National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Commerce.
Temporary rule; modification of a closure.
NMFS is opening directed fishing for pollock in Statistical Area 620 of the Gulf of Alaska (GOA) for 96 hours. This action is necessary to fully use the C season allowance of the 2005 total allowable catch (TAC) of pollock specified for Statistical Area 620.
Effective 1200 hrs, Alaska local time (A.l.t.), September 15, 2005, through 1200 hrs, A.l.t., September 19, 2005. Comments must be received at the following address no later than 4:30 p.m., A.l.t., September 30, 2005.
Send comments to Sue Salveson, Assistant Regional Administrator, Sustainable Fisheries Division, Alaska Region, NMFS, Attn: Lori Durall. Comments may be submitted by:
- Mail to: P.O. Box 21668, Juneau, AK 99802;
- Hand delivery to the Federal Building, 709 West 9th Street, Room 420A, Juneau, Alaska;
- Fax to 907-586-7557;
- E-mail to G63plk2s12b@noaa.gov and include in the subject line of the e-Start Printed Page 55306mail comment the document identifier: g62plkro3 (E-mail comments, with or without attachments, are limited to 5 megabytes); or
- Webform at the Federal eRulemaking Portal: www.regulations.gov. Follow the instructions at that site for submitting comments.
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:
Josh Keaton, 907-586-7228.End Further Info End Preamble Start Supplemental Information
NMFS manages the groundfish fishery in the GOA exclusive economic zone according to the Fishery Management Plan for Groundfish of the Gulf of Alaska (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.
NMFS closed the directed fishery for pollock in Statistical Area 620 of the GOA under § 679.20(d)(1)(iii) on August 29, 2005 (70 FR 51300, August 30, 2005). NMFS opened directed fishing for pollock in Statistical Area 620 of the GOA for 96 hrs on September 8, 2005 (70 FR 53971, September 13, 2005).
NMFS has determined that approximately 2,740 mt of pollock remain in the directed fishing allowance. Therefore, in accordance with 679.25(a)(1)(i), (a)(2)(i)(C) and (a)(2)(iii)(D), and to fully utilize the C season allowance of the 2005 TAC of pollock in Statistical area 620, NMFS is terminating the previous closure and is reopening directed fishing for pollock in Statistical Area 620 of the GOA. In accordance with § 679.20(d)(1)(iii), the Regional Administrator finds that this directed fishing allowance will be reached after 96 hours. Consequently, NMFS is prohibiting directed fishing for pollock in Statistical Area 620 of the GOA effective 1200 hrs, A.l.t., September 19, 2005.
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 opening of pollock in Statistical Area 620 of the GOA. NMFS was unable to publish an action providing time for public comment because the most recent, relevant data only became available as of September 12, 2005.
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.
Without this inseason adjustment, NMFS could not allow the D season allowance of the 2005 TAC of pollock in Statistical Area 630 of the GOA to be harvested in an expedient manner and in accordance with the regulatory schedule. Under § 679.25(c)(2), interested persons are invited to submit written comments on this action to the above address until September 30, 2005.
This action is required by §§ 679.20 and 679.25 and is exempt from review under Executive Order 12866.Start Signature
Dated: September 15, 2005.
Alan D. Risenhoover,
Acting Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine Fisheries Service.
[FR Doc. 05-18751 Filed 9-15-05; 3:16 pm]
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