National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Commerce.
Temporary rule; closure.
NMFS announces that 95 percent of the Atlantic herring total allowable catch (TAC) allocated to Management Area 1B (Area 1B) for fishing year 2005 is projected to be harvested by December 23, 2005. Therefore, effective 0001 hours, December 23, 2005, federally permitted vessels may not fish for, catch, possess, transfer or land more than 2,000 lb (907.2 kg) of Atlantic herring in or from Area 1B per trip or calendar day until January 1, 2006 when the 2006 TAC becomes available, except for transiting Start Printed Page 76715purposes as described in this document. 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 1B has been harvested, and no TAC is available for the directed fishery for Atlantic herring harvested from Area 1B.
Effective 0001 hrs local time, December 24, 2005, through 2400 hrs local time, December 31, 2005.Start Further Info
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:
Don Frei, Fisheries Management Specialist, at (978) 281-9221.End Further Info End Preamble Start Supplemental 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 2005 TAC allocated to Area 1B for the fishing year (70 FR 21971, April 28, 2005) is 10,000 mt (22,046,226 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 TAC allocated. When such a determination is made, NMFS is required to publish notification in the Federal Register of this determination. Effective upon a specific date, NMFS must notify vessel and dealer permit holders that vessels are prohibited from fishing for, catching, possessing, transferring or landing more than 2,000 lb (907.2 kg) of herring per trip or calendar day in or from the specified management area for the remainder of the closure period. Transiting of Area 1B is allowed under the conditions specified below.
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 1B for the 2005 fishing year is projected to be harvested by December 23, 2005. Therefore, effective 0001 hrs local time, December 23, 2005, federally permitted vessels may not fish for, catch, possess, transfer or land more than 2,000 lb (907.2 kg) of Atlantic herring in or from Area 1B per trip or calendar day through December 31, 2005; except a vessel may transit, or land herring in Area 1B with more than 2,000 lb (907.2 kg) of herring on board, provided such herring were not caught in Area 1B, and provided all fishing gear is stowed and not available for immediate use as required by ' 648.23(b). Effective December 23, 2005, 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 1B through December 31, 2005, 2400 hrs local time.
This action is required by 50 CFR part 648 and is exempt from review under E.O. 12866.Start Signature
Dated: December 21, 2005.
Alan D. Risenhoover,
Acting Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine Fisheries Service.
[FR Doc. 05-24520 Filed 12-22-05; 1:23 pm]
BILLING CODE 3510-22-S