Pacific Island Fisheries; Annual Catch Limit and Accountability Measures; Main Hawaiian Islands Deep 7 Bottomfish, 29394-29398 [2019-13108]

Download as PDF 29394 Federal Register / Vol. 84, No. 121 / Monday, June 24, 2019 / Rules and Regulations 8. Section 852.217–70 is added to read as follows: part 31, subject to Contractor appeal as provided in the Disputes clause. In any event, the Contractor shall proceed with completion of the contract, subject only to FAR 52.216–24, Limitation of Government Liability. (1) After the Contracting Officer’s determination of price or fee, the contract shall be governed by— (i) All clauses required by the FAR on the date of execution of this undefinitized contract action for either fixed-price or costreimbursement contracts, as determined by the Contracting Officer under this paragraph (c); (ii) All clauses required by law as of the date of the Contracting Officer’s determination; and (iii) Any other clauses, terms, and conditions mutually agreed upon. (2) To the extent consistent with paragraph (c)(1) of this clause, all clauses, terms, and conditions included in this undefinitized contract action shall continue in effect, except those that by their nature apply only to an undefinitized contract action. (d) The definitive contract action resulting from this undefinitized contract action will include a negotiated llll [Insert ‘‘cost/ price ceiling’’ or ‘‘firm-fixed-price’’] in no event to exceed llll [Insert the not-toexceed amount]. (End of clause) 852.217–70 [FR Doc. 2019–12759 Filed 6–21–19; 8:45 am] (3) Orders against basic ordering agreements; (4) Indefinite delivery task orders; and (5) Any other type of contract providing for the use of UCAs. (b) Insert the applicable information in paragraphs (a), (b), and (d) of the clause. (c) If, at the time of entering into the UCA, the contracting officer knows that the definitive contract action will meet the criteria of FAR 15.403–1, 15.403–2, or 15.403–3 for not requiring submission of certified cost or pricing data, the words ‘‘and certified cost or pricing data’’ may be deleted from paragraph (a) of the clause. PART 852—SOLICITATION PROVISIONS AND CONTRACT CLAUSES 7. The authority citation for part 852 continues to read as follows: ■ Authority: 38 U.S.C. 8127–8128, and 8151–8153; 40 U.S.C. 121(c); 41 U.S.C. 1121(c)(3); 41 U.S.C. 1303; 41 U.S.C. 1702; and 48 CFR 1.301–1.304. ■ Contract Action Definitization. As prescribed in 817.7005(a), insert the following clause: BILLING CODE 8320–01–P jbell on DSK3GLQ082PROD with RULES Contract Action Definitization (Jul 2019) DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE (a) A [Insert specific type of contract action] is contemplated. The Contractor agrees to begin promptly negotiating with the Contracting Officer the terms of a definitive contract action that will include all clauses required by the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) on the date of execution of the undefinitized contract action, all clauses required by law on the date of execution of the definitive contract action, and any other mutually agreeable clauses, terms, and conditions. The Contractor agrees to submit a lll [Insert type of proposal, e.g., fixedprice, or cost-and-fee] proposal with cost or pricing data, as appropriate, supporting it. (b) The schedule for definitizing this contract action is as follows [Insert target date for definitization of the contract action and dates for submission of proposal, beginning of negotiations, and, if appropriate, submission of the make-or-buy plans, subcontracting plans, and cost or pricing data]. lllllllllllllllllllll lllllllllllllllllllll lllllllllllllllllllll (c) If agreement on a definitive contract action to supersede this undefinitized contract action is not reached by the target date in paragraph (b) of this clause, or within any extension of it granted by the Contracting Officer, the Contracting Officer may, with the approval of a Contracting Officer one level above, determine a reasonable price or fee in accordance with FAR subpart 15.4 and FAR VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:11 Jun 21, 2019 Jkt 247001 National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration 50 CFR Part 665 [Docket No. 181015948–9482–02] RIN 0648–BI54 Pacific Island Fisheries; Annual Catch Limit and Accountability Measures; Main Hawaiian Islands Deep 7 Bottomfish National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Commerce. ACTION: Final rule. AGENCY: This final rule establishes an annual catch limit (ACL) of 492,000 lb for Deep 7 bottomfish in the main Hawaiian Islands (MHI) for each of the three fishing years 2018–19, 2019–20, and 2020–21. If NMFS projects that the fishery will reach the ACL in any given fishing year, NMFS would close the commercial and non-commercial fisheries for MHI Deep 7 bottomfish in Federal waters for the remainder of that fishing year as an accountability measure (AM). This rule also makes housekeeping changes to the Federal SUMMARY: PO 00000 Frm 00024 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 bottomfish fishing regulations. This rule supports the long-term sustainability of Deep 7 bottomfish. DATES: The final rule is effective July 24, 2019. The final rule is applicable in fishing years 2018–2019, 2019–2020 and 2020–2021. ADDRESSES: Copies of the Fishery Ecosystem Plan for the Hawaiian Archipelago are available from the Western Pacific Fishery Management Council (Council), 1164 Bishop St., Suite 1400, Honolulu, HI 96813, tel. 808–522–8220, fax 808–522–8226, or www.wpcouncil.org. Copies of the environmental assessment (EA) and Finding of No Significant Impact for this action are available from https:// www.regulations.gov/docket?D=NOAANMFS-2018-0121, or from Michael D. Tosatto, Regional Administrator, NMFS Pacific Islands Region (PIR), 1845 Wasp Blvd. Bldg. 176, Honolulu, HI 96818. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Brett Schumacher, NMFS PIRO Sustainable Fisheries, 808–725–5185. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: NMFS and the Council manage the Deep 7 bottomfish fishery in Federal waters around Hawaii under the Fishery Ecosystem Plan for the Hawaiian Archipelago (FEP), as authorized by the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (Magnuson-Stevens Act). The Deep 7 bottomfish are onaga (Etelis coruscans), ehu (E. carbunculus), gindai (Pristipomoides zonatus), kalekale (P. sieboldii), opakapaka (P. filamentosus), lehi (Aphareus rutilans), and hapuupuu (Hyporthodus quernus). The regulations at title 50, Code of Federal Regulations, part 665 (50 CFR 665.4) require NMFS to specify an ACL for MHI Deep 7 bottomfish each fishing year, based on a recommendation from the Council. The Council recommended NMFS implement the ACL and AMs for MHI Deep 7 bottomfish in fishing years 2018–19, 2019–20, and 2020–21. The Council based its recommendations on a NMFS 2018 benchmark bottomfish stock assessment, in consideration of the risk of overfishing, past fishery performance, the acceptable biological catch recommendation from its Scientific and Statistical Committee, and input from the public. The 2018 stock assessment estimated the overfishing limit for the MHI Deep 7 bottomfish stock complex to be 558,000 lb, assuming three years of identical catch in fishing years 2018–19, 2019–20, and 2020–21. This overfishing limit is 206,000 lb more than the estimated overfishing limit described in the 2011 stock assessment, as updated E:\FR\FM\24JNR1.SGM 24JNR1 jbell on DSK3GLQ082PROD with RULES Federal Register / Vol. 84, No. 121 / Monday, June 24, 2019 / Rules and Regulations in 2015. The ACL of 492,000 lb is 186,000 lb more than the ACL that NMFS specified last year based on the previous stock assessment (82 FR 29778, June 30, 2017). The ACL is associated with up to a 40 percent probability of overfishing for each fishing year up to 2020–21, and is more conservative than the 50 percent risk threshold allowed under NMFS guidelines for National Standard 1 of the Magnuson-Stevens Act. NMFS monitors Deep 7 bottomfish catches based on data provided by commercial fishermen to the State of Hawaii. If NMFS projects the fishery will reach the ACL, NMFS would close the commercial and non-commercial fisheries for MHI Deep 7 bottomfish in Federal waters for the remainder of that fishing year, as an AM. As an additional AM, in the event that NMFS and the Council determine that the final MHI Deep 7 bottomfish catch exceeds the ACL in any given year, NMFS would reduce the ACL for the subsequent fishing year by the amount of the overage. The fishery has not caught the specified annual limit in any year since 2011, and NMFS does not expect this rule to result in a change in fishing operations, or other changes to the conduct of the fishery that would result in significant environmental impacts. This rule also makes administrative housekeeping changes to the regulations at 50 CFR part 665. This rule removes the description of the process of setting an annual total allowable catch, which has been superseded by the ACL process. The housekeeping changes also include updates to the name of the multispecies stock complex and updates and revisions to the scientific, local, and/or common names of several species, including corrections to regulations that were amended by a February 8, 2019, final rule that reclassified six species of Hawaii bottomfish management unit species (MUS) at 50 CFR 665.201 as ecosystem component species (84 FR 2726). That rule clarified the names of certain species in §§ 665.220 and 665.401 by removing diacriticals that are not consistently represented across different typefaces, resulting in misspellings. That rule also reordered the species listed so they are alphabetical by scientific name, and corrected a misspelling of P. sieboldii. The February 8, 2019, rule was effective March 11, 2019, which was after the proposed rule for the current action was published. Therefore, some of the regulatory text in this rule is based on the regulatory language implemented in the February 8, 2019, final rule. VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:11 Jun 21, 2019 Jkt 247001 Comments and Responses On March 12, 2019, NMFS published a proposed rule and request for public comments (84 FR 8835). The comment period ended April 11, 2019, and NMFS received seven public comments from five individuals that generally supported the ACL and AMs. NMFS considered the public comments and responds to comments below. Comment 1: There should be some sort of minimum catch size limit to ensure sustainability of the juvenile bottomfish population. Response: NMFS acknowledges the potential benefits of minimum size limits when a fishery is in need of additional management measures. However, the best available science indicates that Deep 7 bottomfish stocks are currently healthy, so additional management measures beyond those currently proposed and in effect are not necessary at this time. NMFS and the State of Hawaii will continue to monitor the fishery and may consider additional management measures, including, but not limited to, size limits if the best scientific information available indicates additional measures are necessary to ensure stock sustainability. Comment 2: The annual catch limit (ACL) should remain for Deep 7 bottomfish indefinitely to ensure that the fishery remains successful over the next three to five years. Response: Pursuant to the MagnusonStevens Act and the Hawaii Fishery Ecosystem Plan, ACLs are a permanent part of the management regime for bottomfish management unit species. NMFS has managed the MHI Deep 7 bottomfish fishery through ACLs since 2011. As required by the MagnusonStevens Act, NMFS and the Council will continue to manage the fishery using ACLs after the end of the 3-year period to which this rule applies based on the best science available at that time. Comment 3: There are insufficient data to accurately assess the impact on small businesses if Federal waters were closed to fishing. Further consideration would be necessary to evaluate how this proposed action will impact these fishing industry workers. A recommendation would be to establish a task force to accurately assess the impact of this rule in its totality as it pertains to small businesses. Response: Section 4.3.1 of the EA specifically addresses the potential effects on the fishing community. Additionally, potential economic effects were also considered under the Regulatory Flexibility Act (section 5.11) and the Regulatory Impact Review (section 8). See also the CLASSIFICATION PO 00000 Frm 00025 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 29395 section of the proposed rule, and specifically the description under the heading, ‘‘Certification of Finding of No Significant Impact on Substantial Number of Small Entities.’’ each of these analyses determined that the action is not expected to have negative social or economic effects. As described in the EA, the ACL implemented by this rule is sustainable. At the same time, it is substantially larger than the fishery’s annual catch in recent years. Given the history of this fishery, we do not expect the fishery to reach the ACL in any fishing year and therefore, do not anticipate a fishery closure. In the unlikely event of such a fishery closure, however, this would mean that the fishery will have reaped economic and social benefits upon achieving a level of catch that the fishery has not realized since 1989. Comment 4: The proposed action should provide regulations that prevent marine mammals, including bottlenose dolphins and Hawaiian monk seals, from becoming hooked or entangled in fishing gear. Response: Pursuant to the Marine Mammal Protection Act, the MHI bottomfish fishery is a Category 3 fishery, with a remote likelihood of, or no known, incidental mortality or serious injury of marine mammals. To date, there is no data indicating this fishery is the cause of serious injury or mortality to marine mammals. NMFS has also concluded that marine mammals protected under the Endangered Species Act, including the Hawaiian monk seal, are not likely to be adversely affected by the Hawaii bottomfish fishery. NMFS will continue to monitor the fishery and would consider additional bycatch management measures if the best scientific information available indicates such measures would be necessary to prevent and minimize interaction with marine mammals (and other protected species). Comment 5: There should be some measure by which the agency reassesses the fish population on an annual basis to ensure that the limit remains reasonable. Should some unforeseen event affect the fish population so that the proposed ACL results in overfishing, adjustments, other than closing the fisheries for that year, would be warranted. Response: NMFS assesses the status of Deep 7 bottomfish stocks approximately every three years. NMFS and the Council review these assessments, and also monitor catches and evaluate them each year relative to the ACL and associated risk of overfishing. These analyses are reported in annual Stock E:\FR\FM\24JNR1.SGM 24JNR1 29396 Federal Register / Vol. 84, No. 121 / Monday, June 24, 2019 / Rules and Regulations Assessment and Fishery Evaluation Reports, presented at public meetings and available on the Council website (http://www.wpcouncil.org/fisheryplans-policies-reports/fishery-reports-2/ ). If significant new information becomes available, NMFS and the Council would use such information to determine whether changes to the management of the fishery, including changes in the ACL and AMs, are necessary. Comment 6: One commenter questioned whether this action would lead to long-term sustainability when the new ACL is 186,000 lb more than the ACL for 2017–18, and greater than the highest reported landings over the past five fishing seasons. Response: As described in the EA, the higher ACL for fishing years 2019–20 through 2020–21 is the result of improved stock conditions as described in the 2018 benchmark assessment for MHI Deep 7 bottomfish. Specifically, the 2018 stock assessment estimated the overfishing limit (OFL) for the MHI Deep 7 bottomfish stock complex to be 558,000 lb, assuming three years of identical catch in fishing years 2018–19, 2019–20, and 2020–21. This OFL is 206,000 lb more than the OFL in the 2011 stock assessment, as updated in 2015. According to the 2018 stock assessment, an ACL of 492,000 lb for 2018–2021 is associated with a 40 percent probability of overfishing in each fishing year. The 2018 assessment represents an improvement over the previous assessment upon which the 2017–18 ACL was based because it included more years of fishery data, an independent biomass estimate from a fishery-independent survey, improved fishery data filtering, and catch per unit of effort or CPUE standardization methods obtained through a series of workshops with fishermen and managers. As such, the 2018 stock assessment is the best scientific information available for assessing the status of the MHI Deep 7 bottomfish stocks. Comment 7: Reopening of four of the bottomfish restricted fishing areas (BRFA) to fishing by the Hawaii Division of Aquatic Resources could lead to overfishing. Response: The proposed opening of four BRFA to fishing is a State of Hawaii management action and is not part of this final rule. Although the State may open four of the 12 BRFAs to fishing, this final rule ensures that total authorized catch of bottomfish will remain sustainable, regardless of the location of the catch. Thus, even if bottomfish are caught in one or more of the four BRFAs that would be open to fishing, the ACL and AMs would prevent catch from reaching the OFL, or mitigate overages, if they were to occur, thus maintaining a healthy and sustainable fishery. Changes From the Proposed Rule This final rule contains no changes from the proposed rule. Classification The Administrator, Pacific Islands Region, NMFS, determined that this action is necessary for the conservation, management, and long-term sustainability of Deep 7 bottomfish, and that it is consistent with the MagnusonStevens Act and other applicable laws. This final 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 during the proposed rule stage that this action would not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. The factual basis for the certification was published in the proposed rule and is not repeated here. NMFS did not receive any comments regarding this certification. As a result, a regulatory flexibility analysis was not required and none was prepared. Local name jbell on DSK3GLQ082PROD with RULES (1) (2) (3) (4) (5) (6) (7) Deep 7 bottomfish fishing year means the year beginning at 0001 local time on 16:11 Jun 21, 2019 Accountability measures, Annual catch limits, Bottomfish, Fisheries, Fishing, Hawaii, Pacific Islands. Dated: June 17, 2019. Samuel D. Rauch III, Deputy Assistant Administrator for Regulatory Programs, National Marine Fisheries Service. For the reasons set out in the preamble, NMFS amends 50 CFR part 665 as follows: PART 665—FISHERIES IN THE WESTERN PACIFIC 1. The authority citation for 50 CFR part 665 continues to read as follows: ■ Authority: 16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq. 2. In § 665.12, revise the definition of ‘‘Fishing year’’ to read as follows: ■ § 665.12 Definitions. * * * * * Fishing year means the year beginning at 0001 local time on January 1 and ending at 2400 local time on December 31, with the exception of fishing for Deep 7 bottomfish and any precious coral MUS. * * * * * ■ 3. Amend § 665.201 by: ■ a. Adding in alphabetical order the definitions of ‘‘Deep 7 bottomfish’’ and ‘‘Deep 7 bottomfish fishing year;’’ ■ b. Revising the definition of ‘‘Hawaii bottomfish management unit species (Hawaii bottomfish MUS);’’ ■ c. Removing the definition of ‘‘Hawaii restricted bottomfish species fishing year;’’ and ■ d. Revising the definition of ‘‘Main Hawaiian Islands non-commercial bottomfish permit.’’ The revisions and additions to read as follows: § 665.201 Definitions. * * * * * Deep 7 bottomfish means the following species: Common name lehi .......................................................................... ehu .......................................................................... onaga ...................................................................... hapuupuu ................................................................ opakapaka .............................................................. kalekale .................................................................. gindai ...................................................................... VerDate Sep<11>2014 List of Subjects in 50 CFR Part 665 Jkt 247001 silver jaw jobfish .......................................................... squirrelfish snapper ..................................................... longtail snapper ........................................................... sea bass ...................................................................... pink snapper ................................................................ pink snapper ................................................................ snapper ....................................................................... September 1 and ending at 2400 HST on August 31 of the next calendar year. * * * * * PO 00000 Scientific name Frm 00026 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 Aphareus rutilans. Etelis carbunculus. Etelis coruscans. Hyporthodus quernus. Pristipomoides filamentosus. Pristipomoides sieboldii. Pristipomoides zonatus. Hawaii bottomfish management unit species (Hawaii bottomfish MUS) means the following species: E:\FR\FM\24JNR1.SGM 24JNR1 Federal Register / Vol. 84, No. 121 / Monday, June 24, 2019 / Rules and Regulations Local name (1) (2) (3) (4) (5) (6) (7) (8) Common name lehi .......................................................................... uku .......................................................................... ehu .......................................................................... onaga ...................................................................... hapuupuu ................................................................ opakapaka .............................................................. kalekale .................................................................. gindai ...................................................................... ■ § 665.204 (b) When an ACL is projected to be reached based on analyses of available information, the Regional Administrator shall publish a notification to that effect in the Federal Register and shall use other means to notify permit holders. The notification will include an advisement that the fishery will be closed beginning at a specified date, which is not earlier than seven days after the date of filing the closure notification for public inspection at the Office of the Federal Register, until the end of the fishing year in which the ACL is reached. (c) On and after the date specified in paragraph (b) of this section, no person may fish for or possess any Deep 7 bottomfish in the MHI management subarea, except as otherwise allowed in this section. (d) On and after the date specified in paragraph (b) of this section, no person Prohibitions. * * * * * (h) Fish for or possess any Deep 7 bottomfish as defined in § 665.201, in the MHI management subarea after a closure of the fishery, in violation of § 665.211. (i) Sell or offer for sale any Deep 7 bottomfish as defined in § 665.201, after a closure of the fishery, in violation of § 665.211. (j) Harvest, possess, or land more than a total of five fish (all species combined) identified as Deep 7 bottomfish in § 665.201 from a vessel in the MHI management subarea, while holding a MHI non-commercial bottomfish permit, or while participating as a charter boat customer, in violation of § 665.212. * * * * * § 665.210 jbell on DSK3GLQ082PROD with RULES ■ [Removed and Reserved] 5. Remove and reserve § 665.210. Scientific name silver jaw jobfish .......................................................... gray jobfish .................................................................. squirrelfish snapper ..................................................... longtail snapper ........................................................... sea bass ...................................................................... pink snapper ................................................................ pink snapper ................................................................ snapper ....................................................................... Main Hawaiian Islands noncommercial bottomfish permit means the permit required by § 665.203(a)(2) to own or fish from a vessel that is used in any non-commercial vessel-based fishing, landing, or transshipment of any Hawaii bottomfish MUS or ECS in the MHI Management Subarea. * * * * * ■ 4. In § 665.204, revise paragraphs (h), (i), and (j) to read as follows: 6. Revise § 665.211 to read as follows: § 665.211 Annual Catch Limit (ACL). (a) In accordance with § 665.4, the ACL for MHI Deep 7 bottomfish for each fishing year is as follows: Fishing year ACL (lb) (1) 2018–2019 ...................... (2) 2019–2020 ...................... (3) 2020–2021 ...................... 492,000 492,000 492,000 ■ 7. Revise § 665.212 to read as follows: § 665.212 8. In § 665.401, revise the definition of ‘‘Mariana bottomfish management unit species (Mariana bottomfish MUS)’’ to read as follows: ■ § 665.401 * * * * Mariana bottomfish management unit species (Mariana bottomfish MUS) means the following fish: red snapper, silvermouth ............................................ giant trevally, jack ....................................................... black trevally, jack ....................................................... lunartail grouper .......................................................... red snapper ................................................................. red snapper ................................................................. redgill emperor ............................................................ blueline snapper .......................................................... yellowtail snapper ........................................................ pink snapper ................................................................ yelloweye snapper ...................................................... pink snapper ................................................................ flower snapper ............................................................. VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:11 Jun 21, 2019 Jkt 247001 b. Designate the entries as paragraphs (1) through (12); and ■ c. Revise newly designated paragraph (5). The revisions read as follows: PO 00000 Frm 00027 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 Definitions. * (1) lehi/maroobw .......................................................... (2) tarakitu/etam ........................................................... (3) tarakiton attelong, orong ........................................ (4) bueli, bwele ............................................................ (5) buninas agaga’, falaghal moroobw ........................ (6) abuninas, taighulupegh .......................................... (7) mafuti, atigh ............................................................ (8) funai, saas .............................................................. (9) buninas, falaghal-maroobw .................................... (10) buninas, pakapaka, falaghal-maroobw, ............... (11) buninas, falaghal-maroobw .................................. (12) buninas, falaghal-maroobw .................................. (13) buninas rayao amariyu, falaghal-maroobw .......... ■ Non-commercial bag limits. No more than a total of five fish (all species combined) identified as Deep 7 bottomfish may be harvested, possessed, or landed by any individual participating in a non-commercial vessel-based fishing trip in the MHI management subarea. Charter boat customers are also subject to the noncommercial bag limit. Common name 9. In § 665.601, in the table to the definition of ‘‘PRIA bottomfish management unit species (PRIA bottomfish MUS)’’: ■ a. Revise the first column heading; Aphareus rutilans. Aprion virescens. Etelis carbunculus. Etelis coruscans. Hyporthodus quernus. Pristipomoides filamentosus. Pristipomoides sieboldii. Pristipomoides zonatus. may sell or offer for sale Deep 7 bottomfish, except as otherwise authorized by law. (e) Fishing for, and the resultant possession or sale of, Deep 7 bottomfish by vessels legally registered to Mau Zone, Ho’omalu Zone, or PRIA bottomfish fishing permits and conducted in compliance with all other laws and regulations, is exempted from this section. Local name ■ 29397 Scientific name § 665.601 Aphareus rutilans. Caranx ignobilis. Caranx lugubris. Variola louti. Etelis carbunculus. Etelis coruscans. Lethrinus rubrioperculatus. Lutjanus kasmira. Pristipomoides auricilla. Pristipomoides filamentosus. Pristipomoides flavipinnis. Pristipomoides sieboldii. Pristipomoides zonatus. Definitions. * * * * * PRIA bottomfish management unit species (PRIA bottomfish MUS) means the following fish: E:\FR\FM\24JNR1.SGM 24JNR1 29398 Federal Register / Vol. 84, No. 121 / Monday, June 24, 2019 / Rules and Regulations Common name [FR Doc. 2019–13108 Filed 6–21–19; 8:45 am] Scientific name BILLING CODE 3510–22–P * * * * * (5) Sea bass .............. Hyporthodus quernus. jbell on DSK3GLQ082PROD with RULES * VerDate Sep<11>2014 * * 16:11 Jun 21, 2019 * Jkt 247001 * PO 00000 Frm 00028 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 9990 E:\FR\FM\24JNR1.SGM 24JNR1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 84, Number 121 (Monday, June 24, 2019)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 29394-29398]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2019-13108]


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DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

50 CFR Part 665

[Docket No. 181015948-9482-02]
RIN 0648-BI54


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

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

ACTION: Final rule.

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

DATES: The final rule is effective July 24, 2019. The final rule is 
applicable in fishing years 2018-2019, 2019-2020 and 2020-2021.

ADDRESSES: Copies of the Fishery Ecosystem Plan for the Hawaiian 
Archipelago are available from the Western Pacific Fishery Management 
Council (Council), 1164 Bishop St., Suite 1400, Honolulu, HI 96813, 
tel. 808-522-8220, fax 808-522-8226, or www.wpcouncil.org.
    Copies of the environmental assessment (EA) and Finding of No 
Significant Impact for this action are available from https://www.regulations.gov/docket?D=NOAA-NMFS-2018-0121, or from Michael D. 
Tosatto, Regional Administrator, NMFS Pacific Islands Region (PIR), 
1845 Wasp Blvd. Bldg. 176, Honolulu, HI 96818.

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

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: NMFS and the Council manage the Deep 7 
bottomfish fishery in Federal waters around Hawaii under the Fishery 
Ecosystem Plan for the Hawaiian Archipelago (FEP), as authorized by the 
Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (Magnuson-
Stevens Act). The Deep 7 bottomfish are onaga (Etelis coruscans), ehu 
(E. carbunculus), gindai (Pristipomoides zonatus), kalekale (P. 
sieboldii), opakapaka (P. filamentosus), lehi (Aphareus rutilans), and 
hapuupuu (Hyporthodus quernus). The regulations at title 50, Code of 
Federal Regulations, part 665 (50 CFR 665.4) require NMFS to specify an 
ACL for MHI Deep 7 bottomfish each fishing year, based on a 
recommendation from the Council.
    The Council recommended NMFS implement the ACL and AMs for MHI Deep 
7 bottomfish in fishing years 2018-19, 2019-20, and 2020-21. The 
Council based its recommendations on a NMFS 2018 benchmark bottomfish 
stock assessment, in consideration of the risk of overfishing, past 
fishery performance, the acceptable biological catch recommendation 
from its Scientific and Statistical Committee, and input from the 
public.
    The 2018 stock assessment estimated the overfishing limit for the 
MHI Deep 7 bottomfish stock complex to be 558,000 lb, assuming three 
years of identical catch in fishing years 2018-19, 2019-20, and 2020-
21. This overfishing limit is 206,000 lb more than the estimated 
overfishing limit described in the 2011 stock assessment, as updated

[[Page 29395]]

in 2015. The ACL of 492,000 lb is 186,000 lb more than the ACL that 
NMFS specified last year based on the previous stock assessment (82 FR 
29778, June 30, 2017). The ACL is associated with up to a 40 percent 
probability of overfishing for each fishing year up to 2020-21, and is 
more conservative than the 50 percent risk threshold allowed under NMFS 
guidelines for National Standard 1 of the Magnuson-Stevens Act.
    NMFS monitors Deep 7 bottomfish catches based on data provided by 
commercial fishermen to the State of Hawaii. If NMFS projects the 
fishery will reach the ACL, NMFS would close the commercial and non-
commercial fisheries for MHI Deep 7 bottomfish in Federal waters for 
the remainder of that fishing year, as an AM. As an additional AM, in 
the event that NMFS and the Council determine that the final MHI Deep 7 
bottomfish catch exceeds the ACL in any given year, NMFS would reduce 
the ACL for the subsequent fishing year by the amount of the overage.
    The fishery has not caught the specified annual limit in any year 
since 2011, and NMFS does not expect this rule to result in a change in 
fishing operations, or other changes to the conduct of the fishery that 
would result in significant environmental impacts.
    This rule also makes administrative housekeeping changes to the 
regulations at 50 CFR part 665. This rule removes the description of 
the process of setting an annual total allowable catch, which has been 
superseded by the ACL process. The housekeeping changes also include 
updates to the name of the multispecies stock complex and updates and 
revisions to the scientific, local, and/or common names of several 
species, including corrections to regulations that were amended by a 
February 8, 2019, final rule that reclassified six species of Hawaii 
bottomfish management unit species (MUS) at 50 CFR 665.201 as ecosystem 
component species (84 FR 2726). That rule clarified the names of 
certain species in Sec. Sec.  665.220 and 665.401 by removing 
diacriticals that are not consistently represented across different 
typefaces, resulting in misspellings. That rule also reordered the 
species listed so they are alphabetical by scientific name, and 
corrected a misspelling of P. sieboldii. The February 8, 2019, rule was 
effective March 11, 2019, which was after the proposed rule for the 
current action was published. Therefore, some of the regulatory text in 
this rule is based on the regulatory language implemented in the 
February 8, 2019, final rule.

Comments and Responses

    On March 12, 2019, NMFS published a proposed rule and request for 
public comments (84 FR 8835). The comment period ended April 11, 2019, 
and NMFS received seven public comments from five individuals that 
generally supported the ACL and AMs. NMFS considered the public 
comments and responds to comments below.
    Comment 1: There should be some sort of minimum catch size limit to 
ensure sustainability of the juvenile bottomfish population.
    Response: NMFS acknowledges the potential benefits of minimum size 
limits when a fishery is in need of additional management measures. 
However, the best available science indicates that Deep 7 bottomfish 
stocks are currently healthy, so additional management measures beyond 
those currently proposed and in effect are not necessary at this time. 
NMFS and the State of Hawaii will continue to monitor the fishery and 
may consider additional management measures, including, but not limited 
to, size limits if the best scientific information available indicates 
additional measures are necessary to ensure stock sustainability.
    Comment 2: The annual catch limit (ACL) should remain for Deep 7 
bottomfish indefinitely to ensure that the fishery remains successful 
over the next three to five years.
    Response: Pursuant to the Magnuson-Stevens Act and the Hawaii 
Fishery Ecosystem Plan, ACLs are a permanent part of the management 
regime for bottomfish management unit species. NMFS has managed the MHI 
Deep 7 bottomfish fishery through ACLs since 2011. As required by the 
Magnuson-Stevens Act, NMFS and the Council will continue to manage the 
fishery using ACLs after the end of the 3-year period to which this 
rule applies based on the best science available at that time.
    Comment 3: There are insufficient data to accurately assess the 
impact on small businesses if Federal waters were closed to fishing. 
Further consideration would be necessary to evaluate how this proposed 
action will impact these fishing industry workers. A recommendation 
would be to establish a task force to accurately assess the impact of 
this rule in its totality as it pertains to small businesses.
    Response: Section 4.3.1 of the EA specifically addresses the 
potential effects on the fishing community. Additionally, potential 
economic effects were also considered under the Regulatory Flexibility 
Act (section 5.11) and the Regulatory Impact Review (section 8). See 
also the CLASSIFICATION section of the proposed rule, and specifically 
the description under the heading, ``Certification of Finding of No 
Significant Impact on Substantial Number of Small Entities.'' each of 
these analyses determined that the action is not expected to have 
negative social or economic effects.
    As described in the EA, the ACL implemented by this rule is 
sustainable. At the same time, it is substantially larger than the 
fishery's annual catch in recent years. Given the history of this 
fishery, we do not expect the fishery to reach the ACL in any fishing 
year and therefore, do not anticipate a fishery closure. In the 
unlikely event of such a fishery closure, however, this would mean that 
the fishery will have reaped economic and social benefits upon 
achieving a level of catch that the fishery has not realized since 
1989.
    Comment 4: The proposed action should provide regulations that 
prevent marine mammals, including bottlenose dolphins and Hawaiian monk 
seals, from becoming hooked or entangled in fishing gear.
    Response: Pursuant to the Marine Mammal Protection Act, the MHI 
bottomfish fishery is a Category 3 fishery, with a remote likelihood 
of, or no known, incidental mortality or serious injury of marine 
mammals. To date, there is no data indicating this fishery is the cause 
of serious injury or mortality to marine mammals. NMFS has also 
concluded that marine mammals protected under the Endangered Species 
Act, including the Hawaiian monk seal, are not likely to be adversely 
affected by the Hawaii bottomfish fishery. NMFS will continue to 
monitor the fishery and would consider additional bycatch management 
measures if the best scientific information available indicates such 
measures would be necessary to prevent and minimize interaction with 
marine mammals (and other protected species).
    Comment 5: There should be some measure by which the agency 
reassesses the fish population on an annual basis to ensure that the 
limit remains reasonable. Should some unforeseen event affect the fish 
population so that the proposed ACL results in overfishing, 
adjustments, other than closing the fisheries for that year, would be 
warranted.
    Response: NMFS assesses the status of Deep 7 bottomfish stocks 
approximately every three years. NMFS and the Council review these 
assessments, and also monitor catches and evaluate them each year 
relative to the ACL and associated risk of overfishing. These analyses 
are reported in annual Stock

[[Page 29396]]

Assessment and Fishery Evaluation Reports, presented at public meetings 
and available on the Council website (http://www.wpcouncil.org/fishery-plans-policies-reports/fishery-reports-2/). If significant new 
information becomes available, NMFS and the Council would use such 
information to determine whether changes to the management of the 
fishery, including changes in the ACL and AMs, are necessary.
    Comment 6: One commenter questioned whether this action would lead 
to long-term sustainability when the new ACL is 186,000 lb more than 
the ACL for 2017-18, and greater than the highest reported landings 
over the past five fishing seasons.
    Response: As described in the EA, the higher ACL for fishing years 
2019-20 through 2020-21 is the result of improved stock conditions as 
described in the 2018 benchmark assessment for MHI Deep 7 bottomfish. 
Specifically, the 2018 stock assessment estimated the overfishing limit 
(OFL) for the MHI Deep 7 bottomfish stock complex to be 558,000 lb, 
assuming three years of identical catch in fishing years 2018-19, 2019-
20, and 2020-21. This OFL is 206,000 lb more than the OFL in the 2011 
stock assessment, as updated in 2015. According to the 2018 stock 
assessment, an ACL of 492,000 lb for 2018-2021 is associated with a 40 
percent probability of overfishing in each fishing year.
    The 2018 assessment represents an improvement over the previous 
assessment upon which the 2017-18 ACL was based because it included 
more years of fishery data, an independent biomass estimate from a 
fishery-independent survey, improved fishery data filtering, and catch 
per unit of effort or CPUE standardization methods obtained through a 
series of workshops with fishermen and managers. As such, the 2018 
stock assessment is the best scientific information available for 
assessing the status of the MHI Deep 7 bottomfish stocks.
    Comment 7: Reopening of four of the bottomfish restricted fishing 
areas (BRFA) to fishing by the Hawaii Division of Aquatic Resources 
could lead to overfishing.
    Response: The proposed opening of four BRFA to fishing is a State 
of Hawaii management action and is not part of this final rule.
    Although the State may open four of the 12 BRFAs to fishing, this 
final rule ensures that total authorized catch of bottomfish will 
remain sustainable, regardless of the location of the catch. Thus, even 
if bottomfish are caught in one or more of the four BRFAs that would be 
open to fishing, the ACL and AMs would prevent catch from reaching the 
OFL, or mitigate overages, if they were to occur, thus maintaining a 
healthy and sustainable fishery.

Changes From the Proposed Rule

    This final rule contains no changes from the proposed rule.

Classification

    The Administrator, Pacific Islands Region, NMFS, determined that 
this action is necessary for the conservation, management, and long-
term sustainability of Deep 7 bottomfish, and that it is consistent 
with the Magnuson-Stevens Act and other applicable laws.
    This final 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 during the proposed rule stage that this action would 
not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small 
entities. The factual basis for the certification was published in the 
proposed rule and is not repeated here. NMFS did not receive any 
comments regarding this certification. As a result, a regulatory 
flexibility analysis was not required and none was prepared.

List of Subjects in 50 CFR Part 665

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

    Dated: June 17, 2019.
Samuel D. Rauch III,
Deputy Assistant Administrator for Regulatory Programs, National Marine 
Fisheries Service.

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

PART 665--FISHERIES IN THE WESTERN PACIFIC

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

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


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


Sec.  665.12   Definitions.

* * * * *
    Fishing year means the year beginning at 0001 local time on January 
1 and ending at 2400 local time on December 31, with the exception of 
fishing for Deep 7 bottomfish and any precious coral MUS.
* * * * *

0
3. Amend Sec.  665.201 by:
0
a. Adding in alphabetical order the definitions of ``Deep 7 
bottomfish'' and ``Deep 7 bottomfish fishing year;''
0
b. Revising the definition of ``Hawaii bottomfish management unit 
species (Hawaii bottomfish MUS);''
0
c. Removing the definition of ``Hawaii restricted bottomfish species 
fishing year;'' and
0
d. Revising the definition of ``Main Hawaiian Islands non-commercial 
bottomfish permit.''
    The revisions and additions to read as follows:


Sec.  665.201   Definitions.

* * * * *
    Deep 7 bottomfish means the following species:

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
              Local name                     Common name                         Scientific name
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
(1) lehi.............................  silver jaw jobfish.....  Aphareus rutilans.
(2) ehu..............................  squirrelfish snapper...  Etelis carbunculus.
(3) onaga............................  longtail snapper.......  Etelis coruscans.
(4) hapuupuu.........................  sea bass...............  Hyporthodus quernus.
(5) opakapaka........................  pink snapper...........  Pristipomoides filamentosus.
(6) kalekale.........................  pink snapper...........  Pristipomoides sieboldii.
(7) gindai...........................  snapper................  Pristipomoides zonatus.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

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

[[Page 29397]]



----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
              Local name                     Common name                         Scientific name
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
(1) lehi.............................  silver jaw jobfish.....  Aphareus rutilans.
(2) uku..............................  gray jobfish...........  Aprion virescens.
(3) ehu..............................  squirrelfish snapper...  Etelis carbunculus.
(4) onaga............................  longtail snapper.......  Etelis coruscans.
(5) hapuupuu.........................  sea bass...............  Hyporthodus quernus.
(6) opakapaka........................  pink snapper...........  Pristipomoides filamentosus.
(7) kalekale.........................  pink snapper...........  Pristipomoides sieboldii.
(8) gindai...........................  snapper................  Pristipomoides zonatus.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Main Hawaiian Islands non-commercial bottomfish permit means the 
permit required by Sec.  665.203(a)(2) to own or fish from a vessel 
that is used in any non-commercial vessel-based fishing, landing, or 
transshipment of any Hawaii bottomfish MUS or ECS in the MHI Management 
Subarea.
* * * * *

0
4. In Sec.  665.204, revise paragraphs (h), (i), and (j) to read as 
follows:


Sec.  665.204  Prohibitions.

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


Sec.  665.210   [Removed and Reserved]

0
5. Remove and reserve Sec.  665.210.

0
6. Revise Sec.  665.211 to read as follows:


Sec.  665.211  Annual Catch Limit (ACL).

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

------------------------------------------------------------------------
                      Fishing year                           ACL (lb)
------------------------------------------------------------------------
(1) 2018-2019...........................................         492,000
(2) 2019-2020...........................................         492,000
(3) 2020-2021...........................................         492,000
------------------------------------------------------------------------

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

0
7. Revise Sec.  665.212 to read as follows:


Sec.  665.212   Non-commercial bag limits.

    No more than a total of five fish (all species combined) identified 
as Deep 7 bottomfish may be harvested, possessed, or landed by any 
individual participating in a non-commercial vessel-based fishing trip 
in the MHI management subarea. Charter boat customers are also subject 
to the non-commercial bag limit.

0
8. In Sec.  665.401, revise the definition of ``Mariana bottomfish 
management unit species (Mariana bottomfish MUS)'' to read as follows:


Sec.  665.401   Definitions.

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

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
              Local name                     Common name                         Scientific name
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
(1) lehi/maroobw.....................  red snapper,             Aphareus rutilans.
                                        silvermouth.
(2) tarakitu/etam....................  giant trevally, jack...  Caranx ignobilis.
(3) tarakiton attelong, orong........  black trevally, jack...  Caranx lugubris.
(4) bueli, bwele.....................  lunartail grouper......  Variola louti.
(5) buninas agaga', falaghal moroobw.  red snapper............  Etelis carbunculus.
(6) abuninas, taighulupegh...........  red snapper............  Etelis coruscans.
(7) mafuti, atigh....................  redgill emperor........  Lethrinus rubrioperculatus.
(8) funai, saas......................  blueline snapper.......  Lutjanus kasmira.
(9) buninas, falaghal-maroobw........  yellowtail snapper.....  Pristipomoides auricilla.
(10) buninas, pakapaka, falaghal-      pink snapper...........  Pristipomoides filamentosus.
 maroobw,.
(11) buninas, falaghal-maroobw.......  yelloweye snapper......  Pristipomoides flavipinnis.
(12) buninas, falaghal-maroobw.......  pink snapper...........  Pristipomoides sieboldii.
(13) buninas rayao amariyu, falaghal-  flower snapper.........  Pristipomoides zonatus.
 maroobw.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


0
9. In Sec.  665.601, in the table to the definition of ``PRIA 
bottomfish management unit species (PRIA bottomfish MUS)'':
0
a. Revise the first column heading;
0
b. Designate the entries as paragraphs (1) through (12); and
0
c. Revise newly designated paragraph (5).
    The revisions read as follows:


Sec.  665.601   Definitions.

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

[[Page 29398]]



------------------------------------------------------------------------
                Common name                        Scientific name
------------------------------------------------------------------------
 
                                * * * * *
(5) Sea bass..............................  Hyporthodus quernus.
 
                                * * * * *
------------------------------------------------------------------------

[FR Doc. 2019-13108 Filed 6-21-19; 8:45 am]
 BILLING CODE 3510-22-P