Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Pacific Cod and Octopus in the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Management Area, 66655 [2011-27848]

Download as PDF Federal Register / Vol. 76, No. 208 / Thursday, October 27, 2011 / Rules and Regulations NMFS finds good cause pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 553(b)(B) to waive prior notice and the opportunity for public comment because it would be contrary to the public interest. This action closes the herring fishery for Management Area 1A until January 1, 2012, under current regulations. The regulations at § 648.201(a) require such action to ensure that herring vessels do not exceed the 2011 sub-ACL allocated to Area 1A. The herring fishery opened for the 2011 fishing year on January 1, 2011. Data indicating the herring fleet will have landed at least 95 percent of the 2011 sub-ACL allocated to Area 1A have only recently become available. If implementation of this closure is delayed to solicit prior public comment, the sub-ACL for Area 1A for this fishing year can be exceeded, thereby undermining the conservation objectives of the FMP. NMFS further finds, pursuant to 5 U.S.C 553(d)(3), good cause to waive the 30-day delayed effectiveness period for the reasons stated above. Authority: 16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq. Dated: October 24, 2011. Steven Thur, Acting Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine Fisheries Service. [FR Doc. 2011–27841 Filed 10–25–11; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510–22–P DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration 50 CFR Part 679 [Docket No. 101126521–0640–02] RIN 0648–XA794 Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Pacific Cod and Octopus in the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Management Area National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Commerce. mstockstill on DSK4VPTVN1PROD with RULES AGENCY: VerDate Mar<15>2010 17:05 Oct 26, 2011 Jkt 226001 ACTION: Temporary rule; closure. NMFS is prohibiting directed fishing for Pacific cod by vessels using pot gear in the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands management area (BSAI). This action is necessary to limit incidental catch of octopus by vessels using pot gear to fish for Pacific cod the BSAI. DATES: Effective 1200 hrs, Alaska local time (A.l.t.), October 24, 2011, through 2400 hrs, A.l.t., December 31, 2011. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Josh Keaton, 907–586–7228. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: NMFS manages the groundfish fishery in the BSAI exclusive economic zone according to the Fishery Management Plan for Groundfish of the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Management Area (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 Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act requires that conservation and management measures prevent overfishing. The 2011 octopus overfishing level in the BSAI is 528 metric tons (mt) and the acceptable biological catch (ABC) is 396 mt as established by the final 2011 and 2012 harvest specifications for groundfish in the BSAI (76 FR 11139, March 1, 2011). NMFS closed directed fishing for octopus on January 13, 2011 (76 FR 3044, January 19, 2011) and prohibited retention of octopus on September 1, 2011 (76 FR 55276, September 7, 2011). As of October 15, 2011, approximately 530 mt of octopus has been harvested in the BSAI. Vessels using pot gear have significant incidental catch of octopus and have taken the vast majority of octopus in the BSAI. Substantial fishing effort by vessels using pot gear is being directed at remaining amounts of Pacific cod in the BSAI. If vessels using pot gear were allowed to continue fishing for Pacific cod in the BSAI then further SUMMARY: PO 00000 Frm 00055 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 9990 66655 incidental catch of octopus would occur. The Regional Administrator has determined, in accordance with § 679.20(d)(3), that prohibiting directed fishing for Pacific cod by vessels using pot gear in BSAI is necessary to prevent further incidental catch of octopus by the Pacific cod sector. 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, would delay prohibiting directed fishing for Pacific cod by vessels using pot gear in the BSAI and allow further incidental catch of octopus by the Pacific cod sector. NMFS was unable to publish a notice providing time for public comment because the most recent, relevant data only became available as of October 20, 2011. 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: October 24, 2011. Steven Thur, Acting Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine Fisheries Service. [FR Doc. 2011–27848 Filed 10–24–11; 4:15 pm] BILLING CODE 3510–22–P E:\FR\FM\27OCR1.SGM 27OCR1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 76, Number 208 (Thursday, October 27, 2011)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Page 66655]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2011-27848]


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DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

50 CFR Part 679

[Docket No. 101126521-0640-02]
RIN 0648-XA794


Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Pacific Cod 
and Octopus in the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Management Area

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 using pot gear in the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands 
management area (BSAI). This action is necessary to limit incidental 
catch of octopus by vessels using pot gear to fish for Pacific cod the 
BSAI.

DATES: Effective 1200 hrs, Alaska local time (A.l.t.), October 24, 
2011, through 2400 hrs, A.l.t., December 31, 2011.

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

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: NMFS manages the groundfish fishery in the 
BSAI exclusive economic zone according to the Fishery Management Plan 
for Groundfish of the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Management Area 
(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 Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act 
requires that conservation and management measures prevent overfishing. 
The 2011 octopus overfishing level in the BSAI is 528 metric tons (mt) 
and the acceptable biological catch (ABC) is 396 mt as established by 
the final 2011 and 2012 harvest specifications for groundfish in the 
BSAI (76 FR 11139, March 1, 2011). NMFS closed directed fishing for 
octopus on January 13, 2011 (76 FR 3044, January 19, 2011) and 
prohibited retention of octopus on September 1, 2011 (76 FR 55276, 
September 7, 2011).
    As of October 15, 2011, approximately 530 mt of octopus has been 
harvested in the BSAI. Vessels using pot gear have significant 
incidental catch of octopus and have taken the vast majority of octopus 
in the BSAI. Substantial fishing effort by vessels using pot gear is 
being directed at remaining amounts of Pacific cod in the BSAI. If 
vessels using pot gear were allowed to continue fishing for Pacific cod 
in the BSAI then further incidental catch of octopus would occur.
    The Regional Administrator has determined, in accordance with Sec.  
679.20(d)(3), that prohibiting directed fishing for Pacific cod by 
vessels using pot gear in BSAI is necessary to prevent further 
incidental catch of octopus by the Pacific cod sector.

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, would 
delay prohibiting directed fishing for Pacific cod by vessels using pot 
gear in the BSAI and allow further incidental catch of octopus by the 
Pacific cod sector. NMFS was unable to publish a notice providing time 
for public comment because the most recent, relevant data only became 
available as of October 20, 2011.
    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: October 24, 2011.
Steven Thur,
Acting Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine 
Fisheries Service.
[FR Doc. 2011-27848 Filed 10-24-11; 4:15 pm]
BILLING CODE 3510-22-P