Fisheries of the Northeastern United States; Atlantic Deep-Sea Red Crab Fishery; 2017-2019 Atlantic Deep-Sea Red Crab Specifications, 11322-11323 [2017-03441]

Download as PDF 11322 Federal Register / Vol. 82, No. 34 / Wednesday, February 22, 2017 / Rules and Regulations SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Regulations governing the summer flounder fishery are found in 50 CFR 648.100 through 648.110. These regulations require annual specification of a commercial quota that is apportioned among the coastal states from Maine through North Carolina. The process to set the annual commercial quota and the percent allocated to each state is described in § 648.102, and the initial 2017 allocations were published on December 22, 2016 (81 FR 93842). The final rule implementing Amendment 5 to the Summer Flounder Fishery Management Plan, as published in the Federal Register on December 17, 1993 (58 FR 65936), provided a mechanism for transferring summer flounder commercial quota from one state to another. Two or more states, under mutual agreement and with the concurrence of the NMFS Greater Atlantic Regional Administrator, can transfer or combine summer flounder commercial quota under § 648.102(c)(2). The Regional Administrator is required to consider the criteria in § 648.102(c)(2)(i)(A) through (C) in the evaluation of requests for quota transfers or combinations. North Carolina is transferring 11,030 lb (5,003 kg) of summer flounder commercial quota to Virginia. This transfer was requested by North Carolina to repay landings by a North Carolina-permitted vessel that landed in Virginia under a safe harbor agreement. The revised summer flounder quotas for calendar year 2017 are now: North Carolina, 1,542,203 lb (699,532 kg); and Virginia, 1,217,402 lb (552,204 kg); based on the initial quotas published in the 2017 Summer Flounder, Scup, and Black Sea Bass Specifications. Classification This action is taken under 50 CFR part 648 and is exempt from review under Executive Order 12866. Authority: 16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq. Dated: February 15, 2017. Karen H. Abrams, Acting Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine Fisheries Service. sradovich on DSK3GMQ082PROD with RULES [FR Doc. 2017–03379 Filed 2–21–17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510–22–P VerDate Sep<11>2014 18:04 Feb 21, 2017 Jkt 241001 DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration 50 CFR Part 648 [Docket No. 160920861–7168–02] RIN 0648–XE900 Fisheries of the Northeastern United States; Atlantic Deep-Sea Red Crab Fishery; 2017–2019 Atlantic Deep-Sea Red Crab Specifications National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Commerce. ACTION: Final rule. AGENCY: We are approving specifications for the 2017 Atlantic deep-sea red crab fishery, including an annual catch limit and total allowable landings limit. We are also projecting quotas for 2018–2019. This action is necessary to establish allowable red crab harvest levels that will prevent overfishing and allow harvesting of optimum yield. This action is intended to establish the allowable 2017 harvest levels, consistent with the Atlantic Deep-Sea Red Crab Fishery Management Plan. DATES: The final specifications for the 2017 Atlantic deep-sea red crab fishery are effective March 24, 2017, through February 28, 2018. ADDRESSES: Copies of the specifications document, including the Regulatory Flexibility Act Analysis and other supporting documents for the specifications, are available from Thomas A. Nies, Executive Director, New England Fishery Management Council, 50 Water Street, Mill 2, Newburyport, MA 01950. The specifications document is also accessible via the Internet at: https:// www.greateratlantic.fisheries.noaa.gov/. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Allison Murphy, Fishery Policy Analyst, (978) 281–9122. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: SUMMARY: Background The Atlantic deep-sea red crab fishery is managed by the New England Fishery Management Council. The Atlantic Deep-Sea Red Crab Fishery Management Plan (FMP) includes a specification process that requires the Council to recommend, on a triennial basis, an acceptable biological catch (ABC), an annual catch limit (ACL), and total allowable landings (TAL). The Council’s Scientific and Statistical Committee (SSC) provides a recommendation to the PO 00000 Frm 00024 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 Council for these catch limits. The Council makes a recommendation to NMFS that cannot exceed the recommendation of its SSC. The Council’s recommendations must include supporting documentation concerning the environmental, economic, and social impacts of the recommendations. We are responsible for reviewing these recommendations to ensure that they achieve the FMP objectives and are consistent with all applicable laws, and may modify them if they do not. Following this review, we then publish proposed specifications in the Federal Register (December 1, 2016; 81 FR 86687). After considering public comment, we publish final specifications in the Federal Register. The FMP was implemented in 2002 and was originally managed under a target total allowable catch (TAC) and days-at-sea (DAS) system that allocated DAS equally across the small fleet of limited access permitted vessels. Amendment 3 to the FMP removed the trip limit restriction, and replaced the target TAC and DAS allocation with a catch limit structure consistent with the ACL and accountability measure requirements of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (Magnuson-Stevens Act). Amendment 3 (76 FR 60379; September 29, 2011) established status determination criteria, including an overfishing definition, and set the 2011– 2013 red crab specifications with an ABC equal to the long-term average landings of the directed red crab fishery (1,775 mt). While the overfishing limit (OFL) could not be determined, the SSC concluded that ‘‘an interim ABC based on long-term average landings is safely below an overfishing threshold and adequately accounts for scientific uncertainty.’’ These specifications were continued for fishing years 2014–2016 (79 FR 24356; April 30, 2014) using the same rationale. Approved Specifications The biological and management reference points currently in the FMP are used to determine whether overfishing is occurring or if the stock is overfished. However, these reference points for red crab do not currently meet Magnuson-Stevens Act National Standard 1 criteria. As a result, there is insufficient information on the species to establish the maximum sustainable yield (MSY), optimum yield (OY), or OFL. ABC is defined in terms of landings instead of total catch because there is insufficient information to estimate dead discards of red crab. Recent landings, landings per unit of effort, port samples, discard E:\FR\FM\22FER1.SGM 22FER1 Federal Register / Vol. 82, No. 34 / Wednesday, February 22, 2017 / Rules and Regulations information, and economic data suggest there has been no change in the size of the red crab stock since Amendment 3 was implemented in 2011. Table 1 shows status quo specifications for the 2017 fishing year, as well as projected quotas for 2018–2019. By providing projected quotas for 2018–2019, NMFS hopes to assist fishery participants in planning ahead. Again, these specifications are not expected to result in overfishing and adequately account for scientific uncertainty. For more information on the Council’s decision making process, please see the proposed rule. TABLE 1—2017 AND PROJECTED 2018–2019 RED CRAB SPECIFICATIONS Mt Million lb MSY .................. OFL ................... OY ..................... undetermined undetermined undetermined ABC .................. ACL ................... TAL ................... 1,775 1,775 1,775 Comments and Responses The public comment period for the proposed rule ended on January 3, 2017. No comments were received on the 3.91 proposed rule. 3.91 3.91 sradovich on DSK3GMQ082PROD with RULES At the end of each fishing year, we evaluate catch information and determine if the quota has been exceeded. If a quota is exceeded, the regulations at 50 CFR 648.262(b) require VerDate Sep<11>2014 18:04 Feb 21, 2017 Jkt 241001 a pound-for-pound reduction in a subsequent fishing year, through notification consistent with the Administrative Procedure Act. We will publish a notice in the Federal Register of any revisions to these approved specifications if an overage occurs. We expect, based on the performance of the red crab fishery over time that such adjustments would be unlikely. However, we will provide notice of the 2018 and 2019 quotas prior to the start of each respective fishing year. The 2017 fishing year starts on March 1, 2017. The FMP allows for the previous year’s specifications to remain in place until replaced by a subsequent specifications action. As a result, the 2016 specifications, also 1,775 mt, remain in effect until replaced by the specifications included in this final rule. Changes From the Proposed Rule There are no changes from the proposed rule. Classification Pursuant to section 304(b)(1)(A) of the Magnuson-Stevens Act, the NMFS PO 00000 Frm 00025 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 9990 11323 Assistant Administrator has determined that this final rule is consistent with the Atlantic Deep-Sea Red Crab FMP, other provisions of the Magnuson-Stevens Act, and other applicable law. This final rule is exempt from review under Executive Order 12866. The Chief Counsel for Regulation, Department of Commerce, certified to the Chief Counsel for Advocacy of the Small Business Administration (SBA) during the proposed rule stage that this action would not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. The factual basis for the certification was published in the proposed rule and is not repeated here. No comments were received regarding this certification. As a result, a regulatory flexibility analysis was not required and none was prepared. This action does not contain a collection of information requirement for purposes of the Paperwork Reduction Act. Authority: 16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq. Dated: February 16, 2017. Alan D. Risenhoover, Acting Deputy Assistant Administrator for Regulatory Programs, National Marine Fisheries Service. [FR Doc. 2017–03441 Filed 2–21–17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510–22–P E:\FR\FM\22FER1.SGM 22FER1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 82, Number 34 (Wednesday, February 22, 2017)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 11322-11323]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2017-03441]


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

DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

50 CFR Part 648

[Docket No. 160920861-7168-02]
RIN 0648-XE900


Fisheries of the Northeastern United States; Atlantic Deep-Sea 
Red Crab Fishery; 2017-2019 Atlantic Deep-Sea Red Crab Specifications

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

ACTION: Final rule.

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

SUMMARY: We are approving specifications for the 2017 Atlantic deep-sea 
red crab fishery, including an annual catch limit and total allowable 
landings limit. We are also projecting quotas for 2018-2019. This 
action is necessary to establish allowable red crab harvest levels that 
will prevent overfishing and allow harvesting of optimum yield. This 
action is intended to establish the allowable 2017 harvest levels, 
consistent with the Atlantic Deep-Sea Red Crab Fishery Management Plan.

DATES: The final specifications for the 2017 Atlantic deep-sea red crab 
fishery are effective March 24, 2017, through February 28, 2018.

ADDRESSES: Copies of the specifications document, including the 
Regulatory Flexibility Act Analysis and other supporting documents for 
the specifications, are available from Thomas A. Nies, Executive 
Director, New England Fishery Management Council, 50 Water Street, Mill 
2, Newburyport, MA 01950. The specifications document is also 
accessible via the Internet at: https://www.greateratlantic.fisheries.noaa.gov/.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Allison Murphy, Fishery Policy 
Analyst, (978) 281-9122.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: 

Background

    The Atlantic deep-sea red crab fishery is managed by the New 
England Fishery Management Council. The Atlantic Deep-Sea Red Crab 
Fishery Management Plan (FMP) includes a specification process that 
requires the Council to recommend, on a triennial basis, an acceptable 
biological catch (ABC), an annual catch limit (ACL), and total 
allowable landings (TAL). The Council's Scientific and Statistical 
Committee (SSC) provides a recommendation to the Council for these 
catch limits. The Council makes a recommendation to NMFS that cannot 
exceed the recommendation of its SSC.
    The Council's recommendations must include supporting documentation 
concerning the environmental, economic, and social impacts of the 
recommendations. We are responsible for reviewing these recommendations 
to ensure that they achieve the FMP objectives and are consistent with 
all applicable laws, and may modify them if they do not. Following this 
review, we then publish proposed specifications in the Federal Register 
(December 1, 2016; 81 FR 86687). After considering public comment, we 
publish final specifications in the Federal Register.
    The FMP was implemented in 2002 and was originally managed under a 
target total allowable catch (TAC) and days-at-sea (DAS) system that 
allocated DAS equally across the small fleet of limited access 
permitted vessels. Amendment 3 to the FMP removed the trip limit 
restriction, and replaced the target TAC and DAS allocation with a 
catch limit structure consistent with the ACL and accountability 
measure requirements of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and 
Management Act (Magnuson-Stevens Act). Amendment 3 (76 FR 60379; 
September 29, 2011) established status determination criteria, 
including an overfishing definition, and set the 2011-2013 red crab 
specifications with an ABC equal to the long-term average landings of 
the directed red crab fishery (1,775 mt). While the overfishing limit 
(OFL) could not be determined, the SSC concluded that ``an interim ABC 
based on long-term average landings is safely below an overfishing 
threshold and adequately accounts for scientific uncertainty.'' These 
specifications were continued for fishing years 2014-2016 (79 FR 24356; 
April 30, 2014) using the same rationale.

Approved Specifications

    The biological and management reference points currently in the FMP 
are used to determine whether overfishing is occurring or if the stock 
is overfished. However, these reference points for red crab do not 
currently meet Magnuson-Stevens Act National Standard 1 criteria. As a 
result, there is insufficient information on the species to establish 
the maximum sustainable yield (MSY), optimum yield (OY), or OFL. ABC is 
defined in terms of landings instead of total catch because there is 
insufficient information to estimate dead discards of red crab.
    Recent landings, landings per unit of effort, port samples, discard

[[Page 11323]]

information, and economic data suggest there has been no change in the 
size of the red crab stock since Amendment 3 was implemented in 2011. 
Table 1 shows status quo specifications for the 2017 fishing year, as 
well as projected quotas for 2018-2019. By providing projected quotas 
for 2018-2019, NMFS hopes to assist fishery participants in planning 
ahead. Again, these specifications are not expected to result in 
overfishing and adequately account for scientific uncertainty. For more 
information on the Council's decision making process, please see the 
proposed rule.

      Table 1--2017 and Projected 2018-2019 Red Crab Specifications
------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                     Mt       Million lb
------------------------------------------------------------------------
MSY...........................................        undetermined
OFL...........................................        undetermined
OY............................................        undetermined
                                               -------------------------
ABC...........................................        1,775         3.91
ACL...........................................        1,775         3.91
TAL...........................................        1,775         3.91
------------------------------------------------------------------------

    At the end of each fishing year, we evaluate catch information and 
determine if the quota has been exceeded. If a quota is exceeded, the 
regulations at 50 CFR 648.262(b) require a pound-for-pound reduction in 
a subsequent fishing year, through notification consistent with the 
Administrative Procedure Act. We will publish a notice in the Federal 
Register of any revisions to these approved specifications if an 
overage occurs. We expect, based on the performance of the red crab 
fishery over time that such adjustments would be unlikely. However, we 
will provide notice of the 2018 and 2019 quotas prior to the start of 
each respective fishing year.
    The 2017 fishing year starts on March 1, 2017. The FMP allows for 
the previous year's specifications to remain in place until replaced by 
a subsequent specifications action. As a result, the 2016 
specifications, also 1,775 mt, remain in effect until replaced by the 
specifications included in this final rule.

Comments and Responses

    The public comment period for the proposed rule ended on January 3, 
2017. No comments were received on the proposed rule.

Changes From the Proposed Rule

    There are no changes from the proposed rule.

Classification

    Pursuant to section 304(b)(1)(A) of the Magnuson-Stevens Act, the 
NMFS Assistant Administrator has determined that this final rule is 
consistent with the Atlantic Deep-Sea Red Crab FMP, other provisions of 
the Magnuson-Stevens Act, and other applicable law.
    This final rule is exempt from review under Executive Order 12866.
    The Chief Counsel for Regulation, Department of Commerce, certified 
to the Chief Counsel for Advocacy of the Small Business Administration 
(SBA) during the proposed rule stage that this action would not have a 
significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. 
The factual basis for the certification was published in the proposed 
rule and is not repeated here. No comments were received regarding this 
certification. As a result, a regulatory flexibility analysis was not 
required and none was prepared.
    This action does not contain a collection of information 
requirement for purposes of the Paperwork Reduction Act.

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

    Dated: February 16, 2017.
Alan D. Risenhoover,
Acting Deputy Assistant Administrator for Regulatory Programs, National 
Marine Fisheries Service.
[FR Doc. 2017-03441 Filed 2-21-17; 8:45 am]
 BILLING CODE 3510-22-P