[Federal Register Volume 77, Number 210 (Tuesday, October 30, 2012)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 65639-65640]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2012-26675]


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DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

50 CFR Part 660

[Docket No. 100804324-1265-02]
RIN 0648-XC302


Magnuson-Stevens Act Provisions; Fisheries Off the West Coast 
States; Pacific Coast Groundfish Fishery; Pacific Whiting and Non-
Whiting Allocations; Pacific Whiting Seasons

AGENCY: National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), National Oceanic and 
Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Commerce.

ACTION: Reapportionment of tribal whiting allocation.

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SUMMARY: This document announces the reapportionment of 28,000 mt of 
Pacific whiting from the tribal allocation to the non-tribal commercial 
fishery allocations to ensure full utilization of the resource.

DATES: The reapportionment of whiting is effective from 1200 local 
time, October 4, 2012, until December 31, 2012, unless modified, 
superseded or rescinded. Comments will be accepted through November 14, 
2012.

ADDRESSES: You may submit comments, identified by NOAA-NMFS-2012-0041 
by any of the following methods:
     Electronic Submissions: Submit all electronic public 
comments via the Federal eRulemaking Portal http://www.regulations.gov. 
To submit comments via the e-Rulemaking Portal, enter NOAA-NMFS-2012-
0041 in the search box. Locate the document you wish to comment on from 
the resulting list and click on the ``Submit a Comment'' icon on the 
right of that line.

[[Page 65640]]

     Fax: 206-526-6736, Attn: Kevin C. Duffy.
     Email comments directly to NMFS, Northwest Region at: 
Whitingreapportionment@noaa.gov
     Mail: William W. Stelle, Jr., Regional Administrator, 
Northwest Region, NMFS, 7600 Sand Point Way NE., Seattle, WA 98115-
0070, Attn: Kevin C. Duffy.
    Instructions: All comments received are a part of the public record 
and will generally be posted to http://www.regulations.gov without 
change. All Personal Identifying Information (for example, name, 
address, etc.) voluntarily submitted by the commenter may be publicly 
accessible. Do not submit Confidential Business Information or 
otherwise sensitive or protected information.
    NMFS will accept anonymous comments (if submitting comments via the 
Federal Rulemaking portal, enter ``N/A'' in the relevant required 
fields if you wish to remain anonymous). Attachments to electronic 
comments will be accepted in Microsoft Word, Excel, WordPerfect, or 
Adobe PDF file formats only.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Kevin C. Duffy (Northwest Region, 
NMFS), phone: 206-526-4743, fax: 206-526-6736 and email: 
kevin.duffy@noaa.gov.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Electronic Access

    This document is accessible via the Internet at the Office of the 
Federal Register's Web site at http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/search/home.action. Background information and documents are available at the 
Pacific Fishery Management Council's Web site at http://www.pcouncil.org/.

Background

    This document announces the reapportionment of 28,000 mt of Pacific 
whiting from the tribal allocation to the non-tribal commercial sectors 
on October 4, 2012. This action is authorized by regulations 
implementing the Pacific Coast Groundfish Fishery Management Plan 
(FMP), which governs the groundfish fishery off Washington, Oregon, and 
California. Regulations at 50 CFR 660.131(h) contain provisions that 
allow the Regional Administrator to make Pacific whiting tribal 
allocation specified at Sec.  660.50 that will not be harvested by the 
tribal fisheries available for harvest to other sectors of the trawl 
fishery. For 2012 the Washington Coast treaty tribes were allocated 
48,556 mt of Pacific whiting. The best available information through 
October 2, 2012 indicated that less than 1,000 mt of the tribal 
allocation had been harvested. Approximately 28,000 mt of the 2012 
tribal allocation are projected to go unharvested. Therefore, to ensure 
full utilization of the resource, NMFS reapportioned 28,000 mt to the 
shorebased IFQ, catcher/processor and mothership sectors in proportion 
to each sector's original allocation on October 4, 2012. Reapportioning 
this amount is not expected to limit tribal harvest opportunities for 
the remainder of the year.
    The revised Pacific whiting allocations for 2012 are: Tribal 20,556 
mt, catcher/processor 55,584 mt; mothership 39,235 mt: and shorebased 
IFQ 68,662 mt. Emails sent directly to fishing businesses and postings 
on the Northwest Region's internet site were used to provide actual 
notice to the affected fishers.

Classification

    The Assistant Administrator for Fisheries, NOAA (AA), finds that 
good cause exists for this notification to be issued without affording 
prior notice and opportunity for public comment pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 
553(b)(B) because such notification would be impracticable and contrary 
to the public interest. As previously noted, actual notice of the 
reapportionment was provided to fishers. Prior notice and opportunity 
for public comment was impracticable because NMFS had insufficient time 
to provide prior notice and the opportunity for public comment between 
the time the information about the progress of the fishery needed to 
make this determination became available and the time at which fishery 
modifications had to be implemented in order to allow fishers access to 
the available fish during the remainder of the fishing season. 
Reapportioning as quickly as possible was necessary to allow fishers 
access to the available fish prior to the onset of weather conditions 
that would make fishing unsafe. For the same reasons, the AA also finds 
good cause to waive the 30-day delay in effectiveness required under 5 
U.S.C. 553(d)(3).
    These actions are authorized by 50 CFR sections 660.55 (i), 
660.60(d) and 660.131(h) and are exempt from review under Executive 
Order 12866.

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

    Dated: October 25, 2012.
James P. Burgess,
Acting Deputy Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National 
Marine Fisheries Service.
[FR Doc. 2012-26675 Filed 10-29-12; 8:45 am]
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