Fisheries of the Northeastern United States; Atlantic Sea Scallop Fishery; Intent To Prepare an Environmental Impact Statement; Scoping Process; Request for Comments, 7041-7043 [2019-03782]

Download as PDF Federal Register / Vol. 84, No. 41 / Friday, March 1, 2019 / Notices IHA expires and a second IHA would allow for completion of the activities beyond that described in the Dates and Duration section, provided all of the following conditions are met: • A request for renewal is received no later than 60 days prior to expiration of the current IHA; • The request for renewal must include the following: (1) An explanation that the activities to be conducted beyond the initial dates either are identical to the previously analyzed activities or include changes so minor (e.g., reduction in pile size) that the changes do not affect the previous analyses, take estimates, or mitigation and monitoring requirements; and (2) A preliminary monitoring report showing the results of the required monitoring to date and an explanation showing that the monitoring results do not indicate impacts of a scale or nature not previously analyzed or authorized; and • Upon review of the request for renewal, the status of the affected species or stocks, and any other pertinent information, NMFS determines that there are no more than minor changes in the activities, the mitigation and monitoring measures remain the same and appropriate, and the original findings remain valid. Dated: February 26, 2019. Catherine Marzin, Acting Director, Office of Protected Resources, National Marine Fisheries Service. [FR Doc. 2019–03684 Filed 2–28–19; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510–22–P DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration RIN 0648–XG808 Fisheries of the Northeastern United States; Atlantic Sea Scallop Fishery; Intent To Prepare an Environmental Impact Statement; Scoping Process; Request for Comments Background National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Commerce. ACTION: Notice. jbell on DSK30RV082PROD with NOTICES AGENCY: SUMMARY: The New England Fishery Management Council announces its intention to prepare, in cooperation with NMFS, an environmental impact statement in accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act. An environmental impact statement may be necessary to provide analytic support VerDate Sep<11>2014 18:13 Feb 28, 2019 Jkt 247001 for Amendment 21 to the Atlantic Sea Scallop Fishery Management Plan. Amendment 21 would consider measures related to the Northern Gulf of Maine Scallop Management Area, Limited Access General Category individual fishing quota possession limits, and the ability of Limited Access vessels with Limited Access General Category individual fishing quota permits to transfer quota to Limited Access General Category individual fishing quota-only vessels. The purpose of this notice is to announce a public process for determining the scope of issues to be addressed, to alert the interested public of the scoping process, the potential development of a draft environmental impact statement, and the opportunity for participation in that process. DATES: Written and electronic scoping comments must be received on or before April 15, 2019. ADDRESSES: Written scoping comments on Amendment 21 may be sent by any of the following methods: • Email to the following address: comments@nefmc.org; • Mail to Thomas A. Nies, Executive Director, New England Fishery Management Council, 50 Water Street, Mill 2, Newburyport, MA 01950; or Fax to (978) 465–3116. The scoping document is accessible electronically online at www.nefmc.org/ library/amendment-21. Requests for copies of the Amendment 21 scoping document and other information should be directed to Thomas A. Nies, Executive Director, New England Fishery Management Council, 50 Water Street, Mill 2, Newburyport, MA 01950, telephone, (978) 465–0492. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Thomas A. Nies, Executive Director, New England Fishery Management Council, (978) 465–0492. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The Atlantic sea scallop fishery is prosecuted along the east coast from Maine to Virginia, although most fishing activity takes place between Massachusetts and New Jersey. Management measures were first adopted in 1982, but there have been several major revisions to the management program over the following decades. Development of the LAGC Fishery The Council established the General Category component as an open access permit category in 1994 while developing a limited access program for PO 00000 Frm 00026 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 7041 qualifying vessels (now the Limited Access component). Through Amendment 11 to the Scallop Fishery Management Plan (FMP) (73 FR 20090; April 14, 2008), the Council transitioned the General Category component from open access to limited access to limit fishing mortality and control fleet capacity. The Council’s vision for the Limited Access General Category (LAGC) component was a fleet made up of relatively small vessels, with possession limits to maintain the historical character of this fleet and provide opportunities to various participants, including vessels from smaller coastal communities. Amendment 11 established three LAGC permit categories which allowed for continued participation in the General Category fishery at varying levels. Vessels that met a qualifying criteria were issued an LAGC individual fishing quota (IFQ) permit and allocated quota based on the ‘contribution factor’ (i.e., if you fished longer and landed more during the qualification period, you received a higher allocation). General Category permit holders that did not meet the qualifying criteria for an LAGC IFQ permit were eligible to receive either an LAGC Northern Gulf of Maine (NGOM) permit or LAGC Incidental permit. Limited Access vessels that fished under General Category rules and qualified under the same IFQ qualification criteria were issued LAGC IFQ permits and allocated a portion of (0.5 percent) of the total scallop allocation. Unlike vessels with only LAGC IFQ permits, Limited Access vessels that also qualified for an LAGC IFQ permit were not allowed to transfer quota in or out. NGOM Management Area The Council also established the NGOM Management Area and permit category through Amendment 11. The area was developed to enable continued fishing and address concerns related to conservation, administrative burden, and enforceability of scallop fishing within the Gulf of Maine. Amendment 11 authorized vessels with either an LAGC NGOM permit or LAGC IFQ permit to fish within the NGOM Management Area at a 200-pound-perday trip limit until the annual total allowable catch (TAC) for the area is caught. The Council did not recommend restrictions on Limited Access vessels fishing in the NGOM because the improved management and abundance of scallops in the major resource areas on Georges Bank and in the MidAtlantic region made access to Gulf of Maine scallops less important for the Limited Access boats and General E:\FR\FM\01MRN1.SGM 01MRN1 7042 Federal Register / Vol. 84, No. 41 / Friday, March 1, 2019 / Notices Category boats from other regions. From 2008 through the end of fishing year 2017, Limited Access vessels were able to operate in the NGOM management area under days-at-sea (DAS) management as long as the LAGC TAC had not been caught. The initial measures were intended to allow directed scallop fishing in the NGOM, and the Council envisioned that management of this area would be reconsidered if the scallop population and fishery in the NGOM grew in the future. From 2009–2015 the NGOM TAC of 70,000 lbs was not caught, and the fishery remained open for the entire year. In fishing year 2016 and fishing year 2017 there was a notable increase in effort in the NGOM management area by both LAGC and Limited Access vessels fishing the large year class of scallops on Stellwagen Bank. Monitoring removals by the Limited Access component in the NGOM was challenging because vessels could fish both inside and outside NGOM management area while fishing DAS on the same trip. In response to the increase in effort and landings in the NGOM area in 2016 and 2017, the Council developed a problem statement for the Federal scallop fishery in the NGOM management area: Recent high landings and unknown biomass in the NGOM Scallop Management Area underscore the critical need to initiate surveys and develop additional tools to better manage the area and fully understand total removals. Recent actions have developed measures that allow managers to track fishing effort and landings by all components from the NGOM management area. The NGOM TAC is now based on recent survey information, with separate TACs for the Limited Access and LAGC components. These measures are intended to be a short-term solution to allow controlled fishing in the NGOM management area until a future action (this action) could be developed to address NGOM issues more holistically. LAGC IFQ Possession Limits The initial General Category possession limit was set at 400 pounds per trip through Amendment 4 (59 FR 2757; January 19, 1994). In 2007, Amendment 11 maintained the General Category possession limit of 400 pounds for qualifying IFQ vessels. Amendment 15 (76 FR 43746; July 21, 2011) increased the LAGC IFQ possession limit to 600 pounds following concerns from industry members that the 400pound possession limit was not economically feasible due to increased operating costs. The 200-pound trip limit increase was not expected to change the nature of the ‘‘dayboat’’ fishery and would keep the LAGC IFQ component consistent with the vision statement laid out by the Council in Amendment 11. The Council has recently completed a program review of the LAGC IFQ fishery and analyzed the impacts of changes to IFQ trip limits. The results of this work are summarized in the Amendment 21 scoping document, which can be found at this link: https://www.nefmc.org/library/ amendment-21. Quota Transfers by Limited Access/ LAGC IFQ Vessels Amendment 15 allowed LAGC IFQ permit holders to permanently transfer some or all of their quota allocation to another LAGC IFQ permit holder while retaining the permit itself. During development of Amendment 15, the Council considered an option that would have included Limited Access/ LAGC IFQ permit holders in this allowance; however, the Council opted against this option because it would change the overall 5 percent and 0.5 percent allocations specified in Amendment 11. For example, the 5 percent allocation would be expected to increase if a Limited Access/LAGC IFQ vessel permanently transferred quota to an LAGC IFQ-only vessel and, therefore, would have implications on quota accumulation caps that apply to LAGC IFQ-only permit holders (i.e., 5 percent maximum for owners, 2.5 percent maximum for individual vessels). Measures Under Consideration NGOM Management Area The Council is planning to develop measures that will support a growing directed scallop fishery in Federal waters in the NGOM. To do so, the action will consider measures that jbell on DSK30RV082PROD with NOTICES Date and time 18:13 Feb 28, 2019 LAGC IFQ Possession Limits and Limited Access Quota Transfers to LAGC IFQ Vessels The Council is planning to develop measures that will increase the LAGC IFQ possession limit and allow Limited Access vessels to transfer IFQ to LAGC IFQ vessels to improve overall economic performance of the LAGC IFQ component. The Council is taking action to ensure that the LAGC IFQ component remains profitable, and that there is continued participation in the General Category fishery at varying levels. To do so, the action will consider approaches that aim to reduce the impacts of decreases in ex-vessel price and increases to fixed costs (e.g., maintenance and repairs) and variable costs (e.g., trip expenses including fuel, food, oil, ice, and water), on vessels and crews. Public Comment All persons affected by or otherwise interested in scallop fishery management are invited to participate in commenting on the scope and significance of issues to be analyzed by submitting written comments (see ADDRESSES) or by attending one of the 10 scoping meetings, including one webinar, for this amendment. Scoping consists of identifying the range of actions, alternatives, and possible impacts to be considered. After the scoping process is completed, the Council will begin development of Amendment 21 and expects to prepare an environmental impact statement (EIS) to analyze the impacts of the range of alternatives for the changes considered in this action. The Council will hold public hearings to receive comments on the draft amendment and on the analysis of its impacts presented in the Draft EIS. The Council will take and discuss scoping comments on this amendment at the following public meetings: Location Rockland, ME, Thursday, February 28, 2019, 1:00 p.m.–3:00 p.m. Riverhead, NY, Thursday, March 7, 2019, 6:00 p.m.–7:30 p.m. Narragansett, RI, Friday, March 8, 2019, 3 p.m.–4:30 p.m. VerDate Sep<11>2014 would prevent unrestrained removals from the NGOM management area and allow for orderly access to the scallop resource in this area by the LAGC and Limited Access components. This includes establishing mechanisms to set allowable catches and accurately monitor catch and bycatch. Jkt 247001 Samoset Resort, 220 Warrenton Street, Rockport, ME 04856, Telephone: (207) 594–2511. Hotel Indigo, 1830 West Main Street, Route 25, Riverhead, NY 11901, Telephone: (631) 369– 2200. Corless Auditorium, University of Rhode Island, Graduate School of Oceanography, 215 South Ferry Road, Narragansett, RI 02882, Telephone: (401) 874–6222. PO 00000 Frm 00027 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 E:\FR\FM\01MRN1.SGM 01MRN1 Federal Register / Vol. 84, No. 41 / Friday, March 1, 2019 / Notices Date and time Location New Bedford, MA, Wednesday, March 20, 2019, 6 p.m.–8 p.m. Chatham, MA, Thursday, March 21, 2019, 6 p.m.–8 p.m. Webinar, Friday, March 22, 2019, 10 a.m.–noon Waypoint Event Center, 185 MacArthur Drive, New Bedford, MA 02740, Telephone: (774) 634–2099. Chatham Community Center, 702 Main Street, Chatham, MA 02633, Telephone: (508) 945– 5175. https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/8181759988548273922. After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar. Embassy Suites, 1700 Coliseum Drive, Hampton, VA 23666, Telephone: (757) 827–8200. Hampton, VA, Monday, March 25, 2019, 6:00 p.m.–7:30 p.m. Cape May, NJ, Tuesday, March 26, 2019, 6:00 p.m.–7:30 p.m. Manahawkin, NJ, Wednesday, March 27, 2019, 10 a.m.–11:30 a.m. Gloucester, MA, Wednesday, April 3, 2019, 6:00 p.m.–8:00 p.m. Special Accommodations The meetings are accessible to people with physical disabilities. Requests for sign language interpretation or other auxiliary aids should be directed to Thomas A. Nies (see ADDRESSES) at least five days prior to meeting dates. Authority: 16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq. Dated: February 26, 2019. Karen H. Abrams, Acting Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine Fisheries Service. [FR Doc. 2019–03782 Filed 2–27–19; 4:15 pm] BILLING CODE 3510–22–P COMMITTEE FOR PURCHASE FROM PEOPLE WHO ARE BLIND OR SEVERELY DISABLED Procurement List; Proposed Additions and Deletions Committee for Purchase From People Who Are Blind or Severely Disabled. ACTION: Proposed additions to and deletions from the Procurement List. AGENCY: The Committee is proposing to add product to the Procurement List that will be furnished by nonprofit agencies employing persons who are blind or have other severe disabilities, and deletes products and services previously furnished by such agencies. DATES: Comments must be received on or before: March 31, 2019. ADDRESSES: Committee for Purchase From People Who Are Blind or Severely Disabled, 1401 S Clark Street, Suite 715, Arlington, Virginia 22202–4149. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: For further information or to submit comments contact: Michael R. Jurkowski, Telephone: (703) 603–2117, Fax: (703) 603–0655, or email CMTEFedReg@AbilityOne.gov. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: This notice is published pursuant to 41 SUMMARY: jbell on DSK30RV082PROD with NOTICES 7043 VerDate Sep<11>2014 18:13 Feb 28, 2019 Jkt 247001 Grand Hotel of Cape May, 1045 Beach Avenue, Cape May, NJ 08204, Telephone: (609) 884– 5611. Holiday Inn, 151 Route 72 West, Manahawkin, NJ 08050, Telephone: (609) 481–6100. Massachusetts Division of Marine Fisheries, 30 Emerson Ave., Gloucester, MA 01930, Telephone: (978) 282–0308. U.S.C. 8503(a)(2) and 41 CFR 51–2.3. Its purpose is to provide interested persons an opportunity to submit comments on the proposed actions. Additions If the Committee approves the proposed additions, the entities of the Federal Government identified in this notice will be required to procure the product listed below from nonprofit agencies employing persons who are blind or have other severe disabilities. The following product is proposed for addition to the Procurement List for production by the nonprofit agencies listed: Product NSN—Product Name: 6550–00–NIB–0023— Test Cup, Drug Detection, Round, 2 7⁄8″ D x 3 1⁄2″ H, 13-card dipcard Mandatory Source of Supply: Tarrant County Association for the Blind, Fort Worth, TX Contracting Activity: Defense Logistics Agency, DLA Troop Support Deletions The following products and services are proposed for deletion from the Procurement List: Products NSNs—Product Names: 8010–00–616–9143—Enamel, Lacquer 8010–00–910–8154—Enamel, Lacquer 8010–01–167–1139—Enamel, Lacquer Mandatory Source of Supply: The Lighthouse for the Blind, St. Louis, MO Contracting Activity: FAS Heartland Regional Administrato, Kansas City, MO NSN—Product Name: 7930–01–512–7171—Disinfectant, Deodorizer, Neutral, Biobased, Floral/ Citrus Fragrance, 1 Gal Mandatory Source of Supply: The Lighthouse for the Blind, St. Louis, MO Contracting Activity: GSA/FSS Greater Southwest Acquisiti, Fort Worth, TX NSNs—Product Names: 7520–01–542–5941—Pen, Ball Point, Econogard, Retractable, Cushion Grip, White Barrel, Black Ink, Medium Point PO 00000 Frm 00028 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 7520–01–542–5953—Pen, Ball Point, Econogard, Retractable, Cushion Grip, White Barrel, Black Ink, Fine Point Mandatory Source of Supply: Industries of the Blind, Inc., Greensboro, NC Contracting Activity: GSA/FAS Admin Svcs Acquisition Br (2, New York, NY) Service(s) Service Type: Shelf Stocking & Custodial Mandatory for: Fort Monmouth, Fort Monmouth, NJ Service Type: CSS/Custodial/Warehousing, Shelf Stocking & Custodial, Warehousing Mandatory for: Buckley AFB, 365 N Telluride, Aurora, CO Mandatory Source of Supply: CW Resources, Inc., New Britain, CT Contracting Activity: Defense Commissary Agency Service Type: Administrative Services for Catalog Distribution Mandatory for: Defense Reutilization and Marketing Service, Battle Creek, MI Mandatory Source of Supply: Packham Vocational Industries, Inc., Lansing, MI Contracting Activity: Defense Logistics Agency, DLA Disposition Services Service Type: Furniture Rehabilitation Mandatory for: Parris Island USMC Depot, USMC Recruit Depot, Parris Island, SC Mandatory Source of Supply: Beaufort Vocational Rehabilitation Center, Beaufort, SC Contracting Activity: Dept of the Navy, Commanding General Service Type: Janitorial/Custodial Mandatory for: Puget Sound Naval Shipyard: Equipment Maintenance Shops, Bremerton, WA Mandatory Source of Supply: Peninsula Services, Bremerton, WA Mandatory for: Fort Story: Buildings P–102, T–605, T–750, T–751, T–752, T–754, T– 755, T–756, T–757, T–761, T–766, T– 767, T–772, Fort Story, VA Mandatory Source of Supply: Didlake, Inc., Manassas, VA Mandatory for: Naval & Marine Corps Reserve Center: Training Building, Portland, OR Contracting Activity: Dept of the Navy, U.S. Fleet Forces Command Service Type: Grounds Maintenance Mandatory for: Loyalhanna & Conemaugh Dam: 400 Loyalhanna Dam Road, Saltsburgh, PA Mandatory Source of Supply: The Burnley E:\FR\FM\01MRN1.SGM 01MRN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 84, Number 41 (Friday, March 1, 2019)]
[Notices]
[Pages 7041-7043]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2019-03782]


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

DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

RIN 0648-XG808


Fisheries of the Northeastern United States; Atlantic Sea Scallop 
Fishery; Intent To Prepare an Environmental Impact Statement; Scoping 
Process; Request for Comments

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

ACTION: Notice.

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

SUMMARY: The New England Fishery Management Council announces its 
intention to prepare, in cooperation with NMFS, an environmental impact 
statement in accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act. An 
environmental impact statement may be necessary to provide analytic 
support for Amendment 21 to the Atlantic Sea Scallop Fishery Management 
Plan. Amendment 21 would consider measures related to the Northern Gulf 
of Maine Scallop Management Area, Limited Access General Category 
individual fishing quota possession limits, and the ability of Limited 
Access vessels with Limited Access General Category individual fishing 
quota permits to transfer quota to Limited Access General Category 
individual fishing quota-only vessels. The purpose of this notice is to 
announce a public process for determining the scope of issues to be 
addressed, to alert the interested public of the scoping process, the 
potential development of a draft environmental impact statement, and 
the opportunity for participation in that process.

DATES: Written and electronic scoping comments must be received on or 
before April 15, 2019.

ADDRESSES: Written scoping comments on Amendment 21 may be sent by any 
of the following methods:
     Email to the following address: comments@nefmc.org;
     Mail to Thomas A. Nies, Executive Director, New England 
Fishery Management Council, 50 Water Street, Mill 2, Newburyport, MA 
01950; or Fax to (978) 465-3116.
    The scoping document is accessible electronically online at 
www.nefmc.org/library/amendment-21.
    Requests for copies of the Amendment 21 scoping document and other 
information should be directed to Thomas A. Nies, Executive Director, 
New England Fishery Management Council, 50 Water Street, Mill 2, 
Newburyport, MA 01950, telephone, (978) 465-0492.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Thomas A. Nies, Executive Director, 
New England Fishery Management Council, (978) 465-0492.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: 

Background

    The Atlantic sea scallop fishery is prosecuted along the east coast 
from Maine to Virginia, although most fishing activity takes place 
between Massachusetts and New Jersey. Management measures were first 
adopted in 1982, but there have been several major revisions to the 
management program over the following decades.

Development of the LAGC Fishery

    The Council established the General Category component as an open 
access permit category in 1994 while developing a limited access 
program for qualifying vessels (now the Limited Access component). 
Through Amendment 11 to the Scallop Fishery Management Plan (FMP) (73 
FR 20090; April 14, 2008), the Council transitioned the General 
Category component from open access to limited access to limit fishing 
mortality and control fleet capacity. The Council's vision for the 
Limited Access General Category (LAGC) component was a fleet made up of 
relatively small vessels, with possession limits to maintain the 
historical character of this fleet and provide opportunities to various 
participants, including vessels from smaller coastal communities. 
Amendment 11 established three LAGC permit categories which allowed for 
continued participation in the General Category fishery at varying 
levels. Vessels that met a qualifying criteria were issued an LAGC 
individual fishing quota (IFQ) permit and allocated quota based on the 
`contribution factor' (i.e., if you fished longer and landed more 
during the qualification period, you received a higher allocation). 
General Category permit holders that did not meet the qualifying 
criteria for an LAGC IFQ permit were eligible to receive either an LAGC 
Northern Gulf of Maine (NGOM) permit or LAGC Incidental permit. Limited 
Access vessels that fished under General Category rules and qualified 
under the same IFQ qualification criteria were issued LAGC IFQ permits 
and allocated a portion of (0.5 percent) of the total scallop 
allocation. Unlike vessels with only LAGC IFQ permits, Limited Access 
vessels that also qualified for an LAGC IFQ permit were not allowed to 
transfer quota in or out.

NGOM Management Area

    The Council also established the NGOM Management Area and permit 
category through Amendment 11. The area was developed to enable 
continued fishing and address concerns related to conservation, 
administrative burden, and enforceability of scallop fishing within the 
Gulf of Maine. Amendment 11 authorized vessels with either an LAGC NGOM 
permit or LAGC IFQ permit to fish within the NGOM Management Area at a 
200-pound-per-day trip limit until the annual total allowable catch 
(TAC) for the area is caught. The Council did not recommend 
restrictions on Limited Access vessels fishing in the NGOM because the 
improved management and abundance of scallops in the major resource 
areas on Georges Bank and in the Mid-Atlantic region made access to 
Gulf of Maine scallops less important for the Limited Access boats and 
General

[[Page 7042]]

Category boats from other regions. From 2008 through the end of fishing 
year 2017, Limited Access vessels were able to operate in the NGOM 
management area under days-at-sea (DAS) management as long as the LAGC 
TAC had not been caught. The initial measures were intended to allow 
directed scallop fishing in the NGOM, and the Council envisioned that 
management of this area would be reconsidered if the scallop population 
and fishery in the NGOM grew in the future.
    From 2009-2015 the NGOM TAC of 70,000 lbs was not caught, and the 
fishery remained open for the entire year. In fishing year 2016 and 
fishing year 2017 there was a notable increase in effort in the NGOM 
management area by both LAGC and Limited Access vessels fishing the 
large year class of scallops on Stellwagen Bank. Monitoring removals by 
the Limited Access component in the NGOM was challenging because 
vessels could fish both inside and outside NGOM management area while 
fishing DAS on the same trip.
    In response to the increase in effort and landings in the NGOM area 
in 2016 and 2017, the Council developed a problem statement for the 
Federal scallop fishery in the NGOM management area:
    Recent high landings and unknown biomass in the NGOM Scallop 
Management Area underscore the critical need to initiate surveys and 
develop additional tools to better manage the area and fully understand 
total removals.
    Recent actions have developed measures that allow managers to track 
fishing effort and landings by all components from the NGOM management 
area. The NGOM TAC is now based on recent survey information, with 
separate TACs for the Limited Access and LAGC components. These 
measures are intended to be a short-term solution to allow controlled 
fishing in the NGOM management area until a future action (this action) 
could be developed to address NGOM issues more holistically.

LAGC IFQ Possession Limits

    The initial General Category possession limit was set at 400 pounds 
per trip through Amendment 4 (59 FR 2757; January 19, 1994). In 2007, 
Amendment 11 maintained the General Category possession limit of 400 
pounds for qualifying IFQ vessels. Amendment 15 (76 FR 43746; July 21, 
2011) increased the LAGC IFQ possession limit to 600 pounds following 
concerns from industry members that the 400-pound possession limit was 
not economically feasible due to increased operating costs. The 200-
pound trip limit increase was not expected to change the nature of the 
``dayboat'' fishery and would keep the LAGC IFQ component consistent 
with the vision statement laid out by the Council in Amendment 11. The 
Council has recently completed a program review of the LAGC IFQ fishery 
and analyzed the impacts of changes to IFQ trip limits. The results of 
this work are summarized in the Amendment 21 scoping document, which 
can be found at this link: https://www.nefmc.org/library/amendment-21.

Quota Transfers by Limited Access/LAGC IFQ Vessels

    Amendment 15 allowed LAGC IFQ permit holders to permanently 
transfer some or all of their quota allocation to another LAGC IFQ 
permit holder while retaining the permit itself. During development of 
Amendment 15, the Council considered an option that would have included 
Limited Access/LAGC IFQ permit holders in this allowance; however, the 
Council opted against this option because it would change the overall 5 
percent and 0.5 percent allocations specified in Amendment 11. For 
example, the 5 percent allocation would be expected to increase if a 
Limited Access/LAGC IFQ vessel permanently transferred quota to an LAGC 
IFQ-only vessel and, therefore, would have implications on quota 
accumulation caps that apply to LAGC IFQ-only permit holders (i.e., 5 
percent maximum for owners, 2.5 percent maximum for individual 
vessels).

Measures Under Consideration

NGOM Management Area

    The Council is planning to develop measures that will support a 
growing directed scallop fishery in Federal waters in the NGOM. To do 
so, the action will consider measures that would prevent unrestrained 
removals from the NGOM management area and allow for orderly access to 
the scallop resource in this area by the LAGC and Limited Access 
components. This includes establishing mechanisms to set allowable 
catches and accurately monitor catch and bycatch.

LAGC IFQ Possession Limits and Limited Access Quota Transfers to LAGC 
IFQ Vessels

    The Council is planning to develop measures that will increase the 
LAGC IFQ possession limit and allow Limited Access vessels to transfer 
IFQ to LAGC IFQ vessels to improve overall economic performance of the 
LAGC IFQ component. The Council is taking action to ensure that the 
LAGC IFQ component remains profitable, and that there is continued 
participation in the General Category fishery at varying levels. To do 
so, the action will consider approaches that aim to reduce the impacts 
of decreases in ex-vessel price and increases to fixed costs (e.g., 
maintenance and repairs) and variable costs (e.g., trip expenses 
including fuel, food, oil, ice, and water), on vessels and crews.

Public Comment

    All persons affected by or otherwise interested in scallop fishery 
management are invited to participate in commenting on the scope and 
significance of issues to be analyzed by submitting written comments 
(see ADDRESSES) or by attending one of the 10 scoping meetings, 
including one webinar, for this amendment. Scoping consists of 
identifying the range of actions, alternatives, and possible impacts to 
be considered. After the scoping process is completed, the Council will 
begin development of Amendment 21 and expects to prepare an 
environmental impact statement (EIS) to analyze the impacts of the 
range of alternatives for the changes considered in this action. The 
Council will hold public hearings to receive comments on the draft 
amendment and on the analysis of its impacts presented in the Draft 
EIS.
    The Council will take and discuss scoping comments on this 
amendment at the following public meetings:

------------------------------------------------------------------------
        Date and time                           Location
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Rockland, ME, Thursday,        Samoset Resort, 220 Warrenton Street,
 February 28, 2019, 1:00 p.m.-  Rockport, ME 04856, Telephone: (207) 594-
 3:00 p.m.                      2511.
Riverhead, NY, Thursday,       Hotel Indigo, 1830 West Main Street,
 March 7, 2019, 6:00 p.m.-      Route 25, Riverhead, NY 11901,
 7:30 p.m.                      Telephone: (631) 369-2200.
Narragansett, RI, Friday,      Corless Auditorium, University of Rhode
 March 8, 2019, 3 p.m.-4:30     Island, Graduate School of Oceanography,
 p.m.                           215 South Ferry Road, Narragansett, RI
                                02882, Telephone: (401) 874-6222.

[[Page 7043]]

 
New Bedford, MA, Wednesday,    Waypoint Event Center, 185 MacArthur
 March 20, 2019, 6 p.m.-8 p.m.  Drive, New Bedford, MA 02740, Telephone:
                                (774) 634-2099.
Chatham, MA, Thursday, March   Chatham Community Center, 702 Main
 21, 2019, 6 p.m.-8 p.m.        Street, Chatham, MA 02633, Telephone:
                                (508) 945-5175.
Webinar, Friday, March 22,     https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/
 2019, 10 a.m.-noon.            8181759988548273922. After registering,
                                you will receive a confirmation email
                                containing information about joining the
                                webinar.
Hampton, VA, Monday, March     Embassy Suites, 1700 Coliseum Drive,
 25, 2019, 6:00 p.m.-7:30 p.m.  Hampton, VA 23666, Telephone: (757) 827-
                                8200.
Cape May, NJ, Tuesday, March   Grand Hotel of Cape May, 1045 Beach
 26, 2019, 6:00 p.m.-7:30 p.m.  Avenue, Cape May, NJ 08204, Telephone:
                                (609) 884-5611.
Manahawkin, NJ, Wednesday,     Holiday Inn, 151 Route 72 West,
 March 27, 2019, 10 a.m.-       Manahawkin, NJ 08050, Telephone: (609)
 11:30 a.m.                     481-6100.
Gloucester, MA, Wednesday,     Massachusetts Division of Marine
 April 3, 2019, 6:00 p.m.-      Fisheries, 30 Emerson Ave., Gloucester,
 8:00 p.m.                      MA 01930, Telephone: (978) 282-0308.
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Special Accommodations

    The meetings are accessible to people with physical disabilities. 
Requests for sign language interpretation or other auxiliary aids 
should be directed to Thomas A. Nies (see ADDRESSES) at least five days 
prior to meeting dates.

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

    Dated: February 26, 2019.
Karen H. Abrams,
Acting Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine 
Fisheries Service.
[FR Doc. 2019-03782 Filed 2-27-19; 4:15 pm]
 BILLING CODE 3510-22-P