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Rule

Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Yellowfin Sole 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:

Closure.

SUMMARY:

NMFS is prohibiting directed fishing for yellowfin sole in the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands management area (BSAI). This action is necessary to prevent exceeding the 2005 yellowfin sole total allowable catch (TAC) in the BSAI.

DATES:

Effective 1200 hrs, Alaska local time (A.l.t.), May 19, 2005, through 2400 hrs, A.l.t., December 31, 2005.

Start Further Info

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Josh Keaton, 907-586-7228.

End Further Info End Preamble Start Supplemental Information

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

NMFS manages the groundfish fishery in the BSAI 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.

The 2005 yellowfin sole TAC in the BSAI is 77,083 metric tons (mt) as established 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)(1)(i), the Administrator, Alaska Region, NMFS (Regional Administrator), has determined that the 2005 yellowfin sole Start Printed Page 29459TAC in the BSAI will soon be reached. Therefore, the Regional Administrator is establishing a directed fishing allowance of 74,583 mt, and is setting aside the remaining 2,500 mt as bycatch to support other anticipated groundfish fisheries. In accordance with § 679.20(d)(1)(iii), the Regional Administrator finds that this directed fishing allowance has been reached. Consequently, NMFS is prohibiting directed fishing for yellowfin sole in the BSAI, resulting in total harvests of yellowfin sole exceeding the amount specified for the fishery.

After the effective date of this closure the maximum retainable amounts at §§ 679.20(e) and (f) apply at any time during a trip.

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 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 yellowfin sole 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 Authority

Authority: 16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq.

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Dated: May 18, 2005.

Margo Schulze-Haugen,

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

End Signature End Supplemental Information

[FR Doc. 05-10219 Filed 5-18-05; 3:16 pm]

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