[Federal Register Volume 78, Number 66 (Friday, April 5, 2013)]
[Proposed Rules]
[Page 20496]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2013-07991]


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Proposed Rules
                                                Federal Register
________________________________________________________________________

This section of the FEDERAL REGISTER contains notices to the public of 
the proposed issuance of rules and regulations. The purpose of these 
notices is to give interested persons an opportunity to participate in 
the rule making prior to the adoption of the final rules.

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Federal Register / Vol. 78, No. 66 / Friday, April 5, 2013 / Proposed 
Rules

[[Page 20496]]



DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

50 CFR Part 622

[Docket No. 130128081-3297-01]
RIN 0648-BC96


Fisheries of the Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico, and South Atlantic; 
Commercial Trap Sectors of the Reef Fish and Spiny Lobster Fisheries in 
the U.S. Caribbean; Control Date

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

ACTION: Advance notice of proposed rulemaking; consideration of a 
control date.

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SUMMARY: NMFS announces that it is establishing a control date of 
February 10, 2011, to control future access to the commercial trap 
sectors of the reef fish and spiny lobster fisheries operating in the 
exclusive economic zone (EEZ) of the U.S. Caribbean. If changes to the 
management regime are developed and implemented under the Magnuson-
Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (Magnuson-Stevens Act), 
a control date could be used to limit the number of participants in 
these sectors. This announcement is intended, in part, to promote 
awareness of the potential eligibility criteria for future access so as 
to discourage speculative entry into the trap sectors while the 
Caribbean Fishery Management Council (Council) and NMFS consider 
whether and how access to the commercial trap sectors of the reef fish 
and spiny lobster fisheries should be controlled.

DATES: Written comments must be received on or before May 6, 2013.

ADDRESSES: You may submit comments, identified by ``NOAA-NMFS-2013-
0022'' by any one of the following methods:
     Electronic submissions: Submit all electronic public 
comments via the Federal e-Rulemaking Portal. Go to 
www.regulations.gov/#!docketDetail;D=NOAA-NMFS-2013-0022, click the 
``Comment Now!'' icon, complete the required fields, and enter or 
attach your comments.
     Mail: Submit written comments to Britni Tokotch, 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.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Britni Tokotch, Southeast Regional 
Office, NMFS, telephone 727-824-5305, email: britni.tokotch@noaa.gov.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: At the August 2012 Council meeting, the 
Council recommended a control date of February 10, 2011, for the 
commercial trap sectors of the reef fish and spiny lobster fisheries in 
the U.S. Caribbean. The control date would apply to persons who are 
contemplating entering these trap sectors.
    Previously, the Council established a control date of March 24, 
2009, for the commercial sector of the reef fish, queen conch, and 
spiny lobster fisheries operating in Federal waters off Puerto Rico and 
the U.S. Virgin Islands (USVI). Subsequent to that action, the USVI 
began development of trap reduction programs and established a February 
10, 2011, control date. At the August 2012 meeting, the Council 
discussed the ongoing development of trap reduction programs in the 
USVI, which if approved and implemented, would preserve and protect the 
historical and cultural fish trap sectors in a sustainable manner by 
reducing the total number of traps. To be consistent with the 
territorial regulations, the Council voted to update the previous 
control date of March 24, 2009, and establish a February 10, 2011, 
control date for the commercial trap sectors of the reef fish and spiny 
lobster fisheries of the U.S. Caribbean.
    The Council requested that this control date be published in the 
Federal Register to notify fishermen that if they entered such a sector 
after February 10, 2011, they may not be assured of future access if 
the Council and/or NMFS decide to limit entry or impose other measures 
to manage these trap sectors.
    Establishment of this control date does not commit the Council or 
NMFS to any particular management regime or criteria for entry into the 
commercial trap sectors of the reef fish and spiny lobster fisheries. 
Fishermen are not guaranteed future participation in the sectors 
regardless of their level of participation before or after the control 
date. The Council may recommend a different control date or it may 
recommend a management regime that does not involve a control date. 
Other criteria, such as documentation of landings or fishing effort, 
may be used to determine eligibility for participation in a limited 
access fishery or sector. The Council and/or NMFS also may choose to 
take no further action to control entry or access to the sectors, in 
which case the control date may be rescinded. Any action by the Council 
will be taken pursuant to the requirements for fishery management plan 
and amendment development established under the Magnuson-Stevens Act.
    This notification also gives the public notice that interested 
participants should locate and preserve records that substantiate and 
verify their participation in the commercial trap sectors of the reef 
fish and spiny lobster fisheries in the U.S. Caribbean EEZ.

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

    Dated: April 2, 2013.
Alan D. Risenhoover,
Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, performing the functions and 
duties of the Deputy Assistant Administrator for Regulatory Programs, 
National Marine Fisheries Service.
[FR Doc. 2013-07991 Filed 4-4-13; 8:45 am]
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