Magnuson-Stevens Act Provisions; General Provisions for Domestic Fisheries; Application for Exempted Fishing Permits, 14914-14915 [2019-07280]

Download as PDF 14914 Federal Register / Vol. 84, No. 71 / Friday, April 12, 2019 / Notices that date will be distributed to the members but may not be considered at the meeting. Copies of REEEAC meeting minutes will be available within 30 days following the meeting. Dated: April 1, 2019. Man Cho, Deputy Director, Office of Energy and Environmental Industries. [FR Doc. 2019–07270 Filed 4–11–19; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510–DR–P DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration RIN 0648–XG671 U.S. Stakeholder Meeting on Pacific Bluefin Tuna Long-Term Management Framework; Meeting Announcement National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Commerce. ACTION: Notice of public meeting; reschedule meeting. AGENCY: NMFS is holding a meeting to discuss the future of the U.S. West Coast Pacific bluefin tuna (PBF) fishery, including objectives and a management framework. NMFS initially scheduled this meeting for January 9, 2019, but due to the partial lapse in appropriations was unable to hold the meeting on that date. NMFS is announcing that the meeting has been rescheduled for May 2, 2019. DATES: The meeting will be held May 2, 2019, from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. PST, or until business concludes. ADDRESSES: The meeting will be held in Room 3300 at the Glenn M. Anderson Federal Building, 501 W Ocean Blvd., Long Beach, California 90802. Please notify Celia Barroso, at Celia.Barroso@ noaa.gov or (562) 432–1850, by April 25, 2019, if you plan to attend. NMFS will email instructions and background materials for the meeting participants. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Celia Barroso, West Coast Region, NMFS, at Celia.Barroso@noaa.gov, or at (562) 432–1850. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: NMFS intended to host a stakeholder meeting to discuss the future of the U.S. West Coast PBF fishery, including objectives and a management framework on January 9, 2019, (83 FR 65638, December 21, 2018) but due to the partial lapse in appropriations was unable to hold the meeting. This notice jbell on DSK30RV082PROD with NOTICES SUMMARY: VerDate Sep<11>2014 18:18 Apr 11, 2019 Jkt 247001 announces that the meeting has been rescheduled to May 2, 2019. Stakeholders have expressed an interest in developing management objectives and a long-term management framework for PBF. In September 2018, the Pacific Fishery Management Council (PFMC) recommended that its Highly Migratory Species Management Team develop a long-term management strategy for PBF (See the PFMC’s ‘‘September 2018 Summary Decision’’ at https://www.pcouncil.org/wp-content/ uploads/2018/09/0918_Decision_ Summary_DocumentV2.pdf). During the stakeholder meeting rescheduled for May 2, 2019, NMFS will briefly review the current status of the stock and current management regime. NMFS will also solicit input from participants on potential management objectives, and strategies to achieve those objectives for the domestic PBF fishery. PBF U.S. Stakeholder Meeting Topics The PBF U.S. stakeholder meeting topics will include, but are not limited to, the following: (1) An overview of international management PBF and management of the U.S. PBF fishery; (2) Potential domestic management objectives; and, (3) Potential domestic management strategies. Special Accommodations The meeting location is physically accessible to people with disabilities. Requests for sign language interpretation or other auxiliary aids should be directed to Celia Barroso, at Celia.Barroso@noaa.gov or (562) 432– 1850, by April 22, 2019. Authority: 16 U.S.C. 951 et seq., 16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq., 16 U.S.C. 6901 et seq. Dated: April 9, 2019. Jennifer M. Wallace, Acting Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine Fisheries Service. [FR Doc. 2019–07311 Filed 4–11–19; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510–22–P DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration RIN 0648–XG915 Magnuson-Stevens Act Provisions; General Provisions for Domestic Fisheries; Application for Exempted Fishing Permits National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Commerce. AGENCY: PO 00000 Frm 00004 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 ACTION: Notice; request for comments. The Acting Assistant Regional Administrator for Sustainable Fisheries, Greater Atlantic Region, NMFS, has made a preliminary determination that an exempted fishing permit application submitted by the Cape Cod Commercial Fishermen’s Alliance contains all of the required information and warrants further consideration. This exempted fishing permit would require participants to use electronic monitoring systems on 100 percent of sector trips for catch accounting in the Northeast multispecies fishery; additionally, vessels would be authorized to access portions of Northeast multispecies closed areas. Regulations under the MagnusonStevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act require publication of this notification to provide interested parties the opportunity to comment on applications for proposed exempted fishing permits. DATES: Comments must be received on or before April 29, 2019. ADDRESSES: You may submit written comments by either of the following methods: • Email: nmfs.gar.efp@noaa.gov. Include in the subject line ‘‘100 PERCENT EM EFP.’’ • Mail: Michael Pentony, Regional Administrator, NMFS, Greater Atlantic Regional Fisheries Office, 55 Great Republic Drive, Gloucester, MA 01930. Mark the outside of the envelope ‘‘100 PERCENT EM EFP.’’ FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Spencer Talmage, Fishery Management Specialist, 978–281–9232. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Northeast multispecies (groundfish) sectors are required to implement and fund an atsea monitoring (ASM) program. Sectors may use electronic monitoring (EM) to satisfy this monitoring requirement, provided that NMFS deems the technology sufficient for catch monitoring. NMFS has yet to approve EM as a suitable alternative to ASM. However, NMFS is working with industry and other stakeholders to test the operational feasibility of EM and resolve outstanding barriers to implementation. Project partners include the Cape Cod Commercial Fishermen’s Alliance, The Nature Conservancy, the Maine Coast Fishermen’s Association, the Gulf of Maine Research Institute, and fishermen. In fishing year 2017, NMFS issued an exempted fishing permit (EFP) to these project partners to develop an auditmodel EM program for the groundfish SUMMARY: E:\FR\FM\12APN1.SGM 12APN1 jbell on DSK30RV082PROD with NOTICES Federal Register / Vol. 84, No. 71 / Friday, April 12, 2019 / Notices fishery. The EFP required vessels to use EM systems on 100 percent of groundfish sector trips to verify regulated groundfish discards. EM was used in lieu of human observers to meet their sector ASM requirements. Thirteen vessels using a variety of gear types (e.g., hook, benthic longline, sink gillnet, bottom trawl) participated in the project. A total of 81 trips were completed in fishing year 2017. The EFP was renewed in fishing year 2018, adding exemptions to allow participating vessels to fish in closed areas during certain times of the year. A total of 258 trips suitable for quota monitoring were completed during fishing year 2018. The project partners have submitted a renewal request for fishing year 2019. The proposed participant list includes 18 vessels, 16 of which participated in this EFP in fishing year 2018. Together, these vessels are expected to take an estimated 425 trips. The project partners expect that additional vessels may join the project in fishing year 2019. Vessels participating in this EFP would be exempt from the regulations requiring them to adhere to their sector’s ASM program, and instead would be required to use EM on 100 percent of groundfish trips. Camera systems would be used in lieu of human at-sea monitors, and in addition to Northeast Fishery Observer Program (NEFOP) observers. Vessels would adhere to a vessel-specific monitoring plan detailing at-sea catch handling protocols. Vessels would submit haullevel electronic vessel trip reports (eVTR) with count and weight estimates for all groundfish discards. Vessels would not be exempt from any other standard reporting and monitoring regulations. The discard estimates provided in the eVTR would be used for catch accounting, and all catch of allocated groundfish would be deducted from the appropriate sector’s allocation. The EM service provider would review the video footage and produce an EM summary report identifying, counting, and generating weight estimates for all groundfish discards. The provider would submit this report to NMFS. NMFS would compare the eVTR and EM summary file to ensure the submissions match within an established tolerance. If the trips do not match, the eVTR would not be used for catch accounting for that trip. For trips that carry a NEFOP observer, the NEFOP data would be used for catch accounting. In previous years, the EM service provider reviewed 100 percent of the video footage at the outset of the fishing VerDate Sep<11>2014 18:18 Apr 11, 2019 Jkt 247001 year with the option to reduce this percentage mid-year as part of auditmodel testing, with our approval. This option was never used. In fishing year 2019, based on statistical analysis of EFP trips from 2017 and 2018, the EM service provider would use a 50 percent audit target as part of audit model testing. Audit percentage may fluctuate as part of this testing, with our approval. Following the EM service provider’s review, the Northeast Fisheries Science Center would conduct a secondary review of the EM summary reports for a subset of trips. Because participating vessels would be fully monitored, project partners requested exemptions to access to closed areas, to incentivize participation and create additional fishing opportunities for healthy stocks. Vessels would be allowed to use hook gear and sink gillnets in Closed Area II from May 1 through February 15, hook gear in Western Gulf of Maine Closure Area, and jig gear in Cashes Ledge Closure Area. If approved, the applicant may request minor modifications and extensions to the EFP throughout the year. EFP modifications and extensions may be granted without further notice if they are deemed essential to facilitate completion of the proposed research and have minimal impacts that do not change the scope or impact of the initially approved EFP request. Any fishing activity conducted outside the scope of the exempted fishing activity would be prohibited. Authority: 16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq. Dated: April 9, 2019. Jennifer M. Wallace, Acting Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine Fisheries Service. [FR Doc. 2019–07280 Filed 4–11–19; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510–22–P DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration RIN 0648–XG927 Magnuson-Stevens Act Provisions; General Provisions for Domestic Fisheries; Application for Exempted Fishing Permits National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Commerce. ACTION: Notice; request for comments. AGENCY: The Acting Assistant Regional Administrator for Sustainable Fisheries, SUMMARY: PO 00000 Frm 00005 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 14915 Greater Atlantic Region, NMFS, has made a preliminary determination that an exempted fishing permit application submitted by The Nature Conservancy contains all of the required information and warrants further consideration. This exempted fishing permit would allow participants to use electronic monitoring systems in lieu of at-sea monitors in support of a study to develop electronic monitoring for catch monitoring in the Northeast multispecies fishery. Regulations under the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act require publication of this notification to provide interested parties the opportunity to comment on applications for proposed exempted fishing permits. Comments must be received on or before April 29, 2019. DATES: You may submit written comments by either of the following methods: • Email: nmfs.gar.efp@noaa.gov. Include in the subject line ‘‘TNC EM EFP RENEWAL.’’ • Mail: Michael Pentony, Regional Administrator, NMFS, Greater Atlantic Regional Fisheries Office, 55 Great Republic Drive, Gloucester, MA 01930. Mark the outside of the envelope ‘‘TNC EM EFP RENEWAL.’’ ADDRESSES: FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Maria Vasta, Fishery Management Specialist: 978–281–9196; maria.vasta@ noaa.gov. Northeast multispecies sectors are required to implement and fund an at-sea monitoring (ASM) program. Sectors may use electronic monitoring (EM) to satisfy this monitoring requirement, provided NMFS deems the technology sufficient for catch monitoring. NMFS has yet to approve EM as a suitable alternative to ASM. However, we are working with industry and other stakeholders to test the operational feasibility of EM and resolve outstanding issues that are barriers to implementation. In fishing year 2016, The Nature Conservancy, in partnership with the Cape Cod Commercial Fishermen’s Alliance, the Maine Coast Fishermen’s Association, the Gulf of Maine Research Institute, and fishermen enrolled in various groundfish sectors, obtained an exempted fishing permit (EFP) authorizing participant vessels to use EM in lieu of human observers to meet their ASM requirements. Project partners applied to renew this EFP in fishing years 2017 and 2018, and the EFP was reissued in both years. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: E:\FR\FM\12APN1.SGM 12APN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 84, Number 71 (Friday, April 12, 2019)]
[Notices]
[Pages 14914-14915]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2019-07280]


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DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

RIN 0648-XG915


Magnuson-Stevens Act Provisions; General Provisions for Domestic 
Fisheries; Application for Exempted Fishing Permits

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

ACTION: Notice; request for comments.

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SUMMARY: The Acting Assistant Regional Administrator for Sustainable 
Fisheries, Greater Atlantic Region, NMFS, has made a preliminary 
determination that an exempted fishing permit application submitted by 
the Cape Cod Commercial Fishermen's Alliance contains all of the 
required information and warrants further consideration. This exempted 
fishing permit would require participants to use electronic monitoring 
systems on 100 percent of sector trips for catch accounting in the 
Northeast multispecies fishery; additionally, vessels would be 
authorized to access portions of Northeast multispecies closed areas. 
Regulations under the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and 
Management Act require publication of this notification to provide 
interested parties the opportunity to comment on applications for 
proposed exempted fishing permits.

DATES: Comments must be received on or before April 29, 2019.

ADDRESSES: You may submit written comments by either of the following 
methods:
     Email: [email protected]. Include in the subject line 
``100 PERCENT EM EFP.''
     Mail: Michael Pentony, Regional Administrator, NMFS, 
Greater Atlantic Regional Fisheries Office, 55 Great Republic Drive, 
Gloucester, MA 01930. Mark the outside of the envelope ``100 PERCENT EM 
EFP.''

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Spencer Talmage, Fishery Management 
Specialist, 978-281-9232.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Northeast multispecies (groundfish) sectors 
are required to implement and fund an at-sea monitoring (ASM) program. 
Sectors may use electronic monitoring (EM) to satisfy this monitoring 
requirement, provided that NMFS deems the technology sufficient for 
catch monitoring. NMFS has yet to approve EM as a suitable alternative 
to ASM. However, NMFS is working with industry and other stakeholders 
to test the operational feasibility of EM and resolve outstanding 
barriers to implementation. Project partners include the Cape Cod 
Commercial Fishermen's Alliance, The Nature Conservancy, the Maine 
Coast Fishermen's Association, the Gulf of Maine Research Institute, 
and fishermen.
    In fishing year 2017, NMFS issued an exempted fishing permit (EFP) 
to these project partners to develop an audit-model EM program for the 
groundfish

[[Page 14915]]

fishery. The EFP required vessels to use EM systems on 100 percent of 
groundfish sector trips to verify regulated groundfish discards. EM was 
used in lieu of human observers to meet their sector ASM requirements. 
Thirteen vessels using a variety of gear types (e.g., hook, benthic 
longline, sink gillnet, bottom trawl) participated in the project. A 
total of 81 trips were completed in fishing year 2017. The EFP was 
renewed in fishing year 2018, adding exemptions to allow participating 
vessels to fish in closed areas during certain times of the year. A 
total of 258 trips suitable for quota monitoring were completed during 
fishing year 2018.
    The project partners have submitted a renewal request for fishing 
year 2019. The proposed participant list includes 18 vessels, 16 of 
which participated in this EFP in fishing year 2018. Together, these 
vessels are expected to take an estimated 425 trips. The project 
partners expect that additional vessels may join the project in fishing 
year 2019.
    Vessels participating in this EFP would be exempt from the 
regulations requiring them to adhere to their sector's ASM program, and 
instead would be required to use EM on 100 percent of groundfish trips. 
Camera systems would be used in lieu of human at-sea monitors, and in 
addition to Northeast Fishery Observer Program (NEFOP) observers. 
Vessels would adhere to a vessel-specific monitoring plan detailing at-
sea catch handling protocols. Vessels would submit haul-level 
electronic vessel trip reports (eVTR) with count and weight estimates 
for all groundfish discards. Vessels would not be exempt from any other 
standard reporting and monitoring regulations.
    The discard estimates provided in the eVTR would be used for catch 
accounting, and all catch of allocated groundfish would be deducted 
from the appropriate sector's allocation. The EM service provider would 
review the video footage and produce an EM summary report identifying, 
counting, and generating weight estimates for all groundfish discards. 
The provider would submit this report to NMFS. NMFS would compare the 
eVTR and EM summary file to ensure the submissions match within an 
established tolerance. If the trips do not match, the eVTR would not be 
used for catch accounting for that trip. For trips that carry a NEFOP 
observer, the NEFOP data would be used for catch accounting.
    In previous years, the EM service provider reviewed 100 percent of 
the video footage at the outset of the fishing year with the option to 
reduce this percentage mid-year as part of audit-model testing, with 
our approval. This option was never used. In fishing year 2019, based 
on statistical analysis of EFP trips from 2017 and 2018, the EM service 
provider would use a 50 percent audit target as part of audit model 
testing. Audit percentage may fluctuate as part of this testing, with 
our approval. Following the EM service provider's review, the Northeast 
Fisheries Science Center would conduct a secondary review of the EM 
summary reports for a subset of trips.
    Because participating vessels would be fully monitored, project 
partners requested exemptions to access to closed areas, to incentivize 
participation and create additional fishing opportunities for healthy 
stocks. Vessels would be allowed to use hook gear and sink gillnets in 
Closed Area II from May 1 through February 15, hook gear in Western 
Gulf of Maine Closure Area, and jig gear in Cashes Ledge Closure Area.
    If approved, the applicant may request minor modifications and 
extensions to the EFP throughout the year. EFP modifications and 
extensions may be granted without further notice if they are deemed 
essential to facilitate completion of the proposed research and have 
minimal impacts that do not change the scope or impact of the initially 
approved EFP request. Any fishing activity conducted outside the scope 
of the exempted fishing activity would be prohibited.

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

    Dated: April 9, 2019.
Jennifer M. Wallace,
Acting Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine 
Fisheries Service.
[FR Doc. 2019-07280 Filed 4-11-19; 8:45 am]
 BILLING CODE 3510-22-P