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Rule

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

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Information about this document as published in the Federal Register.

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AGENCY:

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

ACTION:

Temporary rule; inseason quota transfers.

SUMMARY:

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

DATES:

Effective April 24, 2009 through December 31, 2009.

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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

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

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SUPPLEMENTARY 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 among the coastal states from North Carolina through Maine. The process to set the annual commercial Start Printed Page 19459quota 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 14,950 lb (6,781 kg) of its 2009 commercial quota to Virginia to cover the summer flounder landings of one North Carolina vessel granted safe harbor in Virginia due to mechanical issues on February 26, 2009. In addition, Virginia has agreed to transfer 9,530 lb (4,241 kg) of its 2009 commercial quota to New Jersey to cover the summer flounder landings of one Virginia vessel granted safe harbor in New Jersey due to mechanical issues on February 27, 2009. 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, 2,879,042 lb (1,305,911 kg); Virginia, 2,346,474 lb (1,064,343 kg); and New Jersey, 1,806,476 lb (819,404 kg).

Classification

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: April 24, 2009.

Kristen C. Koch,

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

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[FR Doc. E9-9805 Filed 4-24-09; 4:15 pm]

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