Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Pacific Ocean Perch for Vessels Participating in the Rockfish Entry Level Fishery in the Central Regulatory Area of the Gulf of Alaska, 62589-62590 [07-5525]

Download as PDF Federal Register / Vol. 72, No. 214 / Tuesday, November 6, 2007 / Rules and Regulations mstockstill on PROD1PC66 with RULES modifications while the DAM zone is in effect: 1. Groundlines must be made of either sinking or neutrally buoyant line. Floating groundlines are prohibited; 2. All buoy lines must be made of either sinking or neutrally buoyant line, except the bottom portion of the line, which may be a section of floating line not to exceed one-third the overall length of the buoy line; 3. Fishermen are allowed to use two buoy lines per string; 4. The breaking strength of each net panel must not exceed 1,100 lb(498.8 kg). The weak link requirements apply to all variations in net panel size. One weak link must be placed in the center of the floatline and one weak link must be placed in the center of each of the up and down lines at both ends of the net panel. Additionally, one weak link must be placed as close as possible to each end of the net panels on the floatline; or, one weak link must be placed between floatline tie-loops between net panels and one weak link must be placed where the floatline tie-loops attach to the bridle, buoy line, or groundline at each end of a net string; 5. A weak link with a maximum breaking strength of 1,100 lb (498.8kg) 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 November 8, 2007, through 2400 hours November 22, 2007, 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 immediately upon issuance of the rule by the AA. 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 VerDate Aug<31>2005 16:30 Nov 05, 2007 Jkt 214001 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 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 implement 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 creating the DAM restricted zone and the time it went into effect, thereby rendering the action obsolete and ineffective. Nevertheless, NMFS recognizes the need for fishermen to have time to either modify or remove (if not in compliance with the requiredrestrictions) their gear from a DAM zone once one is approved. Thus, NMFS makes this action effective 2 days after the date of publication of this document in the Federal Register. NMFS will also endeavor to provide notice of this action to fishermen through other means upon issuance of the rule by the AA, thereby providing approximately 3 additional days of PO 00000 Frm 00031 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 62589 notice 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 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: October 31, 2007. William T. Hogarth, Assistant Administrator for Fisheries, National Marine Fisheries Service. [FR Doc. 07–5524 Filed 11–1–07; 2:29 pm] BILLING CODE 3510–22–S E:\FR\FM\06NOR1.SGM 06NOR1 62590 Federal Register / Vol. 72, No. 214 / Tuesday, November 6, 2007 / Rules and Regulations DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration 50 CFR Part 679 [Docket No. 070213032–7032–01] RIN 0648–XD73 Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Pacific Ocean Perch for Vessels Participating in the Rockfish Entry Level Fishery 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: mstockstill on PROD1PC66 with RULES SUMMARY: NMFS is prohibiting directed fishing for Pacific ocean perch for vessels participating in the rockfish entry level fishery in the Central Regulatory Area of the Gulf of Alaska (GOA). This action is necessary to prevent exceeding the 2007 total allowable catch (TAC) of Pacific ocean perch allocated to vessels participating in the rockfish entry level fishery in the Central Regulatory Area of the GOA. DATES: Effective 1200 hrs, Alaska local time (A.l.t.), November 1, 2007, through 2400 hrs, A.l.t., December 31, 2007. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Jennifer Hogan, 907–586–7228. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: NMFS manages the groundfish fishery in the GOA exclusive economic zone VerDate Aug<31>2005 16:30 Nov 05, 2007 Jkt 214001 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 2007 Pacific ocean perch TAC allocated to vessels participating in the entry level rockfish fishery in the Central Regulatory Area of the GOA is 364 mt as established by the 2007 and 2008 final harvest specifications (72 FR 9676, March 5, 2007) for groundfish in the GOA and as listed on the website at https://www.fakr.noaa.gov/ sustainablefisheries/goarat/ 07rppallocations.xls. In accordance with § 679.20(d)(1)(iii), the Administrator, Alaska Region, NMFS (Regional Administrator), has determined that the 2007 TAC of Pacific ocean perch allocated to vessels participating in the entry level rockfish fishery in the Central Regulatory Area has been reached. Consequently, NMFS is prohibiting directed fishing for Pacific ocean perch for vessels participating in the rockfish entry level fishery 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 PO 00000 Frm 00032 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 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 ocean perch for vessels participating in the rockfish entry level fishery in 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 October 31, 2007. 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 § 679.83 and is exempt from review under Executive Order 12866. Authority: 16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq. Dated: November 1, 2007. Emily H. Menashes, Acting Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine Fisheries Service. [FR Doc. 07–5525 Filed 11–1–07; 2:29 pm] BILLING CODE 3510–22–S E:\FR\FM\06NOR1.SGM 06NOR1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 72, Number 214 (Tuesday, November 6, 2007)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 62589-62590]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 07-5525]



[[Page 62590]]

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DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

50 CFR Part 679

[Docket No. 070213032-7032-01]
RIN 0648-XD73


Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Pacific 
Ocean Perch for Vessels Participating in the Rockfish Entry Level 
Fishery 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 ocean perch 
for vessels participating in the rockfish entry level fishery in the 
Central Regulatory Area of the Gulf of Alaska (GOA). This action is 
necessary to prevent exceeding the 2007 total allowable catch (TAC) of 
Pacific ocean perch allocated to vessels participating in the rockfish 
entry level fishery in the Central Regulatory Area of the GOA.

DATES: Effective 1200 hrs, Alaska local time (A.l.t.), November 1, 
2007, through 2400 hrs, A.l.t., December 31, 2007.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Jennifer Hogan, 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 2007 Pacific ocean perch TAC allocated to vessels participating 
in the entry level rockfish fishery in the Central Regulatory Area of 
the GOA is 364 mt as established by the 2007 and 2008 final harvest 
specifications (72 FR 9676, March 5, 2007) for groundfish in the GOA 
and as listed on the website at https://www.fakr.noaa.gov/
sustainablefisheries/goarat/07rppallocations.xls.
    In accordance with Sec.  679.20(d)(1)(iii), the Administrator, 
Alaska Region, NMFS (Regional Administrator), has determined that the 
2007 TAC of Pacific ocean perch allocated to vessels participating in 
the entry level rockfish fishery in the Central Regulatory Area has 
been reached. Consequently, NMFS is prohibiting directed fishing for 
Pacific ocean perch for vessels participating in the rockfish entry 
level fishery 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 ocean perch for vessels 
participating in the rockfish entry level fishery in 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 October 31, 2007.
    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 Sec.  679.83 and is 
exempt from review under Executive Order 12866.

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

    Dated: November 1, 2007.
Emily H. Menashes,
Acting Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine 
Fisheries Service.
[FR Doc. 07-5525 Filed 11-1-07; 2:29 pm]
BILLING CODE 3510-22-S