[Federal Register Volume 79, Number 123 (Thursday, June 26, 2014)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 36239-36240]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2014-14892]


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DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

50 CFR Part 660

[Docket No. 121210694-3514-02]
RIN 0648-XD238


Fisheries Off West Coast States; Coastal Pelagic Species 
Fisheries; Closure

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

ACTION: Temporary rule; closure.

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SUMMARY: Through this action NMFS is prohibiting directed fishing for 
Pacific sardine off the coasts of Washington, Oregon and California. 
This action is necessary because the non-tribal directed harvest 
allocation total of 5,446 mt for the interim harvest period of January 
1, 2014, through June 30, 2014, has been projected to have been 
reached. From the effective date of this rule until July 1, 2014, 
Pacific sardine may be harvested only as part of either the live bait 
or tribal fishery or incidental to other fisheries; the incidental 
harvest of Pacific sardine is limited to 40-percent by weight of all 
fish per trip. Fishing vessels must cease fishing [be at shore and in 
the process of offloading] at or before the effective date of this 
closure.

DATES: Effective 12:01 a.m. Pacific Daylight Time (PDT) June 25, 2014 
through 11:59 p.m., June 30, 2014.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Joshua Lindsay, West Coast Region, 
NMFS, (562) 980-4034.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: This document announces that based on the 
best available information recently obtained from the fishery and 
information on past fishing effort, the non-tribal directed fishing 
harvest allocation for the interim 2014 harvest period of January 1, 
2014, through June 30, 2014, will be reached and therefore directed 
fishing for Pacific sardine is being closed until the new fishing 
season starts on July 1, 2014. Fishing vessels must cease fishing [be 
at shore and in the process of offloading] at or before the effective 
date of this closure. From the effectiveness of this closure, through 
June 30, 2014, Pacific sardine may be harvested only as part of either 
the live bait or tribal fishery or incidental to other fisheries, with 
the incidental harvest of Pacific sardine limited to 40-percent by 
weight of all fish caught during a trip.

[[Page 36240]]

    NMFS manages the Pacific sardine fishery in the U.S. exclusive 
economic zone (EEZ) off the Pacific coast (California, Oregon, and 
Washington) in accordance with the Coastal Pelagic Species (CPS) 
Fishery Management Plan (FMP). Annual specifications published in the 
Federal Register establish the allowable harvest levels (i.e. annual 
catch limit/harvest guideline (HG)) for each Pacific sardine fishing 
season. If during any of the seasonal allocation periods the applicable 
adjusted directed harvest allocation is projected to be taken, and the 
fishery is closed, only incidental harvest is allowed. For the 
remainder of the period, any incidental Pacific sardine landings will 
be counted against that period's incidental set aside. In the event 
that an incidental set-aside is projected to be attained, all fisheries 
will be closed to the retention of Pacific sardine for the remainder of 
the period via appropriate rulemaking.
    Under 50 CFR 660.509, if the total HG or these apportionment levels 
for Pacific sardine are reached at any time, NMFS is required to close 
the Pacific sardine fishery via appropriate rulemaking and the fishery 
remains closed until it re-opens either per the allocation scheme or 
the beginning of the next fishing season. In accordance with Sec.  
660.509 the Regional Administrator shall publish a notice in the 
Federal Register announcing the date of the closure of the directed 
fishery for Pacific sardine.
    The above in-season harvest restrictions are not intended to affect 
the prosecution of the live bait or tribal portions of the Pacific 
sardine fishery.

Classification

    This action is required by 50 CFR 660.509 and is exempt from Office 
of Management and Budget review under Executive Order 12866.
    NMFS 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) for the closure of the directed harvest of 
Pacific sardine. For the reasons set forth below, notice and comment 
procedures are impracticable and contrary to the public interest. For 
the same reasons, NMFS also finds good cause under 5 U.S.C. 553(d)(3) 
to waive the 30-day delay in effectiveness for this action. This 
measure responds to the best available information and is necessary for 
the conservation and management of the Pacific sardine resource. A 
delay in effectiveness would cause the fishery to exceed the in-season 
harvest level. These seasonal harvest levels are important mechanisms 
in preventing overfishing and managing the fishery at optimum yield. 
The established directed and incidental harvest allocations are 
designed to allow fair and equitable opportunity to the resource by all 
sectors of the Pacific sardine fishery and to allow access to other 
profitable CPS fisheries, such as squid and Pacific mackerel. Many of 
the same fishermen who harvest Pacific sardine rely on these other 
fisheries for a significant portion of their income.

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

    Dated: June 20, 2014.
Emily H. Menashes,
Acting Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine 
Fisheries Service.
[FR Doc. 2014-14892 Filed 6-25-14; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 3510-22-P