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Atlantic Highly Migratory Species (HMS) Fisheries; Vessel Monitoring Systems

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Information about this document as published in the Federal Register.

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


Delay of effectiveness.


NMFS further delays the effective date of a section of a final rule published May 28, 1999, which required certain vessel owner/operators to install a NMFS-approved vessel monitoring system (VMS). The effective date of the VMS requirement is delayed until September 1, 2000.


The effective date of 50 CFR 635.69 is September 1, 2000.


Copies of the Highly Migratory Species Fishery Management Plan (HMS FMP), the final rule and supporting documents can be obtained from Rebecca Lent, Chief, Highly Migratory Species Division, Office of Start Printed Page 20919Sustainable Fisheries, NMFS, 1315 East-West Highway, Silver Spring, MD 20910.

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Jill Stevenson, NMFS, (301) 713-2347, or Buck Sutter (727) 570-5447.

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The final regulations to implement the HMS FMP, and Amendment 1 to the Atlantic Billfish Fishery Management Plan (64 FR 29090, May 28, 1999) included a provision requiring an owner or operator of a commercial vessel permitted to fish for Atlantic HMS under § 635.4 and that fishes with a pelagic longline to install a NMFS-approved VMS unit on board the vessel and operate the VMS unit whenever the vessel leaves port with pelagic longline gear on board. The VMS requirement of the final rule (§ 635.69) was to be effective September 1, 1999.

On August 9, 1999, NMFS delayed the effective date of this final rule until January 1, 2000 (64 FR 43101). On October 14, 1999, NMFS again delayed the effective date of this final rule until June 1, 2000 (64 FR 55633). NMFS further delays the effective date of implementation of the VMS regulations until September 1, 2000.

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Dated: April 10, 2000.

George H. Darcy,

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

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[FR Doc. 00-9699 Filed 4-18-00; 8:45 am]