National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Commerce.
Temporary rule; closure.
NMFS is prohibiting retention of squids in the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands management area (BSAI). This action is necessary because the 2015 initial total allowable catch of squids in the BSAI has been reached.
Effective 1200 hrs, Alaska local time (A.l.t.), July 30, 2015, through 2400 hrs, A.l.t., December 31, 2015.
Start Further Info
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:
Obren Davis, 907-586-7228.
End Further Info
Start Supplemental Information
NMFS manages the groundfish fishery in the BSAI exclusive economic zone 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.
The 2015 initial total allowable catch (TAC) for squids in the BSAI is 340 metric tons as established by the final 2015 and 2016 harvest specifications for groundfish of the BSAI (80 FR 11919, March 5, 2015).
In accordance with § 679.20(d)(2), the Administrator, Alaska Region, NMFS (Regional Administrator), has determined that the 2015 initial TAC of squids in the BSAI has been reached. Therefore, NMFS is requiring that squids caught in the BSAI be treated as prohibited species in accordance with § 679.21(b).
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 prohibiting the retention of squids 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 July 29, 2015.
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: July 30, 2015.
Emily H. Menashes,
Acting Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine Fisheries Service.
[FR Doc. 2015-19094 Filed 7-30-15; 4:15 pm]
BILLING CODE 3510-22-P