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DOC/NOAA RIN: 0648-BK72 Publication ID: Fall 2021 
Title: ●Pacific Island Fisheries; Annual Catch Limits and Accountability Measures for Main Hawaiian Islands Deep 7 Bottomfish in 2021–2024 

NMFS proposes to implement an annual catch limit (ACL) of 492,000 pounds of Deep 7 bottomfish in the main Hawaiian Islands (MHI) for fishing years 2021-2022, 2022-2023, and 2023-2024. The Western Pacific Fishery Management Council recommended the ACL in accordance with requirements of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act, and with the approved processes in the Fishery Ecosystem Plan for Hawaii. As an in-season accountability measure (AM) to prevent the fishery from exceeding the ACL, NMFS would close the commercial and non-commercial fisheries in Federal waters for the remainder of the year if NMFS projects the fishery will reach the ACL. Another AM is a post-season correction to the next year’s ACL if an overage of the ACL occurs; NMFS would conduct a subsequent rulemaking action to implement the overage adjustment. The proposed rule supports the long-term sustainability of the fishery through the combination of ACLs and AMs. Over the last five years (2015-2016 through 2019-2020), 341 commercial licensees caught an annual average of 215,405 pounds of Deep 7 bottomfish, and sold approximately 91 percent for an inflation-adjusted average of $7.56 per pound.  These sales generated a total annual average revenue of $1,484,416, or $4,353 per licensee.  If the fishery caught the entire 492,000 pound ACL and sold 91 percent sold for $7.56, the sales would generate $3,384,763, or $9,926 per licensee. As evidenced by the average and potential revenue, the total value of the fishery is considerably less than the $100 million threshold considered under Executive Order 12866. The highest catch in the last five years was 221,906 pounds from 2017 to 2018, so it is highly unlikely that the fishery would reach the proposed 492,000 pound ACL and be closed to prevent overfishing. NMFS does not anticipate the proposed action would actively constrain the fishery or substantially affect fishery operations or revenue. As indicated by the relatively low average revenue per licensee, most participants are part-time so they would not experience significant economic effects if the fishery did close. Also, the stock is managed as a single unit throughout the MHI, so a closure would apply to all participants throughout the state consistently.

Agency: Department of Commerce(DOC)  Priority: Substantive, Nonsignificant 
RIN Status: First time published in the Unified Agenda Agenda Stage of Rulemaking: Proposed Rule Stage 
Major: No  Unfunded Mandates: No 
CFR Citation: 50 CFR 665   
Legal Authority: 16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq.   
Legal Deadline:  None
Action Date FR Cite
NPRM  11/01/2021  86 FR 60194   
NPRM Comment Period End  11/16/2021 
Final Action  12/00/2021 
Regulatory Flexibility Analysis Required: No  Government Levels Affected: None 
Small Entities Affected: No  Federalism: No 
Included in the Regulatory Plan: No 
RIN Data Printed in the FR: No 
Agency Contact:
Michael Tosatto
Regional Administrator, Pacific Islands Region
Department of Commerce
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
1845 Wasp Boulevard, Building 176,
Honolulu, HI 96818
Phone:808 725-5000