Fisheries of the Northeastern United States; Black Sea Bass Recreational Fishery; Emergency Rule Correction and Extension
NMFS is taking two actions through this rule: Correcting regulations in the October 5, 2009, emergency rule that closed the recreational black sea bass fishery in the Federal waters of the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) from 3 to 200 nautical miles offshore, north of Cape Hatteras, NC; and extending of that initial closure. This action is necessary to both correct the implementing regulations of the initial closure that were inadvertently implemented with no end date, and to extend the prohibition on recreational fishing for black sea bass in the EEZ beyond the expiration of the initial closure period. The intent of the correction is to correct the regulatory language of the initial closure, thereby establishing an end date for the initial closure period, consistent with the intent of the initial rule. The intent of the emergency closure extension is to ensure that recreational mortality does not occur between the end date of the closure as specified in the correcting action of this rule, and the start of the 2010 black sea bass recreational fishery season recommendations of both the Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council (Council) and Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission (Commission).