[Federal Register Volume 61, Number 200 (Tuesday, October 15, 1996)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Page 53679]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 96-26312]


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DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE
50 CFR Part 679

[Docket No. 960129019-6019-01; I.D. 100796C]


Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Trawl Gear 
Rockfish Fishery in the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands

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

ACTION: Closure.

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SUMMARY: NMFS is closing the directed fishery for rockfish species of 
the genera Sebastes and Sebastolobus by vessels using trawl gear in the 
Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands management area (BSAI). This action is 
necessary to prevent exceeding the 1996 Pacific halibut bycatch 
mortality allowance apportioned to the trawl rockfish fishery in the 
BSAI.

EFFECTIVE DATE: 1200 hours, Alaska local time (A.l.t.), October 8, 
1996, until 2400 hours, 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 subpart H of 50 CFR part 600 and 50 CFR part 679.
    The 1996 Pacific halibut mortality bycatch allowance for the BSAI 
trawl rockfish fishery, which is defined at Sec. 679.21(e)(3)(iv)(D), 
was established by the Final 1996 Harvest Specifications of Groundfish 
(61 FR 4311, February 5, 1996) as 110 metric tons.
    The Director, Alaska Region, NMFS, has determined, in accordance 
with Sec. 679.21(e)(7)(iv), that the 1996 mortality bycatch allowance 
of Pacific halibut apportioned to the trawl rockfish fishery in the 
BSAI has been caught. Therefore, NMFS is prohibiting directed fishing 
for rockfish species of the genera Sebastes and Sebastolobus by vessels 
using trawl gear in the BSAI.
    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 50 CFR 679.21 and is exempt from review 
under E.O. 12866.

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

    Dated: October 8, 1996.
Bruce Morehead,
Acting Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine 
Fisheries Service.
[FR Doc. 96-26312 Filed 10-9-96; 11:44 am]
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