Atlantic Highly Migratory Species; Atlantic Bluefin Tuna Fisheries, 36669-36671 [2021-14849]

Download as PDF Federal Register / Vol. 86, No. 131 / Tuesday, July 13, 2021 / Rules and Regulations in the preemption provisions of FFDCA section 408(n)(4). As such, the Agency has determined that this action will not have a substantial direct effect on States or Tribal Governments, on the relationship between the National Government and the States or Tribal Governments, or on the distribution of power and responsibilities among the various levels of government or between the Federal Government and Indian Tribes. Thus, the Agency has determined that Executive Order 13132, entitled ‘‘Federalism’’ (64 FR 43255, August 10, 1999) and Executive Order 13175, entitled ‘‘Consultation and Coordination with Indian Tribal Governments’’ (65 FR 67249, November 9, 2000) do not apply to this action. In addition, this action does not impose any enforceable duty or contain any unfunded mandate as described under Title II of the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act (UMRA) (2 U.S.C. 1501 et seq.). This action does not involve any technical standards that would require Agency consideration of voluntary consensus standards pursuant to section 12(d) of the National Technology Transfer and Advancement Act (NTTAA) (15 U.S.C. 272 note). VII. Congressional Review Act Pursuant to the Congressional Review Act (5 U.S.C. 801 et seq.), EPA will submit a report containing this rule and other required information to the U.S. Senate, the U.S. House of Representatives, and the Comptroller General of the United States prior to publication of the rule in the Federal Register. This action is not a ‘‘major rule’’ as defined by 5 U.S.C. 804(2). List of Subjects in 40 CFR Part 180 Environmental protection, Administrative practice and procedure, Agricultural commodities, Pesticides and pests, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements. § 180.666 Fluxapyroxad; tolerances for residues. (a) * * * TABLE 1 TO PARAGRAPH (a) * * * * Cottonseed, subgroup 20C ........ * * * * * Fruit, pome, group 11–10 ........... * * * * * Pomegranate .............................. * * * * * Vegetable, fruiting, group 8–10 .. * * * * * * * * Authority: 21 U.S.C. 321(q), 346a and 371. 2. In § 180.666, paragraph (a): i. Add a heading to the table; VerDate Sep<11>2014 15:52 Jul 12, 2021 Jkt 253001 0.2 0.7 * * * DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration 50 CFR Part 635 [Docket No. 180117042–8884–02] AGENCY: ■ ■ 0.8 BILLING CODE 6560–50–P Therefore, for the reasons stated in the preamble, EPA is amending 40 CFR chapter I as follows: 1. The authority citation for part 180 continues to read as follows: 0.5 [FR Doc. 2021–14708 Filed 7–12–21; 8:45 am] RTID 0648–XB145 ■ Parts per million Commodity Dated: July 6, 2021. Marietta Echeverria, Acting Director, Registration Division, Office of Pesticide Programs. PART 180—TOLERANCES AND EXEMPTIONS FOR PESTICIDE CHEMICAL RESIDUES IN FOOD jbell on DSKJLSW7X2PROD with RULES ii. Remove the entry for ‘‘Cotton, undelinted seed’’; ■ iii. Add an entry for ‘‘Cottonseed, subgroup 20C’’ in alphabetical order; ■ iv. Remove the entry for ‘‘Fruit, pome, group 11’’; ■ v. Add entries for ‘‘Fruit, pome, group 11–10’’ and ‘‘Pomegranate’’ in alphabetical order; ■ vi. Remove the entry for ‘‘Vegetables, fruiting group 8’’; and ■ vii. Add an entry for ‘‘Vegetable, fruiting, group 8–10’’ in alphabetical order. The additions read as follows: ■ Atlantic Highly Migratory Species; Atlantic Bluefin Tuna Fisheries National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Commerce. ACTION: Temporary rule; inseason General category retention limit adjustment. NMFS is adjusting the Atlantic bluefin tuna (BFT) General category daily retention limit from three large medium or giant BFT to one large medium or giant BFT for the remainder SUMMARY: PO 00000 Frm 00037 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 36669 of the June through August 2021 subquota period. This action is based on consideration of the regulatory determination criteria regarding inseason adjustments and applies to Atlantic Tunas General category (commercial) permitted vessels and Highly Migratory Species (HMS) Charter/Headboat permitted vessels with a commercial sale endorsement when fishing commercially for BFT. DATES: Effective July 11, 2021 through August 31, 2021. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Larry Redd, Jr., larry.redd@noaa.gov, 301–427–8503, Nicholas Velseboer, nicholas.velseboer@noaa.gov, 978–675– 2168, or Lauren Latchford, lauren.latchford@noaa.gov, 301–427– 8503. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Atlantic HMS fisheries, including BFT fisheries, are managed under the authority of the Atlantic Tunas Convention Act (ATCA; 16 U.S.C. 971 et seq.) and the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (Magnuson-Stevens Act; 16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq.). The 2006 Consolidated Atlantic HMS Fishery Management Plan (FMP) and its amendments are implemented by regulations at 50 CFR part 635. Section 635.27 divides the U.S. BFT quota recommended by the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas (ICCAT) and as implemented by the United States among the various domestic fishing categories, per the allocations established in the 2006 Consolidated HMS FMP and its amendments. NMFS is required under the Magnuson-Stevens Act to provide U.S. fishing vessels with a reasonable opportunity to harvest quotas under relevant international fishery agreements such as the ICCAT Convention, which is implemented domestically pursuant to ATCA. In 2018, NMFS implemented a final rule that established the U.S. BFT quota and subquotas consistent with ICCAT Recommendation 17–06 (83 FR 51391, October 11, 2018). In 2020, following a stock assessment update, ICCAT adopted Recommendation 20–06, which maintained the total allowable catch of 2,350 metric tons (mt) and the associated U.S. quota. As such, as described in § 635.27(a), the current baseline U.S. quota continues to be 1,247.86 mt (not including the 25 mt ICCAT allocated to the United States to account for bycatch of BFT in pelagic longline fisheries in the Northeast Distant Gear Restricted Area). The baseline quota for the General category is 555.7 mt. Each of the General category time periods (January, June through E:\FR\FM\13JYR1.SGM 13JYR1 36670 Federal Register / Vol. 86, No. 131 / Tuesday, July 13, 2021 / Rules and Regulations jbell on DSKJLSW7X2PROD with RULES August, September, October through November, and December) is allocated a portion of the annual General category quota. This action would adjust the daily retention limit for the remainder of the second time period in 2021, June through August. Adjustment of General Category Daily Retention Limit The default General category retention limit is one large medium or giant BFT (measuring 73 inches (185 cm) curved fork length (CFL) or greater) per vessel per day/trip (§ 635.23(a)(2)). Under § 635.23(a)(4), NMFS may increase or decrease the daily retention limit of large medium and giant BFT over a range of zero to a maximum of five per vessel based on consideration of the relevant criteria provided under § 635.27(a)(8). NMFS adjusted the daily retention limit for the beginning of the June through August 2021 subquota period from the default level of one large medium or giant BFT to three large medium or giant BFT (86 FR 25992, May 12, 2021). NMFS has considered the relevant determination criteria and their applicability to the General category BFT retention limit for the remainder of the June through August 2021 subquota time period. The criteria include, but are not limited to, the following: Regarding the usefulness of information obtained from catches in the particular category for biological sampling and monitoring of the status of the stock (§ 635.27(a)(8)(i)), biological samples collected from BFT landed by General category fishermen and provided by BFT dealers continue to provide NMFS with valuable parts and data for ongoing scientific studies of BFT age and growth, migration, and reproductive status. Prolonged opportunities to land BFT over the longest time-period allowable would support the collection of a broad range of data for these studies and for stock monitoring purposes. NMFS also considered the catches of the General category quota to date and the likelihood of closure of that segment of the fishery if no adjustment is made (§ 635.27(a)(8)(ii) and (ix)). Commercialsize BFT are currently readily available to vessels fishing under the General category quota. As of July 8, 2021, the General category has landed approximately 34.9 mt, representing 13 percent of the General category subquota for the June 1 through August 31 period. If current catch rates continue with the three-fish daily limit, the available subquota for June 1 through August 31 period will be reached or exceeded, and NMFS would VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:52 Jul 12, 2021 Jkt 253001 need to close the fishery earlier than otherwise would be necessary under a lower limit. NMFS intends to provide General category participants in all areas and time periods opportunities to harvest the General category quota without exceeding it, through active inseason management such as retention limit adjustments and/or the timing and amount of quota transfers (based on consideration of the determination criteria regarding inseason adjustments), while extending the season as long as practicable. NMFS is setting the limit for the remainder of the June through August 2021 subquota period in such a way that NMFS believes, informed by past experience, increases the likelihood that the fishery will remain open throughout the subperiod and year. NMFS also took into consideration a recently published proposed rule that would set restricted-fishing days for the General category during the months of July through November 2021 (86 FR 25992, May 12, 2021). If finalized, that proposed rule would further increase the likelihood that the fishery would remain open throughout the subperiod and year. NMFS also considered the effects of the adjustment on the BFT stock and the effects of the adjustment on accomplishing the objectives of the 2006 Consolidated HMS FMP (§ 635.27(a)(8)(v) and (vi)). This retention limit would be consistent with established quotas and subquotas, which are implemented consistent with ICCAT recommendations, (established in Recommendation 17–06 and maintained in Recommendation 20–06), ATCA, and the objectives of the 2006 Consolidated HMS FMP and amendments. In establishing these quotas and subquotas and associated management measures, ICCAT and NMFS considered the best scientific information available, objectives for stock management and status, and effects on the stock. This retention limit is in line with the established management measures and stock status determinations. It is also important that NMFS limit landings to the subquotas both to adhere to the subquota allocations and to ensure that landings are as consistent as possible with the pattern of fishing mortality (e.g., fish caught at each age) that was assumed in the latest stock assessment, and this retention limit is consistent with those objectives. Another principal consideration in setting the retention limit is the objective of providing opportunities to harvest the available General category quota without exceeding the annual quota, based on the objectives of the PO 00000 Frm 00038 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 2006 Consolidated HMS FMP and amendments, including to achieve optimum yield on a continuing basis and to optimize the ability of all permit categories to harvest available BFT quota allocations (related to § 635.27(a)(8)(x)). Given these considerations, NMFS has determined that a one-fish General category retention limit is warranted for the remainder of the June-August 2021 subquota period. This retention limit would provide a reasonable opportunity to harvest the available U.S. BFT quota (including the expected increase in available 2021 quota based on 2020 underharvest), without exceeding it, while maintaining an equitable distribution of fishing opportunities; help optimize the ability of the General category to harvest its available quota; allow collection of a broad range of data for stock monitoring purposes; and be consistent with the objectives of the 2006 Consolidated HMS FMP and amendments. Therefore, NMFS decreases the General category retention limit from three to one large medium or giant BFT per vessel per day/trip, effective July 11, 2021, through August 31, 2021. Regardless of the duration of a fishing trip, the daily retention limit applies upon landing. For example (and specific to the June through August 2021 limit), whether a vessel fishing under the General category retention limit takes a two-day trip or makes two trips in one day, the daily limit of one fish may not be exceeded upon landing. This General category retention limit is effective in all areas, except for the Gulf of Mexico, where NMFS prohibits targeting fishing for BFT, and applies to vessels permitted in the General category, as well as to HMS Charter/Headboat permitted vessels with a commercial sale endorsement when fishing commercially for BFT. For information regarding the HMS Charter/Headboat commercial sale endorsement, see 82 FR 57543, December 6, 2017. Monitoring and Reporting NMFS will actively monitor the BFT fishery closely. Dealers are required to submit landing reports within 24 hours of a dealer receiving BFT. Late reporting by dealers compromises NMFS’ ability to timely implement actions such as quota and retention limit adjustments, as well as closures, and may result in enforcement actions. Additionally, and separate from the dealer reporting requirement, General and HMS Charter/ Headboat vessel owners are required to report their own catch of all BFT retained or discarded dead, within 24 hours of the landing(s) or end of each E:\FR\FM\13JYR1.SGM 13JYR1 Federal Register / Vol. 86, No. 131 / Tuesday, July 13, 2021 / Rules and Regulations 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 adjustments are necessary to ensure available quota is not exceeded or to enhance scientific data collection from, and fishing opportunities in, all geographic areas. If needed, subsequent adjustments will be published in the Federal Register. In addition, fishermen may call the Atlantic Tunas Information Line at (978) 281–9260, or access hmspermits.noaa.gov, for updates on quota monitoring and inseason adjustments. jbell on DSKJLSW7X2PROD with RULES Classification NMFS issues this action pursuant to section 305(d) of the Magnuson-Stevens Act. This action is required by 50 CFR part 635, which was issued pursuant to section 304(c), and is exempt from review under Executive Order 12866. The Assistant Administrator for NMFS (AA) finds that it is impracticable and contrary to the public interest to provide prior notice of, and an opportunity for public comment on, this action for the following reasons: NMFS provides notification of retention limit adjustments by publishing the notice in the Federal Register, emailing individuals who have subscribed to the Atlantic HMS News electronic newsletter, and updating the information posted on the Atlantic Tunas Information Line and on hmspermits.noaa.gov. The regulations implementing the 2006 Consolidated HMS FMP and amendments provide for inseason retention limit adjustments to respond to the unpredictable nature of BFT availability on the fishing grounds, the migratory nature of this species, and the regional variations in the BFT fishery. Prior notice and an opportunity for public comment is impracticable because the regulations implementing the 2006 Consolidated HMS FMP, as amended, intended that inseason retention limit adjustments would allow the agency to respond quickly 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. Based on available BFT quotas, fishery performance in recent years, and the availability of BFT on the fishing grounds, adjustment to the General category BFT daily retention limit from the current level is warranted. VerDate Sep<11>2014 15:52 Jul 12, 2021 Jkt 253001 Delays in adjusting the retention limit may result in the available June 1 through August 31 subquota being reached or exceeded and NMFS needing to close the fishery earlier than otherwise would be necessary under the lower limit being set for the remainder of this period. Such delays could adversely affect those General category and HMS Charter/Headboat vessels that would otherwise have an opportunity to harvest BFT if the fishery were to remain open for as feasible throughout the remaining subquota periods. Limited opportunities to harvest the respective quotas may have negative social and economic impacts for U.S. fishermen that depend upon catching the available quota within the time periods designated in the 2006 Consolidated HMS FMP and amendments. Adjustment of the retention limit needs to be effective as soon as possible to extend fishing opportunities for fishermen in all geographic areas, and to provide equitable opportunities. Prior notice and an opportunity for public comment is also impracticable for the retention limit adjustment to one fish for the remainder of the June through August 2021 subquota period. Avoiding delay in implementation will also allow fishermen to take advantage of the availability of fish on the fishing grounds and of quota. Therefore, the AA finds good cause under 5 U.S.C. 553(b)(B) to waive prior notice and the opportunity for public comment. For these reasons, there is good cause under 5 U.S.C. 553(d) to waive the 30-day delay in effectiveness. Authority: 16 U.S.C. 971 et seq. and 1801 et seq. Dated: July 8, 2021. Jennifer M. Wallace, Acting Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine Fisheries Service. [FR Doc. 2021–14849 Filed 7–8–21; 4:15 pm] BILLING CODE 3510–22–P DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration 50 CFR Part 648 [Docket No. 201209–0332; RTID 0648– XB229] Fisheries of the Northeastern United States; Atlantic Bluefish Fishery; Quota Transfer from VA to NY National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), National Oceanic and AGENCY: PO 00000 Frm 00039 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 36671 Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Commerce. ACTION: Notification; quota transfer. NMFS announces that the Commonwealth of Virginia is transferring a portion of its 2021 commercial bluefish quota to the State of New York. This quota adjustment is necessary to comply with the Atlantic Bluefish Fishery Management Plan quota transfer provisions. This announcement informs the public of the revised commercial bluefish quotas for Virginia and New York. DATES: Effective July 12, 2021 through December 31, 2021. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Laura Hansen, Fishery Management Specialist, (978) 281–9225. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Regulations governing the Atlantic bluefish fishery are found in 50 CFR 648.160 through 648.167. These regulations require annual specification of a commercial quota that is apportioned among the coastal states from Maine through Florida. The process to set the annual commercial quota and the percent allocated to each state is described in § 648.162, and the final 2021 allocations were published on December 16, 2020 (85 FR 81421). The final rule implementing Amendment 1 to the Bluefish Fishery Management Plan (FMP) published in the Federal Register on July 26, 2000 (65 FR 45844), and provided a mechanism for transferring bluefish quota from one state to another. Two or more states, under mutual agreement and with the concurrence of the NMFS Greater Atlantic Regional Administrator, can request approval to transfer or combine bluefish commercial quota under § 648.162(e)(1)(i) through (iii). The Regional Administrator must approve any such transfer based on the criteria in § 648.162(e). In evaluating requests to transfer a quota or combine quotas, the Regional Administrator shall consider whether: The transfer or combinations would preclude the overall annual quota from being fully harvested; the transfer addresses an unforeseen variation or contingency in the fishery; and the transfer is consistent with the objectives of the FMP and the Magnuson-Stevens Act. Virginia is transferring 50,000 lb (22,680 kg) of bluefish commercial quota to New York through mutual agreement of the states. This transfer was requested to ensure that New York would not exceed its 2021 state quota. The revised bluefish quotas for 2021 are: Virginia, 278,800 lb (126,099 kg); and New York, 337,438 lb (153,059 kg). SUMMARY: E:\FR\FM\13JYR1.SGM 13JYR1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 86, Number 131 (Tuesday, July 13, 2021)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 36669-36671]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2021-14849]


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DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

50 CFR Part 635

[Docket No. 180117042-8884-02]
RTID 0648-XB145


Atlantic Highly Migratory Species; Atlantic Bluefin Tuna 
Fisheries

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

ACTION: Temporary rule; inseason General category retention limit 
adjustment.

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SUMMARY: NMFS is adjusting the Atlantic bluefin tuna (BFT) General 
category daily retention limit from three large medium or giant BFT to 
one large medium or giant BFT for the remainder of the June through 
August 2021 subquota period. This action is based on consideration of 
the regulatory determination criteria regarding inseason adjustments 
and applies to Atlantic Tunas General category (commercial) permitted 
vessels and Highly Migratory Species (HMS) Charter/Headboat permitted 
vessels with a commercial sale endorsement when fishing commercially 
for BFT.

DATES: Effective July 11, 2021 through August 31, 2021.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Larry Redd, Jr., [email protected], 
301-427-8503, Nicholas Velseboer, [email protected], 978-675-
2168, or Lauren Latchford, [email protected], 301-427-8503.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Atlantic HMS fisheries, including BFT 
fisheries, are managed under the authority of the Atlantic Tunas 
Convention Act (ATCA; 16 U.S.C. 971 et seq.) and the Magnuson-Stevens 
Fishery Conservation and Management Act (Magnuson-Stevens Act; 16 
U.S.C. 1801 et seq.). The 2006 Consolidated Atlantic HMS Fishery 
Management Plan (FMP) and its amendments are implemented by regulations 
at 50 CFR part 635. Section 635.27 divides the U.S. BFT quota 
recommended by the International Commission for the Conservation of 
Atlantic Tunas (ICCAT) and as implemented by the United States among 
the various domestic fishing categories, per the allocations 
established in the 2006 Consolidated HMS FMP and its amendments. NMFS 
is required under the Magnuson-Stevens Act to provide U.S. fishing 
vessels with a reasonable opportunity to harvest quotas under relevant 
international fishery agreements such as the ICCAT Convention, which is 
implemented domestically pursuant to ATCA.
    In 2018, NMFS implemented a final rule that established the U.S. 
BFT quota and subquotas consistent with ICCAT Recommendation 17-06 (83 
FR 51391, October 11, 2018). In 2020, following a stock assessment 
update, ICCAT adopted Recommendation 20-06, which maintained the total 
allowable catch of 2,350 metric tons (mt) and the associated U.S. 
quota. As such, as described in Sec.  635.27(a), the current baseline 
U.S. quota continues to be 1,247.86 mt (not including the 25 mt ICCAT 
allocated to the United States to account for bycatch of BFT in pelagic 
longline fisheries in the Northeast Distant Gear Restricted Area). The 
baseline quota for the General category is 555.7 mt. Each of the 
General category time periods (January, June through

[[Page 36670]]

August, September, October through November, and December) is allocated 
a portion of the annual General category quota. This action would 
adjust the daily retention limit for the remainder of the second time 
period in 2021, June through August.

Adjustment of General Category Daily Retention Limit

    The default General category retention limit is one large medium or 
giant BFT (measuring 73 inches (185 cm) curved fork length (CFL) or 
greater) per vessel per day/trip (Sec.  635.23(a)(2)).
    Under Sec.  635.23(a)(4), NMFS may increase or decrease the daily 
retention limit of large medium and giant BFT over a range of zero to a 
maximum of five per vessel based on consideration of the relevant 
criteria provided under Sec.  635.27(a)(8). NMFS adjusted the daily 
retention limit for the beginning of the June through August 2021 
subquota period from the default level of one large medium or giant BFT 
to three large medium or giant BFT (86 FR 25992, May 12, 2021). NMFS 
has considered the relevant determination criteria and their 
applicability to the General category BFT retention limit for the 
remainder of the June through August 2021 subquota time period. The 
criteria include, but are not limited to, the following:
    Regarding the usefulness of information obtained from catches in 
the particular category for biological sampling and monitoring of the 
status of the stock (Sec.  635.27(a)(8)(i)), biological samples 
collected from BFT landed by General category fishermen and provided by 
BFT dealers continue to provide NMFS with valuable parts and data for 
ongoing scientific studies of BFT age and growth, migration, and 
reproductive status. Prolonged opportunities to land BFT over the 
longest time-period allowable would support the collection of a broad 
range of data for these studies and for stock monitoring purposes.
    NMFS also considered the catches of the General category quota to 
date and the likelihood of closure of that segment of the fishery if no 
adjustment is made (Sec.  635.27(a)(8)(ii) and (ix)). Commercial-size 
BFT are currently readily available to vessels fishing under the 
General category quota. As of July 8, 2021, the General category has 
landed approximately 34.9 mt, representing 13 percent of the General 
category subquota for the June 1 through August 31 period. If current 
catch rates continue with the three-fish daily limit, the available 
subquota for June 1 through August 31 period will be reached or 
exceeded, and NMFS would need to close the fishery earlier than 
otherwise would be necessary under a lower limit. NMFS intends to 
provide General category participants in all areas and time periods 
opportunities to harvest the General category quota without exceeding 
it, through active inseason management such as retention limit 
adjustments and/or the timing and amount of quota transfers (based on 
consideration of the determination criteria regarding inseason 
adjustments), while extending the season as long as practicable. NMFS 
is setting the limit for the remainder of the June through August 2021 
subquota period in such a way that NMFS believes, informed by past 
experience, increases the likelihood that the fishery will remain open 
throughout the subperiod and year. NMFS also took into consideration a 
recently published proposed rule that would set restricted-fishing days 
for the General category during the months of July through November 
2021 (86 FR 25992, May 12, 2021). If finalized, that proposed rule 
would further increase the likelihood that the fishery would remain 
open throughout the subperiod and year.
    NMFS also considered the effects of the adjustment on the BFT stock 
and the effects of the adjustment on accomplishing the objectives of 
the 2006 Consolidated HMS FMP (Sec.  635.27(a)(8)(v) and (vi)). This 
retention limit would be consistent with established quotas and 
subquotas, which are implemented consistent with ICCAT recommendations, 
(established in Recommendation 17-06 and maintained in Recommendation 
20-06), ATCA, and the objectives of the 2006 Consolidated HMS FMP and 
amendments. In establishing these quotas and subquotas and associated 
management measures, ICCAT and NMFS considered the best scientific 
information available, objectives for stock management and status, and 
effects on the stock. This retention limit is in line with the 
established management measures and stock status determinations. It is 
also important that NMFS limit landings to the subquotas both to adhere 
to the subquota allocations and to ensure that landings are as 
consistent as possible with the pattern of fishing mortality (e.g., 
fish caught at each age) that was assumed in the latest stock 
assessment, and this retention limit is consistent with those 
objectives.
    Another principal consideration in setting the retention limit is 
the objective of providing opportunities to harvest the available 
General category quota without exceeding the annual quota, based on the 
objectives of the 2006 Consolidated HMS FMP and amendments, including 
to achieve optimum yield on a continuing basis and to optimize the 
ability of all permit categories to harvest available BFT quota 
allocations (related to Sec.  635.27(a)(8)(x)).
    Given these considerations, NMFS has determined that a one-fish 
General category retention limit is warranted for the remainder of the 
June-August 2021 subquota period. This retention limit would provide a 
reasonable opportunity to harvest the available U.S. BFT quota 
(including the expected increase in available 2021 quota based on 2020 
underharvest), without exceeding it, while maintaining an equitable 
distribution of fishing opportunities; help optimize the ability of the 
General category to harvest its available quota; allow collection of a 
broad range of data for stock monitoring purposes; and be consistent 
with the objectives of the 2006 Consolidated HMS FMP and amendments. 
Therefore, NMFS decreases the General category retention limit from 
three to one large medium or giant BFT per vessel per day/trip, 
effective July 11, 2021, through August 31, 2021.
    Regardless of the duration of a fishing trip, the daily retention 
limit applies upon landing. For example (and specific to the June 
through August 2021 limit), whether a vessel fishing under the General 
category retention limit takes a two-day trip or makes two trips in one 
day, the daily limit of one fish may not be exceeded upon landing. This 
General category retention limit is effective in all areas, except for 
the Gulf of Mexico, where NMFS prohibits targeting fishing for BFT, and 
applies to vessels permitted in the General category, as well as to HMS 
Charter/Headboat permitted vessels with a commercial sale endorsement 
when fishing commercially for BFT. For information regarding the HMS 
Charter/Headboat commercial sale endorsement, see 82 FR 57543, December 
6, 2017.

Monitoring and Reporting

    NMFS will actively monitor the BFT fishery closely. Dealers are 
required to submit landing reports within 24 hours of a dealer 
receiving BFT. Late reporting by dealers compromises NMFS' ability to 
timely implement actions such as quota and retention limit adjustments, 
as well as closures, and may result in enforcement actions. 
Additionally, and separate from the dealer reporting requirement, 
General and HMS Charter/Headboat vessel owners are required to report 
their own catch of all BFT retained or discarded dead, within 24 hours 
of the landing(s) or end of each

[[Page 36671]]

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 adjustments are necessary to ensure 
available quota is not exceeded or to enhance scientific data 
collection from, and fishing opportunities in, all geographic areas. If 
needed, subsequent adjustments will be published in the Federal 
Register. In addition, fishermen may call the Atlantic Tunas 
Information Line at (978) 281-9260, or access hmspermits.noaa.gov, for 
updates on quota monitoring and inseason adjustments.

Classification

    NMFS issues this action pursuant to section 305(d) of the Magnuson-
Stevens Act. This action is required by 50 CFR part 635, which was 
issued pursuant to section 304(c), and is exempt from review under 
Executive Order 12866.
    The Assistant Administrator for NMFS (AA) finds that it is 
impracticable and contrary to the public interest to provide prior 
notice of, and an opportunity for public comment on, this action for 
the following reasons:
    NMFS provides notification of retention limit adjustments by 
publishing the notice in the Federal Register, emailing individuals who 
have subscribed to the Atlantic HMS News electronic newsletter, and 
updating the information posted on the Atlantic Tunas Information Line 
and on hmspermits.noaa.gov. The regulations implementing the 2006 
Consolidated HMS FMP and amendments provide for inseason retention 
limit adjustments to respond to the unpredictable nature of BFT 
availability on the fishing grounds, the migratory nature of this 
species, and the regional variations in the BFT fishery.
    Prior notice and an opportunity for public comment is impracticable 
because the regulations implementing the 2006 Consolidated HMS FMP, as 
amended, intended that inseason retention limit adjustments would allow 
the agency to respond quickly 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. Based on 
available BFT quotas, fishery performance in recent years, and the 
availability of BFT on the fishing grounds, adjustment to the General 
category BFT daily retention limit from the current level is warranted.
    Delays in adjusting the retention limit may result in the available 
June 1 through August 31 subquota being reached or exceeded and NMFS 
needing to close the fishery earlier than otherwise would be necessary 
under the lower limit being set for the remainder of this period. Such 
delays could adversely affect those General category and HMS Charter/
Headboat vessels that would otherwise have an opportunity to harvest 
BFT if the fishery were to remain open for as feasible throughout the 
remaining subquota periods. Limited opportunities to harvest the 
respective quotas may have negative social and economic impacts for 
U.S. fishermen that depend upon catching the available quota within the 
time periods designated in the 2006 Consolidated HMS FMP and 
amendments. Adjustment of the retention limit needs to be effective as 
soon as possible to extend fishing opportunities for fishermen in all 
geographic areas, and to provide equitable opportunities.
    Prior notice and an opportunity for public comment is also 
impracticable for the retention limit adjustment to one fish for the 
remainder of the June through August 2021 subquota period. Avoiding 
delay in implementation will also allow fishermen to take advantage of 
the availability of fish on the fishing grounds and of quota. 
Therefore, the AA finds good cause under 5 U.S.C. 553(b)(B) to waive 
prior notice and the opportunity for public comment. For these reasons, 
there is good cause under 5 U.S.C. 553(d) to waive the 30-day delay in 
effectiveness.

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

    Dated: July 8, 2021.
Jennifer M. Wallace,
Acting Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine 
Fisheries Service.
[FR Doc. 2021-14849 Filed 7-8-21; 4:15 pm]
BILLING CODE 3510-22-P