Fisheries of the Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico, and South Atlantic; Reef Fish Fishery of the Gulf of Mexico; Amendment 36A, 7447-7449 [2018-03463]

Download as PDF Federal Register / Vol. 83, No. 35 / Wednesday, February 21, 2018 / Proposed Rules ESSENTIAL COVERAGE’’. IF YOU DON’T HAVE MINIMUM ESSENTIAL COVERAGE FOR ANY MONTH IN 2018, YOU MAY HAVE TO MAKE A PAYMENT WHEN YOU FILE YOUR TAX RETURN UNLESS YOU QUALIFY FOR AN EXEMPTION FROM THE REQUIREMENT THAT YOU HAVE HEALTH COVERAGE FOR THAT MONTH.; and (3) With respect to policies having a coverage start date on or after January 1, 2019, displays prominently in the contract and in any application materials provided in connection with enrollment in such coverage in at least 14 point type the following: THIS COVERAGE IS NOT REQUIRED TO COMPLY WITH FEDERAL REQUIREMENTS FOR HEALTH INSURANCE, PRINCIPALLY THOSE CONTAINED IN THE AFFORDABLE CARE ACT. BE SURE TO CHECK YOUR POLICY CAREFULLY TO MAKE SURE YOU UNDERSTAND WHAT THE POLICY DOES AND DOESN’T COVER. IF THIS COVERAGE EXPIRES OR YOU LOSE ELIGIBILITY FOR THIS COVERAGE, YOU MIGHT HAVE TO WAIT UNTIL AN OPEN ENROLLMENT PERIOD TO GET OTHER HEALTH INSURANCE COVERAGE. * * * * 9. The authority citation for part 146 is revised to read as follows: ■ 10. Section 146.125 is amended by revising the last sentence to read as follows. ■ Applicability dates. * * * Notwithstanding the previous sentence, the definition of ‘‘short-term, limited-duration insurance’’ in § 144.103 of this subchapter applies [DATE 60 DAYS AFTER DATE OF PUBLICATION OF THE FINAL RULE IN THE FEDERAL REGISTER]. PART 148—REQUIREMENTS FOR THE INDIVIDUAL HEALTH INSURANCE MARKET 11. The authority citation for part 148 continues to read as follows: daltland on DSKBBV9HB2PROD with PROPOSALS ■ Authority: Secs. 2701 through 2763, 2791, and 2792 of the Public Health Service Act (42 U.S.C. 300gg through 300gg–63, 300gg–91, and 300gg–92), as amended. 12. Section 148.102 is amended by revising the section heading and the last sentence of paragraph (b) to read as follows: ■ 17:45 Feb 20, 2018 * * * * (b) * * * Notwithstanding the previous sentence, the definition of ‘‘short-term, limited-duration insurance’’ in § 144.103 of this subchapter is applicable [DATE 60 DAYS AFTER DATE OF PUBLICATION OF THE FINAL RULE IN THE FEDERAL REGISTER]. [FR Doc. 2018–03208 Filed 2–20–18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4150–28–P; 4510–29–P; 6325–64–P DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration 50 CFR Part 622 RIN 0648–BG83 Fisheries of the Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico, and South Atlantic; Reef Fish Fishery of the Gulf of Mexico; Amendment 36A National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Commerce. ACTION: Notification of availability; request for comments. Jkt 244001 The Gulf of Mexico (Gulf) Fishery Management Council (Council) has submitted Amendment 36A to the Fishery Management Plan for the Reef Fish Resources of the Gulf of Mexico (Reef Fish FMP) for review, approval, and implementation by NMFS. Amendment 36A would require owners or operators of federally permitted commercial Gulf reef fish vessels landing any commercially caught, federally managed reef fish from the Gulf to provide notification prior to landing and to land at approved locations; require shares of red snapper individual fishing quota (IFQ) (RS–IFQ) program and groupers and tilefishes IFQ (GT–IFQ) program from non-activated accounts to be returned to NMFS for redistribution; and allow NMFS to hold back a portion of IFQ allocation at the start of the fishing year in anticipation of a commercial quota reduction. The purpose of Amendment 36A is to improve compliance and increase management flexibility in the RS–IFQ and GT–IFQ programs, and increase the likelihood of achieving optimum yield (OY) for reef fish stocks managed under these programs. DATES: Written comments on Amendment 36A must be received by April 23, 2018. SUMMARY: Authority: Secs. 2702 through 2705, 2711 through 2723, 2791, and 2792 of the Public Health Service Act (42 U.S.C. 300gg–1 through 300gg–5, 300gg–11 through 300gg– 23, 300gg–91, and 300gg–92). VerDate Sep<11>2014 Scope and applicability date. * AGENCY: * PART 146—REQUIREMENTS FOR THE GROUP HEALTH INSURANCE MARKET § 146.125 § 148.102 PO 00000 Frm 00037 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 7447 You may submit comments on the amendment identified by ‘‘NOAA–NMFS–2017–0060’’ 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-20170060, click the ‘‘Comment Now!’’ icon, complete the required fields, and enter or attach your comments. • Mail: Submit written comments to Peter Hood, NMFS Southeast Regional Office, 263 13th Avenue South, St. Petersburg, FL 33701. 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). Electronic copies of Amendment 36A may be obtained from www.regulations.gov or the Southeast Regional Office website at http:// sero.nmfs.noaa.gov/sustainable_ fisheries/gulf_fisheries/reef_fish/2017/ A36A_comm_IFQ/am36Aindex.html. Amendment 36A includes an environmental assessment, fishery impact statement, regulatory impact review, and Regulatory Flexibility Act analysis. ADDRESSES: FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Peter Hood, NMFS Southeast Regional Office, telephone: 727–824–5305, or email: peter.hood@noaa.gov. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (Magnuson-Stevens Act) requires each regional fishery management council to submit any FMP or amendment to NMFS for review and approval, partial approval, or disapproval. The Magnuson-Stevens Act also requires that NMFS, upon receiving a plan or amendment, publish an announcement in the Federal Register notifying the public that the FMP or amendment is available for review and comment. Amendment 36A to the Reef Fish FMP was prepared by the Council and, if approved, would be implemented by NMFS through regulations at 50 CFR E:\FR\FM\21FEP1.SGM 21FEP1 7448 Federal Register / Vol. 83, No. 35 / Wednesday, February 21, 2018 / Proposed Rules Landing Notification part 622 under the authority of the Magnuson-Stevens Act. daltland on DSKBBV9HB2PROD with PROPOSALS Background There are two commercial IFQ programs in the Gulf. Amendment 26 to the Reef Fish FMP established the RS– IFQ program, and Amendment 29 to the Reef Fish FMP established the GT–IFQ program. The RS–IFQ program manages commercial harvest of red snapper and was implemented on January 1, 2007 (71 FR 67447, November 22, 2006). The GT–IFQ program manages commercial harvest of multiple species of groupers and tilefishes, and was implemented on January 1, 2010 (74 FR 44732, August 31, 2009). Both IFQ programs share a single Web-based accounting and reporting system. The Council began the development of Amendment 36 to the Reef Fish FMP in response to a 5-year review of the RS–IFQ Program completed in 2013. This review evaluated the progress of the RS–IFQ program towards achieving the stated goals of reducing overcapacity in the fishery and eliminating problems associated with race-to-fish (derby) fishing. The Council also received input on the program from some of their advisory panels as well as from the public. As a result, the suggested modifications to the RS–IFQ program became complex, and the Council split the numerous potential actions into two FMP amendments, Amendments 36A and 36B. The scope of the actions was also expanded to include revisions to the GT–IFQ program because management, as well as the goals and objectives, of this program are similar to the RS–IFQ program. Amendment 36A addresses compliance and program flexibility issues, while Amendment 36B addresses program participation and the distribution of IFQ shares and allocation in the programs. Actions Contained in Amendment 36A Amendment 36A includes actions to expand the requirement for vessels with a commercial Gulf reef fish permit to notify NMFS in advance of landing any reef fish species not managed under the IFQ programs and to land at approved locations, and addresses IFQ shares held in shareholder accounts that have not been activated, since the current Webbased system was put in place on January 1, 2010. Amendment 36A would return shares held in nonactivated accounts to NMFS for future redistribution. In addition, Amendment 36A provides NMFS the authority to withhold annual allocation before distribution at the beginning of a year in which a commercial quota reduction is expected to occur. VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:45 Feb 20, 2018 Jkt 244001 Currently, to improve compliance with the IFQ programs, vessel owners or operators with commercial Gulf reef fish permits are required to notify NMFS between 3 and 24 hours in advance of landing any commercially harvested reef fish species managed under the IFQ programs (IFQ species). In addition, vessels must land IFQ species at an approved landing location. Although the advance landing notifications help with the enforcement of the IFQ programs, one of the conclusions from a 5-year review of the RS–IFQ Program was additional enforcement efforts may be necessary to deter IFQ landing violations. Amendment 36A would expand the requirement for an advance landing notification to all commercial trips that land Gulf reef fish species or Florida Keys/East Florida hogfish harvested in the Gulf even if no IFQ species are on board. Note that the single hogfish stock in the Gulf was recently split into a West Florida stock and a Florida Keys/ East Florida stock, separated at 25°09′ N lat. in Gulf Federal waters off the west coast of Florida (82 FR 34574 and 82 FR 34584, July 25, 2017). The management measures for the Florida Keys/East Florida stock are developed by the South Atlantic Fishery Management Council, but commercial vessels fishing for this stock in Gulf Federal waters are required to have a Federal commercial permit for Gulf reef fish and are required to follow the reporting requirements associated with this permit. The vessel owner or operator would notify NMFS at least 3 hours, but no more than 24 hours, in advance of landing on each trip. Amendment 36A would also require owners and operators on such trips to land at approved landing locations. Requiring notification in advance of landing any federally managed reef fish from the Gulf and requiring landings at approved locations is expected to help deter fishermen from illegally landing IFQ species or reporting IFQ species as another species (e.g., red snapper reported as vermilion snapper), because law enforcement and port agents would be informed in advance of all reef fish trips returning to port and can meet vessels to inspect landings. If any IFQ species are to be landed, all regulations under the applicable IFQ program must be followed, including the more extensive advance notice of landing. Only one IFQ landing notification covering both IFQ and non-IFQ Gulf reef fish species or Florida Keys/East Florida PO 00000 Frm 00038 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 hogfish harvested in the Gulf would be required on such a trip. Non-Activated IFQ Shareholder Accounts Amendment 36A also addresses RS– IFQ and GT–IFQ shareholder accounts that received shares through the initial apportionment when each IFQ program began, but the accounts have never been accessed by the shareholder since January 1, 2010, the initiation of the current IFQ system. NMFS and the Council have attempted to notify account holders with these nonactivated IFQ accounts through phone calls, certified letters, and discussion at public meetings. Although shares in the non-activated accounts represent a small fraction of the total shares, annual allocation assigned to these nonactivated IFQ accounts is not landed, and therefore, may prevent achieving OY if not made available for use. Amendment 36A would return RS–IFQ and GT–IFQ shares in these nonactivated accounts to NMFS for redistribution. The Council intends to redistribute these shares to IFQ program participants through a mechanism determined in Amendment 36B. Allocation Amendment 36A also addresses how to distribute allocation to IFQ shareholders in a fishing year where there is an anticipated reduction of the commercial quota. Under the IFQ programs, annual allocation is distributed to IFQ shareholders on January 1, and most IFQ program participants begin to use or transfer their allocation early in the fishing year. After shareholders begin transferring or landing allocation, NMFS cannot retroactively withdraw allocation from shareholder accounts if a quota decrease became effective after the beginning of the fishing year. Amendment 36A would allow NMFS to anticipate a decrease in the quota of any IFQ species or multi-species share categories after the start of a fishing year and withhold distribution of quota equal to the amount of the expected decrease in commercial quota. NMFS would distribute the remaining portion of the annual allocation to shareholders on January 1. If the rulemaking associated with the commercial quota reduction is not effective by June 1 in the same fishing year, then NMFS would distribute the withheld quota back to the current shareholders. Proposed Rule for Amendment 36A A proposed rule that would implement Amendment 36A has been drafted. In accordance with the E:\FR\FM\21FEP1.SGM 21FEP1 Federal Register / Vol. 83, No. 35 / Wednesday, February 21, 2018 / Proposed Rules Magnuson-Stevens Act, NMFS is evaluating the proposed rule to determine whether it is consistent with the Reef Fish FMP, the MagnusonStevens Act, and other applicable laws. If that determination is affirmative, NMFS will publish the proposed rule in the Federal Register for public review and comment. daltland on DSKBBV9HB2PROD with PROPOSALS Consideration of Public Comments The Council has submitted Amendment 36A for Secretarial review, VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:45 Feb 20, 2018 Jkt 244001 approval, and implementation. Comments on Amendment 36A must be received by April 23, 2018. Comments received during the respective comment periods, whether specifically directed to Amendment 36A or the proposed rule, will be considered by NMFS in its decision to approve, partially approve, or disapprove Amendment 36A. Comments received after the comment periods will not be considered by NMFS in this decision. All comments received PO 00000 Frm 00039 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 9990 7449 by NMFS on Amendment 36A or the proposed rule during their respective comment periods will be addressed in the final rule. Authority: 16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq. Dated: February 15, 2018. Emily H. Menashes, Acting Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine Fisheries Service. [FR Doc. 2018–03463 Filed 2–20–18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510–22–P E:\FR\FM\21FEP1.SGM 21FEP1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 83, Number 35 (Wednesday, February 21, 2018)]
[Proposed Rules]
[Pages 7447-7449]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2018-03463]


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DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

50 CFR Part 622

RIN 0648-BG83


Fisheries of the Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico, and South Atlantic; 
Reef Fish Fishery of the Gulf of Mexico; Amendment 36A

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

ACTION: Notification of availability; request for comments.

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SUMMARY: The Gulf of Mexico (Gulf) Fishery Management Council (Council) 
has submitted Amendment 36A to the Fishery Management Plan for the Reef 
Fish Resources of the Gulf of Mexico (Reef Fish FMP) for review, 
approval, and implementation by NMFS. Amendment 36A would require 
owners or operators of federally permitted commercial Gulf reef fish 
vessels landing any commercially caught, federally managed reef fish 
from the Gulf to provide notification prior to landing and to land at 
approved locations; require shares of red snapper individual fishing 
quota (IFQ) (RS-IFQ) program and groupers and tilefishes IFQ (GT-IFQ) 
program from non-activated accounts to be returned to NMFS for 
redistribution; and allow NMFS to hold back a portion of IFQ allocation 
at the start of the fishing year in anticipation of a commercial quota 
reduction. The purpose of Amendment 36A is to improve compliance and 
increase management flexibility in the RS-IFQ and GT-IFQ programs, and 
increase the likelihood of achieving optimum yield (OY) for reef fish 
stocks managed under these programs.

DATES: Written comments on Amendment 36A must be received by April 23, 
2018.

ADDRESSES: You may submit comments on the amendment identified by 
``NOAA-NMFS-2017-0060'' 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-2017-0060, click the 
``Comment Now!'' icon, complete the required fields, and enter or 
attach your comments.
     Mail: Submit written comments to Peter Hood, NMFS 
Southeast Regional Office, 263 13th Avenue South, St. Petersburg, FL 
33701.
    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).
    Electronic copies of Amendment 36A may be obtained from 
www.regulations.gov or the Southeast Regional Office website at http://sero.nmfs.noaa.gov/sustainable_fisheries/gulf_fisheries/reef_fish/2017/A36A_comm_IFQ/am36Aindex.html. Amendment 36A includes an environmental 
assessment, fishery impact statement, regulatory impact review, and 
Regulatory Flexibility Act analysis.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Peter Hood, NMFS Southeast Regional 
Office, telephone: 727-824-5305, or email: [email protected].

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation 
and Management Act (Magnuson-Stevens Act) requires each regional 
fishery management council to submit any FMP or amendment to NMFS for 
review and approval, partial approval, or disapproval. The Magnuson-
Stevens Act also requires that NMFS, upon receiving a plan or 
amendment, publish an announcement in the Federal Register notifying 
the public that the FMP or amendment is available for review and 
comment.
    Amendment 36A to the Reef Fish FMP was prepared by the Council and, 
if approved, would be implemented by NMFS through regulations at 50 CFR

[[Page 7448]]

part 622 under the authority of the Magnuson-Stevens Act.

Background

    There are two commercial IFQ programs in the Gulf. Amendment 26 to 
the Reef Fish FMP established the RS-IFQ program, and Amendment 29 to 
the Reef Fish FMP established the GT-IFQ program. The RS-IFQ program 
manages commercial harvest of red snapper and was implemented on 
January 1, 2007 (71 FR 67447, November 22, 2006). The GT-IFQ program 
manages commercial harvest of multiple species of groupers and 
tilefishes, and was implemented on January 1, 2010 (74 FR 44732, August 
31, 2009). Both IFQ programs share a single Web-based accounting and 
reporting system.
    The Council began the development of Amendment 36 to the Reef Fish 
FMP in response to a 5-year review of the RS-IFQ Program completed in 
2013. This review evaluated the progress of the RS-IFQ program towards 
achieving the stated goals of reducing overcapacity in the fishery and 
eliminating problems associated with race-to-fish (derby) fishing. The 
Council also received input on the program from some of their advisory 
panels as well as from the public. As a result, the suggested 
modifications to the RS-IFQ program became complex, and the Council 
split the numerous potential actions into two FMP amendments, 
Amendments 36A and 36B. The scope of the actions was also expanded to 
include revisions to the GT-IFQ program because management, as well as 
the goals and objectives, of this program are similar to the RS-IFQ 
program. Amendment 36A addresses compliance and program flexibility 
issues, while Amendment 36B addresses program participation and the 
distribution of IFQ shares and allocation in the programs.

Actions Contained in Amendment 36A

    Amendment 36A includes actions to expand the requirement for 
vessels with a commercial Gulf reef fish permit to notify NMFS in 
advance of landing any reef fish species not managed under the IFQ 
programs and to land at approved locations, and addresses IFQ shares 
held in shareholder accounts that have not been activated, since the 
current Web-based system was put in place on January 1, 2010. Amendment 
36A would return shares held in non-activated accounts to NMFS for 
future redistribution. In addition, Amendment 36A provides NMFS the 
authority to withhold annual allocation before distribution at the 
beginning of a year in which a commercial quota reduction is expected 
to occur.

Landing Notification

    Currently, to improve compliance with the IFQ programs, vessel 
owners or operators with commercial Gulf reef fish permits are required 
to notify NMFS between 3 and 24 hours in advance of landing any 
commercially harvested reef fish species managed under the IFQ programs 
(IFQ species). In addition, vessels must land IFQ species at an 
approved landing location. Although the advance landing notifications 
help with the enforcement of the IFQ programs, one of the conclusions 
from a 5-year review of the RS-IFQ Program was additional enforcement 
efforts may be necessary to deter IFQ landing violations.
    Amendment 36A would expand the requirement for an advance landing 
notification to all commercial trips that land Gulf reef fish species 
or Florida Keys/East Florida hogfish harvested in the Gulf even if no 
IFQ species are on board. Note that the single hogfish stock in the 
Gulf was recently split into a West Florida stock and a Florida Keys/
East Florida stock, separated at 25[deg]09' N lat. in Gulf Federal 
waters off the west coast of Florida (82 FR 34574 and 82 FR 34584, July 
25, 2017). The management measures for the Florida Keys/East Florida 
stock are developed by the South Atlantic Fishery Management Council, 
but commercial vessels fishing for this stock in Gulf Federal waters 
are required to have a Federal commercial permit for Gulf reef fish and 
are required to follow the reporting requirements associated with this 
permit.
    The vessel owner or operator would notify NMFS at least 3 hours, 
but no more than 24 hours, in advance of landing on each trip. 
Amendment 36A would also require owners and operators on such trips to 
land at approved landing locations. Requiring notification in advance 
of landing any federally managed reef fish from the Gulf and requiring 
landings at approved locations is expected to help deter fishermen from 
illegally landing IFQ species or reporting IFQ species as another 
species (e.g., red snapper reported as vermilion snapper), because law 
enforcement and port agents would be informed in advance of all reef 
fish trips returning to port and can meet vessels to inspect landings. 
If any IFQ species are to be landed, all regulations under the 
applicable IFQ program must be followed, including the more extensive 
advance notice of landing. Only one IFQ landing notification covering 
both IFQ and non-IFQ Gulf reef fish species or Florida Keys/East 
Florida hogfish harvested in the Gulf would be required on such a trip.

Non-Activated IFQ Shareholder Accounts

    Amendment 36A also addresses RS-IFQ and GT-IFQ shareholder accounts 
that received shares through the initial apportionment when each IFQ 
program began, but the accounts have never been accessed by the 
shareholder since January 1, 2010, the initiation of the current IFQ 
system. NMFS and the Council have attempted to notify account holders 
with these non-activated IFQ accounts through phone calls, certified 
letters, and discussion at public meetings. Although shares in the non-
activated accounts represent a small fraction of the total shares, 
annual allocation assigned to these non-activated IFQ accounts is not 
landed, and therefore, may prevent achieving OY if not made available 
for use. Amendment 36A would return RS-IFQ and GT-IFQ shares in these 
non-activated accounts to NMFS for redistribution. The Council intends 
to redistribute these shares to IFQ program participants through a 
mechanism determined in Amendment 36B.

Allocation

    Amendment 36A also addresses how to distribute allocation to IFQ 
shareholders in a fishing year where there is an anticipated reduction 
of the commercial quota. Under the IFQ programs, annual allocation is 
distributed to IFQ shareholders on January 1, and most IFQ program 
participants begin to use or transfer their allocation early in the 
fishing year. After shareholders begin transferring or landing 
allocation, NMFS cannot retroactively withdraw allocation from 
shareholder accounts if a quota decrease became effective after the 
beginning of the fishing year. Amendment 36A would allow NMFS to 
anticipate a decrease in the quota of any IFQ species or multi-species 
share categories after the start of a fishing year and withhold 
distribution of quota equal to the amount of the expected decrease in 
commercial quota. NMFS would distribute the remaining portion of the 
annual allocation to shareholders on January 1. If the rulemaking 
associated with the commercial quota reduction is not effective by June 
1 in the same fishing year, then NMFS would distribute the withheld 
quota back to the current shareholders.

Proposed Rule for Amendment 36A

    A proposed rule that would implement Amendment 36A has been 
drafted. In accordance with the

[[Page 7449]]

Magnuson-Stevens Act, NMFS is evaluating the proposed rule to determine 
whether it is consistent with the Reef Fish FMP, the Magnuson-Stevens 
Act, and other applicable laws. If that determination is affirmative, 
NMFS will publish the proposed rule in the Federal Register for public 
review and comment.

Consideration of Public Comments

    The Council has submitted Amendment 36A for Secretarial review, 
approval, and implementation. Comments on Amendment 36A must be 
received by April 23, 2018. Comments received during the respective 
comment periods, whether specifically directed to Amendment 36A or the 
proposed rule, will be considered by NMFS in its decision to approve, 
partially approve, or disapprove Amendment 36A. Comments received after 
the comment periods will not be considered by NMFS in this decision. 
All comments received by NMFS on Amendment 36A or the proposed rule 
during their respective comment periods will be addressed in the final 
rule.

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

    Dated: February 15, 2018.
Emily H. Menashes,
Acting Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine 
Fisheries Service.
[FR Doc. 2018-03463 Filed 2-20-18; 8:45 am]
 BILLING CODE 3510-22-P