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Rule

Fisheries of the Northeastern United States; Atlantic Herring Fishery; Total Allowable Catch Harvested for Period 2 Management Area 1A

Document Details

Information about this document as published in the Federal Register.

Published Document

This document has been published in the Federal Register. Use the PDF linked in the document sidebar for the official electronic format.

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AGENCY:

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

ACTION:

Closure of directed fishery for Management Area 1A.

SUMMARY:

NMFS announces that 95 percent of the Atlantic herring total allowable catch (TAC) allocated to Management Area 1A (Area 1A) for fishing year 2003 is projected to be harvested by November 19, 2003. Therefore, effective 0001 hours, November 19, 2003, federally permitted vessels may not fish for, catch, possess, transfer or land more than 2,000 lb (907.2 kg) of Atlantic herring harvested from Area 1A per trip or calendar day until January 1, 2004, when the 2004 TAC becomes available. Regulations governing the Atlantic herring fishery require publication of this notification to advise vessel and dealer permit holders that 95 percent of the Atlantic herring TAC allocated to Area 1A for the 2003 fishing year has been harvested, and no TAC is available for the directed fishery for Atlantic herring harvested from Area 1A.

DATES:

Effective 0001 hrs local time, November 19, 2003, through 2400 hrs local time, December 31, 2003.

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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Don Frei, Fisheries Management Specialist, at (978) 281-9221.

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SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Regulations governing the Atlantic herring fishery are found at 50 CFR part 648. The regulations require annual specification of optimum yield, domestic and foreign fishing, domestic and joint venture processing, and management area TACs. The 2003 TAC allocated to Area 1A for Period 2 (68 FR 6088, February 6, 2003 and corrected at 68 FR 16731, April 7, 2003) is 54,000 mt (119,049,621 lb).

The regulations at 50 CFR 648.202 require the Administrator, Northeast Region, NMFS (Regional Administrator) to monitor the Atlantic herring fishery in each of the four management areas designated in the Fishery Management Plan for the Atlantic Herring Fishery and, based upon dealer reports, state data, and other available information, to determine when the harvest of Atlantic herring is projected to reach 95 percent of the annual TAC allocated. When such a determination is made, NMFS is required to publish notification in the Federal Register notifying vessel and dealer permit holders that, effective upon a specific date, vessels may not fish for, catch, possess, transfer or land more than 2,000 lb (907.2 kg) of herring per trip or calendar day from the specified management area for the remainder of the closure period.

The Regional Administrator has determined, based upon dealer reports and other available information, that 95 percent of the total Atlantic herring TAC allocated to Area 1A for the 2003 fishing year is projected to be harvested by November 19, 2003. Therefore, effective 0001 hrs local time, November 19, 2003, federally permitted vessels may not fish for, catch, possess, transfer or land more than 2,000 lb (907.2 kg) of Atlantic herring harvested from Area 1A per trip or calendar day through December 31, 2003. Vessels may transit an area that is limited to the 2,000-lb (907.2-kg) limit with more than 2,000 lb (907.2 kg) of herring on board, providing all fishing gear is stowed and not available for immediate use, as required by § 648.23(b). A vessel may land herring in an area that is limited to the 2,000-lb (907.2-kg) limit specified in § 648.202(a) with more than 2,000 lb (907.2 kg) of herring on board, providing such herring were caught in an area or areas not subject to the 2,000-lb (907.2-kg) limit and providing all fishing gear is stowed and not available for immediate use as required by § 648.23(b). Effective November 19, 2003, federally permitted dealers are also advised that they may not purchase Atlantic herring from federally permitted Atlantic herring vessels that harvest more than 2,000 lb (907.2 kg) of Atlantic herring from Area 1A through December 31, 2003, 2400 hrs local time.

Classification

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

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

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Dated: November 10, 2003.

Bruce C. Morehead,

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

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[FR Doc. 03-28655 Filed 11-12-03; 2:31 pm]

BILLING CODE 3510-22-S