Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Yellowfin Sole for Vessels Participating in the BSAI Trawl Limited Access Fishery in the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Management Area, 24880-24881 [2017-11197]

Download as PDF 24880 Federal Register / Vol. 82, No. 103 / Wednesday, May 31, 2017 / Rules and Regulations asabaliauskas on DSKBBXCHB2PROD with RULES Area to be closed to LAGC IFQ permitted vessels for the remainder of the fishing year once the NMFS Greater Atlantic Regional Administrator determines that the allowed number of trips for fishing year 2017 are projected to be taken. Based on trip declarations by LAGC IFQ scallop vessels fishing in the Nantucket Lightship Scallop Access Area, analysis of fishing effort, and other information, NMFS projects that 837 trips will be taken as of May 30, 2017. Therefore, in accordance with § 648.59(g)(3)(iii), NMFS is closing the Nantucket Lightship Scallop Access Area to all LAGC IFQ scallop vessels as of May 30, 2017. No vessel issued an LAGC IFQ permit may fish for, possess, or land scallops in or from the Nantucket Lightship Scallop Access Area after 0001 local time, May 30, 2017. Any LAGC IFQ vessel that has declared into the Nantucket Lightship Access Area scallop fishery, complied with all trip notification and observer requirements, and crossed the VMS demarcation line on the way to the area before 0001, May 30, 2017, may complete its trip without being subject to this closure. This closure is in effect for the remainder of the 2017 scallop fishing year. 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 Nantucket Lightship Scallop Access Area opened for the 2017 fishing year on March 23, 2017. The regulations at § 648.59(g)(3)(iii) require this closure to ensure that LAGC IFQ scallop vessels do not take more than their allocated number of trips in the Nantucket Lightship Scallop Access Area. The projections of the date on which the LAGC IFQ fleet will have taken all of its allocated trips in an Access Area become apparent only as trips into the area occur on a real-time basis and as activity trends begin to appear. As a result, NMFS can only make an accurate projection very close in time to when the fleet has taken all of its trips. In order to propose a closure for purposes of receiving prior public comment, NMFS would need to make a projection based on very little information, which would result in a closure too early or too late. To allow LAGC IFQ scallop vessels to continue to take trips in the Nantucket Lightship Scallop Access Area during the period necessary to VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:13 May 30, 2017 Jkt 241001 publish and receive comments on a proposed rule would likely result in vessels taking much more than the allowed number of trips in the Nantucket Lightship Scallop Access Area. Excessive trips and harvest from the Nantucket Lightship Scallop Access 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. For these same reasons, NMFS further finds, pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 553(d)(3), good cause to waive the 30-day delayed effectiveness period. Authority: 16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq. Dated: May 25, 2017. Margo B. Schulze-Haugen, Acting Deputy Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine Fisheries Service. [FR Doc. 2017–11180 Filed 5–25–17; 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–XF468 Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Yellowfin Sole for Vessels Participating in the BSAI Trawl Limited Access Fishery in the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Management Area National Marine Fisheries Service, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Commerce. ACTION: Temporary rule; closure. AGENCY: NMFS is prohibiting directed fishing for yellowfin sole in the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands management area (BSAI) for vessels participating in the BSAI trawl limited access fishery. This action is necessary to prevent exceeding the 2017 allocation of yellowfin sole total allowable catch for vessels participating in the BSAI trawl limited access fishery in the BSAI. DATES: Effective 1200 hrs, Alaska local time (A.l.t.), May 26, 2017, through 2400 hrs, A.l.t., December 31, 2017. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Steve Whitney, 907–586–7228. SUMMARY: PO 00000 Frm 00056 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 NMFS manages the groundfish fishery in the BSAI 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 2017 allocation of yellowfin sole total allowable catch for vessels participating in the BSAI trawl limited access fishery in the BSAI is 18,151 metric tons (mt) as established by the final 2017 and 2018 harvest specifications for groundfish in the BSAI (82 FR 11826, February 27, 2017). In accordance with § 679.20(d)(1)(iii), the Administrator, Alaska Region, NMFS (Regional Administrator), has determined that the 2017 allocation of yellowfin sole total allowable catch allocated as a directed fishing allowance for vessels participating in the BSAI trawl limited access fishery in the BSAI will soon be reached. Consequently, NMFS is prohibiting directed fishing for yellowfin sole for vessels participating in the BSAI trawl limited access fishery in the BSAI. After the effective date of this closure the maximum retainable amounts at § 679.20(e) and (f) apply at any time during a trip. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: 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 closure of directed fishing for yellowfin sole by vessels fishing in the BSAI trawl limited access fishery in the BSAI. NMFS was unable to publish a notice providing time for public comment because the most recent, relevant data only became available as of May 24, 2017. The acting 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 E:\FR\FM\31MYR1.SGM 31MYR1 Federal Register / Vol. 82, No. 103 / Wednesday, May 31, 2017 / Rules and Regulations 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. 24881 Dated: May 25, 2017. Margo B. Schulze-Haugen, Acting Deputy Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine Fisheries Service. [FR Doc. 2017–11197 Filed 5–25–17; 4:15 pm] asabaliauskas on DSKBBXCHB2PROD with RULES BILLING CODE 3510–22–P VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:13 May 30, 2017 Jkt 241001 PO 00000 Frm 00057 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 9990 E:\FR\FM\31MYR1.SGM 31MYR1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 82, Number 103 (Wednesday, May 31, 2017)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 24880-24881]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2017-11197]


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DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

50 CFR Part 679

[Docket No. 161020985-7181-02]
RIN 0648-XF468


Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Yellowfin 
Sole for Vessels Participating in the BSAI Trawl Limited Access Fishery 
in the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Management Area

AGENCY: National Marine Fisheries Service, National Oceanic and 
Atmospheric Administration, Commerce.

ACTION: Temporary rule; closure.

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SUMMARY: NMFS is prohibiting directed fishing for yellowfin sole in the 
Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands management area (BSAI) for vessels 
participating in the BSAI trawl limited access fishery. This action is 
necessary to prevent exceeding the 2017 allocation of yellowfin sole 
total allowable catch for vessels participating in the BSAI trawl 
limited access fishery in the BSAI.

DATES: Effective 1200 hrs, Alaska local time (A.l.t.), May 26, 2017, 
through 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 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 2017 allocation of yellowfin sole total allowable catch for 
vessels participating in the BSAI trawl limited access fishery in the 
BSAI is 18,151 metric tons (mt) as established by the final 2017 and 
2018 harvest specifications for groundfish in the BSAI (82 FR 11826, 
February 27, 2017). In accordance with Sec.  679.20(d)(1)(iii), the 
Administrator, Alaska Region, NMFS (Regional Administrator), has 
determined that the 2017 allocation of yellowfin sole total allowable 
catch allocated as a directed fishing allowance for vessels 
participating in the BSAI trawl limited access fishery in the BSAI will 
soon be reached. Consequently, NMFS is prohibiting directed fishing for 
yellowfin sole for vessels participating in the BSAI trawl limited 
access fishery 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 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 closure of directed fishing for yellowfin 
sole by vessels fishing in the BSAI trawl limited access fishery in the 
BSAI. NMFS was unable to publish a notice providing time for public 
comment because the most recent, relevant data only became available as 
of May 24, 2017.
    The acting 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

[[Page 24881]]

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: May 25, 2017.
Margo B. Schulze-Haugen,
Acting Deputy Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National 
Marine Fisheries Service.
[FR Doc. 2017-11197 Filed 5-25-17; 4:15 pm]
 BILLING CODE 3510-22-P