[Federal Register Volume 78, Number 194 (Monday, October 7, 2013)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 61939-61940]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2013-24390]


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DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

50 CFR Part 622

[Docket No. 130312235-3658-02]
RIN 0648-XC870


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 vermilion snapper 
in or from the exclusive economic zone (EEZ) of the South Atlantic to 
500 lb (227 kg), gutted weight. This trip limit reduction is necessary 
to protect the South Atlantic vermilion snapper resource.

DATES: This rule is effective 12:01 a.m., local time, October 16, 2013, 
until 12:01 a.m., local time, January 1, 2014.

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

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The snapper-grouper fishery includes 
vermilion snapper in the South Atlantic and is managed under the 
Fishery Management Plan for the Snapper-Grouper Fishery of the South 
Atlantic Region (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.
    The commercial ACL (commercial quota) for vermilion snapper in the 
South Atlantic is divided into two, 6-month time periods, and is 
466,480 lb (211,592 kg), round weight, for the January 1 through June 
30, 2013, fishing season, and 466,480 lb (211,592 kg), round weight, 
for the July 1 through December 31, 2013, fishing season, as specified 
in 50 CFR 622.190(a)(4)(i)(A) and (a)(4)(ii)(A), respectively. Any 
unused portion of the January 1 through June 30, 2013, fishing season 
quota is added to the July 1 through December 31, 2013, fishing season 
quota, as specified in 50 CFR 622.190(a)(4)(iii). The unused portion of 
the January 1 through June 30, 2013, fishing season quota was 146,798 
lb (66,586 kg), round weight. Therefore 146,798 lb (66,586 kg), round 
weight, was added to the July 1 through December 31, 2013 fishing 
season quota of 466,480 lb (211,592 kg), round weight, for a total of 
613,278 lb (278,178 kg), round weight.
    Under 50 CFR 622.191(a)(6)(ii), NMFS is required to reduce the 
commercial trip limit for vermilion snapper from 1,000 lb (454 kg), 
gutted weight, to 500 lb (227 kg), gutted weight, when 75 percent of 
the fishing season quota is reached or projected to be reached, by 
filing a notification to that effect with the Office of the Federal 
Register, as implemented by the final rule for Regulatory Amendment 18 
(78 FR 47574, August 6, 2013). Based on current statistics, NMFS has 
determined that 75 percent of the available commercial quota for the 
July 1 through December 31, 2013, fishing season, for vermilion snapper 
will be reached on or before October 16, 2013. Accordingly, NMFS is 
reducing the commercial trip limit for vermilion snapper to 500 lb (227 
kg), gutted weight, in or from the South Atlantic EEZ at 12:01 a.m., 
local time, on October 16, 2013. This 500-lb (227-kg) trip limit will 
remain in effect 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 vermilion snapper and is consistent with the Magnuson-
Stevens Act, the FMP, and other applicable laws.
    This action is taken under 50 CFR 622.191(a)(6) 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 scientific information 
recently obtained from the fishery. 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.

[[Page 61940]]

    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 vermilion snapper because the capacity 
of the fishing fleet allows for rapid harvest of the ACL (quota). Prior 
notice and opportunity for public comment for this trip limit reduction 
would require time and would result in the trip limit reduction not 
being implemented, and increase the probability that the commercial ACL 
(commercial quota) will be exceeded.
    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: October 2, 2013.
Samuel D. Rauch III,
Deputy Assistant Administrator for Regulatory Programs, performing the 
functions and duties of the Assistant Administrator for Fisheries, 
National Marine Fisheries Service.
[FR Doc. 2013-24390 Filed 10-4-13; 8:45 am]
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