[Federal Register Volume 77, Number 206 (Wednesday, October 24, 2012)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 64917-64918]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2012-26203]


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DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

50 CFR Part 679

[Docket No. 111207737-2141-02]
RIN 0624-XC301


Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Pollock in 
Statistical Area 610 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 Statistical 
Area 610 of the Gulf of Alaska (GOA) for 96 hours. This action is 
necessary to fully use the 2012 total allowable catch of pollock in 
Statistical Area 610 of the GOA.

DATES: Effective 1200 hrs, Alaska local time (A.l.t.), October 19, 
2012, through 1200 hrs, A.l.t., October 23, 2012. Comments must be 
received at the following address no later than 4:30 p.m., A.l.t., 
November 5, 2012.

ADDRESSES: You may submit comments, identified by NOAA-NMFS-2012-0204, 
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-2012-0204 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 http://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.
    NMFS closed directed fishing for pollock in Statistical Area 610 of 
the GOA under Sec.  679.20(d)(1)(iii) on October 15, 2012 (77 FR 64240, 
October 19, 2012).
    As of October 17, 2012, NMFS has determined that approximately 
1,500 metric tons of pollock remain in the directed fishing allowance 
for pollock in Statistical Area 610 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 
Statistical Area 610 of the GOA, NMFS is terminating the previous 
closure and is reopening

[[Page 64918]]

directed fishing pollock in Statistical Area 610 of the GOA, effective 
1200 hrs, A.l.t., October 19, 2012.
    In accordance with Sec.  679.20(d)(1)(iii), the Regional 
Administrator finds that this directed fishing allowance will be 
reached after 96 hours. Consequently, NMFS is prohibiting directed 
fishing for pollock in Statistical Area 610 of the GOA, effective 1200 
hrs, A.l.t., October 23, 2012. The Administrator, Alaska Region 
(Regional Administrator) considered the following factors in reaching 
this decision: (1) The current catch of pollock in Statistical Area 610 
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 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 directed pollock fishery in Statistical 
Area 610 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 October 17, 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 Statistical Area 610 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 November 5, 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: October 19, 2012.
Emily H. Menashes,
Deputy Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine 
Fisheries Service.
[FR Doc. 2012-26203 Filed 10-19-12; 4:15 pm]
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