Reef Fish Fishery of the Gulf of Mexico; 2019 Commercial and Recreational Accountability Measure and Closures for Gulf of Mexico Lane Snapper, 68058-68059 [2019-26933]

Download as PDF 68058 Federal Register / Vol. 84, No. 240 / Friday, December 13, 2019 / Rules and Regulations jbell on DSKJLSW7X2PROD with RULES from January through July 26, leaving 98 t available for catch and retention. Based on average bigeye tuna catch rates by the U.S. longline fishery in the month of December in calendar years 2012 to 2018, we estimate that the fishery could catch 98 t in five calendar days. Accordingly, this rule reopens the fishery for five days, after which, the closure published on July 24, 2019 (84 FR 35568), will again, take effect through December 31, 2019. To prevent a disruption to the continuity of fishing operations, the reopening will begin the day after the date that NMFS stops attributing catch to American Samoa. All fishing under the remaining 98 t limit must be done in accordance with the regulations at 50 CFR 300.224 and any other applicable regulations. 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 unnecessary and contrary to the public interest. Because the fishery closure on July 27, 2019 was based upon estimated landings, this action simply provides an opportunity to harvest unused catch that remains available in 2019. The action is a benefit to fishermen since they would not be able to access the fishery after December 22, 2019. Moreover, NMFS solicited and responded to public comments on the rule establishing the calendar year bigeye tuna catch limit of 3,554 t (83 FR 33851, July 18, 2018). Although this action is being implemented without the opportunity for prior notice and comment, NMFS is soliciting and will respond to public comments from those affected by or otherwise interested in this rule. Additionally, NMFS has determined that good cause exists to waive the 30day delay in effectiveness of this rule because, under 5 U.S.C. 553(d), this rule relieves a restriction on the regulated community, and requiring a 30-day delay would be contrary to the public interest. NMFS closed the U.S. longline fishery for bigeye tuna in the Convention Area through a temporary rule effective on July 27, 2019, through December 31, 2019. The closure does not apply to vessels operating identified in a valid specified fishing agreement under 50 CFR 665.819(c), in accordance with 50 CFR 300.224(f)(1)(iv). Currently, vessels in the U.S. longline fishery are operating under a valid specified fishing agreement between American Samoa and HLA, which allocates 1,000 t of bigeye tuna to vessel VerDate Sep<11>2014 15:53 Dec 12, 2019 Jkt 250001 identified in the agreement. NMFS forecasts that the fishery will reach the American Samoa allocation limit by December 22, 2019, and will stop attributing bigeye tuna to American Samoa on that date. If the effectiveness of this rule is delayed, the fishery would once again, be subject to the July 27, 2019 closure through December 31, 2019, and would be unable to access the remainder of the available 2019 bigeye tuna limit. Because this rule relives a restriction by temporarily reopening the fishery for bigeye tuna, it is not subject to the 30-day delayed effectiveness pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 553(d)(1). This action is taken under 50 CFR 300.224(e) and is exempt from review under Executive Order 12866. Authority: 16 U.S.C. 6901 et seq. Dated: December 10, 2019. Jennifer M. Wallace, Acting Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine Fisheries Service. [FR Doc. 2019–26902 Filed 12–12–19; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510–22–P DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration 50 CFR Part 622 [Docket No. 100217097–1757–02; RTID 0648–XS019] Reef Fish Fishery of the Gulf of Mexico; 2019 Commercial and Recreational Accountability Measure and Closures for Gulf of Mexico Lane Snapper National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Commerce. ACTION: Temporary rule; closure. AGENCY: NMFS implements an accountability measure (AM) for the lane snapper commercial and recreational sectors in the exclusive economic zone (EEZ) of the Gulf of Mexico (Gulf) for the 2019 fishing year through this temporary rule. NMFS has projected that the 2019 stock annual catch limit (ACL) for Gulf lane snapper has been met. Therefore, NMFS closes the commercial and recreational sectors for Gulf lane snapper on December 13, 2019, and they will remain closed through the end of the current fishing year on December 31, 2019. These closures are necessary to protect the Gulf lane snapper resource. DATES: This temporary rule is effective from 12:01 a.m., local time, on SUMMARY: PO 00000 Frm 00040 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 December 13, 2019, until 12:01 a.m., local time, on January 1, 2020. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Kelli O’Donnell, NMFS Southeast Regional Office, telephone: 727–824– 5305, email: Kelli.ODonnell@noaa.gov. NMFS manages the Gulf reef fish fishery, which includes lane snapper, under the Fishery Management Plan for the Reef Fish Resources of the Gulf of Mexico (FMP). The FMP was prepared by the Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council (Council) and is implemented by NMFS under the authority of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (Magnuson-Stevens Act) through regulations at 50 CFR part 622. All lane snapper weights discussed in this temporary rule are in round weight. The stock annual catch limit (ACL) for Gulf lane snapper is 301,000 lb (136,531 kg). As specified in 50 CFR 622.41(k), if during a fishing year the sum of the commercial and recreational lane snapper landings exceeds the stock ACL, then during the following fishing year, if the sum of commercial and recreational landings reaches or is projected to reach the stock ACL, NMFS is required to close the commercial and recreational sectors for the remainder of that fishing year. In the 2018 fishing year, lane snapper landings exceeded the stock ACL by 58,551 lb (26,558 kg). For the 2019, fishing year, NMFS has determined that the 2019 stock ACL for Gulf lane snapper has been met. Accordingly, this temporary rule closes the commercial and recreational sectors for Gulf lane snapper effective at 12:01 a.m., local time, on December 13, 2019 and both sectors will remain closed through the end of the current fishing year on December 31, 2019. During the commercial and recreational closures, the commercial sale or purchase of lane snapper taken from the Gulf EEZ is prohibited and the recreational bag and possession limits for lane snapper in or from the Gulf EEZ are zero. The prohibition on possession of Gulf lane snapper also applies in Gulf state waters for a vessel issued a valid Federal charter vessel/headboat permit for Gulf reef fish. During the closures, the operator of a vessel with a valid commercial vessel permit for Gulf reef fish having lane snapper on board must have landed and bartered, traded, or sold such lane snapper prior to 12:01 a.m., local time, on December 13, 2019. The prohibition on the sale or purchase of lane snapper does not apply to fish that were harvested, landed ashore, and sold prior to 12:01 a.m., local time, on SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: E:\FR\FM\13DER1.SGM 13DER1 Federal Register / Vol. 84, No. 240 / Friday, December 13, 2019 / Rules and Regulations December 13, 2019, and were held in cold storage by a dealer or processor. jbell on DSKJLSW7X2PROD with RULES Classification The Regional Administrator for the NMFS Southeast Region has determined this temporary rule is necessary for the conservation and management of Gulf lane snapper and is consistent with the Magnuson-Stevens Act and other applicable laws. This action is taken under 50 CFR 622.41(k) and is exempt from review under Executive Order 12866. These measures are exempt from the procedures of the Regulatory Flexibility Act because the temporary rule is issued without opportunity for prior notice and comment. VerDate Sep<11>2014 15:53 Dec 12, 2019 Jkt 250001 This action responds to the best scientific information available. The Assistant Administrator for NOAA Fisheries (AA) finds that the need to immediately implement this action to close the commercial and recreational sectors for lane snapper constitutes good cause to waive the requirements to provide prior notice and opportunity for public comment on this temporary rule pursuant to the authority set forth in 5 U.S.C. 553(b)(B), because such procedures are unnecessary and contrary to the public interest. Such procedures are unnecessary because the rule establishing the closure provisions was already subject to notice and comment, and all that remains is to PO 00000 Frm 00041 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 9990 68059 notify the public of the closures. Such procedures are contrary to the public interest because of the need to immediately implement this action to protect lane snapper. Prior notice and opportunity for public comment would require time and would potentially allow the sectors to further exceed the stock ACL. Authority: 16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq. Dated: December 10, 2019. Jennifer M. Wallace, Acting Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine Fisheries Service. [FR Doc. 2019–26933 Filed 12–10–19; 4:15 pm] BILLING CODE 3510–22–P E:\FR\FM\13DER1.SGM 13DER1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 84, Number 240 (Friday, December 13, 2019)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 68058-68059]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2019-26933]


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DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

50 CFR Part 622

[Docket No. 100217097-1757-02; RTID 0648-XS019]


Reef Fish Fishery of the Gulf of Mexico; 2019 Commercial and 
Recreational Accountability Measure and Closures for Gulf of Mexico 
Lane Snapper

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

ACTION: Temporary rule; closure.

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SUMMARY: NMFS implements an accountability measure (AM) for the lane 
snapper commercial and recreational sectors in the exclusive economic 
zone (EEZ) of the Gulf of Mexico (Gulf) for the 2019 fishing year 
through this temporary rule. NMFS has projected that the 2019 stock 
annual catch limit (ACL) for Gulf lane snapper has been met. Therefore, 
NMFS closes the commercial and recreational sectors for Gulf lane 
snapper on December 13, 2019, and they will remain closed through the 
end of the current fishing year on December 31, 2019. These closures 
are necessary to protect the Gulf lane snapper resource.

DATES: This temporary rule is effective from 12:01 a.m., local time, on 
December 13, 2019, until 12:01 a.m., local time, on January 1, 2020.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Kelli O'Donnell, NMFS Southeast 
Regional Office, telephone: 727-824-5305, email: 
[email protected].

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: NMFS manages the Gulf reef fish fishery, 
which includes lane snapper, under the Fishery Management Plan for the 
Reef Fish Resources of the Gulf of Mexico (FMP). The FMP was prepared 
by the Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council (Council) and is 
implemented by NMFS under the authority of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery 
Conservation and Management Act (Magnuson-Stevens Act) through 
regulations at 50 CFR part 622. All lane snapper weights discussed in 
this temporary rule are in round weight.
    The stock annual catch limit (ACL) for Gulf lane snapper is 301,000 
lb (136,531 kg). As specified in 50 CFR 622.41(k), if during a fishing 
year the sum of the commercial and recreational lane snapper landings 
exceeds the stock ACL, then during the following fishing year, if the 
sum of commercial and recreational landings reaches or is projected to 
reach the stock ACL, NMFS is required to close the commercial and 
recreational sectors for the remainder of that fishing year. In the 
2018 fishing year, lane snapper landings exceeded the stock ACL by 
58,551 lb (26,558 kg). For the 2019, fishing year, NMFS has determined 
that the 2019 stock ACL for Gulf lane snapper has been met. 
Accordingly, this temporary rule closes the commercial and recreational 
sectors for Gulf lane snapper effective at 12:01 a.m., local time, on 
December 13, 2019 and both sectors will remain closed through the end 
of the current fishing year on December 31, 2019.
    During the commercial and recreational closures, the commercial 
sale or purchase of lane snapper taken from the Gulf EEZ is prohibited 
and the recreational bag and possession limits for lane snapper in or 
from the Gulf EEZ are zero. The prohibition on possession of Gulf lane 
snapper also applies in Gulf state waters for a vessel issued a valid 
Federal charter vessel/headboat permit for Gulf reef fish. During the 
closures, the operator of a vessel with a valid commercial vessel 
permit for Gulf reef fish having lane snapper on board must have landed 
and bartered, traded, or sold such lane snapper prior to 12:01 a.m., 
local time, on December 13, 2019. The prohibition on the sale or 
purchase of lane snapper does not apply to fish that were harvested, 
landed ashore, and sold prior to 12:01 a.m., local time, on

[[Page 68059]]

December 13, 2019, and were held in cold storage by a dealer or 
processor.

Classification

    The Regional Administrator for the NMFS Southeast Region has 
determined this temporary rule is necessary for the conservation and 
management of Gulf lane snapper and is consistent with the Magnuson-
Stevens Act and other applicable laws.
    This action is taken under 50 CFR 622.41(k) and is exempt from 
review under Executive Order 12866. These measures are exempt from the 
procedures of the Regulatory Flexibility Act because the temporary rule 
is issued without opportunity for prior notice and comment.
    This action responds to the best scientific information available. 
The Assistant Administrator for NOAA Fisheries (AA) finds that the need 
to immediately implement this action to close the commercial and 
recreational sectors for lane snapper constitutes good cause to waive 
the requirements to provide prior notice and opportunity for public 
comment on this temporary rule pursuant to the authority set forth in 5 
U.S.C. 553(b)(B), because such procedures are unnecessary and contrary 
to the public interest. Such procedures are unnecessary because the 
rule establishing the closure provisions was already subject to notice 
and comment, and all that remains is to notify the public of the 
closures. Such procedures are contrary to the public interest because 
of the need to immediately implement this action to protect lane 
snapper. Prior notice and opportunity for public comment would require 
time and would potentially allow the sectors to further exceed the 
stock ACL.

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

    Dated: December 10, 2019.
Jennifer M. Wallace,
Acting Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine 
Fisheries Service.
[FR Doc. 2019-26933 Filed 12-10-19; 4:15 pm]
 BILLING CODE 3510-22-P