National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Commerce.
Prohibition of retention.
NMFS is prohibiting retention of Alaska plaice in the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands management area (BSAI). NMFS is requiring that catch of Alaska plaice in this area be treated in the same manner as prohibited species and discarded at sea with a minimum of injury. This action is necessary because the 2005 total allowable catch (TAC) of Start Printed Page 24993Alaska plaice in the BSAI has been reached.
Effective 1200 hrs, Alaska local time (A.l.t.), May 9, 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 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 2005 TAC of Alaska plaice in the BSAI was established as 6,800 metric tons by the 2005 and 2006 final harvest specifications for groundfish in the BSAI (70 FR 8979, February 24, 2005).
In accordance with § 679.20(d)(2), the Administrator, Alaska Region, NMFS, has determined that the Alaska plaice TAC in the BSAI has been reached. Therefore, NMFS is requiring that further catches of Alaska plaice in the BSAI be treated as a prohibited species in accordance with § 679.21(b).
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 Alaska plaice 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.Start Signature
Dated: May 6, 2005.
Alan D. Risenhoover
Acting Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine Fisheries Service.
[FR Doc. 05-9515 Filed 5-9-05; 2:18 pm]
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