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Rule

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

Document Details

Information about this document as published in the Federal Register.

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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 directed fishery for Loligo squid in the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) will be closed effective 0001 hours, July 17, 2008. Vessels issued a Federal permit to harvest Loligo squid may not retain or land more than 2,500 lb (1,134 kg) of Loligo squid per trip for the remainder of the trimester (through August 31, 2008). This action is necessary to prevent the fishery from exceeding its Trimester II quota and to allow for effective management of this stock.

DATES:

Effective 0001 hours, July 17, 2008, through 2400 hours, August 31, 2008.

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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Don Frei, Fishery Management Specialist, 978-281-9221, Fax 978-281-9135.Start Printed Page 40987

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SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

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 2008 specification of DAH for Loligo squid was set at 16,977 mt (73 FR 18443, April 4, 2008). This amount is allocated by trimester, as shown below.

Table 1. Loligo Squid Trimester Allocations.

QuarterPercentMetric Tons1Research Set-aside (mt)
I (Jan-Apr)437,300N/A
II (May-Aug)172,886N/A
III (Sep-Dec)40.6,791N/A
Total10016,99723
1 Trimester allocations after 23-mt research set-aside deduction.

Section 648.22 requires NMFS to close the directed Loligo squid fishery in the EEZ when 90 percent of the trimester allocation is harvested in Trimesters I and II, and when 95 percent of the total annual DAH has been harvested in Trimester III. 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 hR 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 90 percent of the DAH for Loligo squid in Trimester II will be harvested. Therefore, effective 0001 hours, July 17, 2008, 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 (1,134 kg) of Loligo during a calendar day. The directed fishery will reopen effective 0001 hours, September 1, 2008, when the Trimester III quota becomes available.

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: July 11, 2008.

Emily H. Menashes,

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

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[FR Doc. 08-1440 Filed 7-14-08; 2:00 pm]

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