Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands; Proposed 2009 and 2010 Harvest Specifications for Groundfish, 75059-75076 [E8-29216]

Download as PDF Federal Register / Vol. 73, No. 238 / Wednesday, December 10, 2008 / Proposed Rules data reporting requirements for noncommercial fishing have been established, it is expected that the non-commercial information will not be developed enough to generate meaningful projected estimates of 2008–09 non-commercial harvest. Ceasing of Business Operations The decision to cease fishing for bottomfish would depend on the ability of vessel owners to cover variable costs of operations in the short run. If costs of fuel and food remain at higher than normal levels, more vessels than normal would be expected to exit the fishery, especially in years when the TAC was low. In addition, as is pointed out in Amendment 14, low TACs could propel the fishery toward a ‘‘race for the fish,’’ putting downward pressure on prices and upward pressure on fuel and food costs, resulting in earlier than expected closures and larger number of vessels exiting the fishery prematurely. This action is exempt from the procedures of E.O. 12866 because this action contains no implementing regulations. Authority: 16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq. Dated: December 4, 2008. James W. Balsiger, Acting Assistant Administrator For Fisheries, National Marine Fisheries Service. [FR Doc. E8–29205 Filed 12–9–08; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510–22–S DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration 50 CFR Part 679 [Docket No. 0810141351–81451–01] RIN 0648–XL28 Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands; Proposed 2009 and 2010 Harvest Specifications for Groundfish National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Commerce. ACTION: Proposed rule; request for comments. mstockstill on PROD1PC66 with PROPOSALS AGENCY: SUMMARY: NMFS proposes 2009 and 2010 harvest specifications and prohibited species catch allowances for the groundfish fisheries of the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands management area (BSAI). This action is necessary to establish harvest limits for groundfish during the 2009 and 2010 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. VerDate Aug<31>2005 16:30 Dec 09, 2008 Jkt 217001 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. DATES: Comments must be received by January 9, 2009. ADDRESSES: Send comments to Sue Salveson, Assistant Regional Administrator, Sustainable Fisheries Division, Alaska Region, NMFS, Attn: Ellen Sebastian. You may submit comments, identified by RIN 0648– XL28, by any one of the following methods: • Electronic Submissions: Submit all electronic public comments via the Federal eRulemaking Portal website at http://www.regulations.gov. • Mail: P. O. Box 21668, Juneau, AK 99802. • Fax: (907) 586–7557. • Hand delivery to the Federal Building: 709 West 9th Street, Room 420A, Juneau, AK. All comments received are a part of the public record and will generally be posted to http://www.regulations.gov without change. All Personal Identifying Information (e.g., name, address) voluntarily submitted by the commenter may be publicly accessible. Do not submit Confidential Business Information or otherwise sensitive or protected information. NMFS will accept anonymous comments (enter N/A in the required fields, if you wish to remain anonymous). Attachments to electronic comments will be accepted in Microsoft Word, Excel, WordPerfect, or Adobe portable document file (pdf) formats only. Copies of the Final Alaska Groundfish Harvest Specifications Environmental Impact Statement (Final EIS), Record of Decision (ROD), and Initial Regulatory Flexibility Analysis (IRFA) prepared for this action are available from NMFS at the mailing address above or from the Alaska Region website at http:// www.alaskafisheries.noaa.gov. Copies of the final 2008 Stock Assessment and Fishery Evaluation (SAFE) report for the groundfish resources of the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands (BSAI), dated November 2007, are available from the North Pacific Fishery Management Council (Council), 605 West 4th Avenue, Suite 306, Anchorage, AK 99510–2252, 907–271–2809, or from its website at http:// www.alaskafisheries.noaa.gov/npfmc/ default.htm. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Steve Whitney, 907–586–7269. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Federal regulations at 50 CFR part 679 PO 00000 Frm 00071 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 75059 implement the Fishery Management Plan for Groundfish of the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Management Area (FMP) and govern the groundfish fisheries in the BSAI. The Council prepared the FMP and NMFS approved it under the Magnuson–Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (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 § 679.20(a)(1)(i)). Section 679.20(c)(1) further requires NMFS to publish proposed harvest specifications in the Federal Register and solicit public comments on proposed annual TACs and apportionments thereof, prohibited species catch (PSC) allowances, and prohibited species quota (PSQ) reserves established by § 679.21, seasonal allowances of pollock, Pacific cod, and Atka mackerel TAC, Amendment 80 allocations, and Community Development Quota (CDQ) reserve amounts established by § 679.20(b)(1)(ii). The proposed harvest specifications set forth in Tables 1 through 12 of this action satisfy these requirements. Under § 679.20(c)(3), NMFS will publish the final harvest specifications for 2009 and 2010 after (1) considering comments received within the comment period (see DATES), (2) consulting with the Council at its December 2008 meeting, and (3) considering new information presented in the Final EIS and the final 2008 SAFE reports prepared for the 2009 and 2010 groundfish fisheries. Other Actions Potentially Affecting the 2009 and 2010 Harvest Specifications The Council submitted Amendment 73 to the FMP. NMFS published a proposed rule in the Federal Register on September 24, 2008 (73 FR 55010). This amendment would remove dark rockfish (Sebastes ciliatus) from the ‘‘other rockfish’’ category and from the FMP. The State of Alaska would assume management of dark rockfish, and the TAC of the ‘‘other rockfish’’ category would be slightly smaller than in previous years. The Council is considering a proposal that would allocate the Pacific cod TAC by Bering Sea subarea and Aleutian Islands (AI) subarea instead of a combined BSAI TAC, although associated fishery E:\FR\FM\10DEP1.SGM 10DEP1 75060 Federal Register / Vol. 73, No. 238 / Wednesday, December 10, 2008 / Proposed Rules management implications would require more time to assess and resolve. As a result, a Pacific cod split is unlikely for 2009. Additional proposals being developed by the Plan Team for Council consideration would separate some species from the ‘‘other species’’ category so that individual overfishing levels (OFLs), acceptable biological catches (ABCs), and TACs may be established for these species. Another would allocate the ABC for rougheye rockfish by Bering Sea subarea and Aleutian Islands (AI) subarea instead of a combined BSAI ABC. These latter two proposals could change the final 2009 and 2010 harvest specifications. Additionally, the existing 2009 harvest specifications will be updated in early 2009 when final harvest specifications for 2009 and new harvest specifications for 2010 are implemented. Proposed ABC and TAC Harvest Specifications The proposed ABC levels are based on the best available biological 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. The FMP specifies a series of six tiers based on the level of reliable information available to fishery scientists. Tier one represents the highest level of information quality available while tier six represents the lowest level of information quality available. Appendix A to the final SAFE report for the 2008 BSAI groundfish fisheries dated November 2007 (see ADDRESSES) sets forth the best information currently available. Information on the status of stocks, including the 2008 survey results, will be updated and considered by the Council’s Groundfish Plan Team in November 2008 for the 2008 SAFE report. The final 2009 and 2010 harvest specifications will be based on the 2008 SAFE report. In October 2008, the Scientific and Statistical Committee (SSC), Advisory Panel, and the Council reviewed the Plan Team’s recommended proposed 2009 and 2010 OFL and ABC amounts. The SSC concurred in the Plan Team’s recommendations. The recommendations are based on rollovers of the current 2009 amounts. This uses the best information available from the 2007 stock assessments. The Council adopted the OFL and ABC amounts recommended by the SSC (Table 1). The Council recommended that all the proposed 2009 and 2010 TAC amounts be set equal to the 2008 TAC amounts except for reduced TAC amounts for sablefish, Atka mackerel, Pacific ocean perch (POP), northern rockfish, and the ‘‘other rockfish’’ group. The adjustments from the 2008 TAC amounts account for the lower 2009 ABC amounts for these species. As in previous years, the Plan Team, Advisory Panel, SSC, and Council recommended that total removals of Pacific cod from the BSAI not exceed ABC recommendations. Accordingly, the Council recommended that the proposed 2009 and 2010 Pacific cod TACs be adjusted downward from the ABCs by amounts equal to 3 percent of the ABC. This adjustment is necessary to account for the guideline harvest level (GHL) established for Pacific cod by the State of Alaska (State) for a State– managed fishery that occurs in State waters in the AI subarea. Finally, the Council recommended using the 2008 and 2009 PSC allowances for the proposed 2009 and 2010 PSC allowances. The Council will reconsider the OFL, ABC, TAC, and PSC amounts in December 2008 after the Plan Team incorporates new status of groundfish stocks information into a final 2008 SAFE report for the 2009 and 2010 BSAI groundfish fishery. None of the Council’s recommended proposed TACs for 2009 or 2010 exceeds the recommended 2009 or 2010 proposed ABC for any species category. NMFS finds the Council’s recommended proposed 2009 and 2010 OFL, ABC, and TAC amounts consistent with the best available information on the biological condition of the groundfish stocks. Table 1 lists the proposed 2009 and 2010 OFL, ABC, TAC, initial TAC (ITAC), and CDQ amounts for groundfish for the BSAI. The proposed apportionment of TAC amounts among fisheries and seasons is discussed below. TABLE 1—PROPOSED 2009 AND 2010 OVERFISHING LEVEL (OFL), ACCEPTABLE BIOLOGICAL CATCH (ABC), TOTAL ALLOWABLE CATCH (TAC), INITIAL TAC (ITAC), AND CDQ RESERVE ALLOCATION OF GROUNDFISH IN THE BSAI1 [Amounts are in metric tons] Proposed 2009 and 2010 Species Area OFL Pollock3 BS AI Bogoslof ABC ITAC2 TAC CDQ3,4,5 1,320,000 26,100 58,400 1,000,000 22,700 7,970 1,000,000 19,000 10 900,000 17,100 10 100,000 1,900 0 207,000 176,000 170,720 152,453 18,267 BS AI 2,910 2,510 2,610 2,230 2,610 2,230 1,109 474 98 41 Atka mackerel BSAI EAI/BS CAI WAI 50,600 n/a n/a n/a 47,500 15,300 19,000 13,200 47,500 15,300 19,000 13,200 42,418 13,663 16,967 11,788 5,083 1,637 2,033 1,412 Yellowfin sole BSAI 296,000 296,000 225,000 200,925 24,075 Rock sole BSAI 379,000 375,000 75,000 66,975 8,025 Greenland turbot BSAI BS AI 16,000 n/a n/a 2,540 1,750 790 2,540 1,750 790 2,159 1,488 672 n/a 187 0 Pacific cod4 BSAI mstockstill on PROD1PC66 with PROPOSALS Sablefish5 VerDate Aug<31>2005 16:30 Dec 09, 2008 Jkt 217001 PO 00000 Frm 00072 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 E:\FR\FM\10DEP1.SGM 10DEP1 Federal Register / Vol. 73, No. 238 / Wednesday, December 10, 2008 / Proposed Rules 75061 TABLE 1—PROPOSED 2009 AND 2010 OVERFISHING LEVEL (OFL), ACCEPTABLE BIOLOGICAL CATCH (ABC), TOTAL ALLOWABLE CATCH (TAC), INITIAL TAC (ITAC), AND CDQ RESERVE ALLOCATION OF GROUNDFISH IN THE BSAI1—Continued [Amounts are in metric tons] Proposed 2009 and 2010 Species Area OFL ABC ITAC2 TAC CDQ3,4,5 Arrowtooth flounder BSAI 300,000 246,000 75,000 63,750 8,025 Flathead sole BSAI 83,700 69,700 50,000 44,650 5,350 Other flatfish6 BSAI 28,800 21,600 21,600 18,360 0 Alaska plaice BSAI 277,000 217,000 50,000 42,500 0 Pacific ocean perch BSAI 25,400 21,300 21,300 18,845 n/a BS EAI CAI WAI n/a n/a n/a n/a 4,100 4,810 4,900 7,490 4,100 4,810 4,900 7,490 3,485 4,295 4,376 6,689 0 515 524 801 Northern rockfish BSAI 9,680 8,130 8,130 6,911 0 Shortraker rockfish BSAI 564 424 424 360 0 Rougheye rockfish BSAI 269 202 202 172 0 BSAI BS AI 1,290 n/a n/a 968 414 554 968 414 554 823 352 471 0 0 0 Squid BSAI 2,620 1,970 1,970 1,675 0 Other species8 BSAI 104,000 78,100 50,000 42,500 0 3,191,843 2,577,944 1,824,204 1,624,168 172,891 Other rockfish7 TOTAL 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, the portion of the sablefish TAC allocated to hook and line and pot gear, and Amendment 80 species, 15 percent of each TAC is put into a reserve. The ITAC for these species is the remainder of the TAC after the subtraction of these reserves. 3 Under § 679.20(a)(5)(i)(A)(1), the annual Bering Sea subarea pollock TAC, after subtracting first for the CDQ directed fishing allowance (10 percent) and second for the incidental catch allowance (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 Aleutian Islands subarea pollock TAC, after subtracting first for the CDQ directed fishing allowance (10 percent) and second for the incidental catch allowance (1,600 mt), is allocated to the Aleut Corporation for a directed pollock fishery. 4 The Pacific cod TAC is reduced by three percent from the ABC to account for the State of Alaska’s guideline harvest level in State waters of the Aleutian Islands subarea. 5 For the Amendment 80 species (Atka mackerel, Aleutian Islands Pacific ocean perch, yellowfin sole, rock sole, flathead sole, and Pacific cod), 10.7 percent of the TAC is reserved for use by CDQ participants (see §§ 679.20(b)(1)(ii)(C) and 679.31). Twenty percent of the sablefish TAC allocated to hook and line gear or pot gear, 7.5 percent of the sablefish TAC allocated to trawl gear, and 10.7 percent of the TACs for Bering Sea Greenland turbot and arrowtooth flounder are reserved for use by CDQ participants (see § 679.20(b)(1)(ii)(B) and (D)). Aleutian Islands Greenland turbot, ‘‘other flatfish’’, Alaska plaice, Bering Sea Pacific ocean perch, northern rockfish, shortraker rockfish, rougheye rockfish, ‘‘other rockfish’’, squid, and ‘‘other species’’ are not allocated to the CDQ program. 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. mstockstill on PROD1PC66 with PROPOSALS Reserves and the Incidental Catch Allowance (ICA) for Pollock, Atka Mackerel, Flathead Sole, Rock Sole, Yellowfin Sole, and Aleutian Islands Pacific Ocean Perch Section 679.20(b)(1)(i) requires the placement of 15 percent of the TAC for each target species or ‘‘other species’’ category, except for pollock, the hook– and–line and pot gear allocation of sablefish, and the Amendment 80 species, in a non–specified reserve. VerDate Aug<31>2005 16:30 Dec 09, 2008 Jkt 217001 Section 679.20(b)(1)(ii)(B) requires that 20 percent of the hook–and–line and pot gear allocation of sablefish be allocated to the fixed gear sablefish CDQ reserve. Section 679.20(b)(1)(ii)(D) requires that 7.5 percent of the trawl gear allocations of sablefish and 10.7 percent of Bering Sea Greenland turbot and arrowtooth flounder be allocated to the respective CDQ reserves. Section 679.20(b)(1)(ii)(C) requires that 10.7 percent of the TACs for Atka mackerel, Aleutian Islands Pacific ocean perch, yellowfin sole, rock PO 00000 Frm 00073 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 sole, flathead sole, and Pacific cod be allocated to the CDQ reserves. Sections 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 (DFA). The entire Bogoslof District pollock TAC is allocated as an incidental catch allowance (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. Section E:\FR\FM\10DEP1.SGM 10DEP1 75062 Federal Register / Vol. 73, No. 238 / Wednesday, December 10, 2008 / Proposed Rules 679.21(e)(3)(i)(A) requires withholding 7.5 percent of the Chinook salmon PSC limit, 10.7 percent of the crab and non– Chinook salmon PSC limits, and 343 mt of halibut PSC as PSQ reserves for the CDQ fisheries. Sections 679.30 and 679.31 set forth regulations governing the management of the CDQ and PSQ reserves. Pursuant to § 679.20(a)(5)(i)(A)(1), NMFS proposes a pollock ICA of 3.5 percent of the Bering Sea subarea pollock TAC after subtraction of the 10 percent CDQ reserve. This allowance is based on NMFS’s examination of the pollock incidental catch, including the incidental catch by CDQ vessels, in target fisheries other than pollock from 1999 through 2008. During this 10-year period, the pollock incidental catch ranged from a low of 2.4 percent in 2006 to a high of 5 percent in 1999, with a 9-year average of 3 percent. Pursuant to § 679.20(a)(5)(iii)(B)(2)(i) and (ii), NMFS proposes a pollock ICA of 1,600 mt for AI subarea after subtraction of the 10 percent CDQ directed fishing allowance (DFA). This allowance is based on NMFS’s examination of the pollock incidental catch, including the incidental catch by CDQ vessels, in target fisheries other than pollock from 2003 through 2008. During this 6-year period, the incidental catch of pollock ranged from a low of 5 percent in 2006 to a high of 10 percent in 2003, with a 5-year average of 6 percent. Pursuant to § 679.20(a)(8) and (10), NMFS proposes ICAs of 4,500 mt of flathead sole, 5,000 mt of rock sole, 2,000 mt of yellowfin sole, 10 mt each of Western and Central Aleutian District for both Pacific ocean perch and Atka mackerel, 100 mt of Eastern Aleutian District Pacific ocean perch, and 200 mt of Eastern Aleutian District and Bering Sea subarea Atka mackerel after subtraction of the 10.7 percent CDQ reserve. These allowances are based on NMFS’s examination of the incidental catch in other target fisheries from 2003 through 2008. The regulations do not designate the remainder of the non–specified reserve by species or species group. Any amount of the reserve may be apportioned to a target species that contributed to the non–specified reserve and the ‘‘other species’’ category during the year, provided that such apportionments do not result in overfishing (see § 679.20(b)(1)(i)). Allocations of Pollock TAC Under the American Fisheries Act (AFA) Section 679.20(a)(5)(i)(A) requires that the pollock TAC apportioned to the Bering Sea subarea, after subtraction of 10 percent for the CDQ program and 3.5 percent for the ICA, be allocated as a 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, 40 percent of the DFA is allocated to the A season (January 20– June 10) and 60 percent of the DFA is allocated to the B season (June 10– November 1). The AI directed pollock fishery allocation to the Aleut Corporation is the amount of pollock remaining in the AI subarea after subtracting 1,900 mt for the CDQ DFA (10 percent) and 1,600 mt for the ICA. 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 proposed 2009 and 2010 amounts. Section 679.20(a)(5)(i)(A)(4) also includes several specific requirements regarding Bering Sea subarea pollock allocations. 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 proposed 2009 and 2010 allocations of pollock TAC. Tables 9 through 12 list the AFA catcher/ processor and catcher vessel harvesting sideboard limits. In past years, the proposed harvest specifications included text and tables describing pollock allocations to the Bering Sea subarea inshore pollock cooperatives and open access sector. These allocations are based on the submission of AFA inshore cooperative applications due to NMFS on December 1 of each calendar year. Because AFA inshore cooperative applications for 2009 have not yet been submitted to NMFS, thereby preventing NMFS from calculating 2009 allocations, NMFS has not included inshore cooperative text and tables in these proposed harvest specifications. NMFS will post AFA inshore cooperative allocations on the Alaska Region website at http:// www.alaskafisheries.noaa.gov when they become available in December 2008. Table 2 also lists proposed seasonal apportionments of pollock and harvest limits within the Steller Sea Lion Conservation Area (SCA). The harvest of pollock 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 annual DFA allocated to the A season may be taken outside the SCA before April 1 or inside the SCA after April 1. If less than 28 percent of the annual DFA is 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 proposed 2009 and 2010 amounts. TABLE 2—PROPOSED 2009 AND 2010 ALLOCATIONS OF POLLOCK TACS TO THE DIRECTED POLLOCK FISHERIES AND TO THE CDQ DIRECTED FISHING ALLOWANCES (DFA)1 [Amounts are in metric tons] 2009 and 2010 A season1 2009 and 2010 allocations mstockstill on PROD1PC66 with PROPOSALS Area and sector Bering Sea subarea TAC CDQ DFA ICA 1 AFA Inshore AFA Catcher/Processors3 Catch by C/Ps Catch by CVs3 Unlisted C/P Limit4 VerDate Aug<31>2005 16:30 Dec 09, 2008 A season DFA 1,000,000 100,000 31,500 434,250 347,400 317,871 29,529 1,737 Jkt 217001 PO 00000 Frm 00074 Fmt 4702 SCA harvest limit2 n/a 40,000 n/a 173,700 138,960 127,148 11,812 695 Sfmt 4702 2009 and 2010 B season1 E:\FR\FM\10DEP1.SGM n/a 28,000 n/a 121,590 97,272 n/a n/a n/a 10DEP1 B season DFA n/a 60,000 n/a 260,550 208,440 190,723 17,717 1,042 Federal Register / Vol. 73, No. 238 / Wednesday, December 10, 2008 / Proposed Rules 75063 TABLE 2—PROPOSED 2009 AND 2010 ALLOCATIONS OF POLLOCK TACS TO THE DIRECTED POLLOCK FISHERIES AND TO THE CDQ DIRECTED FISHING ALLOWANCES (DFA)1—Continued [Amounts are in metric tons] 2009 and 2010 A season1 2009 and 2010 allocations Area and sector AFA Motherships Excessive Harvesting Limit5 Excessive Processing Limit6 Total Bering Sea DFA (non-CDQ) 2009 and 2010 B season1 SCA harvest limit2 A season DFA B season DFA 86,850 151,988 260,550 868,501 24,318 n/a n/a 243,180 52,110 n/a n/a 521,100 19,000 1,900 1,600 15,500 n/a 760 800 10,200 n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a 1,140 800 5,300 10 Aleutian Islands subarea1 CDQ DFA ICA Aleut Corporation 34,740 n/a n/a 347,400 n/a n/a n/a Bogoslof District ICA7 mstockstill on PROD1PC66 with PROPOSALS 1 Pursuant to § 679.20(a)(5)(i)(A), the annual Bering Sea subarea pollock TAC, after subtraction for the CDQ DFA (10 percent) and the ICA (3.5 percent), is allocated as a DFA as follows: inshore sector 50 percent, catcher/processor sector 40 percent, and mothership sector 10 percent. In the Bering Sea subarea, 40 percent of the DFA is allocated to the A season (January 20 June 10) and 60 percent of the DFA is allocated to the B season (June 10 November 1). Pursuant to § 679.20(a)(5)(iii)(B)(2)(i) and (ii), the annual AI pollock TAC, after subtracting first for the CDQ DFA (10 percent) and second the ICA (1,600 mt), is allocated to the Aleut Corporation for a directed pollock fishery. 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 sealion conservation area (SCA) before April 1. The remaining 12 percent of the annual DFA allocated to the A season may be taken outside of the 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 Pursuant to § 679.20(a)(5)(i)(A)(4), not less than 8.5 percent of the DFA allocated to listed catcher/processors (C/Ps) shall be available for harvest only by eligible catcher vessels (CVs) delivering to listed catcher/processors. 4 Pursuant to § 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 Pursuant to § 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 not including CDQ. 6 Pursuant to § 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 not including CDQ. 7 The Regional Administrator proposes closing the Bogoslof pollock fishery for directed fishing under the final 2009 and 2010 harvest specifications for the BSAI. The amounts specified are for incidental catch only and are not apportioned by season or sector. Allocation of the Atka Mackerel TACs Section 679.20(a)(8)(ii) allocates the Atka mackerel TACs, after subtraction of the CDQ reserves, jig gear allocation, and ICAs for the BSAI trawl limited access sector and non–trawl gear, to the Amendment 80 and BSAI trawl limited access sectors (Table 3). The allocation of the ITAC for Atka mackerel to the Amendment 80 and BSAI trawl limited access sectors is established in Table 33 to part 679 and § 679.91. Pursuant to § 679.20(a)(8)(i), up to 2 percent of the Eastern Aleutian District and 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 a 0.5 percent allocation of the Atka mackerel ITAC in the Eastern Aleutian District and Bering Sea subarea to jig gear in 2009 and 2010. Based on the proposed 2009 and 2010 TAC of 15,300 mt after subtractions of the CDQ reserve and ICA, the jig gear allocation would be 67 mt for 2009 and 2010. VerDate Aug<31>2005 16:30 Dec 09, 2008 Jkt 217001 Section 679.20(a)(8)(ii)(A) apportions the Atka mackerel ITAC into two equal seasonal allowances. The first seasonal 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). The jig gear allocation is not apportioned by season. Pursuant to § 679.20(a)(8)(ii)(C)(1), the Regional Administrator will establish a harvest limit area (HLA) limit of no more than 60 percent of the seasonal TAC for the Western and Central Aleutian Districts. NMFS will establish HLA limits for the CDQ reserve and each of the three non–CDQ fishery categories: the BSAI trawl limited access sector; the Amendment 80 limited access fishery; and an aggregate HLA limit applicable to all Amendment 80 cooperatives. NMFS will assign vessels in each of the three non–CDQ fishery categories that apply to fish for Atka mackerel in the HLA to an HLA fishery based on a random lottery of the vessels that apply (see § 679.20(a)(8)(iii)). There is no allocation of Atka mackerel to the BSAI PO 00000 Frm 00075 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 trawl limited access sector in the Western Aleutian District. Therefore, no vessels in the BSAI trawl limited access sector will be assigned to the Western Aleutian District HLA fishery. Each trawl sector will have a separate lottery. A maximum of two HLA fisheries will be established in Area 542 for the BSAI trawl limited access sector. A maximum of four HLA fisheries will be established for vessels assigned to Amendment 80 cooperatives: a first and second HLA fishery in Area 542, and a first and second HLA fishery in Area 543. A maximum of four HLA fisheries will be established for vessels assigned to the Amendment 80 limited access fishery: a first and second HLA fishery in Area 542, and a first and second HLA fishery in Area 543. NMFS will initially open fishing for the first HLA fishery in all three fishery categories at the same time. The initial opening of fishing in the HLA will be based on the first directed fishing closure of Atka mackerel for the Eastern Aleutian District and Bering Sea subarea allocation for any one of the three non– CDQ fishery categories allocated Atka mackerel TAC. E:\FR\FM\10DEP1.SGM 10DEP1 75064 Federal Register / Vol. 73, No. 238 / Wednesday, December 10, 2008 / Proposed Rules TABLE 3—PROPOSED 2009 AND 2010 SEASONAL AND SPATIAL ALLOWANCES, GEAR SHARES, CDQ RESERVE, INCIDENTAL CATCH ALLOWANCE, AND AMENDMENT 80 ALLOCATIONS OF THE BSAI ATKA MACKEREL TAC [Amounts are in metric tons] 2009 allocation by area Sector2 Season1,3,4 TAC n/a CDQ reserve Eastern Aleutian District/ Bering Sea Central Aleutian District 2010 allocation by area Western Aleutian District Eastern Aleutian District/ Bering Sea Central Aleutian District Western Aleutian District 15,300 19,000 13,200 15,300 19,000 13,200 Total HLA5 1,637 n/a 2,033 1,220 1,412 847 1,637 n/a 2,033 1,220 1,412 847 ICA Total 200 20 20 200 20 20 Jig6 Total 67 0 0 67 0 0 BSAI trawl limited access Total 536 678 0 804 1,017 0 A HLA 268 n/a 339 203 0 0 402 n/a 508 305 0 0 B HLA 268 n/a 339 203 0 0 402 n/a 508 305 0 0 Total 6,835 9,796 7,254 6,683 9,590 7,255 A HLA 3,418 n/a 4,898 2,939 3,627 2,176 3,342 n/a 4,795 2,877 3,628 2,177 B HLA 3,418 n/a 4,898 2,939 3,627 2,176 3,342 n/a 4,795 2,877 3,628 2,177 Total 6,025 6,473 4,514 5,909 6,340 4,513 A HLA 3,013 n/a 3,237 1,942 2,257 1,354 2,955 n/a 3,170 1,902 2,257 1,354 B HLA 3,013 n/a 3,237 1,942 2,257 1,354 2,955 n/a 3,170 1,902 2,257 1,354 Amendment 80 limited access Amendment 80 cooperatives 1 Regulations at §§ 679.20(a)(8)(ii)(A) and 679.22(a) establish temporal and spatial limitations for the Atka mackerel fishery. Section 679.20(a)(8)(ii) allocates the Atka mackerel TACs, after subtraction of the CDQ reserves, ICAs, and the jig gear allocation, to the Amendment 80 and BSAI trawl limited access sectors. The allocation of the ITAC for Atka mackerel to the Amendment 80 and BSAI trawl limited access sectors is established in Table 33 to part 679 and § 679.91. The CDQ reserve is 10.7 percent of the TAC for use by CDQ participants (see §§ 679.20(b)(1)(ii)(C) and 679.31). 3 The seasonal allowances of Atka mackerel are 50 percent in the A season and 50 percent in the B season. 4 The A season is January 1 (January 20 for trawl gear) to April 15, and the B season is September 1 to November 1. 5 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 2009 and 2010, 60 percent of each seasonal allowance is available for fishing inside the HLA in the Western and Central Aleutian Districts. 6 Section 679.20(a)(8)(i) requires that up to 2 percent of the Eastern Aleutian District and Bering Sea subarea TAC be allocated to jig gear after subtraction of the CDQ reserve and ICA. The amount of this allocation is 0.5 percent. The jig gear allocation is not apportioned by season. 2 mstockstill on PROD1PC66 with PROPOSALS Allocation of the Pacific Cod TAC Section 679.20(a)(7)(i) and (ii) requires that the Pacific cod TAC in the BSAI, after subtraction of 10.7 percent for the CDQ program, be allocated as follows: 1.4 percent to vessels using jig gear, 2.0 percent to hook–and–line and pot catcher vessels less than 60 ft (18.3 m) length overall (LOA), 0.2 percent to hook–and–line catcher vessels greater than or equal to 60 ft (18.3 m) LOA, 48.7 percent to hook–and–line catcher/ processors, 8.4 percent to pot catcher vessels greater than or equal to 60 ft (18.3 m) LOA, 1.5 percent to pot VerDate Aug<31>2005 16:30 Dec 09, 2008 Jkt 217001 catcher/processors, 2.3 percent to AFA trawl catcher/processors, 13.4 percent to non–AFA trawl catcher/processors, and 22.1 percent to trawl catcher vessels. The ICA for the hook–and–line and pot sectors will be deducted from the aggregate portion of Pacific cod TAC allocated to the hook–and–line and pot sectors. The Regional Administrator proposes an ICA of 500 mt for 2009 and 2010 based on anticipated incidental catch in these fisheries. The allocation of the ITAC for Pacific cod to the Amendment 80 sector is established in Table 33 to part 679 and § 679.91. PO 00000 Frm 00076 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 The Pacific cod ITAC is apportioned into seasonal allowances to disperse the Pacific cod fisheries over the fishing year (see §§ 679.20(a)(7) and 679.23(e)(5)). In accordance with § 679.20(a)(7)(iv)(B) and (C), any unused portion of a seasonal Pacific cod allowance will become available at the beginning of the next seasonal allowance. Pursuant to §§ 679.20(a)(7)(i)(B) and 679.23(e)(5), the CDQ season allowances by gear are as follows: for most hook– and–line catcher/processors and hook– and–line catcher vessels greater than or equal to 60 ft (18.3 m) LOA, the first E:\FR\FM\10DEP1.SGM 10DEP1 Federal Register / Vol. 73, No. 238 / Wednesday, December 10, 2008 / Proposed Rules 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 to December 31. No seasonal harvest constraints are imposed on the Pacific cod fishery for pot gear or catcher vessels less than 60 ft (18.3 m) LOA using hook–and–line 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. Pursuant to §§ 679.20(a)(7)(iv)(A) and 679.23(e)(5), the non–CDQ season allowances by gear are as follows. For hook–and–line and pot catcher/ processors and hook–and–line and pot vessels greater than or equal to 60 ft (18.3 m) LOA, the first seasonal allowance of 51 percent of the ITAC is made available for directed fishing from January 1 to June 10, and the second seasonal allowance of 49 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 for 75065 catcher vessels less than 60 ft (18.3 m) LOA using hook–and–line or pot gear. For trawl gear, the first season is January 20 to April 1, the second season is April 1 to June 10, and the third season is June 10 to November 1. The trawl catcher vessel allocation is further allocated as 74 percent in the first season, 11 percent in the second season, and 15 percent in the third season. The trawl catcher/ processor allocation is allocated 75 percent in the first season, 25 percent in the second season, and zero percent in the third season. For jig gear, the first seasonal allowance is allocated 60 percent of the ITAC, and the second and third seasonal allowances are each allocated 20 percent of the ITAC. Table 4 lists the proposed 2009 and 2010 allocations and seasonal apportionments of the Pacific cod TAC. TABLE 4—PROPOSED 2009 AND 2010 GEAR SHARES AND SEASONAL ALLOWANCES OF THE BSAI PACIFIC COD TAC [Amounts are in metric tons] Gear sector 2009 and 2010 share of gear sector total Percent 2009 and 2010 share of sector total 2009 and 2010 seasonal apportionment Season Amount Total TAC 100 170,720 n/a n/a n/a CDQ 10.7 18,267 n/a see § 679.20(a)(7)(i)(B) n/a Total hook-and-line/pot gear 60.8 92,691 n/a n/a n/a Hook-and-line/pot ICA1 n/a n/a 500 n/a n/a Hook-and-line/pot sub-total n/a 92,191 n/a n/a n/a 48.7 n/a 73,844 Jan 1-Jun 10 37,660 Jun 10-Dec 31 36,184 Jan 1-Jun 10 155 Jun 10-Dec 31 149 Jan 1-Jun 10 1,160 Sept 1-Dec 31 1,114 Jan 1-Jun 10 6,496 Sept 1-Dec 31 6,241 Hook-and-line catcher/processors Hook-and-line catcher vessels ≥ 60 ft LOA 0.2 Pot catcher/processors n/a 1.5 Pot catcher vessels ≥ 60 ft LOA n/a 8.4 Catcher vessels < 60 ft LOA using hook-andline or pot gear n/a 303 2,274 12,737 mstockstill on PROD1PC66 with PROPOSALS n/a 33,692 n/a Jan 20-Apr 1 24,932 3,706 5,054 Jan 20-Apr 1 2,630 Apr 1- Jun 10 877 Jun 10-Nov 1 0 Jan 20-Apr 1 15,322 2.3 Amendment 80 16:30 Dec 09, 2008 n/a Jun 10-Nov 1 VerDate Aug<31>2005 3,033 Apr 1-Jun 10 AFA trawl catcher processors n/a 22.1 Trawl catcher vessels 2.0 3,506 13.4 Jkt 217001 PO 00000 Frm 00077 20,429 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 n/a n/a E:\FR\FM\10DEP1.SGM 10DEP1 75066 Federal Register / Vol. 73, No. 238 / Wednesday, December 10, 2008 / Proposed Rules TABLE 4—PROPOSED 2009 AND 2010 GEAR SHARES AND SEASONAL ALLOWANCES OF THE BSAI PACIFIC COD TAC—Continued [Amounts are in metric tons] Gear sector 2009 and 2010 share of gear sector total Percent 2009 and 2010 seasonal apportionment 2009 and 2010 share of sector total Season Amount Apr 1- Jun 10 Jun 10-Nov 1 Jan 20-Apr 1 12,804 4,268 0 Jan 1-Apr 30 1,281 427 Aug 31-Dec 31 427 n/a 17,072 1.4 0 Apr 30-Aug 31 Jig 839 Jun 10-Nov 1 n/a 2,518 Apr 1- Jun 10 Amendment 80 cooperative 3,357 Jan 20-Apr 1 Jun 10-Nov 1 n/a 0 Apr 1- Jun 10 Amendment 80 limited access 5,107 n/a 2,134 n/a 1 The ICA for the hook-and-line and pot sectors will be deducted from the aggregate portion of Pacific cod TAC allocated to the hook-and-line and pot sectors. The Regional Administrator proposes an ICA of 500 mt for 2009 and 2010 based on anticipated incidental catch in these fisheries. Sablefish Gear Allocation Sections 679.20(a)(4)(iii) and (iv) require the allocation of sablefish TACs for the Bering Sea and AI subareas between trawl gear 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. Section 679.20(b)(1)(ii)(B) requires apportionment of 20 percent of the hook–and–line and pot gear allocation of sablefish to the CDQ reserve. Additionally, § 679.20(b)(1)(ii)(D) requires apportionment of 7.5 percent of the trawl gear allocation of sablefish to the CDQ reserve. The Council recommended that only trawl sablefish TAC be established biennially. The harvest specifications for the hook–and– line gear and pot gear sablefish Individual Fishing Quota (IFQ) fisheries will be limited to the 2009 fishing year to ensure those fisheries are conducted concurrently with the halibut IFQ fishery. Concurrent sablefish and halibut IFQ fisheries 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. Table 5 lists the proposed 2009 and 2010 gear allocations of the sablefish TAC and CDQ reserve amounts. TABLE 5—PROPOSED 2009 AND 2010 GEAR SHARES AND CDQ RESERVE OF BSAI SABLEFISH TACS [Amounts are in metric tons] Percent of TAC 2009 Share of TAC 2009 ITAC1 2009 CDQ reserve 2010 ITAC 2010 ITAC 2010 CDQ reserve 50 50 1,305 1,305 1,109 n/a 98 261 1,305 n/a 1,109 n/a 98 n/a 100 2,610 1,109 359 2,610 1,109 98 25 75 558 1,673 474 n/a 42 335 558 n/a 474 n/a 42 n/a 100 Subarea and gear 2,230 474 376 2,230 474 42 Bering Sea Trawl Hook-and-line gear2 TOTAL Aleutian Islands Trawl Hook-and-line gear2 mstockstill on PROD1PC66 with PROPOSALS TOTAL 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 hook and line or pot gear, 20 percent of the allocated TAC is reserved for use by CDQ participants. Section 679.20(b)(1) does not provide for the establishment of an ITAC for sablefish allocated to hook-and-line or pot gear. VerDate Aug<31>2005 16:30 Dec 09, 2008 Jkt 217001 PO 00000 Frm 00078 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 E:\FR\FM\10DEP1.SGM 10DEP1 75067 Federal Register / Vol. 73, No. 238 / Wednesday, December 10, 2008 / Proposed Rules Pacific ocean perch, flathead sole, rock sole, and yellowfin sole TACs in the BSAI, after subtraction of 10.7 percent for the CDQ reserve and an ICA for the BSAI trawl limited access sector and vessels using non–trawl gear. The allocation of the ITAC for Aleutian Islands Pacific ocean perch, flathead Allocation of the Aleutian Islands Pacific Ocean Perch, Flathead Sole, Rock Sole, and Yellowfin Sole TACs Sections 679.20(a)(10)(i) and (ii) require the allocation between the Amendment 80 sector and BSAI trawl limited access for Aleutian Islands sole, rock sole, and yellowfin sole to the Amendment 80 sector is established in Tables 33 and 34 to part 679 and § 679.91. Table 6 lists the proposed 2009 and 2010 allocations and seasonal apportionments of the Aleutian Islands Pacific ocean perch, flathead sole, rock sole, and yellowfin sole TACs. TABLE 6—PROPOSED 2009 AND 2010 COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT QUOTA (CDQ) RESERVES, INCIDENTAL CATCH AMOUNTS (ICAS), AND AMENDMENT 80 ALLOCATIONS OF THE ALEUTIAN ISLANDS PACIFIC OCEAN PERCH, FLATHEAD SOLE, ROCK SOLE, AND YELLOWFIN SOLE TACS [Amounts are in metric tons] Pacific ocean perch Sector Eastern Aleutian District 2009 Flathead sole Central Aleutian District 2010 2009 2010 2009 2010 Yellowfin sole BSAI BSAI BSAI 2009 and 2010 Western Aleutian District Rock sole 2009 and 2010 2009 2010 TAC 4,810 4,810 4,900 4,900 7,490 7,490 50,000 75,000 225,000 225,000 CDQ 515 515 524 524 801 801 5,350 8,025 24,075 24,075 ICA 100 100 10 10 10 10 4,500 5,000 2,000 2,000 BSAI trawl limited access 420 420 437 437 134 134 0 0 44,512 44,512 Amendment 80 3,776 3,776 3,929 3,929 6,545 6,545 40,150 61,975 154,413 154,413 Amendment 80 limited access1 2,002 2,002 2,083 2,083 3,470 3,470 4,686 15,260 61,595 61,595 Amendment 80 cooperatives1 1,774 1,774 1,846 1,846 3,075 3,075 35,464 46,715 92,818 92,818 1The 2010 allocations for Amendment 80 species between Amendment 80 cooperatives and the Amendment 80 limited access sector will not be known until eligible participants apply for participation in the program by November 1, 2009. mstockstill on PROD1PC66 with PROPOSALS Allocation of PSC Limits for Halibut, Salmon, Crab, and Herring Section 679.21(e) sets forth the BSAI PSC limits. Pursuant to § 679.21(e)(1)(iv) and (e)(2), the 2009 and 2010 BSAI halibut mortality limits are 3,675 mt for trawl fisheries and 900 mt for the non– trawl fisheries. Section 679.21(e)(3)(i)(A)(2) and (e)(4)(i)(A) allocates 276 mt in 2009 and 326 mt in 2010 of the trawl halibut mortality limit and allocates 7.5 percent, or 67 mt, of the non–trawl halibut mortality limit as the prohibited species quota (PSQ) reserve for use by the groundfish CDQ program. Section 679.21(e)(1)(vii) specifies 29,000 fish as the 2009 and 2010 Chinook salmon PSC limit for the Bering Sea subarea pollock fishery. Section 679.21(e)(3)(i)(A)(3)(i) allocates 7.5 percent, or 2,175 Chinook salmon, as the PSQ reserve for the CDQ program and allocates the remaining 26,825 Chinook salmon to the non–CDQ fisheries. Section 679.21(e)(1)(ix) specifies 700 fish as the 2009 and 2010 Chinook salmon PSC limit for the AI subarea pollock fishery. Section 679.21(e)(3)(i)(A)(3)(i) allocates 7.5 VerDate Aug<31>2005 16:30 Dec 09, 2008 Jkt 217001 percent, or 53 Chinook salmon, as the AI subarea PSQ for the CDQ program and allocates the remaining 647 Chinook salmon to the non–CDQ fisheries. Section 679.21(e)(1)(viii) specifies 42,000 fish as the 2009 and 2010 non–Chinook salmon PSC limit. Section 679.21(e)(3)(i)(A)(3)(ii) allocates 10.7 percent, or 4,494 non–Chinook salmon, as the PSQ for the CDQ program and allocates the remaining 37,506 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 as of October 2008 regarding PSC limits and apportionments, the Council recommended and NMFS proposes using the crab and herring 2008 and 2009 PSC limits and apportionments for the proposed 2009 and 2010 limits and apportionments. The Council will reconsider these amounts in December 2008, based on recommendations by the Plan Team and the SSC. Pursuant to § 679.21(e)(3)(i)(A)(1), 10.7 percent of each PSC limit specified for crab is PO 00000 Frm 00079 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 allocated as a PSQ reserve for use by the groundfish CDQ program. The red king crab mature female abundance is estimated from the 2007 survey data at 33.4 million red king crabs, and the effective spawning biomass is estimated at 73 million lb (33,113 mt). Based on the criteria set out at § 679.21(e)(1)(ii), the proposed 2009 and 2010 PSC limit of red king crab in Zone 1 for trawl gear is 197,000 animals. This limit derives from the mature female abundance estimate of more than 84 million king crab and the effective spawning biomass estimate of more than 55 million lbs (24,948 mt). Section 679.21(e)(3)(ii)(B)(2) establishes 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 RKCSS to up to 25 percent of the red king crab PSC allowance based on the need to optimize the groundfish harvest relative to red king crab bycatch. NMFS proposes the Council’s recommendation that the red king crab bycatch limit be equal to 25 percent of the red king crab E:\FR\FM\10DEP1.SGM 10DEP1 75068 Federal Register / Vol. 73, No. 238 / Wednesday, December 10, 2008 / Proposed Rules PSC allowance within the RKCSS (Table 7b). Based on 2007 survey data, Tanner crab (Chionoecetes bairdi) abundance is estimated at 787 million animals. Given the criteria set out at § 679.21(e)(1)(iii), the calculated 2009 and 2010 C. bairdi crab PSC limit for trawl gear is 980,000 animals in Zone 1 and 2,970,000 animals in Zone 2. These limits are derived from the C. bairdi crab abundance estimate being in excess of the 400 million animal threshold specified in § 679.21(e)(1)(ii). Pursuant to § 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 2007 survey estimate of 3.33 billion animals, the calculated limit is 4,350,000 animals. Pursuant to § 679.21(e)(1)(vi), the PSC limit of Pacific herring caught while conducting any trawl operation for BSAI groundfish is 1 percent of the annual eastern Bering Sea herring biomass. The best estimate of 2009 and 2010 herring biomass is 172,644 mt. This amount was derived using 2007 survey data and an age–structured biomass projection model developed by the Alaska Department of Fish and Game. Therefore, the herring PSC limit proposed for 2009 and 2010 is 1,726 mt for all trawl gear as presented in Tables 7a and b. Section 679.21(e)(3) requires, after subtraction of PSQ reserves, that crab and halibut trawl PSC be apportioned between the BSAI trawl limited access and Amendment 80 sectors as presented in Table 7a. The amount of the 2009 PSC limits assigned to the Amendment 80 sector is specified in Table 35 to part 679. Pursuant to § 679.21(e)(1)(iv) and § 679.91(d) through (f), crab and halibut trawl PSC assigned to the Amendment 80 sector is then sub–allocated to Amendment 80 cooperatives as PSC cooperative quota (CQ) and to the Amendment 80 limited access fishery as presented in Tables 7d and e. PSC CQ assigned to Amendment 80 cooperatives is not allocated to specific fishery categories. The 2010 PSC allocations between Amendment 80 cooperatives and the Amendment 80 limited access sector will not be known until eligible participants apply for participation in the program by November 1, 2009. Section 679.21(e)(3)(i)(B) requires the apportionment of each trawl PSC limit not assigned to Amendment 80 cooperatives into PSC bycatch allowances for seven specified fishery categories. Section 679.21(e)(4) authorizes the apportionment of the non–trawl halibut PSC limits into PSC bycatch allowances among six fishery categories. Table 7c lists the fishery bycatch allowances for the BSAI trawl limited access and non– trawl fisheries. As in past years after consultation with the Council, NMFS 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 have low halibut bycatch mortality, 2) halibut mortality for the jig gear fleet is assumed to be negligible, and 3) the sablefish and halibut IFQ fisheries have low halibut bycatch mortality because the IFQ program requires legal–size 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 (subpart D of 50 CFR part 679). In 2008, total groundfish catch for the pot gear fishery in the BSAI was approximately 22,000 mt, with an associated halibut bycatch mortality of about 1 mt. The 2008 jig gear fishery harvested about 176 mt of groundfish. Most vessels in the jig gear fleet are less than 60 ft (18.3 m) LOA and thus 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 jig gear and the low mortality rate of halibut caught with jig gear and released. Section 679.21(e)(5) authorizes NMFS, after consultation with the Council, to establish seasonal apportionments of PSC amounts for the BSAI trawl limited access and Amendment 80 limited access sectors 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. NMFS proposes the Council’s recommendation of the seasonal PSC apportionments in Tables 7c and 7e to maximize harvest among gear types, fisheries, and seasons while minimizing bycatch of PSC based on the above criteria. TABLE 7A—PROPOSED 2009 AND 2010 APPORTIONMENT OF PROHIBITED SPECIES CATCH ALLOWANCES TO NON–TRAWL GEAR, THE CDQ PROGRAM, AMENDMENT 80, AND THE BSAI TRAWL LIMITED ACCESS SECTORS PSC species Non-trawl PSC remaining after CDQ PSQ1 Total nontrawl PSC Total trawl PSC Trawl PSC remaining after CDQ PSQ1 Amendment 80 sector CDQ PSQ reserve1 2009 BSAI trawl limited access fishery 2010 900 832 3,675 3,400 mt in 2009 and 3,282 mt in 2010 343 in 2009 and 393 in 2010 2,475 2,425 875 Herring (mt) BSAI mstockstill on PROD1PC66 with PROPOSALS Halibut mortality (mt) BSAI n/a n/a 1,726 n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a Red king crab (animals) Zone 11 n/a n/a 197,000 175,921 21,079 104,427 98,920 53,797 C. opilio (animals) COBLZ2 n/a n/a 4,350,000 3,884,550 465,450 2,267,412 2,148,156 1,248,494 VerDate Aug<31>2005 16:30 Dec 09, 2008 Jkt 217001 PO 00000 Frm 00080 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 E:\FR\FM\10DEP1.SGM 10DEP1 Federal Register / Vol. 73, No. 238 / Wednesday, December 10, 2008 / Proposed Rules 75069 TABLE 7A—PROPOSED 2009 AND 2010 APPORTIONMENT OF PROHIBITED SPECIES CATCH ALLOWANCES TO NON–TRAWL GEAR, THE CDQ PROGRAM, AMENDMENT 80, AND THE BSAI TRAWL LIMITED ACCESS SECTORS—Continued PSC species Non-trawl PSC remaining after CDQ PSQ1 Total nontrawl PSC Total trawl PSC Trawl PSC remaining after CDQ PSQ1 Amendment 80 sector CDQ PSQ reserve1 2009 2010 BSAI trawl limited access fishery C. bairdi crab (animals) Zone 12 n/a n/a 980,000 875,140 104,860 437,658 414,641 411,228 C. bairdi crab (animals) Zone 22 n/a n/a 2,970,000 2,652,210 317,790 745,536 706,284 1,241,500 1Section 679.21(e)(3)(i)(A)(2) allocates 276 mt in 2009 and 326 mt in 2010 of the trawl halibut mortality limit and section 679.21(e)(4)(i)(A) allocates 7.5 percent, or 67 mt, of the non-trawl halibut mortality limit as the PSQ reserve for use by the groundfish CDQ program. The PSQ reserve for crab species is 10.7 percent of each crab PSC limit. 2Refer to 50 CFR 679.2 for definitions of zones. TABLE 7B—PROPOSED 2009 AND 2010 HERRING AND RED KING CRAB SAVINGS SUBAREA PROHIBITED SPECIES CATCH ALLOWANCES FOR ALL TRAWL SECTORS Fishery Categories Herring (mt) BSAI Red king crab (animals) Zone 1 TABLE 7B—PROPOSED 2009 AND 2010 HERRING AND RED KING CRAB SAVINGS SUBAREA PROHIBITED SPECIES CATCH ALLOWANCES FOR ALL TRAWL SECTORS—Continued Fishery Categories Herring (mt) BSAI Red king crab (animals) Zone 1 148 n/a Midwater trawl pollock 1,318 n/a Rock sole/ flathead sole/ other flatfish1 26 n/a Pollock/Atka mackerel/ other species3 187 n/a Turbot/ arrowtooth/ sablefish2 12 n/a Red king crab savings subarea Non-pelagic trawl gear4 n/a n/a n/a 49,250 Yellowfin sole Rockfish mstockstill on PROD1PC66 with PROPOSALS Pacific cod VerDate Aug<31>2005 9 n/a 26 n/a 16:30 Dec 09, 2008 Jkt 217001 PO 00000 Frm 00081 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 TABLE 7B—PROPOSED 2009 AND 2010 HERRING AND RED KING CRAB SAVINGS SUBAREA PROHIBITED SPECIES CATCH ALLOWANCES FOR ALL TRAWL SECTORS—Continued Fishery Categories Total trawl PSC Herring (mt) BSAI 1,726 Red king crab (animals) Zone 1 197,000 1‘‘Other flatfish’’ for PSC monitoring includes all flatfish species, except for halibut (a prohibited species), flathead sole, Greenland turbot, rock sole, yellowfin sole, and arrowtooth flounder. 2Greenland turbot, arrowtooth flounder, and sablefish fishery category. 2Greenland turbot, arrowtooth flounder, and sablefish fishery category. 3Non-pollock, Atka mackerel, and ‘‘other species’’ fishery category. 4In October 2008 the Council recommended that the red king crab bycatch limit for non-pelagic trawl fisheries within the RKCSS be limited to 25 percent of the red king crab PSC allowance (see § 679.21(e)(3)(ii)(B)(2)). E:\FR\FM\10DEP1.SGM 10DEP1 75070 Federal Register / Vol. 73, No. 238 / Wednesday, December 10, 2008 / Proposed Rules TABLE 7D—PROPOSED 2009 PROHIBITED SPECIES BYCATCH ALLOWANCE FOR THE BSAI AMENDMENT 80 COOPERATIVES Prohibited species and zones1 Year 2009 1 Red king crab (animals) Zone 1 Halibut mortality (mt) BSAI 1,793 C. bairdi (animals) C. opilio (animals) COBLZ 74,345 Zone 1 1,544,825 Zone 2 321,922 548,443 Refer to § 679.2 for definitions of zones. TABLE 7E—PROPOSED 2009 PROHIBITED SPECIES BYCATCH ALLOWANCES FOR THE BSAI AMENDMENT 80 LIMITED ACCESS FISHERIES Prohibited species and zone1 Halibut mortality (mt) BSAI Red king crab (animals) Zone 1 C. bairdi (animals) C. opilio (animals) COBLZ Zone 1 Zone 2 Yellowfin sole Jan 20 - Jul 1 Jul 1 - Dec 31 359 212 148 5,867 5,674 193 632,306 622,726 9,580 60,832 56,349 4,483 149,709 120,793 28,916 Rock sole/other flat/flathead sole2 Jan 20 - Apr 1 Apr 1 - Jul 1 July 1 - Dec 31 222 178 20 24 24,039 23,687 176 176 89,476 86,449 1,590 1,437 54,593 48,162 3,371 3,060 46,523 40,637 2,943 2,943 VerDate Aug<31>2005 16:30 Dec 09, 2008 Jkt 217001 PO 00000 Frm 00082 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 E:\FR\FM\10DEP1.SGM 10DEP1 EP10DE08.004 mstockstill on PROD1PC66 with PROPOSALS Amendment 80 trawl limited access fisheries 75071 Federal Register / Vol. 73, No. 238 / Wednesday, December 10, 2008 / Proposed Rules TABLE 7E—PROPOSED 2009 PROHIBITED SPECIES BYCATCH ALLOWANCES FOR THE BSAI AMENDMENT 80 LIMITED ACCESS FISHERIES—Continued Prohibited species and zone1 Amendment 80 trawl limited access fisheries Halibut mortality (mt) BSAI Red king crab (animals) Zone 1 C. bairdi (animals) C. opilio (animals) COBLZ Zone 1 Zone 2 Turbot/arrowtooth/sablefish3 n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a Rockfish 50 n/a n/a n/a n/a 1 176 805 311 861 50 0 0 0 0 682 30,082 722,587 115,736 197,093 Pacific cod Pollock/Atka mackerel/other4 Total Amendment 80 trawl limited access PSC 1Refer to § 679.2 for definitions of zones. 2‘‘Other flatfish’’ for PSC monitoring includes all flatfish species, except for halibut (a prohibited species), flathead sole, Greenland turbot, rock sole, yellowfin sole, and arrowtooth flounder. 3Greenland turbot, arrowtooth flounder, and sablefish fishery category. 4Pollock other than pelagic trawl pollock, Atka mackerel, and ‘‘other species’’ fishery category. Halibut Discard Mortality Rates To monitor halibut bycatch mortality allowances and apportionments, the Regional Administrator uses observed halibut bycatch rates, 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. NMFS proposes the Council’s recommendation that the halibut DMRs developed and recommended by the International Pacific Halibut Commission (IPHC) for the 2009 and 2010 BSAI groundfish fisheries be used for monitoring the proposed 2009 and 2010 halibut bycatch allowances (see Tables 7a–e). The DMRs proposed for the 2009 and 2010 BSAI non–CDQ fisheries are the same as those used in 2008. The IPHC developed the DMRs for the 2009 and 2010 BSAI non–CDQ groundfish fisheries using the 10-year mean DMRs for those fisheries. The IPHC changed the DMRs for the 2009 and 2010 BSAI CDQ groundfish fisheries using the 1998 to 2006 DMRs for those fisheries. The IPHC will analyze observer data annually and recommend changes to the DMRs when a fishery DMR shows large variation from the mean. A copy of the document justifying these DMRs is available from the Council (see ADDRESSES) and the DMRs are discussed in Appendix A of the final 2007 SAFE report dated November 2007. Table 8 lists the proposed 2009 and 2010 DMRs. TABLE 8—PROPOSED 2009 AND 2010 ASSUMED PACIFIC HALIBUT DISCARD MORTALITY RATES FOR THE BSAI Halibut discard mortality rate (percent) Fishery Non-CDQ hook-and-line Greenland turbot ................................................................................................................................... Other species ........................................................................................................................................ Pacific cod ............................................................................................................................................. Rockfish ................................................................................................................................................. 13 11 11 17 Non-CDQ trawl mstockstill on PROD1PC66 with PROPOSALS Gear Arrowtooth flounder ............................................................................................................................... Atka mackerel ........................................................................................................................................ Flathead sole ......................................................................................................................................... Greenland turbot ................................................................................................................................... Non-pelagic pollock ............................................................................................................................... Pelagic pollock ...................................................................................................................................... Other flatfish .......................................................................................................................................... Other species ........................................................................................................................................ Pacific cod ............................................................................................................................................. Rockfish ................................................................................................................................................. Rock sole ............................................................................................................................................... Sablefish ................................................................................................................................................ Yellowfin sole ........................................................................................................................................ 75 76 70 70 74 88 74 70 70 76 80 75 80 Non-CDQ pot Other species ........................................................................................................................................ Pacific cod ............................................................................................................................................. 7 7 CDQ trawl Atka mackerel ........................................................................................................................................ Flathead sole ......................................................................................................................................... Non-pelagic pollock ............................................................................................................................... Pelagic pollock ...................................................................................................................................... 85 70 86 90 VerDate Aug<31>2005 16:30 Dec 09, 2008 Jkt 217001 PO 00000 Frm 00083 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 E:\FR\FM\10DEP1.SGM 10DEP1 75072 Federal Register / Vol. 73, No. 238 / Wednesday, December 10, 2008 / Proposed Rules TABLE 8—PROPOSED 2009 AND 2010 ASSUMED PACIFIC HALIBUT DISCARD MORTALITY RATES FOR THE BSAI—Continued Gear Halibut discard mortality rate (percent) Fishery Rockfish ................................................................................................................................................. Rock sole ............................................................................................................................................... Yellowfin sole ........................................................................................................................................ 82 86 86 CDQ hook-and-line Greenland turbot ................................................................................................................................... Pacific cod ............................................................................................................................................. 4 10 CDQ pot Pacific cod ............................................................................................................................................. Sablefish ................................................................................................................................................ 7 34 Central Gulf of Alaska Rockfish Pilot Program (Rockfish Program) On June 6, 2005, the Council adopted the Rockfish Program to meet the requirements of Section 802 of the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2004 (Public Law 108–199). The basis for the BSAI fishing prohibitions and the catcher vessel BSAI Pacific cod sideboard limits of the Rockfish program are discussed in detail in the final rule for Amendment 68 to the FMP for groundfish of the GOA (71 FR 67210, November 20, 2006). Pursuant to § 679.82(d)(6)(i), the catcher vessel BSAI Pacific cod sideboard limit is 0.0 mt and in the final 2009 and 2010 harvest limits. The basis for these proposed sideboard limits is described in detail in the final rules implementing the major provisions of the AFA (67 FR 79692, December 30, 2002) and Amendment 80 (72 FR 52668, September 14, 2007). All harvests of groundfish sideboard species by listed AFA catcher/ processors, whether as targeted catch or incidental catch, will be deducted from the proposed sideboard limits in Table 9. However, groundfish sideboard species that are delivered to listed AFA catcher/processors by catcher vessels will not be deducted from the proposed 2009 and 2010 sideboard limits for the listed AFA catcher/processors. specifications this would effectively close directed fishing for BSAI Pacific cod in July for catcher vessels under the Rockfish Program sideboard limitations. Listed AFA Catcher/Processor Sideboard Limits Pursuant to § 679.64(a), the Regional Administrator is responsible for restricting 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 cooperatives in the directed pollock fishery. Table 9 lists the proposed 2009 and 2010 catcher/processor sideboard TABLE 9—PROPOSED 2009 AND 2010 BSAI GROUNDFISH SIDEBOARD LIMITS FOR LISTED AMERICAN FISHERIES ACT CATCHER/PROCESSORS (C/P) [Amounts are in metric tons] 1995 - 1997 2009 and 2010 ITAC available to all trawl C/ Ps1 2009 and 2010 AFA C/ P sideboard limit Retained catch Target species Total catch Ratio of retained catch to total catch 8 0 497 145 0.016 0.000 1,109 474 18 0 n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a 0.115 n/a 0.115 n/a 8,484 5,090 8,484 5,090 976 585 976 585 n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a 0.200 n/a 0.200 n/a 5,894 3,536 5,894 3,536 1,179 707 1,179 707 Area Sablefish trawl BS AI Atka mackerel Central AI A season2 HLA limit3 B season2 HLA limit3 Western AI A season2 HLA limit3 B season2 HLA limit3 BSAI 100,192 435,788 0.230 200,925 n/a Rock sole mstockstill on PROD1PC66 with PROPOSALS Yellowfin sole4 BSAI 6,317 169,362 0.037 66,975 2,478 Greenland turbot BS AI 121 23 17,305 4,987 0.007 0.005 1,488 672 10 3 Arrowtooth flounder BSAI 76 33,987 0.002 63,750 128 Flathead sole BSAI 1,925 52,755 0.036 44,650 1,607 VerDate Aug<31>2005 16:30 Dec 09, 2008 Jkt 217001 PO 00000 Frm 00084 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 E:\FR\FM\10DEP1.SGM 10DEP1 Federal Register / Vol. 73, No. 238 / Wednesday, December 10, 2008 / Proposed Rules 75073 TABLE 9—PROPOSED 2009 AND 2010 BSAI GROUNDFISH SIDEBOARD LIMITS FOR LISTED AMERICAN FISHERIES ACT CATCHER/PROCESSORS (C/P)—Continued [Amounts are in metric tons] 1995 - 1997 Retained catch Target species Total catch Ratio of retained catch to total catch Area 2009 and 2010 ITAC available to all trawl C/ Ps1 2009 and 2010 AFA C/ P sideboard limit Alaska plaice BSAI 14 9,438 0.001 42,500 43 Other flatfish BSAI 3,058 52,298 0.058 18,360 1,065 Pacific ocean perch BS Eastern AI Central AI Western AI 12 125 3 54 4,879 6,179 5,698 13,598 0.002 0.020 0.001 0.004 3,485 4,295 4,376 6,689 7 86 4 27 Northern rockfish BSAI 91 13,040 0.007 6,911 48 Shortraker rockfish BSAI 50 2,811 0.018 360 6 Rougheye rockfish BSAI 50 2,811 0.018 172 3 Other rockfish BS AI 18 22 621 806 0.029 0.027 352 471 10 13 Squid BSAI 73 3,328 0.022 1,675 37 Other species BSAI 553 68,672 0.008 42,500 340 1Aleutians Islands Pacific ocean perch, Atka mackerel, flathead sole, rock sole, and yellowfin sole are multiplied by the remainder of the TAC of that species after the subtraction of the CDQ reserve under § 679.20(b)(1)(ii)(C). 2The 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 ITAC specified for the Western Aleutian District, and 11.5 percent of the annual ITAC specified for the Central Aleutian District. 3Harvest Limit Area (HLA) limit refers to the amount of each seasonal allowance that is available for fishing inside the HLA (see § 679.2). In 2009 and 2010, 60 percent of each seasonal allowance is available for fishing inside the HLA in the Western and Central Aleutian Districts. 4Section 679.64(a)(1)(v) exempts AFA catcher/processors from a yellowfin sole sideboard limit because the 2009 and 2010 aggregate ITAC of yellowfin sole assigned to the Amendment 80 sector and BSAI trawl limited access sector (198,9250 mt) is greater than 125,000 mt. Section 679.64(a)(2) and Tables 40 and 41 to part 679 establish a formula for PSC sideboard limits for listed AFA catcher/processors. The basis for these sideboard limits is described in detail in the final rules implementing the major provisions of the AFA (67 FR 79692, December 30, 2002) and Amendment 80 (72 FR 52668, September 14, 2007). PSC species listed in Table 10 that are caught by listed AFA catcher/processors participating in any groundfish fishery other than pollock will accrue against the proposed 2009 and 2010 PSC sideboard limits for the listed AFA catcher/processors. Section 679.21(e)(3)(v) authorizes NMFS to close directed fishing for groundfish other than pollock for listed AFA catcher/processors once a proposed 2009 or 2010 PSC sideboard limit listed in Table 10 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/‘‘other species’’ fishery categories according to regulations at § 679.21(e)(3)(iv). TABLE 10—PROPOSED 2009 AND 2010 BSAI PROHIBITED SPECIES SIDEBOARD LIMITS FOR AMERICAN FISHERIES ACT LISTED CATCHER/PROCESSOR PSC species Ratio of PSC catch to total PSC Proposed 2009 and 2010 C/P sideboard limit1 n/a n/a 286 Red king crab Zone 12 0.007 175,921 1,231 C. opilio (COBLZ)2 mstockstill on PROD1PC66 with PROPOSALS Halibut mortality Proposed 2009 and 2010 PSC available to trawl vessels after subtraction of PSQ1 0.153 3,884,550 594,336 C. bairdi Zone 12 Zone 22 n/a 0.140 0.050 n/a 875,140 2,652,210 n/a 122,520 132,611 1Halibut 2Refer amounts are in metric tons of halibut mortality. Crab amounts are in numbers of animals. to 50 CFR 679.2 for definitions of zones. VerDate Aug<31>2005 16:30 Dec 09, 2008 Jkt 217001 PO 00000 Frm 00085 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 E:\FR\FM\10DEP1.SGM 10DEP1 75074 Federal Register / Vol. 73, No. 238 / Wednesday, December 10, 2008 / Proposed Rules AFA Catcher Vessel Sideboard Limits Pursuant to § 679.64(b), the Regional Administrator is responsible for restricting 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 rules implementing the major provisions of the AFA (67 FR 79692, December 30, 2002) and Amendment 80 (72 FR 52668, September 14, 2007). Tables 11 and 12 list the proposed 2009 and 2010 AFA catcher vessel sideboard limits. All catch of groundfish sideboard species made by non–exempt AFA catcher vessels, whether as targeted catch or as incidental catch, will be deducted from the proposed 2009 and 2010 sideboard limits listed in Table 11. TABLE 11—PROPOSED 2009 AND 2010 BSAI GROUNDFISH SIDEBOARD LIMITS FOR AMERICAN FISHERIES ACT CATCHER VESSELS (CV) [Amounts are in metric tons] Fishery by area/season/ sector/gear Species Pacific cod Ratio of 1995-1997 AFA CV catch to 1995-1997 TAC 2009 and 2010 initial TAC1 2009 and 2010 AFA catcher vessel sideboard limits BSAI Jig gear 0.0000 2,134 0 Hook-and-line CV Jan 1 - Jun 10 Jun 10 - Dec 31 0.0006 0.0006 155 149 0 0 Pot gear CV Jan 1 - Jun 10 Sept 1 - Dec 31 0.0006 0.0006 6,496 6,241 4 4 0.0006 3,033 2 0.8609 0.8609 0.8609 24,932 3,706 5,054 21,464 3,190 4,351 CV < 60 ft LOA using hook-and-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 0.0906 0.0645 1,109 474 100 31 Atka mackerel Eastern AI/BS Jan 1 - Apr 15 Sept 1 - Nov 1 0.0032 0.0032 6,831 6,832 22 22 Central AI Jan - Apr 15 HLA limit Sept 1 - Nov 1 HLA limit 0.0001 0.0001 0.0001 0.0001 8,484 5,090 8,484 5,090 1 1 1 1 Western AI Jan - Apr 15 HLA limit Sept 1 - Nov 1 HLA limit 0.0000 n/a 0.0000 n/a 5,894 3,536 5,894 3,536 0 0 0 0 Yellowfin sole2 BSAI 0.0647 200,925 n/a Rock sole BSAI 0.0341 66,975 2,284 Greenland turbot BS AI 0.0645 0.0205 1,488 672 96 14 Arrowtooth flounder BSAI 0.0690 63,750 4,399 Alaska plaice mstockstill on PROD1PC66 with PROPOSALS Sablefish BSAI 0.0441 42,500 1,874 Other flatfish BSAI 0.0441 18,360 810 Pacific ocean perch BS Eastern AI Central AI Western AI 0.1000 0.0077 0.0025 0.0000 3,485 4,295 4,376 6,689 349 33 11 0 VerDate Aug<31>2005 16:30 Dec 09, 2008 Jkt 217001 PO 00000 Frm 00086 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 E:\FR\FM\10DEP1.SGM 10DEP1 Federal Register / Vol. 73, No. 238 / Wednesday, December 10, 2008 / Proposed Rules 75075 TABLE 11—PROPOSED 2009 AND 2010 BSAI GROUNDFISH SIDEBOARD LIMITS FOR AMERICAN FISHERIES ACT CATCHER VESSELS (CV)—Continued [Amounts are in metric tons] Ratio of 1995-1997 AFA CV catch to 1995-1997 TAC Fishery by area/season/ sector/gear Species 2009 and 2010 initial TAC1 2009 and 2010 AFA catcher vessel sideboard limits Northern rockfish BSAI 0.0084 6,911 58 Shortraker rockfish BSAI 0.0037 360 1 Rougheye rockfish BSAI 0.0037 172 1 Other rockfish BS AI 0.0048 0.0095 352 471 2 4 Squid BSAI 0.3827 1,675 641 Other species BSAI 0.0541 42,500 2,299 Flathead sole BS trawl gear 0.0505 44,650 2,255 1Aleutians Islands Pacific ocean perch, Atka mackerel, flathead sole, rock sole, and yellowfin sole are multiplied by the remainder of the TAC of that species after the subtraction of the CDQ reserve under § 679.20(b)(1)(ii)(C). 2Section 679.64(b)(6) exempts AFA catcher vessels from a yellowfin sole sideboard limit because the 2009 and 2010 aggregate ITAC of yellowfin sole assigned to the Amendment 80 sector and BSAI trawl limited access sector (198,925 mt) is greater than 125,000 mt. Halibut and crab PSC listed in Table 12 that are caught by AFA catcher vessels participating in any groundfish fishery other than pollock will accrue against the proposed 2009 and 2010 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 than pollock for AFA catcher vessels once a proposed 2009 and 2010 PSC sideboard limit listed in Table 12 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 12—PROPOSED 2009 AND 2010 AMERICAN FISHERIES ACT CATCHER VESSEL PROHIBITED SPECIES CATCH SIDEBOARD LIMITS FOR THE BSAI [Amounts are in metric tons] Halibut AFA catcher vessel PSC sideboard limit ratio Target fishery category2 PSC species Proposed 2009 and 2010 PSC limit after subtraction of PSQ reserves1 Proposed 2009 and 2010 AFA catcher vessel PSC sideboard limit1 Pacific cod trawl n/a n/a 887 Pacific cod hook-and-line or pot n/a n/a 2 Yellowfin sole total n/a n/a 101 Rock sole/flathead sole/other flatfish3 n/a n/a 228 Turbot/arrowtooth/sablefish n/a n/a 0 Rockfish (July 1 - December 31) n/a n/a 2 Pollock/Atka mackerel/other species n/a n/a 5 n/a 0.299 175,921 52,600 C. opilio COBLZ4 n/a 0.168 3,884,550 652,604 C. bairdi Zone 14 n/a 0.330 875,140 288,796 C. bairdi Zone 24 mstockstill on PROD1PC66 with PROPOSALS Red king crab Zone 14 n/a 0.186 2,652,210 493,311 1Halibut amounts are in metric tons of halibut mortality. Crab amounts are in numbers of animals. 2Target fishery categories are defined in regulation at § 679.21(e)(3)(iv). 3‘‘Other flatfish’’ for PSC monitoring includes all flatfish species, except for halibut (a prohibited species), flathead sole, Greenland turbot, rock sole, yellowfin sole, and arrowtooth flounder. 4Refer to 50 CFR 679.2 for definitions of areas. VerDate Aug<31>2005 16:30 Dec 09, 2008 Jkt 217001 PO 00000 Frm 00087 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 E:\FR\FM\10DEP1.SGM 10DEP1 75076 Federal Register / Vol. 73, No. 238 / Wednesday, December 10, 2008 / Proposed Rules mstockstill on PROD1PC66 with PROPOSALS Classification NMFS has determined that the proposed harvest specifications are consistent with the FMP and preliminarily determined that the proposed harvest 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. NMFS prepared a Final EIS for this action and made it available to the public on January 12, 2007 (72 FR 1512). On February 13, 2007, NMFS issued the Record of Decision (ROD) for the Final EIS. Copies of the Final EIS and ROD for this action are available from NMFS (see ADDRESSES). The Final EIS analyzes the environmental consequences of the proposed action and its alternatives on resources in the action area. The Final EIS found no significant environmental consequences from the proposed action or its alternatives. NMFS also prepared an Initial Regulatory Flexibility Analysis (IRFA) as required by Section 603 of the Regulatory Flexibility Act. The IRFA evaluated the impacts on small entities of alternative harvest strategies for the groundfish fisheries in the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) off of Alaska. NMFS published a notice of the availability of the IRFA and its summary in the classification section of the proposed harvest specifications for the groundfish fisheries in the BSAI in the Federal Register on December 15, 2006 (71 FR 75460). The comment period on the BSAI proposed harvest specifications and IRFA ended on January 16, 2007. NMFS did not receive any comments on the IRFA. Each year, NMFS promulgates a rule establishing the harvest specifications pursuant to the adopted harvest strategy. While the harvest specification numbers may change from year to year, the harvest strategy for establishing those numbers does not change. Therefore, the impacts discussed in the IRFA are essentially the same. NMFS considers the annual rulemakings VerDate Aug<31>2005 16:30 Dec 09, 2008 Jkt 217001 establishing the harvest specification numbers to be a series of closely related rules stemming from the harvest strategy and representing one rule for purposes of the Regulatory Flexibility Act (5 U.S.C. 605(c)). A copy of the IRFA is available from NMFS (see ADDRESSES), and a summary is below. The action analyzed in the IRFA is the adoption of a harvest strategy to govern the catch of groundfish in the BSAI. The preferred alternative is the status quo harvest strategy in which TACs fall within the range of ABCs recommended by the Council’s harvest specification process and TACs recommended by the Council. This action is taken in accordance with the FMP prepared by the Council pursuant to the Magnuson– Stevens Act. The directly regulated small entities include approximately 810 small catcher vessels, fewer than 20 small catcher/processors, and six CDQ groups. The entities directly regulated by this action are those that harvest groundfish in the exclusive economic zone of the BSAI and in parallel fisheries within State of Alaska waters. These include entities operating catcher vessels and catcher/processor vessels within the action area, and entities receiving direct allocations of groundfish. Catcher vessels and catcher/processors were considered to be small entities if their annual gross receipts from all economic activities, including the revenue of their affiliated operations, totaled $4 million per year or less. Data from 2006 were the most recent available to determine the number of small entities. Estimates of first wholesale gross revenues for the BSAI non–CDQ and CDQ sectors were used as indices of the potential impacts of the alternative harvest strategies on small entities. Revenues were projected to decline from 2006 levels in 2007 and 2008 under the preferred alternative due to declines in ABCs for economically key groundfish species. The preferred alternative (Alternative 2) was compared to four other alternatives. These included Alternative PO 00000 Frm 00088 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 1, which would have set TACs to generate fishing rates equal to the maximum permissible ABC (if the full TAC were harvested), unless the sum of TACs exceeded the BSAI optimum yield, in which case TACs would have been limited to the optimum yield. Alternative 3 would have set TACs to produce fishing rates equal to the most recent five-year average fishing rates. Alternative 4 would have set TACs to equal the lower limit of the BSAI optimum yield range. Alternative 5 would have set TACs equal to zero. Alternative 5 is the ‘‘no action’’ alternative. Alternatives 3, 4, and 5 produced smaller first wholesale revenue indices for both non–CDQ and CDQ sectors than Alternative 2. Alternative 1 revenues were the same as Alternative 2 revenues in the BSAI for both sectors. Moreover, higher Alternative 1 TACs are associated with maximum permissible ABCs, while Alternative 2 TACs are associated with the ABCs that have been recommended to the Council by the Plan Team and the SSC, and more fully consider other potential biological issues. For these reasons, Alternative 2 is the preferred alternative. This action does not modify recordkeeping or reporting requirements, or duplicate, overlap, or conflict with any Federal rules. Adverse impacts on marine mammals resulting from fishing activities conducted under these harvest specifications are discussed in the Final EIS (see ADDRESSES). Authority: 16 U.S.C. 773 et seq.; 16 U.S.C. 1540(f); 16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq.; 16 U.S.C. 3631 et seq.; Pub. L. 105–277; Pub. L. 106– 31; Pub. L. 106–554; Pub. L. 108–199; Pub. L. 108–447; Pub. L. 109–241; Pub. L. 109– 479. Dated: December 2, 2008. Samuel D. Rauch III, Deputy Assistant Administrator for Regulatory Programs, National Marine Fisheries Service. [FR Doc. E8–29216 Filed 12–9–08; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510–22–S E:\FR\FM\10DEP1.SGM 10DEP1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 73, Number 238 (Wednesday, December 10, 2008)]
[Proposed Rules]
[Pages 75059-75076]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: E8-29216]


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DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

50 CFR Part 679

[Docket No. 0810141351-81451-01]
RIN 0648-XL28


Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Bering Sea 
and Aleutian Islands; Proposed 2009 and 2010 Harvest Specifications for 
Groundfish

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

ACTION: Proposed rule; request for comments.

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SUMMARY: NMFS proposes 2009 and 2010 harvest specifications and 
prohibited species catch allowances for the groundfish fisheries of the 
Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands management area (BSAI). This action is 
necessary to establish harvest limits for groundfish during the 2009 
and 2010 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. 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.

DATES: Comments must be received by January 9, 2009.

ADDRESSES: Send comments to Sue Salveson, Assistant Regional 
Administrator, Sustainable Fisheries Division, Alaska Region, NMFS, 
Attn: Ellen Sebastian. You may submit comments, identified by RIN 0648-
XL28, by any one of the following methods:
     Electronic Submissions: Submit all electronic public 
comments via the Federal eRulemaking Portal website at http://
www.regulations.gov.
     Mail: P. O. Box 21668, Juneau, AK 99802.
     Fax: (907) 586-7557.
     Hand delivery to the Federal Building: 709 West 9th 
Street, Room 420A, Juneau, AK.
    All comments received are a part of the public record and will 
generally be posted to http://www.regulations.gov without change. All 
Personal Identifying Information (e.g., name, address) voluntarily 
submitted by the commenter may be publicly accessible. Do not submit 
Confidential Business Information or otherwise sensitive or protected 
information.
    NMFS will accept anonymous comments (enter N/A in the required 
fields, if you wish to remain anonymous). Attachments to electronic 
comments will be accepted in Microsoft Word, Excel, WordPerfect, or 
Adobe portable document file (pdf) formats only.
    Copies of the Final Alaska Groundfish Harvest Specifications 
Environmental Impact Statement (Final EIS), Record of Decision (ROD), 
and Initial Regulatory Flexibility Analysis (IRFA) prepared for this 
action are available from NMFS at the mailing address above or from the 
Alaska Region website at http://www.alaskafisheries.noaa.gov. Copies of 
the final 2008 Stock Assessment and Fishery Evaluation (SAFE) report 
for the groundfish resources of the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands 
(BSAI), dated November 2007, are available from the North Pacific 
Fishery Management Council (Council), 605 West 4th Avenue, Suite 306, 
Anchorage, AK 99510-2252, 907-271-2809, or from its website at http://
www.alaskafisheries.noaa.gov/npfmc/default.htm.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Steve Whitney, 907-586-7269.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Federal regulations at 50 CFR part 679 
implement the Fishery Management Plan for Groundfish of the Bering Sea 
and Aleutian Islands Management Area (FMP) and govern the groundfish 
fisheries in the BSAI. The Council prepared the FMP and NMFS approved 
it under the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act 
(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)). Section 
679.20(c)(1) further requires NMFS to publish proposed harvest 
specifications in the Federal Register and solicit public comments on 
proposed annual TACs and apportionments thereof, prohibited species 
catch (PSC) allowances, and prohibited species quota (PSQ) reserves 
established by Sec.  679.21, seasonal allowances of pollock, Pacific 
cod, and Atka mackerel TAC, Amendment 80 allocations, and Community 
Development Quota (CDQ) reserve amounts established by Sec.  
679.20(b)(1)(ii). The proposed harvest specifications set forth in 
Tables 1 through 12 of this action satisfy these requirements.
    Under Sec.  679.20(c)(3), NMFS will publish the final harvest 
specifications for 2009 and 2010 after (1) considering comments 
received within the comment period (see DATES), (2) consulting with the 
Council at its December 2008 meeting, and (3) considering new 
information presented in the Final EIS and the final 2008 SAFE reports 
prepared for the 2009 and 2010 groundfish fisheries.

Other Actions Potentially Affecting the 2009 and 2010 Harvest 
Specifications

    The Council submitted Amendment 73 to the FMP. NMFS published a 
proposed rule in the Federal Register on September 24, 2008 (73 FR 
55010). This amendment would remove dark rockfish (Sebastes ciliatus) 
from the ``other rockfish'' category and from the FMP. The State of 
Alaska would assume management of dark rockfish, and the TAC of the 
``other rockfish'' category would be slightly smaller than in previous 
years. The Council is considering a proposal that would allocate the 
Pacific cod TAC by Bering Sea subarea and Aleutian Islands (AI) subarea 
instead of a combined BSAI TAC, although associated fishery

[[Page 75060]]

management implications would require more time to assess and resolve. 
As a result, a Pacific cod split is unlikely for 2009. Additional 
proposals being developed by the Plan Team for Council consideration 
would separate some species from the ``other species'' category so that 
individual overfishing levels (OFLs), acceptable biological catches 
(ABCs), and TACs may be established for these species. Another would 
allocate the ABC for rougheye rockfish by Bering Sea subarea and 
Aleutian Islands (AI) subarea instead of a combined BSAI ABC. These 
latter two proposals could change the final 2009 and 2010 harvest 
specifications. Additionally, the existing 2009 harvest specifications 
will be updated in early 2009 when final harvest specifications for 
2009 and new harvest specifications for 2010 are implemented.

Proposed ABC and TAC Harvest Specifications

    The proposed ABC levels are based on the best available biological 
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. The 
FMP specifies a series of six tiers based on the level of reliable 
information available to fishery scientists. Tier one represents the 
highest level of information quality available while tier six 
represents the lowest level of information quality available.
    Appendix A to the final SAFE report for the 2008 BSAI groundfish 
fisheries dated November 2007 (see ADDRESSES) sets forth the best 
information currently available. Information on the status of stocks, 
including the 2008 survey results, will be updated and considered by 
the Council's Groundfish Plan Team in November 2008 for the 2008 SAFE 
report. The final 2009 and 2010 harvest specifications will be based on 
the 2008 SAFE report.
    In October 2008, the Scientific and Statistical Committee (SSC), 
Advisory Panel, and the Council reviewed the Plan Team's recommended 
proposed 2009 and 2010 OFL and ABC amounts. The SSC concurred in the 
Plan Team's recommendations. The recommendations are based on rollovers 
of the current 2009 amounts. This uses the best information available 
from the 2007 stock assessments.
    The Council adopted the OFL and ABC amounts recommended by the SSC 
(Table 1). The Council recommended that all the proposed 2009 and 2010 
TAC amounts be set equal to the 2008 TAC amounts except for reduced TAC 
amounts for sablefish, Atka mackerel, Pacific ocean perch (POP), 
northern rockfish, and the ``other rockfish'' group. The adjustments 
from the 2008 TAC amounts account for the lower 2009 ABC amounts for 
these species. As in previous years, the Plan Team, Advisory Panel, 
SSC, and Council recommended that total removals of Pacific cod from 
the BSAI not exceed ABC recommendations. Accordingly, the Council 
recommended that the proposed 2009 and 2010 Pacific cod TACs be 
adjusted downward from the ABCs by amounts equal to 3 percent of the 
ABC. This adjustment is necessary to account for the guideline harvest 
level (GHL) established for Pacific cod by the State of Alaska (State) 
for a State-managed fishery that occurs in State waters in the AI 
subarea. Finally, the Council recommended using the 2008 and 2009 PSC 
allowances for the proposed 2009 and 2010 PSC allowances. The Council 
will reconsider the OFL, ABC, TAC, and PSC amounts in December 2008 
after the Plan Team incorporates new status of groundfish stocks 
information into a final 2008 SAFE report for the 2009 and 2010 BSAI 
groundfish fishery. None of the Council's recommended proposed TACs for 
2009 or 2010 exceeds the recommended 2009 or 2010 proposed ABC for any 
species category. NMFS finds the Council's recommended proposed 2009 
and 2010 OFL, ABC, and TAC amounts consistent with the best available 
information on the biological condition of the groundfish stocks.
    Table 1 lists the proposed 2009 and 2010 OFL, ABC, TAC, initial TAC 
(ITAC), and CDQ amounts for groundfish for the BSAI. The proposed 
apportionment of TAC amounts among fisheries and seasons is discussed 
below.

  TABLE 1--PROPOSED 2009 AND 2010 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]
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                                           Proposed 2009 and 2010
           Species                     Area        -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                            OFL                  ABC                  TAC               ITAC\2\           CDQ\3,4,5\
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Pollock\3\                     BS                   1,320,000            1,000,000            1,000,000           900,000             100,000
                               AI                   26,100               22,700               19,000              17,100              1,900
                               Bogoslof             58,400               7,970                10                  10                  0
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Pacific cod\4\                 BSAI                 207,000              176,000              170,720             152,453             18,267
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Sablefish\5\                   BS                   2,910                2,610                2,610               1,109               98
                               AI                   2,510                2,230                2,230               474                 41
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Atka mackerel                  BSAI                 50,600               47,500               47,500              42,418              5,083
                               EAI/BS               n/a                  15,300               15,300              13,663              1,637
                               CAI                  n/a                  19,000               19,000              16,967              2,033
                               WAI                  n/a                  13,200               13,200              11,788              1,412
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Yellowfin sole                 BSAI                 296,000              296,000              225,000             200,925             24,075
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Rock sole                      BSAI                 379,000              375,000              75,000              66,975              8,025
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Greenland turbot               BSAI                 16,000               2,540                2,540               2,159               n/a
                               BS                   n/a                  1,750                1,750               1,488               187
                               AI                   n/a                  790                  790                 672                 0
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

[[Page 75061]]

 
Arrowtooth flounder            BSAI                 300,000              246,000              75,000              63,750              8,025
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Flathead sole                  BSAI                 83,700               69,700               50,000              44,650              5,350
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Other flatfish\6\              BSAI                 28,800               21,600               21,600              18,360              0
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Alaska plaice                  BSAI                 277,000              217,000              50,000              42,500              0
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Pacific ocean perch            BSAI                 25,400               21,300               21,300              18,845              n/a
                               BS                   n/a                  4,100                4,100               3,485               0
                               EAI                  n/a                  4,810                4,810               4,295               515
                               CAI                  n/a                  4,900                4,900               4,376               524
                               WAI                  n/a                  7,490                7,490               6,689               801
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Northern rockfish              BSAI                 9,680                8,130                8,130               6,911               0
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Shortraker rockfish            BSAI                 564                  424                  424                 360                 0
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Rougheye rockfish              BSAI                 269                  202                  202                 172                 0
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Other rockfish\7\              BSAI                 1,290                968                  968                 823                 0
                               BS                   n/a                  414                  414                 352                 0
                               AI                   n/a                  554                  554                 471                 0
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Squid                          BSAI                 2,620                1,970                1,970               1,675               0
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Other species\8\               BSAI                 104,000              78,100               50,000              42,500              0
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
TOTAL                                               3,191,843            2,577,944            1,824,204           1,624,168           172,891
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
\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, the portion of the sablefish TAC allocated to hook and line and pot gear, and Amendment 80 species, 15 percent of each TAC is
  put into a reserve. The ITAC for these species is the remainder of the TAC after the subtraction of these reserves.
\3\ Under Sec.   679.20(a)(5)(i)(A)(1), the annual Bering Sea subarea pollock TAC, after subtracting first for the CDQ directed fishing allowance (10
  percent) and second for the incidental catch allowance (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 Aleutian
  Islands subarea pollock TAC, after subtracting first for the CDQ directed fishing allowance (10 percent) and second for the incidental catch allowance
  (1,600 mt), is allocated to the Aleut Corporation for a directed pollock fishery.
\4\ The Pacific cod TAC is reduced by three percent from the ABC to account for the State of Alaska's guideline harvest level in State waters of the
  Aleutian Islands subarea.
\5\ For the Amendment 80 species (Atka mackerel, Aleutian Islands Pacific ocean perch, yellowfin sole, rock sole, flathead sole, and Pacific cod), 10.7
  percent of the TAC is reserved for use by CDQ participants (see Sec.  Sec.   679.20(b)(1)(ii)(C) and 679.31). Twenty percent of the sablefish TAC
  allocated to hook and line gear or pot gear, 7.5 percent of the sablefish TAC allocated to trawl gear, and 10.7 percent of the TACs for Bering Sea
  Greenland turbot and arrowtooth flounder are reserved for use by CDQ participants (see Sec.   679.20(b)(1)(ii)(B) and (D)). Aleutian Islands Greenland
  turbot, ``other flatfish'', Alaska plaice, Bering Sea Pacific ocean perch, northern rockfish, shortraker rockfish, rougheye rockfish, ``other
  rockfish'', squid, and ``other species'' are not allocated to the CDQ program.
\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.

Reserves and the Incidental Catch Allowance (ICA) for Pollock, Atka 
Mackerel, Flathead Sole, Rock Sole, Yellowfin Sole, and Aleutian 
Islands Pacific Ocean Perch

    Section 679.20(b)(1)(i) requires the placement of 15 percent of the 
TAC for each target species or ``other species'' category, except for 
pollock, the hook-and-line and pot gear allocation of sablefish, and 
the Amendment 80 species, in a non-specified reserve. Section 
679.20(b)(1)(ii)(B) requires that 20 percent of the hook-and-line and 
pot gear allocation of sablefish be allocated to the fixed gear 
sablefish CDQ reserve. Section 679.20(b)(1)(ii)(D) requires that 7.5 
percent of the trawl gear allocations of sablefish and 10.7 percent of 
Bering Sea Greenland turbot and arrowtooth flounder be allocated to the 
respective CDQ reserves. Section 679.20(b)(1)(ii)(C) requires that 10.7 
percent of the TACs for Atka mackerel, Aleutian Islands Pacific ocean 
perch, yellowfin sole, rock sole, flathead sole, and Pacific cod be 
allocated to the CDQ reserves. Sections 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 (DFA). The entire 
Bogoslof District pollock TAC is allocated as an incidental catch 
allowance (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. Section

[[Page 75062]]

679.21(e)(3)(i)(A) requires withholding 7.5 percent of the Chinook 
salmon PSC limit, 10.7 percent of the crab and non-Chinook salmon PSC 
limits, and 343 mt of halibut PSC as PSQ reserves for the CDQ 
fisheries. Sections 679.30 and 679.31 set forth regulations governing 
the management of the CDQ and PSQ reserves.
    Pursuant to Sec.  679.20(a)(5)(i)(A)(1), NMFS proposes a pollock 
ICA of 3.5 percent of the Bering Sea subarea pollock TAC after 
subtraction of the 10 percent CDQ reserve. This allowance is based on 
NMFS's examination of the pollock incidental catch, including the 
incidental catch by CDQ vessels, in target fisheries other than pollock 
from 1999 through 2008. During this 10-year period, the pollock 
incidental catch ranged from a low of 2.4 percent in 2006 to a high of 
5 percent in 1999, with a 9-year average of 3 percent. Pursuant to 
Sec.  679.20(a)(5)(iii)(B)(2)(i) and (ii), NMFS proposes a pollock ICA 
of 1,600 mt for AI subarea after subtraction of the 10 percent CDQ 
directed fishing allowance (DFA). This allowance is based on NMFS's 
examination of the pollock incidental catch, including the incidental 
catch by CDQ vessels, in target fisheries other than pollock from 2003 
through 2008. During this 6-year period, the incidental catch of 
pollock ranged from a low of 5 percent in 2006 to a high of 10 percent 
in 2003, with a 5-year average of 6 percent.
    Pursuant to Sec.  679.20(a)(8) and (10), NMFS proposes ICAs of 
4,500 mt of flathead sole, 5,000 mt of rock sole, 2,000 mt of yellowfin 
sole, 10 mt each of Western and Central Aleutian District for both 
Pacific ocean perch and Atka mackerel, 100 mt of Eastern Aleutian 
District Pacific ocean perch, and 200 mt of Eastern Aleutian District 
and Bering Sea subarea Atka mackerel after subtraction of the 10.7 
percent CDQ reserve. These allowances are based on NMFS's examination 
of the incidental catch in other target fisheries from 2003 through 
2008.
    The regulations do not designate the remainder of the non-specified 
reserve by species or species group. Any amount of the reserve may be 
apportioned to a target species that contributed to the non-specified 
reserve and the ``other species'' category during the year, provided 
that such apportionments do not result in overfishing (see Sec.  
679.20(b)(1)(i)).

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

    Section 679.20(a)(5)(i)(A) requires that the pollock TAC 
apportioned to the Bering Sea subarea, after subtraction of 10 percent 
for the CDQ program and 3.5 percent for the ICA, be allocated as a 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, 40 percent of the DFA is allocated to the A 
season (January 20-June 10) and 60 percent of the DFA is allocated to 
the B season (June 10-November 1). The AI directed pollock fishery 
allocation to the Aleut Corporation is the amount of pollock remaining 
in the AI subarea after subtracting 1,900 mt for the CDQ DFA (10 
percent) and 1,600 mt for the ICA. 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 
proposed 2009 and 2010 amounts.
    Section 679.20(a)(5)(i)(A)(4) also includes several specific 
requirements regarding Bering Sea subarea pollock allocations. 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 proposed 2009 and 2010 allocations of pollock TAC. Tables 9 through 
12 list the AFA catcher/processor and catcher vessel harvesting 
sideboard limits. In past years, the proposed harvest specifications 
included text and tables describing pollock allocations to the Bering 
Sea subarea inshore pollock cooperatives and open access sector. These 
allocations are based on the submission of AFA inshore cooperative 
applications due to NMFS on December 1 of each calendar year. Because 
AFA inshore cooperative applications for 2009 have not yet been 
submitted to NMFS, thereby preventing NMFS from calculating 2009 
allocations, NMFS has not included inshore cooperative text and tables 
in these proposed harvest specifications. NMFS will post AFA inshore 
cooperative allocations on the Alaska Region website at http://
www.alaskafisheries.noaa.gov when they become available in December 
2008.
    Table 2 also lists proposed seasonal apportionments of pollock and 
harvest limits within the Steller Sea Lion Conservation Area (SCA). The 
harvest of pollock 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 annual DFA allocated to the 
A season may be taken outside the SCA before April 1 or inside the SCA 
after April 1. If less than 28 percent of the annual DFA is 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 proposed 
2009 and 2010 amounts.

  TABLE 2--PROPOSED 2009 AND 2010 ALLOCATIONS OF POLLOCK TACS TO THE DIRECTED POLLOCK FISHERIES AND TO THE CDQ
                                      DIRECTED FISHING ALLOWANCES (DFA)\1\
                                          [Amounts are in metric tons]
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                             2009 and 2010 A season\1\          2009 and 2010 B
                                     2009 and 2010   ----------------------------------------      season\1\
         Area and sector              allocations                             SCA harvest    -------------------
                                                         A season DFA          limit\2\          B season DFA
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Bering Sea subarea TAC            1,000,000           n/a                 n/a                 n/a
  CDQ DFA                         100,000             40,000              28,000              60,000
  ICA \1\                         31,500              n/a                 n/a                 n/a
  AFA Inshore                     434,250             173,700             121,590             260,550
   AFA Catcher/Processors\3\      347,400             138,960             97,272              208,440
    Catch by C/Ps                 317,871             127,148             n/a                 190,723
    Catch by CVs\3\               29,529              11,812              n/a                 17,717
      Unlisted C/P Limit\4\       1,737               695                 n/a                 1,042

[[Page 75063]]

 
  AFA Motherships                 86,850              34,740              24,318              52,110
Excessive Harvesting Limit\5\     151,988             n/a                 n/a                 n/a
Excessive Processing Limit\6\     260,550             n/a                 n/a                 n/a
Total Bering Sea DFA (non-CDQ)    868,501             347,400             243,180             521,100
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Aleutian Islands subarea\1\       19,000              n/a                 n/a                 n/a
  CDQ DFA                         1,900               760                 n/a                 1,140
  ICA                             1,600               800                 n/a                 800
  Aleut Corporation               15,500              10,200              n/a                 5,300
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Bogoslof District ICA\7\          10                  n/a                 n/a                 n/a
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
\1\ Pursuant to Sec.   679.20(a)(5)(i)(A), the annual Bering Sea subarea pollock TAC, after subtraction for the
  CDQ DFA (10 percent) and the ICA (3.5 percent), is allocated as a DFA as follows: inshore sector 50 percent,
  catcher/processor sector 40 percent, and mothership sector 10 percent. In the Bering Sea subarea, 40 percent
  of the DFA is allocated to the A season (January 20 June 10) and 60 percent of the DFA is allocated to the B
  season (June 10 November 1). Pursuant to Sec.   679.20(a)(5)(iii)(B)(2)(i) and (ii), the annual AI pollock
  TAC, after subtracting first for the CDQ DFA (10 percent) and second the ICA (1,600 mt), is allocated to the
  Aleut Corporation for a directed pollock fishery. 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 sealion
  conservation area (SCA) before April 1. The remaining 12 percent of the annual DFA allocated to the A season
  may be taken outside of the 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\ Pursuant to Sec.   679.20(a)(5)(i)(A)(4), not less than 8.5 percent of the DFA allocated to listed catcher/
  processors (C/Ps) shall be available for harvest only by eligible catcher vessels (CVs) delivering to listed
  catcher/processors.
\4\ Pursuant to 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\ Pursuant to 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 not including CDQ.
\6\ Pursuant to 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 not including CDQ.
\7\ The Regional Administrator proposes closing the Bogoslof pollock fishery for directed fishing under the
  final 2009 and 2010 harvest specifications for the BSAI. The amounts specified are for incidental catch only
  and are not apportioned by season or sector.

Allocation of the Atka Mackerel TACs

    Section 679.20(a)(8)(ii) allocates the Atka mackerel TACs, after 
subtraction of the CDQ reserves, jig gear allocation, and ICAs for the 
BSAI trawl limited access sector and non-trawl gear, to the Amendment 
80 and BSAI trawl limited access sectors (Table 3). The allocation of 
the ITAC for Atka mackerel to the Amendment 80 and BSAI trawl limited 
access sectors is established in Table 33 to part 679 and Sec.  679.91.
    Pursuant to Sec.  679.20(a)(8)(i), up to 2 percent of the Eastern 
Aleutian District and 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 a 0.5 percent allocation of the Atka 
mackerel ITAC in the Eastern Aleutian District and Bering Sea subarea 
to jig gear in 2009 and 2010. Based on the proposed 2009 and 2010 TAC 
of 15,300 mt after subtractions of the CDQ reserve and ICA, the jig 
gear allocation would be 67 mt for 2009 and 2010.
    Section 679.20(a)(8)(ii)(A) apportions the Atka mackerel ITAC into 
two equal seasonal allowances. The first seasonal 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). The jig gear 
allocation is not apportioned by season.
    Pursuant to Sec.  679.20(a)(8)(ii)(C)(1), the Regional 
Administrator will establish a harvest limit area (HLA) limit of no 
more than 60 percent of the seasonal TAC for the Western and Central 
Aleutian Districts.
    NMFS will establish HLA limits for the CDQ reserve and each of the 
three non-CDQ fishery categories: the BSAI trawl limited access sector; 
the Amendment 80 limited access fishery; and an aggregate HLA limit 
applicable to all Amendment 80 cooperatives. NMFS will assign vessels 
in each of the three non-CDQ fishery categories that apply to fish for 
Atka mackerel in the HLA to an HLA fishery based on a random lottery of 
the vessels that apply (see Sec.  679.20(a)(8)(iii)). There is no 
allocation of Atka mackerel to the BSAI trawl limited access sector in 
the Western Aleutian District. Therefore, no vessels in the BSAI trawl 
limited access sector will be assigned to the Western Aleutian District 
HLA fishery.
    Each trawl sector will have a separate lottery. A maximum of two 
HLA fisheries will be established in Area 542 for the BSAI trawl 
limited access sector. A maximum of four HLA fisheries will be 
established for vessels assigned to Amendment 80 cooperatives: a first 
and second HLA fishery in Area 542, and a first and second HLA fishery 
in Area 543. A maximum of four HLA fisheries will be established for 
vessels assigned to the Amendment 80 limited access fishery: a first 
and second HLA fishery in Area 542, and a first and second HLA fishery 
in Area 543. NMFS will initially open fishing for the first HLA fishery 
in all three fishery categories at the same time. The initial opening 
of fishing in the HLA will be based on the first directed fishing 
closure of Atka mackerel for the Eastern Aleutian District and Bering 
Sea subarea allocation for any one of the three non-CDQ fishery 
categories allocated Atka mackerel TAC.

[[Page 75064]]



        TABLE 3--PROPOSED 2009 AND 2010 SEASONAL AND SPATIAL ALLOWANCES, GEAR SHARES, CDQ RESERVE, INCIDENTAL CATCH ALLOWANCE, AND AMENDMENT 80 ALLOCATIONS OF THE BSAI ATKA MACKEREL TAC
                                                                                  [Amounts are in metric tons]
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                              2009 allocation by area                                              2010 allocation by area
                                                       -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
           Sector\2\                 Season\1,3,4\         Eastern Aleutian       Central Aleutian       Western Aleutian       Eastern Aleutian       Central Aleutian       Western Aleutian
                                                         District/Bering Sea          District               District         District/Bering Sea          District               District
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
TAC                              n/a                    15,300                 19,000                 13,200                 15,300                 19,000                 13,200
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
CDQ                              Total                  1,637                  2,033                  1,412                  1,637                  2,033                  1,412
reserve                          HLA\5\                 n/a                    1,220                  847                    n/a                    1,220                  847
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
ICA                              Total                  200                    20                     20                     200                    20                     20
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Jig\6\                           Total                  67                     0                      0                      67                     0                      0
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
BSAI trawl limited access        Total                  536                    678                    0                      804                    1,017                  0
                                ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                 A                      268                    339                    0                      402                    508                    0
                                 HLA                    n/a                    203                    0                      n/a                    305                    0
                                ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                 B                      268                    339                    0                      402                    508                    0
                                 HLA                    n/a                    203                    0                      n/a                    305                    0
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Amendment 80 limited access      Total                  6,835                  9,796                  7,254                  6,683                  9,590                  7,255
                                ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                 A                      3,418                  4,898                  3,627                  3,342                  4,795                  3,628
                                 HLA                    n/a                    2,939                  2,176                  n/a                    2,877                  2,177
                                ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                 B                      3,418                  4,898                  3,627                  3,342                  4,795                  3,628
                                 HLA                    n/a                    2,939                  2,176                  n/a                    2,877                  2,177
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Amendment 80 cooperatives        Total                  6,025                  6,473                  4,514                  5,909                  6,340                  4,513
                                ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                 A                      3,013                  3,237                  2,257                  2,955                  3,170                  2,257
                                 HLA                    n/a                    1,942                  1,354                  n/a                    1,902                  1,354
                                ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                 B                      3,013                  3,237                  2,257                  2,955                  3,170                  2,257
                                 HLA                    n/a                    1,942                  1,354                  n/a                    1,902                  1,354
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
\1\ Regulations at Sec.  Sec.   679.20(a)(8)(ii)(A) and 679.22(a) establish temporal and spatial limitations for the Atka mackerel fishery.
\2\ Section 679.20(a)(8)(ii) allocates the Atka mackerel TACs, after subtraction of the CDQ reserves, ICAs, and the jig gear allocation, to the Amendment 80 and BSAI trawl limited access
  sectors. The allocation of the ITAC for Atka mackerel to the Amendment 80 and BSAI trawl limited access sectors is established in Table 33 to part 679 and Sec.   679.91. The CDQ reserve is
  10.7 percent of the TAC for use by CDQ participants (see Sec.  Sec.   679.20(b)(1)(ii)(C) and 679.31).
\3\ The seasonal allowances of Atka mackerel are 50 percent in the A season and 50 percent in the B season.
\4\ The A season is January 1 (January 20 for trawl gear) to April 15, and the B season is September 1 to November 1.
\5\ 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 2009 and 2010, 60 percent of each
  seasonal allowance is available for fishing inside the HLA in the Western and Central Aleutian Districts.
\6\ Section 679.20(a)(8)(i) requires that up to 2 percent of the Eastern Aleutian District and Bering Sea subarea TAC be allocated to jig gear after subtraction of the CDQ reserve and ICA. The
  amount of this allocation is 0.5 percent. The jig gear allocation is not apportioned by season.

Allocation of the Pacific Cod TAC

    Section 679.20(a)(7)(i) and (ii) requires that the Pacific cod TAC 
in the BSAI, after subtraction of 10.7 percent for the CDQ program, be 
allocated as follows: 1.4 percent to vessels using jig gear, 2.0 
percent to hook-and-line and pot catcher vessels less than 60 ft (18.3 
m) length overall (LOA), 0.2 percent to hook-and-line catcher vessels 
greater than or equal to 60 ft (18.3 m) LOA, 48.7 percent to hook-and-
line catcher/processors, 8.4 percent to pot catcher vessels greater 
than or equal to 60 ft (18.3 m) LOA, 1.5 percent to pot catcher/
processors, 2.3 percent to AFA trawl catcher/processors, 13.4 percent 
to non-AFA trawl catcher/processors, and 22.1 percent to trawl catcher 
vessels. The ICA for the hook-and-line and pot sectors will be deducted 
from the aggregate portion of Pacific cod TAC allocated to the hook-
and-line and pot sectors. The Regional Administrator proposes an ICA of 
500 mt for 2009 and 2010 based on anticipated incidental catch in these 
fisheries. The allocation of the ITAC for Pacific cod to the Amendment 
80 sector is established in Table 33 to part 679 and Sec.  679.91.
    The Pacific cod ITAC is apportioned into seasonal allowances to 
disperse the Pacific cod fisheries over the fishing year (see 
Sec. Sec.  679.20(a)(7) and 679.23(e)(5)). In accordance with Sec.  
679.20(a)(7)(iv)(B) and (C), any unused portion of a seasonal Pacific 
cod allowance will become available at the beginning of the next 
seasonal allowance.
    Pursuant to Sec. Sec.  679.20(a)(7)(i)(B) and 679.23(e)(5), the CDQ 
season allowances by gear are as follows: for most hook-and-line 
catcher/processors and hook-and-line catcher vessels greater than or 
equal to 60 ft (18.3 m) LOA, the first

[[Page 75065]]

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 to 
December 31. No seasonal harvest constraints are imposed on the Pacific 
cod fishery for pot gear or catcher vessels less than 60 ft (18.3 m) 
LOA using hook-and-line 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.
    Pursuant to Sec. Sec.  679.20(a)(7)(iv)(A) and 679.23(e)(5), the 
non-CDQ season allowances by gear are as follows. For hook-and-line and 
pot catcher/processors and hook-and-line and pot vessels greater than 
or equal to 60 ft (18.3 m) LOA, the first seasonal allowance of 51 
percent of the ITAC is made available for directed fishing from January 
1 to June 10, and the second seasonal allowance of 49 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 for catcher vessels less than 60 ft (18.3 m) LOA using 
hook-and-line or pot gear. For trawl gear, the first season is January 
20 to April 1, the second season is April 1 to June 10, and the third 
season is June 10 to November 1. The trawl catcher vessel allocation is 
further allocated as 74 percent in the first season, 11 percent in the 
second season, and 15 percent in the third season. The trawl catcher/
processor allocation is allocated 75 percent in the first season, 25 
percent in the second season, and zero percent in the third season. For 
jig gear, the first seasonal allowance is allocated 60 percent of the 
ITAC, and the second and third seasonal allowances are each allocated 
20 percent of the ITAC. Table 4 lists the proposed 2009 and 2010 
allocations and seasonal apportionments of the Pacific cod TAC.

         TABLE 4--PROPOSED 2009 AND 2010 GEAR SHARES AND SEASONAL ALLOWANCES OF THE BSAI PACIFIC COD TAC
                                          [Amounts are in metric tons]
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                   2009 and          2009 and 2010 seasonal
                                                  2009 and 2010   2010 share             apportionment
           Gear sector                Percent     share of gear    of sector  ----------------------------------
                                                   sector total      total            Season           Amount
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Total TAC                          100            170,720        n/a           n/a                  n/a
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
CDQ                                10.7           18,267         n/a           see Sec.             n/a
                                                                                679.20(a)(7)(i)(B)
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Total hook-and-line/pot gear       60.8           92,691         n/a           n/a                  n/a
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Hook-and-line/pot ICA\1\           n/a            n/a            500           n/a                  n/a
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Hook-and-line/pot sub-total        n/a            92,191         n/a           n/a                  n/a
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Hook-and-line catcher/processors   48.7           n/a            73,844        Jan 1-Jun 10         37,660
                                                                              ----------------------------------
                                   .............  .............  ............  Jun 10-Dec 31        36,184
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Hook-and-line catcher vessels      0.2            n/a            303           Jan 1-Jun 10         155
 [gteqt] 60 ft LOA
                                                                              ----------------------------------
                                   .............  .............  ............  Jun 10-Dec 31        149
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Pot catcher/processors             1.5            n/a            2,274         Jan 1-Jun 10         1,160
                                                                              ----------------------------------
                                   .............  .............  ............  Sept 1-Dec 31        1,114
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Pot catcher vessels [gteqt] 60 ft  8.4            n/a            12,737        Jan 1-Jun 10         6,496
 LOA
                                                                              ----------------------------------
                                   .............  .............  ............  Sept 1-Dec 31        6,241
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Catcher vessels < 60 ft LOA using  2.0            n/a            3,033         n/a                  n/a
 hook-and-line or pot gear
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Trawl catcher vessels              22.1           33,692         n/a           Jan 20-Apr 1         24,932
                                                                              ----------------------------------
                                   .............  .............  ............  Apr 1-Jun 10         3,706
                                                                              ----------------------------------
                                   .............  .............  ............  Jun 10-Nov 1         5,054
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
AFA trawl catcher processors       2.3            3,506          n/a           Jan 20-Apr 1         2,630
                                                                              ----------------------------------
                                   .............  .............  ............  Apr 1- Jun 10        877
                                                                              ----------------------------------
                                   .............  .............  ............  Jun 10-Nov 1         0
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Amendment 80                       13.4           20,429         n/a           Jan 20-Apr 1         15,322
                                                                              ----------------------------------

[[Page 75066]]

 
                                   .............  .............  ............  Apr 1- Jun 10        5,107
                                                                              ----------------------------------
                                   .............  .............  ............  Jun 10-Nov 1         0
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Amendment 80 limited access        n/a            3,357          n/a           Jan 20-Apr 1         2,518
                                                                              ----------------------------------
                                   .............  .............  ............  Apr 1- Jun 10        839
                                                                              ----------------------------------
                                   .............  .............  ............  Jun 10-Nov 1         0
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Amendment 80 cooperative           n/a            17,072         n/a           Jan 20-Apr 1         12,804
                                                                              ----------------------------------
                                   .............  .............  ............  Apr 1- Jun 10        4,268
                                                                              ----------------------------------
                                   .............  .............  ............  Jun 10-Nov 1         0
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Jig                                1.4            2,134          n/a           Jan 1-Apr 30         1,281
                                                                              ----------------------------------
                                   .............  .............  ............  Apr 30-Aug 31        427
                                                                              ----------------------------------
                                   .............  .............  ............  Aug 31-Dec 31        427
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
\1\ The ICA for the hook-and-line and pot sectors will be deducted from the aggregate portion of Pacific cod TAC
  allocated to the hook-and-line and pot sectors. The Regional Administrator proposes an ICA of 500 mt for 2009
  and 2010 based on anticipated incidental catch in these fisheries.

Sablefish Gear Allocation

    Sections 679.20(a)(4)(iii) and (iv) require the allocation of 
sablefish TACs for the Bering Sea and AI subareas between trawl gear 
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. Section 
679.20(b)(1)(ii)(B) requires apportionment of 20 percent of the hook-
and-line and pot gear allocation of sablefish to the CDQ reserve. 
Additionally, Sec.  679.20(b)(1)(ii)(D) requires apportionment of 7.5 
percent of the trawl gear allocation of sablefish to the CDQ reserve. 
The Council recommended that only trawl sablefish TAC be established 
biennially. The harvest specifications for the hook-and-line gear and 
pot gear sablefish Individual Fishing Quota (IFQ) fisheries will be 
limited to the 2009 fishing year to ensure those fisheries are 
conducted concurrently with the halibut IFQ fishery. Concurrent 
sablefish and halibut IFQ fisheries 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. Table 5 lists the proposed 2009 and 2010 gear 
allocations of the sablefish TAC and CDQ reserve amounts.

               TABLE 5--PROPOSED 2009 AND 2010 GEAR SHARES AND CDQ RESERVE OF BSAI SABLEFISH TACS
                                          [Amounts are in metric tons]
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                  2009
        Subarea and gear           Percent of   Share of     2009      2009 CDQ     2010      2010     2010 CDQ
                                      TAC         TAC       ITAC\1\     reserve     ITAC      ITAC      reserve
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Bering Sea                        ...........  .........  ..........  ..........  ........  ........  ..........
  Trawl                           50           1,305      1,109       98          1,305     1,109     98
  Hook-and-line gear\2\           50           1,305      n/a         261         n/a       n/a       n/a
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
TOTAL                             100          2,610      1,109       359         2,610     1,109     98
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Aleutian Islands                  ...........  .........  ..........  ..........  ........  ........  ..........
  Trawl                           25           558        474         42          558       474       42
  Hook-and-line gear\2\           75           1,673      n/a         335         n/a       n/a       n/a
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
TOTAL                             100          2,230      474         376         2,230     474       42
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
\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 hook and line or pot gear, 20 percent of the
  allocated TAC is reserved for use by CDQ participants. Section 679.20(b)(1) does not provide for the
  establishment of an ITAC for sablefish allocated to hook-and-line or pot gear.


[[Page 75067]]

Allocation of the Aleutian Islands Pacific Ocean Perch, Flathead Sole, 
Rock Sole, and Yellowfin Sole TACs

    Sections 679.20(a)(10)(i) and (ii) require the allocation between 
the Amendment 80 sector and BSAI trawl limited access for Aleutian 
Islands Pacific ocean perch, flathead sole, rock sole, and yellowfin 
sole TACs in the BSAI, after subtraction of 10.7 percent for the CDQ 
reserve and an ICA for the BSAI trawl limited access sector and vessels 
using non-trawl gear. The allocation of the ITAC for Aleutian Islands 
Pacific ocean perch, flathead sole, rock sole, and yellowfin sole to 
the Amendment 80 sector is established in Tables 33 and 34 to part 679 
and Sec.  679.91. Table 6 lists the proposed 2009 and 2010 allocations 
and seasonal apportionments of the Aleutian Islands Pacific ocean 
perch, flathead sole, rock sole, and yellowfin sole TACs.

    TABLE 6--PROPOSED 2009 AND 2010 COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT QUOTA (CDQ) RESERVES, INCIDENTAL CATCH AMOUNTS (ICAS), AND AMENDMENT 80 ALLOCATIONS OF THE
                                 ALEUTIAN ISLANDS PACIFIC OCEAN PERCH, FLATHEAD SOLE, ROCK SOLE, AND YELLOWFIN SOLE TACS
                                                              [Amounts are in metric tons]
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                   Pacific ocean  perch                                 Flathead    Rock  sole       Yellowfin  sole
                    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------     sole    --------------------------------------
                      Eastern Aleutian District  Central Aleutian District      Western Aleutian     -------------     BSAI               BSAI
       Sector       -------------------------------------------------------         District              BSAI    --------------------------------------
                                                                           ---------------------------------------
                         2009          2010          2009          2010                                 2009 and     2009 and       2009