National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Commerce.
Temporary rule; prohibition of retention.
NMFS is prohibiting retention of shortraker rockfish in Statistical Area 610 of the Gulf of Alaska (GOA). NMFS is requiring that shortraker rockfish in this area be treated in the same manner as prohibited species and discarded at sea with a minimum of injury. This action is necessary because the 2007 total allowable catch (TAC) of shortraker rockfish in this area has been reached.
Effective 1200 hrs, Alaska local time (A.l.t.), July 13, 2007, through 1200 hrs, A.l.t., December 31, 2007.Start Further Info
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:
Jennifer Hogan, 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.
The 2007 TAC of shortraker rockfish in Statistical Area 610 of the GOA is 153 metric tons as established by the 2007 and 2008 harvest specifications for groundfish of the GOA (72 FR 9676, March 5, 2007).
In accordance with § 679.20(d)(2), the Regional Administrator has determined that the 2007 TAC of shortraker rockfish in Statistical Area 610 of the GOA has been reached. Therefore, NMFS is requiring that shortraker rockfish in Statistical Area 610 of the GOA be treated as prohibited species in accordance with § 679.21(b).
After the effective date of this closure the maximum retainable amounts at § 679.20(e) and (f) apply at any time during a trip.Start Printed Page 39581
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 prohibition of retention of shortraker rockfish in Statistical Area 610 of the GOA. NMFS was unable to publish a notice providing time for public comment because the most recent, relevant data only became available as of July 12, 2007.
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 Signature
Dated: July 13, 2007.
Acting Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine Fisheries Service.
[FR Doc. 07-3500 Filed 7-13-07; 3:27 pm]
BILLING CODE 3510-22-S