National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Commerce.
Temporary rule; modification of a closure.
NMFS is opening directed fishing for shallow-water species by vessels using trawl gear in the Gulf of Alaska (GOA). This action is necessary to fully use the fourth seasonal apportionment of the 2010 Pacific halibut bycatch allowance specified for the trawl shallow-water species fishery in of the GOA.
Effective 1200 hrs, Alaska local time (A.l.t.), September 11, 2010, through 1200 hrs, A.l.t., October 1, 2010. Comments must be received at the following address no later than 4:30 p.m., A.l.t., September 27, 2010.
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-XZ06, by any one of the following methods:
- Electronic Submissions: Submit all electronic public comments via the Federal eRulemaking Portal http://www.regulations.gov.
- 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. No comments will be posted to http://www.regulations.gov for public viewing until after the comment period has closed. Comment will generally be posted 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 (enter N/A in the required fields, if you wish to remain anonymous). You may submit attachments to electronic comments in Microsoft Word, Excel, WordPerfect, or Adobe PDF file formats only.Start Further Info
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:
Josh Keaton, 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.
NMFS prohibited directed fishing for shallow-water species by vessels using trawl gear in the GOA under § 679.21(d)(7)(i) on September 3, 2010 (75 FR 54290, September 7, 2010).
NMFS has determined that approximately 132 mt remain in the fourth seasonal apportionment of the 2010 Pacific halibut bycatch allowance specified for the trawl shallow-water species fishery in 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 fourth seasonal apportionment of the 2010 Pacific halibut bycatch allowance specified for the trawl shallow-water species fishery in the GOA, NMFS is terminating the previous closure and is opening directed fishing for trawl shallow-water species by vessels using trawl gear in the GOA. This will enhance the socioeconomic well-being of harvesters Start Printed Page 56018dependent upon shallow-water species in the GOA. The Regional Administrator considered the following factors in reaching this decision: (1) the current catch of shallow-water species in the GOA, (2) the current catch of 2010 Pacific halibut bycatch allowance specified for this fishery, and (3) the harvest capacity and stated intent on future harvesting patterns of vessels in participating in this fishery.
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 opening of directed fishing for trawl shallow-water species by vessels using trawl gear in the GOA. Immediate notification is necessary to allow for the orderly conduct and efficient operation of this fishery, to allow the industry to plan for the fishing season, and to avoid potential disruption to the fishing fleet and processors. NMFS was unable to publish a notice providing time for public comment because the most recent, relevant data only became available as of September 9, 2010.
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 trawl shallow-water species 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 September 27, 2010.
This action is required by§ 679.21 and § 679.25 and is exempt from review under Executive Order 12866.Start Signature
Dated: September 10, 2010.
Emily H. Menashes,
Acting Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine Fisheries Service.
[FR Doc. 2010-23021 Filed 9-10-10; 4:15 pm]
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