Fisheries of the Northeastern United States; Atlantic Mackerel, Squid, and Butterfish Fisheries; Specifications, 37778-37780 [2019-16484]

Download as PDF 37778 Federal Register / Vol. 84, No. 149 / Friday, August 2, 2019 / Rules and Regulations State citation State effective date Rule title * * * EPA final rule date * Final rule citation * Comments * * (viii) Administrative Rules of Montana, Subchapter 10, Preconstruction Permit Requirements for Major Stationary Sources or Major Modifications Locating Within Attainment or Unclassified Areas * 17.8.1002 .......... * * Incorporation by Reference ............... * * * * 2/23/2018 9/3/2019 * * * [Insert Federal Register citation]. 8/2/2019. * * Excluding (1)(a)–(b). * * (ix) Administrative Rules of Montana, Subchapter 11, Visibility Impact Assessment * 17.8.1102 .......... * * Incorporation by Reference ............... * * * * 2/23/2018 9/3/2019 * * * [Insert Federal Register citation]. 8/2/2019. * * * * (xi) Administrative Rules of Montana, Subchapter 14, Conformity of General Federal Actions * 17.8.1402 .......... * * Incorporation by Reference ............... * * * * * * * * [FR Doc. 2019–16382 Filed 8–1–19; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560–50–P DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration 50 CFR Part 648 [Docket No. 190729–0006] RIN 0648–XG657 Fisheries of the Northeastern United States; Atlantic Mackerel, Squid, and Butterfish Fisheries; Specifications National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Commerce. ACTION: Final rule. AGENCY: NMFS revises Illex squid specifications and maintains previously approved longfin squid and butterfish specifications for the 2019 fishing year. This action is necessary to specify catch levels for the Illex squid fishery based on updated information on allowable catch levels and to provide notice that NMFS is maintaining the previously approved longfin squid and butterfish specifications. These specifications are intended to promote the sustainable jbell on DSK3GLQ082PROD with RULES SUMMARY: VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:58 Aug 01, 2019 Jkt 247001 * 2/23/2018 9/3/2019 * * * [Insert Federal Register citation]. 8/2/2019. * * * utilization and conservation of the squid and butterfish resources. DATES: Effective August 1, 2019. ADDRESSES: Copies of supporting documents used by the Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council, including the Environmental Assessment (EA), the Supplemental Information Report (SIR), the Regulatory Impact Review (RIR), and the Regulatory Flexibility Act (RFA) analysis are available from: Dr. Christopher M. Moore, Executive Director, Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council, 800 North State Street, Suite 201, Dover, DE 19901, telephone (302) 674–2331. The EA/RIR/ RFA analysis is also accessible via the internet at www.regulations.gov/ #!docketDetail;D=NOAA-NMFS-20180135. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Douglas Christel, Fishery Policy Analyst, (978) 281–9141, fax (978) 281– 9135. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Background The regulations implementing the Atlantic Mackerel, Squid, and Butterfish Fishery Management Plan (FMP) require the Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council’s Atlantic Mackerel, Squid, and Butterfish Monitoring Committee to develop specification recommendations for each species based upon the PO 00000 Frm 00028 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 * acceptable biological catch (ABC) advice of the Council’s Scientific and Statistical Committee (SSC). The FMP regulations also require the specification of annual catch limits (ACL) and accountability measure (AM) provisions for butterfish. Both squid species are exempt from the ACL/AM requirements because they have a life cycle of less than one year. In addition, the regulations require the specification of domestic annual harvest (DAH), domestic annual processing (DAP), total allowable level of foreign fishing (TALFF), joint venture processing (JVP), commercial and recreational annual catch targets (ACT), the butterfish mortality cap in the longfin squid fishery, and initial optimum yield (IOY) for both squid species. On May 1, 2019 (84 FR 18471), we published a proposed rule in the Federal Register seeking public comment on revising the previously approved 2019 Illex squid specifications and maintaining the longfin squid and butterfish specifications. The proposed rule for this action included additional background on specifications and the details of how the Council derived its recommended specifications for Illex and longfin squid and butterfish. Those details are not repeated here. For additional information, please refer to the proposed rule for this action. E:\FR\FM\02AUR1.SGM 02AUR1 Federal Register / Vol. 84, No. 149 / Friday, August 2, 2019 / Rules and Regulations This action does not consider revisions to existing specifications for Atlantic mackerel. On August 13, 2018, the Council approved Framework Adjustment 13 to the FMP, which included 2019 specifications for the Atlantic mackerel fishery. On June 7, 2019, we published a separate proposed rule in the Federal Register (84 FR 26634) to solicit public input on that action. Until new specifications are implemented, the existing Atlantic mackerel, Illex squid, longfin squid, and butterfish specifications will continue pursuant to 50 CFR 648.22(d)(1). At its June 2019 meeting, the Council considered SSC input and updated data on the status of each species managed by the FMP as part of its annual specifications review. For fishing year 2020, the Council recommended maintaining the 2019 squid and butterfish specifications implemented by this final rule and the 2019 Atlantic mackerel specifications proposed under Framework Adjustment 13. We will publish a separate rule consistent with the Administrative Procedure Act (APA) to implement the final 2020 specifications for these species. 2019 Longfin Squid Specifications This action maintains the existing longfin squid ABC of 23,400 mt for 2019, as implemented on March 1, 2018 (83 FR 8764). The IOY, DAH, and DAP are calculated by deducting an estimated discard rate (2.0 percent) from the ABC, resulting in a 2019 IOY, DAH, and DAP of 22,932 mt (Table 1). This action also maintains the existing allocation of longfin squid DAH among trimesters according to percentages specified in the FMP (Table 2). The Council will review these specifications during its annual specifications process following annual data updates each spring, and may change its recommendation for 2020 if new information is available. [mt] Unknown. 23,400. 22,932. 22,932. jbell on DSK3GLQ082PROD with RULES TABLE 2—2019 LONGFIN QUOTA TRIMESTER ALLOCATIONS Trimester I (Jan–Apr) ...................... II (May–Aug) .................... III (Sep–Dec) ................... VerDate Sep<11>2014 Allocation (mt) Percent 16:58 Aug 01, 2019 43 17 40 9,861 3,898 9,173 Jkt 247001 TABLE 3—2019 BUTTERFISH SPECIFICATIONS IN METRIC TONS [mt] OFL ............................................................. ACL = ABC .................................................. Commercial ACT (ABC—management uncertainty buffers for each year) ............... DAH (ACT minus butterfish cap and discards) ....................................................... Directed Fishery closure limit (DAH—1,000 mt incidental landings buffer) .................. Butterfish Cap (in the longfin squid fishery) 37,637 27,108 25,075 20,061 19,061 3,884 TABLE 4—TRIMESTER ALLOCATION OF BUTTERFISH MORTALITY CAP ON THE 2019 LONGFIN SQUID FISHERY Trimester Percent Allocation (mt) I (Jan–Apr) ...................... II (May–Aug) .................... III (Sep–Dec) ................... 43 17 40 1,670 660 1,554 Total ......................... 100 3,884 Final 2019 Illex Squid Specifications Consistent with the Council’s recommendation, this action increases the 2019 Illex ABC from 24,000 mt to 26,000 mt. The ABC is reduced by the previously calculated discard rate (4.52 percent), which results in a 2019 IOY, DAH, and DAP of 24,825 mt (Table 5), an increase of 8 percent compared to 2018 levels (22,915 mt). TABLE 5—2019 Illex SQUID SPECIFICATIONS IN METRIC TONS [mt] TABLE 1—2019 LONGFIN SQUID SPECIFICATIONS IN METRIC TONS OFL ............................................... ABC .............................................. IOY ............................................... DAH/DAP ...................................... 2019 Butterfish Specifications This action maintains the previously approved 2019 butterfish specifications outlined in Table 3, as implemented on March 1, 2018 (83 FR 8764). This action also maintains the existing butterfish mortality cap in the longfin squid fishery (3,884 mt) and the existing allocation of the butterfish mortality cap among longfin squid trimesters (Table 4). OFL ............................................... ABC .............................................. IOY ............................................... DAH/DAP ...................................... Unknown. 26,000. 24,825. 24,825. Comments and Responses NMFS received three comments in response to the proposed rule for this action from commercial fishing industry groups. All comments supported all of the proposed measures, including the rationale used by the SSC to support the proposed Illex squid ABC increase. We agree, and have approved the proposed measures for implementation through this final rule. PO 00000 Frm 00029 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 37779 Classification Pursuant to section 304(b)(1)(A) of the Magnuson-Stevens Act, the NMFS Assistant Administrator has determined that this final rule is consistent with the Atlantic Mackerel, Squid, and Butterfish FMP, other provisions of the MagnusonStevens Act, and other applicable law. There is good cause under 5 U.S.C. 553(d)(3) to make this rule effective immediately upon filing with the Office of the Federal Register. As noted in the proposed rule for this action, the Council did not adopt final recommendations for 2019 squid and butterfish specifications until its October 2019 meeting, submitting the preliminary supporting analysis in December 2019. Due to the government shutdown in early January 2019, NMFS could not work on the development and review of the necessary analysis and rulemaking for the 2019 squid and butterfish specifications. Although NMFS began working on the action as soon as possible upon reopening of the government, the backlog of work prevented the proposed rule from being published until May 1, 2019. As a result, the final rule could not be published until the Illex squid fishery was well underway in 2019. The current Illex squid ABC is set at 24,000 mt and would likely result in the early closure of the fishery based on catch rates in recent years. To date, the 2019 fishery is catching Illex squid at a rate similar to 2018 when the fishery was closed on August 14, 2018, after catching the available quota under a 24,000 mt ABC. A 30-day delayed effectiveness would increase the likelihood that the fishery would close prematurely based on the 24,000 mt ABC that will be replaced by this final rule. A premature closure under the existing lower ABC would obligate us to reopen the fishery under the increased higher ABC once this action becomes effective. A premature closure and subsequent reopening would disrupt the fishery and minimize potential benefits of the increased ABC if Illex squid are no longer available to the fishery. The 2,000-mt increase in the 2019 Illex squid ABC implemented by this action reduces the likelihood of a premature fishery closure and provides additional fishing opportunities for fishery participants, which may result in up to an additional $2 million in revenue to fishing vessels and associated communities. Because the Illex squid fishery mostly occurs during the summer, this increase enables the fishery to better achieve optimum yield and benefit from additional fishing opportunities and revenue while Illex E:\FR\FM\02AUR1.SGM 02AUR1 37780 Federal Register / Vol. 84, No. 149 / Friday, August 2, 2019 / Rules and Regulations squid are available to the fishery. As noted above, the SSC concluded that previous landings of up to 26,000 mt has not resulted in harm to the stock and would not likely result in overfishing. An unnecessary delay in implementing this increase would forgo such benefits to affected entities without any conservation benefits to the stock. Therefore, it is in the public interest to implement this final action and associated increase in the 2019 Illex squid ABC as soon as possible to avoid an unnecessary closure of the Illex squid fishery, achieve optimum yield in the fishery, and maximize benefits to fishery participants. This final rule is exempt from review under E.O. 12866. This final rule is not an Executive Order 13771 regulatory action because this final rule is exempt from E.O. 12866. The Chief Counsel for Regulation of the Department of Commerce certified to the Chief Counsel for Advocacy of the Small Business Administration 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. No comments were received regarding this certification and no other information has been obtained that suggests any other conclusion. As a result, a regulatory flexibility analysis was not required and none was prepared. Authority: 16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq. Dated: July 29, 2019. Samuel D. Rauch III, Deputy Assistant Administrator for Regulatory Programs, National Marine Fisheries Service. [FR Doc. 2019–16484 Filed 8–1–19; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510–22–P DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration 50 CFR Part 660 [Docket No. 180625576–8999–02] jbell on DSK3GLQ082PROD with RULES RIN 0648–BJ11 Magnuson-Stevens Act Provisions; Fisheries Off West Coast States; Pacific Coast Groundfish Fishery; 2019–2020 Biennial Specifications and Management Measures; Inseason Adjustments National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), National Oceanic and AGENCY: VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:58 Aug 01, 2019 Jkt 247001 Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Commerce. ACTION: Final rule; inseason adjustments to biennial groundfish management measures. This final rule announces routine inseason adjustments to management measures in commercial groundfish fisheries. This action is intended to allow commercial fishing vessels to access more abundant groundfish stocks while protecting overfished and depleted stocks. DATES: This final rule is effective August 2, 2019. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Karen Palmigiano, phone: 206–526– 4491 or email: karen.palmigiano@ noaa.gov. SUMMARY: Electronic Access This rule is accessible via the internet at the Office of the Federal Register website at https:// www.federalregister.gov. Background information and documents are available at the Pacific Fishery Management Council’s website at http:// www.pcouncil.org/. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Background The Pacific Coast Groundfish Fishery Management Plan (PCGFMP) and its implementing regulations at title 50 in the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR), part 660, subparts C through G, regulate fishing for over 90 species of groundfish off the coasts of Washington, Oregon, and California. The Pacific Fishery Management Council (Council) develops groundfish harvest specifications and management measures for two-year periods (i.e., a biennium). NMFS published the final rule to implement harvest specifications and management measures for the 2019–2020 biennium for most species managed under the PCGFMP on December 12, 2018 (83 FR 63970). In general, the management measures set at the start of the biennial harvest specifications cycle help the various sectors of the fishery attain, but not exceed, the catch limits for each stock. The Council, in coordination with Pacific Coast Treaty Indian Tribes and the States of Washington, Oregon, and California, recommends adjustments to the management measures during the fishing year to achieve this goal. At its June 19–25, 2019 meeting, the Council recommended four adjustments to the 2019 commercial groundfish fishery management measures, including: (1) Increasing the limited entry fixed gear (LEFG) trip limits for PO 00000 Frm 00030 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 bocaccio between 40°10′ North latitude (N lat.) and 34°27′ N lat.; (2) increasing the shorebased individual fishing quota (IFQ) fishery trip limits for big skate; (3) increasing the open access (OA) trip limits for sablefish both north and south of 36° N lat., and (4) increasing the amount of Pacific halibut that vessels in the sablefish primary fishery north of Point Chehalis may take incidentally. Pacific Coast groundfish fisheries are managed using harvest specifications or limits (e.g., overfishing limits [OFL], acceptable biological catch [ABC], annual catch limits [ACL] and harvest guidelines [HG]) recommended biennially by the Council and based on the best scientific information available at that time (50 CFR 660.60(b)). During development of the harvest specifications, the Council also recommends mitigation measures (e.g., trip limits, area closures, and bag limits) that are meant to mitigate catch so as not to exceed the harvest specifications. The harvest specifications and mitigation measures developed for the 2019–2020 biennium used data through the 2017 fishing year. Each of the adjustments to mitigation measures discussed below are based on updated fisheries information that was unavailable when the analysis for the current harvest specifications was completed. As new fisheries data becomes available, adjustments to mitigation measures are projected so as to help harvesters achieve but not exceed the harvest limits. LEFG Trip Limits for Bocaccio Between 40°10′ N Lat. and 34°27′ N Lat. Bocaccio is managed with stockspecific harvest specifications south of 40°10′ N lat. and within the Minor Shelf Rockfish complex north of 40°10′ N lat. NMFS declared bocaccio overfished in 1999, and implemented a rebuilding plan for the stock in 2000. NMFS declared bocaccio officially rebuilt in 2017. New, higher catch limits resulting from their rebuilt status were implemented for bocaccio for the first time in 2019. For example, the nontrawl allocation of bocaccio increased from 442.3 mt in 2018 to 1,250 mt in 2019. For 2019, the bocaccio ACL south of 40°10′ N lat. is 2,097 mt with a fishery HG of 2,051 mt. The non-trawl allocation is 1,250 mt. The supporting analysis for the 2019–2020 harvest specifications used landings data through the 2017 fishing year to determine appropriate mitigation measures (e.g., commercial trip limits and recreational bag limits) to ensure catch reaches but does not exceed the bocaccio ACL for south of 40°10′ N lat. E:\FR\FM\02AUR1.SGM 02AUR1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 84, Number 149 (Friday, August 2, 2019)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 37778-37780]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2019-16484]


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DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

50 CFR Part 648

[Docket No. 190729-0006]
RIN 0648-XG657


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

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

ACTION: Final rule.

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

SUMMARY: NMFS revises Illex squid specifications and maintains 
previously approved longfin squid and butterfish specifications for the 
2019 fishing year. This action is necessary to specify catch levels for 
the Illex squid fishery based on updated information on allowable catch 
levels and to provide notice that NMFS is maintaining the previously 
approved longfin squid and butterfish specifications. These 
specifications are intended to promote the sustainable utilization and 
conservation of the squid and butterfish resources.

DATES: Effective August 1, 2019.

ADDRESSES: Copies of supporting documents used by the Mid-Atlantic 
Fishery Management Council, including the Environmental Assessment 
(EA), the Supplemental Information Report (SIR), the Regulatory Impact 
Review (RIR), and the Regulatory Flexibility Act (RFA) analysis are 
available from: Dr. Christopher M. Moore, Executive Director, Mid-
Atlantic Fishery Management Council, 800 North State Street, Suite 201, 
Dover, DE 19901, telephone (302) 674-2331. The EA/RIR/RFA analysis is 
also accessible via the internet at www.regulations.gov/#!docketDetail;D=NOAA-NMFS-2018-0135.

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

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Background

    The regulations implementing the Atlantic Mackerel, Squid, and 
Butterfish Fishery Management Plan (FMP) require the Mid-Atlantic 
Fishery Management Council's Atlantic Mackerel, Squid, and Butterfish 
Monitoring Committee to develop specification recommendations for each 
species based upon the acceptable biological catch (ABC) advice of the 
Council's Scientific and Statistical Committee (SSC). The FMP 
regulations also require the specification of annual catch limits (ACL) 
and accountability measure (AM) provisions for butterfish. Both squid 
species are exempt from the ACL/AM requirements because they have a 
life cycle of less than one year. In addition, the regulations require 
the specification of domestic annual harvest (DAH), domestic annual 
processing (DAP), total allowable level of foreign fishing (TALFF), 
joint venture processing (JVP), commercial and recreational annual 
catch targets (ACT), the butterfish mortality cap in the longfin squid 
fishery, and initial optimum yield (IOY) for both squid species.
    On May 1, 2019 (84 FR 18471), we published a proposed rule in the 
Federal Register seeking public comment on revising the previously 
approved 2019 Illex squid specifications and maintaining the longfin 
squid and butterfish specifications. The proposed rule for this action 
included additional background on specifications and the details of how 
the Council derived its recommended specifications for Illex and 
longfin squid and butterfish. Those details are not repeated here. For 
additional information, please refer to the proposed rule for this 
action.

[[Page 37779]]

    This action does not consider revisions to existing specifications 
for Atlantic mackerel. On August 13, 2018, the Council approved 
Framework Adjustment 13 to the FMP, which included 2019 specifications 
for the Atlantic mackerel fishery. On June 7, 2019, we published a 
separate proposed rule in the Federal Register (84 FR 26634) to solicit 
public input on that action. Until new specifications are implemented, 
the existing Atlantic mackerel, Illex squid, longfin squid, and 
butterfish specifications will continue pursuant to 50 CFR 
648.22(d)(1).
    At its June 2019 meeting, the Council considered SSC input and 
updated data on the status of each species managed by the FMP as part 
of its annual specifications review. For fishing year 2020, the Council 
recommended maintaining the 2019 squid and butterfish specifications 
implemented by this final rule and the 2019 Atlantic mackerel 
specifications proposed under Framework Adjustment 13. We will publish 
a separate rule consistent with the Administrative Procedure Act (APA) 
to implement the final 2020 specifications for these species.

2019 Longfin Squid Specifications

    This action maintains the existing longfin squid ABC of 23,400 mt 
for 2019, as implemented on March 1, 2018 (83 FR 8764). The IOY, DAH, 
and DAP are calculated by deducting an estimated discard rate (2.0 
percent) from the ABC, resulting in a 2019 IOY, DAH, and DAP of 22,932 
mt (Table 1). This action also maintains the existing allocation of 
longfin squid DAH among trimesters according to percentages specified 
in the FMP (Table 2). The Council will review these specifications 
during its annual specifications process following annual data updates 
each spring, and may change its recommendation for 2020 if new 
information is available.

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


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

2019 Butterfish Specifications

    This action maintains the previously approved 2019 butterfish 
specifications outlined in Table 3, as implemented on March 1, 2018 (83 
FR 8764). This action also maintains the existing butterfish mortality 
cap in the longfin squid fishery (3,884 mt) and the existing allocation 
of the butterfish mortality cap among longfin squid trimesters (Table 
4).

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


  Table 4--Trimester Allocation of Butterfish Mortality Cap on the 2019
                          Longfin Squid Fishery
------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                              Allocation
                    Trimester                      Percent       (mt)
------------------------------------------------------------------------
I (Jan-Apr).....................................         43        1,670
II (May-Aug)....................................         17          660
III (Sep-Dec)...................................         40        1,554
                                                 -----------------------
    Total.......................................        100        3,884
------------------------------------------------------------------------

Final 2019 Illex Squid Specifications

    Consistent with the Council's recommendation, this action increases 
the 2019 Illex ABC from 24,000 mt to 26,000 mt. The ABC is reduced by 
the previously calculated discard rate (4.52 percent), which results in 
a 2019 IOY, DAH, and DAP of 24,825 mt (Table 5), an increase of 8 
percent compared to 2018 levels (22,915 mt).

         Table 5--2019 Illex Squid Specifications in Metric Tons
                                  [mt]
------------------------------------------------------------------------
 
------------------------------------------------------------------------
OFL........................................  Unknown.
ABC........................................  26,000.
IOY........................................  24,825.
DAH/DAP....................................  24,825.
------------------------------------------------------------------------

Comments and Responses

    NMFS received three comments in response to the proposed rule for 
this action from commercial fishing industry groups. All comments 
supported all of the proposed measures, including the rationale used by 
the SSC to support the proposed Illex squid ABC increase. We agree, and 
have approved the proposed measures for implementation through this 
final rule.

Classification

    Pursuant to section 304(b)(1)(A) of the Magnuson-Stevens Act, the 
NMFS Assistant Administrator has determined that this final rule is 
consistent with the Atlantic Mackerel, Squid, and Butterfish FMP, other 
provisions of the Magnuson-Stevens Act, and other applicable law.
    There is good cause under 5 U.S.C. 553(d)(3) to make this rule 
effective immediately upon filing with the Office of the Federal 
Register. As noted in the proposed rule for this action, the Council 
did not adopt final recommendations for 2019 squid and butterfish 
specifications until its October 2019 meeting, submitting the 
preliminary supporting analysis in December 2019. Due to the government 
shutdown in early January 2019, NMFS could not work on the development 
and review of the necessary analysis and rulemaking for the 2019 squid 
and butterfish specifications. Although NMFS began working on the 
action as soon as possible upon reopening of the government, the 
backlog of work prevented the proposed rule from being published until 
May 1, 2019. As a result, the final rule could not be published until 
the Illex squid fishery was well underway in 2019.
    The current Illex squid ABC is set at 24,000 mt and would likely 
result in the early closure of the fishery based on catch rates in 
recent years. To date, the 2019 fishery is catching Illex squid at a 
rate similar to 2018 when the fishery was closed on August 14, 2018, 
after catching the available quota under a 24,000 mt ABC. A 30-day 
delayed effectiveness would increase the likelihood that the fishery 
would close prematurely based on the 24,000 mt ABC that will be 
replaced by this final rule. A premature closure under the existing 
lower ABC would obligate us to reopen the fishery under the increased 
higher ABC once this action becomes effective. A premature closure and 
subsequent reopening would disrupt the fishery and minimize potential 
benefits of the increased ABC if Illex squid are no longer available to 
the fishery. The 2,000-mt increase in the 2019 Illex squid ABC 
implemented by this action reduces the likelihood of a premature 
fishery closure and provides additional fishing opportunities for 
fishery participants, which may result in up to an additional $2 
million in revenue to fishing vessels and associated communities. 
Because the Illex squid fishery mostly occurs during the summer, this 
increase enables the fishery to better achieve optimum yield and 
benefit from additional fishing opportunities and revenue while Illex

[[Page 37780]]

squid are available to the fishery. As noted above, the SSC concluded 
that previous landings of up to 26,000 mt has not resulted in harm to 
the stock and would not likely result in overfishing. An unnecessary 
delay in implementing this increase would forgo such benefits to 
affected entities without any conservation benefits to the stock. 
Therefore, it is in the public interest to implement this final action 
and associated increase in the 2019 Illex squid ABC as soon as possible 
to avoid an unnecessary closure of the Illex squid fishery, achieve 
optimum yield in the fishery, and maximize benefits to fishery 
participants.
    This final rule is exempt from review under E.O. 12866. This final 
rule is not an Executive Order 13771 regulatory action because this 
final rule is exempt from E.O. 12866.
    The Chief Counsel for Regulation of the Department of Commerce 
certified to the Chief Counsel for Advocacy of the Small Business 
Administration 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. No comments were received 
regarding this certification and no other information has been obtained 
that suggests any other conclusion. As a result, a regulatory 
flexibility analysis was not required and none was prepared.

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

    Dated: July 29, 2019.
Samuel D. Rauch III,
Deputy Assistant Administrator for Regulatory Programs, National Marine 
Fisheries Service.
[FR Doc. 2019-16484 Filed 8-1-19; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 3510-22-P