[Federal Register Volume 78, Number 135 (Monday, July 15, 2013)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 42023-42024]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2013-16764]


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DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

50 CFR Part 679

[Docket No. 121018563-3148-02]
RIN 0648-XC752


Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Atka 
Mackerel 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; modification of closure.

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SUMMARY: NMFS is opening directed fishing for Atka mackerel in the 
Central Aleutian district (CAI) of the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands 
Management Area (BSAI) by vessels participating in the BSAI trawl 
limited access fishery. This action is necessary to fully use the 2013 
total allowable catch (TAC) of Atka mackerel in the CAI by vessels 
participating in the BSAI trawl limited access fishery.

DATES: Effective 1200 hrs, Alaska local time (A.l.t.), July 9, 2013, 
through 2400 hrs, A.l.t., December 31, 2013. Comments must be received 
on or before July 24, 2013.

ADDRESSES: You may submit comments on this document, identified by 
NOAA-NMFS-2012-0210, 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-2012-0210, click the 
``Comment Now!'' icon, complete the required fields, and enter or 
attach your comments.
     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.
     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 
BSAI 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.
    NMFS closed directed fishing for Atka mackerel in the CAI by 
vessels participating in the BSAI trawl limited access fishery under 
Sec.  679.2(d)(1)(iii) on June 11, 2013 (78 FR 35771, June 14, 2013).
    As of July 8, 2013, NMFS has determined that TAC of Atka mackerel 
in the CAI for vessels participating in the BSAI trawl limited access 
fishery remains to support directed fishing. Therefore, in accordance 
with Sec.  679.25(a)(1)(i), (a)(2)(i)(C) and (a)(2)(iii)(D), and to 
fully utilize the 2013 TAC of Atka mackerel in the BSAI, NMFS is 
terminating the previous closure and is opening directed fishing for 
Atka mackerel in the CAI for vessels participating in the BSAI trawl 
limited access fishery. This will enhance the socioeconomic well-being 
of harvesters in this area. The Administrator, Alaska Region (Regional 
Administrator) considered the following factors in reaching this 
decision: (1) The current catch of Atka mackerel in the CAI for vessels 
participating in the BSAI trawl limited access fishery 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 Acting 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) and Sec.  679.25(c)(1)(ii) 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 opening directed fishing for 
Atka mackerel in the CAI by vessels participating in the BSAI trawl 
limited access fishery. NMFS was unable to publish a notice providing 
time for public comment because the most recent, relevant data only 
became available as of July 8, 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 the fishery 
for Atka mackerel in the CAI by vessels participating in the BSAI trawl 
limited access fishery 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 July 24, 2013.
    This action is required by Sec. Sec.  679.20 and 679.25 and is 
exempt from review under Executive Order 12866.

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


[[Page 42024]]


    Dated: July 9, 2013.
Kelly Denit,
Acting Deputy Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National 
Marine Fisheries Service.
[FR Doc. 2013-16764 Filed 7-9-13; 4:15 pm]
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