Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Pacific Cod in the Bering Sea Subarea of the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Management Area, 74615 [2020-25834]

Download as PDF Federal Register / Vol. 85, No. 226 / Monday, November 23, 2020 / Rules and Regulations Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI) to U.S. longline fishing vessels. The agreement supports the long-term sustainability of fishery resources of the U.S. Pacific Islands, and fisheries development in the CNMI. DATES: The specified fishing agreement was valid as of November 12, 2020. The start date for attributing 2020 bigeye tuna catch to American Samoa was November 15, 2020. ADDRESSES: The Fishery Ecosystem Plan for Pelagic Fisheries of the Western Pacific (FEP) describes specified fishing agreements and is available from the Western Pacific Fishery Management Council (Council), 1164 Bishop St., Suite 1400, Honolulu, HI 96813, tel 808–522–8220, fax 808–522–8226, or https://www.wpcouncil.org. NMFS prepared environmental analyses that describe the potential impacts on the human environment that would result from the action. The analyses, identified by NOAA–NMFS– 2020–0120, are available from https:// www.regulations.gov/docket?D=NOAANMFS-2020-0153, or from Michael D. Tosatto, Regional Administrator, NMFS Pacific Islands Region (PIR), 1845 Wasp Blvd., Bldg. 176, Honolulu, HI 96818. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Lynn Rassel, NMFS PIRO Sustainable Fisheries, 808–725–5184. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: In a final rule published on August 19, 2020, NMFS specified a 2020 limit of 2,000 t of longline-caught bigeye tuna for each of the U.S. Pacific Island territories of American Samoa, Guam, and the CNMI (85 FR 50961). NMFS allows each territory to allocate up to 1,500 t of the 2,000 t limit to U.S. longline fishing vessels identified in a valid specified fishing agreement, but the overall allocation limit among all territories may not exceed 3,000 t. On November 9, 2020, NMFS received from the Council a specified fishing agreement between the CNMI and the Hawaii Longline Association. The Council’s Executive Director advised that the specified fishing agreement was consistent with the criteria set forth in 50 CFR 665.819(c)(1). On November 12, 2020, NMFS reviewed the agreement and determined that it is consistent with the Pelagic FEP, implementing regulations, the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act, and other applicable laws. In accordance with 50 CFR 300.224(d) and 50 CFR 665.819(c)(9), vessels in the agreement may retain and land bigeye tuna in the western and central Pacific Ocean under the CNMI attribution specified in the fishing agreement. On November 15, 2020, NMFS began VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:19 Nov 20, 2020 Jkt 253001 attributing bigeye tuna caught by vessels in the agreement to the CNMI, seven days before November 22, 2020, the date that NMFS forecasted that the fishery would reach the American Samoa bigeye tuna allocation limit of 1,000 t (85 FR 63216, October 7, 2020). If NMFS determines that the fishery will reach the 1,000 t allocation specified in the CNMI agreement, we will restrict the retention of bigeye tuna caught by vessels in the agreement, unless the vessels are included in a subsequent specified fishing agreement with another U.S. territory. Authority: 16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq. Dated: November 17, 2020. Jennifer M. Wallace, Acting Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine Fisheries Service. [FR Doc. 2020–25806 Filed 11–20–20; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510–22–P DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration 50 CFR Part 679 [Docket No. 200227–0066; RTID 0648– XA586] Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Pacific Cod in the Bering Sea Subarea of the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Management Area 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, except for the Community Development Quota program (CDQ), in the Bering Sea subarea of the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands management area (BSAI). This action is necessary to prevent exceeding the non-CDQ allocation of the 2020 Pacific cod total allowable catch (TAC) in the Bering Sea subarea of the BSAI. DATES: Effective 1200 hrs, Alaska local time (A.l.t.), November 18, 2020, through 2400 hrs, A.l.t., December 31, 2020. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Krista Milani, 907–581–2062. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: NMFS manages the groundfish fishery in the BSAI according to the Fishery Management Plan for Groundfish of the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Management Area (FMP) prepared by the North Pacific Fishery Management Council under authority of the SUMMARY: PO 00000 Frm 00021 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 9990 74615 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 non-CDQ allocation of the 2020 Pacific cod TAC in the Bering Sea subarea of the BSAI is 126,627 metric tons (mt) as established by the final 2020 and 2021 harvest specifications for groundfish in the BSAI (85 FR 13553, March 9, 2020). In accordance with § 679.20(d)(1)(i), the Administrator, Alaska Region, NMFS, has determined that the non-CDQ allocation of the 2020 Pacific cod TAC in the Bering Sea subarea of the BSAI will soon be reached. Therefore, the Regional Administrator is establishing a directed fishing allowance of 126,077 mt, and is setting aside the remaining 550 mt as incidental catch in directed fishing for other species. In accordance with § 679.20(d)(1)(iii), the Regional Administrator finds that this directed fishing allowance has been reached. Consequently, NMFS is prohibiting directed fishing for Pacific cod in the Bering Sea subarea of the BSAI. After the effective date of this closure the maximum retainable amounts at § 679.20(e) and (f) apply at any time during a trip. Classification NMFS issues this action pursuant to section 305(d) of the Magnuson-Stevens Act. This action is required by 50 CFR part 679, which was issued pursuant to section 304(b), and is exempt from review under Executive Order 12866. Pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 553(b)(B), there is good cause to waive prior notice and an opportunity for public comment on this action, as notice and comment would be 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 non-CDQ Pacific cod in the Bering Sea subarea of the BSAI. NMFS was unable to publish a notice providing time for public comment because the most recent, relevant data only became available as of November 17, 2020. Authority: 16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq. Dated: November 18, 2020. Jennifer M. Wallace, Acting Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine Fisheries Service. [FR Doc. 2020–25834 Filed 11–18–20; 4:15 pm] BILLING CODE 3510–22–P E:\FR\FM\23NOR1.SGM 23NOR1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 85, Number 226 (Monday, November 23, 2020)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Page 74615]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2020-25834]


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DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

50 CFR Part 679

[Docket No. 200227-0066; RTID 0648-XA586]


Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Pacific Cod 
in the Bering Sea Subarea of the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands 
Management Area

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, except 
for the Community Development Quota program (CDQ), in the Bering Sea 
subarea of the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands management area (BSAI). 
This action is necessary to prevent exceeding the non-CDQ allocation of 
the 2020 Pacific cod total allowable catch (TAC) in the Bering Sea 
subarea of the BSAI.

DATES: Effective 1200 hrs, Alaska local time (A.l.t.), November 18, 
2020, through 2400 hrs, A.l.t., December 31, 2020.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Krista Milani, 907-581-2062.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: NMFS manages the groundfish fishery in the 
BSAI according to the Fishery Management Plan for Groundfish of the 
Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Management Area (FMP) prepared by the 
North Pacific Fishery Management Council under authority of the 
Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act. Regulations 
governing fishing by U.S. vessels in accordance with the FMP appear at 
subpart H of 50 CFR part 600 and 50 CFR part 679.
    The non-CDQ allocation of the 2020 Pacific cod TAC in the Bering 
Sea subarea of the BSAI is 126,627 metric tons (mt) as established by 
the final 2020 and 2021 harvest specifications for groundfish in the 
BSAI (85 FR 13553, March 9, 2020). In accordance with Sec.  
679.20(d)(1)(i), the Administrator, Alaska Region, NMFS, has determined 
that the non-CDQ allocation of the 2020 Pacific cod TAC in the Bering 
Sea subarea of the BSAI will soon be reached. Therefore, the Regional 
Administrator is establishing a directed fishing allowance of 126,077 
mt, and is setting aside the remaining 550 mt as incidental catch in 
directed fishing for other species. In accordance with Sec.  
679.20(d)(1)(iii), the Regional Administrator finds that this directed 
fishing allowance has been reached. Consequently, NMFS is prohibiting 
directed fishing for Pacific cod in the Bering Sea subarea of the BSAI.
    After the effective date of this closure the maximum retainable 
amounts at Sec.  679.20(e) and (f) apply at any time during a trip.

Classification

    NMFS issues this action pursuant to section 305(d) of the Magnuson-
Stevens Act. This action is required by 50 CFR part 679, which was 
issued pursuant to section 304(b), and is exempt from review under 
Executive Order 12866.
    Pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 553(b)(B), there is good cause to waive prior 
notice and an opportunity for public comment on this action, as notice 
and comment would be 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 non-CDQ Pacific cod in the Bering Sea subarea of the BSAI. NMFS was 
unable to publish a notice providing time for public comment because 
the most recent, relevant data only became available as of November 17, 
2020.

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

    Dated: November 18, 2020.
Jennifer M. Wallace,
Acting Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine 
Fisheries Service.
[FR Doc. 2020-25834 Filed 11-18-20; 4:15 pm]
BILLING CODE 3510-22-Ps