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Rule

Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Atka Mackerel Harvest Limit Area Fisheries in Areas 542 and 543

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Information about this document as published in the Federal Register.

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AGENCY:

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

ACTION:

Notification of Atka mackerel assignments.

SUMMARY:

NMFS is notifying registered vessels of their assignments for the 2003 B season Atka mackerel fishery in harvest limit areas (HLA) 542 and/or 543 of the Aleutian Islands subarea of the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands management area (BSAI). This action is necessary to allow the harvest of the B season HLA limits established for area 542 and area 543.

DATES:

Effective 1200 hrs, Alaska local time (A.l.t.), August 28, 2003, until 1200 hrs, A.l.t., November 1, 2003.

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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Andrew Smoker, (907) 586-7228.

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SUPPLEMENTARY 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 50 CFR part 679.

In accordance with § 679.20(a)(8)(iii)(A), 10 vessels using trawl gear for directed fishing for Atka mackerel have registered with NMFS to fish in the 2003 B season HLA fisheries in areas 542 and/or 543. In accordance with § 679.20(a)(8)(iii)(B) the Administrator, Alaska Region, has randomly assigned each vessel to the HLA directed fishery for Atka mackerel for which they have registered and is now notifying each vessel of its assignment.

Vessels assigned to participate in the first HLA directed fishery in area 542 and/or the second HLA directed fishery in area 543 in accordance with the vessel's registration under § 679.20(a)(8)(iii)(A) are as follows: Federal Fishery Permit number (FFP) 3423 Alaska Warrior, FFP 3819 Alaska Spirit, FFP 2134 Ocean Peace, FFP 3835 Seafisher, and FFP 2800 U.S. Intrepid.

Vessels assigned to participate in the first HLA directed fishery in area 543 and/or the second HLA directed fishery in area 542 in accordance with the vessel's registration under § 679.20(a)(8)(iii)(A) are as follows: FFP 2443 Alaska Juris, FFP 2733 Seafreeze Alaska, FFP 4093 Alaska Victory, FFP 3400 Alaska Ranger, and FFP 1879 American No. 1.

Classification

This action responds to the best available information. The Assistant Administrator for Fisheries, NOAA, finds that the need to immediately implement this action that notifies each vessel of their fishery assignment to allow the harvest of the B season HLA limits established for area 542 and area 543 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)(B) and 50 CFR 679.20(a)(8)(iii), as such procedures would be unnecessary and contrary to the public interest. Similarly, the need to implement these measures in a timely fashion that notifies each vessel of their fishery assignment to allow the harvest of the B season HLA limits established for area 542 and area 543 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: August 25, 2003.

Bruce C. Morehead,

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

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[FR Doc. 03-22192 Filed 2-28-03; 8:45 am]

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