Atlantic Highly Migratory Species; Atlantic Bluefin Tuna Fisheries; General Category Fishery, 3637-3638 [2012-1560]

Download as PDF Federal Register / Vol. 77, No. 16 / Wednesday, January 25, 2012 / Rules and Regulations action would be contrary to the public interest because any delay in the closure of the commercial harvest could result in the commercial quota being exceeded. There is a need to immediately implement this action to protect the king mackerel resource because the capacity of the fishing fleet allows for rapid harvest of the quota. For the aforementioned reasons, the AA also finds good cause to waive the 30-day delay in effectiveness under 5 U.S.C. 553(d)(3). This action is taken under 50 CFR 622.43(a) and is exempt from review under Executive Order 12866. Authority: 16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq. Dated: January 20, 2012. Steven Thur, Acting Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine Fisheries Service. [FR Doc. 2012–1565 Filed 1–20–12; 4:15 pm] BILLING CODE 3510–22–P DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration 50 CFR Part 635 [Docket No. 110210132–1275–02] RIN 0648–XA948 Atlantic Highly Migratory Species; Atlantic Bluefin Tuna Fisheries; General Category Fishery National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Commerce. ACTION: Temporary rule; closure. AGENCY: NMFS closes the General category fishery for large medium and giant Atlantic bluefin tuna (BFT) until the General category reopens on June 1, 2012. This action is being taken to prevent overharvest of the General category January BFT subquota. DATES: Effective 11:30 p.m., local time, January 22, 2012, through May 31, 2012. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Sarah McLaughlin or Brad McHale, (978) 281–9260. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Regulations implemented under the authority of the Atlantic Tunas Convention Act (16 U.S.C. 971 et seq.) and the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (Magnuson-Stevens Act; 16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq.) governing the harvest of BFT by persons and vessels subject to U.S. jurisdiction are found at 50 CFR part 635. Section 635.27 subdivides the U.S. sroberts on DSK4TPTVN1PROD with RULES SUMMARY: VerDate Mar<15>2010 21:03 Jan 24, 2012 Jkt 226001 BFT quota recommended by the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas (ICCAT) among the various domestic fishing categories, consistent with the allocations established in the 2006 Consolidated Atlantic Highly Migratory Species Fishery Management Plan (Consolidated HMS FMP) (71 FR 58058, October 2, 2006) and subsequent rulemaking. NMFS is required, under § 635.28(a)(1), to file a closure notice with the Office of the Federal Register for publication when a BFT quota is reached or is projected to be reached. On and after the effective date and time of such notification, for the remainder of the fishing year, or for a specified period as indicated in the notification, fishing for, retaining, possessing, or landing BFT under that quota category is prohibited until the opening of the subsequent quota period or until such date as specified in the notice. The current General category baseline quota is 435.1 mt, with 23.1 mt allocated for the January time period. On November 30, 2011, NMFS published a final rule to address adjustments to the General and Harpoon category regulations. Among other actions, this final rule allowed the General category BFT season to remain open until the January subquota is reached or March 31 (whichever happens first). Based on the best available BFT landings information for the General category BFT fishery (i.e., 17 mt of the available 23.1 mt landed as of January 17, 2012), NMFS has determined that the General category January subquota will be reached by January 22, 2012. Therefore, through May 31, 2012, fishing for, retaining, possessing, or landing large medium or giant BFT by persons aboard vessels permitted in the Atlantic Tunas General and HMS Charter/Headboat categories (while fishing commercially) must cease at 11:30 p.m. local time on January 22, 2012. The General category will reopen automatically on June 1, 2012, for the June through August subperiod. This action is taken consistent with the regulations at §§ 635.27(a)(1)(iii) and 635.28(a)(1). The intent of this closure is to prevent overharvest of the General category January BFT subquota. Limited catch and release fishing may continue subject to the requirements of the catch-and-release and tag-andrelease programs. Fishermen may catch and release (or tag and release) BFT of all sizes, subject to the requirements of the catch-and-release and tag-andrelease programs at § 635.26. Fishermen are also reminded that all BFT that are PO 00000 Frm 00079 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 3637 released must be handled in a manner that will maximize survivability, and without removing the fish from the water, consistent with requirements at § 635.21(a)(1). For additional information on safe handling, see the Careful Catch and Release brochure available at www.nmfs.noaa.gov/sfa/ hms/. If needed, subsequent General category adjustments will be published in the Federal Register. In addition, fishermen may call the Atlantic Tunas Information Line at (888) 872–8862 or (978) 281–9260, or access www.hmspermits.gov, for updates. Classification The Assistant Administrator for NMFS (AA) finds that it is impracticable and contrary to the public interest to provide prior notice of, and an opportunity for public comment on, this action for the following reasons: The regulations implementing the Consolidated HMS FMP provide for inseason retention limit adjustments to respond to the unpredictable nature of BFT availability on the fishing grounds, the migratory nature of this species, and the regional variations in the BFT fishery. The closure of the General category January BFT fishery is necessary to prevent overharvest of the General category January BFT subquota. NMFS provides notification of closures by publishing the notice in the Federal Register, emailing individuals who have subscribed to the Atlantic HMS News electronic newsletter, and updating the information posted on the Atlantic Tunas Information Line and on www.hmspermits.gov. These fisheries are currently underway and delaying this action would be contrary to the public interest as it could result in excessive BFT landings that may result in future potential quota reductions for the General category. NMFS must close the General category January BFT fishery before landings of large medium and giant BFT exceed the available subquota. Therefore, the AA finds good cause under 5 U.S.C. 553(b)(B) to waive prior notice and the opportunity for public comment. For all of the above reasons, there is good cause under 5 U.S.C. 553(d) to waive the 30-day delay in effectiveness. This action is being taken under §§ 635.27(a)(1)(iii) and 635.28(a)(1), and is exempt from review under Executive Order 12866. Authority: 16 U.S.C. 971 et seq. and 1801 et seq. E:\FR\FM\25JAR1.SGM 25JAR1 3638 Federal Register / Vol. 77, No. 16 / Wednesday, January 25, 2012 / Rules and Regulations Dated: January 19, 2012. Carrie Selberg, Acting Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine Fisheries Service. DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE [Docket No. 101126522–0640–02] fishing allowance of 5,537 mt and is setting aside the remaining 250 mt as bycatch to support other anticipated groundfish fisheries. In accordance with § 679.20(d)(1)(iii), the Regional Administrator finds that this directed fishing allowance has been reached. Consequently, NMFS is prohibiting directed fishing for pollock in Statistical Area 630 of the GOA. After the effective date of this closure the maximum retainable amounts at § 679.20(e) and (f) apply at any time during a trip. RIN 0648–XA954 Classification AGENCY: Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Pollock in Statistical Area 630 in the Gulf of Alaska 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 and would delay the closure of pollock in Statistical Area 630 of the GOA. NMFS was unable to publish a notice providing time for public comment because the most recent, relevant data only became available as of January 19, 2012. 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. [FR Doc. 2012–1560 Filed 1–20–12; 4:15 pm] BILLING CODE 3510–22–P DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration 50 CFR Part 679 National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Commerce. ACTION: Temporary rule; closure. AGENCY: NMFS is prohibiting directed fishing for pollock in Statistical Area 630 in the Gulf of Alaska (GOA). This action is necessary to prevent exceeding the A season allowance of the 2012 total allowable catch of pollock for Statistical Area 630 in the GOA. DATES: Effective 1200 hrs, Alaska local time (A.l.t.), January 23, 2012, through 1200 hrs, A.l.t., March 10, 2012. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Josh Keaton, (907) 586–7228. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: NMFS manages the groundfish fishery in the GOA exclusive economic zone according to the Fishery Management Plan for Groundfish of the Gulf of Alaska (FMP) prepared by the North Pacific Fishery Management 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 A season allowance of the 2012 total allowable catch (TAC) of pollock in Statistical Area 630 of the GOA is 5,787 metric tons (mt) as established by the final 2011 and 2012 harvest specifications for groundfish of the GOA (76 FR 11111, March 1, 2011) and inseason adjustment (77 FR 438, January 5, 2012). In accordance with § 679.20(d)(1)(i), the Regional Administrator has determined that the A season allowance of the 2012 TAC of pollock in Statistical Area 630 of the GOA will soon be reached. Therefore, the Regional Administrator is establishing a directed sroberts on DSK4TPTVN1PROD with RULES SUMMARY: VerDate Mar<15>2010 21:03 Jan 24, 2012 Jkt 226001 Authority: 16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq. Dated: January 20, 2012. Steven Thur, Acting Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine Fisheries Service. [FR Doc. 2012–1562 Filed 1–20–12; 4:15 pm] BILLING CODE 3510–22–P PO 00000 Frm 00080 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration 50 CFR Part 679 [Docket No. 101126521–0640–02] RIN 0648–XA955 Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Pacific Cod by Catcher/Processors Using Pot Gear in the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Management Area National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Commerce. ACTION: Temporary rule; closure. NMFS is prohibiting directed fishing for Pacific cod by pot catcher/ processors in the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands management area (BSAI). This action is necessary to prevent exceeding the A season apportionment of the 2012 Pacific cod total allowable catch (TAC) specified for pot catcher/processors in the BSAI. DATES: Effective 1200 hrs, Alaska local time (A.l.t.), January 23, 2012, through 1200 hrs, A.l.t., September 1, 2012. 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 A season apportionment of the 2012 Pacific cod TAC allocated as a directed fishing allowance to pot catcher/processors in the BSAI is 1,777 metric tons as established by the final 2011 and 2012 harvest specifications for groundfish in the BSAI (76 FR 11139, March 1, 2011) and inseason adjustment (76 FR 81875, December 29, 2011). In accordance with § 679.20(d)(1)(iii), the Administrator, Alaska Region, NMFS, has determined that the A season apportionment of the 2012 Pacific cod TAC allocated as a directed fishing allowance to pot catcher/ processors in the BSAI has been reached. Consequently, NMFS is prohibiting directed fishing for Pacific SUMMARY: E:\FR\FM\25JAR1.SGM 25JAR1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 77, Number 16 (Wednesday, January 25, 2012)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 3637-3638]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2012-1560]


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DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

50 CFR Part 635

[Docket No. 110210132-1275-02]
RIN 0648-XA948


Atlantic Highly Migratory Species; Atlantic Bluefin Tuna 
Fisheries; General Category Fishery

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

ACTION: Temporary rule; closure.

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SUMMARY: NMFS closes the General category fishery for large medium and 
giant Atlantic bluefin tuna (BFT) until the General category reopens on 
June 1, 2012. This action is being taken to prevent overharvest of the 
General category January BFT subquota.

DATES: Effective 11:30 p.m., local time, January 22, 2012, through May 
31, 2012.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Sarah McLaughlin or Brad McHale, (978) 
281-9260.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Regulations implemented under the authority 
of the Atlantic Tunas Convention Act (16 U.S.C. 971 et seq.) and the 
Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (Magnuson-
Stevens Act; 16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq.) governing the harvest of BFT by 
persons and vessels subject to U.S. jurisdiction are found at 50 CFR 
part 635. Section 635.27 subdivides the U.S. BFT quota recommended by 
the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas 
(ICCAT) among the various domestic fishing categories, consistent with 
the allocations established in the 2006 Consolidated Atlantic Highly 
Migratory Species Fishery Management Plan (Consolidated HMS FMP) (71 FR 
58058, October 2, 2006) and subsequent rulemaking.
    NMFS is required, under Sec.  635.28(a)(1), to file a closure 
notice with the Office of the Federal Register for publication when a 
BFT quota is reached or is projected to be reached. On and after the 
effective date and time of such notification, for the remainder of the 
fishing year, or for a specified period as indicated in the 
notification, fishing for, retaining, possessing, or landing BFT under 
that quota category is prohibited until the opening of the subsequent 
quota period or until such date as specified in the notice.
    The current General category baseline quota is 435.1 mt, with 23.1 
mt allocated for the January time period. On November 30, 2011, NMFS 
published a final rule to address adjustments to the General and 
Harpoon category regulations. Among other actions, this final rule 
allowed the General category BFT season to remain open until the 
January subquota is reached or March 31 (whichever happens first).
    Based on the best available BFT landings information for the 
General category BFT fishery (i.e., 17 mt of the available 23.1 mt 
landed as of January 17, 2012), NMFS has determined that the General 
category January subquota will be reached by January 22, 2012. 
Therefore, through May 31, 2012, fishing for, retaining, possessing, or 
landing large medium or giant BFT by persons aboard vessels permitted 
in the Atlantic Tunas General and HMS Charter/Headboat categories 
(while fishing commercially) must cease at 11:30 p.m. local time on 
January 22, 2012. The General category will reopen automatically on 
June 1, 2012, for the June through August subperiod. This action is 
taken consistent with the regulations at Sec. Sec.  635.27(a)(1)(iii) 
and 635.28(a)(1). The intent of this closure is to prevent overharvest 
of the General category January BFT subquota.
    Limited catch and release fishing may continue subject to the 
requirements of the catch-and-release and tag-and-release programs. 
Fishermen may catch and release (or tag and release) BFT of all sizes, 
subject to the requirements of the catch-and-release and tag-and-
release programs at Sec.  635.26. Fishermen are also reminded that all 
BFT that are released must be handled in a manner that will maximize 
survivability, and without removing the fish from the water, consistent 
with requirements at Sec.  635.21(a)(1). For additional information on 
safe handling, see the Careful Catch and Release brochure available at 
www.nmfs.noaa.gov/sfa/hms/.
    If needed, subsequent General category adjustments will be 
published in the Federal Register. In addition, fishermen may call the 
Atlantic Tunas Information Line at (888) 872-8862 or (978) 281-9260, or 
access www.hmspermits.gov, for updates.

Classification

    The Assistant Administrator for NMFS (AA) finds that it is 
impracticable and contrary to the public interest to provide prior 
notice of, and an opportunity for public comment on, this action for 
the following reasons:
    The regulations implementing the Consolidated HMS FMP provide for 
inseason retention limit adjustments to respond to the unpredictable 
nature of BFT availability on the fishing grounds, the migratory nature 
of this species, and the regional variations in the BFT fishery. The 
closure of the General category January BFT fishery is necessary to 
prevent overharvest of the General category January BFT subquota. NMFS 
provides notification of closures by publishing the notice in the 
Federal Register, emailing individuals who have subscribed to the 
Atlantic HMS News electronic newsletter, and updating the information 
posted on the Atlantic Tunas Information Line and on 
www.hmspermits.gov.
    These fisheries are currently underway and delaying this action 
would be contrary to the public interest as it could result in 
excessive BFT landings that may result in future potential quota 
reductions for the General category. NMFS must close the General 
category January BFT fishery before landings of large medium and giant 
BFT exceed the available subquota. Therefore, the AA finds good cause 
under 5 U.S.C. 553(b)(B) to waive prior notice and the opportunity for 
public comment. For all of the above reasons, there is good cause under 
5 U.S.C. 553(d) to waive the 30-day delay in effectiveness.
    This action is being taken under Sec. Sec.  635.27(a)(1)(iii) and 
635.28(a)(1), and is exempt from review under Executive Order 12866.

    Authority:  16 U.S.C. 971 et seq. and 1801 et seq.


[[Page 3638]]


    Dated: January 19, 2012.
Carrie Selberg,
Acting Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine 
Fisheries Service.
[FR Doc. 2012-1560 Filed 1-20-12; 4:15 pm]
BILLING CODE 3510-22-P