Fisheries of the Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico, and South Atlantic; 2020 Commercial Hook-and-Line Closure for South Atlantic Golden Tilefish, 44219-44220 [2020-15823]

Download as PDF Federal Register / Vol. 85, No. 141 / Wednesday, July 22, 2020 / Rules and Regulations jbell on DSKBBXCHB2PROD with RULES northern zone extends from the North Carolina and South Carolina state border, along a line extending in a direction of 135°34′55″ from true north beginning at 33°51′07.9″ N lat.– 78°32′32.6″ W long. to the intersection point with the outward boundary of the EEZ (50 CFR 622.369(b)(2)). See Figure 2 of appendix G to part 622—Spanish Mackerel for an illustration of the management zones. Regulations at 50 CFR 622.388(d)(1)(i) require NMFS to close the commercial sector for Atlantic Spanish mackerel in the northern zone when the commercial quota for that zone is reached, or is projected to be reached, by filing such a notification with the Office of the Federal Register. NMFS projects that the commercial quota of 662,670 lb (300,582 kg) for Atlantic Spanish mackerel in the northern zone will be reached by July 22, 2020. Accordingly, the commercial sector for Atlantic Spanish mackerel in the northern zone is closed effective at 12:01 a.m., eastern time, on July 22, 2020, through February 28, 2021, the end of the current fishing year. During the commercial closure, a person on a vessel that has been issued a valid Federal commercial permit to harvest Atlantic Spanish mackerel may continue to retain this species in the northern zone under the recreational bag and possession limits specified in 50 CFR 622.382(a)(1)(iii) and (a)(2), as long as the recreational harvest of Atlantic Spanish mackerel has not closed (50 CFR 622.384(e)(1)). Also during the closure, Atlantic Spanish mackerel from the northern zone, including those harvested under the recreational bag and possession limits, may not be purchased or sold. This prohibition does not apply to Atlantic Spanish mackerel from the northern zone that were harvested, landed ashore, and sold prior to the closure and were held in cold storage by a dealer or processor (50 CFR 622.384(e)(2)). Classification NMFS issues this action pursuant to section 305(d) of the Magnuson-Stevens Act. This action is required by 50 CFR 622.8(b), 622.384(e)(2), and 622.388(d)(1)(i), which were issued pursuant to section 304(b) of the Magnuson-Stevens Act, 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 opportunity for comment. This action responds to the best scientific information available. The VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:35 Jul 21, 2020 Jkt 250001 Assistant Administrator for NOAA Fisheries (AA) finds good cause to waive the requirements to provide prior notice and opportunity for public comment pursuant to the authority set forth at 5 U.S.C. 553(b)(B) as such procedures are unnecessary and contrary to the public interest. Such procedures are unnecessary because the rule implementing the commercial quota and the associated AM has already been subject to notice and public comment, and all that remains is to notify the public of the closure. Additionally, allowing prior notice and opportunity for public comment is contrary to the public interest because of the need to immediately implement this action to protect the Atlantic Spanish mackerel stock, because the capacity of the fishing fleet allows for rapid harvest of the commercial quota. Prior notice and opportunity for public comment would require time and could potentially result in a harvest well in excess of the established commercial quota. For the aforementioned reasons, the AA also finds good cause to waive the 30-day delay in effectiveness of this action under 5 U.S.C. 553(d)(3). Authority: 16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq. Dated: July 17, 2020. He´le`ne M.N. Scalliet, Acting Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine Fisheries Service. [FR Doc. 2020–15895 Filed 7–17–20; 4:15 pm] BILLING CODE 3510–22–P DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration 50 CFR Part 622 [Docket No. 120404257–3325–02; RTID 0648–XA292] Fisheries of the Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico, and South Atlantic; 2020 Commercial Hook-and-Line Closure for South Atlantic Golden Tilefish National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Commerce. ACTION: Temporary rule; closure. AGENCY: NMFS implements an accountability measure for the commercial hook-and-line component of golden tilefish in the South Atlantic exclusive economic zone (EEZ). NMFS projects that commercial hook-and-line landings for golden tilefish will reach the commercial quota for the hook-and- SUMMARY: PO 00000 Frm 00075 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 44219 line component by July 23, 2020. Therefore, NMFS closes the commercial hook-and-line component for golden tilefish in the South Atlantic EEZ on July 23, 2020. This closure is necessary to protect the golden tilefish resource. DATES: This temporary rule is effective at 12:01 a.m., eastern time, on July 23, 2020, until 12:01 a.m., eastern time, on January 1, 2021. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Nikhil Mehta, NMFS Southeast Regional Office, telephone: 727–824–5305, email: nikhil.mehta@noaa.gov. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The snapper-grouper fishery of the South Atlantic includes golden tilefish and is managed under the Fishery Management Plan for the SnapperGrouper Fishery of the South Atlantic Region (FMP). The FMP was prepared by the South Atlantic Fishery Management Council and NMFS, and is implemented by NMFS under the authority of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (Magnuson-Stevens Act) by regulations at 50 CFR part 622. All weights in this temporary rule are given in gutted weight. The commercial sector for golden tilefish has two components, each with its own quota: The hook-and-line and longline components (50 CFR 622.190(a)(2)). The golden tilefish commercial annual catch limit (ACL) is allocated 25 percent to the hook-andline component and 75 percent to the longline component. The total commercial ACL (equivalent to the commercial quota) for golden tilefish is 331,740 lb (150,475 kg), and the hookand-line component ACL is 82,935 lb (37,619 kg). Under 50 CFR 622.193(a)(1)(i), NMFS is required to close the commercial hook-and-line component for golden tilefish when its commercial ACL has been reached, or is projected to be reached, by filing such a notification with the Office of the Federal Register. NMFS has determined that the commercial ACL for the golden tilefish hook-and-line component in the South Atlantic will be reached by July 23, 2020. Accordingly, the commercial hook-and-line component of South Atlantic golden tilefish is closed effective at 12:01 a.m., eastern time, on July 23, 2020. The commercial longline component for South Atlantic golden tilefish also closed on March 23, 2020, and will remain closed for the remainder of the current fishing year, through December 31, 2020 (85 FR 14602, March 13, 2020). Therefore, because the commercial longline component is already closed, E:\FR\FM\22JYR1.SGM 22JYR1 44220 Federal Register / Vol. 85, No. 141 / Wednesday, July 22, 2020 / Rules and Regulations jbell on DSKBBXCHB2PROD with RULES and NMFS is closing the commercial hook-and-line component through this temporary rule, all harvest of South Atlantic golden tilefish in the EEZ is limited to the recreational bag and possession limits specified in 50 CFR 622.187(b)(2)(iii) and (c)(1) as long as the recreational sector is open. The operator of a vessel with a valid Federal commercial vessel permit for South Atlantic snapper-grouper having golden tilefish on board harvested by hook-and-line must have landed and bartered, traded, or sold such golden tilefish prior to 12:01 a.m., eastern time, on July 23, 2020. During the closure, the sale or purchase of golden tilefish taken from the EEZ is prohibited. The prohibition on sale or purchase does not apply to the sale or purchase of golden tilefish that were harvested by hookand-line, landed ashore, and sold prior to 12:01 a.m., eastern time, on July 23, 2020, and were held in cold storage by a dealer or processor. For a person on board a vessel for which a Federal commercial or charter vessel/headboat permit for the South Atlantic snappergrouper fishery has been issued, the sale and purchase provisions of the commercial closure for golden tilefish apply regardless of whether the fish are harvested in state or Federal waters, as specified in 50 CFR 622.190(c)(1)(ii). Classification NMFS issues this action pursuant to section 305(d) of the Magnuson-Stevens Act. This action is required by 50 CFR 622.193(a)(1), which was issued pursuant to section 304(b) of the Magnuson-Stevens Act, and is exempt from review under Executive Order 12866. These measures are exempt from the procedures of the Regulatory Flexibility Act because the temporary rule is issued without opportunity for prior notice and comment. This action responds to the best scientific information available. The Assistant Administrator for NOAA Fisheries (AA) finds that the need to immediately implement this action to close the commercial hook-and-line component for golden tilefish constitutes good cause to waive the requirements to provide prior notice and opportunity for public comment pursuant to the authority set forth in 5 U.S.C. 553(b)(B), as such procedures are unnecessary and contrary to the public interest. Such procedures are unnecessary because the rule itself has 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 the capacity of the fishing fleet VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:35 Jul 21, 2020 Jkt 250001 allows for rapid harvest of the commercial ACL for the hook-and-line component, and there is a need to immediately implement this action to protect golden tilefish. Prior notice and opportunity for public comment would require time and could potentially result in a harvest well in excess of the established commercial ACL. For the aforementioned reasons, the AA also finds good cause to waive the 30-day delay in the effectiveness of this action under 5 U.S.C. 553(d)(3). Authority: 16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq. Dated: July 16, 2020. He´le`ne M.N. Scalliet, Acting Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine Fisheries Service. [FR Doc. 2020–15823 Filed 7–17–20; 4:15 pm] BILLING CODE 3510–22–P DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration 50 CFR Part 648 [Docket No. 200707–0182] RIN 0648–BI28 Magnuson-Stevens Act Provisions; Fisheries of the Northeastern United States; Northeast Multispecies Fishery; Removal of Regulations Implementing the Closed Area I Hook Gear Haddock Special Access Program National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Commerce. ACTION: Final rule. AGENCY: This action removes regulations that implement the Closed Area I Hook Gear Haddock Special Access Program. The Omnibus Essential Fish Habitat Amendment 2 eliminated the year-round Closed Area I, rendering the Closed Area I Hook Gear Haddock Special Access Program unnecessary. Eliminating the Closed Area I Hook Gear Haddock Special Access Program will reduce confusion and inconsistency with other regulations. DATES: Effective July 22, 2020. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Spencer Talmage, Fishery Management Specialist, phone: (978) 281–9232; email: Spencer.Talmage@noaa.gov. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: SUMMARY: Background In 2004, the New England Fishery Management Council established the PO 00000 Frm 00076 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 Closed Area I Hook Gear Haddock Special Access Program (CAI HGH SAP) to provide vessels with additional opportunities in Closed Area I to target healthy stocks, if they followed certain gear and other restrictions. The Omnibus Essential Fish Habitat Amendment 2 (83 FR 15240, April 9, 2018) eliminated the year-round closure of Closed Area I. The area once covered by Closed Area I is now open to vessels fishing with hook gear, with the exception of the Georges Bank Dedicated Habitat Research Area and the seasonal Closed Area I North Closure (February 1–April 15). The CAI HGH SAP does not overlap with either the Georges Bank Dedicated Habitat Research Area or Closed Area I North Closure, and as such, it does not allow any activity otherwise prohibited by these areas. As a result, the CAI HGH SAP is unnecessary, redundant, and inconsistent with the changes made by the Omnibus Essential Fish Habitat Amendment 2 because the program provides special access to an area that is already open to the groundfish fleet in the time that the SAP is effective. Under section 305(d) of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act, NMFS is authorized to make changes to regulations that are necessary to carry out any fishery management plan or amendment. This action amends the regulations in § 648.14, § 648.81, § 648.82, and § 648.85 to remove references to the CAI HGH SAP and makes a minor correction to a crossreference. This action would not change the allocation to the Incidental Catch Total Allowable Catch (TAC) defined in § 648.85(b)(5)(ii). Such a change would require a substantive change to prior New England Fishery Management Council allocation decisions, and it is more appropriate for the New England Fishery Management Council to consider these changes in a separate action. Accordingly, on May 29, 2020, we published the proposed rule for Framework Adjustment 59 to the Northeast Multispecies Fishery Management Plan, which would remove the allocation to the Incidental Catch TAC for the CAI HGH SAP (85 FR 32347). On December 17, 2019, NMFS published a final rule (84 FR 68798) prohibiting vessels from fishing with gillnet gear in the Nantucket Lightship and Closed Area I Closure Areas, in order to comply with a Federal Court order. That rulemaking did not apply to vessels fishing with hook gear, which is the only gear type permitted in the CAI HGH SAP. Therefore, this action to E:\FR\FM\22JYR1.SGM 22JYR1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 85, Number 141 (Wednesday, July 22, 2020)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 44219-44220]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2020-15823]


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DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

50 CFR Part 622

[Docket No. 120404257-3325-02; RTID 0648-XA292]


Fisheries of the Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico, and South Atlantic; 
2020 Commercial Hook-and-Line Closure for South Atlantic Golden 
Tilefish

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

ACTION: Temporary rule; closure.

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SUMMARY: NMFS implements an accountability measure for the commercial 
hook-and-line component of golden tilefish in the South Atlantic 
exclusive economic zone (EEZ). NMFS projects that commercial hook-and-
line landings for golden tilefish will reach the commercial quota for 
the hook-and-line component by July 23, 2020. Therefore, NMFS closes 
the commercial hook-and-line component for golden tilefish in the South 
Atlantic EEZ on July 23, 2020. This closure is necessary to protect the 
golden tilefish resource.

DATES: This temporary rule is effective at 12:01 a.m., eastern time, on 
July 23, 2020, until 12:01 a.m., eastern time, on January 1, 2021.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Nikhil Mehta, NMFS Southeast Regional 
Office, telephone: 727-824-5305, email: [email protected].

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The snapper-grouper fishery of the South 
Atlantic includes golden tilefish and is managed under the Fishery 
Management Plan for the Snapper-Grouper Fishery of the South Atlantic 
Region (FMP). The FMP was prepared by the South Atlantic Fishery 
Management Council and NMFS, and is implemented by NMFS under the 
authority of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management 
Act (Magnuson-Stevens Act) by regulations at 50 CFR part 622. All 
weights in this temporary rule are given in gutted weight.
    The commercial sector for golden tilefish has two components, each 
with its own quota: The hook-and-line and longline components (50 CFR 
622.190(a)(2)). The golden tilefish commercial annual catch limit (ACL) 
is allocated 25 percent to the hook-and-line component and 75 percent 
to the longline component. The total commercial ACL (equivalent to the 
commercial quota) for golden tilefish is 331,740 lb (150,475 kg), and 
the hook-and-line component ACL is 82,935 lb (37,619 kg).
    Under 50 CFR 622.193(a)(1)(i), NMFS is required to close the 
commercial hook-and-line component for golden tilefish when its 
commercial ACL has been reached, or is projected to be reached, by 
filing such a notification with the Office of the Federal Register. 
NMFS has determined that the commercial ACL for the golden tilefish 
hook-and-line component in the South Atlantic will be reached by July 
23, 2020. Accordingly, the commercial hook-and-line component of South 
Atlantic golden tilefish is closed effective at 12:01 a.m., eastern 
time, on July 23, 2020.
    The commercial longline component for South Atlantic golden 
tilefish also closed on March 23, 2020, and will remain closed for the 
remainder of the current fishing year, through December 31, 2020 (85 FR 
14602, March 13, 2020). Therefore, because the commercial longline 
component is already closed,

[[Page 44220]]

and NMFS is closing the commercial hook-and-line component through this 
temporary rule, all harvest of South Atlantic golden tilefish in the 
EEZ is limited to the recreational bag and possession limits specified 
in 50 CFR 622.187(b)(2)(iii) and (c)(1) as long as the recreational 
sector is open.
    The operator of a vessel with a valid Federal commercial vessel 
permit for South Atlantic snapper-grouper having golden tilefish on 
board harvested by hook-and-line must have landed and bartered, traded, 
or sold such golden tilefish prior to 12:01 a.m., eastern time, on July 
23, 2020. During the closure, the sale or purchase of golden tilefish 
taken from the EEZ is prohibited. The prohibition on sale or purchase 
does not apply to the sale or purchase of golden tilefish that were 
harvested by hook-and-line, landed ashore, and sold prior to 12:01 
a.m., eastern time, on July 23, 2020, and were held in cold storage by 
a dealer or processor. For a person on board a vessel for which a 
Federal commercial or charter vessel/headboat permit for the South 
Atlantic snapper-grouper fishery has been issued, the sale and purchase 
provisions of the commercial closure for golden tilefish apply 
regardless of whether the fish are harvested in state or Federal 
waters, as specified in 50 CFR 622.190(c)(1)(ii).

Classification

    NMFS issues this action pursuant to section 305(d) of the Magnuson-
Stevens Act. This action is required by 50 CFR 622.193(a)(1), which was 
issued pursuant to section 304(b) of the Magnuson-Stevens Act, and is 
exempt from review under Executive Order 12866.
    These measures are exempt from the procedures of the Regulatory 
Flexibility Act because the temporary rule is issued without 
opportunity for prior notice and comment.
    This action responds to the best scientific information available. 
The Assistant Administrator for NOAA Fisheries (AA) finds that the need 
to immediately implement this action to close the commercial hook-and-
line component for golden tilefish constitutes good cause to waive the 
requirements to provide prior notice and opportunity for public comment 
pursuant to the authority set forth in 5 U.S.C. 553(b)(B), as such 
procedures are unnecessary and contrary to the public interest. Such 
procedures are unnecessary because the rule itself has 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 
the capacity of the fishing fleet allows for rapid harvest of the 
commercial ACL for the hook-and-line component, and there is a need to 
immediately implement this action to protect golden tilefish. Prior 
notice and opportunity for public comment would require time and could 
potentially result in a harvest well in excess of the established 
commercial ACL.
    For the aforementioned reasons, the AA also finds good cause to 
waive the 30-day delay in the effectiveness of this action under 5 
U.S.C. 553(d)(3).

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

    Dated: July 16, 2020.
H[eacute]l[egrave]ne M.N. Scalliet,
Acting Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine 
Fisheries Service.
[FR Doc. 2020-15823 Filed 7-17-20; 4:15 pm]
BILLING CODE 3510-22-P