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Rule

Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Pollock in Statistical Area 610 of the Gulf of Alaska

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Information about this document as published in the Federal Register.

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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 in Statistical Area 610 of the Gulf of Alaska (GOA). This action is necessary to prevent exceeding the seasonal allowance of the pollock total allowable catch (TAC) for Statistical Area 610 of the GOA.

DATES:

Effective 1200 hrs, Alaska local time (A.l.t.), October 13, 2001, until 2400 hrs, A.l.t., December 31, 2001.

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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Mary Furuness, 907-586-7228.

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SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

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. -

Within any fishing year under harvest or over harvest of a seasonal allowance of pollock may be added to or subtracted from the subsequent seasonal allowances of pollock in a manner to be determined by the Administrator, Alaska Region, NMFS (Regional Administrator), provided that a revised seasonal allowance does not exceed 30 percent of the annual TAC apportionment (§ 679.20(a)(5)(ii)(C)). The annual 2001 pollock TAC in the combined Central and Western GOA is 87,180 mt and 30 percent of this amount is 26,154 mt (66 FR 7276, January 22, 2001, and 66 FR 37167, July 17, 2001). This is the maximum amount of TAC that may harvested in any season, in this case the D season. Pollock TACs in the Western and Central Regulatory Areas in the C and D seasons are apportioned among Statistical Areas 610, 620, and 630 in proportion to the distribution of biomass as determined by the four most recent NMFS summer surveys. These amounts are 42.05 percent, 25.03 percent, and 32.92 percent respectively (66 FR 7276, January 22, 2001 and 66 FR 37167, July 17, 2001). In Statistical Area 610 this translates to a maximum TAC for the D season of 10,998 mt (26,154 mt x 0.4205). The Regional Administrator has determined that 11,666 mt of the original pollock TAC remains in Statistical Area 610. In accordance with § 679.20(a)(5)(ii)(C), the Regional Administrator hereby increases the original D season pollock TAC of 9,165 mt by 1,833 mt. The revised D season allowance of pollock TAC in Statistical Area 610 is 10,998 mt. -

In accordance with § 679.20(d)(1)(i), the Regional Administrator, has determined that the D season allowance of the pollock TAC in Statistical Area 610 will soon be reached. Therefore, the Regional Administrator is establishing a directed fishing allowance of 10,798 mt, and is setting aside the remaining 200 mt as bycatch to support other anticipated groundfish fisheries. Consequently in accordance with § 679.20(d)(1)(iii), NMFS is prohibiting directed fishing for pollock in Statistical Area 610 of the GOA. -

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 seasonal allocation of pollock in Statistical Area 610 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) Start Printed Page 52714and 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 seasonal allocation of pollock in Statistical Area 610 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.

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

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Dated: October 12, 2001.

Bruce C. Morehead,

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

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[FR Doc. 01-26174 Filed 10-12-01; 4:04 pm]

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