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Fisheries of the Northeastern United States; Summer Flounder Fishery; Quota Transfer

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


Temporary rule; inseason quota transfer.


NMFS announces that the State of North Carolina is transferring a portion of its 2009 commercial summer flounder quota to the Commonwealth of Virginia and the State of New Jersey. By this action, NMFS adjusts the quotas and announces the revised commercial quota for each state involved.


Effective February 9, 2009 through December 31, 2009.

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Emily Bryant, Fishery Management Specialist, (978) 281-9244, FAX (978) 281-9135.

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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 among the coastal states from North Carolina through Maine. The process to set the annual commercial quota and the percent allocated to each state are described in § 648.100.

The final rule implementing Amendment 5 to the Summer Flounder, Scup, and Black Sea Bass Fishery Management Plan, which was published on December 17, 1993 (58 FR 65936), provided a mechanism for summer flounder quota to be transferred from one state to another. Two or more states, under mutual agreement and with the concurrence of the Administrator, Northeast Region, NMFS (Regional Administrator), can transfer or combine summer flounder commercial quota under § 648.100(d). The Regional Administrator is required to consider the criteria set forth in § 648.100(d)(3) in the evaluation of requests for quota transfers or combinations.

North Carolina has agreed to transfer 28,952 lb (13,132 kg) of its 2009 commercial quota to Virginia to cover the summer flounder landings of three North Carolina vessels granted safe harbor in Virginia due to mechanical issues between January 2 and January 6, 2009. In addition, North Carolina has agreed to transfer 1,033 lb (469 kg) of its 2009 commercial quota to New Jersey to cover the summer flounder landings of one North Carolina vessel granted safe harbor in New Jersey due to mechanical issues on December 18, 2008. Although this event occurred at the end of the previous fishing year, both states have agreed to apply their transfer amounts to the 2009 quota allocations. The Regional Administrator has determined that the criteria set forth in § 648.100(d)(3) have been met. The revised quotas for calendar year 2009 are: North Carolina, 2,917,924 lb (1,323,184 kg); Virginia, 2,317,924 lb (1,051,393 kg); and New Jersey, 1,796,946 (1,051,393 kg).


This action is taken under 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: February 9, 2009

Emily H. Menashes,

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

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[FR Doc. E9-3021 Filed 2-9-09; 4:15 pm]