Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Pacific Ocean Perch in the Western Regulatory Area of the Gulf of Alaska

 
CONTENT

Federal Register, Volume 79 Issue 128 (Thursday, July 3, 2014)

Federal Register Volume 79, Number 128 (Thursday, July 3, 2014)

Rules and Regulations

Pages 37960-37961

From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office www.gpo.gov

FR Doc No: 2014-15658

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DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

50 CFR Part 679

Docket No. 130925836-4174-02

RIN 0648-XD358

Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Pacific Ocean Perch in the Western Regulatory Area of the Gulf of Alaska

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

Page 37961

ACTION: Temporary rule; closure.

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SUMMARY: NMFS is prohibiting directed fishing for Pacific ocean perch in the Western Regulatory Area of the Gulf of Alaska (GOA). This action is necessary to prevent exceeding the 2014 total allowable catch of Pacific ocean perch in the Western Regulatory Area of the GOA.

DATES: Effective 1200 hours, Alaska local time (A.l.t.), July 1, 2014, through 2400 hours, A.l.t., December 31, 2014.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Obren Davis, 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.

The 2014 total allowable catch (TAC) of Pacific ocean perch in the Western Regulatory Area of the GOA is 2,399 metric tons (mt) as established by the final 2014 and 2015 harvest specifications for groundfish of the (79 FR 12890, March 6, 2014).

In accordance with Sec. 679.20(d)(1)(i) and (ii)(B), the Administrator, Alaska Region, NMFS (Regional Administrator), has determined that the 2014 TAC of Pacific ocean perch in the Western Regulatory Area of the GOA will be taken as incidental catch in directed fisheries for other species. Therefore, the Regional Administrator is establishing a directed fishing allowance of 99 mt, and is setting aside 2,300 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 Western Regulatory Area of the GOA.

After the effective date of this closure the maximum retainable amounts at Sec. 679.20(e) and (f) apply at any time during a trip.

Classification

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 closure of directed fishing for Pacific ocean perch in the Western Regulatory Area 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 June 26, 2014.

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 Sec. 679.20 and is exempt from review under Executive Order 12866.

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

Dated: June 30, 2014.

Emily H. Menashes,

Acting Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine Fisheries Service.

FR Doc. 2014-15658 Filed 6-30-14; 4:15 pm

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