[Federal Register Volume 78, Number 230 (Friday, November 29, 2013)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 71530-71531]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2013-28648]


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DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

50 CFR Part 622

[Docket No. 130312235-3658-02]
RIN 0648-XC984


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

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 vermilion snapper in the exclusive economic zone 
(EEZ) of the South Atlantic. Commercial landings for vermilion snapper, 
as estimated by the Science Research Director (SRD), are projected to 
reach the commercial annual catch limit (ACL) for the July 1 through 
December 31, 2013, fishing period on December 2, 2013. Therefore, NMFS 
closes the commercial sector for vermilion snapper in the South 
Atlantic EEZ on December 2, 2013, and it will remain closed until the 
start of the January 1 through June 30, 2014, fishing period. This 
closure is necessary to protect the vermilion snapper 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

[[Page 71531]]

Atlantic includes vermilion snapper 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 vermilion snapper in the 
South Atlantic is divided into two, 6-month time periods, and is 
420,252 lb (190,623 kg), gutted weight, for the current fishing period, 
July 1 through December 31, 2013, as specified in 50 CFR 
622.190(a)(4)(ii)(A).
    In accordance with regulations at 50 CFR 622.193(f)(1), NMFS is 
required to close the commercial sector for vermilion snapper when its 
commercial ACL (commercial quota) for that portion of the fishing year 
applicable to the respective 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 vermilion snapper for the July-December fishing period will 
have been reached by December 2, 2013. Accordingly, the commercial 
sector for South Atlantic vermilion snapper is closed effective 12:01 
a.m., local time, December 2, 2013, until 12:01 a.m., local time, 
January 1, 2014. The commercial ACL (commercial quota) for vermilion 
snapper in the South Atlantic is 401,874 lb (182,287 kg), gutted 
weight, for the January 1 through June 30, 2014, fishing period, as 
specified in 50 CFR 622.190(a)(4)(i)(B).
    The operator of a vessel with a valid commercial vessel permit for 
South Atlantic snapper-grouper having vermilion snapper onboard must 
have landed and bartered, traded, or sold such vermilion snapper prior 
to 12:01 a.m., local time, December 2, 2013. During the closure, the 
bag limit specified in 50 CFR 622.187(b)(5), applies to all harvest or 
possession of vermilion snapper in or from the South Atlantic EEZ, 
including the bag limit that may be retained by the captain or crew of 
a vessel operating as a charter vessel or headboat. The bag limit for 
such captain and crew is zero. During the closure, the possession 
limits specified in 50 CFR 622.187(c)(1) apply to all harvest or 
possession of vermilion snapper in or from the South Atlantic EEZ. 
During the closure, the sale or purchase of vermilion snapper 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 vermilion snapper 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 vermilion 
snapper would apply regardless of whether the fish are harvested in 
state or Federal waters, as specified in 50 CFR 622.190(c)(1)(ii).

Classification

    The Regional Administrator, Southeast Region, NMFS, has determined 
this temporary rule is necessary for the conservation and management of 
the South Atlantic snapper-grouper fishery 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(f)(1) 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 vermilion snapper 
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 vermilion snapper since the capacity of the fishing 
fleet allows for rapid harvest of the 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. 2013-28648 Filed 11-27-13; 8:45 am]
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