[Federal Register Volume 59, Number 163 (Wednesday, August 24, 1994)]
[Unknown Section]
[Page 0]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 94-20729]

[[Page Unknown]]

[Federal Register: August 24, 1994]



National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

50 CFR Parts 671, 672, 675, and 676

[Docket No. 050494B; I.D. 081194C]


Limited Access Management of Federal Fisheries In and Off of 

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

ACTION: Disapproval of fishery management plan amendments and 
withdrawal of proposed rule.


SUMMARY: NMFS announces that it has disapproved Fishery Management Plan 
(FMP) amendments that would have imposed a moratorium on the entry of 
new vessels into the Alaskan groundfish and crab fisheries. Therefore, 
NMFS withdraws the proposed rule for these FMP amendments and for a 
moratorium in the halibut fishery. NMFS determined that provisions of 
the proposed moratorium would violate the national standards of the 
Magnuson Fishery Conservation and Management Act (Magnuson Act) and 
other applicable law.


SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: On June 3, 1994, NMFS published proposed 
regulations (59 FR 28827) that would implement proposed Amendment 23 to 
the FMP for the Groundfish Fishery of the Bering Sea and Aleutian 
Islands Management Area, Amendment 28 to the FMP for Groundfish of the 
Gulf of Alaska, Amendment 4 to the FMP for the Commercial King and 
Tanner Crab Fisheries in the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Area, and 
a proposed regulatory amendment affecting the Pacific halibut fishery 
in the waters in and off of Alaska. The proposed amendments would have 
imposed a temporary moratorium on the entrance of new vessels into 
these fisheries to curtail increases in fishing capacity and provide 
industry stability while the North Pacific Fishery Management Council 
(Council) and the Secretary of Commerce prepare, review, and, if 
approved, implement a comprehensive management plan for these 
    NMFS disapproved the proposed moratorium amendments on August 5, 
1994, because certain provisions are not consistent with the Magnuson 
Act's national standards and other applicable law. The proposed 
crossover provision and qualifying period are inconsistent with 
national standards 1, 4, and 5, and are arbitrary and capricious in 
violation of the Administrative Procedure Act (APA). In addition, it is 
not clear that the proposed moratorium program adequately considers 
present participation in the fisheries, and, therefore, violates 
Magnuson Act section 303(b)(6) and the APA. The proposed appeals 
procedure would unnecessarily duplicate an existing limited access 
appeals procedure, and so violates national standard 7. Finally, NMFS 
found the proposed moratorium regulatory amendment affecting the 
halibut fishery would violate section 5(a) of the Northern Pacific 
Halibut Act because of inadequate consideration of present 
participation and the crossover provision's exacerbation of the 
overcapacity problem that the moratorium was intended to control.
    NMFS has recommended that the Council submit revised moratorium 
amendments with additional supporting analysis for consideration by 
NMFS under the accelerated review schedule provided by the Magnuson 

    Authority: 16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq. and 16 U.S.C. 773 et seq.

    Dated: August 18, 1994.
Gary Matlock,
Program Management Officer, National Marine Fisheries Service.
[FR Doc. 94-20729 Filed 8-23-94; 8:45 am]