Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Pacific Cod by Pot Catcher/Processors in the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Management Area, 5381-5382 [2016-01851]

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 81, Number 21 (Tuesday, February 2, 2016)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 5381-5382]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2016-01851]


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DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

50 CFR Part 679

[Docket No. 141021887-5172-02]
RIN 0648-XE418


Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Pacific Cod 
by Pot Catcher/Processors 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 
catcher/processors using pot gear in the Bering Sea and Aleutian 
Islands management area (BSAI). This action is necessary to prevent 
exceeding the A season apportionment of the 2016 Pacific cod total 
allowable catch allocated to catcher/processors using pot gear in the 
BSAI.

DATES: Effective 1200 hours, Alaska local time (A.l.t.), January 29, 
2016, through 1200 hours, A.l.t., September 1, 2016.

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 2016 Pacific cod total allowable 
catch (TAC) allocated to catcher/processors using pot gear in the BSAI 
is 1,712 metric tons (mt) as established by the final 2015 and 2016 
harvest specifications for groundfish in the BSAI (80 FR 11919, March 
5, 2015) and inseason adjustment (81 FR 184, January 5, 2016).
    In accordance with Sec.  679.20(d)(1)(iii), the Administrator, 
Alaska Region, NMFS (Regional Administrator), has determined that the A 
season apportionment of the 2016 Pacific cod TAC allocated as a 
directed fishing allowance to catcher/processors using pot gear in the 
BSAI will soon be reached. Consequently, NMFS is prohibiting directed 
fishing for Pacific cod by pot catcher/processors in the BSAI.
    After the effective date of this closure the maximum retainable 
amounts at Sec.  679.20(e) and (f) apply at any time during a trip.

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

[[Page 5382]]

responding to the most recent fisheries data in a timely fashion and 
would delay the closure of directed fishing for Pacific cod by pot 
catcher/processors in the BSAI. NMFS was unable to publish a document 
providing time for public comment because the most recent, relevant 
data only became available as of January 27, 2016.
    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: January 28, 2016.
Emily H. Menashes,
Acting Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine 
Fisheries Service.
[FR Doc. 2016-01851 Filed 1-28-16; 4:15 pm]
 BILLING CODE 3510-22-P