Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Inseason Adjustment to the 2018 Gulf of Alaska Pollock and Pacific Cod Total Allowable Catch Amounts, 60327-60329 [2017-27429]

Download as PDF Federal Register / Vol. 82, No. 243 / Wednesday, December 20, 2017 / Rules and Regulations DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration 50 CFR Part 679 [Docket No. 160920866–7167–02] RIN 0648–XF867 Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Inseason Adjustment to the 2018 Gulf of Alaska Pollock and Pacific Cod Total Allowable Catch Amounts National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Commerce. ACTION: Temporary rule; inseason adjustment; request for comments. AGENCY: NMFS is adjusting the 2018 total allowable catch (TAC) amounts for the Gulf of Alaska (GOA) pollock and Pacific cod fisheries. This action is necessary because NMFS has determined these TACs are incorrectly specified, and will ensure the GOA pollock and Pacific cod TACs are the appropriate amounts based on the best available scientific information for pollock and Pacific cod in the GOA. This action is consistent with the goals and objectives of the Fishery Management Plan for Groundfish of the Gulf of Alaska. DATES: Effective 0000 hours, Alaska local time (A.l.t.), January 1, 2018, until the effective date of the final 2018 and 2019 harvest specifications for GOA groundfish, unless otherwise modified or superseded through publication of a notification in the Federal Register. Comments must be received at the following address no later than 4:30 p.m., A.l.t., January 4, 2018. 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 http://www.regulations.gov/#! docketDetail;D=NOAA-NMFS-20160127, click the ‘‘Comment Now!’’ icon, SUMMARY: 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 according to the Fishery Management Plan for Groundfish of the Gulf of Alaska (FMP) prepared by the North Pacific Fishery Management Council (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 final 2017 and 2018 harvest specifications for groundfish in the GOA (82 FR 12032, February 27, 2017) set the 2018 pollock TAC at 163,479 metric tons (mt) and the 2018 Pacific cod TAC at 57,825 mt in the GOA. In December 2017, the North Pacific Fishery Management Council (Council) recommended a 2018 pollock TAC of 166,228 mt for the GOA, which is more than the 163,479 mt established by the final 2017 and 2018 harvest specifications for groundfish in the 60327 GOA. The Council also recommended a 2018 Pacific cod TAC of 13,096 mt for the GOA, which is less than the 57,825 mt established by the final 2017 and 2018 harvest specifications for groundfish in the GOA. The Council’s recommended 2018 TACs, and the area and seasonal apportionments, are based on the Stock Assessment and Fishery Evaluation report (SAFE), dated November 2017, which NMFS has determined is the best available scientific information for these fisheries. Steller sea lions occur in the same location as the pollock and Pacific cod fisheries and are listed as endangered under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). Pollock and Pacific cod are a principal prey species for Steller sea lions in the GOA. The seasonal apportionment of pollock and Pacific cod harvest is necessary to ensure the groundfish fisheries are not likely to cause jeopardy of extinction or adverse modification of critical habitat for Steller sea lions. The regulations at § 679.20(a)(5)(iv) specify how the pollock TAC will be apportioned. The regulations at § 679.20(a)(6)(ii) and § 679.20(a)(12)(i) specify how the Pacific cod TAC will be apportioned. In accordance with § 679.25(a)(1)(iii), (a)(2)(i)(B), and (a)(2)(iv) the Administrator, Alaska Region, NMFS (Regional Administrator), has determined that, based on the November 2017 SAFE report for this fishery, the current GOA pollock and Pacific cod TACs are incorrectly specified. Consequently, pursuant to § 679.25(a)(1)(iii), the Regional Administrator is adjusting the 2018 GOA pollock TAC to 166,228 mt and the 2018 GOA Pacific cod TAC to 13,096 mt. Therefore, Table 2 of the final 2017 and 2018 harvest specifications for groundfish in the GOA (82 FR 12032, February 27, 2017) is revised consistent with this adjustment. Pursuant to § 679.20(a)(5)(iv), Table 4 of the final 2017 and 2018 harvest specifications for groundfish in the GOA (82 FR 12032, February 27, 2017) is revised for the 2018 TACs of pollock in the Central and Western Regulatory Area of the GOA. TABLE 4—FINAL 2018 DISTRIBUTION OF POLLOCK IN THE WESTERN AND CENTRAL REGULATORY AREAS OF THE GOA; SEASONAL BIOMASS DISTRIBUTION, AREA APPORTIONMENTS; AND SEASONAL ALLOWANCES OF ANNUAL TAC ethrower on DSK3G9T082PROD with RULES [Values are rounded to the nearest metric ton and percentages are rounded to the nearest 0.01] Season 1 A (Jan 20–Mar 10) ....... B (Mar 10–May 31) ...... C (Aug 25–Oct 1) ......... VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:19 Dec 19, 2017 Shumagin (Area 610) 1,317 1,317 13,777 Jkt 244001 Chirikof (Area 620) 3.497% 3.497% 36.587% PO 00000 Frm 00047 27,314 32,155 10,013 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 72.537% 85.392% 26.591% Kodiak (Area 630) 9,025 4,184 13,865 E:\FR\FM\20DER1.SGM 20DER1 23.966% 11.111% 36.821% Total 2 37,656 37,656 37,656 60328 Federal Register / Vol. 82, No. 243 / Wednesday, December 20, 2017 / Rules and Regulations TABLE 4—FINAL 2018 DISTRIBUTION OF POLLOCK IN THE WESTERN AND CENTRAL REGULATORY AREAS OF THE GOA; SEASONAL BIOMASS DISTRIBUTION, AREA APPORTIONMENTS; AND SEASONAL ALLOWANCES OF ANNUAL TAC—Continued [Values are rounded to the nearest metric ton and percentages are rounded to the nearest 0.01] Season 1 D (Oct 1–Nov 1) ........... 13,777 36.587% 10,013 26.591% 13,865 36.821% 37,656 Annual Total .......... 30,188 ........................ 79,495 ........................ 40,939 ........................ 150,622 1 As established by § 679.23(d)(2)(i) through (iv), the A, B, C, and D season allowances are available from January 20 to March 10, March 10 to May 31, August 25 to October 1, and October 1 to November 1, respectively. The amounts of pollock for processing by the inshore and offshore components are not shown in this table. 2 The WYK and SEO District pollock TACs are not allocated by season and are not included in the total pollock TACs shown in this table. Pursuant to § 679.20(a)(6)(ii) and § 679.20(a)(12)(i), Table 6 of the final 2017 and 2018 harvest specifications for groundfish in the GOA (82 FR 12032, February 27, 2017) is revised for the 2018 seasonal apportionments and allocation of Pacific cod TAC in the GOA consistent with this adjustment. TABLE 6—FINAL 2018 SEASONAL APPORTIONMENTS AND ALLOCATION OF PACIFIC COD TOTAL ALLOWABLE CATCH AMOUNTS IN THE GOA; ALLOCATIONS FOR THE WESTERN GOA AND CENTRAL GOA SECTORS AND THE EASTERN GOA INSHORE AND OFFSHORE PROCESSING COMPONENTS [Values are rounded to the nearest metric ton and percentages to the nearest 0.01. Seasonal allowances may not total precisely to annual allocation amount] A Season Annual allocation (mt) Regulatory area and sector Sector percentage of annual non-jig TAC B Season Seasonal allowances (mt) Sector percentage of annual non-jig TAC Seasonal allowances (mt) Western GOA Jig (2.5% of TAC) ................................................................ Hook-and-line CV ................................................................. Hook-and-line C/P ................................................................ Trawl CV .............................................................................. Trawl C/P ............................................................................. All Pot CV and Pot C/P ....................................................... 141 77 1,092 2,118 132 2,096 N/A 0.70 10.90 27.70 0.90 19.80 85 39 601 1,528 50 1,092 N/A 0.70 8.90 10.70 1.50 18.20 57 39 491 590 83 1,004 Total .............................................................................. 5,657 60.00 3,394 40.00 2,263 Central GOA Jig (1.0% of TAC) ................................................................ Hook-and-line <50 CV ......................................................... Hook-and-line ≥50 CV ......................................................... Hook-and-line C/P ................................................................ Trawl CV 1 ............................................................................ Trawl C/P ............................................................................. All Pot CV and Pot C/P ....................................................... 61 880 404 308 2,507 253 1,676 N/A 9.32 5.61 4.11 21.14 2.00 17.83 37 562 338 248 1,274 121 1,075 N/A 5.29 1.10 1.00 20.45 2.19 9.97 24 319 66 60 1,233 132 601 Total .............................................................................. 6,089 60.00 3,653 40.00 2,436 Eastern GOA ........................ Inshore (90% of Annual TAC) 1,350 1,215 Offshore (10% of Annual TAC) 135 Note: Seasonal apportionments may not total precisely due to due to rounding. ethrower on DSK3G9T082PROD with RULES 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 VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:19 Dec 19, 2017 Jkt 244001 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 allow for harvests that exceed the appropriate allocations for pollock and Pacific cod based on the best scientific information available. NMFS was unable to publish a notice providing time for public comment because the PO 00000 Frm 00048 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 most recent, relevant data only became available as of December 13, 2017, and additional time for prior public comment would result in conservation concerns for the ESA-listed Steller sea lions. 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 E:\FR\FM\20DER1.SGM 20DER1 Federal Register / Vol. 82, No. 243 / Wednesday, December 20, 2017 / Rules and Regulations prior notice and opportunity for public comment. Under § 679.25(c)(2), interested persons are invited to submit written comments on this action to the above address until January 4, 2018. This action is required by § 679.20 and § 679.25 and is exempt from review under Executive Order 12866. Authority: 16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq. Dated: December 15, 2017. Emily H. Menashes, Acting Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine Fisheries Service. [FR Doc. 2017–27429 Filed 12–19–17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510–22–P DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration 50 CFR Part 679 [Docket No. 161020985–7181–02] RIN 0648–XF866 Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Inseason Adjustment to the 2018 Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Pollock, Atka Mackerel, and Pacific Cod Total Allowable Catch Amounts National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Commerce. ACTION: Temporary rule; inseason adjustment; request for comments. AGENCY: NMFS is adjusting the 2018 total allowable catch (TAC) amounts for the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands (BSAI) pollock, Atka mackerel, and Pacific cod fisheries. This action is necessary because NMFS has determined these TACs are incorrectly specified, and will ensure the BSAI pollock, Atka mackerel, and Pacific cod TACs are the appropriate amounts based on the best available scientific information. Also, NMFS is announcing the Aleutian Islands Catcher Vessel (CV) Harvest Set-Aside and Bering Sea Trawl CV A-Season Sector Limitation will be in effect for 2018, and TACs in this inseason adjustment will apply for 2018. This action is consistent with the goals and objectives of the Fishery Management Plan for Groundfish of the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Management Area. DATES: Effective 0000 hours, Alaska local time (A.l.t.), January 1, 2018, until the effective date of the final 2018 and 2019 harvest specifications for BSAI ethrower on DSK3G9T082PROD with RULES SUMMARY: VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:19 Dec 19, 2017 Jkt 244001 groundfish, unless otherwise modified or superseded through publication of a notification in the Federal Register. Comments must be received at the following address no later than 4:30 p.m., A.l.t., January 4, 2018. ADDRESSES: You may submit comments on this document, identified by NOAA– NMFS–2016–0140, 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-20160140, 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 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: Mary Furuness, 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 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 final 2017 and 2018 harvest specifications for groundfish in the BSAI (82 FR 11826, February 27, 2017) set the 2018 Bering Sea (BS) pollock TAC at 1,345,000 mt, the 2018 BSAI Atka mackerel TAC at 65,000 mt, the 2018 BS Pacific cod TAC at 223,704 mt, and the 2018 AI Pacific cod TAC at 15,695 mt. In December 2017, the North Pacific Fishery Management Council (Council) recommended a 2018 BS PO 00000 Frm 00049 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 60329 pollock TAC of 1,364,341 mt, which is more than the 1,345,000 mt TAC established by the final 2017 and 2018 harvest specifications for groundfish in the BSAI. The Council also recommended a 2018 BSAI Atka mackerel TAC of 71,000 mt, which is more than the 65,000 mt TAC established by the final 2017 and 2018 harvest specifications for groundfish in the BSAI. The Council recommended a 2018 BS Pacific cod TAC of 188,136 mt, and an AI Pacific cod TAC of 15,695 mt, which is less than the BS Pacific cod TAC of 223,704 mt, and the same as the AI Pacific cod TAC of 15,695 mt established by the final 2017 and 2018 harvest specifications for groundfish in the BSAI. The Council’s recommended 2018 TACs, and the area and seasonal apportionments, are based on the Stock Assessment and Fishery Evaluation report (SAFE), dated November 2017, which NMFS has determined is the best available scientific information for these fisheries. Amendment 113 to the FMP (81 FR 84434, November 23, 2016) and regulations at § 679.20(a)(7)(viii) require NMFS to announce whether the Aleutian Islands incidental catch allowance, directed fishing allowance, CV Harvest Set-Aside, and Unrestricted Fishery, as well as the Bering Sea Trawl CV A-Season Sector Limitation will be in effect for 2018. NMFS received notification from Adak that a shoreplant will be processing Aleutian Islands Pacific cod in 2018. Therefore, the Pacific cod TACs in Table 9A of this inseason adjustment will be effective for 2018 and the harvest limits will apply in 2018. Steller sea lions occur in the same location as the pollock, Atka mackerel, and Pacific cod fisheries and are listed as endangered under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). Pollock, Atka mackerel, and Pacific cod are a principal prey species for Steller sea lions in the BSAI. The seasonal apportionment of pollock, Atka mackerel, and Pacific cod harvest is necessary to ensure the groundfish fisheries are not likely to cause jeopardy of extinction or adverse modification of critical habitat for Steller sea lions. NMFS published regulations and the revised harvest limit amounts for Atka mackerel, Pacific cod, and pollock fisheries to implement Steller sea lion protection measures to insure that groundfish fisheries of the BSAI are not likely to jeopardize the continued existence of the western distinct population segment of Steller sea lions or destroy or adversely modify their designated critical habitat (79 FR 70286, November 25, 2014). The regulations at E:\FR\FM\20DER1.SGM 20DER1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 82, Number 243 (Wednesday, December 20, 2017)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 60327-60329]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2017-27429]



[[Page 60327]]

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DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

50 CFR Part 679

[Docket No. 160920866-7167-02]
RIN 0648-XF867


Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Inseason 
Adjustment to the 2018 Gulf of Alaska Pollock and Pacific Cod Total 
Allowable Catch Amounts

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

ACTION: Temporary rule; inseason adjustment; request for comments.

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

SUMMARY: NMFS is adjusting the 2018 total allowable catch (TAC) amounts 
for the Gulf of Alaska (GOA) pollock and Pacific cod fisheries. This 
action is necessary because NMFS has determined these TACs are 
incorrectly specified, and will ensure the GOA pollock and Pacific cod 
TACs are the appropriate amounts based on the best available scientific 
information for pollock and Pacific cod in the GOA. This action is 
consistent with the goals and objectives of the Fishery Management Plan 
for Groundfish of the Gulf of Alaska.

DATES: Effective 0000 hours, Alaska local time (A.l.t.), January 1, 
2018, until the effective date of the final 2018 and 2019 harvest 
specifications for GOA groundfish, unless otherwise modified or 
superseded through publication of a notification in the Federal 
Register.
    Comments must be received at the following address no later than 
4:30 p.m., A.l.t., January 4, 2018.

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 http://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 according to the Fishery Management Plan 
for Groundfish of the Gulf of Alaska (FMP) prepared by the North 
Pacific Fishery Management Council (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 final 2017 and 2018 harvest specifications for groundfish in 
the GOA (82 FR 12032, February 27, 2017) set the 2018 pollock TAC at 
163,479 metric tons (mt) and the 2018 Pacific cod TAC at 57,825 mt in 
the GOA. In December 2017, the North Pacific Fishery Management Council 
(Council) recommended a 2018 pollock TAC of 166,228 mt for the GOA, 
which is more than the 163,479 mt established by the final 2017 and 
2018 harvest specifications for groundfish in the GOA. The Council also 
recommended a 2018 Pacific cod TAC of 13,096 mt for the GOA, which is 
less than the 57,825 mt established by the final 2017 and 2018 harvest 
specifications for groundfish in the GOA. The Council's recommended 
2018 TACs, and the area and seasonal apportionments, are based on the 
Stock Assessment and Fishery Evaluation report (SAFE), dated November 
2017, which NMFS has determined is the best available scientific 
information for these fisheries.
    Steller sea lions occur in the same location as the pollock and 
Pacific cod fisheries and are listed as endangered under the Endangered 
Species Act (ESA). Pollock and Pacific cod are a principal prey species 
for Steller sea lions in the GOA. The seasonal apportionment of pollock 
and Pacific cod harvest is necessary to ensure the groundfish fisheries 
are not likely to cause jeopardy of extinction or adverse modification 
of critical habitat for Steller sea lions. The regulations at Sec.  
679.20(a)(5)(iv) specify how the pollock TAC will be apportioned. The 
regulations at Sec.  679.20(a)(6)(ii) and Sec.  679.20(a)(12)(i) 
specify how the Pacific cod TAC will be apportioned.
    In accordance with Sec.  679.25(a)(1)(iii), (a)(2)(i)(B), and 
(a)(2)(iv) the Administrator, Alaska Region, NMFS (Regional 
Administrator), has determined that, based on the November 2017 SAFE 
report for this fishery, the current GOA pollock and Pacific cod TACs 
are incorrectly specified. Consequently, pursuant to Sec.  
679.25(a)(1)(iii), the Regional Administrator is adjusting the 2018 GOA 
pollock TAC to 166,228 mt and the 2018 GOA Pacific cod TAC to 13,096 
mt. Therefore, Table 2 of the final 2017 and 2018 harvest 
specifications for groundfish in the GOA (82 FR 12032, February 27, 
2017) is revised consistent with this adjustment.
    Pursuant to Sec.  679.20(a)(5)(iv), Table 4 of the final 2017 and 
2018 harvest specifications for groundfish in the GOA (82 FR 12032, 
February 27, 2017) is revised for the 2018 TACs of pollock in the 
Central and Western Regulatory Area of the GOA.

 Table 4--Final 2018 Distribution of Pollock in the Western and Central Regulatory Areas of the GOA; Seasonal Biomass Distribution, Area Apportionments;
                                                          and Seasonal Allowances of Annual TAC
                             [Values are rounded to the nearest metric ton and percentages are rounded to the nearest 0.01]
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Season \1\                                      Shumagin (Area 610)
                                                Chirikof (Area 620)
                                                 Kodiak (Area 630)             Total \2\
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
A (Jan 20-Mar 10).......................           1,317          3.497%          27,314         72.537%           9,025         23.966%          37,656
B (Mar 10-May 31).......................           1,317          3.497%          32,155         85.392%           4,184         11.111%          37,656
C (Aug 25-Oct 1)........................          13,777         36.587%          10,013         26.591%          13,865         36.821%          37,656

[[Page 60328]]

 
D (Oct 1-Nov 1).........................          13,777         36.587%          10,013         26.591%          13,865         36.821%          37,656
                                         ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Annual Total........................          30,188  ..............          79,495  ..............          40,939  ..............         150,622
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
\1\ As established by Sec.   679.23(d)(2)(i) through (iv), the A, B, C, and D season allowances are available from January 20 to March 10, March 10 to
  May 31, August 25 to October 1, and October 1 to November 1, respectively. The amounts of pollock for processing by the inshore and offshore
  components are not shown in this table.
\2\ The WYK and SEO District pollock TACs are not allocated by season and are not included in the total pollock TACs shown in this table.

    Pursuant to Sec.  679.20(a)(6)(ii) and Sec.  679.20(a)(12)(i), 
Table 6 of the final 2017 and 2018 harvest specifications for 
groundfish in the GOA (82 FR 12032, February 27, 2017) is revised for 
the 2018 seasonal apportionments and allocation of Pacific cod TAC in 
the GOA consistent with this adjustment.

 Table 6--Final 2018 Seasonal Apportionments and Allocation of Pacific Cod Total Allowable Catch Amounts in the
GOA; Allocations for the Western GOA and Central GOA Sectors and the Eastern GOA Inshore and Offshore Processing
                                                   Components
 [Values are rounded to the nearest metric ton and percentages to the nearest 0.01. Seasonal allowances may not
                                  total precisely to annual allocation amount]
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                             A Season                        B Season
                                                 ---------------------------------------------------------------
                                      Annual          Sector                          Sector
   Regulatory area and sector       allocation     percentage of     Seasonal      percentage of     Seasonal
                                       (mt)       annual non-jig    allowances    annual non-jig    allowances
                                                        TAC            (mt)             TAC            (mt)
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                   Western GOA
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Jig (2.5% of TAC)...............             141             N/A              85             N/A              57
Hook-and-line CV................              77            0.70              39            0.70              39
Hook-and-line C/P...............           1,092           10.90             601            8.90             491
Trawl CV........................           2,118           27.70           1,528           10.70             590
Trawl C/P.......................             132            0.90              50            1.50              83
All Pot CV and Pot C/P..........           2,096           19.80           1,092           18.20           1,004
                                 -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Total.......................           5,657           60.00           3,394           40.00           2,263
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                   Central GOA
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Jig (1.0% of TAC)...............              61             N/A              37             N/A              24
Hook-and-line <50 CV............             880            9.32             562            5.29             319
Hook-and-line >=50 CV...........             404            5.61             338            1.10              66
Hook-and-line C/P...............             308            4.11             248            1.00              60
Trawl CV \1\....................           2,507           21.14           1,274           20.45           1,233
Trawl C/P.......................             253            2.00             121            2.19             132
All Pot CV and Pot C/P..........           1,676           17.83           1,075            9.97             601
                                 -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Total.......................           6,089           60.00           3,653           40.00           2,436
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
           Eastern GOA            ..............    Inshore (90% of Annual TAC)
                                   Offshore (10% of Annual TAC)
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                           1,350                   1,215
                                                     135
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Note: Seasonal apportionments may not total precisely due to due to rounding.

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 allow for harvests that exceed the appropriate allocations for 
pollock and Pacific cod based on the best scientific information 
available. NMFS was unable to publish a notice providing time for 
public comment because the most recent, relevant data only became 
available as of December 13, 2017, and additional time for prior public 
comment would result in conservation concerns for the ESA-listed 
Steller sea lions.
    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

[[Page 60329]]

prior notice and opportunity for public comment.
    Under Sec.  679.25(c)(2), interested persons are invited to submit 
written comments on this action to the above address until January 4, 
2018.
    This action is required by Sec.  679.20 and Sec.  679.25 and is 
exempt from review under Executive Order 12866.

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

    Dated: December 15, 2017.
Emily H. Menashes,
Acting Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine 
Fisheries Service.
[FR Doc. 2017-27429 Filed 12-19-17; 8:45 am]
 BILLING CODE 3510-22-P