[Federal Register Volume 78, Number 57 (Monday, March 25, 2013)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 17886-17887]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2013-06765]


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DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

50 CFR Part 679

[Docket No. 120918468-3111-02]
RIN 0648-XC581


Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Pollock in 
Statistical Area 630 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 630 of the Gulf of Alaska (GOA) for 96 hours. This action is 
necessary to fully use the 2013 total allowable catch of pollock in 
Statistical Area 630 of the GOA.

DATES: Effective 1200 hrs, Alaska local time (A.l.t.), March 22, 2013, 
through 1200 hrs, A.l.t., March 26, 2013. Comments must be received at 
the following address no later than 4:30 p.m., A.l.t., April 8, 2013.

ADDRESSES: You may submit comments on this document, identified by FDMS 
Docket Number NOAA-NMFS-2012-0180 by any of the following methods:
     Electronic Submission: Submit all electronic public 
comments via the Federal e-Rulemaking Portal. Go to 
www.regulations.gov/#!docketDetail;D=NOAA-NMFS-2012-0180, click the 
``Comment Now!'' icon, complete the required fields, and enter or 
attach your comments.

[[Page 17887]]

     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 sent by any other method, to any other 
address or individual, or received after the end of the comment period, 
may not be considered by NMFS. 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, etc.), confidential business 
information, or otherwise sensitive information submitted voluntarily 
by the sender will be publicly accessible. 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, Excel, or Adobe PDF file formats only.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Josh Keaton, 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 630 of 
the GOA under Sec.  679.20(d)(1)(iii) on March 10, 2013 (78 FR 15643, 
March 12, 2012).
    As of March 18, 2013, NMFS has determined that approximately 2,400 
metric tons of pollock remain in the B season directed fishing 
allowance for pollock in Statistical Area 630 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 B season allowance of the 2013 
TAC of pollock in Statistical Area 630 of the GOA, NMFS is terminating 
the previous closure and is reopening directed fishing pollock in 
Statistical Area 630 of the GOA, effective 1200 hrs, A.l.t., March 22, 
2013.
    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 630 of the GOA, effective 1200 
hrs, A.l.t., March 26, 2013. The Administrator, Alaska Region (Regional 
Administrator) considered the following factors in reaching this 
decision: (1) The current catch of pollock in Statistical Area 630 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 630 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 March 18, 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.
    Without this inseason adjustment, NMFS could not allow pollock 
fishery in Statistical Area 630 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 April 8, 2013.
    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: March 20, 2013.
Kara Meckley,
Acting Deputy Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National 
Marine Fisheries Service.
[FR Doc. 2013-06765 Filed 3-22-13; 8:45 am]
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