Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act Provisions; Fisheries of the Northeastern United States; Atlantic Sea Scallop Fishery; Closure of the Elephant Trunk Scallop Access Area to General Category Scallop Vessels, 35084 [08-1372]

Download as PDF 35084 Federal Register / Vol. 73, No. 120 / Friday, June 20, 2008 / Rules and Regulations DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration 50 CFR Part 648 [Docket No. 070817467–8554–02] RIN 0648–XI52 Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act Provisions; Fisheries of the Northeastern United States; Atlantic Sea Scallop Fishery; Closure of the Elephant Trunk Scallop Access Area to General Category Scallop Vessels National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Department of Commerce. ACTION: Temporary rule; closure. AGENCY: SUMMARY: NMFS announces that the Elephant Trunk Scallop Access Area (ETAA) will close to general category scallop vessels until it re-opens on March 1, 2009, under current regulations. This action is based on the determination that 1,671 general category scallop trips into the ETAA are projected to be taken as of 1200 hr (noon) local time, June 18, 2008. This action is being taken to prevent the allocation of general category trips in the ETAA from being exceeded during the 2008 fishing year, in accordance with the regulations implementing Framework 18 to the Atlantic Sea Scallop Fishery Management Plan (FMP) and the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act. The closure of the ETAA to all general category scallop vessels is effective 1200 hr local time, June 18, 2008, through February 28, 2009. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Don Frei, Fishery Management Specialist, (978) 281–9221, fax (978) 281–9135. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Regulations governing fishing activity in the Sea Scallop Access Areas are found at §§ 648.59 and 648.60. Regulations specifically governing general category scallop vessel operations in the ETAA are specified at § 648.59(e)(4)(ii). These regulations authorize vessels issued a valid general category scallop permit to fish in the ETAA under specific conditions, including a total of 1,671 trips that may be taken by general category vessels during the 2008 fishing year. The regulations at § 648.59(e)(4)(ii) require the ETAA to be closed to general category scallop vessels once the Northeast Regional Administrator has dwashington3 on PRODPC61 with RULES DATES: VerDate Aug<31>2005 15:25 Jun 19, 2008 Jkt 214001 determined that the allowed number of trips are projected to be taken. Based on Vessel Monitoring System (VMS) trip declarations by general category scallop vessels fishing in the ETAA, and analysis of fishing effort, a projection concluded that, given current activity levels by general category scallop vessels in the area, 1,671 trips will have been taken on June 18, 2008. Therefore, in accordance with the regulations at § 648.59(e)(4)(ii), the ETAA is closed to all general category scallop vessels as of 1200 hr local time, June 18, 2008. Any vessel that has declared into the general category ETAA fishery, complied with all trip notification and observer requirements, and crossed the VMS demarcation line on the way to the area, may complete the trip. This closure is in effect for the remainder of the 2008 scallop fishing year under current regulations. The ETAA is scheduled to re-open to scallop fishing, including trips for general category scallop vessels, on March 1, 2009, unless the schedule for scallop access areas is modified by the New England Fishery Management Council. Classification This action is required by 50 CFR part 648 and is exempt from review under Executive Order 12866. This action closes the ETAA to all general category scallop vessels until March 1, 2009, under current regulations. The regulations at § 648.59(e)(4)(ii) allow such action to ensure that general category scallop vessels do not take more than their allocated number of trips in the ETAA. The ETAA opened for the 2008 fishing year at 0001 hours on June 1, 2008. Data indicating the general category scallop fleet has taken all of the ETAA trips have only recently become available. To allow general category scallop vessels to continue to take trips in the ETAA during the period necessary to publish and receive comments on a proposed rule would result in vessels taking much more than the allowed number of trips in the ETAA. Excessive trips and harvest from the ETAA would result in excessive fishing effort in the ETAA, where effort controls are critical, thereby undermining conservation objectives of the FMP. Should excessive effort occur in the ETAA, future management measures would need to be more restrictive. Based on the above, under 5 U.S.C. 553(d)(3), proposed rulemaking is waived because it would be impracticable and contrary to the public interest to allow a period for public comment. Furthermore, for the same reasons, there is good cause under 5 U.S.C 553(d)(3) to waive the 30-day PO 00000 Frm 00026 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 delayed effectiveness period for this action. Authority: 16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq. Dated: June 17, 2008. Emily H. Menashes, Acting Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine Fisheries Service. [FR Doc. 08–1372 Filed 6–17–08; 3:06 pm] BILLING CODE 3510–22–S DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration 50 CFR Part 680 [Docket No. 080129098–8743–02] RIN 0648–AW45 Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Crab Rationalization Program National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Commerce. ACTION: Final rule. AGENCY: SUMMARY: NMFS issues regulations implementing Amendment 26 to the Fishery Management Plan for Bering Sea/Aleutian Islands King and Tanner Crabs (FMP). These regulations amend the Crab Rationalization Program. Amendment 26 amends the FMP to exempt permanently quota share issued to crew members, and the annual harvest privileges derived from that quota share, from requirements for delivery to specific processors, delivery within specific geographic regions, and participation in an arbitration system to resolve price disputes. This action is intended to promote the goals and objectives of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (MSA), the FMP, and other applicable law. DATES: Effective July 21, 2008. ADDRESSES: Copies of Amendment 26, the Regulatory Impact Review (RIR)/ Final Regulatory Flexibility Analysis (FRFA) prepared for this action, and the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) prepared for the Crab Rationalization Program may be obtained from the NMFS Alaska Region, P. O. Box 21668, Juneau, AK 99802 or from the Alaska Region website at http:// www.fakr.noaa.gov. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Glenn Merrill, 907–586–7228. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The king and Tanner crab fisheries in the E:\FR\FM\20JNR1.SGM 20JNR1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 73, Number 120 (Friday, June 20, 2008)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Page 35084]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 08-1372]



[[Page 35084]]

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DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

50 CFR Part 648

[Docket No. 070817467-8554-02]
RIN 0648-XI52


Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act 
Provisions; Fisheries of the Northeastern United States; Atlantic Sea 
Scallop Fishery; Closure of the Elephant Trunk Scallop Access Area to 
General Category Scallop Vessels

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

ACTION: Temporary rule; closure.

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SUMMARY: NMFS announces that the Elephant Trunk Scallop Access Area 
(ETAA) will close to general category scallop vessels until it re-opens 
on March 1, 2009, under current regulations. This action is based on 
the determination that 1,671 general category scallop trips into the 
ETAA are projected to be taken as of 1200 hr (noon) local time, June 
18, 2008. This action is being taken to prevent the allocation of 
general category trips in the ETAA from being exceeded during the 2008 
fishing year, in accordance with the regulations implementing Framework 
18 to the Atlantic Sea Scallop Fishery Management Plan (FMP) and the 
Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act.

DATES: The closure of the ETAA to all general category scallop vessels 
is effective 1200 hr local time, June 18, 2008, through February 28, 
2009.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Don Frei, Fishery Management 
Specialist, (978) 281-9221, fax (978) 281-9135.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Regulations governing fishing activity in 
the Sea Scallop Access Areas are found at Sec. Sec.  648.59 and 648.60. 
Regulations specifically governing general category scallop vessel 
operations in the ETAA are specified at Sec.  648.59(e)(4)(ii). These 
regulations authorize vessels issued a valid general category scallop 
permit to fish in the ETAA under specific conditions, including a total 
of 1,671 trips that may be taken by general category vessels during the 
2008 fishing year. The regulations at Sec.  648.59(e)(4)(ii) require 
the ETAA to be closed to general category scallop vessels once the 
Northeast Regional Administrator has determined that the allowed number 
of trips are projected to be taken.
    Based on Vessel Monitoring System (VMS) trip declarations by 
general category scallop vessels fishing in the ETAA, and analysis of 
fishing effort, a projection concluded that, given current activity 
levels by general category scallop vessels in the area, 1,671 trips 
will have been taken on June 18, 2008. Therefore, in accordance with 
the regulations at Sec.  648.59(e)(4)(ii), the ETAA is closed to all 
general category scallop vessels as of 1200 hr local time, June 18, 
2008. Any vessel that has declared into the general category ETAA 
fishery, complied with all trip notification and observer requirements, 
and crossed the VMS demarcation line on the way to the area, may 
complete the trip. This closure is in effect for the remainder of the 
2008 scallop fishing year under current regulations. The ETAA is 
scheduled to re-open to scallop fishing, including trips for general 
category scallop vessels, on March 1, 2009, unless the schedule for 
scallop access areas is modified by the New England Fishery Management 
Council.

Classification

    This action is required by 50 CFR part 648 and is exempt from 
review under Executive Order 12866.
    This action closes the ETAA to all general category scallop vessels 
until March 1, 2009, under current regulations. The regulations at 
Sec.  648.59(e)(4)(ii) allow such action to ensure that general 
category scallop vessels do not take more than their allocated number 
of trips in the ETAA. The ETAA opened for the 2008 fishing year at 0001 
hours on June 1, 2008. Data indicating the general category scallop 
fleet has taken all of the ETAA trips have only recently become 
available. To allow general category scallop vessels to continue to 
take trips in the ETAA during the period necessary to publish and 
receive comments on a proposed rule would result in vessels taking much 
more than the allowed number of trips in the ETAA. Excessive trips and 
harvest from the ETAA would result in excessive fishing effort in the 
ETAA, where effort controls are critical, thereby undermining 
conservation objectives of the FMP. Should excessive effort occur in 
the ETAA, future management measures would need to be more restrictive. 
Based on the above, under 5 U.S.C. 553(d)(3), proposed rulemaking is 
waived because it would be impracticable and contrary to the public 
interest to allow a period for public comment. Furthermore, for the 
same reasons, there is good cause under 5 U.S.C 553(d)(3) to waive the 
30-day delayed effectiveness period for this action.

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

    Dated: June 17, 2008.
Emily H. Menashes,
Acting Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine 
Fisheries Service.
[FR Doc. 08-1372 Filed 6-17-08; 3:06 pm]
BILLING CODE 3510-22-S