Atlantic Highly Migratory Species; Atlantic Bluefin Tuna Fisheries, 5737-5739 [2022-02123]

Download as PDF Federal Register / Vol. 87, No. 22 / Wednesday, February 2, 2022 / Rules and Regulations annual work hours, including hours worked by all employees of the railroad, regardless of occupation, not only while in the United States, but also while outside the United States. (2) When a contractor performs regulated service for at least one railroad with 400,000 or more total annual employee work hours, including hours worked by all employees of the railroad, regardless of occupation, not only while in the United States, but also while outside the United States, this subpart applies as follows: (i) A railroad with 400,000 or more total employee annual work hours must comply with this subpart regarding any contractor employees it integrates into its own alcohol and drug program under this part; and (ii) If a contractor establishes an independent alcohol and drug testing program that meets the requirements of this part and is acceptable to the railroad, the contractor must comply with this subpart if it has 200 or more regulated employees. Appendix B to Part 219—[Removed] ■ 20. Remove appendix B to part 219. Appendix C to Part 219—[Removed] ■ 21. Remove appendix C to part 219. Issued in Washington, DC. Amitabha Bose, Administrator. [FR Doc. 2022–01985 Filed 2–1–22; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910–06–P DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Fish and Wildlife Service 50 CFR Part 17 [Docket No. FWS–R2–ES–2012–0042; FF09E21000 FXES1111090FEDR 223] RIN 1018–AX13 Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Revision of the Critical Habitat Designation for the Jaguar in Compliance With a Court Order; Correction Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior. ACTION: Final rule; correction. AGENCY: We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, are correcting an erroneous acreage amount presented twice in the preamble of our July 22, 2021, final rule that was issued to comply with a court order concerning the critical habitat designation for the jaguar (Panthera onca) under the jspears on DSK121TN23PROD with RULES1 SUMMARY: VerDate Sep<11>2014 18:06 Feb 01, 2022 Jkt 256001 Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended (Act). DATES: This correction is effective February 2, 2022. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Attn: Jeff Humphrey, at 9828 North 31st Avenue #C3, Phoenix, AZ 85051; by telephone at 602–242–0210; or by email at incomingazcorr@fws.gov. Persons who use a telecommunications device for the deaf (TDD) may call the Federal Relay Service at 800–877–8339. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Correction On July 22, 2021, we published in the Federal Register (86 FR 38570) a final rule that was issued to comply with a court order to vacate Unit 6 and the New Mexico portion of Unit 5 from the March 5, 2014, final rule designating approximately 764,207 acres (309,263 hectares) of land in New Mexico and Arizona as critical habitat for the jaguar under the Act (16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.). In two places in the preamble of the July 22, 2021, final rule, we erroneously stated that the final rule removes approximately 110,438 acres (44,693 hectares) of land within New Mexico from the designation of critical habitat for the jaguar. This document corrects the preamble to state that the July 22, 2021, final rule removes approximately 59,286 acres (23,993 hectares) of land within New Mexico from the designation of critical habitat for the jaguar. We are not making any corrections to the maps we codified in the July 22, 2021, final rule; they are correct as published (86 FR 38570, July 22, 2021, pp. 86 FR 38571–38572). Therefore, in the final rule published at 86 FR 38570, in the July 22, 2021, issue of the Federal Register, we make the following corrections to the preamble: 1. On page 38570 in the third column, second line, we remove the words ‘‘110,438 acres (44,693 hectares)’’ and add in their place the words ‘‘59,286 acres (23,993 hectares)’’. 2. On page 38571 in the first column, in the first sentence under Effects of the Rule, we remove the words ‘‘110,438 acres (44,693 hectares)’’ and add in their place the words ‘‘59,286 acres (23,993 hectares)’’. Administrative Procedure We have determined, pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 553(b)(3)(B), that prior notice and opportunity for public comment are impractical and unnecessary. Public comment could not inform this correction process in any meaningful way. We have further determined that, PO 00000 Frm 00083 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 5737 under 5 U.S.C. 553(d)(3), the agency has good cause to make this rule effective upon publication, as it is important for the proper administration of our programs for our rulemaking documents published in the Federal Register to be complete and accurate. Authority The authority for this action is the Endangered Species Act (16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.) Martha Williams, Principal Deputy Director, Exercising the Delegated Authority of the Director, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. [FR Doc. 2022–02054 Filed 2–1–22; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4333–15–P DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration 50 CFR Part 635 [Docket No. 180117042–8884–02; RTID 0648–XB751] Atlantic Highly Migratory Species; Atlantic Bluefin Tuna Fisheries National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Commerce. ACTION: Temporary rule; Purse Seine category annual quota adjustment; inseason quota transfer. AGENCY: NMFS is adjusting the Atlantic bluefin tuna (BFT) Purse Seine and Reserve category quotas for 2022. NMFS also is transferring 26 metric tons (mt) of BFT quota from the Reserve category to the General category January through March 2022 subquota period. The transfer to the General category is based on consideration of the regulatory determination criteria regarding inseason adjustments and applies to Atlantic Tunas General category (commercial) permitted vessels and Highly Migratory Species (HMS) Charter/Headboat permitted vessels with a commercial sale endorsement when fishing commercially for BFT. DATES: Effective January 28, 2022 through December 31, 2022. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Larry Redd, Jr., larry.redd@noaa.gov, 301–427–8503, Nicholas Velseboer, nicholas.velsboer@noaa.gov, 978–281– 9260, or Thomas Warren, thomas.warren@noaa.gov, 978–281– 9347. SUMMARY: E:\FR\FM\02FER1.SGM 02FER1 5738 Federal Register / Vol. 87, No. 22 / Wednesday, February 2, 2022 / Rules and Regulations Atlantic HMS fisheries, including BFT fisheries, are managed under the authority of the Atlantic Tunas Convention Act (ATCA; 16 U.S.C. 971 et seq.) and the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (Magnuson-Stevens Act; 16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq.). The 2006 Consolidated Atlantic HMS Fishery Management Plan (FMP) and its amendments are implemented by regulations at 50 CFR part 635. Section 635.27 divides the U.S. BFT quota recommended by the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas (ICCAT) and as implemented by the United States among the various domestic fishing categories, per the allocations established in the 2006 Consolidated HMS FMP and its amendments. NMFS is required under the Magnuson-Stevens Act to provide U.S. fishing vessels with a reasonable opportunity to harvest quotas under relevant international fishery agreements such as the ICCAT Convention, which is implemented domestically pursuant to ATCA. The 2022 baseline Purse Seine, General, and Reserve category quotas are 219.5 mt, 555.7 mt, and 29.5 mt, respectively. The General category baseline subquota for the January through March time period is 29.5 mt. Effective January 1, 2022, NMFS transferred 19.5 mt of BFT quota from the December 2022 subquota time period to the January through March 2021 subquota time period resulting in an adjusted subquota of 49 mt for the January through March 2022 subquota time period (86 FR 72857, December 23, 2021). jspears on DSK121TN23PROD with RULES1 SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Annual Adjustment of the BFT Purse Seine and Reserve Category Quotas Consistent with § 635.27(a)(4), NMFS determines the amount of quota available to the Atlantic Tunas Purse Seine category participants in the current year, based on their BFT catch (landings and dead discards) in the previous year. As described in § 635.27(a)(4)(v)(A), NMFS makes available to each Purse Seine category participant either 100 percent, 75 percent, 50 percent, or 25 percent of the individual baseline quota allocations based on the previous year’s catch, and reallocates the remainder to the Reserve category. NMFS has calculated the amounts of quota available to the Purse Seine category participants for 2022 based on their individual catch levels in 2021. NMFS did not open the Purse Seine fishery in 2021 because there were no purse seine vessels permitted to fish for BFT and thus no catch in 2021. As a result, each Purse Seine category VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:37 Feb 01, 2022 Jkt 256001 participant will receive 25 percent of the individual baseline quota amount, which is the required distribution even with no fishing activity under the current regulations. The individual baseline amount is 43.9 mt (219.5 mt divided by five Purse Seine category participants), 25 percent of which is 11 mt. Consistent with § 635.27(a)(4)(v)(C), NMFS will notify Atlantic Tunas Purse Seine category participants of the amount of quota available for their use this year through the Individual Bluefin Quota electronic system established under § 635.15 and in writing. By summing the individual available allocations, NMFS has determined that 55 mt are available to the Purse Seine category for 2022. Thus, the amount of Purse Seine category quota to be reallocated to the Reserve category is 164.5 mt (219.5 mt¥55 mt = 164.5 mt). This reallocation results in an adjusted 2022 Reserve category quota of 194 mt (29.5 mt + 164.5 mt = 194 mt), before any further transfers to other categories. Transfer of 26 mt From the Reserve Category to the General Category Under § 635.27(a)(9), NMFS has the authority to transfer quota among fishing categories or subcategories after considering determination criteria provided under § 635.27(a)(8). NMFS has considered all of the relevant determination criteria and their applicability to this inseason quota transfer from the Reserve category to the General category. These considerations include, but are not limited to, the following: Regarding the usefulness of information obtained from catches in the particular category for biological sampling and monitoring of the status of the stock (§ 635.27(a)(8)(i)), biological samples collected from BFT landed by General category fishermen and provided by tuna dealers provide NMFS with valuable parts and data for ongoing scientific studies of BFT age and growth, migration, and reproductive status. Additional opportunity to land BFT in the General category would support the continued collection of a broad range of data for these studies and for stock monitoring purposes. NMFS also considered the catches of the General category quota to date (including during the winter fishery in the last several years) and the likelihood of closure of that segment of the fishery if no adjustment is made (§ 635.27(a)(8)(ii) and (ix)). To date, preliminary landings data indicate that the General category January through March fishery has landed 31.4 mt of the adjusted 49-mt subquota. Without a quota transfer at this time, NMFS would PO 00000 Frm 00084 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 likely need to close the General category fishery, and participants would have to stop BFT fishing activities while commercial-sized BFT remain available in the areas where General category permitted vessels operate. Transferring 26 mt of quota from the Reserve category would result in 75 mt (49 mt + 26 mt = 75 mt) being available for the January through March 2022 subquota period and would provide limited additional opportunities to harvest the BFT quota while avoiding exceeding it. Regarding the projected ability of the vessels fishing under the General category quota to harvest the additional amount of BFT quota transferred before the end of the fishing year (§ 635.27(a)(8)(iii)), NMFS considered General category landings over the last several years and landings to date this year. Landings are highly variable and depend on access to commercial-sized BFT and fishing conditions, among other factors. Thus, this quota transfer would allow fishermen to take advantage of the availability of BFT on the fishing grounds and provide a reasonable opportunity to harvest available U.S. BFT quota. NMFS also considered the estimated amounts by which quotas for other gear categories of the BFT fishery might be exceeded (§ 635.27(a)(8)(iv)) and the ability to account for all 2022 landings and dead discards. In the last several years, total U.S. BFT landings have been below the available U.S. quota such that the United States has carried forward the maximum amount of underharvest allowed by ICCAT from one year to the next. NMFS will need to account for 2022 landings and dead discards within the adjusted U.S. quota, consistent with ICCAT recommendations, and anticipates having sufficient quota to do that. NMFS also considered the effects of the transfer on the BFT stock and the effects of the adjustment on accomplishing the objectives of the 2006 Consolidated HMS FMP (§ 635.27(a)(8)(v) and (vi)). This transfer would be consistent with established quotas and subquotas, which are implemented consistent with ICCAT recommendations (established in Recommendation 17–06 and maintained in Recommendation 20–06), ATCA, and the objectives of the 2006 Consolidated HMS FMP and amendments. In establishing these quotas and subquotas and associated management measures, ICCAT and NMFS considered the best scientific information available, objectives for stock management and status, and effects on the stock. This quota transfer is in line with these established management measures. E:\FR\FM\02FER1.SGM 02FER1 Federal Register / Vol. 87, No. 22 / Wednesday, February 2, 2022 / Rules and Regulations Another principal consideration is the objective of providing opportunities to harvest the available General category quota, based on the objectives of the 2006 Consolidated HMS FMP and its amendments, including to achieve optimum yield on a continuing basis and to allow all permit categories a reasonable opportunity to harvest available BFT quota allocations (related to § 635.27(a)(8)(x)). For the General category, this includes providing opportunities equitably across all timeperiods. Given these considerations, NMFS is transferring 26 mt from the adjusted Reserve category quota to the General category January through March 2022 subquota time period. Therefore, NMFS adjusts the General category January through March subquota to 75 mt, and adjusts the Reserve category quota to 168 mt (194 mt¥26 mt = 168 mt). The General category fishery will remain open until March 31, 2022, or until the adjusted General category quota is reached, whichever comes first. jspears on DSK121TN23PROD with RULES1 Monitoring and Reporting NMFS will continue to monitor the BFT fisheries closely. Dealers are required to submit landing reports within 24 hours of a dealer receiving BFT. Late reporting by dealers compromises NMFS’ ability to timely implement actions such as quota and retention limit adjustments, as well as closures, and may result in enforcement actions. Additionally, and separate from the dealer reporting requirement, General and HMS Charter/Headboat category vessel owners are required to report the catch of all BFT retained or discarded dead within 24 hours of the landing(s) or end of each trip, by accessing hmspermits.noaa.gov, using the HMS Catch Reporting app, or calling (888) 872–8862 (Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. until 4:30 p.m.). Depending on the level of fishing effort and catch rates of BFT, NMFS may determine that additional adjustments (e.g., quota adjustment, daily retention limit adjustment, or closure) are necessary to ensure available quota is not exceeded or to enhance scientific data collection from, and fishing opportunities in, all geographic areas. If needed, subsequent adjustments will be published in the Federal Register. In addition, fishermen may call the Atlantic Tunas Information Line at (978) 281–9260, or access hmspermits.noaa.gov, for updates on quota monitoring and inseason adjustments. VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:37 Feb 01, 2022 Jkt 256001 Classification NMFS issues this action pursuant to section 305(d) of the Magnuson-Stevens Act and regulations at 50 CFR part 635, and it is exempt from review under Executive Order 12866. The Assistant Administrator for NMFS finds that it is impracticable and contrary to the public interest to provide prior notice of, and an opportunity for public comment on, the transfer from the Reserve category to the General category for the following reasons: The regulations implementing the 2006 Consolidated HMS FMP and amendments provide for inseason adjustments to respond to the unpredictable nature of BFT availability on the fishing grounds, the migratory nature of this species, and the regional variations in the BFT fishery. This fishery is currently underway and delaying this action would be contrary to the public interest as BFT landings could otherwise exceed the adjusted January through March 2022 General category quota and result in an earlier closure of the fishery while fish are available on the fishing grounds. Transferring quota from the Reserve category to the General category does not affect the overall U.S. BFT quota, and available data shows the adjustment would have a minimal risk of exceeding the ICCAT-allocated quota. NMFS notes that the public had an opportunity to comment on the underlying rulemakings that established the U.S. BFT quota, measures to reallocate quota, and the inseason adjustment criteria. For all of the above reasons, there is good cause under 5 U.S.C. 553(d) to waive the 30-day delay in effectiveness. Authority: 16 U.S.C. 971 et seq. and 1801 et seq. Dated: January 28, 2022. Ngagne Jafnar Gueye, Acting Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine Fisheries Service. [FR Doc. 2022–02123 Filed 1–28–22; 4:15 pm] BILLING CODE 3510–22–P DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration 50 CFR Part 648 [Docket No. 220126–0034; RTID 0648– XX073] Fisheries of the Northeastern United States; Atlantic Bluefish Fishery; 2022 and Projected 2023 Specifications National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), National Oceanic and AGENCY: PO 00000 Frm 00085 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 5739 Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Commerce. ACTION: Final rule. NMFS issues final specifications for the 2022 Atlantic bluefish fishery, and projected specifications for 2023, as recommended by the Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council. This action is necessary to establish allowable harvest levels to prevent overfishing while enabling optimum yield, using the best scientific information available. This rule also informs the public of the final fishery specifications for the 2022 fishing year. DATES: Effective February 2, 2022. ADDRESSES: The Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council prepared an environmental assessment (EA) for these specifications that describes the action and other considered alternatives. The EA provides an analysis of the biological, economic, and social impacts of the preferred measures and other considered alternatives. Copies of these specifications, including the EA, Regulatory Flexibility Act Analyses, and other supporting documents for the 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: SUMMARY: Background The Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council and the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission jointly manage the Atlantic Bluefish Fishery Management Plan (FMP). The FMP requires the specification of an acceptable biological catch (ABC), commercial and recreational annual catch limits (ACL), commercial and recreational annual catch targets (ACT), a commercial quota, a recreational harvest limit (RHL), and any other management measures, for up to 3 years at a time. This action implements bluefish specifications for the 2022 fishing year, and projects specifications for 2023, based on Council and Commission recommendations. These specifications incorporate several revised measures from Amendment 7 to the FMP (86 FR 66977; November 24, 2021), including the rebuilding plan for the stock, and phased-in reallocation of commercial E:\FR\FM\02FER1.SGM 02FER1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 87, Number 22 (Wednesday, February 2, 2022)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 5737-5739]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2022-02123]


=======================================================================
-----------------------------------------------------------------------

DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

50 CFR Part 635

[Docket No. 180117042-8884-02; RTID 0648-XB751]


Atlantic Highly Migratory Species; Atlantic Bluefin Tuna 
Fisheries

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

ACTION: Temporary rule; Purse Seine category annual quota adjustment; 
inseason quota transfer.

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

SUMMARY: NMFS is adjusting the Atlantic bluefin tuna (BFT) Purse Seine 
and Reserve category quotas for 2022. NMFS also is transferring 26 
metric tons (mt) of BFT quota from the Reserve category to the General 
category January through March 2022 subquota period. The transfer to 
the General category is based on consideration of the regulatory 
determination criteria regarding inseason adjustments and applies to 
Atlantic Tunas General category (commercial) permitted vessels and 
Highly Migratory Species (HMS) Charter/Headboat permitted vessels with 
a commercial sale endorsement when fishing commercially for BFT.

DATES: Effective January 28, 2022 through December 31, 2022.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Larry Redd, Jr., [email protected], 
301-427-8503, Nicholas Velseboer, [email protected], 978-281-
9260, or Thomas Warren, [email protected], 978-281-9347.

[[Page 5738]]


SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Atlantic HMS fisheries, including BFT 
fisheries, are managed under the authority of the Atlantic Tunas 
Convention Act (ATCA; 16 U.S.C. 971 et seq.) and the Magnuson-Stevens 
Fishery Conservation and Management Act (Magnuson-Stevens Act; 16 
U.S.C. 1801 et seq.). The 2006 Consolidated Atlantic HMS Fishery 
Management Plan (FMP) and its amendments are implemented by regulations 
at 50 CFR part 635. Section 635.27 divides the U.S. BFT quota 
recommended by the International Commission for the Conservation of 
Atlantic Tunas (ICCAT) and as implemented by the United States among 
the various domestic fishing categories, per the allocations 
established in the 2006 Consolidated HMS FMP and its amendments. NMFS 
is required under the Magnuson-Stevens Act to provide U.S. fishing 
vessels with a reasonable opportunity to harvest quotas under relevant 
international fishery agreements such as the ICCAT Convention, which is 
implemented domestically pursuant to ATCA.
    The 2022 baseline Purse Seine, General, and Reserve category quotas 
are 219.5 mt, 555.7 mt, and 29.5 mt, respectively. The General category 
baseline subquota for the January through March time period is 29.5 mt. 
Effective January 1, 2022, NMFS transferred 19.5 mt of BFT quota from 
the December 2022 subquota time period to the January through March 
2021 subquota time period resulting in an adjusted subquota of 49 mt 
for the January through March 2022 subquota time period (86 FR 72857, 
December 23, 2021).

Annual Adjustment of the BFT Purse Seine and Reserve Category Quotas

    Consistent with Sec.  635.27(a)(4), NMFS determines the amount of 
quota available to the Atlantic Tunas Purse Seine category participants 
in the current year, based on their BFT catch (landings and dead 
discards) in the previous year. As described in Sec.  
635.27(a)(4)(v)(A), NMFS makes available to each Purse Seine category 
participant either 100 percent, 75 percent, 50 percent, or 25 percent 
of the individual baseline quota allocations based on the previous 
year's catch, and reallocates the remainder to the Reserve category. 
NMFS has calculated the amounts of quota available to the Purse Seine 
category participants for 2022 based on their individual catch levels 
in 2021. NMFS did not open the Purse Seine fishery in 2021 because 
there were no purse seine vessels permitted to fish for BFT and thus no 
catch in 2021. As a result, each Purse Seine category participant will 
receive 25 percent of the individual baseline quota amount, which is 
the required distribution even with no fishing activity under the 
current regulations. The individual baseline amount is 43.9 mt (219.5 
mt divided by five Purse Seine category participants), 25 percent of 
which is 11 mt. Consistent with Sec.  635.27(a)(4)(v)(C), NMFS will 
notify Atlantic Tunas Purse Seine category participants of the amount 
of quota available for their use this year through the Individual 
Bluefin Quota electronic system established under Sec.  635.15 and in 
writing.
    By summing the individual available allocations, NMFS has 
determined that 55 mt are available to the Purse Seine category for 
2022. Thus, the amount of Purse Seine category quota to be reallocated 
to the Reserve category is 164.5 mt (219.5 mt-55 mt = 164.5 mt). This 
reallocation results in an adjusted 2022 Reserve category quota of 194 
mt (29.5 mt + 164.5 mt = 194 mt), before any further transfers to other 
categories.

Transfer of 26 mt From the Reserve Category to the General Category

    Under Sec.  635.27(a)(9), NMFS has the authority to transfer quota 
among fishing categories or subcategories after considering 
determination criteria provided under Sec.  635.27(a)(8). NMFS has 
considered all of the relevant determination criteria and their 
applicability to this inseason quota transfer from the Reserve category 
to the General category. These considerations include, but are not 
limited to, the following:
    Regarding the usefulness of information obtained from catches in 
the particular category for biological sampling and monitoring of the 
status of the stock (Sec.  635.27(a)(8)(i)), biological samples 
collected from BFT landed by General category fishermen and provided by 
tuna dealers provide NMFS with valuable parts and data for ongoing 
scientific studies of BFT age and growth, migration, and reproductive 
status. Additional opportunity to land BFT in the General category 
would support the continued collection of a broad range of data for 
these studies and for stock monitoring purposes.
    NMFS also considered the catches of the General category quota to 
date (including during the winter fishery in the last several years) 
and the likelihood of closure of that segment of the fishery if no 
adjustment is made (Sec.  635.27(a)(8)(ii) and (ix)). To date, 
preliminary landings data indicate that the General category January 
through March fishery has landed 31.4 mt of the adjusted 49-mt 
subquota. Without a quota transfer at this time, NMFS would likely need 
to close the General category fishery, and participants would have to 
stop BFT fishing activities while commercial-sized BFT remain available 
in the areas where General category permitted vessels operate. 
Transferring 26 mt of quota from the Reserve category would result in 
75 mt (49 mt + 26 mt = 75 mt) being available for the January through 
March 2022 subquota period and would provide limited additional 
opportunities to harvest the BFT quota while avoiding exceeding it.
    Regarding the projected ability of the vessels fishing under the 
General category quota to harvest the additional amount of BFT quota 
transferred before the end of the fishing year (Sec.  
635.27(a)(8)(iii)), NMFS considered General category landings over the 
last several years and landings to date this year. Landings are highly 
variable and depend on access to commercial-sized BFT and fishing 
conditions, among other factors. Thus, this quota transfer would allow 
fishermen to take advantage of the availability of BFT on the fishing 
grounds and provide a reasonable opportunity to harvest available U.S. 
BFT quota.
    NMFS also considered the estimated amounts by which quotas for 
other gear categories of the BFT fishery might be exceeded (Sec.  
635.27(a)(8)(iv)) and the ability to account for all 2022 landings and 
dead discards. In the last several years, total U.S. BFT landings have 
been below the available U.S. quota such that the United States has 
carried forward the maximum amount of underharvest allowed by ICCAT 
from one year to the next. NMFS will need to account for 2022 landings 
and dead discards within the adjusted U.S. quota, consistent with ICCAT 
recommendations, and anticipates having sufficient quota to do that.
    NMFS also considered the effects of the transfer on the BFT stock 
and the effects of the adjustment on accomplishing the objectives of 
the 2006 Consolidated HMS FMP (Sec.  635.27(a)(8)(v) and (vi)). This 
transfer would be consistent with established quotas and subquotas, 
which are implemented consistent with ICCAT recommendations 
(established in Recommendation 17-06 and maintained in Recommendation 
20-06), ATCA, and the objectives of the 2006 Consolidated HMS FMP and 
amendments. In establishing these quotas and subquotas and associated 
management measures, ICCAT and NMFS considered the best scientific 
information available, objectives for stock management and status, and 
effects on the stock. This quota transfer is in line with these 
established management measures.

[[Page 5739]]

Another principal consideration is the objective of providing 
opportunities to harvest the available General category quota, based on 
the objectives of the 2006 Consolidated HMS FMP and its amendments, 
including to achieve optimum yield on a continuing basis and to allow 
all permit categories a reasonable opportunity to harvest available BFT 
quota allocations (related to Sec.  635.27(a)(8)(x)). For the General 
category, this includes providing opportunities equitably across all 
time-periods.
    Given these considerations, NMFS is transferring 26 mt from the 
adjusted Reserve category quota to the General category January through 
March 2022 subquota time period. Therefore, NMFS adjusts the General 
category January through March subquota to 75 mt, and adjusts the 
Reserve category quota to 168 mt (194 mt-26 mt = 168 mt). The General 
category fishery will remain open until March 31, 2022, or until the 
adjusted General category quota is reached, whichever comes first.

Monitoring and Reporting

    NMFS will continue to monitor the BFT fisheries closely. Dealers 
are required to submit landing reports within 24 hours of a dealer 
receiving BFT. Late reporting by dealers compromises NMFS' ability to 
timely implement actions such as quota and retention limit adjustments, 
as well as closures, and may result in enforcement actions. 
Additionally, and separate from the dealer reporting requirement, 
General and HMS Charter/Headboat category vessel owners are required to 
report the catch of all BFT retained or discarded dead within 24 hours 
of the landing(s) or end of each trip, by accessing 
hmspermits.noaa.gov, using the HMS Catch Reporting app, or calling 
(888) 872-8862 (Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. until 4:30 p.m.).
    Depending on the level of fishing effort and catch rates of BFT, 
NMFS may determine that additional adjustments (e.g., quota adjustment, 
daily retention limit adjustment, or closure) are necessary to ensure 
available quota is not exceeded or to enhance scientific data 
collection from, and fishing opportunities in, all geographic areas. If 
needed, subsequent adjustments will be published in the Federal 
Register. In addition, fishermen may call the Atlantic Tunas 
Information Line at (978) 281-9260, or access hmspermits.noaa.gov, for 
updates on quota monitoring and inseason adjustments.

Classification

    NMFS issues this action pursuant to section 305(d) of the Magnuson-
Stevens Act and regulations at 50 CFR part 635, and it is exempt from 
review under Executive Order 12866.
    The Assistant Administrator for NMFS finds that it is impracticable 
and contrary to the public interest to provide prior notice of, and an 
opportunity for public comment on, the transfer from the Reserve 
category to the General category for the following reasons:
    The regulations implementing the 2006 Consolidated HMS FMP and 
amendments provide for inseason adjustments to respond to the 
unpredictable nature of BFT availability on the fishing grounds, the 
migratory nature of this species, and the regional variations in the 
BFT fishery. This fishery is currently underway and delaying this 
action would be contrary to the public interest as BFT landings could 
otherwise exceed the adjusted January through March 2022 General 
category quota and result in an earlier closure of the fishery while 
fish are available on the fishing grounds. Transferring quota from the 
Reserve category to the General category does not affect the overall 
U.S. BFT quota, and available data shows the adjustment would have a 
minimal risk of exceeding the ICCAT-allocated quota. NMFS notes that 
the public had an opportunity to comment on the underlying rulemakings 
that established the U.S. BFT quota, measures to reallocate quota, and 
the inseason adjustment criteria. For all of the above reasons, there 
is good cause under 5 U.S.C. 553(d) to waive the 30-day delay in 
effectiveness.

    Authority: 16 U.S.C. 971 et seq. and 1801 et seq.

    Dated: January 28, 2022.
Ngagne Jafnar Gueye,
Acting Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine 
Fisheries Service.
[FR Doc. 2022-02123 Filed 1-28-22; 4:15 pm]
BILLING CODE 3510-22-P