[Federal Register Volume 79, Number 53 (Wednesday, March 19, 2014)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 15255-15256]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2014-06077]


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DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

50 CFR Part 679

[Docket No. 131021878-4158-02]
RIN 0648-XD190


Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Pacific cod 
in the Aleutian Islands Subarea of 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, except 
for the Community Development Quota program (CDQ), in the Aleutian 
Islands subarea of the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands management area 
(BSAI). This action is necessary to prevent exceeding the non-CDQ 
allocation of the 2014 Pacific cod total allowable catch (TAC) in the 
Aleutian Islands subarea of the BSAI.

DATES: Effective 1200 hrs, Alaska local time (A.l.t.), March 16, 2014, 
through 2400 hrs, A.l.t., December 31, 2014.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Josh Keaton, 907-586-7269.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: NMFS manages the groundfish fishery in the 
BSAI 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.

[[Page 15256]]

    The non-CDQ allocation of the 2014 Pacific cod TAC in the Aleutian 
Islands subarea of the BSAI is 6,248 metric tons (mt) as established by 
the final 2014 and 2015 harvest specifications for groundfish in the 
BSAI (79 FR 12108, March 4, 2014). In accordance with Sec.  
679.20(d)(1)(i), the Administrator, Alaska Region, NMFS, has determined 
that the non-CDQ allocation of the 2014 Pacific cod TAC in the Aleutian 
Islands subarea of the BSAI will soon be reached. Therefore, the 
Regional Administrator is establishing a directed fishing allowance of 
4,748 mt, and is setting aside the remaining 1,500 mt as incidental 
catch in directed fishing for other species. In accordance with Sec.  
679.20(d)(1)(iii), the Regional Administrator finds that this directed 
fishing allowance has been reached. Consequently, NMFS is prohibiting 
directed fishing for Pacific cod in the Aleutian Islands subarea of 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 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 directed fishing closure of non-CDQ Pacific cod in the 
Aleutian Islands subarea of 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 March 14, 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 14, 2014.
Emily H. Menashes,
Acting Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine 
Fisheries Service.
[FR Doc. 2014-06077 Filed 3-14-14; 4:15 pm]
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