Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Deep-Water Species Fishery by Vessels Using Trawl Gear in the Gulf of Alaska, 22441-22442 [2017-09995]

Download as PDF [FR Doc. 2017–09877 Filed 5–12–17; 4:15 pm] BILLING CODE 3510–22–C DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration 50 CFR Part 679 [Docket No. 160920866–7167–02] RIN 0648–XF418 Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Deep-Water Species Fishery by Vessels Using Trawl Gear in the Gulf of Alaska National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Commerce. ACTION: Temporary rule; opening. pmangrum on DSK3GDR082PROD with RULES AGENCY: NMFS is opening directed fishing for species that comprise the deep-water species fishery by vessels using trawl gear in the Gulf of Alaska SUMMARY: VerDate Sep<11>2014 14:05 May 15, 2017 Jkt 241001 (GOA). This action is necessary to fully use the 2017 groundfish total allowable catch specified for the species comprising the deep-water species category in the GOA. DATES: Effective 1200 hours, Alaska local time (A.l.t.), May 15, 2017, through 1200 hours, A.l.t., July 1, 2017. Comments must be received at the following address no later than 4:30 p.m., A.l.t., May 31, 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: PO 00000 Frm 00043 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 22441 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). Attachments to electronic comments will be accepted in Microsoft Word, Excel, or Adobe PDF file formats only. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Obren Davis, 907–586–7228. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: NMFS manages the groundfish fishery in the GOA exclusive economic zone E:\FR\FM\16MYR1.SGM 16MYR1 ER16MY17.003</GPH> Federal Register / Vol. 82, No. 93 / Tuesday, May 16, 2017 / Rules and Regulations 22442 Federal Register / Vol. 82, No. 93 / Tuesday, May 16, 2017 / Rules and Regulations pmangrum on DSK3GDR082PROD with RULES 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. NMFS prohibited directed fishing for species that comprise the deep-water species fishery by vessels using trawl gear in the GOA, effective 1200 hours, A.l.t., April 13, 2017 (82 FR 18252; April 18, 2017) under § 679.21(d)(6)(i). That action was necessary because the second seasonal apportionment of the Pacific halibut bycatch allowance specified for the deep-water species fishery in the GOA was reached. The species and species groups that comprise the deep-water species fishery include sablefish, rockfish, deep-water flatfish, rex sole, and arrowtooth flounder. Regulations at § 679.21(d)(4)(iii)(D) require NMFS to combine management of the available trawl halibut PSC limits in the second season (April 1 through July 1) deep-water and shallow-water species fishery categories for use in either fishery from May 15 through June 30 of each year. The combined second seasonal apportionment of Pacific halibut PSC is 810 metric tons (mt). This includes the deep-water and shallow water Pacific halibut PSC limits carried forward from the first seasonal apportionments (January 20 through April 1). The deep-water and shallow- VerDate Sep<11>2014 14:05 May 15, 2017 Jkt 241001 water Pacific halibut PSC apportionments were established by the final 2017 and 2018 harvest specifications for groundfish of the GOA (82 FR 12032; February 27, 2017). As of May 11, 2017, NMFS has determined that there is approximately 337 mt of the trawl Pacific halibut PSC limit remaining in the deep-water fishery and shallow-water fishery seasonal apportionments. Therefore, in accordance with § 679.25(a)(1)(i), (a)(2)(i)(C), and (a)(2)(iii)(D), and to fully utilize the 2017 groundfish total allowable catch available in the deepwater species fishery category NMFS is terminating the previous closure and is reopening directed fishing for species comprising the deep-water fishery category in the GOA. The Administrator, Alaska Region (Regional Administrator) considered the following factors in reaching this decision: (1) The current harvest of Pacific halibut PSC in the deep-water species trawl fishery the 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 PO 00000 Frm 00044 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 9990 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 species comprising the deep-water species fishery category in 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 May 11, 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 trawl deepwater species fishery in 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 May 31, 2017. This action is required by § 679.21 and § 679.25 and is exempt from review under Executive Order 12866. Authority: 16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq. Dated: May 12, 2017. Karen H. Abrams, Acting Deputy Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine Fisheries Service. [FR Doc. 2017–09995 Filed 5–15–17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510–22–P E:\FR\FM\16MYR1.SGM 16MYR1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 82, Number 93 (Tuesday, May 16, 2017)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 22441-22442]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2017-09995]


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DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

50 CFR Part 679

[Docket No. 160920866-7167-02]
RIN 0648-XF418


Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Deep-Water 
Species Fishery by Vessels Using Trawl Gear in the Gulf of Alaska

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

ACTION: Temporary rule; opening.

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SUMMARY: NMFS is opening directed fishing for species that comprise the 
deep-water species fishery by vessels using trawl gear in the Gulf of 
Alaska (GOA). This action is necessary to fully use the 2017 groundfish 
total allowable catch specified for the species comprising the deep-
water species category in the GOA.

DATES: Effective 1200 hours, Alaska local time (A.l.t.), May 15, 2017, 
through 1200 hours, A.l.t., July 1, 2017.
    Comments must be received at the following address no later than 
4:30 p.m., A.l.t., May 31, 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). 
Attachments to electronic comments will be accepted in Microsoft Word, 
Excel, or Adobe PDF file formats only.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Obren Davis, 907-586-7228.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: NMFS manages the groundfish fishery in the 
GOA exclusive economic zone

[[Page 22442]]

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.
    NMFS prohibited directed fishing for species that comprise the 
deep-water species fishery by vessels using trawl gear in the GOA, 
effective 1200 hours, A.l.t., April 13, 2017 (82 FR 18252; April 18, 
2017) under Sec.  679.21(d)(6)(i). That action was necessary because 
the second seasonal apportionment of the Pacific halibut bycatch 
allowance specified for the deep-water species fishery in the GOA was 
reached. The species and species groups that comprise the deep-water 
species fishery include sablefish, rockfish, deep-water flatfish, rex 
sole, and arrowtooth flounder.
    Regulations at Sec.  679.21(d)(4)(iii)(D) require NMFS to combine 
management of the available trawl halibut PSC limits in the second 
season (April 1 through July 1) deep-water and shallow-water species 
fishery categories for use in either fishery from May 15 through June 
30 of each year. The combined second seasonal apportionment of Pacific 
halibut PSC is 810 metric tons (mt). This includes the deep-water and 
shallow water Pacific halibut PSC limits carried forward from the first 
seasonal apportionments (January 20 through April 1). The deep-water 
and shallow-water Pacific halibut PSC apportionments were established 
by the final 2017 and 2018 harvest specifications for groundfish of the 
GOA (82 FR 12032; February 27, 2017).
    As of May 11, 2017, NMFS has determined that there is approximately 
337 mt of the trawl Pacific halibut PSC limit remaining in the deep-
water fishery and shallow-water fishery seasonal apportionments. 
Therefore, in accordance with Sec.  679.25(a)(1)(i), (a)(2)(i)(C), and 
(a)(2)(iii)(D), and to fully utilize the 2017 groundfish total 
allowable catch available in the deep-water species fishery category 
NMFS is terminating the previous closure and is reopening directed 
fishing for species comprising the deep-water fishery category in the 
GOA. The Administrator, Alaska Region (Regional Administrator) 
considered the following factors in reaching this decision: (1) The 
current harvest of Pacific halibut PSC in the deep-water species trawl 
fishery the 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 species 
comprising the deep-water species fishery category in 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 May 11, 
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 trawl 
deep-water species fishery in 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 May 31, 2017.
    This action is required by Sec.  679.21 and Sec.  679.25 and is 
exempt from review under Executive Order 12866.

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

    Dated: May 12, 2017.
Karen H. Abrams,
Acting Deputy Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National 
Marine Fisheries Service.
[FR Doc. 2017-09995 Filed 5-15-17; 8:45 am]
 BILLING CODE 3510-22-P