Fisheries of the Economic Exclusive Zone Off Alaska; Deep-Water Species Fishery by Vessels Using Trawl Gear in the Gulf of Alaska, 23940-23941 [05-9126]

Download as PDF 23940 ACTION: Federal Register / Vol. 70, No. 87 / Friday, May 6, 2005 / Rules and Regulations Removal of haddock trip limits. SUMMARY: NMFS announces that the Administrator, Northeast Region, NMFS (Regional Administrator), is eliminating the daily and maximum haddock trip limits for the groundfish fishery for the remainder of the 2005 fishing year, through April 30, 2006. Accordingly, there is no trip limit on the amount of haddock that can be harvested or landed for the rest of the fishing year for vessels subject to these regulations. The Regional Administrator has projected that less than 75 percent of the haddock target total allowable catch (TAC) will be harvested for the 2005 fishing year under the restrictive daily possession and trip limits. This action is intended to allow fishermen to catch the haddock TAC, without exceeding the TAC. DATES: Effective May 3, 2005, through April 30, 2006. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Thomas Warren, Fishery Policy Analyst, phone (978) 281–9347, fax (978) 281– 9135, e-mail Thomas.Warren@NOAA.gov. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Framework Adjustment 33 to the Northeast (NE) Multispecies Fishery Management Plan (FMP), which became effective May 1, 2000, implemented the current haddock trip limit regulations (65 FR 21658). To ensure that haddock landings do not exceed the appropriate target TAC, Framework 33 established a haddock trip limit of 3,000 lb (1,360.8 kg) per NE multispecies day-at-sea (DAS) and a maximum trip limit of 30,000 lb (13,608 kg) of haddock for the period May 1 through September 30; and 5,000 lb (2,268 kg) of haddock per DAS and 50,000 lb (22,680 kg) per trip from October 1 through April 30. Framework 33 also implemented a mechanism to adjust the haddock trip limit based upon the percentage of TAC that is projected to be harvested. Section 648.86(a)(1)(iii)(B) specifies that, if the Regional Administrator projects that less than 75 percent of the haddock target TAC will be harvested in the fishing year, the trip limit may be adjusted or eliminated. Further, the regulations require that NMFS publish notification in the Federal Register informing the public of the date of any change to the trip limit. The Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (SEIS) prepared for Amendment 13 to the FMP (Amendment 13) estimated the total target TAC for the Gulf of Maine (GOM) and Georges Bank (GB) haddock stocks for the 2005 fishing year at 32,427 mt (71,487,267 lb), including both U.S. and Canadian landings. The Canadian quota VerDate jul<14>2003 09:53 May 05, 2005 Jkt 205001 for eastern GB haddock was set at 15,410 mt (33,972,270 lb). Therefore, the U.S. portion of the total target TAC for haddock for the 2005 fishing year is the difference between the entire haddock target TAC and the Canadian TAC, or 17,017 mt (37,514,997 lb). This amount includes the target TAC for the GOM and GB haddock stocks, as well as a haddock TAC of 7,590 mt (16,732,610 lb) specific to the Eastern U.S./Canada Area. Based on recent historical fishing practices and preliminary landings data, the Regional Administrator has projected that less than 75 percent of the haddock target TAC for the 2005 fishing year (17,017 mt) will be harvested by April 30, 2006, under the restrictive daily possession and trip limits. Furthermore, this projection indicates that eliminating the daily and maximum trip limits for haddock would not likely precipitate haddock landings reaching the Eastern U.S./Canada Area haddock TAC of 7,590 mt. The Regional Administrator has therefore determined that eliminating the 3,000–lb (1,360.8– kg) and 5,000–lb (2,268–kg) daily haddock possession limits as well as the associated 30,000–lb (13,608–kg) and 50,000–lb (22,680–kg) per trip possession limits for May 1 through September 30, 2005, and October 1, 2005, through April 30, 2006, respectively, will increase the likelihood that at least 75 percent of the target TAC will be harvested for the 2005 fishing year. In order to prevent the TAC from being exceeded, the Regional Administrator will continue to monitor haddock landings and adjust the trip limit through publication of a notification in the Federal Register, pursuant to § 648.86(a)(1)(iii), if necessary. Classification The Assistant Administrator for Fisheries, NOAA, 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) as such requirement is impracticable and contrary to the public interest in this instance. To further delay the elimination of the haddock trip limits is contrary to the public interest because it would unnecessarily result in wasteful discards and prevent the haddock fishery from achieving optimum yield. Moreover, the public had opportunity to comment on the adjustment of haddock trip limits and its consequences at the time the trip limits were implemented. This action relieves a restriction by eliminating unnecessary daily and maximum trip limits for haddock for the PO 00000 Frm 00014 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 remainder of the 2005 fishing year. These limits were implemented to prevent the target TAC for haddock from being exceeded. The target TAC for haddock has not been exceeded since 1996. Eliminating these restrictions will allow the fishing industry to harvest at least 75 percent of the target TAC for haddock during the 2005 fishing year. Further, eliminating these restrictions will allow vessels to possess and land haddock in excess of the daily and maximum trip limits, thereby preventing biological waste and providing an opportunity to offset some of the adverse economic impacts resulting from the implementation of Amendment 13. Therefore, because this rule relieves a restriction pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 553(d)(1) of the Administrative Procedure Act, the Assistant Administrator for Fisheries, NOAA, waives the 30–day delay in effectiveness date for this final rule. This action is required by 50 CFR part 648 and is exempt from review under Executive Order 12866. Authority: 16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq. Dated: May 2, 2005. Alan D. Risenhoover, Acting Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine Fisheries Service. [FR Doc. 05–9125 Filed 5–3–05; 2:24 pm] BILLING CODE 3510–22–S DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration 50 CFR Part 679 [Docket No. 041126333–5040–02; I.D. 050305C] Fisheries of the Economic Exclusive Zone Off Alaska; Deep-Water Species Fishery by Vessels Using Trawl Gear in the Gulf of Alaska National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Commerce. AGENCY: ACTION: Closure. SUMMARY: NMFS is prohibiting directed fishing for species that comprise the deep-water species fishery by vessels using trawl gear in the Gulf of Alaska (GOA). This action is necessary because the second seasonal apportionment of the 2005 Pacific halibut bycatch allowance specified for the deep-water species fishery in the GOA has been reached. E:\FR\FM\06MYR1.SGM 06MYR1 Federal Register / Vol. 70, No. 87 / Friday, May 6, 2005 / Rules and Regulations Effective 1200 hrs, Alaska local time (A.l.t.), May 3, 2005, through 1200 hrs, A.l.t., July 5, 2005. DATES: FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Josh Keaton, 907–586–7228. 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 MagnusonStevens 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. The second seasonal apportionment of the 2005 Pacific halibut bycatch allowance specified for the deep-water species fishery in the GOA is 300 metric tons as established by the 2005 and 2006 harvest specifications for groundfish of the GOA (70 FR 8958, February 24, 2005), for the period 1200 hrs, A.l.t., April 1, 2005, through 1200 hrs, A.l.t., July 5, 2005. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: VerDate jul<14>2003 09:53 May 05, 2005 Jkt 205001 In accordance with § 679.21(d)(7)(i), the Administrator, Alaska Region, NMFS, has determined that the second seasonal apportionment of the 2005 Pacific halibut bycatch allowance specified for the trawl deep-water species fishery in the GOA has been reached. Consequently, NMFS is prohibiting directed fishing for the deep-water species fishery by vessels using trawl gear in the GOA. The species and species groups that comprise the deep-water species fishery are all rockfish of the genera Sebastes and Sebastolobus, deep-water flatfish, rex sole, arrowtooth flounder, and sablefish. After the effective date of this closure the maximum retainable amounts at §§ 679.20(e) and (f) apply at any time during a trip. Classification This action responds to the best available information recently obtained from the fishery. The Assistant Administrator for Fisheries, NOAA (AA), finds good cause to waive the requirement to provide prior notice and opportunity for public comment PO 00000 Frm 00015 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 23941 pursuant to the authority set forth at 5 U.S.C. 553(b)(B) as such requirement is impracticable and contrary to the public interest. This requirement is impracticable and contrary to the public interest as it would prevent NMFS from responding to the most recent fisheries data in a timely fashion and would delay the closure of the deep-water species fishery by vessels using trawl gear in the GOA. The AA also finds good cause to waive the 30-day delay in the effective date of this action under 5 U.S.C. 553(d)(3). This finding is based upon the reasons provided above for waiver of prior notice and opportunity for public comment. This action is required by § 679.21 and is exempt from review under Executive Order 12866. Authority: 16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq. Dated: May 3, 2005. John H. Dunnigan Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine Fisheries Service. [FR Doc. 05–9126 Filed 5–3–05; 2:24 pm] BILLING CODE 3510–22–S E:\FR\FM\06MYR1.SGM 06MYR1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 70, Number 87 (Friday, May 6, 2005)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 23940-23941]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 05-9126]


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DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

50 CFR Part 679

[Docket No. 041126333-5040-02; I.D. 050305C]


Fisheries of the Economic Exclusive Zone Off Alaska; Deep-Water 
Species Fishery by Vessels Using Trawl Gear in 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 species that comprise 
the deep-water species fishery by vessels using trawl gear in the Gulf 
of Alaska (GOA). This action is necessary because the second seasonal 
apportionment of the 2005 Pacific halibut bycatch allowance specified 
for the deep-water species fishery in the GOA has been reached.

[[Page 23941]]


DATES: Effective 1200 hrs, Alaska local time (A.l.t.), May 3, 2005, 
through 1200 hrs, A.l.t., July 5, 2005.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Josh Keaton, 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.
    The second seasonal apportionment of the 2005 Pacific halibut 
bycatch allowance specified for the deep-water species fishery in the 
GOA is 300 metric tons as established by the 2005 and 2006 harvest 
specifications for groundfish of the GOA (70 FR 8958, February 24, 
2005), for the period 1200 hrs, A.l.t., April 1, 2005, through 1200 
hrs, A.l.t., July 5, 2005.
    In accordance with Sec.  679.21(d)(7)(i), the Administrator, Alaska 
Region, NMFS, has determined that the second seasonal apportionment of 
the 2005 Pacific halibut bycatch allowance specified for the trawl 
deep-water species fishery in the GOA has been reached. Consequently, 
NMFS is prohibiting directed fishing for the deep-water species fishery 
by vessels using trawl gear in the GOA. The species and species groups 
that comprise the deep-water species fishery are all rockfish of the 
genera Sebastes and Sebastolobus, deep-water flatfish, rex sole, 
arrowtooth flounder, and sablefish.
    After the effective date of this closure the maximum retainable 
amounts at Sec. Sec.  679.20(e) and (f) apply at any time during a 
trip.

Classification

    This action responds to the best available information recently 
obtained from the fishery. The Assistant Administrator for Fisheries, 
NOAA (AA), 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) as such requirement is impracticable and 
contrary to the public interest. This requirement is impracticable and 
contrary to the public interest as it would prevent NMFS from 
responding to the most recent fisheries data in a timely fashion and 
would delay the closure of the deep-water species fishery by vessels 
using trawl gear in the GOA.
    The AA also finds good cause to waive the 30-day delay in the 
effective date of this action under 5 U.S.C. 553(d)(3). This finding is 
based upon the reasons provided above for waiver of prior notice and 
opportunity for public comment.
    This action is required by Sec.  679.21 and is exempt from review 
under Executive Order 12866.

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

    Dated: May 3, 2005.
John H. Dunnigan
Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine Fisheries 
Service.
[FR Doc. 05-9126 Filed 5-3-05; 2:24 pm]
BILLING CODE 3510-22-S