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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; quota transfer.


NMFS announces that the State of North Carolina is transferring a portion of its 2010 commercial summer flounder quota to the Commonwealth of Virginia. In addition, the State of Maine is transferring a portion of its 2010 commercial summer flounder quota to the State of Rhode Island. By this action, NMFS adjusts the quotas and announces the revised commercial quota for each state involved.


Effective December 27, 2010, through December 31, 2010.

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Sarah Heil, Fishery Management Specialist, 978-281-9257.

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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 11,815 lb (5,359 kg) of its 2010 commercial quota to Virginia. This transfer was prompted by summer flounder landings of two North Carolina vessels that were granted safe harbor in Virginia due to mechanical problems on November 19, 2010, and December 6, 2010. In addition, Maine has agreed to transfer 6,000 lb (2,722 kg) of its 2010 commercial quota to Rhode Island. The Regional Administrator has determined that the criteria set forth in § 648.100(d)(3) have been met. The revised summer flounder quotas for calendar year 2010 are: North Carolina, 3,358,231 lb (1,523,268 kg); Virginia, 2,922,226 lb (1,325,499 kg); Maine, 126 lb (57 kg); and Rhode Island, 2,025,915 lb (918,940 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: December 27, 2010.

Emily H. Menashes,

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

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[FR Doc. 2010-32947 Filed 12-27-10; 4:15 pm]