Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands; 2006 and 2007 Proposed Harvest Specifications for Groundfish, 74723-74739 [05-24168]

Download as PDF Federal Register / Vol. 70, No. 241 / Friday, December 16, 2005 / Proposed Rules and should be deemed qualified to participate in the JWOD Program? (2) Are there additional criteria that should be used, or substituted for the above, to evaluate evidence of good governance practices by nonprofit agencies in the Program? (3) Should accreditation by one or more state or national organizations be recognized as evidence of a nonprofit agency adhering to good governance practices without further review by the Committee? (4) Should different benchmarks be used for nonprofit agencies that are state, county, or local government agencies, or should they be exempt from any Committee regulations in this area? (5) Should the size and/or the annual revenue of the nonprofit agency be a factor or factors in assessing appropriate governance practices? (6) What is the best way to ensure that only qualified central nonprofit agencies and nonprofit agencies, with an internal structure that minimizes opportunities for impropriety, participate in the JWOD Program? (7) What if any enforcement mechanisms should be adopted to ensure only the qualified central nonprofit agencies and nonprofit agencies participate in the JWOD Program? (8) What steps will the nonprofit agencies and central nonprofit agencies need to take to avoid conflicts of interest among its board members? (9) What steps will the nonprofit agencies and central nonprofit agencies have to take to demonstrate financial responsibility? Effect of Executive Compensation on Fair Market Price Determinations Board involvement in setting the compensation of the CEO/President and other highly compensated employees is one of the benchmarks of effective nonprofit governance practices. In furtherance of assessing information used to set the initial fair market price for products and services added to the Procurement List, and then periodic adjustments to the price thereafter, the Committee is seeking information on the following: (1) What is the threshold beyond which the compensation paid to the executives in a JWOD-participating nonprofit agency should be considered as influencing a proposed fair market price determination? For example, if the agency receives more than a certain percentage of its total revenue from sales through the JWOD Program, is there a compensation level (total dollars paid or total dollars paid as a percentage of total revenue) at and above which fair VerDate Aug<31>2005 18:33 Dec 15, 2005 Jkt 208001 market price impact would be deemed to occur? (2) Conversely, is there a point below which executive compensation, regardless of the dollar amount paid, would not be considered as influencing a recommended fair market price? Is such a de minimis test appropriate for large diversified nonprofits where total JWOD sales represent only a small percentage of total revenue? (3) Without regard to any analysis of JWOD-related revenue, is there an established benchmark or absolute dollar threshold above which compensation would be deemed as influencing a proposed fair market price? (4) Should receipt of documentation to support a ‘‘rebuttable presumption of reasonableness’’ serve to demonstrate that executive compensation does not by itself influence a proposed fair market price or any adjustment thereto? (5) To what extent should there be a relationship between the pay and compensation of line workers and highly compensated individuals? (6) At what point would be appropriate to begin a review of an executive compensation package even if the proposed price for a product or service would fall within a range that it could be considered as a fair market price? (7) What approaches are available to identity and monitor nonprofit agencies executive compensation that would provide such information to the Committee routinely but without placing an undue burden on agencies? Definitions of Terms in Quotation Marks Above (1) A ‘‘financial expert’’ is a director that must understand GAAP and financial statements, have the ability to assess the general application of such principles in connection with the accounting for estimates, accruals and reserves, have experience preparing, auditing, analyzing or evaluating financial statements that present a breadth and level of complexity of accounting issues that are generally comparable to the breadth and complexity of issues that can reasonably be expected to be raised by the registrant’s financial statements, or experience actively supervising one or more persons engaged in such activities, have an understanding of internal controls and the procedures for financial reporting, and have an understanding of audit committee functions. (2) A ‘‘rebuttable presumption of reasonableness’’ requires the maintaining a board of independent PO 00000 Frm 00010 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 74723 members, requires the Board of Directors to approve compensation arrangements for highly paid executives and individuals using independent comparative salary data gathered from similar organizations for similar executive positions, and documents all data used in decision making for compensation packages including all annual compensation, incentive compensation plans, long-term incentive plans, supplemental retirement plans, wrap-around Section 401K plans, deferred compensation arrangements and benefits. (3) A ‘‘highly compensated individual’’ is an individual: (i) With a year’s compensation in excess of $90,000.00; or (ii) Who had compensation within the previous year which was in excess of $90,000.00; or (iii) At the election of the employer had compensation in excess of $90,000.00 and was in the top 20 percent of employees by compensation for any year. (4) ‘‘Undue influence’’ is prohibited and occurs when an officer, director, or employee of the agency directly or indirectly takes any action to coerce, manipulate, mislead, or fraudulently influence the agencies’ audit committee, Directors, CEO/President or any individual that has authority or power to influence the preceding persons. (5) A ‘‘management letter’’ is a technical letter, which is prepared by an auditor or audit committee. Patrick Rowe, Deputy Executive Director, Committee for Purchase From People Who Are Blind or Severely Disabled. [FR Doc. E5–7439 Filed 12–15–05; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6353–01–P DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration 50 CFR Part 679 [Docket No. 051205324–5324–01; I.D. 112805B] Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands; 2006 and 2007 Proposed Harvest Specifications for Groundfish National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Commerce. ACTION: Proposed rule; request for comments. AGENCY: E:\FR\FM\16DEP1.SGM 16DEP1 74724 Federal Register / Vol. 70, No. 241 / Friday, December 16, 2005 / Proposed Rules SUMMARY: NMFS proposes 2006 and 2007 harvest specifications and prohibited species catch (PSC) allowances for the groundfish fishery of the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands management area (BSAI). This action is necessary to establish harvest limits for groundfish during the 2006 and 2007 fishing years and to accomplish the goals and objectives of the Fishery Management Plan for Groundfish of the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Management Area (FMP). The intended effect of this action is to conserve and manage the groundfish resources in the BSAI in accordance with the MagnusonStevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (Magnuson-Stevens Act). Comments must be received by January 17, 2006. DATES: Send comments to Sue Salveson, Assistant Regional Administrator, Sustainable Fisheries Division, Alaska Region, NMFS, Attn: Lori Durall. Comments may be submitted by: • Webform at the Federal eRulemaking Portal: http:// www.regulations.gov. Follow the instructions at that site for submitting comments; • Mail to P.O. Box 21668, Juneau, AK 99802; • Hand Delivery to the Federal Building, 709 West 9th Street, Room 420A, Juneau, AK; • E-mail to 2006AKgroundfish.tacspecs@noaa.gov and include in the subject line the document identifier: 2006 Proposed Specifications (E-mail comments, with or without attachments, are limited to 5 megabytes); or • Fax to 907–586–7557. Copies of the draft Environmental Assessment/Initial Regulatory Flexibility Analysis (EA/IRFA) prepared for this action are available from NMFS at the addresses above or from the Alaska Region Web site at http:// www.fakr.noaa.gov. Copies of the final 2004 Stock Assessment and Fishery Evaluation (SAFE) report for the groundfish resources of the BSAI, dated November 2004, are available from the North Pacific Fishery Management Council (Council), West 4th Avenue, Suite 306, Anchorage, AK 99510–2252, 907–271–2809, or from its Web site at http://www.fakr.noaa.gov/npfmc. ADDRESSES: FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Mary Furuness, 907–586–7228, or email at mary.furuness@noaa.gov. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: VerDate Aug<31>2005 18:33 Dec 15, 2005 Jkt 208001 Background Federal regulations at 50 CFR part 679 implement the FMP and govern the groundfish fisheries in the BSAI. The Council prepared the FMP and NMFS approved it under the MagnusonStevens Act. General regulations governing U.S. fisheries also appear at 50 CFR part 600. The FMP and its implementing regulations require NMFS, after consultation with the Council, to specify annually the total allowable catch (TAC) for each target species and the ‘‘other species’’ category, the sum of which must be within the optimum yield range of 1.4 million to 2.0 million metric tons (mt) (see § 679.20(a)(1)(i)). Regulations at § 679.20(c)(1) further require NMFS to publish proposed harvest specifications in the Federal Register and solicit public comment on proposed annual TACs and apportionments thereof, PSC allowances and prohibited species quota (PSQ) reserves established by § 679.21, seasonal allowances of pollock, Pacific cod and Atka mackerel TAC, including pollock Community Development Quota (CDQ), and CDQ reserve amounts established by § 679.20(b)(1)(iii). The proposed harvest specifications set forth in Tables 1 through 13 of this action satisfy these requirements. Under § 679.20(c)(3), NMFS will publish the final harvest specifications for 2006 and 2007 after (1) considering comments received within the comment period (see DATES), (2) consulting with the Council at its December 2005 meeting, and (3) considering new information presented in the EA and the final 2005 SAFE reports prepared for the 2006 and 2007 groundfish fisheries. Other Rules Affecting the 2006 and 2007 Harvest Specifications When possible, this proposed rule identifies proposals that are under consideration by the Council that, if approved by the Secretary of Commerce (Secretary), could change the final harvest specifications. The 2006 harvest specifications will be updated in early 2006, when final harvest specifications for 2006 and new harvest specifications for 2007 are implemented. The Council is reviewing Amendment 85, which may revise the BSAI Pacific cod sector allocation and apportion the Pacific cod acceptable biological catch (ABC) or TAC by Bering Sea subarea and Aleutian Islands (AI) subarea separately instead of by the entire BSAI management area. The Council is also reviewing Amendment 84, which may modify current regulations for managing incidental catch of chinook and chum PO 00000 Frm 00011 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 salmon. The Council may consider separating some rockfish species from the ‘‘other rockfish’’ species category so individual overfishing levels (OFLs), ABCs, and TACs may be established for some rockfish species. The Council may pursue a change to the start date for the BSAI pollock ‘‘A’’ season fishery. An earlier start date would allow the fleet more flexibility to harvest pollock when roe content is optimal. Proposed ABC and TAC Harvest Specifications The proposed ABC levels are based on the best available biological and socioeconomic information, including projected biomass trends, information on assumed distribution of stock biomass, and revised technical methods used to calculate stock biomass. In general, the development of ABCs and OFLs involves sophisticated statistical analyses of fish populations and is based on a successive series of six levels, or tiers, of reliable information available to fishery scientists. Tier one represents the highest level of data quality available and tier six the lowest level of data quality available. Appendix A to the final SAFE report for the 2005 BSAI groundfish fisheries dated November 2004 (see ADDRESSES) sets forth the best information currently available. Information on the status of stocks will be updated with the 2005 survey results and reconsidered by the Plan Team in November 2005 for the 2005 SAFE report. The 2006 and 2007 final harvest specifications will be based on the 2005 SAFE report. In October 2005, the Scientific and Statistical Committee (SSC), Advisory Panel, and the Council reviewed the Plan Team’s preliminary projections as the basis for the 2006 and 2007 proposed ABC, OFL, and TAC amounts. The SSC concurred in the Plan Team’s recommendations which, for stocks in tiers 1–3, used 2005 estimated fishing mortality rates in stock projection models to estimate OFLs and ABCs for 2006. The estimated 2006 TACs were derived based on ABC constraints and past Council actions. The estimated 2006 TACs were treated as the projected 2006 fishing mortality rates to derive estimates of OFLs and ABCs for 2007. For stocks in tiers 4–6, for which there are no population projection models, the OFL and ABC amounts from 2005 were used for 2006 and 2007. The Council adopted the OFL and ABC amounts recommended by the SSC (Table 1). The Council recommended that the 2006 proposed TACs be set equal to the 2006 TACs the Council adopted and the Secretary approved in 2005 for the 2006 final specifications E:\FR\FM\16DEP1.SGM 16DEP1 Federal Register / Vol. 70, No. 241 / Friday, December 16, 2005 / Proposed Rules (70 FR 8979, February 24, 2005). The Council recommended that the 2007 proposed TACs be set equal to the proposed ABCs, except for decreases for Aleutian Islands and Bogoslof pollock, arrowtooth flounder, Alaska plaice, and other species. The Council recommended using the 2005 and 2006 PSC allowances for the 2006 and 2007 proposed allowances. The Council will reconsider the OFL, ABC, TAC, and PSC VerDate Aug<31>2005 18:33 Dec 15, 2005 Jkt 208001 amounts in December 2005 after the Plan Team incorporates new status of groundfish stocks information into a final 2005 SAFE report for the 2006 and 2007 BSAI groundfish fishery. None of the Council’s recommended proposed TACs for 2006 or 2007 exceeds the recommended 2006 or 2007 proposed ABC for any species category. NMFS finds the Council’s recommended proposed 2006 and 2007 OFLs, ABCs, PO 00000 Frm 00012 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 74725 and TACs are consistent with the best available information on the biological condition of the groundfish stocks. Table 1 lists the 2006 and 2007 proposed OFL, ABC, and TAC, initial TAC (ITAC) and CDQ amounts for groundfish in the BSAI. The proposed apportionment of TAC amounts among fisheries and seasons is discussed below. E:\FR\FM\16DEP1.SGM 16DEP1 VerDate Aug<31>2005 18:33 Dec 15, 2005 Jkt 208001 PO 00000 Frm 00013 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 E:\FR\FM\16DEP1.SGM 3,306,102 1,966,100 39,100 39,600 250,700 3,085 3,315 126,700 n/a n/a n/a 139,500 145,100 18,100 n/a n/a 128,500 65,900 28,500 231,000 17,600 n/a n/a n/a n/a 9,800 794 298 1,122 748 2,620 87,920 OFL 2,675,629 1,636,800 29,400 2,570 195,000 2,556 2,744 107,000 40,230 45,580 21,190 117,700 121,700 11,400 7,590 3,410 104,200 54,900 21,400 183,400 14,900 3,000 5,450 3,252 3,298 8,200 596 223 810 590 1,970 57,870 ABC 2,000,000 1,487,756 19,000 10 195,000 2,310 2,480 63,000 20,000 35,500 7,500 90,000 42,000 3,500 2,500 1,000 12,000 20,000 3,000 10,000 12,600 1,400 5,085 3,035 3,080 5,000 596 223 460 590 1,275 29,200 TAC 2006 1,772,778 1,338,980 17,100 10 165,750 982 527 53,550 17,000 30,175 6,375 76,500 35,700 2,975 2,125 850 10,200 17,000 2,550 8,500 10,710 1,190 4,322 2,580 2,618 4,250 507 190 391 502 1,084 24,820 ITAC 2 187,953 148,776 1,900 n/a 14,625 318 419 4,725 1,500 2,663 563 6,750 3,150 263 188 75 900 1,500 225 750 945 105 381 228 231 375 45 17 35 44 n/a 2,190 CDQ 3 2,746,602 1,487,100 39,100 39,600 222,000 2,880 3,120 106,900 n/a n/a n/a 130,000 138,400 16,900 n/a n/a 125,800 60,800 28,500 224,400 17,900 n/a n/a n/a n/a 9,700 794 298 1,122 748 2,620 87,920 OFL 2,196,929 1,223,200 29,400 2,570 172,200 2,400 2,600 90,800 28,825 51,165 10,810 109,600 116,100 10,500 7,500 3,000 102,100 50,600 21,400 178,100 15,100 1,678 6,096 3,637 3,689 8,200 596 223 810 590 1,970 57,870 ABC 2,000,000 1,223,200 19,000 11 172,200 2,400 2,600 90,800 28,825 51,165 10,810 109,600 116,100 10,500 7,500 3,000 39,100 50,600 21,400 65,000 15,100 1,678 6,096 3,637 3,689 8,200 596 223 810 590 1,970 50,000 TAC 2007 1,759,437 1,100,880 17,100 11 146,370 1,020 553 77,180 24,501 43,490 9,189 93,160 98,685 8,925 6,375 2,550 33,235 43,010 18,190 55,250 12,835 1,426 5,182 3,091 3,136 6,970 507 190 689 502 1,675 42,500 ITAC 2 180,673 122,320 1,900 n/a 12,915 44490 49 6,810 2,162 3,837 811 8,220 8,708 788 563 225 2,933 3,795 1,605 4,875 1,133 126 457 273 277 615 45 17 61 44 n/a 3,750 CDQ 3 1 These amounts apply to the entire BSAI management area unless otherwise specified. With the exception of pollock, and for the purpose of these harvest specifications, the Bering Sea (BS) subarea includes the Bogoslof District. 2 Except for pollock and the portion of the sablefish TAC allocated to hook-and-line and pot gear, 15 percent of each TAC is put into a reserve. The ITAC for each species is the remainder of the TAC after the subtraction of these reserves. 3 Except for pollock, squid and the hook-and-line or pot gear allocation of sablefish, one half of the amount of the TACs placed in reserve, or 7.5 percent of the TACs, is designated as a CDQ reserve for use by CDQ participants (see §§ 679.20(b)(1)(iii) and 679.31). 4 Under § 679.20(a)(5)(i)(A)(1), the annual Bering Sea pollock TAC after subtraction for the CDQ directed fishing allowance—10 percent and the ICA—3.5 percent, is further allocated by sector for a directed pollock fishery as follows: inshore—50 percent; catcher/processor—40 percent; and motherships—10 percent. Under § 679.20(a)(5)(iii)(B)(2)(i) and (ii), the annual AI pollock TAC, after subtraction for the CDQ directed fishing allowance—10 percent and the ICA—1,800 mt, is allocated to the Aleut Corporation for a directed pollock fishery. 5 The ITAC for sablefish reflected in Table 1 is for trawl gear only. Regulations at § 679.20(b)(1) do not provide for the establishment of an ITAC for the hook-and-line and pot gear allocation for sablefish. Twenty percent of the sablefish TAC allocated to hook-and-line gear or pot gear and 7.5 percent of the sablefish TAC allocated to trawl gear is reserved for use by CDQ participants (see § 679.20(b)(1)(iii)). 6 ‘‘Other flatfish’’ includes all flatfish species, except for halibut (a prohibited species), flathead sole, Greenland turbot, rock sole, yellowfin sole, arrowtooth flounder and Alaska plaice. 7 ‘‘Other rockfish’’ includes all Sebastes and Sebastolobus species except for Pacific ocean perch, northern, shortraker, and rougheye rockfish. 8 ‘‘Other species’’ includes sculpins, sharks, skates and octopus. Forage fish, as defined at § 679.2, are not included in the ‘‘other species’’ category. Total ........................ Squid .................................. Other species 8 .................. Northern rockfish ............... Shortraker rockfish ............ Rougheye rockfish ............. Other rockfish 7 .................. Arrowtooth flounder ........... Flathead sole ..................... Other flatfish 6 .................... Alaska plaice ..................... Pacific ocean perch ........... Yellowfin sole ..................... Rock sole ........................... Greenland turbot ................ Atka mackerel .................... .................. BS 2 .......... AI 2 ........... Bogoslof ... BSAI ........ BS ............ AI ............. BSAI ........ WAI .......... CAI ........... EAI/BS ..... BSAI ........ BSAI ........ BSAI ........ BS ............ AI ............. BSAI ........ BSAI ........ BSAI ........ BSAI ........ BSAI ........ BS ............ WAI .......... CAI ........... EAI ........... BSAI ........ BSAI ........ BSAI ........ BS ............ AI ............. BSAI ........ BSAI ........ Pollock 4 ............................. Pacific cod ......................... Sablefish 5 .......................... Area Species [Amounts are in metric tons] TABLE 1.—2006 AND 2007 PROPOSED OVERFISHING LEVEL (OFL), ACCEPTABLE BIOLOGICAL CATCH (ABC), TOTAL ALLOWABLE CATCH (TAC), INITIAL TAC (ITAC), AND CDQ RESERVE ALLOCATION OF GROUNDFISH IN THE BSAI 1 74726 Federal Register / Vol. 70, No. 241 / Friday, December 16, 2005 / Proposed Rules 16DEP1 74727 Federal Register / Vol. 70, No. 241 / Friday, December 16, 2005 / Proposed Rules Reserves and the Incidental Catch Allowance (ICA) for Pollock Regulations at § 679.20(b)(1)(i) require placement of 15 percent of the TAC for each target species or species group, except for pollock and the hook-andline and pot gear allocation of sablefish, in a non-specified reserve. Regulations at § 679.20(b)(1)(iii) further require the allocation of one half of each TAC amount that is placed in the nonspecified reserve (7.5 percent), with the exception of squid, to the groundfish CDQ reserve, and the allocation of 20 percent of the hook-and-line and pot gear allocation of sablefish to the fixed gear sablefish CDQ reserve. Regulations at §§ 679.20(a)(5)(i)(A) and 679.31(a) also require the allocation of 10 percent of the BSAI pollock TACs to the pollock CDQ directed fishing allowance. The entire Bogoslof District pollock TAC is allocated as an ICA (see § 679.20(a)(5)(ii)). With the exception of the hook-and-line and pot gear sablefish CDQ reserve, the regulations do not further apportion the CDQ reserves by gear. Regulations at § 679.21(e)(1)(i) also require withholding of 7.5 percent of each PSC limit, with the exception of herring, as a PSQ reserve for the CDQ fisheries. Sections 679.30 and 679.31 set forth the regulations governing the management of the CDQ and PSQ reserves. Under regulations at § 679.20(a)(5)(i)(A)(1), NMFS allocates a pollock ICA of 3.5 percent of the Bering Sea pollock TAC after subtraction of the 10 percent CDQ reserve. This allowance is based on NMFS’ examination of the incidental catch of pollock in target fisheries other than pollock from 1999 through 2004. During this 6-year period, the incidental catch of pollock ranged from a low of 2 percent in 2003 to a high of 5 percent in 1999, with a 6-year average of 3.5 percent. Because these incidental percentages are contingent on the relative amounts of other groundfish TACs, NMFS will be better able to assess the ICA amount when the Council makes final ABC and TAC amount recommendations in December. Under regulations at § 679.20(a)(5)(iii)(B)(2)(i) and (ii), NMFS recommends setting a 1,800 mt ICA for AI subarea pollock after a subtraction of the 10 percent CDQ directed fishing allowance. The regulations do not designate the remainder of the non-specified reserve by species or species group, and any amount of the reserve may be reapportioned to a target species or the ‘‘other species’’ category during the year, providing that such reapportionments do not result in overfishing (see § 679.20(b)(1)(ii)). Allocations of Pollock TAC Under the American Fisheries Act (AFA) Regulations at § 679.20(a)(5)(i)(A) require that the pollock TAC apportioned to the Bering Sea subarea, after subtraction of the 10 percent for the CDQ program and the 3.5 percent for the ICA, will be allocated as a directed fishing allowance (DFA) as follows: 50 percent to the inshore sector, 40 percent to the catcher/processor sector, and 10 percent to the mothership sector. In the Bering Sea subarea, the A season (January 20–June 10) is allocated 40 percent of the DFA and the B season (June 10–November 1) is allocated 60 percent of the DFA. The AI directed pollock fishery allocation to the Aleut Corporation equals the AI subarea pollock TAC after subtracting first the 10 percent for the CDQ DFA (1,900 mt) and second the ICA (1,800 mt). In the AI subarea, 40 percent of the ABC is allocated to the A season and the remainder of the directed pollock fishery is allocated to the B season. Table 2 lists these 2006 and 2007 proposed amounts. The regulations also include several specific requirements regarding pollock and pollock allocations under § 679.20(a)(5)(i)(A)(4). First, 8.5 percent of the pollock allocated to the catcher/ processor sector will be available for harvest by AFA catcher vessels with catcher/processor sector endorsements, unless the Regional Administrator receives a cooperative contract that provides for the distribution of harvest among AFA catcher/processors and AFA catcher vessels in a manner agreed to by all members. Second, AFA catcher/processors not listed in the AFA are limited to harvesting not more than 0.5 percent of the pollock allocated to the catcher/processor sector. Table 2 lists the 2006 and 2007 proposed allocations of pollock TAC. Tables 8 through 13 list other provisions of the AFA, including inshore pollock cooperative allocations and listed catcher/processor and catcher vessel harvesting sideboard limits. Table 2 also lists seasonal apportionments of pollock and harvest limits within the Steller Sea Lion Conservation Area (SCA). The harvest within the SCA, as defined at § 679.22(a)(7)(vii), is limited to 28 percent of the DFA until April 1. The remaining 12 percent of the 40 percent of the annual DFA allocated to the A season may be taken outside the SCA before April 1 or inside the SCA after April 1. If the 28 percent of the annual DFA is not taken inside the SCA before April 1, the remainder will be available to be taken inside the SCA after April 1. The A season pollock SCA harvest limit will be apportioned to each sector in proportion to each sector’s allocated percentage of the DFA. Table 2 lists by sector these 2006 and 2007 proposed amounts. TABLE 2.—2006 AND 2007 PROPOSED ALLOCATIONS OF POLLOCK TACS TO THE DIRECTED POLLOCK FISHERIES AND TO THE CDQ DIRECTED FISHING ALLOWANCES (DFA)1 [Amounts are in metric tons] Area and sector 2006 allocations Bering Sea subarea ......... CDQ DFA ......................... ICA1 .................................. AFA Inshore ..................... AFA Catcher/Processors 3 Catch by C/Ps .................. Catch by CVs 3 ................. Unlisted C/P Limit 4 .......... AFA Motherships ............. Excessive Harvesting Limit 5 ............................ VerDate Aug<31>2005 18:33 Dec 15, 2005 2006 A season 1 A season DFA 2006 B season 1 SCA harvest limit 2 B season DFA 2007 allocations 2007 A season 1 A season DFA 2007 B season SCA harvest limit 2 B season DFA 1,487,756 148,776 46,864 646,058 516,846 472,914 43,932 2,584 129,212 n/a 59,510 n/a 258,423 206,739 189,166 17,573 1,034 51,685 n/a 41,657 n/a 180,896 144,717 n/a n/a n/a 36,179 n/a 89,265 n/a 387,635 310,108 283,749 26,359 1,551 77,527 1,223,200 122,320 38,531 531,175 424,940 388,820 36,120 2,125 106,235 n/a 48,928 n/a 212,470 169,976 155,528 14,448 850 42,494 n/a 34,250 n/a 148,729 118,983 n/a n/a n/a 29,746 n/a 73,392 n/a 318,705 254,964 233,292 21,672 1,275 63,741 226,120 n/a n/a n/a 185,911 n/a n/a n/a Jkt 208001 PO 00000 Frm 00014 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 E:\FR\FM\16DEP1.SGM 16DEP1 74728 Federal Register / Vol. 70, No. 241 / Friday, December 16, 2005 / Proposed Rules TABLE 2.—2006 AND 2007 PROPOSED ALLOCATIONS OF POLLOCK TACS TO THE DIRECTED POLLOCK FISHERIES AND TO THE CDQ DIRECTED FISHING ALLOWANCES (DFA)1—Continued [Amounts are in metric tons] Area and sector Excessive Processing Limit 6 ............................ Total Bering Sea DFA ...... Aleutian Islands subarea 1 CDQ DFA ......................... ICA ................................... Aleut Corporation ............. Bogoslof District ICA 7 ...... 2006 B season 1 2006 A season 1 2006 allocations A season DFA 387,635 1,487,756 19,000 1,900 1,800 15,300 10 SCA harvest limit 2 n/a 576,357 n/a 760 1,000 10,000 n/a n/a 403,450 n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a B season DFA n/a 864,535 n/a 1,140 800 5,300 n/a 2007 B season 2007 A season 1 2007 allocations A season DFA 318,705 1,223,200 19,000 1,900 1,800 15,300 11 n/a 473,868 n/a 760 1,000 10,000 n/a SCA harvest limit 2 B season DFA n/a 331,707 n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a 710,802 n/a 1,140 800 5,300 n/a 1 Under § 679.20(a)(5)(i)(A), the Bering Sea subarea pollock after subtraction for the CDQ DFA—10 percent and the ICA—3.5 percent, the pollock TAC is allocated as a DFA as follows: Inshore component—50 percent, catcher/processor component—40 percent, and mothership component—10 percent. In the Bering Sea subarea, the A season, January 20–June 10, is allocated 40 percent of the DFA and the B season, June 10–November 1 is allocated 60 percent of the DFA. The Aleutian Islands (AI) AI directed pollock fishery allocation to the Aleut Corporation remains after subtraction for the CDQ DFA—10 percent and the ICA—1,800 mt. In the AI subarea, the A season is allocated 40 percent of the ABC and the B season is allocated the remainder of the directed pollock fishery. 2 In the Bering Sea subarea, no more than 28 percent of each sector’s annual DFA may be taken from the SCA before April 1. The remaining 12 percent of the annual DFA allocated to the A season may be taken outside of SCA before April 1 or inside the SCA after April 1. If 28 percent of the annual DFA is not taken inside the SCA before April 1, the remainder is available to be taken inside the SCA after April 1. 3 Under § 679.20(a)(5)(i)(A)(4), not less than 8.5 percent of the DFA allocated to listed catcher/processors shall be available for harvest only by eligible catcher vessels delivering to listed catcher/processors. 4 Under § 679.20(a)(5)(i)(A)(4)(iii), the AFA unlisted catcher/processors are limited to harvesting not more than 0.5 percent of the catcher/processors sector’s allocation of pollock. 5 Under § 679.20(a)(5)(i)(A)(6) NMFS establishes an excessive harvesting share limit equal to 17.5 percent of the sum of the pollock DFAs. 6 Under § 679.20(a)(5)(i)(A)(7) NMFS establishes an excessive processing share limit equal to 30.0 percent of the sum of the pollock DFAs. 7 The Bogoslof District is closed by the proposed harvest specifications to directed fishing for pollock. The amounts specified are for ICA only, and are not apportioned by season or sector. Allocation of the Atka Mackerel TAC Under § 679.20(a)(8)(i), up to 2 percent of the Eastern Aleutian District and the Bering Sea subarea Atka mackerel ITAC may be allocated to jig gear. The amount of this allocation is determined annually by the Council based on several criteria, including the anticipated harvest capacity of the jig gear fleet. The Council recommended and NMFS proposes that 1 percent of the Atka mackerel ITAC in the Eastern Aleutian District and the Bering Sea made available from September 1 to November 1 (B season) (Table 3). subarea be allocated to jig gear in 2006 and 2007. Based on the 2006 ITAC of 6,375 mt, the jig gear allocation is 64 mt for 2006. Based on the 2007 ITAC of 9,189 mt, the jig gear allocation is 92 mt for 2007. Regulations at § 679.20(a)(8)(ii)(A) apportion the Atka mackerel ITAC into two equal seasonal allowances. After subtraction of the jig gear allocation, the first allowance is made available for directed fishing from January 1 (January 20 for trawl gear) to April 15 (A season), and the second seasonal allowance is Under § 679.20(a)(8)(ii)(C)(1), the Regional Administrator establishes a harvest limit area (HLA) limit of no more than 60 percent of the seasonal TAC for the Western and Central Aleutian Districts. A lottery system is used for the HLA Atka mackerel directed fisheries to reduce the amount of daily catch in the HLA by about half and to disperse the fishery over two districts (see § 679.20(a)(8)(iii)). TABLE 3.—2006 AND 2007 PROPOSED SEASONAL AND SPATIAL ALLOWANCES, GEAR SHARES, AND CDQ RESERVE OF THE BSAI ATKA MACKEREL TAC 1 [Amounts are in metric tons] 2006 Seasonal allowances 2 Subarea and component 2006 TAC 2006 CDQ reserve 2006 CDQ reserve HLA limit 4 2006 ITAC A season 3 Total B season 3 HLA limit 4 Total HLA limit 4 Western AI District ........... Central AI District ............. EAI/BS subarea 5 ............. Jig (1%) 6 .......................... Other gear (99%) ............. 20,000 35,500 7,500 n/a n/a 1,500 2,663 563 n/a n/a 900 1,598 n/a n/a n/a 17,000 30,175 6,375 64 6,311 8,500 15,088 n/a n/a 3,156 5,100 9,053 n/a n/a n/a 8,500 15,088 n/a n/a 3,156 5,100 9,053 n/a n/a n/a Total .......................... 63,000 4,725 n/a 53,550 26,743 n/a 26,743 n/a VerDate Aug<31>2005 18:40 Dec 15, 2005 Jkt 208001 PO 00000 Frm 00015 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 E:\FR\FM\16DEP1.SGM 16DEP1 74729 Federal Register / Vol. 70, No. 241 / Friday, December 16, 2005 / Proposed Rules Seasonal allowances 2 Subarea and component 2007 TAC 2007 CDQ reserve 2007 CDQ reserve HLA limit 4 A season 3 2007 ITAC B season 3 HLA limit 4 Total Total HLA limit 4 Western AI District ........... Central AI District ............. EAI/BS subarea 5 ............. Jig (1%) 6 .......................... Other gear (99%) ............. 28,825 51,165 10,810 n/a n/a 2,162 3,837 811 n/a n/a 1,297 2,302 n/a n/a n/a 24,501 43,490 9,189 92 9,097 12,251 21,745 n/a n/a 4,549 7,350 13,047 n/a n/a n/a 12,251 21,745 n/a n/a 4,548 7,350 13,047 n/a n/a n/a Total .......................... 90,800 6,810 n/a 77,180 38,544 n/a 38,544 n/a 1 Regulations at §§ 679.20(a)(8)(ii) and 679.22(a) establish temporal and spatial limitations for the Atka mackerel fishery. 2 The seasonal allowances of Atka mackerel are 50 percent in the A season and 50 percent in the B season. 3 The A season is January 1 (January 20 for trawl gear) to April 15 and the B season is September 1 to November 1. 4 Harvest Limit Area (HLA) limit refers to the amount of each seasonal allowance that is available for fishing inside the HLA (see § 679.2). In 2006 and 2007, 60 percent of each seasonal allowance is available for fishing inside the HLA in the Western and Central Aleutian Districts. 5 Eastern Aleutian District and the Bering Sea subarea. 6 Regulations at § 679.20(a)(8)(i) require that up to 2 percent of the Eastern Aleutian District and the Bering Sea subarea ITAC be allocated to jig gear. The proposed amount of this allocation is 1 percent. The jig gear allocation is not apportioned by season. Allocation of the Pacific Cod TAC Under § 679.20(a)(7)(i)(A), 2 percent of the Pacific cod ITAC is allocated to vessels using jig gear, 51 percent to vessels using hook-and-line or pot gear, and 47 percent to vessels using trawl gear. Under regulations at § 679.20(a)(7)(i)(B), the portion of the Pacific cod ITAC allocated to trawl gear is further allocated 50 percent to catcher vessels and 50 percent to catcher/ processors. Under regulations at § 679.20(a)(7)(i)(C)(1), a portion of the Pacific cod ITAC allocated to hook-andline or pot gear is set aside as an ICA of Pacific cod in directed fisheries for groundfish using these gear types. Based on anticipated incidental catch in these fisheries, the Regional Administrator proposes an ICA of 500 mt. The remainder of Pacific cod is further allocated to vessels using hook-and-line or pot gear as the following DFAs: 80 percent to hook-and-line catcher/ processors, 0.3 percent to hook-and-line VerDate Aug<31>2005 18:33 Dec 15, 2005 Jkt 208001 catcher vessels, 3.3 percent to pot catcher processors, 15 percent to pot catcher vessels, and 1.4 percent to catcher vessels under 60 feet (18.3 m) length overall (LOA) using hook-andline or pot gear. Due to concerns about the potential impact of the Pacific cod fishery on Steller sea lions and their critical habitat, the apportionment of the ITAC disperses the Pacific cod fisheries into seasonal allowances (see §§ 679.20(a)(7)(iii)(A) and 679.23(e)(5)). For pot and most hook-and-line gear, the first seasonal allowance of 60 percent of the ITAC is made available for directed fishing from January 1 to June 10, and the second seasonal allowance of 40 percent of the ITAC is made available from June 10 (September 1 for pot gear) to December 31. No seasonal harvest constraints are imposed on the Pacific cod fishery by catcher vessels less than 60 feet (18.3 m) LOA using hook-and-line or pot gear. For trawl gear, the first season is January PO 00000 Frm 00016 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 20 to April 1 and is allocated 60 percent of the ITAC. The second season, April 1 to June 10, and the third season, June 10 to November 1, are each allocated 20 percent of the ITAC. The trawl catcher vessel allocation is further allocated as 70 percent in the first season, 10 percent in the second season, and 20 percent in the third season. The trawl catcher/ processor allocation is allocated 50 percent in the first season, 30 percent in the second season, and 20 percent in the third season. For jig gear, the first and third seasonal allowances are each allocated 40 percent of the ITAC and the second seasonal allowance is allocated 20 percent of the ITAC. Table 4 lists the 2006 and 2007 proposed allocations and seasonal apportionments of the Pacific cod ITAC. In accordance with § 679.20(a)(7)(ii)(D) and (a)(7)(iii)(B), any unused portion of a seasonal Pacific cod allowance will become available at the beginning of the next seasonal allowance. E:\FR\FM\16DEP1.SGM 16DEP1 VerDate Aug<31>2005 18:33 Dec 15, 2005 Jkt 208001 PO 00000 Frm 00017 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 n/a n/a 77,903 .................... n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a 47 .............. Hook-and-line CV Pot C/P ................ Pot CV ................. CV < 60 feet LOA using Hookand-line or Pot gear. Total Trawl Gear. Trawl CV .......... .............. 84,033 n/a E:\FR\FM\16DEP1.SGM 100 Jig ........................ Total ............. 165,750 3,315 .................... n/a n/a n/a n/a 50 50 n/a 1.4 15 3.3 0.3 80 n/a n/a n/a 2006 Subtotal percentages for gear sectors n/a n/a 38,951 38,951 n/a 1,176 12,605 2,773 252 67,226 n/a 500 n/a 2006 Share of gear sector total n/a ....................... Jan 20–Apr 1 ...... Apr 1–Jun 10 ...... Jun 10–Nov 1 ..... Jan 20–Apr 1 ...... Apr 1–Jun 10 ...... Jun 10–Nov 1 ..... Jan 1–Apr 30 ...... Apr 30–Aug 31 ... Aug 31–Dec 31 ... n/a ....................... Jan 1–Jun 10 ...... Jun 10–Dec 31 ... Jan 1–Jun 10 ...... Jun 10–Dec 31 ... Jan 1–Jun 10 ...... Sept 1–Dec 31 .... Jan 1–Jun 10 ...... Sept 1–Dec 31 .... n/a ....................... n/a ....................... n/a ....................... n/a ....................... Date n/a 27,266 3,895 7,790 19,476 11,685 7,790 1,326 663 1,326 n/a 40,336 26,890 151 101 1,664 1,109 7,563 5,042 n/a n/a n/a n/a Amount 2006 Share of gear sector total 2006 Seasonal apportionment 1 172,200 3,444 .................... .................... 80,934 n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a 87,322 n/a 87,822 2007 Share of gear sector total n/a n/a 50 50 n/a 1.4 15 3.3 0.3 80 n/a n/a n/a 2007 Subtotal percentages for gear sectors n/a n/a 40,467 40,467 n/a 1,223 13,098 2,882 262 69,858 n/a 500 n/a 2007 Share of gear sector total n/a ....................... Jan 20–Apr 1 ...... Apr 1–Jun 10 ...... Jun 10–Nov 1 ..... Jan 20–Apr 1 ...... Apr 1–Jun 10 ...... Jun 10–Nov 1 ..... Jan 1–Apr 30 ...... Apr 30–Aug 31 ... Aug 31–Dec 31 ... n/a ....................... Jan 1–Jun 10 ...... Jun 10–Dec 31 ... Jan 1–Jun 10 ...... Jun 10–Dec 31 ... Jan 1–Jun 10 ...... Sept 1–Dec 31 .... Jan 1–Jun 10 ...... Sept 1–Dec 31 .... n/a ....................... n/a ....................... n/a ....................... n/a ....................... Date n/a 28,327 4,047 8,093 20,234 12,140 8,093 1,378 689 1,378 n/a 41,915 27,943 157 105 1,729 1,153 7,859 5,239 n/a n/a n/a n/a Amount 2007 Seasonal apportionment 1 1 For most non-trawl gear the first season is allocated 60 percent of the ITAC and the second season is allocated 40 percent of the ITAC. For jig gear, the first season and third seasons are each allocated 40 percent of the ITAC and the second season is allocated 20 percent of the ITAC. No seasonal harvest constraints are imposed for the Pacific cod fishery by catcher vessels less than 60 feet (18.3 m) LOA using hook-and-line or pot gear. For trawl gear, the first season is allocated 60 percent of the ITAC and the second and third seasons are each allocated 20 percent of the ITAC. The trawl catcher vessels’ allocation is further allocated as 70 percent in the first season, 10 percent in the second season and 20 percent in the third season. The trawl catcher/processors’ allocation is allocated 50 percent in the first season, 30 percent in the second season and 20 percent in the third season. Any unused portion of a seasonal Pacific cod allowance will be reapportioned to the next seasonal allowance. 2 Trawl CP ............. n/a n/a n/a 84,533 51 Percent Total hook-andline/pot gear. Hook-and-line/pot ICA. Hook-and-line/pot subtotal. Hook-and-line C/P Gear sector 2006 Share of gear sector total [Amounts are in metric tons] TABLE 4.—2006 AND 2007 PROPOSED GEAR SHARES AND SEASONAL ALLOWANCES OF THE BSAI PACIFIC COD ITAC 74730 Federal Register / Vol. 70, No. 241 / Friday, December 16, 2005 / Proposed Rules 16DEP1 74731 Federal Register / Vol. 70, No. 241 / Friday, December 16, 2005 / Proposed Rules Sablefish Gear Allocation Regulations at § 679.20(a)(4)(iii) and (iv) require the allocation of sablefish TACs for the Bering Sea and AI subareas between trawl and hook-and-line or pot gear. Gear allocations of the TACs for the Bering Sea subarea are 50 percent for trawl gear and 50 percent for hookand-line or pot gear and for the AI subarea are 25 percent for trawl gear and 75 percent for hook-and-line or pot gear. Regulations at § 679.20(b)(1)(iii)(B) require apportionment of 20 percent of the hook-and-line and pot gear allocation of sablefish to the CDQ reserve. Additionally, regulations at § 679.20(b)(1)(iii)(A) require apportionment of 7.5 percent of the trawl gear allocation of sablefish (one half of the reserve) to the CDQ reserve. Under regulations at § 679.20(c)(1)(iv), the harvest specifications for the hookand-line gear and pot gear sablefish IFQ fisheries will be limited to the 2006 fishing year to ensure those fisheries are conducted concurrent with the halibut IFQ fishery. Having sablefish IFQ fisheries concurrent with the halibut IFQ fishery would reduce the potential for discards of halibut and sablefish in those fisheries. The sablefish IFQ fisheries would remain closed at the beginning of each fishing year until the final harvest specifications for the sablefish IFQ fisheries are in effect. The trawl sablefish fishery would be managed using harvest specifications for a 2-year period concurrent with the remaining target species in the BSAI. Table 5 lists the 2006 and 2007 proposed gear allocations of the sablefish TAC and CDQ reserve amounts. TABLE 5.—2006 AND 2007 PROPOSED GEAR SHARES AND CDQ RESERVE OF BSAI SABLEFISH TACS [Amounts are in metric tons] Percent of TAC Subarea and gear 2006 Share of TAC 2006 ITAC 1 2006 CDQ reserve 2007 Share of TAC 2007 ITAC 2007 CDQ reserve Bering Sea. Trawl 2 ...................................................... Hook-and-line/pot gear 3 .......................... 50 50 1,115 1,115 982 n/a 87 231 1,200 n/a 1,020 n/a 90 n/a Total .................................................. 100 2,310 982 318 1,200 1,020 90 Aleutian Islands. Trawl 2 ...................................................... Hook-and-line/pot gear 3 .......................... 25 75 620 1,860 527 n/a 47 372 650 n/a 553 n/a 49 n/a Total .................................................. 100 2,480 527 419 650 553 49 1 Except for the sablefish hook-and-line or pot gear allocation, 15 percent of TAC is apportioned to the reserve. The ITAC is the remainder of the TAC after the subtraction of these reserves. 2 For the portion of the sablefish TAC allocated to vessels using trawl gear, one half of the reserve (7.5 percent of the specified TAC) is reserved for the CDQ program. 3For the portion of the sablefish TAC allocated to vessels using hook-and-line or pot gear, 20 percent of the allocated TAC is reserved for use by CDQ participants. Regulations in § 679.20(b)(1) do not provide for the establishment of an ITAC for sablefish allocated to hook-and-line or pot gear. Allocation of PSC Limits for Halibut, Crab, Salmon, and Herring Section 679.21(e) sets forth the halibut PSC limits. The BSAI halibut mortality limits are 3,675 mt for trawl fisheries and 900 mt for the non-trawl fisheries. Regulations at § 679.21(e)(1)(vii) specify 29,000 fish as the 2006 and 2007 proposed chinook salmon PSC limit for the Bering Sea subarea pollock fishery. Regulations at § 679.21(e)(1)(i) allocate 7.5 percent, or 2,175 chinook salmon, as the proposed PSQ for the CDQ program and allocate the remaining 26,825 chinook salmon to the non-CDQ fisheries. Regulations at § 679.21(e)(1)(ix) specify 700 fish as the 2006 and 2007 proposed chinook salmon PSC limit for the AI subarea pollock fishery. Regulations at § 679.21(e)(1)(i) allocate 7.5 percent, or 53 chinook salmon, as the proposed PSQ for the CDQ program and allocate the remaining 647 chinook salmon to the non-CDQ fisheries. Regulations at § 679.21(e)(1)(viii) specify 42,000 fish as the 2006 and 2007 proposed nonchinook salmon PSC limit. Regulations VerDate Aug<31>2005 18:33 Dec 15, 2005 Jkt 208001 at § 679.21(e)(1)(i) allocate 7.5 percent, or 3,150 non-chinook salmon, as the proposed PSQ for the CDQ program and allocate the remaining 38,850 nonchinook salmon to the non-CDQ fisheries. PSC limits for crab and herring are specified annually based on abundance and spawning biomass. Due to the lack of new information in October 2005 regarding PSC limits and apportionments in October 2005, the Council recommended using the halibut, crab, and herring 2005 and 2006 PSC amounts for the proposed 2006 and 2007 amounts. The Council will reconsider these amounts in December 2005, based on recommendations by the Plan Team and the SSC. The red king crab mature female abundance is estimated from the 2004 survey data as 35.4 million king crab and the effective spawning biomass is estimated as 61.9 million pounds (28,077 mt). Based on the criteria set out at § 679.21(e)(1)(ii), the 2006 and 2007 proposed PSC limit of red king crab in Zone 1 for trawl gear is 197,000 animals as a result of the mature female abundance being above 8.4 million king PO 00000 Frm 00018 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 crab and of the effective spawning biomass estimate being greater than 55 million pounds (24,948 mt). Regulations at § 679.21(e)(3)(ii)(B) establish criteria under which NMFS must specify an annual red king crab bycatch limit for the Red King Crab Savings Subarea (RKCSS). The regulations limit the bycatch limit within the RKCSS to up to 35 percent of the trawl bycatch allowance specified for the rock sole/flathead sole/‘‘other flatfish’’ fishery category and is based on the need to optimize the groundfish harvest relative to red king crab bycatch. The Council recommended, and NMFS proposes, a red king crab bycatch limit equal to 35 percent of the trawl bycatch allowance specified for the rock sole/ flathead sole/‘‘other flatfish’’ fishery category within the RKCSS. Based on 2004 survey data, Tanner crab Chionoecetes bairdi abundance is estimated as 437.41 million animals. Given the criteria set out at § 679.21(e)(1)(iii), the 2006 and 2007 proposed C. bairdi crab PSC limit for trawl gear is 980,000 animals in Zone 1 and 2,970,000 animals in Zone 2 as a E:\FR\FM\16DEP1.SGM 16DEP1 74732 Federal Register / Vol. 70, No. 241 / Friday, December 16, 2005 / Proposed Rules result of the C. bairdi crab abundance estimate of over 400 million animals. Under § 679.21(e)(1)(iv), the PSC limit for snow crab C. opilio is based on total abundance as indicated by the NMFS annual bottom trawl survey. The C. opilio crab PSC limit is set at 0.1133 percent of the Bering Sea abundance index. Based on the 2004 survey estimate of 4.421 billion animals, the calculated limit is 5,008,993 animals. Under § 679.21(e)(1)(iv)(B), the 2006 and 2007 proposed C. opilio crab PSC limit is 5,008,993 million animals minus 150,000 animals, which results in a limit of 4,858,993 animals. Under § 679.21(e)(1)(vi), the proposed PSC limit of Pacific herring caught while conducting any trawl operation for groundfish in the BSAI is 1 percent of the annual eastern Bering Sea herring biomass. The best estimate of 2005 and 2006 herring biomass is 201,180 mt. This amount was derived using 2004 survey data and an age-structured biomass projection model developed by the Alaska Department of Fish and Game. Therefore, the proposed herring PSC limit for 2006 and 2007 is 2,012 mt. Under § 679.21(e)(1)(i), 7.5 percent of each PSC limit specified for crab and halibut is allocated as a PSQ reserve for use by the groundfish CDQ program. Regulations at § 679.21(e)(3) require the apportionment of each trawl PSC limit into PSC bycatch allowances for seven specified fishery categories. Regulations at § 679.21(e)(4)(ii) authorize the apportionment of the non-trawl halibut PSC limit into PSC bycatch allowances for five fishery categories. Table 6 lists the proposed fishery bycatch allowances for the trawl and non-trawl fisheries. Regulations at § 679.21(e)(4)(ii) authorize exemption of specified nontrawl fisheries from the halibut PSC limit. As in past years, NMFS, after consultation with the Council, proposes to exempt pot gear, jig gear, and the sablefish IFQ hook-and-line gear fishery categories from halibut bycatch restrictions because: (1) The pot gear fisheries experience low halibut bycatch mortality, (2) halibut mortality for the jig gear fleet cannot be estimated because these vessels do not carry observers, and (3) the sablefish and halibut Individual Fishing Quota (IFQ) program (subpart D of 50 CFR part 679) requires legal-sized halibut to be retained by vessels using hook-and-line gear if a halibut IFQ permit holder or a hired master is aboard and is holding unused halibut IFQ. In 2005, total groundfish catch for the pot gear fishery in the BSAI was approximately 16,971 mt, with an associated halibut bycatch mortality of about 4 mt. The 2005 groundfish jig gear fishery harvested about 123 mt of groundfish. Most vessels in the jig gear fleet are less than 60 ft (18.3 m) LOA and are exempt from observer coverage requirements. As a result, observer data are not available on halibut bycatch in the jig gear fishery. However, a negligible amount of halibut bycatch mortality is assumed because of the selective nature of this gear type and the likelihood that halibut caught with jig gear have a high survival rate when released. Regulations at § 679.21(e)(5) authorize NMFS, after consultation with the Council, to establish seasonal apportionments of PSC amounts in order to maximize the ability of the fleet to harvest the available groundfish TAC and to minimize bycatch. The factors to be considered are: (1) Seasonal distribution of prohibited species, (2) seasonal distribution of target groundfish species, (3) PSC bycatch needs on a seasonal basis relevant to prohibited species biomass, (4) expected variations in bycatch rates throughout the year, (5) expected start of fishing effort, and (6) economic effects of seasonal PSC apportionments on industry sectors. The Council recommended seasonal PSC apportionments to maximize harvest among gear types, fisheries, and seasons while minimizing bycatch of PSC based on the above criteria. NMFS proposes the Council’s recommendations listed in Table 6. TABLE 6.–2006 AND 2007 PROPOSED PROHIBITED SPECIES BY CATCH ALLOWANCES FOR THE BSAI TRAWL AND NONTRAWL FISHERIES Prohibited species and zone Trawl fisheries Red king Crab (animals) Zone 11 C. opilio (animals) COBLZ 1 Zone 1 1 Zone 2 1 183 .................... .................... .................... .................... 27 .................... .................... .................... 12 .................... 10 27 1,562 192 .................... .................... 33,843 .................... .................... .................... .................... 121,413 .................... .................... .................... .................... .................... .................... 26,563 .................... 406 .................... 42,495 3,101,915 ........................ ........................ ........................ ........................ 1,082,528 ........................ ........................ ........................ 44,946 ........................ 44,945 139,331 ........................ 80,903 ........................ ........................ 340,844 ........................ ........................ ........................ ........................ 365,320 ........................ ........................ ........................ ........................ ........................ ........................ 183,112 ........................ 17,224 ........................ ........................ 1,788,459 ........................ ........................ ........................ ........................ 596,154 ........................ ........................ ........................ ........................ ........................ 10,988 324,176 ........................ 27,473 ........................ ........................ 3,400 2,012 182,225 4,494,569 906,500 2,747,250 775 320 0 455 58 58 .................... .................... .................... .................... .................... .................... .................... .................... .................... .................... .................... .................... ........................ ........................ ........................ ........................ ........................ ........................ ........................ ........................ ........................ ........................ ........................ ........................ ........................ ........................ ........................ ........................ ........................ ........................ Halibut mortality (mt) BSAI Herring (mt) BSAI Yellowfin sole ....................................................... January 20–April 1 ........................................ April 1–May 21 .............................................. May 21–July 1 .............................................. July 1–December 31 ..................................... Rock sole/other flat/flathead sole2,6 ..................... January 20–April 1 ........................................ April 1–July 1 ................................................ July 1–December 31 ..................................... Turbot/arrowtooth/sablefish 3 ............................... Rockfish ............................................................... July 1–December 31 ..................................... Pacific cod ............................................................ Midwater trawl pollock ......................................... Pollock/Atka mackerel/other 4 .............................. Red King Crab Savings Subarea 6 ...................... (non-pelagic trawl) ........................................ 886 262 195 49 380 779 448 164 167 .................... .................... 69 1,434 .................... 232 .................... .................... Total trawl PSC ..................................... Non-trawl fisheries Pacific cod—Total ................................................ January 1–June 10 ....................................... June 10–August 15 ....................................... August 15–December 31 .............................. Other non-trawl—Total ......................................... May 1–December 31 .................................... VerDate Aug<31>2005 18:33 Dec 15, 2005 Jkt 208001 PO 00000 Frm 00019 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 E:\FR\FM\16DEP1.SGM 16DEP1 C. bairdi (animals) 74733 Federal Register / Vol. 70, No. 241 / Friday, December 16, 2005 / Proposed Rules TABLE 6.–2006 AND 2007 PROPOSED PROHIBITED SPECIES BY CATCH ALLOWANCES FOR THE BSAI TRAWL AND NONTRAWL FISHERIES—Continued Prohibited species and zone C. bairdi (animals) Red king Crab (animals) Zone 11 C. opilio (animals) COBLZ 1 Zone 1 1 Zone 2 1 .................... .................... .................... .................... ........................ ........................ ........................ ........................ ........................ ........................ 833 .................... .................... ........................ ........................ ........................ PSQ reserve 5 ........................................ 342 .................... 14,775 364,424 73,500 222,750 PSC grand total ..................................... 4,575 2,012 197,000 4,858,993 980,000 2,970,000 Trawl fisheries Halibut mortality (mt) BSAI Herring (mt) BSAI Groundfish pot and jig ......................................... Sablefish hook-and-line ....................................... exempt exempt Total non-trawl PSC .............................. 1 Refer to § 679.2 for definitions of areas. 2 ‘‘Other flatfish’’ for PSC monitoring includes all flatfish species, except for halibut (a prohibited species), Greenland turbot, rock sole, yellowfin sole, and arrowtooth flounder. 3 Greenland turbot, arrowtooth flounder, and sablefish fishery category. 4 Pollock other than pelagic trawl pollock, Atka mackerel, and ‘‘other species’’ fishery category. 5 With the exception of herring, 7.5 percent of each PSC limit is allocated to the CDQ program as PSQ reserve. The PSQ reserve is not allocated by fishery, gear, or season. 6 In October 2005, the Council recommended that red king crab bycatch for trawl fisheries within the RKCSS be limited to 35 percent of the total allocation to the rock sole/flathead sole/’’other flatfish’’ fishery category (see § 679.21(e)(3)(ii)(B)). Halibut Discard Mortality Rates To monitor halibut bycatch mortality allowances and apportionments, the Regional Administrator will use observed halibut bycatch rates, assumed discard mortality rates (DMR), and estimates of groundfish catch to project when a fishery’s halibut bycatch mortality allowance or seasonal apportionment is reached. The DMRs are based on the best information available, including information contained in the annual SAFE report. The Council recommended and NMFS proposes that the recommended halibut DMRs developed by staff of the International Pacific Halibut Commission (IPHC) for the 2005 and 2006 BSAI groundfish fisheries be used for monitoring halibut bycatch allowances established for the 2006 and 2007 groundfish fisheries (see Table 7). The IPHC developed these DMRs using the 10-year mean DMRs for the BSAI non-CDQ groundfish fisheries. Plots of annual DMRs against the 10-year mean indicated little change since 1990 for most fisheries. DMRs were more variable for the smaller fisheries that typically take minor amounts of halibut bycatch. The IPHC will analyze observer data annually and recommend changes to the DMRs where a fishery DMR shows large variation from the mean. The IPHC has been calculating the CDQ fisheries DMRs since 1998, and a 10year mean is not yet available. The justification for the proposed DMRs is discussed in Appendix A to the final SAFE report dated November 2004. The proposed DMRs listed in Table 7 are VerDate Aug<31>2005 18:33 Dec 15, 2005 Jkt 208001 subject to change pending the results of an updated analysis on halibut DMRs in the groundfish fisheries that IPHC staff is scheduled to present to the Council at its December 2005 meeting. TABLE 7.—2006 AND 2007 PROPOSED ASSUMED PACIFIC HALIBUT DISCARD MORTALITY RATES FOR THE BSAI FISHERIES Mortality rates (percent) Fishery Hook-and-line gear fisheries: Greenland turbot ........... Other species ................ Pacific cod ..................... Rockfish ......................... Trawl gear fisheries: Atka mackerel ................ Flathead sole ................. Greenland turbot ........... Non-pelagic pollock ....... Pelagic pollock .............. Other flatfish .................. Other species ................ Pacific cod ..................... Rockfish ......................... Rock sole ....................... Sablefish ........................ Yellowfin sole ................ Pot gear fisheries: Other species ................ Pacific cod ..................... CDQ trawl fisheries: Atka mackerel ................ Flathead sole ................. Non-pelagic pollock ....... Pelagic pollock .............. Rockfish ......................... Yellowfin sole ................ CDQ hook-and-line fisheries: Greenland turbot ........... Pacific cod ..................... PO 00000 Frm 00020 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 15 11 11 16 78 67 72 76 85 71 67 68 74 77 49 78 8 8 85 67 85 90 74 84 15 10 TABLE 7.—2006 AND 2007 PROPOSED ASSUMED PACIFIC HALIBUT DISCARD MORTALITY RATES FOR THE BSAI FISHERIES—Continued Fishery Mortality rates (percent) CDQ pot fisheries: Pacific cod ..................... Sablefish ........................ 8 33 Bering Sea Subarea Inshore Pollock Allocations Regulations at § 679.4(l) set forth procedures for AFA inshore catcher vessel pollock cooperatives to apply for and receive cooperative fishing permits and inshore pollock allocations. For 2006, NMFS received applications from seven inshore catcher vessel cooperatives. Table 8 lists the proposed pollock allocations to the seven inshore catcher vessel pollock cooperatives based on applications for membership in the cooperatives received by NMFS for 2006. This membership is assumed to remain unchanged for 2007. For 2006 and 2007, the sum of the member vessel’s official catch histories increased as revised catch history became available. Allocations for cooperatives and open access vessels are not made for the AI subarea because the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2004 requires the non-CDQ directed pollock fishery to be fully allocated to the Aleut Corporation. The Bering Sea subarea allocations may be revised pending adjustments to the pollock TACs. E:\FR\FM\16DEP1.SGM 16DEP1 74734 Federal Register / Vol. 70, No. 241 / Friday, December 16, 2005 / Proposed Rules TABLE 8.—2006 AND 2007 PROPOSED BERING SEA SUBAREA INSHORE COOPERATIVE ALLOCATIONS [Amounts are in metric tons] Cooperative name and member vessels Sum of member vessel’s official catch histories 1 (mt) Percentage of inshore sector allocation 2006 Annual cooperative allocation (mt) 2007 Annual cooperative allocation (mt) Akutan Catcher Vessel Association ................................................................. Arctic Enterprise Association ........................................................................... Northern Victor Fleet Cooperative ................................................................... Peter Pan Fleet Cooperative ........................................................................... Unalaska Cooperative ..................................................................................... UniSea Fleet Cooperative ............................................................................... Westward Fleet Cooperative ........................................................................... Open access AFA vessels .............................................................................. ........................ ........................ ........................ ........................ ........................ ........................ ........................ ........................ 31.145 1.146 8.412 2.876 12.191 25.324 18.906 0 201,215 7,402 54,350 18,582 78,758 163,609 122,142 0 165,434 6,086 44,684 15,279 64,753 134,516 100,423 0 Total inshore allocation ............................................................................ 875,572 100 646,058 531,175 1 According to regulations at § 679.62(e)(1), the individual catch history for each vessel is equal to the vessel’s best 2 of 3 years inshore pollock landings from 1995 through 1997 and includes landings to catcher/processors for vessels that made 500 or more mt of landings to catcher/ processors from 1995 through 1997. Section 679.20(a)(5)(i)(A)(3) further divides the inshore sector allocation into separate allocations for cooperative and open access fishing. In addition, according to § 679.22(a)(7)(vii), NMFS must establish harvest limits inside the SCA and provide a set-aside so that catcher vessels less than or equal to 99 ft (30.2 m) LOA have the opportunity to operate entirely within the SCA until April 1. Accordingly, Table 9 lists the proposed Bering Sea subarea inshore pollock allocation to the cooperative and open access sectors and establishes a cooperative-sector SCA set-aside for AFA catcher vessels less than or equal to 99 ft (30.2 m) LOA. The SCA set-aside for catcher vessels less than or equal to 99 ft (30.2 m) LOA that are not participating in a cooperative will be established inseason based on actual participation levels and is not included in Table 9. These proposed allocations may be revised pending final review and approval of 2006 and 2007 pollock TACs. TABLE 9.—2006 AND 2007 PROPOSED BERING SEA SUBAREA POLLOCK ALLOCATIONS TO THE COOPERATIVE AND OPEN ACCESS SECTORS OF THE INSHORE POLLOCK FISHERY [Amounts are in metric tons] Sector 2006 A season TAC 2006 A season SCA harvest limit 1 2006 B season TAC 2007 A season TAC 2007 A season SCA harvest limit 1 2007 B season TAC Inshore cooperative sector ...................... Vessels >99 ft ................................... Vessels ≤99 ft ................................... Total ........................................... Open access sector ................................. Total inshore sector ................................. ........................ n/a n/a 258,423 0 258,423 ........................ 155,400 25,496 180,896 02 180,896 ........................ n/a n/a 387,635 0 387,635 ........................ n/a n/a 212,470 0 212,470 ........................ 127,767 20,962 148,729 02 148,729 ........................ n/a n/a 318,705 0 318,705 1 The Steller sea lion conservation area (SCA) established at § 679.22(a)(7)(vii). SCA limitations for vessels less than or equal to 99 ft LOA that are not participating in a cooperative will be established on an inseason basis in accordance with § 679.22(a)(7)(vii)(C)(2) which specifies that the Regional Administrator will prohibit directed fishing for pollock by vessels greater than 99 ft (30.2 m) LOA, catching pollock for processing by the inshore component before reaching the inshore SCA harvest limit before April 1 to accommodate fishing by vessels less than or equal to 99 ft (30.2 m) inside the SCA until April 1.’’ 2 The Listed AFA Catcher/Processor Sideboard Limits According to § 679.64(a), the Regional Administrator will restrict the ability of listed AFA catcher/processors to engage in directed fishing for groundfish species other than pollock to protect participants in other groundfish fisheries from adverse effects resulting from the AFA and from fishery VerDate Aug<31>2005 18:33 Dec 15, 2005 Jkt 208001 cooperatives in the directed pollock fishery. The basis for these sideboard limits is described in detail in the final rule implementing major provisions of the AFA (67 FR 79692, December 30, 2002). Table 10 lists the 2006 and 2007 proposed catcher/processor sideboard limits. All groundfish other than pollock that are harvested by listed AFA catcher/ PO 00000 Frm 00021 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 processors, whether as targeted catch or incidental catch, will be deducted from the proposed sideboard limits in Table 10. However, groundfish other than pollock that are delivered to listed catcher/processors by catcher vessels will not be deducted from the 2006 and 2007 proposed sideboard limits for the listed catcher/processors. E:\FR\FM\16DEP1.SGM 16DEP1 Federal Register / Vol. 70, No. 241 / Friday, December 16, 2005 / Proposed Rules 74735 TABLE 10.—2006 AND 2007 PROPOSED LISTED BSAI AMERICAN FISHERIES ACT CATCHER/PROCESSOR GROUNDFISH SIDEBOARD LIMITS [Amounts are in metric tons] 1995–1997 Target species Pacific cod trawl .............. Sablefish trawl ................. Atka mackerel .................. Yellowfin sole .................. Rock sole ......................... Greenland turbot ............. Arrowtooth flounder ......... Flathead sole ................... Alaska plaice ................... Other flatfish .................... Pacific ocean perch ......... Northern rockfish ............. Shortraker rockfish .......... Rougheye rockfish ........... Other rockfish .................. Squid ............................... Other species .................. Area 2006 Proposed ITAC available to trawl C/Ps 2006 Proposed C/P sideboard limit 2007 Proposed ITAC available to trawl C/Ps 2007 Proposed C/P sideboard limit Total catch Ratio of retained catch to total catch 12,424 8 0 48,177 497 145 0.258 0.016 0.000 38,951 982 527 10,049 16 0 40,467 1,020 553 10,440 16 0 n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a 0.200 n/a 0.200 n/a 8,500 5,100 8,500 5,100 1,700 1,020 1,700 1,020 12,251 7,351 12,251 7,351 2,450 1,470 2,450 1,470 n/a n/a n/a n/a 100,192 6,317 121 23 76 1,925 14 3,058 12 54 3 125 91 50 50 18 22 73 553 n/a n/a n/a n/a 435,788 169,362 17,305 4,987 33,987 52,755 9,438 52,298 4,879 13,598 5,698 6,179 13,040 2,811 2,811 621 806 3,328 68,672 0.115 n/a 0.115 n/a 0.230 0.037 0.007 0.005 0.002 0.036 0.001 0.058 0.002 0.004 0.001 0.020 0.007 0.018 0.018 0.029 0.027 0.022 0.008 15,088 9,053 15,088 9,053 76,500 35,700 2,125 850 10,200 17,000 8,500 2,550 1,190 4,322 2,580 2,618 4,250 507 190 391 502 1,084 24,820 1,735 1,041 1,735 1,041 17,595 1,321 15 4 20 612 9 148 2 17 3 52 30 9 3 11 14 24 199 21,745 13,047 21,745 13,047 93,160 98,685 6,375 2,550 33,235 43,010 55,250 18,190 1,426 5,182 3,091 3,136 6,970 507 190 689 502 1,675 42,500 2,501 1,500 2,501 1,500 21,427 3,651 45 13 66 1,548 55 1,055 3 21 3 63 49 9 3 20 14 37 340 Retained catch BSAI ........... BS .............. AI ................ Western AI A season 1 .. HLA limit 2 .. B season .... HLA limit ..... Central AI A season 1 .. HLA limit ..... B season .... HLA limit ..... BSAI ........... BSAI ........... BS .............. AI ................ BSAI ........... BSAI ........... BSAI ........... BSAI ........... BS .............. Western AI Central AI ... Eastern AI .. BSAI ........... BSAI ........... BSAI ........... BS .............. AI ................ BSAI ........... BSAI ........... 1 The seasonal apportionment of Atka mackerel in the open access fishery is 50 percent in the A season and 50 percent in the B season. Listed AFA catcher/processors are limited to harvesting no more than zero in the Eastern Aleutian District and Bering Sea subarea, 20 percent of the annual TAC specified for the Western Aleutian District, and 11.5 percent of the annual TAC specified for the Central Aleutian District. 2 Harvest Limit Area (HLA) limit refers to the amount of each seasonal allowance that is available for fishing inside the HLA (see § 679.2). In 2006 and 2007, 60 percent of each seasonal allowance is available for fishing inside the HLA in the Western and Central Aleutian Districts. Section 679.64(a)(5) establishes a formula for PSC sideboard limits for listed AFA catcher/processors. These amounts are equivalent to the percentage of PSC amounts taken in the groundfish fisheries other than pollock by the AFA catcher/processors listed in subsection 208(e) and section 209 of the AFA from 1995 through 1997 (see Table 10). These amounts were used to calculate the relative amount of PSC that was caught by pollock catcher/ processors shown in Table 10. That VerDate Aug<31>2005 18:33 Dec 15, 2005 Jkt 208001 relative amount of PSC was then used to determine the PSC sideboard limits for listed AFA catcher/processors in the 2006 and 2007 groundfish fisheries other than pollock. Halibut and crab PSC, listed in Table 11, that are caught by listed AFA catcher/processors participating in any groundfish fishery other than pollock will accrue against the 2006 and 2007 proposed PSC sideboard limits for the listed AFA catcher/processors. Section 679.21(e)(3)(v) authorizes NMFS to close directed fishing for groundfish PO 00000 Frm 00022 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 other than pollock for listed AFA catcher/processors once a 2006 or 2007 proposed PSC sideboard limit listed in Table 11 is reached. Crab or halibut PSC caught by listed AFA catcher/processors while fishing for pollock will accrue against the bycatch allowances annually specified for either the midwater pollock or the pollock/Atka mackerel/&ldquo;other species&rdquo; fishery categories according to regulations at § 679.21(e)(3)(iv). E:\FR\FM\16DEP1.SGM 16DEP1 74736 Federal Register / Vol. 70, No. 241 / Friday, December 16, 2005 / Proposed Rules TABLE 11.—2006 AND 2007 PROPOSED BSAI AMERICAN FISHERIES ACT LISTED CATCHER/PROCESSOR PROHIBITED SPECIES SIDEBOARD LIMITS 1 1995–1997 PSC species PSC catch Halibut mortality ................................................................... Red king crab ....................................................................... C. opilio ................................................................................ C. bairdi. Zone 1 2 ........................................................................ Zone 2 2 ........................................................................ Total PSC Ratio of PSC catch to total PSC 2006 and 2007 Proposed PSC available to trawl vessels 2006 and 2007 Proposed C/P sideboard limit 955 3,098 2,323,731 11,325 473,750 15,139,178 0.084 0.007 0.153 3,400 182,225 4,494,569 286 1,276 687,669 385,978 406,860 2,750,000 8,100,000 0.140 0.050 906,500 2,747,250 126,910 137,363 1 Halibut 2 Refer amounts are in metric tons of halibut mortality. Crab amounts are in numbers of animals. to § 679.2 for definitions of areas. AFA Catcher Vessel Sideboard Limits Under § 679.64(b), the Regional Administrator restricts the ability of AFA catcher vessels to engage in directed fishing for groundfish species other than pollock to protect participants in other groundfish fisheries from adverse effects resulting from the AFA and from fishery cooperatives in the directed pollock fishery. Section 679.64(b) establishes formulas for setting AFA catcher vessel groundfish and PSC sideboard limits for the BSAI. The basis for these sideboard limits is described in detail in the final rule implementing major provisions of the AFA (67 FR 79692, December 30, 2002). Tables 12 and 13 list the 2006 and 2007 proposed catcher vessel sideboard limits. All harvests of groundfish sideboard species made by non-exempt AFA catcher vessels, whether as targeted catch or as incidental catch, will be deducted from the 2006 and 2007 proposed sideboard limits listed in Table 12. TABLE 12.—2006 AND 2007 PROPOSED BSAI AMERICAN FISHERIES ACT CATCHER VESSEL SIDEBOARD LIMITS [Amounts are in metric tons] Species Fishery by area/season/processor/gear Pacific cod .................. Ratio of 1995– 1997 AFA CV catch to 1995– 1997 TAC BSAI Jig gear .................................... Hook-and-line CV Jan 1–Jun 10 ....................... Jun 10–Dec 31 ..................... Pot gear CV Jan 1–Jun 10 ....................... Sept 1–Dec 31 ..................... CV < 60 feet LOA using hookand-line or pot gear Trawl gear CV Jan 20–Apr 1 ........................... Apr 1–Jun 10 ........................... Jun 10–Nov 1 .......................... BS trawl gear .............................. AI trawl gear ................................ Eastern AI/BS Jig gear .................................... Other gear Jan 1–Apr 15 ........................... Sept 1–Nov 1 ........................... Central AI Jan–Apr 15 .............................. HLA limit ............................... Sept 1–Nov 1 ........................... HLA limit ............................... Western AI Jan–Apr 15 .............................. HLA limit ............................... Sept 1–Nov 1 ........................... HLA limit ............................... BSAI ............................................ BSAI ............................................ BS ................................................ AI ................................................. BSAI ............................................ Sablefish .................... Atka mackerel ............ Yellowfin sole ............. Rock sole ................... Greenland Turbot ....... Arrowtooth flounder .... VerDate Aug<31>2005 18:33 Dec 15, 2005 Jkt 208001 PO 00000 Frm 00023 2006 Proposed initial TAC 2006 Proposed catcher vessel sideboard limits 2007 Proposed initial TAC 2007 Proposed catcher vessel sideboard limits 0.0000 3,315 0 3,444 0 0.0006 0.0006 151 101 0 0 157 105 0 0 0.0006 0.0006 0.0006 7,563 5,042 1,176 5 3 1 7,859 5,239 1,223 5 3 1 0.8609 0.8609 0.8609 0.0906 0.0645 27,266 3,895 7,790 982 527 23,473 3,353 6,706 89 34 28,327 4,047 8,093 1,020 553 24,387 3,484 6,967 92 36 0.0031 64 0 92 0 0.0032 0.0032 3,155 3,155 10 10 4,548 4,548 15 15 0.0001 0.0001 0.0001 0.0001 15,088 9,053 15,088 9,053 2 1 2 1 21,745 13,047 21,745 13,047 2 1 2 1 0.0000 n/a 0.0000 n/a 0.0647 0.0341 0.0645 0.0205 0.0690 8,500 5,100 8,500 5,100 76,500 35,700 2,125 850 10,200 0 0 0 0 4,950 1,217 137 17 704 12,251 7,351 12,251 7,351 93,160 98,685 6,375 2,550 33,235 0 0 0 0 6,027 3,365 411 52 2,293 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 E:\FR\FM\16DEP1.SGM 16DEP1 Federal Register / Vol. 70, No. 241 / Friday, December 16, 2005 / Proposed Rules 74737 TABLE 12.—2006 AND 2007 PROPOSED BSAI AMERICAN FISHERIES ACT CATCHER VESSEL SIDEBOARD LIMITS— Continued [Amounts are in metric tons] Ratio of 1995– 1997 AFA CV catch to 1995– 1997 TAC Species Fishery by area/season/processor/gear Alaska plaice .............. Other flatfish ............... Pacific ocean perch ... BSAI ............................................ BSAI ............................................ BS ................................................ Eastern AI ................................... Central AI .................................... Western AI .................................. BSAI ............................................ BSAI ............................................ BSAI ............................................ BS ................................................ AI ................................................. BSAI ............................................ BSAI ............................................ BS trawl gear .............................. Northern rockfish ........ Shortraker rockfish ..... Rougheye rockfish ..... Other rockfish ............. Squid .......................... Other species ............. Flathead Sole ............. The AFA catcher vessel PSC limits for halibut and crab species in the BSAI for which a trawl bycatch limit has been established will be a portion of the PSC limit equal to the ratio of aggregate retained groundfish catch by AFA catcher vessels in each PSC target category from 1995 through 1997, relative to the retained catch of all vessels in that fishery from 1995 through 1997. Table 13 lists the 2006 2006 Proposed catcher vessel sideboard limits 2006 Proposed initial TAC 0.0441 0.0441 0.1000 0.0077 0.0025 0.0000 0.0084 0.0037 0.0037 0.0048 0.0095 0.3827 0.0541 0.0505 8,500 2,550 1,190 2,618 2,580 4,322 4,250 507 190 391 502 1,084 24,820 17,000 375 112 119 20 6 0 36 2 1 2 5 415 1,343 859 and 2007 proposed PSC sideboard limits for AFA catcher vessels. Halibut and crab PSC, listed in Table 13, that are caught by AFA catcher vessels participating in any groundfish fishery other than pollock will accrue against the 2006 and 2007 proposed PSC sideboard limits for the AFA catcher vessels. Sections 679.21(d)(8) and (e)(3)(v) authorize NMFS to close directed fishing for groundfish other 2007 Proposed initial TAC 55,250 18,190 1,426 3,136 3,091 5,182 6,970 507 190 689 502 1,675 42,500 43,010 2007 Proposed catcher vessel sideboard limits 2,437 802 143 24 8 0 59 2 1 3 5 641 2,299 2,172 than pollock for AFA catcher vessels once a 2006 and 2007 proposed PSC sideboard limit listed in Table 13 is reached. The PSC caught by AFA catcher vessels, while fishing for pollock in the BSAI, will accrue against the bycatch allowances annually specified for either the midwater pollock or the pollock/Atka mackerel/ ‘‘other species’’’ fishery categories under regulations at § 679.21(e)(3)(iv). TABLE 13.—2006 AND 2007 PROPOSED BSAI AMERICAN FISHERIES ACT CATCHER VESSEL PROHIBITED SPECIES CATCH SIDEBOARD LIMITS 1 [Amounts are in metric tons] Ratio of 1995– 1997 AFA catcher vessel retained catch to total retained catch PSC species Target fishery category 2 Halibut ............................................................. Pacific cod trawl ............................................. Pacific cod hook-and-line or pot .................... Yellowfin sole January 20–April 1 ......................................... April 1–May 21 ............................................... May 21–July 5 ................................................ July 5–December 31 ...................................... Rock sole/flathead sole/other flatfish 5 January 20–April 1 ......................................... April 1–July 5 ................................................. July 5–December 31 ...................................... Turbot/Arrowtooth/Sablefish ........................... Rockfish (July 1–December 31) ..................... Pollock/Atka mackerel/other species ............. Pacific cod ...................................................... Yellowfin sole ................................................. Rock sole/flathead sole/other flatfish 5 ........... Pollock/Atka mackerel/other species ............. Pacific cod ...................................................... Yellowfin sole ................................................. Rock sole/flathead sole/other flatfish 5 ........... Pollock/Atka mackerel/other species ............. Rockfish .......................................................... Turbot/Arrowtooth/Sablefish ........................... Pacific cod ...................................................... Red King Crab ................................................ Zone 1 4 ........................................................... C. opilio ........................................................... COBLZ 3 .......................................................... C. bairdi ........................................................... VerDate Aug<31>2005 18:33 Dec 15, 2005 Jkt 208001 PO 00000 Frm 00024 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 2006 and 2007 Proposed PSC limit 2006 and 2007 Proposed AFA catcher vessel PSC sideboard limit 0.6183 0.0022 1,434 775 887 2 0.1144 0.1144 0.1144 0.1144 262 195 49 380 30 22 6 43 0.2841 0.2841 0.2841 0.2327 0.0245 0.0227 0.6183 0.1144 0.2841 0.0227 0.6183 0.1144 0.2841 0.0227 0.0245 0.2327 0.6183 448 164 167 0 69 232 26,563 33,843 121,413 406 139,331 3,101,915 1,082,528 80,903 44,945 44,946 183,112 127 47 47 0 2 5 16,424 3,872 34,493 9 86,148 354,859 307,546 1,836 1,101 10,459 113,218 E:\FR\FM\16DEP1.SGM 16DEP1 74738 Federal Register / Vol. 70, No. 241 / Friday, December 16, 2005 / Proposed Rules TABLE 13.—2006 AND 2007 PROPOSED BSAI AMERICAN FISHERIES ACT CATCHER VESSEL PROHIBITED SPECIES CATCH SIDEBOARD LIMITS 1—Continued [Amounts are in metric tons] Ratio of 1995– 1997 AFA catcher vessel retained catch to total retained catch PSC species Target fishery category 2 Zone 1 3 ........................................................... Yellowfin sole ................................................. Rock sole/flathead sole/other flatfish 5 ........... Pollock/Atka mackerel/other species ............. Pacific cod ...................................................... Yellowfin sole ................................................. Rock sole/flathead sole/other flatfish 5 ........... Pollock/Atka mackerel/other species ............. Rockfish .......................................................... C. bairdi ........................................................... Zone 2 3 ........................................................... 0.1144 0.2841 0.0227 0.6183 0.1144 0.2841 0.0227 0.0245 2006 and 2007 Proposed PSC limit 340,844 365,320 17,224 324,176 1,788,459 596,154 27,473 10,988 2006 and 2007 Proposed AFA catcher vessel PSC sideboard limit 38,993 103,787 391 200,438 204,600 169,367 624 269 1 Halibut amounts are in metric tons of halibut mortality. Crab amounts are in numbers of animals. fishery categories are defined in regulation at § 679.21(e)(3)(iv). to 679.2 for definitions of areas. 4 In October 2005, the Council recommended that red king crab bycatch for trawl fisheries within the RKCSS be limited to 35 percent of the total allocation to the rock sole/flathead sole/‘‘other flatfish’’ fishery category (see § 679.21(e)(3)(ii)(B)). 5 ‘‘Other flatfish’’ for PSC monitoring includes all flatfish species, except for halibut (a prohibited species), Greenland turbot, rock sole, yellowfin sole, and arrowtooth flounder. 2 Target 3 Refer Classification NMFS has determined that the proposed specifications are consistent with the FMP and preliminarily determined that the proposed specifications are consistent with the Magnuson-Stevens Act and other applicable laws. This action is authorized under 50 CFR 679.20 and is exempt from review under Executive Order 12866. An IRFA was prepared to evaluate the impacts of the 2006 and 2007 proposed harvest specifications on directly regulated small entities. This IRFA is intended to meet the statutory requirements of the Regulatory Flexibility Act (RFA). The reason for the action, a statement of the objective of the action and the legal basis are discussed in the preamble and are not repeated here. The 2006 and 2007 harvest specifications establish harvest limits for the groundfish species and species groups in the BSAI. This action is necessary to allow fishing in 2006 and 2007. Entities directly impacted are those fishing for groundfish in the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ), or in parallel fisheries in State waters (in which harvests are counted against the Federal TAC). An estimated 693 small catcher vessels, 18 small catcher/ processors, and 6 small private nonprofit CDQ groups may be directly regulated by these harvest specifications in the BSAI. The catcher vessel estimate in particular is subject to various uncertainties; it may provide an underestimate since it does not count vessels that fish only within State parallel fisheries; this may be offset by VerDate Aug<31>2005 18:33 Dec 15, 2005 Jkt 208001 upward biases introduced by the use of preliminary price estimates (which don’t fully account for post-season price adjustments) and by a failure to account for affiliations, other than AFA cooperative affiliations, among entities. For these reasons, the catcher vessel estimate must be considered an approximation. The IRFA examined the impacts of the preferred alternative on small entities within fisheries reliant on species groups whose TACs might be notably adjusted by the harvest specifications. The IRFA identified the potential for adverse impacts on small fishing operations harvesting pollock and Pacific cod, and on CDQ groups, in the BSAI. In the BSAI, small Pacific cod fishing operations would experience an estimated 2.3 percent reduction in their gross revenues from all sources in 2006, and an estimated reduction of 6.3 percent in revenues from all sources between 2005 and 2007. The pollock fishery will be the other major fishery to experience large reductions in gross revenues. These are estimated to rise by less than 1 percent in 2006, but to decline by about 11.6 percent from 2005 to 2007. Aside from the CDQ groups, this fishery is dominated by large entities. Targeted pollock fishing by non-CDQ operations is limited to AFA affiliated entities, and one Native Corporation. Operations affiliated with AFA cooperatives are considered to be large entities. The Native Corporation is considered to be a holding company, and, on the basis of estimated gross revenues, is believed to be large. Incidental catch appears to be PO 00000 Frm 00025 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 concentrated among catcher/processors fishing for flatfish and Pacific cod. A large proportion of these vessels are considered large. However, some small catcher/processor operations taking pollock incidentally in their fishing operations may be adversely affected in 2007. Adverse impacts for catcher/ processor vessels in 2007 may be mitigated by increases in TACs for several of their target flatfish species. CDQ groups are considered to be small entities by virtue of their status as nonprofit organizations. CDQ group revenues are expected to be almost unchanged in 2006, but to drop by about 15 percent in 2007, due to projected declines in TACs for their key species, pollock. This analysis examined four alternatives to the preferred alternative. These included alternatives that set TACs to produce fishing rates equal to maxFABC, 1⁄2 maxFABC, the recent 5 year average F, and zero. Only one of these alternatives, setting TACs to produce fishing rates of maxFABC, would potentially have a smaller adverse impact on small entities than the preferred alternative. This alternative is associated with larger gross revenues for the BSAI fisheries in 2006, but with similar gross revenues in 2007. Many of the vessels identified above would share in these gross revenues. However, the maxFABC is a fishing rate that may, and often does, exceed ABCs recommended by stock assessment scientists on the basis of circumstances unique to each species. The increases in TACs related to producing fishing rates of maxFABC would not be consistent with biologically prudent fishery E:\FR\FM\16DEP1.SGM 16DEP1 Federal Register / Vol. 70, No. 241 / Friday, December 16, 2005 / Proposed Rules management because they do not fall within the scientifically determined ABC. Moreover, in 2006, the sum of the TACs contemplated under Alternative 1 would also exceed the statutorily mandated two million mt optimum yield for the BSAI (it would exceed this by only a small amount in 2007). A copy of the IRFA is available from NMFS (see ADDRESSES). This regulation does not impose new recordkeeping or reporting requirements on the regulated small entities. This analysis did not reveal any Federal rules that duplicate, overlap, or conflict with the proposed action. Authority: 16 U.S.C. 773 et seq.; 1540(f); 1801 et seq.; 1851 note; and 3631 et seq. Dated: December 12, 2005. James W. Balsiger, Acting Deputy Assistant Administrator for Regulatory Programs, National Marine Fisheries Service. [FR Doc. 05–24168 Filed 12–15–05; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510–22–P DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration 50 CFR Part 679 [Docket No. 051201318–5318–01; I.D. 112805A] Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Gulf of Alaska; Proposed 2006 and 2007 Harvest Specifications for Groundfish National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Commerce. ACTION: Proposed rule; apportionment of reserves; request for comments. AGENCY: SUMMARY: NMFS proposes 2006 and 2007 harvest specifications, reserves and apportionments, and Pacific halibut prohibited species catch (PSC) limits, for the groundfish fishery of the Gulf of Alaska (GOA). This action is necessary to establish harvest limits and associated management measures for groundfish during the 2006 and 2007 fishing years. The intended effect of this action is to conserve and manage the groundfish resources in the GOA in accordance with the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (Magnuson-Stevens Act). DATES: Comments must be received by January 17, 2006. ADDRESSES: Send comments to Sue Salveson, Assistant Regional Administrator, Sustainable Fisheries VerDate Aug<31>2005 18:33 Dec 15, 2005 Jkt 208001 Division, Alaska Region, NMFS, Attn: Lori Durall. Comments may be submitted by: • Mail to P.O. Box 21668, Juneau, AK 99802; • Hand Delivery to the Federal Building, 709 West 9th Street, Room 420A, Juneau, AK; • E-mail to 2006AKgroundfish.tacspecs@noaa.gov and include in the subject line the document identifier: 2006 Proposed Specifications (E-mail comments, with or without attachments, are limited to 5 megabytes); • Fax to 907–586–7557; or • Webform at the Federal eRulemaking Portal: http:// www.regulations.gov. Follow the instructions at that site for submitting comments. Copies of the draft Environmental Assessment/Initial Regulatory Flexibility Analysis (EA/IRFA) prepared for this action are available from NMFS at the address above or from the Alaska Region Web site www.fakr.noaa.gov. Copies of the final 2004 Stock Assessment and Fishery Evaluation (SAFE) reports, dated November 2004, and the October 2005 Council meeting minutes, are available from the North Pacific Fishery Management Council, West 4th Avenue, Suite 306, Anchorage, AK, 99510 or from its home page at http://www.fakr.noaa.gov/npfmc. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Tom Pearson, Sustainable Fisheries Division, Alaska Region, 907–481–1780 or e-mail at tom.pearson@noaa.gov. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Background NMFS manages the GOA groundfish fisheries in the exclusive economic zone off Alaska under the Fishery Management Plan for Groundfish of the GOA (FMP). The North Pacific Fishery Management Council (Council) prepared the FMP under the authority of the Magnuson-Stevens Act, 16 U.S.C. 1801, et seq. Regulations governing U.S. fisheries and implementing the FMP appear at 50 CFR parts 600, 679, and 680. These proposed specifications are based on the 2004 SAFE reports. In November 2005, the 2005 SAFE reports will be used to develop the 2006 and 2007 final acceptable biological catch (ABC) amounts. Any anticipated changes in the final specifications from the proposed specification are identified in this notice for public review. The FMP and its implementing regulations require NMFS, after consultation with the Council, to specify the total allowable catch (TAC) PO 00000 Frm 00026 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 74739 for each target species and for the ‘‘other species’’ category, the sum of which must be within the optimum yield (OY) range of 116,000 metric tons (mt) to 800,000 mt. Section 679.20(c)(1) further requires NMFS to publish and solicit public comment on proposed annual TACs, halibut PSC amounts, and seasonal allowances of pollock and inshore/offshore Pacific cod. The proposed specifications set forth in Tables 1 through 16 of this document satisfy these requirements. For 2006, the sum of the proposed TAC amounts is 301,304 mt. For 2007, the sum of the proposed TAC amounts is 281,640 mt. Under § 679.20(c)(3), NMFS will publish the 2006 and 2007 final specifications after (1) considering comments received within the comment period (see DATES), (2) consulting with the Council at its December 2005 meeting, and (3) considering new information presented in the EA and the final 2005 SAFE report prepared for the 2006 and 2007 fisheries. Proposed ABC and TAC Specifications The proposed ABC and TAC for each species or species group are based on the best available biological and socioeconomic information, including projected biomass trends, information on assumed distribution of stock biomass, and revised methods used to calculate stock biomass. The FMP specifies the formulas, or tiers, to be used in computing ABCs and overfishing levels (OFL). The formulas applicable to a particular stock or stock complex are determined by the level of reliable information available to fisheries scientists. This information is categorized into a successive series of six tiers with tier one representing the highest level of information and tier six the lowest level of information. The Council and its Science and Statistical Committee (SSC) and Advisory Panel (AP) reviewed current biological and harvest information about the condition of groundfish stocks in the GOA in October 2005. Most of the information available to the SSC, AP, and Council was initially compiled by the Council’s GOA Groundfish Plan Team and was presented in the final 2004 SAFE report for the GOA groundfish fisheries, dated November 2004 (see ADDRESSES). The Plan Team annually produces the SAFE report as the first step in the process of specifying TACs. The SAFE report contains a review of the latest scientific analyses, estimates of each species’ biomass and other biological parameters, summaries of the available information on the GOA ecosystem, and the economic condition E:\FR\FM\16DEP1.SGM 16DEP1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 70, Number 241 (Friday, December 16, 2005)]
[Proposed Rules]
[Pages 74723-74739]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 05-24168]


=======================================================================
-----------------------------------------------------------------------

DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

50 CFR Part 679

[Docket No. 051205324-5324-01; I.D. 112805B]


Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Bering Sea 
and Aleutian Islands; 2006 and 2007 Proposed Harvest Specifications for 
Groundfish

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

ACTION: Proposed rule; request for comments.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

[[Page 74724]]

SUMMARY: NMFS proposes 2006 and 2007 harvest specifications and 
prohibited species catch (PSC) allowances for the groundfish fishery of 
the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands management area (BSAI). This action 
is necessary to establish harvest limits for groundfish during the 2006 
and 2007 fishing years and to accomplish the goals and objectives of 
the Fishery Management Plan for Groundfish of the Bering Sea and 
Aleutian Islands Management Area (FMP). The intended effect of this 
action is to conserve and manage the groundfish resources in the BSAI 
in accordance with the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and 
Management Act (Magnuson-Stevens Act).

DATES: Comments must be received by January 17, 2006.

ADDRESSES: Send comments to Sue Salveson, Assistant Regional 
Administrator, Sustainable Fisheries Division, Alaska Region, NMFS, 
Attn: Lori Durall. Comments may be submitted by:
     Webform at the Federal eRulemaking Portal: http://www.regulations.gov. Follow the instructions at that site for 
submitting comments;
     Mail to P.O. Box 21668, Juneau, AK 99802;
     Hand Delivery to the Federal Building, 709 West 9th 
Street, Room 420A, Juneau, AK;
     E-mail to 2006AKgroundfish.tacspecs@noaa.gov and include 
in the subject line the document identifier: 2006 Proposed 
Specifications (E-mail comments, with or without attachments, are 
limited to 5 megabytes); or
     Fax to 907-586-7557.
    Copies of the draft Environmental Assessment/Initial Regulatory 
Flexibility Analysis (EA/IRFA) prepared for this action are available 
from NMFS at the addresses above or from the Alaska Region Web site at 
http://www.fakr.noaa.gov. Copies of the final 2004 Stock Assessment and 
Fishery Evaluation (SAFE) report for the groundfish resources of the 
BSAI, dated November 2004, are available from the North Pacific Fishery 
Management Council (Council), West 4th Avenue, Suite 306, Anchorage, AK 
99510-2252, 907-271-2809, or from its Web site at http://www.fakr.noaa.gov/npfmc.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Mary Furuness, 907-586-7228, or e-mail 
at mary.furuness@noaa.gov.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Background

    Federal regulations at 50 CFR part 679 implement the FMP and govern 
the groundfish fisheries in the BSAI. The Council prepared the FMP and 
NMFS approved it under the Magnuson-Stevens Act. General regulations 
governing U.S. fisheries also appear at 50 CFR part 600.
    The FMP and its implementing regulations require NMFS, after 
consultation with the Council, to specify annually the total allowable 
catch (TAC) for each target species and the ``other species'' category, 
the sum of which must be within the optimum yield range of 1.4 million 
to 2.0 million metric tons (mt) (see Sec.  679.20(a)(1)(i)). 
Regulations at Sec.  679.20(c)(1) further require NMFS to publish 
proposed harvest specifications in the Federal Register and solicit 
public comment on proposed annual TACs and apportionments thereof, PSC 
allowances and prohibited species quota (PSQ) reserves established by 
Sec.  679.21, seasonal allowances of pollock, Pacific cod and Atka 
mackerel TAC, including pollock Community Development Quota (CDQ), and 
CDQ reserve amounts established by Sec.  679.20(b)(1)(iii). The 
proposed harvest specifications set forth in Tables 1 through 13 of 
this action satisfy these requirements.
    Under Sec.  679.20(c)(3), NMFS will publish the final harvest 
specifications for 2006 and 2007 after (1) considering comments 
received within the comment period (see DATES), (2) consulting with the 
Council at its December 2005 meeting, and (3) considering new 
information presented in the EA and the final 2005 SAFE reports 
prepared for the 2006 and 2007 groundfish fisheries.

Other Rules Affecting the 2006 and 2007 Harvest Specifications

    When possible, this proposed rule identifies proposals that are 
under consideration by the Council that, if approved by the Secretary 
of Commerce (Secretary), could change the final harvest specifications. 
The 2006 harvest specifications will be updated in early 2006, when 
final harvest specifications for 2006 and new harvest specifications 
for 2007 are implemented.
    The Council is reviewing Amendment 85, which may revise the BSAI 
Pacific cod sector allocation and apportion the Pacific cod acceptable 
biological catch (ABC) or TAC by Bering Sea subarea and Aleutian 
Islands (AI) subarea separately instead of by the entire BSAI 
management area. The Council is also reviewing Amendment 84, which may 
modify current regulations for managing incidental catch of chinook and 
chum salmon. The Council may consider separating some rockfish species 
from the ``other rockfish'' species category so individual overfishing 
levels (OFLs), ABCs, and TACs may be established for some rockfish 
species. The Council may pursue a change to the start date for the BSAI 
pollock ``A'' season fishery. An earlier start date would allow the 
fleet more flexibility to harvest pollock when roe content is optimal.

Proposed ABC and TAC Harvest Specifications

    The proposed ABC levels are based on the best available biological 
and socioeconomic information, including projected biomass trends, 
information on assumed distribution of stock biomass, and revised 
technical methods used to calculate stock biomass. In general, the 
development of ABCs and OFLs involves sophisticated statistical 
analyses of fish populations and is based on a successive series of six 
levels, or tiers, of reliable information available to fishery 
scientists. Tier one represents the highest level of data quality 
available and tier six the lowest level of data quality available.
    Appendix A to the final SAFE report for the 2005 BSAI groundfish 
fisheries dated November 2004 (see ADDRESSES) sets forth the best 
information currently available. Information on the status of stocks 
will be updated with the 2005 survey results and reconsidered by the 
Plan Team in November 2005 for the 2005 SAFE report. The 2006 and 2007 
final harvest specifications will be based on the 2005 SAFE report.
    In October 2005, the Scientific and Statistical Committee (SSC), 
Advisory Panel, and the Council reviewed the Plan Team's preliminary 
projections as the basis for the 2006 and 2007 proposed ABC, OFL, and 
TAC amounts. The SSC concurred in the Plan Team's recommendations 
which, for stocks in tiers 1-3, used 2005 estimated fishing mortality 
rates in stock projection models to estimate OFLs and ABCs for 2006. 
The estimated 2006 TACs were derived based on ABC constraints and past 
Council actions. The estimated 2006 TACs were treated as the projected 
2006 fishing mortality rates to derive estimates of OFLs and ABCs for 
2007. For stocks in tiers 4-6, for which there are no population 
projection models, the OFL and ABC amounts from 2005 were used for 2006 
and 2007. The Council adopted the OFL and ABC amounts recommended by 
the SSC (Table 1). The Council recommended that the 2006 proposed TACs 
be set equal to the 2006 TACs the Council adopted and the Secretary 
approved in 2005 for the 2006 final specifications

[[Page 74725]]

(70 FR 8979, February 24, 2005). The Council recommended that the 2007 
proposed TACs be set equal to the proposed ABCs, except for decreases 
for Aleutian Islands and Bogoslof pollock, arrowtooth flounder, Alaska 
plaice, and other species. The Council recommended using the 2005 and 
2006 PSC allowances for the 2006 and 2007 proposed allowances. The 
Council will reconsider the OFL, ABC, TAC, and PSC amounts in December 
2005 after the Plan Team incorporates new status of groundfish stocks 
information into a final 2005 SAFE report for the 2006 and 2007 BSAI 
groundfish fishery. None of the Council's recommended proposed TACs for 
2006 or 2007 exceeds the recommended 2006 or 2007 proposed ABC for any 
species category. NMFS finds the Council's recommended proposed 2006 
and 2007 OFLs, ABCs, and TACs are consistent with the best available 
information on the biological condition of the groundfish stocks.
    Table 1 lists the 2006 and 2007 proposed OFL, ABC, and TAC, initial 
TAC (ITAC) and CDQ amounts for groundfish in the BSAI. The proposed 
apportionment of TAC amounts among fisheries and seasons is discussed 
below.

[[Page 74726]]



  Table 1.--2006 and 2007 Proposed Overfishing Level (OFL), Acceptable Biological Catch (ABC), Total Allowable Catch (TAC), Initial TAC (ITAC), and CDQ Reserve Allocation of Groundfish in the
                                                                                            BSAI \1\
                                                                                  [Amounts are in metric tons]
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                                              2006                                                             2007
                Species                          Area          ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                    OFL          ABC          TAC        ITAC \2\     CDQ \3\        OFL          ABC          TAC        ITAC \2\     CDQ \3\
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Pollock \4\...........................  BS \2\................    1,966,100    1,636,800    1,487,756    1,338,980      148,776    1,487,100    1,223,200    1,223,200    1,100,880      122,320
                                        AI \2\................       39,100       29,400       19,000       17,100        1,900       39,100       29,400       19,000       17,100        1,900
                                        Bogoslof..............       39,600        2,570           10           10          n/a       39,600        2,570           11           11          n/a
Pacific cod...........................  BSAI..................      250,700      195,000      195,000      165,750       14,625      222,000      172,200      172,200      146,370       12,915
Sablefish \5\.........................  BS....................        3,085        2,556        2,310          982          318        2,880        2,400        2,400        1,020        44490
                                        AI....................        3,315        2,744        2,480          527          419        3,120        2,600        2,600          553           49
Atka mackerel.........................  BSAI..................      126,700      107,000       63,000       53,550        4,725      106,900       90,800       90,800       77,180        6,810
                                        WAI...................          n/a       40,230       20,000       17,000        1,500          n/a       28,825       28,825       24,501        2,162
                                        CAI...................          n/a       45,580       35,500       30,175        2,663          n/a       51,165       51,165       43,490        3,837
                                        EAI/BS................          n/a       21,190        7,500        6,375          563          n/a       10,810       10,810        9,189          811
Yellowfin sole........................  BSAI..................      139,500      117,700       90,000       76,500        6,750      130,000      109,600      109,600       93,160        8,220
Rock sole.............................  BSAI..................      145,100      121,700       42,000       35,700        3,150      138,400      116,100      116,100       98,685        8,708
Greenland turbot......................  BSAI..................       18,100       11,400        3,500        2,975          263       16,900       10,500       10,500        8,925          788
                                        BS....................          n/a        7,590        2,500        2,125          188          n/a        7,500        7,500        6,375          563
                                        AI....................          n/a        3,410        1,000          850           75          n/a        3,000        3,000        2,550          225
Arrowtooth flounder...................  BSAI..................      128,500      104,200       12,000       10,200          900      125,800      102,100       39,100       33,235        2,933
Flathead sole.........................  BSAI..................       65,900       54,900       20,000       17,000        1,500       60,800       50,600       50,600       43,010        3,795
Other flatfish \6\....................  BSAI..................       28,500       21,400        3,000        2,550          225       28,500       21,400       21,400       18,190        1,605
Alaska plaice.........................  BSAI..................      231,000      183,400       10,000        8,500          750      224,400      178,100       65,000       55,250        4,875
Pacific ocean perch...................  BSAI..................       17,600       14,900       12,600       10,710          945       17,900       15,100       15,100       12,835        1,133
                                        BS....................          n/a        3,000        1,400        1,190          105          n/a        1,678        1,678        1,426          126
                                        WAI...................          n/a        5,450        5,085        4,322          381          n/a        6,096        6,096        5,182          457
                                        CAI...................          n/a        3,252        3,035        2,580          228          n/a        3,637        3,637        3,091          273
                                        EAI...................          n/a        3,298        3,080        2,618          231          n/a        3,689        3,689        3,136          277
Northern rockfish.....................  BSAI..................        9,800        8,200        5,000        4,250          375        9,700        8,200        8,200        6,970          615
Shortraker rockfish...................  BSAI..................          794          596          596          507           45          794          596          596          507           45
Rougheye rockfish.....................  BSAI..................          298          223          223          190           17          298          223          223          190           17
Other rockfish \7\....................  BS....................        1,122          810          460          391           35        1,122          810          810          689           61
                                        AI....................          748          590          590          502           44          748          590          590          502           44
Squid.................................  BSAI..................        2,620        1,970        1,275        1,084          n/a        2,620        1,970        1,970        1,675          n/a
Other species \8\.....................  BSAI..................       87,920       57,870       29,200       24,820        2,190       87,920       57,870       50,000       42,500        3,750
                                       -------------------------
      Total...........................  ......................    3,306,102    2,675,629    2,000,000    1,772,778      187,953    2,746,602    2,196,929    2,000,000    1,759,437     180,673
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
\1\ These amounts apply to the entire BSAI management area unless otherwise specified. With the exception of pollock, and for the purpose of these harvest specifications, the Bering Sea (BS)
  subarea includes the Bogoslof District.
\2\ Except for pollock and the portion of the sablefish TAC allocated to hook-and-line and pot gear, 15 percent of each TAC is put into a reserve. The ITAC for each species is the remainder of
  the TAC after the subtraction of these reserves.
\3\ Except for pollock, squid and the hook-and-line or pot gear allocation of sablefish, one half of the amount of the TACs placed in reserve, or 7.5 percent of the TACs, is designated as a
  CDQ reserve for use by CDQ participants (see Sec.  Sec.   679.20(b)(1)(iii) and 679.31).
\4\ Under Sec.   679.20(a)(5)(i)(A)(1), the annual Bering Sea pollock TAC after subtraction for the CDQ directed fishing allowance--10 percent and the ICA--3.5 percent, is further allocated by
  sector for a directed pollock fishery as follows: inshore--50 percent; catcher/processor--40 percent; and motherships--10 percent. Under Sec.   679.20(a)(5)(iii)(B)(2)(i) and (ii), the
  annual AI pollock TAC, after subtraction for the CDQ directed fishing allowance--10 percent and the ICA--1,800 mt, is allocated to the Aleut Corporation for a directed pollock fishery.
\5\ The ITAC for sablefish reflected in Table 1 is for trawl gear only. Regulations at Sec.   679.20(b)(1) do not provide for the establishment of an ITAC for the hook-and-line and pot gear
  allocation for sablefish. Twenty percent of the sablefish TAC allocated to hook-and-line gear or pot gear and 7.5 percent of the sablefish TAC allocated to trawl gear is reserved for use by
  CDQ participants (see Sec.   679.20(b)(1)(iii)).
\6\ ``Other flatfish'' includes all flatfish species, except for halibut (a prohibited species), flathead sole, Greenland turbot, rock sole, yellowfin sole, arrowtooth flounder and Alaska
  plaice.
\7\ ``Other rockfish'' includes all Sebastes and Sebastolobus species except for Pacific ocean perch, northern, shortraker, and rougheye rockfish.
\8\ ``Other species'' includes sculpins, sharks, skates and octopus. Forage fish, as defined at Sec.   679.2, are not included in the ``other species'' category.


[[Page 74727]]

Reserves and the Incidental Catch Allowance (ICA) for Pollock

    Regulations at Sec.  679.20(b)(1)(i) require placement of 15 
percent of the TAC for each target species or species group, except for 
pollock and the hook-and-line and pot gear allocation of sablefish, in 
a non-specified reserve. Regulations at Sec.  679.20(b)(1)(iii) further 
require the allocation of one half of each TAC amount that is placed in 
the non-specified reserve (7.5 percent), with the exception of squid, 
to the groundfish CDQ reserve, and the allocation of 20 percent of the 
hook-and-line and pot gear allocation of sablefish to the fixed gear 
sablefish CDQ reserve. Regulations at Sec. Sec.  679.20(a)(5)(i)(A) and 
679.31(a) also require the allocation of 10 percent of the BSAI pollock 
TACs to the pollock CDQ directed fishing allowance. The entire Bogoslof 
District pollock TAC is allocated as an ICA (see Sec.  
679.20(a)(5)(ii)). With the exception of the hook-and-line and pot gear 
sablefish CDQ reserve, the regulations do not further apportion the CDQ 
reserves by gear. Regulations at Sec.  679.21(e)(1)(i) also require 
withholding of 7.5 percent of each PSC limit, with the exception of 
herring, as a PSQ reserve for the CDQ fisheries. Sections 679.30 and 
679.31 set forth the regulations governing the management of the CDQ 
and PSQ reserves.
    Under regulations at Sec.  679.20(a)(5)(i)(A)(1), NMFS allocates a 
pollock ICA of 3.5 percent of the Bering Sea pollock TAC after 
subtraction of the 10 percent CDQ reserve. This allowance is based on 
NMFS' examination of the incidental catch of pollock in target 
fisheries other than pollock from 1999 through 2004. During this 6-year 
period, the incidental catch of pollock ranged from a low of 2 percent 
in 2003 to a high of 5 percent in 1999, with a 6-year average of 3.5 
percent. Because these incidental percentages are contingent on the 
relative amounts of other groundfish TACs, NMFS will be better able to 
assess the ICA amount when the Council makes final ABC and TAC amount 
recommendations in December. Under regulations at Sec.  
679.20(a)(5)(iii)(B)(2)(i) and (ii), NMFS recommends setting a 1,800 mt 
ICA for AI subarea pollock after a subtraction of the 10 percent CDQ 
directed fishing allowance.
    The regulations do not designate the remainder of the non-specified 
reserve by species or species group, and any amount of the reserve may 
be reapportioned to a target species or the ``other species'' category 
during the year, providing that such reapportionments do not result in 
overfishing (see Sec.  679.20(b)(1)(ii)).

Allocations of Pollock TAC Under the American Fisheries Act (AFA)

    Regulations at Sec.  679.20(a)(5)(i)(A) require that the pollock 
TAC apportioned to the Bering Sea subarea, after subtraction of the 10 
percent for the CDQ program and the 3.5 percent for the ICA, will be 
allocated as a directed fishing allowance (DFA) as follows: 50 percent 
to the inshore sector, 40 percent to the catcher/processor sector, and 
10 percent to the mothership sector. In the Bering Sea subarea, the A 
season (January 20-June 10) is allocated 40 percent of the DFA and the 
B season (June 10-November 1) is allocated 60 percent of the DFA. The 
AI directed pollock fishery allocation to the Aleut Corporation equals 
the AI subarea pollock TAC after subtracting first the 10 percent for 
the CDQ DFA (1,900 mt) and second the ICA (1,800 mt). In the AI 
subarea, 40 percent of the ABC is allocated to the A season and the 
remainder of the directed pollock fishery is allocated to the B season. 
Table 2 lists these 2006 and 2007 proposed amounts.
    The regulations also include several specific requirements 
regarding pollock and pollock allocations under Sec.  
679.20(a)(5)(i)(A)(4). First, 8.5 percent of the pollock allocated to 
the catcher/processor sector will be available for harvest by AFA 
catcher vessels with catcher/processor sector endorsements, unless the 
Regional Administrator receives a cooperative contract that provides 
for the distribution of harvest among AFA catcher/processors and AFA 
catcher vessels in a manner agreed to by all members. Second, AFA 
catcher/processors not listed in the AFA are limited to harvesting not 
more than 0.5 percent of the pollock allocated to the catcher/processor 
sector. Table 2 lists the 2006 and 2007 proposed allocations of pollock 
TAC. Tables 8 through 13 list other provisions of the AFA, including 
inshore pollock cooperative allocations and listed catcher/processor 
and catcher vessel harvesting sideboard limits.
    Table 2 also lists seasonal apportionments of pollock and harvest 
limits within the Steller Sea Lion Conservation Area (SCA). The harvest 
within the SCA, as defined at Sec.  679.22(a)(7)(vii), is limited to 28 
percent of the DFA until April 1. The remaining 12 percent of the 40 
percent of the annual DFA allocated to the A season may be taken 
outside the SCA before April 1 or inside the SCA after April 1. If the 
28 percent of the annual DFA is not taken inside the SCA before April 
1, the remainder will be available to be taken inside the SCA after 
April 1. The A season pollock SCA harvest limit will be apportioned to 
each sector in proportion to each sector's allocated percentage of the 
DFA. Table 2 lists by sector these 2006 and 2007 proposed amounts.

   Table 2.--2006 and 2007 Proposed Allocations of Pollock TACs to the Directed Pollock Fisheries and to the CDQ Directed Fishing Allowances (DFA)\1\
                                                              [Amounts are in metric tons]
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                  2006  A season \1\       2006  B                    2007  A season \1\       2007  B
                                                              --------------------------  season \1\              --------------------------    season
                 Area and sector                      2006                              -------------     2007                              ------------
                                                  allocations    A season   SCA harvest    B season   allocations    A season   SCA harvest    B season
                                                                   DFA       limit \2\       DFA                       DFA       limit \2\       DFA
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Bering Sea subarea..............................    1,487,756          n/a          n/a          n/a    1,223,200          n/a          n/a          n/a
CDQ DFA.........................................      148,776       59,510       41,657       89,265      122,320       48,928       34,250       73,392
ICA\1\..........................................       46,864          n/a          n/a          n/a       38,531          n/a          n/a          n/a
AFA Inshore.....................................      646,058      258,423      180,896      387,635      531,175      212,470      148,729      318,705
AFA Catcher/Processors \3\......................      516,846      206,739      144,717      310,108      424,940      169,976      118,983      254,964
Catch by C/Ps...................................      472,914      189,166          n/a      283,749      388,820      155,528          n/a      233,292
Catch by CVs \3\................................       43,932       17,573          n/a       26,359       36,120       14,448          n/a       21,672
Unlisted C/P Limit \4\..........................        2,584        1,034          n/a        1,551        2,125          850          n/a        1,275
AFA Motherships.................................      129,212       51,685       36,179       77,527      106,235       42,494       29,746       63,741
Excessive Harvesting Limit \5\..................      226,120          n/a          n/a          n/a      185,911          n/a          n/a          n/a

[[Page 74728]]

 
Excessive Processing Limit \6\..................      387,635          n/a          n/a          n/a      318,705          n/a          n/a          n/a
Total Bering Sea DFA............................    1,487,756      576,357      403,450      864,535    1,223,200      473,868      331,707      710,802
Aleutian Islands subarea \1\....................       19,000          n/a          n/a          n/a       19,000          n/a          n/a          n/a
CDQ DFA.........................................        1,900          760          n/a        1,140        1,900          760          n/a        1,140
ICA.............................................        1,800        1,000          n/a          800        1,800        1,000          n/a          800
Aleut Corporation...............................       15,300       10,000          n/a        5,300       15,300       10,000          n/a        5,300
Bogoslof District ICA \7\.......................           10          n/a          n/a          n/a           11          n/a          n/a         n/a
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
\1\ Under Sec.   679.20(a)(5)(i)(A), the Bering Sea subarea pollock after subtraction for the CDQ DFA--10 percent and the ICA--3.5 percent, the pollock
  TAC is allocated as a DFA as follows: Inshore component--50 percent, catcher/processor component--40 percent, and mothership component--10 percent. In
  the Bering Sea subarea, the A season, January 20-June 10, is allocated 40 percent of the DFA and the B season, June 10-November 1 is allocated 60
  percent of the DFA. The Aleutian Islands (AI) AI directed pollock fishery allocation to the Aleut Corporation remains after subtraction for the CDQ
  DFA--10 percent and the ICA--1,800 mt. In the AI subarea, the A season is allocated 40 percent of the ABC and the B season is allocated the remainder
  of the directed pollock fishery.
\2\ In the Bering Sea subarea, no more than 28 percent of each sector's annual DFA may be taken from the SCA before April 1. The remaining 12 percent of
  the annual DFA allocated to the A season may be taken outside of SCA before April 1 or inside the SCA after April 1. If 28 percent of the annual DFA
  is not taken inside the SCA before April 1, the remainder is available to be taken inside the SCA after April 1.
\3\ Under Sec.   679.20(a)(5)(i)(A)(4), not less than 8.5 percent of the DFA allocated to listed catcher/processors shall be available for harvest only
  by eligible catcher vessels delivering to listed catcher/processors.
\4\ Under Sec.   679.20(a)(5)(i)(A)(4)(iii), the AFA unlisted catcher/processors are limited to harvesting not more than 0.5 percent of the catcher/
  processors sector's allocation of pollock.
\5\ Under Sec.   679.20(a)(5)(i)(A)(6) NMFS establishes an excessive harvesting share limit equal to 17.5 percent of the sum of the pollock DFAs.
\6\ Under Sec.   679.20(a)(5)(i)(A)(7) NMFS establishes an excessive processing share limit equal to 30.0 percent of the sum of the pollock DFAs.
\7\ The Bogoslof District is closed by the proposed harvest specifications to directed fishing for pollock. The amounts specified are for ICA only, and
  are not apportioned by season or sector.

Allocation of the Atka Mackerel TAC

    Under Sec.  679.20(a)(8)(i), up to 2 percent of the Eastern 
Aleutian District and the Bering Sea subarea Atka mackerel ITAC may be 
allocated to jig gear. The amount of this allocation is determined 
annually by the Council based on several criteria, including the 
anticipated harvest capacity of the jig gear fleet. The Council 
recommended and NMFS proposes that 1 percent of the Atka mackerel ITAC 
in the Eastern Aleutian District and the Bering Sea subarea be 
allocated to jig gear in 2006 and 2007. Based on the 2006 ITAC of 6,375 
mt, the jig gear allocation is 64 mt for 2006. Based on the 2007 ITAC 
of 9,189 mt, the jig gear allocation is 92 mt for 2007.
    Regulations at Sec.  679.20(a)(8)(ii)(A) apportion the Atka 
mackerel ITAC into two equal seasonal allowances. After subtraction of 
the jig gear allocation, the first allowance is made available for 
directed fishing from January 1 (January 20 for trawl gear) to April 15 
(A season), and the second seasonal allowance is made available from 
September 1 to November 1 (B season) (Table 3).
    Under Sec.  679.20(a)(8)(ii)(C)(1), the Regional Administrator 
establishes a harvest limit area (HLA) limit of no more than 60 percent 
of the seasonal TAC for the Western and Central Aleutian Districts. A 
lottery system is used for the HLA Atka mackerel directed fisheries to 
reduce the amount of daily catch in the HLA by about half and to 
disperse the fishery over two districts (see Sec.  679.20(a)(8)(iii)).

            Table 3.--2006 and 2007 Proposed Seasonal and Spatial Allowances, Gear Shares, and CDQ Reserve of the BSAI ATKA Mackerel TAC \1\
                                                              [Amounts are in metric tons]
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                                                               2006 Seasonal allowances \2\
                                                                                               ------------------------------------------------------------
                                                           2006 CDQ     2006 CDQ                      A season \3\              B season \3\
           Subarea and component              2006 TAC     reserve    reserve HLA   2006 ITAC  ---------------------------------------------------     B
                                                                       limit \4\                              HLA limit                 HLA limit   season
                                                                                                   Total         \4\         Total         \4\        \3\
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- --------
Western AI District.......................       20,000        1,500          900       17,000        8,500        5,100        8,500        5,100
Central AI District.......................       35,500        2,663        1,598       30,175       15,088        9,053       15,088        9,053
EAI/BS subarea \5\........................        7,500          563          n/a        6,375          n/a          n/a          n/a          n/a
Jig (1%) \6\..............................          n/a          n/a          n/a           64          n/a          n/a          n/a          n/a
Other gear (99%)..........................          n/a          n/a          n/a        6,311        3,156          n/a        3,156          n/a
                                           --------------
    Total.................................       63,000        4,725          n/a       53,550       26,743          n/a       26,743          n/a
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


[[Page 74729]]


 
 
                                                                                                                  Seasonal allowances \2\
                                                                                               ------------------------------------------------------------
                                                           2007 CDQ     2007 CDQ                      A season \3\              B season \3\
           Subarea and component              2007 TAC     reserve    reserve HLA   2007 ITAC  ---------------------------------------------------     B
                                                                       limit \4\                              HLA limit                 HLA limit   season
                                                                                                   Total         \4\         Total         \4\        \3\
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- --------
Western AI District.......................       28,825        2,162        1,297       24,501       12,251        7,350       12,251        7,350
Central AI District.......................       51,165        3,837        2,302       43,490       21,745       13,047       21,745       13,047
EAI/BS subarea \5\........................       10,810          811          n/a        9,189          n/a          n/a          n/a          n/a
Jig (1%) \6\..............................          n/a          n/a          n/a           92          n/a          n/a          n/a          n/a
Other gear (99%)..........................          n/a          n/a          n/a        9,097        4,549          n/a        4,548          n/a
                                           --------------
    Total.................................       90,800        6,810          n/a       77,180       38,544          n/a       38,544         n/a
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
\1\ Regulations at Sec.  Sec.   679.20(a)(8)(ii) and 679.22(a) establish temporal and spatial limitations for the Atka mackerel fishery.
\2\ The seasonal allowances of Atka mackerel are 50 percent in the A season and 50 percent in the B season.
\3\ The A season is January 1 (January 20 for trawl gear) to April 15 and the B season is September 1 to November 1.
\4\ Harvest Limit Area (HLA) limit refers to the amount of each seasonal allowance that is available for fishing inside the HLA (see Sec.   679.2). In
  2006 and 2007, 60 percent of each seasonal allowance is available for fishing inside the HLA in the Western and Central Aleutian Districts.
\5\ Eastern Aleutian District and the Bering Sea subarea.
\6\ Regulations at Sec.   679.20(a)(8)(i) require that up to 2 percent of the Eastern Aleutian District and the Bering Sea subarea ITAC be allocated to
  jig gear. The proposed amount of this allocation is 1 percent. The jig gear allocation is not apportioned by season.

Allocation of the Pacific Cod TAC

    Under Sec.  679.20(a)(7)(i)(A), 2 percent of the Pacific cod ITAC 
is allocated to vessels using jig gear, 51 percent to vessels using 
hook-and-line or pot gear, and 47 percent to vessels using trawl gear. 
Under regulations at Sec.  679.20(a)(7)(i)(B), the portion of the 
Pacific cod ITAC allocated to trawl gear is further allocated 50 
percent to catcher vessels and 50 percent to catcher/processors. Under 
regulations at Sec.  679.20(a)(7)(i)(C)(1), a portion of the Pacific 
cod ITAC allocated to hook-and-line or pot gear is set aside as an ICA 
of Pacific cod in directed fisheries for groundfish using these gear 
types. Based on anticipated incidental catch in these fisheries, the 
Regional Administrator proposes an ICA of 500 mt. The remainder of 
Pacific cod is further allocated to vessels using hook-and-line or pot 
gear as the following DFAs: 80 percent to hook-and-line catcher/
processors, 0.3 percent to hook-and-line catcher vessels, 3.3 percent 
to pot catcher processors, 15 percent to pot catcher vessels, and 1.4 
percent to catcher vessels under 60 feet (18.3 m) length overall (LOA) 
using hook-and-line or pot gear.
    Due to concerns about the potential impact of the Pacific cod 
fishery on Steller sea lions and their critical habitat, the 
apportionment of the ITAC disperses the Pacific cod fisheries into 
seasonal allowances (see Sec. Sec.  679.20(a)(7)(iii)(A) and 
679.23(e)(5)). For pot and most hook-and-line gear, the first seasonal 
allowance of 60 percent of the ITAC is made available for directed 
fishing from January 1 to June 10, and the second seasonal allowance of 
40 percent of the ITAC is made available from June 10 (September 1 for 
pot gear) to December 31. No seasonal harvest constraints are imposed 
on the Pacific cod fishery by catcher vessels less than 60 feet (18.3 
m) LOA using hook-and-line or pot gear. For trawl gear, the first 
season is January 20 to April 1 and is allocated 60 percent of the 
ITAC. The second season, April 1 to June 10, and the third season, June 
10 to November 1, are each allocated 20 percent of the ITAC. The trawl 
catcher vessel allocation is further allocated as 70 percent in the 
first season, 10 percent in the second season, and 20 percent in the 
third season. The trawl catcher/processor allocation is allocated 50 
percent in the first season, 30 percent in the second season, and 20 
percent in the third season. For jig gear, the first and third seasonal 
allowances are each allocated 40 percent of the ITAC and the second 
seasonal allowance is allocated 20 percent of the ITAC. Table 4 lists 
the 2006 and 2007 proposed allocations and seasonal apportionments of 
the Pacific cod ITAC. In accordance with Sec.  679.20(a)(7)(ii)(D) and 
(a)(7)(iii)(B), any unused portion of a seasonal Pacific cod allowance 
will become available at the beginning of the next seasonal allowance.

[[Page 74730]]



                                                Table 4.--2006 and 2007 Proposed Gear Shares and Seasonal Allowances of the BSAI Pacific Cod ITAC
                                                                                  [Amounts are in metric tons]
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                               2006                   2006 Seasonal apportionment \1\                    2007                   2007 Seasonal apportionment \1\
                                               2006 Share    Subtotal    2006 Share -----------------------------------  2007 Share    Subtotal    2007 Share ----------------------------------
            Gear sector              Percent    of gear    percentages    of gear     2006 Share of gear  sector total    of gear    percentages    of gear
                                                 sector      for gear      sector   -----------------------------------    sector      for gear      sector            Date             Amount
                                                 total       sectors       total             Date             Amount       total       sectors       total
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Total hook-and-line/pot gear......        51       84,533          n/a          n/a  n/a.................          n/a       87,822          n/a          n/a  n/a.................          n/a
Hook-and-line/pot ICA.............       n/a          n/a          n/a          500  n/a.................          n/a          n/a          n/a          500  n/a.................          n/a
Hook-and-line/pot subtotal........       n/a       84,033          n/a          n/a  n/a.................          n/a       87,322          n/a          n/a  n/a.................          n/a
Hook-and-line C/P.................       n/a          n/a           80       67,226  Jan 1-Jun 10........       40,336          n/a           80       69,858  Jan 1-Jun 10........       41,915
                                                                                     Jun 10-Dec 31.......       26,890                                         Jun 10-Dec 31.......       27,943
Hook-and-line CV..................       n/a          n/a          0.3          252  Jan 1-Jun 10........          151          n/a          0.3          262  Jan 1-Jun 10........          157
                                                                                     Jun 10-Dec 31.......          101                                         Jun 10-Dec 31.......          105
Pot C/P...........................       n/a          n/a          3.3        2,773  Jan 1-Jun 10........        1,664          n/a          3.3        2,882  Jan 1-Jun 10........        1,729
                                                                                     Sept 1-Dec 31.......        1,109                                         Sept 1-Dec 31.......        1,153
Pot CV............................       n/a          n/a           15       12,605  Jan 1-Jun 10........        7,563          n/a           15       13,098  Jan 1-Jun 10........        7,859
                                                                                     Sept 1-Dec 31.......        5,042                                         Sept 1-Dec 31.......        5,239
CV < 60 feet LOA using Hook-and-         n/a          n/a          1.4        1,176  n/a.................          n/a          n/a          1.4        1,223  n/a.................          n/a
 line or Pot gear.
  Total Trawl Gear................        47       77,903          n/a          n/a  n/a.................          n/a       80,934          n/a          n/a  n/a.................          n/a
  Trawl CV........................  ........  ...........           50       38,951  Jan 20-Apr 1........       27,266  ...........           50       40,467  Jan 20-Apr 1........       28,327
                                                                                     Apr 1-Jun 10........        3,895                                         Apr 1-Jun 10........        4,047
                                                                                     Jun 10-Nov 1........        7,790                                         Jun 10-Nov 1........        8,093
Trawl CP..........................  ........  ...........           50       38,951  Jan 20-Apr 1........       19,476  ...........           50       40,467  Jan 20-Apr 1........       20,234
                                                                                     Apr 1-Jun 10........       11,685                                         Apr 1-Jun 10........       12,140
                                                                                     Jun 10-Nov 1........        7,790                                         Jun 10-Nov 1........        8,093
Jig...............................         2        3,315          n/a          n/a  Jan 1-Apr 30........        1,326        3,444          n/a          n/a  Jan 1-Apr 30........        1,378
                                                                                     Apr 30-Aug 31.......          663                                         Apr 30-Aug 31.......          689
                                                                                     Aug 31-Dec 31.......        1,326                                         Aug 31-Dec 31.......        1,378
                                   -----------
    Total.........................       100      165,750          n/a          n/a  n/a.................          n/a      172,200          n/a          n/a  n/a.................         n/a
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
\1\ For most non-trawl gear the first season is allocated 60 percent of the ITAC and the second season is allocated 40 percent of the ITAC. For jig gear, the first season and third seasons are
  each allocated 40 percent of the ITAC and the second season is allocated 20 percent of the ITAC. No seasonal harvest constraints are imposed for the Pacific cod fishery by catcher vessels
  less than 60 feet (18.3 m) LOA using hook-and-line or pot gear. For trawl gear, the first season is allocated 60 percent of the ITAC and the second and third seasons are each allocated 20
  percent of the ITAC. The trawl catcher vessels' allocation is further allocated as 70 percent in the first season, 10 percent in the second season and 20 percent in the third season. The
  trawl catcher/processors' allocation is allocated 50 percent in the first season, 30 percent in the second season and 20 percent in the third season. Any unused portion of a seasonal Pacific
  cod allowance will be reapportioned to the next seasonal allowance.


[[Page 74731]]

Sablefish Gear Allocation

    Regulations at Sec.  679.20(a)(4)(iii) and (iv) require the 
allocation of sablefish TACs for the Bering Sea and AI subareas between 
trawl and hook-and-line or pot gear. Gear allocations of the TACs for 
the Bering Sea subarea are 50 percent for trawl gear and 50 percent for 
hook-and-line or pot gear and for the AI subarea are 25 percent for 
trawl gear and 75 percent for hook-and-line or pot gear. Regulations at 
Sec.  679.20(b)(1)(iii)(B) require apportionment of 20 percent of the 
hook-and-line and pot gear allocation of sablefish to the CDQ reserve. 
Additionally, regulations at Sec.  679.20(b)(1)(iii)(A) require 
apportionment of 7.5 percent of the trawl gear allocation of sablefish 
(one half of the reserve) to the CDQ reserve. Under regulations at 
Sec.  679.20(c)(1)(iv), the harvest specifications for the hook-and-
line gear and pot gear sablefish IFQ fisheries will be limited to the 
2006 fishing year to ensure those fisheries are conducted concurrent 
with the halibut IFQ fishery. Having sablefish IFQ fisheries concurrent 
with the halibut IFQ fishery would reduce the potential for discards of 
halibut and sablefish in those fisheries. The sablefish IFQ fisheries 
would remain closed at the beginning of each fishing year until the 
final harvest specifications for the sablefish IFQ fisheries are in 
effect. The trawl sablefish fishery would be managed using harvest 
specifications for a 2-year period concurrent with the remaining target 
species in the BSAI. Table 5 lists the 2006 and 2007 proposed gear 
allocations of the sablefish TAC and CDQ reserve amounts.

                                   Table 5.--2006 and 2007 Proposed Gear Shares and CDQ Reserve of BSAI Sablefish TACS
                                                              [Amounts are in metric tons]
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                Percent of   2006 Share   2006 ITAC     2006 CDQ    2007 Share                 2007 CDQ
                       Subarea and gear                            TAC         of TAC        \1\        reserve       of TAC     2007 ITAC     reserve
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Bering Sea...................................................
Trawl \2\....................................................           50        1,115          982           87        1,200        1,020           90
Hook-and-line/pot gear \3\...................................           50        1,115          n/a          231          n/a          n/a          n/a
                                                              --------------
    Total....................................................          100        2,310          982          318        1,200        1,020           90
--------------------------------------------------------------
Aleutian Islands.............................................
Trawl \2\....................................................           25          620          527           47          650          553           49
Hook-and-line/pot gear \3\...................................           75        1,860          n/a          372          n/a          n/a          n/a
                                                              --------------
    Total....................................................          100        2,480          527          419          650          553          49
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
\1\ Except for the sablefish hook-and-line or pot gear allocation, 15 percent of TAC is apportioned to the reserve. The ITAC is the remainder of the TAC
  after the subtraction of these reserves.
\2\ For the portion of the sablefish TAC allocated to vessels using trawl gear, one half of the reserve (7.5 percent of the specified TAC) is reserved
  for the CDQ program.
\3\For the portion of the sablefish TAC allocated to vessels using hook-and-line or pot gear, 20 percent of the allocated TAC is reserved for use by CDQ
  participants. Regulations in Sec.   679.20(b)(1) do not provide for the establishment of an ITAC for sablefish allocated to hook-and-line or pot gear.

Allocation of PSC Limits for Halibut, Crab, Salmon, and Herring

    Section 679.21(e) sets forth the halibut PSC limits. The BSAI 
halibut mortality limits are 3,675 mt for trawl fisheries and 900 mt 
for the non-trawl fisheries. Regulations at Sec.  679.21(e)(1)(vii) 
specify 29,000 fish as the 2006 and 2007 proposed chinook salmon PSC 
limit for the Bering Sea subarea pollock fishery. Regulations at Sec.  
679.21(e)(1)(i) allocate 7.5 percent, or 2,175 chinook salmon, as the 
proposed PSQ for the CDQ program and allocate the remaining 26,825 
chinook salmon to the non-CDQ fisheries. Regulations at Sec.  
679.21(e)(1)(ix) specify 700 fish as the 2006 and 2007 proposed chinook 
salmon PSC limit for the AI subarea pollock fishery. Regulations at 
Sec.  679.21(e)(1)(i) allocate 7.5 percent, or 53 chinook salmon, as 
the proposed PSQ for the CDQ program and allocate the remaining 647 
chinook salmon to the non-CDQ fisheries. Regulations at Sec.  
679.21(e)(1)(viii) specify 42,000 fish as the 2006 and 2007 proposed 
non-chinook salmon PSC limit. Regulations at Sec.  679.21(e)(1)(i) 
allocate 7.5 percent, or 3,150 non-chinook salmon, as the proposed PSQ 
for the CDQ program and allocate the remaining 38,850 non-chinook 
salmon to the non-CDQ fisheries. PSC limits for crab and herring are 
specified annually based on abundance and spawning biomass. Due to the 
lack of new information in October 2005 regarding PSC limits and 
apportionments in October 2005, the Council recommended using the 
halibut, crab, and herring 2005 and 2006 PSC amounts for the proposed 
2006 and 2007 amounts. The Council will reconsider these amounts in 
December 2005, based on recommendations by the Plan Team and the SSC.
    The red king crab mature female abundance is estimated from the 
2004 survey data as 35.4 million king crab and the effective spawning 
biomass is estimated as 61.9 million pounds (28,077 mt). Based on the 
criteria set out at Sec.  679.21(e)(1)(ii), the 2006 and 2007 proposed 
PSC limit of red king crab in Zone 1 for trawl gear is 197,000 animals 
as a result of the mature female abundance being above 8.4 million king 
crab and of the effective spawning biomass estimate being greater than 
55 million pounds (24,948 mt).
    Regulations at Sec.  679.21(e)(3)(ii)(B) establish criteria under 
which NMFS must specify an annual red king crab bycatch limit for the 
Red King Crab Savings Subarea (RKCSS). The regulations limit the 
bycatch limit within the RKCSS to up to 35 percent of the trawl bycatch 
allowance specified for the rock sole/flathead sole/``other flatfish'' 
fishery category and is based on the need to optimize the groundfish 
harvest relative to red king crab bycatch. The Council recommended, and 
NMFS proposes, a red king crab bycatch limit equal to 35 percent of the 
trawl bycatch allowance specified for the rock sole/flathead sole/
``other flatfish'' fishery category within the RKCSS.
    Based on 2004 survey data, Tanner crab Chionoecetes bairdi 
abundance is estimated as 437.41 million animals. Given the criteria 
set out at Sec.  679.21(e)(1)(iii), the 2006 and 2007 proposed C. 
bairdi crab PSC limit for trawl gear is 980,000 animals in Zone 1 and 
2,970,000 animals in Zone 2 as a

[[Page 74732]]

result of the C. bairdi crab abundance estimate of over 400 million 
animals.
    Under Sec.  679.21(e)(1)(iv), the PSC limit for snow crab C. opilio 
is based on total abundance as indicated by the NMFS annual bottom 
trawl survey. The C. opilio crab PSC limit is set at 0.1133 percent of 
the Bering Sea abundance index. Based on the 2004 survey estimate of 
4.421 billion animals, the calculated limit is 5,008,993 animals. Under 
Sec.  679.21(e)(1)(iv)(B), the 2006 and 2007 proposed C. opilio crab 
PSC limit is 5,008,993 million animals minus 150,000 animals, which 
results in a limit of 4,858,993 animals.
    Under Sec.  679.21(e)(1)(vi), the proposed PSC limit of Pacific 
herring caught while conducting any trawl operation for groundfish in 
the BSAI is 1 percent of the annual eastern Bering Sea herring biomass. 
The best estimate of 2005 and 2006 herring biomass is 201,180 mt. This 
amount was derived using 2004 survey data and an age-structured biomass 
projection model developed by the Alaska Department of Fish and Game. 
Therefore, the proposed herring PSC limit for 2006 and 2007 is 2,012 
mt.
    Under Sec.  679.21(e)(1)(i), 7.5 percent of each PSC limit 
specified for crab and halibut is allocated as a PSQ reserve for use by 
the groundfish CDQ program. Regulations at Sec.  679.21(e)(3) require 
the apportionment of each trawl PSC limit into PSC bycatch allowances 
for seven specified fishery categories. Regulations at Sec.  
679.21(e)(4)(ii) authorize the apportionment of the non-trawl halibut 
PSC limit into PSC bycatch allowances for five fishery categories. 
Table 6 lists the proposed fishery bycatch allowances for the trawl and 
non-trawl fisheries.
    Regulations at Sec.  679.21(e)(4)(ii) authorize exemption of 
specified non-trawl fisheries from the halibut PSC limit. As in past 
years, NMFS, after consultation with the Council, proposes to exempt 
pot gear, jig gear, and the sablefish IFQ hook-and-line gear fishery 
categories from halibut bycatch restrictions because: (1) The pot gear 
fisheries experience low halibut bycatch mortality, (2) halibut 
mortality for the jig gear fleet cannot be estimated because these 
vessels do not carry observers, and (3) the sablefish and halibut 
Individual Fishing Quota (IFQ) program (subpart D of 50 CFR part 679) 
requires legal-sized halibut to be retained by vessels using hook-and-
line gear if a halibut IFQ permit holder or a hired master is aboard 
and is holding unused halibut IFQ. In 2005, total groundfish catch for 
the pot gear fishery in the BSAI was approximately 16,971 mt, with an 
associated halibut bycatch mortality of about 4 mt. The 2005 groundfish 
jig gear fishery harvested about 123 mt of groundfish. Most vessels in 
the jig gear fleet are less than 60 ft (18.3 m) LOA and are exempt from 
observer coverage requirements. As a result, observer data are not 
available on halibut bycatch in the jig gear fishery. However, a 
negligible amount of halibut bycatch mortality is assumed because of 
the selective nature of this gear type and the likelihood that halibut 
caught with jig gear have a high survival rate when released.
    Regulations at Sec.  679.21(e)(5) authorize NMFS, after 
consultation with the Council, to establish seasonal apportionments of 
PSC amounts in order to maximize the ability of the fleet to harvest 
the available groundfish TAC and to minimize bycatch. The factors to be 
considered are: (1) Seasonal distribution of prohibited species, (2) 
seasonal distribution of target groundfish species, (3) PSC bycatch 
needs on a seasonal basis relevant to prohibited species biomass, (4) 
expected variations in bycatch rates throughout the year, (5) expected 
start of fishing effort, and (6) economic effects of seasonal PSC 
apportionments on industry sectors. The Council recommended seasonal 
PSC apportionments to maximize harvest among gear types, fisheries, and 
seasons while minimizing bycatch of PSC based on the above criteria. 
NMFS proposes the Council's recommendations listed in Table 6.

                    Table 6.-2006 and 2007 Proposed Prohibited Species by Catch Allowances for the BSAI Trawl and Non-Trawl Fisheries
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                                                Prohibited species and zone
                                                                  --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                                               Red king                        C. bairdi  (animals)
                         Trawl fisheries                             Halibut      Herring        Crab        C. opilio   -------------------------------
                                                                    mortality    (mt) BSAI    (animals)      (animals)
                                                                    (mt) BSAI                 Zone 1 \1\     COBLZ \1\      Zone 1 \1\      Zone 2 \1\
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Yellowfin sole...................................................          886          183       33,843       3,101,915         340,844       1,788,459
    January 20-April 1...........................................          262  ...........  ...........  ..............  ..............  ..............
    April 1-May 21...............................................          195  ...........  ...........  ..............  ..............  ..............
    May 21-July 1................................................           49  ...........  ...........  ..............  ..............  ..............
    July 1-December 31...........................................          380  ...........  ...........  ..............  ..............  ..............
Rock sole/other flat/flathead sole2,6............................          779           27      121,413       1,082,528         365,320         596,154
    January 20-April 1...........................................          448  ...........  ...........  ..............  ..............  ..............
    April 1-July 1...............................................          164  ...........  ...........  ..............  ..............  ..............
    July 1-December 31...........................................          167  ...........  ...........  ..............  ..............  ..............
Turbot/arrowtooth/sablefish \3\..................................  ...........           12  ...........          44,946  ..............  ..............
Rockfish.........................................................  ...........  ...........  ...........  ..............  ..............  ..............
    July 1-December 31...........................................           69           10  ...........          44,945  ..............          10,988
Pacific cod......................................................        1,434           27       26,563         139,331         183,112         324,176
Midwater trawl pollock...........................................  ...........        1,562  ...........  ..............  ..............  ..............
Pollock/Atka mackerel/other \4\..................................          232          192          406          80,903          17,224          27,473
Red King Crab Savings Subarea \6\................................  ...........  ...........  ...........  ..............  ..............  ..............
    (non-pelagic trawl)..........................................  ...........  ...........       42,495  ..............  ..............  ..............
 
Non-trawl fisheries
Pacific cod--Total...............................................          775  ...........  ...........  ..............  ..............  ..............
    January 1-June 10............................................          320  ...........  ...........  ..............  ..............  ..............
    June 10-August 15............................................            0  ...........  ...........  ..............  ..............  ..............
    August 15-December 31........................................          455  ...........  ...........  ..............  ..............  ..............
Other non-trawl--Total...........................................           58  ...........  ...........  ..............  ..............  ..............
    May 1-December 31............................................           58  ...........  ...........  ..............  ..............  ..............

[[Page 74733]]

 
Groundfish pot and jig...........................................       exempt  ...........  ...........  ..............  ..............  ..............
Sablefish hook-and-l