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Rule

Fisheries of the Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico, and South Atlantic; Coastal Migratory Pelagic Resources of the Gulf of Mexico and South Atlantic; Trip Limit Reduction

Document Details

Information about this document as published in the Federal Register.

Published Document

This document has been published in the Federal Register. Use the PDF linked in the document sidebar for the official electronic format.

Start Preamble

AGENCY:

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

ACTION:

Trip limit reduction.

SUMMARY:

NMFS reduces the commercial trip limit in the hook-and-line fishery for king mackerel in the Florida west coast subzone to 500 lb (227 kg) of king mackerel per day in or from the exclusive economic zone (EEZ). This trip limit reduction is necessary to protect the overfished Gulf group king mackerel resource.

DATES:

This rule is effective 12:01 a.m., local time, January 24, 2000, through June 30, 2000, unless changed by further notification in the Federal Register.

Start Further Info

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Mark Godcharles, telephone: 727-570-5305, fax: 727-570-5583, e-mail: Mark.Godcharles@noaa.gov.

End Further Info End Preamble Start Supplemental Information

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

The fishery for coastal migratory pelagic fish (king mackerel, Spanish mackerel, cero, cobia, little tunny, dolphin, and, in the Gulf of Mexico only, bluefish) is managed under the Fishery Management Plan for the Coastal Migratory Pelagic Resources of the Gulf of Mexico and South Atlantic (FMP). The FMP was prepared by the Gulf of Mexico and South Atlantic Fishery Management Councils (Councils) and is implemented under the authority of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (Magnuson-Stevens Act) by regulations at 50 CFR part 622.

Based on the Councils' recommended total allowable catch and the allocation ratios in the FMP, on February 19, 1998 (63 FR 8353), NMFS implemented a commercial quota for the Gulf migratory group of king mackerel in the Florida west coast subzone of 1.17 million lb (0.53 million kg). That quota was further divided into two equal quotas of 585,000 lb (265,352 kg) for vessels in each of two groups by gear types—vessels using run-around gillnets and vessels using hook-and-line gear (50 CFR 622.42(c)(1)(i)(A)(2)).

In accordance with 50 CFR 622.44(a)(2)(ii)(B), from the date that 75 percent of the subzone's hook-and-line gear quota has been harvested until a closure of the west coast subzone's hook-and-line fishery has been effected or the fishing year ends, king mackerel in or from the EEZ may be possessed on board or landed from a permitted vessel in amounts not exceeding 500 lb (227 kg) per day.

NMFS has determined that 75 percent of the hook-and-line quota for Gulf group king mackerel from the Florida west coast subzone was reached on January 23, 2000. Accordingly, a 500-lb (227-kg) trip limit applies to vessels in the commercial hook-and-line fishery for king mackerel in or from the EEZ in the Florida west coast subzone effective 12:01 a.m., local time, January 24, 2000.

The Florida west coast subzone extends from 87°31′06″ W. long. (due south of the Alabama/Florida boundary) to: (1) 25°20.4′ N. lat. (due east of the Miami-Dade/Monroe County, FL, boundary) through March 31, 2000; and (2) 25°48′ N. lat. (due west of the Monroe/Collier County, FL, boundary) from April 1, 2000 through October 31, 2000.

Classification

This action responds to the best available information recently obtained from the fishery. The reduced trip limit must be implemented immediately because 75 percent of the quota has been harvested. Any delay in implementing this action would be impractical and contrary to the Magnuson-Stevens Act, the FMP, and the public interest. NMFS finds for good cause that the implementation of this action cannot be delayed for 30 days. Accordingly, under 5 U.S.C. 553(d), a delay in the effective date is hereby waived.

This action is taken under 50 CFR 622.44(a)(2)(iii) and is exempt from review under E.O. 12866.

Start Authority

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

End Authority Start Signature

Dated: January 21, 2000.

Bruce C. Morehead,

Acting Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine Fisheries Service.

End Signature End Supplemental Information

[FR Doc. 00-1807 Filed 1-21-00; 3:56 pm]

BILLING CODE 3510-22-F