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Rule

Fisheries of the Economic Exclusive Zone Off Alaska; Pacific Ocean Perch in the Western Aleutian District of the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Management Area

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Start Preamble

AGENCY:

National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Commerce.

ACTION:

Temporary rule; modification of a closure.

SUMMARY:

NMFS is opening directed fishing for Pacific ocean perch in the Western Aleutian District of the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Management Area (BSAI). This action is necessary to allow the Pacific ocean perch fishery in the Western Aleutian District of the BSAI to resume.

DATES:

Effective 1200 hrs, Alaska local time (A.l.t.), September 28, 2005, through 2400 hrs, A.l.t., December 31, 2005.

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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Josh Keaton, 907-586-7228.

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SUPPLEMENTARY 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.

NMFS closed directed fishing for Pacific ocean perch in the Western Aleutian District of the BSAI under § 679.20(d)(1)(i) on July 18, 2005 (70 FR 42280, July 22, 2005).

NMFS has determined that as of September 26, 2005, approximately 1,422 metric tons of Pacific ocean perch remain in the 2005 Pacific ocean perch total allowable catch (TAC) in the Western Aleutian District of the BSAI. Therefore, in accordance with §§ 679.25(a)(2)(i)(C) and (a)(2)(iii)(D), and to allow the Pacific ocean perch fishery to resume, NMFS is terminating the previous closure and is reopening directed fishing for Pacific ocean perch in the Western Aleutian District of the BSAI.Start Printed Page 57519

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 delay the opening of the fishery, not allow the full utilization of the Pacific ocean perch TAC in the Western Aleutian District of the BSAI, and therefore reduce the public's ability to use and enjoy the fishery resource.

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 § 679.25 and is exempt from review under Executive Order 12866.

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

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Dated: September 28, 2005.

Alan D. Risenhoover,

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

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[FR Doc. 05-19719 Filed 9-28-05; 2:54 pm]

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