Fisheries of the Northeastern United States; Atlantic Mackerel, Squid, and Butterfish Fisheries; Specifications, 18471-18473 [2019-08761]

Download as PDF Federal Register / Vol. 84, No. 84 / Wednesday, May 1, 2019 / Proposed Rules Privacy Act In accordance with 5 U.S.C. 553(c), DOT solicits comments from the public to better inform its rulemaking process. DOT posts these comments, without edit, to www.regulations.gov, as described in the system of records notice, DOT/ALL–14 FDMS, accessible through www.dot.gov/privacy. To facilitate comment tracking and response, we encourage commenters to provide their name, or the name of their organization; however, submission of names is completely optional. Whether or not commenters identify themselves, all timely comments will be fully considered. If you wish to provide comments containing proprietary or confidential information, please contact the agency for alternate submission instructions. (Authority: 49 CFR Sections 1.92 and 1.93) * * * * * Dated: April 26, 2019. By Order of the Maritime Administrator. T. Mitchell Hudson, Jr., Secretary, Maritime Administration. [FR Doc. 2019–08857 Filed 4–30–19; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910–81–P DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration 50 CFR Part 648 [Docket No. 181129999–9376–01] RIN 0648–XG657 Fisheries of the Northeastern United States; Atlantic Mackerel, Squid, and Butterfish Fisheries; Specifications National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Commerce. ACTION: Proposed rule, request for comments. AGENCY: NMFS proposes new Illex squid specifications, while maintaining previously approved longfin squid and butterfish specifications for the 2019 fishing year. NMFS previously set specifications for all three species for 2018–2020 but proposes to increase the 2019 Illex squid acceptable biological catch by 2,000 mt based on updated scientific advice. No changes to the previously approved 2019 longfin squid or butterfish specifications are proposed in this action. This action is necessary to specify catch levels for the Illex squid fishery based on updated information jbell on DSK30RV082PROD with PROPOSALS SUMMARY: VerDate Sep<11>2014 18:57 Apr 30, 2019 Jkt 247001 on allowable catch levels and to provide notice that NMFS is maintaining the previously approved longfin squid and butterfish specifications. These proposed specifications are intended to promote the sustainable utilization and conservation of the squid and butterfish resources. DATES: Public comments must be received by May 31, 2019. ADDRESSES: Copies of supporting documents used by the Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council, including the Environmental Assessment (EA), the Supplemental Information Report (SIR), the Regulatory Impact Review (RIR), and the Regulatory Flexibility Act (RFA) analysis are available from: Dr. Christopher M. Moore, Executive Director, Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council, 800 North State Street, Suite 201, Dover, DE 19901, telephone (302) 674–2331. The EA/RIR/ RFA analysis is also accessible via the internet at www.regulations.gov/ #!docketDetail;D=NOAA-NMFS-20180135. You may submit comments, identified by NOAA–NMFS–2018–0135, by any 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-20180135, click the ‘‘Comment Now!’’ icon, complete the required fields, and enter or attach your comments. • Mail: Submit written comments to NMFS, Greater Atlantic Regional Fisheries Office, 55 Great Republic Drive, Gloucester, MA 01930. Mark the outside of the envelope ‘‘Comments on 2019 MSB Specifications.’’ • Fax: 978–281–9135; Attn: Douglas Christel. 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, 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). FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Douglas Christel, Fishery Policy Analyst, (978) 281–9141, fax (978) 281– 9135. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: PO 00000 Frm 00058 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 18471 Background This rule proposes specifications, which are the combined suite of commercial and recreational catch levels established for one or more fishing years, for Illex squid. Section 302(g)(1)(B) of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act states that the Scientific and Statistical Committee (SSC) for each regional fishery management council shall provide its Council ongoing scientific advice for fishery management decisions, including recommendations for acceptable biological catch (ABC), preventing overfishing, ensuring maximum sustainable yield, and achieving rebuilding targets. The ABC is a level of catch that accounts for the scientific uncertainty in the estimate of the stock’s defined overfishing level (OFL). The regulations implementing the Atlantic Mackerel, Squid, and Butterfish Fishery Management Plan (FMP) require the Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council’s Atlantic Mackerel, Squid, and Butterfish Monitoring Committee to develop specification recommendations for each species based upon the ABC advice of the Council’s SSC. The FMP regulations also require the specification of annual catch limits (ACL) and accountability measure (AM) provisions for butterfish. Both squid species are exempt from the ACL/AM requirements because they have a life cycle of less than one year. In addition, the regulations require the specification of domestic annual harvest (DAH), domestic annual processing (DAP), total allowable level of foreign fishing (TALFF), joint venture processing (JVP), commercial and recreational annual catch targets (ACT), the butterfish mortality cap in the longfin squid fishery, and initial optimum yield (IOY) for both squid species. On March 1, 2018 (83 FR 8764), we published a final rule in the Federal Register implementing Illex and longfin squid and butterfish specifications for 2018 and projected specifications for fishing years 2019 and 2020. Since then, the Council’s SSC met on May 8, 2018, to reevaluate the 2019 specifications based upon the latest information. At that meeting, the SSC concluded that no adjustments to these specifications were warranted. However, the SSC met again on September 18, 2018, at the request of the Council to reevaluate its Illex squid specification recommendation and consider increasing the 2019 Illex landing limit given the fishery had fully harvested available quotas in both the 2017 and 2018 fishing years. The SSC reiterated its observation that landings E:\FR\FM\01MYP1.SGM 01MYP1 18472 Federal Register / Vol. 84, No. 84 / Wednesday, May 1, 2019 / Proposed Rules jbell on DSK30RV082PROD with PROPOSALS up to 26,000 mt have not caused harm to the Illex stock. It concluded that raising the Illex squid ABC to 26,000 mt for 2019 and maybe 2020 would not likely result in a greater than 40 percent chance of overfishing this stock. On October 3, 2018, the Council adopted the updated SSC recommendations for a 26,000-mt Illex squid ABC in 2019 and 2020, but did not recommend any changes to the previously approved 2019 specifications for longfin squid and butterfish. The Council submitted its recommendations, as summarized below, along with the required analyses, for initial agency review on February 11, 2019. NMFS must review the Council’s recommendations for compliance with the FMP and applicable law, and conduct notice-and-comment rulemaking to propose and implement the final specifications. This action does not consider revisions to existing specifications for Atlantic mackerel. On August 13, 2018, the Council approved Framework Adjustment 13 to the FMP. This action includes a rebuilding program for Atlantic mackerel and annual specifications for 2019–2021. We will publish a separate proposed rule in the Federal Register to solicit public input on the specifications for the Atlantic mackerel fishery. Until new specifications are implemented, the existing Atlantic mackerel, longfin squid, and butterfish specifications, as described below, will continue pursuant to 50 CFR 648.22(d)(1). 2019 Longfin Squid Specifications This action maintains the existing longfin squid ABC of 23,400 mt for 2019, as implemented on March 1, 2018 (83 FR 8764). The background for this ABC is discussed in the proposed rule to implement the 2018–2020 squid and butterfish specifications (December 13, 2017; 82 FR 58583) and is not repeated here. The IOY, DAH, and DAP are calculated by deducting an estimated discard rate (2.0 percent) from the ABC. This results in a 2019 IOY, DAH, and DAP of 22,932 mt (Table 1). This action also maintains the existing allocation of longfin squid DAH among trimesters according to percentages specified in the FMP (Table 2). The Council will review these specifications during its annual specifications process following annual data updates each spring, and may change its recommendation for 2020 if new information is available. TABLE 1—2019 LONGFIN SQUID SPECIFICATIONS IN METRIC TONS (mt) OFL ........................................... ABC .......................................... VerDate Sep<11>2014 18:57 Apr 30, 2019 Unknown. 23,400. Jkt 247001 TABLE 1—2019 LONGFIN SQUID SPEC- Proposed 2019 Illex Squid IFICATIONS IN METRIC TONS (mt)— Specifications Continued Consistent with the Council’s IOY ........................................... DAH/DAP .................................. 22,932. 22,932. TABLE 2—2019 LONGFIN QUOTA TRIMESTER ALLOCATIONS Trimester Percent I (Jan–Apr) ........ II (May–Aug) ..... III (Sep–Dec) .... 43 17 40 Metric tons 9,861 3,898 9,173 2019 Butterfish Specifications This action also maintains the previously approved 2019 butterfish specifications outlined in Table 3, as implemented on March 1, 2018 (83 FR 8764). The background for these specifications is discussed in the proposed rule to implement the 2018– 2020 squid and butterfish specifications (December 13, 2017; 82 FR 58583) and is not repeated here. In summary, the 2019 butterfish specifications are based on long-term recruitment estimates and include a 7.5 percent management uncertainty buffer and an estimated discard rate of 2.4 percent. These specifications maintain the existing butterfish mortality cap in the longfin squid fishery (3,884 mt) and the existing allocation of the butterfish mortality cap among longfin squid trimesters (Table 4). recommendation summarized above, NMFS proposes to increase the 2019 Illex ABC from 24,000 mt to 26,000 mt. The Council recommended that the ABC be reduced by the status quo discard rate of 4.52 percent, which results in a 2019 IOY, DAH, and DAP of 24,825 mt (Table 5), an increase of 8 percent compared to 2018 levels (22,915 mt). The Council will review this decision during its annual specifications process following annual data updates each spring, and may change its recommendations for 2020 if new information is available. TABLE 5—PROPOSED 2019 Illex SQUID SPECIFICATIONS IN METRIC TON (mt) OFL ........................................... ABC .......................................... IOY ........................................... DAH/DAP .................................. Unknown. 26,000. 24,825. 24,825. 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 the Atlantic Mackerel, Squid, and Butterfish FMP, other provisions of the Magnuson-Stevens Act, and other applicable law, subject to further consideration after public comment. This action is exempt from review under E.O. 12866. This proposed rule is TABLE 3—2019 BUTTERFISH SPECIFICATIONS IN METRIC TONS (mt) not expected to be an Executive Order 13771 regulatory action because this proposed rule is exempt from E.O. 12866. OFL ..................................................... 37,637 The Chief Counsel for Regulation of ACL = ABC .......................................... 27,108 the Department of Commerce certified Commercial ACT (ABC—management uncertainty buffers for each year) ... 25,075 to the Chief Counsel for Advocacy of the Small Business Administration that this DAH (ACT minus butterfish cap and discards) .......................................... 20,061 proposed rule, if adopted, would not Directed Fishery closure limit have a significant economic impact on (DAH¥1,000 mt incidental landings buffer) .............................................. 19,061 a substantial number of small entities. The purpose, context, and statutory Butterfish Cap (in the longfin squid fishery) ............................................. 3,884 basis for this action is described above and not repeated here. Business entities affected by this action include vessels TABLE 4—TRIMESTER ALLOCATION OF that are issued limited access longfin BUTTERFISH MORTALITY CAP ON squid, Illex squid, and butterfish THE LONGFIN SQUID FISHERY FOR permits. Although vessels issued open 2019 access incidental catch permits for these species are also potentially affected by Trimester Percent Metric tons this action, because these vessels land only small amounts of squid and I (Jan–Apr) ........ 43 1,670 butterfish and this action would not II (May–Aug) ..... 17 660 revise the amount of squid and III (Sep–Dec) .... 40 1,554 butterfish that these vessels can land, Total ........... 100 3,844 these entities would not be affected by this proposed rule. PO 00000 Frm 00059 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 E:\FR\FM\01MYP1.SGM 01MYP1 Federal Register / Vol. 84, No. 84 / Wednesday, May 1, 2019 / Proposed Rules jbell on DSK30RV082PROD with PROPOSALS Any entity with combined annual fishery landing receipts less than $11 million is considered a small entity based on standards published in the Federal Register (80 FR 81194, December 29, 2015). In 2017, 63 separate vessels were issued limited access Illex squid permits in 2017. These vessels were owned by 51 entities, 45 of which earned less than $11 million in revenue and were small business entities that would be affected by this action. Average revenues for these entities was $2.0 million in 2017. The previously approved longfin squid and butterfish commercial landing limits would not be changed by this proposed action, while the commercial Illex squid landing limit would be increased by 8 percent (1,910 mt). Fishing revenue and, therefore, economic impacts of yearly Illex squid specifications depend upon species availability, which may change yearly. For example, the Illex squid fishery VerDate Sep<11>2014 18:57 Apr 30, 2019 Jkt 247001 landed 14.7 million lb in 2016 for a value of $7.2 million, yet landed over 49.6 million lb in 2017 for a value of just over $22 million. The proposed 1,910-mt increase in the 2019 Illex squid landing limit would increase fishing revenue by nearly $1.9 million compared to the 2018 landing limit if the fishery lands all available quota. If the fishery fully harvests the proposed 2019 commercial landing limit, it could generate approximately $25 million in fishing revenue based on 2016 prices. In determining the significance of the economic impacts of the proposed action, we considered the following two criteria outlined in applicable National Marine Fisheries Service guidance: Disproportionality and profitability. The proposed measures would not place a substantial number of small entities at a significant competitive disadvantage to large entities; all entities affected by this action would be equally affected. PO 00000 Frm 00060 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 9990 18473 Accordingly, there are no distributional economic effects from this action between small and large entities. Proposed measures would not reduce fishing opportunities based on recent squid and butterfish landings, change any entity’s access to these resources, or impose any costs to affected entities. Therefore, this action would not reduce revenues or profit for affected entities compared to recent levels. Based on the above justification, the proposed action is not expected to have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. Authority: 16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq. Dated: April 24, 2019. Samuel D. Rauch, III, Deputy Assistant Administrator for Regulatory Programs, National Marine Fisheries Service. [FR Doc. 2019–08761 Filed 4–30–19; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510–22–P E:\FR\FM\01MYP1.SGM 01MYP1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 84, Number 84 (Wednesday, May 1, 2019)]
[Proposed Rules]
[Pages 18471-18473]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2019-08761]


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DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

50 CFR Part 648

[Docket No. 181129999-9376-01]
RIN 0648-XG657


Fisheries of the Northeastern United States; Atlantic Mackerel, 
Squid, and Butterfish Fisheries; Specifications

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

ACTION: Proposed rule, request for comments.

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

SUMMARY: NMFS proposes new Illex squid specifications, while 
maintaining previously approved longfin squid and butterfish 
specifications for the 2019 fishing year. NMFS previously set 
specifications for all three species for 2018-2020 but proposes to 
increase the 2019 Illex squid acceptable biological catch by 2,000 mt 
based on updated scientific advice. No changes to the previously 
approved 2019 longfin squid or butterfish specifications are proposed 
in this action. This action is necessary to specify catch levels for 
the Illex squid fishery based on updated information on allowable catch 
levels and to provide notice that NMFS is maintaining the previously 
approved longfin squid and butterfish specifications. These proposed 
specifications are intended to promote the sustainable utilization and 
conservation of the squid and butterfish resources.

DATES: Public comments must be received by May 31, 2019.

ADDRESSES: Copies of supporting documents used by the Mid-Atlantic 
Fishery Management Council, including the Environmental Assessment 
(EA), the Supplemental Information Report (SIR), the Regulatory Impact 
Review (RIR), and the Regulatory Flexibility Act (RFA) analysis are 
available from: Dr. Christopher M. Moore, Executive Director, Mid-
Atlantic Fishery Management Council, 800 North State Street, Suite 201, 
Dover, DE 19901, telephone (302) 674-2331. The EA/RIR/RFA analysis is 
also accessible via the internet at www.regulations.gov/#!docketDetail;D=NOAA-NMFS-2018-0135.
    You may submit comments, identified by NOAA-NMFS-2018-0135, by any 
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-2018-0135, click the 
``Comment Now!'' icon, complete the required fields, and enter or 
attach your comments.
     Mail: Submit written comments to NMFS, Greater Atlantic 
Regional Fisheries Office, 55 Great Republic Drive, Gloucester, MA 
01930. Mark the outside of the envelope ``Comments on 2019 MSB 
Specifications.''
     Fax: 978-281-9135; Attn: Douglas Christel.
    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, 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).

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Douglas Christel, Fishery Policy 
Analyst, (978) 281-9141, fax (978) 281-9135.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: 

Background

    This rule proposes specifications, which are the combined suite of 
commercial and recreational catch levels established for one or more 
fishing years, for Illex squid. Section 302(g)(1)(B) of the Magnuson-
Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act states that the 
Scientific and Statistical Committee (SSC) for each regional fishery 
management council shall provide its Council ongoing scientific advice 
for fishery management decisions, including recommendations for 
acceptable biological catch (ABC), preventing overfishing, ensuring 
maximum sustainable yield, and achieving rebuilding targets. The ABC is 
a level of catch that accounts for the scientific uncertainty in the 
estimate of the stock's defined overfishing level (OFL).
    The regulations implementing the Atlantic Mackerel, Squid, and 
Butterfish Fishery Management Plan (FMP) require the Mid-Atlantic 
Fishery Management Council's Atlantic Mackerel, Squid, and Butterfish 
Monitoring Committee to develop specification recommendations for each 
species based upon the ABC advice of the Council's SSC. The FMP 
regulations also require the specification of annual catch limits (ACL) 
and accountability measure (AM) provisions for butterfish. Both squid 
species are exempt from the ACL/AM requirements because they have a 
life cycle of less than one year. In addition, the regulations require 
the specification of domestic annual harvest (DAH), domestic annual 
processing (DAP), total allowable level of foreign fishing (TALFF), 
joint venture processing (JVP), commercial and recreational annual 
catch targets (ACT), the butterfish mortality cap in the longfin squid 
fishery, and initial optimum yield (IOY) for both squid species.
    On March 1, 2018 (83 FR 8764), we published a final rule in the 
Federal Register implementing Illex and longfin squid and butterfish 
specifications for 2018 and projected specifications for fishing years 
2019 and 2020. Since then, the Council's SSC met on May 8, 2018, to 
reevaluate the 2019 specifications based upon the latest information. 
At that meeting, the SSC concluded that no adjustments to these 
specifications were warranted. However, the SSC met again on September 
18, 2018, at the request of the Council to reevaluate its Illex squid 
specification recommendation and consider increasing the 2019 Illex 
landing limit given the fishery had fully harvested available quotas in 
both the 2017 and 2018 fishing years. The SSC reiterated its 
observation that landings

[[Page 18472]]

up to 26,000 mt have not caused harm to the Illex stock. It concluded 
that raising the Illex squid ABC to 26,000 mt for 2019 and maybe 2020 
would not likely result in a greater than 40 percent chance of 
overfishing this stock. On October 3, 2018, the Council adopted the 
updated SSC recommendations for a 26,000-mt Illex squid ABC in 2019 and 
2020, but did not recommend any changes to the previously approved 2019 
specifications for longfin squid and butterfish. The Council submitted 
its recommendations, as summarized below, along with the required 
analyses, for initial agency review on February 11, 2019. NMFS must 
review the Council's recommendations for compliance with the FMP and 
applicable law, and conduct notice-and-comment rulemaking to propose 
and implement the final specifications.
    This action does not consider revisions to existing specifications 
for Atlantic mackerel. On August 13, 2018, the Council approved 
Framework Adjustment 13 to the FMP. This action includes a rebuilding 
program for Atlantic mackerel and annual specifications for 2019-2021. 
We will publish a separate proposed rule in the Federal Register to 
solicit public input on the specifications for the Atlantic mackerel 
fishery. Until new specifications are implemented, the existing 
Atlantic mackerel, longfin squid, and butterfish specifications, as 
described below, will continue pursuant to 50 CFR 648.22(d)(1).

2019 Longfin Squid Specifications

    This action maintains the existing longfin squid ABC of 23,400 mt 
for 2019, as implemented on March 1, 2018 (83 FR 8764). The background 
for this ABC is discussed in the proposed rule to implement the 2018-
2020 squid and butterfish specifications (December 13, 2017; 82 FR 
58583) and is not repeated here. The IOY, DAH, and DAP are calculated 
by deducting an estimated discard rate (2.0 percent) from the ABC. This 
results in a 2019 IOY, DAH, and DAP of 22,932 mt (Table 1). This action 
also maintains the existing allocation of longfin squid DAH among 
trimesters according to percentages specified in the FMP (Table 2). The 
Council will review these specifications during its annual 
specifications process following annual data updates each spring, and 
may change its recommendation for 2020 if new information is available.

     Table 1--2019 Longfin Squid Specifications in Metric Tons (mt)
------------------------------------------------------------------------
 
------------------------------------------------------------------------
OFL.......................................  Unknown.
ABC.......................................  23,400.
IOY.......................................  22,932.
DAH/DAP...................................  22,932.
------------------------------------------------------------------------


            Table 2--2019 Longfin Quota Trimester Allocations
------------------------------------------------------------------------
                   Trimester                      Percent    Metric tons
------------------------------------------------------------------------
I (Jan-Apr)...................................           43        9,861
II (May-Aug)..................................           17        3,898
III (Sep-Dec).................................           40        9,173
------------------------------------------------------------------------

2019 Butterfish Specifications

    This action also maintains the previously approved 2019 butterfish 
specifications outlined in Table 3, as implemented on March 1, 2018 (83 
FR 8764). The background for these specifications is discussed in the 
proposed rule to implement the 2018-2020 squid and butterfish 
specifications (December 13, 2017; 82 FR 58583) and is not repeated 
here. In summary, the 2019 butterfish specifications are based on long-
term recruitment estimates and include a 7.5 percent management 
uncertainty buffer and an estimated discard rate of 2.4 percent. These 
specifications maintain the existing butterfish mortality cap in the 
longfin squid fishery (3,884 mt) and the existing allocation of the 
butterfish mortality cap among longfin squid trimesters (Table 4).

       Table 3--2019 Butterfish Specifications in Metric Tons (mt)
------------------------------------------------------------------------
 
------------------------------------------------------------------------
OFL........................................................       37,637
ACL = ABC..................................................       27,108
Commercial ACT (ABC--management uncertainty buffers for           25,075
 each year)................................................
DAH (ACT minus butterfish cap and discards)................       20,061
Directed Fishery closure limit (DAH-1,000 mt incidental           19,061
 landings buffer)..........................................
Butterfish Cap (in the longfin squid fishery)..............        3,884
------------------------------------------------------------------------


Table 4--Trimester Allocation of Butterfish Mortality Cap on the Longfin
                         Squid Fishery for 2019
------------------------------------------------------------------------
                   Trimester                      Percent    Metric tons
------------------------------------------------------------------------
I (Jan-Apr)...................................           43        1,670
II (May-Aug)..................................           17          660
III (Sep-Dec).................................           40        1,554
                                               -------------------------
    Total.....................................          100        3,844
------------------------------------------------------------------------

Proposed 2019 Illex Squid Specifications

    Consistent with the Council's recommendation summarized above, NMFS 
proposes to increase the 2019 Illex ABC from 24,000 mt to 26,000 mt. 
The Council recommended that the ABC be reduced by the status quo 
discard rate of 4.52 percent, which results in a 2019 IOY, DAH, and DAP 
of 24,825 mt (Table 5), an increase of 8 percent compared to 2018 
levels (22,915 mt). The Council will review this decision during its 
annual specifications process following annual data updates each 
spring, and may change its recommendations for 2020 if new information 
is available.

  Table 5--Proposed 2019 Illex Squid Specifications in Metric Ton (mt)
------------------------------------------------------------------------
 
------------------------------------------------------------------------
OFL.......................................  Unknown.
ABC.......................................  26,000.
IOY.......................................  24,825.
DAH/DAP...................................  24,825.
------------------------------------------------------------------------

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 the Atlantic Mackerel, Squid, and Butterfish FMP, other 
provisions of the Magnuson-Stevens Act, and other applicable law, 
subject to further consideration after public comment.
    This action is exempt from review under E.O. 12866. This proposed 
rule is not expected to be an Executive Order 13771 regulatory action 
because this proposed rule is exempt from E.O. 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 purpose, context, and statutory basis for this action is described 
above and not repeated here. Business entities affected by this action 
include vessels that are issued limited access longfin squid, Illex 
squid, and butterfish permits. Although vessels issued open access 
incidental catch permits for these species are also potentially 
affected by this action, because these vessels land only small amounts 
of squid and butterfish and this action would not revise the amount of 
squid and butterfish that these vessels can land, these entities would 
not be affected by this proposed rule.

[[Page 18473]]

    Any entity with combined annual fishery landing receipts less than 
$11 million is considered a small entity based on standards published 
in the Federal Register (80 FR 81194, December 29, 2015). In 2017, 63 
separate vessels were issued limited access Illex squid permits in 
2017. These vessels were owned by 51 entities, 45 of which earned less 
than $11 million in revenue and were small business entities that would 
be affected by this action. Average revenues for these entities was 
$2.0 million in 2017.
    The previously approved longfin squid and butterfish commercial 
landing limits would not be changed by this proposed action, while the 
commercial Illex squid landing limit would be increased by 8 percent 
(1,910 mt). Fishing revenue and, therefore, economic impacts of yearly 
Illex squid specifications depend upon species availability, which may 
change yearly. For example, the Illex squid fishery landed 14.7 million 
lb in 2016 for a value of $7.2 million, yet landed over 49.6 million lb 
in 2017 for a value of just over $22 million. The proposed 1,910-mt 
increase in the 2019 Illex squid landing limit would increase fishing 
revenue by nearly $1.9 million compared to the 2018 landing limit if 
the fishery lands all available quota. If the fishery fully harvests 
the proposed 2019 commercial landing limit, it could generate 
approximately $25 million in fishing revenue based on 2016 prices. In 
determining the significance of the economic impacts of the proposed 
action, we considered the following two criteria outlined in applicable 
National Marine Fisheries Service guidance: Disproportionality and 
profitability. The proposed measures would not place a substantial 
number of small entities at a significant competitive disadvantage to 
large entities; all entities affected by this action would be equally 
affected. Accordingly, there are no distributional economic effects 
from this action between small and large entities. Proposed measures 
would not reduce fishing opportunities based on recent squid and 
butterfish landings, change any entity's access to these resources, or 
impose any costs to affected entities. Therefore, this action would not 
reduce revenues or profit for affected entities compared to recent 
levels. Based on the above justification, the proposed action is not 
expected to have a significant economic impact on a substantial number 
of small entities.

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

    Dated: April 24, 2019.
Samuel D. Rauch, III,
Deputy Assistant Administrator for Regulatory Programs, National Marine 
Fisheries Service.
[FR Doc. 2019-08761 Filed 4-30-19; 8:45 am]
 BILLING CODE 3510-22-P