Fisheries of the Northeastern United States; Summer Flounder, Scup, Black Sea Bass, and Atlantic Bluefish Fisheries; 2020-2021 Specifications, 36046-36048 [2019-15845]

Download as PDF 36046 Federal Register / Vol. 84, No. 144 / Friday, July 26, 2019 / Proposed Rules Dated: June 27, 2019. Chris Hladick, Regional Administrator, EPA Region 10. [FR Doc. 2019–15310 Filed 7–25–19; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560–50–P DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration 50 CFR Part 648 [Docket No. 190514453–9453–01] RIN 0648–XH043 Fisheries of the Northeastern United States; Summer Flounder, Scup, Black Sea Bass, and Atlantic Bluefish Fisheries; 2020–2021 Specifications National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Commerce. ACTION: Proposed rule; request for comments. AGENCY: SUMMARY: NMFS proposes 2020 specifications for the summer flounder, scup, black sea bass, and bluefish fisheries and projects 2021 summer flounder specifications. The implementing regulations for the Summer Flounder, Scup, and Black Sea Bass Fishery Management Plan and the Atlantic Bluefish Fishery Management Plan require us to publish specifications for the upcoming fishing year for each of these species and to provide an opportunity for public comment. This action is intended to inform the public of the proposed specifications for the start of the 2020 fishing year for these four species and announces the projected 2021 summer flounder specifications. Comments must be received on or before August 26, 2019. ADDRESSES: An environmental assessment (EA) for the summer flounder specifications was prepared for this action that describes the proposed measures and other considered alternatives, and provides an analysis of the impacts of the proposed measures and alternatives. A Supplemental Information Report (SIR) was prepared for the scup, black sea bass, and bluefish jbell on DSK3GLQ082PROD with PROPOSALS DATES: specifications. Copies of the EA and SIR, are available on request from Dr. Christopher M. Moore, Executive Director, Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council, Suite 201, 800 North State Street, Dover, DE 19901. The EA is also accessible via the internet at http://www.mafmc.org/s/SF_ 2020-2021_specs_EA.pdf. You may submit comments on this document, identified by NOAA–NMFS– 2019–0067, by either of the following methods: Electronic Submission: Submit all electronic public comments via the Federal e-Rulemaking Portal. 1. Go to www.regulations.gov/ #!docketDetail;D=NOAA-NMFS-20190067, 2. Click the ‘‘Comment Now!’’ icon, complete the required fields, and 3. Enter or attach your comments. -ORMail: Submit written comments to Michael Pentony, Regional Administrator, National Marine Fisheries Service, 55 Great Republic Drive, Gloucester, MA 01930. Mark the outside of the envelope, ‘‘Comments on the Proposed Rule for the Summer Flounder, Scup, Black Sea Bass, and Bluefish Specifications.’’ 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 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: Emily Gilbert, Fishery Policy Analyst, (978) 281–9244. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: General Background The Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council (Council) and the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission (Commission) cooperatively manage the summer flounder, scup, black sea bass, and bluefish fisheries. The Summer Flounder, Scup, and Black Sea Bass Fishery Management Plan (FMP) and Atlantic Bluefish FMP outline the Council’s process for establishing specifications. The FMPs require the specification of the acceptable biological catch (ABC), annual catch limit (ACL), annual catch targets (ACT), commercial quotas, recreational harvest limit, and other management measures, for up to three years at a time. This action proposes summer flounder specifications for the 2020–2021 fishing years and also proposes interim scup, black sea bass, and bluefish 2020 specifications that will be replaced in early 2020 following the results of an operational assessment for all three species. These specifications are consistent with the recommendations made by the Commission and Council at the March 2019 joint meeting. Proposed Interim 2020 Scup, Black Sea Bass, and Bluefish Specifications There is no regulatory mechanism to roll over catch and landings limits from one year to the next in these FMPs, so this action is required to set these limits for the start of 2020. This action proposes maintaining the same 2019 specifications for the start of the 2020 fishing year (Table 1), consistent with the Council’s Scientific and Statistical Committee (SSC) recommendations and the recommendations of the Council and Boards. These catch limits are expected to be in place for the first few months of 2020 and will be revised as soon as possible following the results of the forthcoming operation assessment for all three species. The results of the assessment will be available in September 2019. The Council and Boards plan on recommending revised 2020 and considering 2021 specifications for all three species at a joint October 2019 meeting. Prior to the start of the 2020 fishing year, we will announce if any adjustments need to be made to account for any previous overages or, in the case of bluefish, any commercial/recreational sector transfers. The initial commercial scup quota allocations for 2020 by quota period are outlined in Table 2. TABLE 1—PROPOSED INTERIM 2020 SPECIFICATIONS FOR SCUP, BLACK SEA BASS, AND BLUEFISH Scup million lb Overfishing Limit (OFL) ............................ ABC .......................................................... VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:27 Jul 25, 2019 Jkt 247001 41.03 36.43 PO 00000 Frm 00011 Black Sea Bass mt million lb 18,612 16,525 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 Bluefish mt 10.29 8.94 E:\FR\FM\26JYP1.SGM million lb 4,667 4,055 26JYP1 29.97 21.81 mt 12,688 9,895 36047 Federal Register / Vol. 84, No. 144 / Friday, July 26, 2019 / Proposed Rules TABLE 1—PROPOSED INTERIM 2020 SPECIFICATIONS FOR SCUP, BLACK SEA BASS, AND BLUEFISH—Continued Scup million lb ACL .......................................................... Commercial ACL ...................................... ACT .......................................................... Commercial Quota ................................... Recreational ACL ..................................... Recreational ACT ..................................... Recreational Harvest Limit ....................... Black Sea Bass mt 36.43 28.42 28.42 23.98 8.01 8.01 7.37 million lb 16,525 12,890 12,890 10,879 3,636 3,636 3,342 Bluefish mt 8.94 4.35 4.35 3.52 4.59 4.59 3.66 million lb 4,055 1,974 1,974 1,596 2,083 2,083 1,661 mt 21.81 9,895 3.71 7.71 1,682 3,497 18.11 11.62 8,213 5,271 TABLE 2—INITIAL COMMERCIAL SCUP QUOTA ALLOCATIONS FOR 2020 BY QUOTA PERIOD Percent share Quota period lb mt Winter I ........................................................................................................................................ Summer ....................................................................................................................................... Winter II ....................................................................................................................................... 45.11 38.95 15.94 10,820,000 9,340,986 3,822,816 4,908 4,237 1,734 Total ...................................................................................................................................... 100.0 23,983,802 10,879 Note: Metric tons are as converted from lb and may not necessarily total due to rounding. Proposed 2020–2021 Summer Flounder Specifications In February 2019, the final peer review and assessment results from the 66th Stock Assessment Workshop/Stock Assessment Review Committee (SAW/ SARC 66) became available. This assessment incorporated revised MRIP estimates of recreational catch, which has an important impact on estimated spawning stock biomass for summer flounder. Based on the results of this benchmark assessment, the summer flounder stock is not overfished, and overfishing is not occurring. The Council’s SSC and the Summer Flounder Monitoring Committee (MC) met in late February 2019 to make recommendations to the Council for revised catch and landings limits for 2019 through 2021 based on the assessment information. Due to the need to implement revised 2019 specifications as soon as possible, we published an interim final rule on May 17, 2019 (84 FR 22392), adjusting the 2019 catch limits for the remainder of the 2019 fishing year. This proposed rule would implement the 2020 specifications and announce the projected 2021 specifications (Table 3). The 2020 and 2021 specifications are identical to what is currently in place for 2019. Table 4 outlines the initial 2020 stateby-state summer flounder allocations. Prior to the start of each fishing year, we will announce any adjustments necessary to address any long-standing overages or potential 2018 overages and to provide the states with their specific quotas. TABLE 3—SUMMARY OF 2020–2021 SUMMER FLOUNDER FISHERY SPECIFICATIONS [In millions of pounds] million lb OFL .......................................................................................................................................................................... ABC .......................................................................................................................................................................... Commercial ACL ...................................................................................................................................................... Commercial ACT ..................................................................................................................................................... Commercial Quota ................................................................................................................................................... Recreational ACL ..................................................................................................................................................... Recreational ACT .................................................................................................................................................... Recreational Harvest Limit ...................................................................................................................................... 30.94 (2020) 31.67 (2021) 25.03 13.53 13.53 11.53 11.51 11.51 7.69 mt 14,034 (2020) 14,365 (2021) 11,354 6,136 6,136 5,229 5,218 5,218 3,486 TABLE 4—INITIAL 2020 SUMMER FLOUNDER STATE-BY-STATE ALLOCATIONS jbell on DSK3GLQ082PROD with PROPOSALS Initial 2020 quotas * FMP percent share State lb ME ................................................................................................................................................ NH ................................................................................................................................................ MA ................................................................................................................................................ RI ................................................................................................................................................. CT ................................................................................................................................................ NY ................................................................................................................................................ NJ ................................................................................................................................................. VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:27 Jul 25, 2019 Jkt 247001 PO 00000 Frm 00012 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 0.0476 0.0005 6.8205 15.6830 2.2571 7.6470 16.7250 E:\FR\FM\26JYP1.SGM 26JYP1 5,484 53 786,399 1,808,248 260,241 881,698 1,928,391 kg 2,487 24 356,705 820,207 118,043 399,931 874,704 36048 Federal Register / Vol. 84, No. 144 / Friday, July 26, 2019 / Proposed Rules TABLE 4—INITIAL 2020 SUMMER FLOUNDER STATE-BY-STATE ALLOCATIONS—Continued Initial 2020 quotas * FMP percent share State lb DE MD VA NC kg ................................................................................................................................................ ............................................................................................................................................... ................................................................................................................................................ ................................................................................................................................................ 0.0178 2.0391 21.3168 27.4458 2,051 235,108 2,457,822 3,164,505 930 106,643 1,114,850 1,435,395 Total ...................................................................................................................................... 100.00 11,530,000 5,229,920 * Initial quotas do not account for any previous overages. This action makes no changes to the current commercial management measures, including the minimum fish size (14-inch (36-cm) total length), gear requirements, and possession limits. The 2020 recreational management measures will be considered in the late fall of 2019. jbell on DSK3GLQ082PROD with PROPOSALS 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 Summer Flounder, Scup, and Black Sea Bass FMP, Atlantic Bluefish FMP, other provisions of the MagnusonStevens Act, and other applicable law, subject to further consideration after public comment. This proposed rule has been determined to be not significant for purposes of Executive Order 12866. The Chief Counsel for Regulation of the Department of Commerce certified to the Chief Counsel for Advocacy of the Small Business Administration that this proposed rule, if adopted, would not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. The Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council conducted an evaluation of the VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:27 Jul 25, 2019 Jkt 247001 potential socioeconomic impacts of the proposed measures in conjunction with an EA (summer flounder) and SIR (scup, black sea bass, and bluefish). According to the commercial ownership database, 1,345 affiliate firms landed summer flounder, scup, black sea bass, and/or bluefish during the 2015–2019 period, with 1,335 of those business affiliates categorized as small businesses and 10 categorized as large businesses. Summer flounder, scup, black sea bass, and bluefish represented approximately 74 percent of the average receipts of the small entities and less than 1 percent for large entities considered over this time period. The ownership data for the for-hire fleet indicate that there were 389 forhire affiliate firms with summer flounder, scup, black sea bass, and/or bluefish permits generating revenues from recreationally fishing, all of which are categorized as small businesses. Although it is not possible to derive what proportion of the overall revenues came from specific fishing activities, given the popularity of these three species as recreational targets, it is likely that revenues generated from these species are important for some, if not all, of these firms. PO 00000 Frm 00013 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 9990 For all four species, the proposed measures would maintain the commercial quotas and recreational harvest limits that are in place for the 2019 fishing year, resulting in similar fishing effort and revenues. As a result, this action is not expected to adversely impact revenues for commercial and recreational vessels that fish for summer flounder, scup, black sea bass, and bluefish. Because this rule will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities, an initial regulatory flexibility analysis is not required and none has been prepared. There are no new reporting or recordkeeping requirements contained in any of the alternatives considered for this action. List of Subjects in 50 CFR Part 648 Fisheries, Fishing, Recordkeeping and reporting requirements. Dated: July 22, 2019. Samuel D. Rauch, III, Deputy Assistant Administrator for Regulatory Programs, National Marine Fisheries Service. [FR Doc. 2019–15845 Filed 7–25–19; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510–22–P E:\FR\FM\26JYP1.SGM 26JYP1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 84, Number 144 (Friday, July 26, 2019)]
[Proposed Rules]
[Pages 36046-36048]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2019-15845]


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DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

50 CFR Part 648

[Docket No. 190514453-9453-01]
RIN 0648-XH043


Fisheries of the Northeastern United States; Summer Flounder, 
Scup, Black Sea Bass, and Atlantic Bluefish Fisheries; 2020-2021 
Specifications

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

ACTION: Proposed rule; request for comments.

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

SUMMARY: NMFS proposes 2020 specifications for the summer flounder, 
scup, black sea bass, and bluefish fisheries and projects 2021 summer 
flounder specifications. The implementing regulations for the Summer 
Flounder, Scup, and Black Sea Bass Fishery Management Plan and the 
Atlantic Bluefish Fishery Management Plan require us to publish 
specifications for the upcoming fishing year for each of these species 
and to provide an opportunity for public comment. This action is 
intended to inform the public of the proposed specifications for the 
start of the 2020 fishing year for these four species and announces the 
projected 2021 summer flounder specifications.

DATES: Comments must be received on or before August 26, 2019.

ADDRESSES: An environmental assessment (EA) for the summer flounder 
specifications was prepared for this action that describes the proposed 
measures and other considered alternatives, and provides an analysis of 
the impacts of the proposed measures and alternatives. A Supplemental 
Information Report (SIR) was prepared for the scup, black sea bass, and 
bluefish specifications. Copies of the EA and SIR, are available on 
request from Dr. Christopher M. Moore, Executive Director, Mid-Atlantic 
Fishery Management Council, Suite 201, 800 North State Street, Dover, 
DE 19901. The EA is also accessible via the internet at http://www.mafmc.org/s/SF_2020-2021_specs_EA.pdf.
    You may submit comments on this document, identified by NOAA-NMFS-
2019-0067, by either of the following methods:
    Electronic Submission: Submit all electronic public comments via 
the Federal e-Rulemaking Portal.
    1. Go to www.regulations.gov/#!docketDetail;D=NOAA-NMFS-2019-0067,
    2. Click the ``Comment Now!'' icon, complete the required fields, 
and
    3. Enter or attach your comments.
-OR-
    Mail: Submit written comments to Michael Pentony, Regional 
Administrator, National Marine Fisheries Service, 55 Great Republic 
Drive, Gloucester, MA 01930. Mark the outside of the envelope, 
``Comments on the Proposed Rule for the Summer Flounder, Scup, Black 
Sea Bass, and Bluefish Specifications.''
    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 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: Emily Gilbert, Fishery Policy Analyst, 
(978) 281-9244.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

General Background

    The Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council (Council) and the 
Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission (Commission) cooperatively 
manage the summer flounder, scup, black sea bass, and bluefish 
fisheries. The Summer Flounder, Scup, and Black Sea Bass Fishery 
Management Plan (FMP) and Atlantic Bluefish FMP outline the Council's 
process for establishing specifications. The FMPs require the 
specification of the acceptable biological catch (ABC), annual catch 
limit (ACL), annual catch targets (ACT), commercial quotas, 
recreational harvest limit, and other management measures, for up to 
three years at a time. This action proposes summer flounder 
specifications for the 2020-2021 fishing years and also proposes 
interim scup, black sea bass, and bluefish 2020 specifications that 
will be replaced in early 2020 following the results of an operational 
assessment for all three species. These specifications are consistent 
with the recommendations made by the Commission and Council at the 
March 2019 joint meeting.

Proposed Interim 2020 Scup, Black Sea Bass, and Bluefish Specifications

    There is no regulatory mechanism to roll over catch and landings 
limits from one year to the next in these FMPs, so this action is 
required to set these limits for the start of 2020. This action 
proposes maintaining the same 2019 specifications for the start of the 
2020 fishing year (Table 1), consistent with the Council's Scientific 
and Statistical Committee (SSC) recommendations and the recommendations 
of the Council and Boards. These catch limits are expected to be in 
place for the first few months of 2020 and will be revised as soon as 
possible following the results of the forthcoming operation assessment 
for all three species. The results of the assessment will be available 
in September 2019. The Council and Boards plan on recommending revised 
2020 and considering 2021 specifications for all three species at a 
joint October 2019 meeting.
    Prior to the start of the 2020 fishing year, we will announce if 
any adjustments need to be made to account for any previous overages 
or, in the case of bluefish, any commercial/recreational sector 
transfers. The initial commercial scup quota allocations for 2020 by 
quota period are outlined in Table 2.

                                  Table 1--Proposed Interim 2020 Specifications for Scup, Black Sea Bass, and Bluefish
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                       Scup                       Black Sea Bass                     Bluefish
                                                         -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                            million lb          mt          million lb          mt          million lb          mt
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Overfishing Limit (OFL).................................           41.03          18,612           10.29           4,667           29.97          12,688
ABC.....................................................           36.43          16,525            8.94           4,055           21.81           9,895

[[Page 36047]]

 
ACL.....................................................           36.43          16,525            8.94           4,055           21.81           9,895
Commercial ACL..........................................           28.42          12,890            4.35           1,974
ACT.....................................................           28.42          12,890            4.35           1,974            3.71           1,682
Commercial Quota........................................           23.98          10,879            3.52           1,596            7.71           3,497
Recreational ACL........................................            8.01           3,636            4.59           2,083
Recreational ACT........................................            8.01           3,636            4.59           2,083           18.11           8,213
Recreational Harvest Limit..............................            7.37           3,342            3.66           1,661           11.62           5,271
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


                   Table 2--Initial Commercial Scup Quota Allocations for 2020 by Quota Period
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                          Quota period                             Percent share        lb              mt
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Winter I........................................................           45.11      10,820,000           4,908
Summer..........................................................           38.95       9,340,986           4,237
Winter II.......................................................           15.94       3,822,816           1,734
                                                                 -----------------------------------------------
    Total.......................................................           100.0      23,983,802          10,879
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Note: Metric tons are as converted from lb and may not necessarily total due to rounding.

Proposed 2020-2021 Summer Flounder Specifications

    In February 2019, the final peer review and assessment results from 
the 66th Stock Assessment Workshop/Stock Assessment Review Committee 
(SAW/SARC 66) became available. This assessment incorporated revised 
MRIP estimates of recreational catch, which has an important impact on 
estimated spawning stock biomass for summer flounder. Based on the 
results of this benchmark assessment, the summer flounder stock is not 
overfished, and overfishing is not occurring.
    The Council's SSC and the Summer Flounder Monitoring Committee (MC) 
met in late February 2019 to make recommendations to the Council for 
revised catch and landings limits for 2019 through 2021 based on the 
assessment information. Due to the need to implement revised 2019 
specifications as soon as possible, we published an interim final rule 
on May 17, 2019 (84 FR 22392), adjusting the 2019 catch limits for the 
remainder of the 2019 fishing year. This proposed rule would implement 
the 2020 specifications and announce the projected 2021 specifications 
(Table 3). The 2020 and 2021 specifications are identical to what is 
currently in place for 2019.
    Table 4 outlines the initial 2020 state-by-state summer flounder 
allocations. Prior to the start of each fishing year, we will announce 
any adjustments necessary to address any long-standing overages or 
potential 2018 overages and to provide the states with their specific 
quotas.

  Table 3--Summary of 2020-2021 Summer Flounder Fishery Specifications
                         [In millions of pounds]
------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                            million lb          mt
------------------------------------------------------------------------
OFL.....................................    30.94 (2020)   14,034 (2020)
                                            31.67 (2021)   14,365 (2021)
ABC.....................................           25.03          11,354
Commercial ACL..........................           13.53           6,136
Commercial ACT..........................           13.53           6,136
Commercial Quota........................           11.53           5,229
Recreational ACL........................           11.51           5,218
Recreational ACT........................           11.51           5,218
Recreational Harvest Limit..............            7.69           3,486
------------------------------------------------------------------------


                        Table 4--Initial 2020 Summer Flounder State-by-State Allocations
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                                      Initial 2020  quotas *
                              State                                 FMP percent  -------------------------------
                                                                       share            lb              kg
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
ME..............................................................          0.0476           5,484           2,487
NH..............................................................          0.0005              53              24
MA..............................................................          6.8205         786,399         356,705
RI..............................................................         15.6830       1,808,248         820,207
CT..............................................................          2.2571         260,241         118,043
NY..............................................................          7.6470         881,698         399,931
NJ..............................................................         16.7250       1,928,391         874,704

[[Page 36048]]

 
DE..............................................................          0.0178           2,051             930
MD..............................................................          2.0391         235,108         106,643
VA..............................................................         21.3168       2,457,822       1,114,850
NC..............................................................         27.4458       3,164,505       1,435,395
                                                                 -----------------------------------------------
    Total.......................................................          100.00      11,530,000       5,229,920
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
* Initial quotas do not account for any previous overages.

    This action makes no changes to the current commercial management 
measures, including the minimum fish size (14-inch (36-cm) total 
length), gear requirements, and possession limits. The 2020 
recreational management measures will be considered in the late fall of 
2019.

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 Summer Flounder, Scup, and Black Sea Bass FMP, 
Atlantic Bluefish FMP, other provisions of the Magnuson-Stevens Act, 
and other applicable law, subject to further consideration after public 
comment.
    This proposed rule has been determined to be not significant for 
purposes of Executive Order 12866.
    The Chief Counsel for Regulation of the Department of Commerce 
certified to the Chief Counsel for Advocacy of the Small Business 
Administration that this proposed rule, if adopted, would not have a 
significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. 
The Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council conducted an evaluation of 
the potential socioeconomic impacts of the proposed measures in 
conjunction with an EA (summer flounder) and SIR (scup, black sea bass, 
and bluefish). According to the commercial ownership database, 1,345 
affiliate firms landed summer flounder, scup, black sea bass, and/or 
bluefish during the 2015-2019 period, with 1,335 of those business 
affiliates categorized as small businesses and 10 categorized as large 
businesses. Summer flounder, scup, black sea bass, and bluefish 
represented approximately 74 percent of the average receipts of the 
small entities and less than 1 percent for large entities considered 
over this time period.
    The ownership data for the for-hire fleet indicate that there were 
389 for-hire affiliate firms with summer flounder, scup, black sea 
bass, and/or bluefish permits generating revenues from recreationally 
fishing, all of which are categorized as small businesses. Although it 
is not possible to derive what proportion of the overall revenues came 
from specific fishing activities, given the popularity of these three 
species as recreational targets, it is likely that revenues generated 
from these species are important for some, if not all, of these firms.
    For all four species, the proposed measures would maintain the 
commercial quotas and recreational harvest limits that are in place for 
the 2019 fishing year, resulting in similar fishing effort and 
revenues. As a result, this action is not expected to adversely impact 
revenues for commercial and recreational vessels that fish for summer 
flounder, scup, black sea bass, and bluefish. Because this rule will 
not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small 
entities, an initial regulatory flexibility analysis is not required 
and none has been prepared.
    There are no new reporting or recordkeeping requirements contained 
in any of the alternatives considered for this action.

List of Subjects in 50 CFR Part 648

    Fisheries, Fishing, Recordkeeping and reporting requirements.

    Dated: July 22, 2019.
Samuel D. Rauch, III,
Deputy Assistant Administrator for Regulatory Programs, National Marine 
Fisheries Service.
[FR Doc. 2019-15845 Filed 7-25-19; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 3510-22-P