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Daily Rules, Proposed Rules, and Notices of the Federal Government

DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

50 CFR Part 648

[Docket No. 0908191244-91427-02]

RIN 0648-XA070

Fisheries of the Northeastern United States; Summer Flounder Fishery; Quota Transfer

AGENCY: National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Commerce.
ACTION: Temporary rule.
SUMMARY: NMFS announces that the State of North Carolina is transferring a portion of its 2010 commercial summer flounder quota to the Commonwealth of Virginia. By this action, NMFS adjusts the quotas and announces the revised commercial quota for each state involved.
DATES: Effective December 7, 2010 through December 31, 2010.
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Sarah Heil, Fishery Management Specialist, 978-281-9257.
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 § 648.100.

The final rule implementing Amendment 5 to the Summer Flounder, Scup, and Black Sea Bass Fishery Management Plan, which was published on December 17, 1993 (58 FR 65936), provided a mechanism for summer flounder quota to be transferred from one state to another. Two or more states, under mutual agreement and with the concurrence of the Administrator, Northeast Region, NMFS (Regional Administrator), can transfer or combine summer flounder commercial quota under § 648.100(d). The Regional Administrator is required to consider the criteria set forth in § 648.100(d)(3) in the evaluation of requests for quota transfers or combinations.

North Carolina has agreed to transfer 1,481 lb (643 kg) of its 2010 commercial quota to Virginia. This transfer was prompted by summer flounder landings of a North Carolina vessel that was towed into Cape Charles, VA, due to mechanical problems on November 12, 2010. The Regional Administrator has determined that the criteria set forth in § 648.100(d)(3) have been met. The revised summer flounder quotas for calendar year 2010 are: North Carolina, 3,370,046 lb (1,528,627 kg); and Virginia, 2,910,411 lb (1,320,140 kg).

Classification

This action is taken under 50 CFR part 648 and is exempt from review under Executive Order 12866.

Authority:

16 U.S.C. 1801et seq.

Dated: December 6, 2010. Brian W. Parker, Acting Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine Fisheries Service.