Fisheries of the Northeastern United States; Summer Flounder Fishery; Commercial Quota Harvested for the Commonwealth of Virginia, 72585-72586 [2013-28908]

Download as PDF emcdonald on DSK67QTVN1PROD with RULES Federal Register / Vol. 78, No. 232 / Tuesday, December 3, 2013 / Rules and Regulations full General category quota without exceeding it based upon the Consolidated HMS FMP goal: ‘‘Consistent with other objectives of this FMP, to manage Atlantic HMS fisheries for continuing optimum yield so as to provide the greatest overall benefit to the Nation, particularly with respect to food production, providing recreational opportunities, preserving traditional fisheries, and taking into account the protection of marine ecosystems.’’ NMFS’ preliminary estimate of landings for the General category, as of November 26, 2013, was 210.9 mt, out of a total General category quota of 435.1 mt. Based on General category landings rates during the October through December time-period over the last several years, it is highly unlikely that the quota will be filled under the current daily retention limit of three BFT per vessel. Therefore, maintenance of the current limit of three fish would increase the likelihood of under harvesting the General category quota. Increasing the daily retention limit from three to five will increase the likelihood that the General category catch of BFT will approach, but not exceed, the annual quota, as well as maximize the opportunity for catching BFT harvest during the October–November and December subquota periods. Maximizing opportunity within each subquota period is also important because of the migratory nature and seasonal distribution of BFT. In a particular geographic region, or waters accessible from a particular port, the amount of fishing opportunity for BFT may be constrained by the short amount of time the BFT are present. Based on these considerations, NMFS has determined that a five-fish General category retention limit is warranted. It would provide a reasonable opportunity to harvest the U.S. quota of BFT without exceeding it, while maintaining an equitable distribution of fishing opportunities, to help achieve optimum yield in the General category BFT fishery, to collect a broad range of data for stock monitoring purposes, and to be consistent with the objectives of the Consolidated HMS FMP. Therefore, NMFS increases the General category retention limit from the current limit of three large medium or giant BFT per vessel per day/trip, to five large medium or giant BFT per vessel per day/trip. This retention limit will be in effect through December 31, 2013, unless the unlikely circumstance arises that additional inseason action is required to prevent catch from exceeding the quota. Regardless of the duration of a fishing trip, the daily retention limit applies upon landing. For example, whether a VerDate Mar<15>2010 17:13 Dec 02, 2013 Jkt 232001 vessel fishing under the General category limit takes a two-day trip or makes two trips in one day, the daily limit of five fish may not be exceeded upon landing. This General category retention limit is effective in all areas, except for the Gulf of Mexico, and applies to those vessels permitted in the General category, as well as to those HMS Charter/Headboat permitted vessels fishing commercially for BFT. Monitoring and Reporting NMFS will continue to monitor the BFT fishery closely through the mandatory dealer landing reports, which NMFS requires to be submitted within 24 hours of a dealer receiving BFT. Depending on the level of fishing effort and catch rates of BFT, NMFS may determine that additional retention limit adjustments are necessary to ensure available quota is not exceeded or to enhance scientific data collection from, and fishing opportunities in, all geographic areas. Closures or subsequent adjustments to the daily retention limits, if any, will be published in the Federal Register. In addition, fishermen may call the Atlantic Tunas Information Line at (888) 872–8862 or (978) 281–9260, or access www.hmspermits.gov, for updates on quota monitoring and retention limit adjustments. Classification The Assistant Administrator for NMFS (AA) finds that it is impracticable and contrary to the public interest to provide prior notice of, and an opportunity for public comment on, this action for the following reasons: The regulations implementing the Consolidated HMS FMP provide for inseason retention limit adjustments to respond to the unpredictable nature of BFT availability on the fishing grounds, the migratory nature of this species, and the regional variations in the BFT fishery. Affording prior notice and opportunity for public comment to implement these retention limits is impracticable as NMFS needs to wait until it has necessary data and information about the fishery before it can select the appropriate retention limit for a time period prescribed by regulation. By the time NMFS has the needed data, implementing the retention limit following a public comment period would preclude fishermen from harvesting BFT that are legally available consistent with all of the regulatory criteria. Analysis of available data shows that the General category BFT retention limits may be increased with minimal risks of exceeding the ICCAT-allocated quota. PO 00000 Frm 00053 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 72585 Delays in increasing these retention limits would adversely affect those General and Charter/Headboat category vessels that would otherwise have an opportunity to harvest more than the current retention limit of three BFT per day/trip and may perpetuate under harvest of the General category quota, or disadvantage a particular geographic region. Limited opportunities to harvest the respective quotas may have negative social and economic impacts for U.S. fishermen that depend upon catching the available quota within the time periods designated in the Consolidated HMS FMP. Adjustment of the retention limit needs to be effective as soon as possible, to allow the impacted sectors to benefit from the adjustment, and to not preclude fishing opportunities for fishermen who have access to the fishery only during this time period (due to the seasonality of BFT distribution). Therefore, the AA finds good cause under 5 U.S.C. 553(b)(B) to waive prior notice and the opportunity for public comment. For these reasons, there is good cause under 5 U.S.C. 553(d) to waive the 30-day delay in effectiveness. This action is being taken under § 635.23(a)(4) and is exempt from review under Executive Order 12866. Authority: 16 U.S.C. 971 et seq. and 1801 et seq. Dated: November 27, 2013. Emily H. Menashes, Acting Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine Fisheries Service. [FR Doc. 2013–28903 Filed 11–27–13; 4:15 pm] BILLING CODE 3510–22–P DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration 50 CFR Part 648 [Docket No. 111220786–1781–01] RIN 0648–XD004 Fisheries of the Northeastern United States; Summer Flounder Fishery; Commercial Quota Harvested for the Commonwealth of Virginia National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Commerce. ACTION: Temporary rule; closure. AGENCY: NMFS announces that the 2013 summer flounder commercial quota allocated to the Commonwealth of Virginia has been harvested. Vessels issued a commercial Federal fisheries SUMMARY: E:\FR\FM\03DER1.SGM 03DER1 emcdonald on DSK67QTVN1PROD with RULES 72586 Federal Register / Vol. 78, No. 232 / Tuesday, December 3, 2013 / Rules and Regulations permit for the summer flounder fishery may not land summer flounder in Virginia for the remainder of calendar year 2013, unless additional quota becomes available through a transfer from another state. Regulations governing the summer flounder fishery require publication of this notification to advise Virginia that the quota has been harvested and to advise vessel permit holders and dealer permit holders that no Federal commercial quota is available for landing summer flounder in Virginia. DATES: Effective 1801 hours, December 4, 2013, through December 31, 2013. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Carly Bari, (978) 281–9224, or Carly.Bari@noaa.gov. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Regulations governing the summer flounder fishery are found at 50 CFR part 648. The regulations require annual specification of a commercial quota that is apportioned on a percentage basis among the coastal states from North Carolina through Maine. The process to set the annual commercial quota and the percent allocated to each state is described in § 648.102. The initial total commercial quota for summer flounder for the 2013 fishing year is 11,793,596 lb (5,349,575 kg) (77 FR 76942, December 31, 2012). The percent allocated to vessels landing summer flounder in Virginia is 21.31676 percent, resulting in a commercial quota of 2,514,012 lb (1,140,356 kg). The 2013 allocation was adjusted to 5,040,501 lb (2,286,333 kg) after deduction of research set-aside, adjustment for 2012 quota overages, and adjustments for quota transfers between states (mostly transfers from North Carolina to cover safe harbor landings in Virginia by North Carolina vessels). The Administrator, Northeast Region, NMFS (Regional Administrator), monitors the state commercial landings and determines when a state’s commercial quota has been harvested. NMFS is required to publish notification in the Federal Register advising and notifying commercial vessels and dealer permit holders that, effective upon a specific date, the state’s commercial quota has been harvested and no commercial quota is available for landing summer flounder in that state. The Regional Administrator has determined, based upon dealer reports and other available information that, Virginia has harvested its quota for 2013. Section 648.4(b) provides that Federal permit holders agree, as a condition of the permit, not to land summer flounder in any state that the Regional VerDate Mar<15>2010 17:13 Dec 02, 2013 Jkt 232001 Administrator has determined no longer has commercial quota available. Therefore, effective 1801 hours, December 4, 2013, landings of summer flounder in Virginia by vessels holding summer flounder commercial Federal fisheries permits are prohibited for the remainder of the 2013 calendar year, unless additional quota becomes available through a transfer and is announced in the Federal Register. Effective 1801 hours, December 4, 2013, federally permitted dealers are also notified that they may not purchase summer flounder from federally permitted vessels that land in Virginia for the remainder of the calendar year, or until additional quota becomes available through a transfer from another state. Classification This action is required by 50 CFR part 648 and is exempt from review under Executive Order 12866. The Assistant Administrator for Fisheries, NOAA (AA), finds good cause pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 553(b)(B) to waive prior notice and the opportunity for public comment because it would be contrary to the public interest. This action closes the summer flounder fishery for Virginia until January 1, 2014, under current regulations. The regulations at § 648.103(b) require such action to ensure that summer flounder vessels do not exceed quotas allocated to the states. If implementation of this closure was delayed to solicit prior public comment, the quota for this fishing year will be exceeded, thereby undermining the conservation objectives of the Summer Flounder Fishery Management Plan. The AA further finds, pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 553(d)(3), good cause to waive the 30day delayed effectiveness period for the reason stated above. Authority: 16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq. Dated: November 27, 2013. Emily H. Menashes, Deputy Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine Fisheries Service. [FR Doc. 2013–28908 Filed 11–29–13; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510–22–P PO 00000 Frm 00054 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration 50 CFR Part 660 [Docket No. 120814338–2711–02] RIN 0648–BD71 Magnuson-Stevens Act Provisions; Fisheries off West Coast States; Biennial Specifications and Management Measures; Inseason Adjustments National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Commerce. ACTION: Final rule; inseason adjustments to biennial groundfish management measures. AGENCY: This final rule announces inseason changes to management measures in the Pacific Coast groundfish fisheries. This action, which is authorized by the Pacific Coast Groundfish Fishery Management Plan (PCGFMP), is intended to allow fisheries to access more abundant groundfish stocks while protecting overfished and depleted stocks. DATES: Effective 0001 hours (local time) December 3, 2013. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Gretchen Hanshew (West Coast Region, NMFS), phone: 206–526–6147, fax: 206– 526–6736, gretchen.hanshew@noaa.gov. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: SUMMARY: Electronic Access This final rule is accessible via the Internet at the Office of the Federal Register’s Web site at http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/search/ home.action. Background information and documents are available at the Pacific Fishery Management Council’s Web site at http://www.pcouncil.org/. Background The PCGFMP and its implementing regulations at title 50 in the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR), part 660, subparts C through G, regulate fishing for over 90 species of groundfish off the coasts of Washington, Oregon, and California. Groundfish specifications and management measures are developed by the Pacific Fishery Management Council (Council), and are implemented by NMFS. On November 14, 2012, NMFS published a proposed rule to implement the 2013–2014 harvest specifications and management measures for most species of the Pacific Coast groundfish E:\FR\FM\03DER1.SGM 03DER1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 78, Number 232 (Tuesday, December 3, 2013)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 72585-72586]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2013-28908]


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DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

50 CFR Part 648

[Docket No. 111220786-1781-01]
RIN 0648-XD004


Fisheries of the Northeastern United States; Summer Flounder 
Fishery; Commercial Quota Harvested for the Commonwealth of Virginia

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

ACTION: Temporary rule; closure.

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SUMMARY: NMFS announces that the 2013 summer flounder commercial quota 
allocated to the Commonwealth of Virginia has been harvested. Vessels 
issued a commercial Federal fisheries

[[Page 72586]]

permit for the summer flounder fishery may not land summer flounder in 
Virginia for the remainder of calendar year 2013, unless additional 
quota becomes available through a transfer from another state. 
Regulations governing the summer flounder fishery require publication 
of this notification to advise Virginia that the quota has been 
harvested and to advise vessel permit holders and dealer permit holders 
that no Federal commercial quota is available for landing summer 
flounder in Virginia.

DATES: Effective 1801 hours, December 4, 2013, through December 31, 
2013.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Carly Bari, (978) 281-9224, or 
Carly.Bari@noaa.gov.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Regulations governing the summer flounder 
fishery are found at 50 CFR part 648. The regulations require annual 
specification of a commercial quota that is apportioned on a percentage 
basis among the coastal states from North Carolina through Maine. The 
process to set the annual commercial quota and the percent allocated to 
each state is described in Sec.  648.102.
    The initial total commercial quota for summer flounder for the 2013 
fishing year is 11,793,596 lb (5,349,575 kg) (77 FR 76942, December 31, 
2012). The percent allocated to vessels landing summer flounder in 
Virginia is 21.31676 percent, resulting in a commercial quota of 
2,514,012 lb (1,140,356 kg). The 2013 allocation was adjusted to 
5,040,501 lb (2,286,333 kg) after deduction of research set-aside, 
adjustment for 2012 quota overages, and adjustments for quota transfers 
between states (mostly transfers from North Carolina to cover safe 
harbor landings in Virginia by North Carolina vessels).
    The Administrator, Northeast Region, NMFS (Regional Administrator), 
monitors the state commercial landings and determines when a state's 
commercial quota has been harvested. NMFS is required to publish 
notification in the Federal Register advising and notifying commercial 
vessels and dealer permit holders that, effective upon a specific date, 
the state's commercial quota has been harvested and no commercial quota 
is available for landing summer flounder in that state. The Regional 
Administrator has determined, based upon dealer reports and other 
available information that, Virginia has harvested its quota for 2013.
    Section 648.4(b) provides that Federal permit holders agree, as a 
condition of the permit, not to land summer flounder in any state that 
the Regional Administrator has determined no longer has commercial 
quota available. Therefore, effective 1801 hours, December 4, 2013, 
landings of summer flounder in Virginia by vessels holding summer 
flounder commercial Federal fisheries permits are prohibited for the 
remainder of the 2013 calendar year, unless additional quota becomes 
available through a transfer and is announced in the Federal Register. 
Effective 1801 hours, December 4, 2013, federally permitted dealers are 
also notified that they may not purchase summer flounder from federally 
permitted vessels that land in Virginia for the remainder of the 
calendar year, or until additional quota becomes available through a 
transfer from another state.

Classification

    This action is required by 50 CFR part 648 and is exempt from 
review under Executive Order 12866.
    The Assistant Administrator for Fisheries, NOAA (AA), finds good 
cause pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 553(b)(B) to waive prior notice and the 
opportunity for public comment because it would be contrary to the 
public interest. This action closes the summer flounder fishery for 
Virginia until January 1, 2014, under current regulations. The 
regulations at Sec.  648.103(b) require such action to ensure that 
summer flounder vessels do not exceed quotas allocated to the states. 
If implementation of this closure was delayed to solicit prior public 
comment, the quota for this fishing year will be exceeded, thereby 
undermining the conservation objectives of the Summer Flounder Fishery 
Management Plan. The AA further finds, pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 553(d)(3), 
good cause to waive the 30-day delayed effectiveness period for the 
reason stated above.

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

    Dated: November 27, 2013.
Emily H. Menashes,
Deputy Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine 
Fisheries Service.
[FR Doc. 2013-28908 Filed 11-29-13; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 3510-22-P