[Federal Register Volume 79, Number 19 (Wednesday, January 29, 2014)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 4636-4637]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2014-01646]


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DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

50 CFR Part 679

[Docket No. 121018563-3148-02]
RIN 0648-XD101


Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Pacific Cod 
by Catcher Vessels Greater Than or Equal to 60 feet Length Overall 
Using Pot Gear in the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Management Area

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

ACTION: Temporary rule; closure.

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SUMMARY: NMFS is prohibiting directed fishing for Pacific cod by 
catcher vessels greater than or equal to 60 feet (18.3 meters (m)) 
length overall (LOA) using pot gear in the Bering Sea and Aleutian 
Islands management area (BSAI). This action is necessary to prevent 
exceeding the A season apportionment of the 2014 Pacific cod total 
allowable catch allocated to catcher vessels greater than or equal to 
60 feet (18.3 m) LOA using pot gear in the BSAI.

DATES: Effective 1200 hours, Alaska local time (A.l.t.), January 24, 
2014, through 1200 hours, A.l.t., September 1, 2014.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Josh Keaton, 907-586-7228.

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 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.
    The A season apportionment of the 2014 Pacific cod total allowable 
catch (TAC) allocated to catcher vessels greater than or equal to 60 
feet (18.3 m) LOA using pot gear in the BSAI is 9,678 metric tons (mt) 
as established by the final 2013 and 2014 harvest specifications for 
groundfish in the BSAI (78 FR 13813, March 1, 2013) and inseason 
adjustment (79 FR 758, January 7, 2014).
    In accordance with Sec.  679.20(d)(1)(iii), the Administrator, 
Alaska Region, NMFS (Regional Administrator), has determined that the A 
season apportionment of the 2014 Pacific cod TAC allocated as a 
directed fishing allowance to catcher vessels greater than or equal to 
60 feet (18.3 m) LOA using pot gear in the BSAI will soon be reached. 
Consequently, NMFS is prohibiting directed fishing for Pacific cod by 
catcher vessels greater than or equal to 60 feet (18.3 m) LOA using pot 
gear in the BSAI.
    After the effective date of this closure the maximum retainable 
amounts at Sec.  679.20(e) and (f) apply at any time during a trip.

Classification

    This action responds to the best available information recently 
obtained from the fishery. The Acting 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

[[Page 4637]]

delay the closure of directed fishing for Pacific cod by catcher 
vessels greater than or equal to 60 feet (18.3 m) LOA using pot gear in 
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 January 22, 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 23, 2014.
Emily H. Menashes,
Acting Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine 
Fisheries Service.
[FR Doc. 2014-01646 Filed 1-24-14; 11:15 am]
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