[Federal Register Volume 77, Number 193 (Thursday, October 4, 2012)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 60649-60650]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2012-24517]


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DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

50 CFR Part 679

[Docket No. 111207737-2141-02]
RIN 0648-XC277


Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Pollock in 
the Herring Savings Areas of 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 pollock by vessels 
using trawl gear in the Winter Herring Savings Area of the Bering Sea 
and Aleutian Islands (BSAI). This action is necessary to prevent 
exceeding the 2012 herring bycatch allowance specified for the midwater 
trawl pollock fishery in the BSAI.

DATES: Effective 1200 hrs, Alaska local time (A.l.t.), October 1, 2012, 
through 1200 hrs, A.l.t., March 1, 2013.

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

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: NMFS manages the groundfish fishery in the 
BSAI 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 herring bycatch allowance specified for the midwater trawl 
pollock fishery in the BSAI is 1,600 metric tons as established by the 
final 2012 and 2013 harvest specifications for groundfish in the BSAI 
(77 FR 10669, February 23, 2012).
    The Administrator, Alaska Region, NMFS, has determined that the 
2012 herring bycatch allowance specified for the midwater trawl pollock 
fishery in the BSAI has been caught. Consequently, in accordance with 
Sec.  679.21(e)(7)(vi), NMFS is closing directed fishing for pollock by 
vessels using trawl gear in the Winter Herring Savings Areas of the 
BSAI. The Winter Herring Savings Area of the BSAI is that part of the 
Bering Sea subarea that is between 58[deg] N latitude and 60[deg] N 
latitude and between 172[deg] W longitude and 175[deg] W longitude.
    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 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

[[Page 60650]]

delay the closure of directed for pollock by vessels using trawl gear 
in the Winter Herring Savings Areas of the BSAI. NMFS was unable to 
publish a notice providing time for public comment because the most 
recent, relevant data only became available as of September 28, 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.  679.21 and is exempt from review 
under Executive Order 12866.

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

    Dated: October 1, 2012.
Lindsay Fullenkamp,
Acting Deputy Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National 
Marine Fisheries Service.
[FR Doc. 2012-24517 Filed 10-1-12; 4:15 pm]
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