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Fisheries of the Northeastern United States; Atlantic Mackerel, Squid, and Butterfish Fisheries; Closure of Fishery for Loligo

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




NMFS announces that the directed fishery for Loligo squid in the exclusive economic zone (EEZ) is closed. Vessels issued a Federal permit to harvest Loligo squid may not retain or land more than 2,500 lb (1.13 mt) per trip of Loligo squid for the remainder of Quota Period I. This action is necessary to prevent the fishery from exceeding the Period I quota and allow for rebuilding of this overfished stock, while allowing for fishing throughout the year.


Effective 0001 hours, March 25, 2000, through 0001 hours, May 1, 2000.

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Myles Raizin, Fishery Policy Analyst, 508-281-9104, fax 978-281-9135, e-mail

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Regulations governing the Loligo squid fishery are found at 50 CFR part 648. The regulations require annual specifications for initial optimum yield as well as the amounts for allowable biological catch, domestic annual harvest (DAH), domestic annual processing, joint venture processing, and total allowable levels of foreign fishing for the species managed under the Atlantic Mackerel, Squid, and Butterfish Fishery Management Plan. The procedures for setting the annual initial specifications are described at § 648.21.

The 2000 specification of DAH for Loligo squid was set at 13,000 mt as part of the Atlantic mackerel, squid, and butterfish specifications published elsewhere in the Rules section of today's Federal Register. This amount is allocated among three quota periods as indicated in the following table. Start Printed Page 16346

Table 2.—Loligo Quota Period Allocations

Quota PeriodPercentMetric Tons
I (Jan-Apr)425,460
II (May-Aug)182,340
III (Sep-Dec)405,200

Section 648.22 requires NMFS to close the directed Loligo squid fishery in the EEZ when 90 percent of the DAH for Loligo squid is harvested in either Period I or II, or 95 percent is harvested in Period III. NMFS is further required to notify, in advance of the closure, the Executive Directors of the Mid-Atlantic, New England, and South Atlantic Fishery Management Councils; mail notification of the closure to all holders of Loligo squid permits at least 72 hours before the effective date of the closure; provide adequate notice of the closure to recreational participants in the fishery; and publish notification of the closure in the Federal Register. NMFS has determined, based on vessel and dealer logbook data, that 90 percent of the DAH for Loligo squid in Period I has been harvested. Therefore, effective 0001 hours, March 25, 2000, the directed fishery for Loligo squid is closed and vessels issued Federal permits for Loligo squid may not retain or land more than 2,500 lb (1.13 mt) per trip. The directed fishery will reopen effective 0001 hours, May 1, 2000, which marks the beginning of Quota Period II.


This action is required by 50 CFR part 648 and is exempt from review under E.O. 12866.

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

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Dated: March 22, 2000.

Gary C. Matlock,

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

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[FR Doc. 00-7513 Filed 3-22-00; 4:30 pm]