[Federal Register Volume 77, Number 131 (Monday, July 9, 2012)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 40305-40306]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2012-16716]


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DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

50 CFR Part 679

[Docket No. 111207737-2141-02]
RIN 0648-XC093


Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Pelagic 
Shelf Rockfish in the Western Regulatory Area 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 pelagic shelf 
rockfish in the Western Regulatory Area of the Gulf of Alaska (GOA). 
This action is necessary to prevent exceeding the 2012 total allowable 
catch (TAC) of pelagic shelf rockfish in the Western Regulatory Area of 
the GOA.

DATES: Effective 1200 hrs, Alaska local time (A.l.t.), July 5, 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 
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 pelagic shelf rockfish in the Western Regulatory 
Area of the GOA is 409 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 pelagic shelf rockfish in the Western Regulatory Area of the GOA 
will soon be reached. Therefore, the Regional Administrator is 
establishing a directed fishing allowance of 389 mt, and is setting 
aside the remaining 20 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 
pelagic shelf rockfish in the Western Regulatory Area of the GOA.
    After the effective date of this closure the maximum retainable 
amounts at Sec.  679.20(e) and (f) will apply at all times 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 because 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 
pelagic shelf rockfish in the Western Regulatory Area 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 June 
29, 2012.

[[Page 40306]]

    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: July 2, 2012.
Emily H. Menashes,
Deputy Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine 
Fisheries Service.
[FR Doc. 2012-16716 Filed 7-3-12; 4:15 pm]
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