[Federal Register Volume 79, Number 152 (Thursday, August 7, 2014)]
[Proposed Rules]
[Pages 46214-46217]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2014-18677]


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DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

50 CFR Part 600

[Docket No. 130904784-4633-01]
RIN 0648-BD67


Fisheries Off West Coast States; List of Authorized Fisheries and 
Gear

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

ACTION: Proposed rule; request for comments.

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SUMMARY: Through this action, NOAA proposes to update the Federal list 
of authorized fisheries and gear issued under section 305(a) of the 
Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (``List of 
Fisheries''). The List of Fisheries includes a description of fisheries 
that operate in the U.S. West Coast Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ), the 
Pacific Fishery Management Council's (Council's) geographic area of 
authority. This action is necessary because the current list is 
outdated and either includes several fisheries that no longer occur, or 
does not include fisheries that do occur, within the U.S. West Coast 
EEZ. The intended effect of this rule is to bring the list up to date 
with current West Coast fisheries and fishery management plans (FMPs).

DATES: Comments on this proposed rule must be received on or before 
September 8, 2014.

ADDRESSES: You may submit comments on this document, identified by 
NOAA-NMFS-2014-0069, 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-2014-0069, click the 
``Comment Now!'' icon, complete the required fields, and enter or 
attach your comments.
     Mail: Submit written comments to William W. Stelle, Jr., 
Regional Administrator, West Coast Region, NMFS, 7600 Sand Point Way 
NE., Seattle, WA 98115-0070; Attn: Yvonne deReynier.
    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: Yvonne deReynier, 206-526-6129; (fax) 
206-526-6736; Yvonne.deReynier@noaa.gov. Joshua Lindsay, 562-980-4034; 
562-980-4047; Joshua.Lindsay@noaa.gov.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Section 305(a) of the Magnuson-Stevens 
Fishery Conservation and Management Act (MSA) requires that the 
Secretary of Commerce maintain a list of all fisheries operating in the 
U.S. EEZ and all fishing gear used in such fisheries (16 U.S.C. 
1855(a)). This section of the MSA further prohibits any person or 
vessel from employing fishing gear or engaging in a fishery not 
included on the List of Fisheries ``without giving 90 days advance 
written notice to the appropriate Council.'' Fishery management 
councils are authorized to submit changes to the list to the Secretary 
of Commerce as each council deems appropriate, after which the 
Secretary must publish a revised list after providing notice of the 
changes to the public and after providing an opportunity for public 
comment on those changes (16 U.S.C. 1855(a)(4)). These requirements 
became part of the MSA with the enactment of the 1996 Sustainable 
Fisheries Act and are implemented in Federal regulation at 50 CFR 
600.725(v) and Sec.  600.747. The regional lists in 50 CFR 600.725(v) 
include not just fisheries that are managed under Federal fishery 
management plans (FMPs), but also state-managed fisheries that may 
occur within the Federal waters.
    From 2010-2013, the Council and its advisory bodies worked on a new 
Fishery Ecosystem Plan (FEP), which the Council finalized in April 
2013. During its FEP discussions, the Council reviewed all of the 
fisheries occurring within the West Coast EEZ and determined that it 
needed to closely review and update the List of Fisheries at 50 CFR 
600.725(v), Section VI, which lists fisheries that occur within the 
U.S. West Coast EEZ. The Council has not updated its section of the 
list since 1999 (64 FR 40781, July 28, 1999). At its September 2013 
meeting, the Council finalized recommendations to NMFS for updating its 
section of the List of Fisheries to ensure that it accurately reflects 
gear currently used in West Coast fisheries. On October 1, 2013, the 
Council transmitted its recommended revisions to the List of Fisheries 
to NMFS. With this notice, NMFS proposes to amend Federal regulations 
in accordance with the Council's recommendations, with no additional 
changes or edits.
    The changes to the List of Fisheries proposed via this action 
primarily reflect the Council's 1997 conversion and expansion of the 
Northern Anchovy FMP to a Coastal Pelagic Species FMP and 2003 adoption 
of a Highly Migratory Species FMP, both of which shifted several 
species from state to

[[Page 46215]]

Federal management. Proposed revisions to the List of Fisheries would 
provide more accurate detail on the types of gears used in the listed 
fisheries, and would remove Pacific saury (Cololabis saira) from the 
list of species expected to be fished in the West Coast EEZ. There have 
been no commercial landings of Pacific saury since 1980. The proposed 
revisions to the List of Fisheries are not expected to exclude any 
currently operating fisheries. NMFS welcomes comments on the accuracy 
and currency of list revisions proposed by this action.
    While reviewing and developing recommendations to revise the List 
of Fisheries for the U.S. West Coast EEZ, the Council necessarily took 
a close look at NMFS regulations explaining the entire MSA process at 
Sec.  305(a). Of particular interest to the Council was the question of 
restricting new fisheries that could ``compromise the effectiveness of 
conservation and management efforts under [the MSA]'' (16 U.S.C. 
1855(a)(5)). The Council expressed interest in continuing to allow for 
innovation in the development of new fisheries within the EEZ, yet also 
wanted to ensure that new fisheries could not compromise the Council's 
ongoing fishery conservation and management efforts. To balance these 
interests, the Council outlined a process in the FEP Appendix for 
persons wishing to develop new fisheries to follow so that the Council 
would receive timely needed scientific information on those potential 
fisheries. That process, in the FEP's Appendix at Section A.1.1, 
recommends that U.S. citizens wishing to initiate new fisheries not on 
the List of Fisheries should approach the Council with an application 
for an Exempted Fishing Permit (EFP) and a science plan for that EFP, 
describing the data to be collected by the EFP fishery and the likely 
analyses needed to assess the potential effects of converting the 
fishery to an FMP fishery. This EFP application process is similar to 
processes the Council uses to allow fisheries participants to explore 
new gear types and configurations within existing fisheries. In 
assessing whether a new fishery could compromise existing Council 
conservation and management efforts, the Council intends to look at the 
effects of the fishery on: Any Council-managed species; species that 
are the prey of any Council-managed species, marine mammal species, 
seabird species, sea turtle species, or other species listed under the 
Endangered Species Act (ESA); habitat identified as essential fish 
habitat or otherwise protected under one of the Council's FMPs, 
critical habitat identified or protected under the ESA, or habitat 
protected by state or tribal management programs; species subject to 
state or tribal management within 0-3 nautical miles offshore of 
Washington, Oregon, or California; or, species that migrate beyond the 
U.S. EEZ. The FEP Appendix and its EFP process provide an expression of 
the Council's intent, but do not compel or bind the Council or the 
public beyond what is already required by the MSA and federal 
regulations. Therefore, this notice does not seek public comment on the 
FEP or its Appendix.

Classification

    Pursuant to section 304(b)(1)(A) of the MSA, the NMFS Assistant 
Administrator has determined that this proposed rule is consistent with 
the four PFMC FMPs, other provisions of the MSA, 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.
    The Chief Counsel for Regulation of the Department of Commerce 
certified to the Chief Counsel 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.
    The MSA requires the Secretary of Commerce to maintain a list of 
all fisheries under the authority of each fishery management council 
and all fishing gear used in such fisheries (16 U.S.C. 1855(a)). The 
Magnuson-Stevens Act also prohibits the use of any gear or the 
participation in a fishery not on the List of Fisheries without advance 
notice to the appropriate fishery management council (see 50 CFR 
600.725(v) and 600.747). Section VI of the List of Fisheries at 50 CFR 
600.725(v) lists fisheries that occur within the U.S. West Coast EEZ, 
the Pacific Fishery Management Council's (Council's) geographic area of 
authority. The Council has not updated its section of the list since 
1999 (64 FR 40781, July 28, 1999.)
    This proposed rule would implement the Council's recommendations 
that NMFS update its section of the List of Fisheries to properly 
represent current fisheries and gear authorized for use within the 
Council's geographic area of authority. The intent of this action is to 
update the List of Fisheries, so that the Council could ensure that it 
would be notified if anyone were interested in pursuing a new fishery 
for a currently unexploited species. Under this action, the list would 
more narrowly describe all existing fisheries; fisheries that no longer 
exist will be removed, but every fisherman fishing today would be 
covered by the list. In the future, any new fishery may commence after 
the fisherman gives the Council at least 90 days' advance notice 
(unless NMFS undertakes a regulatory process to restrict the proposed 
fishery).
    The Small Business Administration (SBA) has established size 
standards for all major industry sectors in the U.S. including 
commercial finfish harvesters (NAICS code 114111), commercial shellfish 
harvesters (NAICS code 114112), other commercial marine harvesters 
(NAICS code 114119), for-hire businesses (NAICS code 487210), marinas 
(NAICS code 713930), seafood dealers/wholesalers (NAICS code 424460), 
and seafood processors (NAICS code 311710). A business primarily 
involved in finfish harvesting is 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 $20.5 million for all its affiliated operations 
worldwide. For commercial shellfish harvesters, the other qualifiers 
apply and the receipts threshold is $5.5 million. For other commercial 
marine harvesters, for-hire businesses, and marinas, the other 
qualifiers apply and the receipts threshold is $7.5 million. A business 
primarily involved in seafood processing is 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 employment not in excess of 500 employees for all its affiliated 
operations worldwide. For seafood dealers/wholesalers, the other 
qualifiers apply and the employment threshold is 100 employees.
    No business, small or large, would be affected by this rule. The 
proposed action is not expected to have any direct or indirect 
socioeconomic impacts because it would not require fishery participants 
or fishing communities to alter how they operate in the fisheries, nor 
would it change who is permitted to participate in West Coast 
fisheries, nor would it alter available harvest levels for any West 
Coast species. Because no business would be affected by this rule, the 
issue of disproportionality, under which we consider whether the 
regulation would place a substantial number of small entities at a 
significant competitive disadvantage to larger entities, does not 
arise. Because the rule would not affect the profits, either positively 
or negatively, of any entity, the potential for the regulations to

[[Page 46216]]

reduce the profits of any small entities also does not arise.
    A small organization is any not-for-profit enterprise which is 
independently owned and operated and is not dominant in its field. No 
nonprofit organization, small or large, is addressed or affected by 
this proposed rule. Small governmental jurisdictions are governments of 
cities, counties, towns, townships, villages, school districts, or 
special districts, with populations less than 50,000. This proposed 
rule does not address and would also not affect any small governmental 
jurisdictions.
    This action is expected to have minor, if any, effects on regulated 
entities. All known fisheries are included on the updated List of 
Fisheries and NMFS does not know of any new fisheries that are likely 
to commence in the foreseeable future. Should a fisherman wish to start 
a new fishery in the future, the minor effects expected from this rule 
would be that the fisherman would be required by the MSA to notify the 
Council of his intent to begin fishing. This action does not contain 
any reporting, record keeping, or any other compliance requirements for 
either small or large entities. No duplicative, overlapping, or 
conflicting federal rules have been identified.
    Based on the disproportionality and profitability analysis above, 
this rule, if adopted, will not have a significant economic impact on a 
substantial number of these small entities. As a result, an initial 
regulatory flexibility analysis is not required and none has been 
prepared.
    This proposed rule was developed after meaningful collaboration, 
through the Council process, with the tribal representative on the 
Council. NMFS is not aware of any Treaty Indian tribe or subsistence 
fisheries in the EEZ other than those listed in Sec.  600.725(v). This 
action does not supersede or otherwise affect exemptions that exist for 
Treaty Indian fisheries.

List of Subjects in 50 CFR Part 600

    Administrative practice and procedure, Fisheries, Fishing vessels, 
Marine resources.

    Dated: August 1, 2014.
Samuel D. Rauch III,
Deputy Assistant Administrator for Regulatory Programs, National Marine 
Fisheries Service.

    For the reasons discussed in the preamble, 50 CFR part 600 is 
proposed to be amended as follows:

PART 600--MAGNUSON-STEVENS ACT PROVISIONS

0
1. The authority citation for part 600 continues to read as follows:

    Authority: 5 U.S.C. 561 and 16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq.

0
2. In Sec.  600.725, in paragraph (v), Section VI of the table is 
revised to read as follows:


Sec.  600.725  General prohibitions.

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    (v) * * *

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                Fishery                       Authorized gear types
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                 VI. Pacific Fishery Management Council
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1. Pacific Coast Salmon Fisheries
 (FMP):
A. Commercial..........................  A. Hook and line.
B. Recreational........................  B. Hook and line.
2. Pacific Coast Groundfish Fisheries
 (FMP):
A. Commercial..........................  A. Trawl, hook and line, pot/
                                          trap, demersal seine, set net,
                                          spear, and hand collection.
B. Recreational........................  B. Hook and line, spear.
3. Coastal Pelagic Species Fisheries
 (FMP):
A. Commercial..........................  A. Purse seine, lampara net,
                                          brail net, dip net, cast net,
                                          hook and line.
B. Recreational........................  B. Hook and line, spear, pot/
                                          trap, dip net, cast net, hand
                                          harvest, rake, harpoon, bow
                                          and arrow.
4. Highly Migratory Species Fisheries
 (FMP):
A. Commercial..........................  A. Hook and line, gillnet,
                                          harpoon, purse seine.
B. Recreational........................  B. Hook and line, spear,
                                          harpoon, bow and arrow.
5. Pacific Halibut Fisheries (Non-FMP):
A. Commercial..........................  A. Hook and line.
B. Recreational........................  B. Hook and line, spear.
6. Dungeness Crab Fisheries (Non-FMP):
A. Commercial..........................  A. Pot/trap.
B. Recreational North of 46[deg]15' N.   B. Pot/trap, dip net, hand
 lat.                                     harvest.
C. Recreational South of 46[deg]15' N.   C. Pot/trap, hook and line, dip
 lat. and North of 42[deg] N. lat.        net, hand harvest, rake, crab
                                          loop.
D. Recreational South of 42[deg] N. lat  D. Pot/trap, hand harvest, hoop
                                          net, crab loop.
7. Crab Fisheries for Species other
 than Dungeness crab (Non-FMP):
A. Commercial Pot/Trap Fisheries South   A. Pot/trap.
 of 46[deg]15' N. lat.
B. Recreational North of 46[deg]15' N.   B. Pot/trap, dip net, hand
 lat.                                     harvest.
C. Recreational South of 46[deg]15' N.   C. Pot/trap, hook and line, dip
 lat. and North of 42[deg] N. lat.        net, hand harvest, rake, crab
                                          loop.
D. Recreational South of 42[deg] N. lat  D. Pot/trap, hand harvest, hoop
                                          net, crab loop.
8. Shrimp and Prawn Fisheries (Non-
 FMP):
A. Commercial spot prawn...............  A. Pot/trap.
B. Commercial pink shrimp North of       B. Trawl.
 46[deg]15' N. lat.
C. Commercial pink shrimp South of       C. Pot/trap, trawl.
 46[deg]15' N. lat.
D. Commercial coonstripe shrimp South    D. Pot/trap.
 of 46[deg]15' N. lat.
E. Commercial ridgeback prawn South of   E. Trawl.
 42[deg] N. lat.
F. Recreational North of 46[deg]15' N.   F. Pot/trap, dip net, hand
 lat.                                     harvest.
G. Recreational South of 46[deg]15' N.   G. Pot/trap, hook and line, dip
 lat. and North of 42[deg] N. lat.        net, hand harvest, rake.
H. Recreational South of 42[deg] N. lat  H. Pot/trap, hand harvest, dip
                                          net.
9. Hagfish Commercial Fisheries (Non-    Pot/trap.
 FMP).

[[Page 46217]]

 
10. Squid, all spp. except market squid
 or not otherwise prohibited, and
 Octopus Fisheries (Non-FMP):
A. Commercial..........................  A. Hook and line, pot/trap, dip
                                          net, seine, trawl, set net,
                                          spear, hand harvest.
B. Recreational Squid North of 42[deg]   B. Hook and line, cast net, dip
 N. lat.                                  net, hand harvest.
C. Recreational Octopus North of         C. Hook and line, pot/trap, dip
 42[deg] N. lat.                          net, hand harvest.
D. Recreational South of 42[deg] N. lat  D. Hook and line, dip net, hand
                                          harvest.
11. White Sturgeon Fisheries (Non-FMP):
A. Commercial South of 46[deg]15' N.     A. Trawl, pot/trap, hook and
 lat. and North of 42[deg] N. lat.        line, seine, dip net, spear.
B. Recreational North of 42[deg] N. lat  B. Hook and line.
C. Recreational South of 42[deg] N. lat  C. Hook and line, spear.
12. Sea Cucumber Fishery (Non-FMP):
A. Commercial hand harvest fishery       A. Hand harvest.
 South of 46[deg]15' N. lat.
B. Commercial trawl South of 42[deg] N.  B. Trawl.
 lat.
13. Minor Finfish Commercial Fisheries   Trawl, pot/trap, hook and line,
 South of 46[deg]15' N. lat. and North    seine, dipnet, spear.
 of 42[deg] N. lat. for: Salmon shark,
 Pacific pomfret, slender sole, wolf-
 eel, eelpout species, Pacific
 sandfish, skilfish, and walleye
 pollock Fisheries (Non-FMP).
14. Weathervane Scallop Commercial       Trawl.
 Fishery South of 46[deg]15' N. lat.
 and North of 42[deg] N. lat. (Non-FMP).
15. California Halibut, White Seabass
 Commercial Fisheries South of 42[deg]
 N. lat. (Non-FMP):
A. California halibut trawl............  A. Trawl.
B. California halibut and white seabass  B. Gillnet, trammel net.
 set net.
C. California halibut hook and line....  C. Hook and line.
D. White seabass hook and line.........  D. Hook and line.
16. California Barracuda, White          Gillnet.
 Seabass, and Yellowtail Drift-Net
 Commercial Fishery South of 42[deg] N.
 lat. (Non-FMP).
17. Pacific Bonito Commercial Net        Purse seine.
 Fishery South of 42[deg] N. lat. (Non-
 FMP).
18. Lobster Commercial Pot and Trap      Pot/trap.
 Fishery South of 42[deg] N. lat. (Non-
 FMP).
19. Finfish and Invertebrate Fisheries
 Not Listed Above and Not Otherwise
 Prohibited (Non-FMP):
A. Commercial South of 46[deg]15' N.     A. Hook and line, pot/trap,
 lat.                                     spear.
B. Recreational........................  B. Hook and line, spear, pot/
                                          trap, dip net, cast net, hand
                                          harvest, rake, harpoon, bow
                                          and arrow.
 
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[FR Doc. 2014-18677 Filed 8-6-14; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 3510-22-P