Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Pacific Cod in the Gulf of Alaska, 70438 [2019-27567]

Download as PDF 70438 Federal Register / Vol. 84, No. 246 / Monday, December 23, 2019 / Rules and Regulations Classification DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE 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 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 9, 2019, 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 § 679.25(c)(2), interested persons are invited to submit written comments on this action to the above address until January 7, 2020. This action is required by §§ 679.20 and 679.25 and is exempt from review under Executive Order 12866. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Authority: 16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq. Dated: December 17, 2019. Jennifer M. Wallace, Acting Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine Fisheries Service. [FR Doc. 2019–27539 Filed 12–20–19; 8:45 am] lotter on DSKBCFDHB2PROD with RULES BILLING CODE 3510–22–P VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:18 Dec 20, 2019 Jkt 250001 50 CFR Part 679 [Docket No. 180831813–9170–02; RTID 0648–XY057] Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Pacific Cod in the Gulf of Alaska National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Commerce. ACTION: Temporary rule; closure. AGENCY: NMFS is prohibiting directed fishing for Pacific cod in the Gulf of Alaska (GOA). This action is necessary because a biological assessment of stock condition for Pacific cod in the GOA projects that the spawning biomass will be below 20 percent of the projected unfished spawning biomass during 2020. DATES: Effective 0001 hours, Alaska local time (A.l.t.), January 1, 2020, through 2400 hours, A.l.t., December 31, 2020. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Mary Furuness, 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 under authority of the MagnusonStevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act. Regulations governing fishing by U.S. vessels in accordance with the FMP appear at subpart H of 50 CFR part 600 and 50 CFR part 679. Regulations governing sideboard protections for GOA groundfish fisheries appear at subpart B of 50 CFR part 680. The most recent biological assessment available of the stock condition for Pacific cod in the GOA has determined that the spawning biomass will be below 20 percent of the projected unfished spawning biomass during 2020 (https://www.fisheries.noaa.gov/alaska/ SUMMARY: PO 00000 Frm 00046 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 9990 population-assessments/north-pacificgroundfish-stock-assessment-andfishery-evaluation). In accordance with § 679.20(d)(4), the Administrator, Alaska Region, NMFS (Regional Administrator) has determined that a biological assessment of stock condition for Pacific cod in the GOA projects that the spawning biomass will be below 20 percent of the projected unfished spawning biomass during 2020. Consequently, NMFS is prohibiting directed fishing for Pacific cod in the GOA. While this closure is effective the maximum retainable amounts at § 679.20(e) and (f) apply at any time during a trip. Classification This action responds to the best available information recently obtained from the fishery. The 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 directed fishing closure of Pacific cod in the GOA. NMFS was unable to publish a notice providing time for public comment because the most recent, relevant data only became available as of December 6, 2019. 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 17, 2019. Jennifer M. Wallace, Acting Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine Fisheries Service. [FR Doc. 2019–27567 Filed 12–20–19; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510–22–P E:\FR\FM\23DER1.SGM 23DER1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 84, Number 246 (Monday, December 23, 2019)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Page 70438]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2019-27567]


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DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

50 CFR Part 679

[Docket No. 180831813-9170-02; RTID 0648-XY057]


Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Pacific Cod 
in the Gulf of Alaska

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

ACTION: Temporary rule; closure.

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SUMMARY: NMFS is prohibiting directed fishing for Pacific cod in the 
Gulf of Alaska (GOA). This action is necessary because a biological 
assessment of stock condition for Pacific cod in the GOA projects that 
the spawning biomass will be below 20 percent of the projected unfished 
spawning biomass during 2020.

DATES: Effective 0001 hours, Alaska local time (A.l.t.), January 1, 
2020, through 2400 hours, A.l.t., December 31, 2020.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Mary Furuness, 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 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. Regulations governing sideboard 
protections for GOA groundfish fisheries appear at subpart B of 50 CFR 
part 680.
    The most recent biological assessment available of the stock 
condition for Pacific cod in the GOA has determined that the spawning 
biomass will be below 20 percent of the projected unfished spawning 
biomass during 2020 (https://www.fisheries.noaa.gov/alaska/population-assessments/north-pacific-groundfish-stock-assessment-and-fishery-evaluation).
    In accordance with Sec.  679.20(d)(4), the Administrator, Alaska 
Region, NMFS (Regional Administrator) has determined that a biological 
assessment of stock condition for Pacific cod in the GOA projects that 
the spawning biomass will be below 20 percent of the projected unfished 
spawning biomass during 2020. Consequently, NMFS is prohibiting 
directed fishing for Pacific cod in the GOA. While this closure is 
effective the maximum retainable amounts at Sec.  679.20(e) and (f) 
apply at any time during a trip.

Classification

    This action responds to the best available information recently 
obtained from the fishery. The 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 directed fishing closure of Pacific cod in the GOA. 
NMFS was unable to publish a notice providing time for public comment 
because the most recent, relevant data only became available as of 
December 6, 2019.
    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 Sec.  679.20 and is exempt from review 
under Executive Order 12866.

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

    Dated: December 17, 2019.
Jennifer M. Wallace,
Acting Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine 
Fisheries Service.
[FR Doc. 2019-27567 Filed 12-20-19; 8:45 am]
 BILLING CODE 3510-22-P