FR Notice – WCPFC CMM 2017-01 WCPO restrictions for US Purse Seine and US Longline Vessels (July 18, 2018)

AGENCY: National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Commerce.

ACTION: Final rule.

SUMMARY: Under authority of the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Convention Implementation Act (WCPFC Implementation Act), NMFS issues this final rule that establishes limits on fishing effort by U.S. purse seine vessels in the U.S. exclusive economic zone and on the high seas between the latitudes of 20° N and 20° S in the area of application of the Convention on the Conservation and Management of Highly Migratory Fish Stocks in the Western and Central Pacific Ocean (Convention); restrictions regarding the use of fish aggregating devices (FADs) for U.S. purse seine fishing vessels; limits on the catches of bigeye tuna by U.S. longline vessels in the Convention area; prohibitions on U.S. vessels used to fish for highly migratory species from engaging in transshipment in a particular area of the high seas (the Eastern High Seas Special Management Area or EHSSMA); and removal of existing reporting requirements for vessels transiting the EHSSMA. The rule also makes corrections to outdated cross references in existing regulatory text. This action is necessary to satisfy the obligations of the United States under the Convention, to which it is a Contracting Party.

DATES: This rule is effective on July 18, 2018, except for the revised reporting requirements in 50 CFR 300.218(g), which contains information collection requirements that have not been approved by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB). NOAA will publish a document in the Federal Register announcing the effective date for the revised reporting requirements upon OMB approval.

Compliance dates: The compliance date for the amendment to 50 CFR 300.223(b), the FAD prohibition period, is July 18, 2018. The compliance date for the amendment to 50 CFR 300.225, the EHSSMA transshipment prohibition, is January 1, 2019.

ADDRESSES: Copies of supporting documents prepared for this final rule, including the regulatory impact review (RIR), the 2015 programmatic environmental assessment (PEA), the 2012 environmental assessment, and supplemental information report (SIR) prepared for National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) purposes, as well as the proposed rule (83 FR 21748; May 10, 2018), are available via the Federal e-rulemaking Portal, at (search for Docket ID NOAA–NMFS–2018–0050). Those documents are also available from NMFS at the following address: Michael D. Tosatto, Regional Administrator, NMFS, Pacific Islands Regional Office (PIRO), 1845 Wasp Blvd., Building 176, Honolulu, HI 96818. A final regulatory flexibility analysis (FRFA) prepared under authority of the Regulatory Flexibility Act is included in the Classification section of the

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section of this document.

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