Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act Provisions; Fisheries of the Northeastern United States; Northeast (NE) Multispecies Fishery; Closure of the Eastern U.S./Canada Area, 30973-30974 [E9-15312]

Download as PDF Federal Register / Vol. 74, No. 123 / Monday, June 29, 2009 / Rules and Regulations Georges Bank (GB) cod allocated to be harvested from the Eastern U.S./Canada Area from May 1, 2009, through July 31, 20098, would be harvested on or around June 24, 2009, if current catch rates continue. This action is being taken to prevent the Eastern U.S./Canada Area TAC specified for the first quarter of the 2009 fishing year from being exceeded. This area will be reopened on August 1, 2009, to provide access to the shared U.S./Canada Stocks of cod, haddock, and yellowtail flounder. DATES: The temporary closure of the Eastern U.S./Canada Area to all limited access NE multispecies DAS vessels is effective 0001 hr June 26, 2009, through 2400 hr local time, July 31, 2009. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Allison Murphy, Fishery Management Specialist, (978) 281–9122, fax (978) 281–9135. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Regulations governing fishing activity in the U.S./Canada Management Area are found at § 648.85. These regulations authorize vessels issued a valid limited access NE multispecies permit and (iv) A statement signed by the dealer fishing under a NE multispecies DAS to attesting that such fish was harvested fish in the Eastern U.S./Canada Area from an area other than the South under specific conditions. The final Atlantic. 2009 Interim Rule published on April * * * * * 13, 2009 (73 FR 17030) set the Eastern [FR Doc. E9–15342 Filed 6–26–09; 8:45 am] GB cod TAC allocation for the 2009 fishing year at 527 mt. The Interim Rule BILLING CODE 3510–22–S also delayed the opening of the Eastern U.S./Canada Area to trawl vessels until DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE August 1, 2009, and set a TAC for the first quarter of the 2009 fishing year for National Oceanic and Atmospheric fixed-gear vessels at 5 percent of the Administration annual TAC (26.4 mt). To prevent overharvesting the TAC allocations for the 50 CFR Part 648 U.S./Canada Management Area, the regulations at § 648.85(a)(3)(iv)(D) [Docket No. 080521698–9067–02] authorize the Regional Administrator to RIN 0648–XQ01 close access to the Eastern U.S./Canada Area for all limited access NE Magnuson-Stevens Fishery multispecies DAS vessels. Conservation and Management Act Based upon VMS daily catch reports Provisions; Fisheries of the and other available information, 79 Northeastern United States; Northeast percent of the first quarter 2009 Eastern (NE) Multispecies Fishery; Closure of GB cod TAC of 26.4 mt has been the Eastern U.S./Canada Area harvested. Assuming this catch rate continues, it is estimated that 100 AGENCY: National Marine Fisheries percent of the 2009 Eastern GB cod TAC Service (NMFS), National Oceanic and specified for the first quarter will be Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), caught on or around June 24, 2009. Commerce. Therefore, based on the available ACTION: Temporary rule; closure. information described above, to ensure SUMMARY: NMFS announces a temporary that the first quarter TAC for Eastern GB closure of the Eastern U.S./Canada Area cod will not be exceeded, the Eastern U.S./Canada Area is temporarily closed to limited access NE multispecies daysat-sea (DAS) vessels. Based upon Vessel to all limited access NE multispecies DAS vessels, effective 0001 hr June 26, Monitoring System (VMS) reports and 2009, pursuant to § 648.85(a)(3)(iv)(E). other available information, the Administrator, Northeast Region, NMFS This area will reopen on August 1, 2009, to all NE multispecies DAS vessels (Regional Administrator) has projected fishing with approved gear, as well as to that the total allowable catch (TAC) of cprice-sewell on PRODPC61 with RULES Atlantic snapper-grouper has been issued, harvested from the South Atlantic, i.e., state or Federal waters. The prohibition on sale/purchase during January through April does not apply to such species that were harvested, landed ashore, and sold prior to January 1 and were held in cold storage by a dealer or processor. This prohibition also does not apply to a dealer’s purchase or sale of such species harvested from an area other than the South Atlantic, provided such fish is accompanied by documentation of harvest outside the South Atlantic. Such documentation must contain: (i) The information specified in 50 CFR part 300 subpart K for marking containers or packages of fish or wildlife that are imported, exported, or transported in interstate commerce; (ii) The official number, name, and home port of the vessel harvesting such fish; (iii) The port and date of offloading from the vessel harvesting such fish, and; VerDate Nov<24>2008 15:24 Jun 26, 2009 Jkt 217001 PO 00000 Frm 00067 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 30973 vessels participating in the Eastern U.S./ Canada Haddock Special Access Program, for the purpose of providing access to the shared U.S./Canada stocks of cod, haddock, and yellowtail flounder, pursuant to the regulations at § 648.85(a)(3)(iv)(D). Vessel owners that have made a correct VMS declaration indicating their intention to fish in the Eastern U.S./ Canada Area, and crossed the demarcation line prior to 0001 hr June 26, 2009 may continue to fish for the remainder of their trip in the Eastern U.S./Canada Area. Vessels that are currently declared into the Eastern U.S./ Canada Area and have already ‘‘flexed out’’ or ‘‘flexed west,’’ may not reenter the Eastern U.S./Canada Area after 0001 hr June 26, 2009. Any vessel that leaves the Eastern U.S./Canada Area after 0001 hr June 26, 2009 is prohibited from reentering the Eastern U.S./Canada Area for the remainder of the fishing year, unless otherwise notified. Classification This action is authorized by 50 CFR part 648 and is exempt from review under Executive Order 12866. Pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 553(b)(3)(B) and (d)(3), the Assistant Administrator finds good cause to waive prior notice and opportunity for public comment, as well as the delayed effectiveness for this action, because prior notice and comment and a delayed effectiveness would be impracticable and contrary to the public interest. The temporary closure of the Eastern U.S./Canada Area to NE multispecies DAS vessels is necessary to prevent the Eastern U.S./ Canada Area GB cod TAC cap from being exceeded during the first quarter of the 2009 fishing year. It is projected that 100 percent of the GB cod TAC cap of 5 percent will be harvested if the Eastern U.S./Canada Area is closed immediately. This projection was not available until June 19, 2009. This action is authorized by the regulations at § 648.85(a)(3)(iv)(D) to prevent over-harvesting the U.S./Canada Management Area TACs. The time necessary to provide for prior notice, opportunity for public comment, and delayed effectiveness for this action would prevent the agency from taking immediate action to halt the catch of GB cod in the Eastern U.S./Canada Area and prevent the first quarter Eastern U.S./Canada Area GB cod TAC from being exceeded prior to the end of the first quarter, July 31, 2009. To allow vessels to continue fishing effort on Eastern GB cod during the period necessary to publish and receive comments on a proposed rule could allow the Eastern GB cod harvest to E:\FR\FM\29JNR1.SGM 29JNR1 30974 Federal Register / Vol. 74, No. 123 / Monday, June 29, 2009 / Rules and Regulations cprice-sewell on PRODPC61 with RULES exceed the Eastern GB cod TAC for the first quarter of the 2009 fishing year. Exceeding the first quarter 2009 Eastern GB cod TAC would necessitate that any overage of the Eastern GB cod TAC during the first quarter by fixed gear vessels be deducted from the Eastern GB cod TAC for all NE multispecies DAS vessels for the remainder of the 2009 fishing year. Reducing the 2009 TAC for the remainder of this fishing year due to exceeding the first quarter 2009 TAC would create an unnecessary burden on the fishing industry and further negative VerDate Nov<24>2008 15:24 Jun 26, 2009 Jkt 217001 economic and social impacts that were not previously considered. The public is able to obtain information on the rate of harvest of the first quarter Eastern GB cod TAC via the NMFS Northeast Regional Office website (http://www.nero.noaa.gov), which provides at least some advanced notice of a potential action to prevent the first quarter TAC for Eastern GB cod from being exceeded during the 2009 fishing year. Further, the potential for this action was considered and open to public comment during the PO 00000 Frm 00068 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 development of the 2009 Interim Rule. Therefore, any negative effect the waiving of public comment and delayed effectiveness may have on the public is mitigated by these factors. Authority: 16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq. Dated: June 24, 2009. Alan D. Risenhoover, Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine Fisheries Service. [FR Doc. E9–15312 Filed 6–24–09; 4:15 pm] BILLING CODE 3510–22–S E:\FR\FM\29JNR1.SGM 29JNR1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 74, Number 123 (Monday, June 29, 2009)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 30973-30974]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: E9-15312]


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DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

50 CFR Part 648

[Docket No. 080521698-9067-02]
RIN 0648-XQ01


Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act 
Provisions; Fisheries of the Northeastern United States; Northeast (NE) 
Multispecies Fishery; Closure of the Eastern U.S./Canada Area

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

ACTION: Temporary rule; closure.

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SUMMARY: NMFS announces a temporary closure of the Eastern U.S./Canada 
Area to limited access NE multispecies days-at-sea (DAS) vessels. Based 
upon Vessel Monitoring System (VMS) reports and other available 
information, the Administrator, Northeast Region, NMFS (Regional 
Administrator) has projected that the total allowable catch (TAC) of 
Georges Bank (GB) cod allocated to be harvested from the Eastern U.S./
Canada Area from May 1, 2009, through July 31, 20098, would be 
harvested on or around June 24, 2009, if current catch rates continue. 
This action is being taken to prevent the Eastern U.S./Canada Area TAC 
specified for the first quarter of the 2009 fishing year from being 
exceeded. This area will be reopened on August 1, 2009, to provide 
access to the shared U.S./Canada Stocks of cod, haddock, and yellowtail 
flounder.

DATES: The temporary closure of the Eastern U.S./Canada Area to all 
limited access NE multispecies DAS vessels is effective 0001 hr June 
26, 2009, through 2400 hr local time, July 31, 2009.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Allison Murphy, Fishery Management 
Specialist, (978) 281-9122, fax (978) 281-9135.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Regulations governing fishing activity in 
the U.S./Canada Management Area are found at Sec.  648.85. These 
regulations authorize vessels issued a valid limited access NE 
multispecies permit and fishing under a NE multispecies DAS to fish in 
the Eastern U.S./Canada Area under specific conditions. The final 2009 
Interim Rule published on April 13, 2009 (73 FR 17030) set the Eastern 
GB cod TAC allocation for the 2009 fishing year at 527 mt. The Interim 
Rule also delayed the opening of the Eastern U.S./Canada Area to trawl 
vessels until August 1, 2009, and set a TAC for the first quarter of 
the 2009 fishing year for fixed-gear vessels at 5 percent of the annual 
TAC (26.4 mt). To prevent over-harvesting the TAC allocations for the 
U.S./Canada Management Area, the regulations at Sec.  
648.85(a)(3)(iv)(D) authorize the Regional Administrator to close 
access to the Eastern U.S./Canada Area for all limited access NE 
multispecies DAS vessels.
    Based upon VMS daily catch reports and other available information, 
79 percent of the first quarter 2009 Eastern GB cod TAC of 26.4 mt has 
been harvested. Assuming this catch rate continues, it is estimated 
that 100 percent of the 2009 Eastern GB cod TAC specified for the first 
quarter will be caught on or around June 24, 2009. Therefore, based on 
the available information described above, to ensure that the first 
quarter TAC for Eastern GB cod will not be exceeded, the Eastern U.S./
Canada Area is temporarily closed to all limited access NE multispecies 
DAS vessels, effective 0001 hr June 26, 2009, pursuant to Sec.  
648.85(a)(3)(iv)(E). This area will reopen on August 1, 2009, to all NE 
multispecies DAS vessels fishing with approved gear, as well as to 
vessels participating in the Eastern U.S./Canada Haddock Special Access 
Program, for the purpose of providing access to the shared U.S./Canada 
stocks of cod, haddock, and yellowtail flounder, pursuant to the 
regulations at Sec.  648.85(a)(3)(iv)(D).
    Vessel owners that have made a correct VMS declaration indicating 
their intention to fish in the Eastern U.S./Canada Area, and crossed 
the demarcation line prior to 0001 hr June 26, 2009 may continue to 
fish for the remainder of their trip in the Eastern U.S./Canada Area. 
Vessels that are currently declared into the Eastern U.S./Canada Area 
and have already ``flexed out'' or ``flexed west,'' may not reenter the 
Eastern U.S./Canada Area after 0001 hr June 26, 2009. Any vessel that 
leaves the Eastern U.S./Canada Area after 0001 hr June 26, 2009 is 
prohibited from reentering the Eastern U.S./Canada Area for the 
remainder of the fishing year, unless otherwise notified.

Classification

    This action is authorized by 50 CFR part 648 and is exempt from 
review under Executive Order 12866.
    Pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 553(b)(3)(B) and (d)(3), the Assistant 
Administrator finds good cause to waive prior notice and opportunity 
for public comment, as well as the delayed effectiveness for this 
action, because prior notice and comment and a delayed effectiveness 
would be impracticable and contrary to the public interest. The 
temporary closure of the Eastern U.S./Canada Area to NE multispecies 
DAS vessels is necessary to prevent the Eastern U.S./Canada Area GB cod 
TAC cap from being exceeded during the first quarter of the 2009 
fishing year. It is projected that 100 percent of the GB cod TAC cap of 
5 percent will be harvested if the Eastern U.S./Canada Area is closed 
immediately. This projection was not available until June 19, 2009.
    This action is authorized by the regulations at Sec.  
648.85(a)(3)(iv)(D) to prevent over-harvesting the U.S./Canada 
Management Area TACs. The time necessary to provide for prior notice, 
opportunity for public comment, and delayed effectiveness for this 
action would prevent the agency from taking immediate action to halt 
the catch of GB cod in the Eastern U.S./Canada Area and prevent the 
first quarter Eastern U.S./Canada Area GB cod TAC from being exceeded 
prior to the end of the first quarter, July 31, 2009. To allow vessels 
to continue fishing effort on Eastern GB cod during the period 
necessary to publish and receive comments on a proposed rule could 
allow the Eastern GB cod harvest to

[[Page 30974]]

exceed the Eastern GB cod TAC for the first quarter of the 2009 fishing 
year. Exceeding the first quarter 2009 Eastern GB cod TAC would 
necessitate that any overage of the Eastern GB cod TAC during the first 
quarter by fixed gear vessels be deducted from the Eastern GB cod TAC 
for all NE multispecies DAS vessels for the remainder of the 2009 
fishing year. Reducing the 2009 TAC for the remainder of this fishing 
year due to exceeding the first quarter 2009 TAC would create an 
unnecessary burden on the fishing industry and further negative 
economic and social impacts that were not previously considered.
    The public is able to obtain information on the rate of harvest of 
the first quarter Eastern GB cod TAC via the NMFS Northeast Regional 
Office website (http://www.nero.noaa.gov), which provides at least some 
advanced notice of a potential action to prevent the first quarter TAC 
for Eastern GB cod from being exceeded during the 2009 fishing year. 
Further, the potential for this action was considered and open to 
public comment during the development of the 2009 Interim Rule. 
Therefore, any negative effect the waiving of public comment and 
delayed effectiveness may have on the public is mitigated by these 
factors.

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

    Dated: June 24, 2009.
Alan D. Risenhoover,
Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine Fisheries 
Service.
[FR Doc. E9-15312 Filed 6-24-09; 4:15 pm]
BILLING CODE 3510-22-S