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Fisheries of the Northeastern United States; Atlantic Mackerel, Squid, and Butterfish Fisheries; Closure of the Quarter IV Fishery for Loligo

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


Temporary rule; closure.


NMFS announces that the directed fishery for Loligo squid in the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) will be closed effective 0001hrs local time, December 18, 2005. Vessels issued a Federal permit to harvest Loligo squid may not retain or land more than 2,500 lb (1.13 mt) of Loligo squid per trip for the remainder of the year (through December 31, 2005). This action is necessary to prevent the fishery from exceeding its annual quota and allow for effective management of this stock.


Effective 0001 hours, December 18, 2005, through 2400 hours, December 31, 2005.

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Don Frei, Fishery Management Specialist, 978-281-9221, fax 978-281-9135, e-mail

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Regulations governing the Loligo squid fishery are found at 50 CFR part 648. The regulations require specifications for maximum sustainable yield, initial optimum yield, allowable biological catch, domestic annual harvest (DAH), domestic annual processing, joint venture processing and total allowable levels of foreign fishing for the species managed under the Atlantic Mackerel, Squid, and Butterfish Fishery Management Plan. The procedures for setting the annual initial specifications are described in § 648.21.

The 2005 specification of DAH for Loligo squid was set at 16,872.4 mt (70 FR 21971, April 28, 2005). This amount is allocated by quarter, as shown below.

Table. 1 Loligo Squid Quarterly Allocations

QuarterPercentMetric Tons1Research Set-aside
I (Jan-Mar)33.235,564.3N/A
II (Apr-Jun)17.612,948.8N/A
III (Jul-Sep)17.302,896.9N/A
IV (Oct-Dec)31.865,334.9N/A
1 Quarterly allocations after 255.1 mt research set-aside deduction.

Section 648.22 requires NMFS to close the directed Loligo squid fishery in the EEZ when 80 percent of the quarterly allocation is harvested in Quarters I, II and III, and when 95 percent of the total annual DAH has been harvested. NMFS is further required to notify, in advance of the closure, the Executive Directors of the Mid-Atlantic, New England, and South Atlantic Fishery Management Councils; mail notification of the closure to all holders of Loligo squid permits at least 72 hours before the effective date of the closure; provide adequate notice of the closure to recreational participants in the fishery; and publish notification of the closure in the Federal Register. The Administrator, Northeast Region, NMFS, based on dealer reports and other available information, has determined that 95 percent of the total DAH for Loligo squid has been harvested. Therefore, effective 0001 hours, December 18, 2005, the directed fishery for Loligo squid is closed and vessels issued Federal permits for Loligo squid may not retain or land more than 2,500 lb (1.13 mt) of Loligo. Such vessels may not land more than 2,500 lb (1.13 mt) of Loligo during a calendar day. The directed fishery will reopen effective 0001 hours, January 1, 2006, when the 2006 quota becomes available.


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. 05-24266 Filed 12-15-05; 2:38 pm]