[Federal Register Volume 78, Number 220 (Thursday, November 14, 2013)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 68372-68373]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2013-27242]


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DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

50 CFR Part 622

[Docket No. 100812345-2142-03]
RIN 0648-XC871


Fisheries of the Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico, and South Atlantic; 
2013 Commercial Accountability Measure and Closure for South Atlantic 
Blue Runner

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

ACTION: Temporary rule; closure.

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SUMMARY: NMFS implements accountability measures (AMs) for the 
commercial sector for blue runner in the exclusive economic zone (EEZ) 
of the South Atlantic. Commercial landings for blue runner, as 
estimated by the Science and Research Director, are projected to reach 
the commercial annual catch limit (ACL) on November 14, 2013. 
Therefore, NMFS closes the commercial sector for blue runner on 
November 14, 2013, at 12:01 a.m., local time, for the remainder of the 
2013 fishing year, through December 31, 2013. This action is necessary 
to protect the blue runner resource in the South Atlantic.

DATES: This rule is effective 12:01 a.m., local time, November 14, 
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 of the South 
Atlantic includes blue runner 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 for blue runner in the South Atlantic is 177,506 
lb (80,515 kg), round weight, as specified in 50 CFR 622.193(s)(1)(i).
    In accordance with regulations at 50 CFR 622.193(s)(1)(i), NMFS is 
required to close the commercial sector for blue runner when the 
commercial ACL for blue runner has been reached, or is projected to be 
reached, by filing a notification to that effect with the Office of the 
Federal Register. NMFS has determined that the commercial ACL for South 
Atlantic blue runner is projected to be reached on November 14, 2013. 
Accordingly, the commercial sector for South Atlantic blue runner is 
closed effective 12:01 a.m., local time, November 14, 2013, until 12:01 
a.m., local time, January 1, 2014.
    The operator of a vessel with a valid commercial vessel permit for 
South Atlantic snapper-grouper having blue runner onboard must have 
landed and bartered, traded, or sold such blue runner prior to 12:01 
a.m., local time, November 14, 2013. During this commercial closure, 
the sale or purchase and harvest or possession of blue runner taken 
from the EEZ is prohibited. In accordance with regulations at 50 CFR 
622.193(s)(1)(i), 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 
for blue runner would apply regardless of where the fish are harvested, 
i.e., in state or Federal waters.

Classification

    The Regional Administrator, Southeast Region, NMFS, has determined 
this temporary rule is necessary for the conservation and management of 
South Atlantic blue runner and is consistent with the Magnuson-Stevens 
Act and other applicable laws.
    This action is taken under 50 CFR 622.193(s)(1)(i) 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 information recently 
obtained from the fishery. The Assistant Administrator for Fisheries, 
NOAA, (AA), finds that the need to immediately implement this action to 
close the commercial sector for blue runner constitutes good cause to 
waive the requirements to provide prior notice and opportunity for 
public comment pursuant to the authority set forth in 5 U.S.C. 
553(b)(B), as such procedures would be unnecessary and contrary to the 
public interest. Such procedures would be unnecessary because the rule 
itself has been subject to notice and comment, and all that remains is 
to notify the public of the closure. 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 the 
blue runner resource. The capacity of the fishing fleet allows for 
rapid harvest of the ACL and prior notice and opportunity for public 
comment would result in a harvest well in excess of the established 
commercial ACL.
    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.


[[Page 68373]]


    Dated: November 8, 2013.
Kelly Denit,
Acting Deputy Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National 
Marine Fisheries Service.
[FR Doc. 2013-27242 Filed 11-8-13; 4:15 pm]
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