[Federal Register Volume 79, Number 75 (Friday, April 18, 2014)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Page 21875]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2014-08885]


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DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

50 CFR Part 622

[Docket No. 120919470-3513-02]
RIN 0648-XD232


Fisheries of the Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico, and South Atlantic; 
Shrimp Fishery Off the Southern Atlantic States; Reopening of 
Commercial Penaeid Shrimp Trawling Off South Carolina

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

ACTION: Temporary rule; reopening.

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SUMMARY: NMFS reopens commercial penaeid shrimp trawling, i.e., for 
brown, pink, and white shrimp, in the exclusive economic zone (EEZ) off 
South Carolina in the South Atlantic. NMFS previously closed commercial 
penaeid shrimp trawling in the EEZ off South Carolina on February 13, 
2014. The reopening is intended to maximize harvest benefits while 
protecting the penaeid shrimp resource.

DATES: The reopening is effective at 12:01 a.m., local time, May 1, 
2014, until the effective date of a notification of a closure which 
will be published in the Federal Register.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Kate Michie, 727-824-5305; email: 
Kate.Michie@noaa.gov.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Penaeid shrimp in the South Atlantic are 
managed under the Fishery Management Plan for the Shrimp Fishery of the 
South Atlantic Region (FMP). The FMP was prepared by the South Atlantic 
Fishery Management Council (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.
    Under 50 CFR 622.206(a), NMFS may close the EEZ adjacent to South 
Atlantic states that have closed their waters to the harvest of brown, 
pink, and white shrimp to protect the white shrimp spawning stock that 
has been severely depleted by cold weather or when applicable state 
water temperatures are 9 [deg]C (48[emsp14][deg]F), or less, for at 
least 7 consecutive days. Consistent with those procedures and 
criteria, after determining that unusually cold temperatures resulted 
in water temperatures of 9 [deg]C (48[emsp14][deg]F), or less, for at 
least 7 consecutive days in its state waters, the state of South 
Carolina closed its waters on January 13, 2014, to the harvest of 
brown, pink, and white shrimp. South Carolina subsequently requested 
that NMFS implement a concurrent closure of the EEZ off South Carolina.
    NMFS determined that South Carolina's request for an EEZ closure 
conformed with the procedures and criteria specified in the FMP and the 
Magnuson-Stevens Act, and, therefore, implemented the concurrent EEZ 
closure effective as of February 13, 2014, and that in no case would 
the EEZ closure remain in effect after May 31, 2014 (79 FR 8635, 
February 13, 2014).
    During the closure, as specified in 50 CFR 622.206(a)(2), no person 
could: (1) Trawl for brown, pink, or white shrimp in the EEZ off South 
Carolina; (2) possess on board a fishing vessel brown, pink, or white 
shrimp in or from the EEZ off South Carolina unless the vessel is in 
transit through the area and all nets with a mesh size of less than 4 
inches (10.2 cm) are stowed below deck; or (3) for a vessel trawling 
within 25 nautical miles of the baseline from which the territorial sea 
is measured, use or have on board a trawl net with a mesh size less 
than 4 inches (10.2 cm), as measured between the centers of opposite 
knots when pulled taut.
    The FMP and implementing regulations at 50 CFR 622.206(a) state 
that: (1) The closure will be effective until the ending date of the 
closure in the state waters, but may be ended earlier based on the 
state's request; and (2) if the state closure is ended earlier, NMFS 
will terminate the closure of the EEZ by filing a notification to that 
effect with the Office of the Federal Register. On April 7, 2014, the 
state of South Carolina requested the EEZ to be reopened no later than 
May 1, 2014, based on their biological sampling. The state of South 
Carolina is continuing its monitoring of both water conditions and the 
penaeid shrimp population in state waters but has not yet determined 
when the state waters reopening will occur. Therefore, NMFS publishes 
this notification to reopen the EEZ off South Carolina to the harvest 
of brown, pink, and white shrimp effective 12:01 a.m., local time, May 
1, 2014.

Classification

    This action responds to the best available information recently 
obtained from the fishery. The Assistant Administrator for Fisheries, 
NOAA, (AA), finds good cause to waive the requirement to provide prior 
notice and opportunity for public comment pursuant to the authority set 
forth at 5 U.S.C. 553(b)(B). Allowing prior notice and opportunity for 
public comment on the reopening is unnecessary because the rule 
establishing the reopening procedures has already been subject to 
notice and comment, and all that remains is to notify the public of the 
reopening date. Additionally, allowing for prior notice and opportunity 
for public comment for this reopening is contrary to the public 
interest because it requires time, thus delaying the removal of a 
restriction and thereby reducing socio-economic benefits to the 
commercial sector. Also, the FMP procedures and implementing 
regulations require the commercial penaeid shrimp trawling component to 
reopen no later than May 31, 2014, or earlier based on the state's 
request, which South Carolina requested to be May 1, 2014.
    For the aforementioned reasons, the AA also finds good cause to 
waive the 30-day delay in effectiveness of this action under 5 U.S.C. 
553(d)(3).
    This action is authorized by 50 CFR 622.206(a) and is exempt from 
review under Executive Order 12866.

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

    Dated: April 15, 2014.
Emily H. Menashes,
Acting Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine 
Fisheries Service.
[FR Doc. 2014-08885 Filed 4-17-14; 8:45 am]
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