National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Commerce.
Temporary rule; closure.
NMFS closes the commercial hook-and-line fishery for king mackerel in the southern Florida west coast subzone. This closure is necessary to protect the Gulf king mackerel resource.
This rule is effective 12:01 a.m., local time, February 28, 2009, through June 30, 2009.Start Further Info
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:
Susan Gerhart, telephone 727-824-5305, fax 727-824-5308, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.End Further Info End Preamble Start Supplemental Information
The fishery for coastal migratory pelagic fish (king mackerel, Spanish mackerel, cero, cobia, little tunny, and, in the Gulf of Mexico only, dolphin and 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 (Magnuson-Stevens Act) by regulations at 50 CFR part 622.
On April 27, 2000, NMFS implemented the final rule (65 FR 16336, March 28, 2000) that divided the Florida west coast subzone of the eastern zone into northern and southern subzones, and established their separate quotas. The quota for the hook-and-line fishery in the southern Florida west coast subzone is 520,312 lb (236,010 kg)(50 CFR 622.42(c)(1)(i)(A)(2)(i)).
Under 50 CFR 622.43(a), NMFS is required to close any segment of the king mackerel commercial fishery when its quota has been reached, or is projected to be reached, by filing a notification at the Office of the Federal Register. NMFS has determined the Start Printed Page 8880commercial quota for Gulf group king mackerel in the southern Florida west coast subzone will be reached by February 28, 2009. Accordingly, the commercial fishery for Gulf group king mackerel in the southern subzone is closed effective 12:01 a.m., local time, February 28, 2009, through June 30, 2009, the end of the fishing year.
The Florida west coast subzone is that part of the eastern zone located south and west of 25°20.4′ N. lat. (a line directly east from the Miami-Dade County, FL boundary) along the west coast of Florida to 87°31′06′ W. long. (a line directly south from the Alabama/Florida boundary). The Florida west coast subzone is further divided into northern and southern subzones. From November 1 through March 31, the southern subzone is designated as the area extending south and west from 25°20.4′ N. lat. to 26°19.8′ N. lat. (a line directly west from the Lee/Collier County, Florida, boundary), i.e., the area off Collier and Monroe Counties. Beginning April 1, the southern subzone is reduced to the area off Collier County, Florida, between 25°48′ N. lat. and 26°19.8′ N. lat.
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)(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 has already been subject to notice and comment, and all that remains is to notify the public of the closure. 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 because 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 Signature
Dated: February 23, 2009.
Emily H. Menashes,
Acting Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine Fisheries Service.
[FR Doc. E9-4273 Filed 2-24-09; 4:15 pm]
BILLING CODE 3510-22-S