International Fisheries; Western and Central Pacific Fisheries for Highly Migratory Species; Reopening and Closing of the Purse Seine Fishery in the ELAPS in 2019, 65690 [2019-25780]

Download as PDF 65690 Federal Register / Vol. 84, No. 230 / Friday, November 29, 2019 / Rules and Regulations DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration 50 CFR Part 300 [Docket No. 190220141–9141–01] RIN 0648–XP004 International Fisheries; Western and Central Pacific Fisheries for Highly Migratory Species; Reopening and Closing of the Purse Seine Fishery in the ELAPS in 2019 National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Commerce. ACTION: Temporary rule; fishery reopening; fishery closure. AGENCY: NMFS is temporarily reopening the U.S. purse seine fishery in the Effort Limit Area for Purse Seine, or ELAPS, for ten calendar days because part of the fishing effort limit remains after NMFS closed the fishery effective October 9, 2019 (see 84 FR 52035; October 1, 2019). This action will allow U.S. purse seine vessels to access the remainder of the fishing effort limit specified by the Commission for the Conservation and Management of Highly Migratory Fish Stocks in the Western and Central Pacific Ocean (WCPFC or Commission) in Conservation and Management Measure (CMM) 2018–01, ‘‘Conservation and Management Measure for Bigeye, Yellowfin, and Skipjack Tuna in the Western and Central Pacific Ocean.’’ DATES: The reopening is effective 00:00 on November 29, 2019, Universal Coordinated Time (UTC), until 24:00 on December 9, 2019, UTC. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Rini Ghosh, NMFS Pacific Islands Regional Office, 808–725–5033. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: U.S. purse seine fishing in the area of application of the Convention on the Conservation and Management of Highly Migratory Fish Stocks in the Western and Central Pacific Ocean (Convention), or Convention Area, is managed, in part, under the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Convention Implementation Act, 16 U.S.C. 6901 et seq. (Act). Regulations implementing the Act are at 50 CFR part 300, subpart O. On behalf of the Secretary of Commerce, NMFS promulgates regulations under the Act as may be necessary to carry out the obligations of the United States under the Convention, to which it is a Contracting Party, including khammond on DSKJM1Z7X2PROD with RULES SUMMARY: VerDate Sep<11>2014 15:44 Nov 27, 2019 Jkt 250001 implementation of the decisions of the Commission. Pursuant to WCPFC CMM 2018–01, NMFS issued regulations that established a limit of 1,616 fishing days that may be used by U.S. purse seine fishing vessels in the ELAPS in calendar year 2019 (see interim rule at 84 FR 37145, published July 31, 2019, codified at 50 CFR 300.223). The ELAPS consists of the areas of the U.S. Exclusive Economic Zone and the high seas that are in the Convention Area between the latitudes of 20° N and 20° S (see definition at 50 CFR 300.211). A fishing day means any day in which a fishing vessel of the United States equipped with purse seine gear searches for fish, deploys a fish aggregating device (FAD), services a FAD, or sets a purse seine, with the exception of setting a purse seine solely for the purpose of testing or cleaning the gear and resulting in no catch (see definition at 50 CFR 300.211). Based on data submitted in logbooks and other available information, NMFS expected that the 2019 limit of 1,616 fishing days in the ELAPS would be reached and, in accordance with the procedures established at 50 CFR 300.223(a), closed the purse seine fishery in the ELAPS through a temporary rule effective 00:00 on October 9, 2019 UTC through December 31, 2019 (84 FR 52035; October 1, 2019). After the closure went into effect and the data for the days leading up to the closure were obtained, NMFS determined that 64 fishing days of the 2019 calendar year limit remain. Therefore, NMFS is publishing this temporary rule to reopen the purse seine fishery in the ELAPS for a limited period of time so that the remainder of the limit may be used. All fishing under the remaining limit must be done in accordance with the regulations at 50 CFR 300.223 and any other applicable regulations. To determine the number of calendar days to reopen the fishery, NMFS used the fishing rate (i.e., the number of fishing days used by the entire U.S. purse seine fleet per calendar day) in the period just prior to the October 9, 2019, closure, modified to account for changes in fleet size. In the 14 days prior to the closure, the fishing rate in the ELAPS was 8.0 fishing days used by the entire U.S. purse seine fleet per calendar day. However, the U.S. purse seine fleet has since been reduced in size by three vessels, and there is potential for additional U.S. purse seine vessels to leave the fleet prior to the ELAPS being reopened. Assuming a 20 percent reduction in the fishing rate in the ELAPS due to the reductions in fleet size, NMFS estimates 6.4 fishing days PO 00000 Frm 00064 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 will be used by the entire U.S. purse seine fleet per calendar day during the reopening of the ELAPS (i.e., 8.0 fishing days per calendar day reduced by 20 percent is 6.4 fishing days per calendar day, and 64 fishing days divided by 6.4 fishing days per calendar day is 10 calendar days). Based on this analysis, NMFS is reopening the fishery for 10 calendar days. Classification There is good cause under 5 U.S.C. 553(b)(B) to waive prior notice and opportunity for public comment on this action. Compliance with the notice and comment requirement would be impracticable, unnecessary, and contrary to the public interest because this action is simply a correction to a premature closure and is a benefit to fishermen since they cannot currently access the fishery. NMFS solicited public comments on the interim final rule establishing the 2019 limit of 1,616 fishing days in the ELAPS and will be responding to those comments in a subsequent final rule. For the same reasons, there is good cause under 5 U.S.C. 553(d)(3) to establish an effective date less than 30 days after the date of publication of this notice. This action is taken under 50 CFR 300.223(a) is exempt from review under Executive Order 12866. Authority: 16 U.S.C. 6901 et seq. Dated: November 22, 2019. Jennifer M. Wallace, Acting Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine Fisheries Service. [FR Doc. 2019–25780 Filed 11–27–19; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510–22–P DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration 50 CFR Part 635 [Docket No. 191125–0090] RTID 0648–XT004 Atlantic Highly Migratory Species; 2020 Atlantic Shark Commercial Fishing Year National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Commerce. ACTION: Final rule; fishing season notification. AGENCY: This final rule establishes the 2020 opening date for all Atlantic shark fisheries, including the fisheries in the Gulf of Mexico and Caribbean. This SUMMARY: E:\FR\FM\29NOR1.SGM 29NOR1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 84, Number 230 (Friday, November 29, 2019)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Page 65690]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2019-25780]



[[Page 65690]]

=======================================================================
-----------------------------------------------------------------------

DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

50 CFR Part 300

[Docket No. 190220141-9141-01]
RIN 0648-XP004


International Fisheries; Western and Central Pacific Fisheries 
for Highly Migratory Species; Reopening and Closing of the Purse Seine 
Fishery in the ELAPS in 2019

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

ACTION: Temporary rule; fishery reopening; fishery closure.

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

SUMMARY: NMFS is temporarily reopening the U.S. purse seine fishery in 
the Effort Limit Area for Purse Seine, or ELAPS, for ten calendar days 
because part of the fishing effort limit remains after NMFS closed the 
fishery effective October 9, 2019 (see 84 FR 52035; October 1, 2019). 
This action will allow U.S. purse seine vessels to access the remainder 
of the fishing effort limit specified by the Commission for the 
Conservation and Management of Highly Migratory Fish Stocks in the 
Western and Central Pacific Ocean (WCPFC or Commission) in Conservation 
and Management Measure (CMM) 2018-01, ``Conservation and Management 
Measure for Bigeye, Yellowfin, and Skipjack Tuna in the Western and 
Central Pacific Ocean.''

DATES: The reopening is effective 00:00 on November 29, 2019, Universal 
Coordinated Time (UTC), until 24:00 on December 9, 2019, UTC.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Rini Ghosh, NMFS Pacific Islands 
Regional Office, 808-725-5033.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: U.S. purse seine fishing in the area of 
application of the Convention on the Conservation and Management of 
Highly Migratory Fish Stocks in the Western and Central Pacific Ocean 
(Convention), or Convention Area, is managed, in part, under the 
Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Convention Implementation Act, 16 
U.S.C. 6901 et seq. (Act). Regulations implementing the Act are at 50 
CFR part 300, subpart O. On behalf of the Secretary of Commerce, NMFS 
promulgates regulations under the Act as may be necessary to carry out 
the obligations of the United States under the Convention, to which it 
is a Contracting Party, including implementation of the decisions of 
the Commission.
    Pursuant to WCPFC CMM 2018-01, NMFS issued regulations that 
established a limit of 1,616 fishing days that may be used by U.S. 
purse seine fishing vessels in the ELAPS in calendar year 2019 (see 
interim rule at 84 FR 37145, published July 31, 2019, codified at 50 
CFR 300.223). The ELAPS consists of the areas of the U.S. Exclusive 
Economic Zone and the high seas that are in the Convention Area between 
the latitudes of 20[deg] N and 20[deg] S (see definition at 50 CFR 
300.211). A fishing day means any day in which a fishing vessel of the 
United States equipped with purse seine gear searches for fish, deploys 
a fish aggregating device (FAD), services a FAD, or sets a purse seine, 
with the exception of setting a purse seine solely for the purpose of 
testing or cleaning the gear and resulting in no catch (see definition 
at 50 CFR 300.211).
    Based on data submitted in logbooks and other available 
information, NMFS expected that the 2019 limit of 1,616 fishing days in 
the ELAPS would be reached and, in accordance with the procedures 
established at 50 CFR 300.223(a), closed the purse seine fishery in the 
ELAPS through a temporary rule effective 00:00 on October 9, 2019 UTC 
through December 31, 2019 (84 FR 52035; October 1, 2019). After the 
closure went into effect and the data for the days leading up to the 
closure were obtained, NMFS determined that 64 fishing days of the 2019 
calendar year limit remain. Therefore, NMFS is publishing this 
temporary rule to reopen the purse seine fishery in the ELAPS for a 
limited period of time so that the remainder of the limit may be used. 
All fishing under the remaining limit must be done in accordance with 
the regulations at 50 CFR 300.223 and any other applicable regulations.
    To determine the number of calendar days to reopen the fishery, 
NMFS used the fishing rate (i.e., the number of fishing days used by 
the entire U.S. purse seine fleet per calendar day) in the period just 
prior to the October 9, 2019, closure, modified to account for changes 
in fleet size. In the 14 days prior to the closure, the fishing rate in 
the ELAPS was 8.0 fishing days used by the entire U.S. purse seine 
fleet per calendar day. However, the U.S. purse seine fleet has since 
been reduced in size by three vessels, and there is potential for 
additional U.S. purse seine vessels to leave the fleet prior to the 
ELAPS being reopened. Assuming a 20 percent reduction in the fishing 
rate in the ELAPS due to the reductions in fleet size, NMFS estimates 
6.4 fishing days will be used by the entire U.S. purse seine fleet per 
calendar day during the reopening of the ELAPS (i.e., 8.0 fishing days 
per calendar day reduced by 20 percent is 6.4 fishing days per calendar 
day, and 64 fishing days divided by 6.4 fishing days per calendar day 
is 10 calendar days). Based on this analysis, NMFS is reopening the 
fishery for 10 calendar days.

Classification

    There is good cause under 5 U.S.C. 553(b)(B) to waive prior notice 
and opportunity for public comment on this action. Compliance with the 
notice and comment requirement would be impracticable, unnecessary, and 
contrary to the public interest because this action is simply a 
correction to a premature closure and is a benefit to fishermen since 
they cannot currently access the fishery. NMFS solicited public 
comments on the interim final rule establishing the 2019 limit of 1,616 
fishing days in the ELAPS and will be responding to those comments in a 
subsequent final rule. For the same reasons, there is good cause under 
5 U.S.C. 553(d)(3) to establish an effective date less than 30 days 
after the date of publication of this notice.
    This action is taken under 50 CFR 300.223(a) is exempt from review 
under Executive Order 12866.

    Authority:  16 U.S.C. 6901 et seq.

    Dated: November 22, 2019.
Jennifer M. Wallace,
Acting Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine 
Fisheries Service.
[FR Doc. 2019-25780 Filed 11-27-19; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 3510-22-P