Atlantic Highly Migratory Species; Atlantic Bluefin Tuna Fisheries, 48566-48568 [2019-19989]

Download as PDF 48566 Federal Register / Vol. 84, No. 179 / Monday, September 16, 2019 / Rules and Regulations EPA maintains the NPL as the list of sites that appear to present a significant risk to public health, welfare, or the environment. Deletion from the NPL does not preclude further remedial action. Whenever there is a significant release from a site deleted from the NPL, the deleted site may be restored to the NPL without application of the hazard ranking system. Deletion of a site from the NPL does not affect responsible party liability in the unlikely event that future conditions warrant further actions. List of Subjects in 40 CFR Part 300 Environmental protection, Air pollution control, Chemicals, Hazardous waste, Hazardous substances, Intergovernmental relations, Penalties, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements, Superfund, Water pollution control, Water supply. Dated: August 16, 2019. Deborah Jordan, Acting Regional Administrator, Region 9. For reasons set out in the preamble, 40 CFR part 300 is amended as follows: PART 300—NATIONAL OIL AND HAZARDOUS SUBSTANCES POLLUTION CONTINGENCY PLAN 1. The authority citation for part 300 continues to read as follows: ■ Authority: 33 U.S.C. 1321(d); 42 U.S.C. 9601–9657; E.O. 13626, 77 FR 56749, 3 CFR, 2013 Comp., p. 306; E.O. 12777, 56 FR 54757, 3 CFR, 1991 Comp., p. 351; E.O. 12580, 52 FR 2923, 3 CFR, 1987 Comp., p. 193. Appendix B to Part 300—[Amended] 2. Table 1 of Appendix B to part 300 is amended by removing the entry for ‘‘CA, MGM Brakes, Cloverdale’’. ■ [FR Doc. 2019–19672 Filed 9–13–19; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560–50–P DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration 50 CFR Part 635 [Docket No. 180117042–8884–02] RIN 0648–XT018 jspears on DSK3GMQ082PROD with RULES Atlantic Highly Migratory Species; Atlantic Bluefin Tuna Fisheries National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Commerce. ACTION: Temporary rule; quota transfer and closure. AGENCY: VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:16 Sep 13, 2019 Jkt 247001 NMFS transfers 60 metric tons (mt) of Atlantic bluefin tuna (BFT) quota from the Reserve category to the September 2019 General category subquota period and closes the General category fishery until the General category reopens on October 1, 2019. The quota transfer is intended to provide additional fishing opportunities based on consideration of the regulatory determination criteria regarding inseason adjustments and applies to Atlantic tunas General category (commercial) permitted vessels and Highly Migratory Species (HMS) Charter/Headboat category permitted vessels with a commercial sale endorsement when fishing commercially for BFT. Given that the adjusted quota is projected to be caught quickly, the closure is being filed simultaneously to prevent overharvest of the adjusted General category September 2019 BFT subquota. DATES: The quota transfer is effective September 11, 2019, through September 30, 2019. The closure is effective 11:30 p.m., local time, September 13, 2019, through September 30, 2019. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Sarah McLaughlin, 978–281–9260, or Larry Redd, 301–420–8503. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Regulations implemented under the authority of the Atlantic Tunas Convention Act (ATCA; 16 U.S.C. 971 et seq.) and the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (Magnuson-Stevens Act; 16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq.) governing the harvest of BFT by persons and vessels subject to U.S. jurisdiction are found at 50 CFR part 635. Section 635.27 subdivides the U.S. BFT quota recommended by the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas (ICCAT) among the various domestic fishing categories, per the allocations established in the 2006 Consolidated Highly Migratory Species Fishery Management Plan (2006 Consolidated HMS FMP) (71 FR 58058, October 2, 2006) and amendments. NMFS is required under ATCA and the Magnuson-Stevens Act to provide U.S. fishing vessels with a reasonable opportunity to harvest the ICCATrecommended quota. NMFS is required, under regulations at § 635.28(a)(1), to file a closure notice for publication with the Office of the Federal Register when a BFT quota is reached or is projected to be reached. On and after the effective date and time of such notification, for the remainder of the fishing year or for a specified period as indicated in the notification, retaining, possessing, or landing BFT SUMMARY: PO 00000 Frm 00016 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 under that quota category is prohibited until the opening of the subsequent quota period or until such date as specified in the notice. The current baseline General and Reserve category quotas are 555.7 mt and 29.5 mt, respectively. See § 635.27(a). Each of the General category time periods (January, June through August, September, October through November, and December) is allocated a ‘‘subquota’’ or portion of the annual General category quota. The baseline subquotas for each time period are as follows: 29.5 mt for January; 277.9 mt for June through August; 147.3 mt for September; 72.2 mt for October through November; and 28.9 mt for December. Any unused General category quota rolls forward within the fishing year, which coincides with the calendar year, from one time period to the next, and is available for use in subsequent time periods. To date for 2019, NMFS has taken five actions that resulted in adjustments to the Reserve category, leaving 225.3 mt of quota currently available (84 FR 3724, February 13, 2019; 84 FR 6701, February 28, 2019; 84 FR 35340, July 23, 2019; and 84 FR 47440, September 10, 2019). Transfer of 60 mt From the Reserve Category to the General Category Under § 635.27(a)(9), NMFS has the authority to transfer quota among fishing categories or subcategories, after considering regulatory determination criteria provided under § 635.27(a)(8). NMFS has considered all of the relevant determination criteria and their applicability to this inseason quota transfer. These considerations include, but are not limited to, the following: Regarding the usefulness of information obtained from catches in the particular category for biological sampling and monitoring of the status of the stock (§ 635.27(a)(8)(i)), biological samples collected from BFT landed by General category fishermen and provided by bluefin tuna dealers continue to provide valuable data for ongoing scientific studies of bluefin tuna age and growth, migration, and reproductive status. Additional opportunity to land bluefin tuna in the General category would support the continued collection of a broad range of data for these studies and for stock monitoring purposes. NMFS also considered the catches of the General category quota to date and the likelihood of closure of that segment of the fishery if no adjustment is made (§ 635.27(a)(8)(ii) and (ix)). As of September 10, 2019, the General category landed 134.8 mt. This represents 92 percent of the baseline E:\FR\FM\16SER1.SGM 16SER1 jspears on DSK3GMQ082PROD with RULES Federal Register / Vol. 84, No. 179 / Monday, September 16, 2019 / Rules and Regulations September subquota (147.3 mt). At the time of drafting of this inseason action, the General category subquota has not yet been exceeded, and commercialsized bluefin tuna remain available in the areas where General category permitted vessels operate at this time of year. Transferring 60 mt of quota from the Reserve category would result in 207.3 mt being available for the September 2019 subquota period, thus effectively providing limited additional opportunities to harvest the U.S. bluefin tuna quota while avoiding exceeding it. Given the lag between initiation of an inseason action and its implementation, however, this notice also closes the fishery, as NMFS anticipates the transferred quota will be caught quickly. Regarding the projected ability of the vessels fishing under the particular category quota (here, the General category) to harvest the additional amount of BFT before the end of the fishing year (§ 635.27(a)(8)(iii)), NMFS anticipates that all of the 60 mt of quota will be used by September 13, based on current figures and the amount of quota being transferred, but this is also subject to weather conditions and bluefin tuna availability. In the unlikely event that any of this quota is unused by September 30, such quota will roll forward to the next subperiod within the calendar year (i.e., the October through November period), and NMFS anticipates that it would be used before the end of the fishing year. NMFS also considered the estimated amounts by which quotas for other gear categories of the fishery might be exceeded (§ 635.27(a)(8)(iv)) and the ability to account for all 2019 landings and dead discards. In the last several years, total U.S. BFT landings have been below the available U.S. quota such that the United States has carried forward the maximum amount of underharvest allowed by ICCAT from one year to the next. NMFS will need to account for 2019 landings and dead discards within the adjusted U.S. quota, consistent with ICCAT recommendations, and anticipates having sufficient quota to do that, even with the 60 mt transfer to the General category for the September fishery. NMFS anticipates that General category participants in all areas and time periods will have opportunities to harvest the General category quota in 2019, through active inseason management such as the timing of quota transfers, as practicable. Thus, this quota transfer would allow fishermen to take advantage of the availability of fish on the fishing grounds to the extent consistent with the available amount of transferrable quota and other management objectives, while avoiding VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:16 Sep 13, 2019 Jkt 247001 quota exceedance. NMFS also considered the effects of the adjustment on the BFT stock and the effects of the transfer on accomplishing the objectives of the FMP (§ 635.27(a)(8)(v) and (vi)). This transfer would be consistent with the current quotas, which were established and analyzed in the 2018 BFT quota final rule (83 FR 51391, October 11, 2018), and with objectives of the 2006 Consolidated HMS FMP and amendments and is not expected to negatively impact stock health or to affect the stock in ways not already analyzed in those documents. Another principal consideration is the objective of providing opportunities to harvest the full annual U.S. BFT quota without exceeding it based on the goals of the 2006 Consolidated HMS FMP and amendments, including to achieve optimum yield on a continuing basis and to optimize the ability of all permit categories to harvest their full BFT quota allocations (related to § 635.27(a)(8)(x)). Specific to the General category, this includes providing opportunity equitably across all time periods. Based on the considerations above, NMFS is transferring 60 mt of the available 225.3 mt of Reserve category quota to the General category for the September 2019 fishery, resulting in a subquota of 207.3 mt for the September 2019 fishery and 165.3 mt in the Reserve category. Closure of the September 2019 General Category Fishery Based on the best available bluefin tuna General category landings information (i.e., 134.8 mt landed as of September 10, 2019) as well as average catch rates and anticipated fishing conditions, NMFS projects that the General category September subquota of 207.3 mt, as adjusted in this action, will be reached by September 13, 2019, and that the fishery should be closed to avoid exceedance of the adjusted quota. Through this action, we are closing the General category bluefin tuna fishery effective 11:30 p.m., September 13, 2019, through September 30, 2019. The fishery will reopen on October 1, 2019, with a baseline quota of 72.2 mt available for the October through November time period. Therefore, retaining, possessing, or landing large medium or giant BFT by persons aboard vessels permitted in the Atlantic tunas General and HMS Charter/Headboat categories must cease at 11:30 p.m. local time on September 13, 2019. The General category will reopen automatically on October 1, 2019, for the October through November 2019 subquota period. This action applies to PO 00000 Frm 00017 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 48567 those vessels permitted in the General category, as well as to those HMS Charter/Headboat permitted vessels with a commercial sale endorsement when fishing commercially for BFT fishing commercially for BFT. For information regarding the HMS Charter/ Headboat commercial sale endorsement, see 82 FR 57543, December 6, 2017. The intent of this closure is to prevent overharvest of the available General category September BFT subquota. Fishermen may catch and release (or tag and release) BFT of all sizes, subject to the requirements of the catch-andrelease and tag-and-release programs at § 635.26. All BFT that are released must be handled in a manner that will maximize their survival, and without removing the fish from the water, consistent with requirements at § 635.21(a)(1). For additional information on safe handling, see the ‘‘Careful Catch and Release’’ brochure available at www.nmfs.noaa.gov/sfa/ hms/. Monitoring and Reporting NMFS will continue to monitor the BFT fishery closely. Dealers are required to submit landing reports within 24 hours of a dealer receiving BFT. Late reporting by dealers compromises NMFS’ ability to timely implement actions such as quota and retention limit adjustment, as well as closures, and may result in enforcement actions. Additionally, and separate from the dealer reporting requirement, General and HMS Charter/Headboat category vessel owners are required to report the catch of all BFT retained or discarded dead within 24 hours of the landing(s) or end of each trip, by accessing hmspermits.noaa.gov, using the HMS Catch Reporting app, or calling (888) 872–8862 (Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. until 4:30 p.m.). Depending on the level of fishing effort and catch rates of BFT, NMFS may determine that additional action (e.g., quota adjustment, daily retention limit adjustment, or closure) is necessary to ensure available subquotas are not exceeded or to enhance scientific data collection from, and fishing opportunities in, all geographic areas. If needed, subsequent adjustments will be published in the Federal Register. In addition, fishermen may call the Atlantic Tunas Information Line at (978) 281–9260, or access hmspermits.noaa.gov, for updates on quota monitoring and inseason adjustments. Classification The Assistant Administrator for NMFS (AA) finds that it is impracticable E:\FR\FM\16SER1.SGM 16SER1 48568 Federal Register / Vol. 84, No. 179 / Monday, September 16, 2019 / Rules and Regulations jspears on DSK3GMQ082PROD with RULES and contrary to the public interest to provide prior notice of, and an opportunity for public comment on, this action for the following reasons: The regulations implementing the 2006 Consolidated HMS FMP and amendments provide for inseason quota transfers and fishery closures to respond to the unpredictable nature of BFT availability on the fishing grounds, the migratory nature of this species, and the regional variations in the BFT fishery. These fisheries are currently underway and the currently available quota for the subcategory is projected to be reached shortly. Affording prior notice and VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:16 Sep 13, 2019 Jkt 247001 opportunity for public comment to implement the quota transfer is impracticable and contrary to the public interest as such a delay would likely result in exceedance of the General category September fishery subquota or earlier closure of the fishery while fish are available on the fishing grounds. Subquota exceedance may result in the need to reduce quota for the General category later in the year and thus could affect later fishing opportunities. Therefore, the AA finds good cause under 5 U.S.C. 553(b)(B) to waive prior notice and the opportunity for public comment. For all of the above reasons, PO 00000 Frm 00018 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 9990 there also is good cause under 5 U.S.C. 553(d) to waive the 30-day delay in effectiveness. This action is being taken under §§ 635.27(a)(9) and 635.28(a)(1), and is exempt from review under Executive Order 12866. Authority: 16 U.S.C. 971 et seq. and 1801 et seq. Dated: September 11, 2019. Jennifer M. Wallace, Acting Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine Fisheries Service. [FR Doc. 2019–19989 Filed 9–11–19; 4:15 pm] BILLING CODE 3510–22–P E:\FR\FM\16SER1.SGM 16SER1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 84, Number 179 (Monday, September 16, 2019)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 48566-48568]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2019-19989]


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DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

50 CFR Part 635

[Docket No. 180117042-8884-02]
RIN 0648-XT018


Atlantic Highly Migratory Species; Atlantic Bluefin Tuna 
Fisheries

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

ACTION: Temporary rule; quota transfer and closure.

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SUMMARY: NMFS transfers 60 metric tons (mt) of Atlantic bluefin tuna 
(BFT) quota from the Reserve category to the September 2019 General 
category subquota period and closes the General category fishery until 
the General category reopens on October 1, 2019. The quota transfer is 
intended to provide additional fishing opportunities based on 
consideration of the regulatory determination criteria regarding 
inseason adjustments and applies to Atlantic tunas General category 
(commercial) permitted vessels and Highly Migratory Species (HMS) 
Charter/Headboat category permitted vessels with a commercial sale 
endorsement when fishing commercially for BFT. Given that the adjusted 
quota is projected to be caught quickly, the closure is being filed 
simultaneously to prevent overharvest of the adjusted General category 
September 2019 BFT subquota.

DATES: The quota transfer is effective September 11, 2019, through 
September 30, 2019. The closure is effective 11:30 p.m., local time, 
September 13, 2019, through September 30, 2019.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Sarah McLaughlin, 978-281-9260, or 
Larry Redd, 301-420-8503.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Regulations implemented under the authority 
of the Atlantic Tunas Convention Act (ATCA; 16 U.S.C. 971 et seq.) and 
the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (Magnuson-
Stevens Act; 16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq.) governing the harvest of BFT by 
persons and vessels subject to U.S. jurisdiction are found at 50 CFR 
part 635. Section 635.27 subdivides the U.S. BFT quota recommended by 
the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas 
(ICCAT) among the various domestic fishing categories, per the 
allocations established in the 2006 Consolidated Highly Migratory 
Species Fishery Management Plan (2006 Consolidated HMS FMP) (71 FR 
58058, October 2, 2006) and amendments. NMFS is required under ATCA and 
the Magnuson-Stevens Act to provide U.S. fishing vessels with a 
reasonable opportunity to harvest the ICCAT-recommended quota.
    NMFS is required, under regulations at Sec.  635.28(a)(1), to file 
a closure notice for publication with the Office of the Federal 
Register when a BFT quota is reached or is projected to be reached. On 
and after the effective date and time of such notification, for the 
remainder of the fishing year or for a specified period as indicated in 
the notification, retaining, possessing, or landing BFT under that 
quota category is prohibited until the opening of the subsequent quota 
period or until such date as specified in the notice.
    The current baseline General and Reserve category quotas are 555.7 
mt and 29.5 mt, respectively. See Sec.  635.27(a). Each of the General 
category time periods (January, June through August, September, October 
through November, and December) is allocated a ``subquota'' or portion 
of the annual General category quota. The baseline subquotas for each 
time period are as follows: 29.5 mt for January; 277.9 mt for June 
through August; 147.3 mt for September; 72.2 mt for October through 
November; and 28.9 mt for December. Any unused General category quota 
rolls forward within the fishing year, which coincides with the 
calendar year, from one time period to the next, and is available for 
use in subsequent time periods. To date for 2019, NMFS has taken five 
actions that resulted in adjustments to the Reserve category, leaving 
225.3 mt of quota currently available (84 FR 3724, February 13, 2019; 
84 FR 6701, February 28, 2019; 84 FR 35340, July 23, 2019; and 84 FR 
47440, September 10, 2019).

Transfer of 60 mt From the Reserve Category to the General Category

    Under Sec.  635.27(a)(9), NMFS has the authority to transfer quota 
among fishing categories or subcategories, after considering regulatory 
determination criteria provided under Sec.  635.27(a)(8). NMFS has 
considered all of the relevant determination criteria and their 
applicability to this inseason quota transfer. These considerations 
include, but are not limited to, the following:
    Regarding the usefulness of information obtained from catches in 
the particular category for biological sampling and monitoring of the 
status of the stock (Sec.  635.27(a)(8)(i)), biological samples 
collected from BFT landed by General category fishermen and provided by 
bluefin tuna dealers continue to provide valuable data for ongoing 
scientific studies of bluefin tuna age and growth, migration, and 
reproductive status. Additional opportunity to land bluefin tuna in the 
General category would support the continued collection of a broad 
range of data for these studies and for stock monitoring purposes.
    NMFS also considered the catches of the General category quota to 
date and the likelihood of closure of that segment of the fishery if no 
adjustment is made (Sec.  635.27(a)(8)(ii) and (ix)). As of September 
10, 2019, the General category landed 134.8 mt. This represents 92 
percent of the baseline

[[Page 48567]]

September subquota (147.3 mt). At the time of drafting of this inseason 
action, the General category subquota has not yet been exceeded, and 
commercial-sized bluefin tuna remain available in the areas where 
General category permitted vessels operate at this time of year. 
Transferring 60 mt of quota from the Reserve category would result in 
207.3 mt being available for the September 2019 subquota period, thus 
effectively providing limited additional opportunities to harvest the 
U.S. bluefin tuna quota while avoiding exceeding it. Given the lag 
between initiation of an inseason action and its implementation, 
however, this notice also closes the fishery, as NMFS anticipates the 
transferred quota will be caught quickly.
    Regarding the projected ability of the vessels fishing under the 
particular category quota (here, the General category) to harvest the 
additional amount of BFT before the end of the fishing year (Sec.  
635.27(a)(8)(iii)), NMFS anticipates that all of the 60 mt of quota 
will be used by September 13, based on current figures and the amount 
of quota being transferred, but this is also subject to weather 
conditions and bluefin tuna availability. In the unlikely event that 
any of this quota is unused by September 30, such quota will roll 
forward to the next subperiod within the calendar year (i.e., the 
October through November period), and NMFS anticipates that it would be 
used before the end of the fishing year.
    NMFS also considered the estimated amounts by which quotas for 
other gear categories of the fishery might be exceeded (Sec.  
635.27(a)(8)(iv)) and the ability to account for all 2019 landings and 
dead discards. In the last several years, total U.S. BFT landings have 
been below the available U.S. quota such that the United States has 
carried forward the maximum amount of underharvest allowed by ICCAT 
from one year to the next. NMFS will need to account for 2019 landings 
and dead discards within the adjusted U.S. quota, consistent with ICCAT 
recommendations, and anticipates having sufficient quota to do that, 
even with the 60 mt transfer to the General category for the September 
fishery. NMFS anticipates that General category participants in all 
areas and time periods will have opportunities to harvest the General 
category quota in 2019, through active inseason management such as the 
timing of quota transfers, as practicable. Thus, this quota transfer 
would allow fishermen to take advantage of the availability of fish on 
the fishing grounds to the extent consistent with the available amount 
of transferrable quota and other management objectives, while avoiding 
quota exceedance. NMFS also considered the effects of the adjustment on 
the BFT stock and the effects of the transfer on accomplishing the 
objectives of the FMP (Sec.  635.27(a)(8)(v) and (vi)). This transfer 
would be consistent with the current quotas, which were established and 
analyzed in the 2018 BFT quota final rule (83 FR 51391, October 11, 
2018), and with objectives of the 2006 Consolidated HMS FMP and 
amendments and is not expected to negatively impact stock health or to 
affect the stock in ways not already analyzed in those documents. 
Another principal consideration is the objective of providing 
opportunities to harvest the full annual U.S. BFT quota without 
exceeding it based on the goals of the 2006 Consolidated HMS FMP and 
amendments, including to achieve optimum yield on a continuing basis 
and to optimize the ability of all permit categories to harvest their 
full BFT quota allocations (related to Sec.  635.27(a)(8)(x)). Specific 
to the General category, this includes providing opportunity equitably 
across all time periods.
    Based on the considerations above, NMFS is transferring 60 mt of 
the available 225.3 mt of Reserve category quota to the General 
category for the September 2019 fishery, resulting in a subquota of 
207.3 mt for the September 2019 fishery and 165.3 mt in the Reserve 
category.

Closure of the September 2019 General Category Fishery

    Based on the best available bluefin tuna General category landings 
information (i.e., 134.8 mt landed as of September 10, 2019) as well as 
average catch rates and anticipated fishing conditions, NMFS projects 
that the General category September subquota of 207.3 mt, as adjusted 
in this action, will be reached by September 13, 2019, and that the 
fishery should be closed to avoid exceedance of the adjusted quota. 
Through this action, we are closing the General category bluefin tuna 
fishery effective 11:30 p.m., September 13, 2019, through September 30, 
2019. The fishery will reopen on October 1, 2019, with a baseline quota 
of 72.2 mt available for the October through November time period. 
Therefore, retaining, possessing, or landing large medium or giant BFT 
by persons aboard vessels permitted in the Atlantic tunas General and 
HMS Charter/Headboat categories must cease at 11:30 p.m. local time on 
September 13, 2019. The General category will reopen automatically on 
October 1, 2019, for the October through November 2019 subquota period. 
This action applies to those vessels permitted in the General category, 
as well as to those HMS Charter/Headboat permitted vessels with a 
commercial sale endorsement when fishing commercially for BFT fishing 
commercially for BFT. For information regarding the HMS Charter/
Headboat commercial sale endorsement, see 82 FR 57543, December 6, 
2017. The intent of this closure is to prevent overharvest of the 
available General category September BFT subquota.
    Fishermen may catch and release (or tag and release) BFT of all 
sizes, subject to the requirements of the catch-and-release and tag-
and-release programs at Sec.  635.26. All BFT that are released must be 
handled in a manner that will maximize their survival, and without 
removing the fish from the water, consistent with requirements at Sec.  
635.21(a)(1). For additional information on safe handling, see the 
``Careful Catch and Release'' brochure available at www.nmfs.noaa.gov/sfa/hms/.

Monitoring and Reporting

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

Classification

    The Assistant Administrator for NMFS (AA) finds that it is 
impracticable

[[Page 48568]]

and contrary to the public interest to provide prior notice of, and an 
opportunity for public comment on, this action for the following 
reasons:
    The regulations implementing the 2006 Consolidated HMS FMP and 
amendments provide for inseason quota transfers and fishery closures to 
respond to the unpredictable nature of BFT availability on the fishing 
grounds, the migratory nature of this species, and the regional 
variations in the BFT fishery. These fisheries are currently underway 
and the currently available quota for the subcategory is projected to 
be reached shortly. Affording prior notice and opportunity for public 
comment to implement the quota transfer is impracticable and contrary 
to the public interest as such a delay would likely result in 
exceedance of the General category September fishery subquota or 
earlier closure of the fishery while fish are available on the fishing 
grounds. Subquota exceedance may result in the need to reduce quota for 
the General category later in the year and thus could affect later 
fishing opportunities. Therefore, the AA finds good cause under 5 
U.S.C. 553(b)(B) to waive prior notice and the opportunity for public 
comment. For all of the above reasons, there also is good cause under 5 
U.S.C. 553(d) to waive the 30-day delay in effectiveness.
    This action is being taken under Sec. Sec.  635.27(a)(9) and 
635.28(a)(1), and is exempt from review under Executive Order 12866.

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

    Dated: September 11, 2019.
Jennifer M. Wallace,
Acting Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine 
Fisheries Service.
[FR Doc. 2019-19989 Filed 9-11-19; 4:15 pm]
BILLING CODE 3510-22-P