Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands; Final 2009 and 2010 Harvest Specifications for Groundfish, 7359-7381 [E9-3297]

Download as PDF jlentini on PROD1PC65 with RULES Federal Register / Vol. 74, No. 30 / Tuesday, February 17, 2009 / Rules and Regulations NOAA, finds good cause to waive the 30-day delay in effectiveness for this rule. Plan Team review occurred in November 2008, and Council recommendations were not received until December 2008, so NMFS could not undertake review and development until January 2009. For all fisheries not currently closed because the TACs established under the 2008 and 2009 final harvest specifications (73 FR 10562, February 27, 2008) were not reached, the likely possibility exists that they will be closed prior to the expiration of a 30-day delayed effectiveness period because their TACs could be reached. Certain fisheries, such as those for pollock and Pacific cod are intensive, fast-paced fisheries. Other fisheries, such as those for flatfish, rockfish, and ‘‘other species,’’ are critical as directed fisheries and as incidental catch in other fisheries. U.S. fishing vessels have demonstrated the capacity to catch the TAC allocations in these fisheries. Any delay in allocating the final TACs in these fisheries would cause disruption to the industry and potential economic harm through unnecessary discards. Determining which fisheries may close is impossible because these fisheries are affected by several factors that cannot be predicted in advance, including fishing effort, weather, movement of fishery stocks, and market price. Furthermore, the closure of one fishery has a cascading effect on other fisheries by freeing-up fishing vessels, allowing them to move from closed fisheries to open ones, increasing the fishing capacity in those open fisheries and causing them to close at an accelerated pace. If the final harvest specifications are not effective by March 21, 2009, which is the start of the 2009 Pacific halibut season as specified by the IPHC, the hook-and-line sablefish fishery will not begin concurrently with the Pacific halibut season. This would result in the needless discard of sablefish that are caught along with Pacific halibut as both hook-and-line sablefish and Pacific halibut are managed under the same IFQ program. Immediate effectiveness of the final 2009 and 2010 harvest specifications will allow the sablefish fishery to begin concurrently with the Pacific halibut season. Also, the immediate effectiveness of this action is required to provide consistent management and conservation of fishery resources based on the best available scientific information, and to give the fishing industry the earliest possible opportunity to plan its fishing operations. Therefore NMFS finds good VerDate Nov<24>2008 16:58 Feb 13, 2009 Jkt 217001 cause to waive the 30-day delay in effectiveness under 5 U.S.C. 553(d)(3). Small Entity Compliance Guide The following information is a plain language guide to assist small entities in complying with this final rule as required by the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act of 1996. This final rule’s primary purpose is to announce the 2009 and 2010 final harvest specifications and prohibited species bycatch allowances for the groundfish fisheries of the GOA. This action is necessary to establish harvest limits and associated management measures for groundfish during the 2009 and 2010 fishing years and to accomplish the goals and objectives of the FMP. This action affects all fishermen who participate in the GOA fisheries. The specific amounts of OFL, ABC, TAC, and PSC are provided in tables to assist the reader. NMFS will announce closures of directed fishing in the Federal Register and information bulletins released by the Alaska Region. Affected fishermen should keep themselves informed of such closures. Authority: 16 U.S.C. 773 et seq.; 16 U.S.C. 1540(f), 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: February 9, 2009. Samuel D. Rauch III, Deputy Assistant Administrator for Regulatory Programs, National Marine Fisheries Service. [FR Doc. E9–3295 Filed 2–13–09; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510–22–P DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration 50 CFR Part 679 [Docket No. 0810141351–9087–02] RIN 0648–XL28 Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands; Final 2009 and 2010 Harvest Specifications for Groundfish AGENCY: National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Commerce. ACTION: Final rule; closures. SUMMARY: NMFS announces final 2009 and 2010 harvest specifications and prohibited species catch allowances for the groundfish fishery of the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands management area PO 00000 Frm 00075 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 7359 (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 (FMP). The intended effect of this action is to conserve and manage the groundfish resources in the BSAI in accordance with the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act. DATES: Effective from 1200 hrs, Alaska local time (A.l.t.), February 17, 2009, through 2400 hrs, A.l.t., December 31, 2010. ADDRESSES: Copies of the Final Alaska Groundfish Harvest Specifications Environmental Impact Statement (EIS), Record of Decision (ROD), Supplementary Information Report (SIR) to the EIS, and Final Regulatory Flexibility Analysis (FRFA) prepared for this action are available on the Alaska Region Web site at http:// www.alaskafisheries.noaa.gov. Printed copies can be obtained from the Alaska Region, NMFS, P.O. Box 21668, Juneau, AK 99802, Attn: Ellen Sebastian. Copies of the 2008 Stock Assessment and Fishery Evaluation (SAFE) report for the groundfish resources of the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands management area (BSAI) dated November 2008, are available from the North Pacific Fishery Management Council, West 4th Avenue, Suite 306, Anchorage, AK 99510–2252, phone 907–271–2809, or from its Web site at http:// www.alaskafisheries.noaa.gov/npfmc. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Steve Whitney, 907–586–7269, or e-mail steven.whitney@noaa.gov. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Federal regulations at 50 CFR part 679 implement the FMP and govern the groundfish fisheries in the BSAI. The North Pacific Fishery Management Council (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 the total allowable catch (TAC) for each target species and for the ‘‘other species’’ category, and the sum must be within the optimum yield (OY) range of 1.4 million to 2.0 million metric tons (mt) (see § 679.20(a)(1)(i)). NMFS also must specify apportionments of TACs, prohibited species catch (PSC) E:\FR\FM\17FER1.SGM 17FER1 7360 Federal Register / Vol. 74, No. 30 / Tuesday, February 17, 2009 / Rules and Regulations jlentini on PROD1PC65 with RULES 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 final harvest specifications set forth in Tables 1 through 16 of this action satisfy these requirements. The sum of TACs for 2009 is 1,681,586 mt and for 2010 is 2,000,000 mt. Section 679.20(c)(3) further requires NMFS to consider public comment on the proposed annual TACs and apportionments thereof and the proposed PSC allowances, and to publish final harvest specifications in the Federal Register. The proposed 2009 and 2010 harvest specifications and PSC allowances for the groundfish fishery of the BSAI were published in the Federal Register on December 10, 2008 (73 FR 75059). Comments were invited and accepted through January 9, 2009. NMFS received three letters with 30 comments on the proposed harvest specifications. These comments are summarized and responded to in the Response to Comments section of this rule. NMFS consulted with the Council on the final 2009 and 2010 harvest specifications during the December 2008 Council meeting in Anchorage, AK. After considering public comments, as well as biological and economic data that were available at the Council’s December meeting, NMFS is implementing the final 2009 and 2010 harvest specifications as recommended by the Council. Acceptable Biological Catch (ABC) and TAC Harvest Specifications The final ABC levels are based on the best available biological and socioeconomic information, including projected biomass trends, information on assumed distribution of stock biomass, and revised technical methods used to calculate stock biomass. In general, the development of ABCs and overfishing levels (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. In December 2008, the Scientific and Statistical Committee (SSC), Advisory Panel (AP), and Council reviewed current biological information about the condition of the BSAI groundfish stocks. The Council’s Plan Team compiled and VerDate Nov<24>2008 16:58 Feb 13, 2009 Jkt 217001 presented this information in the 2008 SAFE report for the BSAI groundfish fisheries, dated November 2008. The SAFE report contains a review of the latest scientific analyses and estimates of each species’ biomass and other biological parameters, as well as summaries of the available information on the BSAI ecosystem and the economic condition of groundfish fisheries off Alaska. The SAFE report is available for public review (see ADDRESSES). From these data and analyses, the Plan Team estimates an OFL and ABC for each species or species category. In December 2008, the SSC, AP, and Council reviewed the Plan Team’s recommendations. Except for BSAI Pacific cod and Aleutian Islands pollock, the SSC, AP, and Council endorsed the Plan Team’s ABC recommendations. For 2009 and 2010, the SSC recommended higher Pacific cod OFLs and ABCs than the OFLs and ABCs recommended by the Plan Team. The Plan Team chose values between the two best performing models. However, the SSC chose the best performing model, and did not see a need to adjust that model’s estimates downward. For Aleutian Island pollock, the Plan Team adopted recommendations from the Center of Independent Experts to include survey data east of Adak. The SSC concluded that this data should be included. This was due to uncertainties in the spatial stock structure in the region, the variation of length compositions across the area, the concentration of survey data along the eastern edge of the region in the early survey years, and additional evidence that these pollock may be from the Bogoslof or EBS stocks, rather than the Aleutian Island stock. The elimination of this survey data resulted in higher OFL and ABC values. The Council adopted the ABCs recommended by the SSC. The Plan Team, SSC, AP, and Council recommended that total removals of Pacific cod from the BSAI not exceed ABC recommendations. In 2007, the Board of Fisheries for the State of Alaska (State) established a guideline harvest level (GHL) west of 170 degrees west longitude in the AI subarea equal to 3 percent of the Pacific cod ABC in the BSAI. Accordingly, the Council recommended that the 2009 and 2010 Pacific cod TACs be adjusted downward from the ABCs by amounts equal to the 2009 and 2010 GHLs. The final TAC recommendations were based on the ABCs as adjusted for other biological and socioeconomic considerations, including maintaining the sum of the TACs within the required PO 00000 Frm 00076 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 OY range of 1.4 million to 2.0 million mt. The Council adopted the AP’s 2009 and 2010 TAC recommendations. None of the Council’s recommended TACs for 2009 or 2010 exceeds the final 2009 or 2010 ABCs for any species category. The 2009 and 2010 harvest specifications approved by the Secretary of Commerce (Secretary) are unchanged from those recommended by the Council and are consistent with the preferred harvest strategy alternative in the EIS. NMFS finds that the Council’s recommended OFLs, ABCs, and TACs are consistent with the biological condition of groundfish stocks as described in the 2008 SAFE report that was approved by the Council. Other Actions Potentially Affecting the 2009 and 2010 Harvest Specifications The final rule implementing Amendment 73 to the FMP was published in the Federal Register on December 31, 2008 (73 FR 80307). Amendment 73 removes dark rockfish from the ‘‘other rockfish’’ category in the FMP in order to allow the State of Alaska (State) to assume management of dark rockfish. This action is necessary to allow the State to implement more responsive, regionally based management measures than are currently possible under the FMP. Based on the approval of Amendment 73, the Council recommended final 2009 and 2010 harvest specifications for BSAI groundfish. 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 management implications would require more time to assess and resolve. As a result, a Pacific cod split between subareas has not been established for 2009 or 2010. Additional proposals being developed by the Plan Team for Council consideration would separate some species from the ‘‘other species’’ category so that individual OFLs, 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. Changes From the Proposed 2009 and 2010 Harvest Specifications in the BSAI In October 2008, the Council made its recommendations for the proposed 2009 and 2010 harvest specifications (73 FR 75059, December 10, 2008) based largely on information contained in the 2007 SAFE report for the BSAI groundfish fisheries. The 2008 SAFE report, which was not available when the Council E:\FR\FM\17FER1.SGM 17FER1 Federal Register / Vol. 74, No. 30 / Tuesday, February 17, 2009 / Rules and Regulations made its recommendations in October 2008, contains the best and most recent scientific information on the condition of the groundfish stocks. In December 2008, the Council considered the 2008 SAFE report in making its recommendations for the final 2009 and 2010 harvest specifications. Based on the 2008 SAFE report, the sum of the 2009 and 2010 recommended final TACs for the BSAI (1,681,586 mt for 2009 and 2,000,000 mt for 2010) is lower than the sum of the proposed 2009 TACs and higher than the sum of the proposed 2010 TACs (1,824,204 mt each year). Compared to the proposed 2009 TACs, the Council’s final TAC recommendations increase for species when sufficient information supports a larger TAC. This increases fishing opportunities for fishermen and adds economic benefits to the nation. These species include BSAI Atka mackerel, flathead sole, Pacific cod, rock sole, and Greenland turbot. The Council reduced TAC levels to provide greater protection for several species including Bering Sea subarea pollock, yellowfin sole, ‘‘other flatfish,’’ and Pacific ocean perch. The largest TAC reduction was for Bering Sea subarea pollock. The 2009 Bering Sea subarea pollock ABC and the corresponding TAC were reduced 185,000 mt below the proposed rule due to the addition of new survey and catch data incorporated into the pollock assessment models after the Council recommended the proposed harvest specifications. The reduction in the 7361 2009 ABC and corresponding TAC is a consequence of low recruitment in the years 2002 through 2005. The assessment model remains unchanged and the stock still is in tier 1, as recommended by the SSC. Conversely, the new survey data increased the 2010 Bering Sea subarea pollock ABC and TAC by 230,000 mt. This increase is due to the recruitment of the 2006 year class, which has now appeared strong in two different surveys. The changes in the final rule from the proposed rule are based on the most recent scientific information and implement the harvest strategy described in the proposed rule for the harvest specifications and are compared in the following table: COMPARISON OF FINAL 2009 AND 2010 WITH PROPOSED 2009 AND 2010 TOTAL ALLOWABLE CATCH IN THE BSAI [Amounts are in metric tons] 2009 final TAC 2009 difference from proposed 2009 proposed TAC 2010 final TAC 2010 proposed TAC 2010 difference from proposed Species Area 1 Pollock ........................................................ Squid .......................................................... Other species ............................................. BS ............ AI ............. Bogoslof ... BSAI ........ BS ............ AI ............. EAI/BS ..... CAI ........... WAI .......... BSAI ........ BSAI ........ BS ............ AI ............. BSAI ........ BSAI ........ BSAI ........ BSAI ........ BS ............ EAI ........... CAI ........... WAI .......... BSAI ........ BSAI ........ BSAI ........ BS ............ AI ............. BSAI ........ BSAI ........ 815,000 19,000 50 176,540 2,720 2,200 27,000 32,500 16,900 210,000 90,000 5,090 2,290 75,000 60,000 17,400 50,000 3,820 4,200 4,260 6,520 7,160 387 539 485 555 1,970 50,000 1,000,000 19,000 10 170,720 2,610 2,230 15,300 19,000 13,200 225,000 75,000 1,750 790 75,000 50,000 21,600 50,000 4,100 4,810 4,900 7,490 8,130 424 202 414 554 1,970 50,000 ¥185,000 0 40 5,820 110 ¥30 11,700 13,500 3,700 ¥15,000 15,000 3,340 1,500 0 10,000 ¥4,200 0 ¥280 ¥610 ¥640 ¥970 ¥970 ¥37 337 71 1 0 0 1,230,000 19,000 10 193,030 2,520 2,040 22,900 28,500 19,700 180,000 75,000 4,920 2,210 60,000 50,000 17,400 30,000 3,780 4,160 4,210 6,450 6,000 387 552 485 555 1,970 34,221 1,000,000 19,000 10 170,720 2,610 2,230 15,300 19,000 13,200 225,000 75,000 1,750 790 75,000 50,000 21,600 50,000 4,100 4,810 4,900 7,490 8,130 424 202 414 554 1,970 50,000 230,000 0 0 22,310 ¥90 ¥190 7,600 9,500 6,500 ¥45,000 0 3,170 1,420 ¥15,000 0 ¥4,200 ¥20,000 ¥320 ¥650 ¥690 ¥1,040 ¥2,130 ¥37 350 71 1 0 ¥15,779 Total .................................................... BSAI ........ 1,681,586 1,824,204 ¥142,618 2,000,000 1,824,204 175,796 Pacific cod .................................................. Sablefish .................................................... Atka mackerel ............................................ Yellowfin sole ............................................. Rock sole ................................................... Greenland turbot ........................................ Arrowtooth flounder .................................... Flathead sole ............................................. Other flatfish ............................................... Alaska plaice .............................................. Pacific ocean perch ................................... Northern rockfish ........................................ Shortraker rockfish ..................................... Rougheye rockfish ..................................... Other rockfish ............................................. 1 Bering jlentini on PROD1PC65 with RULES Sea subarea (BS), Aleutian Islands subarea (AI), Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Management Area (BSAI), Eastern Aleutian District (EAI), Central Aleutian District (CAI), and Western Aleutian District (WAI). The final 2009 and 2010 TAC recommendations for the BSAI are within the OY range established for the BSAI and do not exceed the ABC for any single species or complex. Table 1 lists the final 2009 and 2010 OFL, ABC, TAC, initial TAC (ITAC), and CDQ VerDate Nov<24>2008 16:58 Feb 13, 2009 Jkt 217001 reserve amounts of the BSAI groundfish. The apportionment of TAC amounts among fisheries and seasons is discussed below. As mentioned in the proposed 2009 and 2010 harvest specifications, NMFS is apportioning the amounts shown in PO 00000 Frm 00077 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 Table 2 from the non-specified reserve to increase the ITAC of several target species. E:\FR\FM\17FER1.SGM 17FER1 VerDate Nov<24>2008 16:58 Feb 13, 2009 Jkt 217001 PO 00000 Frm 00078 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 E:\FR\FM\17FER1.SGM n/a n/a n/a n/a 8,540 516 660 1,380 n/a n/a 2,620 80,800 BS ................ EAI ............... CAI ............... WAI .............. BSAI ............. BSAI ............. BSAI ............. BSAI ............. BS ................ AI .................. BSAI ............. BSAI ............. 17FER1 2,204,366 485 555 1,970 63,700 1,040 539 387 3,820 4,200 4,260 6,520 7,160 71,400 17,400 232,000 18,800 5,090 2,290 156,000 815,000 26,900 7,970 182,000 2,720 2,200 83,800 27,000 33,500 23,300 210,000 296,000 7,380 ABC 2009 1,681,586 485 555 1,970 50,000 1,040 539 387 3,820 4,200 4,260 6,520 7,160 60,000 17,400 50,000 18,800 5,090 2,290 75,000 815,000 19,000 50 176,540 2,720 2,200 76,400 27,000 32,500 16,900 210,000 90,000 7,380 TAC 1,497,906 412 472 1,675 42,500 884 458 329 3,247 3,751 3,804 5,822 6,086 53,580 14,790 42,500 16,624 4,327 1,947 63,750 733,500 17,100 50 157,650 2,244 1,788 68,225 24,111 29,023 15,092 187,530 80,370 6,273 ITAC 2 159,902 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 449 456 698 0 6,420 0 0 n/a 545 0 8,025 81,500 1,900 0 18,890 374 371 8,175 2,889 3,478 1,808 22,470 9,630 n/a CDQ 3 3,159,826 n/a n/a 2,620 80,700 1,380 640 516 n/a n/a n/a n/a 8,580 81,800 23,100 354,000 22,100 n/a n/a 196,000 1,430,000 36,800 58,400 235,000 2,980 2,410 84,400 n/a n/a n/a 210,000 314,000 14,400 OFL 2,674,799 485 555 1,970 63,700 1,040 552 387 3,780 4,160 4,210 6,450 7,190 69,800 17,400 275,000 18,600 4,920 2,210 161,000 1,230,000 30,400 7,970 199,000 2,520 2,040 71,100 22,900 28,500 19,700 198,000 310,000 7,130 ABC 2,000,000 485 555 1,970 34,221 1,040 552 387 3,780 4,160 4,210 6,450 6,000 50,000 17,400 30,000 18,600 4,920 2,210 60,000 1,230,000 19,000 10 193,030 2,520 2,040 71,100 22,900 28,500 19,700 180,000 75,000 7,130 TAC 2010 1,785,185 412 472 1,675 29,088 884 469 329 3,213 3,715 3,760 5,760 5,100 44,650 14,790 25,500 16,447 4,182 1,879 51,000 1,107,000 17,100 10 172,376 1,071 429 63,492 20,450 25,451 17,592 160,740 66,975 6,061 ITAC 2 194,462 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 445 450 690 0 5,350 0 0 n/a 526 0 6,420 123,000 1,900 0 20,654 95 38 7,608 2,450 3,050 2,108 19,260 8,025 n/a CDQ 3 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 (4.0 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 (State) guideline harvest level in State waters of the Aleutian Islands subarea. 5 For the Amendment 80 species (Atka mackerel, flathead sole, rock sole, yellowfin sole, Pacific cod, and Aleutian Islands Pacific ocean perch), 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, dark, 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. 1 These Total ...... Squid ............ Other species 8. Northern rockfish. Shortraker rockfish. Rougheye rockfish. Other rockfish 7. 2,636,726 83,800 23,100 298,000 22,300 ............. ............. ............. ............. BSAI BSAI BSAI BSAI Arrowtooth flounder. Flathead sole Other flatfish 6 Alaska plaice Pacific ocean perch. ...................... n/a n/a 190,000 BS ................ AI .................. BSAI ............. Yellowfin sole Rock sole ..... Greenland turbot. Atka mackerel Pacific cod 4 .. Sablefish 5 .... 977,000 32,600 58,400 212,000 3,210 2,600 99,400 n/a n/a n/a 224,000 301,000 14,800 BS 2 .............. AI 2 ................ Bogoslof ....... BSAI ............. BS ................ AI .................. BSAI ............. EAI/BS .......... CAI ............... WAI .............. BSAI ............. BSAI ............. BSAI ............. Pollock 3 ........ OFL Area Species [Amounts are in metric tons] TABLE 1—FINAL 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 jlentini on PROD1PC65 with RULES 7362 Federal Register / Vol. 74, No. 30 / Tuesday, February 17, 2009 / Rules and Regulations Federal Register / Vol. 74, No. 30 / Tuesday, February 17, 2009 / Rules and Regulations 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 hookand-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 allocation of 7.5 percent of the trawl gear allocations of sablefish and 10.7 percent of the Bering Sea Greenland turbot and arrowtooth flounder TACs to the respective CDQ reserves. Section 679.20(b)(1)(ii)(C) requires allocation of 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 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 allocations by gear. Section 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, respectively. Pursuant to § 679.20(a)(5)(i)(A)(1), NMFS allocates a pollock ICA of 4 percent of the Bering Sea subarea pollock TAC after subtraction of the 10 percent CDQ reserve. This allowance is based on NMFS’ 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 9-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 10-year average of 3 percent. Pursuant to § 679.20(a)(5)(iii)(B)(2)(i) and (ii), NMFS establishes a pollock ICA of 1,600 mt for the AI subarea after subtraction of the 10 percent CDQ DFA. This allowance is based on NMFS’ 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 6-year average of 6 percent. Pursuant to § 679.20(a)(8) and (10), NMFS allocates ICAs of 4,500 mt of flathead sole, 5,000 mt of rock sole, 7363 2,000 mt of yellowfin sole, 10 mt of Western Aleutian District Pacific ocean perch, 10 mt of Central Aleutian District Pacific ocean perch, 100 mt of Eastern Aleutian District Pacific ocean perch, 20 mt of Western Aleutian District Atka mackerel, 20 mt of Central Aleutian District Atka mackerel, and 200 mt of Eastern Aleutian District and Bering Sea subarea Atka mackerel TAC after subtraction of the 10.7 percent CDQ reserve. These allowances are based on NMFS’ 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 or to the ‘‘other species’’ category during the year, providing that such apportionments do not result in overfishing (see § 679.20(b)(1)(ii)). The Regional Administrator has determined that the ITACs specified for the species listed in Table 2 need to be supplemented from the non-specified reserve because U.S. fishing vessels have demonstrated the capacity to catch the full TAC allocations. Therefore, in accordance with § 679.20(b)(3), NMFS is apportioning the amounts shown in Table 2 from the non-specified reserve to increase the ITAC for northern rockfish, shortraker rockfish, rougheye rockfish, and Bering Sea ‘‘other rockfish’’ by 15 percent of the TAC in 2009 and 2010. TABLE 2—FINAL 2009 APPORTIONMENT OF RESERVES TO ITAC CATEGORIES [Amounts are in metric tons] Species—area or subarea 2009 ITAC 2009 reserve amount 2009 final ITAC 2010 ITAC 2010 reserve amount 2010 final ITAC Shortraker rockfish—BSAI ............................................... Rougheye rockfish—BSAI ............................................... Northern rockfish—BSAI .................................................. Other rockfish—Bering Sea subarea ............................... 329 458 6,086 412 58 81 1,074 73 387 539 7,160 485 329 469 5,100 412 58 83 900 73 387 552 6,000 485 Total .......................................................................... 7,285 1,286 8,571 6,310 1,114 7,424 jlentini on PROD1PC65 with RULES Allocation 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 the 10 percent for the CDQ program and the 4 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– VerDate Nov<24>2008 16:58 Feb 13, 2009 Jkt 217001 June 10), and 60 percent of the DFA is allocated to the B season (June 10November 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 DFA is allocated to the A season and the remainder of the directed pollock fishery is allocated to the B season. Table 3 lists these 2009 and 2010 amounts. PO 00000 Frm 00079 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 Section 679.20(a)(5)(i)(A)(4) also includes several specific requirements regarding Bering Sea 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 E:\FR\FM\17FER1.SGM 17FER1 7364 Federal Register / Vol. 74, No. 30 / Tuesday, February 17, 2009 / Rules and Regulations 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 3 lists the 2009 and 2010 allocations of pollock TAC. Tables 11 through 15 list the AFA catcher/processor and catcher vessel harvesting sideboard limits. The tables for the pollock allocations to the Bering Sea subarea inshore pollock cooperatives and open access sector will be posted on the Alaska Region Web site at http://www.alaskafisheries.noaa.gov. Table 3 also lists seasonal apportionments of pollock and harvest limits within the Steller Sea Lion Conservation Area (SCA). The harvest within the SCA, as defined at § 679.22(a)(7)(vii), is limited to 28 percent of the annual 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 3 lists by sector these 2009 and 2010 amounts. TABLE 3—FINAL 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 A season 1 2009 Allocations Area and sector A season DFA SCA harvest limit 2 2009 B season 1 B season DFA 2010 A season 1 2010 Allocations A season DFA SCA harvest limit 2 2010 B season 1 B season DFA Bering Sea subarea ......................... CDQ DFA .................................. ICA 1 .......................................... AFA Inshore .............................. AFA Catcher/Processors 3 ........ Catch by C/Ps ................... Catch by CVs 3 .................. Unlisted C/P Limit 4 ............ AFA Motherships ............................. Excessive Harvesting Limit 5 ............ Excessive Processing Limit 6 ........... Total Bering Sea DFA .............. 815,000 81,500 29,340 352,080 281,664 257,723 23,941 1,408 70,416 123,228 211,248 704,160 n/a 32,600 n/a 140,832 112,666 103,089 9,577 563 28,166 n/a n/a 281,664 n/a 22,820 n/a 98,582 78,866 n/a n/a n/a 19,716 n/a n/a 197,165 n/a 48,900 n/a 211,248 168,998 154,634 14,365 845 42,250 n/a n/a 422,495 1,230,000 123,000 44,280 531,360 425,088 388,956 36,132 2,125 106,272 185,976 318,816 1,062,721 n/a 49,200 n/a 212,544 170,035 155,582 14,453 850 42,509 n/a n/a 425,087 n/a 34,440 n/a 148,781 119,025 n/a n/a n/a 29,756 n/a n/a 297,562 n/a 73,800 n/a 318,816 255,053 233,373 21,679 1,275 63,763 n/a n/a 637,632 Aleutian Islands subarea 1 ............... CDQ DFA .................................. ICA ............................................ Aleut Corporation ...................... 19,000 1,900 1,600 15,500 n/a 760 800 15,500 n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a 1,140 800 0 19,000 1,900 1,600 15,500 n/a 760 800 15,500 n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a 1,140 800 0 Bogoslof District ICA 7 ............... 50 n/a n/a n/a 10 n/a n/a n/a 1 Pursuant to § 679.20(a)(5)(i)(A), the Bering Sea subarea pollock, after subtraction for the CDQ DFA (10 percent) and the ICA (4 percent), is allocated as a DFA as follows: inshore sector—50 percent, catcher/processor sector (C/P)—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 directed fishing allowance (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 SCA before April 1. The remaining 12 percent of the annual DFA allocated to the A season may be taken outside of SCA before April 1 or inside the SCA after April 1. If 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. 3 Pursuant to § 679.20(a)(5)(i)(A)(4), not less than 8.5 percent of the DFA allocated to listed catcher/processors shall be available for harvest only by eligible catcher vessels delivering to listed catcher/processors. 4 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 non-CDQ pollock DFAs. 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 non-CDQ pollock DFAs. 7 The Bogoslof District is closed by the final harvest specifications to directed fishing for pollock. The amounts specified are for ICA only and are not apportioned by season or sector. jlentini on PROD1PC65 with RULES 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. The allocation of the ITAC for Atka mackerel to the Amendment 80 and BSAI trawl limited VerDate Nov<24>2008 16:58 Feb 13, 2009 Jkt 217001 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 the Bering Sea subarea Atka mackerel ITAC may be allocated to jig gear. The amount of this allocation is determined annually by the Council based on several criteria, including the anticipated harvest capacity of the jig gear fleet. The Council recommended, PO 00000 Frm 00080 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 and NMFS approves, a 0.5 percent allocation of the Atka mackerel ITAC in the Eastern Aleutian District and Bering Sea subarea to the jig gear in 2009 and 2010. Based on the 2009 TAC of 27,000 mt after subtractions of the CDQ reserve and ICA, the jig gear allocation would be 120 mt for 2009. Based on the 2010 TAC of 22,900 mt after subtractions of the CDQ reserve and ICA, the jig gear allocation would be 101 mt for 2010. E:\FR\FM\17FER1.SGM 17FER1 7365 Federal Register / Vol. 74, No. 30 / Tuesday, February 17, 2009 / Rules and Regulations 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 trawl sectors: 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 sectors 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 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 in the HLA for the first HLA fishery in all three trawl sectors 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 for any one of the three trawl sectors allocated Atka mackerel TAC. Table 4 lists these 2009 and 2010 amounts. The 2010 allocations for Atka mackerel 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. TABLE 4—FINAL 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 Sector 1 Season 3 4 Eastern Aleutian District/Bering Sea TAC ............................................................ CDQ reserve .............................................. n/a ........... Total ......... HLA 5 ....... Total ........ Total ......... Total ......... A .............. HLA 4 ....... B .............. HLA4 ........ Total ........ A .............. HLA 4 ....... B .............. HLA4 ........ Total ......... A .............. HLA4 ........ B .............. HLA4 ........ Total ......... A .............. HLA4 ........ B .............. HLA4 ........ 27,000 2,889 n/a 200 120 952 476 n/a 476 n/a 22,840 11,420 n/a 11,420 n/a 12,328 6,164 n/a 6,164 n/a 10,512 5,256 n/a 5,256 n/a ICA ............................................................. Jig 6 ............................................................ BSAI trawl limited access .......................... Amendment 80 sectors .............................. Amendment 80 limited access ................... jlentini on PROD1PC65 with RULES Amendment 80 cooperatives ..................... Central Aleutian District 2010 allocation by area Western Aleutian District 32,500 3,478 2,087 20 0 1,160 580 348 580 348 27,842 13,921 8,353 13,921 8,353 16,795 8,398 5,039 8,398 5,039 11,047 5,524 3,314 5,524 3,314 Eastern Aleutian District/Bering Sea 16,900 1,808 1,085 20 0 0 0 0 0 0 15,072 7,536 4,522 7,536 4,522 9,275 4,638 2,783 4,638 2,783 5,797 2,899 1,739 2,899 1,739 22,900 2,450 n/a 200 101 1,209 604 n/a 604 n/a 18,940 9,470 n/a 9,470 n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a Central Aleutian District 28,500 3,050 1,830 20 0 1,526 763 458 763 458 23,905 11,952 7,171 11,952 7,171 n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a Western Aleutian District 19,700 2,108 1,265 20 0 0 0 0 0 0 17,572 8,786 5,272 8,786 5,272 n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a 1 Section 679.20(a)(8)(ii) allocates the Atka mackerel TACs, after subtraction of the CDQ reserves, jig gear allocation, and ICAs, 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). 2 Regulations at §§ 679.20(a)(8)(ii)(A) and 679.22(a) establish temporal and spatial limitations for the Atka mackerel fishery. 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 the 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. VerDate Nov<24>2008 18:52 Feb 13, 2009 Jkt 217001 PO 00000 Frm 00081 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 E:\FR\FM\17FER1.SGM 17FER1 7366 Federal Register / Vol. 74, No. 30 / Tuesday, February 17, 2009 / Rules and Regulations Allocation of the Pacific cod ITAC Section 679.20(a)(7)(i) and (ii) allocates the Pacific cod TAC in the BSAI, after subtraction of 10.7 percent for the CDQ reserve, 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 American Fisheries Act (AFA) trawl catcher/processors, 13.4 percent to nonAFA 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. For 2009 and 2010, the Regional Administrator establishes an ICA of 500 mt based on anticipated incidental catch by these sectors in other 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. The 2010 allocations for Pacific cod 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. 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 hook-and-line catcher/processors and hook-and-line catcher vessels greater than or equal to 60 ft (18.3 m) LOA harvesting CDQ Pacific cod, the first seasonal allowance of 60 percent of the ITAC is available for directed fishing from January 1 to June 10, and the second seasonal allowance of 40 percent of the ITAC is available from June 10 to December 31. No seasonal harvest constraints are imposed on the CDQ Pacific cod fishery for pot gear or hook-and-line catcher vessels less than 60 ft (18.3 m) LOA. For vessels harvesting CDQ Pacific cod with trawl gear, the first seasonal allowance of 60 percent of the ITAC is available January 20 to April 1. The second seasonal allowance, April 1 to June 10, and the third seasonal allowance, June 10 to November 1, are each allocated 20 percent of the ITAC. The CDQ Pacific cod trawl catcher vessel allocation is further allocated as 70 percent of the first seasonal allowance, 10 percent in the second seasonal allowance, and 20 percent in the third seasonal allowance. The CDQ Pacific cod trawl catcher/ processor allocation is 50 percent in the first seasonal allowance, 30 percent in the second seasonal allowance, and 20 percent in the third seasonal allowance. 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 catcher vessels greater than or equal to 60 ft (18.3 m) LOA, the first seasonal allowance of 51 percent of the ITAC is available for directed fishing from January 1 to June 10, and the second seasonal allowance of 49 percent of the ITAC is 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 feet (18.3 m) LOA using hook-and-line or pot gear. For trawl gear, the first seasonal allowance is January 20 to April 1, the second seasonal allowance is April 1 to June 10, and the third seasonal allowance is June 10 to November 1. The trawl catcher vessel allocation is further allocated as 74 percent in the first seasonal allowance, 11 percent in the second seasonal allowance, and 15 percent in the third seasonal allowance. The trawl catcher/processor allocation is allocated 75 percent in the first seasonal allowance, 25 percent in the second seasonal allowance, and zero percent in the third seasonal allowance. 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 5 lists the 2009 and 2010 allocations and seasonal apportionments of the Pacific cod TAC. TABLE 5A—FINAL 2009 GEAR SHARES AND SEASONAL ALLOWANCES OF THE BSAI PACIFIC COD TAC [Amounts are in metric tons] Gear sector 2009 share of gear sector total Percent 2009 share of sector total 100 10.7 60.8 n/a n/a 48.7 176,540 18,890 95,851 500 95,351 n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a 76,375 Hook-and-line catcher vessel ≥ 60 ft LOA .................................. 0.2 n/a 314 Pot catcher/processor ................................................................. 1.5 n/a 2,352 Pot catcher vessel ≥ 60 ft LOA ................................................... 8.4 n/a 13,173 Catcher vessel < 60 ft LOA using hook-and-line or pot gear ..... Trawl catcher vessel ................................................................... jlentini on PROD1PC65 with RULES Total TAC .................................................................................... CDQ ............................................................................................ Total hook-and-line/pot gear ....................................................... Hook-and-line/pot ICA 1 ............................................................... Hook-and-line/pot sub-total ......................................................... Hook-and-line catcher/processor ................................................ 2.0 22.1 n/a 34,841 3,137 n/a AFA trawl catcher/processor ....................................................... 2.3 3,626 n/a Amendment 80 ............................................................................ 13.4 21,125 n/a VerDate Nov<24>2008 16:58 Feb 13, 2009 Jkt 217001 PO 00000 Frm 00082 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 E:\FR\FM\17FER1.SGM 2009 seasonal apportionment Dates n/a .................................... see § 679.20(a)(7)(i)(B) .... 0 ....................................... see § 679.20(a)(7)(ii)(B) ... n/a .................................... Jan 1–Jun 10 ................... Jun 10–Dec 31 ................. Jan 1–Jun 10 ................... Jun 10–Dec 31 ................. Jan 1–Jun 10 ................... Sept 1–Dec 31 ................. Jan 1–Jun 10 ................... Sept 1–Dec 31 ................. n/a .................................... Jan 20–Apr 1 ................... Apr 1–Jun 10 ................... Jun 10–Nov 1 ................... Jan 20–Apr 1 ................... Apr 1–Jun 10 ................... Jun 10–Nov 1 ................... Jan 20–Apr 1 ................... 17FER1 Amount n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a 38,951 37,424 160 154 1,200 1,152 6,718 6,455 n/a 25,782 3,832 5,226 2,719 906 0 15,844 Federal Register / Vol. 74, No. 30 / Tuesday, February 17, 2009 / Rules and Regulations 7367 TABLE 5A—FINAL 2009 GEAR SHARES AND SEASONAL ALLOWANCES OF THE BSAI PACIFIC COD TAC—Continued [Amounts are in metric tons] Gear sector 2009 share of gear sector total Percent 2009 share of sector total Amendment 80 limited access .................................................... n/a n/a 3,471 Amendment 80 cooperatives ...................................................... n/a n/a 17,654 Jig ................................................................................................ 1.4 2,207 n/a 2009 seasonal apportionment Dates Apr 1–Jun 10 ................... Jun 10–Nov 1 ................... Jan 20–Apr 1 ................... Apr 1–Jun 10 ................... Jun 10–Nov 1 ................... Jan 20–Apr 1 ................... Apr 1–Jun 10 ................... Jun 10–Nov 1 ................... Jan 1–Apr 30 ................... Apr 30–Aug 31 ................. Aug 31–Dec 31 ................ Amount 5,281 0 2,603 868 0 13,241 4,414 0 1,324 441 441 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 approves an ICA of 500 mt for 2009 based on anticipated incidental catch in these fisheries. TABLE 5B—FINAL 2010 GEAR SHARES AND SEASONAL ALLOWANCES OF THE BSAI PACIFIC COD TAC [Amounts are in metric tons] Gear sector 2010 share of gear sector total Percent 2010 share of sector total Total TAC .................................................................................... CDQ ............................................................................................ Total hook-and-line/pot gear ....................................................... Hook-and-line/pot ICA 1 ............................................................... Hook-and-line/pot sub-total ......................................................... Hook-and-line catcher/processor ................................................ 100 10.7 60.8 n/a n/a 48.7 193,030 20,654 104,804 500 104,304 n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a 83,547 Hook-and-line catcher vessel ≥ 60 ft LOA .................................. 0.2 n/a 343 Pot catcher/processor ................................................................. 1.5 n/a 2,573 Pot catcher vessel ≥ 60 ft LOA ................................................... 8.4 n/a 14,410 Catcher vessel < 60 ft LOA using hook-and-line or pot gear ..... Trawl catcher vessel ................................................................... 2.0 22.1 3,431 38,095 3,431 n/a AFA trawl catcher/processor ....................................................... 2.3 3,965 n/a Amendment 80 ............................................................................ 13.4 23,098 n/a Amendment 80 limited access 2 .................................................. n/a n/a see footnote 2 Amendment 80 cooperatives 2 .................................................... n/a n/a see footnote 2 Jig ................................................................................................ 1.4 2,413 n/a 2010 seasonal apportionment 2 Dates n/a .................................... see § 679.20(a)(7)(i)(B) .... n/a .................................... see § 679.20(a)(7)(ii)(B) ... n/a .................................... Jan 1–Jun 10 ................... Jun 10–Dec 31 ................. Jan 1–Jun 10 ................... Jun 10–Dec 31 ................. Jan 1–Jun 10 ................... Sept 1–Dec 31 ................. Jan 1–Jun 10 ................... Sept 1–Dec 31 ................. n/a .................................... Jan 20–Apr 1 ................... Apr 1–Jun 10 ................... Jun 10–Nov 1 ................... Jan 20–Apr 1 ................... Apr 1–Jun 10 ................... Jun 10–Nov 1 ................... Jan 20–Apr 1 ................... Apr 1–Jun 10 ................... Jun 10–Nov 1 ................... Jan 20–Apr 1 ................... Apr 1–Jun 10 ................... Jun 10–Nov 1 ................... Jan 20–Apr 1 ................... Apr 1–Jun 10 ................... Jun 10–Nov 1 ................... Jan 1–Apr 30 ................... Apr 30–Aug 31 ................. Aug 31–Dec 31 ................ Amount n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a 42,609 40,938 175 168 1,312 1,261 7,349 7,061 n/a 28,190 4,190 5,714 2,973 991 0 17,324 5,775 0 75% 25% 0 75% 25% 0 1,448 483 483 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 approves an ICA of 500 mt for 2010 based on anticipated incidental catch in these fisheries. 2 The 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. jlentini on PROD1PC65 with RULES 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 and hook-and-line or pot gear. Gear allocations of the TACs for the Bering Sea subarea are 50 percent VerDate Nov<24>2008 16:58 Feb 13, 2009 Jkt 217001 for trawl gear and 50 percent for hookand-line or pot gear and for the AI subarea are 25 percent for trawl gear and 75 percent for hook-and-line or pot gear. Section 679.20(b)(1)(iii)(B) requires apportionment of 20 percent of the hook-and-line and pot gear allocation of PO 00000 Frm 00083 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 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 E:\FR\FM\17FER1.SGM 17FER1 7368 Federal Register / Vol. 74, No. 30 / Tuesday, February 17, 2009 / Rules and Regulations harvest specifications for the hook-andline 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 reduces the potential for discards of halibut and sablefish in those fisheries. The sablefish IFQ fisheries will remain closed at the beginning of each fishing year until the final specifications for the sablefish IFQ fisheries are in effect. Table 6 lists the 2009 and 2010 gear allocations of the sablefish TAC and CDQ reserve amounts. TABLE 6—FINAL 2009 AND 2010 GEAR SHARES AND CDQ RESERVE OF BSAI SABLEFISH TACS [Amounts are in metric tons] Percent of TAC Subarea and gear Bering Sea Trawl 1 ............................................... Hook-and-line/pot gear 2 ................... 2009 Share of TAC 2009 ITAC 2009 CDQ reserve 2010 Share of TAC 2010 ITAC 2010 CDQ reserve 50 50 1,360 1,360 1,156 1,088 102 272 1,260 n/a 1,071 n/a 95 n/a TOTAL .............................................. Aleutian Islands Trawl 1 ............................................... Hook-and-line/pot gear 2 ................... 100 2,720 2,244 374 1,260 1,071 95 25 75 550 1,650 468 1,320 41 330 505 n/a 429 n/a 38 n/a TOTAL ....................................... 100 2,200 1,788 371 505 429 38 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. The Council recommended that specifications for the hook-and-line gear sablefish IFQ fisheries be limited to 1 year. Allocation of the Aleutian Islands Pacific Ocean Perch, and BSAI 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 sector for Aleutian Islands Pacific ocean perch, and BSAI flathead sole, rock sole, and yellowfin sole TACs, 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, and BSAI flathead sole, rock sole, and yellowfin sole to the Amendment 80 sector is established in Tables 33 and 34 to part 679 and § 679.91. The 2010 allocations for Amendment 80 species between Amendment 80 cooperatives and limited access sector will not be known until eligible participants apply for participation in the program by November 1, 2009. Table 7 lists the 2009 and 2010 allocations of the Aleutian Islands Pacific ocean perch, and BSAI flathead sole, rock sole, and yellowfin sole TACs. TABLE 7A—FINAL 2009 COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT QUOTA (CDQ) RESERVES, INCIDENTAL CATCH AMOUNTS (ICAS), AND AMENDMENT 80 ALLOCATIONS OF THE ALEUTIAN ISLANDS PACIFIC OCEAN PERCH, AND BSAI FLATHEAD SOLE, ROCK SOLE, AND YELLOWFIN SOLE TACS [Amounts are in metric tons] Pacific ocean perch Sector Eastern Aleutian District TAC .................................................................................. CDQ ................................................................................. ICA ................................................................................... BSAI trawl limited access ................................................ Amendment 80 ................................................................. Amendment 80 limited access ......................................... Amendment 80 cooperatives ........................................... Central Aleutian District 4,200 449 100 365 3,286 1,742 1,543 BSAI Western Aleutian District 4,260 456 10 379 3,415 1,811 1,604 6,520 698 10 116 5,696 3,020 2,676 Flathead sole 60,000 6,420 4,500 0 49,080 5,729 43,351 Rock sole 90,000 9,630 5,000 0 75,370 18,559 56,811 Yellowfin sole 210,000 22,470 2,000 39,154 146,376 58,389 87,987 TABLE 7B—FINAL 2010 COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT QUOTA (CDQ) RESERVES, INCIDENTAL CATCH AMOUNTS (ICAS), AND AMENDMENT 80 ALLOCATIONS OF THE ALEUTIAN ISLANDS PACIFIC OCEAN PERCH, AND BSAI FLATHEAD SOLE, ROCK SOLE, AND YELLOWFIN SOLE TACS [Amounts are in metric tons] jlentini on PROD1PC65 with RULES Pacific ocean perch Sector Eastern Aleutian District TAC .................................................................................. VerDate Nov<24>2008 18:52 Feb 13, 2009 Jkt 217001 PO 00000 Frm 00084 4,160 Fmt 4700 Central Aleutian District Western Aleutian District 4,210 Sfmt 4700 BSAI 6,450 E:\FR\FM\17FER1.SGM Flathead sole 50,000 17FER1 Rock sole 75,000 Yellowfin sole 180,000 Federal Register / Vol. 74, No. 30 / Tuesday, February 17, 2009 / Rules and Regulations 7369 TABLE 7B—FINAL 2010 COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT QUOTA (CDQ) RESERVES, INCIDENTAL CATCH AMOUNTS (ICAS), AND AMENDMENT 80 ALLOCATIONS OF THE ALEUTIAN ISLANDS PACIFIC OCEAN PERCH, AND BSAI FLATHEAD SOLE, ROCK SOLE, AND YELLOWFIN SOLE TACS—Continued [Amounts are in metric tons] Pacific ocean perch Sector Eastern Aleutian District CDQ ................................................................................. ICA ................................................................................... BSAI trawl limited access ................................................ Amendment 80 ................................................................. Amendment 80 limited access 1 ...................................... Amendment 80 cooperatives 1 ......................................... 445 100 361 3,253 n/a n/a Central Aleutian District BSAI Western Aleutian District 450 10 375 3,375 n/a n/a 690 10 115 5,635 n/a n/a Flathead sole 5,350 4,500 0 40,150 n/a n/a Rock sole 8,025 5,000 0 61,975 n/a n/a Yellowfin sole 19,260 2,000 28,438 130,302 n/a n/a 1 The 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. jlentini on PROD1PC65 with RULES 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 nontrawl fisheries. Sections 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 7.5 percent, or 67 mt, of the nontrawl halibut mortality limit as the 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 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 nonChinook salmon to the non-CDQ fisheries. PSC limits for crab and herring are specified annually based on abundance and spawning biomass. The red king crab mature female abundance is estimated from the 2008 survey data at 35 million red king crabs, and the effective spawning biomass is VerDate Nov<24>2008 18:52 Feb 13, 2009 Jkt 217001 estimated at 75 million lb (34,020 mt). Based on the criteria set out at § 679.21(e)(1)(ii), the 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 of more than 8.4 million king crab and the effective spawning biomass estimate of more than 55 million lb (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 limit based on the need to optimize the groundfish harvest relative to red king crab bycatch. In December 2008, the Council recommended, and NMFS approves, that the red king crab bycatch limit be equal to 25 percent of the red king crab PSC limit within the RKCSS (Table 8b). Based on 2008 survey data, Tanner crab (Chionoecetes bairdi) abundance is estimated at 435 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 2008 survey estimate of 2.6 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 PO 00000 Frm 00085 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 groundfish is 1 percent of the annual eastern Bering Sea herring biomass. The best estimate of 2009 and 2010 herring biomass is 169,675 mt. This amount was derived using 2008 survey data and an age-structured biomass projection model developed by the Alaska Department of Fish and Game. Therefore, the herring PSC limit for 2009 and 2010 is 1,697 mt for all trawl gear as presented in Tables 8a 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 8a. The amount of 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 8d and 8e. 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)(i) authorizes the apportionment of the non-trawl halibut PSC limit into PSC bycatch allowances among six fishery categories. Table 8c lists the fishery bycatch allowances for the trawl and non-trawl fisheries. Section 679.21(e)(4)(ii) authorizes the exemption of specified non-trawl E:\FR\FM\17FER1.SGM 17FER1 7370 Federal Register / Vol. 74, No. 30 / Tuesday, February 17, 2009 / Rules and Regulations fisheries from the halibut PSC limit. As in past years after consultation with the Council, NMFS exempts pot gear, jig gear, and the sablefish IFQ hook-andline 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 22,160 mt, with an associated halibut bycatch mortality of about 6 mt. The 2008 jig gear fishery harvested about 228 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. The Council recommended and NMFS approves the seasonal PSC apportionments in Tables 8c and 8e to maximize harvest among gear types, fisheries, and seasons while minimizing bycatch of PSC based on the above criteria. TABLE 8A—FINAL 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 Total non-trawl PSC Non-trawl PSC remaining after CDQ PSQ 1 Total trawl PSC Halibut mortality (mt) BSAI. 900 832 3,675 Herring (mt) BSAI ............ Red king crab (animals) Zone 1 2. C. opilio (animals) COBLZ 2. C. bairdi crab (animals) Zone 1 2. C. bairdi crab (animals) Zone 2 2. n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a Trawl PSC remaining after CDQ PSQ 1 Amendment 80 sector CDQ PSQ reserve 1 2009 2010 BSAI trawl limited access fishery 343 in 2009, and 393 in 2010. 2,475 2,425 875 1,697 197,000 3,400 in 2009, and 3,282 in 2010. n/a .............. 175,921 ...... n/a .............. 21,079 ........ n/a 104,427 n/a 98,920 n/a 53,797 n/a 4,350,000 3,884,550 ... 465,450 ...... 2,267,412 2,148,156 1,248,494 n/a n/a 980,000 875,140 ...... 104,860 ...... 437,658 414,641 411,228 n/a n/a 2,970,000 2,652,210 ... 317,790 ...... 745,536 706,284 1,241,500 1 Sections 679.21(e)(3)(i)(A)(2) and (e)(4)(i)(A) allocate 276 mt in 2009 and 326 mt in 2010 of the trawl halibut mortality limit and 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. 2 Refer to 50 CFR 679.2 for definitions of areas. TABLE 8B—FINAL 2009 AND 2010 HERRING AND RED KING CRAB SAVINGS SUBAREA PROHIBITED SPECIES CATCH ALLOWANCES FOR ALL TRAWL SECTORS Herring (mt) BSAI Fishery categories Red king crab (animals) Zone 1 146 25 12 9 25 1,296 184 n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a 49,250 Total trawl PSC ................................................................................................................................................ jlentini on PROD1PC65 with RULES Yellowfin sole ........................................................................................................................................................... Rock sole/flathead sole/other flatfish 1 .................................................................................................................... Turbot/arrowtooth/sablefish 2 ................................................................................................................................... Rockfish ................................................................................................................................................................... Pacific cod ............................................................................................................................................................... Midwater trawl pollock ............................................................................................................................................. Pollock/Atka mackerel/other species 3 ..................................................................................................................... Red king crab savings subarea Non-pelagic trawl gear 4 ....................................................................................... 1,697 197,000 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. 2 Greenland turbot, arrowtooth flounder, and sablefish fishery category. 3 Non-pelagic pollock, Atka mackerel, and ‘‘other species’’ fishery category. 4 In December 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 limit (see § 679.21(e)(3)(ii)(B)(2)). VerDate Nov<24>2008 18:55 Feb 13, 2009 Jkt 217001 PO 00000 Frm 00086 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 E:\FR\FM\17FER1.SGM 17FER1 7371 Federal Register / Vol. 74, No. 30 / Tuesday, February 17, 2009 / Rules and Regulations TABLE 8C—FINAL 2009 AND 2010 PROHIBITED SPECIES BYCATCH ALLOWANCES FOR THE BSAI TRAWL LIMITED ACCESS SECTOR AND NON-TRAWL FISHERIES Prohibited species and area 1 BSAI trawl limited access fisheries Red king crab (animals) Zone 1 Halibut mortality (mt) BSAI C. opilio (animals) COBLZ C. bairdi (animals) Zone 1 Zone 2 Yellowfin sole ....................................................... Rock sole/flathead sole/other flatfish 2 ................. Turbot/arrowtooth/sablefish 3 ............................... Rockfish ............................................................... Pacific cod ............................................................ Pollock/Atka mackerel/other species 4 ................. 187 0 0 5 508 175 47,397 0 0 0 6,000 400 1,176,494 0 0 2,000 50,000 20,000 346,228 0 0 60,000 60,000 5,000 1,185,500 0 0 1,000 50,000 5,000 Total BSAI trawl limited access PSC ........... 875 53,797 1,248,494 411,228 1,241,500 Non-trawl fisheries ............................................. Catcher processor Catcher vessel Pacific cod—Total ............................................... 760 15 January 1–June 10 ........................................ June 10–August 15 ....................................... August 15–December 31 .............................. 314 0 446 10 3 2 Other non-trawl—Total ...................................... May 1–December 31 .................................... Groundfish pot and jig ....................................... Sablefish hook-and-line ...................................... Total non-trawl PSC .................................... 58 58 exempt exempt 833 1 Refer to § 679.2 for definitions of areas. 2 ‘‘Other flatfish’’ for PSC monitoring includes all flatfish species, except for halibut (a prohibited species), flathead sole, Greenland turbot, rock sole, yellowfin sole, and arrowtooth flounder. 3 Greenland turbot, arrowtooth flounder, and sablefish fishery category. 4 ‘‘Other species’’ for PSC monitoring includes sculpins, sharks, skates, and octopus. TABLE 8D—FINAL 2009 PROHIBITED SPECIES BYCATCH ALLOWANCES FOR THE BSAI AMENDMENT 80 COOPERATIVES Prohibited species and area 1 Year Red king crab (animals) Zone 1 C. opilio (animals) COBLZ Zone 1 Zone 2 1,793 74,351 1,544,825 321,922 548,443 2009 ....................................................... 1 Refer C. bairdi (animals) Halibut mortality (mt) BSAI to § 679.2 for definitions of areas. TABLE 8E—FINAL 2009 PROHIBITED SPECIES BYCATCH ALLOWANCES FOR THE BSAI AMENDMENT 80 LIMITED ACCESS FISHERIES Prohibited species and area 1 Halibut mortality (mt) BSAI Amendment 80 limited access fisheries Red king crab (animals) Zone 1 C. opilio (animals) COBLZ C. bairdi (animals) Zone 1 Zone 2 jlentini on PROD1PC65 with RULES Yellowfin sole ....................................................................... Jan 20–Jul 1 ................................................................. Jul 1–Dec 31 ................................................................. Rock sole/other flat/flathead sole 2 ...................................... Jan 20–Apr 1 ................................................................ Apr 1–Jul 1 ................................................................... July 1–Dec 31 ............................................................... Turbot/arrowtooth/sablefish 3 ............................................... Rockfish ............................................................................... Pacific cod ............................................................................ Pollock/Atka mackerel/other species 4 ................................. 370 223 147 217 177 20 20 5 45 0 45 6,286 6,096 190 23,750 23,400 175 175 50 n/a 0 0 634,639 618,505 16,134 87,848 84,877 1,561 1,410 100 n/a 0 0 61,785 55,778 6,007 53,851 47,510 3,320 3,021 100 n/a 0 0 151,133 119,056 32,077 45,860 40,060 2,900 2,900 100 n/a 0 0 Total Amendment 80 trawl limited access PSC ........... 682 30,086 722,587 115,736 197,093 1 Refer to § 679.2 for definitions of areas. 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. 2 ‘‘Other VerDate Nov<24>2008 18:52 Feb 13, 2009 Jkt 217001 PO 00000 Frm 00087 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 E:\FR\FM\17FER1.SGM 17FER1 7372 Federal Register / Vol. 74, No. 30 / Tuesday, February 17, 2009 / Rules and Regulations 3 Greenland turbot, arrowtooth flounder, and sablefish fishery category. other than pelagic trawl pollock, Atka mackerel, and ’’other species’’ fishery category. ‘‘Other species’’ for PSC monitoring includes sculpins, sharks, skates, and octopus. 4 Pollock 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 approves the halibut DMRs developed and recommended by the International Pacific Halibut Commission (IPHC) and the Council for the 2009 and 2010 BSAI groundfish fisheries for use in monitoring the 2009 and 2010 halibut bycatch allowances (see Tables 8a–e). The IPHC developed these DMRs for the 2009 and 2010 BSAI non-CDQ fisheries using the 10-year mean DMRs for those fisheries. The IPHC changed the DMRs for the 2009 and 2010 BSAI CDQ fisheries using the 1998 to 2007 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 the final 2008 SAFE report dated November 2008. Table 9 lists the 2009 and 2010 DMRs. TABLE 9—FINAL 2009 AND 2010 PACIFIC HALIBUT DISCARD MORTALITY RATES FOR THE BSAI Gear Halibut discard mortality rate (percent) Fishery 2009 Non-CDQ hook-and-line ............................................... Non-CDQ trawl ............................................................. Non-CDQ pot ................................................................ CDQ trawl ..................................................................... CDQ hook-and-line ....................................................... CDQ pot ........................................................................ jlentini on PROD1PC65 with RULES Directed Fishing Closures In accordance with § 679.20(d)(1)(i), the Regional Administrator may establish a DFA for a species or species group if the Regional Administrator determines that any allocation or apportionment of a target species or ‘‘other species’’ category has been or will be reached. If the Regional Administrator establishes a DFA, and that allowance is or will be reached before the end of the fishing year, NMFS will prohibit directed fishing for that species or species group in the specified VerDate Nov<24>2008 18:52 Feb 13, 2009 Jkt 217001 Greenland turbot ........................................................... Other species ............................................................... Pacific cod .................................................................... Rockfish ........................................................................ 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 ................................................................ Other species ............................................................... Pacific cod .................................................................... Atka mackerel ............................................................... Flathead sole ................................................................ Non-pelagic pollock ...................................................... Pelagic pollock .............................................................. Rockfish ........................................................................ Rock sole ...................................................................... Yellowfin sole ................................................................ Greenland turbot ........................................................... Pacific cod .................................................................... Pacific cod .................................................................... Sablefish ....................................................................... subarea or district (see § 697.20(d)(1)(iii)). Similarly, pursuant to § 679.21(e), if the Regional Administrator determines that a fishery category’s bycatch allowance of halibut, red king crab, C. bairdi crab, or C. opilio crab for a specified area has been reached, the Regional Administrator will prohibit directed fishing for each species in that category in the specified area. The Regional Administrator has determined that the groundfish allocation amounts in Table 10 will be PO 00000 Frm 00088 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 2010 13 11 11 17 75 76 70 70 74 88 74 70 70 76 80 75 80 7 7 85 87 86 90 82 86 84 4 10 7 35 13 11 11 17 75 76 70 70 74 88 74 70 70 76 80 75 80 7 7 85 84 85 90 82 88 84 4 10 7 34 necessary as incidental catch to support other anticipated groundfish fisheries for the 2009 and 2010 fishing years. Consequently, in accordance with § 679.20(d)(1)(i), the Regional Administrator establishes the DFA for the species and species groups in Table 10 as zero. Therefore, in accordance with § 679.20(d)(1)(iii), NMFS is prohibiting directed fishing for these sectors and species in the specified areas effective at 1200 hrs, A.l.t., February 17, 2009, through 2400 hrs, A.l.t., December 31, 2010. Also, the E:\FR\FM\17FER1.SGM 17FER1 Federal Register / Vol. 74, No. 30 / Tuesday, February 17, 2009 / Rules and Regulations BSAI trawl limited access and Amendment 80 limited access sectors bycatch allowances of halibut in Table 10 are zero mt and the bycatch allowances of red king crab, C. bairdi crab, and C. opilio crab in Table 10 are 0 animals. Therefore, in accordance with § 679.21(e)(7), NMFS is prohibiting directed fishing for these sectors and fishery categories in the specified areas 7373 effective at 1200 hrs, A.l.t., February 17, 2009, through 2400 hrs, A.l.t., December 31, 2010. TABLE 10—2009 AND 2010 DIRECTED FISHING CLOSURES 1 [Groundfish and halibut amounts are in metric tons. Crab amounts are in number of animals.] 2009 Incidental catch allowance 2010 Incidental catch allowance Area Sector Species Bogoslof District .............................. Aleutian Islands subarea ................ All ................................................... All ................................................... Eastern Sea. District/Bering Non-amendment 80 and trawl limited access. BSAI Pollock ............................................ ICA pollock ..................................... ‘‘Other rockfish’’ ............................. ICA Atka mackerel ......................... 50 1,600 472 200 10 1,600 472 200 Central Aleutian District/Bering Sea Non-amendment 80 and trawl limited access. BSAI ICA Pacific ocean perch ................ ICA Atka mackerel ......................... 100 20 100 20 Western Sea. Non-amendment 80 and trawl limited access. BSAI ICA Pacific ocean perch ................ ICA Atka mackerel ......................... 10 20 10 20 ICA Pacific ocean perch ................ Pacific ocean perch ....................... ‘‘Other rockfish’’ ............................. ICA pollock ..................................... Northern rockfish ............................ Shortraker rockfish ......................... Rougheye rockfish ......................... ‘‘Other species’’ .............................. ICA Pacific cod .............................. ICA flathead sole ........................... ICA rock sole ................................. ICA yellowfin sole .......................... Rock sole/flathead sole/other flatfish—halibut mortality, red king crab zone 1, C. opilio COBLZ, C. bairdi Zone 1 and 2. Turbot/arrowtooth/sablefish—halibut mortality, red king crab zone 1, C. opilio COBLZ, C. bairdi Zone 1 and 2. Rockfish—red king crab zone 1 .... Turbot/arrowtooth/sablefish—halibut mortality, red king crab zone 1, C. bairdi Zone 1 and 2. Rockfish—red king crab zone 1, C. opilio COBLZ, C. bairdi Zone 1 and 2. Pollock/Atka mackerel/other species—red king crab zone 1, C. opilio COBLZ, C. bairdi Zone 1 and 2. 10 3,247 485 29,340 7,160 387 539 42,500 500 4,500 5,000 2,000 0 10 3,213 485 44,280 6,000 387 552 29,088 500 4,500 5,000 2,000 0 0 0 0 0 0 n/a 0 n/a 0 n/a Aleutian Aleutian District/Bering Bering Sea subarea ........................ All ................................................... Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands .... All ................................................... Hook-and-line and pot gear ........... Non-amendment 80 ....................... BSAI trawl limited access .............. Amendment 80 limited access ....... jlentini on PROD1PC65 with RULES 1 Maximum retainable amounts may be found in Table 11 to 50 CFR part 679. Closures implemented under the 2008 and 2009 Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands harvest specifications for groundfish (73 FR 10160, February 26, 2008) remain effective under authority of these final 2009 and 2010 harvest specifications, and are posted at the following Web sites: http:// www.alaskafisheries.noaa.gov/index/ infobulletins/infobulletins.asp?Yr=2009, and http://www.alaskafisheries. noaa.gov/2009/status.htm. While these closures are in effect, the maximum retainable amounts at § 679.20(e) and (f) apply at any time during a fishing trip. VerDate Nov<24>2008 16:58 Feb 13, 2009 Jkt 217001 These closures to directed fishing are in addition to closures and prohibitions found in regulations at 50 CFR part 679. 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 (Pub. L. 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 PO 00000 Frm 00089 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 final rule to Amendment 68 to the Fishery Management Plan for groundfish of the Gulf of Alaska (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. Therefore, in accordance with § 679.82(d)(7)(ii), NMFS is prohibiting directed fishing for BSAI Pacific cod in July for catcher vessels under the Rockfish Program sideboard limitations. E:\FR\FM\17FER1.SGM 17FER1 7374 Federal Register / Vol. 74, No. 30 / Tuesday, February 17, 2009 / Rules and Regulations 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. 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). Table 11 lists the 2009 and 2010 catcher/processor sideboard limits. All catch of groundfish sideboard species by listed AFA catcher/ processors, whether as targeted catch or incidental catch, will be deducted from the sideboard limits in Table 11. However, groundfish sideboard species that are delivered to listed catcher/ processors by catcher vessels will not be deducted from the 2009 and 2010 sideboard limits for the listed AFA catcher/processors. TABLE 11—FINAL 2009 AND 2010 LISTED BSAI AMERICAN FISHERIES ACT CATCHER/PROCESSOR GROUNDFISH SIDEBOARD LIMITS [Amounts are in metric tons] 1995–1997 Target species Sablefish trawl ...... Atka mackerel ....... Yellowfin sole 4 ...... Rock sole .............. Greenland turbot ... Arrowtooth flounder Flathead sole ........ Alaska plaice ......... Other flatfish ......... Pacific ocean perch. Northern rockfish .. Shortraker rockfish Rougheye rockfish Other rockfish ....... Squid ..................... Other species ........ Total catch 2009 ITAC available to trawl C/Ps 1 497 145 n/a 0.016 0.000 0.115 1,156 468 14,512 18 0 1,669 1,071 429 12,726 17 0 1,463 Retained catch 2009 AFA C/P side board limit 2010 ITAC available to trawl C/Ps 1 2010 AFA C/P side board limit Ratio of retained catch to total catch 8 0 n/a Area BS ......................... AI .......................... Central AI A season 2. HLA limit 3 ............. B season 2 ............ HLA limit 3 ............. Western AI A season 2. HLA limit 3 ............. B season 2 ............ HLA limit 3 ............. BSAI ...................... BSAI ...................... BS ......................... AI .......................... BSAI ...................... BSAI ...................... BSAI ...................... BSAI ...................... BS ......................... n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a 0.115 n/a 0.200 8,707 14,512 8,707 7,546 1,001 1,669 1,001 1,509 7,636 12,726 7,636 8,796 878 1,463 878 1,759 n/a n/a n/a 100,192 6,317 121 23 76 1,925 14 3,058 12 n/a n/a n/a 435,788 169,362 17,305 4,987 33,987 52,755 9,438 52,298 4,879 n/a 0.200 n/a 0.230 0.037 0.007 0.005 0.002 0.036 0.001 0.058 0.002 4,528 7,546 4,528 187,530 80,370 4,327 1,947 63,750 53,580 42,500 14,790 3,247 906 1,509 906 n/a 2,974 30 10 128 1,929 43 858 6 5,278 8,796 5,278 160,740 66,975 4,182 1,879 51,000 44,650 25,500 14,790 3,213 1,056 1,759 1,056 n/a 2,478 29 9 102 1,607 26 858 6 Eastern AI ............. Central AI .............. Western AI ............ BSAI ...................... BSAI ...................... BSAI ...................... BS ......................... AI .......................... BSAI ...................... BSAI ...................... 125 3 54 91 50 50 18 22 73 553 6,179 5,698 13,598 13,040 2,811 2,811 621 806 3,328 68,672 0.020 0.001 0.004 0.007 0.018 0.018 0.029 0.027 0.022 0.008 3,751 3,804 5,822 7,160 387 539 485 472 1,675 42,500 75 4 23 50 7 10 14 13 37 340 3,715 3,760 5,760 6,000 387 552 485 472 1,675 29,088 74 4 23 42 7 10 14 13 37 233 jlentini on PROD1PC65 with RULES 1 Aleutian Islands Pacific ocean perch, and BSAI Atka mackerel, flathead sole, rock sole, yellowfin sole are multiplied by the remainder of the TAC after the subtraction of the CDQ reserve under § 679.20(b)(1)(ii)(C). 2 The seasonal apportionment of Atka mackerel in the open access fishery is 50 percent in the A season and 50 percent in the B season. Listed AFA catcher/processors are limited to harvesting no more than zero in the Eastern Aleutian District and Bering Sea subarea, 20 percent of the annual ITAC specified for the Western Aleutian District, and 11.5 percent of the annual ITAC specified for the Central Aleutian District. 3 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. 4 Section 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 (187,530 mt in 2009 and 160,740 mt in 2010) is greater than 125,000 mt. Section 679.64(a)(2) and Tables 40 and 41 of part 679 establish a formula for calculating 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 VerDate Nov<24>2008 16:58 Feb 13, 2009 Jkt 217001 the AFA (67 FR 79692, December 30, 2002) and Amendment 80 (72 FR 52668, September 14, 2007). PSC species listed in Table 12 that are caught by listed AFA catcher/processors participating in any groundfish fishery other than pollock will accrue against PO 00000 Frm 00090 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 the 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 2009 or 2010 E:\FR\FM\17FER1.SGM 17FER1 Federal Register / Vol. 74, No. 30 / Tuesday, February 17, 2009 / Rules and Regulations PSC sideboard limit listed in Table 12 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 7375 pollock/Atka mackerel/‘‘other species’’ fishery categories under regulations at § 679.21(e)(3)(iv). TABLE 12—FINAL 2009 AND 2010 BSAI AMERICAN FISHERIES ACT LISTED CATCHER/PROCESSOR PROHIBITED SPECIES SIDEBOARD LIMITS Ratio of PSC catch to total PSC PSC species and area 2 Halibut mortality BSAI .................................................................................................................. Red king crab zone 1 .................................................................................................................. C. opilio (COBLZ) ........................................................................................................................ C. bairdi: Zone 1 .................................................................................................................................. Zone 2 .................................................................................................................................. 2009 and 2010 PSC available to trawl vessels after subtraction of PSQ 1 2009 and 2010 C/P sideboard limit 1 n/a 0.007 0.153 n/a 175,921 3,884,550 286 1,231 594,336 0.140 0.050 875,140 2,652,210 122,520 132,611 1 Halibut 2 Refer amounts are in metric tons of halibut mortality. Crab amounts are in numbers of animals. to § 679.2 for definitions of areas. AFA Catcher Vessel Sideboard Limits Pursuant to § 679.64(a), 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 a formula 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 13 and 14 list the 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 incidental catch, will be deducted from the 2009 and 2010 sideboard limits listed in Table 13. TABLE 13—FINAL 2009 AND 2010 AMERICAN FISHERIES ACT CATCHER VESSEL BSAI GROUNDFISH SIDEBOARD LIMITS [Amounts are in metric tons] Species Fishery by area/gear/ season Pacific cod ........................... BSAI. Jig gear .............................. Hook-and-line CV ............... Jan 1–Jun 10 .............. Jun 10–Dec 31 ............ Pot gear CV ....................... Jan 1–Jun 10 .............. Sept 1–Dec 31 ............ CV < 60 feet LOA using 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 ....................... Eastern AI/BS. Jan 1–Apr 15 .............. Sept 1–Nov 1 .............. Central AI. Jan–Apr 15 .................. HLA limit ...................... Sept 1–Nov 1 .............. HLA limit ...................... Western AI. Jan–Apr 15 .................. HLA limit ...................... Sept 1–Nov 1 .............. HLA limit ...................... BSAI ................................... BSAI ................................... Sablefish ............................. Atka mackerel ..................... jlentini on PROD1PC65 with RULES Ratio of 1995– 1997 AFA CV catch to 1995– 1997 TAC Yellowfin sole 2 .................... Rock sole ............................ VerDate Nov<24>2008 16:58 Feb 13, 2009 Jkt 217001 PO 00000 Frm 00091 2009 initial TAC 1 2009 AFA catcher vessel sideboard limits 2010 initial TAC 1 2010 AFA catcher vessel sideboard limits 0.0000 n/a 0.0006 0.0006 n/a 0.0006 0.0006 0.0006 2,207 n/a 160 154 n/a 6,719 6,455 3,137 0 n/a 0 0 n/a 4 4 2 2,413 n/a 175 168 n/a 7,349 7,061 3,431 0 n/a 0 0 n/a 4 4 2 0.8609 0.8609 0.8609 0.0906 0.0645 25,782 3,832 5,226 1,156 468 22,196 3,299 4,499 105 30 28,190 4,190 5,714 1,071 429 24,269 3,607 4,919 97 28 0.0032 0.0032 12,056 12,056 39 39 10,225 10,225 33 33 0.0001 0.0001 0.0001 0.0001 14,512 8,707 14,512 8,707 1 1 1 1 12,726 7,636 12,726 7,636 1 1 1 1 0.0000 n/a 0.0000 n/a 0.0647 0.0341 7,546 4,528 7,546 4,528 187,530 80,370 0 0 0 0 n/a 2,741 8,796 5,278 8,796 5,278 160,740 66,975 0 0 0 0 n/a 2,284 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 E:\FR\FM\17FER1.SGM 17FER1 7376 Federal Register / Vol. 74, No. 30 / Tuesday, February 17, 2009 / Rules and Regulations TABLE 13—FINAL 2009 AND 2010 AMERICAN FISHERIES ACT CATCHER VESSEL BSAI GROUNDFISH SIDEBOARD LIMITS— Continued [Amounts are in metric tons] Ratio of 1995– 1997 AFA CV catch to 1995– 1997 TAC Species Fishery by area/gear/ season Greenland turbot ................. BS ....................................... AI ........................................ BSAI ................................... BSAI ................................... BSAI ................................... BS ....................................... Eastern AI .......................... Central AI ........................... Western AI ......................... BSAI ................................... BSAI ................................... BSAI ................................... BS ....................................... AI ........................................ BSAI ................................... BSAI ................................... BS trawl gear ..................... Arrowtooth flounder ............. Alaska plaice ....................... Other flatfish ........................ Pacific ocean perch ............ Northern rockfish ................. Shortraker rockfish .............. Rougheye rockfish .............. Other rockfish ...................... Squid ................................... Other species ...................... Flathead sole ...................... 2009 initial TAC 1 0.0645 0.0205 0.0690 0.0441 0.0441 0.1000 0.0077 0.0025 0.0000 0.0084 0.0037 0.0037 0.0048 0.0095 0.3827 0.0541 0.0505 2009 AFA catcher vessel sideboard limits 4,327 1,947 63,750 42,500 14,790 3,247 3,751 3,804 5,822 7,160 387 539 485 472 1,675 42,500 53,580 2010 initial TAC 1 279 40 4,399 1,874 652 325 29 10 0 60 1 2 2 4 641 2,299 2,706 4,182 1,879 51,000 25,500 14,790 3,213 3,715 3,760 5,760 6,000 387 552 485 472 1,675 29,088 44,650 2010 AFA catcher vessel sideboard limits 270 39 3,519 1,125 652 321 29 9 0 50 1 2 2 4 641 1,574 2,255 1 Aleutians Islands Pacific ocean perch, and BSAI Atka mackerel, flathead sole, rock sole, 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). 2 Section 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 (187,530 mt in 2009 and 160,740 mt in 2010) is greater than 125,000 mt. Halibut and crab PSC limits listed in Table 14 that are caught by AFA catcher vessels participating in any groundfish fishery for groundfish other than pollock will accrue against the 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 2009 or 2010 PSC sideboard limit listed in Table 14 is reached. The PSC that is 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 14—FINAL 2009 AND 2010 AMERICAN FISHERIES ACT CATCHER VESSEL PROHIBITED SPECIES CATCH SIDEBOARD LIMITS FOR THE BSAI 1 [Amounts are in metric tons] AFA catcher vessel PSC sideboard limit ratio PSC species Target fishery category 2 Halibut ........................................ 2009 and 2010 PSC limit after subtraction of PSQ reserves 2009 and 2010 AFA catcher vessel PSC sideboard limit n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a 0.299 0.168 0.330 0.186 n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a 175,921 3,884,550 875,140 2,652,210 887 2 101 228 0 2 5 52,600 652,604 288,796 493,311 Pacific cod trawl .............................................................................. Pacific cod hook-and-line or pot ..................................................... Yellowfin sole total .......................................................................... Rock sole/flathead sole/other flatfish total 4 .................................... Turbot/arrowtooth/sablefish ............................................................. Rockfish (June 1–December 31) .................................................... Pollock/Atka mackerel/other species .............................................. n/a ................................................................................................... n/a ................................................................................................... n/a ................................................................................................... n/a ................................................................................................... Red king crab Zone 1 3 .............. C. opilio COBLZ 3 ....................... C. bairdi Zone 1 3 ....................... C. bairdi Zone 2 3 ....................... 1 Halibut amounts are in metric tons of halibut mortality. Crab amounts are in numbers of animals. fishery categories are defined in regulation at § 679.21(e)(3)(iv). 3 Refer to § 679.2 for definitions of areas. 4 ‘‘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. jlentini on PROD1PC65 with RULES 2 Target VerDate Nov<24>2008 16:58 Feb 13, 2009 Jkt 217001 PO 00000 Frm 00092 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 E:\FR\FM\17FER1.SGM 17FER1 Federal Register / Vol. 74, No. 30 / Tuesday, February 17, 2009 / Rules and Regulations AFA Catcher/Processor and Catcher Vessel Sideboard Directed Fishing Closures The Regional Administrator has determined that many of the AFA catcher/processor and catcher vessel sideboard limits listed in Tables 15 and 16 are necessary as incidental catch to support other anticipated groundfish fisheries for the 2009 fishing year. In accordance with § 679.20(d)(1)(iv), the Regional Administrator establishes the sideboard limits listed in Tables 15 and 16 as DFAs. The Regional Administrator finds that many of these DFAs will be reached before the end of the year. 7377 Therefore, in accordance with § 679.20(d)(1)(iii), NMFS is prohibiting directed fishing by listed AFA catcher/ processors for the species in the specified areas set out in Table 15 and directed fishing by non-exempt AFA catcher vessels for the species in the specified areas set out in Table 16. TABLE 15—FINAL 2009 AND 2010 AMERICAN FISHERIES ACT LISTED CATCHER/PROCESSOR SIDEBOARD DIRECTED FISHING CLOSURES 1 [Amounts are in metric tons] Species Area Gear types Sablefish trawl .................................................................................................... BS ..................... AI ...................... BSAI ................. BS ..................... AI ...................... BSAI ................. BSAI ................. BS ..................... Eastern AI ......... Central AI ......... Western AI ........ BSAI ................. BSAI ................. BSAI ................. BS ..................... AI ...................... BSAI ................. BSAI ................. trawl .................. trawl .................. all ...................... all ...................... all ...................... all ...................... all ...................... all ...................... all ...................... all ...................... all ...................... all ...................... all ...................... all ...................... all ...................... all ...................... all ...................... all ...................... Rock sole ........................................................................................................... Greenland turbot ................................................................................................ Arrowtooth flounder ........................................................................................... Flathead sole ..................................................................................................... Pacific ocean perch ........................................................................................... Northern rockfish ................................................................................................ Shortraker rockfish ............................................................................................. Rougheye rockfish ............................................................................................. Other rockfish ..................................................................................................... Squid .................................................................................................................. ‘‘Other species’’ .................................................................................................. 1 Maximum 2009 sideboard limit 2010 sideboard limit 18 0 2,974 30 10 128 1,929 6 75 4 23 50 7 10 14 13 37 340 17 0 2,478 29 9 102 1,607 6 74 4 23 42 7 10 14 13 37 233 retainable amounts may be found in Table 11 to 50 CFR part 679. TABLE 16—FINAL 2009 AND 2010 AMERICAN FISHERIES ACT CATCHER VESSEL SIDEBOARD DIRECTED FISHING CLOSURES 1 [Amounts are in metric tons] Species Area Gear types Pacific cod ......................................................................................................... BSAI ................. BSAI ................. BSAI ................. BS ..................... AI ...................... Eastern AI/BS ... Central AI ......... Western AI ........ BS ..................... AI ...................... BSAI ................. BSAI ................. BSAI ................. BS ..................... Eastern AI ......... Central AI ......... Western AI ........ BSAI ................. BSAI ................. BSAI ................. BS ..................... AI ...................... BSAI ................. BSAI ................. hook-and-line .... pot .................... jig ...................... trawl .................. trawl .................. all ...................... all ...................... all ...................... all ...................... all ...................... all ...................... all ...................... all ...................... all ...................... all ...................... all ...................... all ...................... all ...................... all ...................... all ...................... all ...................... all ...................... all ...................... all ...................... Sablefish ............................................................................................................ Atka mackerel .................................................................................................... Greenland turbot ................................................................................................ Arrowtooth flounder ........................................................................................... Flathead sole ..................................................................................................... Rock sole ........................................................................................................... Pacific ocean perch ........................................................................................... jlentini on PROD1PC65 with RULES Northern rockfish ................................................................................................ Shortraker rockfish ............................................................................................. Rougheye rockfish ............................................................................................. Other rockfish ..................................................................................................... Squid .................................................................................................................. ‘‘Other species’’ .................................................................................................. 1 Maximum VerDate Nov<24>2008 retainable amounts may be found in Table 11 to 50 CFR part 679. 16:58 Feb 13, 2009 Jkt 217001 PO 00000 Frm 00093 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 E:\FR\FM\17FER1.SGM 17FER1 2009 sideboard limit 0 10 0 105 30 78 2 0 279 40 4,399 2,706 2,741 325 29 10 0 60 1 2 2 4 641 2,299 2010 sideboard limit 0 10 0 97 28 66 2 0 270 39 3,519 2,255 2,284 321 29 9 0 50 1 2 2 4 641 1,574 7378 Federal Register / Vol. 74, No. 30 / Tuesday, February 17, 2009 / Rules and Regulations jlentini on PROD1PC65 with RULES Response to Comments NMFS received two letters of comment in support and one letter of comment opposed to the proposed 2009 and 2010 harvest specifications. NMFS has organized these letters into 30 comments. These comments are summarized and responded to below. Comment 1: Adopt tier 3 designation for Eastern Bering Sea pollock. Response: Groundfish fisheries are managed at tiers 1 through 6 based on the level of information available for determining maximum sustainable yield and biomass. Fisheries with more reliable information are managed at lower tier numbers. In November 2008, the Council’s BSAI Plan Team reviewed the information available for the Bering Sea pollock fishery and recommended that the fishery should be managed at the tier 1b level. At the December 2008, Council meeting, the SSC concurred with the BSAI Plan Team and the stock assessment authors that the appropriate designation is tier 1b. The SSC further noted that there is sufficient information to determine Bmsy and the probability density function for Fmsy. Because of this, NMFS believes that it is appropriate for the Council to adopt an OFL and TAC based on tier 1b status for Eastern Bering Sea pollock. Comment 2: Suspend fishing on spawning aggregations and restore Winter Halibut Savings Area closure. Response: The Winter Halibut Savings Area (located to the north of the eastern Aleutian Islands) was established to protect juvenile halibut from the effects of trawling during the winter months. It was one of the earliest measures to implement fishing restrictions in the Alaska groundfish fisheries following passage of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act in 1976. This savings area was in effect as the Alaska groundfish fishery transitioned from a foreign fishery to a domestic fishery, but was superseded by more applicable management protection areas and fisheries closures as the domestic groundfish fisheries matured, including PSC limits for halibut. Current stock assessment models account for fishing mortality. Whether the fish is harvested in or out of the spawning season yields the same mortality upon the stock. Comment 3: Develop proposals for creation of no-take marine reserves in order to serve as experimental control areas which will increase the understanding of climate impacts and fulfill the Council’s obligations under the Steller sea lion (SSL) Recovery Plan. Response: This comment is beyond the scope of the annual harvest VerDate Nov<24>2008 16:58 Feb 13, 2009 Jkt 217001 specifications for groundfish in the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands. Notake reserves are not warranted absent specific research projects. NMFS has and continues to fund, conduct, and coordinate numerous scientific studies and research projects in the Bering Sea, including ones associated with climate and ecosystem changes. We believe the SSL recovery plan has been appropriately implemented, and NMFS continues to assess the recovery status of the western SSL population. Ongoing research efforts such as that undertaken by the Alaska Fisheries Science Center and the Bering Sea Integrated Ecosystem Research Program (http://bsierp.nprb.org) are studying many focal areas of this ecosystem, including a range of oceanographic, climate, and atmospheric studies. As additional data about the effects of climate or other ecosystem changes on fish becomes available, it will be integrated into NMFS’ stock assessment efforts. Comment 4: A council member dismissed the significance of a letter from the public. This indicates a greater need for NMFS oversight. Response: NMFS is not responsible for, and does not have the authority to regulate the opinions of individual Council members who are not NMFS employees. However, the Secretary of Commerce does have the responsibility to review Council actions to ensure compliance with the Magnuson-Stevens Act (MSA) and other applicable public laws. NMFS carries out these reviews on behalf of the Secretary of Commerce. The opinion of an individual Council member will not influence the Secretary of Commerce in conducting the required and appropriate oversight of Council actions. Comment 5: Pollock catch limits may have effects upon other species (including pinnipeds) and the ecosystem as a whole. Response: NMFS agrees that the removal of pollock from the marine ecosystem may have impacts on parts of the ecosystem dependent on pollock (e.g., marine mammals), and includes ecosystem considerations in the annual stock assessments used for determining catch limits. NMFS analyzed the impacts of the federal groundfish fisheries on the North Pacific ecosystem in the Alaska Groundfish Harvest Specifications Final Environmental Impact Statement (January 2007). NMFS is also involved in comprehensive Bering Sea ecosystem studies (see comment 3). Furthermore, in the 2008 SAFE, a large section is devoted to ecosystem considerations. As these endeavors produce scientifically valid PO 00000 Frm 00094 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 information, it is applied to catch limits, and other applicable management measures. Comment 6: Eastern Bering Sea pollock stocks declined about 20 percent per year between 2003 and 2007. Response: NMFS concurs that this is true between 2004 and 2007 for estimates of biomass for age 3+ fish. This has resulted in a reduction of OFL and ABC levels in recent years. It should be noted that when the 2006 recruitment year of pollock reaches the age of 3, the age 3+ biomass estimate is expected to rapidly increase. Comment 7: The 2008 hydroacoustic survey showed a roughly 50 percent drop in Eastern Bering Sea pollock from 2007. Response: NMFS agrees with this statement. This is one factor in the models that produced lower OFL and ABC levels in 2009 compared to previous years. However, as the 2006 year class matures, the biomass, OFLs, and ABCs are expected to increase (see comment 6). Comment 8: The 2008 bottom trawl survey has the second lowest catch of Eastern Bering Sea pollock on record. Response: NMFS agrees with this statement (see comments 6 and 7). Comment 9: The 2009 spawning stock biomass for Eastern Bering Sea pollock is predicted to be 26 percent below Bmsy. Response: NMFS agrees with this statement. Despite the current low Eastern Bering Sea pollock spawning stock biomass, models suggest that the spawning stock will exceed Bmsy in 2010. This is because the 2006 year class will begin to enter the spawning stock biomass at that time. Comment 10: Recruitment of Eastern Bering Sea pollock was below average for most recent years. Response: Recruitment in the Eastern Bering Sea pollock stock is characterized by periodic individual high recruitment years. Because of this, most aggregations of consecutive years throughout the available time series will result in below average recruitment for most years. Therefore, this is not an appropriate measure of the health of the stock. It should be noted that 2006 was a year of high pollock recruitment, and that this year class should recruit into the fishery in 2010. Comment 11: The most recent Biological Opinions concluded that groundfish fisheries jeopardize the survival and recovery of Steller sea lions when pollock abundance was higher than current levels. Response: The most recent biological opinion was completed in 2001 and analyzed the effects of the Alaska E:\FR\FM\17FER1.SGM 17FER1 jlentini on PROD1PC65 with RULES Federal Register / Vol. 74, No. 30 / Tuesday, February 17, 2009 / Rules and Regulations groundfish fisheries on Steller sea lions and their designated critical habitat. This opinion concluded that the groundfish fisheries conducted within the Steller sea lion protection measures would not likely jeopardize the Steller sea lion’s existence or result in adverse modification or destruction of critical habitat. NMFS implemented numerous measures to protect SSL in 2003. This includes the establishment of large fishery closures areas, harvest limits, and seasonal distribution of harvest for the pollock, Pacific cod, and Atka mackerel fisheries. Because the protection measures include a harvest control rule that reduces fishing effort with falling pollock abundance, the current measures take into account the potential for falling biomass and the need to reduce fishing as pollock abundance drops. Comment 12: Northern fur seal populations have dropped from 2 million to about 0.6 million during the course of the pollock fishery. Response: While there are not specific protection measures in place for northern fur seals with respect to the Bering Sea groundfish fisheries, NMFS has implemented several protection measures associated with the Pribilof Islands and surrounding waters. This includes, the Pribilof Island Habitat Conservation Zone, which is closed to trawling, a three nautical mile no groundfish fishing site around Walrus Island (east of St. Paul Island) and five pollock fishing closure areas in and around the Pribilof Islands. Comment 13: Other pollock fisheries are at low levels and the Bogoslof fishery is closed. Response: The Bogoslof pollock fishery remains closed resulting from an international agreement to prohibit fishing in the international waters of the Bering Sea until stocks reach 1 million mt. The Aleutian Island pollock fishery is open to directed fishing. However, fishing remains light due to the fact that most of the productive fishing areas remain closed to fishing in order to protect Steller sea lions. Despite this lack of fishing pressure, NMFS acknowledges that these stocks remain at levels lower than historic highs, and that the OFLs and ABCs for these stocks have been set accordingly. Comment 14: Climate change has been proposed as a cause of declining stocks through a mechanism of pollock migrating to Russian waters, but recent years have been cold. Response: The current models used to calculate OFL and ABC are largely based upon survey data, and do not incorporate migration of stocks to Russian waters. However, NMFS does VerDate Nov<24>2008 16:58 Feb 13, 2009 Jkt 217001 believe that it is important to explore alternative hypotheses, and to incorporate climate change and ecosystem factors into fisheries management whenever it is appropriate and scientifically sound. These considerations are included in the ecosystems chapter to the SAFE reports and are considered in the development of the stock assessments. Comment 15: Climate driven change will increase the margin of error, thus more conservative estimates should be adopted. Response: NMFS believes that the harvest specification process has been developed using precautionary principles. While NMFS believes that climate change may in fact reduce the certainty of stock assessments, NMFS also believes that this uncertainty will be apparent in the surveys and models used to estimate the health of fish stocks. Thus, this uncertainty will be included in models and the OFLs and ABCs will be set accordingly. Comment 16: From 1998 to 2007, 49 percent of the A season pollock catch was concentrated in the Steller Sea Lion conservation area, which puts fishing pressure on the spawning stock. Response: NMFS agrees with this statement. Any harvest of mature fish will apply fishing pressure to the spawning stock. This is true in both the A and B fishing seasons (see comment 2). Fishing mortality is an integral part of the Eastern Bering Sea pollock stock assessment and is a major factor considered when setting OFL and ABC limits. NMFS believes that the recommendations produced by the SAFE report authors and the BSAI Plan Team minimize danger to the stocks from excessive fishing pressure. This process is reviewed by the SSC and the Center for Independent Experts. Comment 17: Incidental catch of juvenile pollock should be considered. Response: NMFS fisheries observers during 2008 recorded that the incidental catch of small, i.e., juvenile pollock was low. However, the fishing mortality of juvenile pollock is incorporated into models used to project OFL, ABC, and the future health of pollock stocks. Comment 18: Bycatch of other species such as Chinook and non-chinook salmon should be considered. Response: NMFS and the Council have taken and are taking action to reduce salmon bycatch in the pollock trawl fishery because of the potential for negative impacts on salmon stocks, and bycatch in general for all fisheries. Existing measures have reduced salmon bycatch rates in the pollock fishery compared with what they would have been without the measures. NMFS and PO 00000 Frm 00095 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 7379 the Council are engaged in a comprehensive process to evaluate these existing measures and develop alternative measures that may be necessary to further reduce salmon bycatch. Applicable Federal law requires that bycatch be minimized to the extent practicable and establishes processes for assessment and responsive implementation of appropriate management measures if and when warranted. Comment 19: The rigorous scientific process used to develop the Council recommendations should be acknowledged. Response: NMFS agrees. NMFS also believes that this has been acknowledged, and that the practices used by the Council have been codified in the MSA to require regional fishery management councils to not exceed recommendations of their SSCs. Comment 20: The process is open, transparent, and the related information is widely available to the public. Response: NMFS agrees with this statement. Comment 21: The Council recommendation of Eastern Bering Sea pollock ABC and TAC of 815,000 mt is consistent with the recommendations of the SSC, the BSAI Plan Team, and the stock assessment author. Response: NMFS agrees with this statement (see comment 1). Comment 22: The 2009 Eastern Bering Sea pollock assessment is supported by three consecutive years of benthic trawl and hydroacoustic trawl survey data. Response: NMFS agrees with this statement. Comment 23: The assessment concludes that the probability of the Eastern Bering Sea pollock stock falling below B20 percent is very low. Response: NMFS agrees that this is consistent with the findings of the stock assessment authors and the review of the SSC, and that as the 2006 year class enters the fishery, the stocks are likely to return to Bmsy (see comment 9). Comment 24: The SSC concluded that the Eastern Bering Sea pollock stock should be considered tier 1b because there is sufficient data to determine the Bmsy, and the probability density function for Fmsy. Response: NMFS agrees that this is consistent with the findings of the SSC. Comment 25: The Eastern Bering Sea pollock stock assessment authors, the SAFE, and the SSC cite strong scientific evidence that the 2006 year class appears to be strong, and that there is a strong likelihood that the Eastern Bering Sea pollock stock will approach Bmsy by 2010. E:\FR\FM\17FER1.SGM 17FER1 7380 Federal Register / Vol. 74, No. 30 / Tuesday, February 17, 2009 / Rules and Regulations jlentini on PROD1PC65 with RULES Response: NMFS agrees with this statement (see comment 9). Comment 26: The Eastern Aleutian Island subarea is the only region with consistently increasing Steller sea lion counts. Response: NMFS agrees with this statement. However, NMFS also believes that one sub-area is an insufficient indicator of the western Steller sea lion stock abundance trend overall, as other subarea counts have consistently declined or remained unchanged over time. Comment 27: The precautionary approach used to determine the 2009 harvest specifications provide protection for Steller sea lions consistent with existing mitigation requirements. Response: NMFS agrees with this statement. Comment 28: The Bogoslof pollock stocks are large enough to allow a directed fishery. However by international agreement, this stock will remain closed until there is enough fish to also support a fishery in the international waters of the Bering Sea. Response: NMFS agrees (see comment 13). Comment 29: The Aleutian Island pollock fishery is large enough to support a directed fishery, but that this fishery is effectively limited through closure areas intended to protect Steller sea lions. Response: NMFS agrees that very little of the Aleutian Island pollock TAC is likely to be harvested due to Steller sea lion protection measures and the location of pollock. Comment 30: New large Marine Protection Areas are not needed to protect Bering Sea pollock stocks. Response: NMFS agrees that these new areas are not currently warranted (see comment 3). Classification NMFS has determined that these final harvest specifications are consistent with the FMP and with the MagnusonStevens 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. In January 2009, NMFS prepared a Supplemental Information Report (SIR) for this action. Copies of the Final EIS, ROD, and SIR for this action are available from NMFS (see ADDRESSES). The Final EIS analyzes the environmental consequences of the VerDate Nov<24>2008 16:58 Feb 13, 2009 Jkt 217001 groundfish harvest specifications and alternative harvest strategies on resources in the action area. The SIR evaluates the need to prepare a Supplemental EIS (SEIS) for the 2009 and 2010 groundfish harvest specifications. A SEIS should be prepared if (1) the agency makes substantial changes in the proposed action that are relevant to environmental concerns, or (2) significant new circumstances or information exist relevant to environmental concerns and bearing on the proposed action or its impacts (40 CFR 1502.9(c)(1)). After reviewing the information contained in the SIR and SAFE reports, the Administrator, Alaska Region, has determined that (1) approval of the 2009 and 2010 harvest specifications, which were set according to the preferred harvest strategy in the Final EIS, do not constitute a change in the action; and (2) there are no significant new circumstances or information relevant to environmental concerns and bearing on the action or its impacts. Additionally, the 2009 and 2010 harvest specifications will result in environmental impacts within the scope of those analyzed and disclosed in the Final EIS. Therefore, supplemental National Environmental Protection Act (NEPA) documentation is not necessary to implement the 2009 and 2010 harvest specifications. The proposed harvest specifications were published in the Federal Register on December 10, 2008 (73 FR 75059). An Initial Regulatory Flexibility Analysis (IRFA) was prepared to evaluate the impacts on small entities of alternative harvest strategies for the groundfish fisheries in the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) off Alaska on small entities. The public comment period ended on January 9, 2009. No comments were received regarding the IRFA or the economic impacts of this action. A Final Regulatory Flexibility Analysis (FRFA) was prepared that meets the statutory requirements of the Regulatory Flexibility Act of 1980, as amended by the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act of 1996 (5 U.S.C. 601–612). Copies of the IRFA and FRFA prepared for this action are available from NMFS, Alaska Region (see ADDRESSES). 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 PO 00000 Frm 00096 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 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 summary of the FRFA follows. 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 MagnusonStevens. Significant issues raised by public comment are addressed in the preamble and not repeated here. 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 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. E:\FR\FM\17FER1.SGM 17FER1 Federal Register / Vol. 74, No. 30 / Tuesday, February 17, 2009 / Rules and Regulations jlentini on PROD1PC65 with RULES 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). Pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 553(d)(3), the Assistant Administrator for Fisheries, NOAA, finds good cause to waive the 30-day delay in effectiveness for this rule. Plan Team review occurred in November 2008, and Council consideration and recommendations occurred in December 2008. Accordingly, NMFS review could not begin until January 2009. For all fisheries not currently closed because the TACs established under the 2008 and 2009 final harvest specifications (73 FR 10160, February 26, 2008) were not reached, the likely possibility exists that they will be closed prior to the expiration of a 30-day delayed effectiveness period because their TACs could be reached. Certain fisheries, such as those for pollock and Pacific cod are VerDate Nov<24>2008 18:52 Feb 13, 2009 Jkt 217001 intensive, fast-paced fisheries. Other fisheries, such as those for flatfish, rockfish, and ‘‘other species,’’ are critical as directed fisheries and as incidental catch in other fisheries. U.S. fishing vessels have demonstrated the capacity to catch the TAC allocations in these fisheries. Any delay in allocating the final TACs in these fisheries would cause disruption to the industry and potential economic harm through unnecessary discards. Determining which fisheries may close is impossible because these fisheries are affected by several factors that cannot be predicted in advance, including fishing effort, weather, movement of fishery stocks, and market price. Furthermore, the closure of one fishery has a cascading effect on other fisheries by freeing-up fishing vessels, allowing them to move from closed fisheries to open ones, increasing the fishing capacity in those open fisheries and causing them to close at an accelerated pace. If the final harvest specifications are not effective by March 21, 2009, which is the start of the 2009 Pacific halibut season as specified by the IPHC, the hook-and-line sablefish fishery will not begin concurrently with the Pacific halibut season. This would result in the needless discard of sablefish that are caught along with Pacific halibut as both hook-and-line sablefish and Pacific halibut are managed under the same IFQ program. Immediate effectiveness of the final 2009 and 2010 harvest specifications will allow the sablefish fishery to begin concurrently with the Pacific halibut season. Also, the immediate effectiveness of this action is required to provide consistent management and conservation of fishery resources based on the best available scientific information, and to give the PO 00000 Frm 00097 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 7381 fishing industry the earliest possible opportunity to plan its fishing operations. Therefore NMFS finds good cause to waive the 30-day delay in effectiveness under 5 U.S.C. 553(d)(3). Small Entity Compliance Guide The following information is a plain language guide to assist small entities in complying with this final rule as required by the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act of 1996. This final rule’s primary purpose is to announce the final 2009 and 2010 harvest specifications and prohibited species bycatch allowances for the groundfish fisheries of the BSAI. This action is necessary to establish harvest limits and associated management measures for groundfish during the 2009 and 2010 fishing years and to accomplish the goals and objectives of the FMP. This action affects all fishermen who participate in the BSAI fisheries. The specific amounts of OFL, ABC, TAC, and PSC are provided in tables to assist the reader. NMFS will announce closures of directed fishing in the Federal Register and information bulletins released by the Alaska Region. Affected fishermen should keep themselves informed of such closures. 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: February 9, 2009. Samuel D. Rauch III, Deputy Assistant Administrator for Regulatory Programs, National Marine Fisheries Service. [FR Doc. E9–3297 Filed 2–13–09; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510–22–P E:\FR\FM\17FER1.SGM 17FER1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 74, Number 30 (Tuesday, February 17, 2009)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 7359-7381]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: E9-3297]


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DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

50 CFR Part 679

[Docket No. 0810141351-9087-02]
RIN 0648-XL28


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

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

ACTION: Final rule; closures.

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

SUMMARY: NMFS announces final 2009 and 2010 harvest specifications and 
prohibited species catch allowances for the groundfish fishery of the 
Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands management area (BSAI). This action is 
necessary to establish harvest limits for groundfish during the 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 (FMP). The intended effect of this 
action is to conserve and manage the groundfish resources in the BSAI 
in accordance with the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and 
Management Act.

DATES: Effective from 1200 hrs, Alaska local time (A.l.t.), February 
17, 2009, through 2400 hrs, A.l.t., December 31, 2010.

ADDRESSES: Copies of the Final Alaska Groundfish Harvest Specifications 
Environmental Impact Statement (EIS), Record of Decision (ROD), 
Supplementary Information Report (SIR) to the EIS, and Final Regulatory 
Flexibility Analysis (FRFA) prepared for this action are available on 
the Alaska Region Web site at http://www.alaskafisheries.noaa.gov. 
Printed copies can be obtained from the Alaska Region, NMFS, P.O. Box 
21668, Juneau, AK 99802, Attn: Ellen Sebastian. Copies of the 2008 
Stock Assessment and Fishery Evaluation (SAFE) report for the 
groundfish resources of the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands management 
area (BSAI) dated November 2008, are available from the North Pacific 
Fishery Management Council, West 4th Avenue, Suite 306, Anchorage, AK 
99510-2252, phone 907-271-2809, or from its Web site at http://
www.alaskafisheries.noaa.gov/npfmc.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Steve Whitney, 907-586-7269, or e-mail 
steven.whitney@noaa.gov.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Federal regulations at 50 CFR part 679 
implement the FMP and govern the groundfish fisheries in the BSAI. The 
North Pacific Fishery Management Council (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 the total allowable catch 
(TAC) for each target species and for the ``other species'' category, 
and the sum must be within the optimum yield (OY) range of 1.4 million 
to 2.0 million metric tons (mt) (see Sec.  679.20(a)(1)(i)). NMFS also 
must specify apportionments of TACs, prohibited species catch (PSC)

[[Page 7360]]

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 final 
harvest specifications set forth in Tables 1 through 16 of this action 
satisfy these requirements. The sum of TACs for 2009 is 1,681,586 mt 
and for 2010 is 2,000,000 mt.
    Section 679.20(c)(3) further requires NMFS to consider public 
comment on the proposed annual TACs and apportionments thereof and the 
proposed PSC allowances, and to publish final harvest specifications in 
the Federal Register. The proposed 2009 and 2010 harvest specifications 
and PSC allowances for the groundfish fishery of the BSAI were 
published in the Federal Register on December 10, 2008 (73 FR 75059). 
Comments were invited and accepted through January 9, 2009. NMFS 
received three letters with 30 comments on the proposed harvest 
specifications. These comments are summarized and responded to in the 
Response to Comments section of this rule. NMFS consulted with the 
Council on the final 2009 and 2010 harvest specifications during the 
December 2008 Council meeting in Anchorage, AK. After considering 
public comments, as well as biological and economic data that were 
available at the Council's December meeting, NMFS is implementing the 
final 2009 and 2010 harvest specifications as recommended by the 
Council.

Acceptable Biological Catch (ABC) and TAC Harvest Specifications

    The final ABC levels are based on the best available biological and 
socioeconomic information, including projected biomass trends, 
information on assumed distribution of stock biomass, and revised 
technical methods used to calculate stock biomass. In general, the 
development of ABCs and overfishing levels (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.
    In December 2008, the Scientific and Statistical Committee (SSC), 
Advisory Panel (AP), and Council reviewed current biological 
information about the condition of the BSAI groundfish stocks. The 
Council's Plan Team compiled and presented this information in the 2008 
SAFE report for the BSAI groundfish fisheries, dated November 2008. The 
SAFE report contains a review of the latest scientific analyses and 
estimates of each species' biomass and other biological parameters, as 
well as summaries of the available information on the BSAI ecosystem 
and the economic condition of groundfish fisheries off Alaska. The SAFE 
report is available for public review (see ADDRESSES). From these data 
and analyses, the Plan Team estimates an OFL and ABC for each species 
or species category.
    In December 2008, the SSC, AP, and Council reviewed the Plan Team's 
recommendations. Except for BSAI Pacific cod and Aleutian Islands 
pollock, the SSC, AP, and Council endorsed the Plan Team's ABC 
recommendations. For 2009 and 2010, the SSC recommended higher Pacific 
cod OFLs and ABCs than the OFLs and ABCs recommended by the Plan Team. 
The Plan Team chose values between the two best performing models. 
However, the SSC chose the best performing model, and did not see a 
need to adjust that model's estimates downward. For Aleutian Island 
pollock, the Plan Team adopted recommendations from the Center of 
Independent Experts to include survey data east of Adak. The SSC 
concluded that this data should be included. This was due to 
uncertainties in the spatial stock structure in the region, the 
variation of length compositions across the area, the concentration of 
survey data along the eastern edge of the region in the early survey 
years, and additional evidence that these pollock may be from the 
Bogoslof or EBS stocks, rather than the Aleutian Island stock. The 
elimination of this survey data resulted in higher OFL and ABC values. 
The Council adopted the ABCs recommended by the SSC.
    The Plan Team, SSC, AP, and Council recommended that total removals 
of Pacific cod from the BSAI not exceed ABC recommendations. In 2007, 
the Board of Fisheries for the State of Alaska (State) established a 
guideline harvest level (GHL) west of 170 degrees west longitude in the 
AI subarea equal to 3 percent of the Pacific cod ABC in the BSAI. 
Accordingly, the Council recommended that the 2009 and 2010 Pacific cod 
TACs be adjusted downward from the ABCs by amounts equal to the 2009 
and 2010 GHLs.
    The final TAC recommendations were based on the ABCs as adjusted 
for other biological and socioeconomic considerations, including 
maintaining the sum of the TACs within the required OY range of 1.4 
million to 2.0 million mt. The Council adopted the AP's 2009 and 2010 
TAC recommendations. None of the Council's recommended TACs for 2009 or 
2010 exceeds the final 2009 or 2010 ABCs for any species category. The 
2009 and 2010 harvest specifications approved by the Secretary of 
Commerce (Secretary) are unchanged from those recommended by the 
Council and are consistent with the preferred harvest strategy 
alternative in the EIS. NMFS finds that the Council's recommended OFLs, 
ABCs, and TACs are consistent with the biological condition of 
groundfish stocks as described in the 2008 SAFE report that was 
approved by the Council.

Other Actions Potentially Affecting the 2009 and 2010 Harvest 
Specifications

    The final rule implementing Amendment 73 to the FMP was published 
in the Federal Register on December 31, 2008 (73 FR 80307). Amendment 
73 removes dark rockfish from the ``other rockfish'' category in the 
FMP in order to allow the State of Alaska (State) to assume management 
of dark rockfish. This action is necessary to allow the State to 
implement more responsive, regionally based management measures than 
are currently possible under the FMP. Based on the approval of 
Amendment 73, the Council recommended final 2009 and 2010 harvest 
specifications for BSAI groundfish.
    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 management 
implications would require more time to assess and resolve. As a 
result, a Pacific cod split between subareas has not been established 
for 2009 or 2010. Additional proposals being developed by the Plan Team 
for Council consideration would separate some species from the ``other 
species'' category so that individual OFLs, 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.

Changes From the Proposed 2009 and 2010 Harvest Specifications in the 
BSAI

    In October 2008, the Council made its recommendations for the 
proposed 2009 and 2010 harvest specifications (73 FR 75059, December 
10, 2008) based largely on information contained in the 2007 SAFE 
report for the BSAI groundfish fisheries. The 2008 SAFE report, which 
was not available when the Council

[[Page 7361]]

made its recommendations in October 2008, contains the best and most 
recent scientific information on the condition of the groundfish 
stocks. In December 2008, the Council considered the 2008 SAFE report 
in making its recommendations for the final 2009 and 2010 harvest 
specifications. Based on the 2008 SAFE report, the sum of the 2009 and 
2010 recommended final TACs for the BSAI (1,681,586 mt for 2009 and 
2,000,000 mt for 2010) is lower than the sum of the proposed 2009 TACs 
and higher than the sum of the proposed 2010 TACs (1,824,204 mt each 
year). Compared to the proposed 2009 TACs, the Council's final TAC 
recommendations increase for species when sufficient information 
supports a larger TAC. This increases fishing opportunities for 
fishermen and adds economic benefits to the nation. These species 
include BSAI Atka mackerel, flathead sole, Pacific cod, rock sole, and 
Greenland turbot. The Council reduced TAC levels to provide greater 
protection for several species including Bering Sea subarea pollock, 
yellowfin sole, ``other flatfish,'' and Pacific ocean perch.
    The largest TAC reduction was for Bering Sea subarea pollock. The 
2009 Bering Sea subarea pollock ABC and the corresponding TAC were 
reduced 185,000 mt below the proposed rule due to the addition of new 
survey and catch data incorporated into the pollock assessment models 
after the Council recommended the proposed harvest specifications. The 
reduction in the 2009 ABC and corresponding TAC is a consequence of low 
recruitment in the years 2002 through 2005. The assessment model 
remains unchanged and the stock still is in tier 1, as recommended by 
the SSC. Conversely, the new survey data increased the 2010 Bering Sea 
subarea pollock ABC and TAC by 230,000 mt. This increase is due to the 
recruitment of the 2006 year class, which has now appeared strong in 
two different surveys.
    The changes in the final rule from the proposed rule are based on 
the most recent scientific information and implement the harvest 
strategy described in the proposed rule for the harvest specifications 
and are compared in the following table:

                             Comparison of Final 2009 and 2010 With Proposed 2009 and 2010 Total Allowable Catch in the BSAI
                                                              [Amounts are in metric tons]
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                                                          2009                                   2010
                                                                             2009 final      2009      difference   2010 final      2010      difference
                   Species                              Area \1\                TAC        proposed       from         TAC        proposed       from
                                                                                             TAC        proposed                    TAC        proposed
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Pollock.....................................  BS..........................      815,000    1,000,000     -185,000    1,230,000    1,000,000      230,000
                                              AI..........................       19,000       19,000            0       19,000       19,000            0
                                              Bogoslof....................           50           10           40           10           10            0
Pacific cod.................................  BSAI........................      176,540      170,720        5,820      193,030      170,720       22,310
Sablefish...................................  BS..........................        2,720        2,610          110        2,520        2,610          -90
                                              AI..........................        2,200        2,230          -30        2,040        2,230         -190
Atka mackerel...............................  EAI/BS......................       27,000       15,300       11,700       22,900       15,300        7,600
                                              CAI.........................       32,500       19,000       13,500       28,500       19,000        9,500
                                              WAI.........................       16,900       13,200        3,700       19,700       13,200        6,500
Yellowfin sole..............................  BSAI........................      210,000      225,000      -15,000      180,000      225,000      -45,000
Rock sole...................................  BSAI........................       90,000       75,000       15,000       75,000       75,000            0
Greenland turbot............................  BS..........................        5,090        1,750        3,340        4,920        1,750        3,170
                                              AI..........................        2,290          790        1,500        2,210          790        1,420
Arrowtooth flounder.........................  BSAI........................       75,000       75,000            0       60,000       75,000      -15,000
Flathead sole...............................  BSAI........................       60,000       50,000       10,000       50,000       50,000            0
Other flatfish..............................  BSAI........................       17,400       21,600       -4,200       17,400       21,600       -4,200
Alaska plaice...............................  BSAI........................       50,000       50,000            0       30,000       50,000      -20,000
Pacific ocean perch.........................  BS..........................        3,820        4,100         -280        3,780        4,100         -320
                                              EAI.........................        4,200        4,810         -610        4,160        4,810         -650
                                              CAI.........................        4,260        4,900         -640        4,210        4,900         -690
                                              WAI.........................        6,520        7,490         -970        6,450        7,490       -1,040
Northern rockfish...........................  BSAI........................        7,160        8,130         -970        6,000        8,130       -2,130
Shortraker rockfish.........................  BSAI........................          387          424          -37          387          424          -37
Rougheye rockfish...........................  BSAI........................          539          202          337          552          202          350
Other rockfish..............................  BS..........................          485          414           71          485          414           71
                                              AI..........................          555          554            1          555          554            1
Squid.......................................  BSAI........................        1,970        1,970            0        1,970        1,970            0
Other species...............................  BSAI........................       50,000       50,000            0       34,221       50,000      -15,779
                                                                           -----------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Total...................................  BSAI........................    1,681,586    1,824,204     -142,618    2,000,000    1,824,204      175,796
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
\1\ Bering Sea subarea (BS), Aleutian Islands subarea (AI), Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Management Area (BSAI), Eastern Aleutian District (EAI),
  Central Aleutian District (CAI), and Western Aleutian District (WAI).

    The final 2009 and 2010 TAC recommendations for the BSAI are within 
the OY range established for the BSAI and do not exceed the ABC for any 
single species or complex. Table 1 lists the final 2009 and 2010 OFL, 
ABC, TAC, initial TAC (ITAC), and CDQ reserve amounts of the BSAI 
groundfish. The apportionment of TAC amounts among fisheries and 
seasons is discussed below.
    As mentioned in the proposed 2009 and 2010 harvest specifications, 
NMFS is apportioning the amounts shown in Table 2 from the non-
specified reserve to increase the ITAC of several target species.

[[Page 7362]]



                   Table 1--Final 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]
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                                                          2009                                                                              2010
              Species                        Area         -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                                OFL                           ABC          TAC        ITAC \2\     CDQ \3\        OFL          ABC          TAC        ITAC \2\     CDQ \3\
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Pollock \3\.......................  BS \2\...............                                        977,000      815,000      815,000      733,500       81,500    1,430,000    1,230,000    1,230,000    1,107,000      123,000
                                    AI \2\...............                                         32,600       26,900       19,000       17,100        1,900       36,800       30,400       19,000       17,100        1,900
                                    Bogoslof.............                                         58,400        7,970           50           50            0       58,400        7,970           10           10            0
Pacific cod \4\...................  BSAI.................                                        212,000      182,000      176,540      157,650       18,890      235,000      199,000      193,030      172,376       20,654
Sablefish \5\.....................  BS...................                                          3,210        2,720        2,720        2,244          374        2,980        2,520        2,520        1,071           95
                                    AI...................                                          2,600        2,200        2,200        1,788          371        2,410        2,040        2,040          429           38
Atka mackerel.....................  BSAI.................                                         99,400       83,800       76,400       68,225        8,175       84,400       71,100       71,100       63,492        7,608
                                    EAI/BS...............                                            n/a       27,000       27,000       24,111        2,889          n/a       22,900       22,900       20,450        2,450
                                    CAI..................                                            n/a       33,500       32,500       29,023        3,478          n/a       28,500       28,500       25,451        3,050
                                    WAI..................                                            n/a       23,300       16,900       15,092        1,808          n/a       19,700       19,700       17,592        2,108
Yellowfin sole....................  BSAI.................                                        224,000      210,000      210,000      187,530       22,470      210,000      198,000      180,000      160,740       19,260
Rock sole.........................  BSAI.................                                        301,000      296,000       90,000       80,370        9,630      314,000      310,000       75,000       66,975        8,025
Greenland turbot..................  BSAI.................                                         14,800        7,380        7,380        6,273          n/a       14,400        7,130        7,130        6,061          n/a
                                    BS...................                                            n/a        5,090        5,090        4,327          545          n/a        4,920        4,920        4,182          526
                                    AI...................                                            n/a        2,290        2,290        1,947            0          n/a        2,210        2,210        1,879            0
Arrowtooth flounder...............  BSAI.................                                        190,000      156,000       75,000       63,750        8,025      196,000      161,000       60,000       51,000        6,420
Flathead sole.....................  BSAI.................                                         83,800       71,400       60,000       53,580        6,420       81,800       69,800       50,000       44,650        5,350
Other flatfish \6\................  BSAI.................                                         23,100       17,400       17,400       14,790            0       23,100       17,400       17,400       14,790            0
Alaska plaice.....................  BSAI.................                                        298,000      232,000       50,000       42,500            0      354,000      275,000       30,000       25,500            0
Pacific ocean perch...............  BSAI.................                                         22,300       18,800       18,800       16,624          n/a       22,100       18,600       18,600       16,447          n/a
                                    BS...................                                            n/a        3,820        3,820        3,247            0          n/a        3,780        3,780        3,213            0
                                    EAI..................                                            n/a        4,200        4,200        3,751          449          n/a        4,160        4,160        3,715          445
                                    CAI..................                                            n/a        4,260        4,260        3,804          456          n/a        4,210        4,210        3,760          450
                                    WAI..................                                            n/a        6,520        6,520        5,822          698          n/a        6,450        6,450        5,760          690
Northern rockfish.................  BSAI.................                                          8,540        7,160        7,160        6,086            0        8,580        7,190        6,000        5,100            0
Shortraker rockfish...............  BSAI.................                                            516          387          387          329            0          516          387          387          329            0
Rougheye rockfish.................  BSAI.................                                            660          539          539          458            0          640          552          552          469            0
Other rockfish \7\................  BSAI.................                                          1,380        1,040        1,040          884            0        1,380        1,040        1,040          884            0
                                    BS...................                                            n/a          485          485          412            0          n/a          485          485          412            0
                                    AI...................                                            n/a          555          555          472            0          n/a          555          555          472            0
Squid.............................  BSAI.................                                          2,620        1,970        1,970        1,675            0        2,620        1,970        1,970        1,675            0
Other species \8\.................  BSAI.................                                         80,800       63,700       50,000       42,500            0       80,700       63,700       34,221       29,088            0
                                   -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Total.........................  .....................                                      2,636,726    2,204,366    1,681,586    1,497,906      159,902    3,159,826    2,674,799    2,000,000    1,785,185     194,462
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
\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 (4.0 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 (State) guideline harvest level in State waters of the Aleutian Islands subarea.
\5\ For the Amendment 80 species (Atka mackerel, flathead sole, rock sole, yellowfin sole, Pacific cod, and Aleutian Islands Pacific ocean perch), 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, dark, shortraker, and rougheye rockfish.
\8\ ``Other species'' includes sculpins, sharks, skates, and octopus. Forage fish, as defined at Sec.   679.2, are not included in the ``other species'' category.


[[Page 7363]]

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 allocation 
of 7.5 percent of the trawl gear allocations of sablefish and 10.7 
percent of the Bering Sea Greenland turbot and arrowtooth flounder TACs 
to the respective CDQ reserves. Section 679.20(b)(1)(ii)(C) requires 
allocation of 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 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 allocations by gear. Section 
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, respectively.
    Pursuant to Sec.  679.20(a)(5)(i)(A)(1), NMFS allocates a pollock 
ICA of 4 percent of the Bering Sea subarea pollock TAC after 
subtraction of the 10 percent CDQ reserve. This allowance is based on 
NMFS' 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 9-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 10-year average of 3 percent. Pursuant to 
Sec.  679.20(a)(5)(iii)(B)(2)(i) and (ii), NMFS establishes a pollock 
ICA of 1,600 mt for the AI subarea after subtraction of the 10 percent 
CDQ DFA. This allowance is based on NMFS' 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 6-year average 
of 6 percent.
    Pursuant to Sec.  679.20(a)(8) and (10), NMFS allocates ICAs of 
4,500 mt of flathead sole, 5,000 mt of rock sole, 2,000 mt of yellowfin 
sole, 10 mt of Western Aleutian District Pacific ocean perch, 10 mt of 
Central Aleutian District Pacific ocean perch, 100 mt of Eastern 
Aleutian District Pacific ocean perch, 20 mt of Western Aleutian 
District Atka mackerel, 20 mt of Central Aleutian District Atka 
mackerel, and 200 mt of Eastern Aleutian District and Bering Sea 
subarea Atka mackerel TAC after subtraction of the 10.7 percent CDQ 
reserve. These allowances are based on NMFS' 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 or to the ``other species'' category 
during the year, providing that such apportionments do not result in 
overfishing (see Sec.  679.20(b)(1)(ii)). The Regional Administrator 
has determined that the ITACs specified for the species listed in Table 
2 need to be supplemented from the non-specified reserve because U.S. 
fishing vessels have demonstrated the capacity to catch the full TAC 
allocations. Therefore, in accordance with Sec.  679.20(b)(3), NMFS is 
apportioning the amounts shown in Table 2 from the non-specified 
reserve to increase the ITAC for northern rockfish, shortraker 
rockfish, rougheye rockfish, and Bering Sea ``other rockfish'' by 15 
percent of the TAC in 2009 and 2010.

                        Table 2--Final 2009 Apportionment of Reserves to ITAC Categories
                                          [Amounts are in metric tons]
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                     2009                                   2010
     Species--area or subarea        2009 ITAC     reserve     2009 final   2010 ITAC     reserve     2010 final
                                                    amount        ITAC                     amount        ITAC
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Shortraker rockfish--BSAI.........          329           58          387          329           58          387
Rougheye rockfish--BSAI...........          458           81          539          469           83          552
Northern rockfish--BSAI...........        6,086        1,074        7,160        5,100          900        6,000
Other rockfish--Bering Sea subarea          412           73          485          412           73          485
                                   -----------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Total.........................        7,285        1,286        8,571        6,310        1,114        7,424
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Allocation 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 the 10 
percent for the CDQ program and the 4 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 
DFA is allocated to the A season and the remainder of the directed 
pollock fishery is allocated to the B season. Table 3 lists these 2009 
and 2010 amounts.
    Section 679.20(a)(5)(i)(A)(4) also includes several specific 
requirements regarding Bering Sea 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

[[Page 7364]]

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 3 lists the 2009 and 2010 allocations of pollock TAC. 
Tables 11 through 15 list the AFA catcher/processor and catcher vessel 
harvesting sideboard limits. The tables for the pollock allocations to 
the Bering Sea subarea inshore pollock cooperatives and open access 
sector will be posted on the Alaska Region Web site at http://
www.alaskafisheries.noaa.gov.
    Table 3 also lists seasonal apportionments of pollock and harvest 
limits within the Steller Sea Lion Conservation Area (SCA). The harvest 
within the SCA, as defined at Sec.  679.22(a)(7)(vii), is limited to 28 
percent of the annual 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 3 lists by sector these 2009 and 2010 amounts.

     Table 3--Final 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 A season \1\     2009 B                     2010 A season \1\     2010 B
                                                                       ----------------------   season                  ----------------------   season
                                                             2009                                \1\          2010                                \1\
                    Area and sector                       Allocations    A season     SCA    -----------   Allocations    A season     SCA    ----------
                                                                           DFA      harvest    B season                     DFA      harvest    B season
                                                                                   limit \2\     DFA                                limit \2\     DFA
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Bering Sea subarea....................................         815,000        n/a        n/a        n/a       1,230,000        n/a        n/a        n/a
    CDQ DFA...........................................          81,500     32,600     22,820     48,900         123,000     49,200     34,440     73,800
    ICA \1\...........................................          29,340        n/a        n/a        n/a          44,280        n/a        n/a        n/a
    AFA Inshore.......................................         352,080    140,832     98,582    211,248         531,360    212,544    148,781    318,816
    AFA Catcher/Processors \3\........................         281,664    112,666     78,866    168,998         425,088    170,035    119,025    255,053
        Catch by C/Ps.................................         257,723    103,089        n/a    154,634         388,956    155,582        n/a    233,373
        Catch by CVs \3\..............................          23,941      9,577        n/a     14,365          36,132     14,453        n/a     21,679
        Unlisted C/P Limit \4\........................           1,408        563        n/a        845           2,125        850        n/a      1,275
AFA Motherships.......................................          70,416     28,166     19,716     42,250         106,272     42,509     29,756     63,763
Excessive Harvesting Limit \5\........................         123,228        n/a        n/a        n/a         185,976        n/a        n/a        n/a
Excessive Processing Limit \6\........................         211,248        n/a        n/a        n/a         318,816        n/a        n/a        n/a
    Total Bering Sea DFA..............................         704,160    281,664    197,165    422,495       1,062,721    425,087    297,562    637,632
                                                       -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Aleutian Islands subarea \1\..........................          19,000        n/a        n/a        n/a          19,000        n/a        n/a        n/a
    CDQ DFA...........................................           1,900        760        n/a      1,140           1,900        760        n/a      1,140
    ICA...............................................           1,600        800        n/a        800           1,600        800        n/a        800
    Aleut Corporation.................................          15,500     15,500        n/a          0          15,500     15,500        n/a          0
                                                       -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Bogoslof District ICA \7\.........................              50        n/a        n/a        n/a              10        n/a        n/a        n/a
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
\1\ Pursuant to Sec.   679.20(a)(5)(i)(A), the Bering Sea subarea pollock, after subtraction for the CDQ DFA (10 percent) and the ICA (4 percent), is
  allocated as a DFA as follows: inshore sector--50 percent, catcher/processor sector (C/P)--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 directed
  fishing allowance (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 SCA before April 1. The remaining 12 percent of
  the annual DFA allocated to the A season may be taken outside of SCA before April 1 or inside the SCA after April 1. If 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.
\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 shall be available for harvest
  only by eligible catcher vessels 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 non-CDQ
  pollock DFAs.
\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 non-CDQ
  pollock DFAs.
\7\ The Bogoslof District is closed by the final harvest specifications to directed fishing for pollock. The amounts specified are for ICA only and are
  not apportioned by season or sector.

Allocation of the Atka Mackerel 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. 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 the Bering Sea subarea Atka mackerel ITAC may be 
allocated to jig gear. The amount of this allocation is determined 
annually by the Council based on several criteria, including the 
anticipated harvest capacity of the jig gear fleet. The Council 
recommended, and NMFS approves, a 0.5 percent allocation of the Atka 
mackerel ITAC in the Eastern Aleutian District and Bering Sea subarea 
to the jig gear in 2009 and 2010. Based on the 2009 TAC of 27,000 mt 
after subtractions of the CDQ reserve and ICA, the jig gear allocation 
would be 120 mt for 2009. Based on the 2010 TAC of 22,900 mt after 
subtractions of the CDQ reserve and ICA, the jig gear allocation would 
be 101 mt for 2010.

[[Page 7365]]

    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 trawl sectors: 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 sectors 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 in the HLA for the first 
HLA fishery in all three trawl sectors 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 for any one of the three trawl sectors allocated 
Atka mackerel TAC.
    Table 4 lists these 2009 and 2010 amounts. The 2010 allocations for 
Atka mackerel 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.

 Table 4--Final 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
                                                                           -----------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                              Eastern                                Eastern
                 Sector \1\                          Season \3\ \4\           Aleutian     Central      Western      Aleutian     Central      Western
                                                                             District/     Aleutian     Aleutian    District/     Aleutian     Aleutian
                                                                             Bering Sea    District     District    Bering Sea    District     District
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
TAC.........................................  n/a.........................       27,000       32,500       16,900       22,900       28,500       19,700
CDQ reserve.................................  Total.......................        2,889        3,478        1,808        2,450        3,050        2,108
                                              HLA \5\.....................          n/a        2,087        1,085          n/a        1,830        1,265
ICA.........................................  Total.......................          200           20           20          200           20           20
Jig \6\.....................................  Total.......................          120            0            0          101            0            0
BSAI trawl limited access...................  Total.......................          952        1,160            0        1,209        1,526            0
                                              A...........................          476          580            0          604          763            0
                                              HLA \4\.....................          n/a          348            0          n/a          458            0
                                              B...........................          476          580            0          604          763            0
                                              HLA\4\......................          n/a          348            0          n/a          458            0
Amendment 80 sectors........................  Total.......................       22,840       27,842       15,072       18,940       23,905       17,572
                                              A...........................       11,420       13,921        7,536        9,470       11,952        8,786
                                              HLA \4\.....................          n/a        8,353        4,522          n/a        7,171        5,272
                                              B...........................       11,420       13,921        7,536        9,470       11,952        8,786
                                              HLA\4\......................          n/a        8,353        4,522          n/a        7,171        5,272
Amendment 80 limited access.................  Total.......................       12,328       16,795        9,275          n/a          n/a          n/a
                                              A...........................        6,164        8,398        4,638          n/a          n/a          n/a
                                              HLA\4\......................          n/a        5,039        2,783          n/a          n/a          n/a
                                              B...........................        6,164        8,398        4,638          n/a          n/a          n/a
                                              HLA\4\......................          n/a        5,039        2,783          n/a          n/a          n/a
Amendment 80 cooperatives...................  Total.......................       10,512       11,047        5,797          n/a          n/a          n/a
                                              A...........................        5,256        5,524        2,899          n/a          n/a          n/a
                                              HLA\4\......................          n/a        3,314        1,739          n/a          n/a          n/a
                                              B...........................        5,256        5,524        2,899          n/a          n/a          n/a
                                              HLA\4\......................          n/a        3,314        1,739          n/a          n/a         n/a
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
\1\ Section 679.20(a)(8)(ii) allocates the Atka mackerel TACs, after subtraction of the CDQ reserves, jig gear allocation, and ICAs, 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).
\2\ Regulations at Sec.  Sec.   679.20(a)(8)(ii)(A) and 679.22(a) establish temporal and spatial limitations for the Atka mackerel fishery.
\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 the 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.


[[Page 7366]]

Allocation of the Pacific cod ITAC

    Section 679.20(a)(7)(i) and (ii) allocates the Pacific cod TAC in 
the BSAI, after subtraction of 10.7 percent for the CDQ reserve, 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 American Fisheries Act (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. For 2009 and 2010, the Regional 
Administrator establishes an ICA of 500 mt based on anticipated 
incidental catch by these sectors in other 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 2010 allocations for Pacific 
cod 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.
    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 hook-and-line catcher/
processors and hook-and-line catcher vessels greater than or equal to 
60 ft (18.3 m) LOA harvesting CDQ Pacific cod, the first seasonal 
allowance of 60 percent of the ITAC is available for directed fishing 
from January 1 to June 10, and the second seasonal allowance of 40 
percent of the ITAC is available from June 10 to December 31. No 
seasonal harvest constraints are imposed on the CDQ Pacific cod fishery 
for pot gear or hook-and-line catcher vessels less than 60 ft (18.3 m) 
LOA. For vessels harvesting CDQ Pacific cod with trawl gear, the first 
seasonal allowance of 60 percent of the ITAC is available January 20 to 
April 1. The second seasonal allowance, April 1 to June 10, and the 
third seasonal allowance, June 10 to November 1, are each allocated 20 
percent of the ITAC. The CDQ Pacific cod trawl catcher vessel 
allocation is further allocated as 70 percent of the first seasonal 
allowance, 10 percent in the second seasonal allowance, and 20 percent 
in the third seasonal allowance. The CDQ Pacific cod trawl catcher/
processor allocation is 50 percent in the first seasonal allowance, 30 
percent in the second seasonal allowance, and 20 percent in the third 
seasonal allowance. 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 catcher vessels 
greater than or equal to 60 ft (18.3 m) LOA, the first seasonal 
allowance of 51 percent of the ITAC is available for directed fishing 
from January 1 to June 10, and the second seasonal allowance of 49 
percent of the ITAC is 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 feet (18.3 m) 
LOA using hook-and-line or pot gear. For trawl gear, the first seasonal 
allowance is January 20 to April 1, the second seasonal allowance is 
April 1 to June 10, and the third seasonal allowance is June 10 to 
November 1. The trawl catcher vessel allocation is further allocated as 
74 percent in the first seasonal allowance, 11 percent in the second 
seasonal allowance, and 15 percent in the third seasonal allowance. The 
trawl catcher/processor allocation is allocated 75 percent in the first 
seasonal allowance, 25 percent in the second seasonal allowance, and 
zero percent in the third seasonal allowance. 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 5 lists the 2009 and 2010 allocations and seasonal 
apportionments of the Pacific cod TAC.

              Table 5a--Final 2009 Gear Shares and Seasonal Allowances of the BSAI Pacific Cod TAC
                                          [Amounts are in metric tons]
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                  2009 share                      2009 seasonal apportionment
                                                    of gear    2009 share of -----------------------------------
              Gear sector                Percent    sector     sector total
                                                     total                              Dates            Amount
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Total TAC.............................       100     176,540             n/a  n/a.....................       n/a
CDQ...................................      10.7      18,890             n/a  see Sec.                       n/a
                                                                               679.20(a)(7)(i)(B).
Total hook-and-line/pot gear..........      60.8      95,851             n/a  0.......................       n/a
Hook-and-line/pot ICA \1\.............       n/a         500             n/a  see Sec.                       n/a
                                                                               679.20(a)(7)(ii)(B).
Hook-and-line/pot sub-total...........       n/a      95,351             n/a  n/a.....................       n/a
Hook-and-line catcher/processor.......      48.7         n/a          76,375  Jan 1-Jun 10............    38,951
                                        ........  ..........  ..............  Jun 10-Dec 31...........    37,424
Hook-and-line catcher vessel >= 60 ft        0.2         n/a             314  Jan 1-Jun 10............       160
 LOA.
                                        ........  ..........  ..............  Jun 10-Dec 31...........       154
Pot catcher/processor.................       1.5         n/a           2,352  Jan 1-Jun 10............     1,200
                                        ........  ..........  ..............  Sept 1-Dec 31...........     1,152
Pot catcher vessel >= 60 ft LOA.......       8.4         n/a          13,173  Jan 1-Jun 10............     6,718
                                        ........  ..........  ..............  Sept 1-Dec 31...........     6,455
Catcher vessel < 60 ft LOA using hook-       2.0         n/a           3,137  n/a.....................       n/a
 and-line or pot gear.
Trawl catche