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Rule

Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; “Other Rockfish” in the Aleutian Islands Subarea of the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Management Area

Action

Temporary Rule; Closure.

Summary

NMFS is prohibiting retention of “other rockfish” in the Aleutian Islands subarea of the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands management area (BSAI). This action is necessary because the 2012 total allowable catch of “other rockfish” in the Aleutian Islands subarea of the BSAI has been reached.

 

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DATES: Back to Top

Effective 1200 hrs, Alaska local time (A.l.t.), October 19, 2012, through 2400 hrs, A.l.t., December 31, 2012.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Back to Top

Obren Davis, 907-586-7228.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Back to Top

NMFS manages the groundfish fishery in the BSAI exclusive economic zone 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 2012 total allowable catch (TAC) of “other rockfish” Aleutian Islands subarea of the BSAI is 485 metric tons (mt) as established by the final 2012 and 2013 harvest specifications for groundfish of the BSAI (77 FR 10669, February 23, 2012).

In accordance with § 679.20(d)(2), the Administrator, Alaska Region, NMFS (Regional Administrator), has determined that the 2012 TAC of “other rockfish” in the BSAI has been reached. Therefore, NMFS is requiring that “other rockfish” in the BSAI be treated as prohibited species in accordance with § 679.21(b).

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 prohibiting the retention of “other rockfish” 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 October 18, 2012.

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 § 679.21 and is exempt from review under Executive Order 12866.

Authority: Back to Top

16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq.

Dated: October 19, 2012.

Emily H. Menashes,

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

[FR Doc. 2012-26205 Filed 10-19-12; 4:15 pm]

BILLING CODE 3510-22-P

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