[Federal Register Volume 78, Number 249 (Friday, December 27, 2013)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 78786-78787]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2013-31070]


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DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

50 CFR Part 648

[Docket No. 121009528-2729-02]
RIN 0648-XD026


Fisheries of the Northeastern United States; 2014 Commercial 
Summer Flounder Quota Adjustments

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

ACTION: Announcement of 2014 commercial summer flounder state quotas.

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SUMMARY: NMFS is announcing the commercial summer flounder state quotas 
for fishing year 2014. The 2014 summer flounder specifications were 
established in December 2012. This notice incorporates any previously 
unaccounted for overages from fishing year 2012 and any known overages 
to date from fishing year 2013. These commercial state quotas may 
change as a result of a recent stock assessment and a recommendation by 
the Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council.

DATES: Effective January 1, 2014, through December 31, 2014.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Moira Kelly, Fishery Policy Analyst, 
(978) 281-9218.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: 

Background

    The Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council (Council) and the 
Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission cooperatively manage the 
summer flounder, scup, and black sea bass fisheries. Specifications in 
these fisheries include the acceptable biological catch (ABC) limit, 
various catch and landing subdivisions (such as the commercial and 
recreational sector annual catch limits (ACLs)), annual catch targets 
(ACTs), sector-specific landing limits (i.e., the commercial fishery 
quota and recreational harvest limit (RHL)), and research set-aside 
(RSA) established for the upcoming fishing year. Typically, these 
specifications are set on an annual basis and announced in the Federal 
Register in December of each year. Because the summer flounder stock 
assessment was scheduled for July 2013 and the normal specification 
schedule would be delayed, the Council established specifications for 
the 2014 summer flounder fishery in December 2012 (December 31, 2012; 
77 FR 76942). These specifications included the initial state 
allocations, as well as the state allocations after adjusting for RSA.
    An important component of the annual specifications rulemaking is 
the notification of the commercial summer flounder state quota and 
overages. Overages are calculated using final landings data from the 
previous fishing year and landings from the current fishing year 
through October 31. In this case, previously unaccounted for overages 
from fishing year 2012 are combined with known overages from fishing 
year 2013, through October 31, 2013. As a result, the 2014 summer 
flounder state quotas, adjusted for RSA and overages, are as follows:

                                                     Table 1--2014 Commercial Summer Flounder State Quotas, as Adjusted by Overages and RSA
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------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- -------------
                                                                  FMP percent
                                                                     share        2014 Initial quota
                                                                  2014 Initial quota, less
                                                                             RSA
                                                                   Quota overages (through
                                                                          10/31/13)
                                                                    Adjusted 2014 quota,
                                                                    less RSA and overages
                                                                              ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                              State                                                 lb           kg           lb           kg           lb           kg           lb           kg
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ME..............................................................      0.04756        5,579        2,533        5,417        2,457            0            0        5,417        2,457
NH..............................................................      0.00046           54           24           52           24            0            0           52           24
MA..............................................................      6.82046      800,091      363,242      776,788      352,345       28,199       12,791      748,589      339,554
RI..............................................................     15.68298    1,839,732      835,240    1,786,147      810,183            0            0    1,786,147      810,183
CT..............................................................      2.25708      264,772      120,207      257,061      116,601            0            0      257,061      116,601
NY..............................................................      7.64699      897,050      407,261      870,922      395,044       79,355       35,995      791,587      359,058
NJ..............................................................     16.72499    1,961,967      890,735    1,904,823      864,013            0            0    1,904,823      864,013
DE..............................................................      0.01779        2,087          947        2,026          919       52,384       23,760      -50,358      -22,842
MD..............................................................      2.03910      239,202      108,598      232,235      105,340            0            0      232,235      105,340
VA..............................................................     21.31676    2,500,616    1,135,282    2,427,783    1,101,224            0            0    2,427,783    1,101,224
NC..............................................................     27.44584    3,219,604    1,461,703    3,125,829    1,417,852            0            0    3,125,829    1,417,852
                                                                 -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Total.......................................................       100.00   11,730,754    5,326,000   11,389,082    5,166,000      155,376       70,476   11,284,065    5,118,366
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    On October 9, 2013, the Council met to discuss whether adjustments 
to the previously established 2014 specifications were necessary as a 
result of the updated stock assessment, and to establish fishing year 
2015

[[Page 78787]]

specifications for the summer flounder, scup, and black sea bass 
fisheries. The Council determined that an adjustment was necessary for 
the 2014 summer flounder specifications. Table 2 below summarizes the 
established 2014 summer flounder specifications, as well as the 
specifications that the Council voted to recommend in October 2013. The 
Council has not yet submitted the specifications package to be reviewed 
by NMFS; nor has NMFS made a determination that these adjustments would 
be implemented. The state quotas listed in Table 1 will be in effect 
until and unless otherwise changed through proposed and final 
rulemaking.

            Table 2--Summer Flounder 2014 Specifications and Council Recommended 2014 Specifications
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                                                        2014 Specifications            October 2013 council
                                                 --------------------------------        recommended 2014
                                                                                          specifications
                                                    million lb          mt       -------------------------------
                                                                                    million lb          mt
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ABC.............................................           22.24          10,088           21.94           9,950
Commercial ACL..................................           12.05           5,467           12.87           5,837
Recreational ACL................................           10.19           4,621            9.07           4,113
Commercial ACT..................................           12.05           5,467           12.87           5,837
Recreational ACT................................           10.19           4,621            9.07           4,113
Comm. Quota (less 3% for RSA)...................           11.39           5,166           10.51           4,767
RHL (less 3% for RSA)...........................            7.59           3,444            7.01           3,178
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    Authority:  16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq.

    Dated: December 23, 2013.
Emily H. Menashes,
Deputy Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine 
Fisheries Service.
[FR Doc. 2013-31070 Filed 12-26-13; 8:45 am]
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