Fisheries Off West Coast States; Coastal Pelagic Species Fisheries; Biennial Specifications, 44272-44274 [2019-18165]

Download as PDF 44272 Federal Register / Vol. 84, No. 164 / Friday, August 23, 2019 / Proposed Rules The proposed rule does not impose any Paperwork Reduction Act reporting, recordkeeping, or other compliance requirements on any small entities. The proposed rule does not duplicate, overlap, or conflict with any other Federal rules. There are no known significant alternative approaches to the proposed rule that would meet the proposed objectives. The Regulatory Secretariat has submitted a copy of the IRFA to the Chief Counsel for Advocacy of the Small Business Administration. A copy of the IRFA may be obtained from the Regulatory Secretariat. DoD, GSA, and NASA invite comments from small business concerns and other interested parties on the expected impact of this rule on small entities. DoD, GSA, and NASA will also consider comments from small entities concerning the existing regulations in subparts affected by this rule consistent with 5 U.S.C. 610. Interested parties must submit such comments separately and should cite 5 U.S.C. 610 (FAR Case 2018–022) in correspondence. (1) If sent by mail (includes transmittal by U.S. mail or private delivery service), the Government deposits the order in the mail; (2) If sent by fax, the Government transmits the order to the Contractor’s fax number; or (3) If sent electronically, the Government either— (i) Posts a copy of the delivery order or task order to a Government document access system, and notice is sent to the Contractor; or (ii) Distributes the delivery order or task order via email to the Contractor’s email address. (d) Orders may be issued by methods other than those enumerated in this clause only if authorized in the contract. VII. Paperwork Reduction Act RIN 0648–BJ22 The rule does not contain any information collection requirements that require the approval of the Office of Management and Budget under the Paperwork Reduction Act (44 U.S.C. chapter 35). List of Subjects in 48 CFR Part 52 Government procurement. William F. Clark, Director, Office of Government-wide Acquisition Policy, Office of Acquisition Policy, Office of Government-wide Policy. PART 52—SOLICITATION PROVISIONS AND CONTRACT CLAUSES 1. The authority citation for 48 CFR part 52 continues to read as follows: ■ Authority: 40 U.S.C. 121(c); 10 U.S.C. chapter 137; and 51 U.S.C. 20113. 2. Amend section 52.216–18 by— a. Revising the date of the clause; b. Revising paragraph (c); and c. Adding paragraph (d). The revisions and additions reads as follows: jbell on DSK3GLQ082PROD with PROPOSALS 52.216–18 Ordering. * * * * * * * Ordering (Date) * * * (c) A delivery order or task order is considered ‘‘issued’’ when— VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:14 Aug 22, 2019 Jkt 247001 [FR Doc. 2019–18141 Filed 8–22–19; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6820–EP–P DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration 50 CFR Part 660 [Docket No. 190816–0016] Fisheries Off West Coast States; Coastal Pelagic Species Fisheries; Biennial Specifications National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Commerce. ACTION: Proposed rule. AGENCY: NMFS proposes to implement allowable catch levels, an overfishing limit, an allowable biological catch, and an annual catch limit for Pacific mackerel in the U.S. exclusive economic zone off the West Coast (California, Oregon and Washington) for the fishing seasons 2019–2020 and 2020–2021. This rule is proposed pursuant to the Coastal Pelagic Species Fishery Management Plan. The proposed harvest guideline and annual catch target for the 2019– 2020 fishing season are 11,109 metric tons (mt) and 10,109 mt, respectively. The proposed harvest guideline and annual catch target for the 2020–2021 fishing season are 7,950 mt and 6,950 mt, respectively. If the fishery attains the annual catch target in either fishing season, the directed fishery will close, reserving the 1,000-mt difference between the harvest guideline and annual catch target as a set-aside for incidental landings in other Coastal Pelagic Species fisheries and other sources of mortality. This rule is intended to conserve and manage the Pacific mackerel stock off the U.S. West Coast. SUMMARY: Therefore, DoD, GSA, and NASA propose amending 48 CFR part 52 as set forth below: ■ ■ ■ ■ (End of clause) PO 00000 Frm 00015 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 Comments must be received by September 23, 2019. ADDRESSES: You may submit comments on this document, identified by NOAA– NMFS–2019–0087, by any of the following methods: • Electronic Submissions: Submit all electronic public comments via the Federal e-Rulemaking Portal. Go to www.regulations.gov/ #!docketDetail;D=NOAA-NMFS-20190087, click the ‘‘Comment Now!’’ icon, complete the required fields, and enter or attach your comments. • Mail: Submit written comments to Lynn Massey, Sustainable Fisheries Division, West Coast Region, NMFS, 501 W Ocean Blvd., Ste. 4200, Long Beach, CA 90802–4250. • Instructions: Comments must be submitted by one of the above methods to ensure that the comments are received, documented, and considered by NMFS. 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. All comments received are a part of the public record and will generally be posted for public viewing on www.regulations.gov without change. All personal identifying information (e.g., name, address, etc.) submitted voluntarily by the sender will be publicly accessible. Do not submit confidential business information, or otherwise sensitive or protected information. NMFS will accept anonymous comments (enter ‘‘N/A’’ in the required fields if you wish to remain anonymous). Copies of the report, ‘‘Pacific Mackerel Stock Assessment for U.S. Management in 2019–2020 and 2020– 2021’’ may obtained from the Long Beach NMFS office or viewed at the following website: https:// www.pcouncil.org/wpcontent/uploads/ 2019/05/F3_Att1_Mackerel_StockAssessment_Full_Electric_Only_ Jun2019BB.pdf. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Lynn Massey, West Coast Region, NMFS, Lynn.Massey@noaa.gov. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Under the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (Magnuson-Stevens Act), 16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq., NMFS manages the Pacific mackerel fishery in the U.S. exclusive economic zone (EEZ) off the West Coast in accordance with the Coastal Pelagic Species (CPS) Fishery Management Plan (FMP). The CPS FMP and its implementing regulations require NMFS to set annual harvest specifications for the Pacific mackerel fishery based on the annual specification framework and DATES: E:\FR\FM\23AUP1.SGM 23AUP1 jbell on DSK3GLQ082PROD with PROPOSALS Federal Register / Vol. 84, No. 164 / Friday, August 23, 2019 / Proposed Rules control rules in the FMP. The Pacific mackerel fishing season runs from July 1 to June 30. The purpose of this proposed rule is to implement these harvest specifications, which include allowable harvest levels (i.e., annual catch target (ACT) and harvest guideline (HG)), an annual catch limit (ACL), and annual catch reference points (i.e., overfishing limit (OFL) and acceptable biological catch (ABC)). The uncertainty surrounding the current biomass estimates for Pacific mackerel for the 2019–2020 and 2020–2021 fishing seasons was taken into consideration in the development of these harvest specifications. Any Pacific mackerel harvested between July 1, 2019, and the effective date of the final rule would count toward the 2019–2020 ACT and HG. During public meetings each year, the NMFS Southwest Fisheries Science Center (SWFSC) presents biomass estimates for Pacific mackerel to the Pacific Fishery Management Council’s (Council) CPS Management Team (CPSMT), the Council’s CPS Advisory Subpanel (CPSAS) and the Council’s Scientific and Statistical Committee (SSC), and the biomass estimates and the status of the fisheries are reviewed and discussed. The CPSMT, CPSAS, and SSC then provide recommendations and comments to the Council regarding the calculated OFL, ABC, ACL, HG and ACT. Following Council review and after hearing public comment, the Council adopts biomass estimates and makes its harvest specification recommendations to NMFS. Biennial specifications published in the Federal Register establish these allowable harvest levels (i.e., ACT/HG) as well as OFL, ABC, and ACL for the upcoming 2 Pacific mackerel fishing seasons. The control rules in the CPS FMP include the HG control rule, which, in conjunction with the OFL and ABC rules, are used to manage harvest levels for Pacific mackerel. According to the FMP, the quota for the principal commercial fishery, the HG, is determined using the FMP-specified HG formula. The HG is based, in large part, on the current estimate of stock biomass. The biomass estimate is an explicit part of the various harvest control rules for Pacific mackerel, and as the estimated biomass decreases or increases from one year to the next, the resulting allowable catch levels similarly trend. The harvest control rule in the CPS FMP is HG = [(BiomassCutoff) * Fraction * Distribution] with the parameters described as follows: 1. Biomass. The estimated stock biomass of Pacific mackerel for the 2019–2020 management season is VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:14 Aug 22, 2019 Jkt 247001 71,099 metric tons (mt). The estimated stock biomass of Pacific mackerel for the 2020–2021 management season 56,058 mt. 2. Cutoff. This is the biomass level below which no commercial fishery is allowed. The FMP established this level at 18,200 mt. 3. Fraction. The harvest fraction is the percentage of the biomass above 18,200 mt that may be harvested. This is set in the FMP at 30 percent. 4. Distribution. Pacific mackerel range from Mexico to Alaska and regularly migrate between Mexico and the U.S West Coast. Because some of the Pacific mackerel stock exists outside of U.S. waters, the Distribution parameter is used to estimate the proportion of the total biomass in U.S. waters and to calculate U.S. catch limits. The average portion of the total Pacific mackerel biomass estimated in the West Coast U.S. EEZ is set in the FMP at 70 percent. The 70 percent distribution estimate is based on the average historical larval distribution obtained from scientific cruises and the distribution of the resource according to the logbooks of aerial fish-spotters. The Council has recommended and NMFS is proposing, Pacific mackerel harvest specifications for both the 2019– 2020 and 2020–2021 fishing seasons. For the 2019–2020 Pacific mackerel fishing season these include an OFL of 14,931 mt, an ABC and ACL of 13,169 mt, a HG of 11,109 mt, and an annual ACT of 10,109 mt. For the 2020–2021 Pacific mackerel fishing season these include an OFL of 11,772 mt, and ABC and ACL of 10,289 mt, a HG of 7,950 mt, and an ACT of 6,950 mt. These catch specifications are based on the control rules established in the CPS FMP and biomass estimates of 71,099 mt (2019– 2020) and 56,058 mt (2020–2021). The biomass estimates are the result of a full stock assessment the NMFS SWFSC completed in June 2019 (see ADDRESSES). The Council’s SSC and the Council approved this stock assessment as the best scientific information available for management at the June 2019 Council meeting. Under this proposed action, in the unlikely event that catch reaches the ACT in either fishing season, directed fishing would close, reserving the difference between the HG and ACT (1,000 mt) as a set-aside for incidental landings in other fisheries and other sources of mortality.1 For the remainder of the fishing season, incidental landings in CPS fisheries would be 1 Directed fishing for live bait and minor directed fishing is allowed to continue during a closure of the directed fishery. PO 00000 Frm 00016 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 44273 constrained to a 45-percent incidental catch allowance (in other words, no more than 45 percent by weight of the CPS landed per trip may be Pacific mackerel); in non-CPS fisheries, up to 3 mt of Pacific mackerel may be landed incidentally per fishing trip. The incidental set-aside is intended to allow continued operation of fisheries for other stocks, particularly other CPS stocks that may school with Pacific mackerel. The NMFS West Coast Regional Administrator will publish a notice in the Federal Register announcing the date of any closure of directed fishing (when harvest levels reach or exceed the ACT). Additionally, to ensure the regulated community is informed of any closure, NMFS will also make announcements through other means available, including email to fishermen, processors, and state fishery management agencies. 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 CPS 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, for the following reasons: For Regulatory Flexibility Act (RFA) purposes only, NMFS has established a small business size standard for businesses, including their affiliates, whose primary industry is commercial fishing (see 50 CFR 200.2). A business primarily engaged in commercial fishing (NAICS code 11411) is classified as a small business if it is independently owned and operated, is not dominant in its field of operation (including its affiliates), and has combined annual receipts not in excess of $11 million for all its affiliated operations worldwide. Pacific mackerel are principally caught off southern California within the limited entry portion (south of 39 degrees N latitude; Point Arena, California) of the CPS fishery and is one component of CPS fisheries off the U.S. West Coast, which also includes the fisheries for Pacific sardine, northern anchovy and market squid. The small entities that would be affected by the E:\FR\FM\23AUP1.SGM 23AUP1 44274 Federal Register / Vol. 84, No. 164 / Friday, August 23, 2019 / Proposed Rules jbell on DSK3GLQ082PROD with PROPOSALS proposed action are those vessels that harvest Pacific mackerel as part of the West Coast CPS purse seine fleet and are all considered small business under the above size standards. Currently there are 58 vessels permitted in the Federal CPS limited entry fishery off California. The average annual per vessel revenue in 2018 for those vessels was well below the threshold level of $11 million; therefore, all of these vessels are considered a small businesses under the RFA. Therefore, this rule would not create disproportionate costs between small and large vessels/businesses. NMFS used the ex-vessel revenue information for a profitability analysis, as the cost data for the harvesting operations of CPS finfish vessels was limited or unavailable. For the 2017– 2018 fishing season, the HG was 26,293 mt and was divided into an ACT of 25,293 mt and an incidental set-aside of 1,000 mt. Approximately 1,434 mt of Pacific mackerel was harvested in the 2017–2018 fishing season with an estimated ex-vessel value of approximately $482,656. The HG for the 2019–2020 Pacific mackerel fishing season is 11,109 mt, with an ACT of 10,109 mt and an incidental set-aside of 1,000 mt. The HG for the 2020–2021 Pacific mackerel fishing season is 7,950 mt with an ACT of 6,950 mt and an incidental set-aside of 1,000 mt. The proposed ACTs for these fishing seasons are substantially lower than the prior 2 fishing seasons (i.e., 25,293 mt for 2017–2018 and 22,840 mt for 2018–2019), however Pacific mackerel landings in the U.S. over the last 10 fishing seasons (2008– 2018) have averaged only ∼4,300 mt. Therefore it is highly unlikely that the VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:14 Aug 22, 2019 Jkt 247001 ACTs proposed in this rule will limit harvests, and therefore the potential profitability to the fleet from catching Pacific mackerel is expected to be unchanged compared to last season. Additionally, annual average landings during the last nine of the ten management years have not been restricted by the applicable quota. Accordingly, vessel income from fishing is not expected to be altered as a result of this rule as it compares to recent catches in the fishery, including under the previous season’s regulations. Based on the disproportionality and profitability analysis above, the proposed action, if adopted, will not have adverse or disproportional economic impact on these small business entities. As a result, an Initial Regulatory Flexibility Analysis is not required, and none has been prepared. This action does not contain a collection-of-information requirement for purposes of the Paperwork Reduction Act. List of Subjects in 50 CFR Part 660 Fisheries, Fishing, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements. Dated: August 19, 2019. Alan D. Risenhoover, Acting Deputy Assistant Administrator for Regulatory Programs, National Marine Fisheries Service. For the reasons set out in the preamble, 50 CFR part 660 is proposed to be amended as follows: PART 660—FISHERIES OFF WEST COAST STATES Authority: 16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq., 16 U.S.C. 773 et seq., and 16 U.S.C. 7001 et seq. 2. In § 660.511, add paragraphs (i) and (j) to read as follows: ■ § 660.511 Catch restrictions. * * * * * (i) The following harvest specifications apply for Pacific mackerel: (1) For the Pacific mackerel fishing season July 1, 2019, through June 30, 2020, the harvest guideline is 11,109 mt and the ACT is 10,109 mt; and (2) For the Pacific mackerel fishing season July 1, 2020, through June 30, 2021, the harvest guideline is 7,950 mt and the ACT of 6,950 mt. (j) When an ACT in paragraph (i) of this section has been reached or exceeded, then for the remainder of the Pacific mackerel fishing season, Pacific mackerel may not be targeted and landings of Pacific mackerel may not exceed: 45 percent of landings when Pacific mackerel are landed in CPS fisheries (in other words, no more than 45 percent by weight of the CPS landed per trip may be Pacific mackerel), or up to 3 mt of Pacific mackerel when landed in non-CPS fisheries. The Regional Administer shall announce in the Federal Register the date that an ACT is reached or exceeded, and the date and time that the restrictions described in this paragraph go into effect. [FR Doc. 2019–18165 Filed 8–22–19; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510–22–P 1. The authority citation for part 660 continues to read as follows: ■ PO 00000 Frm 00017 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 9990 E:\FR\FM\23AUP1.SGM 23AUP1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 84, Number 164 (Friday, August 23, 2019)]
[Proposed Rules]
[Pages 44272-44274]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2019-18165]


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DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

50 CFR Part 660

[Docket No. 190816-0016]
RIN 0648-BJ22


Fisheries Off West Coast States; Coastal Pelagic Species 
Fisheries; Biennial Specifications

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

ACTION: Proposed rule.

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

SUMMARY: NMFS proposes to implement allowable catch levels, an 
overfishing limit, an allowable biological catch, and an annual catch 
limit for Pacific mackerel in the U.S. exclusive economic zone off the 
West Coast (California, Oregon and Washington) for the fishing seasons 
2019-2020 and 2020-2021. This rule is proposed pursuant to the Coastal 
Pelagic Species Fishery Management Plan. The proposed harvest guideline 
and annual catch target for the 2019-2020 fishing season are 11,109 
metric tons (mt) and 10,109 mt, respectively. The proposed harvest 
guideline and annual catch target for the 2020-2021 fishing season are 
7,950 mt and 6,950 mt, respectively. If the fishery attains the annual 
catch target in either fishing season, the directed fishery will close, 
reserving the 1,000-mt difference between the harvest guideline and 
annual catch target as a set-aside for incidental landings in other 
Coastal Pelagic Species fisheries and other sources of mortality. This 
rule is intended to conserve and manage the Pacific mackerel stock off 
the U.S. West Coast.

DATES: Comments must be received by September 23, 2019.

ADDRESSES: You may submit comments on this document, identified by 
NOAA-NMFS-2019-0087, by any of the following methods:
     Electronic Submissions: Submit all electronic public 
comments via the Federal e-Rulemaking Portal. Go to 
www.regulations.gov/#!docketDetail;D=NOAA-NMFS-2019-0087, click the 
``Comment Now!'' icon, complete the required fields, and enter or 
attach your comments.
     Mail: Submit written comments to Lynn Massey, Sustainable 
Fisheries Division, West Coast Region, NMFS, 501 W Ocean Blvd., Ste. 
4200, Long Beach, CA 90802-4250.
     Instructions: Comments must be submitted by one of the 
above methods to ensure that the comments are received, documented, and 
considered by NMFS. 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. All comments received are a part of the public 
record and will generally be posted for public viewing on 
www.regulations.gov without change. All personal identifying 
information (e.g., name, address, etc.) submitted voluntarily by the 
sender will be publicly accessible. Do not submit confidential business 
information, or otherwise sensitive or protected information. NMFS will 
accept anonymous comments (enter ``N/A'' in the required fields if you 
wish to remain anonymous).
    Copies of the report, ``Pacific Mackerel Stock Assessment for U.S. 
Management in 2019-2020 and 2020-2021'' may obtained from the Long 
Beach NMFS office or viewed at the following website: https://www.pcouncil.org/wpcontent/uploads/2019/05/F3_Att1_Mackerel_Stock-Assessment_Full_Electric_Only_Jun2019BB.pdf.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Lynn Massey, West Coast Region, NMFS, 
[email protected].

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Under the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery 
Conservation and Management Act (Magnuson-Stevens Act), 16 U.S.C. 1801 
et seq., NMFS manages the Pacific mackerel fishery in the U.S. 
exclusive economic zone (EEZ) off the West Coast in accordance with the 
Coastal Pelagic Species (CPS) Fishery Management Plan (FMP). The CPS 
FMP and its implementing regulations require NMFS to set annual harvest 
specifications for the Pacific mackerel fishery based on the annual 
specification framework and

[[Page 44273]]

control rules in the FMP. The Pacific mackerel fishing season runs from 
July 1 to June 30. The purpose of this proposed rule is to implement 
these harvest specifications, which include allowable harvest levels 
(i.e., annual catch target (ACT) and harvest guideline (HG)), an annual 
catch limit (ACL), and annual catch reference points (i.e., overfishing 
limit (OFL) and acceptable biological catch (ABC)). The uncertainty 
surrounding the current biomass estimates for Pacific mackerel for the 
2019-2020 and 2020-2021 fishing seasons was taken into consideration in 
the development of these harvest specifications. Any Pacific mackerel 
harvested between July 1, 2019, and the effective date of the final 
rule would count toward the 2019-2020 ACT and HG.
    During public meetings each year, the NMFS Southwest Fisheries 
Science Center (SWFSC) presents biomass estimates for Pacific mackerel 
to the Pacific Fishery Management Council's (Council) CPS Management 
Team (CPSMT), the Council's CPS Advisory Subpanel (CPSAS) and the 
Council's Scientific and Statistical Committee (SSC), and the biomass 
estimates and the status of the fisheries are reviewed and discussed. 
The CPSMT, CPSAS, and SSC then provide recommendations and comments to 
the Council regarding the calculated OFL, ABC, ACL, HG and ACT. 
Following Council review and after hearing public comment, the Council 
adopts biomass estimates and makes its harvest specification 
recommendations to NMFS. Biennial specifications published in the 
Federal Register establish these allowable harvest levels (i.e., ACT/
HG) as well as OFL, ABC, and ACL for the upcoming 2 Pacific mackerel 
fishing seasons.
    The control rules in the CPS FMP include the HG control rule, 
which, in conjunction with the OFL and ABC rules, are used to manage 
harvest levels for Pacific mackerel. According to the FMP, the quota 
for the principal commercial fishery, the HG, is determined using the 
FMP-specified HG formula. The HG is based, in large part, on the 
current estimate of stock biomass. The biomass estimate is an explicit 
part of the various harvest control rules for Pacific mackerel, and as 
the estimated biomass decreases or increases from one year to the next, 
the resulting allowable catch levels similarly trend. The harvest 
control rule in the CPS FMP is HG = [(Biomass-Cutoff) * Fraction * 
Distribution] with the parameters described as follows:
    1. Biomass. The estimated stock biomass of Pacific mackerel for the 
2019-2020 management season is 71,099 metric tons (mt). The estimated 
stock biomass of Pacific mackerel for the 2020-2021 management season 
56,058 mt.
    2. Cutoff. This is the biomass level below which no commercial 
fishery is allowed. The FMP established this level at 18,200 mt.
    3. Fraction. The harvest fraction is the percentage of the biomass 
above 18,200 mt that may be harvested. This is set in the FMP at 30 
percent.
    4. Distribution. Pacific mackerel range from Mexico to Alaska and 
regularly migrate between Mexico and the U.S West Coast. Because some 
of the Pacific mackerel stock exists outside of U.S. waters, the 
Distribution parameter is used to estimate the proportion of the total 
biomass in U.S. waters and to calculate U.S. catch limits. The average 
portion of the total Pacific mackerel biomass estimated in the West 
Coast U.S. EEZ is set in the FMP at 70 percent. The 70 percent 
distribution estimate is based on the average historical larval 
distribution obtained from scientific cruises and the distribution of 
the resource according to the logbooks of aerial fish-spotters.
    The Council has recommended and NMFS is proposing, Pacific mackerel 
harvest specifications for both the 2019-2020 and 2020-2021 fishing 
seasons. For the 2019-2020 Pacific mackerel fishing season these 
include an OFL of 14,931 mt, an ABC and ACL of 13,169 mt, a HG of 
11,109 mt, and an annual ACT of 10,109 mt. For the 2020-2021 Pacific 
mackerel fishing season these include an OFL of 11,772 mt, and ABC and 
ACL of 10,289 mt, a HG of 7,950 mt, and an ACT of 6,950 mt. These catch 
specifications are based on the control rules established in the CPS 
FMP and biomass estimates of 71,099 mt (2019-2020) and 56,058 mt (2020-
2021). The biomass estimates are the result of a full stock assessment 
the NMFS SWFSC completed in June 2019 (see ADDRESSES). The Council's 
SSC and the Council approved this stock assessment as the best 
scientific information available for management at the June 2019 
Council meeting.
    Under this proposed action, in the unlikely event that catch 
reaches the ACT in either fishing season, directed fishing would close, 
reserving the difference between the HG and ACT (1,000 mt) as a set-
aside for incidental landings in other fisheries and other sources of 
mortality.\1\ For the remainder of the fishing season, incidental 
landings in CPS fisheries would be constrained to a 45-percent 
incidental catch allowance (in other words, no more than 45 percent by 
weight of the CPS landed per trip may be Pacific mackerel); in non-CPS 
fisheries, up to 3 mt of Pacific mackerel may be landed incidentally 
per fishing trip. The incidental set-aside is intended to allow 
continued operation of fisheries for other stocks, particularly other 
CPS stocks that may school with Pacific mackerel.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \1\ Directed fishing for live bait and minor directed fishing is 
allowed to continue during a closure of the directed fishery.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    The NMFS West Coast Regional Administrator will publish a notice in 
the Federal Register announcing the date of any closure of directed 
fishing (when harvest levels reach or exceed the ACT). Additionally, to 
ensure the regulated community is informed of any closure, NMFS will 
also make announcements through other means available, including email 
to fishermen, processors, and state fishery management agencies.

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 CPS 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, 
for the following reasons:
    For Regulatory Flexibility Act (RFA) purposes only, NMFS has 
established a small business size standard for businesses, including 
their affiliates, whose primary industry is commercial fishing (see 50 
CFR 200.2). A business primarily engaged in commercial fishing (NAICS 
code 11411) is classified as a small business if it is independently 
owned and operated, is not dominant in its field of operation 
(including its affiliates), and has combined annual receipts not in 
excess of $11 million for all its affiliated operations worldwide.
    Pacific mackerel are principally caught off southern California 
within the limited entry portion (south of 39 degrees N latitude; Point 
Arena, California) of the CPS fishery and is one component of CPS 
fisheries off the U.S. West Coast, which also includes the fisheries 
for Pacific sardine, northern anchovy and market squid. The small 
entities that would be affected by the

[[Page 44274]]

proposed action are those vessels that harvest Pacific mackerel as part 
of the West Coast CPS purse seine fleet and are all considered small 
business under the above size standards. Currently there are 58 vessels 
permitted in the Federal CPS limited entry fishery off California. The 
average annual per vessel revenue in 2018 for those vessels was well 
below the threshold level of $11 million; therefore, all of these 
vessels are considered a small businesses under the RFA. Therefore, 
this rule would not create disproportionate costs between small and 
large vessels/businesses.
    NMFS used the ex-vessel revenue information for a profitability 
analysis, as the cost data for the harvesting operations of CPS finfish 
vessels was limited or unavailable. For the 2017-2018 fishing season, 
the HG was 26,293 mt and was divided into an ACT of 25,293 mt and an 
incidental set-aside of 1,000 mt. Approximately 1,434 mt of Pacific 
mackerel was harvested in the 2017-2018 fishing season with an 
estimated ex-vessel value of approximately $482,656.
    The HG for the 2019-2020 Pacific mackerel fishing season is 11,109 
mt, with an ACT of 10,109 mt and an incidental set-aside of 1,000 mt. 
The HG for the 2020-2021 Pacific mackerel fishing season is 7,950 mt 
with an ACT of 6,950 mt and an incidental set-aside of 1,000 mt. The 
proposed ACTs for these fishing seasons are substantially lower than 
the prior 2 fishing seasons (i.e., 25,293 mt for 2017-2018 and 22,840 
mt for 2018-2019), however Pacific mackerel landings in the U.S. over 
the last 10 fishing seasons (2008-2018) have averaged only ~4,300 mt. 
Therefore it is highly unlikely that the ACTs proposed in this rule 
will limit harvests, and therefore the potential profitability to the 
fleet from catching Pacific mackerel is expected to be unchanged 
compared to last season. Additionally, annual average landings during 
the last nine of the ten management years have not been restricted by 
the applicable quota. Accordingly, vessel income from fishing is not 
expected to be altered as a result of this rule as it compares to 
recent catches in the fishery, including under the previous season's 
regulations.
    Based on the disproportionality and profitability analysis above, 
the proposed action, if adopted, will not have adverse or 
disproportional economic impact on these small business entities. As a 
result, an Initial Regulatory Flexibility Analysis is not required, and 
none has been prepared.
    This action does not contain a collection-of-information 
requirement for purposes of the Paperwork Reduction Act.

List of Subjects in 50 CFR Part 660

    Fisheries, Fishing, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.

    Dated: August 19, 2019.
Alan D. Risenhoover,
Acting Deputy Assistant Administrator for Regulatory Programs, National 
Marine Fisheries Service.

    For the reasons set out in the preamble, 50 CFR part 660 is 
proposed to be amended as follows:

PART 660--FISHERIES OFF WEST COAST STATES

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1. The authority citation for part 660 continues to read as follows:

    Authority:  16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq., 16 U.S.C. 773 et seq., and 
16 U.S.C. 7001 et seq.

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2. In Sec.  660.511, add paragraphs (i) and (j) to read as follows:


Sec.  660.511  Catch restrictions.

* * * * *
    (i) The following harvest specifications apply for Pacific 
mackerel:
    (1) For the Pacific mackerel fishing season July 1, 2019, through 
June 30, 2020, the harvest guideline is 11,109 mt and the ACT is 10,109 
mt; and
    (2) For the Pacific mackerel fishing season July 1, 2020, through 
June 30, 2021, the harvest guideline is 7,950 mt and the ACT of 6,950 
mt.
    (j) When an ACT in paragraph (i) of this section has been reached 
or exceeded, then for the remainder of the Pacific mackerel fishing 
season, Pacific mackerel may not be targeted and landings of Pacific 
mackerel may not exceed: 45 percent of landings when Pacific mackerel 
are landed in CPS fisheries (in other words, no more than 45 percent by 
weight of the CPS landed per trip may be Pacific mackerel), or up to 3 
mt of Pacific mackerel when landed in non-CPS fisheries. The Regional 
Administer shall announce in the Federal Register the date that an ACT 
is reached or exceeded, and the date and time that the restrictions 
described in this paragraph go into effect.

[FR Doc. 2019-18165 Filed 8-22-19; 8:45 am]
 BILLING CODE 3510-22-P