Magnuson-Stevens Act Provisions; Fisheries off West Coast States; Pacific Coast Groundfish Fishery; Biennial Specifications and Management Measures; Inseason Adjustments; Pacific Halibut Fisheries, 23615-23620 [2010-10400]

Download as PDF Federal Register / Vol. 75, No. 85 / Tuesday, May 4, 2010 / Rules and Regulations * Elevation in feet (NGVD) + Elevation in feet (NAVD) # Depth in feet above ground ∧ Elevation in meters (MSL) Modified Flooding source(s) Location of referenced elevation Playa Lake 8 ............................. Approximately 100 feet south of FM 2186 and 335 South Loop. +3681 Playa Lake 9 ............................. +3683 Prairie Dog Town Fork of Red River. Approximately 480 feet north of the intersection of West Sundown Street and Elaine Street. Approximately 100 feet downstream of the intersection of Exmoor Road and Canyon Creek Road. +3395 Tierra Blanca Creek .................. At the confluence with Tierra Blanca Creek ....................... At the confluence with Palo Duro Creek ............................. +3484 +3484 Approximately 1,500 Cummings Road. 23615 +3547 feet downstream of Gordon Communities affected City of Amarillo, Unincorporated Areas of Randall County. Unincorporated Areas of Randall County. Unincorporated Areas of Randall County, Village of Lake Tanglewood, Village of Palisades. City of Canyon, Unincorporated Areas of Randall County. * National Geodetic Vertical Datum. + North American Vertical Datum. # Depth in feet above ground. ∧ Mean Sea Level, rounded to the nearest 0.1 meter. ADDRESSES City of Amarillo Maps are available for inspection at 509 Southeast 7th Avenue, Amarillo, TX 79101. City of Canyon Maps are available for inspection at 301 16th Street, Canyon, TX 79015. Unincorporated Areas of Randall County Maps are available for inspection at 301 Highway 60, Canyon, TX 79015. Village of Lake Tanglewood Maps are available for inspection at 1000 Tanglewood Drive, Amarillo, TX 79118. Village of Palisades Maps are available for inspection at 115 Brentwood Road, Amarillo, TX 79118. (Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance No. 97.022, ‘‘Flood Insurance.’’) DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE Dated: April 27, 2010. Sandra K. Knight, Deputy Federal Insurance and Mitigation Administrator, Mitigation, Department of Homeland Security, Federal Emergency Management Agency. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration 50 CFR Part 660 [Docket No. 0809121213–9221–02] RIN 0648–AY82 BILLING CODE 9110–12–P WReier-Aviles on DSKGBLS3C1PROD with RULES [FR Doc. 2010–10387 Filed 5–3–10; 8:45 am] Magnuson-Stevens Act Provisions; Fisheries off West Coast States; Pacific Coast Groundfish Fishery; Biennial Specifications and Management Measures; Inseason Adjustments; Pacific Halibut Fisheries AGENCY: National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Commerce. ACTION: Final rule; inseason adjustments to management measures; announcement of elimination of incidental Pacific halibut retention allowance; request for comments. SUMMARY: This final rule announces two actions: an inseason change to the VerDate Mar<15>2010 14:28 May 03, 2010 Jkt 220001 PO 00000 Frm 00051 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 regulations regarding the retention of Pacific halibut landed incidentally in the limited entry fixed gear primary sablefish fishery north of Pt. Chehalis, Washington (46°53.30′ N. lat.); and an inseason change to the cumulative limit for minor slope rockfish and darkblotched rockfish north of 40°10.00′ N. lat. in the commercial Pacific Coast groundfish limited entry trawl fishery. These actions, which are authorized by the Pacific Coast Groundfish Fishery Management Plan (FMP), are intended to prevent exceeding the 2010 Area 2A Pacific halibut quota and to prevent exceeding the 2010 OY for darkblotched rockfish, an overfished species. DATES: Effective 0001 hours (local time) May 1, 2010. Comments on this final rule must be received no later than 5 p.m., local time on June 3, 2010. ADDRESSES: You may submit comments, identified by RIN 0648–AY82 by any one of the following methods: • Electronic Submissions: Submit all electronic public comments via the Federal eRulemaking Portal http:// www.regulations.gov. E:\FR\FM\04MYR1.SGM 04MYR1 23616 Federal Register / Vol. 75, No. 85 / Tuesday, May 4, 2010 / Rules and Regulations • Fax: 206–526–6736, Attn: Gretchen Hanshew. • Mail: Barry A. Thom, Acting Regional Administrator, Northwest Region, NMFS, 7600 Sand Point Way NE., Seattle, WA 98115–0070, Attn: Gretchen Hanshew. Instructions: No comments will be posted for public viewing until after the comment period has closed. All comments received are a part of the public record and will generally be posted to http://www.regulations.gov without change. All Personal Identifying Information (for example, name, address, etc.) voluntarily submitted by the commenter may be publicly accessible. Do not submit Confidential Business Information or otherwise sensitive or protected information. NMFS will accept anonymous comments (enter N/A in the required fields, if you wish to remain anonymous). You may submit attachments to electronic comments in Microsoft Word, Excel, WordPerfect, or Adobe PDF file formats only. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Gretchen Hanshew (Northwest Region, NMFS), phone: 206–526–6147, fax: 206– 526–6736 and e-mail gretchen.hanshew@noaa.gov. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Electronic Access This final rule is accessible via the Internet at the Office of the Federal Register’s Web site at http:// www.gpoaccess.gov/fr/index.html. Background information and documents are available at the Pacific Fishery Management Council’s Web site at http://www.pcouncil.org/. WReier-Aviles on DSKGBLS3C1PROD with RULES Background The Pacific Coast Groundfish FMP and its implementing regulations at title 50 in the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR), part 660, subpart G, regulate fishing for over 90 species of groundfish off the coasts of Washington, Oregon, and California. Groundfish specifications and management measures are developed by the Pacific Fishery Management Council (Council), and are implemented by NMFS. A proposed rule to implement the 2009– 2010 groundfish harvest specifications and management measures was published on December 31, 2008, (73 FR 80516). The final rule to implement the 2009–2010 specifications and management measures for the Pacific Coast Groundfish Fishery was published on March 6, 2009 (74 FR 9874). This final rule was subsequently amended by inseason actions on April 27, 2009 (74 FR 19011), July 6, 2009 (74 FR 31874), VerDate Mar<15>2010 14:28 May 03, 2010 Jkt 220001 October 28, 2009 (74 FR 55468), and February 26, 2010 (75 FR 8820). Additional changes to the 2009–2010 specifications and management measures for petrale sole were made in two final rules: On November 4, 2009 (74 FR 57117), and December 10, 2009 (74 FR 65480). These specifications and management measures are at 50 CFR part 660, subpart G. The reduction to the bimonthly cumulative limit for minor slope rockfish and darkblotched rockfish in the limited entry bottom trawl fishery implemented by this action was recommended by the Council, in consultation with Pacific Coast Treaty Indian Tribes and the States of Washington, Oregon, and California, at its April 9 through April 15, 2010, meeting in Portland, Oregon. The elimination of incidental Pacific halibut (halibut) retention in the limited entry fixed gear primary sablefish fishery north of Point Chehalis, Washington (46°53.30′ N. lat.) is implemented in order to achieve consistency with the 2010 halibut rule and Catch Sharing Plan published on March 18, 2010 (75 FR 13024). These changes must be effective on May 1, 2010. On April 23, 2010, NMFS received a decision in the case of Natural Resources Defense Council v. Locke, Case No. C 01–0421 JL (N.D. Cal.) in which the court has ruled against NMFS on an issue relating to darkblotched rockfish. The court has not yet issued the Order on Remedy, and NMFS is in the process of determining the full implications of this decision. NMFS is publishing this rule as scheduled for the reasons described below. Upon further review of the court decision NMFS will determine whether additional measures may be needed with respect to darkblotched rockfish and will implement any such measures in a subsequent rule. Limited Entry Fixed Gear Sablefish Primary Fishery The International Pacific Halibut Commission (IPHC) sets the halibut total allowable catch (TAC) on an annual basis. A portion of the TAC is available to fisheries in Area 2A (waters off the U.S. West Coast). The Council’s Catch Sharing Plan (CSP) guides allocation of the Area 2A portion of the TAC to the various commercial and recreational fisheries in Area 2A. It provides that if the Area 2A TAC is greater than 900,000 lb, the portion of the Washington sport allocation that is in excess of 214,110 lb is available to the primary directed sablefish fishery north of Point Chehalis. NMFS published the 2010 halibut final rule and CSP on March 18, PO 00000 Frm 00052 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 2010 (75 FR 13024). The final Area 2A halibut TAC for 2010 was adopted by the IPHC at their January 26 through January 29, 2010 meeting, and is below 900,000-lbs (408–mt). Therefore, based on the CSP, no halibut quota is assigned to the limited entry fixed gear sablefish primary fishery. Since there is no halibut available for this fishery in 2010, no retention of halibut will be allowed in the limited entry fixed gear sablefish primary fishery north of Point Chehalis, Washington. The Council was notified of this issue at its March 6 through March 11, 2010 meeting. Through this inseason rule, NMFS is eliminating the halibut retention allowance for the limited entry fixed gear sablefish fishery north of Point Chehalis, Washington (46°53.30′ N. lat.) to change the 2010 Pacific halibut possession and landing limits in this area from ‘‘100-lb (45-kg) dressed weight, head-on of halibut per fishing trip’’ to ‘‘no retention of halibut.’’ Limited Entry Trawl Fishery North of 40°10.00′ N. lat. Catches of darkblotched rockfish in the limited entry trawl fishery north of 40°10.00′ N. lat. are tracking ahead of projections. If no action were taken, and darkblotched rockfish catch rates remain higher than previously expected throughout the year, total coastwide catch of darkblotched rockfish through the end of the year is projected to be 369 mt, exceeding the 2010 coastwide darkblotched rockfish OY of 291 mt by 78 mt. Therefore, to slow catch of darkblotched rockfish and stay below the 2010 darkblotched rockfish OY, the Council at its April 9 through April 15, 2010 meeting considered an inseason adjustment reducing ‘‘minor slope rockfish and darkblotched rockfish’’ cumulative limits in the area north of 40°10.00′ N. lat. beginning on May 1, 2010. The Groundfish Management Team (GMT), an advisory body to the Council, recommended reducing the bimonthly cumulative limit from 6,000 lb (2722 kg) per two months to 2,000 lb (907 kg) per two months. With this change, if the species composition is unchanged under this lower limit, total coastwide catch of darkblotched rockfish through the end of the year is projected to be 285 mt, 6 mt below the 2010 OY. Based on rationale described above, the Council recommended and NMFS is implementing a decrease in the limited entry trawl fishery cumulative limit for minor slope rockfish and darkblotched rockfish north of 40°10.00′ N. lat. from ‘‘6,000 lb (2722 kg) per two months’’ to ‘‘2,000 lb (907 kg) per two months’’ from May 1 through December 31. E:\FR\FM\04MYR1.SGM 04MYR1 Federal Register / Vol. 75, No. 85 / Tuesday, May 4, 2010 / Rules and Regulations WReier-Aviles on DSKGBLS3C1PROD with RULES Classification These actions are taken under the authority of 50 CFR 660.370(c) and are exempt from review under Executive Order 12866. This inseason adjustment is taken under the authority of: (1) The Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (Magnuson-Stevens Act), and is in accordance with 50 CFR part 660, the regulations implementing the FMP; and (2) the Halibut Act and its implementing regulations. This action is based on the most recent data available. The aggregate data upon which this action is based are available for public inspection at the Office of the Administrator, Northwest Region, NMFS, (see ADDRESSES) during business hours. For the following reasons, NMFS finds good cause to waive prior public notice and comment on the revision to groundfish management measures under 5 U.S.C. 553(b) because notice and comment would be impracticable and contrary to the public interest. Also, for the same reasons, NMFS finds good cause to waive the 30-day delay in effectiveness pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 553(d)(3), so that this final rule may become effective by May 1, 2010. The 2010 Pacific halibut TAC was adopted by the IPHC at its January 2010 meeting and was presented to the Council at its March 5 through March 11, 2010, meeting in Sacramento, California. The change for the limited entry fixed gear sablefish fishery described in this rule is based on the 2010 TAC in conjunction with the 2010 CSP. The fishery data upon which the change in the limited entry bottom trawl fishery was based was provided to the Council at its April 10 through April 15, 2010, meeting in Portland, Oregon, the first Council meeting at which this data was available. These changes must be implemented by May 1, 2010 in order to avoid fisheries exceeding the 2010 halibut TAC and the 2010 darkblotched rockfish OY. There was not sufficient time after the March and April Council VerDate Mar<15>2010 14:28 May 03, 2010 Jkt 220001 meetings to conduct proposed and final rulemaking before these actions need to be in effect. For the actions to be implemented in this final rule, affording the time necessary for prior notice and opportunity for public comment would prevent the Agency from managing fisheries using the best available science to approach, without exceeding, the OYs or TACs for Federally managed species in accordance with the FMP, the CSP, and applicable laws. The adjustments to management measures in this document affect commercial fisheries off Washington, Oregon and northern California. These adjustments to management measures must be implemented in a timely manner to prevent the Area 2A portion of the 2010 halibut TAC from being exceeded. The elimination of halibut retention in the limited entry fixed gear sablefish primary fishery is intended to prevent exceeding the Area 2A portion of the 2010 Pacific halibut TAC. These changes must be implemented in a timely manner, by May 1, 2010 which is when the incidental halibut retention allowance is currently scheduled to begin. These adjustments to management measures must be implemented in a timely manner to prevent the 2010 darkblotched rockfish OY from being exceeded. The decrease to the ‘‘minor slope rockfish and darkblotched rockfish’’ trip limit in the limited entry non-whiting bottom trawl fishery is intended to prevent exceeding the 2010 darkblotched rockfish OY, and prevent premature closure of fisheries that impact darkblotched rockfish, an overfished species. These changes must be implemented in a timely manner, by May 1, 2010, which is the start of the cumulative period. Even a short delay in implementation could allow fisheries to take the entire two month limit for this period. Delaying the implementation of this rule would impair achievement of the Pacific halibut Catch Sharing Plan objective to manage fisheries to remain PO 00000 Frm 00053 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 23617 within the TAC for Area 2A, while also allowing each commercial, recreational (sport), and Tribal fishery to target halibut in the manner that is appropriate to meet both the conservation requirements for species that co-occur with Pacific halibut and the needs of fishery participants in particular fisheries and fishing areas. Such delay would also impair achievement of the Pacific Coast Groundfish FMP objectives of providing for year-round harvest opportunities, extending fishing opportunities as long as practicable during the fishing year, and staying within the OY for darkblotched rockfish. List of Subjects in 50 CFR Part 660 Fisheries, Fishing, Indian fisheries. Dated: April 29, 2010. Emily H. Menashes, Acting Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine Fisheries Service. For the reasons set out in the preamble, 50 CFR part 660 is amended as follows: ■ PART 660—FISHERIES OFF WEST COAST STATES 1. The authority citation for part 660 is amended to read as follows: ■ Authority: 16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq. and 16 U.S.C. 773 et seq. 2. In § 660.372, paragraph (b)(3)(iv) is revised to read as follows: ■ § 660.372 Fixed gear sablefish fishery management. * * * * * (b) * * * (3) * * * (iv) Incidental halibut retention north of Pt. Chehalis, WA (46°53.30′ N. lat.). No halibut retention is allowed during the primary sablefish fishery in 2010. * * * * * ■ 3. Table 3 (North) to part 660, subpart G is revised to read as follows: BILLING CODE 3510–22–P E:\FR\FM\04MYR1.SGM 04MYR1 VerDate Mar<15>2010 Federal Register / Vol. 75, No. 85 / Tuesday, May 4, 2010 / Rules and Regulations 14:28 May 03, 2010 Jkt 220001 PO 00000 Frm 00054 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4725 E:\FR\FM\04MYR1.SGM 04MYR1 ER04MY10.275</GPH> WReier-Aviles on DSKGBLS3C1PROD with RULES 23618 VerDate Mar<15>2010 14:28 May 03, 2010 Jkt 220001 PO 00000 Frm 00055 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4725 E:\FR\FM\04MYR1.SGM 04MYR1 23619 ER04MY10.276</GPH> WReier-Aviles on DSKGBLS3C1PROD with RULES Federal Register / Vol. 75, No. 85 / Tuesday, May 4, 2010 / Rules and Regulations 23620 Federal Register / Vol. 75, No. 85 / Tuesday, May 4, 2010 / Rules and Regulations BILLING CODE 3510–22–C DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration 50 CFR Part 660 [Docket No. 100421192–0193–01] RIN 0648–AY78 and 0648–AY59 WReier-Aviles on DSKGBLS3C1PROD with RULES Magnuson-Stevens Act Provisions; Fisheries Off West Coast States; Pacific Coast Groundfish Fishery; Biennial Specifications and Management Measures AGENCY: National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Commerce. ACTION: Final rule; inseason adjustments to groundfish management measures; Pacific whiting harvest specifications and tribal allocation; request for comments. VerDate Mar<15>2010 14:28 May 03, 2010 Jkt 220001 SUMMARY: This final rule establishes the 2010 fishery specifications for Pacific whiting in the U.S. exclusive economic zone (EEZ) and state waters off the coasts of Washington, Oregon, and California, as authorized by the Pacific Coast Groundfish Fishery Management Plan (FMP). These specifications include the level of the acceptable biological catch (ABC), optimum yield (OY), and allocations for the non-tribal commercial sectors. This final rule also announces the tribal allocation of Pacific whiting for the 2010 season and inseason adjustments of bycatch limits for the 2010 Pacific whiting fishery. DATES: Effective April 29, 2010. Comments on the revisions to bycatch limits must be received no later than 5 p.m., local time on May 19, 2010. ADDRESSES: You may submit comments, identified by RIN 0648–AY78 by any of the following methods: • Electronic Submissions: Submit all electronic public comments via the Federal eRulemaking Portal http:// www.regulations.gov. • Fax: 206–526–6736, Attn: Kevin C. Duffy. PO 00000 Frm 00056 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 • Mail: Barry A. Thom, Acting Regional Administrator, Northwest Region, NMFS, Attn: Kevin C. Duffy, 7600 Sand Point Way NE., Seattle, WA 98115–0070. Instructions: No comments will be posted for public viewing until after the comment period has closed. All comments received are a part of the public record and will generally be posted to http://www.regulations.gov without change. All Personal Identifying Information (for example, name, address, etc.) voluntarily submitted by the commenter may be publicly accessible. Do not submit Confidential Business Information or otherwise sensitive or protected information. NMFS will accept anonymous comments (enter N/A in the required fields if you wish to remain anonymous). You may submit attachments to electronic comments in Microsoft Word, Excel, WordPerfect, or Adobe PDF file formats only. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Kevin C. Duffy (Northwest Region, NMFS), phone: 206–526–4743, fax: 206– E:\FR\FM\04MYR1.SGM 04MYR1 ER04MY10.277</GPH> [FR Doc. 2010–10400 Filed 4–29–10; 4:15 pm]

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 75, Number 85 (Tuesday, May 4, 2010)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 23615-23620]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2010-10400]


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DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

50 CFR Part 660

[Docket No. 0809121213-9221-02]
RIN 0648-AY82


Magnuson-Stevens Act Provisions; Fisheries off West Coast States; 
Pacific Coast Groundfish Fishery; Biennial Specifications and 
Management Measures; Inseason Adjustments; Pacific Halibut Fisheries

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

ACTION: Final rule; inseason adjustments to management measures; 
announcement of elimination of incidental Pacific halibut retention 
allowance; request for comments.

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

SUMMARY: This final rule announces two actions: an inseason change to 
the regulations regarding the retention of Pacific halibut landed 
incidentally in the limited entry fixed gear primary sablefish fishery 
north of Pt. Chehalis, Washington (46[deg]53.30' N. lat.); and an 
inseason change to the cumulative limit for minor slope rockfish and 
darkblotched rockfish north of 40[deg]10.00' N. lat. in the commercial 
Pacific Coast groundfish limited entry trawl fishery. These actions, 
which are authorized by the Pacific Coast Groundfish Fishery Management 
Plan (FMP), are intended to prevent exceeding the 2010 Area 2A Pacific 
halibut quota and to prevent exceeding the 2010 OY for darkblotched 
rockfish, an overfished species.

DATES: Effective 0001 hours (local time) May 1, 2010. Comments on this 
final rule must be received no later than 5 p.m., local time on June 3, 
2010.

ADDRESSES: You may submit comments, identified by RIN 0648-AY82 by any 
one of the following methods:
     Electronic Submissions: Submit all electronic public 
comments via the Federal eRulemaking Portal http://www.regulations.gov.

[[Page 23616]]

     Fax: 206-526-6736, Attn: Gretchen Hanshew.
     Mail: Barry A. Thom, Acting Regional Administrator, 
Northwest Region, NMFS, 7600 Sand Point Way NE., Seattle, WA 98115-
0070, Attn: Gretchen Hanshew.
    Instructions: No comments will be posted for public viewing until 
after the comment period has closed. All comments received are a part 
of the public record and will generally be posted to http://www.regulations.gov without change. All Personal Identifying 
Information (for example, name, address, etc.) voluntarily submitted by 
the commenter may be publicly accessible. Do not submit Confidential 
Business Information or otherwise sensitive or protected information.
    NMFS will accept anonymous comments (enter N/A in the required 
fields, if you wish to remain anonymous). You may submit attachments to 
electronic comments in Microsoft Word, Excel, WordPerfect, or Adobe PDF 
file formats only.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Gretchen Hanshew (Northwest Region, 
NMFS), phone: 206-526-6147, fax: 206-526-6736 and e-mail 
gretchen.hanshew@noaa.gov.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: 

Electronic Access

    This final rule is accessible via the Internet at the Office of the 
Federal Register's Web site at http://www.gpoaccess.gov/fr/index.html. 
Background information and documents are available at the Pacific 
Fishery Management Council's Web site at http://www.pcouncil.org/.

Background

    The Pacific Coast Groundfish FMP and its implementing regulations 
at title 50 in the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR), part 660, subpart 
G, regulate fishing for over 90 species of groundfish off the coasts of 
Washington, Oregon, and California. Groundfish specifications and 
management measures are developed by the Pacific Fishery Management 
Council (Council), and are implemented by NMFS. A proposed rule to 
implement the 2009-2010 groundfish harvest specifications and 
management measures was published on December 31, 2008, (73 FR 80516). 
The final rule to implement the 2009-2010 specifications and management 
measures for the Pacific Coast Groundfish Fishery was published on 
March 6, 2009 (74 FR 9874). This final rule was subsequently amended by 
inseason actions on April 27, 2009 (74 FR 19011), July 6, 2009 (74 FR 
31874), October 28, 2009 (74 FR 55468), and February 26, 2010 (75 FR 
8820). Additional changes to the 2009-2010 specifications and 
management measures for petrale sole were made in two final rules: On 
November 4, 2009 (74 FR 57117), and December 10, 2009 (74 FR 65480). 
These specifications and management measures are at 50 CFR part 660, 
subpart G.
    The reduction to the bimonthly cumulative limit for minor slope 
rockfish and darkblotched rockfish in the limited entry bottom trawl 
fishery implemented by this action was recommended by the Council, in 
consultation with Pacific Coast Treaty Indian Tribes and the States of 
Washington, Oregon, and California, at its April 9 through April 15, 
2010, meeting in Portland, Oregon. The elimination of incidental 
Pacific halibut (halibut) retention in the limited entry fixed gear 
primary sablefish fishery north of Point Chehalis, Washington 
(46[deg]53.30' N. lat.) is implemented in order to achieve consistency 
with the 2010 halibut rule and Catch Sharing Plan published on March 
18, 2010 (75 FR 13024). These changes must be effective on May 1, 2010.
    On April 23, 2010, NMFS received a decision in the case of Natural 
Resources Defense Council v. Locke, Case No. C 01-0421 JL (N.D. Cal.) 
in which the court has ruled against NMFS on an issue relating to 
darkblotched rockfish. The court has not yet issued the Order on 
Remedy, and NMFS is in the process of determining the full implications 
of this decision. NMFS is publishing this rule as scheduled for the 
reasons described below. Upon further review of the court decision NMFS 
will determine whether additional measures may be needed with respect 
to darkblotched rockfish and will implement any such measures in a 
subsequent rule.

Limited Entry Fixed Gear Sablefish Primary Fishery

    The International Pacific Halibut Commission (IPHC) sets the 
halibut total allowable catch (TAC) on an annual basis. A portion of 
the TAC is available to fisheries in Area 2A (waters off the U.S. West 
Coast). The Council's Catch Sharing Plan (CSP) guides allocation of the 
Area 2A portion of the TAC to the various commercial and recreational 
fisheries in Area 2A. It provides that if the Area 2A TAC is greater 
than 900,000 lb, the portion of the Washington sport allocation that is 
in excess of 214,110 lb is available to the primary directed sablefish 
fishery north of Point Chehalis. NMFS published the 2010 halibut final 
rule and CSP on March 18, 2010 (75 FR 13024). The final Area 2A halibut 
TAC for 2010 was adopted by the IPHC at their January 26 through 
January 29, 2010 meeting, and is below 900,000-lbs (408-mt). Therefore, 
based on the CSP, no halibut quota is assigned to the limited entry 
fixed gear sablefish primary fishery. Since there is no halibut 
available for this fishery in 2010, no retention of halibut will be 
allowed in the limited entry fixed gear sablefish primary fishery north 
of Point Chehalis, Washington.
    The Council was notified of this issue at its March 6 through March 
11, 2010 meeting. Through this inseason rule, NMFS is eliminating the 
halibut retention allowance for the limited entry fixed gear sablefish 
fishery north of Point Chehalis, Washington (46[deg]53.30' N. lat.) to 
change the 2010 Pacific halibut possession and landing limits in this 
area from ``100-lb (45-kg) dressed weight, head-on of halibut per 
fishing trip'' to ``no retention of halibut.'' Limited Entry Trawl 
Fishery North of 40[deg]10.00' N. lat.
    Catches of darkblotched rockfish in the limited entry trawl fishery 
north of 40[deg]10.00' N. lat. are tracking ahead of projections. If no 
action were taken, and darkblotched rockfish catch rates remain higher 
than previously expected throughout the year, total coastwide catch of 
darkblotched rockfish through the end of the year is projected to be 
369 mt, exceeding the 2010 coastwide darkblotched rockfish OY of 291 mt 
by 78 mt. Therefore, to slow catch of darkblotched rockfish and stay 
below the 2010 darkblotched rockfish OY, the Council at its April 9 
through April 15, 2010 meeting considered an inseason adjustment 
reducing ``minor slope rockfish and darkblotched rockfish'' cumulative 
limits in the area north of 40[deg]10.00' N. lat. beginning on May 1, 
2010. The Groundfish Management Team (GMT), an advisory body to the 
Council, recommended reducing the bimonthly cumulative limit from 6,000 
lb (2722 kg) per two months to 2,000 lb (907 kg) per two months. With 
this change, if the species composition is unchanged under this lower 
limit, total coastwide catch of darkblotched rockfish through the end 
of the year is projected to be 285 mt, 6 mt below the 2010 OY.
    Based on rationale described above, the Council recommended and 
NMFS is implementing a decrease in the limited entry trawl fishery 
cumulative limit for minor slope rockfish and darkblotched rockfish 
north of 40[deg]10.00' N. lat. from ``6,000 lb (2722 kg) per two 
months'' to ``2,000 lb (907 kg) per two months'' from May 1 through 
December 31.

[[Page 23617]]

Classification

    These actions are taken under the authority of 50 CFR 660.370(c) 
and are exempt from review under Executive Order 12866.
    This inseason adjustment is taken under the authority of: (1) The 
Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (Magnuson-
Stevens Act), and is in accordance with 50 CFR part 660, the 
regulations implementing the FMP; and (2) the Halibut Act and its 
implementing regulations. This action is based on the most recent data 
available. The aggregate data upon which this action is based are 
available for public inspection at the Office of the Administrator, 
Northwest Region, NMFS, (see ADDRESSES) during business hours.
    For the following reasons, NMFS finds good cause to waive prior 
public notice and comment on the revision to groundfish management 
measures under 5 U.S.C. 553(b) because notice and comment would be 
impracticable and contrary to the public interest. Also, for the same 
reasons, NMFS finds good cause to waive the 30-day delay in 
effectiveness pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 553(d)(3), so that this final rule 
may become effective by May 1, 2010.
    The 2010 Pacific halibut TAC was adopted by the IPHC at its January 
2010 meeting and was presented to the Council at its March 5 through 
March 11, 2010, meeting in Sacramento, California. The change for the 
limited entry fixed gear sablefish fishery described in this rule is 
based on the 2010 TAC in conjunction with the 2010 CSP. The fishery 
data upon which the change in the limited entry bottom trawl fishery 
was based was provided to the Council at its April 10 through April 15, 
2010, meeting in Portland, Oregon, the first Council meeting at which 
this data was available. These changes must be implemented by May 1, 
2010 in order to avoid fisheries exceeding the 2010 halibut TAC and the 
2010 darkblotched rockfish OY. There was not sufficient time after the 
March and April Council meetings to conduct proposed and final 
rulemaking before these actions need to be in effect. For the actions 
to be implemented in this final rule, affording the time necessary for 
prior notice and opportunity for public comment would prevent the 
Agency from managing fisheries using the best available science to 
approach, without exceeding, the OYs or TACs for Federally managed 
species in accordance with the FMP, the CSP, and applicable laws. The 
adjustments to management measures in this document affect commercial 
fisheries off Washington, Oregon and northern California.
    These adjustments to management measures must be implemented in a 
timely manner to prevent the Area 2A portion of the 2010 halibut TAC 
from being exceeded. The elimination of halibut retention in the 
limited entry fixed gear sablefish primary fishery is intended to 
prevent exceeding the Area 2A portion of the 2010 Pacific halibut TAC. 
These changes must be implemented in a timely manner, by May 1, 2010 
which is when the incidental halibut retention allowance is currently 
scheduled to begin.
    These adjustments to management measures must be implemented in a 
timely manner to prevent the 2010 darkblotched rockfish OY from being 
exceeded. The decrease to the ``minor slope rockfish and darkblotched 
rockfish'' trip limit in the limited entry non-whiting bottom trawl 
fishery is intended to prevent exceeding the 2010 darkblotched rockfish 
OY, and prevent premature closure of fisheries that impact darkblotched 
rockfish, an overfished species. These changes must be implemented in a 
timely manner, by May 1, 2010, which is the start of the cumulative 
period. Even a short delay in implementation could allow fisheries to 
take the entire two month limit for this period.
    Delaying the implementation of this rule would impair achievement 
of the Pacific halibut Catch Sharing Plan objective to manage fisheries 
to remain within the TAC for Area 2A, while also allowing each 
commercial, recreational (sport), and Tribal fishery to target halibut 
in the manner that is appropriate to meet both the conservation 
requirements for species that co-occur with Pacific halibut and the 
needs of fishery participants in particular fisheries and fishing 
areas. Such delay would also impair achievement of the Pacific Coast 
Groundfish FMP objectives of providing for year-round harvest 
opportunities, extending fishing opportunities as long as practicable 
during the fishing year, and staying within the OY for darkblotched 
rockfish.

List of Subjects in 50 CFR Part 660

    Fisheries, Fishing, Indian fisheries.

    Dated: April 29, 2010.
Emily H. Menashes,
Acting Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine 
Fisheries Service.

0
For the reasons set out in the preamble, 50 CFR part 660 is amended as 
follows:

PART 660--FISHERIES OFF WEST COAST STATES

0
1. The authority citation for part 660 is amended to read as follows:

    Authority: 16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq. and 16 U.S.C. 773 et seq.


0
2. In Sec.  660.372, paragraph (b)(3)(iv) is revised to read as 
follows:


Sec.  660.372  Fixed gear sablefish fishery management.

* * * * *
    (b) * * *
    (3) * * *
    (iv) Incidental halibut retention north of Pt. Chehalis, WA 
(46[deg]53.30' N. lat.). No halibut retention is allowed during the 
primary sablefish fishery in 2010.
* * * * *

0
3. Table 3 (North) to part 660, subpart G is revised to read as 
follows:
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[FR Doc. 2010-10400 Filed 4-29-10; 4:15 pm]
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