[Federal Register Volume 78, Number 230 (Friday, November 29, 2013)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 71529-71530]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2013-28647]


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

DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

50 CFR Part 622

[Docket No. 130312235-3658-02]
RIN 0648-XC982


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

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

ACTION: Temporary rule; closure.

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

SUMMARY: NMFS implements accountability measures (AMs) for the 
commercial sector for red porgy in the exclusive economic zone (EEZ) of 
the South Atlantic. Commercial landings for red porgy, as estimated by 
the Science Research Director (SRD), are projected to reach the 
commercial annual catch limit (ACL) on December 2, 2013. Therefore, 
NMFS closes the commercial sector for red porgy in the South Atlantic 
EEZ on December 2, 2013, and

[[Page 71530]]

it will remain closed through December 31, 2013. This closure is 
necessary to protect the red porgy resource.

DATES: This rule is effective 12:01 a.m., local time, December 2, 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 red porgy 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 red porgy in the South 
Atlantic is 147,115 lb (66,730 kg), gutted weight, for the current 2013 
fishing year, as specified in 50 CFR 622.190(a)(6)(i).
    In accordance with regulations at 50 CFR 622.193(v)(1)(i), NMFS is 
required to close the commercial sector for red porgy when its 
commercial ACL (commercial quota) 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 
(commercial quota) for South Atlantic red porgy for the 2013 fishing 
year will have been reached by December 2, 2013. Commercial harvest or 
possession of red porgy is prohibited during January--April each year. 
Accordingly, the commercial sector for South Atlantic red porgy is 
closed effective 12:01 a.m., local time, December 2, 2013, until 12:01 
a.m., local time, May 1, 2014.
    The operator of a vessel with a valid commercial vessel permit for 
South Atlantic snapper-grouper having red porgy onboard must have 
landed and bartered, traded, or sold such red porgy prior to 12:01 
a.m., local time, December 2, 2013. During the closure, the bag limit 
specified in 50 CFR 622.187(b)(6) and the possession limits specified 
in 50 CFR 622.187(c)(2) apply to all harvest or possession of red porgy 
in or from the South Atlantic EEZ. During the closure, the sale or 
purchase of red porgy taken from the EEZ is prohibited. As specified in 
50 CFR 622.190(c)(1)(i), the prohibition on sale or purchase does not 
apply to the sale or purchase of red porgy that were harvested, landed 
ashore, and sold prior to 12:01 a.m., local time, December 2, 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 sale and purchase provisions of the commercial closure for 
red porgy apply regardless of whether the fish are harvested in state 
or Federal waters, as specified in 50 CFR 622.190(c)(1)(ii).
    As specified in 50 CFR 622.184(c), during January, February, March, 
and April, the harvest or possession of red porgy in or from the South 
Atlantic EEZ is limited to three per person per day or three per person 
per trip, whichever is more restrictive. In addition, this limitation 
is applicable in the South Atlantic on board a vessel for which a valid 
Federal commercial or charter vessel/headboat permit for South Atlantic 
snapper-grouper has been issued without regard to where such red porgy 
were harvested. Such red porgy are subject to the prohibition on sale 
or purchase, as specified in Sec.  622.192(f).

Classification

    The Regional Administrator, Southeast Region, NMFS, has determined 
this temporary rule is necessary for the conservation and management of 
South Atlantic red porgy and is consistent with the Magnuson-Stevens 
Act, the FMP, and other applicable laws.
    The temporary rule has been determined to be not significant for 
purposes of Executive Order 12866.
    This action is taken under 50 CFR 622.193(v)(1)(i) and is exempt 
from review under Executive Order 12866.
    This action responds to the best available scientific 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 red porgy 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 red 
porgy since the capacity of the fishing fleet allows for rapid harvest 
of the commercial ACL (commercial quota). Prior notice and opportunity 
for public comment would require time and would likely result in a 
harvest well in excess of the established commercial ACL (commercial 
quota).
    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: November 25, 2013.
Sean F. Corson,
Acting Deputy Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National 
Marine Fisheries Service.
[FR Doc. 2013-28647 Filed 11-25-13; 4:15 pm]
BILLING CODE 3510-22-P