Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act Provisions; Fisheries of the Northeastern United States; Northeast (NE) Multispecies Fishery; Reduction of the Yellowtail Flounder Trip Limit for the U.S./Canada Management Area, 7050-7051 [05-2625]

Download as PDF 7050 Federal Register / Vol. 70, No. 27 / Thursday, February 10, 2005 / Rules and Regulations Personal protective equipment, Railroad employees, Railroad safety. DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE The Interim Final Rule National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration In consideration of the foregoing, FRA amends part 214 of chapter II, subtitle B of title 49, Code of Federal Regulations, as follows: I PART 214—[AMENDED] 1. The authority for part 214 is revised to read as follows: I Authority: 49 U.S.C. 20103, 20107, 21301, 21304; 28 U.S.C. 2461, note; and 49 CFR 1.49. 2. Section 214.107 is revised to read as follows: I § 214.107 water. Working over or adjacent to (a) Bridge workers working over or adjacent to water with a depth of four feet or more, or where the danger of drowning exists, shall be provided and shall use life vests or buoyant work vests in compliance with U.S. Coast Guard requirements in 46 CFR 160.047, 160.052, and 160.053. Life preservers in compliance with U.S. Coast Guard requirements in 46 CFR 160.055 shall also be within ready access. This section shall not apply to bridge workers using personal fall arrest systems or safety nets that comply with this subpart or to bridge workers who are working under the provisions of § 214.103(b)(2), (c) or (d) of this subpart. (b) Prior to each use, all flotation devices shall be inspected for defects that reduce their strength or buoyancy by designated individuals trained by the railroad or railroad contractor. Defective units shall not be used. (c) Where life vests are required by paragraph (a) of this section, ring buoys with at least 90 feet of line shall be provided and readily available for emergency rescue operations. Distance between ring buoys shall not exceed 200 feet. (d) Where life vests are required, at least one lifesaving skiff, inflatable boat, or equivalent device shall be immediately available. If it is determined by a competent person that environmental conditions, including weather, water speed, and terrain, merit additional protection, the skiff or boat shall be manned. Issued in Washington, DC, on February 2, 2005. Robert D. Jamison, Acting Federal Railroad Administrator. [FR Doc. 05–2560 Filed 2–9–05; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910–06–P VerDate jul<14>2003 16:15 Feb 09, 2005 Jkt 205001 50 CFR Part 648 [Docket No. 040112010–4114–02; I.D. 020705A] Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act Provisions; Fisheries of the Northeastern United States; Northeast (NE) Multispecies Fishery; Reduction of the Yellowtail Flounder Trip Limit for the U.S./Canada Management Area National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Commerce. ACTION: Reduction of the Yellowtail Flounder Trip Limit for the U.S./Canada Management Area. AGENCY: SUMMARY: NMFS announces that the Administrator, Northeast Region, NMFS (Regional Administrator), has projected that the total allowable catch (TAC) for Georges Bank (GB) yellowtail flounder allocated for harvest from the U.S./ Canada Management Area will be fully harvested prior to the end of the fishing year if the rate of GB yellowtail flounder harvest remains at the current level. The Regional Administrator, therefore, is reducing the GB yellowtail flounder trip limit from 15,000 lb (6,408 kg) per trip to 5,000 lb (2,268 kg) per trip for NE multispecies days-at-sea (DAS) vessels fishing in the U.S./Canada Management Area, effective February 9, 2005. DATES: Effective 0001 hrs local time, February 9, 2005, through April 30, 2005. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Karen Tasker, (978) 281–9273, fax (978) 281–9135. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Regulations governing the yellowtail flounder trip limit within the U.S./ Canada Management Area are found at 50 CFR 648.85(a)(3)(iv)(C). The regulations authorize vessels issued a valid limited access NE multispecies permit and fishing under a NE multispecies DAS to fish in the U.S./ Canada Management Area under specific conditions. The TAC allocation for GB yellowtail flounder for the 2004 fishing year was specified at 6,000 mt in the final rule implementing Amendment 13 to the NE Multispecies Fishery Management Plan (FMP) (April 27, 2004, 69 FR 22906). Section 648.85(a)(3)(iv)(D) authorizes the Regional Administrator to modify certain conditions regarding the PO 00000 Frm 00052 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 harvesting of fish from the U.S./Canada Management Area, including trip limits for GB yellowtail flounder harvested from that area. On October 1, 2004 (69 FR 59815), upon determination by the Regional Administrator that 85 percent of the GB yellowtail flounder TAC had been harvested, NMFS closed the Eastern U.S./Canada Area to all NE multispecies DAS vessels and prohibited all NE multispecies vessels from harvesting, possessing, or landing GB yellowtail flounder from the U.S./Canada Management Area, because of concerns that the yellowtail flounder TAC would be fully harvested or overharvested prior to the end of the fishing year. Full harvest of the TAC was anticipated due to the amount of yellowtail flounder harvested by vessels targeting yellowtail flounder in the U.S./Canada Management Area, and because of concerns regarding anticipated yellowtail flounder bycatch by vessels targeting groundfish other than yellowtail flounder within the U.S./ Canada Management Area. Additional concern was raised by the potential impact that may be caused by scallop vessels fishing in Closed Area II under the Sea Scallop Access Program implemented under Frameworks 16/39 to the Atlantic Sea Scallop/NE Multispecies FMPs. Because of these potential sources of yellowtail flounder harvest, this action was necessary to ensure that the GB yellowtail flounder TAC would not be exceeded during the 2004 fishing year. On January 14, 2005 (70 FR 2820, January 18, 2005), under the authority of § 648.85(a)(3)(iv)(D), NMFS re-opened the Eastern U.S./Canada Area; removed the prohibition on the harvest, possession, and landing of GB yellowtail flounder by all NE multispecies vessels within the entire U.S./Canada Management Area; and established a trip limit of 15,000 lb (6,804 kg) for GB yellowtail flounder for vessels fishing in the U.S./Canada Management Area. In addition, the daily poundage limit for yellowtail flounder and cod were removed to allow vessels additional flexibility, should they need to end a trip prematurely due to an unexpected event; i.e., vessels would have the ability to retain their entire catch onboard when entering port and on their subsequent trip. This action was taken in response to data indicating that the amount of GB yellowtail flounder harvested under the Sea Scallop Access Program and the amount of GB yellowtail flounder bycatch caught by vessels targeting groundfish other than yellowtail flounder within the U.S./Canada Management Area E:\FR\FM\10FER1.SGM 10FER1 Federal Register / Vol. 70, No. 27 / Thursday, February 10, 2005 / Rules and Regulations would likely not result in the overharvest of the TAC. Vessel Monitoring System (VMS) reports and other information collected since the re-opening of the U.S./Canada Management Area indicate that many more vessels than initially anticipated are directly targeting GB yellowtail flounder in the U.S./Canada Management Area, and are thereby harvesting more yellowtail flounder than NMFS initially anticipated they would. Based on this information, and the rate at which GB yellowtail flounder is being harvested, NMFS is reducing the trip limit for GB yellowtail flounder to 5,000 lb (2268 kg) per trip, effective February 9, 2005, for NE multispecies DAS vessels fishing in the U.S./Canada Management Area. By reducing the trip limits for GB yellowtail flounder at this time, the fishing industry is more likely to achieve the full harvest of the GB yellowtail flounder TAC and other TACs for this region without a substantial risk of overharvesting the resource. To allow the fishery to continue at its current trip limit could necessitate closure of the Eastern U.S./ VerDate jul<14>2003 16:15 Feb 09, 2005 Jkt 205001 Canada Area before the full harvest of the GB haddock and GB cod TACs in place for this area, in order to ensure that the yellowtail flounder TAC is not exceeded. Yellowtail flounder landings will be closely monitored through VMS and other available information and, if 100 percent of the TAC allocation for GB yellowtail flounder is projected to be harvested, the Eastern U.S./Canada Area will be closed to NE multispecies DAS vessels and the harvesting, possession, and landing of yellowtail flounder by NE multispecies vessels in the U.S./ Canada Management Area would be prohibited, in accordance with the regulations § 648.85(a)(3)(iv)(C)(3). Classification This action reduces the trip limit for GB yellowtail flounder in the U.S./ Canada Management Area in order to allow vessels to fully harvest the GB cod and GB haddock TACs while ensuring that overharvesting of GB yellowtail flounder does not occur. To allow the higher trip limit for GB yellowtail flounder to continue during the period necessary to publish and receive PO 00000 Frm 00053 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 7051 comments on a proposed rule could necessitate that NMFS close the Eastern U.S./Canada Area before the fishing industry achieves the available TACs of GB cod and GB haddock for the area, and before a final rule to lower the trip limit could be implemented. Such a delay, therefore, would create an unnecessary burden on the fishing industry. Based on this possibility, under 5 U.S.C. 553(b)(3), proposed rulemaking is waived because it would be impracticable and contrary to the public interest. Furthermore, for the same reason, there is good cause under 5 U.S.C 553(d)(3) to waive the 30–day delayed effectiveness period for this action. This action is required by 50 CFR part 648 and is exempt from review under Executive Order 12866. Authority: 16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq. Dated: February 7, 2005. Alan D. Risenhoover, Acting Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine Fisheries Service. [FR Doc. 05–2625 Filed 2–7–05; 2:22 pm] BILLING CODE 3510–22–S E:\FR\FM\10FER1.SGM 10FER1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 70, Number 27 (Thursday, February 10, 2005)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 7050-7051]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 05-2625]


=======================================================================
-----------------------------------------------------------------------

DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

50 CFR Part 648

[Docket No. 040112010-4114-02; I.D. 020705A]


Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act 
Provisions; Fisheries of the Northeastern United States; Northeast (NE) 
Multispecies Fishery; Reduction of the Yellowtail Flounder Trip Limit 
for the U.S./Canada Management Area

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

ACTION:  Reduction of the Yellowtail Flounder Trip Limit for the U.S./
Canada Management Area.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

SUMMARY:  NMFS announces that the Administrator, Northeast Region, NMFS 
(Regional Administrator), has projected that the total allowable catch 
(TAC) for Georges Bank (GB) yellowtail flounder allocated for harvest 
from the U.S./Canada Management Area will be fully harvested prior to 
the end of the fishing year if the rate of GB yellowtail flounder 
harvest remains at the current level. The Regional Administrator, 
therefore, is reducing the GB yellowtail flounder trip limit from 
15,000 lb (6,408 kg) per trip to 5,000 lb (2,268 kg) per trip for NE 
multispecies days-at-sea (DAS) vessels fishing in the U.S./Canada 
Management Area, effective February 9, 2005.

DATES:  Effective 0001 hrs local time, February 9, 2005, through April 
30, 2005.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:  Karen Tasker, (978) 281-9273, fax 
(978) 281-9135.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Regulations governing the yellowtail 
flounder trip limit within the U.S./Canada Management Area are found at 
50 CFR 648.85(a)(3)(iv)(C). The regulations authorize vessels issued a 
valid limited access NE multispecies permit and fishing under a NE 
multispecies DAS to fish in the U.S./Canada Management Area under 
specific conditions. The TAC allocation for GB yellowtail flounder for 
the 2004 fishing year was specified at 6,000 mt in the final rule 
implementing Amendment 13 to the NE Multispecies Fishery Management 
Plan (FMP) (April 27, 2004, 69 FR 22906). Section 648.85(a)(3)(iv)(D) 
authorizes the Regional Administrator to modify certain conditions 
regarding the harvesting of fish from the U.S./Canada Management Area, 
including trip limits for GB yellowtail flounder harvested from that 
area.
    On October 1, 2004 (69 FR 59815), upon determination by the 
Regional Administrator that 85 percent of the GB yellowtail flounder 
TAC had been harvested, NMFS closed the Eastern U.S./Canada Area to all 
NE multispecies DAS vessels and prohibited all NE multispecies vessels 
from harvesting, possessing, or landing GB yellowtail flounder from the 
U.S./Canada Management Area, because of concerns that the yellowtail 
flounder TAC would be fully harvested or overharvested prior to the end 
of the fishing year. Full harvest of the TAC was anticipated due to the 
amount of yellowtail flounder harvested by vessels targeting yellowtail 
flounder in the U.S./Canada Management Area, and because of concerns 
regarding anticipated yellowtail flounder bycatch by vessels targeting 
groundfish other than yellowtail flounder within the U.S./Canada 
Management Area. Additional concern was raised by the potential impact 
that may be caused by scallop vessels fishing in Closed Area II under 
the Sea Scallop Access Program implemented under Frameworks 16/39 to 
the Atlantic Sea Scallop/NE Multispecies FMPs. Because of these 
potential sources of yellowtail flounder harvest, this action was 
necessary to ensure that the GB yellowtail flounder TAC would not be 
exceeded during the 2004 fishing year.
    On January 14, 2005 (70 FR 2820, January 18, 2005), under the 
authority of Sec.  648.85(a)(3)(iv)(D), NMFS re-opened the Eastern 
U.S./Canada Area; removed the prohibition on the harvest, possession, 
and landing of GB yellowtail flounder by all NE multispecies vessels 
within the entire U.S./Canada Management Area; and established a trip 
limit of 15,000 lb (6,804 kg) for GB yellowtail flounder for vessels 
fishing in the U.S./Canada Management Area. In addition, the daily 
poundage limit for yellowtail flounder and cod were removed to allow 
vessels additional flexibility, should they need to end a trip 
prematurely due to an unexpected event; i.e., vessels would have the 
ability to retain their entire catch onboard when entering port and on 
their subsequent trip. This action was taken in response to data 
indicating that the amount of GB yellowtail flounder harvested under 
the Sea Scallop Access Program and the amount of GB yellowtail flounder 
bycatch caught by vessels targeting groundfish other than yellowtail 
flounder within the U.S./Canada Management Area

[[Page 7051]]

would likely not result in the overharvest of the TAC.
    Vessel Monitoring System (VMS) reports and other information 
collected since the re-opening of the U.S./Canada Management Area 
indicate that many more vessels than initially anticipated are directly 
targeting GB yellowtail flounder in the U.S./Canada Management Area, 
and are thereby harvesting more yellowtail flounder than NMFS initially 
anticipated they would. Based on this information, and the rate at 
which GB yellowtail flounder is being harvested, NMFS is reducing the 
trip limit for GB yellowtail flounder to 5,000 lb (2268 kg) per trip, 
effective February 9, 2005, for NE multispecies DAS vessels fishing in 
the U.S./Canada Management Area. By reducing the trip limits for GB 
yellowtail flounder at this time, the fishing industry is more likely 
to achieve the full harvest of the GB yellowtail flounder TAC and other 
TACs for this region without a substantial risk of overharvesting the 
resource. To allow the fishery to continue at its current trip limit 
could necessitate closure of the Eastern U.S./Canada Area before the 
full harvest of the GB haddock and GB cod TACs in place for this area, 
in order to ensure that the yellowtail flounder TAC is not exceeded.
    Yellowtail flounder landings will be closely monitored through VMS 
and other available information and, if 100 percent of the TAC 
allocation for GB yellowtail flounder is projected to be harvested, the 
Eastern U.S./Canada Area will be closed to NE multispecies DAS vessels 
and the harvesting, possession, and landing of yellowtail flounder by 
NE multispecies vessels in the U.S./Canada Management Area would be 
prohibited, in accordance with the regulations Sec.  
648.85(a)(3)(iv)(C)(3).

Classification

    This action reduces the trip limit for GB yellowtail flounder in 
the U.S./Canada Management Area in order to allow vessels to fully 
harvest the GB cod and GB haddock TACs while ensuring that 
overharvesting of GB yellowtail flounder does not occur. To allow the 
higher trip limit for GB yellowtail flounder to continue during the 
period necessary to publish and receive comments on a proposed rule 
could necessitate that NMFS close the Eastern U.S./Canada Area before 
the fishing industry achieves the available TACs of GB cod and GB 
haddock for the area, and before a final rule to lower the trip limit 
could be implemented. Such a delay, therefore, would create an 
unnecessary burden on the fishing industry. Based on this possibility, 
under 5 U.S.C. 553(b)(3), proposed rulemaking is waived because it 
would be impracticable and contrary to the public interest. 
Furthermore, for the same reason, there is good cause under 5 U.S.C 
553(d)(3) to waive the 30-day delayed effectiveness period for this 
action.
    This action is required by 50 CFR part 648 and is exempt from 
review under Executive Order 12866.

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

    Dated: February 7, 2005.
Alan D. Risenhoover,
Acting Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine 
Fisheries Service.
[FR Doc. 05-2625 Filed 2-7-05; 2:22 pm]
BILLING CODE 3510-22-S