Coastal Migratory Pelagic Resources of the Gulf of Mexico and Atlantic Region; 2017-2018 Commercial Accountability Measure and Closure for King Mackerel in the Gulf of Mexico Western Zone, 47162 [2017-21908]

Download as PDF 47162 Federal Register / Vol. 82, No. 195 / Wednesday, October 11, 2017 / Rules and Regulations Federal Communications Commission. Marlene H. Dortch, Secretary, Office of the Secretary. [FR Doc. 2017–21766 Filed 10–10–17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6712–01–P DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration 50 CFR Part 622 [Docket No. 160426363–7275–02] RIN 0648–XF735 Coastal Migratory Pelagic Resources of the Gulf of Mexico and Atlantic Region; 2017–2018 Commercial Accountability Measure and Closure for King Mackerel in the Gulf of Mexico Western Zone National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Commerce. ACTION: Temporary rule; closure. 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 for king mackerel in the western zone of the Gulf EEZ will be reached by October 7, 2017. Therefore, NMFS closes the western zone of the Gulf EEZ to commercial king mackerel fishing on October 7, 2017. This closure is necessary to protect the Gulf king mackerel resource. DATES: The closure is effective at noon, local time, October 7, 2017, until 12:01 a.m., local time, on July 1, 2018. 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. ethrower on DSK3G9T082PROD with RULES SUMMARY: VerDate Sep<11>2014 20:04 Oct 10, 2017 Jkt 244001 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) (82 FR 21314, May 8, 2017). The commercial quota for the Gulf king mackerel in the Gulf western zone is 1,136,000 lb (515,281 kg) for the current fishing year, July 1, 2017, through June 30, 2018 (50 CFR 622.384(b)(1)(i)). The western zone of Gulf 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. The western zone includes the EEZ off Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama. 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 1,136,000 lb (515,281 kg) for Gulf king mackerel in the western zone will be reached by October 7, 2017. Accordingly, the western zone is closed to commercial fishing for Gulf king mackerel effective at noon, local time, October 7, 2017, through June 30, 2018, the end of the current fishing year. During the closure, a person on board a vessel that has been issued a valid Federal commercial or charter vessel/ headboat permit for coastal migratory pelagic fish may continue to retain the king mackerel in the western zone under the recreational bag and possession limits specified in 50 CFR 622.382(a)(1)(ii) and (a)(2), as long as the recreational sector for Gulf king mackerel in the western zone is open (50 CFR 622.384(e)(1)). Also 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)(2)). Classification The Regional Administrator for the NMFS Southeast Region has determined this temporary rule is necessary for the conservation and management of Gulf king mackerel and is consistent with the PO 00000 Frm 00080 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 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 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: October 5, 2017. Emily H. Menashes, Acting Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine Fisheries Service. [FR Doc. 2017–21908 Filed 10–5–17; 4:15 pm] BILLING CODE 3510–22–P DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration 50 CFR Part 679 [Docket No. 161020985–7181–02] RIN 0648–XF732 Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Reallocation of Pacific Cod in the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Management Area National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), National Oceanic and AGENCY: E:\FR\FM\11OCR1.SGM 11OCR1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 82, Number 195 (Wednesday, October 11, 2017)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Page 47162]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2017-21908]


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DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

50 CFR Part 622

[Docket No. 160426363-7275-02]
RIN 0648-XF735


Coastal Migratory Pelagic Resources of the Gulf of Mexico and 
Atlantic Region; 2017-2018 Commercial Accountability Measure and 
Closure for King Mackerel in the Gulf of Mexico Western Zone

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 October 7, 2017. Therefore, 
NMFS closes the western zone of the Gulf EEZ to commercial king 
mackerel fishing on October 7, 2017. This closure is necessary to 
protect the Gulf king mackerel resource.

DATES: The closure is effective at noon, local time, October 7, 2017, 
until 12:01 a.m., local time, on July 1, 2018.

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 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) (82 
FR 21314, May 8, 2017). The commercial quota for the Gulf king mackerel 
in the Gulf western zone is 1,136,000 lb (515,281 kg) for the current 
fishing year, July 1, 2017, through June 30, 2018 (50 CFR 
622.384(b)(1)(i)).
    The western zone of Gulf 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. The western zone includes 
the EEZ off Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama.
    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 1,136,000 lb (515,281 kg) 
for Gulf king mackerel in the western zone will be reached by October 
7, 2017. Accordingly, the western zone is closed to commercial fishing 
for Gulf king mackerel effective at noon, local time, October 7, 2017, 
through June 30, 2018, the end of the current fishing year.
    During the closure, a person on board a vessel that has been issued 
a valid Federal commercial or charter vessel/headboat permit for 
coastal migratory pelagic fish may continue to retain the king mackerel 
in the western zone under the recreational bag and possession limits 
specified in 50 CFR 622.382(a)(1)(ii) and (a)(2), as long as the 
recreational sector for Gulf king mackerel in the western zone is open 
(50 CFR 622.384(e)(1)).
    Also 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)(2)).

Classification

    The Regional Administrator for the NMFS Southeast Region has 
determined this temporary rule is necessary for the conservation and 
management of Gulf 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 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: October 5, 2017.
Emily H. Menashes,
Acting Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine 
Fisheries Service.
[FR Doc. 2017-21908 Filed 10-5-17; 4:15 pm]
 BILLING CODE 3510-22-P