[Federal Register Volume 79, Number 26 (Friday, February 7, 2014)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 7404-7405]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2014-02590]


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DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

50 CFR Part 679

[Docket No. 121018563-3148-02]
RIN 0648-XD114


Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Pacific Cod 
by Catcher Vessels Less Than 60 Feet (18.3 Meters) Length Overall Using 
Hook-and-Line or 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 less than 60 feet (18.3 meters (m)) length overall 
(LOA) using hook-and-line or pot gear in the Bering Sea and Aleutian 
Islands management area (BSAI). This action is necessary to prevent 
exceeding the 2014 Pacific cod total allowable catch allocated to 
catcher vessels less than 60 feet (18.3 m) LOA using hook-and-line or 
pot gear in the BSAI.

DATES: Effective 1200 hours, Alaska local time (A.l.t.), February 4, 
2014, through 2400 hours, A.l.t., December 31, 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 2014 Pacific cod total allowable catch (TAC) allocated to 
catcher vessels less than 60 feet (18.3 m) LOA using hook-and-line or 
pot gear in the BSAI is 4,518 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 
2014 Pacific cod

[[Page 7405]]

TAC allocated as a directed fishing allowance to catcher vessels less 
than 60 feet (18.3 m) LOA using hook-and-line or pot gear in the BSAI 
will soon be reached. Consequently, NMFS is prohibiting directed 
fishing for Pacific cod by catcher vessels less than 60 feet (18.3 m) 
LOA using hook-and-line or 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 delay the closure of directed fishing for Pacific cod 
by catcher vessels less than 60 feet (18.3 m) LOA using hook-and-line 
or 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 31, 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: February 3, 2014.
Sean F. Corson,
Acting Deputy Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National 
Marine Fisheries Service.
[FR Doc. 2014-02590 Filed 2-3-14; 4:15 pm]
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