Fisheries of the Northeastern United States; Atlantic Bluefish Fishery; Quota Transfer From MD to NC, 18276-18277 [2022-06723]

Download as PDF 18276 Federal Register / Vol. 87, No. 61 / Wednesday, March 30, 2022 / Rules and Regulations Fishery Management Plan for the Snapper-Grouper Fishery of the South Atlantic Region (FMP). The South Atlantic Fishery Management Council prepared the FMP and the FMP is implemented by NMFS under the authority of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (Magnuson-Stevens Act) by regulations at 50 CFR part 622. The recreational fishing year for black sea bass is April 1 through March 31. The recreational AM for black sea bass requires that before the April 1 start date of each recreational fishing year, NMFS projects the length of the recreational fishing season based on when NMFS projects the recreational ACL will be met, and announces the recreational season end date in the Federal Register (50 CFR 622.193(e)(2)). The purpose of this AM is to have a more predictable recreational season length while still constraining harvest at or below the recreational ACL to protect the stock from experiencing adverse biological consequences. The recreational ACL for the 2020– 2021 black sea bass fishing year is 310,602 lb (140,887 kg), gutted weight, 366,510 lb (166,246 kg), round weight. The recreational ACL was set through the final rule for Abbreviated Framework Amendment 2 to the FMP (84 FR 14021, April 9, 2019). NMFS estimates that recreational landings for the 2022–2023 fishing year will be less than the 2020–2021 recreational ACL. To make this determination, NMFS compared recreational landings in the last 3 fishing years (2018/2019, 2019/2020, and 2020/2021) to the recreational ACL for the 2022–2023 black sea bass fishing year. Recreational landings in each of the past 3 fishing years have been substantially less than the 2022–2023 recreational ACL; therefore, recreational landings are projected to be less than the 2022–2023 recreational ACL. Accordingly, the recreational sector for black sea bass is not expected to close during the fishing year as a result of reaching its ACL, and the season end date for recreational fishing for black sea bass in the South Atlantic EEZ south of 35°15.9′ N latitude is March 31, 2021. khammond on DSKJM1Z7X2PROD with RULES Classification 16:36 Mar 29, 2022 Authority: 16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq. Dated: March 24, 2022. Ngagne Jafnar Gueye, Acting Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine Fisheries Service. [FR Doc. 2022–06702 Filed 3–29–22; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510–22–P DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration 50 CFR Part 648 [Docket No. 201209–0332; RTID 0648– XB687] Fisheries of the Northeastern United States; Atlantic Bluefish Fishery; Quota Transfer From MD to NC National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Commerce. ACTION: Notification; quota transfers. AGENCY: NMFS announces that the State of Maryland is transferring a portion of its 2021 commercial bluefish quota to the State of North Carolina. This quota adjustment is necessary to comply with the Atlantic Bluefish Fishery Management Plan quota transfer provisions. This announcement informs SUMMARY: The Regional Administrator for the NMFS Southeast Region has determined this temporary rule is necessary for the conservation and management of South Atlantic black sea bass and is consistent with the FMP, the Magnuson-Stevens Act, and other applicable laws. VerDate Sep<11>2014 This action is taken under 50 CFR 622.193(e)(2) and is exempt from review under Executive Order 12866. These measures are exempt from the procedures of the Regulatory Flexibility Act because the temporary rule is issued without opportunity for prior notice and comment. This action responds to the best scientific information available. The Assistant Administrator for NOAA Fisheries (AA) finds that the need to immediately implement the notice of the recreational season length constitutes good cause to waive the requirements to provide prior notice and opportunity for public comment pursuant to the authority set forth in 5 U.S.C. 553(b)(B), because prior notice and opportunity for public comment on this temporary rule is unnecessary. Such procedures are unnecessary, because the rule establishing the AM has already been subject to notice and comment and all that remains is to notify the public of the recreational season length. For the aforementioned reasons, the AA also finds good cause to waive the 30-day delay in the effectiveness of this action under 5 U.S.C. 553(d)(3). Jkt 256001 PO 00000 Frm 00050 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 the public of the revised commercial bluefish quotas for Maryland and North Carolina. Effective March 25, 2022 through December 31, 2021. DATES: FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Laura Hansen, Fishery Management Specialist, (978) 281–9225. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Regulations governing the Atlantic bluefish fishery are found in 50 CFR 648.160 through 648.167. These regulations require annual specification of a commercial quota that is apportioned among the coastal states from Maine through Florida. The process to set the annual commercial quota and the percent allocated to each state is described in § 648.162, and the final 2021 allocations were published on December 16, 2020 (85 FR 81421). The final rule implementing Amendment 1 to the Bluefish Fishery Management Plan (FMP) published in the Federal Register on July 26, 2000 (65 FR 45844), and provided a mechanism for transferring bluefish quota from one state to another. Two or more states, under mutual agreement and with the concurrence of the NMFS Greater Atlantic Regional Administrator, can request approval to transfer or combine bluefish commercial quota under § 648.162(e)(1)(i) through (iii). The Regional Administrator must approve any such transfer based on the criteria in § 648.162(e). In evaluating requests to transfer a quota or combine quotas, the Regional Administrator shall consider whether: The transfer or combinations would preclude the overall annual quota from being fully harvested; the transfer addresses an unforeseen variation or contingency in the fishery; and the transfer is consistent with the objectives of the FMP and the Magnuson-Stevens Act. Maryland is transferring 10,000 lb (4,536 kg) to North Carolina through mutual agreement of the states. This transfer was requested to ensure that North Carolina would not exceed their 2021 state quota. The revised bluefish quotas for 2021 are: Maryland 33,084 lb (15,007 kg) and North Carolina, 1,082,377 lb (490,958 kg). Classification NMFS issues this action pursuant to section 305(d) of the Magnuson-Stevens Act. This action is required by 50 CFR 648.162(e)(1)(i) through (iii), which was issued pursuant to section 304(b), and is exempted from review under Executive Order 12866. E:\FR\FM\30MRR1.SGM 30MRR1 Federal Register / Vol. 87, No. 61 / Wednesday, March 30, 2022 / Rules and Regulations Authority: 16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq. Ngagne Jafnar Gueye, Acting Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine Fisheries Service. [FR Doc. 2022–06723 Filed 3–25–22; 4:15 pm] BILLING CODE 3510–22–P DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration 50 CFR Part 648 [Docket No.: 220325–0078] RIN 0648–BL13 Fisheries of the Northeastern United States; Framework Adjustment 34 to the Atlantic Sea Scallop Fishery Management Plan National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Commerce. ACTION: Final rule. AGENCY: NMFS approves and implements the measures included in Framework Adjustment 34 to the Atlantic Sea Scallop Fishery Management Plan as adopted and submitted by the New England Fishery Management Council. Framework 34 establishes scallop specifications and other measures for fishing years 2022 and 2023. This action incorporates the new specifications-setting methodology and other changes developed in Amendment 21 to the Atlantic Sea Scallop Fishery Management Plan into the fishing year 2022 specifications. In addition, Framework 34 implements measures to protect small scallops, promote scallop recruitment in the midAtlantic, and reduce bycatch of flatfish. This final rule addresses regulatory text that is unnecessary, outdated, or unclear. This action is necessary to prevent overfishing and improve both yield-per-recruit and the overall management of the Atlantic sea scallop resource. DATES: Effective April 1, 2022, except for amendatory instruction 7 (removing and reserving § 648.60(a)), which is effective May 31, 2022. ADDRESSES: The Council has prepared an Environmental Assessment (EA) for this action that describes the measures khammond on DSKJM1Z7X2PROD with RULES SUMMARY: contained in Framework Adjustment 34 to the Atlantic Sea Scallop Fishery Management Plan (FMP) and other considered alternatives and analyzes the impacts of these measures and alternatives. The Council submitted Framework 34 to NMFS that includes the EA, a description of the Council’s preferred alternatives, the Council’s rationale for selecting each alternative, and a Regulatory Impact Review (RIR). Copies of supporting documents used by the New England Fishery Management Council, including the EA and RIR, are available from: Thomas A. Nies, Executive Director, New England Fishery Management Council, 50 Water Street, Newburyport, MA 01950 and accessible via the internet in documents available at: https://www.nefmc.org/ library/framework-34-1. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Travis Ford, Fishery Policy Analyst, (978) 281–9233. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Background The New England Fishery Management Council adopted Framework 34 to the Atlantic Sea Scallop FMP on December 9, 2021. The Council submitted Framework 34, including an EA, for NMFS approval on March 10, 2022. NMFS published a proposed rule for Framework 34 on February 15, 2022 (87 FR 8543). To help ensure that the final rule would be implemented before the start of the fishing year on April 1, 2022, the proposed rule included a 15-day public comment period that closed on March 2, 2022. On January 12, 2022, NMFS published Amendment 21 to the Atlantic Sea Scallop FMP (87 FR 1688). Amendment 21 makes several changes to the management, including specifications-setting methodology, of the Northern Gulf of Maine (NGOM) and limited access general category (LAGC) individual fishing quota (IFQ) components. Framework 34 incorporates these new specificationssetting methodology and other changes developed in Amendment 21 into the fishing year 2022 specifications. NMFS has approved all of the measures in Framework 34 recommended by the Council, as described below. This final rule implements Framework 34, which sets scallop specifications and other 18277 measures for fishing years 2022 and 2023, including changes to the catch, effort, and quota allocations and adjustments to the rotational area management program for fishing year 2022, measures to reduce bycatch of flatfish, and default specifications for fishing year 2023. The MagnusonStevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (Magnuson-Stevens Act) allows NMFS to approve, partially approve, or disapprove measures proposed by the Council based on whether the measures are consistent with the FMP, the Magnuson-Stevens Act and its National Standards, and other applicable law. NMFS generally defers to the Council’s policy choices unless there is a clear inconsistency with the law or the FMP. Details concerning the development of these measures were contained in the preamble of the proposed rule and are not repeated here. This final rule also addresses regulatory text that is unnecessary, outdated, or unclear consistent with section 305(d) of the Magnuson-Stevens Act. Specification of Scallop Overfishing Limit (OFL), Acceptable Biological Catch (ABC), Annual Catch Limits (ACL), Annual Catch Targets (ACT), Annual Projected Landings (APL) and Set-Asides for the 2022 Fishing Year, and Default Specifications for Fishing Year 2023 The Council set the OFL based on a fishing mortality (F) of 0.61, equivalent to the F threshold updated through the Northeast Fisheries Science Center’s most recent scallop benchmark stock assessment that was completed in September 2020. The ABC and the equivalent total ACL for each fishing year are based on an F of 0.45, which is the F associated with a 25-percent probability of exceeding the OFL. The Council’s Scientific and Statistical Committee (SSC) recommended scallop fishery ABCs of 56.7 million lb (25,724 mt) for 2022 and 51.1 million lb (23,200 mt) for the 2023 fishing year, after accounting for discards and incidental mortality. The SSC will reevaluate and potentially adjust the ABC for 2023 when the Council develops the next framework adjustment. Table 1 outlines the scallop fishery catch limits. TABLE 1—SCALLOP CATCH LIMITS (mt) FOR FISHING YEARS 2022 AND 2023 FOR THE LIMITED ACCESS AND LAGC IFQ FLEETS Catch limits 2022 (mt) ABC/ACL (discards removed) ................................................................................................................................. VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:36 Mar 29, 2022 Jkt 256001 PO 00000 Frm 00051 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 E:\FR\FM\30MRR1.SGM 30MRR1 25,724 2023 (mt) 1 23,200

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 87, Number 61 (Wednesday, March 30, 2022)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 18276-18277]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2022-06723]


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DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

50 CFR Part 648

[Docket No. 201209-0332; RTID 0648-XB687]


Fisheries of the Northeastern United States; Atlantic Bluefish 
Fishery; Quota Transfer From MD to NC

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

ACTION: Notification; quota transfers.

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SUMMARY: NMFS announces that the State of Maryland is transferring a 
portion of its 2021 commercial bluefish quota to the State of North 
Carolina. This quota adjustment is necessary to comply with the 
Atlantic Bluefish Fishery Management Plan quota transfer provisions. 
This announcement informs the public of the revised commercial bluefish 
quotas for Maryland and North Carolina.

DATES: Effective March 25, 2022 through December 31, 2021.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Laura Hansen, Fishery Management 
Specialist, (978) 281-9225.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Regulations governing the Atlantic bluefish 
fishery are found in 50 CFR 648.160 through 648.167. These regulations 
require annual specification of a commercial quota that is apportioned 
among the coastal states from Maine through Florida. The process to set 
the annual commercial quota and the percent allocated to each state is 
described in Sec.  648.162, and the final 2021 allocations were 
published on December 16, 2020 (85 FR 81421).
    The final rule implementing Amendment 1 to the Bluefish Fishery 
Management Plan (FMP) published in the Federal Register on July 26, 
2000 (65 FR 45844), and provided a mechanism for transferring bluefish 
quota from one state to another. Two or more states, under mutual 
agreement and with the concurrence of the NMFS Greater Atlantic 
Regional Administrator, can request approval to transfer or combine 
bluefish commercial quota under Sec.  648.162(e)(1)(i) through (iii). 
The Regional Administrator must approve any such transfer based on the 
criteria in Sec.  648.162(e). In evaluating requests to transfer a 
quota or combine quotas, the Regional Administrator shall consider 
whether: The transfer or combinations would preclude the overall annual 
quota from being fully harvested; the transfer addresses an unforeseen 
variation or contingency in the fishery; and the transfer is consistent 
with the objectives of the FMP and the Magnuson-Stevens Act.
    Maryland is transferring 10,000 lb (4,536 kg) to North Carolina 
through mutual agreement of the states. This transfer was requested to 
ensure that North Carolina would not exceed their 2021 state quota. The 
revised bluefish quotas for 2021 are: Maryland 33,084 lb (15,007 kg) 
and North Carolina, 1,082,377 lb (490,958 kg).

Classification

    NMFS issues this action pursuant to section 305(d) of the Magnuson-
Stevens Act. This action is required by 50 CFR 648.162(e)(1)(i) through 
(iii), which was issued pursuant to section 304(b), and is exempted 
from review under Executive Order 12866.


[[Page 18277]]


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

Ngagne Jafnar Gueye,
Acting Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine 
Fisheries Service.
[FR Doc. 2022-06723 Filed 3-25-22; 4:15 pm]
BILLING CODE 3510-22-P