Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone off Alaska; Reclassifying Sculpin Species in the Groundfish Fisheries of the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands and the Gulf of Alaska; Correcting Amendment, 74386-74389 [2021-28232]

Download as PDF 74386 Federal Register / Vol. 86, No. 248 / Thursday, December 30, 2021 / Rules and Regulations Dated: December 27, 2021. Karen Abrams, Acting Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine Fisheries Service. [FR Doc. 2021–28361 Filed 12–29–21; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510–22–P DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration 50 CFR Part 679 [Docket No. 211221–0266] RIN 0648–BL04 Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone off Alaska; Reclassifying Sculpin Species in the Groundfish Fisheries of the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands and the Gulf of Alaska; Correcting Amendment National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Commerce. ACTION: Final rule; correcting amendment. AGENCY: The National Marine Fisheries Service is correcting regulations published in a final rule on July 10, 2020, which reclassified sculpins as Ecosystem Component (EC) category, non-target species in both the Bering Sea/Aleutian Islands (BSAI) (Amendment 121) and Gulf of Alaska (Amendment 110) Groundfish Fishery Management Plans (FMPs). In the implementing regulations, footnotes requiring the full retention of all rockfish species by catcher vessels (CVs) using hook-and-line, pot, or jig gear in the BSAI (Amendment 119) and Gulf of Alaska (Amendment 107) were unintentionally omitted from Tables 10 and 11 to 50 CFR part 679. This correcting amendment is therefore necessary to restore the footnotes as published in the final rule implementing Amendments 119 and 107 and to make other minor corrections. DATES: Effective December 30, 2021. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Mason Smith, 907–586–7228. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: khammond on DSKJM1Z7X2PROD with RULES SUMMARY: Need for Correction The National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) published a rule reclassifying sculpins as EC category, non-target species in both the BSAI (Amendment 121) and Gulf of Alaska (Amendment 110) Groundfish FMPs in the Federal Register on July 10, 2020 (85 FR 41427). VerDate Sep<11>2014 18:33 Dec 29, 2021 Jkt 256001 This rule became effective on August 10, 2020. NMFS has identified footnote errors in that final rule within Table 10 to 50 CFR part 679 (Gulf of Alaska Retainable Percentages) and Table 11 to 50 CFR part 679 (BSAI Retainable Percentage). These tables, associated errors, and corrections to each table are discussed below. Corrections to Table 10 to 50 CFR Part 679—Gulf of Alaska Retainable Percentages Table 10 describes the maximum retainable amount (MRA) of groundfish in the Gulf of Alaska when NMFS prohibits directed fishing for those species. This table was modified in a rule published on July 10, 2020 (85 FR 41427), which reclassified sculpins in the Gulf of Alaska (Amendment 110) Groundfish FMP as EC category, nontarget species. However, the implementing regulations unintentionally omitted footnotes from Table 10, which were added to Table 10 a few months prior in the final rule implementing Amendment 107 to the Gulf of Alaska Groundfish FMP. The final rule implementing Amendment 107 was published on February 20, 2020 (85 FR 9687) and required the full retention of rockfish that are caught by CVs using hook-andline, pot, or jig gear. Since the majority of rockfish do not survive capture, this amendment was intended to decrease waste in the fishery. In addition, Amendment 107 was intended to improve identification of rockfish species by vessels using electronic monitoring, reduce overall enforcement burden, and promote consistency between State and Federal fisheries. This correcting amendment is therefore necessary to restore the footnotes in Table 10, as published in the final rule implementing Amendment 107. This correcting amendment makes the following corrections to Table 10: • In the Notes to Table 10 to 50 CFR part 679, the following statement is restored under note 1 (Shortraker/ rougheye rockfish): ‘‘Catcher vessels using hook-and-line, pot, or jig gear are required to retain all rockfish. See § 679.20(j);’’ and • In the Notes to Table 10 to 50 CFR part 679, the following statement is restored under note 7 (Aggregated rockfish): ‘‘Catcher vessels using hookand-line, pot, or jig gear are required to retain all rockfish. See § 679.20(j).’’ In addition, after reviewing Table 10, NMFS determined that there are two minor additional errors that need to be corrected in Table 10: • In Table 10 to 50 CFR part 679, amend note in header to read as: ‘‘for PO 00000 Frm 00034 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 DSR caught on catcher vessels in the SEO, see § 679.20 (j);’’ and • In Table 10 to 50 CFR part 679, the reference to note 9 is removed from the ‘‘n/a’’ in the cell at the intersection of the Pacific cod basis species row and the Pacific cod incidental catch species column. Corrections to Table 11 to 50 CFR Part 679—BSAI Retainable Percentages Table 11 describes the MRA of groundfish in the BSAI when NMFS prohibits directed fishing of those species. This table was modified in a rule published on July 10, 2020 (85 FR 41427), which reclassified sculpins in the BSAI (Amendment 121) Groundfish FMP as EC category, non-target species. However, the implementing regulations unintentionally omitted footnotes from Table 11, which were added to Table 11 a few months prior in the final rule implementing Amendment 119 to the BSAI Groundfish FMP. Amendment 119 was implemented in a rule published on February 20, 2020 (85 FR 9687) and required the full retention of rockfish that are caught by CVs using hook-and-line, pot, or jig gear. Since the majority of rockfish do not survive capture, this amendment was intended to decrease waste in the fishery. In addition, Amendment 119 was intended to improve identification of rockfish species by vessels using electronic monitoring, reduce overall enforcement burden, and promote consistency between State and Federal fisheries. This correcting amendment is therefore necessary to restore the footnotes in Table 11, as published in the final rule implementing Amendment 119. This correcting amendment makes the following corrections in Table 11: • In Table 11 to 50 CFR part 679, a reference to footnote 9 is restored to the Shortraker/rougheye column header; • In Table 11 to 50 CFR part 679, the following statement is restored to footnote 6: ‘‘Catcher vessels using hookand-line, pot, or jig gear are required to retain all rockfish. See § 679.20(j); and • In Table 11 to 50 CFR part 679, the following statement is restored to footnote 9: ‘‘Catcher vessels using hookand-line, pot, or jig gear are required to retain all rockfish. See § 679.20(j).’’ Classification The NOAA Assistant Administrator (AA) for Fisheries finds there is good cause to waive the requirement to provide prior notice and opportunity for public comment on this action pursuant to the authority set forth at 5 U.S.C. 553(b)(B), as such requirement is unnecessary and contrary to the public interest. This correcting amendment E:\FR\FM\30DER1.SGM 30DER1 74387 Federal Register / Vol. 86, No. 248 / Thursday, December 30, 2021 / Rules and Regulations corrects unintentional errors to Table 10 footnotes as well as the unintentional omission of footnotes to Tables 10 and 11, as described above. These revisions do not change operating practices in the fisheries, and is consistent with the Council’s intent for Amendments 107/ 119 and Amendments 110/121. During the public comment period for the rule requiring full retention of rockfish in the Gulf of Alaska and BSAI (85 FR 9687, February 20, 2020), the public was provided with notice and opportunity to comment, so additional opportunity for public comment at this point would not be meaningful. Additionally, these revisions are necessary to avoid public confusion from the unintentional omissions and errors. Therefore, the AA finds good cause to waive the requirement to provide prior notice and opportunity for public comment. Dated: December 21, 2021. Samuel D. Rauch, III, Deputy Assistant Administrator for Regulatory Programs, National Marine Fisheries Service. For the same reasons stated above, the AA also finds good cause under 5 U.S.C. 553(d)(3) to waive the 30-day delay in effective date and make this rule effective immediately upon publication. Because prior notice and opportunity for public comment are not required for this rule by 5 U.S.C. 553, or any other law, the analytical requirements of the Regulatory Flexibility Act, 5 U.S.C. 601 et seq., are inapplicable. For the reasons set out in the preamble, 50 CFR part 679 is amended as follows: PART 679—FISHERIES OF THE EXCLUSIVE ECONOMIC ZONE OFF ALASKA This final rule contains no information collection requirements under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995. 1. The authority citation for part 679 continues to read as follows: ■ Authority: 16 U.S.C. 773 et seq.; 1801 et seq.; 3631 et seq.; Pub. L. 108–447; Pub. L. 111–281. This final rule is not significant for the purposes of Executive Order 12866. 2. Revise Table 10 to Part 679—Gulf of Alaska Retainable Percentage, to read as follows: ■ List of Subjects in 50 CFR Part 679 Alaska, Fisheries, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements. BILLING CODE 3510–22–P Table 10 to Part 679-Gulf of Alaska Retainable Percentage Code 110 Species Pacific cod 121 Arrowtooth Flathead 122 sole 125 Rex sole Northern 136 rockfish Pacific 141 ocean perch 143 Thornyhead 152/ Shortraker/ roueheve (1) 151 193 Atka mackerel 270 Pollock 710 Sablefish Flatfish, deepwaterCZ) Flatfish, shallowwater(3) Rockfish, other (4) Dusky 172 rockfish Rockfish, DSRSEO(') SkatesC 10) Other species (6) khammond on DSKJM1Z7X2PROD with RULES Aggregated amount ofnon-groundfish species0 1) VerDate Sep<11>2014 INCIDENTAL CATCH SPECIES IforDSRcau ht on catcher vessels in the SEO see~ 679.20 Pollock Pacific cod DW Flat (2) Rex sole Flathead sole SW Flat (3) SR/RE DSR ArrowAggregated Atka Sablefish ERA SEO (C/Ps rockfishC7J mackerel tooth (!) only)I') (i)) Aggregated Other forage Skates Grenadiers species Squids Sculpins (10) (12) fishl 9l (6) n/a 5 20 20 20 20 20 2 20 1 0 0 20 2 20 8 8 20 20 5 5 20 20 5 5 10 20 35 n/a (!) 5 20 20 20 20 20 20 n/a 20 35 7 15 7 I 20 2 5 20 8 20 20 20 20 20 n/a 20 20 35 7 15 7 1 20 2 5 20 8 20 20 20 20 20 20 20 20 35 7 15 7 1 20 2 5 20 8 20 20 20 20 20 20 20 20 35 7 15 7 1 20 2 5 20 8 20 20 20 20 20 20 20 20 35 7 15 7 1 20 2 5 20 8 20 20 20 20 20 20 20 20 35 7 15 n/a I 20 2 5 20 8 20 20 20 20 20 20 20 20 35 I 5 (!) 10 n/a 2 5 20 8 20 20 n/a 20 20 20 20 20 20 20 20 20 20 20 35 35 1 n/a 5 15 (!) 7 10 1 20 20 2 2 5 5 20 20 8 8 20 20 20 20 20 20 n/a 20 20 20 35 7 15 7 1 20 2 5 20 8 20 20 20 20 20 20 20 n/a 35 1 5 (1) 10 20 2 5 20 8 20 20 20 20 20 20 20 20 35 7 15 7 1 20 2 5 20 8 20 20 20 20 20 20 20 20 35 7 15 7 1 20 2 5 20 8 20 20 20 20 20 20 20 20 35 7 15 7 n/a 20 2 5 20 8 20 20 20 20 20 20 20 20 20 20 20 20 20 20 35 35 1 1 5 5 (!) 10 10 20 20 2 2 n/a 5 20 n/a 8 8 20 20 20 20 20 20 20 20 20 20 35 1 5 (!) 10 20 2 5 20 8 20 20 20 16:53 Dec 29, 2021 Jkt 256001 PO 00000 Frm 00035 1 Fmt 4700 (!) Sfmt 4725 E:\FR\FM\30DER1.SGM 30DER1 20 ER30DE21.009</GPH> BASIS SPECIES 74388 Federal Register / Vol. 86, No. 248 / Thursday, December 30, 2021 / Rules and Regulations Notes to Table IO to Part 679 1 Sbortraker/rougheye rockfish Sebastes borealis (shortraker) (152) I SR/RE S. aleutianus (roughcye) ( 15 1) I Shortraker/rougheye rockfish in the Eastern Regu latory Area (ERA). SR/RE ERA Where an MRA is not ind icated, use the MRA for SR/ RE included under Aggregated Rockfis h Catcher vessels using hook-and-line, pot, or j ig gear are required to retain all rockfisb. See§ 679.20(i ). Dover sole ( 124), Gree nl and turbot ( 134), Kamchatka flounder ( 11 7), and deep-sea sole 2 Deeo-water flatfish 3 Sha llow-water flatfish Flatfi sh not including deep-water flat fis h, flathead sole ( 122), rex so le (125), or arro\\1ooth flounder ( 121) Western Regu latorv Area 4 Other rockfish I I means other rockfish and demersa l sbe lfrockfish Central Regulatory Area West Yakutat District I I means other rock fi sh Southeast O utside District Other rockfish S. aurora (a urora) (185) S. variegates (harlequin)( 176) S. brevispinis (s ilvergrey)( l5 7) S. melanostom11s (blackgil l)(l 77) S. wilsoni (pygmy)( l79) S. diploproa (splitnose)(l82) S. paucispinis (bocaccio)(l37) S. babcocki (redbanded)( 153) S. saxicola (stripeta il)( l 83) S. goodei (chilipepper)(l 78) S. proriger (rcdstripe)(158) S. miniatus (vermilion)( l 84) S. crameri (darkb lotch)(l59) S. zacentrus (sbarpchin)( l 66) S. reedi (yellowmouth}(l 75) S. elonKalus (greenstriped)( l 35) S. iordoni (shortbe llv)( 181) S. entomelas (w idow)(l56) S. /lavidus (yellowtail)( l 55) In the Eastern Regu latorv Area onlv, Other rockfish also includes S. oolvsoinis (northern)( ] 36) I 5 Demersal shelf rockfisb (DSR) 6 7 O1her species Aggregated rockfish 8 n/a S. pinniger ( canary)( 146) I S. maliger (qu illback)(l47) S. ruberrimus (velloweve)(l45) S. nebulosus (china)( l49) I S. helvomaC11!at11s (rosetborn)( l 50) S. caurinus (copper)( 138) I S. nigrocinctus (tiger)(l48) DSR-SEO = Dcmersal shclfrockfish in the Southeast Outside Distri ct (SEO). Catcher vessels in the SEO have fu ll retention ofDSR (see s 679.20fi\l. Octopuses (870) I Sharks (689) Aggregated rockfish (see§ 679.2) means any species of the genera Sebastes or Sebastolobus except Sebas/es cilia/es (dark rockfish), Sebastes melanops (black rockfi sh), and Sebastes mvstinus (blue rockfish), except in: Southeast Outside District I where DSR is a separate spec ies group for those species marked with an MRA I where SRIRE is a separate spec ies group for those spec ies marked with an MRA Eastern Regulatory Area Catcher vessels using hook-and-line, pot, or jig gear are req uired to retain all rock fi sh. See§ 679.20(i). Not appl icable I Notes to Table 10 to Part 679 I Bristlemouths, lightfis hes, and anglemouths (family Gonostomatidae) 9 I Aggregated forage fi sh (all species of I Capel in sme lt (fami ly Osmeridae) the fo llowing taxa) I Deep-sea sme lts (fam ily Balhylagidae) I Eul acho n smelt (family Osmeridae) 10 Skates Species and Groups II Aggregated nongroundfish Grenadiers 209 5 16 773 5 11 ER30DE21.011</GPH> Gunnels (family Pholidae) 207 800 Kri ll (order Euphausiacea) Laternfishes (family Myctophidae) 772 Pacific Sand fish (family Trichodontidae) 206 Pacific Sand lance (fami ly Ammodytidae) 774 Pricklebacks, war-bonnets, eelblennys, cockscombs and shannys (family 208 Stichaeidae) Surf smelt (family Osmeridae) 5 15 Alaska (Barhvraia. Parmi(era) 703 704 Aleutian (B. aleutica) Whiteblotched (Raja binoculara) 705 Big Skates (Raja binoculata) 702 Longnose Skates (R. rhino) 70 1 Other Skates (Rarhyraja and Raja spp.) 700 All legally retained species of fish and shellfish, including IFQ halibut, that are not listed as FMP groundfish in Tables 2a and 2c to this part. Giant grenadiers (Albatrossia pectoralis) 2 14 Other grenadiers (all grenadiers that are not Giant grenad iers) 2 13 VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:46 Dec 29, 2021 Jkt 256001 PO 00000 Frm 00036 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4725 E:\FR\FM\30DER1.SGM 30DER1 ER30DE21.010</GPH> khammond on DSKJM1Z7X2PROD with RULES 12 I I I I 74389 Federal Register / Vol. 86, No. 248 / Thursday, December 30, 2021 / Rules and Regulations Table 11 to Part 679-BSAI Retainable Percentage BASIS SPECIES 110 121 117 122 123 127 133 134 136 141 Atka Alaska Arrow- Kammackerel plaice tooth chatka Pollock Pacific cod Arrowtooth Kamchatka Flathead 20 20 20 na5 20 20 20 20 20 20 20 20 20 20 20 20 35 35 20 20 20 35 20 20 20 20 20 20 20 sole Rock sole Yellowfin sole Alaska Plaice Greenland turbot Northern Pacific Ocean perch 152/ Shortraker/ 151 Rougheye 193 Pacific Species Atka mackerel Pollock Sablefish1 Other flatfish' Other rockfish 3 270 710 cod Aggregated Other Yellow GreenShortOther Rock Flathead SableAggregated Grenadiers Sculpins Squids7 forage species fin raker/ land 7 7 6 rockfish flatfish' sole sole fish 1 4 sole turbot rougheye9 fish 7 na 20 20 20 20 20 20 20 20 20 35 35 35 35 35 35 35 35 35 35 na 20 na 35 35 20 20 20 35 20 20 20 35 20 20 20 20 20 20 20 20 20 na na 20 20 20 20 20 20 20 20 20 20 20 20 20 20 20 20 20 1 7 7 1 1 1 35 na 35 na 35 1 35 35 35 35 35 35 35 35 20 20 20 35 20 20 20 35 35 20 20 20 35 35 20 20 35 35 20 20 20 35 20 20 35 35 35 35 35 35 35 35 35 35 20 20 35 20 20 35 na 35 20 2 2 2 5 5 5 20 20 20 2 2 2 20 3 3 8 8 8 20 20 20 15 7 15 20 2 20 8 20 1 2 15 20 2 20 8 20 1 1 2 5 20 2 20 8 20 1 1 2 5 20 2 20 8 20 20 na 15 7 15 20 2 20 8 20 20 35 15 7 15 20 2 20 8 20 20 20 35 15 7 15 20 2 20 8 20 20 20 20 35 15 na 5 20 2 20 8 20 20 20 20 1 I 2 5 20 2 20 8 20 20 20 20 20 35 20 20 20 20 35 20 20 1 35 1 35 1 I 2 7 2 7 2 5 15 5 15 5 20 20 20 20 20 2 2 2 2 2 20 20 20 20 8 20 20 20 20 20 na 20 20 na 1 15 1 8 8 8 Other soecies4 na 8 Aggregated amount 20 20 20 20 35 35 20 20 20 20 1 1 2 5 20 2 20 8 non-groundfish snecies8 .. 1 Sablefish: for fixed gear restnct10ns, see§ 679.7(f)(3)(n) and (f)(l l) . 2 Other flatfish includes all flatfish species, except for Pacific halibut (a prohibited species), flathead sole, Greenland turbot, rock sole, yellowfm sole, Alaska plaice, arrowtooth flounder and Kamchatka flounder. 3 Other rocktish includes all "rockfish" as defmed at § 679.2, except for Pacific ocean perch; and northern, shortraker, and rougheye rockfish. 4 The Other species includes sharks, skates and octopuses. 5 na = not applicable 6 Aggregated rockfish includes all "rockfish" as defined at§ 679.2, except shortraker and rougheye rockfish. Catcher vessels using hook-and-line, pot, or jig gear are required to retain all rockfish. See § 679.20G). 7 Forage fish, grenadiers, squids, and sculpins are all defined at Table 2c to this part. 8 All legally retained species offish and shellfish, including CDQ halibut and TFQ halibut that are not listed as FMP groundfish in Tables 2a and 2c to this part. 9 Catcher vessels using hook-and-line, pot, or jig gear are required to retain all rockfish. See§ 679.20G). [FR Doc. 2021–28232 Filed 12–29–21; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510–22–C DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration 50 CFR Part 679 [Docket No. 210217–0022] RTID 0648–XB678 Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Inseason Adjustment to the 2022 Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Pollock, Atka Mackerel, and Pacific Cod Total Allowable Catch Amounts National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Commerce. ACTION: Temporary rule; inseason adjustment; request for comments. khammond on DSKJM1Z7X2PROD with RULES AGENCY: NMFS is adjusting the 2022 total allowable catch (TAC) amounts for the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands SUMMARY: VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:53 Dec 29, 2021 Jkt 256001 (BSAI) pollock, Atka mackerel, and Pacific cod fisheries. This action is necessary because NMFS has determined these TACs are incorrectly specified, and will ensure the BSAI pollock, Atka mackerel, and Pacific cod TACs are the appropriate amounts based on the best available scientific information. This action is consistent with the goals and objectives of the Fishery Management Plan for Groundfish of the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Management Area. DATES: Effective 0001 hours, Alaska local time (A.l.t.), January 1, 2022, until the effective date of the final 2022 and 2023 harvest specifications for BSAI groundfish, unless otherwise modified or superseded through publication of a notification in the Federal Register. Comments must be received at the following address no later than 4:30 p.m., A.l.t., January 14, 2022. ADDRESSES: Submit comments on this document, identified by NOAA–NMFS– 2020–0141, by either of the following methods: • Electronic Submission: Submit all electronic public comments via the PO 00000 Frm 00037 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 20 Federal e-Rulemaking Portal. Go to www.regulations.gov and enter NOAA– NMFS–2020–0141. Click the ‘‘Comment’’ icon, complete the required fields, and enter or attach your comments. • Mail: Submit written comments to Glenn Merrill, Assistant Regional Administrator, Sustainable Fisheries Division, Alaska Region NMFS, Attn: Records Office. Mail comments to P.O. Box 21668, Juneau, AK 99802–1668. 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 the comments for public viewing on www.regulations.gov without change. All personal identifying information (e.g., name, address), 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). E:\FR\FM\30DER1.SGM 30DER1 ER30DE21.012</GPH> Code INCIDENTAL CATCH SPECIES

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 86, Number 248 (Thursday, December 30, 2021)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 74386-74389]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2021-28232]


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DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

50 CFR Part 679

[Docket No. 211221-0266]
RIN 0648-BL04


Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone off Alaska; 
Reclassifying Sculpin Species in the Groundfish Fisheries of the Bering 
Sea and Aleutian Islands and the Gulf of Alaska; Correcting Amendment

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

ACTION: Final rule; correcting amendment.

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

SUMMARY: The National Marine Fisheries Service is correcting 
regulations published in a final rule on July 10, 2020, which 
reclassified sculpins as Ecosystem Component (EC) category, non-target 
species in both the Bering Sea/Aleutian Islands (BSAI) (Amendment 121) 
and Gulf of Alaska (Amendment 110) Groundfish Fishery Management Plans 
(FMPs). In the implementing regulations, footnotes requiring the full 
retention of all rockfish species by catcher vessels (CVs) using hook-
and-line, pot, or jig gear in the BSAI (Amendment 119) and Gulf of 
Alaska (Amendment 107) were unintentionally omitted from Tables 10 and 
11 to 50 CFR part 679. This correcting amendment is therefore necessary 
to restore the footnotes as published in the final rule implementing 
Amendments 119 and 107 and to make other minor corrections.

DATES: Effective December 30, 2021.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Mason Smith, 907-586-7228.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Need for Correction

    The National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) published a rule 
reclassifying sculpins as EC category, non-target species in both the 
BSAI (Amendment 121) and Gulf of Alaska (Amendment 110) Groundfish FMPs 
in the Federal Register on July 10, 2020 (85 FR 41427). This rule 
became effective on August 10, 2020. NMFS has identified footnote 
errors in that final rule within Table 10 to 50 CFR part 679 (Gulf of 
Alaska Retainable Percentages) and Table 11 to 50 CFR part 679 (BSAI 
Retainable Percentage). These tables, associated errors, and 
corrections to each table are discussed below.

Corrections to Table 10 to 50 CFR Part 679--Gulf of Alaska Retainable 
Percentages

    Table 10 describes the maximum retainable amount (MRA) of 
groundfish in the Gulf of Alaska when NMFS prohibits directed fishing 
for those species. This table was modified in a rule published on July 
10, 2020 (85 FR 41427), which reclassified sculpins in the Gulf of 
Alaska (Amendment 110) Groundfish FMP as EC category, non-target 
species. However, the implementing regulations unintentionally omitted 
footnotes from Table 10, which were added to Table 10 a few months 
prior in the final rule implementing Amendment 107 to the Gulf of 
Alaska Groundfish FMP.
    The final rule implementing Amendment 107 was published on February 
20, 2020 (85 FR 9687) and required the full retention of rockfish that 
are caught by CVs using hook-and-line, pot, or jig gear. Since the 
majority of rockfish do not survive capture, this amendment was 
intended to decrease waste in the fishery. In addition, Amendment 107 
was intended to improve identification of rockfish species by vessels 
using electronic monitoring, reduce overall enforcement burden, and 
promote consistency between State and Federal fisheries. This 
correcting amendment is therefore necessary to restore the footnotes in 
Table 10, as published in the final rule implementing Amendment 107. 
This correcting amendment makes the following corrections to Table 10:
     In the Notes to Table 10 to 50 CFR part 679, the following 
statement is restored under note 1 (Shortraker/rougheye rockfish): 
``Catcher vessels using hook-and-line, pot, or jig gear are required to 
retain all rockfish. See Sec.  679.20(j);'' and
     In the Notes to Table 10 to 50 CFR part 679, the following 
statement is restored under note 7 (Aggregated rockfish): ``Catcher 
vessels using hook-and-line, pot, or jig gear are required to retain 
all rockfish. See Sec.  679.20(j).''
    In addition, after reviewing Table 10, NMFS determined that there 
are two minor additional errors that need to be corrected in Table 10:
     In Table 10 to 50 CFR part 679, amend note in header to 
read as: ``for DSR caught on catcher vessels in the SEO, see Sec.  
679.20 (j);'' and
     In Table 10 to 50 CFR part 679, the reference to note 9 is 
removed from the ``n/a'' in the cell at the intersection of the Pacific 
cod basis species row and the Pacific cod incidental catch species 
column.

Corrections to Table 11 to 50 CFR Part 679--BSAI Retainable Percentages

    Table 11 describes the MRA of groundfish in the BSAI when NMFS 
prohibits directed fishing of those species. This table was modified in 
a rule published on July 10, 2020 (85 FR 41427), which reclassified 
sculpins in the BSAI (Amendment 121) Groundfish FMP as EC category, 
non-target species. However, the implementing regulations 
unintentionally omitted footnotes from Table 11, which were added to 
Table 11 a few months prior in the final rule implementing Amendment 
119 to the BSAI Groundfish FMP.
    Amendment 119 was implemented in a rule published on February 20, 
2020 (85 FR 9687) and required the full retention of rockfish that are 
caught by CVs using hook-and-line, pot, or jig gear. Since the majority 
of rockfish do not survive capture, this amendment was intended to 
decrease waste in the fishery. In addition, Amendment 119 was intended 
to improve identification of rockfish species by vessels using 
electronic monitoring, reduce overall enforcement burden, and promote 
consistency between State and Federal fisheries. This correcting 
amendment is therefore necessary to restore the footnotes in Table 11, 
as published in the final rule implementing Amendment 119. This 
correcting amendment makes the following corrections in Table 11:
     In Table 11 to 50 CFR part 679, a reference to footnote 9 
is restored to the Shortraker/rougheye column header;
     In Table 11 to 50 CFR part 679, the following statement is 
restored to footnote 6: ``Catcher vessels using hook-and-line, pot, or 
jig gear are required to retain all rockfish. See Sec.  679.20(j); and
     In Table 11 to 50 CFR part 679, the following statement is 
restored to footnote 9: ``Catcher vessels using hook-and-line, pot, or 
jig gear are required to retain all rockfish. See Sec.  679.20(j).''

Classification

    The NOAA Assistant Administrator (AA) for Fisheries finds there is 
good cause to waive the requirement to provide prior notice and 
opportunity for public comment on this action pursuant to the authority 
set forth at 5 U.S.C. 553(b)(B), as such requirement is unnecessary and 
contrary to the public interest. This correcting amendment

[[Page 74387]]

corrects unintentional errors to Table 10 footnotes as well as the 
unintentional omission of footnotes to Tables 10 and 11, as described 
above. These revisions do not change operating practices in the 
fisheries, and is consistent with the Council's intent for Amendments 
107/119 and Amendments 110/121. During the public comment period for 
the rule requiring full retention of rockfish in the Gulf of Alaska and 
BSAI (85 FR 9687, February 20, 2020), the public was provided with 
notice and opportunity to comment, so additional opportunity for public 
comment at this point would not be meaningful. Additionally, these 
revisions are necessary to avoid public confusion from the 
unintentional omissions and errors. Therefore, the AA finds good cause 
to waive the requirement to provide prior notice and opportunity for 
public comment.
    For the same reasons stated above, the AA also finds good cause 
under 5 U.S.C. 553(d)(3) to waive the 30-day delay in effective date 
and make this rule effective immediately upon publication. Because 
prior notice and opportunity for public comment are not required for 
this rule by 5 U.S.C. 553, or any other law, the analytical 
requirements of the Regulatory Flexibility Act, 5 U.S.C. 601 et seq., 
are inapplicable.
    This final rule contains no information collection requirements 
under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995.
    This final rule is not significant for the purposes of Executive 
Order 12866.

List of Subjects in 50 CFR Part 679

    Alaska, Fisheries, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.

    Dated: December 21, 2021.
Samuel D. Rauch, III,
Deputy Assistant Administrator for Regulatory Programs, National Marine 
Fisheries Service.

    For the reasons set out in the preamble, 50 CFR part 679 is amended 
as follows:

PART 679--FISHERIES OF THE EXCLUSIVE ECONOMIC ZONE OFF ALASKA

0
1. The authority citation for part 679 continues to read as follows:

    Authority: 16 U.S.C. 773 et seq.; 1801 et seq.; 3631 et seq.; 
Pub. L. 108-447; Pub. L. 111-281.


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2. Revise Table 10 to Part 679--Gulf of Alaska Retainable Percentage, 
to read as follows:
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[FR Doc. 2021-28232 Filed 12-29-21; 8:45 am]
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