Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act Provisions; Fisheries of the Northeastern United States; Mid-Atlantic Unmanaged Forage Fish Omnibus Amendment, 15311-15313 [2017-06114]

Download as PDF sradovich on DSK3GMQ082PROD with PROPOSALS Federal Register / Vol. 82, No. 58 / Tuesday, March 28, 2017 / Proposed Rules hearing, please contact Ms. Long at the above number. If you have questions concerning the January 19, 2017, proposed action, please contact Ms. Gobeail McKinley, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Office of Air Quality Planning and Standards (OAQPS), Air Quality Planning Division (C539–01), Research Triangle Park, NC 27711, telephone (919) 541–5246, email address mckinley.gobeail@epa.gov. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The proposal for which the EPA is holding the public hearing was published in the Federal Register on January 19, 2017 (82 FR 6509), and is available at: http:// www.epa.gov/ozone-pollution/2008ozone-national-ambient-air-qualitystandards-naaqs-section-176a-petitions and also in Docket ID No. EPA–HQ– OAR–2016–0596. The public hearing will provide interested parties the opportunity to present data, views, or arguments concerning the proposal. The EPA may ask clarifying questions during the oral presentations, but will not respond to presentations at that time. Written statements and supporting information that are submitted during the comment period will be considered with the same weight as any oral comments and supporting information presented at the public hearing. Written comments must be postmarked by the last day of the comment period. The public hearing will convene at 9:00 a.m. and end at 6:00 p.m. Eastern Time (ET) or at least 2 hours after the last registered speaker has spoken. The EPA will make every effort to accommodate all individuals interested in providing oral testimony. A lunch break is scheduled from 12:00 p.m. until 1:00 p.m. Please note that this hearing will be held at a U.S. government facility. Individuals planning to attend the hearing should be prepared to show valid picture identification to the security staff in order to gain access to the meeting room. The REAL ID Act, passed by Congress in 2005, established new requirements for entering federal facilities. These requirements took effect on July 21, 2014. If your driver’s license is issued by Kentucky, Maine, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Carolina or the state of Washington, you must present an additional form of identification to enter the federal building where the public hearing will be held. Acceptable alternative forms of identification include: Federal employee badges, passports, enhanced driver’s licenses and military identification cards. For additional information for the status of your state VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:14 Mar 27, 2017 Jkt 241001 regarding REAL ID, go to http:// www.dhs.gov/real-id-enforcement-brief. In addition, you will need to obtain a property pass for any personal belongings you bring with you. Upon leaving the building, you will be required to return this property pass to the security desk. No large signs will be allowed in the building, cameras may only be used outside of the building, and demonstrations will not be allowed on federal property for security reasons. If you would like to present oral testimony at the hearing, please notify Ms. Pamela Long, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Office of Air Quality Planning and Standards (OAQPS), Air Quality Planning Division (C504–01), Research Triangle Park, NC 27711, telephone (919) 541–0641, fax number (919) 541–5509, email address long.pam@epa.gov, no later than 4:00 p.m. ET on April 11, 2017. Ms. Long will arrange a general time slot for you to speak. The EPA will make every effort to follow the schedule as closely as possible on the day of the hearing. Oral testimony will be limited to 5 minutes for each commenter. The EPA encourages commenters to provide the EPA with a copy of their oral testimony electronically (via email) or in hard copy form. The EPA will not provide audiovisual equipment for presentations unless we receive special requests in advance. Commenters should notify Ms. Long if they will need specific equipment. Commenters should also notify Ms. Long if they need specific translation services for non-English speaking commenters. Prior to the hearing, the hearing schedule, including the list of speakers, will be posted on the EPA’s Web site at: http://www.epa.gov/ozone-pollution/ 2008-ozone-national-ambient-airquality-standards-naaqs-section-176apetitions. Verbatim transcripts of the hearing and written statements will be included in the docket for the action. How can I get copies of this document and other related information? The EPA has established a docket for the proposed action ‘‘Response to December 9, 2013, Clean Air Act Section 176A Petition from Connecticut, Delaware, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island and Vermont’’ under Docket ID No. EPA– HQ–OAR–2016–0596 (available at: http://www.regulations.gov). The EPA has made available information related to the proposed action on the EPA’s Web site at: http://www.epa.gov/ozonepollution/2008-ozone-national-ambientair-quality-standards-naaqs-section176a-petitions. PO 00000 Frm 00009 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 15311 Dated: March 16, 2017. Stephen Page, Director, Office of Air Quality Planning and Standards. [FR Doc. 2017–06120 Filed 3–27–17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560–50–P DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration 50 CFR Part 648 RIN 0648–BG42 Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act Provisions; Fisheries of the Northeastern United States; MidAtlantic Unmanaged Forage Fish Omnibus Amendment National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Commerce. ACTION: Notice of availability of a fishery management plan amendment; request for comments. AGENCY: NMFS announces that the Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council has submitted its Unmanaged Forage Omnibus Amendment to the Secretary of Commerce for review and approval. We are requesting comments from the public on this amendment. This amendment would implement an annual landing limit, possession limits, and permitting and reporting requirements for certain previously unmanaged forage species and species groups within Mid-Atlantic Federal waters. The purpose of this action is to prevent the development of new, and the expansion of existing, commercial fisheries on certain forage species until the Council has adequate opportunity and information to evaluate the potential impacts of forage fish harvest on existing fisheries, fishing communities, and the marine ecosystem. SUMMARY: Comments must be received on or before May 30, 2017. ADDRESSES: You may submit comments on this document, identified by NOAA– NMFS–2017–0013, by any of the following methods: • Electronic Submission: Submit all electronic public comments via the Federal e-Rulemaking Portal. Go to www.regulations.gov/ #!docketDetail;D=NOAA-NMFS-20170013, click the ‘‘Comment Now!’’ icon, complete the required fields, and enter or attach your comments. DATES: E:\FR\FM\28MRP1.SGM 28MRP1 15312 Federal Register / Vol. 82, No. 58 / Tuesday, March 28, 2017 / Proposed Rules sradovich on DSK3GMQ082PROD with PROPOSALS • Mail: John K. Bullard, Regional Administrator, NMFS, Greater Atlantic Regional Fisheries Office, 55 Great Republic Drive, Gloucester, MA 01930. Mark the outside of the envelope, ‘‘Comments on Mid-Atlantic Forage NOA.’’ Instructions: Comments sent by any other method, to any other address or individual, or received after the end of the comment period, may not be considered by NMFS. All comments received are a part of the public record and will generally be posted for public viewing on www.regulations.gov without change. All personal identifying information (e.g., name, address, etc.), confidential business information, or otherwise sensitive information submitted voluntarily by the sender will be publicly accessible. NMFS will accept anonymous comments (enter ‘‘N/ A’’ in the required fields if you wish to remain anonymous). The Council prepared an environmental assessment (EA) for the Unmanaged Forage Omnibus Amendment that describes the proposed action and other alternatives considered and provides a thorough analysis of the impacts of the proposed measures and alternatives considered. Copies of the Unmanaged Forage Omnibus Amendment, including the EA, the Regulatory Impact Review, and the Regulatory Flexibility Act analysis, are available from: Christopher Moore, Executive Director, Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council, Suite 201, 800 State Street, Dover, DE 19901. The EA and associated analysis is accessible via the Internet at http:// www.greateratlantic.fisheries.noaa.gov/ or http://www.mafmc.org. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Douglas Christel, Fishery Policy Analyst, 978–281–9141; fax 978–281– 9135. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Background Mid-Atlantic Council stakeholders identified managing forage species as a key concern for future action during a 2011 strategic planning and visioning process. Forage species are generally considered small, mostly pelagic schooling species that serve as prey for larger species. In 2014, the Council’s Scientific and Statistical Committee (SSC) developed a white paper on forage species. The paper indicated that forage species facilitate the transfer of energy from the lowest levels of the food chain to higher levels, highlighting the importance of forage species in maintaining the productivity of marine ecosystems. The Council recognized VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:14 Mar 27, 2017 Jkt 241001 that although it already manages several forage species that are the target of directed commercial fisheries (Atlantic mackerel, longfin and Illex squid, and butterfish), there are other unmanaged species that serve as prey for species important to commercial and recreational fisheries managed within the Mid-Atlantic. However, the Council was concerned that insufficient information existed to assess the amount of unmanaged forage species currently being harvested and associated impacts to other marine resources. Due to the importance of forage species to the marine ecosystem and the health of important commercial and recreational fisheries, the Council sought to prevent the further expansion of commercial fishing effort on forage species. Therefore, the Council wanted to maintain existing commercial fisheries at recent levels until it could collect more detailed information to evaluate the potential impacts of forage fish harvest on existing fisheries, fishing communities, and the marine ecosystem. On December 8, 2014, the Council initiated an action to begin protecting previously unmanaged forage species in each fishery management plan (FMP) under its jurisdiction. The purpose of this action is to prevent the development of new, and the expansion of existing, commercial fisheries on certain forage species. Scoping meetings were held from Rhode Island through North Carolina in September and October 2015. These meetings sought public input on the type of action to undertake, which forage species to address, the geographic scope of the action, data needs, possible measures to prevent the expansion of commercial fisheries on forage species, and processes to evaluate the development of commercial fisheries in the future. After further developing proposed measures, the Council conducted public hearings in May and June 2016 to solicit additional input on the range of alternatives under consideration by the Council, with public comments accepted through June 17, 2016. At its August 2016 meeting, the Council adopted final measures under the Unmanaged Forage Omnibus Amendment. On November 23, 2016, the Council submitted the amendment and draft EA to NMFS for preliminary review. The Council submitted the final forage amendment on March 20, 2017. The Council reviewed the proposed regulations to implement these measures, as drafted by NMFS, and deemed them to be necessary and appropriate, as specified in section 303(c) of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery PO 00000 Frm 00010 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 Conservation and Management Act on March 10, 2017. This amendment would prevent the development of new, and the expansion of existing, commercial fisheries on certain Mid-Atlantic forage species until the Council can collect the information necessary to more fully evaluate the potential impacts of forage species harvests on existing fisheries, fishing communities, and the marine ecosystem. To do this, the Council would limit catch of certain forage species to recent levels and implement administrative measures necessary to more accurately record the catch of these species within Mid-Atlantic Federal waters. Specifically, this action proposes the following measures: • Designate 15 species and species groups as ecosystem component species of FMPs under the Council’s jurisdiction; • Specify a 1,700-lb (771-kg) combined possession limit for ecosystem component species within Mid-Atlantic Federal waters; • Set an annual catch limit of 2.86 million lb (1,297 mt) for Atlantic chub mackerel (Scomber colias); • Specify a 40,000-lb (18,144-kg) chub mackerel possession limit within Mid-Atlantic Federal waters (i.e., from New York through Cape Hatteras, NC, an area referred to as the ‘‘Mid-Atlantic Forage Species Management Unit’’) once the chub mackerel annual landing limit is reached; • Require that all vessels possessing ecosystem component species and chub mackerel in Mid-Atlantic Forage Species Management Unit be issued a Federal commercial fishing vessel permit from the Greater Atlantic Regional Fisheries Office and comply with existing reporting requirements; • Allow vessels that catch ecosystem component species and chub mackerel outside of the Mid-Atlantic Forage Species Management Unit to transit through the area to land these species at other ports; • Develop appropriate codes to record the catch of these species in vessel trip reports and dealer reports; • Establish a Council policy requiring an exempted fishery permit and sufficient Council review before further development of any fishery for ecosystem component species; and • Expand framework provisions in the all of the Council’s FMPs to allow future changes to annual landing limits and possession limits for Mid-Atlantic forage species. As proposed, the proposed chub mackerel measures are temporary, and would expire in 3 years. This would allow the Council to develop long-term E:\FR\FM\28MRP1.SGM 28MRP1 Federal Register / Vol. 82, No. 58 / Tuesday, March 28, 2017 / Proposed Rules sradovich on DSK3GMQ082PROD with PROPOSALS measures and the scientific information necessary to formally integrate this chub mackerel as a stock in the fishery under the Atlantic Mackerel, Squid, and Butterfish FMP. The Council initiated a separate action to develop these longterm measures at its February 2017 meeting for implementation by 2020, if approved. Public comments are being solicited on the Unmanaged Forage Omnibus Amendment and its incorporated documents through the end of the VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:14 Mar 27, 2017 Jkt 241001 comment period specified in the DATES section of this notice of availability (NOA). Following NMFS’s review of the amendment under the MagnusonStevens Act procedures, a rule proposing to implement measures outlined in this amendment may be published in the Federal Register for public comment. All comments received by the end of the comment period on the NOA, whether specifically directed to the NOA or the proposed rule, will be considered in the approval/ PO 00000 Frm 00011 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 9990 15313 disapproval decision. Comments received after the end of the comment period for the NOA will not be considered in the approval/disapproval decision of this action. Authority: 16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq. Dated: March 23, 2017. Karen H. Abrams, Acting Deputy Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine Fisheries Service. [FR Doc. 2017–06114 Filed 3–27–17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510–22–P E:\FR\FM\28MRP1.SGM 28MRP1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 82, Number 58 (Tuesday, March 28, 2017)]
[Proposed Rules]
[Pages 15311-15313]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2017-06114]


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DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

50 CFR Part 648

RIN 0648-BG42


Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act 
Provisions; Fisheries of the Northeastern United States; Mid-Atlantic 
Unmanaged Forage Fish Omnibus Amendment

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

ACTION: Notice of availability of a fishery management plan amendment; 
request for comments.

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

SUMMARY: NMFS announces that the Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management 
Council has submitted its Unmanaged Forage Omnibus Amendment to the 
Secretary of Commerce for review and approval. We are requesting 
comments from the public on this amendment. This amendment would 
implement an annual landing limit, possession limits, and permitting 
and reporting requirements for certain previously unmanaged forage 
species and species groups within Mid-Atlantic Federal waters. The 
purpose of this action is to prevent the development of new, and the 
expansion of existing, commercial fisheries on certain forage species 
until the Council has adequate opportunity and information to evaluate 
the potential impacts of forage fish harvest on existing fisheries, 
fishing communities, and the marine ecosystem.

DATES: Comments must be received on or before May 30, 2017.

ADDRESSES: You may submit comments on this document, identified by 
NOAA-NMFS-2017-0013, by any of the following methods:
     Electronic Submission: Submit all electronic public 
comments via the Federal e-Rulemaking Portal. Go to 
www.regulations.gov/#!docketDetail;D=NOAA-NMFS-2017-0013, click the 
``Comment Now!'' icon, complete the required fields, and enter or 
attach your comments.

[[Page 15312]]

     Mail: John K. Bullard, Regional Administrator, NMFS, 
Greater Atlantic Regional Fisheries Office, 55 Great Republic Drive, 
Gloucester, MA 01930. Mark the outside of the envelope, ``Comments on 
Mid-Atlantic Forage NOA.''
    Instructions: Comments sent by any other method, to any other 
address or individual, or received after the end of the comment period, 
may not be considered by NMFS. All comments received are a part of the 
public record and will generally be posted for public viewing on 
www.regulations.gov without change. All personal identifying 
information (e.g., name, address, etc.), confidential business 
information, or otherwise sensitive information submitted voluntarily 
by the sender will be publicly accessible. NMFS will accept anonymous 
comments (enter ``N/A'' in the required fields if you wish to remain 
anonymous).
    The Council prepared an environmental assessment (EA) for the 
Unmanaged Forage Omnibus Amendment that describes the proposed action 
and other alternatives considered and provides a thorough analysis of 
the impacts of the proposed measures and alternatives considered. 
Copies of the Unmanaged Forage Omnibus Amendment, including the EA, the 
Regulatory Impact Review, and the Regulatory Flexibility Act analysis, 
are available from: Christopher Moore, Executive Director, Mid-Atlantic 
Fishery Management Council, Suite 201, 800 State Street, Dover, DE 
19901. The EA and associated analysis is accessible via the Internet at 
http://www.greateratlantic.fisheries.noaa.gov/ or http://www.mafmc.org.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Douglas Christel, Fishery Policy 
Analyst, 978-281-9141; fax 978-281-9135.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: 

Background

    Mid-Atlantic Council stakeholders identified managing forage 
species as a key concern for future action during a 2011 strategic 
planning and visioning process. Forage species are generally considered 
small, mostly pelagic schooling species that serve as prey for larger 
species. In 2014, the Council's Scientific and Statistical Committee 
(SSC) developed a white paper on forage species. The paper indicated 
that forage species facilitate the transfer of energy from the lowest 
levels of the food chain to higher levels, highlighting the importance 
of forage species in maintaining the productivity of marine ecosystems. 
The Council recognized that although it already manages several forage 
species that are the target of directed commercial fisheries (Atlantic 
mackerel, longfin and Illex squid, and butterfish), there are other 
unmanaged species that serve as prey for species important to 
commercial and recreational fisheries managed within the Mid-Atlantic. 
However, the Council was concerned that insufficient information 
existed to assess the amount of unmanaged forage species currently 
being harvested and associated impacts to other marine resources. Due 
to the importance of forage species to the marine ecosystem and the 
health of important commercial and recreational fisheries, the Council 
sought to prevent the further expansion of commercial fishing effort on 
forage species. Therefore, the Council wanted to maintain existing 
commercial fisheries at recent levels until it could collect more 
detailed information to evaluate the potential impacts of forage fish 
harvest on existing fisheries, fishing communities, and the marine 
ecosystem. On December 8, 2014, the Council initiated an action to 
begin protecting previously unmanaged forage species in each fishery 
management plan (FMP) under its jurisdiction. The purpose of this 
action is to prevent the development of new, and the expansion of 
existing, commercial fisheries on certain forage species. Scoping 
meetings were held from Rhode Island through North Carolina in 
September and October 2015. These meetings sought public input on the 
type of action to undertake, which forage species to address, the 
geographic scope of the action, data needs, possible measures to 
prevent the expansion of commercial fisheries on forage species, and 
processes to evaluate the development of commercial fisheries in the 
future. After further developing proposed measures, the Council 
conducted public hearings in May and June 2016 to solicit additional 
input on the range of alternatives under consideration by the Council, 
with public comments accepted through June 17, 2016. At its August 2016 
meeting, the Council adopted final measures under the Unmanaged Forage 
Omnibus Amendment. On November 23, 2016, the Council submitted the 
amendment and draft EA to NMFS for preliminary review. The Council 
submitted the final forage amendment on March 20, 2017. The Council 
reviewed the proposed regulations to implement these measures, as 
drafted by NMFS, and deemed them to be necessary and appropriate, as 
specified in section 303(c) of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery 
Conservation and Management Act on March 10, 2017.
    This amendment would prevent the development of new, and the 
expansion of existing, commercial fisheries on certain Mid-Atlantic 
forage species until the Council can collect the information necessary 
to more fully evaluate the potential impacts of forage species harvests 
on existing fisheries, fishing communities, and the marine ecosystem. 
To do this, the Council would limit catch of certain forage species to 
recent levels and implement administrative measures necessary to more 
accurately record the catch of these species within Mid-Atlantic 
Federal waters. Specifically, this action proposes the following 
measures:
     Designate 15 species and species groups as ecosystem 
component species of FMPs under the Council's jurisdiction;
     Specify a 1,700-lb (771-kg) combined possession limit for 
ecosystem component species within Mid-Atlantic Federal waters;
     Set an annual catch limit of 2.86 million lb (1,297 mt) 
for Atlantic chub mackerel (Scomber colias);
     Specify a 40,000-lb (18,144-kg) chub mackerel possession 
limit within Mid-Atlantic Federal waters (i.e., from New York through 
Cape Hatteras, NC, an area referred to as the ``Mid-Atlantic Forage 
Species Management Unit'') once the chub mackerel annual landing limit 
is reached;
     Require that all vessels possessing ecosystem component 
species and chub mackerel in Mid-Atlantic Forage Species Management 
Unit be issued a Federal commercial fishing vessel permit from the 
Greater Atlantic Regional Fisheries Office and comply with existing 
reporting requirements;
     Allow vessels that catch ecosystem component species and 
chub mackerel outside of the Mid-Atlantic Forage Species Management 
Unit to transit through the area to land these species at other ports;
     Develop appropriate codes to record the catch of these 
species in vessel trip reports and dealer reports;
     Establish a Council policy requiring an exempted fishery 
permit and sufficient Council review before further development of any 
fishery for ecosystem component species; and
     Expand framework provisions in the all of the Council's 
FMPs to allow future changes to annual landing limits and possession 
limits for Mid-Atlantic forage species.
    As proposed, the proposed chub mackerel measures are temporary, and 
would expire in 3 years. This would allow the Council to develop long-
term

[[Page 15313]]

measures and the scientific information necessary to formally integrate 
this chub mackerel as a stock in the fishery under the Atlantic 
Mackerel, Squid, and Butterfish FMP. The Council initiated a separate 
action to develop these long-term measures at its February 2017 meeting 
for implementation by 2020, if approved.
    Public comments are being solicited on the Unmanaged Forage Omnibus 
Amendment and its incorporated documents through the end of the comment 
period specified in the DATES section of this notice of availability 
(NOA). Following NMFS's review of the amendment under the Magnuson-
Stevens Act procedures, a rule proposing to implement measures outlined 
in this amendment may be published in the Federal Register for public 
comment. All comments received by the end of the comment period on the 
NOA, whether specifically directed to the NOA or the proposed rule, 
will be considered in the approval/disapproval decision. Comments 
received after the end of the comment period for the NOA will not be 
considered in the approval/disapproval decision of this action.

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

    Dated: March 23, 2017.
Karen H. Abrams,
Acting Deputy Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National 
Marine Fisheries Service.
[FR Doc. 2017-06114 Filed 3-27-17; 8:45 am]
 BILLING CODE 3510-22-P