Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Prohibited Species Donation Program, 27238-27240 [2017-12313]

Download as PDF 27238 Federal Register / Vol. 82, No. 113 / Wednesday, June 14, 2017 / Notices DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration RIN 0648–XF478 Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council (MAFMC); Public Meeting National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Commerce. ACTION: Notice; public meeting. AGENCY: The Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council’s (Council’s) Summer Flounder, Scup, and Black Sea Bass Advisory Panel (AP) will hold a public meeting, jointly with the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission’s (ASMFC) Summer Flounder, Scup, and Black Sea Bass Advisory Panel. DATES: The meeting will be held on Wednesday, June 28, 2017, from 10 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. ADDRESSES: Meeting address: The meeting will be held at the Double Tree by Hilton Baltimore –BWI Airport, 890 Elkridge Landing Road, Linthicum, MD 21090; telephone: (410) 859–8400. Council address: Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council, 800 N. State Street, Suite 201, Dover, DE 19901; telephone: (302) 674–2331; www.mafmc.org. SUMMARY: mstockstill on DSK30JT082PROD with NOTICES FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Christopher M. Moore, Ph.D., Executive Director, Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council; telephone: (302) 526–5255. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The Council’s Summer Flounder, Scup, and Black Sea Bass AP will meet jointly with the ASMFC’s Summer Flounder, Scup, and Black Sea Bass AP. The purpose of this meeting is to discuss recent performance of the commercial and recreational fisheries for summer flounder, scup, and black sea bass, and develop annual Fishery Performance Reports for these fisheries. The Council and the ASMFC will consider the Fishery Performance Reports later in 2017 when reviewing previously implemented 2018 fishery specifications (i.e., catch and landings limits and management measures) for all three species, and possibly recommending 2019 specifications for scup. The AP will also discuss commercial summer flounder management alternatives under development for the Council and ASMFC’s ongoing Comprehensive Summer Flounder Amendment. Although other non-emergency issues not on the agenda may come before this VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:36 Jun 13, 2017 Jkt 241001 group for discussion, those issues may not be the subject of formal action during this meeting. Actions will be restricted to those issues specifically listed in this notice and any issues arising after publication of this notice that require emergency action under Section 305(c) of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act, provided the public has been notified of the Council’s intent to take final action to address the emergency. Special Accommodations The meeting is physically accessible to people with disabilities. Requests for sign language interpretation or other auxiliary aid should be directed to M. Jan Saunders, (302) 526–5251, at least 5 days prior to the meeting date. Dated: June 8, 2017. Tracey L. Thompson, Acting Deputy Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine Fisheries Service. [FR Doc. 2017–12254 Filed 6–13–17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510–22–P DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration RIN 0648–XF320 Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Prohibited Species Donation Program National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Commerce. ACTION: Notice; selection of an authorized distributor. AGENCY: NMFS announces the renewal of two prohibited species donation (PSD) permits to SeaShare, authorizing this organization to distribute Pacific salmon and Pacific halibut to economically disadvantaged individuals under the PSD program. Salmon and halibut are caught incidentally during directed fishing for groundfish with trawl gear off Alaska. This action is necessary to comply with provisions of the PSD program and is intended to promote the goals and objectives of the North Pacific Fishery Management Council. SUMMARY: The permits are effective from June 14, 2017 through June 15, 2020. ADDRESSES: Electronic copies of the PSD permits for salmon and halibut prepared for this action may be obtained from the Alaska Region Web site at http:// www.alaskafisheries.noaa.gov. DATES: PO 00000 Frm 00015 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Megan Mackey, 907–586–7228. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Background Fishing for groundfish by U.S. vessels in the exclusive economic zone of the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands management area (BSAI) and Gulf of Alaska (GOA) is managed by NMFS in accordance with the Fishery Management Plan for Groundfish of the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Management Area (BSAI FMP) and the Fishery Management Plan for Groundfish of the Gulf of Alaska (GOA FMP). These fishery management plans (FMPs) were prepared by the North Pacific Fishery Management Council under the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act, 16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq. Regulations governing the Alaska groundfish fisheries and implementing the FMPs appear at 50 CFR parts 600 and 679. Fishing for halibut in waters in and off Alaska is governed by the Convention between the United States and Canada for the Preservation of the Halibut Fishery of the North Pacific Ocean and Bering Sea (Convention). The International Pacific Halibut Commission (IPHC) promulgates regulations pursuant to the Convention. The IPHC’s regulations are subject to approval by the Secretary of State with concurrence from the Secretary of Commerce. After approval by the Secretary of State and the Secretary of Commerce, the IPHC regulations are published in the Federal Register as annual management measures pursuant to 50 CFR 300.62. Retention of incidentally caught prohibited species is prohibited in the groundfish fisheries except for salmon and halibut for the purposes of the PSD program. Amendments 26 and 29 to the BSAI and GOA FMPs, respectively, authorize a salmon donation program and were approved by NMFS on July 10, 1996; a final rule implementing this program was published in the Federal Register on July 24, 1996 (61 FR 38358). The salmon donation program was expanded to include halibut as part of the PSD program under Amendments 50 and 50 to the FMPs that were approved by NMFS on May 6, 1998. A final rule implementing Amendments 50 and 50 was published in the Federal Register on June 12, 1998 (63 FR 32144). Although that final rule contained a sunset provision for the halibut PSD program of December 31, 2000, the halibut PSD program was permanently extended under a final rule published in the Federal Register on December 14, E:\FR\FM\14JNN1.SGM 14JNN1 27239 Federal Register / Vol. 82, No. 113 / Wednesday, June 14, 2017 / Notices 2000 (65 FR 78119). A full description of, and background information on, the PSD program may be found in the preambles to the proposed rules for Amendments 26 and 29, and Amendments 50 and 50 (61 FR 24750, May 16, 1996, and 63 FR 10583, March 4, 1998, respectively). Section 679.26 authorizes the voluntary distribution of salmon and halibut taken incidentally in the groundfish trawl fisheries off Alaska to economically disadvantaged individuals by tax-exempt organizations through an authorized distributor. The Administrator, Alaska Region, NMFS (Regional Administrator), may select one or more tax-exempt organizations to be authorized distributors, as defined by § 679.2, based on the information submitted by applicants under § 679.26. After review of qualified applicants, NMFS must announce the selection of each authorized distributor in the Federal Register and issue one or more PSD permits to each selected distributor. Renewal of Permits to SeaShare Currently, SeaShare, a tax-exempt organization founded to help the seafood industry donate to U.S. hunger relief efforts, is the sole authorized distributor of salmon and halibut taken incidentally in the groundfish trawl fisheries off Alaska. SeaShare’s current salmon and halibut PSD permits became effective June 11, 2014, and authorize SeaShare to participate in the PSD program through June 12, 2017 (79 FR 33526, June 11, 2014). On April 17, 2017, the Regional Administrator received an application from SeaShare to renew its salmon and halibut PSD permits. The Regional Administrator reviewed the application and determined that it is complete and that SeaShare continues to meet the requirements for an authorized distributor under the PSD program. As required by § 679.26(b)(2), the Regional Administrator based his selection on the following criteria: 1. The number and qualifications of applicants for PSD permits. SeaShare is the only applicant for PSD permits at this time. NMFS has previously approved applications submitted by SeaShare. As of the date of this notice, no other applications have been approved by NMFS. SeaShare has been coordinating the distribution of salmon taken incidentally in trawl fisheries since 1993, and of halibut taken incidentally in trawl fisheries since 1998, under exempted fishing permits from 1993 to 1996 and under the PSD program since 1996. SeaShare employs independent seafood quality control experts to ensure product quality is maintained by cold storage facilities and common carriers servicing the areas where salmon and halibut donations would take place. 2. The number of harvesters and the quantity of fish that applicants can effectively administer. Current participants in the salmon donation program administered by SeaShare include 13 shoreside processors and 138 catcher vessels delivering to shoreside processors; 35 catcher/processors; and 3 motherships and 15 catcher vessels delivering to motherships, with all 15 vessels delivering to both shoreside and motherships. Thirteen shoreside processors and 138 catcher vessels participate in the halibut donation program administered by SeaShare. Two reprocessing plants that generate steaked salmon and halibut participate in the PSD program. SeaShare has the capacity to receive and distribute salmon and halibut from up to 60 processors and the associated catcher vessels. Therefore, it is anticipated that SeaShare has more than adequate capacity for any foreseeable expansion of donations. In 2011, participation in the PSD program expanded beyond the BSAI to include GOA processors and vessels. Table 1 shows the total pounds of headed-and-gutted and steaked salmon and halibut donated to food bank organizations from 2014 through 2016. NMFS does not have information to convert accurately the net weights of salmon and halibut to numbers of salmon and numbers of halibut. TABLE 1—HEADED-AND-GUTTED (H&G) AND STEAKED SALMON AND HALIBUT DONATED TO FOOD BANK ORGANIZATIONS [pounds] 2014 2015 2016 Total Salmon H&G .................................................................................................... Salmon steaked ............................................................................................... Halibut H&G ..................................................................................................... Halibut steaked ................................................................................................ 0 398,587 13,050 45,988 0 449,865 26,605 21,680 536 436,700 13,144 37,240 536 1,285,152 52,799 104,908 Total Inventory .......................................................................................... 457,625 498,150 487,620 1,443,395 3. The anticipated level of salmon and halibut incidental catch based on salmon and halibut incidental catch from previous years. The incidental catch of salmon and incidental catch mortality of halibut in the GOA and BSAI trawl fisheries are shown in Table 2. TABLE 2—INCIDENTAL CATCH OF SALMON AND INCIDENTAL CATCH MORTALITY OF HALIBUT IN THE GOA AND BSAI TRAWL FISHERIES [in number of fish or metric tons] mstockstill on DSK30JT082PROD with NOTICES Area fishery 2014 2015 BSAI Trawl Chinook Salmon Incidental Catch 1 ................................................................ BSAI Trawl Other Salmon Incidental Catch 2 ..................................................................... GOA Trawl Chinook Salmon Incidental Catch ................................................................... GOA Trawl Other Salmon Incidental Catch ....................................................................... BSAI Trawl Halibut Mortality ............................................................................................... GOA Trawl Halibut Mortality ............................................................................................... 18,096 fish ........ 223,853 fish ...... 15,702 fish 3 ...... 2,319 fish 6 ........ 2,824 mt 9 ......... 1,392 mt 12 ........ 25,253 fish ........ 243,343 fish ...... 18,946 fish 4 ...... 1,319 fish 7 ........ 1,889 mt 10 ........ 1,413 mt 13 ........ mt = metric tons VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:36 Jun 13, 2017 Jkt 241001 PO 00000 Frm 00016 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 E:\FR\FM\14JNN1.SGM 14JNN1 2016 32,560 fish. 347,138 fish. 21,896 fish. 5 2,775 fish. 8 1,982 mt. 11 1,336 mt. 14 27240 Federal Register / Vol. 82, No. 113 / Wednesday, June 14, 2017 / Notices mstockstill on DSK30JT082PROD with NOTICES Halibut incidental catch amounts are constrained by an annual prohibited species catch (PSC) limit in the BSAI and GOA. Future halibut incidental catch levels likely will be similar to those experienced from 2014 through 2016 with some reductions possible relative to 2014 and 2015 incidental catch levels. Amendment 111 to the BSAI FMP reduced BSAI halibut PSC limits in 2016 and incidental catch decreased beginning that year (81 FR 24714, April 27, 2016). Chinook salmon PSC limits are established for the Bering Sea and central and western GOA pollock fisheries that, when attained, result in the closure of pollock fishing. The Chinook salmon PSC limits for the Bering Sea pollock fisheries were originally established by Amendment 91 to the BSAI FMP (75 FR 53026, August 30, 2010) and established for the central and western GOA pollock fisheries by Amendment 93 to the GOA FMP (77 FR 42629, July 20, 2012). In 2016, Amendment 110 to the BSAI FMP was implemented to improve the management of Chinook and chum salmon bycatch in the Bering Sea pollock fishery by creating a comprehensive salmon bycatch avoidance program (81 FR 37534, June 1 https://alaskafisheries.noaa.gov/sites/default/ files/reports/chinook_salmon_mortality2017.pdf accessed on 04/17/17. 2 https://alaskafisheries.noaa.gov/sites/default/ files/reports/chum_salmon_mortality2017.pdf accessed on 04/17/17. 3 https://alaskafisheries.noaa.gov/sites/default/ files/reports/car120_psc_goa2014.pdf accessed on 04/17/17. 4 https://alaskafisheries.noaa.gov/sites/default/ files/reports/car120_psc_goa2015.pdf accessed on 04/17/17. 5 https://alaskafisheries.noaa.gov/sites/default/ files/reports/car120_psc_goa2016.pdf accessed on 04/17/17. 6 https://alaskafisheries.noaa.gov/sites/default/ files/reports/car120_psc_goa2014.pdf accessed on 04/17/17. 7 https://alaskafisheries.noaa.gov/sites/default/ files/reports/car120_psc_goa2015.pdf accessed on 04/17/17. 8 https://alaskafisheries.noaa.gov/sites/default/ files/reports/car120_psc_goa2016.pdf accessed on 04/17/17. 9 https://alaskafisheries.noaa.gov/sites/default/ files/reports/car120_psc_bsai_with_cdq2014.pdf accessed on 04/17/17. 10 https://alaskafisheries.noaa.gov/sites/default/ files/reports/car120_psc_bsai_with_cdq2015.pdf accessed on 04/17/17. 11 https://alaskafisheries.noaa.gov/sites/default/ files/reports/car120_psc_bsai_with_cdq2016.pdf accessed on 04/17/17. 12 https://alaskafisheries.noaa.gov/sites/default/ files/reports/car120_psc_goa2014.pdf accessed on 04/17/17. 13 https://alaskafisheries.noaa.gov/sites/default/ files/reports/car120_psc_goa2015.pdf accessed on 04/17/17. 14 https://alaskafisheries.noaa.gov/sites/default/ files/reports/car120_psc_goa2016.pdf accessed on 04/17/17. VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:36 Jun 13, 2017 Jkt 241001 10, 2016). In 2015, Amendment 97 to the GOA FMP established annual Chinook salmon PSC limits for the groundfish trawl fisheries, except for pollock trawl fisheries, in the Western and Central GOA (79 FR 71350, December 2, 2014). While salmon incidental catch amounts tend to vary between years, making it difficult to accurately predict future incidental take amounts, the total, or maximum, amount of annual Chinook salmon incidental catch in the Bering Sea and GOA pollock fisheries is constrained by the PSC limits. 4. The number of vessels and processors participating in the PSD program. For the 2017 permit renewal, shoreside processors will decrease slightly from 15 to 13, and vessels delivering to shoreside processors will increase slightly from 137 to 138. Catcher/processors participating in the PSD program for salmon will decrease slightly from 36 to 35 under the 2017 permit renewal. Catcher vessels delivering to motherships will remain at 15 vessels. NMFS issues PSD permits to SeaShare for a 3-year period unless the permits are suspended or revoked under § 679.26. The permits may not be transferred; however, they may be renewed following the application procedures in § 679.26. If the authorized distributor modifies the list of participants in the PSD program or delivery locations, the authorized distributor must submit a modified list of participants or a modified list of delivery locations to the Regional Administrator. These permits may be suspended, modified, or revoked under 15 CFR part 904 for violation of § 679.26 or other regulations in 50 CFR part 679. Classification This action is taken under § 679.26. Authority: 16 U.S.C. 773 et seq.; 1801 et seq.; 3631 et seq.; Pub. L. 108–447; Pub. L. 111–281. Dated: June 9, 2017. Margo B. Schulze-Haugen, Acting Deputy Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine Fisheries Service. [FR Doc. 2017–12313 Filed 6–13–17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510–22–P PO 00000 Frm 00017 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration RIN 0648–XF246 Takes of Marine Mammals Incidental to Specified Activities; Taking Marine Mammals Incidental to the Chevron Richmond Refinery Long Wharf Maintenance and Efficiency Project in San Francisco Bay, California National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Commerce. ACTION: Notice; issuance of an incidental harassment authorization. AGENCY: In accordance with the regulations implementing the Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA) as amended, notification is hereby given that NMFS has issued an incidental harassment authorization (IHA) to Chevron to incidentally harass, by Level B harassment only, marine mammals during construction activities associated with the Richmond Refinery Long Wharf Maintenance and Efficiency Project (WMEP) in San Francisco Bay, California. SUMMARY: The Authorization is in effect for one year beginning January 1, 2018 through December 31, 2018. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Robert Pauline, Office of Protected Resources, NMFS, (301) 427–8401. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: DATES: Availability An electronic copy of Chevron’s application and supporting documents, as well as a list of the references cited in this document, may be obtained online at: www.nmfs.noaa.gov/pr/ permits/incidental/construction.htm. In case of problems accessing these documents, please call the contact listed above (see FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT). Background Sections 101(a)(5)(A) and (D) of the MMPA (16 U.S.C. 1361 et seq.) direct the Secretary of Commerce to allow, upon request, the incidental, but not intentional, taking of small numbers of marine mammals by U.S. citizens who engage in a specified activity (other than commercial fishing) within a specified geographical region if certain findings are made and either regulations are issued or, if the taking is limited to harassment, a notice of a proposed authorization is provided to the public for review. E:\FR\FM\14JNN1.SGM 14JNN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 82, Number 113 (Wednesday, June 14, 2017)]
[Notices]
[Pages 27238-27240]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2017-12313]


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DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

RIN 0648-XF320


Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Prohibited 
Species Donation Program

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

ACTION: Notice; selection of an authorized distributor.

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

SUMMARY: NMFS announces the renewal of two prohibited species donation 
(PSD) permits to SeaShare, authorizing this organization to distribute 
Pacific salmon and Pacific halibut to economically disadvantaged 
individuals under the PSD program. Salmon and halibut are caught 
incidentally during directed fishing for groundfish with trawl gear off 
Alaska. This action is necessary to comply with provisions of the PSD 
program and is intended to promote the goals and objectives of the 
North Pacific Fishery Management Council.

DATES: The permits are effective from June 14, 2017 through June 15, 
2020.

ADDRESSES: Electronic copies of the PSD permits for salmon and halibut 
prepared for this action may be obtained from the Alaska Region Web 
site at http://www.alaskafisheries.noaa.gov.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Megan Mackey, 907-586-7228.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Background

    Fishing for groundfish by U.S. vessels in the exclusive economic 
zone of the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands management area (BSAI) and 
Gulf of Alaska (GOA) is managed by NMFS in accordance with the Fishery 
Management Plan for Groundfish of the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands 
Management Area (BSAI FMP) and the Fishery Management Plan for 
Groundfish of the Gulf of Alaska (GOA FMP). These fishery management 
plans (FMPs) were prepared by the North Pacific Fishery Management 
Council under the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management 
Act, 16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq. Regulations governing the Alaska groundfish 
fisheries and implementing the FMPs appear at 50 CFR parts 600 and 679. 
Fishing for halibut in waters in and off Alaska is governed by the 
Convention between the United States and Canada for the Preservation of 
the Halibut Fishery of the North Pacific Ocean and Bering Sea 
(Convention). The International Pacific Halibut Commission (IPHC) 
promulgates regulations pursuant to the Convention. The IPHC's 
regulations are subject to approval by the Secretary of State with 
concurrence from the Secretary of Commerce. After approval by the 
Secretary of State and the Secretary of Commerce, the IPHC regulations 
are published in the Federal Register as annual management measures 
pursuant to 50 CFR 300.62.
    Retention of incidentally caught prohibited species is prohibited 
in the groundfish fisheries except for salmon and halibut for the 
purposes of the PSD program. Amendments 26 and 29 to the BSAI and GOA 
FMPs, respectively, authorize a salmon donation program and were 
approved by NMFS on July 10, 1996; a final rule implementing this 
program was published in the Federal Register on July 24, 1996 (61 FR 
38358). The salmon donation program was expanded to include halibut as 
part of the PSD program under Amendments 50 and 50 to the FMPs that 
were approved by NMFS on May 6, 1998. A final rule implementing 
Amendments 50 and 50 was published in the Federal Register on June 12, 
1998 (63 FR 32144). Although that final rule contained a sunset 
provision for the halibut PSD program of December 31, 2000, the halibut 
PSD program was permanently extended under a final rule published in 
the Federal Register on December 14,

[[Page 27239]]

2000 (65 FR 78119). A full description of, and background information 
on, the PSD program may be found in the preambles to the proposed rules 
for Amendments 26 and 29, and Amendments 50 and 50 (61 FR 24750, May 
16, 1996, and 63 FR 10583, March 4, 1998, respectively).
    Section 679.26 authorizes the voluntary distribution of salmon and 
halibut taken incidentally in the groundfish trawl fisheries off Alaska 
to economically disadvantaged individuals by tax-exempt organizations 
through an authorized distributor. The Administrator, Alaska Region, 
NMFS (Regional Administrator), may select one or more tax-exempt 
organizations to be authorized distributors, as defined by Sec.  679.2, 
based on the information submitted by applicants under Sec.  679.26. 
After review of qualified applicants, NMFS must announce the selection 
of each authorized distributor in the Federal Register and issue one or 
more PSD permits to each selected distributor.

Renewal of Permits to SeaShare

    Currently, SeaShare, a tax-exempt organization founded to help the 
seafood industry donate to U.S. hunger relief efforts, is the sole 
authorized distributor of salmon and halibut taken incidentally in the 
groundfish trawl fisheries off Alaska. SeaShare's current salmon and 
halibut PSD permits became effective June 11, 2014, and authorize 
SeaShare to participate in the PSD program through June 12, 2017 (79 FR 
33526, June 11, 2014).
    On April 17, 2017, the Regional Administrator received an 
application from SeaShare to renew its salmon and halibut PSD permits. 
The Regional Administrator reviewed the application and determined that 
it is complete and that SeaShare continues to meet the requirements for 
an authorized distributor under the PSD program. As required by Sec.  
679.26(b)(2), the Regional Administrator based his selection on the 
following criteria:
    1. The number and qualifications of applicants for PSD permits. 
SeaShare is the only applicant for PSD permits at this time. NMFS has 
previously approved applications submitted by SeaShare. As of the date 
of this notice, no other applications have been approved by NMFS. 
SeaShare has been coordinating the distribution of salmon taken 
incidentally in trawl fisheries since 1993, and of halibut taken 
incidentally in trawl fisheries since 1998, under exempted fishing 
permits from 1993 to 1996 and under the PSD program since 1996. 
SeaShare employs independent seafood quality control experts to ensure 
product quality is maintained by cold storage facilities and common 
carriers servicing the areas where salmon and halibut donations would 
take place.
    2. The number of harvesters and the quantity of fish that 
applicants can effectively administer. Current participants in the 
salmon donation program administered by SeaShare include 13 shoreside 
processors and 138 catcher vessels delivering to shoreside processors; 
35 catcher/processors; and 3 motherships and 15 catcher vessels 
delivering to motherships, with all 15 vessels delivering to both 
shoreside and motherships. Thirteen shoreside processors and 138 
catcher vessels participate in the halibut donation program 
administered by SeaShare. Two reprocessing plants that generate steaked 
salmon and halibut participate in the PSD program. SeaShare has the 
capacity to receive and distribute salmon and halibut from up to 60 
processors and the associated catcher vessels. Therefore, it is 
anticipated that SeaShare has more than adequate capacity for any 
foreseeable expansion of donations.
    In 2011, participation in the PSD program expanded beyond the BSAI 
to include GOA processors and vessels. Table 1 shows the total pounds 
of headed-and-gutted and steaked salmon and halibut donated to food 
bank organizations from 2014 through 2016. NMFS does not have 
information to convert accurately the net weights of salmon and halibut 
to numbers of salmon and numbers of halibut.

       Table 1--Headed-and-Gutted (H&G) and Steaked Salmon and Halibut Donated to Food Bank Organizations
                                                    [pounds]
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                       2014            2015            2016            Total
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Salmon H&G......................................               0               0             536             536
Salmon steaked..................................         398,587         449,865         436,700       1,285,152
Halibut H&G.....................................          13,050          26,605          13,144          52,799
Halibut steaked.................................          45,988          21,680          37,240         104,908
                                                 ---------------------------------------------------------------
    Total Inventory.............................         457,625         498,150         487,620       1,443,395
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    3. The anticipated level of salmon and halibut incidental catch 
based on salmon and halibut incidental catch from previous years. The 
incidental catch of salmon and incidental catch mortality of halibut in 
the GOA and BSAI trawl fisheries are shown in Table 2.

     Table 2--Incidental Catch of Salmon and Incidental Catch Mortality of Halibut in the GOA and BSAI Trawl
                                                    Fisheries
                                       [in number of fish or metric tons]
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
           Area fishery                       2014                      2015                      2016
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
BSAI Trawl Chinook Salmon          18,096 fish..............  25,253 fish.............  32,560 fish.
 Incidental Catch \1\.
BSAI Trawl Other Salmon            223,853 fish.............  243,343 fish............  347,138 fish.
 Incidental Catch \2\.
GOA Trawl Chinook Salmon           15,702 fish \3\..........  18,946 fish \4\.........  21,896 fish. \5\
 Incidental Catch.
GOA Trawl Other Salmon Incidental  2,319 fish \6\...........  1,319 fish \7\..........  2,775 fish. \8\
 Catch.
BSAI Trawl Halibut Mortality.....  2,824 mt \9\.............  1,889 mt \10\...........  1,982 mt. \11\
GOA Trawl Halibut Mortality......  1,392 mt \12\............  1,413 mt \13\...........  1,336 mt. \14\
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
mt = metric tons


[[Page 27240]]

    Halibut incidental catch amounts are constrained by an annual 
prohibited species catch (PSC) limit in the BSAI and GOA. Future 
halibut incidental catch levels likely will be similar to those 
experienced from 2014 through 2016 with some reductions possible 
relative to 2014 and 2015 incidental catch levels. Amendment 111 to the 
BSAI FMP reduced BSAI halibut PSC limits in 2016 and incidental catch 
decreased beginning that year (81 FR 24714, April 27, 2016).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \1\ https://alaskafisheries.noaa.gov/sites/default/files/reports/chinook_salmon_mortality2017.pdf accessed on 04/17/17.
    \2\ https://alaskafisheries.noaa.gov/sites/default/files/reports/chum_salmon_mortality2017.pdf accessed on 04/17/17.
    \3\ https://alaskafisheries.noaa.gov/sites/default/files/reports/car120_psc_goa2014.pdf accessed on 04/17/17.
    \4\ https://alaskafisheries.noaa.gov/sites/default/files/reports/car120_psc_goa2015.pdf accessed on 04/17/17.
    \5\ https://alaskafisheries.noaa.gov/sites/default/files/reports/car120_psc_goa2016.pdf accessed on 04/17/17.
    \6\ https://alaskafisheries.noaa.gov/sites/default/files/reports/car120_psc_goa2014.pdf accessed on 04/17/17.
    \7\ https://alaskafisheries.noaa.gov/sites/default/files/reports/car120_psc_goa2015.pdf accessed on 04/17/17.
    \8\ https://alaskafisheries.noaa.gov/sites/default/files/reports/car120_psc_goa2016.pdf accessed on 04/17/17.
    \9\ https://alaskafisheries.noaa.gov/sites/default/files/reports/car120_psc_bsai_with_cdq2014.pdf accessed on 04/17/17.
    \10\ https://alaskafisheries.noaa.gov/sites/default/files/reports/car120_psc_bsai_with_cdq2015.pdf accessed on 04/17/17.
    \11\ https://alaskafisheries.noaa.gov/sites/default/files/reports/car120_psc_bsai_with_cdq2016.pdf accessed on 04/17/17.
    \12\ https://alaskafisheries.noaa.gov/sites/default/files/reports/car120_psc_goa2014.pdf accessed on 04/17/17.
    \13\ https://alaskafisheries.noaa.gov/sites/default/files/reports/car120_psc_goa2015.pdf accessed on 04/17/17.
    \14\ https://alaskafisheries.noaa.gov/sites/default/files/reports/car120_psc_goa2016.pdf accessed on 04/17/17.
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    Chinook salmon PSC limits are established for the Bering Sea and 
central and western GOA pollock fisheries that, when attained, result 
in the closure of pollock fishing. The Chinook salmon PSC limits for 
the Bering Sea pollock fisheries were originally established by 
Amendment 91 to the BSAI FMP (75 FR 53026, August 30, 2010) and 
established for the central and western GOA pollock fisheries by 
Amendment 93 to the GOA FMP (77 FR 42629, July 20, 2012). In 2016, 
Amendment 110 to the BSAI FMP was implemented to improve the management 
of Chinook and chum salmon bycatch in the Bering Sea pollock fishery by 
creating a comprehensive salmon bycatch avoidance program (81 FR 37534, 
June 10, 2016). In 2015, Amendment 97 to the GOA FMP established annual 
Chinook salmon PSC limits for the groundfish trawl fisheries, except 
for pollock trawl fisheries, in the Western and Central GOA (79 FR 
71350, December 2, 2014). While salmon incidental catch amounts tend to 
vary between years, making it difficult to accurately predict future 
incidental take amounts, the total, or maximum, amount of annual 
Chinook salmon incidental catch in the Bering Sea and GOA pollock 
fisheries is constrained by the PSC limits.
    4. The number of vessels and processors participating in the PSD 
program. For the 2017 permit renewal, shoreside processors will 
decrease slightly from 15 to 13, and vessels delivering to shoreside 
processors will increase slightly from 137 to 138. Catcher/processors 
participating in the PSD program for salmon will decrease slightly from 
36 to 35 under the 2017 permit renewal. Catcher vessels delivering to 
motherships will remain at 15 vessels.
    NMFS issues PSD permits to SeaShare for a 3-year period unless the 
permits are suspended or revoked under Sec.  679.26. The permits may 
not be transferred; however, they may be renewed following the 
application procedures in Sec.  679.26.
    If the authorized distributor modifies the list of participants in 
the PSD program or delivery locations, the authorized distributor must 
submit a modified list of participants or a modified list of delivery 
locations to the Regional Administrator.
    These permits may be suspended, modified, or revoked under 15 CFR 
part 904 for violation of Sec.  679.26 or other regulations in 50 CFR 
part 679.

Classification

    This action is taken under Sec.  679.26.

    Authority: 16 U.S.C. 773 et seq.; 1801 et seq.; 3631 et seq.; 
Pub. L. 108-447; Pub. L. 111-281.

    Dated: June 9, 2017.
Margo B. Schulze-Haugen,
Acting Deputy Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National 
Marine Fisheries Service.
[FR Doc. 2017-12313 Filed 6-13-17; 8:45 am]
 BILLING CODE 3510-22-P