[Federal Register Volume 78, Number 68 (Tuesday, April 9, 2013)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Page 21071]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2013-08220]


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DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

50 CFR Part 648

[Docket No. 0907301205-0289-02]
RIN 0648-XC500


Fisheries of the Northeastern United States; Atlantic Herring 
Fishery; Sub-ACL (Annual Catch Limit) Harvested for Management Area 2

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

ACTION: Temporary rule; closure.

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SUMMARY: NMFS is closing the directed herring fishery in Management 
Area 2, because over 95 percent of the catch limit for that area has 
been caught. Effective 0001 hr, April 7, 2013, federally permitted 
vessels may not fish for, catch, possess, transfer, or land more than 
2,000 lb (907.2 kg) of Atlantic herring (herring) per trip or calendar 
day in or from Management Area 2 until January 1, 2014, when the 2014 
allocation for Area 2 becomes available. Also effective 0001 hr, April 
7, 2013, federally permitted dealers may not receive more than 2,000 lb 
(907.2 kg) of herring caught within Management Area 2 per trip or 
calendar day.

DATES: Effective 0001 hr local time, April 7, 2013, through December 
31, 2013.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Katherine Richardson, Policy Analyst, 
(978) 675-2125.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The reader can find regulations governing 
the herring fishery at 50 CFR part 648. The regulations require annual 
specification of the overfishing limit, acceptable biological catch, 
annual catch limit (ACL), optimum yield, domestic harvest and 
processing, U.S. at-sea processing, border transfer, and sub-ACLs for 
each management area. The 2013 Domestic Annual Harvest is 91,200 metric 
tons (mt); the 2013 sub-ACL allocated to Area 2 is 22,146 mt, and 0 mt 
of the sub-ACL is set aside for research (75 FR 48874, August 12, 
2010).
    The regulations at Sec.  648.201 require the Administrator, 
Northeast Region, NMFS (Regional Administrator), to monitor the herring 
fishery in each of the four management areas designated in the Fishery 
Management Plan (FMP) for the herring fishery and, based upon dealer 
reports, state data, and other available information, to determine when 
the harvest of Atlantic herring is projected to reach 95-percent of the 
management area sub-ACL. When such a determination is made, NMFS must 
publish notification in the Federal Register and prohibit herring 
vessel permit holders from fishing for, catching, possessing, 
transferring, or landing more than 2,000 lb (907.2 kg) of herring per 
calendar day in or from the specified management area for the remainder 
of the closure period. Vessels may transit Area 2 with more than 2,000 
lb (907.2 kg) of herring on board only under the conditions specified 
below.
    The Regional Administrator has determined, based upon dealer 
reports and other available information, that the herring fleet has 
caught over 95 percent of the total herring sub-ACL allocated to Area 2 
for 2013. Therefore, effective 0001 hr local time, April 7, 2013, 
federally permitted vessels may not fish for, catch, possess, transfer, 
or land more than 2,000 lb (907.2 kg) of herring per trip or calendar 
day in, or from Area 2 per calendar day through December 31, 2013. A 
vessel may transit through Area 2 with more than 2,000 lb (907.2 kg) of 
herring on board, provided the vessel did not catch the herring in Area 
2 and stows all fishing gear aboard, making it unavailable for 
immediate use as required by Sec.  648.23(b). Effective 0001 hr, April 
7, 2013, federally permitted dealers are also advised that they may not 
receive herring from federally permitted herring vessels that harvest 
more than 2,000 lb (907.2 kg) of herring from Area 2 through 2400 hr 
local time, December 31, 2013.

Classification

    This action is required by 50 CFR part 648 and is exempt from 
review under Executive Order 12866.
    NMFS finds good cause pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 553(b)(B) to waive prior 
notice and the opportunity for public comment because it would be 
contrary to the public interest and impracticable. This action closes 
the herring fishery for Management Area 2 until January 1, 2014, under 
current regulations. The regulations at Sec.  648.201(a) require such 
action to ensure that herring vessels do not exceed the 2013 sub-ACL 
allocated to Area 2. The herring fishery opened for the 2013 fishing 
year on January 1, 2013. Data indicating the herring fleet will have 
landed at least 95 percent of the 2013 sub-ACL allocated to Area 2 have 
only recently become available. If implementation of this closure is 
delayed to solicit prior public comment, the sub-ACL for Area 2 for 
this fishing year can be exceeded, thereby undermining the conservation 
objectives of the FMP.
    If sub-ACLs are exceeded, the excess must also be deducted from a 
future sub-ACL. NMFS further finds, pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 553(d)(3), 
good cause to waive the 30-day delayed effectiveness period for the 
reasons stated above.

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

    Dated: April 4, 2013.
Kara Meckley,
Acting Deputy Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National 
Marine Fisheries Service.
[FR Doc. 2013-08220 Filed 4-4-13; 4:15 pm]
BILLING CODE 3510-22-P