[Federal Register Volume 61, Number 133 (Wednesday, July 10, 1996)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Page 36306]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 96-17585]


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DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

50 CFR Part 679

[Docket No. 960129019-6019-01; I.D. 070596A]


Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone off Alaska; Atka 
Mackerel in the Eastern Aleutian District and Bering Sea Subarea

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

ACTION: Closure.

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SUMMARY: NMFS is closing the directed fishery for Atka mackerel in the 
Eastern Aleutian District and Bering Sea subarea of the Bering Sea and 
Aleutian Islands management area (BSAI). This action is necessary to 
prevent exceeding the total allowable catch of Atka mackerel in this 
area.

EFFECTIVE DATE: 1200 hrs, Alaska local time (A.l.t.), July 8, 1996, 
until 2400 hrs, A.l.t., December 31, 1996.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Mary Furuness, 907-586-7228.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The groundfish fishery in the BSAI exclusive 
economic zone is managed by NMFS according to the Fishery Management 
Plan for the Groundfish Fishery of the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands 
Area (FMP) prepared by the North Pacific Fishery Management Council 
under authority of the Magnuson Fishery Conservation and Management 
Act. Fishing by U.S. vessels is governed by regulations implementing 
the FMP at 50 CFR part 679 and at subpart H of 50 CFR part 600.
    The total allowable catch of Atka mackerel for the Eastern Aleutian 
District and Bering Sea subarea was established by the Final 1996 
Harvest Specifications of Groundfish (61 FR 4311, February 5, 1996) for 
the BSAI and subsequent reserve apportionment (61 FR 16085, April 11, 
1996) as 26,700 metric tons (mt). (See Sec. 679.20(c)(3)(iii).) As of 
June 8, 1996, 6,014 mt remain. The directed fishery for Atka mackerel 
in the Eastern Aleutian District and Bering Sea subarea was closed 
under Sec. 679.20(d)(iii) on February 14, 1996, (61 FR 6323, February 
20, 1996); see also Sec. 679.20(d)(1) and opened on July 1, 1996 (61 FR 
33046, June 26, 1996; see also Sec. 679.25(a).)
    The Director, Alaska Region, NMFS (Regional Director), has 
determined, in accordance with Sec. 679.20(d)(1)(iii), that the Atka 
mackerel total allowable catch in the Eastern Aleutian District and 
Bering Sea subarea soon will be reached. Therefore, the Regional 
Director has established a directed fishing allowance of 26,200 mt 
after determining that 500 mt will be taken as incidental catch in 
directed fishing for other species in the Eastern Aleutian District and 
Bering Sea subarea. Consequently, NMFS is prohibiting directed fishing 
for Atka mackerel in the Eastern Aleutian District and Bering Sea 
subarea.
    Maximum retainable bycatch amounts for applicable gear types may be 
found in the regulations at Sec. 679.20(e).

Classification

    This action is taken under Sec. 679.20 and is exempt from review 
under E.O. 12866.

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

    Dated: July 5, 1996.
Donald J. Leedy,
Acting Office Director, Office of Fisheries Conservation and 
Management, National Marine Fisheries Service.
[FR Doc. 96-17585 Filed 7-5-96; 4:19 pm]
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