[Federal Register Volume 77, Number 200 (Tuesday, October 16, 2012)]
[Notices]
[Page 63296]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2012-25455]



[[Page 63296]]

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DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

RIN 0648-XC159


Fisheries of the Northeast Region

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

ACTION: Notification of determination of overfishing and approaching an 
overfished condition as well as inadequate progress in rebuilding.

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SUMMARY: This action serves as a notice that NMFS, on behalf of the 
Secretary of Commerce (Secretary), has determined that the Gulf of 
Maine (GOM) stock of haddock is subject to overfishing and is 
approaching an overfished condition. In addition, the rebuilding plans 
for American plaice and the Southern New England/Mid-Atlantic (SNE/MA) 
stock of winter flounder were found to have not resulted in adequate 
progress toward rebuilding the affected fish stocks.
    NMFS notifies the appropriate fishery management council (Council) 
whenever it determines that overfishing is occurring, a stock is in an 
overfished condition, a stock is approaching an overfished condition, 
or when a rebuilding plan has not resulted in adequate progress toward 
ending overfishing and rebuilding affected fish stocks.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Mark Nelson, (301) 427-8565.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Pursuant to sections 304(e)(2) and (e)(7) of 
the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (Magnuson-
Stevens Act), 16 U.S.C. 1854(e)(2) and (e)(7), and implementing 
regulations at 50 CFR 600.310(e)(2), NMFS, on behalf of the Secretary, 
must notify Councils whenever it determines that a stock or stock 
complex is: overfished; approaching an overfished condition; or an 
existing rebuilding plan has not ended overfishing or resulted in 
adequate rebuilding progress. NMFS also notifies Councils when it 
determines a stock or stock complex is subject to overfishing. Section 
304(e)(2) further requires NMFS to publish these notices in the Federal 
Register.
    On May 30, 2012, NMFS informed the New England Fishery Management 
Council of the latest status of the New England groundfish stocks. In 
that letter they indicate changes in the status of several stocks:
     GOM haddock is now subject to overfishing and is 
approaching an overfished condition;
     The rebuilding plan for American plaice has not resulted 
in adequate progress toward rebuilding. The stock is neither overfished 
nor subject to overfishing;
     The SNE/MA stock of winter flounder is no longer subject 
to overfishing but remains overfished and the stock's rebuilding plan 
has not resulted in adequate progress toward rebuilding the stock.
    For the above stocks approaching an overfished condition, the 
Council must prevent overfishing and if the stock becomes overfished, 
steps must be taken under MSA Sec.  304(e)(3) and (4) to end 
overfishing and to rebuild the stock. For the above stocks which are 
subject to rebuilding plans that have been determined to have not 
resulted in adequate progress towards rebuilding, within 2 years, the 
Council must revise the rebuilding plan for each stock and implement 
the revised plan, as required by MSA Sec.  304(e)(3).

    Dated: October 11, 2012.
Emily Menashes,
Acting Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine 
Fisheries Service.
[FR Doc. 2012-25455 Filed 10-15-12; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 3510-22-P