Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Inseason Adjustment to the 2019 Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Pollock, Atka Mackerel, and Pacific Cod Total Allowable Catch Amounts, 67144-67148 [2018-28214]

Download as PDF 67144 Federal Register / Vol. 83, No. 248 / Friday, December 28, 2018 / Rules and Regulations amozie on DSK3GDR082PROD with RULES mt of the 2018 Pacific cod TAC allocated to those vessels under § 679.20(a)(12)(i)(B)(4). In accordance with § 679.20(a)(12)(ii)(B), the Regional Administrator has also determined that catcher vessels less than 50 feet LOA using hook-and-line gear, catcher vessels greater than or equal to 50 feet LOA using hook-and-line gear, vessels using pot gear, and catcher/processors using trawl gear currently have the capacity to harvest this excess allocation. Therefore, NMFS apportions 60 mt of Pacific cod from the jig vessel apportionment, 40 mt of Pacific cod from the hook-and-line catcher/ processor apportionment, and 580 mt of Pacific cod from the trawl catcher vessel apportionment to catcher vessels less than 50 feet LOA using hook-and-line gear, catcher vessels greater than or equal to 50 feet LOA using hook-andline gear, vessels using pot gear, and catcher/processors using trawl gear in the Central Regulatory Area of the GOA. The harvest specifications for Pacific cod in the Central Regulatory Area of the GOA included in the final 2018 and 2019 harvest specifications for groundfish of the GOA (83 FR 8768, March 1, 2018) are revised as follows: 268 mt to catcher/processors using hook-and-line gear, 990 mt to catcher vessels less than 50 feet LOA using hook-and-line gear, 416 mt to catcher vessels greater than or equal to 50 feet LOA using hook-and-line gear, 1 mt to vessels using jig gear, 1,787 mt to vessels using pot gear, 700 mt to catcher/processors using trawl gear, and 1,695 mt to catcher vessels using trawl gear. 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 delay the reallocations of Pacific cod in the Central Regulatory Area of the GOA. Since the fishery is currently open, it is important to immediately inform the industry as to the revised allocations. Immediate notification is necessary to allow for the orderly conduct and efficient operation of this fishery, to allow the industry to plan for the fishing VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:02 Dec 27, 2018 Jkt 247001 season, and to avoid potential disruption to the fishing fleet as well as processors. NMFS was unable to publish a notice providing time for public comment because the most recent, relevant data only became available as of December 20, 2018. 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. This action is required by § 679.20 and is exempt from review under Executive Order 12866. Authority: 16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq. Dated: December 21, 2018. Karen H. Abrams, Acting Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine Fisheries Service. [FR Doc. 2018–28367 Filed 12–21–18; 4:15 pm] BILLING CODE 3510–22–P DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration 50 CFR Part 679 [Docket No. 170817779–8161–02] RIN 0648–XG684 Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Inseason Adjustment to the 2019 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 2019 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 2019, and TACs in this inseason adjustment will apply for 2019. This action is consistent with the goals and objectives of the Fishery SUMMARY: PO 00000 Frm 00112 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 Management Plan for Groundfish of the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Management Area. DATES: Effective 1200 hours, Alaska local time (A.l.t.), December 21, 2018, until the effective date of the final 2019 and 2020 harvest specifications for BSAI 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 14, 2019. ADDRESSES: Submit your comments, identified by NOAA–NMFS–2018–0801, by either of the following methods: • Federal e-Rulemaking Portal: Go to www.regulations.gov/ #!docketDetail;D=NOAA-NMFS-20180801, 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: NMFS may not consider comments if they are sent by any other method, to any other address or individual, or received after the comment period ends. All comments received are a part of the public record, and NMFS will post the comments 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 2018 and 2019 harvest specifications for groundfish in the BSAI (83 FR 8365, February 27, 2018) set the 2019 Aleutian Islands (AI) pollock TAC at 19,000 metric tons (mt), the 2019 Bering Sea (BS) pollock TAC at 1,383,000 mt, the 2019 BSAI Atka E:\FR\FM\28DER1.SGM 28DER1 Federal Register / Vol. 83, No. 248 / Friday, December 28, 2018 / Rules and Regulations mackerel TAC at 72,500 mt, the 2019 BS Pacific cod TAC at 159,120 mt, and the 2019 AI Pacific cod TAC at 15,695 mt. Also set was a 2019 AI pollock ABC of 30,803 mt and a Western Aleutian Islands limit for Pacific cod at 25.6 percent of the AI Pacific cod TAC. In December 2018, the North Pacific Fishery Management Council (Council) recommended a 2019 BS pollock TAC of 1,397,000 mt, which is more than the 1,383,000 mt TAC established by the final 2018 and 2019 harvest specifications for groundfish in the BSAI. The Council also recommended increasing the AI pollock ABC to 52,887 mt from 30,803 mt. This increases some 2019 area and seasonal limits for AI pollock. The Council also recommended a 2019 BSAI Atka mackerel TAC of 57,951 mt, which is less than the 72,500 mt TAC established by the final 2018 and 2019 harvest specifications for groundfish in the BSAI. Furthermore, the Council recommended a 2019 BS Pacific cod TAC of 166,475 mt, and an AI Pacific cod TAC of 14,214 mt, which is more than the BS Pacific cod TAC of 159,120 mt, and less than the AI Pacific cod TAC of 15,695 mt established by the final 2018 and 2019 harvest specifications for groundfish in the BSAI. In addition to changes in TACs, the Council recommended changing the percentage limit of Western Aleutian Islands Pacific cod to 15.7 percent of the AI Pacific cod ABC, from the 25.6 percent of the AI Pacific cod TAC. The Council’s recommended 2019 TACs, and the area and seasonal apportionments, are based on the Stock Assessment and Fishery Evaluation report (SAFE), dated November 2018, which NMFS has determined is the best available scientific information for these fisheries. Regulations at § 679.20(a)(7)(viii) require NMFS to announce whether the AI incidental catch allowance, directed fishing allowance, CV Harvest SetAside, and Unrestricted Fishery, as well as the Bering Sea Trawl CV A-Season Sector Limitation will be in effect for 2019. NMFS received notification from Adak that a shoreplant will be processing AI Pacific cod in 2019. Therefore, the Pacific cod TACs in Table 9 of this inseason adjustment will be effective for 2019 and the harvest limits in Table 9B (83 FR 8365, February 27, 2018) will apply in 2019. 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 pollock, Atka mackerel, and Pacific cod 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 § 679.20(a)(5)(i) and (ii) specify how the BS and AI pollock TAC will be apportioned. The regulations at § 679.20(a)(7) specify how the BSAI Pacific cod TAC will be apportioned. The regulations at § 679.20(a)(8) specify 67145 how the BSAI Atka mackerel 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 2018 SAFE report for this fishery, the current BSAI pollock, Atka mackerel, and Pacific cod TACs are incorrectly specified. Pursuant to § 679.25(a)(1)(iii), the Regional Administrator is adjusting the 2019 BS pollock TAC to 1,397,000 mt, the 2019 BSAI Atka mackerel TAC to 57,951 mt, the 2019 BS Pacific cod TAC to 166,475 mt, and the AI Pacific cod TAC to 14,214 mt. Therefore, Table 2 of the final 2018 and 2019 harvest specifications for groundfish in the BSAI (83 FR 8365, February 27, 2018) is revised consistent with this adjustment. Pursuant to § 679.20(a)(5)(i) and (ii), Table 5 of the final 2018 and 2019 harvest specifications for groundfish in the BSAI (83 FR 8365, February 27, 2018) is revised for the 2019 BS and AI allocations of pollock TAC to the directed pollock fisheries and to the Community Development Quota (CDQ) directed fishing allowances consistent with this adjustment. For AI pollock, the Steller sea lion protection measure final rule (79 FR 70286, November 25, 2014), sets harvest limits for pollock in the A season (January 20 to June 10) in Areas 543, 542, and 541, see § 679.20(a)(5)(iii)(B)(6). In Area 541, the 2019 A season pollock harvest limit is no more than 30 percent, or 15,866 mt, of the AI ABC of 52,887 mt. In Area 542, the 2019 A season pollock harvest limit is no more than 15 percent, or 7,933 mt, of the AI ABC of 52,887 mt. In Area 543, the 2019 A season pollock harvest limit is no more than 5 percent, or 2,644 mt, of the AI pollock ABC of 52,887 mt. TABLE 5—FINAL 2019 ALLOCATIONS OF POLLOCK TACS TO THE DIRECTED POLLOCK FISHERIES AND TO THE CDQ DIRECTED FISHING ALLOWANCES (DFA) 1 [Amounts are in metric tons] 2019 A season 1 2019 Allocations amozie on DSK3GDR082PROD with RULES Area and sector Bering Sea subarea TAC 1 .............................................................................. CDQ DFA ......................................................................................................... ICA 1 ................................................................................................................. Total Bering Sea non-CDQ DFA ..................................................................... AFA Inshore ..................................................................................................... AFA Catcher/Processors 3 ............................................................................... Catch by C/Ps .................................................................................................. Catch by CVs 3 ................................................................................................. Unlisted C/P Limit 4 .......................................................................................... AFA Motherships ............................................................................................. Excessive Harvesting Limit 5 ............................................................................ Excessive Processing Limit 6 ........................................................................... Aleutian Islands subarea ABC ......................................................................... Aleutian Islands subarea TAC 1 ....................................................................... VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:02 Dec 27, 2018 Jkt 247001 PO 00000 Frm 00113 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 1,397,000 139,700 49,035 1,208,265 604,133 483,306 442,225 41,081 2,417 120,827 211,446 362,480 52,887 19,000 A season DFA n/a 62,865 n/a 543,719 271,860 217,488 199,001 18,486 1,087 54,372 n/a n/a n/a n/a E:\FR\FM\28DER1.SGM 28DER1 SCA harvest limit 2 n/a 39,116 n/a 338,314 169,157 135,326 n/a n/a n/a 33,831 n/a n/a n/a n/a 2019 B season 1 B season DFA n/a 76,835 n/a 664,546 332,273 265,818 243,224 22,595 1,329 66,455 n/a n/a n/a n/a 67146 Federal Register / Vol. 83, No. 248 / Friday, December 28, 2018 / Rules and Regulations TABLE 5—FINAL 2019 ALLOCATIONS OF POLLOCK TACS TO THE DIRECTED POLLOCK FISHERIES AND TO THE CDQ DIRECTED FISHING ALLOWANCES (DFA) 1—Continued [Amounts are in metric tons] 2019 A season 1 2019 Allocations Area and sector CDQ DFA ......................................................................................................... ICA ................................................................................................................... Aleut Corporation ............................................................................................. Area harvest limit 7 541 .................................................................................... 542 ................................................................................................................... 543 ................................................................................................................... Bogoslof District ICA 8 ...................................................................................... A season DFA 1,900 2,400 14,700 15,866 7,933 2,644 500 2019 B season 1 SCA harvest limit 2 760 1,200 14,700 n/a n/a n/a n/a B season DFA n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a 1,140 1,200 0 n/a n/a n/a n/a 1 Pursuant to § 679.20(a)(5)(i)(A), the Bering Sea subarea pollock, after subtracting the CDQ DFA (10 percent) and the ICA (3.9 percent), is allocated as a DFA as follows: Inshore sector—50 percent, catcher/processor sector (C/P)—40 percent, and mothership sector—10 percent. In the Bering Sea subarea, 45 percent of the DFA is allocated to the A season (January 20–June 10) and 55 percent of the DFA is allocated to the B season (June 10–November 1). Pursuant to § 679.20(a)(5)(iii)(B)(2)(i) through (iii), the annual Aleutian Islands pollock TAC, after subtracting first for the CDQ DFA (10 percent) and second for the ICA (2,400 mt), is allocated to the Aleut Corporation for a pollock directed fishery. In the Aleutian Islands subarea, the A season is allocated up to 40 percent of the ABC, and the B season is allocated the remainder of the pollock directed fishery. 2 In the Bering Sea subarea, pursuant to § 679.20(a)(5)(i)(C), no more than 28 percent of each sector’s annual DFA may be taken from the SCA before noon, April 1. 3 Pursuant to § 679.20(a)(5)(i)(A)(4), 8.5 percent of the DFA allocated to listed catcher/processors shall be available for harvest only by eligible catcher vessels delivering to listed catcher/processors. 4 Pursuant to § 679.20(a)(5)(i)(A)(4)(iii), the AFA unlisted catcher/processors are limited to harvesting not more than 0.5 percent of the catcher/ processors sector’s allocation of pollock. 5 Pursuant to § 679.20(a)(5)(i)(A)(6), NMFS establishes an excessive harvesting share limit equal to 17.5 percent of the sum of the non-CDQ pollock DFAs. 6 Pursuant to § 679.20(a)(5)(i)(A)(7), NMFS establishes an excessive processing share limit equal to 30.0 percent of the sum of the non-CDQ pollock DFAs. 7 Pursuant to § 679.20(a)(5)(iii)(B)(6), NMFS establishes harvest limits for pollock in the A season in Area 541 of no more than 30 percent, in Area 542 of no more than 15 percent, and in Area 543 of no more than 5 percent of the Aleutian Islands pollock ABC. 8 The Bogoslof District is closed by the final harvest specifications to directed fishing for pollock. The amounts specified are for ICA only and are not apportioned by season or sector. Note: Seasonal or sector apportionments may not total precisely due to rounding. Pursuant to § 679.20(a)(8), Table 7 of the final 2018 and 2019 harvest specifications for groundfish in the BSAI (83 FR 8365, February 27, 2018) is revised for the 2019 seasonal and spatial allowances, gear shares, CDQ reserve, incidental catch allowance, and Amendment 80 allocation of the BSAI Atka mackerel TAC consistent with this adjustment. TABLE 7—FINAL 2019 SEASONAL AND SPATIAL ALLOWANCES, GEAR SHARES, CDQ RESERVE, INCIDENTAL CATCH ALLOWANCE, AND AMENDMENT 80 ALLOCATION OF THE BSAI ATKA MACKEREL TAC [Amounts are in metric tons] 2019 Allocation by area Sector 1 Season 2 3 4 TAC ........................................................ CDQ reserve .......................................... n/a ......................................................... Total ...................................................... A ............................................................ Critical Habitat ....................................... B ............................................................ Critical Habitat ....................................... n/a ......................................................... Total ...................................................... Total ...................................................... Total ...................................................... A ............................................................ Critical Habitat ....................................... B ............................................................ Critical Habitat ....................................... Total ...................................................... A ............................................................ Critical Habitat ....................................... B ............................................................ amozie on DSK3GDR082PROD with RULES non-CDQ TAC ........................................ ICA ......................................................... Jig 7 ........................................................ BSAI trawl limited access ...................... Amendment 80 sectors 7 ........................ VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:02 Dec 27, 2018 Jkt 247001 PO 00000 Frm 00114 Fmt 4700 Eastern Aleutian District/Bering Sea 5 Sfmt 4700 Central Aleutian District 5 23,970 2,565 1,282 n/a 1,282 n/a 21,405 800 103 2,050 1,025 n/a 1,025 n/a 18,452 9,226 n/a 9,226 E:\FR\FM\28DER1.SGM 14,390 1,540 770 462 770 462 12,850 75 0 1,278 639 383 639 383 11,498 5,749 3,449 5,749 28DER1 Western Aleutian District 5 19,591 2,096 1,048 629 1,048 629 17,495 20 0 0 0 0 0 0 17,475 8,737 5,242 8,737 Federal Register / Vol. 83, No. 248 / Friday, December 28, 2018 / Rules and Regulations 67147 TABLE 7—FINAL 2019 SEASONAL AND SPATIAL ALLOWANCES, GEAR SHARES, CDQ RESERVE, INCIDENTAL CATCH ALLOWANCE, AND AMENDMENT 80 ALLOCATION OF THE BSAI ATKA MACKEREL TAC—Continued [Amounts are in metric tons] 2019 Allocation by area Sector 1 Season 2 3 4 Eastern Aleutian District/Bering Sea 5 Critical Habitat ....................................... Central Aleutian District 5 n/a Western Aleutian District 5 3,449 5,242 1 Section 679.20(a)(8)(ii) allocates the Atka mackerel TACs, after subtracting the CDQ reserves, jig gear allocation, and ICAs, to the Amendment 80 and BSAI trawl limited access sectors. The allocation of the ITAC for Atka mackerel to the Amendment 80 and BSAI trawl limited access sectors is established in Table 33 to 50 CFR part 679 and § 679.91. The CDQ reserve is 10.7 percent of the TAC for use by CDQ participants (see §§ 679.20(b)(1)(ii)(C) and 679.31). 2 Sections 679.20(a)(8)(ii)(A) and 679.22(a) establish temporal and spatial limitations for the Atka mackerel fishery. 3 The seasonal allowances of Atka mackerel are 50 percent in the A season and 50 percent in the B season. 4 Section 679.23(e)(3) authorizes directed fishing for Atka mackerel with trawl gear during the A season from January 20 to June 10 and the B season from June 10 to December 31. 5 Section 679.20(a)(8)(ii)(C)(1)(i) limits no more than 60 percent of the annual TACs in Areas 542 and 543 to be caught inside of Steller sea lion critical habitat; section 679.20(a)(8)(ii)(C)(1)(ii) equally divides the annual TACs between the A and B seasons as defined at § 679.23(e)(3); and section 679.20 (a)(8)(ii)(C)(2) requires the TAC in Area 543 shall be no more than 65 percent of ABC in Area 543. 6 Section 679.20(a)(8)(i) requires that up to 2 percent of the Eastern Aleutian District and the Bering Sea subarea TAC be allocated to jig gear after subtracting the CDQ reserve and the ICA. NMFS set the amount of this allocation for 2019 at 0.5 percent. The jig gear allocation is not apportioned by season. 7 The 2019 allocations for Atka mackerel between Amendment 80 cooperatives and the Amendment 80 limited access sector will not be known until eligible participants apply for participation in the program by November 1, 2018. NMFS will post 2019 Amendment 80 allocations when they become available in December 2018. Note: Seasonal or sector apportionments may not total precisely due to rounding. Pursuant to § 679.20(a)(7), Table 9 of the final 2018 and 2019 harvest specifications for groundfish in the BSAI (83 FR 8365, February 27, 2018) is revised for the 2019 gear shares and seasonal allowances of the BSAI Pacific cod TAC consistent with this adjustment. TABLE 9–FINAL 2019 GEAR SHARES AND SEASONAL ALLOWANCES OF THE BSAI PACIFIC COD TAC [Amounts are in metric tons] amozie on DSK3GDR082PROD with RULES Gear sector Percent 2019 Share of gear sector total 2019 Share of sector total BS TAC ............................................. BS CDQ ............................................ BS non-CDQ TAC ............................. AI TAC .............................................. AI CDQ .............................................. AI non-CDQ TAC .............................. Western Aleutian Island Limit ........... Total BSAI non-CDQ TAC 1 .............. Total hook-and-line/pot gear ............. Hook-and-line/pot ICA 2 .................... Hook-and-line/pot sub-total ............... Hook-and-line catcher/processor ...... n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a 60.8 n/a n/a 48.7 166,475 17,813 148,662 14,214 1,521 12,693 2,232 161,355 98,104 400 97,704 n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a 78,260 Hook-and-line catcher vessel ≥60 ft LOA. Pot catcher/processor ....................... 0.2 n/a 321 1.5 n/a 2,410 Pot catcher vessel ≥60 ft LOA .......... 8.4 n/a 13,499 Catcher vessel <60 ft LOA using hook-and-line or pot gear. Trawl catcher vessel ......................... 2 n/a 3,214 22.1 35,660 n/a AFA trawl catcher/processor ............. 2.3 3,711 n/a Amendment 80 .................................. 13.4 21,622 n/a VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:02 Dec 27, 2018 Jkt 247001 PO 00000 Frm 00115 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 2019 Seasonal apportionment Seasons Amount n/a .................................................... see § 679.20(a)(7)(i)(B) .................... n/a .................................................... n/a .................................................... see § 679.20(a)(7)(i)(B) .................... n/a .................................................... n/a .................................................... n/a .................................................... n/a .................................................... see § 679.20(a)(7)(ii)(B) ................... n/a .................................................... Jan 1–Jun 10 ................................... Jun 10–Dec 31 ................................. Jan 1–Jun 10 ................................... Jun 10–Dec 31 ................................. Jan 1–Jun 10 ................................... Sept 1–Dec 31 ................................. Jan 1–Jun 10 ................................... Sept 1–Dec 31 ................................. n/a .................................................... n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a 39,912 38,347 164 157 1,229 1,181 6,884 6,614 n/a Jan 20–Apr 1 .................................... Apr 1–Jun 10 .................................... Jun 10–Nov 1 ................................... Jan 20–Apr 1 .................................... Apr 1–Jun 10 .................................... Jun 10–Nov 1 ................................... Jan 20–Apr 1 .................................... Apr 1–Jun 10 .................................... Jun 10–Dec 31 ................................. 26,388 3,923 5,349 2,783 928 0 16,216 5,405 0 E:\FR\FM\28DER1.SGM 28DER1 67148 Federal Register / Vol. 83, No. 248 / Friday, December 28, 2018 / Rules and Regulations TABLE 9–FINAL 2019 GEAR SHARES AND SEASONAL ALLOWANCES OF THE BSAI PACIFIC COD TAC—Continued [Amounts are in metric tons] Gear sector Percent Jig ...................................................... 2019 Share of gear sector total 2019 Share of sector total 2,259 n/a 1.4 2019 Seasonal apportionment Seasons Amount Jan 1–Apr 30 .................................... Apr 30–Aug 31 ................................. Aug 31–Dec 31 ................................ 1,355 452 452 1 The gear shares and seasonal allowances for BSAI Pacific cod TAC are based on the sum of the BS and AI Pacific cod TACs, after the subtraction of CDQ. If the TAC for Pacific cod in either the AI or BS is reached, then directed fishing for Pacific cod in that subarea may be prohibited, even if a BSAI allowance remains. 2 The ICA for the hook-and-line and pot sectors will be deducted from the aggregate portion of Pacific cod TAC allocated to the hook-and-line and pot sectors. The Regional Administrator approves an ICA of 400 mt for 2019 based on anticipated incidental catch in these fisheries. Note: Seasonal or sector apportionments may not total precisely due to rounding. TABLE 9B—2019 BSAI A-SEASON PACIFIC COD LIMITS IF ALEUTIAN ISLANDS SHOREPLANTS INTEND TO PROCESS PACIFIC COD Amount (mt) 2019 Allocations under Aleutian Islands CV Harvest Set-Aside AI non-CDQ TAC ................................................................................................................................................................................. AI ICA .................................................................................................................................................................................................. AI DFA ................................................................................................................................................................................................. BS non-CDQ TAC ............................................................................................................................................................................... BSAI Trawl CV A-Season Allocation ................................................................................................................................................... BSAI Trawl CV A-Season Allocation minus Sector Limitation 1 .......................................................................................................... BS Trawl CV A-Season Sector Limitation ........................................................................................................................................... AI CV Harvest Set-Aside 2 ................................................................................................................................................................... AI Unrestricted Fishery 3 ...................................................................................................................................................................... 14,214 2,500 11,714 148,662 26,388 21,388 5,000 5,000 6,714 1 This is the amount of the BSAI trawl CV A-season allocation that may be harvested in the Bering Sea prior to March 21, 2019, unless the BS Trawl CV A-Season Sector Limitation is suspended for the remainder of the fishing year because the performance requirements pursuant to § 679.20(a)(7)(viii)(E) were not met. 2 Prior to March 15, 2019, only catcher vessels that deliver their catch of AI Pacific cod to AI shoreplants for processing may directed fish for that portion of the AI Pacific cod non–CDQ DFA that is specified as the AI CV Harvest Set-Aside, unless lifted because the performance requirements pursuant to § 679.20(a)(7)(viii)(E) were not met. 3 Prior to March 15, 2019, vessels otherwise authorized to directed fish for Pacific cod in the AI may directed fish for that portion of the AI Pacific cod non–CDQ DFA that is specified as the AI Unrestricted Fishery. Classification amozie on DSK3GDR082PROD with RULES 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 VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:02 Dec 27, 2018 Jkt 247001 allow for harvests that exceed the appropriate allocations for pollock, Atka mackerel, and Pacific cod in the BSAI 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 xx, 2018, 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 PO 00000 Frm 00116 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 9990 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 14, 2019. 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 21, 2018. Karen H. Abrams, Acting Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine Fisheries Service. [FR Doc. 2018–28214 Filed 12–21–18; 4:15 pm] BILLING CODE 3510–22–P E:\FR\FM\28DER1.SGM 28DER1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 83, Number 248 (Friday, December 28, 2018)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 67144-67148]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2018-28214]


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DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

50 CFR Part 679

[Docket No. 170817779-8161-02]
RIN 0648-XG684


Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Inseason 
Adjustment to the 2019 Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Pollock, Atka 
Mackerel, 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.

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SUMMARY: NMFS is adjusting the 2019 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 2019, and TACs in this inseason adjustment will apply for 
2019. 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 1200 hours, Alaska local time (A.l.t.), December 21, 
2018, until the effective date of the final 2019 and 2020 harvest 
specifications for BSAI 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 14, 2019.

ADDRESSES: Submit your comments, identified by NOAA-NMFS-2018-0801, by 
either of the following methods:
     Federal e-Rulemaking Portal: Go to www.regulations.gov/#!docketDetail;D=NOAA-NMFS-2018-0801, 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: NMFS may not consider comments if they are sent by 
any other method, to any other address or individual, or received after 
the comment period ends. All comments received are a part of the public 
record, and NMFS will post the comments 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 2018 and 2019 harvest specifications for groundfish in 
the BSAI (83 FR 8365, February 27, 2018) set the 2019 Aleutian Islands 
(AI) pollock TAC at 19,000 metric tons (mt), the 2019 Bering Sea (BS) 
pollock TAC at 1,383,000 mt, the 2019 BSAI Atka

[[Page 67145]]

mackerel TAC at 72,500 mt, the 2019 BS Pacific cod TAC at 159,120 mt, 
and the 2019 AI Pacific cod TAC at 15,695 mt. Also set was a 2019 AI 
pollock ABC of 30,803 mt and a Western Aleutian Islands limit for 
Pacific cod at 25.6 percent of the AI Pacific cod TAC. In December 
2018, the North Pacific Fishery Management Council (Council) 
recommended a 2019 BS pollock TAC of 1,397,000 mt, which is more than 
the 1,383,000 mt TAC established by the final 2018 and 2019 harvest 
specifications for groundfish in the BSAI. The Council also recommended 
increasing the AI pollock ABC to 52,887 mt from 30,803 mt. This 
increases some 2019 area and seasonal limits for AI pollock. The 
Council also recommended a 2019 BSAI Atka mackerel TAC of 57,951 mt, 
which is less than the 72,500 mt TAC established by the final 2018 and 
2019 harvest specifications for groundfish in the BSAI. Furthermore, 
the Council recommended a 2019 BS Pacific cod TAC of 166,475 mt, and an 
AI Pacific cod TAC of 14,214 mt, which is more than the BS Pacific cod 
TAC of 159,120 mt, and less than the AI Pacific cod TAC of 15,695 mt 
established by the final 2018 and 2019 harvest specifications for 
groundfish in the BSAI. In addition to changes in TACs, the Council 
recommended changing the percentage limit of Western Aleutian Islands 
Pacific cod to 15.7 percent of the AI Pacific cod ABC, from the 25.6 
percent of the AI Pacific cod TAC. The Council's recommended 2019 TACs, 
and the area and seasonal apportionments, are based on the Stock 
Assessment and Fishery Evaluation report (SAFE), dated November 2018, 
which NMFS has determined is the best available scientific information 
for these fisheries.
    Regulations at Sec.  679.20(a)(7)(viii) require NMFS to announce 
whether the AI 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 2019. 
NMFS received notification from Adak that a shoreplant will be 
processing AI Pacific cod in 2019. Therefore, the Pacific cod TACs in 
Table 9 of this inseason adjustment will be effective for 2019 and the 
harvest limits in Table 9B (83 FR 8365, February 27, 2018) will apply 
in 2019.
    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 pollock, Atka mackerel, and Pacific 
cod 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 Sec.  679.20(a)(5)(i) and (ii) specify how the BS and AI 
pollock TAC will be apportioned. The regulations at Sec.  679.20(a)(7) 
specify how the BSAI Pacific cod TAC will be apportioned. The 
regulations at Sec.  679.20(a)(8) specify how the BSAI Atka mackerel 
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 2018 SAFE 
report for this fishery, the current BSAI pollock, Atka mackerel, and 
Pacific cod TACs are incorrectly specified. Pursuant to Sec.  
679.25(a)(1)(iii), the Regional Administrator is adjusting the 2019 BS 
pollock TAC to 1,397,000 mt, the 2019 BSAI Atka mackerel TAC to 57,951 
mt, the 2019 BS Pacific cod TAC to 166,475 mt, and the AI Pacific cod 
TAC to 14,214 mt. Therefore, Table 2 of the final 2018 and 2019 harvest 
specifications for groundfish in the BSAI (83 FR 8365, February 27, 
2018) is revised consistent with this adjustment.
    Pursuant to Sec.  679.20(a)(5)(i) and (ii), Table 5 of the final 
2018 and 2019 harvest specifications for groundfish in the BSAI (83 FR 
8365, February 27, 2018) is revised for the 2019 BS and AI allocations 
of pollock TAC to the directed pollock fisheries and to the Community 
Development Quota (CDQ) directed fishing allowances consistent with 
this adjustment. For AI pollock, the Steller sea lion protection 
measure final rule (79 FR 70286, November 25, 2014), sets harvest 
limits for pollock in the A season (January 20 to June 10) in Areas 
543, 542, and 541, see Sec.  679.20(a)(5)(iii)(B)(6). In Area 541, the 
2019 A season pollock harvest limit is no more than 30 percent, or 
15,866 mt, of the AI ABC of 52,887 mt. In Area 542, the 2019 A season 
pollock harvest limit is no more than 15 percent, or 7,933 mt, of the 
AI ABC of 52,887 mt. In Area 543, the 2019 A season pollock harvest 
limit is no more than 5 percent, or 2,644 mt, of the AI pollock ABC of 
52,887 mt.

    Table 5--Final 2019 Allocations of Pollock Tacs to the Directed Pollock Fisheries and to the CDQ Directed
                                          Fishing Allowances (DFA) \1\
                                          [Amounts are in metric tons]
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                         2019 A season \1\         2019 B season
                                                       2019      --------------------------------       \1\
                 Area and sector                    Allocations                     SCA harvest  ---------------
                                                                   A season DFA      limit \2\     B season DFA
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Bering Sea subarea TAC \1\......................       1,397,000             n/a             n/a             n/a
CDQ DFA.........................................         139,700          62,865          39,116          76,835
ICA \1\.........................................          49,035             n/a             n/a             n/a
Total Bering Sea non-CDQ DFA....................       1,208,265         543,719         338,314         664,546
AFA Inshore.....................................         604,133         271,860         169,157         332,273
AFA Catcher/Processors \3\......................         483,306         217,488         135,326         265,818
Catch by C/Ps...................................         442,225         199,001             n/a         243,224
Catch by CVs \3\................................          41,081          18,486             n/a          22,595
Unlisted C/P Limit \4\..........................           2,417           1,087             n/a           1,329
AFA Motherships.................................         120,827          54,372          33,831          66,455
Excessive Harvesting Limit \5\..................         211,446             n/a             n/a             n/a
Excessive Processing Limit \6\..................         362,480             n/a             n/a             n/a
Aleutian Islands subarea ABC....................          52,887             n/a             n/a             n/a
Aleutian Islands subarea TAC \1\................          19,000             n/a             n/a             n/a

[[Page 67146]]

 
CDQ DFA.........................................           1,900             760             n/a           1,140
ICA.............................................           2,400           1,200             n/a           1,200
Aleut Corporation...............................          14,700          14,700             n/a               0
Area harvest limit \7\ 541......................          15,866             n/a             n/a             n/a
542.............................................           7,933             n/a             n/a             n/a
543.............................................           2,644             n/a             n/a             n/a
Bogoslof District ICA \8\.......................             500             n/a             n/a             n/a
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
\1\ Pursuant to Sec.   679.20(a)(5)(i)(A), the Bering Sea subarea pollock, after subtracting the CDQ DFA (10
  percent) and the ICA (3.9 percent), is allocated as a DFA as follows: Inshore sector--50 percent, catcher/
  processor sector (C/P)--40 percent, and mothership sector--10 percent. In the Bering Sea subarea, 45 percent
  of the DFA is allocated to the A season (January 20-June 10) and 55 percent of the DFA is allocated to the B
  season (June 10-November 1). Pursuant to Sec.   679.20(a)(5)(iii)(B)(2)(i) through (iii), the annual Aleutian
  Islands pollock TAC, after subtracting first for the CDQ DFA (10 percent) and second for the ICA (2,400 mt),
  is allocated to the Aleut Corporation for a pollock directed fishery. In the Aleutian Islands subarea, the A
  season is allocated up to 40 percent of the ABC, and the B season is allocated the remainder of the pollock
  directed fishery.
\2\ In the Bering Sea subarea, pursuant to Sec.   679.20(a)(5)(i)(C), no more than 28 percent of each sector's
  annual DFA may be taken from the SCA before noon, April 1.
\3\ Pursuant to Sec.   679.20(a)(5)(i)(A)(4), 8.5 percent of the DFA allocated to listed catcher/processors
  shall be available for harvest only by eligible catcher vessels delivering to listed catcher/processors.
\4\ Pursuant to Sec.   679.20(a)(5)(i)(A)(4)(iii), the AFA unlisted catcher/processors are limited to harvesting
  not more than 0.5 percent of the catcher/processors sector's allocation of pollock.
\5\ Pursuant to Sec.   679.20(a)(5)(i)(A)(6), NMFS establishes an excessive harvesting share limit equal to 17.5
  percent of the sum of the non-CDQ pollock DFAs.
\6\ Pursuant to Sec.   679.20(a)(5)(i)(A)(7), NMFS establishes an excessive processing share limit equal to 30.0
  percent of the sum of the non-CDQ pollock DFAs.
\7\ Pursuant to Sec.   679.20(a)(5)(iii)(B)(6), NMFS establishes harvest limits for pollock in the A season in
  Area 541 of no more than 30 percent, in Area 542 of no more than 15 percent, and in Area 543 of no more than 5
  percent of the Aleutian Islands pollock ABC.
\8\ The Bogoslof District is closed by the final harvest specifications to directed fishing for pollock. The
  amounts specified are for ICA only and are not apportioned by season or sector.
Note: Seasonal or sector apportionments may not total precisely due to rounding.

    Pursuant to Sec.  679.20(a)(8), Table 7 of the final 2018 and 2019 
harvest specifications for groundfish in the BSAI (83 FR 8365, February 
27, 2018) is revised for the 2019 seasonal and spatial allowances, gear 
shares, CDQ reserve, incidental catch allowance, and Amendment 80 
allocation of the BSAI Atka mackerel TAC consistent with this 
adjustment.

 Table 7--Final 2019 Seasonal and Spatial Allowances, Gear Shares, CDQ Reserve, Incidental Catch Allowance, and
                              Amendment 80 Allocation of the BSAI Atka Mackerel TAC
                                          [Amounts are in metric tons]
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                         2019 Allocation by area
                                                        --------------------------------------------------------
            Sector \1\              Season \2\ \3\ \4\    Eastern Aleutian
                                                          District/Bering    Central Aleutian   Western Aleutian
                                                              Sea \5\          District \5\       District \5\
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
TAC..............................  n/a.................             23,970             14,390             19,591
CDQ reserve......................  Total...............              2,565              1,540              2,096
                                   A...................              1,282                770              1,048
                                   Critical Habitat....                n/a                462                629
                                   B...................              1,282                770              1,048
                                   Critical Habitat....                n/a                462                629
non-CDQ TAC......................  n/a.................             21,405             12,850             17,495
ICA..............................  Total...............                800                 75                 20
Jig \7\..........................  Total...............                103                  0                  0
BSAI trawl limited access........  Total...............              2,050              1,278                  0
                                   A...................              1,025                639                  0
                                   Critical Habitat....                n/a                383                  0
                                   B...................              1,025                639                  0
                                   Critical Habitat....                n/a                383                  0
Amendment 80 sectors \7\.........  Total...............             18,452             11,498             17,475
                                   A...................              9,226              5,749              8,737
                                   Critical Habitat....                n/a              3,449              5,242
                                   B...................              9,226              5,749              8,737

[[Page 67147]]

 
                                   Critical Habitat....                n/a              3,449              5,242
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
\1\ Section 679.20(a)(8)(ii) allocates the Atka mackerel TACs, after subtracting the CDQ reserves, jig gear
  allocation, and ICAs, to the Amendment 80 and BSAI trawl limited access sectors. The allocation of the ITAC
  for Atka mackerel to the Amendment 80 and BSAI trawl limited access sectors is established in Table 33 to 50
  CFR part 679 and Sec.   679.91. The CDQ reserve is 10.7 percent of the TAC for use by CDQ participants (see
  Sec.  Sec.   679.20(b)(1)(ii)(C) and 679.31).
\2\ Sections 679.20(a)(8)(ii)(A) and 679.22(a) establish temporal and spatial limitations for the Atka mackerel
  fishery.
\3\ The seasonal allowances of Atka mackerel are 50 percent in the A season and 50 percent in the B season.
\4\ Section 679.23(e)(3) authorizes directed fishing for Atka mackerel with trawl gear during the A season from
  January 20 to June 10 and the B season from June 10 to December 31.
\5\ Section 679.20(a)(8)(ii)(C)(1)(i) limits no more than 60 percent of the annual TACs in Areas 542 and 543 to
  be caught inside of Steller sea lion critical habitat; section 679.20(a)(8)(ii)(C)(1)(ii) equally divides the
  annual TACs between the A and B seasons as defined at Sec.   679.23(e)(3); and section 679.20 (a)(8)(ii)(C)(2)
  requires the TAC in Area 543 shall be no more than 65 percent of ABC in Area 543.
\6\ Section 679.20(a)(8)(i) requires that up to 2 percent of the Eastern Aleutian District and the Bering Sea
  subarea TAC be allocated to jig gear after subtracting the CDQ reserve and the ICA. NMFS set the amount of
  this allocation for 2019 at 0.5 percent. The jig gear allocation is not apportioned by season.
\7\ The 2019 allocations for Atka mackerel between Amendment 80 cooperatives and the Amendment 80 limited access
  sector will not be known until eligible participants apply for participation in the program by November 1,
  2018. NMFS will post 2019 Amendment 80 allocations when they become available in December 2018.
Note: Seasonal or sector apportionments may not total precisely due to rounding.

    Pursuant to Sec.  679.20(a)(7), Table 9 of the final 2018 and 2019 
harvest specifications for groundfish in the BSAI (83 FR 8365, February 
27, 2018) is revised for the 2019 gear shares and seasonal allowances 
of the BSAI Pacific cod TAC consistent with this adjustment.

               Table 9-Final 2019 Gear Shares and Seasonal Allowances of the BSAI Pacific Cod TAC
                                          [Amounts are in metric tons]
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                 2019 Share of                     2019 Seasonal apportionment
          Gear sector               Percent       gear sector    2019 Share of ---------------------------------
                                                     total       sector total        Seasons          Amount
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
BS TAC........................             n/a         166,475             n/a  n/a.............             n/a
BS CDQ........................             n/a          17,813             n/a  see Sec.                     n/a
                                                                                 679.20(a)(7)(i)
                                                                                 (B).
BS non-CDQ TAC................             n/a         148,662             n/a  n/a.............             n/a
AI TAC........................             n/a          14,214             n/a  n/a.............             n/a
AI CDQ........................             n/a           1,521             n/a  see Sec.                     n/a
                                                                                 679.20(a)(7)(i)
                                                                                 (B).
AI non-CDQ TAC................             n/a          12,693             n/a  n/a.............             n/a
Western Aleutian Island Limit.             n/a           2,232             n/a  n/a.............             n/a
Total BSAI non-CDQ TAC \1\....             n/a         161,355             n/a  n/a.............             n/a
Total hook-and-line/pot gear..            60.8          98,104             n/a  n/a.............             n/a
Hook-and-line/pot ICA \2\.....             n/a             400             n/a  see Sec.                     n/a
                                                                                 679.20(a)(7)(ii
                                                                                 )(B).
Hook-and-line/pot sub-total...             n/a          97,704             n/a  n/a.............             n/a
Hook-and-line catcher/                    48.7             n/a          78,260  Jan 1-Jun 10....          39,912
 processor.                                                                     Jun 10-Dec 31...          38,347
Hook-and-line catcher vessel               0.2             n/a             321  Jan 1-Jun 10....             164
 [gteqt]60 ft LOA.                                                              Jun 10-Dec 31...             157
Pot catcher/processor.........             1.5             n/a           2,410  Jan 1-Jun 10....           1,229
                                                                                Sept 1-Dec 31...           1,181
Pot catcher vessel [gteqt]60               8.4             n/a          13,499  Jan 1-Jun 10....           6,884
 ft LOA.                                                                        Sept 1-Dec 31...           6,614
Catcher vessel <60 ft LOA                    2             n/a           3,214  n/a.............             n/a
 using hook-and-line or pot
 gear.
Trawl catcher vessel..........            22.1          35,660             n/a  Jan 20-Apr 1....          26,388
                                                                                Apr 1-Jun 10....           3,923
                                                                                Jun 10-Nov 1....           5,349
AFA trawl catcher/processor...             2.3           3,711             n/a  Jan 20-Apr 1....           2,783
                                                                                Apr 1-Jun 10....             928
                                                                                Jun 10-Nov 1....               0
Amendment 80..................            13.4          21,622             n/a  Jan 20-Apr 1....          16,216
                                                                                Apr 1-Jun 10....           5,405
                                                                                Jun 10-Dec 31...               0

[[Page 67148]]

 
Jig...........................             1.4           2,259             n/a  Jan 1-Apr 30....           1,355
                                                                                Apr 30-Aug 31...             452
                                                                                Aug 31-Dec 31...             452
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
\1\ The gear shares and seasonal allowances for BSAI Pacific cod TAC are based on the sum of the BS and AI
  Pacific cod TACs, after the subtraction of CDQ. If the TAC for Pacific cod in either the AI or BS is reached,
  then directed fishing for Pacific cod in that subarea may be prohibited, even if a BSAI allowance remains.
\2\ The ICA for the hook-and-line and pot sectors will be deducted from the aggregate portion of Pacific cod TAC
  allocated to the hook-and-line and pot sectors. The Regional Administrator approves an ICA of 400 mt for 2019
  based on anticipated incidental catch in these fisheries.
Note: Seasonal or sector apportionments may not total precisely due to rounding.


   Table 9B--2019 BSAI A-Season Pacific Cod Limits if Aleutian Islands
                Shoreplants Intend To Process Pacific Cod
------------------------------------------------------------------------
 2019 Allocations under Aleutian Islands CV Harvest Set-
                          Aside                             Amount (mt)
------------------------------------------------------------------------
AI non-CDQ TAC..........................................          14,214
AI ICA..................................................           2,500
AI DFA..................................................          11,714
BS non-CDQ TAC..........................................         148,662
BSAI Trawl CV A-Season Allocation.......................          26,388
BSAI Trawl CV A-Season Allocation minus Sector                    21,388
 Limitation \1\.........................................
BS Trawl CV A-Season Sector Limitation..................           5,000
AI CV Harvest Set-Aside \2\.............................           5,000
AI Unrestricted Fishery \3\.............................           6,714
------------------------------------------------------------------------
\1\ This is the amount of the BSAI trawl CV A-season allocation that may
  be harvested in the Bering Sea prior to March 21, 2019, unless the BS
  Trawl CV A-Season Sector Limitation is suspended for the remainder of
  the fishing year because the performance requirements pursuant to Sec.
    679.20(a)(7)(viii)(E) were not met.
\2\ Prior to March 15, 2019, only catcher vessels that deliver their
  catch of AI Pacific cod to AI shoreplants for processing may directed
  fish for that portion of the AI Pacific cod non-CDQ DFA that is
  specified as the AI CV Harvest Set-Aside, unless lifted because the
  performance requirements pursuant to Sec.   679.20(a)(7)(viii)(E) were
  not met.
\3\ Prior to March 15, 2019, vessels otherwise authorized to directed
  fish for Pacific cod in the AI may directed fish for that portion of
  the AI Pacific cod non-CDQ DFA that is specified as the AI
  Unrestricted Fishery.

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, Atka mackerel, and Pacific cod in the BSAI 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 xx, 2018, 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 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 14, 
2019.
    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 21, 2018.
Karen H. Abrams,
Acting Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine 
Fisheries Service.
[FR Doc. 2018-28214 Filed 12-21-18; 4:15 pm]
 BILLING CODE 3510-22-P