Pacific Island Fisheries; Annual Catch Limit and Accountability Measures; Main Hawaiian Islands Deep 7 Bottomfish, 8835-8839 [2019-04359]

Download as PDF Federal Register / Vol. 84, No. 48 / Tuesday, March 12, 2019 / Proposed Rules person in the Dockets Office (see the ADDRESSES section for the address and phone number) between 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday, except federal holidays. An informal docket may also be examined during normal business hours at the Federal Aviation Administration, Air Traffic Organization, Central Service Center, Operations Support Group, 10101 Hillwood Parkway, Fort Worth, TX 76177. Availability and Summary of Documents for Incorporation by Reference This document proposes to amend FAA Order 7400.11C, Airspace Designations and Reporting Points, dated August 13, 2018, and effective September 15, 2018. FAA Order 7400.11C is publicly available as listed in the ADDRESSES section of this document. FAA Order 7400.11C lists Class A, B, C, D, and E airspace areas, air traffic service routes, and reporting points. The Proposal The FAA is proposing an amendment to Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations (14 CFR) part 71 by amending the Class E airspace extending upward from 700 feet above the surface to within a 6.5mile radius (reduced from a 7-mile radius) of Schoolcraft County Airport, Manistique, MI; amending the Class E airspace extending upward from 1,200 feet above the surface within a 9-mile radius of Schoolcraft County Airport; removing the extension to the east of the airport, as it is no longer required; removing the city associated with the airport from the airspace legal description to comply with FAA Order 7400.2M, Procedures for Handling Airspace Matters; and updating the geographic coordinates of the airport to coincide with the FAA’s aeronautical database. This action is necessary due to an airspace review caused by the decommissioning of the Schoolcraft VOR, which provided navigation information for the instrument procedures at these airports, as part of the VOR MON Program. Class E airspace designations are published in paragraph 6005 of FAA Order 7400.11C, dated August 13, 2018, and effective September 15, 2018, which is incorporated by reference in 14 CFR 71.1. The Class E airspace designation listed in this document will be published subsequently in the Order. Regulatory Notices and Analyses The FAA has determined that this regulation only involves an established VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:27 Mar 11, 2019 Jkt 247001 8835 body of technical regulations for which frequent and routine amendments are necessary to keep them operationally current, is non-controversial and unlikely to result in adverse or negative comments. It, therefore: (1) Is not a ‘‘significant regulatory action’’ under Executive Order 12866; (2) is not a ‘‘significant rule’’ under DOT Regulatory Policies and Procedures (44 FR 11034; February 26, 1979); and (3) does not warrant preparation of a regulatory evaluation as the anticipated impact is so minimal. Since this is a routine matter that will only affect air traffic procedures and air navigation, it is certified that this rule, when promulgated, would not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities under the criteria of the Regulatory Flexibility Act. that airspace extending upward from 1,200 feet above the surface within a 9-mile radius of Schoolcraft County Airport. Environmental Review This proposal will be subject to an environmental analysis in accordance with FAA Order 1050.1F, ‘‘Environmental Impacts: Policies and Procedures’’ prior to any FAA final regulatory action. Pacific Island Fisheries; Annual Catch Limit and Accountability Measures; Main Hawaiian Islands Deep 7 Bottomfish List of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 71 Airspace, Incorporation by reference, Navigation (air). The Proposed Amendment Accordingly, pursuant to the authority delegated to me, the Federal Aviation Administration proposes to amend 14 CFR part 71 as follows: PART 71—DESIGNATION OF CLASS A, B, C, D, AND E AIRSPACE AREAS; AIR TRAFFIC SERVICE ROUTES; AND REPORTING POINTS 1. The authority citation for 14 CFR part 71 continues to read as follows: ■ Authority: 49 U.S.C. 106(f), 106(g); 40103, 40113, 40120; E.O. 10854, 24 FR 9565, 3 CFR, 1959–1963 Comp., p. 389. § 71.1 [Amended] 2. The incorporation by reference in 14 CFR 71.1 of FAA Order 7400.11C, Airspace Designations and Reporting Points, dated August 13, 2018, and effective September 15, 2018, is amended as follows: ■ Paragraph 6005 Class E Airspace Areas Extending Upward From 700 Feet or More Above the Surface of the Earth. * * * * * AGL MI E5 Manistique, MI [Amended] Schoolcraft County Airport, MI (Lat. 45°58′29″ N, long. 86°10′19″ W) That airspace extending upward from 700 feet above the surface within a 6.5-mile radius of Schoolcraft County Airport, and PO 00000 Frm 00007 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 Issued in Fort Worth, Texas, on March 4, 2019. John Witucki, Acting Manager, Operations Support Group, ATO Central Service Center. [FR Doc. 2019–04375 Filed 3–11–19; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910–13–P DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration 50 CFR Part 665 [Docket No. 181015948–9091–01] RIN 0648–BI54 National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Commerce. ACTION: Proposed rule; request for comments. AGENCY: This proposed rule would establish an annual catch limit (ACL) of 492,000 lb for Deep 7 bottomfish in the main Hawaiian Islands (MHI) for each of the three fishing years 2018–19, 2019– 20, and 2020–21. If NMFS projects that the fishery will reach the ACL in any given fishing year, NMFS would close the commercial and non-commercial fisheries for MHI Deep 7 bottomfish in Federal waters for the remainder of the fishing year as an accountability measure (AM). This proposed rule would also make housekeeping changes to the Federal bottomfish fishing regulations. The proposed rule supports the long-term sustainability of Deep 7 bottomfish. SUMMARY: NMFS must receive comments by April 11, 2019. ADDRESSES: You may submit comments on the proposed rule, identified by NOAA–NMFS–2018–0121, by either of the following methods: • Electronic Submission: Submit all electronic public comments via the Federal e-Rulemaking Portal. Go to http://www.regulations.gov/#!docket Detail;D=NOAA-NMFS-2018-0121, click the ‘‘Comment Now!’’ icon, complete the required fields, and enter or attach your comments. • Mail: Send written comments to Michael D. Tosatto, Regional DATES: E:\FR\FM\12MRP1.SGM 12MRP1 8836 Federal Register / Vol. 84, No. 48 / Tuesday, March 12, 2019 / Proposed Rules Administrator, NMFS Pacific Islands Regional Office (PIRO), 1845 Wasp Blvd., Bldg. 176, Honolulu, HI 96818. Instructions: NMFS may not consider comments sent by any other method, to any other address or individual, or received after the end of the comment period. All comments received are a part of the public record and will generally be posted for public viewing on www.regulations.gov without change. All personal identifying information (e.g., name, address, etc.), confidential business information, or otherwise sensitive information submitted voluntarily by the sender will be publicly accessible. NMFS will accept anonymous comments (enter ‘‘N/A’’ in the required fields if you wish to remain anonymous). NMFS prepared a draft environmental assessment (EA) that describes the potential impacts on the human environment that could result from the proposed action. The draft EA and other supporting documents are available at www.regulations.gov. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Brett Schumacher, NMFS PIRO Sustainable Fisheries, 808–725–5185. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: NMFS and the Western Pacific Fishery Management Council (Council) manage the Deep 7 bottomfish fishery in Federal waters around Hawaii under the Fishery Ecosystem Plan for the Hawaiian Archipelago (FEP), as authorized by the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (Magnuson-Stevens Act). The Deep 7 bottomfish are onaga (Etelis coruscans), ehu (E. carbunculus), gindai (Pristipomoides zonatus), kalekale (P. sieboldii), opakapaka (P. filamentosus), lehi (Aphareus rutilans), and hapuupuu (Hyporthodus quernus). The regulations at Title 50, Code of Federal Regulations, part 665 (50 CFR 665.4) require NMFS to specify an ACL for MHI Deep 7 bottomfish each fishing year, based on a recommendation from the Council. The Council recommended that NMFS implement the proposed ACL and AMs for MHI Deep 7 bottomfish in fishing years 2018–19, 2019–20, and 2020–21. The Council recommended the proposed ACL based on the benchmark 2018 bottomfish stock assessment, and in consideration of the risk of overfishing, past fishery performance, the acceptable biological catch recommendation from its Scientific and Statistical Committee, and input from the public. The 2018 stock assessment estimated the overfishing limit for the MHI Deep 7 bottomfish stock complex to be 558,000 lb, assuming three years of VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:27 Mar 11, 2019 Jkt 247001 identical catch in fishing years 2018–19, 2019–20 and 2020–21. This new overfishing limit is 206,000 lb more than the estimated overfishing limit from the 2011 stock assessment, as updated in 2015. The proposed ACL of 492,000 lb is 186,000 lb more than the ACL that NMFS specified last year based on the previous stock assessment (82 FR 29778, June 30, 2017). The ACL is associated with up to a 40 percent probability of overfishing for each fishing year up to 2020–21, and is more conservative than the 50 percent risk threshold allowed under NMFS guidelines for National Standard 1 of the Magnuson-Stevens Act. NMFS monitors Deep 7 bottomfish catches based on data provided by commercial fishermen to the State of Hawaii. If NMFS projects the fishery will reach the ACL, NMFS would close the commercial and non-commercial fisheries for MHI Deep 7 bottomfish in Federal waters for the remainder of the fishing year, as an AM. As an additional AM, in the event that NMFS and the Council determine that the final MHI Deep 7 bottomfish catch exceeds the ACL in any given year, NMFS would reduce the ACL for the subsequent fishing year by the amount of the overage. The fishery has not caught the specified annual limit in any year since 2011, and NMFS does not expect the proposed rule to result in a change in fishing operations, or other changes to the conduct of the fishery that would result in significant environmental impacts. This proposed rule would also make housekeeping changes to the regulations at 50 CFR part 665 A—Western Pacific Fisheries. The proposed rule removes the description of the process of setting an annual total allowable catch, which has been superseded by the ACL process. The housekeeping changes also include updates to the name of the multispecies stock complex and updates and revisions to the scientific, local, and/or common names of several species. This includes corrections to provisions of the regulations that have been amended by a final rule (84 FR 2726; February 8, 2019) to reclassify six species from the Hawaii bottomfish MUS table at 50 CFR 665.201 as ecosystem component species. Specifically, this proposed rule would make edits in definitions sections (sections 665.220 and 665.401) to remove diacriticals (which are not consistently represented across different typefaces resulting in misspellings) in local fish names, reorder species listed in a table so they are alphabetical by scientific name, and correct a PO 00000 Frm 00008 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 misspelling of P. sieboldii. The February 8, 2019, rule will become effective on March 11, 2019, which is before this current action can be finalized. Therefore, the regulatory text of this proposed rule is based upon the regulatory language as amended by the February 8, 2019, rule. NMFS will consider public comments on this proposed rule and will announce the final rule in the Federal Register. NMFS must receive any comments by the date provided in the DATES heading, not postmarked or otherwise transmitted by that date. Regardless of the final rule, all other management measures will continue to apply in the fisheries. Classification Pursuant to section 304(b)(1)(A) of the Magnuson-Stevens Act, the NMFS Assistant Administrator for Fisheries has determined that this proposed rule is consistent with the Hawaii FEP, other provisions of the Magnuson-Stevens Act, and other applicable laws, subject to further consideration after public comment. Certification of Finding of No Significant Impact on Substantial Number of Small Entities The Chief Counsel for Regulation of the Department of Commerce certified to the Chief Counsel for Advocacy of the Small Business Administration that the proposed rule, if adopted, would not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. A description of the action, why it is being considered, and the legal basis for it, are contained in the preamble to the proposed rule. NMFS proposes to implement an ACL of 492,000 lb for MHI Deep 7 bottomfish, as recommended by the Western Pacific Fishery Management Council, for each fishing year 2018–19, 2019–20 and 2020–21. Each fishing year begins on September 1 and ends on August 31 of the following year. NMFS monitors MHI Deep 7 bottomfish catches based on data provided by commercial fishermen to the State of Hawaii. The AM for fishing years 2018– 19, 2019–20 and 2020–21 would remain the same as the AM that is currently in place. That is, if NMFS projects that the fishery will reach this limit in any fishing year, NMFS would close the commercial and non-commercial fisheries for MHI Deep 7 bottomfish in Federal waters for the remainder of that fishing year as an AM. The proposed ACLs are 186,000 lb more than the ACL that NMFS implemented for the 2017–18 fishing year, 174,000 lb more than the ACL that E:\FR\FM\12MRP1.SGM 12MRP1 8837 Federal Register / Vol. 84, No. 48 / Tuesday, March 12, 2019 / Proposed Rules NMFS implemented for the 2016–17 fishing year, 166,000 lb more than the ACL that NMFS implemented for the 2015–16 fishing year, and 146,000 more than the ACL that NMFS implemented in each of the four fishing years, 2011– 12, 2012–13, 2013–14, and 2014–15. The proposed ACLs are greater than the highest reported annual landings over the past five fishing seasons by more than 180,000 lb. Therefore, NMFS does not expect that the fishery would reach the ACL during any of the next three fishing years. This rule would affect commercial and non-commercial fishermen who catch MHI Deep 7 bottomfish. In general, the relative importance of MHI bottomfish to commercial participants as a percentage of overall fishing or household income is unknown, as the total suite of fishing and other incomegenerating activities by individual operations across the year has not been examined. For Regulatory Flexibility Act purposes only, NMFS has established a small business size standard for businesses, including their affiliates, whose primary industry is commercial fishing (see 50 CFR 200.2). A business primarily engaged in commercial fishing (NAICS code 11411) is classified as a small business if it is independently owned and operated, is not dominant in its field of operation (including its affiliates), and has combined annual receipts not in excess of $11 million for all its affiliated operations worldwide. Based on available information, NMFS has determined that all affected entities—vessels in the commercial and non-commercial fisheries for MHI Deep 7 bottomfish—are small entities under the NMFS standard, as they are engaged in the business of fish harvesting, independently owned or operated, not dominant in their field of operation, and have annual gross receipts not in excess of $11 million. Therefore, there would be no disproportionate economic impacts between large and small entities. Furthermore, there would be no disproportionate economic impacts among the universe of vessels based on gear, home port, or vessel length. During the 2016–17 fishing year, 338 fishermen reported catching 234,299 lb of MHI Deep 7 bottomfish valued at $1,646,044, which is consistent with catch and participation in recent years. During each of fishing years 2014–15, 2015–16, and 2016–2017, an average of 372 fisherman have reported catching 266,000 lb of MHI Deep 7 bottomfish. As for revenues earned by fishermen from MHI Deep 7 bottomfish, State of Hawaii records report that 312 of the VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:27 Mar 11, 2019 Jkt 247001 338 fishermen sold their MHI Deep 7 bottomfish catch during the 2016–17 fishing year. These 312 individuals sold a combined total of 222,407 lb (95 percent of reported catch) at a value of $1,646,044. Based on these revenues, the average price for MHI Deep 7 bottomfish in 2016–17 was approximately $7.40/lb. NMFS assumed that either the remaining 26 commercial fishermen sold no Deep 7 bottomfish, or the State of Hawaii reporting program did not capture their sales. With regard to the 2017–18 fishing year, as of October 1, 2018, revenues from sales of MHI Deep 7 bottomfish totaled $1,661,346 from 212,751 lb sold, yielding an average price of $7.81 per lb sold. Assuming that the fishery attains the ACL of 492,000 in an individual fishing year, and using the 2016–17 average price of $7.40/lb, NMFS expects the potential annual fleet-wide revenue during each of the 2018–19, 2019–20 and 2020–21 fishing years to be $3,640,800 (or approximately $3,458,760 under the assumption that 95 percent of catch is sold). If the MHI Deep 7 bottomfish catch reached the ACL during a fishing year, and all of the catch was sold by the same number of fishermen with sales during 2016–17, each of these 312 commercial fishermen could potentially earn on average $11,669 from the sale of 1,577 lb of Deep 7 bottomfish. If the fishery reaches the ACL, and 95 percent of all MHI Deep 7 bottomfish catch was sold, then each of these 312 commercial fishermen would sell an average of 1,498 lb of Deep 7 bottomfish valued at about $11,085, which is well below the $11 million threshold. Even though this proposed rule would apply to a substantial number of vessels, i.e., 100 percent of the bottomfish fleet, NMFS does not expect this rule to have a significantly adverse economic impact on individual vessels because of the unlikelihood of reaching the ACL. Landings information from the past five fishing years shows an average catch of 274,100 lb, suggesting that Deep 7 bottomfish landings in the MHI are not likely to reach the proposed ACL of 492,000 lb in any fishing year. The proposed rule would not impose additional reporting or record-keeping requirements on small entities. The proposed rule does not duplicate, overlap, or conflict with other Federal rules, and it is not expected to have a significant impact on small entities (as discussed above), organizations or government jurisdictions. There does not appear to be disproportionate economic impacts from the proposed PO 00000 Frm 00009 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 rule based on home port, gear type, or relative vessel size. The proposed rule will not place a substantial number of small entities, or any segment of small entities, at a significant competitive disadvantage to large entities. As a result, an initial regulatory flexibility analysis is not required, and none has been prepared. This proposed rule has been determined to be not significant for purposes of Executive Order 12866. List of Subjects in 50 CFR Part 665 Annual catch limits, Accountability measures, Bottomfish, Fisheries, Fishing, Hawaii, Pacific Islands. Dated: March 6, 2019. Samuel D. Rauch, III, Deputy Assistant Administrator for Regulatory Programs, National Marine Fisheries Service. For the reasons set out in the preamble, NMFS proposes to amend 50 CFR part 665 as follows: PART 665—FISHERIES IN THE WESTERN PACIFIC 1. The authority citation for 50 CFR part 665 continues to read as follows: ■ Authority: 16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq. 2. In § 665.12, revise the definition of ‘‘Fishing year’’ to read as follows: ■ § 665.12 * * Definitions. * * * Fishing year means the year beginning at 0001 local time on January 1 and ending at 2400 local time on December 31, with the exception of fishing for Deep 7 bottomfish and any precious coral MUS. * * * * * ■ 3. Amend § 665.201 by, a. adding, in alphabetical order, the definitions of ‘‘Deep 7 bottomfish’’ and ‘‘Deep 7 bottomfish fishing year;’’ ■ b. revising the definition of ‘‘Hawaii bottomfish management unit species (Hawaii bottomfish MUS);’’and ■ c. removing the definition of ‘‘Hawaii restricted bottomfish species fishing year;’’ ■ The revision and additions to read as follows: § 665.201 Definitions. As used in §§ 665.200 through 665.219: Deep 7 bottomfish means the following species: E:\FR\FM\12MRP1.SGM 12MRP1 8838 Federal Register / Vol. 84, No. 48 / Tuesday, March 12, 2019 / Proposed Rules Local name Common name lehi ........................................................................................................... ehu ........................................................................................................... onaga ....................................................................................................... hapuupuu ................................................................................................. opakapaka ............................................................................................... kalekale ................................................................................................... gindai ....................................................................................................... silver jaw jobfish ............................ squirrelfish snapper ....................... longtail snapper ............................. sea bass ........................................ pink snapper .................................. pink snapper .................................. snapper .......................................... Deep 7 bottomfish fishing year means the year beginning at 0001 local time on September 1 and ending at 2400 HST on August 31 of the next calendar year. * * * * * Scientific name Hawaii bottomfish management unit species (Hawaii bottomfish MUS) means the following species: Local name Common name lehi ........................................................................................................... uku ........................................................................................................... ehu ........................................................................................................... onaga ....................................................................................................... hapuupuu ................................................................................................. opakapaka ............................................................................................... kalekale ................................................................................................... gindai ....................................................................................................... silver jaw jobfish ............................ gray jobfish .................................... squirrelfish snapper ....................... longtail snapper ............................. sea bass ........................................ pink snapper .................................. pink snapper .................................. snapper .......................................... Main Hawaiian Islands noncommercial bottomfish permit means the permit required by § 665.203(a)(2) to own or fish from a vessel that is used in any non-commercial vessel-based fishing, landing, or transshipment of any Hawaii bottomfish MUS or ECS in the MHI Management Subarea. * * * * * ■ 4. In § 665.204, revise paragraphs (h), (i), and (j) to read as follows: § 665.204 Prohibitions. * * * * * (h) Fish for or possess any Deep 7 bottomfish as defined in § 665.201, in the MHI management subarea after a closure of the fishery, in violation of § 665.211. (i) Sell or offer for sale any Deep 7 bottomfish as defined in § 665.201, after a closure of the fishery, in violation of § 665.211. (j) Harvest, possess, or land more than a total of five fish (all species combined) identified as Deep 7 bottomfish in § 665.201 from a vessel in the MHI management subarea, while holding a MHI non-commercial bottomfish permit, or while participating as a charter boat customer, in violation of § 665.212. * * * * * § 665.210 ■ [Removed and reserved] 5. Remove and reserve § 665.210: ■ 6. Revise § 665.211 to read as follows: § 665.211 Annual Catch Limit (ACL). (a) In accordance with § 665.4, the ACL for MHI Deep 7 bottomfish for each fishing year is as follows: ACL (lb) Fishing year 2018–2019 ............................ 2019–2020 ............................ 2020–2021 ............................ 492,000 492,000 492,000 Scientific name Local name § 665.401 * * * * Mariana bottomfish management unit species (Mariana bottomfish MUS) means the following fish: Common name Scientific name * * * pink snapper .................................. * * * * Jkt 247001 Definitions. * * 16:27 Mar 11, 2019 Non-commercial bag limits. No more than a total of five fish (all species combined) identified as Deep 7 bottomfish may be harvested, possessed, or landed by any individual participating in a non-commercial vessel-based fishing trip in the MHI management subarea. Charter boat customers are also subject to the noncommercial bag limit. ■ 8. In § 665.401, amend the definition of ‘‘Mariana bottomfish management unit species (Mariana bottomfish MUS) by revising the entry for Pink snapper to read as follows: * VerDate Sep<11>2014 Aphareus rutilans. Aprion virescens. Etelis carbunculus. Etelis coruscans. Hyporthodus quernus. Pristipomoides filamentosus. Pristipomoides sieboldii. Pristipomoides zonatus. for sale Deep 7 bottomfish, except as otherwise authorized by law. (e) Fishing for, and the resultant possession or sale of, Deep 7 bottomfish by vessels legally registered to Mau Zone, Ho’omalu Zone, or PRIA bottomfish fishing permits and conducted in compliance with all other laws and regulations, is exempted from this section. ■ 7. Revise § 665.212 to read as follows: § 665.212 (b) When an ACL is projected to be reached based on analyses of available information, the Regional Administrator shall publish a notice to that effect in the Federal Register and shall use other means to notify permit holders. The notice will include an advisement that the fishery will be closed beginning at a specified date, which is not earlier than seven days after the date of filing the closure notice for public inspection at the Office of the Federal Register, until the end of the fishing year in which the ACL is reached. (c) On and after the date specified in § 665.211(b), no person may fish for or possess any Deep 7 bottomfish in the MHI management subarea, except as otherwise allowed in this section. (d) On and after the date specified in § 665.211(b), no person may sell or offer Aphareus rutilans. Etelis carbunculus. Etelis coruscans. Hyporthodus quernus. Pristipomoides filamentosus. Pristipomoides sieboldii. Pristipomoides zonatus. PO 00000 Frm 00010 Fmt 4702 * * Pristipomoides sieboldii. * Sfmt 4702 E:\FR\FM\12MRP1.SGM * 12MRP1 * Federal Register / Vol. 84, No. 48 / Tuesday, March 12, 2019 / Proposed Rules 9. In § 665.601, amend the definition of ‘‘PRIA bottomfish management unit species (PRIA bottomfish MUS)’’ by revising the entry for Sea bass to read as follows: ■ § 665.601 Common name * * Sea bass ................ Definitions. * * * * * * PRIA bottomfish management unit species (PRIA bottomfish MUS) means the following fish: VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:27 Mar 11, 2019 Jkt 247001 * Scientific name * * * Hyporthodus quernus. * * * [FR Doc. 2019–04359 Filed 3–11–19; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510–22–P PO 00000 Frm 00011 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 9990 E:\FR\FM\12MRP1.SGM 12MRP1 8839

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 84, Number 48 (Tuesday, March 12, 2019)]
[Proposed Rules]
[Pages 8835-8839]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2019-04359]


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DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

50 CFR Part 665

[Docket No. 181015948-9091-01]
RIN 0648-BI54


Pacific Island Fisheries; Annual Catch Limit and Accountability 
Measures; Main Hawaiian Islands Deep 7 Bottomfish

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

ACTION: Proposed rule; request for comments.

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SUMMARY: This proposed rule would establish an annual catch limit (ACL) 
of 492,000 lb for Deep 7 bottomfish in the main Hawaiian Islands (MHI) 
for each of the three fishing years 2018-19, 2019-20, and 2020-21. If 
NMFS projects that the fishery will reach the ACL in any given fishing 
year, NMFS would close the commercial and non-commercial fisheries for 
MHI Deep 7 bottomfish in Federal waters for the remainder of the 
fishing year as an accountability measure (AM). This proposed rule 
would also make housekeeping changes to the Federal bottomfish fishing 
regulations. The proposed rule supports the long-term sustainability of 
Deep 7 bottomfish.

DATES: NMFS must receive comments by April 11, 2019.

ADDRESSES: You may submit comments on the proposed rule, identified by 
NOAA-NMFS-2018-0121, by either of the following methods:
     Electronic Submission: Submit all electronic public 
comments via the Federal e-Rulemaking Portal. Go to http://www.regulations.gov/#!docketDetail;D=NOAA-NMFS-2018-0121, click the 
``Comment Now!'' icon, complete the required fields, and enter or 
attach your comments.
     Mail: Send written comments to Michael D. Tosatto, 
Regional

[[Page 8836]]

Administrator, NMFS Pacific Islands Regional Office (PIRO), 1845 Wasp 
Blvd., Bldg. 176, Honolulu, HI 96818.
    Instructions: NMFS may not consider comments sent by any other 
method, to any other address or individual, or received after the end 
of the comment period. All comments received are a part of the public 
record and will generally be posted for public viewing on 
www.regulations.gov without change. All personal identifying 
information (e.g., name, address, etc.), confidential business 
information, or otherwise sensitive information submitted voluntarily 
by the sender will be publicly accessible. NMFS will accept anonymous 
comments (enter ``N/A'' in the required fields if you wish to remain 
anonymous).
    NMFS prepared a draft environmental assessment (EA) that describes 
the potential impacts on the human environment that could result from 
the proposed action. The draft EA and other supporting documents are 
available at www.regulations.gov.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Brett Schumacher, NMFS PIRO 
Sustainable Fisheries, 808-725-5185.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: NMFS and the Western Pacific Fishery 
Management Council (Council) manage the Deep 7 bottomfish fishery in 
Federal waters around Hawaii under the Fishery Ecosystem Plan for the 
Hawaiian Archipelago (FEP), as authorized by the Magnuson-Stevens 
Fishery Conservation and Management Act (Magnuson-Stevens Act). The 
Deep 7 bottomfish are onaga (Etelis coruscans), ehu (E. carbunculus), 
gindai (Pristipomoides zonatus), kalekale (P. sieboldii), opakapaka (P. 
filamentosus), lehi (Aphareus rutilans), and hapuupuu (Hyporthodus 
quernus). The regulations at Title 50, Code of Federal Regulations, 
part 665 (50 CFR 665.4) require NMFS to specify an ACL for MHI Deep 7 
bottomfish each fishing year, based on a recommendation from the 
Council.
    The Council recommended that NMFS implement the proposed ACL and 
AMs for MHI Deep 7 bottomfish in fishing years 2018-19, 2019-20, and 
2020-21. The Council recommended the proposed ACL based on the 
benchmark 2018 bottomfish stock assessment, and in consideration of the 
risk of overfishing, past fishery performance, the acceptable 
biological catch recommendation from its Scientific and Statistical 
Committee, and input from the public.
    The 2018 stock assessment estimated the overfishing limit for the 
MHI Deep 7 bottomfish stock complex to be 558,000 lb, assuming three 
years of identical catch in fishing years 2018-19, 2019-20 and 2020-21. 
This new overfishing limit is 206,000 lb more than the estimated 
overfishing limit from the 2011 stock assessment, as updated in 2015. 
The proposed ACL of 492,000 lb is 186,000 lb more than the ACL that 
NMFS specified last year based on the previous stock assessment (82 FR 
29778, June 30, 2017). The ACL is associated with up to a 40 percent 
probability of overfishing for each fishing year up to 2020-21, and is 
more conservative than the 50 percent risk threshold allowed under NMFS 
guidelines for National Standard 1 of the Magnuson-Stevens Act.
    NMFS monitors Deep 7 bottomfish catches based on data provided by 
commercial fishermen to the State of Hawaii. If NMFS projects the 
fishery will reach the ACL, NMFS would close the commercial and non-
commercial fisheries for MHI Deep 7 bottomfish in Federal waters for 
the remainder of the fishing year, as an AM. As an additional AM, in 
the event that NMFS and the Council determine that the final MHI Deep 7 
bottomfish catch exceeds the ACL in any given year, NMFS would reduce 
the ACL for the subsequent fishing year by the amount of the overage.
    The fishery has not caught the specified annual limit in any year 
since 2011, and NMFS does not expect the proposed rule to result in a 
change in fishing operations, or other changes to the conduct of the 
fishery that would result in significant environmental impacts.
    This proposed rule would also make housekeeping changes to the 
regulations at 50 CFR part 665 A--Western Pacific Fisheries. The 
proposed rule removes the description of the process of setting an 
annual total allowable catch, which has been superseded by the ACL 
process. The housekeeping changes also include updates to the name of 
the multispecies stock complex and updates and revisions to the 
scientific, local, and/or common names of several species. This 
includes corrections to provisions of the regulations that have been 
amended by a final rule (84 FR 2726; February 8, 2019) to reclassify 
six species from the Hawaii bottomfish MUS table at 50 CFR 665.201 as 
ecosystem component species. Specifically, this proposed rule would 
make edits in definitions sections (sections 665.220 and 665.401) to 
remove diacriticals (which are not consistently represented across 
different typefaces resulting in misspellings) in local fish names, 
reorder species listed in a table so they are alphabetical by 
scientific name, and correct a misspelling of P. sieboldii. The 
February 8, 2019, rule will become effective on March 11, 2019, which 
is before this current action can be finalized. Therefore, the 
regulatory text of this proposed rule is based upon the regulatory 
language as amended by the February 8, 2019, rule.
    NMFS will consider public comments on this proposed rule and will 
announce the final rule in the Federal Register. NMFS must receive any 
comments by the date provided in the DATES heading, not postmarked or 
otherwise transmitted by that date. Regardless of the final rule, all 
other management measures will continue to apply in the fisheries.

Classification

    Pursuant to section 304(b)(1)(A) of the Magnuson-Stevens Act, the 
NMFS Assistant Administrator for Fisheries has determined that this 
proposed rule is consistent with the Hawaii FEP, other provisions of 
the Magnuson-Stevens Act, and other applicable laws, subject to further 
consideration after public comment.

Certification of Finding of No Significant Impact on Substantial Number 
of Small Entities

    The Chief Counsel for Regulation of the Department of Commerce 
certified to the Chief Counsel for Advocacy of the Small Business 
Administration that the proposed rule, if adopted, would not have a 
significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. 
A description of the action, why it is being considered, and the legal 
basis for it, are contained in the preamble to the proposed rule.
    NMFS proposes to implement an ACL of 492,000 lb for MHI Deep 7 
bottomfish, as recommended by the Western Pacific Fishery Management 
Council, for each fishing year 2018-19, 2019-20 and 2020-21. Each 
fishing year begins on September 1 and ends on August 31 of the 
following year. NMFS monitors MHI Deep 7 bottomfish catches based on 
data provided by commercial fishermen to the State of Hawaii. The AM 
for fishing years 2018-19, 2019-20 and 2020-21 would remain the same as 
the AM that is currently in place. That is, if NMFS projects that the 
fishery will reach this limit in any fishing year, NMFS would close the 
commercial and non-commercial fisheries for MHI Deep 7 bottomfish in 
Federal waters for the remainder of that fishing year as an AM.
    The proposed ACLs are 186,000 lb more than the ACL that NMFS 
implemented for the 2017-18 fishing year, 174,000 lb more than the ACL 
that

[[Page 8837]]

NMFS implemented for the 2016-17 fishing year, 166,000 lb more than the 
ACL that NMFS implemented for the 2015-16 fishing year, and 146,000 
more than the ACL that NMFS implemented in each of the four fishing 
years, 2011-12, 2012-13, 2013-14, and 2014-15. The proposed ACLs are 
greater than the highest reported annual landings over the past five 
fishing seasons by more than 180,000 lb. Therefore, NMFS does not 
expect that the fishery would reach the ACL during any of the next 
three fishing years.
    This rule would affect commercial and non-commercial fishermen who 
catch MHI Deep 7 bottomfish. In general, the relative importance of MHI 
bottomfish to commercial participants as a percentage of overall 
fishing or household income is unknown, as the total suite of fishing 
and other income-generating activities by individual operations across 
the year has not been examined. For Regulatory Flexibility Act purposes 
only, NMFS has established a small business size standard for 
businesses, including their affiliates, whose primary industry is 
commercial fishing (see 50 CFR 200.2). A business primarily engaged in 
commercial fishing (NAICS code 11411) is classified as a small business 
if it is independently owned and operated, is not dominant in its field 
of operation (including its affiliates), and has combined annual 
receipts not in excess of $11 million for all its affiliated operations 
worldwide.
    Based on available information, NMFS has determined that all 
affected entities--vessels in the commercial and non-commercial 
fisheries for MHI Deep 7 bottomfish--are small entities under the NMFS 
standard, as they are engaged in the business of fish harvesting, 
independently owned or operated, not dominant in their field of 
operation, and have annual gross receipts not in excess of $11 million. 
Therefore, there would be no disproportionate economic impacts between 
large and small entities. Furthermore, there would be no 
disproportionate economic impacts among the universe of vessels based 
on gear, home port, or vessel length.
    During the 2016-17 fishing year, 338 fishermen reported catching 
234,299 lb of MHI Deep 7 bottomfish valued at $1,646,044, which is 
consistent with catch and participation in recent years. During each of 
fishing years 2014-15, 2015-16, and 2016-2017, an average of 372 
fisherman have reported catching 266,000 lb of MHI Deep 7 bottomfish. 
As for revenues earned by fishermen from MHI Deep 7 bottomfish, State 
of Hawaii records report that 312 of the 338 fishermen sold their MHI 
Deep 7 bottomfish catch during the 2016-17 fishing year. These 312 
individuals sold a combined total of 222,407 lb (95 percent of reported 
catch) at a value of $1,646,044. Based on these revenues, the average 
price for MHI Deep 7 bottomfish in 2016-17 was approximately $7.40/lb. 
NMFS assumed that either the remaining 26 commercial fishermen sold no 
Deep 7 bottomfish, or the State of Hawaii reporting program did not 
capture their sales. With regard to the 2017-18 fishing year, as of 
October 1, 2018, revenues from sales of MHI Deep 7 bottomfish totaled 
$1,661,346 from 212,751 lb sold, yielding an average price of $7.81 per 
lb sold.
    Assuming that the fishery attains the ACL of 492,000 in an 
individual fishing year, and using the 2016-17 average price of $7.40/
lb, NMFS expects the potential annual fleet-wide revenue during each of 
the 2018-19, 2019-20 and 2020-21 fishing years to be $3,640,800 (or 
approximately $3,458,760 under the assumption that 95 percent of catch 
is sold). If the MHI Deep 7 bottomfish catch reached the ACL during a 
fishing year, and all of the catch was sold by the same number of 
fishermen with sales during 2016-17, each of these 312 commercial 
fishermen could potentially earn on average $11,669 from the sale of 
1,577 lb of Deep 7 bottomfish. If the fishery reaches the ACL, and 95 
percent of all MHI Deep 7 bottomfish catch was sold, then each of these 
312 commercial fishermen would sell an average of 1,498 lb of Deep 7 
bottomfish valued at about $11,085, which is well below the $11 million 
threshold.
    Even though this proposed rule would apply to a substantial number 
of vessels, i.e., 100 percent of the bottomfish fleet, NMFS does not 
expect this rule to have a significantly adverse economic impact on 
individual vessels because of the unlikelihood of reaching the ACL. 
Landings information from the past five fishing years shows an average 
catch of 274,100 lb, suggesting that Deep 7 bottomfish landings in the 
MHI are not likely to reach the proposed ACL of 492,000 lb in any 
fishing year. The proposed rule would not impose additional reporting 
or record-keeping requirements on small entities.
    The proposed rule does not duplicate, overlap, or conflict with 
other Federal rules, and it is not expected to have a significant 
impact on small entities (as discussed above), organizations or 
government jurisdictions. There does not appear to be disproportionate 
economic impacts from the proposed rule based on home port, gear type, 
or relative vessel size. The proposed rule will not place a substantial 
number of small entities, or any segment of small entities, at a 
significant competitive disadvantage to large entities. As a result, an 
initial regulatory flexibility analysis is not required, and none has 
been prepared.
    This proposed rule has been determined to be not significant for 
purposes of Executive Order 12866.

List of Subjects in 50 CFR Part 665

    Annual catch limits, Accountability measures, Bottomfish, 
Fisheries, Fishing, Hawaii, Pacific Islands.

    Dated: March 6, 2019.
Samuel D. Rauch, III,
Deputy Assistant Administrator for Regulatory Programs, National Marine 
Fisheries Service.

    For the reasons set out in the preamble, NMFS proposes to amend 50 
CFR part 665 as follows:

PART 665--FISHERIES IN THE WESTERN PACIFIC

0
1. The authority citation for 50 CFR part 665 continues to read as 
follows:

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

0
2. In Sec.  665.12, revise the definition of ``Fishing year'' to read 
as follows:


Sec.  665.12  Definitions.

* * * * *
    Fishing year means the year beginning at 0001 local time on January 
1 and ending at 2400 local time on December 31, with the exception of 
fishing for Deep 7 bottomfish and any precious coral MUS.
* * * * *
0
3. Amend Sec.  665.201 by,
0
a. adding, in alphabetical order, the definitions of ``Deep 7 
bottomfish'' and ``Deep 7 bottomfish fishing year;''
0
b. revising the definition of ``Hawaii bottomfish management unit 
species (Hawaii bottomfish MUS);''and
0
c. removing the definition of ``Hawaii restricted bottomfish species 
fishing year;''
    The revision and additions to read as follows:


Sec.  665.201  Definitions.

    As used in Sec. Sec.  665.200 through 665.219:
    Deep 7 bottomfish means the following species:

[[Page 8838]]



------------------------------------------------------------------------
           Local name                 Common name       Scientific name
------------------------------------------------------------------------
lehi............................  silver jaw jobfish  Aphareus rutilans.
ehu.............................  squirrelfish        Etelis
                                   snapper.            carbunculus.
onaga...........................  longtail snapper..  Etelis coruscans.
hapuupuu........................  sea bass..........  Hyporthodus
                                                       quernus.
opakapaka.......................  pink snapper......  Pristipomoides
                                                       filamentosus.
kalekale........................  pink snapper......  Pristipomoides
                                                       sieboldii.
gindai..........................  snapper...........  Pristipomoides
                                                       zonatus.
------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Deep 7 bottomfish fishing year means the year beginning at 0001 
local time on September 1 and ending at 2400 HST on August 31 of the 
next calendar year.
* * * * *
    Hawaii bottomfish management unit species (Hawaii bottomfish MUS) 
means the following species:

------------------------------------------------------------------------
           Local name                 Common name       Scientific name
------------------------------------------------------------------------
lehi............................  silver jaw jobfish  Aphareus rutilans.
uku.............................  gray jobfish......  Aprion virescens.
ehu.............................  squirrelfish        Etelis
                                   snapper.            carbunculus.
onaga...........................  longtail snapper..  Etelis coruscans.
hapuupuu........................  sea bass..........  Hyporthodus
                                                       quernus.
opakapaka.......................  pink snapper......  Pristipomoides
                                                       filamentosus.
kalekale........................  pink snapper......  Pristipomoides
                                                       sieboldii.
gindai..........................  snapper...........  Pristipomoides
                                                       zonatus.
------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Main Hawaiian Islands non-commercial bottomfish permit means the 
permit required by Sec.  665.203(a)(2) to own or fish from a vessel 
that is used in any non-commercial vessel-based fishing, landing, or 
transshipment of any Hawaii bottomfish MUS or ECS in the MHI Management 
Subarea.
* * * * *
0
4. In Sec.  665.204, revise paragraphs (h), (i), and (j) to read as 
follows:


Sec.  665.204  Prohibitions.

* * * * *
    (h) Fish for or possess any Deep 7 bottomfish as defined in Sec.  
665.201, in the MHI management subarea after a closure of the fishery, 
in violation of Sec.  665.211.
    (i) Sell or offer for sale any Deep 7 bottomfish as defined in 
Sec.  665.201, after a closure of the fishery, in violation of Sec.  
665.211.
    (j) Harvest, possess, or land more than a total of five fish (all 
species combined) identified as Deep 7 bottomfish in Sec.  665.201 from 
a vessel in the MHI management subarea, while holding a MHI non-
commercial bottomfish permit, or while participating as a charter boat 
customer, in violation of Sec.  665.212.
* * * * *


Sec.  665.210  [Removed and reserved]

0
5. Remove and reserve Sec.  665.210:
0
6. Revise Sec.  665.211 to read as follows:


Sec.  665.211  Annual Catch Limit (ACL).

    (a) In accordance with Sec.  665.4, the ACL for MHI Deep 7 
bottomfish for each fishing year is as follows:

------------------------------------------------------------------------
                      Fishing year                           ACL (lb)
------------------------------------------------------------------------
2018-2019...............................................         492,000
2019-2020...............................................         492,000
2020-2021...............................................         492,000
------------------------------------------------------------------------

    (b) When an ACL is projected to be reached based on analyses of 
available information, the Regional Administrator shall publish a 
notice to that effect in the Federal Register and shall use other means 
to notify permit holders. The notice will include an advisement that 
the fishery will be closed beginning at a specified date, which is not 
earlier than seven days after the date of filing the closure notice for 
public inspection at the Office of the Federal Register, until the end 
of the fishing year in which the ACL is reached.
    (c) On and after the date specified in Sec.  665.211(b), no person 
may fish for or possess any Deep 7 bottomfish in the MHI management 
subarea, except as otherwise allowed in this section.
    (d) On and after the date specified in Sec.  665.211(b), no person 
may sell or offer for sale Deep 7 bottomfish, except as otherwise 
authorized by law.
    (e) Fishing for, and the resultant possession or sale of, Deep 7 
bottomfish by vessels legally registered to Mau Zone, Ho'omalu Zone, or 
PRIA bottomfish fishing permits and conducted in compliance with all 
other laws and regulations, is exempted from this section.
0
7. Revise Sec.  665.212 to read as follows:


Sec.  665.212  Non-commercial bag limits.

    No more than a total of five fish (all species combined) identified 
as Deep 7 bottomfish may be harvested, possessed, or landed by any 
individual participating in a non-commercial vessel-based fishing trip 
in the MHI management subarea. Charter boat customers are also subject 
to the non-commercial bag limit.
0
8. In Sec.  665.401, amend the definition of ``Mariana bottomfish 
management unit species (Mariana bottomfish MUS) by revising the entry 
for Pink snapper to read as follows:


Sec.  665.401  Definitions.

* * * * *
    Mariana bottomfish management unit species (Mariana bottomfish MUS) 
means the following fish:

------------------------------------------------------------------------
           Local name                 Common name       Scientific name
------------------------------------------------------------------------
 
                              * * * * * * *
                                  pink snapper......  Pristipomoides
                                                       sieboldii.
 
                              * * * * * * *
------------------------------------------------------------------------


[[Page 8839]]

0
9. In Sec.  665.601, amend the definition of ``PRIA bottomfish 
management unit species (PRIA bottomfish MUS)'' by revising the entry 
for Sea bass to read as follows:


Sec.  665.601  Definitions.

* * * * *
    PRIA bottomfish management unit species (PRIA bottomfish MUS) means 
the following fish:

------------------------------------------------------------------------
               Common name                        Scientific name
------------------------------------------------------------------------
 
                                * * * * *
Sea bass................................  Hyporthodus quernus.
 
                                * * * * *
------------------------------------------------------------------------

[FR Doc. 2019-04359 Filed 3-11-19; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 3510-22-P