Fisheries Off West Coast States; Highly Migratory Fisheries; Amendment 5 to the Highly Migratory Species Fishery Management Plan; California Drift Gillnet Fishery; Implementation of a Federal Limited Entry Drift Gillnet Permit, 43323-43324 [2017-19662]

Download as PDF Federal Register / Vol. 82, No. 178 / Friday, September 15, 2017 / Proposed Rules comments. There is no limit on the length of the attachments. Please submit one copy (two copies if submitting by mail or hand delivery) of your comments, including the attachments, to the docket following the instructions given above under ADDRESSES. Please note, if you are submitting comments electronically as a PDF (Adobe) file, we ask that the documents submitted be scanned using an Optical Character Recognition (OCR) process, thus allowing the agency to search and copy certain portions of your submissions. How do I submit confidential business information? If you wish to submit any information under a claim of confidentiality, you should submit three copies of your complete submission, including the information you claim to be confidential business information, to the Office of the Chief Counsel, NHTSA, at the address given above under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT. In addition, you may submit a copy (two copies if submitting by mail or hand delivery), from which you have deleted the claimed confidential business information, to the docket by one of the methods given above under ADDRESSES. When you send a comment containing information claimed to be confidential business information, you should include a cover letter setting forth the information specified in NHTSA’s confidential business information regulation (49 CFR part 512). mstockstill on DSK30JT082PROD with PROPOSALS Will the agency consider late comments? NHTSA will consider all comments received before the close of business on the comment closing date indicated above under DATES. To the extent possible, the Agency will also consider comments received after that date. Given that we intend for the policy document to be a living document and to be developed in an iterative fashion, subsequent opportunities to comment will also be provided periodically. How can I read the comments submitted by other people? You may read the comments received at the address given above under COMMENTS. The hours of the docket are indicated above in the same location. You may also see the comments on the Internet, identified by the docket number at the heading of this notice, at http://www.regulations.gov. Please note that, even after the comment closing date, NHTSA will continue to file relevant information in the docket as it becomes available. VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:24 Sep 14, 2017 Jkt 241001 Further, some people may submit late comments. Accordingly, the agency recommends that you periodically check the docket for new material. Issued in Washington, DC, under authority delegated by 49 CFR 1.95. Nathaniel Beuse, Associate Administrator for Vehicle Safety Research. [FR Doc. 2017–19637 Filed 9–14–17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910–59–P DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration 50 CFR Part 660 RIN 0648–BG81 Fisheries Off West Coast States; Highly Migratory Fisheries; Amendment 5 to the Highly Migratory Species Fishery Management Plan; California Drift Gillnet Fishery; Implementation of a Federal Limited Entry Drift Gillnet Permit National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Commerce. ACTION: Notice of availability of an amendment to a fishery management plan; request for comments. AGENCY: NMFS announces that the Pacific Fishery Management Council (Council) has submitted Amendment 5 to the Fishery Management Plan for U.S. West Coast Fisheries for Highly Migratory Species (HMS FMP) for review by the Secretary of Commerce. The intent of Amendment 5 is to implement a federal limited entry (LE) permit for the California/Oregon largemesh drift gillnet (DGN) fishery. The amendment would bring the State of California’s LE DGN permit program under Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (MSA) authority. All current California DGN permit holders would be eligible to apply for, and receive, a federal DGN permit and no additional DGN permits would be created. The amendment is administrative in nature and is not anticipated to result in increased activity, effort, or capacity in the fishery. DATES: Comments on Amendment 5 must be received by November 14, 2017. ADDRESSES: You may submit comments identified by NOAA–NMFS–2017–0052, by any one of the following methods: • Electronic Submissions: Submit all electronic public comments via the SUMMARY: PO 00000 Frm 00010 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 43323 Federal eRulemaking Portal. Go to http://www.regulations.gov/ #!docketDetail;D=NOAA-NMFS-20170052, click the ‘‘Comment Now!’’ icon, complete the required fields, and enter or attach your comments. • Mail: Submit written comments to Lyle Enriquez, NMFS West Coast Region, 501 W. Ocean Blvd., Suite 4200, Long Beach, CA 90802. Include the identifier ‘‘NOAA–NMFS–2017–0052’’ in the comments. • Instructions: Comments must be submitted by one of the above methods to ensure they are received, documented, and considered by NMFS. 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. 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.) submitted voluntarily by the sender will be publicly accessible. Do not submit confidential business information, or otherwise sensitive or protected information. NMFS will accept anonymous comments (enter ‘‘N/A’’ in the required fields if you wish to remain anonymous). Copies of Amendment 5 and other supporting documents are available via the Federal eRulemaking Portal: http:// www.regulations.gov, docket NOAA– NMFS–2017–0052 or by contacting the Regional Administrator, Barry Thom, NMFS West Coast Region, 1201 NE Lloyd Blvd., Portland, OR 97232–2182, or RegionalAdministrator.WCRHMS@ noaa.gov. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Lyle Enriquez, NMFS, West Coast Region, 562–980–4025, or Lyle.Enriquez@ noaa.gov. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The HMS FMP was prepared by the Council and is implemented under the authority of the MSA by regulations at 50 CFR part 660. Although it adopted all conservation and management measures in place under various federal statutes (e.g., Marine Mammal Protection Act, Endangered Species Act) and state regulations, the HMS FMP did not incorporate the LE DGN permit programs of California and Oregon. Currently, the large-mesh DGN fishery (14″ minimum mesh size) is federally managed under the HMS FMP and via regulations of the states of California and Oregon to conserve target and nontarget stocks, including protected species that are incidentally captured. California has an active LE DGN E:\FR\FM\15SEP1.SGM 15SEP1 43324 Federal Register / Vol. 82, No. 178 / Friday, September 15, 2017 / Proposed Rules mstockstill on DSK30JT082PROD with PROPOSALS program, Oregon no longer issues DGN permits, and DGN fishing is prohibited in Washington. Since 2014, the Council has considered transitioning California’s LE DGN permit program from state to MSA authority. On March 12, 2017, the Council adopted a final preferred alternative that would transition the State of California issued LE DGN permit program from state management to federal management under MSA authority and entitle all fishermen authorized to fish with large-mesh DGN gear under state law to be eligible to receive a federal LE DGN permit. As of August 31, 2017, 70 California LE DGN permits were issued for the 2016–2017 fishing season, and 67 have been renewed for the 2017–2018 fishing season. The average number of active DGN vessels per year from 2010 through 2016 is 20 vessels. The action would neither increase capacity within the DGN fishery, nor would it incentivize or stimulate fishing effort or activity of current latent permits. After the initial issuance of a federal DGN permit, no additional permits would be issued, and permits that are not renewed in future years would be permanently expired by NMFS. In order to participate in the DGN fishery, current participants must possess a State of California LE DGN permit, a California commercial fishing license, a California general gill/ trammel net permit, and a California swordfish permit. Additionally, the vessel that the participant fishes from must have a federal Pacific Highly Migratory Species (HMS) permit with a DGN gear endorsement. After the LE DGN permit transitions from the State of California to federal management, each participant will need to hold all the same permits and licenses, except that the federal LE DGN permit will take place of the State of California LE DGN permit. Although these permits and licenses would be required to fish, possession of a current and up-to-date VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:24 Sep 14, 2017 Jkt 241001 State of California LE DGN permit is the only permit required to initially obtain a federal LE DGN permit. This amendment would adopt many of the current State of California management measures associated with the fishery. For example, NMFS would adopt current California requirements regarding the assignment of a permit (i.e., issued to an individual and assigned to a specific vessel), the transfer of permits between permittees (i.e., a permit must be held for three years before it is eligible to be transferred), and an annual renewal cycle. Upon the date of publication of the final rule to implement Amendment 5, all 70 state-eligible permit holders would be eligible to receive a federal DGN permit if they have renewed their state DGN permit by March 31, 2018. Permit holders who fail to renew their state DGN permit by March 31, 2018, will not be eligible for a federal DGN permit. As of August 31, 2017, 67 permittees have renewed their state LE DGN permit. If a state LE DGN permit is transferred after publication of the proposed rule to implement Amendment 5, the transferee, but not the transferor, would be eligible to receive a federal LE DGN permit upon publication of the final rule. Federal LE DGN permits would be issued annually for the fishing year starting April 1 and ending March 31 of the following year. Permits would expire on March 31 of each year and, after initial issuance (expected in 2018), the permit renewal deadline would be April 30 of the fishing year. A completed DGN permit renewal form must be received by NMFS no later than close-of-business April 30. Any renewal form received after that date would result in the permanent expiration of the Federal DGN permit. A permit owner who fails to submit a renewal by the deadline may submit a renewal form to NMFS with a written statement that the failure to renew the permit by the PO 00000 Frm 00011 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 9990 deadline was proximately caused by the permit owner’s illness or injury. When a permit owner has died, the owner’s estate or other personal representative may submit a statement explaining that the permit owner’s death has prevented a timely renewal. The permit holder, or in the case of a deceased permit owner, the estate or other personal representative, will need to provide written proof of illness, injury or death. NMFS will not consider any such renewal request made after July 31. If the permit expires, it would permanently expire and NMFS would not reissue the permit. A permittee would need to hold a federal LE DGN permit for three or more years before it would be eligible to be transferred. This vesting period would extend across both state and federal permit programs (i.e., if a permit holder held a state LE DGN permit for two years and a federal LE DGN permit for one year, the permit may be transferred). Public comments on Amendment 5 must be received by November 14, 2017, to be considered by NMFS in the decision whether to approve, disapprove, or partially approve Amendment 5. NMFS expects to publish and request public comment on the proposed regulation to implement Amendment 5 in the near future. Public comments on the proposed rule must be received by the end of the comment period on the amendment to be considered in the approval/disapproval decision on the amendment. All comments received during the comment period for the amendment, whether specifically directed to the amendment, or the proposed rule, will be considered in the approval/disapproval decision. Authority: 16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq. Dated: September 12, 2017. Emily H. Menashes, Acting Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine Fisheries Service. [FR Doc. 2017–19662 Filed 9–14–17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510–22–P E:\FR\FM\15SEP1.SGM 15SEP1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 82, Number 178 (Friday, September 15, 2017)]
[Proposed Rules]
[Pages 43323-43324]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2017-19662]


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DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

50 CFR Part 660

RIN 0648-BG81


Fisheries Off West Coast States; Highly Migratory Fisheries; 
Amendment 5 to the Highly Migratory Species Fishery Management Plan; 
California Drift Gillnet Fishery; Implementation of a Federal Limited 
Entry Drift Gillnet Permit

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

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

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SUMMARY: NMFS announces that the Pacific Fishery Management Council 
(Council) has submitted Amendment 5 to the Fishery Management Plan for 
U.S. West Coast Fisheries for Highly Migratory Species (HMS FMP) for 
review by the Secretary of Commerce. The intent of Amendment 5 is to 
implement a federal limited entry (LE) permit for the California/Oregon 
large-mesh drift gillnet (DGN) fishery. The amendment would bring the 
State of California's LE DGN permit program under Magnuson-Stevens 
Fishery Conservation and Management Act (MSA) authority. All current 
California DGN permit holders would be eligible to apply for, and 
receive, a federal DGN permit and no additional DGN permits would be 
created. The amendment is administrative in nature and is not 
anticipated to result in increased activity, effort, or capacity in the 
fishery.

DATES: Comments on Amendment 5 must be received by November 14, 2017.

ADDRESSES: You may submit comments identified by NOAA-NMFS-2017-0052, 
by any one of the following methods:
     Electronic Submissions: Submit all electronic public 
comments via the Federal eRulemaking Portal. Go to http://www.regulations.gov/#!docketDetail;D=NOAA-NMFS-2017-0052, click the 
``Comment Now!'' icon, complete the required fields, and enter or 
attach your comments.
     Mail: Submit written comments to Lyle Enriquez, NMFS West 
Coast Region, 501 W. Ocean Blvd., Suite 4200, Long Beach, CA 90802. 
Include the identifier ``NOAA-NMFS-2017-0052'' in the comments.
     Instructions: Comments must be submitted by one of the 
above methods to ensure they are received, documented, and considered 
by NMFS. 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. 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.) submitted voluntarily by the sender will be publicly 
accessible. Do not submit confidential business information, or 
otherwise sensitive or protected information. NMFS will accept 
anonymous comments (enter ``N/A'' in the required fields if you wish to 
remain anonymous).
    Copies of Amendment 5 and other supporting documents are available 
via the Federal eRulemaking Portal: http://www.regulations.gov, docket 
NOAA-NMFS-2017-0052 or by contacting the Regional Administrator, Barry 
Thom, NMFS West Coast Region, 1201 NE Lloyd Blvd., Portland, OR 97232-
2182, or RegionalAdministrator.WCRHMS@noaa.gov.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Lyle Enriquez, NMFS, West Coast 
Region, 562-980-4025, or Lyle.Enriquez@noaa.gov.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: 
    The HMS FMP was prepared by the Council and is implemented under 
the authority of the MSA by regulations at 50 CFR part 660. Although it 
adopted all conservation and management measures in place under various 
federal statutes (e.g., Marine Mammal Protection Act, Endangered 
Species Act) and state regulations, the HMS FMP did not incorporate the 
LE DGN permit programs of California and Oregon. Currently, the large-
mesh DGN fishery (14'' minimum mesh size) is federally managed under 
the HMS FMP and via regulations of the states of California and Oregon 
to conserve target and non-target stocks, including protected species 
that are incidentally captured. California has an active LE DGN

[[Page 43324]]

program, Oregon no longer issues DGN permits, and DGN fishing is 
prohibited in Washington.
    Since 2014, the Council has considered transitioning California's 
LE DGN permit program from state to MSA authority. On March 12, 2017, 
the Council adopted a final preferred alternative that would transition 
the State of California issued LE DGN permit program from state 
management to federal management under MSA authority and entitle all 
fishermen authorized to fish with large-mesh DGN gear under state law 
to be eligible to receive a federal LE DGN permit. As of August 31, 
2017, 70 California LE DGN permits were issued for the 2016-2017 
fishing season, and 67 have been renewed for the 2017-2018 fishing 
season. The average number of active DGN vessels per year from 2010 
through 2016 is 20 vessels. The action would neither increase capacity 
within the DGN fishery, nor would it incentivize or stimulate fishing 
effort or activity of current latent permits. After the initial 
issuance of a federal DGN permit, no additional permits would be 
issued, and permits that are not renewed in future years would be 
permanently expired by NMFS.
    In order to participate in the DGN fishery, current participants 
must possess a State of California LE DGN permit, a California 
commercial fishing license, a California general gill/trammel net 
permit, and a California swordfish permit. Additionally, the vessel 
that the participant fishes from must have a federal Pacific Highly 
Migratory Species (HMS) permit with a DGN gear endorsement. After the 
LE DGN permit transitions from the State of California to federal 
management, each participant will need to hold all the same permits and 
licenses, except that the federal LE DGN permit will take place of the 
State of California LE DGN permit. Although these permits and licenses 
would be required to fish, possession of a current and up-to-date State 
of California LE DGN permit is the only permit required to initially 
obtain a federal LE DGN permit.
    This amendment would adopt many of the current State of California 
management measures associated with the fishery. For example, NMFS 
would adopt current California requirements regarding the assignment of 
a permit (i.e., issued to an individual and assigned to a specific 
vessel), the transfer of permits between permittees (i.e., a permit 
must be held for three years before it is eligible to be transferred), 
and an annual renewal cycle.
    Upon the date of publication of the final rule to implement 
Amendment 5, all 70 state-eligible permit holders would be eligible to 
receive a federal DGN permit if they have renewed their state DGN 
permit by March 31, 2018. Permit holders who fail to renew their state 
DGN permit by March 31, 2018, will not be eligible for a federal DGN 
permit. As of August 31, 2017, 67 permittees have renewed their state 
LE DGN permit. If a state LE DGN permit is transferred after 
publication of the proposed rule to implement Amendment 5, the 
transferee, but not the transferor, would be eligible to receive a 
federal LE DGN permit upon publication of the final rule.
    Federal LE DGN permits would be issued annually for the fishing 
year starting April 1 and ending March 31 of the following year. 
Permits would expire on March 31 of each year and, after initial 
issuance (expected in 2018), the permit renewal deadline would be April 
30 of the fishing year. A completed DGN permit renewal form must be 
received by NMFS no later than close-of-business April 30. Any renewal 
form received after that date would result in the permanent expiration 
of the Federal DGN permit. A permit owner who fails to submit a renewal 
by the deadline may submit a renewal form to NMFS with a written 
statement that the failure to renew the permit by the deadline was 
proximately caused by the permit owner's illness or injury. When a 
permit owner has died, the owner's estate or other personal 
representative may submit a statement explaining that the permit 
owner's death has prevented a timely renewal. The permit holder, or in 
the case of a deceased permit owner, the estate or other personal 
representative, will need to provide written proof of illness, injury 
or death. NMFS will not consider any such renewal request made after 
July 31. If the permit expires, it would permanently expire and NMFS 
would not reissue the permit. A permittee would need to hold a federal 
LE DGN permit for three or more years before it would be eligible to be 
transferred. This vesting period would extend across both state and 
federal permit programs (i.e., if a permit holder held a state LE DGN 
permit for two years and a federal LE DGN permit for one year, the 
permit may be transferred).
    Public comments on Amendment 5 must be received by November 14, 
2017, to be considered by NMFS in the decision whether to approve, 
disapprove, or partially approve Amendment 5. NMFS expects to publish 
and request public comment on the proposed regulation to implement 
Amendment 5 in the near future. Public comments on the proposed rule 
must be received by the end of the comment period on the amendment to 
be considered in the approval/disapproval decision on the amendment. 
All comments received during the comment period for the amendment, 
whether specifically directed to the amendment, or the proposed rule, 
will be considered in the approval/disapproval decision.

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

    Dated: September 12, 2017.
Emily H. Menashes,
Acting Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine 
Fisheries Service.
[FR Doc. 2017-19662 Filed 9-14-17; 8:45 am]
 BILLING CODE 3510-22-P