Atlantic Highly Migratory Species; Final Amendment 12 to the 2006 Consolidated Atlantic Highly Migratory Species Fishery Management Plan

CourtNational Oceanic And Atmospheric Administration
Citation86 FR 46836
Publication Date20 Aug 2021
Record Number2021-17887
46836
Federal Register / Vol. 86, No. 159 / Friday, August 20, 2021 / Notices
Identify and discuss potential new
data sources
Although non-emergency issues not
contained in this agenda may come
before this group for discussion, those
issues may not be the subject of formal
action during this meeting. Action will
be restricted to those issues specifically
identified in this notice and any issues
arising after publication of this notice
that require emergency action under
section 305(c) of the Magnuson-Stevens
Fishery Conservation and Management
Act, provided the public has been
notified of the intent to take final action
to address the emergency.
Special Accommodations
This meeting is accessible to people
with disabilities. Requests for auxiliary
aids should be directed to the South
Atlantic Fishery Management Council
office (see
ADDRESSES
) at least 5
business days prior to the meeting.
Note: The times and sequence specified in
this agenda are subject to change.
Authority: 16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq.
Dated: August 17, 2021.
Tracey L. Thompson,
Acting Deputy Director, Office of Sustainable
Fisheries, National Marine Fisheries Service.
[FR Doc. 2021–17907 Filed 8–19–21; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 3510–22–P
DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE
National Oceanic and Atmospheric
Administration
[RTID 0648–XA086]
Atlantic Highly Migratory Species;
Final Amendment 12 to the 2006
Consolidated Atlantic Highly Migratory
Species Fishery Management Plan
AGENCY
: National Marine Fisheries
Service (NMFS), National Oceanic and
Atmospheric Administration (NOAA),
Commerce.
ACTION
: Notice of availability of a fishery
management plan amendment.
SUMMARY
: NMFS announces the
availability of Final Amendment 12 to
the 2006 Consolidated Atlantic Highly
Migratory Species (HMS) Fishery
Management Plan (FMP). The Final
Amendment responds to revisions to the
Magnuson-Stevens Fishery
Conservation and Management Act
(Magnuson-Stevens Act) National
Standard (NS) guidelines, a rulemaking
addressing reporting methodologies for
bycatch as defined under the Magnuson-
Stevens Act, and recent NMFS policy
directives which aim to improve and
streamline fishery management
procedures to enhance their utility for
managers and the public. This final
amendment does not include a
proposed rule or regulatory text. Any
operational changes to fishery
management measures as a result of
Final Amendment 12 would be
considered in future rulemakings, as
appropriate.
DATES
: The amendment was approved
on August 16, 2021.
ADDRESSES
: Electronic copies of Final
Amendment 12 to the 2006
Consolidated HMS FMP may be
obtained on the internet at: https://
www.fisheries.noaa.gov/action/
amendment-12-2006-consolidated-hms-
fishery-management-plan-msa-
guidelines-and-national.
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT
:
Sarah McLaughlin, sarah.mclaughlin@
noaa.gov, 978–281–9260, or Karyl
Brewster-Geisz, karyl.brewster-geisz@
noaa.gov, 301–427–8503.
SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION
: Atlantic
HMS fisheries are managed under the
authority of the Atlantic Tunas
Convention Act (ATCA; 16 U.S.C. 971 et
seq.) and the Magnuson-Stevens Act (16
U.S.C. 1801 et seq.). The 2006
Consolidated Atlantic HMS FMP and its
amendments are implemented by
regulations at 50 CFR part 635.
The Magnuson-Stevens Act requires
that any FMP or FMP amendment be
consistent with 10 NSs. In 2016, NMFS
published a final rule revising the
guidelines for NS1, NS3, and NS7 to
improve and clarify the guidance and to
facilitate compliance with requirements
of the Magnuson-Stevens Act to end and
prevent overfishing, rebuild overfished
stocks, and achieve optimum yield (OY)
(81 FR 71858, October 18, 2016). The
final rule on the NS guidelines included
a recommendation that FMP objectives
should be reassessed on a regular basis
to reflect the changing needs of fisheries
over time. Although no time frame was
prescribed, the guidelines indicated that
NMFS should provide notice to the
public of the expected schedule for
review. The final rule also noted that,
for stocks managed under international
agreements, consistent with provisions
in the Magnuson-Stevens Act, NMFS
may decide to use the international
stock status determination criteria (SDC)
defined by the relevant international
body (e.g., the International Commission
for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas
(ICCAT)). Thus, Final Amendment 12
revises some of the objectives contained
in the 2006 Consolidated Atlantic HMS
FMP, and adopts the ICCAT SDC for
ICCAT-managed HMS.
The Magnuson-Stevens Act further
requires that any FMP, with respect to
any fishery, establish standardized
bycatch reporting methodology (SBRM)
to assess the amount and type of
bycatch occurring in a fishery. On
January 19, 2017, NMFS published a
final rule (82 FR 6317) to interpret and
provide guidance on this requirement.
Specifically, the 2017 final rule
indicated that each FMP must identify
the required procedure or procedures
that constitute the SBRM for a fishery
and conduct an analysis that explains
how the SBRM meets the purposes
described at 50 CFR 600.1600. Final
Amendment 12 reviews of SBRMs for
HMS fisheries.
Also in 2017, NMFS issued a
Fisheries Allocation Review Policy
Directive and Procedures (01–119),
which described a mechanism to ensure
that fishery quota allocations are
periodically reviewed and evaluated to
remain relevant to current conditions,
improve transparency, and minimize
conflict for a process that is often
controversial. Final Amendment 12
establishes triggers for review of
allocations of quota-managed HMS.
Finally, the HMS Stock Assessment
and Fishery Evaluation (SAFE) Report is
a public document that provides a
summary of scientific information
concerning the most recent biological
condition of stocks, stock complexes,
and marine ecosystems, essential fish
habitat (EFH), and the social and
economic condition of recreational and
commercial HMS fishing interests,
fishing communities, and the fish
processing industries. NS2 guidelines
specify that SAFE reports summarize,
on a periodic basis, the best scientific
information available concerning the
past, present, and possible future
condition of the stocks, EFH, marine
ecosystems, and fisheries being
managed under Federal regulation. In
2008, NMFS published Amendment 2 to
the 2006 Consolidated HMS FMP
which, among other things, indicated
that publication of the HMS SAFE
Report would occur by the fall of each
year. Final Amendment 12 notifies the
public of modified timing for release of
the HMS SAFE Report to account for
unexpected delays (e.g., data
availability, staff availability, furloughs,
emergencies, etc.).
Final Amendment 12 is consistent
with the revised 2016 NS guidelines, the
2017 SBRM rulemaking, and the 2017
Fisheries Allocation Review Policy
Directive 01–119, along with other
relevant statutes and the 2006
Consolidated Atlantic HMS FMP and its
amendments. There is no final rule or
regulatory text associated with Final
Amendment 12. Quotas or other fishery
management measures will not be
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46837
Federal Register / Vol. 86, No. 159 / Friday, August 20, 2021 / Notices
changed or affected as a result of this
amendment. Any operational changes to
fishery management measures as a
result of Final Amendment 12 would be
considered in future rulemakings, as
appropriate.
On August 25, 2020, NMFS published
a notice of availability of Draft
Amendment 12 (85 FR 52329). Given
that specific changes to fishery
management measures are not proposed
or evaluated in this amendment; NMFS
does not expect any impacts.
Furthermore, no extraordinary
circumstances exist, and the action is
not expected to be controversial. Thus,
NMFS has determined that Final
Amendment 12 would appropriately be
categorically excluded from further
analysis under the National
Environmental Policy Act (NEPA).
NMFS sought public comment on
Draft Amendment 12 through October
26, 2020. Additionally, NMFS
conducted two public hearing
conference calls/webinars for interested
members of the public to submit verbal
comments. NMFS received one written
comment on the Draft Amendment, and
received a number of additional
comments and/or clarifying questions at
the September 2020 Atlantic HMS
Advisory Panel meeting and the two
webinars. In general, commenters
supported the intent of Draft
Amendment 12 to address the 2006
Consolidated HMS FMP objectives, to
adopt international SDC for
internationally managed HMS, to
update SBRM, to adopt triggers for
review of allocations, and to adjust the
publication date of the annual SAFE
Report. Regarding reassessment of HMS
FMP objectives, some commenters
indicated support or opposition to
certain changes, with some suggesting
specific changes to strengthen, broaden,
streamline, keep, or clarify the text,
including for flexibility purposes. See
the response to comments in the
Appendix of Final Amendment 12.
Final Amendment 12 revises 12 of the
16 baseline HMS management
objectives identified in the 2006
Consolidated HMS FMP and adds three
new objectives. For further information
including the full set of revised HMS
FMP objectives, see the Final
Amendment 12 document. Table 1
summarizes the three changes to the
HMS FMP objectives relative to the
revisions NMFS proposed in Draft
Amendment 12, based on public
comment and further consideration.
T
ABLE
1—C
HANGES TO THE
HMS FMP O
BJECTIVES
R
ELATIVE TO THE
R
EVISIONS
NMFS P
ROPOSED IN
D
RAFT
A
MENDMENT
12
Objective # Text of 2006 consolidated HMS FMP
objective Text of revised FMP objective Rationale for revision
14 .................... Optimize the social and economic bene-
fits to the nation by reserving the At-
lantic billfish resource for its traditional
use, which in the United States is en-
tirely a recreational fishery.
Optimize the social and economic bene-
fits to the nation by reserving the At-
lantic billfish resource for its traditional
use, which in the United States is en-
tirely a recreational fishery.
No change.
Although Atlantic billfish are already re-
served for the recreational fishery and
are prohibited from being landed com-
mercially, NMFS has decided to retain
Objective 14 in the HMS FMP to
maintain this important concept in
managing HMS fisheries.
15 .................... Increase understanding of the condition
of HMS stocks and HMS fisheries. Increase understanding of the condition
of Atlantic HMS stocks and fisheries,
including stock status, biological, so-
cial, and economic information, and
how HMS stocks and fisheries interact
with other federally managed fisheries
and species.
Adds text to elaborate on the type of in-
formation that could help with under-
standing Atlantic HMS stocks and
fisheries.
18 .................... Consistent with the other objectives of
this FMP, consider ecosystem-based
effects to support and enhance effec-
tive HMS fishery management.
Consistent with the other objectives of
this FMP, consider ecosystem-based
effects and seek to understand the
impacts of shifts in the environment,
including climate change, on Atlantic
HMS fisheries to support and enhance
effective HMS fishery management.
Adds an objective to consider eco-
system-based effects and shifts in the
environment, including climate
change, in Atlantic HMS fishery man-
agement.
Authority: 16 U.S.C. 971 et seq., and
1801 et seq.
Dated: August 17, 2021.
Kelly Denit,
Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries,
National Marine Fisheries Service.
[FR Doc. 2021–17887 Filed 8–19–21; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 3510–22–P
DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE
National Oceanic and Atmospheric
Administration
[RTID 0648–XB322]
New England Fishery Management
Council; Public Meeting; Cancellation
AGENCY
: National Marine Fisheries
Service (NMFS), National Oceanic and
Atmospheric Administration (NOAA),
Commerce.
ACTION
: Notice of cancellation of a
meeting.
SUMMARY
: The New England Fishery
Management Council (Council) has
cancelled a public meeting of its
Monkfish Committee that was
scheduled for Wednesday, September 1,
2021.
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT
:
Thomas A. Nies, Executive Director,
New England Fishery Management
Council; telephone: (978) 465–0492.
SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION
: The
original meeting notice published in the
Federal Register on Monday, August 16,
2021 (86 FR 45711).
The meeting will be rescheduled at a
later dated and announced in the
Federal Register.
Authority: 16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq.
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