[Federal Register Volume 79, Number 17 (Monday, January 27, 2014)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 4280-4281]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2014-01457]


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DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

50 CFR Part 679

[Docket No. 121018563-3148-02]
RIN 0648-XD093


Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Reallocation 
of Pollock in the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands

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

ACTION: Temporary rule.

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SUMMARY: NMFS is reallocating the projected unused amounts of the Aleut 
Corporation's and the Community Development Quota pollock directed 
fishing allowances from the Aleutian Islands subarea to the Bering Sea 
subarea directed fisheries. These actions are necessary to provide 
opportunity for harvest of the 2014 total allowable catch of pollock, 
consistent with the goals and objectives of the Fishery Management Plan 
for Groundfish of the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Management Area.

DATES: Effective 1200 hrs, Alaska local time (A.l.t.), January 27, 
2014, until the effective date of the final 2014 and 2015 harvest 
specifications for Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands (BSAI) groundfish, 
unless otherwise modified or superseded through publication of a 
notification in the Federal Register.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Steve Whitney, 907-586-7269.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: NMFS manages the groundfish fishery in the 
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 
(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.
    In the Aleutian Islands subarea, the portion of the 2014 pollock 
total allowable catch (TAC) allocated to the Aleut Corporation's 
directed fishing allowance (DFA) is 15,100 metric tons (mt) and the 
Community Development Quota (CDQ) DFA is 1,900 mt as established by the 
final 2013 and 2014 harvest specifications for groundfish in the BSAI 
(78 FR 13813, March 1, 2013), and as adjusted by an inseason adjustment 
(79 FR 758, January 7, 2014).
    As of January 15, 2014, the Administrator, Alaska Region, NMFS, 
(Regional Administrator) has determined that 7,750 mt of Aleut 
Corporation's DFA and 1,900 mt of pollock CDQ DFA in the Aleutian 
Islands subarea will not be harvested. Therefore, in accordance with 
Sec.  679.20(a)(5)(iii)(B)(4), NMFS reallocates 7,750 mt of Aleut 
Corporation's DFA and 1,900 mt of pollock CDQ DFA from the Aleutian 
Islands subarea to the 2014 Bering Sea subarea allocations. The 1,900 
mt of pollock CDQ DFA is added to the 2014 Bering Sea CDQ DFA. The 
remaining 7,750 mt of pollock is apportioned to the AFA Inshore sector 
(50 percent), AFA catcher/processor sector (40 percent), and the AFA 
mothership sector (10 percent). The 2014 Bering Sea subarea pollock 
incidental catch allowance remains at 38,770 mt. As a result, the 2014 
harvest specifications for pollock in the Aleutian Islands subarea 
included in the final 2013 and 2014 harvest specifications for 
groundfish in the BSAI (78 FR 13813, March 1, 2013) are revised as 
follows: 7,350 mt to Aleut Corporation's DFA and 0 mt to CDQ DFA. 
Furthermore, pursuant to Sec.  679.20(a)(5), Table 3 of the final 2013 
and 2014 harvest specifications for groundfish in the BSAI (78 FR 
13813, March 1, 2013), as adjusted by the inseason adjustment (79 FR 
758, January 7, 2014), is revised to make 2014 pollock allocations 
consistent with this reallocation. This reallocation results in 
adjustments to the 2014 Aleut Corporation and CDQ pollock allocations 
established at Sec.  679.20(a)(5).

[[Page 4281]]



     Table 3--Final 2013 and 2014 Allocations of Pollock Tacs to the Directed Pollock Fisheries and to the CDQ Directed Fishing Allowances (DFA) \1\
                                                              [Amounts are in metric tons]
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                   2013 A season \1\        2013 B                     2014 A season \1\        2014 B
                                                              --------------------------  season \1\              --------------------------  season \1\
                 Area and sector                      2013                      SCA     -------------     2014                      SCA     ------------
                                                  Allocations    A season     harvest      B season   Allocations    A season     harvest      B season
                                                                   DFA       limit \2\       DFA                       DFA       limit \2\       DFA
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Bering Sea subarea..............................    1,261,900          n/a          n/a          n/a    1,276,650          n/a          n/a          n/a
CDQ DFA.........................................      126,600       50,640       35,448       75,960      128,600       51,440       36,008       77,160
ICA \1\.........................................       33,699          n/a          n/a          n/a       38,770          n/a          n/a          n/a
AFA Inshore.....................................      550,801      220,320      154,224      330,480      554,640      221,856      155,299      332,784
AFA Catcher/Processors \3\......................      440,640      176,256      123,379      264,384      443,712      177,485      124,239      266,227
Catch by C/Ps...................................      403,186      161,274          n/a      241,912      405,996      162,399          n/a      243,598
Catch by CVs \3\................................       37,454       14,982          n/a       22,473       37,716       15,086          n/a       22,629
Unlisted C/P Limit \4\..........................        2,203          881          n/a        1,322        2,219          887          n/a        1,331
AFA Motherships.................................      110,160       44,064       30,845       66,096      110,928       44,371       31,060       66,557
Excessive Harvesting Limit \5\..................      192,780          n/a          n/a          n/a      194,124          n/a          n/a          n/a
Excessive Processing Limit \6\..................      330,480          n/a          n/a          n/a      332,784          n/a          n/a          n/a
                                                 -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Total Bering Sea DFA............................    1,101,601      440,640      308,448      660,961    1,109,280      443,712      310,598      665,568
Aleutian Islands subarea \1\....................        4,100          n/a          n/a          n/a        9,350          n/a          n/a          n/a
CDQ DFA.........................................            0            0          n/a            0            0            0          n/a            0
ICA.............................................        1,600          800          n/a          800        2,000        1,000          n/a        1,000
Aleut Corporation...............................        2,500        3,500          n/a            0        7,350        7,350          n/a            0
Bogoslof District ICA \7\.......................          100          n/a          n/a          n/a           75          n/a          n/a          n/a
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
\1\ Pursuant to Sec.   679.20(a)(5)(i)(A), the BS subarea pollock, after subtracting the CDQ DFA (10 percent) and the ICA (3.0 percent in 2013 and 3.4
  percent in 2014), is allocated as a DFA as follows: inshore sector--50 percent, catcher/processor sector (C/P)--40 percent, and mothership sector--10
  percent. In the BS subarea, 40 percent of the DFA is allocated to the A season (January 20-June 10) and 60 percent of the DFA is allocated to the B
  season (June 10-November 1). Pursuant to Sec.   679.20(a)(5)(iii)(B)(2)(i) and (ii), the annual AI pollock TAC, after subtracting first for the CDQ
  directed fishing allowance (10 percent) and second the ICA (2,000 mt), is allocated to the Aleut Corporation for a directed pollock fishery. In the AI
  subarea, the A season is allocated 40 percent of the ABC and the B season is allocated the remainder of the directed pollock fishery.
\2\ In the BS subarea, no more than 28 percent of each sector's annual DFA may be taken from the SCA before April 1. The remaining 12 percent of the
  annual DFA allocated to the A season may be taken outside of SCA before April 1 or inside the SCA after April 1. If less than 28 percent of the annual
  DFA is taken inside the SCA before April 1, the remainder will be available to be taken inside the SCA after April 1.
\3\ Pursuant to Sec.   679.20(a)(5)(i)(A)(4), not less than 8.5 percent of the DFA allocated to listed catcher/processors shall be available for harvest
  only by eligible catcher vessels delivering to listed catcher/processors.
\4\ Pursuant to Sec.   679.20(a)(5)(i)(A)(4)(iii), the AFA unlisted catcher/processors are limited to harvesting not more than 0.5 percent of the
  catcher/processors sector's allocation of pollock.
\5\ Pursuant to Sec.   679.20(a)(5)(i)(A)(6), NMFS establishes an excessive harvesting share limit equal to 17.5 percent of the sum of the non-CDQ
  pollock DFAs.
\6\ Pursuant to Sec.   679.20(a)(5)(i)(A)(7), NMFS establishes an excessive processing share limit equal to 30.0 percent of the sum of the non-CDQ
  pollock DFAs.
\7\ The Bogoslof District is closed by the final harvest specifications to directed fishing for pollock. The amounts specified are for ICA only and are
  not apportioned by season or sector.
Note: Seasonal or sector apportionments may not total precisely due to rounding.

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 reallocation of AI pollock. Since the pollock fishery 
opens January 20, 2014, it is important to immediately inform the 
industry as to the final Bering Sea subarea pollock allocations. 
Immediate notification is necessary to allow for the orderly conduct 
and efficient operation of this fishery; allow the industry to plan for 
the fishing season and avoid potential disruption to the fishing fleet 
as well as processors; and provide opportunity to harvest increased 
seasonal pollock allocations while value is optimum. NMFS was unable to 
publish a notice providing time for public comment because the most 
recent, relevant data only became available as of January 15, 2014.
    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.
    This action is required by Sec.  679.20 and is exempt from review 
under Executive Order 12866.

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

    Dated: January 22, 2014.
Sean F. Corson,
Acting Deputy Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National 
Marine Fisheries Service.
[FR Doc. 2014-01457 Filed 1-24-14; 8:45 am]
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