Daily Rules, Proposed Rules, and Notices of the Federal Government
On August 2, 2012, NMFS published proposed specifications that are finalized here, and a request for public comments (77 FR 46014). Additional background information on this action is found in the preamble to the proposed specifications, and is not repeated here.
Through this action, NMFS is specifying a quota (annual catch target, ACT) of 325,000 lb of Deep 7 bottomfish in the main Hawaiian Islands (MHI) for the 2012-13 fishing year, based on an annual catch limit (ACL) of 346,000 lb. The MHI Management Subarea is the portion of U.S. Exclusive Economic Zone around the Hawaiian Archipelago lying to the east of 161° 20′ W. longitude. The Deep 7 bottomfish are onaga (
The MHI bottomfish fishing year starts September 1, 2012. NMFS will monitor the fishery, and if the is quota is projected to be reached before August 31, 2013, NMFS will close the non-commercial and commercial fisheries for Deep 7 bottomfish in Federal waters through August 31, 2013. During a fishery closure for Deep 7 bottomfish, no person may fish for, possess, or sell any of these fish in the MHI, except as otherwise authorized by law (specifically, vessels with valid Pacific Remote Island Areas bottomfish fishing permits are not affected by the closure). There is no prohibition on fishing for or selling other non-Deep 7 bottomfish species throughout the year. All other management measures continue to apply in the MHI bottomfish fishery.
The comment period for the proposed specifications ended on August 17, 2012. NMFS received comments and responds as follows:
The Council subsequently (in 2008) developed, and NMFS implemented, the first Hawaii bottomfish quota system. The Federal quota measures complement, but do not duplicate, State restricted area measures. The combined State and Federal bottomfish management programs include a mix of minimum fish sizes, non-commercial bag limits, restricted fishing areas, catch limits, gear restrictions, permits and
The Council may review its management program, as recommended to and implemented by NMFS, to gauge the overall effectiveness in achieving the objectives of the Hawaii fishery ecosystem plan, including whether or not the two programs working in concert are preventing overfishing and achieving optimum yield on a continuing basis. Mindful that the Magnuson-Stevens Act requires that all federally-managed U.S. fisheries be governed under a system of annual catch limits, if the Council finds that other parts of its Federal management program are superfluous in light of existing State measures, or that Federal programs are disadvantaging fishermen, it may recommend changes to the Federal requirements. Any changes to the Federal program would be coordinated with the State of Hawaii.
There are no changes in the final specifications.
The Regional Administrator, NMFS PIR, determined that this action is necessary for the conservation and management of MHI bottomfish, and that it is consistent with the Magnuson-Stevens Act and other applicable laws.
The Chief Counsel for Regulation of the Department of Commerce certified to the Chief Counsel for Advocacy of the Small Business Administration during the proposed specification stage that this action would not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. NMFS published the factual basis for certification in the proposed specifications, and does not repeat it here. NMFS did not receive comments regarding this certification. As a result, a final regulatory flexibility analysis is not required, and none was prepared.
This action is exempt from review under Executive Order 12866.
16 U.S.C. 1801