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DOC/NOAA RIN: 0648-BI28 Publication ID: Spring 2020 
Title: Fisheries of the Northeastern United States; Removal of Regulations Implementing the Closed Area I Hook Gear Haddock Special Access Program 

The proposed action would remove regulations at 50 CFR 648.85(b)(7) that implement the Closed Area I Hook Gear Haddock Special Access Program (Haddock SAP). The Haddock SAP was created to allow groundfish vessels following certain gear restrictions to access the groundfish year-round Closed Area I, in order to provide additional fishing opportunities to target healthy stocks. On April 9, 2018, NMFS implemented the Omnibus Essential Fish Habitat Amendment (OHA), which eliminated the year-round closure of Closed Area I. The Haddock SAP is no longer necessary, and, as a result, the geographic area once covered by the program area is now open area, accessible to the groundfish fleet under normal conditions. Removal of the Haddock SAP is consistent with the OHA, which should have removed measures related to Closed Area I that are no longer necessary. In addition, removal of unnecessary notification and reporting requirements and restrictions related to the Haddock SAP will help avoid confusion and inconsistencies with other regulations.

Agency: Department of Commerce(DOC)  Priority: Substantive, Nonsignificant 
RIN Status: Previously published in the Unified Agenda Agenda Stage of Rulemaking: Proposed Rule Stage 
Major: No  Unfunded Mandates: No 
EO 13771 Designation: Deregulatory 
CFR Citation: 50 CFR 648   
Legal Authority: 16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq.   
Legal Deadline:  None
Action Date FR Cite
NPRM  04/06/2020  85 FR 19129   
NPRM Comment Period End  05/06/2020 
Final Action  06/00/2020 
Regulatory Flexibility Analysis Required: Undetermined  Government Levels Affected: None 
Small Entities Affected: No  Federalism: No 
Included in the Regulatory Plan: No 
RIN Data Printed in the FR: No 
Agency Contact:
Michael Pentony
Regional Administrator, Greater Atlantic Region
Department of Commerce
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
55 Great Republic Drive,
Gloucester, MA 01930
Phone:978 281-9283
Fax:978 281-9207