Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Pacific Cod by Catcher/Processors Using Trawl Gear in the Western Regulatory Area of the Gulf of Alaska, 12749-12750 [2017-04446]

Download as PDF Federal Register / Vol. 82, No. 43 / Tuesday, March 7, 2017 / Rules and Regulations Regardless of the duration of a fishing trip, the daily retention limit applies upon landing. For example, during the remainder of the January 2017 subquota period, whether a vessel fishing under the General category limit takes a twoday trip or makes two trips in one day, the day/trip limit of one fish applies and may not be exceeded upon landing. This General category retention limit is effective in all areas, except for the Gulf of Mexico, where NMFS prohibits targeted fishing for BFT, and applies to those vessels permitted in the General category, as well as to those HMS Charter/Headboat permitted vessels fishing commercially for BFT. jstallworth on DSK7TPTVN1PROD with RULES Monitoring and Reporting NMFS will continue to monitor the BFT fishery closely. Dealers are required to submit landing reports within 24 hours of a dealer receiving BFT. General, HMS Charter/Headboat, Harpoon, and Angling category vessel owners are required to report the catch of all BFT retained or discarded dead, within 24 hours of the landing(s) or end of each trip, by accessing hmspermits.noaa.gov or by using the Android or iPhone app. Depending on the level of fishing effort and catch rates of BFT, NMFS may determine that additional action (i.e., quota and/or daily retention limit adjustment, or closure) is necessary to ensure available quota is not exceeded or to enhance scientific data collection from, and fishing opportunities in, all geographic areas. If needed, subsequent adjustments will be published in the Federal Register. In addition, fishermen may call the Atlantic Tunas Information Line at (978) 281–9260, or access hmspermits.noaa.gov, for updates on quota monitoring and inseason adjustments. 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 2006 Consolidated HMS FMP and amendments 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. Affording prior notice and opportunity for public comment to implement the quota transfer and daily retention limit for the remainder of the January 2017 subquota period at this time is impracticable. NMFS could not have VerDate Sep<11>2014 13:51 Mar 06, 2017 Jkt 241001 proposed these actions earlier, as it needed to consider and respond information about landings and availability of fish and other conditions outside the agency’s control that then require immediate action to be effective on the fishing grounds and thus efficiently manage the fishery. Daily landings rates increased substantially the week of February 20, 2017, pushing total landings toward the available 41mt quota. This information became available on February 24, 2017. NMFS could not effectively react to these landings data if, in implementing the retention limit, it allowed a public comment period, which would preclude fishermen from harvesting BFT that are legally available consistent with all of the regulatory criteria. Delays in adjusting the retention limit may result in the available quota being exceeded and NMFS needing to close the fishery earlier than otherwise would be necessary under a lower limit. This could adversely affect those General and HMS Charter/Headboat category vessels that would otherwise have an opportunity to harvest BFT under retention limits set in response to the most recent data available. Limited opportunities to harvest the respective quotas may have negative social and economic impacts for U.S. fishermen that depend upon catching the available quota within the time periods designated in the 2006 Consolidated HMS FMP, as amended. Adjustment of the retention limit needs to be effective as soon as possible to extend fishing opportunities for fishermen in geographic areas with access to the fishery only during this time period. 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 these reasons, there also is good cause under 5 U.S.C. 553(d) to waive the 30-day delay in effectiveness. This action is being taken under §§ 635.23(a)(4) and 635.27(a)(9), and is exempt from review under Executive Order 12866. Authority: 16 U.S.C. 971 et seq. and 1801 et seq. Dated: March 2, 2017. Emily D. Menashes, Acting Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine Fisheries Service. [FR Doc. 2017–04439 Filed 3–2–17; 4:15 pm] BILLING CODE 3510–22–P PO 00000 Frm 00037 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 12749 DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration 50 CFR Part 679 [Docket No. 160920866–7167–02] RIN 0648–XF268 Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Pacific Cod by Catcher/Processors Using Trawl Gear 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; modification of a closure. AGENCY: NMFS is opening directed fishing for Pacific cod by catcher/ processors using trawl gear in the Western Regulatory Area of the Gulf of Alaska (GOA). This action is necessary to fully use the A season allowance of the 2017 total allowable catch apportioned to catcher/processors using trawl gear in the Western Regulatory Area of the GOA. DATES: Effective 1200 hours, Alaska local time (A.l.t.), March 4, 2017, through 1200 hours, A.l.t., June 10, 2017. Comments must be received at the following address no later than 4:30 p.m., A.l.t., March 17, 2017. ADDRESSES: You may submit comments on this document, identified by NOAA– NMFS–2016–0127, by any of the following methods: • Electronic Submission: Submit all electronic public comments via the Federal e-Rulemaking Portal. Go to www.regulations.gov/ #!docketDetail;D=NOAA-NMFS-20160127, click the ‘‘Comment Now!’’ icon, complete the required fields, and enter or attach your comments. • Mail: Submit 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. Instructions: 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 by NMFS. 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), confidential business information, or otherwise sensitive information SUMMARY: E:\FR\FM\07MRR1.SGM 07MRR1 12750 Federal Register / Vol. 82, No. 43 / Tuesday, March 7, 2017 / Rules and Regulations jstallworth on DSK7TPTVN1PROD with RULES submitted voluntarily by the sender will be publicly accessible. NMFS will accept anonymous comments (enter ‘‘N/ A’’ in the required fields if you wish to remain anonymous). 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. Regulations governing sideboard protections for GOA groundfish fisheries appear at subpart B of 50 CFR part 680. NMFS closed directed fishing for Pacific cod by catcher/processors using trawl gear in the Western Regulatory Area of the GOA under § 679.20(d)(1)(iii) on January 1, 2017 pursuant to the final 2017 and 2018 harvest specifications for groundfish of the Gulf of Alaska (82 FR 12032, February 27, 2017). NMFS has determined that as of March 1, 2017, approximately 200 metric tons of Pacific cod remain in the A season allowance of the 2017 Pacific cod apportionment for catcher/ processors using trawl gear in the Western Regulatory Area of the GOA. Therefore, in accordance with § 679.25(a)(1)(i), (a)(2)(i)(C), and (a)(2)(iii)(D), and to fully use the 2017 total allowable catch (TAC) of Pacific cod in the Western Regulatory Area of the GOA, NMFS is terminating the previous closure and is opening directed fishing for Pacific cod by catcher/processors using trawl gear in the Western Regulatory Area of the GOA. The Administrator, Alaska Region, NMFS, (Regional Administrator) considered the following factors in reaching this decision: (1) The current catch of Pacific cod by catcher/ processors using trawl gear in the Western Regulatory Area of the GOA and, (2) the harvest capacity and stated intent on future harvesting patterns of vessels in participating in this fishery. Classification This action responds to the best available information recently obtained from the fishery. The Acting Assistant Administrator for Fisheries, NOAA (AA), finds good cause to waive the requirement to provide prior notice and VerDate Sep<11>2014 13:51 Mar 06, 2017 Jkt 241001 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 opening of directed fishing for Pacific cod by catcher/processors using trawl gear 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 March 1, 2017. 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. Without this inseason adjustment, NMFS could not allow the fishery for Pacific cod by catcher/processors using trawl gear in the Western Regulatory Area of the GOA to be harvested in an expedient manner and in accordance with the regulatory schedule. Under § 679.25(c)(2), interested persons are invited to submit written comments on this action to the above address until March 17, 2017. This action is required by § 679.25 and is exempt from review under Executive Order 12866. Authority: 16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq. Dated: March 2, 2017. Karen H. Abrams, Acting Deputy Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine Fisheries Service. [FR Doc. 2017–04446 Filed 3–2–17; 4:15 pm] BILLING CODE 3510–22–P DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration 50 CFR Part 679 [Docket No. 161020985–7181–02] RIN 0648–XF262 Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Reallocation of Pollock in the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Commerce. ACTION: Temporary rule. AGENCY: PO 00000 Frm 00038 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 NMFS is reallocating the projected unused amounts of the Aleut Corporation’s pollock and the Community Development Quota directed fishing allowance from the Aleutian Islands subarea to the Bering Sea subarea directed fisheries. These actions are necessary to provide opportunity for harvest of the 2017 total allowable catch of pollock, 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.), March 7, 2017, until 2400 hrs, A.l.t., December 31, 2017. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Steve Whitney, 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. In the Aleutian Islands subarea, the portion of the 2017 pollock total allowable catch (TAC) allocated to the Aleut Corporation’s is 14,700 metric tons (mt) and the Community Development Quota (CDQ) directed fishing allowance (DFA) is 1,900 mt as established by the final 2017 and 2018 harvest specifications for groundfish in the BSAI (82 FR 11826, February 27, 2017). As of March 1, 2017, the Administrator, Alaska Region, NMFS, (Regional Administrator) has determined that 9,000 mt of Aleut Corporation’s DFA and 1,900 mt of pollock CDQ DFA in the Aleutian Islands subarea will not be harvested. Therefore, in accordance with § 679.20(a)(5)(iii)(B)(4), NMFS reallocates 9,000 mt of Aleut Corporation’s DFA and 1,900 mt of pollock CDQ DFA from the Aleutian Islands subarea to the 2017 Bering Sea subarea allocations. The 1,900 mt of pollock CDQ DFA is added to the 2017 Bering Sea CDQ DFA. The remaining 9,000 mt of pollock is apportioned to the AFA Inshore sector (50 percent), AFA catcher/processor sector (40 percent), and the AFA mothership sector (10 percent). The 2017 pollock incidental catch allowance remains at 47,210 mt. As a result, the harvest specifications for pollock in the SUMMARY: E:\FR\FM\07MRR1.SGM 07MRR1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 82, Number 43 (Tuesday, March 7, 2017)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 12749-12750]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2017-04446]


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DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

50 CFR Part 679

[Docket No. 160920866-7167-02]
RIN 0648-XF268


Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Pacific Cod 
by Catcher/Processors Using Trawl Gear in the Western Regulatory Area 
of the Gulf of Alaska

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

ACTION: Temporary rule; modification of a closure.

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SUMMARY: NMFS is opening directed fishing for Pacific cod by catcher/
processors using trawl gear in the Western Regulatory Area of the Gulf 
of Alaska (GOA). This action is necessary to fully use the A season 
allowance of the 2017 total allowable catch apportioned to catcher/
processors using trawl gear in the Western Regulatory Area of the GOA.

DATES: Effective 1200 hours, Alaska local time (A.l.t.), March 4, 2017, 
through 1200 hours, A.l.t., June 10, 2017. Comments must be received at 
the following address no later than 4:30 p.m., A.l.t., March 17, 2017.

ADDRESSES: You may submit comments on this document, identified by 
NOAA-NMFS-2016-0127, by any of the following methods:
     Electronic Submission: Submit all electronic public 
comments via the Federal e-Rulemaking Portal. Go to 
www.regulations.gov/#!docketDetail;D=NOAA-NMFS-2016-0127, click the 
``Comment Now!'' icon, complete the required fields, and enter or 
attach your comments.
     Mail: Submit 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.
    Instructions: 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 by NMFS. 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), confidential business information, 
or otherwise sensitive information

[[Page 12750]]

submitted voluntarily by the sender will be publicly accessible. NMFS 
will accept anonymous comments (enter ``N/A'' in the required fields if 
you wish to remain anonymous).

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. Regulations governing sideboard 
protections for GOA groundfish fisheries appear at subpart B of 50 CFR 
part 680.
    NMFS closed directed fishing for Pacific cod by catcher/processors 
using trawl gear in the Western Regulatory Area of the GOA under Sec.  
679.20(d)(1)(iii) on January 1, 2017 pursuant to the final 2017 and 
2018 harvest specifications for groundfish of the Gulf of Alaska (82 FR 
12032, February 27, 2017).
    NMFS has determined that as of March 1, 2017, approximately 200 
metric tons of Pacific cod remain in the A season allowance of the 2017 
Pacific cod apportionment for catcher/processors using trawl gear in 
the Western Regulatory Area of the GOA. Therefore, in accordance with 
Sec.  679.25(a)(1)(i), (a)(2)(i)(C), and (a)(2)(iii)(D), and to fully 
use the 2017 total allowable catch (TAC) of Pacific cod in the Western 
Regulatory Area of the GOA, NMFS is terminating the previous closure 
and is opening directed fishing for Pacific cod by catcher/processors 
using trawl gear in the Western Regulatory Area of the GOA. The 
Administrator, Alaska Region, NMFS, (Regional Administrator) considered 
the following factors in reaching this decision: (1) The current catch 
of Pacific cod by catcher/processors using trawl gear in the Western 
Regulatory Area of the GOA and, (2) the harvest capacity and stated 
intent on future harvesting patterns of vessels in participating in 
this fishery.

Classification

    This action responds to the best available information recently 
obtained from the fishery. The Acting 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 opening of directed fishing for Pacific cod 
by catcher/processors using trawl gear 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 March 1, 2017.
    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.
    Without this inseason adjustment, NMFS could not allow the fishery 
for Pacific cod by catcher/processors using trawl gear in the Western 
Regulatory Area of the GOA to be harvested in an expedient manner and 
in accordance with the regulatory schedule. Under Sec.  679.25(c)(2), 
interested persons are invited to submit written comments on this 
action to the above address until March 17, 2017.
    This action is required by Sec.  679.25 and is exempt from review 
under Executive Order 12866.

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

    Dated: March 2, 2017.
Karen H. Abrams,
Acting Deputy Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National 
Marine Fisheries Service.
[FR Doc. 2017-04446 Filed 3-2-17; 4:15 pm]
 BILLING CODE 3510-22-P