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DOC/NOAA RIN: 0648-BL45 Publication ID: Fall 2023 
Title: Amendment 23 to the Summer Flounder, Scup, and Black Sea Bass Fishery Management Plan 

Amendment 23 as recommended by the Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council and Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission. The Commission’s Summer Flounder, Scup, and Black Sea Bass Management Board and the Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council jointly approved several changes to the management program for black sea bass commercial fisheries. These changes include modifying the state allocations of the commercial black sea bass quota, adding the state allocations to the Council’s Fishery Management Plan (FMP), and modifying the regulations for Federal in-season closures. The Board adopted the new allocations through Addendum XXXIII to the Summer Flounder, Scup and Black Sea Bass FMP, while the Council recommended these changes through an amendment to its FMP. These actions address significant changes in the distribution of black sea bass that have occurred since the original allocations were implemented under Amendment 13 in 2003 and also account for the historical dependence of the states on the black sea bass fishery. This rule will change the commercial accountability measure by adding a small buffer before a closure is triggered. The rule will also consider disapproval of the addition of the commercial state allocations to the Federal FMP.  Black sea bass are jointly managed by the Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council and Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission. The range of the black sea bass stock has expanded to the north, and it is expected to continue to shift due to climate change. The northward movement of the stock means that much of the fishery occurs in waters off of states that are not represented on the Mid-Atlantic Council. Adding the state allocations to the Federal FMP may limit the ability of managers to respond appropriately to the changing stock conditions (National Standard 6), in addition to be duplicative and costly (National Standard 7). The Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act requires that each Regional Fishery Management Council transmit any amendment it prepares to NMFS for review and approval, disapproval, or partial approval. Development of this Amendment involved public participation through meetings of the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission and Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council, including public working group meetings, and included public scoping meetings and public hearings. Formal comments were solicited through both a proposed rule and through a Notice of Availability for the amendment.

Agency: Department of Commerce(DOC)  Priority: Substantive, Nonsignificant 
RIN Status: Previously published in the Unified Agenda Agenda Stage of Rulemaking: Final Rule Stage 
Major: No  Unfunded Mandates: No 
CFR Citation: 50 CFR 648   
Legal Authority: 16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq.   
Legal Deadline:  None
Action Date FR Cite
NPRM  05/15/2023  88 FR 30938   
NPRM Comment Period End  06/14/2023 
Final Action  11/00/2023 
Regulatory Flexibility Analysis Required: No  Government Levels Affected: None 
Small Entities Affected: Businesses  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