[Federal Register Volume 79, Number 19 (Wednesday, January 29, 2014)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Page 4637]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2014-01685]


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DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

50 CFR Part 679

[Docket No. 121018563-3148-02]
RIN 0648-XD104


Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Pacific Cod 
by Pot Catcher/Processors 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/processors 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/processors using pot gear in the 
BSAI.

DATES: Effective 1200 hours, Alaska local time (A.l.t.), January 26, 
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/processors using pot gear in the BSAI 
is 1,728 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/processors using pot gear in the 
BSAI will soon be reached. Consequently, NMFS is prohibiting directed 
fishing for Pacific cod by pot catcher/processors 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 delay the closure of directed fishing for Pacific cod 
by pot catcher/processors 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 23, 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 24, 2014.
Sean F. Corson,
Acting Deputy Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National 
Marine Fisheries Service.
[FR Doc. 2014-01685 Filed 1-24-14; 4:15 pm]
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