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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 New Jersey is transferring a portion of its 2016 commercial summer flounder quota to the Commonwealth of Virginia. These quota adjustments are necessary to comply with the Summer Flounder, Scup and Black Sea Bass Fishery Management Plan quota transfer provision. This announcement informs the public of the revised commercial quotas for New Jersey and Virginia.


Effective December 8, 2016, through December 31, 2016.

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Cynthia Hanson, Fishery Management Specialist, (978)-281-9180.

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Regulations governing the summer flounder fishery are found in 50 CFR 648.100 through 648.110. These regulations require annual specification of a commercial quota that is apportioned among the coastal states from Maine through North Carolina. The process to set the annual commercial quota and the percent allocated to each state are described in § 648.102, and the initial 2016 allocations were published on December 28, 2015 (80 FR 80689).

The final rule implementing Amendment 5 to the Summer Flounder Fishery Management Plan, as published in the Federal Register on December 17, 1993 (58 FR 65936), provided a mechanism for transferring summer flounder commercial quota from one state to another. Two or more states, under mutual agreement and with the concurrence of the NMFS Greater Atlantic Regional Administrator, can transfer or combine summer flounder commercial quota under § 648.102(c)(2). The Regional Administrator is required to consider the criteria in § 648.102(c)(2)(i)(A) through (C) in the evaluation of requests for quota transfers or combinations.

New Jersey is transferring 226 lb (103 kg) of summer flounder commercial quota to Virginia. This transfer was requested by New Jersey to repay landings by a New Jersey-permitted vessel that landed in Virginia under a safe harbor agreement.

The revised summer flounder quotas for calendar year 2016 are now: New Jersey, 1,381,653 lb (626,707 kg); and Virginia, 1,759,787 lb (798,226 kg); based on the initial quotas published in the 2016-2018 Summer Flounder, Scup, and Black Sea Bass Specifications.


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 6, 2016.

Emily H. Menashes,

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

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[FR Doc. 2016-29574 Filed 12-8-16; 8:45 am]