Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Pacific Cod by Vessels Catching Pacific Cod for Processing by the Inshore Component in the Central Regulatory Area of the Gulf of Alaska, 11165-11166 [06-2063]

Download as PDF Federal Register / Vol. 71, No. 43 / Monday, March 6, 2006 / Rules and Regulations hsrobinson on PROD1PC70 with RULES variations in panel size. These weak links must include three floatline weak links. The placement of the weak links on the floatline must be: one at the center of the net panel and one each as close as possible to each of the bridle ends of the net panel. The remaining two weak links must be placed in the center of each of the up and down lines at the panel ends; 5. A weak link with a maximum breaking strength of 1,100 lb (498.8 kg) must be placed at all buoys; and 6. All anchored gillnets, regardless of the number of net panels, must be securely anchored with the holding power of at least a 22 lb (10.0 kg) Danforth-style anchor at each end of the net string. The restrictions will be in effect beginning at 0001 hours March 2, 2006, through 2400 hours March 16, 2006, unless terminated sooner or extended by NMFS through another notification in the Federal Register. The restrictions will be announced to state officials, fishermen, ALWTRT members, and other interested parties through e-mail, phone contact, NOAA website, and other appropriate media as soon as the AA has signed the action. Classification In accordance with section 118(f)(9) of the MMPA, the Assistant Administrator (AA) for Fisheries has determined that this action is necessary to implement a take reduction plan to protect North Atlantic right whales. Environmental Assessments for the DAM program were prepared on December 28, 2001, and August 6, 2003. This action falls within the scope of the analyses of these EAs, which are available from the agency upon request. NMFS provided prior notice and an opportunity for public comment on the regulations establishing the criteria and procedures for implementing a DAM zone. Providing prior notice and opportunity for comment on this action, pursuant to those regulations, would be impracticable because it would prevent NMFS from executing its functions to protect and reduce serious injury and mortality of endangered right whales. The regulations establishing the DAM program are designed to enable the agency to help protect unexpected concentrations of right whales. In order to meet the goals of the DAM program, the agency needs to be able to create a DAM zone and implement restrictions on fishing gear as soon as possible once the criteria are triggered and NMFS determines that a DAM restricted zone is appropriate. If NMFS were to provide prior notice and an opportunity for public comment upon the creation of a VerDate Aug<31>2005 14:28 Mar 03, 2006 Jkt 208001 DAM restricted zone, the aggregated right whales would be vulnerable to entanglement which could result in serious injury and mortality. Additionally, the right whales would most likely move on to another location before NMFS could implement the restrictions designed to protect them, thereby rendering the action obsolete. Therefore, pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 553(b)(B), the AA finds that good cause exists to waive prior notice and an opportunity to comment on this action to extend a DAM restricted zone to reduce the risk of entanglement of endangered right whales in commercial lobster trap/pot and anchored gillnet gear as such procedures would be impracticable. For the same reasons, the AA finds that, under 5 U.S.C. 553(d)(3), good cause exists to waive the 30–day delay in effective date. If NMFS were to delay for 30 days the effective date of this action, the aggregated right whales would be vulnerable to entanglement, which could cause serious injury and mortality. Additionally, right whales would likely move to another location between the time NMFS approved the action extending the DAM restricted zone and the time it went into effect, thereby rendering the action obsolete and ineffective. NMFS will endeavor to provide notice of this action to fishermen through other means as soon as the AA signs the action, thereby providing approximately 3 additional days of notice regarding the extension of the DAM zone while the Office of the Federal Register processes the document for publication. NMFS determined that the regulations establishing the DAM program and actions such as this one taken pursuant to those regulations are consistent to the maximum extent practicable with the enforceable policies of the approved coastal management program of the U.S. Atlantic coastal states. This determination was submitted for review by the responsible state agencies under section 307 of the Coastal Zone Management Act. Following state review of the regulations creating the DAM program, no state disagreed with NMFS’ conclusion that the DAM program is consistent to the maximum extent practicable with the enforceable policies of the approved coastal management program for that state. The DAM program under which NMFS is taking this action contains policies with federalism implications warranting preparation of a federalism assessment under Executive Order 13132. Accordingly, in October 2001 and March 2003, the Assistant Secretary for Intergovernmental and Legislative PO 00000 Frm 00027 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 11165 Affairs, Department of Commerce, provided notice of the DAM program and its amendments to the appropriate elected officials in states to be affected by actions taken pursuant to the DAM program. Federalism issues raised by state officials were addressed in the final rules implementing the DAM program. A copy of the federalism Summary Impact Statement for the final rules is available upon request (ADDRESSES). The rule implementing the DAM program has been determined to be not significant under Executive Order 12866. Authority: 16 U.S.C. 1361 et seq. and 50 CFR 229.32(g)(3) Dated: February 28, 2006. James W. Balsiger, Acting Deputy Assistant Administrator for Regulatory Programs, National Marine Fisheries Services. [FR Doc. 06–2099 Filed 3–1–06; 3:14 pm] BILLING CODE 3510–22–S DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration 50 CFR Part 679 [Docket No. 060216044–6044–01; I.D. 022806A] Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Pacific Cod by Vessels Catching Pacific Cod for Processing by the Inshore Component in the Central Regulatory Area of the Gulf of Alaska National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Commerce. ACTION: Temporary rule; closure. AGENCY: SUMMARY: NMFS is prohibiting directed fishing for Pacific cod by vessels catching Pacific cod for processing by the inshore component in the Central Regulatory Area of the Gulf of Alaska (GOA). This action is necessary to prevent exceeding the 2006 total allowable catch (TAC) of Pacific cod apportioned to vessels catching Pacific cod for processing by the inshore component of the Central Regulatory Area of the GOA. DATES: Effective 1200 hrs, Alaska local time (A.l.t.), February 28, 2006, until 1200 hrs, A.l.t., September 1, 2006. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Josh Keaton, 907–586–7228. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: NMFS manages the groundfish fishery in the E:\FR\FM\06MRR1.SGM 06MRR1 11166 Federal Register / Vol. 71, No. 43 / Monday, March 6, 2006 / Rules and Regulations hsrobinson on PROD1PC70 with RULES 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 A season allocation of the 2006 TAC of Pacific cod apportioned to vessels catching Pacific cod for processing by the inshore component of the Central Regulatory Area of the GOA is 15,339 metric tons (mt) as established by the 2006 and 2007 harvest specifications for groundfish of the GOA, to be published in early March of 2006. In accordance with § 679.20(d)(1)(i), the Administrator, Alaska Region, NMFS (Regional Administrator), has determined that the 2006 TAC of Pacific cod apportioned to vessels catching Pacific cod for processing by the inshore component of the Central Regulatory Area of the GOA will soon be reached. Therefore, the Regional Administrator is VerDate Aug<31>2005 14:28 Mar 03, 2006 Jkt 208001 establishing a directed fishing allowance of 13,839 mt, and is setting aside the remaining 1,500 mt as bycatch to support other anticipated groundfish fisheries. In accordance with § 679.20(d)(1)(iii), the Regional Administrator finds that this directed fishing allowance has been reached. Consequently, NMFS is prohibiting directed fishing for Pacific cod by vessels catching Pacific cod for processing by the inshore component in the Central Regulatory Area of the GOA. 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 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 PO 00000 Frm 00028 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 interest as it would prevent NMFS from responding to the most recent fisheries data in a timely fashion and would delay the closure of Pacific cod apportioned to vessels catching Pacific cod for processing by the inshore component of the Central Regulatory Area of the GOA. NMFS was unable to publish a notice providing time for public comment because the most recent, relevant data only became available as of February 27, 2006. 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 is exempt from review under Executive Order 12866. Authority: 16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq. Dated: February 28, 2006. James P. Burgess, Acting Assistant Director of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine Fisheries Service. [FR Doc. 06–2063 Filed 2–28–06; 5:03 pm] BILLING CODE 3510–22–S E:\FR\FM\06MRR1.SGM 06MRR1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 71, Number 43 (Monday, March 6, 2006)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 11165-11166]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 06-2063]


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DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

50 CFR Part 679

[Docket No. 060216044-6044-01; I.D. 022806A]


Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Pacific Cod 
by Vessels Catching Pacific Cod for Processing by the Inshore Component 
in the Central Regulatory Area of the Gulf of Alaska

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

ACTION: Temporary rule; closure.

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SUMMARY: NMFS is prohibiting directed fishing for Pacific cod by 
vessels catching Pacific cod for processing by the inshore component in 
the Central Regulatory Area of the Gulf of Alaska (GOA). This action is 
necessary to prevent exceeding the 2006 total allowable catch (TAC) of 
Pacific cod apportioned to vessels catching Pacific cod for processing 
by the inshore component of the Central Regulatory Area of the GOA.

DATES: Effective 1200 hrs, Alaska local time (A.l.t.), February 28, 
2006, until 1200 hrs, A.l.t., September 1, 2006.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Josh Keaton, 907-586-7228.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: NMFS manages the groundfish fishery in the

[[Page 11166]]

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 A season allocation of the 2006 TAC of Pacific cod apportioned 
to vessels catching Pacific cod for processing by the inshore component 
of the Central Regulatory Area of the GOA is 15,339 metric tons (mt) as 
established by the 2006 and 2007 harvest specifications for groundfish 
of the GOA, to be published in early March of 2006.
    In accordance with Sec.  679.20(d)(1)(i), the Administrator, Alaska 
Region, NMFS (Regional Administrator), has determined that the 2006 TAC 
of Pacific cod apportioned to vessels catching Pacific cod for 
processing by the inshore component of the Central Regulatory Area of 
the GOA will soon be reached. Therefore, the Regional Administrator is 
establishing a directed fishing allowance of 13,839 mt, and is setting 
aside the remaining 1,500 mt as bycatch to support other anticipated 
groundfish fisheries. 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 
Pacific cod by vessels catching Pacific cod for processing by the 
inshore component in the Central Regulatory Area of the GOA.
    After the effective date of this closure the maximum retainable 
amounts at 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 Pacific cod apportioned to vessels catching 
Pacific cod for processing by the inshore component of the Central 
Regulatory Area of the GOA. NMFS was unable to publish a notice 
providing time for public comment because the most recent, relevant 
data only became available as of February 27, 2006.
    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.  679.20 and is exempt from review 
under Executive Order 12866.

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

    Dated: February 28, 2006.
James P. Burgess,
Acting Assistant Director of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine 
Fisheries Service.
[FR Doc. 06-2063 Filed 2-28-06; 5:03 pm]
BILLING CODE 3510-22-S