[Federal Register Volume 78, Number 201 (Thursday, October 17, 2013)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 62331-62332]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2013-24475]


=======================================================================
-----------------------------------------------------------------------

DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

50 CFR Part 648

[Docket No. 130408348-3835-02]
RIN 0648-XC903


Fisheries of the Northeastern United States; Atlantic Herring 
Fishery; Sub-Annual Catch Limit (ACL) Harvested for Management Area 1A

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

ACTION: Temporary rule; closure.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

SUMMARY: NMFS is closing the directed herring fishery in management 
area 1A, because it projects that 92 percent of the catch limit for 
that area will have been caught by the effective date. Effective 0001 
hr, October 15, 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 1A until June 1, 2014, when the 2014 allocation for 
Area 1A becomes available. Vessels that have entered port before 0001 
hr on October 15, 2013, may possess, offload, and sell more than 2,000 
lb of herring from Area 1A, from that trip, after the closure. Also 
effective 0001 hr, October 15, 2013, federally permitted dealers may 
not receive more than 2,000 lb (907.2 kg) of herring caught within 
Management Area 1A per trip or calendar day, unless it is from a trip 
landed by a vessel that entered port before 0001 hr on October 15, 
2013.

DATES: This rule is effective 0001 hr local time, October 15, 2013, 
through December 31, 2013.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Christopher Biegel, Fishery Management 
Specialist, (978) 281-9112.

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 107,800 
metric tons (mt); the 2013 sub-ACL allocated to Area 1A is 29,775 mt, 
and 0 mt of the sub-ACL is set aside for research (78 FR 61828, October 
4, 2013). For management Area 1A, the catch of sub-ACL is currently 
allocated over two seasons, the first from January 1 through May 31, 
and the second from June 1 through December 31. Because of this season, 
the herring fishery in Area 1A would re-open after the closure on June 
1, 2014.
    The regulations at Sec.  648.201 require that when the 
Administrator, Northeast Region, NMFS (Regional Administrator) projects 
herring catch will reach 92 percent of the sub-ACL allocated in any of 
the four management areas designated in the Atlantic Herring Fishery 
Management Plan (FMP), NMFS will prohibit herring vessel permit holders 
from fishing for, catching, possessing, transferring, or landing more 
than 2,000 lb (907.2 kg) of herring per trip or calendar day in or from 
the specified management area for the remainder of the closure period. 
The Regional Administrator monitors the herring fishery catch in each 
of the management areas based upon dealer reports, state data, and 
other available information. NMFS is publishes notification in the 
Federal Register of the date that the catch is projected to reach 92 
percent of the management area sub-ACL and closure of the management 
area for the remainder of the closure period. Vessels that have entered 
port before the closure date may offload and sell more than 2,000 lb 
(907.2 kg) of herring from Area 1A, from that trip. During the closure, 
vessels may transit Area 1A 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 on dealer reports 
and other available information, that the herring fleet will have 
caught 92 percent of the total herring sub-ACL allocated to Area 1 for 
the season (June 1 through December 31) by the effective date. 
Therefore, effective 0001 hr local time, October 15, 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 1A through December 31, 2013, except that vessels that 
have entered port before 0001 hr on October 15, 2013, may offload and 
sell more than 2,000 lb (907.2 kg) of herring from Area 1A, from that 
trip after the closure. During the closure, a vessel may transit 
through Area 1A with more

[[Page 62332]]

than 2,000 lb (907.2 kg) of herring on board, provided the vessel did 
not catch the herring in Area 1A and stows all fishing gear aboard, 
making it unavailable for immediate use as required by Sec.  648.23(b). 
Effective 0001 hr, October 15, 2013, NMFS also advises federally 
permitted dealers 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 1A through 2400 hr local time, December 31, 2013, 
unless it is from a trip landed by a vessel that entered port before 
0001 hr on October 15, 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 1A 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 1A. The herring fishery opened for the 2013 fishing 
year on January 1, 2013. Data indicating the herring fleet will have 
landed at least 92 percent of the 2013 sub-ACL allocated to Area 1A 
have only recently become available. If implementation of this closure 
is delayed to solicit prior public comment, the sub-ACL for Area 1A for 
this fishing year may 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 and would reduce future fishing 
opportunities. 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: October 11, 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. 2013-24475 Filed 10-11-13; 4:15 pm]
BILLING CODE 3510-22-P