Skip to Content

Rule

Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Reallocation of Pacific Cod in the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Management Area

Document Details

Information about this document as published in the Federal Register.

Document Statistics
Document page views are updated periodically throughout the day and are cumulative counts for this document including its time on Public Inspection. Counts are subject to sampling, reprocessing and revision (up or down) throughout the day.
Enhanced Content

Relevant information about this document from Regulations.gov provides additional context. This information is not part of the official Federal Register document.

Published Document

This document has been published in the Federal Register. Use the PDF linked in the document sidebar for the official electronic format.

Start Preamble

AGENCY:

National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Commerce.

ACTION:

Temporary rule; reallocation.

SUMMARY:

NMFS is reallocating the projected unused amount of Pacific cod total allowable catch (TAC) from vessels using jig gear, trawl catcher vessels, and American Fisheries Act (AFA) catcher/processors to catcher vessels less than 60 feet (18.3 m) length overall (LOA) using hook-and-line or pot gear in the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands management area. This action is necessary to allow the 2018 TAC of Pacific cod to be harvested.

DATES:

Effective November 13, 2018, through 2400 hours, Alaska local time (A.l.t.), December 31, 2018.

Start Further Info

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Steve Whitney, 907-586-7228.

End Further Info End Preamble Start Supplemental Information

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

NMFS manages the groundfish fishery in the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands (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.

The 2018 Pacific cod TAC specified for vessels using jig gear in the BSAI is 249 metric tons (mt) as established by the final 2018 and 2019 harvest specifications for groundfish in the BSAI (83 FR 8365, February 27, 2018) and reallocation (83 FR 42227, August 21, 2018).

The 2018 Pacific cod TAC specified for trawl catcher vessels in the BSAI is 40,227 mt as established by the final 2018 and 2019 harvest specifications for groundfish in the BSAI (83 FR 8365, February 27, 2018).

The 2018 Pacific cod TAC specified for AFA catcher/processors in the BSAI is 4,186 mt as established by the final 2018 and 2019 harvest specifications for groundfish in the BSAI (83 FR 8365, February 27, 2018).

The 2018 Pacific cod TAC allocated to catcher vessels less than 60 feet (18.3 m) LOA using hook-and-line or pot gear in the BSAI is 6,290 mt as established by final 2018 and 2019 harvest specifications for groundfish in the BSAI (83 FR 8365, February 27, 2018) and reallocation (83 FR 42227, August 21, 2018).

The Administrator, Alaska Region, NMFS, (Regional Administrator) has determined that jig vessels will not be able to harvest 100 mt of the 2018 Pacific cod TAC allocated to those vessels under § 679.20(a)(7)(ii)(A)(1), the trawl catcher vessels will not be able to harvest 2,200 mt of the 2018 Pacific cod TAC allocated to those vessels under § 679.20(a)(7)(ii)(A)(9), and the AFA catcher/processors will not be able to harvest 158 mt of the 2018 Pacific cod TAC allocated to those vessels under § 679.20(a)(7)(ii)(A)(7). Therefore, in accordance with § 679.20(a)(7)(iii)(A), NMFS apportions 100 mt of Pacific cod from the jig vessel apportionment, 2,200 mt of Pacific cod from the trawl catcher vessel apportionment, and 158 mt of Pacific cod from the AFA catcher/processor apportionment to the annual amount specified for catcher vessels less than 60 feet (18.3 m) LOA using hook-and-line or pot gear. The harvest specifications for Pacific cod included in final 2018 and 2019 harvest specifications for groundfish in the BSAI (83 FR 8365, February 27, 2018) and reallocations (83 FR 42227, August 21, 2018) are revised as follows: 149 mt to the annual amount for vessels using Start Printed Page 56741jig gear, 38,027 mt to trawl catcher vessels, 4,028 mt to AFA catcher/processors, and 8,748 mt to catcher vessels less than 60 feet (18.3 m) LOA using hook-and-line or pot gear.

Classification

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 reallocations of Pacific cod to catcher vessels less than 60 feet (18.3 m) LOA using hook-and-line or pot gear. Since the fishery is currently open, it is important to immediately inform the industry as to the revised allocations. 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 as well as processors. NMFS was unable to publish a notice providing time for public comment because the most recent, relevant data only became available as of November 7, 2018.

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 is exempt from review under Executive Order 12866.

Start Authority

Authority: 16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq.

End Authority Start Signature

Dated: November 8, 2018.

Karen H. Abrams,

Acting Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine Fisheries Service.

End Signature End Supplemental Information

[FR Doc. 2018-24824 Filed 11-13-18; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 3510-22-P