Pacific Island Fisheries; Rebuilding Plan for Guam Bottomfish, 9271-9273 [2022-03517]

Download as PDF Federal Register / Vol. 87, No. 34 / Friday, February 18, 2022 / Rules and Regulations DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration 50 CFR Part 665 [Docket No. 220214–0047] RIN 0648–BK66 Pacific Island Fisheries; Rebuilding Plan for Guam Bottomfish National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Commerce. ACTION: Final rule. AGENCY: This final rule implements a rebuilding plan that includes annual catch limits (ACL) and accountability measures (AM) for the overfished bottomfish stock complex in Guam. This action is necessary to rebuild the overfished stock consistent with the requirements of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (Magnuson-Stevens Act). DATES: The final rule is effective March 21, 2022. ADDRESSES: Copies of Amendment 6, including an Environmental Assessment and Regulatory Impact Review, and other supporting documents for this action are available at https:// www.regulations.gov/document/NOAANMFS-2021-0104. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Keith Kamikawa, NMFS Pacific Islands Regional Office, Sustainable Fisheries, 808–725–5177. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: NMFS and the Western Pacific Fishery Management Council (Council) manage the Guam bottomfish fishery under the Fishery Ecosystem Plan for the Mariana Archipelago (FEP) and implementing regulations. The Guam fishery harvests 13 species of emperors, snappers, groupers, and jacks. There are more than 300 participants in the fishery. Most (73.6 percent) of the bottomfish habitat is in territorial waters (generally from the shoreline to 3 nautical miles (5.6 km) offshore), with the rest in Federal waters (i.e., the U.S. Exclusive Economic Zone) around offshore banks to the northeast and southwest of Guam. On February 10, 2020, NMFS notified the Council that the Guam bottomfish stock complex was overfished, but not subject to overfishing (85 FR 26940, May 6, 2020). Consistent with section 304(e) of the Magnuson-Stevens Act and implementing regulations at 50 CFR 600.310(j), the Council must prepare, and NMFS must implement, a jspears on DSK121TN23PROD with RULES1 SUMMARY: VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:06 Feb 17, 2022 Jkt 256001 rebuilding plan within two years of the notification. Amendment 6 implements a rebuilding plan for the Guam bottomfish stock complex that consists of an ACL and two AMs. We will set the ACL at 31,000 lb (14,061 kg) starting in 2022. Because the complex exists in both territorial and Federal waters around Guam, we are obligated to manage the stock throughout its range and will count harvests from territorial and Federal waters toward the ACL. However, existing data collection programs do not differentiate catch from territorial versus Federal waters. As an in-season AM, if NMFS projects that the fishery will reach the ACL in any year, then we would close the fishery in Federal waters for the remainder of that year. Because Guam does not currently have regulations in place to implement a complementary ACL and in-season AM in territorial waters, as an additional AM, if subsequent analyses indicate that the fishery exceeded the ACL during a year, we would close the fishery in Federal waters until NMFS and the Territory of Guam implement a coordinated management approach and implement regulations to ensure that the catch in both Federal and territorial waters is maintained at levels that allow the stock to rebuild. The rebuilding plan would remain in place until NMFS determines that the stock complex is rebuilt, which is expected to take nine years. This rebuilding plan was selected because it allows for the least disruption to the fishing community and minimizes negative socio-economic impacts while still rebuilding the stock complex within the 10-year period required by the Magnuson-Stevens Act. NMFS and the Council would review the rebuilding plan routinely every two years and modify it, as necessary, per section 304(e)(7) of the MagnusonStevens Act. You may find additional background information on this action in the preamble to the proposed rule (86 FR 67426, November 26, 2021). Comments and Responses On November 15, 2021, NMFS published a notice of availability (NOA) for Amendment 6 and requested public comments (86 FR 62982). The comment period ended January 14, 2022, and no comments were received. On November 26, 2021, NMFS published the proposed rule and again requested public comments (86 FR 67426). That comment period ended January 10, 2022. NMFS received comments from five individuals and responds below. PO 00000 Frm 00035 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 9271 Comment 1: The plan promotes rebuilding of the Guam bottomfish stock complex, which also benefits the communities that rely on this fishery. The plan acknowledges the dietary and cultural importance of the stock while also considering the cultural importance of the fishery and the financial impact of the proposed action. Response: We agree. Comment 2: If individual fishermen begin to experience significant adverse economic effects, would NMFS lower the standards or provide relief to these fishermen? Response: The Council and NMFS selected this rebuilding plan because it rebuilds the stock complex while minimizing negative socio-economic impacts to the fishing community. In the past 10 years, catch has only exceeded the proposed ACL twice. Limiting total bottomfish catches annually as proposed is expected to increase stock biomass, providing longterm benefits to fishery participants. NMFS will evaluate the progress of the rebuilding plan, including all environmental and socioeconomic effects, at least every two years, as required by the Magnuson-Stevens Act, and work with the Council to revise the rebuilding plan if necessary. Comment 3: The proposed rebuilding plan does not impose too large of an impact on the people of Guam, it restores the bottomfish stock, and is scientifically supported. There should be mandatory reporting of catch to help enforce against overfishing. Response: We require large vessels (>50 ft, >15.2 m) that fish in Federal waters to hold a Federal permit and report their catch (50 CFR 665.404(a)); however, there are no current Federal permit holders. Small vessels (<50 ft, <15.2 m) are predominantly fishing in territorial waters and do not require a Federal permit to fish in Federal waters and are not required to report their catch to NMFS. The Guam Division of Aquatic and Wildlife Resources (DAWR) collects and provides NMFS with fishery catch information through voluntary fishermen surveys, and voluntary commercial sales data from its commercial receipt book program. The Council and NMFS continue to monitor catches through these systems to track catch toward the ACL and implement AMs if necessary. The Council considered requiring mandatory reporting alongside bag limits in Federal waters as an element of this rebuilding plan, but decided not to pursue this option because it would require substantial administrative resources and effort from NMFS to develop a reporting system, additional resources and effort E:\FR\FM\18FER1.SGM 18FER1 9272 Federal Register / Vol. 87, No. 34 / Friday, February 18, 2022 / Rules and Regulations from the NOAA Office of Law Enforcement and the U.S. Coast Guard to enforce these requirements, and could result in additional costs to fishermen in terms of increased time dedicated to accurately report catch (see Environmental Assessment Section 2.8.3). The implementation of a permitting program or additional monitoring measures for territorial waters is at the discretion of DAWR. See also response to Comment 1. Comment 4: Support the proposed rebuilding plan. Regulators should work closely with Guam fishing communities, improve data collection to distinguish catch from territorial versus Federal waters, and coordinate territorial and Federal management. Response: We agree and value community input. The community participates in decision-making processes through Council advisory panels, its Council representatives, public input during Council deliberations, and through public comment periods during NMFS rulemaking processes. NMFS and the Council work closely with the Guam Government through its Council members and its representatives on the Council Scientific and Statistical Committee and other Council advisory bodies. Comment 5: By implementing annual catch limits and accountability measures, this rebuilding plan secures environmental and economic security for all of its stakeholders and will result in continued and sustained prosperity of fishers. NMFS should incentivize community participation in the decision making process. Response: We agree, value community input, and will continue to encourage community participation in the several ways noted above. Changes From the Proposed Rule This final rule does not make any substantive changes from the proposed rule. Classification Pursuant to section 304(b)(3) of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery and Conservation Act, the NMFS Assistant Administrator has determined that this final rule is consistent with the FEP, other provisions of the MagnusonStevens Act, and other applicable law. The Chief Counsel for Regulation of the Department of Commerce certified to the Chief Counsel for Advocacy of the Small Business Administration during the proposed rule stage that this action would not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. The factual basis for the certification was published in the proposed rule and is not repeated here. NMFS did not receive any comments regarding this certification. As a result, a regulatory flexibility analysis was not required and none was prepared. This final rule has been determined to be not significant for purposes of Executive Order 12866. This final rule contains no information collection requirements under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995. List of Subjects in 50 CFR Part 665 Accountability measures, Annual catch limits, Bottomfishing, Fisheries, Fishing, Guam, Pacific Islands, Rebuilding. Dated: February 14, 2022. Samuel D. Rauch, III, Deputy Assistant Administrator for Regulatory Programs, National Marine Fisheries Service. For the reasons set out in the preamble, NMFS amends 50 CFR part 665 as follows: PART 665—FISHERIES IN THE WESTERN PACIFIC 1. The authority citation for 50 CFR part 665 continues to read as follows: ■ Authority: 16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq. 2. In § 665.405, add paragraphs (g) and (h) to read as follows: ■ § 665.405 Prohibitions. * * * * * (g) Fish for or possess any Mariana Bottomfish MUS as defined in § 665.401 in the Guam Management Subarea after a closure of the fishery in violation of § 665.409(d). (h) Sell or offer for sale any Mariana Bottomfish MUS as defined in § 665.401 in the Guam Management Subarea after a closure of the fishery in violation of § 665.409(e). ■ 3. Revise § 665.408 to read as follows: § 665.408 CNMI Annual Catch Limits (ACL) and Annual Catch Targets (ACT). (a) In accordance with § 665.4, the ACL and ACT for Mariana bottomfish MUS in the CNMI Management Subarea for each fishing year is as follows: TABLE 1 TO PARAGRAPH (a) 2021 ACL (lb) ........................................................................................................................................ ACT (lb) ....................................................................................................................................... jspears on DSK121TN23PROD with RULES1 (b) If the average catch of the three most recent years exceeds the specified ACL in a fishing year, the Regional Administrator will reduce the ACL and the ACT for the subsequent year by the amount of the overage in a separate rulemaking. ■ 4. Add § 665.409 to read as follows: § 665.409 (ACL). Guam Annual Catch Limits (a) In accordance with § 665.4, the ACL for Mariana bottomfish MUS in the Guam Management Subarea is 31,000 lb. (b) When NMFS projects the ACL will be reached, the Regional Administrator shall publish a document to that effect VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:06 Feb 17, 2022 Jkt 256001 in the Federal Register and shall use other means to notify permit holders. The document will include an advisement that the fishery will be closed, beginning at a specified date that is not earlier than seven days after the date of filing the closure notice for public inspection at the Office of the Federal Register, through the end of the fishing year in which the catch limit is reached. (c) If the ACL is exceeded in any fishing year, the Regional Administrator shall publish a document to that effect in the Federal Register and shall use other means to notify permit holders. The document will include an PO 00000 Frm 00036 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 2022 84,000 78,000 84,000 78,000 2023 84,000 78,000 advisement that the fishery will be closed, beginning at a specified date that is not earlier than seven days after the date of filing the closure notice for public inspection at the Office of the Federal Register. The fishery will remain closed until such time that a coordinated approach to management is developed and regulations are implemented that ensures catch in both Federal and territorial waters can be maintained at levels that allow the stock to rebuild or the rebuilding plan is modified based on the best scientific information available. (d) On and after the date the fishery is closed as specified in paragraphs (b) E:\FR\FM\18FER1.SGM 18FER1 Federal Register / Vol. 87, No. 34 / Friday, February 18, 2022 / Rules and Regulations or (c) of this section, fishing for and possession of Mariana bottomfish MUS is prohibited in the Guam Management Subarea, except as otherwise authorized by law. (e) On and after the date the fishery is closed as specified in paragraphs (b) or (c) of this section, sale, offering for sale, and purchase of any Mariana bottomfish MUS caught in the Guam Management Subarea is prohibited. [FR Doc. 2022–03517 Filed 2–17–22; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510–22–P DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration 50 CFR Part 679 [Docket No. 210210–0018] RTID 0648–XB754 Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Pacific Cod by Vessels Using Pot Gear in the Central Regulatory Area of the Gulf of Alaska National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Commerce. ACTION: Temporary rule; closure. AGENCY: NMFS is prohibiting directed fishing for Pacific cod by vessels using pot gear in the Central Regulatory Area of the Gulf of Alaska (GOA). This action is necessary to prevent exceeding the A season allowance of the 2022 total allowable catch (TAC) of Pacific cod by vessels using pot gear in the Central Regulatory Area of the GOA. DATES: Effective 1200 hours, Alaska local time (A.l.t.), February 16, 2022, jspears on DSK121TN23PROD with RULES1 SUMMARY: VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:06 Feb 17, 2022 Jkt 256001 through 1200 hours, A.l.t., June 10, 2022. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Obren Davis, 907–586–7228. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: NMFS manages the groundfish fishery in the GOA exclusive economic zone according to the Fishery Management Plan for Groundfish of the Gulf of Alaska (FMP) prepared by the North Pacific Fishery Management Council under authority of the MagnusonStevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act. Regulations governing fishing by U.S. vessels in accordance with the FMP appear at subpart H of 50 CFR part 600 and 50 CFR part 679. The A season allowance of the 2022 Pacific cod TAC apportioned to vessels using pot gear in the Central Regulatory Area of the GOA is 2,615 metric tons (mt) as established by the final 2021 and 2022 harvest specifications for groundfish in the GOA (86 FR 10184, February 19, 2021) and inseason adjustment (86 FR 74384, December 30, 2021). In accordance with § 679.20(d)(1)(i), the Regional Administrator has determined that the A season allowance of the 2022 Pacific cod TAC apportioned to vessels using pot gear in the Central Regulatory Area of the GOA will soon be reached. Therefore, the Regional Administrator is establishing a directed fishing allowance of 2,605 mt and is setting aside the remaining 10 mt as bycatch to support other anticipated groundfish fisheries. In accordance with § 679.20(d)(1)(iii), the Regional Administrator finds that this directed fishing allowance has been reached. Consequently, NMFS is prohibiting directed fishing for Pacific cod by vessels using pot gear in the Central Regulatory Area of the GOA. PO 00000 Frm 00037 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 9990 9273 While this closure is effective the maximum retainable amounts at § 679.20(e) and (f) apply at any time during a trip. Classification NMFS issues this action pursuant to section 305(d) of the Magnuson-Stevens Act. This action is required by 50 CFR part 679, which was issued pursuant to section 304(b), and is exempt from review under Executive Order 12866. Pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 553(b)(B), there is good cause to waive prior notice and an opportunity for public comment on this action, as notice and comment would be impracticable and contrary to the public interest, as it would prevent NMFS from responding to the most recent fisheries data in a timely fashion and would delay the closure of Pacific cod by vessels using pot gear in the Central Regulatory Area of the GOA. NMFS was unable to publish a notice providing time for public comment because the most recent, relevant data only became available as of February 14, 2022. The Assistant Administrator for Fisheries, NOAA also finds good cause to waive the 30-day delay in the effective date of this action under 5 U.S.C. 553(d)(3). This finding is based upon the reasons provided above for waiver of prior notice and opportunity for public comment. Authority: 16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq. Dated: February 15, 2022. Ngagne Jafnar Gueye, Acting Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine Fisheries Service. [FR Doc. 2022–03637 Filed 2–16–22; 4:15 pm] BILLING CODE 3510–22–P E:\FR\FM\18FER1.SGM 18FER1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 87, Number 34 (Friday, February 18, 2022)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 9271-9273]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2022-03517]



[[Page 9271]]

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DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

50 CFR Part 665

[Docket No. 220214-0047]
RIN 0648-BK66


Pacific Island Fisheries; Rebuilding Plan for Guam Bottomfish

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

ACTION: Final rule.

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

SUMMARY: This final rule implements a rebuilding plan that includes 
annual catch limits (ACL) and accountability measures (AM) for the 
overfished bottomfish stock complex in Guam. This action is necessary 
to rebuild the overfished stock consistent with the requirements of the 
Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (Magnuson-
Stevens Act).

DATES: The final rule is effective March 21, 2022.

ADDRESSES: Copies of Amendment 6, including an Environmental Assessment 
and Regulatory Impact Review, and other supporting documents for this 
action are available at https://www.regulations.gov/document/NOAA-NMFS-2021-0104.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Keith Kamikawa, NMFS Pacific Islands 
Regional Office, Sustainable Fisheries, 808-725-5177.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: NMFS and the Western Pacific Fishery 
Management Council (Council) manage the Guam bottomfish fishery under 
the Fishery Ecosystem Plan for the Mariana Archipelago (FEP) and 
implementing regulations. The Guam fishery harvests 13 species of 
emperors, snappers, groupers, and jacks. There are more than 300 
participants in the fishery. Most (73.6 percent) of the bottomfish 
habitat is in territorial waters (generally from the shoreline to 3 
nautical miles (5.6 km) offshore), with the rest in Federal waters 
(i.e., the U.S. Exclusive Economic Zone) around offshore banks to the 
northeast and southwest of Guam.
    On February 10, 2020, NMFS notified the Council that the Guam 
bottomfish stock complex was overfished, but not subject to overfishing 
(85 FR 26940, May 6, 2020). Consistent with section 304(e) of the 
Magnuson-Stevens Act and implementing regulations at 50 CFR 600.310(j), 
the Council must prepare, and NMFS must implement, a rebuilding plan 
within two years of the notification.
    Amendment 6 implements a rebuilding plan for the Guam bottomfish 
stock complex that consists of an ACL and two AMs. We will set the ACL 
at 31,000 lb (14,061 kg) starting in 2022. Because the complex exists 
in both territorial and Federal waters around Guam, we are obligated to 
manage the stock throughout its range and will count harvests from 
territorial and Federal waters toward the ACL. However, existing data 
collection programs do not differentiate catch from territorial versus 
Federal waters.
    As an in-season AM, if NMFS projects that the fishery will reach 
the ACL in any year, then we would close the fishery in Federal waters 
for the remainder of that year. Because Guam does not currently have 
regulations in place to implement a complementary ACL and in-season AM 
in territorial waters, as an additional AM, if subsequent analyses 
indicate that the fishery exceeded the ACL during a year, we would 
close the fishery in Federal waters until NMFS and the Territory of 
Guam implement a coordinated management approach and implement 
regulations to ensure that the catch in both Federal and territorial 
waters is maintained at levels that allow the stock to rebuild. The 
rebuilding plan would remain in place until NMFS determines that the 
stock complex is rebuilt, which is expected to take nine years. This 
rebuilding plan was selected because it allows for the least disruption 
to the fishing community and minimizes negative socio-economic impacts 
while still rebuilding the stock complex within the 10-year period 
required by the Magnuson-Stevens Act. NMFS and the Council would review 
the rebuilding plan routinely every two years and modify it, as 
necessary, per section 304(e)(7) of the Magnuson-Stevens Act.
    You may find additional background information on this action in 
the preamble to the proposed rule (86 FR 67426, November 26, 2021).

Comments and Responses

    On November 15, 2021, NMFS published a notice of availability (NOA) 
for Amendment 6 and requested public comments (86 FR 62982). The 
comment period ended January 14, 2022, and no comments were received.
    On November 26, 2021, NMFS published the proposed rule and again 
requested public comments (86 FR 67426). That comment period ended 
January 10, 2022. NMFS received comments from five individuals and 
responds below.
    Comment 1: The plan promotes rebuilding of the Guam bottomfish 
stock complex, which also benefits the communities that rely on this 
fishery. The plan acknowledges the dietary and cultural importance of 
the stock while also considering the cultural importance of the fishery 
and the financial impact of the proposed action.
    Response: We agree.
    Comment 2: If individual fishermen begin to experience significant 
adverse economic effects, would NMFS lower the standards or provide 
relief to these fishermen?
    Response: The Council and NMFS selected this rebuilding plan 
because it rebuilds the stock complex while minimizing negative socio-
economic impacts to the fishing community. In the past 10 years, catch 
has only exceeded the proposed ACL twice. Limiting total bottomfish 
catches annually as proposed is expected to increase stock biomass, 
providing long-term benefits to fishery participants. NMFS will 
evaluate the progress of the rebuilding plan, including all 
environmental and socioeconomic effects, at least every two years, as 
required by the Magnuson-Stevens Act, and work with the Council to 
revise the rebuilding plan if necessary.
    Comment 3: The proposed rebuilding plan does not impose too large 
of an impact on the people of Guam, it restores the bottomfish stock, 
and is scientifically supported. There should be mandatory reporting of 
catch to help enforce against overfishing.
    Response: We require large vessels (>50 ft, >15.2 m) that fish in 
Federal waters to hold a Federal permit and report their catch (50 CFR 
665.404(a)); however, there are no current Federal permit holders. 
Small vessels (<50 ft, <15.2 m) are predominantly fishing in 
territorial waters and do not require a Federal permit to fish in 
Federal waters and are not required to report their catch to NMFS. The 
Guam Division of Aquatic and Wildlife Resources (DAWR) collects and 
provides NMFS with fishery catch information through voluntary 
fishermen surveys, and voluntary commercial sales data from its 
commercial receipt book program. The Council and NMFS continue to 
monitor catches through these systems to track catch toward the ACL and 
implement AMs if necessary. The Council considered requiring mandatory 
reporting alongside bag limits in Federal waters as an element of this 
rebuilding plan, but decided not to pursue this option because it would 
require substantial administrative resources and effort from NMFS to 
develop a reporting system, additional resources and effort

[[Page 9272]]

from the NOAA Office of Law Enforcement and the U.S. Coast Guard to 
enforce these requirements, and could result in additional costs to 
fishermen in terms of increased time dedicated to accurately report 
catch (see Environmental Assessment Section 2.8.3). The implementation 
of a permitting program or additional monitoring measures for 
territorial waters is at the discretion of DAWR. See also response to 
Comment 1.
    Comment 4: Support the proposed rebuilding plan. Regulators should 
work closely with Guam fishing communities, improve data collection to 
distinguish catch from territorial versus Federal waters, and 
coordinate territorial and Federal management.
    Response: We agree and value community input. The community 
participates in decision-making processes through Council advisory 
panels, its Council representatives, public input during Council 
deliberations, and through public comment periods during NMFS 
rulemaking processes. NMFS and the Council work closely with the Guam 
Government through its Council members and its representatives on the 
Council Scientific and Statistical Committee and other Council advisory 
bodies.
    Comment 5: By implementing annual catch limits and accountability 
measures, this rebuilding plan secures environmental and economic 
security for all of its stakeholders and will result in continued and 
sustained prosperity of fishers. NMFS should incentivize community 
participation in the decision making process.
    Response: We agree, value community input, and will continue to 
encourage community participation in the several ways noted above.

Changes From the Proposed Rule

    This final rule does not make any substantive changes from the 
proposed rule.

Classification

    Pursuant to section 304(b)(3) of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery and 
Conservation Act, the NMFS Assistant Administrator has determined that 
this final rule is consistent with the FEP, other provisions of the 
Magnuson-Stevens Act, and other applicable law.
    The Chief Counsel for Regulation of the Department of Commerce 
certified to the Chief Counsel for Advocacy of the Small Business 
Administration during the proposed rule stage that this action would 
not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small 
entities. The factual basis for the certification was published in the 
proposed rule and is not repeated here. NMFS did not receive any 
comments regarding this certification. As a result, a regulatory 
flexibility analysis was not required and none was prepared.
    This final rule has been determined to be not significant for 
purposes of Executive Order 12866.
    This final rule contains no information collection requirements 
under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995.

List of Subjects in 50 CFR Part 665

    Accountability measures, Annual catch limits, Bottomfishing, 
Fisheries, Fishing, Guam, Pacific Islands, Rebuilding.

    Dated: February 14, 2022.
Samuel D. Rauch, III,
Deputy Assistant Administrator for Regulatory Programs, National Marine 
Fisheries Service.

    For the reasons set out in the preamble, NMFS amends 50 CFR part 
665 as follows:

PART 665--FISHERIES IN THE WESTERN PACIFIC

0
1. The authority citation for 50 CFR part 665 continues to read as 
follows:

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


0
2. In Sec.  665.405, add paragraphs (g) and (h) to read as follows:


Sec.  665.405  Prohibitions.

* * * * *
    (g) Fish for or possess any Mariana Bottomfish MUS as defined in 
Sec.  665.401 in the Guam Management Subarea after a closure of the 
fishery in violation of Sec.  665.409(d).
    (h) Sell or offer for sale any Mariana Bottomfish MUS as defined in 
Sec.  665.401 in the Guam Management Subarea after a closure of the 
fishery in violation of Sec.  665.409(e).

0
3. Revise Sec.  665.408 to read as follows:


Sec.  665.408  CNMI Annual Catch Limits (ACL) and Annual Catch Targets 
(ACT).

    (a) In accordance with Sec.  665.4, the ACL and ACT for Mariana 
bottomfish MUS in the CNMI Management Subarea for each fishing year is 
as follows:

                                            Table 1 to Paragraph (a)
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                       2021            2022            2023
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
ACL (lb)........................................................          84,000          84,000          84,000
ACT (lb)........................................................          78,000          78,000          78,000
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    (b) If the average catch of the three most recent years exceeds the 
specified ACL in a fishing year, the Regional Administrator will reduce 
the ACL and the ACT for the subsequent year by the amount of the 
overage in a separate rulemaking.

0
4. Add Sec.  665.409 to read as follows:


Sec.  665.409  Guam Annual Catch Limits (ACL).

    (a) In accordance with Sec.  665.4, the ACL for Mariana bottomfish 
MUS in the Guam Management Subarea is 31,000 lb.
    (b) When NMFS projects the ACL will be reached, the Regional 
Administrator shall publish a document to that effect in the Federal 
Register and shall use other means to notify permit holders. The 
document will include an advisement that the fishery will be closed, 
beginning at a specified date that is not earlier than seven days after 
the date of filing the closure notice for public inspection at the 
Office of the Federal Register, through the end of the fishing year in 
which the catch limit is reached.
    (c) If the ACL is exceeded in any fishing year, the Regional 
Administrator shall publish a document to that effect in the Federal 
Register and shall use other means to notify permit holders. The 
document will include an advisement that the fishery will be closed, 
beginning at a specified date that is not earlier than seven days after 
the date of filing the closure notice for public inspection at the 
Office of the Federal Register. The fishery will remain closed until 
such time that a coordinated approach to management is developed and 
regulations are implemented that ensures catch in both Federal and 
territorial waters can be maintained at levels that allow the stock to 
rebuild or the rebuilding plan is modified based on the best scientific 
information available.
    (d) On and after the date the fishery is closed as specified in 
paragraphs (b)

[[Page 9273]]

or (c) of this section, fishing for and possession of Mariana 
bottomfish MUS is prohibited in the Guam Management Subarea, except as 
otherwise authorized by law.
    (e) On and after the date the fishery is closed as specified in 
paragraphs (b) or (c) of this section, sale, offering for sale, and 
purchase of any Mariana bottomfish MUS caught in the Guam Management 
Subarea is prohibited.

[FR Doc. 2022-03517 Filed 2-17-22; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 3510-22-P