[Federal Register Volume 78, Number 43 (Tuesday, March 5, 2013)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 14225-14226]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2013-05056]


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DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

50 CFR Part 622

[Docket No. 120417412-2412-01]
RIN 0648-XC510


Fisheries of the Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico, and South Atlantic; 
Gulf of Mexico Reef Fish Fishery; 2013 Accountability Measure for Gulf 
of Mexico Commercial Gray Triggerfish

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

ACTION: Temporary rule; accountability measures.

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SUMMARY: NMFS implements an accountability measure (AM) for commercial 
gray triggerfish in the Gulf of Mexico (Gulf) reef fish fishery for the 
2013 fishing year through this temporary final rule. This temporary 
rule reduces the Gulf gray triggerfish 2013 commercial annual catch 
target (ACT) (equal to the commercial quota) to 51,602 lb (23,406 kg), 
based on the 2012 commercial annual catch limit (ACL) overage. This 
action is necessary to reduce overfishing of the gray triggerfish 
resource in the Gulf of Mexico.

DATES: This rule is effective March 5, 2013, through December 31, 2013.

ADDRESSES: Electronic copies of the final rule for Amendment 30A, the 
temporary rule and associated environmental assessment (EA) for gray 
triggerfish interim measures, and other supporting documentation may be 
obtained from Rich Malinowski, NMFS, Southeast Regional Office, 263 
13th Avenue South, St. Petersburg, FL 33701; telephone: 727-824-5305.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Rich Malinowski, telephone: 727-824-
5305, or email: Rich.Malinowski@noaa.gov.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The reef fish fishery of the Gulf is managed 
under the Fishery Management Plan for Reef Fish Resources of the Gulf 
(FMP). The FMP was prepared by the Gulf Fishery Management Council and 
is implemented under the authority of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery 
Conservation and Management Act (Magnuson-Stevens Act) by regulations 
at 50 CFR part 622. All gray triggerfish weights discussed in this 
temporary rule are in round weight.

Background

    The reauthorization of the Magnuson-Stevens Act implemented new 
requirements that ACLs and AMs be established to end overfishing and 
prevent overfishing from occurring. Accountability measures are 
management controls to prevent ACLs from being exceeded, and correct or 
mitigate overages of the ACL if they occur. Section 303(a)(15) of the 
Magnuson-Stevens Act mandates the establishment of ACLs at a level such 
that overfishing does not occur in the fishery, including measures to 
ensure accountability.
    On July 3, 2008, NMFS issued a final rule (73 FR 38139) to 
implement Amendment 30A to the FMP. In part, Amendment 30A established 
commercial ACLs, commercial quotas (which were set lower than the ACLs 
to account for management uncertainty) and commercial AMs that would go 
into effect if the commercial quotas for gray triggerfish are reached 
or the ACLs are exceeded. In accordance with regulations at 50 CFR 
622.49(a)(2)(i), when the applicable quota is reached, or projected to 
be reached, the Assistant Administrator for Fisheries, NOAA, (AA), will 
file a notification with the Office of the Federal Register to close 
the sector for the remainder of the fishing year. If despite such 
closure, landings exceed the ACL, the AA will reduce the quota the year 
following an overage by the amount of the ACL overage of the prior 
fishing year.
    The Council requested and NMFS implemented a temporary rule to, in 
part, reduce the gray triggerfish commercial ACLs and ACTs (equal to 
the commercial quotas) (77 FR 28308, May 14, 2012). The gray 
triggerfish commercial sector AMs state that, in accordance with 
regulations at 50 CFR 622.49(a)(17)(i), when the applicable commercial 
ACT (commercial quota) is reached, or projected to be reached, the AA 
will file a notification with the Office of the Federal Register to 
close

[[Page 14226]]

the sector for the remainder of the fishing year. If despite such 
closure, landings exceed the ACL, the AA will reduce the commercial ACT 
(commercial quota) the year following an overage by the amount of the 
ACL overage of the prior fishing year. These interim measures were 
extended through May 15, 2013, to allow for the development and 
implementation of permanent measures through Amendment 37 to the FMP 
(77 FR 67303, November 9, 2012).

Management Measures Contained in This Temporary Rule

    In 2012, the commercial sector for gray triggerfish exceeded the 
64,100 lb (28,845 kg) commercial ACL by 9,298 lb (4,218 kg). Therefore, 
NMFS reduces the 2013 commercial ACT (commercial quota) for gray 
triggerfish through this temporary rule. The 2013 commercial ACT is set 
at 51,602 lb (23,406 kg).

Classification

    The Regional Administrator, Southeast Region, NMFS, has determined 
this temporary rule is necessary for the conservation and management of 
the Gulf gray triggerfish component of the Gulf reef fish fishery and 
is consistent with the Magnuson-Stevens Act, the FMP, and other 
applicable laws.
    The temporary rule has been determined to be not significant for 
purposes of 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.
    An EA was prepared for the interim measures contained in the May 
14, 2012, final temporary rule (77 FR 28308). The EA analyzed the 
impacts of reduced gray triggerfish harvest through the 2012 fishing 
year, including the impacts related to the interim rule extension (77 
FR 28308, November 12, 2012). Copies of the EA are available from NMFS 
(see ADDRESSES).
    Pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 553(b)(B), there is good cause to waive the 
requirements to provide prior notice and opportunity for public comment 
on this temporary rule. Such procedures are unnecessary because the AMs 
(established by Amendment 30A), and the commercial ACT and commercial 
ACL (implemented by the temporary rule for interim measures), all 
located at 50 CFR 622.49(a), authorize the AA to file a notification 
with the Office of the Federal Register to reduce the commercial ACT 
(commercial quota) the following fishing year if a commercial ACL 
overage occurs. The final rule for Amendment 30A and the temporary rule 
for interim measures were already subject to notice and comment. 
Therefore, all that remains is to notify the public of the reduced 2013 
commercial ACT (commercial quota) for Gulf gray triggerfish.
    Additionally, prior notice and opportunity for public comment would 
be contrary to the public interest. Given the ability of the commercial 
sector to rapidly harvest fishery resources, there is a need to 
immediately implement the reduced commercial ACT (commercial quota) for 
the 2013 fishing year. Taking time to provide prior notice and 
opportunity for public comment creates a higher likelihood of the 
reduced commercial ACT (commercial quota) and the commercial ACL being 
exceeded.
    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).

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

    Dated: February 28, 2013.
Kara Meckley,
Acting Deputy Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National 
Marine Fisheries Service.
[FR Doc. 2013-05056 Filed 3-4-13; 8:45 am]
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