Fishery conservation and management: Northeastern United States fisheries— Summer flounder,

 
CONTENT

[Federal Register: October 28, 1998 (Volume 63, Number 208)]

[Rules and Regulations]

[Page 57622-57623]

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

[DOCID:fr28oc98-24]

DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

50 CFR Part 648

[Docket No. 971015246-7293-02; I.D. 102298A]

Fisheries of the Northeastern United States; Summer Flounder Fishery; Commercial Quota Harvested for New York

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

ACTION: Commercial quota harvest.

SUMMARY: NMFS announces that the summer flounder commercial quota available to the State of New York has been harvested. Vessels issued a commercial Federal fisheries permit for the summer flounder fishery may not land summer flounder in New York for the remainder of calendar year 1998 unless additional quota becomes available through a transfer. Regulations governing the summer flounder fishery require publication of this notification to advise the State of New York that the quota has been harvested and to advise vessel permit holders and dealer permit holders that no commercial quota is available for landing summer flounder in New York.

DATES: Effective 0001 hours October 27, 1998, through December 31, 1998.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Paul H. Jones, Fishery Policy Analyst, (978) 281-9273.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Regulations governing the summer flounder fishery are found at 50 CFR part 648. The regulations require annual specification of a commercial quota that is apportioned among the coastal states from North Carolina through Maine. The process to set the annual commercial quota and the percent allocated to each state are described in Sec. 648.100.

The initial total commercial quota for summer flounder for the 1998 calendar year was set equal to 11,105,636 lb (5,037,432 kg) (62 FR 66304, December 18, 1997). The percent allocated to vessels landing summer flounder in New York is 7.64699 percent, or 849,680 lb (385,408 kg).

Section 648.100(e)(4) stipulates that any overages of commercial quota landed in any state be deducted from that state's annual quota for the following year. In calendar year 1997, a total of 815,741 lb (370,014 kg) were landed in New York, creating a 61,398 lb (27,850 kg) overage that was deducted from the amount allocated for landings in the state during 1998 (63 FR 23227, April 28, 1998). The resulting quota for New York is 788,282 lb (357,559 kg).

Section 648.101(b) requires the Administrator, Northeast Region, NMFS (Regional Administrator), to monitor state commercial quotas and to determine when a state's commercial quota is harvested. The Regional Administrator is further required to publish notification in the Federal Register advising a state and notifying Federal vessel and dealer permit holders that, effective upon a specific date, the state's commercial quota has been harvested and no commercial quota is available for landing summer flounder in that state. The Regional

[[Page 57623]]

Administrator has determined, based upon dealer reports and other available information, that the State of New York has attained its quota for 1998.

The regulations at Sec. 648.4(b) provide that, as a condition of the permit, Federal permit holders agree not to land summer flounder in any state that the Regional Administrator has determined no longer has commercial quota available. Therefore, effective 0001 hours October 27, 1998, further landings of summer flounder in New York by vessels holding commercial Federal fisheries permits are prohibited for the remainder of the 1998 calendar year unless additional quota becomes available through a transfer and is announced in the Federal Register. Effective October 27, 1998, federally permitted dealers are also advised that they may not purchase summer flounder from federally permitted vessels that land in New York for the remainder of the calendar year, or until additional quota becomes available through a transfer.

Classification

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

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

Dated: October 22, 1998. Bruce C. Morehead, Acting Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine Fisheries Service.

[FR Doc. 98-28827Filed10-23-98; 3:31 pm]

BILLING CODE 3510-22-F