[Federal Register Volume 78, Number 244 (Thursday, December 19, 2013)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 76766-76767]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2013-30216]


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

DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

50 CFR Part 648

[Docket No. 111220786-1781-01]
RIN 0648-XD030


Fisheries of the Northeastern United States; Summer Flounder 
Fishery; Commercial Quota Harvested for the State of New Jersey

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

ACTION: Temporary rule; closure.

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

SUMMARY: NMFS announces that the 2013 summer flounder commercial quota 
allocated to the State of New Jersey has been harvested. Vessels issued 
a commercial Federal fisheries permit for the summer flounder fishery 
may not land summer flounder in New Jersey for the remainder of 
calendar year 2013, unless additional quota becomes available through a 
transfer from another state. Regulations governing the summer flounder 
fishery require publication of this notification to advise New Jersey 
that the quota has been harvested and to advise vessel permit holders 
and dealer permit holders that no Federal commercial quota is available 
for landing summer flounder in New Jersey.

DATES: Effective December 17, 2013, through December 31, 2013.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Carly Bari, (978) 281-9224, or 
Carly.Bari@noaa.gov.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Regulations governing the summer flounder 
fishery are found at 50 CFR part 648. The regulations require annual 
specification of a commercial quota that is apportioned on a percentage 
basis among the coastal states from North Carolina through Maine. The 
process to set the annual commercial quota and the percent allocated to 
each state is described in Sec.  648.102.
    The initial total commercial quota for summer flounder for the 2013 
fishing year is 11,793,596 lb (5,349,575 kg) (77 FR 76942, December 31, 
2012). The percent allocated to vessels landing summer flounder in New 
Jersey is 16.72499 percent, resulting in a commercial quota of 
1,972,478 lb (894,716 kg). The 2013 allocation was adjusted to 
1,972,066 lb (894,514 kg) after deduction of research set-aside, 
adjustment for 2012 quota overages, and adjustments for quota transfers 
between states.
    The Administrator, Northeast Region, NMFS (Regional Administrator), 
monitors the state commercial landings and determines when a state's 
commercial quota has been harvested. NMFS is required to publish 
notification in the Federal Register advising and notifying commercial 
vessels and dealer permit holders that, effective upon a specific date, 
the state's commercial quota has been harvested and no commercial quota 
is available for landing summer flounder in that state. The Regional 
Administrator has determined, based upon dealer reports and other 
available information, that New Jersey has harvested its quota for 
2013.
    Section 648.4(b) provides that Federal permit holders agree, as a 
condition of the permit, not to land summer flounder in any state that 
the Regional Administrator has determined no longer has commercial 
quota available. Therefore, effective December 17, 2013, landings of 
summer flounder in New Jersey by vessels holding summer flounder 
commercial Federal fisheries permits are prohibited for the remainder 
of the 2013 calendar year, unless additional quota becomes available 
through a transfer and is announced in the Federal Register. Effective 
December 17, 2013, federally permitted dealers are also notified that 
they may not purchase summer flounder in New Jersey for the remainder 
of the calendar year, or until additional quota becomes available 
through a transfer from another state.

Classification

    This action is required by 50 CFR part 648 and is exempt from 
review under Executive Order 12866.

[[Page 76767]]

    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 contrary to the 
public interest. This action closes the summer flounder fishery for New 
Jersey until January 1, 2014, under current regulations. The 
regulations at Sec.  648.103(b) require such action to ensure that 
summer flounder vessels do not exceed quotas allocated to the states. 
If implementation of this closure was delayed to solicit prior public 
comment, the quota for this fishing year will be exceeded, thereby 
undermining the conservation objectives of the Summer Flounder Fishery 
Management Plan. The AA further finds, pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 553(d)(3), 
good cause to waive the 30-day delayed effectiveness period for the 
reason stated above.

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

    Dated: December 16, 2013.
Sean F. Corson,
Acting Deputy Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National 
Marine Fisheries Service.
[FR Doc. 2013-30216 Filed 12-17-13; 11:15 am]
BILLING CODE 3510-22-P