[Federal Register Volume 79, Number 27 (Monday, February 10, 2014)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 7590-7591]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2014-02822]


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DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

50 CFR Part 679

[Docket No. 120918468-3111-02]
RIN 0648-XD120


Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Big Skate in 
the Central Regulatory Area of the Gulf of Alaska

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 retention of big skate in the Central 
Regulatory Area of the Gulf of Alaska (GOA). This action is necessary 
because the 2014 total allowable catch of big skate in the Central 
Regulatory Area of the GOA will be reached.

DATES: Effective 1200 hrs, Alaska local time (A.l.t.), February 5, 
2014, through 2400 hrs, A.l.t., December 31, 2014.

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

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: NMFS manages the groundfish fishery in the 
GOA exclusive economic zone according to the Fishery Management Plan 
for Groundfish of the Gulf of Alaska (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 total allowable catch (TAC) of big skate in the Central 
Regulatory Area of the GOA is 1,793 metric tons (mt) as established by 
the final 2013 and 2014 harvest specifications for groundfish of the 
GOA (78 FR 13162, February 26, 2013).
    In accordance with Sec.  679.20(d)(2), the Administrator, Alaska 
Region, NMFS (Regional Administrator), has determined that the 2014 TAC 
of big skate in the Central Regulatory Area of the GOA will be reached. 
Therefore, NMFS is requiring that big skate caught in the Central 
Regulatory Area of the GOA be treated as prohibited species in 
accordance with Sec.  679.21(b).

Classification

    This action responds to the best available information recently 
obtained from the fishery. The Acting Assistant Administrator for 
Fisheries, NOAA

[[Page 7591]]

(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 
prohibiting the retention of big skate in the Central Regulatory Area 
of the GOA. NMFS was unable to publish a notice providing time for 
public comment because the most recent, relevant data only became 
available as of February 4, 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 Sec.  679.21 and is 
exempt from review under Executive Order 12866.

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

    Dated: February 5, 2014.
Sean F. Corson,
Acting Deputy Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National 
Marine Fisheries Service.
[FR Doc. 2014-02822 Filed 2-5-14; 4:15 pm]
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