[Federal Register Volume 78, Number 16 (Thursday, January 24, 2013)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 5144-5145]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2013-01437]


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DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

50 CFR Part 679

[Docket No. 111213751-2102-02]
RIN 0648-XC458


Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Pacific Cod 
by Catcher Vessels Greater Than or Equal To 60 Feet (18.3 Meters) 
Length Overall Using Pot Gear in 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 Pacific cod by pot 
catcher vessels greater than or equal to 60 feet (18.3 meters (m)) 
length overall (LOA) in the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands management 
area (BSAI). This action is necessary to prevent exceeding the A season 
apportionment of the 2013 Pacific cod total allowable catch (TAC) 
specified for pot catcher vessels greater than or equal to 60 feet 
(18.3 m) LOA in the BSAI.

DATES: Effective 1200 hours, Alaska local time (A.l.t.), January 22, 
2013, through 1200 hours, A.l.t., September 1, 2013.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Obren Davis, 907-586-7228.

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 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 A season apportionment of the 2013 Pacific cod TAC allocated as 
a directed fishing allowance to pot catcher vessels greater than or 
equal to 60 feet (18.3 m) LOA in the BSAI is 9,911 metric tons as 
established by the final 2012 and 2013 harvest specifications for 
groundfish in the BSAI (77 FR 10669, February 23, 2012) and inseason 
adjustment (78 FR 270, January 3, 2013).
    In accordance with Sec.  679.20(d)(1)(iii), the Administrator, 
Alaska Region, NMFS, has determined that the A season apportionment of 
the 2013 Pacific cod TAC allocated as a directed fishing allowance to 
pot catcher vessels greater than or equal to 60 feet (18.3 m) LOA in 
the BSAI has been reached. Consequently, NMFS is prohibiting

[[Page 5145]]

directed fishing for Pacific cod by pot catcher vessels greater than or 
equal to 60 feet (18.3 m) LOA in the BSAI.
    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 delay the directed fishing closure of Pacific cod by pot catcher 
vessels greater than or equal to 60 feet (18.3 m) LOA in 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 
January 17, 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. 2013-01437 Filed 1-18-13; 4:15 pm]
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