Coastal Migratory Pelagic Resources of the Gulf of Mexico and South Atlantic; 2016-2017 Commercial Accountability Measure and Closure for King Mackerel in Western Zone of the Gulf of Mexico, 23151-23152 [2017-10251]

Download as PDF Federal Register / Vol. 82, No. 97 / Monday, May 22, 2017 / Rules and Regulations published March 21, 2017. Consistent with the memorandum of the Assistant to the President and Chief of Staff, and as stated in the February 6, 2017, final rule delaying the effective date, the Agency further delays the effective date of this regulation until June 5, 2017. The Agency’s implementation of this action without opportunity for public comment is based on the good cause exceptions in 5 U.S.C. 553(b)(B) and 553(d)(3), in that seeking public comment is impracticable, unnecessary and contrary to the public interest. The delay in the effective date until June 5, 2017, is necessary to provide the opportunity for further review and consideration of this new regulation, consistent with the January 20, 2017 memorandum. Given the imminence of the effective date of the ‘‘Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards; Minimum Sound Requirements for Hybrid and Electric Vehicles’’ final rule, seeking prior public comment on this temporary delay would be impractical, as well as contrary to the public interest in the orderly promulgation and implementation of regulations. Authority: 49 U.S.C. 322, 30111, 30115, 30117, and 30116; delegation of authority at 49 CFR 1.95. Jack Danielson, Acting Deputy Administrator. [FR Doc. 2017–10504 Filed 5–18–17; 4:15 pm] BILLING CODE 4910–59–P DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration 50 CFR Part 622 [Docket No. 101206604–1758–02] RIN 0648–XF414 Coastal Migratory Pelagic Resources of the Gulf of Mexico and South Atlantic; 2016–2017 Commercial Accountability Measure and Closure for King Mackerel in Western Zone of the Gulf of Mexico National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Commerce. ACTION: Temporary rule; closure. nlaroche on DSK30NT082PROD with RULES AGENCY: NMFS implements an accountability measure (AM) for commercial king mackerel in the western zone of the Gulf of Mexico (Gulf) exclusive economic zone (EEZ) through this temporary rule. NMFS has determined that the commercial quota SUMMARY: VerDate Sep<11>2014 12:40 May 19, 2017 Jkt 241001 for king mackerel in the western zone of the Gulf EEZ will be reached by May 21, 2017. Therefore, NMFS closes the western zone of the Gulf EEZ to commercial king mackerel fishing on May 21, 2017. This closure is necessary to protect the Gulf king mackerel resource. DATES: The closure is effective at 12:01 p.m., local time, May 21, 2017, until 12:01 a.m., local time, on July 1, 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 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. All weights for Gulf king mackerel below apply as either round or gutted weight. On October 14, 2016, NMFS closed the commercial sector for king mackerel in the western zone, because the commercial harvest of king mackerel in the July 1, 2016, through June 30, 2017, fishing year reached the commercial quota that was in place at that time (81 FR 71410, October 17, 2016). The western zone of Gulf migratory group king mackerel is located in the EEZ between a line extending east from the border of the United States and Mexico, and 87°31.1′ W. long., which is a line extending south from the state boundary of Alabama and Florida. On April 11, 2017, NMFS published a final rule to implement Amendment 26 to the FMP in the Federal Register (82 FR 17387). That final rule adjusted the management boundaries, zones, and annual catch limits for Gulf migratory group king mackerel (Gulf king mackerel) that resulted in increased commercial quotas for each zone of the Gulf EEZ. Consequently, NMFS reopened the western zone to commercial harvest of king mackerel on May 11, 2017, to allow harvest up to the new commercial quota for that zone of 1,180,000 lb (535,239 kg) (82 FR 21314, May 8, 2017). Regulations at 50 CFR 622.388(a)(1)(i) require NMFS to close the commercial sector for Gulf king mackerel in the western zone when the commercial quota is reached, or is projected to be PO 00000 Frm 00013 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 23151 reached, by filing a notification to that effect with the Office of the Federal Register. NMFS has determined the commercial quota of 1,180,000 lb (535,239 kg) for Gulf king mackerel in the western zone will be reached by May 21, 2017. Accordingly, the western zone is closed to commercial fishing for Gulf king mackerel effective at 12:01 p.m., local time, May 21, 2017, through June 30, 2017, the end of the current fishing year. Except for a person aboard a charter vessel or headboat, during the closure no person aboard a vessel that has been issued a Federal commercial permit for king mackerel may fish for or retain Gulf king mackerel in the EEZ in the closed zone (50 CFR 622.384(e)(1)). A person aboard a vessel that has a valid Federal charter vessel/headboat permit for coastal migratory pelagic fish may continue to retain king mackerel in or from the closed zone under the recreational bag and possession limits set forth in 50 CFR 622.382(a)(1)(ii) and (a)(2), provided the vessel is operating as a charter vessel or headboat (50 CFR 622.384(e)(2)). A charter vessel or headboat that also has a commercial king mackerel permit is considered to be operating as a charter vessel or headboat when it carries a passenger who pays a fee or when there are more than three persons aboard, including operator and crew. During the closure, king mackerel from the closed zone, including those harvested under the bag and possession limits, may not be purchased or sold. This prohibition does not apply to king mackerel from the closed zone that were harvested, landed ashore, and sold prior to the closure and were held in cold storage by a dealer or processor (50 CFR 622.384(e)(3)). Classification The Regional Administrator for the 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 622.384(e) and 622.388(a)(1)(i), 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 good cause to waive the requirements to provide prior E:\FR\FM\22MYR1.SGM 22MYR1 23152 Federal Register / Vol. 82, No. 97 / Monday, May 22, 2017 / Rules and Regulations nlaroche on DSK30NT082PROD with RULES notice and opportunity for public comment pursuant to the authority set forth at 5 U.S.C. 553(b)(B) as such procedures are unnecessary and contrary to the public interest. Such procedures are unnecessary because the rule implementing the commercial quota and the associated AM has already been subject to notice and public comment, and all that remains is to notify the public of the closure. Additionally, allowing prior notice and VerDate Sep<11>2014 12:40 May 19, 2017 Jkt 241001 opportunity for public comment is contrary to the public interest because of the need to immediately implement this action to protect the king mackerel stock, because the capacity of the fishing fleet allows for rapid harvest of the commercial quota. Prior notice and opportunity for public comment would require time and could potentially result in a harvest well in excess of the established commercial quota. PO 00000 Frm 00014 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 9990 For the aforementioned reasons, the AA also finds good cause to waive the 30-day delay in the effectiveness of this action under 5 U.S.C. 553(d)(3). Authority: 16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq. Dated: May 16, 2017. Margo B. Schulze-Haugen, Acting Deputy Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine Fisheries Service. [FR Doc. 2017–10251 Filed 5–16–17; 4:15 pm] BILLING CODE 3510–22–P E:\FR\FM\22MYR1.SGM 22MYR1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 82, Number 97 (Monday, May 22, 2017)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 23151-23152]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2017-10251]


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DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

50 CFR Part 622

[Docket No. 101206604-1758-02]
RIN 0648-XF414


Coastal Migratory Pelagic Resources of the Gulf of Mexico and 
South Atlantic; 2016-2017 Commercial Accountability Measure and Closure 
for King Mackerel in Western Zone of the Gulf of Mexico

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) for commercial 
king mackerel in the western zone of the Gulf of Mexico (Gulf) 
exclusive economic zone (EEZ) through this temporary rule. NMFS has 
determined that the commercial quota for king mackerel in the western 
zone of the Gulf EEZ will be reached by May 21, 2017. Therefore, NMFS 
closes the western zone of the Gulf EEZ to commercial king mackerel 
fishing on May 21, 2017. This closure is necessary to protect the Gulf 
king mackerel resource.

DATES: The closure is effective at 12:01 p.m., local time, May 21, 
2017, until 12:01 a.m., local time, on July 1, 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 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. All weights for Gulf 
king mackerel below apply as either round or gutted weight.
    On October 14, 2016, NMFS closed the commercial sector for king 
mackerel in the western zone, because the commercial harvest of king 
mackerel in the July 1, 2016, through June 30, 2017, fishing year 
reached the commercial quota that was in place at that time (81 FR 
71410, October 17, 2016). The western zone of Gulf migratory group king 
mackerel is located in the EEZ between a line extending east from the 
border of the United States and Mexico, and 87[deg]31.1' W. long., 
which is a line extending south from the state boundary of Alabama and 
Florida.
    On April 11, 2017, NMFS published a final rule to implement 
Amendment 26 to the FMP in the Federal Register (82 FR 17387). That 
final rule adjusted the management boundaries, zones, and annual catch 
limits for Gulf migratory group king mackerel (Gulf king mackerel) that 
resulted in increased commercial quotas for each zone of the Gulf EEZ. 
Consequently, NMFS reopened the western zone to commercial harvest of 
king mackerel on May 11, 2017, to allow harvest up to the new 
commercial quota for that zone of 1,180,000 lb (535,239 kg) (82 FR 
21314, May 8, 2017).
    Regulations at 50 CFR 622.388(a)(1)(i) require NMFS to close the 
commercial sector for Gulf king mackerel in the western zone when the 
commercial quota is reached, or is projected to be reached, by filing a 
notification to that effect with the Office of the Federal Register. 
NMFS has determined the commercial quota of 1,180,000 lb (535,239 kg) 
for Gulf king mackerel in the western zone will be reached by May 21, 
2017. Accordingly, the western zone is closed to commercial fishing for 
Gulf king mackerel effective at 12:01 p.m., local time, May 21, 2017, 
through June 30, 2017, the end of the current fishing year.
    Except for a person aboard a charter vessel or headboat, during the 
closure no person aboard a vessel that has been issued a Federal 
commercial permit for king mackerel may fish for or retain Gulf king 
mackerel in the EEZ in the closed zone (50 CFR 622.384(e)(1)). A person 
aboard a vessel that has a valid Federal charter vessel/headboat permit 
for coastal migratory pelagic fish may continue to retain king mackerel 
in or from the closed zone under the recreational bag and possession 
limits set forth in 50 CFR 622.382(a)(1)(ii) and (a)(2), provided the 
vessel is operating as a charter vessel or headboat (50 CFR 
622.384(e)(2)). A charter vessel or headboat that also has a commercial 
king mackerel permit is considered to be operating as a charter vessel 
or headboat when it carries a passenger who pays a fee or when there 
are more than three persons aboard, including operator and crew.
    During the closure, king mackerel from the closed zone, including 
those harvested under the bag and possession limits, may not be 
purchased or sold. This prohibition does not apply to king mackerel 
from the closed zone that were harvested, landed ashore, and sold prior 
to the closure and were held in cold storage by a dealer or processor 
(50 CFR 622.384(e)(3)).

Classification

    The Regional Administrator for the 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 622.384(e) and 622.388(a)(1)(i), 
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 good cause to 
waive the requirements to provide prior

[[Page 23152]]

notice and opportunity for public comment pursuant to the authority set 
forth at 5 U.S.C. 553(b)(B) as such procedures are unnecessary and 
contrary to the public interest. Such procedures are unnecessary 
because the rule implementing the commercial quota and the associated 
AM has already been subject to notice and public comment, and all that 
remains is to notify the public of the closure. Additionally, allowing 
prior notice and opportunity for public comment is contrary to the 
public interest because of the need to immediately implement this 
action to protect the king mackerel stock, because the capacity of the 
fishing fleet allows for rapid harvest of the commercial quota. Prior 
notice and opportunity for public comment would require time and could 
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 the effectiveness of this action under 5 
U.S.C. 553(d)(3).

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

    Dated: May 16, 2017.
Margo B. Schulze-Haugen,
Acting Deputy Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National 
Marine Fisheries Service.
[FR Doc. 2017-10251 Filed 5-16-17; 4:15 pm]
BILLING CODE 3510-22-P