Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Reallocation of Pacific Cod in the Central Regulatory Area of the Gulf of Alaska, 15650 [2016-06686]

Download as PDF 15650 Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 57 / Thursday, March 24, 2016 / Rules and Regulations DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration 50 CFR Part 679 [Docket No. 150818742–6210–02] RIN 0648–XE523 Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Reallocation of Pacific Cod in the Central Regulatory Area of the Gulf of Alaska National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Commerce. ACTION: Temporary rule; reallocation. AGENCY: NMFS is reallocating the projected unused amount of Pacific cod from catcher vessels less than 50 ft. length overall (LOA) using hook-and line gear and catcher vessels greater than or equal to 50 ft. LOA using hookand-line gear to vessels using pot gear and vessels using jig gear in the Central Regulatory Area of the Gulf of Alaska (GOA). This action is necessary to allow the A season apportionment of the 2016 total allowable catch of Pacific cod to be harvested. DATES: Effective March 21, 2016 through 1200 hours, Alaska local time (A.l.t.), June 10, 2016. 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 A season allowance of the 2016 Pacific cod total allowable catch (TAC) apportioned to catcher vessels less than 50 ft. LOA using hook-and-line gear in the Central Regulatory Area of the GOA is 3,411 metric tons (mt), as established by the final 2016 and 2017 harvest specifications for groundfish of the GOA (81 FR 14740, March 18, 2016). The A season allowance of the 2016 Pacific cod total allowable catch (TAC) apportioned to catcher vessels greater than or equal to 50 ft. LOA using hookand-line gear in the Central Regulatory Area of the GOA is 2,054 mt, as established by the final 2016 and 2017 asabaliauskas on DSK3SPTVN1PROD with RULES SUMMARY: VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:15 Mar 23, 2016 Jkt 238001 harvest specifications for groundfish of the GOA (81 FR 14740, March 18, 2016). The Administrator, Alaska Region, NMFS, (Regional Administrator) has determined that catcher vessels using hook-and-line gear will not be able to harvest 1,700 mt of the A season apportionment of the 2016 Pacific cod TAC allocated to those vessels under § 679.20(a)(12)(i)(B)(1) and (2). In accordance with § 679.20(a)(12)(ii)(B), the Regional Administrator has also determined that vessels using pot gear and vessels using jig gear in the Central Regulatory Area of the GOA currently have the capacity to harvest this excess allocation and reallocates 1,500 mt to vessels using pot gear and 200 mt to vessels using jig gear. Therefore, NMFS apportions 1,000 mt of Pacific cod from the A season apportionments for catcher vessels less than 50 ft. LOA using hookand-line gear and 500 mt of Pacific cod from catcher vessels greater than or equal to 50 ft. LOA using hook-and-line gear to vessels using pot gear in the Central Regulatory Area of the GOA. NMFS also apportions 200 mt of Pacific cod from the A season apportionment for catcher vessels greater than or equal to 50 ft. LOA using hook-and-line gear to vessels using jig gear in the Central Regulatory Area of the GOA The harvest specifications for Pacific cod included in the final 2016 and 2017 harvest specifications for groundfish of the GOA (81 FR 14740, March 18, 2016) are revised as follows: 2,411 mt to the A season apportionment and 4,347 mt to the annual amount for catcher vessels less than 50 ft. LOA using hook-and-line gear, 1,354 mt to the A season apportionment and 1,756 mt to the annual amount for catcher vessels equal to or greater than 50 ft. LOA using hookand-line gear, 8,028 mt to the A season apportionment and 11,680 mt to the annual amount to vessels using pot gear, and 422 mt to the A season apportionment and 570 mt to the annual amount to vessels using jig gear. 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 and would delay the reallocation of Pacific cod PO 00000 Frm 00038 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 specified from catcher vessels using hook-and-line gear to vessels using pot or jig gear. Since the fishery is currently open, it is important to immediately inform the industry as to the revised allocations. Immediate notification is necessary to allow for the orderly conduct and efficient operation of this fishery, to allow the industry to plan for the fishing season, and to avoid potential disruption to the fishing fleet as well as processors. NMFS was unable to publish a notice providing time for public comment because the most recent, relevant data only became available as of March 18, 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 § 679.20 and is exempt from review under Executive Order 12866. Authority: 16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq. Dated: March 21, 2016. Emily H. Menashes, Acting Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine Fisheries Service. [FR Doc. 2016–06686 Filed 3–21–16; 4:15 pm] BILLING CODE 3510–22–P DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration 50 CFR Part 679 [Docket No. 150818742–6210–02] RIN 0648–XE519 Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Pacific Cod in the Central Regulatory Area of the Gulf of Alaska National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Commerce. ACTION: Temporary rule; opening. AGENCY: NMFS is opening directed fishing for Pacific cod by vessels using jig gear in the Central Regulatory Area of the Gulf of Alaska (GOA). This action is necessary to fully use the A season allowance of the 2016 total allowable catch of Pacific cod apportioned to vessels using jig gear in the Central Regulatory Area of the GOA. DATES: Effective 1200 hours, Alaska local time (A.l.t.), March 21, 2016, through 1200 hours, A.l.t., June 10, 2016. SUMMARY: E:\FR\FM\24MRR1.SGM 24MRR1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 81, Number 57 (Thursday, March 24, 2016)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Page 15650]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2016-06686]



[[Page 15650]]

=======================================================================
-----------------------------------------------------------------------

DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

50 CFR Part 679

[Docket No. 150818742-6210-02]
RIN 0648-XE523


Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Reallocation 
of Pacific Cod in the Central Regulatory Area of the Gulf of Alaska

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

ACTION: Temporary rule; reallocation.

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

SUMMARY: NMFS is reallocating the projected unused amount of Pacific 
cod from catcher vessels less than 50 ft. length overall (LOA) using 
hook-and line gear and catcher vessels greater than or equal to 50 ft. 
LOA using hook-and-line gear to vessels using pot gear and vessels 
using jig gear in the Central Regulatory Area of the Gulf of Alaska 
(GOA). This action is necessary to allow the A season apportionment of 
the 2016 total allowable catch of Pacific cod to be harvested.

DATES: Effective March 21, 2016 through 1200 hours, Alaska local time 
(A.l.t.), June 10, 2016.

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. 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 2016 Pacific cod total allowable 
catch (TAC) apportioned to catcher vessels less than 50 ft. LOA using 
hook-and-line gear in the Central Regulatory Area of the GOA is 3,411 
metric tons (mt), as established by the final 2016 and 2017 harvest 
specifications for groundfish of the GOA (81 FR 14740, March 18, 2016).
    The A season allowance of the 2016 Pacific cod total allowable 
catch (TAC) apportioned to catcher vessels greater than or equal to 50 
ft. LOA using hook-and-line gear in the Central Regulatory Area of the 
GOA is 2,054 mt, as established by the final 2016 and 2017 harvest 
specifications for groundfish of the GOA (81 FR 14740, March 18, 2016).
    The Administrator, Alaska Region, NMFS, (Regional Administrator) 
has determined that catcher vessels using hook-and-line gear will not 
be able to harvest 1,700 mt of the A season apportionment of the 2016 
Pacific cod TAC allocated to those vessels under Sec.  
679.20(a)(12)(i)(B)(1) and (2). In accordance with Sec.  
679.20(a)(12)(ii)(B), the Regional Administrator has also determined 
that vessels using pot gear and vessels using jig gear in the Central 
Regulatory Area of the GOA currently have the capacity to harvest this 
excess allocation and reallocates 1,500 mt to vessels using pot gear 
and 200 mt to vessels using jig gear. Therefore, NMFS apportions 1,000 
mt of Pacific cod from the A season apportionments for catcher vessels 
less than 50 ft. LOA using hook-and-line gear and 500 mt of Pacific cod 
from catcher vessels greater than or equal to 50 ft. LOA using hook-
and-line gear to vessels using pot gear in the Central Regulatory Area 
of the GOA. NMFS also apportions 200 mt of Pacific cod from the A 
season apportionment for catcher vessels greater than or equal to 50 
ft. LOA using hook-and-line gear to vessels using jig gear in the 
Central Regulatory Area of the GOA
    The harvest specifications for Pacific cod included in the final 
2016 and 2017 harvest specifications for groundfish of the GOA (81 FR 
14740, March 18, 2016) are revised as follows: 2,411 mt to the A season 
apportionment and 4,347 mt to the annual amount for catcher vessels 
less than 50 ft. LOA using hook-and-line gear, 1,354 mt to the A season 
apportionment and 1,756 mt to the annual amount for catcher vessels 
equal to or greater than 50 ft. LOA using hook-and-line gear, 8,028 mt 
to the A season apportionment and 11,680 mt to the annual amount to 
vessels using pot gear, and 422 mt to the A season apportionment and 
570 mt to the annual amount to vessels using jig gear.

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 and 
would delay the reallocation of Pacific cod specified from catcher 
vessels using hook-and-line gear to vessels using pot or jig gear. 
Since the fishery is currently open, it is important to immediately 
inform the industry as to the revised allocations. Immediate 
notification is necessary to allow for the orderly conduct and 
efficient operation of this fishery, to allow the industry to plan for 
the fishing season, and to avoid potential disruption to the fishing 
fleet as well as processors. NMFS was unable to publish a notice 
providing time for public comment because the most recent, relevant 
data only became available as of March 18, 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: March 21, 2016.
Emily H. Menashes,
Acting Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine 
Fisheries Service.
[FR Doc. 2016-06686 Filed 3-21-16; 4:15 pm]
 BILLING CODE 3510-22-P