Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Pacific Cod in the Gulf of Alaska, 86865-86866 [2020-28967]

Download as PDF khammond on DSKJM1Z7X2PROD with RULES Federal Register / Vol. 85, No. 251 / Thursday, December 31, 2020 / Rules and Regulations not fully developed. Additionally, this action maintains the management approach set in the FMP for stocks in the monitored category, which dictates how the OFL and ABC can be set, thereby limiting the alternatives for these values. The CPS FMP states that the ACL is set equal to the ABC or lower if determined necessary to prevent overfishing or for other OY considerations not already built into the ABC control rule. Although there is no management uncertainty that requires reducing the ACL from the ABC, prior environmental analyses have only analyzed an ACL up to 25,000 mt, which is also the Council’s previous determination of OY for the stock. As previously stated, NMFS does not expect the proposed reduction in the ABC to negatively impact regulated fishermen, as the proposed ACL (25,000 mt) is higher than the vacated ACL (23,573 mt). During the proposed rule stage, NMFS proposed the option of implementing a biomass threshold whereby, if the best scientific information available indicates the stock’s abundance drops below this threshold, then the ACL would be automatically reduced. A reduced ACL resulting from the this type of management measure would have potential to impact regulated fishermen through a consequent reduction in fishing opportunity, but the extent of economic impact would depend on a variety of factors, including the percentage of the reduction. NMFS decided to not to implement this management measure because NMFS determined it was not necessary in order to prevent overfishing over the long term. Therefore, NMFS did not further analyze potential economic impacts from this type of management measure during the final rule stage. Thus, no significant alternatives to this final rule exist that would accomplish the stated objectives of the applicable statutes while minimizing any significant economic impact of this final rule on the affected small entities. However, as stated above, this final rule is not expected to have a significant economic impact on the regulated fishermen. This final rule contains no information collection requirements under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995. Authority: 16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq. List of Subjects in 50 CFR Part 660 Fisheries, Fishing, Indians, Recreation and recreation areas, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements, Treaties. VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:03 Dec 30, 2020 Jkt 253001 Dated: December 23, 2020. Samuel D. Rauch III, Deputy Assistant Administrator for Regulatory Programs, National Marine Fisheries Service. For the reasons set out in the preamble, 50 CFR part 660 is amended as follows: PART 660—FISHERIES OFF WEST COAST STATES 1. The authority citation for part 660 continues to read as follows: ■ Authority: 16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq., 16 U.S.C. 773 et seq., and 16 U.S.C. 7001 et seq. 2. In § 660.511, revise paragraph (k)(1) to read as follows: ■ § 660.511 Catch restrictions. * * * * * (k) * * * (1) Northern Anchovy (Central Subpopulation): 25,000 mt. * * * * * [FR Doc. 2020–28901 Filed 12–30–20; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510–22–P DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration 50 CFR Part 679 [Docket No. 200221–0062; RTID 0648– XA759] 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; modification of closure. AGENCY: NMFS is opening directed fishing for Pacific cod by various sectors in the Gulf of Alaska (GOA). This action is necessary to fully use the 2021 total allowable catch (TAC) of Pacific cod in the GOA. DATES: Effective 0001 hours, Alaska local time (A.l.t.), January 1, 2021 through 2400 hours, A.l.t., December 31, 2021. Comments must be received at the following address no later than 4:30 p.m., A.l.t., January 15, 2021. ADDRESSES: You may submit comments, identified by NOAA–NMFS–2019–0102, by either of the following methods: • Federal e-Rulemaking Portal: Go to https://www.regulations.gov/ docket?D=NOAA-NMFS-2019-0102, click the ‘‘Comment Now!’’ icon, SUMMARY: PO 00000 Frm 00073 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 86865 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: Records Office. Mail comments to P.O. Box 21668, Juneau, AK 99802–1668. Instructions: Comments sent by any other method, to any other address or individual, or received after the end of the comment period, may not be considered by NMFS. All comments received are a part of the public record and will generally be posted for public viewing on www.regulations.gov without change. All personal identifying information (e.g., name, address), confidential business information, or otherwise sensitive information submitted voluntarily by the sender will be publicly accessible. NMFS will accept anonymous comments (enter ‘‘N/ A’’ in the required fields if you wish to remain anonymous). FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: 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. Pursuant to the final 2020 and 2021 harvest specifications for groundfish in the GOA (85 FR 13802, March 10, 2020), NMFS closed directed fishing for Pacific cod in the GOA in accordance with § 679.20(d)(1)(iii) through December 31, 2021. As of December 17, 2020, NMFS has determined that 5,590 metric tons (mt) in the Western Regulatory Area and 10,242 mt in the Central Regulatory Area of the GOA of Pacific cod TAC is available in 2021. This is based on the Council’s December 2020 recommendation for the 2021 Pacific cod TAC in the GOA. NMFS issued an inseason adjustment to adjust the 2021 Pacific cod TAC to reflect the Council’s recommendations (85 FR 83834, December 23, 2020). The adjusted 2021 Pacific cod TACs are sufficient to allow for directed fishing for Pacific cod by vessels using jig gear, vessels using pot gear, and catcher/processors (CPs) using hook-and-line gear in the Western Regulatory Area of the GOA. The adjusted 2021 Pacific cod TACs also are E:\FR\FM\31DER1.SGM 31DER1 86866 Federal Register / Vol. 85, No. 251 / Thursday, December 31, 2020 / Rules and Regulations khammond on DSKJM1Z7X2PROD with RULES sufficient to allow for directed fishing for Pacific cod by vessels using jig gear, vessels using pot gear, catcher vessels using hook-and-line gear, and CPs using hook-and-line gear in the Central Regulatory Area of the GOA. Therefore, in accordance with § 679.25(a)(1)(i), (a)(2)(i)(C), and (a)(2)(iii)(D), and to fully utilize the 2021 Pacific cod TAC in the Western Regulatory Area of the GOA, NMFS is terminating the previous closures and is opening directed fishing for Pacific cod by vessels using jig gear, vessels using pot gear, and CPs using hook-and-line gear. Additionally, in accordance with § 679.25(a)(1)(i), (a)(2)(i)(C), and (a)(2)(iii)(D), and to fully utilize the 2021 Pacific cod TAC in the Central Regulatory Area of the GOA, NMFS is terminating the previous closures and is opening directed fishing for Pacific cod by vessels using jig gear, vessels using pot gear, catcher vessels less than 50 feet length overall (LOA) using hookand-line gear, catch vessels greater than VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:03 Dec 30, 2020 Jkt 253001 or equal to 50 feet LOA using hook-andline gear, and CPs using hook-and-line gear. This action will enhance the socioeconomic well-being of harvesters in this area. The Administrator, Alaska Region (Regional Administrator) considered the following factors in reaching this decision: (1) The adjusted 2021 Pacific cod TAC in the GOA and (2) the harvest capacity and stated intent on future harvesting patterns of vessels in participating in this fishery. 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 PO 00000 Frm 00074 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 9990 NMFS from responding to the most recent fisheries data in a timely fashion and would delay the opening of directed fishing for 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 23, 2020. Without this inseason adjustment, NMFS could not allow the fishery for Pacific cod in the GOA to be harvested in an expedient manner and in accordance with the regulatory schedule. Under § 679.25(c)(2), interested persons are invited to submit written comments on this action to the above address until January 15, 2021. Authority: 16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq. Dated: December 28, 2020. Jennifer M. Wallace, Acting Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine Fisheries Service. [FR Doc. 2020–28967 Filed 12–30–20; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510–22–P E:\FR\FM\31DER1.SGM 31DER1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 85, Number 251 (Thursday, December 31, 2020)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 86865-86866]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2020-28967]


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DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

50 CFR Part 679

[Docket No. 200221-0062; RTID 0648-XA759]


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; modification of closure.

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SUMMARY: NMFS is opening directed fishing for Pacific cod by various 
sectors in the Gulf of Alaska (GOA). This action is necessary to fully 
use the 2021 total allowable catch (TAC) of Pacific cod in the GOA.

DATES: Effective 0001 hours, Alaska local time (A.l.t.), January 1, 
2021 through 2400 hours, A.l.t., December 31, 2021. Comments must be 
received at the following address no later than 4:30 p.m., A.l.t., 
January 15, 2021.

ADDRESSES: You may submit comments, identified by NOAA-NMFS-2019-0102, 
by either of the following methods:
     Federal e-Rulemaking Portal: Go to https://www.regulations.gov/docket?D=NOAA-NMFS-2019-0102, 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: Records Office. Mail comments to P.O. Box 21668, Juneau, AK 
99802-1668.
    Instructions: Comments sent by any other method, to any other 
address or individual, or received after the end of the comment period, 
may not be considered by NMFS. All comments received are a part of the 
public record and will generally be posted for public viewing on 
www.regulations.gov without change. All personal identifying 
information (e.g., name, address), confidential business information, 
or otherwise sensitive information submitted voluntarily by the sender 
will be publicly accessible. NMFS will accept anonymous comments (enter 
``N/A'' in the required fields if you wish to remain anonymous).

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: 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.
    Pursuant to the final 2020 and 2021 harvest specifications for 
groundfish in the GOA (85 FR 13802, March 10, 2020), NMFS closed 
directed fishing for Pacific cod in the GOA in accordance with Sec.  
679.20(d)(1)(iii) through December 31, 2021.
    As of December 17, 2020, NMFS has determined that 5,590 metric tons 
(mt) in the Western Regulatory Area and 10,242 mt in the Central 
Regulatory Area of the GOA of Pacific cod TAC is available in 2021. 
This is based on the Council's December 2020 recommendation for the 
2021 Pacific cod TAC in the GOA. NMFS issued an inseason adjustment to 
adjust the 2021 Pacific cod TAC to reflect the Council's 
recommendations (85 FR 83834, December 23, 2020). The adjusted 2021 
Pacific cod TACs are sufficient to allow for directed fishing for 
Pacific cod by vessels using jig gear, vessels using pot gear, and 
catcher/processors (CPs) using hook-and-line gear in the Western 
Regulatory Area of the GOA. The adjusted 2021 Pacific cod TACs also are

[[Page 86866]]

sufficient to allow for directed fishing for Pacific cod by vessels 
using jig gear, vessels using pot gear, catcher vessels using hook-and-
line gear, and CPs using hook-and-line gear in the Central Regulatory 
Area of the GOA.
    Therefore, in accordance with Sec.  679.25(a)(1)(i), (a)(2)(i)(C), 
and (a)(2)(iii)(D), and to fully utilize the 2021 Pacific cod TAC in 
the Western Regulatory Area of the GOA, NMFS is terminating the 
previous closures and is opening directed fishing for Pacific cod by 
vessels using jig gear, vessels using pot gear, and CPs using hook-and-
line gear.
    Additionally, in accordance with Sec.  679.25(a)(1)(i), 
(a)(2)(i)(C), and (a)(2)(iii)(D), and to fully utilize the 2021 Pacific 
cod TAC in the Central Regulatory Area of the GOA, NMFS is terminating 
the previous closures and is opening directed fishing for Pacific cod 
by vessels using jig gear, vessels using pot gear, catcher vessels less 
than 50 feet length overall (LOA) using hook-and-line gear, catch 
vessels greater than or equal to 50 feet LOA using hook-and-line gear, 
and CPs using hook-and-line gear.
    This action will enhance the socioeconomic well-being of harvesters 
in this area. The Administrator, Alaska Region (Regional Administrator) 
considered the following factors in reaching this decision: (1) The 
adjusted 2021 Pacific cod TAC in the GOA and (2) the harvest capacity 
and stated intent on future harvesting patterns of vessels in 
participating in this fishery.

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 opening of directed 
fishing for 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 23, 2020.
    Without this inseason adjustment, NMFS could not allow the fishery 
for Pacific cod in the GOA to be harvested in an expedient manner and 
in accordance with the regulatory schedule.
    Under Sec.  679.25(c)(2), interested persons are invited to submit 
written comments on this action to the above address until January 15, 
2021.

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

    Dated: December 28, 2020.
Jennifer M. Wallace,
Acting Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine 
Fisheries Service.
[FR Doc. 2020-28967 Filed 12-30-20; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 3510-22-P