[Federal Register Volume 77, Number 55 (Wednesday, March 21, 2012)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Page 16481]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2012-6814]


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DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

50 CFR Part 679

[Docket No. 111207737-2141-02]
RIN 0648-XB102


Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Pollock in 
Statistical Area 620 in the Gulf of Alaska

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

ACTION: Temporary rule; closure.

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SUMMARY: NMFS is prohibiting directed fishing for pollock in 
Statistical Area 620 in the Gulf of Alaska (GOA). This action is 
necessary to prevent exceeding the B season allowance of the 2012 total 
allowable catch of pollock for Statistical Area 620 in the GOA.

DATES: Effective 1200 hrs, Alaska local time (A.l.t.), March 17, 2012, 
through 1200 hrs, A.l.t., August 25, 2012.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Josh Keaton, 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 B season allowance of the 2012 total allowable catch (TAC) of 
pollock in Statistical Area 620 of the GOA is 17,221 metric tons (mt) 
as established by the final 2012 and 2013 harvest specifications for 
groundfish of the GOA (77 FR 15194, March 14, 2012). In accordance with 
Sec.  679.20(a)(5)(iv)(B), the Administrator, Alaska Region, NMFS 
(Regional Administrator), hereby decreases the B season pollock 
allowance by 106 mt to reflect the total overharvest of the A seasonal 
apportionment in Statistical Area 620. Therefore, the revised B season 
allowance of the pollock TAC in Statistical Area 620 is 17,115 mt 
(17,221 mt minus 106 mt)
    In accordance with Sec.  679.20(d)(1)(i), the Regional 
Administrator has determined that the B season allowance of the 2012 
TAC of pollock in Statistical Area 620 of the GOA will soon be reached. 
Therefore, the Regional Administrator is establishing a directed 
fishing allowance of 17,000 mt and is setting aside the remaining 115 
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 pollock in 
Statistical Area 620 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 Acting 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.  679.25(c)(1)(ii) 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 pollock in Statistical Area 620 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 March 15, 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: March 16, 2012.
Carrie Selberg,
Acting Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine 
Fisheries Service.
[FR Doc. 2012-6814 Filed 3-16-12; 4:15 pm]
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