Atlantic Highly Migratory Species (HMS); Atlantic Billfish Fisheries, 57783-57785 [2020-20409]

Download as PDF Federal Register / Vol. 85, No. 180 / Wednesday, September 16, 2020 / Rules and Regulations IV. Ordering Clauses 32. Accordingly, IT IS ORDERED that, pursuant to authority found in sections 1, 4(i) and 4(j), 201, 225, 251, 255, 303(g), 303(r), and 332(c) of the Communications Act as amended, 47 U.S.C. 151, 154(i), 154(j), 201, 225, 251, 255, 303(g), 303(r), and 332(c) this Report and Order IS ADOPTED. 33. IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that, pursuant to §§ 1.4(b)(1) and 1.103(a) of the Commission’s rules, 47 CFR 1.4(b)(1), 1.103(a), this Report and Order SHALL BE EFFECTIVE 30 days after publication in the Federal Register. 34. IT IS FURTHER ORDERED, that the North American Numbering Plan Administrator SHALL ASSIGN 988 as a national abbreviated dialing code to be used exclusively for access to the national suicide prevention and mental health crisis hotline system maintained by the Assistant Secretary for Mental Health and Substance Use and the Secretary of Veterans Affairs as of the effective date of this Report and Order. 35. IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that part 64 of the Commission’s rules IS AMENDED as set forth in Appendix A of the Report and Order. 36. IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that the Commission SHALL SEND a copy of this Report and Order to Congress and to the Government Accountability Office pursuant to the Congressional Review Act, see 5 U.S.C. 801(a)(1)(A). 37. IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that the Commission’s Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau, Reference Information Center, SHALL SEND a copy of this Report and Order, including the Final Regulatory Flexibility Analysis (FRFA), to the Chief Counsel for Advocacy of the Small Business Administration. List of Subjects in 47 CFR Part 52 Communications common carriers, Telecommunications, Telephone. Federal Communications Commission. Marlene Dortch, Secretary. Final Rules For the reasons discussed, the Federal Communications Commission amends 47 CFR part 52 as follows: Subpart E—Universal Dialing Code for National Suicide Prevention and Mental Health Crisis Hotline System § 52.200 Designation of 988 for a National Suicide Prevention and Mental Health Crisis Hotline. (a) 988 is established as the 3-digit dialing code for a national suicide prevention and mental health crisis hotline system maintained by the Assistant Secretary for Mental Health and Substance Use and the Secretary of Veterans Affairs. (b) All covered providers shall transmit all calls initiated by an end user dialing 988 to the current toll free access number for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, presently 1–800– 273–8255 (TALK). (c) All covered providers shall complete 10-digit dialing implementation in areas that use 7-digit dialing and have assigned 988 as a central office code as defined in § 52.7(c) by July 16, 2022. (d) All covered providers shall complete all changes to their systems that are necessary to implement the designation of the 988 dialing code by July 16, 2022. (e) For purposes of complying with the requirements of this section, (1) The term ‘‘covered provider’’ means any telecommunications carrier, interconnected VoIP provider, or provider of one-way VoIP. (2) The term ‘‘one-way VoIP’’— (i) Means a service that— (A) Enables real-time, two-way voice communications; (B) Requires a broadband connection from the user’s location; (C) Requires internet protocolcompatible customer premises equipment; and (D) Permits users generally to receive calls that originate on the public switched telephone network or to terminate calls to the public switched telephone network. (ii) Does not include any service that is an interconnected VoIP service. [FR Doc. 2020–16908 Filed 9–15–20; 8:45 am] PART 52—NUMBERING BILLING CODE 6712–01–P 1. The authority citation for part 52 is amended to read as follows: jbell on DSKJLSW7X2PROD with RULES ■ Authority: 47 U.S.C. 151, 152, 153, 154, 155, 201–205, 207–209, 218, 225–227, 251– 252, 271, 303, 332, unless otherwise noted. 2. Subpart E, consisting of § 52.200, is added to read as follows: ■ VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:31 Sep 15, 2020 Jkt 250001 PO 00000 Frm 00119 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 57783 DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration 50 CFR Part 635 [Docket No. 030908222–6241–02] RTID 0648–XA481 Atlantic Highly Migratory Species (HMS); Atlantic Billfish Fisheries National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Commerce. ACTION: Temporary rule; Action restricting recreational fishing for Atlantic blue marlin, white marlin, and roundscale spearfish to catch-andrelease fishing. AGENCY: NMFS has determined that the recreational landings limit for Atlantic blue marlin, white marlin, and roundscale spearfish has been reached and exceeded for 2020, based upon a review of landings data. Therefore, NMFS is prohibiting retention of Atlantic blue marlin, white marlin, and roundscale spearfish in the Atlantic HMS recreational fisheries. Fishing for these species will be limited to catchand-release only for the remainder of 2020. This action affects Angling and Charter/Headboat permit holders, tournament operators, and Atlantic tunas General category or Swordfish General Commercial permit holders that fish in registered Atlantic HMS tournaments, and is effective in all areas of the Atlantic Ocean. Atlantic sailfish may continue to be retained consistent with applicable regulations. DATES: Effective September 30, 2020, through December 31, 2020. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Jennifer Lee by email at Jennifer.Lee@ noaa.gov, Jennifer Cudney by email at Jennifer.Cudney@noaa.gov, or Nicholas Alvarado by email at Nicholas.Alvardo@ noaa.gov. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Regulations implemented under the authority of the Atlantic Tunas Convention Act (ATCA; 16 U.S.C. 971 et seq.) and the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (Magnuson-Stevens Act; 16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq.) governing fishing for Atlantic billfish (including blue marlin, white marlin, roundscale spearfish, longbill spearfish, and sailfish) by persons and vessels subject to U.S. jurisdiction are found at 50 CFR part 635. The Atlantic billfish fishery is a recreational fishery, and the sale of Atlantic billfish is prohibited. 50 CFR 635.31(b). Only SUMMARY: E:\FR\FM\16SER1.SGM 16SER1 jbell on DSKJLSW7X2PROD with RULES 57784 Federal Register / Vol. 85, No. 180 / Wednesday, September 16, 2020 / Rules and Regulations persons who have been issued a valid HMS Angling or valid Charter/Headboat permit, or who have been issued a valid Atlantic Tunas General category or Swordfish General Commercial permit and are participating in a tournament as provided in § 635.4(c), may possess a blue marlin, white marlin, or roundscale spearfish in, or take a blue marlin, white marlin, or roundscale spearfish from, its management unit. Blue marlin, white marlin, or roundscale spearfish may only be harvested by rod and reel. § 635.19(c)(1). Atlantic HMS regulations specify an annual recreational landings limit of 250 Atlantic blue and white marlin and roundscale spearfish, combined. § 635.27(d)(1). NMFS implemented this landings limit consistent with International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas (ICCAT) recommendations, most recently reflected in ICCAT Recommendation 19–05, Recommendation by ICCAT to Establish Rebuilding Programs for Blue Marlin and White Marlin/Roundscale Spearfish. Under § 635.27(d)(3), when the 250marlin landings limit is reached or projected to be reached, NMFS will file for publication with the Office of the Federal Register an action restricting fishing for Atlantic blue marlin, white marlin, and roundscale spearfish to catch-and-release fishing only. Section 635.27(d)(3) also states that once a determination is made, in no case shall such adjustment be effective less than 14 calendar days after the date of publication. From the effective date and time of such action until additional landings become available, no blue marlin, white marlin, or roundscale spearfish from the management unit may be taken, retained, or possessed. Preliminary landings information from multiple sources (see Monitoring and Reporting section, below), indicate that 268 blue marlin, white marlin, and roundscale spearfish combined have been landed, and the 250-marlin landings limit has been reached and exceeded for the 2020 fishing year. As a result, NMFS is prohibiting further retention of Atlantic blue marlin, white marlin, and roundscale spearfish in the recreational fisheries, and the fishery for these species will operate as a catchand-release fishery only for the remainder of 2020. This prohibition on retention affects Angling and Charter/ Headboat permit holders, tournament operators, and Atlantic tunas General category or Swordfish General Commercial permit holders that fish in registered Atlantic HMS tournaments, and is effective in all areas of the Atlantic Ocean. VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:31 Sep 15, 2020 Jkt 250001 This is the first time that the United States has reached and exceeded its annual 250-marlin landings limit since it was established. Both tournament and non-tournament billfish landings have been increasing in recent years. Billfish tournaments typically occur during the summer months, and in mid- to late August 2020 there was a substantial increase in tournament landings that resulted in the 250-marlin landings limit being reached and exceeded. After reviewing final landings data, NMFS will, consistent with § 635.27(d)(2), subtract any overharvest from the landings limit for 2021. Any adjustment, if necessary, would be announced via notice in the Federal Register. This restriction does not apply to Atlantic sailfish. Atlantic sailfish may continue to be retained consistent with applicable regulations. Retention of longbill spearfish is already prohibited. Billfish retention remains prohibited in commercial fisheries. Monitoring and Reporting NMFS will continue to monitor the Atlantic billfish fishery closely through mandatory landings reports. Angling category and HMS Charter/Headboat vessel owners are required to report billfish landings, within 24 hours of the landing(s) or end of each trip, by accessing hmspermits.noaa.gov, using the HMS Catch Reporting app, or calling (888) 872–8862 (Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. until 4:30 p.m.). Anglers in Maryland and North Carolina are required to report billfish landings at state-operated reporting stations. Depending on the final 2020 landings and other considerations described above, NMFS may adjust the 2021 landing limit and determine that additional adjustments are necessary in 2021 to ensure the landing limit is not exceeded. Such adjustments will be published in the Federal Register. In addition, fishermen may access hmspermits.noaa.gov for updates on inseason adjustments. HMS Angling and HMS Charter/ Headboat category permit holders may catch-and-release (or tag and release) Atlantic billfish of all sizes. Anglers are reminded that Atlantic billfish that are released must be handled in a manner that will maximize survival, and without removing the fish from the water, consistent with requirements at § 635.21(a)(1). For additional information on safe handling, see the ‘‘Careful Catch-and-Release’’ brochure available at https:// www.fisheries.noaa.gov/resource/ educational-materials/careful-catchand-release-brochure. PO 00000 Frm 00120 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 Classification NMFS issues this action pursuant to section 305(d) of the Magnuson-Stevens Act and the Atlantic Tunas Convention Act, 16 U.S.C. 971d(c)(1)(A). This action is required by 50 CFR part 635, which was issued pursuant to section 304(c), and is exempt from review under Executive Order 12866. The Assistant Administrator for NMFS finds that pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 553(b)(B), there is good cause to waive an opportunity for public comment on this action. This fishery is currently underway and delaying this action would be contrary to the public interest as it could result in Atlantic blue marlin, white marlin, and roundscale spearfish landings further exceeding the 250-marlin landings limit, which was adopted at ICCAT and implemented domestically. If NMFS were to offer a public comment period now, after having appropriately considered that data, it could result in further exceedance of the landings limit and NMFS having to lower the marlin landing limit in the next fishing year. Consistent with specific regulation requiring this action, the regulated community will receive 14 days’ prior notice of the effective date of this action. Affording additional notice and an opportunity for public comment on the change to catch-and-release only for the remainder of 2020 at this time is impracticable. Based on review of available billfish landings data, restriction to catch-and-release only is required under the regulations to prevent any further exceedances of the marlin landings limit during the 2020 fishing year. NMFS could not have proposed this action earlier, as it needed to consider and respond to recentlyupdated landings data, including from HMS Angling, Charter/Headboat permit holders, tournament operators, and Atlantic tunas General category and Swordfish General Commercial permit holders that fish in registered Atlantic HMS Tournaments. Therefore, the Assistant Administrator finds good cause under 5 U.S.C. 553(b)(B) to waive prior notice and the opportunity for public comment. Furthermore, while NMFS is providing 14 days’ notice, it is not providing the full 30-day delay in effectiveness, and for the reasons above finds there also is good cause under 5 U.S.C. 553(d) to waive the 30-day delay in effectiveness. This action is being taken under § 635.23(d)(5), and is exempt from review under Executive Order 12866. Authority: 16 U.S.C. 971 et seq. and 1801 et seq. E:\FR\FM\16SER1.SGM 16SER1 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]
[Pages 57783-57785]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2020-20409]


=======================================================================
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DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

50 CFR Part 635

[Docket No. 030908222-6241-02]
RTID 0648-XA481


Atlantic Highly Migratory Species (HMS); Atlantic Billfish 
Fisheries

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

ACTION: Temporary rule; Action restricting recreational fishing for 
Atlantic blue marlin, white marlin, and roundscale spearfish to catch-
and-release fishing.

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

SUMMARY: NMFS has determined that the recreational landings limit for 
Atlantic blue marlin, white marlin, and roundscale spearfish has been 
reached and exceeded for 2020, based upon a review of landings data. 
Therefore, NMFS is prohibiting retention of Atlantic blue marlin, white 
marlin, and roundscale spearfish in the Atlantic HMS recreational 
fisheries. Fishing for these species will be limited to catch-and-
release only for the remainder of 2020. This action affects Angling and 
Charter/Headboat permit holders, tournament operators, and Atlantic 
tunas General category or Swordfish General Commercial permit holders 
that fish in registered Atlantic HMS tournaments, and is effective in 
all areas of the Atlantic Ocean. Atlantic sailfish may continue to be 
retained consistent with applicable regulations.

DATES: Effective September 30, 2020, through December 31, 2020.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Jennifer Lee by email at 
[email protected], Jennifer Cudney by email at 
[email protected], or Nicholas Alvarado by email at 
[email protected].

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Regulations implemented under the authority 
of the Atlantic Tunas Convention Act (ATCA; 16 U.S.C. 971 et seq.) and 
the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (Magnuson-
Stevens Act; 16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq.) governing fishing for Atlantic 
billfish (including blue marlin, white marlin, roundscale spearfish, 
longbill spearfish, and sailfish) by persons and vessels subject to 
U.S. jurisdiction are found at 50 CFR part 635. The Atlantic billfish 
fishery is a recreational fishery, and the sale of Atlantic billfish is 
prohibited. 50 CFR 635.31(b). Only

[[Page 57784]]

persons who have been issued a valid HMS Angling or valid Charter/
Headboat permit, or who have been issued a valid Atlantic Tunas General 
category or Swordfish General Commercial permit and are participating 
in a tournament as provided in Sec.  635.4(c), may possess a blue 
marlin, white marlin, or roundscale spearfish in, or take a blue 
marlin, white marlin, or roundscale spearfish from, its management 
unit. Blue marlin, white marlin, or roundscale spearfish may only be 
harvested by rod and reel. Sec.  635.19(c)(1).
    Atlantic HMS regulations specify an annual recreational landings 
limit of 250 Atlantic blue and white marlin and roundscale spearfish, 
combined. Sec.  635.27(d)(1). NMFS implemented this landings limit 
consistent with International Commission for the Conservation of 
Atlantic Tunas (ICCAT) recommendations, most recently reflected in 
ICCAT Recommendation 19-05, Recommendation by ICCAT to Establish 
Rebuilding Programs for Blue Marlin and White Marlin/Roundscale 
Spearfish.
    Under Sec.  635.27(d)(3), when the 250-marlin landings limit is 
reached or projected to be reached, NMFS will file for publication with 
the Office of the Federal Register an action restricting fishing for 
Atlantic blue marlin, white marlin, and roundscale spearfish to catch-
and-release fishing only. Section 635.27(d)(3) also states that once a 
determination is made, in no case shall such adjustment be effective 
less than 14 calendar days after the date of publication. From the 
effective date and time of such action until additional landings become 
available, no blue marlin, white marlin, or roundscale spearfish from 
the management unit may be taken, retained, or possessed.
    Preliminary landings information from multiple sources (see 
Monitoring and Reporting section, below), indicate that 268 blue 
marlin, white marlin, and roundscale spearfish combined have been 
landed, and the 250-marlin landings limit has been reached and exceeded 
for the 2020 fishing year. As a result, NMFS is prohibiting further 
retention of Atlantic blue marlin, white marlin, and roundscale 
spearfish in the recreational fisheries, and the fishery for these 
species will operate as a catch-and-release fishery only for the 
remainder of 2020. This prohibition on retention affects Angling and 
Charter/Headboat permit holders, tournament operators, and Atlantic 
tunas General category or Swordfish General Commercial permit holders 
that fish in registered Atlantic HMS tournaments, and is effective in 
all areas of the Atlantic Ocean.
    This is the first time that the United States has reached and 
exceeded its annual 250-marlin landings limit since it was established. 
Both tournament and non-tournament billfish landings have been 
increasing in recent years. Billfish tournaments typically occur during 
the summer months, and in mid- to late August 2020 there was a 
substantial increase in tournament landings that resulted in the 250-
marlin landings limit being reached and exceeded.
    After reviewing final landings data, NMFS will, consistent with 
Sec.  635.27(d)(2), subtract any overharvest from the landings limit 
for 2021. Any adjustment, if necessary, would be announced via notice 
in the Federal Register.
    This restriction does not apply to Atlantic sailfish. Atlantic 
sailfish may continue to be retained consistent with applicable 
regulations. Retention of longbill spearfish is already prohibited. 
Billfish retention remains prohibited in commercial fisheries.

Monitoring and Reporting

    NMFS will continue to monitor the Atlantic billfish fishery closely 
through mandatory landings reports. Angling category and HMS Charter/
Headboat vessel owners are required to report billfish landings, within 
24 hours of the landing(s) or end of each trip, by accessing 
hmspermits.noaa.gov, using the HMS Catch Reporting app, or calling 
(888) 872-8862 (Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. until 4:30 p.m.). 
Anglers in Maryland and North Carolina are required to report billfish 
landings at state-operated reporting stations. Depending on the final 
2020 landings and other considerations described above, NMFS may adjust 
the 2021 landing limit and determine that additional adjustments are 
necessary in 2021 to ensure the landing limit is not exceeded. Such 
adjustments will be published in the Federal Register. In addition, 
fishermen may access hmspermits.noaa.gov for updates on inseason 
adjustments.
    HMS Angling and HMS Charter/Headboat category permit holders may 
catch-and-release (or tag and release) Atlantic billfish of all sizes. 
Anglers are reminded that Atlantic billfish that are released must be 
handled in a manner that will maximize survival, and without removing 
the fish from the water, consistent with requirements at Sec.  
635.21(a)(1). For additional information on safe handling, see the 
``Careful Catch-and-Release'' brochure available at https://www.fisheries.noaa.gov/resource/educational-materials/careful-catch-and-release-brochure.

Classification

    NMFS issues this action pursuant to section 305(d) of the Magnuson-
Stevens Act and the Atlantic Tunas Convention Act, 16 U.S.C. 
971d(c)(1)(A). This action is required by 50 CFR part 635, which was 
issued pursuant to section 304(c), and is exempt from review under 
Executive Order 12866.
    The Assistant Administrator for NMFS finds that pursuant to 5 
U.S.C. 553(b)(B), there is good cause to waive an opportunity for 
public comment on this action. This fishery is currently underway and 
delaying this action would be contrary to the public interest as it 
could result in Atlantic blue marlin, white marlin, and roundscale 
spearfish landings further exceeding the 250-marlin landings limit, 
which was adopted at ICCAT and implemented domestically. If NMFS were 
to offer a public comment period now, after having appropriately 
considered that data, it could result in further exceedance of the 
landings limit and NMFS having to lower the marlin landing limit in the 
next fishing year.
    Consistent with specific regulation requiring this action, the 
regulated community will receive 14 days' prior notice of the effective 
date of this action. Affording additional notice and an opportunity for 
public comment on the change to catch-and-release only for the 
remainder of 2020 at this time is impracticable. Based on review of 
available billfish landings data, restriction to catch-and-release only 
is required under the regulations to prevent any further exceedances of 
the marlin landings limit during the 2020 fishing year. NMFS could not 
have proposed this action earlier, as it needed to consider and respond 
to recently-updated landings data, including from HMS Angling, Charter/
Headboat permit holders, tournament operators, and Atlantic tunas 
General category and Swordfish General Commercial permit holders that 
fish in registered Atlantic HMS Tournaments. Therefore, the Assistant 
Administrator finds good cause under 5 U.S.C. 553(b)(B) to waive prior 
notice and the opportunity for public comment. Furthermore, while NMFS 
is providing 14 days' notice, it is not providing the full 30-day delay 
in effectiveness, and for the reasons above finds there also is good 
cause under 5 U.S.C. 553(d) to waive the 30-day delay in effectiveness.
    This action is being taken under Sec.  635.23(d)(5), and is exempt 
from review under Executive Order 12866.

    Authority: 16 U.S.C. 971 et seq. and 1801 et seq.


[[Page 57785]]


    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