Fisheries of the Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico, and South Atlantic; Snapper-Grouper Fishery Off the South Atlantic States; Amendment 43, 1720-1721 [2016-32049]

Download as PDF 1720 Federal Register / Vol. 82, No. 4 / Friday, January 6, 2017 / Notices 2017–19. The Monitoring Committee will also develop recommendations for recreational management measures for black sea bass in 2017. Meeting materials will be posted to http:// www.mafmc.org/ prior to the meeting. The meeting is physically accessible to people with disabilities. Requests for sign language interpretation or other auxiliary aids should be directed to M. Jan Saunders at the Mid-Atlantic Council Office, (302) 526–5251, at least 5 days prior to the meeting date. Dated: January 3, 2017. Jeffrey N. Lonergan, Acting Deputy Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine Fisheries Service. [FR Doc. 2017–00059 Filed 1–5–17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510–22–P DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration RIN 0648–XF115 Fisheries of the Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico, and South Atlantic; SnapperGrouper Fishery Off the South Atlantic States; Amendment 43 National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Commerce. ACTION: Notice of Intent (NOI) to prepare a draft environmental impact statement (DEIS); request for comments. AGENCY: The NMFS Southeast Region, in collaboration with the South Atlantic Fishery Management Council (Council), intends to prepare a DEIS to describe and analyze a range of alternatives for management actions to be included in Amendment 43 to the Fishery Management Plan (FMP) for the Snapper-Grouper Fishery of the South Atlantic Region (Amendment 43). The purpose of Amendment 43 is to respond to the most recent stock assessment for red snapper in the South Atlantic, reduce discards of red snapper, and improve the quantity and quality of data collected from private recreational fishermen. This NOI is to solicit public comments on the scope of issues to be addressed in the DEIS. DATES: Written comments on the scope of issues to be addressed in the DEIS will be accepted until February 6, 2017. ADDRESSES: You may submit comments, identified by NOAA–NMFS–2016–0157, by either of the following methods: sradovich on DSK3GMQ082PROD with NOTICES SUMMARY: VerDate Sep<11>2014 18:06 Jan 05, 2017 Jkt 241001 • Electronic submission: Submit all electronic public comments via the Federal e-Rulemaking Portal. Go to www.regulations.gov/#!docketDetail;D= NOAA-NMFS-2016-0157, click the ‘‘Comment Now!’’ icon, complete the required fields, and enter or attach your comments. • Mail: Submit written comments to Frank Helies, NMFS Southeast Regional Office, 263 13th Avenue South, St. Petersburg, FL 33701. Instructions: Comments sent by any other method, to any other address or individual, or received after the end of the comment period, may not be considered by NMFS. All comments received are a part of the public record and will generally be posted 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 will be publicly accessible. NMFS will accept anonymous comments (enter ‘‘N/ A’’ in the required fields if you wish to remain anonymous). FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Frank Helies, NMFS Southeast Regional Office, telephone: 727–824–5305; or email: frank.helies@noaa.gov. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: South Atlantic red snapper were determined to be overfished and undergoing overfishing in the 2009 Southeast Data, Assessment, and Review (SEDAR) stock assessment (SEDAR 15). In response to SEDAR 15, the Council recommended and NMFS subsequently implemented a prohibition on all harvest or possession of South Atlantic red snapper through Amendment 17A to the FMP (75 FR 76874, December 9, 2010). Through management measures implemented in Amendment 28 to the FMP, limited seasons for the harvest of red snapper occurred in the 2012, 2013, and 2014 fishing years (78 FR 44461, July 24, 2013). However, red snapper removals (total landings and dead discards) in the 2014 and 2015 fishing years exceeded the acceptable biological catch (ABC) and subsequent seasons’ annual catch limits (ACLs) were set to zero and harvest and possession of red snapper was not allowed in the 2015 or 2016 fishing years. According to the most recent stock assessment, the red snapper stock in the South Atlantic is undergoing overfishing and is overfished (SEDAR 41 2016). The Council’s Scientific and Statistical Committee (SSC) reviewed SEDAR 41 in May 2016 and considered PO 00000 Frm 00036 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 the assessment to be best scientific information available. In response to SEDAR 41 and the SSC’s recommendation, the Council is considering changes to the ACLs, the recreational annual catch target, and management reference points. Discard mortality, particularly from the recreational sector, continues to be a significant source of overall mortality for red snapper. Therefore, the Council is considering methods to reduce discard mortality in Amendment 43 including spatial and temporal closures (where harvest of all snapper-grouper species would be prohibited), changes to allowable fishing gear types (e.g., circle hooks), and requiring the use of descending devices and/or venting tools for released fish. Finally, the Council is evaluating ways to improve the quantity and quality of data collected from private recreational fishermen. The goal is to improve the data that are used to assess and manage the red snapper stock in the South Atlantic. The Council is considering a Federal permit requirement for private recreational fishermen to fish for or possess snappergrouper species and a requirement for private recreational fishermen to complete electronic logbooks. NMFS, in collaboration with the Council, will develop a DEIS for Amendment 43 to describe and analyze alternatives to address the management needs described above, including the ‘‘no action’’ alternative. In accordance with the regulations issued by the Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) for implementing the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA; 40 CFR parts 1500–1508), NMFS, in collaboration with the Council, has identified preliminary environmental issues as a means to initiate discussion for scoping purposes only. These preliminary issues may not represent the full range of issues that eventually will be evaluated in the DEIS. A copy of the Amendment 43 draft options paper is available at: http:// sero.nmfs.noaa.gov/sustainable_ fisheries/s_atl/sg/index.html. Comments on the scope of the DEIS may be submitted in writing to NMFS (see ADDRESSES) during the 30-day scoping period. After the scoping period and throughout the development of Amendment 43, the Council will accept written comments on the action, and oral comments may be made during upcoming public scoping meetings. The upcoming scoping meetings will be held at locations and times listed in Table 1. E:\FR\FM\06JAN1.SGM 06JAN1 Federal Register / Vol. 82, No. 4 / Friday, January 6, 2017 / Notices 1721 TABLE 1—SCOPING MEETINGS January 18, 2017—6 p.m., listening station ............................................. Harvey Government Center, 1200 Truman Avenue, 2nd Floor, Key West, FL 33040. January 23, 2017—6 p.m., in-person meeting ......................................... Lexington Hotel & Conference Center, 1515 Prudential Drive, Jacksonville, FL 32207. January 25, 2017—6 p.m., in-person meeting ......................................... Flagler Place, 201 SW Flagler Avenue, Stuart, FL 34994 ...................... January 30, 2017—6 p.m., in-person meeting ......................................... Murrells Inlet Community Center, 4462 Murrells Inlet Road, Murrells Inlet, SC 29576. February 1, 2017—6 p.m., in-person meeting ......................................... Richmond Hill City Center, 520 Cedar Street, Richmond Hill, GA 31324 sradovich on DSK3GMQ082PROD with NOTICES February 7, 2017—6 p.m., in-person meeting ......................................... Hatteras Community Center, 57689 NC Highway 12, Hatteras, NC 27943. After the DEIS associated with Amendment 43 is completed, it will be filed with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). After filing, the EPA will publish a notice of availability of the DEIS for public comment in the Federal Register. Consistent with the CEQ regulations, the DEIS will have a 45-day public comment period. The Council and NMFS will consider public comments received on the DEIS in developing the final environmental impact statement (FEIS) and before adopting final management measures for the amendment. NMFS will submit the consolidated final amendment and supporting FEIS to the Secretary of Commerce (Secretary) for review as required by the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act. NMFS will announce, through a notification in the Federal Register, the availability of the final amendment for public review during the Department of Commerce Secretarial review period and will consider all public comments. During Secretarial review, NMFS will also file the FEIS with the EPA, and the EPA will publish a notice of availability for the FEIS in the Federal Register. This public comment period is expected to be concurrent with the Secretarial review period and will end prior to final agency action to approve, disapprove, or partially approve the Amendment 43. NMFS will announce, through a document published in the Federal Register, all public comment periods on the final amendment, its proposed implementing regulations, and the availability of its associated FEIS. NMFS will consider all public comments received during the Secretarial review period, whether they are on the final amendment, the proposed regulations, or the FEIS, prior to final agency action. Authority: 16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq. VerDate Sep<11>2014 18:06 Jan 05, 2017 Jkt 241001 January 19, 2017—6 p.m., listening station. Hyatt Place Marathon, 1996 Overseas Highway, Marathon, FL 33050. January 24, 2017—6 p.m., in-person meeting. Hilton Cocoa Beach Oceanfront, 1550 North Atlantic Avenue, Cocoa Beach, FL 32931. January 26, 2017—6 p.m., in-person meeting. Hilton Key Largo, 97000 Overseas Highway, Key Largo, FL 33037. January 31, 2017—6 p.m., in-person meeting. Crowne Plaza, 4831 Tanger Outlet Boulevard, North Charleston, SC 29418. February 6, 2017—6 p.m., in-person meeting. Hilton Wilmington Riverside, 201 N. Water Street, Wilmington, NC 28401. February 8, 2017—6 p.m., in-person meeting. Doubletree by Hilton, 2717 W. Fort Macon Road, Atlantic Beach, NC 28512. Dated: December 30, 2016. Alan D. Risenhoover, Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine Fisheries Service. [FR Doc. 2016–32049 Filed 1–5–17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510–22–P DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration RIN 0648–XF107 Taking and Importing Marine Mammals; Taking Marine Mammals Incidental to Fishery-Independent Monitoring Activities National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Commerce. ACTION: Notice; receipt of application for Letters of Authorization; request for comments and information. AGENCY: NMFS has received a request from the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD) for authorization to take marine mammals incidental to conducting fishery-independent monitoring activities in estuarine waters of Texas, over the course of five years. Pursuant to regulations implementing the Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA), NMFS is announcing receipt of TPWD’s request for the development and implementation of regulations governing the incidental taking of marine mammals. NMFS invites the public to provide information, suggestions, and comments on TPWD’s application and request. DATES: Comments and information must be received no later than February 6, 2017. ADDRESSES: Comments on the application should be addressed to Jolie SUMMARY: PO 00000 Frm 00037 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 Harrison, Chief, Permits and Conservation Division, Office of Protected Resources, National Marine Fisheries Service. Physical comments should be sent to 1315 East-West Highway, Silver Spring, MD 20910 and electronic comments should be sent to ITP.Laws@noaa.gov. Instructions: Comments sent by any other method, to any other address or individual, or received after the end of the comment period, may not be considered by NMFS. All comments received are a part of the public record and will generally be posted for public viewing online at www.nmfs.noaa.gov/ pr/permits/incidental/research.htm without change. All personal identifying information (e.g., name, address), confidential business information, or otherwise sensitive information submitted voluntarily by the sender will be publicly accessible. Attachments to electronic comments will be accepted in Microsoft Word, Excel, or Adobe PDF file formats only. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Ben Laws, Office of Protected Resources, NMFS, (301) 427–8401. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Availability Electronic copies of TPWD’s application may be obtained online at: www.nmfs.noaa.gov/pr/permits/ incidental/research.htm. In case of problems accessing these documents, please call the contact listed above. Background Section 101(a)(5)(A) of the MMPA (16 U.S.C. 1361 et seq.) directs the Secretary of Commerce (Secretary) to allow, upon request, the incidental, but not intentional, taking of small numbers of marine mammals by U.S. citizens who engage in a specified activity (other than commercial fishing) if certain findings are made and regulations are issued. E:\FR\FM\06JAN1.SGM 06JAN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 82, Number 4 (Friday, January 6, 2017)]
[Notices]
[Pages 1720-1721]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2016-32049]


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DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

RIN 0648-XF115


Fisheries of the Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico, and South Atlantic; 
Snapper-Grouper Fishery Off the South Atlantic States; Amendment 43

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

ACTION: Notice of Intent (NOI) to prepare a draft environmental impact 
statement (DEIS); request for comments.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

SUMMARY: The NMFS Southeast Region, in collaboration with the South 
Atlantic Fishery Management Council (Council), intends to prepare a 
DEIS to describe and analyze a range of alternatives for management 
actions to be included in Amendment 43 to the Fishery Management Plan 
(FMP) for the Snapper-Grouper Fishery of the South Atlantic Region 
(Amendment 43). The purpose of Amendment 43 is to respond to the most 
recent stock assessment for red snapper in the South Atlantic, reduce 
discards of red snapper, and improve the quantity and quality of data 
collected from private recreational fishermen. This NOI is to solicit 
public comments on the scope of issues to be addressed in the DEIS.

DATES: Written comments on the scope of issues to be addressed in the 
DEIS will be accepted until February 6, 2017.

ADDRESSES: You may submit comments, identified by NOAA-NMFS-2016-0157, 
by either of the following methods:
     Electronic submission: Submit all electronic public 
comments via the Federal e-Rulemaking Portal. Go to 
www.regulations.gov/#!docketDetail;D=NOAA-NMFS-2016-0157, click the 
``Comment Now!'' icon, complete the required fields, and enter or 
attach your comments.
     Mail: Submit written comments to Frank Helies, NMFS 
Southeast Regional Office, 263 13th Avenue South, St. Petersburg, FL 
33701.
    Instructions: Comments sent by any other method, to any other 
address or individual, or received after the end of the comment period, 
may not be considered by NMFS. All comments received are a part of the 
public record and will generally be posted 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 will be publicly accessible. NMFS will accept anonymous 
comments (enter ``N/A'' in the required fields if you wish to remain 
anonymous).

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Frank Helies, NMFS Southeast Regional 
Office, telephone: 727-824-5305; or email: frank.helies@noaa.gov.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: South Atlantic red snapper were determined 
to be overfished and undergoing overfishing in the 2009 Southeast Data, 
Assessment, and Review (SEDAR) stock assessment (SEDAR 15). In response 
to SEDAR 15, the Council recommended and NMFS subsequently implemented 
a prohibition on all harvest or possession of South Atlantic red 
snapper through Amendment 17A to the FMP (75 FR 76874, December 9, 
2010). Through management measures implemented in Amendment 28 to the 
FMP, limited seasons for the harvest of red snapper occurred in the 
2012, 2013, and 2014 fishing years (78 FR 44461, July 24, 2013). 
However, red snapper removals (total landings and dead discards) in the 
2014 and 2015 fishing years exceeded the acceptable biological catch 
(ABC) and subsequent seasons' annual catch limits (ACLs) were set to 
zero and harvest and possession of red snapper was not allowed in the 
2015 or 2016 fishing years.
    According to the most recent stock assessment, the red snapper 
stock in the South Atlantic is undergoing overfishing and is overfished 
(SEDAR 41 2016). The Council's Scientific and Statistical Committee 
(SSC) reviewed SEDAR 41 in May 2016 and considered the assessment to be 
best scientific information available. In response to SEDAR 41 and the 
SSC's recommendation, the Council is considering changes to the ACLs, 
the recreational annual catch target, and management reference points.
    Discard mortality, particularly from the recreational sector, 
continues to be a significant source of overall mortality for red 
snapper. Therefore, the Council is considering methods to reduce 
discard mortality in Amendment 43 including spatial and temporal 
closures (where harvest of all snapper-grouper species would be 
prohibited), changes to allowable fishing gear types (e.g., circle 
hooks), and requiring the use of descending devices and/or venting 
tools for released fish.
    Finally, the Council is evaluating ways to improve the quantity and 
quality of data collected from private recreational fishermen. The goal 
is to improve the data that are used to assess and manage the red 
snapper stock in the South Atlantic. The Council is considering a 
Federal permit requirement for private recreational fishermen to fish 
for or possess snapper-grouper species and a requirement for private 
recreational fishermen to complete electronic logbooks.
    NMFS, in collaboration with the Council, will develop a DEIS for 
Amendment 43 to describe and analyze alternatives to address the 
management needs described above, including the ``no action'' 
alternative. In accordance with the regulations issued by the Council 
on Environmental Quality (CEQ) for implementing the National 
Environmental Policy Act (NEPA; 40 CFR parts 1500-1508), NMFS, in 
collaboration with the Council, has identified preliminary 
environmental issues as a means to initiate discussion for scoping 
purposes only. These preliminary issues may not represent the full 
range of issues that eventually will be evaluated in the DEIS. A copy 
of the Amendment 43 draft options paper is available at: http://sero.nmfs.noaa.gov/sustainable_fisheries/s_atl/sg/index.html.
    Comments on the scope of the DEIS may be submitted in writing to 
NMFS (see ADDRESSES) during the 30-day scoping period. After the 
scoping period and throughout the development of Amendment 43, the 
Council will accept written comments on the action, and oral comments 
may be made during upcoming public scoping meetings. The upcoming 
scoping meetings will be held at locations and times listed in Table 1.

[[Page 1721]]



                        Table 1--Scoping Meetings
------------------------------------------------------------------------
 
------------------------------------------------------------------------
January 18, 2017--6 p.m., listening      January 19, 2017--6 p.m.,
 station.                                 listening station.
Harvey Government Center, 1200 Truman    Hyatt Place Marathon, 1996
 Avenue, 2nd Floor, Key West, FL 33040.   Overseas Highway, Marathon, FL
                                          33050.
January 23, 2017--6 p.m., in-person      January 24, 2017--6 p.m., in-
 meeting.                                 person meeting.
Lexington Hotel & Conference Center,     Hilton Cocoa Beach Oceanfront,
 1515 Prudential Drive, Jacksonville,     1550 North Atlantic Avenue,
 FL 32207.                                Cocoa Beach, FL 32931.
January 25, 2017--6 p.m., in-person      January 26, 2017--6 p.m., in-
 meeting.                                 person meeting.
Flagler Place, 201 SW Flagler Avenue,    Hilton Key Largo, 97000
 Stuart, FL 34994.                        Overseas Highway, Key Largo,
                                          FL 33037.
January 30, 2017--6 p.m., in-person      January 31, 2017--6 p.m., in-
 meeting.                                 person meeting.
Murrells Inlet Community Center, 4462    Crowne Plaza, 4831 Tanger
 Murrells Inlet Road, Murrells Inlet,     Outlet Boulevard, North
 SC 29576.                                Charleston, SC 29418.
February 1, 2017--6 p.m., in-person      February 6, 2017--6 p.m., in-
 meeting.                                 person meeting.
Richmond Hill City Center, 520 Cedar     Hilton Wilmington Riverside,
 Street, Richmond Hill, GA 31324.         201 N. Water Street,
                                          Wilmington, NC 28401.
February 7, 2017--6 p.m., in-person      February 8, 2017--6 p.m., in-
 meeting.                                 person meeting.
Hatteras Community Center, 57689 NC      Doubletree by Hilton, 2717 W.
 Highway 12, Hatteras, NC 27943.          Fort Macon Road, Atlantic
                                          Beach, NC 28512.
------------------------------------------------------------------------

    After the DEIS associated with Amendment 43 is completed, it will 
be filed with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). After filing, 
the EPA will publish a notice of availability of the DEIS for public 
comment in the Federal Register. Consistent with the CEQ regulations, 
the DEIS will have a 45-day public comment period.
    The Council and NMFS will consider public comments received on the 
DEIS in developing the final environmental impact statement (FEIS) and 
before adopting final management measures for the amendment. NMFS will 
submit the consolidated final amendment and supporting FEIS to the 
Secretary of Commerce (Secretary) for review as required by the 
Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act.
    NMFS will announce, through a notification in the Federal Register, 
the availability of the final amendment for public review during the 
Department of Commerce Secretarial review period and will consider all 
public comments. During Secretarial review, NMFS will also file the 
FEIS with the EPA, and the EPA will publish a notice of availability 
for the FEIS in the Federal Register. This public comment period is 
expected to be concurrent with the Secretarial review period and will 
end prior to final agency action to approve, disapprove, or partially 
approve the Amendment 43.
    NMFS will announce, through a document published in the Federal 
Register, all public comment periods on the final amendment, its 
proposed implementing regulations, and the availability of its 
associated FEIS. NMFS will consider all public comments received during 
the Secretarial review period, whether they are on the final amendment, 
the proposed regulations, or the FEIS, prior to final agency action.

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

    Dated: December 30, 2016.
 Alan D. Risenhoover,
Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine Fisheries 
Service.
[FR Doc. 2016-32049 Filed 1-5-17; 8:45 am]
 BILLING CODE 3510-22-P