Fisheries of the Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico, and South Atlantic; 2017 Commercial Accountability Measure and Closure for Coastal Migratory Pelagic Resources of the Gulf of Mexico and South Atlantic, 11825 [2017-03783]

Download as PDF Federal Register / Vol. 82, No. 37 / Monday, February 27, 2017 / Rules and Regulations Federal Communications Commission. Marlene H. Dortch, Secretary, Office of the Secretary. [FR Doc. 2017–03752 Filed 2–24–17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6712–01–P DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration 50 CFR Part 622 [Docket No. 001005281–0369–02] RIN 0648–XF218 Fisheries of the Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico, and South Atlantic; 2017 Commercial Accountability Measure and Closure for Coastal Migratory Pelagic Resources of the Gulf of Mexico and South Atlantic National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Commerce. ACTION: Temporary rule; closure. AGENCY: NMFS implements an accountability measure (AM) to close the hook-and-line component of the commercial sector for king mackerel in the Florida west coast southern subzone. This closure is necessary to protect the Gulf of Mexico (Gulf) king mackerel resource. DATES: This rule is effective 12:01 a.m., local time, February 25, 2017, through June 30, 2017. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Kelli O’Donnell, NMFS Southeast Regional Office, telephone: 727–824– 5305, email: kelli.odonnell@noaa.gov. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The fishery for coastal migratory pelagic fish includes king mackerel, Spanish mackerel, and cobia, and is managed under the Fishery Management Plan for the Coastal Migratory Pelagic Resources of the Gulf of Mexico and Atlantic Region (FMP). The FMP was prepared by the Gulf of Mexico and South Atlantic Fishery Management Councils (Councils) and is implemented by NMFS under the authority of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (Magnuson-Stevens Act) by regulations at 50 CFR part 622. The Gulf migratory group king mackerel is divided into western and eastern zones. The Gulf’s eastern zone for king mackerel is further divided into the Florida west coast northern and southern subzones which have separate commercial quotas. The commercial sradovich on DSK3GMQ082PROD with RULES SUMMARY: VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:46 Feb 24, 2017 Jkt 241001 quota for the hook-and-line component of the commercial sector in the Florida west coast southern subzone is 551,448 lb (250,133 kg) (50 CFR 622.384(b)(1)(i)(B)(1)). From November 1 through March 31, the southern subzone encompasses an area of the exclusive economic zone (EEZ) south of a line extending due west from the boundary of Lee and Collier Counties, Florida, on the Florida west coast, and south of a line extending due east from the Monroe and Miami-Dade County, Florida, boundary on the Florida east coast, which includes the EEZ off Collier and Monroe Counties, Florida. From April 1 through October 31, the southern subzone is reduced to the EEZ off Collier County, and the EEZ off Monroe County becomes part of the Atlantic migratory group area. Under 50 CFR 622.8(b) and 622.388(a)(1), NMFS is required to close any component of the king mackerel commercial sector when its quota has been reached, or is projected to be reached, by filing a notification at the Office of the Federal Register. NMFS has determined the commercial quota for the hook-and-line component of the commercial sector for Gulf migratory group king mackerel in the Florida west coast southern subzone will be reached by February 25, 2017. Accordingly, the hook-and-line component of the commercial sector for Gulf migratory group king mackerel in the Florida west coast southern subzone is closed effective 12:01 a.m., local time, February 25, 2017, through the end of the fishing year on June 30, 2017. On February 10, 2017, NMFS closed the Florida west coast southern subzone to commercial harvest of king mackerel caught by run around gillnet gear, because the commercial quota for that sector had been reached (82 FR 10553, February 14, 2017). Therefore, during these closures, no person aboard a vessel for which a valid commercial permit for king mackerel has been issued may harvest or possess Gulf migratory group king mackerel in or from Federal waters of the closed subzone, as specified in 50 CFR 622.384(e). However, there is one exception. A person aboard a vessel that has a valid Federal charter vessel/ headboat permit and also has a commercial king mackerel permit for coastal migratory pelagic fish may continue to retain king mackerel in or from the closed subzone under the 2fish daily recreational bag limit, provided the vessel is operating as a charter vessel or headboat. Charter vessels or headboats that have a valid commercial king mackerel permit are considered to be operating as a charter PO 00000 Frm 00037 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 9990 11825 vessel or headboat when they carry a passenger who pays a fee or when more than three persons are aboard, including operator and crew. Classification The Regional Administrator, NMFS Southeast Region, has determined this temporary rule is necessary for the conservation and management of Gulf migratory group king mackerel and is consistent with the Magnuson-Stevens Act and other applicable laws. This action is taken under 50 CFR 622.8(b) and 622.388(a)(1) and is exempt from review under Executive Order 12866. These measures are exempt from the procedures of the Regulatory Flexibility Act because the temporary rule is issued without opportunity for prior notice and comment. This action responds to the best scientific information available. The Assistant Administrator for NOAA Fisheries (AA), finds that the need to immediately implement this action constitutes good cause to waive the requirements to provide prior notice and opportunity for public comment pursuant to the authority set forth in 5 U.S.C. 553(b)(B), as such prior notice and opportunity for public comment on this temporary rule are unnecessary and contrary to the public interest. Such procedures are unnecessary because the regulations at 50 CFR 622.8(b) and 622.388(a)(1) have already been subject to notice and comment, and all that remains is to notify the public of the closure. Such procedures are contrary to the public interest, because there is a need to immediately implement this action to protect the king mackerel resource since the capacity of the fishing fleet allows for rapid harvest of the commercial quota. Prior notice and opportunity for public comment on this action would require time and would potentially result in a harvest well in excess of the established commercial quota. For the aforementioned reasons, the AA also finds good cause to waive the 30-day delay in effectiveness of the action under 5 U.S.C. 553(d)(3). Authority: 16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq. Dated: February 22, 2017. Karen H. Abrams, Acting Deputy Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine Fisheries Service. [FR Doc. 2017–03783 Filed 2–22–17; 4:15 pm] BILLING CODE 3510–22–P E:\FR\FM\27FER1.SGM 27FER1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 82, Number 37 (Monday, February 27, 2017)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Page 11825]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2017-03783]


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DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

50 CFR Part 622

[Docket No. 001005281-0369-02]
RIN 0648-XF218


Fisheries of the Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico, and South Atlantic; 
2017 Commercial Accountability Measure and Closure for Coastal 
Migratory Pelagic Resources of the Gulf of Mexico and South Atlantic

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

ACTION: Temporary rule; closure.

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SUMMARY: NMFS implements an accountability measure (AM) to close the 
hook-and-line component of the commercial sector for king mackerel in 
the Florida west coast southern subzone. This closure is necessary to 
protect the Gulf of Mexico (Gulf) king mackerel resource.

DATES: This rule is effective 12:01 a.m., local time, February 25, 
2017, through June 30, 2017.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Kelli O'Donnell, NMFS Southeast 
Regional Office, telephone: 727-824-5305, email: 
kelli.odonnell@noaa.gov.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The fishery for coastal migratory pelagic 
fish includes king mackerel, Spanish mackerel, and cobia, and is 
managed under the Fishery Management Plan for the Coastal Migratory 
Pelagic Resources of the Gulf of Mexico and Atlantic Region (FMP). The 
FMP was prepared by the Gulf of Mexico and South Atlantic Fishery 
Management Councils (Councils) and is implemented by NMFS under the 
authority of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management 
Act (Magnuson-Stevens Act) by regulations at 50 CFR part 622.
    The Gulf migratory group king mackerel is divided into western and 
eastern zones. The Gulf's eastern zone for king mackerel is further 
divided into the Florida west coast northern and southern subzones 
which have separate commercial quotas. The commercial quota for the 
hook-and-line component of the commercial sector in the Florida west 
coast southern subzone is 551,448 lb (250,133 kg) (50 CFR 
622.384(b)(1)(i)(B)(1)).
    From November 1 through March 31, the southern subzone encompasses 
an area of the exclusive economic zone (EEZ) south of a line extending 
due west from the boundary of Lee and Collier Counties, Florida, on the 
Florida west coast, and south of a line extending due east from the 
Monroe and Miami-Dade County, Florida, boundary on the Florida east 
coast, which includes the EEZ off Collier and Monroe Counties, Florida. 
From April 1 through October 31, the southern subzone is reduced to the 
EEZ off Collier County, and the EEZ off Monroe County becomes part of 
the Atlantic migratory group area.
    Under 50 CFR 622.8(b) and 622.388(a)(1), NMFS is required to close 
any component of the king mackerel commercial sector when its quota has 
been reached, or is projected to be reached, by filing a notification 
at the Office of the Federal Register. NMFS has determined the 
commercial quota for the hook-and-line component of the commercial 
sector for Gulf migratory group king mackerel in the Florida west coast 
southern subzone will be reached by February 25, 2017. Accordingly, the 
hook-and-line component of the commercial sector for Gulf migratory 
group king mackerel in the Florida west coast southern subzone is 
closed effective 12:01 a.m., local time, February 25, 2017, through the 
end of the fishing year on June 30, 2017.
    On February 10, 2017, NMFS closed the Florida west coast southern 
subzone to commercial harvest of king mackerel caught by run around 
gillnet gear, because the commercial quota for that sector had been 
reached (82 FR 10553, February 14, 2017). Therefore, during these 
closures, no person aboard a vessel for which a valid commercial permit 
for king mackerel has been issued may harvest or possess Gulf migratory 
group king mackerel in or from Federal waters of the closed subzone, as 
specified in 50 CFR 622.384(e). However, there is one exception. A 
person aboard a vessel that has a valid Federal charter vessel/headboat 
permit and also has a commercial king mackerel permit for coastal 
migratory pelagic fish may continue to retain king mackerel in or from 
the closed subzone under the 2-fish daily recreational bag limit, 
provided the vessel is operating as a charter vessel or headboat. 
Charter vessels or headboats that have a valid commercial king mackerel 
permit are considered to be operating as a charter vessel or headboat 
when they carry a passenger who pays a fee or when more than three 
persons are aboard, including operator and crew.

Classification

    The Regional Administrator, NMFS Southeast Region, has determined 
this temporary rule is necessary for the conservation and management of 
Gulf migratory group king mackerel and is consistent with the Magnuson-
Stevens Act and other applicable laws.
    This action is taken under 50 CFR 622.8(b) and 622.388(a)(1) and is 
exempt from review under Executive Order 12866.
    These measures are exempt from the procedures of the Regulatory 
Flexibility Act because the temporary rule is issued without 
opportunity for prior notice and comment.
    This action responds to the best scientific information available. 
The Assistant Administrator for NOAA Fisheries (AA), finds that the 
need to immediately implement this action constitutes good cause to 
waive the requirements to provide prior notice and opportunity for 
public comment pursuant to the authority set forth in 5 U.S.C. 
553(b)(B), as such prior notice and opportunity for public comment on 
this temporary rule are unnecessary and contrary to the public 
interest. Such procedures are unnecessary because the regulations at 50 
CFR 622.8(b) and 622.388(a)(1) have already been subject to notice and 
comment, and all that remains is to notify the public of the closure. 
Such procedures are contrary to the public interest, because there is a 
need to immediately implement this action to protect the king mackerel 
resource since the capacity of the fishing fleet allows for rapid 
harvest of the commercial quota. Prior notice and opportunity for 
public comment on this action would require time and would potentially 
result in a harvest well in excess of the established commercial quota.
    For the aforementioned reasons, the AA also finds good cause to 
waive the 30-day delay in effectiveness of the action under 5 U.S.C. 
553(d)(3).

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

    Dated: February 22, 2017.
Karen H. Abrams,
Acting Deputy Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National 
Marine Fisheries Service.
[FR Doc. 2017-03783 Filed 2-22-17; 4:15 pm]
 BILLING CODE 3510-22-P