Fisheries of the Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico, and South Atlantic; Reef Fish Fishery of the Gulf of Mexico; Framework Action, 38416-38418 [2021-15202]

Download as PDF 38416 Federal Register / Vol. 86, No. 137 / Wednesday, July 21, 2021 / Rules and Regulations jbell on DSKJLSW7X2PROD with RULES Sound and North Coast subareas are August 19–21, 26–28; September 2–4, 9–11, 16–18, and 23–24. WDFW recommended these dates to NMFS after consultation with their stakeholders. These dates were determined in consultation with WDFW, the Council, and IPHC. Notice of these and potential additional dates and closure of the fisheries will also be announced on the NMFS hotline at 206–526–6667 or 800– 662–9825. Weekly quota monitoring reports for the recreational fisheries in Washington, Oregon, and California are available on their respective state Fish and Wildlife agency websites. NMFS and the IPHC will continue to monitor recreational catch obtained via state sampling procedures. Classification NMFS issues this action pursuant to the Northern Pacific Halibut Act of 1982. This action is taken under the regulatory authority at 50 CFR 300.63(c), and is exempt from review under Executive Order 12866. Pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 553(b)(3)(B), there is good cause to waive prior notice and an opportunity for public comment on this action, as notice and comment would be impracticable and contrary to the public interest. WDFW provided updated landings data to NMFS on June 10, 2021, and requested additional fishing dates be added before the close of the recreational halibut fishery on September 30, 2021, as the fishery participants in the North Coast and Puget Sound subareas have only caught 35 percent of the two areas’ combined allocation. NMFS uses fishing rates from previous years to determine the number of recreational fishing dates needed to attain subarea allocations. The level of attainment of the allocation for 2021 is much lower than past years for this same point in time, and was not anticipated when the 2021 final rule setting the 2021 recreational fishery season dates was developed. This action should be implemented as soon as possible to allow fishery participants to take advantage of the additional fishing dates prior to the end of the season. As the fishery closes on September 30, 2021, implementing this action through proposed and final rulemaking would limit the benefit this action would provide to fishery participants. Without implementation of additional season dates, the Puget Sound and North Coast subareas would not harvest their full subarea allocations, limiting economic benefits to the participants and not meeting the goals of the Catch Share Plan and the 2021 management measures. It is necessary that this VerDate Sep<11>2014 15:58 Jul 20, 2021 Jkt 253001 rulemaking be implemented in a timely manner so that planning for these new fishing days can take place, and for business and personal decision making by the regulated public impacted by this action, which includes recreational charter fishing operations, associated port businesses, and private anglers who do not live near the coastal access points for this fishery, among others. To ensure the regulated public is fully aware of this action, notice of this regulatory action will also be provided to anglers through a telephone hotline, news release, and by the relevant state fish and wildlife agencies. NMFS will receive public comments for 15 days after publication of this action, in accordance with 50 CFR 300.63(c)(4)(ii). No aspect of this action is controversial, and changes of this nature were anticipated in the process described in regulations at 50 CFR 300.63(c). For the reasons discussed above, there is also good cause under 5 U.S.C. 553(d)(3) to waive the 30-day delay in effective date and make this action effective immediately upon filing, as a delay in effectiveness of this action would constrain fishing opportunity and be inconsistent with the goals of the Catch Sharing Plan and current management measures, as well as potentially limit the economic opportunity intended by this rule to the associated fishing communities. NMFS regulations allow the Regional Administrator to modify sport fishing periods, bag limits, size limits, days per calendar week, and subarea quotas, provided that the action allows allocation objectives to be met and will not result in exceeding the catch limit for the subarea. NMFS recently received information on the progress of landings in the recreational fisheries in Washington subareas, indicating additional dates should be added to the fishery to ensure optimal and sustainable harvest of the quota. As stated above, it is in the public interest that this action is not delayed, because a delay in the effectiveness of these new dates would not allow the allocation objectives of this fishery to be met. Dated: July 15, 2021. Jennifer M. Wallace, Acting Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine Fisheries Service. [FR Doc. 2021–15451 Filed 7–16–21; 4:15 pm] BILLING CODE 3510–22–P PO 00000 Frm 00010 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration 50 CFR Part 622 [Docket No. 210713–0147] RIN 0648–BK01 Fisheries of the Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico, and South Atlantic; Reef Fish Fishery of the Gulf of Mexico; Framework Action National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Commerce. ACTION: Final rule. AGENCY: NMFS is implementing management measures described in a framework action to the Fishery Management Plan for the Reef Fish Resources of the Gulf of Mexico (Reef Fish FMP), as prepared and submitted by the Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council (Council). This final rule will prohibit certain fishing activities and, with one exception, the possession of Gulf of Mexico (Gulf) reef fish within the Madison-Swanson and Steamboat Lumps Marine Protected Areas (MPAs). The purpose of this final rule is to protect spawning aggregations of mature reef fish species by reducing the potential for illegal fishing activities within these MPAs. DATES: This final rule is effective on August 20, 2021. ADDRESSES: Electronic copies of this framework action to the FMP for the Reef Fish Resources of the Gulf of Mexico may be obtained from www.regulations.gov or from the NMFS Southeast Regional Office website at https://www.fisheries.noaa.gov/action/ modification-fishing-access-easterngulf-mexico-marine-protected-areas. The framework action includes an environmental assessment, regulatory impact review, and Regulatory Flexibility Act (RFA) analysis. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Rich Malinowski, NMFS Southeast Regional Office, telephone: 727–824–5305, or email: rich.malinowski@noaa.gov. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: NMFS and the Council manage the reef fish fishery under the Reef Fish FMP. The Reef Fish FMP was prepared by the Council and is implemented by NMFS through regulations at 50 CFR part 622 under the authority of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (Magnuson-Stevens Act) (16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq.). SUMMARY: E:\FR\FM\21JYR1.SGM 21JYR1 Federal Register / Vol. 86, No. 137 / Wednesday, July 21, 2021 / Rules and Regulations On March 2, 2021, NMFS published the proposed rule for the framework action and requested public comment (86 FR 12163). The proposed rule outlined the rationale for the actions contained in this final rule. A summary of the management measures described in the proposed rule and implemented by this final rule is described below. jbell on DSKJLSW7X2PROD with RULES Background The Madison-Swanson and Steamboat Lumps MPAs were established on June 19, 2000 (65 FR 31827, May 19, 2000). The two MPAs combined cover 219 square nautical miles (nmi2) (751 square kilometers (km2)) near the 240-foot (73meter) contour, also known as the 40fathom contour, off northwest and west Florida. The area of Madison-Swanson is 115 nmi2 (394 km2) and the area of Steamboat Lumps is 104 nmi2 (357 km2). The distance between these MPAs is approximately 69 nmi (127 km). The Council and NMFS created the MPAs to provide protection to spawning aggregations of gag, which is a species of grouper, and other reef fish. When the MPAs were implemented, all fishing inside the MPAs was prohibited, except for Atlantic highly migratory species (HMS) such as tunas, billfishes, and oceanic sharks, which are managed separately by NMFS’ Atlantic HMS Management Division. Since 2004, surface trolling has been allowed for non-reef fish species in the MPAs from May 1 through October 31 annually (69 FR 24532, May 4, 2004). In 2006, NMFS implemented complementary management measures to prohibit fishing for Atlantic HMS except by surface trolling from May 1 through October 31 annually (71 FR 58058, October 2, 2006). In addition, the possession of Gulf reef fish while inside the MPAs is prohibited, except on a vessel in transit with fishing gear stowed as specified in § 622.34(a)(4). The Council developed this framework action to modify the restrictions on fishing in, and transiting through, the Madison-Swanson and Steamboat Lumps MPAs in the eastern Gulf. The framework action prohibits all fishing, except for HMS, year-round in the Madison-Swanson and Steamboat Lumps MPAs, and prohibits the possession of Gulf reef fish year-round in these areas unless a vessel has a valid Federal commercial permit for Gulf reef fish, an operating satellite-based vessel monitoring system (VMS), and is in transit with fishing gear appropriately stowed. These prohibitions do not apply to Atlantic HMS. Federal regulations currently applicable to Atlantic HMS in VerDate Sep<11>2014 15:58 Jul 20, 2021 Jkt 253001 the MPAs are located at 50 CFR part 635. Management Measures Contained in This Final Rule This final rule prohibits fishing yearround in the Madison-Swanson and Steamboat Lumps MPAs. Additionally, the possession of any Gulf reef fish is prohibited year-round in the MPAs, with a limited exception. This final rule revises current fishing restrictions in the MPAs. Currently, surface trolling, as defined at § 622.34(a)(5), is the only allowable fishing activity and is only allowed from May through October each year. Federally managed species that may be targeted by surface trolling in the MPAs include the Gulf coastal migratory pelagic species king mackerel and Spanish mackerel, and HMS. This final rule prohibits fishing yearround for all species except HMS. However, NMFS Atlantic HMS Management Division is considering a request from the Council to develop compatible regulations for HMS. Currently, fishing vessels with Gulf reef fish on board may transit through the MPAs as long as all fishing gear is appropriately stowed. This provision allows transiting fishing vessels to proceed between destinations, without the need to reroute to avoid a specific area even if they are in possession of reef fish. For these MPAs, transit means non-stop progression through the area and fishing gear appropriately stowed is defined in 50 CFR 622.34(a)(4)(i) through (iv). This final rule prohibits the possession of Gulf reef fish in the MPAs even when transiting unless the vessel was issued a valid Federal commercial permit for Gulf reef fish, which requires an operating satellitebased VMS. All fishing gear needs to be appropriately stowed. Comments and Responses NMFS did not receive any comments during the public comment period for the proposed rule for the framework action and therefore no changes were made to this proposed rule as a result of public comment. Classification Pursuant to section 304(b)(1)(A) of the Magnuson-Stevens Act, the NMFS Assistant Administrator has determined that this final rule is consistent with the framework amendment, the Reef Fish FMP, the Magnuson-Stevens Act, and other applicable laws. This rule has been determined to be not significant for purposes of Executive Order 12866. PO 00000 Frm 00011 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 38417 The Magnuson-Stevens Act provides the statutory basis for this rule. No duplicative, overlapping, or conflicting Federal rules have been identified. In addition, no new reporting, recordkeeping, or other compliance requirements are introduced by this final rule. 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 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 comments were received regarding the certification and NMFS has not received any new information that would affect its determination. As a result, a regulatory flexibility analysis was not required and none was prepared. List of Subjects in 50 CFR Part 622 Fisheries, Fishing, Gulf of Mexico, Marine protected area, Reef fish. Dated: July 13, 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 622 is amended as follows: PART 622—FISHERIES OF THE CARIBBEAN, GULF OF MEXICO, AND SOUTH ATLANTIC 1. The authority citation for part 622 continues to read as follows: ■ Authority: 16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq. 2. Amend § 622.34 by: a. Revising the paragraph heading and adding paragraph (a) introductory text; ■ b. Revising paragraphs (a)(2) and (3); and ■ c. Removing paragraphs (a)(5) and (6). The revisions read as follows: ■ ■ § 622.34 Seasonal and area closures designed to protect Gulf reef fish. (a) Closure provisions applicable to the Madison and Swanson sites, Steamboat Lumps, and the Edges. For the purpose of this paragraph (a), fish means finfish, mollusks, crustaceans, and all other forms of marine animal and plant life other than marine mammals and birds. The provisions of this paragraph (a) do not apply to Atlantic highly migratory species, such as tunas, billfishes, and oceanic sharks. See 50 CFR part 635 for any provisions applicable to fishing for or possession of E:\FR\FM\21JYR1.SGM 21JYR1 38418 Federal Register / Vol. 86, No. 137 / Wednesday, July 21, 2021 / Rules and Regulations Atlantic highly migratory species in these areas. * * * * * (2) Within the Madison and Swanson sites and Steamboat Lumps: Fishing is prohibited year-round; possession of Gulf reef fish is prohibited year-round except when such possession is on a vessel that has been issued a valid Federal commercial permit for Gulf reef fish, has an operating satellite-based VMS unit, and is in transit with fishing gear stowed as specified in paragraph (a)(4) of this section; and possession of any non-Gulf reef fish species is prohibited year-round, except for such possession on a vessel in transit with fishing gear stowed as specified in paragraph (a)(4) of this section. (3) Within the Edges during January through April each year, all fishing is prohibited and the possession of any fish species is prohibited, except for such possession on a vessel in transit with fishing gear appropriately stowed as specified in paragraph (a)(4) of this section. * * * * * [FR Doc. 2021–15202 Filed 7–20–21; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510–22–P DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration 50 CFR Part 679 [Docket No. 210217–0022; RTID 0648– XB231] Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Sablefish in the Bering Sea Subarea of the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Management Area National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), National Oceanic and jbell on DSKJLSW7X2PROD with RULES AGENCY: VerDate Sep<11>2014 15:58 Jul 20, 2021 Jkt 253001 Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Commerce. ACTION: Temporary rule; closure. NMFS is prohibiting retention of non-Community Development Quota (CDQ) sablefish by vessels using trawl gear in the Bering Sea subarea of the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands management area (BSAI). This action is necessary because the 2021 non-CDQ sablefish initial total allowable catch (ITAC) in the Bering Sea subarea of the BSAI will be reached. DATES: Effective 1200 hours, Alaska local time (A.l.t.), July 17, 2021, through 2400 hours, A.l.t., December 31, 2021. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Steve Whitney, 907–586–7228. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: NMFS manages the groundfish fishery in the BSAI according to the Fishery Management Plan for Groundfish of the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Management Area (FMP) prepared by the North Pacific Fishery Management Council under authority of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act. Regulations governing fishing by U.S. vessels in accordance with the FMP appear at subpart H of 50 CFR part 600 and 50 CFR part 679. The 2021 non-CDQ sablefish trawl ITAC in the Bering Sea subarea of the BSAI is 1,443 metric tons (mt) as established by the final 2021 and 2022 harvest specifications for groundfish in the BSAI (86 FR 11449, February 25, 2021). In accordance with § 679.20(d)(2), the Administrator, Alaska Region, NMFS (Regional Administrator), has determined that the 2021 non-CDQ sablefish trawl ITAC in the Bering Sea subarea of the BSAI will soon be reached. Therefore, NMFS is requiring that non-CDQ sablefish caught SUMMARY: PO 00000 Frm 00012 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 9990 with vessels using trawl gear in the Bering Sea subarea of the BSAI be treated as prohibited species in accordance with § 679.21(b). Classification NMFS issues this action pursuant to section 305(d) of the Magnuson-Stevens Act. This action is required by 50 CFR part 679, which was issued pursuant to section 304(b), and is exempt from review under Executive Order 12866. Pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 553(b)(B), there is good cause to waive prior notice and an opportunity for public comment on this action, as notice and comment would be impracticable and contrary to the public interest, as it would prevent NMFS from responding to the most recent fisheries data in a timely fashion and would delay the prohibited retention of non-CDQ sablefish by vessels using trawl gear in the Bering Sea subarea of the BSAI. NMFS was unable to publish a notice providing time for public comment because the most recent, relevant data only became available as of July 15, 2021. The AA also finds good cause to waive the 30-day delay in the effective date of this action under 5 U.S.C. 553(d)(3). This finding is based upon the reasons provided above for waiver of prior notice and opportunity for public comment. Authority: 16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq. Dated: July 16, 2021. Jennifer M. Wallace, Acting Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine Fisheries Service. [FR Doc. 2021–15537 Filed 7–16–21; 4:15 pm] BILLING CODE 3510–22–P E:\FR\FM\21JYR1.SGM 21JYR1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 86, Number 137 (Wednesday, July 21, 2021)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 38416-38418]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2021-15202]


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DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

50 CFR Part 622

[Docket No. 210713-0147]
RIN 0648-BK01


Fisheries of the Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico, and South Atlantic; 
Reef Fish Fishery of the Gulf of Mexico; Framework Action

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

ACTION: Final rule.

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SUMMARY: NMFS is implementing management measures described in a 
framework action to the Fishery Management Plan for the Reef Fish 
Resources of the Gulf of Mexico (Reef Fish FMP), as prepared and 
submitted by the Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council (Council). 
This final rule will prohibit certain fishing activities and, with one 
exception, the possession of Gulf of Mexico (Gulf) reef fish within the 
Madison-Swanson and Steamboat Lumps Marine Protected Areas (MPAs). The 
purpose of this final rule is to protect spawning aggregations of 
mature reef fish species by reducing the potential for illegal fishing 
activities within these MPAs.

DATES: This final rule is effective on August 20, 2021.

ADDRESSES: Electronic copies of this framework action to the FMP for 
the Reef Fish Resources of the Gulf of Mexico may be obtained from 
www.regulations.gov or from the NMFS Southeast Regional Office website 
at https://www.fisheries.noaa.gov/action/modification-fishing-access-eastern-gulf-mexico-marine-protected-areas. The framework action 
includes an environmental assessment, regulatory impact review, and 
Regulatory Flexibility Act (RFA) analysis.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Rich Malinowski, NMFS Southeast 
Regional Office, telephone: 727-824-5305, or email: 
[email protected].

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: NMFS and the Council manage the reef fish 
fishery under the Reef Fish FMP. The Reef Fish FMP was prepared by the 
Council and is implemented by NMFS through regulations at 50 CFR part 
622 under the authority of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation 
and Management Act (Magnuson-Stevens Act) (16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq.).

[[Page 38417]]

    On March 2, 2021, NMFS published the proposed rule for the 
framework action and requested public comment (86 FR 12163). The 
proposed rule outlined the rationale for the actions contained in this 
final rule. A summary of the management measures described in the 
proposed rule and implemented by this final rule is described below.

Background

    The Madison-Swanson and Steamboat Lumps MPAs were established on 
June 19, 2000 (65 FR 31827, May 19, 2000). The two MPAs combined cover 
219 square nautical miles (nmi\2\) (751 square kilometers (km\2\)) near 
the 240-foot (73-meter) contour, also known as the 40-fathom contour, 
off northwest and west Florida. The area of Madison-Swanson is 115 
nmi\2\ (394 km\2\) and the area of Steamboat Lumps is 104 nmi\2\ (357 
km\2\). The distance between these MPAs is approximately 69 nmi (127 
km). The Council and NMFS created the MPAs to provide protection to 
spawning aggregations of gag, which is a species of grouper, and other 
reef fish. When the MPAs were implemented, all fishing inside the MPAs 
was prohibited, except for Atlantic highly migratory species (HMS) such 
as tunas, billfishes, and oceanic sharks, which are managed separately 
by NMFS' Atlantic HMS Management Division. Since 2004, surface trolling 
has been allowed for non-reef fish species in the MPAs from May 1 
through October 31 annually (69 FR 24532, May 4, 2004). In 2006, NMFS 
implemented complementary management measures to prohibit fishing for 
Atlantic HMS except by surface trolling from May 1 through October 31 
annually (71 FR 58058, October 2, 2006). In addition, the possession of 
Gulf reef fish while inside the MPAs is prohibited, except on a vessel 
in transit with fishing gear stowed as specified in Sec.  622.34(a)(4).
    The Council developed this framework action to modify the 
restrictions on fishing in, and transiting through, the Madison-Swanson 
and Steamboat Lumps MPAs in the eastern Gulf. The framework action 
prohibits all fishing, except for HMS, year-round in the Madison-
Swanson and Steamboat Lumps MPAs, and prohibits the possession of Gulf 
reef fish year-round in these areas unless a vessel has a valid Federal 
commercial permit for Gulf reef fish, an operating satellite-based 
vessel monitoring system (VMS), and is in transit with fishing gear 
appropriately stowed.
    These prohibitions do not apply to Atlantic HMS. Federal 
regulations currently applicable to Atlantic HMS in the MPAs are 
located at 50 CFR part 635.

Management Measures Contained in This Final Rule

    This final rule prohibits fishing year-round in the Madison-Swanson 
and Steamboat Lumps MPAs. Additionally, the possession of any Gulf reef 
fish is prohibited year-round in the MPAs, with a limited exception.
    This final rule revises current fishing restrictions in the MPAs. 
Currently, surface trolling, as defined at Sec.  622.34(a)(5), is the 
only allowable fishing activity and is only allowed from May through 
October each year. Federally managed species that may be targeted by 
surface trolling in the MPAs include the Gulf coastal migratory pelagic 
species king mackerel and Spanish mackerel, and HMS.
    This final rule prohibits fishing year-round for all species except 
HMS. However, NMFS Atlantic HMS Management Division is considering a 
request from the Council to develop compatible regulations for HMS.
    Currently, fishing vessels with Gulf reef fish on board may transit 
through the MPAs as long as all fishing gear is appropriately stowed. 
This provision allows transiting fishing vessels to proceed between 
destinations, without the need to reroute to avoid a specific area even 
if they are in possession of reef fish. For these MPAs, transit means 
non-stop progression through the area and fishing gear appropriately 
stowed is defined in 50 CFR 622.34(a)(4)(i) through (iv). This final 
rule prohibits the possession of Gulf reef fish in the MPAs even when 
transiting unless the vessel was issued a valid Federal commercial 
permit for Gulf reef fish, which requires an operating satellite-based 
VMS. All fishing gear needs to be appropriately stowed.

Comments and Responses

    NMFS did not receive any comments during the public comment period 
for the proposed rule for the framework action and therefore no changes 
were made to this proposed rule as a result of public comment.

Classification

    Pursuant to section 304(b)(1)(A) of the Magnuson-Stevens Act, the 
NMFS Assistant Administrator has determined that this final rule is 
consistent with the framework amendment, the Reef Fish FMP, the 
Magnuson-Stevens Act, and other applicable laws.
    This rule has been determined to be not significant for purposes of 
Executive Order 12866.
    The Magnuson-Stevens Act provides the statutory basis for this 
rule. No duplicative, overlapping, or conflicting Federal rules have 
been identified. In addition, no new reporting, record-keeping, or 
other compliance requirements are introduced by this final rule.
    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 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 comments were received 
regarding the certification and NMFS has not received any new 
information that would affect its determination. As a result, a 
regulatory flexibility analysis was not required and none was prepared.

List of Subjects in 50 CFR Part 622

    Fisheries, Fishing, Gulf of Mexico, Marine protected area, Reef 
fish.

    Dated: July 13, 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 622 is amended 
as follows:

PART 622--FISHERIES OF THE CARIBBEAN, GULF OF MEXICO, AND SOUTH 
ATLANTIC

0
1. The authority citation for part 622 continues to read as follows:

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


0
2. Amend Sec.  622.34 by:
0
a. Revising the paragraph heading and adding paragraph (a) introductory 
text;
0
b. Revising paragraphs (a)(2) and (3); and
0
c. Removing paragraphs (a)(5) and (6).
    The revisions read as follows:


Sec.  622.34   Seasonal and area closures designed to protect Gulf reef 
fish.

    (a) Closure provisions applicable to the Madison and Swanson sites, 
Steamboat Lumps, and the Edges. For the purpose of this paragraph (a), 
fish means finfish, mollusks, crustaceans, and all other forms of 
marine animal and plant life other than marine mammals and birds. The 
provisions of this paragraph (a) do not apply to Atlantic highly 
migratory species, such as tunas, billfishes, and oceanic sharks. See 
50 CFR part 635 for any provisions applicable to fishing for or 
possession of

[[Page 38418]]

Atlantic highly migratory species in these areas.
* * * * *
    (2) Within the Madison and Swanson sites and Steamboat Lumps: 
Fishing is prohibited year-round; possession of Gulf reef fish is 
prohibited year-round except when such possession is on a vessel that 
has been issued a valid Federal commercial permit for Gulf reef fish, 
has an operating satellite-based VMS unit, and is in transit with 
fishing gear stowed as specified in paragraph (a)(4) of this section; 
and possession of any non-Gulf reef fish species is prohibited year-
round, except for such possession on a vessel in transit with fishing 
gear stowed as specified in paragraph (a)(4) of this section.
    (3) Within the Edges during January through April each year, all 
fishing is prohibited and the possession of any fish species is 
prohibited, except for such possession on a vessel in transit with 
fishing gear appropriately stowed as specified in paragraph (a)(4) of 
this section.
* * * * *

[FR Doc. 2021-15202 Filed 7-20-21; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 3510-22-P