[Federal Register Volume 78, Number 16 (Thursday, January 24, 2013)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 5143-5144]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2013-01432]


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DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

50 CFR Part 679

[Docket No. 111213751-2102-02]
RIN 0648-XC441


Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Reallocation 
of Pollock in the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands

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

ACTION: Temporary rule.

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SUMMARY: NMFS is reallocating the projected unused amounts of the Aleut 
Corporation's and the Community Development Quota pollock directed 
fishing allowances from the Aleutian Islands subarea to the Bering Sea 
subarea directed fisheries. These actions are necessary to provide 
opportunity for harvest of the 2013 total allowable catch of pollock, 
consistent with the goals and objectives of the Fishery Management Plan 
for Groundfish of the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Management Area.

DATES: Effective 1200 hrs, Alaska local time (A.l.t.), January 24, 
2013, until the effective date of the final 2013 and 2014 harvest 
specifications for Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands (BSAI) groundfish, 
unless otherwise modified or superseded through publication of a 
notification in the Federal Register.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Steve Whitney, 907-586-7269.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: NMFS manages the groundfish fishery in the 
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 
(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.
    In the Aleutian Islands subarea, the portion of the 2013 pollock 
total allowable catch (TAC) allocated to the Aleut Corporation's 
directed fishing allowance (DFA) is 15,500 metric tons (mt) and the 
Community Development Quota (CDQ) DFA is 1,900 mt as established by the 
final 2012 and 2013 harvest specifications for groundfish in the BSAI 
(77 FR 10669, February 23, 2012), and as adjusted by an inseason 
adjustment (78 FR 270, January 3, 2013).
    As of January 17, 2013, the Administrator, Alaska Region, NMFS, 
(Regional Administrator) has determined that 10,500 mt of Aleut 
Corporation's DFA and 1,900 mt of pollock CDQ DFA in the Aleutian 
Islands subarea will not be harvested. Therefore, in accordance with 
Sec.  679.20(a)(5)(iii)(B)(4), NMFS reallocates 10,500 mt of Aleut 
Corporation's DFA and 1,900 mt of pollock CDQ DFA from the Aleutian 
Islands subarea to the 2013 Bering Sea subarea allocations. The 1,900 
mt of pollock CDQ DFA is added to the 2013 Bering Sea CDQ DFA. The 
remaining 10,500 mt of pollock is apportioned to the AFA Inshore sector 
(50 percent), AFA catcher/processor sector (40 percent), and the AFA 
mothership sector (10 percent). The 2013 Bering Sea subarea pollock 
incidental catch allowance remains at 33,699 mt. As a result, the 
harvest specifications for pollock in the Aleutian Islands subarea 
included in the final 2012 and 2013 harvest specifications for 
groundfish in the BSAI (77 FR 10669, February 23, 2012) are revised as 
follows: 5,000 mt to Aleut Corporation's DFA and 0 mt to CDQ DFA. 
Furthermore, pursuant to Sec.  679.20(a)(5), Table 3 of the final 2012 
and 2013 harvest specifications for groundfish in the BSAI (77 FR 
10669, February 23, 2012), as adjusted by the inseason adjustment (78 
FR 270, January 3, 2013), is revised to make 2013 pollock allocations 
consistent with this reallocation. This reallocation results in 
adjustments to the 2013 Aleut Corporation and CDQ pollock allocations 
established at Sec.  679.20(a)(5).

                         Table 3--Final 2012 and 2013 Allocations of Pollock TACS to the Directed Pollock Fisheries and to the CDQ Directed Fishing Allowances (DFA) \1\
                                                                                  [Amounts are in metric tons]
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                                                                                         2012 A season \1\        2012 B  season                         2013 A season \1\        2013  B season
                                                                       2012      --------------------------------       \1\            2013      --------------------------------       \1\
                         Area and sector                            Allocations                     SCA harvest  ----------------   Allocations                     SCA harvest  ---------------
                                                                                   A season DFA      limit \2\     B season DFA                    A season DFA      limit \2\     B season DFA
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Bering Sea subarea..............................................       1,212,400             n/a             n/a             n/a       1,259,400             n/a             n/a             n/a
CDQ DFA.........................................................         121,900          48,760          34,132          73,140         126,600          50,640          35,448          75,960
ICA \1\.........................................................          32,400             n/a             n/a             n/a          33,699             n/a             n/a             n/a
AFA Inshore.....................................................         529,050         211,620         148,134         317,430         549,551         219,820         153,874         329,730
AFA Catcher/Processors \3\......................................         423,240         169,296         118,507         253,944         439,640         175,856         123,099         263,784
Catch by C/Ps...................................................         387,265         154,906             n/a         232,359         402,271         160,908             n/a         241,363
Catch by CVs \3\................................................          35,975          14,390             n/a          21,585          37,369          14,948             n/a          22,422
Unlisted C/P Limit \4\..........................................           2,116             846             n/a           1,270           2,198             879             n/a           1,319
AFA Motherships.................................................         105,810          42,324          29,627          63,486         109,910          43,964          30,775          65,946
Excessive Harvesting Limit \5\..................................         185,168             n/a             n/a             n/a         192,343             n/a             n/a             n/a
Excessive Processing Limit \6\..................................         317,430             n/a             n/a             n/a         329,730             n/a             n/a             n/a
Total Bering Sea DFA............................................       1,058,100         423,240         296,268         634,860       1,099,101         439,640         307,748         659,461
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Aleutian Islands subarea\1\.....................................           6,600             n/a             n/a             n/a           6,600             n/a             n/a             n/a
CDQ DFA.........................................................               0               0             n/a               0               0               0             n/a               0
ICA.............................................................           1,600             800             n/a             800           1,600             800             n/a             800

[[Page 5144]]

 
Aleut Corporation...............................................           5,000           5,000             n/a               0           5,000           5,000             n/a               0
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Bogoslof District ICA \7\.......................................             150             n/a             n/a             n/a             150             n/a             n/a            n/a
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\1\ Pursuant to Sec.   679.20(a)(5)(i)(A), the BS subarea pollock, after subtracting the CDQ DFA (10 percent) and the ICA (3 percent), is allocated as a DFA as follows: inshore sector--50
  percent, catcher/processor sector (C/P)--40 percent, and mothership sector--10 percent. In the BS subarea, 40 percent of the DFA is allocated to the A season (January 20-June 10) and 60
  percent of the DFA is allocated to the B season (June 10-November 1). Pursuant to Sec.   679.20(a)(5)(iii)(B)(2)(i) and (ii), the annual AI pollock TAC, after subtracting first for the CDQ
  directed fishing allowance (10 percent) and second the ICA (1,600 mt), is allocated to the Aleut Corporation for a directed pollock fishery. In the AI subarea, the A season is allocated 40
  percent of the ABC and the B season is allocated the remainder of the directed pollock fishery.
\2\ In the BS subarea, no more than 28 percent of each sector's annual DFA may be taken from the SCA before April 1. The remaining 12 percent of the annual DFA allocated to the A season may be
  taken outside of SCA before April 1 or inside the SCA after April 1. If less than 28 percent of the annual DFA is taken inside the SCA before April 1, the remainder will be available to be
  taken inside the SCA after April 1.
\3\ Pursuant to Sec.   679.20(a)(5)(i)(A)(4), not less than 8.5 percent of the DFA allocated to listed catcher/processors shall be available for harvest only by eligible catcher vessels
  delivering to listed catcher/processors.
\4\ Pursuant to Sec.   679.20(a)(5)(i)(A)(4)(iii), the AFA unlisted catcher/processors are limited to harvesting not more than 0.5 percent of the catcher/processors sector's allocation of
  pollock.
\5\ Pursuant to Sec.   679.20(a)(5)(i)(A)(6), NMFS establishes an excessive harvesting share limit equal to 17.5 percent of the sum of the non-CDQ pollock DFAs.
\6\ Pursuant to Sec.   679.20(a)(5)(i)(A)(7), NMFS establishes an excessive processing share limit equal to 30.0 percent of the sum of the non-CDQ pollock DFAs.
\7\ The Bogoslof District is closed by the final harvest specifications to directed fishing for pollock. The amounts specified are for ICA only and are not apportioned by season or sector.
Note: Seasonal or sector apportionments may not total precisely due to rounding.

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 reallocation of AI pollock. Since the pollock fishery 
opens January 20, 2013, it is important to immediately inform the 
industry as to the final Bering Sea subarea pollock allocations. 
Immediate notification is necessary to allow for the orderly conduct 
and efficient operation of this fishery; allow the industry to plan for 
the fishing season and avoid potential disruption to the fishing fleet 
as well as processors; and provide opportunity to harvest increased 
seasonal pollock allocations while value is optimum. NMFS was unable to 
publish a notice providing time for public comment because the most 
recent, relevant data only became available as of January 11, 2013.
    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: January 18, 2013.
James P. Burgess,
Acting Deputy Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National 
Marine Fisheries Service.
[FR Doc. 2013-01432 Filed 1-18-13; 4:15 pm]
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