Fisheries of the Northeastern United States; Framework Adjustment 12 to the Atlantic Mackerel, Squid, and Butterfish Fishery Management Plan, 65313-65315 [2018-27520]

Download as PDF Federal Register / Vol. 83, No. 244 / Thursday, December 20, 2018 / Rules and Regulations In addition, this rule does not have tribal implications as specified by Executive Order 13175 (65 FR 67249, November 9, 2000), because the SIP is not approved to apply in Indian country located in the state, and EPA notes that it will not impose substantial direct costs on tribal governments or preempt tribal law. B. Submission to Congress and the Comptroller General Under section 307(b)(1) of the CAA, petitions for judicial review of this action must be filed in the United States Court of Appeals for the appropriate circuit by February 19, 2019. Filing a petition for reconsideration by the Administrator of this final rule does not affect the finality of this action for the purposes of judicial review nor does it extend the time within which a petition for judicial review may be filed, and shall not postpone the effectiveness of such rule or action. This action to approve Pennsylvania’s request for removal of summertime low RVP gasoline requirements from the SIP may not be challenged later in proceedings to enforce its requirements. (See section 307(b)(2).) khammond on DSK30JT082PROD with RULES List of Subjects in 40 CFR Part 52 Environmental protection, Air pollution control, Carbon monoxide, Incorporation by reference, Nitrogen dioxide, Ozone, Particulate matter, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements, Sulfur oxides, Volatile organic compounds. Dated: December 10, 2018. Cosmo Servidio, Regional Administrator, Region III. 40 CFR part 52 is amended as follows: Jkt 247001 Authority: 42 U.S.C. 7401 et seq. Subpart NN—Pennsylvania [Amended] 2. In § 52.2020, the table in paragraph (c)(1) is amended by removing the heading and entries for ‘‘Subchapter C— Gasoline Volatility Requirements’’ under Title 25, Chapter 126 Standard for Motor Fuels. ■ C. Petitions for Judicial Review 16:40 Dec 19, 2018 1. The authority citation for part 52 continues to read as follows: ■ § 52.2020 The Congressional Review Act, 5 U.S.C. 801 et seq., as added by the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act of 1996, generally provides that before a rule may take effect, the agency promulgating the rule must submit a rule report, which includes a copy of the rule, to each House of the Congress and to the Comptroller General of the United States. EPA will submit a report containing this action and other required information to the U.S. Senate, the U.S. House of Representatives, and the Comptroller General of the United States prior to publication of the rule in the Federal Register. A major rule cannot take effect until 60 days after it is published in the Federal Register. This action is not a ‘‘major rule’’ as defined by 5 U.S.C. 804(2). VerDate Sep<11>2014 PART 52—APPROVAL AND PROMULGATION OF IMPLEMENTATION PLANS [FR Doc. 2018–27481 Filed 12–19–18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560–50–P DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration 50 CFR Part 648 [Docket No. 180807736–8999–02] RIN 0648–BI41 Fisheries of the Northeastern United States; Framework Adjustment 12 to the Atlantic Mackerel, Squid, and Butterfish Fishery Management Plan National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Commerce. ACTION: Final rule. AGENCY: NMFS approves and implements Framework Adjustment 12 to the Atlantic Mackerel, Squid, and Butterfish Fishery Management Plan. This rule allows the possession of Atlantic mackerel after of the domestic annual harvest is projected to be caught instead of prohibiting the possession of Atlantic mackerel for the rest of the calendar year. This final rule implements this measure because it is necessary to prevent unintended negative economic impacts to other fisheries, such as Atlantic herring. DATES: This rule is effective December 20, 2018. ADDRESSES: The Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council (Council) prepared a supplemental environmental assessment (SEA) for Framework Adjustment 12 that describes the Council’s preferred management measure and other alternatives considered and provides a thorough analysis of the impacts of the all alternatives considered. Copies of the SUMMARY: PO 00000 Frm 00031 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 65313 Framework 12 SEA and the preliminary Regulatory Impact Review (RIR) analysis are available from: Christopher Moore, Executive Director, Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council, Suite 201, 800 State Street, Dover, DE 19901. The SEA/RIR is accessible via the internet at http://www.greater atlantic.fisheries.noaa.gov/ or http:// www.mafmc.org. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Alyson Pitts, Fishery Management Specialist, (978) 281–9352, alyson.pitts@noaa.gov. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Background On June 5, 2018, the Council adopted a final measure under Framework Adjustment 12 to the Atlantic Mackerel, Squid, and Butterfish (MSB) Fishery Management Plan (FMP). On August 17, 2018, the Council submitted the framework and draft SEA to NMFS for preliminary review, with final submission on October 18, 2018. NMFS published a proposed rule that included implementing regulations on October 3, 2018 (83 FR 50059). The public comment period for the proposed rule ended on October 19, 2018. The Council developed Framework Adjustment 12 and the measure described in the proposed rule under the discretionary provision specified in section 303(b)(12) of the MagnusonStevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (Magnuson-Stevens Act) (16 U.S.C. 1801, et seq.; 1853(b)(12)). The objective of this action is to change to possession limits when 100 percent of the domestic annual harvest (DAH) is landed, from zero possession to 5,000 lb (2,268 kg). The primary purpose of this action is to avoid adverse economic impacts to the commercial fishing industry once the DAH is projected to be harvested. Details concerning the development of these measures are contained in the SEA prepared for this action and summarized in the preamble of the proposed rule, therefore they are not repeated here. Approved Measure The approved measure will allow the possession of up to 5,000 lb (2,268 kg) of Atlantic mackerel after 100 percent of the DAH has been projected to be harvested for the remainder of the 2018 fishing year and moving forward. Current regulations prohibit the possession of Atlantic mackerel after 100 percent of the DAH is harvested. Comments and Responses NMFS received four comments on this action, one was unrelated to the E:\FR\FM\20DER1.SGM 20DER1 khammond on DSK30JT082PROD with RULES 65314 Federal Register / Vol. 83, No. 244 / Thursday, December 20, 2018 / Rules and Regulations action, and is not addressed here. One was in favor of the proposed action and two were in opposition to this action. Comment 1: One individual commented that quotas have been large and that there is no reason to increase the quota. Response: Framework 12 does not increase the annual quota for Atlantic mackerel. This action allows for a small possession limit of Atlantic mackerel after the DAH has been caught. We do not expect this action will result in an overage of the ACL. Atlantic mackerel quotas have been greatly reduced since 2010. The Atlantic mackerel acceptable biological catch (ABC) was reduced by 70 percent from 2010 (156,000 mt) to 2011 (47,395 mt) and the 2016 ABC (19,898 mt) dropped by 87 percent compared to 2010 (156,000 mt). Comment 2: One individual commented in support of this action because it would provide economic benefits for the industry. The commenter raised concern that over harvesting could result in a deduction of quota from the following fishing year, even though the 5,000 lb (2,268 kg) possession limit is smaller compared to the current possession limit of 20,000 lb (9.08 mt). Response: NMFS agrees that approval of this action will provide economic opportunities for the commercial fishing industry in the region. While there is potential for an over harvest of the DAH, there are additional accountability measures that would deduct an overage from the DAH in the following year, as required under § 648.24(b)(2) and (3). There is also a 10-percent uncertainty buffer of 2.2 million lb (997 mt) in the current specifications. Council staff have projected that even if 100 percent of the DAH is harvested, only about 17 percent (374,000 lb, 169 mt) of the management uncertainty buffer would be landed with a 5,000 lb (2,268 kg) possession limit. This action is not expected to compromise conservation while maintaining economic opportunities for fishing communities. Comment 3: One industry participant expressed opposition to Framework 12, as the current measure has been set to prohibit the possession of mackerel when 100 percent of the DAH is harvested in order not to exceed the management uncertainty buffer. The commenter said that the uncertainty buffer was meant for uncertainty in biomass and for food to be set aside for predators. The commenter also suggested that NMFS should shift quota from the Tier 1 and 2 permit category, if this measure is intended for smaller commercial fishing entities, in order to prevent further overfishing. The VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:40 Dec 19, 2018 Jkt 247001 commenter also claimed that Atlantic mackerel, river herring, and shad are overfished, and Framework 12 does not improve chances for the fishery to rebuild. Response: The 10-percent management uncertainty buffer was designed because of the high volume nature of the fishery. The management uncertainty buffer is utilized in the event that the Regional Administrator does not close the commercial mackerel fishery in time. Because of this, this action is not expected to compromise conservation or result in overfishing. If there is an over harvest of the DAH, there are additional accountability measures that would deduct an overage from the DAH in the following year, as required under § 648.24(b)(2) and (3). The 10 percent uncertainty buffer is 2.2 million lb (997 mt) and Council staff have projected that even if 100 percent of the DAH is harvested, only about 17 percent of the management uncertainty buffer would be landed. The tiered permit system allows vessels to possess a certain amount of mackerel based on permit category, not quota allocation. There is no quota allocation in the Atlantic mackerel fishery. The stock is managed by an annual quota and monitored as a whole. Therefore, it is not possible to ‘‘shift’’ quota among permit categories. The implementation of Framework 12 may result in more mackerel catch and the potential for more river herring and shad catch. However, it does not address the catch caps that control bycatch of river herring and shad in the mackerel fishery. This action is not expected to compromise conservation of these species, as the caps will continue to limit bycatch. Corrections The proposed rule included a correction to § 648.14(g)(2)(ii)(D). However, the correction to that regulation has already been made in a final rule to implement Amendment 20 to the Atlantic Mackerel, Squid, and Butterfish FMP (December 14, 2018; 83 FR 64257). Therefore, this correction is no longer necessary as part of the current rulemaking. Classification Pursuant to section 304(b)(1)(A) of the Magnuson-Stevens Act, the Assistant Administrator has determined that this final rule is consistent with Framework Adjustment 12, other provisions of the Magnuson-Stevens Act, and other applicable laws. This final rule has been determined to be not significant for purposes of Executive Order 12866. PO 00000 Frm 00032 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 Because this rule relieves a restriction by lifting the prohibition of the possession of Atlantic mackerel after the DAH has been caught, it is not subject to the 30-day delayed effectiveness provision of the APA pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 553(d)(1). Data and other information indicate that 100 percent of the 2018 DAH quota may be landed before the end of the fishing year. Landings data are updated on a weekly basis, and NMFS monitors catch data on a daily basis as catch increases toward the limit. The high-volume nature of this fishery, and other fisheries that cannot avoid mackerel, such as Atlantic herring, increase catch quickly relative to the quota. If implementation of this action is delayed, the quota for the 2018 fishing year may be exceeded, thereby prohibiting the possession on Atlantic mackerel, under the current regulations found at § 648.24(b)(1)(i), which would hinder the prosecution of fisheries unnecessarily in light of the current rulemaking. The Chief Counsel for Regulation of the Department of Commerce certified to the Chief Counsel for Advocacy of the Small Business Administration during the proposed rule stage that this action would not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. The factual basis for the certification was published in the proposed rule and is not repeated here. No comments were received that would change the certification that this action will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities regarding this certification. As a result, a regulatory flexibility analysis was not required and none was prepared. List of Subjects in 50 CFR Part 648 Fisheries, Fishing, Recordkeeping and reporting requirements. Dated: December 14, 2018. Alan D. Risenhoover, Acting Deputy Assistant Administrator for Regulatory Programs, National Marine Fisheries Service. For the reasons set out in the preamble, 50 CFR part 648 is to be amended as follows: PART 648—FISHERIES OF THE NORTHEASTERN UNITED STATES 1. The authority citation for part 648 continues to read as follows: ■ Authority: 16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq. § 648.14 [Amended] 2. In § 648.14, remove and reserve paragraph (g)(2)(ii)(F). ■ E:\FR\FM\20DER1.SGM 20DER1 Federal Register / Vol. 83, No. 244 / Thursday, December 20, 2018 / Rules and Regulations 3. In § 648.24, revise paragraph (b)(1)(i) to read as follows: 4. In § 648.26, revise paragraphs (a)(1) introductory text and (a)(2) to read as follows: ■ ■ § 648.24 Fishery closures and accountability measures. * * * * (b) * * * (1)(i) Mackerel commercial sector EEZ closure. NMFS will close the commercial Atlantic mackerel fishery in the EEZ when the Regional Administrator projects that 95 percent of the Atlantic mackerel DAH is harvested if such a closure is necessary to prevent the DAH from being exceeded. The closure of the commercial fishery shall be in effect for the remainder of that fishing year, with incidental catches allowed as specified in § 648.26. When the Regional Administrator projects that 100 percent of the Atlantic mackerel DAH will be landed, NMFS will reduce the possession of Atlantic mackerel in the EEZ for the remainder of the fishing year to the amount specified in § 648.26(a)(2)(ii). * * * * * khammond on DSK30JT082PROD with RULES * VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:40 Dec 19, 2018 Jkt 247001 § 648.26 Mackerel, squid, and butterfish possession restrictions. (a) * * * (1) Initial possession limits. A vessel must be issued a valid limited access mackerel permit to fish for, possess, or land more than 20,000 lb (9.08 mt) of Atlantic mackerel from or in the EEZ per trip, provided that the fishery has not been closed, as specified in § 648.24(b)(1). * * * * * (2) Closure possession restrictions—(i) Limited access fishery. During a closure of the commercial Atlantic mackerel fishery pursuant to § 648.24(b)(1)(i), when 95 percent of the DAH is harvested, vessels issued a limited access Atlantic mackerel permit may not take and retain, possess, or land more than 20,000 lb (9.08 mt) of Atlantic mackerel per trip at any time, and may only land Atlantic mackerel once on any calendar day, which is defined as the 24-hr period beginning at 0001 hours PO 00000 Frm 00033 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 9990 65315 and ending at 2400 hours. Pursuant to § 648.24(b)(1)(ii), when 90 percent of the Tier 3 allocation is harvested, vessels issued a Tier 3 limited access Atlantic mackerel permit may not take and retain, possess, or land more than 20,000 lb (9.08 mt) of Atlantic mackerel per trip at any time, and may only land Atlantic mackerel once on any calendar day, which is defined as the 24-hr period beginning at 0001 hours and ending at 2400 hours (ii) Entire commercial fishery. During a closure of the directed commercial Atlantic mackerel fishery pursuant to § 648.24(b)(1)(i), when 100 percent of the DAH is harvested, vessels issued an open or limited access Atlantic mackerel permit may not take and retain, possess, or land more than 5,000 lb (2.26 mt) of Atlantic mackerel per trip at any time, and may only land Atlantic mackerel once on any calendar day, which is defined as the 24-hr period beginning at 0001 hours and ending at 2400 hours. * * * * * [FR Doc. 2018–27520 Filed 12–19–18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510–22–P E:\FR\FM\20DER1.SGM 20DER1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 83, Number 244 (Thursday, December 20, 2018)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 65313-65315]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2018-27520]


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DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

50 CFR Part 648

[Docket No. 180807736-8999-02]
RIN 0648-BI41


Fisheries of the Northeastern United States; Framework Adjustment 
12 to the Atlantic Mackerel, Squid, and Butterfish Fishery Management 
Plan

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

ACTION: Final rule.

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

SUMMARY: NMFS approves and implements Framework Adjustment 12 to the 
Atlantic Mackerel, Squid, and Butterfish Fishery Management Plan. This 
rule allows the possession of Atlantic mackerel after of the domestic 
annual harvest is projected to be caught instead of prohibiting the 
possession of Atlantic mackerel for the rest of the calendar year. This 
final rule implements this measure because it is necessary to prevent 
unintended negative economic impacts to other fisheries, such as 
Atlantic herring.

DATES: This rule is effective December 20, 2018.

ADDRESSES: The Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council (Council) 
prepared a supplemental environmental assessment (SEA) for Framework 
Adjustment 12 that describes the Council's preferred management measure 
and other alternatives considered and provides a thorough analysis of 
the impacts of the all alternatives considered. Copies of the Framework 
12 SEA and the preliminary Regulatory Impact Review (RIR) analysis are 
available from: Christopher Moore, Executive Director, Mid-Atlantic 
Fishery Management Council, Suite 201, 800 State Street, Dover, DE 
19901. The SEA/RIR is accessible via the internet at http://www.greateratlantic.fisheries.noaa.gov/ or http://www.mafmc.org.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Alyson Pitts, Fishery Management 
Specialist, (978) 281-9352, alyson.pitts@noaa.gov.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: 

Background

    On June 5, 2018, the Council adopted a final measure under 
Framework Adjustment 12 to the Atlantic Mackerel, Squid, and Butterfish 
(MSB) Fishery Management Plan (FMP). On August 17, 2018, the Council 
submitted the framework and draft SEA to NMFS for preliminary review, 
with final submission on October 18, 2018. NMFS published a proposed 
rule that included implementing regulations on October 3, 2018 (83 FR 
50059). The public comment period for the proposed rule ended on 
October 19, 2018.
    The Council developed Framework Adjustment 12 and the measure 
described in the proposed rule under the discretionary provision 
specified in section 303(b)(12) of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery 
Conservation and Management Act (Magnuson-Stevens Act) (16 U.S.C. 1801, 
et seq.; 1853(b)(12)). The objective of this action is to change to 
possession limits when 100 percent of the domestic annual harvest (DAH) 
is landed, from zero possession to 5,000 lb (2,268 kg). The primary 
purpose of this action is to avoid adverse economic impacts to the 
commercial fishing industry once the DAH is projected to be harvested. 
Details concerning the development of these measures are contained in 
the SEA prepared for this action and summarized in the preamble of the 
proposed rule, therefore they are not repeated here.

Approved Measure

    The approved measure will allow the possession of up to 5,000 lb 
(2,268 kg) of Atlantic mackerel after 100 percent of the DAH has been 
projected to be harvested for the remainder of the 2018 fishing year 
and moving forward. Current regulations prohibit the possession of 
Atlantic mackerel after 100 percent of the DAH is harvested.

Comments and Responses

    NMFS received four comments on this action, one was unrelated to 
the

[[Page 65314]]

action, and is not addressed here. One was in favor of the proposed 
action and two were in opposition to this action.
    Comment 1: One individual commented that quotas have been large and 
that there is no reason to increase the quota.
    Response: Framework 12 does not increase the annual quota for 
Atlantic mackerel. This action allows for a small possession limit of 
Atlantic mackerel after the DAH has been caught. We do not expect this 
action will result in an overage of the ACL. Atlantic mackerel quotas 
have been greatly reduced since 2010. The Atlantic mackerel acceptable 
biological catch (ABC) was reduced by 70 percent from 2010 (156,000 mt) 
to 2011 (47,395 mt) and the 2016 ABC (19,898 mt) dropped by 87 percent 
compared to 2010 (156,000 mt).
    Comment 2: One individual commented in support of this action 
because it would provide economic benefits for the industry. The 
commenter raised concern that over harvesting could result in a 
deduction of quota from the following fishing year, even though the 
5,000 lb (2,268 kg) possession limit is smaller compared to the current 
possession limit of 20,000 lb (9.08 mt).
    Response: NMFS agrees that approval of this action will provide 
economic opportunities for the commercial fishing industry in the 
region. While there is potential for an over harvest of the DAH, there 
are additional accountability measures that would deduct an overage 
from the DAH in the following year, as required under Sec.  
648.24(b)(2) and (3). There is also a 10-percent uncertainty buffer of 
2.2 million lb (997 mt) in the current specifications. Council staff 
have projected that even if 100 percent of the DAH is harvested, only 
about 17 percent (374,000 lb, 169 mt) of the management uncertainty 
buffer would be landed with a 5,000 lb (2,268 kg) possession limit. 
This action is not expected to compromise conservation while 
maintaining economic opportunities for fishing communities.
    Comment 3: One industry participant expressed opposition to 
Framework 12, as the current measure has been set to prohibit the 
possession of mackerel when 100 percent of the DAH is harvested in 
order not to exceed the management uncertainty buffer. The commenter 
said that the uncertainty buffer was meant for uncertainty in biomass 
and for food to be set aside for predators. The commenter also 
suggested that NMFS should shift quota from the Tier 1 and 2 permit 
category, if this measure is intended for smaller commercial fishing 
entities, in order to prevent further overfishing. The commenter also 
claimed that Atlantic mackerel, river herring, and shad are overfished, 
and Framework 12 does not improve chances for the fishery to rebuild.
    Response: The 10-percent management uncertainty buffer was designed 
because of the high volume nature of the fishery. The management 
uncertainty buffer is utilized in the event that the Regional 
Administrator does not close the commercial mackerel fishery in time. 
Because of this, this action is not expected to compromise conservation 
or result in overfishing. If there is an over harvest of the DAH, there 
are additional accountability measures that would deduct an overage 
from the DAH in the following year, as required under Sec.  
648.24(b)(2) and (3). The 10 percent uncertainty buffer is 2.2 million 
lb (997 mt) and Council staff have projected that even if 100 percent 
of the DAH is harvested, only about 17 percent of the management 
uncertainty buffer would be landed.
    The tiered permit system allows vessels to possess a certain amount 
of mackerel based on permit category, not quota allocation. There is no 
quota allocation in the Atlantic mackerel fishery. The stock is managed 
by an annual quota and monitored as a whole. Therefore, it is not 
possible to ``shift'' quota among permit categories. The implementation 
of Framework 12 may result in more mackerel catch and the potential for 
more river herring and shad catch. However, it does not address the 
catch caps that control bycatch of river herring and shad in the 
mackerel fishery. This action is not expected to compromise 
conservation of these species, as the caps will continue to limit 
bycatch.

Corrections

    The proposed rule included a correction to Sec.  
648.14(g)(2)(ii)(D). However, the correction to that regulation has 
already been made in a final rule to implement Amendment 20 to the 
Atlantic Mackerel, Squid, and Butterfish FMP (December 14, 2018; 83 FR 
64257). Therefore, this correction is no longer necessary as part of 
the current rulemaking.

Classification

    Pursuant to section 304(b)(1)(A) of the Magnuson-Stevens Act, the 
Assistant Administrator has determined that this final rule is 
consistent with Framework Adjustment 12, other provisions of the 
Magnuson-Stevens Act, and other applicable laws.
    This final rule has been determined to be not significant for 
purposes of Executive Order 12866.
    Because this rule relieves a restriction by lifting the prohibition 
of the possession of Atlantic mackerel after the DAH has been caught, 
it is not subject to the 30-day delayed effectiveness provision of the 
APA pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 553(d)(1). Data and other information indicate 
that 100 percent of the 2018 DAH quota may be landed before the end of 
the fishing year. Landings data are updated on a weekly basis, and NMFS 
monitors catch data on a daily basis as catch increases toward the 
limit. The high-volume nature of this fishery, and other fisheries that 
cannot avoid mackerel, such as Atlantic herring, increase catch quickly 
relative to the quota. If implementation of this action is delayed, the 
quota for the 2018 fishing year may be exceeded, thereby prohibiting 
the possession on Atlantic mackerel, under the current regulations 
found at Sec.  648.24(b)(1)(i), which would hinder the prosecution of 
fisheries unnecessarily in light of the current rulemaking.
    The Chief Counsel for Regulation of the Department of Commerce 
certified to the Chief Counsel for Advocacy of the Small Business 
Administration during the proposed rule stage that this action would 
not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small 
entities. The factual basis for the certification was published in the 
proposed rule and is not repeated here. No comments were received that 
would change the certification that this action will not have a 
significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities 
regarding this certification. As a result, a regulatory flexibility 
analysis was not required and none was prepared.

List of Subjects in 50 CFR Part 648

    Fisheries, Fishing, Recordkeeping and reporting requirements.

    Dated: December 14, 2018.
Alan D. Risenhoover,
Acting Deputy Assistant Administrator for Regulatory Programs, National 
Marine Fisheries Service.
    For the reasons set out in the preamble, 50 CFR part 648 is to be 
amended as follows:

PART 648--FISHERIES OF THE NORTHEASTERN UNITED STATES

0
1. The authority citation for part 648 continues to read as follows:

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


Sec.  648.14  [Amended]

0
2. In Sec.  648.14, remove and reserve paragraph (g)(2)(ii)(F).

[[Page 65315]]


0
3. In Sec.  648.24, revise paragraph (b)(1)(i) to read as follows:


Sec.  648.24  Fishery closures and accountability measures.

* * * * *
    (b) * * *
    (1)(i) Mackerel commercial sector EEZ closure. NMFS will close the 
commercial Atlantic mackerel fishery in the EEZ when the Regional 
Administrator projects that 95 percent of the Atlantic mackerel DAH is 
harvested if such a closure is necessary to prevent the DAH from being 
exceeded. The closure of the commercial fishery shall be in effect for 
the remainder of that fishing year, with incidental catches allowed as 
specified in Sec.  648.26. When the Regional Administrator projects 
that 100 percent of the Atlantic mackerel DAH will be landed, NMFS will 
reduce the possession of Atlantic mackerel in the EEZ for the remainder 
of the fishing year to the amount specified in Sec.  648.26(a)(2)(ii).
* * * * *

0
4. In Sec.  648.26, revise paragraphs (a)(1) introductory text and 
(a)(2) to read as follows:


Sec.  648.26   Mackerel, squid, and butterfish possession restrictions.

    (a) * * *
    (1) Initial possession limits. A vessel must be issued a valid 
limited access mackerel permit to fish for, possess, or land more than 
20,000 lb (9.08 mt) of Atlantic mackerel from or in the EEZ per trip, 
provided that the fishery has not been closed, as specified in Sec.  
648.24(b)(1).
* * * * *
    (2) Closure possession restrictions--(i) Limited access fishery. 
During a closure of the commercial Atlantic mackerel fishery pursuant 
to Sec.  648.24(b)(1)(i), when 95 percent of the DAH is harvested, 
vessels issued a limited access Atlantic mackerel permit may not take 
and retain, possess, or land more than 20,000 lb (9.08 mt) of Atlantic 
mackerel per trip at any time, and may only land Atlantic mackerel once 
on any calendar day, which is defined as the 24-hr period beginning at 
0001 hours and ending at 2400 hours. Pursuant to Sec.  
648.24(b)(1)(ii), when 90 percent of the Tier 3 allocation is 
harvested, vessels issued a Tier 3 limited access Atlantic mackerel 
permit may not take and retain, possess, or land more than 20,000 lb 
(9.08 mt) of Atlantic mackerel per trip at any time, and may only land 
Atlantic mackerel once on any calendar day, which is defined as the 24-
hr period beginning at 0001 hours and ending at 2400 hours
    (ii) Entire commercial fishery. During a closure of the directed 
commercial Atlantic mackerel fishery pursuant to Sec.  648.24(b)(1)(i), 
when 100 percent of the DAH is harvested, vessels issued an open or 
limited access Atlantic mackerel permit may not take and retain, 
possess, or land more than 5,000 lb (2.26 mt) of Atlantic mackerel per 
trip at any time, and may only land Atlantic mackerel once on any 
calendar day, which is defined as the 24-hr period beginning at 0001 
hours and ending at 2400 hours.
* * * * *
[FR Doc. 2018-27520 Filed 12-19-18; 8:45 am]
 BILLING CODE 3510-22-P