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Rule

Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Trawl Gear in the Gulf of Alaska

Document Details

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:

Modification of a closure.

SUMMARY:

NMFS is opening directed fishing by vessels using trawl gear in the Gulf of Alaska (GOA). This action is necessary to fully use the 2002 halibut bycatch allowance for trawl gear in the GOA.

DATES:

Effective 1200 hrs, Alaska local time (A.l.t.), November 6, 2002, until 1200 hrs, A.l.t., November 10, 2002.

Start Further Info

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.

NMFS closed the directed fishery by vessels using trawl gear in the GOA pursuant to § 679.21(d)(7)(i) on October 13, 2002 (67 FR 64066, October 17, 2002). As of October 24, 2002, 67 metric tons of halibut remain in the trawl halibut bycatch allowance in the GOA. Therefore, NMFS is terminating the previous closure and is opening directed fishing by vessels using trawl gear in the GOA from 1200 hrs, A.l.t., November 6, 2002, until 1200 hrs, A.l.t., November 10, 2002.

Classification

This action responds to the best available information recently obtained from the fishery. The Assistant Administrator for Fisheries, NOAA, (AA) finds 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)(B) as such requirement is contrary to the public interest. This requirement is contrary to the public interest as it would delay the opening of the fishery, prevent the full use of the 2002 halibut bycatch allowance specified for trawl gear in the GOA, and therefore reduce the public's ability to use and enjoy the fishery resource.

The AA also finds good cause to waive the 30-day delay in the effective date of this action under 5 U.S.C. 553(d)(3). This finding is based upon the reasons provided above for waiver of prior notice and opportunity for public comment.

This action is required by § 679.21 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: November 1, 2002.

Bruce C. Morehead,

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

End Signature End Supplemental Information

[FR Doc. 02-28336 Filed 11-4-02; 1:11 pm]

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