[Federal Register Volume 77, Number 62 (Friday, March 30, 2012)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 19145-19146]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2012-7577]


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DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

50 CFR Part 679

[Docket No. 111207737-2141-02]
RIN 0648-XB113


Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Pollock in 
the West Yakutat District in the Gulf of Alaska

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 pollock in the West 
Yakutat District of the Gulf of Alaska (GOA). This action is necessary 
to fully use the 2012 total allowable catch of pollock in the West 
Yakutat District of the GOA.

DATES: Effective 1200 hrs, Alaska local time (A.l.t.), March 26, 2012, 
through 1200 hrs, A.l.t., August 25, 2012, and applicable beginning 
March 21, 2012. Comments must be received at the following address no 
later than 4:30 p.m., A.l.t., April 10, 2012.

ADDRESSES: You may submit comments, identified by NOAA-NMFS-2012-0069, 
by any one of the following methods:
     Electronic Submission: Submit all electronic public 
comments via the Federal e-Rulemaking Portal www.regulations.gov. To 
submit comments via the e-Rulemaking Portal, first click the ``submit a 
comment'' icon, then enter NOAA-NMFS-2012-0069 in the keyword search. 
Locate the document you wish to comment on from the resulting list and 
click on the ``Submit a Comment'' icon on that line.
     Mail: Address written comments to Glenn Merrill, Assistant 
Regional Administrator, Sustainable Fisheries Division, Alaska Region 
NMFS, Attn: Ellen Sebastian. Mail comments to P.O. Box 21668, Juneau, 
AK 99802-1668.
     Fax: Address written comments to Glenn Merrill, Assistant 
Regional Administrator, Sustainable Fisheries Division, Alaska Region 
NMFS, Attn: Ellen Sebastian. Fax comments to 907-586-7557.
     Hand delivery to the Federal Building: Address written 
comments to Glenn Merrill, Assistant Regional Administrator, 
Sustainable Fisheries Division, Alaska Region NMFS, Attn: Ellen 
Sebastian. Deliver comments to 709 West 9th Street, Room 420A, Juneau, 
AK.
    Instructions: Comments must be submitted by one of the above 
methods to ensure that the comments are received, documented, and 
considered by NMFS. Comments sent by any other method, to any other 
address or individual, or received after the end of the comment period, 
may not be considered. All comments received are a part of the public 
record and will generally be posted for public viewing on 
www.regulations.gov without change. All personal identifying 
information (e.g., name, address) submitted voluntarily by the sender 
will 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 or Excel, WordPerfect, or Adobe PDF file 
formats only.

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.
    NMFS closed directed fishing for pollock in the West Yakutat 
District of the GOA under Sec.  679.20(d)(1)(iii) on March 17, 2012 (77 
FR 16481, March 21, 2012).
    As of March 20, 2012, NMFS has determined that approximately 950 
metric tons of pollock remain in the directed fishing allowance for 
pollock in the West Yakutat District of the GOA. Therefore, in 
accordance with Sec.  679.25(a)(1)(i), (a)(2)(i)(C), and 
(a)(2)(iii)(D), and to fully utilize the 2012 TAC of pollock in the 
West Yakutat District of the GOA, NMFS is terminating the previous 
closure and is reopening directed fishing pollock in the West Yakutat 
District of the GOA.
    The Administrator, Alaska Region (Regional Administrator) 
considered the following factors in reaching this decision: (1) The 
current catch of pollock in the West Yakutat District of the GOA and, 
(2) the harvest capacity and stated intent on future harvesting 
patterns of vessels in participating in this fishery.

Classification

    This action responds to the best available information recently 
obtained

[[Page 19146]]

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 
opening of the pollock fishery in the West Yakutat District of the GOA. 
Immediate notification is necessary to allow for the orderly conduct 
and efficient operation of this fishery, to allow the industry to plan 
for the fishing season, and to avoid potential disruption to the 
fishing fleet and processors. NMFS was unable to publish a notice 
providing time for public comment because the most recent, relevant 
data only became available as of March 20, 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.
    Without this inseason adjustment, NMFS could not allow pollock 
fishery in West Yakutat District of the GOA 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 10, 2012.
    This action is required by Sec.  679.25 and is exempt from review 
under Executive Order 12866.

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

    Dated: March 26, 2012.
Emily H. Menashes,
Acting Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine 
Fisheries Service.
[FR Doc. 2012-7577 Filed 3-26-12; 4:15 pm]
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