[Federal Register Volume 77, Number 182 (Wednesday, September 19, 2012)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Page 58051]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2012-23142]


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DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

50 CFR Part 648

[Docket No. 120201086-2418-02]
RIN 0648-XC236


Fisheries of the Northeastern United States; Bluefish 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 bluefish commercial quota 
allocated to the Commonwealth of Massachusetts has been harvested. 
Vessels issued a commercial Federal fisheries permit for the bluefish 
fishery may not land bluefish in Massachusetts for the remainder of 
calendar year 2012, unless additional quota becomes available through a 
transfer from another state. Regulations governing the bluefish 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 bluefish in Massachusetts.

DATES: Effective at 0001 hr local time, September 19, 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 bluefish 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 Florida through Maine. The process 
to set the annual commercial quota and the percent allocated to each 
state is described in Sec.  648.162.
    The initial total commercial quota for bluefish for the 2012 
fishing year is 10,317,362 lb (4,679,878 kg) (77 FR 25100, April 27, 
2012). The percent allocated to vessels landing bluefish in 
Massachusetts is 6.7167 percent, resulting in a commercial quota of 
692,986 lb (314,333 kg) after deduction of research set-aside.
    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 bluefish 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 bluefish in any state that the 
Regional Administrator has determined no longer has commercial quota 
available. Therefore, effective 0001 hours, September 19, 2012, 
landings of bluefish in Massachusetts by vessels holding Federal 
commercial bluefish 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, September 19, 2012, federally permitted dealers are also 
notified that they may not purchase bluefish 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: September 14, 2012.
Lindsay Fullenkamp,
Acting Deputy Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National 
Marine Fisheries Service.
[FR Doc. 2012-23142 Filed 9-14-12; 4:15 pm]
BILLING CODE 3510-22-P