Daily Rules, Proposed Rules, and Notices of the Federal Government
Regulations governing the Atlantic bluefish fishery are found at 50 CFR part 648. The regulations require annual specification of a commercial quota that is apportioned on a percentage basis among the coastal states from Florida through Maine. The process to set the annual commercial quota and the percent allocated to each state is described in § 648.160.
The initial Federal coastwide commercial quota for Atlantic bluefish for the 2008 calendar year was set equal to 4,787,000 lb (2,171 mt) (73 FR 9958, February 25, 2008). The initial commercial quota was adjusted by transferring 2,918,693 lb (1,324 mt) from the initial recreational allocation, resulting in a total commercial quota of 7,705,244 lb (3,495 mt). The percent allocated to vessels landing bluefish in New York is 10.3851 percent, resulting in an initial commercial quota of 800,195 lb (363 mt). The 2008 allocation was reduced to 747,057 lb (339 mt) (73 FR 9958, February 25, 2008) due to a 2007 quota overage and the 2008 research set-aside quota allocation. Subsequently, during the 2008 fishing year, New York received six transfers of bluefish quota. In August 2008, New York received a transfer from North Carolina in the amount of 100,000 lb (45 mt) (73 FR 48306). In October, Florida transferred 100,000 lb (45 mt) of bluefish to New York (73 FR 60986). In November, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Maryland, and Delaware transferred 20,000 lb (10 mt), 50,000 lb (23 mt), 50,000 lb (23 mt), and 90,000 lb (41 mt), respectively, of their 2008 commercial quotas to New York (73 FR 71561). These transfers increased New York's bluefish quota allocation to 1,157,057 lb (525 mt).
The regulations at § 648.161(b) require the Administrator, Northeast Region, NMFS (Regional Administrator), to monitor state commercial quotas and to determine when a state's commercial quota has been harvested. NMFS then publishes a notification in the
The regulations at § 648.4(b) provide that Federal permit holders agree, as a condition of the permit, not to land bluefish in any state that the Regional Administrator has determined no longer has commercial quota available. Therefore, effective 0001 hours, December 5, 2008, further landings of bluefish in New York by vessels holding Atlantic bluefish commercial Federal fisheries permits are prohibited for the remainder of the 2008 calendar year, unless additional quota becomes available through a transfer and is announced in the
This action is required by 50 CFR part 648 and is exempt from review under Executive Order 12866.
16 U.S.C. 1801