Atlantic Highly Migratory Species; Atlantic Bluefin Tuna Fisheries, 68798-68800 [2020-24107]

Download as PDF 68798 Federal Register / Vol. 85, No. 211 / Friday, October 30, 2020 / Rules and Regulations TABLE 1 TO PARAGRAPH (a) —REQUALIFICATION OF CYLINDERS 1 Specification under which cylinder was made Minimum test pressure (psig) 2 Requalification period (years) 3 .......................................................................... 3A, 3AA .............................................................. 3000 psig ......................................................... 5/3 times service pressure, except non-corrosive service (see § 180.209(g)). 5/3 times service pressure ............................... 5/3 times service pressure ............................... 2 times service pressure (see § 180.209(g)) ... Test not required .............................................. 5/3 times service pressure ............................... 5/3 times service pressure ............................... 2 times service pressure (see § 180.209(g)) ... 2 times service pressure, except non-corrosive service (see § 180.209(g)). 2 times service pressure .................................. 2 times service pressure, except non-corrosive service (see § 180.209(g)). Test not required .............................................. .......................................................................... See current exemption or special permit ......... As marked on cylinder, but not less than 5⁄3 of any service or working pressure marking. 5. 5, 10, or 12 (see § 180.209(b), (f), (h), and (j)). 5 or 12 (see § 180.209(j) and (m) 3). 5. 5 or 10 (see § 180.209(f)). 3AL ..................................................................... 3AX, 3AAX ......................................................... 3B, 3BN .............................................................. 3E ....................................................................... 3HT ..................................................................... 3T ....................................................................... 4AA480 ............................................................... 4B, 4BA, 4BW, 4B–240ET ................................. 4D, 4DA, 4DS ..................................................... 4E ....................................................................... 4L ........................................................................ 8, 8AL ................................................................. Exemption or special permit cylinder ................. Foreign cylinder (see § 173.301(j) of this subchapter for restrictions on use). 1 Any 2 For 3 (see §§ 180.209(k) and 180.213(c)). 5. 5 or 10 (see § 180.209(h)). 5, 7, 10, or 12 (see § 180.209(e), (f), and (j)). 5. 5, 10, or 12 (see § 180.209(e)). 10 or 20 (see § 180.209(i)). See current exemption or special permit. 5 (see §§ 180.209(l) and 180.213(d)(2)). cylinder not exceeding 2 inches outside diameter and less than 2 feet in length is excepted from volumetric expansion test. cylinders not marked with a service pressure, see § 173.301a(b) of this subchapter. provision does not apply to cylinders used for carbon dioxide, fire extinguisher, or other industrial gas service. 3 This * * * * * (e) Cylinders in non-corrosive gas service. A cylinder made in conformance with DOT Specifications 4B, 4BA, 4BW, or 4E protected externally by a suitable corrosionresistant coating and used exclusively for non-corrosive gas that is commercially free from corroding components may be requalified by volumetric expansion testing every 12 years instead of every 5 years. As an alternative, the cylinder may be subjected to a proof pressure test at least two times the marked service pressure, but this latter type of test must be repeated every 10 years after expiration of the initial 12-year period. When subjected to a proof pressure test, the cylinder must be carefully examined under test pressure and removed from service if a leak or defect is found. * * * * * Issued in Washington, DC, on October 6, 2020, under authority delegated in 49 CFR 1.97. Howard R. Elliott, Administrator, Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration. [FR Doc. 2020–22483 Filed 10–29–20; 8:45 am] jbell on DSKJLSW7X2PROD with RULES BILLING CODE 4910–60–P VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:11 Oct 29, 2020 Jkt 253001 DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration 50 CFR Part 635 [Docket No. 180117042–8884–02] RTID 0648–XA598 Atlantic Highly Migratory Species; Atlantic Bluefin Tuna Fisheries National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Commerce. ACTION: Temporary rule; quota transfer and fishery reopening. AGENCY: NMFS transfers 68.7 metric tons (mt) of Atlantic bluefin tuna (BFT) quota from the Reserve category to the October through November 2020 General category subquota period and reopens the General category fishery for two days. This action is intended to provide a reasonable opportunity to harvest the full annual U.S. bluefin tuna quota without exceeding it, while maintaining an equitable distribution of fishing opportunities across time periods. This action applies to Atlantic tunas General category (commercial) permitted vessels and Atlantic Highly Migratory Species (HMS) Charter/ Headboat category permitted vessels with a commercial sale endorsement when fishing commercially for BFT. DATES: The quota transfer is effective October 27, 2020, through November 30, 2020. The reopening is effective 12:30 SUMMARY: PO 00000 Frm 00082 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 a.m., local time, October 28, 2020, through 11:30 p.m., local time, October 29, 2020. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Sarah McLaughlin or Nicholas Velseboer, 978–281–9260, or Larry Redd, 301–427–8503. 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 the harvest of BFT by persons and vessels subject to U.S. jurisdiction are found at 50 CFR part 635. Section 635.27 subdivides the U.S. BFT quota recommended by the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas (ICCAT) and as implemented by the United States among the various domestic fishing categories, per the allocations established in the 2006 Consolidated Highly Migratory Species Fishery Management Plan (2006 Consolidated HMS FMP) (71 FR 58058, October 2, 2006) and amendments. NMFS is required under ATCA and the Magnuson-Stevens Act to provide U.S. fishing vessels with a reasonable opportunity to harvest the ICCATrecommended quota. The current baseline General and Reserve category quotas are 555.7 mt and 29.5 mt, respectively. See § 635.27(a). Each of the General category time periods (January, June through August, September, October through E:\FR\FM\30OCR1.SGM 30OCR1 Federal Register / Vol. 85, No. 211 / Friday, October 30, 2020 / Rules and Regulations jbell on DSKJLSW7X2PROD with RULES November, and December) is allocated a ‘‘subquota’’ or portion of the annual General category quota. The baseline subquotas for each time period are as follows: 29.5 mt for January; 277.9 mt for June through August; 147.3 mt for September; 72.2 mt for October through November; and 28.9 mt for December. Any unused General category quota rolls forward from one time period to the next, and is available for use in subsequent time periods. To date, NMFS has taken several actions that resulted in adjustments to the General and Reserve category quotas, resulting in currently adjusted quotas of 88.7 mt of quota for the Reserve category, 100 mt for the General category January through March 2020 subquota period, and 9.4 mt for the December 2020 subquota period (85 FR 17, January 2, 2020; 85 FR 6828, February 6, 2020; 85 FR 43148, July 16, 2020; 85 FR 59445, September 22, 2020; and 85 FR 61872, October 1, 2020). Most recently, NMFS transferred 40 mt to the General category and closed the General category fishery effective October 9, 2020, based on projections that landings would meet or exceed the adjusted October through November subquota of 112.2 mt by that date (85 FR 64411, October 13, 2020). In that action, NMFS indicated it planned to account for General category overharvest from the September 2020 subquota period, as well as additional landings from the June through August period not previously accounted for in 85 FR 59445 (September 22, 2020), in a subsequent notice. Preliminary landings data as of October 21, 2020, indicate that the amount of overharvest (through September 30, 2020) that needs to be accounted for is 53.2 mt. Transfer of 68.7 mt From the Reserve Category to the General Category Under § 635.27(a)(9), NMFS has the authority to transfer quota among fishing categories or subcategories, after considering regulatory determination criteria provided under § 635.27(a)(8). NMFS has considered all of the relevant determination criteria and their applicability to this inseason quota transfer. These considerations include, but are not limited to, the following: Regarding the usefulness of information obtained from catches in the particular category for biological sampling and monitoring of the status of the stock (§ 635.27(a)(8)(i)), biological samples collected from BFT landed by General category fishermen and provided by bluefin tuna dealers continue to provide valuable data for ongoing scientific studies of BFT age and growth, migration, and reproductive status. Additional opportunity to land VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:11 Oct 29, 2020 Jkt 253001 BFT in the General category would support the continued collection of a broad range of data for these studies and for stock monitoring purposes. NMFS also considered the catches of the General category quota to date (including during the fall and winter fisheries in the last several years), and the likelihood of closure of that segment of the fishery if no adjustment is made (§ 635.27(a)(8)(ii) and (ix)). Preliminary landings data as of October 26, 2020, indicate that the General category landed 88.5 mt for the October through November period. This represents 79 percent of the adjusted October through November subquota (112.2 mt), and means that 23.7 mt remains available (112.2 mt–88.5 mt). Transferring 68.7 mt of quota from the Reserve category accounts for 53.2 mt of accrued overharvest from the prior time periods and results in an additional 15.5 mt being available for the October through November 2020 subquota period, thus effectively providing limited additional opportunities to harvest the U.S. bluefin tuna quota while avoiding exceeding it. Regarding the projected ability of the vessels fishing under the particular category quota (here, the General category) to harvest the additional amount of BFT quota transferred before the end of the fishing year (§ 635.27(a)(8)(iii)), a portion of the transferred quota covers the 53.2-mt overharvest of the General category subquotas through September 30, 2020. NMFS anticipates that General category participants will be able to harvest the 39.2 mt of BFT quota that remains available for the October through November subquota (23.7 mt remaining + 15.5 mt from the transfer), following this action, by the end of the subquota time period, but this is also subject to weather conditions and BFT availability. In the unlikely event that any of this quota is unused by November 30, such quota will roll forward to the next subperiod within the calendar year (i.e., the December period), and NMFS anticipates that it would be used before the end of the fishing year. Thus, this quota transfer would allow fishermen to take advantage of the availability of fish on the fishing grounds, and provide a reasonable opportunity to harvest the full U.S. BFT quota. NMFS also considered the estimated amounts by which quotas for other gear categories of the fishery might be exceeded (§ 635.27(a)(8)(iv)) and the ability to account for all 2020 landings and dead discards. In the last several years, total U.S. BFT landings have been below the available U.S. quota such that the United States has carried forward PO 00000 Frm 00083 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 68799 the maximum amount of underharvest allowed by ICCAT from one year to the next. NMFS will need to account for 2020 landings and dead discards within the adjusted U.S. quota, consistent with ICCAT recommendations, and anticipates having sufficient quota to do that. NMFS anticipates that General category participants in all areas and time periods will have opportunities to harvest the General category quota in 2020, through active inseason management such as the timing of quota transfers, as practicable. Thus, this quota transfer would allow fishermen to take advantage of the availability of fish on the fishing grounds to the extent consistent with the available amount of transferrable quota and other management objectives, while avoiding quota exceedance. NMFS also considered the effects of the adjustment on the BFT stock and the effects of the transfer on accomplishing the objectives of the FMP (§ 635.27(a)(8)(v) and (vi)). This transfer would be consistent with the current quotas, which were established and analyzed in the 2018 BFT quota final rule (83 FR 51391, October 11, 2018), and with objectives of the 2006 Consolidated HMS FMP and amendments and is not expected to negatively impact stock health or to affect the stock in ways not already analyzed in those documents. Another principal consideration is the objective of providing opportunities to harvest the full annual U.S. BFT quota without exceeding it based on the goals of the 2006 Consolidated HMS FMP and amendments, including to achieve optimum yield on a continuing basis and to optimize the ability of all permit categories to harvest their full BFT quota allocations (related to § 635.27(a)(8)(x)). Specific to the General category, this includes providing opportunity equitably across all time periods. Based on the considerations above, NMFS is transferring 68.7 mt of the available 88.7 mt of Reserve category quota to the General category. Of this amount, 53.2 mt accounts for preliminary overharvest of the January through March, June through August, and September time period subquotas, and 15.5 mt is added to the October through November subquota. Therefore, NMFS adjusts the General category October through November subquota 2020 subquota to a total of 127.7 mt after accounting for the 53.2 mt of overharvest through for the prior 2020 time periods, and adjusts the Reserve category quota to 20 mt. E:\FR\FM\30OCR1.SGM 30OCR1 68800 Federal Register / Vol. 85, No. 211 / Friday, October 30, 2020 / Rules and Regulations jbell on DSKJLSW7X2PROD with RULES General Category Reopening Based on early October landings rates, NMFS has determined that reopening the General category fishery for two days is appropriate given the amount of quota that remains available for October through November, following this action (i.e., 39.2 mt). Therefore, the General category fishery will reopen at 12:30 a.m., October 28, 2020, and close at 11:30 p.m., October 29, 2020. The General category daily retention limit during this reopening remains the same as prior to closing: One large medium or giant (i.e., measuring 73 inches (185 cm) curved fork length or greater) bluefin tuna per vessel per day/trip. This action applies to Atlantic tunas General category (commercial) permitted vessels and HMS Charter/Headboat category permitted vessels with a commercial sale endorsement when fishing commercially for BFT. Retaining, possessing, or landing large medium or giant BFT by persons aboard vessels permitted in the General and HMS Charter/Headboat categories must cease at 11:30 p.m. local time on October 29, 2020. The General category will automatically reopen December 1, 2020, for the December 2020 subquota time period at the default one-fish level. In January 2020, NMFS adjusted the General category base subquota for the December 2020 period to 9.4 mt (85 FR 17, January 2, 2020). Based on quota availability in the Reserve, NMFS may consider transferring additional quota to the December subquota period, as appropriate. Fishermen may catch and release (or tag and release) BFT of all sizes, subject to the requirements of the catch-andrelease and tag-and-release programs at § 635.26. All BFT that are released must be handled in a manner that will maximize their 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 VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:11 Oct 29, 2020 Jkt 253001 available at https:// www.fisheries.noaa.gov/resource/ outreach-and-education/careful-catchand-release-brochure/. Monitoring and Reporting NMFS will continue to monitor the BFT fisheries closely. Dealers are required to submit landing reports within 24 hours of a dealer receiving BFT. Late reporting by dealers compromises NMFS’ ability to timely implement actions such as quota and retention limit adjustment, as well as closures, and may result in enforcement actions. Additionally, and separate from the dealer reporting requirement, General and HMS Charter/Headboat category vessel owners are required to report the catch of all BFT retained or discarded dead 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.). Depending on the level of fishing effort and catch rates of BFT, NMFS may determine that additional adjustments are necessary to ensure available subquotas are not exceeded or to enhance scientific data collection from, and fishing opportunities in, all geographic areas. If needed, subsequent adjustments will be published in the Federal Register. In addition, fishermen may call the Atlantic Tunas Information Line at (978) 281–9260, or access hmspermits.noaa.gov, for updates on quota monitoring and inseason adjustments. Classification NMFS issues this action pursuant to section 305(d) of the Magnuson-Stevens Act. 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 prior notice of, and an opportunity for public comment on, for the following PO 00000 Frm 00084 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 9990 reasons: The regulations implementing the 2006 Consolidated HMS FMP and amendments provide for inseason retention limit adjustments to respond to the unpredictable nature of BFT availability on the fishing grounds, the migratory nature of this species, and the regional variations in the BFT fishery. Affording prior notice and opportunity for public comment to implement the quota transfer is impracticable and contrary to the public interest. The General category recently closed, but based on available BFT quotas, fishery performance in recent weeks, and the availability of BFT on the fishing grounds, responsive reopening of the fishery is warranted to allow fishermen to take advantage of availability of fish and of quota. NMFS could not have proposed this action earlier, as it needed to consider and respond to updated data and information about fishery conditions and this year’s landings. If NMFS was to offer a public comment period now, after having appropriately considered that data, it would preclude fishermen from harvesting BFT that are legally available. This action does not raise conservation and management concerns. Transferring quota from the Reserve category to the General category does not affect the overall U.S. BFT quota, and available data shows the adjustment would have a minimal risk of exceeding the ICCAT-allocated quota. NMFS notes that the public had an opportunity to comment on the underlying rulemakings that established the U.S. BFT quota and the inseason adjustment criteria. For all of the above reasons, there is good cause under 5 U.S.C. 553(d) to waive the 30-day delay in effectiveness. Authority: 16 U.S.C. 971 et seq. and 1801 et seq. Dated: October 27, 2020. Jennifer M. Wallace, Acting Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine Fisheries Service. [FR Doc. 2020–24107 Filed 10–27–20; 4:15 pm] BILLING CODE 3510–22–P E:\FR\FM\30OCR1.SGM 30OCR1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 85, Number 211 (Friday, October 30, 2020)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 68798-68800]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2020-24107]


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DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

50 CFR Part 635

[Docket No. 180117042-8884-02]
RTID 0648-XA598


Atlantic Highly Migratory Species; Atlantic Bluefin Tuna 
Fisheries

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

ACTION: Temporary rule; quota transfer and fishery reopening.

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SUMMARY: NMFS transfers 68.7 metric tons (mt) of Atlantic bluefin tuna 
(BFT) quota from the Reserve category to the October through November 
2020 General category subquota period and reopens the General category 
fishery for two days. This action is intended to provide a reasonable 
opportunity to harvest the full annual U.S. bluefin tuna quota without 
exceeding it, while maintaining an equitable distribution of fishing 
opportunities across time periods. This action applies to Atlantic 
tunas General category (commercial) permitted vessels and Atlantic 
Highly Migratory Species (HMS) Charter/Headboat category permitted 
vessels with a commercial sale endorsement when fishing commercially 
for BFT.

DATES: The quota transfer is effective October 27, 2020, through 
November 30, 2020. The reopening is effective 12:30 a.m., local time, 
October 28, 2020, through 11:30 p.m., local time, October 29, 2020.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Sarah McLaughlin or Nicholas 
Velseboer, 978-281-9260, or Larry Redd, 301-427-8503.

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 the harvest of BFT by 
persons and vessels subject to U.S. jurisdiction are found at 50 CFR 
part 635. Section 635.27 subdivides the U.S. BFT quota recommended by 
the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas 
(ICCAT) and as implemented by the United States among the various 
domestic fishing categories, per the allocations established in the 
2006 Consolidated Highly Migratory Species Fishery Management Plan 
(2006 Consolidated HMS FMP) (71 FR 58058, October 2, 2006) and 
amendments. NMFS is required under ATCA and the Magnuson-Stevens Act to 
provide U.S. fishing vessels with a reasonable opportunity to harvest 
the ICCAT-recommended quota.
    The current baseline General and Reserve category quotas are 555.7 
mt and 29.5 mt, respectively. See Sec.  635.27(a). Each of the General 
category time periods (January, June through August, September, October 
through

[[Page 68799]]

November, and December) is allocated a ``subquota'' or portion of the 
annual General category quota. The baseline subquotas for each time 
period are as follows: 29.5 mt for January; 277.9 mt for June through 
August; 147.3 mt for September; 72.2 mt for October through November; 
and 28.9 mt for December. Any unused General category quota rolls 
forward from one time period to the next, and is available for use in 
subsequent time periods. To date, NMFS has taken several actions that 
resulted in adjustments to the General and Reserve category quotas, 
resulting in currently adjusted quotas of 88.7 mt of quota for the 
Reserve category, 100 mt for the General category January through March 
2020 subquota period, and 9.4 mt for the December 2020 subquota period 
(85 FR 17, January 2, 2020; 85 FR 6828, February 6, 2020; 85 FR 43148, 
July 16, 2020; 85 FR 59445, September 22, 2020; and 85 FR 61872, 
October 1, 2020). Most recently, NMFS transferred 40 mt to the General 
category and closed the General category fishery effective October 9, 
2020, based on projections that landings would meet or exceed the 
adjusted October through November subquota of 112.2 mt by that date (85 
FR 64411, October 13, 2020). In that action, NMFS indicated it planned 
to account for General category overharvest from the September 2020 
subquota period, as well as additional landings from the June through 
August period not previously accounted for in 85 FR 59445 (September 
22, 2020), in a subsequent notice. Preliminary landings data as of 
October 21, 2020, indicate that the amount of overharvest (through 
September 30, 2020) that needs to be accounted for is 53.2 mt.

Transfer of 68.7 mt From the Reserve Category to the General Category

    Under Sec.  635.27(a)(9), NMFS has the authority to transfer quota 
among fishing categories or subcategories, after considering regulatory 
determination criteria provided under Sec.  635.27(a)(8). NMFS has 
considered all of the relevant determination criteria and their 
applicability to this inseason quota transfer. These considerations 
include, but are not limited to, the following:
    Regarding the usefulness of information obtained from catches in 
the particular category for biological sampling and monitoring of the 
status of the stock (Sec.  635.27(a)(8)(i)), biological samples 
collected from BFT landed by General category fishermen and provided by 
bluefin tuna dealers continue to provide valuable data for ongoing 
scientific studies of BFT age and growth, migration, and reproductive 
status. Additional opportunity to land BFT in the General category 
would support the continued collection of a broad range of data for 
these studies and for stock monitoring purposes.
    NMFS also considered the catches of the General category quota to 
date (including during the fall and winter fisheries in the last 
several years), and the likelihood of closure of that segment of the 
fishery if no adjustment is made (Sec.  635.27(a)(8)(ii) and (ix)). 
Preliminary landings data as of October 26, 2020, indicate that the 
General category landed 88.5 mt for the October through November 
period. This represents 79 percent of the adjusted October through 
November subquota (112.2 mt), and means that 23.7 mt remains available 
(112.2 mt-88.5 mt). Transferring 68.7 mt of quota from the Reserve 
category accounts for 53.2 mt of accrued overharvest from the prior 
time periods and results in an additional 15.5 mt being available for 
the October through November 2020 subquota period, thus effectively 
providing limited additional opportunities to harvest the U.S. bluefin 
tuna quota while avoiding exceeding it.
    Regarding the projected ability of the vessels fishing under the 
particular category quota (here, the General category) to harvest the 
additional amount of BFT quota transferred before the end of the 
fishing year (Sec.  635.27(a)(8)(iii)), a portion of the transferred 
quota covers the 53.2-mt overharvest of the General category subquotas 
through September 30, 2020. NMFS anticipates that General category 
participants will be able to harvest the 39.2 mt of BFT quota that 
remains available for the October through November subquota (23.7 mt 
remaining + 15.5 mt from the transfer), following this action, by the 
end of the subquota time period, but this is also subject to weather 
conditions and BFT availability. In the unlikely event that any of this 
quota is unused by November 30, such quota will roll forward to the 
next subperiod within the calendar year (i.e., the December period), 
and NMFS anticipates that it would be used before the end of the 
fishing year. Thus, this quota transfer would allow fishermen to take 
advantage of the availability of fish on the fishing grounds, and 
provide a reasonable opportunity to harvest the full U.S. BFT quota.
    NMFS also considered the estimated amounts by which quotas for 
other gear categories of the fishery might be exceeded (Sec.  
635.27(a)(8)(iv)) and the ability to account for all 2020 landings and 
dead discards. In the last several years, total U.S. BFT landings have 
been below the available U.S. quota such that the United States has 
carried forward the maximum amount of underharvest allowed by ICCAT 
from one year to the next. NMFS will need to account for 2020 landings 
and dead discards within the adjusted U.S. quota, consistent with ICCAT 
recommendations, and anticipates having sufficient quota to do that. 
NMFS anticipates that General category participants in all areas and 
time periods will have opportunities to harvest the General category 
quota in 2020, through active inseason management such as the timing of 
quota transfers, as practicable. Thus, this quota transfer would allow 
fishermen to take advantage of the availability of fish on the fishing 
grounds to the extent consistent with the available amount of 
transferrable quota and other management objectives, while avoiding 
quota exceedance.
    NMFS also considered the effects of the adjustment on the BFT stock 
and the effects of the transfer on accomplishing the objectives of the 
FMP (Sec.  635.27(a)(8)(v) and (vi)). This transfer would be consistent 
with the current quotas, which were established and analyzed in the 
2018 BFT quota final rule (83 FR 51391, October 11, 2018), and with 
objectives of the 2006 Consolidated HMS FMP and amendments and is not 
expected to negatively impact stock health or to affect the stock in 
ways not already analyzed in those documents. Another principal 
consideration is the objective of providing opportunities to harvest 
the full annual U.S. BFT quota without exceeding it based on the goals 
of the 2006 Consolidated HMS FMP and amendments, including to achieve 
optimum yield on a continuing basis and to optimize the ability of all 
permit categories to harvest their full BFT quota allocations (related 
to Sec.  635.27(a)(8)(x)). Specific to the General category, this 
includes providing opportunity equitably across all time periods.
    Based on the considerations above, NMFS is transferring 68.7 mt of 
the available 88.7 mt of Reserve category quota to the General 
category. Of this amount, 53.2 mt accounts for preliminary overharvest 
of the January through March, June through August, and September time 
period subquotas, and 15.5 mt is added to the October through November 
subquota. Therefore, NMFS adjusts the General category October through 
November subquota 2020 subquota to a total of 127.7 mt after accounting 
for the 53.2 mt of overharvest through for the prior 2020 time periods, 
and adjusts the Reserve category quota to 20 mt.

[[Page 68800]]

General Category Reopening

    Based on early October landings rates, NMFS has determined that 
reopening the General category fishery for two days is appropriate 
given the amount of quota that remains available for October through 
November, following this action (i.e., 39.2 mt).
    Therefore, the General category fishery will reopen at 12:30 a.m., 
October 28, 2020, and close at 11:30 p.m., October 29, 2020. The 
General category daily retention limit during this reopening remains 
the same as prior to closing: One large medium or giant (i.e., 
measuring 73 inches (185 cm) curved fork length or greater) bluefin 
tuna per vessel per day/trip. This action applies to Atlantic tunas 
General category (commercial) permitted vessels and HMS Charter/
Headboat category permitted vessels with a commercial sale endorsement 
when fishing commercially for BFT. Retaining, possessing, or landing 
large medium or giant BFT by persons aboard vessels permitted in the 
General and HMS Charter/Headboat categories must cease at 11:30 p.m. 
local time on October 29, 2020.
    The General category will automatically reopen December 1, 2020, 
for the December 2020 subquota time period at the default one-fish 
level. In January 2020, NMFS adjusted the General category base 
subquota for the December 2020 period to 9.4 mt (85 FR 17, January 2, 
2020). Based on quota availability in the Reserve, NMFS may consider 
transferring additional quota to the December subquota period, as 
appropriate.
    Fishermen may catch and release (or tag and release) BFT of all 
sizes, subject to the requirements of the catch-and-release and tag-
and-release programs at Sec.  635.26. All BFT that are released must be 
handled in a manner that will maximize their 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/outreach-and-education/careful-catch-and-release-brochure/.

Monitoring and Reporting

    NMFS will continue to monitor the BFT fisheries closely. Dealers 
are required to submit landing reports within 24 hours of a dealer 
receiving BFT. Late reporting by dealers compromises NMFS' ability to 
timely implement actions such as quota and retention limit adjustment, 
as well as closures, and may result in enforcement actions. 
Additionally, and separate from the dealer reporting requirement, 
General and HMS Charter/Headboat category vessel owners are required to 
report the catch of all BFT retained or discarded dead 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.).
    Depending on the level of fishing effort and catch rates of BFT, 
NMFS may determine that additional adjustments are necessary to ensure 
available subquotas are not exceeded or to enhance scientific data 
collection from, and fishing opportunities in, all geographic areas. If 
needed, subsequent adjustments will be published in the Federal 
Register. In addition, fishermen may call the Atlantic Tunas 
Information Line at (978) 281-9260, or access hmspermits.noaa.gov, for 
updates on quota monitoring and inseason adjustments.

Classification

    NMFS issues this action pursuant to section 305(d) of the Magnuson-
Stevens Act. 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 prior notice of, and an 
opportunity for public comment on, for the following reasons: The 
regulations implementing the 2006 Consolidated HMS FMP and amendments 
provide for inseason retention limit adjustments to respond to the 
unpredictable nature of BFT availability on the fishing grounds, the 
migratory nature of this species, and the regional variations in the 
BFT fishery. Affording prior notice and opportunity for public comment 
to implement the quota transfer is impracticable and contrary to the 
public interest. The General category recently closed, but based on 
available BFT quotas, fishery performance in recent weeks, and the 
availability of BFT on the fishing grounds, responsive reopening of the 
fishery is warranted to allow fishermen to take advantage of 
availability of fish and of quota. NMFS could not have proposed this 
action earlier, as it needed to consider and respond to updated data 
and information about fishery conditions and this year's landings. If 
NMFS was to offer a public comment period now, after having 
appropriately considered that data, it would preclude fishermen from 
harvesting BFT that are legally available. This action does not raise 
conservation and management concerns. Transferring quota from the 
Reserve category to the General category does not affect the overall 
U.S. BFT quota, and available data shows the adjustment would have a 
minimal risk of exceeding the ICCAT-allocated quota. NMFS notes that 
the public had an opportunity to comment on the underlying rulemakings 
that established the U.S. BFT quota and the inseason adjustment 
criteria. For all of the above reasons, there is good cause under 5 
U.S.C. 553(d) to waive the 30-day delay in effectiveness.

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

    Dated: October 27, 2020.
Jennifer M. Wallace,
Acting Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine 
Fisheries Service.
[FR Doc. 2020-24107 Filed 10-27-20; 4:15 pm]
BILLING CODE 3510-22-P