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Rule

Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Yellowfin Sole by Vessels Using Trawl Gear in 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 closing directed fishing for yellowfin sole by vessels using trawl gear in the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands management area (BSAI). This action is necessary to prevent exceeding the second seasonal apportionment of the 2001 Pacific halibut bycatch allowance specified for the trawl yellowfin sole fishery category.

DATES:

Effective 1200 hrs, Alaska local time (A.l.t.), April 26, 2001, until 1200 hrs, A.l.t., May 21, 2001.

ADDRESSES:

Mary Furuness, 907-586-7228.

End Preamble Start Supplemental Information

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

NMFS manages the groundfish fishery in the Start Printed Page 21692BSAI 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 second seasonal apportionment of the 2001 halibut bycatch allowance specified for the BSAI trawl yellowfin sole fishery category, which is defined at § 679.21(e)(3)(iv)(B)(1), is 196 metric tons through May 20 (66 FR 7276, January 22, 2001).

In accordance with § 679.21(e)(7)(v), the Administrator, Alaska Region, NMFS (Regional Administrator), has determined that the second seasonal apportionment of the 2001 halibut bycatch allowance specified for the trawl yellowfin sole fishery in the BSAI has been caught. Consequently, the Regional Administrator is closing directed fishing for yellowfin sole by vessels using trawl gear 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 avoid exceeding the halibut bycatch allowance for the yellowfin sole fishery category constitutes good cause to waive the requirement to provide prior notice 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 avoid exceeding the halibut bycatch allowance for the yellowfin sole fishery category 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 50 CFR 679.21 and is exempt from review under Executive Order 12866.

Start Authority

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

End Authority Start Signature

Dated: April 26, 2001.

Bruce C. Morehead,

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

End Signature End Supplemental Information

[FR Doc. 01-10864 Filed 4-26-01; 4:30 pm]

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