Atlantic Coastal Fisheries Cooperative Management Act Provisions; Weakfish Fishery, 11563 [E8-4122]

Download as PDF Federal Register / Vol. 73, No. 43 / Tuesday, March 4, 2008 / Rules and Regulations Dated: February 27, 2008. James P. Burgess Acting Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine Fisheries Service. [FR Doc. 08–931 Filed 2–28–08; 1:48 pm] BILLING CODE 3510–22–S DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration 50 CFR Part 697 [Docket No. 070717344–8150–01; I.D. 041907A] RIN 0648–AV44 Atlantic Coastal Fisheries Cooperative Management Act Provisions; Weakfish Fishery National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Commerce. ACTION: Final rule. AGENCY: SUMMARY: NMFS issues this final rule to decrease the incidental catch allowance for weakfish caught in the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) from 300 lb (135 kg) to no more than 150 lb (67 kg) per day or trip, whichever is longer in duration. The intent of this final rule is to modify regulations for the Atlantic coast stock of weakfish to be consistent with the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission’s (Commission) Interstate Fishery Management Plan (ISFMP) for weakfish, as set forth in the Atlantic Coastal Fisheries Cooperative Management Act (Atlantic Coastal Act). DATES: Effective April 3, 2008. ADDRESSES: Copies of supporting documents are available from Chris Moore, Chief, Partnerships and Communications Division (SF8), Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine Fisheries Service, 1315 EastWest Highway, Suite 13317, Silver Spring, MD 20910. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Brian Hooker, 301–713–2334. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: rwilkins on PROD1PC63 with RULES Background The Commission approved Addendum II to Amendment 4 of the VerDate Aug<31>2005 16:18 Mar 03, 2008 Jkt 214001 Weakfish ISFMP in February 2007. Included in the management measures for this addendum was a reduction of the bycatch limit of weakfish in commercial fisheries from 300 lb (135 kg) to 150 lb (67 kg). These measures were developed in response to recent stock assessment data that suggested low weakfish biomass. While the reduced bycatch provision would not itself resolve the biomass issue, the Commission thought it a measure that might potentially slow the decline and have some positive effect. A more detailed discussion of the stock assessment and Commission action is set forth in the proposed rule for this action that was published in the Federal Register on June 14, 2007 (72 FR 32830). NMFS analyzed the Commission’s bycatch recommendation and similarly concluded that although the measure would not itself remedy the low weakfish biomass, the recommendation appeared reasonable, prudent and positive. The measure would also support the Commission’sWeakfish ISFMP and, importantly, would further the consistency between State and Federal weakfish regulations. Comments and Responses NMFS received no public comments on the proposed rule for this action. Classification This final rule is published under the authority of the Atlantic Coastal Fisheries Cooperative Management Act (Atlantic Coastal Act). Paragraphs (A) and (B) of section 804(b) (1) of the Atlantic Coastal Act, 16 U.S.C. 5103(a)(b), authorizes the Secretary of Commerce to implement regulations in the EEZ in the absence of a MagnusonStevens Fishery Conservation Management Act (Magnuson-Stevens Act) fishery management plan. Such regulations must be compatible with the effective implementation of a Commission’s ISFMP, and consistent with the national standards set forth in section 301 of the Magnuson-Stevens Act. The Assistant Administrator for Fisheries has determined that this action is compatible with the effective implementation of the Commission’s ISFMP for weakfish and consistent with PO 00000 Frm 00047 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 11563 the national standards of the MagnusonStevens Act. 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 rule stage that this action would not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. The factual basis for the certification was published in the proposed rule and is not repeated here. No comments were received regarding this certification. As a result, a regulatory flexibility analysis was not required and none was prepared. This final rule has been determined to be not significant for the purposes of Executive Order 12866. List of Subjects in 50 CFR Part 697 Fisheries, Fishing. Dated: February 28, 2008. Samuel D. Rauch III, Deputy Assistant Administrator for Regulatory Programs, National Marine Fisheries Service. For the reasons set out in the preamble, 50 CFR part 697, is amended as follows: I PART 697—ATLANTIC COASTAL FISHERIES COOPERATIVE MANAGEMENT 1. The authority citation for 50 CFR part 697 continues to read as follows: I Authority: 16 U.S.C. 5101 et seq. 2. In § 697.7, paragraph (a) (4) is revised to read as follows: I § 697.7 Prohibitions. (a) * * * (4) Possess more than 150 lb (67 kg) of weakfish during any one day or trip, whichever islonger, in the EEZ when using a mesh size less than 3 1/4–inch (8.3 cm) square stretch mesh(as measured between the centers of opposite knots when stretched taut) or 3 3/4–inch (9.5cm) diamond stretch mesh for finfish trawls and 2 7/8–inch (7.3 cm) stretch mesh for gillnets. * * * * * [FR Doc. E8–4122 Filed 3–3–08; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510–22–S E:\FR\FM\04MRR1.SGM 04MRR1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 73, Number 43 (Tuesday, March 4, 2008)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Page 11563]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: E8-4122]


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DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

50 CFR Part 697

[Docket No. 070717344-8150-01; I.D. 041907A]
RIN 0648-AV44


Atlantic Coastal Fisheries Cooperative Management Act Provisions; 
Weakfish Fishery

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

ACTION:  Final rule.

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

SUMMARY:  NMFS issues this final rule to decrease the incidental catch 
allowance for weakfish caught in the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) from 
300 lb (135 kg) to no more than 150 lb (67 kg) per day or trip, 
whichever is longer in duration. The intent of this final rule is to 
modify regulations for the Atlantic coast stock of weakfish to be 
consistent with the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission's 
(Commission) Interstate Fishery Management Plan (ISFMP) for weakfish, 
as set forth in the Atlantic Coastal Fisheries Cooperative Management 
Act (Atlantic Coastal Act).

DATES:  Effective April 3, 2008.

ADDRESSES: Copies of supporting documents are available from Chris 
Moore, Chief, Partnerships and Communications Division (SF8), Office of 
Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine Fisheries Service, 1315 East-
West Highway, Suite 13317, Silver Spring, MD 20910.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:  Brian Hooker, 301-713-2334.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Background

    The Commission approved Addendum II to Amendment 4 of the Weakfish 
ISFMP in February 2007. Included in the management measures for this 
addendum was a reduction of the bycatch limit of weakfish in commercial 
fisheries from 300 lb (135 kg) to 150 lb (67 kg). These measures were 
developed in response to recent stock assessment data that suggested 
low weakfish biomass. While the reduced bycatch provision would not 
itself resolve the biomass issue, the Commission thought it a measure 
that might potentially slow the decline and have some positive effect. 
A more detailed discussion of the stock assessment and Commission 
action is set forth in the proposed rule for this action that was 
published in the Federal Register on June 14, 2007 (72 FR 32830).
    NMFS analyzed the Commission's bycatch recommendation and similarly 
concluded that although the measure would not itself remedy the low 
weakfish biomass, the recommendation appeared reasonable, prudent and 
positive. The measure would also support the Commission'sWeakfish ISFMP 
and, importantly, would further the consistency between State and 
Federal weakfish regulations.

Comments and Responses

    NMFS received no public comments on the proposed rule for this 
action.

Classification

    This final rule is published under the authority of the Atlantic 
Coastal Fisheries Cooperative Management Act (Atlantic Coastal Act). 
Paragraphs (A) and (B) of section 804(b) (1) of the Atlantic Coastal 
Act, 16 U.S.C. 5103(a)-(b), authorizes the Secretary of Commerce to 
implement regulations in the EEZ in the absence of a Magnuson-Stevens 
Fishery Conservation Management Act (Magnuson-Stevens Act) fishery 
management plan. Such regulations must be compatible with the effective 
implementation of a Commission's ISFMP, and consistent with the 
national standards set forth in section 301 of the Magnuson-Stevens 
Act.
    The Assistant Administrator for Fisheries has determined that this 
action is compatible with the effective implementation of the 
Commission's ISFMP for weakfish and consistent with the national 
standards of the Magnuson-Stevens Act.
    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 rule stage that this action would 
not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small 
entities. The factual basis for the certification was published in the 
proposed rule and is not repeated here. No comments were received 
regarding this certification. As a result, a regulatory flexibility 
analysis was not required and none was prepared.
    This final rule has been determined to be not significant for the 
purposes of Executive Order 12866.

List of Subjects in 50 CFR Part 697

    Fisheries, Fishing.

    Dated: February 28, 2008.
Samuel D. Rauch III,
Deputy Assistant Administrator for Regulatory Programs, National Marine 
Fisheries Service.

0
For the reasons set out in the preamble, 50 CFR part 697, is amended as 
follows:

PART 697--ATLANTIC COASTAL FISHERIES COOPERATIVE MANAGEMENT

0
1. The authority citation for 50 CFR part 697 continues to read as 
follows:

    Authority: 16 U.S.C. 5101 et seq.

0
2. In Sec.  697.7, paragraph (a) (4) is revised to read as follows:


Sec.  697.7  Prohibitions.

    (a) * * *
    (4) Possess more than 150 lb (67 kg) of weakfish during any one day 
or trip, whichever islonger, in the EEZ when using a mesh size less 
than 3 1/4-inch (8.3 cm) square stretch mesh(as measured between the 
centers of opposite knots when stretched taut) or 3 3/4-inch (9.5cm) 
diamond stretch mesh for finfish trawls and 2 7/8-inch (7.3 cm) stretch 
mesh for gillnets.
* * * * *
[FR Doc. E8-4122 Filed 3-3-08; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 3510-22-S