Fisheries of the Northeastern United States; Northeast Skate Complex; Adjustment to the Skate Wing Inseason Possession Limit, 59526-59527 [2017-27082]

Download as PDF 59526 Federal Register / Vol. 82, No. 240 / Friday, December 15, 2017 / Rules and Regulations closure, the bag and possession limits for gray triggerfish in or from the Gulf EEZ are zero. The commercial sector for gray triggerfish in or from the Gulf EEZ is closed from June 1 through July 31, each year. During the period of both the commercial and recreational closure, all harvest or possession in or from the Gulf EEZ of gray triggerfish is prohibited and the sale and purchase of gray triggerfish taken from the Gulf EEZ is prohibited. * * * * * ■ 3. In § 622.37, revise paragraph (c)(1) to read as follows: DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE § 622.37 AGENCY: Size limits. * * * * * (c) * * * (1) Gray triggerfish. (i) For a person not subject to the bag limit specified in § 622.38(b)(5)—14 inches (35.6 cm), fork length. (ii) For a person subject to the bag limit specified in § 622.38(b)(5)—15 inches (38.1 cm), fork length. * * * * * ■ 4. In § 622.38, revise paragraph (b)(5) to read as follows: § 622.38 Bag and possession limits. * * * * * (b) * * * (5) Gulf reef fish, combined, excluding those specified in paragraphs (b)(1) through (4) and paragraphs (b)(6) and (7) of this section—20. In addition, within the 20-fish aggregate reef fish bag limit, no more than 1 fish may be gray triggerfish and no more than 10 fish may be vermilion snapper. * * * * * ■ 5. In § 622.43, revise paragraph (b) to read as follows: § 622.43 Commercial trip limits. * * * * * (b) Gray triggerfish. Until the commercial ACT (commercial quota) specified in § 622.39(a)(1)(vi) is reached—16 fish. See § 622.39(b) for the limitations regarding gray triggerfish after the commercial ACT (commercial quota) is reached. * * * * * [FR Doc. 2017–27068 Filed 12–14–17; 8:45 am] nshattuck on DSK9F9SC42PROD with RULES BILLING CODE 3510–22–P VerDate Sep<11>2014 15:15 Dec 14, 2017 Jkt 244001 National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration 50 CFR Part 648 [Docket No. 160301164–6694–02] RIN 0648–XF883 Fisheries of the Northeastern United States; Northeast Skate Complex; Adjustment to the Skate Wing Inseason Possession Limit National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Commerce. ACTION: Temporary rule; inseason adjustment. NMFS announces the reduction of the commercial skate wing fishery per-trip possession limit for the remainder of the 2017 fishing year, through April 30, 2018. This possession limit reduction is necessary to prevent the skate wing commercial quota from being exceeded, while still allowing the opportunity to harvest the annual total allowable landings. This announcement also informs the public that the skate wing possession limit is reduced. DATES: Effective December 27, 2017, through April 30, 2018. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Cynthia Hanson, Fishery Management Specialist, (978) 281–9180, or Cynthia.Hanson@noaa.gov. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The skate wing and bait fisheries are managed through the Northeast Skate Complex Fishery Management Plan; the regulations for which are found at 50 CFR part 648, subpart O. Regulations at § 648.322(b)(2) describe the process of adjusting the commercial possession limit of skate wings. When 85 percent of the annual total allowable landings (TAL) for skate wing fishery is projected to be harvested, the NMFS Greater Atlantic Regional Administrator may reduce the skate wing possession limit to the incidental limit, unless the reduction would be expected to prevent SUMMARY: PO 00000 Frm 00022 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 attainment of the annual TAL. The initial skate wing possession limit is 4,100 lb (1,860 kg) of wings (9,307 lb (4,222 kg) whole weight). When the 85percent trigger is reached, this is reduced to the incidental limit of and 500 lb (227 kg) of wings (1,135 lb (515 kg) whole weight). We anticipate that implementing this inseason adjustment will allow the opportunity for the skate wing fishery to harvest the annual TAL while reducing the possibility of exceeding it. Based on commercial landings data reported through December 2, 2017, we project the skate wing fishery to reach 85 percent of the annual TAL (18.46 million lb, 8,372 mt) on or about December 11, 2017. Furthermore, without adjustment, there is a high probability that skate wing landings will exceed the TAL before the end of the fishing year. Therefore, consistent with § 648.322(b)(2), we are reducing the skate wing possession limit from 4,100 lb (1,860 kg) of skate wings (9,307 lb (4,222 kg) whole weight) to 500 lb (227 kg) of skate wings (1,135 lb (515 kg) whole weight) per trip. At the request of industry to allow adequate time for safe gear removal, we are affording a 14-day notice period before implementing this reduction. Effective December 27, 2017, no person may possess on board or land more than 500 lb (227 kg) of skate wings (1,135 lb (515 kg) whole weight), or any prorated combination of skate wings and whole skates based on the conversion factor for wing weight to whole weight of 2.27, per trip for the remainder of the 2017 fishing year. This action does not affect vessels fishing under a skate bait letter of authorization. On May 1, 2018, the 2018 fishing year begins, and the commercial skate wing possession limit will increase to the skate wing season 1 (May 1, 2018, to August 31, 2018) possession limit of 2,600 lb (1,179 kg) of skate wings (5,902 lb (2,677 kg) whole weight) per trip. E:\FR\FM\15DER1.SGM 15DER1 Federal Register / Vol. 82, No. 240 / Friday, December 15, 2017 / Rules and Regulations nshattuck on DSK9F9SC42PROD with RULES Classification This action is taken under 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) to waive prior notice and the opportunity for public comment because it would be contrary to the public interest. This action lowers the possession limit for the commercial skate wing fishery to the incidental limit in order to prevent the VerDate Sep<11>2014 15:15 Dec 14, 2017 Jkt 244001 annual quota from being exceeded, while still allowing the opportunity to harvest the annual TAL. The regulations at § 648.322(b)(2) allow such action when landings reach a trigger of 85 percent of the annual TAL to ensure this TAL is not exceeded. If implementation of this reduction were delayed to solicit prior public comment, the quota for this fishing year would likely be exceeded, thereby undermining the conservation objectives of the Northeast Skate Complex Fishery Management Plan. The PO 00000 Frm 00023 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 9990 59527 Assistant Administrator further finds, pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 553(d)(3), good cause to waive the 30-day delayed effectiveness period for the reason stated above. Authority: 16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq. Dated: December 12, 2017. Emily H. Menashes, Acting Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine Fisheries Service. [FR Doc. 2017–27082 Filed 12–12–17; 4:15 pm] BILLING CODE 3510–22–P E:\FR\FM\15DER1.SGM 15DER1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 82, Number 240 (Friday, December 15, 2017)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 59526-59527]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2017-27082]


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DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

50 CFR Part 648

[Docket No. 160301164-6694-02]
RIN 0648-XF883


Fisheries of the Northeastern United States; Northeast Skate 
Complex; Adjustment to the Skate Wing Inseason Possession Limit

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

ACTION: Temporary rule; inseason adjustment.

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SUMMARY: NMFS announces the reduction of the commercial skate wing 
fishery per-trip possession limit for the remainder of the 2017 fishing 
year, through April 30, 2018. This possession limit reduction is 
necessary to prevent the skate wing commercial quota from being 
exceeded, while still allowing the opportunity to harvest the annual 
total allowable landings. This announcement also informs the public 
that the skate wing possession limit is reduced.

DATES: Effective December 27, 2017, through April 30, 2018.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Cynthia Hanson, Fishery Management 
Specialist, (978) 281-9180, or [email protected].

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The skate wing and bait fisheries are 
managed through the Northeast Skate Complex Fishery Management Plan; 
the regulations for which are found at 50 CFR part 648, subpart O. 
Regulations at Sec.  648.322(b)(2) describe the process of adjusting 
the commercial possession limit of skate wings. When 85 percent of the 
annual total allowable landings (TAL) for skate wing fishery is 
projected to be harvested, the NMFS Greater Atlantic Regional 
Administrator may reduce the skate wing possession limit to the 
incidental limit, unless the reduction would be expected to prevent 
attainment of the annual TAL. The initial skate wing possession limit 
is 4,100 lb (1,860 kg) of wings (9,307 lb (4,222 kg) whole weight). 
When the 85-percent trigger is reached, this is reduced to the 
incidental limit of and 500 lb (227 kg) of wings (1,135 lb (515 kg) 
whole weight). We anticipate that implementing this inseason adjustment 
will allow the opportunity for the skate wing fishery to harvest the 
annual TAL while reducing the possibility of exceeding it.
    Based on commercial landings data reported through December 2, 
2017, we project the skate wing fishery to reach 85 percent of the 
annual TAL (18.46 million lb, 8,372 mt) on or about December 11, 2017. 
Furthermore, without adjustment, there is a high probability that skate 
wing landings will exceed the TAL before the end of the fishing year. 
Therefore, consistent with Sec.  648.322(b)(2), we are reducing the 
skate wing possession limit from 4,100 lb (1,860 kg) of skate wings 
(9,307 lb (4,222 kg) whole weight) to 500 lb (227 kg) of skate wings 
(1,135 lb (515 kg) whole weight) per trip. At the request of industry 
to allow adequate time for safe gear removal, we are affording a 14-day 
notice period before implementing this reduction. Effective December 
27, 2017, no person may possess on board or land more than 500 lb (227 
kg) of skate wings (1,135 lb (515 kg) whole weight), or any prorated 
combination of skate wings and whole skates based on the conversion 
factor for wing weight to whole weight of 2.27, per trip for the 
remainder of the 2017 fishing year. This action does not affect vessels 
fishing under a skate bait letter of authorization. On May 1, 2018, the 
2018 fishing year begins, and the commercial skate wing possession 
limit will increase to the skate wing season 1 (May 1, 2018, to August 
31, 2018) possession limit of 2,600 lb (1,179 kg) of skate wings (5,902 
lb (2,677 kg) whole weight) per trip.

[[Page 59527]]

Classification

    This action is taken under 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) to waive prior notice and the 
opportunity for public comment because it would be contrary to the 
public interest. This action lowers the possession limit for the 
commercial skate wing fishery to the incidental limit in order to 
prevent the annual quota from being exceeded, while still allowing the 
opportunity to harvest the annual TAL. The regulations at Sec.  
648.322(b)(2) allow such action when landings reach a trigger of 85 
percent of the annual TAL to ensure this TAL is not exceeded. If 
implementation of this reduction were delayed to solicit prior public 
comment, the quota for this fishing year would likely be exceeded, 
thereby undermining the conservation objectives of the Northeast Skate 
Complex Fishery Management Plan. The Assistant Administrator further 
finds, pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 553(d)(3), good cause to waive the 30-day 
delayed effectiveness period for the reason stated above.

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

    Dated: December 12, 2017.
Emily H. Menashes,
Acting Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine 
Fisheries Service.
[FR Doc. 2017-27082 Filed 12-12-17; 4:15 pm]
 BILLING CODE 3510-22-P