Fisheries off West Coast States; Pacific Coast Groundfish Fishery; End of the Pacific Whiting Primary Season for the Catcher-processor, Mothership and Shore-based Sectors, 53763 [E8-21744]

Download as PDF Federal Register / Vol. 73, No. 181 / Wednesday, September 17, 2008 / Rules and Regulations vessels that harvest whiting for delivery to land-based processors. Each commercial sector is allocated a portion of the commercial OY. For 2008 the catcher-processors received 34 percent (79,065 mt), motherships received 24 percent (55,811 mt), and the shore-based sector received 42 percent (97,669 mt) (73 FR 26325; May 9, 2008). DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration 50 CFR Part 660 [Docket No. 080408542–8615–01] RIN 0648–XK03 Fisheries off West Coast States; Pacific Coast Groundfish Fishery; End of the Pacific Whiting Primary Season for the Catcher-processor, Mothership and Shore-based Sectors National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Commerce. ACTION: Fishing restrictions; request for comments. mstockstill on PROD1PC66 with RULES AGENCY: SUMMARY: To minimize impacts on canary rockfish, NMFS announces the end of the 2008 Pacific whiting primary season for the catcher-processor, mothership and shore-based sectors at noon local time (l.t.) August 19, 2008. This action is intended to keep the harvest of canary rockfish, an overfished species, within its 2008 optimum yield (OY). DATES: Effective from noon l.t. August 19 2008, until the start of the 2009 primary seasons, unless modified, superseded or rescinded. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Becky Renko, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, Northwest Region, NMFS, 7600 Sand Point Way NE, Seattle, WA 98115 0070; tel: 206–526–6110; fax: 206–526–6736; or, e-mail: becky.renko@ noaa.gov. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: This action is authorized by regulations implementing the Pacific Coast Groundfish Fishery Management Plan (FMP), which governs the groundfish fishery off Washington, Oregon, and California. The 2008 non-tribal commercial OY for whiting is 232,545 mt. Regulations at 50 CFR 660.323(a)(4) divide the commercial whiting OY into separate allocations for the catcher-processor, mothership, and shore-based sectors. The catcher-processor sector is composed of vessels that harvest and process whiting. The mothership sector is composed of catcher vessels that harvest whiting and mothership vessels that process, but do not harvest whiting. The shore-based sector is composed of VerDate Aug<31>2005 16:59 Sep 16, 2008 Jkt 214001 Overfished Species The limited availability of overfished species that can be taken as incidental catch in the whiting fisheries, particularly canary, darkblotched and widow rockfish, led NMFS to implement bycatch limits for those species. With bycatch limits, the industry has the opportunity to harvest a larger whiting OY, providing the incidental catch of overfished species does not exceed the adopted bycatch limits. If a bycatch limit is reached, all non-tribal sectors of the whiting fishery are closed for the remainder of the year. For 2008, the following bycatch limits were specified for the non-tribal whiting sectors: 4.7 mt for canary rockfish, 40 mt for darkblotched rockfish, and 275 mt for widow rockfish. The best available information as of August 18, 2008, indicated that the canary rockfish bycatch limit was reached. Accoringly, the primary seasons for the catcher/processors sector, mothership sector and the shorebased sectors was ended at noon l.t. August 19, 2008, through actual notice to the fishery participants. Actual notice was provided by facsimile on August 18th. The closure announcement was also posted on the NWR internet site for the Pacific whiting fishery. NMFS Action This notice announces that the primary seasons for the catcherprocessor sector, mothership sector and the shore-based sectors of the whiting fishery, were ended on August 19, 2008 because the best available information indicated that 4.7 mt of canary rockfish had been taken in the non-tribal whiting fisheries. For the reasons stated here and in accordance with the regulations at 50 CFR 660.373(b) and 50 CFR 660.232(b), NMFS herein announces that effective noon l.t. August 19, 2008: (1) further taking and retaining, receiving or at-sea processing of whiting by a catcher-processor is prohibited; (2) Further receiving or at-sea processing of whiting by a mothership is prohibited and no additional unprocessed whiting PO 00000 Frm 00079 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 53763 may be brought on board after at-sea processing is prohibited, and (3) no more than 10,000-lb (4,536 kg) per trip of whiting may be taken and retained, possessed or landed by any vessel participating in the shore-based sector of the whiting fishery, unless otherwise announced in the Federal Register. For vessels in the at-sea processing sectors, no additional unprocessed whiting may be brought on board after at-sea processing is prohibited, but a catcherprocessor or mothership may continue to process whiting that was on board before at-sea processing was prohibited. For vessels in the shore-based sector fishing shoreward of the 100 fm (183 m) contour in the Eureka area (43°-40°30′ N. lat.) at any time during a fishing trip, the 10,000-lb (4,536 kg) trip limit applies, as announced in the management measures in § 660.373 (d). Classification This action is authorized by the regulations implementing the FMP. The determination to take this action is based on the most recent data available. The Assistant Administrator for Fisheries, NMFS, finds good cause to waive the requirement to provide prior notice and opportunity for comment on this action pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 553 (3)(b)(B), because providing prior notice and opportunity would be impracticable. It would be impracticable because if this closure were delayed in order to provide notice and comment, the catch of canary rockfish would be expected to result in the rebuildingbased OY being exceeded. The delay needed to provide a cooling off period also would be expected to result in the rebuilding-based OY for canary rockfish being exceeded. Therefore, good cause also exists to waive the 30-day delay in effectiveness requirement of 5 U.S.C. 553 (d)(3). The aggregate data upon which the determination is based are available for public inspection at the Office of Sustainable Fisheries during business hours. This action is taken under the authority of 50 CFR 660.373 (b) and 50 CFR 660.232(b)and is exempt from review under E.O. 12866. Authority: 16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq. Dated: September 9, 2008. James P. Burgess, Acting Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine Fisheries Service. [FR Doc. E8–21744 Filed 9–16–08; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510–22–S E:\FR\FM\17SER1.SGM 17SER1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 73, Number 181 (Wednesday, September 17, 2008)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Page 53763]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: E8-21744]



[[Page 53763]]

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DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

50 CFR Part 660

[Docket No. 080408542-8615-01]
RIN 0648-XK03


Fisheries off West Coast States; Pacific Coast Groundfish 
Fishery; End of the Pacific Whiting Primary Season for the Catcher-
processor, Mothership and Shore-based Sectors

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

ACTION: Fishing restrictions; request for comments.

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SUMMARY: To minimize impacts on canary rockfish, NMFS announces the end 
of the 2008 Pacific whiting primary season for the catcher-processor, 
mothership and shore-based sectors at noon local time (l.t.) August 19, 
2008. This action is intended to keep the harvest of canary rockfish, 
an overfished species, within its 2008 optimum yield (OY).

DATES: Effective from noon l.t. August 19 2008, until the start of the 
2009 primary seasons, unless modified, superseded or rescinded.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Becky Renko, Office of Sustainable 
Fisheries, Northwest Region, NMFS, 7600 Sand Point Way NE, Seattle, WA 
98115 0070; tel: 206-526-6110; fax: 206-526-6736; or, e-mail: 
becky.renko@noaa.gov.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: This action is authorized by regulations 
implementing the Pacific Coast Groundfish Fishery Management Plan 
(FMP), which governs the groundfish fishery off Washington, Oregon, and 
California.
    The 2008 non-tribal commercial OY for whiting is 232,545 mt. 
Regulations at 50 CFR 660.323(a)(4) divide the commercial whiting OY 
into separate allocations for the catcher-processor, mothership, and 
shore-based sectors. The catcher-processor sector is composed of 
vessels that harvest and process whiting. The mothership sector is 
composed of catcher vessels that harvest whiting and mothership vessels 
that process, but do not harvest whiting. The shore-based sector is 
composed of vessels that harvest whiting for delivery to land-based 
processors. Each commercial sector is allocated a portion of the 
commercial OY. For 2008 the catcher-processors received 34 percent 
(79,065 mt), motherships received 24 percent (55,811 mt), and the 
shore-based sector received 42 percent (97,669 mt) (73 FR 26325; May 9, 
2008).

Overfished Species

    The limited availability of overfished species that can be taken as 
incidental catch in the whiting fisheries, particularly canary, 
darkblotched and widow rockfish, led NMFS to implement bycatch limits 
for those species. With bycatch limits, the industry has the 
opportunity to harvest a larger whiting OY, providing the incidental 
catch of overfished species does not exceed the adopted bycatch limits. 
If a bycatch limit is reached, all non-tribal sectors of the whiting 
fishery are closed for the remainder of the year. For 2008, the 
following bycatch limits were specified for the non-tribal whiting 
sectors: 4.7 mt for canary rockfish, 40 mt for darkblotched rockfish, 
and 275 mt for widow rockfish.
    The best available information as of August 18, 2008, indicated 
that the canary rockfish bycatch limit was reached. Accoringly, the 
primary seasons for the catcher/processors sector, mothership sector 
and the shore-based sectors was ended at noon l.t. August 19, 2008, 
through actual notice to the fishery participants. Actual notice was 
provided by facsimile on August 18\th\. The closure announcement was 
also posted on the NWR internet site for the Pacific whiting fishery.

NMFS Action

    This notice announces that the primary seasons for the catcher-
processor sector, mothership sector and the shore-based sectors of the 
whiting fishery, were ended on August 19, 2008 because the best 
available information indicated that 4.7 mt of canary rockfish had been 
taken in the non-tribal whiting fisheries. For the reasons stated here 
and in accordance with the regulations at 50 CFR 660.373(b) and 50 CFR 
660.232(b), NMFS herein announces that effective noon l.t. August 19, 
2008: (1) further taking and retaining, receiving or at-sea processing 
of whiting by a catcher-processor is prohibited; (2) Further receiving 
or at-sea processing of whiting by a mothership is prohibited and no 
additional unprocessed whiting may be brought on board after at-sea 
processing is prohibited, and (3) no more than 10,000-lb (4,536 kg) per 
trip of whiting may be taken and retained, possessed or landed by any 
vessel participating in the shore-based sector of the whiting fishery, 
unless otherwise announced in the Federal Register. For vessels in the 
at-sea processing sectors, no additional unprocessed whiting may be 
brought on board after at-sea processing is prohibited, but a catcher-
processor or mothership may continue to process whiting that was on 
board before at-sea processing was prohibited. For vessels in the 
shore-based sector fishing shoreward of the 100 fm (183 m) contour in 
the Eureka area (43[deg]-40[deg]30' N. lat.) at any time during a 
fishing trip, the 10,000-lb (4,536 kg) trip limit applies, as announced 
in the management measures in Sec.  660.373 (d).

Classification

    This action is authorized by the regulations implementing the FMP. 
The determination to take this action is based on the most recent data 
available. The Assistant Administrator for Fisheries, NMFS, finds good 
cause to waive the requirement to provide prior notice and opportunity 
for comment on this action pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 553 (3)(b)(B), because 
providing prior notice and opportunity would be impracticable. It would 
be impracticable because if this closure were delayed in order to 
provide notice and comment, the catch of canary rockfish would be 
expected to result in the rebuilding-based OY being exceeded. The delay 
needed to provide a cooling off period also would be expected to result 
in the rebuilding-based OY for canary rockfish being exceeded. 
Therefore, good cause also exists to waive the 30-day delay in 
effectiveness requirement of 5 U.S.C. 553 (d)(3). The aggregate data 
upon which the determination is based are available for public 
inspection at the Office of Sustainable Fisheries during business 
hours. This action is taken under the authority of 50 CFR 660.373 (b) 
and 50 CFR 660.232(b)and is exempt from review under E.O. 12866.

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

    Dated: September 9, 2008.
James P. Burgess,
Acting Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine 
Fisheries Service.
[FR Doc. E8-21744 Filed 9-16-08; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 3510-22-S