National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Commerce.
Closure; commercial quota harvested for Massachusetts.
NMFS announces that the summer flounder commercial quota available to the Commonwealth of Massachusetts has been harvested. Vessels issued a commercial Federal fisheries permit for the summer flounder fishery may not land summer flounder in Massachusetts for the remainder of calendar year 2002, unless additional quota becomes available through a transfer. Regulations governing the summer flounder fishery require publication of this notification to advise the Commonwealth of Massachusetts that the quota has been harvested and to advise vessel permit holders and dealer permit holders that no commercial quota is available for landing summer flounder in Massachusetts.
Effective 0001 hours, August 28, 2002, through 2400 hours, December 31, 2002.Start Further Info
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:
Richard A. Pearson, Fishery Policy Analyst, (978) 281-9279.End Further Info End Preamble Start Supplemental Information
Regulations governing the summer flounder fishery are found at 50 CFR part 648. The regulations require annual specification of a commercial quota that is apportioned on a percentage basis among the coastal states from North Carolina through Maine. The process to set the annual commercial quota and the percent allocated to each state is described in § 648.100.
The initial total commercial quota for summer flounder for the 2002 calendar year was set equal to 14,578,288 lb (6,612,600 kg)(66 FR 66348, December 26, 2001). The percent allocated to vessels landing summer flounder in Massachusetts is 6.82046 percent, resulting in an initial commercial quota of 994,306 lb (451,010 kg). The 2002 allocation was adjusted downward due to an overage of the 2001 quota of 55,541 lb (25,193 kg), as of October 31, 2001. The resulting adjusted 2002 commercial quota for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts is 938,765 lb (425,817 kg).
Section 648.101(b) requires the Administrator, Northeast Region, NMFS (Regional Administrator) to monitor state commercial quotas and to determine when a state’s commercial quota is harvested. NMFS then publishes a notification in the Federal Register to advise the state and to notify Federal vessel and dealer permit holders that, effective upon a specific date, the state’s commercial quota has been harvested and no commercial quota is available for landing summer flounder in that state. The Regional Administrator has determined, based upon dealer reports and other available information, that the Commonwealth of Massachusetts has attained its quota for 2002.
The regulations at § 648.4(b) provide that Federal permit holders agree as a condition of the permit not to land summer flounder in any state that the Regional Administrator has determined no longer has commercial quota available. Therefore, effective 0001 hours, August 28, 2002, further landings of summer flounder in Massachusetts by vessels holding summer flounder commercial Federal fisheries permits are prohibited for the remainder of the 2002 calendar year, unless additional quota becomes available through a transfer and is announced in the Federal Register. Effective 0001 hours, August 28, 2002, federally permitted dealers are also notified that they may not purchase summer flounder from federally permitted vessels that land in Massachusetts for the remainder of the calendar year, or until additional quota becomes available through a transfer.
This action is required by 50 CFR part 648 and is exempt from review under Executive Order 12866.Start Signature
Dated: August 20, 2002.
Virginia M. Fay,
Acting Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine Fisheries Service.
[FR Doc. 02-21653 Filed 8-21-02; 3:56 pm]
BILLING CODE 3510-22-S