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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.

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Start Preamble

AGENCY:

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

ACTION:

Temporary rule; trip limit reduction.

SUMMARY:

NMFS reduces the commercial trip limit for king mackerel in the northern Florida west coast subzone to 500 lb (227 kg) of king mackerel per day in or from the exclusive economic zone (EEZ). This trip limit reduction is necessary to protect the Gulf king mackerel resource.

DATES:

This rule is effective 12:01 a.m., local time, October 26, 2010, until 12:01 a.m., local time, July 1, 2011, unless changed by further notice in the Federal Register.

Start Further Info

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Susan Gerhart, telephone: 727-824-5305, or e-mail: susan.gerhart@noaa.gov.

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SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

The fishery for coastal migratory pelagic fish (king mackerel, Spanish mackerel, cero, cobia, little tunny, and, in the Gulf of Mexico (Gulf) 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 Gulf of Mexico eastern zone into northern and southern subzones, and established their separate commercial quotas. The northern Florida west coast subzone is located in Federal waters of the Gulf north of 26°19.8′ N lat. (a line directly west from the Lee/Collier County, FL boundary) and east of 87°31.1′ W long. (a line directly south from the Alabama/Florida boundary). The quota for the northern subzone is 168,750 lb (76,544 kg) (50 CFR 622.42(c)(1)(ii)).

In accordance with 50 CFR 622.44(a)(2)(ii)(B)(2), from the date that 75 percent of the northern Florida west coast subzone's quota has been harvested until a closure of the subzone has been effected or the fishing year ends, king mackerel in or from the EEZ may be possessed on board or landed from a permitted vessel in amounts not exceeding 500 lb (227 kg) per day.

NMFS has determined that 75 percent of the quota for Gulf group king mackerel from the northern Florida west coast subzone has been reached. Accordingly, a 500-lb (227-kg) trip limit applies to vessels harvesting commercial quantities of king mackerel in or from the EEZ in the northern Florida west coast subzone effective 12:01 a.m., local time, October 26, 2010. The 500-lb (227-kg) trip limit will remain in effect until the northern Florida west coast subzone closes or until the end of the current fishing year (June 30, 2011), whichever occurs first.

Classification

This action responds to the best available information recently obtained from the fishery. The Assistant Administrator for Fisheries, NOAA, (AA), finds the need to immediately implement this commercial trip limit reduction constitutes good cause to waive the requirements to provide prior notice and opportunity for public comment pursuant to the authority set forth in 5 U.S.C. 553(b)(B), as such procedures would be 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 to protect the fishery resource because the capacity of the commercial fleet allows for rapid harvest of the quota. Prior notice and opportunity for public comment would require time and 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 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.

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Authority: 16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq.

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Dated: October 21, 2010.

Carrie Selberg,

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

End Signature End Supplemental Information

[FR Doc. 2010-27081 Filed 10-21-10; 4:15 pm]

BILLING CODE 3510-22-P