Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Reallocation of Atka Mackerel in the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Management Area, 72580-72581 [2020-25043]

Download as PDF 72580 Federal Register / Vol. 85, No. 220 / Friday, November 13, 2020 / Rules and Regulations NMFS is required by Federal regulation to implement a 2,000-lb (907.2-kg) Atlantic herring possession limit for Management Area 1A through the calendar year when 92 percent of the area quota is projected to be harvested. The 2020 Atlantic herring fishing year began on January 1, 2020, and Management Area 1A opened to fishing on June 1, 2020. Data indicating the Atlantic herring fleet will have landed at least 92 percent of the 2020 sub-ACL allocated to Management Area 1A only recently became available. High-volume catch and landings in this fishery increase total catch relative to the subACL quickly, especially in this fishing year where annual catch limits are unusually low. If implementation of this closure is delayed to solicit prior public comment, the sub-ACL for Management Area 1A for this fishing year will likely be exceeded; thereby, undermining the conservation objectives of the FMP. If sub-ACLs are exceeded, the excess must be deducted from a future sub-ACL and would reduce future fishing opportunities. In addition, the public had prior notice and full opportunity to comment on this process when these provisions were put in place. The public expects these actions to occur in a timely way consistent with the fishery management plan’s objectives. Authority: 16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq. Dated: November 9, 2020. Jennifer M. Wallace, Acting Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine Fisheries Service. [FR Doc. 2020–25195 Filed 11–10–20; 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– XA632] Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Reallocation of Atka Mackerel in the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Management Area National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Commerce. ACTION: Temporary rule; reallocation. AGENCY: NMFS is reallocating the projected unused amount of the 2020 Atka mackerel incidental catch allowance (ICA) for the Bering Sea subarea and Eastern Aleutian district (BS/EAI) to the Amendment 80 cooperative allocation in the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands management area (BSAI). This action is necessary to allow the 2020 total allowable catch of Atka mackerel in the BS/EAI of the BSAI to be fully harvested. DATES: Effective November 6, 2020, 2020 through 2400 hrs, A.l.t., December 31, 2020. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Steve Whitney, 907–586–7228. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: NMFS manages the groundfish fishery in the BSAI according to the Fishery Management Plan for Groundfish of the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands SUMMARY: Management Area (FMP) prepared by the North Pacific Fishery Management Council under authority of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act. Regulations governing fishing by U.S. vessels in accordance with the FMP appear at subpart H of 50 CFR part 600 and 50 CFR part 679. The 2020 Atka mackerel ICA for the BS/EAI is 800 metric tons (mt) and the 2020 Atka mackerel total allowable catch allocated to the Amendment 80 cooperative is 18,904 mt as established by the final 2020 and 2021 harvest specifications for groundfish in the BSAI (85 FR 13553, March 9, 2020). The Administrator, Alaska Region, NMFS, has determined that 200 mt of the Atka mackerel ICA for the BS/EAI will not be harvested. Therefore, in accordance with § 679.91(f), NMFS reallocates 200 mt of Atka mackerel from the BS/EAI ICA to the Amendment 80 cooperative in the BSAI. In accordance with § 679.91(f), NMFS will reissue cooperative quota permit for the reallocated Atka mackerel following the procedures set forth in § 679.91(f)(3). The harvest specifications for Atka mackerel included in the harvest specifications for groundfish in the BSAI (85 FR 13553, March 9, 2020) are revised as follows: 600 mt of Atka mackerel for the BS/EAI ICA and 19,104 mt of Atka mackerel for the Amendment 80 cooperative allocation in the BS/EAI of the BSAI. Table 6 is revised and republished in its entirety as follows: TABLE 6—FINAL 2020 SEASONAL AND SPATIAL ALLOWANCES, GEAR SHARES, CDQ RESERVE, INCIDENTAL CATCH ALLOWANCE, AND AMENDMENT 80 ALLOCATIONS OF THE BSAI ATKA MACKEREL TAC [Amounts are in metric tons] 2020 Allocation by area Sector 1 Season 2 3 4 TAC ........................................................ CDQ reserve .......................................... n/a ......................................................... Total ...................................................... A ............................................................ Critical Habitat ....................................... B ............................................................ Critical Habitat ....................................... n/a ......................................................... Total ...................................................... Total ...................................................... Total ...................................................... A ............................................................ Critical Habitat ....................................... B ............................................................ Critical Habitat ....................................... Total ...................................................... A ............................................................ Critical Habitat ....................................... B ............................................................ jbell on DSKJLSW7X2PROD with RULES Non-CDQ TAC ....................................... ICA ......................................................... Jig 6 ........................................................ BSAI trawl limited access ...................... Amendment 80 sector ............................ VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:03 Nov 12, 2020 Jkt 253001 PO 00000 Frm 00030 Fmt 4700 Eastern aleutian district/ bering sea Sfmt 4700 24,535 2,625 1,313 n/a 1,313 n/a 21,910 600 106 2,100 1,050 n/a 1,050 n/a 19,104 9,552 n/a 9,552 E:\FR\FM\13NOR1.SGM Central aleutian district 5 Western aleutian district 14,721 1,575 788 473 788 473 13,146 75 .............................. 1,307 654 392 654 392 11,764 5,882 3,529 5,882 20,049 2,145 1,073 644 1,073 644 17,904 20 .............................. .............................. .............................. .............................. .............................. .............................. 17,884 8,942 5,365 8,942 13NOR1 Federal Register / Vol. 85, No. 220 / Friday, November 13, 2020 / Rules and Regulations 72581 TABLE 6—FINAL 2020 SEASONAL AND SPATIAL ALLOWANCES, GEAR SHARES, CDQ RESERVE, INCIDENTAL CATCH ALLOWANCE, AND AMENDMENT 80 ALLOCATIONS OF THE BSAI ATKA MACKEREL TAC—Continued [Amounts are in metric tons] 2020 Allocation by area Sector 1 Season 2 3 4 Eastern aleutian district/ bering sea Critical Habitat ....................................... Central aleutian district 5 n/a 3,529 Western aleutian district 5,365 1 Section 679.20(a)(8)(ii) allocates the Atka mackerel TACs, after subtracting the CDQ reserves, jig gear allocation, and ICAs, to the Amendment 80 and BSAI trawl limited access sectors. The allocation of the ITAC for Atka mackerel to the Amendment 80 and BSAI trawl limited access sectors is established in Table 33 to 50 CFR part 679 and § 679.91. The CDQ reserve is 10.7 percent of the TAC for use by CDQ participants (see §§ 679.20(b)(1)(ii)(C) and 679.31). 2 Sections 679.20(a)(8)(ii)(A) and 679.22(a) establish temporal and spatial limitations for the Atka mackerel fishery. 3 The seasonal allowances of Atka mackerel are 50 percent in the A season and 50 percent in the B season. 4 Section 679.23(e)(3) authorizes directed fishing for Atka mackerel with trawl gear during the A season from January 20 to June 10 and the B season from June 10 to December 31. 5 Section 679.20(a)(8)(ii)(C)(1)(i) limits no more than 60 percent of the annual TACs in Areas 542 and 543 to be caught inside of Steller sea lion critical habitat; section 679.20(a)(8)(ii)(C)(1)(ii) equally divides the annual TACs between the A and B seasons as defined at § 679.23(e)(3); and section 679.20(a)(8)(ii)(C)(2) requires that the TAC in Area 543 shall be no more than 65 percent of ABC in Area 543. 6 Section 679.20(a)(8)(i) requires that up to 2 percent of the Eastern Aleutian District and the Bering Sea subarea TAC be allocated to jig gear after subtracting the CDQ reserve and the ICA. NMFS sets the amount of this allocation for 2020 at 0.5 percent. The jig gear allocation is not apportioned by season. Note: Seasonal or sector apportionments may not total precisely due to rounding. This will enhance the socioeconomic well-being of harvesters dependent upon Atka mackerel in this area. The Regional Administrator considered the following factors in reaching this decision: (1) The current catch of Atka mackerel ICA in the BS/EAI, (2) the harvest capacity and stated intent on future harvesting patterns of the Amendment 80 cooperative that participates in this BS/EAI fishery. Classification NMFS issues this action pursuant to section 305(d) of the Magnuson-Stevens Act. This action is required by 50 CFR part 679, 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, as it would prevent NMFS from responding to the most recent fisheries data in a timely fashion and would delay the harvest of Atka mackerel in the BE/EAI fishery. NMFS was unable to publish a notice providing time for public comment because the most recent, relevant data only became available as of November 3, 2020. jbell on DSKJLSW7X2PROD with RULES Authority: 16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq. Dated: November 6, 2020. Jennifer M. Wallace, Acting Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine Fisheries Service. [FR Doc. 2020–25043 Filed 11–6–20; 5:00 pm] BILLING CODE 3510–22–P VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:03 Nov 12, 2020 Jkt 253001 DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration 50 CFR Part 680 [Docket No. 201020–0271] RIN 0648–BJ64 Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Removing the Prohibition on Continuing To Fish After a Partial Offload in the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Crab Rationalization Program National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Commerce. ACTION: Final rule. AGENCY: NMFS issues regulations to remove the regulatory prohibition on continuing to fish after a partial offload in the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands (BS/AI) Crab Rationalization (CR) Program. This final rule is needed to provide CR crab fishery participants operational flexibility to conduct their business in an efficient manner, in particular when emergencies or special circumstances arise. This action is intended to promote the goals and objectives of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (Magnuson-Stevens Act), the Fishery Management Plan (FMP) for BS/ AI King and Tanner Crabs (Crab FMP), and other applicable laws. DATES: Effective December 14, 2020. ADDRESSES: Electronic copies of the Regulatory Impact Review (referred to as SUMMARY: PO 00000 Frm 00031 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 the ‘‘Analysis’’) and the Categorical Exclusion prepared for this final rule may be obtained from www.regulations.gov. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Megan Mackey, 907–586–7228. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Authority for Action NMFS manages the king and Tanner crab fisheries in the exclusive economic zone (EEZ) of the BS/AI under the Crab FMP. The North Pacific Fishery Management Council (Council) prepared the Crab FMP under the authority of the Magnuson-Stevens Act, 16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq. Regulations implementing most provisions of the Crab FMP, including the CR Program, are located at 50 CFR part 680. Regulations implementing specific provisions of the Crab FMP that pertain to the License Limitation Program are located at 50 CFR part 679. The proposed rule to implement this action was published in the Federal Register on August 4, 2020, with comments invited through September 3, 2020 (85 FR 47157). NMFS received two comment letters containing a total of two unique comments. The comments are summarized and responded to under the heading Comments and Responses below. A detailed review of the provisions and rationale for this action is provided in the preamble to the proposed rule (85 FR 47157, August 4, 2020) and is briefly summarized in this final rule. Background The CR Program was implemented on April 1, 2005 (70 FR 10174, March 2, 2005). The CR Program established a E:\FR\FM\13NOR1.SGM 13NOR1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 85, Number 220 (Friday, November 13, 2020)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 72580-72581]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2020-25043]


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DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

50 CFR Part 679

[Docket No. 200227-0066; RTID 0648-XA632]


Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Reallocation 
of Atka Mackerel in the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Management Area

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

ACTION: Temporary rule; reallocation.

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

SUMMARY: NMFS is reallocating the projected unused amount of the 2020 
Atka mackerel incidental catch allowance (ICA) for the Bering Sea 
subarea and Eastern Aleutian district (BS/EAI) to the Amendment 80 
cooperative allocation in the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands 
management area (BSAI). This action is necessary to allow the 2020 
total allowable catch of Atka mackerel in the BS/EAI of the BSAI to be 
fully harvested.

DATES: Effective November 6, 2020, 2020 through 2400 hrs, A.l.t., 
December 31, 2020.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Steve Whitney, 907-586-7228.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: NMFS manages the groundfish fishery in the 
BSAI according to the Fishery Management Plan for Groundfish of the 
Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Management Area (FMP) prepared by the 
North Pacific Fishery Management Council under authority of the 
Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act. Regulations 
governing fishing by U.S. vessels in accordance with the FMP appear at 
subpart H of 50 CFR part 600 and 50 CFR part 679.
    The 2020 Atka mackerel ICA for the BS/EAI is 800 metric tons (mt) 
and the 2020 Atka mackerel total allowable catch allocated to the 
Amendment 80 cooperative is 18,904 mt as established by the final 2020 
and 2021 harvest specifications for groundfish in the BSAI (85 FR 
13553, March 9, 2020).
    The Administrator, Alaska Region, NMFS, has determined that 200 mt 
of the Atka mackerel ICA for the BS/EAI will not be harvested. 
Therefore, in accordance with Sec.  679.91(f), NMFS reallocates 200 mt 
of Atka mackerel from the BS/EAI ICA to the Amendment 80 cooperative in 
the BSAI. In accordance with Sec.  679.91(f), NMFS will reissue 
cooperative quota permit for the reallocated Atka mackerel following 
the procedures set forth in Sec.  679.91(f)(3).
    The harvest specifications for Atka mackerel included in the 
harvest specifications for groundfish in the BSAI (85 FR 13553, March 
9, 2020) are revised as follows: 600 mt of Atka mackerel for the BS/EAI 
ICA and 19,104 mt of Atka mackerel for the Amendment 80 cooperative 
allocation in the BS/EAI of the BSAI. Table 6 is revised and 
republished in its entirety as follows:

 Table 6--Final 2020 Seasonal and Spatial Allowances, Gear Shares, CDQ Reserve, Incidental Catch Allowance, and
                             Amendment 80 Allocations of the BSAI ATKA Mackerel TAC
                                          [Amounts are in metric tons]
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                         2020 Allocation by area
                                                        --------------------------------------------------------
            Sector \1\                 Season 2 3 4      Eastern  aleutian
                                                          district/ bering  Central  aleutian  Western  aleutian
                                                                sea            district \5\         district
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
TAC..............................  n/a.................             24,535             14,721             20,049
CDQ reserve......................  Total...............              2,625              1,575              2,145
                                   A...................              1,313                788              1,073
                                   Critical Habitat....                n/a                473                644
                                   B...................              1,313                788              1,073
                                   Critical Habitat....                n/a                473                644
Non-CDQ TAC......................  n/a.................             21,910             13,146             17,904
ICA..............................  Total...............                600                 75                 20
Jig \6\..........................  Total...............                106  .................  .................
BSAI trawl limited access........  Total...............              2,100              1,307  .................
                                   A...................              1,050                654  .................
                                   Critical Habitat....                n/a                392  .................
                                   B...................              1,050                654  .................
                                   Critical Habitat....                n/a                392  .................
Amendment 80 sector..............  Total...............             19,104             11,764             17,884
                                   A...................              9,552              5,882              8,942
                                   Critical Habitat....                n/a              3,529              5,365
                                   B...................              9,552              5,882              8,942

[[Page 72581]]

 
                                   Critical Habitat....                n/a              3,529              5,365
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
\1\ Section 679.20(a)(8)(ii) allocates the Atka mackerel TACs, after subtracting the CDQ reserves, jig gear
  allocation, and ICAs, to the Amendment 80 and BSAI trawl limited access sectors. The allocation of the ITAC
  for Atka mackerel to the Amendment 80 and BSAI trawl limited access sectors is established in Table 33 to 50
  CFR part 679 and Sec.   679.91. The CDQ reserve is 10.7 percent of the TAC for use by CDQ participants (see
  Sec.  Sec.   679.20(b)(1)(ii)(C) and 679.31).
\2\ Sections 679.20(a)(8)(ii)(A) and 679.22(a) establish temporal and spatial limitations for the Atka mackerel
  fishery.
\3\ The seasonal allowances of Atka mackerel are 50 percent in the A season and 50 percent in the B season.
\4\ Section 679.23(e)(3) authorizes directed fishing for Atka mackerel with trawl gear during the A season from
  January 20 to June 10 and the B season from June 10 to December 31.
\5\ Section 679.20(a)(8)(ii)(C)(1)(i) limits no more than 60 percent of the annual TACs in Areas 542 and 543 to
  be caught inside of Steller sea lion critical habitat; section 679.20(a)(8)(ii)(C)(1)(ii) equally divides the
  annual TACs between the A and B seasons as defined at Sec.   679.23(e)(3); and section 679.20(a)(8)(ii)(C)(2)
  requires that the TAC in Area 543 shall be no more than 65 percent of ABC in Area 543.
\6\ Section 679.20(a)(8)(i) requires that up to 2 percent of the Eastern Aleutian District and the Bering Sea
  subarea TAC be allocated to jig gear after subtracting the CDQ reserve and the ICA. NMFS sets the amount of
  this allocation for 2020 at 0.5 percent. The jig gear allocation is not apportioned by season.
Note: Seasonal or sector apportionments may not total precisely due to rounding.

    This will enhance the socioeconomic well-being of harvesters 
dependent upon Atka mackerel in this area. The Regional Administrator 
considered the following factors in reaching this decision: (1) The 
current catch of Atka mackerel ICA in the BS/EAI, (2) the harvest 
capacity and stated intent on future harvesting patterns of the 
Amendment 80 cooperative that participates in this BS/EAI fishery.

Classification

    NMFS issues this action pursuant to section 305(d) of the Magnuson-
Stevens Act. This action is required by 50 CFR part 679, 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, 
as it would prevent NMFS from responding to the most recent fisheries 
data in a timely fashion and would delay the harvest of Atka mackerel 
in the BE/EAI fishery. NMFS was unable to publish a notice providing 
time for public comment because the most recent, relevant data only 
became available as of November 3, 2020.

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

    Dated: November 6, 2020.
Jennifer M. Wallace,
Acting Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine 
Fisheries Service.
[FR Doc. 2020-25043 Filed 11-6-20; 5:00 pm]
BILLING CODE 3510-22-P