National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Commerce.
Temporary rule; modification of a closure; request for comments.
NMFS is opening directed fishing for Atka mackerel with gears other than jig in the Eastern Aleutian District and the Bering Sea subarea of the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands management area (BSAI). This action is necessary to fully use the 2006 Atka mackerel total allowable catch (TAC) specified for gears other than jig in the Eastern Aleutian District and the Bering Sea subarea of the BSAI.
Effective 1200 hrs, Alaska local time (A.l.t.), October 7, 2006, through 2400 hrs, A.l.t., December 31, 2006.
Comments must be received at the following address no later than 4:30 p.m., A.l.t., October 23, 2006.
Send comments to Sue Salveson, Assistant Regional Administrator, Sustainable Fisheries Division, Alaska Region, NMFS, Attn: Ellen Walsh. 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 firstname.lastname@example.org and include in the subject line of the e-mail comment the document identifier: aieamckro (E-mail comments, with or without attachments, are limited to 5 megabytes); or
- Webform at the Federal eRulemaking Portal: http://www.regulations.gov. Follow the instructions at that site for submitting comments.
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:
Jennifer Hogan, 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.
NMFS closed directed fishing for Atka mackerel with gears other than jig in the Eastern Aleutian District and the Bering Sea subarea of the BSAI under § 679.20(d)(1)(iii) on September 2, 2006 (71 FR 48485, August 21, 2006).
NMFS has determined that as of September 20, 2006, approximately 1,884 metric tons of Atka mackerel remain in the 2006 Atka mackerel TAC specified for gears other than jig in the Eastern Aleutian District and the Bering Sea subarea of the BSAI. Therefore, in accordance with § 679.25(a)(1)(i), (a)(2)(i)(C), and (a)(2)(iii)(D), and to allow the Atka mackerel fishery to resume, NMFS is terminating the previous closure and is reopening directed fishing for Atka mackerel with gears other than jig in the Eastern Aleutian District and the Bering Sea subarea of the BSAI.Start Printed Page 60078
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 the fishery, not allow the full utilization of the Atka mackerel TAC specified for gears other than jig in the Eastern Aleutian District and the Bering Sea subarea of the BSAI, and therefore reduce the public's ability to use and enjoy the fishery resource. NMFS was unable to publish a notice providing time for public comment because the most recent, relevant data only became available as of October 4, 2006.
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 Atka mackerel fishery by vessels using other gear in 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 October 23, 2006.
This action is required by § 679.25 and is exempt from review under Executive Order 12866.Start Signature
Dated: October 5, 2006.
James P. Burgess,
Acting Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine Fisheries Service.
[FR Doc. 06-8637 Filed 10-6-06; 2:19 pm]
BILLING CODE 3510-22-S