................................... Pacific halibut (IBQ) N. of 40°10′ N. lat ...................................................................................................... Pacific ocean perch N. of 40°10′ N. lat ....................................................................................................... Pacific whiting (shoreside) ........................................................................................................................... Petrale sole .................................................................................................................................................. Sablefish: N. of 36° N. lat. (Monterey north) ......................................................................................................... S. of 36° N. lat. (Conception area) ....................................................................................................... Shortspine thornyhead: N. of 34°27′ N. lat ................................................................................................................................. S. of 34°27′ N. lat ................................................................................................................................. Splitnose rockfish S. of 40°10′ N. lat .......................................................................................................... Starry flounder ............................................................................................................................................. Widow rockfish ............................................................................................................................................. Yelloweye rockfish ....................................................................................................................................... Yellowtail rockfish N. of 40°10′ N. lat .......................................................................................................... Non-whiting groundfish species ................................................................................................................... 20:38 Oct 27, 2016 Fmt 4701 Sfmt 4702 1,146.8 192.4 1,268.0 433.9 6,349.3 1,031.4 198.3 ........................ 2,628.5 2,912.1 468.3 1,537.0 50.0 1,662.8 630.9 10,661.5 1.10 4,075.4 minus all QPs transferred out of the vessel account. The unused QP vessel limits (daily limit) is calculated as unused available QPs plus any pending outgoing transfer of QPs. Vessel limits are as follows: Species category VerDate Sep<11>2014 2018 Shorebased trawl allocation (mt) E:\FR\FM\28OCP2.SGM 20 15.4 10 15 17.7 6.8 3.9 7.5 5.3 13.3 .............................. .............................. 9 .............................. 7.5 13.5 .............................. .............................. 7.5 9 15 20 14.4 6 15 4.5 .............................. .............................. .............................. .............................. 5.4 4 .............................. .............................. 4.5 15 .............................. .............................. 9 9 15 20 8.5 11.4 7.5 3.2 28OCP2 .............................. 13.2 .............................. .............................. 17.7 4.5 .............................. .............................. .............................. .............................. .............................. .............................. 5.1 5.7 .............................. .............................. 75302 Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 209 / Friday, October 28, 2016 / Proposed Rules * * * * * ■ 14. Tables 1 (North) and 1 (South) to part 660, subpart D, are revised to read as follows: Table 1 (North) to Part 660, Subpart D—Limited Entry Trawl Rockfish Conservation Areas and Landing Allowances for Non-IFQ Species and Pacific Whiting North of 40≥10′ N. Lat. Table 1 (North) to Part 660, Subpart D -- Limited Entry Trawl Rockfish Conservation Areas and Landing Allowances for non-IFQ Species and Pacific Whiting North of 40°10' N. Lat. This table describes Rockfish Conservation Areas for vessels using groundfish trawl gear. This table describes incidental landing allowances for vessels registered to a Federal limited entry trawl permit and using groundfish trawl or groundfish non-trawl gears to harvest individual fishing quota (IFQ) species. Other Limits and Requirements Apply-- Read§ 660.10- § 660.399 before using this table JAN-FEB I I MAR-APR MAY-JUN 08/17/2016 I JUL-AUG I SEP-OCT I NOV-DEC Rockfish Conservation Area (RCA) 11 : 1 North of 45°46' N. lat 100 fm line 11 - 150 fm line 11 2 45° 46' N Iat - 40°10' N. Iat 100 fm line 11 - modified 21 200 fm line 11 Selective flatfish trawl gear is required shoreward of the RCA; all bottom trawl gear (large footrope, selective flatfish trawl, and small footrope trawl gear) is permitted seaward of the RCA Large footrope and small footrope trawl gears (except for selective flatfish trawl gear) are prohibited shoreward of the RCA Midwater trawl gear is permitted for vessels targeting whiting and non-whiting during the days open to the primary whiting season. Vessels fishing groundfish trawl quota pounds with groundfish non-trawl gears, under gear switching provisions at § 660.140, are subject to the limited entrygroundfish trawl fishery landing allowances in this table, regardless of the type of fishing gear used. Vessels fishing groundfish trawl quota pounds with groundfish non-trawl gears, under gear switching provisions at§ 660.140, are subject to the limited entry fixed gear non-trawl RCA, as described in Tables 2 (North) and 2 (South) to Part 660, Subpart E. See § 660.60, § 660.130, and § 660.140 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, YRCA, CCAs, Farallon Islands, Cordell Banks, and EFHCAs). State trip limits and seasons may be more restrictive than federal trip limits, particularly in waters off Oregon and California. Minor Nearshore Rockfish & Black 3 rockfish 1-· 5 midwater trawl large & small footrope gear 6 7 Cabezon41 8 Before the primary whiting season: CLOSED. --During the primary season: mid-water trawl permitted in the RCA See §660.131 for season and trip limit details. -- After the primary whiting season: CLOSED. Before the primary whiting season: 20,000 lb/trip. -- During the primary season: 10,000 lb/trip. -After the primary whiting season: 10,000 lb/trip. North of 46°16' N. Iat 9 llJ r m z 0 .., ,.... - :::r Unlimited 46°16' N. lat - 40°10' N. Iat 50 lb/ month 10 Shortbelly rockfish Unlimited 11 Spiny dogfish 60,000 lb/ month 5,000 lb/ 2 months 12 Big skate I 25,000 lb/ 2 months I 30,000 lb/ 2 months 13 Longnose skate 14 Other Fish )> .....Jio. 300 lb/ month 4 Whiting 31 -I I 35,000 lb/ 2 months I 10,000 lb/ 2 months I 5,000 lb/ 2 months Unlimited 41 Unlimited 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, 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 the RCA restrictions may not fish in the RCA, or operate in the RCA for any purpose other than transiting. 2/ The "modified" fathom lines are modified to exclude certain petrale sole areas from the RCA by a vessel that, at any time during the fishing trip, fished in the fishery management area shoreward of 1DO fm contour. 4/ "Other Fish" are defined at§ 660.11 and include kelp greenling, leopard shark, and cabezon in Washington To convert pounds to kilograms, divide by2.20462, the number of pounds in one kilogram. VerDate Sep<11>2014 19:55 Oct 27, 2016 Jkt 241001 PO 00000 Frm 00038 Fmt 4701 Sfmt 4725 E:\FR\FM\28OCP2.SGM 28OCP2 EP28OC16.056</GPH> mstockstill on DSK3G9T082PROD with PROPOSALS2 3/ As specificed at §660.131 (d), when fishing in the Eureka Area, no more than 10,000 lb of whiting may be taken and retained, possessed, or landed 75303 Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 209 / Friday, October 28, 2016 / Proposed Rules Table 1 (South) to Part 660, Subpart D—Limited Entry Trawl Rockfish Conservation Areas and Landing Allowances for Non-IFQ Species and Pacific Whiting South of 40≥10′ N. Lat. Table 1 (South) to Part 660, Subpart D -- Limited Entry Trawl Rockfish Conservation Areas and Landing Allowances for non-IFQ Species and Pacific Whiting South of 40.10' N. Lat. This table describes Rockfish Conservation Areas for vessels using groundfish trawl gear. This table describes incidental landing allowances for vessels registered to a Federal limited entry trawl permit and using groundfish trawl or groundfish non-trawl gears to harvest individual fishing quota (IFQ) species. Other Limits and Requirements Apply-- Read§ 660.10- § 660.399 before using this table JAN-FEB Rockfish Conservation Area (RCA) 1 11 I I MAR-APR MAY-JUN 08/17/2016 I JUL-AUG I SEP-OCT I NOV-DEC : 100fm line 11 -150fm line South of 40•10' N. lat 1121 Small footrope trawl gear is required shoreward of the RCA; all trawl gear (large footrope, selective flatfish trawl, midwater trawl, and small footrope trawl gear) is permitted seaward of the RCA Large footrope trawl gear and midwater trawl gear are prohibited shoreward of the RCA Vessels fishing groundfish trawl quota pounds with groundfish non-trawl gears, under gear switching provisions at § 660.140, are subject to the limited entry groundfish trawl fishery landing allowances in this table, regardless of the type of fishing gear used. Vessels fishing groundfish trawl quota pounds with groundfish non-trawl gears, under gear switching provisions at§ 660.140, are subject to the limited entry fixed gear non-trawl RCA, as described in Tables 2 (North) and 2 (South) to Part 660, Subpart E. See § 660.60, § 660.130, and § 660.140 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, YRCA, CCAs, Farallon Islands, Cordell Banks, and EFHCAs). State trip limits and seasons may be more restrictive than federal trip limits, particularly in waters off Oregon and California 2 llJ nnn"n;n<> 3 4 -I )> r m 24,000 lb/ 2 months South of 34°27' N Iat Minor Nearshore Rockfish & Black rockfish 300 lb/ month .....Jio. 5 Whiting midwater trawl Before the primary whiting season: CLOSED. --During the primary season: mid-water trawl permitted in the RCA See §660.131 for season and trip limit details -- After the primary whiting season: CLOSED large & small footrope gear Before the primary whiting season 20,000 lb/trip. -- During the primary season 10,000 lb/trip. -After the primary whiting season 10,000 Ibit rip 6 7 8 Cabezon 50 lb/ month 9 Shortbelly rockfish en 0 s::::: ,.... :::r Unlimited 10 Spiny dogfish 60,000 lb/ month 5,000 lb/ 2 months 11 Big skate I 25,000 lb/ 2 months I 30,000 lb/ 2 months I 35,000 lb/ 2 months 12 Longnose skate 10,000 lb/ 2 months I 5,000 lb/ 2 months Unlimited 13 California scorpionfish I Unlimited 14 Other Fish 31 Unlimited 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, 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 the RCA restrictions may not fish in the RCA, or operate in the RCA for any purpose other than transiting 3/ "Other Fish" are defined at§ 660.11 and include kelp greenling, leopard shark, and cabezon in Washington To convert pounds to kilograms, divide by2.20462, the number of pounds in one kilogram. 15. In § 660.230, paragraph (c)(2)(i) is revised to read as follows: ■ § 660.230 Fixed gear fishery-management measures. * VerDate Sep<11>2014 19:55 Oct 27, 2016 Jkt 241001 PO 00000 * * (c) * * * Frm 00039 * Fmt 4701 * Sfmt 4702 (2) * * * (i) Coastwide—widow rockfish, canary rockfish, darkblotched rockfish, yelloweye rockfish, shortbelly rockfish, E:\FR\FM\28OCP2.SGM 28OCP2 EP28OC16.057</GPH> mstockstill on DSK3G9T082PROD with PROPOSALS2 2/ South of 34°27' N lat., the RCA is 100 fm line- 150 fm line along the mainland coast; shoreline- 150 fm line around islands 75304 Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 209 / Friday, October 28, 2016 / Proposed Rules black rockfish, blue/deacon rockfish, minor nearshore rockfish, minor shelf rockfish, minor slope rockfish, shortraker rockfish, rougheye/ blackspotted rockfish, shortspine and longspine thornyhead, Dover sole, arrowtooth flounder, petrale sole, starry flounder, English sole, other flatfish, lingcod, sablefish, Pacific cod, spiny dogfish, other fish, longnose skate, big skate, and Pacific whiting; * * * * * ■ 16. In § 660.231, paragraph (b)(3)(i) is revised to read as follows: § 660.231 Limited entry fixed gear sablefish primary fishery. * * * * (b) * * * * (3) * * * (i) A vessel participating in the primary season will be constrained by the sablefish cumulative limit mstockstill on DSK3G9T082PROD with PROPOSALS2 * VerDate Sep<11>2014 19:55 Oct 27, 2016 Jkt 241001 associated with each of the permits registered for use with that vessel. During the primary season, each vessel authorized to fish in that season under paragraph (a) of this section may take, retain, possess, and land sablefish, up to the cumulative limits for each of the permits registered for use with that vessel (i.e., stacked permits). If multiple limited entry permits with sablefish endorsements are registered for use with a single vessel, that vessel may land up to the total of all cumulative limits announced in this paragraph for the tiers for those permits, except as limited by paragraph (b)(3)(ii) of this section. Up to 3 permits may be registered for use with a single vessel during the primary season; thus, a single vessel may not take and retain, possess or land more than 3 primary season sablefish cumulative limits in any one year. A vessel registered for use with multiple PO 00000 Frm 00040 Fmt 4701 Sfmt 4702 limited entry permits is subject to per vessel limits for species other than sablefish, and to per vessel limits when participating in the daily trip limit fishery for sablefish under § 660.232. In 2017, the following annual limits are in effect: Tier 1 at 51,947 lb (23,562 kg), Tier 2 at 23,612 lb (10,710 kg), and Tier 3 at 13,493 lb (6,120 kg). In 2018 and beyond, the following annual limits are in effect: Tier 1 at 54,179 lb (24,575 kg), Tier 2 at 24,627 lb (11,170 kg), and Tier 3 at 14,072 lb (6,382 kg). * * * * * ■ 17. Tables 2 (North) and 2 (South) to part 660, subpart E, are revised to read as follows: 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. E:\FR\FM\28OCP2.SGM 28OCP2 75305 Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 209 / Friday, October 28, 2016 / Proposed Rules 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 Rockfish Conservation Area (RCA) 1 North of 46"16' N. lat 11 I MAR-APR I MAY-JUN I 8/17116 JUL-AUG I SEP-OCT I NOV-DEC : shoreline- 100 fm line 11 30 fm line 11 - 100 fm line 11 30 fm line 11 - 100 fm line 11 46"16' N lat. -42"00' N Iat 3 4iOO' N. lat.- 40"10' N Iat 2 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 Minor Slope Rockfish" & Darkblotched 4 rockfish 4,000 lb/ 2 months 5 Pacific ocean perch 1,800 lb/ 2 months 6 Sablefish 1, 1251b/weel\ not to exceed 3,375 lb/ 2 months 7 Longspine thornyhead 10,000 lb/ 2 months 8 Shortspine thornyhead 9 10 Dover sole, arrowtooth flounder, 11 petrale sole, English sole, starry 12 flounder, Other Flatfish" 13 14 15 Whiting 16 I 2,000 lb/ 2 months 5,000 lb/ month 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 shan!\ and up to two 1 lb (0.45 kg) weights per line, are not subject to the RCAs -1 )> m r- m 10,000 lb/trip N Minor Shelf Rockfish", Shortbelly, & Widow rockfish 200 lb/ month 17 Yellowtail rockfish z 1,000 lb/ month 0 18 Canary rockfish .., 300 lb/ 2 months 19 Yelloweye rockfish 20 2,500 lb/ 2 months ,..... CLOSED 21 North of 42"00' N. lat 22 - ::::r Minor Nearshore Rockfish & Black rockfish 5,000 lb/ 2 months, no more than 1,200 lb of which may be species other than black rockfish or blue/deacon rockfish 41 42"00' N. lat. - 40" 10' N Iat 7,000 lb/ 2 months, of which no more than 1,200 lb of which may be species other than black rockfish 200 lb/2 months 23 Lingcod" 1,200 lb/ 2 months I 24 Pacific cod 1600 lb/ 1200 lb/ month month 1,000 lb/ 2 months 25 Spiny dogfish 200,000 lb/ 2 months 1 150.000 lb/ 2 months I 26 Longnose skate Unlimited Other Fish"& Cabezon in Oregon and 27 California 100,000 lb/ 2 months Unlimited 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 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 2/ Bocaccio, chili pepper and cowcod are included in the trip lim its for Minor Shelf Rockfish and splitnose rockfish is included in the trip limits for Minor Slope Rockfish 3/ "Other flatfish" are defined at§ 660.11 and include butter sole, curlfin sole, flathead sole, Pacific sanddab, rex sole, rock sole, and sand sole 41 For black rockfish north of Cape Alava (48"09.50' N. lat.), and between Destruction Is. (47"40' 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 6/ "Other Fish" are defined at§ 660.11 and include kelp greenling, leopard shari\ and cabezon in Washington To convert pounds to kilograms, divide by2.20462, the nurrber of pounds in one kilogram VerDate Sep<11>2014 19:55 Oct 27, 2016 Jkt 241001 PO 00000 Frm 00041 Fmt 4701 Sfmt 4725 E:\FR\FM\28OCP2.SGM 28OCP2 EP28OC16.058</GPH> mstockstill on DSK3G9T082PROD with PROPOSALS2 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 4i N. lat 75306 Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 209 / Friday, October 28, 2016 / Proposed Rules Table 2 (South) to Part 660, Subpart E --Non-Trawl Rockfish Conservation Areas and Trip Limits for Limited Entry Fixed Gear South 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 MAY-JUN I 8/17/2016 I JUL-AUG SEP-OCT I NOV-DEC Rockfish Conservation Area (RCA) 11 : 30 fm line· - 125 fm line 1 1 40'10' N lat - 34.27' N. lat 2 75 fm line 11 - 150 fm line 11 (also applies around islands) South of 34' 27' N. lat 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. 3 Minor Slope rockfish 21 & Darkblotched rockfish 40,000 lb/ 2 months, of which no more than 1,375 lb may be blackgill rockfish 4 Splitnose rockfish I 40,000 lb/ 2 months, of which no more than 1,600 lb may be blackgill rockfish 40,000 lb/ 2 months 5 Sablefish ···~-···~- -~--··~-··~-··~~···~~···~~·· 1,125 lb/week, not to exceed 3,375 lb/ 2 months 40. 10' N. lat - 36.00' N. lat 6 1,700 lb/week 7 South of 36.00' N lat 8 Longspine thornyhead 10,000 lb/ 2 months 9 §h()r!!;pi'!E! t~()r'!ylle;3d_ ····-··· ····-···· ····-···· ....... 110 2,000 lb/ 2 months 2,500 lb/ 2 months ~~~JQ_N. lat- 34.27' N lat 11 3,000 lb/ 2 months South of 34' 27' N Iat 12 13 5,000 lb/ month Dover sole, arrowtooth flounder, 14 South of 4i N. Iat, when fishing for "other flatfish," vessels using hook-and-line gear with no more petrale sole, English sole, starry 15 than 12 hooks per line, using hooks no larger than "Number 2" hooks, which measure 0.44 in (11 flounder, Other Flatfish 31 16 mm) point to shank, and up to two 1 lb (0.45 kg) weights per line, are not subject to the RCAs. 17 18 Whiting 10,000 lb/trip I 19 _l\ll~".c:'':._~~e~~~~i~~:~~~~~=lly_!_<>Ckfish, Widow rockfish (including 21 22 -~~il~p~_l:lpE!~ - m-wm- •••-Mm•-m••-••••-m••-•••••-m••-•••••-um-•• 40.10' N. lat- 34.27' N lat Chili pepper included under minor shelf rockfish, shortbelly and widow rockfish limits - -See above 23 24 2,000 lb/ 2 months, this opportunity only available seaward of the non-trawl RCA South of 34' 27' N Iat 25 Canary rockfish 26 Yelloweye rockfish CLOSED 0 1,000 lb/ 2 months 40.10' N. lat- 34.27' N lat South of 34' 27' N Iat en - CLOSED 28 Bronzespotted rockfish 29 Bocaccio ~ :::r CLOSED 27 Cowcod 31 llJ r m s::::: ,.... 300 lb/ 2 months 30 )> between 40.10'- 34.27' N. lat.) Minor shelf rockfish, shortbelly, widow rockfish, & chilipepper: 2,500 lb/ 2 months, of which no more 40.10' N. lat- 34.27' N lat than 500 lb may be any species other than chilipepper. 4,000 lb/ 2 CLOSED 4,000 lb/ 2 months South of 34' 27' N Iat months 20 -I 1,500 lb/ 2 months 1,500 lb/ 2 months CLOSED 32 Minor Nearshore Rockfish & Black rockfish ~-·····- ········- ·········- ·······- ·······- .... ···- ..... ···- ..... ···- ·········-· ········-···········-···········- ········- ········- ········- .......... ... ······-···· ······-···· ·····- ·········-············-·············-············-············-···········-···- ····- ········- ········- ·········--··· 1,200 lb/ 2 33 Shallow nearshore months 1,000 lb/ 2 34 Deeper nearshore 35 months 1,500 lb/ 2 California Scorpionfish 36 Lingcod 41 37 Pacific cod months 1,200 lb/ 2 months CLOSED 1,000 lb/ 2 months CLOSED 1,500 lb/ 2 months 1400 lb/ 1200 lb/ 800 lb/ 2 months CLOSED month month 1,000 lb/ 2 months 38 Spiny dogfish 200,000 lb/ 2 months 150,000 lb/ 2 I months 39 Long nose skate 40 Other Fish 51 & Cabezon 100,000 lb/ 2 months Unlimited Unlimited VerDate Sep<11>2014 19:55 Oct 27, 2016 Jkt 241001 PO 00000 Frm 00042 Fmt 4701 Sfmt 4725 E:\FR\FM\28OCP2.SGM 28OCP2 EP28OC16.059</GPH> mstockstill on DSK3G9T082PROD with PROPOSALS2 months 200 lb/ 2 CLOSED Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 209 / Friday, October 28, 2016 / Proposed Rules § 660.330 Open access fishery— management measures. * * * * (c) * * * (2) * * * (i) Coastwide—widow rockfish, canary rockfish, darkblotched rockfish, yelloweye rockfish, shortbelly rockfish, mstockstill on DSK3G9T082PROD with PROPOSALS2 * VerDate Sep<11>2014 19:55 Oct 27, 2016 Jkt 241001 black rockfish, blue/deacon rockfish, minor nearshore rockfish, minor shelf rockfish, minor slope rockfish, shortraker rockfish, rougheye/ blackspotted rockfish, shortspine and longspine thornyhead, Dover sole, arrowtooth flounder, petrale sole, starry flounder, English sole, other flatfish, lingcod, sablefish, Pacific cod, spiny dogfish, longnose skate, other fish, PO 00000 Frm 00043 Fmt 4701 Sfmt 4702 Pacific whiting, big skate, and Pacific sanddabs; * * * * * ■ 19. Tables 3 (North) and 3 (South) to part 660, subpart F, are revised to read as follows: 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. E:\FR\FM\28OCP2.SGM 28OCP2 EP28OC16.060</GPH> 18. In § 660.330, paragraph (c)(2)(i) is revised to read as follows: ■ 75307 75308 Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 209 / Friday, October 28, 2016 / Proposed Rules 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 10 through 660.399 before using this table JAN-FEB I MAR-APR I MAY-JUN I 08117/2016 JUL-AUG I SEP-OCT I NOV-DEC Rockfish Conservation Area (RCA) 11 : shoreline- 100 fm line" 1 North of 46'16' N lat 2 46'16' N. lat- 4iOO' N. Iat 30 fm line"- 100 fm line 11 3 42'00' N. Iat - 40' 10' N. Iat 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 §§660.70660.74 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 Per trip, no more than 25% of weight of the sablefish landed 5 Pacific ocean perch 100 lb/ month 6 Sablefish 300 lb/ day, or 1 landing per week of up to 1,200 lb, not to exceed 2,400 lb/ 2 months Shortpine thornyheads and longspine 7 thornyheads 8 9 10 11 12 13 CLOSED 3,000 lb/ month, no more than 300 lb of which may be species other than Pacific sanddabs. 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. 14 Whiting 300 lb/ month -I )> 21 Minor Shelf Rockfish , Shortbelly 15 rockfish, & Widow rockfish 200 lb/ month 16 Yellowtail rockfish 500 lb/ month OJ 17 Canary rockfish r m 150 lb/ 2 months 18 Yelloweye rockfish CLOSED w 19 Minor Nearshore Rockfish & Black rockfish 20 North of 4iOO' N. lat 21 4iOO' N. lat- 40'10' N. Iat z 5,000 lb/ 2 months, no more than 1,200 lb of which may be species other than black rockfish 7,000 lb/ 2 months, of which no more than 1,200 lb of which may be species other than black rockfish 22 Lingcod 51 100 lb/ month 23 Pacific cod 1100 lb/ month 600 lb/ month I 0 1,000 lb/ 2 months 24 Spiny dogfish 200,000 lb/ 2 months 1150,0001b/21 months 25 Long nose skate - ::::r Unlimited other Fish 61 & Cabezon in Oregon and 26 California 100,000 lb/ 2 months .., ,.... Unlimited 27 SALMON TROLL (subject to RCAs lftilen retaining all species of groundfish, except for yellowail rockfish and lingcod, as described belov0 -·--·- ·-· Salmon trollers may retain and land up to 1 lb of yellowtail rockfish for every 2 lbs of salmon landed, with a cumulative limit of 200 lb/month, 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 when lingcod retention is allowed, and is not "CLOSED." This limit is within the per month limit for lingcod described in the table above, and not in addition to that limit. All groundfish species are subject to the open access limits, seasons, size limits and RCA restrictions listed in the table above, unless otherwise stated here. 28 North Effective April!- October 31: Groundfish: 500 lb/day, multiplied by the number of days of the trip, not to exceed 1,500 lb/trip. The following sublimits also apply and are counted toward the overall500 lb/day and 1,500 lb/trip groundfish limits: lingcod 300 lb/month (minimum 24 inch size limit); sablefish 2,000 lb/month; canary, thorny heads and yelloweye rockfish are PROHIBITED. All other groundfish species taken are managed under the overall500 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 have species-specific limits. The amount of groundfish landed may not exceed the amount of pink shrimp landed. 30 North VerDate Sep<11>2014 19:55 Oct 27, 2016 Jkt 241001 PO 00000 Frm 00044 Fmt 4701 Sfmt 4725 E:\FR\FM\28OCP2.SGM 28OCP2 EP28OC16.061</GPH> mstockstill on DSK3G9T082PROD with PROPOSALS2 29 PINK SHRIMP NON-GROUNDFISH TRAWL (not subject to RCAs) Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 209 / Friday, October 28, 2016 / Proposed Rules 75309 VerDate Sep<11>2014 19:55 Oct 27, 2016 Jkt 241001 PO 00000 Frm 00045 Fmt 4701 Sfmt 4702 E:\FR\FM\28OCP2.SGM 28OCP2 EP28OC16.062</GPH> mstockstill on DSK3G9T082PROD with PROPOSALS2 Table 3 (South) to Part 660, Subpart F— Non-Trawl Rockfish Conservation Areas and Trip Limits for Open Access Gears South of 40≥10′ N. Lat. 75310 Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 209 / Friday, October 28, 2016 / Proposed Rules Table 3 (South) to Part 660, Subpart F --Non-Trawl Rockfish Conservation Areas and Trip Limits for Open Access Gears South of 40°10' N. lat. Other limits and requirements apply-- Read §§660 10 through 660 399 before using this table JAN-FEB MAY-JUN I MAR-APR I 08117/2017 JUL-AUG I SEP-OCT I NOV-DEC Rockfish Conservation Area (RCA) 11 : 30 fm line 11 - 125 fm line 11 1 40'10' N lat - 34.27' N. lat 2 South of 34.27' N. lat 75 fm line 11 - 11 150 fm line (also applies around islands) 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. Minor Slope Rockfish 21 & 3 Darkblotched rockfish 10,000 lb/ 2 months, of which no more than 475110,000 lb/ 2 months, of which no more than 550 lb may be blackgill rockfish lb may be blackgill rockfish 4 Splitnose rockfish 5 ,...,_,,,_,,,,,_,,,_ Sablefish 200 lb/ month .. -···-·····-···-·····-···- ··-···-·····-····-·····-····-····-·· 6 40,10' N. lat- 36,00' N. lat 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 300 lb/ day, or 1 landing per week of up to 1,200 lb, not to exceed 2,400 lb/ 2 months 300 lb/ day, or 1 landing per week of up to 1,600 lb, not to exceed 3,200 lb/ 2 months South of 36,00' N. Iat Shortpine thornyheads and longspine .!~<:>~~~~~~---~--·-----·------------- ----~o~g:__~I§1~3~E:.l''"'-lat. -I CLOSED 50 lb/ day, no more than 1,000 lb/ 2 months South of 34' 27' N. Iat )> 3,000 lb/ month, no more than 300 lb of which may be species other than Pacific sanddabs. Dover sole, arrowtooth flounder, petrale sole, English sole, starry 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. flounder, Other Flatfish 31 Whiting 300 lb/ month en ~-··~~···~~···~~ 40' 10' N. lat - 34,27' N. Iat 20 South of 34' 27' N. Iat 400 lb/ 2 months 1500 lb/ 2 months 400 lb/ 2 months CLOSED 1500 lb/ 2 months 21 Canary rockfish 0 150 lb/ 2 months 22 Yelloweye rockfish 23 Cowcod 24 Bronzespotted rockfish r m w Minor Shelf Rockfish 21 , Shortbelly, 18 Widow rockfish and Chilipepper 19 llJ s::::: ,.... CLOSED CLOSED CLOSED - :::r 500 lb/ 2 months CLOSED 500 lb/ 2 months 27 Shallow nearshore 1,200 lb/ 2 months CLOSED 1,200 lb/ 2 months 28 Deeper nearshore 1,000 lb/ 2 months CLOSED 1,000 lb/ 2 months 29 California scorpionfish 1,500 lb/ 2 months CLOSED 1,500 lb/ 2 months 100 lb/ month CLOSED 25 Bocaccio 26 Minor Nearshore Rockfish & Black rockfish ···········- ···········- ···········- ···········-····· 30 Lingcod 41 31 Pacific cod 1,000 lb/ 2 months 32 Spiny dogfish 200,000 lb/ 2 months 150,0001b/21 months Unlimited 34 Other Fish 51 & Cabezon 100,000 lb/ 2 months Unlimited VerDate Sep<11>2014 19:55 Oct 27, 2016 Jkt 241001 PO 00000 Frm 00046 Fmt 4701 Sfmt 4725 E:\FR\FM\28OCP2.SGM 28OCP2 EP28OC16.063</GPH> 33 Long nose skate mstockstill on DSK3G9T082PROD with PROPOSALS2 100 lb/ month 400 lb/ month 20. In § 660.360, paragraphs (c)(1) introductory text, (c)(1)(i)(D)(3), (c)(1)(ii), (c)(1)(iv)(A) and (B), (c)(2)(i)(A) and (B), (c)(2)(iii)(A) and (D), (c)(3) introductory text, (c)(3)(i)(A), (c)(3)(ii)(A)(1) through (4), (c)(3)(ii)(B), (c)(3)(iii)(A)(1) through (5), (c)(3)(iii)(B), (c)(3)(iv), and (c)(3)(v)(A)(1) are revised to read as follows: ■ § 660.360 Recreational fishery— management measures. mstockstill on DSK3G9T082PROD with PROPOSALS2 * * * * * (c) * * * (1) Washington. For each person engaged in recreational fishing off the coast of Washington, the groundfish bag limit is 12 groundfish per day, including rockfish, cabezon and lingcod. Within the groundfish bag limit, there are sublimits for rockfish, lingcod, and cabezon outlined in paragraph (c)(1)(i)(D) of this section. The recreational groundfish fishery will open the second Saturday in March through the third Saturday in October for all species in all areas except lingcod in Marine Area 4 as described in paragraph (c)(1)(iv) of this VerDate Sep<11>2014 19:55 Oct 27, 2016 Jkt 241001 section. In the Pacific halibut fisheries, retention of groundfish is governed in part by annual management measures for Pacific halibut fisheries, which are published in the Federal Register. The following seasons, closed areas, sublimits and size limits apply: (i) * * * (D) * * * (3) Between Leadbetter Point (46°38.17′ N. lat.) and the Columbia River (Marine Area 1), when Pacific halibut are onboard the vessel, no groundfish may be taken and retained, possessed or landed, except sablefish, flatfish species (except halibut), and Pacific cod from May 1 through September 30. Except that taking, retaining, possessing or landing incidental halibut with groundfish on board is allowed in the nearshore area on days not open to all-depth Pacific halibut fisheries in the area shoreward of the boundary line approximating the 30 fathom (55 m) depth contour extending from Leadbetter Point, WA (46°38.17′ N. lat., 124°15.88′ W. long.) to the Columbia River (46°16.00′ N. lat., PO 00000 Frm 00047 Fmt 4701 Sfmt 4702 75311 124°15.88′ W. long.) and from there, connecting to the boundary line approximating the 40 fathom (73 m) depth contour in Oregon. Nearshore season days are established in the annual management measures for Pacific halibut fisheries, which are published in the Federal Register and are announced on the NMFS halibut hotline, 1–800–662–9825. Between Leadbetter Point (46°38.17′ N. lat. 124°21.00′ W. long) and 46° 33.00′ N. Lat. 124°21.00′ W. Long., recreational fishing for lingcod is prohibited year round seaward of a straight line connecting all of the following points in the order stated: 46°38.17′ N. lat., 124°21.00′ W. long.; and 46° 33.00′ N. Lat., 124°21.00′ W. long. (ii) Rockfish. In areas of the EEZ seaward of Washington that are open to recreational groundfish fishing, there is a 10 rockfish per day bag limit. In Marine Areas 1 and 2 there is a 1 fish sub-bag limit per day for canary rockfish. Taking and retaining canary rockfish is prohibited in Marine Areas 3 and 4. Taking and retaining yelloweye E:\FR\FM\28OCP2.SGM 28OCP2 EP28OC16.064</GPH> Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 209 / Friday, October 28, 2016 / Proposed Rules mstockstill on DSK3G9T082PROD with PROPOSALS2 75312 Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 209 / Friday, October 28, 2016 / Proposed Rules rockfish is prohibited in all Marine areas. * * * * * (iv) * * * (A) Between the U.S./Canada border and 48°10′ N. lat. (Cape Alava) (Washington Marine Area 4), recreational fishing for lingcod is open, for 2017 and 2018, from April 16 through October 15. Lingcod may be no smaller than 22 inches (61 cm) total length. (B) Between 48°10′ N. lat. (Cape Alava) and 46°16′ N. lat. (Columbia River) (Washington Marine Areas 1–3), recreational fishing for lingcod is open for 2017 from March 11 through October 21, and for 2018 from March 10 through October 20. Lingcod may be no smaller than 22 inches (56 cm) total length. (2) * * * (i) * * * (A) Stonewall Bank yelloweye rockfish conservation area. Recreational fishing for groundfish and halibut is prohibited within the Stonewall Bank YRCA. It is unlawful for recreational fishing vessels to take and retain, possess, or land groundfish taken with recreational gear within the Stonewall Bank YRCA. A vessel fishing in the Stonewall Bank YRCA may not be in possession of any groundfish. Recreational vessels may transit through the Stonewall Bank YRCA with or without groundfish on board. The Stonewall Bank YRCA, and two possible expansions that are available through inseason adjustment, are defined by latitude and longitude coordinates specified at § 660.70, subpart C. (B) Recreational rockfish conservation area. Fishing for groundfish with recreational gear is prohibited within the recreational RCA, a type of closed area or GCA. It is unlawful to take and retain, possess, or land groundfish taken with recreational gear within the recreational RCA. A vessel fishing in the recreational RCA may not be in possession of any groundfish. [For example, if a vessel fishes in the recreational salmon fishery within the RCA, the vessel cannot be in possession of groundfish while in the RCA. The vessel may, however, on the same trip fish for and retain groundfish shoreward of the RCA on the return trip to port.] Off Oregon, from April 1 through September 30, recreational fishing for groundfish is prohibited seaward of a recreational RCA boundary line approximating the 40 fm (73 m) depth contour, except that fishing for flatfish (other than Pacific halibut) is allowed seaward of the 40 fm (73 m) depth contour when recreational fishing for groundfish is permitted. Coordinates for VerDate Sep<11>2014 19:55 Oct 27, 2016 Jkt 241001 the boundary line approximating the 40 fm (73 m) depth contour are listed at § 660.71. * * * * * (iii) * * * (A) Marine fish. The bag limit is 10 marine fish per day, which includes rockfish, kelp greenling, cabezon and other groundfish species. The bag limit of marine fish excludes Pacific halibut, salmonids, tuna, perch species, sturgeon, sanddabs, flatfish, lingcod, striped bass, hybrid bass, offshore pelagic species and baitfish (herring, smelt, anchovies and sardines). The minimum size for cabezon retained in the Oregon recreational fishery is 16 in (41 cm) total length. * * * * * (D) In the Pacific halibut fisheries. Retention of groundfish is governed in part by annual management measures for Pacific halibut fisheries, which are published in the Federal Register. Between the Columbia River and Humbug Mountain, during days open to the ‘‘all-depth’’ sport halibut fisheries, when Pacific halibut are onboard the vessel, no groundfish may be taken and retained, possessed or landed, except sablefish, Pacific cod, and other species of flatfish (sole, flounder, sanddab). ‘‘All-depth’’ season days are established in the annual management measures for Pacific halibut fisheries, which are published in the Federal Register and are announced on the NMFS Pacific halibut hotline, 1–800–662–9825. * * * * * (3) California. Seaward of California, California law provides that, in times and areas when the recreational fishery is open, there is a 20 fish bag limit for all species of finfish, within which no more than 10 fish of any one species may be taken or possessed by any one person. [Note: There are some exceptions to this rule. The following groundfish species are not subject to a bag limit: Petrale sole, Pacific sanddab and starry flounder.] For groundfish species not specifically mentioned in this paragraph, fishers are subject to the overall 20-fish bag limit for all species of finfish and the depth restrictions at paragraph (c)(3)(i) of this section. Recreational spearfishing for all federally-managed groundfish, is exempt from closed areas and seasons, consistent with Title 14 of the California Code of Regulations. This exemption applies only to recreational vessels and divers provided no other fishing gear, except spearfishing gear, is on board the vessel. California state law may provide regulations similar to Federal regulations for the following statemanaged species: Ocean whitefish, PO 00000 Frm 00048 Fmt 4701 Sfmt 4702 California sheephead, and all greenlings of the genus Hexagrammos. Kelp greenling is the only federally-managed greenling. Retention of cowcod, yelloweye rockfish, and bronzespotted rockfish, is prohibited in the recreational fishery seaward of California all year in all areas. Retention of species or species groups for which the season is closed is prohibited in the recreational fishery seaward of California all year in all areas, unless otherwise authorized in this section. For each person engaged in recreational fishing in the EEZ seaward of California, the following closed areas, seasons, bag limits, and size limits apply: (i) * * * (A) Recreational rockfish conservation areas. The recreational RCAs are areas that are closed to recreational fishing for groundfish. Fishing for groundfish with recreational gear is prohibited within the recreational RCA, except that recreational fishing for ‘‘other flatfish,’’ petrale sole, and starry flounder is permitted within the recreational RCA as specified in paragraph (c)(3)(iv) of this section. It is unlawful to take and retain, possess, or land groundfish taken with recreational gear within the recreational RCA, unless otherwise authorized in this section. A vessel fishing in the recreational RCA may not be in possession of any species prohibited by the restrictions that apply within the recreational RCA. [For example, if a vessel fishes in the recreational salmon fishery within the RCA, the vessel cannot be in possession of rockfish while in the RCA. The vessel may, however, on the same trip fish for and retain rockfish shoreward of the RCA on the return trip to port.] If the season is closed for a species or species group, fishing for that species or species group is prohibited both within the recreational RCA and shoreward of the recreational RCA, unless otherwise authorized in this section. (1) Between 42° N. lat. (California/ Oregon border) and 40°10′ N. lat. (Northern Management Area), recreational fishing for all groundfish (except petrale sole, starry flounder, and ‘‘other flatfish’’ as specified in paragraph (c)(3)(iv) of this section) is prohibited seaward of the 30 fm (55 m) depth contour along the mainland coast and along islands and offshore seamounts from May 1 through October 31 (shoreward of 30 fm is open); is open at all depths from November 1 through December 31; and is closed entirely from January 1 through April 30. (2) Between 40°10′ N. lat. and 38°57.50′ N. lat. (Mendocino Management Area), recreational fishing for all groundfish (except petrale sole, E:\FR\FM\28OCP2.SGM 28OCP2 Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 209 / Friday, October 28, 2016 / Proposed Rules mstockstill on DSK3G9T082PROD with PROPOSALS2 starry flounder, and ‘‘other flatfish’’ as specified in paragraph (c)(3)(iv) of this section) is prohibited seaward of the 20 fm (37 m) depth contour along the mainland coast and along islands and offshore seamounts from May 1 through October 31 (shoreward of 20 fm is open), is open at all depths from November 1 through December 31, and is closed entirely from January 1 through April 30. (3) Between 38°57.50′ N. lat. and 37°11′ N. lat. (San Francisco Management Area), recreational fishing for all groundfish (except petrale sole, starry flounder, and ‘‘other flatfish’’ as specified in paragraph (c)(3)(iv) of this section) is prohibited seaward of the boundary line approximating the 40 fm (73 m) depth contour along the mainland coast and along islands and offshore seamounts from April 15 through December 31; and is closed entirely from January 1 through April 14. Closures around Cordell Banks (see paragraph (c)(3)(i)(C) of this section) also apply in this area. Coordinates for the boundary line approximating the 40 fm (73 m) depth contour are listed in § 660.71. (4) Between 37°11′ N. lat. and 34°27′ N. lat. (Central Management Area), recreational fishing for all groundfish (except petrale sole, starry flounder, and ‘‘other flatfish’’ as specified in paragraph (c)(3)(iv) of this section) is prohibited seaward of a boundary line approximating the 50 fm (91 m) depth contour along the mainland coast and along islands and offshore seamounts from April 1 through December 31; and is closed entirely from January 1 through March 31 (i.e., prohibited seaward of the shoreline). Coordinates for the boundary line approximating the 50 fm (91 m) depth contour are specified in § 660.72. (5) South of 34°27′ N. lat. (Southern Management Area), recreational fishing for all groundfish (except California scorpionfish as specified below in this paragraph and in paragraph (c)(3)(v) of this section and ‘‘other flatfish,’’ petrale sole, and starry flounder, as specified in paragraph (c)(3)(iv) of this section) is prohibited seaward of a boundary line approximating the 60 fm (109.7 m) VerDate Sep<11>2014 19:55 Oct 27, 2016 Jkt 241001 depth contour from March 1 through December 31 along the mainland coast and along islands and offshore seamounts, except in the CCAs where fishing is prohibited seaward of the 20 fm (37 m) depth contour when the fishing season is open (see paragraph (c)(3)(i)(B) of this section). Recreational fishing for all groundfish (except California scorpionfish, ‘‘other flatfish,’’ petrale sole, and starry flounder) is closed entirely from January 1 through February 28 (i.e., prohibited seaward of the shoreline). When the California scorpionfish fishing season is open, recreational fishing for California scorpionfish south of 34°27′ N. lat. is prohibited seaward of a boundary line approximating the 60 fm (109.7 m) depth contour, except in the CCAs where fishing is prohibited seaward of the 20 fm (37 m) depth contour. * * * * * (ii) * * * (A) * * * (1) Between 42° N. lat. (California/ Oregon border) and 40°10′ N. lat. (North Management Area), recreational fishing for the RCG complex is open from May 1 through December 31 (i.e., it’s closed from January 1 through April 30). (2) Between 40°10′ N. lat. and 38°57.50′ N. lat. (Mendocino Management Area), recreational fishing for the RCG Complex is open from May 1 through October December 31 (i.e., it’s closed from January 1 through April 30). (3) Between 38°57.50′ N. lat. and 37°11′ N. lat. (San Francisco Management Area), recreational fishing for the RCG complex is open from April 15 through December 31 (i.e., it’s closed from January 1 through April 14). (4) Between 37°11′ N. lat. and 34°27′ N. lat. (Central Management Area), recreational fishing for the RCG complex is open from April 1 through December 31 (i.e., it’s closed from January 1 through March 31). * * * * * (B) Bag limits, hook limits. In times and areas when the recreational season for the RCG Complex is open, there is a limit of 2 hooks and 1 line when fishing for the RCG complex and lingcod. The bag limit is 10 RCG Complex fish per day coastwide. PO 00000 Frm 00049 Fmt 4701 Sfmt 4702 75313 Retention of yelloweye rockfish, bronzespotted rockfish, and cowcod is prohibited. Within the 10 RCG Complex fish per day limit, no more than 3 may be black rockfish, no more than 3 may be cabezon, and no more than 1 may be canary rockfish. Multi-day limits are authorized by a valid permit issued by California and must not exceed the daily limit multiplied by the number of days in the fishing trip. * * * * * (iii) * * * (A) * * * (1) Between 42° N. lat. (California/ Oregon border) and 40°10′ N. lat. (Northern Management Area), recreational fishing for lingcod is open from May 1 through December 31 (i.e., it’s closed from January 1 through April 30). (2) Between 40°10′ N. lat. and 38°57.50′ N. lat. (Mendocino Management Area), recreational fishing for lingcod is open from May 1 through December 31 (i.e., it’s closed from January 1 through April 30). (3) Between 38°57.50′ N. lat. and 37°11′ N. lat. (San Francisco Management Area), recreational fishing for lingcod is open from April 15 through December 31 (i.e., it’s closed from January 1 through April 14). (4) Between 37°11′ N. lat. and 34°27′ N. lat. (Central Management Area), recreational fishing for lingcod is open from April 1 through December 31 (i.e., it’s closed from January 1 through March 31). (5) South of 34°27′ N. lat. (Southern Management Area), recreational fishing for lingcod is open from March 1 through December 31 (i.e., it’s closed from January 1 through February 28). (B) Bag limits, hook limits. In times and areas when the recreational season for lingcod is open, there is a limit of 2 hooks and 1 line when fishing for lingcod. The bag limit is 2 lingcod per day. Multi-day limits are authorized by a valid permit issued by California and must not exceed the daily limit multiplied by the number of days in the fishing trip. * * * * * E:\FR\FM\28OCP2.SGM 28OCP2 75314 Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 209 / Friday, October 28, 2016 / Proposed Rules mstockstill on DSK3G9T082PROD with PROPOSALS2 (iv) ‘‘Other flatfish,’’ petrale sole, and starry flounder. Coastwide off California, recreational fishing for ‘‘other flatfish,’’ petrale sole, and starry flounder, is permitted both shoreward of and within the closed areas described in paragraph (c)(3)(i) of this section. ‘‘Other flatfish’’ are defined at § 660.11, subpart C, and include butter sole, curlfin sole, flathead sole, Pacific sanddab, rex sole, rock sole, and sand sole. Recreational fishing for ‘‘other flatfish,’’ petrale sole, and starry VerDate Sep<11>2014 19:55 Oct 27, 2016 Jkt 241001 flounder, is permitted within the closed areas. Petrale sole, starry flounder, and ‘‘Other flatfish,’’ except Pacific sanddab, are subject to the overall 20-fish bag limit for all species of finfish, of which there may be no more than 10 fish of any one species. There is no season restriction or size limit for ‘‘other flatfish,’’ petrale sole, and starry flounder however, it is prohibited to filet ‘‘other flatfish,’’ petrale sole, and starry flounder, at sea. (v) * * * PO 00000 Frm 00050 Fmt 4701 Sfmt 9990 (A) * * * (1) Between 40°10′ N. lat. and 38°57.50′ N. lat. (Mendocino Management Area), recreational fishing for California scorpionfish is open from May 1 through August 31 (i.e., it’s closed from January 1 through April 30 and from September 1 through December 31). * * * * * [FR Doc. 2016–25517 Filed 10–27–16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510–22–P E:\FR\FM\28OCP2.SGM 28OCP2

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 81, Number 209 (Friday, October 28, 2016)]
[Proposed Rules]
[Pages 75266-75314]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2016-25517]



[[Page 75265]]

Vol. 81

Friday,

No. 209

October 28, 2016

Part III





 Department of Commerce





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National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration





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50 CFR Part 660





 Magnuson-Stevens Act Provisions; Fisheries Off West Coast States; 
Pacific Coast Groundfish Fishery; 2017-2018 Biennial Specifications and 
Management Measures; Amendment 27; Proposed Rule

Federal Register / Vol. 81 , No. 209 / Friday, October 28, 2016 / 
Proposed Rules

[[Page 75266]]


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DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

50 CFR Part 660

[Docket No. 160808696-6696-01]
RIN 0648-BG17


Magnuson-Stevens Act Provisions; Fisheries Off West Coast States; 
Pacific Coast Groundfish Fishery; 2017-2018 Biennial Specifications and 
Management Measures; Amendment 27

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

ACTION: Proposed rule; request for comments.

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SUMMARY: This proposed rule would establish the 2017-2018 harvest 
specifications and management measures for groundfish taken in the U.S. 
exclusive economic zone off the coasts of Washington, Oregon, and 
California, consistent with the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation 
and Management Act (MSA) and the Pacific Coast Groundfish Fishery 
Management Plan (PCGFMP). This proposed rule would also revise the 
management measures that are intended to keep the total catch of each 
groundfish species or species complex within the harvest 
specifications. This action also includes regulations to implement 
Amendment 27 to the PCGFMP, which adds deacon rockfish to the PCGFMP, 
reclassifies big skate as an actively managed stock, add a new inseason 
management process for commercial and recreational in California, and 
makes several clarifications.

DATES: Comments must be received no later than November 28, 2016.

ADDRESSES: Submit your comments, identified by NOAA-NMFS-2016-0094, by 
either of the following methods:
     Federal e-Rulemaking Portal: Go to www.regulations.gov/#!docketDetail;D=NOAA-NMFS-2016-094, 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).

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 proposed rule 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 Pacific Fishery Management Council's 
Web site at http://www.pcouncil.org.

Executive Summary

Purpose of the Regulatory Action

    This proposed rule would implement the 2017-2018 harvest 
specifications and management measures for groundfish species taken in 
the U.S. exclusive economic zone off the coasts of Washington, Oregon, 
and California, implement harvest specifications consistent with 
default harvest control rules, and implement Amendment 27 to the 
PCGFMP. The purpose of the proposed action is to conserve and manage 
Pacific Coast groundfish fishery resources to prevent overfishing, to 
rebuild overfished stocks, to ensure conservation, to facilitate long-
term protection of essential fish habitats (EFH), and to realize the 
full potential of the Nation's fishery resources. This action proposes 
harvest specifications for 2017-2018 consistent with existing or 
revised default harvest control rules for all stocks, and establishes 
management measures designed to keep catch within the appropriate 
limits. The harvest specifications are set consistent with the optimum 
yield (OY) harvest management framework described in Chapter 4 of the 
PCGFMP. The proposed rule would also implement Amendment 27 to the 
PCGFMP. Amendment 27 adds deacon rockfish to the PCGFMP, reclassifies 
big skate as ``in the fishery,'' adds a new inseason management process 
for California fisheries, and makes several clarifications. This rule 
is authorized by 16 U.S.C. 1854 and 1855 and by the PCGFMP.

Major Provisions

    This proposed rule contains two types of major provisions. The 
first are the harvest specifications (overfishing limits (OFLs), 
acceptable biological catches (ABCs), and annual catch limits (ACLs)), 
and the second are management measures designed to keep fishing 
mortality within the ACLs. The harvest specifications (OFLs, ABCs, and 
ACLs) in this rule have been developed through a rigorous scientific 
review and decision making process, which is described later in this 
proposed rule.
    In summary, the OFL is the maximum sustainable yield (MSY) harvest 
level and is an estimate of the catch level above which overfishing is 
occurring. OFLs are based on recommendations by the Pacific Fishery 
Management Council's (Council) Scientific and Statistical Committee 
(SSC) as the best scientific information available. The ABC is an 
annual catch specification that is the stock or stock complex's OFL 
reduced by an amount associated with scientific uncertainty. The SSC-
recommended method for incorporating scientific uncertainty is referred 
to as the P star-sigma approach and is discussed in detail in the 
proposed and final rules for the 2011-2012 (75 FR 67810, November 3, 
2010; 76 FR 27508, May 11, 2011) and 2013-2014 (77 FR 67974, November 
12, 2012; 78 FR 580, January 3, 2013) biennial harvest specifications 
and management measures. The ACL is a harvest specification set equal 
to or below the ABC. The ACLs are decided in a manner to achieve OY 
from the fishery, which is the amount of fish that will provide the 
greatest overall benefit to the Nation, particularly with respect to 
food production and recreational opportunities, and taking into account 
the protection of marine ecosystems. The ACLs are based on 
consideration of conservation objectives, socio-economic concerns, 
management uncertainty, and other factors. All known sources of fishing 
and scientific research catch are counted against the ACL.
    This proposed rule includes ACLs for the five overfished species 
managed under the PCGFMP. For the 2017-2018 biennium darkblotched 
rockfish and Pacific ocean perch (POP) have rebuilding plan changes to 
their Harvest Control Rules, while maintaining the current target year 
for rebuilding (TTARGET). TTARGET is the year by 
which the stock can be rebuilt as soon as

[[Page 75267]]

possible, taking into account the status and biology of the stock, the 
needs of fishing communities, and the interaction of the stock of fish 
within the marine ecosystem. For darkblotched rockfish, a new 
assessment indicates the stock will be rebuilt during 2015, with a 
stock status above MSY in 2016 and beyond. Therefore, this rule 
proposes to establish harvest specifications for darkblotched rockfish 
in 2017-2018 based on the default harvest control rules for healthy 
stocks. Under this harvest control rule, the stock is anticipated to 
rebuild 10 years earlier than the TTARGET of 2025. For POP, 
new information is available regarding the needs of fishing communities 
that rely on revenue from fisheries on healthy stocks that take POP 
incidentally. Changes to the harvest control rule are necessary to meet 
the needs of communities. Accordingly, the rebuilding plan would be 
revised, setting a constant catch ACL for 2017-2018, followed in 2019 
and beyond by harvest specifications derived from the SPR harvest rate 
in the current rebuilding plan (86.4 percent). Under this harvest 
control rule, the stock is anticipated to rebuild by the 
TTARGET in the current rebuilding plan of 2051. The 
remaining overfished species are making adequate progress towards 
rebuilding. Therefore, this rule proposes to establish harvest 
specifications consistent with the existing rebuilding plan provisions 
for those species.
    This rulemaking also proposes to implement Amendment 27 to the 
PCGFMP. Amendment 27 consists of five components that would: (1) 
Reclassify big skate from an ecosystem component species to ``in the 
fishery,'' (2) add deacon rockfish to the list of species in the 
PCGFMP, (3) establish a new inseason management process in California 
for black, canary, and yelloweye rockfishes, (4) make updates to 
clarify several stock assessment descriptions, and (5) update several 
sections of the PCGFMP because canary rockfish and petrale sole are 
rebuilt. The Notice of Availability for Amendment 27 to the PCGFMP 
published on September 30, 2016 (81 FR 67287) and is available for 
public comment (see ADDRESSES). The public comment period on the Notice 
of Availability closes on November 29, 2016.
    In order to keep mortality of the species managed under the PCGFMP 
within the ACLs the Council also recommended management measures. 
Generally speaking, management measures are intended to rebuild 
overfished species, prevent ACLs from being exceeded, and allow for the 
harvest of healthy stocks. Management measures include time and area 
restrictions, gear restrictions, trip or bag limits, size limits, and 
other management tools. Management measures may vary by fishing sector 
because different fishing sectors require different types of management 
to control catch. Most of the management measures the Council 
recommended for 2017-2018 were slight variations to existing management 
measures, and do not represent a change from current management 
practices. These types of changes include changes to trip limits, bag 
limits, closed areas, etc. Additionally, several new management 
measures were recommended by the Council including: Changes to flatfish 
retention in the Oregon recreational fishery, creation of a new 
inseason process for changes to recreational and commercial fisheries 
in California outside of a Council meeting, changes to petrale sole and 
starry flounder season in the California recreational fishery, and 
management measures resulting from reclassifying big skate as ``in the 
fishery.''

Table of Contents

I. Background
    A. Specification and Management Measure Development Process
    B. Amendment 24--Default Harvest Specifications & Management 
Measures Clarifications
II. Amendment 27 to the PCGFMP
    A. Reclassify Big Skate as ``in the Fishery''
    B. New California Inseason Process
    C. Updates to the PCGFMP
    D. Updates Based on New Science for Deacon Rockfish, Canary 
Rockfish, and Petrale Sole
III. Harvest Specifications
    A. Proposed OFLs for 2017 and 2018
    B. Proposed ABCs for 2017 and 2018
    C. Proposed ACLs for 2017 and 2018
IV. Management Measures
    A. Deductions From the ACLs
    B. Biennial Fishery Allocations
    C. Modifications to the Boundaries Defining Rockfish 
Conservation Areas (RCAs)
    D. Sorting Requirements Resulting From Big Skate Designation to 
``in the Fishery''
    E. New Inseason Process for Commercial and Recreational 
Fisheries in California
    F. Limited Entry Trawl
    G. Limited Entry Fixed Gear and Open Access Nontrawl Fishery
    H. Recreational Fisheries
    I. Tribal Fisheries
V. Classification

I. Background

    The Pacific Coast Groundfish fishery is managed under the PCGFMP. 
The PCGFMP was prepared by the Council, approved on July 30, 1984, and 
has been amended numerous times. Regulations at 50 CFR part 660, 
subparts C through G, implement the provisions of the PCGFMP.
    The PCGFMP requires the harvest specifications and management 
measures for groundfish to be set at least biennially. This proposed 
rule is based on the Council's final recommendations that were made at 
its June 2016 meeting as well as harvest specifications for some stocks 
adopted at the Council's November 2015 and April 2016 meetings.

A. Specification and Management Measure Development Process

    The process for setting the 2017-2018 harvest specifications began 
in 2014 with the preparation of stock assessments. A stock assessment 
is the scientific and statistical process where the status of a fish 
population or subpopulation (stock) is assessed in terms of population 
size, reproductive status, fishing mortality, and sustainability. In 
the terms of the PCGFMP, stock assessments generally provide: (1) An 
estimate of the current biomass (reproductive potential); (2) an 
FMSY or proxy (a default harvest rate for the fishing 
mortality rate that is expected to achieve the maximum sustainable 
yield), translated into exploitation rate; (3) an estimate of the 
biomass that produces the maximum sustainable yield (BMSY); 
and, (4) a precision estimate (e.g., confidence interval) for current 
biomass. Stock assessments, including data moderate assessments, are 
reviewed by the Council's stock assessment review panel (STAR panel). 
The STAR panel is designed to review the technical merits of stock 
assessments and is responsible for determining if a stock assessment 
document is sufficiently complete. Finally, the SSC reviews the stock 
assessment and STAR panel reports and makes recommendations to the 
Council. In addition to full stock assessments, stock assessment 
updates that run new data through existing models without changing the 
model are also prepared.
    When spawning stock biomass falls below the minimum stock size 
threshold (MSST), a stock is declared overfished and a rebuilding plan 
must be developed that determines the strategy for rebuilding the stock 
to BMSY in the shortest time possible, while considering 
needs of fishing communities and other factors (16 U.S.C. 1854(e)). The 
current MSST reference point for assessed flatfish stocks is 12.5 
percent of initial biomass or B12.5. For all other 
assessed groundfish stocks, the current MSST reference point is 25 
percent of initial biomass or B25. The following 
overfished groundfish stocks would be

[[Page 75268]]

managed under rebuilding plans in 2017-2018: Bocaccio south of 
40[deg]10' N. lat.; cowcod south of 40[deg]10' N. lat.; darkblotched 
rockfish; POP; and yelloweye rockfish.
    For overfished stocks, in addition to any stock assessments or 
stock assessment updates, rebuilding analyses may also be prepared. The 
rebuilding analysis is used to project the future status of the 
overfished resource under a variety of alternative harvest strategies 
and to determine the probability of recovering to BMSY or 
its proxy within a specified time-frame.
    The Council considered new stock assessments, stock assessment 
updates, rebuilding analysis for POP, public comment, and advice from 
its advisory bodies over the course of six Council meetings during 
development of its recommendations for the 2017-2018 harvest 
specifications and management measures. At each Council meeting between 
June 2015 and June 2016, the Council made a series of decisions and 
recommendations that were, in some cases, refined after further 
analysis and discussion. Detailed information, including the supporting 
documentation the Council considered at each meeting is available at 
the Council's Web site, www.pcouncil.org.
    The 2017-2018 biennial management cycle was the first cycle 
following PCGFMP Amendment 24, which established default harvest 
control rules and included an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS). The 
EIS described the ongoing implementation of the PCGFMP and default 
harvest control rules, along with ten year projections for harvest 
specifications and a range of management measures. Therefore, a draft 
Environmental Assessment (EA) identifying the preferred alternative new 
management measures and other decision points that were not described 
in the 2015 EIS is posted on the NMFS WCR along with this proposed 
rule. At the Council's June 2016, meeting, following public comment and 
Council consideration, the Council made its final recommendations for 
the 2017-2018 harvest specifications and management measures as well as 
for Amendment 27 to the PCGFMP.

B. Amendment 24--Default Harvest Specifications & Management Measures 
Clarifications

    This biennial cycle is the first since the implementation of 
Amendment 24, which established default harvest control rules for most 
stocks and evaluated ten year projections for harvest specifications 
and routinely adjusted management measures (80 FR 12567, March 10, 
2015). This resulted in a streamlined decision making process for the 
2017-2018 biennial cycle. The use of default harvest control rules and 
their addition to the PCGFMP was intended to simplify the Council's 
harvest specifications process and acknowledge that the Council 
generally maintains the policy choices from the previous biennium to 
determine the harvest specifications for the next biennium. Under 
Amendment 24, the harvest control rules used to determine the previous 
biennium's harvest specifications (i.e., OFLs, ABCs, and ACLs) would 
automatically be applied to the best scientific information available 
to determine the future biennium's harvest specifications. NMFS would 
implement harvest specifications based on the default harvest control 
rules unless the Council makes a different recommendation. Therefore, 
this rule implements the default harvest specifications, consistent 
with Amendment 24, for most stocks and discusses departures from the 
defaults.
    In addition to the use of defaults to simplify the harvest 
specifications process, Amendment 24 made changes to the description of 
the type of management measures that may be addressed through the 
biennial process. Under Amendment 24, management measures that may be 
implemented during the biennial process include: (1) Measures that will 
be classified as routine for future biennial cycles; (2) adjustments to 
current management measures that are already classified as routine; and 
(3) new management measures not previously analyzed. This was intended 
to simplify the management measures proposed through each biennial 
cycle.
    Information regarding the OFLs, ABCs, and ACLs proposed for 
groundfish stocks and stock complexes in 2017-2018 is presented below, 
followed by a discussion of the proposed management measures for 
commercial and recreational groundfish fisheries.

II. 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 PCGFMP, (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 to reflect the 
rebuilt status of canary rockfish and petrale sole.

A. Reclassify Big Skate as ``in the Fishery''

    Amendment 24 to PCGFMP classified several species, including big 
skate, as ecosystem component species. The information available during 
development of Amendment 24 indicated that big skate was not targeted 
and had only small amounts of landings. However, a majority of the 
unspecified skate landed in the Shorebased IFQ Program is now known to 
be big skate. According to National Standard Guideline 1, a stock may 
be classified as an ecosystem component species if it is not determined 
to be (1) a target species or target stock; (2) subject to overfishing, 
approaching overfished, or overfished; (3) likely to become subject to 
overfishing or overfished, according to the best available information, 
in the absence of conservation and management measures; and (4) 
generally retained for sale or personal use. Such large landings 
indicate big skate are being targeted and therefore generally retained 
for sale, and can no longer be considered an ecosystem species. 
Therefore, Amendment 27 reclassifies big skate as ``in the fishery,'' 
and this rule proposes species specific harvest specifications.

B. New California Inseason Process

    The objective of any inseason management system is to be responsive 
to the needs of fishing participants while keeping catch within 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 was developed for only black 
rockfish, canary rockfish, and yelloweye rockfish, and only in 
California. This system would allow NMFS to take inseason action 
outside of a Council meeting when a Federal harvest

[[Page 75269]]

specification for one of these species is projected to be attained or 
had been attained prior to the start of the next scheduled Council 
meeting. Allowing NMFS to take inseason action outside of a Council 
meeting can reduce the severity of management actions and thus 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.

C. Updates to the PCGFMP

    Minor edits in Amendment 27 clarify the applicability of several 
stock assessment procedures and categories that were inadvertently 
omitted when Amendment 23 modified the PCGFMP consistent with the 
revised National Standard Guidelines in 2011.

D. 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 and blue rockfish. 
Deacon rockfish is therefore acknowledged as a PCGFMP species that is 
``in the fishery,'' based on the PCGFMP provision stating, ``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. The Notice of Availability for the PCGFMP Amendment 27 
was published on September 30, 2016 (81 FR 67287).

III. Harvest Specifications

    The PCGFMP requires the Council to set harvest specifications and 
management measures for groundfish at least biennially. This proposed 
rule would set 2017-2018 harvest specifications and management measures 
for all of the 90 plus groundfish species or species groups managed 
under the PCGFMP, except for Pacific whiting. Pacific whiting harvest 
specifications are established annually through a separate bilateral 
process with Canada.

A. Proposed OFLs for 2017 and 2018

Introduction
    This section describes the proposed OFLs for overfished species 
managed under rebuilding plans, non-overfished species managed with 
individual species-specific harvest specifications, and species managed 
within stock complexes.
    The OFLs for groundfish species with stock assessments are derived 
by applying the FMSY harvest rate proxy to the current 
estimated biomass. Fx harvest rates are the rates of fishing 
mortality that will reduce the female spawning biomass per recruit 
(SPR) to X percent of its unfished level. A rate of 
F40 is a more aggressive harvest rate than 
F45 or F50.
    For 2017-2018, the Council maintained a policy of using a default 
harvest rate as a proxy for the fishing mortality rate that is expected 
to achieve the maximum sustainable yield (FMSY). A proxy is 
used because there is insufficient information for most Pacific Coast 
groundfish stocks to estimate species-specific FMSY values. 
Taxon-specific proxy fishing mortality rates are used due to perceived 
differences in the productivity among different taxa of groundfish. A 
lower value is used for stocks with relatively high resilience to 
fishing while higher values are used for less resilient stocks with low 
productivity. In 2017-2018, the following default harvest rate proxies, 
based on the SSC's recommendations, were used: F30 
for flatfish, F40 for Pacific whiting, 
F50 for rockfish (including longspine and shortspine 
thornyheads), F50 for elasmobranchs, and 
F45 for other groundfish such as sablefish and 
lingcod.
    For the 2017-2018 biennial specification process, seven full stock 
assessments and three stock assessment updates were prepared. Full 
stock assessments, those that consider the appropriateness of the 
assessment model and that revise the model as necessary, were prepared 
for the following stocks: Black rockfish, bocaccio south of 40[deg]10' 
N. lat., canary rockfish, China rockfish, darkblotched rockfish, kelp 
greenling between 46[deg]16' N. lat. and 42[deg] N. lat., and widow 
rockfish. A stock assessment update, which runs new data through an 
existing model, was prepared for chilipepper rockfish south of 42[deg] 
N. lat., petrale sole, and sablefish. Updated projections from existing 
models, where actual catches for recent years replaced assumed catches 
for those same years in the model, were also prepared for arrowtooth 
flounder, blue rockfish south of 42[deg] N. lat., greenspotted 
rockfish, Dover sole, lingcod, POP, and yelloweye rockfish.
    Each new stock assessment includes a base model and two alternative 
models. The alternative models are developed from the base model by 
bracketing the dominant dimension of uncertainty (e.g., stock-
recruitment steepness, natural mortality rate, survey catchability, 
recent year-class strength, weights on conflicting catch per unit 
effort series, etc.) and are intended to be a means of expressing 
uncertainty within the model by showing the contrast in management 
implications. Once a base model has been bracketed on either side by 
alternative model scenarios, capturing the overall degree of 
uncertainty in the assessment, a two-way decision table analysis 
(states-of-nature versus management action) is used to present the 
repercussions of uncertainty to decision makers. As noted above, the 
SSC makes recommendations to the Council on the appropriateness of 
using the different stock assessments for management purposes, after 
which the Council considers adoption of the stock assessments, use of 
the stock assessments for the development of rebuilding analyses, and 
the OFLs resulting from the base model runs of the stock assessments.
    For individually managed species that did not have new stock 
assessments or update assessments prepared, the Council recommended 
OFLs derived from applying the FMSY harvest rate proxy to 
the estimated exploitable biomass from the most recent stock assessment 
or update, the results of rudimentary stock assessments, or the 
historical landings data approved by the Council for use in setting 
harvest specifications. These stocks include: Arrowtooth flounder, big 
skate, blackgill rockfish, cabezon (off California), cabezon (off 
Oregon), California scorpionfish, cowcod, Dover sole, lingcod north and 
south of 42[deg] N. lat., longnose skate, Pacific cod, shortbelly 
rockfish, shortspine thornyhead, spiny dogfish, splitnose rockfish, and 
yellowtail rockfish. Proposed OFLs for these species can be found in 
Tables 1a and 2a to subpart C.
    There are currently eight stock complexes used to manage groundfish 
stocks pursuant to the PCGFMP. These stock complexes are: (1) Minor 
Nearshore Rockfish north; (2) Minor Nearshore Rockfish south; (3) Minor 
Shelf Rockfish north; (4) Minor Shelf Rockfish south (5) Minor Slope 
Rockfish north; (6) Minor Slope Rockfish south;

[[Page 75270]]

(7) Other Flatfish; and (8) Other Fish. Stock complexes are used to 
manage the harvest of many of the unassessed groundfish stocks.
    The proposed OFLs for stock complexes are the sum of the OFL 
contributions for the component stocks, when known. For the 2017-2018 
biennial specification process--similar to 2011-2012, 2013-2014, and 
2015-2016--Depletion-Corrected Average Catch (DCAC), Depletion-Based 
Stock Reduction Analysis (DB-SRA), or other SSC-endorsed methodologies 
were used to determine the OFL contributions made by category three 
species (data limited species). In general, OFL contribution estimates 
should not vary from year to year for the category three stocks; the 
OFL contributions for unassessed component stocks that remain in the 
eight stock complexes are the same in 2017-2018 as in 2015-2016 and 
2013-2014.
    The proposed OFLs for each complex can also be found in tables 1a 
and 2a of this proposed rule. In addition to OFL contributions derived 
by DCAC, DB-SRA, or other SSC approved estimates, OFL contributions for 
the following stocks were determined by applying the FMSY 
harvest rate proxy to the estimated exploitable biomass from the most 
recent stock assessment for chilipepper rockfish.
    A summary table below describes the scientific basis for the 
proposed OFLs for stocks with new or updated stock assessments, Minor 
Slope Rockfish complex south of 40[deg]10' N. lat., and big skate. In 
addition, a detailed description of the scientific basis for all of the 
SSC-recommended OFLs proposed in this rule are included in the Stock 
Assessment and Fishery Evaluation (SAFE) document for 2016.

    Table 1--Scientific Basis for Proposed OFLs for Stocks With New or Updated Stock Assessments, Minor Slope
                           Rockfish Complex South of 40[deg]10' N. Lat. and Big Skate
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                Stock                  2017 OFL   2018 OFL                          Basis
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
BOCACCIO S. of 40[deg]10' N. lat....      2,139      2,013  New/Updated Assessment.  Projected using a 50% SPR
                                                                                      from the 2015 full stock
                                                                                      assessment with a 7.4%
                                                                                      reduction to subtract the
                                                                                      portion of the assessed
                                                                                      stock north of 40[deg] 10'
                                                                                      N. lat.
DARKBLOTCHED ROCKFISH...............        671        683  New/Updated Assessment.  Projected using a 50% SPR
                                                                                      from the 2015 full
                                                                                      assessment.
Big skate...........................        541        541  Reclassification from    Trawl survey biomass * M
                                                             EC species.              calculated in 2014 for
                                                                                      2015 and beyond.
Black rockfish (CA).................        349        347  New/Updated Assessment.  Projected using a 50% SPR
                                                                                      from the 2015 full
                                                                                      assessment.
Black rockfish (OR).................        577        570  New/Updated Assessment.  Projected using a 50% SPR
                                                                                      from the 2015 full
                                                                                      assessment.
Black rockfish (WA).................        319        315  New/Updated Assessment.  Projected using a 50% SPR
                                                                                      from the 2015 full
                                                                                      assessment.
Canary rockfish.....................      1,793      1,596  New/Updated Assessment.  Projected using a 50% SPR
                                                                                      from the 2015 full
                                                                                      assessment.
Chilipepper S. of 40[deg]10' N. lat.      2,727      2,623  New/Updated Assessment.  Projected using a 50% SPR
                                                                                      from the 2015 full
                                                                                      assessment. The portion of
                                                                                      the coastwide stock south
                                                                                      of 40[deg] 10' N. lat.
                                                                                      (93%) is based on average
                                                                                      historical landings.
Petrale Sole........................      3,280      3,152  New/Updated Assessment.  Projected using a 30% SPR
                                                                                      from the 2015 full
                                                                                      assessment.
Sablefish (coastwide)...............      8,050      8,329  New/Updated Assessment.  Projected using a 45% SPR
                                                                                      from the 2015 full
                                                                                      assessment.
Widow rockfish......................     14,130     13,237  New/Updated Assessment.  Projected using a 50% SPR
                                                                                      from the 2015 full
                                                                                      assessment.
Minor Shelf Rockfish complex north..      2,303      2,302  No change..............  Sum of OFL contributions of
                                                                                      component stocks in the
                                                                                      complex.
Chilipepper N. of 40[deg]10' N. lat.        205        197  New/Updated Assessment.  Projected using a 50% SPR
                                                                                      from the 2015 full
                                                                                      assessment. The portio of
                                                                                      the coastwide stock north
                                                                                      of 40[deg] 10' N. lat.
                                                                                      (7%) is based on average
                                                                                      historical landings.
Minor Slope Rockfish complex south..        827        829  No change..............  Sum of OFL contributions of
                                                                                      component stocks in the
                                                                                      complex.
Blackgill S. of 40[deg]10' N. lat           143        146  No change..............  Projected using 50% SPR
 \a\.                                                                                 from the 2011 full
                                                                                      assessment Contributes to
                                                                                      the complex OFL in 2017
                                                                                      and 2018.
Other Fish..........................        537        501  No change..............  Sum of OFL contributions of
                                                                                      component stocks in the
                                                                                      complex.
Kelp greenling (OR) \a\.............        239        203  New/Updated Assessment.  Projected using a 45% SPR
                                                                                      from the 2015 full
                                                                                      assessment.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
\a\ Values for this stock contribute to the OFL of the complex and are not specified in regulation.

Pacific Ocean Perch (Sebastes alutus)
    POP was last assessed in 2011. For this cycle, the 2011 rebuilding 
analysis was updated with actual catches for 2011-2014. The POP OFLs of 
964 mt for 2017 and 984 mt for 2018 are based on the FMSY 
harvest rate proxy of F50 as applied to the 
estimated exploitable biomass from the 2011 stock assessment. The OFLs 
for POP were endorsed by the SSC after the June 2016 Council meeting, 
during a public webinar on August 2, 2016.
Big Skate (Raja binoculata)
    Big skate was one of several species that NMFS and the Council 
designated as ecosystem component species beginning in 2015, as 
described in the proposed and final rules for the 2015-2016 biennial 
harvest specifications and management measures (80 FR 687,

[[Page 75271]]

January 6, 2015, and 80 FR 12567, March 10, 2015). As described above 
in ``Amendment 27 to the PCGFMP,'' big skate is proposed to be 
classified as ``in the fishery,'' added to the list of species in the 
PCGFMP, and managed with species-specific harvest specifications. Big 
skate is proposed to have species-specific OFLs in 2017-2018 of 541 mt 
each year, based on an estimate of abundance from the recurring bottom 
trawl survey.
Blackgill Rockfish (Sebastes melanostomus) and Minor Slope Rockfish 
Complex (S. of 40[deg]10' N. Lat.)
    The Minor Slope Rockfish south complex is comprised of: Aurora 
rockfish (Sebastes aurora), bank rockfish (S. rufus), blackgill 
rockfish (S. melanostomus), blackspotted rockfish (S. melanostictus), 
Pacific ocean perch (S. alutus), redbanded rockfish (S. babcocki), 
rougheye rockfish (S. aleutianus), sharpchin rockfish (S. zacentrus), 
shortraker rockfish (S. borealis), sunset rockfish (S. crocotulus) and 
yellowmouth rockfish (S. reedi). No changes are proposed to the species 
composition of the complexes, and there are no proposed changes to the 
calculation of the complex OFL.
    Blackgill rockfish south was assessed in 2011. Blackgill rockfish 
contributes 143 mt in 2017 and 146 mt for 2018 to the Minor Slope 
Rockfish south OFL. The 2017 and 2018 OFL contributions are based on 
the FMSY harvest rate proxy of F50 as 
applied to the estimated exploitable biomass from the 2011 stock 
assessment.

B. Proposed ABCs for 2017 and 2018

    Introduction The ABC is the stock or stock complex's OFL reduced by 
an amount associated with scientific uncertainty. The SSC-recommended P 
star-Sigma approach determines the amount by which the OFL is reduced 
to establish the ABC. Under this approach, the SSC recommends a sigma 
([sigma]) value. The [sigma] value is generally based on the scientific 
uncertainty in the biomass estimates generated from stock assessments. 
After the SSC determines the appropriate [sigma] value, the Council 
chooses a P star (P*) based on its chosen level of risk aversion 
considering the scientific uncertainties. As the P* value is reduced, 
the probability of the ABC being greater than the ``true'' OFL becomes 
lower. In combination, the P* and [sigma] values determine the amount 
by which the OFL will be reduced to establish the SSC-endorsed ABC.
    Since 2011, the SSC has quantified major sources of scientific 
uncertainty in the estimate of OFL and generally recommended a [sigma] 
value of 0.36 for category one stocks, a [sigma] value of 0.72 for 
category two stocks, and a [sigma] value of 1.44 for category three 
stocks. For category two and three stocks, there is typically greater 
scientific uncertainty in the estimate of OFL because the stock 
assessments have less data to inform them. Therefore, the scientific 
uncertainty buffer is generally greater than that recommended for 
stocks with quantitative stock assessments. Assuming the same P* is 
applied, a larger [sigma] value results in a larger reduction from the 
OFL. For 2017-2018, the Council continued the general policy of using 
the SSC-recommended [sigma] values for each species category. However, 
an exception to the general [sigma] values assigned to each category 
was made by the SSC for kelp greenling (off Oregon) and aurora rockfish 
as described below.
    Two stocks in 2017-2018 have unique sigma values calculated because 
the proxy sigma values are not deemed the best available by the SSC. 
Kelp greenling was assessed in 2015. A unique sigma of 0.44 was 
calculated for kelp greenling (off Oregon) because the variance in 
estimated spawning biomass was greater than the 0.36 sigma used as a 
proxy for other category 1 stocks. For the same reason, a unique sigma 
value for aurora rockfish of 0.39 has been used to calculate the ABC 
since 2015 and will continue to be used in 2017-2018.
    The PCGFMP specifies that the upper limit of P* will be 0.45. A P* 
of 0.5 equates to no additional reduction for scientific uncertainty 
beyond the sigma value reduction. A lower P* is more risk averse than a 
higher value, meaning that the probability of the ABC being greater 
than the ``true'' OFL is lower. For 2017-2018, the Council largely 
maintained the P* policies it established for the 2011-2012, 2013-2014, 
and 2015-2016 bienniums. The Council recommended using P* values of 
0.45 for all individually managed category one species, except 
sablefish, as was done in 2015-2016. Combining the category one [sigma] 
value of 0.36 with the P* value of 0.45 results in a reduction of 4.4 
percent from the OFL when deriving the ABC. For category two and three 
stocks, the Council's general policy was to use a P* of 0.4, with a few 
exceptions. The Council recommended a P* of 0.45 for all of the stocks 
managed in the Minor Rockfish complexes and the Other Fish complex, as 
was done in 2015-2016. When combined with the [sigma] values of 0.72 
and 1.44 for category two and three stocks, a P* value of 0.40 
corresponds to 16.7 percent and 30.6 percent reductions, respectively. 
The Council recommended using P* values of 0.40 for all individually 
managed category two and three species, except those described below. 
The Council recommended a P* of 0.45 for big skate, California 
scorpionfish south of 40[deg]10' N. lat., cowcod, English sole, and 
yellowtail rockfish south of 40[deg]10' N. lat., as was done in 2015-
2016 because there was no new scientific information indicating a 
change in P* value was warranted. The Council also maintained the P* of 
0.45 for the Minor Rockfish complexes and the Other Fish complex, that 
been used since 2011. For 2017-2018 the Council recommended a P* of 
0.45 for big skate and black rockfish off Oregon. The P* 
recommendations for 2017-2018 that deviated from the Council's general 
policies are described here and are shown in the table below.
    Additional information about the [sigma] values used for different 
species categories as well as the P*- [sigma] approach can be found in 
the proposed and final rules from the 2011-2012 biennium (75 FR 67810, 
November 3, 2010; 76 FR 27508, May 11, 2011) and the 2013-2014 biennium 
(77 FR 67974, November 14, 2012; 78 FR 580, January 3, 2013). Those 
rules also include a discussion of the P* values used in combination 
with the [sigma] values. Tables 1a and 2a of this proposed rule present 
the harvest specifications for each stock and stock complex, including 
the proposed ABCs, while the footnotes to these tables describe how the 
proposed specifications were derived. Below is a summary table showing 
stocks for which the P*- [sigma] approach deviated from the policies 
that the SSC and Council generally apply, as explained above.

                     Table 2--Description of the P*- [sigma] Policies and ABCs for 2017-2018
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
            Stock                 Category           Sigma              P*           2017 ABC        2018 ABC
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
COWCOD S. of 40[deg]10' N.     2&3...........  Based on stock    P* of 0.45 was               63              64
 lat.                                           assessment        maintained.
                                                category \a\.

[[Page 75272]]

 
Big skate....................  2.............  Based on stock    P* of 0.45 was              494             494
                                                assessment        maintained, as
                                                category \a\.     it had when it
                                                                  was managed in
                                                                  the Other Fish
                                                                  complex.
Black Rockfish (OR)..........  2.............  Based on stock    The 2016 P* of              527             520
                                                assessment        0.45 was
                                                category \a\.     maintained.
                                                                  The stock
                                                                  assessment
                                                                  moved from a
                                                                  category 1 to
                                                                  a category 2.
California scorpionfish S. of  2.............  Based on stock    The 2016 P* of              264             254
 40[deg]10' N.                                  assessment        0.45 was
                                                category \a\.     maintained;
                                                                  the stock
                                                                  assessment
                                                                  category was
                                                                  downgraded
                                                                  because of the
                                                                  age of the
                                                                  assessment.
English Sole.................  2.............  Based on stock    P* of 0.45 was            9,964           7,537
                                                assessment        chosen because
                                                category \a\.     the stock is
                                                                  healthy and
                                                                  underutilized.
Sablefish (coastwide)........  1.............  Based on stock    More                      7,350           7,604
                                                assessment        precautionary
                                                category \a\.     P* of 0.40 was
                                                                  chosen because
                                                                  the stock is
                                                                  in the
                                                                  precautionary
                                                                  zone, highly
                                                                  utilized, and
                                                                  of large
                                                                  economic
                                                                  importance.
Yellowtail rockfish N. of      2.............  Based on stock    P* of 0.45 was            6,196           6,002
 40[deg]10' N. lat.                             assessment        chosen because
                                                category \a\.     the stock is
                                                                  healthy and
                                                                  underutilized.
Minor Nearshore Rockfish       Mix...........  Based on stock    P* of 0.45 was              105             105
 North.                                         assessment        maintained
                                                category \a\.
Minor Shelf Rockfish North...  Mix...........  Based on stock                              2,049           2,048
                                                assessment
                                                category \a\.
Minor Slope Rockfish North...  Mix...........  Based on stock                              1,755           1,754
                                                assessment
                                                category \a\
                                                except for
                                                aurora rockfish.
    Aurora rockfish b........  1.............  Unique sigma =                                 17              17
                                                0.39.
Minor Nearshore Rockfish       Mix...........  Based on stock                              1,166           1,180
 South.                                         assessment
                                                category \a\.
Minor Shelf Rockfish South...  Mix...........  Based on stock    P* of 0.45 was            1,624           1,625
                                                assessment        maintained.
                                                category \a\.
Minor Slope Rockfish South...  Mix...........  Based on stock                                718             719
                                                assessment
                                                category \a\
                                                except for
                                                aurora rockfish.
    Aurora rockfish b........  1.............  Unique sigma =                                 71              71
                                                0.39.
Other Fish...................  Mix...........  Based on stock    P* of 0.45 was              474             441
                                                assessment        maintained.
                                                category \a\
                                                except for kelp
                                                greenling off
                                                Oregon.
    Kelp greenling (OR) b....  1.............  Unique sigma =    0.45...........             226             192
                                                0.44.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
\a\ Unless otherwise specified, category 1 stocks have a sigma value of 0.36; category 2 stocks have a sigma of
  0.72; category 3 stocks have a sigma of 1.44.
\b\ Values for this stock contribute to the ABC of the complex and are not specified in regulation.

C. Proposed ACLs for 2017 and 2018

Introduction
    ACLs are specified for each stock and stock complex that is ``in 
the fishery.'' An ACL is a harvest specification set equal to or below 
the ABC to address conservation objectives, socioeconomic concerns, 
management uncertainty, or other factors necessary to meet management 
objectives. Under PCGFMP Amendment 24, the Council set up default 
harvest control rules, which established default policies that would be 
applied to the best available scientific information to set ACLs each 
biennial cycle, unless the Council has reasons to diverge from that 
harvest control rule. A complete description of the default harvest 
control rules for setting ACLs is described in the proposed and final 
rule for the 2015-2016 harvest specifications and management measures 
and PCGFMP Amendment 24 (80 FR 687, January 6, 2015; 80 FR 12567, March 
10, 2015). That discussion includes a description of the harvest 
policies applied to stocks based on their depletion level (i.e., 
healthy, precautionary, overfished) and other factors. Under the 
PCGFMP, the Council may recommend setting the ACL at a different level 
than what the default harvest control rules specify as long as the ACL 
does not exceed the ABC and complies with the requirements of the MSA. 
For many of the species or stock complexes ``in the fishery,'' the 
Council chose to maintain the default harvest control rules from the 
previous biennial cycle. A summary table of the proposed ACL policies 
for 2017-2018 is presented below. The following sections discuss 
proposed ACLs where the Council's recommended ACLs were established 
based on something other than the default harvest control rule.
    Many groundfish stocks are managed with species-specific harvest 
specifications. Often these species have been assessed and their stock 
status is known, or individual management of the stock is recommended 
to address conservation objectives, socioeconomic concerns, management 
uncertainty, or other factors necessary to meet management objectives. 
The default harvest control rule for stocks above MSY is to set the ACL 
equal to the ABC.

[[Page 75273]]

The default harvest control rule for stocks below MSY but above the 
overfished threshold is to take a precautionary reduction to set the 
ACL below the ABC (also called 40-10 or 25-5 reductions), as described 
in the proposed and final rules for the 2015-2016 biennium (80 FR 687, 
January 6, 2015; 80 FR 12567, March 10, 2015).
    Stocks may be grouped into complexes for various reasons, 
including: When stocks in a multispecies fishery cannot be targeted 
independent of one another and MSY cannot be defined on a stock-by-
stock basis, when there is insufficient data to measure the stocks' 
status, or when it is not feasible for fishermen to distinguish 
individual stocks among their catch. Most groundfish species managed in 
a stock complex are data-poor stocks without full stock assessments. 
All of the ACLs for stock complexes are less than or equal to the 
summed ABC contributions of each component stock in each complex as 
described in the following paragraphs. Generally, default harvest 
control rules are based on stock status. According to the framework in 
the PCGFMP, when the species composition of a stock complex is revised, 
the default harvest control rule will still be based on status of the 
stocks that remain in the complex.
    When a stock has been declared overfished, a rebuilding plan must 
be developed and the stock must be managed in accordance with the 
rebuilding plan (i.e., the default harvest control rule for overfished 
species is to set the ACL based on the rebuilding plan). The following 
overfished groundfish stocks would be managed under rebuilding plans in 
2017 and beyond: bocaccio south of 40[deg]10' N. lat.; cowcod south of 
40[deg]10' N. lat.; darkblotched rockfish; POP; and yelloweye rockfish. 
Changes to rebuilding plans for darkblotched rockfish and POP are 
proposed, as described below. The remaining overfished species have 
proposed ACLs based on their current rebuilding plans, described at 
Sec.  660.40 and in Appendix F of the PCGFMP. The proposed rules for 
the 2011-2012 (75 FR 67810, November 3, 2010) and 2013-2014 (77 FR 
67974, November 14, 2012) harvest specifications, and management 
measures contain extensive discussions on the management approach used 
for overfished species, which are not repeated here. Further, the SAFE 
document posted on the Council's Web site at http://www.pcouncil.org/groundfish/safe-documents/ contains a detailed description of each 
overfished species, its status and management, as well as how 
rebuilding analyses are conducted. Finally, Appendix F to the PCGFMP 
contains the most recent rebuilding plan parameters as well as a 
history of each overfished species and can be found at http://www.pcouncil.org/groundfish/fisherymanagement-plan/.
    New for the 2017-2018 biennium, the Council proposed the creation 
of an emergency buffer. The buffer is specific amounts of yield that 
are deducted from the ACLs for canary rockfish, darkblotched rockfish, 
and POP, to account for unforeseen catch events. The buffer approach is 
described below in ``Deductions from the ACLs.'' This new management 
measure would set the fishery harvest guideline, the catch amount from 
which the allocations are based, on the amount after the buffer is 
subtracted from the ACL. The result is an amount of yield for these 
three species that is unallocated at the start of the year, but is held 
in reserve as a buffer, and can be distributed to fisheries in need 
after an unforeseen catch event occurs inseason.
Darkblotched Rockfish (S. crameri)
    Darkblotched rockfish was declared overfished in 2000. From 2011 
through 2016 the darkblotched rockfish rebuilding plan has been based 
on an annual SPR harvest rate of 64.9 percent with a target year to 
rebuild the stock to BMSY of 2025. Additional discussion 
regarding the establishment of this rebuilding plan can be found in the 
proposed and final rules for the 2011-2012 biennial period (75 FR 
67810, November 3, 2010; 76 FR 27508, May 11, 2011) and is not repeated 
here. The 2013 assessment indicated that darkblotched rockfish was at 
36 percent of its unfished biomass, and was projected to be rebuilt in 
2015. The Council did not change the rebuilding plan at that time, and 
prioritized a new darkblotched rockfish assessment for 2015. The 2015 
assessment indicated that darkblotched rockfish is at 39 percent of 
unfished biomass, and is projected to be rebuilt during 2015. Under any 
harvest level less than or equal to the OFL in 2015 and beyond, and 
under all of the harvest alternatives considered by the Council for 
2017 and beyond, the stock is projected to be rebuilt by the start of 
2016 and not fall below B40%in the next 10 years. All of the 
alternatives result in a TTARGET that is 10 years earlier 
than the current rebuilding plan.
    The Council considered two alternative harvest control rules. The 
first was 406 mt and 409 mt in 2017-2018, which are the ACLs that 
result from applying the default harvest control rule of an SPR harvest 
rate of 64.9 percent. This is the same harvest control rule that was 
applied in 2016. The default harvest control rule results in an ACL 
higher than the 2016 ACL of 356 mt due to the more optimistic stock 
assessment results. Because the Pacific whiting fisheries have been 
constrained by the catch of darkblotched rockfish in recent years, the 
Pacific whiting sectors are expected to be constrained under this 
alternative. The at-sea Pacific whiting fleets have been managed with 
an allocation for darkblotched rockfish for several years, such that 
attainment of that allocation results in automatic closure of the 
fishery, and have taken extensive measures to keep incidental catch 
rates low. The shorebased Pacific whiting fleets have been managed with 
individual fishing quota (IFQ) for darkblotched rockfish for several 
years, and have also made efforts to keep incidental catch low. Despite 
this, unexpected darkblotched rockfish catch events, where several tons 
of darkblotched rockfish have been incidentally taken in single hauls, 
have continued to occur in the Pacific whiting fishery. As the 
darkblotched rockfish stock rebuilds, avoiding such events is 
increasingly more difficult. With 406-409 mt ACLs there is a higher 
likelihood that such an event would result in the closure of one or 
more of the at-sea fishery coops or a shorebased vessel reaching its 
vessel limit and be forced to cease fishing in the IFQ fishery.
    The second ACL alternative was 641 mt and 653 mt in 2017 and 2018, 
respectively, and results from applying the default harvest control 
rule for healthy stocks (setting the ACL equal to the ABC) for 
calculating the 2017-2018 ACLs for darkblotched rockfish because the 
stock is anticipated to be rebuilt by 2016. This harvest control rule 
results in higher ACLs of 641 mt and 653 mt in 2017 and 2018, 
respectively. The higher ACL alternative may provide additional 
opportunities for some sectors of the fishery. It is less likely that 
Pacific whiting sectors would be closed before harvesting their Pacific 
whiting allocations under this alternative. Setting the ACL equal to 
the ABC, darkblotched rockfish is still projected to remain healthy 
(depletion above 40 percent) over the next ten years. The Council 
recommended applying the default harvest control rule for healthy 
stocks for calculating the 2017-2018 ACLs for darkblotched rockfish: 
setting the ACL equal to the ABC. Under this harvest control rule, 
setting the ACL equal to the ABC, darkblotched rockfish is projected to 
remain healthy (depletion above 40 percent) over the

[[Page 75274]]

next ten years. As described above in the ``Introduction'' to this 
section, the Council also proposed to set an amount of darkblotched 
yield aside from the ACL as a buffer that will be available for 
distribution through routine inseason action, see ``Deductions from the 
ACLs'' below for details on the buffer approach.
    Though the 2015 assessment indicates that the stock will be rebuilt 
by the start of 2016 regardless of the harvest control rule chosen for 
2017-2018 and beyond, the Council chose not to modify the 
TTARGET of 2025 because of uncertainty in the assessment. 
There is uncertainty in the assessment because of the model's 
sensitivity to catch trends in the NMFS trawl survey, assumptions of 
steepness, and assumption of natural mortality. Sensitivity in the 
model means that projections in stock status can vary widely if the 
assumed steepness or natural mortality are revised. However, the SSC 
has endorsed the 2015 darkblotched rockfish assessment as the best 
available science and has recommended that the next darkblotched 
assessment be an update assessment, where model parameters like 
steepness and natural mortality are held constant from the full 
assessment. In the past, the SSC has also recommended against changing 
the TTARGET as stocks rebuild, because it can result in 
repeated changes to rebuilding plans that are driven primarily by model 
sensitivity and not by true changes in stock status. Therefore, the 
Council chose not to change the TTARGET in the rebuilding 
plan.
    This harvest control rule meets the requirements to rebuild as 
quickly as possible, taking into account the needs of fishing 
communities and other relevant factors, as the stock is estimated to 
already be rebuilt. This is 10 years ahead of the TTARGET in 
the current rebuilding plan of 2025. The change in the harvest control 
rule is also anticipated to better meet the needs of fishing 
communities because a higher ACL and resulting trawl allocation (this 
species is predominately caught in trawl fisheries) could help mitigate 
negative impacts to communities if encounters with darkblotched 
rockfish continue to increase as the stock rebuilds. A higher 
darkblotched rockfish ACL may increase access to other co-occurring 
target stocks, increasing landings of groundfish, which would benefit 
coastal communities.
Pacific Ocean Perch (S. alutus)
    POP was declared overfished in 1999. Since 2007, the Council has 
recommended ACLs for POP based on an SPR harvest rate of 86.4 percent. 
The rebuilding analysis for POP was last updated in the 2013-2014 
biennial process based on the 2011 stock assessment and rebuilding 
analysis. The detailed description and rationale for the current 
rebuilding plan parameters, an SPR harvest rate of 86.4 percent and a 
TTARGET of 2051, is described in the 2013-2014 Harvest 
Specifications and Management Measures proposed rule (77 FR 67974, 
November 14, 2016). The SPR harvest rate of 86.4 percent and a 
TTARGET of 2051 is the default harvest control rule for POP.
    The 2011 rebuilding analysis projected ACLs for 2017-2018 under the 
default harvest control rule. However, that rebuilding analysis assumed 
that mortality of POP from 2011 and beyond would be equal to the ACL 
each year. Harvest of POP has been well below the ACL in recent years. 
Therefore, the 2011 rebuilding analysis for POP was updated using 2011-
2014 actual catches, resulting in updated projected ACLs for 2017-2018. 
The updated ACLs for 2017-2018 were slightly higher than the 2017-2018 
ACLs in the original 2011 rebuilding plan because actual removals were 
lower than those assumed in the original 2011 rebuilding analysis.
    The 2017-2018 ACLs, after applying the default harvest control rule 
(i.e., based on the SPR harvest rate of 86.4 percent, with a 
TTARGET of 2051), are 171 mt and 176 mt in 2017 and 2018, 
respectively. The updated 2011 rebuilding plan showed a small increase 
in the projected ACLs for 2017-2018 from those predicted in the 
original 2011 rebuilding plan (169 mt and 173 mt for 2017 and 2018, 
respectively). In addition to the ACLs described above, the Council 
considered two ACL alternatives for 2017-2018 that would temporarily 
modify the rebuilding plan, set higher ACLs in 2017, or both 2017 and 
2018, and return to lower ACLs based on the SPR harvest rate of 86.4 
percent, with a TTARGET of 2051 in 2019 and beyond. The 
alternative ACLs considered by the Council included: (1) 388 mt in 2017 
and an ACL based on the default harvest control rule in 2018 (175 mt) 
and beyond; and (2) 281 mt constant catch amounts in 2017 and 2018 and 
an ACL based on the default harvest control rule in 2019 and beyond. 
All of the alternatives correspond to a median time to rebuild of 2051. 
The alternatives that modify the harvest control rule result in a less 
than one percent decrease in the probability of rebuilding by 
TTARGET.
    The Council considered this range of POP ACL alternatives to 
examine the effects of varying POP mortality on the ``needs of fishing 
communities'' and the POP rebuilding trajectory. All of the 
alternatives would maintain the SPR harvest rate as the default harvest 
control rule in 2019 and beyond, and consider varying the level of 
harvest in 2017 and 2018 under different harvest control rules. 
Generally, larger POP ACL alternatives would allow targeting 
opportunities on midwater non-whiting trawl fisheries and harvest of 
available Pacific whiting. POP is a slow growing rockfish species that 
is primarily taken in the trawl fisheries. Generally, lower POP ACL 
alternatives would reduce flexibility of trawl vessels to fish deeper 
when targeting Pacific whiting and non-whiting species on slope fishing 
grounds north of 40[deg]10' N. lat. POP has been one of the limiting 
factors for harvest opportunities of Pacific whiting in recent years. 
At the June 2016 meeting, the Council considered updated fishery 
information regarding harvest of POP in at-sea Pacific whiting 
fisheries and requests from industry for higher amounts of POP to be 
made available to their sectors to allow continued harvest of available 
Pacific whiting. Low rebuilding ACLs, rigidity in the allocation 
scheme, and unpredictable and sudden large incidents of POP bycatch in 
the Pacific whiting fisheries have resulted in POP limiting access to 
Pacific whiting, whose harvest benefits coastal communities.
    The Council recommended a temporary revision to the rebuilding 
strategy for POP, with a constant catch ACL of 281 mt in 2017 and 2018, 
returning to an SPR harvest rate of 86.4 percent in 2019 and beyond. 
This is an increase of 105-110 mt from the ACLs under the default 
harvest control rule. The TTARGET is maintained at 2051, 
which is the median time to rebuild and is eight years longer than 
TF=0. As described above in the ``Introduction'' to this 
section, the Council also proposed to set an amount of POP yield aside 
from the ACL as a buffer that will be available for distribution 
through routine inseason action, see ``Deductions from the ACLs'' below 
for details on the buffer approach. Total catch mortality of POP is 
projected to be considerably less than the Council-recommended 281 mt 
constant catch ACLs in 2017 and 2018. The constant catch ACLs of 281 
mt, combined with the deduction from the ACL further described below in 
``Deductions from the ACLs,'' will keep harvest to a level that is less 
than the annual ACL and continue to maintain the stocks rebuilding 
trajectory, while reducing the likelihood of inseason restrictions to 
fisheries that catch POP and while targeting co-occurring healthy 
stocks.

[[Page 75275]]

The Council's new harvest control rule for POP will reduce the risk of 
earlier-than-anticipated closures of such fisheries due to unforeseen 
catch events. Those early closures would inhibit harvest of available 
Pacific whiting, whose revenue is important to coastal communities.
Big Skate
    As described in the sections above regarding OFLs and ABCs, big 
skate is proposed to be considered ``in the fishery,'' and no longer 
considered an ecosystem component species. The stock will be managed 
with species-specific harvest specifications. The ACL is based on the 
default harvest control rule for healthy stocks.
Blackgill Rockfish ACL/HG and Future Changes to Allocations
    Blackgill rockfish south is in the Minor Slope Rockfish South 
complex and contributes to the harvest specifications of that complex 
in 2017 and 2018. Blackgill rockfish will have a harvest guideline each 
year that is equal to its ACL contribution to the complex. No changes 
to the species composition of Minor Slope Rockfish South allocations 
are proposed at this time. The Council took final action on Amendment 
26 to the PCGFMP which would make changes to management of blackgill 
rockfish. However, this amendment has not been implemented at this time 
and therefore this rule continues to manage blackgill as part of the 
Minor Slope South complex. If a future action considers changes to the 
species composition of the Minor Slope Rockfish South complex and 
allocations for blackgill rockfish, those changes would be implemented 
in that rule and are not discussed further here.

                                        Table 3--Summary of ACL Policies
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                         2016              2017     2018                 2017-2018
                              ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
            Stock                ACL                       ACL      ACL                       Summary of policy
                                 (mt)        Policy        (mt)     (mt)        Policy             change
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
BOCACCIO S. of 40[deg]10' N.       362  SPR = 77.7%....      790      741  SPR = 77.7%....  New 2015 assessment.
 lat.                                                                                        No change in
                                                                                             policy.
COWCOD S. of 40[deg]10' N.          10  SPR = 82.7% (F        10       10  SPR = 82.7% (F   No change.
 lat.                                    = 0.007); ACT                      = 0.007); ACT
                                         = 4 mt.                            = 4 mt.
DARKBLOTCHED ROCKFISH........      346  SPR = 64.9%....      641      653  ACL = ABC (P* =  New 2015 assessment.
                                                                            0.45).           Stock is projected
                                                                                             to be rebuilt by
                                                                                             2015 under any
                                                                                             harvest level,
                                                                                             therefore the
                                                                                             default harvest
                                                                                             control rule of ACL
                                                                                             = ABC, with a P* =
                                                                                             0.45 was applied
                                                                                             because it is
                                                                                             projected to be a
                                                                                             healthy, category 1
                                                                                             stock.
PACIFIC OCEAN PERCH..........      164  SPR = 86.4%....      281      281  Constant catch   Two-year ACL
                                                                            stretegy for     increase to meet
                                                                            2017-2018; SPR   the needs of
                                                                            = 86.4% for      communities, while
                                                                            2019 and         still rebuilding as
                                                                            beyond.          quickly as
                                                                                             possible, by the
                                                                                             Target specified in
                                                                                             the current
                                                                                             rebuilding plan.
YELLOWEYE ROCKFISH...........       19  SPR = 76.0%....       20       20  SPR = 76.0%....  No charge.
Arrowtouch flounder..........    5,328  ACL = ABC (P* =   13,804   13,743  ACL = ABC (P* =  No charge.
                                         0.40).                             0.40).
                              --------------------------
Big skate....................     Ecosystem component        494      494  ACL = ABC (P* =  Species added to the
                                  species; no harbest                       0.45).           FMP. Applied
                                    specifications                                           default harvest
                                                                                             control rule of ACL
                                                                                             = ABC, with a P* =
                                                                                             0.45 because it is
                                                                                             a healthy stock.
                              --------------------------
Black rockfish (CA)..........  .......  ...............      334      332  ACL = ABC (P* =  New 2015 assessment.
                                                                            0.45).           Applied default
                                                                                             harvest control
                                                                                             rule of ACL = ABC,
                                                                                             with a P* = 0.45
                                                                                             because this is a
                                                                                             healthy, category 1
                                                                                             stock.
Black rockfish (OR)..........    1,000  Constant catch       527      520  ACL = ABC (P* =  New 2015 assessment.
                                         strategy.                          0.45).           Applied default
                                                                                             harvest control
                                                                                             rule of ACL = ABC,
                                                                                             with a P* = 0.45
                                                                                             because this is a
                                                                                             healthy, category 1
                                                                                             stock.
Black rockfish (WA)..........      404  ACL = ABC (P* =      305      301  ACL = ABC (P* =  New 2015 assessment.
                                         0.45).                             0.45).           No change in
                                                                                             policy.
Cabezon (CA).................      151  ACL = ABC (P* =      150      149  40-10 rule       No change.
                                         0.45).                             applied (P* =
                                                                            0.45).
Cabezon (OR).................       47  ACL = ABC (P* =       47       47  ACL = ABC (P* =  No change.
                                         0.45).                             0.45).
California scorpionfish S. of      111  ACL = ABC (P* =      150      150  ACL = ABC (P* =  No change.
 40[deg]10' N. lat.                      0.45).                             0.45).
Canary rockfish..............      125  SPR = 88.7%....    1,714    1,526  ACL = ABC (P* =  New 2015 assessment.
                                                                            0.45).           Applied default
                                                                                             harvest control
                                                                                             rule of ACL = ABC,
                                                                                             with a P* = 0.45
                                                                                             because this is a
                                                                                             healthy, category 1
                                                                                             stock.
Chilipepper S. of 40[deg]10'     1,619  ACL = ABC (P* =    2,607    2,507  ACL = ABC (P* =  New 2015 assessment.
 N. lat.                                 0.45).                             0.45).           No change.
Dover sole...................   50,000  Constant catch    50,000   50,000  Constant catch   No change.
                                         strategy.                          strategy.
English sole.................    7,204  ACL = ABC (P* =    9,964    7,537  ACL = ABC (P* =  No change.
                                         0.45).                             0.45).
Lingcod N. of 40[deg]10' N.      2,719  ACL = ABC (P* =    3,333    3,110  ACL = ABC (P* =  No change.
 lat.                                    0.45).                             0.45).
Lingcod S. of 40[deg]10' N.        946  ACL = ABC (P* =    1,251    1,144  ACL = ABC (P* =  No change.
 lat.                                    0.4).                              0.4).
Longnose skate...............    2,000  Constant catch     2,000    2,000  Constant catch   No change.
                                         strategy.                          strategy.
Longspine thornyhead N. of       3,015  ACL = 76% of       2,894    2,747  ACL = 76% of     No change.
 34[deg]27' N. lat.                      coastwide ABC                      coastwide ABC
                                         (P* = 0.40).                       (P* = 0.40).
Pacific Cod..................    1,600  ACL = 50% of       1,600    1,600  ACL = 50% of     No change.
                                         OFL.                               OFL.
Petrale Sole.................    2,910  25-5 rule          3,136    3,013  ACL = ABC (P* =  New 2015 assessment.
                                         applied to the                     0.45).           Applied default
                                         ABC (P* =                                           harvest control
                                         0.45).                                              rule of ACL = ABC,
                                                                                             with a P* = 0.45
                                                                                             because this is a
                                                                                             healthy, category 1
                                                                                             stock.
Sablefish N. of 36[deg] N.       5,241  40-10 rule         6,041    6,299  40-10 rule       New 2015 assessment
 lat.                                    applied to                         applied to       and updated north/
                                         73.6% of                           84.9% of         south
                                         coastwide ABC                      coastwide ABC    apportionment. No
                                         (P* = 0.40).                       (P* = 0.40).     change.
Sablefish S. of 36[deg] N.       1,880  40-10 rule         1,075    1,120  40-10 rule       New 2015 assessment
 lat.                                    applied to                         applied to       and updated north/
                                         26.4% of                           15.1% of         south
                                         coastwide ABC                      coastwide ABC    apportionment. No
                                         (P* = 0.40).                       (P* = 0.40).     change.
Shortbelly rockfish..........      500  Constant catch       500      500  Constant catch   No change.
                                         strategy.                          strategy.
Shortspine thornyhead N. of      1,726  ACL = 65.4% of     1,713    1,698  ACL = 65.4% of   No change.
 34[deg]27' N. lat.                      coastwide ABC                      coastwide ABC
                                         (P* = 0.40).                       (P* = 0.40).

[[Page 75276]]

 
Shortspine thornyhead S. of        913  ACL = 34.6% of       906      898  ACL = 34.6% of   No change.
 34[deg]27' N. lat.                      coastwide ABC                      coastwide ABC
                                         (P* = 0.40).                       (P* = 0.40).
Spiny dogfish................    2,085  ACL = ABC (P* =    2,094    2,083  ACL = ABC (P* =  No change.
                                         0.40).                             0.40).
Splitnose rockfish S. of         1,746  ACL = ABC (P* =    1,760    1,761  ACL = ABC (P* =  No change.
 40[deg]10' N. lat.                      0.45).                             0.45).
Starry flounder..............    1,539  ACL = ABC (P* =    1,282    1,282  ACL = ABC (P* =  No change.
                                         0.40).                             0.40).
Widow rockfish...............    2,000  Constant catch    13,508   12,655  ACL = ABC (P* =  New 2015 assessment.
                                         strategy.                          0.45).           Applied default
                                                                                             harvest control
                                                                                             rule of ACL = ABC,
                                                                                             with a P* = 0.45
                                                                                             because this is a
                                                                                             healthy, category 1
                                                                                             stock.
Yellowtail N. of 40[deg]10'      6,344  ACL = ABC (P* =    6,196    6,002  ACL = ABC (P* =  No change.
 N. lat.                                 0.45).                             0.45).
Minor Nearshore Rockfish            69  ACL = ABC (P* =      105      105  ACL = ABC (P* =  New 2015 China RF
 north.                                  0.45); 40-10                       0.45); 40-10     assessment. No
                                         adj. ACL                           adj. ACL         change.
                                         contrib. for                       contrib. for
                                         blue RF in CA                      blue RF in CA.
                                         and China RF.
Minor Shelf Rockfish north...    1,952  ACL = ABC (P* =    2,049    2,047  ACL = ABC (P* =  New 2015 chilipepper
                                         0.45); 40-10                       0.45); 40-10     assessment. No
                                         adj. ACL                           adj. ACL         change.
                                         contrib. for                       contrib. for
                                         greenspotted                       greenspotted
                                         RF in CA.                          RF in CA.
Minor Slope Rockfish north...    1,706  ACL = ABC (P* =    1,755    1,754  ACL = ABC (P* =  No change.
                                         0.45).                             0.45).
Minor Nearshore Rockfish         1,006  ACL = ABC (P* =    1,163    1,179  ACL = ABC (P* =  New 2015 China RF
 south.                                  0.45); 40-10                       0.45); 40-10     assessment. No
                                         adj. ACL                           adj. ACL         change.
                                         contrib. for                       contrib. for
                                         blue RF N of                       blue RF N of
                                         34[deg]27' N.                      34[deg]27' N.
                                         lat..                              lat. and China
                                                                            RF.
Minor Shelf Rockfish south...    1,625  ACL = ABC (P* =    1,623    1,624  ACL = ABC (P* =  New 2015 chilipepper
                                         0.45); 40-10                       0.45); 40-10     assessment. No
                                         adj. ACL                           adj. ACL         change.
                                         contrib. for                       contrib. for
                                         greenspotted                       greenspotted
                                         RF in CA.                          RF in CA.
Minor Slope Rockfish south...      695  ACL = ABC (P* =      707      709  ACL = ABC (P* =  No change.
                                         0.45); 40-10                       0.45); 40-10
                                         adj. ACL                           adj. ACL
                                         contrib. for                       contrib. for
                                         blackgill RF.                      blackgill RF.
Other Flatfish...............    7,243  ACL = ABC (P* =    8,510    7,281  ACL = ABC (P* =  No change.
                                         0.4).                              0.4).
Other Fish...................      243  ACLs = ABCs          474      441  ACLs = ABCs (P*  New 2015 kelp
                                         (ABC                               = 0.45).         greenling (off
                                         contribution                                        Oregon) assessment.
                                         from only                                           All species in the
                                         selected                                            complex contribute
                                         stocks in the                                       to the harvest
                                         complex; for                                        specifications.
                                         all those
                                         species P* =
                                         0.45).
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

IV. Management Measures

    New management measures being proposed for the 2017-2018 biennial 
cycle would work in combination with current management measures to 
control fishing. This management structure should ensure that the catch 
of overfished groundfish species does not exceed the rebuilding ACLs 
while allowing harvest of healthier groundfish stocks to occur to the 
extent possible. Routine management measures are used to modify fishing 
behavior during the fishing year. Routine management measures for the 
commercial fisheries include trip and cumulative landing limits, time/
area closures, size limits, and gear restrictions. Routine management 
measures for the recreational fisheries include bag limits, size 
limits, gear restrictions, fish dressing requirements, and time/area 
closures. The groundfish fishery is managed with a variety of other 
regulatory requirements that are not routinely adjusted, many of which 
are not changed through this rulemaking, and are found at 50 CFR part 
660, subparts C through G. The regulations at 50 CFR part 660, subparts 
C through G, include, but are not limited to, long-term harvest 
allocations, recordkeeping and reporting requirements, monitoring 
requirements, license limitation programs, and essential fish habitat 
(EFH) protection measures. The routine management measures, specified 
at 50 CFR 660.60(c), in combination with the entire collection of 
groundfish regulations, are used to manage the Pacific Coast groundfish 
fishery during the biennium to achieve harvest guidelines, quotas, or 
allocations, that result from the harvest specifications identified in 
this proposed rule, while protecting overfished and depleted stocks.
    In addition to changes to routine management measures, this section 
describes biennial fishery allocations and set-asides, and new 
management measures proposed for 2017-2018 including: creation of a new 
off-the-top deduction for canary rockfish, POP, and darkblotched 
rockfish to address unforeseen catch events (the buffer), 
classification of big skate in the PCGFMP, flatfish retention during 
seasonal depth closures in Oregon, a new inseason process for 
California recreational and commercial fisheries, and petrale sole and 
starry flounder retention in the California recreational fishery.
    The management measures being proposed reflect the Council's 
recommendations from its June 2016 meeting, as transmitted to NMFS. At 
its June 2016 meeting, the Council recommended the creation a buffer 
for canary rockfish, POP, and darkblotched rockfish, that would be 
included in the final rule for this action; therefore NMFS is 
specifically seeking public comment on that item.
    This rule also proposes changes to recreational regulations in 
Washington and Oregon to allow flatfish retention during days open to 
Pacific halibut fishing. This would make groundfish regulations 
consistent with past modifications to the Council's Pacific Halibut 
Catch Sharing Plan.

[[Page 75277]]

A. Deductions From the ACLs

    Before allocations are made to groundfish fisheries, deductions are 
made from ACLs to set aside fish for certain types of activities, also 
called ``off-the-top deductions.'' The deductions from the ACL have 
been associated with four distinct sources of groundfish mortality. The 
sources of groundfish mortality accounted for are: harvest in Pacific 
Coast treaty Indian tribal fisheries; harvest in scientific research 
activities; harvest in non-groundfish fisheries; and harvest that 
occurs under exempted fishing permits (EFPs). For 2017-2018, a new 
category of deductions from the ACL is proposed to account for 
unforeseen catch events for three species (canary rockfish, POP, and 
darkblotched rockfish), also called the buffer. All the deductions from 
the ACL, including the proposed amount for unforeseen catch events, are 
described at Sec.  660.55(b) and specified in the footnotes to Tables 
1a and 2a to subpart C. Under current regulations, modifications to 
these amounts is permitted through routine inseason action. In order to 
keep the public informed about these changes, any movement of fish from 
the deductions from the ACL to other fisheries will be announced in the 
Federal Register.

The Buffer

    At its June 2016 meeting the Council recommended the addition of a 
new off-the-top deduction to account for unforeseen catch events in any 
sector, also known as a buffer, and specifically established buffer 
amounts for canary rockfish, POP, and darkblotched rockfish.
    Currently, off-the-top deductions may be distributed to any sector 
through routine inseason after the Council has made the appropriate 
considerations. It is NMFS's interpretation that the Council intended 
to apply the current inseason distribution procedures and Council 
considerations to the buffer amounts (i.e., the Council did not intend 
to create new criteria for distributing the buffer). Also, NMFS 
interprets the Council's intent was not to apportion the buffer simply 
because allocations of bycatch species are lower or allocations of 
target species are higher than in previous years; rather, any 
distribution would be based on demonstrated need. Consistent with the 
Council's recommendation that the buffer be used to account for 
unforeseen catch events, this proposed rule provides that any buffer 
amounts could only be distributed due to an unforeseen catch event. 
Further, any distribution must go to a sector that has demonstrated a 
need for receiving such a distribution not for the sole purpose of 
extending a fishery before a need is demonstrated.
    Therefore, this rule proposes that any buffer amounts would be 
available for distribution through routine inseason action and, when 
making any distribution decisions on the buffer through an inseason 
action, the Council would consider the existing allocation framework 
criteria and objectives to maintain or extend fishing and marketing 
opportunities as stated in the PCGFMP, while taking into account the 
best available fishery information on sector needs.
    This means NMFS does not see a way to apportion the buffer prior to 
a fishery starting. It is anticipated that in that situation, sectors 
would use currently available inseason tools to prosecute their 
fishery.
Other Buffer Considerations
    For each of these three species, the buffer approach and the choice 
of ACLs are linked because the ACLs recommended by the Council in June 
2016 and proposed in this rule are higher than the ACLs the Council 
preliminarily recommended at their April meeting. The increased ACLs 
are proposed to accommodate the buffer amounts. For canary and 
darkblotched the Council recommended ACLs based the default harvest 
control rule for healthy stocks, and for POP the Council recommended a 
constant catch ACL of 281 mt in 2017 and 2018. For a more detailed 
discussion of the ACLs for POP and darkblotched rockfish, see the 
``Proposed ACLs for 2017 and 2018'' section above.
    Under the buffer approach, for darkblotched rockfish and POP all 
sectors would receive lower allocations than if the entire ACL were 
allocated. For canary rockfish, the nontrawl allocation is not reduced 
with the buffer because the nontrawl allocation was held constant. In 
other words, there is potential foregone yield by most sectors (either 
through targeting or increased access to bycatch) by establishing the 
buffer. The forgone yield by implementing the buffer could be 
considered the price for addressing uncertainty in the assessment and 
projected catches while achieving conservation goals and objectives and 
providing stability in management of the fishery, as envisioned in the 
PCGFMP and under MSA. Overall, however, the forgone yield is expected 
to be inconsequential since historic ACL attainment for these species 
has been low. From 2011-2014, on average 42 percent of the canary ACLs 
were attained, 41 percent of the darkblotched ACLs, and 35 percent of 
the POP ACLs.
    Another consideration for the buffer is the accumulation limits in 
the IFQ fishery. Accumulation limits in the IFQ program limit the 
amount of quota share (QS) that a person, individually or collectively, 
may own or control (i.e. QS control limits), and set limits on the 
amount of quota pounds (QP) that a vessel may catch or hold in its 
vessel account during the year (i.e. annual vessel limits). Identical 
to the current off-the-top deductions, any buffer amount that is 
apportioned to the Shorebased IFQ Program would change allocations, and 
therefore would also affect the individual amounts associated with the 
QS and QP accumulation limits. Relative to QS, there would be no change 
in the percentage that applies for the QS accumulation limits; the 
existing percentage would be applying to a larger poundage that may 
result in a higher poundage at the individual level.
    Relative to QP, in the Shorebased IFQ Program a limited amount of 
surplus QP in a vessel account may be carried over from one year to the 
next, and a deficit in a vessel account in one year may be covered with 
QP from a subsequent year, up to a carryover limit. QP made available 
to the Shorebased IFQ Program from the buffer amounts, will not count 
towards calculations for carryover, consistent with the current 
procedures of off-the-top deductions. The Pacific whiting final rule 
(77 FR 28497, May 15, 2012, comment 15) addressed this issue in the 
context of reapportionment of Pacific whiting to the Shorebased IFQ 
Program. Any release of additional QP resulting from deductions from 
the ACL is similar to reapportionment of Pacific whiting in that both 
may be added to the shorebased trawl allocation during the year but 
were not part of the annual allocation. Because reapportionment of 
Pacific whiting is not included in the calculation for the carryover 
limit in the Shorebased IFQ Program, and because release of additional 
QP is a similar provision, NMFS proposes that that release of 
additional QP resulting from redistribution of any buffer amounts would 
also not count toward the carryover limit. Current regulations at Sec.  
660.140(e)(5) state that these additional amounts do not count toward 
calculation of the carryover limit. No changes to the regulations at 
Sec.  660.140(e)(5)(ii) regarding deficit carryover are proposed. 
Therefore, if a vessel has already opted out of the fishery, it would 
not have the option of covering its deficit with the additional QP that 
were released from the buffer. Also, current regulations at Sec.  
660.140(e)(5)(i) are not proposed to be

[[Page 75278]]

changed, and state that surplus carryover QP or IBQ pounds are 
deposited straight into vessel accounts and do not change the 
shorebased trawl allocation.

B. Biennial Fishery Allocations

    Two-year trawl and nontrawl allocations are decided during the 
biennial process for those species without long-term allocations or 
species where the long-term allocation is suspended because the species 
was declared overfished. For all species, except sablefish north of 
36[deg] N. lat., allocations for the trawl and nontrawl sectors are 
calculated from the fishery harvest guideline. The fishery harvest 
guideline is the tonnage that remains after subtracting from the ACL 
harvest in Tribal fisheries, scientific research activities, non-
groundfish fisheries, some activities conducted under exempted fishing 
permits, and the yield to account for unforeseen catch events. The two-
year allocations and recreational harvest guidelines are designed to 
accommodate anticipated mortality in each sector as well as to 
accommodate variability and uncertainty in those estimates of 
mortality. Allocations described below are specified in the harvest 
specification tables appended to 50 CFR part 660, subpart C.
Bocaccio
    The following are the Council's recommended allocations for 
bocaccio in 2017: Limited entry trawl, 302.4 mt; limited entry and open 
access non-nearshore fixed gears, 144.3 mt; limited entry and open 
access nearshore fixed gear, 1.8 mt; and California recreational 326.1 
mt. The following are the Council's recommended allocations for 
bocaccio in 2018: Limited entry trawl, 283.3 mt; limited entry and open 
access non-nearshore fixed gears, 135.1 mt; Limited entry and open 
access nearshore fixed gear, 1.7 mt; California recreational 305.5 mt. 
These allocations are anticipated to accommodate estimates of mortality 
of bocaccio, by sector, in 2017-2018 and maintain a similar allocation 
scheme as in 2016.
Canary Rockfish
    Since the last biennium canary rockfish has been declared rebuilt 
and continues to be allocated biennially. The following are the 
Council's recommended allocations for canary rockfish in 2017: 
Shorebased IFQ Program, 1014.1 mt; at-sea sectors of the Pacific 
whiting fishery, 46 mt (catcher/processor (C/P), 16 mt; and mothership 
(MS), 30 mt); limited entry and open access non-nearshore fixed gears, 
46.5 mt; limited entry and open access nearshore fixed gear, 100 mt; 
Washington recreational, 50 mt; Oregon recreational, 75 mt; and 
California recreational, 135 mt. The following are the Council's 
recommended allocations for canary rockfish in 2018: Shorebased IFQ 
Program, 1,014.1 mt; at-sea sectors of the Pacific whiting fishery, 46 
mt (C/P, 16 mt; and MS, 30 mt); limited entry and open access non-
nearshore fixed gears, 46.5 mt; limited entry and open access nearshore 
fixed gear, 100 mt; Washington recreational, 50 mt; Oregon 
recreational, 75 mt; and California recreational, 135 mt. These 
allocations are anticipated to accommodate estimates of mortality of 
canary rockfish, by sector, in 2017-2018 and address the newly rebuilt 
status.
Cowcod
    For 2017-2018, the Council recommended setting a cowcod ACT at 4 
mt, and having it function as a fishery harvest guideline similar to 
the 2015-2016 biennium; it is the amount that would be allocated across 
groundfish fisheries. The cowcod allocation is proposed to be 36 
percent (1.4 mt) trawl and 64 percent (2.6 mt) nontrawl for 2017-2018. 
NMFS anticipates the proposed allocation structure will keep catch 
below the 2017-2018 cowcod ACTs without having to make changes to 
fishery management measures and maintains the same allocation scheme as 
in 2016.
Petrale Sole
    Petrale sole was declared rebuilt since the last biennium and is an 
Amendment 21 allocated species. Therefore, this rule proposes 
allocations of 95 percent trawl and 5 percent nontrawl. For petrale 
sole, 2,745.3 mt is allocated to Shorebased IFQ Program and 144.8 mt is 
allocated to the nontrawl fishery in 2017. For 2018, 2,628.5 mt is 
allocated to the Shorebased IFQ Program and 138.6 mt is allocated to 
the nontrawl fishery.
Yelloweye Rockfish
    The Council recommended that the fishery HG be divided into trawl 
and nontrawl allocations as follows: 1.10 mt to trawl and 13.1 mt to 
nontrawl in 2017; and 1.1 mt to trawl and 12.9 mt to nontrawl in 2018. 
The following are the Council's recommended HGs for yelloweye rockfish 
in 2017: Limited entry and open access non-nearshore fixed gears, 0.8; 
limited entry and open access nearshore fixed gear, 2.1; Washington 
recreational, 3.3; Oregon recreational 3 mt; and California 
recreational 3.9 mt. The following are the Council's recommended HGs 
for yelloweye rockfish in 2018: Limited entry trawl, 1.1 mt; limited 
entry and open access non-nearshore fixed gears, 0.7; limited entry and 
open access nearshore fixed gear, 2; Washington recreational, 3.3; 
Oregon recreational 3 mt; and California recreational 3.9 mt. These 
allocations are anticipated to accommodate estimates of mortality of 
yelloweye by sector in 2017-2018, and maintain the same allocation 
scheme that was in place for yelloweye rockfish in 2016.
Black Rockfish off Oregon and California
    Washington, Oregon, and California will have state-specific HGs for 
black rockfish in 2017-2018. This is a change from 2015-2016 where the 
Oregon-California federal fishery HG was combined. For 2017, the 
harvest guidelines are: Washington 287 mt, Oregon 526.4, California 333 
mt. For 2018, the harvest guidelines are as follows: Washington 283 mt, 
Oregon 519.4 mt, and California 331 mt.
Longnose Skate
    The Council recommended a two-year trawl and nontrawl HG for 
longnose skate of 90 percent to the trawl fishery and 10 percent to the 
nontrawl fishery. The allocation percentages reflect historical catch 
of longnose skate between the two sectors. This maintains the same 
allocation scheme that was in place for longnose skate in 2016. 
Therefore the 2017-2018 trawl allocations are 1,667.7 mt and 185.3 mt 
nontrawl.
Minor Nearshore Rockfish
    California will continue to have a state-specific harvest guideline 
for blue/deacon rockfish. Amendment 27 would add deacon rockfish to the 
PCGFMP and this rule proposes to apply current regulations for blue 
rockfish to blue/deacon as recent information indicates that catch 
histories of deacon and blue rockfish are conflated since they were not 
distinguished until recently. The blue rockfish harvest guideline for 
the area south of 42[deg] N. latitude is the sum of three components: 
(1) The assessed stock's contribution to the Minor Nearshore Rockfish 
complex ABC (south of 40[deg]10' N. lat.), (2) the contribution for the 
unassessed portion south of Point Conception, and (3) the contribution 
to the Nearshore Rockfish complex ABC for the area between 40[deg]10' 
N. lat. and 42[deg] N. lat. For 2017 and 2018, this results in a 305 
and 311 mt HG, respectively, for blue/deacon rockfish south of 42[deg] 
N. lat.
    Harvest specifications for Minor Nearshore Rockfish north of 
40[deg]10' N. lat. are increased from the 69 mt in

[[Page 75279]]

2015-2016 to 103.2 mt in 2017-2018. The states intend to manage catch 
using state-specific harvest guidelines: 16.9 mt for Washington; 46.1 
mt for Oregon, and 40.2 mt for California north of 40[deg]10' N. lat. 
However, instead of implementing state specific harvest guidelines in 
Federal regulations, the state Council representatives from Oregon and 
Washington committed to heightened inseason communication regarding 
catches of species managed in the complex relative to the harvest 
guidelines consistent with the current state coordinated management. 
California will have a Federal harvest guideline for this complex from 
42[deg] N. lat. to 40[deg]10' N. lat. to facilitate inseason action if 
needed, and has committed to increased catch reporting at Council 
meetings. In California, the HG of 40.2 mt would be specified in 
Federal regulation and apply only in the area between 40[deg]10' N. 
lat. and 42[deg] N. lat. California, through the Council, could propose 
changes through Federal regulations. Under state management, landed 
component species within the Minor Nearshore Rockfish complex must be 
sorted to species. Because the states may also take inseason action 
independent of NMFS, the proposed action is not anticipated to result 
in exceeding the complex ACL in 2017-2018.
    Although the Minor Nearshore Rockfish North ACL attainment has been 
high in recent years, reaching 100 percent in 2011, management measures 
have prevented the ACL from being exceeded. State nearshore management 
plans and policies mitigate the risk of overfishing. State HGs and a 
federal HG for Minor Nearshore Rockfish in the area between 40[deg]10' 
and 42[deg] N. lat. under the proposed action will reduce the risk of 
exceeding the complex ACL.
Minor Shelf Rockfish
    Allocations for Minor Shelf Rockfish are recommended by the Council 
each biennial cycle. For Minor Shelf Rockfish north of 40[deg]10' N. 
lat., 1,183.1 mt (60.2 percent of the fishery harvest guideline) is 
allocated to the trawl fishery and 782.1 mt (39.8 percent of the 
fishery harvest guideline) is allocated to the nontrawl fishery for 
2017. For Minor Shelf Rockfish south of 40[deg]10' N. lat., 192.2 mt 
(12.2 percent of the fishery harvest guideline) is allocated to the 
trawl fishery and 1,383.6 mt (87.8 percent of the fishery harvest 
guideline) is allocated to the nontrawl fishery for 2017. For 2018, the 
same percentages are applied resulting in allocations of 1,181.8 mt to 
the trawl fishery and 781.4 mt to the nontrawl fishery north of 
40[deg]10' N. lat., and 192.37 mt to the trawl fishery and 1,384.4 mt 
to the nontrawl fishery south of 40[deg]10' N. lat. This maintains the 
same allocation percentages as were in place for the Minor Shelf 
Rockfish complexes since 2011.
Minor Slope Rockfish
    Minor Slope Rockfish were allocated between the trawl and nontrawl 
fisheries in PCGFMP Amendment 21. This action applies those Amendment 
21 allocation percentages to the updated 2017-2018 fishery harvest 
guidelines. Blackgill rockfish in California was assessed in 2011 and 
has continued to be managed within the Minor Slope Rockfish complex, 
but with a species-specific HG south of 40[deg]10' N. lat. beginning in 
2013. For 2017-2018 the Council recommended a blackgill rockfish 
harvest guideline equal to the ABC contribution for the portion of the 
stock south of 40[deg]10' N. lat., reduced by the 40-10 adjustment 
because the stock is in the precautionary zone. South of 40[deg]10' N. 
lat., the blackgill rockfish harvest guideline is 120.2 mt in 2017 and 
122.4 mt in 2018.

C. Modifications to the Boundaries Defining Rockfish Conservation Areas 
(RCAs)

    RCAs are large area closures intended to reduce the catch of a 
species or species complex by restricting fishing activity at specific 
depths. The boundaries for RCAs are defined by straight lines 
connecting a series of latitude and longitude coordinates that 
approximate depth contours. A set of coordinates define lines that 
approximate various depth contours. These sets of coordinates, or 
lines, in and of themselves, are not gear or fishery specific, but are 
used in combination to define an area. That area may then be described 
with fishing restrictions implemented for a specific gear and/or 
fishery.
    For the 2017-2018 cycle, changes to refine selected coordinates are 
being proposed for: 30 fm, 40 fm, and 150 fm in California. The changes 
to the coordinates around Noon Day rock in California are proposed to 
address an area where the current RCA is not enforceable because it is 
too small. The other changes are proposed to more accurately define the 
depth contours.

D. Sorting Requirements Resulting From Big Skate Designation to ``in 
the Fishery''

    In the non-whiting groundfish fishery, catch is sorted to species 
or species group in order to account for catch against the various 
harvest specifications and management measures that are specific to 
those species or species groups. Except for vessels participating in 
the Pacific whiting fishery (see Sec.  660.130(d)(2)(ii) and (d)(3)), 
groundfish regulations require that species or species groups with a 
trip limit, size limit, scientific sorting designation, quota, harvest 
guideline, ACT, or ACL, be sorted (see Sec.  660.12(a)(8)). Therefore, 
this rule proposes to modify the trawl sorting requirements so that big 
skate is required to be sorted coastwide by all trawl fisheries.

E. New Inseason Process for Commercial and Recreational Fisheries in 
California

    The new inseason process in California is described above in the 
``Amendment 27 to the PCGFMP'' section.

F. Limited Entry Trawl

Limited Entry Trawl Fishery

    The Council recommended several changes to trawl management 
measures for the 2017-2018 biennium. Generally, management measures in 
the trawl fishery apply to the portions of the limited entry trawl 
fishery described here. As stated above in the ``Sorting Requirements 
Resulting from Big Skate Designation to ``in the Fishery'' '' section, 
sorting requirements are proposed. Other changes to management measures 
in the limited entry trawl fishery are described in the sections that 
follow.

Incidental Trip Limits for IFQ Vessels

    For vessels fishing in the Shorebased IFQ Program, with either 
groundfish trawl gear or nontrawl gears, the following incidentally 
caught species are managed with trip limits: Minor nearshore rockfish 
north and south, black rockfish, cabezon (46[deg]16' to 40[deg]10' N. 
lat. and south of 40[deg]10' N. lat.), spiny dogfish, shortbelly 
rockfish, big skate, Pacific whiting, and the Other Fish complex. No 
changes to trip limits in the IFQ fishery are proposed for the start of 
the 2017-2018 biennium; however, changes to trip limits are considered 
a routine measure under Sec.  660.60(c) and may be implemented or 
adjusted, if determined necessary, through inseason action. Proposed 
regulations clarify that midwater gear is allowed for vessels targeting 
non-whiting during the dates of the primary Pacific whiting fishery, 
and that midwater gear can be used in the RCA when targeting non-
whiting.

RCA Configurations for Vessels Using Trawl Gear

    Based on analysis of West Coast Groundfish Observer Data and vessel 
logbook data, the boundaries of the

[[Page 75280]]

RCAs were developed to prohibit groundfish fishing within a range of 
depths where encounters with overfished species were most likely to 
occur. The lines that approximate depth contours are defined by 
latitude and longitude coordinates and may be used to define any of the 
depth-based area closures, primarily RCAs. The choice of which depth-
based line(s) to use to define the RCA boundaries varies by season, 
latitude, and gear group. Boundaries for limited entry trawl vessels 
are different from those for the limited entry fixed-gear and open 
access gears. The trawl RCAs apply to vessels fishing with groundfish 
trawl gear. The nontrawl RCAs apply to the limited entry fixed-gear and 
open access gears other than non-groundfish trawl. The non-groundfish 
trawl RCAs are fishery-specific.
    For 2017-2018, the Council recommended modifying the trawl RCA in 
the area north of Cape Alava (48[deg]10' N. lat.). Specifically, the 
trawl RCA seaward boundary is proposed to be changed from 150 fm and 
200 fm modified to 150 fm and the shoreward boundary will be changed 
from shore to 100 fm. The proposed RCA configuration will be consistent 
with the RCA currently south of Cape Alava to 45[deg]46' N. lat.

G. Limited Entry Fixed Gear and Open Access Nontrawl Fishery

    Management measures for the limited entry fixed gear (LEFG) and 
open access (OA) nontrawl fisheries tend to be similar because the 
majority of participants in both fisheries use hook-and-line gear. 
Management measures, including area restrictions and trip limits in 
these nontrawl fisheries, are generally designed to allow harvest of 
target species while keeping catch of overfished species low. For 2017-
2018, changes to management measures include: Changes to sablefish trip 
limits based on changes to the sharing percentages between limited 
entry and open access, changes to trip limits for minor nearshore 
shelf, bocaccio, yellowtail rockfish, minor nearshore rockfish, canary 
rockfish, deeper nearshore rockfish, a change to the seaward boundary 
of the nontrawl RCA from 40[deg]10' N. lat. to 34[deg]27' N. lat., and 
a change to the shoreward boundary south of 34[deg]27' N. lat.
Nontrawl RCA
    The nontrawl RCA applies to vessels that take, retain, possess, or 
land groundfish using nontrawl gears, unless they are incidental 
fisheries that are exempt from the nontrawl RCA (e.g., the pink shrimp 
non-groundfish trawl fishery). The seaward and shoreward boundaries of 
the nontrawl RCAs vary along the coast, and are divided at various 
commonly used geographic coordinates, defined in Sec.  660.11, subpart 
C. In 2009, the shoreward boundary of the nontrawl RCA was established 
based on fishery information indicating that fishing in some areas in 
the nontrawl fishery have higher yelloweye rockfish bycatch than in 
others, and the RCA boundaries were adjusted to reduce mortality of 
yelloweye rockfish in these areas.
    The nontrawl RCA boundaries proposed for 2017-2018 are the same as 
those in place for the nontrawl fisheries in 2015-2016, except for the 
seaward boundary from 40[deg]10' N. lat. to 34[deg]27' N. lat., which 
is proposed to be shifted from 150 fm to 125 fm, and the shoreward 
boundary south of 34[deg]27' N. lat., which is proposed to be shifted 
from 60 fm to 75 fm. This management measure would affect nearshore and 
shelf rockfish species in California south of 40[deg]10' N. lat. 
Modifications to the shoreward RCA boundary will allow access to deeper 
nearshore species (blue, brown, copper, olive rockfishes) and shelf 
rockfish species (chilipepper, greenblotched, Mexican, vermilion). 
Modifications to the seaward RCA will allow access to shelf rockfish 
species and sablefish. These changes are expected to increase catch of 
chilipepper and other healthy shelf rockfish species by allowing access 
to depths in which they are more prevalent. The nontrawl fisheries are 
currently managed with cumulative trip limits, and any increases in 
catch are expected to remain within allowable harvest limits.
Nontrawl Fishery Trip Limits
    Trip limits proposed for the nontrawl fisheries in 2017-2018 are 
similar to those that applied to these fisheries since 2011. To help 
achieve, but not exceed, the allocations of sablefish in the limited 
entry fixed gear and open access fisheries, changes to trip limits are 
proposed. Changes are also proposed in the limited entry and open 
access fixed gear fisheries for yellowtail rockfish, Minor Shelf 
Rockfish between 40[deg]10' N. lat. and 34[deg]27' N. lat., canary 
rockfish, bocaccio south of 40[deg]10' N. lat., and Minor Nearshore 
Rockfish and black rockfish south of 40[deg]10' N. lat. Proposed 2015-
2016 trip limits for these changes are specified in Table 2 (North), 
Table 2 (South) to subpart E and in Table 3 (North) and Table 3 (South) 
to subpart F.
Primary Sablefish Fishery Tier Limits
    Some limited entry fixed gear permits are endorsed to receive 
annual sablefish quota, or ``tier limits,'' and vessels registered with 
one, two, or up to three of these permits may participate in the 
primary sablefish fishery, described at Sec.  660.231. Tier limits 
proposed for the limited entry fixed gear primary sablefish fleet are 
higher in 2017-2018, reflecting the higher sablefish harvest 
specifications. The proposed tier limits are as follows: Tier 1 at 
51,947 lb (23,562 kg), Tier 2 at 23,612 lb (10,710 kg), and Tier 3 at 
13,493 lb (6,120 kg). In 2018, Tier 1 at 54,179 lb (24,575 kg), Tier 2 
at 24,627 lb (11,170 kg), and Tier 3 at 14,072 lb (6,382 kg).
Yellowtail Rockfish North of 40[deg]10' N. Lat.
    This rule proposes establishing stock-specific yellowtail rockfish 
trip limits in both limited entry and open access fixed gear fisheries 
north of 40[deg]10' N. lat. by removing yellowtail rockfish from the 
combined trip limits for Minor Shelf Rockfish, shortbelly rockfish, and 
widow rockfish. NMFS is soliciting comments on this interpretation 
because, while the Council's yellowtail rockfish trip limit 
recommendation was clear, the removal of yellowtail rockfish from the 
combined trip limit was not explicit in the Council's discussion. This 
change is proposed because of the increase in and rebuilt status of 
widow rockfish (which co-occurs with yellowtail rockfish) and would 
increase the yellowtail rockfish trip limit from a combined limit with 
several other species of 200 lb/month to 500 lb/month, just for 
yellowtail rockfish.
Minor Shelf Rockfish Between 40[deg]10' N. lat.-34[deg]27' N. Lat.
    Specifications for the complex are established for the area south 
of 40[deg]10' N. lat., however the changes proposed in this rule are 
only for the area between 40[deg]10' N. lat. and 34[deg]27' N. lat. 
This increase is intended to provide greater access to a small number 
of commercial vessels in this area. This rule proposes increases to 
trip limits in the open access fixed gear fisheries due to the 
projected low attainment of the species managed in this complex. The 
2016 nontrawl allocation of 1,383 mt is unchanged from 2015.
Canary Rockfish
    This rule proposes to allow canary retention in both limited entry 
and open access fixed gear fisheries by establishing trip limits for 
the limited entry fishery at 300 lb/2 months and for the open access 
fishery at 150 lb/2 months. These trip limits are proposed

[[Page 75281]]

because canary rockfish was declared rebuilt. The Council recommended 
these trip limits to allow retention of the majority of incidental 
catch.
Bocaccio South of 40[deg]10' N. Lat.
    This rule proposes to remove bocaccio from the Minor Shelf Rockfish 
aggregate trip limits for limited entry and open access fixed gear 
between 40[deg]10' N. lat. and 34[deg]27' N. lat. and establish stock-
specific trip limits for bocaccio to reduce discarding as the stock 
continues to rebuild and encounters increase.
Minor Nearshore Rockfish & Black Rockfish South of 40[deg]10' N. Lat.
    This rule proposes modifications to the existing Minor Nearshore 
Rockfish and black rockfish trip limits for limited entry and open 
access fixed gear fisheries and modifications to the area split for 
deeper nearshore rockfish. For deeper nearshore rockfish, one trip 
limit is proposed for the entire area south of 40[deg]10' N. lat. These 
changes are proposed due to the rebuilt status of canary rockfish, 
which is caught in nearshore fishery, and the low attainment of the 
complex ACL, which has averaged 10 percent or less over the last 
decade.

H. Recreational Fisheries

    This section describes the recreational fisheries management 
measures proposed for 2017-2018. Most of the changes to recreational 
management measures are modifications to existing measures. Changes to 
recreational management measures are discussed below for each state and 
include: (1) Modifications of recreational season structures, closed 
areas, and bag limits; (2) removal of the 1 canary rockfish sub-bag 
limit and 10 inch (25 cm) kelp greenling size restriction in Oregon; 
(3) creation of potential expansion areas for the Stonewall Bank YRCA 
in Oregon; (4) addition of a one canary rockfish sub-bag limit in 
Marine Areas 1 and 2 in Washington; (5) reduction of the lingcod closed 
area in Washington; (6) removal of prohibition on canary rockfish 
retention in California; and (7) changes to petrale sole and starry 
flounder management measures in California.
    Recreational fisheries management measures are designed to limit 
catch of overfished species and provide fishing opportunity for anglers 
targeting nearshore groundfish species. Overfished species that are 
taken in recreational fisheries include bocaccio, cowcod, and yelloweye 
rockfish. Because sport fisheries are more concentrated in nearshore 
waters, the 2017-2018 recreational fishery management measures are 
intended to constrain catch of nearshore species such as Minor 
Nearshore Rockfish, black rockfish, blue rockfish, and cabezon. These 
protections are particularly important for fisheries off California, 
where the majority of West Coast recreational fishing occurs. Depth 
restrictions and groundfish conservation areas (GCAs) are the primary 
tools used to keep overfished species impacts under the prescribed 
harvest levels for the California recreational fishery.
    Washington, Oregon, and California each proposed, and the Council 
recommended, different combinations of seasons, bag limits, area 
closures, and size limits, to best fit the requirements to rebuild 
overfished species found in their regions, and the needs and 
constraints of their particular recreational fisheries.
    Recreational fisheries management measures for Washington, Oregon, 
and California in 2017-2018 are proposed to be similar to the 
recreational fishery management measures that were in place during 
2015-2016. Recreational fisheries off Oregon, and Washington are 
limited by the need to reduce yelloweye rockfish impacts. Changes to 
recreational fishery management measures off Washington, Oregon, and 
California are in response to: Updated fishery and modeling information 
in a manner that allows increased harvest of underutilized healthy 
stocks while keeping impacts to overfished species within their 
rebuilding ACLs. The following sections describe the recreational 
management measures proposed in each state.
Washington
    Off Washington, recreational fishing for groundfish and Pacific 
halibut, as proposed, will continue to be prohibited inside the North 
Coast Recreational YRCA, a C-shaped closed area off the northern 
Washington coast, the South Coast Recreational YRCA, and the Westport 
Offshore YRCA. Coordinates for YRCAs are defined at Sec.  660.70. 
Similar to 2016, this proposed rule includes the Washington State 
lingcod recreational fishing closure area off Washington Marine Areas 1 
and 2, a portion of which are closed to lingcod fishing, except on days 
that the Pacific halibut fishery is open. However, for 2017-2018, the 
southern boundary of this lingcod area closure would be shifted five 
miles north (from 46[deg]28' N. lat. to 46[deg]33' N. lat.) to allow 
additional access to deepwater lingcod areas without expected increases 
in yelloweye rockfish catches. The aggregate groundfish bag limits off 
Washington will continue to be 12 fish. The rockfish and lingcod sub-
limits will be similar to 2015-2016 sub-limits. For rockfish, NMFS 
proposes a 10 rockfish sub-limit with no retention of canary or 
yelloweye rockfish except in Marine Areas 1 and 2 where there will be a 
one canary rockfish sub-limit (with a new option to expand and increase 
canary rockfish retention inseason). For lingcod, NMFS proposes a two 
lingcod sub-limit, with the lingcod minimum size of 22 inches (56 cm). 
NMFS proposes cabezon restrictions will remain as in 2016.
    Changes to the Washington recreational fishery Marine Areas 1-4 for 
groundfish season dates are proposed for 2017-2018, shortening the 
season by five months. The recreational groundfish fishery would open 
the second Saturday in March, and close the third Saturday in October. 
This is not expected to result in significant changes because very 
little fishing effort occurs in Marine Areas 1-4 from October through 
February. The primary purpose of the change is to cap groundfish 
fishing effort at current levels, and minimize additional effort that 
could potentially develop in the future. Lingcod seasons are proposed 
to be the same dates as the recreational groundfish season described 
above for Marine Areas 1-3, and open April 15 through October 15 in 
Marine Area 4. The depth restrictions (i.e. recreational RCA) for 
recreational fishing off Washington is proposed to be the same as in 
2016.
    One change to the restrictions on groundfish retention during the 
Pacific halibut season is proposed for 2017-2018. This rule proposes to 
allow flatfish retention in the Columbia River area along with Pacific 
halibut when halibut are onboard. This change comes from a 2014 change 
to the Council's Pacific Halibut Catch Sharing Plan, and was 
inadvertently omitted from the 2015-2016 groundfish regulations. 
Starting in Washington Marine Area 1, when the nearshore incidental 
halibut fishery is open, taking, retaining, possessing or landing 
incidental Pacific halibut on groundfish trips are allowed only in the 
nearshore area on days not open to all-depth Pacific halibut fisheries 
in the area shoreward of the boundary line approximating the 30 fm (55 
m) depth contour extending from Leadbetter Point, Washington, to the 
Washington-Oregon border, and from there, connecting to the boundary 
line approximating the 40 fm (73 m) depth contour in Oregon. The 
nearshore incidental Pacific halibut fishery will remain open Monday 
through Wednesday following the opening of the early season all-depth 
fishery, until the nearshore Pacific halibut allocation is taken.

[[Page 75282]]

Oregon
    Oregon recreational fisheries in 2017-2018 would operate under the 
same season structures and GCAs as 2015-2016. This rule also proposes 
to define, but not implement, two options for expansion of the 
Stonewall Bank YRCA, available for inseason implementation. Aggregate 
bag limits and size limits in Oregon recreational fisheries remain the 
same as in 2015-2016: Three lingcod per day, with a minimum size of 22 
inches (56 cm); 25 flatfish per day, excluding Pacific halibut; and a 
marine fish aggregate bag limit of 10 fish per day, where cabezon have 
a minimum size of 16 inches (41 cm). However, the marine fish bag limit 
is proposed to be modified for 2017-2018, removing the kelp greenling 
size restriction and the one fish sub-bag limit for canary rockfish. 
The seasonal one fish sub-bag limit for cabezon was removed in 2015-
2016 to allow ODFW increased flexibility for initiating inseason 
changes. Cabezon is proposed to have no sub-bag limit throughout 2017-
2018.
    One change to groundfish retention during the Pacific halibut 
season is proposed for 2017-2018. This rule proposes to add ``other 
flatfish species'' to the list of incidental species allowed to be 
landed with Pacific halibut. Taking, retaining, possessing or landing 
incidental halibut on groundfish trips will be allowed only in the 
Columbia River nearshore area on days not open to all-depth Pacific 
halibut fisheries in the area shoreward of the boundary line 
approximating the 30 fm (55 m) depth contour extending from Leadbetter 
Point, Washington to the Washington-Oregon border, and from there, 
connecting to the boundary line approximating the 40 fm (73 m) depth 
contour in Oregon. The nearshore incidental Pacific halibut fishery 
will continue to be open Monday through Wednesday following the opening 
of the early season all-depth fishery, until the nearshore Pacific 
halibut allocation is taken.
California
    For 2017-2018, recreational fisheries off California will continue 
to be managed as five separate areas, to reduce complexity while 
retaining flexibility in minimizing impacts on overfished stocks. 
Season and area closures differ between California regions to better 
prevent incidental catch of overfished species according to where those 
species occur and where fishing effort is greatest, while providing as 
much fishing opportunity as possible.
    Compared to the 2016 season structure, the Northern and Mendocino 
Management Areas would be extended by two and a half months, through 
December 31. Allowable fishing depths would be increased in the 
Northern Management Area from 20 fm to 30 fm during May 1 through 
October 31. Due to high yelloweye rockfish encounters in the Mendocino 
Management Area, the depth restriction will remain at 20 fathoms from 
May 1 through October 31. However, from November through December, the 
depth restriction would be eliminated in both the Northern and 
Mendocino Management Areas; fishing would be permissible at all depths. 
Allowable fishing depths would also be increased in the San Francisco 
and Central Management Areas by 10 fathoms to 40 and 50 fathoms, 
respectively. Due to projected cowcod impacts, the season structure in 
the Southern Management Area would remain the same as in 2016. 
Similarly, the California scorpionfish season will remain the same as 
in 2016 (i.e. closed September through December), except for the 
opening date in the Mendocino area will be changed to May 1 instead of 
May 15.
    Size, bag, and sub-bag limits would remain the same as 2016 except 
for black rockfish, bocaccio, canary rockfish, and lingcod. To keep 
within allowable limits, the black rockfish sub-bag limit would be 
reduced from five to three fish within the 10 fish aggregate RCG 
complex bag limit. For bocaccio, the sub-bag limit of three fish within 
the 10 fish aggregate RCG complex bag limit would be eliminated to 
reduce discarding; anglers would be able to retain up to 10 bocaccio. 
For canary rockfish, due to newly rebuilt status, retention would be 
allowed with a sub-bag limit of one fish within the 10 fish aggregate 
RCG complex bag limit. Finally, for lingcod, the bag limit would be 
reduced from three fish to two fish.
New Inseason Process
    As described above in the ``Amendment 27 to the PCGFMP'' section, 
this rule proposes a new inseason process for fisheries that occur in 
the waters off California and for which there are California-specific 
federal harvest limits. This new system would allow NMFS to take 
inseason action for black, canary, and yelloweye rockfish, outside of a 
Council meeting. This would be similar to the current inseason process, 
except that it will allow for action to be taken during the summer 
months when the majority of catch accrues and absent Council action.
Exempt Petrale Sole and Starry Flounder From Season and Depth 
Restrictions
    This rule proposes to remove petrale sole and starry flounder from 
the recreational season and depth restrictions; anglers could retain 
petrale sole and starry flounder year round, without depth constraint. 
Petrale sole and starry flounder are commonly encountered while anglers 
are pursuing other species which have different seasons and/or 
allowable depth (e.g., Pacific halibut) or open year round without 
depth constraint (e.g., Pacific sanddab). As a result, this management 
measure would reduce regulatory discarding.

I. Tribal Fisheries

    Tribes implement management measures for Tribal fisheries both 
separately and cooperatively with those management measures that are 
described in the Federal regulations. The Tribes may adjust their 
Tribal fishery management measures, inseason, to stay within the 
overall harvest targets and estimated impacts to overfished species. 
Trip limits are the primary management measure that the Tribes specify 
in Federal regulations at Sec.  660.50, subpart C. Continued from 
previous cycles, the Tribes proposed trip limit management in Tribal 
fisheries during 2017-2018 for several species, including several 
rockfish species and species groups. For rockfish species, Tribal 
regulations will continue to require full retention of all overfished 
rockfish species and marketable non-overfished rockfish species. No 
changes to trip limits are proposed for the Tribal fisheries from those 
that were in place in 2016. Proposed sablefish Tribal set-asides would 
be set at 10 percent of the Monterey through Vancouver area ACL minus 
1.5 percent (reduced from 1.6 percent in 2016) to account for estimated 
discard mortality. The percentage reduction is based on a sablefish 
discard model output that can vary with changes in size of discarded 
fish. Widow rockfish are proposed to be managed by Tribal regulation to 
stay within the annual 440,000 lb (200 mt) Tribal catch limit. Trip 
limits for Dover sole, English sole, and other flatfish and arrowtooth 
flounder will be established through Tribal regulation only. Trip 
limits are proposed to be adjusted inseason to stay within the overall 
harvest targets and overfished species limits. This proposal would be a 
change from the 2016 limits of 110,000 lbs per two months for Dover 
sole, English sole and other flatfish, and 150,000 lbs per two months 
for arrowtooth flounder.

[[Page 75283]]

The Tribes will continue to develop management measures, including 
depth, area, and time restrictions, in the directed Tribal Pacific 
halibut fishery in order to minimize incidental catch of yelloweye 
rockfish. Tribal fishing regulations, as recommended by the Tribes and 
the Council, and adopted as proposed by NMFS, are in Federal 
regulations at Sec.  660.50, subpart C.

V. Classification

    Pursuant to section 304 (b)(1)(A) of the Magnuson-Stevens Act, the 
NMFS Assistant Administrator has determined that this proposed rule and 
Amendment 27 to the PCGFMP are consistent with the Pacific Coast 
Groundfish Fishery Management Plan, other provisions of the Magnuson-
Stevens Act, and other applicable law, subject to further consideration 
after public comment. In making its final determination, NMFS will take 
into account the complete record, including the data, views, and 
comments received during the comment period.
    NMFS prepared an EA for this action and Amendment 27 that discusses 
the impact on the environment as a result of some of the components of 
this rule. The full suite of alternatives analyzed by the Council can 
be found on the Council's Web site at www.pcouncil.org. This EA does 
not contain all the alternatives because an EIS was prepared for the 
2015-2016 biennial harvest specifications and management measures and 
is available from NMFS (see ADDRESSES). This EIS examined the harvest 
specifications and management measures for 2015-2016 and ten year 
projections for routinely adjusted harvest specifications and 
management measures. The ten year projections were produced to evaluate 
the impacts of the ongoing implementation of harvest specifications and 
management measures and to evaluate the impacts of the routine 
adjustments that are the main component of each biennial cycle. 
Therefore, the EA for the 2017-2018 cycle tiers from the 2015-2016 EIS 
and focuses on the harvest specifications and management measures that 
were not within the scope of the ten year projections in the 2015-2016 
EIS. A copy of the EA is available from NMFS (see ADDRESSES). This 
action also announces a public comment period on the EA.
    An initial regulatory flexibility analysis (IRFA) was prepared, as 
required by section 603 of the Regulatory Flexibility Act (RFA) (5 
U.S.C. 603). The IRFA describes the economic impact this proposed rule, 
if adopted, would have on small entities. A description of the action, 
why it is being considered, and the legal basis for this action is 
contained in the SUMMARY section and at the beginning of the 
SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section of the preamble. A summary of the 
analysis follows. A copy of this analysis is available from NMFS (see 
ADDRESSES).
    The RFA (5 U.S.C. 601 et seq.) requires government agencies to 
assess the effects that regulatory alternatives would have on small 
entities, defined as any business/organization independently owned and 
operated, not dominant in its field of operation (including its 
affiliates). A small harvesting business has combined annual receipts 
of $11 million \1\ or less for all affiliated operations worldwide.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \1\ On December 29, 2015, the National Marine Fisheries Service 
(NMFS) issued a final rule establishing a small business size 
standard of $11 million in annual gross receipts for all businesses 
primarily engaged in the commercial fishing industry (NAICS 11411) 
for Regulatory Flexibility Act (RFA) compliance purposes only (80 FR 
81194, December 29, 2015). The $11 million standard became effective 
on July 1, 2016, and after that date it is to be used in all NMFS 
rules subject to the RFA. Id. at 81194. This NMFS rule is to be used 
in place of the U.S. Small Business Administration's (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, respectively.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    A small fish-processing business is one that employs 750 or fewer 
persons for all affiliated operations worldwide. NMFS is applying this 
standard to catcher/processors for the purposes of this rulemaking, 
because these vessels earn the majority of their revenue from selling 
processed fish.
    For marinas and charter/party boats, a small business is one that 
has annual receipts not in excess of $7.5 million. A wholesale business 
servicing the fishing industry is a small business if it employs 100 or 
fewer persons on a full-time, part-time, temporary, or other basis, at 
all its affiliated operations worldwide.
    For the purposes of this rulemaking, a nonprofit organization is 
determined to be ``not dominant in its field of operation'' if it is 
considered small under one of the following SBA size standards: 
environmental, conservation, or professional organizations are 
considered small if they have combined annual receipts of $15 million 
or less, and other organizations are considered small if they have 
combined annual receipts of $7.5 million or less. The RFA defines small 
governmental jurisdictions as governments of cities, counties, towns, 
townships, villages, school districts, or special districts with 
populations of less than 50,000.
    When an agency proposes regulations, the RFA requires the agency to 
prepare and make available for public comment an IRFA that describes 
the impact on small businesses, non-profit enterprises, local 
governments, and other small entities. The IRFA is to aid the agency in 
considering all reasonable regulatory alternatives that would minimize 
the economic impact on affected small entities.
Description and Estimate of the Number of Small Entities to Which the 
Rule Applies, and Estimate of Economic Impacts by Entity Size and 
Industry
    This proposed rule will regulate businesses that participate in the 
groundfish fishery. This rule directly affects limited entry fixed gear 
permit holders, trawl quota share (QS) holders and Pacific whiting 
catch history endorsed permit holders (which include shorebased whiting 
processors), tribal vessels, charterboat vessels, and open access 
vessels. QS holders are directly affected as their QS are affected by 
the ACLs. Vessels that fish under the trawl rationalization program 
receive their quota pounds from the QS holders, and thus are indirectly 
affected. Similarly, MS processors are indirectly affected as they 
receive the fish they process from limited entry permits that are 
endorsed with Pacific whiting catch history assignments.
    To determine the number of small entities potentially affected by 
this rule, NMFS reviewed analyses of fish ticket data and limited entry 
permit data, information on charterboat, tribal, and open access 
fleets, available cost-earnings data developed by NWFSC, and responses 
associated with the permitting process for the Trawl Rationalization 
Program where applicants were asked if they considered themselves a 
small business based on SBA definitions. This rule will regulate 
businesses that harvest groundfish.
Charter Operations
    There were 355 active Commercial Passenger Fishing Vessels 
(charter) engaged in groundfish fishing in California in 2014. In 2014, 
an estimated 189 charter boats targeted groundfish in Oregon and 
Washington. All 544 of these vessels and associated small businesses 
are likely to be impacted by changes in recreational harvest levels for 
groundfish.
Commercial Vessels and Shorebased Buyers
    With limited access to data for all the affiliated business 
operations for vessels and buyers, particularly in the open

[[Page 75284]]

access and fixed gear fisheries, NMFS estimates the type of impacted 
vessels and buyer entities based solely on West Coast ex-vessel 
revenue. This may be an underestimate of the number of large-entities 
in the fishery, as many vessels and buyers may be affiliated, and may 
have income from non-West Coast sources (particularly Alaska).
    Open access vessels are not federally permitted so counts based on 
landings can provide an estimate of the affected. The DEIS Analysis for 
the 2013-14 Pacific Groundfish Harvest Specifications and Management 
Measures contained the following assessment, which is deemed as 
containing reasonable estimates for this rule, as these fisheries have 
not changed significantly in recent years. In 2011, 682 directed open 
access vessels fished while 284 incidental open access vessels fished 
for a total of 966 vessels. Over the 2005-2010 period, 1,583 different 
directed open access vessels fished, and 837 different incidental open 
access vessels fished, for a total of 2,420 different vessels. The four 
tribal fleets sum to a total of 54 longline vessels, 5 Pacific whiting 
trawlers, and 5 non-whiting trawlers, for an overall total of 64 
vessels. Available information on average revenue per vessel suggests 
that all the entities in these groups can be considered small.
    It is expected that a total of 873 catcher vessels (CVs), 227 
buyer, 9 C/P and 6 MS entities will be impacted by this rule, for a 
total of 1,115, if commercial groundfish participation in 2017-2018 
follows similar patterns to the last full year data are available for 
(2015), and counting only those vessels and buyers who had at least 
$1,000 worth of groundfish sales or purchases in 2015.

                                    Groundfish Ex-Vessel Revenues by Fishery
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                          West coast total
                                                               N         groundfish revenue   Average groundfish
                                                                                ($)                revenue
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
LE Trawl.........................  C/P................               9  $99,180,000 (2014    $11,020,000 (2014
                                                                         wholesale).          wholesale).
                                   MS.................               5  $46,385,000 (2014    $9,277,000 (2014
                                                                         wholesale).          wholesale).
                                   CV.................              83  $30,832,277 (2015    $371,473 (2015 ex-
                                                                         ex-vessel).          vessel).
                                   MS/CV..............              19  $17,300,000 (2014    $910,536.31 (2014
                                                                         ex-vessel).          ex-vessel).
                                   Buyers.............              16  $137,600,000 (2014   $8,600,000 (2014
                                                                         wholesale).          wholesale).
LE Fixed Gear....................  Primary............              89  $8,357,122 (2015 ex- $93,900 (2015 ex-
                                                                         vessel).             vessel).
                                   DTL................             152  $16,623,889 (2015    $109,368 (2015 ex-
                                                                         ex-vessel).          vessel).
                                   Buyers.............             108  N/A................  N/A.
OA...............................  CV.................             831  $7,281,894 (2015 ex- $8,763 (2015 ex-
                                                                         vessel).             vessel).
                                   Buyers.............             307  N/A................  N/A.
Research.........................  CV.................               4  $174,394 (2015 ex-   $43,599 (2015 ex-
                                                                         vessel).             vessel).
Tribal...........................  CV.................             198  $4,933,911 (2015 ex- $24,918 (2015 ex-
                                                                         vessel).             vessel).
                                   Buyers.............              19  N/A................  N/A.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Revenues reported from 2015 obtained from the Pacific Fisheries 
Information Network (PacFIN); those from 2014 obtained from 2016 
Economic Data Collection Reports.
Limited Entry Permit Owners
    As part of the permitting process for the trawl rationalization 
program or for participating in nontrawl limited entry permit 
fisheries, applicants were asked if they considered themselves a small 
business. NMFS reviewed the ownership and affiliation relationships of 
QS permit holders, vessel account holders, catcher processor permits, 
MS processing, and first receiver/shore processor permits. As of August 
1, 2016, Dock Street Brokers has West Coast limited entry trawl 
endorsed permits for sale for $60,000 for a 46.1' permit, and two 43' 
West Coast longline permits for $135,000-$140,000. QS may be valued 
anywhere from tens of thousands to millions of dollars, depending on 
the species and amount owned, although not enough sales have occurred 
yet to be able to confidently estimate their value.

                     Limited Entry Permit-Owner Entities by Small Business Self-Designation
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                    Small business designation
                                               Permit type       --------------------------------      Total
                                                                       Small           Large
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
LE Trawl..............................  C/P.....................               0              10              10
                                        MS......................               4               2               6
                                        CV......................             142              21             163
                                        FR......................              36               8              44
                                        QS......................             N/A             N/A             173
LE Fixed Gear.........................  Primary.................             159               3             162
                                        DTL.....................              52               8              60
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    If permit ownership in 2017-2018 follows similar patterns to the 
last full year (data are available for 2015), it is expected that a 
total of 312 permit owning entities will be impacted by this rule. An 
estimated 222 of these entities own both permits and vessels, and 16 of 
the first receiver permit holding companies actually received 
groundfish, and are thus included in the table above.
    Accounting for joint vessel and permit ownership in the limited 
entry fisheries to the extent possible, an estimated 1,189 commercial 
entities and 544 charter entities will be impacted by this rule; 16 of 
these entities are considered large, and the remaining 1,717 are small. 
As some of these entities are likely owned by the same parent 
companies,

[[Page 75285]]

this number is likely an overestimate of the true value.
    There are no reporting and recordkeeping requirements associated 
with this action. There are no relevant Federal rules that may 
duplicate, overlap, or conflict with this action.
A Description of Any Significant Alternatives to the Proposed Rule That 
Accomplish the Stated Objectives of Applicable Statutes and That 
Minimize Any Significant Economic Impact of the Proposed Rule on Small 
Entities
    There are no significant alternatives to the proposed rule that 
accomplish the stated objectives of applicable statutes and that 
minimize any of the significant economic impact of the proposed rule on 
small entities.
Considered but Rejected Measures
    A summary of the three measures that were analyzed but were 
excluded from the preferred alternative, and rationale for excluding 
them in the preferred alternative, are summarized below.
Manage Starry Flounder in the Other Flatfish Complex
    The most recent assessment of starry flounder does not contain an 
OFL or ABC projection beyond 2016. At the 2015 mop-up Stock Assessment 
Review (STAR) Panel, it was recommended that 2016 harvest 
specifications be carried forward for 2017 and 2018, and starry 
flounder be changed from a Category 2 to a Category 3 stock. The STAR 
panel questioned whether starry flounder should continue to be managed 
as a stand-alone stock or would be better included in the Other 
Flatfish complex.
    The proposal to manage starry flounder in the Other Flatfish 
complex turned out to be more complicated than anticipated, due to a 
mismatch between the Amendment 21 allocations of starry flounder and 
the Other Flatfish complex. The Other Flatfish complex is allocated 90 
percent to trawl and 10 percent to nontrawl, while starry flounder is 
allocated 50 percent to trawl and nontrawl.
    Annual catches of starry flounder in 2012-2014 were 1-2 percent of 
the ACL, therefore there would be little risk that the mortality would 
exceed the stock-specific harvest specifications whether it is managed 
in a complex or with stock-specific harvest specifications. The Council 
rejected the proposal to manage starry flounder within the Other 
Flatfish complex since there were no conservation issues with status 
quo management. Further, initial scoping of the measure indicated there 
would be a high workload to reconfigure allocations and QS.
    During discussions, California Department of Fish and Wildlife 
(CDFW) mentioned that some anglers would like the opportunity to retain 
starry flounder year-round, while current regulations do not provide 
for such an allowance. In 2016, starry flounder is restricted to the 
same months and depths as the groundfish season; however, species in 
the Other Flatfish complex are allowed to be targeted and retained year 
round. If starry flounder were included in the Other Flatfish complex, 
they would then be allowed to be targeted and retained year round in 
the California recreational fishery. In order to facilitate year round 
starry flounder fishing, the Council added starry flounder to the new 
management measure analysis for allowing petrale sole year round and 
all depths in the California recreational fishery.
Transfer of Shorebased Quota Pounds (QP) to the MS Sector
    This management measure would allow limited transfer of canary 
rockfish, darkblotched rockfish, POP, and widow rockfish quota pounds 
from the shorebased IFQ sector to MS Coops. The measure is intended to 
reduce the risk of the mothership sector not attaining their whiting 
allocation, based on the incidental catch of these species. The Council 
excluded the measure from the preferred alternative based on the 
complexities of the analysis, implementation challenges, and other 
matters raised by NMFS. Additionally, the Council is considering a 
measure outside of the harvest specifications and management measures 
process that proposes to change the Amendment 21 allocations and 
management (from quota to set-asides) for darkblotched rockfish and POP 
for both the MS and C/P sectors (75 FR 78344, December 15, 2010).
Overfished Species Hotspot Closures in California
    Nine new area closures in California were analyzed to mitigate 
increases in overfished species impacts, which may occur as a result of 
the proposed 2017-2018 California recreational season structures. The 
proposed season structures allow access to deeper depths than what has 
been allowed in nearly a decade. As such, there is uncertainty in 
angler behavior and the model projections for overfished species. If 
catch was tracking higher than anticipated, the overfished species 
hotspot closures could be implemented to reduce catch.
    The Council excluded the overfished species hotspot closures from 
the preferred alternative based on changes in outreach, inseason 
tracking and management, current fishery performance, and other matters 
raised by CDFW. The Council decision to exclude this measure was also 
related to the management measure that would grant NMFS authority to 
change routine management measures in the recreational and commercial 
fisheries based upon attainment or projected attainment of a Federal 
harvest limit for black rockfish, canary rockfish, and yelloweye 
rockfish. That is, the ability to control catch inseason would increase 
with the ability to take action outside a Council meeting. As such, the 
hotspot closures may no longer be needed.
Regulatory Flexibility Act Determination of a Significant Impact
    The Regulatory Flexibility Act (RFA) requires Federal agencies to 
conduct an analysis of the impact of the proposed rule on small 
entities. The IRFA that NMFS prepared (and noted above) estimates that 
1,717 charter small entities are potentially impacted by this proposed 
rule and concludes that this action is not anticipated to have a 
substantial or significant economic impact on those small entities. We 
are requesting comments on this conclusion.
    NMFS issued Biological Opinions under the Endangered Species Act 
(ESA) (16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.) on August 10, 1990, November 26, 1991, 
August 28, 1992, September 27, 1993, May 14, 1996, and December 15, 
1999, pertaining to the effects of the PCGFMP fisheries on Chinook 
salmon (Puget Sound, Snake River spring/summer, Snake River fall, upper 
Columbia River spring, lower Columbia River, upper Willamette River, 
Sacramento River winter, Central Valley spring, California coastal), 
coho salmon (Central California coastal, southern Oregon/northern 
California coastal), chum salmon (Hood Canal summer, Columbia River), 
sockeye salmon (Snake River, Ozette Lake), and steelhead (upper, middle 
and lower Columbia River, Snake River Basin, upper Willamette River, 
central California coast, California Central Valley, south/central 
California, northern California, southern California). These biological 
opinions have concluded that implementation of the PCGFMP is not 
expected to jeopardize the continued existence of any endangered or 
threatened species under the jurisdiction of NMFS, or result in the 
destruction or adverse modification of critical habitat.
    NMFS issued a Supplemental Biological Opinion on March 11, 2006,

[[Page 75286]]

concluding that neither the higher observed bycatch of Chinook salmon 
in the 2005 Pacific whiting fishery nor new data regarding salmon 
bycatch in the groundfish bottom trawl fishery required a 
reconsideration of its prior ``no jeopardy'' conclusion. NMFS also 
reaffirmed its prior determination that implementation of the PCGFMP is 
not likely to jeopardize the continued existence of any of the affected 
evolutionarily significant units. Lower Columbia River coho salmon (70 
FR 37160, June 28, 2005) and Oregon Coastal coho salmon (73 FR 7816, 
February 11, 2008) were recently relisted as threatened under the ESA. 
The 1999 biological opinion concluded that the bycatch of salmonids in 
the Pacific whiting fishery were almost entirely Chinook salmon, with 
little or no bycatch of coho salmon, chum salmon, sockeye salmon, and 
steelhead.
    NMFS has reinitiated section 7 consultation on the PCGFMP with 
respect to its effects on listed salmonids. In the event the 
consultation identifies either reasonable and prudent alternatives to 
address jeopardy concerns or reasonable and prudent measures to 
minimize incidental take, NMFS would exercise necessary authorities, in 
coordination to the extent possible with the Council, to put such 
additional alternatives or measures into place.
    On December 7, 2012, NMFS completed a biological opinion concluding 
that the groundfish fishery is not likely to jeopardize non-salmonid 
marine species including listed eulachon, green sturgeon, humpback 
whales, Steller sea lions, and leatherback sea turtles. The opinion 
also concludes that the fishery is not likely to adversely modify 
critical habitat for green sturgeon and leatherback sea turtles. An 
analysis included in the same document as the opinion concludes that 
the fishery is not likely to adversely affect green sea turtles, olive 
ridley sea turtles, loggerhead sea turtles, sei whales, North Pacific 
right whales, blue whales, fin whales, sperm whales, Southern Resident 
killer whales, Guadalupe fur seals, or the critical habitat for Steller 
sea lions.
    At the Council's June 2015 meeting, new estimates of eulachon take 
from fishing activity under the PCGFMP indicated that the incidental 
take statement in the 2012 biological opinion was exceeded in 2011 and 
2013. The increased bycatch may be due to increased eulachon abundance. 
In light of the new fishery and abundance information, NMFS has 
reinitiated consultation on eulachon. In the event the consultation 
identifies either reasonable and prudent alternatives to address 
jeopardy concerns, or reasonable and prudent measures to minimize 
incidental take, NMFS would coordinate with the Council to put 
additional alternatives or measures into place, as required.
    On November 21, 2012, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) 
issued a biological opinion concluding that the groundfish fishery will 
not jeopardize the continued existence of the short-tailed albatross. 
The FWS also concurred that the fishery is not likely to adversely 
affect the marbled murrelet, California least tern, southern sea otter, 
bull trout, or bull trout critical habitat. NMFS reinitiated section 7 
consultation on the Pacific Coast Groundfish FMP with respect to its 
effects on short-tailed albatross. In accordance with sections 7(a)(2) 
and 7(d) of the ESA, NMFS determines that this action will not 
jeopardize listed species, would not adversely modify any designated 
critical habitat, and will not result in any irreversible or 
irretrievable commitment of resources that would have the effect of 
foreclosing the formulation or implementation of any reasonable and 
prudent alternative measures.
    This proposed rule would not alter the effects on marine mammals 
over what has already been considered for the fishery. West Coast pot 
fisheries for sablefish are considered Category II fisheries under the 
MMPA's List of Fisheries, indicating occasional interactions. All other 
West Coast groundfish fisheries, including the trawl fishery, are 
considered Category III fisheries under the MMPA, indicating a remote 
likelihood of or no known serious injuries or mortalities to marine 
mammals. On February 27, 2012, NMFS published notice that the 
incidental taking of Steller sea lions in the West Coast groundfish 
fisheries is addressed in NMFS' December 29, 2010 Negligible Impact 
Determination (NID), and this fishery has been added to the list of 
fisheries authorized to take Steller sea lions (77 FR 11493, February 
27, 2012). NMFS is currently working on the process leading to any 
necessary authorization of incidental taking under MMPA section 
101(a)(5)(E) (16 U.S.C. 1371(a)(5)(E)).
    Pursuant to Executive Order 13175, this proposed rule was developed 
after meaningful consultation and collaboration with tribal officials 
from the area covered by the PCGFMP. Under the Magnuson-Stevens Act at 
16 U.S.C. 1852(b)(5), one of the voting members of the Pacific Council 
must be a representative of an Indian tribe with federally recognized 
fishing rights from the area of the Council's jurisdiction. In 
addition, regulations implementing the PCGFMP establish a procedure by 
which the tribes with treaty fishing rights in the area covered by the 
PCGFMP request new allocations or regulations specific to the tribes, 
in writing, before the first of the two meetings at which the Council 
considers groundfish management measures. The regulations at 50 CFR 
660.324(d) further state, ``the Secretary will develop tribal 
allocations and regulations under this paragraph in consultation with 
the affected tribe(s) and, insofar as possible, with tribal 
consensus.'' The tribal management measures in this proposed rule have 
been developed following these procedures. The tribal representative on 
the Council made a motion to adopt the non-whiting tribal management 
measures, which was passed by the Council. Those management measures, 
which were developed and proposed by the tribes, are included in this 
proposed rule.
    This proposed rule has been determined to be not significant for 
purposes of Executive Order 12866.

List of Subjects in 50 CFR Part 660

    Fisheries, Fishing, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.

    Dated: October 18, 2016.
Samuel D. Rauch III,
Deputy Assistant Administrator for Regulatory Programs, National Marine 
Fisheries Service.

    For the reasons set out in the preamble, 50 CFR part 660 is 
proposed to be 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. In Sec.  660.11 in the definition of ``Groundfish,'' paragraphs 
(7)(i)(A) and (7)(i)(B)(2) are revised to read as follows:


Sec.  660.11  General definitions.

* * * * *
    (7) * * *
    (i) * * *
    (A) North of 40[deg]10' N. lat.: Black and yellow rockfish, S. 
chrysomelas; blue rockfish, S. mystinus; brown rockfish, S. 
auriculatus; calico rockfish, S. dalli; China rockfish, S. nebulosus; 
copper rockfish, S. caurinus; deacon rockfish, S. diaconus, gopher 
rockfish, S. carnatus; grass rockfish, S. rastrelliger; kelp rockfish, 
S. atrovirens; olive rockfish, S. serranoides; quillback rockfish, S. 
maliger; treefish, S. serriceps.

[[Page 75287]]

    (B) * * *
    (2) Deeper nearshore rockfish consists of black rockfish, S. 
melanops; blue rockfish, S. mystinus; brown rockfish, S. auriculatus; 
calico rockfish, S. dalli; copper rockfish, S. caurinus; deacon 
rockfish, S. diaconus; olive rockfish, S. serranoides; quillback 
rockfish, S. maliger; treefish, S. serriceps.
* * * * *
0
 3. Section 660.40 is revised to read as follows:


Sec.  660.40  Overfished species rebuilding plans.

    For each overfished groundfish stock with an approved rebuilding 
plan, this section contains the standards to be used to establish 
annual or biennial ACLs, specifically the target date for rebuilding 
the stock to its MSY level and the harvest control rule to be used to 
rebuild the stock. The harvest control rule may be expressed as a 
``Spawning Potential Ratio'' or ``SPR'' harvest rate.
    (a) Bocaccio. Bocaccio south of 40[deg]10' N. latitude was declared 
overfished in 1999. The target year for rebuilding the bocaccio stock 
south of 40[deg]10' N. latitude to BMSY is 2022. The harvest 
control rule to be used to rebuild the southern bocaccio stock is an 
annual SPR harvest rate of 77.7 percent.
    (b) Cowcod. Cowcod was declared overfished in 2000. The target year 
for rebuilding the cowcod stock south of 40[deg]10'N. lat. to 
BMSY is 2020. The harvest control rule to be used to rebuild 
the cowcod stock is an annual SPR harvest rate of 82.7 percent.
    (c) Darkblotched rockfish. Darkblotched rockfish was declared 
overfished in 2000. The target year for rebuilding the darkblotched 
rockfish stock to BMSY is 2025. The harvest control rule is 
ACL = ABC (P* = 0.45).
    (d) Pacific ocean perch (POP). POP was declared overfished in 1999. 
The target year for rebuilding the POP stock to BMSY is 
2051. The harvest control rule to be used to rebuild the POP stock in 
2017 and 2018 is a constant catch ACL of 281 mt per year. In 2019 and 
thereafter the harvest control rule to be used to rebuild POP is an 
annual SPR harvest rate of 86.4 percent.
    (e) Yelloweye rockfish. Yelloweye rockfish was declared overfished 
in 2002. The target year for rebuilding the yelloweye rockfish stock to 
BMSY is 2074. The harvest control rule to be used to rebuild 
the yelloweye rockfish stock is an annual SPR harvest rate of 76.0 
percent.
0
4. In Sec.  660.50, revise paragraphs (f)(2)(ii), (f)(3), add paragraph 
(f)(9), and revise paragraph (g) to read as follows:


Sec.  660.50  Pacific Coast treaty Indian fisheries.

* * * * *
    (f) * * *
    (2) * * *
    (ii) The tribal allocation is 604 mt in 2017 and 630 mt in 2018 per 
year. This allocation is, for each year, 10 percent of the Monterey 
through Vancouver area (North of 36[deg] N. lat.) ACL. The tribal 
allocation is reduced by 1.5 percent for estimated discard mortality.
    (3) Lingcod. Lingcod taken in the treaty fisheries are subject to a 
harvest guideline of 250 mt.
* * * * *
    (9) Widow rockfish. Widow rockfish taken in the directed tribal 
midwater trawl fisheries are subject to a catch limit of 200 mt for the 
entire fleet, per year.
    (g) Pacific Coast treaty Indian fisheries management measures. Trip 
limits for certain species were recommended by the tribes and the 
Council and are specified here.
    (1) Rockfish. The tribes will require full retention of all 
overfished rockfish species and all other marketable rockfish species 
during treaty fisheries.
    (2) Yelloweye rockfish are subject to a 100-lb (45-kg) trip limit.
    (3) Other rockfish--(i) Minor nearshore rockfish. Minor nearshore 
rockfish are subject to a 300-lb (136-kg) trip limit per species or 
species group, or to the non-tribal limited entry trip limit for those 
species if those limits are less restrictive than 300 lb (136 kg) per 
trip. Limited entry trip limits for waters off Washington are specified 
in Table 1 (North) to subpart D, and Table 2 (North) to subpart E of 
this part.
    (ii) Minor shelf rockfish and minor slope rockfish. Redstripe 
rockfish are subject to an 800 lb (363 kg) trip limit. Minor shelf 
(excluding redstripe rockfish), and minor slope rockfish groups are 
subject to a 300 lb (136 kg) trip limit per species or species group, 
or to the non-tribal limited entry fixed gear trip limit for those 
species if those limits are less restrictive than 300 lb (136 kg) per 
trip. Limited entry fixed gear trip limits are specified in Table 2 
(North) to subpart E of this part.
    (iii) Other rockfish. All other rockfish, not listed specifically 
in paragraph (g) of this section, are subject to a 300 lb (136 kg) trip 
limit per species or species group, or to the non-tribal limited entry 
trip limit for those species if those limits are less restrictive than 
300 lb (136 kg) per trip. Limited entry trip limits for waters off 
Washington are specified in Table 1 (North) to subpart D, and Table 2 
(North) to subpart E of this part.
    (4) Pacific whiting. Tribal whiting processed at-sea by non-tribal 
vessels, must be transferred within the tribal U&A from a member of a 
Pacific Coast treaty Indian tribe fishing under this section.
    (5) Groundfish without a tribal allocation. Makah tribal members 
may use midwater trawl gear to take and retain groundfish for which 
there is no tribal allocation and will be subject to the trip landing 
and frequency and size limits applicable to the limited entry fishery.
    (6) EFH. Measures implemented to minimize adverse impacts to 
groundfish EFH, as described in Sec.  660.12 of this subpart, do not 
apply to tribal fisheries in their U&A fishing areas described at Sec.  
660.4, subpart A.
    (7) Small footrope trawl gear. Makah tribal members fishing in the 
bottom trawl fishery may use only small footrope (less than or equal to 
8 inches (20.3 cm)) bottom trawl gear.
0
5. In Sec.  660.55, revise paragraph (b) introductory text to read as 
follows:


Sec.  660.55  Allocations.

* * * * *
    (b) Fishery harvest guidelines and reductions made prior to fishery 
allocations. Prior to the setting of fishery allocations, the TAC, ACL, 
or ACT when specified, is reduced by the Pacific Coast treaty Indian 
Tribal harvest (allocations, set-asides, and estimated harvest under 
regulations at Sec.  660.50); projected scientific research catch of 
all groundfish species, estimates of fishing mortality in non-
groundfish fisheries; and, as necessary, deductions to account for 
unforeseen catch events and deductions for EFPs. Deductions are listed 
in the footnotes of Tables 1a and 2a of subpart C of this part. The 
remaining amount after these deductions is the fishery harvest 
guideline or quota. (Note: recreational estimates are not deducted 
here.)
* * * * *
0
6. In Sec.  660.60, paragraphs (c)(1)(i) and (c)(3)(ii) are revised and 
paragraph (c)(4) is added to read as follows:


Sec.  660.60  Specifications and management measures.

* * * * *
    (c) * * *
    (1) * * *
    (i) Trip landing and frequency limits, size limits, all gear. Trip 
landing and frequency limits have been designated as routine for the 
following species or species groups: Widow rockfish, canary rockfish, 
yellowtail rockfish, Pacific ocean perch, yelloweye rockfish, black 
rockfish, blue/deacon rockfish, splitnose rockfish, blackgill rockfish 
in the area south of 40[deg]10' N. lat., chilipepper, bocaccio, cowcod, 
Minor Nearshore

[[Page 75288]]

Rockfish or shallow and deeper Minor Nearshore Rockfish, shelf or Minor 
Shelf Rockfish, and Minor Slope Rockfish; Dover sole, sablefish, 
shortspine thornyheads, and longspine thornyheads; petrale sole, rex 
sole, arrowtooth flounder, Pacific sanddabs, big skate, and the Other 
Flatfish complex, which is composed of those species plus any other 
flatfish species listed at Sec.  660.11; Pacific whiting; lingcod; 
Pacific cod; spiny dogfish; longnose skate; cabezon in Oregon and 
California and ``Other Fish'' as defined at Sec.  660.11. In addition 
to the species and species groups listed above, sub-limits or aggregate 
limits may be specified, specific to the Shorebased IFQ Program, for 
the following species: Big skate, California skate, California 
scorpionfish, leopard shark, soupfin shark, finescale codling, Pacific 
rattail (grenadier), ratfish, kelp greenling, shortbelly rockfish, and 
cabezon in Washington. Size limits have been designated as routine for 
sablefish and lingcod. Trip landing and frequency limits and size 
limits for species with those limits designated as routine may be 
imposed or adjusted on a biennial or more frequent basis for the 
purpose of keeping landings within the harvest levels announced by 
NMFS, and for the other purposes given in paragraphs (c)(1)(i)(A) and 
(B) of this section.
* * * * *
    (3) * * *
    (ii) Non-tribal deductions from the ACL. Changes to the non-tribal 
amounts deducted from the TAC, ACLs, or ACT when specified, described 
at Sec.  660.55(b)(2) through (4) and specified in the footnotes to 
Tables 1a through 1c, and 2a through 2c, to subpart C, have been 
designated as routine to make fish that would otherwise go unharvested 
available to other fisheries during the fishing year. Adjustments may 
be made to provide additional harvest opportunities in groundfish 
fisheries when catch in scientific research activities, non-groundfish 
fisheries, and EFPs are lower than the amounts that were initially 
deducted off the TAC, ACL, or ACT when specified, during the biennial 
specifications or to allocate yield from the deduction to account for 
unforeseen catch events to groundfish fisheries. When recommending 
adjustments to the non-tribal deductions, the Council shall consider 
the allocation framework criteria outlined in the PCGFMP and the 
objectives to maintain or extend fishing and marketing opportunities 
taking into account the best available fishery information on sector 
needs.
    (4) Inseason action for canary rockfish, yelloweye rockfish, and 
black rockfish in California State-Specific Federal Harvest Limits 
outside of a Council meeting. The Regional Administrator, NMFS West 
Coast Region, after consultation with the Chairman of the Pacific 
Fishery Management Council and the Fishery Director of the California 
Department of Fish and Wildlife, or their designees, is authorized to 
modify the following designated routine management measures for canary 
rockfish, yelloweye rockfish, and black rockfish off the coast of 
California. For black rockfish in commercial fisheries trip landing and 
frequency limits; and depth based management measures. For black, 
canary, and yelloweye rockfish in recreational fisheries bag limits; 
time/area closures; depth based management. Any modifications may be 
made only after NMFS has determined that a California state-specific 
federal harvest limit for canary rockfish, yelloweye rockfish, or black 
rockfish, is attained or projected to be attained prior to the first 
day of the next Council meeting. Any modifications may only be used to 
restrict catch of canary rockfish, yelloweye rockfish, or black 
rockfish off the coast of California.
* * * * *
0
7. In Sec.  660.70, paragraphs (g) through (p) are redesignated as (i) 
through (r), and new paragraphs (g) and (h) are added to read as 
follows:


Sec.  660.70  Groundfish conservation areas.

* * * * *
    (g) Stonewall Bank Yelloweye Rockfish Conservation Area, Expansion 
1. The Stonewall Bank Yelloweye Rockfish Conservation Area (YRCA) 
Expansion 1 is an area off central Oregon, near Stonewall Bank, 
intended to protect yelloweye rockfish. The Stonewall Bank YRCA 
Expansion 1 is defined by straight lines connecting the following 
specific latitude and longitude coordinates in the order listed:
    (1) 44[deg]41.76' N. lat.; 124[deg]30.02' W. long.;
    (2) 44[deg]41.73' N. lat.; 124[deg]21.60' W. long.;
    (3) 44[deg]25.25' N. lat.; 124[deg]16.94' W. long.;
    (4) 44[deg]25.29' N. lat.; 124[deg]30.14' W. long.;
    (5) 44[deg]41.76' N. lat.; 124[deg]30.02' W. long.; and connecting 
back to 44[deg]41.76' N. lat.; 124[deg]30.02' W. long.
    (h) Stonewall Bank Yelloweye Rockfish Conservation Area, Expansion 
2. The Stonewall Bank Yelloweye Rockfish Conservation Area (YRCA) 
Expansion 2 is an area off central Oregon, near Stonewall Bank, 
intended to protect yelloweye rockfish. The Stonewall Bank YRCA 
Expansion 2 is defined by straight lines connecting the following 
specific latitude and longitude coordinates in the order listed:
    (1) 44[deg]38.54' N. lat.; 124[deg]27.41' W. long.;
    (2) 44[deg]38.54' N. lat.; 124[deg]23.86' W. long.;
    (3) 44[deg]27.13' N. lat.; 124[deg]21.50' W. long.;
    (4) 44[deg]27.13' N. lat.; 124[deg]26.89' W. long.;
    (5) 44[deg]31.30' N. lat.; 124[deg]28.35' W. long.; and connecting 
back to 44[deg]38.54' N. lat.; 124[deg]27.41' W. long.
* * * * *
0
8. Amend Sec.  660.71 as follows:
0
a. Redesignate paragraphs (e)(143) through (332) as paragraphs (e)(147) 
through (336), respectively and redesignate paragraphs (e)(140) through 
(142) as paragraphs (e)(141) through (143), respectively;
0
b. Add new paragraphs (e)(140) and (e)(144) through (146);
0
c. Redesignate paragraphs (k)(128) through (214) as paragraphs (k)(130) 
through (216), respectively and redesignate paragraphs (k)(120) through 
(127) as paragraphs (k)(121) through (128), respectively;
0
d. Add new paragraphs (k)(120) and (129);
0
e. Revise newly redesignated paragraphs (e)(168) and (k)(128) to read 
as follows:


Sec.  660.71  Latitude/longitude coordinates defining the 10-fm (18-m) 
through 40-fm (73-m) depth contours.

* * * * *
    (e) * * *
    (140) 39[deg]37.50' N. lat., 123[deg]49.20' W. long.;
* * * * *
    (144) 39[deg]13.00' N. lat., 123[deg]47.65' W. long.;
    (145) 39[deg]11.06' N. lat., 123[deg]47.16' W. long.;
    (146) 39[deg]10.35' N. lat., 123[deg]46.75' W. long.;
* * * * *
    (168) 37[deg]39.85.' N. lat., 122[deg]49.90' W. long.;
* * * * *
    (k) * * *
    (120) 38[deg]30.57' N. lat., 123[deg]18.60' W. long.;
* * * * *
    (128) 37[deg]48.22' N. lat., 123[deg]10.62' W. long.;
    (129) 37[deg]47.53' N. lat., 123[deg]11.54' W. long.;
* * * * *
0
 9. In Sec.  660.72, paragraph (a)(107) is revised to read as follows:

[[Page 75289]]

Sec.  660.72  Latitude/longitude coordinates defining the 50 fm (91 m) 
through 75 fm (137 m) depth contours.

* * * * *
    (a) * * *
    (107) 37[deg]45.57' N. lat., 123[deg]9.46' W. long.;
* * * * *
0
 10. In Sec.  660.73, redesignate paragraphs (h)(248) through (309) as 
(h)(252) through (313), respectively, and add new paragraphs (h)(248) 
through (251); to read as follows:


Sec.  660.73  Latitude/longitude coordinates defining the 100 fm (183 
m) through 150 fm (274 m) depth contours.

* * * * *
    (h) * * *
    (248) 36[deg]47.60' N. lat., 121[deg]58.88' W. long.;
    (249) 36[deg]48.24' N. lat., 121[deg]51.40' W. long.;
    (250) 36[deg]45.84' N. lat., 121[deg]57.21' W. long.;
    (251) 36[deg]45.77' N. lat., 121[deg]57.61' W. long.;
* * * * *
0
11a. Tables 1a through 1d to part 660, subpart C, are revised to read 
as follows:

   Table 1a to Part 660, Subpart C--2017, Specifications of OFL, ABC, ACL, ACT and Fishery Harvest Guidelines
                                            [Weights in metric tons]
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
            Species                   Area              OFL             ABC            ACL a       Fishery HG b
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
BOCACCIO c....................  S. of 40[deg]10'           2,139           2,044             790             775
                                 N. lat.
COWCOD d......................  S. of 40[deg]10'              70              63              10               8
                                 N. lat.
DARKBLOTCHED ROCKFISH e.......  Coastwide.......             671             641             641             564
PACIFIC OCEAN PERCH f.........  N. of 40[deg]10'             964             922             281             232
                                 N. lat.
YELLOWEYE ROCKFISH g..........  Coastwide.......              57              47              20              15
Arrowtooth flounder h.........  Coastwide.......          16,571          13,804          13,804          11,706
Big skate i...................  Coastwide.......             541             494             494             437
Black rockfish j..............  California                   349             334             334             333
                                 (South of
                                 42[deg] N.
                                 lat.).
Black rockfish k..............  Oregon (Between              577             527             527             526
                                 46[deg]16' N.
                                 lat. and
                                 42[deg] N.
                                 lat.).
Black rockfish l..............  Washington (N.               319             305             305             287
                                 of 46[deg]16'
                                 N. lat.).
Blackgill rockfish m..........  S. of 40[deg]10'              NA              NA              NA              NA
                                 N. lat.
Cabezon n.....................  California                   157             150             150             150
                                 (South of
                                 42[deg] N.
                                 lat.).
Cabezon o.....................  Oregon (Between               49              47              47              47
                                 46[deg]16' N.
                                 lat. and
                                 42[deg] N.
                                 lat.).
California scorpionfish p.....  S. of 34[deg]27'             289             264             150             148
                                 N. lat.
Canary rockfish q.............  Coastwide.......           1,793           1,714           1,714           1,467
Chilipepper r.................  S. of 40[deg]10'           2,727           2,607           2,607           2,561
                                 N. lat.
Dover sole s..................  Coastwide.......          89,702          85,755          50,000          48,406
English sole t................  Coastwide.......          10,914           9,964           9,964           9,751
Lingcod u.....................  N. of 40[deg]10'           3,549           3,333           3,333           3,055
                                 N. lat.
Lingcod v.....................  S. of 40[deg]10'           1,502           1,251           1,251           1,242
                                 N. lat.
Longnose skate w..............  Coastwide.......           2,556           2,444           2,000           1,853
Longspine thornyhead x........  Coastwide.......           4,571           3,808              NA              NA
Longspine thornyhead..........  N. of 34[deg]27'              NA              NA           2,894           2,847
                                 N. lat.
Longspine thornyhead..........  S. of 34[deg]27'              NA              NA             914             911
                                 N. lat.
Pacific cod y.................  Coastwide.......           3,200           2,221           1,600           1,091
Pacific whiting z.............  Coastwide.......             (z)             (z)             (z)             (z)
Petrale sole aa...............  Coastwide.......           3,280           3,136           3,136           2,895
Sablefish.....................  Coastwide.......           8,050           7,350              NA              NA
Sablefish bb..................  N. of 36[deg] N.              NA              NA           6,041    See Table 1c
                                 lat.
Sablefish cc..................  S. of 36[deg] N.              NA              NA           1,075           1,070
                                 lat.
Shortbelly rockfish dd........  Coastwide.......           6,950           5,789             500             489
Shortspine thornyhead ee......  Coastwide.......           3,144           2,619              NA              NA
Shortspine thornyhead.........  N. of 34[deg]27'              NA              NA           1,713           1,654
                                 N. lat.
Shortspine thornyhead.........  S. of 34[deg]27'              NA              NA             906             864
                                 N. lat.
Spiny dogfish ff..............  Coastwide.......           2,514           2,094           2,094           1,756
Splitnose rockfish gg.........  S. of 40[deg]10'           1,841           1,760           1,760           1,749
                                 N. lat.
Starry flounder hh............  Coastwide.......           1,847           1,282           1,282           1,272
Widow rockfish ii.............  Coastwide.......          14,130          13,508          13,508          13,290
Yellowtail rockfish jj........  N. of 40[deg]10'           6,786           6,196           6,196           5,166
                                 N. lat.
Minor Nearshore Rockfish kk...  N. of 40[deg]10'             118             105             105             103
                                 N. lat.
Minor Shelf Rockfish ll.......  N. of 40[deg]10'           2,303           2,049           2,049           1,965
                                 N. lat.
Minor Slope Rockfish mm.......  N. of 40[deg]10'           1,897           1,755           1,755           1,690
                                 N. lat.
Minor Nearshore Rockfish nn...  S. of 40[deg]10'           1,329           1,166           1,163           1,159
                                 N. lat.
Minor Shelf Rockfish oo.......  S. of 40[deg]10'           1,917           1,624           1,623           1,576
                                 N. lat.
Minor Slope Rockfish pp.......  S. of 40[deg]10'             827             718             707             687
                                 N. lat.
Other Flatfish qq.............  Coastwide.......          11,165           8,510           8,510           8,306
Other Fish rr.................  Coastwide.......             537             474             474             474
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
a Annual catch limits (ACLs), annual catch targets (ACTs) and harvest guidelines (HGs) are specified as total
  catch values.
b Fishery harvest guidelines means the harvest guideline or quota after subtracting Pacific Coast treaty Indian
  tribes allocations and projected catch, projected research catch, deductions for fishing mortality in non-
  groundfish fisheries, and deductions for EFPs from the ACL or ACT.

[[Page 75290]]

 
c Bocaccio. A stock assessment was conducted in 2015 for the bocaccio stock between the U.S.-Mexico border and
  Cape Blanco. The stock is managed with stock-specific harvest specifications south of 40[deg]10' N. lat. and
  within the Minor Shelf Rockfish complex north of 40[deg]10' N. lat. A historical catch distribution of
  approximately 7.4 percent was used to apportion the assessed stock to the area north of 40[deg]10' N. lat. The
  bocaccio stock was estimated to be at 36.8 percent of its unfished biomass in 2015. The OFL of 2,139 mt is
  projected in the 2015 stock assessment using an FMSY proxy of F50%. The ABC of 2,044 mt is a 4.4 percent
  reduction from the OFL ([sigma] = 0.36/P* = 0.45) because it is a category 1 stock. The 790 mt ACL is based on
  the current rebuilding plan with a target year to rebuild of 2022 and an SPR harvest rate of 77.7 percent.
  15.4 mt is deducted from the ACL to accommodate the incidental open access fishery (0.8 mt), EFP catch (10 mt)
  and research catch (4.6 mt), resulting in a fishery HG of 774.6 mt. The California recreational fishery has an
  HG of 326.1 mt.
d Cowcod. A stock assessment for the Conception Area was conducted in 2013 and the stock was estimated to be at
  33.9 percent of its unfished biomass in 2013. The Conception Area OFL of 58 mt is projected in the 2013
  rebuilding analysis using an FMSY proxy of F50%. The OFL contribution of 12 mt for the unassessed portion of
  the stock in the Monterey area is based on depletion-based stock reduction analysis. The OFLs for the Monterey
  and Conception areas were summed to derive the south of 40[deg]10' N. lat. OFL of 70 mt. The ABC for the area
  south of 40[deg]10' N. lat. is 63 mt. The assessed portion of the stock in the Conception Area is considered
  category 2, with a Conception area contribution to the ABC of 53 mt, which is an 8.7 percent reduction from
  the Conception area OFL ([sigma] = 0.72/P* = 0.45). The unassessed portion of the stock in the Monterey area
  is considered a category 3 stock, with a contribution to the ABC of 10 mt, which is a 16.6 percent reduction
  from the Monterey area OFL ([sigma] = 1.44/P* = 0.45). A single ACL of 10 mt is being set for both areas
  combined. The ACL of 10 mt is based on the rebuilding plan with a target year to rebuild of 2020 and an SPR
  harvest rate of 82.7 percent, which is equivalent to an exploitation rate (catch over age 11+ biomass) of
  0.007. 2 mt is deducted from the ACL to accommodate the incidental open access fishery (less than 0.1 mt), EFP
  fishing (less than 0.1 mt) and research activity (2 mt), resulting in a fishery HG of 8 mt. Any additional
  mortality in research activities will be deducted from the ACL. A single ACT of 4 mt is being set for both
  areas combined.
e Darkblotched rockfish. A 2015 stock assessment estimated the stock to be at 39 percent of its unfished biomass
  in 2015. The OFL of 671 mt is projected in the 2015 stock assessment using an FMSY proxy of F50%. The ABC of
  641 mt is a 4.4 percent reduction from the OFL ([sigma] = 0.36/P* = 0.45) because it is a category 1 stock.
  The ACL is set equal to the ABC, as the stock is projected to be above its target biomass of B40% in 2017.
  77.3 mt is deducted from the ACL to accommodate the Tribal fishery (0.2 mt), the incidental open access
  fishery (24.5 mt), EFP catch (0.1 mt), research catch (2.5 mt) and an additional deduction for unforeseen
  catch events (50 mt), resulting in a fishery HG of 563.8 mt.
f Pacific ocean perch. A stock assessment was conducted in 2011 and the stock was estimated to be at 19.1
  percent of its unfished biomass in 2011. The OFL of 964 mt for the area north of 40[deg]10' N. lat. is based
  on an updated catch-only projection of the 2011 rebuilding analysis using an F50% FMSY proxy. The ABC of 922
  mt is a 4.4 percent reduction from the OFL ([sigma] = 0.36/P* = 0.45) because it is a category 1 stock. The
  ACL is based on the current rebuilding plan with a target year to rebuild of 2051 and a constant catch amount
  of 281 mt in 2017 and 2018, followed in 2019 and beyond by ACLs based on an SPR harvest rate of 86.4 percent.
  49.4 mt is deducted from the ACL to accommodate the Tribal fishery (9.2 mt), the incidental open access
  fishery (10 mt), research catch (5.2 mt) and an additional deduction for unforeseen catch events (25 mt),
  resulting in a fishery HG of 231.6 mt.
g Yelloweye rockfish. A stock assessment update was conducted in 2011. The stock was estimated to be at 21.4
  percent of its unfished biomass in 2011. The 57 mt coastwide OFL is based on a catch-only update of the 2011
  stock assessment, assuming actual catches since 2011 and using an FMSY proxy of F50%. The ABC of 47 mt is a
  16.7 percent reduction from the OFL ([sigma] = 0.72/P* = 0.40) because it is a category 2 stock. The 20 mt ACL
  is based on the current rebuilding plan with a target year to rebuild of 2074 and an SPR harvest rate of 76.0
  percent. 5.4 mt is deducted from the ACL to accommodate the Tribal fishery (2.3 mt), the incidental open
  access fishery (0.4 mt), EFP catch (less than 0.1 mt) and research catch (2.7 mt), resulting in a fishery HG
  of 14.6 mt. Recreational HGs are: 3.3 mt (Washington); 3 mt (Oregon); and 3.9 mt (California).
h Arrowtooth flounder. The arrowtooth flounder stock was last assessed in 2007 and was estimated to be at 79
  percent of its unfished biomass in 2007. The OFL of 16,571 mt is derived from a catch-only update of the 2007
  stock assessment assuming actual catches since 2007 and using an F30% FMSY proxy. The ABC of 13,804 mt is a
  16.7 percent reduction from the OFL ([sigma] = 0.72/P* = 0.40) because it is a category 2 stock. The ACL is
  set equal to the ABC because the stock is above its target biomass of B25%. 2,098.1 mt is deducted from the
  ACL to accommodate the Tribal fishery (2,041 mt), the incidental open access fishery (40.8 mt), and research
  catch (16.4 mt), resulting in a fishery HG of 11,705.9 mt.
i Big skate. The OFL of 541 mt is based on an estimate of trawl survey biomass and natural mortality. The ABC of
  494 mt is an 8.7 percent reduction from the OFL ([sigma] = 0.72/P* = 0.45) as it is a category 2 stock. The
  ACL is set equal to the ABC. 57.4 mt is deducted from the ACL to accommodate the Tribal fishery (15 mt), the
  incidental open access fishery (38.4 mt), and research catch (4 mt), resulting in a fishery HG of 436.6 mt.
j Black rockfish (California). A 2015 stock assessment estimated the stock to be at 33 percent of its unfished
  biomass in 2015. The OFL of 349 mt is projected in the 2015 stock assessment using an FMSY proxy of F50%. The
  ABC of 334 mt is a 4.4 percent reduction from the OFL ([sigma] = 0.36/P* = 0.45) because it is a category 1
  stock. The ACL is set equal to the ABC because the stock is projected to be above its target biomass of B40%
  in 2017. 1 mt is deducted from the ACL to accommodate EFP catch (1 mt), resulting in a fishery HG of 333 mt.
k Black rockfish (Oregon). A 2015 stock assessment estimated the stock to be at 60 percent of its unfished
  biomass in 2015. The OFL of 577 mt is projected in the 2015 stock assessment using an FMSY proxy of F50%. The
  ABC of 527 mt is an 8.7 percent reduction from the OFL ([sigma] = 0.72/P* = 0.45) because it is a category 2
  stock. The ACL is set equal to the ABC because the stock is above its target biomass of B40%. 0.6 mt is
  deducted from the ACL to accommodate the incidental open access fishery (0.6 mt), resulting in a fishery HG of
  526.4 mt.
l Black rockfish (Washington). A 2015 stock assessment estimated the stock to be at 43 percent of its unfished
  biomass in 2015. The OFL of 319 mt is projected in the 2015 stock assessment using an FMSY proxy of F50%. The
  ABC of 305 mt is a 4.4 percent reduction from the OFL ([sigma] = 0.36/P* = 0.45) because it is a category 1
  stock. The ACL is set equal to the ABC because the stock is above its target biomass of B40%. 18 mt is
  deducted from the ACL to accommodate the Tribal fishery, resulting in a fishery HG of 287 mt.
m Blackgill rockfish. Blackgill rockfish contributes to the harvest specifications for the Minor Slope Rockfish
  South complex. See footnote/pp.
n Cabezon (California). A cabezon stock assessment was conducted in 2009. The cabezon spawning biomass in waters
  off California was estimated to be at 48.3 percent of its unfished biomass in 2009. The OFL of 157 mt is
  calculated using an FMSY proxy of F45%. The ABC of 150 mt is based on a 4.4 percent reduction from the OFL
  ([sigma] = 0.36/P* = 0.45) because it is a category 1 stock. The ACL is set equal to the ABC because the stock
  is above its target biomass of B40%. 0.3 mt is deducted from the ACL to accommodate the incidental open access
  fishery, resulting in a fishery HG of 149.7 mt.
o Cabezon (Oregon). A cabezon stock assessment was conducted in 2009. The cabezon spawning biomass in waters off
  Oregon was estimated to be at 52 percent of its unfished biomass in 2009. The OFL of 49 mt is calculated using
  an FMSY proxy of F45%. The ABC of 47 mt is based on a 4.4 percent reduction from the OFL ([sigma] = 0.36/P* =
  0.45) because it is a category 1 species. The ACL is set equal to the ABC because the stock is above its
  target biomass of B40%. There are no deductions from the ACL so the fishery HG is also equal to the ACL of 47
  mt.
p California scorpionfish. A California scorpionfish assessment was conducted in 2005 and was estimated to be at
  79.8 percent of its unfished biomass in 2005. The OFL of 289 mt is based on projections from a catch-only
  update of the 2005 assessment assuming actual catches since 2005 and using an FMSY harvest rate proxy of F50%.
  The ABC of 264 mt is an 8.7 percent reduction from the OFL ([sigma] = 0.72/P* = 0.45) because it is a category
  2 stock. The ACL is set at a constant catch amount of 150 mt. 2.2 mt is deducted from the ACL to accommodate
  the incidental open access fishery (2 mt) and research catch (0.2 mt), resulting in a fishery HG of 147.8 mt.
  An ACT of 111 mt is established.
q Canary rockfish. A stock assessment was conducted in 2015 and the stock was estimated to be at 55.5 percent of
  its unfished biomass coastwide in 2015. The coastwide OFL of 1,793 mt is projected in the 2015 assessment
  using an FMSY harvest rate proxy of F50%. The ABC of 1,714 mt is a 4.4 percent reduction from the OFL ([sigma]
  = 0.36/P* = 0.45) because it is a category 1 stock. The ACL is set equal to the ABC because the stock is above
  its target biomass of B40%. 247 mt is deducted from the ACL to accommodate the Tribal fishery (50 mt), the
  incidental open access fishery (1.2 mt), EFP catch (1 mt), research catch (7.2 mt), and an additional
  deduction for unforeseen catch events (188 mt), resulting in a fishery HG of 1,466.6 mt. Recreational HGs are:
  50 mt (Washington); 75 mt (Oregon); and 135 mt (California).

[[Page 75291]]

 
r Chilipepper. A coastwide update assessment of the chilipepper stock was conducted in 2015 and estimated to be
  at 64 percent of its unfished biomass in 2015. Chilipepper are managed with stock-specific harvest
  specifications south of 40[deg]10' N. lat. and within the Minor Shelf Rockfish complex north of 40[deg]10' N.
  lat. Projected OFLs are stratified north and south of 40[deg]10' N. lat. based on the average historical
  assessed area catch, which is 93 percent for the area south of 40[deg]10' N. lat. and 7 percent for the area
  north of 40[deg]10' N. lat. The OFL of 2,727 mt for the area south of 40[deg]10' N. lat. is projected in the
  2015 assessment using an FMSY proxy of F50%. The ABC of 2,607 mt is a 4.4 percent reduction from the OFL
  ([sigma] = 0.36/P* = 0.45) because it is a category 1 stock. The ACL is set equal to the ABC because the stock
  is above its target biomass of B40%. 45.9 mt is deducted from the ACL to accommodate the incidental open
  access fishery (5 mt), EFP fishing (30 mt), and research catch (10.9 mt), resulting in a fishery HG of 2,561.1
  mt.
s Dover sole. A 2011 Dover sole assessment estimated the stock to be at 83.7 percent of its unfished biomass in
  2011. The OFL of 89,702 mt is based on an updated catch-only projection from the 2011 stock assessment
  assuming actual catches since 2011 and using an FMSY proxy of F30%. The ABC of 85,755 mt is a 4.4 percent
  reduction from the OFL ([sigma] = 0.36/P* = 0.45) because it is a category 1 stock. The ACL could be set equal
  to the ABC because the stock is above its target biomass of B25%. However, the ACL of 50,000 mt is set at a
  level below the ABC and higher than the maximum historical landed catch. 1,593.7 mt is deducted from the ACL
  to accommodate the Tribal fishery (1,497 mt), the incidental open access fishery (54.8 mt), and research catch
  (41.9 mt), resulting in a fishery HG of 48,406.3 mt.
t English sole. A 2013 stock assessment was conducted, which estimated the stock to be at 88 percent of its
  unfished biomass in 2013. The OFL of 10,914 mt is projected in the 2013 assessment using an FMSY proxy of
  F30%. The ABC of 9,964 mt is an 8.7 percent reduction from the OFL ([sigma] = 0.72/P* = 0.45) because it is a
  category 2 stock. The ACL is set equal to the ABC because the stock is above its target biomass of B25%. 212.8
  mt is deducted from the ACL to accommodate the Tribal fishery (200 mt), the incidental open access fishery
  (7.0 mt) and research catch (5.8 mt), resulting in a fishery HG of 9,751.2 mt.
u Lingcod north. The 2009 lingcod assessment modeled two populations north and south of the California-Oregon
  border (42[deg] N. lat.). Both populations were healthy with stock depletion estimated at 62 and 74 percent
  for the north and south, respectively in 2009. The OFL is based on an updated catch-only projection from the
  2009 assessment assuming actual catches since 2009 and using an FMSY proxy of F45%. The OFL is apportioned
  north of 40[deg]10' N. lat. by adding 48% of the OFL from California, resulting in an OFL of 3,549 mt for the
  area north of 40[deg]10' N. lat. The ABC of 3,333 mt is based on a 4.4 percent reduction ([sigma] = 0.36/P* =
  0.45) from the OFL contribution for the area north of 42[deg] N. lat. because it is a category 1 stock, and an
  8.7 percent reduction ([sigma] = 0.72/P* = 0.45) from the OFL contribution for the area between 42[deg] N.
  lat. and 40[deg]10' N. lat. because it is a category 2 stock. The ACL is set equal to the ABC because the
  stock is above its target biomass of B40%. 278.2 mt is deducted from the ACL for the Tribal fishery (250 mt),
  the incidental open access fishery (16 mt), EFP catch (0.5 mt) and research catch (11.7 mt), resulting in a
  fishery HG of 3,054.8 mt.
v Lingcod south. The 2009 lingcod assessment modeled two populations north and south of the California-Oregon
  border (42[deg] N. lat.). Both populations were healthy with stock depletion estimated at 62 and 74 percent
  for the north and south, respectively in 2009.The OFL is based on an updated catch-only projection of the 2009
  stock assessment assuming actual catches since 2009 using an FMSY proxy of F45%. The OFL is apportioned by
  subtracting 48% of the California OFL, resulting in an OFL of 1,502 mt for the area south of 40[deg]10' N.
  lat. The ABC of 1,251 mt is based on a 16.7 percent reduction from the OFL ([sigma] = 0.72/P* = 0.40) because
  it is a category 2 stock. The ACL is set equal to the ABC because the stock is above its target biomass of
  B40%. 9 mt is deducted from the ACL to accommodate the incidental open access fishery (6.9 mt), EFP fishing (1
  mt), and research catch (1.1 mt), resulting in a fishery HG of 1,242 mt.
w Longnose skate. A stock assessment was conducted in 2007 and the stock was estimated to be at 66 percent of
  its unfished biomass. The OFL of 2,556 mt is derived from the 2007 stock assessment using an FMSY proxy of
  F50%. The ABC of 2,444 mt is a 4.4 percent reduction from the OFL ([sigma] = 0.36/P* = 0.45) because it is a
  category 1 stock. The ACL of 2,000 mt is a fixed harvest level that provides greater access to the stock and
  is less than the ABC. 147 mt is deducted from the ACL to accommodate the Tribal fishery (130 mt), incidental
  open access fishery (3.8 mt), and research catch (13.2 mt), resulting in a fishery HG of 1,853 mt.
x Longspine thornyhead. A 2013 longspine thornyhead coastwide stock assessment estimated the stock to be at 75
  percent of its unfished biomass in 2013. A coastwide OFL of 4,571 mt is projected in the 2013 stock assessment
  using an F50% FMSY proxy. The coastwide ABC of 3,808 mt is a 16.7 percent reduction from the OFL ([sigma] =
  0.72/P* = 0.40) because it is a category 2 stock. For the portion of the stock that is north of 34[deg]27' N.
  lat., the ACL is 2,894 mt, and is 76 percent of the coastwide ABC based on the average swept-area biomass
  estimates (2003-2012) from the NMFS NWFSC trawl survey. 46.8 mt is deducted from the ACL to accommodate the
  Tribal fishery (30 mt), the incidental open access fishery (3.3 mt), and research catch (13.5 mt), resulting
  in a fishery HG of 2,847.2 mt. For that portion of the stock south of 34[deg]27' N. lat. the ACL is 914 mt and
  is 24 percent of the coastwide ABC based on the average swept-area biomass estimates (2003-2012) from the NMFS
  NWFSC trawl survey. 3.2 mt is deducted from the ACL to accommodate the incidental open access fishery (1.8
  mt), and research catch (1.4 mt), resulting in a fishery HG of 910.8 mt.
y Pacific cod. The 3,200 mt OFL is based on the maximum level of historic landings. The ABC of 2,221 mt is a
  30.6 percent reduction from the OFL ([sigma] = 1.44/P* = 0.40) because it is a category 3 stock. The 1,600 mt
  ACL is the OFL reduced by 50 percent as a precautionary adjustment. 509 mt is deducted from the ACL to
  accommodate the Tribal fishery (500 mt), research catch (7 mt), and the incidental open access fishery (2 mt),
  resulting in a fishery HG of 1,091 mt.
z Pacific whiting. Pacific whiting. Pacific whiting are assessed annually. The final specifications will be
  determined consistent with the U.S.-Canada Pacific Whiting Agreement and will be announced after the Council's
  April 2017 meeting.
aa Petrale sole. A 2015 stock assessment update was conducted, which estimated the stock to be at 31 percent of
  its unfished biomass in 2015. The OFL of 3,280 mt is projected in the 2015 assessment using an FMSY proxy of
  F30%. The ABC of 3,136 mt is a 4.4 percent reduction from the OFL ([sigma] = 0.36/P* = 0.45) because it is a
  category 1 stock. The ACL is set equal to the ABC because the stock is above its target biomass of B25%. 240.9
  mt is deducted from the ACL to accommodate the Tribal fishery (220 mt), the incidental open access fishery
  (3.2 mt) and research catch (17.7 mt), resulting in a fishery HG of 2,895.1 mt.
bb Sablefish north. A coastwide sablefish stock assessment update was conducted in 2015. The coastwide sablefish
  biomass was estimated to be at 33 percent of its unfished biomass in 2015. The coastwide OFL of 8,050 mt is
  projected in the 2015 stock assessment using an FMSY proxy of F45%. The ABC of 7,350 mt is an 8.7 percent
  reduction from the OFL ([sigma] = 0.36/P* = 0.40). The 40-10 adjustment is applied to the ABC to derive a
  coastwide ACL value because the stock is in the precautionary zone. This coastwide ACL value is not specified
  in regulations. The coastwide ACL value is apportioned north and south of 36[deg] N. lat., using the 2003-2014
  average estimated swept area biomass from the NMFS NWFSC trawl survey, with 84.9 percent apportioned north of
  36[deg] N. lat. and 15.1 percent apportioned south of 36[deg] N. lat. The northern ACL is 6,041 mt and is
  reduced by 604 mt for the Tribal allocation (10 percent of the ACL north of 36[deg] N. lat.). The 604 mt
  Tribal allocation is reduced by 1.5 percent to account for discard mortality. Detailed sablefish allocations
  are shown in Table 1c.
cc Sablefish south. The ACL for the area south of 36[deg] N. lat. is 1,075 mt (15.1 percent of the calculated
  coastwide ACL value). 5 mt is deducted from the ACL to accommodate the incidental open access fishery (2 mt)
  and research catch (3 mt), resulting in a fishery HG of 1,070 mt.
dd Shortbelly rockfish. A non-quantitative shortbelly rockfish assessment was conducted in 2007. The spawning
  stock biomass of shortbelly rockfish was estimated to be 67 percent of its unfished biomass in 2005. The OFL
  of 6,950 mt is based on the estimated MSY in the 2007 stock assessment. The ABC of 5,789 mt is a 16.7 percent
  reduction of the OFL ([sigma] = 0.72/P* = 0.40) because it is a category 2 stock. The 500 mt ACL is set to
  accommodate incidental catch when fishing for co-occurring healthy stocks and in recognition of the stock's
  importance as a forage species in the California Current ecosystem. 10.9 mt is deducted from the ACL to
  accommodate the incidental open access fishery (8.9 mt) and research catch (2 mt), resulting in a fishery HG
  of 489.1 mt.
ee Shortspine thornyhead. A 2013 coastwide shortspine thornyhead stock assessment estimated the stock to be at
  74.2 percent of its unfished biomass in 2013. A coastwide OFL of 3,144 mt is projected in the 2013 stock
  assessment using an F50% FMSY proxy. The coastwide ABC of 2,619 mt is a 16.7 percent reduction from the OFL
  ([sigma] = 0.72/P* = 0.40) because it is a category 2 stock. For the portion of the stock that is north of
  34[deg]27' N. lat., the ACL is 1,713 mt. The northern ACL is 65.4 percent of the coastwide ABC based on the
  average swept-area biomass estimates (2003-2012) from the NMFS NWFSC trawl survey. 59 mt is deducted from the
  ACL to accommodate the Tribal fishery (50 mt), the incidental open access fishery (1.8 mt), and research catch
  (7.2 mt), resulting in a fishery HG of 1,654 mt for the area north of 34[deg]27' N. lat. For that portion of
  the stock south of 34[deg]27' N. lat. the ACL is 906 mt. The southern ACL is 34.6 percent of the coastwide ABC
  based on the average swept-area biomass estimates (2003-2012) from the NMFS NWFSC trawl survey. 42.3 mt is
  deducted from the ACL to accommodate the incidental open access fishery (41.3 mt) and research catch (1 mt),
  resulting in a fishery HG of 863.7 mt for the area south of 34[deg]27' N. lat.

[[Page 75292]]

 
ff Spiny dogfish. A coastwide spiny dogfish stock assessment was conducted in 2011. The coastwide spiny dogfish
  biomass was estimated to be at 63 percent of its unfished biomass in 2011. The coastwide OFL of 2,514 mt is
  derived from the 2011 assessment using an FMSY proxy of F50%. The coastwide ABC of 2,094 mt is a 16.7 percent
  reduction from the OFL ([sigma] = 0.72/P* = 0.40) because it is a category 2 stock. The ACL is set equal to
  the ABC because the stock is above its target biomass of B40%. 338 mt is deducted from the ACL to accommodate
  the Tribal fishery (275 mt), the incidental open access fishery (49.5 mt), EFP catch (1 mt), and research
  catch (12.5 mt), resulting in a fishery HG of 1,756 mt.
gg Splitnose rockfish. A coastwide splitnose rockfish assessment was conducted in 2009 that estimated the stock
  to be at 66 percent of its unfished biomass in 2009. Splitnose rockfish in the north is managed in the Minor
  Slope Rockfish complex and with stock-specific harvest specifications south of 40[deg]10' N. lat. The
  coastwide OFL is projected in the 2009 assessment using an FMSY proxy of F50%. The coastwide OFL is
  apportioned north and south of 40[deg]10' N. lat. based on the average 1916-2008 assessed area catch,
  resulting in 64.2 percent of the coastwide OFL apportioned south of 40[deg]10' N. lat., and 35.8 percent
  apportioned for the contribution of splitnose rockfish to the northern Minor Slope Rockfish complex. The
  southern OFL of 1,841 mt results from the apportionment described above. The southern ABC of 1,760 mt is a 4.4
  percent reduction from the southern OFL ([sigma] = 0.36/P* = 0.45) because it is a category 1 stock. The ACL
  is set equal to the ABC because the stock is estimated to be above its target biomass of B40%. 10.7 mt is
  deducted from the ACL to accommodate the incidental open access fishery (0.2 mt), research catch (9 mt) and
  EFP catch (1.5 mt), resulting in a fishery HG of 1,749.3 mt.
hh Starry flounder. The stock was assessed in 2005 and was estimated to be above 40 percent of its unfished
  biomass in 2005 (44 percent in Washington and Oregon, and 62 percent in California). The coastwide OFL of
  1,847 mt is set equal to the 2016 OFL, which was derived from the 2005 assessment using an FMSY proxy of F30%.
  The ABC of 1,282 mt is a 30.6 percent reduction from the OFL ([sigma] = 1.44/P* = 0.40) because it is a
  category 3 stock. The ACL is set equal to the ABC because the stock was estimated to be above its target
  biomass of B25% in 2017. 10.3 mt is deducted from the ACL to accommodate the Tribal fishery (2 mt), and the
  incidental open access fishery (8.3 mt), resulting in a fishery HG of 1,271.7 mt.
ii Widow rockfish. The widow rockfish stock was assessed in 2015 and was estimated to be at 75 percent of its
  unfished biomass in 2015. The OFL of 14,130 mt is projected in the 2015 stock assessment using the F50% FMSY
  proxy. The ABC of 13,508 mt is a 4.4 percent reduction from the OFL ([sigma] = 0.36/P* = 0.45) because it is a
  category 1 stock. The ACL is set equal to the ABC because the stock is above its target biomass of B40%. 217.7
  mt is deducted from the ACL to accommodate the Tribal fishery (200 mt), the incidental open access fishery
  (0.5 mt), EFP catch (9 mt) and research catch (8.2 mt), resulting in a fishery HG of 13,290.3 mt.
jj Yellowtail rockfish. A 2013 yellowtail rockfish stock assessment was conducted for the portion of the
  population north of 40[deg]10' N. lat. The estimated stock depletion was 67 percent of its unfished biomass in
  2013. The OFL of 6,786 mt is projected in the 2013 stock assessment using an FMSY proxy of F50%. The ABC of
  6,196 mt is an 8.7 percent reduction from the OFL ([sigma] = 0.72/P* = 0.45) because it is a category 2 stock.
  The ACL is set equal to the ABC because the stock is above its target biomass of B40%. 1,030 mt is deducted
  from the ACL to accommodate the Tribal fishery (1,000 mt), the incidental open access fishery (3.4 mt), EFP
  catch (10 mt) and research catch (16.6 mt), resulting in a fishery HG of 5,166.1 mt.
kk Minor Nearshore Rockfish north. The OFL for Minor Nearshore Rockfish north of 40[deg]10' N. lat. of 118 mt is
  the sum of the OFL contributions for the component species managed in the complex. The ABCs for the minor
  rockfish complexes are based on a sigma value of 0.72 for category 2 stocks (blue/deacon rockfish in
  California, brown rockfish, China rockfish, and copper rockfish) and a sigma value of 1.44 for category 3
  stocks (all others) with a P* of 0.45. The resulting ABC of 105 mt is the summed contribution of the ABCs for
  the component species. The ACL of 105 mt is the sum of contributing ABCs of healthy assessed stocks and
  unassessed stocks, plus the ACL contributions for blue/deacon rockfish in California where the 40-10
  adjustment was applied to the ABC contribution for this stock because it is in the precautionary zone. 1.8 mt
  is deducted from the ACL to accommodate the Tribal fishery (1.5 mt) and the incidental open access fishery
  (0.3 mt), resulting in a fishery HG of 103.2 mt. Between 40[deg]10' N. lat. and 42[deg] N. lat. the Minor
  Nearshore Rockfish complex north has a harvest guideline of 40.2 mt. Blue/deacon rockfish south of 42[deg] N.
  lat. has a stock-specific HG, described in footnote nn.
ll Minor Shelf Rockfish north. The OFL for Minor Shelf Rockfish north of 40[deg]10' N. lat. of 2,303 mt is the
  sum of the OFL contributions for the component species within the complex. The ABCs for the minor rockfish
  complexes are based on a sigma value of 0.36 for a category 1 stock (chilipepper), a sigma value of 0.72 for
  category 2 stocks (greenspotted rockfish between 40[deg]10' and 42[deg] N. lat. and greenstriped rockfish),
  and a sigma value of 1.44 for category 3 stocks (all others) with a P* of 0.45. The resulting ABC of 2,049 mt
  is the summed contribution of the ABCs for the component species. The ACL of 2,049 mt is the sum of
  contributing ABCs of healthy assessed stocks and unassessed stocks, plus the ACL contribution of greenspotted
  rockfish in California where the 40-10 adjustment was applied to the ABC contribution for this stock because
  it is in the precautionary zone. 83.8 mt is deducted from the ACL to accommodate the Tribal fishery (30 mt),
  the incidental open access fishery (26 mt), EFP catch (3 mt), and research catch (24.8 mt), resulting in a
  fishery HG of 1,965.2 mt.
mm Minor Slope Rockfish north. The OFL for Minor Slope Rockfish north of 40[deg]10' N. lat. of 1,897 mt is the
  sum of the OFL contributions for the component species within the complex. The ABCs for the Minor Slope
  Rockfish complexes are based on a sigma value of 0.39 for aurora rockfish, a sigma value of 0.36 for the other
  category 1 stock (splitnose rockfish), a sigma value of 0.72 for category 2 stocks (rougheye rockfish,
  blackspotted rockfish, and sharpchin rockfish), and a sigma value of 1.44 for category 3 stocks (all others)
  with a P* of 0.45. A unique sigma of 0.39 was calculated for aurora rockfish because the variance in estimated
  spawning biomass was greater than the 0.36 used as a proxy for other category 1 stocks. The resulting ABC of
  1,755 mt is the summed contribution of the ABCs for the component species. The ACL is set equal to the ABC
  because all the assessed component stocks (i.e., rougheye rockfish, blackspotted rockfish, sharpchin rockfish,
  and splitnose rockfish) are above the target biomass of B40%. 65.1 mt is deducted from the ACL to accommodate
  the Tribal fishery (36 mt), the incidental open access fishery (18.6 mt), EFP catch (1 mt), and research catch
  (9.5 mt), resulting in a fishery HG of 1,689.9 mt.
nn Minor Nearshore Rockfish south. The OFL for the Minor Nearshore Rockfish complex south of 40[deg]10' N. lat.
  of 1,329 mt is the sum of the OFL contributions for the component species within the complex. The ABC for the
  southern Minor Nearshore Rockfish complex is based on a sigma value of 0.72 for category 2 stocks (i.e., blue/
  deacon rockfish north of 34[deg]27' N. lat., brown rockfish, China rockfish, and copper rockfish) and a sigma
  value of 1.44 for category 3 stocks (all others) with a P* of 0.45. The resulting ABC of 1,166 mt is the
  summed contribution of the ABCs for the component species. The ACL of 1,163 mt is the sum of the contributing
  ABCs of healthy assessed stocks and unassessed stocks, plus the ACL contribution for blue/deacon rockfish
  north of 34[deg]27' N. lat. and China rockfish where the 40-10 adjustment was applied to the ABC contributions
  for these two stocks because they are in the precautionary zone. 4.1 mt is deducted from the ACL to
  accommodate the incidental open access fishery (1.4 mt) and research catch (2.7 mt), resulting in a fishery HG
  of 1,158.9 mt. Blue/deacon rockfish south of 42[deg] N. lat. has a stock-specific HG set equal to the 40-10-
  adjusted ACL for the portion of the stock north of 34[deg]27' N lat. (243.7 mt) plus the ABC contribution for
  the unassessed portion of the stock south of 34[deg]27' N. lat. (60.8 mt). The California (i.e. south of
  42[deg] N. lat.) blue/deacon rockfish HG is 304.5 mt.
oo Minor Shelf Rockfish south. The OFL for the Minor Shelf Rockfish complex south of 40[deg]10' N. lat. of 1,917
  mt is the sum of the OFL contributions for the component species within the complex. The ABC for the southern
  Minor Shelf Rockfish complex is based on a sigma value of 0.72 for category 2 stocks (greenspotted and
  greenstriped rockfish) and a sigma value of 1.44 for category 3 stocks (all others) with a P* of 0.45. The
  resulting ABC of 1,624 mt is the summed contribution of the ABCs for the component species. The ACL of 1,623
  mt is the sum of contributing ABCs of healthy assessed stocks and unassessed stocks, plus the ACL contribution
  of greenspotted rockfish in California where the 40-10 adjustment was applied to the ABC contribution for this
  stock because it is in the precautionary zone. 47.2 mt is deducted from the ACL to accommodate the incidental
  open access fishery (8.6 mt), EFP catch (30 mt), and research catch (8.6 mt), resulting in a fishery HG of
  1,575.8 mt.

[[Page 75293]]

 
pp Minor Slope Rockfish south. The OFL of 827 mt is the sum of the OFL contributions for the component species
  within the complex. The ABC for the southern Minor Slope Rockfish complex is based on a sigma value of 0.39
  for aurora rockfish, a sigma value of 0.72 for category 2 stocks (blackgill rockfish, rougheye rockfish,
  blackspotted rockfish, and sharpchin rockfish) and a sigma value of 1.44 for category 3 stocks (all others)
  with a P* of 0.45. A unique sigma of 0.39 was calculated for aurora rockfish because the variance in estimated
  biomass was greater than the 0.36 used as a proxy for other category 1 stocks. The resulting ABC of 718 mt is
  the summed contribution of the ABCs for the component species. The ACL of 707 mt is the sum of the
  contributing ABCs of healthy assessed stocks and unassessed stocks, plus the ACL contribution of blackgill
  rockfish where the 40-10 adjustment was applied to the ABC contribution for this stock because it is in the
  precautionary zone. 20.2 mt is deducted from the ACL to accommodate the incidental open access fishery (17.2
  mt), EFP catch (1 mt), and research catch (2 mt), resulting in a fishery HG of 686.8 mt. Blackgill rockfish
  has a stock-specific HG for the entire groundfish fishery south of 40[deg]10' N lat. set equal to the species'
  contribution to the 40-10-adjusted ACL. Harvest of blackgill rockfish in all groundfish fisheries counts
  against this HG of 120.2 mt. Nontrawl fisheries are subject to a blackgill rockfish HG of 44.5 mt.
qq Other Flatfish. The Other Flatfish complex is comprised of flatfish species managed in the PCGFMP that are
  not managed with stock-specific OFLs/ABCs/ACLs. Most of the species in the Other Flatfish complex are
  unassessed and include: Butter sole, curlfin sole, flathead sole, Pacific sanddab, rock sole, sand sole, and
  rex sole. The Other Flatfish OFL of 11,165 mt is based on the sum of the OFL contributions of the component
  stocks. The ABC of 8,510 mt is based on a sigma value of 0.72 for a category 2 stock (rex sole) and a sigma
  value of 1.44 for category 3 stocks (all others) with a P* of 0.40. The ACL is set equal to the ABC. The ACL
  is set equal to the ABC because all of the assessed stocks (i.e., Pacific sanddabs and rex sole) were above
  their target biomass of B25%. 204 mt is deducted from the ACL to accommodate the Tribal fishery (60 mt), the
  incidental open access fishery (125 mt), and research catch (19 mt), resulting in a fishery HG of 8,306 mt.
rr Other Fish. The Other Fish complex is comprised of kelp greenling coastwide, cabezon off Washington, and
  leopard shark coastwide. The 2015 assessment for the kelp greenling stock off of Oregon projected an estimated
  depletion of 80 percent in 2015. All other stocks are unassessed. The OFL of 537 mt is the sum of the OFL
  contributions for kelp greenling coastwide, cabezon off Washington, and leopard shark coastwide. The ABC for
  the Other Fish complex is based on a sigma value of 0.44 for kelp greenling off Oregon and a sigma value of
  1.44 for category 3 stocks (all others) with a P* of 0.45. A unique sigma of 0.44 was calculated for kelp
  greenling off Oregon because the variance in estimated spawning biomass was greater than the 0.36 sigma used
  as a proxy for other category 1 stocks. The resulting ABC of 474 mt is the summed contribution of the ABCs for
  the component species. The ACL is set equal to the ABC because all of the assessed stocks (kelp greenling off
  Oregon) were above their target biomass of B40%. There are no deductions from the ACL so the fishery HG is
  equal to the ACL of 474 mt.


                                     Table 1b to Part 660, Subpart C--2017, Allocations by Species or Species Group
                                                                 [Weight in metric tons]
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                                                           Trawl                      Non-trawl
                   Species                                   Area                Fishery HG or ---------------------------------------------------------
                                                                                      ACT         Percent          Mt          Percent          Mt
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
BOCACCIO a...................................  S. of 40[deg]10' N. lat........           774.6           39           302.4           61           472.2
COWCOD a b...................................  S. of 40[deg]10' N. lat........             4.0           36             1.4           64             2.6
DARKBLOTCHED ROCKFISH c......................  Coastwide......................           563.8           95           535.6            5            28.2
PACIFIC OCEAN PERCH e........................  N. of 40[deg]10' N. lat........           231.6           95           220.0            5            11.6
YELLOWEYE ROCKFISH a.........................  Coastwide......................            14.6           NA             1.1           NA            13.1
Arrowtooth flounder..........................  Coastwide......................        11,705.9           95        11,120.6            5           585.3
Big skate a..................................  Coastwide......................           436.6           95           414.8            5            21.8
Canary rockfish a d..........................  Coastwide......................         1,466.6           NA         1,060.1           NA           406.5
Chilipepper..................................  S. of 40[deg]10' N. lat........         2,561.1           75         1,920.8           25           640.3
Dover sole...................................  Coastwide......................        48,406.3           95        45,986.0            5         2,420.3
English sole.................................  Coastwide......................         9,751.2           95         9,263.6            5           487.6
Lingcod......................................  N. of 40[deg]10' N. lat........         3,054.8           45         1,374.7           55         1,680.2
Lingcod......................................  S. of 40[deg]10' N. lat........         1,242.0           45           558.9           55           683.1
Longnose skate a.............................  Coastwide......................         1,853.0           90         1,667.7           10           185.3
Longspine thornyhead.........................  N. of 34[deg]27' N. lat........         2,847.2           95         2,704.8            5           142.4
Pacific cod..................................  Coastwide......................         1,091.0           95         1,036.4            5            54.5
Pacific whiting..............................  Coastwide......................             TBD          100             TBD            0             TBD
Petrale sole.................................  Coastwide......................         2,895.1           95         2,750.3            5           144.8
                                                                                               ---------------------------------------------------------
Sablefish....................................  N. of 36[deg] N. lat...........              NA                        See Table 1c
                                                                                               ---------------------------------------------------------
Sablefish....................................  S. of 36[deg] N. lat...........         1,070.0           42           449.4           58           620.6
Shortspine thornyhead........................  N. of 34[deg]27' N. lat........         1,654.0           95         1,571.3            5            82.7
Shortspine thornyhead........................  S. of 34[deg]27' N. lat........           863.7           NA            50.0           NA           813.7
Splitnose rockfish...........................  S. of 40[deg]10' N. lat........         1,749.3           95         1,661.8            5            87.5
Starry flounder..............................  Coastwide......................         1,271.7           50           635.9           50           635.9
Widow rockfish f.............................  Coastwide......................        13,290.3           91        12,094.2            9         1,196.1
Yellowtail rockfish..........................  N. of 40[deg]10' N. lat........         5,166.1           88         4,546.1           12           619.9
Minor Shelf Rockfish a.......................  N. of 40[deg]10' N. lat........         1,965.2           60         1,183.1           40           782.1
Minor Slope Rockfish.........................  N. of 40[deg]10' N. lat........         1,689.9           81         1,368.8           19           321.1
Minor Shelf Rockfish a.......................  S. of 40[deg]10' N. lat........         1,575.8           12           192.2           88         1,383.6
Minor Slope Rockfish.........................  S. of 40[deg]10' N. lat........           686.8           63           432.7           37           254.1
Other Flatfish...............................  Coastwide......................         8,306.0           90         7,475.4           10           830.6
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
a Allocations decided through the biennial specification process.
b The cowcod fishery harvest guideline is further reduced to an ACT of 4.0 mt.
c Consistent with regulations at Sec.   660.55(c), 9 percent (48.2 mt) of the total trawl allocation for darkblotched rockfish is allocated to the
  Pacific whiting fishery, as follows: 20.2 mt for the Shorebased IFQ Program, 11.6 mt for the MS sector, and 16.4 mt for the C/P sector. The tonnage
  calculated here for the Pacific whiting IFQ fishery contributes to the total shorebased trawl allocation, which is found at Sec.
  660.140(d)(1)(ii)(D).
d Canary rockfish is allocated approximately 72 percent to trawl and 28 percent to non-trawl. 46 mt of the total trawl allocation of canary rockfish is
  allocated to the MS and C/P sectors, as follows: 30 mt for the MS sector, and 16 mt for the C/P sector.
e Consistent with regulations at Sec.   660.55(c), 17 percent (37.4 mt) of the total trawl allocation for POP is allocated to the Pacific whiting
  fishery, as follows: 15.7 mt for the Shorebased IFQ Program, 9.0 mt for the MS sector, and 12.7 mt for the C/P sector. The tonnage calculated here for
  the Pacific whiting IFQ fishery contributes to the total shorebased trawl allocation, which is found at Sec.   660.140(d)(1)(ii)(D).

[[Page 75294]]

 
f Consistent with regulations at Sec.   660.55(c), 10 percent (1,209.4 mt) of the total trawl allocation for widow rockfish is allocated to the whiting
  fisheries, as follows: 508.0 mt for the shorebased IFQ fishery, 290.3 mt for the mothership fishery, and 411.2 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 Sec.   660.140(d)(1)(ii)(D).


                                 Table 1c. to Part 660, Subpart C--Sablefish North of 36[deg] N. Lat. Allocations, 2017
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                Set-asides                                                   Limited entry HG         Open access HG
            Year                  ACL    ------------------------ Recreational      EFP      Commercial  -----------------------------------------------
                                           Tribal a    Research     estimate                     HG         Percent       mt        Percent      mt b
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
2017........................       6,041         604          26           6.1           1         5,404        90.6       4,896         9.4         508
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                        Limited entry trawl c
                                               Limited entry fixed gear d
                                         ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
            Year                LE All     All trawl    At-sea                                 All FG             Primary
                                                         whiting       Shorebased IFQ
                                        DTL
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
2017........................       4,896       2,840          50            2,790                  2,056           1,748
                                        308
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
a The tribal allocation is further reduced by 1.5 percent for discard mortality resulting in 595 mt in 2017.
b The open access HG is taken by the incidental OA fishery and the directed OA fishery.
c The trawl allocation is 58 percent of the limited entry HG.
d The limited entry fixed gear allocation is 42 percent of the limited entry HG.


  Table 1d. to Part 660, Subpart C--At-Sea Whiting Fishery Annual Set-
                              Asides, 2017
------------------------------------------------------------------------
   Species or species complex            Area           Set aside (mt)
------------------------------------------------------------------------
BOCACCIO........................  S. of 40[deg]10'    NA.
                                   N. lat.
COWCOD..........................  S. of 40[deg]10'    NA.
                                   N. lat.
DARKBLOTCHED ROCKFISH a.........  Coastwide.........  Allocation.
PACIFIC OCEAN PERCH a...........  N. of 40[deg]10'    Allocation.
                                   N. lat.
YELLOWEYE ROCKFISH..............  Coastwide.........  0.
Arrowtooth flounder.............  Coastwide.........  70.
Canary rockfish a...............  Coastwide.........  Allocation.
Chilipepper.....................  S. of 40[deg]10'    NA.
                                   N. lat.
Dover sole......................  Coastwide.........  5.
English sole....................  Coastwide.........  5.
Lingcod.........................  N. of 40[deg]10'    15.
                                   N. lat.
Lingcod.........................  S. of 40[deg]10'    NA.
                                   N. lat.
Longnose skate..................  Coastwide.........  5.
Longspine thornyhead............  N. of 34[deg]27'    5.
                                   N. lat.
Longspine thornyhead............  S. of 34[deg]27'    NA.
                                   N. lat.
Minor Nearshore Rockfish........  N. of 40[deg]10'    NA.
                                   N. lat.
Minor Nearshore Rockfish........  S. of 40[deg]10'    NA.
                                   N. lat.
Minor Shelf Rockfish............  N. of 40[deg]10'    35.
                                   N. lat.
Minor Shelf Rockfish............  S. of 40[deg]10'    NA.
                                   N. lat.
Minor Slope Rockfish............  N. of 40[deg]10'    100.
                                   N. lat.
Minor Slope Rockfish............  S. of 40[deg]10'    NA.
                                   N. lat.
Other Fish......................  Coastwide.........  NA.
Other Flatfish..................  Coastwide.........  20.
Pacific cod.....................  Coastwide.........  5.
Pacific Halibut b...............  Coastwide.........  10.
Pacific Whiting.................  Coastwide.........  Allocation.
Petrale sole....................  Coastwide.........  5.
Sablefish.......................  N. of 36[deg] N.    50.
                                   lat.
Sablefish.......................  S. of 36[deg] N.    NA.
                                   lat.
Shortspine thornyhead...........  N. of 34[deg]27'    20.
                                   N. lat.
Shortspine thornyhead...........  S. of 34[deg]27'    NA.
                                   N. lat.
Starry flounder.................  Coastwide.........  5.
Widow Rockfish a................  Coastwide.........  Allocation.
Yellowtail rockfish.............  N. of 40[deg]10'    300.
                                   N. lat.
------------------------------------------------------------------------
a See Table 1.b., to Subpart C, for the at-sea whiting allocations for
  these species.
b As stated in Sec.   660.55 (m), the Pacific halibut set-aside is 10
  mt, to accommodate bycatch in the at-sea Pacific whiting fisheries and
  in the shorebased trawl sector south of 40[deg]10' N. lat. (estimated
  to be approximately 5 mt each).

* * * * *
0
 11b. Tables 2a through 2d to part 660, subpart C, are revised to read 
as follows:

[[Page 75295]]



   Table 2a to Part 660, Subpart C--2018, and Beyond, Specifications of OFL, ABC, ACL, ACT and Fishery Harvest
                                                   Guidelines
                                            [Weights in metric tons]
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
           Species                   Area             OFL             ABC           ACL \a\      Fishery HG \b\
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
BOCACCIO \c\.................  S. of                     2,013           1,924             741  726
                                40[deg]10' N.
                                lat.
COWCOD \d\...................  S. of                        71              64              10  8
                                40[deg]10' N.
                                lat.
DARKBLOTCHED ROCKFISH \e\....  Coastwide......             683             653             653  576
PACIFIC OCEAN PERCH \f\......  N. of                       984             941             281  232
                                40[deg]10' N.
                                lat.
YELLOWEYE ROCKFISH \g\.......  Coastwide......              58              48              20  14
Arrowtooth flounder \h\......  Coastwide......          16,498          13,743          13,743  11,645
Big skate \i\................  Coastwide......             541             494             494  437
Black rockfish \j\...........  California                  347             332             332  331
                                (South of
                                42[deg] N.
                                lat.).
Black rockfish \k\...........  Oregon (Between             570             520             520  519
                                46[deg]16' N.
                                lat. and
                                42[deg] N.
                                lat.).
Black rockfish \l\...........  Washington (N.              315             301             301  283
                                of 46[deg]16'
                                N. lat.).
Blackgill rockfish \m\.......  S. of                        NA              NA              NA  NA
                                40[deg]10' N.
                                lat.
Cabezon \n\..................  California                  156             149             149  149
                                (South of
                                42[deg] N.
                                lat.).
Cabezon \o\..................  Oregon (Between              49              47              47  47
                                46[deg]16' N.
                                lat. and
                                42[deg] N.
                                lat.).
California scorpionfish \p\..  S. of                       278             254             150  148
                                34[deg]27' N.
                                lat.
Canary rockfish \q\..........  Coastwide......           1,596           1,526           1,526  1,467
Chilipepper \r\..............  S. of                     2,623           2,507           2,507  2,461
                                40[deg]10' N.
                                lat.
Dover sole \s\...............  Coastwide......          90,282          86,310          50,000  48,406
English sole \t\.............  Coastwide......           8,255           7,537           7,537  7,324
Lingcod \u\..................  N. of                     3,310           3,110           3,110  2,832
                                40[deg]10' N.
                                lat.
Lingcod \v\..................  S. of                     1,373           1,144           1,144  1,135
                                40[deg]10' N.
                                lat.
Longnose skate \w\...........  Coastwide......           2,526           2,415           2,000  1,853
Longspine thornyhead \x\.....  Coastwide......           4,339           3,614              NA  NA
Longspine thornyhead.........  N. of                        NA              NA           2,747  2,700
                                34[deg]27' N.
                                lat.
Longspine thornyhead.........  S. of                        NA              NA             867  864
                                34[deg]27' N.
                                lat.
Pacific cod \y\..............  Coastwide......           3,200           2,221           1,600  1,091
Pacific whiting \z\..........  Coastwide......           (\z\)           (\z\)           (\z\)  (\z\)
Petrale sole \aa\............  Coastwide......           3,152           3,013           3,013  2,772
Sablefish....................  Coastwide......           8,329           7,604              NA  NA
Sablefish \bb\...............  N. of 36[deg]                NA              NA           6,299  See Table 1c
                                N. lat.
Sablefish \cc\...............  S. of 36[deg]                NA              NA           1,120  1,115
                                N. lat.
Shortbelly rockfish \dd\.....  Coastwide......           6,950           5,789             500  489
Shortspine thornyhead \ee\...  Coastwide......           3,116           2,596              NA  NA
Shortspine thornyhead........  N. of                        NA              NA           1,698  1,639
                                34[deg]27' N.
                                lat.
Shortspine thornyhead........  S. of                        NA              NA             898  856
                                34[deg]27' N.
                                lat.
Spiny dogfish \ff\...........  Coastwide......           2,500           2,083           2,083  1,745
Splitnose rockfish \gg\......  S. of                     1,842           1,761           1,761  1,750
                                40[deg]10' N.
                                lat.
Starry flounder \hh\.........  Coastwide......           1,847           1,282           1,282  1,272
Widow rockfish \ii\..........  Coastwide......          13,237          12,655          12,655  12,437
Yellowtail rockfish \jj\.....  N. of                     6,574           6,002           6,002  4,972
                                40[deg]10' N.
                                lat.
Minor Nearshore Rockfish \kk\  N. of                       119             105             105  103
                                40[deg]10' N.
                                lat.
Minor Shelf Rockfish \ll\....  N. of                     2,302           2,048           2,047  1,963
                                40[deg]10' N.
                                lat.
Minor Slope Rockfish \mm\....  N. of                     1,896           1,754           1,754  1,689
                                40[deg]10' N.
                                lat.
Minor Nearshore Rockfish \nn\  S. of                     1,344           1,180           1,179  1,175
                                40[deg]10' N.
                                lat.
Minor Shelf Rockfish \oo\....  S. of                     1,918           1,625           1,624  1,577
                                40[deg]10' N.
                                lat.
Minor Slope Rockfish \pp\....  S. of                       829             719             709  689
                                40[deg]10' N.
                                lat.
Other Flatfish \qq\..........  Coastwide......           9,690           7,281           7,281  7,077
Other Fish \rr\..............  Coastwide......             501             441             441  441
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
\a\ Annual catch limits (ACLs), annual catch targets (ACTs) and harvest guidelines (HGs) are specified as total
  catch values.
\b\ Fishery harvest guidelines means the harvest guideline or quota after subtracting Pacific Coast treaty
  Indian tribes allocations and projected catch, projected research catch, deductions for fishing mortality in
  non-groundfish fisheries, and deductions for EFPs from the ACL or ACT.
\c\ Bocaccio. A stock assessment was conducted in 2015 for the bocaccio stock between the U.S.-Mexico border and
  Cape Blanco. The stock is managed with stock-specific harvest specifications south of 40[deg]10' N. lat. and
  within the Minor Shelf Rockfish complex north of 40[deg]10' N. lat. A historical catch distribution of
  approximately 7.4 percent was used to apportion the assessed stock to the area north of 40[deg]10' N. lat. The
  bocaccio stock was estimated to be at 36.8 percent of its unfished biomass in 2015. The OFL of 2,013 mt is
  projected in the 2015 stock assessment using an FMSY proxy of F50. The ABC of 1,924 mt is a 4.4
  percent reduction from the OFL ([sigma] = 0.36/P* = 0.45) because it is a category 1 stock. The 741 mt ACL is
  based on the current rebuilding plan with a target year to rebuild of 2022 and an SPR harvest rate of 77.7
  percent. 15.4 mt is deducted from the ACL to accommodate the incidental open access fishery (0.8 mt), EFP
  catch (10 mt) and research catch (4.6 mt), resulting in a fishery HG of 725.6 mt. The California recreational
  fishery has an HG of 305.5 mt.

[[Page 75296]]

 
\d\ Cowcod. A stock assessment for the Conception Area was conducted in 2013 and the stock was estimated to be
  at 33.9 percent of its unfished biomass in 2013. The Conception Area OFL of 59 mt is projected in the 2013
  rebuilding analysis using an FMSY proxy of F50. The OFL contribution of 12 mt for the unassessed
  portion of the stock in the Monterey area is based on depletion-based stock reduction analysis. The OFLs for
  the Monterey and Conception areas were summed to derive the south of 40[deg]10' N. lat. OFL of 71 mt. The ABC
  for the area south of 40[deg]10' N. lat. is 64 mt. The assessed portion of the stock in the Conception Area is
  considered category 2, with a Conception area contribution to the ABC of 54 mt, which is an 8.7 percent
  reduction from the Conception area OFL ([sigma] = 0.72/P* = 0.45). The unassessed portion of the stock in the
  Monterey area is considered a category 3 stock, with a contribution to the ABC of 10 mt, which is a 16.6
  percent reduction from the Monterey area OFL ([sigma] = 1.44/P* = 0.45). A single ACL of 10 mt is being set
  for both areas combined. The ACL of 10 mt is based on the rebuilding plan with a target year to rebuild of
  2020 and an SPR harvest rate of 82.7 percent, which is equivalent to an exploitation rate (catch over age 11+
  biomass) of 0.007. 2 mt is deducted from the ACL to accommodate the incidental open access fishery (less than
  0.1 mt), EFP fishing (less than 0.1 mt) and research activity (2 mt), resulting in a fishery HG of 8 mt. Any
  additional mortality in research activities will be deducted from the ACL. A single ACT of 4 mt is being set
  for both areas combined.
\e\ Darkblotched rockfish. A 2015 stock assessment estimated the stock to be at 39 percent of its unfished
  biomass in 2015. The OFL of 683 mt is projected in the 2015 stock assessment using an FMSY proxy of F50. The ABC of 653 mt is a 4.4 percent reduction from the OFL ([sigma] = 0.36/P* = 0.45) because it is a
  category 1 stock. The ACL is set equal to the ABC, as the stock is projected to be above its target biomass of
  B40 in 2017. 77.3 mt is deducted from the ACL to accommodate the Tribal fishery (0.2 mt), the
  incidental open access fishery (24.5 mt), EFP catch (0.1 mt), research catch (2.5 mt) and an additional
  deduction for unforeseen catch events (50 mt), resulting in a fishery HG of 575.8 mt.
\f\ Pacific ocean perch. A stock assessment was conducted in 2011 and the stock was estimated to be at 19.1
  percent of its unfished biomass in 2011. The OFL of 984 mt for the area north of 40[deg]10' N. lat. is based
  on an updated catch-only projection of the 2011 rebuilding analysis using an F50 FMSY proxy. The ABC
  of 941 mt is a 4.4 percent reduction from the OFL ([sigma] = 0.36/P* = 0.45) as it is a category 1 stock. The
  ACL is based on the current rebuilding plan with a target year to rebuild of 2051 and a constant catch amount
  of 281 mt in 2017 and 2018, followed in 2019 and beyond by ACLs based on an SPR harvest rate of 86.4 percent.
  49.4 mt is deducted from the ACL to accommodate the Tribal fishery (9.2 mt), the incidental open access
  fishery (10 mt), research catch (5.2 mt) and an additional deduction for unforeseen catch events (25 mt),
  resulting in a fishery HG of 231.6 mt.
\g\ Yelloweye rockfish. A stock assessment update was conducted in 2011. The stock was estimated to be at 21.4
  percent of its unfished biomass in 2011. The 58 mt coastwide OFL is based on a catch-only update of the 2011
  stock assessment, assuming actual catches since 2011 and using an FMSY proxy of F50. The ABC of 48 mt
  is a 16.7 percent reduction from the OFL ([sigma] = 0.72/P* = 0.40) as it is a category 2 stock. The 20 mt ACL
  is based on the current rebuilding plan with a target year to rebuild of 2074 and an SPR harvest rate of 76.0
  percent. 6 mt is deducted from the ACL to accommodate the Tribal fishery (2.3 mt), the incidental open access
  fishery (0.4 mt), EFP catch (less than 0.1 mt) and research catch (3.27 mt) resulting in a fishery HG of 14
  mt. Recreational HGs are: 3.3 mt (Washington); 3 mt (Oregon); and 3.9 mt (California).
\h\ Arrowtooth flounder. The arrowtooth flounder stock was last assessed in 2007 and was estimated to be at 79
  percent of its unfished biomass in 2007. The OFL of 16,498 mt is derived from a catch-only update of the 2007
  assessment assuming actual catches since 2007 and using an F30 FMSY proxy. The ABC of 13,743 mt is a
  16.7 percent reduction from the OFL ([sigma] = 0.72/P* = 0.40) as it is a category 2 stock. The ACL is set
  equal to the ABC because the stock is above its target biomass of B25. 2,098.1 mt is deducted from the
  ACL to accommodate the Tribal fishery (2,041 mt), the incidental open access fishery (40.8 mt), and research
  catch (16.4 mt), resulting in a fishery HG of 11,644.9 mt.
\i\ Big skate. The OFL of 541 mt is based on an estimate of trawl survey biomass and natural mortality. The ABC
  of 494 mt is a 8.7 percent reduction from the OFL ([sigma] = 0.72/P* = 0.45) as it is a category 2 stock. The
  ACL is set equal to the ABC. 57.4 mt is deducted from the ACL to accommodate the Tribal fishery (15 mt), the
  incidental open access fishery (38.4 mt), and research catch (4 mt), resulting in a fishery HG of 436.6 mt.
\j\ Black rockfish (California). A 2015 stock assessment estimated the stock to be at 33 percent of its unfished
  biomass in 2015. The OFL of 347 mt is projected in the 2015 stock assessment using an FMSY proxy of F50. The ABC of 332 mt is a 4.4 percent reduction from the OFL ([sigma] = 0.36/P* = 0.45) because it is a
  category 1 stock. The ACL is set equal to the ABC because the stock is projected to be above its target
  biomass of B40 in 2018. 1 mt is deducted from the ACL for EFP catch, resulting in a fishery HG of 331
  mt.
\k\ Black rockfish (Oregon). A 2015 stock assessment estimated the stock to be at 60 percent of its unfished
  biomass in 2015. The OFL of 570 mt is projected in the 2015 stock assessment using an FMSY proxy of F50. The ABC of 520 mt is an 8.7 percent reduction from the OFL ([sigma] = 0.72/P* = 0.45) because it is a
  category 2 stock. The ACL is set equal to the ABC because the stock is above its target biomass of B40. 0.6 mt is deducted from the ACL to accommodate the incidental open access fishery, resulting in a fishery
  HG of 519.4 mt.
\l\ Black rockfish (Washington). A 2015 stock assessment estimated the stock to be at 43 percent of its unfished
  biomass in 2015. The OFL of 315 mt is projected in the 2015 stock assessment using an FMSY proxy of F50. The ABC of 301 mt is a 4.4 percent reduction from the OFL ([sigma] = 0.36/P* = 0.45) because it is a
  category 1 stock. The ACL is set equal to the ABC because the stock is above its target biomass of B40. 18 mt is deducted from the ACL to accommodate the Tribal fishery, resulting in a fishery HG of 283 mt.
\m\ Blackgill rockfish. Blackgill rockfish contributes to the harvest specifications for the Minor Slope
  Rockfish South complex. See footnote pp.
\n\ Cabezon (California). A cabezon stock assessment was conducted in 2009. The cabezon spawning biomass in
  waters off California was estimated to be at 48.3 percent of its unfished biomass in 2009. The OFL of 156 mt
  is calculated using an FMSY proxy of F50. The ABC of 149 mt is based on a 4.4 percent reduction from
  the OFL ([sigma] = 0.36/P* = 0.45) because it is a category 1 stock. The ACL is set equal to the ABC because
  the stock is above its target biomass of B40. 0.3 mt is deducted from the ACL to accommodate the
  incidental open access fishery (0.3 mt), resulting in a fishery HG of 148.7 mt.
\o\ Cabezon (Oregon). A cabezon stock assessment was conducted in 2009. The cabezon spawning biomass in waters
  off Oregon was estimated to be at 52 percent of its unfished biomass in 2009. The OFL of 49 mt is calculated
  using an FMSY proxy of F45. The ABC of 47 mt is based on a 4.4 percent reduction from the OFL ([sigma]
  = 0.36/P* = 0.45) because it is a category 1 species. The ACL is set equal to the ABC because the stock is
  above its target biomass of B40. There are no deductions from the ACL so the fishery HG is also equal
  to the ACL of 47 mt.
\p\ California scorpionfish. A California scorpionfish assessment was conducted in 2005 and was estimated to be
  at 79.8 percent of its unfished biomass in 2005. The OFL of 278 mt is based on projections from a catch-only
  update of the 2005 assessment assuming actual catches since 2005 and using an FMSY harvest rate proxy of
  F50. The ABC of 254 mt is an 8.7 percent reduction from the OFL ([sigma] = 0.72/P* = 0.45) because it
  is a category 2 stock. The ACL is set at a constant catch amount of 150 mt. 2.2 mt is deducted from the ACL to
  accommodate the incidental open access fishery (2 mt) and research catch (0.2 mt), resulting in a fishery HG
  of 147.8 mt. An ACT of 111 mt is established.
\q\ Canary rockfish. A stock assessment was conducted in 2015 and the stock was estimated to be at 55.5 percent
  of its unfished biomass coastwide in 2015. The coastwide OFL of 1,596 mt is projected in the 2015 assessment
  using an FMSY harvest rate proxy of F50. The ABC of 1,526 mt is a 4.4 percent reduction from the OFL
  ([sigma] = 0.36/P* = 0.45) as it is a category 1 stock. The ACL is set equal to the ABC because the stock is
  above its target biomass of B40. 59.4 mt is deducted from the ACL to accommodate the Tribal fishery
  (50 mt), the incidental open access fishery (1.2 mt), EFP catch (1 mt) and research catch (7.2 mt) resulting
  in a fishery HG of 1,466.6 mt. Recreational HGs are: 50 mt (Washington); 75 mt (Oregon); and 135 mt
  (California).
\r\ Chilipepper. A coastwide update assessment of the chilipepper stock was conducted in 2015 and estimated to
  be at 64 percent of its unfished biomass in 2015. Chilipepper are managed with stock-specific harvest
  specifications south of 40[deg]10' N. lat. and within the Minor Shelf Rockfish complex north of 40[deg]10' N.
  lat. Projected OFLs are stratified north and south of 40[deg]10' N. lat. based on the average historical
  assessed area catch, which is 93 percent for the area south of 40[deg]10' N. lat. and 7 percent for the area
  north of 40[deg]10' N. lat. The OFL of 2,623 mt for the area south of 40[deg]10' N. lat. is projected in the
  2015 assessment using an FMSY proxy of F50. The ABC of 2,507 mt is a 4.4 percent reduction from the
  OFL ([sigma] = 0.36/P* = 0.45) because it is a category 1 stock. The ACL is set equal to the ABC because the
  stock is above its target biomass of B40. 45.9 mt is deducted from the ACL to accommodate the
  incidental open access fishery (5 mt), EFP fishing (30 mt), and research catch (10.9 mt), resulting in a
  fishery HG of 2,461.1 mt.
\s\ Dover sole. A 2011 Dover sole assessment estimated the stock to be at 83.7 percent of its unfished biomass
  in 2011. The OFL of 90,282 mt is based on an updated catch-only projection from the 2011 stock assessment
  assuming actual catches since 2011 and using an FMSY proxy of F30. The ABC of 86,310 mt is a 4.4
  percent reduction from the OFL ([sigma] = 0.36/P* = 0.45) because it is a category 1 stock. The ACL could be
  set equal to the ABC because the stock is above its target biomass of B25. However, the ACL of 50,000
  mt is set at a level below the ABC and higher than the maximum historical landed catch. 1,593.7 mt is deducted
  from the ACL to accommodate the Tribal fishery (1,497 mt), the incidental open access fishery (54.8 mt), and
  research catch (41.9 mt), resulting in a fishery HG of 48,406.3 mt.

[[Page 75297]]

 
\t\ English sole. A 2013 stock assessment was conducted, which estimated the stock to be at 88 percent of its
  unfished biomass in 2013. The OFL of 8,255 mt is projected in the 2013 assessment using an FMSY proxy of
  F30. The ABC of 7,537 mt is an 8.7 percent reduction from the OFL ([sigma] = 0.72/P* = 0.45) because
  it is a category 2 stock. The ACL is set equal to the ABC because the stock is above its target biomass of
  B25. 212.8 mt is deducted from the ACL to accommodate the Tribal fishery (200 mt), the incidental open
  access fishery (7 mt) and research catch (5.8 mt), resulting in a fishery HG of 7,324.2 mt.
\u\ Lingcod north. The 2009 lingcod assessment modeled two populations north and south of the California-Oregon
  border (42[deg] N. lat.). Both populations were healthy with stock depletion estimated at 62 and 74 percent
  for the north and south, respectively in 2009.The OFL is based on an updated catch-only projection from the
  2009 assessment assuming actual catches since 2009 and using an FMSY proxy of F45. The OFL is
  apportioned by adding 48% of the OFL from California, resulting in an OFL of 3,310 mt for the area north of
  40[deg]10' N. lat. The ABC of 3,110 mt is based on a 4.4 percent reduction ([sigma] = 0.36/P* = 0.45) from the
  OFL contribution for the area north of 42[deg] N. lat. because it is a category 1 stock, and an 8.7 percent
  reduction ([sigma] = 0.72/P* = 0.45) from the OFL contribution for the area between 42[deg] N. lat. and
  40[deg]10' N. lat. because it is a category 2 stock. The ACL is set equal to the ABC because the stock is
  above its target biomass of B40. 278.2 mt is deducted from the ACL for the Tribal fishery (250 mt),
  the incidental open access fishery (16 mt), EFP catch (0.5 mt) and research catch (11.7 mt), resulting in a
  fishery HG of 2,831.8 mt.
\v\ Lingcod south. The 2009 lingcod assessment modeled two populations north and south of the California-Oregon
  border (42[deg] N. lat.). Both populations were healthy with stock depletion estimated at 62 and 74 percent
  for the north and south, respectively in 2009. The OFL is based on an updated catch-only projection of the
  2009 stock assessment assuming actual catches since 2009 and using an FMSY proxy of F45. The OFL is
  apportioned by subtracting 48% of the California OFL, resulting in an OFL of 1,373 mt for the area south of
  40[deg]10' N. lat. The ABC of 1,144 mt is based on a 16.7 percent reduction from the OFL ([sigma] = 0.72/P* =
  0.40) because it is a category 2 stock. The ACL is set equal to the ABC because the stock is above its target
  biomass of B40. 9 mt is deducted from the ACL to accommodate the incidental open access fishery (6.9
  mt), EFP fishing (1 mt), and research catch (1.1 mt), resulting in a fishery HG of 1,135 mt.
\w\ Longnose skate. A stock assessment was conducted in 2007 and the stock was estimated to be at 66 percent of
  its unfished biomass. The OFL of 2,526 mt is derived from the 2007 stock assessment using an FMSY proxy of
  F50. The ABC of 2,415 mt is a 4.4 percent reduction from the OFL ([sigma] = 0.36/P* = 0.45) because it
  is a category 1 stock. The ACL of 2,000 mt is a fixed harvest level that provides greater access to the stock
  and is less than the ABC. 147 mt is deducted from the ACL to accommodate the Tribal fishery (130 mt),
  incidental open access fishery (3.8 mt), and research catch (13.2 mt), resulting in a fishery HG of 1,853 mt.
\x\ Longspine thornyhead. A 2013 longspine thornyhead coastwide stock assessment estimated the stock to be at 75
  percent of its unfished biomass in 2013. A coastwide OFL of 4,339 mt is projected in the 2013 stock assessment
  using an F50 FMSY proxy. The coastwide ABC of 3,614 mt is a 16.7 percent reduction from the OFL
  ([sigma] = 0.72/P* = 0.40) because it is a category 2 stock. For the portion of the stock that is north of
  34[deg]27' N. lat., the ACL is 2,747 mt, and is 76 percent of the coastwide ABC based on the average swept-
  area biomass estimates (2003-2012) from the NMFS NWFSC trawl survey. 46.8 mt is deducted from the ACL to
  accommodate the Tribal fishery (30 mt), the incidental open access fishery (3.3 mt), and research catch (13.5
  mt), resulting in a fishery HG of 2,700.2 mt. For that portion of the stock south of 34[deg]27' N. lat. the
  ACL is 867 mt and is 24 percent of the coastwide ABC based on the average swept-area biomass estimates (2003-
  2012) from the NMFS NWFSC trawl survey. 3.2 mt is deducted from the ACL to accommodate the incidental open
  access fishery (1.8 mt), and research catch (1.4 mt), resulting in a fishery HG of 863.8 mt.
\y\ Pacific cod. The 3,200 mt OFL is based on the maximum level of historic landings. The ABC of 2,221 mt is a
  30.6 percent reduction from the OFL ([sigma] = 1.44/P* = 0.40) as it is a category 3 stock. The 1,600 mt ACL
  is the OFL reduced by 50 percent as a precautionary adjustment. 509 mt is deducted from the ACL to accommodate
  the Tribal fishery (500 mt), research catch (7 mt), and the incidental open access fishery (2 mt), resulting
  in a fishery HG of 1,091 mt.
\z\ Pacific whiting. Pacific whiting. Pacific whiting are assessed annually. The final specifications will be
  determined consistent with the U.S.-Canada Pacific Whiting Agreement and will be announced after the Council's
  April 2018 meeting.
\aa\ Petrale sole. A 2015 stock assessment update was conducted, which estimated the stock to be at 31 percent
  of its unfished biomass in 2015. The OFL of 3,152 mt is projected in the 2015 assessment using an FMSY proxy
  of F30. The ABC of 3,013 mt is a 4.4 percent reduction from the OFL ([sigma] = 0.36/P* = 0.45) because
  it is a category 1 stock. The ACL is set equal to the ABC because the stock is above its target biomass of
  B25. 240.9 mt is deducted from the ACL to accommodate the Tribal fishery (220 mt), the incidental open
  access fishery (3.2 mt) and research catch (17.7 mt), resulting in a fishery HG of 2,772.1 mt.
\bb\ Sablefish north. A coastwide sablefish stock assessment update was conducted in 2015. The coastwide
  sablefish biomass was estimated to be at 33 percent of its unfished biomass in 2015. The coastwide OFL of
  8,329 mt is projected in the 2015 stock assessment using an FMSY proxy of F45. The ABC of 7,604 mt is
  an 8.7 percent reduction from the OFL ([sigma] = 0.36/P* = 0.40). The 40-10 adjustment is applied to the ABC
  to derive a coastwide ACL value because the stock is in the precautionary zone. This coastwide ACL value is
  not specified in regulations. The coastwide ACL value is apportioned north and south of 36[deg] N. lat., using
  the 2003-2014 average estimated swept area biomass from the NMFS NWFSC trawl survey, with 84.9 percent
  apportioned north of 36[deg] N. lat. and 15.1 percent apportioned south of 36[deg] N. lat. The northern ACL is
  6,299 mt and is reduced by 630 mt for the Tribal allocation (10 percent of the ACL north of 36[deg] N. lat.).
  The 630 mt Tribal allocation is reduced by 1.5 percent to account for discard mortality. Detailed sablefish
  allocations are shown in Table 1c.
\cc\ Sablefish south. The ACL for the area south of 36[deg] N. lat. is 1,120 mt (15.1 percent of the calculated
  coastwide ACL value). 5 mt is deducted from the ACL to accommodate the incidental open access fishery (2 mt)
  and research catch (3 mt), resulting in a fishery HG of 1,115 mt.
\dd\ Shortbelly rockfish. A non-quantitative shortbelly rockfish assessment was conducted in 2007. The spawning
  stock biomass of shortbelly rockfish was estimated to be 67 percent of its unfished biomass in 2005. The OFL
  of 6,950 mt is based on the estimated MSY in the 2007 stock assessment. The ABC of 5,789 mt is a 16.7 percent
  reduction of the OFL ([sigma] = 0.72/P* = 0.40) because it is a category 2 stock. The 500 mt ACL is set to
  accommodate incidental catch when fishing for co-occurring healthy stocks and in recognition of the stock's
  importance as a forage species in the California Current ecosystem. 10.9 mt is deducted from the ACL to
  accommodate the incidental open access fishery (8.9 mt) and research catch (2 mt), resulting in a fishery HG
  of 489.1 mt.
\ee\ Shortspine thornyhead. A 2013 coastwide shortspine thornyhead stock assessment estimated the stock to be at
  74.2 percent of its unfished biomass in 2013. A coastwide OFL of 3,116 mt is projected in the 2013 stock
  assessment using an F50 FMSY proxy. The coastwide ABC of 2,596 mt is a 16.7 percent reduction from the
  OFL ([sigma] = 0.72/P* = 0.40) because it is a category 2 stock. For the portion of the stock that is north of
  34[deg]27' N. lat., the ACL is 1,698 mt. The northern ACL is 65.4 percent of the coastwide ABC based on the
  average swept-area biomass estimates (2003-2012) from the NMFS NWFSC trawl survey. 59 mt is deducted from the
  ACL to accommodate the Tribal fishery (50 mt), the incidental open access fishery (1.8 mt), and research catch
  (7.2 mt), resulting in a fishery HG of 1,639 mt for the area north of 34[deg]27' N. lat. For that portion of
  the stock south of 34[deg]27' N. lat. the ACL is 898 mt. The southern ACL is 34.6 percent of the coastwide ABC
  based on the average swept-area biomass estimates (2003-2012) from the NMFS NWFSC trawl survey. 42.3 mt is
  deducted from the ACL to accommodate the incidental open access fishery (41.3 mt) and research catch (1 mt),
  resulting in a fishery HG of 855.7 mt for the area south of 34[deg]27' N. lat.
\ff\ Spiny dogfish. A coastwide spiny dogfish stock assessment was conducted in 2011. The coastwide spiny
  dogfish biomass was estimated to be at 63 percent of its unfished biomass in 2011. The coastwide OFL of 2,500
  mt is derived from the 2011 assessment using an FMSY proxy of F50. The coastwide ABC of 2,083 mt is a
  16.7 percent reduction from the OFL ([sigma] = 0.72/P* = 0.40) because it is a category 2 stock. The ACL is
  set equal to the ABC because the stock is above its target biomass of B40. 338 mt is deducted from the
  ACL to accommodate the Tribal fishery (275 mt), the incidental open access fishery (49.5 mt), EFP catch (1
  mt), and research catch (12.5 mt), resulting in a fishery HG of 1,745 mt.
\gg\ Splitnose rockfish. A coastwide splitnose rockfish assessment was conducted in 2009 that estimated the
  stock to be at 66 percent of its unfished biomass in 2009. Splitnose rockfish in the north is managed in the
  Minor Slope Rockfish complex and with stock-specific harvest specifications south of 40[deg]10' N. lat. The
  coastwide OFL is projected in the 2009 assessment using an FMSY proxy of F50. The coastwide OFL is
  apportioned north and south of 40[deg]10' N. lat. based on the average 1916-2008 assessed area catch resulting
  in 64.2 percent of the coastwide OFL apportioned south of 40[deg]10' N. lat., and 35.8 percent apportioned for
  the contribution of splitnose rockfish to the northern Minor Slope Rockfish complex. The southern OFL of 1,842
  mt results from the apportionment described above. The southern ABC of 1,761 mt is a 4.4 percent reduction
  from the southern OFL ([sigma] = 0.36/P* = 0.45) because it is a category 1 stock. The ACL is set equal to the
  ABC because the stock is estimated to be above its target biomass of B40. 10.7 mt is deducted from the
  ACL to accommodate the incidental open access fishery (0.2 mt), research catch (9 mt) and EFP catch (1.5 mt),
  resulting in a fishery HG of 1,750.3 mt.

[[Page 75298]]

 
\hh\ Starry flounder. The stock was assessed in 2005 and was estimated to be above 40 percent of its unfished
  biomass in 2005 (44 percent in Washington and Oregon, and 62 percent in California). The coastwide OFL of
  1,847 mt is set equal to the 2016 OFL, which was derived from the 2005 assessment using an FMSY proxy of
  F30. The ABC of 1,282 mt is a 30.6 percent reduction from the OFL ([sigma] = 1.44/P* = 0.40) because
  it is a category 3 stock. The ACL is set equal to the ABC because the stock was estimated to be above its
  target biomass of B25 in 2018. 10.3 mt is deducted from the ACL to accommodate the Tribal fishery (2
  mt), and the incidental open access fishery (8.3 mt), resulting in a fishery HG of 1,271.7 mt.
\ii\ Widow rockfish. The widow rockfish stock was assessed in 2015 and was estimated to be at 75 percent of its
  unfished biomass in 2015. The OFL of 13,237 mt is projected in the 2015 stock assessment using the F50
  FMSY proxy. The ABC of 12,655 mt is a 4.4 percent reduction from the OFL ([sigma] = 0.36/P* = 0.45) because it
  is a category 1 stock. The ACL is set equal to the ABC because the stock is above its target biomass of
  B40. 217.7 mt is deducted from the ACL to accommodate the Tribal fishery (200 mt), the incidental open
  access fishery (0.5 mt), EFP catch (9 mt) and research catch (8.2 mt), resulting in a fishery HG of 12,437.3
  mt.
\jj\ Yellowtail rockfish. A 2013 yellowtail rockfish stock assessment was conducted for the portion of the
  population north of 40[deg]10' N. lat. The estimated stock depletion is 67 percent of its unfished biomass in
  2013. The OFL of 6,574 mt is projected in the 2013 stock assessment using an FMSY proxy of F50. The
  ABC of 6,002 mt is an 8.7 percent reduction from the OFL ([sigma] = 0.72/P* = 0.45) because it is a category 2
  stock. The ACL is set equal to the ABC because the stock is above its target biomass of B40. 1,030 mt
  is deducted from the ACL to accommodate the Tribal fishery (1,000 mt), the incidental open access fishery (3.4
  mt), EFP catch (10 mt) and research catch (16.6 mt), resulting in a fishery HG of 4,972.1 mt.
\kk\ Minor Nearshore Rockfish north. The OFL for Minor Nearshore Rockfish north of 40[deg]10' N. lat. of 119 mt
  is the sum of the OFL contributions for the component species managed in the complex. The ABCs for the minor
  rockfish complexes are based on a sigma value of 0.72 for category 2 stocks (blue/deacon rockfish in
  California, brown rockfish, China rockfish, and copper rockfish) and a sigma value of 1.44 for category 3
  stocks (all others) with a P* of 0.45. The resulting ABC of 105 mt is the summed contribution of the ABCs for
  the component species. The ACL of 105 mt is the sum of contributing ABCs. 1.8 mt is deducted from the ACL to
  accommodate the Tribal fishery (1.5 mt), and the incidental open access fishery (0.3 mt), resulting in a
  fishery HG of 103.2 mt. Between 40[deg]10' N. lat. and 42[deg] N. lat. the Minor Nearshore Rockfish complex
  north has a harvest guideline of 40.2 mt. Blue/deacon rockfish south of 42[deg] N. lat. has a species-specific
  HG, described in footnote pp.
\ll\ Minor Shelf Rockfish north. The OFL for Minor Shelf Rockfish north of 40[deg]10' N. lat. of 2,302 mt is the
  sum of the OFL contributions for the component species within the complex. The ABCs for the minor rockfish
  complexes are based on a sigma value of 0.36 for a category 1 stock (chilipepper), a sigma value of 0.72 for
  category 2 stocks (greenspotted rockfish between 40[deg]10' and 42[deg] N. lat. and greenstriped rockfish) and
  a sigma value of 1.44 for category 3 stocks (all others) with a P* of 0.45. The resulting ABC of 2,048 mt is
  the summed contribution of the ABCs for the component species. The ACL of 2,047 mt is the sum of contributing
  ABCs of healthy assessed stocks and unassessed stocks, plus the ACL contribution of greenspotted rockfish in
  California where the 40-10 adjustment was applied to the ABC contribution for this stock because it is in the
  precautionary zone. 83.8 mt is deducted from the ACL to accommodate the Tribal fishery (30 mt), the incidental
  open access fishery (26 mt), EFP catch (3 mt), and research catch (24.8 mt), resulting in a fishery HG of
  1,963.2 mt.
\mm\ Minor Slope Rockfish north. The OFL for Minor Slope Rockfish north of 40[deg]10' N. lat. of 1,896 mt is the
  sum of the OFL contributions for the component species within the complex. The ABCs for the Minor Slope
  Rockfish complexes are based on a sigma value of 0.39 for aurora rockfish, a sigma value of 0.36 for the other
  category 1 stock (splitnose rockfish), a sigma value of 0.72 for category 2 stocks (rougheye rockfish,
  blackspotted rockfish, and sharpchin rockfish), and a sigma value of 1.44 for category 3 stocks (all others)
  with a P* of 0.45. A unique sigma of 0.39 was calculated for aurora rockfish because the variance in estimated
  spawning biomass was greater than the 0.36 used as a proxy for other category 1 stocks. The resulting ABC of
  1,754 mt is the summed contribution of the ABCs for the component species. The ACL is set equal to the ABC
  because all the assessed component stocks (rougheye rockfish, blackspotted rockfish, sharpchin rockfish, and
  splitnose rockfish) are above the target biomass of B40. 65.1 mt is deducted from the ACL to
  accommodate the Tribal fishery (36 mt), the incidental open access fishery (18.6 mt), EFP catch (1 mt), and
  research catch (9.5 mt), resulting in a fishery HG of 1,688.9 mt.
\nn\ Minor Nearshore Rockfish south. The OFL for the Minor Nearshore Rockfish complex south of 40[deg]10' N.
  lat. of 1,344 mt is the sum of the OFL contributions for the component species within the complex. The ABC for
  the southern Minor Nearshore Rockfish complex is based on a sigma value of 0.72 for category 2 stocks (blue/
  deacon rockfish north of 34[deg]27' N. lat., brown rockfish, China rockfish, and copper rockfish) and a sigma
  value of 1.44 for category 3 stocks (all others) with a P* of 0.45. The resulting ABC of 1,180 mt is the
  summed contribution of the ABCs for the component species. The ACL of 1,179 mt is the sum of the contributing
  ABCs of healthy assessed stocks and unassessed stocks, plus the ACL contribution for China rockfish where the
  40-10 adjustment was applied to the ABC contribution for this stock because it is in the precautionary zone.
  4.1 mt is deducted from the ACL to accommodate the incidental open access fishery (1.4 mt) and research catch
  (2.7 mt), resulting in a fishery HG of 1,174.9 mt. Blue/deacon rockfish south of 42[deg] N. lat. has a species-
  specific HG set equal to the 40-10-adjusted ACL for the portion of the stock north of 34[deg]27' N. lat.
  (250.3 mt) plus the ABC contribution for the unassessed portion of the stock south of 34[deg]27' N. lat. (60.8
  mt). The California (i.e., south of 42[deg] N. lat.) blue/deacon rockfish HG is 311.1 mt.
\oo\ Minor Shelf Rockfish south. The OFL for the Minor Shelf Rockfish complex south of 40[deg]10' N. lat. of
  1,918 mt is the sum of the OFL contributions for the component species within the complex. The ABC for the
  southern Minor Shelf Rockfish complex is based on a sigma value of 0.72 for category 2 stocks (i.e.,
  greenspotted and greenstriped rockfish) and a sigma value of 1.44 for category 3 stocks (all others) with a P*
  of 0.45. The resulting ABC of 1,625 mt is the summed contribution of the ABCs for the component species. The
  ACL of 1,624 mt is the sum of contributing ABCs of healthy assessed stocks and unassessed stocks, plus the ACL
  contribution of greenspotted rockfish in California where the 40-10 adjustment was applied to the ABC
  contribution for this stock because it is in the precautionary zone. 47.2 mt is deducted from the ACL to
  accommodate the incidental open access fishery (8.6 mt), EFP catch (30 mt), and research catch (8.6 mt),
  resulting in a fishery HG of 1,576.8 mt.
\pp\ Minor Slope Rockfish south. The OFL of 829 mt is the sum of the OFL contributions for the component species
  within the complex. The ABC for the southern Minor Slope Rockfish complex is based on a sigma value of 0.39
  for aurora rockfish, a sigma value of 0.72 for category 2 stocks (blackgill rockfish, rougheye rockfish,
  blackspotted rockfish, and sharpchin rockfish) and a sigma value of 1.44 for category 3 stocks (all others)
  with a P* of 0.45. A unique sigma of 0.39 was calculated for aurora rockfish because the variance in estimated
  biomass was greater than the 0.36 used as a proxy for other category 1 stocks. The resulting ABC of 719 mt is
  the summed contribution of the ABCs for the component species. The ACL of 709 mt is the sum of the
  contributing ABCs of healthy assessed stocks and unassessed stocks, plus the ACL contribution of blackgill
  rockfish where the 40-10 adjustment was applied to the ABC contribution for this stock because it is in the
  precautionary zone. 20.2 mt is deducted from the ACL to accommodate the incidental open access fishery (17.2
  mt), EFP catch (1 mt), and research catch (2 mt), resulting in a fishery HG of 688.8 mt. Blackgill rockfish
  has a stock-specific HG for the entire groundfish fishery south of 40[deg]10' N lat. set equal to the species'
  contribution to the 40-10-adjusted ACL. Harvest of blackgill rockfish in all groundfish fisheries counts
  against this HG of 122.4 mt. Nontrawl fisheries are subject to a blackgill rockfish HG of 45.3 mt.
\qq\ Other Flatfish. The Other Flatfish complex is comprised of flatfish species managed in the PCGFMP that are
  not managed with species-specific OFLs/ABCs/ACLs. Most of the species in the Other Flatfish complex are
  unassessed and include: Butter sole, curlfin sole, flathead sole, Pacific sanddab, rock sole, sand sole, and
  rex sole. The Other Flatfish OFL of 9,690 mt is based on the sum of the OFL contributions of the component
  stocks. The ABC of 7,281 mt is based on a sigma value of 0.72 for a category 2 stock (rex sole) and a sigma
  value of 1.44 for category 3 stocks (all others) with a P* of 0.40. The ACL is set equal to the ABC. The ACL
  is set equal to the ABC because all of the assessed stocks (i.e., Pacific sanddabs and rex sole) were above
  their target biomass of B25. 204 mt is deducted from the ACL to accommodate the Tribal fishery (60
  mt), the incidental open access fishery 125 mt), and research catch (19 mt), resulting in a fishery HG of
  7,077 mt.
\rr\ Other Fish. The Other Fish complex is comprised of kelp greenling coastwide, cabezon off Washington, and
  leopard shark coastwide. The 2015 assessment for the kelp greenling stock off of Oregon projected an estimated
  depletion of 80 percent. All other stocks are unassessed. The OFL of 501 mt is the sum of the OFL
  contributions for kelp greenling coastwide, cabezon off Washington, and leopard shark coastwide. The ABC for
  the Other Fish complex is based on a sigma value of 0.44 for kelp greenling off Oregon and a sigma value of
  1.44 for category 3 stocks (all others) with a P* of 0.45. A unique sigma of 0.44 was calculated for kelp
  greenling off Oregon because the variance in estimated spawning biomass was greater than the 0.36 sigma used
  as a proxy for other category 1 stocks. The resulting ABC of 441 mt is the summed contribution of the ABCs for
  the component species. The ACL is set equal to the ABC because all of the assessed stocks (kelp greenling off
  Oregon) were above their target biomass of B40. There are no deductions from the ACL so the fishery HG
  is equal to the ACL of 441 mt.


[[Page 75299]]


                               Table 2b to Part 660, Subpart C--2018, and Beyond, Allocations by Species or Species Group
                                                                 [Weight in metric tons]
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                                                       Trawl                         Non-trawl
                  Species                               Area               Fishery HG or ---------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                                ACT           Percent           Mt            Percent           Mt
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
BOCACCIO \a\..............................  S. of 40[deg]10' N. lat.....           725.6              39           283.3              61           442.3
COWCOD a b................................  S. of 40[deg]10' N. lat.....             4.0              36             1.4              64             2.6
DARKBLOTCHED ROCKFISH \c\.................  Coastwide...................           575.8              95           547.0               5            28.8
PACIFIC OCEAN PERCH \d\...................  N. of 40[deg]10' N. lat.....           231.6              95           220.0               5            11.6
YELLOWEYE ROCKFISH \a\....................  Coastwide...................            14.0              NA             1.1              NA            12.9
Arrowtooth flounder.......................  Coastwide...................        11,644.9              95        11,062.6               5           582.2
Big skate \a\.............................  Coastwide...................           436.6              95           414.8               5            21.8
Canary rockfish a e.......................  Coastwide...................         1,466.6              NA         1,060.1              NA           406.5
Chilipepper...............................  S. of 40[deg]10' N. lat.....         2,461.1              75         1,845.8              25           615.3
Dover sole................................  Coastwide...................        48,406.3              95        45,986.0               5         2,420.3
English sole..............................  Coastwide...................         7,324.3              95         6,958.0               5           366.2
Lingcod...................................  N. of 40[deg]10' N. lat.....         2,831.8              45         1,274.3              55         1,557.5
Lingcod...................................  S. of 40[deg]10' N. lat.....         1,135.0              45           510.8              55           624.3
Longnose skate \a\........................  Coastwide...................         1,853.0              90         1,667.7              10           185.3
Longspine thornyhead......................  N. of 34[deg]27' N. lat.....         2,700.2              95         2,565.2               5           135.0
Pacific cod...............................  Coastwide...................         1,091.0              95         1,036.4               5            54.5
Pacific whiting...........................  Coastwide...................             TBD             100             TBD               0             TBD
Petrale sole..............................  Coastwide...................         2,772.1              95         2,633.5               5           138.6
                                                                                         ---------------------------------------------------------------
Sablefish.................................  N. of 36[deg] N. lat........              NA                           See Table 2c
                                                                                         ---------------------------------------------------------------
Sablefish.................................  S. of 36[deg] N. lat........         1,115.0              42           468.3              58           646.7
Shortspine thornyhead.....................  N. of 34[deg]27' N. lat.....         1,639.0              95         1,557.0               5            81.9
Shortspine thornyhead.....................  S. of 34[deg]27' N. lat.....           855.7              NA            50.0              NA           805.7
Splitnose rockfish........................  S. of 40[deg]10' N. lat.....         1,750.3              95         1,662.8               5            87.5
Starry flounder...........................  Coastwide...................         1,271.7              50           635.9              50           635.9
Widow rockfish \f\........................  Coastwide...................        12,437.3              91        11,317.9               9         1,119.4
Yellowtail rockfish.......................  N. of 40[deg]10' N. lat.....         4,972.1              88         4,375.4              12           596.6
Minor Shelf Rockfish \a\..................  N. of 40[deg]10' N. lat.....         1,963.2              60         1,181.8              40           781.4
Minor Slope Rockfish......................  N. of 40[deg]10' N. lat.....         1,688.9              81         1,368.0              19           320.9
Minor Shelf Rockfish \a\..................  S. of 40[deg]10' N. lat.....         1,576.8              12          192.37              88         1,384.4
Minor Slope Rockfish......................  S. of 40[deg]10' N. lat.....           688.8              63           433.9              37           254.9
Other Flatfish............................  Coastwide...................         7,077.0              90         6,369.3              10           707.7
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
\a\ Allocations decided through the biennial specification process.
\b\ The cowcod fishery harvest guideline is further reduced to an ACT of 4.0 mt.
\c\ Consistent with regulations at Sec.   660.55(c), 9 percent (49.2 mt) of the total trawl allocation for darkblotched rockfish is allocated to the
  Pacific whiting fishery, as follows: 20.7 mt for the Shorebased IFQ Program, 11.8 mt for the MS sector, and 16.7 mt for the C/P sector. The tonnage
  calculated here for the Pacific whiting IFQ fishery contributes to the total shorebased trawl allocation, which is found at Sec.
  660.140(d)(1)(ii)(D).
\d\ Consistent with regulations at Sec.   660.55(c), 17 percent (37.4 mt) of the total trawl allocation for POP is allocated to the Pacific whiting
  fishery, as follows: 15.7 mt for the Shorebased IFQ Program, 9.0 mt for the MS sector, and 12.7 mt for the C/P sector. The tonnage calculated here for
  the Pacific whiting IFQ fishery contributes to the total shorebased trawl allocation, which is found at Sec.   660.140(d)(1)(ii)(D).
\e\ Canary rockfish is allocated approximately 72 percent to trawl and 28 percent to non-trawl. 46 mt of the total trawl allocation of canary rockfish
  is allocated to the MS and C/P sectors, as follows: 30 mt for the MS sector, and 16 mt for the C/P sector.
\f\ Consistent with regulations at Sec.   660.55(c), 10 percent (1,131.8 mt) of the total trawl allocation for widow rockfish is allocated to the
  Pacific whiting fishery, as follows: 475.4 mt for the Shorebased IFQ Program, 271.6 mt for the MS sector, and 348.8 mt for the C/P sector. The tonnage
  calculated here for the Pacific whiting IFQ fishery contributes to the total shorebased trawl allocation, which is found at Sec.
  660.140(d)(1)(ii)(D).


                            Table 2c to Part 660, Subpart C--Sablefish North of 36[deg] N. Lat. Allocations, 2018 and Beyond
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                Set-asides                                                   Limited entry HG         Open access HG
            Year                  ACL    ------------------------ Recreational      EFP      Commercial  -----------------------------------------------
                                          Tribal \a\   Research     estimate                     HG         Percent       mt        Percent     mt \b\
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
2018........................       6,299         630          26           6.1           1         5,636        90.6       5,106         9.4         530
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                        Limited entry trawl c
                                               Limited entry fixed gear d
                                         ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
            Year                LE All     All trawl    At-sea                                 All FG             Primary
                                                         whiting       Shorebased IFQ
                                        DTL
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
2018........................       5,106       2,961          50            2,911                  2,145           1,823
                                        322
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
\a\ The tribal allocation is further reduced by 1.5 percent for discard mortality resulting in 620 mt in 2018.
\b\ The open access HG is taken by the incidental OA fishery and the directed OA fishery.
\c\ The trawl allocation is 58 percent of the limited entry HG.
\d\ The limited entry fixed gear allocation is 42 percent of the limited entry HG.


[[Page 75300]]


  Table 2d. to Part 660, Subpart C--At-Sea Whiting Fishery Annual Set-
                         Asides, 2018 and Beyond
------------------------------------------------------------------------
   Species or species complex           Area            Set aside (mt)
------------------------------------------------------------------------
BOCACCIO.......................  S. of 40[deg]10 N.  NA
                                  lat.
COWCOD.........................  S. of 40[deg]10 N.  NA
                                  lat.
DARK BLOTCHED ROCKFISH \a\.....  Coastwide.........  Allocation.
PACIFIC OCEAN PERCH \a\........  N. of 40[deg]10 N.  Allocation.
                                  lat.
YELLOWEYE ROCKFISH.............  Coastwide.........  0
Arrowtooth flounder............  Coastwide.........  70
Canary rockfish \a\............  Coastwide.........  Allocation.
Chilipepper....................  S. of 40[deg]10 N.  NA
                                  lat.
Dover sole.....................  Coastwide.........  5
English sole...................  Coastwide.........  5
Lingcod........................  N. of 40[deg]10 N.  15
                                  lat.
Lingcod........................  S. of 40[deg]10 N.  NA
                                  lat.
Longnose skate.................  Coastwide.........  5
Longspine thornyhead...........  N. of 34[deg]27 N.  5
                                  lat.
Longspine thornyhead...........  S. of 34[deg]27 N.  NA
                                  lat.
Minor Nearshore Rockfish.......  N. of 40[deg]10 N.  NA
                                  lat.
Minor Nearshore Rockfish.......  S. of 40[deg]10 N.  NA
                                  lat.
Minor Shelf Rockfish...........  N. of 40[deg]10 N.  35
                                  lat.
Minor Shelf Rockfish...........  S. of 40[deg]10 N.  NA
                                  lat.
Minor Slope Rockfish...........  N. of 40[deg]10 N.  100
                                  lat.
Minor Slope Rockfish...........  S. of 40[deg]10 N.  NA
                                  lat.
Other Fish.....................  Coastwide.........  NA
Other Flatfish.................  Coastwide.........  20
Pacific cod....................  Coastwide.........  5
Pacific Halibut \b\............  Coastwide.........  10
Pacific Whiting................  Coastwide.........  Allocation.
Petrale sole...................  Coastwide.........  5
Sablefish......................  N. of 36[deg]10 N.  50
                                  lat.
Sablefish......................  S. of 36[deg]10 N.  NA
                                  lat.
Shortspine thornyhead..........  N. of 34[deg]27 N.  20
                                  lat.
Shortspine thornyhead..........  S. of 34[deg]27 N.  NA
                                  lat.
Starry flounder................  Coastwide.........  5
Widow Rockfish \a\.............  Coastwide.........  Allocation.
Yellowtail rockfish............  N. of 40[deg]10 N.  300
                                  lat.
------------------------------------------------------------------------
\a\ See Table 1.b., to subpart C, for the at-sea whiting allocations for
  these species.
\b\ As stated in Sec.   660.55(m), the Pacific halibut set-aside is 10
  mt, to accommodate bycatch in the at-sea Pacific whiting fisheries and
  in the shorebased trawl sector south of 40[deg]10 N. lat. (estimated
  to be approximately 5 mt each).

* * * * *
0
12. In Sec.  660.130, paragraph (d)(1)(i) is revised to read as 
follows:


Sec.  660.130  Trawl fishery-management measures.

* * * * *
    (d) * * *
    (1) * * *
    (i) Coastwide. Widow rockfish, canary rockfish, darkblotched 
rockfish, yelloweye rockfish, shortbelly rockfish, black rockfish, 
blue/deacon rockfish, minor nearshore rockfish, minor shelf rockfish, 
minor slope rockfish, shortraker rockfish, rougheye/blackspotted 
rockfish, shortspine and longspine thornyhead, Dover sole, arrowtooth 
flounder, petrale sole, starry flounder, English sole, other flatfish, 
lingcod, sablefish, Pacific cod, spiny dogfish, other fish, longnose 
skate, Pacific whiting, and big skate.
* * * * *
0
13. In Sec.  660.140, paragraphs (d)(1)(ii)(D) and (e)(4)(i) are 
revised to read as follows:


Sec.  660.140  Shorebased IFQ Program.

* * * * *
    (d) * * *
    (1) * * *
    (ii) * * *
    (D) For the trawl fishery, NMFS will issue QP based on the 
following shorebased trawl allocations:

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                                       2017            2018
                                                                                    Shorebased      Shorebased
                  IFQ species                                 Area                     trawl           trawl
                                                                                    allocation      allocation
                                                                                       (mt)            (mt)
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Arrowtooth flounder...........................  Coastwide.......................        11,050.6        10,992.6
BOCACCIO......................................  South of 40[deg]10' N. lat......           302.4           283.3
Canary rockfish...............................  Coastwide.......................         1,014.1         1,014.1
Chilipepper...................................  South of 40[deg]10' N. lat......         1,920.8         1,845.8
COWCOD........................................  South of 40[deg]10' N. lat......            1.40            1.40
DARKBLOTCHED ROCKFISH.........................  Coastwide.......................           507.6           518.4
Dover sole....................................  Coastwide.......................        45,981.0        45,981.0
English sole..................................  Coastwide.......................         9,258.6         6,953.0
Lingcod.......................................  North of 40[deg]10' N. lat......         1,359.7        1,259.32
Lingcod.......................................  South of 40[deg]10' N. lat......           558.9          510.75
Longspine thornyhead..........................  North of 34[deg]27' N. lat......         2,699.8         2,560.2

[[Page 75301]]

 
Minor Shelf Rockfish complex..................  North of 40[deg]10' N. lat......         1,148.1         1,146.8
Minor Shelf Rockfish complex..................  South of 40[deg]10' N. lat......           192.2           192.4
Minor Slope Rockfish complex..................  North of 40[deg]10' N. lat......         1,268.8         1,268.0
Minor Slope Rockfish complex..................  South of 40[deg]10' N. lat......           432.7           433.9
Other Flatfish complex........................  Coastwide.......................         7,455.4         6,349.3
Pacific cod...................................  Coastwide.......................         1,031.4         1,031.4
PACIFIC OCEAN PERCH...........................  North of 40[deg]10' N. lat......           198.3           198.3
Pacific whiting...............................  Coastwide.......................  ..............  ..............
Petrale sole..................................  Coastwide.......................         2,745.3         2,628.5
Sablefish.....................................  North of 36[deg] N. lat.........         2,789.6         2,912.1
Sablefish.....................................  South of 36[deg] N. lat.........           449.4           468.3
Shortspine thornyhead.........................  North of 34[deg]27' N. lat......          1551.3         1,537.0
Shortspine thornyhead.........................  South of 34[deg]27' N. lat......            50.0            50.0
Splitnose rockfish............................  South of 40[deg]10' N. lat......          1661.8         1,662.8
Starry flounder...............................  Coastwide.......................           630.9           630.9
Widow rockfish................................  Coastwide.......................        11,392.7        10,661.5
YELLOWEYE ROCKFISH............................  Coastwide.......................            1.10            1.10
Yellowtail rockfish...........................  North of 40[deg]10' N. lat......         4,246.1         4,075.4
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

* * * * *
    (e) * * *
    (4) * * *
    (i) Vessel limits. For each IFQ species or species group specified 
in this paragraph, vessel accounts may not have QP or IBQ pounds in 
excess of the QP vessel limit (annual limit) in any year, and, for 
species covered by unused QP vessel limits (daily limit), may not have 
QP or IBQ pounds in excess of the unused QP vessel limit at any time. 
The QP vessel limit (annual limit) is calculated as all QPs transferred 
in minus all QPs transferred out of the vessel account. The unused QP 
vessel limits (daily limit) is calculated as unused available QPs plus 
any pending outgoing transfer of QPs. Vessel limits are as follows:

------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                        Unused QP vessel
                                     QP vessel limit      limit (daily
         Species category             (annual limit)       limit) (in
                                       (in percent)         percent)
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Arrowtooth flounder...............                 20  .................
Bocaccio S. of 40[deg]10' N. lat..               15.4               13.2
Canary rockfish...................                 10  .................
Chilipepper S. of 40[deg]10' N.                    15  .................
 lat..............................
Cowcod S. of 40[deg]10' N. lat....               17.7               17.7
Darkblotched rockfish.............                6.8                4.5
Dover sole........................                3.9  .................
English sole......................                7.5  .................
Lingcod:
    N. of 40[deg]10' N. lat.......                5.3  .................
    S. of 40[deg]10' N. lat.......               13.3  .................
Longspine thornyhead:
    N. of 34[deg]27' N. lat.......                  9  .................
Minor Shelf Rockfish complex:
    N. of 40[deg]10' N. lat.......                7.5  .................
    S. of 40[deg]10' N. lat.......               13.5  .................
Minor Slope Rockfish complex:
    N. of 40[deg]10' N. lat.......                7.5  .................
    S. of 40[deg]10' N. lat.......                  9  .................
Other flatfish complex............                 15  .................
Pacific cod.......................                 20  .................
Pacific halibut (IBQ) N. of                      14.4                5.4
 40[deg]10' N. lat................
Pacific ocean perch N. of                           6                  4
 40[deg]10' N. lat................
Pacific whiting (shoreside).......                 15  .................
Petrale sole......................                4.5  .................
Sablefish:
    N. of 36[deg] N. lat.                         4.5  .................
     (Monterey north).............
    S. of 36[deg] N. lat.                          15  .................
     (Conception area)............
Shortspine thornyhead:
    N. of 34[deg]27' N. lat.......                  9  .................
    S. of 34[deg]27' N. lat.......                  9  .................
Splitnose rockfish S. of                           15  .................
 40[deg]10' N. lat................
Starry flounder...................                 20  .................
Widow rockfish....................                8.5                5.1
Yelloweye rockfish................               11.4                5.7
Yellowtail rockfish N. of                         7.5  .................
 40[deg]10' N. lat................
Non-whiting groundfish species....                3.2  .................
------------------------------------------------------------------------


[[Page 75302]]

* * * * *
0
14. Tables 1 (North) and 1 (South) to part 660, subpart D, are revised 
to read as follows:

Table 1 (North) to Part 660, Subpart D--Limited Entry Trawl Rockfish 
Conservation Areas and Landing Allowances for Non-IFQ Species and 
Pacific Whiting North of 40[deg]10' N. Lat.
[GRAPHIC] [TIFF OMITTED] TP28OC16.056


[[Page 75303]]



Table 1 (South) to Part 660, Subpart D--Limited Entry Trawl Rockfish 
Conservation Areas and Landing Allowances for Non-IFQ Species and 
Pacific Whiting South of 40[deg]10' N. Lat.
[GRAPHIC] [TIFF OMITTED] TP28OC16.057

0
15. In Sec.  660.230, paragraph (c)(2)(i) is revised to read as 
follows:


Sec.  660.230  Fixed gear fishery-management measures.

* * * * *
    (c) * * *
    (2) * * *
    (i) Coastwide--widow rockfish, canary rockfish, darkblotched 
rockfish, yelloweye rockfish, shortbelly rockfish,

[[Page 75304]]

black rockfish, blue/deacon rockfish, minor nearshore rockfish, minor 
shelf rockfish, minor slope rockfish, shortraker rockfish, rougheye/
blackspotted rockfish, shortspine and longspine thornyhead, Dover sole, 
arrowtooth flounder, petrale sole, starry flounder, English sole, other 
flatfish, lingcod, sablefish, Pacific cod, spiny dogfish, other fish, 
longnose skate, big skate, and Pacific whiting;
* * * * *
0
16. In Sec.  660.231, paragraph (b)(3)(i) is revised to read as 
follows:


Sec.  660.231   Limited entry fixed gear sablefish primary fishery.

* * * * *
    (b) * * * *
    (3) * * *
    (i) A vessel participating in the primary season will be 
constrained by the sablefish cumulative limit associated with each of 
the permits registered for use with that vessel. During the primary 
season, each vessel authorized to fish in that season under paragraph 
(a) of this section may take, retain, possess, and land sablefish, up 
to the cumulative limits for each of the permits registered for use 
with that vessel (i.e., stacked permits). If multiple limited entry 
permits with sablefish endorsements are registered for use with a 
single vessel, that vessel may land up to the total of all cumulative 
limits announced in this paragraph for the tiers for those permits, 
except as limited by paragraph (b)(3)(ii) of this section. Up to 3 
permits may be registered for use with a single vessel during the 
primary season; thus, a single vessel may not take and retain, possess 
or land more than 3 primary season sablefish cumulative limits in any 
one year. A vessel registered for use with multiple limited entry 
permits is subject to per vessel limits for species other than 
sablefish, and to per vessel limits when participating in the daily 
trip limit fishery for sablefish under Sec.  660.232. In 2017, the 
following annual limits are in effect: Tier 1 at 51,947 lb (23,562 kg), 
Tier 2 at 23,612 lb (10,710 kg), and Tier 3 at 13,493 lb (6,120 kg). In 
2018 and beyond, the following annual limits are in effect: Tier 1 at 
54,179 lb (24,575 kg), Tier 2 at 24,627 lb (11,170 kg), and Tier 3 at 
14,072 lb (6,382 kg).
* * * * *
0
 17. Tables 2 (North) and 2 (South) to part 660, subpart E, are revised 
to read as follows:

Table 2 (North) to Part 660, Subpart E--Non-Trawl Rockfish Conservation 
Areas and Trip Limits for Limited Entry Fixed Gear North of 40[deg]10' 
N. Lat.

[[Page 75305]]

[GRAPHIC] [TIFF OMITTED] TP28OC16.058


[[Page 75306]]


[GRAPHIC] [TIFF OMITTED] TP28OC16.059


[[Page 75307]]


[GRAPHIC] [TIFF OMITTED] TP28OC16.060

0
 18. In Sec.  660.330, paragraph (c)(2)(i) is revised to read as 
follows:


Sec.  660.330  Open access fishery--management measures.

* * * * *
    (c) * * *
    (2) * * *
    (i) Coastwide--widow rockfish, canary rockfish, darkblotched 
rockfish, yelloweye rockfish, shortbelly rockfish, black rockfish, 
blue/deacon rockfish, minor nearshore rockfish, minor shelf rockfish, 
minor slope rockfish, shortraker rockfish, rougheye/blackspotted 
rockfish, shortspine and longspine thornyhead, Dover sole, arrowtooth 
flounder, petrale sole, starry flounder, English sole, other flatfish, 
lingcod, sablefish, Pacific cod, spiny dogfish, longnose skate, other 
fish, Pacific whiting, big skate, and Pacific sanddabs;
* * * * *
0
19. Tables 3 (North) and 3 (South) to part 660, subpart F, are revised 
to read as follows:

Table 3 (North) to Part 660, Subpart F--Non-Trawl Rockfish Conservation 
Areas and Trip Limits for Open Access Gears North of 40[deg]10' N. Lat.

[[Page 75308]]

[GRAPHIC] [TIFF OMITTED] TP28OC16.061


[[Page 75309]]


[GRAPHIC] [TIFF OMITTED] TP28OC16.062

Table 3 (South) to Part 660, Subpart F--Non-Trawl Rockfish Conservation 
Areas and Trip Limits for Open Access Gears South of 40[deg]10' N. Lat.

[[Page 75310]]

[GRAPHIC] [TIFF OMITTED] TP28OC16.063


[[Page 75311]]


[GRAPHIC] [TIFF OMITTED] TP28OC16.064

0
 20. In Sec.  660.360, paragraphs (c)(1) introductory text, 
(c)(1)(i)(D)(3), (c)(1)(ii), (c)(1)(iv)(A) and (B), (c)(2)(i)(A) and 
(B), (c)(2)(iii)(A) and (D), (c)(3) introductory text, (c)(3)(i)(A), 
(c)(3)(ii)(A)(1) through (4), (c)(3)(ii)(B), (c)(3)(iii)(A)(1) through 
(5), (c)(3)(iii)(B), (c)(3)(iv), and (c)(3)(v)(A)(1) are revised to 
read as follows:


Sec.  660.360  Recreational fishery--management measures.

* * * * *
    (c) * * *
    (1) Washington. For each person engaged in recreational fishing off 
the coast of Washington, the groundfish bag limit is 12 groundfish per 
day, including rockfish, cabezon and lingcod. Within the groundfish bag 
limit, there are sub-limits for rockfish, lingcod, and cabezon outlined 
in paragraph (c)(1)(i)(D) of this section. The recreational groundfish 
fishery will open the second Saturday in March through the third 
Saturday in October for all species in all areas except lingcod in 
Marine Area 4 as described in paragraph (c)(1)(iv) of this section. In 
the Pacific halibut fisheries, retention of groundfish is governed in 
part by annual management measures for Pacific halibut fisheries, which 
are published in the Federal Register. The following seasons, closed 
areas, sub-limits and size limits apply:
    (i) * * *
    (D) * * *
    (3) Between Leadbetter Point (46[deg]38.17' N. lat.) and the 
Columbia River (Marine Area 1), when Pacific halibut are onboard the 
vessel, no groundfish may be taken and retained, possessed or landed, 
except sablefish, flatfish species (except halibut), and Pacific cod 
from May 1 through September 30. Except that taking, retaining, 
possessing or landing incidental halibut with groundfish on board is 
allowed in the nearshore area on days not open to all-depth Pacific 
halibut fisheries in the area shoreward of the boundary line 
approximating the 30 fathom (55 m) depth contour extending from 
Leadbetter Point, WA (46[deg]38.17' N. lat., 124[deg]15.88' W. long.) 
to the Columbia River (46[deg]16.00' N. lat., 124[deg]15.88' W. long.) 
and from there, connecting to the boundary line approximating the 40 
fathom (73 m) depth contour in Oregon. Nearshore season days are 
established in the annual management measures for Pacific halibut 
fisheries, which are published in the Federal Register and are 
announced on the NMFS halibut hotline, 1-800-662-9825. Between 
Leadbetter Point (46[deg]38.17' N. lat. 124[deg]21.00' W. long) and 
46[deg] 33.00' N. Lat. 124[deg]21.00' W. Long., recreational fishing 
for lingcod is prohibited year round seaward of a straight line 
connecting all of the following points in the order stated: 
46[deg]38.17' N. lat., 124[deg]21.00' W. long.; and 46[deg] 33.00' N. 
Lat., 124[deg]21.00' W. long.
    (ii) Rockfish. In areas of the EEZ seaward of Washington that are 
open to recreational groundfish fishing, there is a 10 rockfish per day 
bag limit. In Marine Areas 1 and 2 there is a 1 fish sub-bag limit per 
day for canary rockfish. Taking and retaining canary rockfish is 
prohibited in Marine Areas 3 and 4. Taking and retaining yelloweye

[[Page 75312]]

rockfish is prohibited in all Marine areas.
* * * * *
    (iv) * * *
    (A) Between the U.S./Canada border and 48[deg]10' N. lat. (Cape 
Alava) (Washington Marine Area 4), recreational fishing for lingcod is 
open, for 2017 and 2018, from April 16 through October 15. Lingcod may 
be no smaller than 22 inches (61 cm) total length.
    (B) Between 48[deg]10' N. lat. (Cape Alava) and 46[deg]16' N. lat. 
(Columbia River) (Washington Marine Areas 1-3), recreational fishing 
for lingcod is open for 2017 from March 11 through October 21, and for 
2018 from March 10 through October 20. Lingcod may be no smaller than 
22 inches (56 cm) total length.
    (2) * * *
    (i) * * *
    (A) Stonewall Bank yelloweye rockfish conservation area. 
Recreational fishing for groundfish and halibut is prohibited within 
the Stonewall Bank YRCA. It is unlawful for recreational fishing 
vessels to take and retain, possess, or land groundfish taken with 
recreational gear within the Stonewall Bank YRCA. A vessel fishing in 
the Stonewall Bank YRCA may not be in possession of any groundfish. 
Recreational vessels may transit through the Stonewall Bank YRCA with 
or without groundfish on board. The Stonewall Bank YRCA, and two 
possible expansions that are available through inseason adjustment, are 
defined by latitude and longitude coordinates specified at Sec.  
660.70, subpart C.
    (B) Recreational rockfish conservation area. Fishing for groundfish 
with recreational gear is prohibited within the recreational RCA, a 
type of closed area or GCA. It is unlawful to take and retain, possess, 
or land groundfish taken with recreational gear within the recreational 
RCA. A vessel fishing in the recreational RCA may not be in possession 
of any groundfish. [For example, if a vessel fishes in the recreational 
salmon fishery within the RCA, the vessel cannot be in possession of 
groundfish while in the RCA. The vessel may, however, on the same trip 
fish for and retain groundfish shoreward of the RCA on the return trip 
to port.] Off Oregon, from April 1 through September 30, recreational 
fishing for groundfish is prohibited seaward of a recreational RCA 
boundary line approximating the 40 fm (73 m) depth contour, except that 
fishing for flatfish (other than Pacific halibut) is allowed seaward of 
the 40 fm (73 m) depth contour when recreational fishing for groundfish 
is permitted. Coordinates for the boundary line approximating the 40 fm 
(73 m) depth contour are listed at Sec.  660.71.
* * * * *
    (iii) * * *
    (A) Marine fish. The bag limit is 10 marine fish per day, which 
includes rockfish, kelp greenling, cabezon and other groundfish 
species. The bag limit of marine fish excludes Pacific halibut, 
salmonids, tuna, perch species, sturgeon, sanddabs, flatfish, lingcod, 
striped bass, hybrid bass, offshore pelagic species and baitfish 
(herring, smelt, anchovies and sardines). The minimum size for cabezon 
retained in the Oregon recreational fishery is 16 in (41 cm) total 
length.
* * * * *
    (D) In the Pacific halibut fisheries. Retention of groundfish is 
governed in part by annual management measures for Pacific halibut 
fisheries, which are published in the Federal Register. Between the 
Columbia River and Humbug Mountain, during days open to the ``all-
depth'' sport halibut fisheries, when Pacific halibut are onboard the 
vessel, no groundfish may be taken and retained, possessed or landed, 
except sablefish, Pacific cod, and other species of flatfish (sole, 
flounder, sanddab). ``All-depth'' season days are established in the 
annual management measures for Pacific halibut fisheries, which are 
published in the Federal Register and are announced on the NMFS Pacific 
halibut hotline, 1-800-662-9825.
* * * * *
    (3) California. Seaward of California, California law provides 
that, in times and areas when the recreational fishery is open, there 
is a 20 fish bag limit for all species of finfish, within which no more 
than 10 fish of any one species may be taken or possessed by any one 
person. [Note: There are some exceptions to this rule. The following 
groundfish species are not subject to a bag limit: Petrale sole, 
Pacific sanddab and starry flounder.] For groundfish species not 
specifically mentioned in this paragraph, fishers are subject to the 
overall 20-fish bag limit for all species of finfish and the depth 
restrictions at paragraph (c)(3)(i) of this section. Recreational 
spearfishing for all federally-managed groundfish, is exempt from 
closed areas and seasons, consistent with Title 14 of the California 
Code of Regulations. This exemption applies only to recreational 
vessels and divers provided no other fishing gear, except spearfishing 
gear, is on board the vessel. California state law may provide 
regulations similar to Federal regulations for the following state-
managed species: Ocean whitefish, California sheephead, and all 
greenlings of the genus Hexagrammos. Kelp greenling is the only 
federally-managed greenling. Retention of cowcod, yelloweye rockfish, 
and bronzespotted rockfish, is prohibited in the recreational fishery 
seaward of California all year in all areas. Retention of species or 
species groups for which the season is closed is prohibited in the 
recreational fishery seaward of California all year in all areas, 
unless otherwise authorized in this section. For each person engaged in 
recreational fishing in the EEZ seaward of California, the following 
closed areas, seasons, bag limits, and size limits apply:
    (i) * * *
    (A) Recreational rockfish conservation areas. The recreational RCAs 
are areas that are closed to recreational fishing for groundfish. 
Fishing for groundfish with recreational gear is prohibited within the 
recreational RCA, except that recreational fishing for ``other 
flatfish,'' petrale sole, and starry flounder is permitted within the 
recreational RCA as specified in paragraph (c)(3)(iv) of this section. 
It is unlawful to take and retain, possess, or land groundfish taken 
with recreational gear within the recreational RCA, unless otherwise 
authorized in this section. A vessel fishing in the recreational RCA 
may not be in possession of any species prohibited by the restrictions 
that apply within the recreational RCA. [For example, if a vessel 
fishes in the recreational salmon fishery within the RCA, the vessel 
cannot be in possession of rockfish while in the RCA. The vessel may, 
however, on the same trip fish for and retain rockfish shoreward of the 
RCA on the return trip to port.] If the season is closed for a species 
or species group, fishing for that species or species group is 
prohibited both within the recreational RCA and shoreward of the 
recreational RCA, unless otherwise authorized in this section.
    (1) Between 42[deg] N. lat. (California/Oregon border) and 
40[deg]10' N. lat. (Northern Management Area), recreational fishing for 
all groundfish (except petrale sole, starry flounder, and ``other 
flatfish'' as specified in paragraph (c)(3)(iv) of this section) is 
prohibited seaward of the 30 fm (55 m) depth contour along the mainland 
coast and along islands and offshore seamounts from May 1 through 
October 31 (shoreward of 30 fm is open); is open at all depths from 
November 1 through December 31; and is closed entirely from January 1 
through April 30.
    (2) Between 40[deg]10' N. lat. and 38[deg]57.50' N. lat. (Mendocino 
Management Area), recreational fishing for all groundfish (except 
petrale sole,

[[Page 75313]]

starry flounder, and ``other flatfish'' as specified in paragraph 
(c)(3)(iv) of this section) is prohibited seaward of the 20 fm (37 m) 
depth contour along the mainland coast and along islands and offshore 
seamounts from May 1 through October 31 (shoreward of 20 fm is open), 
is open at all depths from November 1 through December 31, and is 
closed entirely from January 1 through April 30.
    (3) Between 38[deg]57.50' N. lat. and 37[deg]11' N. lat. (San 
Francisco Management Area), recreational fishing for all groundfish 
(except petrale sole, starry flounder, and ``other flatfish'' as 
specified in paragraph (c)(3)(iv) of this section) is prohibited 
seaward of the boundary line approximating the 40 fm (73 m) depth 
contour along the mainland coast and along islands and offshore 
seamounts from April 15 through December 31; and is closed entirely 
from January 1 through April 14. Closures around Cordell Banks (see 
paragraph (c)(3)(i)(C) of this section) also apply in this area. 
Coordinates for the boundary line approximating the 40 fm (73 m) depth 
contour are listed in Sec.  660.71.
    (4) Between 37[deg]11' N. lat. and 34[deg]27' N. lat. (Central 
Management Area), recreational fishing for all groundfish (except 
petrale sole, starry flounder, and ``other flatfish'' as specified in 
paragraph (c)(3)(iv) of this section) is prohibited seaward of a 
boundary line approximating the 50 fm (91 m) depth contour along the 
mainland coast and along islands and offshore seamounts from April 1 
through December 31; and is closed entirely from January 1 through 
March 31 (i.e., prohibited seaward of the shoreline). Coordinates for 
the boundary line approximating the 50 fm (91 m) depth contour are 
specified in Sec.  660.72.
    (5) South of 34[deg]27' N. lat. (Southern Management Area), 
recreational fishing for all groundfish (except California scorpionfish 
as specified below in this paragraph and in paragraph (c)(3)(v) of this 
section and ``other flatfish,'' petrale sole, and starry flounder, as 
specified in paragraph (c)(3)(iv) of this section) is prohibited 
seaward of a boundary line approximating the 60 fm (109.7 m) depth 
contour from March 1 through December 31 along the mainland coast and 
along islands and offshore seamounts, except in the CCAs where fishing 
is prohibited seaward of the 20 fm (37 m) depth contour when the 
fishing season is open (see paragraph (c)(3)(i)(B) of this section). 
Recreational fishing for all groundfish (except California 
scorpionfish, ``other flatfish,'' petrale sole, and starry flounder) is 
closed entirely from January 1 through February 28 (i.e., prohibited 
seaward of the shoreline). When the California scorpionfish fishing 
season is open, recreational fishing for California scorpionfish south 
of 34[deg]27' N. lat. is prohibited seaward of a boundary line 
approximating the 60 fm (109.7 m) depth contour, except in the CCAs 
where fishing is prohibited seaward of the 20 fm (37 m) depth contour.
* * * * *
    (ii) * * *
    (A) * * *
    (1) Between 42[deg] N. lat. (California/Oregon border) and 
40[deg]10' N. lat. (North Management Area), recreational fishing for 
the RCG complex is open from May 1 through December 31 (i.e., it's 
closed from January 1 through April 30).
    (2) Between 40[deg]10' N. lat. and 38[deg]57.50' N. lat. (Mendocino 
Management Area), recreational fishing for the RCG Complex is open from 
May 1 through October December 31 (i.e., it's closed from January 1 
through April 30).
    (3) Between 38[deg]57.50' N. lat. and 37[deg]11' N. lat. (San 
Francisco Management Area), recreational fishing for the RCG complex is 
open from April 15 through December 31 (i.e., it's closed from January 
1 through April 14).
    (4) Between 37[deg]11' N. lat. and 34[deg]27' N. lat. (Central 
Management Area), recreational fishing for the RCG complex is open from 
April 1 through December 31 (i.e., it's closed from January 1 through 
March 31).
* * * * *
    (B) Bag limits, hook limits. In times and areas when the 
recreational season for the RCG Complex is open, there is a limit of 2 
hooks and 1 line when fishing for the RCG complex and lingcod. The bag 
limit is 10 RCG Complex fish per day coastwide. Retention of yelloweye 
rockfish, bronzespotted rockfish, and cowcod is prohibited. Within the 
10 RCG Complex fish per day limit, no more than 3 may be black 
rockfish, no more than 3 may be cabezon, and no more than 1 may be 
canary rockfish. Multi-day limits are authorized by a valid permit 
issued by California and must not exceed the daily limit multiplied by 
the number of days in the fishing trip.
* * * * *
    (iii) * * *
    (A) * * *
    (1) Between 42[deg] N. lat. (California/Oregon border) and 
40[deg]10' N. lat. (Northern Management Area), recreational fishing for 
lingcod is open from May 1 through December 31 (i.e., it's closed from 
January 1 through April 30).
    (2) Between 40[deg]10' N. lat. and 38[deg]57.50' N. lat. (Mendocino 
Management Area), recreational fishing for lingcod is open from May 1 
through December 31 (i.e., it's closed from January 1 through April 
30).
    (3) Between 38[deg]57.50' N. lat. and 37[deg]11' N. lat. (San 
Francisco Management Area), recreational fishing for lingcod is open 
from April 15 through December 31 (i.e., it's closed from January 1 
through April 14).
    (4) Between 37[deg]11' N. lat. and 34[deg]27' N. lat. (Central 
Management Area), recreational fishing for lingcod is open from April 1 
through December 31 (i.e., it's closed from January 1 through March 
31).
    (5) South of 34[deg]27' N. lat. (Southern Management Area), 
recreational fishing for lingcod is open from March 1 through December 
31 (i.e., it's closed from January 1 through February 28).
    (B) Bag limits, hook limits. In times and areas when the 
recreational season for lingcod is open, there is a limit of 2 hooks 
and 1 line when fishing for lingcod. The bag limit is 2 lingcod per 
day. Multi-day limits are authorized by a valid permit issued by 
California and must not exceed the daily limit multiplied by the number 
of days in the fishing trip.
* * * * *

[[Page 75314]]

    (iv) ``Other flatfish,'' petrale sole, and starry flounder. 
Coastwide off California, recreational fishing for ``other flatfish,'' 
petrale sole, and starry flounder, is permitted both shoreward of and 
within the closed areas described in paragraph (c)(3)(i) of this 
section. ``Other flatfish'' are defined at Sec.  660.11, subpart C, and 
include butter sole, curlfin sole, flathead sole, Pacific sanddab, rex 
sole, rock sole, and sand sole. Recreational fishing for ``other 
flatfish,'' petrale sole, and starry flounder, is permitted within the 
closed areas. Petrale sole, starry flounder, and ``Other flatfish,'' 
except Pacific sanddab, are subject to the overall 20-fish bag limit 
for all species of finfish, of which there may be no more than 10 fish 
of any one species. There is no season restriction or size limit for 
``other flatfish,'' petrale sole, and starry flounder however, it is 
prohibited to filet ``other flatfish,'' petrale sole, and starry 
flounder, at sea.
    (v) * * *
    (A) * * *
    (1) Between 40[deg]10' N. lat. and 38[deg]57.50' N. lat. (Mendocino 
Management Area), recreational fishing for California scorpionfish is 
open from May 1 through August 31 (i.e., it's closed from January 1 
through April 30 and from September 1 through December 31).
* * * * *
[FR Doc. 2016-25517 Filed 10-27-16; 8:45 am]
 BILLING CODE 3510-22-P