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Rule

Fisheries of the Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico, and South Atlantic; Coastal Migratory Pelagic Resources of the Gulf of Mexico and South Atlantic; Trip Limit Reduction

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.

Start Preamble

AGENCY:

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

ACTION:

Temporary rule; inseason trip limit reduction.

SUMMARY:

NMFS reduces the commercial trip limit of Atlantic group Spanish mackerel in or from the exclusive economic zone (EEZ) in the southern zone to 1,500 lb (680 kg) per day. This trip limit reduction is necessary to maximize the socioeconomic benefits of the quota.

DATES:

Effective 6 a.m., local time, February 5, 2007, through February 28, 2007, unless changed by further notification in the Federal Register.

Start Further Info

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Steve Branstetter, telephone: 727-824-5305, fax: 727-570-5308, e-mail: Steve.Branstetter@noaa.gov.

End Further Info End Preamble Start Supplemental Information

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

The fishery for coastal migratory pelagic fish (king mackerel, Spanish mackerel, cero, cobia, little tunny, dolphin, and, in the Gulf of Mexico only, bluefish) is managed under the Fishery Management Plan for the Coastal Migratory Pelagic Resources of the Gulf of Mexico and South Atlantic (FMP). The FMP was prepared by the Gulf of Mexico and South Atlantic Fishery Management Councils (Councils) and is implemented under the authority of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act by regulations at 50 CFR part 622.

Based on the Councils' recommended total allowable catch and the allocation ratios in the FMP (65 FR 41015, July 3, 2000) NMFS implemented a commercial quota of 3.87 million lb (1.76 million kg) for the Atlantic migratory group of Spanish mackerel. Atlantic migratory group Spanish mackerel are divided into a northern and southern zone for management purposes. The southern zone for Atlantic migratory group Spanish mackerel extends from 30°42′45.6″ N. lat., which is a line directly east from the Georgia/Florida boundary, to 25°20.4′ N. lat., which is a line directly east from the Miami-Dade/Monroe County, Florida, boundary.

For the southern zone, seasonally variable trip limits are based off an adjusted quota of 3.62 million lb (1.64 million kg). The adjusted quota is calculated to allow continued harvest in the southern zone at a set rate for the remainder of the fishing year in accordance with 50 CFR 622.44(b)(2). Beginning December 1, trip limits are unlimited on weekdays and 1,500 lb (680 kg) per day on weekends. When 75 percent of the adjusted quota of Atlantic group Spanish mackerel is taken until 100 percent of the adjusted quota is taken, Spanish mackerel in or from the EEZ in the southern zone may not be Start Printed Page 5346possessed on board or landed from a permitted vessel in amounts exceeding 1,500 lb (680 kg) per day.

NMFS has determined that 75 percent of the adjusted quota for Atlantic group Spanish mackerel has been taken. Accordingly, the 1,500-lb (680-kg) per day commercial trip limit applies to Spanish mackerel in or from the EEZ in the southern zone effective 6 a.m., local time, February 5, 2007, through February 28, 2007, unless changed by further notification in the Federal Register.

Classification

This action responds to the best available information recently obtained from the fishery. The Assistant Administrator for Fisheries, NOAA, (AA), finds good cause to waive the requirement to provide prior notice and opportunity for public comment pursuant to the authority set forth at 5 U.S.C. 553(b)(3)(B), as such prior notice and opportunity for public comment is unnecessary and contrary to the public interest. Such procedures would be unnecessary because the rule itself already has been subject to notice and comment, and all that remains is to notify the public of the trip limit reduction. Allowing prior notice and opportunity for public comment is contrary to the public interest because of the need to immediately implement this action in order to protect the fishery since the capacity of the fishing fleet allows for rapid harvest of the quota. Prior notice and opportunity for public comment will require time and would potentially result in a harvest well in excess of the established quota.

For the aforementioned reasons, the AA also finds good cause to waive the 30 day delay in the effectiveness of this action under 5 U.S.C. 553(d)(3).

This action is taken under 50 CFR 622.43(a) and is exempt from review under Executive Order 12866.

Start Authority

Authority: 16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq.

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Dated: January 31, 2007.

James P. Burgess,

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

End Signature End Supplemental Information

[FR Doc. 07-504 Filed 2-1-07; 2:37 pm]

BILLING CODE 3510-22-S