Fishery conservation and management: Alaska; fisheries of Exclusive Economic Zone Pollock,
[Federal Register: October 20, 2005 (Volume 70, Number 202)]
[Rules and Regulations]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]
DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
50 CFR Part 679
[Docket No. 041126333-5040-02; I.D. 101705A]
Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Pollock in Statistical Area 630 of the Gulf of Alaska
AGENCY: National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Commerce.
ACTION: Temporary rule; modification of a closure.
SUMMARY: NMFS is opening directed fishing for pollock in Statistical Area 630 of the Gulf of Alaska (GOA) for 48 hours. This action is necessary to fully use the 2005 total allowable catch (TAC) of pollock specified for Statistical Area 630.
DATES: Effective 1200 hrs, Alaska local time (A.l.t.), October 17, 2005, through 1200 hrs, A.l.t., October 19, 2005.
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Josh Keaton, 907-586-7228.
SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: NMFS manages the groundfish fishery in the GOA exclusive economic zone according to the Fishery Management Plan for Groundfish of the Gulf of Alaska (FMP) prepared by the North Pacific Fishery Management Council under authority of the Magnuson- Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act. Regulations governing fishing by U.S. vessels in accordance with the FMP appear at subpart H of 50 CFR part 600 and 50 CFR part 679.
NMFS closed the directed fishery for pollock in Statistical Area 630 of the GOA under Sec. 679.20(d)(1)(iii) on October 8, 2005 (70 FR 59676, October 13, 2005).
NMFS has determined that approximately 1,700 mt of pollock remain in the directed fishing allowance. Therefore, in accordance with 679.25(a)(2)(i)(C) and (a)(2)(iii)(D), and to fully utilize the 2005 TAC of pollock in Statistical Area 630, NMFS is terminating the previous closure and is reopening directed fishing for pollock in Statistical Area 630 of the GOA. In accordance with Sec. 679.20(d)(1)(iii), the Regional Administrator finds that the directed fishing allowance for pollock in Statistical Area 630 of the GOA will be reached after 48 hours. Consequently, NMFS is prohibiting directed fishing for pollock in Statistical Area 630 of the GOA effective 1200 hrs, A.l.t., October 19, 2005.
This action responds to the best available information recently obtained from the fishery. The Assistant Administrator for Fisheries, NOAA (AA), finds good cause to waive the requirement to provide prior notice and opportunity for public comment pursuant to the authority set forth at 5 U.S.C. 553(b)(B) as such requirement is impracticable and contrary to the public interest. This requirement is impracticable and contrary to the public interest as it would prevent NMFS from responding to the most recent fisheries data in a timely fashion and would delay the opening of pollock in Statistical Area 630 of the GOA. NMFS was unable to publish a notice providing time for public comment because the most recent, relevant data only became available as of October 13, 2005.
The AA also finds good cause to waive the 30-day delay in the effective date of this action under 5 U.S.C. 553(d)(3). This finding is based upon the reasons provided above for waiver of prior notice and opportunity for public comment.
This action is required by section 679.20 and is exempt from review under Executive Order 12866.
Authority: 16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq.
Dated: October 17, 2005. Alan D. Risenhoover, Acting Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine Fisheries Service.
[FR Doc. 05-20994 Filed 10-17-05; 1:14 pm]
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