[Federal Register Volume 78, Number 234 (Thursday, December 5, 2013)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Page 73110]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2013-29059]


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DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

50 CFR Part 679

[Docket No. 121018563-3148-02]
RIN 0648-XD013


Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Pacific 
Ocean Perch in the Bering Sea Subarea of 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 a closure.

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SUMMARY: NMFS is opening directed fishing for Pacific ocean perch in 
the Bering Sea subarea of the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands 
management area. This action is necessary to fully use the 2013 total 
allowable catch of Pacific ocean perch specified for the Bering Sea 
subarea of the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands management area.

DATES: Effective 1200 hrs, Alaska local time (A.l.t.), December 2, 
2013, through 1200 hrs, A.l.t., December 13, 2013. Comments must be 
received at the following address no later than 4:30 p.m., A.l.t., 
December 17, 2013.

ADDRESSES: You may submit comments on this document, identified by FDMS 
Docket Number ``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: 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.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Mary Furuness, 907-586-7228.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: NMFS manages the groundfish fishery in the 
Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands management area (BSAI) exclusive 
economic zone 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 the directed fishery for Pacific ocean perch (POP) in 
the Bering Sea subarea of the BSAI under Sec.  679.20(d)(1)(iii) (78 FR 
13813, March 1, 2013).
    NMFS has determined that approximately 6,400 metric tons of POP 
remain in the directed fishing allowance. 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 total allowable catch of POP in the Bering Sea subarea 
of the BSAI, NMFS is terminating the previous closure and is opening 
directed fishing for POP in Bering Sea subarea of the BSAI, effective 
1200 hrs, A.l.t., December 2, 2013, through 1200 hrs, A.l.t., December 
13, 2013. This will enhance the socioeconomic well-being of harvesters 
dependent on POP in this area.
    In accordance with Sec.  679.20(d)(1)(iii), the Regional 
Administrator finds that this directed fishing allowance will be 
reached after four weeks. Consequently, NMFS is prohibiting directed 
fishing for POP in Bering Sea subarea of the BSAI, effective 1200 hrs, 
A.l.t., December 31, 2013. The Administrator, Alaska Region considered 
the following factors in reaching this decision: (1) The current catch 
of POP in the BSAI and, (2) the harvest capacity and stated intent on 
future harvesting patterns of vessels 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 POP directed fishing in the Bering Sea 
subarea of 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 November 29, 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 POP in the Bering Sea subarea of the BSAI 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 December 17, 2013.
    This action is required by Sec.  679.20 and Sec.  679.25 and is 
exempt from review under Executive Order 12866.

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

    Dated: December 2, 2013.
Sean F. Corson,
Acting Deputy Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National 
Marine Fisheries Service.
[FR Doc. 2013-29059 Filed 12-2-13; 4:15 pm]
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