[Federal Register Volume 79, Number 93 (Wednesday, May 14, 2014)]
[Proposed Rules]
[Pages 27553-27557]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2014-11052]


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DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

50 CFR Part 635

[Docket No. 140207123-4405-01]
RIN 0648-BD96


Atlantic Highly Migratory Species; North and South Atlantic 2014 
Commercial Swordfish Quotas

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

ACTION: Proposed rule; request for comments.

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SUMMARY: This proposed rule would adjust the 2014 fishing season quotas 
for North and South Atlantic swordfish based upon 2013 commercial quota 
underharvests and international quota transfers consistent with the 
International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas (ICCAT) 
Recommendations 13-02 and 13-03. Additionally, this proposed rule would 
modify the regulations to comply with future changes to the North 
Atlantic swordfish underharvest carryover limits, which become 
effective in 2015. This proposed rule could affect commercial and 
recreational fishing for swordfish in the Atlantic Ocean, including the 
Caribbean Sea and Gulf of Mexico. This action implements ICCAT 
recommendations, consistent with the Atlantic Tunas Convention Act 
(ATCA), and furthers domestic management objectives under the Magnuson-
Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (Magnuson-Stevens Act).

DATES: Written comments must be received by June 13, 2014. An operator-
assisted, public conference call and webinar will be held on June 5, 
2014, from 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m., EST.

ADDRESSES: The conference call information is phone number 650-479-
3207; participant pass code 995 328 809. Participants are strongly 
encouraged to log/dial in fifteen minutes prior to the meeting. NMFS 
will show a brief presentation via webinar followed by public comment. 
To join the webinar go to: https://noaa-meets.webex.com/noaa-meets/j.php?MTID=mbec5ad6bcd832af41ef2ad34b64b498d, enter your name and email 
address, and click the ``JOIN'' button. Participants that have not used 
WebEx before will be prompted to download and run a plug-in program 
that will enable them to view the webinar.
    You may submit comments on this document, identified by NOAA-NMFS-
2014-0054, 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-2014-0054, click the ``Comment Now!'' icon, 
complete the required fields, and enter or attach your comments.
    Mail: Submit written comments to Margo Schulze-Haugen, NMFS/SF1, 
1315 East-West Highway, National Marine Fisheries Service, SSMC3, 
Silver Spring, MD 20910.
    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.
    The call-in information for the public hearing is phone number 650-
479-3207; participant pass code 995 328 809. We will also provide a 
brief presentation via webinar. Participants can join the webinar at 
https://noaa-meets.webex.com/noaa-meets/j.php?MTID=mbec5ad6bcd832af41ef2ad34b64b498d. Enter your name and email 
address, and click the ``JOIN'' button. Participants that have not used 
WebEx before will be prompted to download

[[Page 27554]]

and run a plug-in program that will enable them to view the webinar. 
Presentation materials and other supporting information will be posted 
on the HMS Web site at: http://www.nmfs.noaa.gov/sfa/hms.
    Copies of the supporting documents--including the 2012 
Environmental Assessment (EA), Regulatory Impact Review (RIR), and 
Final Regulatory Flexibility Analysis (FRFA) for North Atlantic 
swordfish; the 2007 EA, RIR, and FRFA for South Atlantic swordfish; and 
the 2006 Consolidated Atlantic Highly Migratory Species Fishery 
Management Plan and associated documents--are available from the HMS 
Management Division Web site at http://www.nmfs.noaa.gov/sfa/hms/ or by 
contacting Alexis Jackson by phone at 301-427-8503.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Alexis Jackson by phone at 301-427-
8503 or Steve Durkee by phone at 202-670-6637.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Background

    The U.S. Atlantic swordfish fishery is managed under the 2006 
Consolidated Highly Migratory Species (HMS) Fishery Management Plan 
(FMP). Implementing regulations at 50 CFR part 635 are issued under the 
authority of the Magnuson-Stevens Act, 16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq., and 
ATCA, 16 U.S.C. 971 et seq. ATCA authorizes the Secretary of Commerce 
(Secretary) to promulgate regulations, as may be necessary and 
appropriate to implement ICCAT recommendations.

North Atlantic Swordfish Quota

    At the 2013 ICCAT annual meeting, Recommendation 13-02 was adopted, 
maintaining the North Atlantic swordfish total allowable catch (TAC) of 
10,301 metric tons (mt) dressed weight (dw) (13,700 mt whole weight 
(ww)) through 2016. Of this TAC, the United States' baseline quota is 
2,937.6 mt dw (3,907 mt ww) per year. ICCAT Recommendation 13-02 also 
includes an 18.8 mt dw (25 mt ww) annual quota transfer from the United 
States to Mauritania and limits allowable 2013 underharvest carryover 
to 25 percent of a contracting party's baseline quota. Underharvest 
accrued in 2014 and beyond is limited to 15 percent of a contracting 
party's baseline quota. Therefore, the United States may carry over a 
maximum of 734.4 mt dw (976.8 mt ww) of underharvest from 2013 and add 
it to the 2014 baseline quota. This proposed rule would adjust the U.S. 
baseline quota for the 2014 fishing year to account for the annual 
quota transfer to Mauritania and the 2013 underharvest. Additionally, 
this proposed rule considers modifying the regulations to comply with 
the reduced underharvest carryover limit, which becomes effective in 
2015 and thus would apply to underharvest accrued in 2014 and beyond.
    The preliminary North Atlantic swordfish underharvest for 2013 was 
1,480.4 mt dw as of December 31, 2013; therefore, NMFS is proposing to 
carry forward 734.4 mt dw, the maximum carryover allowed per ICCAT 
Recommendation 13-02. The 2,937.6 mt dw baseline quota would be reduced 
by the 18.8 mt dw annual quota transfer to Mauritania and increased by 
the underharvest carryover maximum of 734.4 mt dw, resulting in 3,653.2 
mt dw (2,937.6 - 18.8 + 734.4 = 3,653.2 mt dw), which is the proposed 
adjusted North Atlantic swordfish quota for the 2014 fishing year. From 
that proposed adjusted quota, 50 mt dw would be allocated to the 
reserve category for inseason adjustments and research, and 300 mt dw 
would be allocated to the incidental category, which includes 
recreational landings and landings by incidental swordfish permit 
holders, for the 2014 fishing season, per Sec.  635.27(c)(1)(i)(B). 
This would result in an allocation of 3,303.2 mt dw (3,653.2-50-300 = 
3,303.2 mt dw) for the directed category, which would be split equally 
between two seasons in 2014 (January through June, and July through 
December) (Table 1).
    The preliminary landings and proposed adjusted quota for North 
Atlantic swordfish are based on commercial dealer reports and reports 
by anglers in the HMS Non-Tournament Recreational Swordfish and 
Billfish Landings Database and the Recreational Billfish Survey 
received as of December 31, 2013, and do not include dead discards or 
late landings reports. The estimates are preliminary and have not yet 
undergone quality control and assurance procedures. NMFS will adjust 
the quotas in the final rule based on updated data, including dead 
discard data, if available. Note that the United States has carried 
over the full amount of underharvest allowed under ICCAT 
recommendations for the past several years, and NMFS does not expect 
fishing activity to vary significantly from these past years. For the 
final adjusted quota to deviate from the proposed quota, the sum of 
updated landings data (from late reports) and dead discard estimates 
would need to reach or exceed 746.0 mt dw, which is the difference 
between the current estimate of the 2013 underharvest (1,480.4 mt dw) 
and the maximum carryover cap of 734.4 mt dw (1,480.4-734.4 = 746.0 mt 
dw). In 2012, dead discards were estimated to equal 194.0 mt dw and 
late reports equaled 201.3 mt dw. Consequently, NMFS does not believe 
updated data and dead discard estimates will alter the proposed 
adjusted quota. Thus, while the 2014 proposed North Atlantic swordfish 
quota is subject to further adjustments and this rule notifies the 
public of that potential change, NMFS does not expect the final quota 
to change from the proposed quota.
    In addition to adjusting the quota, this proposed rule considers 
modifying regulatory text to reflect an upcoming change in the 
underharvest carryover limit. Recommendation 13-02 reduced the amount 
of underharvest that may be carried forward to 15 percent of the 
baseline quota, effective in 2015. Therefore, if this rule is 
implemented, the 2013 underharvest would be the last year subject to 
the 25 percent carryover limit; the underharvest in 2014 and subsequent 
years would not be able to exceed 15 percent of the baseline quota. 
This proposed rule will consider these changes.

South Atlantic Swordfish Quota

    In 2013, ICCAT Recommendation 13-03 established the South Atlantic 
swordfish TAC at 11,278.2 mt dw (15,000 mt ww) for 2014, 2015, and 
2016. Of this, the United States received 75.2 mt dw (100 mt ww). ICCAT 
Recommendation 13-03 limits the amount of South Atlantic swordfish 
underharvest that can be carried forward. For South Atlantic swordfish, 
the United States may carry forward up to 100 percent of the baseline 
quota (75.2 mt dw). Recommendation 13-03 also included a total of 75.2 
mt dw (100 mt ww) of quota transfers from the United States to other 
countries. These transfers were 37.6 mt dw (50 mt ww) to Namibia, 18.8 
mt dw (25 mt ww) to C[ocirc]te d'Ivoire, and 18.8 mt dw (25 mt ww) to 
Belize.
    In 2013, U.S. fishermen landed 0.1 mt dw of South Atlantic 
swordfish as of December 31, 2013. Therefore, 75.1 mt dw of 
underharvest is available to carry over to 2014. NMFS is proposing to 
carry forward 75.1 mt dw to be added to the 75.2 mt dw baseline quota. 
The quota would then be reduced by the 75.2 mt dw of annual 
international quota transfers outlined above, resulting in 75.1 mt dw, 
which is the proposed adjusted South Atlantic swordfish quota for the 
2014 fishing year.
    As with the landings and proposed quota for North Atlantic 
swordfish, the South Atlantic swordfish landings and proposed quota are 
based on dealer

[[Page 27555]]

reports received as of December 31, 2013, do not include dead discards 
or late landings reports, and are preliminary landings estimates that 
have not yet undergone quality control and assurance procedures. NMFS 
will adjust the quotas in the final rule based on any updated data, 
including dead discard data, if available. Thus, the 2014 proposed 
South Atlantic swordfish quota is subject to further adjustments. 
However, the United States has only landed South Atlantic swordfish 
twice in the past several years (0.2 mt dw in April 2010 and 0.1 mt dw 
in April 2013) and therefore does not anticipate additional landings or 
discard data that would change the final quota from the proposed quota.

                             Table 1--2014 North and South Atlantic Swordfish Quotas
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North Atlantic Swordfish Quota (mt dw)           2013...........................  2014
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Baseline Quota.................................  2,937.6........................  2,937.6.
International Quota Transfer...................  (-)112.8 (to Morocco)..........  (-)18.8 (to (Mauritania).
Total Underharvest from Previous Year \+\......  814.1..........................  1,480.4.
Underharvest Carryover from Previous Year \+\..  (+)734.4.......................  (+)734.4.
Adjusted Quota.................................  3,559.2........................  3,653.2.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Quota Allocation.............  Directed          3,209.2........................  3,303.2.
                                Category.
                               Incidental        300............................  300.
                                Category.
                               Reserve Category  50.............................  50.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
South Atlantic Swordfish Quota (mt dw)           2013...........................  2014
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Baseline Quota.................................  75.2...........................  75.2.
International Quota Transfers *................  (-)75.2........................  (-)75.2.
Total Underharvest from Previous Year \+\......  75.2...........................  75.1.
Underharvest Carryover from Previous Year \+\..  75.2...........................  75.1.
Adjusted quota.................................  75.2...........................  75.1.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
\+\ 2013 underharvest carryover is capped at 25 percent of the baseline quota allocation for the North Atlantic
  and 75.2 dw (100 mt ww) for the South Atlantic. 2013 underharvest current as of December 31, 2013; does not
  include dead discards, late reports, or changes to the data as a result of quality control adjustments.
* Under Recommendation 13-03, 100 mt ww of the U.S. underharvest and baseline quota, as necessary, was
  transferred to Namibia (37.6 mt dw, 50 mt ww), C[ocirc]te d'Ivoire (18.8 mt dw, 25 mt ww), and Belize (18.8 mt
  dw, 25 mt ww).

Ecological and Socioeconomic Impacts

    The ecological and socio-economic impacts of continued harvesting 
of substantially the same amount of annual baseline quota proposed in 
the 2014 North Atlantic swordfish specifications were analyzed in the 
EA, RIR, and FRFA that were prepared for the 2012 swordfish quota 
specifications final rule (July 31, 2012; 77 FR 45273). Similarly, the 
impacts of harvesting the amount of annual baseline quota proposed in 
the 2014 South Atlantic swordfish specifications were analyzed in the 
EA, RIR, and FRFA that were prepared for the 2007 Swordfish Quota 
Specification Final Rule (October 5, 2007; 72 FR 56929).
    The proposed North Atlantic swordfish quota adjustments would 
result in an adjusted quota similar to that analyzed in the 2012 EA, 
RIR, and FRFA (3,559.2 mt dw) and in subsequent years (2013 final 
adjusted quota = 3,559.2 mt dw, and 2014 proposed adjusted quota = 
3,653.2 mt dw, which is an increase of 94 mt dw). The 2014 proposed 
quota is not expected to increase fishing effort, protected species 
interactions, or environmental effects in a manner not considered in 
the 2012 EA. Implementing ICCAT Recommendation 13-02 would result in 
two minor changes in the adjusted quota calculation methodology that, 
once effective, would result in a reduction in the overall adjusted 
quota relative to previous years. First, ICCAT Recommendation 13-02 
reduces the underharvest carryover limit beginning in 2015. Any 
underharvest available to be carried over from 2013 to 2014 would be 
capped at 25 percent of the baseline quota, but beginning in 2015, the 
underharvest carryover limit would be 15 percent of the baseline quota. 
In the 2012 EA, North Atlantic swordfish underharvest carryovers less 
than or equal to 25 percent were analyzed. Since the proposed change in 
the underharvest carryover limit is within this range (i.e., it is less 
than 25 percent), the change has been previously analyzed. Furthermore, 
once effective, the reduction in the underharvest carryover limit would 
result in a lower overall North Atlantic swordfish adjusted quota. For 
these reasons, additional NEPA analysis regarding the underharvest 
carryover limit is not necessary.
    The second change in the adjusted quota calculation methodology 
from ICCAT Recommendation 13-02 is the elimination of the 112.8 mt dw 
quota transfer to Morocco and the introduction of a lower 18.8 mt dw 
quota transfer to Mauritania. This change in the quota transfer amount 
effectively results in a 3-percent increase to the North Atlantic 
adjusted quota in 2014 (from 3,559.2 mt dw in 2013 to 3,653.2 mt dw in 
2014). No additional NEPA analysis is needed for the change in 
international quota transfers. As mentioned above, the ecological and 
socio-economic impacts of continued harvesting of substantially the 
same amount of annual baseline quota proposed in the 2014 North 
Atlantic swordfish specifications was analyzed in 2012 and no 
additional impacts are expected from the small increase. It would not 
result in an increase in overall quota, fishing effort, or interactions 
with directed, incidental, or bycatch species. Thus, NMFS has 
determined that the North Atlantic swordfish quota portion of the 
specifications and impacts to the human environment as a result of the 
proposed quota adjustments do not require additional NEPA analysis 
beyond that discussed in the 2012 EA.
    The proposed South Atlantic swordfish quota adjustments would not 
change overall quotas and are not expected to increase fishing effort, 
protected species interactions, or environmental effects beyond those 
analyzed in the 2007 EA. While ICCAT conducted a stock assessment for 
South Atlantic swordfish, due to uncertainties

[[Page 27556]]

in the analyses and newly derived stock status, the committee has not 
altered the stock status or TAC from the previous ICCAT recommendation 
in place when 2007 EA analyses were conducted. Therefore, because there 
would be no changes to the South Atlantic swordfish management measures 
in this proposed rule, or to the affected environment or any 
environmental effects that have not been previously analyzed, NMFS has 
determined that the South Atlantic swordfish quota portion of the 
specifications and impacts to the human environment as a result of the 
proposed quota adjustments do not require additional NEPA analysis 
beyond that analyzed in the 2007 EA.

Request for Comments

    NMFS is requesting comments on any of the measures or analyses 
described in this proposed rule. During the comment period, NMFS will 
hold one conference call and webinar for this proposed rule. The 
conference call and webinar will be held on June 5, 2014, from 1:00-
4:00pm EST. Please see the DATES and ADDRESSES headings for more 
information.
    The public is reminded that NMFS expects participants on phone 
conferences to conduct themselves appropriately. At the beginning of 
the conference call, a representative of NMFS will explain the ground 
rules (e.g., all comments are to be directed to the agency on the 
proposed action; 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 may be removed from the conference call.

Classification

    Pursuant to the Magnuson-Stevens Act, the NMFS Assistant 
Administrator has determined that the proposed rule is consistent with 
the 2006 Consolidated HMS FMP and its amendments, other provisions of 
the Magnuson-Stevens Act, the Atlantic Tuna Convention 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.
    NMFS determined that the proposed rules to implement the North 
Atlantic swordfish quota framework (77 FR 25669, May 1, 2012) and South 
Atlantic swordfish quota framework (75 FR 35432, June 22, 2010) are 
consistent to the maximum extent practicable with the enforceable 
policies of the approved coastal management program of coastal states 
on the Atlantic including the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean Sea. 
Pursuant to 15 CFR 930.41(a), NMFS provided the Coastal Zone Management 
Program of each coastal state a 60-day period to review the consistency 
determination and to advise the Agency of their concurrence. NMFS 
received concurrence with the consistency determinations from several 
states and inferred consistency from those states that did not respond 
within the 60-day time period. This proposed action to establish the 
2014 North and South Atlantic swordfish quotas does not change the 
framework previously consulted upon; therefore, no additional 
consultation is required.
    The Chief Council for Regulation of the Department of Commerce 
certified to the Chief Council for Advocacy of the Small Business 
Administration that this proposed rule, if adopted, would not have a 
significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities 
because the proposed quota adjustments are the same as in 2013 and the 
United States is not expected to catch its entire quota in 2014.
    As described above, this proposed rule would adjust the 2014 
baseline quota for North Atlantic swordfish (January 1, 2014, through 
December 31, 2014) to account for 2013 underharvests as allowable and 
international quota transfers per Sec.  635.27(c)(1)(i) and (3)(ii) 
based on ICCAT recommendation 13-02. The United States can carry over 
2013 underharvest at a level not to exceed 25 percent of the baseline 
quota. This proposed rule would also change the limit of underharvest 
accrued in 2014 and beyond to 15 percent of a contracting party's 
baseline quota. Additionally, ICCAT Recommendation 13-02 stipulates 
that the United States transfer 18.8 mt dw (25 mt ww) of quota to 
Mauritania.
    In 2013, U.S. fishermen landed 2,028.8 mt dw of North Atlantic 
swordfish as of December 31, 2013, leaving 1,480.4 mt dw of quota 
underharvest. This underharvest amount exceeds the maximum underharvest 
carryover of 734.4 mt dw, therefore, only 734.4 mt dw of 2013 
underharvest would be carried over and added to the 2014 baseline 
quota. The quota transfer of 18.8 mt dw to Mauritania would be 
deducted, leaving a proposed 2014 North Atlantic swordfish adjusted 
quota of 3,653.2 mt dw (Table 1).
    This proposed rule would also adjust the 2014 baseline quota for 
South Atlantic swordfish (January 1, 2014, through December 31, 2014) 
to account for 2013 underharvests and international quota transfers per 
Sec.  635.27(c)(1)(ii) and (3)(ii) based on ICCAT Recommendation 13-03. 
The United States can carry over 2013 underharvest at a level not to 
exceed 100 percent of the baseline quota. Additionally, ICCAT 
Recommendation 13-03 stipulates that the United States transfer the 
following quota amounts to other countries: 37.6 mt dw (50 mt ww) to 
Namibia; 18.8 mt dw (25 mt ww) to C[ocirc]te d'Ivoire; and 18.8 mt dw 
(25 mt ww) to Belize.
    In 2013, U.S. fishermen landed 0.1 mt dw of South Atlantic 
swordfish as of December 31, 2013. Therefore, 75.1 mt dw of 
underharvest is available to carry over to 2014. NMFS is proposing to 
carry forward 75.1 mt dw to be added to the 75.2 mt dw base quota. The 
quota would then be reduced by the 75.2 mt dw of annual international 
quota transfers outlined above, resulting in 2014 South Atlantic 
swordfish adjusted quota of 75.1 mt dw (Table 1).
    The commercial swordfish fishery is comprised of fishermen who hold 
one of three swordfish limited access permits (LAPs) (i.e., directed, 
incidental, or handgear), fishermen who hold a new swordfish general 
commercial permit, fishermen who hold an HMS incidental squid trawl 
permit, and the related industries including processors, bait houses, 
and equipment suppliers. NMFS considers all participants in the 
commercial swordfish fishery to be small entities, based on the 
relevant NAICS codes and size standards set by the Small Business 
Administration (SBA). Under 5 U.S.C. 604(a)(3), Federal agencies must 
provide an estimate of the number of small entities to which the rule 
would apply. The Small Business Administration (SBA) has established 
size criteria for all major industry sectors in the United States, 
including fish harvesters. Previously, a business involved in fish 
harvesting was 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. On June 20, 2013, SBA issued a final 
rule revising the small business size standards for several industries 
effective July 22, 2013 (78 FR 37398; June 20, 2013). The rule 
increased the size standard for Finfish

[[Page 27557]]

Fishing from $4.0 to 19.0 million, Shellfish Fishing from $4.0 to 5.0 
million, and Other Marine Fishing from $4.0 to 7.0 million. NMFS has 
reviewed the analyses prepared for this action in light of the new size 
standards. Under the former, lower size standards, all entities subject 
to this action were considered small entities, thus they all would 
continue to be considered small under the new standards. The new size 
standards do not affect analyses prepared for this action.
    As of November 2013, there were approximately 179 vessels with a 
directed swordfish LAP, 67 vessels with an incidental swordfish LAP, 76 
vessels with a handgear LAP for swordfish, and 203 vessels that held a 
swordfish general commercial permit. Additionally, there were 
approximately 74 HMS incidental squid trawl permit holders, which allow 
vessels in the Illex squid fishery to retain up to 15 incidentally-
caught swordfish while trawling for squid. Based on the 2013 average 
price for swordfish of $4.69/lb (based on 2013 eDealer data), the 2014 
North and South Atlantic swordfish baseline quotas could result in 
gross revenues of $30,373,533 (2,937.6 mt dw (6,476,233 lbs dw) * 
$4.69/lb) and $776,927 (75.1 mt dw (165,565 lbs dw) * $4.69/lb), 
respectively, if the quotas were fully utilized. Under the adjusted 
quotas of 3,653.2 mt dw (8,053,845 lbs dw) for North Atlantic swordfish 
and 75.1 mt dw (165,565 lbs dw) for South Atlantic swordfish, the gross 
revenues could be $37,772,533 and $776,927, respectively, for fully 
utilized quotas.
    Potential revenues per vessel resulting from full utilization of 
the adjusted quotas, could be $59,295 for the North Atlantic swordfish 
fishery and $4,340 for the South Atlantic swordfish fishery, 
considering a total of 599 swordfish permit holders in the North 
Atlantic and 179 directed permit holders in the South Atlantic. The 
North Atlantic estimate, however, represents an average across all 
permit types, despite permit differences in retention limits, target 
species, and geographical range. For North Atlantic swordfish, directed 
swordfish permit holders would likely experience higher than average 
per-vessel ex-vessel revenues due to the use of pelagic longline gear 
and the lack of a retention limit per trip, although trip expenses are 
likely to be fairly high. HMS incidental squid trawl permit holders 
would likely experience per vessel ex-vessel revenues well below those 
received by pelagic longline vessels due to the low retention limit per 
trip (15 swordfish) and because these vessels do not target swordfish 
and only catch them incidentally. Swordfish general commercial permit 
holders would likely experience lower than average per-vessel ex-vessel 
revenues, despite higher ex-vessel prices and lower fishing expenses. 
Historically, U.S. fishermen do not often harvest the full North 
Atlantic swordfish quota. In addition, the 2014 proposed quota is the 
same as the 2013 quota for North Atlantic swordfish, therefore there 
are no economic impacts expected due to this proposed rulemaking 
setting the 2014 quota. For South Atlantic swordfish, only directed 
swordfish permit holders can land these fish; therefore, potential 
revenue per vessel is higher than the average for these directed 
swordfish permit holders since the other permit types land no 
swordfish. Additionally, U.S. fishermen rarely catch South Atlantic 
swordfish. Over the past 5 years, only 0.3 mt dw of South Atlantic 
swordfish catch has been reported.
    Because the United States' commercial swordfish fishery is not 
expected to catch its entire quota in 2014, the adjustments to the 
quota and management measures proposed in this rule will not have a 
significant impact on a substantial number of small entities. As a 
result, no initial regulatory flexibility analysis is required, and 
none has been prepared.

List of Subjects in 50 CFR Part 635

    Fisheries, Fishing, Fishing vessels, Foreign relations, Imports, 
Penalties, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements, Treaties.

    Dated: May 9, 2014.
Samuel D. Rauch III,
Deputy Assistant Administrator for Regulatory Programs, National Marine 
Fisheries Service.

    For reasons set out in the preamble, 50 CFR part 635 is proposed to 
be amended as follows:

PART 635--ATLANTIC HIGHLY MIGRATORY SPECIES

0
1. The authority citation for part 635 continues to read as follows:

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

0
2. In Sec.  635.27, paragraph (c)(3)(ii) is revised to read as follows:


Sec.  635.27  Quotas.

* * * * *
    (c) * * *
    (3) * * *
    (ii) If consistent with applicable ICCAT recommendations, total 
landings above or below the specific North Atlantic or South Atlantic 
swordfish annual quota will be subtracted from, or added to, the 
following year's quota for that area. As necessary to meet management 
objectives, such adjustments may be apportioned to fishing categories 
and/or to the reserve. Carryover adjustments for the North Atlantic 
shall be limited to 25 percent of the baseline quota allocation for 
that year. Starting in the 2015 fishing year, carryover adjustments 
shall be limited to 15 percent of the annual baseline quota allocation. 
Carryover adjustments for the South Atlantic shall be limited to 100 mt 
ww (75.2 mt dw) for that year. Any adjustments to the 12-month directed 
fishery quota will be apportioned equally between the two semiannual 
fishing seasons. NMFS will file with the Office of the Federal Register 
for publication any adjustment or apportionment made under this 
paragraph.
* * * * *
[FR Doc. 2014-11052 Filed 5-13-14; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 3510-22-P