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 Maine has been harvested. Vessels issued a commercial Federal fisheries permit for the summer flounder fishery may not land summer flounder in Maine for the remainder of calendar year 2006, unless additional quota becomes available through a transfer. Regulations governing the summer flounder fishery require publication of this notification to advise Maine 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 Maine.
Effective 0001 hours, August 31, 2006, through 2400 hours, December 31, 2006.Start Further Info
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:
Douglas Potts, Fishery Management Specialist, (978) 281-9341End 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 2006 calendar year was set equal to 14,154,000 lb (6,420 mt) (70 FR 77061, December 29, 2005). The percent allocated to vessels landing summer flounder in Maine is 0.04756 percent, resulting in a commercial quota of 6,732 lb (3,054 kg). The 2006 allocation was reduced to 6,630 lb (3,007 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 Maine has harvested its quota for 2006.
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, August 31, 2006, further landings of summer flounder in Maine by vessels holding summer flounder commercial Federal fisheries permits are prohibited for the remainder of the 2006 calendar year, unless additional quota becomes available through a transfer and is announced in the Federal Register. Effective 0001 hours, August 31, 2006, federally permitted dealers are also notified that they may not purchase summer flounder from federally permitted vessels that land in Maine for the remainder of the calendar year, or Start Printed Page 51532until additional quota becomes available through a transfer.
This action is required by 50 CFR part 648 and is exempt from review under Executive Order 12866.Start Signature
Dated: August 24, 2006.
James P. Burgess,
Acting Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine Fisheries Service.
[FR Doc. E6-14474 Filed 8-29-06; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 3510-22-S