National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Commerce.
Temporary rule; closure.
NMFS is prohibiting directed fishing for northern rockfish and pelagic shelf rockfish (PSR) for trawl catcher vessels participating in the entry level rockfish fishery in the Central Regulatory Area of the Gulf of Alaska (GOA). This action is necessary to prevent exceeding the 2009 allocation of northern rockfish and PSR allocated to trawl catcher vessels participating in the entry level rockfish fishery in the Central Regulatory Area of the GOA.
Effective 1200 hrs, Alaska local time (A.l.t.), May 8, 2009, through 1200 hrs, A.l.t., September 1, 2009.Start Further Info
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:
Steve Whitney, 907-586-7269.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 2009 allocations of northern rockfish and PSR for vessels participating in the entry level trawl fishery Central District of the GOA are 0 metric tons as established by the final 2009 and 2010 harvest specifications for groundfish in the GOA (74 FR 7333, February 17, 2009).
Consequently, in accordance with § 679.83(a)(3), the Administrator, Alaska Region, NMFS, deems it appropriate for conservation and management purposes to not open directed fishing for northern rockfish and PSR for trawl catcher vessels participating in the entry level rockfish fishery in the Central Regulatory Area of the GOA, because there is no available allocation for a directed fishery.
After the effective date of this closure the maximum retainable amounts at § 679.20(e) and (f) apply at any time during a trip.
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. Notice and comment is unnecessary because there is no available fish for an allocation and therefore the Regional Administrator has no discretion for any action other than to prohibit directed fishing.
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 § 679.83 and is exempt from review under Executive Order 12866.Start Signature
Dated: May 8, 2009.
Kristen C. Koch
Acting Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine Fisheries Service.
[FR Doc. E9-11148 Filed 5-8-09; 4:15 pm]
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