[Federal Register Volume 78, Number 48 (Tuesday, March 12, 2013)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 15642-15643]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2013-05782]


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DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

50 CFR Part 622

[Docket No. 001005281-0369-02]
RIN 0648-XC553


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 trip limit in the hook-and-line component of 
the commercial sector for king mackerel in the southern Florida west 
coast subzone to 500 lb (227 kg) of king mackerel per day in or from 
the exclusive economic zone (EEZ). This trip limit reduction is 
necessary to protect the Gulf king mackerel resource.

DATES: This rule is effective 12:01 a.m., local time, March 12, 2013, 
through June 30, 2013, unless changed by further notice in the Federal 
Register.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Susan Gerhart, telephone: 727-824-
5305, 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.
    On April 27, 2000, NMFS implemented the final rule (65 FR 16336, 
March 28, 2000) that divided the Florida west coast subzone of the Gulf 
of Mexico eastern zone into northern and southern subzones, and 
established their separate quotas. The 2012 to 2013 fishing year quota 
for the hook-and-line component of the commercial sector in the 
southern Florida west coast subzone is 607,614 lb (275,609 kg) (50 CFR 
622.42(c)(1)(i)(A)(2)(i)).
    In accordance with 50 CFR 622.44(a)(2)(ii)(B)(2), from the date 
that 75 percent of the southern Florida west coast subzone's hook-and-
line gear quota has been harvested until a closure of the subzone's 
commercial sector of the hook-and-line component has been effected or 
the fishing year ends, king mackerel in or from the EEZ may be 
possessed on board or landed from a permitted vessel in amounts not 
exceeding 500 lb (227 kg) per day.
    NMFS has projected that 75 percent of the hook-and-line gear quota 
for Gulf group king mackerel from the southern Florida west coast 
subzone will be reached by March 12, 2013. Accordingly, a 500-lb (227-
kg) trip limit applies to vessels in the hook-and-line component of the 
commercial sector for king mackerel in or from the EEZ in the southern 
Florida west coast subzone effective 12:01 a.m., local time, March 12, 
2013. The 500-lb (227-kg) trip limit will remain in effect until the 
component closes or until the end of the current fishing year (June 30, 
2013), whichever occurs first.
    The Florida west coast subzone is that part of the eastern zone 
located south and west of 25[deg]20.4' N. lat. (a line directly east 
from the Miami-Dade/Monroe County, FL boundary) along the west coast of 
Florida to 87[deg]31'06'' W. long. (a line directly south from the 
Alabama/Florida boundary). The Florida west coast subzone is further 
divided into northern and southern subzones. From November 1 through 
March 31, the southern subzone is designated as the area extending 
south and west from 25[deg]20.4' N. lat. to 26[deg]19.8' N. lat. (a 
line directly west from the Lee/Collier County, Florida, boundary), 
i.e., the area off Collier and Monroe Counties. Beginning April 1, the 
southern subzone is reduced to the area off Collier County, Florida, 
between 25[deg]48' N. lat. and 26[deg]19.8' N. lat.

Classification

    The Regional Administrator, Southeast Region, NMFS, has determined 
this temporary rule is necessary for the conservation and management of 
the Gulf king mackerel resource 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.
    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.
    This action responds to the best available information recently 
obtained from the fishery. The Assistant Administrator for Fisheries, 
NOAA, (AA), finds that the need to immediately implement this trip 
limit reduction for the hook-and-line component of the commercial 
sector constitutes good cause to waive the requirements to provide 
prior notice and opportunity for public comment pursuant to the 
authority set forth in 5 U.S.C. 553(b)(B), as such procedures would be 
unnecessary and contrary to the public interest. Such procedures would 
be unnecessary because the rule itself already has 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 the capacity of the fishing 
fleet allows for rapid harvest of the quota. Prior notice and 
opportunity for public comment could result in a harvest well in excess 
of the established quota. Immediate implementation of this action is 
needed to protect the Gulf king mackerel resource.
    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.


[[Page 15643]]


    Dated: March 8, 2013.
Kara Meckley,
Acting Deputy Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National 
Marine Fisheries Service.
[FR Doc. 2013-05782 Filed 3-8-13; 4:15 pm]
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