[Federal Register Volume 79, Number 45 (Friday, March 7, 2014)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 12959-12961]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2014-04995]


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DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

50 CFR Part 679

[Docket No. 131021878-4158-02]
RIN 0648-XD158


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 pollock directed fishing allowance and the Community 
Development Quota 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.), March 7, 2014, 
until 2400 hrs, A.l.t., December 31, 2014.

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

[[Page 12960]]

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 15,500 metric tons (mt) and the 
Community Development Quota (CDQ) is 1,900 mt as established by the 
final 2014 and 2015 harvest specifications for groundfish in the BSAI 
(79 FR 12108, March 4, 2014).
    As of March 4, 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 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 from the Aleutian Islands 
subarea to the 2014 Bering Sea subarea allocations. The 1,900 mt of 
pollock CDQ 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 pollock incidental catch 
allowance remains at 38,770 mt. As a result, the harvest specifications 
for pollock in the Aleutian Islands subarea included in the final 2014 
and 2015 harvest specifications for groundfish in the BSAI (79 FR 
12108, March 4, 2014) are revised as follows: 7,350 mt to Aleut 
Corporation's DFA and 0 mt to CDQ pollock. Furthermore, pursuant to 
Sec.  679.20(a)(5), Table 3 of the final 2014 and 2015 harvest 
specifications for groundfish in the BSAI (79 FR 12108, March 4, 2014) 
is revised to make 2014 pollock allocations consistent with this 
reallocation. This reallocation results in adjustments to the 2013 
Aleut Corporation and CDQ pollock allocations established at Sec.  
679.20(a)(5).

     Table 3--Final 2014 and 2015 Allocations of Pollock Tacs to the Directed Pollock Fisheries and to the CDQ Directed Fishing Allowances (DFA) \1\
                                                              [Amounts are in metric tons]
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                2014 A season \1\        2014 B                        2015 A season \1\        2015 B
                                                           --------------------------  season \1\                 --------------------------  season \1\
              Area and sector                    2014                        SCA     -------------      2015                        SCA     ------------
                                              Allocations     A season     harvest      B season     Allocations     A season     harvest      B season
                                                                DFA       limit \2\       DFA                          DFA       limit \2\       DFA
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Bering Sea subarea........................       1,276,650          n/a          n/a          n/a       1,258,000          n/a          n/a          n/a
CDQ DFA...................................         128,600       51,440       36,008       77,160         125,800       50,320       35,224       75,480
ICA \1\...................................          38,770          n/a          n/a          n/a          38,495          n/a          n/a          n/a
AFA Inshore...............................         554,640      221,856      155,299      332,784         546,853      218,741      153,119      328,112
AFA Catcher/Processors \3\................         443,712      177,485      124,239      266,227         437,482      174,993      122,495      262,489
Catch by C/Ps.............................         405,996      162,399          n/a      243,598         400,296      160,118          n/a      240,178
Catch by CVs \3\..........................          37,716       15,086          n/a       22,629          37,186       14,874          n/a       22,312
Unlisted C/P Limit \4\....................           2,219          887          n/a        1,331           2,187          875          n/a        1,312
AFA Motherships...........................         110,928       44,371       31,060       66,557         109,371       43,748       30,624       65,622
Excessive Harvesting Limit \5\............         194,124          n/a          n/a          n/a         191,398          n/a          n/a          n/a
Excessive Processing Limit \6\............         332,784          n/a          n/a          n/a         328,112          n/a          n/a          n/a
                                           -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Total Bering Sea DFA..................       1,109,280      443,712      310,598      665,568       1,093,705      437,482      306,237      656,223
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Aleutian Islands subarea \1\..............           9,350          n/a          n/a          n/a          19,000          n/a          n/a          n/a
CDQ DFA...................................               0            0          n/a            0           1,900          760          n/a        1,140
ICA.......................................           2,000        1,000          n/a        1,000           2,000        1,000          n/a        1,000
Aleut Corporation.........................           7,350        7,350          n/a            0          15,100       14,005          n/a        1,095
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Bogoslof District ICA \7\.................              75          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 (3.4 percent), 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 pollock directed 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 pollock directed 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.
\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.


[[Page 12961]]

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 
is currently open, 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 March 3, 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: March 4, 2014.
Emily H. Menashes,
Acting Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine 
Fisheries Service.
[FR Doc. 2014-04995 Filed 3-4-14; 4:15 pm]
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