[Federal Register Volume 65, Number 54 (Monday, March 20, 2000)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Page 14926]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 00-6831]


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DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

50 CFR Part 679

[Docket No. 000211039-0039-01; I.D. 031000A]


Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Pollock in 
Statistical Area 620 of the Gulf of Alaska

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

ACTION: Closure.

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SUMMARY: NMFS is prohibiting directed fishing for pollock in 
Statistical Area 620 outside the Shelikof Strait conservation area in 
the Gulf of Alaska (GOA). This action is necessary to prevent exceeding 
the B season allowance of the pollock total allowable catch (TAC) for 
Statistical Area 620 outside the Shelikof Strait conservation area.

DATES: Effective 1200 hrs, Alaska local time (A.l.t.), March 15, 2000, 
until 1200 hrs, A.l.t., August 20, 2000.

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

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: NMFS manages the groundfish fishery in the 
GOA exclusive economic zone according to the Fishery Management Plan 
for Groundfish of the Gulf of Alaska (FMP) prepared by the North 
Pacific Fishery Management Council under authority of the Magnuson-
Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act. Regulations governing 
fishing by U.S. vessels in accordance with the FMP appear at subpart H 
of 50 CFR part 600 and 50 CFR part 679.
    In accordance with Sec. 679.20(c)(3)(ii), the B season allowance of 
pollock TAC in Statistical Area 620 outside the Shelikof Strait 
conservation area is 273 metric tons (mt) as established by the Final 
2000 Harvest Specifications for Groundfish (65 FR 8298, February 18, 
2000) and subsequent correction (65 FR 11909, March 7, 2000).
    In accordance with Sec. 679.20(d)(1)(i), the Administrator, Alaska 
Region, NMFS (Regional Administrator), has determined that the B season 
allowance of the pollock TAC in Statistical Area 620 outside the 
Shelikof Strait conservation area will be reached and is necessary as 
incidental catch to support other anticipated groundfish fisheries. 
Consequently, the Regional Administrator establishes the B season 
directed fishing allowance as zero. In accordance with 
Sec. 679.20(d)(1)(iii), the Regional Administrator finds that this 
directed fishing allowance has been reached. Consequently, NMFS is 
prohibiting directed fishing for pollock in Statistical Area 620 
outside the Shelikof Strait conservation area in the GOA.
    Maximum retainable bycatch amounts may be found in the regulations 
at Sec. 679.20(e) and (f).

Classification

    This action responds to the best available information recently 
obtained from the fishery. It must be implemented immediately to 
prevent overharvesting the seasonal allocation of pollock in 
Statistical Area 620 outside the Shelikof Strait conservation area. 
Providing prior notice and an opportunity for public comment is 
impracticable and contrary to the public interest. Further delay would 
only result in overharvest. NMFS finds for good cause that the 
implementation of this action should not 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. 679.20 and is exempt from review 
under E.O. 12866.

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

    Dated: March 15, 2000.
Gary C. Matlock,
Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine Fisheries 
Service.
[FR Doc. 00-6831 Filed 3-15-00; 2:31 pm]
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