[Federal Register Volume 62, Number 159 (Monday, August 18, 1997)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Page 43954]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 97-21826]


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DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

50 CFR Part 679

[Docket No. 970613138-7138-01; I.D. 081397A]


Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Scallop 
Fishery; Closure in Registration Area Q

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

ACTION: Closure.

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SUMMARY: NMFS is closing the scallop fishery in Registration Area Q 
(Bering Sea). This action is necessary to prevent exceeding the 
Chionoecetes opilio (C. opilio) Tanner crab bycatch limit (CBL) in this 
area.

DATES: Effective 1200 hrs, Alaska local time (A.l.t.), August 13, 1997, 
until 2400 hrs, A.l.t., June 30, 1998.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Andrew Smoker, 907-586-7228.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The scallop fishery in the exclusive 
economic zone off Alaska is managed by NMFS according to the Fishery 
Management Plan for the Scallop Fishery off Alaska (FMP) prepared by 
the North Pacific Fishery Management Council under authority of the 
Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act. Fishing for 
scallops is governed by regulations appearing at subpart F of 50 CFR 
part 600 and 50 CFR part 679. In accordance with Sec. 679.62(b) the 
1997 C. opilio CBL for Registration Area Q was established by the Final 
1997-98 Harvest Specifications of Scallops (62 FR 34182, June 25, 1997) 
as 172,000 C. opilio crab.
    The Administrator, Alaska Region, NMFS, has determined, in 
accordance with Sec. 679.62(c), that the C. opilio CBL for Registration 
Area Q has been reached. Therefore, NMFS is prohibiting the taking and 
retention of scallops in Registration Area Q.

Classification

    This action responds to the best available information recently 
obtained from the fishery. It must be implemented immediately to 
prevent overharvesting the 1997 CBL for Registration Area Q. Providing 
prior notice and an opportunity for public comment on this action is 
impracticable and contrary to public interest. The fleet has already 
taken the CBL for Registration Area Q. Further delay would only result 
in overharvest and disrupt the FMP's objective of allowing incidental 
catch to be retained throughout the year. NMFS finds for good cause 
that the implementation of this action cannot be delayed for 30 days. 
Accordingly, under 5 U.S.C. 553(d), a delay in the effective date is 
hereby waived.
    This action is required by Sec. 679.62 and is exempt from review 
under E.O. 12866.

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

    Dated: August 13, 1997.
Gary C. Matlock,
Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine Fisheries 
Service.
[FR Doc. 97-21826 Filed 8-13-97; 2:40 pm]
BILLING CODE 3510-22-F