Fisheries of the Northeastern United States; Special Management Zones for 13 New Jersey Artificial Reefs, 6152-6158 [2018-02916]

Download as PDF 6152 Federal Register / Vol. 83, No. 30 / Tuesday, February 13, 2018 / Proposed Rules be particularly challenging. Examples of such barriers follow: a. FMVSS No. 126 specifies the use of an automated steering machine that depends on a vehicle’s steering wheel to steer vehicles when they are tested for compliance. NHTSA will need to determine how to amend the standard to enable the Agency to conduct stability control testing in vehicles that lack a steering wheel. Further, if NHTSA is going to conduct research to consider how to change the ‘‘sine with dwell’’ test procedure for FMVSS No. 126 so that steering wheel angle need not be measured at the steering wheel in determining compliance with the standard, what should that research include and how should NHTSA conduct it? b. If NHTSA is going to conduct research to develop a performance test to verify how a vehicle is activating its service brakes, what should that research include and how should NHTSA conduct it? If NHTSA is going to conduct research to determine whether there continues to be a safety need to maintain a human-operable service brake, what should that research include and how should NHTSA conduct it? 22. Are there industry standards, existing or in development, that may be suitable for incorporation by reference by NHTSA in accordance with the standards provisions of the National Technology Transfer and Advancement Act of 1995 and Office of Management and Budget Circular A–119, ‘‘Federal Participation in the Development and Use of Voluntary Consensus Standards and Conformity Assessment Activities?’’ Issued in Washington, DC, under authority delegated by 49 CFR 1.95. Nathaniel Beuse, Associate Administrator for Vehicle Safety Research. [FR Doc. 2018–02895 Filed 2–12–18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910–59–P DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration sradovich on DSK3GMQ082PROD with PROPOSALS 50 CFR Part 648 [Docket No.: 180110024–8024–01] RIN 0648–BH33 Fisheries of the Northeastern United States; Special Management Zones for 13 New Jersey Artificial Reefs National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), National Oceanic and AGENCY: VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:06 Feb 12, 2018 Jkt 244001 Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Commerce. ACTION: Proposed rule; request for comments. NMFS proposes management measures to implement special management zones for 13 New Jersey artificial reefs under the black sea bass provisions of the Summer Flounder, Scup, and Black Sea Bass Fishery Management Plan. The implementing regulations for the special management zones require NMFS to publish proposed measures to provide an opportunity for public comment. The intent of these measures is to reduce user group conflicts and help maintain the intended socioeconomic benefits of the artificial reefs to the maximum extent practicable. DATES: Comments must be received by March 15, 2018. ADDRESSES: NMFS prepared a draft environmental assessment (EA) and an Initial Regulatory Flexibility Analysis (IRFA) for this action that describe the proposed measures and other considered alternatives and analyzes of the impacts of the proposed measures and alternatives. Copies of the the draft EA and the IRFA are available upon request from Travis Ford, NOAA/NMFS, Sustainable Fisheries Division, 55 Great Republic Drive, Gloucester, MA 01930. The special management zone measures document is also accessible via the internet at: https://www.greater atlantic.fisheries.noaa.gov/. You may submit comments on this document, identified by NOAA–NMFS– 2017–0150, by either of the following methods: • Electronic Submission: Submit all electronic public comments via the Federal e-Rulemaking Portal. Go to www.regulations.gov/ #!docketDetail;D=NOAA-NMFS-20170150, click the ‘‘Comment Now!’’ icon, complete the required fields, and enter or attach your comments. • Mail: Regional Administrator, NMFS, Greater Atlantic Regional Fisheries Office, 55 Great Republic Drive, Gloucester, MA 01930. Mark the outside of the envelope, ‘‘Comments on New Jersey Special Management Zones Designation.’’ Instructions: 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 by NMFS. 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.), SUMMARY: PO 00000 Frm 00017 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 confidential business information, or otherwise sensitive information submitted voluntarily by the sender will be publicly accessible. NMFS will accept anonymous comments (enter ‘‘N/A’’ in the required fields if you wish to remain anonymous). FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Travis Ford, Fishery Policy Analyst, 978–281–9233. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Background The New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP) has requested and the Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council has recommended that NMFS designate 13 New Jersey artificial reef sites, currently permitted in Federal waters by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, as special management zones (SMZs) under the applicable regulations implementing the Council’s Summer Flounder, Scup, and Black Sea Bass Fishery Management Plan (FMP), 50 CFR 648.148. The summer flounder, scup, and black sea bass fisheries are managed cooperatively under the provisions of the FMP developed by the Council and the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission, in consultation with the New England and South Atlantic Fishery Management Councils. General regulations governing fisheries of the Northeastern U.S. also appear at 50 CFR part 648. States manage these three species within 3 nautical miles (4.83 km) of their coasts, under the Commission’s plan for summer flounder, scup, and black sea bass. The applicable species-specific Federal regulations govern vessels and individual fishermen fishing in Federal waters of the EEZ, as well as vessels possessing a summer flounder, scup, or black sea bass Federal charter/party vessel permit, regardless of where they fish. Special Management Zone Measures Background On November 6, 2015, the NJDEP requested that the Council designate 13 artificial reef sites, currently permitted in Federal waters by the U.S. Corps of Engineers, as SMZs under the regulations implementing the Council’s Summer Flounder, Scup, and Black Sea Bass FMP. The SMZ request noted that the NJDEP has received complaints from rod and reel anglers regarding fouling of their fishing gear in commercial pots and lines on ocean reef sites for more than 20 years. The request also noted that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) Sportfish Restoration Program (SRP), which was the primary funding E:\FR\FM\13FEP1.SGM 13FEP1 sradovich on DSK3GMQ082PROD with PROPOSALS Federal Register / Vol. 83, No. 30 / Tuesday, February 13, 2018 / Proposed Rules source of the New Jersey Reef Program, discontinued its funding of the program and all reef construction and monitoring activities until the gear conflicts are resolved. These gear conflicts are not consistent with the objectives of the SRP program, which provides funding for the building and maintenance of the artificial reefs. In order to comply with the goals of the SRP, the FWS is requiring that state artificial reef programs be able to limit gear conflicts by state regulations in state waters or by SMZs for sites in the EEZ. The Council process for devising SMZ management measures is to recommend measures to NMFS for rulemaking, and is described in the following section. All meetings are open to the public and the materials used during such meetings, as well as any documents created to summarize the meeting results, are public information and typically posted on the Council’s website (www.mafmc.org) or are available from the Council by request. The SMZ recommendations from the Council were established under the FMP’s black sea bass provisions (§ 648.148). A monitoring committee, consisting of representatives from the Council, NMFS Greater Atlantic Regional Fisheries Office, and NMFS Northeast Fisheries Science Center, was formed to review the NJDEP SMZ request. The FMP’s implementing regulations require the monitoring committee to review scientific and other relevant information to evaluate the SMZ requests and prepare a written report, considering the following criteria: (1) Fairness and equity; (2) Promotion of conservation; (3) Avoidance of excessive shares; (4) Consistency with the objectives of Amendment 9 to the FMP, the Magnuson-Stevens Act, and other applicable law; (5) The natural bottom in and surrounding potential SMZs; and (6) Impacts on historical uses. The Council considered the Monitoring Committee’s recommendations and any public comment in finalizing its recommendations. The Council forwarded its final recommendations to NMFS for review. NMFS is required to review the Council’s recommendations to ensure that they are consistent with the FMP and all applicable laws and Executive Orders before ultimately implementing measures for Federal waters. The timeline for establishing the SMZs is summarized here: The NJDEP requested SMZ status for the artificial reefs in November 2015; the Council VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:06 Feb 12, 2018 Jkt 244001 and NMFS established a monitoring committee to review the request in February 2016; the monitoring committee provided a report to the Council evaluating the SMZ request at its October 5, 2016, meeting in Galloway, NJ. Following this meeting, the Council held three public hearings on the proposed SMZs (Brooklyn, NY, November 16, 2016; Toms River, NJ, November 16, 2016; and Cape May, NJ, November 17, 2016), and the Council made final recommendations on the SMZs at its December 21, 2016, meeting in Baltimore, Maryland. NMFS subsequently has reviewed the Council’s recommendations through the development of an EA (see ADDRESSES for how to obtain a copy of the EA) and this proposed rule. Proposed SMZ Measures NMFS is proposing the Council’s recommended measures that would apply in the Federal waters of the EEZ and to all vessels: That all 13 New Jersey artificial reefs be established as year-round SMZs. Within the established areas of the SMZs, all vessels would only be allowed to conduct fishing by handline, rod and reel, or spear fishing (including the taking of fish by hand). The boundaries of the proposed SMZs artificial reef sites encompass 19.71 nm2 (67.6 km2) and are in Federal waters bounded by the following coordinates connected by straight lines in the sequence specified in Tables 1–13 below. The coordinates of the 13 SMZ reef areas proposed to be created by this rule would be codified at 50 CFR 648.148(b)(2). This requires a reorganization of the existing SMZ regulations in CFR 648.148(b); no substantive changes are proposed for those provisions. TABLE 1—SEA GIRT REEF SITE Point N Latitude NE Corner ......... ME Corner ......... SE Corner ......... SW Corner ........ MW Corner ........ NW Corner ........ NE Corner ......... 73°55.52′ 73°56.67′ 73°57.12′ 73°57.57′ 73°57.15′ 73°55.73′ 73°55.52′ TABLE 2—GARDEN STATE NORTH REEF SITE—Continued Point NW Corner ........ NE Corner ......... N Latitude W Longitude 39°37.98′ 39°38.05′ 74°02.20′ 74°00.70′ TABLE 3—GARDEN STATE SOUTH REEF SITE Point NE Corner ......... SE Corner ......... SW Corner ........ NW Corner ........ NE Corner ......... N Latitude W Longitude 39°33.82′ 39°33.33′ 39°33.33′ 39°33.80′ 39°33.82′ 74°05.75′ 74°05.85′ 74°07.35′ 74°07.20′ 74°05.75′ TABLE 4—LITTLE EGG REEF SITE Point NE Corner ......... SE Corner ......... SW Corner ........ NW Corner ........ NE Corner ......... N Latitude W Longitude 39°29.00′ 39°28.00′ 39°28.00′ 39°29.00′ 39°29.00′ 74°10.00′ 74°10.00′ 74°12.00′ 74°12.00′ 74°10.00′ TABLE 5—ATLANTIC CITY REEF SITE Point NE Corner ......... SE Corner ......... SW Corner ........ NW Corner ........ NE Corner ......... N Latitude W Longitude 39°16.90′ 39°13.93′ 39°13.30′ 39°16.22′ 39°16.90′ 74°15.28′ 74°11.80′ 74°12.70′ 74°16.18′ 74°15.28′ TABLE 6—GREAT EGG REEF SITE Point NE Corner ......... SE Corner ......... SW Corner ........ NW Corner ........ NE Corner ......... N Latitude W Longitude 39°15.00′ 39°14.00′ 39°14.00′ 39°15.00′ 39°15.00′ 74°21.00′ 74°21.00′ 74°22.00′ 74°22.00′ 74°21.00′ TABLE 7—OCEAN CITY REEF SITE Point W Longitude 40°08.22′ 40°07.30′ 40°06.13′ 40°06.17′ 40°07.48′ 40°08.63′ 40°08.22′ 6153 NE Corner ......... SE Corner ......... SW Corner ........ NW Corner ........ NE Corner ......... N Latitude W Longitude 39°10.75′ 39°09.40′ 39°09.82′ 39°11.10′ 39°10.75′ 74°32.35′ 74°34.62′ 74°34.97′ 74°32.85′ 74°32.35′ TABLE 8—SHARK RIVER REEF SITE TABLE 2—GARDEN STATE NORTH REEF SITE Point N Latitude NE Corner ......... SE Corner ......... SW Corner ........ PO 00000 Frm 00018 W Longitude 39°38.05′ 39°37.05′ 39°37.00′ 74°00.70′ 74°01.00′ 74°02.50′ Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 Point NE Corner ......... SE Corner ......... SW Corner ........ NW Corner ........ NE Corner ......... E:\FR\FM\13FEP1.SGM 13FEP1 N Latitude W Longitude 40°07.33′ 40°06.20′ 40°20.20′ 40°07.33′ 40°07.33′ 73°41.08′ 73°41.08′ 73°41.80′ 73°41.80′ 73°41.08′ 6154 Federal Register / Vol. 83, No. 30 / Tuesday, February 13, 2018 / Proposed Rules TABLE 9—BARNEGAT LIGHT REEF SITE Point N Latitude NE Corner ......... SE Corner ......... SW Corner ........ NW Corner ........ NE Corner ......... W Longitude 39°45.87′ 39°44.62′ 39°44.62′ 39°45.87′ 39°45.87′ 74°01.10′ 74°01.10′ 74°01.95′ 74°01.95′ 74°01.10′ TABLE 11—DEEPWATER REEF SITE Point NE Corner ......... SE Corner ......... SW Corner ........ NW Corner ........ NE Corner ......... TABLE 10—WILDWOOD REEF SITE Point N Latitude sradovich on DSK3GMQ082PROD with PROPOSALS NE Corner ......... SE Corner ......... SW Corner ........ NW Corner ........ NE Corner ......... VerDate Sep<11>2014 38°57.85′ 38°56.58′ 38°57.55′ 38°58.80′ 38°57.85′ 74°39.70′ 74°41.40′ 74°42.60′ 74°40.90′ 74°39.70′ Jkt 244001 W Longitude 38°59.00′ 38°58.00′ 38°58.00′ 38°59.00′ 38°59.00′ 74°10.50′ 74°10.50′ 74°11.50′ 74°11.50′ 74°10.50′ TABLE 12—CAPE MAY REEF SITE W Longitude 16:06 Feb 12, 2018 N Latitude Point N Latitude NE Corner ......... SE Corner ......... SW Corner ........ NW Corner ........ NE Corner ......... PO 00000 Frm 00019 W Longitude 38°53.45′ 38°50.07′ 38°50.67′ 38°53.97′ 38°53.45′ 74°39.43′ 74°42.25′ 74°43.25′ 74°40.62′ 74°39.43′ Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 TABLE 13—TOWNSEND INLET REEF SITE Point NE Corner ......... SE Corner ......... SW Corner ........ NW Corner ........ NE Corner ......... N Latitude W Longitude 39°06.70′ 39°06.25′ 39°06.25′ 39°06.70′ 39°06.70′ 74°36.00′ 74°36.00′ 74°37.50′ 74°37.50′ 74°36.00′ Figure 1. shows the location of the 13 proposed artificial reef sites off the coast of New Jersey. BILLING CODE 3510–22–P E:\FR\FM\13FEP1.SGM 13FEP1 Federal Register / Vol. 83, No. 30 / Tuesday, February 13, 2018 / Proposed Rules Regulatory Corrections Under Regional Administrator Authority This proposed rule includes a revision to the regulatory text to address text that is unnecessary, outdated, unclear, or NMFS could otherwise improve. NMFS proposes this changes consistent with section 305(d) of the MSA which provides that the Secretary VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:06 Feb 12, 2018 Jkt 244001 of Commerce may promulgate regulations necessary to ensure that amendments to an FMP are carried out in accordance with the FMP and the MSA. The revision, at § 648.148(a), would clarify the Council may prohibit or restrain the use of specific types of fishing gear that are not compatible with the purpose of the artificial reef or fish attraction device or other habitat modification within the SMZ. PO 00000 Frm 00020 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 Classification Pursuant to section 304(b)(1)(A) of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act, the Assistant Administrator has determined that this proposed rule is consistent with the Summer Flounder, Scup, and Black Sea Bass FMP, other provisions of the Magnuson-Stevens Act, and other E:\FR\FM\13FEP1.SGM 13FEP1 EP13FE18.007</GPH> sradovich on DSK3GMQ082PROD with PROPOSALS BILLING CODE 3510–22–C 6155 6156 Federal Register / Vol. 83, No. 30 / Tuesday, February 13, 2018 / Proposed Rules applicable law, subject to further consideration after public comment. This proposed rule has been determined to be not significant for purposes of Executive Order 12866. NMFS prepared an IRFA, as required by section 603 of the Regulatory Flexibility Act (RFA), which is included in the EA and supplemented by information contained in the preamble to this proposed rule. The IRFA describes the economic impact this proposed rule, if adopted, would have on small entities. A summary of the IRFA follows. A copy of this analysis is available from the Greater Atlantic Regional Fisheries Office (see ADDRESSES). Description of the Reasons Why Action by the Agency Is Being Considered NJDEP requested and the Council recommended that 13 New Jersey artificial reef sites, currently permitted by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in the EEZ, be designated as SMZs to limit recreational/commercial gear conflicts on the artificial reefs, and to maintain FWS SRP funding for the building, monitoring, and maintenance of the artificial reefs. sradovich on DSK3GMQ082PROD with PROPOSALS Statement of the Objectives of and the Legal Basis for This Proposed Rule The action in this proposed rule would prohibit certain types fishing in the proposed SMZs. This would reduce current and/or future potential for recreational/commercial gear conflicts on the 13 New Jersey artificial reefs in order to maintain access to the reefs for recreational fishing. This action is proposed under the Magnuson-Stevens Act, 16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq. Description of an Estimate of the Number of Small Entities To Which the Proposed Rule Would Apply The Small Business Administration (SBA) defines a small commercial finfishing or shellfishing business as a firm with annual receipts (gross revenue) of up to $11.0 million. A small for-hire recreational fishing business is defined as a firm with receipts of up to $7.5 million. This rule would apply to all Federal permit holders except recreational forhire permit holders and commercial permit holders using hand gear or dive gear. While virtually all commercial fishing permit holders employing gear other than pot/trap gear would technically be regulated if the artificial reefs are granted SMZ status, the vast majority of the commercial fishing effort on these artificial reefs comes from the pot/trap gear sector. Therefore, only pot/ trap gear vessel trips are considered in VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:06 Feb 12, 2018 Jkt 244001 this analysis. Hand gear and dive gear activities would continue to be allowed under SMZ designation, and vessels using other mobile gears and fixed gears stay clear of the reef site areas to avoid bottom hang-ups with reef materials. Additionally, not all business entities that hold Federal fishing permits fish in the areas identified as potential SMZs. Those who actively participate (i.e., catch and land fish in and from at least one of the areas) in the areas identified as potential SMZs would be the group of business entities that are directly impacted by the regulations. During 2013, 2014, and 2015: 24 Vessels reported landings of fish caught at the reef sites in all 3 of those years; 10 vessels reported landings of fish caught at the reef sites in 2 of the 3 years; and 18 vessels reported landings of fish caught at the reef sites in only 1 of the 3 years. A total of 52 unique commercial vessels reported landings of catch estimated to be from within the coordinates of the 13 reef sites from 2013–2015. Based on the ownership data classification process described above, the 52 directly affected participating commercial fishing vessels were owned by 45 unique fishing business entities. All revenue earned by these businesses was derived from finfishing or shellfishing, and no revenue was earned from for-hire recreational fishing. Thus, all 45 of the potentially affected businesses are classified as commercial fishing business entities. Average annual gross revenue estimates calculated from 2013–2015 Northeast region dealer data indicate that only one of the potentially affected business entities under the preferred alternative would be considered large according to the SBA size standards. In other words, one business, classified as a commercial fishing business, averaged more than $11 million annually in gross revenues from all of its fishing activities during 2013–2015. Therefore, 44 of the 45 potentially affected business entities are considered small and one business entity is considered large. Description of the Projected Reporting, Record-Keeping, and Other Compliance Requirements of the Proposed Rule This action does not introduce any new reporting, recordkeeping, or other compliance requirements. Federal Rules Which May Duplicate, Overlap, or Conflict With This Proposed Rule This proposed action will not duplicate, overlap, or conflict with any other Federal rules. PO 00000 Frm 00021 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 Description of Significant Alternatives to the Proposed Action Which Accomplish the Stated Objectives of Applicable Statutes and Which Minimize Any Significant Economic Impact on Small Entities The Council only considered the proposed action (Alternative 2) and the No Action alternative (Alternative 1). However, NMFS also considered a slightly less restrictive alternative after receiving the Council’s recommendation (Alternative 3). Under the No Action alternative, vessels would still be able to fish with pot/trap gear on the 13 artificial reef sites. Alternative 3 would designate 11 of the 13 artificial reefs as SMZs (excludes Shark River and Wildwood); 41 unique fishing business entities were estimated to have landings within the coordinates of the 11 reef sites from 2013–2015. The Shark River and Wildwood reef site were excluded under this alternative because these sites had higher percentage of commercial effort when compared to the percentage of recreational effort. One of the potentially affected business entities under this alternative would be considered large (the same entity identified as large under the preferred alternative). Table 14 compares the number of potentially affected business entities by percent of total average annual gross revenue landed within the actual latitude and longitude coordinates of the two alternatives. Under both the preferred alternative and the Alternative 3, all commercial fishing businesses categorized as small in this assessment obtained less than 5 percent of their total average annual gross revenues from landings within the coordinates of the reef sites. The only business entity defined as large for this assessment earned less than 0.5 percent of its total average annual gross revenues from landings at the reef sites. Alternative 2 was selected as the preferred alternative because it would reduce gear conflicts on all 13 of the artificial reefs. For Alternatives 1 and 3, gear conflicts would remain on all reefs not designated as SMZs. Alternative 2 would result in slight positive economic impacts to the recreational fleet and likely have slight negative to negligible economic effects on the commercial fishery compared to the No Action alternative. Further, under Alternative 2, the program to maintain the artificial reefs would not be in jeopardy of losing its USFWS funding. E:\FR\FM\13FEP1.SGM 13FEP1 6157 Federal Register / Vol. 83, No. 30 / Tuesday, February 13, 2018 / Proposed Rules TABLE 14—NUMBER OF POTENTIAL BUSINESS ENTITIES AFFECTED BY PERCENT OF TOTAL AVERAGE ANNUAL GROSS REVENUE LANDED WITHIN THE COORDINATES OF THE REEF SITES Percent of total average annual gross revenue (2013–2016) <0.5% 0.5% to 1.0% 1.0% to 5.0% >5.0% Proposed Action Commercial Fishing (Small) ............................................................................. Commercial Fishing (Large) ............................................................................ 35 1 2 0 7 0 0 0 32 1 2 0 6 0 0 0 Alternative Commercial Fishing (Small) ............................................................................. Commercial Fishing (Large) ............................................................................ List of Subjects 50 CFR Part 648 Fisheries, Fishing, Recordkeeping and reporting requirements. Dated: February 8, 2018. Samuel D. Rauch, III, Deputy Assistant Administrator for Regulatory Programs, National Marine Fisheries Service. For the reasons set out in the preamble, 50 CFR part 648 is proposed to be amended as follows: PART 648—FISHERIES OF THE NORTHEAST UNITED STATES Point 1. The authority citation for part 648 continues to read as follows: ■ 1 2 3 4 5 Authority: 16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq. 2. In § 648.148, revise paragraphs (a) introductory text and (b) to read as follows: ■ sradovich on DSK3GMQ082PROD with PROPOSALS § 648.148 (a) General. The recipient of a U.S. Army Corps of Engineers permit for an artificial reef, fish attraction device, or other modification of habitat for purposes of fishing may request that an area surrounding and including the site be designated by the MAFMC as a special management zone (SMZ). The MAFMC may prohibit or restrain the use of specific types of fishing gear that are not compatible with the purpose of the artificial reef or fish attraction device or other habitat modification within the SMZ. The establishment of an SMZ will be effected by a regulatory amendment, pursuant to the following procedure: An SMZ monitoring team comprised of members of staff from the MAFMC, NMFS Greater Atlantic Regional Fisheries Office, and NMFS Northeast Fisheries Science Center will evaluate the request in the form of a written report. * * * * * (b) Approved/Established SMZs—(1) Delaware Special Management Zone Areas. Special management zones are 16:06 Feb 12, 2018 Jkt 244001 ......... ......... ......... ......... ......... Corner N Latitude 9SE 9SW 9NW 9NE 9SE 38°39.972′ 38°40.05′ 38°40.848′ 38°40.8′ 38°39.972′ 74°59.298′ 75°0.702′ 75°0.402′ 74°58.902′ 74°59.298′ Point 1 2 3 4 5 ......... ......... ......... ......... ......... Corner N Latitude W Longitude 10SE 10SW 10NW 10NE 10SE 38°36.198′ 38°36.294′ 38°37.098′ 38°37.002′ 38°36.198′ 74°55.674′ 74°57.15′ 74°56.802′ 74°55.374′ 74°55.674′ (iii) Delaware artificial reef #11. Point 1 2 3 4 5 ......... ......... ......... ......... ......... Corner N Latitude W Longitude 11SE 11SW 11NW 11NE 11SE 38°39.882′ 38°40.002′ 38°40.848′ 38°40.752′ 38°39.882′ 74°43.05′ 74°44.802′ 74°44.502′ 74°42.75′ 74°43.05′ (iv) Delaware artificial reef #13. Point 1 2 3 4 5 ......... ......... ......... ......... ......... Corner N Latitude W Longitude 13SE 13SW 13NW 13NE 13SE 38°30.138′ 38°30.222′ 38°31.614′ 38°31.734′ 38°30.138′ 74°30.582′ 74°31.5′ 74°30.864′ 74°30.018′ 74°30.582′ (2) New Jersey Special Management Zone Areas. Special management zones PO 00000 are established for New Jersey artificial reef permit areas, in the area of the U.S. Exclusive Economic Zone. From January 1 through December 31 of each year, no person may fish in the New Jersey Special Management Zones except by handline, rod and reel, or spear fishing (including the taking of fish by hand). The New Jersey Special Management Zones are defined by rhumb lines connecting the following coordinates in the order stated: (i) Sea Girt Reef Site. W Longitude (ii) Delaware artificial reef #10. Special management zones. VerDate Sep<11>2014 established for Delaware artificial reef permit areas #9, 10, 11, and 13, in the area of the U.S. Exclusive Economic Zone. From January 1 through December 31 of each year, no person may fish in the Delaware Special Management Zones except by handline, rod and reel, or spear fishing (including the taking of fish by hand). The Delaware Special Management Zones are defined by rhumb lines connecting the following coordinates in the order stated: (i) Delaware artificial reef #9. Frm 00022 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 Point NE Corner ......... ME Corner ......... SE Corner ......... SW Corner ........ MW Corner ........ NW Corner ........ NE Corner ......... N Latitude W Longitude 40°08.22′ 40°07.30′ 40°06.13′ 40°06.17′ 40°07.48′ 40°08.63′ 40°08.22′ 73°55.52′ 73°56.67′ 73°57.12′ 73°57.57′ 73°57.15′ 73°55.73′ 73°55.52′ (ii) Garden State North Reef Site. Point NE Corner ......... SE Corner ......... SW Corner ........ NW Corner ........ NE Corner ......... N Latitude W Longitude 39°38.05′ 39°37.05′ 39°37.00′ 39°37.98′ 39°38.05′ 74°00.70′ 74°01.00′ 74°02.50′ 74°02.20′ 74°00.70′ (iii) Garden State South Reef Site. Point NE Corner ......... SE Corner ......... SW Corner ........ NW Corner ........ NE Corner ......... N Latitude W Longitude 39°33.82′ 39°33.33′ 39°33.33′ 39°33.80′ 39°33.82′ 74°05.75′ 74°05.85′ 74°07.35′ 74°07.20′ 74°05.75′ (iv) Little Egg Reef Site. Point NE Corner ......... SE Corner ......... SW Corner ........ NW Corner ........ NE Corner ......... E:\FR\FM\13FEP1.SGM 13FEP1 N Latitude W Longitude 39°29.00′ 39°28.00′ 39°28.00′ 39°29.00′ 39°29.00′ 74°10.00′ 74°10.00′ 74°12.00′ 74°12.00′ 74°10.00′ 6158 Federal Register / Vol. 83, No. 30 / Tuesday, February 13, 2018 / Proposed Rules (v) Atlantic City Reef Site. Point Point N Latitude NE Corner ......... SE Corner ......... SW Corner ........ NW Corner ........ NE Corner ......... W Longitude 39°16.90′ 39°13.93′ 39°13.30′ 39°16.22′ 39°16.90′ 74°15.28′ 74°11.80′ 74°12.70′ 74°16.18′ 74°15.28′ NE Corner ......... SE Corner ......... SW Corner ........ NW Corner ........ NE Corner ......... Point N Latitude NE Corner ......... SE Corner ......... SW Corner ........ NW Corner ........ NE Corner ......... W Longitude 39°15.00′ 39°14.00′ 39°14.00′ 39°15.00′ 39°15.00′ 74°21.00′ 74°21.00′ 74°22.00′ 74°22.00′ 74°21.00′ N Latitude NE Corner ......... SE Corner ......... SW Corner ........ NW Corner ........ NE Corner ......... 40°07.33′ 40°06.20′ 40°20.20′ 40°07.33′ 40°07.33′ 73°41.08′ 73°41.08′ 73°41.80′ 73°41.80′ 73°41.08′ N Latitude NE Corner ......... SE Corner ......... SW Corner ........ NW Corner ........ NE Corner ......... 39°45.87′ 39°44.62′ 39°44.62′ 39°45.87′ 39°45.87′ 74°01.10′ 74°01.10′ 74°01.95′ 74°01.95′ 74°01.10′ 39°10.75′ 39°09.40′ 39°09.82′ 39°11.10′ 39°10.75′ 74°32.35′ 74°34.62′ 74°34.97′ 74°32.85′ 74° 32.35′ Point W Longitude NE Corner .......... SE Corner .......... SW Corner ......... NW Corner ......... NE Corner .......... N Latitude W Longitude 38°59.00′ 38°58.00′ 38°58.00′ 38°59.00′ 38°59.00′ 74°10.50′ 74°10.50′ 74°11.50′ 74°11.50′ 74°10.50′ (xii) Cape May Reef Site. Point NE Corner .......... SE Corner .......... SW Corner ......... NW Corner ......... NE Corner .......... N Latitude W Longitude 38°53.45′ 38°50.07′ 38°50.67′ 38°53.97′ 38°53.45′ 74°39.43′ 74°42.25′ 74°43.25′ 74°40.62′ 74°39.43′ (xiii) Townsend Inlet Reef Site. N Latitude NE Corner .......... SE Corner .......... SW Corner ......... NW Corner ......... NE Corner .......... Point W Longitude (x) Wildwood Reef Site. (vii) Ocean City Reef Site. Point W Longitude (ix) Barnegat Light Reef Site. (vi) Great Egg Reef Site. Point N Latitude 38°57.85′ 38°56.58′ 38°57.55′ 38°58.80′ 38°57.85′ 74°39.70′ 74°41.40′ 74°42.60′ 74°40.90′ 74°39.70′ Point W Longitude NE Corner .......... SE Corner .......... SW Corner ......... NW Corner ......... NE Corner .......... N Latitude W Longitude 39°06.70′ 39°06.25′ 39°06.25′ 39°06.70′ 39°06.70′ 74°36.00′ 74°36.00′ 74°37.50′ 74°37.50′ 74°36.00′ [FR Doc. 2018–02916 Filed 2–12–18; 8:45 am] sradovich on DSK3GMQ082PROD with PROPOSALS (viii) Shark River Reef Site. VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:06 Feb 12, 2018 Jkt 244001 (xi) Deepwater Reef Site. PO 00000 Frm 00023 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 9990 BILLING CODE 3510–22–P E:\FR\FM\13FEP1.SGM 13FEP1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 83, Number 30 (Tuesday, February 13, 2018)]
[Proposed Rules]
[Pages 6152-6158]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2018-02916]


=======================================================================
-----------------------------------------------------------------------

DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

50 CFR Part 648

[Docket No.: 180110024-8024-01]
RIN 0648-BH33


Fisheries of the Northeastern United States; Special Management 
Zones for 13 New Jersey Artificial Reefs

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

ACTION: Proposed rule; request for comments.

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

SUMMARY: NMFS proposes management measures to implement special 
management zones for 13 New Jersey artificial reefs under the black sea 
bass provisions of the Summer Flounder, Scup, and Black Sea Bass 
Fishery Management Plan. The implementing regulations for the special 
management zones require NMFS to publish proposed measures to provide 
an opportunity for public comment. The intent of these measures is to 
reduce user group conflicts and help maintain the intended 
socioeconomic benefits of the artificial reefs to the maximum extent 
practicable.

DATES: Comments must be received by March 15, 2018.

ADDRESSES: NMFS prepared a draft environmental assessment (EA) and an 
Initial Regulatory Flexibility Analysis (IRFA) for this action that 
describe the proposed measures and other considered alternatives and 
analyzes of the impacts of the proposed measures and alternatives. 
Copies of the the draft EA and the IRFA are available upon request from 
Travis Ford, NOAA/NMFS, Sustainable Fisheries Division, 55 Great 
Republic Drive, Gloucester, MA 01930. The special management zone 
measures document is also accessible via the internet at: https://www.greateratlantic.fisheries.noaa.gov/.
    You may submit comments on this document, identified by NOAA-NMFS-
2017-0150, by either of the following methods:
     Electronic Submission: Submit all electronic public 
comments via the Federal e-Rulemaking Portal. Go to 
www.regulations.gov/#!docketDetail;D=NOAA-NMFS-2017-0150, click the 
``Comment Now!'' icon, complete the required fields, and enter or 
attach your comments.
     Mail: Regional Administrator, NMFS, Greater Atlantic 
Regional Fisheries Office, 55 Great Republic Drive, Gloucester, MA 
01930. Mark the outside of the envelope, ``Comments on New Jersey 
Special Management Zones Designation.''
    Instructions: 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 by NMFS. 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.), confidential business 
information, or otherwise sensitive information submitted voluntarily 
by the sender will be publicly accessible. NMFS will accept anonymous 
comments (enter ``N/A'' in the required fields if you wish to remain 
anonymous).

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Travis Ford, Fishery Policy Analyst, 
978-281-9233.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Background

    The New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP) has 
requested and the Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council has 
recommended that NMFS designate 13 New Jersey artificial reef sites, 
currently permitted in Federal waters by the U.S. Army Corps of 
Engineers, as special management zones (SMZs) under the applicable 
regulations implementing the Council's Summer Flounder, Scup, and Black 
Sea Bass Fishery Management Plan (FMP), 50 CFR 648.148.
    The summer flounder, scup, and black sea bass fisheries are managed 
cooperatively under the provisions of the FMP developed by the Council 
and the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission, in consultation 
with the New England and South Atlantic Fishery Management Councils. 
General regulations governing fisheries of the Northeastern U.S. also 
appear at 50 CFR part 648. States manage these three species within 3 
nautical miles (4.83 km) of their coasts, under the Commission's plan 
for summer flounder, scup, and black sea bass. The applicable species-
specific Federal regulations govern vessels and individual fishermen 
fishing in Federal waters of the EEZ, as well as vessels possessing a 
summer flounder, scup, or black sea bass Federal charter/party vessel 
permit, regardless of where they fish.

Special Management Zone Measures Background

    On November 6, 2015, the NJDEP requested that the Council designate 
13 artificial reef sites, currently permitted in Federal waters by the 
U.S. Corps of Engineers, as SMZs under the regulations implementing the 
Council's Summer Flounder, Scup, and Black Sea Bass FMP. The SMZ 
request noted that the NJDEP has received complaints from rod and reel 
anglers regarding fouling of their fishing gear in commercial pots and 
lines on ocean reef sites for more than 20 years. The request also 
noted that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) Sportfish 
Restoration Program (SRP), which was the primary funding

[[Page 6153]]

source of the New Jersey Reef Program, discontinued its funding of the 
program and all reef construction and monitoring activities until the 
gear conflicts are resolved. These gear conflicts are not consistent 
with the objectives of the SRP program, which provides funding for the 
building and maintenance of the artificial reefs. In order to comply 
with the goals of the SRP, the FWS is requiring that state artificial 
reef programs be able to limit gear conflicts by state regulations in 
state waters or by SMZs for sites in the EEZ.
    The Council process for devising SMZ management measures is to 
recommend measures to NMFS for rulemaking, and is described in the 
following section. All meetings are open to the public and the 
materials used during such meetings, as well as any documents created 
to summarize the meeting results, are public information and typically 
posted on the Council's website (www.mafmc.org) or are available from 
the Council by request.
    The SMZ recommendations from the Council were established under the 
FMP's black sea bass provisions (Sec.  648.148). A monitoring 
committee, consisting of representatives from the Council, NMFS Greater 
Atlantic Regional Fisheries Office, and NMFS Northeast Fisheries 
Science Center, was formed to review the NJDEP SMZ request. The FMP's 
implementing regulations require the monitoring committee to review 
scientific and other relevant information to evaluate the SMZ requests 
and prepare a written report, considering the following criteria:
    (1) Fairness and equity;
    (2) Promotion of conservation;
    (3) Avoidance of excessive shares;
    (4) Consistency with the objectives of Amendment 9 to the FMP, the 
Magnuson-Stevens Act, and other applicable law;
    (5) The natural bottom in and surrounding potential SMZs; and
    (6) Impacts on historical uses.
    The Council considered the Monitoring Committee's recommendations 
and any public comment in finalizing its recommendations. The Council 
forwarded its final recommendations to NMFS for review. NMFS is 
required to review the Council's recommendations to ensure that they 
are consistent with the FMP and all applicable laws and Executive 
Orders before ultimately implementing measures for Federal waters.
    The timeline for establishing the SMZs is summarized here: The 
NJDEP requested SMZ status for the artificial reefs in November 2015; 
the Council and NMFS established a monitoring committee to review the 
request in February 2016; the monitoring committee provided a report to 
the Council evaluating the SMZ request at its October 5, 2016, meeting 
in Galloway, NJ.
    Following this meeting, the Council held three public hearings on 
the proposed SMZs (Brooklyn, NY, November 16, 2016; Toms River, NJ, 
November 16, 2016; and Cape May, NJ, November 17, 2016), and the 
Council made final recommendations on the SMZs at its December 21, 
2016, meeting in Baltimore, Maryland. NMFS subsequently has reviewed 
the Council's recommendations through the development of an EA (see 
ADDRESSES for how to obtain a copy of the EA) and this proposed rule.

Proposed SMZ Measures

    NMFS is proposing the Council's recommended measures that would 
apply in the Federal waters of the EEZ and to all vessels: That all 13 
New Jersey artificial reefs be established as year-round SMZs. Within 
the established areas of the SMZs, all vessels would only be allowed to 
conduct fishing by handline, rod and reel, or spear fishing (including 
the taking of fish by hand).
    The boundaries of the proposed SMZs artificial reef sites encompass 
19.71 nm\2\ (67.6 km\2\) and are in Federal waters bounded by the 
following coordinates connected by straight lines in the sequence 
specified in Tables 1-13 below.
    The coordinates of the 13 SMZ reef areas proposed to be created by 
this rule would be codified at 50 CFR 648.148(b)(2). This requires a 
re-organization of the existing SMZ regulations in CFR 648.148(b); no 
substantive changes are proposed for those provisions.

                       Table 1--Sea Girt Reef Site
------------------------------------------------------------------------
              Point                   N Latitude         W Longitude
------------------------------------------------------------------------
NE Corner.......................  40[deg]08.22'      73[deg]55.52'
ME Corner.......................  40[deg]07.30'      73[deg]56.67'
SE Corner.......................  40[deg]06.13'      73[deg]57.12'
SW Corner.......................  40[deg]06.17'      73[deg]57.57'
MW Corner.......................  40[deg]07.48'      73[deg]57.15'
NW Corner.......................  40[deg]08.63'      73[deg]55.73'
NE Corner.......................  40[deg]08.22'      73[deg]55.52'
------------------------------------------------------------------------


                  Table 2--Garden State North Reef Site
------------------------------------------------------------------------
              Point                   N Latitude         W Longitude
------------------------------------------------------------------------
NE Corner.......................  39[deg]38.05'      74[deg]00.70'
SE Corner.......................  39[deg]37.05'      74[deg]01.00'
SW Corner.......................  39[deg]37.00'      74[deg]02.50'
NW Corner.......................  39[deg]37.98'      74[deg]02.20'
NE Corner.......................  39[deg]38.05'      74[deg]00.70'
------------------------------------------------------------------------


                  Table 3--Garden State South Reef Site
------------------------------------------------------------------------
              Point                   N Latitude         W Longitude
------------------------------------------------------------------------
NE Corner.......................  39[deg]33.82'      74[deg]05.75'
SE Corner.......................  39[deg]33.33'      74[deg]05.85'
SW Corner.......................  39[deg]33.33'      74[deg]07.35'
NW Corner.......................  39[deg]33.80'      74[deg]07.20'
NE Corner.......................  39[deg]33.82'      74[deg]05.75'
------------------------------------------------------------------------


                      Table 4--Little Egg Reef Site
------------------------------------------------------------------------
              Point                   N Latitude         W Longitude
------------------------------------------------------------------------
NE Corner.......................  39[deg]29.00'      74[deg]10.00'
SE Corner.......................  39[deg]28.00'      74[deg]10.00'
SW Corner.......................  39[deg]28.00'      74[deg]12.00'
NW Corner.......................  39[deg]29.00'      74[deg]12.00'
NE Corner.......................  39[deg]29.00'      74[deg]10.00'
------------------------------------------------------------------------


                    Table 5--Atlantic City Reef Site
------------------------------------------------------------------------
              Point                   N Latitude         W Longitude
------------------------------------------------------------------------
NE Corner.......................  39[deg]16.90'      74[deg]15.28'
SE Corner.......................  39[deg]13.93'      74[deg]11.80'
SW Corner.......................  39[deg]13.30'      74[deg]12.70'
NW Corner.......................  39[deg]16.22'      74[deg]16.18'
NE Corner.......................  39[deg]16.90'      74[deg]15.28'
------------------------------------------------------------------------


                      Table 6--Great Egg Reef Site
------------------------------------------------------------------------
              Point                   N Latitude         W Longitude
------------------------------------------------------------------------
NE Corner.......................  39[deg]15.00'      74[deg]21.00'
SE Corner.......................  39[deg]14.00'      74[deg]21.00'
SW Corner.......................  39[deg]14.00'      74[deg]22.00'
NW Corner.......................  39[deg]15.00'      74[deg]22.00'
NE Corner.......................  39[deg]15.00'      74[deg]21.00'
------------------------------------------------------------------------


                      Table 7--Ocean City Reef Site
------------------------------------------------------------------------
              Point                   N Latitude         W Longitude
------------------------------------------------------------------------
NE Corner.......................  39[deg]10.75'      74[deg]32.35'
SE Corner.......................  39[deg]09.40'      74[deg]34.62'
SW Corner.......................  39[deg]09.82'      74[deg]34.97'
NW Corner.......................  39[deg]11.10'      74[deg]32.85'
NE Corner.......................  39[deg]10.75'      74[deg]32.35'
------------------------------------------------------------------------


                     Table 8--Shark River Reef Site
------------------------------------------------------------------------
              Point                   N Latitude         W Longitude
------------------------------------------------------------------------
NE Corner.......................  40[deg]07.33'      73[deg]41.08'
SE Corner.......................  40[deg]06.20'      73[deg]41.08'
SW Corner.......................  40[deg]20.20'      73[deg]41.80'
NW Corner.......................  40[deg]07.33'      73[deg]41.80'
NE Corner.......................  40[deg]07.33'      73[deg]41.08'
------------------------------------------------------------------------


[[Page 6154]]


                    Table 9--Barnegat Light Reef Site
------------------------------------------------------------------------
              Point                   N Latitude         W Longitude
------------------------------------------------------------------------
NE Corner.......................  39[deg]45.87'      74[deg]01.10'
SE Corner.......................  39[deg]44.62'      74[deg]01.10'
SW Corner.......................  39[deg]44.62'      74[deg]01.95'
NW Corner.......................  39[deg]45.87'      74[deg]01.95'
NE Corner.......................  39[deg]45.87'      74[deg]01.10'
------------------------------------------------------------------------


                      Table 10--Wildwood Reef Site
------------------------------------------------------------------------
              Point                   N Latitude         W Longitude
------------------------------------------------------------------------
NE Corner.......................  38[deg]57.85'      74[deg]39.70'
SE Corner.......................  38[deg]56.58'      74[deg]41.40'
SW Corner.......................  38[deg]57.55'      74[deg]42.60'
NW Corner.......................  38[deg]58.80'      74[deg]40.90'
NE Corner.......................  38[deg]57.85'      74[deg]39.70'
------------------------------------------------------------------------


                      Table 11--Deepwater Reef Site
------------------------------------------------------------------------
              Point                   N Latitude         W Longitude
------------------------------------------------------------------------
NE Corner.......................  38[deg]59.00'      74[deg]10.50'
SE Corner.......................  38[deg]58.00'      74[deg]10.50'
SW Corner.......................  38[deg]58.00'      74[deg]11.50'
NW Corner.......................  38[deg]59.00'      74[deg]11.50'
NE Corner.......................  38[deg]59.00'      74[deg]10.50'
------------------------------------------------------------------------


                      Table 12--Cape May Reef Site
------------------------------------------------------------------------
              Point                   N Latitude         W Longitude
------------------------------------------------------------------------
NE Corner.......................  38[deg]53.45'      74[deg]39.43'
SE Corner.......................  38[deg]50.07'      74[deg]42.25'
SW Corner.......................  38[deg]50.67'      74[deg]43.25'
NW Corner.......................  38[deg]53.97'      74[deg]40.62'
NE Corner.......................  38[deg]53.45'      74[deg]39.43'
------------------------------------------------------------------------


                   Table 13--Townsend Inlet Reef Site
------------------------------------------------------------------------
              Point                   N Latitude         W Longitude
------------------------------------------------------------------------
NE Corner.......................  39[deg]06.70'      74[deg]36.00'
SE Corner.......................  39[deg]06.25'      74[deg]36.00'
SW Corner.......................  39[deg]06.25'      74[deg]37.50'
NW Corner.......................  39[deg]06.70'      74[deg]37.50'
NE Corner.......................  39[deg]06.70'      74[deg]36.00'
------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Figure 1. shows the location of the 13 proposed artificial reef 
sites off the coast of New Jersey.
BILLING CODE 3510-22-P

[[Page 6155]]

[GRAPHIC] [TIFF OMITTED] TP13FE18.007

BILLING CODE 3510-22-C

Regulatory Corrections Under Regional Administrator Authority

    This proposed rule includes a revision to the regulatory text to 
address text that is unnecessary, outdated, unclear, or NMFS could 
otherwise improve. NMFS proposes this changes consistent with section 
305(d) of the MSA which provides that the Secretary of Commerce may 
promulgate regulations necessary to ensure that amendments to an FMP 
are carried out in accordance with the FMP and the MSA. The revision, 
at Sec.  648.148(a), would clarify the Council may prohibit or restrain 
the use of specific types of fishing gear that are not compatible with 
the purpose of the artificial reef or fish attraction device or other 
habitat modification within the SMZ.

Classification

    Pursuant to section 304(b)(1)(A) of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery 
Conservation and Management Act, the Assistant Administrator has 
determined that this proposed rule is consistent with the Summer 
Flounder, Scup, and Black Sea Bass FMP, other provisions of the 
Magnuson-Stevens Act, and other

[[Page 6156]]

applicable law, subject to further consideration after public comment.
    This proposed rule has been determined to be not significant for 
purposes of Executive Order 12866.
    NMFS prepared an IRFA, as required by section 603 of the Regulatory 
Flexibility Act (RFA), which is included in the EA and supplemented by 
information contained in the preamble to this proposed rule. The IRFA 
describes the economic impact this proposed rule, if adopted, would 
have on small entities. A summary of the IRFA follows. A copy of this 
analysis is available from the Greater Atlantic Regional Fisheries 
Office (see ADDRESSES).

Description of the Reasons Why Action by the Agency Is Being Considered

    NJDEP requested and the Council recommended that 13 New Jersey 
artificial reef sites, currently permitted by the U.S. Army Corps of 
Engineers in the EEZ, be designated as SMZs to limit recreational/
commercial gear conflicts on the artificial reefs, and to maintain FWS 
SRP funding for the building, monitoring, and maintenance of the 
artificial reefs.

Statement of the Objectives of and the Legal Basis for This Proposed 
Rule

    The action in this proposed rule would prohibit certain types 
fishing in the proposed SMZs. This would reduce current and/or future 
potential for recreational/commercial gear conflicts on the 13 New 
Jersey artificial reefs in order to maintain access to the reefs for 
recreational fishing. This action is proposed under the Magnuson-
Stevens Act, 16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq.

Description of an Estimate of the Number of Small Entities To Which the 
Proposed Rule Would Apply

    The Small Business Administration (SBA) defines a small commercial 
finfishing or shellfishing business as a firm with annual receipts 
(gross revenue) of up to $11.0 million. A small for-hire recreational 
fishing business is defined as a firm with receipts of up to $7.5 
million.
    This rule would apply to all Federal permit holders except 
recreational for-hire permit holders and commercial permit holders 
using hand gear or dive gear. While virtually all commercial fishing 
permit holders employing gear other than pot/trap gear would 
technically be regulated if the artificial reefs are granted SMZ 
status, the vast majority of the commercial fishing effort on these 
artificial reefs comes from the pot/trap gear sector. Therefore, only 
pot/trap gear vessel trips are considered in this analysis. Hand gear 
and dive gear activities would continue to be allowed under SMZ 
designation, and vessels using other mobile gears and fixed gears stay 
clear of the reef site areas to avoid bottom hang-ups with reef 
materials. Additionally, not all business entities that hold Federal 
fishing permits fish in the areas identified as potential SMZs. Those 
who actively participate (i.e., catch and land fish in and from at 
least one of the areas) in the areas identified as potential SMZs would 
be the group of business entities that are directly impacted by the 
regulations.
    During 2013, 2014, and 2015: 24 Vessels reported landings of fish 
caught at the reef sites in all 3 of those years; 10 vessels reported 
landings of fish caught at the reef sites in 2 of the 3 years; and 18 
vessels reported landings of fish caught at the reef sites in only 1 of 
the 3 years. A total of 52 unique commercial vessels reported landings 
of catch estimated to be from within the coordinates of the 13 reef 
sites from 2013-2015.
    Based on the ownership data classification process described above, 
the 52 directly affected participating commercial fishing vessels were 
owned by 45 unique fishing business entities. All revenue earned by 
these businesses was derived from finfishing or shellfishing, and no 
revenue was earned from for-hire recreational fishing. Thus, all 45 of 
the potentially affected businesses are classified as commercial 
fishing business entities.
    Average annual gross revenue estimates calculated from 2013-2015 
Northeast region dealer data indicate that only one of the potentially 
affected business entities under the preferred alternative would be 
considered large according to the SBA size standards. In other words, 
one business, classified as a commercial fishing business, averaged 
more than $11 million annually in gross revenues from all of its 
fishing activities during 2013-2015. Therefore, 44 of the 45 
potentially affected business entities are considered small and one 
business entity is considered large.

Description of the Projected Reporting, Record-Keeping, and Other 
Compliance Requirements of the Proposed Rule

    This action does not introduce any new reporting, recordkeeping, or 
other compliance requirements.

Federal Rules Which May Duplicate, Overlap, or Conflict With This 
Proposed Rule

    This proposed action will not duplicate, overlap, or conflict with 
any other Federal rules.

Description of Significant Alternatives to the Proposed Action Which 
Accomplish the Stated Objectives of Applicable Statutes and Which 
Minimize Any Significant Economic Impact on Small Entities

    The Council only considered the proposed action (Alternative 2) and 
the No Action alternative (Alternative 1). However, NMFS also 
considered a slightly less restrictive alternative after receiving the 
Council's recommendation (Alternative 3). Under the No Action 
alternative, vessels would still be able to fish with pot/trap gear on 
the 13 artificial reef sites. Alternative 3 would designate 11 of the 
13 artificial reefs as SMZs (excludes Shark River and Wildwood); 41 
unique fishing business entities were estimated to have landings within 
the coordinates of the 11 reef sites from 2013-2015. The Shark River 
and Wildwood reef site were excluded under this alternative because 
these sites had higher percentage of commercial effort when compared to 
the percentage of recreational effort. One of the potentially affected 
business entities under this alternative would be considered large (the 
same entity identified as large under the preferred alternative).
    Table 14 compares the number of potentially affected business 
entities by percent of total average annual gross revenue landed within 
the actual latitude and longitude coordinates of the two alternatives. 
Under both the preferred alternative and the Alternative 3, all 
commercial fishing businesses categorized as small in this assessment 
obtained less than 5 percent of their total average annual gross 
revenues from landings within the coordinates of the reef sites. The 
only business entity defined as large for this assessment earned less 
than 0.5 percent of its total average annual gross revenues from 
landings at the reef sites.
    Alternative 2 was selected as the preferred alternative because it 
would reduce gear conflicts on all 13 of the artificial reefs. For 
Alternatives 1 and 3, gear conflicts would remain on all reefs not 
designated as SMZs. Alternative 2 would result in slight positive 
economic impacts to the recreational fleet and likely have slight 
negative to negligible economic effects on the commercial fishery 
compared to the No Action alternative. Further, under Alternative 2, 
the program to maintain the artificial reefs would not be in jeopardy 
of losing its USFWS funding.

[[Page 6157]]



    Table 14--Number of Potential Business Entities Affected by Percent of Total Average Annual Gross Revenue
                                 Landed Within the Coordinates of the Reef Sites
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                     Percent of total average annual gross revenue (2013-2016)
                                                 ---------------------------------------------------------------
                                                       <0.5%       0.5% to 1.0%    1.0% to 5.0%        >5.0%
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                 Proposed Action
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Commercial Fishing (Small)......................              35               2               7               0
Commercial Fishing (Large)......................               1               0               0               0
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                   Alternative
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Commercial Fishing (Small)......................              32               2               6               0
Commercial Fishing (Large)......................               1               0               0               0
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

List of Subjects 50 CFR Part 648

    Fisheries, Fishing, Recordkeeping and reporting requirements.

    Dated: February 8, 2018.
Samuel D. Rauch, III,
Deputy Assistant Administrator for Regulatory Programs, National Marine 
Fisheries Service.
    For the reasons set out in the preamble, 50 CFR part 648 is 
proposed to be amended as follows:

PART 648--FISHERIES OF THE NORTHEAST UNITED STATES

0
1. The authority citation for part 648 continues to read as follows:

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

0
2. In Sec.  648.148, revise paragraphs (a) introductory text and (b) to 
read as follows:


Sec.  648.148  Special management zones.

    (a) General. The recipient of a U.S. Army Corps of Engineers permit 
for an artificial reef, fish attraction device, or other modification 
of habitat for purposes of fishing may request that an area surrounding 
and including the site be designated by the MAFMC as a special 
management zone (SMZ). The MAFMC may prohibit or restrain the use of 
specific types of fishing gear that are not compatible with the purpose 
of the artificial reef or fish attraction device or other habitat 
modification within the SMZ. The establishment of an SMZ will be 
effected by a regulatory amendment, pursuant to the following 
procedure: An SMZ monitoring team comprised of members of staff from 
the MAFMC, NMFS Greater Atlantic Regional Fisheries Office, and NMFS 
Northeast Fisheries Science Center will evaluate the request in the 
form of a written report.
* * * * *
    (b) Approved/Established SMZs--(1) Delaware Special Management Zone 
Areas. Special management zones are established for Delaware artificial 
reef permit areas #9, 10, 11, and 13, in the area of the U.S. Exclusive 
Economic Zone. From January 1 through December 31 of each year, no 
person may fish in the Delaware Special Management Zones except by 
handline, rod and reel, or spear fishing (including the taking of fish 
by hand). The Delaware Special Management Zones are defined by rhumb 
lines connecting the following coordinates in the order stated:
    (i) Delaware artificial reef #9.

------------------------------------------------------------------------
            Point               Corner     N Latitude      W Longitude
------------------------------------------------------------------------
1............................  9SE       38[deg]39.972  74[deg]59.298'
                                          '
2............................  9SW       38[deg]40.05'  75[deg]0.702'
3............................  9NW       38[deg]40.848  75[deg]0.402'
                                          '
4............................  9NE       38[deg]40.8'   74[deg]58.902'
5............................  9SE       38[deg]39.972  74[deg]59.298'
                                          '
------------------------------------------------------------------------

    (ii) Delaware artificial reef #10.

------------------------------------------------------------------------
            Point               Corner     N Latitude      W Longitude
------------------------------------------------------------------------
1............................  10SE      38[deg]36.198  74[deg]55.674'
                                          '
2............................  10SW      38[deg]36.294  74[deg]57.15'
                                          '
3............................  10NW      38[deg]37.098  74[deg]56.802'
                                          '
4............................  10NE      38[deg]37.002  74[deg]55.374'
                                          '
5............................  10SE      38[deg]36.198  74[deg]55.674'
                                          '
------------------------------------------------------------------------

    (iii) Delaware artificial reef #11.

------------------------------------------------------------------------
            Point               Corner     N Latitude      W Longitude
------------------------------------------------------------------------
1............................  11SE      38[deg]39.882  74[deg]43.05'
                                          '
2............................  11SW      38[deg]40.002  74[deg]44.802'
                                          '
3............................  11NW      38[deg]40.848  74[deg]44.502'
                                          '
4............................  11NE      38[deg]40.752  74[deg]42.75'
                                          '
5............................  11SE      38[deg]39.882  74[deg]43.05'
                                          '
------------------------------------------------------------------------

    (iv) Delaware artificial reef #13.

------------------------------------------------------------------------
            Point               Corner     N Latitude      W Longitude
------------------------------------------------------------------------
1............................  13SE      38[deg]30.138  74[deg]30.582'
                                          '
2............................  13SW      38[deg]30.222  74[deg]31.5'
                                          '
3............................  13NW      38[deg]31.614  74[deg]30.864'
                                          '
4............................  13NE      38[deg]31.734  74[deg]30.018'
                                          '
5............................  13SE      38[deg]30.138  74[deg]30.582'
                                          '
------------------------------------------------------------------------

    (2) New Jersey Special Management Zone Areas. Special management 
zones are established for New Jersey artificial reef permit areas, in 
the area of the U.S. Exclusive Economic Zone. From January 1 through 
December 31 of each year, no person may fish in the New Jersey Special 
Management Zones except by handline, rod and reel, or spear fishing 
(including the taking of fish by hand). The New Jersey Special 
Management Zones are defined by rhumb lines connecting the following 
coordinates in the order stated:
    (i) Sea Girt Reef Site.

------------------------------------------------------------------------
              Point                   N Latitude         W Longitude
------------------------------------------------------------------------
NE Corner.......................  40[deg]08.22'      73[deg]55.52'
ME Corner.......................  40[deg]07.30'      73[deg]56.67'
SE Corner.......................  40[deg]06.13'      73[deg]57.12'
SW Corner.......................  40[deg]06.17'      73[deg]57.57'
MW Corner.......................  40[deg]07.48'      73[deg]57.15'
NW Corner.......................  40[deg]08.63'      73[deg]55.73'
NE Corner.......................  40[deg]08.22'      73[deg]55.52'
------------------------------------------------------------------------

    (ii) Garden State North Reef Site.

------------------------------------------------------------------------
              Point                   N Latitude         W Longitude
------------------------------------------------------------------------
NE Corner.......................  39[deg]38.05'      74[deg]00.70'
SE Corner.......................  39[deg]37.05'      74[deg]01.00'
SW Corner.......................  39[deg]37.00'      74[deg]02.50'
NW Corner.......................  39[deg]37.98'      74[deg]02.20'
NE Corner.......................  39[deg]38.05'      74[deg]00.70'
------------------------------------------------------------------------

    (iii) Garden State South Reef Site.

------------------------------------------------------------------------
              Point                   N Latitude         W Longitude
------------------------------------------------------------------------
NE Corner.......................  39[deg]33.82'      74[deg]05.75'
SE Corner.......................  39[deg]33.33'      74[deg]05.85'
SW Corner.......................  39[deg]33.33'      74[deg]07.35'
NW Corner.......................  39[deg]33.80'      74[deg]07.20'
NE Corner.......................  39[deg]33.82'      74[deg]05.75'
------------------------------------------------------------------------

    (iv) Little Egg Reef Site.

------------------------------------------------------------------------
              Point                   N Latitude         W Longitude
------------------------------------------------------------------------
NE Corner.......................  39[deg]29.00'      74[deg]10.00'
SE Corner.......................  39[deg]28.00'      74[deg]10.00'
SW Corner.......................  39[deg]28.00'      74[deg]12.00'
NW Corner.......................  39[deg]29.00'      74[deg]12.00'
NE Corner.......................  39[deg]29.00'      74[deg]10.00'
------------------------------------------------------------------------


[[Page 6158]]

    (v) Atlantic City Reef Site.

------------------------------------------------------------------------
              Point                   N Latitude         W Longitude
------------------------------------------------------------------------
NE Corner.......................  39[deg]16.90'      74[deg]15.28'
SE Corner.......................  39[deg]13.93'      74[deg]11.80'
SW Corner.......................  39[deg]13.30'      74[deg]12.70'
NW Corner.......................  39[deg]16.22'      74[deg]16.18'
NE Corner.......................  39[deg]16.90'      74[deg]15.28'
------------------------------------------------------------------------

    (vi) Great Egg Reef Site.

------------------------------------------------------------------------
              Point                   N Latitude         W Longitude
------------------------------------------------------------------------
NE Corner.......................  39[deg]15.00'      74[deg]21.00'
SE Corner.......................  39[deg]14.00'      74[deg]21.00'
SW Corner.......................  39[deg]14.00'      74[deg]22.00'
NW Corner.......................  39[deg]15.00'      74[deg]22.00'
NE Corner.......................  39[deg]15.00'      74[deg]21.00'
------------------------------------------------------------------------

    (vii) Ocean City Reef Site.

------------------------------------------------------------------------
              Point                   N Latitude         W Longitude
------------------------------------------------------------------------
NE Corner.......................  39[deg]10.75'      74[deg]32.35'
SE Corner.......................  39[deg]09.40'      74[deg]34.62'
SW Corner.......................  39[deg]09.82'      74[deg]34.97'
NW Corner.......................  39[deg]11.10'      74[deg]32.85'
NE Corner.......................  39[deg]10.75'      74[deg] 32.35'
------------------------------------------------------------------------

    (viii) Shark River Reef Site.

------------------------------------------------------------------------
              Point                   N Latitude         W Longitude
------------------------------------------------------------------------
NE Corner.......................  40[deg]07.33'      73[deg]41.08'
SE Corner.......................  40[deg]06.20'      73[deg]41.08'
SW Corner.......................  40[deg]20.20'      73[deg]41.80'
NW Corner.......................  40[deg]07.33'      73[deg]41.80'
NE Corner.......................  40[deg]07.33'      73[deg]41.08'
------------------------------------------------------------------------

    (ix) Barnegat Light Reef Site.

------------------------------------------------------------------------
              Point                   N Latitude         W Longitude
------------------------------------------------------------------------
NE Corner.......................  39[deg]45.87'      74[deg]01.10'
SE Corner.......................  39[deg]44.62'      74[deg]01.10'
SW Corner.......................  39[deg]44.62'      74[deg]01.95'
NW Corner.......................  39[deg]45.87'      74[deg]01.95'
NE Corner.......................  39[deg]45.87'      74[deg]01.10'
------------------------------------------------------------------------

    (x) Wildwood Reef Site.

------------------------------------------------------------------------
              Point                   N Latitude         W Longitude
------------------------------------------------------------------------
NE Corner.......................  38[deg]57.85'      74[deg]39.70'
SE Corner.......................  38[deg]56.58'      74[deg]41.40'
SW Corner.......................  38[deg]57.55'      74[deg]42.60'
NW Corner.......................  38[deg]58.80'      74[deg]40.90'
NE Corner.......................  38[deg]57.85'      74[deg]39.70'
------------------------------------------------------------------------

    (xi) Deepwater Reef Site.

------------------------------------------------------------------------
              Point                   N Latitude         W Longitude
------------------------------------------------------------------------
NE Corner.......................  38[deg]59.00'      74[deg]10.50'
SE Corner.......................  38[deg]58.00'      74[deg]10.50'
SW Corner.......................  38[deg]58.00'      74[deg]11.50'
NW Corner.......................  38[deg]59.00'      74[deg]11.50'
NE Corner.......................  38[deg]59.00'      74[deg]10.50'
------------------------------------------------------------------------

    (xii) Cape May Reef Site.

------------------------------------------------------------------------
              Point                   N Latitude         W Longitude
------------------------------------------------------------------------
NE Corner.......................  38[deg]53.45'      74[deg]39.43'
SE Corner.......................  38[deg]50.07'      74[deg]42.25'
SW Corner.......................  38[deg]50.67'      74[deg]43.25'
NW Corner.......................  38[deg]53.97'      74[deg]40.62'
NE Corner.......................  38[deg]53.45'      74[deg]39.43'
------------------------------------------------------------------------

    (xiii) Townsend Inlet Reef Site.

------------------------------------------------------------------------
              Point                   N Latitude         W Longitude
------------------------------------------------------------------------
NE Corner.......................  39[deg]06.70'      74[deg]36.00'
SE Corner.......................  39[deg]06.25'      74[deg]36.00'
SW Corner.......................  39[deg]06.25'      74[deg]37.50'
NW Corner.......................  39[deg]06.70'      74[deg]37.50'
NE Corner.......................  39[deg]06.70'      74[deg]36.00'
------------------------------------------------------------------------

[FR Doc. 2018-02916 Filed 2-12-18; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 3510-22-P