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Rule

Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Revision of Steller Sea Lion Protection Measures for the Pollock and Pacific Cod Fisheries in the Gulf of Alaska

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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:

Final rule.

SUMMARY:

NMFS publishes a final rule that revises Steller sea lion protection measures for the pollock and Pacific cod fisheries in the Gulf of Alaska (GOA). The revisions adjust Pacific cod and pollock fishing closure areas near four Steller sea lion haulouts and modify the seasonal management of pollock harvest in the GOA. The intent of the revisions is to maintain protection for Steller sea lions and their critical habitat while easing the economic burden on GOA fishing communities. This action is intended to promote the goals and objectives of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (Magnuson-Stevens Act), the Fishery Management Plan for Groundfish of the Gulf of Alaska (FMP), and other applicable laws.

DATES:

Effective January 19, 2005.

ADDRESSES:

Copies of the Environmental Assessment/Regulatory Impact Review (EA/RIR) prepared for the rule and copies of the 2000 and 2001 Biological Opinions, and the June 19, 2003 supplement to the 2001 Biological Opinion, on the effects of the groundfish fisheries on Steller sea lions may be obtained from NMFS, Alaska Region, P.O. Box 21668, Juneau, AK 99802, Attn: Lori Durall, or from the NMFS Alaska Region website at www.fakr.noaa.gov.

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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Melanie Brown, 907-586-7228 or melanie.brown@noaa.gov.

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SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

The groundfish fisheries in the Exclusive Economic Zone of the GOA are managed under the FMP. The North Pacific Fishery Management Council (Council) prepared the FMP under the authority of the Magnuson-Stevens Act, 16 U.S.C. 1801, et seq. Regulations implementing the FMP appear at 50 CFR part 679. General regulations governing U.S. fisheries also appear at 50 CFR part 600.

Background

The western distinct population segment (DPS) of Steller sea lions has been listed as endangered under the Endangered Species Act (ESA), and critical habitat has been designated for this DPS (50 CFR 226.202). Temporal and spatial harvest restrictions were established for the groundfish fisheries of Alaska (68 FR 204, January 2, 2003) to protect Steller sea lions from jeopardy of extinction and their critical habitat from adverse modification or destruction from the effects of these fisheries. Pollock and Pacific cod are important prey species for Steller sea lions, and these protection measures apply to the pollock and Pacific cod fisheries in the GOA.

In June 2004, the Council unanimously recommended revisions to the Steller sea lion protection measures in the GOA to alleviate some of the economic burden on coastal communities while maintaining protection for Steller sea lions and their critical habitat. These revisions adjust pollock and Pacific cod fishing closures near four Steller sea lion haulouts and revise seasonal management of pollock harvest. NMFS concluded that fishing under the proposed revisions is not likely to affect Steller sea lions or their critical habitat beyond those effects already considered in the 2000 FMP Biological Opinion (BiOp), the 2001 BiOp on the Steller sea lion protection measures, and the June 19, 2003 supplement to the 2001 BiOp (see ADDRESSES). NMFS has determined that this action could provide some economic relief to participants in the pollock and Pacific cod fisheries while maintaining protection for Steller sea lions and their critical habitat.

The proposed rule for this action was published in the Federal Register on September 21, 2004 (69 FR 56384) with a comment period ending October 21, 2004. The details of each regulatory revision are contained in the proposed rule for this action. No changes were made from the proposed rule in the final rule.

Comments and Responses

Three emails and two letters containing seven separate comments were received regarding the proposed rule. The comments are summarized and responded to below.

Comment 1: The commercial fishers are taking all of the fish so the Steller sea lions have nothing to eat. The commercial fishers should be thrown out of the GOA.

Response: Several species of groundfish, notably pollock and Pacific cod, are important prey species for Steller sea lions in the GOA and are also targeted by the GOA groundfish fisheries. The pollock and Pacific cod fisheries potentially compete with Steller sea lions by reducing the availability of prey for foraging sea lions. However, this potential competition between commercial fishers and Steller sea lions for pollock and Pacific cod is addressed by regulations that limit the total amount of catch and impose temporal and spatial controls on harvest. These Steller sea lion protection measures are designed to preserve prey abundance and availability for foraging sea lions.

Comment 2: The fishers are catching double what they are reporting, and no one checks that what they have on board is what they are reporting. When checked, the amount of fish on board is usually double what they have reported. Vessels should be seized, and the captain and crew should be jailed for a year for abusing the sacred trust to responsibly harvest groundfish.

Response: NMFS disagrees with the commentor's assertion that groundfish fishers systematically under-report their catch. The recordkeeping and reporting requirements in these fisheries are comprehensive, and NMFS and United States Coast Guard law enforcement officers conduct numerous vessel boardings each year. Reporting violations occur, but they are relatively rare and are prosecuted pursuant to the Magnuson-Stevens Act.

Comment 3: Quotas should be cut by 50 percent the first year and 10 percent each year after. Overfishing is occurring. Marine sanctuaries should be established.

Response: This action revises certain Steller sea lion protection measures in the GOA, but does not specify groundfish harvest levels. The specification of harvest levels is done by separate rulemaking during the harvest specifications process. NMFS encourages the commentor to submit comments on the proposed 2005 and 2006 fishery specifications when they are published in the Federal Register for public comment. However, NMFS disagrees with the commentor's assertion that overfishing is occurring in the groundfish fisheries. NMFS manages these fisheries on a sustainable basis and notes that none of the groundfish stocks off Alaska is overfished. Additionally, this action does not address the creation of marine sanctuaries. The January 2004 draft Start Printed Page 75866environmental impact statement for essential fish habitat discusses the effects of fishing on sensitive habitat features and evaluates a range of options for minimizing adverse effects, such as closing areas of rockfish habitat to bottom trawling. Further information on this draft EIS may be found at the NMFS Alaska Region website at www.fakr.noaa.gov.

Comment 4: The Pew Foundation reports on overfishing and regional fishery management council bias and the United Nations report on overfishing are incorporated into the comments from this commentor.

Response: This action raises no issues related to overfishing or the membership of regional fishery management councils. The commentor's specific concerns and their relationship to these reports are not presented by the commentor. Because no further details are provided by the commentor, NMFS is unable to respond further to this comment.

Comment 5: The Council's decision to reduce Steller sea lion protection measures is an outrage. The protection measures were made years ago solely for the protection of Steller sea lions. To make changes now for the benefit of the fishing fleet is an outrage because the Steller sea lions are still listed as endangered. Policy was made and should be followed and not changed for the industry's benefit.

Response: NMFS disagrees with the commentor's assertion that this action fails to protect Steller sea lions and their critical habitat. The Steller sea lion protection measures were expected to be periodically reviewed and potentially changed based on new information regarding Steller sea lions and the fishing industry. NMFS has worked with the Council to identify impacts on the industry and new information that may lead to adapting the protection measures to ensure efficient and safe groundfish harvest while protecting Steller sea lions and their critical habitat. NMFS has determined that by revising the Pacific cod and pollock closure areas and improving the seasonal management of pollock with this final rule, the protection measures continue to protect Steller sea lions and their critical habitat from the potential effects of the pollock and Pacific cod fisheries.

Comment 6: Revisions to ESA protection measures should come from sound, scientific, factual evidence. The basis of any revisions should not be on “informal consultations,” on findings of “not likely to adversely affect,” or on “could provide economic relief.” NMFS should reconsider all of the proposed changes.

Response: NMFS agrees that agency decisions should be based on the best available scientific information. NMFS has used the best available scientific information in the development of this action and has reasonably determined that the revised measures adequately protect Steller sea lions and their critical habitat. Unfortunately, the best available scientific information frequently does not provide unequivocal answers regarding the effects of fisheries on the environment. NMFS has no additional information to justify reconsidering this action.

Comment 7: We support the proposed action. Revising the Steller sea lion protection measures will alleviate some economic burden on GOA communities and maintain protection for Steller sea lions. We hope the changes may be made in time for the 2005 fishing year.

Response: NMFS acknowledges the commentors' interest in alleviating economic burdens on GOA communities while maintaining protection for Steller sea lions and has strived to implement this final rule by early 2005.

Classification

This rule has been determined to be not significant for the purposes of Executive Order 12866.

The Chief Counsel for Regulation of the Department of Commerce certified to the Chief Counsel for Advocacy of the Small Business Administration during the proposed rule stage that this action would not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. No comments were received regarding this certification. As a result, a regulatory flexibility analysis was not required and none prepared.

Small Entity Compliance Guide

This action revises 50 CFR part 679 which describes the Steller sea lion protection measures for the Alaska groundfish fisheries. This action requires small entities in the pollock and Pacific cod fisheries to comply with the amended closure areas near four Steller sea lion haulouts. To facilitate compliance with all of the Steller sea lion protection area restrictions, NMFS provides a series of maps showing the closure areas and links to the regulations that may be viewed and downloaded at http://www.fakr.noaa.gov/​sustainablefisheries/​2003hrvstspecssl.htm.

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List of Subjects in 50 CFR Part 679

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Dated: December 13, 2004.

Rebecca Lent,

Deputy Assistant Administrator for Regulatory Programs, National Marine Fisheries Service.

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For reasons set out in the preamble,

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PART 679—FISHERIES OF THE EXCLUSIVE ECONOMIC ZONE OFF ALASKA

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1. The authority citation for part 679 continues to read as follows:

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Authority: Authority: 16 U.S.C. 773 et seq., 1801 et seq., and 3631 et seq.; 16 U.S.C. 1540(f); Pub. L. 105-277, Title II of Division C; Pub. L. 106-31, Sec. 3027; Pub. L.106-554, Sec. 209; and Pub. L. 108-199, Sec. 803.

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2. In § 679.20, paragraph (a)(5)(iii)(B) is revised to read as follows:

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General limitations.
* * * * *

(a) * * *

(5) * * *

(iii) * * *

(B) GOA Western and Central Regulatory Areas seasonal apportionments. Each apportionment established under paragraph (a)(5)(iii)(A) of this section will be divided into four seasonal apportionments corresponding to the four fishing seasons set out at § 679.23(d)(2) as follows: A Season, 25 percent; B Season, 25 percent; C Season, 25 percent; and D Season, 25 percent. Within any fishing year, underharvest or overharvest of a seasonal apportionment may be added to or subtracted from remaining seasonal apportionments in a manner to be determined by the Regional Administrator, provided that any revised seasonal apportionment does not exceed 20 percent of the seasonal TAC apportionment for the statistical area. The reapportionment of underharvest will be applied to the subsequent season within the same statistical area up to the 20 percent limit specified in this paragraph. Any underharvest remaining beyond the 20 percent limit may be further apportioned to the subsequent season in the other statistical areas, in proportion to estimated biomass and in an amount no more than 20 percent of the seasonal TAC apportionment for the statistical area.

* * * * *
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3. In § 679.23, paragraphs (d)(2)(i) and (d)(2)(iii) are revised to read as follows:

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Seasons.
* * * * *

(d) * * *

(2) * * *

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(i) A season. From 1200 hours, A.l.t., January 20 through 1200 hours, A.l.t., March 10;

* * * * *

(iii) C season. From 1200 hours, A.l.t., August 25 through 1200 hours, A.l.t., October 1; and

* * * * *
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4. Tables 4 and 5 to part 679 are revised to read as follows:

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Table 4 to 50 CFR Part 679 Steller Sea Lion Protection Areas Pollock Fisheries Restrictions

Column Number 1234567
Site NameArea or SubareaBoundaries from LatitudeBoundaries from LongitudeBoundaries to1 LatitudeBoundaries to1 LongitudePollock No-fishing Zones for Trawl Gear2,8 (nm)
St. Lawrence I./S Punuk I.Bering Sea63 04.00 N168 51.00 W20
St. Lawrence I./SW CapeBering Sea63 18.00 N171 26.00 W20
Hall I.Bering Sea60 37.00 N173 00.00 W20
St. Paul I./Sea Lion RockBering Sea57 06.00 N170 17.50 W3
St. Paul I./NE Pt.Bering Sea57 15.00 N170 06.50 W3
Walrus I. (Pribilofs)Bering Sea57 11.00 N169 56.00 W10
St. George I./Dalnoi Pt.Bering Sea56 36.00 N169 46.00 W3
St. George I./S RookeryBering Sea56 33.50 N169 40.00 W3
Cape NewenhamBering Sea58 39.00 N162 10.50 W20
Round (Walrus Islands)Bering Sea58 36.00 N159 58.00 W20
Attu I./Cape WrangellAleutian I.52 54.60 N172 27.90 E52 55.40 N172 27.20 E20
Agattu I./Gillon Pt.Aleutian I.52 24.13 N173 21.31 E20
Attu I./Chirikof Pt.Aleutian I.52 49.75 N173 26.00 E20
Agattu I./Cape SabakAleutian I.52 22.50 N173 43.30 E52 21.80 N173 41.40 E20
Alaid I.Aleutian I.52 46.50 N173 51.50 E52 45.00 N173 56.50 E20
Shemya I.Aleutian I.52 44.00 N174 08.70 E20
Buldir I.Aleutian I.52 20.25 N175 54.03 E52 20.38 N175 53.85 E20
Kiska I./Cape St. StephenAleutian I.51 52.50 N177 12.70 E51 53.50 N177 12.00 E20
Kiska I./Sobaka & VegaAleutian I.51 49.50 N177 19.00 E51 48.50 N177 20.50 E20
Kiska I./Lief CoveAleutian I.51 57.16 N177 20.41 E51 57.24 N177 20.53 E20
Kiska I./Sirius Pt.Aleutian I.52 08.50 N177 36.50 E20
Tanadak I. (Kiska)Aleutian I.51 56.80 N177 46.80 E20
Segula I.Aleutian I.51 59.90 N178 05.80 E52 03.06 N178 08.80 E20
Ayugadak PointAleutian I.51 45.36 N178 24.30 E20
Rat I./Krysi Pt.Aleutian I.51 49.98 N178 12.35 E20
Little Sitkin I.Aleutian I.51 59.30 N178 29.80 E20
Amchitka I./Column RocksAleutian I.51 32.32 N178 49.28 E20
Amchitka I./East CapeAleutian I.51 22.26 N179 27.93 E51 22.00 N179 27.00 E20
Amchitka I./Cape IvakinAleutian I.51 24.46 N179 24.21 E20
Semisopochnoi/Petrel Pt.Aleutian I.52 01.40 N179 36.90 E52 01.50 N179 39.00 E20
Semisopochnoi I./Pochnoi Pt.Aleutian I.51 57.30 N179 46.00 E20
Amatignak I. Nitrof Pt.Aleutian I.51 13.00 N179 07.80 W20
Unalga & Dinkum RocksAleutian I.51 33.67 N179 04.25 W51 35.09 N179 03.66 W20
Ulak I./Hasgox Pt.Aleutian I.51 18.90 N178 58.90 W51 18.70 N178 59.60 W20
Kavalga I.Aleutian I.51 34.50 N178 51.73 W51 34.50 N178 49.50 W20
Tag I.Aleutian I.51 33.50 N178 34.50 W20
Ugidak I.Aleutian I.51 34.95 N178 30.45 W20
Gramp RockAleutian I.51 28.87 N178 20.58 W20
Tanaga I./Bumpy Pt.Aleutian I.51 55.00 N177 58.50 W51 55.00 N177 57.10 W20
Bobrof I.Aleutian I.51 54.00 N177 27.00 W20
Kanaga I./Ship RockAleutian I.51 46.70 N177 20.72 W20
Kanaga I./North CapeAleutian I.51 56.50 N177 09.00 W20
Adak I.Aleutian I.51 35.50 N176 57.10 W51 37.40 N176 59.60 W20
Little Tanaga StraitAleutian I.51 49.09 N176 13.90 W20
Great Sitkin I.Aleutian I.52 06.00 N176 10.50 W52 06.60 N176 07.00 W20
Anagaksik I.Aleutian I.51 50.86 N175 53.00 W20
Kasatochi I.Aleutian I.52 11.11 N175 31.00 W20
Atka I./North CapeAleutian I.52 24.20 N174 17.80 W20
Amlia I./Sviech. Harbor11Aleutian I.52 01.80 N173 23.90 W20
Sagigik I.11Aleutian I.52 00.50 N173 09.30 W20
Amlia I./East11AIX52 05.70 N172 59.00 W52 05.75 N172 57.50 W20
Tanadak I. (Amlia11)Aleutian I.52 04.20 N172 57.60 W20
Agligadak I.11Aleutian I.52 06.09 N172 54.23 W20
Seguam I./Saddleridge Pt.11Aleutian I.52 21.05 N172 34.40 W52 21.02 N172 33.60 W20
Seguam I./Finch Pt.Aleutian I.52 23.40 N172 27.70 W52 23.25 N172 24.30 W20
Seguam I./South SideAleutian I.52 21.60 N172 19.30 W52 15.55 N172 31.22 W20
Amukta I. & RocksAleutian I.52 27.25 N171 17.90 W20
Chagulak I.Aleutian I.52 34.00 N171 10.50 W20
Yunaska I.Aleutian I.52 41.40 N170 36.35 W20
Uliaga3Bering Sea53 04.00 N169 47.00 W53 05.00 N169 46.00 W20,10
ChuginadakGulf of Alaska52 46.70 N169 41.90 W20
Kagamil3Bering Sea53 02.10 N169 41.00 W20,10
SamalgaGulf of Alaska52 46.00 N169 15.00 W20
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Adugak I.3Bering Sea52 54.70 N169 10.50 W10
Umnak I./Cape Aslik3Bering Sea53 25.00 N168 24.50 WBA
Ogchul I.Gulf of Alaska52 59.71 N168 24.24 W20
Bogoslof I./Fire I.3Bering Sea53 55.69 N168 02.05 WBA
Polivnoi RockGulf of Alaska53 15.96 N167 57.99 W20
Emerald I.Gulf of Alaska53 17.50 N167 51.50 W20
Unalaska/Cape IziganGulf of Alaska53 13.64 N167 39.37 W20
Unalaska/Bishop Pt.9Bering Sea53 58.40 N166 57.50 W10
Akutan I./Reef-lava9Bering Sea54 08.10 N166 06.19 W54 09.10 N166 05.50 W10
Unalaska I./Cape Sedanka6Gulf of Alaska53 50.50 N166 05.00 W20
Old Man Rocks6Gulf of Alaska53 52.20 N166 04.90 W20
Akutan I./Cape Morgan6Gulf of Alaska54 03.39 N165 59.65 W54 03.70 N166 03.68 W20
Akun I./Billings Head9Bering Sea54 17.62 N165 32.06 W54 17.57 N165 31.71 W10
Rootok6Gulf of Alaska54 03.90 N165 31.90 W54 02.90 N165 29.50 W20
Tanginak I.6Gulf of Alaska54 12.00 N165 19.40 W20
Tigalda/Rocks NE6Gulf of Alaska54 09.60 N164 59.00 W54 09.12 N164 57.18 W20
Unimak/Cape Sarichef9Bering Sea54 34.30 N164 56.80 W10
Aiktak6Gulf of Alaska54 10.99 N164 51.15 W20
Ugamak I.6Gulf of Alaska54 13.50 N164 47.50 W54 12.80 N164 47.50 W20
Round (GOA)6Gulf of Alaska54 12.05 N164 46.60 W20
Sea Lion Rock (Amak)9Bering Sea55 27.82 N163 12.10 W10
Amak I. And rocks9Bering Sea55 24.20 N163 09.60 W55 26.15 N163 08.50 W10
Bird I.Gulf of Alaska54 40.00 N163 17.2 W10
Caton I.Gulf of Alaska54 22.70 N162 21.30 W3
South RocksGulf of Alaska54 18.14 N162 41.3 W10
Clubbing Rocks (S)Gulf of Alaska54 41.98 N162 26.7 W10
Clubbing Rocks (N)Gulf of Alaska54 42.75 N162 26.7 W10
Pinnacle RockGulf of Alaska54 46.06 N161 45.85 W3
Sushilnoi RocksGulf of Alaska54 49.30 N161 42.73 W10
Olga RocksGulf of Alaska55 00.45 N161 29.81 W54 59.09 N161 30.89 W10
Jude I.Gulf of Alaska55 15.75 N161 06.27 W20
Sea Lion Rocks (Shumagins)Gulf of Alaska55 04.70 N160 31.04 W3
Nagai I./Mountain Pt.Gulf of Alaska54 54.20 N160 15.40 W54 56.00 N160 15.00 W3
The WhalebackGulf of Alaska55 16.82 N160 05.04 W3
Chernabura I.Gulf of Alaska54 45.18 N159 32.99 W54 45.87 N159 35.74 W20
Castle RockGulf of Alaska55 16.47 N159 29.77 W3
Atkins I.Gulf of Alaska55 03.20 N159 17.40 W20
Spitz I.Gulf of Alaska55 46.60 N158 53.90 W3
MitrofaniaGulf of Alaska55 50.20 N158 41.90 W3
KakGulf of Alaska56 17.30 N157 50.10 W20
Lighthouse RocksGulf of Alaska55 46.79 N157 24.89 W20
Sutwik I.Gulf of Alaska56 31.05 N157 20.47 W56 32.00 N157 21.00 W20
Chowiet I.Gulf of Alaska56 00.54 N156 41.42 W55 00.30 N156 41.60 W20
Nagai RocksGulf of Alaska55 49.80 N155 47.50 W20
Chirikof I.Gulf of Alaska55 46.50 N155 39.50 W55 46.44 N155 43.46 W20
Puale Bay12Gulf of Alaska57 40.60 N155 23.10 W3,10
Kodiak/Cape IkolikGulf of Alaska57 17.20 N154 47.50 W3
Takli I.Gulf of Alaska58 01.75 N154 31.25 W10
Cape KuliakGulf of Alaska58 08.00 N154 12.50 W10
Cape GullGulf of Alaska58 11.50 N154 09.60 W58 12.50 N154 10.50 W10
Kodiak/Cape UgatGulf of Alaska57 52.41 N153 50.97 W10
Sitkinak/Cape SitkinakGulf of Alaska56 34.30 N153 50.96 W10
Shakun RockGulf of Alaska58 32.80 N153 41.50 W10
Twoheaded I.Gulf of Alaska56 54.50 N153 32.75 W56 53.90 N153 33.74 W10
Cape Douglas (Shaw I.)12Gulf of Alaska59 00.00 N153 22.50 W20,10
Kodiak/Cape BarnabasGulf of Alaska57 10.20 N152 53.05 W3
Kodiak/Gull Point4Gulf of Alaska57 21.45 N152 36.30 W10,3
Latax RocksGulf of Alaska58 40.10 N152 31.30 W10
Ushagat I./SWGulf of Alaska58 54.75 N152 22.20 W10
Ugak I.4Gulf of Alaska57 23.60 N152 17.50 W57 21.90 N152 17.40 W10,3
Sea Otter I.Gulf of Alaska58 31.15 N152 13.30 W10
Long I.Gulf of Alaska57 46.82 N152 12.90 W10
Sud I.Gulf of Alaska58 54.00 N152 12.50 W10
Kodiak/Cape ChiniakGulf of Alaska57 37.90 N152 08.25 W10
Sugarloaf I.Gulf of Alaska58 53.25 N152 02.40 W20
Sea Lion Rocks (Marmot)Gulf of Alaska58 20.53 N151 48.83 W10
Marmot I.5Gulf of Alaska58 13.65 N151 47.75 W58 09.90 N151 52.06 W15,20
Nagahut RocksGulf of Alaska59 06.00 N151 46.30 W10
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PerlGulf of Alaska59 05.75 N151 39.75 W10
Gore PointGulf of Alaska59 12.00 N150 58.00 W10
Outer (Pye) I.Gulf of Alaska59 20.50 N150 23.00 W59 21.00 N150 24.50 W20
Steep PointGulf of Alaska59 29.05 N150 15.40 W10
Seal Rocks (Kenai)Gulf of Alaska59 31.20 N149 37.50 W10
Chiswell IslandsGulf of Alaska59 36.00 N149 34.00 W10
Rugged IslandGulf of Alaska59 50.00 N149 23.10 W59 51.00 N149 24.70 W10
Point Elrington7,10Gulf of Alaska59 56.00 N148 15.20 W20
Perry I.7Gulf of Alaska60 44.00 N147 54.60 W
The Needle7Gulf of Alaska60 06.64 N147 36.17 W
Point Eleanor7Gulf of Alaska60 35.00 N147 34.00 W
Wooded I. (Fish I.)Gulf of Alaska59 52.90 N147 20.65 W20
Glacier Island7Gulf of Alaska60 51.30 N147 14.50 W
Seal Rocks (Cordova)10Gulf of Alaska60 09.78 N146 50.30 W20
Cape Hinchinbrook10Gulf of Alaska60 14.00 N146 38.50 W20
Middleton I.Gulf of Alaska59 28.30 N146 18.80 W10
Hook Point10Gulf of Alaska60 20.00 N146 15.60 W20
Cape St. EliasGulf of Alaska59 47.50 N144 36.20 W20
1 Where two sets of coordinates are given, the baseline extends in a clock-wise direction from the first set of geographic coordinates along the shoreline at mean lower-low water to the second set of coordinates. Where only one set of coordinates is listed, that location is the base point.
2 Closures as stated in 50 CFR 679.22(a)(7)(iv), (a)(8)(ii) and (b)(2)(ii).
3 This site lies within the Bogoslof area (BA). The BA consists of all waters of area 518 as described in Figure 1 of this part south of a straight line connecting 55°00′ N/170°00′ W, and 55°00′ N/168°11′4.75″ W. Closure to directed fishing for pollock around Uliaga and Kagamil is 20 nm for waters west of 170° W long. and 10 nm for waters east of 170° W long.
4 The trawl closure between 0 nm to 10 nm is effective from January 20 through May 31. Trawl closure between 0 nm to 3 nm is effective from August 25 through November 1.
5 Trawl closure between 0 nm to 15 nm is effective from January 20 through May 31. Trawl closure between 0 nm to 20 nm is effective from August 25 to November 1.
6 Restriction area includes only waters of the Gulf of Alaska Area.
7 Contact the Alaska Department of Fish and Game for fishery restrictions at these sites.
8 No-fishing zones are the waters between 0 nm and the nm specified in column 7 around each site and within the BA.
9 This site is located in the Bering Sea Pollock Restriction Area, closed to pollock trawling during the A season. This area consists of all waters of the Bering Sea subarea south of a line connecting the points 163°0′00″ W long./55°46′30″ N lat., 165°08′00″ W long./54°42′9″ N lat., 165°40′00″ long./54°26′30″ N lat., 166°12′00″ W long./54°18′40″ N lat., and 167°0′00″ W long./54°8′50″ N lat.
10 The 20 nm closure around this site is effective in federal waters outside of State of Alaska waters of Prince William Sound.
11 Some or all of the restricted area is located in the Seguam Foraging area (SFA) which is closed to all gears types. The SFA is established as all waters within the area between 52° N lat. and 53° N lat. and between 173°30′ W long. and 172°30′ W long.
12 The 3 nm trawl closure around Puale Bay and the 20 nm trawl closure around Cape Douglas/Shaw I. are effective January 20 through May 31. The 10 nm trawl closure around Puale Bay and the 10 nm trawl closure around Cape Douglas/Shaw I. are effective August 25 through November 1.
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[FR Doc. 04-27698 Filed 12-17-04; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 3510-22-S