[Federal Register Volume 77, Number 128 (Tuesday, July 3, 2012)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Page 39441]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2012-16288]


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DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

50 CFR Part 679

[Docket No. 111213751-2102-02]
RIN 0648-XC083


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; closure.

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SUMMARY: NMFS is prohibiting directed fishing for Atka mackerel in the 
Central Aleutian district (CAI) of the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands 
management area (BSAI) by vessels participating in the BSAI trawl 
limited access fishery. This action is necessary to prevent exceeding 
the 2012 total allowable catch (TAC) of Atka mackerel in this area 
allocated to vessels participating in the BSAI trawl limited access 
fishery.

DATES: Effective 1200 hrs, Alaska local time (A.l.t.), June 28, 2012, 
through 2400 hrs, A.l.t., December 31, 2012.

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.
    The 2012 TAC of Atka mackerel, in the CAI, allocated to vessels 
participating in the BSAI trawl limited access fishery was established 
as a directed fishing allowance of 951 metric tons by the final 2012 
and 2013 harvest specifications for groundfish in the BSAI (77 FR 
10669, February 23, 2012).
    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 Atka 
mackerel in the CAI by vessels participating in the BSAI trawl limited 
access fishery.
    After the effective dates 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 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 closure of the Atka mackerel directed 
fishery in the CAI 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 June 27, 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: June 28, 2012.
James P. Burgess,
Acting Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine 
Fisheries Service.
[FR Doc. 2012-16288 Filed 6-28-12; 4:15 pm]
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