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9476 Federal Register / Vol. 71, No.

37 / Friday, February 24, 2006 / Rules and Regulations

February 9, 2006 (71 FR 6984), NMFS this action is delayed, the NE DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE
implemented a GB yellowtail trip limit multispecies fishery could be prevented
of 1,500 lb (680.4 kg) per day, up to a from fully harvesting the TAC for GB National Oceanic and Atmospheric
maximum of 15,000 lb (6,804.1 kg) per yellowtail flounder during the 2005 Administration
trip, as required by the regulations at fishing year. Under-harvesting the GB
§ 648.85(a)(3)(iv)(C)(2). That action was yellowtail TAC would result in 50 CFR Part 679
non-discretionary and was based on the increased economic impacts to the [Docket No. 041126333–5040–02; I.D.
Regional Administrator’s projection that industry and social impacts beyond 021606E]
70 percent (2,982 mt) of the GB those analyzed for Amendment 13, as
yellowtail flounder TAC of 4,260 mt Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic
the full potential revenue from the
would be harvested by February 9, 2006. Zone Off Alaska; Pacific Cod by
The regulations at § 648.85(a)(3)(iv)(D) available GB yellowtail TAC in the U.S./
Canada Management Area would not be Vessels Catching Pacific Cod for
authorize the Regional Administrator to Processing by the Offshore
increase or decrease the trip limits in realized.
Component in the Western Regulatory
the U.S./Canada Management Area to The AA finds good cause, pursuant to Area of the Gulf of Alaska
prevent over-harvesting or under- 5 U.S.C. 553(d)(3), to waive the entire
harvesting the TAC allocation. Based 30-day delayed effectiveness period for AGENCY: National Marine Fisheries
upon Vessel Monitoring System (VMS) this action. For the reasons specified Service (NMFS), National Oceanic and
reports and other available information, above, a delay in the effectiveness of the Atmospheric Administration (NOAA),
the Regional Administrator has trip limit modification in this rule Commerce.
determined that the current rate of would prevent the agency from meeting ACTION: Temporary rule; closure.
harvest will result in the under-harvest its management obligation and ensuring
of the GB yellowtail flounder TAC SUMMARY: NMFS is prohibiting directed
the opportunity for the 2005 catch TAC
during the 2005 fishing year. Based on fishing for Pacific cod by vessels
for GB yellowtail flounder specified for catching Pacific cod for processing by
this information, the Regional
the Western and Eastern U.S./Canada the offshore component in the Western
Administrator is removing the 1,500-lb
(680.4-kg) per day limit and retaining Areas to be fully harvested. Any such Regulatory Area of the Gulf of Alaska
the 15,000-lb (6,804.1-kg) trip limit, for delay could lead to the negative impacts (GOA). This action is necessary to
NE multispecies DAS vessels fishing in to the fishing industry described above. prevent exceeding the 2006 total
the U.S./Canada Management Area, The rate of harvest of the GB allowable catch (TAC) of Pacific cod
effective February 21, 2006, through yellowtail flounder TAC in the Western apportioned to vessels catching Pacific
April 30, 2006. Vessels landing on or and Eastern U.S./Canada Areas is cod for processing by the offshore
after February 21, 2006 may possess and updated weekly on the Internet at component of the Western Regulatory
land up to 15,000 lb (6,804.1 kg) of GB http://www.nero.noaa.gov. Accordingly, Area of the GOA.
yellowtail flounder, regardless of the the public is able to obtain information DATES: Effective 1200 hrs, Alaska local
length of their trip. that would provide at least some time (A.l.t.), February 19, 2006, until
Classification advanced notice of a potential action to 1200 hrs, A.l.t., September 1, 2006.
This action is authorized by 50 CFR provide additional opportunities to the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Josh
part 648 and is exempt from review NE multispecies industry to fully Keaton, 907–586–7228.
under Executive Order 12866. harvest the TAC for GB yellowtail SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: NMFS
Pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 553(b)(B), the flounder during the 2005 fishing year. manages the groundfish fishery in the
Assistant Administrator (AA) finds good Further, the potential for this action was GOA exclusive economic zone
cause to waive prior notice and considered and open to public comment according to the Fishery Management
opportunity for public comment for this during the development of Amendment Plan for Groundfish of the Gulf of
action, because notice and comment 13. Therefore, any negative effect the Alaska (FMP) prepared by the North
would be impracticable and contrary to waiving of public comment and delayed Pacific Fishery Management Council
the public interest. The regulations at effectiveness may have on the public is under authority of the Magnuson-
§ 648.85(a)(3)(iv)(D) grant the Regional mitigated by these factors. Stevens Fishery Conservation and
Administrator the authority to adjust the Management Act. Regulations governing
Authority: 16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq.
GB yellowtail flounder trip limits to fishing by U.S. vessels in accordance
prevent over-harvesting or under- Dated: February 21, 2006. with the FMP appear at subpart H of 50
harvesting the TAC allocation. Given James P. Burgess, CFR part 600 and 50 CFR part 679.
that approximately 30 percent of the GB Acting Director, Office of Sustainable The A season allocation of the 2006
yellowtail flounder TAC remains Fisheries, National Marine Fisheries Service. TAC of Pacific cod apportioned to
unharvested and the 2005 fishing year [FR Doc. 06–1753 Filed 2–21–06; 2:48 pm] vessels catching Pacific cod for
ends on April 30, 2006, the time processing by the offshore component of
BILLING CODE 3510–22–P
necessary to provide for prior notice, the Western Regulatory Area of the GOA
opportunity for public comment, or is 828 metric tons (mt) as established by
delayed effectiveness would prevent the the 2005 and 2006 harvest specifications
agency from ensuring that the 2005 TAC for groundfish of the GOA (70 FR 8958,
for GB yellowtail flounder will be fully February 24, 2005).
harvested. It was not possible to take In accordance with § 679.20(d)(1)(i),
this action earlier because the trigger for the Administrator, Alaska Region,
implementing the non-discretionary NMFS (Regional Administrator), has
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1,500-lb (680.4-kg) daily limit (projected determined that the 2006 TAC of Pacific
date that 70 percent of the TAC would cod apportioned to vessels catching
be harvested) did not occur until Pacific cod for processing by the
February 9, 2006. If implementation of offshore component of the Western

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Federal Register / Vol. 71, No. 37 / Friday, February 24, 2006 / Rules and Regulations 9477

Regulatory Area of the GOA will soon DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE Regulatory Area of the GOA will soon
be reached. Therefore, the Regional be reached. Therefore, the Regional
Administrator is establishing a directed National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administrator is establishing a directed
fishing allowance of 643 mt, and is Administration fishing allowance of 1,019 mt, and is
setting aside the remaining 185 mt as setting aside the remaining 305 mt as
bycatch to support other anticipated 50 CFR Part 679 bycatch to support other anticipated
groundfish fisheries. In accordance with [Docket No. 041126333–5040–02; I.D. groundfish fisheries. In accordance with
§ 679.20(d)(1)(iii), the Regional 021606F] § 679.20(d)(1)(iii), the Regional
Administrator finds that this directed Administrator finds that this directed
fishing allowance has been reached. Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic fishing allowance has been reached.
Consequently, NMFS is prohibiting Zone Off Alaska; Pacific Cod by Consequently, NMFS is prohibiting
directed fishing for Pacific cod by Vessels Catching Pacific Cod for directed fishing for Pacific cod by
vessels catching Pacific cod for Processing by the Offshore vessels catching Pacific cod for
Component in the Central Regulatory
processing by the offshore component in processing by the offshore component in
Area of the Gulf of Alaska
the Western Regulatory Area of the the Central Regulatory Area of the GOA.
GOA. AGENCY: National Marine Fisheries After the effective date of this closure
After the effective date of this closure Service (NMFS), National Oceanic and the maximum retainable amounts at
the maximum retainable amounts at Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), § 679.20(e) and (f) apply at any time
§ 679.20(e) and (f) apply at any time Commerce. during a trip.
during a trip. ACTION: Temporary rule; closure.
Classification
Classification SUMMARY: NMFS is prohibiting directed
fishing for Pacific cod by vessels This action responds to the best
This action responds to the best catching Pacific cod for processing by available information recently obtained
available information recently obtained the offshore component in the Central from the fishery. The Assistant
from the fishery. The Assistant Regulatory Area of the Gulf of Alaska Administrator for Fisheries, NOAA
Administrator for Fisheries, NOAA (GOA). This action is necessary to (AA), finds good cause to waive the
(AA), finds good cause to waive the prevent exceeding the A season requirement to provide prior notice and
requirement to provide prior notice and allocation of the 2006 total allowable opportunity for public comment
opportunity for public comment catch (TAC) of Pacific cod apportioned pursuant to the authority set forth at 5
pursuant to the authority set forth at 5 to vessels catching Pacific cod for U.S.C. 553(b)(B) as such requirement is
U.S.C. 553(b)(B) as such requirement is processing by the offshore component of impracticable and contrary to the public
impracticable and contrary to the public the Central Regulatory Area of the GOA. interest. This requirement is
interest. This requirement is DATES: Effective 1200 hrs, Alaska local impracticable and contrary to the public
impracticable and contrary to the public time (A.l.t.), February 19, 2006, until interest as it would prevent NMFS from
interest as it would prevent NMFS from 1200 hrs, A.l.t., September 1, 2006. responding to the most recent fisheries
responding to the most recent fisheries FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Josh data in a timely fashion and would
data in a timely fashion and would Keaton, 907–586–7228. delay the closure of Pacific cod
delay the closure of Pacific cod SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: NMFS apportioned to vessels catching Pacific
apportioned to vessels catching Pacific manages the groundfish fishery in the cod for processing by the offshore
cod for processing by the offshore GOA exclusive economic zone component of the Central Regulatory
component of the Western Regulatory according to the Fishery Management Area of the GOA. NMFS was unable to
Area of the GOA. NMFS was unable to Plan for Groundfish of the Gulf of publish a notice providing time for
publish a notice providing time for Alaska (FMP) prepared by the North public comment because the most
public comment because the most Pacific Fishery Management Council recent, relevant data only became
recent, relevant data only became under authority of the Magnuson- available as of February 16, 2006.
available as of January xx, 2006. Stevens Fishery Conservation and The AA also finds good cause to
The AA also finds good cause to Management Act. Regulations governing waive the 30 day delay in the effective
waive the 30 day delay in the effective fishing by U.S. vessels in accordance date of this action under 5 U.S.C.
with the FMP appear at subpart H of 50
date of this action under 5 U.S.C. 553(d)(3). This finding is based upon
CFR part 600 and 50 CFR part 679.
553(d)(3). This finding is based upon the reasons provided above for waiver of
The A season allocation of the 2006
the reasons provided above for waiver of prior notice and opportunity for public
TAC of Pacific cod apportioned to
prior notice and opportunity for public vessels catching Pacific cod for comment.
comment. processing by the offshore component of This action is required by § 679.20
This action is required by § 679.20 the Central Regulatory Area of the GOA and is exempt from review under
and is exempt from review under is 1,324 metric tons (mt) as established Executive Order 12866.
Executive Order 12866. by the 2005 and 2006 harvest Authority: 16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq.
Authority: 16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq.
specifications for groundfish of the GOA
(70 FR 8958, February 24, 2005). Dated: February 21, 2006.
Dated: February 21, 2006. In accordance with § 679.20(d)(1)(i), James P. Burgess,
James P. Burgess, the Administrator, Alaska Region, Acting Director, Office of Sustainable
NMFS (Regional Administrator), has
wwhite on PROD1PC61 with RULES

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


Fisheries, National Marine Fisheries Service. determined that the 2006 TAC of Pacific [FR Doc. 06–1752 Filed 2–21–06; 2:48 pm]
[FR Doc. 06–1754 Filed 2–21–06; 2:48 pm] cod apportioned to vessels catching BILLING CODE 3510–22–P
BILLING CODE 3510–22–P
Pacific cod for processing by the
offshore component of the Central

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