[Federal Register Volume 78, Number 30 (Wednesday, February 13, 2013)]
[Proposed Rules]
[Pages 10122-10126]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2013-03372]


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DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

50 CFR Part 622

[Docket No. 130207066-3066-01]
RIN 0648-BC66


Fisheries of the Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico, and South Atlantic; 
Reef Fish Fishery of the Gulf of Mexico; Amendment 37

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

ACTION: Proposed rule; request for comments.

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SUMMARY: NMFS proposes to implement management measures described in 
Amendment 37 to the Fishery Management Plan for the Reef Fish Resources 
of the Gulf of Mexico (FMP) prepared by the Gulf of Mexico Fishery 
Management Council (Council). If implemented, this rule would revise 
the commercial and recreational sector's annual catch limits (ACLs) and 
annual catch targets (ACTs) for gray triggerfish; revise the 
recreational sector accountability measures (AMs) for gray triggerfish; 
revise the gray triggerfish recreational bag limit; establish a 
commercial trip limit for gray triggerfish; and establish a fixed 
closed season for the gray triggerfish commercial and recreational 
sectors. Additionally, Amendment 37 would modify the gray triggerfish 
rebuilding plan. The intent of this rule is to end overfishing of gray 
triggerfish and help achieve optimum yield (OY) for the gray 
triggerfish resource in accordance with the requirements of the 
Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (Magnuson-
Stevens Act).

DATES: Written comments must be received on or before March 15, 2013.

ADDRESSES: You may submit comments on this document, identified by 
``NOAA-NMFS-2012-0199'', by any of the following methods:
     Electronic Submission: Submit all electronic public 
comments via the Federal e-Rulemaking Portal. Go to 
www.regulations.gov/#!docketDetail;D=NOAA-NMFS-2012-0199, click the 
``Comment Now!'' icon, complete the required fields, and enter or 
attach your comments.
     Mail: Submit written comments to Rich Malinowski, 
Southeast Regional Office, NMFS, 263 13th Avenue South, St. Petersburg, 
FL 33701.
    Instructions: Comments sent by any other method, to any other 
address or individual, or received after the end of the comment period, 
may not be considered by NMFS. All comments received are a part of the 
public record and will generally be posted for public viewing on 
www.regulations.gov without change. All personal identifying 
information (e.g., name, address, etc.), confidential business 
information, or otherwise sensitive information submitted voluntarily 
by the sender will be publicly accessible. NMFS will accept anonymous 
comments (enter ``N/A'' in the required fields if you wish to remain 
anonymous). Attachments to electronic comments will be accepted in 
Microsoft Word, Excel, or Adobe PDF file formats only.
    Electronic copies of Amendment 37, which includes a draft 
environmental assessment and a regulatory impact review, may be 
obtained from the Southeast Regional Office Web site at http://sero.nmfs.noaa.gov.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Rich Malinowski, Southeast Regional 
Office, telephone 727-824-5305, email rich.malinowski@noaa.gov.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The reef fish fishery of the Gulf is managed 
under the FMP. The FMP was prepared by the Council and is implemented 
through regulations at 50 CFR part 622 under the authority of the 
Magnuson-Stevens Act. All gray triggerfish weights discussed in this 
proposed rule are in round weight.

[[Page 10123]]

Background

    The Magnuson-Stevens Act requires NMFS and regional fishery 
management councils to prevent overfishing and achieve, on a continuing 
basis, the OY from federally managed fish stocks. These mandates are 
intended to ensure that fishery resources are managed for the greatest 
overall benefit to the nation, particularly with respect to providing 
food production and recreational opportunities, and protecting marine 
ecosystems. To further this goal, the Magnuson-Stevens Act requires 
fishery managers to end overfishing of stocks and to minimize bycatch 
and bycatch mortality to the extent practicable.

Status of the Gray Triggerfish Stock

    The last Southeast Data, Assessment, and Review (SEDAR) benchmark 
stock assessment for gray triggerfish was completed in 2006 (SEDAR 9). 
SEDAR 9 indicated that the gray triggerfish stock was both overfished 
and possibly undergoing overfishing. Subsequently, Amendment 30A to the 
FMP established a gray triggerfish rebuilding plan beginning in the 
2008 fishing year (73 FR 38139, July 3, 2008). In 2011, a SEDAR 9 
update stock assessment for gray triggerfish determined that the gray 
triggerfish stock was still overfished and was additionally undergoing 
overfishing. The 2011 SEDAR 9 Update indicated the 2008 gray 
triggerfish rebuilding plan had not made adequate progress toward 
ending overfishing and rebuilding the stock. NMFS informed the Council 
of this determination in a letter dated March 13, 2012. NMFS also 
requested that the Council work to end overfishing of gray triggerfish 
immediately and to revise the gray triggerfish stock rebuilding plan.
    As a way to more quickly implement measures to end overfishing and 
rebuild the stock, the Council requested and NMFS implemented a 
temporary rule to reduce the gray triggerfish commercial and 
recreational ACLs and ACTs (77 FR 28308, May 14, 2012). The temporary 
rule also established an in-season AM for the gray triggerfish 
recreational sector to be more consistent with the commercial sector 
AMs and provide for an additional level of protection to ensure that 
the recreational ACL is not exceeded and that the risk of overfishing 
is reduced. These interim measures were then extended through May 15, 
2013, to ensure that the more permanent measures being developed 
through Amendment 37 could be implemented without a lapse in these more 
protective management measures (77 FR 67303, November 9, 2012).
Management Measures Contained in This Proposed Rule
    This proposed rule would revise the gray triggerfish commercial and 
recreational sector ACLs and ACTs (commercial ACT expressed as 
commercial quota in the regulatory text), revise the gray triggerfish 
recreational sector AMs, revise the gray triggerfish recreational bag 
limit, establish a commercial trip limit for gray triggerfish, and 
establish a fixed closed season for the gray triggerfish commercial and 
recreational sectors.

ACLs and ACTs

    This rule would revise the ACLs for the gray triggerfish commercial 
and recreational sectors. This rule would also revise the ACTs 
(commercial ACT expressed as a quota in the regulatory text) for both 
sectors.
    The Council's Scientific and Statistical Committee (SSC) reviewed 
the gray triggerfish 2011 SEDAR 9 Update. The SSC recommended that the 
gray triggerfish acceptable biological catches (ABC) for the 2012 and 
2013 fishing years be set at 305,300 lb (138,346 kg). The current gray 
triggerfish stock ABC is 595,000 lb (269,887 kg). Based on this 
recommendation, the commercial and recreational ACLs and ACTs for the 
gray triggerfish need to be updated.
    The Magnuson-Stevens Act requires that the FMP contain a mechanism 
for specifying ACLs at a level such that overfishing does not occur. An 
ACT is a management target established to account for management 
uncertainty in controlling the actual catch at or below the ACL. An ACT 
is used in the system of AMs so that the ACL is not exceeded. 
Therefore, a sector ACT should be set below the sector ACL to allow the 
sector to be closed when the ACT is projected to be reached.
    In Amendment 30A to the FMP, the Council established a 21 percent 
commercial and 79 percent recreational allocation of the gray 
triggerfish ABC (73 FR 38139, July 3, 2008). These allocations are used 
to set the commercial and recreational sector-specific ACLs. The ABC 
recommended by the SSC is 305,300 lb (138,482 kg) and the combined 
sector ACLs are equal to the ABC. Based on the allocations established 
in Amendment 30A to the FMP, this proposed rule would set a reduced 
commercial ACL of 64,100 lb (29,075 kg), and a reduced recreational ACL 
of 241,200 lb (109,406 kg).
    The Generic Annual Catch Limit Amendment developed by the Council 
and implemented by NMFS (76 FR 82044, December 29, 2011) established a 
standardized procedure to set sector-specific ACTs based on the ACLs. 
ACTs are intended to account for management uncertainty and provide a 
buffer that better ensures a sector does not exceed its designated ACL. 
The Council chose to use this procedure, which resulted in a 5 percent 
buffer between the commercial ACL and ACT, and a 10 percent buffer 
between the recreational ACL and ACT. Therefore, this proposed rule 
would set the commercial ACT (commercial quota) at 60,900 lb (27,624 
kg), and the recreational ACT at 217,100 lb (98,475 kg). The proposed 
ACLs and ACTs in this rule are the same as those currently in place as 
implemented through the temporary rule (77 FR 28308, May 14, 2012). The 
current commercial gray triggerfish quota functions as the commercial 
ACT.

AMs

    To reduce the risk of overfishing, Amendment 30A to the FMP 
established gray triggerfish AMs. AMs are management controls that are 
implemented to prevent ACLs from being exceeded (in-season AMs), and to 
correct or mitigate overages of the ACL if they occur (post-season 
AMs). For the commercial sector, there are currently both in-season and 
post-season AMs. The in-season AM closes the commercial sector after 
the commercial quota (commercial ACT) is reached or projected to be 
reached. Additionally, if the commercial ACL is exceeded despite the 
quota closure, the post-season AM would reduce the following year's 
commercial quota (commercial ACT) by the amount of the prior-year's 
commercial ACL overage.
    For the recreational sector, there is currently no in-season AM, 
but a post-season AM is in effect. For the recreational sector, if the 
recreational ACL is exceeded, NMFS will reduce the length of the 
following year's fishing season by the amount necessary to ensure that 
recreational landings do not exceed the recreational ACT during the 
following year.
    In 2008, recreational landings exceeded both the recreational ACT 
and ACL. In 2009, the recreational ACT was exceeded. However, in 2010, 
recreational landings did not exceed the ACT or ACL. Reduced 2010 
recreational landings may be attributable to fishery closures 
implemented that year as a result of the Deepwater Horizon MC252 oil 
spill. Based on recent trends in recreational landings and anticipated 
future recreational effort, the Council and NMFS have determined that 
implementing an in-season AM would reduce the risk of exceeding the ACL 
in the future. This proposed rule would

[[Page 10124]]

replace the current post-season AM with an in-season AM for the 
recreational sector to prohibit the recreational harvest of gray 
triggerfish (a recreational sector closure) after the recreational ACT 
is reached or projected to be reached. This proposed rule would also 
add an overage adjustment that would apply if the recreational sector 
ACL is exceeded and gray triggerfish are overfished. This post-season 
AM would reduce the recreational ACL and ACT for the following year by 
the amount of the ACL overage in the prior fishing year, unless the 
best scientific information available determines that a greater, 
lesser, or no overage adjustment is necessary.

Commercial Trip Limit

    Currently, there is no trip limit for the commercial sector. This 
rule proposes to establish a commercial trip limit for gray triggerfish 
of 12 fish. This commercial trip limit would be applicable until the 
commercial ACT (commercial quota) is reached or projected to be reached 
during a fishing year and the commercial sector is closed.

Seasonal Closure of the Commercial and Recreational Sectors

    This proposed rule would establish a seasonal closure of the gray 
triggerfish commercial and recreational sectors in the Gulf from June 
through July, each year. This fixed seasonal closure would assist 
rebuilding of the gray triggerfish stock by prohibiting harvest during 
the gray triggerfish peak spawning season. Additionally, June and July 
are the months that have the highest percentage of recreational 
landings.

Recreational Bag Limit

    Gray triggerfish currently have a recreational bag limit that is 
part of the 20-fish aggregate reef fish bag limit. As part of this 20-
fish aggregate, there is currently no specific limit for recreational 
gray triggerfish landings as long as the total is 20 fish or less. This 
proposed rule would establish a 2-fish gray triggerfish recreational 
bag limit within the 20-fish aggregate reef fish bag limit. This 
recreational bag limit would be applicable until the recreational ACT 
is reached or projected to be reached during a fishing year and the 
recreational sector is closed.

Other Action Contained in Amendment 37

    Amendment 37 would revise the rebuilding plan for gray triggerfish. 
The gray triggerfish stock is currently in the 5th year of a rebuilding 
plan that began in 2008. Amendment 37 would modify the rebuilding plan 
in response to the results from the 2011 SEDAR update assessment and 
subsequent SSC review and recommendations for the gray triggerfish ABC. 
The modified rebuilding plan would be based on a constant fishing 
mortality rate that does not exceed the fishing mortality rate at OY.

Classification

    Pursuant to section 304(b)(1)(A) of the Magnuson-Stevens Act, the 
Assistant Administrator, NMFS, has determined that this proposed rule 
is consistent with the FMP, Amendment 37, the Magnuson-Stevens Act and 
other applicable law, subject to further consideration after public 
comment.
    This proposed rule has been determined to be not significant for 
purposes of Executive Order 12866.
    The Chief Counsel for Regulation of the Department of Commerce 
certified to the Chief Counsel for Advocacy of the Small Business 
Administration that this proposed rule, if implemented, would not have 
a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small 
entities. The factual basis for this determination is as follows:
    The purpose of this proposed rule is to end overfishing of gray 
triggerfish and rebuild the gray triggerfish stock by the end of 2017 
to achieve OY. The Magnuson-Stevens Act provides the statutory basis 
for this proposed rule. No duplicative, overlapping, or conflicting 
Federal rules have been identified. This proposed rule would not 
introduce any changes to current reporting, record-keeping, and other 
compliance requirements.
    This rule, if implemented, is expected to directly affect 
approximately 400 vessels that have a valid (non-expired) or renewable 
commercial Gulf reef fish permit. A renewable permit is an expired 
permit that may not be actively fished, but is renewable for up to 1 
year after permit expiration. Although over 900 vessels have a 
commercial Gulf reef fish permit, which is required to possess and sell 
quantities of gray triggerfish in excess of the recreational bag limit, 
only an average of 382 vessels per year harvested gray triggerfish 
during the period 2005 through 2009. More recent commercial landings 
data is either not available (2011 to current) or is not expected to be 
representative of normal fishing performance, i.e., the 2010 fishing 
year as a result of the Deepwater Horizon MC252 oil spill and 
associated fisheries closures. The average annual dockside revenue for 
commercial vessels that harvested gray triggerfish during this period 
was approximately $87,000 per vessel (2010 dollars).
    This rule, if implemented, is also be expected to directly affect 
1,366 vessels that possess a valid or renewable charter/headboat permit 
for Gulf reef fish (for-hire). The for-hire fleet is comprised of 
charterboats, which charge a fee on a vessel basis, and headboats, 
which charge a fee on an individual angler (head) basis. Although the 
for-hire permit does not distinguish between charterboats and 
headboats, an estimated 69 headboats operate in the Gulf. The average 
charterboat is estimated to earn approximately $77,000 (2010 dollars) 
in annual revenue, and the average headboat is estimated to earn 
approximately $234,000 (2010 dollars).
    NMFS has not identified any other small entities that would be 
expected to be directly affected by this proposed rule.
    The Small Business Administration has established size criteria for 
all major industry sectors in the U.S. including fish harvesters. A 
business involved in fish harvesting is classified as a small business 
if it is independently owned and operated, is not dominant in its field 
of operation (including its affiliates), and has combined annual 
receipts not in excess of $4.0 million (NAICS code 114111, finfish 
fishing) for all its affiliated operations worldwide. The revenue 
threshold for a business involved in the for-hire fishing industry is 
$7.0 million (NAICS code 713990, recreational industries). All 
commercial and for-hire vessels expected to be directly affected by 
this proposed rule are believed to be small business entities.
    Amendment 37, on which this proposed rule is based, addresses five 
basic actions: (1) Revision of the gray triggerfish rebuilding plan; 
(2) specification of the commercial and recreational gray triggerfish 
ACLs and ACTs; (3) establishment of a gray triggerfish commercial 
sector closed season and trip limit; (4) establishment of a gray 
triggerfish recreational closed season and bag limit; and (5) revision 
of the AMs for the gray triggerfish recreational sector.
    Rebuilding plans are not contained in the regulatory text 
associated with this proposed rule and are therefore outside the scope 
of the Regulatory Flexibility Act (RFA). Further, revision of the 
rebuilding plan would be an administrative action and, as a result, 
would not be expected to have any direct economic effects on any small 
entities. Direct effects of a rebuilding plan would only be expected to 
accrue to any resultant harvest restrictions implemented through a 
future rulemaking to achieve the goals of the

[[Page 10125]]

rebuilding plan. The proposed harvest restrictions encompass 
modification of the sector ACTs, fishing seasons, commercial trip 
limits, and recreational bag limits. The expected economic effects of 
these proposed modifications are discussed below.
    AMs are intended to ensure harvest overages do not occur and to 
correct or mitigate for overages if they do occur. In-season AMs are 
specifically intended to prevent or minimize harvest overages. The 
establishment of AMs, or their modification, would be an administrative 
action that would only be expected to have indirect effects on small 
entities. These effects would occur if the AMs are triggered. Because 
the proposed action would only modify and not implement the current 
AMs, no direct effects would be expected to accrue to any small 
entities. As a result, this component of the proposed rule is also 
outside the scope of the RFA.
    However, because the potential implementation of the proposed in-
season AM would be expected to restrict fishing operations and 
potentially result in direct short-term reductions in revenue and 
profit, further discussion of the potential significance of these 
effects is provided. The proposed in-season gray triggerfish 
recreational sector AM would result in closure of the gray triggerfish 
recreational season if the recreational sector ACT is reached or is 
projected to be reached. As a result, harvest and possession would be 
prohibited. Few, if any, fishing trips would be expected to be 
cancelled in response to a prohibition on the harvest and possession of 
gray triggerfish because anglers rarely target gray triggerfish: It was 
identified as a primary target species for less than 1/10th of 1 
percent of all fishing trips (2005-2009). Rather, gray triggerfish are 
often harvested incidental to fishing for other reef fish species. 
Because other, more desirable reef species would still be available for 
recreational harvest, any prohibition on the harvest or possession of 
gray triggerfish would not be expected to have a significant impact on 
a substantial number of small entities.
    Because gray triggerfish is not a significantly targeted species, 
the proposed overage adjustment if the recreational ACL is exceeded 
would also be expected to result in minimal, if any, reduction in 
revenue to small entities. Because of the combination of in-season 
closure authority, low total harvest and target effort, and the 
expected recovery of gray triggerfish, overage adjustments would be 
expected to be infrequent and, if necessary, require only minimal 
reductions in the recreational ACT. Therefore, few, if any, 
recreational trips would be expected to be lost and the revenue to 
small entities would not be expected to be significantly affected.
    Although Amendment 37 contained three proposed actions associated 
with the commercial harvest of gray triggerfish--specification of the 
ACT, establishment of the closed season, and establishment of a 
commercial trip limit--the expected economic effects of this rule would 
be determined primarily by the specification of the ACT. Individually, 
assuming no change in fishing behavior, the proposed commercial sector 
closed season and trip limit would be expected to result in a reduction 
in total annual revenue for all vessels that harvest gray triggerfish 
of approximately $26,000 and $72,000, respectively. All reductions are 
expressed in 2010 dollars. Combined, these two measures would be 
expected to result in a reduction in total annual revenue of 
approximately $88,000. This result is less than the total of the two 
individual proposed actions, approximately $98,000, because the 
proposed closed season would negate the expected effects of the trip 
limit during that period. However, the combined effects of these two 
proposed actions would not be expected to be sufficient to constrain 
commercial gray triggerfish harvest to the ACT and avoid an in-season 
closure. The proposed ACT, 60,900 lb (27,624 kg), would be expected to 
require a reduction in expected annual commercial harvest of 
approximately 118,000 lb (53,524 kg). The combined effects of the 
proposed commercial sector seasonal closure and trip limit would be a 
reduction in annual commercial harvest of approximately 92,000 lb 
(41,730 kg). Because commercial harvest would be prohibited when the 
commercial ACT is reached, the full necessary commercial sector harvest 
reduction would be expected to occur as a result of the three measures 
combined (seasonal closure, trip limit, and closure when the ACT is 
reached). Thus, although the total effect of the proposed seasonal 
closure and trip limit would be an expected reduction in annual revenue 
of approximately $88,000, the net effect of the proposed commercial 
ACT, seasonal closure, and trip limit would be a reduction in annual 
revenue of approximately $112,000. Distributed across all commercial 
sector entities expected to be directly affected by these proposed 
measures (382 vessels), the average expected effect would be a 
reduction in annual revenue of approximately $300 per entity, or less 
than one percent of the average annual revenue per vessel of $87,000. 
Although some vessels may be expected to experience a reduction in 
revenue by more than the average, overall, any reduction would not be 
expected to be significant because of the small amount of gray 
triggerfish traditionally harvested by commercial reef fish fishermen.
    Impacts on the recreational sector are expected to be similar to 
those affecting the commercial sector. The proposed gray triggerfish 
recreational ACT, seasonal closure, and recreational bag limit would be 
expected to individually result in an annual reduction in producer 
surplus, used as a proxy for profit, of approximately $295,000, 
$232,000, and $137,000, respectively. All reductions are expressed in 
2010 dollars and equal the combined effects of the proposed actions 
across all affected entities. Combined, the proposed seasonal closure 
and bag limit would be expected to result in an annual reduction in 
producer surplus of approximately $310,000, which would be less than 
the effects of the two individual proposed actions combined because of 
the interactive effects of the two proposed measures. The combined 
effects of these two proposed measures exceeds the expected effects of 
the proposed recreational ACT because the estimated reduction in 
harvest under the proposed seasonal closure and bag limit exceeds the 
reduction necessary to limit harvest to the proposed gray triggerfish 
recreational ACT and avoid an in-season closure. Thus, for the proposed 
actions affecting the recreational sector, the net expected economic 
effect would be determined by the combined effects of the proposed 
seasonal closure and bag limit rather than the proposed ACT.
    Unlike the case for the commercial sector, the number of vessels 
within the for-hire fleet that take trips targeting gray triggerfish 
cannot be determined with available data. If the projected reduction in 
producer surplus is distributed across all Gulf reef fish for-hire 
vessels (1,366 vessels), the average annual reduction in producer 
surplus would be approximately $230 (2010 dollars) per vessel, or 
approximately 1 percent in average annual profit per vessel 
(approximately $22,800 (2010 dollars)). Because all vessels would not 
be expected to target gray triggerfish, however, the average reduction 
in producer surplus per affected vessel would be expected to increase. 
However, the estimates of expected reduction in producer surplus 
associated with the proposed actions affecting the recreational sector 
were generated using a worst-case

[[Page 10126]]

assumption. Specifically, the projected reductions in producer surplus 
were based on the assumption that recreational angler effort, and 
associated for-hire revenue, would be reduced proportionate to the 
change in allowable harvest. As previously discussed, gray triggerfish 
is regarded as a bycatch or general harvest species, harvested in 
connection with general reef fish fishing (no target species) or as a 
result of fishing for other reef fish species. As a result, instead of 
cancelling fishing trips, few if any for-hire vessels would be expected 
to experience a reduction in customer traffic, and associated revenue, 
as a result of either the proposed seasonal closure or reduced 
recreational bag limit. Instead, substitution of another target species 
during the proposed closed season and continued fishing at the proposed 
lower bag would be expected. As a result, the proposed actions 
affecting the recreational sector would not be expected to 
significantly reduce profits for a significant number of small for-hire 
entities.
    In summary, the proposed rule, if implemented, would not be 
expected to have a significant impact on a substantial number of small 
entities and, as a result, an initial regulatory flexibility analysis 
is not required and none has been prepared.

List of Subjects in 50 CFR Part 622

    Fisheries, Fishing, Puerto Rico, Reporting and recordkeeping 
requirements, Virgin Islands.

    Dated: February 8, 2013.
Samuel D. Rauch III,
Deputy Assistant Administrator for Regulatory Programs, performing the 
functions and duties of the Assistant Administrator for Fisheries, 
National Marine Fisheries Service.
     For the reasons set out in the preamble, 50 CFR part 622 is 
proposed to be amended as follows:

PART 622--FISHERIES OF THE CARIBBEAN, GULF, AND SOUTH ATLANTIC

0
1. The authority citation for part 622 continues to read as follows:

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

0
2. In Sec.  622.34, paragraph (w) is added to read as follows:


Sec.  622.34  Gulf EEZ seasonal and/or area closures.

* * * * *
    (w) Seasonal closure of the commercial and recreational sectors for 
gray triggerfish. The commercial and recreational sectors for gray 
triggerfish in or from the Gulf EEZ are closed from June 1 through July 
31, each year. During the closure, all harvest or possession in or from 
the Gulf EEZ of gray triggerfish is prohibited and the sale and 
purchase of gray triggerfish taken from the Gulf EEZ is prohibited.
0
3. In Sec.  622.39, paragraph (b)(1)(v) is revised to read as follows:


Sec.  622.39  Bag and possession limits.

* * * * *
    (b) * * *
    (1) * * *
    (v) Gulf reef fish, combined, excluding those specified in 
paragraphs (b)(1)(i) through (b)(1)(iv) and paragraphs (b)(1)(vi) 
through (b)(1)(vii) of this section--20. In addition, within the 20-
fish aggregate reef fish bag limit, no more than two fish may be gray 
triggerfish.
* * * * *
0
4. In Sec.  622.42, paragraph (a)(1)(vi) is revised to read as follows:


Sec.  622.42  Quotas.

* * * * *
    (a) * * *
    (1) * * *
    (vi) Gray triggerfish--60,900 lb (27,624 kg), round weight.
* * * * *
0
5. In Sec.  622.44, paragraph (g) is added to read as follows:


Sec.  622.44  Commercial trip limits.

* * * * *
    (g) Gulf gray triggerfish. Until the commercial ACT (commercial 
quota) specified in Sec.  622.42(a)(1)(vi) is reached--12 fish. See 
Sec.  622.43(a)(1)(i) for the limitations regarding gray triggerfish 
after the commercial ACT (commercial quota) is reached.
* * * * *
0
6. In Sec.  622.49, paragraph (a)(2) is revised to read as follows:


Sec.  622.49  Annual catch limits (ACLs), annual catch targets (ACTs), 
and accountability measures (AMs).

    (a) * * *
    (2) Gray triggerfish--(i) Commercial sector. If commercial 
landings, as estimated by the SRD, reach or are projected to reach the 
commercial ACT (commercial quota) specified in Sec.  622.42(a)(1)(vi), 
the AA will file a notification with the Office of the Federal Register 
to close the commercial sector for the remainder of the fishing year. 
In addition, if despite such closure, commercial landings exceed the 
commercial ACL, the AA will file a notification with the Office of the 
Federal Register, at or near the beginning of the following fishing 
year to reduce the commercial ACL and ACT (commercial quota) for that 
following year by the amount the prior-year ACL was exceeded. The 
commercial ACL is 64,100 lb (29,075 kg), round weight.
    (ii) Recreational sector. (A) Without regard to overfished status, 
if gray triggerfish recreational landings, as estimated by the SRD, 
reach or are projected to reach the applicable ACT specified in 
paragraph (a)(2)(ii)(C) of this section, the AA will file a 
notification with the Office of the Federal Register, to close the 
recreational sector for the remainder of the fishing year. On and after 
the effective date of such a notification, the bag and possession limit 
of gray triggerfish in or from the Gulf EEZ is zero. This bag and 
possession limit applies in the Gulf on board a vessel for which a 
valid Federal charter vessel/headboat permit for Gulf reef fish has 
been issued, without regard to where such species were harvested, i.e. 
in state or Federal waters.
    (B) In addition to the measures specified in paragraphs 
(a)(2)(ii)(A) of this section, if gray triggerfish recreational 
landings, as estimated by the SRD, exceed the applicable ACL specified 
in paragraph (a)(2)(ii)(C) of this section, and gray triggerfish are 
overfished, based on the most recent Status of U.S. Fisheries Report to 
Congress, the AA will file a notification with the Office of the 
Federal Register, at or near the beginning of the following fishing 
year to reduce the ACL and the ACT for that following year by the 
amount of the ACL overage in the prior fishing year, unless the best 
scientific information available determines that a greater, lesser, or 
no overage adjustment is necessary.
    (C) The recreational ACL for gray triggerfish is 241,200 lb 
(109,406 kg), round weight. The recreational ACT for gray triggerfish 
is 217,100 lb (98,475 kg), round weight. Recreational landings will be 
evaluated relative to the ACL based on a moving multi-year average of 
landings, as described in the FMP.
* * * * *
[FR Doc. 2013-03372 Filed 2-12-13; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 3510-22-P