Fishery conservation and management: Alaska; fisheries of Exclusive Economic Zone— Ocean perch, Pacific,

 
CONTENT

[Federal Register: July 13, 1998 (Volume 63, Number 133)]

[Rules and Regulations]

[Page 37507]

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

[DOCID:fr13jy98-14]

DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

50 CFR Part 679

[Docket No. 971208298-8055-02; I.D. 070798E]

Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Pacific Ocean Perch in the Eastern Aleutian District of the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands

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

ACTION: Closure.

SUMMARY: NMFS is prohibiting directed fishing for Pacific ocean perch in the Eastern Aleutian District of the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands management area (BSAI). This action is necessary to prevent exceeding the 1998 total allowable catch (TAC) of Pacific ocean perch in this area.

DATES: Effective 1200 hrs, Alaska local time (A.l.t.), July 7, 1998, until 2400 hrs, A.l.t., December 31, 1998.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Mary Furuness, 907-586-7228.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The groundfish fishery in the BSAI exclusive economic zone is managed by NMFS according to the Fishery Management Plan for the Groundfish Fishery of the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Area (FMP) prepared by the North Pacific Fishery Management Council under authority of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act. Fishing by U.S. vessels is governed by regulations implementing the FMP at subpart H of 50 CFR part 600 and CFR part 679.

The 1998 TAC of Pacific ocean perch for the Eastern Aleutian District was established by Final 1998 Harvest Specifications of Groundfish for the BSAI (63 FR 12689, March 16, 1998) as 2,840 metric tons (mt). See Sec. 679.20(c)(3)(iii).

In accordance with Sec. 679.20(d)(1)(i), the Administrator, Alaska Region, NMFS (Regional Administrator), has determined that the 1998 TAC for Pacific ocean perch in the Eastern Aleutian District will be reached. Therefore, the Regional Administrator is establishing a directed fishing allowance of 2,540 mt, and is setting aside the remaining 300 mt as bycatch to support other anticipated groundfish fisheries. In accordance with Sec. 679.20(d)(1)(iii), the Regional Administrator finds that this directed fishing allowance has been reached. Consequently, NMFS is prohibiting directed fishing for Pacific ocean perch in the Eastern Aleutian District.

Maximum retainable bycatch amounts may be found in the regulations at Sec. 679.20(e) and (f).

Classification

This action responds to the best available information recently obtained from the fishery. It must be implemented immediately to prevent overharvesting the 1998 TAC of Pacific ocean perch for the Eastern Aleutian District of the BSAI. A delay in the effective date is impracticable and contrary to the public interest. Further delay would only result in overharvest. NMFS finds for good cause that the implementation of this action should not be delayed for 30 days. Accordingly, under 5 U.S.C. 553(d), a delay in the effective date is hereby waived.

This action is required by Sec. 679.20 and is exempt from review under E.O. 12866.

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

Dated: July 7, 1998. Richard W. Surdi, Acting Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine Fisheries Service.

[FR Doc. 98-18462Filed7-7-98; 4:18 pm]

BILLING CODE 3510-22-F