National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Commerce.
Closure of commercial fishery.
NMFS announces that the summer flounder commercial quota available to New York has been harvested. Vessels issued a commercial Federal fisheries permit for the summer flounder fishery may not land summer flounder in New York for the remainder of calendar year 2004, unless additional quota becomes available through a transfer. Regulations governing the summer flounder fishery require publication of this notification to advise New York 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 New York.
Effective 0001 hours, December 19, 2004, through 2400 hours, December 31, 2004.Start Further Info
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:
Jason Blackburn, Fishery Management Specialist, (978) 281-9326.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 2004 calendar year was set equal to 16,920,000 lb (7,674,862 kg)(69 FR 2074, January 14, 2004). The percent allocated to vessels landing summer flounder in New York is 7.64699 percent, resulting in a commercial quota of 1,293,871 lb (586,896 kg). The 2004 allocation was reduced to 1,285,853 lb (583,259 kg) due to research set-aside.
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 has been 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 New York has harvested its quota for 2004.
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, December 19, 2004, further landings of summer flounder in New York by vessels holding summer flounder commercial Federal fisheries permits are prohibited for the remainder of the 2004 calendar year, unless additional quota becomes available through a transfer and is announced in the Federal Register. Effective 0001 hours, December 19, 2004, federally permitted dealers are also notified that they may not purchase summer flounder from federally permitted vessels that land in New York 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 E.O. 12866.Start Signature
Dated: December 14, 2004.
Alan D. Risenhoover,
Acting Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine Fisheries Service.
[FR Doc. 04-27734 Filed 12-15-04; 1:46 pm]
BILLING CODE 3510-22-S