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Atlantic Highly Migratory Species; Individual Bluefin Quota Program; Inseason Transfers

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


Stay of final rule.


In accordance with the memorandum of January 20, 2017, from the Assistant to the President and Chief of Staff, entitled “Regulatory Freeze Pending Review,” published in the Federal Register on January 24, 2017 (the Memorandum), this action stays the final rule NMFS published on December 29, 2016, in order to delay its effective date.


Effective January 31, 2017, the final rule amending 50 CFR part 635, that published on December 29, 2016, at 81 FR 95903, is stayed until March 21, 2017.

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Thomas Warren or Sarah McLaughlin, 978-281-9260; Carrie Soltanoff, 301-427-8503.

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On December 29, 2016, NMFS published this final rule modifying the Atlantic highly migratory species (HMS) regulations regarding the distribution of inseason Atlantic bluefin tuna quota transfers to the Longline category. This final rule provides NMFS the ability to distribute quota inseason either to all qualified Individual Bluefin Quota (IBQ) share recipients (i.e., share recipients who have associated their permit with a vessel) or only to permitted Atlantic Tunas Longline vessels with recent fishing activity, whether or not they are associated with IBQ shares. This action is necessary to optimize fishing opportunity in the directed pelagic longline fishery for target species such as tuna and swordfish and to improve the functioning of the IBQ Program and its leasing provisions consistent with the objectives of Amendment 7 to the 2006 Consolidated HMS Fishery Management Plan.

On January 20, 2017, the White House issued a memo instructing Federal agencies to temporarily postpone the effective date for 60 days after January 20, 2017, of any regulations or guidance documents that have published in the Federal Register but not yet taken effect, for the purpose of “reviewing questions of fact, law, and policy they raise.” Because its effective date has already passed, we are enacting this stay of the rule published on December 29, 2016, at 81 FR 95903 (see DATES above) until March 21, 2017.

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List of Subjects in 50 CFR Part 635

  • Fisheries
  • Fishing
  • Fishing vessels
  • Foreign relations
  • Imports
  • Penalties
  • Reporting and recordkeeping requirements
  • Treaties
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Dated: January 26, 2017.

Alan D. Risenhoover,

Acting Deputy Assistant Administrator for Regulatory Programs, National Marine Fisheries Service.

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For the reasons set out in the preamble, 50 CFR part 635 is amended as follows:

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1. The authority citation for part 635 continues to read as follows:

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Authority: 16 U.S.C. 971 et seq.; 16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq.

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2. In § 635.15, paragraphs (b) introductory text and (b)(9) are stayed until March 21, 2017.

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[FR Doc. 2017-02043 Filed 1-30-17; 8:45 am]