Fisheries of the Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico, and South Atlantic; Coastal Migratory Pelagic Resources of the Gulf of Mexico and Atlantic Region; Commercial Closure for Spanish Mackerel, 55107 [2018-23950]

Download as PDF Federal Register / Vol. 83, No. 213 / Friday, November 2, 2018 / Rules and Regulations DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration 50 CFR Part 622 [Docket No. 140722613–4908–02] RIN 0648–XG588 Fisheries of the Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico, and South Atlantic; Coastal Migratory Pelagic Resources of the Gulf of Mexico and Atlantic Region; Commercial Closure for Spanish Mackerel National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Commerce. ACTION: Temporary rule; closure. AGENCY: NMFS implements an accountability measure (AM) for commercial Spanish mackerel in the northern zone of the Atlantic exclusive economic zone (EEZ) through this temporary rule. NMFS has determined that the commercial quota for Spanish mackerel in the northern zone of the Atlantic EEZ will be reached by November 4, 2018. Therefore, NMFS closes the northern zone of the Atlantic EEZ to commercial harvest of Spanish mackerel on November 4, 2018. This closure is necessary to protect the Spanish mackerel resource in the Atlantic. SUMMARY: The closure is effective at 12:01 a.m., local time, on November 4, 2018, until 12:01 a.m., local time, on March 1, 2019. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Frank Helies, NMFS Southeast Regional Office, telephone: 727–824–5305, or email: frank.helies@noaa.gov. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The fishery for coastal migratory pelagic fish includes king mackerel, Spanish mackerel, and cobia, and is managed under the Fishery Management Plan for the Coastal Migratory Pelagic Resources of the Gulf of Mexico and Atlantic Region (FMP). The FMP was prepared by the Gulf of Mexico and South Atlantic Fishery Management Councils and is implemented by NMFS under the authority of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (Magnuson-Stevens Act) by regulations at 50 CFR part 622. All weights described for Spanish mackerel in the Atlantic EEZ apply as either round or gutted weight. On November 20, 2014, NMFS published a final rule in the Federal Register to implement Framework DATES: VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:11 Nov 01, 2018 Jkt 247001 Amendment 1 to the FMP (79 FR 69058). That final rule implemented a commercial annual catch limit (equal to the commercial quota) of 3.33 million lb (1.51 million kg) for the Atlantic migratory group of Spanish mackerel (Atlantic Spanish mackerel). Atlantic Spanish mackerel are divided into northern and southern zones for management purposes. The northern zone commercial quota for Atlantic Spanish mackerel is 662,670 lb (300,582 kg) for the current fishing year, which is March 1, 2018, through February 28, 2019 (50 CFR 622.384(c)(2)(i)). The northern zone for Atlantic Spanish mackerel extends in Federal waters off New York through North Carolina. The northern boundary of the northern zone extends from an intersection point off New York, Connecticut, and Rhode Island at 41°18′16.249″ N lat., 71°54′28.477″ W long. and proceeds southeast to 37°22′32.75″ N lat. and the intersection point with the outward boundary of the EEZ. The southern boundary of the northern zone extends from the North Carolina and South Carolina state border, along a line extending in a direction of 135°34′55″ from true north beginning at 33°51′07.9″ N lat., 78°32′32.6″ W long. to the intersection point with the outward boundary of the EEZ. Regulations at 50 CFR 622.388(d)(1)(i) require NMFS to close the commercial sector for Atlantic Spanish mackerel in the northern zone when the commercial quota for that zone is reached, or is projected to be reached, by filing a notification to that effect with the Office of the Federal Register. NMFS has determined that the commercial quota of 662,670 lb (300,582 kg) for Atlantic Spanish mackerel in the northern zone will be reached by November 4, 2018. Accordingly, the commercial sector for Atlantic Spanish mackerel in the northern zone is closed effective at 12:01 a.m., local time, on November 4, 2018, through February 28, 2019, the end of the current fishing year. During the commercial closure, a person on board a vessel that has been issued a valid Federal permit to harvest Atlantic Spanish mackerel may continue to retain this species in the northern zone under the recreational bag and possession limits specified in 50 CFR 622.382(a)(1)(iii) and (a)(2), as long as the recreational sector for Atlantic Spanish mackerel is open (50 CFR 622.384(e)(1)). Also during the closure, Atlantic Spanish mackerel from the closed zone, including those harvested under the bag and possession limits, may not be purchased or sold. This prohibition PO 00000 Frm 00015 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 9990 55107 does not apply to Atlantic Spanish mackerel from the closed zone that were harvested, landed ashore, and sold prior to the closure and were held in cold storage by a dealer or processor (50 CFR 622.384(e)(2)). Classification The RA for the NMFS Southeast Region has determined this temporary rule is necessary for the conservation and management of Atlantic Spanish mackerel and is consistent with the Magnuson-Stevens Act and other applicable laws. This action is taken under 50 CFR 622.8(b), 622.384(e)(2), and 622.388(d)(1)(i) and is exempt from review under Executive Order 12866. These measures are exempt from the procedures of the Regulatory Flexibility Act, because the temporary rule is issued without opportunity for prior notice and opportunity for comment. This action responds to the best scientific information available. The Assistant Administrator for NOAA Fisheries (AA) finds good cause to waive the requirements to provide prior notice and opportunity for public comment pursuant to the authority set forth at 5 U.S.C. 553(b)(B) as such procedures are unnecessary and contrary to the public interest. Such procedures are unnecessary because the rule implementing the commercial quota and the associated AM has already been subject to notice and public comment, and all that remains is to notify the public of the closure. Additionally, allowing prior notice and opportunity for public comment is contrary to the public interest because of the need to immediately implement this action to protect the Atlantic Spanish mackerel stock, because the capacity of the fishing fleet allows for rapid harvest of the commercial quota. Prior notice and opportunity for public comment would require time and could potentially result in a harvest well in excess of the established commercial quota. For the aforementioned reasons, the AA also finds good cause to waive the 30-day delay in effectiveness of this action under 5 U.S.C. 553(d)(3). Authority: 16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq. Dated: October 29, 2018. Karen H. Abrams Acting Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine Fisheries Service. [FR Doc. 2018–23950 Filed 10–30–18; 11:15 am] BILLING CODE 3510–22–P E:\FR\FM\02NOR1.SGM 02NOR1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 83, Number 213 (Friday, November 2, 2018)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Page 55107]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2018-23950]



[[Page 55107]]

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DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

50 CFR Part 622

[Docket No. 140722613-4908-02]
RIN 0648-XG588


Fisheries of the Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico, and South Atlantic; 
Coastal Migratory Pelagic Resources of the Gulf of Mexico and Atlantic 
Region; Commercial Closure for Spanish Mackerel

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

ACTION: Temporary rule; closure.

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SUMMARY: NMFS implements an accountability measure (AM) for commercial 
Spanish mackerel in the northern zone of the Atlantic exclusive 
economic zone (EEZ) through this temporary rule. NMFS has determined 
that the commercial quota for Spanish mackerel in the northern zone of 
the Atlantic EEZ will be reached by November 4, 2018. Therefore, NMFS 
closes the northern zone of the Atlantic EEZ to commercial harvest of 
Spanish mackerel on November 4, 2018. This closure is necessary to 
protect the Spanish mackerel resource in the Atlantic.

DATES: The closure is effective at 12:01 a.m., local time, on November 
4, 2018, until 12:01 a.m., local time, on March 1, 2019.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Frank Helies, NMFS Southeast Regional 
Office, telephone: 727-824-5305, or email: [email protected].

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The fishery for coastal migratory pelagic 
fish includes king mackerel, Spanish mackerel, and cobia, and is 
managed under the Fishery Management Plan for the Coastal Migratory 
Pelagic Resources of the Gulf of Mexico and Atlantic Region (FMP). The 
FMP was prepared by the Gulf of Mexico and South Atlantic Fishery 
Management Councils and is implemented by NMFS under the authority of 
the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (Magnuson-
Stevens Act) by regulations at 50 CFR part 622. All weights described 
for Spanish mackerel in the Atlantic EEZ apply as either round or 
gutted weight.
    On November 20, 2014, NMFS published a final rule in the Federal 
Register to implement Framework Amendment 1 to the FMP (79 FR 69058). 
That final rule implemented a commercial annual catch limit (equal to 
the commercial quota) of 3.33 million lb (1.51 million kg) for the 
Atlantic migratory group of Spanish mackerel (Atlantic Spanish 
mackerel). Atlantic Spanish mackerel are divided into northern and 
southern zones for management purposes. The northern zone commercial 
quota for Atlantic Spanish mackerel is 662,670 lb (300,582 kg) for the 
current fishing year, which is March 1, 2018, through February 28, 2019 
(50 CFR 622.384(c)(2)(i)).
    The northern zone for Atlantic Spanish mackerel extends in Federal 
waters off New York through North Carolina. The northern boundary of 
the northern zone extends from an intersection point off New York, 
Connecticut, and Rhode Island at 41[deg]18'16.249'' N lat., 
71[deg]54'28.477'' W long. and proceeds southeast to 37[deg]22'32.75'' 
N lat. and the intersection point with the outward boundary of the EEZ. 
The southern boundary of the northern zone extends from the North 
Carolina and South Carolina state border, along a line extending in a 
direction of 135[deg]34'55'' from true north beginning at 
33[deg]51'07.9'' N lat., 78[deg]32'32.6'' W long. to the intersection 
point with the outward boundary of the EEZ.
    Regulations at 50 CFR 622.388(d)(1)(i) require NMFS to close the 
commercial sector for Atlantic Spanish mackerel in the northern zone 
when the commercial quota for that zone is reached, or is projected to 
be reached, by filing a notification to that effect with the Office of 
the Federal Register. NMFS has determined that the commercial quota of 
662,670 lb (300,582 kg) for Atlantic Spanish mackerel in the northern 
zone will be reached by November 4, 2018. Accordingly, the commercial 
sector for Atlantic Spanish mackerel in the northern zone is closed 
effective at 12:01 a.m., local time, on November 4, 2018, through 
February 28, 2019, the end of the current fishing year.
    During the commercial closure, a person on board a vessel that has 
been issued a valid Federal permit to harvest Atlantic Spanish mackerel 
may continue to retain this species in the northern zone under the 
recreational bag and possession limits specified in 50 CFR 
622.382(a)(1)(iii) and (a)(2), as long as the recreational sector for 
Atlantic Spanish mackerel is open (50 CFR 622.384(e)(1)).
    Also during the closure, Atlantic Spanish mackerel from the closed 
zone, including those harvested under the bag and possession limits, 
may not be purchased or sold. This prohibition does not apply to 
Atlantic Spanish mackerel from the closed zone that were harvested, 
landed ashore, and sold prior to the closure and were held in cold 
storage by a dealer or processor (50 CFR 622.384(e)(2)).

Classification

    The RA for the NMFS Southeast Region has determined this temporary 
rule is necessary for the conservation and management of Atlantic 
Spanish mackerel and is consistent with the Magnuson-Stevens Act and 
other applicable laws.
    This action is taken under 50 CFR 622.8(b), 622.384(e)(2), and 
622.388(d)(1)(i) and is exempt from review under Executive Order 12866.
    These measures are exempt from the procedures of the Regulatory 
Flexibility Act, because the temporary rule is issued without 
opportunity for prior notice and opportunity for comment.
    This action responds to the best scientific information available. 
The Assistant Administrator for NOAA Fisheries (AA) finds good cause to 
waive the requirements to provide prior notice and opportunity for 
public comment pursuant to the authority set forth at 5 U.S.C. 
553(b)(B) as such procedures are unnecessary and contrary to the public 
interest. Such procedures are unnecessary because the rule implementing 
the commercial quota and the associated AM has already been subject to 
notice and public comment, and all that remains is to notify the public 
of the closure. Additionally, allowing prior notice and opportunity for 
public comment is contrary to the public interest because of the need 
to immediately implement this action to protect the Atlantic Spanish 
mackerel stock, because the capacity of the fishing fleet allows for 
rapid harvest of the commercial quota. Prior notice and opportunity for 
public comment would require time and could potentially result in a 
harvest well in excess of the established commercial quota.
    For the aforementioned reasons, the AA also finds good cause to 
waive the 30-day delay in effectiveness of this action under 5 U.S.C. 
553(d)(3).

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

    Dated: October 29, 2018.
Karen H. Abrams
Acting Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine 
Fisheries Service.
[FR Doc. 2018-23950 Filed 10-30-18; 11:15 am]
BILLING CODE 3510-22-P