Fisheries Off West Coast States; Coastal Pelagic Species Fisheries; Biennial Specifications, 65926-65927 [2019-25933]

Download as PDF 65926 Federal Register / Vol. 84, No. 231 / Monday, December 2, 2019 / Rules and Regulations ensure that the Pacific Coast Groundfish Fishery Management Plan (FMP) is implemented in a manner consistent with treaty rights of treaty tribes to fish for Pacific whiting in their ‘‘usual and accustomed grounds and stations’’ in common with non-tribal citizens, and protect salmon stocks listed under the Endangered Species Act. To effectively correct the error, the change in this action must be effective upon publication as the fishery has already begun. The correction will not affect the results of analyses conducted to support management decisions in the Pacific whiting fishery. The correction is consistent with NMFS’ intent for regulations and the public expects the regulations to be written as in the correction. No change in operating practices in the fishery is required. For the same reasons stated above, the AA has determined good cause exists to waive the 30-day delay in effectiveness pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 553(d). This notice only makes a minor correction to the final rule, which was effective May 10, 2019. Delaying effectiveness of this correction would result in conflicts in the regulations and confusion among fishery participants. Because prior notice and an opportunity for public comment are not required to be provided for this rule by 5 U.S.C. 553, or any other law, the analytical requirements of the Regulatory Flexibility Act, 5 U.S.C. 601 et seq., are not applicable. Accordingly, no Regulatory Flexibility Analysis is required for this rule and none has been prepared. This final rule is not significant under Executive Order 12866. This final rule was developed after meaningful consultation with the tribal representative on the Council who has agreed with the provisions that apply to tribal vessels. List of Subjects in 50 CFR Part 660 Fisheries, Fishing, and Indian Fisheries. Dated: November 25, 2019. Samuel D. Rauch III, Deputy Assistant Administrator for Regulatory Programs, National Marine Fisheries Service. jbell on DSKJLSW7X2PROD with RULES For the reasons set out in the preamble, 50 CFR part 660 is corrected as follows: PART 660—FISHERIES OFF WEST COAST STATES 1. The authority citation for 50 CFR 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. VerDate Sep<11>2014 15:54 Nov 29, 2019 Jkt 250001 the annual catch target in either fishing season, the directed fishery will close, reserving the 1,000-mt difference between the harvest guideline and § 660.131 Pacific whiting fishery annual catch target as a set-aside for management measures. incidental landings in other Coastal * * * * * Pelagic Species fisheries and other (h) * * * sources of mortality. This rule is (4) Estimates of the portion of the intended to conserve and manage the tribal allocation that will not be used by Pacific mackerel stock off the U.S. West the end of the fishing year will be based Coast. on the best information available to the DATES: Effective January 2, 2020. Regional Administrator. ADDRESSES: Copies of the report, (i) Salmon bycatch. This fishery may ‘‘Pacific Mackerel Stock Assessment for be closed through automatic action at U.S. Management in 2019–2020 and § 660.60(d)(1)(v) and (vi). 2020–2021’’ may be obtained from the (ii) [Reserved] Long Beach NMFS office or viewed at (5) Prior to reapportionment, NMFS the following website: https:// will consider Chinook salmon take www.pcouncil.org/wpcontent/uploads/ numbers and bycatch rates in each 2019/05/F3_Att1_Mackerel_Stocksector of the Pacific whiting fishery, in order to prevent a reapportionment that Assessment_Full_Electric_Only_ Jun2019BB.pdf. would limit Pacific Coast treaty Indian Tribes’ access to the tribal allocation by FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: triggering inseason closure of the Pacific Lynn Massey, West Coast Region, whiting fishery as described at NMFS, Lynn.Massey@noaa.gov. § 660.60(d)(1)(v). SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Under the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery * * * * * [FR Doc. 2019–25931 Filed 11–29–19; 8:45 am] Conservation and Management Act (Magnuson-Stevens Act), 16 U.S.C. 1801 BILLING CODE 3510–22–P et seq., NMFS manages the Pacific mackerel fishery in the U.S. exclusive DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE economic zone (EEZ) off the West Coast in accordance with the Coastal Pelagic National Oceanic and Atmospheric Species (CPS) Fishery Management Plan Administration (FMP). The CPS FMP and its implementing regulations require NMFS 50 CFR Part 660 to set annual harvest specifications for the Pacific mackerel fishery based on [Docket No. 191125–0089] the annual specification framework and RIN 0648–BJ22 control rules in the FMP. The control rules in the CPS FMP include the Fisheries Off West Coast States; harvest guideline (HG) control rule, Coastal Pelagic Species Fisheries; which in conjunction with the Biennial Specifications overfishing limit (OFL) and acceptable biological catch (ABC) rules, are used to AGENCY: National Marine Fisheries manage harvest levels for Pacific Service (NMFS), National Oceanic and mackerel. According to the FMP, the Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), quota for the principal commercial Commerce. fishery, the HG, is determined using the ACTION: Final rule. FMP-specified HG formula. The HG is SUMMARY: Through this final rule, NMFS based, in large part, on the current is implementing allowable catch levels, estimate of stock biomass. The biomass an overfishing limit, an allowable estimate is an explicit part of the biological catch, and an annual catch various harvest control rules for Pacific limit for Pacific mackerel in the U.S. mackerel, and as the estimated biomass exclusive economic zone off the West decreases or increases from one year to Coast (California, Oregon and the next, the resulting allowable catch Washington) for the fishing seasons levels similarly trend. More information 2019–2020 and 2020–2021, pursuant to on the Pacific Fishery Management the Coastal Pelagic Species Fishery Council’s (Council) process for Management Plan. The harvest developing Pacific mackerel harvest guideline and annual catch target for the specifications and more detail on the 2019–2020 fishing season are 11,109 HG control rule are provided in the metric tons (mt) and 10,109 mt, proposed rule for this action (August 23, respectively. The harvest guideline and 2019, 84 FR 44272) and are not repeated annual catch target for the 2020–2021 here. The purpose of this final rule is to fishing season are 7,950 mt and 6,950 implement these harvest specifications, mt, respectively. If the fishery attains 2. Amend § 660.131 by revising paragraph (h)(4) and adding paragraph (h)(5) to read as follows: ■ PO 00000 Frm 00020 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 E:\FR\FM\02DER1.SGM 02DER1 jbell on DSKJLSW7X2PROD with RULES Federal Register / Vol. 84, No. 231 / Monday, December 2, 2019 / Rules and Regulations which include allowable harvest levels (i.e., annual catch target (ACT) and HG), an annual catch limit (ACL), and annual catch reference points (i.e., OFL and 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. The Pacific mackerel fishing season runs from July 1 to June 30. 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. The Council has recommended, and NMFS is implementing, 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 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 nonCPS 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 1 Directed fishing for live bait and minor directed fishing is allowed to continue during a closure of the directed fishery. VerDate Sep<11>2014 15:54 Nov 29, 2019 Jkt 250001 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. On August 23, 2019, NMFS published a proposed rule in the Federal Register (84 FR 44272) soliciting public comments through September 23, 2019. NMFS received two comments from private citizens in support of the proposed rule. This final rule contains no changes from the proposed rule. Classification Pursuant to section 304(b)(1)(A) of the Magnuson-Stevens Act, the NMFS Assistant Administrator has determined that this rule is consistent with the CPS FMP, other provisions of the MagnusonStevens Act, and other applicable law, subject to further consideration after public comment. Pursuant to the procedures established to implement Executive Order 12866, the Office of Management and Budget has determined that this final rule is not significant. 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. As a result, a regulatory flexibility analysis was not required and none was 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: November 25, 2019. Samuel D. Rauch III, Deputy Assistant Administrator for Regulatory Programs, National Marine Fisheries Service. For the reasons set out in the preamble, 50 CFR part 660 is amended as follows: PART 660—FISHERIES OFF WEST COAST STATES 1. The authority citation for part 660 continues to read as follows: ■ PO 00000 Frm 00021 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 65927 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. 2019–25933 Filed 11–29–19; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510–22–P DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration 50 CFR Part 679 [Docket No. 180713633–9174–02; RTID 0648–XY056] Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Pacific Ocean Perch in the Bering Sea Subarea of the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Management Area National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Commerce. ACTION: Temporary rule; closure. AGENCY: NMFS is prohibiting directed fishing for Pacific ocean perch in the Bering Sea subarea of the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands management area (BSAI). This action is necessary to prevent exceeding the 2019 Pacific SUMMARY: E:\FR\FM\02DER1.SGM 02DER1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 84, Number 231 (Monday, December 2, 2019)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 65926-65927]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2019-25933]


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DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

50 CFR Part 660

[Docket No. 191125-0089]
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: Final rule.

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SUMMARY: Through this final rule, NMFS is implementing 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, pursuant to the Coastal 
Pelagic Species Fishery Management Plan. The harvest guideline and 
annual catch target for the 2019-2020 fishing season are 11,109 metric 
tons (mt) and 10,109 mt, respectively. The 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: Effective January 2, 2020.

ADDRESSES: Copies of the report, ``Pacific Mackerel Stock Assessment 
for U.S. Management in 2019-2020 and 2020-2021'' may be 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 control rules in the FMP. The control rules 
in the CPS FMP include the harvest guideline (HG) control rule, which 
in conjunction with the overfishing limit (OFL) and acceptable 
biological catch (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. More information on the Pacific 
Fishery Management Council's (Council) process for developing Pacific 
mackerel harvest specifications and more detail on the HG control rule 
are provided in the proposed rule for this action (August 23, 2019, 84 
FR 44272) and are not repeated here.
    The purpose of this final rule is to implement these harvest 
specifications,

[[Page 65927]]

which include allowable harvest levels (i.e., annual catch target (ACT) 
and HG), an annual catch limit (ACL), and annual catch reference points 
(i.e., OFL and 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. The Pacific mackerel fishing season runs from 
July 1 to June 30. 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.
    The Council has recommended, and NMFS is implementing, 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 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.
    On August 23, 2019, NMFS published a proposed rule in the Federal 
Register (84 FR 44272) soliciting public comments through September 23, 
2019. NMFS received two comments from private citizens in support of 
the proposed rule. This final rule contains no changes from the 
proposed rule.

Classification

    Pursuant to section 304(b)(1)(A) of the Magnuson-Stevens Act, the 
NMFS Assistant Administrator has determined that this 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.
    Pursuant to the procedures established to implement Executive Order 
12866, the Office of Management and Budget has determined that this 
final rule is not significant.
    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. As a result, a regulatory flexibility 
analysis was not required and none was 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: November 25, 2019.
Samuel D. Rauch III,
Deputy Assistant Administrator for Regulatory Programs, National Marine 
Fisheries Service.

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

PART 660--FISHERIES OFF WEST COAST STATES

0
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.


0
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. 2019-25933 Filed 11-29-19; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 3510-22-P