Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act Provisions; Fisheries of the Northeastern United States; Amendment 7 to the Atlantic Bluefish Fishery Management Plan, 48968-48969 [2021-18848]

Download as PDF 48968 Federal Register / Vol. 86, No. 167 / Wednesday, September 1, 2021 / Proposed Rules under Docket No. FWS–R4–ES–2020– 0152. Authors The primary authors of this proposed rule are the staff members of the Fish and Wildlife Service’s Species Assessment Team and the Tennessee Ecological Services Field Office. List of Subjects in 50 CFR Part 17 Endangered and threatened species, Exports, Imports, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements, Transportation. Proposed Regulation Promulgation Accordingly, we propose to amend part 17, subchapter B of chapter I, title 50 of the Code of Federal Regulations, as set forth below: PART 17—ENDANGERED AND THREATENED WILDLIFE AND PLANTS 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. § 17.11 [Amended] 2. Amend § 17.11 in paragraph (h) by removing the entry for ‘‘Darter, snail’’ under FISHES from the List of Endangered and Threatened Wildlife. ■ Martha Williams, Principal Deputy Director, Exercising the Delegated Authority of the Director, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. [FR Doc. 2021–18127 Filed 8–31–21; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4333–15–P DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration 50 CFR Part 648 RIN 0648–BK64 Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act Provisions; Fisheries of the Northeastern United States; Amendment 7 to the Atlantic Bluefish Fishery Management Plan National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Commerce. ACTION: Notification of availability of proposed fishery management plan amendment; request for comments. khammond on DSKJM1Z7X2PROD with PROPOSALS AGENCY: The Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council has submitted SUMMARY: VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:23 Aug 31, 2021 Jkt 253001 Amendment 7 to the Atlantic Bluefish Fishery Management Plan to NMFS for review and approval. Amendment 7 proposes to implement a rebuilding plan for the overfished bluefish stock, as well as revisions to fishery management plan goals and objectives, administrative measures during the specifications process, and the allocation percentages of quota between the commercial and recreational sectors and commercial quota among the states. The purpose of this amendment is to implement a rebuilding plan, as required by the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act, and to update the Bluefish Fishery Management Plan; responding to recent changes in stock health and distribution using the best information available, while recognizing economic need and reliance throughout the management area. This notice is intended to alert the public to this action and provide an opportunity for comment. DATES: Comments must be received on or before November 1, 2021. ADDRESSES: You may submit comments on this document, identified by NOAA– NMFS–2021–0071, by the following method: Electronic Submission: Submit all electronic public comments via the Federal e-Rulemaking Portal. 1. Go to https://www.regulations.gov, and enter ‘‘NOAA–NMFS–2021–0071’’ in the Search box; 2. Click the ‘‘Comment’’ icon, complete the required fields; and 3. Enter or attach your comments. Instructions: Comments sent by any other method, to any other address or individual, or received after the end of the comment period, may not be considered by NMFS. All comments received are a part of the public record and will generally be posted for public viewing on www.regulations.gov without change. All personal identifying information (e.g., name, address, etc.), confidential business information, or otherwise sensitive information submitted voluntarily by the sender will be publicly accessible. NMFS will accept anonymous comments (enter ‘‘N/ A’’ in the required fields if you wish to remain anonymous). The Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council prepared an environmental assessment (EA) for this action that describes the proposed measures and other considered alternatives. The EA also provides a thorough analysis of the biological, economic, and social impacts of the proposed measures and other considered alternatives. Copies of Amendment 7, including the EA, the PO 00000 Frm 00051 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 Regulatory Impact Review, and the Regulatory Flexibility Act analysis prepared in support of this action, are available upon request from: Dr. Christopher M. Moore, Executive Director, Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council, Suite 201, 800 N State Street, Dover, DE 19901. These documents are also accessible via the internet at https://www.mafmc.org/ supporting-documents. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Cynthia Ferrio, Fishery Policy Analyst, (978) 281–9180. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Background The Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council (Council) and the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission (Commission) cooperatively manage bluefish from Maine to Florida under the Atlantic Bluefish Fishery Management Plan (FMP). The Council and Commission initiated Amendment 7 as a joint action in December 2017 to address a comprehensive range of management issues in the bluefish fishery from goals and objectives of the FMP to the allocation and transfer of quota between the commercial and recreational sectors. Following the overfished stock determination from the 2019 operational stock assessment, a rebuilding plan for bluefish was also added to the amendment, and final alternatives were approved at the joint meeting of the Council and Commission’s Bluefish Management Board in February 2021. Public hearings on these alternatives were held throughout the spring of 2021, and the Council and Board approved Amendment 7 on June 8, 2021, with the intent that the changes would be effective for the 2022 fishing year that begins on January 1, 2022. The purpose of this amendment is to implement a rebuilding plan for bluefish, as required by the MagnusonStevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (Magnuson-Stevens Act), and to update the FMP; responding to recent changes in stock health and distribution using the best information available, while recognizing economic need and reliance throughout the management area. This action proposes to: • Update the Bluefish FMP goals and objectives from those that were initially established for the fishery in 1991 to better reflect today’s fishery; • Re-allocate bluefish quota between the commercial and recreational fishery sectors to more accurately reflect recent catch and landings data in the fishery, allocating 14 percent to the commercial E:\FR\FM\01SEP1.SGM 01SEP1 Federal Register / Vol. 86, No. 167 / Wednesday, September 1, 2021 / Proposed Rules fishery and 86 percent to the recreational fishery (a 3-percentage point change from the current allocations of 17 percent to the commercial sector and 83 percent to the recreational sector); • Re-allocate bluefish commercial quota to the states from Maine to Florida based on the most recent 10 years of landings data (2009–2018) rather than outdated historical information (1981– 1989), including a 0.1-percent minimum default allocation so no states in the management unit lose quota entirely; • Implement a 7-year rebuilding plan using a constant fishing mortality model where fishing mortality (F) = 0.154; • Revise measures to allow the sector quota transfer to be bi-directional (from commercial to recreational or vice versa), with a revised maximum transfer cap of 10-percent of the Acceptable Biological Catch; and • Revise administrative measures in the specifications process to allow for the accounting of sector-specific management uncertainty. Additional information on these proposed changes can be found in the EA for this amendment and forthcoming proposed rule. khammond on DSKJM1Z7X2PROD with PROPOSALS Public Comment Instructions The Magnuson-Stevens Act allows NMFS as the implementing agency to approve, partially approve, or disapprove measures recommended by the Council in a regulatory amendment based on whether the measures are consistent with the FMP, the MagnusonStevens Act and its National Standards, and other applicable law. As such, NMFS is soliciting public comments on whether the measures in Amendment 7 to the Atlantic Bluefish FMP and its supporting documents are consistent with the FMP, the Magnuson-Stevens Act, and other applicable law. Public comments on this amendment may be submitted through the end of the comment period specified in the DATES section of this notice of availability (NOA). A proposed rule that would implement this amendment, including draft regulatory text, will also be published in the Federal Register for public comment. All comments received by the end of the comment period on this NOA, whether specifically directed to the NOA or the proposed rule, will be considered in the approval/ disapproval decision on Amendment 7. Comments received after the end of the comment period for this NOA will not be considered in the approval/ disapproval decision of this action. Authority: 16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq. VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:23 Aug 31, 2021 Jkt 253001 Dated: August 27, 2021. Jennifer M. Wallace, Acting Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine Fisheries Service. [FR Doc. 2021–18848 Filed 8–31–21; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510–22–P DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration 50 CFR Part 660 [Docket No. 210826–0168] RIN 0648–BK56 Fisheries Off West Coast States; Coastal Pelagic Species Fisheries; Biennial Specifications; 2021–2022 and 2022–2023 Specifications for Pacific Mackerel National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Commerce. ACTION: Proposed rule. AGENCY: NMFS proposes to implement allowable catch levels, an overfishing limit, an allowable biological catch, and an annual catch limit for Pacific mackerel in the U.S. exclusive economic zone off the West Coast (California, Oregon and Washington) for the fishing seasons 2021–2022 and 2022–2023. This proposed rule is pursuant to the Coastal Pelagic Species Fishery Management Plan. The proposed harvest guideline and annual catch target for the 2021– 2022 fishing season are 8,323 metric tons (mt) and 7,323 mt, respectively. The proposed harvest guideline and annual catch target for the 2022–2023 fishing season are 5,822 mt and 4,822 mt, respectively. If the fishery attains the annual catch target in either fishing season, the directed fishery will close, reserving the 1,000-mt difference between the harvest guideline and annual catch target as a set-aside for incidental landings in other Coastal Pelagic Species fisheries and other sources of mortality. This document is intended to conserve and manage the Pacific mackerel stock off the U.S. West Coast. DATES: Comments must be received by October 1, 2021. ADDRESSES: You may submit comments on this document, identified by NOAA– NMFS–2021–0066, by any of the following methods: • Electronic Submissions: Submit all electronic public comments via the Federal e-Rulemaking Portal. Go to www.regulations.gov and enter NOAA– SUMMARY: PO 00000 Frm 00052 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 48969 NMFS–2021–0066 in the Search box. Click on the ‘‘Comment’’ icon, complete the required fields, and enter or attach your comments. Instructions: Comments sent by any other method or received after the end of the comment period may not be considered by NMFS. All comments received are a part of the public record and will generally be posted for public viewing on www.regulations.gov without change. All personal identifying information (e.g., name, address, etc.), confidential business information, or otherwise sensitive information submitted voluntarily by the sender will be publicly accessible. NMFS will accept anonymous comments (enter ‘‘N/ A’’ in the required fields if you wish to remain anonymous). FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Taylor Debevec, West Coast Region, NMFS, (562) 619–2052, Taylor.Debevec@noaa.gov. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Under the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (Magnuson-Stevens Act), 16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq., NMFS manages the Pacific mackerel fishery in the U.S. exclusive economic zone (EEZ) off the West Coast in accordance with the Coastal Pelagic Species (CPS) Fishery Management Plan (FMP). The CPS FMP and its implementing regulations require NMFS to set annual harvest specifications for the Pacific mackerel fishery based on the annual specification framework and control rules in the FMP. The Pacific mackerel fishing season runs from July 1 to June 30. The purpose of this proposed rule is to implement these harvest specifications, which include allowable harvest levels (i.e., annual catch target (ACT) and harvest guideline (HG)), an annual catch limit (ACL), and annual catch reference points (i.e., overfishing limit (OFL) and acceptable biological catch (ABC)). The uncertainty surrounding the current biomass estimates for Pacific mackerel for the 2021–2022 and 2022–2023 fishing seasons was taken into consideration in the development of these harvest specifications. Any Pacific mackerel harvested between July 1, 2021, and the effective date of the final rule would count toward the 2021–2022 ACT and HG. During public meetings each year, the NMFS Southwest Fisheries Science Center (SWFSC) presents biomass estimates for Pacific mackerel to the Pacific Fishery Management Council’s (Council) CPS Management Team (CPSMT), the Council’s CPS Advisory Subpanel (CPSAS) and the Council’s Scientific and Statistical Committee E:\FR\FM\01SEP1.SGM 01SEP1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 86, Number 167 (Wednesday, September 1, 2021)]
[Proposed Rules]
[Pages 48968-48969]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2021-18848]


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DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

50 CFR Part 648

RIN 0648-BK64


Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act 
Provisions; Fisheries of the Northeastern United States; Amendment 7 to 
the Atlantic Bluefish Fishery Management Plan

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

ACTION: Notification of availability of proposed fishery management 
plan amendment; request for comments.

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

SUMMARY: The Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council has submitted 
Amendment 7 to the Atlantic Bluefish Fishery Management Plan to NMFS 
for review and approval. Amendment 7 proposes to implement a rebuilding 
plan for the overfished bluefish stock, as well as revisions to fishery 
management plan goals and objectives, administrative measures during 
the specifications process, and the allocation percentages of quota 
between the commercial and recreational sectors and commercial quota 
among the states. The purpose of this amendment is to implement a 
rebuilding plan, as required by the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery 
Conservation and Management Act, and to update the Bluefish Fishery 
Management Plan; responding to recent changes in stock health and 
distribution using the best information available, while recognizing 
economic need and reliance throughout the management area. This notice 
is intended to alert the public to this action and provide an 
opportunity for comment.

DATES: Comments must be received on or before November 1, 2021.

ADDRESSES: You may submit comments on this document, identified by 
NOAA-NMFS-2021-0071, by the following method:
    Electronic Submission: Submit all electronic public comments via 
the Federal e-Rulemaking Portal.
    1. Go to https://www.regulations.gov, and enter ``NOAA-NMFS-2021-
0071'' in the Search box;
    2. Click the ``Comment'' icon, complete the required fields; and
    3. Enter or attach your comments.
    Instructions: Comments sent by any other method, to any other 
address or individual, or received after the end of the comment period, 
may not be considered by NMFS. All comments received are a part of the 
public record and will generally be posted for public viewing on 
www.regulations.gov without change. All personal identifying 
information (e.g., name, address, etc.), confidential business 
information, or otherwise sensitive information submitted voluntarily 
by the sender will be publicly accessible. NMFS will accept anonymous 
comments (enter ``N/A'' in the required fields if you wish to remain 
anonymous).
    The Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council prepared an 
environmental assessment (EA) for this action that describes the 
proposed measures and other considered alternatives. The EA also 
provides a thorough analysis of the biological, economic, and social 
impacts of the proposed measures and other considered alternatives. 
Copies of Amendment 7, including the EA, the Regulatory Impact Review, 
and the Regulatory Flexibility Act analysis prepared in support of this 
action, are available upon request from: Dr. Christopher M. Moore, 
Executive Director, Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council, Suite 201, 
800 N State Street, Dover, DE 19901. These documents are also 
accessible via the internet at https://www.mafmc.org/supporting-documents.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Cynthia Ferrio, Fishery Policy 
Analyst, (978) 281-9180.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Background

    The Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council (Council) and the 
Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission (Commission) cooperatively 
manage bluefish from Maine to Florida under the Atlantic Bluefish 
Fishery Management Plan (FMP). The Council and Commission initiated 
Amendment 7 as a joint action in December 2017 to address a 
comprehensive range of management issues in the bluefish fishery from 
goals and objectives of the FMP to the allocation and transfer of quota 
between the commercial and recreational sectors. Following the 
overfished stock determination from the 2019 operational stock 
assessment, a rebuilding plan for bluefish was also added to the 
amendment, and final alternatives were approved at the joint meeting of 
the Council and Commission's Bluefish Management Board in February 
2021. Public hearings on these alternatives were held throughout the 
spring of 2021, and the Council and Board approved Amendment 7 on June 
8, 2021, with the intent that the changes would be effective for the 
2022 fishing year that begins on January 1, 2022.
    The purpose of this amendment is to implement a rebuilding plan for 
bluefish, as required by the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and 
Management Act (Magnuson-Stevens Act), and to update the FMP; 
responding to recent changes in stock health and distribution using the 
best information available, while recognizing economic need and 
reliance throughout the management area. This action proposes to:
     Update the Bluefish FMP goals and objectives from those 
that were initially established for the fishery in 1991 to better 
reflect today's fishery;
     Re-allocate bluefish quota between the commercial and 
recreational fishery sectors to more accurately reflect recent catch 
and landings data in the fishery, allocating 14 percent to the 
commercial

[[Page 48969]]

fishery and 86 percent to the recreational fishery (a 3-percentage 
point change from the current allocations of 17 percent to the 
commercial sector and 83 percent to the recreational sector);
     Re-allocate bluefish commercial quota to the states from 
Maine to Florida based on the most recent 10 years of landings data 
(2009-2018) rather than outdated historical information (1981-1989), 
including a 0.1-percent minimum default allocation so no states in the 
management unit lose quota entirely;
     Implement a 7-year rebuilding plan using a constant 
fishing mortality model where fishing mortality (F) = 0.154;
     Revise measures to allow the sector quota transfer to be 
bi-directional (from commercial to recreational or vice versa), with a 
revised maximum transfer cap of 10-percent of the Acceptable Biological 
Catch; and
     Revise administrative measures in the specifications 
process to allow for the accounting of sector-specific management 
uncertainty.
    Additional information on these proposed changes can be found in 
the EA for this amendment and forthcoming proposed rule.

Public Comment Instructions

    The Magnuson-Stevens Act allows NMFS as the implementing agency to 
approve, partially approve, or disapprove measures recommended by the 
Council in a regulatory amendment based on whether the measures are 
consistent with the FMP, the Magnuson-Stevens Act and its National 
Standards, and other applicable law. As such, NMFS is soliciting public 
comments on whether the measures in Amendment 7 to the Atlantic 
Bluefish FMP and its supporting documents are consistent with the FMP, 
the Magnuson-Stevens Act, and other applicable law. Public comments on 
this amendment may be submitted through the end of the comment period 
specified in the DATES section of this notice of availability (NOA).
    A proposed rule that would implement this amendment, including 
draft regulatory text, will also be published in the Federal Register 
for public comment. All comments received by the end of the comment 
period on this NOA, whether specifically directed to the NOA or the 
proposed rule, will be considered in the approval/disapproval decision 
on Amendment 7. Comments received after the end of the comment period 
for this NOA will not be considered in the approval/disapproval 
decision of this action.

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

    Dated: August 27, 2021.
Jennifer M. Wallace,
Acting Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine 
Fisheries Service.
[FR Doc. 2021-18848 Filed 8-31-21; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 3510-22-P