Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska: Greenland Turbot and Rougheye Rockfish in the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Management Area

 
CONTENT

Federal Register: December 19, 2008 (Volume 73, Number 245)

Rules and Regulations

Page 77534-77535

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

DOCID:fr19de08-15

DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration 50 CFR Part 679

Docket No. 071106673-8011-02

RIN 0648-XM30

Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Greenland

Turbot and Rougheye Rockfish in the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands

Management Area

AGENCY: National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), National Oceanic and

Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Commerce.

ACTION: Temporary rule; apportionment of reserves; request for comments.

SUMMARY: NMFS apportions amounts of the non-specified reserve to the initial total allowable catch (ITAC) of Greenland turbot in the

Aleutian Islands subarea and rougheye rockfish in the Bering Sea and

Aleutian Islands (BSAI) management area. This action is necessary to allow the fisheries to continue operating. It is intended to promote the goals and objectives of the fishery management plan for the BSAI.

DATES: Effective December 16, 2008 through 2400 hrs, Alaska local time, December 31, 2008. Comments must be received at the following address no later than 4:30 p.m., Alaska local time, December 31, 2008.

ADDRESSES: Send comments to Sue Salveson, Assistant Regional

Administrator, Sustainable Fisheries Division, Alaska Region, NMFS,

Attn: Ellen Sebastian. You may submit comments, identified by [RIN], by any one of the following methods:

Electronic Submissions: Submit all electronic public comments via the Federal eRulemaking Portal website at http:// www.regulations.gov.

Mail: P. O. Box 21668, Juneau, AK 99802.

Fax: (907) 586-7557.

Hand delivery to the Federal Building: 709 West 9th

Street, Room 420A, Juneau, AK.

All comments received are a part of the public record and will generally be posted to http://www.regulations.gov without change. All

Personal Identifying Information (e.g., name, address) voluntarily submitted by the commenter may be publicly accessible. Do not submit

Confidential Business Information or otherwise sensitive or protected information.

NMFS will accept anonymous comments (enter N/A in the required fields, if you wish to remain anonymous). Attachments to electronic comments will be accepted in Microsoft Word, Excel, WordPerfect, or

Adobe portable document file (pdf) formats only.

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

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: NMFS manages the groundfish fishery in the

BSAI exclusive economic zone according to the Fishery Management Plan for Groundfish of the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Management Area

(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 2008 ITAC of Greenland turbot in the Aleutian Islands subarea was established as 672 metric tons (mt) and rougheye rockfish in the

BSAI was established as 187 mt by the 2008 and 2009 harvest specifications for groundfish of the BSAI (73 FR 10160, February 26, 2008). The Regional Administrator, Alaska Region, NMFS, has determined that the ITAC for Greenland turbot in the Aleutian Islands subarea and rougheye rockfish in the BSAI needs to be supplemented from the non- specified reserve in order to continue fishing operations.

Therefore, in accordance with Sec. 679.20(b)(3), NMFS apportions from the non-specified reserve of groundfish 118 mt to the Greenland turbot ITAC in the Aleutian Islands subarea and 15 mt of rougheye rockfish ITAC in the BSAI. These apportionments are consistent with

Sec. 679.20(b)(1)(i) and do not result in overfishing of a target species because the revised ITACs are equal to or less than the specifications of the acceptable biological catch in the 2008 and 2009 final harvest specifications for groundfish in the BSAI (73 FR 10160,

February 26, 2008).

The harvest specification for Greenland turbot and rougheye rockfish included in the harvest specifications for groundfish in the

BSAI (73 FR 10160, February 26, 2008) for the 2008 ITAC are revised as follows: 790 mt for Greenland turbot in the Aleutian Islands subarea and 202 mt for rougheye rockfish in the BSAI.

Page 77535

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) and Sec. 679.20(b)(3)(iii)(A) as such a 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 apportionment of the non-specified reserves of groundfish to the Greenland turbot fishery in the Aleutian

Islands subarea and rougheye rockfish in the BSAI. NMFS was unable to publish a notice providing time for public comment because the most recent, relevant data only became available as of December 4, 2008.

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.

Under Sec. 679.20(b)(3)(iii), interested persons are invited to submit written comments on this action (see ADDRESSES) until December 31, 2008.

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: December 16, 2008.

Emily H. Menashes,

Acting Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine

Fisheries Service.

FR Doc. E8-30202 Filed 12-16-08; 4:15 pm

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