[Federal Register Volume 78, Number 206 (Thursday, October 24, 2013)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 63406-63407]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2013-24999]


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DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

50 CFR Part 648

[Docket No. 130408348-3835-02]
RIN 0648-XC906


Fisheries of the Northeastern United States; Atlantic Herring 
Fishery; Sub-Annual Catch Limit (ACL) Harvested for Management Area 3

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

ACTION: Temporary rule; closure.

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SUMMARY: Effective 1200 hr, October 24, 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 3 until January 1, 2014, when the 2014 
allocation for Area 3 becomes available. This action is required 
because NMFS projects that 92 percent of the catch limit for that area 
was caught as of October 18, 2013. Vessels that have entered port 
before 1200 hr, October 24, 2013, may possess, offload, and sell more 
than 2,000 lb of herring from Area 3, from that trip. Also effective 
1200 hr, October 24, 2013, federally permitted dealers may not receive 
more than 2,000 lb (907.2 kg) of herring caught within Management Area 
3 per trip or calendar day, unless it is from a trip landed by a vessel 
that entered port before 1200 hr, October 24, 2013.

DATES: Effective 1200 hr local time, October 24, 2013, through December 
31, 2013.

[[Page 63407]]


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 3 is 42,000 mt, 
and 0 mt of the sub-ACL is set aside for research (October 4, 2013, 78 
FR 61828).
    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 must 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 fishing year. 
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 must publish notification in the 
Federal Register of the date that the catch is projected to reach 92 
percent of the management area sub-ACL and reduced trip limit period. 
Vessels that have entered port before the reduced trip limit period may 
offload and sell more than 2,000 lb (907.2 kg) of herring from Area 3, 
from that trip. During the reduced trip limit period, vessels may 
transit Area 3 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 3 by 
October 18, 2013. In order to give the herring fleet sufficient time to 
comply with this reduced trip limit, effective 1200 hr local time, 
October 24, 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 3 through December 31, 2013, 
except that vessels that have entered port before 1200 hr on October 
24, 2013, may offload and sell more than 2,000 lb (907.2 kg) of herring 
from Area 3, from that trip after the closure. During the reduced trip 
limit period, a vessel may transit through Area 3 with more than 2,000 
lb (907.2 kg) of herring on board, provided the vessel did not catch 
the herring in Area 3 and stows all fishing gear aboard, making it 
unavailable for immediate use as required by Sec.  648.23(b). Effective 
1200 hr on October 24, 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 3 through 2400 hr local time, December 31, 2013, unless it is 
from a trip landed by a vessel that entered port before 1200 hr on 
October 24, 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 reduces 
the trip limit to 2,000 lb (907.2 kg) for Management Area 3 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 3. 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 3 have only recently become available. If 
implementation of this reduced trip limit period is delayed to solicit 
prior public comment, the sub-ACL for Area 3 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 21, 2013.
Kelly Denit,
Acting Deputy Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National 
Marine Fisheries Service.
[FR Doc. 2013-24999 Filed 10-21-13; 4:15 pm]
BILLING CODE 3510-22-P