Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Pacific Cod by Hook-and-Line Catcher/Processors in the Western Regulatory Area of the Gulf of Alaska, 12281-12282 [2018-05756]

Download as PDF Federal Register / Vol. 83, No. 55 / Wednesday, March 21, 2018 / Rules and Regulations interest, because there is a need to immediately implement this action to protect the golden tilefish resource since the capacity of the fishing fleet allows for rapid harvest of the commercial quota for the longline component. Prior notice and opportunity for public comment would require time and would potentially result in a harvest well in excess of the established commercial quota for the longline component. For the aforementioned reasons, the AA also finds good cause to waive the 30-day delay in the effectiveness of this action under 5 U.S.C. 553(d)(3). Authority: 16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq. Dated: March 16, 2018. Emily H. Menashes, Acting Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine Fisheries Service. [FR Doc. 2018–05714 Filed 3–16–18; 4:15 pm] BILLING CODE 3510–22–P DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration 50 CFR Part 622 [Docket No. 130403320–4891–02] RIN 0648–XG056 Fisheries of the Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico, and South Atlantic; SnapperGrouper Resources of the South Atlantic; 2018–2019 Recreational Fishing Season for Black Sea Bass National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Commerce. ACTION: Temporary rule; recreational season length. AGENCY: NMFS announces that the length of the recreational fishing season for black sea bass in the exclusive economic zone (EEZ) of the South Atlantic will extend throughout the species’ 2018–2019 fishing year. Announcing the length of recreational season for black sea bass is one of the accountability measures (AMs) for the recreational sector. This announcement allows recreational fishers to maximize their opportunity to harvest the recreational annual catch limit (ACL) for black sea bass during the fishing season while managing harvest to protect the black sea bass resource. DATES: This rule is effective from 12:01 a.m., local time, April 1, 2018, until 12:01 a.m., local time, April 1, 2019, unless changed by subsequent notification in the Federal Register. sradovich on DSK3GMQ082PROD with RULES SUMMARY: VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:29 Mar 20, 2018 Jkt 244001 FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Nikhil Mehta, NMFS Southeast Regional Office, telephone: 727–824–5305, email: nikhil.mehta@noaa.gov. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The South Atlantic snapper-grouper fishery includes black sea bass and is managed under the Fishery Management Plan for the Snapper-Grouper Fishery of the South Atlantic Region (FMP). The South Atlantic Fishery Management Council prepared the FMP and the FMP is implemented by NMFS under the authority of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (Magnuson-Stevens Act) by regulations at 50 CFR part 622. The final rule implementing Regulatory Amendment 14 to the FMP revised the recreational fishing year for black sea bass to be April 1 through March 31 (79 FR 66316; November 7, 2014). The final rule also revised the recreational AMs for black sea bass. Prior to the April 1 start of each recreational fishing year, NMFS projects the length of the upcoming recreational fishing season based on when NMFS projects the recreational ACL will be met and announces the recreational season end date in the Federal Register (50 CFR 622.193(e)(2)). The purpose of this AM is to have a more predictable recreational season length while still constraining harvest at or below the recreational ACL to protect the stock from experiencing adverse biological consequences. NMFS estimates that recreational landings for the 2018–2019 fishing year will be less than the 2018–2019 recreational ACL. To make this determination, NMFS compared landings in the last 3 fishing years to the recreational ACL for the 2018–2019 black sea bass fishing year of 848,455 lb (384,853 kg), gutted weight, 1,001,177 lb (454,126 kg), round weight. The recreational ACL was set through the final rule for Regulatory Amendment 19 to the FMP (78 FR 58249; September 23, 2013). Landings in each of the past 3 fishing years have been substantially below the 2018–2019 recreational ACL; therefore, recreational landings in 2018– 2019 are projected to be below the 2018–2019 recreational ACL. Accordingly, the recreational sector for black sea bass is not expected to close as a result of reaching its ACL, and the season end date for recreational fishing for black sea bass in the South Atlantic EEZ south of 35°15.9′ N lat. is March 31, 2019. Classification The Regional Administrator, Southeast Region, NMFS, has determined this temporary rule is PO 00000 Frm 00035 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 12281 necessary for the conservation and management of South Atlantic black sea bass and is consistent with the Magnuson-Stevens Act and other applicable laws. This action is taken under 50 CFR 622.193(e)(2) and is exempt from review under Executive Order 12866. These measures are exempt from the procedures of the Regulatory Flexibility Act because the temporary rule is issued without opportunity for prior notice and comment. This action responds to the best scientific information available. The Assistant Administrator for Fisheries, NOAA (AA), finds that the need to immediately implement the notice of the recreational season length constitutes good cause to waive the requirements to provide prior notice and opportunity for public comment pursuant to the authority set forth in 5 U.S.C. 553(b)(B), because prior notice and opportunity for public comment on this temporary rule is unnecessary. Such procedures are unnecessary, because the rule establishing the AM has already been subject to notice and comment, and all that remains is to notify the public of the recreational season length. For the aforementioned reasons, the AA also finds good cause to waive the 30-day delay in the effectiveness of this action under 5 U.S.C. 553(d)(3). Authority: 16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq. Dated: March 16, 2018. Emily H. Menashes, Acting Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine Fisheries Service. [FR Doc. 2018–05703 Filed 3–20–18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510–22–P DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration 50 CFR Part 679 [Docket No. 170816769–8162–02] RIN 0648–XF906 Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Pacific Cod by Hookand-Line Catcher/Processors in the Western Regulatory Area of the Gulf of Alaska National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Commerce. ACTION: Temporary rule; closure. AGENCY: NMFS is prohibiting directed fishing for Pacific cod by hook-and-line SUMMARY: E:\FR\FM\21MRR1.SGM 21MRR1 12282 Federal Register / Vol. 83, No. 55 / Wednesday, March 21, 2018 / Rules and Regulations sradovich on DSK3GMQ082PROD with RULES catcher/processors in the Western Regulatory Area of the Gulf of Alaska (GOA). This action is necessary to prevent exceeding the A season allowance of the 2018 Pacific cod total allowable catch apportioned to hookand-line catcher/processors in the Western Regulatory Area of the GOA. DATES: Effective 1200 hours, Alaska local time (A.l.t.), March 16, 2018, through 1200 hours, A.l.t., June 10, 2018. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Obren Davis, 907–586–7228. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: NMFS manages the groundfish fishery in the GOA exclusive economic zone according to the Fishery Management Plan for Groundfish of the Gulf of Alaska (FMP) prepared by the North Pacific Fishery Management Council under authority of the MagnusonStevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act. Regulations governing fishing by U.S. vessels in accordance with the FMP appear at subpart H of 50 CFR part 600 and 50 CFR part 679. Regulations governing sideboard protections for GOA groundfish fisheries appear at subpart B of 50 CFR part 680. The A season allowance of the 2018 Pacific cod total allowable catch (TAC) apportioned to hook-and-line catcher/ processors in the Western Regulatory Area of the GOA is 607 metric tons (mt), VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:29 Mar 20, 2018 Jkt 244001 as established by the final 2018 and 2019 harvest specifications for groundfish of the GOA (83 FR 8768, March 1, 2018). In accordance with § 679.20(d)(1)(i), the Administrator, Alaska Region, NMFS (Regional Administrator) has determined that the A season allowance of the 2018 Pacific cod TAC apportioned to hook-and-line catcher/ processors in the Western Regulatory Area of the GOA will soon be reached. Therefore, the Regional Administrator is establishing a directed fishing allowance of 595 mt and is setting aside the remaining 12 mt as bycatch to support other anticipated groundfish fisheries. In accordance with § 679.20(d)(1)(iii), the Regional Administrator finds that this directed fishing allowance has been reached. Consequently, NMFS is prohibiting directed fishing for Pacific cod by hookand-line catcher/processors in the Western Regulatory Area of the GOA. After the effective date of this closure the maximum retainable amounts at § 679.20(e) and (f) apply at any time during a trip. requirement to provide prior notice and opportunity for public comment pursuant to the authority set forth at 5 U.S.C. 553(b)(B) as such requirement is impracticable and contrary to the public interest. This requirement is impracticable and contrary to the public interest as it would prevent NMFS from responding to the most recent fisheries data in a timely fashion and would delay the directed fishing closure of Pacific cod by hook-and-line catcher/ processors in the Western Regulatory Area of the GOA. NMFS was unable to publish a notice providing time for public comment because the most recent, relevant data only became available as of March 15, 2018. The AA also finds good cause to waive the 30-day delay in the effective date of this action under 5 U.S.C. 553(d)(3). This finding is based upon the reasons provided above for waiver of prior notice and opportunity for public comment. This action is required by § 679.20 and is exempt from review under Executive Order 12866. Classification Dated: March 16, 2018. Emily H. Menashes, Acting Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine Fisheries Service. This action responds to the best available information recently obtained from the fishery. The Assistant Administrator for Fisheries, NOAA (AA), finds good cause to waive the PO 00000 Frm 00036 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 9990 Authority: 16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq. [FR Doc. 2018–05756 Filed 3–16–18; 4:15 pm] BILLING CODE 3510–22–P E:\FR\FM\21MRR1.SGM 21MRR1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 83, Number 55 (Wednesday, March 21, 2018)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 12281-12282]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2018-05756]


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

DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

50 CFR Part 679

[Docket No. 170816769-8162-02]
RIN 0648-XF906


Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Pacific Cod 
by Hook-and-Line Catcher/Processors in the Western Regulatory Area of 
the Gulf of Alaska

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

ACTION: Temporary rule; closure.

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

SUMMARY: NMFS is prohibiting directed fishing for Pacific cod by hook-
and-line

[[Page 12282]]

catcher/processors in the Western Regulatory Area of the Gulf of Alaska 
(GOA). This action is necessary to prevent exceeding the A season 
allowance of the 2018 Pacific cod total allowable catch apportioned to 
hook-and-line catcher/processors in the Western Regulatory Area of the 
GOA.

DATES: Effective 1200 hours, Alaska local time (A.l.t.), March 16, 
2018, through 1200 hours, A.l.t., June 10, 2018.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Obren Davis, 907-586-7228.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: NMFS manages the groundfish fishery in the 
GOA exclusive economic zone according to the Fishery Management Plan 
for Groundfish of the Gulf of Alaska (FMP) prepared by the North 
Pacific Fishery Management Council under authority of the Magnuson-
Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act. Regulations governing 
fishing by U.S. vessels in accordance with the FMP appear at subpart H 
of 50 CFR part 600 and 50 CFR part 679. Regulations governing sideboard 
protections for GOA groundfish fisheries appear at subpart B of 50 CFR 
part 680.
    The A season allowance of the 2018 Pacific cod total allowable 
catch (TAC) apportioned to hook-and-line catcher/processors in the 
Western Regulatory Area of the GOA is 607 metric tons (mt), as 
established by the final 2018 and 2019 harvest specifications for 
groundfish of the GOA (83 FR 8768, March 1, 2018).
    In accordance with Sec.  679.20(d)(1)(i), the Administrator, Alaska 
Region, NMFS (Regional Administrator) has determined that the A season 
allowance of the 2018 Pacific cod TAC apportioned to hook-and-line 
catcher/processors in the Western Regulatory Area of the GOA will soon 
be reached. Therefore, the Regional Administrator is establishing a 
directed fishing allowance of 595 mt and is setting aside the remaining 
12 mt as bycatch to support other anticipated groundfish fisheries. In 
accordance with Sec.  679.20(d)(1)(iii), the Regional Administrator 
finds that this directed fishing allowance has been reached. 
Consequently, NMFS is prohibiting directed fishing for Pacific cod by 
hook-and-line catcher/processors in the Western Regulatory Area of the 
GOA. After the effective date of this closure the maximum retainable 
amounts at Sec.  679.20(e) and (f) apply at any time during a trip.

Classification

    This action responds to the best available information recently 
obtained from the fishery. The Assistant Administrator for Fisheries, 
NOAA (AA), finds good cause to waive the requirement to provide prior 
notice and opportunity for public comment pursuant to the authority set 
forth at 5 U.S.C. 553(b)(B) as such requirement is impracticable and 
contrary to the public interest. This requirement is impracticable and 
contrary to the public interest as it would prevent NMFS from 
responding to the most recent fisheries data in a timely fashion and 
would delay the directed fishing closure of Pacific cod by hook-and-
line catcher/processors in the Western Regulatory Area of the GOA. NMFS 
was unable to publish a notice providing time for public comment 
because the most recent, relevant data only became available as of 
March 15, 2018.
    The AA also finds good cause to waive the 30-day delay in the 
effective date of this action under 5 U.S.C. 553(d)(3). This finding is 
based upon the reasons provided above for waiver of prior notice and 
opportunity for public comment.
    This action is required by Sec.  679.20 and is exempt from review 
under Executive Order 12866.

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

    Dated: March 16, 2018.
Emily H. Menashes,
Acting Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine 
Fisheries Service.
[FR Doc. 2018-05756 Filed 3-16-18; 4:15 pm]
BILLING CODE 3510-22-P