Atlantic Highly Migratory Species; Atlantic Bluefin Tuna Fisheries, 3245-3247 [06-534]

Download as PDF Federal Register / Vol. 71, No. 13 / Friday, January 20, 2006 / Rules and Regulations it would affect some small businesses, not-for-profits and, perhaps, a number of small governmental jurisdictions, we have not received comments asserting that our proposal, if adopted, would have had a significant impact on small entities. Therefore, I certify under 5 U.S.C. 605(b) that this final rule does not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. Under section 213(a) of the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act of 1996 (Pub. L. 104–121), we want to assist small entities in understanding this rule so that they can better implement it. Collection of Information This final rule does not call for a new collection of information under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3501–3520). Federalism This final rule has been analyzed in accordance with the principles and criteria contained in Executive Order 13132 (‘‘Federalism’’). This final rule does not have a substantial direct effect on, or sufficient federalism implications for, the States, nor would it limit the policymaking discretion of the States. Therefore, the consultation requirements of Executive Order 13132 do not apply. Unfunded Mandates The Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995 (2 U.S.C. 1531–1538) and E.O. 12875, Enhancing the Intergovernmental Partnership, (58 FR 58093; October 28, 1993) govern the issuance of Federal regulations that impose unfunded mandates. An unfunded mandate is a regulation that requires a State, local, or tribal government or the private sector to incur direct costs without the Federal Government’s having first provided the funds to pay those costs. This final rule would not impose an unfunded mandate. Taking of Private Property cprice-sewell on PROD1PC66 with RULES This final rule does not result in a taking of private property or otherwise have taking implications under E.O. 12630, Governmental Actions and Interference with Constitutionally Protected Property Rights. Civil Justice Reform This final rule meets applicable standards in sections 3(a) and 3(b)(2) of E.O. 12988, Civil Justice Reform, to minimize litigation, eliminate ambiguity, and reduce burden. VerDate Aug<31>2005 14:32 Jan 19, 2006 Jkt 208001 3245 Anyone is able to search the electronic form of all comments received into any of our dockets by the name of the individual submitting the comment (or signing the comment, if submitted on behalf of an association, business, labor union, etc.). You may review DOT’s complete Privacy Act Statement in the Federal Register published on April 11, 2000 (Volume 65, Number 70; Pages 19477–78) or you may visit http://dms.dot.gov. thence west along the south line of Pulaski County to the east line of Jasper County; thence south along the east line of Jasper County to the south line of Jasper County; thence west along the south lines of Jasper and Newton Counties to the western boundary of the State of Indiana; thence south along the western boundary of the State of Indiana to the north line of Knox County; thence easterly along the north line of Knox, Daviess, and Martin Counties to the west line of Lawrence County; thence south along the west line of Lawrence, Orange, and Crawford Counties to the north line of Perry County; thence easterly and southerly along the north and east line of Perry County to the Indiana-Kentucky boundary. (c) Kentucky. From the junction of the east line of Perry County, Ind., with the IndianaKentucky boundary easterly along that boundary to the west line of Meade County, Ky.; thence southeasterly and southwesterly along the west lines of Meade and Hardin Counties to the southwest corner of Hardin County; thence along the south lines of Hardin and Larue Counties to the northwest corner of Taylor County; thence southeasterly along the west (southwest) lines of Taylor County and northeasterly along the east (southeast) line of Taylor County to the west line of Casey County; and thence southerly along the west and south lines of Casey and Pulaski Counties to the intersection with the western boundary of Wayne County; and then south along the western boundary of Wayne County to the Kentucky-Tennessee boundary. List of Subjects in 49 CFR Part 71 * Time zones. For the reasons discussed above, the Office of the Secretary amends Title 49 Part 71 to read as follows: Issued in Washington, DC on January 17, 2006. Norman Y. Mineta, Secretary. [FR Doc. 06–563 Filed 1–19–06; 8:45 am] PART 71—STANDARD TIME ZONE BOUNDARIES BILLING CODE 4910–62–P Protection of Children We have analyzed this proposed rule under E.O. 13045, Protection of Children from Environmental Health Risks and Safety Risks. This rule is not an economically significant rule and does not concern an environmental risk to health or risk to safety as defined by the Executive Order that may disproportionately affect children. Environment This rulemaking is not a major Federal action significantly affecting the quality of the human environment under the National Environmental Policy Act and, therefore, an environmental impact statement is not required. Privacy Act I * * * * 1. The authority citation for Part 71 continues to read as follows: DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE Authority: Secs. 1–4, 40 Stat. 450, as amended; sec. 1, 41 Stat. 1446, as amended; secs. 2–7, 80 Stat. 107, as amended; 100 Stat. 764; Act of Mar. 19, 1918, as amended by the Uniform Time Act of 1966 and Pub. L. 97– 449, 15 U.S.C. 260–267; Pub. L. 99–359; 49 CFR 159(a), unless otherwise noted. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration I 2. Paragraphs (b) and (c) of § 71.5 are revised to read as follows: I § 71.5 Boundary line between eastern and central zones. (a) * * * (b) Indiana-Illinois. From the junction of the western boundary of the State of Michigan with the northern boundary of the State of Indiana easterly along the northern boundary of the State of Indiana to the east line of LaPorte County; thence southerly along the east line of LaPorte County to the north line of Starke County; thence east along the north line of Starke County to the west line of Mashall County; thence south along the west line of Marshall County and Fulton County to the north line of Cass County; PO 00000 Frm 00041 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 50 CFR Part 635 [I.D. 011206I] Atlantic Highly Migratory Species; Atlantic Bluefin Tuna Fisheries National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Commerce. ACTION: Temporary rule; inseason retention limit adjustment. AGENCY: SUMMARY: NMFS has determined that the Atlantic bluefin tuna (BFT) General category daily retention limit for three previously designated restricted fishing days (RFD) should be adjusted. These General category RFDs are being waived to provide reasonable opportunity for utilization of the coastwide General E:\FR\FM\20JAR1.SGM 20JAR1 3246 Federal Register / Vol. 71, No. 13 / Friday, January 20, 2006 / Rules and Regulations category BFT quota. Therefore, NMFS waives three RFDs scheduled for January 2006, and increases the daily retention limit from zero to two large medium or giant BFT on these previously designated RFDs. DATES: Effective dates for BFT daily retention limits are provided in Table 1 under SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Brad McHale, 978–281–9260. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Regulations implemented under the authority of the Atlantic Tunas Convention Act (16 U.S.C. 971 et seq.) and the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (Magnuson-Stevens Act; 16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq.) governing the harvest of BFT by persons and vessels subject to U.S. jurisdiction are found at 50 CFR part 635. The 2005 BFT fishing year began on June 1, 2005, and ends May 31, 2006. The final initial 2005 BFT specifications and General category effort controls (June 7, 2005; 70 FR 33033) established the following RFD schedule for the 2005 fishing year: All Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays from November 18, 2005, through January 31, 2006, and Thursday, November 24, 2005, inclusive, provided quota remained available and the fishery was open. RFDs are intended to extend the General category BFT fishery late into the southern Atlantic season. NMFS has determined that the BFT General category daily retention limit for three of the previously designated RFDs should be adjusted as described in Table 1 to provide reasonable opportunity to utilize the coastwide General category BFT quota. TABLE 1. EFFECTIVE DATES FOR RETENTION LIMIT ADJUSTMENTS Permit Category Effective Dates Atlantic tunas General and HMS Charter/ Headboat (while fishing commercially) January 20, 21, and 22, 2006 cprice-sewell on PROD1PC66 with RULES Adjustment of General Category Daily Retention Limits Under 50 CFR 635.23(a)(4), NMFS may increase or decrease the General category daily retention limit of large medium and giant BFT over a range from zero (on RFDs) to a maximum of three per vessel to allow for maximum utilization of the quota for BFT. NMFS has taken multiple actions during the 2005 fishing year in an attempt to allow for maximum utilization of the General category BFT quota. On September 28, 2005 (70 FR 56595), NMFS adjusted the commercial daily BFT retention limit (on non-RFDs), in all areas, for those vessels fishing under the General category quota, to two large medium or giant BFT, measuring 73 inches (185 cm) or greater curved fork length (CFL), per vessel per day/trip, effective through January 31, 2006, inclusive, provided quota remained available and the fishery remained open. On November 9, 2005 (70 FR 67929), NMFS waived the previously designated RFDs for the month of November; on December 16, 2005 (70 FR 74712), NMFS waived previously designated RFDs for December 16–18, inclusive; on January 4, 2006 (71 FR 273), NMFS waived previously designated RFDs for December 31, 2005, and January 1, 2006, inclusive; and on January 9, 2006 (71 FR 1395), NMFS waived previously designated RFDs for January 7, 8, 13, 14, and 15, 2006. The daily retention limit for all the above dates was adjusted to two large medium or giant BFT to provide reasonable opportunity to harvest the coastwide quota. On December 7, 2005 (70 FR 72724), NMFS adjusted the General category quota by conducting a 200 mt inseason VerDate Aug<31>2005 14:32 Jan 19, 2006 Jkt 208001 Area All quota transfer to the Reserve category, resulting in an adjusted General category quota of 708.3 mt. This action was taken to account for any potential overharvests that may occur in the Angling category during the 2005 fishing year (June 1, 2005 through May 31, 2006) and to ensure that U.S. BFT harvest is consistent with international and domestic mandates. Catch rates in the BFT General category fishery have generally been low, the average catch rate for December 2005 and January 2006 is approximately 3.0 mt/day. Based on a review of dealer reports, daily landing trends, available quota, weather conditions, and the availability of BFT on the fishing grounds, NMFS has determined that waiving three RFDs established for January 20, 21, and 22, 2006, and increasing the General category daily BFT retention limit on those RFDs is warranted to assist the fishery in accessing the available quota. Therefore, NMFS adjusts the General category daily BFT retention limits for January 20, 21, and 22, 2006, inclusive, to two large medium or giant BFT per vessel. NMFS recognizes that although catch rates have continued to be low so far this season, they may increase rapidly, and to ensure equitable fishing opportunities in all areas and provide opportunities for a late winter General category BFT fishery, NMFS needs to carefully monitor and manage this fishery. Conversely, if catch rates continue to be low, some or all of the remaining previously scheduled RFDs may be waived as well. The intent of this current adjustment is to provide reasonable opportunity to utilize landings quota of BFT while maintaining an equitable distribution of PO 00000 Frm 00042 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 BFT Size Class Limit Two BFT per vessel per day/trip, measuring 73 inches (185 cm) CFL or larger fishing opportunities to help achieve optimum yield in the General category BFT fishery, to collect a broad range of data for stock monitoring purposes, and to be consistent with the objectives of the HMS FMP. Monitoring and Reporting NMFS selected the RFDs being waived after examining current fishing year catch and effort rates, previous fishing years’ catch and effort rates, predicted weather patterns over the next week, and the available quota for the 2005 fishing year. NMFS will continue to monitor the BFT fishery closely through dealer landing reports. Depending on the level of fishing effort and catch rates of BFT, NMFS may determine that additional retention limit adjustments are necessary to ensure available quota is not exceeded or, to enhance scientific data collection from, and fishing opportunities in, all geographic areas. Closures or subsequent adjustments to the daily retention limits, if any, will be published in the Federal Register. In addition, fishermen may call the Atlantic Tunas Information Line at (888) 872–8862 or (978) 281–9260, or access the Internet at www.nmfspermits.com for updates on quota monitoring and retention limit adjustments. Classification The Assistant Administrator for Fisheries, NOAA (AA), finds that it is impracticable and contrary to the public interest to provide prior notice of, and an opportunity for, public comment on this action. The regulations implementing the 1999 Fishery Management Plan (FMP) for Atlantic Tunas, Swordfish, and E:\FR\FM\20JAR1.SGM 20JAR1 Federal Register / Vol. 71, No. 13 / Friday, January 20, 2006 / Rules and Regulations Sharks provide for inseason retention limit adjustments to respond to the unpredictable nature of BFT availability on the fishing grounds, the migratory nature of this species, and the regional variations in the BFT fishery. New information shows that landing rates are low and predicted weather conditions are unfavorable for the upcoming open fishing days. Based on a review of recent information regarding the availability of BFT on the fishing grounds, dealer reports, daily landing trends, available quota, and weather conditions, NMFS has determined that this retention limit adjustment is warranted to increase access to available quota. Delays in waiving the selected RFDs, and thereby not increasing the General category daily retention limit, would be contrary to the public interest. Such delays would adversely affect those General category vessels that would otherwise have an opportunity to harvest BFT on an RFD and would further exacerbate the problem of low catch rates. Limited opportunities to access the General category quota may have negative social and economic impacts to U.S. fishermen that depend on catching the available quota. For the General category, waiving of the selected RFDs needs to be done as expeditiously as possible for the General category participants to be able to use the waived RFDs to take advantage of the adjusted retention limits and plan accordingly. Therefore, the AA finds good cause under 5 U.S.C. 553(b)(B) to waive prior notice and the opportunity for public comment. For all of the above reasons, and because this action relieves a restriction (i.e., waives a number of RFDs, thus increasing the opportunity to retain more fish), there is also good cause under 5 U.S.C. 553(d) to waive the 30-day delay in effectiveness. This action is being taken under 50 CFR 635.23(a)(4) and is exempt from review under Executive Order 12866. Authority: 16 U.S.C. 971 et seq. and 1801 et seq. Dated: January 13, 2006. John H. Dunnigan, Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine Fisheries Service. [FR Doc. 06–534 Filed 1–17–06; 2:01 pm] cprice-sewell on PROD1PC66 with RULES BILLING CODE 3510–22–S VerDate Aug<31>2005 14:32 Jan 19, 2006 Jkt 208001 DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration 50 CFR Part 679 [Docket No. 041126332–5039–02; I.D. 011306A] Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Atka Mackerel Lottery in Areas 542 and 543 National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Commerce. ACTION: Notification of fishery assignments. AGENCY: SUMMARY: NMFS is notifying the owners and operators of registered vessels of their assignments for the 2006 A season Atka mackerel fishery in harvest limit area (HLA) 542 and/or 543 of the Aleutian Islands subarea of the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands management area (BSAI). This action is necessary to allow the harvest of the 2006 A season HLA limits established for area 542 and area 543 pursuant to the 2005 and 2006 harvest specifications for groundfish in the BSAI. DATES: Effective 1200 hrs, Alaska local time (A.l.t.), January 17, 2006, until 1200 hrs, A.l.t., April 15, 2006. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Josh Keaton, 907–586–7228. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: NMFS manages the groundfish fishery in the BSAI exclusive economic zone according to the Fishery Management Plan for Groundfish of the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Management Area (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 § 679.20(a)(8)(iii)(A), owners and operators of vessels using trawl gear for directed fishing for Atka mackerel in the HLA are required to register with NMFS. Six vessels have registered with NMFS to fish in the A season HLA fisheries in areas 542 and/or 543. In PO 00000 Frm 00043 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 3247 order to reduce the amount of daily catch in the HLA by about half and to disperse the fishery over time and in accordance with § 679.20(a)(8)(iii)(B), the Administrator, Alaska Region, NMFS, has randomly assigned each vessel to the HLA directed fishery for Atka mackerel for which they have registered and is now notifying each vessel of its assignment. Vessels authorized to participate in the first HLA directed fishery in area 542 and/or in the second HLA directed fishery in area 543 in accordance with § 679.20(a)(8)(iii) are as follows: Federal Fishery Permit number (FFP) 2443 Alaska Juris, FFP 3400 Alaska Ranger, and FFP 4093 Alaska Victory. Vessels authorized to participate in the first HLA directed fishery in area 543 and/or the second HLA directed fishery in area 542 in accordance with § 679.20(a)(8)(iii) are as follows: FFP 3423 Alaska Warrior, FFP 3835 Seafisher, and FFP 3819 Alaska Spirit. Classification 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 unnecessary. This notice merely advises the owners of these vessels of the results of a random assignment required by regulation. The notice needs to occur immediately to notify the owner of each vessel of its assignment to allow these vessel owners to plan for participation in the A season HLA fisheries in area 542 and area 543. 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 §§ 679.20 and 679.22 and is exempt from review under Executive Order 12866. Authority: 16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq. Dated: January 13, 2006. John H. Dunnigan, Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine Fisheries Service. [FR Doc. 06–533 Filed 1–17–06; 2:01 pm] BILLING CODE 3510–22–S E:\FR\FM\20JAR1.SGM 20JAR1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 71, Number 13 (Friday, January 20, 2006)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 3245-3247]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 06-534]


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DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

50 CFR Part 635

[I.D. 011206I]


Atlantic Highly Migratory Species; Atlantic Bluefin Tuna 
Fisheries

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

ACTION: Temporary rule; inseason retention limit adjustment.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

SUMMARY: NMFS has determined that the Atlantic bluefin tuna (BFT) 
General category daily retention limit for three previously designated 
restricted fishing days (RFD) should be adjusted. These General 
category RFDs are being waived to provide reasonable opportunity for 
utilization of the coastwide General

[[Page 3246]]

category BFT quota. Therefore, NMFS waives three RFDs scheduled for 
January 2006, and increases the daily retention limit from zero to two 
large medium or giant BFT on these previously designated RFDs.

DATES: Effective dates for BFT daily retention limits are provided in 
Table 1 under SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Brad McHale, 978-281-9260.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Regulations implemented under the authority 
of the Atlantic Tunas Convention Act (16 U.S.C. 971 et seq.) and the 
Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (Magnuson-
Stevens Act; 16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq.) governing the harvest of BFT by 
persons and vessels subject to U.S. jurisdiction are found at 50 CFR 
part 635. The 2005 BFT fishing year began on June 1, 2005, and ends May 
31, 2006. The final initial 2005 BFT specifications and General 
category effort controls (June 7, 2005; 70 FR 33033) established the 
following RFD schedule for the 2005 fishing year: All Fridays, 
Saturdays, and Sundays from November 18, 2005, through January 31, 
2006, and Thursday, November 24, 2005, inclusive, provided quota 
remained available and the fishery was open. RFDs are intended to 
extend the General category BFT fishery late into the southern Atlantic 
season. NMFS has determined that the BFT General category daily 
retention limit for three of the previously designated RFDs should be 
adjusted as described in Table 1 to provide reasonable opportunity to 
utilize the coastwide General category BFT quota.

        Table 1. Effective dates for retention limit adjustments
------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                        BFT Size Class
   Permit Category       Effective Dates      Area          Limit
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Atlantic tunas        January 20, 21, and   All      Two BFT per vessel
 General and HMS       22, 2006                       per day/trip,
 Charter/Headboat                                     measuring 73
 (while fishing                                       inches (185 cm)
 commercially)                                        CFL or larger
------------------------------------------------------------------------

Adjustment of General Category Daily Retention Limits

    Under 50 CFR 635.23(a)(4), NMFS may increase or decrease the 
General category daily retention limit of large medium and giant BFT 
over a range from zero (on RFDs) to a maximum of three per vessel to 
allow for maximum utilization of the quota for BFT. NMFS has taken 
multiple actions during the 2005 fishing year in an attempt to allow 
for maximum utilization of the General category BFT quota. On September 
28, 2005 (70 FR 56595), NMFS adjusted the commercial daily BFT 
retention limit (on non-RFDs), in all areas, for those vessels fishing 
under the General category quota, to two large medium or giant BFT, 
measuring 73 inches (185 cm) or greater curved fork length (CFL), per 
vessel per day/trip, effective through January 31, 2006, inclusive, 
provided quota remained available and the fishery remained open. On 
November 9, 2005 (70 FR 67929), NMFS waived the previously designated 
RFDs for the month of November; on December 16, 2005 (70 FR 74712), 
NMFS waived previously designated RFDs for December 16-18, inclusive; 
on January 4, 2006 (71 FR 273), NMFS waived previously designated RFDs 
for December 31, 2005, and January 1, 2006, inclusive; and on January 
9, 2006 (71 FR 1395), NMFS waived previously designated RFDs for 
January 7, 8, 13, 14, and 15, 2006. The daily retention limit for all 
the above dates was adjusted to two large medium or giant BFT to 
provide reasonable opportunity to harvest the coastwide quota.
    On December 7, 2005 (70 FR 72724), NMFS adjusted the General 
category quota by conducting a 200 mt inseason quota transfer to the 
Reserve category, resulting in an adjusted General category quota of 
708.3 mt. This action was taken to account for any potential 
overharvests that may occur in the Angling category during the 2005 
fishing year (June 1, 2005 through May 31, 2006) and to ensure that 
U.S. BFT harvest is consistent with international and domestic 
mandates.
    Catch rates in the BFT General category fishery have generally been 
low, the average catch rate for December 2005 and January 2006 is 
approximately 3.0 mt/day. Based on a review of dealer reports, daily 
landing trends, available quota, weather conditions, and the 
availability of BFT on the fishing grounds, NMFS has determined that 
waiving three RFDs established for January 20, 21, and 22, 2006, and 
increasing the General category daily BFT retention limit on those RFDs 
is warranted to assist the fishery in accessing the available quota. 
Therefore, NMFS adjusts the General category daily BFT retention limits 
for January 20, 21, and 22, 2006, inclusive, to two large medium or 
giant BFT per vessel.
    NMFS recognizes that although catch rates have continued to be low 
so far this season, they may increase rapidly, and to ensure equitable 
fishing opportunities in all areas and provide opportunities for a late 
winter General category BFT fishery, NMFS needs to carefully monitor 
and manage this fishery. Conversely, if catch rates continue to be low, 
some or all of the remaining previously scheduled RFDs may be waived as 
well.
    The intent of this current adjustment is to provide reasonable 
opportunity to utilize landings quota of BFT while maintaining an 
equitable distribution of fishing opportunities to help achieve optimum 
yield in the General category BFT fishery, to collect a broad range of 
data for stock monitoring purposes, and to be consistent with the 
objectives of the HMS FMP.

Monitoring and Reporting

    NMFS selected the RFDs being waived after examining current fishing 
year catch and effort rates, previous fishing years' catch and effort 
rates, predicted weather patterns over the next week, and the available 
quota for the 2005 fishing year. NMFS will continue to monitor the BFT 
fishery closely through dealer landing reports. Depending on the level 
of fishing effort and catch rates of BFT, NMFS may determine that 
additional retention limit adjustments are necessary to ensure 
available quota is not exceeded or, to enhance scientific data 
collection from, and fishing opportunities in, all geographic areas.
    Closures or subsequent adjustments to the daily retention limits, 
if any, will be published in the Federal Register. In addition, 
fishermen may call the Atlantic Tunas Information Line at (888) 872-
8862 or (978) 281-9260, or access the Internet at www.nmfspermits.com 
for updates on quota monitoring and retention limit adjustments.

Classification

    The Assistant Administrator for Fisheries, NOAA (AA), finds that it 
is impracticable and contrary to the public interest to provide prior 
notice of, and an opportunity for, public comment on this action.
    The regulations implementing the 1999 Fishery Management Plan (FMP) 
for Atlantic Tunas, Swordfish, and

[[Page 3247]]

Sharks provide for inseason retention limit adjustments to respond to 
the unpredictable nature of BFT availability on the fishing grounds, 
the migratory nature of this species, and the regional variations in 
the BFT fishery. New information shows that landing rates are low and 
predicted weather conditions are unfavorable for the upcoming open 
fishing days. Based on a review of recent information regarding the 
availability of BFT on the fishing grounds, dealer reports, daily 
landing trends, available quota, and weather conditions, NMFS has 
determined that this retention limit adjustment is warranted to 
increase access to available quota.
    Delays in waiving the selected RFDs, and thereby not increasing the 
General category daily retention limit, would be contrary to the public 
interest. Such delays would adversely affect those General category 
vessels that would otherwise have an opportunity to harvest BFT on an 
RFD and would further exacerbate the problem of low catch rates. 
Limited opportunities to access the General category quota may have 
negative social and economic impacts to U.S. fishermen that depend on 
catching the available quota. For the General category, waiving of the 
selected RFDs needs to be done as expeditiously as possible for the 
General category participants to be able to use the waived RFDs to take 
advantage of the adjusted retention limits and plan accordingly.
    Therefore, the AA finds good cause under 5 U.S.C. 553(b)(B) to 
waive prior notice and the opportunity for public comment. For all of 
the above reasons, and because this action relieves a restriction 
(i.e., waives a number of RFDs, thus increasing the opportunity to 
retain more fish), there is also good cause under 5 U.S.C. 553(d) to 
waive the 30-day delay in effectiveness.
    This action is being taken under 50 CFR 635.23(a)(4) and is exempt 
from review under Executive Order 12866.

    Authority: 16 U.S.C. 971 et seq. and 1801 et seq.

    Dated: January 13, 2006.
John H. Dunnigan,
Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine Fisheries 
Service.
[FR Doc. 06-534 Filed 1-17-06; 2:01 pm]
BILLING CODE 3510-22-S