[Federal Register Volume 78, Number 143 (Thursday, July 25, 2013)]
[Proposed Rules]
[Pages 44920-44921]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2013-17905]


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DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

50 CFR Parts 300 and 679

[Docket No. 101027534-3546-01]
RIN 0648-BA37


Pacific Halibut Fisheries; Catch Sharing Plan for Guided Sport 
and Commercial Fisheries in Alaska; Extension of Comment Period

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

ACTION: Proposed rule, extension of comment period.

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SUMMARY: NMFS is extending the date by which public comments are due 
concerning proposed regulations to implement a catch sharing plan for 
the guided sport and commercial fisheries for Pacific halibut in waters 
of International Pacific Halibut Commission (IPHC) Regulatory Areas 2C 
(Southeast Alaska) and 3A (Central Gulf of Alaska). NMFS published the 
proposed rule on June 28, 2013, and announced that the public comment 
period would end on August 12, 2013. With this notice, NMFS is 
extending the comment period to August 26, 2013, to provide additional 
time for stakeholders

[[Page 44921]]

and other members of the public to submit comments.

DATES: The public comment period for the proposed rule published at 78 
FR 39122, June 28, 2013, is extended from August 12, 2013, until August 
26, 2013. Comments must be received no later than August 26, 2013.

ADDRESSES: You may submit comments, identified by FDMS Docket Number 
NOAA-NMFS-2011-0180, by any of the following methods:
     Electronic Submission: Submit all electronic public 
comments via the Federal eRulemaking Portal. Go to www.regulations.gov/#!docketDetail;D=NOAA-NMFS-2011-0180, click the ``Comment Now!'' icon, 
complete the required fields, and enter or attach your comments.
     Mail: Submit 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.
    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.
    Electronic copies of the Environmental Assessment/Regulatory Impact 
Review/Initial Regulatory Flexibility Analysis (EA/RIR/IRFA) prepared 
for this action are available from http://www.regulations.gov or from 
the NMFS Alaska Region Web site at http://alaskafisheries.noaa.gov.
    Written comments regarding the burden-hour estimates or other 
aspects of the collection-of-information requirements contained in this 
rule may be submitted to NMFS at the above address and by email to 
OIRA_Submission@omb.eop.gov or fax to 202-395-7285.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Julie Scheurer, 907-586-7228.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: 

Background

    On June 28, 2013, NMFS published a proposed rule at 78 FR 39122, 
that would implement a catch sharing plan for the guided sport and 
commercial fisheries for Pacific halibut in waters of IPHC Regulatory 
Areas 2C (Southeast Alaska) and 3A (Central Gulf of Alaska). The 
proposed catch sharing plan will change the annual process of 
allocating halibut between the guided sport and commercial fisheries in 
Area 2C and Area 3A, establish allocations for each sector, and specify 
a method for setting harvest restrictions for guided sport anglers that 
are intended to limit harvest to the annual guided sport fishery catch 
limit. The proposed catch sharing plan also will authorize annual 
transfers of commercial halibut quota to charter halibut permit holders 
for harvest in the guided sport fishery.

Public Comment Extension

    NMFS is extending the public comment period until August 26, 2013. 
NMFS received several requests to extend the comment period on the 
proposed rule due to overlap with the recreational halibut fishing 
season and the complexity of the proposed catch sharing plan. Most 
commenters requested a 45-day extension. We have considered these 
comments and conclude that a 14-day extension should allow sufficient 
time for the public to review and comment on the proposed rule without 
significantly delaying the rulemaking process.

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

    Dated: July 22, 2013.
Alan D. Risenhoover,
Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, performing the functions and 
duties of the Deputy Assistant Administrator for Regulatory Programs, 
National Marine Fisheries Service.
[FR Doc. 2013-17905 Filed 7-24-13; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 3510-22-P