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Fisheries of the Northeastern United States; Atlantic Bluefish Fishery; Quota Transfer

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


Temporary rule; approval of quota transfer.


NMFS announces its approval of the State of North Carolina transferring a portion of its 2016 commercial bluefish quota to the State of New York. This approval of the quota complies with the Atlantic Bluefish Fishery Management Plan quota transfer provision. This announcement also informs the public of the revised commercial quotas for North Carolina and New York.


Effective September 1, 2016, through December 31, 2016.

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Reid Lichwell, Fishery Management Specialist, (978) 281-9112.

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Regulations governing the Atlantic bluefish fishery are found in 50 CFR 648.160 through 648.167. The regulations require annual specification of a commercial quota that is apportioned among the coastal states from Maine through Florida. The process to set the annual commercial quota and the percent allocated to each state are described in § 648.162.

The final rule implementing Amendment 1 to the Bluefish Fishery Management Plan published in the Federal Register on July 26, 2000 (65 FR 45844), and provided a mechanism for transferring bluefish quota from one state to another. Two or more states, under mutual agreement and with the concurrence of the Administrator, Greater Atlantic Region, NMFS (Regional Administrator), can request approval of a transfer of bluefish commercial quota under § 648.162(e)(1)(i) through (iii). The Regional Administrator must first approve any such transfer based on the criteria in § 648.162(e).

New York and North Carolina have requested the transfer of 100,000 lb (45,359 kg) of Atlantic bluefish commercial quota from North Carolina Start Printed Page 60636to New York and have certified that the transfer meets all pertinent state requirements. This quota transfer was requested by the State of New York to ensure that its 2016 quota would not be exceeded. The Regional Administrator has approved this quota transfer based on his determination that the criteria set forth in § 648.162(e)(1)(i) through (iii) have been met. The revised bluefish quotas for calendar year 2016 are: North Carolina, 1,466,100 lb (665,012 kg); and New York, 687,289 lb (311,749 kg). These quota adjustments revise the quotas specified in the final rule implementing the 2016-2018 Atlantic Bluefish Specifications published on August 4, 2016 (81 FR 51370), and reflect all subsequent commercial bluefish quota transfers completed to date.


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: August 30, 2016.

Emily H. Menashes,

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

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[FR Doc. 2016-21206 Filed 9-1-16; 8:45 am]