[Federal Register Volume 65, Number 96 (Wednesday, May 17, 2000)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Page 31288]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 00-12370]


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DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

50 CFR Part 679

[Docket No. 000211039-0039-01; I.D. 051200B]


Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Deep-Water 
Species Fishery by Vessels Using Trawl Gear in the Gulf of Alaska

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

ACTION: Closure.

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SUMMARY: NMFS is prohibiting directed fishing for species that comprise 
the deep-water species fishery by vessels using trawl gear in the Gulf 
of Alaska (GOA). This action is necessary because the second seasonal 
apportionment of the 2000 Pacific halibut bycatch allowance specified 
for the deep-water species fishery in the GOA has been caught.

DATES: Effective 1200 hrs, Alaska local time (A.l.t.), May 13, 2000, 
until 1200 hrs, A.l.t., July 4, 2000.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Mary Furuness, 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 Pacific halibut bycatch allowance for the GOA trawl deep-water 
species fishery, which is defined at Sec. 679.21(d)(3)(iii)(B), was 
established by the Final 2000 Harvest Specifications for Groundfish for 
the GOA (65 FR 8298, February 18, 2000) for the second season, the 
period April 1, 2000, through July 3, 2000, as 300 metric tons.
    In accordance with Sec. 679.21(d)(7)(i), the Administrator, Alaska 
Region, NMFS, has determined that the second seasonal apportionment of 
the 2000 Pacific halibut bycatch allowance specified for the trawl 
deep-water species fishery in the GOA has been caught. Consequently, 
NMFS is prohibiting directed fishing for the deep-water species fishery 
by vessels using trawl gear in the GOA. The species and species groups 
that comprise the deep-water species fishery are: all rockfish of the 
genera Sebastes and Sebastolobus, deep water flatfish, rex sole, 
arrowtooth flounder, and sablefish.
    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 in order 
to prevent overharvesting the second seasonal apportionment of the 2000 
Pacific halibut bycatch allowance specified for the trawl deep-water 
species fishery in the GOA. A delay in the effective date is 
impracticable and contrary to the public interest. The second seasonal 
apportionment of the Pacific halibut bycatch allowance has been caught. 
NMFS finds for good cause that the implementation of this action can 
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. 679.21 and is exempt from review 
under E.O. 12866.

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

    Dated: May 12, 2000.
George H. Darcy,
Acting Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine 
Fisheries Service.
[FR Doc. 00-12370 Filed 5-12-00; 4:44 pm]
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