[Federal Register Volume 79, Number 72 (Tuesday, April 15, 2014)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 21151-21152]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2014-08391]


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DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

50 CFR Part 679

[Docket No. 130925836-4320-03]
RIN 0648-XC895


Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Gulf of 
Alaska; Final 2014 and 2015 Harvest Specifications for Groundfish; 
Correction

AGENCY: National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), National Oceanic and 
Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Commerce.

ACTION: Final rule; harvest specifications and closures; correction.

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SUMMARY: The National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) is correcting a 
final rule that published on March 6, 2014, implementing the final 2014 
and 2015 harvest specifications and prohibited species catch allowances 
for the groundfish fishery of the Gulf of Alaska. One table in the 
document contained errors.

DATES: Effective April 15, 2014.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Obren Davis, 907-586-7228.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: 

Need for Correction

    NMFS published the Gulf of Alaska (GOA) final 2014 and 2015 harvest 
specifications in the Federal Register on March 6, 2014 (79 FR 12890). 
A table providing information about the 2014 GOA non-exempt American 
Fisheries Act (AFA) catcher vessel (CV) halibut prohibited species 
catch (PSC) limits by season and fishery (Table 24) contained

[[Page 21152]]

incorrect amounts in the columns titled ``2014 PSC Limit'' and ``2014 
Non-exempt AFA CV PSC limit,'' respectively. In Table 24 on page 12910, 
NMFS inadvertently included the 2014 PSC limits and 2014 non-exempt AFA 
CV PSC limits that were included in the proposed 2014 and 2015 harvest 
specifications (see Table 15, 78 FR 74094, December 10, 2013). These 
halibut PSC limits were reduced by Amendment 95 to the Fishery 
Management Plan for Groundfish of the GOA (Amendment 95) (79 FR 9625, 
February 20, 2014).
    The corrections to the halibut PSC limits in Table 24 that will be 
made by this action incorporate a 7 percent reduction from the halibut 
PSC limits that were in effect in 2013. Specifically, the shallow-water 
fishery's seasonal halibut PSC limits are reduced to 416 metric tons 
(mt), 92 mt, 185 mt, and 139 mt from 444 mt, 99 mt, 197 mt, and 148 mt, 
respectively. The corresponding non-exempt AFA CV PSC limits are 
reduced to 141 mt, 31 mt, 63 mt, and 47 mt from 151 mt, 34 mt, 67 mt, 
and 50 mt, respectively. The deep-water fishery's seasonal halibut PSC 
limits are reduced to 92 mt, 277 mt, and 370 mt from 99 mt, 296 mt, and 
395 mt, respectively. The corresponding non-exempt AFA CV PSC limits 
are reduced to 6 mt, 19 mt, and 26 mt from 7 mt, 21 mt, and 28 mt, 
respectively. The fifth season halibut PSC limit, which is not 
apportioned by shallow-water or deep-water target fishery, is reduced 
to 277 mt from 296 mt. The corresponding non-exempt AFA CV PSC limit is 
reduced to 57 mt from 61 mt.
    NMFS anticipates that this correction will not affect the fishing 
operations of the non-exempt AFA CVs that are subject to these halibut 
PSC limits. This is because of the relatively low amount of halibut PSC 
caught by non-exempt AFA CV's in 2013, and the small amount of halibut 
PSC caught by these vessel through March 2014. The unintended omission 
of halibut PSC reductions in Table 24 was an error resulting from a 
regulatory reorganization involving two separate final rules. These 
corrections are necessary to provide the correct 2014 halibut PSC 
limits and non-exempt AFA CV halibut PSC limits and eliminate potential 
confusion among participants in the GOA groundfish fisheries.

Classification

    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 correcting amendment makes changes to correct the 
unintentional omission of the halibut PSC reductions in Table 24, as 
described above, and does not change operating practices in the 
fisheries. If this correction is delayed to allow for notice and 
comment, it would result in confusion for participants in the 
fisheries, given that the final rule implementing Amendment 95 is 
effective. Therefore, in order to avoid any negative consequences that 
could result from this error, the AA finds good cause to waive the 
requirement to provide prior notice and opportunity for public comment.
    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 correcting 
amendment makes only minor changes to correct the unintentional 
omission of the halibut PSC reductions in Table 24, and does not change 
operating practices in the fisheries. This correction would also avoid 
any confusion for participants in the fisheries, given that the final 
rule implementing Amendment 95 is effective. For these reasons, the AA 
finds good cause to waive the 30-day delay in the effective date of 
this action.

    Authority: 16 U.S.C. 773 et seq.; 16 U.S.C. 1540(f), 1801 et 
seq.; 16 U.S.C. 3631 et seq.; Pub. L. 105-277; Pub. L. 106-31; Pub. 
L. 106-554; Pub. L. 108-199; Pub. L. 108-447; Pub. L. 109-241; Pub. 
L 109-479.

Correction

    In the final rule published on March 6, 2014 (79 FR 12890), the 
following corrections are made to Table 24:
    On page 12910, in Table 24, columns 5 and 6 are corrected to 
incorporate the correct amounts for 2014 PSC limits and 2014 non-exempt 
AFA CV PSC limits, respectively.
    Table 24 is corrected and reprinted in its entirety to read as 
follows:

              Table 24--Final 2014 Non-Exempt AFA CV Halibut Prohibited Species Catch (PSC) Limits for Vessels Using Trawl Gear in the GOA
                                                       [Values are rounded to nearest metric ton]
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                                                                                                Ratio of 1995-
                                                                                                1997 non-exempt
                Season                         Season dates              Target fishery         AFA CV retained     2014 PSC limit      2014 non-exempt
                                                                                                catch to total                         AFA CV PSC limit
                                                                                                retained catch
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1.....................................  January 20...............  shallow-water............               0.340                 416                 141
                                        April 1..................  deep-water...............               0.070                  92                   6
2.....................................  April 1..................  shallow-water............               0.340                  92                  31
                                        July 1...................  deep-water...............               0.070                 277                  19
3.....................................  July 1...................  shallow-water............               0.340                 185                  63
                                        September 1..............  deep-water...............               0.070                 370                  26
4.....................................  September 1..............  shallow-water............               0.340                 139                  47
                                        October 1................  deep-water...............               0.070                   0                   0
5.....................................  October 1................  all targets..............               0.205                 277                  57
                                        December 31.
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    Dated: April 9, 2014.
Samuel D. Rauch III,
Deputy Assistant Administrator for Regulatory Programs, National Marine 
Fisheries Service.
[FR Doc. 2014-08391 Filed 4-14-14; 8:45 am]
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