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Fisheries of the Northeastern United States; Scup Fishery; Commercial Quota Harvested for Summer Period

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


Commercial scup quota harvested for summer period.


NMFS announces that the scup commercial quota available in the summer period to the coastal states from Maine to North Carolina has been harvested. Federally permitted commercial vessels may not land scup in these states for the remainder of the 2002 summer quota period (through October 31, 2002). Regulations governing the scup fishery require publication of this notification to advise the coastal states from Maine through North Carolina that the quota has been harvested and to advise Federal vessel permit holders and Federal dealer permit holders.


Effective 0001 hrs local time, October 5, 2002, through 2400 hrs local time, October 31, 2002.

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Richard A. Pearson, Fishery Policy Analyst, (978) 281-9279.

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Regulations governing the scup fishery are found at 50 CFR part 648. The regulations require annual specification of a commercial quota that is allocated into three quota periods. The summer commercial quota (May through October) is distributed to the coastal states from Maine through North Carolina. The process to set the annual Start Printed Page 61041commercial quota and the seasonal allocation is described in § 648.120.

The total commercial quota for scup for the 2002 calendar year was initially set at 8,000,000 lb (3,628,739 kg) and then adjusted downward to 7,834,522 lb (3,553,679 kg), for research quota set-asides (66 FR 66351; December 26, 2001). The summer period quota, which is equal to 38.95 percent of the annual commercial quota, was 3,051,546 lb (1,384,158 kg). The quota allocation was adjusted downward to compensate for 2001 summer period landings in excess of the 2001 summer period quota, consistent with the procedures in § 648.140. The final adjusted summer period quota was set at 2,556,595 lb (1,159,652 kg).

Section 648.121 requires the Administrator, Northeast Region, NMFS (Regional Administrator) to monitor the commercial scup quota for each quota period and, based upon dealer reports, state data, and other available information, to determine when the commercial quota has been harvested. NMFS is required to publish notification in the Federal Register advising and notifying federally permitted commercial vessels and federally permitted dealers that, effective upon a specific date, the scup commercial quota has been harvested. The Regional Administrator has determined, based upon dealer reports and other available information, that the scup commercial quota for the 2002 summer period has been harvested.

The regulations at § 648.4(b) provide that Federal scup moratorium permit holders agree as a condition of the permit not to land scup in any state after NMFS has published a notification in the Federal Register stating that the commercial quota for the period has been harvested and that no commercial quota for scup is available. Therefore, effective 0001 hours, October 5, 2002, further landings of scup by vessels holding Federal scup moratorium permits are prohibited through October 31, 2002. The Winter II period for commercial scup harvest will open on November 1, 2002. Effective 0001 hours, October 5, 2002, federally permitted dealers are also advised that they may not purchase scup from federally permitted vessels that land in coastal states from Maine through North Carolina for the remainder of the summer period (through October 31, 2002).


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

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

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Dated: September 20, 2002.

Virginia M. Fay,

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

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[FR Doc. 02-24519 Filed 9-26-02; 8:45 am]