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Rule

Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; “Other Species” in the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Management Area

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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:

Prohibition of Retention.

SUMMARY:

NMFS is prohibiting retention of Community Development Quota (CDQ) reserve amount of “other species” in the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands management area (BSAI). This action is necessary to prevent exceeding the 2004 CDQ reserve amount of “other species” in this area.

DATES:

Effective 1200 hrs, Alaska local time (A.l.t.), July 31, 2004, through 2400 hrs, A.l.t., December 31, 2004.

Start Further Info

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Josh Keaton, 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.

The 2004 CDQ reserve amount specified for “other species” in the BSAI is 2,040 metric tons (mt) as established by the 2004 harvest specifications for groundfish of the BSAI (69 FR 9242, February 27, 2004).

In accordance with § 679.20(d)(2), the Administrator, Alaska Region, NMFS, has determined that the 2004 CDQ reserve amount of “other species” in the BSAI has been reached. Therefore, NMFS is requiring that further catches of the CDQ reserve amount of “other species” in the BSAI be treated as a prohibited species in accordance with § 679.21(b).

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 a requirement is impracticable and contrary to the public interest. This requirement is impracticable and contrary to the public interest as it would prevent NMFS from responding to the most recent fisheries data in a timely fashion and would delay the prohibition of retention of CDQ reserve amount of “other species” in the BSAI.

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 § 679.20 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: July 28, 2004.

Alan D. Risenhoover,

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

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[FR Doc. 04-17643 Filed 7-29-04; 2:02 pm]

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