Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Inseason Adjustment to the 2019 Gulf of Alaska Pollock Total Allowable Catch Amounts, 33-34 [2018-28464]

Download as PDF 33 Rules and Regulations Federal Register Vol. 84, No. 3 Friday, January 4, 2019 This section of the FEDERAL REGISTER contains regulatory documents having general applicability and legal effect, most of which are keyed to and codified in the Code of Federal Regulations, which is published under 50 titles pursuant to 44 U.S.C. 1510. The Code of Federal Regulations is sold by the Superintendent of Documents. DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration 50 CFR Part 679 [Docket No. 170816769–8162–02] RIN 0648–XG685 Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Inseason Adjustment to the 2019 Gulf of Alaska Pollock 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) amount for the Gulf of Alaska (GOA) pollock fishery. This action is necessary because NMFS has determined this TAC is incorrectly specified, and will ensure the GOA pollock TAC is the appropriate amount based on the best available scientific information for pollock 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, 2019, until the effective date of the final 2019 and 2020 harvest specifications for GOA groundfish, unless otherwise modified or superseded through publication of a notification in the Federal Register.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 22, 2019. amozie on DSK3GDR082PROD with RULES SUMMARY: VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:18 Jan 03, 2019 Jkt 247001 Submit your comments, identified by NOAA–NMFS–2018–0103 by any of the following methods: • Federal e-Rulemaking Portal: Go to www.regulations.gov/ #!docketDetail;D=NOAA-NMFS-20180103, 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: 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 2018 and 2019 harvest specifications for groundfish in the GOA (83 FR 8768, March 1, 2018) set the 2019 pollock TAC at 112,678 metric tons (mt) in the GOA. In December 2018, the North Pacific Fishery Management Council (Council) ADDRESSES: PO 00000 Frm 00001 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 recommended a 2019 pollock TAC of 141,227 mt for the GOA, which is more than the 112,678 mt established by the final 2018 and 2019 harvest specifications for groundfish in the GOA. The Council’s recommended 2019 TAC, and the area and seasonal apportionments, is based on the Stock Assessment and Fishery Evaluation report (SAFE), dated November 2018. NMFS has subsequently determined that the Council’s GOA Groundfish Plan Team incorrectly calculated the seasonal and annual ABCs for Statistical Areas 620 and 630 when summarizing the November 2018 SAFE report. These incorrect amounts were presented to the Council and the Council subsequently adopted the incorrect amounts in its recommendations for the final 2019 harvest specifications for groundfish in the GOA. The incorrect amounts were 71,459 mt for Statistical Area 620 and 30,372 mt for Statistical Area 630. The correct pollock ABCs and TACs should have been 67,388 mt and 34,443 mt for Statistical Areas 620 and 630, respectively. This results in a 4,071 mt increase in the pollock ABC and TAC for Statistical Area 630 and a decrease of 4,071 mt for the pollock ABC and TAC for Statistical Area 620. This action incorporates the correct ABC and TAC amounts into the final 2019 distribution of pollock in the Western and Central Regulatory Areas of the GOA in Table 4, below. The correct amounts also will be incorporated into the final 2019 harvest specifications for groundfish in the GOA, as well as the 2018 SAFE report. Steller sea lions occur in the same location as the pollock fishery and are listed as endangered under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). Pollock is a principal prey species for Steller sea lions in the GOA. The seasonal apportionment of pollock 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. E:\FR\FM\04JAR1.SGM 04JAR1 34 Federal Register / Vol. 84, No. 3 / Friday, January 4, 2019 / Rules and Regulations 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 best available scientific information for this fishery, the current GOA pollock TAC is incorrectly specified. Consequently, pursuant to § 679.25(a)(1)(iii), the Regional Administrator is adjusting the 2019 GOA pollock TAC to 141,227 mt. Therefore, Table 2 of the final 2018 and 2019 harvest specifications for groundfish in the GOA (83 FR 8768, March 1, 2018) is revised consistent with this adjustment. Pursuant to § 679.20(a)(5)(iv), Table 4 of the final 2018 and 2019 harvest specifications for groundfish in the GOA (83 FR 8768, March 1, 2018) is revised for the 2019 TACs of pollock in the Central and Western Regulatory Area of the GOA. TABLE 4—FINAL 2019 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) ................................... B (Mar 10–May 31) .................................. C (Aug 25–Oct 1) ..................................... D (Oct 1–Nov 1) ....................................... 848 848 11,590 11,590 2.68% 2.68% 36.59% 36.59% 23,236 27,306 8,423 8,423 73.35% 86.20% 26.59% 26.59% 7,593 3,522 11,664 11,664 23.97% 11.12% 36.82% 36.82% 31,677 31,677 31,677 31,677 Annual Total ...................................... 24,875 .................... 67,388 .................... 34,443 .................... 126,706 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. Note: Seasonal apportionments may not total precisely due to rounding. 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 allow for harvests that exceed the VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:18 Jan 03, 2019 Jkt 247001 appropriate allocation for pollock 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 21, 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. PO 00000 Frm 00002 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 9990 Under § 679.25(c)(2), interested persons are invited to submit written comments on this action to the above address until January 22, 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 27, 2018. Samuel D. Rauch III, Deputy Assistant Administrator for Regulatory Programs, National Marine Fisheries Service. [FR Doc. 2018–28464 Filed 12–31–18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510–22–P E:\FR\FM\04JAR1.SGM 04JAR1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 84, Number 3 (Friday, January 4, 2019)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 33-34]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2018-28464]



========================================================================
Rules and Regulations
                                                Federal Register
________________________________________________________________________

This section of the FEDERAL REGISTER contains regulatory documents 
having general applicability and legal effect, most of which are keyed 
to and codified in the Code of Federal Regulations, which is published 
under 50 titles pursuant to 44 U.S.C. 1510.

The Code of Federal Regulations is sold by the Superintendent of Documents. 

========================================================================


Federal Register / Vol. 84, No. 3 / Friday, January 4, 2019 / Rules 
and Regulations

[[Page 33]]



DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

50 CFR Part 679

[Docket No. 170816769-8162-02]
RIN 0648-XG685


Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Inseason 
Adjustment to the 2019 Gulf of Alaska Pollock 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 2019 total allowable catch (TAC) amount 
for the Gulf of Alaska (GOA) pollock fishery. This action is necessary 
because NMFS has determined this TAC is incorrectly specified, and will 
ensure the GOA pollock TAC is the appropriate amount based on the best 
available scientific information for pollock 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, 
2019, until the effective date of the final 2019 and 2020 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 22, 2019.

ADDRESSES: Submit your comments, identified by NOAA-NMFS-2018-0103 by 
any of the following methods:
     Federal e-Rulemaking Portal: Go to www.regulations.gov/#!docketDetail;D=NOAA-NMFS-2018-0103, 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: 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 2018 and 2019 harvest specifications for groundfish in 
the GOA (83 FR 8768, March 1, 2018) set the 2019 pollock TAC at 112,678 
metric tons (mt) in the GOA. In December 2018, the North Pacific 
Fishery Management Council (Council) recommended a 2019 pollock TAC of 
141,227 mt for the GOA, which is more than the 112,678 mt established 
by the final 2018 and 2019 harvest specifications for groundfish in the 
GOA. The Council's recommended 2019 TAC, and the area and seasonal 
apportionments, is based on the Stock Assessment and Fishery Evaluation 
report (SAFE), dated November 2018.
    NMFS has subsequently determined that the Council's GOA Groundfish 
Plan Team incorrectly calculated the seasonal and annual ABCs for 
Statistical Areas 620 and 630 when summarizing the November 2018 SAFE 
report. These incorrect amounts were presented to the Council and the 
Council subsequently adopted the incorrect amounts in its 
recommendations for the final 2019 harvest specifications for 
groundfish in the GOA. The incorrect amounts were 71,459 mt for 
Statistical Area 620 and 30,372 mt for Statistical Area 630.
    The correct pollock ABCs and TACs should have been 67,388 mt and 
34,443 mt for Statistical Areas 620 and 630, respectively. This results 
in a 4,071 mt increase in the pollock ABC and TAC for Statistical Area 
630 and a decrease of 4,071 mt for the pollock ABC and TAC for 
Statistical Area 620. This action incorporates the correct ABC and TAC 
amounts into the final 2019 distribution of pollock in the Western and 
Central Regulatory Areas of the GOA in Table 4, below. The correct 
amounts also will be incorporated into the final 2019 harvest 
specifications for groundfish in the GOA, as well as the 2018 SAFE 
report.
    Steller sea lions occur in the same location as the pollock fishery 
and are listed as endangered under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). 
Pollock is a principal prey species for Steller sea lions in the GOA. 
The seasonal apportionment of pollock 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.

[[Page 34]]

    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 best available 
scientific information for this fishery, the current GOA pollock TAC is 
incorrectly specified. Consequently, pursuant to Sec.  
679.25(a)(1)(iii), the Regional Administrator is adjusting the 2019 GOA 
pollock TAC to 141,227 mt. Therefore, Table 2 of the final 2018 and 
2019 harvest specifications for groundfish in the GOA (83 FR 8768, 
March 1, 2018) is revised consistent with this adjustment.
    Pursuant to Sec.  679.20(a)(5)(iv), Table 4 of the final 2018 and 
2019 harvest specifications for groundfish in the GOA (83 FR 8768, 
March 1, 2018) is revised for the 2019 TACs of pollock in the Central 
and Western Regulatory Area of the GOA.

 Table 4--Final 2019 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)............................................          848        2.68%       23,236       73.35%        7,593       23.97%       31,677
B (Mar 10-May 31)............................................          848        2.68%       27,306       86.20%        3,522       11.12%       31,677
C (Aug 25-Oct 1).............................................       11,590       36.59%        8,423       26.59%       11,664       36.82%       31,677
D (Oct 1-Nov 1)..............................................       11,590       36.59%        8,423       26.59%       11,664       36.82%       31,677
                                                              ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Annual Total.............................................       24,875  ...........       67,388  ...........       34,443  ...........      126,706
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
\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.
Note: Seasonal apportionments may not total precisely 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 allocation for 
pollock 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 21, 
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 22, 
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 27, 2018.
Samuel D. Rauch III,
Deputy Assistant Administrator for Regulatory Programs, National Marine 
Fisheries Service.
[FR Doc. 2018-28464 Filed 12-31-18; 8:45 am]
 BILLING CODE 3510-22-P