Fishery conservation and management: Alaska; fisheries of Exclusive Economic Zone— Atlantic bluefin tuna,

 
CONTENT

[Federal Register: July 13, 1998 (Volume 63, Number 133)]

[Rules and Regulations]

[Page 37506-37507]

From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]

[DOCID:fr13jy98-13]

DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

50 CFR Part 285

[I.D. 070698D]

Atlantic Tuna Fisheries; Atlantic Bluefin Tuna

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

ACTION: Harpoon category closure.

SUMMARY: NMFS has determined that the Atlantic bluefin tuna (BFT) Harpoon category annual quota for 1998 will be attained by July 7, 1998. Therefore, the 1998 Harpoon category fishery will be closed effective at 11:30 p.m. on July 7, 1998. This action is being taken to prevent overharvest of the Harpoon category quota.

DATES: Effective 11:30 p.m. local time on July 7, 1998, through December 31, 1998.

[[Page 37507]]

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Pat Scida, 978-281-9260, or Sarah McLaughlin, 301-713-2347.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Regulations implemented under the authority of the Atlantic Tunas Convention Act (16 U.S.C. 971 et seq.) governing the harvest of BFT by persons and vessels subject to U.S. jurisdiction are found at 50 CFR part 285. Section 285.22 subdivides the U.S. quota recommended by the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas among the various domestic fishing categories.

Harpoon Category Closure

NMFS is required, under Sec. 285.20(b)(1), to monitor the catch and landing statistics and, on the basis of these statistics, to project a date when the catch of BFT will equal the quota and publish a Federal Register announcement to close the applicable fishery.

Implementing regulations for the Atlantic tuna fisheries at Sec. 285.22 provide for a quota of 53 mt of large medium and giant BFT to be harvested from the regulatory area by vessels permitted in the Harpoon category. Based on reported landings and effort, NMFS projects that this quota will be reached by July 7, 1998. Therefore, fishing for, retaining, possessing, or landing large medium or giant BFT by vessels in the Harpoon category must cease at 11:30 p.m. local time July 7, 1998.

The intent of this closure is to prevent overharvest of the quota established for the Harpoon category.

Classification

This action is taken under Secs. 285.20(b) and 285.22 and is exempt from review under E.O. 12866.

Authority: 16 U.S.C. 971 et seq.

Dated: July 7, 1998. Richard W. Surdi, Acting Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine Fisheries Service.

[FR Doc. 98-18461Filed7-7-98; 4:25 pm]

BILLING CODE 3510-22-F