[Federal Register Volume 77, Number 12 (Thursday, January 19, 2012)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 2656-2657]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2012-993]


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DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

50 CFR Part 679

[Docket No. 101126521-0640-02]
RIN 0648-XA940


Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Reallocation 
of Pollock in the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands

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

ACTION: Temporary rule.

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SUMMARY: NMFS is reallocating the projected unused amounts of the Aleut 
Corporation's pollock directed fishing allowance and the Community 
Development Quota from the Aleutian Islands subarea to the Bering Sea 
subarea directed fisheries. These actions are necessary to provide 
opportunity for harvest of the 2012 total allowable catch of pollock, 
consistent with the goals and objectives of the Fishery Management Plan 
for Groundfish of the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Management Area.

DATES: Effective 1200 hrs, Alaska local time (A.l.t.), January 19, 
2012, until the effective date of the final 2012 and 2013 harvest 
specifications for Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands (BSAI) groundfish, 
unless otherwise modified or superseded through publication of a 
notification in the Federal Register.

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 
(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.
    In the Aleutian Islands subarea, the portion of the 2012 pollock 
total allowable catch (TAC) allocated to the Aleut Corporation's 
directed fishing allowance (DFA) is 15,500 metric tons (mt) and the 
Community Development Quota (CDQ) is 1,900 mt as established by the 
final 2011 and 2012 harvest specifications for groundfish in the BSAI 
(76 FR 11139, March 1, 2011), as adjusted by two inseason adjustments 
(76 FR 12607, March 8, 2011 and 76 FR 81876, December 29, 2011).
    As of January 20, 2012, the Administrator, Alaska Region, NMFS, 
(Regional Administrator) has determined that 10,500 mt of Aleut 
Corporation's DFA and 1,900 mt of pollock CDQ in the Aleutian Islands 
subarea will not be harvested. Therefore, in accordance with Sec.  
679.20(a)(5)(iii)(B)(4), NMFS reallocates 10,500 mt of Aleut 
Corporation's DFA and 1,900 mt of pollock CDQ from the Aleutian Islands 
subarea to the 2012 Bering Sea subarea allocations. The 1,900 mt of 
pollock CDQ is added to the 2012 Bering Sea CDQ DFA. The remaining 
10,500 mt of pollock is apportioned to the AFA Inshore sector (50 
percent), AFA catcher/processor sector (40 percent), and the AFA 
mothership sector (10 percent). The 2012 pollock incidental catch 
allowance remains at 32,400 mt. As a result, the harvest specifications 
for pollock in the Aleutian Islands subarea included in the final 2011 
and 2012 harvest specifications for groundfish in the BSAI (76 FR 
11139, March 1, 2011) are revised as follows: 5,000 mt to Aleut 
Corporation's DFA and 0 mt to CDQ pollock. Furthermore, pursuant to 
Sec.  679.20(a)(5), Table 3 of the final 2011 and 2012 harvest 
specifications for groundfish in the BSAI (76 FR 11139, March 1, 2011), 
as adjusted by two inseason adjustments (76 FR 12607, March 8, 2011 and 
76 FR 81873, December 29, 2011), is revised to make 2012 pollock 
allocations consistent with this reallocation. This reallocation 
results in adjustments to the 2012 Aleut Corporation and CDQ pollock 
allocations established at Sec.  679.20(a)(5).

[[Page 2657]]



     Table 3--Final 2011 and 2012 Allocations of Pollock TACS to the Directed Pollock Fisheries and to the CDQ Directed Fishing Allowances (DFA) \1\
                                                              [All amounts in metric tons]
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                        2011 A season \1\      2011 B                    2012 A season \1\      2012 B
                                                                    ------------------------ season \1\              ------------------------ season \1\
                    Area and sector                         2011                     SCA    ------------     2012                     SCA    -----------
                                                        Allocations   A season     harvest    B season   Allocations   A season     harvest    B season
                                                                         DFA      limit \2\      DFA                      DFA      limit \2\      DFA
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Bering Sea subarea....................................    1,266,400         n/a         n/a         n/a    1,212,400         n/a         n/a         n/a
    CDQ DFA...........................................      127,290      50,916      35,641      76,374      121,900      48,760      34,132      73,140
    ICA \1\...........................................       33,804         n/a         n/a         n/a       32,400         n/a         n/a         n/a
    AFA Inshore.......................................      552,653     221,061     154,743     331,592      529,050     211,620     148,134     317,430
    AFA Catcher/Processors \3\........................      442,122     176,849     123,794     265,273      423,240     169,296     118,507     253,944
        Catch by C/Ps.................................      404,542     161,817         n/a     242,725      387,265     154,906         n/a     232,359
        Catch by CVs \3\..............................       37,580      15,032         n/a      22,548       35,975      14,390         n/a      21,585
            Unlisted C/P Limit \4\....................        2,211         884         n/a       1,326        2,116         846         n/a       1,270
    AFA Motherships...................................      110,531      44,212      30,949      66,318      105,810      42,324      29,627      63,486
    Excessive Harvesting Limit \5\....................      193,429         n/a         n/a         n/a      185,168         n/a         n/a         n/a
    Excessive Processing Limit \6\....................      331,592         n/a         n/a         n/a      317,430         n/a         n/a         n/a
        Total Bering Sea DFA..........................    1,105,306     442,122     309,486     663,184    1,058,100     423,240     296,268     634,860
                                                       -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Aleutian Islands subarea \1\..........................        4,600         n/a         n/a         n/a        6,600         n/a         n/a         n/a
    CDQ DFA...........................................            0           0         n/a           0  ...........           0         n/a           0
    ICA...............................................        1,600         800         n/a         800        1,600         800         n/a         800
    Aleut Corporation.................................        3,000       3,000         n/a           0        5,000       5,000         n/a           0
Bogoslof District ICA \7\.............................          150         n/a         n/a         n/a          150         n/a         n/a         n/a
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
\1\ Pursuant to Sec.   679.20(a)(5)(i)(A), the Bering Sea subarea pollock, after subtraction for the CDQ DFA (10 percent) and the ICA (3 percent), is
  allocated as a DFA as follows: Inshore sector--50 percent, catcher/processor sector (C/P)--40 percent, and mothership sector--10 percent. In the
  Bering Sea subarea, 40 percent of the DFA is allocated to the A season (January 20-June 10) and 60 percent of the DFA is allocated to the B season
  (June 10-November 1). Pursuant to Sec.   679.20(a)(5)(iii)(B)(2)(i) and (ii), the annual AI pollock TAC, after subtracting first for the CDQ directed
  fishing allowance (10 percent) and second the ICA (1,600 mt), is allocated to the Aleut Corporation for a directed pollock fishery. In the AI subarea,
  the A season is allocated 40 percent of the ABC and the B season is allocated the remainder of the directed pollock fishery.
\2\ In the Bering Sea subarea, no more than 28 percent of each sector's annual DFA may be taken from the SCA before April 1. The remaining 12 percent of
  the annual DFA allocated to the A season may be taken outside of SCA before April 1 or inside the SCA after April 1. If less than 28 percent of the
  annual DFA is taken inside the SCA before April 1, the remainder will be available to be taken inside the SCA after April 1.
\3\ Pursuant to Sec.   679.20(a)(5)(i)(A)(4), not less than 8.5 percent of the DFA allocated to listed catcher/processors shall be available for harvest
  only by eligible catcher vessels delivering to listed catcher/processors.
\4\ Pursuant to Sec.   679.20(a)(5)(i)(A)(4)(iii), the AFA unlisted catcher/processors are limited to harvesting not more than 0.5 percent of the
  catcher/processors sector's allocation of pollock.
\5\ Pursuant to Sec.   679.20(a)(5)(i)(A)(6), NMFS establishes an excessive harvesting share limit equal to 17.5 percent of the sum of the non-CDQ
  pollock DFAs.
\6\ Pursuant to Sec.   679.20(a)(5)(i)(A)(7), NMFS establishes an excessive processing share limit equal to 30.0 percent of the sum of the non-CDQ
  pollock DFAs.
\7\ The Bogoslof District is closed by the final harvest specifications to directed fishing for pollock. The amounts specified are for ICA only and are
  not apportioned by season or sector.

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 reallocation of AI pollock. Since the pollock fishery 
is currently open, it is important to immediately inform the industry 
as to the final Bering Sea subarea pollock allocations. Immediate 
notification is necessary to allow for the orderly conduct and 
efficient operation of this fishery; allow the industry to plan for the 
fishing season and avoid potential disruption to the fishing fleet as 
well as processors; and provide opportunity to harvest increased 
seasonal pollock allocations while value is optimum. NMFS was unable to 
publish a notice providing time for public comment because the most 
recent, relevant data only became available as of January 6, 2012.
    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: January 13, 2012.
Steven Thur,
Acting Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine 
Fisheries Service.
[FR Doc. 2012-993 Filed 1-18-12; 8:45 am]
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