Reef Fish Fishery of the Gulf of Mexico; 2017 Recreational Accountability Measures and Closure for Gulf of Mexico Gray Triggerfish, 80006 [2016-27415]

Download as PDF 80006 Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 220 / Tuesday, November 15, 2016 / Rules and Regulations DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration 50 CFR Part 622 [Docket No. 121004518–3398–01] RIN 0648–XF005 Reef Fish Fishery of the Gulf of Mexico; 2017 Recreational Accountability Measures and Closure for Gulf of Mexico Gray Triggerfish National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Commerce. ACTION: Temporary rule; closure. AGENCY: NMFS implements accountability measures (AMs) for the gray triggerfish recreational sector in the exclusive economic zone (EEZ) of the Gulf of Mexico (Gulf) for the 2017 fishing year through this temporary rule. NMFS has determined that the 2016 recreational annual catch limit (ACL) for Gulf gray triggerfish was exceeded; therefore, NMFS reduces the gray triggerfish recreational ACL and annual catch target (ACT) in 2017. As a result of the recreational ACL and ACT overages in 2016, the gray triggerfish 2017 recreational season in the Gulf EEZ will not open on January 1, 2017, and will remain closed for the entire 2017 fishing year. This closure is necessary to protect the Gulf gray triggerfish resource. SUMMARY: This rule is effective from 12:01 a.m., local time, January 1, 2017, until 12:01 a.m., local time, January 1, 2018. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Rich Malinowski, NMFS Southeast Regional Office, telephone: 727–824–5305, email: rich.malinowski@noaa.gov. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: NMFS manages the Gulf reef fish fishery, including gray triggerfish, under the Fishery Management Plan for the Reef Fish Resources of the Gulf (FMP). The Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council (Council) prepared the FMP and NMFS implements the FMP under the authority of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (Magnuson-Stevens Act) by regulations at 50 CFR part 622. All gray triggerfish weights discussed in this temporary rule are in round weight. The recreational ACL for Gulf gray triggerfish specified in 50 CFR 622.41(b)(2)(iii) is 241,200 lb (109,406 kg) and the recreational ACT is 217,100 lb (98,475 kg). However, in 2015, gray triggerfish landings exceeded the 2015 mstockstill on DSK3G9T082PROD with RULES DATES: VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:28 Nov 11, 2016 Jkt 241001 ACL by 39,977 lbs. Therefore, the 2016 ACL and ACT were adjusted to 201,223 lb (91,273 kg) and 177,123 lb (80,342 kg), respectively. In 2016, the recreational fishing season did not reopen after the annual spawning season closure from June 1 through July 31, and the recreational harvest of gray triggerfish exceeded the 2016 recreational ACL by 221,213 lb (100,341 kg). Therefore, consistent with the AM requirements specified in 50 CFR 622.41(b)(2)(ii), NMFS reduces the recreational ACL and ACT for gray triggerfish in 2017 by the amount of the recreational ACL overage to 19,987 lb (9,066 kg) and 0 lb (0 kg), respectively. Under 50 CFR 622.41(b)(2)(i), NMFS is required to close the recreational sector for gray triggerfish when the recreational ACT is reached, or is projected to be reached, by filing a notification to that effect with the Office of the Federal Register. NMFS has determined that the recreational ACT for the 2017 fishing year is 0 lb (0 kg). Therefore, NMFS closes the recreational harvest of gray triggerfish for the 2017 fishing year. During the recreational closure, the bag and possession limits for gray triggerfish in or from the Gulf EEZ are zero. The prohibition on possession in the Gulf on board a vessel for which a valid Federal charter vessel/headboat permit for Gulf reef fish has been issued applies regardless of whether gray triggerfish were harvested in state or Federal waters. The recreational sector for gray triggerfish in the Gulf EEZ will reopen on January 1, 2018, the beginning of the 2018 recreational fishing year, unless changed by subsequent notification in the Federal Register. Classification The Regional Administrator, Southeast Region, NMFS, has determined this temporary rule is necessary for the conservation and management of Gulf gray triggerfish and is consistent with the MagnusonStevens Act and other applicable laws. This action is taken under 50 CFR 622.41(b)(2)(i) and (ii) and is exempt from review under Executive Order 12866. These measures are exempt from the procedures of the Regulatory Flexibility Act because the temporary rule is issued without opportunity for prior notice and comment. This action responds to the best scientific information available. The Assistant Administrator for NOAA Fisheries (AA), finds that the need to immediately implement this action to close the recreational sector for gray PO 00000 Frm 00016 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 triggerfish constitutes good cause to waive the requirements to provide prior notice and opportunity for public comment on this temporary rule pursuant to the authority set forth in 5 U.S.C. 553(b)(B), because such procedures are unnecessary and contrary to the public interest. Such procedures are unnecessary because the rule establishing the closure provisions was subject to notice and comment, and all that remains is to notify the public of the closure. Such procedures are contrary to the public interest because the public requires as much advanced notice as possible of season closures to allow time to adequately plan for recreational fishing trips during the 2017 fishing year. For the aforementioned reasons, the AA also finds good cause to waive the 30-day delay in the effectiveness of this action under 5 U.S.C. 553(d)(3). Authority: 16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq. Dated: November 9, 2016. Tracey Thompson, Acting Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine Fisheries Service. [FR Doc. 2016–27415 Filed 11–9–16; 4:15 pm] BILLING CODE 3510–22–P DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration 50 CFR Part 679 [Docket No. 150916863–6211–02] RIN 0648–XF032 Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Reallocation of Pacific Cod in the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Management Area National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Commerce. ACTION: Temporary rule; reallocation. AGENCY: NMFS is reallocating the projected unused amount of Pacific cod from catcher vessels using trawl gear and catcher vessels greater than or equal to 60 feet (18.3 meters (m)) length overall (LOA) using pot gear to catcher processors (C/Ps) using hook-and-line gear and C/Ps using pot gear in the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands (BSAI) management area. This action is necessary to allow the 2016 total allowable catch of Pacific cod to be harvested. DATES: Effective November 9, 2016, through 2400 hours, Alaska local time (A.l.t.), December 31, 2016. SUMMARY: E:\FR\FM\15NOR1.SGM 15NOR1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 81, Number 220 (Tuesday, November 15, 2016)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Page 80006]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2016-27415]



[[Page 80006]]

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DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

50 CFR Part 622

[Docket No. 121004518-3398-01]
RIN 0648-XF005


Reef Fish Fishery of the Gulf of Mexico; 2017 Recreational 
Accountability Measures and Closure for Gulf of Mexico Gray Triggerfish

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

ACTION: Temporary rule; closure.

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SUMMARY: NMFS implements accountability measures (AMs) for the gray 
triggerfish recreational sector in the exclusive economic zone (EEZ) of 
the Gulf of Mexico (Gulf) for the 2017 fishing year through this 
temporary rule. NMFS has determined that the 2016 recreational annual 
catch limit (ACL) for Gulf gray triggerfish was exceeded; therefore, 
NMFS reduces the gray triggerfish recreational ACL and annual catch 
target (ACT) in 2017. As a result of the recreational ACL and ACT 
overages in 2016, the gray triggerfish 2017 recreational season in the 
Gulf EEZ will not open on January 1, 2017, and will remain closed for 
the entire 2017 fishing year. This closure is necessary to protect the 
Gulf gray triggerfish resource.

DATES: This rule is effective from 12:01 a.m., local time, January 1, 
2017, until 12:01 a.m., local time, January 1, 2018.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Rich Malinowski, NMFS Southeast 
Regional Office, telephone: 727-824-5305, email: 
rich.malinowski@noaa.gov.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: NMFS manages the Gulf reef fish fishery, 
including gray triggerfish, under the Fishery Management Plan for the 
Reef Fish Resources of the Gulf (FMP). The Gulf of Mexico Fishery 
Management Council (Council) prepared the FMP and NMFS implements the 
FMP under the authority of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation 
and Management Act (Magnuson-Stevens Act) by regulations at 50 CFR part 
622. All gray triggerfish weights discussed in this temporary rule are 
in round weight.
    The recreational ACL for Gulf gray triggerfish specified in 50 CFR 
622.41(b)(2)(iii) is 241,200 lb (109,406 kg) and the recreational ACT 
is 217,100 lb (98,475 kg). However, in 2015, gray triggerfish landings 
exceeded the 2015 ACL by 39,977 lbs. Therefore, the 2016 ACL and ACT 
were adjusted to 201,223 lb (91,273 kg) and 177,123 lb (80,342 kg), 
respectively. In 2016, the recreational fishing season did not re-open 
after the annual spawning season closure from June 1 through July 31, 
and the recreational harvest of gray triggerfish exceeded the 2016 
recreational ACL by 221,213 lb (100,341 kg). Therefore, consistent with 
the AM requirements specified in 50 CFR 622.41(b)(2)(ii), NMFS reduces 
the recreational ACL and ACT for gray triggerfish in 2017 by the amount 
of the recreational ACL overage to 19,987 lb (9,066 kg) and 0 lb (0 
kg), respectively.
    Under 50 CFR 622.41(b)(2)(i), NMFS is required to close the 
recreational sector for gray triggerfish when the recreational ACT is 
reached, or is projected to be reached, by filing a notification to 
that effect with the Office of the Federal Register. NMFS has 
determined that the recreational ACT for the 2017 fishing year is 0 lb 
(0 kg). Therefore, NMFS closes the recreational harvest of gray 
triggerfish for the 2017 fishing year.
    During the recreational closure, the bag and possession limits for 
gray triggerfish in or from the Gulf EEZ are zero. The prohibition on 
possession in the Gulf on board a vessel for which a valid Federal 
charter vessel/headboat permit for Gulf reef fish has been issued 
applies regardless of whether gray triggerfish were harvested in state 
or Federal waters.
    The recreational sector for gray triggerfish in the Gulf EEZ will 
reopen on January 1, 2018, the beginning of the 2018 recreational 
fishing year, unless changed by subsequent notification in the Federal 
Register.

Classification

    The Regional Administrator, Southeast Region, NMFS, has determined 
this temporary rule is necessary for the conservation and management of 
Gulf gray triggerfish and is consistent with the Magnuson-Stevens Act 
and other applicable laws.
    This action is taken under 50 CFR 622.41(b)(2)(i) and (ii) and is 
exempt from review under Executive Order 12866.
    These measures are exempt from the procedures of the Regulatory 
Flexibility Act because the temporary rule is issued without 
opportunity for prior notice and comment.
    This action responds to the best scientific information available. 
The Assistant Administrator for NOAA Fisheries (AA), finds that the 
need to immediately implement this action to close the recreational 
sector for gray triggerfish constitutes good cause to waive the 
requirements to provide prior notice and opportunity for public comment 
on this temporary rule pursuant to the authority set forth in 5 U.S.C. 
553(b)(B), because such procedures are unnecessary and contrary to the 
public interest. Such procedures are unnecessary because the rule 
establishing the closure provisions was subject to notice and comment, 
and all that remains is to notify the public of the closure. Such 
procedures are contrary to the public interest because the public 
requires as much advanced notice as possible of season closures to 
allow time to adequately plan for recreational fishing trips during the 
2017 fishing year.
    For the aforementioned reasons, the AA also finds good cause to 
waive the 30-day delay in the effectiveness of this action under 5 
U.S.C. 553(d)(3).

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

    Dated: November 9, 2016.
Tracey Thompson,
Acting Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine 
Fisheries Service.
[FR Doc. 2016-27415 Filed 11-9-16; 4:15 pm]
 BILLING CODE 3510-22-P