Atlantic Highly Migratory Species; Atlantic Bluefin Tuna Fisheries, 8983-8984 [2022-03389]

Download as PDF 8983 Federal Register / Vol. 87, No. 33 / Thursday, February 17, 2022 / Rules and Regulations Common name Scientific name Where listed * Whale, Rice’s .................... * * Balaenoptera ricei ............ * Wherever found ................ * * * * * * Martha Williams, Principal Deputy Director, Exercising the Delegated Authority of the Director, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. [FR Doc. 2022–03114 Filed 2–16–22; 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–XB791] Atlantic Highly Migratory Species; Atlantic Bluefin Tuna Fisheries National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Commerce. ACTION: Temporary rule; closure of the Atlantic bluefin tuna Angling category southern area large medium and giant fishery for 2022. AGENCY: NMFS closes the southern area Angling category fishery for large medium and giant (‘‘trophy’’ (i.e., measuring 73 inches (185 cm) curved fork length or greater)) Atlantic bluefin tuna (BFT). This action applies to Highly Migratory Species (HMS) Angling category permitted vessels and Atlantic HMS Charter/Headboat permitted vessels when fishing recreationally. SUMMARY: Effective 11:30 p.m., local time, February 12, 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. lotter on DSK11XQN23PROD with RULES1 DATES: 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 SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: VerDate Sep<11>2014 15:53 Feb 16, 2022 Jkt 256001 Status Angling Category Large Medium and Giant Southern ‘‘Trophy’’ Fishery Closure Based on landings data from the NMFS Automated Catch Reporting PO 00000 Frm 00041 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 * * 84 FR 15446, 4/15/2019; 86 FR 47022, 8/23/2021;N 87 FR [INSERT Federal Register PAGE WHERE THE DOCUMENT BEGINS], 2/17/2022. E (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. Under § 635.28(a)(1), NMFS files a closure notice with the Office of the Federal Register for publication when a BFT quota (or subquota) is reached or is projected to be reached. Retaining, possessing, or landing BFT under that quota category is prohibited on and after the effective date and time of a closure notice for that category, for the remainder of the fishing year, until the opening of the subsequent quota period or until such date as specified. The 2022 BFT fishing year, which is managed on a calendar-year basis and subject to an annual calendar-year quota, began January 1, 2022. The Angling category season opened January 1, 2022, and continues through December 31, 2022. The Angling category baseline quota is 232.4 metric tons (mt), of which 5.3 mt is allocated for the harvest of large medium and giant (trophy) BFT by vessels fishing under the Angling category quota, with 1.8 mt allocated for each of the following areas: North of 39°18′ N lat. (off Great Egg Inlet, NJ); south of 39°18′ N lat. and outside the Gulf of Mexico (the ‘‘southern area’’); and in the Gulf of Mexico. Trophy BFT measure 73 inches (185 cm) curved fork length or greater. Listing citations and applicable rules * * System and the North Carolina Tagging Program, as well as average catch rates and anticipated fishing conditions, NMFS projects the Angling category southern area trophy BFT subquota of 1.8 mt will be reached shortly. Therefore, retaining, possessing, or landing large medium or giant (i.e., measuring 73 inches (185 cm) curved fork length or greater) BFT south of 39°18′ N lat. and outside the Gulf of Mexico by persons aboard Angling category permitted vessels and Atlantic HMS Charter/Headboat permitted vessels (when fishing recreationally) must cease at 11:30 p.m. local time on February 12, 2022. This closure will remain effective through December 31, 2022. This action applies to Angling category permitted vessels and Atlantic HMS Charter/Headboat permitted vessels when fishing recreationally for BFT, and is taken consistent with the regulations at § 635.28(a)(1). This action is intended to prevent overharvest of the Angling category southern area trophy BFT subquota. If needed, subsequent Angling category adjustments will be published in the Federal Register. Information regarding the Angling category fishery for Atlantic tunas, including daily retention limits for BFT measuring 27 inches (68.5 cm) to less than 73 inches (185 cm) and any further Angling category adjustments, is available at hmspermits.noaa.gov or by calling (978) 281–9260. HMS Angling and HMS Charter/Headboat permit holders may catch and release (or tag and release) BFT of all sizes, subject to the requirements of the catch-and-release and tag-and-release programs at § 635.26. Anglers are also reminded that all BFT that are released must be handled in a manner that will maximize survival, and without removing the fish from the water, consistent with requirements at § 635.21(a)(1). For additional information on safe handling, see the ‘‘Careful Catch and Release’’ brochure available at https:// www.fisheries.noaa.gov/resource/ outreach-and-education/careful-catchand-release-brochure/. HMS Charter/Headboat and Angling category vessel owners are required to report the catch of all BFT retained or E:\FR\FM\17FER1.SGM 17FER1 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

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 87, Number 33 (Thursday, February 17, 2022)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 8983-8984]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2022-03389]


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DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

50 CFR Part 635

[Docket No. 180117042-8884-02; RTID 0648-XB791]


Atlantic Highly Migratory Species; Atlantic Bluefin Tuna 
Fisheries

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

ACTION: Temporary rule; closure of the Atlantic bluefin tuna Angling 
category southern area large medium and giant fishery for 2022.

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SUMMARY: NMFS closes the southern area Angling category fishery for 
large medium and giant (``trophy'' (i.e., measuring 73 inches (185 cm) 
curved fork length or greater)) Atlantic bluefin tuna (BFT). This 
action applies to Highly Migratory Species (HMS) Angling category 
permitted vessels and Atlantic HMS Charter/Headboat permitted vessels 
when fishing recreationally.

DATES: Effective 11:30 p.m., local time, February 12, 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.

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.
    Under Sec.  635.28(a)(1), NMFS files a closure notice with the 
Office of the Federal Register for publication when a BFT quota (or 
subquota) is reached or is projected to be reached. Retaining, 
possessing, or landing BFT under that quota category is prohibited on 
and after the effective date and time of a closure notice for that 
category, for the remainder of the fishing year, until the opening of 
the subsequent quota period or until such date as specified.
    The 2022 BFT fishing year, which is managed on a calendar-year 
basis and subject to an annual calendar-year quota, began January 1, 
2022. The Angling category season opened January 1, 2022, and continues 
through December 31, 2022. The Angling category baseline quota is 232.4 
metric tons (mt), of which 5.3 mt is allocated for the harvest of large 
medium and giant (trophy) BFT by vessels fishing under the Angling 
category quota, with 1.8 mt allocated for each of the following areas: 
North of 39[deg]18' N lat. (off Great Egg Inlet, NJ); south of 
39[deg]18' N lat. and outside the Gulf of Mexico (the ``southern 
area''); and in the Gulf of Mexico. Trophy BFT measure 73 inches (185 
cm) curved fork length or greater.

Angling Category Large Medium and Giant Southern ``Trophy'' Fishery 
Closure

    Based on landings data from the NMFS Automated Catch Reporting 
System and the North Carolina Tagging Program, as well as average catch 
rates and anticipated fishing conditions, NMFS projects the Angling 
category southern area trophy BFT subquota of 1.8 mt will be reached 
shortly. Therefore, retaining, possessing, or landing large medium or 
giant (i.e., measuring 73 inches (185 cm) curved fork length or 
greater) BFT south of 39[deg]18' N lat. and outside the Gulf of Mexico 
by persons aboard Angling category permitted vessels and Atlantic HMS 
Charter/Headboat permitted vessels (when fishing recreationally) must 
cease at 11:30 p.m. local time on February 12, 2022. This closure will 
remain effective through December 31, 2022. This action applies to 
Angling category permitted vessels and Atlantic HMS Charter/Headboat 
permitted vessels when fishing recreationally for BFT, and is taken 
consistent with the regulations at Sec.  635.28(a)(1). This action is 
intended to prevent overharvest of the Angling category southern area 
trophy BFT subquota.
    If needed, subsequent Angling category adjustments will be 
published in the Federal Register. Information regarding the Angling 
category fishery for Atlantic tunas, including daily retention limits 
for BFT measuring 27 inches (68.5 cm) to less than 73 inches (185 cm) 
and any further Angling category adjustments, is available at 
hmspermits.noaa.gov or by calling (978) 281-9260. HMS Angling and HMS 
Charter/Headboat permit holders may catch and release (or tag and 
release) BFT of all sizes, subject to the requirements of the catch-
and-release and tag-and-release programs at Sec.  635.26. Anglers are 
also reminded that all BFT that are released must be handled in a 
manner that will maximize survival, and without removing the fish from 
the water, consistent with requirements at Sec.  635.21(a)(1). For 
additional information on safe handling, see the ``Careful Catch and 
Release'' brochure available at https://www.fisheries.noaa.gov/resource/outreach-and-education/careful-catch-and-release-brochure/.
    HMS Charter/Headboat and Angling category vessel owners are 
required to report the catch of all BFT retained or

[[Page 8984]]

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