Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Inseason Adjustment to the 2016 Gulf of Alaska Pollock Seasonal Apportionments, 83716-83717 [2016-28056]

Download as PDF 83716 Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 225 / Tuesday, November 22, 2016 / Rules and Regulations CNMI territorial allocation limit of 1,000 mt will be reached by December 1, 2016, and is, as an accountability measure, prohibiting the catch and retention of longline-caught bigeye tuna by vessels in the CNMI/QMI agreement. sradovich on DSK3GMQ082PROD with RULES Notice of Closure and Temporary Rule Effective 12:01 a.m. local time December 1, 2016, through December 31, 2016, NMFS closes the U.S. pelagic longline fishery for bigeye tuna in the western and central Pacific Ocean as a result of the fishery reaching the 2016 allocation limit of 1,000 mt for the CNMI. During the closure, a U.S. fishing vessel operating under the CNMI/QMI agreement may not retain on board, transship, or land bigeye tuna captured by longline gear in the WCPO, except that any bigeye tuna already on board a fishing vessel upon the effective date of the restrictions may be retained on board, transshipped, and landed, provided that they are landed within 14 days of the start of the closure; that is, by December 15, 2016. Additionally, U.S. fishing vessels operating under the CNMI/QMI agreement are also prohibited from transshipping bigeye tuna caught in the WCPO by longline gear to any vessel other than a U.S. fishing vessel with a valid permit issued under 50 CFR 660.707 or 665.801. During the closure, all other restrictions and requirements NMFS established on July 22, 2016, as a result of the U.S. longline fishery reaching the 2016 U.S. bigeye tuna limit of 3,554 mt (81 FR 45982, July 15, 2016) shall remain valid and effective. If, prior to December 1, 2016, NMFS receives a valid specified fishing agreement between a U.S. longline fishing vessel(s) and another U.S. territory, any vessel included in the CNMI/QMI agreement that is also included in the subsequent agreement may continue to transship, retain, and land bigeye tuna caught by longline gear in the WCPO. Additionally, if any such vessel is engaged in a longline fishing trip in the WCPO on December 1, 2016, that vessel would not need to return to port before December 15, 2016. NMFS would announce any valid specified fishing agreement in the Federal Register. Classification There is good cause under 5 U.S.C. 553(b)(B) to waive prior notice and the opportunity for public comment on this action, because it would be impracticable and contrary to public interest, as discussed below. This rule closes the U.S. longline fishery for bigeye tuna in the WCPO as a result of VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:34 Nov 21, 2016 Jkt 241001 reaching the bigeye tuna allocation limit established by the 2016 specification for catch and allocation limits of bigeye tuna for the CNMI, and the specified fishing agreement between the Government of the CNMI and QMI dated April 14, 2016. NMFS forecasted that the fishery would reach the 2016 CNMI allocation limit by December 1, 2016. Fishermen have been subject to longline bigeye tuna limits in the western and central Pacific since 2009. They have received ongoing, updated information about the 2016 catch and progress of the fishery in reaching the U.S. bigeye tuna limit via the NMFS Web site, social media, and other means. The publication timing of this rule, moreover, provides longline fishermen with seven days’ advance notice of the closure date, and allows two weeks to return to port and land their catch of bigeye tuna. This action is intended to comply with regulations managing this stock, and, accordingly NMFS finds it impracticable and contrary to the public interest to have prior notice and public comment. For the reasons stated above, there is also good cause under 5 U.S.C. 553(d)(3) to waive the 30-day delay in effectiveness for this temporary rule. NMFS must close the fishery to ensure that fishery does not exceed the allocation limit. NMFS implemented the catch and allocation limits for the CNMI consistent with management objectives to sustainable manage the bigeye tuna stock and restore the stock to levels capable of producing maximum sustainable yield on a continuing basis. Failure to close the fishery before the limit is reached would be inconsistent with bigeye tuna management objections and in violation of Federal law. This action is required by 50 CFR 665.819(d), and is exempt from review under Executive Order 12866. Authority: 16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq. Dated: November 17, 2016. Emily H. Menashes, Acting Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine Fisheries Service. [FR Doc. 2016–28061 Filed 11–17–16; 11:15 am] BILLING CODE 3510–22–P PO 00000 Frm 00092 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration 50 CFR Part 679 [Docket No. 150818742–6210–02] RIN 0648–XE958 Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Inseason Adjustment to the 2016 Gulf of Alaska Pollock Seasonal Apportionments National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Commerce. ACTION: Temporary rule; inseason adjustment. AGENCY: NMFS is adjusting the 2016 D seasonal apportionments of the total allowable catch (TAC) for pollock in the Gulf of Alaska (GOA) by re-apportioning unharvested pollock TAC in Statistical Areas 610, 620, and 630 of the GOA. This action is necessary to provide opportunity for harvest of the 2016 pollock TAC, consistent with the goals and objectives of the Fishery Management Plan for Groundfish of the Gulf of Alaska. DATES: Effective 1200 hours, Alaska local time (A.l.t.), November 17, 2016, until 2400 hours A.l.t., December 31, 2016. SUMMARY: FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Josh Keaton, 907–586–7228. NMFS manages the groundfish fishery in the GOA exclusive economic zone according to the Fishery Management Plan for Groundfish of the Gulf of Alaska (FMP) prepared by the North Pacific Fishery Management Council (Council) under authority of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act. Regulations governing fishing by U.S. vessels in accordance with the FMP appear at subpart H of 50 CFR part 600 and 50 CFR part 679. The annual pollock TACs in Statistical Areas 610, 620, and 630 of the GOA are apportioned among four seasons, in accordance with § 679.23(d)(2). Regulations at § 679.20(a)(5)(iv)(B) allow the underharvest of a seasonal apportionment to be added to subsequent seasonal apportionments, provided that any revised seasonal apportionment does not exceed 20 percent of the seasonal apportionment for a given statistical area. Therefore, NMFS is increasing the D season SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: E:\FR\FM\22NOR1.SGM 22NOR1 Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 225 / Tuesday, November 22, 2016 / Rules and Regulations sradovich on DSK3GMQ082PROD with RULES apportionment of pollock in Statistical Areas 620 and 630 of the GOA to reflect the underharvest of pollock in those areas during the B season. In addition, any underharvest remaining beyond 20 percent of the originally specified seasonal apportionment in a particular area may be further apportioned to other statistical areas. Therefore, NMFS also is increasing the D season apportionment of pollock to Statistical Areas 610 and 630 based on the underharvest of pollock in Statistical Areas 620 of the GOA. These adjustments are described below. The D seasonal apportionment of the 2016 pollock TAC in Statistical Area 610 of the GOA is 24,421 metric tons (mt) as established by the final 2016 and 2017 harvest specifications for groundfish of the GOA (81 FR 14740, March 18, 2016). In accordance with § 679.20(a)(5)(iv)(B), the Administrator, Alaska Region, NMFS (Regional Administrator), hereby increases the D season apportionment for Statistical Area 610 by 3,508 mt to account for both the Statistical Area 610 C season overharvest of 1,376 mt and the Statistical Areas 620 C season TAC underharvest. This increase is in proportion to the estimated pollock biomass and is not greater than 20 percent of the D seasonal apportionment of the TAC in Statistical Area 610. Therefore, the revised D seasonal apportionment of the pollock TAC in Statistical Area 610 is 27,929 mt (24,421 mt plus 3,508 mt). The D seasonal apportionment of the pollock TAC in Statistical Area 620 of VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:34 Nov 21, 2016 Jkt 241001 the GOA is 15,402 mt as established by the final 2016 and 2017 harvest specifications for groundfish of the GOA (81 FR 14740, March 18, 2016). In accordance with § 679.20(a)(5)(iv)(B), the Regional Administrator hereby increases the D seasonal apportionment for Statistical Area 620 by 3,080 mt to account for the underharvest of the TAC in Statistical Areas 620 in the C season. This increase is not greater than 20 percent of the D seasonal apportionment of the TAC in Statistical Area 620. Therefore, the revised D seasonal apportionment of the pollock TAC in Statistical Area 620 is 18,482 mt (15,402 mt plus 3,080 mt). The D seasonal apportionment of pollock TAC in Statistical Area 630 of the GOA is 19,822 mt as established by the final 2016 and 2017 harvest specifications for groundfish of the GOA (81 FR 14740, March 18, 2016). In accordance with § 679.20(a)(5)(iv)(B), the Regional Administrator hereby increases the D seasonal apportionment for Statistical Area 630 by 3,964 mt to account for the underharvest of the TAC in Statistical Areas 620 and 630 in the C season. This increase is in proportion to the estimated pollock biomass and is not greater than 20 percent of the D seasonal apportionment of the TAC in Statistical Area 630. Therefore, the revised D seasonal apportionment of pollock TAC in Statistical Area 630 is 23,786 mt (19,822 mt plus 3,964 mt). Classification This action responds to the best available information recently obtained PO 00000 Frm 00093 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 9990 83717 from the fishery. The Assistant Administrator for Fisheries, NOAA (AA), finds good cause to waive the requirement to provide prior notice and opportunity for public comment pursuant to the authority set forth at 5 U.S.C. 553(b)(B) as such requirement is impracticable and contrary to the public interest. This requirement is impracticable and contrary to the public interest as it would prevent NMFS from responding to the most recent fisheries data in a timely fashion and would provide opportunity to harvest increased pollock seasonal apportionments. NMFS was unable to publish a notice providing time for public comment because the most recent, relevant data only became available as of November 16, 2016. The AA also finds good cause to waive the 30-day delay in the effective date of this action under 5 U.S.C. 553(d)(3). This finding is based upon the reasons provided above for waiver of prior notice and opportunity for public comment. This action is required by § 679.20 and is exempt from review under Executive Order 12866. Authority: 16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq. Dated: November 16, 2016. Emily H. Menashes, Acting Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine Fisheries Service. [FR Doc. 2016–28056 Filed 11–17–16; 11:15 am] BILLING CODE 3510–22–P E:\FR\FM\22NOR1.SGM 22NOR1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 81, Number 225 (Tuesday, November 22, 2016)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 83716-83717]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2016-28056]


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DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

50 CFR Part 679

[Docket No. 150818742-6210-02]
RIN 0648-XE958


Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Inseason 
Adjustment to the 2016 Gulf of Alaska Pollock Seasonal Apportionments

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

ACTION: Temporary rule; inseason adjustment.

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SUMMARY: NMFS is adjusting the 2016 D seasonal apportionments of the 
total allowable catch (TAC) for pollock in the Gulf of Alaska (GOA) by 
re-apportioning unharvested pollock TAC in Statistical Areas 610, 620, 
and 630 of the GOA. This action is necessary to provide opportunity for 
harvest of the 2016 pollock TAC, consistent with the goals and 
objectives of the Fishery Management Plan for Groundfish of the Gulf of 
Alaska.

DATES: Effective 1200 hours, Alaska local time (A.l.t.), November 17, 
2016, until 2400 hours A.l.t., December 31, 2016.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Josh Keaton, 907-586-7228.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: NMFS manages the groundfish fishery in the 
GOA exclusive economic zone according to the Fishery Management Plan 
for Groundfish of the Gulf of Alaska (FMP) prepared by the North 
Pacific Fishery Management Council (Council) under authority of the 
Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act. Regulations 
governing fishing by U.S. vessels in accordance with the FMP appear at 
subpart H of 50 CFR part 600 and 50 CFR part 679.
    The annual pollock TACs in Statistical Areas 610, 620, and 630 of 
the GOA are apportioned among four seasons, in accordance with Sec.  
679.23(d)(2). Regulations at Sec.  679.20(a)(5)(iv)(B) allow the 
underharvest of a seasonal apportionment to be added to subsequent 
seasonal apportionments, provided that any revised seasonal 
apportionment does not exceed 20 percent of the seasonal apportionment 
for a given statistical area. Therefore, NMFS is increasing the D 
season

[[Page 83717]]

apportionment of pollock in Statistical Areas 620 and 630 of the GOA to 
reflect the underharvest of pollock in those areas during the B season. 
In addition, any underharvest remaining beyond 20 percent of the 
originally specified seasonal apportionment in a particular area may be 
further apportioned to other statistical areas. Therefore, NMFS also is 
increasing the D season apportionment of pollock to Statistical Areas 
610 and 630 based on the underharvest of pollock in Statistical Areas 
620 of the GOA. These adjustments are described below.
    The D seasonal apportionment of the 2016 pollock TAC in Statistical 
Area 610 of the GOA is 24,421 metric tons (mt) as established by the 
final 2016 and 2017 harvest specifications for groundfish of the GOA 
(81 FR 14740, March 18, 2016). In accordance with Sec.  
679.20(a)(5)(iv)(B), the Administrator, Alaska Region, NMFS (Regional 
Administrator), hereby increases the D season apportionment for 
Statistical Area 610 by 3,508 mt to account for both the Statistical 
Area 610 C season overharvest of 1,376 mt and the Statistical Areas 620 
C season TAC underharvest. This increase is in proportion to the 
estimated pollock biomass and is not greater than 20 percent of the D 
seasonal apportionment of the TAC in Statistical Area 610. Therefore, 
the revised D seasonal apportionment of the pollock TAC in Statistical 
Area 610 is 27,929 mt (24,421 mt plus 3,508 mt).
    The D seasonal apportionment of the pollock TAC in Statistical Area 
620 of the GOA is 15,402 mt as established by the final 2016 and 2017 
harvest specifications for groundfish of the GOA (81 FR 14740, March 
18, 2016). In accordance with Sec.  679.20(a)(5)(iv)(B), the Regional 
Administrator hereby increases the D seasonal apportionment for 
Statistical Area 620 by 3,080 mt to account for the underharvest of the 
TAC in Statistical Areas 620 in the C season. This increase is not 
greater than 20 percent of the D seasonal apportionment of the TAC in 
Statistical Area 620. Therefore, the revised D seasonal apportionment 
of the pollock TAC in Statistical Area 620 is 18,482 mt (15,402 mt plus 
3,080 mt).
    The D seasonal apportionment of pollock TAC in Statistical Area 630 
of the GOA is 19,822 mt as established by the final 2016 and 2017 
harvest specifications for groundfish of the GOA (81 FR 14740, March 
18, 2016). In accordance with Sec.  679.20(a)(5)(iv)(B), the Regional 
Administrator hereby increases the D seasonal apportionment for 
Statistical Area 630 by 3,964 mt to account for the underharvest of the 
TAC in Statistical Areas 620 and 630 in the C season. This increase is 
in proportion to the estimated pollock biomass and is not greater than 
20 percent of the D seasonal apportionment of the TAC in Statistical 
Area 630. Therefore, the revised D seasonal apportionment of pollock 
TAC in Statistical Area 630 is 23,786 mt (19,822 mt plus 3,964 mt).

Classification

    This action responds to the best available information recently 
obtained from the fishery. The Assistant Administrator for Fisheries, 
NOAA (AA), finds good cause to waive the requirement to provide prior 
notice and opportunity for public comment pursuant to the authority set 
forth at 5 U.S.C. 553(b)(B) as such requirement is impracticable and 
contrary to the public interest. This requirement is impracticable and 
contrary to the public interest as it would prevent NMFS from 
responding to the most recent fisheries data in a timely fashion and 
would provide opportunity to harvest increased pollock seasonal 
apportionments. NMFS was unable to publish a notice providing time for 
public comment because the most recent, relevant data only became 
available as of November 16, 2016.
    The AA also finds good cause to waive the 30-day delay in the 
effective date of this action under 5 U.S.C. 553(d)(3). This finding is 
based upon the reasons provided above for waiver of prior notice and 
opportunity for public comment.
    This action is required by Sec.  679.20 and is exempt from review 
under Executive Order 12866.

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

    Dated: November 16, 2016.
Emily H. Menashes,
Acting Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine 
Fisheries Service.
[FR Doc. 2016-28056 Filed 11-17-16; 11:15 am]
 BILLING CODE 3510-22-P