Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Pacific Cod by Catcher Vessels Less Than 50 Feet (15.2 Meters) Length Overall Using Hook-and-Line Gear in the Central Regulatory Area of the Gulf of Alaska, 8719-8720 [2021-02639]

Download as PDF Federal Register / Vol. 86, No. 25 / Tuesday, February 9, 2021 / Rules and Regulations khammond on DSKJM1Z7X2PROD with RULES October 13, 2020); 68.7 mt from the Reserve category effective October 26, 2020 (85 FR 68798, October 30, 2020); and 19.5 mt from the Reserve category effective December 1, 2020 (85 FR 75918, November 27, 2020). NMFS anticipates that General category participants in all areas and time periods will have opportunities to harvest the General category quota in 2021, through active inseason management measures, such as retention limit adjustments and/or the timing of quota transfers (§ 635.27(a)(8)(viii)). Thus, this quota transfer would allow fishermen to take advantage of the availability of fish on the fishing grounds, taking into consideration the expected increases in available 2021 quota from carryforward later in the year, and provide a reasonable opportunity to harvest the full U.S. BFT quota, without precluding vessels in another area from having a reasonable opportunity to harvest a portion of the category’s quota. Based on the considerations above, NMFS is transferring 26 mt from the adjusted Reserve category to the General category for the January 2021 fishery, resulting in a subquota of 75 mt for the January 2021 fishery and 168 mt in the Reserve category. Monitoring and Reporting NMFS will continue to monitor the BFT fishery closely. Dealers are required to submit landings 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 or by 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 action (e.g., quota adjustment, daily retention limit adjustment, or closure) is 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. As needed, NMFS will close the General category fishery when the adjusted January 2021 period VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:18 Feb 08, 2021 Jkt 253001 subquota has been reached. Even if the adjusted subquota is not reached, the General category fishery will close automatically on March 31, 2021, and will remain closed until it reopens on June 1, 2021. 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 consistent with regulations at 50 CFR part 635, which were issued pursuant to section 304(c) of the Magnuson-Stevens Act and the Atlantic Tunas Convention Act, and is exempt from review under Executive Order 12866. The Assistant Administrator for NMFS (AA) finds that it is impracticable and contrary to the public interest to provide prior notice of and an opportunity for public comment on, the transfer from the Reserve category to the General category for the following reasons: The regulations implementing the 2006 Consolidated HMS FMP and amendments provide for inseason quota transfers 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. These fisheries are currently underway and the fishery would be closed absent the additional quota. Affording prior notice and opportunity for public comment to implement the quota transfer is impracticable and contrary to the public interest as such a delay would result in exceedance of the General category January 2021 subquota or earlier closure of the fishery while fish are available on the fishing grounds. 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, measures to reallocate 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. PO 00000 Frm 00035 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 8719 Dated: February 3, 2021. Jennifer M. Wallace, Acting Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine Fisheries Service. [FR Doc. 2021–02513 Filed 2–8–21; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510–22–P DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration 50 CFR Part 679 [Docket No. 200221–0062; RTID 0648– XA782] Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Pacific Cod by Catcher Vessels Less Than 50 Feet (15.2 Meters) Length Overall Using Hook-and-Line Gear in the Central Regulatory Area of the Gulf of Alaska National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Commerce. ACTION: Temporary rule; closure. AGENCY: NMFS is prohibiting directed fishing for catcher vessels less than 50 feet (15.2 meters (m)) length overall using hook-and-line (HAL) gear in the Central Regulatory Area of the Gulf of Alaska (GOA). This action is necessary to prevent exceeding the A season allowance of the 2021 total allowable catch (TAC) of catcher vessels less than 50 feet (15.2 m) length overall using HAL gear in the Central Regulatory Area of the GOA. DATES: Effective 1200 hours, Alaska local time (A.l.t.), February 5, 2021, through 1200 hours, A.l.t., June 10, 2021. SUMMARY: FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Obren Davis, 907–586–7228. NMFS manages the groundfish fishery in the GOA exclusive economic zone according to the Fishery Management Plan for Groundfish of the Gulf of Alaska (FMP) prepared by the North Pacific Fishery Management Council under authority of the MagnusonStevens 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 A season allowance of the 2021 Pacific cod TAC apportioned to catcher vessels less than 50 feet (15.2 m) length overall using HAL gear in the Central Regulatory Area of the GOA is 945 metric tons (mt) as established by the final 2020 and 2021 harvest SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: E:\FR\FM\09FER1.SGM 09FER1 8720 Federal Register / Vol. 86, No. 25 / Tuesday, February 9, 2021 / Rules and Regulations khammond on DSKJM1Z7X2PROD with RULES specifications for groundfish in the GOA (85 FR 13802, March 10, 2020) and inseason adjustment (85 FR 83834, December 23, 2020). In accordance with § 679.20(d)(1)(i), the Regional Administrator has determined that the A season allowance of the 2021 Pacific cod TAC apportioned to catcher vessels less than 50 feet (15.2 m) length overall using HAL gear in the Central Regulatory Area of the GOA will soon be reached. Therefore, the Regional Administrator is establishing a directed fishing allowance of 900 mt and is setting aside the remaining 45 mt as bycatch to support other anticipated groundfish fisheries. In accordance with § 679.20(d)(1)(iii), the Regional Administrator finds that this directed fishing allowance has been reached. VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:18 Feb 08, 2021 Jkt 253001 Consequently, NMFS is prohibiting directed fishing for catcher vessels less than 50 feet (15.2 m) length overall using HAL gear in the Central Regulatory Area of the GOA. While this closure is effective the maximum retainable amounts at § 679.20(e) and (f) apply at any time during a trip. 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 PO 00000 Frm 00036 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 9990 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 closure of Pacific cod by catcher vessels less than 50 feet (15.2 m) length overall using HAL gear in the Central Regulatory Area of the GOA. NMFS was unable to publish a notice providing time for public comment because the most recent, relevant data only became available as of February 3, 2021. Authority: 16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq. Dated: February 4, 2021. Jennifer M. Wallace, Acting Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine Fisheries Service. [FR Doc. 2021–02639 Filed 2–4–21; 4:15 pm] BILLING CODE 3510–22–P E:\FR\FM\09FER1.SGM 09FER1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 86, Number 25 (Tuesday, February 9, 2021)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 8719-8720]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2021-02639]


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DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

50 CFR Part 679

[Docket No. 200221-0062; RTID 0648-XA782]


Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Pacific Cod 
by Catcher Vessels Less Than 50 Feet (15.2 Meters) Length Overall Using 
Hook-and-Line Gear in the Central Regulatory Area of the Gulf of Alaska

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

ACTION: Temporary rule; closure.

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SUMMARY: NMFS is prohibiting directed fishing for catcher vessels less 
than 50 feet (15.2 meters (m)) length overall using hook-and-line (HAL) 
gear in the Central Regulatory Area of the Gulf of Alaska (GOA). This 
action is necessary to prevent exceeding the A season allowance of the 
2021 total allowable catch (TAC) of catcher vessels less than 50 feet 
(15.2 m) length overall using HAL gear in the Central Regulatory Area 
of the GOA.

DATES: Effective 1200 hours, Alaska local time (A.l.t.), February 5, 
2021, through 1200 hours, A.l.t., June 10, 2021.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Obren Davis, 907-586-7228.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: NMFS manages the groundfish fishery in the 
GOA exclusive economic zone according to the Fishery Management Plan 
for Groundfish of the Gulf of Alaska (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 A season allowance of the 2021 Pacific cod TAC apportioned to 
catcher vessels less than 50 feet (15.2 m) length overall using HAL 
gear in the Central Regulatory Area of the GOA is 945 metric tons (mt) 
as established by the final 2020 and 2021 harvest

[[Page 8720]]

specifications for groundfish in the GOA (85 FR 13802, March 10, 2020) 
and inseason adjustment (85 FR 83834, December 23, 2020).
    In accordance with Sec.  679.20(d)(1)(i), the Regional 
Administrator has determined that the A season allowance of the 2021 
Pacific cod TAC apportioned to catcher vessels less than 50 feet (15.2 
m) length overall using HAL gear in the Central Regulatory Area of the 
GOA will soon be reached. Therefore, the Regional Administrator is 
establishing a directed fishing allowance of 900 mt and is setting 
aside the remaining 45 mt as bycatch to support other anticipated 
groundfish fisheries. In accordance with Sec.  679.20(d)(1)(iii), the 
Regional Administrator finds that this directed fishing allowance has 
been reached. Consequently, NMFS is prohibiting directed fishing for 
catcher vessels less than 50 feet (15.2 m) length overall using HAL 
gear in the Central Regulatory Area of the GOA.
    While this closure is effective the maximum retainable amounts at 
Sec.  679.20(e) and (f) apply at any time during a trip.

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 closure of Pacific cod by 
catcher vessels less than 50 feet (15.2 m) length overall using HAL 
gear in the Central Regulatory Area of the GOA. NMFS was unable to 
publish a notice providing time for public comment because the most 
recent, relevant data only became available as of February 3, 2021.

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

    Dated: February 4, 2021.
Jennifer M. Wallace,
Acting Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine 
Fisheries Service.
[FR Doc. 2021-02639 Filed 2-4-21; 4:15 pm]
BILLING CODE 3510-22-P