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Rule

Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Sculpins, Sharks, Squid, and Octopus in the Gulf of Alaska

Action

Temporary Rule; Closure.

Summary

NMFS is prohibiting directed fishing for sculpins, sharks, squid, and octopus in the Gulf of Alaska (GOA). This action is necessary to prevent exceeding the 2011 total allowable catch (TAC) of sculpins, sharks, squid, and octopus in the GOA.

 

Table of Contents Back to Top

DATES: Back to Top

Effective 1200 hrs, Alaska local time (A.l.t.), January 13, 2011, through 2400 hrs, A.l.t., December 31, 2011.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Back to Top

Josh Keaton, 907-586-7228.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Back to Top

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.

The 2011 TAC of sculpins, sharks, squid, and octopus in the GOA is 4,500 metric tons (mt) as established by the final 2010 and 2011 harvest specifications for groundfish of the GOA (75 FR 11749, March 12, 2010).

In accordance with § 679.20(d)(1)(i) and (d)(1)(ii)(B), the Regional Administrator has determined that the 2011 TAC of sculpins, sharks, squid and octopus in the GOA will be taken as incidental catch in directed fishing for other species. Therefore, the Regional Administrator is establishing a directed fishing allowance for sculpins, sharks, squid and octopus of 0 mt. 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 sculpins, sharks, squid and octopus in the GOA.

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 sculpins, sharks, squid, and octopus 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 January 12, 2011.

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: Back to Top

16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq.

Dated: January 13, 2011.

James P. Burgess,

Acting Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine Fisheries Service.

[FR Doc. 2011-1006 Filed 1-13-11; 4:15 pm]

BILLING CODE 3510-22-P

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