National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Commerce.
Temporary rule; opening.
NMFS is opening directed fishing for Pacific cod by catcher vessels greater than or equal to 60 feet (18.3 m) length overall (LOA) using pot gear in the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands management area (BSAI). This action is necessary to fully use the A season allowance of the 2009 total allowable catch (TAC) of Pacific cod by catcher vessels greater than or equal to 60 feet (18.3 m) LOA using pot gear in the BSAI.
Effective 1200 hrs, Alaska local time (A.l.t.), March 1, 2009, through 1200 hrs, A.l.t., June 10, 2009. Comments must be received at the following address no later than 4:30 p.m., A.l.t., March 13, 2009.
Send comments to Sue Salveson, Assistant Regional Administrator, Sustainable Fisheries Division, Alaska Region, NMFS, Attn: Ellen Sebastian. You may submit comments, identified by RIN 0648-XN54, by any one of the following methods:
- Electronic Submissions: Submit all electronic public comments via the Federal eRulemaking Portal website at http://www.regulations.gov. Start Printed Page 9177
- Mail: P. O. Box 21668, Juneau, AK 99802.
- Fax: (907) 586-7557.
- Hand delivery to the Federal Building: 709 West 9th Street, Room 420A, Juneau, AK.
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 (e.g., name, address) 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. Enter “N/A” in the required fields, if you wish to remain anonymous. Attachments to electronic comments will be accepted in Microsoft Word, Excel, WordPerfect, or Adobe portable document file (pdf) formats only.Start Further Info
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:
Mary Furuness, 907-586-7228.End Further Info End Preamble Start Supplemental 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 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 cod by catcher vessels greater than or equal to 60 feet (18.3 m) LOA using pot gear in the BSAI under § 679.20(d)(1)(iii) on February 1, 2009 (74 FR 6554, February 10, 2009).
NMFS has determined that approximately 1,019 mt of Pacific cod remain in the directed fishing allowance for catcher vessels greater than or equal to 60 feet (18.3 m) LOA using pot gear in the BSAI. 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 2009 TAC of Pacific cod by catcher vessels greater than or equal to 60 feet (18.3 m) LOA using pot gear in the BSAI, NMFS is terminating the previous closure and is reopening directed fishing for Pacific cod.
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 opening directed fishing for Pacific cod by catcher vessels greater than or equal to 60 feet (18.3 m) LOA using pot gear 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 February 23, 2009. 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 TAC of Pacific cod by catcher vessels greater than or equal to 60 feet (18.3 m) LOA using pot 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 March 13, 2009.
This action is required by § 679.20 and § 679.25 and is exempt from review under Executive Order 12866.Start Signature
Dated: February 25, 2009.
Emily H. Menashes,
Acting Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine Fisheries Service.
[FR Doc. E9-4474 Filed 2-26-09; 4:15 pm]
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