National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Commerce.
NMFS is closing directed fishing for groundfish with non-pelagic trawl gear in the red king crab savings subarea (RKCSS) of the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands management area (BSAI). This action is necessary to prevent exceeding the amount of the 2002 red king crab bycatch limit specified for the RKCSS.
Effective 1200 hrs, Alaska local time (A.l.t.), February 6, 2002, until 2400 hrs, A.l.t., December 31, 2002.Start Further Info
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:
Andrew Smoker, 907-586-7228.End Further Info End Preamble Start Supplemental Information
NMFS manages the groundfish fishery in the BSAI 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 CFR part 679.
The 2002 red king crab bycatch limit for the RKCSS is 20,924 animals as established by an emergency rule implementing 2002 harvest specifications and associated management measures for the groundfish fisheries off Alaska (67 FR 956, January 8, 2002).
In accordance with § 679.21(e)(7)(ii)(B), the Administrator, Alaska Region, NMFS, has determined that the amount of the 2002 red king crab bycatch limit specified for the RKCSS will be caught. Consequently, NMFS is closing the RKCSS to directed fishing for groundfish with non-pelagic trawl gear.
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 amount of the 2002 red king crab bycatch limit specified for the RKCSS 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 amount of the 2002 red king crab bycatch limit specified for the RKCSS 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 § 679.21 and is exempt from review under Executive Order 12866.Start Signature
Dated: February 6, 2002.
Acting Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine Fisheries Service.
[FR Doc. 02-3269 Filed 2-6-02; 3:29 pm]
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