[Federal Register Volume 63, Number 3 (Tuesday, January 6, 1998)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 444-445]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 97-34241]


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DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

50 CFR Part 648

[I.D. 122997B]


Fisheries of the Northeastern United States; Summer Flounder, 
Scup, and Black Sea Bass Fisheries: Summer Flounder Commercial Quota 
Transfer from New Jersey to Connecticut

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

ACTION: Commercial quota transfer.

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SUMMARY: NMFS announces that the State of New Jersey is transferring 
24,118 lb (10,940 kg) of summer flounder commercial quota to the State 
of Connecticut. NMFS adjusted the quotas and announces the revised 
commercial quota for each state involved.

DATES: December 31, 1997.
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Regina Spallone (978) 281-9221.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Regulations for the summer flounder fishery 
are found at 50 CFR part 648, subparts A and G. The regulations require 
annual specification of a commercial quota that is apportioned among 
the coastal states from Maine through North Carolina. The process to 
set the annual commercial quota and the percent allocated to each state 
is described in Sec. 648.100.
    Final specifications for the 1997 summer flounder fishery and 
adjustments to state commercial quotas were published March 7, 1997 (62 
FR 10473). At that time, the State of New Jersey was allocated a 1997 
quota of 1,371,266 lb (621,996 kg) and the State of Connecticut was 
allocated a 1997 quota of 222,806 lb (101,063 kg). These annual quotas 
for New Jersey and Connecticut were set after deducting for 1996 
overages.
    A readjustment to the 1997 quotas, based upon additional 1996 
landings information contained in late and/or additional reports was 
published July

[[Page 445]]

15, 1997 (62 FR 37741). As a result of this action, the quota for the 
State of New Jersey was set equal to 1,347,592 lb (611,257 kg). The 
quota for the State of Connecticut was unchanged.
    The final rule implementing Amendment 5 to the Fishery Management 
Plan for the Summer Flounder Fishery (FMP) published on December 17, 
1993 (58 FR 65936), allows two or more states, under mutual agreement 
and with the concurrence of the Administrator, Northeast Region, NMFS 
(Regional Administrator), to transfer or combine summer flounder 
commercial quota. The Regional Administrator is required to consider 
the criteria set forth in Sec. 648.100(e)(1) in the evaluation of 
requests for quota transfers or combinations.
    The State of New Jersey has agreed to transfer 24,118 lb (10,940 
kg) of commercial quota to the State of Connecticut. The Regional 
Administrator having determined that the criteria set forth in 
Sec. 648.100(e)(1) have been met, publishes this notification of quota 
transfers. The revised quotas for the calendar year 1997 are as 
follows: New Jersey, 1,323,474 lb (600,318 kg); and Connecticut, 
246,924 lb (112,003 kg).
    This action does not affect a notification concerning the 
commercial quota harvest that prohibited further landings of summer 
flounder by federally permitted vessels in Connecticut made effective 
September 11, 1997 (62 FR 47767).
    This action does not alter any of the conclusions reached in the 
environmental impact statement prepared for Amendment 2 to the FMP 
regarding the effects of summer flounder fishing activity on the human 
environment. Amendment 2 established procedures for setting an annual 
coastwide commercial quota for summer flounder and a formula for 
determining commercial quotas for each state. The quota transfer 
provision was established by Amendment 5 to the FMP and the 
environmental assessment prepared for Amendment 5 found that the action 
had no significant impact on the environment. Under section 
6.02b.3(b)(i)(aa) of NOAA Administrative Order 216-6, this action is 
categorically excluded from the requirement to prepare additional 
environmental analyses. This is a routine administrative action that 
reallocates commercial quota within the scope of previously published 
environmental analyses.

Classification

    This action is taken under 50 CFR part 648 and is exempt from 
review under E.O. 12866.

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

    Dated: December 30, 1997.
Bruce C. Morehead,
Acting Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine 
Fisheries Service.
[FR Doc. 97-34241 Filed 12-31-97; 1:00 pm]
BILLING CODE 3510-22-F