Fisheries of the Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico, and South Atlantic; Spiny Lobster Fishery of the Gulf of Mexico and South Atlantic; Amendment 13, 16233-16238 [2019-07110]

Download as PDF Federal Register / Vol. 84, No. 75 / Thursday, April 18, 2019 / Proposed Rules jbell on DSK30RV082PROD with PROPOSALS Based upon our review of these infrastructure SIP submissions and relevant statutory and regulatory authorities and provisions referenced in these submissions or referenced in the Albuquerque-Bernalillo County, New Mexico or New Mexico SIP, the EPA finds that New Mexico and Albuquerque-Bernalillo County have the infrastructure in place to address required elements of CAA sections 110(a)(1) and (2) to ensure that the 2015 O3 NAAQS are implemented throughout the State of New Mexico, including Albuquerque-Bernalillo County. We are also proposing to approve the submitted revisions to the New Mexico SIP that provide modifications to the NMAC and update the federally approved New Mexico SIP accordingly. The approved SIP revision will repeal the TSP NMAAQS from section 109 of 20.2.3 NMAC, as the EPA found that such a revision will not adversely affect the attainment of applicable CAA requirements. V. Statutory and Executive Order Reviews Under the CAA, the Administrator is required to approve a SIP submission that complies with the provisions of the Act and applicable Federal regulations. 42 U.S.C. 7410(k); 40 CFR 52.02(a). Thus, in reviewing SIP submissions, the EPA’s role is to approve state choices, provided that they meet the criteria of the CAA. Accordingly, this action merely proposes to approve state law as meeting Federal requirements and does not impose additional requirements beyond those imposed by state law. For that reason, this action: • Is not a ‘‘significant regulatory action’’ subject to review by the Office of Management and Budget under Executive Orders 12866 (58 FR 51735, October 4, 1993) and 13563 (76 FR 3821, January 21, 2011); • Is not an Executive Order 13771 (82 FR 9339, February 2, 2017) regulatory action because SIP approvals are exempted under Executive Order 12866; • Does not impose an information collection burden under the provisions of the Paperwork Reduction Act (44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq.); • Is certified as not having a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities under the Regulatory Flexibility Act (5 U.S.C. 601 et seq.); • Does not contain any unfunded mandate or significantly or uniquely affect small governments, as described in the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995 (Pub. L. 104–4); • Does not have federalism implications as specified in Executive VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:59 Apr 17, 2019 Jkt 247001 Order 13132 (64 FR 43255, August 10, 1999); • Is not an economically significant regulatory action based on health or safety risks subject to Executive Order 13045 (62 FR 19885, April 23, 1997); • Is not a significant regulatory action subject to Executive Order 13211 (66 FR 28355, May 22, 2001); • Is not subject to requirements of section 12(d) of the National Technology Transfer and Advancement Act of 1995 (15 U.S.C. 272 note) because application of those requirements would be inconsistent with the CAA; and • Does not provide EPA with the discretionary authority to address, as appropriate, disproportionate human health or environmental effects, using practicable and legally permissible methods, under Executive Order 12898 (59 FR 7629, February 16, 1994). In addition, the SIP is not approved to apply on any Indian reservation land or in any other area where EPA or an Indian tribe has demonstrated that a tribe has jurisdiction. In those areas of Indian country, the proposed rule does not have tribal implications and will not impose substantial direct costs on tribal governments or preempt tribal law as specified by Executive Order 13175 (65 FR 67249, November 9, 2000). List of Subjects in 40 CFR Part 52 Environmental protection, Air pollution control, Incorporation by reference, Intergovernmental relations, Ozone, Particulate matter, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements. Authority: 42 U.S.C. 7401 et seq. Dated: April 10, 2019. David Gray, Acting Regional Administrator, Region 6. [FR Doc. 2019–07582 Filed 4–17–19; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560–50–P DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration 50 CFR Part 622 [Docket No. 180713631–9275–01] RIN 0648–BI11 Fisheries of the Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico, and South Atlantic; Spiny Lobster Fishery of the Gulf of Mexico and South Atlantic; Amendment 13 National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Commerce. AGENCY: PO 00000 Frm 00017 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 16233 Proposed rule; request for comments. ACTION: The Gulf of Mexico (Gulf Council) and South Atlantic Fishery Management Councils (South Atlantic Council) (Councils) have submitted Amendment 13 to the Fishery Management Plan for Spiny Lobster in the Gulf of Mexico and South Atlantic (FMP), for review, approval, and implementation by NMFS. The purpose of Amendment 13 and this proposed rule is to align Federal regulations for spiny lobster that apply to the EEZ off Florida with Florida state regulations, re-establish a procedure for an enhanced cooperative management system, and update the regulations to aid law enforcement and the public. DATES: Written comments must be received on or before May 20, 2019. ADDRESSES: You may submit comments on the proposed rule identified by ‘‘NOAA–NMFS–2018–0088’’ by either of the following methods: • Electronic Submission: Submit all electronic public comments via the Federal e-Rulemaking Portal. Go to www.regulations.gov/ #!docketDetail;D=NOAA-NMFS-20180088, click the ‘‘Comment Now!’’ icon, complete the required fields, and enter or attach your comments. • Mail: Submit written comments to Susan Gerhart, Southeast Regional Office, NMFS, 263 13th Avenue South, St. Petersburg, FL 33701. • Instructions: Comments sent by any other method, to any other address or individual, or received after the end of the comment period, may not be considered by NMFS. 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), 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). Electronic copies of Amendment 13 may be obtained from the Southeast Regional Office website at https://www.fisheries.noaa.gov/action/ amendment-13-modifications-spinylobster-gear-requirements-andcooperative-management. Amendment 13 includes an environmental assessment, a fishery impact statement, a Regulatory Flexibility Act (RFA) analysis, and a regulatory impact review. SUMMARY: FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Susan Gerhart, Southeast Regional E:\FR\FM\18APP1.SGM 18APP1 16234 Federal Register / Vol. 84, No. 75 / Thursday, April 18, 2019 / Proposed Rules jbell on DSK30RV082PROD with PROPOSALS Office, NMFS, telephone: 727–824– 5305; email: Susan.Gerhart@noaa.gov. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: NMFS and the Councils manage the spiny lobster fishery under the FMP. The Councils prepared the FMP and NMFS implements the FMP through regulations at 50 CFR part 622 under the authority of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (Magnuson-Stevens Act) (16 U.S.C. 1801, et seq.). Background The Magnuson-Stevens Act requires NMFS and regional fishery management councils to prevent overfishing and achieve, on a continuing basis, the optimum yield from federally managed fish stocks. These mandates are intended to ensure that fishery resources are managed for the greatest overall benefit to the nation, particularly with respect to providing food production and recreational opportunities, while also protecting marine ecosystems. To further attain this goal, the Magnuson-Stevens Act requires fishery managers to consider, among other things, efficiency in the utilization of fishery resources. In the Gulf and South Atlantic, spiny lobster are harvested primarily off the coast of Florida. The original FMP, implemented in 1982, largely complemented Florida’s management measures and provided protection for the fishery throughout its range in the Gulf and the South Atlantic (47 FR 29202; July 2, 1982). However, it was difficult to keep Federal regulations consistent with changing state regulations because Florida can adjust its management measures more quickly than the Councils and NMFS can change Federal regulations. As a result, NMFS and the Councils developed Amendment 2 to the FMP (54 FR 48059; November 20, 1989), which established a procedure to allow Florida to directly propose to NMFS its state spiny lobster regulations for subsequent implementation in the EEZ off Florida. That procedure was developed to provide a more timely regulatory mechanism to implement compatible regulations and a more formal process for state and Federal coordination. In 2017, representatives from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission contacted the NMFS Southeast Regional Office requesting that Federal regulations be aligned with Florida state regulations concerning requirements for spiny lobster bully net gear and for daily commercial possession limits of spiny lobster harvested by bully net or diving. However, NMFS determined that the VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:59 Apr 17, 2019 Jkt 247001 cooperative management procedure that accompanied the spiny lobster protocol established in Amendment 2 was removed in Amendment 10 to the FMP (76 FR 75488; December 2, 2011). Consequently, there is no procedure to implement regulations proposed by Florida under the existing protocol without a plan amendment or framework to the FMP developed by the Councils. These more lengthy processes are inconsistent with promoting compatible regulations for the fishery off Florida. Management Measures Contained in This Proposed Rule This proposed rule would implement measures to modify the Federal regulations for the harvest of spiny lobster that apply in the EEZ off Florida to be compatible with Florida regulations concerning bully net gear requirements and commercial daily possession limits when using bully nets or diving. This rule would also clarify outdated language in the spiny lobster Federal regulations and update the incorporations by reference to the Florida regulations. In addition, Amendment 13 would re-establish a procedure for an enhanced cooperative management system to provide Florida a mechanism to propose spiny lobster regulations directly to NMFS for implementation, without the need to seek a full amendment or framework action to the FMP. Florida Bully Net Permit and Gear Marking Requirements and Prohibitions In 2017, Florida implemented a bully net permit, gear marking requirements, and gear prohibitions. There is limited information as to how much spiny lobster bully netting effort occurs in the Federal waters off Florida. However, stakeholders have expressed concerns that spiny lobster bully net vessels are used to disguise unlawful activities, and that there are growing conflicts between recreational bully netters and commercial bully netters. This proposed rule would align Federal and Florida bully net regulations to address these concerns. In addition, consistency between Florida and Federal regulations is expected to improve enforcement and reduce potential confusion among fishers. The proposed rule would require commercial bully net vessels in the EEZ off Florida to have a bully net permit from Florida, require that the vessel be marked with the harvester’s Florida bully net permit number using reflective paint or other reflective material, prohibit commercial bully net vessels from having trap pullers onboard, and PO 00000 Frm 00018 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 prohibit the simultaneous possession of a bully net and any underwater breathing apparatus (not including dive masks or snorkels) onboard a vessel used to harvest or transport spiny lobster for commercial purposes. Commercial Spiny Lobster Bully Net and Diving Trip Limits The Federal regulations do not include an express commercial daily vessel harvest and possession limit for spiny lobster harvested by bully net or diving. However, current Federal regulations require commercial spiny lobster harvesters in the EEZ off Florida to have the licenses and certificates specified to be a ‘‘commercial harvester,’’ as defined in Florida’s regulations as of 2008. The 2008 version of ‘‘commercial harvester’’ included a person holding the appropriate licenses and certificates for traps and dive gear. This proposed rule would incorporate by reference the most recent Florida regulations, which define a commercial harvester as a person who holds a valid saltwater products license with a restricted species endorsement issued by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) and (1) a valid crawfish license or trap number and lobster trap certificates, if traps are used to harvest spiny lobster; (2) a valid commercial dive permit if harvest is by diving; or (3) a valid bully net permit if harvest is by bully net. Under Florida’s regulations, commercial harvesters are restricted to the commercial harvest limits when bully net gear or dive gear is used. Therefore, bully net and dive fishers would be restricted to the state bag limit regardless of where the spiny lobster are harvested. However, to make the requirements in the EEZ off Florida more clear, this proposed rule would modify Federal regulations to specifically state that the commercial vessel limit for spiny lobster harvested by bully net off all Florida counties, and harvested by diving off Broward, Dade, Monroe, Collier, and Lee Counties, Florida, is 250 spiny lobster per vessel per day. Clarifications and Updates to Regulatory Language This proposed rule would also revise and clarify language in the spiny lobster Federal regulations. The rule would update the phone numbers and websites referenced in 50 CFR 622.413, and correct a typographic mistake in 50 CFR 622.415 by changing ‘‘forign’’ to ‘‘foreign.’’ Last, this rule would remove the phrase ‘‘during times other than the authorized fishing season’’ from 50 CFR 622.402(c)(1), to clarify that unmarked E:\FR\FM\18APP1.SGM 18APP1 Federal Register / Vol. 84, No. 75 / Thursday, April 18, 2019 / Proposed Rules Classification traps are illegal gear, regardless of the time of year, and may be removed in accordance with Florida regulations. jbell on DSK30RV082PROD with PROPOSALS Incorporation by Reference The proposed rule would update the incorporation by reference in 50 CFR 622.400(a)(1)(i) which provides the definition of commercial harvester. The proposed rule would also update the incorporation by reference of the Florida Administrative Code in 50 CFR 622.402(a)(1) and (2) to reflect the effective dates of the current Florida regulations, which mandate that vessel owners and/or operators who harvest spiny lobster by traps in the EEZ off Florida comply with Florida vessel and gear identification requirements. The proposed rule designates a new incorporation by reference which specifies vessel identification requirements for commercial spiny lobster harvesters who use bully nets to the paragraph added at 50 CFR 622.402(a)(3). It would similarly update the incorporation by reference of the Florida Administrative Code in 50 CFR 622.403(b)(3)(i) and 622.405(b)(2)(i) to reflect the effective dates of the current Florida regulations and address derelict spiny lobster traps as well as the requirements for lawful spiny lobster trap pulling, respectively. The proposed rule would add new incorporation by reference of the Florida Administrative Code, in 50 CFR 622.404(e) and 622.404(f), which address the alignment of management measures with Florida’s regulations, including prohibiting the simultaneous possession of a bully net and any underwater breathing apparatus, and prohibiting the possession of trap pullers, respectively, as discussed above. The Florida regulations are available at http://www.flrules.org and the Florida Division of Marine Fisheries Management, 620 South Meridian Street, Tallahassee, FL 32399 (telephone: 850–487–0554). Measures in Amendment 13 Not Codified Through This Proposed Rule In addition to the measures proposed in this rule, Amendment 13 would reestablish a procedure that is similar to the procedure established in Amendment 2, and combine it with the existing cooperative management protocol. The procedure established in Amendment 2 was removed in 2012 when Amendment 10 to the FMP established a new framework procedure. Without such a procedure, Florida cannot propose rules directly to NMFS, which, therefore, limits NMFS’ ability to implement consistent Federal regulations in a timely manner. VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:59 Apr 17, 2019 Jkt 247001 Pursuant to section 304(b)(1)(A) of the Magnuson-Stevens Act, the NMFS Assistant Administrator has determined that this proposed rule is consistent with Amendment 13, the FMP, the Magnuson-Stevens Act, and other applicable laws, subject to further consideration after public comment. This proposed rule has been determined to be not significant for purposes of Executive Order 12866. The Chief Counsel for Regulation of the Department of Commerce certified to the Chief Counsel for Advocacy of the Small Business Administration that this proposed rule, if adopted, would not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. The factual basis for this determination follows. A description of this proposed rule, why it is being considered, and the objectives of this proposed rule are contained in the preamble. The Magnuson-Stevens Act provides the statutory basis for this proposed rule. This proposed rule, if implemented, would apply to all commercial vessels that fish for or harvest spiny lobster in Federal waters off Florida. In the EEZ off Florida, anyone who possesses, sells, trades, or barters or attempts to sell, trade, or barter spiny lobster must have the appropriate licenses, permit, and certificates necessary to be a ‘‘commercial harvester,’’ as defined in the Florida Administrative Code. In the 2017/2018 fishing season, Florida issued 1,539 commercial spiny lobster licenses; this includes 261 commercial dive permits, and 445 commercial bully net permits. Data from the years of 2012 through 2016 were used in Amendment 13, and these data provided the basis for the Councils’ decisions. Although this proposed rule would apply to all commercial spiny lobster license holders in Florida, it is expected that those with reported landings of spiny lobster would be the most likely to be affected. On average from 2012 through 2016, there were 788 individual vessels identified that harvested spiny lobster in Florida each year. During this time, these vessels earned an average annual revenue of approximately $74,400 (2017 dollars), and spiny lobster accounted for 69 percent of this revenue. It is important to note that some commercial fishing businesses own (or lease) and operate more than one vessel. On average, from 2012 through 2016, there were 770 commercial fishing businesses identified with reported landings of spiny lobster in Florida. During this time, these businesses earned an average annual revenue of approximately PO 00000 Frm 00019 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 16235 $82,000 (2017 dollars), and spiny lobster accounted for 67 percent of this revenue. The maximum annual revenue from all species reported by a single one of these commercial fishing businesses from 2012 through 2016 was approximately $1.88 million (2017 dollars). For RFA purposes only, the 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. All of the commercial fishing businesses directly regulated by this proposed rule are believed to be small entities based on the NMFS size standard. No other small entities that would be directly affected by this proposed rule have been identified. This proposed rule would align Federal regulations to be more consistent with Florida regulations for spiny lobster harvesters. It would require that commercial bully net harvesters in the EEZ off Florida have a Florida bully net permit and properly mark their vessel with their bully net permit number using reflective paint or other reflective material. In addition, the proposed rule would prohibit commercial bully net vessels from having trap pullers on board. It would also prohibit the simultaneous possession of a bully net and underwater breathing apparatus (not including dive masks or snorkels) onboard a vessel used to harvest or transport spiny lobster for commercial purposes. These requirements would not be expected to alter the commercial harvest of spiny lobster and, therefore, no changes to ex-vessel revenue would be anticipated. The requirements would impose additional costs on bully net fishery participants if these participants only use the bully net gear in Federal waters; however, NMFS assumes there are few, if any, participants that fit this description. Because commercial spiny lobster harvesters fishing in the EEZ off Florida are already required to have both a Florida saltwater product license and spiny lobster license, and there is no additional cost for a bully net permit, this proposed rule would not be expected to increase permitting costs. The labor and supply costs associated with purchasing reflective paint or other reflective material and applying it to the E:\FR\FM\18APP1.SGM 18APP1 jbell on DSK30RV082PROD with PROPOSALS 16236 Federal Register / Vol. 84, No. 75 / Thursday, April 18, 2019 / Proposed Rules vessel hull would be expected to be minimal, as well. Finally, the gear prohibitions would reduce the flexibility of commercial vessels to switch between bully nets and other gear while fishing for spiny lobster in Federal waters. However, commercial vessels must already comply with Florida gear regulations in order to transit through Florida state waters while in possession of spiny lobster. Overall, bully net gear is not useful for harvesting spiny lobster at depths typically found in the EEZ, and it is highly likely that fishery participants would also use the gear in state waters off Florida, and thus would already need to comply with state regulations. In summary, any direct negative economic effects associated with the proposed bully net permitting requirements, vessel marking requirements, or gear prohibitions would be negligible. This proposed rule would also establish a commercial daily vessel harvest and possession limit of 250 per day per vessel for spiny lobsters harvested by bully net in or from the entire EEZ off Florida. This limit would be consistent with the harvest and possession limit for bully nets in Florida state waters. As discussed earlier, it is not likely that bully net gear is used to harvest spiny lobster in the EEZ off Florida, and most commercial bully netters would already be subject to state regulations. As such, the proposed harvest and possession limit would not be expected to alter the commercial harvest of spiny lobster, nor would it result in direct economic effects on any small entities. This proposed rule would similarly establish a commercial daily vessel harvest and possession limit of 250 per day per vessel for spiny lobsters harvested by diving in or from the EEZ only off Broward, Dade, Monroe, Collier, and Lee Counties, Florida. This limit would be consistent with the harvest and possession limit for commercial dive gear in Florida state waters off of those counties. Under existing Federal regulations, vessels that harvest spiny lobster in the EEZ off Florida using dive gear must have a Florida commercial spiny lobster dive permit; thus, they are already subject to the state limit. Therefore, the proposed harvest and possession limit would not be expected to alter the commercial harvest of spiny lobster, nor would it result in direct economic effects on any small entities. Finally, this proposed rule would establish an enhanced cooperative management procedure that allows Florida to request changes to the spiny VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:59 Apr 17, 2019 Jkt 247001 lobster Federal regulations through NMFS rulemaking, and combine the procedure with the existing protocol as specified in Amendment 10 to the FMP. This would be expected to streamline the regulatory process and result in a more timely implementation of regulatory changes requested by Florida; however, it is an administrative change only, and, as such, it would not have any direct economic effects on any small entities. The information provided above supports a determination that this proposed rule would not have a significant adverse economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. Because this rule, if implemented, is not expected to have a significant adverse economic impact on any small entities, an initial regulatory flexibility analysis is not required and none has been prepared. No duplicative, overlapping, or conflicting Federal rules have been identified. In addition, no new reporting or record-keeping requirements are introduced by this proposed rule. Accordingly, the Paperwork Reduction Act does not apply to this proposed rule. Authority: 16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq. List of Subjects in 50 CFR Part 622 Bully nets, Fisheries, Fishing, Florida, Gear, Gulf, Incorporation by reference, South Atlantic, Spiny lobster. Dated: April 4, 2019. Samuel D. Rauch, III, Deputy Assistant Administrator for Regulatory Programs, National Marine Fisheries Service. For the reasons set out in the preamble, 50 CFR part 622 is proposed to be amended as follows: PART 622—FISHERIES OF THE CARIBBEAN, GULF, AND SOUTH ATLANTIC 1. The authority citation for part 622 continues to read as follows: ■ Authority: 16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq. 2. In § 622.400, revise paragraph (a)(1)(i) to read as follows: ■ § 622.400 Permits and fees. (a) * * * (1) * * * (i) EEZ off Florida and spiny lobster landed in Florida. For a person to sell, trade, or barter, or attempt to sell, trade, or barter, a spiny lobster harvested or possessed in the EEZ off Florida, or harvested in the EEZ other than off Florida and landed from a fishing vessel in Florida, or for a person to be exempt from the daily bag and possession limit specified in § 622.408(b)(1) for such spiny lobster, PO 00000 Frm 00020 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 such person must have the licenses and certificates specified to be a ‘‘commercial harvester,’’ as defined in Rule 68B–24.002(4), Florida Administrative Code, in effect as of May 1, 2017 (incorporated by reference, see § 622.413). * * * * * ■ 3. In § 622.402, revise paragraphs (a) and (c)(1) to read as follows: § 622.402 Vessel and gear identification. (a) EEZ off Florida. (1) An owner or operator of a vessel that is used to harvest spiny lobster by traps in the EEZ off Florida must comply with the vessel and gear identification requirements specified in Rule 68B–24.006(3), (4), and (5), Florida Administrative Code, in effect as of May 1, 2017 (incorporated by reference, see § 622.413). (2) An owner or operator of a vessel that is used to harvest spiny lobster by diving in the EEZ off Florida must comply with the vessel identification requirements applicable to the harvesting of spiny lobsters by diving in Florida’s waters in Rule 68B–24.006(6), Florida Administrative Code, in effect as of May 1, 2017 (incorporated by reference, see § 622.413). (3) An owner or operator of a vessel that is used to harvest spiny lobster by bully net in the EEZ off Florida must comply with the vessel identification requirements applicable to the harvesting of spiny lobsters by bully net in Florida’s waters in Rule 68B– 24.006(7), Florida Administrative Code, in effect as of May 1, 2017 (incorporated by reference, see § 622.413). * * * * * (c) * * * (1) EEZ off Florida. Such trap or buoy, and any connecting lines will be considered derelict and may be disposed of in accordance with Rules 68B–55.002 and 68B–55.004 of the Florida Administrative Code, in effect as of October 15, 2007 (incorporated by reference, see § 622.413). An owner of such trap or buoy remains subject to appropriate civil penalties. * * * * * ■ 4. In § 622.403, revise paragraph (b)(3)(i) to read as follows: § 622.403 Seasons. * * * * * (b) * * * (3) * * * (i) In the EEZ off Florida, the rules and regulations applicable to the possession of spiny lobster traps in Florida’s waters in Rule 68B–24.005(3), (4), and (5), Florida Administrative Code, in effect as of November 1, 2018 (incorporated by reference, see § 622.413), apply in their entirety to the E:\FR\FM\18APP1.SGM 18APP1 Federal Register / Vol. 84, No. 75 / Thursday, April 18, 2019 / Proposed Rules possession of spiny lobster traps in the EEZ off Florida. A spiny lobster trap, buoy, or rope in the EEZ off Florida, during periods not authorized will be considered derelict and may be disposed of in accordance with Rules 68B–55.002 and 68B–55.004 of the Florida Administrative Code, in effect as of October 15, 2007 (incorporated by reference, see § 622.413). An owner of such trap, buoy, or rope remains subject to appropriate civil penalties. * * * * * ■ 5. In § 622.404, add paragraphs (e) and (f) to read as follows: § 622.404 Prohibited gear and methods. * * * * * (e) In the EEZ off Florida, simultaneous possession of a bully net and any underwater breathing apparatus, not including dive masks or snorkels, onboard a vessel used to harvest or transport spiny lobster for commercial purposes is prohibited in accordance with Rule 68B–24.007(5), Florida Administrative Code, in effect as of May 1, 2017 (incorporated by reference, see § 622.413). For the purpose of this paragraph, an ‘‘underwater breathing apparatus’’ is any apparatus, whether self-contained or connected to a distant source of air or other gas, whereby a person wholly or partially submerged in water is able to obtain or reuse air or any other gas or gasses for breathing without returning to the surface of the water. (f) In the EEZ off Florida, vessels that are or are required to be marked with or have identification associated with a bully net permit for the harvest of spiny lobster are prohibited from having trap pullers aboard, in accordance with Rule 68B–24.006(8), the Florida Administrative Code, in effect as of May 1, 2017 (incorporated by reference, see § 622.413). ■ 6. In § 622.405, revise paragraph (b)(2)(i) to read as follows: § 622.405 Trap construction specifications and tending restrictions. jbell on DSK30RV082PROD with PROPOSALS * * * * * (b) * * * (2) * * * (i) For traps in the EEZ off Florida, by the Division of Law Enforcement, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, in accordance with the procedures in Rule 68B–24.006(9), Florida Administrative Code, in effect as of May 1, 2017 (incorporated by reference, see § 622.413). * * * * * ■ 7. Revise § 622.408(b) to read as follows: VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:59 Apr 17, 2019 Jkt 247001 § 622.408 Bag/possession limits. (a) * * * (b) EEZ off Florida and off the Gulf states, other than Florida—(1) Commercial and recreational fishing season. Except as specified in paragraphs (b)(3) and (b)(4) of this section, during the commercial and recreational fishing season specified in § 622.403(b)(1), the daily bag or possession limit of spiny lobster in or from the EEZ off Florida and off the Gulf states, other than Florida, is six per person. (2) Special recreational fishing seasons. During the special recreational fishing seasons specified in § 622.403(b)(2), the daily bag or possession limit of spiny lobster— (i) In or from the EEZ off the Gulf states, other than Florida, is six per person; (ii) In or from the EEZ off Florida other than off Monroe County, Florida, is twelve per person; and (iii) In or from the EEZ off Monroe County, Florida, is six per person. (3) Exemption from the bag/ possession limit. During the commercial and recreational fishing season specified in § 622.403(b)(1), a person is exempt from the bag and possession limit specified in paragraph (b)(1) of this section, provided— (i) The harvest of spiny lobsters is by diving, or by the use of a bully net, hoop net, or spiny lobster trap; and (ii) The vessel from which the person is operating has on board the required licenses, certificates, or permits, as specified in § 622.400(a)(1). (4) Harvest by net or trawl. During the commercial and recreational fishing season specified in § 622.403(b)(1), aboard a vessel with the required licenses, certificates, or permits specified in § 622.400(a)(1) that harvests spiny lobster by net or trawl or has on board a net or trawl, the possession of spiny lobster in or from the EEZ off Florida and off the Gulf states, other than Florida, may not exceed at any time 5 percent, whole weight, of the total whole weight of all fish lawfully in possession on board such vessel. If such vessel lawfully possesses a separated spiny lobster tail, the possession of spiny lobster in or from the EEZ may not exceed at any time 1.6 percent, by weight of the spiny lobster or parts thereof, of the total whole weight of all fish lawfully in possession on board such vessel. For the purposes of this paragraph (b)(4), the term ‘‘net or trawl’’ does not include a hand-held net, a loading or dip net, a bully net, or a hoop net. (5) Harvest by diving. (i) The commercial daily harvest and PO 00000 Frm 00021 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 16237 possession limit of spiny lobster harvested by diving in or from the EEZ off Broward, Miami-Dade, Monroe, Collier, and Lee Counties, Florida, is 250 spiny lobster per vessel. (ii) Diving at night. The provisions of paragraph (b)(3) of this section notwithstanding, a person who harvests spiny lobster in the EEZ by diving at night, that is, from 1 hour after official sunset to 1 hour before official sunrise, is limited to the bag limit specified in paragraph (b)(1) of this section, whether or not a Federal vessel permit specified in § 622.400(a)(1) has been issued to and is on board the vessel from which the diver is operating. (6) Harvest by bully nets in the EEZ off Florida. The commercial daily harvest and possession limit of spiny lobster harvested by bully net in the EEZ off Florida is 250 spiny lobsters per vessel. * * * * * ■ 8. Revise § 622.412 introductory text to read as follows: § 622.412 Adjustment of management measures. In accordance with the framework procedures of the Fishery Management Plan for the Spiny Lobster Fishery of the Gulf of Mexico and South Atlantic, the RA may establish or modify the following items: * * * * * ■ 9. Amend § 622.413 by: ■ a. Revising paragraph (b) introductory text; ■ b. Revising paragraphs (b)(2) through (b)(4); ■ c. Redesignating paragraphs (b)(5) through (7) as (b)(6) through (8); ■ d. Adding new paragraph (b)(5); and ■ e. Revising paragraph (c) introductory text. The revisions and addition read as follows: § 622.413 Incorporation by reference (IBR). * * * * * (b) Florida Administrative Code (F.A.C.): Florida Division of Marine Fisheries Management, 620 South Meridian Street, Tallahassee, FL 32399; telephone: 850–487–0554; http:// www.flrules.org. * * * * * (2) F.A.C., Chapter 68B–24: Spiny lobster (crawfish) and slipper lobster, Rule 68B–24.002: Definitions, in effect as of May 1, 2017, IBR approved for § 622.400(a). (3) F.A.C., Chapter 68B–24: Spiny lobster (crawfish) and slipper lobster, Rule 68B–24.005: Seasons, in effect as of November 1, 2018, IBR approved for § 622.403(b). E:\FR\FM\18APP1.SGM 18APP1 16238 Federal Register / Vol. 84, No. 75 / Thursday, April 18, 2019 / Proposed Rules jbell on DSK30RV082PROD with PROPOSALS (4) F.A.C., Chapter 68B–24: Spiny lobster (crawfish) and slipper lobster, Rule 68B–24.006: Gear: Traps, Buoys, Identification Requirements, Prohibited Devices, in effect as of May 1, 2017, IBR approved for § 622.402(a), § 622.404(f), and § 622.405(b). (5) F.A.C., Chapter 68B–24: Spiny lobster (crawfish) and slipper lobster, Rule 68B–24.007: Other Prohibitions, in effect as of May 1, 2017, IBR approved for § 622.404(e). * * * * * VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:59 Apr 17, 2019 Jkt 247001 (c) Florida Statute: Florida Division of Marine Fisheries Management, 620 South Meridian Street, Tallahassee, FL 32399; telephone: 850–487–0554; http:// www.leg.state.fl.us/statutes/. * * * * * ■ 10. Amend § 622.415 by revising paragraph (a) and reserving paragraph (b) to read as follows: § 622.415 Limited exemption regarding harvest in waters of a foreign nation. (a) An owner or operator of a vessel that has legally harvested spiny lobsters PO 00000 Frm 00022 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 9990 in the waters of a foreign nation and possesses spiny lobster, or separated tails, in the EEZ incidental to such foreign harvesting is exempt from the requirements of this subpart, except for § 622.409 with which such an owner or operator must comply, provided proof of lawful harvest in the waters of a foreign nation accompanies such lobsters or tails. (b) [Reserved] [FR Doc. 2019–07110 Filed 4–17–19; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510–22–P E:\FR\FM\18APP1.SGM 18APP1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 84, Number 75 (Thursday, April 18, 2019)]
[Proposed Rules]
[Pages 16233-16238]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2019-07110]


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DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

50 CFR Part 622

[Docket No. 180713631-9275-01]
RIN 0648-BI11


Fisheries of the Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico, and South Atlantic; 
Spiny Lobster Fishery of the Gulf of Mexico and South Atlantic; 
Amendment 13

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

ACTION: Proposed rule; request for comments.

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SUMMARY: The Gulf of Mexico (Gulf Council) and South Atlantic Fishery 
Management Councils (South Atlantic Council) (Councils) have submitted 
Amendment 13 to the Fishery Management Plan for Spiny Lobster in the 
Gulf of Mexico and South Atlantic (FMP), for review, approval, and 
implementation by NMFS. The purpose of Amendment 13 and this proposed 
rule is to align Federal regulations for spiny lobster that apply to 
the EEZ off Florida with Florida state regulations, re-establish a 
procedure for an enhanced cooperative management system, and update the 
regulations to aid law enforcement and the public.

DATES: Written comments must be received on or before May 20, 2019.

ADDRESSES: You may submit comments on the proposed rule identified by 
``NOAA-NMFS-2018-0088'' by either of the following methods:
     Electronic Submission: Submit all electronic public 
comments via the Federal e-Rulemaking Portal. Go to 
www.regulations.gov/#!docketDetail;D=NOAA-NMFS-2018-0088, click the 
``Comment Now!'' icon, complete the required fields, and enter or 
attach your comments.
     Mail: Submit written comments to Susan Gerhart, Southeast 
Regional Office, NMFS, 263 13th Avenue South, St. Petersburg, FL 33701.
     Instructions: Comments sent by any other method, to any 
other address or individual, or received after the end of the comment 
period, may not be considered by NMFS. 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), 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). 
Electronic copies of Amendment 13 may be obtained from the Southeast 
Regional Office website at https://www.fisheries.noaa.gov/action/amendment-13-modifications-spiny-lobster-gear-requirements-and-cooperative-management. Amendment 13 includes an environmental 
assessment, a fishery impact statement, a Regulatory Flexibility Act 
(RFA) analysis, and a regulatory impact review.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Susan Gerhart, Southeast Regional

[[Page 16234]]

Office, NMFS, telephone: 727-824-5305; email: [email protected].

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: NMFS and the Councils manage the spiny 
lobster fishery under the FMP. The Councils prepared the FMP and NMFS 
implements the FMP through regulations at 50 CFR part 622 under the 
authority of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management 
Act (Magnuson-Stevens Act) (16 U.S.C. 1801, et seq.).

Background

    The Magnuson-Stevens Act requires NMFS and regional fishery 
management councils to prevent overfishing and achieve, on a continuing 
basis, the optimum yield from federally managed fish stocks. These 
mandates are intended to ensure that fishery resources are managed for 
the greatest overall benefit to the nation, particularly with respect 
to providing food production and recreational opportunities, while also 
protecting marine ecosystems. To further attain this goal, the 
Magnuson-Stevens Act requires fishery managers to consider, among other 
things, efficiency in the utilization of fishery resources.
    In the Gulf and South Atlantic, spiny lobster are harvested 
primarily off the coast of Florida. The original FMP, implemented in 
1982, largely complemented Florida's management measures and provided 
protection for the fishery throughout its range in the Gulf and the 
South Atlantic (47 FR 29202; July 2, 1982). However, it was difficult 
to keep Federal regulations consistent with changing state regulations 
because Florida can adjust its management measures more quickly than 
the Councils and NMFS can change Federal regulations. As a result, NMFS 
and the Councils developed Amendment 2 to the FMP (54 FR 48059; 
November 20, 1989), which established a procedure to allow Florida to 
directly propose to NMFS its state spiny lobster regulations for 
subsequent implementation in the EEZ off Florida. That procedure was 
developed to provide a more timely regulatory mechanism to implement 
compatible regulations and a more formal process for state and Federal 
coordination.
    In 2017, representatives from the Florida Fish and Wildlife 
Conservation Commission contacted the NMFS Southeast Regional Office 
requesting that Federal regulations be aligned with Florida state 
regulations concerning requirements for spiny lobster bully net gear 
and for daily commercial possession limits of spiny lobster harvested 
by bully net or diving. However, NMFS determined that the cooperative 
management procedure that accompanied the spiny lobster protocol 
established in Amendment 2 was removed in Amendment 10 to the FMP (76 
FR 75488; December 2, 2011). Consequently, there is no procedure to 
implement regulations proposed by Florida under the existing protocol 
without a plan amendment or framework to the FMP developed by the 
Councils. These more lengthy processes are inconsistent with promoting 
compatible regulations for the fishery off Florida.

Management Measures Contained in This Proposed Rule

    This proposed rule would implement measures to modify the Federal 
regulations for the harvest of spiny lobster that apply in the EEZ off 
Florida to be compatible with Florida regulations concerning bully net 
gear requirements and commercial daily possession limits when using 
bully nets or diving. This rule would also clarify outdated language in 
the spiny lobster Federal regulations and update the incorporations by 
reference to the Florida regulations. In addition, Amendment 13 would 
re-establish a procedure for an enhanced cooperative management system 
to provide Florida a mechanism to propose spiny lobster regulations 
directly to NMFS for implementation, without the need to seek a full 
amendment or framework action to the FMP.

Florida Bully Net Permit and Gear Marking Requirements and Prohibitions

    In 2017, Florida implemented a bully net permit, gear marking 
requirements, and gear prohibitions. There is limited information as to 
how much spiny lobster bully netting effort occurs in the Federal 
waters off Florida. However, stakeholders have expressed concerns that 
spiny lobster bully net vessels are used to disguise unlawful 
activities, and that there are growing conflicts between recreational 
bully netters and commercial bully netters. This proposed rule would 
align Federal and Florida bully net regulations to address these 
concerns. In addition, consistency between Florida and Federal 
regulations is expected to improve enforcement and reduce potential 
confusion among fishers.
    The proposed rule would require commercial bully net vessels in the 
EEZ off Florida to have a bully net permit from Florida, require that 
the vessel be marked with the harvester's Florida bully net permit 
number using reflective paint or other reflective material, prohibit 
commercial bully net vessels from having trap pullers onboard, and 
prohibit the simultaneous possession of a bully net and any underwater 
breathing apparatus (not including dive masks or snorkels) onboard a 
vessel used to harvest or transport spiny lobster for commercial 
purposes.

Commercial Spiny Lobster Bully Net and Diving Trip Limits

    The Federal regulations do not include an express commercial daily 
vessel harvest and possession limit for spiny lobster harvested by 
bully net or diving. However, current Federal regulations require 
commercial spiny lobster harvesters in the EEZ off Florida to have the 
licenses and certificates specified to be a ``commercial harvester,'' 
as defined in Florida's regulations as of 2008. The 2008 version of 
``commercial harvester'' included a person holding the appropriate 
licenses and certificates for traps and dive gear.
    This proposed rule would incorporate by reference the most recent 
Florida regulations, which define a commercial harvester as a person 
who holds a valid saltwater products license with a restricted species 
endorsement issued by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation 
Commission (FWC) and (1) a valid crawfish license or trap number and 
lobster trap certificates, if traps are used to harvest spiny lobster; 
(2) a valid commercial dive permit if harvest is by diving; or (3) a 
valid bully net permit if harvest is by bully net. Under Florida's 
regulations, commercial harvesters are restricted to the commercial 
harvest limits when bully net gear or dive gear is used. Therefore, 
bully net and dive fishers would be restricted to the state bag limit 
regardless of where the spiny lobster are harvested. However, to make 
the requirements in the EEZ off Florida more clear, this proposed rule 
would modify Federal regulations to specifically state that the 
commercial vessel limit for spiny lobster harvested by bully net off 
all Florida counties, and harvested by diving off Broward, Dade, 
Monroe, Collier, and Lee Counties, Florida, is 250 spiny lobster per 
vessel per day.

Clarifications and Updates to Regulatory Language

    This proposed rule would also revise and clarify language in the 
spiny lobster Federal regulations. The rule would update the phone 
numbers and websites referenced in 50 CFR 622.413, and correct a 
typographic mistake in 50 CFR 622.415 by changing ``forign'' to 
``foreign.'' Last, this rule would remove the phrase ``during times 
other than the authorized fishing season'' from 50 CFR 622.402(c)(1), 
to clarify that unmarked

[[Page 16235]]

traps are illegal gear, regardless of the time of year, and may be 
removed in accordance with Florida regulations.

Incorporation by Reference

    The proposed rule would update the incorporation by reference in 50 
CFR 622.400(a)(1)(i) which provides the definition of commercial 
harvester.
    The proposed rule would also update the incorporation by reference 
of the Florida Administrative Code in 50 CFR 622.402(a)(1) and (2) to 
reflect the effective dates of the current Florida regulations, which 
mandate that vessel owners and/or operators who harvest spiny lobster 
by traps in the EEZ off Florida comply with Florida vessel and gear 
identification requirements. The proposed rule designates a new 
incorporation by reference which specifies vessel identification 
requirements for commercial spiny lobster harvesters who use bully nets 
to the paragraph added at 50 CFR 622.402(a)(3). It would similarly 
update the incorporation by reference of the Florida Administrative 
Code in 50 CFR 622.403(b)(3)(i) and 622.405(b)(2)(i) to reflect the 
effective dates of the current Florida regulations and address derelict 
spiny lobster traps as well as the requirements for lawful spiny 
lobster trap pulling, respectively. The proposed rule would add new 
incorporation by reference of the Florida Administrative Code, in 50 
CFR 622.404(e) and 622.404(f), which address the alignment of 
management measures with Florida's regulations, including prohibiting 
the simultaneous possession of a bully net and any underwater breathing 
apparatus, and prohibiting the possession of trap pullers, 
respectively, as discussed above.
    The Florida regulations are available at http://www.flrules.org and 
the Florida Division of Marine Fisheries Management, 620 South Meridian 
Street, Tallahassee, FL 32399 (telephone: 850-487-0554).

Measures in Amendment 13 Not Codified Through This Proposed Rule

    In addition to the measures proposed in this rule, Amendment 13 
would re-establish a procedure that is similar to the procedure 
established in Amendment 2, and combine it with the existing 
cooperative management protocol. The procedure established in Amendment 
2 was removed in 2012 when Amendment 10 to the FMP established a new 
framework procedure. Without such a procedure, Florida cannot propose 
rules directly to NMFS, which, therefore, limits NMFS' ability to 
implement consistent Federal regulations in a timely manner.

Classification

    Pursuant to section 304(b)(1)(A) of the Magnuson-Stevens Act, the 
NMFS Assistant Administrator has determined that this proposed rule is 
consistent with Amendment 13, the FMP, the Magnuson-Stevens Act, and 
other applicable laws, subject to further consideration after public 
comment.
    This proposed rule has been determined to be not significant for 
purposes of Executive Order 12866.
    The Chief Counsel for Regulation of the Department of Commerce 
certified to the Chief Counsel for Advocacy of the Small Business 
Administration that this proposed rule, if adopted, would not have a 
significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. 
The factual basis for this determination follows.
    A description of this proposed rule, why it is being considered, 
and the objectives of this proposed rule are contained in the preamble. 
The Magnuson-Stevens Act provides the statutory basis for this proposed 
rule.
    This proposed rule, if implemented, would apply to all commercial 
vessels that fish for or harvest spiny lobster in Federal waters off 
Florida. In the EEZ off Florida, anyone who possesses, sells, trades, 
or barters or attempts to sell, trade, or barter spiny lobster must 
have the appropriate licenses, permit, and certificates necessary to be 
a ``commercial harvester,'' as defined in the Florida Administrative 
Code. In the 2017/2018 fishing season, Florida issued 1,539 commercial 
spiny lobster licenses; this includes 261 commercial dive permits, and 
445 commercial bully net permits. Data from the years of 2012 through 
2016 were used in Amendment 13, and these data provided the basis for 
the Councils' decisions. Although this proposed rule would apply to all 
commercial spiny lobster license holders in Florida, it is expected 
that those with reported landings of spiny lobster would be the most 
likely to be affected. On average from 2012 through 2016, there were 
788 individual vessels identified that harvested spiny lobster in 
Florida each year. During this time, these vessels earned an average 
annual revenue of approximately $74,400 (2017 dollars), and spiny 
lobster accounted for 69 percent of this revenue. It is important to 
note that some commercial fishing businesses own (or lease) and operate 
more than one vessel. On average, from 2012 through 2016, there were 
770 commercial fishing businesses identified with reported landings of 
spiny lobster in Florida. During this time, these businesses earned an 
average annual revenue of approximately $82,000 (2017 dollars), and 
spiny lobster accounted for 67 percent of this revenue. The maximum 
annual revenue from all species reported by a single one of these 
commercial fishing businesses from 2012 through 2016 was approximately 
$1.88 million (2017 dollars).
    For RFA purposes only, the 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. All of the commercial fishing 
businesses directly regulated by this proposed rule are believed to be 
small entities based on the NMFS size standard. No other small entities 
that would be directly affected by this proposed rule have been 
identified.
    This proposed rule would align Federal regulations to be more 
consistent with Florida regulations for spiny lobster harvesters. It 
would require that commercial bully net harvesters in the EEZ off 
Florida have a Florida bully net permit and properly mark their vessel 
with their bully net permit number using reflective paint or other 
reflective material. In addition, the proposed rule would prohibit 
commercial bully net vessels from having trap pullers on board. It 
would also prohibit the simultaneous possession of a bully net and 
underwater breathing apparatus (not including dive masks or snorkels) 
onboard a vessel used to harvest or transport spiny lobster for 
commercial purposes. These requirements would not be expected to alter 
the commercial harvest of spiny lobster and, therefore, no changes to 
ex-vessel revenue would be anticipated. The requirements would impose 
additional costs on bully net fishery participants if these 
participants only use the bully net gear in Federal waters; however, 
NMFS assumes there are few, if any, participants that fit this 
description. Because commercial spiny lobster harvesters fishing in the 
EEZ off Florida are already required to have both a Florida saltwater 
product license and spiny lobster license, and there is no additional 
cost for a bully net permit, this proposed rule would not be expected 
to increase permitting costs. The labor and supply costs associated 
with purchasing reflective paint or other reflective material and 
applying it to the

[[Page 16236]]

vessel hull would be expected to be minimal, as well. Finally, the gear 
prohibitions would reduce the flexibility of commercial vessels to 
switch between bully nets and other gear while fishing for spiny 
lobster in Federal waters. However, commercial vessels must already 
comply with Florida gear regulations in order to transit through 
Florida state waters while in possession of spiny lobster. Overall, 
bully net gear is not useful for harvesting spiny lobster at depths 
typically found in the EEZ, and it is highly likely that fishery 
participants would also use the gear in state waters off Florida, and 
thus would already need to comply with state regulations. In summary, 
any direct negative economic effects associated with the proposed bully 
net permitting requirements, vessel marking requirements, or gear 
prohibitions would be negligible.
    This proposed rule would also establish a commercial daily vessel 
harvest and possession limit of 250 per day per vessel for spiny 
lobsters harvested by bully net in or from the entire EEZ off Florida. 
This limit would be consistent with the harvest and possession limit 
for bully nets in Florida state waters. As discussed earlier, it is not 
likely that bully net gear is used to harvest spiny lobster in the EEZ 
off Florida, and most commercial bully netters would already be subject 
to state regulations. As such, the proposed harvest and possession 
limit would not be expected to alter the commercial harvest of spiny 
lobster, nor would it result in direct economic effects on any small 
entities.
    This proposed rule would similarly establish a commercial daily 
vessel harvest and possession limit of 250 per day per vessel for spiny 
lobsters harvested by diving in or from the EEZ only off Broward, Dade, 
Monroe, Collier, and Lee Counties, Florida. This limit would be 
consistent with the harvest and possession limit for commercial dive 
gear in Florida state waters off of those counties. Under existing 
Federal regulations, vessels that harvest spiny lobster in the EEZ off 
Florida using dive gear must have a Florida commercial spiny lobster 
dive permit; thus, they are already subject to the state limit. 
Therefore, the proposed harvest and possession limit would not be 
expected to alter the commercial harvest of spiny lobster, nor would it 
result in direct economic effects on any small entities.
    Finally, this proposed rule would establish an enhanced cooperative 
management procedure that allows Florida to request changes to the 
spiny lobster Federal regulations through NMFS rulemaking, and combine 
the procedure with the existing protocol as specified in Amendment 10 
to the FMP. This would be expected to streamline the regulatory process 
and result in a more timely implementation of regulatory changes 
requested by Florida; however, it is an administrative change only, 
and, as such, it would not have any direct economic effects on any 
small entities.
    The information provided above supports a determination that this 
proposed rule would not have a significant adverse economic impact on a 
substantial number of small entities. Because this rule, if 
implemented, is not expected to have a significant adverse economic 
impact on any small entities, an initial regulatory flexibility 
analysis is not required and none has been prepared.
    No duplicative, overlapping, or conflicting Federal rules have been 
identified. In addition, no new reporting or record-keeping 
requirements are introduced by this proposed rule. Accordingly, the 
Paperwork Reduction Act does not apply to this proposed rule.

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

List of Subjects in 50 CFR Part 622

    Bully nets, Fisheries, Fishing, Florida, Gear, Gulf, Incorporation 
by reference, South Atlantic, Spiny lobster.

    Dated: April 4, 2019.
Samuel D. Rauch, III,
Deputy Assistant Administrator for Regulatory Programs, National Marine 
Fisheries Service.
    For the reasons set out in the preamble, 50 CFR part 622 is 
proposed to be amended as follows:

PART 622--FISHERIES OF THE CARIBBEAN, GULF, AND SOUTH ATLANTIC

0
1. The authority citation for part 622 continues to read as follows:

    Authority:  16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq.
0
2. In Sec.  622.400, revise paragraph (a)(1)(i) to read as follows:


Sec.  622.400   Permits and fees.

    (a) * * * (1) * * * (i) EEZ off Florida and spiny lobster landed in 
Florida. For a person to sell, trade, or barter, or attempt to sell, 
trade, or barter, a spiny lobster harvested or possessed in the EEZ off 
Florida, or harvested in the EEZ other than off Florida and landed from 
a fishing vessel in Florida, or for a person to be exempt from the 
daily bag and possession limit specified in Sec.  622.408(b)(1) for 
such spiny lobster, such person must have the licenses and certificates 
specified to be a ``commercial harvester,'' as defined in Rule 68B-
24.002(4), Florida Administrative Code, in effect as of May 1, 2017 
(incorporated by reference, see Sec.  622.413).
* * * * *
0
3. In Sec.  622.402, revise paragraphs (a) and (c)(1) to read as 
follows:


Sec.  622.402   Vessel and gear identification.

    (a) EEZ off Florida. (1) An owner or operator of a vessel that is 
used to harvest spiny lobster by traps in the EEZ off Florida must 
comply with the vessel and gear identification requirements specified 
in Rule 68B-24.006(3), (4), and (5), Florida Administrative Code, in 
effect as of May 1, 2017 (incorporated by reference, see Sec.  
622.413).
    (2) An owner or operator of a vessel that is used to harvest spiny 
lobster by diving in the EEZ off Florida must comply with the vessel 
identification requirements applicable to the harvesting of spiny 
lobsters by diving in Florida's waters in Rule 68B-24.006(6), Florida 
Administrative Code, in effect as of May 1, 2017 (incorporated by 
reference, see Sec.  622.413).
    (3) An owner or operator of a vessel that is used to harvest spiny 
lobster by bully net in the EEZ off Florida must comply with the vessel 
identification requirements applicable to the harvesting of spiny 
lobsters by bully net in Florida's waters in Rule 68B-24.006(7), 
Florida Administrative Code, in effect as of May 1, 2017 (incorporated 
by reference, see Sec.  622.413).
* * * * *
    (c) * * *
    (1) EEZ off Florida. Such trap or buoy, and any connecting lines 
will be considered derelict and may be disposed of in accordance with 
Rules 68B-55.002 and 68B-55.004 of the Florida Administrative Code, in 
effect as of October 15, 2007 (incorporated by reference, see Sec.  
622.413). An owner of such trap or buoy remains subject to appropriate 
civil penalties.
* * * * *
0
4. In Sec.  622.403, revise paragraph (b)(3)(i) to read as follows:


Sec.  622.403   Seasons.

* * * * *
    (b) * * *
    (3) * * * (i) In the EEZ off Florida, the rules and regulations 
applicable to the possession of spiny lobster traps in Florida's waters 
in Rule 68B-24.005(3), (4), and (5), Florida Administrative Code, in 
effect as of November 1, 2018 (incorporated by reference, see Sec.  
622.413), apply in their entirety to the

[[Page 16237]]

possession of spiny lobster traps in the EEZ off Florida. A spiny 
lobster trap, buoy, or rope in the EEZ off Florida, during periods not 
authorized will be considered derelict and may be disposed of in 
accordance with Rules 68B-55.002 and 68B-55.004 of the Florida 
Administrative Code, in effect as of October 15, 2007 (incorporated by 
reference, see Sec.  622.413). An owner of such trap, buoy, or rope 
remains subject to appropriate civil penalties.
* * * * *
0
5. In Sec.  622.404, add paragraphs (e) and (f) to read as follows:


Sec.  622.404   Prohibited gear and methods.

* * * * *
    (e) In the EEZ off Florida, simultaneous possession of a bully net 
and any underwater breathing apparatus, not including dive masks or 
snorkels, onboard a vessel used to harvest or transport spiny lobster 
for commercial purposes is prohibited in accordance with Rule 68B-
24.007(5), Florida Administrative Code, in effect as of May 1, 2017 
(incorporated by reference, see Sec.  622.413). For the purpose of this 
paragraph, an ``underwater breathing apparatus'' is any apparatus, 
whether self-contained or connected to a distant source of air or other 
gas, whereby a person wholly or partially submerged in water is able to 
obtain or reuse air or any other gas or gasses for breathing without 
returning to the surface of the water.
    (f) In the EEZ off Florida, vessels that are or are required to be 
marked with or have identification associated with a bully net permit 
for the harvest of spiny lobster are prohibited from having trap 
pullers aboard, in accordance with Rule 68B-24.006(8), the Florida 
Administrative Code, in effect as of May 1, 2017 (incorporated by 
reference, see Sec.  622.413).
0
6. In Sec.  622.405, revise paragraph (b)(2)(i) to read as follows:


Sec.  622.405   Trap construction specifications and tending 
restrictions.

* * * * *
    (b) * * *
    (2) * * *
    (i) For traps in the EEZ off Florida, by the Division of Law 
Enforcement, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, in 
accordance with the procedures in Rule 68B-24.006(9), Florida 
Administrative Code, in effect as of May 1, 2017 (incorporated by 
reference, see Sec.  622.413).
* * * * *
0
7. Revise Sec.  622.408(b) to read as follows:


Sec.  622.408   Bag/possession limits.

    (a) * * *
    (b) EEZ off Florida and off the Gulf states, other than Florida--
(1) Commercial and recreational fishing season. Except as specified in 
paragraphs (b)(3) and (b)(4) of this section, during the commercial and 
recreational fishing season specified in Sec.  622.403(b)(1), the daily 
bag or possession limit of spiny lobster in or from the EEZ off Florida 
and off the Gulf states, other than Florida, is six per person.
    (2) Special recreational fishing seasons. During the special 
recreational fishing seasons specified in Sec.  622.403(b)(2), the 
daily bag or possession limit of spiny lobster--
    (i) In or from the EEZ off the Gulf states, other than Florida, is 
six per person;
    (ii) In or from the EEZ off Florida other than off Monroe County, 
Florida, is twelve per person; and
    (iii) In or from the EEZ off Monroe County, Florida, is six per 
person.
    (3) Exemption from the bag/possession limit. During the commercial 
and recreational fishing season specified in Sec.  622.403(b)(1), a 
person is exempt from the bag and possession limit specified in 
paragraph (b)(1) of this section, provided--
    (i) The harvest of spiny lobsters is by diving, or by the use of a 
bully net, hoop net, or spiny lobster trap; and
    (ii) The vessel from which the person is operating has on board the 
required licenses, certificates, or permits, as specified in Sec.  
622.400(a)(1).
    (4) Harvest by net or trawl. During the commercial and recreational 
fishing season specified in Sec.  622.403(b)(1), aboard a vessel with 
the required licenses, certificates, or permits specified in Sec.  
622.400(a)(1) that harvests spiny lobster by net or trawl or has on 
board a net or trawl, the possession of spiny lobster in or from the 
EEZ off Florida and off the Gulf states, other than Florida, may not 
exceed at any time 5 percent, whole weight, of the total whole weight 
of all fish lawfully in possession on board such vessel. If such vessel 
lawfully possesses a separated spiny lobster tail, the possession of 
spiny lobster in or from the EEZ may not exceed at any time 1.6 
percent, by weight of the spiny lobster or parts thereof, of the total 
whole weight of all fish lawfully in possession on board such vessel. 
For the purposes of this paragraph (b)(4), the term ``net or trawl'' 
does not include a hand-held net, a loading or dip net, a bully net, or 
a hoop net.
    (5) Harvest by diving. (i) The commercial daily harvest and 
possession limit of spiny lobster harvested by diving in or from the 
EEZ off Broward, Miami-Dade, Monroe, Collier, and Lee Counties, 
Florida, is 250 spiny lobster per vessel.
    (ii) Diving at night. The provisions of paragraph (b)(3) of this 
section notwithstanding, a person who harvests spiny lobster in the EEZ 
by diving at night, that is, from 1 hour after official sunset to 1 
hour before official sunrise, is limited to the bag limit specified in 
paragraph (b)(1) of this section, whether or not a Federal vessel 
permit specified in Sec.  622.400(a)(1) has been issued to and is on 
board the vessel from which the diver is operating.
    (6) Harvest by bully nets in the EEZ off Florida. The commercial 
daily harvest and possession limit of spiny lobster harvested by bully 
net in the EEZ off Florida is 250 spiny lobsters per vessel.
* * * * *
0
8. Revise Sec.  622.412 introductory text to read as follows:


Sec.  622.412   Adjustment of management measures.

    In accordance with the framework procedures of the Fishery 
Management Plan for the Spiny Lobster Fishery of the Gulf of Mexico and 
South Atlantic, the RA may establish or modify the following items:
* * * * *
0
9. Amend Sec.  622.413 by:
0
a. Revising paragraph (b) introductory text;
0
b. Revising paragraphs (b)(2) through (b)(4);
0
c. Redesignating paragraphs (b)(5) through (7) as (b)(6) through (8);
0
d. Adding new paragraph (b)(5); and
0
e. Revising paragraph (c) introductory text.
    The revisions and addition read as follows:


Sec.  622.413   Incorporation by reference (IBR).

* * * * *
    (b) Florida Administrative Code (F.A.C.): Florida Division of 
Marine Fisheries Management, 620 South Meridian Street, Tallahassee, FL 
32399; telephone: 850-487-0554; http://www.flrules.org.
* * * * *
    (2) F.A.C., Chapter 68B-24: Spiny lobster (crawfish) and slipper 
lobster, Rule 68B-24.002: Definitions, in effect as of May 1, 2017, IBR 
approved for Sec.  622.400(a).
    (3) F.A.C., Chapter 68B-24: Spiny lobster (crawfish) and slipper 
lobster, Rule 68B-24.005: Seasons, in effect as of November 1, 2018, 
IBR approved for Sec.  622.403(b).

[[Page 16238]]

    (4) F.A.C., Chapter 68B-24: Spiny lobster (crawfish) and slipper 
lobster, Rule 68B-24.006: Gear: Traps, Buoys, Identification 
Requirements, Prohibited Devices, in effect as of May 1, 2017, IBR 
approved for Sec.  622.402(a), Sec.  622.404(f), and Sec.  622.405(b).
    (5) F.A.C., Chapter 68B-24: Spiny lobster (crawfish) and slipper 
lobster, Rule 68B-24.007: Other Prohibitions, in effect as of May 1, 
2017, IBR approved for Sec.  622.404(e).
* * * * *
    (c) Florida Statute: Florida Division of Marine Fisheries 
Management, 620 South Meridian Street, Tallahassee, FL 32399; 
telephone: 850-487-0554; http://www.leg.state.fl.us/statutes/.
* * * * *
0
10. Amend Sec.  622.415 by revising paragraph (a) and reserving 
paragraph (b) to read as follows:


Sec.  622.415   Limited exemption regarding harvest in waters of a 
foreign nation.

    (a) An owner or operator of a vessel that has legally harvested 
spiny lobsters in the waters of a foreign nation and possesses spiny 
lobster, or separated tails, in the EEZ incidental to such foreign 
harvesting is exempt from the requirements of this subpart, except for 
Sec.  622.409 with which such an owner or operator must comply, 
provided proof of lawful harvest in the waters of a foreign nation 
accompanies such lobsters or tails.
    (b) [Reserved]

[FR Doc. 2019-07110 Filed 4-17-19; 8:45 am]
 BILLING CODE 3510-22-P