[Federal Register Volume 79, Number 89 (Thursday, May 8, 2014)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Page 26375]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2014-10599]



[[Page 26375]]

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DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

50 CFR Part 622

[Docket No. 120815345-3525-02]
RIN 0648-XD271


Fisheries of the Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico, and South Atlantic; 
2014 Commercial Accountability Measure and Closure for South Atlantic 
Gray Triggerfish

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 for commercial gray 
triggerfish in the exclusive economic zone (EEZ) of the South Atlantic. 
Commercial landings for gray triggerfish, as estimated by the Science 
and Research Director, are projected to reach the commercial annual 
catch limit (ACL) on May 12, 2014. Therefore, NMFS is closing the 
commercial sector for gray triggerfish in the South Atlantic EEZ on May 
12, 2014, and it will remain closed until the start of the next fishing 
season, January 1, 2015. This closure is necessary to protect the gray 
triggerfish resource.

DATES: This rule is effective 12:01 a.m., local time, May 12, 2014, 
until 12:01 a.m., local time, January 1, 2015.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Catherine Hayslip, telephone: 727-824-
5305, email: Catherine.Hayslip@noaa.gov.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The snapper-grouper fishery of the South 
Atlantic includes gray triggerfish 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 for gray triggerfish in the South Atlantic is 
272,880 lb (123,776 kg), round weight, for the current fishing year, 
January 1 through December 31, 2014, as specified in 50 CFR 
622.193(q)(1)(i).
    Under 50 CFR 622.193(q)(1), NMFS is required to close the 
commercial sector for gray triggerfish when the commercial ACL is 
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 for South Atlantic gray triggerfish 
will have been reached by May 12, 2014. Accordingly, the commercial 
sector for South Atlantic gray triggerfish is closed effective 12:01 
a.m., local time, May 12, 2014, until 12:01 a.m., local time, January 
1, 2015.
    The operator of a vessel with a valid commercial vessel permit for 
South Atlantic snapper-grouper having gray triggerfish onboard must 
have landed and bartered, traded, or sold such gray triggerfish prior 
to 12:01 a.m., local time, May 12, 2014. During the closure, the bag 
limit specified in 50 CFR 622.187(b)(8), applies to all harvest or 
possession of gray triggerfish in or from the South Atlantic EEZ. 
During the closure, the possession limits specified in 50 CFR 
622.187(c), apply to all harvest or possession of gray triggerfish in 
or from the South Atlantic EEZ. During the closure, the sale or 
purchase of gray triggerfish taken from the EEZ is prohibited. The 
prohibition on sale or purchase does not apply to the sale or purchase 
of gray triggerfish that were harvested, landed ashore, and sold prior 
to 12:01 a.m., local time, May 12, 2014, 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 bag and possession limit and sale and 
purchase provisions of the commercial closure for gray triggerfish 
would apply regardless of whether the fish are harvested in state or 
Federal waters, as specified in 50 CFR 622.193(q)(1)(i).

Classification

    The Regional Administrator, Southeast Region, NMFS, has determined 
this temporary rule is necessary for the conservation and management of 
gray triggerfish and the South Atlantic snapper-grouper fishery and is 
consistent with the Magnuson-Stevens Act, the FMP, and other applicable 
laws.
    This action is taken under 50 CFR 622.193(q)(1) and is exempt from 
review under Executive Order 12866.
    These measures are exempt from the procedures of the Regulatory 
Flexibility Act because the temporary rule is issued without 
opportunity for prior notice and comment.
    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 gray triggerfish 
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 gray triggerfish since the capacity of 
the fishing fleet allows for rapid harvest of the commercial ACL. Prior 
notice and opportunity for public comment would require time and would 
potentially result in a harvest well in excess of the established 
commercial ACL.
    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: May 5, 2014.
Emily H. Menashes,
Acting Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine 
Fisheries Service.
[FR Doc. 2014-10599 Filed 5-5-14; 4:15 pm]
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