[Federal Register Volume 77, Number 192 (Wednesday, October 3, 2012)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 60321-60322]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2012-24400]


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DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

50 CFR Part 679

[Docket No. 111207737-2141-02]
RIN 0648-XC270


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 2012 total allowable catch of 
pollock for Statistical Area 620 in the GOA.

DATES: Effective 1200 hrs, Alaska local time (A.l.t.), October 1, 2012, 
through 2400 hrs, A.l.t., December 31, 2012. Comments must be received 
at the following address no later than 4:30 p.m., A.l.t., October 15, 
2012.

ADDRESSES: You may submit comments, identified by NOAA-NMFS-2012-0187, 
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-2012-0187 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: Obren Davis, 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 2012 total allowable catch (TAC) of pollock in Statistical Area 
620 of the GOA is 45,808 metric tons (mt) as established by the final 
2012 and 2013 harvest specifications for groundfish of the GOA (77 FR 
15194, March 14, 2012).
    As of September 27, 2012, approximately 5,200 mt of pollock remain 
in the 2012 TAC for pollock in Statistical Area 620 of the GOA. Based 
on fleet capacity and potentially high levels of fleet participation in 
this fishery, the Administrator, Alaska Region (Regional Administrator) 
has determined that the pollock TAC for Statistical Area 620 of the GOA 
could be

[[Page 60322]]

exceeded if a fishery were allowed to occur. NMFS, in accordance with 
Sec.  679.25(a)(1)(i), Sec.  679.25(a)(2)(i)(A), and Sec.  
679.25(a)(2)(iii)(B) is issuing an inseason adjustment prohibiting 
directed fishing for pollock in Statistical Area 620 of the GOA. The 
Regional Administrator has determined that this action is the least 
restrictive necessary to ensure that the TAC not be exceeded.
    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 September 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: September 28, 2012.
Lindsay Fullenkamp,
Acting Deputy Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National 
Marine Fisheries Service.
[FR Doc. 2012-24400 Filed 9-28-12; 4:15 pm]
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