[Federal Register Volume 78, Number 42 (Monday, March 4, 2013)]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2013-04918]
DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
50 CFR Part 622
Fisheries of the Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico, and South Atlantic;
Shrimp Fishery Off the Southern Atlantic States; Amendment 9
AGENCY: National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), National Oceanic and
Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Commerce.
ACTION: Notice of availability; request for comments.
SUMMARY: The South Atlantic Fishery Management Council (Council) has
submitted Amendment 9 (Amendment 9) to the Fishery Management Plan for
the Shrimp Fishery of the South Atlantic Region (FMP) for review,
approval, and implementation by NMFS. Amendment 9 would revise the
criteria and procedures by which South Atlantic states may request a
concurrent closure of the penaeid shrimp (brown, pink, and white
shrimp) commercial sector in the exclusive economic zone (EEZ) in order
to protect overwintering white shrimp. Amendment 9 would also update
the current overfished and overfishing status determination criteria
for pink shrimp.
DATES: Written comments must be received on or before May 3, 2013.
ADDRESSES: You may submit comments on the amendment identified by
``NOAA-NMFS-2012-0227'' by any of the following methods:
Electronic submissions: Submit electronic comments via the
Federal e-Rulemaking Portal: http://www.regulations.gov. Follow the
instructions for submitting comments.
Mail: Kate Michie, Southeast Regional Office, NMFS, 263
13th Avenue South, St. Petersburg, FL 33701.
Instructions: All comments received are a part of the public record
and will generally be posted to http://www.regulations.gov without
change. All Personal Identifying Information (for example, name,
address, etc.) voluntarily submitted by the commenter may be publicly
accessible. Do not submit Confidential Business Information or
otherwise sensitive or protected information.
To submit comments through the Federal e-Rulemaking Portal: http://www.regulations.gov, enter ``NOAA-NMFS-2012-0227'' in the search field
and click on ``search''. After you located the notice of availability,
click on ``Submit a Comment'' link in that row. This will display the
comment Web form. You can enter your submitter information (unless you
prefer to remain anonymous), and type your comment on the Web form. You
can also attach additional files (up to 10 MB) in Microsoft Word,
Excel, WordPerfect, or Adobe PDF file formats only.
Comments received through means not specified in this rule will not
For further assistance with submitting a comment, see the
``Commenting'' section at http://www.regulations.gov/#!faqs or the Help
section at http://www.regulations.gov.
Electronic copies of Amendment 9 may be obtained from the Southeast
Regional Office Web site at http://sero.nmfs.noaa.gov. Amendment 9
includes a Regulatory Impact Review and a Fishery Impact Statement.
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Kate Michie, telephone: 727-824-5305,
or email: Kate.Michie@noaa.gov.
SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation
and Management Act (Magnuson-Stevens Act) requires each regional
fishery management council to submit any fishery management plan or
amendment to NMFS for review and approval, partial approval, or
disapproval. The Magnuson-Stevens Act also requires that NMFS, upon
receiving a plan or amendment, publish an announcement in the Federal
Register notifying the public that the plan or amendment is available
for review and comment.
The penaeid shrimp fishery of the South Atlantic is managed under
FMP. The FMP was prepared by the Council and is implemented through
regulations at 50 CFR part 622 under the authority of the Magnuson-
Currently, a South Atlantic state may close its state waters to
trawling by the penaeid shrimp commercial sector following severe
winter weather to protect the spawning stock of white shrimp that has
been depleted by cold weather conditions. The existing process to
concurrently close the adjacent EEZ can be lengthy because it requires
a review of a state's request and accompanying shrimp abundance data by
both the Council and the Council's Shrimp Review Panel before the NMFS
Regional Administrator (RA) can make a determination as to whether or
not a concurrent closure of Federal waters is warranted.
Amendment 9 would revise the criteria and procedures by which a
South Atlantic state may request a concurrent closure of the penaeid
shrimp commercial sector in the EEZ in order to protect overwintering
white shrimp. Amendment 9 would also update the current overfished
status determination criteria for pink shrimp.
Criteria Used To Trigger a State's Ability To Request a Concurrent
Closure of the EEZ to Penaeid Shrimp Commercial Harvest
Amendment 9 would revise the criteria that must be met for a state
to request NMFS to close the commercial penaeid shrimp harvest in the
EEZ, following severe winter weather and a closure of state waters.
Amendment 9 would require that a state must demonstrate either at least
an 80-percent reduction in the population of overwintering white shrimp
or that water temperatures were 9 [deg]C (48[emsp14][deg]F) or less,
for at least one week (7 days). Additional details regarding the
sampling methods a state may use for these determinations may be found
in Amendment 9 and the FMP.
Process for a State To Request a Concurrent Closure of the EEZ to
Penaeid Shrimp Commercial Harvest
Amendment 9 would also revise and streamline the procedures for a
state to request a closure of the penaeid shrimp commercial sector in
the EEZ concurrent with a closure in state waters. Under the current
procedures, a state may request a concurrent closure of penaeid shrimp
harvest in the EEZ once a state has determined that specific conditions
have been met. Following that determination, the state sends a request
to the Council, then the Council convenes its Shrimp Review Panel to
review the state's request. If the review panel's recommendation is
affirmative, the panel forwards its recommendation to the Council. If
the Council approves the state's request, they send a letter to NMFS to
request a concurrent closure of penaeid shrimp harvest in the EEZ
waters adjacent to the requesting state. Once NMFS has determined the
recommended closure is in accordance with the procedures and criteria
specified in the FMP and the Magnuson-Stevens Act, NMFS implements the
closure through a notification (temporary rule) in the Federal
The revised procedures would allow a state to send its request with
its supporting documentation for a concurrent closure of the EEZ to
penaeid shrimp commercial harvest directly to NMFS. The RA would review
the available information and confirm that the criteria and procedures
are in accordance with the FMP and the Magnuson-Stevens Act before
implementing a concurrent closure.
Overfished and Overfishing Status Determination Criteria for Pink
Amendment 9 would update the overfished and overfishing status
determination criteria (biomass at maximum sustainable yield
(BMSY)) proxy for pink shrimp based on recent catch per unit
effort (CPUE) data for the stock. Specifically, Amendment 9 would
revise the BMSY proxy for pink shrimp using the lowest CPUE
value from the Southeast Area Monitoring and Assessment Program during
the period 1990-2011 (0.089 individuals per hectare).
The Council has submitted Amendment 9 for Secretarial review,
approval, and implementation. NMFS' decision to approve, partially
approve, or disapprove Amendment 9 will be based, in part, on
consideration of comments, recommendations, and information received
during the comment period on this notice of availability. After
consideration of these factors, and consistent with the Magnuson-
Stevens Act and other applicable law, NMFS will publish a notice of
agency action in the Federal Register announcing the Agency's decision
to approve, partially approve, or disapprove Amendment 9, and the
Proposed Rule for Amendment 9
A proposed rule that would implement Amendment 9 has been drafted.
In accordance with the Magnuson-Stevens Act, NMFS is evaluating the
proposed rule to determine whether it is consistent with the FMP, the
Magnuson-Stevens Act, and other applicable law. If that determination
is affirmative, NMFS will publish the proposed rule in the Federal
Register for public review and comment.
Consideration of Public Comments
Comments received by May 3, 2013, whether specifically directed to
the amendment or the proposed rule, will be considered by NMFS in its
decision to approve, disapprove, or partially approve the amendment.
Comments received after that date will not be considered by NMFS in
All comments received by NMFS on the amendment or the proposed rule
during their respective comment periods will be addressed in the final
Authority: 16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq.
Dated: February 27, 2013.
Acting Deputy Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National
Marine Fisheries Service.
[FR Doc. 2013-04918 Filed 3-1-13; 8:45 am]
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