Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Northern Rockfish in the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Management Area, 19397-19398 [2020-07306]

Download as PDF khammond on DSKJM1Z7X2PROD with RULES Federal Register / Vol. 85, No. 67 / Tuesday, April 7, 2020 / Rules and Regulations harvest and possession of red snapper by private anglers. The state is required to request the closure by letter to NMFS, providing dates and geographic coordinates for the closure. If the request is within the scope of the analysis in Amendment 50A, NMFS publishes a notification in the Federal Register implementing the closure for the fishing year. Based on the analysis in Amendment 50A, Texas may request a closure of all Federal waters off the state to allow a year-round fishing season in state waters. As described at 50 CFR 622.2, ‘‘off Texas’’ is defined as the waters in the Gulf west of a rhumb line from 29°32.1′ N lat., 93°47.7′ W long. to 26°11.4′ N lat., 92°53′ W long., which line is an extension of the boundary between Louisiana and Texas. On March 27, 2020, NMFS received a request from the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD) to close the EEZ off Texas to the red snapper private angling component during the 2020 fishing year. Texas requested that the closure be effective as soon as practicable through May 31, 2020, and then from August 3, 2020, through the end of the fishing year. NMFS has determined that this request is within the scope of analysis contained within Amendment 50A, which analyzed the potential impacts of a closure of all federal waters off Texas when a portion of the Texas quota has been landed and is consistent with the Reef Fish FMP. As explained in Amendment 50A, Texas intends to maintain a year-round fishing season in state waters during which the remaining part of Texas’ ACL could be caught. This Federal waters closure will result in a 63-day red snapper private angling component season in the EEZ off Texas. Therefore, the red snapper recreational private angling component in the Gulf EEZ off Texas will close on April 1, 2020 until 12:01 a.m., local time, on June 1, 2020, and will close again at 12:01 a.m., local time, on August 3, 2020, until 12:01 a.m., local time, on January 1, 2021. This closure applies to all private-anglers (those on board vessels that have not been issued a valid charter vessel/headboat permit for Gulf reef fish) regardless of which state they are from or where they intend to land. On and after the effective dates of these closures in the EEZ off Texas, the harvest and possession red snapper in the EEZ off Texas by the private angling component is prohibited and the bag and possession limits for the red snapper private angling component in the closed area is zero. VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:34 Apr 06, 2020 Jkt 250001 Classification The Regional Administrator for the NMFS Southeast Region has determined this temporary rule is necessary for the conservation and management of Gulf red snapper and is consistent with the FMP, the Magnuson-Stevens Act, and other applicable laws. This action is taken under 50 CFR 622.23(c) 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 is based on the best scientific information available. The Assistant Administrator for NOAA Fisheries (AA) finds that the need to implement this action to close the Federal private angling component of the red snapper recreational sector in the EEZ off Texas constitute 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 implementing the area closure authority and the state-specific private angling ACLs has already been subject to notice and comment, and all that remains is to notify the public of the closure. Such procedures are contrary to the public interest because a failure to implement the closure immediately may result an overage of the Texas ACL and less access to red snapper in state waters. 19397 Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Commerce. ACTION: Temporary rule; modification of closure. NMFS is opening directed fishing for northern rockfish in the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Management Area (BSAI). This action is necessary to fully use the 2020 total allowable catch (TAC) of northern rockfish in the BSAI. DATES: Effective 1200 hours, Alaska local time (A.l.t.), April 2, 2020, through 2400 hours, A.l.t., December 31, 2020. Comments must be received at the following address no later than 4:30 p.m., A.l.t., April 17, 2020. ADDRESSES: You may submit comments, identified by NOAA–NMFS–2019–0089, by either of the following methods: • Federal e-Rulemaking Portal. Go to: https://www.regulations.gov/ docket?D=NOAA-NMFS-2019-0074, click the ‘‘Comment Now!’’ icon, complete the required fields, and enter or attach your comments. • Mail: Submit written comments to Glenn Merrill, Assistant Regional Administrator, Sustainable Fisheries Division, Alaska Region NMFS, Attn: Records Office. Mail comments to P.O. Box 21668, Juneau, AK 99802–1668. Instructions: 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 by NMFS. 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), confidential business information, or Authority: 16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq. otherwise sensitive information submitted voluntarily by the sender will Dated: April 1, 2020. be publicly accessible. NMFS will He´le`ne M.N. Scalliet, accept anonymous comments (enter ‘‘N/ Acting Director, Office of Sustainable A’’ in the required fields if you wish to Fisheries, National Marine Fisheries Service. remain anonymous). [FR Doc. 2020–07177 Filed 4–1–20; 4:15 pm] FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: BILLING CODE 3510–22–P Steve Whitney, 907–586–7228. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: NMFS DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE manages the groundfish fishery in the BSAI according to the Fishery National Oceanic and Atmospheric Management Plan for Groundfish of the Administration Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Management Area (FMP) prepared by 50 CFR Part 679 the North Pacific Fishery Management Council under authority of the [Docket No. 200227–0066;RTID 0648–XY094] Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act. Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Regulations governing fishing by U.S. Zone Off Alaska; Northern Rockfish in vessels in accordance with the FMP the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands appear at subpart H of 50 CFR part 600 Management Area and 50 CFR part 679. Pursuant to the final 2020 and 2021 AGENCY: National Marine Fisheries harvest specifications for groundfish in Service (NMFS), National Oceanic and PO 00000 Frm 00021 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 SUMMARY: E:\FR\FM\07APR1.SGM 07APR1 19398 Federal Register / Vol. 85, No. 67 / Tuesday, April 7, 2020 / Rules and Regulations khammond on DSKJM1Z7X2PROD with RULES the BSAI (85 FR 13553, March 9, 2020), NMFS closed directed fishing for northern rockfish under § 679.20(d)(1)(iii). As of April 1, 2020, NMFS has determined that approximately 8,000 metric tons of northern rockfish initial TAC remains unharvested in the BSAI. Therefore, in accordance with § 679.25(a)(1)(i), (a)(2)(i)(C), and (a)(2)(iii)(D), and to fully utilize the 2020 TAC of northern rockfish in the BSAI, NMFS is terminating the previous closure and is opening directed fishing for northern rockfish in the BSAI. This will enhance the socioeconomic wellbeing of harvesters in this area. The Administrator, Alaska Region (Regional Administrator) considered the following factors in reaching this decision: (1) The current catch of northern rockfish in the BSAI and, (2) the harvest capacity and stated intent on future harvesting patterns of vessels in participating in this fishery. VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:34 Apr 06, 2020 Jkt 250001 Classification This action responds to the best available information recently obtained from the fishery. The Assistant Administrator for Fisheries, NOAA (AA), finds good cause to waive the requirement to provide prior notice and opportunity for public comment pursuant to the authority set forth at 5 U.S.C. 553(b)(B) and § 679.25(c)(1)(ii) as such requirement is impracticable and contrary to the public interest. This requirement is impracticable and contrary to the public interest as it would prevent NMFS from responding to the most recent fisheries data in a timely fashion and would delay the opening of northern rockfish in the BSAI. NMFS was unable to publish a notice providing time for public comment because the most recent, relevant data only became available as of April 1, 2020. The AA also finds good cause to waive the 30-day delay in the effective PO 00000 Frm 00022 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 9990 date of this action under 5 U.S.C. 553(d)(3). This finding is based upon the reasons provided above for waiver of prior notice and opportunity for public comment. Without this inseason adjustment, NMFS could not allow the fishery for northern rockfish in the BSAI to be harvested in an expedient manner and in accordance with the regulatory schedule. Under § 679.25(c)(2), interested persons are invited to submit written comments on this action to the above address until April 17, 2020. This action is required by § 679.20 and § 679.25 and is exempt from review under Executive Order 12866. Authority: 16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq. Dated: April 2, 2020. He´le`ne M.N. Scalliet, Acting Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine Fisheries Service. [FR Doc. 2020–07306 Filed 4–2–20; 4:15 pm] BILLING CODE 3510–22–P E:\FR\FM\07APR1.SGM 07APR1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 85, Number 67 (Tuesday, April 7, 2020)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 19397-19398]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2020-07306]


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DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

50 CFR Part 679

[Docket No. 200227-0066;RTID 0648-XY094]


Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Northern 
Rockfish in the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Management Area

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

ACTION: Temporary rule; modification of closure.

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SUMMARY: NMFS is opening directed fishing for northern rockfish in the 
Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Management Area (BSAI). This action is 
necessary to fully use the 2020 total allowable catch (TAC) of northern 
rockfish in the BSAI.

DATES: Effective 1200 hours, Alaska local time (A.l.t.), April 2, 2020, 
through 2400 hours, A.l.t., December 31, 2020. Comments must be 
received at the following address no later than 4:30 p.m., A.l.t., 
April 17, 2020.

ADDRESSES: You may submit comments, identified by NOAA-NMFS-2019-0089, 
by either of the following methods:
     Federal e-Rulemaking Portal. Go to: https://www.regulations.gov/docket?D=NOAA-NMFS-2019-0074, click the ``Comment 
Now!'' icon, complete the required fields, and enter or attach your 
comments.
     Mail: Submit written comments to Glenn Merrill, Assistant 
Regional Administrator, Sustainable Fisheries Division, Alaska Region 
NMFS, Attn: Records Office. Mail comments to P.O. Box 21668, Juneau, AK 
99802-1668.
    Instructions: 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 by NMFS. 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), confidential business information, 
or otherwise sensitive information submitted voluntarily by the sender 
will be publicly accessible. NMFS will accept anonymous comments (enter 
``N/A'' in the required fields if you wish to remain anonymous).

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Steve Whitney, 907-586-7228.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: NMFS manages the groundfish fishery in the 
BSAI according to the Fishery Management Plan for Groundfish of the 
Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Management Area (FMP) prepared by the 
North Pacific Fishery Management Council under authority of the 
Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act. Regulations 
governing fishing by U.S. vessels in accordance with the FMP appear at 
subpart H of 50 CFR part 600 and 50 CFR part 679.
    Pursuant to the final 2020 and 2021 harvest specifications for 
groundfish in

[[Page 19398]]

the BSAI (85 FR 13553, March 9, 2020), NMFS closed directed fishing for 
northern rockfish under Sec.  679.20(d)(1)(iii).
    As of April 1, 2020, NMFS has determined that approximately 8,000 
metric tons of northern rockfish initial TAC remains unharvested in the 
BSAI. Therefore, in accordance with Sec.  679.25(a)(1)(i), 
(a)(2)(i)(C), and (a)(2)(iii)(D), and to fully utilize the 2020 TAC of 
northern rockfish in the BSAI, NMFS is terminating the previous closure 
and is opening directed fishing for northern rockfish in the BSAI. This 
will enhance the socioeconomic well-being of harvesters in this area. 
The Administrator, Alaska Region (Regional Administrator) considered 
the following factors in reaching this decision: (1) The current catch 
of northern rockfish in the BSAI and, (2) the harvest capacity and 
stated intent on future harvesting patterns of vessels in participating 
in this fishery.

Classification

    This action responds to the best available information recently 
obtained from the fishery. The Assistant Administrator for Fisheries, 
NOAA (AA), finds good cause to waive the requirement to provide prior 
notice and opportunity for public comment pursuant to the authority set 
forth at 5 U.S.C. 553(b)(B) and Sec.  679.25(c)(1)(ii) as such 
requirement is impracticable and contrary to the public interest. This 
requirement is impracticable and contrary to the public interest as it 
would prevent NMFS from responding to the most recent fisheries data in 
a timely fashion and would delay the opening of northern rockfish in 
the BSAI. NMFS was unable to publish a notice providing time for public 
comment because the most recent, relevant data only became available as 
of April 1, 2020.
    The AA also finds good cause to waive the 30-day delay in the 
effective date of this action under 5 U.S.C. 553(d)(3). This finding is 
based upon the reasons provided above for waiver of prior notice and 
opportunity for public comment.
    Without this inseason adjustment, NMFS could not allow the fishery 
for northern rockfish in the BSAI to be harvested in an expedient 
manner and in accordance with the regulatory schedule. Under Sec.  
679.25(c)(2), interested persons are invited to submit written comments 
on this action to the above address until April 17, 2020.
    This action is required by Sec.  679.20 and Sec.  679.25 and is 
exempt from review under Executive Order 12866.

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

    Dated: April 2, 2020.
H[eacute]l[egrave]ne M.N. Scalliet,
Acting Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine 
Fisheries Service.
[FR Doc. 2020-07306 Filed 4-2-20; 4:15 pm]
BILLING CODE 3510-22-P