Revisions to Framework Adjustment 61 to the Northeast Multispecies Fishery Management Plan and Sector Annual Catch Entitlements; Correction, 8984-8990 [2022-03338]

Download as PDF 8984 Federal Register / Vol. 87, No. 33 / Thursday, February 17, 2022 / Rules and Regulations 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.). Classification NMFS issues this action pursuant to section 305(d) of the Magnuson-Stevens Act and regulations at 50 CFR part 635 and 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, this action for the following reasons: The regulations implementing the 2006 Consolidated HMS FMP and its amendments provide for inseason adjustments and fishery closures 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 could result in excessive trophy BFT landings that may result in future potential quota reductions for the Angling category, depending on the magnitude of a potential Angling category overharvest. NMFS must close the southern area trophy BFT fishery before additional landings of these sizes of BFT occur. Therefore, the AA finds good cause under 5 U.S.C. 553(b)(B) to waive prior notice and the opportunity for public comment. 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: February 11, 2022. Ngagne Jafnar Gueye, Acting Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine Fisheries Service. [FR Doc. 2022–03389 Filed 2–11–22; 4:15 pm] BILLING CODE 3510–22–P DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration 50 CFR Part 648 lotter on DSK11XQN23PROD with RULES1 [Docket No. 220210–0043; RIN 0648–BL07] Revisions to Framework Adjustment 61 to the Northeast Multispecies Fishery Management Plan and Sector Annual Catch Entitlements; Correction National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), National Oceanic and AGENCY: VerDate Sep<11>2014 15:53 Feb 16, 2022 Jkt 256001 Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Commerce. ACTION: Final rule; adjustment to specifications; correction. This final rule distributes sector allocation carried over from fishing year 2020 into fishing year 2021 and corrects the regulations implementing Framework Adjustment 61 to the Northeast Multispecies Fishery Management Plan. This action is necessary to correct regulatory errors and to allocate carryover quota to sectors. The carryover adjustments are routine and formulaic, and industry expects them each year. DATES: The correction to 50 CFR 648.85 is effective February 16, 2022. The distribution of sector allocation carried over into fishing year 2021 is effective February 16, 2022, through April 30, 2022. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Spencer Talmage, Fishery Management Specialist, (978) 281–9232. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: On July 28, 2021, we published a final rule approving Framework Adjustment 61 to the Northeast Multispecies Fishery Management Plan (FMP) (86 FR 40353), which set or adjusted 2021–2023 annual catch limits (ACL) for 17 of the 20 groundfish stocks, and 2021 ACLs for three shared U.S./Canada stocks. Framework 61 also approved and implemented the Universal Sector Exemption for Acadian Redfish (Redfish). This rule distributes unused sector quota carried over from fishing year 2020 and corrects a regulatory error which incorrectly defines the boundaries of the Redfish Exemption Area and Redfish Exemption Area Seasonal Closure II. SUMMARY: Sector Carryover Allocations From Fishing Year 2019 Carryover regulations at 50 CFR 648.87(b)(1)(i)(C) allow each groundfish sector to carry over an amount of unused Annual Catch Entitlement (ACE) equal to 10 percent of the sector’s original ACE for each stock (except for Georges Bank [GB] yellowtail flounder) that is unused at the end of the fishing year into the following fishing year. We are required to adjust ACE carryover to ensure that the total unused ACE combined with the overall sub-ACL does not exceed the Acceptable Biological Catch (ABC) for the fishing year in which the carryover may be harvested. We have completed 2020 fishing year data reconciliation with sectors and determined final 2020 fishing year sector catch and the amount of allocation that sectors may carry over PO 00000 Frm 00042 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 from the 2020 to the 2021 fishing year. Unused ACE from fishing year 2020 available to carry over to 2021 was reduced for the following stocks: Georges Bank (GB) cod; GB haddock; Gulf of Maine (GOM) haddock; Southern New England/Mid-Atlantic (SNE/MA) yellowtail flounder; Cape Cod/GOM yellowtail flounder; American plaice; witch flounder; GB winter flounder; GOM winter flounder; SNE/MA winter flounder; redfish; white hake; and pollock. Complete details on carryover reduction percentages can be found at: https://www.greateratlantic. fisheries.noaa.gov/ro/fso/reports/h/ groundfish_catch_accounting. Table 1 includes the maximum amount of allocation that sectors may carry over from the 2020 to the 2021 fishing year. Table 2 includes the de minimis amount of carryover for each sector for the 2021 fishing year. If the overall ACL for any allocated stock is exceeded for the 2021 fishing year, the allowed carryover harvested by a sector, minus the pounds in the sector’s de minimis amount, will be counted against its allocation to determine whether an overage subject to an accountability measure occurred. Tables 3 and 4 list the final ACE available to sectors for the 2021 fishing year, including finalized carryover amounts for each sector, as adjusted down when necessary to equal each stock’s ABC. Correction to Redfish Exemption Areas The Redfish Exemption Program defined at § 648.85(e)(1) allows sector vessels to target redfish using a 5.5-inch (14.0-centimeter (cm)) mesh codend within the Redfish Exemption Area, defined in the regulations at § 648.85(e)(1)(ii). Also included in the regulations for the Redfish Exemption Program are two seasonal closure areas in which no vessel may participate in the Redfish Exemption Program. These are the Redfish Exemption Area Cod Closure defined at § 648.85(e)(1)(ii)(A) and the Redfish Exemption Area Seasonal Closure II defined at § 648.85(e)(1)(ii)(B). Portions of the boundaries for both the Redfish Exemption Area and the Redfish Exemption Area Seasonal Closure II follow the boundaries of the U.S. Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ). The regulations that currently list the points delineating these areas state that the areas are defined by straight lines connecting the following points in the order stated. For both areas, when straight lines are drawn between points located on the U.S. EEZ and preceding or subsequent points, the boundaries of the areas that result do not follow the boundaries of the U.S. EEZ as intended. E:\FR\FM\17FER1.SGM 17FER1 Federal Register / Vol. 87, No. 33 / Thursday, February 17, 2022 / Rules and Regulations lotter on DSK11XQN23PROD with RULES1 As a result, small portions of the Redfish Exemption Area and Redfish Exemption Area Seasonal Closure II currently extend past the boundary of the U.S. EEZ, into Canadian waters. This rule corrects this error by revising the regulations at § 648.85(e)(1)(ii) and § 648.85(e)(1)(ii)(B) to correctly state that the lines VerDate Sep<11>2014 15:53 Feb 16, 2022 Jkt 256001 connecting points located on the U.S. EEZ follow the boundary of the U.S. EEZ. Though the erroneous definitions for the Redfish Exemption Area and Redfish Exemption Area Seasonal Closure II extended these areas past the U.S. EEZ into Canadian waters, they did not authorize vessels to fish in Canadian PO 00000 Frm 00043 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 8985 waters. The correction being implemented by this rule, as a result, does not change any operational aspect of the Redfish Exemption Program. Instead, it is an administrative change designed to ensure regulations are written accurately and to reduce confusion. BILLING CODE 3510–22–P E:\FR\FM\17FER1.SGM 17FER1 lotter on DSK11XQN23PROD with RULES1 8986 VerDate Sep<11>2014 -.1 ...... - - ....... ___,......_ ....................................................... ,.. ~ Jkt 256001 ~ OS r-l " ~ "0 u u i::Q t;!) OS ~ "0 0 PO 00000 Frm 00044 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4725 E:\FR\FM\17FER1.SGM 17FER1 ER17FE22.095</GPH> - - ----------- ---& "0 r-l u --=0 0 " "0 ~ 0 "0 0 = OS t;!) i::Q t;!) i::Q t;!) .... - - - ." _..,._..,. .... = = 0 ~ ~ ·; =" "0" "0 "' " ~ --=0 " r:;:: "0 "0 --=0 " "0 = OS "0 = ~ OS ~ .s ;; ~ 0 > t;!) _.._.. --- ........................... ,.. i::Q t;!) --- --& _..,. ____ ,. . . . . , ·; ... .s ... " >" "0= ~ § ot;!) ... "0 ~ 0 ... > = ~! r-l z "' - " ·;"" is:: u u = = r:;:: 0 -= ~ ." ... ... .... 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" .5 ...." = ~ ~ 0 ~ i::Q t;!) 12OS -=i="' ~~ = "' "0 :a " i:=: ~ ~ z "' t;!) --= .s" Q ~ FGS 0 16,430 445 0 172,200 4,524 0 19 1,789 1,675 1,833 29 4,445 449 6,702 3,101 74,863 MCCS 0 3,075 7,233 0 293,325 195,771 0 40 3,069 39,704 15,287 410 1,305 689 101,539 45,233 279,414 MOON 0 15,676 2,043 0 348,252 66,035 0 8 2,158 2,472 2,691 362 869 850 31,373 3,389 120,505 NEFS2 0 8,592 16,303 0 998,907 489,133 0 45 20,959 35,991 22,998 1,304 8,611 1,580 182,749 32,056 328,328 NEFS4 0 9,773 5,180 0 543,722 193,158 0 61 5,333 30,760 13,961 280 2,601 371 43,523 2,554 151,973 NEFS5 0 633 0 0 76,224 77 0 544 171 1,397 884 177 3 4,513 171 256 941 NEFS6 0 4,166 1,913 0 335,199 95,904 0 139 3,799 14,815 9,527 697 1,785 714 80,586 15,479 81,206 NEFS7 0 3,816 510 0 219,355 39,487 0 55 1,054 9,731 3,315 3,208 99 1,092 30,411 7,266 37,814 NEFS8 0 11,010 738 0 723,744 15,839 0 192 5,474 10,544 5,793 9,680 1,720 3,625 10,814 3,657 26,651 NEFS 10 0 694 1,500 0 16,518 27,904 0 15 3,573 3,495 3,225 4 3,188 225 3,962 1,765 16,898 NEFS 11 0 526 7,499 0 3,257 62,453 0 0 2,106 5,492 2,529 1 746 8 22,989 11,039 197,132 NEFS 12 0 830 1,742 0 8,761 22,060 0 0 6,542 1,625 894 0 2,639 81 2,682 963 17,163 NEFS 13 0 15,608 473 0 1,914,135 21,091 0 634 5,440 27,537 14,551 7,034 750 5,864 51,879 7,624 58,560 SHSl 0 2,997 1,805 0 211,991 83,214 0 3 1,814 17,332 6,096 842 1,151 281 35,386 15,167 59,532 SHS2 0 3,233 2,937 0 115,913 67,454 0 83 3,474 10,954 4,673 1,471 1,513 1,294 36,748 14,738 138,355 SHS3 0 30,802 5,466 0 3,165,469 712,483 0 359 12,605 97,318 43,852 11,971 1,636 11,425 480,629 69,394 562,369 0 127,861 55,787 0 9,146,972 2,096,587 0 2,197 79,360 310,842 152,109 37,470 33,061 33,061 1,122,143 233,681 2,151,704 Total Georges Bank Cod Fixed Gear Sector (FGS), Maine Coast Community Sector (MCCS), Mooncusser Sector (MOON), Maine Permit Bank (MPB), New Hampshire Permit Bank (NHPB), Northeast Coastal Communities Sector (NCCS), Northeast Fishery Sectors (NEFS), and Sustainable Harvest Sector (SHS) Federal Register / Vol. 87, No. 33 / Thursday, February 17, 2022 / Rules and Regulations 15:53 Feb 16, 2022 ------- --- lotter on DSK11XQN23PROD with RULES1 VerDate Sep<11>2014 -- --- - - - Jkt 256001 .... 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" " .:I r-. ~ = 0 1 261 297 319 0 9 761 8,223 3,234 . 2 ~ -="' I;: ~~ . -0 ;<;:: -=~ i::i=: ~ z . ~ 0 :g ~ 00 0 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4725 E:\FR\FM\17FER1.SGM FGS 0 3,112 42 0 33,154 410 MCCS 0 594 854 0 57,731 25,155 MOON 0 2,882 371 0 64,706 8,361 0 3 459 507 526 117 176 155 NEFS2 0 1,567 1,586 0 180,523 50,399 0 6 3,823 6,616 4,252 399 1,519 265 NEFS4 0 1,784 665 0 98,270 20,115 0 8 975 5,627 2,572 86 460 63 NEFS5 0 114 0 0 9,813 77 0 63 145 273 190 39 3 718 NEFS6 0 750 174 0 60,581 9,965 0 18 638 2,691 1,744 214 294 NEFS7 0 112 1 0 6,712 38 0 4 8 148 74 37 3 NEFS8 0 2,349 141 0 155,321 11,531 0 26 1,051 4,502 1,847 3,693 NEFS 10 0 127 147 0 2,985 2,906 0 2 653 639 594 1 150 . =.= .... 497 65 1,215 479 13,949 345 128 20,736 6,365 55,008 10,123 3,389 43,053 32,422 3,997 59,450 14,236 2,554 28,075 39 37 157 121 14,530 2,013 14,987 12 337 35 741 245 649 10,814 1,999 16,374 564 38 715 292 3,122 35,865 17FER1 NEFS 11 0 96 689 0 586 6,320 0 0 372 939 466 0 127 1 4,007 1,917 NEFS 12 0 152 187 0 1,584 2,470 0 0 1,310 471 181 0 817 16 486 132 3,182 NEFS 13 0 3,049 48 0 360,681 2,215 0 82 1,068 5,171 2,805 2,413 144 1,122 9,462 1,011 11,073 SHSl 0 1,344 178 0 127,614 20,470 0 3 433 6,721 2,697 842 159 193 17,608 5,652 26,427 SHS2 0 886 100 0 30,534 3,391 0 16 866 1,706 715 1,077 261 529 2,422 847 5,231 SHS3 0 4,092 441 0 441,998 54,337 0 24 1,468 11,904 5,637 2,186 192 1,377 68,790 9,990 80,588 Total 0 23,010 5,624 0 1,632,793 218,160 0 265 14,291 56,435 27,853 11,256 5,806 5,452 207,942 40,709 397,282 Federal Register / Vol. 87, No. 33 / Thursday, February 17, 2022 / Rules and Regulations 15:53 Feb 16, 2022 - 8987 ER17FE22.096</GPH> lotter on DSK11XQN23PROD with RULES1 8988 VerDate Sep<11>2014 .... ."' .... 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Section 305(d) authorizes NMFS to take action because in a previous action taken pursuant to section 304(b), the Council designed the FMP to authorize NMFS to annually adjust and distribute sector carryover. See § 648.87(b)(1)(i)(C). Additionally, pursuant to section 305(d), this action is necessary to carry out the Northeast Multispecies FMP, because the regulatory corrections to the Redfish Exemption Area and Redfish Exemption Area Seasonal Closure II at § 648.85(e)(1)(ii) and § 648.85(e)(1)(ii)(B) are necessary to correctly administrate the Redfish Exemption Program. The NMFS Assistant Administrator has determined that this final rule is consistent with the Northeast Multispecies FMP, other provisions of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act, and other applicable laws. This rule has been determined to be not significant for purposes of Executive Order 12866. Pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 553(b)(3)(B), we find good cause to waive prior public notice and opportunity for public comment on the allocation adjustments and corrections because allowing time for notice and comment would be impracticable, unnecessary, and contrary to the public interest. We also find good cause to waive the 30-day delay in effectiveness pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 553(d)(1) and (3), so that this final rule may become effective in a timely manner and the fishery may maximize the economic benefits of the adjusted allocations to the fishery. Notice and comment and a 30-day delay in effectiveness would be impracticable, unnecessary, and contrary to the public interest. The distribution of unused quota carried over from the previous fishing year is an annual adjustment action that is expected by industry. These adjustments increase available catch. They are routine, formulaic, and authorized by regulation. The public had prior notice and opportunity to participate in the development of and comment on the regulations implementing this process and expects VerDate Sep<11>2014 15:53 Feb 16, 2022 Jkt 256001 this adjustment each year. Delaying these adjustments would result in a delay in the distribution of unused carryover to sectors, and could negate or reduce the intended economic benefits and increased operational flexibility provided by these adjustments. We only recently finalized carryover for 2020 based on data available in the late fall. The regulatory revisions in this rule are necessary to correct regulatory errors made in the implementation of Framework 61. Correcting these errors is not subject to our discretion, so there would be no benefit to allowing time for notice and comment. Immediate implementation corrects information published in Framework Adjustment 61 and provides industry with the most accurate information. Delaying these corrections could cause confusion about compliance with legal requirements. The need for these corrections was discovered only recently, so quicker action on our part was not possible. Also, because advanced notice and the opportunity for public comment are not required for this action under the Administrative Procedure Act, or any other law, the analytical requirements of the Regulatory Flexibility Act, 5 U.S.C. 601, et seq., do not apply to this rule. Therefore, no final regulatory flexibility analysis is required and none has been prepared. This final rule contains no information collection requirements under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995. List of Subjects in 50 CFR Part 648 Fisheries, Fishing, Recordkeeping and reporting requirements. Dated: February 10, 2022. Samuel D. Rauch, III, Deputy Assistant Administrator for Regulatory Programs, National Marine Fisheries Service. For the reasons stated in the preamble, 50 CFR part 648 is amended as follows: PART 648—FISHERIES OF THE NORTHEASTERN UNITED STATES 1. The authority citation for part 648 continues to read as follows: ■ Authority: 16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq. 2. In § 648.85, revise the introductory text of paragraph (e)(1)(ii) and paragraph (e)(1)(ii)(B) to read as follows: ■ PO 00000 Frm 00048 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 9990 § 648.85 Special management programs. * * * * * (e) * * * (1) * * * (ii) Redfish Exemption Area. The Redfish Exemption Area is the area defined by straight lines connecting the following points in the order stated, except between points D and E and E and F, the boundary follows the outer limits of the U.S. EEZ. (A chart depicting this area is available from the Regional Administrator upon request): TABLE 14 TO PARAGRAPH (e)(1)(ii) INTRODUCTORY TEXT Point N lat. A ........................... B ........................... C ........................... D ........................... E ........................... F ............................ G ........................... H ........................... I ............................. J ............................ A ........................... 1 U.S. EEZ 67°35.07′. 2 U.S. EEZ 67°18.17′. W long. 43°00′ 43°00′ 43°20′ 43°20′ 42°53.24′ 42°20′ 42°20′ 42°00′ 42°00′ 42°20′ 43°00′ 69°55′ 69°30′ 69°30′ (1) 67°44.55′ ( 2) 67°40′ 67°40′ 69°37′ 69°55′ 69°55′ longitude, approximately longitude, approximately * * * * * (B) Redfish Exemption Area Seasonal Closure II. No vessel may participate in the Redfish Exemption Program inside the Redfish Exemption Area Seasonal Closure II from September 1 through December 31 of each year. The Redfish Exemption Area Seasonal Closure II is the area defined by straight lines connecting the following points in the order stated, except between points F and G the boundary follows the outer limits of the U.S. EEZ: TABLE 16 TO PARAGRAPH (e)(1)(ii)(B) Point N lat. M ........................... F ............................ G ........................... M ........................... 1 U.S. EEZ I W long. 42°47.17′ 42°20′ 42°20′ 42°47.17′ longitude, I 67°40′ ( 1) 67°40′ 67°40′ approximately 67°18.17′. * * * * * [FR Doc. 2022–03338 Filed 2–16–22; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510–22–C E:\FR\FM\17FER1.SGM 17FER1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 87, Number 33 (Thursday, February 17, 2022)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 8984-8990]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2022-03338]


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DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

50 CFR Part 648

[Docket No. 220210-0043; RIN 0648-BL07]


Revisions to Framework Adjustment 61 to the Northeast 
Multispecies Fishery Management Plan and Sector Annual Catch 
Entitlements; Correction

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

ACTION: Final rule; adjustment to specifications; correction.

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SUMMARY: This final rule distributes sector allocation carried over 
from fishing year 2020 into fishing year 2021 and corrects the 
regulations implementing Framework Adjustment 61 to the Northeast 
Multispecies Fishery Management Plan. This action is necessary to 
correct regulatory errors and to allocate carryover quota to sectors. 
The carryover adjustments are routine and formulaic, and industry 
expects them each year.

DATES: The correction to 50 CFR 648.85 is effective February 16, 2022. 
The distribution of sector allocation carried over into fishing year 
2021 is effective February 16, 2022, through April 30, 2022.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Spencer Talmage, Fishery Management 
Specialist, (978) 281-9232.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: On July 28, 2021, we published a final rule 
approving Framework Adjustment 61 to the Northeast Multispecies Fishery 
Management Plan (FMP) (86 FR 40353), which set or adjusted 2021-2023 
annual catch limits (ACL) for 17 of the 20 groundfish stocks, and 2021 
ACLs for three shared U.S./Canada stocks. Framework 61 also approved 
and implemented the Universal Sector Exemption for Acadian Redfish 
(Redfish). This rule distributes unused sector quota carried over from 
fishing year 2020 and corrects a regulatory error which incorrectly 
defines the boundaries of the Redfish Exemption Area and Redfish 
Exemption Area Seasonal Closure II.

Sector Carryover Allocations From Fishing Year 2019

    Carryover regulations at 50 CFR 648.87(b)(1)(i)(C) allow each 
groundfish sector to carry over an amount of unused Annual Catch 
Entitlement (ACE) equal to 10 percent of the sector's original ACE for 
each stock (except for Georges Bank [GB] yellowtail flounder) that is 
unused at the end of the fishing year into the following fishing year. 
We are required to adjust ACE carryover to ensure that the total unused 
ACE combined with the overall sub-ACL does not exceed the Acceptable 
Biological Catch (ABC) for the fishing year in which the carryover may 
be harvested. We have completed 2020 fishing year data reconciliation 
with sectors and determined final 2020 fishing year sector catch and 
the amount of allocation that sectors may carry over from the 2020 to 
the 2021 fishing year. Unused ACE from fishing year 2020 available to 
carry over to 2021 was reduced for the following stocks: Georges Bank 
(GB) cod; GB haddock; Gulf of Maine (GOM) haddock; Southern New 
England/Mid-Atlantic (SNE/MA) yellowtail flounder; Cape Cod/GOM 
yellowtail flounder; American plaice; witch flounder; GB winter 
flounder; GOM winter flounder; SNE/MA winter flounder; redfish; white 
hake; and pollock. Complete details on carryover reduction percentages 
can be found at: https://www.greateratlantic.fisheries.noaa.gov/ro/fso/reports/h/groundfish_catch_accounting.
    Table 1 includes the maximum amount of allocation that sectors may 
carry over from the 2020 to the 2021 fishing year. Table 2 includes the 
de minimis amount of carryover for each sector for the 2021 fishing 
year. If the overall ACL for any allocated stock is exceeded for the 
2021 fishing year, the allowed carryover harvested by a sector, minus 
the pounds in the sector's de minimis amount, will be counted against 
its allocation to determine whether an overage subject to an 
accountability measure occurred. Tables 3 and 4 list the final ACE 
available to sectors for the 2021 fishing year, including finalized 
carryover amounts for each sector, as adjusted down when necessary to 
equal each stock's ABC.

Correction to Redfish Exemption Areas

    The Redfish Exemption Program defined at Sec.  648.85(e)(1) allows 
sector vessels to target redfish using a 5.5-inch (14.0-centimeter 
(cm)) mesh codend within the Redfish Exemption Area, defined in the 
regulations at Sec.  648.85(e)(1)(ii). Also included in the regulations 
for the Redfish Exemption Program are two seasonal closure areas in 
which no vessel may participate in the Redfish Exemption Program. These 
are the Redfish Exemption Area Cod Closure defined at Sec.  
648.85(e)(1)(ii)(A) and the Redfish Exemption Area Seasonal Closure II 
defined at Sec.  648.85(e)(1)(ii)(B).
    Portions of the boundaries for both the Redfish Exemption Area and 
the Redfish Exemption Area Seasonal Closure II follow the boundaries of 
the U.S. Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ). The regulations that currently 
list the points delineating these areas state that the areas are 
defined by straight lines connecting the following points in the order 
stated. For both areas, when straight lines are drawn between points 
located on the U.S. EEZ and preceding or subsequent points, the 
boundaries of the areas that result do not follow the boundaries of the 
U.S. EEZ as intended.

[[Page 8985]]

As a result, small portions of the Redfish Exemption Area and Redfish 
Exemption Area Seasonal Closure II currently extend past the boundary 
of the U.S. EEZ, into Canadian waters.
    This rule corrects this error by revising the regulations at Sec.  
648.85(e)(1)(ii) and Sec.  648.85(e)(1)(ii)(B) to correctly state that 
the lines connecting points located on the U.S. EEZ follow the boundary 
of the U.S. EEZ.
    Though the erroneous definitions for the Redfish Exemption Area and 
Redfish Exemption Area Seasonal Closure II extended these areas past 
the U.S. EEZ into Canadian waters, they did not authorize vessels to 
fish in Canadian waters. The correction being implemented by this rule, 
as a result, does not change any operational aspect of the Redfish 
Exemption Program. Instead, it is an administrative change designed to 
ensure regulations are written accurately and to reduce confusion.
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[[Page 8990]]



Classification

    NMFS is issuing this rule pursuant to 305(d) of the Magnuson-
Stevens Act, which provides specific authority for implementing this 
action. Section 305(d) authorizes NMFS to take action because in a 
previous action taken pursuant to section 304(b), the Council designed 
the FMP to authorize NMFS to annually adjust and distribute sector 
carryover. See Sec.  648.87(b)(1)(i)(C). Additionally, pursuant to 
section 305(d), this action is necessary to carry out the Northeast 
Multispecies FMP, because the regulatory corrections to the Redfish 
Exemption Area and Redfish Exemption Area Seasonal Closure II at Sec.  
648.85(e)(1)(ii) and Sec.  648.85(e)(1)(ii)(B) are necessary to 
correctly administrate the Redfish Exemption Program. The NMFS 
Assistant Administrator has determined that this final rule is 
consistent with the Northeast Multispecies FMP, other provisions of the 
Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act, and other 
applicable laws.
    This rule has been determined to be not significant for purposes of 
Executive Order 12866.
    Pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 553(b)(3)(B), we find good cause to waive 
prior public notice and opportunity for public comment on the 
allocation adjustments and corrections because allowing time for notice 
and comment would be impracticable, unnecessary, and contrary to the 
public interest. We also find good cause to waive the 30-day delay in 
effectiveness pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 553(d)(1) and (3), so that this 
final rule may become effective in a timely manner and the fishery may 
maximize the economic benefits of the adjusted allocations to the 
fishery.
    Notice and comment and a 30-day delay in effectiveness would be 
impracticable, unnecessary, and contrary to the public interest. The 
distribution of unused quota carried over from the previous fishing 
year is an annual adjustment action that is expected by industry. These 
adjustments increase available catch. They are routine, formulaic, and 
authorized by regulation. The public had prior notice and opportunity 
to participate in the development of and comment on the regulations 
implementing this process and expects this adjustment each year. 
Delaying these adjustments would result in a delay in the distribution 
of unused carryover to sectors, and could negate or reduce the intended 
economic benefits and increased operational flexibility provided by 
these adjustments. We only recently finalized carryover for 2020 based 
on data available in the late fall.
    The regulatory revisions in this rule are necessary to correct 
regulatory errors made in the implementation of Framework 61. 
Correcting these errors is not subject to our discretion, so there 
would be no benefit to allowing time for notice and comment. Immediate 
implementation corrects information published in Framework Adjustment 
61 and provides industry with the most accurate information. Delaying 
these corrections could cause confusion about compliance with legal 
requirements. The need for these corrections was discovered only 
recently, so quicker action on our part was not possible.
    Also, because advanced notice and the opportunity for public 
comment are not required for this action under the Administrative 
Procedure Act, or any other law, the analytical requirements of the 
Regulatory Flexibility Act, 5 U.S.C. 601, et seq., do not apply to this 
rule. Therefore, no final regulatory flexibility analysis is required 
and none has been prepared.
    This final rule contains no information collection requirements 
under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995.

List of Subjects in 50 CFR Part 648

    Fisheries, Fishing, Recordkeeping and reporting requirements.

    Dated: February 10, 2022.
Samuel D. Rauch, III,
Deputy Assistant Administrator for Regulatory Programs, National Marine 
Fisheries Service.
    For the reasons stated in the preamble, 50 CFR part 648 is amended 
as follows:

PART 648--FISHERIES OF THE NORTHEASTERN UNITED STATES

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

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

0
2. In Sec.  648.85, revise the introductory text of paragraph 
(e)(1)(ii) and paragraph (e)(1)(ii)(B) to read as follows:


Sec.  648.85  Special management programs.

* * * * *
    (e) * * *
    (1) * * *
    (ii) Redfish Exemption Area. The Redfish Exemption Area is the area 
defined by straight lines connecting the following points in the order 
stated, except between points D and E and E and F, the boundary follows 
the outer limits of the U.S. EEZ. (A chart depicting this area is 
available from the Regional Administrator upon request):

           Table 14 to Paragraph (e)(1)(ii) Introductory Text
------------------------------------------------------------------------
                      Point                         N lat.      W long.
------------------------------------------------------------------------
A...............................................  43[deg]00'  69[deg]55'
B...............................................  43[deg]00'  69[deg]30'
C...............................................  43[deg]20'  69[deg]30'
D...............................................  43[deg]20'       (\1\)
E...............................................  42[deg]53.  67[deg]44.
                                                         24'         55'
F...............................................  42[deg]20'       (\2\)
G...............................................  42[deg]20'  67[deg]40'
H...............................................  42[deg]00'  67[deg]40'
I...............................................  42[deg]00'  69[deg]37'
J...............................................  42[deg]20'  69[deg]55'
A...............................................  43[deg]00'  69[deg]55'
------------------------------------------------------------------------
\1\ U.S. EEZ longitude, approximately 67[deg]35.07'.
\2\ U.S. EEZ longitude, approximately 67[deg]18.17'.

* * * * *
    (B) Redfish Exemption Area Seasonal Closure II. No vessel may 
participate in the Redfish Exemption Program inside the Redfish 
Exemption Area Seasonal Closure II from September 1 through December 31 
of each year. The Redfish Exemption Area Seasonal Closure II is the 
area defined by straight lines connecting the following points in the 
order stated, except between points F and G the boundary follows the 
outer limits of the U.S. EEZ:

                   Table 16 to Paragraph (e)(1)(ii)(B)
------------------------------------------------------------------------
                      Point                         N lat.      W long.
------------------------------------------------------------------------
M...............................................  42[deg]47.  67[deg]40'
                                                         17'
F...............................................  42[deg]20'       (\1\)
G...............................................  42[deg]20'  67[deg]40'
M...............................................  42[deg]47.  67[deg]40'
                                                         17'
------------------------------------------------------------------------
\1\ U.S. EEZ longitude, approximately 67[deg]18.17'.

* * * * *
[FR Doc. 2022-03338 Filed 2-16-22; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 3510-22-C