[Federal Register Volume 78, Number 243 (Wednesday, December 18, 2013)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 76570-76571]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2013-30031]


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DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

50 CFR Part 660

[Docket No. 130114034-3422-02]
RIN 0648-XD016


Magnuson-Stevens Act Provisions; Fisheries Off West Coast States; 
Pacific Coast Groundfish Fishery; Pacific Whiting and Non-Whiting 
Allocations; Pacific Whiting Seasons

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

ACTION: Temporary rule; reapportionment of tribal whiting allocation.

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SUMMARY: This document announces the reapportionment of 30,000 mt of 
Pacific whiting from the tribal allocation to the non-tribal commercial 
fishery allocations. This action is intended to allow for full 
utilization of the resource.

DATES: The rule is effective December 18, 2013, until December 31, 
2013, unless modified, superseded or rescinded. The reapportionment of 
whiting is applicable September 18, 2013 until December 31, 2013. 
Comments will be accepted through January 2, 2014.

ADDRESSES: You may submit comments, identified by ``NOAA-NMFS-2013-
0013'' by any of the following methods:
     Electronic Submissions: Submit all electronic public 
comments via the Federal eRulemaking Portal. Go to www.regulations.gov/#!docketDetail;D=NOAA-NMFS-2013-0013, click the ``Comment Now!'' icon, 
complete the required fields, and enter or attach your comments.
     Fax: 206-526-6736, Attn: Kevin C. Duffy
     Email comments directly to NMFS, Northwest Region at: 
Whitingreapportionment@noaa.gov
     Mail: William W. Stelle, Jr., Regional Administrator, 
Northwest Region, NMFS, 7600 Sand Point Way NE., Seattle, WA 98115-
0070, Attn: Kevin C. Duffy.
    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: Kevin C. Duffy (Northwest Region, 
NMFS), phone: 206-526-4743, fax: 206-526-6736 and email: 
kevin.duffy@noaa.gov.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Electronic Access

    This document is accessible via the Internet at the Office of the 
Federal Register's Web site at http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/search/home.action. Background information and documents are available at the 
Pacific Fishery Management Council's Web site at http://www.pcouncil.org/.

Background

    This document announces the reapportionment of 30,000 mt of Pacific 
whiting from the tribal allocation to the non-tribal commercial sectors 
on September 18, 2013. This action is authorized by regulations 
implementing the Pacific Coast Groundfish Fishery Management Plan 
(FMP), which governs the groundfish fishery off Washington, Oregon, and 
California. Regulations at 50 CFR 660.131(h) contain provisions that 
allow the Regional Administrator to make Pacific whiting tribal 
allocation specified at Sec.  660.50 that will not be harvested by the 
tribal fisheries available for harvest to other sectors of the trawl 
fishery. For 2013 the Washington Coast treaty tribes were allocated 
63,205 mt of Pacific whiting. The best available information through 
September 16, 2013 indicated that at least 30,000 mt of the tribal 
allocation will not be harvested by December 31, 2013. To allow for 
full utilization the resource, NMFS reapportioned 30,000 mt to the 
shorebased IFQ, catcher/processor and mothership sectors in proportion 
to each sector's original allocation on September 18, 2013. 
Reapportioning this amount is not expected to limit tribal harvest 
opportunities for the remainder of the year.
    The revised Pacific whiting allocations for 2013 are: Tribal 33,205 
mt, catcher/processor 79,573 mt; mothership 56,170 mt: and shorebased 
IFQ 98,297 mt. Emails sent directly to fishing businesses and postings 
on the Northwest Region's internet site were used to provide actual 
notice to the affected fishers.
    Classification
    The Assistant Administrator for Fisheries, NOAA (AA), finds that 
good cause exists for this notification to be issued without affording 
prior notice and opportunity for public comment pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 
553(b)(B) because such notification would be impracticable and contrary 
to the public interest. As previously noted, actual notice of the 
reapportionment was provided to fishers. Prior notice and opportunity 
for public comment was impracticable because NMFS had insufficient time 
to provide prior notice and the opportunity for public comment between 
the time the information about the progress of the fishery needed to 
make this determination became available and the time at which fishery 
modifications had to be implemented in order to allow fishers access to 
the available fish during the remainder of the fishing season. 
Reapportioning as quickly as possible was necessary to allow access to 
the available fish prior to the onset of weather conditions that would 
make fishing unsafe. For the same reasons, the AA also finds good cause 
to waive the 30-day delay in effectiveness required under 5 U.S.C. 
553(d)(3).
    These actions are authorized by 50 CFR 660.55 (i), 660.60(d) and 
660.131(h)

[[Page 76571]]

and are exempt from review under Executive Order 12866.

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

    Dated: December 12, 2013.
Sean F. Corson,
Acting Deputy Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National 
Marine Fisheries Service.
[FR Doc. 2013-30031 Filed 12-17-13; 8:45 am]
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