Fisheries of the Northeastern United States; Atlantic Sea Scallop Fishery; Closure of the Closed Area I Scallop Access Area to General Category Individual Fishing Quota Scallop Vessels, 57785 [2020-20344]

Download as PDF Federal Register / Vol. 85, No. 180 / Wednesday, September 16, 2020 / Rules and Regulations Dated: September 11, 2020. Jennifer M. Wallace, Acting Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine Fisheries Service. [FR Doc. 2020–20409 Filed 9–11–20; 4:15 pm] BILLING CODE 3510–22–P DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration 50 CFR Part 648 [Docket No. 200325–0088; RTID 0648– XA437] Fisheries of the Northeastern United States; Atlantic Sea Scallop Fishery; Closure of the Closed Area I Scallop Access Area to General Category Individual Fishing Quota Scallop Vessels National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Commerce. ACTION: Temporary rule; closure. AGENCY: NMFS announces that the Closed Area I Scallop Access Area is closed to Limited Access General Category Individual Fishing Quota scallop vessels for the remainder of the 2020 fishing year. No vessel issued a Limited Access General Category Individual Fishing Quota permit may fish for, possess, or land scallops from the Closed Area I Scallop Access Area. Regulations require this action once it is projected that 100 percent of trips allocated to the Limited Access General Category Individual Fishing Quota scallop vessels for the Closed Area I Scallop Access Area will be taken. DATES: Effective 0001 hr local time, September 13, 2020, through March 31, 2021. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Shannah Jaburek, Fishery Management Specialist, (978) 282–8456. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Regulations governing fishing activity in the Sea Scallop Access Areas can be found in 50 CFR 648.59 and 648.60. These regulations authorize vessels issued a valid Limited Access General Category (LAGC) Individual Fishing Quota (IFQ) scallop permit to fish in the Closed Area I Scallop Access Area under specific conditions, including a total of 571 trips that may be taken during the 2020 fishing year. Section 648.59(g)(3)(iii) requires the Closed Area I Scallop Access Area to be closed to LAGC IFQ permitted vessels for the remainder of the fishing year once the jbell on DSKJLSW7X2PROD with RULES SUMMARY: VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:31 Sep 15, 2020 Jkt 250001 NMFS Greater Atlantic Regional Administrator determines that the allocated number of trips for fishing year 2020 are projected to be taken. Based on trip declarations by LAGC IFQ scallop vessels fishing in the Closed Area I Scallop Access Area, analysis of fishing effort, and other information, NMFS projects that 571 trips will be taken as of September 13, 2020. Therefore, in accordance with § 648.59(g)(3)(iii), NMFS is closing the Closed Area I Scallop Access Area to all LAGC IFQ scallop vessels as of September 13, 2020. No vessel issued an LAGC IFQ permit may fish for, possess, or land scallops in or from the Closed Area I Scallop Access Area after 0001 local time, September 13, 2020. Any LAGC IFQ vessel that has declared into the Closed Area I Access Area scallop fishery, complied with all trip notification and observer requirements, and crossed the vessel monitoring system (VMS) demarcation line on the way to the area before 0001, September 13, 2020, may complete its trip without being subject to this closure. This closure is in effect for the remainder of the 2020 scallop fishing year, through March 31, 2021. Classification NMFS issues this action pursuant to section 305(d) of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act. This action is required by 50 CFR part 648, which was issued pursuant to section 304(b), and is exempt from review under Executive Order 12866. Pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 553(b)(B), there is good cause to waive prior notice and an opportunity for public comment on this action, as notice and comment would be impracticable and contrary to the public interest. The Closed Area I Scallop Access Area opened for the 2020 fishing year on April 1, 2020. The regulations at § 648.59(g)(3)(iii) require this closure to ensure that LAGC IFQ scallop vessels do not take more than their allocated number of trips in the area. The projected date on which the LAGC IFQ fleet will have taken all of its allocated trips in an Access Area becomes apparent only as trips into the area occur on a real-time basis and as activity trends begin to appear. As a result, NMFS can only make an accurate projection very close in time to when the fleet has taken all of its trips. To allow LAGC IFQ scallop vessels to continue to take trips in the Closed Area I Scallop Access Area during the period necessary to publish and receive comments on a proposed rule would likely result in the vessels taking much more than the allowed number of trips in the Closed Area I Scallop Access PO 00000 Frm 00121 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 57785 Area. Excessive trips and harvest from the Closed Area I Scallop Access Area would result in excessive fishing effort in the area, where effort controls are critical, thereby undermining conservation objectives of the Atlantic Sea Scallop Fishery Management Plan and requiring more restrictive future management measures. Also, the public had prior notice and full opportunity to comment on this closure process when it was enacted. For these same reasons, NMFS further finds, under 5 U.S.C 553(d)(3), good cause to waive the 30-day delayed effectiveness period. Authority: 16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq. Dated: September 10, 2020. Jennifer M. Wallace, Acting Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine Fisheries Service. [FR Doc. 2020–20344 Filed 9–11–20; 4:15 pm] BILLING CODE 3510–22–P DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration 50 CFR Part 679 [Docket No. 200227–0066] RTID 0648–XA433 Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Pacific Cod by Pot Catcher/Processors in the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Management Area National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Commerce. ACTION: Temporary rule; closure. AGENCY: NMFS is prohibiting directed fishing for Pacific cod by catcher/ processors using pot gear in the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands management area (BSAI). This action is necessary to prevent exceeding the 2020 Pacific cod total allowable catch (TAC) allocated to catcher/processors using pot gear in the BSAI. DATES: Effective 1200 hours, Alaska local time (A.l.t.), September 12, 2020, through 2400 hours, A.l.t., December 31, 2020. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Krista Milani, 907–581–2062. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: NMFS manages the groundfish fishery in the BSAI exclusive economic zone according to the Fishery Management Plan for Groundfish of the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Management Area (FMP) prepared by the North Pacific SUMMARY: E:\FR\FM\16SER1.SGM 16SER1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 85, Number 180 (Wednesday, September 16, 2020)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Page 57785]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2020-20344]


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DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

50 CFR Part 648

[Docket No. 200325-0088; RTID 0648-XA437]


Fisheries of the Northeastern United States; Atlantic Sea Scallop 
Fishery; Closure of the Closed Area I Scallop Access Area to General 
Category Individual Fishing Quota Scallop Vessels

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

ACTION: Temporary rule; closure.

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SUMMARY: NMFS announces that the Closed Area I Scallop Access Area is 
closed to Limited Access General Category Individual Fishing Quota 
scallop vessels for the remainder of the 2020 fishing year. No vessel 
issued a Limited Access General Category Individual Fishing Quota 
permit may fish for, possess, or land scallops from the Closed Area I 
Scallop Access Area. Regulations require this action once it is 
projected that 100 percent of trips allocated to the Limited Access 
General Category Individual Fishing Quota scallop vessels for the 
Closed Area I Scallop Access Area will be taken.

DATES: Effective 0001 hr local time, September 13, 2020, through March 
31, 2021.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Shannah Jaburek, Fishery Management 
Specialist, (978) 282-8456.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Regulations governing fishing activity in 
the Sea Scallop Access Areas can be found in 50 CFR 648.59 and 648.60. 
These regulations authorize vessels issued a valid Limited Access 
General Category (LAGC) Individual Fishing Quota (IFQ) scallop permit 
to fish in the Closed Area I Scallop Access Area under specific 
conditions, including a total of 571 trips that may be taken during the 
2020 fishing year. Section 648.59(g)(3)(iii) requires the Closed Area I 
Scallop Access Area to be closed to LAGC IFQ permitted vessels for the 
remainder of the fishing year once the NMFS Greater Atlantic Regional 
Administrator determines that the allocated number of trips for fishing 
year 2020 are projected to be taken.
    Based on trip declarations by LAGC IFQ scallop vessels fishing in 
the Closed Area I Scallop Access Area, analysis of fishing effort, and 
other information, NMFS projects that 571 trips will be taken as of 
September 13, 2020. Therefore, in accordance with Sec.  
648.59(g)(3)(iii), NMFS is closing the Closed Area I Scallop Access 
Area to all LAGC IFQ scallop vessels as of September 13, 2020. No 
vessel issued an LAGC IFQ permit may fish for, possess, or land 
scallops in or from the Closed Area I Scallop Access Area after 0001 
local time, September 13, 2020. Any LAGC IFQ vessel that has declared 
into the Closed Area I Access Area scallop fishery, complied with all 
trip notification and observer requirements, and crossed the vessel 
monitoring system (VMS) demarcation line on the way to the area before 
0001, September 13, 2020, may complete its trip without being subject 
to this closure. This closure is in effect for the remainder of the 
2020 scallop fishing year, through March 31, 2021.

Classification

    NMFS issues this action pursuant to section 305(d) of the Magnuson-
Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act. This action is 
required by 50 CFR part 648, which was issued pursuant to section 
304(b), and is exempt from review under Executive Order 12866.
    Pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 553(b)(B), there is good cause to waive prior 
notice and an opportunity for public comment on this action, as notice 
and comment would be impracticable and contrary to the public interest. 
The Closed Area I Scallop Access Area opened for the 2020 fishing year 
on April 1, 2020. The regulations at Sec.  648.59(g)(3)(iii) require 
this closure to ensure that LAGC IFQ scallop vessels do not take more 
than their allocated number of trips in the area. The projected date on 
which the LAGC IFQ fleet will have taken all of its allocated trips in 
an Access Area becomes apparent only as trips into the area occur on a 
real-time basis and as activity trends begin to appear. As a result, 
NMFS can only make an accurate projection very close in time to when 
the fleet has taken all of its trips. To allow LAGC IFQ scallop vessels 
to continue to take trips in the Closed Area I Scallop Access Area 
during the period necessary to publish and receive comments on a 
proposed rule would likely result in the vessels taking much more than 
the allowed number of trips in the Closed Area I Scallop Access Area. 
Excessive trips and harvest from the Closed Area I Scallop Access Area 
would result in excessive fishing effort in the area, where effort 
controls are critical, thereby undermining conservation objectives of 
the Atlantic Sea Scallop Fishery Management Plan and requiring more 
restrictive future management measures.
    Also, the public had prior notice and full opportunity to comment 
on this closure process when it was enacted. For these same reasons, 
NMFS further finds, under 5 U.S.C 553(d)(3), good cause to waive the 
30-day delayed effectiveness period.

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

    Dated: September 10, 2020.
Jennifer M. Wallace,
Acting Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine 
Fisheries Service.
[FR Doc. 2020-20344 Filed 9-11-20; 4:15 pm]
BILLING CODE 3510-22-P