Fisheries of the Northeastern United States; Northeast Multispecies Fishery; Georges Bank Cod Trimester Total Allowable Catch Area Closure and Possession Prohibition for the Common Pool Fishery, 3676 [2017-00484]

Download as PDF 3676 Federal Register / Vol. 82, No. 8 / Thursday, January 12, 2017 / Rules and Regulations of Fishing on Essential Fish Habitat. NOAA Technical Memorandum NMFS– NE–181. Waring, G.T., E. Josephson, C.P. Fairfield and K. Maze-Foley, editors. 2006. U.S. Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico Marine Mammal Stocks Assessments, 2005. NOAA Technical Memorandum NOAA– NE–194. Waring, G.T., E. Josephson, K. Maze-Foley, and P.E. Rosel, editors. 2015. U.S. Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico Marine Mammal Stocks Assessments, 2014. NOAA Technical Memorandum NOAA– NE–231. 355 p. Waring, G.T., E. Josephson, K. Maze-Foley, and P.E. Rosel, editors. 2016. U.S. Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico Marine Mammal Stocks Assessments, 2015. NOAA Technical Memorandum NOAA– NE–238. 512 p. Dated: January 5, 2017. Samuel D. Rauch III, Deputy Assistant Administrator for Regulatory Programs, National Marine Fisheries Service. [FR Doc. 2017–00250 Filed 1–11–17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510–22–P DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration 50 CFR Part 648 [Docket No. 151211999–6343–02] RIN 0648–XF133 Fisheries of the Northeastern United States; Northeast Multispecies Fishery; Georges Bank Cod Trimester Total Allowable Catch Area Closure and Possession Prohibition for the Common Pool Fishery National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Commerce. ACTION: Temporary rule; area closure and inseason adjustment. AGENCY: This action closes the Georges Bank Cod Trimester Total Allowable Catch Area to Northeast multispecies common pool vessels and prohibits the possession of Georges Bank cod by common pool vessels for the remainder of the fishing year, through April 30, 2017. The common pool fishery has exceeded its annual quota for Georges Bank cod. The closure and possession prohibition are intended to prevent further overage of the common pool’s quota for this stock. DATES: This action is effective January 9, 2017, through April 30, 2017. mstockstill on DSK3G9T082PROD with RULES SUMMARY: VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:27 Jan 11, 2017 Jkt 241001 Kyle Molton, Fishery Management Specialist, (978) 281–9236. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Federal regulations at 50 CFR 648.82(n)(2)(ii) require the Regional Administrator to close a common pool Trimester Total Allowable Catch (TAC) Area for a stock when 90 percent of the Trimester TAC is projected to be caught. The closure applies to all common pool vessels on a groundfish trip using gear capable of catching that stock for the remainder of the trimester. As of December 26, 2016, the common pool fishery has exceeded its annual TAC for Georges Bank (GB) cod by 0.3 mt, or 2.7 percent. Additionally, any overages in Trimesters 1 and 2 must be deducted from the Trimester 3 TAC. The combined overages in Trimesters 1 and 2 (4.7 mt) exceed the Trimester 3 TAC of 4.3 mt. As a result, there is no TAC available to be harvested in Trimester 3. Effective January 9, 2017, the GB Cod Trimester TAC Area is closed for the remainder of the fishing year, through April 30, 2017, to all common pool vessels fishing on a groundfish trip with trawl gear, sink gillnet gear, and longline/hook gear. The GB Cod Trimester TAC Area consists of statistical areas 521, 522, 525, and 561. The area reopens at the beginning of fishing year 2017 on May 1, 2017. Data indicates that common pool vessels have caught a significant portion of the total catch from outside the statistical areas that will be affected by the closure described above. The Regional Administrator is authorized under 50 CFR 648.86(o)(1) to adjust possession and trip limits for common pool vessels to prevent exceeding the pertinent common pool quotas during the fishing year. To prevent the common pool from further exceeding its quota and discourage fishing behavior that results in bycatch of GB cod in areas not affected by the closure, the possession of GB cod by all common pool vessels is prohibited, effective January 9, 2017, through April 30, 2017. If a vessel declared its trip through the Vessel Monitoring System (VMS) or the interactive voice response system, and crossed the VMS demarcation line prior to January 9, 2017, it may complete its trip within the Trimester TAC Area. Additionally, such vessels are not subject to the new possession prohibition for that trip. A vessel that has set gillnet gear prior to January 9, 2017, may complete its trip by hauling such gear and will not be subject to the new possession limit on that trip for fish caught with that gear. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: PO 00000 Frm 00076 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 9990 Weekly quota monitoring reports for the common pool fishery are on our Web site at: www.greateratlantic.fisheries.noaa.gov/ ro/fso/MultiMonReports.htm. Because the common pool fishery has exceeded its annual quota for GB cod in the 2016 fishing year, the overage will be deducted from the common pool’s annual quota for fishing year 2017. The final 2016 overage, and the adjustment to the 2017 common pool quota, will be announced as close to May 1, 2017, as possible, once final catch information for the 2016 fishing year are available. We will continue to monitor common pool catch through vessel trip reports, dealer-reported landings, VMS catch reports, and other available information. Classification This action is required by 50 CFR part 648 and is exempt from review under Executive Order 12866. The Assistant Administrator for Fisheries, NOAA, finds good cause pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 553(b)(B) and 5 U.S.C. 553(d)(3) to waive prior notice and the opportunity for public comment and the 30-day delayed effectiveness period because it would be impracticable and contrary to the public interest. Regulations require the Regional Administrator to close a trimester TAC area to the common pool fishery when 90 percent of the Trimester TAC for a stock has been caught. Updated catch information only recently became available indicating that the common pool fishery had exceeded its annual quota for GB cod. The time necessary to provide for prior notice and comment, and a 30-day delay in effectiveness, prevents the immediate closure of the GB Cod Trimester 3 TAC Area and prohibition of GB cod possession. Delaying the effective date of a closure and possession prohibition may increase the overage in fishing year 2016 that will need to be deducted from next year’s quota. This would be to the detriment of the GB cod stock, and could undermine management objectives of the Northeast Multispecies Fishery Management Plan. Additionally, the overage of the common pool quota could cause negative economic impacts to the common pool fishery as a result of required catch limit deductions in the 2017 fishing year. Authority: 16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq. Dated: January 6, 2017. Emily H. Menashes, Acting Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine Fisheries Service. [FR Doc. 2017–00484 Filed 1–9–17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510–22–P E:\FR\FM\12JAR1.SGM 12JAR1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 82, Number 8 (Thursday, January 12, 2017)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Page 3676]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2017-00484]


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DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

50 CFR Part 648

[Docket No. 151211999-6343-02]
RIN 0648-XF133


Fisheries of the Northeastern United States; Northeast 
Multispecies Fishery; Georges Bank Cod Trimester Total Allowable Catch 
Area Closure and Possession Prohibition for the Common Pool Fishery

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

ACTION: Temporary rule; area closure and inseason adjustment.

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SUMMARY: This action closes the Georges Bank Cod Trimester Total 
Allowable Catch Area to Northeast multispecies common pool vessels and 
prohibits the possession of Georges Bank cod by common pool vessels for 
the remainder of the fishing year, through April 30, 2017. The common 
pool fishery has exceeded its annual quota for Georges Bank cod. The 
closure and possession prohibition are intended to prevent further 
overage of the common pool's quota for this stock.

DATES: This action is effective January 9, 2017, through April 30, 
2017.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Kyle Molton, Fishery Management 
Specialist, (978) 281-9236.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Federal regulations at 50 CFR 
648.82(n)(2)(ii) require the Regional Administrator to close a common 
pool Trimester Total Allowable Catch (TAC) Area for a stock when 90 
percent of the Trimester TAC is projected to be caught. The closure 
applies to all common pool vessels on a groundfish trip using gear 
capable of catching that stock for the remainder of the trimester.
    As of December 26, 2016, the common pool fishery has exceeded its 
annual TAC for Georges Bank (GB) cod by 0.3 mt, or 2.7 percent. 
Additionally, any overages in Trimesters 1 and 2 must be deducted from 
the Trimester 3 TAC. The combined overages in Trimesters 1 and 2 (4.7 
mt) exceed the Trimester 3 TAC of 4.3 mt. As a result, there is no TAC 
available to be harvested in Trimester 3.
    Effective January 9, 2017, the GB Cod Trimester TAC Area is closed 
for the remainder of the fishing year, through April 30, 2017, to all 
common pool vessels fishing on a groundfish trip with trawl gear, sink 
gillnet gear, and longline/hook gear. The GB Cod Trimester TAC Area 
consists of statistical areas 521, 522, 525, and 561. The area reopens 
at the beginning of fishing year 2017 on May 1, 2017.
    Data indicates that common pool vessels have caught a significant 
portion of the total catch from outside the statistical areas that will 
be affected by the closure described above. The Regional Administrator 
is authorized under 50 CFR 648.86(o)(1) to adjust possession and trip 
limits for common pool vessels to prevent exceeding the pertinent 
common pool quotas during the fishing year. To prevent the common pool 
from further exceeding its quota and discourage fishing behavior that 
results in bycatch of GB cod in areas not affected by the closure, the 
possession of GB cod by all common pool vessels is prohibited, 
effective January 9, 2017, through April 30, 2017.
    If a vessel declared its trip through the Vessel Monitoring System 
(VMS) or the interactive voice response system, and crossed the VMS 
demarcation line prior to January 9, 2017, it may complete its trip 
within the Trimester TAC Area. Additionally, such vessels are not 
subject to the new possession prohibition for that trip. A vessel that 
has set gillnet gear prior to January 9, 2017, may complete its trip by 
hauling such gear and will not be subject to the new possession limit 
on that trip for fish caught with that gear.
    Weekly quota monitoring reports for the common pool fishery are on 
our Web site at: www.greateratlantic.fisheries.noaa.gov/ro/fso/MultiMonReports.htm. Because the common pool fishery has exceeded its 
annual quota for GB cod in the 2016 fishing year, the overage will be 
deducted from the common pool's annual quota for fishing year 2017. The 
final 2016 overage, and the adjustment to the 2017 common pool quota, 
will be announced as close to May 1, 2017, as possible, once final 
catch information for the 2016 fishing year are available. We will 
continue to monitor common pool catch through vessel trip reports, 
dealer-reported landings, VMS catch reports, and other available 
information.

Classification

    This action is required by 50 CFR part 648 and is exempt from 
review under Executive Order 12866.
    The Assistant Administrator for Fisheries, NOAA, finds good cause 
pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 553(b)(B) and 5 U.S.C. 553(d)(3) to waive prior 
notice and the opportunity for public comment and the 30-day delayed 
effectiveness period because it would be impracticable and contrary to 
the public interest.
    Regulations require the Regional Administrator to close a trimester 
TAC area to the common pool fishery when 90 percent of the Trimester 
TAC for a stock has been caught. Updated catch information only 
recently became available indicating that the common pool fishery had 
exceeded its annual quota for GB cod. The time necessary to provide for 
prior notice and comment, and a 30-day delay in effectiveness, prevents 
the immediate closure of the GB Cod Trimester 3 TAC Area and 
prohibition of GB cod possession. Delaying the effective date of a 
closure and possession prohibition may increase the overage in fishing 
year 2016 that will need to be deducted from next year's quota. This 
would be to the detriment of the GB cod stock, and could undermine 
management objectives of the Northeast Multispecies Fishery Management 
Plan. Additionally, the overage of the common pool quota could cause 
negative economic impacts to the common pool fishery as a result of 
required catch limit deductions in the 2017 fishing year.

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

    Dated: January 6, 2017.
Emily H. Menashes,
Acting Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine 
Fisheries Service.
[FR Doc. 2017-00484 Filed 1-9-17; 8:45 am]
 BILLING CODE 3510-22-P