Fisheries of the Northeastern United States; Atlantic Mackerel, Squid, and Butterfish Fisheries; Specifications, 38586-38588 [2021-15538]

Download as PDF lotter on DSK11XQN23PROD with RULES1 38586 Federal Register / Vol. 86, No. 138 / Thursday, July 22, 2021 / Rules and Regulations (ii) Map of Unit 8 is provided at paragraph (8)(ii) of this entry. * * * * * Family Polygonaceae: Chorizanthe robusta var. hartwegii (Scotts Valley spineflower) (1) * * * The map provided is for informational purposes only. * * * * * Family Polygonaceae: Chorizanthe robusta var. robusta (robust spineflower) (1) * * * The maps provided are for informational purposes only. * * * * * Family Polygonaceae: Eriogonum gypsophilum (gypsum wild buckwheat) * * * * * NOTE: The map provided is for informational purposes only. Map follows: * * * * * Family Polygonaceae: Eriogonum kennedyi var. austromontanum (Southern mountain wild-buckwheat) (1) * * * The maps provided are for informational purposes only. * * * * * Family Polygonaceae: Eriogonum ovalifolium var. vineum (Cushenbury buckwheat) (1) Critical habitat units are depicted for San Bernardino County, California, on the map below. The map provided is for informational purposes only. * * * * * Family Polygonaceae: Eriogonum pelinophilum (clay-loving wildbuckwheat) * * * * * NOTE: The map provided is for informational purposes only. Map follows: * * * * * Family Polygonaceae: Oxytheca parishii var. goodmaniana (Cushenbury oxytheca) (1) Critical habitat units are depicted for San Bernardino County, California, on the map below. The map provided is for informational purposes only. * * * * * Family Polygonaceae: Polygonum hickmanii (Scotts Valley polygonum) (1) * * * The map provided is for informational purposes only. * * * * * Family Ranunculaceae: Delphinium bakeri (Baker’s larkspur) (1) * * * The maps provided are for informational purposes only. * * * * * Family Ranunculaceae: Delphinium luteum (yellow larkspur) (1) * * * The maps provided are for informational purposes only. * * * * * VerDate Sep<11>2014 15:56 Jul 21, 2021 Jkt 253001 Family Rosaceae: Invesia kingii var. eremica (Ash Meadows invesia) * * * * * NOTE: The map provided is for informational purposes only. Map follows: * * * * * Family Scrophulariaceae: Castilleja campestris ssp. succulenta (fleshy owl’s-clover) * * * * * Family Sterculiaceae: Fremontodendron mexicanum (Mexican flannelbush) * * * * * (5) * * * (ii) Map of Subunits 1A and 1B follows: * * * * * Family Themidaceae: Brodiaea filifolia (thread-leaved brodiaea) * * * * * (15) * * * (i) Unit 12 excludes land bounded by the following UTM NAD83 coordinates (E, N): (A) 485555, 3652857; 485555, 3652822; 485572, 3652827; 485610, 3652827; 485613, 3652829; 485651, 3652882; 485667, 3652882; 485667, 3652899; 485556, 3652899; 485555, 3652857; and (B) 485629, 3652710; 485749, 3652710; 485749, 3652807; 485746, 3652807; 485745, 3652820; 485744, 3652822; 485723, 3652822; 485717, 3652810; 485708, 3652806; 485690, 3652791; 485679, 3652788; 485671, 3652784; 485670, 3652780; 485665, 3652765; 485663, 3652761; 485649, 3652754; 485648, 3652750; 485635, 3652718; 485629, 3652710. * * * * * Martha Williams, Principal Deputy Director, Exercising the Delegated Authority of the Director, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. [FR Doc. 2021–15045 Filed 7–21–21; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4333–15–P DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration 50 CFR Part 648 [Docket No. 210716–0148] RIN 0648–BK59 Fisheries of the Northeastern United States; Atlantic Mackerel, Squid, and Butterfish Fisheries; Specifications National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), National Oceanic and AGENCY: PO 00000 Frm 00050 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Commerce. ACTION: Final rule. NMFS sets new 2021 and projected specifications for fishing year 2022 butterfish and Illex squid, while maintaining the current longfin squid and Atlantic mackerel specifications for 2021 and projected for 2022–2023. This action also adjusts the dealer reporting requirement and adjusts the closure threshold for the Illex squid fishery to avoid overages. This action is required to ensure that specifications for these fisheries is based on the best scientific information available. These specifications are intended to promote the sustainable utilization and conservation of the mackerel, squid, and butterfish resources. Additionally, this action reaffirms previously approved Atlantic chub mackerel specifications for 2021–2022. DATES: Effective July 22, 2021. ADDRESSES: Copies of supporting documents used by the Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council, including the Environmental Assessment (EA), the Regulatory Impact Review (RIR), and the Regulatory Flexibility Act (RFA) analysis are available on the MidAtlantic Fishery Management Council’s website, or from: Dr. Christopher M. Moore, Executive Director, Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council, 800 North State Street, Suite 201, Dover, DE 19901, telephone (302) 674–2331. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Aly Pitts, Fishery Management Specialist, (978) 281–9352. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: SUMMARY: Background The regulations implementing the Mackerel, Squid, and Butterfish Fishery Management Plan (FMP) require the Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council’s Mackerel, Squid, and Butterfish Monitoring Committee to develop specification recommendations for each species based upon the acceptable biological catch (ABC) advice of the Council’s Scientific and Statistical Committee (SSC). The FMP regulations also require the specification of annual catch limits (ACL) and accountability measure (AM) provisions for butterfish. Both squid species are exempt from the ACL/AM requirements because they have a life cycle of less than one year. The regulations for squid require the specification of domestic annual harvest (DAH), the butterfish mortality cap in the longfin squid fishery, and initial optimum yield (IOY) for both squid species. E:\FR\FM\22JYR1.SGM 22JYR1 38587 Federal Register / Vol. 86, No. 138 / Thursday, July 22, 2021 / Rules and Regulations On May 26, 2021 (86 FR 28323), we published a proposed rule in the Federal Register seeking public comment on setting new 2021 and projected specifications for fishing year 2022 butterfish and Illex squid, while maintaining the current longfin squid and Atlantic mackerel specifications for 2021 and projected for 2022–2023, in addition to adjusting the dealer reporting requirement and adjusts the closure threshold for the Illex squid fishery to avoid overages. The proposed rule for this action included additional background on specifications and the details of how the Council derived its recommended specifications for Atlantic mackerel, Illex squid, longfin squid, and butterfish. Those details are not repeated here. For additional information, please refer to the proposed rule for this action. Following the publication of the proposed rule, the Council requested that we increase the Illex squid 2021– 2022 ABC from 30,000 mt ABC to 33,000 mt, as recommended by the SSC. At its May 2021 meeting, the SSC recommended this revised ABC based on updated information, including patterns that suggest an increase in abundance, low levels of exploitation, and catches that have been constrained by existing ABCs for the last 4 years. The SSC is confident that the Illex stock is at a high level of abundance and experiencing a low exploitation rate. This increase was within the range of alternatives considered and analyzed in the EA for this action, and the public had the opportunity to comment on this increase at the May 2021 Monitoring Committee meeting, the May 2021 SSC meeting, and the June 2021 Council meeting. specifications once the final report and results are available. TABLE 1—ATLANTIC MACKEREL FINAL 2021 AND PROJECTED 2022 SPECIFICATIONS Specification Overfishing Limit (OFL) ........ ABC ...................................... Canadian Deduction ............. U.S. ABC .............................. Recreational Allocation ......... Commerical Allocation .......... Management Uncertainty Buffer (3 percent) .............. Commercial Annual Catch Target ................................ DAH ...................................... lotter on DSK11XQN23PROD with RULES1 Jkt 253001 537 17,377 17,312 This action maintains the 2020 longfin squid ABC of 23,400 mt for 2021–2022. The background for this ABC is discussed in the proposed rule to implement the 2018–2020 squid and butterfish specifications (82 FR 58583; December 13, 2017) and is not repeated here. The IOY, DAH, and domestic annual processing (DAP) are calculated by deducting an estimated discard rate (2.0 percent) from the ABC (Table 2). This action also maintains the existing allocation of longfin squid DAH among trimesters according to percentages specified in the FMP (Table 3). The Council will review these specifications during its annual specifications process following annual data updates each spring, and may change its recommendation for 2022 if new information is available. TABLE 4—BUTTERFISH FINAL 2021 AND PROJECTED 2022 SPECIFICATIONS IN METRIC TONS Specification OFL ........................... ABC .......................... ACT ........................... Assumed discards .... Total discards ........... Butterfish cap in longfin fishery ........ DAH .......................... Metric tons OFL ...................................... ABC ...................................... IOY ....................................... DAH/DAP ............................. 2021 2022 22,053 11,993 11,393 637 5,043 24, 341 17,854 16,961 637 5,466 3,884 6,350 3,884 11,495 TABLE 5—2021 TRIMESTER ALLOCATION OF BUTTERFISH MORTALITY CAP ON THE LONGFIN SQUID FISHERY Trimester TABLE 2—LONGFIN SQUID FINAL 2021 AND PROJECTED 2022 SPECIFICATIONS Specification The original 2021 Atlantic mackerel ABC recommended by the SSC for Framework 13 (84 FR 58053; October 30, 2019) was based on projections that recognized a strong 2015 year class in the assessment results. At its July 2020 meeting, the SSC considered preliminary results from the 2019 Canadian Atlantic mackerel assessment, which indicated lower than expected recruitment. As a result, the SSC recommended maintaining the more conservative 2020 ABC for 2021. This action maintains the 2020 mackerel specifications outlined in Table 1 for 2021. These specifications also maintain the 129-mt river herring and shad catch cap. There was an Atlantic mackerel management track assessment June 2021 that will inform future ABC 15:56 Jul 21, 2021 NA 29,184 10,000 19,184 1,270 17,914 2021–2022 Longfin Squid Specifications 2021–2022 Atlantic Mackerel Specifications VerDate Sep<11>2014 2021–2022 reduction from 2020. The 2020 butterfish management track assessment found butterfish to be not overfished with no overfishing occurring in 2019, but if the full ABC had been caught, projections suggest overfishing would have occurred and the stock would have become overfished. While butterfish recruitment is variable, it has been declining since 1999 with historically low recruitment in recent years. The 2021–2022 butterfish specifications use the Council’s risk policy at the time and the SSC’s assignment of a 100-percent coefficient of variation to the projected OFL. These specifications maintain the existing butterfish mortality cap in the longfin squid fishery of 3,884 mt and the existing allocation of the butterfish mortality cap among longfin squid trimesters (Table 5). Percent Metric tons I (Jan–Apr) ................ II (May–Aug) ............. III (Sep–Dec) ............ 43 17 40 1,670 660 1,554 Total ................... 100 3,844 Unknown. 23,400. 22,932. 22,932. 2021–2022 Illex Squid Specifications Consistent with the Council’s June 2021 recommendation, NMFS adjusts TABLE 3—LONGFIN QUOTA TRIMESTER the 2021 Illex squid ABC from 30,000 ALLOCATIONS FINAL 2021 AND PRO- mt to 33,000 mt. Based on the SSC’s recommendation, the Council JECTED 2022 SPECIFICATIONS recommended that the ABC be reduced by the discard rate of 4.61 percent, a Metric Trimester Percent change from the status quo discard rate tons of 4.52 percent, due to updated data that I (Jan–Apr) ................ 43 9,861 will be used in the 2022 Illex Squid II (May–Aug) ............. 17 3,898 Research Track Assessment. Using the III (Sep–Dec) ............ 40 9,173 updated discard rate results in a 2021– 2022 IOY, DAH, and DAP of 31,478 mt 2021–2022 Butterfish Specifications (Table 6). The Council will review this This action sets the 2021–2022 decision during its annual specifications butterfish specifications as outlined in process following annual data updates Table 4, which are a 72-percent each spring, and may change its PO 00000 I Frm 00051 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 E:\FR\FM\22JYR1.SGM 22JYR1 38588 Federal Register / Vol. 86, No. 138 / Thursday, July 22, 2021 / Rules and Regulations management at its meeting in August 2021, following the updated management track assessment and the July SSC meeting. recommendations for 2022 if new information is available. TABLE 6—ILLEX SQUID FINAL 2021 AND PROJECTED 2022 SPECIFICA- Classification TIONS IN METRIC TON OFL ....................................... ABC ...................................... IOY ........................................ DAH/DAP .............................. Unknown 33,000 31,478 31,478 Illex Squid In-Season Management Measures This action modifies the current weekly reporting for commercial dealers after July 15 to a 48-hour reporting requirement for accurate landings monitoring during the fishing season. This action also modifies the closure threshold from 95 percent to 94 percent. Both measures are designed to help avoid quota overages, which occurred in 2018 and 2019. Reaffirmation of 2021–2022 Atlantic Chub Mackerel Specifications Amendment 21 to the FMP previously implemented chub mackerel specifications for the 2020–2022 fishing years. The Council reevaluated these specifications at its October 2020 meeting and decided to make no adjustments for the 2021–2022 fishing years. This action reaffirms the previously implemented specifications. TABLE 7—REAFFIRMED ATLANTIC CHUB MACKEREL FINAL 2021 AND PROJECTED 2022 SPECIFICATIONS SPECIFICATIONS IN METRIC TONS Specification 2021–2022 lotter on DSK11XQN23PROD with RULES1 ABC ...................................... Annual Catch Limit (ACL) ..... Annual Catch Target ............ Total Allowable Landings ..... 2,300 2,262 2,171 2,041 Comments We received four comments on the proposed rule; one comment from the MAFMC, one from a commercial fishing industry member, and two from environmental organizations. The MAFMC and commercial fishing industry member recommended we increase the Illex squid ABC. We are increasing the Illex squid ABC from 30,000 mt to 33,000 mt in this action based on updated information considered by the Council. The two environmental organizations mentioned the poor stock status of Atlantic mackerel in Canada and the actions Fisheries and Oceans Canada has taken to manage mackerel. The Council will be addressing Atlantic mackerel VerDate Sep<11>2014 15:56 Jul 21, 2021 Jkt 253001 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 Atlantic Mackerel, Squid, and Butterfish FMP, other provisions of the MagnusonStevens Act, and other applicable law. There is good cause under 5 U.S.C. 553(d)(3) to waive the 30-day delay in effective date. The start of the fishing year began on January 1, 2021. This rule increases the Illex squid ABC and adjusts the reporting requirements and in-season closure trigger to avoid another overage. A delay in implementing final measures would prevent the economic benefits from this rule from being realized and prevent achieving optimal yield in the summer fishing season. In addition, this rule reduces the butterfish ABC below the current specifications based on a recent butterfish stock assessment. Past performance suggests that this will not limit the fishery as recent landings have been lower than the reduced ABC, but there remains a risk of overages with the fishery operating under the current higher specifications. Therefore, it is in the public interest to implement this final action as soon as possible. This final rule has been determined to be not significant for purposes of Executive Order 12866. 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 this certification and no other information has been obtained that suggests any other conclusion. As a result, a regulatory flexibility analysis was not required and none was prepared. This final rule does not contain a change to a collection of information requirement for purposes of the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995. The existing collection of information requirements would continue to apply under the following OMB Control Number: 0648–0229. List of Subjects in 50 CFR Part 648 Fisheries, Fishing, Recordkeeping and reporting requirements. PO 00000 Frm 00052 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 Dated: July 16, 2021. Carrie Robinson, Acting Deputy Assistant Administrator for Regulatory Programs, National Marine Fisheries Service. For the reasons set out in the preamble, 50 CFR part 648 is amended as follows: PART 648—FISHERIES OF THE NORTHEASTERN UNITED STATES 1. The authority citation for part 648 continues to read as follows: ■ Authority: 16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq. 2. In § 648.7, add paragraph (f)(1)(ii) to read as follows: ■ § 648.7 Recordkeeping and reporting requirements. * * * * * (f) * * * (1) * * * (ii) From July 15 through December 31, dealer or processor reports documenting Illex squid landings greater than 10,000 pounds (4.5 mt) must be received with 48 hours of landing. * * * * * ■ 3. In § 648.24, revise paragraph (a)(2) to read as follows: § 648.24 Fishery closures and accountability measures. (a) * * * (2) Illex. NMFS shall close the directed Illex fishery in the EEZ when the Regional Administrator projects that 94 percent of the Illex DAH is harvested. The closure of the directed fishery shall be in effect for the remainder of that fishing period, with incidental catches allowed as specified at § 648.26. * * * * * [FR Doc. 2021–15538 Filed 7–21–21; 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–XB064 Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Kamchatka Flounder in the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Management Area National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Commerce. ACTION: Temporary rule; closure. AGENCY: E:\FR\FM\22JYR1.SGM 22JYR1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 86, Number 138 (Thursday, July 22, 2021)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 38586-38588]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2021-15538]


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

DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

50 CFR Part 648

[Docket No. 210716-0148]
RIN 0648-BK59


Fisheries of the Northeastern United States; Atlantic Mackerel, 
Squid, and Butterfish Fisheries; Specifications

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

ACTION: Final rule.

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

SUMMARY: NMFS sets new 2021 and projected specifications for fishing 
year 2022 butterfish and Illex squid, while maintaining the current 
longfin squid and Atlantic mackerel specifications for 2021 and 
projected for 2022-2023. This action also adjusts the dealer reporting 
requirement and adjusts the closure threshold for the Illex squid 
fishery to avoid overages. This action is required to ensure that 
specifications for these fisheries is based on the best scientific 
information available. These specifications are intended to promote the 
sustainable utilization and conservation of the mackerel, squid, and 
butterfish resources. Additionally, this action reaffirms previously 
approved Atlantic chub mackerel specifications for 2021-2022.

DATES: Effective July 22, 2021.

ADDRESSES: Copies of supporting documents used by the Mid-Atlantic 
Fishery Management Council, including the Environmental Assessment 
(EA), the Regulatory Impact Review (RIR), and the Regulatory 
Flexibility Act (RFA) analysis are available on the Mid-Atlantic 
Fishery Management Council's website, or from: Dr. Christopher M. 
Moore, Executive Director, Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council, 800 
North State Street, Suite 201, Dover, DE 19901, telephone (302) 674-
2331.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Aly Pitts, Fishery Management 
Specialist, (978) 281-9352.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Background

    The regulations implementing the Mackerel, Squid, and Butterfish 
Fishery Management Plan (FMP) require the Mid-Atlantic Fishery 
Management Council's Mackerel, Squid, and Butterfish Monitoring 
Committee to develop specification recommendations for each species 
based upon the acceptable biological catch (ABC) advice of the 
Council's Scientific and Statistical Committee (SSC). The FMP 
regulations also require the specification of annual catch limits (ACL) 
and accountability measure (AM) provisions for butterfish. Both squid 
species are exempt from the ACL/AM requirements because they have a 
life cycle of less than one year. The regulations for squid require the 
specification of domestic annual harvest (DAH), the butterfish 
mortality cap in the longfin squid fishery, and initial optimum yield 
(IOY) for both squid species.

[[Page 38587]]

    On May 26, 2021 (86 FR 28323), we published a proposed rule in the 
Federal Register seeking public comment on setting new 2021 and 
projected specifications for fishing year 2022 butterfish and Illex 
squid, while maintaining the current longfin squid and Atlantic 
mackerel specifications for 2021 and projected for 2022-2023, in 
addition to adjusting the dealer reporting requirement and adjusts the 
closure threshold for the Illex squid fishery to avoid overages. The 
proposed rule for this action included additional background on 
specifications and the details of how the Council derived its 
recommended specifications for Atlantic mackerel, Illex squid, longfin 
squid, and butterfish. Those details are not repeated here. For 
additional information, please refer to the proposed rule for this 
action.
    Following the publication of the proposed rule, the Council 
requested that we increase the Illex squid 2021-2022 ABC from 30,000 mt 
ABC to 33,000 mt, as recommended by the SSC. At its May 2021 meeting, 
the SSC recommended this revised ABC based on updated information, 
including patterns that suggest an increase in abundance, low levels of 
exploitation, and catches that have been constrained by existing ABCs 
for the last 4 years. The SSC is confident that the Illex stock is at a 
high level of abundance and experiencing a low exploitation rate. This 
increase was within the range of alternatives considered and analyzed 
in the EA for this action, and the public had the opportunity to 
comment on this increase at the May 2021 Monitoring Committee meeting, 
the May 2021 SSC meeting, and the June 2021 Council meeting.

2021-2022 Atlantic Mackerel Specifications

    The original 2021 Atlantic mackerel ABC recommended by the SSC for 
Framework 13 (84 FR 58053; October 30, 2019) was based on projections 
that recognized a strong 2015 year class in the assessment results. At 
its July 2020 meeting, the SSC considered preliminary results from the 
2019 Canadian Atlantic mackerel assessment, which indicated lower than 
expected recruitment. As a result, the SSC recommended maintaining the 
more conservative 2020 ABC for 2021. This action maintains the 2020 
mackerel specifications outlined in Table 1 for 2021. These 
specifications also maintain the 129-mt river herring and shad catch 
cap. There was an Atlantic mackerel management track assessment June 
2021 that will inform future ABC specifications once the final report 
and results are available.

 Table 1--Atlantic Mackerel Final 2021 and Projected 2022 Specifications
------------------------------------------------------------------------
                      Specification                          2021-2022
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Overfishing Limit (OFL).................................              NA
ABC.....................................................          29,184
Canadian Deduction......................................          10,000
U.S. ABC................................................          19,184
Recreational Allocation.................................           1,270
Commerical Allocation...................................          17,914
Management Uncertainty Buffer (3 percent)...............             537
Commercial Annual Catch Target..........................          17,377
DAH.....................................................          17,312
------------------------------------------------------------------------

2021-2022 Longfin Squid Specifications

    This action maintains the 2020 longfin squid ABC of 23,400 mt for 
2021-2022. The background for this ABC is discussed in the proposed 
rule to implement the 2018-2020 squid and butterfish specifications (82 
FR 58583; December 13, 2017) and is not repeated here. The IOY, DAH, 
and domestic annual processing (DAP) are calculated by deducting an 
estimated discard rate (2.0 percent) from the ABC (Table 2). This 
action also maintains the existing allocation of longfin squid DAH 
among trimesters according to percentages specified in the FMP (Table 
3). The Council will review these specifications during its annual 
specifications process following annual data updates each spring, and 
may change its recommendation for 2022 if new information is available.

   Table 2--Longfin Squid Final 2021 and Projected 2022 Specifications
------------------------------------------------------------------------
              Specification                         Metric tons
------------------------------------------------------------------------
OFL.....................................  Unknown.
ABC.....................................  23,400.
IOY.....................................  22,932.
DAH/DAP.................................  22,932.
------------------------------------------------------------------------


  Table 3--Longfin Quota Trimester Allocations Final 2021 and Projected
                           2022 Specifications
------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                 Metric
                     Trimester                       Percent      tons
------------------------------------------------------------------------
I (Jan-Apr).......................................         43      9,861
II (May-Aug)......................................         17      3,898
III (Sep-Dec).....................................         40      9,173
------------------------------------------------------------------------

2021-2022 Butterfish Specifications

    This action sets the 2021-2022 butterfish specifications as 
outlined in Table 4, which are a 72-percent reduction from 2020. The 
2020 butterfish management track assessment found butterfish to be not 
overfished with no overfishing occurring in 2019, but if the full ABC 
had been caught, projections suggest overfishing would have occurred 
and the stock would have become overfished. While butterfish 
recruitment is variable, it has been declining since 1999 with 
historically low recruitment in recent years. The 2021-2022 butterfish 
specifications use the Council's risk policy at the time and the SSC's 
assignment of a 100-percent coefficient of variation to the projected 
OFL. These specifications maintain the existing butterfish mortality 
cap in the longfin squid fishery of 3,884 mt and the existing 
allocation of the butterfish mortality cap among longfin squid 
trimesters (Table 5).

   Table 4--Butterfish Final 2021 and Projected 2022 Specifications in
                               Metric Tons
------------------------------------------------------------------------
                   Specification                       2021       2022
------------------------------------------------------------------------
OFL...............................................     22,053    24, 341
ABC...............................................     11,993     17,854
ACT...............................................     11,393     16,961
Assumed discards..................................        637        637
Total discards....................................      5,043      5,466
Butterfish cap in longfin fishery.................      3,884      3,884
DAH...............................................      6,350     11,495
------------------------------------------------------------------------


  Table 5--2021 Trimester Allocation of Butterfish Mortality Cap on the
                          Longfin Squid Fishery
------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                 Metric
                     Trimester                       Percent      tons
------------------------------------------------------------------------
I (Jan-Apr).......................................         43      1,670
II (May-Aug)......................................         17        660
III (Sep-Dec).....................................         40      1,554
                                                   ---------------------
    Total.........................................        100      3,844
------------------------------------------------------------------------

2021-2022 Illex Squid Specifications

    Consistent with the Council's June 2021 recommendation, NMFS 
adjusts the 2021 Illex squid ABC from 30,000 mt to 33,000 mt. Based on 
the SSC's recommendation, the Council recommended that the ABC be 
reduced by the discard rate of 4.61 percent, a change from the status 
quo discard rate of 4.52 percent, due to updated data that will be used 
in the 2022 Illex Squid Research Track Assessment. Using the updated 
discard rate results in a 2021-2022 IOY, DAH, and DAP of 31,478 mt 
(Table 6). The Council will review this decision during its annual 
specifications process following annual data updates each spring, and 
may change its

[[Page 38588]]

recommendations for 2022 if new information is available.

  Table 6--Illex Squid Final 2021 and Projected 2022 Specifications in
                               Metric Ton
------------------------------------------------------------------------
 
------------------------------------------------------------------------
OFL.....................................................         Unknown
ABC.....................................................          33,000
IOY.....................................................          31,478
DAH/DAP.................................................          31,478
------------------------------------------------------------------------

Illex Squid In-Season Management Measures

    This action modifies the current weekly reporting for commercial 
dealers after July 15 to a 48-hour reporting requirement for accurate 
landings monitoring during the fishing season. This action also 
modifies the closure threshold from 95 percent to 94 percent. Both 
measures are designed to help avoid quota overages, which occurred in 
2018 and 2019.

Reaffirmation of 2021-2022 Atlantic Chub Mackerel Specifications

    Amendment 21 to the FMP previously implemented chub mackerel 
specifications for the 2020-2022 fishing years. The Council reevaluated 
these specifications at its October 2020 meeting and decided to make no 
adjustments for the 2021-2022 fishing years. This action reaffirms the 
previously implemented specifications.

Table 7--Reaffirmed Atlantic Chub Mackerel Final 2021 and Projected 2022
              Specifications Specifications in Metric Tons
------------------------------------------------------------------------
                      Specification                          2021-2022
------------------------------------------------------------------------
ABC.....................................................           2,300
Annual Catch Limit (ACL)................................           2,262
Annual Catch Target.....................................           2,171
Total Allowable Landings................................           2,041
------------------------------------------------------------------------

Comments

    We received four comments on the proposed rule; one comment from 
the MAFMC, one from a commercial fishing industry member, and two from 
environmental organizations. The MAFMC and commercial fishing industry 
member recommended we increase the Illex squid ABC. We are increasing 
the Illex squid ABC from 30,000 mt to 33,000 mt in this action based on 
updated information considered by the Council. The two environmental 
organizations mentioned the poor stock status of Atlantic mackerel in 
Canada and the actions Fisheries and Oceans Canada has taken to manage 
mackerel. The Council will be addressing Atlantic mackerel management 
at its meeting in August 2021, following the updated management track 
assessment and the July SSC meeting.

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 Atlantic Mackerel, Squid, and Butterfish FMP, other 
provisions of the Magnuson-Stevens Act, and other applicable law.
    There is good cause under 5 U.S.C. 553(d)(3) to waive the 30-day 
delay in effective date. The start of the fishing year began on January 
1, 2021. This rule increases the Illex squid ABC and adjusts the 
reporting requirements and in-season closure trigger to avoid another 
overage. A delay in implementing final measures would prevent the 
economic benefits from this rule from being realized and prevent 
achieving optimal yield in the summer fishing season. In addition, this 
rule reduces the butterfish ABC below the current specifications based 
on a recent butterfish stock assessment. Past performance suggests that 
this will not limit the fishery as recent landings have been lower than 
the reduced ABC, but there remains a risk of overages with the fishery 
operating under the current higher specifications. Therefore, it is in 
the public interest to implement this final action as soon as possible.
    This final rule has been determined to be not significant for 
purposes of Executive Order 12866.
    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 this certification and no other information has been obtained 
that suggests any other conclusion. As a result, a regulatory 
flexibility analysis was not required and none was prepared.
    This final rule does not contain a change to a collection of 
information requirement for purposes of the Paperwork Reduction Act of 
1995. The existing collection of information requirements would 
continue to apply under the following OMB Control Number: 0648-0229.

List of Subjects in 50 CFR Part 648

    Fisheries, Fishing, Recordkeeping and reporting requirements.

    Dated: July 16, 2021.
Carrie Robinson,
Acting Deputy Assistant Administrator for Regulatory Programs, National 
Marine Fisheries Service.

    For the reasons set out in the preamble, 50 CFR part 648 is amended 
as follows:

PART 648--FISHERIES OF THE NORTHEASTERN UNITED STATES

0
1. The authority citation for part 648 continues to read as follows:

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


0
2. In Sec.  648.7, add paragraph (f)(1)(ii) to read as follows:


Sec.  648.7   Recordkeeping and reporting requirements.

* * * * *
    (f) * * *
    (1) * * *
    (ii) From July 15 through December 31, dealer or processor reports 
documenting Illex squid landings greater than 10,000 pounds (4.5 mt) 
must be received with 48 hours of landing.
* * * * *

0
3. In Sec.  648.24, revise paragraph (a)(2) to read as follows:


Sec.  648.24   Fishery closures and accountability measures.

    (a) * * *
    (2) Illex. NMFS shall close the directed Illex fishery in the EEZ 
when the Regional Administrator projects that 94 percent of the Illex 
DAH is harvested. The closure of the directed fishery shall be in 
effect for the remainder of that fishing period, with incidental 
catches allowed as specified at Sec.  648.26.
* * * * *
[FR Doc. 2021-15538 Filed 7-21-21; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 3510-22-P