Daily Rules, Proposed Rules, and Notices of the Federal Government
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 2012 Pacific cod total allowable catch (TAC) specified for catcher vessels using trawl gear in the BSAI is 51,009 metric tons (mt) as established by the
The harvest specifications for Pacific cod included in the final 2012 harvest specifications for groundfish in the BSAI (77 FR 10669, February 23, 2012) and inseason adjustment (77 FR 53152, August 31, 2012) are revised as follows: 6,621 mt for AFA catcher/processors, 33,232 mt for Amendment 80 catcher/processors, and 47,749 mt for trawl catcher vessels. In accordance with § 679.91(f), NMFS will reissue cooperative quota permits for the reallocated Pacific cod to Amendment 80 catcher/processors following the procedures set forth in § 679.91(f)(3).
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 reallocation of Pacific cod specified for catcher vessels using trawl gear to AFA catcher/processors and Amendment 80 catcher/processors. 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 October 24, 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 is exempt from review under Executive Order 12866.
16 U.S.C. 1801