[Federal Register Volume 77, Number 250 (Monday, December 31, 2012)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 76950-76951]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2012-31423]


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DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

50 CFR Part 648

[Docket No. 111220786-2728-03]
RIN 0648-XA795


Fisheries of the Northeastern United States; Summer Flounder, 
Scup, and Black Sea Bass Fisheries; 2012 Summer Flounder, Scup, and 
Black Sea Bass Specifications; Correction

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

ACTION: Final rule, correction.

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SUMMARY: On April 23, 2012, NMFS published in the Federal Register the 
final rule to implement the 2012 summer flounder, scup, and black sea 
bass specifications, which established commercial summer flounder 
allocations for each coastal state from North Carolina to Maine, and 
the summer flounder recreational harvest limit. Following publication, 
an error was identified in the commercial summer flounder quota and 
recreational harvest limit. This rule corrects that error.

DATES: Effective December 26, 2012, through December 31, 2012.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Carly Bari, Fisheries Management 
Specialist, (978) 281-9224, carly.bari@noaa.gov.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: 

Background

    NMFS publishes this rule to correct an error in the commercial 
summer flounder quota and recreational harvest limit, which was 
implemented in the April 23, 2012 final rule on the 2012 summer 
flounder, scup, and black sea bass specifications. Regulations for the 
summer flounder fishery are found at 50 CFR part 648. The regulations 
require annual specification of a commercial quota that is apportioned 
among the coastal states from North Carolina through Maine and a 
coastwide recreational harvest limit. The process to set the annual 
commercial quota and the percent allocated to each state are described 
in Sec.  648.102.

Need for Correction

    The final rule implementing 2012 summer flounder, scup, and black 
sea bass specifications published on April 23, 2012 (77 FR 24151). An 
error was found in the summer flounder commercial quota and 
recreational harvest limit. The 3-percent research set-aside (RSA) was 
mistakenly deducted twice from the quotas. The revised 2012 summer 
flounder commercial quota, less RSA, is 13,136,000 lb (5,958,490 kg), 
and the revised 2012 summer flounder recreational harvest limit, less 
RSA, is 8,758,000 lb (3,972,629 kg). Table 1 presents the allocations 
of summer flounder by state with the corrected commercial quota 
including RSA, overages, and transfers through December 11, 2012.

Classification

    Pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 553(b)(B), the Assistant Administrator for 
Fisheries, NOAA, finds good cause to waive prior notice and opportunity 
for additional public comment for this action because this would be 
impracticable and contrary to the public interest. The interim final 
rule for the 2012 summer flounder, scup, and black sea bass 
specification already took comment on the initial summer flounder quota 
with the understanding that overage adjustments would be made. This 
action is correcting an error found in the specifications regarding the 
summer flounder commercial quota and recreational harvest limit. In the 
April 23, 2012 rule, the 3-percent research set-aside (RSA) was 
mistakenly deducted twice from the quotas. Thus, this rule corrects 
this error by increasing the summer flounder commercial and 
recreational quotas by 3-percent. Delaying the implementation of this 
action to allow for prior notice and

[[Page 76951]]

opportunity for comment of this correction could result in premature 
closures of the summer flounder fishery in states that have the 
potential to fully harvest their quotas. Given that states have 
surpassed their summer flounder quota in the past, if the revised quota 
is not implemented, there is the potential that the fishery would reach 
the erroneous harvest quota amount, and could produce unnecessary 
adverse economic consequences for fishermen that participate in this 
fishery. The measures in the interim final rule for the 2012 summer 
flounder, scup, and black sea bass specifications, for which the 
opportunity for public comment was already given, are unaffected by 
this correction.
    Moreover, pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 553(d), the Assistant Administrator 
finds good cause to waive the 30-day delay in effective date. This 
action is correcting an error found in the specifications regarding the 
summer flounder commercial quota and recreational harvest limit. 
Delaying the effective date of this correction to allow for the 30-day 
delay could result in premature closures of the summer flounder fishery 
in states that have the potential to fully harvest their quotas. Given 
that states have surpassed their summer flounder quota in the past, if 
the revised quota is not implemented immediately, there is the 
potential that the fishery would reach the erroneous harvest quota 
amount, and could produce unnecessary adverse economic consequences for 
fishermen that participate in this fishery.
    Because prior notice and opportunity for public comment are not 
required for this rule by 5 U.S.C. 553, or any other law, the 
analytical requirements of the Regulatory Flexibility Act, 5 U.S.C. 601 
et seq., do not apply.
    This final rule is exempt from review under Executive Order 12866.

Correction

    In the Federal Register of April 23, 2012, in FR Doc. 2012-9755, on 
page 24152, Table 1 is corrected as follows:

                                      Table 1--Final State-by-State Commercial Summer Flounder Allocations for 2012
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                                                   Initial quota, less RSA     2011 Quota overages      2012 Quota transfers     2012 Corrected quotas,
                                                 --------------------------    (through  10/31/11)       (through  12/11/12)       accounting for RSA,
                                     FMP Percent                           ----------------------------------------------------  overages, and transfers
               State                    share                                                                                            to date
                                                       lb           kg           lb           kg           lb           kg     -------------------------
                                                                                                                                     lb           kg
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ME................................       0.04756        6,247        2,834            0            0       -6,000       -2,722          247          112
NH................................       0.00046           60           27            0            0            0            0           60           27
MA................................       6.82046      895,936      406,396            0            0            0            0      895,936      406,396
RI................................      15.68298    2,060,116      934,469            0            0       13,925        6,316    2,074,041      940,785
CT................................       2.25708      296,490      134,488            0            0        6,000        2,722      302,490      137,209
NY................................       7.64699    1,004,509      455,645       50,736       23,014            0            0      953,773      432,631
NJ................................      16.72499    2,196,995      996,557            0            0            0            0    2,196,995      996,557
DE................................       0.01779        2,337        1,060       54,982       24,940            0            0      -52,645      -23,880
MD................................       2.0391       267,856      121,500            0            0            0            0      267,856      121,500
VA................................      21.31676    2,800,170    1,270,157            0            0    1,890,420      857,495    4,690,590    2,127,651
NC................................      27.44584    3,605,286    1,635,358            0            0   -1,904,345     -863,811    1,700,941      771,547
                                   ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Total.........................     100.00      13,136,001    5,958,490      105,718       47,954          N/A          N/A   13,030,283    5,910,537
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Notes: 2011 quota overage is determined through comparison of landings for January through October 2011, plus any landings in 2010 in excess of the 2010
  quota (that were not previously address in the 2011 specifications) for each state. For Delaware, this includes continued repayment of overharvest
  from previous years. Total quota is the sum for all state with an allocation. A state with a negative number has a 2012 allocation of zero (0).
  Kilograms are as converted from pounds and may not necessarily add due to rounding.


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

    Dated: December 21, 2012.
Alan D. Risenhoover,
Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, performing the functions and 
duties of the Deputy Assistant Administrator for Regulatory Programs, 
National Marine Fisheries Service.
[FR Doc. 2012-31423 Filed 12-26-12; 4:15 pm]
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