[Federal Register Volume 77, Number 64 (Tuesday, April 3, 2012)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 19951-19952]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2012-7985]


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

DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

50 CFR Part 648

[Docket No. 111220786-1781-01]
RIN 0648-XB103


Fisheries of the Northeastern United States; Summer Flounder 
Fishery; Quota Transfer

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

ACTION: Temporary rule; quota transfer.

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

SUMMARY: NMFS announces that the State of North Carolina is 
transferring a portion of its 2012 commercial summer flounder quota to 
the Commonwealth of Virginia. The State of North Carolina is also 
retroactively transferring a portion of its 2011 commercial summer 
flounder quota to the Commonwealth of Virginia. NMFS is adjusting the 
quotas and announcing the revised commercial quota for each state 
involved.

DATES: Effective April 2, 2012, through December 31, 2012.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Carly Bari, Fishery Management 
Specialist, 978-281-9224.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Regulations governing the summer flounder 
fishery are in 50 CFR part 648, and require annual specification of a 
commercial quota that is apportioned among the coastal states from 
North Carolina through Maine. The process to set the annual commercial 
quota and the percent allocated to each state are described in Sec.  
648.100.
    The final rule implementing Amendment 5 to the Summer Flounder, 
Scup, and Black Sea Bass Fishery Management Plan, which was published 
on December 17, 1993 (58 FR 65936), provided a mechanism for summer 
flounder quota to be transferred from one state to another. Two or more 
states, under mutual agreement and with the concurrence of the 
Administrator, Northeast Region, NMFS (Regional Administrator), can 
transfer or combine summer flounder commercial quota under Sec.  
648.102(c)(2). The Regional Administrator is required to consider the 
criteria in Sec.  648.102(c)(2)(i) to evaluate requests for quota 
transfers or combinations.
    North Carolina has agreed to transfer 831,241 lb (377,044 kg) of 
its 2012 commercial quota to Virginia. This transfer was prompted by 
summer flounder landings of a number of North Carolina vessels that 
were granted safe harbor in Virginia due to hazardous shoaling in 
Oregon Inlet, North Carolina, between February 1, 2012, and March 1, 
2012, thereby requiring a quota transfer to account for an increase in 
Virginia's landings that would have otherwise accrued against the North 
Carolina quota. Additionally, 8,601 lb (3,901 kg) of summer flounder 
commercial quota will be retroactively transferred from North Carolina 
to Virginia for a landing that occurred on December 19, 2011. The 
Regional Administrator has determined that the criteria set forth in 
Sec.  648.102(c)(2)(i) have been met. The revised summer flounder 
quotas for calendar year 2011 are: North Carolina, 3,151,783 lb 
(1,429,625 kg); and Virginia, 5,305,295 lb (2,406,441 kg). The revised 
summer flounder quotas for calendar year 2012 are: North Carolina, 
1,783,420 lb

[[Page 19952]]

(808,945 kg); and Virginia, 4,423,924 lb (2,006,658 kg).

Classification

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

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

    Dated: March 29, 2012.
Carrie Selberg,
Acting Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine 
Fisheries Service.
[FR Doc. 2012-7985 Filed 4-2-12; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 3510-22-P