National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Commerce.
NMFS is closing directed fishing for yellowfin sole by vessels using trawl gear in Bycatch Limitation Zone 1 (Zone 1) of the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands management area (BSAI). This action is necessary to prevent exceeding the 2005 bycatch allowance of red king crab specified for the trawl yellowfin sole fishery in Zone 1.
Effective 1200 hrs, Alaska local time (A.l.t.), March 16, 2005, until 2400 hrs, A.l.t., December 31, 2005.Start Further Info
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:
Mary Furuness, 907-586-7228.End Further Info End Preamble Start Supplemental Information
NMFS manages the groundfish fishery in the BSAI exclusive economic zone according to the Fishery Management Plan for Groundfish of the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Management 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 § 679.21(e)(3)(iv)(B)(1), the 2005 red king crab bycatch allowance specified for Zone 1 of the BSAI trawl yellowfin sole fishery is 33,843 animals as established by the 2005 and 2006 final harvest specifications for groundfish of the BSAI (70 FR 8979, February 24, 2005).
In accordance with § 679.21(e)(7)(ii), the Administrator, Alaska Region, NMFS, has determined that the 2005 bycatch allowance of red king crab specified for the trawl yellowfin sole fishery in Zone 1 of the BSAI has been reached. Consequently, the Regional Administrator is closing directed fishing for yellowfin sole by vessels using trawl gear in Zone 1 of the BSAI.
After the effective date of this closure the maximum retainable amounts at §§ 679.20(e) and (f) apply at any time during a trip.
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 closure of the trawl yellowfin sole fishery in Zone 1 of the BSAI.Start Printed Page 13121
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.Start Signature
Dated: March 15, 2005.
Alan D. Risenhoover,
Acting Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine Fisheries Service.
[FR Doc. 05-5422 Filed 3-15-05; 4:02 pm]
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