[Federal Register Volume 77, Number 168 (Wednesday, August 29, 2012)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 52262-52263]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2012-21255]


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DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

50 CFR Part 648

[Docket No. 111220786-1781-01]
RIN 0648-XC176


Fisheries of the Northeastern United States; Summer Flounder 
Fishery; Commercial Quota Harvested for the Commonwealth of 
Massachusetts

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 the 2012 summer flounder commercial quota 
allocated to the Commonwealth of Massachusetts has been harvested. 
Vessels issued a commercial Federal fisheries permit for the summer 
flounder fishery may not land summer flounder in Massachusetts for the 
remainder of calendar year 2012, unless additional quota becomes 
available through a transfer from another state. Regulations governing 
the summer flounder fishery require publication of this notification to 
advise Massachusetts that the quota has been harvested and to advise 
vessel permit holders and dealer permit holders that no Federal 
commercial quota is available for landing summer flounder in 
Massachusetts.

DATES: Effective at 0001 hr local time, August 28, 2012, through 2400 
hr local time December 31, 2012.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Carly Bari, (978) 281-9224, or 
Carly.Bari@noaa.gov.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Regulations governing the summer flounder 
fishery are found at 50 CFR part 648. The regulations require annual 
specification of a commercial quota that is apportioned on a percentage 
basis among the coastal states from North Carolina through Maine. The 
process to set the annual commercial quota and the

[[Page 52263]]

percent allocated to each state is described in Sec.  648.102.
    The initial total commercial quota for summer flounder for the 2012 
fishing year is 13,136,001 lb (5,958,490 kg) (76 FR 82189, December 30, 
2011). The percent allocated to vessels landing summer flounder in 
Massachusetts is 6.82046 percent, resulting in a commercial quota of 
895,936 lb (406,396 kg). The 2012 allocation was reduced to 868,226 lb 
(393,827 kg) after deduction of research set-aside and adjustment for 
2011 quota overages.
    The Administrator, Northeast Region, NMFS (Regional Administrator), 
monitors the state commercial quotas and determines when a state's 
commercial quota has been harvested. NMFS is required to publish 
notification in the Federal Register advising and notifying commercial 
vessels and dealer permit holders that, effective upon a specific date, 
the state's commercial quota has been harvested and no commercial quota 
is available for landing summer flounder in that state. The Regional 
Administrator has determined based upon dealer reports and other 
available information that Massachusetts has harvested its quota for 
2012.
    Section 648.4(b) provides that Federal permit holders agree, as a 
condition of the permit, not to land summer flounder in any state that 
the Regional Administrator has determined no longer has commercial 
quota available. Therefore, effective 0001 hours, August 28, 2012, 
landings of summer flounder in Massachusetts by vessels holding summer 
flounder commercial Federal fisheries permits are prohibited for the 
remainder of the 2012 calendar year, unless additional quota becomes 
available through a transfer and is announced in the Federal Register. 
Effective 0001 hours, August 28, 2012, federally permitted dealers are 
also notified that they may not purchase summer flounder from federally 
permitted vessels that land in Massachusetts for the remainder of the 
calendar year, or until additional quota becomes available through a 
transfer from another state.

Classification

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

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

    Dated: August 23, 2012.
Emily H. Menashes,
Deputy Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine 
Fisheries Service.
[FR Doc. 2012-21255 Filed 8-24-12; 11:15 am]
BILLING CODE 3510-22-P