Pacific Island Fisheries; 2016 Annual Catch Limits and Accountability Measures, 5517-5521 [2017-00901]

Download as PDF Federal Register / Vol. 82, No. 11 / Wednesday, January 18, 2017 / Proposed Rules HAPCs, and establish or modify spawning SMZs. * * * * * [FR Doc. 2017–00859 Filed 1–13–17; 4:15 pm] BILLING CODE 3510–22–P DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration 50 CFR Part 665 [Docket No. 160422356–7026–01] RIN 0648–XE587 Pacific Island Fisheries; 2016 Annual Catch Limits and Accountability Measures National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Department of Commerce. ACTION: Proposed specifications; request for comments. AGENCY: NMFS proposes annual catch limits (ACLs) for Pacific Island bottomfish, crustacean, precious coral, and coral reef ecosystem fisheries, and accountability measures (AMs) to correct or mitigate any overages of catch limits. The proposed ACLs and AMs would be effective for fishing year 2016. The fishing year for each fishery begins on January 1 and ends on December 31, except for precious coral fisheries, which begin July 1 and end on June 30 the following year. Although the 2016 fishing year has ended for most stocks, we will evaluate 2016 catches against these proposed ACLs when data become available in mid-2017. The proposed ACLs and AMs support the long-term sustainability of fishery resources of the U.S. Pacific Islands. DATES: NMFS must receive comments by February 2, 2017. ADDRESSES: You may submit comments on this document, identified by NOAA– NMFS–2016–0049, by either of the following methods: • Electronic Submission: Submit all electronic public comments via the Federal e-Rulemaking Portal. Go to http://www.regulations.gov/ #!docketDetail;D=NOAA-NMFS-20160049, click the ‘‘Comment Now!’’ icon, complete the required fields, and enter or attach your comments. • Mail: Send written comments to Michael D. Tosatto, Regional Administrator, NMFS Pacific Islands Region (PIR), 1845 Wasp Blvd., Bldg. 176, Honolulu, HI 96818. Instructions: NMFS may not consider comments sent by any other method, to mstockstill on DSK3G9T082PROD with PROPOSALS SUMMARY: VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:51 Jan 17, 2017 Jkt 241001 any other address or individual, or received after the end of the comment period. 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 prepared environmental analyses that describe the potential impacts on the human environment that would result from the proposed ACLs and AMs. NMFS provided additional background information in the 2015 proposed and final specifications (80 FR 43046, July 21, 2015; 80 FR 52415, August 31, 2015). Copies of the environmental analyses and other documents are available at www.regulations.gov. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Matt Dunlap, NMFS PIR Sustainable Fisheries, 808–725–5177. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Fisheries in the U.S. Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ, or Federal waters) around the U.S. Pacific Islands are managed under archipelagic fishery ecosystem plans (FEPs) for American Samoa, Hawaii, the Pacific Remote Islands, and the Mariana Archipelago (Guam and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI)). A fifth FEP covers pelagic fisheries. The Western Pacific Fishery Management Council (Council) developed the FEPs, and NMFS implemented them under the authority of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (Magnuson-Stevens Act, 16 U.S.C. 1801, et seq.). Each FEP contains a process for the Council and NMFS to specify ACLs and AMs; that process is codified at Title 50, Code of Federal Regulations, Section 665.4 (50 CFR 665.4). The regulations require NMFS to specify, every fishing year, an ACL for each stock and stock complex of management unit species (MUS) included in an FEP, as recommended by the Council and considering the best available scientific, commercial, and other information about the fishery. If a fishery exceeds an ACL, the regulations require the Council to take action, which may include reducing the ACL for the subsequent fishing year by the amount of the overage, or other appropriate action. NMFS proposes to specify ACLs for bottomfish, crustacean, precious coral, and coral reef ecosystem fishery MUS in American Samoa, Guam, the CNMI, and Hawaii. NMFS based the proposed PO 00000 Frm 00087 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 5517 specifications on recommendations from the Council at its 164th meeting held October 21–22, 2015, and at its 166th meeting held June 6–10, 2016. In all, the Council recommended 112 ACLs: 26 in American Samoa, 26 in Guam, 26 in the CNMI, and 34 in Hawaii. The Council also recommended that NMFS specify multi-year ACLs and AMs in fishing years 2015–2018. NMFS proposes to implement the specifications for 2017 and 2018 separately, prior to each fishing year. Except for bottomfish in American Samoa, Guam, and the CNMI, and Guam jacks, Hawaii crabs, and Hawaii octopus, the proposed 2016 ACLs are identical to those that NMFS specified for 2015 (80 FR 52415, August 31, 2015). For bottomfish in American Samoa, Guam, and the Northern Mariana Islands, the 2016 ACLs are based on new estimates of maximum sustainable yield (MSY) contained in a 2016 stock assessment updated by the NMFS Pacific Islands Fisheries Science Center (PIFSC). This stock assessment update represents the best scientific information available for specifying ACLs. For Guam jacks, Hawaii crabs, and Hawaii octopus, NMFS and the Council determined that the average 2013–2015 catch for each of these three stock complexes exceeded their respective 2015 ACLs. Specifically, average 2013– 2015 catch for Guam jacks was 37,399 lb and exceeded the 2015 ACL of 29,300 lb by 8,099 lb. For Hawaii crabs, average 2013–2015 catch was 40,363 lb and exceeded the 2015 ACL of 33,500 lb by 6,863 lb. For Hawaii octopus, average 2013–2015 catch was 40,237 lb and exceeded the 2015 ACL of 35,700 lb by 4,537 lb. In accordance with the 2015 AMs (80 FR 52415, August 31, 2015), and in consideration of the best available scientific information available, NMFS proposes to reduce the 2016 ACLs from the 2015 ACL by the amount of the 2015 overages for each of the three stocks. As a result, the proposed ACL for Guam jacks is 21,201 lb, 26,637 lb for Hawaii crabs, and 31,163 lb for Hawaii mollusks. In addition, NMFS prepared an updated environmental assessment for Pacific Island crustacean and precious coral fisheries to account for new information on the fisheries. In December 2015, NMFS and the Council received new information on the historical and projected stock status of Hawaii Kona crab. The information indicates that the Hawaii Kona crab stock was likely to be overfished as of 2006. However, an independent review identified data gaps and methodological E:\FR\FM\18JAP1.SGM 18JAP1 5518 Federal Register / Vol. 82, No. 11 / Wednesday, January 18, 2017 / Proposed Rules concerns with the 2015 stock assessment. NMFS PIFSC also noted concerns with the data used in the recent stock assessment, but found the assessment provided useful information regarding stock status within the last decade. Because of the uncertainty in the projected stock status and structure of Hawaii Kona crab after 2006, the Council did not account for this information with other relevant information in recommending the 2016 Hawaii Kona crab ACL. For this reason, NMFS will not set an ACL for Hawaii kona crab for fishing year 2016. Instead, NMFS will continue to work with the Council and other partners to review the available data and to set an acceptable biological catch and an ACL for the Hawaii Kona crab stock, consistent with the Magnuson-Stevens Act, for fishing year 2017. NMFS is also not proposing ACLs for MUS that are currently subject to Federal fishing moratoria or prohibitions. These MUS include all species of gold coral (78 FR 32181, May 29, 2013), the three Hawaii seamount groundfish (pelagic armorhead, alfonsin, and raftfish (75 FR 69015, November 10, 2010), and deepwater precious corals at the Westpac Bed Refugia (75 FR 2198, January 14, 2010). The current prohibitions on fishing for these MUS serve as the functional equivalent of an ACL of zero. Additionally, NMFS is not proposing ACLs for bottomfish, crustacean, precious coral, or coral reef ecosystem MUS identified in the Pacific Remote Islands Area (PRIA) FEP. This is because fishing is prohibited in the EEZ within 12 nm of emergent land, unless authorized by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) (78 FR 32996, June 3, 2013). To date, NMFS has not received fishery data that would support any such approvals. In addition, there is no suitable habitat for these stocks beyond the 12-nm no-fishing zone, except at Kingman Reef, where fishing for these resources does not occur. Therefore, the current prohibitions on fishing serve as the functional equivalent of an ACL of zero. However, NMFS will continue to monitor authorized fishing within the Pacific Remote Islands Monument in consultation with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and may develop additional fishing requirements, including monument-specific catch limits for species that may require them. NMFS is also not proposing ACLs for pelagic MUS at this time, because NMFS previously determined that pelagic species are subject to international fishery agreements or have a life cycle of approximately one year and, therefore, are statutorily excepted from the ACL requirements. Proposed Annual Catch Limit Specifications The following four tables list the proposed ACL specifications for 2016. TABLE 1—AMERICAN SAMOA Proposed ACL specification (lb) Fishery Management unit species Bottomfish ................................................. Crustacean ................................................ Bottomfish multi-species stock complex ...................................................................... Deepwater shrimp ........................................................................................................ Spiny lobster ................................................................................................................ Slipper lobster .............................................................................................................. Kona crab ..................................................................................................................... Black coral .................................................................................................................... Precious corals in the American Samoa Exploratory Area ......................................... Selar crumenophthalmus—atule, bigeye scad ............................................................ Acanthuridae—surgeonfish .......................................................................................... Carangidae—jacks ....................................................................................................... Carcharhinidae—reef sharks ....................................................................................... Crustaceans—crabs ..................................................................................................... Holocentridae—squirrelfish .......................................................................................... Kyphosidae– rudderfishes ............................................................................................ Labridae– wrasses ....................................................................................................... Lethrinidae—emperors ................................................................................................. Lutjanidae—snappers .................................................................................................. Mollusks—turbo snail; octopus; giant clams ................................................................ Mugilidae—mullets ....................................................................................................... Mullidae—goatfishes .................................................................................................... Scaridae—parrotfish ..................................................................................................... Serranidae—groupers .................................................................................................. Siganidae—rabbitfishes ............................................................................................... Bolbometopon muricatum—bumphead parrotfish ....................................................... Cheilinus undulatus—Humphead (Napoleon) wrasse ................................................. All other CREMUS combined ...................................................................................... Precious Coral .......................................... Coral Reef Ecosystem .............................. 106,000 80,000 4,845 30 3,200 790 2,205 37,400 129,400 19,900 1,615 4,300 15,100 2,000 16,200 19,600 63,100 18,400 4,600 11,900 272,000 25,300 200 235 1,743 18,400 TABLE 2—MARIANA ARCHIPELAGO—GUAM Proposed ACL specification (lb) mstockstill on DSK3G9T082PROD with PROPOSALS Fishery Management unit species Bottomfish ................................................. Crustaceans .............................................. Bottomfish multi-species stock complex ...................................................................... Deepwater shrimp ........................................................................................................ Spiny lobster ................................................................................................................ Slipper lobster .............................................................................................................. Kona crab ..................................................................................................................... Black coral .................................................................................................................... Precious corals in the Guam Exploratory Area ........................................................... Selar crumenophthalmus—atulai, bigeye scad ........................................................... Precious Coral .......................................... Coral Reef Ecosystem .............................. VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:51 Jan 17, 2017 Jkt 241001 PO 00000 Frm 00088 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 E:\FR\FM\18JAP1.SGM 18JAP1 66,000 48,488 3,135 20 1,900 700 2,205 50,200 Federal Register / Vol. 82, No. 11 / Wednesday, January 18, 2017 / Proposed Rules 5519 TABLE 2—MARIANA ARCHIPELAGO—GUAM—Continued Fishery Proposed ACL specification (lb) Management unit species Acanthuridae—surgeonfish .......................................................................................... Carangidae—jacks ....................................................................................................... Carcharhinidae—reef sharks ....................................................................................... Crustaceans—crabs ..................................................................................................... Holocentridae—squirrelfish .......................................................................................... Kyphosidae—chubs/rudderfish .................................................................................... Labridae—wrasses ....................................................................................................... Lethrinidae—emperors ................................................................................................. Lutjanidae—snappers .................................................................................................. Mollusks—octopus ....................................................................................................... Mugilidae—mullets ....................................................................................................... Mullidae—goatfish ........................................................................................................ Scaridae—parrotfish ..................................................................................................... Serranidae—groupers .................................................................................................. Siganidae—rabbitfish ................................................................................................... Bolbometopon muricatum—bumphead parrotfish ....................................................... Cheilinus undulatus—humphead (Napoleon) wrasse .................................................. All other CREMUS combined ...................................................................................... 97,600 21,201 1,900 7,300 11,400 9,600 25,200 53,000 18,000 23,800 17,900 15,300 71,600 22,500 18,600 * 797 1,960 185,000 * CNMI and Guam combined. TABLE 3—MARIANA ARCHIPELAGO—CNMI Proposed ACL specification (lb) Fishery Management unit species Bottomfish ................................................. Crustacean ................................................ Bottomfish multi-species stock complex ...................................................................... Deepwater shrimp ........................................................................................................ Spiny lobster ................................................................................................................ Slipper lobster .............................................................................................................. Kona crab ..................................................................................................................... Black coral .................................................................................................................... Precious corals in the CNMI Exploratory Area ............................................................ Selar crumenophthalmus—Atulai, bigeye scad ........................................................... Acanthuridae—surgeonfish .......................................................................................... Carangidae—jacks ....................................................................................................... Carcharhinidae—reef sharks ....................................................................................... Crustaceans—crabs ..................................................................................................... Holocentridae—squirrelfishes ...................................................................................... Kyphosidae—rudderfishes ........................................................................................... Labridae—wrasses ....................................................................................................... Lethrinidae—emperors ................................................................................................. Lutjanidae—snappers .................................................................................................. Mollusks—turbo snail; octopus; giant clams ................................................................ Mugilidae—mullets ....................................................................................................... Mullidae—goatfish ........................................................................................................ Scaridae—parrotfish ..................................................................................................... Serranidae—groupers .................................................................................................. Siganidae—rabbitfish ................................................................................................... Bolbometopon muricatum—Bumphead parrotfish ....................................................... Cheilinus undulatus—Humphead (Napoleon) wrasse ................................................. All other CREMUS combined ...................................................................................... Precious Coral .......................................... Coral Reef Ecosystem .............................. 228,000 275,570 7,410 60 6,300 2,100 2,205 77,400 302,600 44,900 5,600 4,400 66,100 22,700 55,100 53,700 190,400 9,800 4,500 28,400 144,000 86,900 10,200 * 797 2,009 7,300 * CNMI and Guam combined. TABLE 4—HAWAII Proposed ACL specification (lb) mstockstill on DSK3G9T082PROD with PROPOSALS Fishery Management unit species Bottomfish ................................................. Crustacean ................................................ Non-Deep 7 bottomfish ................................................................................................ Deepwater shrimp ........................................................................................................ Spiny lobster ................................................................................................................ Slipper lobster .............................................................................................................. Kona crab ..................................................................................................................... Auau Channel black coral ............................................................................................ Makapuu Bed—Pink coral ........................................................................................... Makapuu Bed—Bamboo coral ..................................................................................... 180 Fathom Bank—Pink coral ..................................................................................... Precious Coral .......................................... VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:51 Jan 17, 2017 Jkt 241001 PO 00000 Frm 00089 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 E:\FR\FM\18JAP1.SGM 18JAP1 178,000 250,773 15,000 280 None 5,512 2,205 551 489 5520 Federal Register / Vol. 82, No. 11 / Wednesday, January 18, 2017 / Proposed Rules TABLE 4—HAWAII—Continued Fishery mstockstill on DSK3G9T082PROD with PROPOSALS Coral Reef Ecosystem .............................. 180 Fathom Bank—Bamboo coral ............................................................................... Brooks Bank—Pink coral ............................................................................................. Brooks Bank—Bamboo coral ....................................................................................... Kaena Point Bed—Pink coral ...................................................................................... Kaena Point Bed—Bamboo coral ................................................................................ Keahole Bed—Pink coral ............................................................................................. Keahole Bed—Bamboo coral ....................................................................................... Precious corals in the Hawaii Exploratory Area .......................................................... Selar crumenophthalmus—akule, bigeye scad ........................................................... Decapterus macarellus—opelu, mackerel scad .......................................................... Acanthuridae—surgeonfishes ...................................................................................... Carangidae—jacks ....................................................................................................... Carcharhinidae—reef sharks ....................................................................................... Crustaceans—crabs ..................................................................................................... Holocentridae—squirrelfishes ...................................................................................... Kyphosidae—rudderfishes ........................................................................................... Labridae—wrasses ....................................................................................................... Lethrinidae—emperors ................................................................................................. Lutjanidae—snappers .................................................................................................. Mollusks—octopus ....................................................................................................... Mugilidae—mullets ....................................................................................................... Mullidae—goatfishes .................................................................................................... Scaridae—parrotfishes ................................................................................................. Serranidae—groupers .................................................................................................. All other CREMUS combined ...................................................................................... Accountability Measures Each year, NMFS and local resource management agencies in American Samoa, Guam, the CNMI, and Hawaii collect information about MUS catches and apply them toward the appropriate ACLs. Pursuant to 50 CFR 665.4, when the available information indicates that a fishery is projected to reach an ACL for a stock or stock complex, NMFS must notify permit holders that fishing for that stock or stock complex will be restricted in Federal waters on a specified date. The restriction serves as the AM to prevent an ACL from being exceeded, and may include closing the fishery, closing specific areas, changing to bag limits, or restricting effort. However, local resource management agencies do not have the resources to process catch data in near-real time, so fisheries statistics are generally not available to NMFS until at least six months after agencies collect and analyze the data. Additionally, Federal logbook information and other reporting from fisheries in Federal waters is not sufficient to monitor and track catches for the evaluation of fishery performance against the proposed ACL specifications. This is because most fishing for bottomfish, crustacean, precious coral, and coral reef ecosystem MUS occurs in state waters, generally 0– 3 nm from shore. For these reasons, NMFS proposes to continue to specify the Council’s recommended AM, which is to apply a three-year average catch to VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:51 Jan 17, 2017 Proposed ACL specification (lb) Management unit species Jkt 241001 evaluate fishery performance against the proposed ACLs. Specifically, NMFS and the Council would use the average catch of fishing years 2014, 2015, and 2016 to evaluate fishery performance against the 2016 ACL for a particular fishery. At the end of each fishing year, the Council would review catches relative to each ACL. If NMFS and the Council determine the three-year average catch for any fishery exceeds the specified ACL, NMFS would reduce the ACL in the subsequent year for that fishery by the amount of the overage. NMFS will consider public comments on the proposed ACLs and AMs and will announce the final specifications in the Federal Register. NMFS must receive any comments by the date provided in the DATES heading, not postmarked or otherwise transmitted by that date. Regardless of the final ACL specifications and AMs, all other management measures will continue to apply in the fisheries. Classification Pursuant to section 304(b)(1)(A) of the Magnuson-Stevens Act, the NMFS Assistant Administrator for Fisheries has determined that these proposed specifications are consistent with the applicable FEPs, other provisions of the Magnuson-Stevens Act, and other applicable laws, subject to further consideration after public comment. PO 00000 Frm 00090 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 123 979 245 148 37 148 37 2,205 988,000 438,000 342,000 161,200 9,310 26,637 148,000 105,000 205,000 35,500 330,300 31,163 19,200 165,000 239,000 128,400 485,000 Certification of Finding of No Significant Impact on Substantial Number of Small Entities The Chief Counsel for Regulation of the Department of Commerce certified to the Chief Counsel for Advocacy of the Small Business Administration that these proposed specifications, if adopted, would not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. A description of the proposed action, why it is being considered, and the legal basis for it are contained in the preamble to these proposed specifications. The proposed action would specify annual catch limits (ACLs) and accountability measures (AMs) for Pacific Island bottomfish, crustacean, precious coral, and coral reef ecosystem fishery management unit species (MUS) for 2016. Except for Hawaii kona crab, the 2016 ACLs and AMs for all crustaceans, spiny lobster, Hawaii nonDeep 7 bottomfish, and precious corals MUS are identical to those NMFS specified for the 2015 fishing year (80 FR 52415, August 31, 2015). The proposed ACL for bottomfish MUS in American Samoa is 106,000 lb, which is 5,000 lb higher than the 2015 ACL. The proposed ACL for Guam bottomfish MUS is 66,000 lb, which is 800 lb lower than the 2015 ACL. The proposed ACL for CNMI bottomfish MUS would remain the same as the 2015 ACL of 228,000 lb. E:\FR\FM\18JAP1.SGM 18JAP1 Federal Register / Vol. 82, No. 11 / Wednesday, January 18, 2017 / Proposed Rules mstockstill on DSK3G9T082PROD with PROPOSALS The proposed ACLs and AMs for coral reef ecosystem MUS are identical to those implemented in 2015 (80 FR 52415, August 31, 2015), with three exceptions. For Guam jacks, Hawaii crabs and Hawaii octopus, NMFS determined that the average 2013–2015 catch for each of these three stock complexes exceeded their respective 2015 ACLs. Specifically, average 2013– 2015 catch for Guam jacks was 37,399 lb and exceeded the 2015 ACL of 29,300 lb by 8,099 lb. For Hawaii crabs, average 2013–2015 catch was 40,363 lb and exceeded the 2015 ACL of 33,500 lb by 6,863 lb. For Hawaii octopus, average 2013–2015 catch was 40,237 lb and exceeded the 2015 ACL of 35,700 by 4,537 lb. In accordance with the 2015 AMs (80 FR 52415, August 31, 2015), and in consideration of the best available scientific information, NMFS proposes to reduce the 2016 ACLs from the 2015 ACL by the amount of the 2015 overages for each of the three stocks. As a result, the proposed ACL for Guam jacks is 21,201 lb, 26,637 lb for Hawaii crabs and 31,163 lb for Hawaii mollusks. The vessels impacted by this action are federally permitted to fish under the FEPs for American Samoa, the Marianas Archipelago (Guam and the CNMI), and Hawaii. The numbers of vessels permitted under these Fishery Ecosystem Plans affected by this action are as follows: American Samoa (0), Marianas Archipelago (19), and Hawaii (8). For Regulatory Flexibility Act purposes only, NMFS has established a small business size standard for businesses, including their affiliates, whose primary industry is commercial VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:51 Jan 17, 2017 Jkt 241001 fishing (see 50 CFR 200.2). A business primarily engaged in commercial fishing (NAICS code 11411) is classified as a small business if it is independently owned and operated, is not dominant in its field of operation (including its affiliates), and has combined annual receipts not in excess of $11 million for all its affiliated operations worldwide. Based on available information, NMFS has determined that all impacted entities are small entities under the SBA definition of a small entity, i.e., they are engaged in the business of fish harvesting, are independently owned or operated, are not dominant in their field of operation, and have annual gross receipts not in excess of $11 million. Therefore, there would be no disproportionate economic impacts between large and small entities. Furthermore, there would be no disproportionate economic impacts among the universe of vessels based on gear, home port, or vessel length. Even though this proposed action would apply to a substantial number of vessels, the implementation of this action should not result in significant adverse economic impact to individual vessels. The Council and NMFS are not considering in-season closures in any of the fisheries to which these ACLs apply because fishery management agencies are not able to track catch relative to the ACLs during the fishing year. As a result, fishermen would be able to fish throughout the entire year. In addition, the ACLs, as proposed, would not change the gear types, areas fished, effort, or participation of the fishery during the 2016 fishing year. A postseason review of the catch data is PO 00000 Frm 00091 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 9990 5521 required to determine whether any fishery exceeded its ACL by comparing the ACL to the most recent three-year average catch for which data is available. If an ACL is exceeded, the Council and NMFS would take action in future fishing years to correct the operational issue that caused the ACL overage. NMFS and the Council would evaluate the environmental, social, and economic impacts of future actions, such as changes to future ACLs or AMs, after the required data are available. Specifically, if NMFS and the Council determine that the three-year average catch for a fishery exceeds the specified ACL, NMFS would reduce the ACL in the subsequent year for that fishery by the amount of the overage. The proposed action does not duplicate, overlap, or conflict with other Federal rules, and is not expected to have significant impact on small entities (as discussed above), organizations, or government jurisdictions. The proposed action also will not place a substantial number of small entities, or any segment of small entities, at a significant competitive disadvantage to large entities. As such, an initial regulatory flexibility analysis is not required and none has been prepared. This action has been determined to be exempt from review under E.O. 12866. Authority: 16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq. Dated: January 11, 2017. Samuel D. Rauch III, Deputy Assistant Administrator for Regulatory Programs, National Marine Fisheries Service. [FR Doc. 2017–00901 Filed 1–17–17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510–22–P E:\FR\FM\18JAP1.SGM 18JAP1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 82, Number 11 (Wednesday, January 18, 2017)]
[Proposed Rules]
[Pages 5517-5521]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2017-00901]


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

DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

50 CFR Part 665

[Docket No. 160422356-7026-01]
RIN 0648-XE587


Pacific Island Fisheries; 2016 Annual Catch Limits and 
Accountability Measures

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

ACTION: Proposed specifications; request for comments.

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

SUMMARY: NMFS proposes annual catch limits (ACLs) for Pacific Island 
bottomfish, crustacean, precious coral, and coral reef ecosystem 
fisheries, and accountability measures (AMs) to correct or mitigate any 
overages of catch limits. The proposed ACLs and AMs would be effective 
for fishing year 2016. The fishing year for each fishery begins on 
January 1 and ends on December 31, except for precious coral fisheries, 
which begin July 1 and end on June 30 the following year. Although the 
2016 fishing year has ended for most stocks, we will evaluate 2016 
catches against these proposed ACLs when data become available in mid-
2017. The proposed ACLs and AMs support the long-term sustainability of 
fishery resources of the U.S. Pacific Islands.

DATES: NMFS must receive comments by February 2, 2017.

ADDRESSES: You may submit comments on this document, identified by 
NOAA-NMFS-2016-0049, by either of the following methods:
     Electronic Submission: Submit all electronic public 
comments via the Federal e-Rulemaking Portal. Go to http://www.regulations.gov/#!docketDetail;D=NOAA-NMFS-2016-0049, click the 
``Comment Now!'' icon, complete the required fields, and enter or 
attach your comments.
     Mail: Send written comments to Michael D. Tosatto, 
Regional Administrator, NMFS Pacific Islands Region (PIR), 1845 Wasp 
Blvd., Bldg. 176, Honolulu, HI 96818.
    Instructions: NMFS may not consider comments sent by any other 
method, to any other address or individual, or received after the end 
of the comment period. 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 prepared environmental analyses that describe the potential 
impacts on the human environment that would result from the proposed 
ACLs and AMs. NMFS provided additional background information in the 
2015 proposed and final specifications (80 FR 43046, July 21, 2015; 80 
FR 52415, August 31, 2015). Copies of the environmental analyses and 
other documents are available at www.regulations.gov.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Matt Dunlap, NMFS PIR Sustainable 
Fisheries, 808-725-5177.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Fisheries in the U.S. Exclusive Economic 
Zone (EEZ, or Federal waters) around the U.S. Pacific Islands are 
managed under archipelagic fishery ecosystem plans (FEPs) for American 
Samoa, Hawaii, the Pacific Remote Islands, and the Mariana Archipelago 
(Guam and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI)). A 
fifth FEP covers pelagic fisheries. The Western Pacific Fishery 
Management Council (Council) developed the FEPs, and NMFS implemented 
them under the authority of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation 
and Management Act (Magnuson-Stevens Act, 16 U.S.C. 1801, et seq.).
    Each FEP contains a process for the Council and NMFS to specify 
ACLs and AMs; that process is codified at Title 50, Code of Federal 
Regulations, Section 665.4 (50 CFR 665.4). The regulations require NMFS 
to specify, every fishing year, an ACL for each stock and stock complex 
of management unit species (MUS) included in an FEP, as recommended by 
the Council and considering the best available scientific, commercial, 
and other information about the fishery. If a fishery exceeds an ACL, 
the regulations require the Council to take action, which may include 
reducing the ACL for the subsequent fishing year by the amount of the 
overage, or other appropriate action.
    NMFS proposes to specify ACLs for bottomfish, crustacean, precious 
coral, and coral reef ecosystem fishery MUS in American Samoa, Guam, 
the CNMI, and Hawaii. NMFS based the proposed specifications on 
recommendations from the Council at its 164th meeting held October 21-
22, 2015, and at its 166th meeting held June 6-10, 2016. In all, the 
Council recommended 112 ACLs: 26 in American Samoa, 26 in Guam, 26 in 
the CNMI, and 34 in Hawaii. The Council also recommended that NMFS 
specify multi-year ACLs and AMs in fishing years 2015-2018. NMFS 
proposes to implement the specifications for 2017 and 2018 separately, 
prior to each fishing year.
    Except for bottomfish in American Samoa, Guam, and the CNMI, and 
Guam jacks, Hawaii crabs, and Hawaii octopus, the proposed 2016 ACLs 
are identical to those that NMFS specified for 2015 (80 FR 52415, 
August 31, 2015).
    For bottomfish in American Samoa, Guam, and the Northern Mariana 
Islands, the 2016 ACLs are based on new estimates of maximum 
sustainable yield (MSY) contained in a 2016 stock assessment updated by 
the NMFS Pacific Islands Fisheries Science Center (PIFSC). This stock 
assessment update represents the best scientific information available 
for specifying ACLs.
    For Guam jacks, Hawaii crabs, and Hawaii octopus, NMFS and the 
Council determined that the average 2013-2015 catch for each of these 
three stock complexes exceeded their respective 2015 ACLs. 
Specifically, average 2013-2015 catch for Guam jacks was 37,399 lb and 
exceeded the 2015 ACL of 29,300 lb by 8,099 lb. For Hawaii crabs, 
average 2013-2015 catch was 40,363 lb and exceeded the 2015 ACL of 
33,500 lb by 6,863 lb. For Hawaii octopus, average 2013-2015 catch was 
40,237 lb and exceeded the 2015 ACL of 35,700 lb by 4,537 lb. In 
accordance with the 2015 AMs (80 FR 52415, August 31, 2015), and in 
consideration of the best available scientific information available, 
NMFS proposes to reduce the 2016 ACLs from the 2015 ACL by the amount 
of the 2015 overages for each of the three stocks. As a result, the 
proposed ACL for Guam jacks is 21,201 lb, 26,637 lb for Hawaii crabs, 
and 31,163 lb for Hawaii mollusks.
    In addition, NMFS prepared an updated environmental assessment for 
Pacific Island crustacean and precious coral fisheries to account for 
new information on the fisheries. In December 2015, NMFS and the 
Council received new information on the historical and projected stock 
status of Hawaii Kona crab. The information indicates that the Hawaii 
Kona crab stock was likely to be overfished as of 2006. However, an 
independent review identified data gaps and methodological

[[Page 5518]]

concerns with the 2015 stock assessment. NMFS PIFSC also noted concerns 
with the data used in the recent stock assessment, but found the 
assessment provided useful information regarding stock status within 
the last decade. Because of the uncertainty in the projected stock 
status and structure of Hawaii Kona crab after 2006, the Council did 
not account for this information with other relevant information in 
recommending the 2016 Hawaii Kona crab ACL. For this reason, NMFS will 
not set an ACL for Hawaii kona crab for fishing year 2016. Instead, 
NMFS will continue to work with the Council and other partners to 
review the available data and to set an acceptable biological catch and 
an ACL for the Hawaii Kona crab stock, consistent with the Magnuson-
Stevens Act, for fishing year 2017.
    NMFS is also not proposing ACLs for MUS that are currently subject 
to Federal fishing moratoria or prohibitions. These MUS include all 
species of gold coral (78 FR 32181, May 29, 2013), the three Hawaii 
seamount groundfish (pelagic armorhead, alfonsin, and raftfish (75 FR 
69015, November 10, 2010), and deepwater precious corals at the Westpac 
Bed Refugia (75 FR 2198, January 14, 2010). The current prohibitions on 
fishing for these MUS serve as the functional equivalent of an ACL of 
zero.
    Additionally, NMFS is not proposing ACLs for bottomfish, 
crustacean, precious coral, or coral reef ecosystem MUS identified in 
the Pacific Remote Islands Area (PRIA) FEP. This is because fishing is 
prohibited in the EEZ within 12 nm of emergent land, unless authorized 
by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) (78 FR 32996, June 3, 
2013). To date, NMFS has not received fishery data that would support 
any such approvals. In addition, there is no suitable habitat for these 
stocks beyond the 12-nm no-fishing zone, except at Kingman Reef, where 
fishing for these resources does not occur. Therefore, the current 
prohibitions on fishing serve as the functional equivalent of an ACL of 
zero. However, NMFS will continue to monitor authorized fishing within 
the Pacific Remote Islands Monument in consultation with the U.S. Fish 
and Wildlife Service, and may develop additional fishing requirements, 
including monument-specific catch limits for species that may require 
them.
    NMFS is also not proposing ACLs for pelagic MUS at this time, 
because NMFS previously determined that pelagic species are subject to 
international fishery agreements or have a life cycle of approximately 
one year and, therefore, are statutorily excepted from the ACL 
requirements.

Proposed Annual Catch Limit Specifications

    The following four tables list the proposed ACL specifications for 
2016.

                         Table 1--American Samoa
------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                           Proposed ACL
            Fishery              Management unit species   specification
                                                               (lb)
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Bottomfish.....................  Bottomfish multi-               106,000
                                  species stock complex.
Crustacean.....................  Deepwater shrimp.......          80,000
                                 Spiny lobster..........           4,845
                                 Slipper lobster........              30
                                 Kona crab..............           3,200
Precious Coral.................  Black coral............             790
                                 Precious corals in the            2,205
                                  American Samoa
                                  Exploratory Area.
Coral Reef Ecosystem...........  Selar crumenophthalmus--         37,400
                                  atule, bigeye scad.
                                 Acanthuridae--surgeonfi         129,400
                                  sh.
                                 Carangidae--jacks......          19,900
                                 Carcharhinidae--reef              1,615
                                  sharks.
                                 Crustaceans--crabs.....           4,300
                                 Holocentridae--squirrel          15,100
                                  fish.
                                 Kyphosidae-                       2,000
                                  rudderfishes.
                                 Labridae- wrasses......          16,200
                                 Lethrinidae--emperors..          19,600
                                 Lutjanidae--snappers...          63,100
                                 Mollusks--turbo snail;           18,400
                                  octopus; giant clams.
                                 Mugilidae--mullets.....           4,600
                                 Mullidae--goatfishes...          11,900
                                 Scaridae--parrotfish...         272,000
                                 Serranidae--groupers...          25,300
                                 Siganidae--rabbitfishes             200
                                 Bolbometopon muricatum--            235
                                  bumphead parrotfish.
                                 Cheilinus undulatus--             1,743
                                  Humphead (Napoleon)
                                  wrasse.
                                 All other CREMUS                 18,400
                                  combined.
------------------------------------------------------------------------


                   Table 2--Mariana Archipelago--Guam
------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                           Proposed ACL
            Fishery              Management unit species   specification
                                                               (lb)
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Bottomfish.....................  Bottomfish multi-                66,000
                                  species stock complex.
Crustaceans....................  Deepwater shrimp.......          48,488
                                 Spiny lobster..........           3,135
                                 Slipper lobster........              20
                                 Kona crab..............           1,900
Precious Coral.................  Black coral............             700
                                 Precious corals in the            2,205
                                  Guam Exploratory Area.
Coral Reef Ecosystem...........  Selar crumenophthalmus--         50,200
                                  atulai, bigeye scad.

[[Page 5519]]

 
                                 Acanthuridae--surgeonfi          97,600
                                  sh.
                                 Carangidae--jacks......          21,201
                                 Carcharhinidae--reef              1,900
                                  sharks.
                                 Crustaceans--crabs.....           7,300
                                 Holocentridae--squirrel          11,400
                                  fish.
                                 Kyphosidae--chubs/                9,600
                                  rudderfish.
                                 Labridae--wrasses......          25,200
                                 Lethrinidae--emperors..          53,000
                                 Lutjanidae--snappers...          18,000
                                 Mollusks--octopus......          23,800
                                 Mugilidae--mullets.....          17,900
                                 Mullidae--goatfish.....          15,300
                                 Scaridae--parrotfish...          71,600
                                 Serranidae--groupers...          22,500
                                 Siganidae--rabbitfish..          18,600
                                 Bolbometopon muricatum--          * 797
                                  bumphead parrotfish.
                                 Cheilinus undulatus--             1,960
                                  humphead (Napoleon)
                                  wrasse.
                                 All other CREMUS                185,000
                                  combined.
------------------------------------------------------------------------
* CNMI and Guam combined.


                   Table 3--Mariana Archipelago--CNMI
------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                           Proposed ACL
            Fishery              Management unit species   specification
                                                               (lb)
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Bottomfish.....................  Bottomfish multi-               228,000
                                  species stock complex.
Crustacean.....................  Deepwater shrimp.......         275,570
                                 Spiny lobster..........           7,410
                                 Slipper lobster........              60
                                 Kona crab..............           6,300
Precious Coral.................  Black coral............           2,100
                                 Precious corals in the            2,205
                                  CNMI Exploratory Area.
Coral Reef Ecosystem...........  Selar crumenophthalmus--         77,400
                                  Atulai, bigeye scad.
                                 Acanthuridae--surgeonfi         302,600
                                  sh.
                                 Carangidae--jacks......          44,900
                                 Carcharhinidae--reef              5,600
                                  sharks.
                                 Crustaceans--crabs.....           4,400
                                 Holocentridae--squirrel          66,100
                                  fishes.
                                 Kyphosidae--rudderfishe          22,700
                                  s.
                                 Labridae--wrasses......          55,100
                                 Lethrinidae--emperors..          53,700
                                 Lutjanidae--snappers...         190,400
                                 Mollusks--turbo snail;            9,800
                                  octopus; giant clams.
                                 Mugilidae--mullets.....           4,500
                                 Mullidae--goatfish.....          28,400
                                 Scaridae--parrotfish...         144,000
                                 Serranidae--groupers...          86,900
                                 Siganidae--rabbitfish..          10,200
                                 Bolbometopon muricatum--          * 797
                                  Bumphead parrotfish.
                                 Cheilinus undulatus--             2,009
                                  Humphead (Napoleon)
                                  wrasse.
                                 All other CREMUS                  7,300
                                  combined.
------------------------------------------------------------------------
* CNMI and Guam combined.


                             Table 4--Hawaii
------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                           Proposed ACL
            Fishery              Management unit species   specification
                                                               (lb)
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Bottomfish.....................  Non-Deep 7 bottomfish..         178,000
Crustacean.....................  Deepwater shrimp.......         250,773
                                 Spiny lobster..........          15,000
                                 Slipper lobster........             280
                                 Kona crab..............            None
Precious Coral.................  Auau Channel black                5,512
                                  coral.
                                 Makapuu Bed--Pink coral           2,205
                                 Makapuu Bed--Bamboo                 551
                                  coral.
                                 180 Fathom Bank--Pink               489
                                  coral.

[[Page 5520]]

 
                                 180 Fathom Bank--Bamboo             123
                                  coral.
                                 Brooks Bank--Pink coral             979
                                 Brooks Bank--Bamboo                 245
                                  coral.
                                 Kaena Point Bed--Pink               148
                                  coral.
                                 Kaena Point Bed--Bamboo              37
                                  coral.
                                 Keahole Bed--Pink coral             148
                                 Keahole Bed--Bamboo                  37
                                  coral.
                                 Precious corals in the            2,205
                                  Hawaii Exploratory
                                  Area.
Coral Reef Ecosystem...........  Selar crumenophthalmus--        988,000
                                  akule, bigeye scad.
                                 Decapterus macarellus--         438,000
                                  opelu, mackerel scad.
                                 Acanthuridae--surgeonfi         342,000
                                  shes.
                                 Carangidae--jacks......         161,200
                                 Carcharhinidae--reef              9,310
                                  sharks.
                                 Crustaceans--crabs.....          26,637
                                 Holocentridae--squirrel         148,000
                                  fishes.
                                 Kyphosidae--rudderfishe         105,000
                                  s.
                                 Labridae--wrasses......         205,000
                                 Lethrinidae--emperors..          35,500
                                 Lutjanidae--snappers...         330,300
                                 Mollusks--octopus......          31,163
                                 Mugilidae--mullets.....          19,200
                                 Mullidae--goatfishes...         165,000
                                 Scaridae--parrotfishes.         239,000
                                 Serranidae--groupers...         128,400
                                 All other CREMUS                485,000
                                  combined.
------------------------------------------------------------------------

Accountability Measures

    Each year, NMFS and local resource management agencies in American 
Samoa, Guam, the CNMI, and Hawaii collect information about MUS catches 
and apply them toward the appropriate ACLs. Pursuant to 50 CFR 665.4, 
when the available information indicates that a fishery is projected to 
reach an ACL for a stock or stock complex, NMFS must notify permit 
holders that fishing for that stock or stock complex will be restricted 
in Federal waters on a specified date. The restriction serves as the AM 
to prevent an ACL from being exceeded, and may include closing the 
fishery, closing specific areas, changing to bag limits, or restricting 
effort.
    However, local resource management agencies do not have the 
resources to process catch data in near-real time, so fisheries 
statistics are generally not available to NMFS until at least six 
months after agencies collect and analyze the data. Additionally, 
Federal logbook information and other reporting from fisheries in 
Federal waters is not sufficient to monitor and track catches for the 
evaluation of fishery performance against the proposed ACL 
specifications. This is because most fishing for bottomfish, 
crustacean, precious coral, and coral reef ecosystem MUS occurs in 
state waters, generally 0-3 nm from shore. For these reasons, NMFS 
proposes to continue to specify the Council's recommended AM, which is 
to apply a three-year average catch to evaluate fishery performance 
against the proposed ACLs. Specifically, NMFS and the Council would use 
the average catch of fishing years 2014, 2015, and 2016 to evaluate 
fishery performance against the 2016 ACL for a particular fishery. At 
the end of each fishing year, the Council would review catches relative 
to each ACL. If NMFS and the Council determine the three-year average 
catch for any fishery exceeds the specified ACL, NMFS would reduce the 
ACL in the subsequent year for that fishery by the amount of the 
overage.
    NMFS will consider public comments on the proposed ACLs and AMs and 
will announce the final specifications in the Federal Register. NMFS 
must receive any comments by the date provided in the DATES heading, 
not postmarked or otherwise transmitted by that date. Regardless of the 
final ACL specifications and AMs, all other management measures will 
continue to apply in the fisheries.

Classification

    Pursuant to section 304(b)(1)(A) of the Magnuson-Stevens Act, the 
NMFS Assistant Administrator for Fisheries has determined that these 
proposed specifications are consistent with the applicable FEPs, other 
provisions of the Magnuson-Stevens Act, and other applicable laws, 
subject to further consideration after public comment.

Certification of Finding of No Significant Impact on Substantial Number 
of Small Entities

    The Chief Counsel for Regulation of the Department of Commerce 
certified to the Chief Counsel for Advocacy of the Small Business 
Administration that these proposed specifications, if adopted, would 
not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small 
entities. A description of the proposed action, why it is being 
considered, and the legal basis for it are contained in the preamble to 
these proposed specifications.
    The proposed action would specify annual catch limits (ACLs) and 
accountability measures (AMs) for Pacific Island bottomfish, 
crustacean, precious coral, and coral reef ecosystem fishery management 
unit species (MUS) for 2016. Except for Hawaii kona crab, the 2016 ACLs 
and AMs for all crustaceans, spiny lobster, Hawaii non-Deep 7 
bottomfish, and precious corals MUS are identical to those NMFS 
specified for the 2015 fishing year (80 FR 52415, August 31, 2015). The 
proposed ACL for bottomfish MUS in American Samoa is 106,000 lb, which 
is 5,000 lb higher than the 2015 ACL. The proposed ACL for Guam 
bottomfish MUS is 66,000 lb, which is 800 lb lower than the 2015 ACL. 
The proposed ACL for CNMI bottomfish MUS would remain the same as the 
2015 ACL of 228,000 lb.

[[Page 5521]]

    The proposed ACLs and AMs for coral reef ecosystem MUS are 
identical to those implemented in 2015 (80 FR 52415, August 31, 2015), 
with three exceptions. For Guam jacks, Hawaii crabs and Hawaii octopus, 
NMFS determined that the average 2013-2015 catch for each of these 
three stock complexes exceeded their respective 2015 ACLs. 
Specifically, average 2013-2015 catch for Guam jacks was 37,399 lb and 
exceeded the 2015 ACL of 29,300 lb by 8,099 lb. For Hawaii crabs, 
average 2013-2015 catch was 40,363 lb and exceeded the 2015 ACL of 
33,500 lb by 6,863 lb. For Hawaii octopus, average 2013-2015 catch was 
40,237 lb and exceeded the 2015 ACL of 35,700 by 4,537 lb. In 
accordance with the 2015 AMs (80 FR 52415, August 31, 2015), and in 
consideration of the best available scientific information, NMFS 
proposes to reduce the 2016 ACLs from the 2015 ACL by the amount of the 
2015 overages for each of the three stocks. As a result, the proposed 
ACL for Guam jacks is 21,201 lb, 26,637 lb for Hawaii crabs and 31,163 
lb for Hawaii mollusks.
    The vessels impacted by this action are federally permitted to fish 
under the FEPs for American Samoa, the Marianas Archipelago (Guam and 
the CNMI), and Hawaii. The numbers of vessels permitted under these 
Fishery Ecosystem Plans affected by this action are as follows: 
American Samoa (0), Marianas Archipelago (19), and Hawaii (8). For 
Regulatory Flexibility Act purposes only, NMFS has established a small 
business size standard for businesses, including their affiliates, 
whose primary industry is commercial fishing (see 50 CFR 200.2). A 
business primarily engaged in commercial fishing (NAICS code 11411) is 
classified as a small business if it is independently owned and 
operated, is not dominant in its field of operation (including its 
affiliates), and has combined annual receipts not in excess of $11 
million for all its affiliated operations worldwide. Based on available 
information, NMFS has determined that all impacted entities are small 
entities under the SBA definition of a small entity, i.e., they are 
engaged in the business of fish harvesting, are independently owned or 
operated, are not dominant in their field of operation, and have annual 
gross receipts not in excess of $11 million. Therefore, there would be 
no disproportionate economic impacts between large and small entities. 
Furthermore, there would be no disproportionate economic impacts among 
the universe of vessels based on gear, home port, or vessel length.
    Even though this proposed action would apply to a substantial 
number of vessels, the implementation of this action should not result 
in significant adverse economic impact to individual vessels. The 
Council and NMFS are not considering in-season closures in any of the 
fisheries to which these ACLs apply because fishery management agencies 
are not able to track catch relative to the ACLs during the fishing 
year. As a result, fishermen would be able to fish throughout the 
entire year. In addition, the ACLs, as proposed, would not change the 
gear types, areas fished, effort, or participation of the fishery 
during the 2016 fishing year. A post-season review of the catch data is 
required to determine whether any fishery exceeded its ACL by comparing 
the ACL to the most recent three-year average catch for which data is 
available. If an ACL is exceeded, the Council and NMFS would take 
action in future fishing years to correct the operational issue that 
caused the ACL overage. NMFS and the Council would evaluate the 
environmental, social, and economic impacts of future actions, such as 
changes to future ACLs or AMs, after the required data are available. 
Specifically, if NMFS and the Council determine that the three-year 
average catch for a fishery exceeds the specified ACL, NMFS would 
reduce the ACL in the subsequent year for that fishery by the amount of 
the overage.
    The proposed action does not duplicate, overlap, or conflict with 
other Federal rules, and is not expected to have significant impact on 
small entities (as discussed above), organizations, or government 
jurisdictions. The proposed action also will not place a substantial 
number of small entities, or any segment of small entities, at a 
significant competitive disadvantage to large entities. As such, an 
initial regulatory flexibility analysis is not required and none has 
been prepared.
    This action has been determined to be exempt from review under E.O. 
12866.

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

    Dated: January 11, 2017.
Samuel D. Rauch III,
Deputy Assistant Administrator for Regulatory Programs, National Marine 
Fisheries Service.
[FR Doc. 2017-00901 Filed 1-17-17; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 3510-22-P