Fisheries of the Northeastern United States; Atlantic Herring Fishery; Adjustments to 2018 Management Area Annual Catch Limits, 6797-6799 [2018-03157]

Download as PDF Federal Register / Vol. 83, No. 32 / Thursday, February 15, 2018 / Rules and Regulations Phase II support awarded in partnership with New York’s New NY Broadband Program as adopted in FCC 17–2, paragraphs 69–70. If you have any comments on the burden estimates listed below, or how the Commission can improve the collections and reduce any burdens caused thereby, please contact Nicole Ongele, Federal Communications Commission, Room 1– A620, 445 12th Street SW, Washington, DC 20554. Please include the OMB Control Number, 3060–1228, in your correspondence. The Commission will also accept your comments via email please send them to PRA@fcc.gov. 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[FR Doc. 2018–02996 Filed 2–14–18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6712–01–P DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration 50 CFR Part 648 [Docket No.: 171213999–8128–01] RIN 0648–XF898 Fisheries of the Northeastern United States; Atlantic Herring Fishery; Adjustments to 2018 Management Area Annual Catch Limits National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Commerce. ACTION: Temporary final rule; adjustment of specifications. AGENCY: In accordance with the regulations implementing the Atlantic Herring Fishery Management Plan, this action adjusts the 2018 catch limits in the four herring management areas (Areas 1A, 1B, 2, and 3) to account for underages and overages in those areas during 2016. In order to ensure that the carryover of underages do not cause overfishing of the herring resource, management area-specific carryover does not increase the stock-wide annual catch limit. This action is necessary to ensure that NMFS accounts for herring catch consistent with the requirements of the Atlantic Herring Fishery Management Plan. DATES: Effective February 15, 2018, through December 31, 2018. ADDRESSES: Copies of supporting documents, including the 2013–2015 Specifications/Framework 2 and the 2016–2018 Specifications to the Atlantic Herring Fishery Management Plan (FMP), are available from the Sustainable Fisheries Division, Greater Atlantic Regional Fisheries Office, 55 Great Republic Drive, Gloucester, MA 01930, telephone (978) 281–9315, or online at: https://www.nefmc.org/ library/framework-2-2, http:// www.greateratlantic.fisheries.noaa.gov/ sustainable/species/atlherring/ index.html. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Alyson Pitts, Fishery Management Specialist, 978–281–9352. SUMMARY: E:\FR\FM\15FER1.SGM 15FER1 6798 Federal Register / Vol. 83, No. 32 / Thursday, February 15, 2018 / Rules and Regulations SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Background The Atlantic herring harvest in the United States is managed under the Atlantic Herring Fishery Management Plan (FMP) developed by the New England Fishery Management Council. The FMP divides the stock-wide herring annual catch limit (ACL) among three management areas, one of which has two sub-areas. It divides Area 1 (located in the Gulf of Maine (GOM)) into an inshore section (Area 1A) and an offshore section (Area 1B). Area 2 is located in the coastal waters between Massachusetts and North Carolina, and Area 3 is on Georges Bank (GB). The FMP considers the herring stock complex to be a single stock, but there are inshore (GOM) and offshore (GB) stock components. The GOM and GB stock components segregate during spawning and mix during feeding and migration. Each management area has its own sub-ACL to allow greater control of the fishing mortality on each stock component. NMFS issued a final rule that implemented Amendment 4 to the FMP (76 FR 11373, March 2, 2011) to address ACL and accountability measure (AM) requirements. As a way to account for ACL/sub-ACL overages in the herring fishery, Amendment 4 established an AM that requires NMFS to deduct any ACL/sub-ACL overages from the corresponding ACL/sub-ACL in the year following the catch overage determination. Amendment 4 also specified that NMFS will announce overage deductions in the Federal Register prior to the start of the fishing year, if possible. NMFS also published a final rule implementing Framework 2 to the FMP and the 2013–2015 specifications for the herring fishery on October 4, 2013 (78 FR 61828). Among other measures, Framework 2 allowed for the carryover of unharvested allocations (underages) in the year immediately following the catch determination. Provided that annual total catch does not exceed the stock-wide ACL, up to 10 percent of each sub-ACL may be carried over and added to the following year’s sub-ACL. The carryover provision allows a subACL increase for a management area, but it does not allow a corresponding increase to the stock-wide ACL. NMFS published the 2016–2018 specifications for the herring fishery on November 1, 2016 (81 FR 75731). Table 1 outlines the 2018 herring sub-ACLs, minus deductions for research set-aside catch (RSA) that were effective on January 1, 2018. RSA equal to 3 percent of each sub-ACL has been awarded to two research projects. TABLE 1—2018 HERRING SUB-ACLS [mt] 2018 subACLs Area 1A ........................................................................................................................................ Area 1B ........................................................................................................................................ Area 2 .......................................................................................................................................... Area 3 .......................................................................................................................................... Stock-wide ................................................................................................................................... Provisions Implemented Through This Final Rule NMFS completed the 2016 catch determination in December 2017 and determined that the herring fishery caught more than its allocated catch in 2016 in Area 1B. To account for the overage, this action deducts the catch overage in Area 1B from the 2018 Area 1B sub-ACL. NMFS also determined that the herring fishery caught less than its total allocated catch in 2016 and was under the allocated catch in the three remaining herring management areas (Areas 1A, 2, and 3). As a result, this action carries over unharvested 2016 30,300 4,500 29,100 40,900 104,800 Research set-aside (3 percent of sub-ACLs) 909 135 873 1,227 3,144 2018 sub-ACLs (minus RSA) 29,391 4,365 28,227 39,673 101,656 catch to the 2018 herring sub-ACL in Areas 1A, 2, and 3. This carryover equals the amount of each area’s underages, or up to 10 percent of the allocated 2016 sub-ACL, whichever is less. Table 2 provides catch details for 2016 and corresponding adjustments for 2018 sub-ACLs. TABLE 2—HERRING SUB-ACLS, CATCH, AND CARRYOVER [mt] Adjusted 2016 sub-ACLs sradovich on DSK3GMQ082PROD with RULES Area 1A .................................................... Area 1B .................................................... Area 2 ...................................................... Area 3 ...................................................... Stock-wide ................................................ 30,397 2,941 32,100 43,832 ** 101,656 2016 underages/ overages 2016 catch 27,826 3,657 13,456 18,580 63,519 Carryover * (up to 10 percent) 2,571 ¥716 18,644 25,252 45,751 2,571 NA 2,910 4,090 NA 2018 subACLs (minus RSA) 29,391 4,365 28,227 39,673 101,656 Adjusted 2018 subACLs 31,962 3,649 31,137 43,853 ** 100,969 * Maximum carryover is based on 10 percent of the 2016 sub-ACLs: Area 1A = 30,300 mt; Area 1B = 4,500 mt; Area 2 = 29,100 mt; and Area 3 = 40,900 mt. ** The stock-wide ACL cannot be increased by carryover. The 2018 adjusted stock-wide ACL is decreased by the Area 1B overage. NMFS calculated the amount of herring landings in 2016 based on dealer reports (Federal and state) of herring purchases, supplemented by VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:56 Feb 14, 2018 Jkt 244001 vessel trip reports (VTRs) and vessel monitoring system (VMS) reports (Federal and states of Maine and Massachusetts) of herring landings. PO 00000 Frm 00008 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 NMFS generally uses dealer reports to estimate herring landings; however, if the amount of herring reported via VTR exceeded the amount of herring E:\FR\FM\15FER1.SGM 15FER1 Federal Register / Vol. 83, No. 32 / Thursday, February 15, 2018 / Rules and Regulations reported by the dealer by 10 percent or more, NMFS assumes the dealer report for that trip was in error and uses the VTR report instead. NMFS assigns herring landings to individual herring management areas using VMS reports or latitude and longitude coordinates from VTR reports when a VMS report is not available. NMFS uses recent fishing activity to assign landings to a management area if dealer reports do not have a corresponding VTR or VMS catch report. NMFS estimates herring discards by extrapolating discards from herring trips observed by the Northeast Fisheries Observer Program to all herring trips (observed and unobserved) according to gear and herring management area. Because RSA is removed from management area sub-ACLs at the beginning of the fishery year, NMFS tracks RSA catch but does not count it towards the herring sub-ACLs. Classification sradovich on DSK3GMQ082PROD with RULES Pursuant to section 304(b)(1)(A) of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (MSA), the NMFS Assistant Administrator has determined that this final rule is consistent with the FMP, other provisions of the MSA, and other applicable law. Pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 553(b)(B), there is good cause to waive prior notice and an opportunity for public comment on this action. Notice and comment are VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:56 Feb 14, 2018 Jkt 244001 impracticable and contrary to the public interest because a delay would potentially impair achievement of the management plan’s objectives of preventing overfishing and achieving optimum yield due by impairing a vessel’s ability to harvest available catch allocations. Allowing for prior notice and public comment on this adjustment is also impracticable because regulations require notification of adjustments as close as possible to the start of the herring fishing year on January 1, 2018. We only recently received sufficient information to determine 2016 catch amount. Further, this is a nondiscretionary action required by provisions of Amendment 4 and Framework 2, which were previously subject to public notice and comment. The adjustments required by these regulations are formulaic; this action simply effectuates these mandatory calculations. The proposed and final rules for Framework 2 and Amendment 4 explained the need and likelihood for adjustments to the subACLs based on final catch amounts. Framework 2, specifically, provided prior notice of the need to distribute carryover catch. These actions provided a full opportunity for the public to comment on the substance and process of this action. For the same reasons as noted above, there is good cause under 5 U.S.C. 553(d)(3) to waive the 30-day delay in effective date and make the rule PO 00000 Frm 00009 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 9990 6799 effective upon publication in the Federal Register. To prevent confusion and potential overharvests, it will be in the best interest of the fleet and the herring resource to set the adjusted subACLs as soon as possible. The adjustments in this notice increase the amount of catch available to fishermen, with the exception of Area 1B due to overharvest in 2016. Putting in place the adjusted sub-ACLs as soon as possible will provide the fleet with an opportunity to develop their business plans in sufficient time to facilitate their full harvest of available catch in the open areas. This action is required by 50 CFR part 648, subpart K and is exempt from review under Executive Order 12866. This final rule does not contain a collection-of-information requirement for purposes of the Paperwork Reduction Act. Because prior notice and opportunity for public comment are not required for this rule by 5 U.S.C. 553, or any other law, the analytical requirements of the Regulatory Flexibility Act, 5 U.S.C. 601 et seq., are inapplicable. Authority: 16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq. Dated: February 12, 2018. Samuel D. Rauch, III, Deputy Assistant Administrator for Regulatory Programs, National Marine Fisheries Service. [FR Doc. 2018–03157 Filed 2–14–18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510–22–P E:\FR\FM\15FER1.SGM 15FER1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 83, Number 32 (Thursday, February 15, 2018)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 6797-6799]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2018-03157]


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DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

50 CFR Part 648

[Docket No.: 171213999-8128-01]
RIN 0648-XF898


Fisheries of the Northeastern United States; Atlantic Herring 
Fishery; Adjustments to 2018 Management Area Annual Catch Limits

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

ACTION: Temporary final rule; adjustment of specifications.

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

SUMMARY: In accordance with the regulations implementing the Atlantic 
Herring Fishery Management Plan, this action adjusts the 2018 catch 
limits in the four herring management areas (Areas 1A, 1B, 2, and 3) to 
account for underages and overages in those areas during 2016. In order 
to ensure that the carryover of underages do not cause overfishing of 
the herring resource, management area-specific carryover does not 
increase the stock-wide annual catch limit. This action is necessary to 
ensure that NMFS accounts for herring catch consistent with the 
requirements of the Atlantic Herring Fishery Management Plan.

DATES: Effective February 15, 2018, through December 31, 2018.

ADDRESSES: Copies of supporting documents, including the 2013-2015 
Specifications/Framework 2 and the 2016-2018 Specifications to the 
Atlantic Herring Fishery Management Plan (FMP), are available from the 
Sustainable Fisheries Division, Greater Atlantic Regional Fisheries 
Office, 55 Great Republic Drive, Gloucester, MA 01930, telephone (978) 
281-9315, or online at: https://www.nefmc.org/library/framework-2-2, 
http://www.greateratlantic.fisheries.noaa.gov/sustainable/species/atlherring/index.html.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Alyson Pitts, Fishery Management 
Specialist, 978-281-9352.

[[Page 6798]]


SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Background

    The Atlantic herring harvest in the United States is managed under 
the Atlantic Herring Fishery Management Plan (FMP) developed by the New 
England Fishery Management Council. The FMP divides the stock-wide 
herring annual catch limit (ACL) among three management areas, one of 
which has two sub-areas. It divides Area 1 (located in the Gulf of 
Maine (GOM)) into an inshore section (Area 1A) and an offshore section 
(Area 1B). Area 2 is located in the coastal waters between 
Massachusetts and North Carolina, and Area 3 is on Georges Bank (GB). 
The FMP considers the herring stock complex to be a single stock, but 
there are inshore (GOM) and offshore (GB) stock components. The GOM and 
GB stock components segregate during spawning and mix during feeding 
and migration. Each management area has its own sub-ACL to allow 
greater control of the fishing mortality on each stock component.
    NMFS issued a final rule that implemented Amendment 4 to the FMP 
(76 FR 11373, March 2, 2011) to address ACL and accountability measure 
(AM) requirements. As a way to account for ACL/sub-ACL overages in the 
herring fishery, Amendment 4 established an AM that requires NMFS to 
deduct any ACL/sub-ACL overages from the corresponding ACL/sub-ACL in 
the year following the catch overage determination. Amendment 4 also 
specified that NMFS will announce overage deductions in the Federal 
Register prior to the start of the fishing year, if possible.
    NMFS also published a final rule implementing Framework 2 to the 
FMP and the 2013-2015 specifications for the herring fishery on October 
4, 2013 (78 FR 61828). Among other measures, Framework 2 allowed for 
the carryover of unharvested allocations (underages) in the year 
immediately following the catch determination. Provided that annual 
total catch does not exceed the stock-wide ACL, up to 10 percent of 
each sub-ACL may be carried over and added to the following year's sub-
ACL. The carryover provision allows a sub-ACL increase for a management 
area, but it does not allow a corresponding increase to the stock-wide 
ACL.
    NMFS published the 2016-2018 specifications for the herring fishery 
on November 1, 2016 (81 FR 75731). Table 1 outlines the 2018 herring 
sub-ACLs, minus deductions for research set-aside catch (RSA) that were 
effective on January 1, 2018. RSA equal to 3 percent of each sub-ACL 
has been awarded to two research projects.

                                         Table 1--2018 Herring Sub-ACLs
                                                      [mt]
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                                  Research  set-
                                                                                     aside  (3    2018  sub-ACLs
                                                                   2018 sub-ACLs    percent  of     (minus RSA)
                                                                                     sub-ACLs)
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Area 1A.........................................................          30,300             909          29,391
Area 1B.........................................................           4,500             135           4,365
Area 2..........................................................          29,100             873          28,227
Area 3..........................................................          40,900           1,227          39,673
Stock-wide......................................................         104,800           3,144         101,656
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Provisions Implemented Through This Final Rule

    NMFS completed the 2016 catch determination in December 2017 and 
determined that the herring fishery caught more than its allocated 
catch in 2016 in Area 1B. To account for the overage, this action 
deducts the catch overage in Area 1B from the 2018 Area 1B sub-ACL. 
NMFS also determined that the herring fishery caught less than its 
total allocated catch in 2016 and was under the allocated catch in the 
three remaining herring management areas (Areas 1A, 2, and 3). As a 
result, this action carries over unharvested 2016 catch to the 2018 
herring sub-ACL in Areas 1A, 2, and 3. This carryover equals the amount 
of each area's underages, or up to 10 percent of the allocated 2016 
sub-ACL, whichever is less. Table 2 provides catch details for 2016 and 
corresponding adjustments for 2018 sub-ACLs.

                                                     Table 2--Herring Sub-ACLs, Catch, and Carryover
                                                                          [mt]
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                                               2016        Carryover  *
                                                           Adjusted 2016    2016 catch      underages/       (up to 10     2018 sub-ACLs  Adjusted  2018
                                                             sub-ACLs                        overages        percent)       (minus RSA)      sub-ACLs
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Area 1A.................................................          30,397          27,826           2,571           2,571          29,391          31,962
Area 1B.................................................           2,941           3,657            -716              NA           4,365           3,649
Area 2..................................................          32,100          13,456          18,644           2,910          28,227          31,137
Area 3..................................................          43,832          18,580          25,252           4,090          39,673          43,853
Stock-wide..............................................      ** 101,656          63,519          45,751              NA         101,656      ** 100,969
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
* Maximum carryover is based on 10 percent of the 2016 sub-ACLs: Area 1A = 30,300 mt; Area 1B = 4,500 mt; Area 2 = 29,100 mt; and Area 3 = 40,900 mt.
** The stock-wide ACL cannot be increased by carryover. The 2018 adjusted stock-wide ACL is decreased by the Area 1B overage.

    NMFS calculated the amount of herring landings in 2016 based on 
dealer reports (Federal and state) of herring purchases, supplemented 
by vessel trip reports (VTRs) and vessel monitoring system (VMS) 
reports (Federal and states of Maine and Massachusetts) of herring 
landings. NMFS generally uses dealer reports to estimate herring 
landings; however, if the amount of herring reported via VTR exceeded 
the amount of herring

[[Page 6799]]

reported by the dealer by 10 percent or more, NMFS assumes the dealer 
report for that trip was in error and uses the VTR report instead. NMFS 
assigns herring landings to individual herring management areas using 
VMS reports or latitude and longitude coordinates from VTR reports when 
a VMS report is not available. NMFS uses recent fishing activity to 
assign landings to a management area if dealer reports do not have a 
corresponding VTR or VMS catch report.
    NMFS estimates herring discards by extrapolating discards from 
herring trips observed by the Northeast Fisheries Observer Program to 
all herring trips (observed and unobserved) according to gear and 
herring management area. Because RSA is removed from management area 
sub-ACLs at the beginning of the fishery year, NMFS tracks RSA catch 
but does not count it towards the herring sub-ACLs.

Classification

    Pursuant to section 304(b)(1)(A) of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery 
Conservation and Management Act (MSA), the NMFS Assistant Administrator 
has determined that this final rule is consistent with the FMP, other 
provisions of the MSA, and other applicable law.
    Pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 553(b)(B), there is good cause to waive prior 
notice and an opportunity for public comment on this action. Notice and 
comment are impracticable and contrary to the public interest because a 
delay would potentially impair achievement of the management plan's 
objectives of preventing overfishing and achieving optimum yield due by 
impairing a vessel's ability to harvest available catch allocations. 
Allowing for prior notice and public comment on this adjustment is also 
impracticable because regulations require notification of adjustments 
as close as possible to the start of the herring fishing year on 
January 1, 2018. We only recently received sufficient information to 
determine 2016 catch amount. Further, this is a nondiscretionary action 
required by provisions of Amendment 4 and Framework 2, which were 
previously subject to public notice and comment. The adjustments 
required by these regulations are formulaic; this action simply 
effectuates these mandatory calculations. The proposed and final rules 
for Framework 2 and Amendment 4 explained the need and likelihood for 
adjustments to the sub-ACLs based on final catch amounts. Framework 2, 
specifically, provided prior notice of the need to distribute carryover 
catch. These actions provided a full opportunity for the public to 
comment on the substance and process of this action.
    For the same reasons as noted above, there is good cause under 5 
U.S.C. 553(d)(3) to waive the 30-day delay in effective date and make 
the rule effective upon publication in the Federal Register. To prevent 
confusion and potential overharvests, it will be in the best interest 
of the fleet and the herring resource to set the adjusted sub-ACLs as 
soon as possible. The adjustments in this notice increase the amount of 
catch available to fishermen, with the exception of Area 1B due to 
overharvest in 2016. Putting in place the adjusted sub-ACLs as soon as 
possible will provide the fleet with an opportunity to develop their 
business plans in sufficient time to facilitate their full harvest of 
available catch in the open areas.
    This action is required by 50 CFR part 648, subpart K and is exempt 
from review under Executive Order 12866.
    This final rule does not contain a collection-of-information 
requirement for purposes of the Paperwork Reduction Act.
    Because prior notice and opportunity for public comment are not 
required for this rule by 5 U.S.C. 553, or any other law, the 
analytical requirements of the Regulatory Flexibility Act, 5 U.S.C. 601 
et seq., are inapplicable.

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

    Dated: February 12, 2018.
Samuel D. Rauch, III,
Deputy Assistant Administrator for Regulatory Programs, National Marine 
Fisheries Service.
[FR Doc. 2018-03157 Filed 2-14-18; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 3510-22-P