Pacific Island Pelagic Fisheries; 2020 U.S. Territorial Longline Bigeye Tuna Catch Limits, 41223-41225 [2020-14818]

Download as PDF Federal Register / Vol. 85, No. 132 / Thursday, July 9, 2020 / Proposed Rules costs are estimated at $85 per workhour. Inspecting the M/R blade spindle cuffs would take about 1 work-hour for an estimated cost of $85 per helicopter and $17,340 for the U.S. fleet. Replacing an M/R blade spindle cuff would take about 175 work-hours and required parts would cost about $10,000 for a total estimated replacement cost of $24,875 per M/R blade spindle cuff. Authority for This Rulemaking Title 49 of the United States Code specifies the FAA’s authority to issue rules on aviation safety. Subtitle I, section 106, describes the authority of the FAA Administrator. Subtitle VII: Aviation Programs, describes in more detail the scope of the Agency’s authority. The FAA is issuing this rulemaking under the authority described in Subtitle VII, Part A, Subpart III, Section 44701: General requirements. Under that section, Congress charges the FAA with promoting safe flight of civil aircraft in air commerce by prescribing regulations for practices, methods, and procedures the Administrator finds necessary for safety in air commerce. This regulation is within the scope of that authority because it addresses an unsafe condition that is likely to exist or develop on products identified in this rulemaking action. Regulatory Findings The FAA determined that this proposed AD would not have federalism implications under Executive Order 13132. This proposed AD would not have a substantial direct effect on the States, on the relationship between the national Government and the States, or on the distribution of power and responsibilities among the various levels of government. For the reasons discussed, I certify this proposed regulation: 1. Is not a ‘‘significant regulatory action’’ under Executive Order 12866, 2. Will not affect intrastate aviation in Alaska, and 3. Will not have a significant economic impact, positive or negative, on a substantial number of small entities under the criteria of the Regulatory Flexibility Act. jbell on DSKJLSW7X2PROD with PROPOSALS List of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 39 Air transportation, Aircraft, Aviation safety, Incorporation by reference, Safety. The Proposed Amendment Accordingly, under the authority delegated to me by the Administrator, VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:25 Jul 08, 2020 Jkt 250001 the FAA proposes to amend 14 CFR part 39 as follows: PART 39—AIRWORTHINESS DIRECTIVES 1. The authority citation for part 39 continues to read as follows: ■ Authority: 49 U.S.C. 106(g), 40113, 44701. § 39.13 [Amended] 2. The FAA amends § 39.13 by adding the following new airworthiness directive (AD): ■ Various Restricted Category Helicopters: Docket No. FAA–2020–0625; Product Identifier 2016–SW–007–AD. (a) Applicability This AD applies to various restricted category helicopters originally manufactured by Sikorsky Aircraft Corporation, Model EH– 60A, HH–60L, S–70, S–70A, S–70C, S– 70C(M), S–70C(M1), and UH–60A helicopters with a main rotor (M/R) blade spindle cuff part number 70150–09109–041 installed; type certificate holders include but are not limited to ACE Aeronautics, LLC; BHI H60 Helicopters, LLC; Billings Flying Service Inc.; Carson Helicopters; Delta Enterprise; High Performance Helicopters Corp.; Northwest Rotorcraft LLC; Pickering Aviation, Inc.; PJ Helicopters Inc.; Sikorsky Aircraft Corporation; SixtyHawk TC, LLC; Skydance Blackhawk Operations, LLC; Timberline Helicopters, Inc.; and Unical Aviation, Inc. (b) Unsafe Condition This AD defines the unsafe condition as a crack in an M/R blade spindle cuff. This condition could result in failure of an M/R blade spindle cuff, loss of an M/R blade, and loss of control of the helicopter. (c) Comments Due Date The FAA must receive comments by August 24, 2020. (d) Compliance You are responsible for performing each action required by this AD within the specified compliance time unless it has already been accomplished prior to that time. (e) Required Actions Before further flight, unless already done within the last 10 hours time-in-service (TIS), and thereafter at intervals not to exceed 10 hours TIS from the last inspection: (1) Using 10X or higher power magnification, visually inspect each M/R blade spindle cuff for a crack. Pay particular attention to the area around each bolt hole and the upper and lower surfaces of the leading and trailing edges of each M/R blade spindle cuff. (2) If there is a crack, replace the M/R blade spindle cuff before further flight. (f) Alternative Methods of Compliance (AMOC) (1) The Manager, Boston ACO Branch, FAA, may approve AMOCs for this AD. Send your proposal to: Kristopher Greer, Aerospace Engineer, Boston ACO Branch, PO 00000 Frm 00023 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 41223 Compliance and Airworthiness Division, FAA, 1200 District Avenue, Burlington, Massachusetts 01803; telephone 781–238– 7799; email kristopher.greer@faa.gov. (2) For operations conducted under a 14 CFR part 119 operating certificate or under 14 CFR part 91, subpart K, the FAA suggests that you notify your principal inspector, or lacking a principal inspector, the manager of the local flight standards district office or certificate holding district office before operating any aircraft complying with this AD through an AMOC. (g) Additional Information Sikorsky Safety Advisory No. SSA–S70– 08–002, dated December 11, 2008, and Sikorsky Technical Manual Preventative Maintenance Services 10 Hour/14 Day (30 Hour/42 Day) Inspection Checklist 1–70– PMS–1, dated December 1, 2014, which are not incorporated by reference, contain additional information about the subject of this AD. For service information identified in this AD, contact your local Sikorsky Field Representative or Sikorsky’s Service Engineering Group at Sikorsky Aircraft Corporation, 124 Quarry Road, Trumbull, CT 06611; telephone 1–800–Winged–S; email wcs_cust_service_eng.gr-sik@lmco.com. Operators may also log on to the Sikorsky 360 website at https://www.sikorsky360.com. You may view a copy of information at the FAA, Office of the Regional Counsel, Southwest Region, 10101 Hillwood Pkwy., Room 6N–321, Fort Worth, TX 76177. (h) Subject Joint Aircraft Service Component (JASC) Code: 6220, Main Rotor Head—Main Rotor Spindle Cuff. Issued on July 2, 2020. Ross Landes, Deputy Director for Regulatory Operations, Compliance & Airworthiness Division, Aircraft Certification Service. [FR Doc. 2020–14787 Filed 7–8–20; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910–13–P DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration 50 CFR Part 665 [Docket No. 200702–0175] RTID 0648–XP010 Pacific Island Pelagic Fisheries; 2020 U.S. Territorial Longline Bigeye Tuna Catch Limits National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Commerce. ACTION: Proposed specifications; request for comments. AGENCY: NMFS proposes a 2020 limit of 2,000 metric tons (t) of longline- SUMMARY: E:\FR\FM\09JYP1.SGM 09JYP1 jbell on DSKJLSW7X2PROD with PROPOSALS 41224 Federal Register / Vol. 85, No. 132 / Thursday, July 9, 2020 / Proposed Rules caught bigeye tuna for each U.S. Pacific territory (American Samoa, Guam, and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI)). NMFS would allow each territory to allocate up to 1,500 t each year to U.S. longline fishing vessels in a specified fishing agreement that meets established criteria, but the overall allocation limit among all territories may not exceed 3,000 t. As an accountability measure, NMFS would monitor, attribute, and restrict (if necessary) catches of longline-caught bigeye tuna, including catches made under a specified fishing agreement. The proposed catch limits and accountability measures would support the long-term sustainability of fishery resources of the U.S. Pacific Islands. DATES: NMFS must receive comments by July 24, 2020. ADDRESSES: You may submit comments on this document, identified by NOAA– NMFS–2020–0078, by either of the following methods: • Electronic Submission: Submit all electronic public comments via the Federal e-Rulemaking Portal. Go to http://www.regulations.gov/ #!docketDetail;D=NOAA-NMFS-20200078, click the ‘‘Comment Now!’’ icon, complete the required fields, and enter or attach your comments. • Mail: Send written comments to Michael D. Tosatto, Regional Administrator, NMFS Pacific Islands Region (PIR), 1845 Wasp Blvd., Bldg. 176, Honolulu, HI 96818. 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, etc.), 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). The Western Pacific Fishery Management Council (Council) and NMFS prepared a supplemental environmental assessment (SEA), that describes the potential impacts on the human environment that could result from the proposed action. The SEA is available at www.regulations.gov, or from the Council, 1164 Bishop St., Suite 1400, Honolulu, HI 96813, tel 808–522– 8220, fax 808–522–8226, www.wpcouncil.org. VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:25 Jul 08, 2020 Jkt 250001 FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Lynn Rassel, NMFS PIRO Sustainable Fisheries, 808–725–5184. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: NMFS proposes to specify a 2020 catch limit of 2,000 t of longline-caught bigeye tuna for each U.S. Pacific territory. NMFS would also authorize each U.S. Pacific territory to allocate up to 1,500 t of its 2,000 t bigeye tuna limit, not to exceed a 3,000 t total annual allocation limit among all the territories, to U.S. longline fishing vessels that are permitted to fish under the Fishery Ecosystem Plan for Pelagic Fisheries of the Western Pacific (FEP). Those vessels must be identified in a specified fishing agreement with the applicable territory. The Council recommended these specifications. The proposed catch limits and accountability measures are identical to those that NMFS has specified for U.S. territories in each year since 2014. In previous years, each territory’s allocation limit was 1,000 t, rather than the 1,500 t proposed in this action. Nonetheless, the overall allocation limit among all territories may not exceed 3,000 t for the year, which is consistent with previous years. NMFS will monitor catches of longline-caught bigeye tuna by the longline fisheries of each U.S Pacific territory, including catches made by U.S. longline vessels operating under specified fishing agreements. The criteria that a specified fishing agreement must meet, and the process for attributing longline-caught bigeye tuna, will follow the procedures in 50 CFR 665.819. When NMFS projects that a territorial catch or allocation limit will be reached, NMFS would, as an accountability measure, prohibit the catch and retention of longline-caught bigeye tuna by vessels in the applicable territory (if the territorial catch limit is projected to be reached), and/or vessels in a specified fishing agreement (if the allocation limit is projected to be reached). NMFS will consider public comments on the proposed action and draft supplemental environmental assessment, and will announce the final specifications in the Federal Register. NMFS also invites public comments that address the impact of this proposed action on cultural fishing in American Samoa. On March 20, 2017, in Territory of American Samoa v. NMFS, et al. (16– cv–95, D. Haw), a Federal judge set aside a NMFS rule that amended the American Samoa Large Vessel Prohibited Area (LVPA) for eligible longliners on the grounds that NMFS did not consider under the Deeds of PO 00000 Frm 00024 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 Cession the protection of cultural fishing in American Samoa. NMFS has appealed this decision, which is pending before the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. NMFS must receive any comments on this proposed action by the date provided in the DATES heading. NMFS may not consider any comments not postmarked or otherwise transmitted by that date. Regardless of the final specifications, all other existing management measures will continue to apply in the longline fishery. Classification Pursuant to section 304(b)(1)(A) of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (Magnuson-Stevens Act), the NMFS Assistant Administrator for Fisheries has determined that this proposed specification is consistent with the FEP, other provisions of the MagnusonStevens Act, and other applicable laws, subject to further consideration after public comment. Certification of Finding of No Significant Impact on Substantial Number of Small Entities The Chief Counsel for Regulation for the Department of Commerce has certified to the Chief Counsel for Advocacy of the Small Business Administration that these proposed specifications, if adopted, would not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. The proposed action would specify a 2020 limit of 2,000 t of longline-caught bigeye tuna for each U.S. Pacific territory. NMFS would also allow each territory to allocate up to 1,500 t of its 2,000 t limit, not to exceed an overall annual allocation limit of 3,000 t, to U.S. longline fishing vessels in a specified fishing agreement that meets established criteria set forth in 50 CFR 665.819. As an accountability measure, NMFS would monitor, attribute, and restrict (if necessary) catches of longline-caught bigeye tuna by vessels in the applicable U.S. territory (if the territorial catch limit is projected to be reached), or by vessels operating under the applicable specified fishing agreement (if the allocation limit is projected to be reached), or by vessels operating under the applicable specified fishing agreement (if the allocation limit is projected to be reached). Payments under the specified fishing agreements support fisheries development in the U.S. Pacific territories and the long-term sustainability of fishery resources of the U.S. Pacific Islands. This proposed action would directly apply to longline vessels federally E:\FR\FM\09JYP1.SGM 09JYP1 jbell on DSKJLSW7X2PROD with PROPOSALS Federal Register / Vol. 85, No. 132 / Thursday, July 9, 2020 / Proposed Rules permitted under the FEP, specifically Hawaii, American Samoa, and Western Pacific longline permit holders. Preliminary data shows that in 2019, 164 vessels had Hawaii longline permits, with 146 of these vessels actively participating in the fishery and 60 had American Samoa longline permits, with 17 of these vessels actively participating in the fishery (NMFS Pacific Island Fishery Science Center Economic Performance Measures, inport.nmfs.noaa.gov/inport/ item/46097). There are no active Western Pacific general longline permitted vessels. Based on dealer data collected by the State of Hawaii and the Pacific Fisheries Information Network, Hawaii longline vessels landed approximately 26.7 million lb (12,111 t) of pelagic fish valued at $94.7 million in 2019. With 146 vessels making either a deep- or shallow-set trip in 2019, the ex-vessel value of pelagic fish caught by Hawaiibased longline fisheries averaged almost $649,000 per vessel. In 2019, American Samoa-based longline vessels landed approximately 3.0 million lb (1,361 t) of pelagic fish valued at $3.9 million; albacore made up the largest proportion of pelagic longline commercial landings. With 17 active longline vessels in 2019, the ex-vessel value of pelagic fish caught by the American Samoa fishery averaged almost $230,000 per vessel. NMFS has established a small business size standard for businesses, including their affiliates, whose primary industry is commercial fishing (see 50 CFR 200.2). A business primarily engaged in commercial fishing (NAICS code 11411) is classified as a small business if it is independently owned and operated, is not dominant in its field of operation (including its affiliates), and has combined annual receipts not in excess of $11 million for all its affiliated operations worldwide. Based on available information, NMFS has determined that all vessels permitted federally under the FEP are small entities, i.e., they are engaged in the business of fish harvesting (NAICS 114111), are independently owned or operated, are not dominant in their field of operation, and have annual gross receipts not in excess of $11 million. Even though this proposed action would apply to a substantial number of vessels, the implementation of this action would not result in significant adverse economic impact to individual vessels. The proposed action would potentially benefit the Hawaii longline fishermen by allowing them to fish under specified VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:25 Jul 08, 2020 Jkt 250001 fishing agreements with a territory, which could extend fishing effort for bigeye tuna in the western Pacific and provide more bigeye tuna for markets in Hawaii and elsewhere. In accordance with Federal regulations at 50 CFR part 300, subpart O, vessels that possess both an American Samoa and Hawaii longline permit are not subject to the U.S bigeye tuna limit. Therefore, these vessels may retain bigeye tuna and land fish in Hawaii after the date NMFS projects the fishery would reach that limit. Further, catches of bigeye tuna made by such vessels are attributed to American Samoa, provided the fish was not caught in the U.S. exclusive economic zone around Hawaii. The 2020 U.S. bigeye tuna catch limit is 3,554 t, which is the same limit in place for 2019. NMFS will establish the 2020 U.S. bigeye tuna catch limit through a separate action. With regard to the 2019 fishing year, the fishery reached the limit and closed on July 27, 2019. However, NMFS had already begun attributing bigeye tuna caught by vessels listed in the specified fishing agreement with the CNMI, with that agreement made valid on July 19, 2019. On October 28, 2019, NMFS began attributing bigeye tuna catch to American Samoa, upon nearing the 2019 allocation limit for CNMI. NMFS temporarily reopened the U.S. pelagic fishery for bigeye tuna from December 23 through December 27, 2019, to allow the fishery to access the remainder of the available limit, as the fishery had not caught the entire 3,554 t limit. These combined measures enabled the U.S. fishery to fish throughout most of the year. Through this proposed action, Hawaii-based longline vessels could potentially enter into one or more fishing agreements with participating territories. This would enhance the ability of these vessels to extend fishing effort in the western and central Pacific Ocean after reaching the 2020 U.S. limit and provide more bigeye tuna for markets in Hawaii. Providing opportunity to land bigeye tuna in Hawaii in the last quarter of the year when market demand is high will result in positive economic benefits for fishery participants and net benefits to the nation. Allowing participating territories to enter into specified fishing agreements under this action is consistent with Western and Central Pacific Fishery Commission (WCPFC) conservation and management objectives for bigeye tuna in PO 00000 Frm 00025 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 9990 41225 Conservation and Management Measure 2018–01, and benefits the territories by providing funds for territorial fisheries development projects. Establishing a 2,000 t longline limit for bigeye tuna, where territories are not subject to WCPFC longline limits, is not expected to adversely affect vessels based in the territories. Historical catches of bigeye tuna by the American Samoa longline fleet have been less than 2,000 t, including the catch of vessels based in American Samoa, catch by dual permitted vessels that land their catch in Hawaii, and catch attributed to American Samoa from U.S. vessels under specified fishing agreements. No longline fishing has occurred since 2011 in Guam and the CNMI. Under the proposed action, longline fisheries managed under the FEP are not expected to expand substantially nor change the manner in which they are currently conducted, (i.e., area fished, number of vessels longline fishing, number of trips taken per year, number of hooks set per vessel during a trip, depth of hooks, or deployment techniques in setting longline gear), due to existing operational constraints in the fleet, the limited entry permit programs, and protected species mitigation requirements. The proposed action does not duplicate, overlap, or conflict with other Federal rules and is not expected to have significant impact on small organizations or government jurisdictions. Furthermore, there would be little, if any, disproportionate adverse economic impacts from the proposed action based on gear type, or relative vessel size. The proposed action also will not place a substantial number of small entities, or any segment of small entities, at a significant competitive disadvantage to large entities. For the reasons above, NMFS does not expect the proposed action to have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. As such, an initial regulatory flexibility analysis is not required and none has been prepared. This action is exempt from the procedures of Executive Order 12866. Authority: 16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq. Dated: July 6, 2020. Samuel D. Rauch III, Deputy Assistant Administrator for Regulatory Programs, National Marine Fisheries Service. [FR Doc. 2020–14818 Filed 7–8–20; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510–22–P E:\FR\FM\09JYP1.SGM 09JYP1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 85, Number 132 (Thursday, July 9, 2020)]
[Proposed Rules]
[Pages 41223-41225]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2020-14818]


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DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

50 CFR Part 665

[Docket No. 200702-0175]
RTID 0648-XP010


Pacific Island Pelagic Fisheries; 2020 U.S. Territorial Longline 
Bigeye Tuna Catch Limits

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

ACTION: Proposed specifications; request for comments.

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SUMMARY: NMFS proposes a 2020 limit of 2,000 metric tons (t) of 
longline-

[[Page 41224]]

caught bigeye tuna for each U.S. Pacific territory (American Samoa, 
Guam, and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI)). 
NMFS would allow each territory to allocate up to 1,500 t each year to 
U.S. longline fishing vessels in a specified fishing agreement that 
meets established criteria, but the overall allocation limit among all 
territories may not exceed 3,000 t. As an accountability measure, NMFS 
would monitor, attribute, and restrict (if necessary) catches of 
longline-caught bigeye tuna, including catches made under a specified 
fishing agreement. The proposed catch limits and accountability 
measures would support the long-term sustainability of fishery 
resources of the U.S. Pacific Islands.

DATES: NMFS must receive comments by July 24, 2020.

ADDRESSES: You may submit comments on this document, identified by 
NOAA-NMFS-2020-0078, by either of the following methods:
     Electronic Submission: Submit all electronic public 
comments via the Federal e-Rulemaking Portal. Go to http://www.regulations.gov/#!docketDetail;D=NOAA-NMFS-2020-0078, click the 
``Comment Now!'' icon, complete the required fields, and enter or 
attach your comments.
     Mail: Send written comments to Michael D. Tosatto, 
Regional Administrator, NMFS Pacific Islands Region (PIR), 1845 Wasp 
Blvd., Bldg. 176, Honolulu, HI 96818.
    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, etc.), 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).
    The Western Pacific Fishery Management Council (Council) and NMFS 
prepared a supplemental environmental assessment (SEA), that describes 
the potential impacts on the human environment that could result from 
the proposed action. The SEA is available at www.regulations.gov, or 
from the Council, 1164 Bishop St., Suite 1400, Honolulu, HI 96813, tel 
808-522-8220, fax 808-522-8226, www.wpcouncil.org.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Lynn Rassel, NMFS PIRO Sustainable 
Fisheries, 808-725-5184.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: NMFS proposes to specify a 2020 catch limit 
of 2,000 t of longline-caught bigeye tuna for each U.S. Pacific 
territory. NMFS would also authorize each U.S. Pacific territory to 
allocate up to 1,500 t of its 2,000 t bigeye tuna limit, not to exceed 
a 3,000 t total annual allocation limit among all the territories, to 
U.S. longline fishing vessels that are permitted to fish under the 
Fishery Ecosystem Plan for Pelagic Fisheries of the Western Pacific 
(FEP). Those vessels must be identified in a specified fishing 
agreement with the applicable territory. The Council recommended these 
specifications.
    The proposed catch limits and accountability measures are identical 
to those that NMFS has specified for U.S. territories in each year 
since 2014. In previous years, each territory's allocation limit was 
1,000 t, rather than the 1,500 t proposed in this action. Nonetheless, 
the overall allocation limit among all territories may not exceed 3,000 
t for the year, which is consistent with previous years.
    NMFS will monitor catches of longline-caught bigeye tuna by the 
longline fisheries of each U.S Pacific territory, including catches 
made by U.S. longline vessels operating under specified fishing 
agreements. The criteria that a specified fishing agreement must meet, 
and the process for attributing longline-caught bigeye tuna, will 
follow the procedures in 50 CFR 665.819. When NMFS projects that a 
territorial catch or allocation limit will be reached, NMFS would, as 
an accountability measure, prohibit the catch and retention of 
longline-caught bigeye tuna by vessels in the applicable territory (if 
the territorial catch limit is projected to be reached), and/or vessels 
in a specified fishing agreement (if the allocation limit is projected 
to be reached).
    NMFS will consider public comments on the proposed action and draft 
supplemental environmental assessment, and will announce the final 
specifications in the Federal Register.
    NMFS also invites public comments that address the impact of this 
proposed action on cultural fishing in American Samoa. On March 20, 
2017, in Territory of American Samoa v. NMFS, et al. (16-cv-95, D. 
Haw), a Federal judge set aside a NMFS rule that amended the American 
Samoa Large Vessel Prohibited Area (LVPA) for eligible longliners on 
the grounds that NMFS did not consider under the Deeds of Cession the 
protection of cultural fishing in American Samoa. NMFS has appealed 
this decision, which is pending before the Ninth Circuit Court of 
Appeals.
    NMFS must receive any comments on this proposed action by the date 
provided in the DATES heading. NMFS may not consider any comments not 
postmarked or otherwise transmitted by that date. Regardless of the 
final specifications, all other existing management measures will 
continue to apply in the longline fishery.

Classification

    Pursuant to section 304(b)(1)(A) of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery 
Conservation and Management Act (Magnuson-Stevens Act), the NMFS 
Assistant Administrator for Fisheries has determined that this proposed 
specification is consistent with the FEP, other provisions of the 
Magnuson-Stevens Act, and other applicable laws, subject to further 
consideration after public comment.

Certification of Finding of No Significant Impact on Substantial Number 
of Small Entities

    The Chief Counsel for Regulation for the Department of Commerce has 
certified to the Chief Counsel for Advocacy of the Small Business 
Administration that these proposed specifications, if adopted, would 
not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small 
entities.
    The proposed action would specify a 2020 limit of 2,000 t of 
longline-caught bigeye tuna for each U.S. Pacific territory. NMFS would 
also allow each territory to allocate up to 1,500 t of its 2,000 t 
limit, not to exceed an overall annual allocation limit of 3,000 t, to 
U.S. longline fishing vessels in a specified fishing agreement that 
meets established criteria set forth in 50 CFR 665.819. As an 
accountability measure, NMFS would monitor, attribute, and restrict (if 
necessary) catches of longline-caught bigeye tuna by vessels in the 
applicable U.S. territory (if the territorial catch limit is projected 
to be reached), or by vessels operating under the applicable specified 
fishing agreement (if the allocation limit is projected to be reached), 
or by vessels operating under the applicable specified fishing 
agreement (if the allocation limit is projected to be reached). 
Payments under the specified fishing agreements support fisheries 
development in the U.S. Pacific territories and the long-term 
sustainability of fishery resources of the U.S. Pacific Islands.
    This proposed action would directly apply to longline vessels 
federally

[[Page 41225]]

permitted under the FEP, specifically Hawaii, American Samoa, and 
Western Pacific longline permit holders. Preliminary data shows that in 
2019, 164 vessels had Hawaii longline permits, with 146 of these 
vessels actively participating in the fishery and 60 had American Samoa 
longline permits, with 17 of these vessels actively participating in 
the fishery (NMFS Pacific Island Fishery Science Center Economic 
Performance Measures, inport.nmfs.noaa.gov/inport/item/46097). There 
are no active Western Pacific general longline permitted vessels.
    Based on dealer data collected by the State of Hawaii and the 
Pacific Fisheries Information Network, Hawaii longline vessels landed 
approximately 26.7 million lb (12,111 t) of pelagic fish valued at 
$94.7 million in 2019. With 146 vessels making either a deep- or 
shallow-set trip in 2019, the ex-vessel value of pelagic fish caught by 
Hawaii-based longline fisheries averaged almost $649,000 per vessel. In 
2019, American Samoa-based longline vessels landed approximately 3.0 
million lb (1,361 t) of pelagic fish valued at $3.9 million; albacore 
made up the largest proportion of pelagic longline commercial landings. 
With 17 active longline vessels in 2019, the ex-vessel value of pelagic 
fish caught by the American Samoa fishery averaged almost $230,000 per 
vessel.
    NMFS has established a small business size standard for businesses, 
including their affiliates, whose primary industry is commercial 
fishing (see 50 CFR 200.2). A business primarily engaged in commercial 
fishing (NAICS code 11411) is classified as a small business if it is 
independently owned and operated, is not dominant in its field of 
operation (including its affiliates), and has combined annual receipts 
not in excess of $11 million for all its affiliated operations 
worldwide. Based on available information, NMFS has determined that all 
vessels permitted federally under the FEP are small entities, i.e., 
they are engaged in the business of fish harvesting (NAICS 114111), are 
independently owned or operated, are not dominant in their field of 
operation, and have annual gross receipts not in excess of $11 million. 
Even though this proposed action would apply to a substantial number of 
vessels, the implementation of this action would not result in 
significant adverse economic impact to individual vessels. The proposed 
action would potentially benefit the Hawaii longline fishermen by 
allowing them to fish under specified fishing agreements with a 
territory, which could extend fishing effort for bigeye tuna in the 
western Pacific and provide more bigeye tuna for markets in Hawaii and 
elsewhere.
    In accordance with Federal regulations at 50 CFR part 300, subpart 
O, vessels that possess both an American Samoa and Hawaii longline 
permit are not subject to the U.S bigeye tuna limit. Therefore, these 
vessels may retain bigeye tuna and land fish in Hawaii after the date 
NMFS projects the fishery would reach that limit. Further, catches of 
bigeye tuna made by such vessels are attributed to American Samoa, 
provided the fish was not caught in the U.S. exclusive economic zone 
around Hawaii.
    The 2020 U.S. bigeye tuna catch limit is 3,554 t, which is the same 
limit in place for 2019. NMFS will establish the 2020 U.S. bigeye tuna 
catch limit through a separate action. With regard to the 2019 fishing 
year, the fishery reached the limit and closed on July 27, 2019. 
However, NMFS had already begun attributing bigeye tuna caught by 
vessels listed in the specified fishing agreement with the CNMI, with 
that agreement made valid on July 19, 2019. On October 28, 2019, NMFS 
began attributing bigeye tuna catch to American Samoa, upon nearing the 
2019 allocation limit for CNMI. NMFS temporarily reopened the U.S. 
pelagic fishery for bigeye tuna from December 23 through December 27, 
2019, to allow the fishery to access the remainder of the available 
limit, as the fishery had not caught the entire 3,554 t limit. These 
combined measures enabled the U.S. fishery to fish throughout most of 
the year.
    Through this proposed action, Hawaii-based longline vessels could 
potentially enter into one or more fishing agreements with 
participating territories. This would enhance the ability of these 
vessels to extend fishing effort in the western and central Pacific 
Ocean after reaching the 2020 U.S. limit and provide more bigeye tuna 
for markets in Hawaii. Providing opportunity to land bigeye tuna in 
Hawaii in the last quarter of the year when market demand is high will 
result in positive economic benefits for fishery participants and net 
benefits to the nation. Allowing participating territories to enter 
into specified fishing agreements under this action is consistent with 
Western and Central Pacific Fishery Commission (WCPFC) conservation and 
management objectives for bigeye tuna in Conservation and Management 
Measure 2018-01, and benefits the territories by providing funds for 
territorial fisheries development projects. Establishing a 2,000 t 
longline limit for bigeye tuna, where territories are not subject to 
WCPFC longline limits, is not expected to adversely affect vessels 
based in the territories.
    Historical catches of bigeye tuna by the American Samoa longline 
fleet have been less than 2,000 t, including the catch of vessels based 
in American Samoa, catch by dual permitted vessels that land their 
catch in Hawaii, and catch attributed to American Samoa from U.S. 
vessels under specified fishing agreements. No longline fishing has 
occurred since 2011 in Guam and the CNMI.
    Under the proposed action, longline fisheries managed under the FEP 
are not expected to expand substantially nor change the manner in which 
they are currently conducted, (i.e., area fished, number of vessels 
longline fishing, number of trips taken per year, number of hooks set 
per vessel during a trip, depth of hooks, or deployment techniques in 
setting longline gear), due to existing operational constraints in the 
fleet, the limited entry permit programs, and protected species 
mitigation requirements. The proposed action does not duplicate, 
overlap, or conflict with other Federal rules and is not expected to 
have significant impact on small organizations or government 
jurisdictions. Furthermore, there would be little, if any, 
disproportionate adverse economic impacts from the proposed action 
based on gear type, or relative vessel size. The proposed action also 
will not place a substantial number of small entities, or any segment 
of small entities, at a significant competitive disadvantage to large 
entities.
    For the reasons above, NMFS does not expect the proposed action to 
have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small 
entities. As such, an initial regulatory flexibility analysis is not 
required and none has been prepared.
    This action is exempt from the procedures of Executive Order 12866.

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

    Dated: July 6, 2020.
Samuel D. Rauch III,
Deputy Assistant Administrator for Regulatory Programs, National Marine 
Fisheries Service.
[FR Doc. 2020-14818 Filed 7-8-20; 8:45 am]
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