Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska, Steller Sea Lions; Correction, 67138-67139 [E9-30181]

Download as PDF 67138 Federal Register / Vol. 74, No. 242 / Friday, December 18, 2009 / Rules and Regulations erowe on DSK5CLS3C1PROD with RULES Plan (FMP), which governs the groundfish fishery off Washington, Oregon, and California. Regulations at 50 CFR 660.323(a)(2) divide the commercial Pacific whiting OY into separate allocations for the catcher/processor, mothership, and shore-based sectors. Each commercial sector receives a portion of the commercial OY. Regulations at 50 CFR 660.323 (c) provide for the reapportionment of Pacific whiting that the Regional Administrator determines will not be used during the year. The shore-based sector was closed on July 7, 2009 (July 28, 2008; 74 FR 37176). The best available information on July 6, 2009 indicated that the 42,063 mt allocation for the shore-based sector would be reached by 10:00 a.m. on July 7, 2009. Data received after the closure indicated that the fishing rates slowed considerably in the last few days of the fishery, resulting in 1,382 mt of unharvested shore-based allocation. This document announces the reapportionment of 1,325 mt of shorebased allocation to the catcher/ processor sector resulting in the following commercial allocations for 2009: catcher/processor 35,376 mt, mothership 24,034 mt, and shore-based 40,738 mt. Facsimiles directly to fishing businesses and postings on the Northwest Regions internet site were used to provide actual notice to the affected fishers. Classifications The determinations to take these actions were based on the most recent data available. The aggregate data upon which the determinations were based are available for public inspection at the Office of the Regional Administrator (see ADDRESSES) during business hours. This action is authorized by the regulations implementing the FMP. The Assistant Administrator for Fisheries, NMFS, finds good cause to waive the requirement to provide prior notice and opportunity for comment on these actions pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 553 (3)(b)(B), because providing prior notice and opportunity would be impracticable. It would be impracticable because of the need for immediate action. NMFS has determined that providing an opportunity for prior notice and comment would be impractical and contrary to public interest. Delay of this action would leave Pacific whiting unharvested. In addition, the catcher/processors needed an immediate reallocation if they were to keep their workers employed. For these same reasons the agency finds good cause to waive the 30–day delay in effectiveness. These actions are taken VerDate Nov<24>2008 14:11 Dec 17, 2009 Jkt 220001 under the authority of 50 CFR 660.323(c), and are exempt from review under Executive Order 12866. Actual notice of the reapportionments was provided to the affected fishers. Authority: 16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq. Dated: December 15, 2009. Emily H. Menashes, Acting Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine Fisheries Service. [FR Doc. E9–30175 Filed 12–17–09; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510–22–S DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration 50 CFR Part 679 [Docket No. 0912011420–91423–01] RIN 0648–AY39 Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska, Steller Sea Lions; Correction AGENCY: National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Commerce. ACTION: Correcting amendments. SUMMARY: This action makes a correction to regulations at 50 CFR part 679. It corrects a final rule that erroneously removed regulations in 50 CFR part 679 concerning the harvest limit area for Atka mackerel in the Aleutian Islands. NMFS intended this final rule to modify regulations detailing management of Atka mackerel total allowable catch. However, due to incorrect instructions in the regulatory text, NMFS inadvertently removed the regulations governing Atka mackerel management in the harvest limitation area. This correcting amendment reinstates those regulations. DATES: Effective December 18, 2009. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Glenn Merrill, 907–586–7228. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Background Groundfish fisheries in the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands management area (BSAI) are managed under the Fishery Management Plan for Groundfish of the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Area (FMP). The North Pacific Fishery Management Council (Council) prepared the FMP under the authority of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (MSA). Regulations implementing the FMP appear at 50 CFR part 679. General PO 00000 Frm 00088 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 regulations governing U.S. fisheries also appear at 50 CFR part 600. NMFS has determined that an error exists in the regulations at § 679.20(a)(8)(ii). This final rule will correct an error that resulted when NMFS inadvertently removed regulations that govern the maximum amount of Atka mackerel total allowable catch (TAC) that may be taken from the harvest limitation area (HLA) in the BSAI. NMFS published a final rule implementing HLA regulations on January 2, 2003 (68 FR 204), to ensure that fishery management of Atka mackerel in the BSAI is not likely to jeopardize the continued existence or adversely modify or destroy designated critical habitat for the Endangered Species Act (ESA)-listed western distinct population segment of Steller sea lions (Eumetopias jubatus). These regulations primarily focused on spatial and temporal harvest restrictions on Steller sea lion prey species, including Atka mackerel. On September 14, 2007, NMFS published a final rule that attempted to modify regulations at 50 CFR 679.20(a)(8)(ii) to clarify the allocation of Atka mackerel between nonAmerican Fisheries Act trawl catcher/ processors, commonly known as the Amendment 80 sector, and other trawl vessels, commonly known as the BSAI trawl limited access sector (72 FR 52668). It was NMFS’s intent to modify only regulations in the introductory text at § 679.20(a)(8)(ii) to address the allocation of Atka mackerel between the Amendment 80 sector and the BSAI trawl limited access sector, and not regulations in § 679.20(a)(8)(ii)(A) through (C) that established spatial and temporal harvest restrictions. However, the instructional text in the final rule published on September 14, 2007, inadvertently removed regulations in § 679.20(a)(8)(ii)(A) through (C) (72 FR 52719). NMFS’s intent to keep regulations in § 679.20(a)(8)(ii)(A) through (C) intact was indicated in the preamble to the September 14, 2007, final rule in response to a public comment. NMFS stated that ‘‘NMFS did not propose regulations that would have modified existing regulations concerning management of Atka mackerel in the HLA as part of the [September 14, 2007 final rule]. NMFS will manage the HLA fisheries in compliance with existing regulations.’’ (72 FR 52705). This correcting amendment corrects the inadvertent removal of regulations in § 679.20(a)(8)(ii)(A) through (C), and reinstates them. E:\FR\FM\18DER1.SGM 18DER1 Federal Register / Vol. 74, No. 242 / Friday, December 18, 2009 / Rules and Regulations Classification erowe on DSK5CLS3C1PROD with RULES Pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 553(b)(B), the Acting Assistant Administrator of Fisheries (AA) finds good cause to waive prior notice and opportunity for public comment, as notice and comment would be impracticable and contrary to the public interest. Through this action, NOAA seeks to correct the inadvertent removal of regulations in § 679.20(a)(8)(ii)(A) through (C), and reinstate them. Prior notice and an opportunity for public comment on this action would be impracticable and contrary to the public interest for the following reasons. Corrections to ensure the rule’s compliance with the intent of the HLA Program must be made immediately since establishing limits on Atka mackerel fishing in the HLA is critical for conservation and management of the groundfish fisheries off Alaska and for assessing the impact of these fisheries on other aspects of the marine environment. Failure to limit Atka mackerel fishing in the HLA would be inconsistent with management measures designed to avoid jeopardizing the continued existence and adverse modification of designated critical habitat for Steller sea lions as required under the ESA. Fishing in the HLA fishery is ongoing, and the lack of limitations in the HLA could result in greater harvest of Atka mackerel by vessels than allowed under current Steller sea lion management measures. Failure to limit fishing in the HLA would remove limitations on vessels that are currently constrained by those limitations and would provide an incentive for increased harvests in the HLA. As such, prior notice and an opportunity for public comment on these measures are impracticable and contrary to the public interest because VerDate Nov<24>2008 14:11 Dec 17, 2009 Jkt 220001 NMFS only recently discovered these errors and must ensure the uninterrupted, comprehensive and rational management of the fisheries consistent with the MSA and ESA. Additionally, for the reasons listed above, the AA finds good cause to waive the 30–day delay in the effective date under 5 U.S.C. 553(d)(3), as such procedures would be contrary to the public interest. Because prior notice and opportunity for public comment are not required for this rule by 5 U.S.C. 553, or any other law, the analytical requirements of the Regulatory Flexibility Act, 5 U.S.C. 601 et seq. are inapplicable. The Acting AA for NMFS has determined that this action is consistent with the MSA and other applicable law. This final rule has been determined to be not significant for purposes of Executive Order 12866. List of Subjects in 50 CFR Part 679 Alaska, Fisheries, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements. Dated: December 14, 2009. Samuel D. Rauch III, Deputy Assistant Administrator for Regulatory Programs, National Marine Fisheries Service. For the reasons set out in the preamble, 50 CFR part 679 is corrected as follows: ■ PART 679–FISHERIES OF THE EXCLUSIVE ECONOMIC ZONE OFF ALASKA 1. The authority citation for part 679 continues to read as follows: ■ Authority: 16 U.S.C. 773 et seq.; 1540(f); 1801 et seq.; 1851 note; 3631 et seq. 2. In § 679.20, revise paragraph (a)(8)(ii) to read as follows: ■ PO 00000 Frm 00089 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 § 679.20 67139 General limitations. * * * * * (a) * * * (8) * * * (ii) ITAC allocation to Amendment 80 and BSAI trawl limited access sectors. The remainder of the Atka mackerel TAC, after subtraction of the jig gear allocation, CDQ reserve, and incidental catch allowance for the BSAI trawl limited access sector and vessels using non-trawl gear, will be allocated as ITAC to the Amendment 80 and BSAI trawl limited access sectors. (A) Seasonal Allowances. The Atka mackerel TAC specified for each subarea or district will be divided equally, after subtraction of the jig gear allocation and reserves, into two seasonal allowances corresponding to the A and B seasons defined at § 679.23(e)(3). (B) Overages and Underages. Within any fishing year, unharvested amounts of the A season allowance will be added to the B season allowance and harvests in excess of the A season allowance will be deducted from the B season allowance. (C) Harvest limit area (HLA) limits. Atka mackerel harvest is limited in the HLA, as defined in § 679.2, as follows: (1) For the HLA, the Regional Administrator will establish an HLA harvest limit of no more than 60 percent of the seasonal TAC as specified in paragraph (a)(8)(ii)(A) of this section. (2) CDQ fishing. A CDQ group is prohibited from exceeding the CDQ portion of the percentage of annual Atka mackerel in areas 542 and/or 543 specified in paragraph (a)(8)(ii)(C)(1) of this section for the HLA. * * * * * [FR Doc. E9–30181 Filed 12–17–09; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510–22–S E:\FR\FM\18DER1.SGM 18DER1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 74, Number 242 (Friday, December 18, 2009)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 67138-67139]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: E9-30181]


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DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

50 CFR Part 679

[Docket No. 0912011420-91423-01]
RIN 0648-AY39


Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska, Steller Sea 
Lions; Correction

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

ACTION: Correcting amendments.

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

SUMMARY:  This action makes a correction to regulations at 50 CFR part 
679. It corrects a final rule that erroneously removed regulations in 
50 CFR part 679 concerning the harvest limit area for Atka mackerel in 
the Aleutian Islands. NMFS intended this final rule to modify 
regulations detailing management of Atka mackerel total allowable 
catch. However, due to incorrect instructions in the regulatory text, 
NMFS inadvertently removed the regulations governing Atka mackerel 
management in the harvest limitation area. This correcting amendment 
reinstates those regulations.

DATES: Effective December 18, 2009.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:  Glenn Merrill, 907-586-7228.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Background

    Groundfish fisheries in the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands 
management area (BSAI) are managed under the Fishery Management Plan 
for Groundfish of the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Area (FMP). The 
North Pacific Fishery Management Council (Council) prepared the FMP 
under the authority of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and 
Management Act (MSA). Regulations implementing the FMP appear at 50 CFR 
part 679. General regulations governing U.S. fisheries also appear at 
50 CFR part 600.
    NMFS has determined that an error exists in the regulations at 
Sec.  679.20(a)(8)(ii). This final rule will correct an error that 
resulted when NMFS inadvertently removed regulations that govern the 
maximum amount of Atka mackerel total allowable catch (TAC) that may be 
taken from the harvest limitation area (HLA) in the BSAI. NMFS 
published a final rule implementing HLA regulations on January 2, 2003 
(68 FR 204), to ensure that fishery management of Atka mackerel in the 
BSAI is not likely to jeopardize the continued existence or adversely 
modify or destroy designated critical habitat for the Endangered 
Species Act (ESA)-listed western distinct population segment of Steller 
sea lions (Eumetopias jubatus). These regulations primarily focused on 
spatial and temporal harvest restrictions on Steller sea lion prey 
species, including Atka mackerel.
    On September 14, 2007, NMFS published a final rule that attempted 
to modify regulations at 50 CFR 679.20(a)(8)(ii) to clarify the 
allocation of Atka mackerel between non-American Fisheries Act trawl 
catcher/processors, commonly known as the Amendment 80 sector, and 
other trawl vessels, commonly known as the BSAI trawl limited access 
sector (72 FR 52668). It was NMFS's intent to modify only regulations 
in the introductory text at Sec.  679.20(a)(8)(ii) to address the 
allocation of Atka mackerel between the Amendment 80 sector and the 
BSAI trawl limited access sector, and not regulations in Sec.  
679.20(a)(8)(ii)(A) through (C) that established spatial and temporal 
harvest restrictions. However, the instructional text in the final rule 
published on September 14, 2007, inadvertently removed regulations in 
Sec.  679.20(a)(8)(ii)(A) through (C) (72 FR 52719). NMFS's intent to 
keep regulations in Sec.  679.20(a)(8)(ii)(A) through (C) intact was 
indicated in the preamble to the September 14, 2007, final rule in 
response to a public comment. NMFS stated that ``NMFS did not propose 
regulations that would have modified existing regulations concerning 
management of Atka mackerel in the HLA as part of the [September 14, 
2007 final rule]. NMFS will manage the HLA fisheries in compliance with 
existing regulations.'' (72 FR 52705). This correcting amendment 
corrects the inadvertent removal of regulations in Sec.  
679.20(a)(8)(ii)(A) through (C), and reinstates them.

[[Page 67139]]

Classification

    Pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 553(b)(B), the Acting Assistant Administrator 
of Fisheries (AA) finds good cause to waive prior notice and 
opportunity for public comment, as notice and comment would be 
impracticable and contrary to the public interest. Through this action, 
NOAA seeks to correct the inadvertent removal of regulations in Sec.  
679.20(a)(8)(ii)(A) through (C), and reinstate them. Prior notice and 
an opportunity for public comment on this action would be impracticable 
and contrary to the public interest for the following reasons. 
Corrections to ensure the rule's compliance with the intent of the HLA 
Program must be made immediately since establishing limits on Atka 
mackerel fishing in the HLA is critical for conservation and management 
of the groundfish fisheries off Alaska and for assessing the impact of 
these fisheries on other aspects of the marine environment. Failure to 
limit Atka mackerel fishing in the HLA would be inconsistent with 
management measures designed to avoid jeopardizing the continued 
existence and adverse modification of designated critical habitat for 
Steller sea lions as required under the ESA. Fishing in the HLA fishery 
is ongoing, and the lack of limitations in the HLA could result in 
greater harvest of Atka mackerel by vessels than allowed under current 
Steller sea lion management measures. Failure to limit fishing in the 
HLA would remove limitations on vessels that are currently constrained 
by those limitations and would provide an incentive for increased 
harvests in the HLA. As such, prior notice and an opportunity for 
public comment on these measures are impracticable and contrary to the 
public interest because NMFS only recently discovered these errors and 
must ensure the uninterrupted, comprehensive and rational management of 
the fisheries consistent with the MSA and ESA.
    Additionally, for the reasons listed above, the AA finds good cause 
to waive the 30-day delay in the effective date under 5 U.S.C. 
553(d)(3), as such procedures would be contrary to the public interest. 
Because prior notice and opportunity for public comment are not 
required for this rule by 5 U.S.C. 553, or any other law, the 
analytical requirements of the Regulatory Flexibility Act, 5 U.S.C. 601 
et seq. are inapplicable.
    The Acting AA for NMFS has determined that this action is 
consistent with the MSA and other applicable law.
    This final rule has been determined to be not significant for 
purposes of Executive Order 12866.

List of Subjects in 50 CFR Part 679

    Alaska, Fisheries, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.

    Dated: December 14, 2009.
Samuel D. Rauch III,
Deputy Assistant Administrator for Regulatory Programs, National Marine 
Fisheries Service.

0
For the reasons set out in the preamble, 50 CFR part 679 is corrected 
as follows:

PART 679-FISHERIES OF THE EXCLUSIVE ECONOMIC ZONE OFF ALASKA

0
1. The authority citation for part 679 continues to read as follows:

    Authority: 16 U.S.C. 773 et seq.; 1540(f); 1801 et seq.; 1851 
note; 3631 et seq.

0
2. In Sec.  679.20, revise paragraph (a)(8)(ii) to read as follows:


Sec.  679.20  General limitations.

* * * * *
    (a) * * *
    (8) * * *
    (ii) ITAC allocation to Amendment 80 and BSAI trawl limited access 
sectors. The remainder of the Atka mackerel TAC, after subtraction of 
the jig gear allocation, CDQ reserve, and incidental catch allowance 
for the BSAI trawl limited access sector and vessels using non-trawl 
gear, will be allocated as ITAC to the Amendment 80 and BSAI trawl 
limited access sectors.
    (A) Seasonal Allowances. The Atka mackerel TAC specified for each 
subarea or district will be divided equally, after subtraction of the 
jig gear allocation and reserves, into two seasonal allowances 
corresponding to the A and B seasons defined at Sec.  679.23(e)(3).
    (B) Overages and Underages. Within any fishing year, unharvested 
amounts of the A season allowance will be added to the B season 
allowance and harvests in excess of the A season allowance will be 
deducted from the B season allowance.
    (C) Harvest limit area (HLA) limits. Atka mackerel harvest is 
limited in the HLA, as defined in Sec.  679.2, as follows:
    (1) For the HLA, the Regional Administrator will establish an HLA 
harvest limit of no more than 60 percent of the seasonal TAC as 
specified in paragraph (a)(8)(ii)(A) of this section.
    (2) CDQ fishing. A CDQ group is prohibited from exceeding the CDQ 
portion of the percentage of annual Atka mackerel in areas 542 and/or 
543 specified in paragraph (a)(8)(ii)(C)(1) of this section for the 
HLA.
* * * * *
[FR Doc. E9-30181 Filed 12-17-09; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 3510-22-S