Pacific Halibut Fisheries; Catch Sharing Plan; Inseason Action, 47238-47240 [2021-18211]

Download as PDF 47238 Federal Register / Vol. 86, No. 161 / Tuesday, August 24, 2021 / Rules and Regulations Endangered Species Act. We published a notice outlining our reasons for this determination in the Federal Register on October 25, 1983 (48 FR 49244). Government-To-Government Relationship With Tribes In accordance with the President’s memorandum of April 29, 1994 (Government-to-Government Relations with Native American Tribal Governments; 59 FR 22951), Executive Order 13175 (Consultation and Coordination With Indian Tribal Governments), and the Department of the Interior’s manual at 512 DM 2, we acknowledge our responsibility to communicate meaningfully with recognized Federal Tribes on a government-to-government basis. In accordance with Secretarial Order 3206 of June 5, 1997 (American Indian Tribal Rights, Federal-Tribal Trust Responsibilities, and the Endangered Species Act), we acknowledge our responsibilities to work directly with tribes in developing programs for healthy ecosystems, to acknowledge that tribal lands are not subject to the same controls as Federal public lands, to remain sensitive to Indian culture, and Common name * INSECTS Bee, bumble, Franklin’s .. * * References Cited A complete list of references cited in this rule is available on the internet at https://www.regulations.gov under Docket No. FWS–R1–ES–2018–0044 and upon request from the Oregon Fish and Wildlife Office (see FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT). ■ Authors The primary authors of this rule are the staff members of the Fish and Wildlife Service’s Species Assessment Team and the Oregon Fish and Wildlife Office. Where listed * Bombus franklini ............. * BILLING CODE 4333–15–P DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration 50 CFR Part 300 [Docket No.: 210415–0082] Wherever found .............. E ......... * Jkt 253001 This document announces two additional season dates of August 27 and September 24 for the Washington South Coast and Columbia River subareas for Pacific halibut recreational fisheries in the International Pacific Halibut Commission’s regulatory Area 2A off Washington, Oregon, and California. This action is intended to conserve Pacific halibut and provide angler opportunity where available. SUMMARY: Submit your comments, identified by NOAA–NMFS–2020–0157, by either of the following methods: • Federal e-Rulemaking Portal: Go to www.regulations.gov/docket/NOAANMFS-2020-0157, click the ‘‘Comment’’ Fmt 4700 1. The authority citation for part 17 continues to read as follows: AUTHORITY: 16 U.S.C. 1361–1407; 1531– 1544; and 4201–4245, unless otherwise noted. 2. Amend § 17.11 in paragraph (h) by adding an entry for ‘‘Bee, bumble, Franklin’s’’ to the List of Endangered and Threatened Wildlife in alphabetical order under INSECTS to read as follows: ■ § 17.11 Endangered and threatened wildlife. * * * (h) * * * Sfmt 4700 * * * 85 FR [Insert Federal Register page where the document begins], 8/24/21. Temporary rule; inseason adjustment; request for comments. Frm 00030 PART 17—ENDANGERED AND THREATENED WILDLIFE AND PLANTS * ACTION: PO 00000 Accordingly, we amend part 17, subchapter B of chapter I, title 50 of the Code of Federal Regulations, as set forth below: * ADDRESSES: National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Commerce. AGENCY: Regulation Promulgation * This action is effective August 20, 2021, through September 30, 2021. Submit comments on or before September 8, 2021. Pacific Halibut Fisheries; Catch Sharing Plan; Inseason Action Endangered and threatened species, Exports, Imports, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements, Transportation. Listing citations and applicable rules DATES: RTID 0648–XB316 15:55 Aug 23, 2021 Status * * [FR Doc. 2021–17832 Filed 8–23–21; 8:45 am] lotter on DSK11XQN23PROD with RULES1 List of Subjects in 50 CFR Part 17 Scientific name Martha Williams, Principal Deputy Director, Exercising the Delegated Authority of the Director, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. VerDate Sep<11>2014 to make information available to tribes. On July 17, 2017, as part of our status review process, we sent out notification letters to 11 Tribes that are in proximity to the known historical range of the Franklin’s bumble bee (6 Tribes in Oregon and 5 Tribes in California). The letter provided the Tribes early notification that were conducting a status review for Franklin’s bumble bee and solicited their input to ensure that we had the best scientific data available to inform our subsequent finding on the status. We did not receive a response from any of the Tribes. * * icon, complete the required fields, and enter or attach your comments. • Mail: Submit written comments to Barry Thom, c/o Kathryn Blair, West Coast Region, NMFS, 1201 NE Lloyd Blvd., Suite 1100, Portland, OR 97232. Instructions: NMFS may not consider comments if they are sent by any other method, to any other address or individual, or received after the comment period ends. All comments received are a part of the public record and NMFS will post them for public viewing on www.regulations.gov without change. All personal identifying information (e.g., name, address, etc.), confidential business information, or otherwise sensitive information submitted voluntarily by the sender is publicly accessible. NMFS will accept anonymous comments (enter ‘‘N/A’’ in the required fields if you wish to remain anonymous). Docket: This rule is accessible via the internet at the Office of the Federal Register website at https:// E:\FR\FM\24AUR1.SGM 24AUR1 lotter on DSK11XQN23PROD with RULES1 Federal Register / Vol. 86, No. 161 / Tuesday, August 24, 2021 / Rules and Regulations www.federalregister.gov/. Background information and documents are available at the NOAA Fisheries website at https://www.fisheries.noaa.gov/ action/2021-pacific-halibut-catchsharing-plan and at the Council’s website at https://www.pcouncil.org. Other comments received may be accessed through www.regulations.gov. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Kathryn Blair, phone: 503–231–6858, fax: 503–231–6893, or email: kathryn.blair@noaa.gov. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: On April 21, 2021, NMFS published a final rule implementing the Pacific halibut Area 2A Catch Sharing Plan and recreational (sport) management measures for 2021 (86 FR 20638), as authorized by the Northern Pacific Halibut Act of 1982 (16 U.S.C. 773–773(k)). The 2021 Catch Sharing Plan provides a recommended framework for NMFS’ annual management measures and subarea allocations based on the 2021 Area 2A Pacific halibut catch limit of 1,510,000 pounds (lb) (684.9 metric tons (mt)). These Pacific halibut management measures include recreational fishery season dates and subarea allocations. Federal regulations at 50 CFR 300.63(c), ‘‘Flexible Inseason Management Provisions for Sport Halibut Fisheries in Area 2A,’’ allow the NMFS’ Regional Administrator, after consultation with the Chairman of the Pacific Fishery Management Council (Council), the Executive Director of the International Pacific Halibut Commission (IPHC), and the Fisheries Directors of the affected states, or their designees, to modify annual regulations during the season. These inseason provisions allow the Regional Administrator to modify sport fishing periods, bag limits, size limits, days per calendar week, and subarea quotas, if it is determined it is necessary to meet the allocation objectives and the action will not result in exceeding the catch limit. Regulations at this section also state that NMFS may take inseason action to transfer projected unused quota from recreational fisheries north of Cape Falcon, Oregon, and transfer it to another Washington subarea (50 CFR 300.63(c)(iii)). NMFS has determined that, due to lower than expected landings in portions of Washington, inseason action to modify the 2021 annual regulations is warranted at this time to help ensure the Area 2A allocations as published in the final rule (86 FR 20638; April 21, 2021) are met. As stated above, inseason modification of the fishing season is authorized by Federal regulations at 50 CFR 300.63(c). After a virtual VerDate Sep<11>2014 15:55 Aug 23, 2021 Jkt 253001 consultation with IPHC, the Council, and the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) on July 23, 2021, NMFS determined the following inseason action is necessary to meet the management objective of attaining the subarea allocations, and is consistent with the inseason management provisions allowing for the modification of sport fishing periods and sport fishing days per calendar week. Notice of these additional dates and closure of the fisheries will also be announced on the NMFS hotline at 206–526–6667 or 800–662–9825. Inseason Action Description of the action: This inseason action implements up to two additional fishing dates for the Washington South Coast and Columbia River subareas during the 2021 recreational fishery. Reason for the action: The purpose of this inseason action is to provide additional opportunity for anglers in Washington on August 27 and September 24. NMFS has determined that these additional dates are warranted due to much lower than expected landings through July 2021, and the expectation that a substantial amount of subarea allocation will go unharvested without additional fishing dates. As of July 22, anglers in all Washington and Columbia River subareas have harvested 203,899 lb (92.5 mt) of the 289,517 lb (131.3 mt) allocations, leaving 85,618 lb remaining (30 percent of the subarea allocation). For reference, in 2018 and 2019, all Washington and Columbia River subareas had attained 94 and 93 percent, respectively, of the available recreational quota by the end of June. On July 21, 2021, NMFS published an inseason (86 FR 38415) adding additional open dates for the Washington North Coast and Puget Sound subareas based on data through June 10, 2021. Catch tracked lower than anticipated for the remaining June season dates and even with the additional 17 fishing dates, NMFS estimates that there would be quota remaining from the Washington allocation. Without additional fishing days in this action, the season dates implemented in the April 21, 2021 (86 FR 20638) final rule and including the additional days in the July 21, 2021 inseason (86 FR 38415), would likely result in substantial unharvested quota in the state of Washington. In order for anglers to have the opportunity to achieve the combined subarea allocations in Washington, and with little risk of the quota being exceeded, WDFW requested NMFS PO 00000 Frm 00031 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 47239 implement additional season dates for participants in the Washington South Coast and Columbia River subareas. Therefore, through this action NMFS is announcing new season dates in August and September that were not previously implemented in the April 21, 2021 final rule (86 FR 20638) and the July 21, 2021 inseason (86 FR 38415). Specifically, the additional season dates for the Washington South Coast and Columbia River subareas are August 27 and September 24. These additional dates result in up to two statewide open days, with the Washington North Coast and Puget Sound already scheduled to be open on those dates. 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 additional dates 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 until NMFS has determined there is not sufficient quota for another full day of fishing, and the area is closed by the IPHC, or the season closes on September 30, whichever is earlier. 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 July 22, 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 Washington recreational fishery have only caught 70 percent of all Washington and the Columbia River subarea’s combined allocations. 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 E:\FR\FM\24AUR1.SGM 24AUR1 lotter on DSK11XQN23PROD with RULES1 47240 Federal Register / Vol. 86, No. 161 / Tuesday, August 24, 2021 / Rules and Regulations 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 combined Washington and Columbia River subarea allocations would not be harvested, limiting economic benefits to the participants and not meeting the goals of the Catch Sharing Plan and the 2021 management measures. It is necessary that this 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 for public inspection, 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 VerDate Sep<11>2014 15:55 Aug 23, 2021 Jkt 253001 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: August 19, 2021. Kelly Denit, Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine Fisheries Service. [FR Doc. 2021–18211 Filed 8–20–21; 4:15 pm] BILLING CODE 3510–22–P DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration 50 CFR Part 679 [Docket No. 210217–0022] RTID 0648–XB349 Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Reallocation of Pacific Cod in the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Management Area National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Commerce. ACTION: Temporary rule; reallocation. AGENCY: NMFS is reallocating the projected unused amount of Pacific cod from vessels using jig gear and catcher vessels greater than or equal to 60 feet (18.3 meters (m)) length overall (LOA) using hook-and-line gear to catcher vessels less than 60 feet (18.3 m) LOA using hook-and-line or pot gear in the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands management area (BSAI). This action is necessary to allow the 2021 total allowable catch (TAC) of Pacific cod to be harvested. DATES: Effective August 23, 2021, through 2400 hours, Alaska local time (A.l.t.), December 31, 2021. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Krista Milani, 907–581–2062. 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 Pacific cod TAC specified for vessels using jig gear in the BSAI is SUMMARY: PO 00000 Frm 00032 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 1,565 metric tons (mt) as established by the final 2021 and 2022 harvest specifications for groundfish in the BSAI (86 FR 11449, February 25, 2021). The 2021 Pacific cod TAC specified for catcher vessels greater than or equal to 60 feet (18.3 m) LOA using hook-andline gear in the BSAI is 222 mt as established by the final 2021 and 2022 harvest specifications for groundfish in the BSAI (86 FR 11449, February 25, 2021). The 2021 Pacific cod TAC allocated to catcher vessels less than 60 feet (18.3 m) LOA using hook-and-line or pot gear in the BSAI is 2,222 mt as established by final 2021 and 2022 harvest specifications for groundfish in the BSAI (86 FR 11449, February 25, 2021). The Administrator, Alaska Region, NMFS, (Regional Administrator) has determined that jig vessels will not be able to harvest 1,500 mt of the 2021 Pacific cod TAC allocated to those vessels under § 679.20(a)(7)(ii)(A)(1) and catcher vessels greater than or equal to 60 feet (18.3 m) LOA using hook-andline gear will not be able to harvest 222 mt of the 2021 Pacific cod TAC allocated to those vessels under § 679.20(a)(7)(ii)(A)(3). Therefore, in accordance with § 679.20(a)(7)(iv)(C), NMFS apportions 1,500 mt of Pacific cod from the jig vessels to the annual amount specified for catcher vessels less than 60 feet (18.3 m) LOA using hook-and-line or pot gear. Also, in accordance with § 679.20(a)(7)(iii)(A), NMFS reallocates 222 mt from the catcher vessels greater than or equal to 60 feet (18.3 m) LOA using hook-and-line gear to the annual amount specified for catcher vessels less than 60 feet (18.3 m) LOA using hookand-line or pot gear. The harvest specifications for 2021 Pacific cod included in final 2021 and 2022 harvest specifications for groundfish in the BSAI (86 FR 11449, February 25, 2021) is revised as follows: 65 mt to vessels using jig gear, 0 mt to catcher vessels greater than or equal to 60 feet (18.3 m) LOA using hook-andline gear, and 3,944 mt to catcher vessels less than 60 feet (18.3 m) LOA using hook-and-line or pot gear. 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. This requirement is impracticable and contrary to the public E:\FR\FM\24AUR1.SGM 24AUR1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 86, Number 161 (Tuesday, August 24, 2021)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 47238-47240]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2021-18211]


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DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

50 CFR Part 300

[Docket No.: 210415-0082]
RTID 0648-XB316


Pacific Halibut Fisheries; Catch Sharing Plan; Inseason Action

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

ACTION: Temporary rule; inseason adjustment; request for comments.

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

SUMMARY: This document announces two additional season dates of August 
27 and September 24 for the Washington South Coast and Columbia River 
subareas for Pacific halibut recreational fisheries in the 
International Pacific Halibut Commission's regulatory Area 2A off 
Washington, Oregon, and California. This action is intended to conserve 
Pacific halibut and provide angler opportunity where available.

DATES: This action is effective August 20, 2021, through September 30, 
2021. Submit comments on or before September 8, 2021.

ADDRESSES: Submit your comments, identified by NOAA-NMFS-2020-0157, by 
either of the following methods:
     Federal e-Rulemaking Portal: Go to www.regulations.gov/docket/NOAA-NMFS-2020-0157, click the ``Comment'' icon, complete the 
required fields, and enter or attach your comments.
     Mail: Submit written comments to Barry Thom, c/o Kathryn 
Blair, West Coast Region, NMFS, 1201 NE Lloyd Blvd., Suite 1100, 
Portland, OR 97232.
    Instructions: NMFS may not consider comments if they are sent by 
any other method, to any other address or individual, or received after 
the comment period ends. All comments received are a part of the public 
record and NMFS will post them for public viewing on 
www.regulations.gov without change. All personal identifying 
information (e.g., name, address, etc.), confidential business 
information, or otherwise sensitive information submitted voluntarily 
by the sender is publicly accessible. NMFS will accept anonymous 
comments (enter ``N/A'' in the required fields if you wish to remain 
anonymous).
    Docket: This rule is accessible via the internet at the Office of 
the Federal Register website at https://

[[Page 47239]]

www.federalregister.gov/. Background information and documents are 
available at the NOAA Fisheries website at https://www.fisheries.noaa.gov/action/2021-pacific-halibut-catch-sharing-plan 
and at the Council's website at https://www.pcouncil.org. Other comments 
received may be accessed through www.regulations.gov.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Kathryn Blair, phone: 503-231-6858, 
fax: 503-231-6893, or email: [email protected].

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: On April 21, 2021, NMFS published a final 
rule implementing the Pacific halibut Area 2A Catch Sharing Plan and 
recreational (sport) management measures for 2021 (86 FR 20638), as 
authorized by the Northern Pacific Halibut Act of 1982 (16 U.S.C. 773-
773(k)). The 2021 Catch Sharing Plan provides a recommended framework 
for NMFS' annual management measures and subarea allocations based on 
the 2021 Area 2A Pacific halibut catch limit of 1,510,000 pounds (lb) 
(684.9 metric tons (mt)). These Pacific halibut management measures 
include recreational fishery season dates and subarea allocations.
    Federal regulations at 50 CFR 300.63(c), ``Flexible Inseason 
Management Provisions for Sport Halibut Fisheries in Area 2A,'' allow 
the NMFS' Regional Administrator, after consultation with the Chairman 
of the Pacific Fishery Management Council (Council), the Executive 
Director of the International Pacific Halibut Commission (IPHC), and 
the Fisheries Directors of the affected states, or their designees, to 
modify annual regulations during the season. These inseason provisions 
allow the Regional Administrator to modify sport fishing periods, bag 
limits, size limits, days per calendar week, and subarea quotas, if it 
is determined it is necessary to meet the allocation objectives and the 
action will not result in exceeding the catch limit. Regulations at 
this section also state that NMFS may take inseason action to transfer 
projected unused quota from recreational fisheries north of Cape 
Falcon, Oregon, and transfer it to another Washington subarea (50 CFR 
300.63(c)(iii)).
    NMFS has determined that, due to lower than expected landings in 
portions of Washington, inseason action to modify the 2021 annual 
regulations is warranted at this time to help ensure the Area 2A 
allocations as published in the final rule (86 FR 20638; April 21, 
2021) are met. As stated above, inseason modification of the fishing 
season is authorized by Federal regulations at 50 CFR 300.63(c). After 
a virtual consultation with IPHC, the Council, and the Washington 
Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) on July 23, 2021, NMFS 
determined the following inseason action is necessary to meet the 
management objective of attaining the subarea allocations, and is 
consistent with the inseason management provisions allowing for the 
modification of sport fishing periods and sport fishing days per 
calendar week. Notice of these additional dates and closure of the 
fisheries will also be announced on the NMFS hotline at 206-526-6667 or 
800-662-9825.

Inseason Action

    Description of the action: This inseason action implements up to 
two additional fishing dates for the Washington South Coast and 
Columbia River subareas during the 2021 recreational fishery.
    Reason for the action: The purpose of this inseason action is to 
provide additional opportunity for anglers in Washington on August 27 
and September 24. NMFS has determined that these additional dates are 
warranted due to much lower than expected landings through July 2021, 
and the expectation that a substantial amount of subarea allocation 
will go unharvested without additional fishing dates. As of July 22, 
anglers in all Washington and Columbia River subareas have harvested 
203,899 lb (92.5 mt) of the 289,517 lb (131.3 mt) allocations, leaving 
85,618 lb remaining (30 percent of the subarea allocation). For 
reference, in 2018 and 2019, all Washington and Columbia River subareas 
had attained 94 and 93 percent, respectively, of the available 
recreational quota by the end of June. On July 21, 2021, NMFS published 
an inseason (86 FR 38415) adding additional open dates for the 
Washington North Coast and Puget Sound subareas based on data through 
June 10, 2021. Catch tracked lower than anticipated for the remaining 
June season dates and even with the additional 17 fishing dates, NMFS 
estimates that there would be quota remaining from the Washington 
allocation. Without additional fishing days in this action, the season 
dates implemented in the April 21, 2021 (86 FR 20638) final rule and 
including the additional days in the July 21, 2021 inseason (86 FR 
38415), would likely result in substantial unharvested quota in the 
state of Washington.
    In order for anglers to have the opportunity to achieve the 
combined subarea allocations in Washington, and with little risk of the 
quota being exceeded, WDFW requested NMFS implement additional season 
dates for participants in the Washington South Coast and Columbia River 
subareas. Therefore, through this action NMFS is announcing new season 
dates in August and September that were not previously implemented in 
the April 21, 2021 final rule (86 FR 20638) and the July 21, 2021 
inseason (86 FR 38415). Specifically, the additional season dates for 
the Washington South Coast and Columbia River subareas are August 27 
and September 24. These additional dates result in up to two statewide 
open days, with the Washington North Coast and Puget Sound already 
scheduled to be open on those dates. 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 additional dates 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 until NMFS has determined there is not sufficient quota for 
another full day of fishing, and the area is closed by the IPHC, or the 
season closes on September 30, whichever is earlier.

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 July 22, 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 Washington recreational fishery have only caught 70 
percent of all Washington and the Columbia River subarea's combined 
allocations. 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

[[Page 47240]]

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 combined Washington and Columbia River subarea allocations 
would not be harvested, limiting economic benefits to the participants 
and not meeting the goals of the Catch Sharing Plan and the 2021 
management measures. It is necessary that this 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 for public inspection, 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: August 19, 2021.
Kelly Denit,
Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine Fisheries 
Service.
[FR Doc. 2021-18211 Filed 8-20-21; 4:15 pm]
BILLING CODE 3510-22-P