[Federal Register Volume 78, Number 4 (Monday, January 7, 2013)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 907-908]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2013-58]


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DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

50 CFR Part 622

[Docket No. 101206604-1758-02]
RIN 0648-XC427


Fisheries of the Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico, and South Atlantic; 
Coastal Migratory Pelagic Resources of the Gulf of Mexico and South 
Atlantic; Trip Limit Reduction

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

ACTION: Temporary rule; trip limit reduction.

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SUMMARY: NMFS reduces the commercial trip limit of Atlantic migratory 
group Spanish mackerel in or from the exclusive economic zone (EEZ) in 
the Atlantic migratory group southern zone to 1,500 lb (680 kg), round 
weight, per day. This trip limit reduction is necessary to maximize the 
socioeconomic benefits of the quota.

DATES: Effective 6 a.m., local time, January 6, 2013, until 12:01 a.m., 
local time, March 1, 2013, unless changed by subsequent notification in 
the Federal Register.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Susan Gerhart, telephone: 727-824-
5305, or email: susan.gerhart@noaa.gov.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The fishery for coastal migratory pelagic 
fish (king mackerel, Spanish mackerel, and cobia) is managed under the 
Fishery Management Plan for the Coastal Migratory Pelagic Resources of 
the Gulf of Mexico and South Atlantic (FMP). The FMP was prepared by 
the Gulf of Mexico and South Atlantic Fishery Management Councils 
(Councils) and is implemented under the authority of the Magnuson-
Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (Magnuson-Stevens Act) 
by regulations at 50 CFR part 622.
    Amendment 18 to the FMP (76 FR 82058, December 29, 2011) 
implemented a commercial annual catch limit (equal to the commercial 
quota) of 3.13 million lb (1.42 million kg) for the Atlantic migratory 
group of Spanish mackerel. Atlantic migratory group Spanish mackerel 
are divided into a northern and southern zone for management purposes. 
The southern zone for Atlantic migratory group Spanish mackerel extends 
from 30[deg]42'45.6'' N. lat., which is a line directly east from the 
Georgia/Florida boundary, to 25[deg]20.4' N. lat., which is a line 
directly east from the Miami-Dade/Monroe County, Florida, boundary.
    For the southern zone, seasonally variable trip limits are based on 
an adjusted commercial quota of 2.88 million lb (1.31 million kg). The 
adjusted commercial quota is calculated to allow continued harvest in 
the southern zone at a set rate for the remainder of the current 
fishing year, February 28, 2013, in accordance with 50 CFR 
622.44(b)(2). Beginning December 1, annually, the trip limit is 
unlimited on weekdays and limited to 1,500 lb (680 kg) of Spanish 
mackerel per day on weekends. After 75 percent of the adjusted 
commercial quota of Atlantic migratory group Spanish mackerel is taken 
until 100 percent of the adjusted commercial quota is taken, Spanish 
mackerel in or from the EEZ in the southern zone may not be possessed 
on board or landed from a permitted vessel in amounts exceeding 1,500 
lb (680 kg) per day.
    NMFS has determined that 75 percent of the adjusted commercial 
quota for Atlantic group Spanish mackerel has been taken. Accordingly, 
the 1,500 lb (680 kg) per day commercial trip limit applies to Spanish 
mackerel in or from the EEZ in the southern zone effective 6 a.m., 
local time, January 6, 2013, until 12:01 a.m., local time, March 1, 
2013, unless changed by subsequent notification in the Federal 
Register.

Classification

    The Regional Administrator, Southeast Region, NMFS, has determined 
this temporary rule is necessary for the conservation and management of 
Atlantic migratory group Spanish mackerel and is consistent with the 
Magnuson-Stevens Act and other applicable laws.
    This action is taken under 50 CFR 622.43(a) and is exempt from 
review under Executive Order 12866.

[[Page 908]]

    These measures are exempt from the procedures of the Regulatory 
Flexibility Act because the temporary rule is issued without 
opportunity for prior notice and comment.
    Pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 553(b)(B), the Assistant Administrator for 
Fisheries, NOAA, (AA), finds good cause to waive the requirements to 
provide prior notice and the opportunity for public comment on this 
temporary rule. Such procedures are unnecessary because the rule itself 
has already been subject to notice and comment, and all that remains is 
to notify the public of the trip limit reduction.
    Allowing prior notice and opportunity for public comment is 
contrary to the public interest because of the need to immediately 
implement this action to protect the Atlantic migratory group Spanish 
mackerel resource because the capacity of the commercial fleet allows 
for rapid harvest of the quota. Prior notice and opportunity for public 
comment would require time and could potentially result in a harvest 
well in excess of the established quota.
    For the aforementioned reasons, the AA also finds good cause to 
waive the 30-day delay in effectiveness of this action under 5 U.S.C. 
553(d)(3).

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

    Dated: January 2, 2013.
Emily H. Menashes,
Deputy Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine 
Fisheries Service.
[FR Doc. 2013-58 Filed 1-2-13; 4:15 pm]
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