National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Commerce.
Closure; commercial fishery.
NMFS announces that the annual spiny dogfish commercial quota available to the coastal states from Maine through Florida for the fishing year, May 1, 2002 - April 30, 2003, has been harvested. Federally permitted commercial vessels may no longer land spiny dogfish for the duration of the fishing year (through April 30, 2003). Regulations governing the spiny dogfish fishery require publication of this notification to advise the coastal states from Maine through Florida that the quota has been harvested and to advise vessel permit holders and dealer permit holders that no commercial quota is available for landing spiny dogfish in these states.
Effective 0001 hrs local time, November 21, 2002, through 2400 hrs local time, April 30, 2003.Start Further Info
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:
Hannah Goodale, Supervisory Fishery Policy Analyst, at (978) 281-9101.End Further Info End Preamble Start Supplemental Information
Regulations governing the spiny dogfish fishery are found at 50 CFR part 648. The regulations require annual specification of a commercial quota, which is allocated into two quota periods based upon percentages of the annual quota. The commercial quota is distributed to the coastal states from Maine through Florida as described in § 648.230.
The initial total commercial quota for spiny dogfish for the 2002 fishing year was 4,000,000 lb (1,814 mt) (67 FR 30614, May 7, 2002). The commercial quota is allocated into two periods (May 1 through October 31, and November 1 through April 30), with trip limits intended to preclude directed fishing. Quota period 1 was allocated 2,316,000 lb (1,050 mt) and quota period 2 was allocated 1,684,000 lb (764 mt) of the commercial quota, respectively. The total quota cannot be exceeded, so landings in excess of the amount allocated to quota period 1 have the effect of reducing the quota available to the fishery during quota period 2.
The Administrator, Northeast Region, NMFS (Regional Administrator) monitors the commercial spiny dogfish quota for each quota period and, based upon dealer reports, state data and other available information, determines when the total commercial quota has been harvested. NMFS is required to publish a notification in the Federal Register advising and notifying commercial vessels and dealer permit holders that, effective upon a specific date, the spiny dogfish commercial quota has been harvested and no commercial quota is available for landing spiny dogfish for the remainder of a given quota period. The Regional Administrator has determined, based upon dealer reports and other available information, that the Start Printed Page 700282002 annual commercial quota for spiny dogfish has been harvested.
Section 648.4(b) provides that Federal spiny dogfish permit holders agree, as a condition of the permit, not to land spiny dogfish in any state after NMFS has published notification in the Federal Register that the commercial quota has been harvested and that no commercial quota for the spiny dogfish fishery is available. Therefore, effective 0001 hrs local time, November 21, 2002, landings of spiny dogfish in coastal states from Maine seb 29355 through Florida by vessels holding commercial Federal fisheries permits are prohibited through April 30, 2003, 2400 hrs local time. The fishing year 2003 quota for quota period 1 will be available for commercial spiny dogfish harvest on May 1, 2003. Effective November 21, 2002, through April 30, 2003, federally permitted dealers are also advised that they may not purchase spiny dogfish from vessels issued Federal spiny dogfish permits that land in coastal states from Maine through Florida.
This action is required by 50 CFR part 648 and is exempt from review under Executive Order 12866.Start Signature
Dated: November 14, 2002.
Bruce C. Morehead,
Acting Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine Fisheries Service.
[FR Doc. 02-29504 Filed 11-15-02; 3:32 pm]
BILLING CODE 3510-22-S