National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Commerce.
Trip limit reduction.
NMFS reduces the trip limit in the commercial hook-and-line fishery for king mackerel in the southern 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, February 20, 2001, 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 (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 divided the Florida west coast subzone of the eastern zone into northern and southern subzones and established a separate quota for the southern Florida west coast subzone of 1,082,250 lb (490,900 kg) (65 FR 16336, March 28, 2000). That quota was further divided into two equal quotas of 541,125 lb (245,450 kg) for vessels in each of two groups fishing with hook-and-line gear and run-around gillnets (50 CFR 622.42(c)(1)(i)(A)(2)(i)).
In accordance with 50 CFR 622.44(a)(2)(ii)(B)(2), from the date that 75 percent of the southern Florida west coast subzone's quota has been harvested until a closure of the subzone's 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 quota for Gulf group king mackerel for vessels using hook-and-line gear in the southern Florida west coast subzone will be reached by Start Printed Page 11238February 19, 2001. 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 southern Florida west coast subzone effective 12:01 a.m., local time, February 20, 2001.
The Florida west coast subzone is that part of the eastern zone south and west of 25°20.4′ N . lat., which is 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 southern subzone is that part of the Florida west coast subzone which from November 1 through March 31 extends south and west from 25°20.4′ N. lat. to 26°19.8′ N. lat.(a line directly west from the Lee/Collier County, FL, boundary), i.e., the area off Collier and Monroe Counties. From April 1 through October 31, the southern subzone is that part of the Florida west coast subzone which is between 26°19.8′ N. lat. and 25°48′ N. lat.(a line directly west from the Monroe/Collier County, FL, boundary), i.e., the area off Collier County.
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 Executive Order 12866.Start Signature
Dated: February 16, 2001.
Acting Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine Fisheries Service.
[FR Doc. 01-4431 Filed 2-16-01; 3:57 pm]
BILLING CODE 3510-22-S