Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Exchange of Flatfish in the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Management Area


Published: 2016-11-04

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Federal Register, Volume 81 Issue 214 (Friday, November 4, 2016)


[Federal Register Volume 81, Number 214 (Friday, November 4, 2016)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 76875-76876]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2016-26723]


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DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

50 CFR Part 679

[Docket No. 150916863-6211-02]
RIN 0648-XF010


Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Exchange of
Flatfish in the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Management Area

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

ACTION: Temporary rule; reallocation.

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SUMMARY: NMFS is exchanging unused flathead sole and rock sole
Amendment 80 allocations of the total allowable catch for yellowfin
sole Amendment 80 acceptable biological catch (ABC) reserves. This
action is necessary to allow the 2016 total allowable catch of flathead
sole, rock sole, and yellowfin sole in the Bering Sea and Aleutian
Islands management area to be harvested.

DATES: Effective November 4, 2016, through December 31, 2016.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Steve Whitney, 907-586-7228.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: NMFS manages the groundfish fishery in the
Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands management area (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 2016 flathead sole, rock sole, and yellowfin sole Amendment 80
allocations of the total allowable catch (TAC) specified in the BSAI
are 9,853 metric tons (mt), 43,965 mt, and 115,038 mt as established by
the final 2016 and 2017 harvest specifications for groundfish in the
BSAI (81 FR 14773, March 18, 2016) and as revised (81 FR 75740,
November 1, 2016). The 2016 flathead sole, rock sole, and yellowfin
sole Amendment 80 ABC reserves are 44,308 mt, 93,897 mt, and 55,531 mt
as established by the final 2016 and 2017 harvest specifications for
groundfish in the BSAI (81 FR 14773, March 18, 2016).
The Alaska Seafood cooperative has requested that NMFS exchange 850
mt of flathead sole and 1,670 mt of rock sole Amendment 80 allocations
of the TAC for 2,520 mt of yellowfin sole Amendment 80 ABC reserves
under Sec. 679.91(i). Therefore, in accordance with Sec. 679.91(i),
NMFS exchanges 850 mt of flathead sole and 1,670 mt of rock sole
Amendment 80 allocations of the TAC for 2,520 mt of yellowfin sole
Amendment 80 ABC reserves in the BSAI. This action also decreases and
increases the TACs and Amendment 80 ABC reserves by the corresponding
amounts. Tables 11 and 13 of the final 2016 and 2017 harvest
specifications for groundfish in the BSAI (81 FR 14773, March 18, 2016)
and as revised (81 FR 75740, November 1, 2016) are further revised as
follows:

Table 11--Final 2016 Community Development Quota (CDQ) Reserves, Incidental Catch Amounts (ICAS), and Amendment 80 Allocations of the Aleutian Islands
Pacific Ocean Perch, and BSAI Flathead Sole, Rock Sole, and Yellowfin Sole TACS
[Amounts are in metric tons]
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Pacific ocean perch Flathead sole Rock sole Yellowfin sole
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Sector Eastern Central Western
Aleutian Aleutian Aleutian BSAI BSAI BSAI
District District District
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
TAC..................................................... 7,900 7,000 9,000 15,163 52,659 154,278

[[Page 76876]]


CDQ..................................................... 845 749 963 1,160 4,364 18,241
ICA..................................................... 200 75 10 5,000 6,000 3,500
BSAI trawl limited access............................... 685 618 161 0 0 14,979
Amendment 80............................................ 6,169 5,558 7,866 9,003 42,295 117,558
Alaska Groundfish Cooperative........................... 3,271 2,947 4,171 1,411 11,129 43,748
Alaska Seafood Cooperative.............................. 2,898 2,611 3,695 7,592 31,166 73,810
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Note: Sector apportionments may not total precisely due to rounding.


Table 13--Final 2016 and 2017 ABC Surplus, Community Development Quota (CDQ) ABC Reserves, and Amendment 80 ABC Reserves in the BSAI for Flathead Sole,
Rock Sole, and Yellowfin Sole
[Amounts are in metric tons]
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2016 Flathead 2016 Yellowfin 2017 Flathead 2017 Yellowfin
Sector sole 2016 Rock sole sole sole 2017 Rock sole sole
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
ABC..................................................... 66,250 161,100 211,700 64,580 145,000 203,500
TAC..................................................... 15,163 52,659 154,278 21,000 57,100 144,000
ABC surplus............................................. 51,087 108,441 57,422 43,580 87,900 59,500
ABC reserve............................................. 51,087 108,441 57,422 43,580 87,900 59,500
CDQ ABC reserve......................................... 5,929 12,874 4,411 4,663 9,405 6,367
Amendment 80 ABC reserve................................ 45,158 95,567 53,011 38,917 78,495 53,134
Alaska Groundfish Cooperative for 2016 \1\.............. 4,145 22,974 24,019 n/a n/a n/a
Alaska Seafood Cooperative for 2016 \1\................. 41,013 72,593 28,992 n/a n/a n/a
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\1\ The 2017 allocations for Amendment 80 species between Amendment 80 cooperatives and the Amendment 80 limited access sector will not be known until
eligible participants apply for participation in the program by November 1, 2016.

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 flatfish exchange by the Alaska Seafood cooperative the
BSAI. Since these fisheries are 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 25, 2016.
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 Sec. 679.20 and is exempt from review
under Executive Order 12866.

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

Dated: November 1, 2016.
Emily H. Menashes,
Acting Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine
Fisheries Service.
[FR Doc. 2016-26723 Filed 11-3-16; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 3510-22-P



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