[Federal Register Volume 78, Number 214 (Tuesday, November 5, 2013)]
[Proposed Rules]
[Pages 66327-66328]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2013-26451]


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DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

50 CFR Part 635

RIN 0648-BC09


Atlantic Highly Migratory Species (HMS); 2006 Consolidated Highly 
Migratory Species Fishery Management Plan; Amendment 7

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

ACTION: Notice of rescheduled public hearings.

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SUMMARY: On August 22, 2013, NMFS published a notice of public hearings 
for Draft Amendment 7 to the 2006 Consolidated Highly Migratory Species 
(HMS) Fishery Management Plan (2006 Consolidated HMS FMP), which 
provided dates and locations for ten scheduled public hearings. Three 
of the ten scheduled public hearings were cancelled due to the shut-
down of the Federal Government from October 1 through 16, 2013. In this 
document, NMFS announces the dates and locations for three rescheduled 
public hearings to provide opportunities for members of the public to 
comment on the management measures proposed in Draft Amendment 7. The 
Amendment 7 proposed rule, which published August 21, 2013, includes a 
variety of management measures to ensure sustainable management of 
bluefin tuna consistent with the 2006 Consolidated HMS FMP and address 
ongoing management challenges in the Atlantic bluefin tuna fisheries.

DATES: The rescheduled public hearings will be held on November 12 and 
13, and December 3, 2013. Written comments will be accepted until 
December 10, 2013. See SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION for specific meeting 
dates, times, and locations.

ADDRESSES: The rescheduled public hearings will be held in Florida, and 
New Jersey. See SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION for dates, times, and 
locations.
    You may submit comments on the proposed rule, identified by ``NOAA-
NMFS-2013-0101,'' 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-2013-0101, click the 
``Comment Now!'' icon, complete the required fields, and enter or 
attach your comments. Do not submit electronic comments to individual 
NMFS staff.
     Mail: Submit written comments to Thomas Warren, Highly 
Migratory Species Management Division, NMFS, 55 Great Republic Drive, 
Gloucester, MA 01930. Please mark the outside of the envelope 
``Comments on Amendment 7 to the HMS FMP.''
     Fax: 978-281-9340; Attn: Thomas Warren.
     Instructions: Comments must be submitted by one of the 
above methods to ensure that the comments are received, documented, and 
considered by NMFS. 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. All comments received are a part of the public 
record and generally will 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. Do not submit Confidential 
Business Information or otherwise sensitive or protected information. 
NMFS will accept anonymous comments (enter ``N/A'' in the required 
fields if you wish to remain anonymous). You may submit attachments to 
electronic comments in Microsoft Word or Excel, or Adobe PDF file 
formats only.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Thomas Warren or Brad McHale at 978-
281-9260; Craig Cockrell or Jennifer Cudney at 301-427-8503.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The North Atlantic tuna fisheries are 
managed under the dual authority of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery 
Conservation and Management Act (Magnuson-Stevens Act) and the

[[Page 66328]]

Atlantic Tunas Convention Act (ATCA). Under the Magnuson-Stevens Act, 
NMFS must manage fisheries to maintain optimum yield on a continuing 
basis while preventing overfishing. ATCA authorizes the Secretary of 
Commerce (Secretary) to promulgate regulations, as may be necessary and 
appropriate to carry out recommendations of the International 
Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas (ICCAT). The 
authority to issue regulations under the Magnuson-Stevens Act and ATCA 
has been delegated from the Secretary to the Assistant Administrator 
for Fisheries, NMFS. Management of these species is described in the 
2006 Consolidated HMS FMP, which is implemented by regulations at 50 
CFR part 635. Copies of the 2006 Consolidated HMS FMP and previous 
amendments are available from NMFS on request (see FOR FURTHER 
INFORMATION CONTACT).
    On August 21, 2013 (78 FR 52032) NMFS published proposed 
regulations to implement Amendment 7 to the 2006 Consolidated HMSFMP to 
control bluefin landings and dead discards in the pelagic longline 
fishery, enhance reporting in all categories, and ensure U.S. 
compliance with the ICCAT-recommend quota. As described in the proposed 
rule, the proposed management measures include: (1) Allocation measures 
that would make modifications to how the U.S. bluefin quota is 
allocated among the quota categories; (2) Area Based measures that 
would implement restrictions on the use of pelagic longline gear in 
various time and area combinations, modify gear restrictions, or 
provide conditional access to current pelagic longline closed areas; 
(3) Bluefin Quota Controls that would strictly limit the total catch 
(landings and dead discards) of bluefin in the Longline category using 
different strategies; (4) Enhance Reporting measures that would 
implement a variety of new bluefin reporting requirements; and (5) 
Other Measures that would make modifications to the rules that control 
how the various quota categories utilize quota, and implement a 
northern albacore tuna quota. Although the Amendment 7 proposed rule 
set the end of the comment period to October 23, 2013, NMFS 
subsequently extended the end of the comment period to December 10, 
2013, in order to provide additional time for the public to consider 
the proposed rule, given its length and complexity, and in light of any 
potential new recommendations adopted by ICCAT at its November 2013 
meeting (78 FR 57340; September 18, 2013).
    Status of Public Hearings and Request for Comments: Seven public 
hearings have been held to date: San Antonio, TX; Gloucester, MA; 
Manteo, NC; Charleston, SC; Belle Chasse, LA; Portland, ME; and Panama 
City, FL. NMFS also conducted consultations with the New England 
Fishery Management Council, the Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management 
Council, and the South Atlantic Fishery Management Council. The public 
hearings that were scheduled in Fort Pierce, FL; St. Petersburg, FL; 
and Toms River, NJ; for October 1, 2, and 8, respectively; and the 
scheduled consultation with the Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council 
on October 7, were cancelled due to the Federal Government shut-down 
from October 1 through 16, 2013. The public hearings in Fort Pierce, 
FL; St. Petersburg, FL; and Toms River, NJ have been rescheduled for 
November 12, and 13, and December 3, 2013, respectively, to provide the 
opportunity for public comment on potential management measures. See 
Table 1 for dates, times and locations of the rescheduled public 
hearings.

                       Table 1--Dates, Times and Locations of Rescheduled Public Hearings
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                                                                                           Location contact
               Venue                        Date/time           Meeting locations            information
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Public Hearing.....................  November 12, 2013, 6    Fort Pierce, FL.......  Days Inn Fort Pierce, 3224
                                      p.m.-10 p.m.                                    U.S. 1, Fort Pierce, FL
                                                                                      34982, (772) 465-7000.
Public Hearing.....................  November 13, 2013, 6    St. Petersburg, FL....  National Marine Fisheries
                                      p.m.-10 p.m.                                    Service, Southeast
                                                                                      Regional Office, 263 13th
                                                                                      Avenue South, Saint
                                                                                      Petersburg, Florida 33701,
                                                                                      (727) 824-5301.
Public Hearing.....................  December 3, 2013, 6     Toms River, NJ........  Ocean County, Public
                                      p.m.-10 p.m.                                    Administration Building,
                                                                                      Freeholders Meeting Room
                                                                                      (119), 101 Hooper Ave.,
                                                                                      Toms River, NJ 08754,
                                                                                      (732) 929-2147.
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Public Hearing Code of Conduct

    The public is reminded that NMFS expects participants at public 
hearings, council meetings, and phone conferences to conduct themselves 
appropriately. At the beginning of each meeting, a representative of 
NMFS will explain the ground rules (e.g., alcohol is prohibited from 
the meeting room; attendees will be called to give their comments in 
the order in which they registered to speak; each attendee will have an 
equal amount of time to speak; attendees may not interrupt one another; 
etc.). NMFS representative(s) will structure the meeting so that all 
attending members of the public will be able to comment, if they so 
choose, regardless of the controversial nature of the subject(s). 
Attendees are expected to respect the ground rules, and those that do 
not will be asked to leave the meeting.

    Authority:  16 U.S.C. 971 et seq; 16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq.

    Dated: October 30, 2013.
Emily H. Menashes,
Deputy Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine 
Fisheries Service.
[FR Doc. 2013-26451 Filed 10-31-13; 4:15 pm]
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