[Federal Register Volume 77, Number 211 (Wednesday, October 31, 2012)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 65838-65839]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2012-26786]


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DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

50 CFR Part 679

[Docket No. 111213751-2102-02]
RIN 0648-XC320


Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Pacific 
Ocean Perch in the Bering Sea Subarea 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; modification of a closure.

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SUMMARY: NMFS is opening directed fishing for Pacific ocean perch in 
the Bering Sea subarea of the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands 
management area. This action is necessary to fully use the 2012 total 
allowable catch of Pacific ocean perch specified for the Bering Sea 
subarea of the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands management area.

DATES: Effective 1200 hrs, Alaska local time (A.l.t.), October 26, 
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., 
November 13, 2012.

ADDRESSES: You may submit comments on this document, identified by 
NOAA-NMFS-2012-0214, by any 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-2012-0213 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: Steve Whitney, 907-586-7269.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: NMFS manages the groundfish fishery in the 
Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands management area (BSAI) exclusive 
economic zone 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

[[Page 65839]]

appear at subpart H of 50 CFR part 600 and 50 CFR part 679.
    NMFS closed the directed fishery for Pacific ocean perch (POP) in 
the Bering Sea subarea of the BSAI under Sec.  679.20(d)(1)(iii) (77 FR 
10669, February 23, 2012).
    NMFS has determined that approximately 3,400 metric tons of POP 
remain in the directed fishing allowance. 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 total allowable catch of POP in the Bering Sea subarea 
of the BSAI, NMFS is terminating the previous closure and is opening 
directed fishing for POP in Bering Sea subarea of the BSAI. This will 
enhance the socioeconomic well-being of harvesters dependent upon POP 
in this area. The Administrator, Alaska Region considered the following 
factors in reaching this decision: (1) the current catch of POP in the 
BSAI and, (2) the harvest capacity and stated intent on future 
harvesting patterns of vessels 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 POP directed fishing in the Bering Sea 
subarea 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 October 22, 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 the fishery 
for POP in the Bering Sea subarea of the BSAI 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 13, 2012.
    This action is required by Sec.  679.20 and Sec.  679.25 and is 
exempt from review under Executive Order 12866.

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

    Dated: October 26, 2012.
William D. Chappell,
Acting Deputy Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National 
Marine Fisheries Service.
[FR Doc. 2012-26786 Filed 10-26-12; 4:15 pm]
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