Fisheries of the Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico, and South Atlantic; 2017 Commercial Accountability Measure and Closure for South Atlantic Vermilion Snapper, 47641-47642 [2017-22211]

Download as PDF Federal Register / Vol. 82, No. 197 / Friday, October 13, 2017 / Rules and Regulations nlaroche on DSK9F9SC42PROD with RULES for greater amberjack when the commercial ACL (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 projects that commercial landings of South Atlantic greater amberjack will reach the commercial ACL by October 18, 2017. Accordingly, the commercial sector for South Atlantic greater amberjack is closed effective at 12:01 a.m., local time, October 18, 2017, until 12:01 a.m., local time, March 1, 2018. The operator of a vessel with a valid Federal commercial vessel permit for South Atlantic snapper-grouper with greater amberjack on board must have landed and bartered, traded, or sold such greater amberjack prior to 12:01 a.m., local time, October 18, 2017. During the commercial closure, harvest and possession of greater amberjack in or from the South Atlantic EEZ is limited to the recreational bag and possession limits, as specified in § 622.187(b)(1) and (c)(1). Also during the commercial closure, the sale or purchase of greater amberjack taken from the South Atlantic EEZ is prohibited. The prohibition on sale or purchase does not apply to greater amberjack that were harvested, landed ashore, and sold prior to 12:01 a.m., local time, October 18, 2017, and were held in cold storage by a dealer or processor, as specified in § 622.190(c)(1)(i). For a person on board a vessel that has been issued a valid Federal commercial or charter vessel/headboat permit for the South Atlantic snappergrouper fishery, the bag and possession limits and the sale and purchase provisions of the commercial closure for greater amberjack apply regardless of whether the fish are harvested in state or Federal waters, as specified in 50 CFR 622.190(c)(1)(ii). Classification The Regional Administrator, Southeast Region, NMFS, has determined this temporary rule is necessary for the conservation and management of greater amberjack and the South Atlantic snapper-grouper fishery and is consistent with the Magnuson-Stevens Act and other applicable laws. This action is taken under 50 CFR 622.193(k)(1) 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 VerDate Sep<11>2014 15:07 Oct 12, 2017 Jkt 244001 Assistant Administrator for NOAA Fisheries (AA) finds that the need to immediately implement this action to close the commercial sector for greater amberjack constitutes good cause to waive the requirements to provide prior notice and opportunity for public comment pursuant to the authority set forth in 5 U.S.C. 553(b)(B), as such procedures would be unnecessary and contrary to the public interest. Such procedures are unnecessary because the AMs have already been subject to notice and comment, and all that remains is to notify the public of the closure. Such procedures are contrary to the public interest because of the need to immediately implement this action to protect greater amberjack since the capacity of the fishing fleet allows for rapid harvest of the commercial ACL (commercial quota). Prior notice and opportunity for public comment would require time and would potentially result in a harvest well in excess of the established commercial ACL (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 10, 2017. Emily H. Menashes, Acting Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine Fisheries Service. [FR Doc. 2017–22210 Filed 10–12–17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510–22–P DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration 50 CFR Part 622 [Docket No. 130312235–3658–02] RIN 0648–XF730 Fisheries of the Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico, and South Atlantic; 2017 Commercial Accountability Measure and Closure for South Atlantic Vermilion Snapper National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Commerce. ACTION: Temporary rule; closure. AGENCY: NMFS implements an accountability measure (AM) for the commercial sector for vermilion snapper in the South Atlantic exclusive economic zone (EEZ). NMFS projects that commercial landings of vermilion snapper will reach the commercial SUMMARY: PO 00000 Frm 00031 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 47641 annual catch limit (ACL) for the July through December 2017 fishing period by October 17, 2017. Therefore, NMFS closes the commercial sector for vermilion snapper in the South Atlantic EEZ on October 17, 2017, and it will remain closed until January 1, 2018, the start of the January through June commercial fishing season. This closure is necessary to protect the South Atlantic vermilion snapper resource. DATES: This rule is effective from 12:01 a.m., local time, October 17, 2017, until 12:01 a.m., local time, January 1, 2018. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Mary Vara, NMFS Southeast Regional Office, telephone: 727–824–5305, email: mary.vara@noaa.gov. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The snapper-grouper fishery of the South Atlantic includes vermilion snapper and is managed under the Fishery Management Plan for the SnapperGrouper Fishery of the South Atlantic Region (FMP). The FMP was prepared by the South Atlantic Fishery Management Council 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. The commercial ACL (equivalent to the commercial quota) for vermilion snapper in the South Atlantic is divided into separate quotas for two 6-month periods each year, January through June and July through December. The commercial quota for vermilion snapper in the South Atlantic is 388,703 lb (176,313 kg), gutted weight (431,460 lb (195,707 kg), round weight), for the July 1 through December 31, 2017, fishing period, as specified in 50 CFR 622.190(a)(4)(ii)(D). On September 28, 2017 (82 FR 45207), NMFS published a temporary rule in the Federal Register to reduce the commercial trip limit for vermilion snapper in or from the South Atlantic EEZ to 500 lb (227 kg), gutted weight, effective at 12:01 a.m., local time, October 2, 2017, until January 1, 2018, or until the commercial quota was reached and the commercial sector closed, whichever would occur first. In accordance with regulations at 50 CFR 622.193(f)(1), NMFS is required to close the commercial sector for vermilion snapper when the commercial quota for that 6-month period of the fishing year has been reached, or is projected to be reached, by filing a notification to that effect with the Office of the Federal Register. NMFS has determined that the commercial quota for South Atlantic vermilion snapper for the July through December fishing E:\FR\FM\13OCR1.SGM 13OCR1 47642 Federal Register / Vol. 82, No. 197 / Friday, October 13, 2017 / Rules and Regulations nlaroche on DSK9F9SC42PROD with RULES period will be reached by October 17, 2017. Accordingly, the commercial sector for South Atlantic vermilion snapper is closed effective at 12:01 a.m., local time, October 17, 2017, until 12:01 a.m., local time, January 1, 2018. The operator of a vessel with a valid commercial vessel permit for South Atlantic snapper-grouper with vermilion snapper on board must have landed and bartered, traded, or sold such vermilion snapper prior to 12:01 a.m., local time, October 17, 2017. During the commercial closure, the recreational bag limit specified in 50 CFR 622.187(b)(5) and the possession limits specified in 50 CFR 622.187(c)(1) apply to all harvest or possession of vermilion snapper in or from the South Atlantic EEZ. Also during the commercial closure, the sale or purchase of vermilion snapper taken from the EEZ is prohibited. As specified in 50 CFR 622.190(c)(1)(i), the prohibition on sale or purchase does not apply to the sale or purchase of vermilion snapper that were harvested, landed ashore, and sold prior to 12:01 a.m., local time, October 17, 2017, and were held in cold storage by a dealer or processor. For a person on board a vessel issued a Federal commercial or charter vessel/headboat permit for the South Atlantic snapper-grouper fishery, the recreational bag and possession limits and the sale and purchase provisions of the commercial closure for vermilion snapper apply regardless of whether the fish are harvested in state or Federal waters, as specified in 50 CFR 622.190(c)(1)(ii). Classification The Regional Administrator for the NMFS Southeast Region has determined this temporary rule is necessary for the conservation and management of South Atlantic vermilion snapper and is consistent with the Magnuson-Stevens Act and other applicable laws. This action is taken under 50 CFR 622.193(f)(1) and is exempt from review under Executive Order 12866. This action responds to the best scientific information available. The Assistant Administrator for NOAA Fisheries (AA) finds that the need to immediately implement this action to close the commercial sector for vermilion snapper constitutes good cause to waive the requirements to provide prior notice and opportunity for public comment pursuant to the authority set forth in 5 U.S.C. 553(b)(B), as such procedures would be unnecessary and contrary to the public interest. Such procedures are unnecessary because the final rule implementing the AM has been subject VerDate Sep<11>2014 15:07 Oct 12, 2017 Jkt 244001 to public notice and comment, and all that remains is to notify the public of the closure. 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 vermilion snapper, since 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 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 10, 2017. Emily H. Menashes, Acting Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine Fisheries Service. [FR Doc. 2017–22211 Filed 10–12–17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510–22–P DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration 50 CFR Part 665 [Docket No. 170109046–7933–02] RIN 0648–XF156 Pacific Island Pelagic Fisheries; 2017 U.S. Territorial Longline Bigeye Tuna Catch Limits National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Commerce. ACTION: Final specifications. AGENCY: In this final rule, NMFS specifies a 2017 limit of 2,000 mt of longline-caught bigeye tuna for each U.S. participating territory (American Samoa, Guam, and the Northern Mariana Islands). NMFS will allow each territory to allocate up to 1,000 mt each year to U.S. longline fishing vessels in a valid specified fishing agreement. As an accountability measure, NMFS will monitor, attribute, and restrict (if necessary), catches of longline-caught bigeye tuna, including catches made under a specified fishing agreement. These catch limits and accountability measures support the long-term sustainability of fishery resources of the U.S. Pacific Islands and fisheries development in the U.S. territories. DATES: The final specifications are effective October 10, 2017, through SUMMARY: PO 00000 Frm 00032 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 December 31, 2017. The deadline to submit a specified fishing agreement pursuant to 50 CFR 665.819(b)(3) for review is December 11, 2017. ADDRESSES: Copies of the Fishery Ecosystem Plan for Pelagic Fisheries of the Western Pacific (Pelagic FEP) are available from the Western Pacific Fishery Management Council (Council), 1164 Bishop St., Suite 1400, Honolulu, HI 96813, tel 808–522–8220, fax 808– 522–8226, or www.wpcouncil.org. NMFS prepared environmental analyses that describe the potential impacts on the human environment that would result from the action. Copies of those analyses, identified by NOAA– NMFS–2017–0004, are available from www.regulations.gov/ #!docketDetail;D=NOAA-NMFS-20170004, or from Michael D. Tosatto, Regional Administrator, NMFS Pacific Islands Region (PIR), 1845 Wasp Blvd., Bldg. 176, Honolulu, HI 96818. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Jarad Makaiau, NMFS PIRO Sustainable Fisheries, 808–725–5176. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: NMFS is specifying a catch limit of 2,000 mt of longline-caught bigeye tuna for each U.S. participating territory in 2017. NMFS is also authorizing each territory to allocate up to 1,000 mt of its 2,000mt bigeye tuna limit to U.S. longline fishing vessels permitted to fish under the Pelagic FEP. NMFS will monitor catches of longline-caught bigeye tuna by the longline fisheries of each territory, including catches made by U.S. longline vessels operating under specified fishing agreements. The criteria that a specified fishing agreement must meet, and the process for attributing longline-caught bigeye tuna, will follow the procedures in 50 CFR 665.819—Territorial catch and fishing effort limits. When NMFS projects that a territorial catch or allocation limit will be reached, NMFS will, as an accountability measure, prohibit the catch and retention of longline-caught bigeye tuna by vessels in the applicable territory (territorial catch limit), and/or vessels in a specified fishing agreement (allocation limit). You may find additional background information on this action in the preamble to the proposed specifications published on August 31, 2017 (82 FR 41388). Comments and Responses On August 31, 2017, NMFS published the proposed specifications and request for public comments (82 FR 41388); the comment period closed on September 15, 2017. E:\FR\FM\13OCR1.SGM 13OCR1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 82, Number 197 (Friday, October 13, 2017)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 47641-47642]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2017-22211]


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DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

50 CFR Part 622

[Docket No. 130312235-3658-02]
RIN 0648-XF730


Fisheries of the Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico, and South Atlantic; 
2017 Commercial Accountability Measure and Closure for South Atlantic 
Vermilion Snapper

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 the 
commercial sector for vermilion snapper in the South Atlantic exclusive 
economic zone (EEZ). NMFS projects that commercial landings of 
vermilion snapper will reach the commercial annual catch limit (ACL) 
for the July through December 2017 fishing period by October 17, 2017. 
Therefore, NMFS closes the commercial sector for vermilion snapper in 
the South Atlantic EEZ on October 17, 2017, and it will remain closed 
until January 1, 2018, the start of the January through June commercial 
fishing season. This closure is necessary to protect the South Atlantic 
vermilion snapper resource.

DATES: This rule is effective from 12:01 a.m., local time, October 17, 
2017, until 12:01 a.m., local time, January 1, 2018.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Mary Vara, NMFS Southeast Regional 
Office, telephone: 727-824-5305, email: mary.vara@noaa.gov.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The snapper-grouper fishery of the South 
Atlantic includes vermilion snapper and is managed under the Fishery 
Management Plan for the Snapper-Grouper Fishery of the South Atlantic 
Region (FMP). The FMP was prepared by the South Atlantic Fishery 
Management Council 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.
    The commercial ACL (equivalent to the commercial quota) for 
vermilion snapper in the South Atlantic is divided into separate quotas 
for two 6-month periods each year, January through June and July 
through December. The commercial quota for vermilion snapper in the 
South Atlantic is 388,703 lb (176,313 kg), gutted weight (431,460 lb 
(195,707 kg), round weight), for the July 1 through December 31, 2017, 
fishing period, as specified in 50 CFR 622.190(a)(4)(ii)(D).
    On September 28, 2017 (82 FR 45207), NMFS published a temporary 
rule in the Federal Register to reduce the commercial trip limit for 
vermilion snapper in or from the South Atlantic EEZ to 500 lb (227 kg), 
gutted weight, effective at 12:01 a.m., local time, October 2, 2017, 
until January 1, 2018, or until the commercial quota was reached and 
the commercial sector closed, whichever would occur first.
    In accordance with regulations at 50 CFR 622.193(f)(1), NMFS is 
required to close the commercial sector for vermilion snapper when the 
commercial quota for that 6-month period of the fishing year has been 
reached, or is projected to be reached, by filing a notification to 
that effect with the Office of the Federal Register. NMFS has 
determined that the commercial quota for South Atlantic vermilion 
snapper for the July through December fishing

[[Page 47642]]

period will be reached by October 17, 2017. Accordingly, the commercial 
sector for South Atlantic vermilion snapper is closed effective at 
12:01 a.m., local time, October 17, 2017, until 12:01 a.m., local time, 
January 1, 2018.
    The operator of a vessel with a valid commercial vessel permit for 
South Atlantic snapper-grouper with vermilion snapper on board must 
have landed and bartered, traded, or sold such vermilion snapper prior 
to 12:01 a.m., local time, October 17, 2017. During the commercial 
closure, the recreational bag limit specified in 50 CFR 622.187(b)(5) 
and the possession limits specified in 50 CFR 622.187(c)(1) apply to 
all harvest or possession of vermilion snapper in or from the South 
Atlantic EEZ. Also during the commercial closure, the sale or purchase 
of vermilion snapper taken from the EEZ is prohibited. As specified in 
50 CFR 622.190(c)(1)(i), the prohibition on sale or purchase does not 
apply to the sale or purchase of vermilion snapper that were harvested, 
landed ashore, and sold prior to 12:01 a.m., local time, October 17, 
2017, and were held in cold storage by a dealer or processor. For a 
person on board a vessel issued a Federal commercial or charter vessel/
headboat permit for the South Atlantic snapper-grouper fishery, the 
recreational bag and possession limits and the sale and purchase 
provisions of the commercial closure for vermilion snapper apply 
regardless of whether the fish are harvested in state or Federal 
waters, as specified in 50 CFR 622.190(c)(1)(ii).

Classification

    The Regional Administrator for the NMFS Southeast Region has 
determined this temporary rule is necessary for the conservation and 
management of South Atlantic vermilion snapper and is consistent with 
the Magnuson-Stevens Act and other applicable laws.
    This action is taken under 50 CFR 622.193(f)(1) and is exempt from 
review under Executive Order 12866.
    This action responds to the best scientific information available. 
The Assistant Administrator for NOAA Fisheries (AA) finds that the need 
to immediately implement this action to close the commercial sector for 
vermilion snapper constitutes good cause to waive the requirements to 
provide prior notice and opportunity for public comment pursuant to the 
authority set forth in 5 U.S.C. 553(b)(B), as such procedures would be 
unnecessary and contrary to the public interest. Such procedures are 
unnecessary because the final rule implementing the AM has been subject 
to public notice and comment, and all that remains is to notify the 
public of the closure. 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 vermilion snapper, since 
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 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 10, 2017.
Emily H. Menashes,
Acting Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine 
Fisheries Service.
[FR Doc. 2017-22211 Filed 10-12-17; 8:45 am]
 BILLING CODE 3510-22-P