[Federal Register Volume 79, Number 80 (Friday, April 25, 2014)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 22883-22884]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2014-09402]


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DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

50 CFR Part 622

[Docket No. 121004518-3398-01]
RIN 0648-XD033


Reef Fish Fishery of the Gulf of Mexico; 2014 Recreational 
Accountability Measure and Closure for Gray Triggerfish in the Gulf of 
Mexico

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

ACTION: Temporary rule; closure.

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SUMMARY: NMFS implements an accountability measure (AM) for 
recreational gray triggerfish in the Gulf of Mexico (Gulf) reef fish 
fishery for the 2014 fishing year through this temporary final rule. 
Based on the 2013 recreational annual catch limit (ACL) overage, NMFS 
reduces the 2014 recreational annual catch target (ACT) and ACL for 
gray triggerfish to 0 lb (0 kg) through this temporary rule. Therefore, 
NMFS closes the recreational sector for gray triggerfish in the Gulf 
EEZ at 12:01 a.m., local time, May 1, 2014, until January 1, 2015. This 
action is necessary to reduce overfishing of the Gulf gray triggerfish 
resource.

DATES: This rule is effective 12:01 a.m., local time, on May 1, 2014, 
until 12:01 a.m., local time, on January 1, 2015, unless changed by 
subsequent notification in the Federal Register.

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, which 
includes gray triggerfish, is managed under the Fishery Management Plan 
for the Reef Fish Resources of the Gulf of Mexico (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 Fishery 
Conservation and Management Act (Magnuson-Stevens Act). All weights 
specified in this rule are round weight.
    The final rule for Amendment 37 to the FMP (78 FR 27084, May 9, 
2013) implemented the Gulf gray triggerfish recreational ACL of 241,200 
lb (109,406 kg), and the recreational ACT of 217,100 lb (98,475 kg), as 
specified in 50 CFR 622.41(b)(2)(iii).
    The final rule for Amendment 37 to the FMP implemented an in-season 
AM to close the recreational sector when its ACT is reached or 
projected to be reached, as specified in 50 CFR 622.41(b)(2)(i), and 
implemented a post-season AM in the form of an overage adjustment that 
would apply if the recreational ACL is exceeded and gray triggerfish 
are overfished, as specified in 50 CFR 622.41(b)(2)(ii). This post-
season AM reduces the recreational ACL and ACT for the year following a 
recreational ACL overage 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.
    NMFS determined that the 2013 recreational landings were 524,606 lb 
(237,957 kg), which exceeded the 2013 recreational ACT by 307,506 lb 
(139,482 kg) and the 2013 recreational ACL by 283,406 lb (128,551 kg). 
Therefore, NMFS implements a post-season AM for recreational gray 
triggerfish in the Gulf for the 2014 fishing year through this 
temporary final rule. Based on the 2013 overage of 283,406 lb (128,551 
kg), NMFS reduces the 2014 recreational ACT from 217,100 lb (98,475 
kg), to 0 lb (0 kg) and the 2014 recreational ACL from 241,200 lb 
(109,406 kg) to 0 lb (0 kg).
    Based on the adjusted 2014 recreational ACT of 0 lb (0 kg), for 
Gulf gray triggerfish, NMFS implements the in-season AM to close the 
recreational harvest of Gulf gray triggerfish at 12:01 a.m., local 
time, on May 1, 2014, until 12:01 a.m., local time on January 1, 2015, 
unless changed by subsequent notification in the Federal Register.
    During the closure, 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. The recreational sector for gray triggerfish will 
reopen on January 1, 2015, the beginning of the 2015 recreational 
fishing season.

Classification

    The Regional Administrator, Southeast Region, NMFS, has determined 
this temporary rule is necessary for the conservation and management of 
Gulf gray triggerfish and is consistent with the Magnuson-Stevens Act 
and other applicable laws.
    This action is taken under 50 CFR 622.41(b)(2) and is exempt from 
review under Executive Order 12866.

[[Page 22884]]

    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. 
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 because such procedures are unnecessary and is 
contrary to the public interest. Prior notice and the opportunity to 
comment is unnecessary because the final rule for Amendment 37 to the 
FMP (78 FR 27084, May 9, 2013) implemented AMs which state that NMFS 
will file a notification with the Office of the Federal Register to 
reduce the recreational ACT and the recreational ACL by the amount of 
any recreational ACL overage in the prior year and to close the 
recreational sector for Gulf gray triggerfish for the remainder of the 
fishing year if recreational landings reach or are projected to reach 
the recreational ACT. Such procedures would be unnecessary because the 
rule itself has been subject to notice and comment, and all that 
remains is to notify the public of the reduced recreational fishing 
season for gray triggerfish.
    Allowing prior notice and opportunity for public comment is 
contrary to the public interest because of the need to immediately 
implement this action to protect the gray triggerfish resource. Any 
delay in the closure of the recreational sector could result in the 
adjusted recreational ACL for gray triggerfish being further exceeded, 
which, in turn, would further reduce the recreational ACL and ACT for 
gray triggerfish in 2015.
    For the aforementioned reasons, the Assistant Administrator, NMFS, 
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: April 22, 2014.
Alan D. Risenhoover,
Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine Fisheries 
Service.
[FR Doc. 2014-09402 Filed 4-24-14; 8:45 am]
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