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Rule

Fisheries of the Northeastern United States; Atlantic Bluefish Fishery; Quota Transfer From NJ to NY

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AGENCY:

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

ACTION:

Notification of quota transfer.

SUMMARY:

NMFS announces that the State of New Jersey is transferring a portion of its 2020 commercial bluefish quota to the State of New York. This quota adjustment is necessary to comply with the Atlantic Bluefish Fishery Management Plan quota transfer provisions. This announcement informs the public of the revised commercial bluefish quotas for New Jersey and New York.

DATES:

Effective August 10, 2020, through December 31, 2020.

Start Further Info

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Laura Hansen, Fishery Management Specialist, (978) 281-9225.

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SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Regulations governing the Atlantic bluefish fishery are found in 50 CFR 648.160 through 648.167. These 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 is described in § 648.162 and the final 2020 allocations were published on June 29, 2020 (85 FR 38794).

The final rule implementing Amendment 1 to the Bluefish Fishery Management Plan (FMP) 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 NMFS Greater Atlantic Regional Administrator, can request approval to transfer or combine 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). The Regional Administrator is required to consider three criteria in the evaluation of requests for quota transfers or combinations: The transfer or combinations would preclude the overall annual quota from being fully harvested; the transfer addresses an unforeseen variation or contingency in the fishery; and the transfer is consistent with the objectives of the FMP and the Magnuson-Stevens Act.

New Jersey is transferring 50,000 pounds (lb) (22,679 kilograms (kg)) of bluefish commercial quota to New York through mutual agreement of the states. This transfer was requested to ensure that New York would not exceed its 2020 state quota before the new increased quotas were implemented. The revised bluefish quotas for 2020 are: New Jersey, 359,934 lb (162,263 kg); and New York, 337,335 lb (153,012 kg).

Classification

This action is taken under 50 CFR part 648 and is exempt from review under Executive Order 12866.

Start Authority

Authority: 16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq.

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Dated: August 6, 2020.

Jennifer M. Wallace,

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

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[FR Doc. 2020-17523 Filed 8-10-20; 8:45 am]

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