Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Pacific Cod by Vessels Using Trawl Gear in Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Management Area
Temporary Rule; Closure.
NMFS is closing directed fishing for Pacific cod by vessels using trawl gear in the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands management area (BSAI). This action is necessary to prevent exceeding the 2006 halibut bycatch allowance specified for the trawl Pacific cod fishery category in the BSAI.
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DATES: Back to Top
Effective 1200 hrs, Alaska local time (A.l.t.), August 31, 2006, through 2400 hrs, A.l.t., December 31, 2006.
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Back to Top
Jennifer Hogan, 907-586-7228.
SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Back to Top
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 2006 halibut bycatch allowance specified for the trawl Pacific cod fishery category in the BSAI is 1,434 metric tons as established by the 2006 and 2007 final harvest specifications for groundfish in the BSAI (71 FR 10894, March 3, 2006).
In accordance with § 679.21(e)(7)(v), the Acting Administrator, Alaska Region, NMFS, has determined that the 2006 halibut bycatch allowance specified for the trawl Pacific cod fishery category in the BSAI has been caught. Consequently, NMFS is closing directed fishing for Pacific cod by vessels using trawl gear in 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 Back to Top
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 closure of directed fishing for Pacific cod by vessels using trawl gear in 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 August 30, 2006.
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 § 679.21 and is exempt from review under Executive Order 12866.
Authority: Back to Top
16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq.
Dated: August 30, 2006.
Alan D. Risenhoover,
Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine Fisheries Service.
[FR Doc. 06-7447 Filed 8-31-06; 1:53 pm]
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