[Federal Register Volume 78, Number 244 (Thursday, December 19, 2013)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Page 76759]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2013-30114]


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DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

50 CFR Part 648

[Docket No. 120109034-2171-01]
RIN 0648-XD024


Fisheries of the Northeastern United States; Northeast 
Multispecies Fishery; Trimester Closure for the Common Pool Fishery

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

ACTION: Temporary rule; closure.

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SUMMARY: This action closes the Gulf of Maine (GOM) haddock Trimester 
Total Allowable Catch (TAC) Area for Trimester 3, from January 1, 2014, 
through April 30, 2014, to common pool vessels, because the Trimester 3 
TAC for GOM haddock has already been exceeded due to an overage in 
Trimester 1. This action is intended to prevent the overharvest of the 
common pool's allocation of GOM haddock.

DATES: The closure of the GOM haddock Trimester TAC Area is effective 
January 1, 2014, through April 30, 2014.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Liz Sullivan, Fishery Management 
Specialist, 978-282-8493, Fax 978-281-9135.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Regulations governing the Northeast (NE) 
multispecies fishery are found at 50 CFR part 648, subpart F. The 
regulations require the NMFS Regional Administrator (RA) to close the 
Trimester TAC Area for a stock when 90 percent of the Trimester TAC is 
projected to be caught. The Trimester TAC Area for a stock will close 
to all common pool vessels fishing with gear capable of catching that 
stock for the remainder of the trimester. Any overages of a trimester 
TAC will be deducted from Trimester 3, and any overages of the common 
pool's sub-annual catch limit (ACL) at the end of the fishing year (FY) 
will be deducted from the common pool's sub-ACL the following FY.
    The FY 2013 common pool sub-ACL for GOM haddock is 2 metric tons 
(mt; 4,409 lb). In Trimester 1, the common pool caught 1.9 mt (4,260 
lb) of GOM haddock, causing the common pool to exceed its Trimester 1 
TAC of 0.54 mt (1,190 lb) by 1.4 mt (3,070 lb). Pursuant to 
regulations, this overage is deducted from Trimester 3, which has a TAC 
of 0.94 mt (2,072 lb). Because the overage from Trimester 1 was greater 
than the allowable catch for Trimester 3, Trimester 3 has no allowable 
catch. Therefore, effective January 1, 2014, the GOM haddock Trimester 
TAC Area identified in Sec.  648.82(n)(2)(ii)(D) is closed for all of 
Trimester 3, through April 30, 2014, to all common pool vessels fishing 
with trawl gear, sink gillnet gear, and longline/hook gear. The GOM 
haddock Trimester TAC Area will reopen to common pool vessels fishing 
with trawl, sink gillnet, and longline/hook gear at the beginning of 
Trimester 1 of FY 2014, on May 1, 2014.
    Catch will continue to be monitored through vessel trip reports, 
dealer-reported landings, vessel monitoring system catch reports, and 
other available information, and if necessary, additional adjustments 
to common pool management measures may be made.

Classification

    This action is required by 50 CFR part 648, and is exempt from 
review under Executive Order 12866.
    The Assistant Administrator for Fisheries, NOAA (AA), 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 impracticable and 
contrary to the public interest. Pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 553(d)(3), the AA 
also finds good cause to waive the 30-day delayed effectiveness period.
    The regulations at Sec.  648.82(n)(2)(ii) requires the RA to close 
a trimester TAC area when 90 percent of the respective Trimester TAC 
has been caught by common pool vessels. The catch data show that the 
common pool fishery has already exceeded its Trimester 3 TAC for GOM 
haddock due to an overage in Trimester 1. As a result, this action 
reduces the extent of the common pool fishery overage of its sub-ACLs 
for GOM haddock. Any overages of the common pools sub-ACL for this 
stock would undermine conservation objectives and trigger the 
implementation of accountability measures that would have negative 
economic impacts on the common pool vessels. The catch data supporting 
this action only recently became available. As a result, the time 
necessary to provide for prior notice and comment, and a 30-day delay 
in effectiveness, would prevent NMFS from implementing the necessary 
Trimester TAC closure in a timely manner, which could undermine 
conservation objectives of the NE Multispecies Fishery Management Plan, 
and cause negative economic impacts to the common pool fishery.

    Authority:  16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq.

    Dated: December 12, 2013.
Sean F. Corson,
Acting Deputy Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National 
Marine Fisheries Service.
[FR Doc. 2013-30114 Filed 12-17-13; 8:45 am]
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