[Federal Register Volume 78, Number 208 (Monday, October 28, 2013)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 64181-64182]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2013-25297]


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DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

50 CFR Part 622

[Docket No. 100812345-2142-03]
RIN 0648-XC900


Snapper-Grouper Fishery of the South Atlantic; Reopening of the 
Commercial Harvest of Gray Triggerfish in the South Atlantic

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

ACTION: Temporary rule; reopening.

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SUMMARY: NMFS reopens the 2013 commercial sector for gray triggerfish 
in the South Atlantic exclusive economic zone (EEZ). NMFS previously 
determined the commercial annual catch limit (ACL) for gray triggerfish 
had been reached, and closed the commercial sector for gray triggerfish 
at 12:01 a.m., local time, on July 7, 2013. However, updated landings 
estimates indicate the commercial ACL for gray triggerfish has not been 
reached at this time. Therefore, NMFS is reopening the commercial 
sector for gray triggerfish in the South Atlantic EEZ at 12:01 a.m., 
local time, on October 28, 2013, and it will close at 12:01 a.m., local 
time, on November 14, 2013. The intended effect of this temporary rule 
is to maximize harvest benefits for the commercial sector for gray 
triggerfish.

DATES: This temporary rule is effective 12:01 a.m., local time, October 
28, 2013, until 12:01 a.m., local time, November 14, 2013.

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

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: NMFS and the South Atlantic Fishery 
Management Council (Council) manage South Atlantic snapper-grouper 
including gray triggerfish under the Fishery Management Plan for the 
Snapper-Grouper Fishery of the South Atlantic Region (FMP). The Council 
prepared the FMP and NMFS implements the FMP through regulations at 50 
CFR part 622 under the authority of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery 
Conservation and Management Act (Magnuson-Stevens Act).

Background

    NMFS determined that the commercial ACL for gray triggerfish was 
reached and published a temporary rule on July 1, 2013 (78 FR 39188), 
to close gray triggerfish on July 7, 2013. However, since that closure, 
the Science and Research Director (SRD) has received additional 
landings data and has determined that the ACL was not harvested prior 
to July 7, 2013. Therefore, in accordance with 50 CFR 622.8(c), NMFS is 
reopening the commercial sector for gray triggerfish in the South 
Atlantic EEZ beginning at 12:01 a.m., on October 28, 2013, and closing 
at 12:01 a.m., on November 14, 2013.
    After the commercial sector closes, the bag limit specified in 50 
CFR 622.187(b)(8), applies to all harvest or possession of gray 
triggerfish in or from the South Atlantic EEZ. During the closure, the 
possession limits specified in 50 CFR 622.187(c), apply to all harvest 
or possession of gray triggerfish in or from the South Atlantic EEZ. 
During the closure, the sale or purchase of gray triggerfish taken from 
the EEZ is prohibited. The prohibition on sale or purchase does not 
apply to the sale or purchase of gray triggerfish that were harvested, 
landed ashore, and sold prior

[[Page 64182]]

to 12:01 a.m., local time, November 14, 2013, and were held in cold 
storage by a dealer or processor. For a person on board a vessel for 
which a Federal commercial or charter vessel/headboat permit for the 
South Atlantic snapper-grouper fishery has been issued, the bag and 
possession limit and sale and purchase provisions of the commercial 
closure for gray triggerfish would apply regardless of whether the fish 
are harvested in state or Federal waters, as specified in 50 CFR 
622.193(q)(1)(i). The commercial sector for gray triggerfish will 
reopen on January 1, 2014, the beginning of the 2014 commercial fishing 
season.

Classification

    The Regional Administrator, Southeast Region, NMFS, has determined 
this temporary rule is necessary for the conservation and management of 
South Atlantic gray triggerfish and is consistent with the Magnuson-
Stevens Act and other applicable laws.
    This action is taken under 50 CFR 622.8(c) 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, 
and pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 553(b)(B), there is good cause to waive the 
requirements to provide prior notice and the opportunity for public 
comment on this temporary rule. Such procedures are unnecessary and 
contrary to the public interest because NMFS previously determined the 
commercial ACL for gray triggerfish would be reached by July 7, 2013, 
and therefore, closed the commercial sector for gray triggerfish in the 
South Atlantic at 12:01 a.m., local time, on July 7, 2013. However, 
updated landings estimates indicate the commercial ACL for gray 
triggerfish has not been reached at this time, and therefore additional 
harvest is available in order to achieve optimum yield. All that 
remains is to notify the public that additional harvest is available 
under the established ACL and, therefore, the commercial sector for 
gray triggerfish will reopen.
    Additionally, reopening the commercial sector for gray triggerfish 
will likely result in revenue increases to commercial vessels. 
Fishermen will be able to keep the gray triggerfish that they are 
currently required to discard. Delaying the implementation of this 
rulemaking to provide prior notice and the opportunity for public 
comment would reduce the likelihood of reopening the commercial sector 
for gray triggerfish in the 2013 fishing year.
    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 23, 2013.
Kelly Denit,
Acting Deputy Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National 
Marine Fisheries Service.
[FR Doc. 2013-25297 Filed 10-23-13; 11:15 am]
BILLING CODE 3510-22-P