[Federal Register Volume 74, Number 67 (Thursday, April 9, 2009)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 16144-16145]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: E9-8007]


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DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

50 CFR Part 679

[Docket No. 0810141351-9087-02]
RIN 0648-XO12


Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Atka 
Mackerel 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; modification of a closure.

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SUMMARY: NMFS is opening directed fishing for Atka mackerel in the 
Eastern Aleutian District and the Bering Sea subarea of the Bering Sea 
and Aleutian Islands management area (BSAI) for vessels participating 
in the BSAI trawl limited access fishery. This action is necessary to 
fully use the 2009 A season total allowable catch (TAC) of Atka 
mackerel in these areas specified for vessels participating in the BSAI 
trawl limited access fishery.

DATES: Effective 1200 hrs, Alaska local time (A.l.t.), April 6, 2009, 
through 1200 hrs, A.l.t., April 15, 2009. Comments must be received at 
the following address no later than 4:30 p.m., A.l.t., April 20, 2009.

ADDRESSES: Send comments to Sue Salveson, Assistant Regional 
Administrator, Sustainable Fisheries Division, Alaska Region, NMFS, 
Attn: Ellen Sebastian. You may submit comments, identified by 0648-
XO12, 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 9\th\ 
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: Steve Whitney, 907-586-7269.

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.
    NMFS closed the directed fishery for Atka mackerel by vessels 
participating in the BSAI trawl limited access fishery in the Eastern 
Aleutian District and the Bering Sea subarea on January 20, 2009 (74 FR 
5625, January 30, 2009).
    NMFS has determined that approximately 476 mt of the 2009 A season 
Atka mackerel TAC for vessels participating in the BSAI trawl limited 
access fishery in the Eastern Aleutian District and the Bering Sea 
subarea remain in the directed fishing allowance. Therefore, in 
accordance with Sec.  679.25(a)(1)(i), (a)(2)(i)(C), and 
(a)(2)(iii)(D), and to fully utilize the 2009 A season TAC of Atka 
mackerel in these areas specified for vessels participating in the BSAI 
trawl limited access fishery, NMFS is terminating the previous closure 
and is reopening directed fishing for Atka mackerel by vessels 
participating in the BSAI trawl limited access fishery in the Eastern 
Aleutian District and the Bering Sea subarea. In accordance with Sec.  
679.20(d)(1)(iii), the Regional Administrator finds that this directed 
fishing allowance will be reached. Consequently, NMFS is prohibiting 
directed fishing for the 2009 A season TAC of Atka mackerel in these 
areas specified for vessels participating in the BSAI trawl limited 
access fishery effective 1200 hrs, A.l.t., April 15, 2009.

[[Page 16145]]

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 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 opening of the Atka mackerel fishery in the Eastern 
Aleutian District and the Bering Sea subarea for vessels participating 
in the BSAI trawl limited access fishery. NMFS was unable to publish a 
notice providing time for public comment because the most recent, 
relevant data only became available as of April 2, 2009. 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.
    Without this inseason adjustment, NMFS could not allow the fishery 
for Atka mackerel fishery in the Eastern Aleutian District and the 
Bering Sea subarea for vessels participating in the BSAI trawl limited 
access fishery to be harvested in an expedient manner and in accordance 
with the regulatory schedule. Under Sec.  679.25(c)(2), interested 
persons are invited to submit written comments on this action to the 
above address until April 20, 2009.
    This action is required by Sec.  679.20 and Sec.  679.25 and is 
exempt from review under Executive Order 12866.

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

    Dated: April 3, 2009.
James P. Burgess,
Acting Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine 
Fisheries Service.
[FR Doc. E9-8007 Filed 4-3-09; 4:15 pm]
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