Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Arrowtooth Flounder, Flathead Sole, Rex Sole, Deep-Water Flatfish, and Shallow-Water Flatfish in the Gulf of Alaska Management Area, 41332-41333 [2012-17163]

Download as PDF 41332 Federal Register / Vol. 77, No. 135 / Friday, July 13, 2012 / Rules and Regulations DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration 50 CFR Part 679 [Docket No. 111207737–2141–02] RIN 0648–XC109 Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Pacific Ocean Perch in the Western Regulatory Area of the Gulf of Alaska National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Commerce. ACTION: Temporary rule; closure. AGENCY: NMFS is prohibiting retention of Pacific ocean perch in the Western Regulatory Area of the Gulf of Alaska (GOA). This action is necessary because the 2012 total allowable catch (TAC) of Pacific ocean perch in the Western Regulatory Area of the GOA has been reached. DATES: Effective 1200 hrs, Alaska local time (A.l.t.), July 10, 2012, through 2400 hrs, A.l.t., December 31, 2012. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Obren Davis, 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 2012 TAC of Pacific ocean perch in the Western Regulatory Area of the GOA is 2,102 metric tons (mt) as established by the final 2012 and 2013 harvest specifications for groundfish of the GOA (77 FR 15194, March 14, 2012). In accordance with § 679.20(d)(2), the Administrator, Alaska Region, NMFS (Regional Administrator), has determined that the 2012 TAC of Pacific ocean perch in the Western Regulatory Area of the GOA has been reached. Therefore, NMFS is requiring that Pacific ocean perch caught in the Western Regulatory Area of the GOA be treated as prohibited species in accordance with § 679.21(b). tkelley on DSK3SPTVN1PROD with RULES SUMMARY: Classification This action responds to the best available information recently obtained from the fishery. The Acting Assistant VerDate Mar<15>2010 16:29 Jul 12, 2012 Jkt 226001 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 prohibiting the retention of Pacific ocean perch in the Western Regulatory Area 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 July 9, 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 § 679.21 and is exempt from review under Executive Order 12866. Authority: 16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq. Dated: July 10, 2012. James P. Burgess, Acting Deputy Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine Fisheries Service. [FR Doc. 2012–17162 Filed 7–10–12; 4:15 pm] BILLING CODE 3510–22–P DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration 50 CFR Part 679 [Docket No. 101207737–2141–02] RIN 0648–XC110 Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Arrowtooth Flounder, Flathead Sole, Rex Sole, Deep-Water Flatfish, and Shallow-Water Flatfish in the Gulf of Alaska Management Area National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Commerce. ACTION: Temporary rule; closure. AGENCY: NMFS is prohibiting directed fishing for arrowtooth flounder, flathead sole, rex sole, deep-water flatfish, and shallow-water flatfish in the Western Regulatory Area of the Gulf of Alaska (GOA). This action is necessary to limit incidental catch of Pacific ocean perch by vessels fishing for arrowtooth flounder, flathead sole, rex sole, deep- SUMMARY: PO 00000 Frm 00086 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 water flatfish, and shallow-water flatfish in the Western Regulatory Area of the GOA. Effective 1200 hrs, Alaska local time (A.l.t.), July 10, 2012, through 2400 hrs, A.l.t., December 31, 2012. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Obren Davis, 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 (Magnuson-Stevens 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 Act requires that conservation and management measures prevent overfishing. The 2012 Pacific ocean perch overfishing level in the Western Regulatory Area of the GOA is 2,423 metric tons (mt) and the acceptable biological catch (ABC) is 2,102 mt as established by the final 2012 and 2013 harvest specifications for groundfish in the GOA (77 FR 15194, March 14, 2012). NMFS closed directed fishing for Pacific ocean perch on July 2, 2012 (77 FR 39649, July 5, 2012) and prohibited retention of Pacific ocean perch on July 10, 2012 (publication in FR pending). As of July 9, 2012, approximately 2,428 mt of Pacific ocean perch has been harvested in the Western Regulatory Area of the GOA. Vessels targeting various rockfish species have had significant incidental catch of Pacific ocean perch and have taken the majority of Pacific ocean perch in the Western Regulatory Area of the GOA in 2012. Directed fishing for all rockfish species categories is closed in the Western Regulatory Area of the GOA. However, substantial fishing effort is being directed at fisheries currently open to directed fishing in the Western Regulatory Area of the GOA, including arrowtooth flounder, flathead sole, rex sole, deep-water flatfish, and shallowwater flatfish. If vessels are allowed to continue directed fishing for arrowtooth flounder, flathead sole, rex sole, deepwater flatfish, or shallow-water flatfish in the Western Regulatory Area of the GOA, further incidental catch of Pacific ocean perch would occur. ‘‘Deep-water flatfish means’’ Dover sole, Greenland turbot, Kamchatka flounder, and deepsea sole. ‘‘Shallow-water flatfish’’ means flatfish not including ‘‘deepDATES: E:\FR\FM\13JYR1.SGM 13JYR1 Federal Register / Vol. 77, No. 135 / Friday, July 13, 2012 / Rules and Regulations water flatfish,’’ flathead sole, rex sole, or arrowtooth flounder. The Regional Administrator has determined, in accordance with § 679.20(d)(3), that prohibiting directed fishing for arrowtooth flounder, flathead sole, rex sole, deep-water flatfish, and shallow-water flatfish in the Western Regulatory Area of the GOA is necessary to prevent further incidental catch of Pacific ocean perch. 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 VerDate Mar<15>2010 16:29 Jul 12, 2012 Jkt 226001 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 arrowtooth flounder, flathead sole, rex sole, deep-water flatfish, and shallowwater flatfish in the Western Regulatory Area of the GOA and allow further incidental catch of Pacific ocean perch to occur in these fisheries. NMFS was unable to publish a notice providing time for public comment because the most recent, relevant data only became available as of July 9, 2012. PO 00000 Frm 00087 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 9990 41333 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: July 10, 2012. James P. Burgess, Acting Deputy Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine Fisheries Service. [FR Doc. 2012–17163 Filed 7–10–12; 4:15 pm] BILLING CODE 3510–22–P E:\FR\FM\13JYR1.SGM 13JYR1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 77, Number 135 (Friday, July 13, 2012)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 41332-41333]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2012-17163]


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DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

50 CFR Part 679

[Docket No. 101207737-2141-02]
RIN 0648-XC110


Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Arrowtooth 
Flounder, Flathead Sole, Rex Sole, Deep-Water Flatfish, and Shallow-
Water Flatfish in the Gulf of Alaska 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 arrowtooth flounder, 
flathead sole, rex sole, deep-water flatfish, and shallow-water 
flatfish in the Western Regulatory Area of the Gulf of Alaska (GOA). 
This action is necessary to limit incidental catch of Pacific ocean 
perch by vessels fishing for arrowtooth flounder, flathead sole, rex 
sole, deep-water flatfish, and shallow-water flatfish in the Western 
Regulatory Area of the GOA.

DATES: Effective 1200 hrs, Alaska local time (A.l.t.), July 10, 2012, 
through 2400 hrs, A.l.t., December 31, 2012.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Obren Davis, 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 Magnuson-
Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (Magnuson-Stevens 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 Act requires that conservation and management 
measures prevent overfishing. The 2012 Pacific ocean perch overfishing 
level in the Western Regulatory Area of the GOA is 2,423 metric tons 
(mt) and the acceptable biological catch (ABC) is 2,102 mt as 
established by the final 2012 and 2013 harvest specifications for 
groundfish in the GOA (77 FR 15194, March 14, 2012). NMFS closed 
directed fishing for Pacific ocean perch on July 2, 2012 (77 FR 39649, 
July 5, 2012) and prohibited retention of Pacific ocean perch on July 
10, 2012 (publication in FR pending).
    As of July 9, 2012, approximately 2,428 mt of Pacific ocean perch 
has been harvested in the Western Regulatory Area of the GOA. Vessels 
targeting various rockfish species have had significant incidental 
catch of Pacific ocean perch and have taken the majority of Pacific 
ocean perch in the Western Regulatory Area of the GOA in 2012. Directed 
fishing for all rockfish species categories is closed in the Western 
Regulatory Area of the GOA. However, substantial fishing effort is 
being directed at fisheries currently open to directed fishing in the 
Western Regulatory Area of the GOA, including arrowtooth flounder, 
flathead sole, rex sole, deep-water flatfish, and shallow-water 
flatfish. If vessels are allowed to continue directed fishing for 
arrowtooth flounder, flathead sole, rex sole, deep-water flatfish, or 
shallow-water flatfish in the Western Regulatory Area of the GOA, 
further incidental catch of Pacific ocean perch would occur. ``Deep-
water flatfish means'' Dover sole, Greenland turbot, Kamchatka 
flounder, and deepsea sole. ``Shallow-water flatfish'' means flatfish 
not including ``deep-

[[Page 41333]]

water flatfish,'' flathead sole, rex sole, or arrowtooth flounder.
    The Regional Administrator has determined, in accordance with Sec.  
679.20(d)(3), that prohibiting directed fishing for arrowtooth 
flounder, flathead sole, rex sole, deep-water flatfish, and shallow-
water flatfish in the Western Regulatory Area of the GOA is necessary 
to prevent further incidental catch of Pacific ocean perch.

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 arrowtooth flounder, flathead 
sole, rex sole, deep-water flatfish, and shallow-water flatfish in the 
Western Regulatory Area of the GOA and allow further incidental catch 
of Pacific ocean perch to occur in these fisheries. NMFS was unable to 
publish a notice providing time for public comment because the most 
recent, relevant data only became available as of July 9, 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 Sec.  679.20 and is exempt from review 
under Executive Order 12866.

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

    Dated: July 10, 2012.
James P. Burgess,
Acting Deputy Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National 
Marine Fisheries Service.
[FR Doc. 2012-17163 Filed 7-10-12; 4:15 pm]
BILLING CODE 3510-22-P