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Rule

Fisheries Off West Coast States and in the Western Pacific; West Coast Salmon Fisheries; Inseason Action No. 15-Closure of the Commercial Fishery from Humbug Mountain, OR to the Oregon-California Border

Document Details

Information about this document as published in the Federal Register.

Published Document

This document has been published in the Federal Register. Use the PDF linked in the document sidebar for the official electronic format.

Start Preamble

AGENCY:

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

ACTION:

Closure; request for comments.

SUMMARY:

NMFS announces that the commercial fishery for all salmon except coho in the area from Humbug Mountain, OR to the Oregon-California Border was closed at midnight on September 9, 2002. The Northwest Regional Administrator, NMFS (Regional Administrator), determined that the quota of 2,000 chinook salmon had been reached. This action was necessary to conform to the 2002 management goals.

DATES:

Closure in the area from Humbug Mountain to the Oregon-California border, effective 2359 hours local time (l.t.), September 9, 2002, after which the fishery will remain closed until opened through an additional inseason action, which will be published in the Federal Register for the west coast salmon fisheries, or until the effective date of the year 2003 management measures. Comments will be accepted through November 15, 2002.

ADDRESSES:

Comments on these actions must be mailed or faxed to D. Robert Lohn, Regional Administrator, Northwest Region, NMFS, NOAA, 7600 Sand Point Way N.E., Bldg. 1, Seattle, WA 98115-0070, facsimile 206-526-6376; or

Rod McInnis, Acting Regional Administrator, Southwest Region, NMFS, NOAA, 501 W. Ocean Blvd., Suite 4200, Long Beach, CA 90802-4132, facsimile 562-980-4018.

Comments will not be accepted if submitted via e-mail or the Internet. Information relevant to this document is available for public review during business hours at the Office of the Regional Administrator, Northwest Region, NMFS.

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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Christopher Wright, 206-526-6140.

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SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

The Regional Administrator closed the commercial salmon fishery in the area from Humbug Mountain, OR to the Oregon-California Border effective at midnight on Monday, September 9, 2002. Information provided on September 9, 2002, estimated that the quota of 2,000 chinook salmon had been reached. Automatic season closures based on quotas are authorized by regulations at 50 CFR 660.409(a)(1).

In the 2002 annual management measures for ocean salmon fisheries (67 FR 30616, May 7, 2002), NMFS announced that the commercial fishery for all salmon except coho in the area from Humbug Mountain, OR to the Oregon-California Border would open July 1, 2002, through the earlier of July 30, 2002, or a 1,500-chinook quota. The fishery would then reopen on August 1, 2002, through the earlier of August 29, 2002, or a 3,000-chinook quota; and September 1, 2002, through the earlier of September 30, 2002, or a 2,000-chinook quota. No transfer of remaining quota from earlier fisheries allowed.

Inseason Action #8 announced the commercial fishery for all salmon except coho in the area from Humbug Mountain to the Oregon-California Border was closed at midnight on July 26, 2002 (67 FR 57345, September 10, 2002). It was determined that the quota of 1,500 chinook salmon had been reached.

On September 9, 2002, the Regional Administrator consulted with representatives of the Pacific Fishery Management Council and Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW) by conference call. Information related to catch to date, the chinook catch rate, and effort data indicated that it was likely that the quota had been reached. As a result, the State of Oregon recommended, and the Regional Administrator concurred, that the commercial salmon fishery in the area from Humbug Mountain, OR to the Oregon-California Border close effective at midnight on Monday, September 9, 2002. All other regulations that apply to this fishery remain in effect as announced in the 2002 annual management measures and subsequent inseason actions.

The Regional Administrator determined that the best available information indicated that the catch and effort data, and projections, supported the above inseason action recommended by the ODFW. The States manage the fisheries in State waters adjacent to the areas of the U.S. exclusive economic zone in accordance with this Federal action. As provided by the inseason notice procedures of 50 CFR 660.411 (a)(2), actual notice to fishers of the above described action was given prior to the effective date by telephone hotline number 206-526-6667 and 800-662-9825, and by U.S. Coast Guard Notice to Mariners broadcasts on Channel 16 VHF-FM and 2182 kHz.

This action does not apply to other fisheries that may be operating in other areas.

Classification

The Assistant Administrator for Fisheries, NOAA (AA), finds that good cause exists for this notification to be issued without affording prior notice and opportunity for public comment under 5 U.S.C. 553(b)(B), or delaying the effectiveness of this rule for 30 days under 5 U.S.C. 553(d)(3), because such notification and delay is impracticable and contrary to the public interest. As previously noted, actual notice of this action was provided to fishers through telephone hotline and radio notification. This action complies with the requirements of the annual management measures for ocean salmon fisheries (67 FR 30616, May 7, 2002) and the West Coast Salmon Plan. Prior notice and opportunity for public comment is impracticable because NMFS and the State agencies have insufficient time to allow for prior notice and the opportunity for public comment between the time the fishery catch and effort data are collected to determine the extent of the fisheries, and the time the fishery closure must be implemented to avoid exceeding the quota. Moreover, such prior notice and the opportunity for public comment is contrary to the public interest because not closing the fishery upon attainment of the quota would allow the quota to be exceeded and thus compromise conservation and allocation objectives established preseason, and it does not allow fishers appropriately controlled access to the available fish at the time they are available.

The AA finds good cause to waive the 30-day delay in effectiveness required under 5 U.S.C. 553(d)(3). A delay in Start Printed Page 65730effectiveness of this action would not allow fishers appropriately controlled access to the available fish at the time they are available.

This action is authorized by 50 CFR 660.409 and 660.411 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 21, 2002.

Bruce C. Morehead,

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

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[FR Doc. 02-27359 Filed 10-25-02; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 3510-22-S