Atlantic Highly Migratory Species; Atlantic Bluefin Tuna Fisheries, 22602-22603 [2018-10433]

Download as PDF 22602 Federal Register / Vol. 83, No. 95 / Wednesday, May 16, 2018 / Rules and Regulations This action is taken under 50 CFR 622.384(e) and 622.388(a)(1)(i), 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 NOAA Fisheries (AA) finds good cause to waive the requirements 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 procedures are unnecessary and contrary to the public interest. Such procedures are unnecessary because the rule implementing the commercial quota and the associated AM has already been subject to notice and public comment, and all that remains is to notify the public of the closure. Additionally, allowing prior notice and opportunity for public comment is contrary to the public interest because of the need to implement immediately this action to protect the king mackerel stock, because the capacity of the fishing fleet allows for rapid harvest of the commercial quota. Prior notice and opportunity for public comment would require time and could potentially result in a harvest well in excess of the established commercial quota. 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: May 11, 2018. Jennifer M. Wallace, Acting Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine Fisheries Service. [FR Doc. 2018–10434 Filed 5–11–18; 4:15 pm] BILLING CODE 3510–22–P DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration [Docket No. 150121066–5717–02] nshattuck on DSK9F9SC42PROD with RULES RIN 0648–XG237 Atlantic Highly Migratory Species; Atlantic Bluefin Tuna Fisheries National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Commerce. VerDate Sep<11>2014 13:12 May 15, 2018 Jkt 244001 NMFS closes the Gulf of Mexico Angling category fishery for large medium and giant (‘‘trophy’’ (i.e., measuring 73 inches curved fork length or greater)) Atlantic bluefin tuna (BFT). This action is being taken to prevent overharvest of the Angling category Gulf of Mexico trophy BFT subquota. DATES: Effective 11:30 p.m., local time, May 13, 2018, through December 31, 2018. SUMMARY: FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Sarah McLaughlin or Brad McHale, 978–281–9260. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Regulations implemented under the authority of the Atlantic Tunas Convention Act (ATCA; 16 U.S.C. 971 et seq.) and the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (Magnuson-Stevens Act; 16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq.) governing the harvest of BFT by persons and vessels subject to U.S. jurisdiction are found at 50 CFR part 635. Section 635.27 subdivides the U.S. BFT quota recommended by the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas (ICCAT) among the various domestic fishing categories, per the allocations established in the 2006 Consolidated Atlantic Highly Migratory Species Fishery Management Plan (2006 Consolidated HMS FMP) (71 FR 58058, October 2, 2006) and amendments. NMFS is required, under § 635.28(a)(1), to file a closure notice with the Office of the Federal Register for publication when a BFT quota is reached or is projected to be reached. On and after the effective date and time of such notification, for the remainder of the fishing year or for a specified period as indicated in the notification, retaining, possessing, or landing BFT under that quota category is prohibited until the opening of the subsequent quota period or until such date as specified in the notice. Angling Category Large Medium and Giant Gulf of Mexico ‘‘Trophy’’ Fishery Closure 50 CFR Part 635 AGENCY: Temporary rule; closure of Angling category Gulf of Mexico trophy fishery. ACTION: The 2018 BFT fishing year, which is managed on a calendar-year basis and subject to an annual calendar-year quota, began January 1, 2018. The Angling category season opened January 1, 2018, and continues through December 31, 2018. The currently codified Angling category quota is 195.2 metric tons (mt), of which 4.5 mt is allocated for the harvest of large medium and giant (trophy) BFT by PO 00000 Frm 00016 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 vessels fishing under the Angling category quota, with 1.5 mt allocated for each of the following areas: North of 39°18′ N lat. (off Great Egg Inlet, NJ); south of 39°18′ N lat. and outside the Gulf of Mexico (the ‘‘southern area’’); and in the Gulf of Mexico. Trophy BFT measure 73 inches (185 cm) curved fork length or greater. Based on reported landings from the NMFS Automated Catch Reporting System, NMFS has determined that the codified Angling category Gulf of Mexico trophy BFT subquota has been reached and exceeded and that a closure of the Gulf of Mexico trophy BFT fishery is warranted. Therefore, retaining, possessing, or landing large medium or giant BFT in the Gulf of Mexico by persons aboard vessels permitted in the HMS Angling category and the HMS Charter/Headboat category (when fishing recreationally) must cease at 11:30 p.m. local time on May 13, 2018. This closure will remain effective through December 31, 2018. This action is intended to prevent further overharvest of the Angling category Gulf of Mexico trophy BFT subquota, and is taken consistent with the regulations at § 635.28(a)(1). If needed, subsequent Angling category adjustments will be published in the Federal Register. Information regarding the Angling category fishery for Atlantic tunas, including daily retention limits for BFT measuring 27 inches (68.5 cm) to less than 73 inches and any further Angling category adjustments, is available at hmspermits.noaa.gov or by calling (978) 281–9260. HMS Angling and HMS Charter/Headboat category permit holders may catch and release (or tag and release) BFT of all sizes, subject to the requirements of the catch-andrelease and tag-and-release programs at § 635.26. Anglers are also reminded that all BFT that are released must be handled in a manner that will maximize survival, and without removing the fish from the water, consistent with requirements at § 635.21(a)(1). For additional information on safe handling, see the ‘‘Careful Catch and Release’’ brochure available at https:// www.fisheries.noaa.gov/resource/ outreach-and-education/careful-catchand-release-brochure. HMS Charter/Headboat and Angling category vessel owners are required to report the catch of all BFT retained or discarded dead, within 24 hours of the landing(s) or end of each trip, by accessing hmspermits.noaa.gov or by using the HMS Catch Reporting App. E:\FR\FM\16MYR1.SGM 16MYR1 Federal Register / Vol. 83, No. 95 / Wednesday, May 16, 2018 / Rules and Regulations Classification nshattuck on DSK9F9SC42PROD with RULES The Assistant Administrator for NMFS (AA) finds that it is impracticable and contrary to the public interest to provide prior notice of, and an opportunity for public comment on, this action for the following reasons: The regulations implementing the 2006 Consolidated HMS FMP and amendments provide for inseason retention limit adjustments and fishery closures to respond to the unpredictable nature of BFT availability on the fishing grounds, the migratory nature of this species, and the regional variations in the BFT fishery. The closure of the Gulf of Mexico Angling category trophy fishery is necessary to prevent any further overharvest of the Gulf of VerDate Sep<11>2014 13:12 May 15, 2018 Jkt 244001 Mexico trophy fishery subquota. NMFS provides notification of closures by publishing the notice in the Federal Register, emailing individuals who have subscribed to the Atlantic HMS News electronic newsletter, and updating the information posted on the Atlantic Tunas Information Line and on hmspermits.noaa.gov. These fisheries are currently underway and delaying this action would be contrary to the public interest as it could result in excessive trophy BFT landings that may result in future potential quota reductions for the Angling category, depending on the magnitude of a potential Angling category overharvest. NMFS must close the Gulf of Mexico trophy BFT fishery before additional landings of these sizes PO 00000 Frm 00017 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 9990 22603 of BFT occur. Therefore, the AA finds good cause under 5 U.S.C. 553(b)(B) to waive prior notice and the opportunity for public comment. For all of the above reasons, there is good cause under 5 U.S.C. 553(d) to waive the 30-day delay in effectiveness. This action is being taken under 50 CFR 635.28(a)(1), and is exempt from review under Executive Order 12866. Authority: 16 U.S.C. 971 et seq. and 1801 et seq. Dated: May 11, 2018. Jennifer M. Wallace, Acting Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine Fisheries Service. [FR Doc. 2018–10433 Filed 5–11–18; 4:15 pm] BILLING CODE 3510–22–P E:\FR\FM\16MYR1.SGM 16MYR1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 83, Number 95 (Wednesday, May 16, 2018)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 22602-22603]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2018-10433]


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DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

50 CFR Part 635

[Docket No. 150121066-5717-02]
RIN 0648-XG237


Atlantic Highly Migratory Species; Atlantic Bluefin Tuna 
Fisheries

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

ACTION: Temporary rule; closure of Angling category Gulf of Mexico 
trophy fishery.

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SUMMARY: NMFS closes the Gulf of Mexico Angling category fishery for 
large medium and giant (``trophy'' (i.e., measuring 73 inches curved 
fork length or greater)) Atlantic bluefin tuna (BFT). This action is 
being taken to prevent overharvest of the Angling category Gulf of 
Mexico trophy BFT subquota.

DATES: Effective 11:30 p.m., local time, May 13, 2018, through December 
31, 2018.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Sarah McLaughlin or Brad McHale, 978-
281-9260.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Regulations implemented under the authority 
of the Atlantic Tunas Convention Act (ATCA; 16 U.S.C. 971 et seq.) and 
the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (Magnuson-
Stevens Act; 16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq.) governing the harvest of BFT by 
persons and vessels subject to U.S. jurisdiction are found at 50 CFR 
part 635. Section 635.27 subdivides the U.S. BFT quota recommended by 
the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas 
(ICCAT) among the various domestic fishing categories, per the 
allocations established in the 2006 Consolidated Atlantic Highly 
Migratory Species Fishery Management Plan (2006 Consolidated HMS FMP) 
(71 FR 58058, October 2, 2006) and amendments.
    NMFS is required, under Sec.  635.28(a)(1), to file a closure 
notice with the Office of the Federal Register for publication when a 
BFT quota is reached or is projected to be reached. On and after the 
effective date and time of such notification, for the remainder of the 
fishing year or for a specified period as indicated in the 
notification, retaining, possessing, or landing BFT under that quota 
category is prohibited until the opening of the subsequent quota period 
or until such date as specified in the notice.

Angling Category Large Medium and Giant Gulf of Mexico ``Trophy'' 
Fishery Closure

    The 2018 BFT fishing year, which is managed on a calendar-year 
basis and subject to an annual calendar-year quota, began January 1, 
2018. The Angling category season opened January 1, 2018, and continues 
through December 31, 2018. The currently codified Angling category 
quota is 195.2 metric tons (mt), of which 4.5 mt is allocated for the 
harvest of large medium and giant (trophy) BFT by vessels fishing under 
the Angling category quota, with 1.5 mt allocated for each of the 
following areas: North of 39[deg]18' N lat. (off Great Egg Inlet, NJ); 
south of 39[deg]18' N lat. and outside the Gulf of Mexico (the 
``southern area''); and in the Gulf of Mexico. Trophy BFT measure 73 
inches (185 cm) curved fork length or greater.
    Based on reported landings from the NMFS Automated Catch Reporting 
System, NMFS has determined that the codified Angling category Gulf of 
Mexico trophy BFT subquota has been reached and exceeded and that a 
closure of the Gulf of Mexico trophy BFT fishery is warranted. 
Therefore, retaining, possessing, or landing large medium or giant BFT 
in the Gulf of Mexico by persons aboard vessels permitted in the HMS 
Angling category and the HMS Charter/Headboat category (when fishing 
recreationally) must cease at 11:30 p.m. local time on May 13, 2018. 
This closure will remain effective through December 31, 2018. This 
action is intended to prevent further overharvest of the Angling 
category Gulf of Mexico trophy BFT subquota, and is taken consistent 
with the regulations at Sec.  635.28(a)(1).
    If needed, subsequent Angling category adjustments will be 
published in the Federal Register. Information regarding the Angling 
category fishery for Atlantic tunas, including daily retention limits 
for BFT measuring 27 inches (68.5 cm) to less than 73 inches and any 
further Angling category adjustments, is available at 
hmspermits.noaa.gov or by calling (978) 281-9260. HMS Angling and HMS 
Charter/Headboat category permit holders may catch and release (or tag 
and release) BFT of all sizes, subject to the requirements of the 
catch-and-release and tag-and-release programs at Sec.  635.26. Anglers 
are also reminded that all BFT that are released must be handled in a 
manner that will maximize survival, and without removing the fish from 
the water, consistent with requirements at Sec.  635.21(a)(1). For 
additional information on safe handling, see the ``Careful Catch and 
Release'' brochure available at https://www.fisheries.noaa.gov/resource/outreach-and-education/careful-catch-and-release-brochure.
    HMS Charter/Headboat and Angling category vessel owners are 
required to report the catch of all BFT retained or discarded dead, 
within 24 hours of the landing(s) or end of each trip, by accessing 
hmspermits.noaa.gov or by using the HMS Catch Reporting App.

[[Page 22603]]

Classification

    The Assistant Administrator for NMFS (AA) finds that it is 
impracticable and contrary to the public interest to provide prior 
notice of, and an opportunity for public comment on, this action for 
the following reasons:
    The regulations implementing the 2006 Consolidated HMS FMP and 
amendments provide for inseason retention limit adjustments and fishery 
closures to respond to the unpredictable nature of BFT availability on 
the fishing grounds, the migratory nature of this species, and the 
regional variations in the BFT fishery. The closure of the Gulf of 
Mexico Angling category trophy fishery is necessary to prevent any 
further overharvest of the Gulf of Mexico trophy fishery subquota. NMFS 
provides notification of closures by publishing the notice in the 
Federal Register, emailing individuals who have subscribed to the 
Atlantic HMS News electronic newsletter, and updating the information 
posted on the Atlantic Tunas Information Line and on 
hmspermits.noaa.gov.
    These fisheries are currently underway and delaying this action 
would be contrary to the public interest as it could result in 
excessive trophy BFT landings that may result in future potential quota 
reductions for the Angling category, depending on the magnitude of a 
potential Angling category overharvest. NMFS must close the Gulf of 
Mexico trophy BFT fishery before additional landings of these sizes of 
BFT occur. Therefore, the AA finds good cause under 5 U.S.C. 553(b)(B) 
to waive prior notice and the opportunity for public comment. For all 
of the above reasons, there is good cause under 5 U.S.C. 553(d) to 
waive the 30-day delay in effectiveness.
    This action is being taken under 50 CFR 635.28(a)(1), and is exempt 
from review under Executive Order 12866.

    Authority: 16 U.S.C. 971 et seq. and 1801 et seq.

    Dated: May 11, 2018.
Jennifer M. Wallace,
Acting Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine 
Fisheries Service.
[FR Doc. 2018-10433 Filed 5-11-18; 4:15 pm]
 BILLING CODE 3510-22-P