2019-25385. Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Atka Mackerel in the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Management Area  

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    AGENCY:

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

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    ACTION:

    Temporary rule; closure.

    SUMMARY:

    NMFS is prohibiting directed fishing for Atka mackerel in the Bering Sea subarea and Eastern Aleutian District (BS/EAI) of the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands management area (BSAI) by vessels participating in the BSAI trawl limited access sector. This action is necessary to prevent exceeding the 2019 total allowable catch (TAC) of Atka mackerel in the BS/EAI allocated to vessels participating in the BSAI trawl limited access sector.

    DATES:

    Effective 1200 hrs, Alaska local time (A.l.t.), November 19, 2019, through 2400 hrs, A.l.t., December 31, 2019.

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    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Steve Whitney, 907-586-7228.

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    SUPPLEMENTARY 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 2019 TAC of Atka mackerel, in the BS/EAI, allocated to vessels participating in the BSAI trawl limited access sector fishery was established as a directed fishing allowance of 2,050 metric tons by the final 2019 and 2020 harvest specifications for groundfish in the BSAI (84 FR 9000, March 13, 2019).

    In accordance with § 679.20(d)(1)(iii), the Regional Administrator finds that this directed fishing allowance has been reached. Consequently, NMFS is prohibiting directed fishing for Atka mackerel in the BS/EAI by vessels participating in the BSAI trawl limited access sector fishing. While this closure is effective, the maximum retainable amounts at § 679.20(e) and (f) apply at any time during a trip.

    Classification

    This action responds to the best available information recently obtained from the fishing. 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 a 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 closure of the Atka mackerel directed fishing in the BS/EAI for vessels participating in the BSAI trawl limited access sector fishing. NMFS was unable to publish a notice providing time for public comment because the most recent, relevant data only became available as of November 18, 2019.

    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.

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

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    Dated: November 19, 2019.

    Jennifer M. Wallace,

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

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    [FR Doc. 2019-25385 Filed 11-19-19; 4:15 pm]

    BILLING CODE 3510-22-P

Document Information

Effective Date:
11/19/2019
Published:
11/22/2019
Department:
Commerce Department
Agency:
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
EntryType:
Rule
Action:
Temporary rule; closure.
Document Number:
2019-25385
Dates:
Effective 1200 hrs, Alaska local time (A.l.t.), November 19, 2019, through 2400 hrs, A.l.t., December 31, 2019.
Pages:
64433-64434 (2 pages)
Docket Numbers:
Docket No. 180713633-9174-02
SectionNoes:
PDF File:
2019-25385.pdf
CFR: (1)
50 CFR 679