Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Reallocation of Pacific Cod in the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Management Area, 95062-95063 [2016-31151]

Download as PDF asabaliauskas on DSK3SPTVN1PROD with RULES 95062 Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 248 / Tuesday, December 27, 2016 / Rules and Regulations First, if this action is not effective on January 1, 2017, the current suspension of the surfclam minimum size limit would expire. Timely publication of the 2017 minimum size suspension for the January 1 start of the fishing year relieves this restriction, thus exempting the minimum size suspension under this rule from the requirement for a 30day delay in effectiveness (5 U.S.C. 553(d)(1)). There is also good cause to waive the 30-day delay because, until the new suspension is effective, fishing vessels would be subject to the size limit and would incur additional expense and lost fishing time to have crew members sort the catch to comply with the default minimum surfclam length of 4.75 inches (12.065 cm). The minimum surfclam size has routinely been suspended each year for over a decade. If the minimum size were again in effect without prior warning, it would cause significant confusion for industry members and disruption to normal fishing operations. Vessels operating unaware of the reinstatement of the minimum size may also violate the applicable regulation. Second, a delay in the effective date of this final rule may also cause substantial confusion. The regulations at 50 CFR 648.72(c) state that ‘‘annual quotas for surfclams and ocean quahogs will remain effective unless revised pursuant to this section,’’ and requires NMFS to publish ‘‘notification in the Federal Register if the previous year’s specifications will not be changed.’’ Members of the fishing industry may not be aware that quotas remain effective without the timely publication of a notice to inform them that specifications are not being changed. As a result, fishermen could be hesitant to fish or transfer cage tags if they think there are no quotas or that the associated cage tags may not be valid. Delaying the effectiveness of this rule past January 1, 2017, would provide no benefit to the public or the fishing industry. On the contrary, there could potentially be significant disruption and cost to the fishery if the minimum size suspension is not in place on January 1. Therefore, there is good cause to waive the 30-day delay in effectiveness, as not doing so would be contrary to the public’s interest. This action does not introduce any new reporting, recordkeeping, or other compliance requirements. This final rule does not duplicate, overlap, or conflict with other Federal rules. This final rule is exempt from the requirements of E.O. 12866. The Chief Counsel for Regulation of the Department of Commerce certified to the Chief Counsel for Advocacy of the VerDate Sep<11>2014 19:06 Dec 23, 2016 Jkt 241001 Small Business Administration during the proposed rule stage that this action would not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. The factual basis for the certification was published in the proposed rule and is not repeated here. No comments were received regarding this certification. As a result, a regulatory flexibility analysis was not required and none was prepared. Authority: 16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq. Dated: December 19, 2016. Samuel D. Rauch III, Deputy Assistant Administrator for Regulatory Programs, National Marine Fisheries Service. [FR Doc. 2016–31077 Filed 12–23–16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510–22–P DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration 50 CFR Part 679 [Docket No. 150916863–6211–02] RIN 0648–XF109 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 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 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 December 21, 2016 through 2400 hours, Alaska local time (A.l.t.), December 31, 2016. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Josh Keaton, 907–586–7228. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: NMFS manages the groundfish fishery in the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands (BSAI) according to the Fishery Management Plan for Groundfish of the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Management Area (FMP) prepared by the North Pacific Fishery Management Council under authority of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management SUMMARY: PO 00000 Frm 00154 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 Act. Regulations governing fishing by U.S. vessels in accordance with the FMP appear at subpart H of 50 CFR part 600 and 50 CFR part 679. The 2016 Pacific cod TAC specified for catcher vessels greater than or equal to 60 feet (18.3 m) LOA using pot gear in the BSAI is 14,598 mt as established by the final 2016 and 2017 harvest specifications for groundfish of the BSAI (81 FR 14773, March 18, 2016) and reallocations (81 FR 69445, October 6, 2016; and 81 FR 80006, November 15, 2016). The Regional Administrator has determined that catcher vessels greater than or equal to 60 feet (18.3 m) LOA using pot gear will not be able to harvest 2,500 mt of the remaining 2016 Pacific cod TAC allocated to those vessels under § 679.20(a)(7)(ii)(A)(5). Therefore, in accordance with § 679.20(a)(7)(iii), taking into account the capabilities of the sectors to harvest reallocated amounts of Pacific cod, and following the hierarchies set forth in § 679.20(a)(7)(iii)(A) and (B), NMFS reallocates 2,500 mt of Pacific cod to C/ Ps using hook-and-line gear in the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands management area. The harvest specifications for Pacific cod included in the final 2016 and 2017 harvest specifications for groundfish of the BSAI (81 FR 14773, March 18, 2016; 81 FR 57491, August 23, 2016; 81 FR 61143, September 6, 2016; 81 FR 69445, October 6, 2016; 81 FR 76530, November 3, 2016; 81 FR 80006, November 15, 2016) are revised as follows: 12,098 for catcher vessels greater than or equal to 60 feet (18.3 m) LOA using pot gear, and 114,283 for C/ Ps using hook-and-line gear. Classification This action responds to the best available information recently obtained from the fishery. The Assistant Administrator for Fisheries, NOAA (AA), finds good cause to waive the requirement to provide prior notice and opportunity for public comment pursuant to the authority set forth at 5 U.S.C. 553(b)(B) as such requirement is impracticable and contrary to the public interest. This requirement is impracticable and contrary to the public interest as it would prevent NMFS from responding to the most recent fisheries data in a timely fashion and would delay the reallocation of Pacific cod specified from catcher vessels greater than or equal to 60 feet (18.3 m) LOA using pot gear to C/Ps using hook-andline gear in the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands management area. Since these fisheries are currently open, it is important to immediately inform the industry as to the revised allocations. E:\FR\FM\27DER1.SGM 27DER1 Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 248 / Tuesday, December 27, 2016 / Rules and Regulations Immediate notification is necessary to allow for the orderly conduct and efficient operation of this fishery, to allow the industry to plan for the fishing season, and to avoid potential disruption to the fishing fleet as well as processors. NMFS was unable to publish a notice providing time for public comment because the most recent, relevant data only became available as of December 20, 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: December 21, 2016. Alan D. Risenhoover, Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine Fisheries Service. [FR Doc. 2016–31151 Filed 12–21–16; 4:15 pm] BILLING CODE 3510–22–P DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration 50 CFR Part 679 [Docket No. 150818742–6210–02] RIN 0648–XF103 Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Reallocation of Pacific Cod in the Central Regulatory Area of the Gulf of Alaska National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Commerce. ACTION: Temporary rule; reallocation. AGENCY: NMFS is reallocating the projected unused amount of Pacific cod from catcher vessels using trawl gear to vessels using pot gear in the Central Regulatory Area of the Gulf of Alaska (GOA). This action is necessary to allow the 2016 total allowable catch of Pacific cod in the Central Regulatory Area of the GOA to be harvested. DATES: Effective December 21, 2016 through 2400 hours, Alaska local time (A.l.t.), December 31, 2016. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Obren Davis, 907–586–7228. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: NMFS manages the groundfish fishery in the GOA exclusive economic zone asabaliauskas on DSK3SPTVN1PROD with RULES SUMMARY: VerDate Sep<11>2014 19:06 Dec 23, 2016 Jkt 241001 according to the Fishery Management Plan for Groundfish of the Gulf of Alaska (FMP) prepared by the North Pacific Fishery Management Council under authority of the MagnusonStevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act. Regulations governing fishing by U.S. vessels in accordance with the FMP appear at subpart H of 50 CFR part 600 and 50 CFR part 679. The 2016 Pacific cod total allowable catch (TAC) specified for catcher vessels using trawl gear in the Central Regulatory Area of the GOA is 15,226 metric tons (mt), as established by the final 2016 and 2017 harvest specifications for groundfish in the GOA (81 FR 14740, March 18, 2016). The Administrator, Alaska Region, NMFS, (Regional Administrator) has determined that catcher vessels using trawl gear in the Central Regulatory Area of the GOA will not be able to harvest 1,000 mt of the 2016 Pacific cod TAC allocated to those vessels under § 679.20(a)(12)(i)(B). In accordance with § 679.20(a)(12)(ii)(B), the Regional Administrator has also determined that vessels using pot gear in the Central Regulatory Area of the GOA currently have the capacity to harvest this excess allocation and reallocates 1,000 mt to vessels using pot gear. The harvest specifications for Pacific cod included in the final 2016 and 2017 harvest specifications for groundfish of the GOA (81 FR 14740, March 18, 2016) and one reallocation (81 FR 15650, March 24, 2016) are revised as follows: 14,226 mt to the annual amount for catcher vessels using trawl gear and 12,680 mt for vessels using pot gear. Classification This action responds to the best available information recently obtained from the fishery. The Assistant Administrator for Fisheries, NOAA (AA), finds good cause to waive the requirement to provide prior notice and opportunity for public comment pursuant to the authority set forth at 5 U.S.C. 553(b)(B) as such requirement is impracticable and contrary to the public interest. This requirement is impracticable and contrary to the public interest as it would prevent NMFS from responding to the most recent fisheries data in a timely fashion and would delay the reallocation of Pacific cod specified from catcher vessels using trawl gear to vessels using pot gear. Since the fishery is currently open, it is important to immediately inform the industry as to the revised allocations. Immediate notification is necessary to allow for the orderly conduct and efficient operation of this fishery, to PO 00000 Frm 00155 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 95063 allow the industry to plan for the fishing season, and to avoid potential disruption to the fishing fleet as well as processors. NMFS was unable to publish a notice providing time for public comment because the most recent, relevant data only became available as of December 21, 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: December 21, 2016. Alan D. Risenhoover, Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine Fisheries Service. [FR Doc. 2016–31155 Filed 12–21–16; 4:15 pm] BILLING CODE 3510–22–P DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration 50 CFR Part 679 [Docket No. 150818742–6210–02] RIN 0648–XF104 Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Inseason Adjustment to the 2017 Gulf of Alaska Pollock and Pacific Cod Total Allowable Catch Amounts National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Commerce. ACTION: Temporary rule; inseason adjustment; request for comments. AGENCY: NMFS is adjusting the 2017 total allowable catch (TAC) amounts for the Gulf of Alaska (GOA) pollock and Pacific cod fisheries. This action is necessary because NMFS has determined these TACs are incorrectly specified, and will ensure the GOA pollock and Pacific cod TACs are the appropriate amounts based on the best available scientific information for pollock and Pacific cod in the GOA. This action is 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.), December 27, 2016, until the effective date of the final 2017 SUMMARY: E:\FR\FM\27DER1.SGM 27DER1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 81, Number 248 (Tuesday, December 27, 2016)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 95062-95063]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2016-31151]


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DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

50 CFR Part 679

[Docket No. 150916863-6211-02]
RIN 0648-XF109


Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Reallocation 
of Pacific Cod in the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Management Area

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

ACTION: Temporary rule; reallocation.

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SUMMARY: NMFS is reallocating the projected unused amount of Pacific 
cod from 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 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 December 21, 2016 through 2400 hours, Alaska local 
time (A.l.t.), December 31, 2016.

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

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: NMFS manages the groundfish fishery in the 
Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands (BSAI) according to the Fishery 
Management Plan for Groundfish of the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands 
Management Area (FMP) prepared by the North Pacific Fishery Management 
Council under authority of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation 
and Management Act. Regulations governing fishing by U.S. vessels in 
accordance with the FMP appear at subpart H of 50 CFR part 600 and 50 
CFR part 679.
    The 2016 Pacific cod TAC specified for catcher vessels greater than 
or equal to 60 feet (18.3 m) LOA using pot gear in the BSAI is 14,598 
mt as established by the final 2016 and 2017 harvest specifications for 
groundfish of the BSAI (81 FR 14773, March 18, 2016) and reallocations 
(81 FR 69445, October 6, 2016; and 81 FR 80006, November 15, 2016). The 
Regional Administrator has determined that catcher vessels greater than 
or equal to 60 feet (18.3 m) LOA using pot gear will not be able to 
harvest 2,500 mt of the remaining 2016 Pacific cod TAC allocated to 
those vessels under Sec.  679.20(a)(7)(ii)(A)(5).
    Therefore, in accordance with Sec.  679.20(a)(7)(iii), taking into 
account the capabilities of the sectors to harvest reallocated amounts 
of Pacific cod, and following the hierarchies set forth in Sec.  
679.20(a)(7)(iii)(A) and (B), NMFS reallocates 2,500 mt of Pacific cod 
to C/Ps using hook-and-line gear in the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands 
management area.
    The harvest specifications for Pacific cod included in the final 
2016 and 2017 harvest specifications for groundfish of the BSAI (81 FR 
14773, March 18, 2016; 81 FR 57491, August 23, 2016; 81 FR 61143, 
September 6, 2016; 81 FR 69445, October 6, 2016; 81 FR 76530, November 
3, 2016; 81 FR 80006, November 15, 2016) are revised as follows: 12,098 
for catcher vessels greater than or equal to 60 feet (18.3 m) LOA using 
pot gear, and 114,283 for C/Ps using hook-and-line gear.

Classification

    This action responds to the best available information recently 
obtained from the fishery. The Assistant Administrator for Fisheries, 
NOAA (AA), finds good cause to waive the requirement to provide prior 
notice and opportunity for public comment pursuant to the authority set 
forth at 5 U.S.C. 553(b)(B) as such requirement is impracticable and 
contrary to the public interest. This requirement is impracticable and 
contrary to the public interest as it would prevent NMFS from 
responding to the most recent fisheries data in a timely fashion and 
would delay the reallocation of Pacific cod specified from catcher 
vessels greater than or equal to 60 feet (18.3 m) LOA using pot gear to 
C/Ps using hook-and-line gear in the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands 
management area. Since these fisheries are currently open, it is 
important to immediately inform the industry as to the revised 
allocations.

[[Page 95063]]

Immediate notification is necessary to allow for the orderly conduct 
and efficient operation of this fishery, to allow the industry to plan 
for the fishing season, and to avoid potential disruption to the 
fishing fleet as well as processors. NMFS was unable to publish a 
notice providing time for public comment because the most recent, 
relevant data only became available as of December 20, 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: December 21, 2016.
Alan D. Risenhoover,
Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine Fisheries 
Service.
[FR Doc. 2016-31151 Filed 12-21-16; 4:15 pm]
 BILLING CODE 3510-22-P