[Federal Register Volume 77, Number 55 (Wednesday, March 21, 2012)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 16481-16482]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2012-6816]


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DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

50 CFR Part 679

[Docket No. 111207737-2141-02]
RIN 0648-XB100


Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Pollock in 
the West Yakutat District of 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 the West 
Yakutat District of the Gulf of Alaska (GOA). This action is necessary 
to prevent exceeding the 2012 total allowable catch (TAC) of pollock in 
the West Yakutat District of the GOA.

DATES: Effective 1200 hrs, Alaska local time (A.l.t.), March 17, 2012, 
through 2400 hrs, A.l.t., December 31, 2012.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Josh Keaton, 907-586-7228.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: NMFS manages the groundfish fishery in the

[[Page 16482]]

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 2012 TAC of pollock in the West Yakutat District of the GOA is 
3,244 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(d)(1)(i), the Administrator, Alaska 
Region, NMFS (Regional Administrator), has determined that the 2012 TAC 
of pollock in the West Yakutat District of the GOA will soon be 
reached. Therefore, the Regional Administrator is establishing a 
directed fishing allowance of 3,200 mt and is setting aside the 
remaining 44 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 the West Yakutat District 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) 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 
the West Yakutat District 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. 2012-6816 Filed 3-16-12; 4:15 pm]
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