Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands; Proposed 2010 and 2011 Harvest Specifications for Groundfish, 63100-63115 [E9-28831]

Download as PDF erowe on DSK5CLS3C1PROD with PROPOSALS-1 63100 Federal Register / Vol. 74, No. 230 / Wednesday, December 2, 2009 / Proposed Rules of this section. BFT quotas are specified in whole weight. (1) * * * (i) Catches from vessels for which General category Atlantic Tunas permits have been issued and certain catches from vessels for which an HMS Charter/ Headboat permit has been issued are counted against the General category quota in accordance with § 635.23(c)(3). The amount of large medium and giant BFT that may be caught, retained, possessed, landed, or sold under the General category quota is 47.1 percent (448.6 mt) of the baseline annual U.S. BFT quota, and is apportioned as follows: (A) January 1 through January 31° 5.3 percent (23.8 mt); (B) June 1 through August 31° - 50 percent (224.3 mt); (C) September 1 through September 30 - 26.5 percent (118.9 mt); (D) October 1 through November 30 13 percent (58.3 mt); and (E) December 1 through December 31° - 5.2 percent (23.3 mt). * * * * * (2) Angling category quota. In accordance with the framework procedures of the Consolidated HMS FMP, prior to each fishing year, or as early as feasible, NMFS will establish the Angling category daily retention limits. The total amount of BFT that may be caught, retained, possessed, and landed by anglers aboard vessels for which an HMS Angling permit or an HMS Charter/Headboat permit has been issued is 19.7 percent (187.6 mt) of the baseline annual U.S. BFT quota. No more than 2.3 percent (4.3 mt) of the annual Angling category quota may be large medium or giant BFT. In addition, over each 2 consecutive-year period (starting in 2009, inclusive), no more than 10 percent of the annual U.S. BFT quota, inclusive of the allocation specified in paragraph (a)(3) of this section, may be school BFT. The Angling category quota includes the amount of school BFT held in reserve under paragraph (a)(7)(ii) of this section. The size class subquotas for BFT are further subdivided as follows: (i) After adjustment for the school BFT quota held in reserve (under paragraph (a)(7)(ii) of this section), 52.8 percent (42.1 mt) of the school BFT Angling category quota may be caught, retained, possessed, or landed south of 39° 18’ N. lat. The remaining school BFT Angling category quota (37.6 mt) may be caught, retained, possessed or landed north of 39° 18’ N. lat. (ii) An amount equal to 52.8 percent (45.2 mt) of the large school/small medium BFT Angling category quota VerDate Nov<24>2008 14:37 Dec 01, 2009 Jkt 220001 may be caught, retained, possessed, or landed south of 39° 18’ N. lat. The remaining large school/small medium BFT Angling category quota (40.4 mt) may be caught, retained, possessed or landed north of 39° 18’ N. lat. (iii) An amount equal to 66.7 percent (2.9 mt) of the large medium and giant BFT Angling category quota may be caught, retained, possessed, or landed south of 39° 18’ N. lat. The remaining large medium and giant BFT Angling category quota (1.4 mt) may be caught, retained, possessed or landed north of 39° 18’ N. lat. (3) Longline category quota. The total amount of large medium and giant BFT that may be caught incidentally and retained, possessed, or landed by vessels that possess Longline category Atlantic Tunas permits is 8.1 percent (77.1 mt) of the baseline annual U.S. BFT quota. No more than 60.0 percent (46.3 mt) of the Longline category quota may be allocated for landing in the area south of 31° 00’ N. lat. In addition, 25 mt shall be allocated for incidental catch by pelagic longline vessels fishing in the Northeast Distant gear restricted area as specified at § 635.23(f)(3). (4) * * * (i) The total amount of large medium and giant BFT that may be caught, retained, possessed, or landed by vessels that possess Purse Seine category Atlantic Tunas permits is 18.6 percent (177.2 mt) of the baseline annual U.S. BFT quota. The directed purse seine fishery for BFT commences on July 15 of each year unless NMFS takes action to delay the season start date. Based on cumulative and projected landings in other commercial fishing categories, and the potential for gear conflicts on the fishing grounds or market impacts due to oversupply, NMFS may delay the BFT purse seine season start date from July 15 to no later than August 15 by filing an adjustment with the Office of the Federal Register prior to July 1. * * * * * (5) Harpoon category quota. The total amount of large medium and giant BFT that may be caught, retained, possessed, landed, or sold by vessels that possess Harpoon category Atlantic Tunas permits is 3.9 percent (37.1 mt) of the baseline annual U.S. BFT quota. The Harpoon category fishery closes on November 15 each year. * * * * * (7) * * * (i) The total amount of BFT that is held in reserve for inseason or annual adjustments and fishery-independent research using quotas or subquotas is 2.5 percent (23.8 mt) of the baseline PO 00000 Frm 00021 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 annual U.S. BFT quota. Consistent with paragraph (a)(8) of this section, NMFS may allocate any portion of this reserve for inseason or annual adjustments to any category quota in the fishery. (ii) The total amount of school BFT that is held in reserve for inseason or annual adjustments and fisheryindependent research is 18.5 percent (18.1 mt) of the total school BFT Angling category quota as described under paragraph (a)(2) of this section. This amount is in addition to the amounts specified in paragraph (a)(7)(i) of this section. Consistent with paragraph (a)(8) of this section, NMFS may allocate any portion of the school BFT Angling category quota held in reserve for inseason or annual adjustments to the Angling category. * * * * * [FR Doc. E9–28832 Filed 12–1–09; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510–22–S DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration 50 CFR Part 679 [Docket No. 0910131363–91412–01] RIN 0648–XS44 Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands; Proposed 2010 and 2011 Harvest Specifications for Groundfish AGENCY: National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Commerce. ACTION: Proposed rule; request for comments. SUMMARY: NMFS proposes 2010 and 2011 harvest specifications and prohibited species catch allowances for the groundfish fisheries of the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands (BSAI) management area. This action is necessary to establish harvest limits for groundfish during the 2010 and 2011 fishing years and to accomplish the goals and objectives of the Fishery Management Plan for Groundfish of the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Management Area. The intended effect of this action is to conserve and manage the groundfish resources in the BSAI in accordance with the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act. DATES: Comments must be received by January 4, 2010. E:\FR\FM\02DEP1.SGM 02DEP1 Federal Register / Vol. 74, No. 230 / Wednesday, December 2, 2009 / Proposed Rules Send comment to Sue Salveson, Assistant Regional Administrator, Sustainable Fisheries Division, Alaska Region, NMFS, Attn: Ellen Sebastian. You may submit comments, identified by RIN 0648– XS44, by any one of the following methods: • Electronic Submissions: Submit all electronic public comments via the Federal eRulemaking Portal http:// www.regulations.gov. • Mail: P.O. Box 21668, Juneau, AK 99802. • Fax: (907) 586–7557. • Hand delivery to the Federal Building: 709 West 9th Street, Room 420A, Juneau, AK. All comments received are a part of the public record. No comments will be posted to http://www.regulations.gov for public viewing until after the comment period has closed. Comments will generally be posted without change. All Personal Identifying Information (for example, name, address, etc.) voluntarily submitted by the commenter may be publicly accessible. Do not submit Confidential Business Information or otherwise sensitive or protected information. NMFS will accept anonymous comments (enter N/A in the required fields, if you wish to remain anonymous). You may submit attachments to electronic comments in Microsoft Word, Excel, WordPerfect, or Adobe PDF file formats only. Electronic copies of the Alaska Groundfish Harvest Specifications Final Environmental Impact Statement (Final EIS) and the Initial Regulatory Flexibility Analysis (IRFA) prepared for this action may be obtained from http://www.regulations.gov or from the Alaska Region Web site at http:// alaskafisheries.noaa.gov. Copies of the final 2008 Stock Assessment and Fishery Evaluation (SAFE) report for the groundfish resources of the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands, dated November 2008, are available from the North Pacific Fishery Management Council (Council) at 605 West 4th Avenue, Suite 306, Anchorage, AK 99510–2252, phone 907–271–2809, or from the Council’s Web site at http:// alaskafisheries.noaa.gov/npfmc. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Steve Whitney, 907–586–7269. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Federal regulations at 50 CFR part 679 implement the Fishery Management Plan for Groundfish of the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Management Area (FMP) and govern the groundfish fisheries in the BSAI. The Council prepared the FMP and NMFS approved erowe on DSK5CLS3C1PROD with PROPOSALS-1 ADDRESSES: VerDate Nov<24>2008 14:37 Dec 01, 2009 Jkt 220001 it under the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (Magnuson-Stevens Act). General regulations governing U.S. fisheries also appear at 50 CFR part 600. The FMP and its implementing regulations require NMFS, after consultation with the Council, to specify annually the total allowable catch (TAC) for each target species and the ‘‘other species’’ category, the sum of which must be within the optimum yield range of 1.4 million to 2.0 million metric tons (mt) (see § 679.20(a)(1)(i)). Section 679.20(c)(1) further requires NMFS to publish proposed harvest specifications in the Federal Register and solicit public comments on proposed annual TACs and apportionments thereof, prohibited species catch (PSC) allowances, and prohibited species quota (PSQ) reserves established by § 679.21, seasonal allowances of pollock, Pacific cod, and Atka mackerel TAC, American Fisheries Act allocations, Amendment 80 allocations, and Community Development Quota (CDQ) reserve amounts established by § 679.20(b)(1)(ii). The proposed harvest specifications set forth in Tables 1 through 12 of this action satisfy these requirements. Under § 679.20(c)(3), NMFS will publish the final harvest specifications for 2010 and 2011 after (1) considering comments received within the comment period (see DATES), (2) consulting with the Council at its December 2009 meeting, and (3) considering new information presented in the final 2009 SAFE reports prepared for the 2010 and 2011 groundfish fisheries. Other Actions Potentially Affecting the 2010 and 2011 Harvest Specifications The Council is developing an amendment to the FMP to comply with Magnuson-Stevens Act requirements associated with annual catch limits and accountability measures. That amendment may result in revisions to how total annual groundfish mortality is estimated and accounted for in the annual SAFE reports, which in turn may affect the OFL, ABC, and TAC for certain groundfish species. NMFS will attempt to identify additional sources of mortality to groundfish stocks not currently reported or considered by the groundfish stock assessments in recommending OFL, ABC, and TAC for certain groundfish species. These additional sources of mortality may include recreational fishing, subsistence fishing, catch of groundfish during the NMFS trawl and hook-and-line surveys, catch taken under experimental fishing permits issued by NMFS, discarded PO 00000 Frm 00022 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 63101 catch of groundfish in the commercial halibut fisheries, use of groundfish as bait in the crab fisheries, or other sources of mortality not yet identified. At its October 2009 meeting the Council approved Amendment 95 to the FMP. This amendment would separate skates from the ‘‘other species’’ category so that individual OFLs, ABCs, and TACs may be established for skates. If the Secretary of Commerce approves the amendment, the change would be in effect for the 2011 fishing year. At its April 2009 meeting the Council adopted Amendment 91 to the FMP. This amendment would establish new measures to minimize Chinook salmon bycatch in the Bering Sea pollock fisheries, including new Chinook salmon PSC limits that when reached would prohibit directed fishing for pollock. If approved, Amendment 91 could be effective by 2011. Proposed ABC and TAC Harvest Specifications The proposed ABC levels are based on the best available biological information, including projected biomass trends, information on assumed distribution of stock biomass, and revised technical methods used to calculate stock biomass. In general, the development of ABCs and OFLs involves sophisticated statistical analyses of fish populations. The FMP specifies a series of six tiers based on the level of reliable information available to fishery scientists. Tier one represents the highest level of information quality available while tier six represents the lowest level of information quality available. Appendix A to the final 2008 SAFE report dated November 2008 (see ADDRESSES) sets forth the best information currently available. Information on the status of stocks, including the 2009 survey results, will be updated and considered by the Council’s Groundfish Plan Team (Plan Team) in November 2009 for the 2009 SAFE report. The final 2010 and 2011 harvest specifications will be based on the 2009 SAFE report. In October 2009, the Scientific and Statistical Committee (SSC), Advisory Panel, and the Council reviewed the Plan Team’s recommended proposed 2010 and 2011 OFL and ABC amounts. The SSC concurred with the Plan Team’s recommendations. The recommendations are based on rollovers of the current 2010 amounts, except for Bering Sea pollock. The Bering Sea pollock OFL and ABC amounts are based on 2009 amounts that are lower than the 2010 amounts. This recommendation uses the best E:\FR\FM\02DEP1.SGM 02DEP1 63102 Federal Register / Vol. 74, No. 230 / Wednesday, December 2, 2009 / Proposed Rules information available from the 2008 stock assessments. The Council adopted the OFL and ABC amounts recommended by the SSC (Table 1). The Council recommended that all the proposed 2010 and 2011 TAC amounts be set equal to the 2010 TAC amounts except for Bering Sea pollock that was set equal to the 2009 TAC amount. The Plan Team recommended and the SSC, AP, and Council approved the use of the lower amount used in 2009 as a notice to the public that the 2010 Bering Sea pollock spawning biomass is not expected to be as high as projected in 2008. As in previous years, the Plan Team, Advisory Panel, SSC, and Council recommended that total removals of Pacific cod from the BSAI not exceed ABC recommendations. Accordingly, the Council recommended that the proposed 2010 and 2011 Pacific cod TACs be adjusted downward from the ABCs by amounts equal to 3 percent of the ABC. This adjustment is necessary to account for the guideline harvest level established for Pacific cod by the State of Alaska (State) for a Statemanaged fishery that occurs in State waters in the AI subarea. Finally, the Council recommended using the 2010 PSC allowances for the proposed 2010 and 2011 PSC allowances. The Council will reconsider the OFL, ABC, TAC, and PSC amounts in December 2009 after the Plan Team incorporates new status of groundfish stocks information into a final 2009 SAFE report for the 2010 and 2011 BSAI groundfish fisheries. None of the Council’s recommended proposed TACs for 2010 or 2011 exceeds the recommended 2010 or 2011 proposed ABCs for any species category. NMFS finds the Council’s recommended proposed 2010 and 2011 OFL, ABC, and TAC amounts consistent with the best available information on the biological condition of the groundfish stocks. The proposed amounts are subject to change pending the completion of the 2009 SAFE report and the Council’s recommendations for final 2010 and 2011 harvest specifications during its December 2009 meeting. Table 1 lists the proposed 2010 and 2011 OFL, ABC, TAC, initial TAC (ITAC), and CDQ amounts for groundfish for the BSAI. The proposed apportionment of TAC amounts among fisheries and seasons is discussed below. TABLE 1—PROPOSED 2010 AND 2011 OVERFISHING LEVEL (OFL), ACCEPTABLE BIOLOGICAL CATCH (ABC), TOTAL ALLOWABLE CATCH (TAC), INITIAL TAC (ITAC), AND CDQ RESERVE ALLOCATION OF GROUNDFISH IN THE BSAI 1 (Amounts are in metric tons) Proposed 2010 and 2011 Species Area OFL Pollock ..................................................................... ABC TAC ITAC 2 CDQ 3,4,5 Squid ....................................................................... Other species 8 ........................................................ BS ...................... AI ........................ Bogoslof ............. BSAI ................... BS ...................... AI ........................ BSAI ................... EAI/BS ................ CAI ..................... WAI .................... BSAI ................... BSAI ................... BSAI ................... BS ...................... AI ........................ BSAI ................... BSAI ................... BSAI ................... BSAI ................... BSAI ................... BS ...................... EAI ..................... CAI ..................... WAI .................... BSAI ................... BSAI ................... BSAI ................... BSAI ................... BS ...................... AI ........................ BSAI ................... BSAI ................... 977,000 36,800 58,400 235,000 2,980 2,410 84,400 .................... .................... .................... 210,000 314,000 14,400 .................... .................... 196,000 81,800 23,100 354,000 22,100 .................... .................... .................... .................... 8,580 516 640 1,380 .................... .................... 2,620 80,700 815,000 30,400 7,970 199,000 2,520 2,040 71,100 22,900 28,500 19,700 198,000 310,000 7,130 4,920 2,210 161,000 69,800 17,400 275,000 18,600 3,780 4,160 4,210 6,450 7,190 387 552 1,040 485 555 1,970 63,680 815,000 19,000 10 193,030 2,520 2,040 71,100 22,900 28,500 19,700 180,000 75,000 7,130 4,920 2,210 60,000 50,000 17,400 30,000 18,600 3,780 4,160 4,210 6,450 6,000 387 552 1,040 485 555 1,970 34,221 733,500 17,100 10 172,376 1,109 474 63,492 20,450 25,451 17,592 160,740 66,975 6,061 4,182 1,879 51,000 44,650 14,790 25,500 16,447 3,213 3,715 3,760 5,760 5,100 329 469 884 412 472 1,675 29,088 81,500 1,900 .................... 20,654 98 41 7,608 2,450 3,050 2,108 19,260 8,025 n/a 526 .................... 6,420 5,350 .................... .................... n/a .................... 445 450 690 .................... .................... .................... .................... .................... .................... .................... .................... Total ................................................................. ............................ 2,706,826 2,259,779 1,585,000 1,411,768 152,968 Pacific cod 4 ............................................................. Sablefish 5 ................................................................ Atka mackerel ......................................................... Yellowfin sole .......................................................... Rock sole ................................................................ Greenland tubot ...................................................... Arrowtooth flounder ................................................. Flathead sole ........................................................... Other flatfish 6 .......................................................... Alaska plaice ........................................................... Pacific ocean perch ................................................. erowe on DSK5CLS3C1PROD with PROPOSALS-1 Northern rockfish ..................................................... Shortraker rockfish .................................................. Rougheye rockfish ................................................... Other rockfish 7 ........................................................ 1 These amounts apply to the entire BSAI management area unless otherwise specified. With the exception of pollock, and for the purpose of these harvest specifications, the Bering Sea (BS) subarea includes the Bogoslof District. 2 Except for pollock, the portion of the sablefish TAC allocated to hook-and-line and pot gear, and Amendment 80 species, 15 percent of each TAC is put into a reserve. The ITAC for these species is the remainder of the TAC after the subtraction of these reserves. 3 Under § 679.20(a)(5)(i)(A)(1), the annual Bering Sea subarea pollock TAC, after subtracting first for the CDQ directed fishing allowance (10 percent) and second for the incidental catch allowance (4 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. VerDate Nov<24>2008 14:37 Dec 01, 2009 Jkt 220001 PO 00000 Frm 00023 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 E:\FR\FM\02DEP1.SGM 02DEP1 Federal Register / Vol. 74, No. 230 / Wednesday, December 2, 2009 / Proposed Rules 63103 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, Aleutian Islands Pacific ocean perch, yellowfin sole, rock sole, flathead sole, and Pacific cod), 10.7 percent of the TAC is reserved for use by CDQ participants (see §§ 679.20(b)(1)(ii)(C) and 679.31). Twenty percent of the sablefish TAC allocated to hook-and-line gear or pot gear, 7.5 percent of the sablefish TAC allocated to trawl gear, and 10.7 percent of the TACs for Bering Sea Greenland turbot and arrowtooth flounder are reserved for use by CDQ participants (see § 679.20(b)(1)(ii)(B) and (D)). Aleutian Islands Greenland turbot, ‘‘other flatfish,’’ Alaska plaice, Bering Sea Pacific ocean perch, northern rockfish, shortraker rockfish, rougheye rockfish, ‘‘other rockfish,’’ squid, and ‘‘other species’’ are not allocated to the CDQ program. 6 ‘‘Other flatfish’’ includes all flatfish species, except for halibut (a prohibited species), flathead sole, Greenland turbot, rock sole, yellowfin sole, arrowtooth flounder, and Alaska plaice. 7 ‘‘Other rockfish’’ includes all Sebastes and Sebastolobus species except for Pacific ocean perch, northern, shortraker, and rougheye rockfish. 8 ‘‘Other species’’ includes sculpins, sharks, skates, and octopus. Forage fish, as defined at § 679.2, are not included in the ‘‘other species’’ category. Pending approval of amendment 95 from the Secretary, skates will be broken out from the ‘‘other species’’ category in the 2011 fishing year. The OFL, ABC, and TAC for ‘‘other species’’ will be 42,507, 31,680, and 31,680 mt, respectively. The OFL, ABC, and TAC for skates will be 38,200, 32,000, and 30,000 mt, respectively. erowe on DSK5CLS3C1PROD with PROPOSALS-1 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 that 7.5 percent of the trawl gear allocations of sablefish and 10.7 percent of Bering Sea Greenland turbot and arrowtooth flounder be allocated to the respective CDQ reserves. Section 679.20(b)(1)(ii)(C) requires that 10.7 percent of the TACs for Atka mackerel, Aleutian Islands Pacific ocean perch, yellowfin sole, rock sole, flathead sole, and Pacific cod be allocated to the CDQ reserves. Sections 679.20(a)(5)(i)(A) and 679.31(a) also require the allocation of 10 percent of the BSAI pollock TACs to the pollock CDQ directed fishing allowance (DFA). The entire Bogoslof District pollock TAC is allocated as an ICA (see § 679.20(a)(5)(ii)). With the exception of the hook-and-line and pot gear sablefish CDQ reserve, the regulations do not further apportion the CDQ reserves by gear. Section 679.21(e)(3)(i)(A) requires withholding 7.5 percent of the Chinook salmon PSC limit, 10.7 percent of the crab and non-Chinook salmon PSC limits, and 343 mt of halibut PSC as PSQ reserves for the CDQ fisheries. Sections 679.30 and 679.31 set forth regulations governing the management of the CDQ and PSQ reserves. Pursuant to § 679.20(a)(5)(i)(A)(1), NMFS proposes a pollock ICA of 4 percent of the Bering Sea subarea pollock TAC after subtraction of the 10 percent CDQ reserve. This allowance is based on NMFS’s examination of the pollock incidental catch, including the incidental catch by CDQ vessels, in VerDate Nov<24>2008 14:37 Dec 01, 2009 Jkt 220001 target fisheries other than pollock from 1999 through 2009. During this 11-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 an 11-year average of 3.2 percent. Pursuant to § 679.20(a)(5)(iii)(B)(2)(i) and (ii), NMFS proposes 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’s examination of the pollock incidental catch, including the incidental catch by CDQ vessels, in target fisheries other than pollock from 2003 through 2009. During this 7-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 7-year average of 7 percent. Pursuant to § 679.20(a)(8) and (10), NMFS proposes ICAs of 5,500 mt of flathead sole, 10,000 mt of rock sole, 2,000 mt of yellowfin sole, 50 mt each of Western and Central Aleutian District Pacific ocean perch, 100 mt of Eastern Aleutian District Pacific ocean perch, 50 mt for Western Aleutian District Atka mackerel, 75 mt for Central Aleutian District Atka mackerel, and 75 mt of Eastern Aleutian District and Bering Sea subarea Atka mackerel after subtraction of the 10.7 percent CDQ reserve. These allowances are based on NMFS’s examination of the incidental catch in other target fisheries from 2003 through 2009. The regulations do not designate the remainder of the non-specified reserve by species or species group. Any amount of the reserve may be apportioned to a target species that contributed to the non-specified reserve and the ‘‘other species’’ category during the year, provided that such apportionments do not result in overfishing (see § 679.20(b)(1)(i)). Allocations of Pollock TAC Under the American Fisheries Act (AFA) Section 679.20(a)(5)(i)(A) requires that the pollock TAC apportioned to the Bering Sea subarea, after subtraction of 10 percent for the CDQ program and 4 percent for the ICA, be allocated as a PO 00000 Frm 00024 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 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 to June 10) and 60 percent of the DFA is allocated to the B season (June 10 to November 1) § 679.20(a)(5)(i)(B). 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 § 679.20(a)(5)(iii)(B)(2)(ii). In the AI subarea, 40 percent of the ABC is allocated to the A season and the remainder of the directed pollock fishery is allocated to the B season. Table 2 lists these proposed 2010 and 2011 amounts. Section 679.20(a)(5)(i)(A)(4) also includes several specific requirements regarding Bering Sea subarea pollock allocations. First, 8.5 percent of the pollock allocated to the catcher/ processor sector will be available for harvest by AFA catcher vessels with catcher/processor sector endorsements, unless the Regional Administrator receives a cooperative contract that provides for the distribution of harvest among AFA catcher/processors and AFA catcher vessels in a manner agreed to by all members. Second, AFA catcher/processors not listed in the AFA are limited to harvesting not more than 0.5 percent of the pollock allocated to the catcher/processor sector. Table 2 lists the proposed 2010 and 2011 allocations of pollock TAC. Tables 9 through 12 list the AFA catcher/ processor and catcher vessel harvesting sideboard limits. In past years, the proposed harvest specifications included text and tables describing pollock allocations to the Bering Sea subarea inshore pollock cooperatives and open access sector. These allocations are based on the submission of AFA inshore cooperative applications due to NMFS on December 1 of each calendar year. Because AFA inshore cooperative applications for 2010 have not been submitted to NMFS, thereby E:\FR\FM\02DEP1.SGM 02DEP1 63104 Federal Register / Vol. 74, No. 230 / Wednesday, December 2, 2009 / Proposed Rules preventing NMFS from calculating 2010 allocations, NMFS has not included inshore cooperative text and tables in these proposed harvest specifications. NMFS will post 2010 AFA inshore cooperative allocations on the Alaska Region Web site at http:// www.alaskafisheries.noaa.gov when they become available in December 2009. Table 2 also lists proposed seasonal apportionments of pollock and harvest limits within the Steller Sea Lion Conservation Area (SCA). The harvest of pollock within the SCA, as defined at § 679.22(a)(7)(vii), is limited to 28 percent of the DFA until April 1 § 679.20(a)(5)(i)(C) . The remaining 12 percent of the 40 percent annual DFA allocated to the A season may be taken outside the SCA before April 1 or inside the SCA after April 1. If less than 28 percent of the annual DFA is taken inside the SCA before April 1, the remainder will be available to be taken inside the SCA after April 1. The A season pollock SCA harvest limit will be apportioned to each sector in proportion to each sector’s allocated percentage of the DFA. Table 2 lists by sector these proposed 2010 and 2011 amounts. TABLE 2—PROPOSED 2010 AND 2011 ALLOCATIONS OF POLLOCK TACS TO THE DIRECTED POLLOCK FISHERIES AND TO THE CDQ DIRECTED FISHING ALLOWANCES (DFA) 1 [Amounts are in metric tons] 2010 and 2011 A season 2010 and 2011 allocations Area and sector A season DFA SCA harvest limit 2 2010 and 2011 B season 1 B season DFA Bering Sea subarea TAC ................................................................................ CDQ DFA ......................................................................................................... ICA 1 ................................................................................................................. AFA Inshore ..................................................................................................... AFA Catcher/Processors 3 ............................................................................... Catch by C/Ps .......................................................................................... Catch by C/Vs 3 ........................................................................................ Unlisted C/P Limit 4 ............................................................................ AFA Motherships ............................................................................................. Excessive Harvesting Limit 5 ............................................................................ Excessive Processing Limit 6 ........................................................................... Total Bering Sea DFA (non-CDQ) ................................................................... 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 422,496 Aleutian Islands subarea 1 ............................................................................... CDQ DFA ......................................................................................................... ICA ................................................................................................................... Aleut Corporation ............................................................................................. 19,000 1,900 1,600 15,500 n/a 760 800 10,600 n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a 1,140 800 4,900 Bogoslof District ICA7 ...................................................................................... 10 n/a n/a n/a 1 Pursuant to § 679.20(a)(5)(i)(A), the annual Bering Sea subarea pollock TAC, after subtraction for the CDQ DFA (10 percent) and the ICA (4 percent), is allocated as a DFA as follows: inshore sector 50 percent, catcher/processor sector 40 percent, and mothership sector 10 percent. In the Bering Sea subarea, 40 percent of the DFA is allocated to the A season (January 20 to June 10) and 60 percent of the DFA is allocated to the B season (June 10 to November 1). Pursuant to § 679.20(a)(5)(iii)(B)(2)(i) and (ii), the annual AI pollock TAC, after subtracting first for the CDQ DFA (10 percent) and second the ICA (1,600 mt), is allocated to the Aleut Corporation for a directed pollock fishery. In the AI subarea, the A season is allocated 40 percent of the ABC and the B season is allocated the remainder of the directed pollock fishery. 2 In the Bering Sea subarea, no more than 28 percent of each sector’s annual DFA may be taken from the SCA before April 1. The remaining 12 percent of the annual DFA allocated to the A season may be taken outside of the SCA before April 1 or inside the SCA after April 1. If 28 percent of the annual DFA is not taken inside the SCA before April 1, the remainder is available to be taken inside the SCA after April 1. 3 Pursuant to § 679.20(a)(5)(i)(A)(4), not less than 8.5 percent of the DFA allocated to listed catcher/processors (C/Ps) shall be available for harvest only by eligible catcher vessels (CVs) delivering to listed catcher/processors. 4 Pursuant to § 679.20(a)(5)(i)(A)(4)(iii), the AFA unlisted catcher/processors are limited to harvesting not more than 0.5 percent of the catcher/ processors sector’s allocation of pollock. 5 Pursuant to § 679.20(a)(5)(i)(A)(6) NMFS establishes an excessive harvesting share limit equal to 17.5 percent of the sum of the pollock DFAs not including CDQ. 6 Pursuant to § 679.20(a)(5)(i)(A)(7) NMFS establishes an excessive processing share limit equal to 30.0 percent of the sum of the pollock DFAs not including CDQ. 7 The Regional Administrator proposes closing the Bogoslof pollock fishery for directed fishing under the final 2010 and 2011 harvest specifications for the BSAI. The amounts specified are for incidental catch only and are not apportioned by season or sector. erowe on DSK5CLS3C1PROD with PROPOSALS-1 Allocation of the Atka Mackerel TACs Section 679.20(a)(8)(ii) allocates the Atka mackerel TACs to the Amendment 80 and BSAI trawl limited access sectors, after subtraction of the CDQ reserves, jig gear allocation, and ICAs for the BSAI trawl limited access sector and non-trawl gear (Table 3). The allocation of the ITAC for Atka mackerel to the Amendment 80 and BSAI trawl limited access sectors is established in Table 33 to part 679 and § 679.91. The VerDate Nov<24>2008 14:37 Dec 01, 2009 Jkt 220001 2011 allocations for Amendment 80 species between Amendment 80 cooperatives and the Amendment 80 limited access sector will not be known until November 1, 2010, when eligible participants apply for participation in the program. Pursuant to § 679.20(a)(8)(i), up to 2 percent of the Eastern Aleutian District and Bering Sea subarea Atka mackerel ITAC may be allocated to jig gear. The amount of this allocation is determined PO 00000 Frm 00025 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 annually by the Council based on several criteria, including the anticipated harvest capacity of the jig gear fleet. The Council recommended and NMFS proposes a 0.5 percent allocation of the Atka mackerel ITAC in the Eastern Aleutian District and Bering Sea subarea to jig gear in 2010 and 2011. Based on the proposed 2010 and 2011 TAC of 20,250 mt after subtractions of the CDQ reserve and ICA, the jig gear E:\FR\FM\02DEP1.SGM 02DEP1 63105 Federal Register / Vol. 74, No. 230 / Wednesday, December 2, 2009 / Proposed Rules allocation would be 102 mt for 2010 and 2011. Section 679.20(a)(8)(iv) 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), the Regional Administrator will establish a harvest limit area (HLA) limit of no more than 60 percent of the seasonal TAC for the Western and Central Aleutian Districts. NMFS will establish HLA limits for the CDQ reserve and each of the three non-CDQ fishery categories: the BSAI trawl limited access sector, the Amendment 80 limited access fishery, and an aggregate HLA limit applicable to all Amendment 80 cooperatives. NMFS will assign vessels in each of the three non-CDQ fishery categories that apply to fish for Atka mackerel in the HLA to an HLA fishery based on a random lottery of the vessels that apply (see § 679.20(a)(8)(iii)). There is no allocation of Atka mackerel to the BSAI trawl limited access sector in the Western Aleutian District. Therefore, no vessels in the BSAI trawl limited access sector will be assigned to the Western Aleutian District HLA fishery. Each trawl sector will have a separate lottery. A maximum of two HLA fisheries will be established in Area 542 for the BSAI trawl limited access sector. A maximum of four HLA fisheries will be established for vessels assigned to Amendment 80 cooperatives: a first and second HLA fishery in Area 542, and a first and second HLA fishery in Area 543. A maximum of four HLA fisheries will be established for vessels assigned to the Amendment 80 limited access fishery: A first and second HLA fishery in Area 542, and a first and second HLA fishery in Area 543. NMFS will initially open fishing for the first HLA fishery in all three fishery categories at the same time. The initial opening of fishing in the HLA will be based on the first directed fishing closure of Atka mackerel for the Eastern Aleutian District and Bering Sea subarea allocation for any one of the three nonCDQ fishery categories allocated Atka mackerel TAC. TABLE 3—PROPOSED 2010 AND 2011 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] 2010 allocation by area Eastern Aleutian District/Bering Sea Sector 2 Season 1 3 4 TAC ................................................. CDQ reserve ................................... n/a ....................... Total .................... HLA 5 .................. Total .................... Total .................... Total .................... A ......................... HLA ..................... B ......................... HLA ..................... Total .................... A ......................... HLA ..................... B ......................... HLA ..................... Total .................... A ......................... HLA ..................... B ......................... HLA ..................... ICA .................................................. Jig 6 ................................................. BSAI trawl limited access ............... Amendment 80 limited access ....... Amendment 80 cooperatives .......... 22,900 2,450 n/a 75 102 1,216 608 n/a 608 n/a 10,129 5,065 n/a 5,065 n/a 8,927 4,464 n/a 4,464 n/a Central Aleutian District 2011 allocation by area Western Aleutian District 28,500 3,050 1,830 75 0 1,523 761 457 761 457 14,358 7,179 4,308 7,179 4,308 9,495 4,747 2,848 4,747 2,848 Eastern Aleutian District/Bering Sea 19,700 2,108 1,265 50 0 0 0 0 0 0 10,814 5,407 3,244 5,407 3,244 6,728 3,364 2,018 3,364 2,018 22,900 2,450 n/a 75 102 1,622 811 n/a 811 n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a 1 Regulations Central Aleutian District 28,500 3,050 1,830 75 0 2,030 1,015 609 1,015 609 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 50 0 0 0 0 0 0 n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a at §§ 679.20(a)(8)(ii)(A) and 679.22(a) establish temporal and spatial limitations for the Atka mackerel fishery. 679.20(a)(8)(ii) allocates the Atka mackerel TACs, after subtraction of the CDQ reserves, ICAs, and the jig gear allocation, to the Amendment 80 and BSAI trawl limited access sectors. The allocation of the ITAC for Atka mackerel to the Amendment 80 and BSAI trawl limited access sectors is established in Table 33 to part 679 and § 679.91. The CDQ reserve is 10.7 percent of the TAC for use by CDQ participants (see §§ 679.20(b)(1)(ii)(C) and 679.31). 3 The seasonal allowances of Atka mackerel are 50 percent in the A season and 50 percent in the B season. 4 The A season is January 1 (January 20 for trawl gear) to April 15, and the B season is September 1 to November 1. 5 Harvest Limit Area (HLA) limit refers to the amount of each seasonal allowance that is available for fishing inside the HLA (see § 679.2). In 2010 and 2011, 60 percent of each seasonal allowance is available for fishing inside the HLA in the Western and Central Aleutian Districts. 6 Section 679.20(a)(8)(i) requires that up to 2 percent of the Eastern Aleutian District and Bering Sea subarea TAC be allocated to jig gear after subtraction of the CDQ reserve and ICA. The amount of this allocation is 0.5 percent. The jig gear allocation is not apportioned by season. erowe on DSK5CLS3C1PROD with PROPOSALS-1 2 Section VerDate Nov<24>2008 14:37 Dec 01, 2009 Jkt 220001 PO 00000 Frm 00026 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 E:\FR\FM\02DEP1.SGM 02DEP1 63106 Federal Register / Vol. 74, No. 230 / Wednesday, December 2, 2009 / Proposed Rules Allocation of the Pacific Cod TAC Sections 679.20(a)(7)(i) and (ii) require that the Pacific cod TAC in the BSAI, after subtraction of 10.7 percent for the CDQ program, be allocated as follows: 1.4 percent to vessels using jig gear, 2.0 percent to hook-and-line and pot catcher vessels less than 60 ft (18.3 m) length overall (LOA), 0.2 percent to hook-and-line catcher vessels greater than or equal to 60 ft (18.3 m) LOA, 48.7 percent to hook-and-line catcher/ processors, 8.4 percent to pot catcher vessels greater than or equal to 60 ft (18.3 m) LOA, 1.5 percent to pot catcher/processors, 2.3 percent to AFA trawl catcher/processors, 13.4 percent to non-AFA trawl catcher/processors, and 22.1 percent to trawl catcher vessels. The ICA for the hook-and-line and pot sectors will be deducted from the aggregate portion of Pacific cod TAC allocated to the hook-and-line and pot sectors. For 2010 and 2011 the Regional Administrator proposes an ICA of 500 mt based on anticipated incidental catch in these fisheries. The allocation of the ITAC for Pacific cod to the Amendment 80 sector is established in Table 33 to part 679 and § 679.91. 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. The CDQ and non-CDQ season allowances by gear based on the proposed 2010 and 2011 Pacific cod TACs are listed in Table 4 based on the sector allocation percentages of Pacific cod set forth at §§ 679.20(a)(7)(i)(B) and 679.20(a)(7)(iv)(A); and the seasonal allowances of Pacific cod set forth at § 679.23(e)(5). TABLE 4—PROPOSED 2010 AND 2011 GEAR SHARES AND SEASONAL ALLOWANCES OF THE BSAI PACIFIC COD TAC [Amounts are in metric tons] Gear sector 2010 and 2011 share of gear sector total Percent 2010 and 2011 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/processors .................................. 100 10.7 60.8 n/a n/a 48.7 193,030 20,654 104,804 n/a 104,304 n/a n/a n/a n/a 500 n/a 83,547 Hook-and-line catcher vessels ≥ 60 ft LOA .................... 0.2 n/a 343 Pot catcher/processors ................................................... 1.5 n/a 2,573 Pot catcher vessels≥ 60 ft LOA ...................................... 8.4 n/a 14,410 Catcher vessels < 60 ft LOA using hook-and-line or pot gear. Trawl catcher vessels ..................................................... 2 n/a 3,431 22.1 38,095 n/a AFA trawl catcher processors ......................................... 2.3 3,965 n/a Amendment 80 ................................................................ 13.4 23,098 n/a Amendment 80 limited access for 2010 only 2 ............... n/a 3,795 n/a Amendment 80 cooperative for 2010 only 2 ................... n/a 19,303 n/a Jig .................................................................................... 1.4 2,413 n/a 2010 and 2011 seasonal apportionment Season Amount n/a ...................................... See § 679.20(a)(7)(i)(B) ..... n/a ...................................... n/a ...................................... n/a ...................................... Jan 1–Jun 10 ..................... Jun 10–Dec 31 ................... Jan 1–Jun 10 ..................... Jun 10–Dec 31 ................... Jan 1–Jun 10 ..................... Sept 1–Dec 31 ................... Jan 1–Jun 10 ..................... Sept-1–Dec 31 ................... n/a ...................................... n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a 42,609 40,938 175 168 1,312 1,261 7,349 7,061 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 .................. 28,190 4,190 5,714 2,973 991 0 17,324 5,775 0 2,847 949 0 14,477 4,826 0 1,448 483 483 erowe on DSK5CLS3C1PROD with PROPOSALS-1 1 The ICA for the hook-and-line and pot sectors will be deducted from the aggregate portion of Pacific cod TAC allocated to the hook-and-line and pot sectors. The Regional Administrator proposes an ICA of 500 mt for 2010 and 2011 based on anticipated incidental catch in these fisheries. 2 The 2011 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, 2010. VerDate Nov<24>2008 14:37 Dec 01, 2009 Jkt 220001 PO 00000 Frm 00027 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 E:\FR\FM\02DEP1.SGM 02DEP1 Federal Register / Vol. 74, No. 230 / Wednesday, December 2, 2009 / Proposed Rules Sablefish Gear Allocation Section 679.20(a)(4)(iii) and (iv) requires the allocation of sablefish TACs for the Bering Sea and AI subareas between trawl gear and hook-and-line or pot gear. Gear allocations of the TACs for the Bering Sea subarea are 50 percent for trawl gear and 50 percent for hook-and-line or pot gear and for the AI subarea are 25 percent for trawl gear and 75 percent for hook-and-line or pot gear. Section 679.20(b)(1)(ii)(B) requires apportionment of 20 percent of the hook-and-line and pot gear allocation of sablefish to the CDQ reserve. Additionally, § 679.20(b)(1)(ii)(D) requires apportionment of 7.5 percent of the trawl gear allocation of sablefish to the CDQ reserve. The Council recommended that only trawl sablefish TAC be established biennially. The harvest specifications for the hook-andline gear and pot gear sablefish Individual Fishing Quota (IFQ) fisheries will be limited to the 2010 fishing year to ensure those fisheries are conducted 63107 concurrently with the halibut IFQ fishery. Concurrent sablefish and halibut IFQ fisheries would reduce the potential for discards of halibut and sablefish in those fisheries. The sablefish IFQ fisheries would remain closed at the beginning of each fishing year until the final harvest specifications for the sablefish IFQ fisheries are in effect. Table 5 lists the proposed 2010 and 2011 gear allocations of the sablefish TAC and CDQ reserve amounts. TABLE 5—PROPOSED 2010 AND 2011 GEAR SHARES AND CDQ RESERVE OF BSAI SABLEFISH TACS [Amounts are in metric tons] Percent of TAC 2010 Share of TAC 2010 ITAC 1 50 50 1,260 1,260 1,071 n/a 95 252 1,260 n/a 1,071 n/a 95 n/a Total ........................................... Aleutian Islands: Trawl ................................................. Hook-and-line gear 2 ......................... 100 2,520 1,071 347 2,520 1,071 95 25 75 510 1,530 434 n/a 38 306 510 n/a 434 n/a 38 n/a Total ........................................... 100 2,040 434 344 2,040 434 38 Subarea and gear Bering Sea: Trawl ................................................. Hook-and-line gear 2 ......................... 2010 CDQ reserve 2011 Share of TAC 2011 ITAC 2011 CDQ reserve 1 Except for the sablefish hook-and-line or pot gear allocation, 15 percent of TAC is apportioned to the reserve. The ITAC is the remainder of the TAC after the subtraction of these reserves. 2 For the portion of the sablefish TAC allocated to vessels using hook-and-line or pot gear, 20 percent of the allocated TAC is reserved for use by CDQ participants. Section 679.20(b)(1) does not provide for the establishment of an ITAC for sablefish allocated to hook-and-line or pot gear. Allocation of the Aleutian Islands Pacific Ocean Perch, Flathead Sole, Rock Sole, and Yellowfin Sole TACs Sections 679.20(a)(10)(i) and (ii) require the allocation between the Amendment 80 and BSAI trawl limited access sectors for Aleutian Islands Pacific ocean perch, flathead sole, rock sole, and yellowfin sole TACs in the BSAI, after subtraction of 10.7 percent for the CDQ reserve and an ICA for the BSAI trawl limited access sector and vessels using non-trawl gear. The allocation of the ITAC for Aleutian Islands Pacific ocean perch, flathead sole, rock sole, and yellowfin sole to the Amendment 80 sector is established in Tables 33 and 34 to part 679 and § 679.91. The 2011 allocations for Amendment 80 species between Amendment 80 cooperatives and the Amendment 80 limited access sector will not be known until November 1, 2010, when eligible participants apply for participation in the program. Table 6 lists the proposed 2010 and 2011 allocations and seasonal apportionments of the Aleutian Islands Pacific ocean perch, flathead sole, rock sole, and yellowfin sole TACs. TABLE 6—PROPOSED 2010 AND 2011 COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT QUOTA (CDQ) RESERVES, INCIDENTAL CATCH AMOUNTS (ICAS), AND AMENDMENT 80 ALLOCATIONS OF THE ALEUTIAN ISLANDS PACIFIC OCEAN PERCH, FLATHEAD SOLE, ROCK SOLE, AND YELLOWFIN SOLE TACS [Amounts are in metric tons] 2010 and 2011 allocations Pacific ocean perch Sector erowe on DSK5CLS3C1PROD with PROPOSALS-1 Eastern Aleutian District TAC .................................................................................. CDQ ................................................................................. ICA ................................................................................... BSAI trawl limited access ................................................ Amendment 80 ................................................................. Amendment 80 limited access for 2010 only1 ................. Amendment 80 cooperatives for 2010 only 1 .................. 4,160 445 100 361 3,253 1,725 1,528 Central Aleutian District Western Aleutian District 4,210 450 50 371 3,339 1,770 1,568 6,450 690 50 114 5,596 2,967 2,629 Flathead sole Rock sole Yellowfin sole BSAI BSAI BSAI 50,000 5,350 5,000 0 39,650 4,658 34,992 75,000 8,025 10,000 0 56,975 14,174 42,801 180,000 19,260 2,000 28,438 130,302 52,109 78,193 1 The 2011 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, 2010. VerDate Nov<24>2008 14:37 Dec 01, 2009 Jkt 220001 PO 00000 Frm 00028 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 E:\FR\FM\02DEP1.SGM 02DEP1 erowe on DSK5CLS3C1PROD with PROPOSALS-1 63108 Federal Register / Vol. 74, No. 230 / Wednesday, December 2, 2009 / Proposed 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 2010 and 2011 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) allocate 326 mt of the trawl halibut mortality limit and 7.5 percent, or 67 mt, of the non-trawl halibut mortality limit as the prohibited species quota (PSQ) reserve for use by the groundfish CDQ program. Section 679.21(e)(1)(vi) specifies 29,000 fish as the 2010 and 2011 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)(viii) specifies 700 fish as the 2010 and 2011 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)(vii) specifies 42,000 fish as the 2010 and 2011 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. The regulations and allocations of Chinook salmon are subject to change in 2011 pending approval of amendment 91 to the FMP. PSC limits for crab and herring are specified annually based on abundance and spawning biomass. Due to the lack of new information as of October 2009 regarding PSC limits and apportionments, the Council recommended and NMFS proposes using the crab and herring 2010 and 2011 PSC limits and apportionments for the proposed 2010 and 2011 limits and apportionments. The Council will reconsider these amounts in December 2009. Pursuant to § 679.21(e)(3)(i)(A)(1), 10.7 percent of each PSC limit specified for crab is allocated as a PSQ reserve for use by the groundfish CDQ program. 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 estimated at 75 million lb (34,020 mt). Based on the criteria set out at VerDate Nov<24>2008 14:37 Dec 01, 2009 Jkt 220001 § 679.21(e)(1)(i), the proposed 2010 and 2011 PSC limit of red king crab in Zone 1 for trawl gear is 197,000 animals. This limit derives from the mature female abundance estimate of more than 8.4 million king crab and the effective spawning biomass estimate of more than 55 million lbs (24,948 mt). Section 679.21(e)(3)(ii)(B)(2) establishes criteria under which NMFS must specify an annual red king crab bycatch limit for the Red King Crab Savings Subarea (RKCSS). The regulations limit the RKCSS to up to 25 percent of the red king crab PSC allowance based on the need to optimize the groundfish harvest relative to red king crab bycatch. NMFS proposes the Council’s recommendation that the red king crab bycatch limit be equal to 25 percent of the red king crab PSC allowance within the RKCSS (Table 7b). 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)(ii), the calculated 2010 and 2011 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 derive 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)(iii), 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)(v), the PSC limit of Pacific herring caught while conducting any trawl operation for BSAI groundfish is 1 percent of the annual eastern Bering Sea herring biomass. The best estimate of 2010 and 2011 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 proposed for 2010 and 2011 is 1,697 mt for all trawl gear as presented in Tables 7a and 7b. Section 679.21(e)(3) requires, after subtraction of PSQ reserves, that crab and halibut trawl PSC be apportioned between the BSAI trawl limited access and Amendment 80 sectors as presented in Table 7a. The amount of the 2010 PSC limits assigned to the Amendment 80 sector is specified in Table 35 to part 679. Pursuant to § 679.21(e)(1)(iv) and PO 00000 Frm 00029 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 § 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 and to the Amendment 80 limited access fishery as presented in Tables 7d and e. PSC cooperative quota assigned to Amendment 80 cooperatives is not allocated to specific fishery categories. The 2011 PSC allocations between Amendment 80 cooperatives and the Amendment 80 limited access sector will not be known until November 1, 2010, when eligible participants apply to participate in the program. Section 679.21(e)(3)(i)(B) requires 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 limits into PSC bycatch allowances among six fishery categories. Table 7c 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 fisheries from the halibut PSC limit. As in past years after consultation with the Council, NMFS proposes to exempt pot gear, jig gear, and the sablefish IFQ hook-and-line gear fishery categories from halibut bycatch restrictions because (1) The pot gear fisheries have low halibut bycatch mortality, (2) halibut mortality for the jig gear fleet is assumed to be negligible, and (3) the sablefish and halibut IFQ fisheries have low halibut bycatch mortality because the IFQ program requires legal-size halibut to be retained by vessels using hook-and-line gear if a halibut IFQ permit holder or a hired master is aboard and is holding unused halibut IFQ (subpart D of 50 CFR part 679). In 2009, total groundfish catch for the pot gear fishery in the BSAI was approximately 15,000 mt, with an associated halibut bycatch mortality of about 1 mt. The 2009 jig gear fishery harvested about 33 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. E:\FR\FM\02DEP1.SGM 02DEP1 63109 Federal Register / Vol. 74, No. 230 / Wednesday, December 2, 2009 / Proposed Rules 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 considered are (1) Seasonal distribution of prohibited species, (2) seasonal distribution of target groundfish species, (3) PSC bycatch needs on a seasonal basis relevant to prohibited species biomass, (4) expected variations in bycatch rates throughout the year, (5) expected start of fishing effort, and (6) economic effects of seasonal PSC apportionments on industry sectors. NMFS proposes the Council’s recommendation of the seasonal PSC apportionments in Tables 7c and 7e to maximize harvest among gear types, fisheries, and seasons while minimizing bycatch of PSC based on the above criteria. TABLE 7a—PROPOSED 2010 AND 2011 APPORTIONMENT OF PROHIBITED SPECIES CATCH (PSC) ALLOWANCES TO NONTRAWL GEAR, THE CDQ PROGRAM, AMENDMENT 80, AND THE BSAI TRAWL LIMITED ACCESS SECTORS PSC species and area Total nontrawl PSC Halibut mortality (mt) BSAI ............................. Herring (mt) BSAI ............ Red king crab (animals) Zone 1 1 ........................ C. opilio (animals) COBLZ 2 ....................... C. bairdi crab (animals) Zone 1 2 ........................ C. bairdi crab (animals) Zone 2 .......................... Non-trawl PSC remaining after CDQ PSQ 1 Total trawl PSC Trawl PSC remaining after CDQ PSQ 1 Amendment 80 sector CDQ PSQ reserve 1 2010 BSAI trawl limited access fishery 2011 900 n/a 832 n/a 3,675 1,697 3,349 n/a 393 n/a 2,425 n/a 2,375 n/a 875 n/a n/a n/a 197,000 175,921 21,079 98,920 93,432 53,797 n/a n/a 4,350,000 3,884,550 465,450 2,148,156 2,028,512 1,248,494 n/a n/a 980,000 875,140 104,860 414,641 391,538 411,228 n/a n/a 2,970,000 2,652,210 317,790 706,284 667,031 1,241,500 1 Section 679.21(e)(3)(i)(A)(2) allocates 326 mt of the trawl halibut mortality limit and § 679.21(e)(4)(i)(A) allocates 7.5 percent, or 67 mt, of the non-trawl halibut mortality limit as the PSQ reserve for use by the groundfish CDQ program. The PSQ reserve for crab species is 10.7 percent of each crab PSC limit. 2 Refer to § 679.2 for definitions of zones. TABLE 7b—PROPOSED 2010 AND 2011 HERRING AND RED KING CRAB SAVINGS SUBAREA PROHIBITED SPECIES CATCH (PSC) ALLOWANCES FOR ALL TRAWL SECTORS Herring (mt) BSAI Fishery categories Red king crab (animals) Zone 1 Yellowfin sole ....................................................................................................................................................... Rock sole/flathead sole/other flatfish 1 ................................................................................................................ Greenland turbot/arrowtooth flounder/sablefish .................................................................................................. Rockfish ............................................................................................................................................................... Pacific cod ........................................................................................................................................................... Midwater trawl pollock ......................................................................................................................................... Pollock/Atka mackerel/other species 2 ................................................................................................................. Red king crab savings subarea non-pelagic trawl gear 3 .................................................................................... 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 ............................................................................................................................................ 1,697 197,000 erowe on DSK5CLS3C1PROD with PROPOSALS-1 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 Pollock other than pelagic trawl pollock, Atka mackerel, and ‘‘other species’’ fishery category. 3 In October 2009 the Council recommended that the red king crab bycatch limit for non-pelagic trawl fisheries within the RKCSS be limited to 25 percent of the red king crab PSC allowance (see § 679.21(e)(3)(ii)(B)(2)). VerDate Nov<24>2008 14:37 Dec 01, 2009 Jkt 220001 PO 00000 Frm 00030 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 E:\FR\FM\02DEP1.SGM 02DEP1 63110 Federal Register / Vol. 74, No. 230 / Wednesday, December 2, 2009 / Proposed Rules TABLE 7c—PROPOSED 2010 AND 2011 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 Halibut mortality (mt) BSAI Red king crab (animals) Zone 1 C. opilio (animals) COBLZ C. bairdi (animals) Zone 1 Zone 2 Yellowfin sole ........................................................................... Rock sole/flathead sole/other flatfish2 ..................................... Turbot/arrowtooth/sablefish 3 ................................................... Rockfish, April 15 ..................................................................... Pacific cod ............................................................................... Pollock/Atka mackerel/other species ....................................... 162 0 0 3 585 125 47,397 0 0 0 6,000 400 1,176,494 0 0 2,000 50,000 20,000 346,228 0 0 0 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 Pacific cod-Total ....................................................................... January 1–June 10 ................................................................... June 10–August 15 .................................................................. August 15–December 31 ......................................................... Catcher vessel 760 314 0 446 15 10 3 2 Other non-trawl-Total ............................................................... May 1–December 31 ................................................................ Groundfish pot and jig .............................................................. Sablefish hook-and-line ............................................................ 58 58 Exempt Exempt Total non-trawl PSC .......................................................... 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. TABLE 7d—PROPOSED 2010 PROHIBITED SPECIES BYCATCH ALLOWANCE FOR THE BSAI AMENDMENT 80 COOPERATIVES Prohibited species and zones 1 Halibut mortality (mt) BSAI Year 2010 ......................................................................................................... 1 Refer Red king crab (animals) Zone 1 C. opilio (animals) COBLZ Zone 1 Zone 2 1754 70,237 1,461,309 304,290 518,898 C. bairdi (animals) to § 679.2 for definitions of zones. TABLE 7e—PROPOSED 2010 PROHIBITED SPECIES BYCATCH ALLOWANCES FOR THE BSAI AMENDMENT 80 LIMITED ACCESS FISHERIES Prohibited species and zone 1 erowe on DSK5CLS3C1PROD with PROPOSALS-1 Amendment 80 trawl limited access fisheries Halibut mortality (mt) BSAI Red king crab (animals) Zone 1 C. opilio (animals) COBLZ C. bairdi (animals) Zone 1 Zone 2 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 ....................................................................................... Jul 1–Dec 31 ..................................................................................... Turbot/arrowtooth/ .................................................................................... sablefish 3 ................................................................................................. Rockfish ................................................................................................... Pacific cod ............................................................................................... Pollock/Atka mackerel/other species 4 ..................................................... 353 208 146 218 174 20 24 5,594 5,410 184 22,921 22,585 168 168 601,032 591,926 9,106 85,051 82,173 1,511 1,366 58,002 53,727 4,274 52,053 45,921 3,214 2,918 142,335 114,843 27,492 44,231 38,635 2,798 2,798 n/a 49 1 49 n/a n/a 168 0 n/a n/a 765 0 n/a n/a 297 0 n/a n/a 819 0 Total Amendment 80 trawl limited access PSC ............................... 671 28,683 686,848 110,351 187,385 1 Refer to § 679.2 for definitions of zones. VerDate Nov<24>2008 14:37 Dec 01, 2009 Jkt 220001 PO 00000 Frm 00031 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 E:\FR\FM\02DEP1.SGM 02DEP1 63111 Federal Register / Vol. 74, No. 230 / Wednesday, December 2, 2009 / Proposed Rules 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 Pollock other than pelagic trawl pollock, Atka mackerel, and ‘‘other species’’ fishery category. Halibut Discard Mortality Rates To monitor halibut bycatch mortality allowances and apportionments, the Regional Administrator uses observed halibut bycatch rates, discard mortality rates (DMR), and estimates of groundfish catch to project when a fishery’s halibut bycatch mortality allowance or seasonal apportionment is reached. The DMRs are based on the best information available, including information included in the annual SAFE report. NMFS proposes the Council’s recommendation that the halibut DMRs developed and recommended by the International Pacific Halibut Commission (IPHC) for the 2009 BSAI groundfish fisheries be used for monitoring the proposed 2010 and 2011 halibut bycatch allowances (see Tables 7a–e). The IPHC developed the DMRs for the 2009 BSAI non-CDQ groundfish fisheries using the 10-year mean DMRs for those fisheries. The IPHC developed the DMRs for the 2009 BSAI CDQ groundfish fisheries using the 1998 to 2006 DMRs for those fisheries. The IPHC will analyze observer data annually and recommend changes to the DMRs when a fishery DMR shows large variation from the mean. A copy of the document justifying these DMRs is available from the Council (see ADDRESSES) and the DMRs are discussed in the Economic Status Report of the final 2008 SAFE report dated November 2008. Table 8 lists the proposed 2010 and 2011 DMRs. The proposed DMRs listed in Table 8 are subject to change pending the results of an updated analysis on halibut DMRs in the groundfish fisheries that IPHC staff is scheduled to present to the Council at its December 2009 meeting. TABLE 8—PROPOSED 2010 AND 2011 ASSUMED PACIFIC HALIBUT DISCARD MORTALITY RATES FOR THE BSAI Halibut discard mortality rate (percent) Gear Fishery Non-CDQ hook-and-line .......... 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 ....................................................................................................................................... Non-CDQ trawl ......................... Non-CDQ pot ........................... CDQ trawl ................................ CDQ hook-and-line .................. CDQ pot ................................... erowe on DSK5CLS3C1PROD with PROPOSALS-1 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 final rule for Amendment 68 to the FMP VerDate Nov<24>2008 14:37 Dec 01, 2009 Jkt 220001 for Groundfish of the GOA (71 FR 67210, November 20, 2006). Pursuant to § 679.82(d)(6)(i), the catcher vessel BSAI Pacific cod sideboard limit is 0.0 mt and in the final 2010 and 2011 harvest specifications this would effectively close directed fishing for BSAI Pacific cod in July for catcher vessels under the Rockfish Program sideboard limitations. PO 00000 Frm 00032 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 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 Listed AFA Catcher/Processor Sideboard Limits Pursuant to § 679.64(a), the Regional Administrator is responsible for restricting the ability of listed AFA catcher/processors to engage in directed fishing for groundfish species other than pollock to protect participants in other groundfish fisheries from adverse effects resulting from the AFA and from fishery cooperatives in the directed pollock fishery. Table 9 lists the proposed 2010 E:\FR\FM\02DEP1.SGM 02DEP1 63112 Federal Register / Vol. 74, No. 230 / Wednesday, December 2, 2009 / Proposed Rules and 2011 catcher/processor sideboard limits. The basis for these proposed sideboard limits is described in detail in the final rules implementing the major provisions of the AFA (67 FR 79692, December 30, 2002) and Amendment 80 (72 FR 52668, September 14, 2007). All harvests of groundfish sideboard species by listed AFA catcher/ processors, whether as targeted catch or incidental catch, will be deducted from the proposed sideboard limits in Table 9. However, groundfish sideboard species that are delivered to listed AFA catcher/processors by catcher vessels will not be deducted from the proposed 2010 and 2011 sideboard limits for the listed AFA catcher/processors. TABLE 9—PROPOSED 2010 AND 2011 BSAI GROUNDFISH SIDEBOARD LIMITS FOR LISTED AMERICAN FISHERIES ACT CATCHER/PROCESSORS (C/PS) [Amounts are in metric tons] 1995–1997 Target species Area 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 Ratio of retained catch of total catch 8 0 497 145 0.016 0 1,071 474 17 0 n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a 0.115 n/a 0.115 n/a 12,688 7,613 12,688 7,613 1,459 875 1,459 875 n/a n/a n/a n/a 100,192 6,317 121 23 76 1,925 14 3,058 12 125 3 54 91 50 50 18 22 73 553 n/a n/a n/a n/a 435,788 169,362 17,305 4,987 33,987 52,755 9,438 52,298 4,879 6,179 5,698 13,598 13,040 2,811 2,811 621 806 3,328 68,672 0.2 n/a 0.2 n/a 0.23 0.037 0.007 0.005 0.002 0.036 0.001 0.058 0.002 0.02 0.001 0.004 0.007 0.018 0.018 0.029 0.027 0.022 0.008 8,771 5,263 8,771 5,263 160,740 66,975 4,182 1879 51,000 44,650 25,500 14,790 3,213 3,715 3,760 5,760 5,100 329 469 412 472 1,675 29,088 1,754 1,053 1,754 1,053 36,970 2,478 29 9 102 1,607 26 858 6 74 4 23 36 6 8 12 13 37 233 Retained catch BS ..................................... AI ...................................... Central AI A season 2 ........................ HLA limit ........................... B season 2 ........................ HLA limit 3 ......................... Western AI A season 2 ........................ HLA limit ........................... B season 2 ........................ HLA limit 3 ......................... BSAI ................................. BSAI ................................. BS ..................................... AI ...................................... BSAI ................................. BSAI ................................. BSAI ................................. BSAI ................................. BS ..................................... Eastern AI ......................... Central AI ......................... Western AI ........................ BSAI ................................. BSAI ................................. BSAI ................................. BS ..................................... AI ...................................... BSAI ................................. BSAI ................................. 2010 and 2011 AFA C/P sideboard limit 2010 and 2011 ITAC available to all trawl C/ Ps 1 erowe on DSK5CLS3C1PROD with PROPOSALS-1 1 Aleutians Islands Pacific ocean perch, Atka mackerel, flathead sole, rock sole, and yellowfin sole are multiplied by the remainder of the TAC of that species after the subtraction of the CDQ reserve under § 679.20(b)(1)(ii)(C). 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 2010 and 2011, 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 2010 and 2011 aggregate ITAC of yellowfin sole assigned to the Amendment 80 sector and BSAI trawl limited access sector (158,740 mt) is greater than 125,000 mt. Section 679.64(a)(2) and Tables 40 and 41 to part 679 establish a formula for PSC sideboard limits for listed AFA catcher/processors. The basis for these sideboard limits is described in detail in the final rules implementing the major provisions of the AFA (67 FR 79692, December 30, 2002) and Amendment 80 (72 FR 52668, September 14, 2007). PSC species listed in Table 10 that are caught by listed AFA catcher/processors VerDate Nov<24>2008 14:37 Dec 01, 2009 Jkt 220001 participating in any groundfish fishery other than pollock will accrue against the proposed 2010 and 2011 PSC sideboard limits for the listed AFA catcher/processors. Section 679.21(e)(3)(v) authorizes NMFS to close directed fishing for groundfish other than pollock for listed AFA catcher/processors once a proposed 2010 or 2011 PSC sideboard limit listed in Table 10 is reached. PO 00000 Frm 00033 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 Crab or halibut PSC caught by listed AFA catcher/processors while fishing for pollock will accrue against the bycatch allowances annually specified for either the midwater pollock or the pollock/Atka mackerel/’’other species’’ fishery categories according to regulations at § 679.21(e)(3)(iv). E:\FR\FM\02DEP1.SGM 02DEP1 Federal Register / Vol. 74, No. 230 / Wednesday, December 2, 2009 / Proposed Rules 63113 TABLE 10—PROPOSED 2010 AND 2011 BSAI PROHIBITED SPECIES SIDEBOARD LIMITS FOR AMERICAN FISHERIES ACT LISTED CATCHER/PROCESSORS Ratio of PSC catch to total PSC PSC species and area Proposed 2010 and 2011 PSC available to trawl vessels after subtraction of PSQ1 n/a 0.007 0.153 n/a 0.14 0.05 n/a 175,921 3,884,550 n/a 875,140 2,652,210 Halibut mortality ....................................................................................................................................... Red king crab Zone 1 2 ............................................................................................................................ C. opilio (COBLZ) 2 .................................................................................................................................. C. bairdi ................................................................................................................................................... Zone 1 2 ................................................................................................................................................... Zone 2 2 ................................................................................................................................................... Proposed 2010 and 2011 C/P sideboard limit1 286 1,231 594,336 n/a 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(b), the Regional Administrator is responsible for restricting the ability of AFA catcher vessels to engage in directed fishing for groundfish species other than pollock to protect participants in other groundfish fisheries from adverse effects resulting from the AFA and from fishery cooperatives in the directed pollock fishery. Section 679.64(b) establishes formulas for setting AFA catcher vessel groundfish and PSC sideboard limits for the BSAI. The basis for these sideboard limits is described in detail in the final rules implementing the major provisions of the AFA (67 FR 79692, December 30, 2002) and Amendment 80 (72 FR 52668, September 14, 2007). Tables 11 and 12 list the proposed 2010 and 2011 AFA catcher vessel sideboard limits. All catch of groundfish sideboard species made by non-exempt AFA catcher vessels, whether as targeted catch or as incidental catch, will be deducted from the proposed 2010 and 2011 sideboard limits listed in Table 11. TABLE 11—PROPOSED 2010 AND 2011 BSAI GROUNDFISH SIDEBOARD LIMITS FOR AMERICAN FISHERIES ACT CATCHER VESSELS (CVS) [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 ft LOA using hook-and-line or pot gear Trawl gear CV Jan 20–Apr 1 ....................................................... Apr 1–Jun 10 ....................................................... Jun 10–Nov 1 ...................................................... BS trawl gear ....................................................... AI trawl gear ........................................................ 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 ..................................................................... BS ........................................................................ Sablefish .............................................................. Atka mackerel ...................................................... erowe on DSK5CLS3C1PROD with PROPOSALS-1 Ratio of 1995–1997 AFA CV catch to 1995–1997 TAC Yellowfin sole 2 .................................................... Rock sole ............................................................. Greenland turbot .................................................. VerDate Nov<24>2008 14:37 Dec 01, 2009 Jkt 220001 PO 00000 Frm 00034 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 E:\FR\FM\02DEP1.SGM 0 2010–2011 initial TAC 1 2010 and 2011 AFA catcher vessel sideboard limits 2,413 0 0.0006 0.0006 175 168 0 0 0.0006 0.0006 0.0006 7,349 7,061 3,431 4 4 2 0.8609 0.8609 0.8609 0.0906 0.0645 28,190 4,190 5,714 1,071 474 24,269 3,608 4,919 97 31 0.0032 0.0032 10,187 10,187 33 33 0.0001 0.0001 0.0001 0.0001 12,688 7,613 12,688 7,613 1 1 1 1 0 n/a 0 n/a 0.0647 0.0341 0.0645 8,771 5,263 8,771 5,263 160,740 66,975 4,182 0 0 0 0 n/a 2,284 270 02DEP1 63114 Federal Register / Vol. 74, No. 230 / Wednesday, December 2, 2009 / Proposed Rules TABLE 11—PROPOSED 2010 AND 2011 BSAI GROUNDFISH SIDEBOARD LIMITS FOR AMERICAN FISHERIES ACT CATCHER VESSELS (CVS)—Continued [Amounts are in metric tons] Species Ratio of 1995–1997 AFA CV catch to 1995–1997 TAC Fishery by area/gear/season Arrowtooth flounder ............................................. Alaska plaice ....................................................... Other flatfish ........................................................ Pacific ocean perch ............................................. Northern rockfish ................................................. Shortraker rockfish .............................................. Rougheye rockfish ............................................... Other rockfish ...................................................... Squid .................................................................... Other species ...................................................... Flathead sole ....................................................... AI ......................................................................... BSAI ..................................................................... BSAI ..................................................................... BSAI ..................................................................... BS ........................................................................ Eastern AI ............................................................ Central AI ............................................................. Western AI ........................................................... BSAI ..................................................................... BSAI ..................................................................... BSAI ..................................................................... BS ........................................................................ AI ......................................................................... BSAI ..................................................................... BSAI ..................................................................... BS trawl gear ....................................................... 0.0205 0.069 0.0441 0.0441 0.1 0.0077 0.0025 0 0.0084 0.0037 0.0037 0.0048 0.0095 0.3827 0.0541 0.0505 2010–2011 initial TAC 1 1,879 51,000 25,500 14,790 3,213 3,715 3,760 5,760 5,100 329 469 412 472 1,675 29,880 44,650 2010 and 2011 AFA catcher vessel sideboard limits 39 3,519 1,125 652 321 29 9 0 43 1 2 2 4 641 1,617 2,255 1 Aleutians Islands Pacific ocean perch, Atka mackerel, flathead sole, rock sole, and yellowfin sole are multiplied by the remainder of the TAC of that species after the subtraction of the CDQ reserve under § 679.20(b)(1)(ii)(C). 2 Section 679.64(b)(6) exempts AFA catcher vessels from a yellowfin sole sideboard limit because the 2010 and 2011 aggregate ITAC of yellowfin sole assigned to the Amendment 80 sector and BSAI trawl limited access sector (158,740 mt) is greater than 125,000 mt. Halibut and crab PSC limits listed in Table 12 that are caught by AFA catcher vessels participating in any groundfish fishery other than pollock will accrue against the proposed 2010 and 2011 PSC sideboard limits for the AFA catcher vessels. Section 679.21(d)(8) and (e)(3)(v) authorizes NMFS to close directed fishing for groundfish other than pollock for AFA catcher vessels once a proposed 2010 and 2011 PSC sideboard limit listed in Table 12 is reached. The PSC caught by AFA catcher vessels while fishing for pollock in the BSAI will accrue against the bycatch allowances annually specified for either the midwater pollock or the pollock/Atka mackerel/‘‘other species’’ fishery categories under regulations at § 679.21(e)(3)(iv). TABLE 12—PROPOSED 2010 AND 2011 AMERICAN FISHERIES ACT CATCHER VESSEL PROHIBITED SPECIES CATCH SIDEBOARD (PSC) LIMITS FOR THE BSAI [Amounts are in metric tons] AFA catcher vessel PSC sideboard limit ratio PSC species Target fishery category 1 Halibut .................................................. Proposed 2010 and 2011 AFA catcher vessel PSC sideboard limit 2 n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a 0.299 0.168 0.33 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 3 ................................ Turbot/arrowtooth/sablefish ................................................. Rockfish .............................................................................. Pollock/Atka mackerel/other species .................................. n/a ....................................................................................... n/a ....................................................................................... n/a ....................................................................................... n/a ....................................................................................... Red king crab Zone 1 .......................... C. opilio COBLZ 4 ................................. C. bairdi Zone 1 4 ................................. C. bairdi Zone 2 4 ................................. erowe on DSK5CLS3C1PROD with PROPOSALS-1 Proposed 2010 and 2011 PSC limit after subtraction of PSQ reserves 2 1 Target fishery categories are defined in regulation at § 679.21(e)(3)(iv). amounts are in metric tons of halibut mortality. Crab amounts are in numbers of animals. 3 ‘‘Other flatfish’’ for PSC monitoring includes all flatfish species, except for halibut (a prohibited species), flathead sole, Greenland turbot, rock sole, yellowfin sole, and arrowtooth flounder. 4 Refer to § 679.2 for definitions of areas. 2 Halibut VerDate Nov<24>2008 14:37 Dec 01, 2009 Jkt 220001 PO 00000 Frm 00035 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 E:\FR\FM\02DEP1.SGM 02DEP1 Federal Register / Vol. 74, No. 230 / Wednesday, December 2, 2009 / Proposed Rules Classification erowe on DSK5CLS3C1PROD with PROPOSALS-1 NMFS has determined that the proposed specifications are consistent with the FMP and preliminarily determined that the proposed specifications are consistent with the Magnuson-Stevens Act and other applicable laws. This action is authorized under 50 CFR 679.20 and is exempt from review under Executive Order 12866. 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 for the Final EIS. Copies of the Final EIS and Record of Decision for this action are available from NMFS (see ADDRESSES). The Final EIS analyzes the environmental consequences of the proposed groundfish harvest specifications and its alternatives on resources in the action area. The Final EIS found no significant environmental consequences from the proposed action or its alternatives. NMFS also prepared an Initial Regulatory Flexibility Analysis (IRFA) as required by section 603 of the Regulatory Flexibility Act. The IRFA evaluates the impacts on small entities of alternative harvest strategies for the groundfish fisheries in the exclusive economic zone off of Alaska. While the specification numbers may change from year to year, the harvest strategy for establishing those numbers remains the same. NMFS therefore is using the same IRFA prepared in connection with the Final EIS. NMFS published notice of the availability of the IRFA and its summary in the classification section of the proposed harvest specifications for the groundfish fisheries in the BSAI in the Federal Register on December 15, 2006 (71 FR 75460). The comment period on the BSAI proposed harvest specifications and IRFA ended on January 16, 2007. NMFS did not receive any comments on the IRFA or the economic impacts of the rule generally. VerDate Nov<24>2008 14:37 Dec 01, 2009 Jkt 220001 A description of the action, why it is being considered, and the legal basis for this action are contained in the preamble above. This IRFA 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). A copy of this analysis is available from NMFS (see ADDRESSES). A summary of the IRFA follows. The action under consideration is a harvest strategy to govern the catch of groundfish in the BSAI. The preferred alternative is the status quo harvest strategy in which TACs fall within the range of ABCs recommended by the Council’s harvest specification process and TACs recommended by the Council. This action is taken in accordance with the FMP prepared by the Council pursuant to the Magnuson-Stevens Act. The directly regulated small entities include approximately 810 small catcher vessels, fewer than 20 small catcher/processors, and six CDQ groups. The entities directly regulated by this action are those that harvest groundfish in the exclusive economic zone of the BSAI and in parallel fisheries within State of Alaska waters. These include entities operating catcher vessels and catcher/processor vessels within the action area, and entities receiving direct allocations of groundfish. Catcher vessels and catcher/processors were considered to be small entities if their annual gross receipts from all economic activities, including the revenue of their affiliated operations, totaled $4 million per year or less. Data from 2005 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. PO 00000 Frm 00036 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 63115 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 equal to the lower limit of the BSAI optimum yield range. Alternative 5 would have set TACs equal to zero. Alternative 5 is the ‘‘no action’’ alternative. Alternatives 3, 4, and 5 produced smaller first wholesale revenue indices for both non-CDQ and CDQ sectors than Alternative 2. Alternative 1 revenues were the same as Alternative 2 revenues in the BSAI for both sectors. Moreover, higher Alternative 1 TACs are associated with maximum permissible ABCs, while Alternative 2 TACs are associated with the ABCs that have been recommended to the Council by the Plan Team and the SSC, and more fully consider other potential biological issues. For these reasons, Alternative 2 is the preferred alternative. This action does not modify recordkeeping or reporting requirements, or duplicate, overlap, or conflict with any federal rules. Adverse impacts on marine mammals resulting from fishing activities conducted under these harvest specifications are discussed in the Final EIS (see ADDRESSES). Authority: 16 U.S.C. 773 et seq., 1801 et seq., 3631 et seq.; Public Law 108–447. Dated: November 25, 2009. James W. Balsiger, Acting Assistant Administrator for Fisheries, National Marine Fisheries Service. [FR Doc. E9–28831 Filed 12–1–09; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510–22–P E:\FR\FM\02DEP1.SGM 02DEP1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 74, Number 230 (Wednesday, December 2, 2009)]
[Proposed Rules]
[Pages 63100-63115]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: E9-28831]


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DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

50 CFR Part 679

[Docket No. 0910131363-91412-01]
RIN 0648-XS44


Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Bering Sea 
and Aleutian Islands; Proposed 2010 and 2011 Harvest Specifications for 
Groundfish

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

ACTION: Proposed rule; request for comments.

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

SUMMARY: NMFS proposes 2010 and 2011 harvest specifications and 
prohibited species catch allowances for the groundfish fisheries of the 
Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands (BSAI) management area. This action is 
necessary to establish harvest limits for groundfish during the 2010 
and 2011 fishing years and to accomplish the goals and objectives of 
the Fishery Management Plan for Groundfish of the Bering Sea and 
Aleutian Islands Management Area. The intended effect of this action is 
to conserve and manage the groundfish resources in the BSAI in 
accordance with the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and 
Management Act.

DATES: Comments must be received by January 4, 2010.

[[Page 63101]]


ADDRESSES: Send comment to Sue Salveson, Assistant Regional 
Administrator, Sustainable Fisheries Division, Alaska Region, NMFS, 
Attn: Ellen Sebastian. You may submit comments, identified by RIN 0648-
XS44, by any one of the following methods:
     Electronic Submissions: Submit all electronic public 
comments via the Federal eRulemaking Portal http://www.regulations.gov.
     Mail: P.O. Box 21668, Juneau, AK 99802.
     Fax: (907) 586-7557.
     Hand delivery to the Federal Building: 709 West 9th 
Street, Room 420A, Juneau, AK.
    All comments received are a part of the public record. No comments 
will be posted to http://www.regulations.gov for public viewing until 
after the comment period has closed. Comments will generally be posted 
without change. All Personal Identifying Information (for example, 
name, address, etc.) voluntarily submitted by the commenter may be 
publicly accessible. Do not submit Confidential Business Information or 
otherwise sensitive or protected information.
    NMFS will accept anonymous comments (enter N/A in the required 
fields, if you wish to remain anonymous). You may submit attachments to 
electronic comments in Microsoft Word, Excel, WordPerfect, or Adobe PDF 
file formats only.
    Electronic copies of the Alaska Groundfish Harvest Specifications 
Final Environmental Impact Statement (Final EIS) and the Initial 
Regulatory Flexibility Analysis (IRFA) prepared for this action may be 
obtained from http://www.regulations.gov or from the Alaska Region Web 
site at http://alaskafisheries.noaa.gov. Copies of the final 2008 Stock 
Assessment and Fishery Evaluation (SAFE) report for the groundfish 
resources of the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands, dated November 2008, 
are available from the North Pacific Fishery Management Council 
(Council) at 605 West 4th Avenue, Suite 306, Anchorage, AK 99510-2252, 
phone 907-271-2809, or from the Council's Web site at http://alaskafisheries.noaa.gov/npfmc.

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

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Federal regulations at 50 CFR part 679 
implement the Fishery Management Plan for Groundfish of the Bering Sea 
and Aleutian Islands Management Area (FMP) and govern the groundfish 
fisheries in the BSAI. The Council prepared the FMP and NMFS approved 
it under the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act 
(Magnuson-Stevens Act). General regulations governing U.S. fisheries 
also appear at 50 CFR part 600.
    The FMP and its implementing regulations require NMFS, after 
consultation with the Council, to specify annually the total allowable 
catch (TAC) for each target species and the ``other species'' category, 
the sum of which must be within the optimum yield range of 1.4 million 
to 2.0 million metric tons (mt) (see Sec.  679.20(a)(1)(i)). Section 
679.20(c)(1) further requires NMFS to publish proposed harvest 
specifications in the Federal Register and solicit public comments on 
proposed annual TACs and apportionments thereof, prohibited species 
catch (PSC) allowances, and prohibited species quota (PSQ) reserves 
established by Sec.  679.21, seasonal allowances of pollock, Pacific 
cod, and Atka mackerel TAC, American Fisheries Act allocations, 
Amendment 80 allocations, and Community Development Quota (CDQ) reserve 
amounts established by Sec.  679.20(b)(1)(ii). The proposed harvest 
specifications set forth in Tables 1 through 12 of this action satisfy 
these requirements.
    Under Sec.  679.20(c)(3), NMFS will publish the final harvest 
specifications for 2010 and 2011 after (1) considering comments 
received within the comment period (see DATES), (2) consulting with the 
Council at its December 2009 meeting, and (3) considering new 
information presented in the final 2009 SAFE reports prepared for the 
2010 and 2011 groundfish fisheries.

Other Actions Potentially Affecting the 2010 and 2011 Harvest 
Specifications

    The Council is developing an amendment to the FMP to comply with 
Magnuson-Stevens Act requirements associated with annual catch limits 
and accountability measures. That amendment may result in revisions to 
how total annual groundfish mortality is estimated and accounted for in 
the annual SAFE reports, which in turn may affect the OFL, ABC, and TAC 
for certain groundfish species. NMFS will attempt to identify 
additional sources of mortality to groundfish stocks not currently 
reported or considered by the groundfish stock assessments in 
recommending OFL, ABC, and TAC for certain groundfish species. These 
additional sources of mortality may include recreational fishing, 
subsistence fishing, catch of groundfish during the NMFS trawl and 
hook-and-line surveys, catch taken under experimental fishing permits 
issued by NMFS, discarded catch of groundfish in the commercial halibut 
fisheries, use of groundfish as bait in the crab fisheries, or other 
sources of mortality not yet identified.
    At its October 2009 meeting the Council approved Amendment 95 to 
the FMP. This amendment would separate skates from the ``other 
species'' category so that individual OFLs, ABCs, and TACs may be 
established for skates. If the Secretary of Commerce approves the 
amendment, the change would be in effect for the 2011 fishing year.
    At its April 2009 meeting the Council adopted Amendment 91 to the 
FMP. This amendment would establish new measures to minimize Chinook 
salmon bycatch in the Bering Sea pollock fisheries, including new 
Chinook salmon PSC limits that when reached would prohibit directed 
fishing for pollock. If approved, Amendment 91 could be effective by 
2011.

Proposed ABC and TAC Harvest Specifications

    The proposed ABC levels are based on the best available biological 
information, including projected biomass trends, information on assumed 
distribution of stock biomass, and revised technical methods used to 
calculate stock biomass. In general, the development of ABCs and OFLs 
involves sophisticated statistical analyses of fish populations. The 
FMP specifies a series of six tiers based on the level of reliable 
information available to fishery scientists. Tier one represents the 
highest level of information quality available while tier six 
represents the lowest level of information quality available.
    Appendix A to the final 2008 SAFE report dated November 2008 (see 
ADDRESSES) sets forth the best information currently available. 
Information on the status of stocks, including the 2009 survey results, 
will be updated and considered by the Council's Groundfish Plan Team 
(Plan Team) in November 2009 for the 2009 SAFE report. The final 2010 
and 2011 harvest specifications will be based on the 2009 SAFE report.
    In October 2009, the Scientific and Statistical Committee (SSC), 
Advisory Panel, and the Council reviewed the Plan Team's recommended 
proposed 2010 and 2011 OFL and ABC amounts. The SSC concurred with the 
Plan Team's recommendations. The recommendations are based on rollovers 
of the current 2010 amounts, except for Bering Sea pollock. The Bering 
Sea pollock OFL and ABC amounts are based on 2009 amounts that are 
lower than the 2010 amounts. This recommendation uses the best

[[Page 63102]]

information available from the 2008 stock assessments.
    The Council adopted the OFL and ABC amounts recommended by the SSC 
(Table 1). The Council recommended that all the proposed 2010 and 2011 
TAC amounts be set equal to the 2010 TAC amounts except for Bering Sea 
pollock that was set equal to the 2009 TAC amount. The Plan Team 
recommended and the SSC, AP, and Council approved the use of the lower 
amount used in 2009 as a notice to the public that the 2010 Bering Sea 
pollock spawning biomass is not expected to be as high as projected in 
2008.
    As in previous years, the Plan Team, Advisory Panel, SSC, and 
Council recommended that total removals of Pacific cod from the BSAI 
not exceed ABC recommendations. Accordingly, the Council recommended 
that the proposed 2010 and 2011 Pacific cod TACs be adjusted downward 
from the ABCs by amounts equal to 3 percent of the ABC. This adjustment 
is necessary to account for the guideline harvest level established for 
Pacific cod by the State of Alaska (State) for a State-managed fishery 
that occurs in State waters in the AI subarea.
    Finally, the Council recommended using the 2010 PSC allowances for 
the proposed 2010 and 2011 PSC allowances. The Council will reconsider 
the OFL, ABC, TAC, and PSC amounts in December 2009 after the Plan Team 
incorporates new status of groundfish stocks information into a final 
2009 SAFE report for the 2010 and 2011 BSAI groundfish fisheries. None 
of the Council's recommended proposed TACs for 2010 or 2011 exceeds the 
recommended 2010 or 2011 proposed ABCs for any species category. NMFS 
finds the Council's recommended proposed 2010 and 2011 OFL, ABC, and 
TAC amounts consistent with the best available information on the 
biological condition of the groundfish stocks.
    The proposed amounts are subject to change pending the completion 
of the 2009 SAFE report and the Council's recommendations for final 
2010 and 2011 harvest specifications during its December 2009 meeting. 
Table 1 lists the proposed 2010 and 2011 OFL, ABC, TAC, initial TAC 
(ITAC), and CDQ amounts for groundfish for the BSAI. The proposed 
apportionment of TAC amounts among fisheries and seasons is discussed 
below.

   Table 1--Proposed 2010 and 2011 Overfishing Level (OFL), Acceptable Biological Catch (ABC), Total Allowable
            Catch (TAC), Initial TAC (ITAC), and CDQ Reserve Allocation of Groundfish in the BSAI \1\
                                          (Amounts are in metric tons)
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                      Proposed 2010 and 2011
           Species                   Area       ----------------------------------------------------------------
                                                     OFL          ABC          TAC        ITAC \2\   CDQ \3,4,5\
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Pollock......................  BS..............      977,000      815,000      815,000      733,500       81,500
                               AI..............       36,800       30,400       19,000       17,100        1,900
                               Bogoslof........       58,400        7,970           10           10  ...........
Pacific cod \4\..............  BSAI............      235,000      199,000      193,030      172,376       20,654
Sablefish \5\................  BS..............        2,980        2,520        2,520        1,109           98
                               AI..............        2,410        2,040        2,040          474           41
Atka mackerel................  BSAI............       84,400       71,100       71,100       63,492        7,608
                               EAI/BS..........  ...........       22,900       22,900       20,450        2,450
                               CAI.............  ...........       28,500       28,500       25,451        3,050
                               WAI.............  ...........       19,700       19,700       17,592        2,108
Yellowfin sole...............  BSAI............      210,000      198,000      180,000      160,740       19,260
Rock sole....................  BSAI............      314,000      310,000       75,000       66,975        8,025
Greenland tubot..............  BSAI............       14,400        7,130        7,130        6,061          n/a
                               BS..............  ...........        4,920        4,920        4,182          526
                               AI..............  ...........        2,210        2,210        1,879  ...........
Arrowtooth flounder..........  BSAI............      196,000      161,000       60,000       51,000        6,420
Flathead sole................  BSAI............       81,800       69,800       50,000       44,650        5,350
Other flatfish \6\...........  BSAI............       23,100       17,400       17,400       14,790  ...........
Alaska plaice................  BSAI............      354,000      275,000       30,000       25,500  ...........
Pacific ocean perch..........  BSAI............       22,100       18,600       18,600       16,447          n/a
                               BS..............  ...........        3,780        3,780        3,213  ...........
                               EAI.............  ...........        4,160        4,160        3,715          445
                               CAI.............  ...........        4,210        4,210        3,760          450
                               WAI.............  ...........        6,450        6,450        5,760          690
Northern rockfish............  BSAI............        8,580        7,190        6,000        5,100  ...........
Shortraker rockfish..........  BSAI............          516          387          387          329  ...........
Rougheye rockfish............  BSAI............          640          552          552          469  ...........
Other rockfish \7\...........  BSAI............        1,380        1,040        1,040          884  ...........
                               BS..............  ...........          485          485          412  ...........
                               AI..............  ...........          555          555          472  ...........
Squid........................  BSAI............        2,620        1,970        1,970        1,675  ...........
Other species \8\............  BSAI............       80,700       63,680       34,221       29,088  ...........
                                                ----------------------------------------------------------------
    Total....................  ................    2,706,826    2,259,779    1,585,000    1,411,768      152,968
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
\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 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.

[[Page 63103]]

 
\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, Aleutian Islands Pacific ocean perch, yellowfin sole, rock
  sole, flathead sole, and Pacific cod), 10.7 percent of the TAC is reserved for use by CDQ participants (see
  Sec.  Sec.   679.20(b)(1)(ii)(C) and 679.31). Twenty percent of the sablefish TAC allocated to hook-and-line
  gear or pot gear, 7.5 percent of the sablefish TAC allocated to trawl gear, and 10.7 percent of the TACs for
  Bering Sea Greenland turbot and arrowtooth flounder are reserved for use by CDQ participants (see Sec.
  679.20(b)(1)(ii)(B) and (D)). Aleutian Islands Greenland turbot, ``other flatfish,'' Alaska plaice, Bering Sea
  Pacific ocean perch, northern rockfish, shortraker rockfish, rougheye rockfish, ``other rockfish,'' squid, and
  ``other species'' are not allocated to the CDQ program.
\6\ ``Other flatfish'' includes all flatfish species, except for halibut (a prohibited species), flathead sole,
  Greenland turbot, rock sole, yellowfin sole, arrowtooth flounder, and Alaska plaice.
\7\ ``Other rockfish'' includes all Sebastes and Sebastolobus species except for Pacific ocean perch, northern,
  shortraker, and rougheye rockfish.
\8\ ``Other species'' includes sculpins, sharks, skates, and octopus. Forage fish, as defined at Sec.   679.2,
  are not included in the ``other species'' category. Pending approval of amendment 95 from the Secretary,
  skates will be broken out from the ``other species'' category in the 2011 fishing year. The OFL, ABC, and TAC
  for ``other species'' will be 42,507, 31,680, and 31,680 mt, respectively. The OFL, ABC, and TAC for skates
  will be 38,200, 32,000, and 30,000 mt, respectively.

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

    Section 679.20(b)(1)(i) requires the placement of 15 percent of the 
TAC for each target species or ``other species'' category, except for 
pollock, the hook-and-line and pot gear allocation of sablefish, and 
the Amendment 80 species, in a non-specified reserve. Section 
679.20(b)(1)(ii)(B) requires that 20 percent of the hook-and-line and 
pot gear allocation of sablefish be allocated to the fixed gear 
sablefish CDQ reserve. Section 679.20(b)(1)(ii)(D) requires that 7.5 
percent of the trawl gear allocations of sablefish and 10.7 percent of 
Bering Sea Greenland turbot and arrowtooth flounder be allocated to the 
respective CDQ reserves. Section 679.20(b)(1)(ii)(C) requires that 10.7 
percent of the TACs for Atka mackerel, Aleutian Islands Pacific ocean 
perch, yellowfin sole, rock sole, flathead sole, and Pacific cod be 
allocated to the CDQ reserves. Sections 679.20(a)(5)(i)(A) and 
679.31(a) also require the allocation of 10 percent of the BSAI pollock 
TACs to the pollock CDQ directed fishing allowance (DFA). The entire 
Bogoslof District pollock TAC is allocated as an ICA (see Sec.  
679.20(a)(5)(ii)). With the exception of the hook-and-line and pot gear 
sablefish CDQ reserve, the regulations do not further apportion the CDQ 
reserves by gear. Section 679.21(e)(3)(i)(A) requires withholding 7.5 
percent of the Chinook salmon PSC limit, 10.7 percent of the crab and 
non-Chinook salmon PSC limits, and 343 mt of halibut PSC as PSQ 
reserves for the CDQ fisheries. Sections 679.30 and 679.31 set forth 
regulations governing the management of the CDQ and PSQ reserves.
    Pursuant to Sec.  679.20(a)(5)(i)(A)(1), NMFS proposes a pollock 
ICA of 4 percent of the Bering Sea subarea pollock TAC after 
subtraction of the 10 percent CDQ reserve. This allowance is based on 
NMFS's examination of the pollock incidental catch, including the 
incidental catch by CDQ vessels, in target fisheries other than pollock 
from 1999 through 2009. During this 11-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 an 11-year average of 3.2 percent. Pursuant to 
Sec.  679.20(a)(5)(iii)(B)(2)(i) and (ii), NMFS proposes 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's examination of the pollock 
incidental catch, including the incidental catch by CDQ vessels, in 
target fisheries other than pollock from 2003 through 2009. During this 
7-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 7-year average 
of 7 percent.
    Pursuant to Sec.  679.20(a)(8) and (10), NMFS proposes ICAs of 
5,500 mt of flathead sole, 10,000 mt of rock sole, 2,000 mt of 
yellowfin sole, 50 mt each of Western and Central Aleutian District 
Pacific ocean perch, 100 mt of Eastern Aleutian District Pacific ocean 
perch, 50 mt for Western Aleutian District Atka mackerel, 75 mt for 
Central Aleutian District Atka mackerel, and 75 mt of Eastern Aleutian 
District and Bering Sea subarea Atka mackerel after subtraction of the 
10.7 percent CDQ reserve. These allowances are based on NMFS's 
examination of the incidental catch in other target fisheries from 2003 
through 2009.
    The regulations do not designate the remainder of the non-specified 
reserve by species or species group. Any amount of the reserve may be 
apportioned to a target species that contributed to the non-specified 
reserve and the ``other species'' category during the year, provided 
that such apportionments do not result in overfishing (see Sec.  
679.20(b)(1)(i)).

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

    Section 679.20(a)(5)(i)(A) requires that the pollock TAC 
apportioned to the Bering Sea subarea, after subtraction of 10 percent 
for the CDQ program and 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 to June 10) and 60 percent of the DFA is allocated to the B 
season (June 10 to November 1) Sec.  679.20(a)(5)(i)(B). 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 Sec.  
679.20(a)(5)(iii)(B)(2)(ii). In the AI subarea, 40 percent of the ABC 
is allocated to the A season and the remainder of the directed pollock 
fishery is allocated to the B season. Table 2 lists these proposed 2010 
and 2011 amounts.
    Section 679.20(a)(5)(i)(A)(4) also includes several specific 
requirements regarding Bering Sea subarea pollock allocations. First, 
8.5 percent of the pollock allocated to the catcher/processor sector 
will be available for harvest by AFA catcher vessels with catcher/
processor sector endorsements, unless the Regional Administrator 
receives a cooperative contract that provides for the distribution of 
harvest among AFA catcher/processors and AFA catcher vessels in a 
manner agreed to by all members. Second, AFA catcher/processors not 
listed in the AFA are limited to harvesting not more than 0.5 percent 
of the pollock allocated to the catcher/processor sector. Table 2 lists 
the proposed 2010 and 2011 allocations of pollock TAC. Tables 9 through 
12 list the AFA catcher/processor and catcher vessel harvesting 
sideboard limits. In past years, the proposed harvest specifications 
included text and tables describing pollock allocations to the Bering 
Sea subarea inshore pollock cooperatives and open access sector. These 
allocations are based on the submission of AFA inshore cooperative 
applications due to NMFS on December 1 of each calendar year. Because 
AFA inshore cooperative applications for 2010 have not been submitted 
to NMFS, thereby

[[Page 63104]]

preventing NMFS from calculating 2010 allocations, NMFS has not 
included inshore cooperative text and tables in these proposed harvest 
specifications. NMFS will post 2010 AFA inshore cooperative allocations 
on the Alaska Region Web site at http://www.alaskafisheries.noaa.gov 
when they become available in December 2009.
    Table 2 also lists proposed seasonal apportionments of pollock and 
harvest limits within the Steller Sea Lion Conservation Area (SCA). The 
harvest of pollock within the SCA, as defined at Sec.  
679.22(a)(7)(vii), is limited to 28 percent of the DFA until April 1 
Sec.  679.20(a)(5)(i)(C) . The remaining 12 percent of the 40 percent 
annual DFA allocated to the A season may be taken outside the SCA 
before April 1 or inside the SCA after April 1. If less than 28 percent 
of the annual DFA is taken inside the SCA before April 1, the remainder 
will be available to be taken inside the SCA after April 1. The A 
season pollock SCA harvest limit will be apportioned to each sector in 
proportion to each sector's allocated percentage of the DFA. Table 2 
lists by sector these proposed 2010 and 2011 amounts.

  Table 2--Proposed 2010 and 2011 Allocations of Pollock TACS to the Directed Pollock Fisheries and to the CDQ
                                      Directed Fishing Allowances (DFA) \1\
                                          [Amounts are in metric tons]
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                      2010 and 2011 A season       2010 and 2011
                                                   2010 and 2011 --------------------------------  B season \1\
                 Area and sector                    allocations                     SCA harvest  ---------------
                                                                   A season DFA      limit \2\     B season DFA
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Bering Sea subarea TAC..........................         815,000             n/a             n/a             n/a
CDQ DFA.........................................          81,500          32,600          22,820          48,900
ICA \1\.........................................          29,340             n/a             n/a             n/a
AFA Inshore.....................................         352,080         140,832          98,582         211,248
AFA Catcher/Processors \3\......................         281,664         112,666          78,866         168,998
    Catch by C/Ps...............................         257,723         103,089             n/a         154,634
    Catch by C/Vs \3\...........................          23,941           9,577             n/a          14,365
        Unlisted C/P Limit \4\..................           1,408             563             n/a             845
AFA Motherships.................................          70,416          28,166          19,716          42,250
Excessive Harvesting Limit \5\..................         123,228             n/a             n/a             n/a
Excessive Processing Limit \6\..................         211,248             n/a             n/a             n/a
Total Bering Sea DFA (non-CDQ)..................         704,160         281,664         197,165         422,496
                                                 ---------------------------------------------------------------
Aleutian Islands subarea \1\....................          19,000             n/a             n/a             n/a
CDQ DFA.........................................           1,900             760             n/a           1,140
ICA.............................................           1,600             800             n/a             800
Aleut Corporation...............................          15,500          10,600             n/a           4,900
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Bogoslof District ICA\7\........................              10             n/a             n/a             n/a
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
\1\ Pursuant to Sec.   679.20(a)(5)(i)(A), the annual Bering Sea subarea pollock TAC, after subtraction for the
  CDQ DFA (10 percent) and the ICA (4 percent), is allocated as a DFA as follows: inshore sector 50 percent,
  catcher/processor sector 40 percent, and mothership sector 10 percent. In the Bering Sea subarea, 40 percent
  of the DFA is allocated to the A season (January 20 to June 10) and 60 percent of the DFA is allocated to the
  B season (June 10 to November 1). Pursuant to Sec.   679.20(a)(5)(iii)(B)(2)(i) and (ii), the annual AI
  pollock TAC, after subtracting first for the CDQ DFA (10 percent) and second the ICA (1,600 mt), is allocated
  to the Aleut Corporation for a directed pollock fishery. In the AI subarea, the A season is allocated 40
  percent of the ABC and the B season is allocated the remainder of the directed pollock fishery.
\2\ In the Bering Sea subarea, no more than 28 percent of each sector's annual DFA may be taken from the SCA
  before April 1. The remaining 12 percent of the annual DFA allocated to the A season may be taken outside of
  the SCA before April 1 or inside the SCA after April 1. If 28 percent of the annual DFA is not taken inside
  the SCA before April 1, the remainder is available to be taken inside the SCA after April 1.
\3\ Pursuant to Sec.   679.20(a)(5)(i)(A)(4), not less than 8.5 percent of the DFA allocated to listed catcher/
  processors (C/Ps) shall be available for harvest only by eligible catcher vessels (CVs) delivering to listed
  catcher/processors.
\4\ Pursuant to Sec.   679.20(a)(5)(i)(A)(4)(iii), the AFA unlisted catcher/processors are limited to harvesting
  not more than 0.5 percent of the catcher/processors sector's allocation of pollock.
\5\ Pursuant to Sec.   679.20(a)(5)(i)(A)(6) NMFS establishes an excessive harvesting share limit equal to 17.5
  percent of the sum of the pollock DFAs not including CDQ.
\6\ Pursuant to Sec.   679.20(a)(5)(i)(A)(7) NMFS establishes an excessive processing share limit equal to 30.0
  percent of the sum of the pollock DFAs not including CDQ.
\7\ The Regional Administrator proposes closing the Bogoslof pollock fishery for directed fishing under the
  final 2010 and 2011 harvest specifications for the BSAI. The amounts specified are for incidental catch only
  and are not apportioned by season or sector.

Allocation of the Atka Mackerel TACs

    Section 679.20(a)(8)(ii) allocates the Atka mackerel TACs to the 
Amendment 80 and BSAI trawl limited access sectors, after subtraction 
of the CDQ reserves, jig gear allocation, and ICAs for the BSAI trawl 
limited access sector and non-trawl gear (Table 3). The allocation of 
the ITAC for Atka mackerel to the Amendment 80 and BSAI trawl limited 
access sectors is established in Table 33 to part 679 and Sec.  679.91. 
The 2011 allocations for Amendment 80 species between Amendment 80 
cooperatives and the Amendment 80 limited access sector will not be 
known until November 1, 2010, when eligible participants apply for 
participation in the program.
    Pursuant to Sec.  679.20(a)(8)(i), up to 2 percent of the Eastern 
Aleutian District and Bering Sea subarea Atka mackerel ITAC may be 
allocated to jig gear. The amount of this allocation is determined 
annually by the Council based on several criteria, including the 
anticipated harvest capacity of the jig gear fleet. The Council 
recommended and NMFS proposes a 0.5 percent allocation of the Atka 
mackerel ITAC in the Eastern Aleutian District and Bering Sea subarea 
to jig gear in 2010 and 2011. Based on the proposed 2010 and 2011 TAC 
of 20,250 mt after subtractions of the CDQ reserve and ICA, the jig 
gear

[[Page 63105]]

allocation would be 102 mt for 2010 and 2011.
    Section 679.20(a)(8)(iv) 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), the Regional Administrator will 
establish a harvest limit area (HLA) limit of no more than 60 percent 
of the seasonal TAC for the Western and Central Aleutian Districts.
    NMFS will establish HLA limits for the CDQ reserve and each of the 
three non-CDQ fishery categories: the BSAI trawl limited access sector, 
the Amendment 80 limited access fishery, and an aggregate HLA limit 
applicable to all Amendment 80 cooperatives. NMFS will assign vessels 
in each of the three non-CDQ fishery categories that apply to fish for 
Atka mackerel in the HLA to an HLA fishery based on a random lottery of 
the vessels that apply (see Sec.  679.20(a)(8)(iii)). There is no 
allocation of Atka mackerel to the BSAI trawl limited access sector in 
the Western Aleutian District. Therefore, no vessels in the BSAI trawl 
limited access sector will be assigned to the Western Aleutian District 
HLA fishery.
    Each trawl sector will have a separate lottery. A maximum of two 
HLA fisheries will be established in Area 542 for the BSAI trawl 
limited access sector. A maximum of four HLA fisheries will be 
established for vessels assigned to Amendment 80 cooperatives: a first 
and second HLA fishery in Area 542, and a first and second HLA fishery 
in Area 543. A maximum of four HLA fisheries will be established for 
vessels assigned to the Amendment 80 limited access fishery: A first 
and second HLA fishery in Area 542, and a first and second HLA fishery 
in Area 543. NMFS will initially open fishing for the first HLA fishery 
in all three fishery categories at the same time. The initial opening 
of fishing in the HLA will be based on the first directed fishing 
closure of Atka mackerel for the Eastern Aleutian District and Bering 
Sea subarea allocation for any one of the three non-CDQ fishery 
categories allocated Atka mackerel TAC.

 Table 3--Proposed 2010 and 2011 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]
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                                   2010 allocation by area                2011 allocation by area
                                                                           -----------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                              Eastern                                Eastern
                 Sector \2\                           Season 1 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..........................       22,900       28,500       19,700       22,900       28,500       19,700
CDQ reserve................................  Total........................        2,450        3,050        2,108        2,450        3,050        2,108
                                             HLA \5\......................          n/a        1,830        1,265          n/a        1,830        1,265
ICA........................................  Total........................           75           75           50           75           75           50
Jig \6\....................................  Total........................          102            0            0          102            0            0
BSAI trawl limited access..................  Total........................        1,216        1,523            0        1,622        2,030            0
                                             A............................          608          761            0          811        1,015            0
                                             HLA..........................          n/a          457            0          n/a          609            0
                                             B............................          608          761            0          811        1,015            0
                                             HLA..........................          n/a          457            0          n/a          609            0
Amendment 80 limited access................  Total........................       10,129       14,358       10,814          n/a          n/a          n/a
                                             A............................        5,065        7,179        5,407          n/a          n/a          n/a
                                             HLA..........................          n/a        4,308        3,244          n/a          n/a          n/a
                                             B............................        5,065        7,179        5,407          n/a          n/a          n/a
                                             HLA..........................          n/a        4,308        3,244          n/a          n/a          n/a
Amendment 80 cooperatives..................  Total........................        8,927        9,495        6,728          n/a          n/a          n/a
                                             A............................        4,464        4,747        3,364          n/a          n/a          n/a
                                             HLA..........................          n/a        2,848        2,018          n/a          n/a          n/a
                                             B............................        4,464        4,747        3,364          n/a          n/a          n/a
                                             HLA..........................          n/a        2,848        2,018          n/a          n/a          n/a
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
\1\ Regulations at Sec.  Sec.   679.20(a)(8)(ii)(A) and 679.22(a) establish temporal and spatial limitations for the Atka mackerel fishery.
\2\ Section 679.20(a)(8)(ii) allocates the Atka mackerel TACs, after subtraction of the CDQ reserves, ICAs, and the jig gear allocation, to the
  Amendment 80 and BSAI trawl limited access sectors. The allocation of the ITAC for Atka mackerel to the Amendment 80 and BSAI trawl limited access
  sectors is established in Table 33 to part 679 and Sec.   679.91. The CDQ reserve is 10.7 percent of the TAC for use by CDQ participants (see Sec.
  Sec.   679.20(b)(1)(ii)(C) and 679.31).
\3\ The seasonal allowances of Atka mackerel are 50 percent in the A season and 50 percent in the B season.
\4\ The A season is January 1 (January 20 for trawl gear) to April 15, and the B season is September 1 to November 1.
\5\ Harvest Limit Area (HLA) limit refers to the amount of each seasonal allowance that is available for fishing inside the HLA (see Sec.   679.2). In
  2010 and 2011, 60 percent of each seasonal allowance is available for fishing inside the HLA in the Western and Central Aleutian Districts.
\6\ Section 679.20(a)(8)(i) requires that up to 2 percent of the Eastern Aleutian District and Bering Sea subarea TAC be allocated to jig gear after
  subtraction of the CDQ reserve and ICA. The amount of this allocation is 0.5 percent. The jig gear allocation is not apportioned by season.


[[Page 63106]]

Allocation of the Pacific Cod TAC

    Sections 679.20(a)(7)(i) and (ii) require that the Pacific cod TAC 
in the BSAI, after subtraction of 10.7 percent for the CDQ program, be 
allocated as follows: 1.4 percent to vessels using jig gear, 2.0 
percent to hook-and-line and pot catcher vessels less than 60 ft (18.3 
m) length overall (LOA), 0.2 percent to hook-and-line catcher vessels 
greater than or equal to 60 ft (18.3 m) LOA, 48.7 percent to hook-and-
line catcher/processors, 8.4 percent to pot catcher vessels greater 
than or equal to 60 ft (18.3 m) LOA, 1.5 percent to pot catcher/
processors, 2.3 percent to AFA trawl catcher/processors, 13.4 percent 
to non-AFA trawl catcher/processors, and 22.1 percent to trawl catcher 
vessels. The ICA for the hook-and-line and pot sectors will be deducted 
from the aggregate portion of Pacific cod TAC allocated to the hook-
and-line and pot sectors. For 2010 and 2011 the Regional Administrator 
proposes an ICA of 500 mt based on anticipated incidental catch in 
these fisheries. The allocation of the ITAC for Pacific cod to the 
Amendment 80 sector is established in Table 33 to part 679 and Sec.  
679.91.
    The Pacific cod ITAC is apportioned into seasonal allowances to 
disperse the Pacific cod fisheries over the fishing year (see 
Sec. Sec.  679.20(a)(7) and 679.23(e)(5)). In accordance with Sec.  
679.20(a)(7)(iv)(B) and (C), any unused portion of a seasonal Pacific 
cod allowance will become available at the beginning of the next 
seasonal allowance.
    The CDQ and non-CDQ season allowances by gear based on the proposed 
2010 and 2011 Pacific cod TACs are listed in Table 4 based on the 
sector allocation percentages of Pacific cod set forth at Sec. Sec.  
679.20(a)(7)(i)(B) and 679.20(a)(7)(iv)(A); and the seasonal allowances 
of Pacific cod set forth at Sec.  679.23(e)(5).

         Table 4--Proposed 2010 and 2011 Gear Shares and Seasonal Allowances of the BSAI Pacific Cod TAC
                                          [Amounts are in metric tons]
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                     2010 and                       2010 and 2011 seasonal
                                                    2011 share    2010 and              apportionment
             Gear sector                Percent      of gear     2011 share ------------------------------------
                                                      sector     of sector
                                                      total        total             Season             Amount
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Total TAC...........................          100      193,030          n/a  n/a...................          n/a
CDQ.................................         10.7       20,654          n/a  See Sec.                        n/a
                                                                              679.20(a)(7)(i)(B).
Total hook-and-line/pot gear........         60.8      104,804          n/a  n/a...................          n/a
Hook-and-line/pot ICA \1\...........          n/a          n/a          500  n/a...................          n/a
Hook-and-line/pot sub-total.........          n/a      104,304          n/a  n/a...................          n/a
Hook-and-line catcher/processors....         48.7          n/a       83,547  Jan 1-Jun 10..........       42,609
                                                                             Jun 10-Dec 31.........       40,938
Hook-and-line catcher vessels >= 60           0.2          n/a          343  Jan 1-Jun 10..........          175
 ft LOA.                                                                     Jun 10-Dec 31.........          168
Pot catcher/processors..............          1.5          n/a        2,573  Jan 1-Jun 10..........        1,312
                                                                             Sept 1-Dec 31.........        1,261
Pot catcher vessels= 60            8.4          n/a       14,410  Jan 1-Jun 10..........        7,349
 ft LOA.                                                                     Sept-1-Dec 31.........        7,061
Catcher vessels < 60 ft LOA using               2          n/a        3,431  n/a...................          n/a
 hook-and-line or pot gear.
Trawl catcher vessels...............         22.1       38,095          n/a  Jan 20-Apr 1..........       28,190
                                                                             Apr 1-Jun 10..........        4,190
                                                                             Jun 10-Nov 1..........        5,714
AFA trawl catcher processors........          2.3        3,965          n/a  Jan 20-Apr 1..........        2,973
                                                                             Apr 1-Jun 10..........          991
                                                                             Jun 10-Nov 1..........            0
Amendment 80........................         13.4       23,098          n/a  Jan 20-Apr 1..........       17,324
                                                                             Apr 1-Jun 10..........        5,775
                                                                             Jun 10-Nov 1..........            0
Amendment 80 limited access for 2010          n/a        3,795          n/a  Jan 20-Apr 1..........        2,847
 only \2\.                                                                   Apr 1-Jun 10..........          949
                                                                             Jun 10-Nov 1..........            0
Amendment 80 cooperative for 2010             n/a       19,303          n/a  Jan 20-Apr 1..........       14,477
 only \2\.                                                                   Apr 1-Jun 10..........        4,826
                                                                             Jun 10-Nov 1..........            0
Jig.................................          1.4        2,413          n/a  Jan 1-Apr 30..........        1,448
                                                                             Apr 30-Aug 31.........          483
                                                                             Aug 31-Dec 31.........          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 proposes an ICA of 500 mt for 2010
  and 2011 based on anticipated incidental catch in these fisheries.
\2\ The 2011 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, 2010.


[[Page 63107]]

Sablefish Gear Allocation

    Section 679.20(a)(4)(iii) and (iv) requires the allocation of 
sablefish TACs for the Bering Sea and AI subareas between trawl gear 
and hook-and-line or pot gear. Gear allocations of the TACs for the 
Bering Sea subarea are 50 percent for trawl gear and 50 percent for 
hook-and-line or pot gear and for the AI subarea are 25 percent for 
trawl gear and 75 percent for hook-and-line or pot gear. Section 
679.20(b)(1)(ii)(B) requires apportionment of 20 percent of the hook-
and-line and pot gear allocation of sablefish to the CDQ reserve. 
Additionally, Sec.  679.20(b)(1)(ii)(D) requires apportionment of 7.5 
percent of the trawl gear allocation of sablefish to the CDQ reserve. 
The Council recommended that only trawl sablefish TAC be established 
biennially. The harvest specifications for the hook-and-line gear and 
pot gear sablefish Individual Fishing Quota (IFQ) fisheries will be 
limited to the 2010 fishing year to ensure those fisheries are 
conducted concurrently with the halibut IFQ fishery. Concurrent 
sablefish and halibut IFQ fisheries would reduce the potential for 
discards of halibut and sablefish in those fisheries. The sablefish IFQ 
fisheries would remain closed at the beginning of each fishing year 
until the final harvest specifications for the sablefish IFQ fisheries 
are in effect. Table 5 lists the proposed 2010 and 2011 gear 
allocations of the sablefish TAC and CDQ reserve amounts.

                                   Table 5--Proposed 2010 and 2011 Gear Shares and CDQ Reserve of BSAI Sablefish TACS
                                                              [Amounts are in metric tons]
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                Percent of   2010 Share   2010 ITAC     2010 CDQ    2011 Share                 2011 CDQ
                       Subarea and gear                            TAC         of TAC        \1\        reserve       of TAC     2011 ITAC     reserve
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Bering Sea:
    Trawl....................................................           50        1,260        1,071           95        1,260        1,071           95
    Hook-and-line gear \2\...................................           50        1,260          n/a          252          n/a          n/a          n/a
                                                              ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
        Total................................................          100        2,520        1,071          347        2,520        1,071           95
Aleutian Islands:
    Trawl....................................................           25          510          434           38          510          434           38
    Hook-and-line gear \2\...................................           75        1,530          n/a          306          n/a          n/a          n/a
                                                              ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
        Total................................................          100        2,040          434          344        2,040          434           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. Section 679.20(b)(1) does not provide for the establishment of an ITAC for sablefish allocated to hook-and-line or pot gear.

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

    Sections 679.20(a)(10)(i) and (ii) require the allocation between 
the Amendment 80 and BSAI trawl limited access sectors for Aleutian 
Islands Pacific ocean perch, flathead sole, rock sole, and yellowfin 
sole TACs in the BSAI, after subtraction of 10.7 percent for the CDQ 
reserve and an ICA for the BSAI trawl limited access sector and vessels 
using non-trawl gear. The allocation of the ITAC for Aleutian Islands 
Pacific ocean perch, flathead sole, rock sole, and yellowfin sole to 
the Amendment 80 sector is established in Tables 33 and 34 to part 679 
and Sec.  679.91. The 2011 allocations for Amendment 80 species between 
Amendment 80 cooperatives and the Amendment 80 limited access sector 
will not be known until November 1, 2010, when eligible participants 
apply for participation in the program. Table 6 lists the proposed 2010 
and 2011 allocations and seasonal apportionments of the Aleutian 
Islands Pacific ocean perch, flathead sole, rock sole, and yellowfin 
sole TACs.

Table 6--Proposed 2010 and 2011 Community Development Quota (CDQ) Reserves, Incidental Catch Amounts (ICAS), and
  Amendment 80 Allocations of the Aleutian Islands Pacific Ocean Perch, Flathead Sole, Rock Sole, and Yellowfin
                                                    Sole TACS
                                          [Amounts are in metric tons]
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                              2010 and 2011 allocations
                                   -----------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                             Pacific ocean perch             Flathead    Rock sole    Yellowfin
              Sector               ---------------------------------------     sole    -------------     sole
                                      Eastern      Central      Western   -------------             ------------
                                      Aleutian     Aleutian     Aleutian                    BSAI
                                      District     District     District       BSAI                      BSAI
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
TAC...............................        4,160        4,210        6,450       50,000       75,000      180,000
CDQ...............................          445          450          690        5,350        8,025       19,260
ICA...............................          100           50           50        5,000       10,000        2,000
BSAI trawl limited access.........          361          371          114            0            0       28,438
Amendment 80......................        3,253        3,339        5,596       39,650       56,975      130,302
Amendment 80 limited access for           1,725        1,770        2,967        4,658       14,174       52,109
 2010 only\1\.....................
Amendment 80 cooperatives for 2010        1,528        1,568        2,629       34,992       42,801       78,193
 only \1\.........................
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
\1\ The 2011 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, 2010.


[[Page 63108]]

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

    Section 679.21(e) sets forth the BSAI PSC limits. Pursuant to Sec.  
679.21(e)(1)(iv) and (e)(2), the 2010 and 2011 BSAI halibut mortality 
limits are 3,675 mt for trawl fisheries and 900 mt for the non-trawl 
fisheries. Sections 679.21(e)(3)(i)(A)(2) and (e)(4)(i)(A) allocate 326 
mt of the trawl halibut mortality limit and 7.5 percent, or 67 mt, of 
the non-trawl halibut mortality limit as the prohibited species quota 
(PSQ) reserve for use by the groundfish CDQ program. Section 
679.21(e)(1)(vi) specifies 29,000 fish as the 2010 and 2011 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)(viii) specifies 700 fish as the 2010 and 2011 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)(vii) 
specifies 42,000 fish as the 2010 and 2011 non-Chinook salmon PSC 
limit. Section 679.21(e)(3)(i)(A)(3)(ii) allocates 10.7 percent, or 
4,494 non-Chinook salmon, as the PSQ for the CDQ program and allocates 
the remaining 37,506 non-Chinook salmon to the non-CDQ fisheries. The 
regulations and allocations of Chinook salmon are subject to change in 
2011 pending approval of amendment 91 to the FMP.
    PSC limits for crab and herring are specified annually based on 
abundance and spawning biomass. Due to the lack of new information as 
of October 2009 regarding PSC limits and apportionments, the Council 
recommended and NMFS proposes using the crab and herring 2010 and 2011 
PSC limits and apportionments for the proposed 2010 and 2011 limits and 
apportionments. The Council will reconsider these amounts in December 
2009. Pursuant to Sec.  679.21(e)(3)(i)(A)(1), 10.7 percent of each PSC 
limit specified for crab is allocated as a PSQ reserve for use by the 
groundfish CDQ program.
    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 estimated at 75 million lb (34,020 mt). Based on 
the criteria set out at Sec.  679.21(e)(1)(i), the proposed 2010 and 
2011 PSC limit of red king crab in Zone 1 for trawl gear is 197,000 
animals. This limit derives from the mature female abundance estimate 
of more than 8.4 million king crab and the effective spawning biomass 
estimate of more than 55 million lbs (24,948 mt).
    Section 679.21(e)(3)(ii)(B)(2) establishes criteria under which 
NMFS must specify an annual red king crab bycatch limit for the Red 
King Crab Savings Subarea (RKCSS). The regulations limit the RKCSS to 
up to 25 percent of the red king crab PSC allowance based on the need 
to optimize the groundfish harvest relative to red king crab bycatch. 
NMFS proposes the Council's recommendation that the red king crab 
bycatch limit be equal to 25 percent of the red king crab PSC allowance 
within the RKCSS (Table 7b).
    Based on 2008 survey data, Tanner crab (Chionoecetes bairdi) 
abundance is estimated at 435 million animals. Given the criteria set 
out at Sec.  679.21(e)(1)(ii), the calculated 2010 and 2011 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 derive from the C. bairdi 
crab abundance estimate being in excess of the 400 million animal 
threshold specified in Sec.  679.21(e)(1)(ii).
    Pursuant to Sec.  679.21(e)(1)(iii), 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 Sec.  679.21(e)(1)(v), the PSC limit of Pacific herring 
caught while conducting any trawl operation for BSAI groundfish is 1 
percent of the annual eastern Bering Sea herring biomass. The best 
estimate of 2010 and 2011 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 proposed for 2010 and 2011 is 1,697 mt 
for all trawl gear as presented in Tables 7a and 7b.
    Section 679.21(e)(3) requires, after subtraction of PSQ reserves, 
that crab and halibut trawl PSC be apportioned between the BSAI trawl 
limited access and Amendment 80 sectors as presented in Table 7a. The 
amount of the 2010 PSC limits assigned to the Amendment 80 sector is 
specified in Table 35 to part 679. Pursuant to Sec.  679.21(e)(1)(iv) 
and Sec.  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 and to the Amendment 80 limited 
access fishery as presented in Tables 7d and e. PSC cooperative quota 
assigned to Amendment 80 cooperatives is not allocated to specific 
fishery categories. The 2011 PSC allocations between Amendment 80 
cooperatives and the Amendment 80 limited access sector will not be 
known until November 1, 2010, when eligible participants apply to 
participate in the program. Section 679.21(e)(3)(i)(B) requires 
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 limits into PSC bycatch allowances among six fishery 
categories. Table 7c 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 fisheries from the halibut PSC limit. As in past years after 
consultation with the Council, NMFS proposes to exempt pot gear, jig 
gear, and the sablefish IFQ hook-and-line gear fishery categories from 
halibut bycatch restrictions because (1) The pot gear fisheries have 
low halibut bycatch mortality, (2) halibut mortality for the jig gear 
fleet is assumed to be negligible, and (3) the sablefish and halibut 
IFQ fisheries have low halibut bycatch mortality because the IFQ 
program requires legal-size halibut to be retained by vessels using 
hook-and-line gear if a halibut IFQ permit holder or a hired master is 
aboard and is holding unused halibut IFQ (subpart D of 50 CFR part 
679). In 2009, total groundfish catch for the pot gear fishery in the 
BSAI was approximately 15,000 mt, with an associated halibut bycatch 
mortality of about 1 mt. The 2009 jig gear fishery harvested about 33 
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.

[[Page 63109]]

    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 considered are (1) 
Seasonal distribution of prohibited species, (2) seasonal distribution 
of target groundfish species, (3) PSC bycatch needs on a seasonal basis 
relevant to prohibited species biomass, (4) expected variations in 
bycatch rates throughout the year, (5) expected start of fishing 
effort, and (6) economic effects of seasonal PSC apportionments on 
industry sectors. NMFS proposes the Council's recommendation of the 
seasonal PSC apportionments in Tables 7c and 7e to maximize harvest 
among gear types, fisheries, and seasons while minimizing bycatch of 
PSC based on the above criteria.

  Table 7a--Proposed 2010 and 2011 Apportionment of Prohibited Species Catch (PSC) Allowances to Non-Trawl Gear, the CDQ Program, Amendment 80, and the