Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Pollock in Statistical Area 610 in the Gulf of Alaska, 15164-15165 [2017-05978]

Download as PDF 15164 Federal Register / Vol. 82, No. 57 / Monday, March 27, 2017 / Rules and Regulations § 648.62 Northern Gulf of Maine (NGOM) Management Program. * * * * * (b) * * * (1) NGOM annual hard TACs. The annual hard TAC for the NGOM is 73,371 lb (33,281 kg) for the 2017 fishing year and 95,000 lb (43,091 kg) for the 2018 fishing year. * * * * * [FR Doc. 2017–06002 Filed 3–23–17; 4:15 pm] BILLING CODE 3510–22–P DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration 50 CFR Part 648 [Docket No. 151210999–6348–02] RIN 0648–XF312 Fisheries of the Northeastern United States; Atlantic Sea Scallop Fishery; 2017 Closure of the Northern Gulf of Maine Scallop Management Area National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Commerce. ACTION: Temporary rule; closure. AGENCY: NMFS announces that the Northern Gulf of Maine Scallop Management Area will close for the remainder of the 2017 fishing year. No vessel issued a Federal scallop permit, with the exception of Northern Gulf of Maine permit holders also holding a Maine state scallop permit and fishing under the state waters exemption program in Maine state waters, may fish for, possess, or land scallops from the Northern Gulf of Maine Scallop Management Area. Regulations require this action once NMFS projects that 100 percent of the 2017 default total allowable catch for the Northern Gulf of Maine Scallop Management Area will be harvested. DATES: Effective 0001 hr local time, March 23, 2017, through February 28, 2018. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Shannah Jaburek, Fishery Management Specialist, (978) 282–8456. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The reader can find regulations governing fishing activity in the Northern Gulf of Maine (NGOM) Scallop Management Area in 50 CFR 648.54 and § 648.62. These regulations authorize vessels issued a valid Federal scallop permit to fish in the NGOM Scallop Management Area under specific conditions, including a total allowable catch (TAC) of 70,000 lb pmangrum on DSK3GDR082PROD with RULES SUMMARY: VerDate Sep<11>2014 12:21 Mar 24, 2017 Jkt 241001 (30.6 mt) set under Scallop Framework Adjustment 27 default measures for the start of the 2017 fishing year, and a State Waters Exemption Program for the State of Maine. Section 648.62(b)(2) requires the NGOM Scallop Management Area to be closed to federally permitted scallop vessels for the remainder of the fishing year once the NMFS Greater Atlantic Regional Administrator determines that the default TAC for fishing year 2017 is projected to be harvested. Any vessel that holds a Federal NGOM permit (category LAGC B) may continue to fish in the Maine state waters portion of the NGOM Scallop Management Area under the State Waters Exemption Program found in § 648.54 provided they have a valid Maine state scallop permit and fish in state waters only. Based on trip declarations by federally permitted scallop vessels fishing in the NGOM Scallop Management Area, an analysis of fishing effort, and other information, we project that the 2017 default TAC will be harvested as of March 23, 2017. Therefore, in accordance with § 648.62(b)(2), the NGOM Scallop Management Area is closed to all federally permitted scallop vessels as of March 23, 2017. No vessel issued a Federal scallop permit may fish for, possess, or land scallops in or from the NGOM Scallop Management Area after 0001 local time, March 23, 2017, unless the vessel is fishing exclusively in state waters and is participating in an approved state waters exemption program as specified in § 648.54. Any federally permitted scallop vessel that has declared into the NGOM Scallop Management Area, complied with all trip notification and observer requirements, and crossed the VMS demarcation line on the way to the area before 0001, March 23, 2017, may complete its trip. All limited access scallop vessels fishing on a day-at-sea must exit the NGOM Scallop Management Area before 0001 hr local time, March 23, 2017. This closure is in effect through February 28, 2018. Classification This action is required by 50 CFR part 648 and is exempt from review under Executive Order 12866. NMFS finds good cause pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 553(b)(B) to waive prior notice and the opportunity for public comment because it would be contrary to the public interest and impracticable. The NGOM Scallop Management Area opened for the 2017 fishing year on March 1, 2017, under default measures implemented under Framework 27 (May 4, 2016, 81 FR 26727). The regulations at § 648.60(b)(2) require this closure to PO 00000 Frm 00052 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 ensure that federally permitted scallop vessels do not harvest more than the allocated TAC for the NGOM Scallop Management Area. The projections of the date on which the NGOM Scallop Management Area TAC will be harvested become apparent only as trips into the area occur on a real-time basis and as activity trends begin to appear. As a result, an accurate projection only can be made very close in time to when the TAC is harvested. In addition, proposing a closure would likely increase activity, triggering an earlier closure than predicted. To allow federally permitted scallop vessels to continue to take trips in the NGOM Scallop Management Area during the period necessary to publish and receive comments on a proposed rule would likely result in vessels over-harvesting the 2017 default TAC for the NGOM Scallop Management Area. Over-harvest from the NGOM Scallop Management Area would result in excessive fishing effort in the area, where effort controls are critical, thereby undermining conservation objectives of the Atlantic Sea Scallop Fishery Management Plan and requiring more restrictive future management measures. Also, the public had prior notice and full opportunity to comment on this closure process when we put these provisions in place. NMFS further finds, pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 553(d)(3), good cause to waive the 30day delayed effectiveness period for the reasons stated above. Authority: 16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq. Dated: March 21, 2017. Karen H. Abrams, Acting Deputy Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine Fisheries Service. [FR Doc. 2017–05904 Filed 3–22–17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510–22–P DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration 50 CFR Part 679 [Docket No. 160920866–7167–02] RIN 0648–XF310 Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Pollock in Statistical Area 610 in the Gulf of Alaska National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Commerce. ACTION: Temporary rule; modification of closure. AGENCY: E:\FR\FM\27MRR1.SGM 27MRR1 Federal Register / Vol. 82, No. 57 / Monday, March 27, 2017 / Rules and Regulations NMFS is opening directed fishing for pollock in Statistical Area 610 of the Gulf of Alaska (GOA). This action is necessary to fully use the B season allowance of the 2017 total allowable catch of pollock in Statistical Area 610 of the GOA. DATES: Effective 1200 hours, Alaska local time (A.l.t.), March 23, 2017, through 1200 hours, A.l.t., March 27, 2017. Comments must be received at the following address no later than 4:30 p.m., A.l.t., April 6, 2017. ADDRESSES: You may submit comments on this document, identified by FDMS Docket Number 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: Address 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 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: 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 pmangrum on DSK3GDR082PROD with RULES SUMMARY: VerDate Sep<11>2014 12:21 Mar 24, 2017 Jkt 241001 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 B season allowance of the 2017 total allowable catch (TAC) of pollock in Statistical Area 610 of the GOA is 2,232 metric tons (mt) as established by the final 2017 and 2018 harvest specifications for groundfish of the GOA (82 FR 12032, February 27, 2017). NMFS closed directed fishing for pollock in Statistical Area 610 of the GOA under § 679.20(d)(1)(iii) on March 12, 2017 (82 FR 13777, March 15, 2017). As of March 17, 2017, NMFS has determined that approximately 1,874 metric tons of pollock remain in the B season directed fishing allowance for pollock in Statistical Area 610 of the GOA. Therefore, in accordance with § 679.25(a)(1)(i), (a)(2)(i)(C), and (a)(2)(iii)(D), and to fully utilize the B season allowance of the 2017 TAC of pollock in Statistical Area 610 of the GOA, NMFS is terminating the previous closure and is reopening directed fishing pollock in Statistical Area 610 of the GOA, effective 1200 hours, A.l.t., March 23, 2017. The Administrator, Alaska Region (Regional Administrator) considered the following factors in reaching this decision: (1) The current catch of pollock in Statistical Area 610 of the GOA and, (2) the harvest capacity and stated intent on future harvesting patterns of vessels in participating in this fishery. In accordance with § 679.20(d)(1)(i), the Regional Administrator has determined that the B season allowance of the 2017 TAC of pollock in Statistical Area 610 of the GOA will be reached on March 27, 2017. Therefore, the Regional Administrator is establishing a directed fishing allowance of 2,132 mt and is setting aside the remaining 100 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 will be reached on March 27, 2017. Consequently, NMFS is prohibiting directed fishing for pollock PO 00000 Frm 00053 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 9990 15165 in Statistical Area 610 of the GOA on March 27, 2017. After the effective date of this closure the maximum retainable amounts at § 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 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 pollock in Statistical Area 610 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 17, 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 pollock in Statistical Area 610 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 April 6, 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 21, 2017. Karen H. Abrams, Acting Deputy Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine Fisheries Service. [FR Doc. 2017–05978 Filed 3–22–17; 4:15 pm] BILLING CODE 3510–22–P E:\FR\FM\27MRR1.SGM 27MRR1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 82, Number 57 (Monday, March 27, 2017)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 15164-15165]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2017-05978]


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DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

50 CFR Part 679

[Docket No. 160920866-7167-02]
RIN 0648-XF310


Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Pollock in 
Statistical Area 610 in the Gulf of Alaska

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

ACTION: Temporary rule; modification of closure.

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[[Page 15165]]

SUMMARY: NMFS is opening directed fishing for pollock in Statistical 
Area 610 of the Gulf of Alaska (GOA). This action is necessary to fully 
use the B season allowance of the 2017 total allowable catch of pollock 
in Statistical Area 610 of the GOA.

DATES: Effective 1200 hours, Alaska local time (A.l.t.), March 23, 
2017, through 1200 hours, A.l.t., March 27, 2017.
    Comments must be received at the following address no later than 
4:30 p.m., A.l.t., April 6, 2017.

ADDRESSES: You may submit comments on this document, identified by FDMS 
Docket Number 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: Address 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 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: 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 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 B season allowance of the 2017 total allowable catch (TAC) of 
pollock in Statistical Area 610 of the GOA is 2,232 metric tons (mt) as 
established by the final 2017 and 2018 harvest specifications for 
groundfish of the GOA (82 FR 12032, February 27, 2017).
    NMFS closed directed fishing for pollock in Statistical Area 610 of 
the GOA under Sec.  679.20(d)(1)(iii) on March 12, 2017 (82 FR 13777, 
March 15, 2017).
    As of March 17, 2017, NMFS has determined that approximately 1,874 
metric tons of pollock remain in the B season directed fishing 
allowance for pollock in Statistical Area 610 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 utilize the B season allowance of the 2017 
TAC of pollock in Statistical Area 610 of the GOA, NMFS is terminating 
the previous closure and is reopening directed fishing pollock in 
Statistical Area 610 of the GOA, effective 1200 hours, A.l.t., March 
23, 2017.
    The Administrator, Alaska Region (Regional Administrator) 
considered the following factors in reaching this decision: (1) The 
current catch of pollock in Statistical Area 610 of the GOA and, (2) 
the harvest capacity and stated intent on future harvesting patterns of 
vessels in participating in this fishery.
    In accordance with Sec.  679.20(d)(1)(i), the Regional 
Administrator has determined that the B season allowance of the 2017 
TAC of pollock in Statistical Area 610 of the GOA will be reached on 
March 27, 2017. Therefore, the Regional Administrator is establishing a 
directed fishing allowance of 2,132 mt and is setting aside the 
remaining 100 mt as bycatch to support other anticipated groundfish 
fisheries. In accordance with Sec.  679.20(d)(1)(iii), the Regional 
Administrator finds that this directed fishing allowance will be 
reached on March 27, 2017. Consequently, NMFS is prohibiting directed 
fishing for pollock in Statistical Area 610 of the GOA on March 27, 
2017.
    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 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 pollock in 
Statistical Area 610 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 17, 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 pollock in Statistical Area 610 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 April 6, 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 21, 2017.
Karen H. Abrams,
Acting Deputy Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National 
Marine Fisheries Service.
[FR Doc. 2017-05978 Filed 3-22-17; 4:15 pm]
 BILLING CODE 3510-22-P