[Federal Register Volume 76, Number 45 (Tuesday, March 8, 2011)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 12604-12605]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2011-5227]


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DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

50 CFR Part 622

[Docket No. 001005281-0369-02]
RIN 0648-XA263


Fisheries of the Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico, and South Atlantic; 
Coastal Migratory Pelagic Resources of the Gulf of Mexico and South 
Atlantic; Trip Limit Reduction

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

ACTION: Temporary rule; trip limit reduction.

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SUMMARY: NMFS reduces the trip limit for the hook-and-line component of 
the commercial sector for Gulf group king mackerel in the southern 
Florida west coast subzone to 500 lb (227 kg) of king mackerel per day 
in or from the exclusive economic zone (EEZ). This trip limit reduction 
is necessary to protect the Gulf king mackerel resource.

DATES: This rule is effective 12:01 a.m., local time, March 8, 2011, 
through June 30, 2011, unless changed by further notice in the Federal 
Register.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Steve Branstetter, telephone: 727-824-
5305, fax: 727-824-5308, e-mail: Steve.Branstetter@noaa.gov.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The fishery for coastal migratory pelagic 
fish (king mackerel, Spanish mackerel, cero, cobia, little tunny, and, 
in the Gulf of Mexico only, dolphin and bluefish) is managed under the 
Fishery Management Plan for the Coastal Migratory Pelagic Resources of 
the Gulf of Mexico and South Atlantic (FMP). The FMP was prepared by 
the Gulf of Mexico and South Atlantic Fishery Management Councils 
(Councils) and is implemented under the authority of the Magnuson-
Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act

[[Page 12605]]

(Magnuson-Stevens Act) by regulations at 50 CFR part 622.
    On April 27, 2000, NMFS implemented the final rule (65 FR 16336, 
March 28, 2000) that divided the Florida west coast subzone of the Gulf 
of Mexico eastern zone into northern and southern subzones, and 
established their separate quotas. The king mackerel quota for the 
hook-and-line component of the commercial sector in the southern 
Florida west coast subzone is 520,312 lb (236,010 kg) (50 CFR 
622.42(c)(1)(i)(A)(2)(i)).
    In accordance with 50 CFR 622.44(a)(2)(ii)(B)(2), from the date 
that 75 percent of the southern Florida west coast subzone's hook-and-
line gear quota has been harvested until a closure of the subzone's 
hook-and-line component has been effected or the fishing year ends, 
king mackerel in or from the EEZ may be possessed on board or landed 
from a permitted vessel in amounts not exceeding 500 lb (227 kg) per 
day.
    NMFS has determined that 75 percent of the quota for the hook-and-
line component of the commercial sector for Gulf group king mackerel 
from the southern Florida west coast subzone has been reached. 
Accordingly, a 500-lb (227-kg) trip limit applies to vessels in the 
hook-and-line component of the commercial sector for king mackerel in 
or from the EEZ in the southern Florida west coast subzone effective 
12:01 a.m., local time, March 8, 2011. The 500-lb (227-kg) trip limit 
will remain in effect until the commercial sector closes or until the 
end of the current fishing year (June 30, 2011), whichever occurs 
first.
    The Florida west coast subzone is that part of the eastern zone 
located south and west of 25[deg]20.4' N. lat. (a line directly east 
from the Miami-Dade/Monroe County, FL boundary) along the west coast of 
Florida to 87[deg]31'06' W. long. (a line directly south from the 
Alabama/Florida boundary). The Florida west coast subzone is further 
divided into northern and southern subzones. From November 1 through 
March 31, the southern subzone is designated as the area extending 
south and west from 25[deg]20.4' N. lat. to 26[deg]19.8' N. lat. (a 
line directly west from the Lee/Collier County, Florida, boundary), 
i.e., the area off Collier and Monroe Counties. Beginning April 1, the 
southern subzone is reduced to the area off Collier County, Florida, 
between 25[deg]48' N. lat. and 26[deg]19.8' N. lat.

Classification

    This action responds to the best available information recently 
obtained from the fisheries. The Assistant Administrator for Fisheries, 
NOAA (AA), finds that the need to immediately implement this trip limit 
reduction for the king mackerel hook-and-line component of the 
commercial sector in the southern Florida west coast subzone 
constitutes good cause to waive the requirements to provide prior 
notice and opportunity for public comment pursuant to the authority set 
forth at 5 U.S.C. 553(b)(B) as such prior notice and opportunity for 
public comment is unnecessary and contrary to the public interest. Such 
procedures would be unnecessary because the rule implementing the quota 
and the associated requirement for closure of the commercial harvest 
when the quota is reached or projected to be reached has already been 
subject to notice and comment, and all that remains is to notify the 
public of the closure.
    Allowing prior notice and opportunity for public comment on this 
action would be contrary to the public interest because any delay in 
the trip limit reduction of the commercial harvest could result in the 
commercial quota being exceeded. There is a need to immediately 
implement this action to protect the king mackerel resource because the 
capacity of the fishing fleet allows for rapid harvest of the quota. 
Prior notice and opportunity for public comment would require time and 
would potentially result in a harvest well in excess of the established 
quota.
    For the aforementioned reasons, the AA also finds good cause to 
waive the 30-day delay in the effectiveness of this action under 5 
U.S.C. 553(d)(3).
    This action is taken under 50 CFR 622.43(a) and is exempt from 
review under Executive Order 12866.

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

    Dated: March 3, 2011.
Emily H. Menashes,
Acting Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine 
Fisheries Service.
[FR Doc. 2011-5227 Filed 3-3-11; 4:15 pm]
BILLING CODE 3510-22-P