Fisheries of the Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico, and South Atlantic; Reef Fish Resources of the Gulf of Mexico; Commercial Reef Fish Fishery of the Gulf of Mexico; 2019 Red Grouper Commercial Quota Retention, 64480-64481 [2018-27201]

Download as PDF 64480 Federal Register / Vol. 83, No. 241 / Monday, December 17, 2018 / Rules and Regulations rulemakings from any requirement to prepare an environmental assessment or an environmental impact statement because they do not increase or decrease air, water or noise pollution or the use of fossil fuels, recyclables, or energy. 46 CFR 504.4. This rule regards the Commission’s interpretation of the scope of 46 U.S.C. 41102(c) and the elements necessary for a successful claim for reparations under that section. This rulemaking thus falls within the categorical exclusion for matters related solely to the issue of Commission jurisdiction and the exclusion for investigatory and adjudicatory proceedings to ascertain past violations of the Shipping Act. See 46 CFR 504.4(a)(20), (22). Therefore, no environmental assessment or environmental impact statement is required. Paperwork Reduction Act The Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3501–3521) (PRA) requires an agency to seek and receive approval from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) before collecting information from the public. 44 U.S.C. 3507. The agency must submit collections of information in proposed rules to OMB in conjunction with the publication of the notice of proposed rulemaking. 5 CFR 1320.11. This rule does not contain any collections of information as defined by 44 U.S.C. 3502(3) and 5 CFR 1320.3(c). Executive Order 12988 (Civil Justice Reform) This rule meets the applicable standards in E.O. 12988 titled, ‘‘Civil Justice Reform,’’ to minimize litigation, eliminate ambiguity, and reduce burden. amozie on DSK3GDR082PROD with RULES Regulation Identifier Number The Commission assigns a regulation identifier number (RIN) to each regulatory action listed in the Unified Agenda of Federal Regulatory and Deregulatory Actions (Unified Agenda). The Regulatory Information Service Center publishes the Unified Agenda in April and October of each year. You may use the RIN contained in the heading at the beginning of this document to find this action in the Unified Agenda, available at http:// www.reginfo.gov/public/do/ eAgendaMain. List of Subjects in 46 CFR part 545 Antitrust, Exports, Freight forwarders, Maritime carriers, Non-vessel-operating common carriers, Ocean transportation intermediaries, Licensing requirements, Financial responsibility requirements, VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:18 Dec 14, 2018 Jkt 247001 Reporting and recordkeeping requirements. For the reasons set forth above, the Federal Maritime Commission amends 46 CFR part 545 as follows: PART 545—INTERPRETATIONS AND STATEMENTS OF POLICY 1. The authority citation for part 545 continues to read as follows: ■ Authority: 5 U.S.C. 553; 46 U.S.C. 305, 40307, 40501–40503, 41101–41106, and 40901–40904; 46 CFR 515.23. ■ 2. Add § 545.4 to read as follows: § 545.4 Interpretation of Shipping Act of 1984—Unjust and unreasonable practices. 46 U.S.C. 41102(c) is interpreted to require the following elements in order to establish a successful claim for reparations: (a) The respondent is an ocean common carrier, marine terminal operator, or ocean transportation intermediary; (b) The claimed acts or omissions of the regulated entity are occurring on a normal, customary, and continuous basis; (c) The practice or regulation relates to or is connected with receiving, handling, storing, or delivering property; (d) The practice or regulation is unjust or unreasonable; and (e) The practice or regulation is the proximate cause of the claimed loss. By the Commission. Rachel E. Dickon, Secretary. [FR Doc. 2018–27181 Filed 12–14–18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6731–AA–P DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration 50 CFR Part 622 [Docket No. 141104927–4927–01] RIN 0648–XG564 Fisheries of the Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico, and South Atlantic; Reef Fish Resources of the Gulf of Mexico; Commercial Reef Fish Fishery of the Gulf of Mexico; 2019 Red Grouper Commercial Quota Retention National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Commerce. ACTION: Temporary rule; withholding of red grouper allocation. AGENCY: PO 00000 Frm 00048 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 NMFS intends to withhold a portion of the red grouper commercial quota from the Individual Fishing Quota Program for Grouper and Tilefishes (IFQ) for the 2019 fishing year as a result of a proposed commercial quota reduction. The Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council (Council) requested that NMFS reduce the Gulf of Mexico (Gulf) red grouper commercial and recreational annual catch limits (ACLs) and associated annual catch targets (ACTs) through a temporary rule to provide increased protections to the stock. The commercial red grouper quota is equivalent to the commercial ACT. NMFS is currently evaluating the Council’s request and may implement, in early 2019, a temporary rule to reduce the red grouper ACLs and ACTs. Because red grouper is managed under an IFQ program, NMFS distributes IFQ allocation to the program shareholders on January 1 of each year. After NMFS distributes the applicable commercial quota to shareholders, it cannot be recalled. Therefore, in anticipation of the possible commercial quota reduction, NMFS will withhold distribution of 59.4 percent, equivalent to 4.78 million lb (2.17 million kg), gutted weight, of red grouper IFQ allocation on January 1, 2019. If the quota reduction is not implemented by June 1, 2019, the withheld quota will be distributed to the shareholders. This action is necessary to protect the red grouper resource and to effectively manage the IFQ program in 2019. DATES: This rule effective 12:01 a.m., local time, January 1, 2019, until 12:01 a.m., local time, June 1, 2019. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Peter Hood, telephone: 727–824–5305, or email: Peter.Hood@noaa.gov. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The reef fish fishery of the Gulf includes red grouper and is managed under the Fishery Management Plan for the Reef Fish Fishery of the Gulf of Mexico (FMP). The FMP was prepared by the Council and is implemented by NMFS under the authority of the MagnusonStevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (Magnuson-Stevens Act) by regulations at 50 CFR part 622. All weights in this temporary rule are in gutted weight. The current red grouper commercial ACT (commercial quota) is 7,780,000 lb (3,528,949 kg) and the commercial ACL is 8,190,000 lb (3,714,922 kg). Under the IFQ program for Gulf grouper and tilefish species, NMFS distributes allocation to shareholders on January 1 each year. However, regulations at 50 CFR 622.22(a)(4), authorize NMFS to withhold distribution of IFQ allocation SUMMARY: E:\FR\FM\17DER1.SGM 17DER1 Federal Register / Vol. 83, No. 241 / Monday, December 17, 2018 / Rules and Regulations amozie on DSK3GDR082PROD with RULES on January 1 in the amount equal to an expected reduction in the commercial quota. The Council’s Scientific and Statistical Committee (SSC) recently reviewed the results of an interim analysis performed by the Southeast Fisheries Science Center and recommended that the Council reduce the red grouper commercial and recreational ACLs and ACTs, effective for the 2019 fishing year. In addition, there have been recent deceases in red grouper landings and public testimony at the October Council meeting expressed concern about the status of the red grouper stock. Therefore, at its October 2018 meeting, the Council began developing a framework action to reduce the ACLs and ACTs. In the meantime, the Council requested that NMFS publish an interim or emergency rule to temporarily reduce the red grouper commercial and recreational ACLs and associated ACTs consistent with a red grouper stock ACL of 4.60 million lb (2.09 million kg), or the 2017 total red grouper landings, whichever is less. The 2017 combined red grouper commercial and recreational landings were approximately 4.16 million lb (1.89 million kg). Therefore, NMFS, is considering whether to issue an interim or emergency rule to reduce the red grouper ACLs and ACTs consistent with a stock ACL of 4.16 million lb (1.89 million kg). If NMFS issues the interim or emergency rule, the commercial ACL for 2019 would be 3.16 million lb (1.43 million kg). This is approximately a 59.4 percent reduction from the current commercial ACL of 8.19 million lb (3.71 million kg). The commercial ACT is 95 percent of the ACL, and would be 3.00 million lb (1.36 million kg). Based on the Council’s request, NMFS expects a reduction in the red grouper quota to occur after January 1, 2019. Therefore, consistent with 50 CFR 622.22(a)(4) NMFS is withholding 4.78 million lb (2.17 million kg) of the red grouper commercial quota when allocation is distributed to shareholders on January 1, 2019. If a final rule implementing the quota reduction is not effective by June 1, 2019, NMFS will distribute the withheld allocation to the shareholders. Classification The Regional Administrator, Southeast Region, NMFS, has determined this temporary rule is necessary for the conservation and management of red grouper in the Gulf reef fish fishery and is consistent with the Magnuson-Stevens Act and other applicable laws. VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:18 Dec 14, 2018 Jkt 247001 This action is taken under 50 CFR 622.22(a)(4) 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 public comment. This action responds to the best scientific information available. The Assistant Administrator for NOAA Fisheries (AA) finds that the need to immediately implement this action to withhold a portion of the red grouper commercial quota constitutes good cause to waive the requirements to provide prior notice and opportunity for public comment on this temporary rule pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 553(b)(B), because such procedures are unnecessary and contrary to the public interest. Such procedures are unnecessary because the ability to withhold a percentage of the commercial quota as specified at 50 CFR 622.22(a)(4) has already been subject to notice and public comment. All that remains is to notify the public of the amount of the applicable commercial quota to be withheld on January 1, 2019. Such procedures are contrary to the public interest because of the need to immediately implement this action to protect the red grouper stock and effectively manage the Gulf IFQ program. 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: December 11, 2018. Jennifer M. Wallace, Acting Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine Fisheries Service. [FR Doc. 2018–27201 Filed 12–14–18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510–22–P DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration 50 CFR Part 648 [Docket No. 170828822–70999–04] RIN 0648–XG669 Fisheries of the Northeastern United States; Summer Flounder Fishery; Quota Transfer National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Commerce. ACTION: Temporary rule; quota transfer. AGENCY: PO 00000 Frm 00049 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 64481 NMFS announces that the Commonwealth of Virginia is transferring a portion of its 2018 commercial summer flounder quota to the State of Connecticut. This quota adjustment is necessary to comply with the Summer Flounder, Scup, and Black Sea Bass Fishery Management Plan quota transfer provisions. This announcement informs the public of the revised commercial quotas for Virginia and Connecticut. DATES: Effective December 14, 2018, through December 31, 2018. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Cynthia Ferrio, Fishery Management Specialist, (978) 281–9180. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Regulations governing the summer flounder fishery are found in 50 CFR 648.100 through 648.110. These regulations require annual specification of a commercial quota that is apportioned among the coastal states from Maine through North Carolina. The process to set the annual commercial quota and the percent allocated to each state is described in § 648.102, and the initial 2018 allocations were published on December 22, 2017 (82 FR 60682), and corrected January 30, 2018 (83 FR 4165). The final rule implementing Amendment 5 to the Summer Flounder Fishery Management Plan, as published in the Federal Register on December 17, 1993 (58 FR 65936), provided a mechanism for transferring summer flounder commercial quota from one state to another. Two or more states, under mutual agreement and with the concurrence of the NMFS Greater Atlantic Regional Administrator, can transfer or combine summer flounder commercial quota under § 648.102(c)(2). The Regional Administrator is required to consider the criteria in § 648.102(c)(2)(i)(A) through (C) in the evaluation of requests for quota transfers or combinations. Virginia is transferring 20,000 lb (9,072 kg) of summer flounder commercial quota to Connecticut through mutual agreement of the states. Based on the initial quotas published in the 2018 Summer Flounder, Scup, and Black Sea Bass Specifications and subsequent adjustments, the revised summer flounder quotas for calendar year 2018 are now: Virginia, 1,351,972 lb (613,244 kg); and Connecticut, 167,768 lb (76,098 kg). SUMMARY: Classification This action is taken under 50 CFR part 648 and is exempt from review under Executive Order 12866. Authority: 16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq. E:\FR\FM\17DER1.SGM 17DER1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 83, Number 241 (Monday, December 17, 2018)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 64480-64481]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2018-27201]


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DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

50 CFR Part 622

[Docket No. 141104927-4927-01]
RIN 0648-XG564


Fisheries of the Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico, and South Atlantic; 
Reef Fish Resources of the Gulf of Mexico; Commercial Reef Fish Fishery 
of the Gulf of Mexico; 2019 Red Grouper Commercial Quota Retention

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

ACTION: Temporary rule; withholding of red grouper allocation.

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SUMMARY: NMFS intends to withhold a portion of the red grouper 
commercial quota from the Individual Fishing Quota Program for Grouper 
and Tilefishes (IFQ) for the 2019 fishing year as a result of a 
proposed commercial quota reduction. The Gulf of Mexico Fishery 
Management Council (Council) requested that NMFS reduce the Gulf of 
Mexico (Gulf) red grouper commercial and recreational annual catch 
limits (ACLs) and associated annual catch targets (ACTs) through a 
temporary rule to provide increased protections to the stock. The 
commercial red grouper quota is equivalent to the commercial ACT. NMFS 
is currently evaluating the Council's request and may implement, in 
early 2019, a temporary rule to reduce the red grouper ACLs and ACTs. 
Because red grouper is managed under an IFQ program, NMFS distributes 
IFQ allocation to the program shareholders on January 1 of each year. 
After NMFS distributes the applicable commercial quota to shareholders, 
it cannot be recalled. Therefore, in anticipation of the possible 
commercial quota reduction, NMFS will withhold distribution of 59.4 
percent, equivalent to 4.78 million lb (2.17 million kg), gutted 
weight, of red grouper IFQ allocation on January 1, 2019. If the quota 
reduction is not implemented by June 1, 2019, the withheld quota will 
be distributed to the shareholders. This action is necessary to protect 
the red grouper resource and to effectively manage the IFQ program in 
2019.

DATES: This rule effective 12:01 a.m., local time, January 1, 2019, 
until 12:01 a.m., local time, June 1, 2019.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Peter Hood, telephone: 727-824-5305, 
or email: Peter.Hood@noaa.gov.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The reef fish fishery of the Gulf includes 
red grouper and is managed under the Fishery Management Plan for the 
Reef Fish Fishery of the Gulf of Mexico (FMP). The FMP was prepared by 
the Council and 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.
    All weights in this temporary rule are in gutted weight.
    The current red grouper commercial ACT (commercial quota) is 
7,780,000 lb (3,528,949 kg) and the commercial ACL is 8,190,000 lb 
(3,714,922 kg). Under the IFQ program for Gulf grouper and tilefish 
species, NMFS distributes allocation to shareholders on January 1 each 
year. However, regulations at 50 CFR 622.22(a)(4), authorize NMFS to 
withhold distribution of IFQ allocation

[[Page 64481]]

on January 1 in the amount equal to an expected reduction in the 
commercial quota.
    The Council's Scientific and Statistical Committee (SSC) recently 
reviewed the results of an interim analysis performed by the Southeast 
Fisheries Science Center and recommended that the Council reduce the 
red grouper commercial and recreational ACLs and ACTs, effective for 
the 2019 fishing year. In addition, there have been recent deceases in 
red grouper landings and public testimony at the October Council 
meeting expressed concern about the status of the red grouper stock. 
Therefore, at its October 2018 meeting, the Council began developing a 
framework action to reduce the ACLs and ACTs. In the meantime, the 
Council requested that NMFS publish an interim or emergency rule to 
temporarily reduce the red grouper commercial and recreational ACLs and 
associated ACTs consistent with a red grouper stock ACL of 4.60 million 
lb (2.09 million kg), or the 2017 total red grouper landings, whichever 
is less. The 2017 combined red grouper commercial and recreational 
landings were approximately 4.16 million lb (1.89 million kg). 
Therefore, NMFS, is considering whether to issue an interim or 
emergency rule to reduce the red grouper ACLs and ACTs consistent with 
a stock ACL of 4.16 million lb (1.89 million kg).
    If NMFS issues the interim or emergency rule, the commercial ACL 
for 2019 would be 3.16 million lb (1.43 million kg). This is 
approximately a 59.4 percent reduction from the current commercial ACL 
of 8.19 million lb (3.71 million kg). The commercial ACT is 95 percent 
of the ACL, and would be 3.00 million lb (1.36 million kg).
    Based on the Council's request, NMFS expects a reduction in the red 
grouper quota to occur after January 1, 2019. Therefore, consistent 
with 50 CFR 622.22(a)(4) NMFS is withholding 4.78 million lb (2.17 
million kg) of the red grouper commercial quota when allocation is 
distributed to shareholders on January 1, 2019. If a final rule 
implementing the quota reduction is not effective by June 1, 2019, NMFS 
will distribute the withheld allocation to the shareholders.

Classification

    The Regional Administrator, Southeast Region, NMFS, has determined 
this temporary rule is necessary for the conservation and management of 
red grouper in the Gulf reef fish fishery and is consistent with the 
Magnuson-Stevens Act and other applicable laws.
    This action is taken under 50 CFR 622.22(a)(4) 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 public comment.
    This action responds to the best scientific information available. 
The Assistant Administrator for NOAA Fisheries (AA) finds that the need 
to immediately implement this action to withhold a portion of the red 
grouper commercial quota constitutes good cause to waive the 
requirements to provide prior notice and opportunity for public comment 
on this temporary rule pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 553(b)(B), because such 
procedures are unnecessary and contrary to the public interest. Such 
procedures are unnecessary because the ability to withhold a percentage 
of the commercial quota as specified at 50 CFR 622.22(a)(4) has already 
been subject to notice and public comment. All that remains is to 
notify the public of the amount of the applicable commercial quota to 
be withheld on January 1, 2019. Such procedures are contrary to the 
public interest because of the need to immediately implement this 
action to protect the red grouper stock and effectively manage the Gulf 
IFQ program.
    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: December 11, 2018.
Jennifer M. Wallace,
Acting Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine 
Fisheries Service.
[FR Doc. 2018-27201 Filed 12-14-18; 8:45 am]
 BILLING CODE 3510-22-P