Fisheries of the Northeastern United States; Northeast Multispecies Fishery; Georges Bank Cod Possession and Trip Limit Adjustment for the Common Pool Fishery, 46002-46003 [2017-21234]

Download as PDF 46002 Federal Register / Vol. 82, No. 190 / Tuesday, October 3, 2017 / Rules and Regulations NMFS reminds General category participants that when the fishery reopens October 1, 2017, the BFT General category daily retention limit will be one large medium or giant BFT (measuring 73″ or greater) per vessel per day/trip. Dated: September 28, 2017. Emily Menashes, Acting Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine Fisheries Service. Classification DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE The Assistant Administrator for NMFS (AA) finds that it is impracticable and contrary to the public interest to provide prior notice of, and an opportunity for public comment on, this action for the following reasons: The regulations implementing the 2006 Consolidated HMS FMP and amendments provide for inseason retention limit adjustments to respond to the unpredictable nature of BFT availability on the fishing grounds, the migratory nature of this species, and the regional variations in the BFT fishery. Affording prior notice and opportunity for public comment to implement the quota transfer for the remainder of 2017 is impracticable and contrary to the public interest as such a delay would result in continued closure of the General category fishery (because the available quota has been met) and the need to re-open the fishery later in the October through November time period, rather than the fishery automatically reopening on October 1. The delay would preclude the fishery from harvesting BFT that are available on the fishing grounds and that might otherwise become unavailable during a delay. Therefore, the AA finds good cause under 5 U.S.C. 553(b)(B) to waive prior notice and the opportunity for public comment. For these reasons, there also is good cause under 5 U.S.C. 553(d) to waive the 30-day delay in effectiveness. This action is being taken under § 635.27(a)(9) (Inseason adjustments) and is exempt from review under Executive Order 12866. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Authority: 16 U.S.C. 971 et seq. and 1801 et seq. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Claire Fitz-Gerald, Fishery Management Specialist, (978) 281–9255. BILLING CODE 3510–22–P 50 CFR Part 648 [Docket No. 151211999–6343–02] RIN 0648–XF713 Fisheries of the Northeastern United States; Northeast Multispecies Fishery; Georges Bank Cod Possession and Trip Limit Adjustment for the Common Pool Fishery National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Commerce. ACTION: Temporary rule; inseason adjustment. AGENCY: This action decreases the possession and trip limits for Georges Bank cod for Northeast multispecies common pool vessels for the remainder of the 2017 fishing year, through April 30, 2018. Recent catch data reported through September 19, 2017, indicates that the common pool fishery has already caught 2.4 metric tons, or 65.7 percent, of the Trimester 2 Georges Bank cod Total Allowable Catch since the second trimester began on September 1, 2017. We project that, at its current trajectory, the common pool will catch its Trimester 2 TAC well before the end of the second trimester, and is also at risk of exceeding its annual 2017 quota. This possession and trip limit decrease is intended to prevent the common pool fishery from exceeding its allocation for this stock prior to the end of the fishing year. DATES: This possession and trip limit decrease is effective September 28, 2017, through April 30, 2018. SUMMARY: The regulations at § 648.86(o) authorize the Regional Administrator to adjust the possession and trip limits for common pool vessels in order to help prevent the overharvest or underharvest of the common pool quotas. Recent catch data reported through September 19, 2017, indicates that the common pool fishery has already caught 2.4 metric tons, or 65.7 percent, of the Trimester 2 Georges Bank (GB) cod Total Allowable Catch (TAC) since the second trimester began on September 1, 2017. The current GB cod possession and trip limit for GB cod is 250 pounds per DAS, and up to 500 pounds per trip. Under these possession limits, the common pool fishery caught its Trimester 1 TAC and triggered an area closure for GB cod on July 27, 2017. We project that, at its current trajectory, the common pool will catch its Trimester 2 TAC well before the end of the second trimester, and is also at risk of exceeding its annual 2017 quota. In the event that the common pool exceeds its 2017 quota, regulations require that the overage must be deducted from the following year’s quota, which would have a negative economic impact on common pool vessels. Therefore, a decrease to the possession and trip limits is being implemented to help prevent the common pool fishery from exceeding its quota for the 2017 fishing year. Effective September 28, 2017, the GB cod possession and trip limits are decreased to 25 lb (11.3 kg) per day and 50 lb (22.7 kg) per trip, as summarized in the table below. Common pool groundfish vessels that have declared their trip through the vessel monitoring system (VMS) or interactive voice response system, and crossed the VMS demarcation line prior to September 28, 2017, are not subject to the new possession and trip limits for that trip. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: [FR Doc. 2017–21209 Filed 9–28–17; 4:15 pm] TABLE 1—NEW POSSESSION AND TRIP LIMITS FOR GB COD Current possession/trip limits New possession/trip limits Days-At-Sea (A DAS) .......................... jstallworth on DSKBBY8HB2PROD with RULES Permit type 250 lb (113.4 kg) per DAS, up to 500 lb (226.8 kg) per trip. 250 lb (113.4 kg) per trip ........................................ 25 lb (11.3 kg) per trip ............................................ 25 lb (11.3 kg) per trip, within combined 300 lb (136.1 kg) trip limit for cod, haddock, and yellowtail flounder. 25 lb (11.3 kg) per DAS, up to 50 lb (22.6 kg) per trip. 25 lb (11.3 kg) per trip. Unchanged. Unchanged. Handgear A .......................................... Handgear B .......................................... Small Vessel Category ......................... VerDate Sep<11>2014 15:04 Oct 02, 2017 Jkt 244001 PO 00000 Frm 00048 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 E:\FR\FM\03OCR1.SGM 03OCR1 Federal Register / Vol. 82, No. 190 / Tuesday, October 3, 2017 / Rules and Regulations Weekly quota monitoring reports for the common pool fishery are on our Web site at: http:// www.greateratlantic.fisheries.noaa.gov/ ro/fso/MultiMonReports.htm. We will continue to monitor common pool catch through vessel trip reports, dealerreported landings, VMS catch reports, and other available information and, if necessary, we will make additional adjustments to common pool management measures. jstallworth on DSKBBY8HB2PROD with RULES Classification This action is required by 50 CFR part 648 and is exempt from review under Executive Order 12866. The Assistant Administrator for Fisheries, NOAA, finds good cause pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 553(b)(B) and 5 U.S.C. 553(d)(3) to waive prior notice and the opportunity for public comment and the 30-day delayed effectiveness period because it would be VerDate Sep<11>2014 15:04 Oct 02, 2017 Jkt 244001 impracticable and contrary to the public interest. The regulations at § 648.86(o) authorize the Regional Administrator to adjust the Northeast multispecies possession and trip limits for common pool vessels in order to help prevent the overharvest or underharvest of the pertinent common pool quotas. The catch data used as the basis for this action only recently became available. The available analysis indicates that the common pool fishery has already achieved 65.7 percent of its second trimester GB cod TAC within the first three weeks of the trimester and if the GB cod possession and trip limits are not reduced immediately, the common pool fishery may exceed its quota for this stock. This action reduces the probability of the common pool fishery exceeding its quota for GB cod. Any overages of the common pool quota for this stock would undermine PO 00000 Frm 00049 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 9990 46003 conservation objectives and trigger the implementation of accountability measures that would have negative economic impacts on the common pool vessels. The time necessary to provide for prior notice and comment, and a 30day delay in effectiveness, would prevent NMFS from implementing the necessary possession and trip limit adjustment in a timely manner, which could undermine conservation objectives of the Northeast Multispecies Fishery Management Plan, and cause negative economic impacts to the common pool fishery. Authority: 16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq. Dated: September 28, 2017. Alan D. Risenhoover, Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine Fisheries Service. [FR Doc. 2017–21234 Filed 9–28–17; 4:15 pm] BILLING CODE 3510–22–P E:\FR\FM\03OCR1.SGM 03OCR1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 82, Number 190 (Tuesday, October 3, 2017)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 46002-46003]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2017-21234]


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DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

50 CFR Part 648

[Docket No. 151211999-6343-02]
RIN 0648-XF713


Fisheries of the Northeastern United States; Northeast 
Multispecies Fishery; Georges Bank Cod Possession and Trip Limit 
Adjustment for the Common Pool Fishery

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

ACTION: Temporary rule; inseason adjustment.

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

SUMMARY: This action decreases the possession and trip limits for 
Georges Bank cod for Northeast multispecies common pool vessels for the 
remainder of the 2017 fishing year, through April 30, 2018. Recent 
catch data reported through September 19, 2017, indicates that the 
common pool fishery has already caught 2.4 metric tons, or 65.7 
percent, of the Trimester 2 Georges Bank cod Total Allowable Catch 
since the second trimester began on September 1, 2017. We project that, 
at its current trajectory, the common pool will catch its Trimester 2 
TAC well before the end of the second trimester, and is also at risk of 
exceeding its annual 2017 quota. This possession and trip limit 
decrease is intended to prevent the common pool fishery from exceeding 
its allocation for this stock prior to the end of the fishing year.

DATES: This possession and trip limit decrease is effective September 
28, 2017, through April 30, 2018.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Claire Fitz-Gerald, Fishery Management 
Specialist, (978) 281-9255.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The regulations at Sec.  648.86(o) authorize 
the Regional Administrator to adjust the possession and trip limits for 
common pool vessels in order to help prevent the overharvest or 
underharvest of the common pool quotas.
    Recent catch data reported through September 19, 2017, indicates 
that the common pool fishery has already caught 2.4 metric tons, or 
65.7 percent, of the Trimester 2 Georges Bank (GB) cod Total Allowable 
Catch (TAC) since the second trimester began on September 1, 2017. The 
current GB cod possession and trip limit for GB cod is 250 pounds per 
DAS, and up to 500 pounds per trip. Under these possession limits, the 
common pool fishery caught its Trimester 1 TAC and triggered an area 
closure for GB cod on July 27, 2017. We project that, at its current 
trajectory, the common pool will catch its Trimester 2 TAC well before 
the end of the second trimester, and is also at risk of exceeding its 
annual 2017 quota. In the event that the common pool exceeds its 2017 
quota, regulations require that the overage must be deducted from the 
following year's quota, which would have a negative economic impact on 
common pool vessels. Therefore, a decrease to the possession and trip 
limits is being implemented to help prevent the common pool fishery 
from exceeding its quota for the 2017 fishing year.
    Effective September 28, 2017, the GB cod possession and trip limits 
are decreased to 25 lb (11.3 kg) per day and 50 lb (22.7 kg) per trip, 
as summarized in the table below. Common pool groundfish vessels that 
have declared their trip through the vessel monitoring system (VMS) or 
interactive voice response system, and crossed the VMS demarcation line 
prior to September 28, 2017, are not subject to the new possession and 
trip limits for that trip.

           Table 1--New Possession and Trip Limits for GB Cod
------------------------------------------------------------------------
                               Current possession/   New possession/trip
         Permit type               trip limits             limits
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Days-At-Sea (A DAS).........  250 lb (113.4 kg)     25 lb (11.3 kg) per
                               per DAS, up to 500    DAS, up to 50 lb
                               lb (226.8 kg) per     (22.6 kg) per trip.
                               trip.
Handgear A..................  250 lb (113.4 kg)     25 lb (11.3 kg) per
                               per trip.             trip.
Handgear B..................  25 lb (11.3 kg) per   Unchanged.
                               trip.
Small Vessel Category.......  25 lb (11.3 kg) per   Unchanged.
                               trip, within
                               combined 300 lb
                               (136.1 kg) trip
                               limit for cod,
                               haddock, and
                               yellowtail flounder.
------------------------------------------------------------------------


[[Page 46003]]

    Weekly quota monitoring reports for the common pool fishery are on 
our Web site at: http://www.greateratlantic.fisheries.noaa.gov/ro/fso/MultiMonReports.htm. We will continue to monitor common pool catch 
through vessel trip reports, dealer-reported landings, VMS catch 
reports, and other available information and, if necessary, we will 
make additional adjustments to common pool management measures.

Classification

    This action is required by 50 CFR part 648 and is exempt from 
review under Executive Order 12866.
    The Assistant Administrator for Fisheries, NOAA, finds good cause 
pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 553(b)(B) and 5 U.S.C. 553(d)(3) to waive prior 
notice and the opportunity for public comment and the 30-day delayed 
effectiveness period because it would be impracticable and contrary to 
the public interest.
    The regulations at Sec.  648.86(o) authorize the Regional 
Administrator to adjust the Northeast multispecies possession and trip 
limits for common pool vessels in order to help prevent the overharvest 
or underharvest of the pertinent common pool quotas. The catch data 
used as the basis for this action only recently became available. The 
available analysis indicates that the common pool fishery has already 
achieved 65.7 percent of its second trimester GB cod TAC within the 
first three weeks of the trimester and if the GB cod possession and 
trip limits are not reduced immediately, the common pool fishery may 
exceed its quota for this stock. This action reduces the probability of 
the common pool fishery exceeding its quota for GB cod. Any overages of 
the common pool quota for this stock would undermine conservation 
objectives and trigger the implementation of accountability measures 
that would have negative economic impacts on the common pool vessels. 
The time necessary to provide for prior notice and comment, and a 30-
day delay in effectiveness, would prevent NMFS from implementing the 
necessary possession and trip limit adjustment in a timely manner, 
which could undermine conservation objectives of the Northeast 
Multispecies Fishery Management Plan, and cause negative economic 
impacts to the common pool fishery.

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

    Dated: September 28, 2017.
Alan D. Risenhoover,
Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine Fisheries 
Service.
[FR Doc. 2017-21234 Filed 9-28-17; 4:15 pm]
 BILLING CODE 3510-22-P