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Rule

Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Greenland Turbot in the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Management Area

Document Details

Information about this document as published in the Federal Register.

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AGENCY:

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

ACTION:

Modification of a closure.

SUMMARY:

NMFS is reopening directed fishing for Greenland turbot for vessels using hook-and-line gear in the Bering Sea subarea in the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands management area (BSAI). This action is necessary to fully use the 2006 total allowable catch (TAC) of Greenland turbot for vessels using hook-and-line gear in the Bering Sea subarea in the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands (BSAI).

DATES:

Effective 1200 hrs, Alaska local time (A.l.t.), November 29, 2006, through 2400 hrs, A.l.t., December 31, 2006. Comments must be received no later than 4:30 p.m., A.l.t., December 14, 2006.

ADDRESSES:

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 turbot@noaa.gov and include in the subject line of the e-mail comment the document identifier: “bsturbotro.fo.wpd” (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.
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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Jennifer Hogan, 907-586-7228.

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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 Start Printed Page 70324the 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 Greenland turbot in the BSAI under § 679.20(d)(1)(iii) on July 27, 2006 (71 FR 43074, July 31, 2006).

NMFS has determined that 191 metric tons of Greenland turbot remain in the directed fishing allowance in the BSAI. Therefore, in accordance with § 679.25(a)(1)(i), (a)(2)(i)(C) and (a)(2)(iii)(D), NMFS is terminating the previous closure and is reopening directed fishing for Greenland turbot for vessels using hook-and-line gear in the Bering Sea subarea in the BSAI.

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) and 679.25(c)(1)(ii) 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 Greenland turbot for vessels using hook-and-line gear in the Bering Sea subarea in the BSAI. NMFS was unable to publish a notice providing time for public comment because the most recent, relevant data only became available as of November 27, 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 fishery by vessels using hook-and-line gear in the BSAI 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 December 14, 2006.

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: November 28, 2006.

James P. Burgess,

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

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[FR Doc. 06-9501 Filed 11-29-06; 12:20 pm]

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