[Federal Register Volume 78, Number 30 (Wednesday, February 13, 2013)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Page 10102]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2013-03311]


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DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

50 CFR Part 622

[Docket No. 120403249-2492-02]
RIN 0648-XC437


Fisheries of the Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico, and South Atlantic; 
Snapper-Grouper Resources of the 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 for golden tilefish in 
the South Atlantic to 300 lb (136 kg), gutted weight, per trip in or 
from the exclusive economic zone (EEZ). This trip limit reduction is 
necessary to protect the South Atlantic golden tilefish resource.

DATES: This rule is effective 12:01 a.m., local time, February 18, 
2013, through December 31, 2013, unless changed by subsequent 
notification in the Federal Register.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Catherine Hayslip, telephone: 727-824-
5305, or email: Catherine.Hayslip@noaa.gov.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The snapper-grouper fishery includes golden 
tilefish in the South Atlantic and is managed under the Fishery 
Management Plan for the Snapper-Grouper Resources of the South Atlantic 
(FMP). The FMP was prepared by the South Atlantic Fishery Management 
Council 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.
    Under 50 CFR 622.44(c)(2), NMFS is required to reduce the trip 
limit in the commercial sector for golden tilefish from 4,000 lb (1,814 
kg) to 300 lb (136 kg) per trip when 75 percent of the fishing year 
quota is met prior to September 1, by filing a notification to that 
effect with the Office of the Federal Register. As implemented by the 
final rule for Regulatory Amendment 12 (77 FR 61295, October 9, 2012), 
the commercial quota for golden tilefish in the South Atlantic is 
541,295 lb (245,527 kg), gutted weight, as specified in 50 CFR 
622.42(e)(2). Based on current statistics, NMFS has determined that 75 
percent of the available commercial quota of 541,295 lb (245,527 kg), 
gutted weight, for golden tilefish will be reached on or before 
February 18, 2013. Accordingly, NMFS is reducing the commercial golden 
tilefish trip limit to 300 lb (136 kg), gutted weight, in the South 
Atlantic EEZ from 12:01 a.m., local time, on February 18, 2013, until 
the quota is reached and the commercial sector closes, or through 
December 31, 2013, whichever occurs first.

Classification

    The Regional Administrator, Southeast Region, NMFS, has determined 
this temporary rule is necessary for the conservation and management of 
South Atlantic golden tilefish and is consistent with the Magnuson-
Stevens Act and other applicable laws.
    This action is taken under 50 CFR 622.44(c)(2) and is exempt from 
review under Executive Order 12866.
    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 golden tilefish because the capacity 
of the fishing fleet allows for rapid harvest of the quota. Prior 
notice and opportunity for public comment for this trip limit reduction 
would require time and would 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 the effectiveness of this action under 5 
U.S.C. 553(d)(3).

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

    Dated: February 8, 2013.
Kara Meckley,
Acting Deputy Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National 
Marine Fisheries Service.
[FR Doc. 2013-03311 Filed 2-8-13; 4:15 pm]
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