[Federal Register Volume 77, Number 132 (Tuesday, July 10, 2012)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 40527-40528]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2012-16917]


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DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

50 CFR Part 648

[Docket No. 110707371-2136-02]
RIN 0648-XC098


Fisheries of the Northeastern United States; Atlantic Mackerel, 
Squid, and Butterfish Fisheries; Closure of the 2012 Trimester 2 
Directed Longfin Squid Fishery

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

ACTION: Temporary rule; closure.

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SUMMARY: NMFS announces that 90 percent of the Trimester 2 longfin 
squid (longfin) quota is projected to be harvested by 0001 hours, July 
10, 2012. Therefore, the directed longfin fishery in the Exclusive 
Economic Zone (EEZ) will be closed as of 0001 hours, July 10, 2012, and 
vessels issued a Federal permit are prohibited from possessing or 
landing more than 2,500 lb (1.13 mt) of longfin for the remainder of 
Trimester 2 (through August 31, 2012). The directed longfin fishery 
will re-open for Trimester 3 on September 1, 2012. This action is 
necessary to prevent the fishery from exceeding its Trimester 2 
allocation of 12,490,290 lb (5,666 mt), and to allow for effective 
management of this stock.

DATES: Effective 0001 hours, July 10, 2012, through 2400 hours, August 
31, 2012.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Lindsey Feldman, Fishery Management 
Specialist, 978-675-2179, Fax 978-281-9135.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Regulations governing the longfin fisheries 
are found at 50 CFR part 648. The regulations require specifications 
for maximum sustainable yield, initial optimum yield, allowable 
biological catch (ABC), domestic annual harvest (DAH), domestic annual 
processing, joint venture processing, and total allowable levels of 
foreign fishing for the species managed under the Atlantic Mackerel, 
Squid, and Butterfish Fishery Management Plan (FMP). The procedures for 
setting the annual initial specifications are described in Sec.  
648.22.
    The longfin DAH for the 2012 fishing year (FY) is 22,220 mt, and is 
allocated into three trimesters: Trimester 1 (January 1-April 30) is 
allocated 43 percent of the quota (9,555 mt);

[[Page 40528]]

Trimester 2 (May 1-August 31) is allocated 17 percent of the quota 
(3,777 mt); and Trimester 3 (September 1-December 31) is allocated 40 
percent of the quota (8,888 mt) (77 FR 16472, March 21, 2012).
    Due to an underharvest of quota in Trimester 1, NMFS adjusted the 
Trimester 2 quota from the initial quota of 3,777 mt (8,326,860 lb) to 
a new quota of 5,666 mt (12,490,290 lb). Section 648.24 requires NMFS 
to close the directed longfin fishery in the EEZ when 90 percent of the 
Trimester 2 quota is projected to be harvested. NMFS is required to 
notify the Executive Directors of the Mid-Atlantic, New England, and 
South Atlantic Fishery Management Councils; mail notification of the 
closure to all longfin permit holders at least 72 hr before the 
effective date of the closure; provide adequate notice of the closure 
to recreational participants in the fishery; and publish notification 
of the closure in the Federal Register.
    The Administrator, Northeast Region, NMFS, based on dealer reports 
and other available information, has determined that 90 percent of the 
Trimester 2 longfin quota for the 2012 fishing year will be harvested 
on July 10, 2012. Therefore, effective 0001 hours, July 10, 2012, the 
Trimester 2 directed longfin fishery is closed and vessels issued 
Federal permits for longfin are prohibited from possessing or landing 
more than 2,500 lb (1.13 mt) of longfin through August 31, 2012. The 
Trimester 3 longfin fishery will open at 0001 hours, September 1, 2012.

Classification

    This action is required by 50 CFR part 648, and is exempt from 
review under Executive Order 12866.
    The Assistant Administrator for Fisheries, NOAA (AA), finds good 
cause pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 553(b)(B) to waive prior notice and the 
opportunity for public comment because it would be contrary to the 
public interest. This action closes the directed longfin fishery until 
August 31, 2012, under current regulations. The regulations at Sec.  
648.24 require such action to ensure that longfin vessels do not exceed 
the 2012 Trimester 2 quota. Data indicating the longfin fleet will have 
landed at least 90 percent of the 2012 Trimester 2 quota have only 
recently become available. If implementation of this closure is delayed 
to solicit prior public comment, the quota for Trimester 2 will be 
exceeded, thereby undermining the conservation objectives of the FMP. 
The AA further finds, pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 553(d)(3), good cause to 
waive the 30-day delayed effectiveness period for the reasons stated 
above.

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

    Dated: July 6, 2012.
Lindsay Fullenkamp,
Acting Deputy Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National 
Marine Fisheries Service.
[FR Doc. 2012-16917 Filed 7-6-12; 4:15 pm]
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