Pacific Island Fisheries; 2019-2021 Annual Catch Limits and Accountability Measures, 26622-26625 [2020-08045]

Download as PDF 26622 Federal Register / Vol. 85, No. 87 / Tuesday, May 5, 2020 / Rules and Regulations (3) Determining whether a specific use is subject to this section. The provisions of § 721.1725(b)(1) apply to paragraph (a)(2)(i) of this section. DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE § 721.11297 50 CFR Part 665 N-Alkyl acetamide (generic). (a) Chemical substance and significant new uses subject to reporting. (1) The chemical substance identified generically as N-alkyl acetamide (PMN P–18–240) is subject to reporting under this section for the significant new uses described in paragraph (a)(2) of this section. (2) The significant new uses are: (i) Industrial, commercial, and consumer activities. Requirements as specified in § 721.80(j). (ii) [Reserved] (b) Specific requirements. The provisions of subpart A of this part apply to this section except as modified by this paragraph (b). (1) Recordkeeping. Recordkeeping requirements as specified in § 721.125(a) through (c) and (i) are applicable to manufacturers and processors of this substance. (2) Limitations or revocation of certain notification requirements. The provisions of § 721.185 apply to this section. (3) Determining whether a specific use is subject to this section. The provisions of § 721.1725(b)(1) apply to paragraph (a)(2)(i) of this section. [FR Doc. 2020–07795 Filed 5–4–20; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560–50–P National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration [Docket No. 200413–0110] RIN 0648–BJ41 Pacific Island Fisheries; 2019–2021 Annual Catch Limits and Accountability Measures National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Commerce. ACTION: Final rule. AGENCY: This final rule establishes annual catch limits (ACLs) and accountability measures (AMs) in the main Hawaiian Islands (MHI) for deepwater shrimp, precious corals, and gray jobfish (uku) in 2019–2021, and for Kona crab in 2019. This rule supports the long-term sustainability of Pacific Island fisheries. DATES: The final rule is effective June 4, 2020. The final rule is applicable in fishing years 2019, 2020, and 2021 for deepwater shrimp, precious corals, and gray jobfish, and fishing year 2019 for Kona crab. ADDRESSES: Copies of the Fishery Ecosystem Plan for the Hawaii Archipelago (Hawaii FEP) are available from the Western Pacific Fishery Management Council (Council), 1164 Bishop St., Suite 1400, Honolulu, HI 96813, tel. 808–522–8220, fax 808–522– 8226, or www.wpcouncil.org. Copies of the environmental analyses and other supporting documents for this action are available from https:// www.regulations.gov/docket?D=NOAANMFS-2019-1024, or from Michael D. Tosatto, Regional Administrator, NMFS Pacific Islands Region (PIR), 1845 Wasp Blvd. Bldg. 176, Honolulu, HI 96818. SUMMARY: FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Brett Schumacher, NMFS PIRO Sustainable Fisheries, 808–725–5185. NMFS and the Council manage fisheries in the U.S. Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ, or Federal waters) around Hawaii under the Hawaii FEP under the authority of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (Magnuson-Stevens Act), with regulations at 50 CFR part 665. The FEP contains a process for the Council and NMFS to specify ACLs and AMs; that process is codified at 50 CFR 665.4. NMFS must specify an ACL and AM(s) for each stock and stock complex of management unit species (MUS) in an FEP, as recommended by the Council and considering the best available scientific, commercial, and other information about the fishery. If a fishery exceeds an ACL, the regulations require the Council to take action, which may include reducing the ACL for the subsequent fishing year by the amount of the overage, or other appropriate action. This rule establishes ACLs and AMs for MHI deepwater shrimp, precious corals, and uku for 2019–2021, and for Kona crab for 2019 (see Table 1). The rule is consistent with recommendations made by the Council at its October 2017 and October 2018 meetings. The Council recommended that NMFS implement ACLs and AMs for 2019, 2020, and 2021 for all stocks, except for MHI Kona crab, which they recommended that NMFS implement an ACL and AM only for 2019 because a new stock assessment is available to support ACL recommendations for this stock for 2020 and beyond. The fishing year for each fishery begins on January 1 and ends on December 31, except for precious coral fisheries, which begin July 1 and end on June 30 of the next year. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: TABLE 1—ACLS FOR STOCKS IN THIS FINAL RULE ACL (lb) khammond on DSKJM1Z7X2PROD with RULES Stock Kona crab ................................................................................................................................................................ Deepwater shrimp .................................................................................................................................................... Uku ........................................................................................................................................................................... Auau Channel—Black coral ..................................................................................................................................... Makapuu Bed—Pink and red coral ......................................................................................................................... Makapuu Bed—Bamboo coral ................................................................................................................................. 180 Fathom Bank—Pink and red coral ................................................................................................................... 180 Fathom Bank—Bamboo coral .......................................................................................................................... Brooks Bank—Pink and red coral ........................................................................................................................... Brooks Bank—Bamboo coral .................................................................................................................................. Kaena Point Bed—Pink and red coral .................................................................................................................... Kaena Point Bed—Bamboo coral ............................................................................................................................ Keahole Bed—Pink and red coral ........................................................................................................................... Keahole Bed—Bamboo coral .................................................................................................................................. VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:29 May 04, 2020 Jkt 250001 PO 00000 Frm 00022 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 E:\FR\FM\05MYR1.SGM 05MYR1 3,500 250,773 127,205 5,512 2,205 551 489 123 979 245 148 37 148 37 Year(s) 2019 2019–2021 2019–2021 2019–2021 2019–2021 2019–2021 2019–2021 2019–2021 2019–2021 2019–2021 2019–2021 2019–2021 2019–2021 2019–2021 Federal Register / Vol. 85, No. 87 / Tuesday, May 5, 2020 / Rules and Regulations 26623 TABLE 1—ACLS FOR STOCKS IN THIS FINAL RULE—Continued ACL (lb) Stock khammond on DSKJM1Z7X2PROD with RULES Hawaii Exploratory Area—precious corals .............................................................................................................. As an AM for each stock, NMFS and the Council will evaluate the catch after each fishing year to determine if the average catch of the three most recent years exceeds its ACL. If it does, the Council would recommend a reduction of the ACL of that fishery in the subsequent year equal to the amount of the overage. In the event that NMFS needs to reduce an ACL because a fishery exceeded its ACL, we would implement the AM through a separate rulemaking. In addition to this post-season AM, this rule implements a new in-season AM for the uku fishery where, if NMFS projects that catch will reach the ACL, NMFS would close the commercial and non-commercial uku fisheries in Federal waters around the MHI for the remainder of the fishing year. This inseason AM will be implemented only for fishing years 2019 and 2020. The Council initially recommended this AM for uku, along with an ACL of 127,205 lb and the post-season AM, at the October 2017 meeting. That recommendation covered three fishing years: 2018, 2019, and 2020. At the October 2018 meeting, the Council updated the recommendations for uku for fishing years 2019 through 2021, but only recommended the ACL of 127,205 lb and the post-season AM. Because the October 2018 Council meeting did not address the in-season AM, this management measure will not be applied for fishing year 2021. There is also an existing in-season AM for the precious coral fishery that will close individual coral beds if the ACL for that bed is projected to be reached. This rule makes housekeeping changes to the text pertaining to this AM that are described below. For all stocks except uku, the ACLs and AMs are identical to those most recently specified, in 2017. The Council did not recommend, and NMFS did not implement, ACLs and AMs for any of the these fisheries in 2018, while the Council and NMFS developed the amendment to its fishery ecosystem plans to reclassify certain MUS as ecosystem component species (ECS), which do not require ACLs and AMs. This action is the first time that ACLs and AMs will be implemented for uku as a single-species stock. In addition to codifying the ACLs, this rule makes housekeeping changes to the VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:29 May 04, 2020 Jkt 250001 2,205 Year(s) 2019–2021 regulations. First, the rule corrects a cross-reference in 50 CFR 665.4(c) that pertains to ACL requirements. The current regulation references a subsection under National Standard 1 that was changed on October 18, 2016 (81 FR 71858). This rule updates the CFR to refer to the correct subsection on exceptions to ACL requirements (§ 600.310(h)(1)), rather than the subsection on flexibility for endangered species and aquaculture operations (§ 600.310(h)(2)). This rule makes three housekeeping changes related to management of Hawaii precious corals. This rule removes subsection (b) in § 665.269, which refers to nonselective harvest of precious coral in conditional beds, because nonselective harvest of precious coral is not permitted in any precious coral permit area (see § 665.264). This rule also removes references in §§ 665.267 and 665.268 to a two-year fishing period for Makapuu Bed and Auau Channel Bed, because NMFS now manages these beds on the same oneyear fishing year as all other coral beds. This rule also replaces the term ‘‘quota’’ with ‘‘ACL’’ in §§ 665.263, 665.268, and 665.269, to make the language governing catch limits consistent throughout the regulations. stock assessment to inform management for 2020 and beyond, and is consistent with National Standard 2 of the Magnuson-Stevens Act, which requires NMFS to use the best scientific information available. Comment 2: Lower ACLs would promote greater biodiversity and prevent effects from rising ocean temperatures. Response: NMFS acknowledges that biodiversity and climate change are important considerations. We evaluated these issues in the environmental assessments supporting this management action, and the best available information does not indicate that the fisheries covered by this rule affect biodiversity or are affected by increased ocean temperatures. Comment 3: How are the rules enforced? Response: NOAA’s Office of Law Enforcement and the U.S. Coast Guard enforce Federal fisheries rules. They conduct enforcement activities both on and off the water, and conduct related criminal and civil investigations. The Enforcement Section of the NOAA Office of General Counsel provides legal support to the NOAA Office of Law Enforcement and other NOAA offices, and prosecutes cases. Comments and Responses On February 10, 2020, NMFS published a proposed rule and request for public comments (85 FR 7521). The comment period ended March 2, 2020. NMFS received comments from seven individuals that generally supported the ACL and AMs, and responds below. Comment 1: Why does the rule affect Kona crab for only one year, and why will NMFS and the Council wait for a new stock assessment to address management for subsequent years? Response: The Council recommended 2019 ACL and AMs for Kona crab in October 2018. At that time, NMFS was preparing a stock assessment that would include updated catch projections for management use beginning in 2020. The Council limited their recommendations for Kona crab to 2019 with the understanding that they would recommend ACLs and AMs for Kona crab in subsequent years when the new stock assessment became available. This process allows NMFS and the Council to use information provided in the new Changes From the Proposed Rule This final rule contains no changes from the proposed rule. PO 00000 Frm 00023 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 Classification The Administrator, Pacific Islands Region, NMFS, determined that this action is necessary for the conservation, management, and long-term sustainability of the subject fisheries, and that it is consistent with the Magnuson-Stevens Act and other applicable laws. 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. NMFS did not receive any comments regarding this certification. As a result, a regulatory flexibility analysis was not required and none was prepared. E:\FR\FM\05MYR1.SGM 05MYR1 26624 Federal Register / Vol. 85, No. 87 / Tuesday, May 5, 2020 / Rules and Regulations This final rule has been determined to be not significant for purposes of Executive Order 12866. This rule is not an Executive Order 13771 regulatory action because this rule is not significant under Executive Order 12866. List of Subjects in 50 CFR Part 665 Annual catch limits, Accountability measures, Bottomfish, Deepwater shrimp, Precious corals, Kona crab, Uku, Fisheries, Fishing, Hawaii, Pacific Islands. Dated: April 13, 2020. Samuel D. Rauch, III, Deputy Assistant Administrator for Regulatory Programs, National Marine Fisheries Service. For the reasons set out in the preamble, NMFS amends 50 CFR part 665 as follows: PART 665—FISHERIES IN THE WESTERN PACIFIC 1. The authority citation for 50 CFR part 665 continues to read as follows: ■ Authority: 16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq. 2. In § 665.4, revise paragraph (c) to read as follows: ■ § 665.4 Annual catch limits. * * * * * (c) Exceptions. The Regional Administrator is not required to specify an annual catch limit for an ECS, or for an MUS that is statutorily excepted from the requirement pursuant to 50 CFR 600.310(h)(1). * * * * * § 665.204 * * * * (h) Fish for or possess any bottomfish MUS as defined in § 665.201, in the MHI management subarea after a closure of its respective fishery, in violation of § 665.211. (i) Sell or offer for sale any bottomfish MUS as defined in § 665.201, after a closure of its respective fishery, in violation of § 665.211. * * * * * ■ § 665.211 3. In § 665.204, revise paragraphs (h) and (i) to read as follows: 2018–19 ACL (lb) 2019–20 ACL (lb) 2020–21 ACL (lb) 492,000 492,000 492,000 2019 ACL (lb) Fishery Uku ............................................................................................................................................... (b) When a bottomfish ACL is projected to be reached based on analyses of available information, the Regional Administrator shall publish a document to that effect in the Federal Register and shall use other means to notify permit holders. The document will include an advisement that the fishery will be closed beginning at a specified date, which is not earlier than seven days after the date of filing the closure notice for public inspection at the Office of the Federal Register, until the end of the fishing year in which the ACL is reached. (c) On and after the date specified in paragraph (b) of this section, no person may fish for or possess any bottomfish MUS from a closed fishery in the MHI management subarea, except as otherwise allowed in this section. (d) On and after the date specified in paragraph (b) of this section, no person may sell or offer for sale any bottomfish MUS from a closed fishery, except as otherwise authorized by law. 127,205 6. In § 665.263, revise paragraph (b)(3) to read as follows: Prohibitions. khammond on DSKJM1Z7X2PROD with RULES * * * * * (b) * * * (3) In a bed for which the ACL specified in § 665.269 has been attained. * * * * * 7. Revise § 665.267 to read as follows: 16:29 May 04, 2020 Jkt 250001 § 665.267 Seasons. The fishing year for precious coral begins on July 1 and ends on June 30 the following year. 8. In § 665.268, revise paragraph (a) to read as follows: ■ § 665.268 Closures. (a) If the Regional Administrator determines that the ACL for any coral bed will be reached prior to the end of the fishing year, NMFS shall publish a PO 00000 Frm 00024 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 127,205 2021 ACL (lb) 127,205 (e) Fishing for, and the resultant possession or sale of, any bottomfish MUS by vessels legally registered to Mau Zone, Ho’omalu Zone, or PRIA bottomfish fishing permits and conducted in compliance with all other laws and regulations, is exempted from this section. ■ 5. Add § 665.253 to read as follows: § 665.253 Annual Catch Limits (ACL). In accordance with § 665.4, the ACLs for MHI crusteaceans for each fishing year are as follows: Kona crab .................................................................................................................................... Deepwater shrimp ........................................................................................................................ ■ 2020 ACL (lb) 2019 ACL (lb) Fishery VerDate Sep<11>2014 Annual Catch Limits (ACL). (a) In accordance with § 665.4, the ACLs for MHI bottomfish fisheries for each fishing year are as follows: Deep 7 bottomfish ....................................................................................................................... ■ 4. Revise § 665.211 to read as follows: ■ Fishery § 665.263 Prohibitions * 3,500 250,733 2020 ACL (lb) NA 250,733 2021 ACL (lb) NA 250,733 document to that effect in the Federal Register and shall use other means to notify permit holders. Any such notice must indicate the fishery shall be closed, the reason for the closure, the specific bed being closed, and the effective date of the closure. * * * * * ■ 9. Revise § 665.269 to read as follows: E:\FR\FM\05MYR1.SGM 05MYR1 Federal Register / Vol. 85, No. 87 / Tuesday, May 5, 2020 / Rules and Regulations § 665.269 Annual Catch Limits (ACL). (a) General. The ACLs limiting the amount of precious coral that may be taken in any precious coral permit area during the fishing year are listed in paragraph (c) of this section. Only live coral is counted toward the ACL. The accounting period for each fishing year for all precious coral ACLs begins July 1 and ends June 30 of the following year. (b) Reserves and reserve release. The ACL for exploratory area X–P–H will be held in reserve for harvest by vessels of the United States in the following manner: (1) At the start of the fishing year, the reserve for the Hawaii exploratory areas will equal the ACL minus the estimated domestic annual harvest for that year. (2) As soon as practicable after December 31 each year, the Regional Administrator will determine the amount harvested by vessels of the United States between July 1 and December 31 of the year that just ended on December 31. (3) NMFS will release to TALFF an amount of Hawaii precious coral for 26625 each exploratory area equal to the ACL minus two times the amount harvested by vessels of the United States in that July 1–December 31 period. (4) NMFS will publish in the Federal Register a notification of the Regional Administrator’s determination and a summary of the information on which it is based as soon as practicable after the determination is made. (c) In accordance with § 665.4, the ACLs for MHI precious coral permit areas for each fishing year are as follows: TABLE 1 TO PARAGRAPH (c) Type of coral bed Area and coral group Established bed .............................................. Auau Channel—Black coral ........................... Makapuu Bed—Pink and red coral ................ Makapuu Bed—Bamboo coral ....................... 180 Fathom Bank—Pink and red coral ......... 180 Fathom Bank—Bamboo coral ................. Brooks Bank—Pink and red coral .................. Brooks Bank—Bamboo coral ......................... Kaena Point Bed—Pink and red coral ........... Kaena Point Bed—Bamboo coral .................. Keahole Bed—Pink and red coral ................. Keahole Bed—Bamboo coral ......................... Hawaii—precious coral .................................. Conditional Beds ............................................. Exploratory Area ............................................. Note 1 to § 665.269: No fishing for coral is authorized in refugia. 2019 ACL (lb) 5,512 2,205 551 489 123 979 245 148 37 148 37 2,205 Note 2 to § 665.269: A moratorium on gold coral harvesting is in effect through June 30, 2023. [FR Doc. 2020–08045 Filed 5–4–20; 8:45 am] khammond on DSKJM1Z7X2PROD with RULES BILLING CODE 3510–22–P VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:29 May 04, 2020 Jkt 250001 PO 00000 Frm 00025 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 9990 E:\FR\FM\05MYR1.SGM 05MYR1 2020 ACL (lb) 5,512 2,205 551 489 123 979 245 148 37 148 37 2,205 2021 ACL (lb) 5,512 2,205 551 489 123 979 245 148 37 148 37 2,205

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 85, Number 87 (Tuesday, May 5, 2020)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 26622-26625]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2020-08045]


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DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

50 CFR Part 665

[Docket No. 200413-0110]
RIN 0648-BJ41


Pacific Island Fisheries; 2019-2021 Annual Catch Limits and 
Accountability Measures

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

ACTION: Final rule.

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

SUMMARY: This final rule establishes annual catch limits (ACLs) and 
accountability measures (AMs) in the main Hawaiian Islands (MHI) for 
deepwater shrimp, precious corals, and gray jobfish (uku) in 2019-2021, 
and for Kona crab in 2019. This rule supports the long-term 
sustainability of Pacific Island fisheries.

DATES: The final rule is effective June 4, 2020. The final rule is 
applicable in fishing years 2019, 2020, and 2021 for deepwater shrimp, 
precious corals, and gray jobfish, and fishing year 2019 for Kona crab.

ADDRESSES: Copies of the Fishery Ecosystem Plan for the Hawaii 
Archipelago (Hawaii FEP) are available from the Western Pacific Fishery 
Management Council (Council), 1164 Bishop St., Suite 1400, Honolulu, HI 
96813, tel. 808-522-8220, fax 808-522-8226, or www.wpcouncil.org.
    Copies of the environmental analyses and other supporting documents 
for this action are available from https://www.regulations.gov/docket?D=NOAA-NMFS-2019-1024, or from Michael D. Tosatto, Regional 
Administrator, NMFS Pacific Islands Region (PIR), 1845 Wasp Blvd. Bldg. 
176, Honolulu, HI 96818.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Brett Schumacher, NMFS PIRO 
Sustainable Fisheries, 808-725-5185.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: NMFS and the Council manage fisheries in the 
U.S. Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ, or Federal waters) around Hawaii 
under the Hawaii FEP under the authority of the Magnuson-Stevens 
Fishery Conservation and Management Act (Magnuson-Stevens Act), with 
regulations at 50 CFR part 665. The FEP contains a process for the 
Council and NMFS to specify ACLs and AMs; that process is codified at 
50 CFR 665.4. NMFS must specify an ACL and AM(s) for each stock and 
stock complex of management unit species (MUS) in an FEP, as 
recommended by the Council and considering the best available 
scientific, commercial, and other information about the fishery. If a 
fishery exceeds an ACL, the regulations require the Council to take 
action, which may include reducing the ACL for the subsequent fishing 
year by the amount of the overage, or other appropriate action.
    This rule establishes ACLs and AMs for MHI deepwater shrimp, 
precious corals, and uku for 2019-2021, and for Kona crab for 2019 (see 
Table 1). The rule is consistent with recommendations made by the 
Council at its October 2017 and October 2018 meetings. The Council 
recommended that NMFS implement ACLs and AMs for 2019, 2020, and 2021 
for all stocks, except for MHI Kona crab, which they recommended that 
NMFS implement an ACL and AM only for 2019 because a new stock 
assessment is available to support ACL recommendations for this stock 
for 2020 and beyond. The fishing year for each fishery begins on 
January 1 and ends on December 31, except for precious coral fisheries, 
which begin July 1 and end on June 30 of the next year.

               Table 1--ACLs for Stocks in This Final Rule
------------------------------------------------------------------------
                  Stock                      ACL  (lb)        Year(s)
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Kona crab...............................           3,500            2019
Deepwater shrimp........................         250,773       2019-2021
Uku.....................................         127,205       2019-2021
Auau Channel--Black coral...............           5,512       2019-2021
Makapuu Bed--Pink and red coral.........           2,205       2019-2021
Makapuu Bed--Bamboo coral...............             551       2019-2021
180 Fathom Bank--Pink and red coral.....             489       2019-2021
180 Fathom Bank--Bamboo coral...........             123       2019-2021
Brooks Bank--Pink and red coral.........             979       2019-2021
Brooks Bank--Bamboo coral...............             245       2019-2021
Kaena Point Bed--Pink and red coral.....             148       2019-2021
Kaena Point Bed--Bamboo coral...........              37       2019-2021
Keahole Bed--Pink and red coral.........             148       2019-2021
Keahole Bed--Bamboo coral...............              37       2019-2021

[[Page 26623]]

 
Hawaii Exploratory Area--precious corals           2,205       2019-2021
------------------------------------------------------------------------

    As an AM for each stock, NMFS and the Council will evaluate the 
catch after each fishing year to determine if the average catch of the 
three most recent years exceeds its ACL. If it does, the Council would 
recommend a reduction of the ACL of that fishery in the subsequent year 
equal to the amount of the overage. In the event that NMFS needs to 
reduce an ACL because a fishery exceeded its ACL, we would implement 
the AM through a separate rulemaking.
    In addition to this post-season AM, this rule implements a new in-
season AM for the uku fishery where, if NMFS projects that catch will 
reach the ACL, NMFS would close the commercial and non-commercial uku 
fisheries in Federal waters around the MHI for the remainder of the 
fishing year. This in-season AM will be implemented only for fishing 
years 2019 and 2020. The Council initially recommended this AM for uku, 
along with an ACL of 127,205 lb and the post-season AM, at the October 
2017 meeting. That recommendation covered three fishing years: 2018, 
2019, and 2020. At the October 2018 meeting, the Council updated the 
recommendations for uku for fishing years 2019 through 2021, but only 
recommended the ACL of 127,205 lb and the post-season AM. Because the 
October 2018 Council meeting did not address the in-season AM, this 
management measure will not be applied for fishing year 2021.
    There is also an existing in-season AM for the precious coral 
fishery that will close individual coral beds if the ACL for that bed 
is projected to be reached. This rule makes housekeeping changes to the 
text pertaining to this AM that are described below.
    For all stocks except uku, the ACLs and AMs are identical to those 
most recently specified, in 2017. The Council did not recommend, and 
NMFS did not implement, ACLs and AMs for any of the these fisheries in 
2018, while the Council and NMFS developed the amendment to its fishery 
ecosystem plans to reclassify certain MUS as ecosystem component 
species (ECS), which do not require ACLs and AMs. This action is the 
first time that ACLs and AMs will be implemented for uku as a single-
species stock.
    In addition to codifying the ACLs, this rule makes housekeeping 
changes to the regulations. First, the rule corrects a cross-reference 
in 50 CFR 665.4(c) that pertains to ACL requirements. The current 
regulation references a subsection under National Standard 1 that was 
changed on October 18, 2016 (81 FR 71858). This rule updates the CFR to 
refer to the correct subsection on exceptions to ACL requirements 
(Sec.  600.310(h)(1)), rather than the subsection on flexibility for 
endangered species and aquaculture operations (Sec.  600.310(h)(2)).
    This rule makes three housekeeping changes related to management of 
Hawaii precious corals. This rule removes subsection (b) in Sec.  
665.269, which refers to nonselective harvest of precious coral in 
conditional beds, because nonselective harvest of precious coral is not 
permitted in any precious coral permit area (see Sec.  665.264). This 
rule also removes references in Sec. Sec.  665.267 and 665.268 to a 
two-year fishing period for Makapuu Bed and Auau Channel Bed, because 
NMFS now manages these beds on the same one-year fishing year as all 
other coral beds. This rule also replaces the term ``quota'' with 
``ACL'' in Sec. Sec.  665.263, 665.268, and 665.269, to make the 
language governing catch limits consistent throughout the regulations.

Comments and Responses

    On February 10, 2020, NMFS published a proposed rule and request 
for public comments (85 FR 7521). The comment period ended March 2, 
2020. NMFS received comments from seven individuals that generally 
supported the ACL and AMs, and responds below.
    Comment 1: Why does the rule affect Kona crab for only one year, 
and why will NMFS and the Council wait for a new stock assessment to 
address management for subsequent years?
    Response: The Council recommended 2019 ACL and AMs for Kona crab in 
October 2018. At that time, NMFS was preparing a stock assessment that 
would include updated catch projections for management use beginning in 
2020. The Council limited their recommendations for Kona crab to 2019 
with the understanding that they would recommend ACLs and AMs for Kona 
crab in subsequent years when the new stock assessment became 
available. This process allows NMFS and the Council to use information 
provided in the new stock assessment to inform management for 2020 and 
beyond, and is consistent with National Standard 2 of the Magnuson-
Stevens Act, which requires NMFS to use the best scientific information 
available.
    Comment 2: Lower ACLs would promote greater biodiversity and 
prevent effects from rising ocean temperatures.
    Response: NMFS acknowledges that biodiversity and climate change 
are important considerations. We evaluated these issues in the 
environmental assessments supporting this management action, and the 
best available information does not indicate that the fisheries covered 
by this rule affect biodiversity or are affected by increased ocean 
temperatures.
    Comment 3: How are the rules enforced?
    Response: NOAA's Office of Law Enforcement and the U.S. Coast Guard 
enforce Federal fisheries rules. They conduct enforcement activities 
both on and off the water, and conduct related criminal and civil 
investigations. The Enforcement Section of the NOAA Office of General 
Counsel provides legal support to the NOAA Office of Law Enforcement 
and other NOAA offices, and prosecutes cases.

Changes From the Proposed Rule

    This final rule contains no changes from the proposed rule.

Classification

    The Administrator, Pacific Islands Region, NMFS, determined that 
this action is necessary for the conservation, management, and long-
term sustainability of the subject fisheries, and that it is consistent 
with the Magnuson-Stevens Act and other applicable laws.
    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. NMFS did not receive any 
comments regarding this certification. As a result, a regulatory 
flexibility analysis was not required and none was prepared.

[[Page 26624]]

    This final rule has been determined to be not significant for 
purposes of Executive Order 12866. This rule is not an Executive Order 
13771 regulatory action because this rule is not significant under 
Executive Order 12866.

List of Subjects in 50 CFR Part 665

    Annual catch limits, Accountability measures, Bottomfish, Deepwater 
shrimp, Precious corals, Kona crab, Uku, Fisheries, Fishing, Hawaii, 
Pacific Islands.

    Dated: April 13, 2020.
Samuel D. Rauch, III,
Deputy Assistant Administrator for Regulatory Programs, National Marine 
Fisheries Service.

    For the reasons set out in the preamble, NMFS amends 50 CFR part 
665 as follows:

PART 665--FISHERIES IN THE WESTERN PACIFIC

0
 1. The authority citation for 50 CFR part 665 continues to read as 
follows:

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

0
2. In Sec.  665.4, revise paragraph (c) to read as follows:


Sec.  665.4  Annual catch limits.

* * * * *
    (c) Exceptions. The Regional Administrator is not required to 
specify an annual catch limit for an ECS, or for an MUS that is 
statutorily excepted from the requirement pursuant to 50 CFR 
600.310(h)(1).
* * * * *

0
3. In Sec.  665.204, revise paragraphs (h) and (i) to read as follows:


Sec.  665.204  Prohibitions

* * * * *
    (h) Fish for or possess any bottomfish MUS as defined in Sec.  
665.201, in the MHI management subarea after a closure of its 
respective fishery, in violation of Sec.  665.211.
    (i) Sell or offer for sale any bottomfish MUS as defined in Sec.  
665.201, after a closure of its respective fishery, in violation of 
Sec.  665.211.
* * * * *

0
 4. Revise Sec.  665.211 to read as follows:


Sec.  665.211  Annual Catch Limits (ACL).

    (a) In accordance with Sec.  665.4, the ACLs for MHI bottomfish 
fisheries for each fishing year are as follows:

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                    2018-19 ACL     2019-20 ACL     2020-21 ACL
                             Fishery                                   (lb)            (lb)            (lb)
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Deep 7 bottomfish...............................................         492,000         492,000         492,000
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                             Fishery                              2019 ACL  (lb)  2020 ACL  (lb)  2021 ACL  (lb)
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Uku.............................................................         127,205         127,205         127,205
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    (b) When a bottomfish ACL is projected to be reached based on 
analyses of available information, the Regional Administrator shall 
publish a document to that effect in the Federal Register and shall use 
other means to notify permit holders. The document will include an 
advisement that the fishery will be closed beginning at a specified 
date, which is not earlier than seven days after the date of filing the 
closure notice for public inspection at the Office of the Federal 
Register, until the end of the fishing year in which the ACL is 
reached.
    (c) On and after the date specified in paragraph (b) of this 
section, no person may fish for or possess any bottomfish MUS from a 
closed fishery in the MHI management subarea, except as otherwise 
allowed in this section.
    (d) On and after the date specified in paragraph (b) of this 
section, no person may sell or offer for sale any bottomfish MUS from a 
closed fishery, except as otherwise authorized by law.
    (e) Fishing for, and the resultant possession or sale of, any 
bottomfish MUS by vessels legally registered to Mau Zone, Ho'omalu 
Zone, or PRIA bottomfish fishing permits and conducted in compliance 
with all other laws and regulations, is exempted from this section.

0
5. Add Sec.  665.253 to read as follows:


Sec.  665.253  Annual Catch Limits (ACL).

    In accordance with Sec.  665.4, the ACLs for MHI crusteaceans for 
each fishing year are as follows:

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                             Fishery                              2019 ACL  (lb)  2020 ACL  (lb)  2021 ACL  (lb)
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Kona crab.......................................................           3,500              NA              NA
Deepwater shrimp................................................         250,733         250,733         250,733
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


0
 6. In Sec.  665.263, revise paragraph (b)(3) to read as follows:


Sec.  665.263  Prohibitions.

* * * * *
    (b) * * *
    (3) In a bed for which the ACL specified in Sec.  665.269 has been 
attained.
* * * * *

0
7. Revise Sec.  665.267 to read as follows:


Sec.  665.267  Seasons.

    The fishing year for precious coral begins on July 1 and ends on 
June 30 the following year.

0
8. In Sec.  665.268, revise paragraph (a) to read as follows:


Sec.  665.268  Closures.

    (a) If the Regional Administrator determines that the ACL for any 
coral bed will be reached prior to the end of the fishing year, NMFS 
shall publish a document to that effect in the Federal Register and 
shall use other means to notify permit holders. Any such notice must 
indicate the fishery shall be closed, the reason for the closure, the 
specific bed being closed, and the effective date of the closure.
* * * * *

0
9. Revise Sec.  665.269 to read as follows:

[[Page 26625]]

Sec.  665.269  Annual Catch Limits (ACL).

    (a) General. The ACLs limiting the amount of precious coral that 
may be taken in any precious coral permit area during the fishing year 
are listed in paragraph (c) of this section. Only live coral is counted 
toward the ACL. The accounting period for each fishing year for all 
precious coral ACLs begins July 1 and ends June 30 of the following 
year.
    (b) Reserves and reserve release. The ACL for exploratory area X-P-
H will be held in reserve for harvest by vessels of the United States 
in the following manner:
    (1) At the start of the fishing year, the reserve for the Hawaii 
exploratory areas will equal the ACL minus the estimated domestic 
annual harvest for that year.
    (2) As soon as practicable after December 31 each year, the 
Regional Administrator will determine the amount harvested by vessels 
of the United States between July 1 and December 31 of the year that 
just ended on December 31.
    (3) NMFS will release to TALFF an amount of Hawaii precious coral 
for each exploratory area equal to the ACL minus two times the amount 
harvested by vessels of the United States in that July 1-December 31 
period.
    (4) NMFS will publish in the Federal Register a notification of the 
Regional Administrator's determination and a summary of the information 
on which it is based as soon as practicable after the determination is 
made.
    (c) In accordance with Sec.  665.4, the ACLs for MHI precious coral 
permit areas for each fishing year are as follows:

                                            Table 1 to Paragraph (c)
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
          Type of  coral bed              Area and coral  group   2019 ACL  (lb)  2020 ACL  (lb)  2021 ACL  (lb)
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Established bed.......................  Auau Channel--Black                5,512           5,512           5,512
                                         coral.
                                        Makapuu Bed--Pink and              2,205           2,205           2,205
                                         red coral.
                                        Makapuu Bed--Bamboo                  551             551             551
                                         coral.
Conditional Beds......................  180 Fathom Bank--Pink                489             489             489
                                         and red coral.
                                        180 Fathom Bank--Bamboo              123             123             123
                                         coral.
                                        Brooks Bank--Pink and                979             979             979
                                         red coral.
                                        Brooks Bank--Bamboo                  245             245             245
                                         coral.
                                        Kaena Point Bed--Pink                148             148             148
                                         and red coral.
                                        Kaena Point Bed--Bamboo               37              37              37
                                         coral.
                                        Keahole Bed--Pink and                148             148             148
                                         red coral.
                                        Keahole Bed--Bamboo                   37              37              37
                                         coral.
Exploratory Area......................  Hawaii--precious coral..           2,205           2,205           2,205
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


    Note 1 to Sec.  665.269:  No fishing for coral is authorized in 
refugia.


    Note 2 to Sec.  665.269: A moratorium on gold coral harvesting 
is in effect through June 30, 2023.

[FR Doc. 2020-08045 Filed 5-4-20; 8:45 am]
 BILLING CODE 3510-22-P