[Federal Register Volume 78, Number 135 (Monday, July 15, 2013)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 42024-42025]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2013-16876]


-----------------------------------------------------------------------

DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

50 CFR Part 679

[Docket No. 120918468-3111-02]
RIN 0648-XC756


Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Northern 
Rockfish and Dusky Rockfish in the Western Regulatory Area of the Gulf 
of Alaska

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

ACTION: Temporary rule; modification of closure.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

SUMMARY: NMFS is opening directed fishing for northern rockfish and 
dusky rockfish for 48 hours in the Western Regulatory Area of the Gulf 
of Alaska (GOA). This action is necessary to fully use the total 
allowable catch (TAC) of northern rockfish and dusky rockfish in the 
Western Regulatory Area of the GOA.

DATES: Effective 1200 hrs, Alaska local time (A.l.t.), July 10, 2013, 
through 1200 hrs, A.l.t., July 12, 2013. Comments must be received on 
or before July 25, 2013.

ADDRESSES: You may submit comments on this document, identified by 
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.
     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 
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 northern rockfish and dusky 
rockfish in the Western Regulatory Area of the GOA under Sec.  
679.20(d)(1)(iii) on July 3, 2013 (78 FR 40638 July 8, 2013).
    As of July 8, 2013, NMFS has determined that approximately 1,000 
metric tons of northern rockfish and 260 metric tons of dusky rockfish 
TAC remain in the Western Regulatory Area 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 TAC of northern rockfish and 
dusky rockfish in the Western Regulatory Area of the GOA, NMFS is 
terminating the previous closure and is reopening directed fishing for 
northern rockfish and dusky rockfish in the Western Regulatory Area of 
the GOA, effective 1200 hrs, A.l.t., July 10, 2013.
    In accordance with Sec.  679.20(d)(1)(iii), the Regional 
Administrator finds that this directed fishing allowance will be 
reached after 48 hours. Consequently, NMFS is prohibiting directed 
fishing for northern rockfish and dusky rockfish in the Western 
Regulatory Area of the GOA, effective 1200 hrs, A.l.t., July 12, 2013. 
The Administrator, Alaska Region (Regional Administrator) considered 
the following factors in reaching this decision: (1) the current catch 
of northern rockfish and dusky rockfish in the Western Regulatory Area 
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 directed fishing for northern rockfish and 
dusky rockfish in the Western Regulatory Area of the GOA. Immediate 
notification is necessary to allow for the orderly conduct and 
efficient operation of these fisheries, 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 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 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 July 25, 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.


[[Page 42025]]


    Dated: July 10, 2013.
James P. Burgess,
Acting Deputy Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National 
Marine Fisheries Service.
[FR Doc. 2013-16876 Filed 7-10-13; 4:15 pm]
BILLING CODE 3510-22-P