[Federal Register Volume 76, Number 46 (Wednesday, March 9, 2011)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Page 12883]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2011-5362]



[[Page 12883]]

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

50 CFR Part 622

[Docket No. 040205043-4043-01]
RIN 0648-XA228


Fisheries of the Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico, and South Atlantic; 
Snapper-Grouper Fishery of the South Atlantic; Closure

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

ACTION: Temporary rule; closure.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

SUMMARY: NMFS closes the commercial sector for vermilion snapper in the 
exclusive economic zone (EEZ) of the South Atlantic. This closure is 
necessary to protect the vermilion snapper resource.

DATES: This rule is effective 12:01 a.m., local time, March 10, 2011, 
until 12:01 a.m., local time, July 1, 2011.

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

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The snapper-grouper fishery of the South 
Atlantic is managed under the Fishery Management Plan for the Snapper-
Grouper Fishery of the South Atlantic Region (FMP). The FMP was 
prepared by the South Atlantic Fishery Management Council and is 
implemented under the authority of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery 
Conservation and Management Act by regulations at 50 CFR part 622.
    The commercial quota for vermilion snapper in the South Atlantic is 
315,523 lb (143,119 kg) for the current fishing period, January 1 
through June 30, 2011, as specified in 50 CFR 622.42(e)(4)(i).
    Under 50 CFR 622.43(a), NMFS is required to close the commercial 
sector for vermilion snapper when its quota has been reached, or is 
projected to be reached, by filing a notification to that effect with 
the Office of the Federal Register. NMFS has determined that the 
commercial quota for South Atlantic vermilion snapper will have been 
reached by March 10, 2011. Accordingly, the commercial sector for South 
Atlantic vermilion snapper is closed effective 12:01 a.m., local time, 
March 10, 2011, until 12:01 a.m., local time, July 1, 2011.
    The operator of a vessel with a valid commercial vessel permit for 
South Atlantic snapper-grouper having vermilion snapper onboard must 
have landed and bartered, traded, or sold such vermilion snapper prior 
to 12:01 a.m., local time, March 10, 2011. During the closure, the bag 
limit and possession limits specified in 50 CFR 622.39(d)(1)(v) and 
(d)(2), respectively, apply to all harvest or possession of vermilion 
snapper in or from the South Atlantic EEZ, and the sale or purchase of 
vermilion snapper taken from the EEZ is prohibited. The prohibition on 
sale or purchase does not apply to the sale or purchase of vermilion 
snapper that were harvested, landed ashore, and sold prior to 12:01 
a.m., local time, March 10, 2011, and were held in cold storage by a 
dealer or processor. For a person on board a vessel for which a Federal 
commercial or charter vessel/headboat permit for the South Atlantic 
snapper-grouper fishery has been issued, the sale and purchase 
provisions of the commercial closure for vermilion snapper would apply 
regardless of whether the fish are harvested in state or Federal 
waters, as specified in 50 CFR 622.43(a)(5)(ii).

Classification

    This action responds to the best available information recently 
obtained from the fishery. The Assistant Administrator for Fisheries, 
NOAA, (AA), finds that the need to immediately implement this action to 
close the commercial sector for vermilion snapper constitutes good 
cause to waive the requirements to provide prior notice and opportunity 
for public comment pursuant to the authority set forth in 5 U.S.C. 
553(b)(B), as such procedures would be unnecessary and contrary to the 
public interest. Such procedures would be unnecessary because the rule 
itself has 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 is 
contrary to the public interest because of the need to immediately 
implement this action to protect the fishery since 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 4, 2011.
Margo Schulze-Haugen,
Acting Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine 
Fisheries Service.
[FR Doc. 2011-5362 Filed 3-4-11; 4:15 pm]
BILLING CODE 3510-22-P