National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Commerce.
NMFS is prohibiting directed fishing for northern rockfish in the Western Regulatory Area of the Gulf of Alaska (GOA). This action is necessary to prevent exceeding the 2001 total allowable catch (TAC) of northern rockfish in this area.
Effective 1200 hrs, Alaska local time (A.l.t.), July 18, through 2400 hrs, A.l.t., December 31, 2001.Start Further Info
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:
Mary Furuness, 907-586-7228.End Further Info End Preamble Start Supplemental Information
NMFS manages the groundfish fishery in the GOA exclusive economic zone according to the Fishery Management Plan for the Groundfish Fishery 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 2001 TAC of northern rockfish for the Western Regulatory Area was established as 600 metric tons (mt) 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 § 679.20(d)(1)(i), the Administrator, Alaska Region, NMFS (Regional Administrator), has determined that the 2001 TAC for northern rockfish in the Western Regulatory Area will be reached. Therefore, the Regional Administrator is establishing a directed fishing allowance of 550 mt, and is setting aside the remaining 50 mt as bycatch to support other anticipated groundfish fisheries. 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 northern rockfish in the Western Regulatory Area of the GOA. -
Maximum retainable bycatch amounts may be found in the regulations at § 679.20(e) and (f). -
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 2001 TAC of northern rockfish for the Western Regulatory Area of the GOA 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 Start Printed Page 38167would be unnecessary and contrary to the public interest. Similarly, the need to implement these measures in a timely fashion to avoid exceeding the 2001 TAC of northern rockfish for the Western Regulatory Area of the GOA 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 § 679.20 and is exempt from review under Executive Order 12866.Start Signature
Dated: July 18, 2001.
Bruce C. Morehead,
Acting Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine Fisheries Service.
[FR Doc. 01-18314 Filed 7-18-01; 4:11 pm]
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