National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Commerce.
Trip limit reduction.
NMFS reduces the commercial trip limit in the fishery for king mackerel in the northern 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 king mackerel resource.
This rule is effective 12:01 a.m., local time, November 12, 2000, through June 30, 2001, 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
The fishery for coastal migratory pelagic fish Start Printed Page 68952(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 of 2.34 million lb (1.06 million kg) for the eastern zone (Florida) of the Gulf migratory group of king mackerel. On April 27, 2000, NMFS’ implemented final rule (65 FR 16336, March 28, 2000) divided the Florida west coast subzone of the eastern zone into northern and southern subzones and established a separate quota for the northern Florida west coast subzone of 175,500 lb (79,606 kg)(50 CFR 622.42(c)(1)(i)(A)(2)(ii)).
In accordance with 50 CFR 622.44(a)(2)(ii)(B), from the date that 75 percent of the northern Florida west coast subzone's quota has been harvested until a closure of the subzone's fishery has been effected or until 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 quota for Gulf group king mackerel from the northern Florida west coast subzone has been reached. Accordingly, a 500-lb (227 kg) trip limit applies to vessels in the commercial fishery for king mackerel in or from the EEZ in the northern Florida west coast subzone effective 12:01 a.m., local time, November 12, 2000, through June 30, 2001.
The Florida west coast subzone is that part of the eastern zone south and west of 25°20.4' N. lat. (a line directly east from the Miami-Dade County, FL, Boundary). The Florida west coast subzone is further divided into northern and southern subzones. The northern subzone is that part of the Florida west coast subzone that is between 26°19.8' N. lat. (a line directly west from the Lee/Collier County, FL boundary) and 87°31'06' W. long. (a line directly south from the Alabama/Florida boundary).
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 contradictory 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 waived.
-This action is taken under 50 CFR 622.44(a)(2)(iii) and is exempt from review under E.O. 12866.Start Signature
Dated: November 9, 2000.
Bruce C. Morehead
Acting Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine Fisheries Service.
[FR Doc. 00-29271 Filed 11-9-00; 4:18 pm]
BILLING CODE: 3510-22 -S