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 610 of the Gulf of Alaska (GOA). This action is necessary to fully use the A season allowance of the 2008 total allowable catch (TAC) of pollock specified for Statistical Area 610 of the GOA.
Effective 1200 hrs, Alaska local time (A.l.t.), March 7, 2008, through 2400 hrs, A.l.t., December 31, 2008. Comments must be received at the following address no later than 4:30 p.m., A.l.t., March 21, 2008.
Send comments to Sue Salveson, Assistant Regional Administrator, Sustainable Fisheries Division, Alaska Region, NMFS, Attn: Ellen Sebastian. You may submit comments, identified by 0648-XG19, by any one of the following methods:
- Electronic Submissions: Submit all electronic public comments via the Federal eRulemaking Portal Web site at http://www.regulations.gov;
- Mail: P.O. Box 21668, Juneau, AK 99802;
- Fax: (907) 586-7557; or
- Hand delivery to the Federal Building: 709 West 9th Street, Room 420A, Juneau, AK.
Instructions: All comments received are a part of the public record and will generally be posted to http://www.regulations.gov without change. All Personal Identifying Information (for example, name, address, etc.) voluntarily submitted by the commenter may be publicly accessible. Do not submit Confidential Business Information or otherwise sensitive or protected information.
NMFS will accept anonymous comments. Attachments to electronic comments will be accepted in Microsoft Word, Excel, WordPerfect, or Adobe PDF file formats only.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 2008 pollock TAC specified for vessels in Statistical Area 610 in the GOA is 3,322 metric tons (mt) as established by the 2008 and 2009 harvest specifications for groundfish of Start Printed Page 12898the GOA (73 FR 10562, February 27, 2008).
NMFS closed the directed fishery for pollock in Statistical Area 610 of the GOA under § 679.20(d)(1)(iii) on January 22, 2008 (73 FR 4493, January 25, 2008). The fishery reopened on March 3, 2008 for 24 hours (73 FR 12031, March 6, 2008).
As of March 4, 2008, NMFS has determined that approximately 3,050 mt of pollock remain in the directed fishing allowance in Statistical Area 610 of the GOA. Therefore, in accordance with § 679.25(a)(1)(i), (a)(2)(i)(C) and (a)(2)(iii)(D), and to fully utilize the A season allowance of the 2008 TAC of pollock in Statistical Area 610, NMFS is terminating the previous closure and is reopening directed fishing for pollock in Statistical Area 610 of the GOA, effective 1200 hrs, A.l.t., March 7, 2008.
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 50 CFR 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 pollock 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 March 4, 2008.
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 for pollock in Statistical Area 610 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 March 21, 2008.
This action is required by § 679.20 and § 679.25 and is exempt from review under Executive Order 12866.Start Signature
Dated: March 6, 2008.
Emily H. Menashes
Acting Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine Fisheries Service.
[FR Doc. 08-1001 Filed 3-6-08; 2:55 pm]
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