Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Inseason Adjustment to the 2012 Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Atka Mackerel Total Allowable Catch Amount, 81873-81875 [2011-33322]

Download as PDF Federal Register / Vol. 76, No. 250 / Thursday, December 29, 2011 / Rules and Regulations Dated: December 23, 2011. Samuel D. Rauch III, Deputy Assistant Administrator for Regulatory Programs, National Marine Fisheries Service. [FR Doc. 2011–33452 Filed 12–28–11; 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–XA901 Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Inseason Adjustment to the 2012 Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Atka Mackerel Total Allowable Catch Amount National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Commerce. ACTION: Temporary rule; inseason adjustment; request for comments. AGENCY: NMFS is adjusting the 2012 total allowable catch (TAC) amount for the Bering Sea and Aleutian Island management area (BSAI) Atka mackerel fishery. This action is necessary because NMFS has determined this TAC is incorrectly specified. This action will ensure the BSAI Atka mackerel TAC is the appropriate amount, based on the best available scientific information for Atka mackerel in the BSAI. This action is consistent with the goals and objectives of the Fishery Management Plan for Groundfish of the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Management Area. DATES: Effective 1200 hrs, Alaska local time (A.l.t.), December 29, 2011, until the effective date of the final 2012 and 2013 harvest specifications for BSAI groundfish, unless otherwise modified or superseded through publication of a notification in the Federal Register. Comments must be received at the following address no later than 4:30 p.m., A.l.t., January 13, 2012. ADDRESSES: You may submit comments on this document, identified by NOAA– NMFS–2011–0297, by any of the following methods: • Electronic Submission: Submit all electronic public comments via the Federal e-Rulemaking Portal www.regulations.gov. To submit comments via the e-Rulemaking Portal, first click the ‘‘submit a comment’’ icon, then enter NOAA–NMFS–2011–0297 in the keyword search. Locate the tkelley on DSK3SPTVN1PROD with RULES SUMMARY: VerDate Mar<15>2010 16:16 Dec 28, 2011 Jkt 226001 document you wish to comment on from the resulting list and click on the ‘‘Submit a Comment’’ icon on that line. • Mail: Address written comments to Glenn Merrill, Assistant Regional Administrator, Sustainable Fisheries Division, Alaska Region NMFS, Attn: Ellen Sebastian. Mail comments to P.O. Box 21668, Juneau, AK 99802–1668. • Fax: Address written comments to Glenn Merrill, Assistant Regional Administrator, Sustainable Fisheries Division, Alaska Region NMFS, Attn: Ellen Sebastian. Fax comments to (907) 586–7557. • Hand delivery to the Federal Building: Address written comments to Glenn Merrill, Assistant Regional Administrator, Sustainable Fisheries Division, Alaska Region NMFS, Attn: Ellen Sebastian. Deliver comments to 709 West 9th Street, Room 420A, Juneau, AK. Instructions: Comments must be submitted by one of the above methods to ensure that the comments are received, documented, and considered by NMFS. Comments sent by any other method, to any other address or individual, or received after the end of the comment period, may not be considered. All comments received are a part of the public record and will generally be posted for public viewing on www.regulations.gov without change. All personal identifying information (e.g., name, address) submitted voluntarily by the sender will 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). Attachments to electronic comments will be accepted in Microsoft Word or Excel, WordPerfect, or Adobe PDF file formats only. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Mary Furuness, (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 (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 2012 Atka mackerel TAC in the BSAI was set at 36,800 metric tons (mt) in the Eastern Aleutian District and the Bering Sea subarea, 10,293 mt in the PO 00000 Frm 00087 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 81873 Central Aleutian District, and 1,150 mt in the Western Aleutian District by the final 2011 and 2012 harvest specification for groundfish in the BSAI (76 FR 11139, March 1, 2011). In December 2011, the Council recommended the 2012 Atka mackerel TACs of 38,500 metric tons (mt) in the Eastern Aleutian District and the Bering Sea subarea, 10,763 mt in the Central Aleutian District, and 1,500 mt in the Western Aleutian District. These amounts are higher in the Eastern Aleutian District and Bering Sea subarea and Central Aleutian District, and the same in the Western Aleutian District than established by the final 2011 and 2012 harvest specification for groundfish in the BSAI (76 FR 11139, March 1, 2011). The TACs recommended by the Council are based on the Stock Assessment and Fishery Evaluation report (SAFE), dated November 2011, which NMFS has determined is the best available scientific information for this fishery. Regulations at § 679.20(a)(8)(ii)(A) apportion the Atka mackerel TAC allocated to the BSAI Atka mackerel trawl fisheries seasonally to distribute catch over time because Atka mackerel is a principal prey species for Steller sea lions listed as endangered under the Endangered Species Act. The first seasonal apportionment can be harvested quickly, and must reflect the TAC based on the best available scientific information to provide the opportunity to harvest available TAC in a manner consistent with the established Steller sea lion protection measures. In accordance with § 679.25(a)(1)(iii) and (a)(2)(i)(B), the Administrator, Alaska Region, NMFS (Regional Administrator), has determined that, based on the November 2011 SAFE report for this fishery, the current BSAI Atka mackerel TAC is incorrectly specified. Consequently, the Regional Administrator is adjusting the 2012 Atka mackerel TACs to 38,500 mt in the Eastern Aleutian District and Bering Sea subarea, 10,763 mt in the Central Aleutian District, and 1,500 mt in the Western Aleutian District. Pursuant to § 679.20(a)(8), Table 4 of the final 2011 and 2012 harvest specifications for groundfish in the BSAI (76 FR 11139, March 1, 2011) is revised for the 2012 Atka mackerel TAC consistent with this adjustment. Table 4 includes the Steller sea lion protection measures effective January 1, 2011 (75 FR 77535, December 13, 2010), to insure that the BSAI groundfish fisheries off Alaska are not likely to jeopardize the continued existence of the western distinct population segment of Steller E:\FR\FM\29DER1.SGM 29DER1 81874 Federal Register / Vol. 76, No. 250 / Thursday, December 29, 2011 / Rules and Regulations sea lions or adversely modify its designated critical habitat. TABLE 4—FINAL 2011 AND 2012 SEASONAL AND SPATIAL ALLOWANCES, GEAR SHARES, CDQ RESERVE, INCIDENTAL CATCH ALLOWANCE, AND AMENDMENT 80 ALLOCATIONS OF THE BSAI ATKA MACKEREL TAC [Amounts are in metric tons] 2011 allocation by area Sector 1 Season 2 3 4 TAC ................................. CDQ reserve ................... n/a ............... Total ............ A ................. Critical habitat 5. B ................. Critical habitat 5. Total ............ Total ............ Total ............ A ................. B ................. Total ............ A ................. B ................. Total ............ ICA .................................. Jig 6 ................................. BSAI trawl limited access Amendment 80 sectors ... Alaska Groundfish Cooperative. Alaska Seafood Cooperative. Eastern Aleutian District/ Bering Sea Central Aleutian District 5 2012 allocation by area Western Aleutian District Eastern Aleutian District/ Bering Sea Central Aleutian District 5 Western Aleutian District 40,300 4,312 2,156 n/a 1,500 161 80 n/a 38,500 4,120 2,060 n/a 10,763 1,152 576 55 1,500 161 80 n/a 2,156 n/a 603 60 80 n/a 2,060 n/a 576 55 80 n/a 75 180 2,859 1,429 1,429 32,875 16,437 16,437 19,181 75 0 800 400 400 9,198 4,599 4,599 5,389 40 0 0 0 0 1,300 650 650 755 1,000 167 3,321 1,661 1,661 29,892 14,946 14,946 n/a 100 0 951 476 476 8,560 4,280 4,280 n/a 40 0 0 0 0 1,300 650 650 n/a 9,591 n/a 2,695 269 377 n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a 9,591 n/a 2,695 269 377 n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a 13,694 3,809 545 n/a n/a n/a 6,847 n/a 1,904 190 272 n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a 6,847 n/a A ................. Critical habitat 5. B ................. Critical habitat 5. Total ............ 11,280 1,207 603 60 1,904 190 272 n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a A ................. Critical habitat 5. B ................. Critical habitat 5. 1 Section 679.20(a)(8)(ii) allocates the Atka mackerel TACs, after subtraction of the CDQ reserves, jig gear allocation, and ICAs to the Amendment 80 and BSAI trawl limited access sectors. The allocation of the ITAC for Atka mackerel to the Amendment 80 and BSAI trawl limited access sectors is established in Table 33 to part 679 and § 679.91. The CDQ reserve is 10.7 percent of the TAC for use by CDQ participants (see §§ 679.20(b)(1)(ii)(C) and 679.31). 2 Sections 679.20(a)(8)(ii)(A) and 679.22(a) establish temporal and spatial limitations for the Atka mackerel fishery. 3 The seasonal allowances of Atka mackerel are 50 percent in the A season and 50 percent in the B season. 4 Section 679.23(e)(3) authorizes directed fishing for Atka mackerel with trawl gear during the A season from January 20 to June 10 and the B season from June 10 to November 1. 5 Section 679.20(a)(8)(ii)(C) requires the TAC in area 542 shall be no more than 47% of ABC, and Atka mackerel harvests for Amendment 80 cooperatives and CDQ groups within waters 10 nm to 20 nm of Gramp Rock and Tag Island, as described in Table 12 to part 679, in Area 542 are limited to no more than 10 percent of the Amendment 80 cooperative Atka mackerel allocation or 10 percent of the CDQ Atka mackerel allocation. 6 Section 679.20(a)(8)(i) requires that up to 2 percent of the Eastern Aleutian District and the Bering Sea subarea TAC be allocated to jig gear after subtraction of the CDQ reserve and ICA. The amount of this allocation is 0.5 percent. The jig gear allocation is not apportioned by season. Note: Seasonal or sector apportionments may not total precisely due to rounding. tkelley on DSK3SPTVN1PROD with RULES 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) and § 679.25(c)(1)(ii) as such requirement is impracticable and contrary to the public interest. This VerDate Mar<15>2010 16:16 Dec 28, 2011 Jkt 226001 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 require harvests other than the appropriate allocations for Atka mackerel, based on the best scientific information available. NMFS was unable to publish a notice providing time for public comment because the most recent, relevant data only became available as of December 13, 2011, and additional time for prior PO 00000 Frm 00088 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 public comment would result in conservation concerns for the ESAlisted Steller sea lions. 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. Under § 679.25(c)(2), interested persons are invited to submit written E:\FR\FM\29DER1.SGM 29DER1 Federal Register / Vol. 76, No. 250 / Thursday, December 29, 2011 / Rules and Regulations comments on this action to the above address until January 13, 2012. 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: December 22, 2011. Alan D. Risenhoover, Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine Fisheries Service. [FR Doc. 2011–33322 Filed 12–28–11; 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–XA903 Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Inseason Adjustment to the 2012 Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Pacific Cod Total Allowable Catch Amount National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Commerce. ACTION: Temporary rule; inseason adjustment; request for comments. AGENCY: NMFS is adjusting the 2012 total allowable catch (TAC) amount for the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands (BSAI) Pacific cod fishery. This action is necessary because NMFS has determined this TAC is incorrectly specified. This action will ensure the BSAI Pacific cod TAC is the appropriate amount, based on the best available scientific information for Pacific cod in the BSAI. This action is consistent with the goals and objectives of the Fishery Management Plan for Groundfish of the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Management Area. DATES: Effective 1200 hrs, Alaska local time (A.l.t.), December 29, 2011, until the effective date of the final 2012 and 2013 harvest specifications for BSAI groundfish, unless otherwise modified or superseded through publication of a notification in the Federal Register. Comments must be received at the following address no later than 4:30 p.m., A.l.t., January 13, 2012. ADDRESSES: You may submit comments on this document, identified by NOAA– tkelley on DSK3SPTVN1PROD with RULES SUMMARY: VerDate Mar<15>2010 16:16 Dec 28, 2011 Jkt 226001 NMFS–2011–0299, by any of the following methods: • Electronic Submission: Submit all electronic public comments via the Federal e-Rulemaking Portal www.regulations.gov. To submit comments via the e-Rulemaking Portal, first click the ‘‘submit a comment’’ icon, then enter NOAA–NMFS–2011–0299 in the keyword search. Locate the document you wish to comment on from the resulting list and click on the ‘‘Submit a Comment’’ icon on that line. • Mail: Address written comments to Glenn Merrill, Assistant Regional Administrator, Sustainable Fisheries Division, Alaska Region NMFS, Attn: Ellen Sebastian. Mail comments to P.O. Box 21668, Juneau, AK 99802–1668. • Fax: Address written comments to Glenn Merrill, Assistant Regional Administrator, Sustainable Fisheries Division, Alaska Region NMFS, Attn: Ellen Sebastian. Fax comments to (907) 586–7557. • Hand delivery to the Federal Building: Address written comments to Glenn Merrill, Assistant Regional Administrator, Sustainable Fisheries Division, Alaska Region NMFS, Attn: Ellen Sebastian. Deliver comments to 709 West 9th Street, Room 420A, Juneau, AK. Instructions: Comments must be submitted by one of the above methods to ensure that the comments are received, documented, and considered by NMFS. Comments sent by any other method, to any other address or individual, or received after the end of the comment period, may not be considered. All comments received are a part of the public record and will generally be posted for public viewing on www.regulations.gov without change. All personal identifying information (e.g., name, address) submitted voluntarily by the sender will 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). Attachments to electronic comments will be accepted in Microsoft Word or Excel, WordPerfect, or Adobe PDF file formats only. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Mary Furuness, (907) 586–7228. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: NMFS manages the groundfish fishery in the BSAI exclusive economic zone PO 00000 Frm 00089 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 81875 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 (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 2012 Pacific cod TAC in the BSAI was set at 229,608 metric tons (mt) by the final 2011 and 2012 harvest specification for groundfish in the BSAI (76 FR 11139, March 1, 2011). In December 2011, the Council recommended a 2012 Pacific cod TAC of 261,000 mt for the BSAI. This amount is more than the 229,608 mt established by the final 2011 and 2012 harvest specification for groundfish in the BSAI (76 FR 11139, March 1, 2011). The TAC recommended by the Council is based on the Stock Assessment and Fishery Evaluation report (SAFE), dated November 2011, which NMFS has determined is the best available scientific information for this fishery. Regulations at § 679.20(a)(7)(i)(B) apportion the Pacific cod TAC allocated to the Bering Sea directed Pacific cod fisheries seasonally to distribute catch over time because Pacific cod is a principal prey species for Steller sea lions listed as endangered under the Endangered Species Act. The first seasonal apportionment can be harvested quickly, and must reflect the TAC based on the best available scientific information to provide the opportunity to harvest available TAC in a manner consistent with the established Steller sea lion protection measures. In accordance with § 679.25(a)(1)(iii) and (a)(2)(i)(B), the Administrator, Alaska Region, NMFS (Regional Administrator), has determined that, based on the November 2011 SAFE report for this fishery, the current BSAI Pacific cod TAC is incorrectly specified. Consequently, the Regional Administrator is adjusting the 2012 Pacific cod TAC to 261,000 mt in the BSAI. Pursuant to § 679.20(a)(7), Table 5b of the final 2011 and 2012 harvest specifications for groundfish in the BSAI (75 FR 11778, March 12, 2010) is revised for the 2012 Pacific cod TAC consistent with this adjustment. E:\FR\FM\29DER1.SGM 29DER1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 76, Number 250 (Thursday, December 29, 2011)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 81873-81875]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2011-33322]


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

DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

50 CFR Part 679

[Docket No. 101126521-0640-02]
RIN 0648-XA901


Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Inseason 
Adjustment to the 2012 Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Atka Mackerel 
Total Allowable Catch Amount

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

ACTION: Temporary rule; inseason adjustment; request for comments.

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

SUMMARY: NMFS is adjusting the 2012 total allowable catch (TAC) amount 
for the Bering Sea and Aleutian Island management area (BSAI) Atka 
mackerel fishery. This action is necessary because NMFS has determined 
this TAC is incorrectly specified. This action will ensure the BSAI 
Atka mackerel TAC is the appropriate amount, based on the best 
available scientific information for Atka mackerel in the BSAI. This 
action is consistent with the goals and objectives of the Fishery 
Management Plan for Groundfish of the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands 
Management Area.

DATES: Effective 1200 hrs, Alaska local time (A.l.t.), December 29, 
2011, until the effective date of the final 2012 and 2013 harvest 
specifications for BSAI groundfish, unless otherwise modified or 
superseded through publication of a notification in the Federal 
Register.
    Comments must be received at the following address no later than 
4:30 p.m., A.l.t., January 13, 2012.

ADDRESSES: You may submit comments on this document, identified by 
NOAA-NMFS-2011-0297, by any of the following methods:
     Electronic Submission: Submit all electronic public 
comments via the Federal e-Rulemaking Portal www.regulations.gov. To 
submit comments via the e-Rulemaking Portal, first click the ``submit a 
comment'' icon, then enter NOAA-NMFS-2011-0297 in the keyword search. 
Locate the document you wish to comment on from the resulting list and 
click on the ``Submit a Comment'' icon on that line.
     Mail: Address written comments to Glenn Merrill, Assistant 
Regional Administrator, Sustainable Fisheries Division, Alaska Region 
NMFS, Attn: Ellen Sebastian. Mail comments to P.O. Box 21668, Juneau, 
AK 99802-1668.
     Fax: Address written comments to Glenn Merrill, Assistant 
Regional Administrator, Sustainable Fisheries Division, Alaska Region 
NMFS, Attn: Ellen Sebastian. Fax comments to (907) 586-7557.
     Hand delivery to the Federal Building: Address written 
comments to Glenn Merrill, Assistant Regional Administrator, 
Sustainable Fisheries Division, Alaska Region NMFS, Attn: Ellen 
Sebastian. Deliver comments to 709 West 9th Street, Room 420A, Juneau, 
AK.
    Instructions: Comments must be submitted by one of the above 
methods to ensure that the comments are received, documented, and 
considered by NMFS. Comments sent by any other method, to any other 
address or individual, or received after the end of the comment period, 
may not be considered. All comments received are a part of the public 
record and will generally be posted for public viewing on 
www.regulations.gov without change. All personal identifying 
information (e.g., name, address) submitted voluntarily by the sender 
will 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). Attachments to electronic comments will be 
accepted in Microsoft Word or Excel, WordPerfect, or Adobe PDF file 
formats only.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Mary Furuness, (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 
(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 2012 Atka mackerel TAC in the BSAI was set at 36,800 metric 
tons (mt) in the Eastern Aleutian District and the Bering Sea subarea, 
10,293 mt in the Central Aleutian District, and 1,150 mt in the Western 
Aleutian District by the final 2011 and 2012 harvest specification for 
groundfish in the BSAI (76 FR 11139, March 1, 2011).
    In December 2011, the Council recommended the 2012 Atka mackerel 
TACs of 38,500 metric tons (mt) in the Eastern Aleutian District and 
the Bering Sea subarea, 10,763 mt in the Central Aleutian District, and 
1,500 mt in the Western Aleutian District. These amounts are higher in 
the Eastern Aleutian District and Bering Sea subarea and Central 
Aleutian District, and the same in the Western Aleutian District than 
established by the final 2011 and 2012 harvest specification for 
groundfish in the BSAI (76 FR 11139, March 1, 2011). The TACs 
recommended by the Council are based on the Stock Assessment and 
Fishery Evaluation report (SAFE), dated November 2011, which NMFS has 
determined is the best available scientific information for this 
fishery.
    Regulations at Sec.  679.20(a)(8)(ii)(A) apportion the Atka 
mackerel TAC allocated to the BSAI Atka mackerel trawl fisheries 
seasonally to distribute catch over time because Atka mackerel is a 
principal prey species for Steller sea lions listed as endangered under 
the Endangered Species Act. The first seasonal apportionment can be 
harvested quickly, and must reflect the TAC based on the best available 
scientific information to provide the opportunity to harvest available 
TAC in a manner consistent with the established Steller sea lion 
protection measures.
    In accordance with Sec.  679.25(a)(1)(iii) and (a)(2)(i)(B), the 
Administrator, Alaska Region, NMFS (Regional Administrator), has 
determined that, based on the November 2011 SAFE report for this 
fishery, the current BSAI Atka mackerel TAC is incorrectly specified. 
Consequently, the Regional Administrator is adjusting the 2012 Atka 
mackerel TACs to 38,500 mt in the Eastern Aleutian District and Bering 
Sea subarea, 10,763 mt in the Central Aleutian District, and 1,500 mt 
in the Western Aleutian District.
    Pursuant to Sec.  679.20(a)(8), Table 4 of the final 2011 and 2012 
harvest specifications for groundfish in the BSAI (76 FR 11139, March 
1, 2011) is revised for the 2012 Atka mackerel TAC consistent with this 
adjustment. Table 4 includes the Steller sea lion protection measures 
effective January 1, 2011 (75 FR 77535, December 13, 2010), to insure 
that the BSAI groundfish fisheries off Alaska are not likely to 
jeopardize the continued existence of the western distinct population 
segment of Steller

[[Page 81874]]

sea lions or adversely modify its designated critical habitat.

 Table 4--Final 2011 and 2012 Seasonal and Spatial Allowances, Gear Shares, CDQ Reserve, Incidental Catch Allowance, and Amendment 80 Allocations of the
                                                                 BSAI ATKA Mackerel TAC
                                                              [Amounts are in metric tons]
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                      2011 allocation by area                         2012 allocation by area
                                                         -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                              Eastern                                         Eastern
            Sector \1\                  Season 2 3 4         Aleutian         Central         Western        Aleutian         Central         Western
                                                             District/       Aleutian        Aleutian        District/       Aleutian        Aleutian
                                                            Bering Sea     District \5\      District       Bering Sea     District \5\      District
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
TAC...............................  n/a.................          40,300          11,280           1,500          38,500          10,763           1,500
CDQ reserve.......................  Total...............           4,312           1,207             161           4,120           1,152             161
                                    A...................           2,156             603              80           2,060             576              80
                                    Critical habitat \5\             n/a              60             n/a             n/a              55             n/a
                                    B...................           2,156             603              80           2,060             576              80
                                    Critical habitat \5\             n/a              60             n/a             n/a              55             n/a
ICA...............................  Total...............              75              75              40           1,000             100              40
Jig \6\...........................  Total...............             180               0               0             167               0               0
BSAI trawl limited access.........  Total...............           2,859             800               0           3,321             951               0
                                    A...................           1,429             400               0           1,661             476               0
                                    B...................           1,429             400               0           1,661             476               0
Amendment 80 sectors..............  Total...............          32,875           9,198           1,300          29,892           8,560           1,300
                                    A...................          16,437           4,599             650          14,946           4,280             650
                                    B...................          16,437           4,599             650          14,946           4,280             650
Alaska Groundfish Cooperative.....  Total...............          19,181           5,389             755             n/a             n/a             n/a
                                    A...................           9,591           2,695             377             n/a             n/a             n/a
                                    Critical habitat \5\             n/a             269             n/a             n/a             n/a             n/a
                                    B...................           9,591           2,695             377             n/a             n/a             n/a
                                    Critical habitat \5\             n/a             269             n/a             n/a             n/a             n/a
Alaska Seafood Cooperative........  Total...............          13,694           3,809             545             n/a             n/a             n/a
                                    A...................           6,847           1,904             272             n/a             n/a             n/a
                                    Critical habitat \5\             n/a             190             n/a             n/a             n/a             n/a
                                    B...................           6,847           1,904             272             n/a             n/a             n/a
                                    Critical habitat \5\             n/a             190             n/a             n/a             n/a             n/a
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
\1\ Section 679.20(a)(8)(ii) allocates the Atka mackerel TACs, after subtraction of the CDQ reserves, jig gear allocation, and ICAs to the Amendment 80
  and BSAI trawl limited access sectors. The allocation of the ITAC for Atka mackerel to the Amendment 80 and BSAI trawl limited access sectors is
  established in Table 33 to part 679 and Sec.   679.91. The CDQ reserve is 10.7 percent of the TAC for use by CDQ participants (see Sec.  Sec.
  679.20(b)(1)(ii)(C) and 679.31).
\2\ Sections 679.20(a)(8)(ii)(A) and 679.22(a) establish temporal and spatial limitations for the Atka mackerel fishery.
\3\ The seasonal allowances of Atka mackerel are 50 percent in the A season and 50 percent in the B season.
\4\ Section 679.23(e)(3) authorizes directed fishing for Atka mackerel with trawl gear during the A season from January 20 to June 10 and the B season
  from June 10 to November 1.
\5\ Section 679.20(a)(8)(ii)(C) requires the TAC in area 542 shall be no more than 47% of ABC, and Atka mackerel harvests for Amendment 80 cooperatives
  and CDQ groups within waters 10 nm to 20 nm of Gramp Rock and Tag Island, as described in Table 12 to part 679, in Area 542 are limited to no more
  than 10 percent of the Amendment 80 cooperative Atka mackerel allocation or 10 percent of the CDQ Atka mackerel allocation.
\6\ Section 679.20(a)(8)(i) requires that up to 2 percent of the Eastern Aleutian District and the Bering Sea subarea TAC be allocated to jig gear after
  subtraction of the CDQ reserve and ICA. The amount of this allocation is 0.5 percent. The jig gear allocation is not apportioned by season.
Note: Seasonal or sector apportionments may not total precisely due to rounding.

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) and Sec.  679.25(c)(1)(ii) 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 require harvests other than the appropriate 
allocations for Atka mackerel, based on the best scientific information 
available. NMFS was unable to publish a notice providing time for 
public comment because the most recent, relevant data only became 
available as of December 13, 2011, and additional time for prior public 
comment would result in conservation concerns for the ESA-listed 
Steller sea lions.
    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.
    Under Sec.  679.25(c)(2), interested persons are invited to submit 
written

[[Page 81875]]

comments on this action to the above address until January 13, 2012.
    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: December 22, 2011.
Alan D. Risenhoover,
Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine Fisheries 
Service.
[FR Doc. 2011-33322 Filed 12-28-11; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 3510-22-P