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 2011 commercial summer flounder quota to the Commonwealth of Start Printed Page 19277Virginia. Vessels were authorized by Virginia to land summer flounder under safe harbor provisions, thereby requiring a quota transfer to account for an increase in Virginia's landings that would have otherwise accrued against the North Carolina quota. By this action, NMFS adjusts the quotas and announces the revised commercial quota for each state involved.
Effective April 4, 2011 through December 31, 2011.Start Further Info
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:
Carly Knoell, Fishery Management Specialist, 978-281-9224.End Further Info End Preamble Start Supplemental 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 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 499,411 lb (226,529 kg) of its 2011 commercial quota to Virginia. This transfer was prompted by 57 summer flounder landings of North Carolina vessels that were granted safe harbor in Virginia due to hazardous shoaling in Oregon Inlet, North Carolina, severe winter storm conditions, and/or mechanical problems between March 7, 2011, and March 17, 2011. 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 2011 are: North Carolina, 4,163,328 lb (1,888,454 kg); and Virginia, 4,309,240 lb (1,954,639 kg).
This action is taken under 50 CFR part 648 and is exempt from review under Executive Order 12866.Start Signature
Dated: April 4, 2011.
James P. Burgess,
Acting Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine Fisheries Service.
[FR Doc. 2011-8352 Filed 4-4-11; 4:15 pm]
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