Daily Rules, Proposed Rules, and Notices of the Federal Government
On December 27, 2010, NMFS disapproved Amendment 16-5 to the Pacific Groundfish Fishery Management Plan (FMP) because there was not an adequate National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) document to base a decision on; consequently, the provisions of 16-5 were implemented pursuant to emergency authority under section 305(c) of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (MSA) and can only be effective 365 days and therefore further action is necessary to extend the provisions of the Amendment through 2012. A Secretarial Amendment is necessary before the expiration of the emergency provisions, because the Council at its June 2011 meeting chose not to resubmit Amendment 16-5 and instead deferred to NMFS to take action to develop and adopt the amendment. Therefore NMFS has prepared Secretarial Amendment 1 which is a modified version of Amendment 16-5.
Secretarial Amendment 1 proposes to establish one new rebuilding plan, modify seven existing plans, modify the default proxy values for F
The new rebuilding plan is needed because petrale sole was declared overfished on February 9, 2010. The following groundfish species currently being managed under rebuilding plans which are proposed to be modified by Secretarial Amendment 1 are: Bocaccio in the Monterey and Conception areas; canary rockfish; cowcod south of Point Conception to the U.S. Mexico boundary; darkblotched rockfish, Pacific Ocean Perch (POP), widow rockfish, and yelloweye rockfish. The proposed revisions to these existing rebuilding plans are based on new stock assessments or assessment updates and include revisions to the rebuilding parameters such as rebuilding years, B
The new flatfish harvest control rule is necessary because sufficient information became available to develop more appropriate values of F
Secretarial Amendment 1 would add to the FMP a new harvest control rule referred to as the 25-5 harvest control rule for stocks with a B
Finally, Secretarial Amendment 1 would also move the elements of the rebuilding plans into an appendix and update factual information. This revision is being proposed to provide the public and fishery managers easy access to the current rebuilding plans. Consistent with the existing provisions of the FMP, any changes to rebuilding plans will be available for public comment, be thoroughly reviewed in the Council process and by NMFS and be evaluated through analytical documents prepared by the Council and NMFS.
NMFS welcomes comments on the proposed FMP amendment through the end of the comment period. A proposed rule to implement Secretarial Amendment 1 has been submitted for Secretarial review and approval. NMFS expects to publish and request public review and comment on proposed regulations to implement Secretarial Amendment 1, along with the groundfish specifications and management measures for 2012, in the near future. Public comments on the proposed rule must be received by the end of the comment period on the amendment to be considered in the approval/disapproval decision on the amendment. All comments received by the end of the comment period for the amendment, whether specifically directed to the amendment or the proposed rule, will be considered in the approval/disapproval decision.
16 U.S.C. 1801