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Rule

Fisheries of the Northeastern United States; Summer Flounder Fishery; Commercial Quota Harvested for New York

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:

Temporary rule; closure.

SUMMARY:

NMFS announces that the 2005 summer flounder commercial quota available to New York has been harvested and is announcing the closure of summer flounder in Federal waters. 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 2005, unless additional quota becomes available through a transfer. Regulations governing the summer flounder fishery require publication of this notification to advise New York of the closure and to advise vessel permit holders and dealer permit holders that no commercial quota is available for landing summer flounder in New York.

DATES:

Effective 0001 hours, December 14, 2005, through 2400 hours, December 31, 2005.

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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Mike Ruccio, Fishery Management Specialist, (978) 281-9104.

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SUPPLEMENTARY 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 2005 calendar year was set equal to 18,180,002 lb (8,246,395 kg) (70 FR 303, January 4, 2005). The percent allocated to vessels landing summer flounder in New York is 7.64699 percent, resulting in a commercial quota of 1,390,223 lb (630,601 kg). However, the 2005 allocation to New York was reduced to 1,374,164 lb (623,317 kg) due to research set-aside. The states of North Carolina, New Jersey, and Rhode Island and the Commonwealth of Virginia have transferred a total of 50,530 lb (22,920 kg) to New York in accordance with the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission Addendum XV to the Summer Flounder, Scup, and Black Sea Bass Fishery Management Plan, bringing the total quota to 1,424,694 lb (646,241 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 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 2005.

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 14, 2005, further landings of summer flounder in New York by vessels holding summer flounder commercial Federal fisheries permits are prohibited for the remainder of the 2005 calendar year, unless additional quota becomes available through a transfer and is announced in the Federal Register. Effective 0001 hours, December 14, 2005, federally permitted dealers 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.

Classification

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: December 14, 2005.

Alan D. Risenhoover,

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

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[FR Doc. 05-24204 Filed 12-14-05; 1:57 pm]

BILLING CODE 3510-22-S