[Federal Register Volume 78, Number 97 (Monday, May 20, 2013)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Page 29248]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2013-11950]


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DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

50 CFR Part 679

[Docket No. 121018563-3418-02]
RIN 0648-XC687


Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Alaska 
Plaice 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 retention of Alaska plaice in the Bering 
Sea and Aleutian Islands management area (BSAI). This action is 
necessary because the 2013 initial total allowable catch (ITAC) of 
Alaska plaice in the BSAI has been reached.

DATES: Effective 1200 hrs, Alaska local time (A.l.t.), May 15, 2013, 
through 2400 hrs, A.l.t., December 31, 2013.

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

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.
    The 2013 ITAC Alaska plaice in the BSAI is 17,000 metric tons (mt) 
as established by the final 2013 and 2014 final harvest specifications 
for groundfish of the GOA (78 FR 13813, March 1, 2013).
    In accordance with Sec.  679.20(d)(2), the Administrator, Alaska 
Region, NMFS (Regional Administrator), has determined that the 2013 
ITAC of Alaska plaice in the BSAI has been reached. Therefore, NMFS is 
requiring that Alaska plaice caught in the BSAI be treated as 
prohibited species in accordance with Sec.  679.21(b).

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 prohibiting the retention of Alaska plaice 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 May 
10, 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 Sec.  679.21 and is 
exempt from review under Executive Order 12866.

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

    Dated: May 15, 2013.
Kara Meckley,
Acting Deputy Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National 
Marine Fisheries Service.
[FR Doc. 2013-11950 Filed 5-15-13; 4:15 pm]
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