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Rule

Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Pollock by Vessels Catching Pollock for Processing by the Mothership Component in the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Management Area

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Start Preamble

AGENCY:

National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Commerce.

ACTION:

Closure.

SUMMARY:

NMFS is prohibiting directed fishing for pollock by vessels catching pollock for processing by the mothership component in the Steller sea lion conservation area (SCA) of the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands management area (BSAI). This action is necessary because the A season limit of pollock total allowable catch (TAC) specified to the mothership component for harvest within the SCA has been reached.

DATES:

Effective 1200 hrs, Alaska local time (A.l.t.), March 9, 2001, until 1200 hrs, A.l.t., April 1, 2001.

Start Further Info

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Andrew Smoker, 907-586-7228.

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SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

NMFS manages the groundfish fishery in the Start Printed Page 14864BSAI exclusive economic zone according to the Fishery Management Plan for the Groundfish Fishery of the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands 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 amount of the 2001 A season limit of pollock TAC specified to the mothership component for harvest within the SCA was established as 14,607 metric tons by the Final 2001 Harvest Specifications and Associated Management Measures for the Groundfish Fisheries Off Alaska (66 FR 7276, January 22, 2001).

In accordance with § 679.22(a)(11)(iv)(A)&(C) the Administrator, Alaska Region, NMFS, has determined that the A season limit of pollock TAC allocated to the mothership component for harvest within the SCA has been reached. Consequently, in accordance with § 679.22(a)(11)(iv)(D), NMFS is prohibiting directed fishing for pollock by vessels catching pollock for processing by the mothership component within the SCA in the BSAI.

Maximum retainable bycatch amounts may be found in the regulations at § 679.20(e) and (f).

Classification

This action responds to the best available information recently obtained from the fishery. The Assistant Administrator for Fisheries, NOAA, finds that the need to immediately implement this action to prevent exceeding the amount of the 2001 A season limit of pollock TAC specified to the mothership component for harvest within the SCA constitutes 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)(3)(B) and 50 CFR 679.20(b)(3)(iii)(A), as such procedures would be unnecessary and contrary to the public interest. Similarly, the need to implement these measures in a timely fashion to prevent exceeding the 2001 A season limit of pollock total allowable catch specified to the mothership component for harvest within the SCA constitutes good cause to find that the effective date of this action cannot be delayed for 30 days. Accordingly, under 5 U.S.C. 553(d), a delay in the effective date is hereby waived.

This action is required by § 679.22 and is exempt from review under Executive Order 12866.

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

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Dated: March 9, 2001.

Richard W. Surdi,

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

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[FR Doc. 01-6345 Filed 3-9-01; 2:50 pm]

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