Atlantic Highly Migratory Species; Atlantic Bluefin Tuna Fisheries, 35340-35342 [2019-15616]

Download as PDF 35340 Federal Register / Vol. 84, No. 141 / Tuesday, July 23, 2019 / Rules and Regulations jspears on DSK30JT082PROD with RULES tilefish is closed effective at 12:01 a.m., local time, July 23, 2019. The commercial longline component for South Atlantic golden tilefish closed on March 14, 2019, and will remain closed for the remainder of the fishing year, until 12:01 a.m., local time, January 1, 2020 (84 FR 8997; March 13, 2019). Additionally, the recreational sector for South Atlantic golden tilefish closed on June 17, 2019, and will remain closed for the remainder of the fishing year, until 12:01 a.m., local time, January 1, 2020 (84 FR 27479; June 16, 2019). Therefore, because the recreational sector and the commercial longline component is already closed, and NMFS is closing the commercial hook-and-line component through this temporary rule, all fishing for South Atlantic golden tilefish in the EEZ will be closed effective at 12:01 a.m., local time, July 23, 2019, until 12:01 a.m., local time, January 1, 2020. The operator of a vessel with a valid Federal commercial vessel permit for South Atlantic snapper-grouper having golden tilefish on board must have landed and bartered, traded, or sold such golden tilefish prior to 12:01 a.m., local time, July 23, 2019. During the closure, the harvest or possession and sale or purchase of golden tilefish taken from the EEZ is prohibited. The prohibition on sale or purchase does not apply to the sale or purchase of golden tilefish that were harvested by hookand-line, landed ashore, and sold prior to 12:01 a.m., local time, July 23, 2019, and were held in cold storage by a dealer or processor. For a person on board a vessel for which a Federal commercial or charter vessel/headboat permit for the South Atlantic snappergrouper fishery has been issued, the prohibitions on harvest or possession and sale and purchase provisions of the commercial closure for golden tilefish would apply regardless of whether the fish are harvested in state or Federal waters, as specified in 50 CFR 622.190(c)(1)(ii). without opportunity for prior notice and comment. This action responds to the best scientific information available. The Assistant Administrator for Fisheries, NOAA (AA), finds that the need to immediately implement this action to close the commercial hook-and-line component for golden tilefish constitutes good cause to waive the requirements to provide prior notice and opportunity for public comment pursuant to the authority set forth in 5 U.S.C. 553(b)(B), as such procedures are unnecessary and contrary to the public interest. Such procedures are unnecessary because the rule itself has been subject to notice and comment, and all that remains is to notify the public of the closure. Such procedures are contrary to the public interest because the capacity of the fishing fleet allows for rapid harvest of the commercial ACL for the hook-and-line component, and there is a need to immediately implement this action to protect golden tilefish. Prior notice and opportunity for public comment would require time and could potentially result in a harvest well in excess of the established commercial ACL. For the aforementioned reasons, the AA also finds good cause to waive the 30-day delay in the effectiveness of this action under 5 U.S.C. 553(d)(3). Authority: 16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq. Dated: July 18, 2019. Alan D. Risenhoover, Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine Fisheries Service. [FR Doc. 2019–15608 Filed 7–18–19; 4:15 pm] BILLING CODE 3510–22–P DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration 50 CFR Part 635 [Docket No. 180117042–8884–02] Classification RIN 0648–XT008 The Regional Administrator, Southeast Region, NMFS, has determined this temporary rule is necessary for the conservation and management of South Atlantic golden tilefish and is consistent with the Magnuson-Stevens Act and other applicable laws. This action is taken under 50 CFR 622.193(a)(1) and is exempt from review under Executive Order 12866. These measures are exempt from the procedures of the Regulatory Flexibility Act because the temporary rule is issued Atlantic Highly Migratory Species; Atlantic Bluefin Tuna Fisheries VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:11 Jul 22, 2019 Jkt 247001 National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Commerce. ACTION: Temporary rule; inseason quota transfer. AGENCY: NMFS is transferring 30 metric tons (mt) of Atlantic bluefin tuna (BFT) quota from the Reserve category to the Harpoon category. With this transfer, the adjusted Harpoon category SUMMARY: PO 00000 Frm 00056 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 quota for the 2019 fishing season is 76 mt. The 2019 Harpoon category fishery is open until November 15, 2019, or until the Harpoon category quota is reached, whichever comes first. The action is based on consideration of the regulatory determination criteria regarding inseason adjustments, and applies to Atlantic tunas Harpoon category (commercial) permitted vessels. Effective July 18, 2019, through November 15, 2019. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Sarah McLaughlin, 978–281–9260, or Larry Redd, 301–427–8503. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Regulations implemented under the authority of the Atlantic Tunas Convention Act (ATCA; 16 U.S.C. 971 et seq.) and the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (Magnuson-Stevens Act; 16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq.) governing the harvest of BFT by persons and vessels subject to U.S. jurisdiction are found at 50 CFR part 635. Section 635.27 subdivides the U.S. BFT quota recommended by the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas (ICCAT) and as implemented by the United States among the various domestic fishing categories, per the allocations established in Amendment 7 to the 2006 Consolidated Atlantic Highly Migratory Species Fishery Management Plan (2006 Consolidated HMS FMP) (Amendment 7) (79 FR 71510, December 2, 2014), and in accordance with implementing regulations. NMFS is required under ATCA and the Magnuson-Stevens Act to provide U.S. fishing vessels with a reasonable opportunity to harvest the ICCAT-recommended quota. The current baseline quotas for the Harpoon and Reserve categories are 46 mt and 29.5 mt, respectively. See § 635.27(a). To date for 2019, NMFS has published two actions that have adjusted the available 2019 Reserve category quota, which currently is 143 mt (84 FR 3724, February 13, 2019, and 84 FR 6701, February 28, 2019). The 2019 Harpoon category fishery opened June 1 and is open through November 15, 2019, or until the Harpoon category quota is reached, whichever comes first. DATES: Quota Transfer Under § 635.27(a)(9), NMFS has the authority to transfer quota among fishing categories or subcategories, after considering regulatory determination criteria provided under § 635.27(a)(8). NMFS has considered the relevant determination criteria and their applicability to the Harpoon category E:\FR\FM\23JYR1.SGM 23JYR1 jspears on DSK30JT082PROD with RULES Federal Register / Vol. 84, No. 141 / Tuesday, July 23, 2019 / Rules and Regulations fishery. These considerations include, but are not limited to, the following: Regarding the usefulness of information obtained from catches in the particular category for biological sampling and monitoring of the status of the stock (§ 635.27(a)(8)(i)), biological samples collected from BFT landed by Harpoon category fishermen and provided by BFT dealers continue to provide valuable data for ongoing scientific studies of BFT age and growth, migration, and reproductive status. Additional opportunity to land BFT in the Harpoon category would support the continued collection of a broad range of data for these studies and for stock monitoring purposes. NMFS also considered the catches of the Harpoon category quota to date and the likelihood of closure of that segment of the fishery if no adjustment is made (§ 635.27(a)(8)(ii) and (ix)). As of July 17, 2019, the Harpoon category has landed 38.5 mt. Commercial-size BFT are currently readily available to vessels fishing under the Harpoon category quota. Without a quota transfer at this time, Harpoon category participants would have to stop BFT fishing activities with very short notice, while commercial-sized BFT remain available in the areas Harpoon category permitted vessels operate. Transferring 30 mt of BFT quota from the Reserve category would result in a total of 76 mt being available for the Harpoon category for the 2019 Harpoon category fishing season. Regarding the projected ability of the vessels fishing under the particular category quota (here, the Harpoon category) to harvest the additional amount of BFT before the end of the fishing year (§ 635.27(a)(8)(iii)), NMFS considered Harpoon category landings over the last several years. Landings are highly variable and depend on access to commercial-sized BFT and fishing conditions, among other factors. NMFS anticipates that the Harpoon category could harvest the transferred 30 mt prior to the end of the Harpoon category season, subject to weather conditions and BFT availability. NMFS may transfer unused Harpoon category quota to other quota categories, as appropriate. NMFS also anticipates that some underharvest of the 2018 adjusted U.S. BFT quota will be carried forward to 2019 and placed in the Reserve category, in accordance with the regulations. Thus, this quota transfer would allow fishermen to take advantage of the availability of fish on the fishing grounds, consider the expected increases in available 2019 quota, and provide a reasonable VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:11 Jul 22, 2019 Jkt 247001 opportunity to harvest the full U.S. BFT quota. NMFS also considered the estimated amounts by which quotas for other gear categories of the fishery might be exceeded (§ 635.27(a)(8)(iv)) and the ability to account for all 2019 landings and dead discards. In the last several years, total U.S. BFT landings have been below the available U.S. quota such that the United States has carried forward the maximum amount of underharvest allowed by ICCAT from one year to the next. NMFS will need to account for 2019 landings and dead discards within the adjusted U.S. quota, consistent with ICCAT recommendations, and anticipates having sufficient quota to do that. NMFS also considered the effects of the adjustment on the BFT stock and the effects of the transfer on accomplishing the objectives of the FMP (§ 635.27(a)(8)(v) and (vi)). This transfer would be consistent with the current quotas, which were established and analyzed in the 2018 BFT quota final rule (83 FR 51391, October 11, 2018), and with objectives of the 2006 Consolidated HMS FMP and amendments and is not expected to negatively impact stock health or to affect the stock in ways not already analyzed in those documents. Another principal consideration is the objective of providing opportunities to harvest the full annual U.S. BFT quota without exceeding it based on the goals of the 2006 Consolidated HMS FMP and amendments, including to achieve optimum yield on a continuing basis and to optimize the ability of all permit categories to harvest their full BFT quota allocations (related to § 635.27(a)(8)(x)). Based on the considerations above, NMFS is transferring 30 mt of the available 143 mt of Reserve category quota to the Harpoon category. Therefore, NMFS adjusts the Harpoon category quota to 76 mt for the 2019 Harpoon category fishing season (i.e., through November 15, 2019, or until the Harpoon category quota is reached, whichever comes first), and adjusts the Reserve category quota to 113 mt. Monitoring and Reporting NMFS will continue to monitor the BFT fishery closely. Dealers are required to submit landing reports within 24 hours of a dealer receiving BFT. Late reporting by dealers compromises NMFS’ ability to timely implement actions such as quota adjustments and closures, and may result in enforcement actions. Additionally, and separate from the dealer reporting requirement, Harpoon category vessel owners are PO 00000 Frm 00057 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 35341 required to report their own catch of all BFT retained or discarded dead, within 24 hours of the landing(s) or end of each trip, by accessing hmspermits.noaa.gov, using the HMS Catch Reporting app, or calling (888) 872–8862 (Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. until 4:30 p.m.). Depending on the level of fishing effort and catch rates of BFT, NMFS may determine that additional action (i.e., quota and/or daily retention limit adjustment, or closure) is necessary to ensure available quota is not exceeded or to enhance scientific data collection from, and fishing opportunities in, all geographic areas. If needed, subsequent adjustments will be published in the Federal Register. In addition, fishermen may call the Atlantic Tunas Information Line at (978) 281–9260, or access hmspermits.noaa.gov, for updates on quota monitoring and inseason adjustments. Classification The Assistant Administrator for NMFS (AA) finds that it is impracticable and contrary to the public interest to provide prior notice of, and an opportunity for public comment on, this action for the following reasons: The regulations implementing the 2006 Consolidated HMS FMP and amendments provide for inseason retention limit adjustments to respond to the unpredictable nature of BFT availability on the fishing grounds, the migratory nature of this species, and the regional variations in the BFT fishery. Affording prior notice and opportunity for public comment to implement the quota transfer for the remainder of 2019 is also contrary to the public interest as such a delay would likely result in closure of the Harpoon fishery when the baseline quota is met and the need to reopen the fishery, with attendant administrative costs and costs to the fishery. The delay would preclude the fishery from harvesting BFT that are available on the fishing grounds and that might otherwise become unavailable during a delay. Therefore, the AA finds good cause under 5 U.S.C. 553(b)(B) to waive prior notice and the opportunity for public comment. For these reasons, there also is good cause under 5 U.S.C. 553(d) to waive the 30day delay in effectiveness. This action is being taken under § 635.27(a)(9), and is exempt from review under Executive Order 12866. Authority: 16 U.S.C. 971 et seq. and 1801 et seq. E:\FR\FM\23JYR1.SGM 23JYR1 35342 Federal Register / Vol. 84, No. 141 / Tuesday, July 23, 2019 / Rules and Regulations Dated: July 18, 2019. Alan D. Risenhoover, Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine Fisheries Service. [FR Doc. 2019–15616 Filed 7–18–19; 4:15 pm] BILLING CODE 3510–22–P DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration 50 CFR Part 679 [Docket No. 180831813–9170–02] RIN 0648–XH099 Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Reapportionment of the 2019 Gulf of Alaska Pacific Halibut Prohibited Species Catch Limits for the Trawl Deep-Water and Shallow-Water Fishery Categories National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Commerce. ACTION: Temporary rule; reapportionment. AGENCY: NMFS is reapportioning the seasonal apportionments of the 2019 Pacific halibut prohibited species catch (PSC) limits for the trawl deep-water and shallow-water species fishery categories in the Gulf of Alaska. This action is necessary to account for the actual halibut PSC use by the trawl SUMMARY: deep-water and shallow-water species fishery categories from May 15, 2019 through June 30, 2019. This action is consistent with the goals and objectives of the Fishery Management Plan for Groundfish of the Gulf of Alaska. DATES: Effective 1200 hours, Alaska local time (A.l.t.), July 18, 2019 through 2400 hours, A.l.t., December 31, 2019. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Obren Davis, 907–586–7228. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: NMFS manages the groundfish fishery in the Gulf of Alaska (GOA) exclusive economic zone according to the Fishery Management Plan for Groundfish of the Gulf of Alaska (FMP) prepared by the North Pacific Fishery Management Council under authority of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act. Regulations governing fishing by U.S. vessels in accordance with the FMP appear at subpart H of 50 CFR part 600 and 50 CFR part 679. The final 2019 and 2020 harvest specifications for groundfish in the GOA (84 FR 9416, March 14, 2019) apportions the 2019 Pacific halibut PSC limit for trawl gear in the GOA to two trawl fishery categories: A deep-water species fishery and a shallow-water species fishery. The halibut PSC limit for these two trawl fishery categories is further apportioned by season, including four seasonal apportionments to the shallow-water species fishery and four seasonal apportionments to the deep-water species fishery. The two fishery categories also are apportioned a combined, fifth seasonal halibut PSC limit. Unused seasonal apportionments are added to the next season apportionment during a fishing year. Regulations at § 679.21(d)(4)(iii)(D) require NMFS to combine management of the available trawl halibut PSC limits in the second season (April 1 through July 1) deep-water and shallow-water species fishery categories for use in either fishery from May 15 through June 30 of each year. Furthermore, NMFS is required to reapportion the halibut PSC limit between the deep-water and shallow-water species fisheries after June 30 to account for actual halibut PSC use by each fishery category during May 15 through June 30. As of July 17, 2019, NMFS has determined that the trawl deep-water and shallow-water fisheries used 51 metric tons (mt) and 32 mt of halibut PSC, respectively, from May 15 through June 30. Accordingly, pursuant to § 679.21(d)(4)(iii)(D), the Regional Administrator is reapportioning the combined first and second seasonal apportionments (860 mt) of halibut PSC limit between the trawl deep-water and shallow-water fishery categories to account for the actual PSC use (428 mt) in each fishery from January 1, 2019 through June 30, 2019. Therefore, Table 15 of the final 2019 and 2020 harvest specifications for groundfish in the GOA (84 FR 9416, March 14, 2019) is revised consistent with this adjustment. TABLE 15—FINAL 2019 AND 2020 APPORTIONMENT OF PACIFIC HALIBUT PSC TRAWL LIMITS BETWEEN THE TRAWL GEAR DEEP-WATER SPECIES FISHERY AND THE SHALLOW-WATER SPECIES FISHERY CATEGORIES [Values are in metric tons] Season Shallow-water Deep-water 1 Total January 20–April 1 ..................................................................................................... April 1–July 1 ............................................................................................................. 19 42 141 226 160 268 Subtotal, combined first and second season limit (January 20–July 1) ............ July 1–August 1 ......................................................................................................... August 1–October 1 ................................................................................................... 61 287 53 367 607 75 428 894 128 Subtotal January 20–October 1 ......................................................................... October 1–December 31 2 ......................................................................................... 401 .............................. 1,049 .............................. 1,450 256 Total ............................................................................................................. .............................. .............................. 1,706 1 Vessels jspears on DSK30JT082PROD with RULES participating in cooperatives in the Central GOA Rockfish Program will receive 191 mt of the third season (July 1 through September 1) deep-water species fishery halibut PSC apportionment. 2 There is no apportionment between trawl shallow-water and deep-water species fishery categories during the fifth season (October 1 through December 31). Classification This action responds to the best available information recently obtained from the fishery. The Assistant Administrator for Fisheries, NOAA (AA), finds good cause to waive the VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:11 Jul 22, 2019 Jkt 247001 requirement to provide prior notice and opportunity for public comment pursuant to the authority set forth at 5 U.S.C. 553(b)(B) as such requirement is impracticable and contrary to the public interest. This requirement is impracticable and contrary to the public PO 00000 Frm 00058 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 interest as it would prevent NMFS from responding to the most recent fisheries data in a timely fashion and would allow for harvests that exceed the originally specified apportionment of the halibut PSC limits to the deep-water and shallow-water fishery categories. E:\FR\FM\23JYR1.SGM 23JYR1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 84, Number 141 (Tuesday, July 23, 2019)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 35340-35342]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2019-15616]


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DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

50 CFR Part 635

[Docket No. 180117042-8884-02]
RIN 0648-XT008


Atlantic Highly Migratory Species; Atlantic Bluefin Tuna 
Fisheries

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

ACTION: Temporary rule; inseason quota transfer.

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

SUMMARY: NMFS is transferring 30 metric tons (mt) of Atlantic bluefin 
tuna (BFT) quota from the Reserve category to the Harpoon category. 
With this transfer, the adjusted Harpoon category quota for the 2019 
fishing season is 76 mt. The 2019 Harpoon category fishery is open 
until November 15, 2019, or until the Harpoon category quota is 
reached, whichever comes first. The action is based on consideration of 
the regulatory determination criteria regarding inseason adjustments, 
and applies to Atlantic tunas Harpoon category (commercial) permitted 
vessels.

DATES: Effective July 18, 2019, through November 15, 2019.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Sarah McLaughlin, 978-281-9260, or 
Larry Redd, 301-427-8503.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Regulations implemented under the authority 
of the Atlantic Tunas Convention Act (ATCA; 16 U.S.C. 971 et seq.) and 
the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (Magnuson-
Stevens Act; 16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq.) governing the harvest of BFT by 
persons and vessels subject to U.S. jurisdiction are found at 50 CFR 
part 635. Section 635.27 subdivides the U.S. BFT quota recommended by 
the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas 
(ICCAT) and as implemented by the United States among the various 
domestic fishing categories, per the allocations established in 
Amendment 7 to the 2006 Consolidated Atlantic Highly Migratory Species 
Fishery Management Plan (2006 Consolidated HMS FMP) (Amendment 7) (79 
FR 71510, December 2, 2014), and in accordance with implementing 
regulations. NMFS is required under ATCA and the Magnuson-Stevens Act 
to provide U.S. fishing vessels with a reasonable opportunity to 
harvest the ICCAT-recommended quota.
    The current baseline quotas for the Harpoon and Reserve categories 
are 46 mt and 29.5 mt, respectively. See Sec.  635.27(a). To date for 
2019, NMFS has published two actions that have adjusted the available 
2019 Reserve category quota, which currently is 143 mt (84 FR 3724, 
February 13, 2019, and 84 FR 6701, February 28, 2019). The 2019 Harpoon 
category fishery opened June 1 and is open through November 15, 2019, 
or until the Harpoon category quota is reached, whichever comes first.

Quota Transfer

    Under Sec.  635.27(a)(9), NMFS has the authority to transfer quota 
among fishing categories or subcategories, after considering regulatory 
determination criteria provided under Sec.  635.27(a)(8). NMFS has 
considered the relevant determination criteria and their applicability 
to the Harpoon category

[[Page 35341]]

fishery. These considerations include, but are not limited to, the 
following:
    Regarding the usefulness of information obtained from catches in 
the particular category for biological sampling and monitoring of the 
status of the stock (Sec.  635.27(a)(8)(i)), biological samples 
collected from BFT landed by Harpoon category fishermen and provided by 
BFT dealers continue to provide valuable data for ongoing scientific 
studies of BFT age and growth, migration, and reproductive status. 
Additional opportunity to land BFT in the Harpoon category would 
support the continued collection of a broad range of data for these 
studies and for stock monitoring purposes.
    NMFS also considered the catches of the Harpoon category quota to 
date and the likelihood of closure of that segment of the fishery if no 
adjustment is made (Sec.  635.27(a)(8)(ii) and (ix)). As of July 17, 
2019, the Harpoon category has landed 38.5 mt. Commercial-size BFT are 
currently readily available to vessels fishing under the Harpoon 
category quota. Without a quota transfer at this time, Harpoon category 
participants would have to stop BFT fishing activities with very short 
notice, while commercial-sized BFT remain available in the areas 
Harpoon category permitted vessels operate. Transferring 30 mt of BFT 
quota from the Reserve category would result in a total of 76 mt being 
available for the Harpoon category for the 2019 Harpoon category 
fishing season.
    Regarding the projected ability of the vessels fishing under the 
particular category quota (here, the Harpoon category) to harvest the 
additional amount of BFT before the end of the fishing year (Sec.  
635.27(a)(8)(iii)), NMFS considered Harpoon category landings over the 
last several years. Landings are highly variable and depend on access 
to commercial-sized BFT and fishing conditions, among other factors. 
NMFS anticipates that the Harpoon category could harvest the 
transferred 30 mt prior to the end of the Harpoon category season, 
subject to weather conditions and BFT availability. NMFS may transfer 
unused Harpoon category quota to other quota categories, as 
appropriate. NMFS also anticipates that some underharvest of the 2018 
adjusted U.S. BFT quota will be carried forward to 2019 and placed in 
the Reserve category, in accordance with the regulations. Thus, this 
quota transfer would allow fishermen to take advantage of the 
availability of fish on the fishing grounds, consider the expected 
increases in available 2019 quota, and provide a reasonable opportunity 
to harvest the full U.S. BFT quota.
    NMFS also considered the estimated amounts by which quotas for 
other gear categories of the fishery might be exceeded (Sec.  
635.27(a)(8)(iv)) and the ability to account for all 2019 landings and 
dead discards. In the last several years, total U.S. BFT landings have 
been below the available U.S. quota such that the United States has 
carried forward the maximum amount of underharvest allowed by ICCAT 
from one year to the next. NMFS will need to account for 2019 landings 
and dead discards within the adjusted U.S. quota, consistent with ICCAT 
recommendations, and anticipates having sufficient quota to do that.
    NMFS also considered the effects of the adjustment on the BFT stock 
and the effects of the transfer on accomplishing the objectives of the 
FMP (Sec.  635.27(a)(8)(v) and (vi)). This transfer would be consistent 
with the current quotas, which were established and analyzed in the 
2018 BFT quota final rule (83 FR 51391, October 11, 2018), and with 
objectives of the 2006 Consolidated HMS FMP and amendments and is not 
expected to negatively impact stock health or to affect the stock in 
ways not already analyzed in those documents. Another principal 
consideration is the objective of providing opportunities to harvest 
the full annual U.S. BFT quota without exceeding it based on the goals 
of the 2006 Consolidated HMS FMP and amendments, including to achieve 
optimum yield on a continuing basis and to optimize the ability of all 
permit categories to harvest their full BFT quota allocations (related 
to Sec.  635.27(a)(8)(x)).
    Based on the considerations above, NMFS is transferring 30 mt of 
the available 143 mt of Reserve category quota to the Harpoon category. 
Therefore, NMFS adjusts the Harpoon category quota to 76 mt for the 
2019 Harpoon category fishing season (i.e., through November 15, 2019, 
or until the Harpoon category quota is reached, whichever comes first), 
and adjusts the Reserve category quota to 113 mt.

Monitoring and Reporting

    NMFS will continue to monitor the BFT fishery closely. Dealers are 
required to submit landing reports within 24 hours of a dealer 
receiving BFT. Late reporting by dealers compromises NMFS' ability to 
timely implement actions such as quota adjustments and closures, and 
may result in enforcement actions. Additionally, and separate from the 
dealer reporting requirement, Harpoon category vessel owners are 
required to report their own catch of all BFT retained or discarded 
dead, within 24 hours of the landing(s) or end of each trip, by 
accessing hmspermits.noaa.gov, using the HMS Catch Reporting app, or 
calling (888) 872-8862 (Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. until 4:30 
p.m.).
    Depending on the level of fishing effort and catch rates of BFT, 
NMFS may determine that additional action (i.e., quota and/or daily 
retention limit adjustment, or closure) is necessary to ensure 
available quota is not exceeded or to enhance scientific data 
collection from, and fishing opportunities in, all geographic areas. If 
needed, subsequent adjustments will be published in the Federal 
Register. In addition, fishermen may call the Atlantic Tunas 
Information Line at (978) 281-9260, or access hmspermits.noaa.gov, for 
updates on quota monitoring and inseason adjustments.

Classification

    The Assistant Administrator for NMFS (AA) finds that it is 
impracticable and contrary to the public interest to provide prior 
notice of, and an opportunity for public comment on, this action for 
the following reasons:
    The regulations implementing the 2006 Consolidated HMS FMP and 
amendments provide for inseason retention limit adjustments to respond 
to the unpredictable nature of BFT availability on the fishing grounds, 
the migratory nature of this species, and the regional variations in 
the BFT fishery. Affording prior notice and opportunity for public 
comment to implement the quota transfer for the remainder of 2019 is 
also contrary to the public interest as such a delay would likely 
result in closure of the Harpoon fishery when the baseline quota is met 
and the need to re-open the fishery, with attendant administrative 
costs and costs to the fishery. The delay would preclude the fishery 
from harvesting BFT that are available on the fishing grounds and that 
might otherwise become unavailable during a delay. Therefore, the AA 
finds good cause under 5 U.S.C. 553(b)(B) to waive prior notice and the 
opportunity for public comment. For these reasons, there also is good 
cause under 5 U.S.C. 553(d) to waive the 30-day delay in effectiveness.
    This action is being taken under Sec.  635.27(a)(9), and is exempt 
from review under Executive Order 12866.

    Authority: 16 U.S.C. 971 et seq. and 1801 et seq.


[[Page 35342]]


    Dated: July 18, 2019.
Alan D. Risenhoover,
Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine Fisheries 
Service.
[FR Doc. 2019-15616 Filed 7-18-19; 4:15 pm]
 BILLING CODE 3510-22-P