Start Printed Page 39649
National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Commerce.
Temporary rule; closure.
NMFS is prohibiting retention of “other rockfish” in the Western Regulatory Area of the Gulf of Alaska (GOA). This action is necessary because the 2012 total allowable catch (TAC) of “other rockfish” in the Western Regulatory Area of the GOA has been reached.
Effective 1200 hrs, Alaska local time (A.l.t.), July 2, 2012, through 2400 hrs, A.l.t., December 31, 2012.
Start Further Info
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:
Steve Whitney, 907-586-7269.
End Further Info
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 2012 TAC of “other rockfish” in the Western Regulatory Area of the GOA is 44 metric tons (mt) as established by the final 2012 and 2013 harvest specifications for groundfish of the GOA (77 FR 15194, March 14, 2012).
In accordance with § 679.20(d)(2), the Administrator, Alaska Region, NMFS (Regional Administrator), has determined that the 2012 TAC of “other rockfish” in the Western Regulatory Area of the GOA will be achieved. Therefore, NMFS is requiring that “other rockfish” caught in the Western Regulatory Area of the GOA be treated as prohibited species in accordance with § 679.21(b).
“Other rockfish” in the Western Regulatory Area of the GOA means slope and demersal shelf rockfish.
This action responds to the best available information recently obtained from the fishery. The Acting 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 prohibiting the retention of “other rockfish” in the Western Regulatory Area 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 28, 2012.
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 § 679.21 and is exempt from review under Executive Order 12866.
End Supplemental Information
Dated: June 29, 2012.
James P. Burgess,
Acting Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine Fisheries Service.
[FR Doc. 2012-16477 Filed 6-29-12; 4:15 pm]
BILLING CODE 3510-22-P