International Fisheries; Pacific Tuna Fisheries; 2021 Commercial Fishing Restrictions for Pacific Bluefin Tuna in the Eastern Pacific Ocean, 16303-16307 [2021-06333]

Download as PDF Federal Register / Vol. 86, No. 58 / Monday, March 29, 2021 / Rules and Regulations involved in Coast Guard training exercises in Hood Canal, WA, from May 24, 2021, through May 28, 2021. This enforcement is necessary to ensure the safety of the maritime public and vessels near training exercises. During the enforcement period, entry into the safety zones is prohibited, unless authorized by the Captain of the Port or their Designated Representative. DATES: The regulations in 33 CFR 165.1339 will be enforced from 8 a.m. on May 24, 2021, through 5 p.m. on May 28, 2021. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: If you have questions about this notice of enforcement, call or email CWO2 William Martinez, Sector Puget Sound Waterways Management Division, U.S. Coast Guard; telephone 206–217–6051, email SectorPugetSoundWWM@ uscg.mil. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The Coast Guard will enforce the safety zones around vessels involved in Coast Guard training exercises in Hood Canal, WA, set forth in 33 CFR 165.1339, from 8 a.m. on May 24, 2021, through 5 p.m. on May 28, 2021. Under the provisions of 33 CFR 165.1339, no person or vessel may enter or remain within 500 yards of any vessel involved in Coast Guard training exercises while such vessel is transiting Hood Canal, WA, between Foul Weather Bluff and the entrance to Dabob Bay, unless authorized by the Captain of the Port or their Designated Representative. In addition, the regulation requires all vessel operators seeking to enter any of the zones during the enforcement period to first obtain permission. You may seek permission by contacting the on-scene patrol commander on VHF channel 13 or 16, or the Sector Puget Sound Joint Harbor Operations Center at 206–217–6001. You will be able to identify participating vessels as those flying the Coast Guard Ensign. The Captain of the Port may also be assisted in the enforcement of the zone by other federal, state, or local agencies. The Captain of the Port will issue a general permission to enter the safety zones if the training exercise is completed before 5 p.m. on May 28, 2021. In addition to this notice of enforcement in the Federal Register, the Coast Guard plans to provide notification of this enforcement period via a Local Notice to Mariners. Dated: March 24, 2021. P.M. Hilbert, Captain, U.S. Coast Guard, Captain of the Port Puget Sound. [FR Doc. 2021–06467 Filed 3–26–21; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 9110–04–P VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:24 Mar 26, 2021 Jkt 253001 DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY 16303 Safety Information Bulletin and Vessel Traffic Service Advisory. Dated: March 22, 2021. Molly. A. Wike, Captain, U.S. Coast Guard, Captain of the Port, Marine Safety Zone Port Arthur. Coast Guard 33 CFR Part 165 [Docket No. USCG–2021–0152] [FR Doc. 2021–06452 Filed 3–26–21; 8:45 am] Annual Marine Events in the Eighth Coast Guard District Coast Guard, DHS. Notice of enforcement of regulation. AGENCY: ACTION: The Coast Guard will enforce special local regulation for the Riverfest boat races on the Neches River in Port Neches, TX from April 30, 2021 through May 2, 2021 to provide for the safety of life on navigable waterways during this event. Our regulation for marine events within the Eighth Coast Guard District identifies the regulated area for this event in Port Neches, TX. During the enforcement periods, the operator of any vessel in the regulated area must comply with directions from the Patrol Commander or designated representative. DATES: The regulations in 33 CFR 100.801 Table 3 will be enforced from 2 p.m. through 6 p.m. on April 30, 2021, and from 8:30 a.m. through 6 p.m. on May 1 and May 2, 2021. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: If you have questions about this notice of enforcement, call or email Mr. Scott Whalen, U.S. Coast Guard; telephone 409–719–5086, email scott.k.whalen@ uscg.mil. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The Coast Guard will enforce special local regulations in 33 CFR 100.801 Table 3 for the Port Neches Riverfest boat races display from 2 p.m. through 6 p.m. on April 30, 2021, and from 8:30 a.m. through 6 p.m. on May 1 and May 2, 2021. This action is being taken to provide for the safety of life on navigable waterways during this three day event. Our regulations for marine events within the Eighth Coast Guard District, § 100.801, specifies the location of the safety zone for the Riverfest boat races which encompasses a portions of the Neches River adjacent to Port Neches Park. During the enforcement period, as reflected in § 100.801 Table 3, if you are the operator of a vessel in the regulated area you must comply with directions from the Patrol Commander or designated representative. In addition to this notice of enforcement in the Federal Register, the Coast Guard plans to provide notification of the enforcement periods via Local Notice to Mariners, Marine BILLING CODE 9110–04–P DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration SUMMARY: PO 00000 Frm 00017 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 50 CFR Part 300 [Docket No. 210322–0062] RIN 0648–BJ26 International Fisheries; Pacific Tuna Fisheries; 2021 Commercial Fishing Restrictions for Pacific Bluefin Tuna in the Eastern Pacific Ocean National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Commerce. ACTION: Final rule. AGENCY: NMFS is issuing regulations under the Tuna Conventions Act of 1950, as amended (TCA), to implement Inter-American Tropical Tuna Commission (IATTC) Resolution C–20– 02 (‘‘Measures for the Conservation and Management of Bluefin Tuna in the Eastern Pacific Ocean, 2021’’). This rule implements annual limits on commercial catch of Pacific bluefin tuna (Thunnus orientalis) in the eastern Pacific Ocean (EPO) for 2021. This action is necessary to conserve Pacific bluefin tuna and for the United States to satisfy its obligations as a member of the IATTC. DATES: The final rule is effective April 5, 2021. ADDRESSES: Written comments regarding the burden-hour estimates or other aspects of the collection-ofinformation requirements contained in this rule may be submitted to www.reginfo.gov/public/do/PRAMain. Find this particular information collection by using the search function and entering either the title of the collection or the OMB Control Number 0648–0778. Copies of the draft Regulatory Impact Review (RIR) and other supporting documents are available via the Federal eRulemaking Portal: https:// www.regulations.gov, docket NOAA– NMFS–2020–0163 or contact the Highly Migratory Species Branch Chief, Lyle Enriquez, 501 W Ocean Blvd., Suite SUMMARY: E:\FR\FM\29MRR1.SGM 29MRR1 16304 Federal Register / Vol. 86, No. 58 / Monday, March 29, 2021 / Rules and Regulations 4200, Long Beach, CA 90802, or WCR.HMS@noaa.gov. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Celia Barroso, NMFS, 562–432–1850, Celia.Barroso@noaa.gov. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Background On January 5, 2021, NMFS published a proposed rule in the Federal Register to revise regulations at 50 CFR part 300, subpart C, for the commercial catch of Pacific bluefin tuna applicable to U.S. commercial fishing vessels in the IATTC Convention Area (Convention Area) 1 in 2021 (86 FR 279). The comment period was open for 30 days. NMFS received one public comment on the proposed rule, which is addressed later in this preamble. This final rule is implemented under the authority of the TCA (16 U.S.C. 951 et seq.), which directs the Secretary of Commerce, after approval by the Secretary of State, to promulgate regulations as necessary to implement resolutions adopted by the IATTC. The Secretary of Commerce has delegated this authority to NMFS. Additional background information on the IATTC, the international obligations of the United States as a member of the IATTC, and the need for regulations to manage the Pacific Bluefin tuna stock was included in the proposed rule and is not repeated in this rule. New Regulations for Commercial Pacific Bluefin Tuna for 2021 This final rule establishes catch and trip limits for U.S. commercial fishing vessels that catch Pacific bluefin tuna in the Convention Area and a landing receipt submission deadline for buyers of Pacific bluefin tuna during 2021. This final rule also implements procedures for notice of inseason actions to reduce trip limits or close the fishery. This final rule does not extend to 2021 the pre-trip notification requirement that was in effect for 2019–2020. Annual Catch and Trip Limits In 2021, the catch limit for the entire U.S. fleet is 425 metric tons (mt). The initial trip limit for 2021 is 20 mt. If cumulative catch reaches certain amounts depending on the quarter of the year, NMFS will impose an intermediate 15 mt trip limit, and a lower 2 mt trip limit through the end of the year, or until the annual catch limit is met and the fishery is closed, as follows: 1 The Convention Area is defined as waters of the EPO within the area bounded by the west coast of the Americas and by 50° N latitude, 150° W longitude, and 50° S latitude. VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:24 Mar 26, 2021 Jkt 253001 • January–March: If cumulative catch reaches 250 mt, then the trip limit is reduced to 15 mt; and if cumulative catch reaches 325 mt, then the trip limit is reduced to 2 mt for the remainder of the year or until the annual catch limit is met and the fishery is closed. • April–June: If cumulative catch reaches 275 mt, then the trip limit is reduced to 15 mt; and if cumulative catch reaches 350 mt, then the trip limit is reduced to 2 mt for the remainder of the year or until the annual catch limit is met and the fishery is closed. • July–September: If cumulative catch reaches 300 mt, then the trip limit is reduced to 15 mt; and if cumulative catch reaches 375 mt, then the trip limit is reduced 2 mt for the remainder of the year or until the annual catch limit is met and the fishery is closed. • October–December: If cumulative catch reaches 325 mt, then the trip limit is reduced to 15 mt; and if cumulative catch reaches 375 mt, then the trip limit is reduced to 2 mt for the remainder of the year or until the annual catch limit is met and the fishery is closed. Landing Receipt Submission Deadline Under California law and regulations, electronic landing receipts (i.e., e-tickets) are required for landings in California and are required to be submitted to the California Department of Fish and Wildlife within 3 business days (see California Fish and Game Code section 8046 and 14 California Code of Regulations section 197). Under this final rule, e-tickets are required to be submitted within 24 hours if any Pacific bluefin tuna is included in a landing into California. This accelerated submission deadline is required in order to better monitor catch limits. NMFS will estimate when the overall catch is expected to reach the thresholds to reduce the trip limit (i.e., from 20 mt to 15 mt, or from 15 mt to 2 mt) or the annual limit based on available fishery information, such as landing receipts. NMFS will then make decisions on inseason actions based on those estimates. NMFS encourages owners or operators of purse seine vessels to call NMFS at 562–432–1850 in advance of landing with an estimate of how much Pacific bluefin tuna was caught on the trip. Inseason Action Announcements Inseason actions to reduce trip limits will be imposed by NMFS, effective upon the time and date that appears in a notice on the NMFS website (https:// www.fisheries.noaa.gov/west-coast/ sustainable-fisheries/pacific-bluefintuna-commercial-harvest-status). Inseason actions will also be announced PO 00000 Frm 00018 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 over a United States Coast Guard (USCG) Notice to Mariners broadcast three times per day for 4 days on USCG channel 16 VHF. NMFS will then publish a notice of the reduced trip limit in the Federal Register as soon as practicable. In 2021, if NMFS determines that cumulative catch is expected to be 250 mt during January–March, 275 mt during April–June, 300 mt during July– September, or 325mt during October– December (based on landing receipts or other available information), a 15-mt trip limit will be imposed by NMFS using the inseason action procedures described in the previous paragraph. In 2021, if NMFS determines that cumulative catch is expected to be 325 mt during January–March, 350 mt during April–June, or 375 mt during July–December, a 2-mt trip limit will be imposed by NMFS using the inseason action procedures described previously. When NMFS determines that the 2021 catch limit is expected to be reached (based on landings receipts or other available fishery information), NMFS will prohibit U.S. commercial fishing vessels from targeting, retaining, transshipping, or landing Pacific bluefin tuna captured in the Convention Area for the remainder of the calendar year (i.e., fishery closure). NMFS will provide a notice on the NMFS website and the USCG will provide a Notice to Mariners three times per day for 4 days on USCG channel 16 VHF announcing that targeting, retaining, transshipping, or landing of Pacific bluefin tuna captured in the Convention Area will be prohibited on a specified effective time and date through the end of that calendar year. Upon that effective date, a commercial fishing vessel of the United States may not be used to target, retain on board, transship, or land Pacific bluefin tuna captured in the Convention Area. However, any Pacific bluefin tuna already on board a fishing vessel on the effective date could be retained on board, transshipped, and/or landed within 14 days of the effective date, to the extent authorized by applicable laws and regulations. NMFS will then publish a notice of the fishery closure in the Federal Register as soon as practicable. In the event the trip limit was reduced early or the fishery was closed due to an overestimation of catch, NMFS could reverse immediately the prior inseason action to increase the trip limit or re-open the fishery after landing receipts have been received and the landed catch quantity confirmed. NMFS will announce these actions on the NMFS website and by USCG Notice to Mariners on USCG channel 16 VHF. E:\FR\FM\29MRR1.SGM 29MRR1 Federal Register / Vol. 86, No. 58 / Monday, March 29, 2021 / Rules and Regulations Catch Reporting NMFS will provide updates on Pacific bluefin tuna catches in the Convention Area to the public via the NMFS website: https://www.fisheries.noaa.gov/ west-coast/sustainable-fisheries/pacificbluefin-tuna-commercial-harvest-status. NMFS will update the NMFS website provided the updates do not disclose confidential information (in accordance with Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act section 402(b), 16 U.S.C. 1881a(b)). These updates are intended to help participants in the U.S. commercial fishery plan for reduced trip limits and attainment of the annual limits. Public Comment and Response NMFS received one comment on the proposed rule. The commenter urged NMFS to consider including a pre-trip notification that was part of the 2019– 2020 Pacific bluefin tuna regulations in the final rule for 2021. The commenter cited events in 2017 during which the United States exceeded its commercial Pacific bluefin tuna catch limit to argue that the management scheme proposed, without the pre-trip notification, could lead the United States to exceed its limits again. NMFS notes that the Pacific Fishery Management Council (Council), the Council’s advisory bodies, and NMFS considered the events in 2017, as well as 2019–2020 management approach with the pre-trip notification. As indicated by the Council’s highly migratory species advisory bodies at the November 2020 Council meeting, the pre-trip notification did not provide an accurate estimate of catch on which to base inseason action. The pre-trip notification was also considered burdensome by the fleet. As noted in the proposed rule, the pre-trip notification and associated assumptions led NMFS to take inseason action too early in 2019, requiring a reversal. Additionally, there are a few notable differences between the management scheme implemented in this final rule and the management scheme in place in 2017. First, e-tickets are required within 24 hours of a Pacific bluefin tuna landing (this requirement was first implemented in 2019). Second, procedures are in place to announce inseason actions on the NMFS website, which allows for quicker implementation of the inseason action (this requirement was also first implemented in 2019). And third, the initial trip limit of 20 mt is lower than the 25-mt trip limit in 2017. NMFS is confident that the adaptive management measures implemented in this final rule will allow for operational flexibility VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:24 Mar 26, 2021 Jkt 253001 while maintaining catches within limits, without the pre-trip notification. Classification The NMFS Assistant Administrator has determined that this rule is consistent with the Tuna Conventions Act and other applicable laws. This rule has been determined to be not significant for purposes of Executive Order 12866. Good Cause To Shorten Delay in Effective Date Under section 553(d) of the Administrative Procedure Act, an agency must delay the effective date of regulations for 30 days after publication, unless the agency finds good cause to make the regulations effective sooner. The NOAA Assistant Administrator for Fisheries has determined that good cause exists to make this rule effective 7 days after publication. A stock assessment completed in July 2020 by the International Scientific Committee for Tuna and Tuna-like Species in the North Pacific Ocean showed that Pacific bluefin tuna is overfished and subject to overfishing when compared to commonly used reference points; NMFS subsequently concurred with the assessment (86 FR 9910, February 17, 2021). The main objective of IATTC Resolution C–20–02 is to reduce overfishing and aid in rebuilding of the stock by setting limits on catch in the Convention Area during 2021. As a member of the IATTC, the United States is legally bound to implement that Resolution. In recent years, Pacific bluefin tuna have remained in significant numbers in waters off of southern California, and U.S. commercial vessels currently have a greater opportunity to fish for Pacific bluefin tuna off of the U.S West Coast than in previous years. If the trip limits implemented by this rule were subject to the 30-day delay in effectiveness, and taking into account that a single trip could catch up to 75 mt (nearly four times the initial 20-mt trip limit), there is potential for a derby-style fishery that would result in exceeding the 425-mt catch limit for 2021 before this rule goes into effect. Delaying the effective date of this rule for a full 30 days after publication would therefore be contrary to the public’s interest in ensuring conservation of Pacific bluefin tuna stock in the EPO. Such a delay would also be contrary to the public’s interest in ensuring the United States is in compliance with its international obligations to implement the catch limits in IATTC Resolution C–20–02. Although justification exists to make the rule effective immediately upon PO 00000 Frm 00019 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 16305 publication, NMFS is implementing a 7day delay in effectiveness to provide sufficient time for currently-operating vessels to comply with the new regulations. Seven days is sufficient because vessels that target Pacific bluefin tuna in large quantities (i.e., purse seine vessels) typically complete their fishing trips within 1 to 2 days. Therefore, to conserve Pacific bluefin tuna, which are overfished, and to remain in compliance with IATTC Resolution C–20–02, NMFS has determined that making these measures effective 7 days after publication in the Federal Register is in the public’s interest. As soon as the rule is published, additional notice will be given to fishery participants through an email sent to the IATTC distribution list. Regulatory Flexibility Act The Chief Counsel for Regulation of the Department of Commerce certified to the Chief Counsel for Advocacy of the Small Business Administration during the proposed rule stage that, for purposes of the Regulatory Flexibility Act, this action would not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. The factual basis for the certification was published in the proposed rule and is not repeated here. No information received during the public comment period changes the action from the proposed rule or NMFS’ analysis. Therefore, the initial certification published with the proposed rule—that this rule is not expected to have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities— remains unchanged. As a result, a regulatory flexibility analysis was not required and none was prepared. Paperwork Reduction Act This rule contains revisions to a collection-of-information requirement subject to review and approval by OMB under the Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA). These revisions have been submitted to OMB for approval. This rule revises the existing requirements for the collection of information 0648– 0778 by removing the pre-trip notification requirement. This reduces the number of respondents and anticipated number of responses, reducing the burden by an estimated 4.55 hours. Public reporting burden for e-ticket submission is estimated to average 0 hours because the submission will already be required by the California Code of Regulations. The voluntary pre-landing notification is estimated to average 2.55 hours, including the time for reviewing E:\FR\FM\29MRR1.SGM 29MRR1 16306 Federal Register / Vol. 86, No. 58 / Monday, March 29, 2021 / Rules and Regulations instructions, searching existing data sources, gathering and maintaining the data needed, and completing and reviewing the collection of information. We invite the general public and other Federal agencies to comment on proposed and continuing information collections, which helps us assess the impact of our information collection requirements and minimize the public’s reporting burden. Written comments and recommendations for this information collection should be submitted at the following website www.reginfo.gov/public/do/PRAMain. Find this particular information collection by using the search function and entering either the title of the collection or the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Control Number 0648–0778. Notwithstanding any other provision of the law, no person is required to respond to, nor shall any person be subject to a penalty for failure to comply with, a collection of information subject to the requirements of the PRA, unless that collection of information displays a currently valid OMB Control Number. List of Subjects in 50 CFR Part 300 Administrative practice and procedure, Fish, Fisheries, Fishing, Marine resources, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements, Treaties. Dated: March 23, 2021. Samuel D. Rauch, III, Deputy Assistant Administrator for Regulatory Programs, National Marine Fisheries Service. For the reasons set out in the preamble, 50 CFR part 300 is amended as follows: PART 300—INTERNATIONAL FISHERIES REGULATIONS Subpart C—Eastern Pacific Tuna Fisheries 1. The authority citation for part 300, subpart C, continues to read as follows: ■ Authority: 16 U.S.C. 951 et seq. 2. In § 300.24, revise paragraph (u) to read as follows: ■ § 300.24 Prohibitions. * * * * * (u) Use a United States commercial fishing vessel in the Convention Area to target, retain on board, transship, or land Pacific bluefin tuna in contravention of § 300.25(g)(2) through (4) and (7). * * * * * ■ 3. In § 300.25, revise paragraph (g) to read as follows: VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:24 Mar 26, 2021 Jkt 253001 § 300.25 Fisheries management. * * * * * (g) Pacific bluefin tuna (Thunnus orientalis) commercial catch limits in the eastern Pacific Ocean for 2021. The following is applicable to the U.S. commercial fishery for Pacific bluefin tuna in the Convention Area in the year 2021. (1) All commercial fishing vessels of the United States combined may capture, retain, transship, or land no more than 425 metric tons. (2) A 20-metric ton trip limit will be in effect until any of the following criteria are met: (i) If NMFS anticipates cumulative catch will reach 250 metric tons during January through March, a 15-metric ton trip limit will be in effect upon the effective date provided in the actual notice, in accordance with paragraph (g)(6) of this section. If NMFS anticipates cumulative catch will reach 325 metric tons during January through March, a 2-metric ton trip limit will be in effect upon the effective date provided in the actual notice, in accordance with paragraph (g)(6) of this section. (ii) If NMFS anticipates cumulative catch will reach 275 metric tons during April through June, a 15-metric ton trip limit will be in effect upon the effective date provided in the actual notice, in accordance with paragraph (g)(6) of this section. If NMFS anticipates cumulative catch will reach 350 metric tons during April through June, a 2-metric ton trip limit will be in effect upon the effective date provided in the actual notice, in accordance with paragraph (g)(6) of this section. (iii) If NMFS anticipates cumulative catch will reach 300 metric tons during July through September, a 15-metric ton trip limit will be in effect upon the effective date provided in the actual notice, in accordance with paragraph (g)(6) of this section. If NMFS anticipates cumulative catch will reach 375 metric tons during July through September, a 2-metric ton trip limit will be in effect upon the effective date provided in the actual notice, in accordance with paragraph (g)(6) of this section. (iv) If NMFS anticipates cumulative catch will reach 325 metric tons during October through December, a 15-metric ton trip limit will be in effect upon the effective date provided in the actual notice, in accordance with paragraph (g)(6) of this section. If NMFS anticipates cumulative catch will reach 375 metric tons during October through December, a 2-metric ton trip limit will be in effect upon the effective date provided in the actual notice, in PO 00000 Frm 00020 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 accordance with paragraph (g)(6) of this section. (3) After NMFS determines that the catch limit under paragraph (g)(1) of this section is expected to be reached, NMFS will close the fishery effective upon the date provided in the actual notice, in accordance with paragraph (g)(6) of this section. Upon the effective date in the actual notice, targeting, retaining on board, transshipping, or landing Pacific bluefin tuna captured in the Convention Area shall be prohibited as described in paragraph (g)(4) of this section. (4) Beginning on the date provided in the actual notice of the fishing closure announced under paragraph (g)(3) of this section, a commercial fishing vessel of the United States may not be used to target, retain on board, transship, or land Pacific bluefin tuna captured in the Convention Area through the end of the calendar year. Any Pacific bluefin tuna already on board a fishing vessel on the effective date of the notice may be retained on board, transshipped, and/or landed within 14 days after the effective date published in the fishing closure notice, to the extent authorized by applicable laws and regulations. (5) If an inseason action taken under paragraph (g)(2), (3), or (4) of this section is based on overestimate of actual catch, NMFS will reverse that action in the timeliest possible manner, provided NMFS finds that reversing that action is consistent with the management objectives for the affected species. The fishery will reopen effective on the date provided in the actual notice in accordance with paragraph (g)(6) of this section. (6) Inseason actions taken under paragraphs (g)(2), (3), (4), and (5) of this section will be by actual notice from posting on the NMFS website (https:// www.fisheries.noaa.gov/west-coast/ sustainable-fisheries/pacific-bluefintuna-commercial-harvest-status) and a United States Coast Guard Notice to Mariners. The Notice to Mariners will be broadcast three times daily for 4 days. This action will also be published in the Federal Register as soon as practicable. Inseason actions will be effective from the time specified in the actual notice of the action (i.e., website posting and United States Coast Guard Notice to Mariners), or at the time the inseason action published in the Federal Register is effective, whichever comes first. (7) If landing Pacific bluefin tuna into the State of California, fish landing receipts must be submitted to the California Department of Fish and Wildlife in accordance with the requirements of applicable State law and regulations, with the exception that E:\FR\FM\29MRR1.SGM 29MRR1 Federal Register / Vol. 86, No. 58 / Monday, March 29, 2021 / Rules and Regulations [Docket No. 210324–0064] www.regulations.gov without change. All personal identifying information (e.g., name, address, etc.), confidential business information, or otherwise sensitive information submitted voluntarily by the sender will be publicly accessible. NMFS will accept anonymous comments (enter ‘‘N/A’’ in the required fields if you wish to remain anonymous). FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Wendy Morrison at 301–427–8564. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: RIN 0648–BK33 Background the submission must occur within 24 hours of landing. [FR Doc. 2021–06333 Filed 3–26–21; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510–22–P DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration 50 CFR Part 600 Extension of Emergency Measures To Address Fishery Observer Coverage During the Coronavirus Pandemic National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Commerce. ACTION: Temporary rule; interim final action; request for comments. AGENCY: NMFS promulgates this interim final rule to revise the termination date of an emergency action that provides authority to waive observer coverage requirements. NMFS is taking this action to address public health concerns that relate to the ongoing Coronavirus (COVID–19) pandemic. The intended effect of the interim final rule is to provide NMFS with continued authority to waive observer coverage requirements when such action is necessary because of the COVID–19 public health emergency and mitigation measures taken in response to it. This interim final rule will also provide NMFS with continued authority to waive some training or other program requirements to ensure that as many observers as possible are available for deployment while ensuring their safety and health and that of observer program staff who train observers. DATES: Effective March 27, 2021, through March 26, 2022. Comments must be received by May 28, 2021. ADDRESSES: You may submit comments on this document by using an electronic submission via the Federal e-Rulemaking portal. Go to https:// www.regulations.gov and enter ‘‘NOAA– NMFS–2021–0011’’ in the Search box. Click on the ‘‘Comment’’ icon, complete the required fields, and enter or attach your comments. Comments sent by any other method, to any other address or individual, or received after the end of the comment period, may not be considered by NMFS. All comments received are a part of the public record and will generally be posted for public viewing on SUMMARY: VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:24 Mar 26, 2021 Jkt 253001 NMFS promulgated emergency observer waiver rulemaking in response to the COVID–19 pandemic on March 27, 2020 (85 FR 17285). That initial emergency action, hereafter referred to as the Observer Waiver Rule, was taken under the authority of the MagnusonStevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (MSA) emergency rulemaking authority at section 305(c)(3), 16 U.S.C. 1855(c)(3), and was effective for 180 days. The Observer Waiver Rule authorized waiver of observer coverage and training and some other program requirements. On September 21, 2020, due to the ongoing pandemic, NMFS extended the effectiveness of the Observer Waiver Rule for 186 days, or until March 26, 2021, as allowed under MSA section 305(c)(3)(B). 85 FR 59199. In promulgating the initial Observer Waiver Rule and extension, NMFS stated that if there was a need to continue waiver measures beyond March 26, 2021, it would further extend the Observer Waiver Rule. MSA section 305(c)(3)(C) authorizes NMFS to promulgate an emergency regulation that responds to a public health emergency. In this situation, the emergency regulation may remain in effect until the circumstances that created the emergency no longer exist, provided that the public has an opportunity to comment after the regulation is published and that the Secretary of Health and Human Services concurs with the action. 16 U.S.C. 1855(c)(3)(C). Given the ongoing COVID–19 pandemic concerns and issues (expected to continue through at least mid-year 2021), the continued national and local declarations of emergency, and guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, NMFS has determined that an extension of the Observer Waiver Rule is needed. Therefore, this interim final rule revises the termination date of the Observer Waiver Rule to March 26, 2022, or until the Secretary of Health PO 00000 Frm 00021 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 16307 and Human Services (HHS) determines that the COVID–19 Pandemic is no longer a public health emergency, whichever is earlier. In the event of the latter case, NMFS will publish a notice of termination in the Federal Register for the Observer Waiver Rule as quickly as practicable following the declaration by the Secretary of HHS. 16 U.S.C. 1855(c)(3)(D). If such notice of termination were issued, NMFS does not intend to take additional public comment, as public comment on this rule will have been considered. In addition, if a notice of termination were issued, NMFS intends to delay the effectiveness of the termination, providing NMFS the authority to waive observer coverage for an additional 30 days. The Secretary of HHS, by memo dated February 25, 2021, concurs with the extension of the Observer Waiver Rule. NMFS solicits public comment on this interim final rule through May 28, 2021, and will take into consideration any comments received as it evaluates whether any modifications to this interim final rule are needed. This interim final rule only revises the termination date of the Observer Waiver Rule and does not change the waiver criteria. See the Extension of Emergency Management Measures section below for the criteria. For further background, see the Observer Waiver Rule, 85 FR 17285 (March 27, 2020), and extension, 85 FR 59199 (September 21, 2020), which includes responses to comments on the initial rule. This interim final rule will continue to advance the protection of and to promote public health and the safety of fishermen, observers, and other parties who may come in contact with those persons. NMFS will continue to consider applicable law and international obligations when making decisions about observer coverage waivers. In issuing such waivers to date, NMFS has carefully monitored the status of the fishery and/or protected species that were being observed or monitored to ensure that the relevant conservation and management goals are still being met. NMFS is committed to maintaining the sustainable use of our marine resources, protecting endangered species, marine mammals, and seabirds, and providing seafood to the country during the ongoing COVID–19 pandemic. NMFS has and will continue to consider applicable law (e.g., the Endangered Species Act and other statutes noted in the Classification section below) and international obligations when prioritizing observer coverage and making decisions about observer coverage waivers. NMFS has E:\FR\FM\29MRR1.SGM 29MRR1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 86, Number 58 (Monday, March 29, 2021)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 16303-16307]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2021-06333]


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DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

50 CFR Part 300

[Docket No. 210322-0062]
RIN 0648-BJ26


International Fisheries; Pacific Tuna Fisheries; 2021 Commercial 
Fishing Restrictions for Pacific Bluefin Tuna in the Eastern Pacific 
Ocean

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

ACTION: Final rule.

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SUMMARY: NMFS is issuing regulations under the Tuna Conventions Act of 
1950, as amended (TCA), to implement Inter-American Tropical Tuna 
Commission (IATTC) Resolution C-20-02 (``Measures for the Conservation 
and Management of Bluefin Tuna in the Eastern Pacific Ocean, 2021''). 
This rule implements annual limits on commercial catch of Pacific 
bluefin tuna (Thunnus orientalis) in the eastern Pacific Ocean (EPO) 
for 2021. This action is necessary to conserve Pacific bluefin tuna and 
for the United States to satisfy its obligations as a member of the 
IATTC.

DATES: The final rule is effective April 5, 2021.

ADDRESSES: Written comments regarding the burden-hour estimates or 
other aspects of the collection-of-information requirements contained 
in this rule may be submitted to www.reginfo.gov/public/do/PRAMain. 
Find this particular information collection by using the search 
function and entering either the title of the collection or the OMB 
Control Number 0648-0778.
    Copies of the draft Regulatory Impact Review (RIR) and other 
supporting documents are available via the Federal eRulemaking Portal: 
https://www.regulations.gov, docket NOAA-NMFS-2020-0163 or contact the 
Highly Migratory Species Branch Chief, Lyle Enriquez, 501 W Ocean 
Blvd., Suite

[[Page 16304]]

4200, Long Beach, CA 90802, or [email protected].

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Celia Barroso, NMFS, 562-432-1850, 
[email protected].

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: 

Background

    On January 5, 2021, NMFS published a proposed rule in the Federal 
Register to revise regulations at 50 CFR part 300, subpart C, for the 
commercial catch of Pacific bluefin tuna applicable to U.S. commercial 
fishing vessels in the IATTC Convention Area (Convention Area) \1\ in 
2021 (86 FR 279). The comment period was open for 30 days. NMFS 
received one public comment on the proposed rule, which is addressed 
later in this preamble.
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    \1\ The Convention Area is defined as waters of the EPO within 
the area bounded by the west coast of the Americas and by 50[deg] N 
latitude, 150[deg] W longitude, and 50[deg] S latitude.
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    This final rule is implemented under the authority of the TCA (16 
U.S.C. 951 et seq.), which directs the Secretary of Commerce, after 
approval by the Secretary of State, to promulgate regulations as 
necessary to implement resolutions adopted by the IATTC. The Secretary 
of Commerce has delegated this authority to NMFS.
    Additional background information on the IATTC, the international 
obligations of the United States as a member of the IATTC, and the need 
for regulations to manage the Pacific Bluefin tuna stock was included 
in the proposed rule and is not repeated in this rule.

New Regulations for Commercial Pacific Bluefin Tuna for 2021

    This final rule establishes catch and trip limits for U.S. 
commercial fishing vessels that catch Pacific bluefin tuna in the 
Convention Area and a landing receipt submission deadline for buyers of 
Pacific bluefin tuna during 2021. This final rule also implements 
procedures for notice of inseason actions to reduce trip limits or 
close the fishery. This final rule does not extend to 2021 the pre-trip 
notification requirement that was in effect for 2019-2020.

Annual Catch and Trip Limits

    In 2021, the catch limit for the entire U.S. fleet is 425 metric 
tons (mt). The initial trip limit for 2021 is 20 mt. If cumulative 
catch reaches certain amounts depending on the quarter of the year, 
NMFS will impose an intermediate 15 mt trip limit, and a lower 2 mt 
trip limit through the end of the year, or until the annual catch limit 
is met and the fishery is closed, as follows:
     January-March: If cumulative catch reaches 250 mt, then 
the trip limit is reduced to 15 mt; and if cumulative catch reaches 325 
mt, then the trip limit is reduced to 2 mt for the remainder of the 
year or until the annual catch limit is met and the fishery is closed.
     April-June: If cumulative catch reaches 275 mt, then the 
trip limit is reduced to 15 mt; and if cumulative catch reaches 350 mt, 
then the trip limit is reduced to 2 mt for the remainder of the year or 
until the annual catch limit is met and the fishery is closed.
     July-September: If cumulative catch reaches 300 mt, then 
the trip limit is reduced to 15 mt; and if cumulative catch reaches 375 
mt, then the trip limit is reduced 2 mt for the remainder of the year 
or until the annual catch limit is met and the fishery is closed.
     October-December: If cumulative catch reaches 325 mt, then 
the trip limit is reduced to 15 mt; and if cumulative catch reaches 375 
mt, then the trip limit is reduced to 2 mt for the remainder of the 
year or until the annual catch limit is met and the fishery is closed.

Landing Receipt Submission Deadline

    Under California law and regulations, electronic landing receipts 
(i.e., e-tickets) are required for landings in California and are 
required to be submitted to the California Department of Fish and 
Wildlife within 3 business days (see California Fish and Game Code 
section 8046 and 14 California Code of Regulations section 197). Under 
this final rule, e-tickets are required to be submitted within 24 hours 
if any Pacific bluefin tuna is included in a landing into California. 
This accelerated submission deadline is required in order to better 
monitor catch limits.
    NMFS will estimate when the overall catch is expected to reach the 
thresholds to reduce the trip limit (i.e., from 20 mt to 15 mt, or from 
15 mt to 2 mt) or the annual limit based on available fishery 
information, such as landing receipts. NMFS will then make decisions on 
inseason actions based on those estimates. NMFS encourages owners or 
operators of purse seine vessels to call NMFS at 562-432-1850 in 
advance of landing with an estimate of how much Pacific bluefin tuna 
was caught on the trip.

Inseason Action Announcements

    Inseason actions to reduce trip limits will be imposed by NMFS, 
effective upon the time and date that appears in a notice on the NMFS 
website (https://www.fisheries.noaa.gov/west-coast/sustainable-fisheries/pacific-bluefin-tuna-commercial-harvest-status). Inseason 
actions will also be announced over a United States Coast Guard (USCG) 
Notice to Mariners broadcast three times per day for 4 days on USCG 
channel 16 VHF. NMFS will then publish a notice of the reduced trip 
limit in the Federal Register as soon as practicable.
    In 2021, if NMFS determines that cumulative catch is expected to be 
250 mt during January-March, 275 mt during April-June, 300 mt during 
July-September, or 325mt during October-December (based on landing 
receipts or other available information), a 15-mt trip limit will be 
imposed by NMFS using the inseason action procedures described in the 
previous paragraph.
    In 2021, if NMFS determines that cumulative catch is expected to be 
325 mt during January-March, 350 mt during April-June, or 375 mt during 
July-December, a 2-mt trip limit will be imposed by NMFS using the 
inseason action procedures described previously.
    When NMFS determines that the 2021 catch limit is expected to be 
reached (based on landings receipts or other available fishery 
information), NMFS will prohibit U.S. commercial fishing vessels from 
targeting, retaining, transshipping, or landing Pacific bluefin tuna 
captured in the Convention Area for the remainder of the calendar year 
(i.e., fishery closure). NMFS will provide a notice on the NMFS website 
and the USCG will provide a Notice to Mariners three times per day for 
4 days on USCG channel 16 VHF announcing that targeting, retaining, 
transshipping, or landing of Pacific bluefin tuna captured in the 
Convention Area will be prohibited on a specified effective time and 
date through the end of that calendar year. Upon that effective date, a 
commercial fishing vessel of the United States may not be used to 
target, retain on board, transship, or land Pacific bluefin tuna 
captured in the Convention Area. However, any Pacific bluefin tuna 
already on board a fishing vessel on the effective date could be 
retained on board, transshipped, and/or landed within 14 days of the 
effective date, to the extent authorized by applicable laws and 
regulations. NMFS will then publish a notice of the fishery closure in 
the Federal Register as soon as practicable. In the event the trip 
limit was reduced early or the fishery was closed due to an 
overestimation of catch, NMFS could reverse immediately the prior 
inseason action to increase the trip limit or re-open the fishery after 
landing receipts have been received and the landed catch quantity 
confirmed. NMFS will announce these actions on the NMFS website and by 
USCG Notice to Mariners on USCG channel 16 VHF.

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Catch Reporting

    NMFS will provide updates on Pacific bluefin tuna catches in the 
Convention Area to the public via the NMFS website: https://www.fisheries.noaa.gov/west-coast/sustainable-fisheries/pacific-bluefin-tuna-commercial-harvest-status. NMFS will update the NMFS 
website provided the updates do not disclose confidential information 
(in accordance with Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and 
Management Act section 402(b), 16 U.S.C. 1881a(b)). These updates are 
intended to help participants in the U.S. commercial fishery plan for 
reduced trip limits and attainment of the annual limits.

Public Comment and Response

    NMFS received one comment on the proposed rule. The commenter urged 
NMFS to consider including a pre-trip notification that was part of the 
2019-2020 Pacific bluefin tuna regulations in the final rule for 2021. 
The commenter cited events in 2017 during which the United States 
exceeded its commercial Pacific bluefin tuna catch limit to argue that 
the management scheme proposed, without the pre-trip notification, 
could lead the United States to exceed its limits again. NMFS notes 
that the Pacific Fishery Management Council (Council), the Council's 
advisory bodies, and NMFS considered the events in 2017, as well as 
2019-2020 management approach with the pre-trip notification. As 
indicated by the Council's highly migratory species advisory bodies at 
the November 2020 Council meeting, the pre-trip notification did not 
provide an accurate estimate of catch on which to base inseason action. 
The pre-trip notification was also considered burdensome by the fleet. 
As noted in the proposed rule, the pre-trip notification and associated 
assumptions led NMFS to take inseason action too early in 2019, 
requiring a reversal. Additionally, there are a few notable differences 
between the management scheme implemented in this final rule and the 
management scheme in place in 2017. First, e-tickets are required 
within 24 hours of a Pacific bluefin tuna landing (this requirement was 
first implemented in 2019). Second, procedures are in place to announce 
inseason actions on the NMFS website, which allows for quicker 
implementation of the inseason action (this requirement was also first 
implemented in 2019). And third, the initial trip limit of 20 mt is 
lower than the 25-mt trip limit in 2017. NMFS is confident that the 
adaptive management measures implemented in this final rule will allow 
for operational flexibility while maintaining catches within limits, 
without the pre-trip notification.

Classification

    The NMFS Assistant Administrator has determined that this rule is 
consistent with the Tuna Conventions Act and other applicable laws.
    This rule has been determined to be not significant for purposes of 
Executive Order 12866.

Good Cause To Shorten Delay in Effective Date

    Under section 553(d) of the Administrative Procedure Act, an agency 
must delay the effective date of regulations for 30 days after 
publication, unless the agency finds good cause to make the regulations 
effective sooner. The NOAA Assistant Administrator for Fisheries has 
determined that good cause exists to make this rule effective 7 days 
after publication.
    A stock assessment completed in July 2020 by the International 
Scientific Committee for Tuna and Tuna-like Species in the North 
Pacific Ocean showed that Pacific bluefin tuna is overfished and 
subject to overfishing when compared to commonly used reference points; 
NMFS subsequently concurred with the assessment (86 FR 9910, February 
17, 2021). The main objective of IATTC Resolution C-20-02 is to reduce 
overfishing and aid in rebuilding of the stock by setting limits on 
catch in the Convention Area during 2021. As a member of the IATTC, the 
United States is legally bound to implement that Resolution.
    In recent years, Pacific bluefin tuna have remained in significant 
numbers in waters off of southern California, and U.S. commercial 
vessels currently have a greater opportunity to fish for Pacific 
bluefin tuna off of the U.S West Coast than in previous years. If the 
trip limits implemented by this rule were subject to the 30-day delay 
in effectiveness, and taking into account that a single trip could 
catch up to 75 mt (nearly four times the initial 20-mt trip limit), 
there is potential for a derby-style fishery that would result in 
exceeding the 425-mt catch limit for 2021 before this rule goes into 
effect. Delaying the effective date of this rule for a full 30 days 
after publication would therefore be contrary to the public's interest 
in ensuring conservation of Pacific bluefin tuna stock in the EPO. Such 
a delay would also be contrary to the public's interest in ensuring the 
United States is in compliance with its international obligations to 
implement the catch limits in IATTC Resolution C-20-02.
    Although justification exists to make the rule effective 
immediately upon publication, NMFS is implementing a 7-day delay in 
effectiveness to provide sufficient time for currently-operating 
vessels to comply with the new regulations. Seven days is sufficient 
because vessels that target Pacific bluefin tuna in large quantities 
(i.e., purse seine vessels) typically complete their fishing trips 
within 1 to 2 days. Therefore, to conserve Pacific bluefin tuna, which 
are overfished, and to remain in compliance with IATTC Resolution C-20-
02, NMFS has determined that making these measures effective 7 days 
after publication in the Federal Register is in the public's interest. 
As soon as the rule is published, additional notice will be given to 
fishery participants through an email sent to the IATTC distribution 
list.

Regulatory Flexibility Act

    The Chief Counsel for Regulation of the Department of Commerce 
certified to the Chief Counsel for Advocacy of the Small Business 
Administration during the proposed rule stage that, for purposes of the 
Regulatory Flexibility Act, this action would not have a significant 
economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. The factual 
basis for the certification was published in the proposed rule and is 
not repeated here. No information received during the public comment 
period changes the action from the proposed rule or NMFS' analysis. 
Therefore, the initial certification published with the proposed rule--
that this rule is not expected to have a significant economic impact on 
a substantial number of small entities--remains unchanged. As a result, 
a regulatory flexibility analysis was not required and none was 
prepared.

Paperwork Reduction Act

    This rule contains revisions to a collection-of-information 
requirement subject to review and approval by OMB under the Paperwork 
Reduction Act (PRA). These revisions have been submitted to OMB for 
approval. This rule revises the existing requirements for the 
collection of information 0648-0778 by removing the pre-trip 
notification requirement. This reduces the number of respondents and 
anticipated number of responses, reducing the burden by an estimated 
4.55 hours. Public reporting burden for e-ticket submission is 
estimated to average 0 hours because the submission will already be 
required by the California Code of Regulations. The voluntary pre-
landing notification is estimated to average 2.55 hours, including the 
time for reviewing

[[Page 16306]]

instructions, searching existing data sources, gathering and 
maintaining the data needed, and completing and reviewing the 
collection of information.
    We invite the general public and other Federal agencies to comment 
on proposed and continuing information collections, which helps us 
assess the impact of our information collection requirements and 
minimize the public's reporting burden. Written comments and 
recommendations for this information collection should be submitted at 
the following website www.reginfo.gov/public/do/PRAMain. Find this 
particular information collection by using the search function and 
entering either the title of the collection or the Office of Management 
and Budget (OMB) Control Number 0648-0778.
    Notwithstanding any other provision of the law, no person is 
required to respond to, nor shall any person be subject to a penalty 
for failure to comply with, a collection of information subject to the 
requirements of the PRA, unless that collection of information displays 
a currently valid OMB Control Number.

List of Subjects in 50 CFR Part 300

    Administrative practice and procedure, Fish, Fisheries, Fishing, 
Marine resources, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements, Treaties.

    Dated: March 23, 2021.
Samuel D. Rauch, III,
Deputy Assistant Administrator for Regulatory Programs, National Marine 
Fisheries Service.

    For the reasons set out in the preamble, 50 CFR part 300 is amended 
as follows:

PART 300--INTERNATIONAL FISHERIES REGULATIONS

Subpart C--Eastern Pacific Tuna Fisheries

0
1. The authority citation for part 300, subpart C, continues to read as 
follows:

    Authority: 16 U.S.C. 951 et seq.


0
2. In Sec.  300.24, revise paragraph (u) to read as follows:


Sec.  300.24   Prohibitions.

* * * * *
    (u) Use a United States commercial fishing vessel in the Convention 
Area to target, retain on board, transship, or land Pacific bluefin 
tuna in contravention of Sec.  300.25(g)(2) through (4) and (7).
* * * * *

0
3. In Sec.  300.25, revise paragraph (g) to read as follows:


Sec.  300.25  Fisheries management.

* * * * *
    (g) Pacific bluefin tuna (Thunnus orientalis) commercial catch 
limits in the eastern Pacific Ocean for 2021. The following is 
applicable to the U.S. commercial fishery for Pacific bluefin tuna in 
the Convention Area in the year 2021.
    (1) All commercial fishing vessels of the United States combined 
may capture, retain, transship, or land no more than 425 metric tons.
    (2) A 20-metric ton trip limit will be in effect until any of the 
following criteria are met:
    (i) If NMFS anticipates cumulative catch will reach 250 metric tons 
during January through March, a 15-metric ton trip limit will be in 
effect upon the effective date provided in the actual notice, in 
accordance with paragraph (g)(6) of this section. If NMFS anticipates 
cumulative catch will reach 325 metric tons during January through 
March, a 2-metric ton trip limit will be in effect upon the effective 
date provided in the actual notice, in accordance with paragraph (g)(6) 
of this section.
    (ii) If NMFS anticipates cumulative catch will reach 275 metric 
tons during April through June, a 15-metric ton trip limit will be in 
effect upon the effective date provided in the actual notice, in 
accordance with paragraph (g)(6) of this section. If NMFS anticipates 
cumulative catch will reach 350 metric tons during April through June, 
a 2-metric ton trip limit will be in effect upon the effective date 
provided in the actual notice, in accordance with paragraph (g)(6) of 
this section.
    (iii) If NMFS anticipates cumulative catch will reach 300 metric 
tons during July through September, a 15-metric ton trip limit will be 
in effect upon the effective date provided in the actual notice, in 
accordance with paragraph (g)(6) of this section. If NMFS anticipates 
cumulative catch will reach 375 metric tons during July through 
September, a 2-metric ton trip limit will be in effect upon the 
effective date provided in the actual notice, in accordance with 
paragraph (g)(6) of this section.
    (iv) If NMFS anticipates cumulative catch will reach 325 metric 
tons during October through December, a 15-metric ton trip limit will 
be in effect upon the effective date provided in the actual notice, in 
accordance with paragraph (g)(6) of this section. If NMFS anticipates 
cumulative catch will reach 375 metric tons during October through 
December, a 2-metric ton trip limit will be in effect upon the 
effective date provided in the actual notice, in accordance with 
paragraph (g)(6) of this section.
    (3) After NMFS determines that the catch limit under paragraph 
(g)(1) of this section is expected to be reached, NMFS will close the 
fishery effective upon the date provided in the actual notice, in 
accordance with paragraph (g)(6) of this section. Upon the effective 
date in the actual notice, targeting, retaining on board, 
transshipping, or landing Pacific bluefin tuna captured in the 
Convention Area shall be prohibited as described in paragraph (g)(4) of 
this section.
    (4) Beginning on the date provided in the actual notice of the 
fishing closure announced under paragraph (g)(3) of this section, a 
commercial fishing vessel of the United States may not be used to 
target, retain on board, transship, or land Pacific bluefin tuna 
captured in the Convention Area through the end of the calendar year. 
Any Pacific bluefin tuna already on board a fishing vessel on the 
effective date of the notice may be retained on board, transshipped, 
and/or landed within 14 days after the effective date published in the 
fishing closure notice, to the extent authorized by applicable laws and 
regulations.
    (5) If an inseason action taken under paragraph (g)(2), (3), or (4) 
of this section is based on overestimate of actual catch, NMFS will 
reverse that action in the timeliest possible manner, provided NMFS 
finds that reversing that action is consistent with the management 
objectives for the affected species. The fishery will reopen effective 
on the date provided in the actual notice in accordance with paragraph 
(g)(6) of this section.
    (6) Inseason actions taken under paragraphs (g)(2), (3), (4), and 
(5) of this section will be by actual notice from posting on the NMFS 
website (https://www.fisheries.noaa.gov/west-coast/sustainable-fisheries/pacific-bluefin-tuna-commercial-harvest-status) and a United 
States Coast Guard Notice to Mariners. The Notice to Mariners will be 
broadcast three times daily for 4 days. This action will also be 
published in the Federal Register as soon as practicable. Inseason 
actions will be effective from the time specified in the actual notice 
of the action (i.e., website posting and United States Coast Guard 
Notice to Mariners), or at the time the inseason action published in 
the Federal Register is effective, whichever comes first.
    (7) If landing Pacific bluefin tuna into the State of California, 
fish landing receipts must be submitted to the California Department of 
Fish and Wildlife in accordance with the requirements of applicable 
State law and regulations, with the exception that

[[Page 16307]]

the submission must occur within 24 hours of landing.

[FR Doc. 2021-06333 Filed 3-26-21; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 3510-22-P