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75114 Federal Register / Vol. 70, No.

242 / Monday, December 19, 2005 / Proposed Rules

of greater than 5 percent had home ports commercial quota is higher than 2004 notifies the public that the mackerel
in New York and North Carolina. These landings, no overall negative impacts limited access program will now be
revenue losses result from the fact that are expected in the commercial sector. developed in Amendment 11 to the
these two states received quota transfers Based on recent trends in the FMP. While the Council believes that
in 2004 which allowed them to land recreational fishery, recreational this action will result in a slight delay
more than their initial coast wide landings will more than likely remain in the development of a limited access
quotas; however, in the absence of below the recommended harvest level in program for Atlantic mackerel, no other
additional quota from transferring states 2006. A full analysis is available from changes are anticipated.
in 2006 there is the potential for the Council (see ADDRESSES). FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Eric
revenues to decrease compared to 2004. Authority: 16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq. Jay Dolin, Fishery Policy Analyst, 978–
Similar to the other alternatives, the 281–9259; fax 978–281–9135. e-mail:
commercial quota transfer provision Dated: December 13, 2005.
could be utilized to mitigate revenue James W. Balsiger,
losses, the extent to which would be Acting Deputy Assistant Administrator for
Regulatory Programs, National Marine mackerel (Scomber scombrus) is a
dependent on a state’s willingness and
Fisheries Service. migratory species that supports
ability to partake in the transfer.
important recreational and commercial
The impacts of Alternative 3 on [FR Doc. 05–24208 Filed 12–16–05; 8:45 am]
fisheries along the Atlantic coast of the
commercial vessels in the south Atlantic BILLING CODE 3510–22–P
United States and Canada. The Council
area were assessed using trip ticket data.
has considered the possibility of
The analysis concludes that these
DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE limiting entry to the Atlantic mackerel
impacts would result in revenue
reductions associated with allowable fishery for more than a decade. In April
landings of approximately 1.5 percent National Oceanic and Atmospheric 2002, because the Council was
for 819 vessels identified as landing in Administration concerned about rapid expansion of
North Carolina and no revenue harvesting capacity in the fishery,
reductions for vessels landing in 50 CFR Part 648 possible overcapitalization, and the fact
Florida. that nearly 5 years had passed since the
[I.D. 022505B]
For the recreational sector of the most recent control date for the fishery
fishery, there were no negative revenue Fisheries of the Northeastern United was established, the Council requested
impacts projected to occur with regard States; Atlantic Mackerel, Squid, and that a new control date for the Atlantic
to the recommended recreational Butterfish Fisheries; Amendment 11 mackerel fishery be established. As a
harvest limits because this level would Atlantic Mackerel Limited Access result, NMFS published an advance
be close to the recreational landings in Program notice of proposed rulemaking (ANPR)
2004 (15.146 million lb (6,870 mt)), and on July 5, 2002 (67 FR 44792), which
well above the 5-year average (2000– AGENCY: National Marine Fisheries established that date as the new control
2004) of 12.698 million lb (5,760 mt). Service (NMFS), National Oceanic and date for the Atlantic mackerel fishery.
The recommended recreational harvest Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), The ANPR was intended to discourage
limit represents the second lowest Commerce. speculative entry into the fishery while
harvest level when compared with the ACTION: Supplemental notice of intent. potential management regimes to
two other alternatives, exceeding the control access into the fishery were
average recreational landings over the SUMMARY: On March 4, 2005, the Mid- considered by the Council, and to help
past 5 years by approximately 15 Atlantic Fishery Management Council the Council distinguish established
percent. Given recent trends in bluefish (Council), in cooperation with NMFS, participants from speculative entrants to
recreational landings, the analysis announced its intent to prepare a the fishery, should such a program be
concludes that landings would remain programmatic supplemental developed.
lower than the proposed recreational environmental impact statement (SEIS) On March 4, 2005 (70 FR 10605), the
harvest limit. The recreational fishery and Amendment 9 to the Atlantic Council published a notice of intent to
impacts are expected to be similar for Mackerel, Squid, and Butterfish Fishery prepare an SEIS to consider impacts of
Alternatives 2 and 3, compared to the Management Plan (FMP). As a result of alternatives for limiting access to the
recommended measures under that notice, the Council received public Atlantic mackerel fishery. The Council
Alternative 1. Although there is very comment on the issue of whether or not subsequently conducted scoping
little empirical evidence regarding the to consider measures to control or limit meetings on the development of a
sensitivity of charter/party anglers to future access to the Atlantic mackerel limited access program for Atlantic
regulation, it is anticipated that the fishery in Amendment 9. Based on mackerel, which the Council planned to
proposed harvest levels will not affect public comment received during that include in Amendment 9 to the FMP.
the demand for charter/party boat trips. scoping comment period, the Council The first scoping meeting was held on
The Council also analyzed the notified the public in a subsequent March 17, 2005, in Kill Devil Hills, NC,
impacts on revenues of the proposed notice on June 9, 2005, of its intention and the second meeting was held on
RSA amount and found that the social to move the consideration of the March 28, 2005, in Newport, RI.
and economic impacts are minimal. development of a limited access However, because the Council decided
Assuming that the full RSA of 363,677 program for mackerel to Amendment 10 to complete and submit for review by
lb (164,961 kg) is landed and sold to to the FMP. Since then, the Council has the Secretary of Commerce several other
support the proposed research project (a been notified that it must develop a measures in Amendment 9 that were
supplemental finfish survey in the Mid- stock rebuilding program for butterfish further along in their development than
Atlantic) then all of the participants in as a result of that stock being designated the mackerel limited access program,
the fishery would benefit from the as overfished. Consequently, the Council voted on May 4, 2005, to
anticipated improvements in the data Amendment 10 will now include a plan complete Amendment 9 without a
underlying the stock assessments. to rebuild the overfished butterfish limited access program for the Atlantic
Because the recommended overall stock. As a result, the Council hereby mackerel fishery, and to pursue the

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Federal Register / Vol. 70, No. 242 / Monday, December 19, 2005 / Proposed Rules 75115

Atlantic mackerel limited access DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE • Fax: 206–526–4646, Attn: Jamie
program in Amendment 10 to the FMP. Goen.
NMFS informed the public of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric • Mail: D. Robert Lohn,
Council’s decision in a subsequent Administration Administrator, Northwest Region,
notice on June 9, 2005 (70 FR 33728). NMFS, Attn: Jamie Goen, 7600 Sand
50 CFR Part 660 Point Way NE, Seattle, WA 98115–0070.
Since then, the Council has been
notified that it must develop a stock FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:
[Docket No. 051014263–5330–02; I.D.
rebuilding program for butterfish as a 120805A] Jamie Goen (Northwest Region, NMFS),
result of that stock being designated as phone: 206–526–6140; fax: 206–526–
overfished. The Council was also RIN 0648–AU00 6736; and e-mail: jamie.goen@noaa.gov.
informed that the stock rebuilding SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:
Fisheries Off West Coast States and in
program for butterfish must be the Western Pacific; Pacific Coast Electronic Access
developed in an amendment to the FMP Groundfish Fishery; Specifications and This Federal Register document is
rather than in a framework adjustment Management Measures available on the Government Printing
as the Council had originally intended.
AGENCY: National Marine Fisheries Office’s website at: www.gpoaccess.gov/
Consequently, Amendment 10 will now fr/index.html.
include a plan to rebuild the overfished Service (NMFS), National Oceanic and
Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Background information and
butterfish stock. The Council has documents are available at the NMFS
concluded that Amendment 10 will Commerce.
Northwest Region website at:
require only an Environmental ACTION: Proposed rule; request for
Assessment under the requirements of comments. gdfsh01.htm and at the Pacific Council′s
the National Environmental Policy Act website at: www.pcouncil.org.
SUMMARY: NMFS proposes a rule to
(NEPA). As a result, the Council hereby implement revisions to the 2006
notifies the public that the mackerel Background
commercial and recreational groundfish
limited access program will now be fishery management measures for The Pacific Coast Groundfish FMP
developed in Amendment 11 to the groundfish taken in the U.S. exclusive and its implementing regulations at title
FMP. Other than the sequencing of the economic zone (EEZ) off the coasts of 50 in the Code of Federal Regulations
amendments to this FMP and a slight Washington, Oregon, and California. (CFR), part 660, subpart G, regulate
time delay, the Council anticipates that Proposed management measures that are fishing for over 80 species of groundfish
the development of the limited access new for 2006 are intended to: achieve off the coasts of Washington, Oregon,
program for mackerel will proceed as but not exceed optimum yields (OYs); and California. Groundfish
described in previous notices to the prevent overfishing; rebuild overfished specifications and management
public. The public will have the species; and reduce and minimize the measures are developed by the Pacific
opportunity to comment on the bycatch and discard of overfished and Council, and are implemented by
measures and alternatives being depleted stocks. NMFS additionally NMFS. The specifications and
proposes to revise the 2006 management measures for 2005–2006
considered by the Council for
darkblotched rockfish OY, at the request were codified in the CFR (50 CFR part
Amendment 11 through public meetings
of the Pacific Fishery Management 660, subpart G). They were published in
and public comment periods required the Federal Register as a proposed rule
by NEPA, the Magnuson-Stevens Council (Pacific Council), and under the
authority of the Magnuson-Stevens on September 21, 2004 (69 FR 56550),
Fishery Conservation and Management and as a final rule on December 23, 2004
Act, and the Administrative Procedure Fishery Conservation and Management
Act (Magnuson-Stevens Act). These (69 FR 77012). The final rule was
Act. This notification also reminds the subsequently amended on March 18,
public that interested participants actions, which are authorized by the
Pacific Coast Groundfish Fishery 2005 (70 FR 13118); March 30, 2005 (70
should locate and preserve records that FR 16145); April 19, 2005 (70 FR
substantiate and verify their Management Plan (FMP) and the
Magnuson-Stevens Act, are intended 20304); May 3, 2005 (70 FR 22808); May
participation in the Atlantic mackerel 4, 2005 (70 FR 23040); May 5, 2005 (70
allow fisheries to access more abundant
fishery in Federal waters. FR 23804); May 16, 2005 (70 FR 25789);
groundfish stocks while protecting
Authority: 16 U.S.C. 1801 et. seq. overfished and depleted stocks. Finally, May 19, 2005 (70 FR 28852); July 5,
NMFS announces with this Federal 2005 (70 FR 38596); August 22, 2005 (70
Dated: December 13, 2005. FR 48897); August 31, 2005 (70 FR
Register document that the coastwide
Alan D. Risenhoover, 51682); October 5, 2005 (70 FR 58066);
lingcod stock is no longer considered
Acting Director, Office of Sustainable overfished and is fully rebuilt. October 20, 2005 (70 FR 61063); October
Fisheries, National Marine Fisheries Service. 24, 2005 (70 FR 61393); and November
DATES: Comments on this proposed rule
[FR Doc. 05–24206 Filed 12–16–05; 8:45 am] 1, 2005 (70 FR 65861).
will be accepted through January 15, Acceptable biological catches (ABCs)
2006. and OYs are established for each year.
ADDRESSES: You may submit comments, Management measures are established at
identified by I.D. 120805A by any of the the start of the biennial period, and are
following methods: adjusted throughout the biennial
• E-mail: management period, to keep harvest
GroundfishInseason6.nwr@noaa.gov. within the OYs. At the Pacific Council′s
Include the I.D. number 120805A in the October 31 - November 4, 2005, meeting
subject line of the message. in San Diego, CA, the Pacific Council′s
• Federal eRulemaking Portal: http:// Groundfish Management Team (GMT)
www.regulations.gov. Follow the considered 2005 catch data and new
instructions for submitting comments. West Coast Groundfish Observer

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