Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands; Final 2011 and 2012 Harvest Specifications for Groundfish, 11139-11161 [2011-4538]

Download as PDF mstockstill on DSKH9S0YB1PROD with RULES Federal Register / Vol. 76, No. 40 / Tuesday, March 1, 2011 / Rules and Regulations reached, the possibility exists that they would be closed prior to the expiration of a 30-day delayed effectiveness period, if implemented, because their TACs could be reached. Certain fisheries, such as those for pollock and Pacific cod are intensive, fast-paced fisheries. Other fisheries, such as those for flatfish, rockfish, skates, squids, sharks, and octopuses are critical as directed fisheries and as incidental catch in other fisheries. U.S. fishing vessels have demonstrated the capacity to catch the TAC allocations in these fisheries. If a TAC is reached, NMFS would close directed fishing or prohibit retention for the applicable species, pending completion of the 30-day delayed effectiveness period. Any delay in allocating the final TACs in these fisheries would cause confusion to the industry and potential economic harm through unnecessary discards. Waiving the 30-day delay allows NMFS to prevent economic loss to fishermen that could occur should 2011 TACs be reached prior to the close of the 30 day delay. Determining which fisheries may close is impossible because these fisheries are affected by several factors that cannot be predicted in advance, including fishing effort, weather, movement of fishery stocks, and market price. Furthermore, the closure of one fishery has a cascading effect on other fisheries by freeing-up fishing vessels, allowing them to move from closed fisheries to open ones, increasing the fishing capacity in those open fisheries and causing them to close at an accelerated pace. In fisheries subject to declining sideboards, a failure to implement the updated sideboards before initial season’s end could preclude the intended economic protection to the non-sideboarded sectors. Conversely, in fisheries with increasing sideboards, economic benefit could be precluded to the sideboarded sectors. If the final harvest specifications are not effective by March 12, 2011, which is the start of the 2011 Pacific halibut season as specified by the IPHC, the hook-and-line sablefish fishery will not begin concurrently with the Pacific halibut IFQ season. This would result in confusion for the industry and economic harm from unnecessary discard of sablefish that are caught along with Pacific halibut, as both hookand-line sablefish and Pacific halibut are managed under the same IFQ program. Immediate effectiveness of the final 2011 and 2012 harvest specifications will allow the sablefish IFQ fishery to begin concurrently with the Pacific halibut IFQ season. Also, the immediate effectiveness of this action is VerDate Mar<15>2010 18:07 Feb 28, 2011 Jkt 223001 required to provide consistent management and conservation of fishery resources based on the best available scientific information. This is particularly true of those species which have lower 2011 ABCs and TACs than those established in the 2010 and 2011 harvest specifications (75 FR 11749, March 12, 2010). Immediate effectiveness also would give the fishing industry the earliest possible opportunity to plan and conduct its fishing operations with respect to new information about TAC limits. Therefore, NMFS finds good cause to waive the 30-day delay in effectiveness under 5 U.S.C. 553(d)(3). Small Entity Compliance Guide The following information is a plain language guide to assist small entities in complying with this final rule as required by the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act of 1996. This final rule’s primary purpose is to announce the final 2011 and 2012 harvest specifications and prohibited species bycatch allowances for the groundfish fisheries of the GOA. This action is necessary to establish harvest limits and associated management measures for groundfish during the 2011 and 2012 fishing years and to accomplish the goals and objectives of the FMP. This action affects all fishermen who participate in the GOA fisheries. The specific amounts of OFL, ABC, TAC, and PSC are provided in tables to assist the reader. NMFS will announce closures of directed fishing in the Federal Register and information bulletins released by the Alaska Region. Affected fishermen should keep themselves informed of such closures. Authority: 16 U.S.C. 773 et seq.; 16 U.S.C. 1540(f), 1801 et seq.; 16 U.S.C. 3631 et seq.; Pub. L. 105–277; Pub. L. 106–31; Pub. L. 106–554; Pub. L. 108–199; Pub. L. 108–447; Pub. L. 109–241; Pub. L. 109–479. Dated: February 22, 2011. Samuel D. Rauch III, Deputy Assistant Administrator for Regulatory Programs, National Marine Fisheries Service. [FR Doc. 2011–4402 Filed 2–28–11; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510–22–P PO 00000 Frm 00065 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 11139 DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration 50 CFR Part 679 [Docket No. 101126521–0640–02] RIN 0648–XZ90 Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands; Final 2011 and 2012 Harvest Specifications for Groundfish National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Commerce. ACTION: Final rule; closures. AGENCY: NMFS announces final 2011 and 2012 harvest specifications and prohibited species catch allowances for the groundfish fishery of the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands management area (BSAI). This action is necessary to establish harvest limits for groundfish during the 2011 and 2012 fishing years, and to accomplish the goals and objectives of the Fishery Management Plan for Groundfish of the BSAI (FMP). The intended effect of this action is to conserve and manage the groundfish resources in the BSAI in accordance with the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (Magnuson-Stevens Act). DATES: Effective from 1200 hrs, Alaska local time (A.l.t.), March 1, 2011, through 2400 hrs, A.l.t., December 31, 2012. SUMMARY: Electronic copies of the Final Alaska Groundfish Harvest Specifications Environmental Impact Statement (EIS), Record of Decision (ROD), Supplementary Information Report (SIR) to the EIS, the Final Regulatory Flexibility Analysis (FRFA), and Supplemental FRFA prepared for this action are available from http:// alaskafisheries.noaa.gov. The final 2010 Stock Assessment and Fishery Evaluation (SAFE) report for the groundfish resources of the BSAI, dated November 2010, is 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 FMP and govern the groundfish fisheries in the BSAI. The ADDRESSES: E:\FR\FM\01MRR1.SGM 01MRR1 11140 Federal Register / Vol. 76, No. 40 / Tuesday, March 1, 2011 / Rules and Regulations mstockstill on DSKH9S0YB1PROD with RULES North Pacific Fishery Management Council (Council) prepared the FMP, and NMFS approved it under the Magnuson-Stevens Act. General regulations governing U.S. fisheries also appear at 50 CFR part 600. The FMP and its implementing regulations require NMFS, after consultation with the Council, to specify the total allowable catch (TAC) for each target species; the sum must be within the optimum yield (OY) range of 1.4 million to 2.0 million metric tons (mt) (see § 679.20(a)(1)(i)). NMFS also must specify apportionments of TACs, prohibited species catch (PSC) allowances, and prohibited species quota (PSQ) reserves established by § 679.21; seasonal allowances of pollock, Pacific cod, and Atka mackerel TAC; Amendment 80 allocations; and Community Development Quota (CDQ) reserve amounts established by § 679.20(b)(1)(ii). The final harvest specifications set forth in Tables 1 through 16 of this action satisfy these requirements. The sum of TACs is 2,000,000 mt for 2011 and is 2,000,000 mt for 2012. Section 679.20(c)(3)(i) further requires NMFS to consider public comment on the proposed annual TACs (and apportionments thereof) and PSC allowances, and to publish final harvest specifications in the Federal Register. The proposed 2011 and 2012 harvest specifications and PSC allowances for the groundfish fishery of the BSAI were published in the Federal Register on December 8, 2010 (75 FR 76372). Comments were invited and accepted through January 7, 2011. NMFS received 9 letters with 4 comments on the proposed harvest specifications. These comments are summarized and responded to in the ‘‘Response to Comments’’ section of this rule. NMFS consulted with the Council on the final 2011 and 2012 harvest specifications during the December 2010 Council meeting in Anchorage, AK. After considering public comments, as well as biological and economic data that were available at the Council’s December meeting, NMFS is implementing the final 2011 and 2012 harvest specifications as recommended by the Council. Acceptable Biological Catch (ABC) and TAC Harvest Specifications The final ABC levels are based on the best available biological and socioeconomic information, including projected biomass trends, information on assumed distribution of stock biomass, and revised technical methods used to calculate stock biomass. In general, the development of ABCs and VerDate Mar<15>2010 18:07 Feb 28, 2011 Jkt 223001 overfishing levels (OFLs) involves sophisticated statistical analyses of fish populations. The FMP specifies a series of six tiers to define OFL and ABC amounts 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. In December 2010, the Scientific and Statistical Committee (SSC), Advisory Panel (AP), and Council reviewed current biological information about the condition of the BSAI groundfish stocks. The Council’s Plan Team compiled and presented this information in the 2010 SAFE report for the BSAI groundfish fisheries, dated November 2010. The SAFE report contains a review of the latest scientific analyses and estimates of each species’ biomass and other biological parameters, as well as summaries of the available information on the BSAI ecosystem and the economic condition of groundfish fisheries off Alaska. The SAFE report was made available for public review upon notification of the proposed harvest specifications. The 2010 SAFE report continues to be available for public review (see ADDRESSES). From these data and analyses, the Plan Team estimated an OFL and ABC for each species or species category. In December 2010, the SSC, AP, and Council reviewed the Plan Team’s recommendations. The SSC concurred with the Plan Team’s recommendations, and the Council adopted the OFL and ABC amounts recommended by the SSC (Table 1). The final TAC recommendations were based on the ABCs as adjusted for other biological and socioeconomic considerations, including maintaining the sum of the TACs within the required OY range of 1.4 million to 2.0 million mt. The Council adopted the AP’s 2011 and 2012 TAC recommendations. As required by annual catch limit rules (FR 74 3178, January 16, 2009), none of the Council’s recommended TACs for 2011 or 2012 exceeds the final 2011 or 2012 ABCs for any species category. The final 2010 and 2011 harvest specifications approved by the Secretary are unchanged from those recommended by the Council and are consistent with the preferred harvest strategy alternative in the EIS (see ADDRESSES). NMFS finds that the Council’s recommended OFLs, ABCs, and TACs are consistent with the biological condition of groundfish stocks as described in the 2010 SAFE report that was approved by the Council. PO 00000 Frm 00066 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 Other Actions Potentially Affecting the 2011 and 2012 Harvest Specifications NMFS intends to develop a single database that stock assessment authors can access through a single source such as the Alaska Fisheries Information Network. The development of this database will require the cooperation of several agencies, including NMFS, the Alaska Department of Fish and Game, and the International Pacific Halibut Commission (IPHC). At its October 2010 meeting, the Council’s groundfish Plan Teams recommended the formation of a total catch accounting working group to assist NMFS in developing a methodology to estimate total catch of groundfish. While much of the information is currently available and will be incorporated into the final 2010 SAFE reports, the development of an adequate methodology is ongoing and not fully ready for use in the final SAFE reports. NMFS intends to have the information available for the assessment cycle in the fall of 2011. The Council is currently considering an action to modify the non-Chinook salmon management measures to minimize non-Chinook salmon bycatch. This potential action could impose cap threshold limits, sector specific allocations, and area specific closures for BSAI groundfish closures. This action is not expected to be in place by the 2012 fishing year. The Council has approved a new program to replace the Gulf of Alaska Rockfish Pilot Program (Rockfish Program), which is scheduled to expire on December 31, 2011. NMFS is currently developing regulations to implement this program. The new rockfish program could alter BSAI groundfish sideboards for vessels participating in the Rockfish Program. This new program is expected to be in place for the 2012 fishing year. In 2010, NMFS Alaska Region completed a Section 7 formal consultation on the effects of the authorization of the Alaska groundfish fisheries on Endangered Species Act listed species under NMFS jurisdiction. The consultation resulted in a biological opinion that determined that the effects of the Alaska groundfish fisheries were likely to jeopardize the continued existence of, and adversely modify designated critical habitat for, the western distinct population segment of Steller sea lions. The biological opinion included a reasonable and prudent alternative (RPA) that requires changes to the BSAI Atka mackerel and Aleutian Islands subarea Pacific cod fisheries to prevent the likelihood of jeopardy of extinction or adverse modification of E:\FR\FM\01MRR1.SGM 01MRR1 Federal Register / Vol. 76, No. 40 / Tuesday, March 1, 2011 / Rules and Regulations critical habitat for Steller sea lions. Separate rulemaking for implementation of the RPA became effective January 1, 2011 (FR 75 77535, December 13, 2010; and 75 FR 81921, December 29, 2010). Changes to the Atka mackerel and Pacific cod harvest specifications that are required by the rule implementing the RPA are described in the section for each of these target species. The proposed harvest specifications notified the public of possible changes to the harvest specification limits. At the October 2010 meeting, the Council and the Scientific and Statistical Committee (SSC) recommended separating Kamchatka flounder from the arrowtooth flounder complex starting in the year 2011. As a result, arrowtooth flounder and Kamchatka flounder have separate OFLs, ABCs, and TACs for 2011 and 2012. In the proposed 2011 and 2012 harvest specifications NMFS requested public comment on the proposal to allocate 10.7 percent of the Kamchatka flounder TAC to the CDQ Program. Six comments were received, and NMFS has determined to not allocate Kamchatka flounder to the six CDQ groups in 2011. See the Response to Comments section below. Changes From the Proposed 2010 and 2011 Harvest Specifications in the BSAI In October 2010, the Council made its recommendations for the proposed 2011 and 2012 harvest specifications (75 FR 76372, December 8, 2010), based largely on information contained in the 2009 SAFE report for the BSAI groundfish fisheries. Through the proposed harvest specifications, NMFS notified the public that these harvest specifications were subject to change and that the Council would consider information contained in the 2010 SAFE report, recommendations from the SSC, Plan Team, and AP committees, and public testimony when making its recommendations for final harvest specification levels at the December Council meeting. NMFS further notified the public that, as required by the BSAI Groundfish FMP and its implementing regulations, the sum of the TACs must be within the optimum yield range of 1.4 and 2.0 million metric tons. Information contained in the 2010 SAFE reports indicates an increase in biomass for several groundfish species. At the December Council meeting, the SSC recommended increasing the ABCs for many species in 2011 and 2012 based on the best and most recent information contained in the 2010 SAFE reports. This increase resulted in an ABC sum total that exceeds 2 million metric tons for both 2011 and 2012. Based on the SSC ABC recommendations and the 2010 SAFE reports, the AP recommended raising the TACs for more economically valuable species that have increasing biomasses such as pollock, Pacific cod, Pacific ocean perch, and Atka mackerel in the Eastern Aleutian Islands and Bering Sea subarea. Because these increases caused the sum of the TACs to exceed the 2 million metric ton limit, 11141 section 3.2.3.4 of the BSAI FMP required that the TACs be adjusted. The AP recommended a downward adjustment of TACs for several species that are not part of the directed fishery and that are easily avoided, such as octopuses, sculpins, sharks, skates, squid, and Alaska plaice. After receiving testimony from the Amendment 80 cooperatives, the AP recommended a reduction in Amendment 80 flatfish species TACs and arrowtooth flounder TAC to levels that the Amendment 80 fleet believed they could harvest given their PSC constraints. The Council accepted the SSC and AP recommendations. The changes to TAC between the proposed and final harvest specifications are based on the most recent scientific and economic information and are consistent with the FMP and regulatory obligations and harvest strategy as described in the proposed harvest specifications. These changes are compared in the following table. Table 1 lists the Council’s recommended final 2011 and 2012 OFL, ABC, TAC, initial TAC (ITAC) and CDQ reserve amounts of the BSAI groundfish. NMFS concurs with these recommendations. The final 2011 and 2012 TAC recommendations for the BSAI are within the OY range established for the BSAI and do not exceed the ABC for any single species or complex. The apportionment of TAC amounts among fisheries and seasons is discussed below. COMPARISON OF FINAL 2011 AND 2012 WITH PROPOSED 2011 AND 2012 TOTAL ALLOWABLE CATCH IN THE BSAI [Amounts are in metric tons] Area 1 Pollock ............................... BS ........................ AI .......................... Bogoslof ............... BSAI ..................... BS ........................ AI .......................... EAI/BS ................. CAI ....................... WAI ...................... BSAI ..................... BSAI ..................... BS ........................ AI .......................... BSAI ..................... BSAI ..................... BSAI ..................... BSAI ..................... BSAI ..................... BS ........................ EAI ....................... CAI ....................... WAI ...................... Pacific cod ......................... Sablefish ............................ Atka mackerel .................... mstockstill on DSKH9S0YB1PROD with RULES Yellowfin sole .................... Rock sole ........................... Greenland turbot ............... Arrowtooth flounder ........... Kamchatka flounder .......... Flathead sole ..................... Other flatfish ...................... Alaska plaice ..................... Pacific ocean perch ........... VerDate Mar<15>2010 18:07 Feb 28, 2011 Jkt 223001 2011 proposed TAC 2011 final TAC Species PO 00000 1,252,000 19,000 150 227,950 2,850 1,900 40,300 11,280 1,500 196,000 85,000 3,500 1,550 25,900 17,700 41,548 3,000 16,000 5,710 5,660 4,960 8,370 Frm 00067 1,107,000 19,000 75 207,580 2,500 1,860 20,900 26,000 18,100 213,000 90,000 3,700 1,670 60,000 17,700 60,000 17,300 40,000 3,790 4,180 4,230 6,480 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 2011 difference from proposed 145,000 0 75 20,370 350 40 19,400 ¥14,720 ¥16,600 ¥17,000 ¥5,000 ¥200 ¥120 ¥34,100 0 ¥18,452 ¥14,300 ¥24,000 1,920 1,480 730 1,890 2012 final TAC 1,253,658 19,000 150 229,608 2,610 1,740 36,800 10,293 1,500 197,660 85,000 3,500 1,450 25,900 17,700 41,548 3,000 16,000 5,710 5,660 4,960 8,370 E:\FR\FM\01MRR1.SGM 01MRR1 2012 proposed TAC 1,105,000 19,000 75 207,580 2,500 1,860 20,900 26,000 18,100 213,000 90,000 3,700 1,670 60,000 17,700 60,000 17,300 40,000 3,790 4,180 4,230 6,480 2012 difference from proposed 148,658 0 75 22,028 110 ¥120 15,900 ¥15,707 ¥16,600 ¥15,340 ¥5,000 ¥200 ¥220 ¥34,100 0 ¥18,452 ¥14,300 ¥24,000 1,920 1,480 730 1,890 11142 Federal Register / Vol. 76, No. 40 / Tuesday, March 1, 2011 / Rules and Regulations COMPARISON OF FINAL 2011 AND 2012 WITH PROPOSED 2011 AND 2012 TOTAL ALLOWABLE CATCH IN THE BSAI— Continued [Amounts are in metric tons] 2011 proposed TAC 2011 final TAC 2011 difference from proposed 2012 final TAC 2012 proposed TAC 2012 difference from proposed Species Area 1 Northern rockfish ............... Shortraker rockfish ............ Rougheye rockfish 2 ........... Squid ................................. Skates ................................ Sharks ............................... Octopuses ......................... Sculpins ............................. BSAI ..................... BSAI ..................... BS/EAI ................. CAI/WAI ............... BS ........................ AI .......................... BSAI ..................... BSAI ..................... BSAI ..................... BSAI ..................... BSAI ..................... 4,000 393 234 220 500 500 425 16,500 50 150 5,200 7,290 387 42 489 485 555 1,970 30,000 449 233 30,035 ¥3,290 6 192 ¥269 15 ¥55 ¥1,545 ¥13,500 ¥399 ¥83 ¥24,835 4,000 393 240 225 500 500 425 16,500 50 150 5,200 7,290 387 42 489 485 555 1,970 30,000 449 233 30,035 ¥3,290 6 198 ¥264 15 ¥55 ¥1,545 ¥13,500 ¥399 ¥83 ¥24,835 Total ........................... BSAI ..................... 2,000,000 1,997,000 3,000 2,000,000 1,995,000 5,000 Other rockfish .................... 1 Bering mstockstill on DSKH9S0YB1PROD with RULES Sea subarea (BS), Aleutian Islands subarea (AI), Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands management area (BSAI), Eastern Aleutian District (EAI), Central Aleutian District (CAI), and Western Aleutian District (WAI). 2 The proposed rule split rougheye rockfish TACs by the Aleutian Islands, and the Bering Sea. The final rule splits rougheye rockfish by the Bering Sea and Eastern Aleutians District, and the Central Aleutian District and Western Aleutian District. VerDate Mar<15>2010 18:07 Feb 28, 2011 Jkt 223001 PO 00000 Frm 00068 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 E:\FR\FM\01MRR1.SGM 01MRR1 VerDate Mar<15>2010 18:07 Feb 28, 2011 Jkt 223001 PO 00000 Frm 00069 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 E:\FR\FM\01MRR1.SGM Total ............................... 3,954,111 2,450,000 44,500 22,000 272,000 3,360 2,250 101,000 n/a n/a n/a 262,000 248,000 7,220 n/a n/a 186,000 23,600 83,300 19,500 79,100 36,300 n/a n/a n/a n/a 10,600 524 549 n/a n/a 1,700 n/a n/a 2,620 37,800 1,360 528 58,300 OFL 2,534,729 1,270,000 36,700 156 235,000 2,850 1,900 85,300 40,300 24,000 21,000 239,000 224,000 6,140 4,590 1,550 153,000 17,700 69,300 14,500 65,100 24,700 5,710 5,660 4,960 8,370 8,670 393 454 234 220 1,280 710 570 1,970 31,500 1,020 396 43,700 ABC 2,000,000 1,252,000 19,000 150 227,950 2,850 1,900 53,080 40,300 11,280 1,500 196,000 85,000 5,050 3,500 1,550 25,900 17,700 41,548 3,000 16,000 24,700 5,710 5,660 4,960 8,370 4,000 393 454 234 220 1,000 500 500 425 16,500 50 150 5,200 TAC 2011 1,790,200 1,126,800 17,100 150 203,559 2,351 1,544 47,400 35,988 10,073 1,340 175,028 75,905 4,293 2,975 1,318 22,015 15,045 37,102 2,550 13,600 21,812 4,854 5,054 4,429 7,474 3,400 334 386 199 187 850 425 425 361 14,025 43 128 4,420 ITAC 2 199,467 125,200 1,900 0 24,391 392 321 5,680 4,312 1,207 161 20,972 9,095 n/a 375 0 2,771 0 4,446 0 0 n/a 0 606 531 896 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 CDQ 3 4,731,995 3,170,000 50,400 22,000 329,000 3,080 2,060 92,200 n/a n/a n/a 266,000 243,000 6,760 n/a n/a 191,000 23,600 82,100 19,500 83,800 34,300 n/a n/a n/a n/a 10,400 524 563 n/a n/a 1,700 n/a n/a 2,620 37,200 1,360 528 58,300 OFL 2,911,610 1,600,000 41,600 156 281,000 2,610 1,740 77,900 36,800 21,900 19,200 242,000 219,000 5,750 4,300 1,450 157,000 17,700 68,300 14,500 69,100 24,700 5,710 5,660 4,960 8,370 8,330 393 465 240 225 1,280 710 570 1,970 31,000 1,020 396 43,700 ABC 2,000,000 1,253,658 19,000 150 229,608 2,610 1,740 48,593 36,800 10,293 1,500 197,660 85,000 4,950 3,500 1,450 25,900 17,700 41,548 3,000 16,000 24,700 5,710 5,660 4,960 8,370 4,000 393 465 240 225 1,000 500 500 425 16,500 50 150 5,200 TAC 2012 1,788,157 1,128,292 17,100 150 205,040 1,109 370 43,394 32,862 9,192 1,340 176,510 75,905 4,208 2,975 1,233 22,015 15,045 37,102 2,550 13,600 21,812 4,854 5,054 4,429 7,474 3,400 334 395 204 191 850 425 425 361 14,025 43 128 4,420 ITAC 2 198,926 125,366 1,900 0 24,568 98 33 5,199 3,938 1,101 161 21,150 9,095 n/a 375 0 2,771 0 4,446 0 0 n/a 0 606 531 896 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 CDQ 3 These amounts apply to the entire BSAI management area unless otherwise specified. With the exception of pollock, and for the purpose of these harvest specifications, the Bering Sea (BS) subarea includes the Bogoslof District. 2 Except for pollock, the portion of the sablefish TAC allocated to hook-and-line and pot gear, and Amendment 80 species, 15 percent of each TAC is put into a reserve. The ITAC for these species is the remainder of the TAC after the subtraction of these reserves. 3 Under § 679.20(a)(5)(i)(A)(1), the annual Bering Sea subarea pollock TAC, after subtracting first for the CDQ directed fishing allowance (10 percent) and second for the incidental catch allowance (3.0 percent), is further allocated by sector for a directed pollock fishery as follows: Inshore—50 percent; catcher/processor—40 percent; and motherships—10 percent. Under § 679.20(a)(5)(iii)(B)(2)(i) and (ii), the annual Aleutian Islands subarea pollock TAC, after subtracting first for the CDQ directed fishing allowance (10 percent) and second for the incidental catch allowance (1,600 mt), is allocated to the Aleut Corporation for a directed pollock fishery. 4 The Pacific cod TAC is reduced by three percent from the ABC to account for the State 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’’, octopuses, sculpins, sharks, skates, and squid are not allocated to the CDQ program. 6 ‘‘Rock sole’’ includes Lepidopsetta polyxystra (Northern rock sole) and Lepidopsetta bilineata (Southern rock sole). 7 ‘‘Flathead sole’’ includes Hippoglossoides elassodon (flathead sole) and Hippoglossoides robustus (Bering flounder). 8 ‘‘Other flatfish’’ includes all flatfish species, except for halibut (a prohibited species), arrowtooth flounder, flathead sole, Greenland turbot, Kamchatka flounder, rock sole, and yellowfin sole. 9 ‘‘Rougheye rockfish’’ includes Sebastes aleutianus (rougheye) and Sebastes melanostictus (blackspotted). 10 ‘‘Other rockfish’’ includes all Sebastes and Sebastolobus species except for Pacific ocean perch, northern, shortraker, and rougheye rockfish. 1 Squids ................................... Skates ................................... Sharks ................................... Octopuses ............................. Sculpins ................................. Other rockfish 10 .................... Northern rockfish ................... Shortraker rockfish ................ Rougheye rockfish 9 .............. Arrowtooth flounder 5 ............ Kamchatka flounder .............. Flathead sole 5, 7 .................... Other flatfish 8 ....................... Alaska plaice ......................... Pacific ocean perch 5 ............ Yellowfin sole 5 ...................... Rock sole 5, 6 .......................... Greenland turbot 5 ................. Atka mackerel 5 ..................... ...................................... BS 2 ............................. AI 2 ............................... Bogoslof ...................... BSAI ............................ BS ................................ AI ................................. BSAI ............................ EAI/BS ......................... CAI .............................. WAI .............................. BSAI ............................ BSAI ............................ BSAI ............................ BS ................................ AI ................................. BSAI ............................ BSAI ............................ BSAI ............................ BSAI ............................ BSAI ............................ BSAI ............................ BS ................................ EAI ............................... CAI .............................. WAI .............................. BSAI ............................ BSAI ............................ BSAI ............................ EBS/EAI ...................... CAI/WAI ....................... BSAI ............................ BS ................................ AI ................................. BSAI ............................ BSAI ............................ BSAI ............................ BSAI ............................ BSAI ............................ Pollock 3 ................................ Pacific cod 4, 5 ........................ Sablefish 5 ............................. Area Species [Amounts are in metric tons] TABLE 1—FINAL 2011 AND 2012 OVERFISHING LEVEL (OFL), ACCEPTABLE BIOLOGICAL CATCH (ABC), TOTAL ALLOWABLE CATCH (TAC), INITIAL TAC (ITAC), AND CDQ RESERVE ALLOCATION OF GROUNDFISH IN THE BSAI 1 mstockstill on DSKH9S0YB1PROD with RULES Federal Register / Vol. 76, No. 40 / Tuesday, March 1, 2011 / Rules and Regulations 01MRR1 11143 11144 Federal Register / Vol. 76, No. 40 / Tuesday, March 1, 2011 / Rules and Regulations Groundfish 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, except for pollock, the hook-and-line and pot gear allocation of sablefish, and the Amendment 80 species, in a nonspecified reserve. Section 679.20(b)(1)(ii)(B) requires that 20 percent of the hook-and-line and pot gear allocation of sablefish be allocated to the fixed gear sablefish CDQ reserve. Section 679.20(b)(1)(ii)(D) requires allocation of 7.5 percent of the trawl gear allocations of sablefish and 10.7 percent of the Bering Sea Greenland turbot and arrowtooth flounder TACs to the respective CDQ reserves. Section 679.20(b)(1)(ii)(C) requires allocation of 10.7 percent of the TACs for Atka mackerel, Aleutian Islands Pacific ocean perch, yellowfin sole, rock sole, flathead sole, and Pacific cod to the CDQ reserves. Sections 679.20(a)(5)(i)(A) and 679.31(a) also require the allocation of 10 percent of the BSAI pollock TACs to the pollock CDQ directed fishing allowance (DFA). The entire Bogoslof District pollock TAC is allocated as an ICA (see § 679.20(a)(5)(ii)). With the exception of the hook-and-line and pot gear sablefish CDQ reserve, the regulations do not further apportion the CDQ allocations by gear. Pursuant to § 679.20(a)(5)(i)(A)(1), NMFS allocates a pollock ICA of 3 percent of the BS subarea pollock TAC after subtraction of the 10 percent CDQ reserve. This allowance is based on NMFS’ examination of the pollock incidental catch, including the incidental catch by CDQ vessels, in target fisheries other than pollock from 1999 through 2010. During this 12-year period, the pollock incidental catch ranged from a low of 2.4 percent in 2006 to a high of 5 percent in 1999, with a 12-year average of 3 percent. Pursuant to § 679.20(a)(5)(iii)(B)(2)(i) and (ii), NMFS establishes a pollock ICA of 1,600 mt of the AI subarea TAC after subtraction of the 10 percent CDQ DFA. This allowance is based on NMFS’ examination of the pollock incidental catch, including the incidental catch by CDQ vessels, in target fisheries other than pollock from 2003 through 2010. During this 8-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 an 8-year average of 7 percent. Pursuant to § 679.20(a)(8) and (10), NMFS allocates ICAs of 5,000 mt of flathead sole, 5,000 mt of rock sole, 2,000 mt of yellowfin sole, 10 mt of Western Aleutian District Pacific (WAI) ocean perch, 75 mt of Central Aleutian District (CAI) Pacific ocean perch, 100 mt of Eastern Aleutian District (EAI) Pacific ocean perch, 40 mt of WAI Atka mackerel, 75 mt of CAI Atka mackerel, and 75 mt of EAI and BS subarea Atka mackerel TAC after subtraction of the 10.7 percent CDQ reserve. These allowances are based on NMFS’ examination of the incidental catch in other target fisheries from 2003 through 2010. 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 category during the year, providing that such apportionments do not result in overfishing (see § 679.20(b)(1)(i)). The Regional Administrator has determined that the ITACs specified for the species listed in Table 2 need to be supplemented from the non-specified reserve because U.S. fishing vessels have demonstrated the capacity to catch the full TAC allocations. Therefore, in accordance with § 679.20(b)(3), NMFS is apportioning the amounts shown in Table 2 from the non-specified reserve to increase the ITAC for northern rockfish, shortraker rockfish, rougheye rockfish, and Bering Sea ‘‘other rockfish’’ by 15 percent of the TAC in 2011 and 2012. TABLE 2—FINAL 2011 AND 2012 APPORTIONMENT OF RESERVES TO ITAC CATEGORIES [Amounts are in metric tons] Species-area or subarea 2011 ITAC 2011 reserve amount 2011 final ITAC 2012 ITAC 2012 reserve amount 2012 final ITAC Shortraker rockfish–BSAI ................................................. Rougheye rockfish–EBS/EAI ........................................... Rougheye rockfish–CAI/WAI ........................................... Northern rockfish–BSAI ................................................... Other rockfish—Bering Sea subarea ............................... 334 199 187 3,400 425 59 35 33 600 75 393 234 220 4,000 500 334 204 191 3,400 425 59 36 34 600 75 393 240 225 4,000 500 Total .......................................................................... 4,545 802 5,347 4,554 804 5,358 mstockstill on DSKH9S0YB1PROD with RULES Allocation of Pollock TAC Under the American Fisheries Act (AFA) Section 679.20(a)(5)(i)(A) requires that the pollock TAC apportioned to the BS subarea, after subtraction of the 10 percent for the CDQ program and the 3 percent for the ICA, be allocated as a DFA as follows: 50 percent to the inshore sector, 40 percent to the catcher/processor (C/P) sector, and 10 percent to the mothership sector. In the BS subarea, 40 percent of the DFA is allocated to the A season (January 20– June 10), and 60 percent of the DFA is allocated to the B season (June 10– November 1) (§ 679.20(a)(5)(i)(A)). The VerDate Mar<15>2010 18:07 Feb 28, 2011 Jkt 223001 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 DFA is allocated to the A season and the remainder of the directed pollock fishery is allocated to the B season. Table 3 lists these 2011 and 2012 amounts. Section 679.20(a)(5)(i)(A)(4) also includes several specific requirements regarding BS subarea pollock allocations. First, 8.5 percent of the PO 00000 Frm 00070 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 pollock allocated to the C/P sector will be available for harvest by AFA catcher vessels (CVs) with C/P sector endorsements, unless the Regional Administrator receives a cooperative contract that provides for the distribution of harvest among AFA C/Ps and AFA CVs in a manner agreed to by all members. Second, AFA C/Ps not listed in the AFA are limited to harvesting not more than 0.5 percent of the pollock allocated to the C/P sector. Table 3 lists the 2011 and 2012 allocations of pollock TAC. Tables 11 through 16 list the AFA C/P and CV harvesting sideboard limits. The tables E:\FR\FM\01MRR1.SGM 01MRR1 11145 Federal Register / Vol. 76, No. 40 / Tuesday, March 1, 2011 / Rules and Regulations for the pollock allocations to the BS subarea inshore pollock cooperatives and open access sector will be posted on the Alaska Region Web site at http:// alaskafisheries.noaa.gov. Table 3 also lists seasonal apportionments of pollock and harvest limits within the Steller Sea Lion Conservation Area (SCA). The harvest within the SCA, as defined at § 679.22(a)(7)(vii), is limited to 28 percent of the annual DFA until 12 noon, April 1 as provided in § 679.22(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 12 noon, April 1 or inside the SCA after 12 noon, April 1. If less than 28 percent of the annual DFA is taken inside the SCA before 12 noon, April 1, the remainder will be available to be taken inside the SCA after 12 noon, April 1. The A season pollock SCA harvest limit will be apportioned to each sector in proportion to each sector’s allocated percentage of the DFA. Table 3 lists these 2011 and 2012 amounts by sector. TABLE 3—FINAL 2011 AND 2012 ALLOCATIONS OF POLLOCK TACS TO THE DIRECTED POLLOCK FISHERIES AND TO THE CDQ DIRECTED FISHING ALLOWANCES (DFA)1 [Amounts are in metric tons] 2011 A season 1 Area and sector 2011 Allocations A season DFA 2011 B season 1 SCA harvest limit 2 B season DFA 2012 A season 1 2012 Allocations A season DFA 2012 B season 1 SCA harvest limit 2 B season DFA Bering Sea subarea .......................... CDQ DFA ................................... ICA 1 ........................................... AFA Inshore ............................... AFA Catcher/Processors 3 ......... Catch by C/Ps ..................... Catch by CVs 3 ................... Unlisted C/P Limit 4 ...... AFA Motherships ....................... Excessive Harvesting Limit 5 ...... Excessive Processing Limit 6 ..... 1,252,000 125,200 33,804 546,498 437,198 400,037 37,162 2,186 109,300 191,274 327,899 n/a 50,080 n/a 218,599 174,879 160,015 14,865 874 43,720 n/a n/a n/a 35,056 n/a 153,019 122,416 n/a n/a n/a 30,604 n/a n/a n/a 75,120 n/a 327,899 262,319 240,022 22,297 1,312 65,580 n/a n/a 1,253,658 125,366 33,849 547,222 437,777 400,566 37,211 2,189 109,444 191,528 328,333 n/a 50,146 n/a 218,889 175,111 160,227 14,884 876 43,778 n/a n/a n/a 35,102 n/a 153,222 122,578 n/a n/a n/a 30,644 n/a n/a n/a 75,219 n/a 328,333 262,666 240,340 22,327 1,313 65,667 n/a n/a Total Bering Sea DFA ....................... 1,092,996 437,198 306,039 655,798 1,094,443 437,777 306,444 656,666 Aleutian Islands subarea 1 ................ CDQ DFA ................................... ICA ............................................. Aleut Corporation ....................... Bogoslof District ICA 7 ....................... 19,000 1,900 1,600 15,500 150 n/a 760 800 15,500 n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a 1,140 800 0 n/a 19,000 1,900 1,600 15,500 150 n/a 760 800 15,500 n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a 1,140 800 0 n/a mstockstill on DSKH9S0YB1PROD with RULES 1 Pursuant to § 679.20(a)(5)(i)(A), the BS subarea pollock, after subtraction for the CDQ DFA (10 percent) and the ICA (3 percent), is allocated as a DFA as follows: inshore sector—50 percent, catcher/processor sector (C/P)—40 percent, and mothership sector—10 percent. In the BS subarea, 40 percent of the DFA is allocated to the A season (January 20–June 10) and 60 percent of the DFA is allocated to the B season (June 10–November 1). Pursuant to § 679.20(a)(5)(iii)(B)(2)(i) and (ii), the annual AI pollock TAC, after subtracting first for the CDQ directed fishing allowance (10 percent) and second the ICA (1,600 mt), is allocated to the Aleut Corporation for a directed pollock fishery. In the AI subarea, the A season is allocated 40 percent of the ABC and the B season is allocated the remainder of the directed pollock fishery. 2 In the BS subarea, no more than 28 percent of each sector’s annual DFA may be taken from the SCA before April 1. The remaining 12 percent of the annual DFA allocated to the A season may be taken outside of SCA before April 1 or inside the SCA after April 1. If less than 28 percent of the annual DFA is taken inside the SCA before April 1, the remainder will be available to be taken inside the SCA after April 1. 3 Pursuant to § 679.20(a)(5)(i)(A)(4), not less than 8.5 percent of the DFA allocated to listed C/Ps shall be available for harvest only by eligible catcher vessels delivering to listed C/Ps. 4 Pursuant to § 679.20(a)(5)(i)(A)(4)(iii), the AFA unlisted C/Ps are limited to harvesting not more than 0.5 percent of the C/Ps sector’s allocation of pollock. 5 Pursuant to § 679.20(a)(5)(i)(A)(6), NMFS establishes an excessive harvesting share limit equal to 17.5 percent of the sum of the non-CDQ pollock DFAs. 6 Pursuant to § 679.20(a)(5)(i)(A)(7), NMFS establishes an excessive processing share limit equal to 30.0 percent of the sum of the non-CDQ pollock DFAs. 7 The Bogoslof District is closed by the final harvest specifications to directed fishing for pollock. The amounts specified are for ICA only and are not apportioned by season or sector. Note: Seasonal or sector apportionments may not total precisely due to rounding. Allocation of the Atka Mackerel TACs Section 679.20(a)(8) 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 nontrawl gear (Table 4). The process for allocation of the ITAC for Atka mackerel to the Amendment 80 and BSAI trawl limited access sectors is listed in Table 33 to part 679 and § 679.91. Pursuant to § 679.20(a)(8)(i), up to 2 percent of the EAI and the BS 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, VerDate Mar<15>2010 18:07 Feb 28, 2011 Jkt 223001 and NMFS approves, a 0.5 percent allocation of the Atka mackerel ITAC in the EAI and BS subarea to the jig gear in 2011 and 2012. This percentage is applied after subtraction of the CDQ reserve and the ICA. The RPA implemented on January 1, 2011, (FR 75 77535, December 13, 2010, and 75 FR 81921, December 29, 2010), requires that NMFS make several changes from the proposed to the final harvest specifications for BSAI Atka mackerel. The platoon management of Atka mackerel harvest inside the harvest limit area is no longer needed because the RPA prohibits all retention of Atka mackerel in Area 543 and requires that nearly all directed fishing for Atka mackerel in waters 0 nm to 20 nm around Steller sea lion sites in Area 542. PO 00000 Frm 00071 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 The harvest limit area limits that were in the proposed harvest specification therefore have been removed from the final harvest specifications in Areas 542 and 543. The TACs in these two areas, which were set to ABC, decreased from the proposed amounts. In area 543, the final amount is set to account for discards in other fisheries since the RPA at § 679.7(a)(19) prohibits retention in Area 543. Also the final Area 542 TAC decreased from the proposed TAC since the RPA at § 679.20(a)(8)(ii)(C)(3) limits the annual TAC for this area to no more than 47 percent of the Area 542 ABC. Section 679.20(a)(8)(ii)(A) apportions the Atka mackerel ITAC into two equal seasonal allowances. The RPA changed the end of the A season and start of the B season dates at § 679.23(e)(3). The first E:\FR\FM\01MRR1.SGM 01MRR1 11146 Federal Register / Vol. 76, No. 40 / Tuesday, March 1, 2011 / Rules and Regulations seasonal allowance is made available for directed fishing with trawl gear from January 20 to June 10 (A season), and the second seasonal allowance is made available from June to November 1 (B season). Also, § 679.23(e)(4)(iii) the RPA applies Atka mackerel seasons to CDQ Atka mackerel fishing. The jig gear allocation is not apportioned by season. Section 679.20(a)(8)(ii)(C)(ii)(2) requires the Amendment 80 cooperatives and CDQ groups to limit harvest to 10 percent of their Central Aleutian District Atka mackerel allocation equally divided between the A and B seasons within waters 10 nm to 20 nm of Gramp Rock and Tag Island, as described on Table 12 to part 679. Vessels not fishing under the authority of an Amendment 80 cooperative quota or CDQ allocation are prohibited from conducting directed fishing for Atka mackerel inside Steller sea lion critical habitat in the Central Aleutian District. Table 4 lists these 2011 and 2012 Atka mackerel season and area allowances, as well as the sector allocations. The 2012 allocations for Atka mackerel between Amendment 80 cooperatives and the Amendment 80 limited access sector will not be known until eligible participants apply for participation in the program by November 1, 2011. TABLE 4—FINAL 2011 AND 2012 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] 2011 allocation by area Eastern Aleutian District/Bering Sea Sector 1 Season 2, 3, 4 TAC ........................................... CDQ reserve ............................. n/a ............................ Total ......................... A ............................... Critical habitat 5 ........ B ............................... Critical habitat 5 ........ Total ......................... Total ......................... Total ......................... A ............................... B ............................... Total ......................... A ............................... B ............................... Total ......................... A ............................... Critical habitat 5 ........ B ............................... Critical habitat 5 ........ Total ......................... A ............................... Critical habitat 5 ........ B ............................... Critical habitat 5 ........ ICA ............................................. Jig 6 ............................................ BSAI trawl limited access .......... Amendment 80 sectors ............. Alaska Groundfish Cooperative Alaska Seafood Cooperative ..... 40,300 4,312 2,156 n/a 2,156 n/a 75 180 2,859 1,429 1,429 32,875 16,437 16,437 19,181 9,591 n/a 9,591 n/a 13,694 6,847 n/a 6,847 n/a Central Aleutian District 5 2012 allocation by area Western Aleutian District 11,280 1,207 603 60 603 60 75 0 800 400 400 9,198 4,599 4,599 5,389 2,695 269 2,695 269 3,809 1,904 190 1,904 190 Eastern Aleutian District/Bering Sea 1,500 161 80 n/a 80 n/a 40 0 0 0 0 1,300 650 650 755 377 n/a 377 n/a 545 272 n/a 272 n/a 36,800 3,938 1,969 n/a 1,969 n/a 75 164 3,262 1,631 1,631 29,361 14,681 14,681 n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a Central Aleutian District 5 10,293 1,101 551 55 551 55 75 0 912 456 456 8,205 4,102 4,102 n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a Western Aleutian District 1,500 161 80 n/a 80 n/a 40 0 0 0 0 1,300 650 650 n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a 1 Section 679.20(a)(8)(ii) allocates the Atka mackerel TACs, after subtraction of the CDQ reserves, jig gear allocation, and ICAs to the Amendment 80 and BSAI trawl limited access sectors. The allocation of the ITAC for Atka mackerel to the Amendment 80 and BSAI trawl limited access sectors is established in Table 33 to part 679 and § 679.91. The CDQ reserve is 10.7 percent of the TAC for use by CDQ participants (see §§ 679.20(b)(1)(ii)(C) and 679.31). 2 Sections 679.20(a)(8)(ii)(A) and 679.22(a) establish temporal and spatial limitations for the Atka mackerel fishery. 3 The seasonal allowances of Atka mackerel are 50 percent in the A season and 50 percent in the B season. 4 Section 679.23(e)(3) authorizes directed fishing for Atka mackerel with trawl gear during the A season from January 20 to June 10 and the B season from June 10 to November 1. 5 Section 679.20(a)(8)(ii)(C) requires the TAC in area 542 shall be no more than 47% of ABC, and Atka mackerel harvests for Amendment 80 cooperatives and CDQ groups within waters 10 nm to 20 nm of Gramp Rock and Tag Island, as described Table 12 to part 679, in Area 542 are limited to no more than 10 percent of the Amendment 80 cooperative Atka mackerel allocation or 10 percent of the CDQ Atka mackerel allocation. 6 Section 679.20(a)(8)(i) requires that up to 2 percent of the Eastern Aleutian District and the Bering Sea subarea TAC be allocated to jig gear after subtraction of the CDQ reserve and ICA. The amount of this allocation is 0.5 percent. The jig gear allocation is not apportioned by season. Note: Seasonal or sector apportionments may not total precisely due to rounding. mstockstill on DSKH9S0YB1PROD with RULES Allocation of the Pacific Cod ITAC Section 679.20(a)(7)(i) and (ii) allocates the Pacific cod TAC in the BSAI, after subtraction of 10.7 percent for the CDQ reserve, as follows: 1.4 percent to vessels using jig gear; 2.0 percent to hook-and-line and pot CVs less than 60 ft (18.3 m) length overall (LOA); 0.2 percent to hook-and-line CVs greater than or equal to 60 ft (18.3 m) VerDate Mar<15>2010 19:17 Feb 28, 2011 Jkt 223001 LOA; 48.7 percent to hook-and-line C/P; 8.4 percent to pot CVs greater than or equal to 60 ft (18.3 m) LOA; 1.5 percent to pot C/Ps; 2.3 percent to AFA trawl C/Ps; 13.4 percent to non-AFA trawl C/Ps; and 22.1 percent to trawl CVs. 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 PO 00000 Frm 00072 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 sectors. For 2011 and 2012, the Regional Administrator establishes an ICA of 500 mt based on anticipated incidental catch by these sectors in other fisheries. The allocation of the ITAC for Pacific cod to the Amendment 80 sector is established in Table 33 to part 679 and § 679.91. The 2012 allocations for Pacific cod between Amendment 80 cooperatives and the Amendment 80 limited access E:\FR\FM\01MRR1.SGM 01MRR1 Federal Register / Vol. 76, No. 40 / Tuesday, March 1, 2011 / Rules and Regulations sector will not be known until November 1, 2011, the date by which the applicants eligible to apply for participation in the Amendment 80 program must file their application. Amendment 80 applications for 2012 have not yet been submitted to NMFS, thereby preventing NMFS from calculating 2012 allocations. NMFS will post 2012 Amendment 80 allocations when they become available in December 2011. 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 2011 and 2012 Pacific cod TACs are listed in Tables 5a and 5b based on the sector allocation percentages of Pacific cod set forth at §§ 679.20(a)(7)(i)(B) and 11147 679.20(a)(7)(iv)(A); and the seasonal allowances of Pacific cod set forth at § 679.23(e)(5). The RPA implemented on January 1, 2011 (75 FR 77535, December 13, 2010), includes two prohibitions for Pacific cod. Section 679.7(a)(19) prohibits retention of Pacific cod in Area 543 and § 679.7(a)(23) prohibits directed fishing for Pacific cod with hook-and-line, pot, or jig gear in the Aleutian Islands subarea November 1 through December 31. TABLE 5a—FINAL 2011 GEAR SHARES AND SEASONAL ALLOWANCES OF THE BSAI PACIFIC COD TAC [Amounts are in metric tons] Gear sector Share of gear sector total Percent Seasonal apportionment Share of sector total Dates Total TAC .......................................... CDQ .................................................. Total hook-and-line/pot gear ............. Hook-and-line/pot ICA 1 .................... Hook-and-line/pot sub-total ............... Hook-and-line catcher/processor ...... 100 10.7 60.8 n/a n/a 48.7 227,950 24,391 123,764 500 123,264 n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a 98,733 Hook-and-line catcher vessel ≥ 60 ft LOA. 0.2 n/a 405 Pot catcher/processor ....................... 1.5 n/a 3,041 Pot catcher vessel ≥ 60 ft LOA ........ 8.4 n/a 17,030 Catcher vessel < 60 ft LOA using hook-and-line or pot gear. Trawl catcher vessel ......................... 2 n/a 4,055 22.1 44,987 n/a AFA trawl catcher/processor ............. 2.3 4,682 n/a Amendment 80 .................................. 13.4 27,277 n/a Alaska Groundfish Cooperative ........ n/a n/a 5,079 Alaska Seafood Cooperative ............ n/a n/a 22,198 Jig ...................................................... 1.4 2,850 n/a n/a see n/a see n/a Jan Jun Jan Amount .................................................... § 679.20(a)(7)(i)(B) .................... .................................................... § 679.20(a)(7)(ii)(B) ................... .................................................... 1–Jun 10 ................................... 10–Dec 31 ................................. 1–Jun 10 ................................... n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a 50,354 48,379 207 Jun 10–Dec 31 ................................. Jan 1–Jun 10 ................................... Sept 1–Dec 31 ................................. Jan 1–Jun 10 ................................... Sept 1–Dec 31 ................................. n/a .................................................... 199 1,551 1,490 8,685 8,345 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 ................................ 33,290 4,949 6,748 3,511 1,170 0 20,458 6,819 0 3,809 1,270 0 16,649 5,550 0 1,710 570 570 1 The ICA for the hook-and-line and pot sectors will be deducted from the aggregate portion of Pacific cod TAC allocated to the hook-and-line and pot sectors. The Regional Administrator approves an ICA of 500 mt based on anticipated incidental catch in these fisheries. Note: Seasonal or sector apportionments may not total precisely due to rounding. TABLE 5b—FINAL 2012 GEAR SHARES AND SEASONAL ALLOWANCES OF THE BSAI PACIFIC COD TAC [Amounts are in metric tons] mstockstill on DSKH9S0YB1PROD with RULES Gear sector Total TAC .............................................................. CDQ ...................................................................... Total hook-and-line/pot gear ................................. Hook-and-line/pot ICA 1 ........................................ Hook-and-line/pot sub-total ................................... Hook-and-line catcher/processor .......................... VerDate Mar<15>2010 19:17 Feb 28, 2011 Share of gear sector total Percent Jkt 223001 PO 00000 100 10.7 60.8 n/a n/a 48.7 Frm 00073 Fmt 4700 229,608 24,568 124,664 500 124,164 n/a Sfmt 4700 Seasonal apportionment 2 3 Share of sector total n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a 99,454 Dates n/a ................................. see § 679.20(a)(7)(i)(B) n/a ................................. see § 679.20(a)(7)(ii)(B) n/a ................................. Jan 1–Jun 10 ................ Jun 10–Dec 31 ............. E:\FR\FM\01MRR1.SGM 01MRR1 Amount n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a 50,722 48,732 11148 Federal Register / Vol. 76, No. 40 / Tuesday, March 1, 2011 / Rules and Regulations TABLE 5b—FINAL 2012 GEAR SHARES AND SEASONAL ALLOWANCES OF THE BSAI PACIFIC COD TAC—Continued [Amounts are in metric tons] Gear sector Share of gear sector total Percent Seasonal apportionment 2 3 Share of sector total Hook-and-line catcher vessel ≥ 60 ft LOA ........... 0.2 n/a 408 Pot catcher/processor ........................................... 1.5 n/a 3,063 Pot catcher vessel ≥ 60 ft LOA ............................ 8.4 n/a 17,154 Catcher vessel < 60 ft LOA using hook-and-line or pot gear. Trawl catcher vessel ............................................. 2 n/a 4,084 22.1 45,314 n/a AFA trawl catcher/processor ................................ 2.3 4,716 n/a Amendment 80 ..................................................... 13.4 27,475 n/a Amendment 80 limited access 2 ........................... n/a n/a see footnote 2 Amendment 80 cooperatives 2 .............................. n/a n/a see footnote 2 Jig ......................................................................... 1.4 2,871 n/a Dates Amount 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 ................................. 208 200 1,562 1,501 8,749 8,406 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 ............ 33,532 4,985 6,797 3,537 1,179 0 20,607 6,869 0 75% 25% 0 75% 25% 0 1,722 574 574 1 The ICA for the hook-and-line and pot sectors will be deducted from the aggregate portion of Pacific cod TAC allocated to the hook-and-line and pot sectors. The Regional Administrator approves an ICA of 500 mt based on anticipated incidental catch in these fisheries. 2 The 2012 allocations for Amendment 80 species between Amendment 80 cooperatives and the Amendment 80 limited access sector will not be known November 1, 2011, the date by which the applicants eligible to apply for participation in the Amendment 80 program must file their application. Note: Seasonal or sector apportionments may not total precisely due to rounding. Sablefish Gear Allocation Sections 679.20(a)(4)(iii) and (iv) require the allocation of sablefish TACs for the BS and AI subareas between trawl and hook-and-line or pot gear. Gear allocations of the TACs for the BS subarea are 50 percent for trawl gear and 50 percent for hook-and-line or pot gear. Gear allocations of the TACs 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 from the nonspecified reserves, established under § 679.20(b)(1)(i), to the CDQ reserve. The Council recommended that only trawl sablefish TAC be established biennially. This is because the harvest specifications for the hook-and-line gear and pot gear sablefish Individual Fishing Quota (IFQ) fisheries will be limited to the 2011 fishing year to ensure those fisheries are conducted concurrently with the halibut IFQ fishery. Concurrent sablefish and halibut IFQ fisheries reduce the potential for discards of halibut and sablefish in those fisheries. The sablefish IFQ fisheries will remain closed at the beginning of each fishing year until the final specifications for the sablefish IFQ fisheries are in effect. Table 6 lists the 2011 and 2012 gear allocations of the sablefish TAC and CDQ reserve amounts. TABLE 6—FINAL 2011 AND 2012 GEAR SHARES AND CDQ RESERVE OF BSAI SABLEFISH TACS [Amounts are in metric tons] Percent of TAC Subarea and gear mstockstill on DSKH9S0YB1PROD with RULES Bering Sea: Trawl 1 ............................................... Hook-and-line/pot gear 2 ................... 18:07 Feb 28, 2011 Jkt 223001 2011 ITAC 2011 CDQ reserve 2012 Share of TAC 2012 ITAC 2012 CDQ reserve 50 50 1,211 1,140 107 285 1,305 n/a 1,109 n/a 98 n/a 2,850 2,351 392 1,305 1,109 98 25 75 PO 00000 1,425 1,425 100 Total ........................................... Aleutian Islands: Trawl 1 ............................................... Hook-and-line/pot gear 2 ................... VerDate Mar<15>2010 2011 Share of TAC 475 1,425 404 1,140 36 285 435 n/a 370 n/a 33 n/a Frm 00074 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 E:\FR\FM\01MRR1.SGM 01MRR1 11149 Federal Register / Vol. 76, No. 40 / Tuesday, March 1, 2011 / Rules and Regulations TABLE 6—FINAL 2011 AND 2012 GEAR SHARES AND CDQ RESERVE OF BSAI SABLEFISH TACS—Continued [Amounts are in metric tons] Percent of TAC Subarea and gear Total ........................................... 2011 Share of TAC 100 1,900 2011 ITAC 2011 CDQ reserve 1,544 2012 Share of TAC 321 2012 CDQ reserve 2012 ITAC 435 370 33 1 Except for the sablefish hook-and-line or pot gear allocation, 15 percent of TAC is apportioned to the reserve. The ITAC is the remainder of the TAC after the subtraction of these reserves. 2 For the portion of the sablefish TAC allocated to vessels using hook-and-line or pot gear, 20 percent of the allocated TAC is reserved for use by CDQ participants. The Council recommended that specifications for the hook-and-line gear sablefish IFQ fisheries be limited to one year. Allocation of the AI Pacific Ocean Perch, and BSAI Flathead Sole, Rock Sole, and Yellowfin Sole TACs Sections 679.20(a)(10)(i) and (ii) require the allocation between the Amendment 80 sector and BSAI trawl limited access sector for AI Pacific ocean perch, and BSAI flathead sole, rock sole, and yellowfin sole TACs, after subtraction of 10.7 percent for the CDQ reserve and an ICA for the BSAI trawl limited access sector and vessels using non-trawl gear. The allocation of the ITAC for AI Pacific ocean perch, and BSAI flathead sole, rock sole, and yellowfin sole to the Amendment 80 sector is established in accordance with Tables 33 and 34 to part 679 and § 679.91. The 2012 allocations for Amendment 80 species between Amendment 80 cooperatives and limited access sector will not be known until November 1, 2011, the date by which the applicants eligible to apply for participation in the Amendment 80 program must file their application. Amendment 80 applications for 2012 have not yet been submitted to NMFS, thereby preventing NMFS from calculating 2012 allocations. NMFS will post 2012 Amendment 80 allocations when they become available in December, 2011. Table 7a and 7b lists the 2011 and 2012 allocations of the AI Pacific ocean perch, and BSAI flathead sole, rock sole, and yellowfin sole TACs. TABLE 7a—FINAL 2011 COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT QUOTA (CDQ) RESERVES, INCIDENTAL CATCH AMOUNTS (ICAS), AND AMENDMENT 80 ALLOCATIONS OF THE ALEUTIAN ISLANDS PACIFIC OCEAN PERCH, AND BSAI FLATHEAD SOLE, ROCK SOLE, AND YELLOWFIN SOLE TACS [Amounts are in metric tons] Pacific ocean perch Sector Eastern Aleutian District TAC .............................................. CDQ ............................................. ICA ............................................... BSAI trawl limited access ............ Amendment 80 ............................. Alaska Groundfish Cooperative ... Alaska Seafood Cooperative ....... Central Aleutian District 5,660 606 100 495 4,459 2,364 2,095 Flathead sole Rock sole Yellowfin sole BSAI BSAI BSAI Western Aleutian District 4,960 531 75 435 3,919 2,078 1,841 8,370 896 10 149 7,315 3,879 3,436 41,548 4,446 5,000 0 32,102 6,269 25,833 85,000 9,095 5,000 0 70,905 19,902 51,003 196,000 20,972 2,000 34,153 138,875 58,948 79,926 Note: Sector apportionments may not total precisely due to rounding. TABLE 7b—FINAL 2012 COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT QUOTA (CDQ) RESERVES, INCIDENTAL CATCH AMOUNTS (ICAS), AND AMENDMENT 80 ALLOCATIONS OF THE ALEUTIAN ISLANDS PACIFIC OCEAN PERCH, AND BSAI FLATHEAD SOLE, ROCK SOLE, AND YELLOWFIN SOLE TACS [Amounts are in metric tons] Pacific ocean perch Sector Eastern Aleutian District mstockstill on DSKH9S0YB1PROD with RULES TAC .............................................. CDQ ............................................. ICA ............................................... BSAI trawl limited access ............ Amendment 80 1 .......................... Central Aleutian District 5,660 606 100 495 4,459 Flathead sole Rock sole Yellowfin sole BSAI BSAI BSAI Western Aleutian District 4,960 531 75 435 3,919 8,370 896 10 149 7,315 41,548 4,446 5,000 0 32,102 85,000 9,095 5,000 0 70,905 197,660 21,150 2,000 34,746 139,764 1 The 2012 allocations for Amendment 80 species between Amendment 80 cooperatives and the Amendment 80 limited access sector will not be known until November 1, 2011, the date by which the applicants eligible to apply for participation in the Amendment 80 program must file their application. Note: Sector apportionments may not total precisely due to rounding. 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) VerDate Mar<15>2010 18:07 Feb 28, 2011 Jkt 223001 and (e)(2), the 2011 and 2012 BSAI halibut mortality limits are 3,675 mt for trawl fisheries and 900 mt for the nontrawl fisheries. Sections PO 00000 Frm 00075 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 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 E:\FR\FM\01MRR1.SGM 01MRR1 mstockstill on DSKH9S0YB1PROD with RULES 11150 Federal Register / Vol. 76, No. 40 / Tuesday, March 1, 2011 / Rules and Regulations limit as the PSQ reserve for use by the groundfish CDQ program. Section 679.21(e)(4)(i) authorizes the apportionment of the non-trawl halibut PSC limit into PSC bycatch allowances among six fishery categories. Table 8c lists the fishery bycatch allowances for the trawl and non-trawl fisheries. Pursuant to section 3.6 of the BSAI FMP, the Council recommends, and NMFS agrees, that certain specified nontrawl fisheries be exempt from the halibut PSC limit. As in past years after consultation with the Council, NMFS exempts pot gear, jig gear, and the sablefish IFQ hook-and-line gear fishery categories from halibut bycatch restrictions for the following reasons: (1) The pot gear fisheries have low halibut bycatch mortality; (2) NMFS estimates halibut mortality for the jig gear fleet to be negligible because of the small size of the fishery and the selectivity of the gear; 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 2010, total groundfish catch for the pot gear fishery in the BSAI was approximately 23,028 mt, with an associated halibut bycatch mortality of about 4 mt. The 2010 jig gear fishery harvested about 344 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, as mentioned above, NMFS estimates a negligible amount of halibut bycatch mortality because of the selective nature of jig gear and the low mortality rate of halibut caught with jig gear and released. In January 2011, NMFS implemented Amendment 91 to the FMP, § 679.21(f)(2), to annually allocate portions of either 47,591 or 60,000 Chinook salmon PSC among the AFA sectors depending upon past catch performance and upon whether or not Chinook salmon bycatch incentive plan agreements are formed. If an AFA sector participates in an approved Chinook salmon bycatch incentive plan agreement, then NMFS will allocate a portion of the 60,000 PSC limit to that sector as specified in § 679.21(f)(3)(iii)(A). If no Chinook salmon bycatch incentive plan agreement is approved, or if the sector has exceeded its performance standard under § 679.21(f)(6), NMFS will allocate VerDate Mar<15>2010 18:07 Feb 28, 2011 Jkt 223001 a portion of the 47,591 Chinook salmon PSC limit to that sector as specified in § 679.21(f)(3)(iii)(B). In 2011, the Chinook salmon PSC limit is 60,000 and the AFA sector Chinook salmon allocations are seasonally allocated with 70 percent of the allocation for the A season pollock fishery, and 30 percent of the allocation for the B season pollock fishery as stated in § 679.21(f)(3)(iii)(A). The basis for these PSC limits is described in detail in the final rule implementing management measures for Amendment 91 (75 FR 53026, August 30, 2010). NMFS publishes the approved Chinook salmon bycatch incentive plan agreements, 2011 allocations and reports at: http:// alaskafisheries.noaa.gov/ sustainablefisheries/bycatch/ default.htm. Section 679.21(e)(1)(viii) specifies 700 fish as the 2011 and 2012 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 2011 and 2012 nonChinook salmon PSC limit. Section 679.21(e)(3)(i)(A)(3)(ii) allocates 10.7 percent, or 4,494 non-Chinook salmon, as the PSQ for the CDQ program and allocates the remaining 37,506 nonChinook salmon to the non-CDQ fisheries. PSC limits for crab and herring are specified annually based on abundance and spawning biomass. Pursuant to § 679.21(e)(3)(i)(A)(1), 10.7 percent from each trawl gear PSC limit specified for crab is allocated as a PSQ reserve for use by the groundfish CDQ program. Based on the 2010 survey data, the red king crab mature female abundance is estimated at 31.5 million red king crabs, and the effective spawning biomass is estimated at 67.4 million lb. Based on the criteria set out at § 679.21(e)(1)(i), the 2011 and 2012 PSC limit of red king crab in Zone 1 for trawl gear is 197,000 animals. This limit derives from the mature female abundance of more than 8.4 million king crab and the effective spawning biomass estimate of more than 55 million lb (24,948 mt). Section 679.21(e)(3)(ii)(B)(2) establishes criteria under which NMFS must specify an annual red king crab bycatch limit for the Red King Crab Savings Subarea (RKCSS). The regulations limit the RKCSS to up to 25 percent of the red king crab PSC limit based on the need to optimize the PO 00000 Frm 00076 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 groundfish harvest relative to red king crab bycatch. In December 2010, the Council recommended that the red king crab bycatch limit be equal to 25 percent of the red king crab PSC limit within the RKCSS (Table 8b). NMFS concurs in the Council’s recommendation. Based on 2010 survey data, Tanner crab (Chionoecetes bairdi) abundance is estimated at 379 million animals. Pursuant to criteria set out at § 679.21(e)(1)(ii), the calculated 2011 and 2012 C. bairdi crab PSC limit for trawl gear is 830,000 animals in Zone 1 and 2,520,000 animals in Zone 2. These limits are derived from the C. bairdi crab abundance estimate being in excess of the 270 million animals for the Zone 1 allocation and 290 million animals for the Zone 2 allocation, but less than 400 million animals for both Zone allocations. 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 BS abundance index minus 150,000 crab if left unadjusted. However, if the abundance is less than 4.5 million animals, the minimum PSC limit will be 4,350,000 animals pursuant to § 679.21(e)(1)(iii)(A) and (B). Based on the 2010 survey estimate of 7.467 billion animals, the calculated limit is 8,310,480 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 BS herring biomass. The best estimate of 2011 and 2012 herring biomass is 227,269 mt. This amount was derived using 2010 survey data and an age-structured biomass projection model developed by the Alaska Department of Fish and Game. Therefore, the herring PSC limit for 2011 and 2012 is 2,273 mt for all trawl gear as presented in Tables 8a and b. Section 679.21(e)(3)(A) requires PSQ reserves to be subtracted from the total trawl PSC limits. The amounts of 2011 PSC limits assigned to the Amendment 80 and BSAI trawl limited access sectors are specified in Table 35 to part 679. The resulting allocation of PSC limit to CDQ PSQ, the Amendment 80 sector, and the BSAI trawl limited access fisheries are listed in Table 8a. Pursuant to § 679.21(e)(1)(iv) and § 679.91(d) through (f), crab and halibut trawl PSC limits assigned to the Amendment 80 sector are then further allocated to Amendment 80 cooperatives as PSC cooperative quota (CQ) as listed in Table 8d. PSC CQ assigned to Amendment 80 cooperatives is not allocated to specific fishery categories. In 2011, there are no E:\FR\FM\01MRR1.SGM 01MRR1 11151 Federal Register / Vol. 76, No. 40 / Tuesday, March 1, 2011 / Rules and Regulations vessels in the Amendment 80 limited access sector. NMFS will not know the 2012 PSC allocations between Amendment 80 cooperatives and the Amendment 80 limited access sector until November 1, 2011, the date by which the applicants eligible to apply for participation in the Amendment 80 program must file their application. Section 679.21(e)(3)(i)(B) requires the apportionment of each trawl PSC limit not assigned to Amendment 80 cooperatives into PSC bycatch allowances for seven specified fishery categories. Section 679.21(e)(5) authorizes NMFS, after consultation with the Council, to establish seasonal apportionments of PSC amounts for the BSAI trawl limited access and Amendment 80 limited access sectors in order to maximize the ability of the fleet to harvest the available groundfish TAC and to minimize bycatch. The factors to be considered are (1) Seasonal distribution of prohibited species; (2) seasonal distribution of target groundfish species; (3) PSC bycatch needs on a seasonal basis relevant to prohibited species biomass; (4) expected variations in bycatch rates throughout the year; (5) expected start of fishing effort; and (6) economic effects of seasonal PSC apportionments on industry sectors. The Council recommended and NMFS approves the seasonal PSC apportionments in Table 8c to maximize harvest among gear types, fisheries, and seasons while minimizing bycatch of PSC based on the above criteria. TABLE 8a—FINAL 2011 AND 2012 APPORTIONMENT OF PROHIBITED SPECIES CATCH ALLOWANCES TO NON-TRAWL GEAR, THE CDQ PROGRAM, AMENDMENT 80, AND THE BSAI TRAWL LIMITED ACCESS SECTORS Non-trawl PSC remaining after CDQ PSQ 1 Total nontrawl PSC PSC species Halibut mortality (mt) BSAI ............................... Herring (mt) BSAI .............................................. Red king crab (animals) Zone 1 2 ..................... C. opilio (animals) COBLZ 2 .............................. C. bairdi crab (animals) Zone 1 2 ...................... C. bairdi crab (animals) Zone 2 2 ...................... 900 n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a Trawl PSC remaining after CDQ PSQ 1 Total trawl PSC 832 n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a 3,675 2,273 197,000 8,310,480 830,000 2,520,000 3,349 n/a 175,921 7,421,259 741,190 2,250,360 Amendment 80 sector CDQ PSQ reserve 1 2011 393 n/a 21,079 889,221 88,810 269,640 BSAI trawl limited access fishery 2012 2,375 n/a 93,432 3,875,381 331,608 565,966 2,325 n/a 87,925 3,647,549 312,115 532,660 875 n/a 53,797 2,385,193 348,285 1,053,394 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. Note: Sector apportionments may not total precisely due to rounding. TABLE 8b—FINAL 2011 AND 2012 HERRING AND RED KING CRAB SAVINGS SUBAREA PROHIBITED SPECIES CATCH ALLOWANCES FOR ALL TRAWL SECTORS Herring (mt) BSAI Fishery categories Red king crab (animals) Zone 1 Yellowfin sole ....................................................................................................................................................... Rock sole/flathead sole/other flatfish 1 ................................................................................................................ Turbot/arrowtooth/sablefish 2 ............................................................................................................................... Rockfish ............................................................................................................................................................... Pacific cod ........................................................................................................................................................... Midwater trawl pollock ......................................................................................................................................... Pollock/Atka mackerel/other species 3, 4 .............................................................................................................. Red king crab savings subarea non-pelagic trawl gear 5 .................................................................................... 195 33 16 12 33 1,737 247 n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a 49,250 Total trawl PSC ............................................................................................................................................ 2,273 197,000 1 ‘‘Other flatfish’’ for PSC monitoring includes all flatfish species, except for halibut (a prohibited species), arrowtooth flounder, flathead sole, Greenland turbot, Kamchatka flounder, rock sole, and yellowfin sole. 2 ‘‘Arrowtooth flounder’’ for PSC monitoring includes Kamchatka flounder. 3 Pollock other than pelagic trawl pollock, Atka mackerel, and ‘‘other species’’ fishery category. 4 ‘‘Other species’’ for PSC monitoring includes octopuses, sculpins, sharks, and skates. 5 In December 2010, 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)). TABLE 8c—FINAL 2011 AND 2012 PROHIBITED SPECIES BYCATCH ALLOWANCES FOR THE BSAI TRAWL LIMITED ACCESS SECTOR AND NON-TRAWL FISHERIES Prohibited species and area 1 mstockstill on DSKH9S0YB1PROD with RULES BSAI trawl limited access fisheries Halibut mortality (mt) BSAI Yellowfin sole ................................................... Rock sole/flathead sole/other flatfish 2 ............. Turbot/arrowtooth/sablefish 3 ........................... Rockfish April 15–December 31 ...................... Pacific cod ........................................................ Pollock/Atka mackerel/other species 4 ............. Total BSAI trawl limited access PSC .............. VerDate Mar<15>2010 18:07 Feb 28, 2011 Jkt 223001 PO 00000 Red king crab (animals) Zone 1 167 0 0 5 453 250 875 Frm 00077 Fmt 4700 47,397 0 0 0 6,000 400 53,797 Sfmt 4700 C. opilio (animals) COBLZ C. bairdi (animals) Zone 1 2,247,640 0 0 3,821 95,523 38,209 2,385,193 E:\FR\FM\01MRR1.SGM 01MRR1 293,234 0 0 0 50,816 4,235 348,285 Zone 2 1,005,879 0 0 849 42,424 4,242 1,053,394 11152 Federal Register / Vol. 76, No. 40 / Tuesday, March 1, 2011 / Rules and Regulations Non-trawl fisheries Catcher/ processor Pacific cod—Total ......................................... January 1–June 10 ....................................... June 10–August 15 ...................................... August 15–December 31 .............................. Catcher vessel 760 455 190 115 Other non-trawl—Total ................................. May 1—December 31 .................................. Groundfish pot and jig .................................. Sablefish hook-and-line ................................ Total non-trawl PSC ..................................... 15 10 3 2 58 58 Exempt Exempt 833 1 Refer to § 679.2 for definitions of areas. flatfish’’ for PSC monitoring includes all flatfish species, except for halibut (a prohibited species), flathead sole, Greenland turbot, rock sole, yellowfin sole, Kamchatka flounder, and arrowtooth flounder. 3 Arrowtooth flounder for PSC monitoring includes Kamchatka flounder. 4 ‘‘Other species’’ for PSC monitoring includes octopuses, sculpins, sharks, and skates. 2 ‘‘Other TABLE 8d–FINAL 2011 PROHIBITED SPECIES BYCATCH ALLOWANCE FOR THE BSAI AMENDMENT 80 COOPERATIVES Prohibited species and zones 1 Cooperative Halibut mortality (mt) BSAI Alaska Seafood Cooperative ................................. Alaska Groundfish Cooperative ............................. Red king crab (animals) Zone 1 1,643 732 C. opilio (animals) COBLZ 63,631 29,801 2,502,043 1,373,339 C. bairdi (animals) Zone 1 233,442 98,167 Zone 2 390,500 175,465 1 Refer to § 679.2 for definitions of zones. Note: Sector apportionments may not total precisely due to rounding. Halibut Discard Mortality Rates (DMR) To monitor halibut bycatch mortality allowances and apportionments, the Regional Administrator uses observed halibut bycatch rates, DMRs, and estimates of groundfish catch to project when a fishery’s halibut bycatch mortality allowance or seasonal apportionment is reached. The DMRs are based on the best information available, including information contained in the annual SAFE report. NMFS approves the halibut DMRs developed and recommended by the IPHC and the Council for the 2011 and 2012 BSAI groundfish fisheries for use in monitoring the 2011 and 2012 halibut bycatch allowances (see Tables 8a–d). The IPHC developed these DMRs for the 2010 and 2012 BSAI fisheries using the 10-year mean 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. The document justifying these DMRs is available in Appendix 2 in the final 2010 SAFE report dated November 2010 (see ADDRESSES). Table 9 lists the 2011 and 2012 DMRs. TABLE 9—FINAL 2011 AND 2012 PACIFIC HALIBUT DISCARD MORTALITY RATES FOR THE BSAI Halibut discard mortality rate (percent) Gear Fishery 1 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 2 ............................................................................. Pacific cod .................................................................................... Atka mackerel ............................................................................... Greenland turbot ........................................................................... Flathead sole ................................................................................ mstockstill on DSKH9S0YB1PROD with RULES Non-CDQ trawl ............................................................................. Non-CDQ Pot ............................................................................... CDQ trawl ..................................................................................... VerDate Mar<15>2010 18:07 Feb 28, 2011 Jkt 223001 PO 00000 Frm 00078 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 E:\FR\FM\01MRR1.SGM 01MRR1 11 10 10 9 76 76 74 67 73 89 72 71 71 81 82 75 81 8 8 85 88 84 11153 Federal Register / Vol. 76, No. 40 / Tuesday, March 1, 2011 / Rules and Regulations TABLE 9—FINAL 2011 AND 2012 PACIFIC HALIBUT DISCARD MORTALITY RATES FOR THE BSAI—Continued Halibut discard mortality rate (percent) Fishery 1 Gear CDQ hook-and-line ....................................................................... CDQ pot ........................................................................................ Non-pelagic pollock ...................................................................... Pacific cod .................................................................................... Pelagic pollock .............................................................................. Rockfish ........................................................................................ Rock sole ...................................................................................... Yellowfin sole ................................................................................ Greenland turbot ........................................................................... Pacific cod .................................................................................... Pacific cod .................................................................................... Sablefish ....................................................................................... 85 90 90 84 87 85 4 10 8 32 1 Arrowtooth 2 ‘‘Other flounder includes Kamchatka flounder. species’’ includes octopuses, sculpins, sharks, and skates. Directed Fishing Closures In accordance with § 679.20(d)(1)(i), the Regional Administrator may establish a DFA for a species or species group if the Regional Administrator determines that any allocation or apportionment of a target species has been or will be reached. If the Regional Administrator establishes a DFA, and that allowance is or will be reached before the end of the fishing year, NMFS will prohibit directed fishing for that species or species group in the specified subarea or district (see § 697.20(d)(1)(iii)). Similarly, pursuant to § 679.21(e), if the Regional Administrator determines that a fishery category’s bycatch allowance of halibut, red king crab, C. bairdi crab, or C. opilio crab for a specified area has been reached, the Regional Administrator will prohibit directed fishing for each species in that category in the specified area. Based upon historic catch patterns and anticipated fishing activity, the Regional Administrator has determined that the groundfish allocation amounts in Table 10 will be necessary as incidental catch to support other anticipated groundfish fisheries for the 2011 and 2012 fishing years. Consequently, in accordance with § 679.20(d)(1)(i), the Regional Administrator establishes the DFA for the species and species groups in Table 10 as zero. Therefore, in accordance with § 679.20(d)(1)(iii), NMFS is prohibiting directed fishing for these sectors and species in the specified areas effective at 1200 hrs, A.l.t., March 1, 2011, through 2400 hrs, A.l.t., December 31, 2012. Also, for the BSAI trawl limited access sector, bycatch allowances of halibut, red king crab, C. bairdi crab, and C. opilio crab listed in Table 10 are insufficient to support directed fisheries. Therefore, in accordance with § 679.21(e)(7), NMFS is prohibiting directed fishing for these sectors and fishery categories in the specified areas effective at 1200 hrs, A.l.t., March 1, 2011, through 2400 hrs, A.l.t., December 31, 2012. TABLE 10—2011 AND 2012 DIRECTED FISHING CLOSURES 1 [Groundfish and halibut amounts are in metric tons. Crab amounts are in number of animals] 2011 Incidental catch allowance 2012 Incidental catch allowance Pollock ......................................... ICA pollock .................................. ‘‘Other rockfish’’ ........................... ICA Atka mackerel ...................... 150 1,600 425 75 150 1,600 425 75 Rougheye rockfish ...................... 234 240 ICA Pacific ocean perch ............. 100 100 ICA Atka mackerel ...................... 75 75 ICA Pacific ocean perch ............. ICA Atka mackerel ...................... 75 40 75 40 ICA Pacific ocean perch ............. Rougheye rockfish ...................... 10 220 10 225 Pacific ocean perch ..................... ‘‘Other rockfish’’ ........................... ICA pollock .................................. Northern rockfish ......................... Shortraker rockfish ...................... Squids ......................................... Skates ......................................... Sharks ......................................... Octopuses ................................... 4,854 500 45,072 4,000 393 361 14,025 43 128 4,854 500 45,132 4,000 393 361 14,025 43 128 Area Sector Species Bogoslof District ........................... Aleutian Islands subarea ............. All ................................................ All ................................................ Eastern Aleutian District/Bering Sea. Eastern Aleutian District/Bering Sea. Eastern Aleutian District .............. Non-amendment 80 and BSAI trawl limited access. All ................................................ Western Aleutian District ............. mstockstill on DSKH9S0YB1PROD with RULES Central Aleutian District ............... Non-amendment 80 and BSAI trawl limited access. Non-amendment 80 and BSAI trawl limited access. Non-amendment 80 and BSAI trawl limited access. Central and Western Aleutian Districts. Bering Sea subarea ..................... All ................................................ All ................................................ Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands All ................................................ VerDate Mar<15>2010 19:17 Feb 28, 2011 Jkt 223001 PO 00000 Frm 00079 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 E:\FR\FM\01MRR1.SGM 01MRR1 11154 Federal Register / Vol. 76, No. 40 / Tuesday, March 1, 2011 / Rules and Regulations TABLE 10—2011 AND 2012 DIRECTED FISHING CLOSURES 1—Continued [Groundfish and halibut amounts are in metric tons. Crab amounts are in number of animals] Area 2012 Incidental catch allowance Sculpins ....................................... ICA Pacific cod ............................ ICA flathead sole ......................... 10,000 ......................................... ICA yellowfin sole ........................ 4,420 500 5,000 10,000 2,000 4,420 500 5,000 2,000 Rock sole/flathead sole/other flatfish—halibut mortality, red king crab zone 1, C. opilio COBLZ, C. bairdi Zone 1 and 2. Turbot/arrowtooth/sablefish—halibut mortality, red king crab zone 1, C. opilio COBLZ, C. bairdi Zone 1 and 2. Rockfish—red king crab zone 1 .. 0 0 0 0 0 0 Species Hook-and-line and pot gear ........ Non-amendment 80 .................... ICA rock sole ............................... Non-amendment 80 and BSAI trawl limited access. BSAI trawl limited access ........... 1 Maximum 2011 Incidental catch allowance Sector retainable amounts may be found in Table 11 to 50 CFR part 679. Closures implemented under the 2010 and 2011 BSAI harvest specifications for groundfish (75 FR 11778, March 12, 2010) remain effective under authority of these final 2011 and 2012 harvest specifications, and are posted at the following Web sites: http://alaska fisheries.noaa.gov/index/infobulletins/ infobulletins.asp?Yr=2011 and http:// alaskafisheries.noaa.gov/2011/ status.htm. While these closures are in effect, the maximum retainable amounts at § 679.20(e) and (f) apply at any time during a fishing trip. These closures to directed fishing are in addition to closures and prohibitions found in regulations at 50 CFR part 679. Central Gulf of Alaska Rockfish 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 CV BSAI Pacific cod sideboard limits of the Rockfish Program are discussed in detail in the final rule for Amendment 68 to the Fishery Management Plan for Groundfish of the Gulf of Alaska (71 FR 67210, November 20, 2006). Pursuant to § 679.82(d)(6)(i), the CV BSAI Pacific cod sideboard limit is 0.0 mt. Therefore, in accordance with § 679.82(d)(7)(ii), NMFS is prohibiting directed fishing for BSAI Pacific cod in July for CVs under the Rockfish Program sideboard limitations. The Rockfish Program will expire in December 2011. In June 2010, the Council proposed a new program to supersede the existing Rockfish Program by 2012. NMFS is developing rulemaking to implement the Council’s revised program. The revised program, if approved by the Secretary, may affect the harvest specifications for 2012. Listed AFA Catcher/Processor Sideboard Limits Pursuant to § 679.64(a), the Regional Administrator is responsible for restricting the ability of listed AFA C/Ps to engage in directed fishing for groundfish species other than pollock to protect participants in other groundfish fisheries from adverse effects resulting from the AFA and from fishery cooperatives in the directed pollock fishery. The basis for these sideboard limits is described in detail in the final rules implementing the major provisions of the AFA (67 FR 79692, December 30, 2002) and Amendment 80 (72 FR 52668, September 14, 2007). Table 11 lists the 2011 and 2012 C/P sideboard limits. All harvest of groundfish sideboard species by listed AFA C/Ps, whether as targeted catch or incidental catch, will be deducted from the sideboard limits in Table 11. However, groundfish sideboard species that are delivered to listed AFA C/Ps by CVs will not be deducted from the 2011 and 2012 sideboard limits for the listed AFA C/Ps. TABLE 11—FINAL 2011 AND 2012 LISTED BSAI AMERICAN FISHERIES ACT CATCHER/PROCESSOR GROUNDFISH SIDEBOARD LIMITS [Amounts are in metric tons] 1995–1997 Target species mstockstill on DSKH9S0YB1PROD with RULES Sablefish trawl ....................... Atka mackerel ........................ Rock sole ............................... Greenland turbot ................... Arrowtooth flounder ............... Kamchatka flounder .............. Flathead sole ......................... VerDate Mar<15>2010 Area Retained catch BS .......................................... AI ........................................... Central AI A season 2 ............ B season 2 ...................... Western AI A season 2 .......... B season 2 ...................... BSAI ...................................... BS .......................................... AI ........................................... BSAI ...................................... BSAI ...................................... BSAI ...................................... 19:17 Feb 28, 2011 Jkt 223001 PO 00000 Total catch 8 0 n/a n/a n/a n/a 6,317 121 23 76 76 1,925 Frm 00080 Fmt 4700 497 145 n/a n/a n/a n/a 169,362 17,305 4,987 33,987 33,987 52,755 Sfmt 4700 Ratio of retained catch to total catch 0.016 0 0.115 0.115 0.2 0.2 0.037 0.007 0.005 0.002 0.002 0.036 2011 ITAC available to trawl C/Ps 1 2011 AFA C/P side-board limit 1,211 404 5,037 5,037 670 670 75,905 2,975 1,318 22,015 15,045 37,102 E:\FR\FM\01MRR1.SGM 01MRR1 19 0 579 579 134 134 2,808 21 7 44 30 1,336 2012 ITAC available to trawl C/Ps 1 1,109 370 4,596 4,596 670 670 75,905 2,975 1,233 22,015 15,045 37,102 2012 AFA C/P side-board limit 18 0 529 529 134 134 2,808 21 6 44 30 1,336 11155 Federal Register / Vol. 76, No. 40 / Tuesday, March 1, 2011 / Rules and Regulations TABLE 11—FINAL 2011 AND 2012 LISTED BSAI AMERICAN FISHERIES ACT CATCHER/PROCESSOR GROUNDFISH SIDEBOARD LIMITS—Continued [Amounts are in metric tons] 1995–1997 Target species Alaska plaice ......................... Other flatfish .......................... Pacific ocean perch ............... Northern rockfish ................... Shortraker rockfish ................ Rougheye rockfish ................. Other rockfish ........................ Squid ..................................... Skates .................................... Sharks ................................... Octopuses ............................. Sculpins ................................. Area Retained catch BSAI ...................................... BSAI ...................................... BS .......................................... Eastern AI ............................. Central AI .............................. Western AI ............................ BSAI ...................................... BSAI ...................................... EBS/EAI ................................ CAI/WAI ................................. BS .......................................... AI ........................................... BSAI ...................................... BSAI ...................................... BSAI ...................................... BSAI ...................................... BSAI ...................................... Total catch 14 3,058 12 125 3 54 91 50 50 50 18 22 73 553 553 553 553 9,438 52,298 4,879 6,179 5,698 13,598 13,040 2,811 2,811 2,811 621 806 3,328 68,672 68,672 68,672 68,672 Ratio of retained catch to total catch 2011 ITAC available to trawl C/Ps 1 0.001 0.058 0.002 0.02 0.001 0.004 0.007 0.018 0.018 0.018 0.029 0.027 0.022 0.008 0.008 0.008 0.008 2011 AFA C/P sideboard limit 13,600 2,550 4,854 5,054 4,429 7,474 4,000 393 234 220 500 425 361 14,025 43 128 4,420 14 148 10 101 4 30 28 7 4 4 15 11 8 112 0 1 35 2012 ITAC available to trawl C/Ps 1 13,600 2,550 4,854 5,054 4,429 7,474 4,000 393 240 225 500 425 361 14,025 43 128 4,420 2012 AFA C/P sideboard limit 14 148 10 101 4 30 28 7 4 4 15 11 8 112 0 1 35 1 Aleutian Islands Pacific ocean perch, and BSAI Atka mackerel, flathead sole, rock sole, yellowfin sole are multiplied by the remainder of the TAC after the subtraction of the CDQ reserve under § 679.20(b)(1)(ii)(C). 2 The seasonal apportionment of Atka mackerel in the open access fishery is 50 percent in the A season and 50 percent in the B season. Listed AFA catcher/processors are limited to harvesting no more than zero in the Eastern Aleutian District and Bering Sea subarea, 20 percent of the annual ITAC specified for the Western Aleutian District, and 11.5 percent of the annual ITAC specified for the Central Aleutian District. Section 679.64(a)(2) and Tables 40 and 41 of part 679 establish a formula for calculating PSC sideboard limits for listed AFA C/Ps. 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 12 that are caught by listed AFA C/Ps participating in any groundfish fishery other than pollock will accrue against the 2011 and 2012 PSC sideboard limits for the listed AFA C/Ps. Section 679.21(e)(3)(v) authorizes NMFS to close directed fishing for groundfish other than pollock for listed AFA C/Ps once a 2011 or 2012 PSC sideboard limit listed in Table 12 is reached. Crab or halibut PSC caught by listed AFA C/Ps 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 under regulations at § 679.21(e)(3)(iv). TABLE 12—FINAL 2011 AND 2012 BSAI AFA LISTED CATCHER/PROCESSOR PROHIBITED SPECIES SIDEBOARD LIMITS Ratio of PSC catch to total PSC PSC species and area 1 Halibut mortality BSAI .................................................................................................................. Red king crab zone 1 .................................................................................................................. C. opilio (COBLZ) ........................................................................................................................ C. bairdi: Zone 1 .................................................................................................................................. Zone 2 .................................................................................................................................. 1 Refer 2011 and 2012 PSC available to trawl vessels after subtraction of PSQ 2 2011 and 2012 catcher/ processor sideboard limit 2 n/a 0.007 0.153 n/a 175,921 7,421,259 286 1,231 1,135,453 0.14 0.05 741,190 2,250,360 103,767 112,518 to § 679.2 for definitions of areas. amounts are in metric tons of halibut mortality. Crab amounts are in numbers of animals. mstockstill on DSKH9S0YB1PROD with RULES 2 Halibut AFA Catcher Vessel Sideboard Limits Pursuant to § 679.64(a), the Regional Administrator is responsible for restricting the ability of AFA CVs to engage in directed fishing for groundfish species other than pollock to protect participants in other groundfish fisheries from adverse effects resulting from the AFA and from fishery VerDate Mar<15>2010 18:07 Feb 28, 2011 Jkt 223001 cooperatives in the directed pollock fishery. Section 679.64(b) establishes a formula for setting AFA CV 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, PO 00000 Frm 00081 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 September 14, 2007). Tables 13 and 14 list the 2011 and 2012 AFA CV sideboard limits. All catch of groundfish sideboard species made by non-exempt AFA CVs, whether as targeted catch or incidental catch, will be deducted from the 2011 and 2012 sideboard limits listed in Table 13. E:\FR\FM\01MRR1.SGM 01MRR1 11156 Federal Register / Vol. 76, No. 40 / Tuesday, March 1, 2011 / Rules and Regulations TABLE 13—FINAL 2011 AND 2012 AMERICAN FISHERIES ACT CATCHER VESSEL BSAI GROUNDFISH SIDEBOARD LIMITS [Amounts are in metric tons] Ratio of 1995–1997 AFA CV catch to 1995–1997 TAC Species Fishery by area/gear/season Pacific cod ...................................................... 2011 initial TAC 1 0 n/a 0 n/a 0 0.0006 207 0 208 0 0.0006 0.0006 199 8,685 0 5 200 8,749 0 5 0.0006 0.0006 8,345 4,055 5 2 8,406 4,084 5 2 0.8609 33,290 28,659 33,532 28,868 0.8609 0.8609 0.0906 0.0645 0.0032 4,949 6,748 1,211 404 17,994 4,261 5,809 110 26 58 4,985 6,797 1,109 370 16,431 4,292 5,852 100 24 53 0.0032 0.0001 17,994 5,037 58 1 16,431 4,596 53 0 0.0001 0 5,037 n/a 1 0 4,596 n/a 0 0 0 0.0341 0.0645 0.0205 0.069 0.069 0.0441 0.0441 0.0505 0.1 0.0077 0.0025 0 0.0084 0.0037 0.0037 0.0037 0.0048 0.0095 0.3827 0.0541 0.0541 0.0541 0.0541 n/a 75,905 2,975 1,318 22,015 15,045 13,600 2,550 37,102 4,854 5,054 4,429 n/a 4,000 393 234 220 500 425 361 14,025 43 128 4,420 0 2,588 192 27 1,519 1,038 600 112 1,874 485 39 11 0 34 1 1 1 2 4 138 759 2 7 239 n/a 75,905 2,975 1,233 22,015 15,045 13,600 2,550 37,102 4,854 5,054 4,429 n/a 4,000 393 240 225 500 425 361 14,025 43 128 4,420 0 2,588 192 25 1,519 1,038 600 112 1,874 485 39 11 0 34 1 1 1 2 4 138 759 2 7 239 BSAI ............................................................. Jig gear ................................................. Hook-and-line CV .................................. Jan 1–Jun 10 ................................. Jun 10–Dec 31 .............................. Pot gear CV .......................................... Jan 1–Jun 10 ................................. Sept 1–Dec 31 ............................... CV < 60 feet LOA using hook-and-line or pot gear. Trawl gear CV ....................................... Jan 20–Apr 1 ................................. Apr 1–Jun 10 ................................. Jun 10–Nov 1 ................................ BS trawl gear ............................................... AI trawl gear ................................................. Eastern AI/BS ............................................... Jan 1–Jun 10 ........................................ Jun 10–Nov 1 ........................................ Central AI ..................................................... Jan 1–Jun 10 ........................................ Jun 10–Nov 1 ........................................ Western AI ................................................... Jan 1–Jun 10 ........................................ Jun 10–Nov 1 ........................................ BSAI ............................................................. BS ................................................................. AI .................................................................. BSAI ............................................................. BSAI ............................................................. BSAI ............................................................. BSAI ............................................................. BS trawl gear ............................................... BS ................................................................. Eastern AI .................................................... Central AI ..................................................... Western AI ................................................... BSAI ............................................................. BSAI ............................................................. EBS/EAI ....................................................... CAI/WAI ........................................................ BS ................................................................. AI .................................................................. BSAI ............................................................. BSAI ............................................................. BSAI ............................................................. BSAI ............................................................. BSAI ............................................................. Sablefish ......................................................... Atka mackerel ................................................ Rock sole ....................................................... Greenland turbot ............................................ Arrowtooth flounder ........................................ Kamchatka flounder ....................................... Alaska plaice .................................................. Other flatfish ................................................... Flathead sole .................................................. Pacific ocean perch ........................................ Northern rockfish ............................................ Shortraker rockfish ......................................... Rougheye rockfish ......................................... Other rockfish ................................................. Squids ............................................................ Skates ............................................................ Sharks ............................................................ Octopuses ...................................................... Sculpins .......................................................... 2011 AFA catcher vessel sideboard limits 2012 initial TAC 1 2012 AFA catcher vessel sideboard limits 1 Aleutian Islands Pacific ocean perch, and BSAI Atka mackerel, flathead sole, and rock 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). Halibut and crab PSC limits listed in Table 14 that are caught by AFA CVs participating in any groundfish fishery for groundfish other than pollock will accrue against the 2011 and 2012 PSC sideboard limits for the AFA CVs. Sections 679.21(d)(8) and 679.21(e)(3)(v) authorize NMFS to close directed fishing for groundfish other than pollock for AFA CVs once a 2011 or 2012 PSC sideboard limit listed in Table 14 is reached. The PSC that is caught by AFA CVs 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). mstockstill on DSKH9S0YB1PROD with RULES TABLE 14—FINAL 2011 AND 2012 AMERICAN FISHERIES ACT CATCHER VESSEL PROHIBITED SPECIES CATCH SIDEBOARD LIMITS FOR THE BSAI 1 PSC species Target fishery Halibut ............................................................. VerDate Mar<15>2010 18:07 Feb 28, 2011 Jkt 223001 AFA catcher vessel PSC sideboard limit ratio category 2 2011 and 2012 PSC limit after subtraction of PSQ reserves 2011 and 2012 AFA catcher vessel PSC sideboard limit n/a n/a n/a n/a 887 2 Pacific cod trawl ............................................. Pacific cod hook-and-line or pot .................... PO 00000 Frm 00082 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 E:\FR\FM\01MRR1.SGM 01MRR1 Federal Register / Vol. 76, No. 40 / Tuesday, March 1, 2011 / Rules and Regulations 11157 TABLE 14—FINAL 2011 AND 2012 AMERICAN FISHERIES ACT CATCHER VESSEL PROHIBITED SPECIES CATCH SIDEBOARD LIMITS FOR THE BSAI 1—Continued PSC species Target fishery Red king crab Zone 1 4, 6 ................................ C. opilio COBLZ 4, 6 ......................................... C. bairdi Zone 1 4, 6 ......................................... C. bairdi Zone 2 6 ........................................... AFA catcher vessel PSC sideboard limit ratio category 2 2011 and 2012 PSC limit after subtraction of PSQ reserves 2011 and 2012 AFA catcher vessel PSC sideboard limit 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 175,921 7,421,259 741,190 2,250,360 101 228 0 2 5 52,600 1,246,771 244,593 418,567 Yellowfin sole total ......................................... Rock sole/flathead sole/other flatfish 3 ........... Greenland turbot/arrowtooth/sablefish 4 ......... Rockfish .......................................................... Pollock/Atka mackerel/other species 5 ........... n/a .................................................................. n/a .................................................................. n/a .................................................................. n/a .................................................................. 1 Halibut amounts are in metric tons of halibut mortality. Crab amounts are in numbers of animals. fishery categories are defined in regulation at § 679.21(e)(3)(iv). flatfish’’ for PSC monitoring includes all flatfish species, except for halibut (a prohibited species), flathead sole, Greenland turbot, rock sole, yellowfin sole, Kamchatka flounder, and arrowtooth flounder. 4 Arrowtooth for PSC monitoring includes Kamchatka flounder. 5 ‘‘Other species’’ for PSC monitoring includes octopuses, sculpins, sharks, and skates. 6 Refer to § 679.2 for definitions of areas. 2 Target 3 ‘‘Other AFA Catcher/Processor and Catcher Vessel Sideboard Directed Fishing Closures Based upon historical catch patterns, the Regional Administrator has determined that many of the AFA C/P and CV sideboard limits listed in Tables 15 and 16 are necessary as incidental catch to support other anticipated groundfish fisheries for the 2011 fishing year. In accordance with § 679.20(d)(1)(iv), the Regional Administrator establishes the sideboard limits listed in Tables 15 and 16 as DFAs. Because many of these DFAs will be reached before the end of the year, the Regional Administrator has determined, in accordance with § 679.20(d)(1)(iii), that NMFS is prohibiting directed fishing by listed AFA C/Ps for the species in the specified areas set out in Table 15 and directed fishing by non-exempt AFA CVs for the species in the specified areas set out in Table 16. TABLE 15—FINAL 2011 AND 2012 AMERICAN FISHERIES ACT LISTED CATCHER/PROCESSOR SIDEBOARD DIRECTED FISHING CLOSURES 1 [Amounts are in metric tons] Species Area Gear types Sablefish trawl ..................................................................... BS ........................................ AI .......................................... BSAI ..................................... BS ........................................ AI .......................................... BSAI ..................................... BSAI ..................................... BSAI ..................................... BSAI ..................................... BSAI ..................................... BS ........................................ Eastern AI ............................ Central AI ............................. Western AI ........................... BSAI ..................................... BSAI ..................................... EBS/EAI ............................... CAI/WAI ............................... BS ........................................ AI .......................................... BSAI ..................................... BSAI ..................................... BSAI ..................................... BSAI ..................................... BSAI ..................................... trawl ............................ trawl ............................ all ................................ all ................................ all ................................ all ................................ all ................................ all ................................ all ................................ all ................................ all ................................ all ................................ all ................................ all ................................ all ................................ all ................................ all ................................ all ................................ all ................................ all ................................ all ................................ all ................................ all ................................ all ................................ all ................................ Rock sole ............................................................................. Greenland turbot .................................................................. Arrowtooth flounder ............................................................. Kamchatka flounder ............................................................. Alaska plaice ....................................................................... Other flatfish ........................................................................ Flathead sole ....................................................................... Pacific ocean perch ............................................................. Northern rockfish ................................................................. Shortraker rockfish .............................................................. Rougheye rockfish ............................................................... mstockstill on DSKH9S0YB1PROD with RULES Other rockfish ...................................................................... Squids .................................................................................. Skates .................................................................................. Sharks .................................................................................. Octopuses ............................................................................ Sculpins ............................................................................... 1 Maximum VerDate Mar<15>2010 retainable amounts may be found in Table 11 to 50 CFR part 679. 18:07 Feb 28, 2011 Jkt 223001 PO 00000 Frm 00083 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 E:\FR\FM\01MRR1.SGM 01MRR1 2011 sideboard limit 19 0 2,808 21 7 44 30 14 148 1,336 10 101 4 30 28 7 4 4 15 11 8 112 0 1 35 2012 sideboard limit 18 0 2,808 21 6 44 30 14 148 1,336 10 101 4 30 28 7 4 4 15 11 8 112 0 1 35 11158 Federal Register / Vol. 76, No. 40 / Tuesday, March 1, 2011 / Rules and Regulations TABLE 16—FINAL 2011 AND 2012 AMERICAN FISHERIES ACT CATCHER VESSEL SIDEBOARD DIRECTED FISHING CLOSURES 1 [Amounts are in metric tons] 2011 sideboard limit Species Area Gear types Pacific cod .......................................................... BSAI ......................................... BSAI ......................................... BSAI ......................................... BSAI ......................................... BS ............................................. AI .............................................. Eastern AI/BS ........................... Central AI ................................. Western AI ............................... BS ............................................. AI .............................................. BSAI ......................................... BSAI ......................................... BSAI ......................................... BSAI ......................................... BSAI ......................................... BSAI ......................................... BS ............................................. Eastern AI ................................ Central AI ................................. Western AI ............................... BSAI ......................................... BSAI ......................................... BS/EAI ...................................... CAI/WAI .................................... BS ............................................. AI .............................................. BSAI ......................................... BSAI ......................................... BSAI ......................................... BSAI ......................................... BSAI ......................................... hook-and-line ............................ pot ............................................ CV < 60 feet LOA .................... jig .............................................. trawl .......................................... trawl .......................................... all .............................................. all .............................................. all .............................................. all .............................................. all .............................................. all .............................................. all .............................................. all .............................................. all .............................................. all .............................................. all .............................................. all .............................................. all .............................................. all .............................................. all .............................................. all .............................................. all .............................................. all .............................................. all .............................................. all .............................................. all .............................................. all .............................................. all .............................................. all .............................................. all .............................................. all .............................................. Sablefish ............................................................. Atka mackerel .................................................... Greenland turbot ................................................ Arrowtooth flounder ............................................ Kamchatka flounder ........................................... Alaska plaice ...................................................... Other flatfish ....................................................... Flathead sole ...................................................... Rock sole ........................................................... Pacific ocean perch ............................................ Northern rockfish ................................................ Shortraker rockfish ............................................. Rougheye rockfish ............................................. Other rockfish ..................................................... Squids ................................................................ Skates ................................................................ Sharks ................................................................ Octopuses .......................................................... Sculpins .............................................................. 1 Maximum mstockstill on DSKH9S0YB1PROD with RULES 0 10 2 0 100 24 106 0 0 192 25 1,519 1,038 600 112 1,874 2,588 485 39 11 0 34 1 1 1 2 4 138 759 2 7 239 retainable amounts may be found in Table 11 to 50 CFR part 679. Response to Comments NMFS received 9 letters of comment, from 6 CDQ groups and three non-CDQ industry participants, which included 4 distinct comments, in response to the proposed 2011 and 2012 harvest specifications. These comments are summarized and responded to below. Comment 1: The comment asserts that the pollock ABCs and TACs are too high, based on anecdotal observations. Response: The harvest specifications process is intended to foster conservation and management of marine resources. This process incorporates the best available scientific information from the most recent stock assessment and fisheries evaluation reports prepared by multi-disciplinary teams of scientists. Such reports contain the most recent scientific information on the condition of various groundfish stocks, as well as the condition of other ecosystem components and economic data about Alaska groundfish fisheries. This body of information allows the Council to make scientifically-based recommendations for annual catch VerDate Mar<15>2010 0 10 2 0 110 26 116 2 0 192 27 1,519 1,038 600 112 1,874 2,588 485 39 11 0 34 1 1 1 2 4 138 759 2 7 239 2012 sideboard limit 18:07 Feb 28, 2011 Jkt 223001 limits that do not exceed, on a species by species basis, the OFLs and ABCs established for each BSAI target species managed under the FMP. NMFS believes that the 2011 and 2012 are the correct pollock ABCs and TACs, based upon this process. Comment 2: NMFS should account for the bycatch of groundfish in fisheries such as the State managed salmon fisheries. Response: NMFS is actively engaged in a process to improve the catch accounting system to more accurately account for the bycatch of groundfish in other fisheries, including State managed fisheries. NMFS agrees with this comment. However, this is beyond the scope of this action. Comment 3: The 10,000 mt ICA for rock sole is largely based upon high levels of yellowfin sole harvest by the BSAI trawl limited access sector. For 2011 and 2012, the BSAI trawl limited access harvest is likely to be smaller, and a 5,000 mt for rock sole is more appropriate. PO 00000 Frm 00084 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 Response: NMFS agrees with this comment, and NMFS adjusted the ICA of rock sole to 5,000 metric tons. Comment 4: Six CDQ groups commented that the new Kamchatka flounder fishery is too small to be a meaningful CDQ fishery and could inhibit the prosecution of other CDQ fisheries. Thus, Kamchatka flounder should not be a CDQ fishery at this time. Response: In the proposed 2011 and 2012 harvest specifications NMFS requested comments about whether Kamchatka flounder was a directed fishery of the BSAI under section 305(i)(1)(B)(ii)(II) of the MSA. If it were, NMFS would allocate 10.7 percent of the Kamchatka flounder TAC to the CDQ Program. NMFS specifically requested comments from the CDQ groups about the economic value of Kamchatka flounder and whether the CDQ groups intend to conduct directed fishing for Kamchatka flounder in the future. Based on the comments received, NMFS has determined that Kamchatka flounder is not a directed fishery of the BSAI under section 305(i)(1)(B)(ii)(II). E:\FR\FM\01MRR1.SGM 01MRR1 Federal Register / Vol. 76, No. 40 / Tuesday, March 1, 2011 / Rules and Regulations mstockstill on DSKH9S0YB1PROD with RULES Therefore, NMFS will not allocate Kamchatka flounder to the CDQ Program in the final 2011 and 2012 harvest specifications. However, NMFS will consider allocating Kamchatka flounder to the CDQ Program in the future if information is presented in future harvest specifications that the status of Kamchatka flounder as a directed fishery of the BSAI has changed. Classification NMFS has determined that these final harvest specifications are consistent with the FMP and with the MagnusonStevens Act and other applicable laws. This action is authorized under 50 CFR 679.20 and is exempt from review under Executive Orders 12866 and 13563. NMFS prepared an EIS for this action (see ADDRESSES) and made it available to the public on January 12, 2007 (72 FR 1512). On February 13, 2007, NMFS issued the Record of Decision (ROD) for the EIS. In January 2011, NMFS prepared a Supplemental Information Report (SIR) for this action. Copies of the EIS, ROD, and SIR for this action are available from NMFS (see ADDRESSES). The EIS analyzes the environmental consequences of the groundfish harvest specifications and alternative harvest strategies on resources in the action area. The EIS found no significant environmental consequences of this action and its alternatives. The SIR evaluates the need to prepare a Supplemental EIS (SEIS) for the 2011 and 2012 groundfish harvest specifications. A SEIS should be prepared if (1) the agency makes substantial changes in the proposed action that are relevant to environmental concerns, or (2) significant new circumstances or information exist relevant to environmental concerns and bearing on the proposed action or its impacts (40 CFR 1502.9(c)(1)). After reviewing the information contained in the SIR and SAFE reports, the Regional Administrator has determined that (1) approval of the 2011 and 2012 harvest specifications, which were set according to the preferred harvest strategy in the EIS, do not constitute a change in the action; and (2) there are no significant new circumstances or information relevant to environmental concerns and bearing on the action or its impacts. Additionally, the 2011 and 2012 harvest specifications will result in environmental impacts within the scope of those analyzed and disclosed in the EIS. Therefore, supplemental National Environmental Protection Act (NEPA) documentation is not necessary to VerDate Mar<15>2010 18:07 Feb 28, 2011 Jkt 223001 implement the 2011 and 2012 harvest specifications. NMFS also prepared an Initial Regulatory Flexibility Analysis (IRFA) as required by section 603 of the Regulatory Flexibility Act, analyzing the methodology for establishing the relevant TACs. The IRFA evaluated the impacts on small entities of alternative harvest strategies for the groundfish fisheries in the EEZ off Alaska. Accordingly, NMFS used the IRFA prepared for the EIS in association with this action. NMFS published a notice of the availability of the IRFA and its summary in the Classification section of the proposed 2006 and 2007 harvest specifications for the groundfish fisheries in the BSAI in the Federal Register on December 15, 2006 (71 FR 75437). No comments were received regarding the IRFA or the economic effects of the TAC-setting methodology. NMFS also prepared a final regulatory flexibility analysis (FRFA), as required by section 604 of the Regulatory Flexibility Act. Copies of the FRFA prepared for this action are available from NMFS, Alaska Region (see ADDRESSES). The FRFA analyzed the methodology for establishing the relevant TACs. As set forth in the methodology, TACs are set to a level that fall within the range of ABCs recommended by the SSC; the sum of the TACs must achieve optimum yield specified in the FMP. While the specific numbers that the methodology may produce vary from year to year, the methodology itself remains constant. Accordingly, NMFS is using the FRFA prepared for the EIS in association with this action. Pursuant to sections 3.2.2 and 3.2.3 of the FMP, the established methodology produces ABCs and TACs within specified ranges and the numbers in this final rule’s preferred alternatives are within those ranges. In addition, NMFS considers the annual rulemakings establishing the harvest specification numbers to be a series of closely-related rules stemming from the harvest strategy and representing one rule for purposes of the Regulatory Flexibility Act (5 U.S.C. 605(c)). The need for, and objectives of, this final rule are described in the preamble. A summary of the 2007 FRFA follows. This action is taken in accordance with the FMP prepared by the Council pursuant to the MagnusonStevens Act. There are 244 directly regulated small entities including approximately 223 small CVs, 15 small C/Ps, and six CDQ groups. The entities directly regulated by this action harvest groundfish in the EEZ of the BSAI, and in parallel fisheries within State of Alaska waters. PO 00000 Frm 00085 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 11159 These include entities operating CVs and C/Ps within the action area, and entities receiving direct allocations of groundfish. CVs and C/Ps were considered to be small entities if their annual gross receipts of $4 million per year or less from all economic activities, including the revenue of their affiliated operations (see Table 37 to the Economic Status of the Groundfish Fisheries off Alaska, 2005, in the 2006 SAFE report, dated February 2007, available from the Council (see ADDRESSES)). Estimates of gross product value for the BSAI non-CDQ and CDQ groundfish were used as an index of revenue and 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 key species, but by relatively small amounts. 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 OY, in which case harvests would be limited to the OY. Alternative 3 would have set TACs to produce fishing rates equal to the most recent 5-year average fishing rate. Alternative 4 would have set TACs to equal the lower limit of the BSAI OY range. Alternative 5—the ‘‘no action’’ alternative—would have set TACs equal to zero. Alternatives 3, 4, and 5 were all associated with smaller levels for important fishery TACs than Alternative 2. Estimated total gross product values were used as an index of potential adverse impacts to small entities. As a consequence of the lower TAC levels, Alternatives 3, 4, and 5 all had smaller first wholesale revenue indices than Alternative 2. Thus, Alternatives 3, 4, and 5 had greater adverse impacts on small entities. Alternative 1 appeared to generate higher values of the gross revenue index for fishing operations in the BSAI than Alternative 2. A large part of the Alternative 1 BSAI revenue appears to be due to the assumption that the full Alternative 1 TAC would be harvested. Much of the larger revenue was due to increases in flatfish TACs that were much greater for Alternative 1 than for Alternative 2. In recent years, halibut bycatch constraints in these fisheries have kept actual flatfish catches from reaching Alternative 1 levels. Therefore, a large part of the revenues associated with Alternative 1 are unlikely to occur. Also, Alternative E:\FR\FM\01MRR1.SGM 01MRR1 mstockstill on DSKH9S0YB1PROD with RULES 11160 Federal Register / Vol. 76, No. 40 / Tuesday, March 1, 2011 / Rules and Regulations 2 TACs are constrained by the ABCs the Plan Teams and SSC are likely to recommend to the Council on the basis of a full consideration of biological issues. These ABCs are often less than Alternative 1’s maximum permissible ABCs; therefore higher TACs under Alternative 1 may not be consistent with prudent biological management of the resource. For these reasons, Alternative 2 is the preferred alternative. In addition to the IRFA prepared in association with the groundfish harvest specifications EIS, NMFS prepared a supplemental IRFA (SIRFA) in conjunction with the proposed harvest specifications (see ADDRESSES). The SIRFA evaluated the specification of separate OFLs and TACs for octopuses, sculpins, sharks, and skates in the BSAI, consistent with the previously selected harvest strategy, the tier system used to set OFL (per the FMP), Amendments 95 and 96 to the FMP, the MagnusonStevens Act, and other applicable law (see ADDRESSES). Amendments 95 and 96 to the FMP were published on October 6, 2010 (75 FR 61639), and split the ‘‘other species’’ complex into its component species of octopuses, sculpins, sharks, and skates. This supplemental Final Regulatory Flexibility Analysis (SFRFA) incorporates the SIRFA, a summary of the significant issues raised by the public comments in response to the IRFA, NMFS’ responses to those comments, and provides a summary of the analyses completed to support the action. The SFRFA augments the FRFA prepared in connection with the 2007 Alaska Groundfish Harvest Specification EIS. NMFS published the proposed harvest specifications on December 8, 2010 (75 FR 76372) with comments invited through January 7, 2011. A SIRFA was prepared and summarized in the ‘‘Classification’’ section of the proposed rule. The description of this action, its purpose, and its legal basis are described in the preamble to the proposed rule and are not repeated here. No public comments were specifically received on the SIRFA. No changes were made from the proposed rule to the final rule. The 2010 Economic Status of Groundfish Fisheries Off Alaska report, prepared in conjunction with the 2010 SAFE report (see ADDRESSES), identifies 209 small groundfish entities operating in the BSAI, with average revenues from all sources of about $1.37 million. Most of these (191) are C/Vs. A majority of the C/Vs (107) used trawl gear and had average revenues of about $1.49 million. There were 38 hook-and-line C/Vs, with average revenues of about $600,000, and 51 pot C/Vs with average revenues of VerDate Mar<15>2010 18:07 Feb 28, 2011 Jkt 223001 $1.37 million. There were five C/Vs that used multiple gear types and are counted in at least two of the preceding figures. There were 18 C/Ps, mostly hook-and-line vessels, with average gross revenues of about $2.53 million. The 2010 SAFE report may overstate the number of small entities because it considers individual vessel gross revenues, but does not capture affiliations among vessels. All of these small entities would be directly regulated by the proposed action. As described below, however, certain small entities may be more likely than others to be adversely affected by the proposed action as a result of potential impacts associated with the incidental catch of octopuses, sculpins, sharks, and skates in other target fisheries. This action does not modify recordkeeping or reporting requirements. NMFS considered several alternatives to the action to specify separate OFLs and TACS for BSAI octopuses, sculpins, sharks, and skates species complexes. However, each of these alternatives has been eliminated from further consideration because it either does not minimize significant economic impacts on a substantial number of small entities or does not accomplish the stated objectives of, or is in conflict with the requirements of, applicable statutes. This action is intended to fulfill the agency’s mandate to establish catch limits that are based on the best available scientific information, and to achieve optimum yield while preventing overfishing. This action adopts the alternative that is both consistent with the agency’s obligations under the Magnuson-Stevens Act and the FMP and minimizes the likelihood that the specification of TACs and OFLs for the octopuses, sculpins, sharks, and skates species complexes will adversely affect small entities. NMFS considered dividing the TACs for each of the species complexes among different regulatory areas in the BSAI. Any such further division of the TACs would not change the total TACs for each species complex in the BSAI as a whole. However, the incidental catch of fishing vessels that operate within each of the regulatory areas would be counted against a reduced TAC and OFL, which would increase the likelihood that the TAC or OFL would be reached and that one or more area closures may be triggered. NMFS considered exempting small entities from compliance with the TACs for each of the species complexes evaluated in the SIRFA. However, the Magnuson-Stevens Act requires NMFS to implement conservation and PO 00000 Frm 00086 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 management measures that prevent overfishing. Authorizing unlimited incidental catch of these species complexes by small entities would present an unacceptable risk of overfishing, and would not be consistent with the agency’s obligations under Magnuson-Stevens Act, nor with the requirements of the Council’s FMP. In order to minimize the economic impacts of this action, NMFS considered allocating relatively large portions of the TACs for each of the species complexes to potentially affected small entities. However, any such allocation, which would be motivated solely by economic considerations under the Regulatory Flexibility Act, would not be consistent with National Standard 5, which states that ‘‘no [conservation and management measure] shall have economic allocation as its sole purpose.’’ 16 U.S.C. 1851(a)(5). Finally, NMFS considered establishing a single group TAC for all four of the species complexes in the BSAI, which would substantially reduce the likelihood that incidental catch would reach or exceed the TAC or OFL and result in area closures of target fisheries. However, the establishment of a stock complex comprised of species with such disparate life histories would not be consistent with the statutory requirement to establish catch limits that prevent overfishing for stocks in the fishery, nor with the Council’s intent in enacting Amendments 95 and 96. Adverse impacts on marine mammals resulting from fishing activities conducted under this rule are discussed in the EIS (see ADDRESSES). Pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 553(d)(3), the Assistant Administrator for Fisheries, NOAA, finds good cause to waive the 30-day delay in effectiveness for this rule. Plan Team review occurred in November 2010, and Council consideration and recommendations occurred in December 2010. Accordingly, NMFS review could not begin until January 2011. For all fisheries not currently closed because the TACs established under the final 2010 and 2011 harvest specifications (75 FR 11778, March 12, 2010) were not reached, the possibility exists that they would be closed prior to the expiration of a 30-day delayed effectiveness period, if implemented, because their TACs could be reached. Certain fisheries, such as those for pollock and Pacific cod are intensive, fast-paced fisheries. Other fisheries, such as those for flatfish, rockfish, octopuses, sculpins, sharks, skates, and squids, are critical as directed fisheries and as incidental catch in other fisheries. U.S. fishing E:\FR\FM\01MRR1.SGM 01MRR1 mstockstill on DSKH9S0YB1PROD with RULES Federal Register / Vol. 76, No. 40 / Tuesday, March 1, 2011 / Rules and Regulations vessels have demonstrated the capacity to catch the TAC allocations in these fisheries. Any delay in allocating the final TACs in these fisheries would cause confusion to the industry and potential economic harm through unnecessary discards. Determining which fisheries may close is impossible because these fisheries are affected by several factors that cannot be predicted in advance, including fishing effort, weather, movement of fishery stocks, and market price. Furthermore, the closure of one fishery has a cascading effect on other fisheries by freeing up fishing vessels, allowing them to move from closed fisheries to open ones, increasing the fishing capacity in those open fisheries and causing them to close at an accelerated pace. In fisheries subject to declining sideboards, a failure to implement the updated sideboards before initial season’s end could preclude the intended economic protection to the non-sideboarded sectors. Conversely, in fisheries with increasing sideboards, economic benefit could be precluded to the sideboarded sectors. If the final harvest specifications are not effective by March 12, 2011, which is the start of the 2011 Pacific halibut season as specified by the IPHC, the hook-and-line sablefish fishery will not begin concurrently with the Pacific halibut IFQ season. Delayed effectiveness of this action would result in confusion for sablefish harvesters and economic harm from unnecessary discard of sablefish that are caught along with Pacific halibut, as both hookand-line sablefish and Pacific halibut are managed under the same IFQ program. Immediate effectiveness of the final 2011 and 2012 harvest specifications will allow the sablefish IFQ fishery to begin concurrently with the Pacific halibut IFQ season. Also, the immediate effectiveness of this action is required to provide consistent management and conservation of fishery resources based on the best available scientific information. This is particularly true of those species which have lower 2011 ABCs and TACs than those established in the 2010 and 2011 harvest specifications (75 FR 11778, March 12, 2010). Immediate effectiveness also would give the fishing industry the earliest possible opportunity to plan and conduct its fishing operations with respect to new information about TAC limits. Therefore, NMFS finds good cause to waive the 30-day delay in effectiveness under 5 U.S.C. 553(d)(3). VerDate Mar<15>2010 18:07 Feb 28, 2011 Jkt 223001 Small Entity Compliance Guide This final rule is a plain language guide to assist small entities in complying with this final rule as required by the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act of 1996. This final rule’s primary purpose is to announce the final 2011 and 2012 harvest specifications and prohibited species bycatch allowances for the groundfish fisheries of the BSAI. This action is necessary to establish harvest limits and associated management measures for groundfish during the 2011 and 2012 fishing years and to accomplish the goals and objectives of the FMP. This action affects all fishermen who participate in the BSAI fisheries. The specific amounts of OFL, ABC, TAC, and PSC are provided in tables to assist the reader. NMFS will announce closures of directed fishing in the Federal Register and information bulletins released by the Alaska Region. Affected fishermen should keep themselves informed of such closures. Authority: 16 U.S.C. 773 et seq.; 16 U.S.C. 1540(f); 16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq.; 16 U.S.C. 3631 et seq.; Pub. L. 105–277; Pub. L. 106– 31; Pub. L. 106–554; Pub. L. 108–199; Pub. L. 108–447; Pub. L. 109–241; Pub. L. 109– 479. Dated: February 23, 2011. Samuel D. Rauch III, Deputy Assistant Administrator for Regulatory Programs, National Marine Fisheries Service. [FR Doc. 2011–4538 Filed 2–28–11; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510–22–P DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration 50 CFR Part 679 [Docket Nos. 0910131362–0087–02 and 0910131363–0087–02] RIN 0648–XA256 Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Sablefish Managed Under the Individual Fishing Quota Program National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Commerce. ACTION: Temporary rule; opening. AGENCY: NMFS is opening directed fishing for sablefish with fixed gear managed under the Individual Fishing Quota (IFQ) Program and the Community Development Quota (CDQ) Program. The season will open 1200 hrs, SUMMARY: PO 00000 Frm 00087 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 11161 Alaska local time (A.l.t.), March 12, 2011, and will close 1200 hrs, A.l.t., November 18, 2011. This period is the same as the 2011 commercial halibut fishery opening dates adopted by the International Pacific Halibut Commission. The IFQ and CDQ halibut season is specified by a separate publication in the Federal Register of annual management measures. DATES: Effective March 1, 2011, until 1200 hrs, A.l.t., December 31, 2011. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Obren Davis, 907–586–7228. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Beginning in 1995, fishing for Pacific halibut and sablefish with fixed gear in the IFQ regulatory areas defined in 50 CFR 679.2 has been managed under the IFQ Program. The IFQ Program is a regulatory regime designed to promote the conservation and management of these fisheries and to further the objectives of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act and the Northern Pacific Halibut Act. Persons holding quota share receive an annual allocation of IFQ. Persons receiving an annual allocation of IFQ are authorized to harvest IFQ species within specified limitations. Further information on the implementation of the IFQ Program, and the rationale supporting it, are contained in the preamble to the final rule implementing the IFQ Program published in the Federal Register, November 9, 1993 (58 FR 59375) and subsequent amendments. This announcement is consistent with § 679.23(g)(1), which requires that the directed fishing season for sablefish managed under the IFQ Program be specified by the Administrator, Alaska Region, and announced by publication in the Federal Register. This method of season announcement was selected to facilitate coordination between the sablefish season, chosen by the Administrator, Alaska Region, and the halibut season, adopted by the International Pacific Halibut Commission (IPHC). The directed fishing season for sablefish with fixed gear managed under the IFQ Program will open 1200 hrs, A.l.t., March 12, 2011, and will close 1200 hrs, A.l.t., November 18, 2011. This period runs concurrently with the IFQ season for Pacific halibut announced by the IPHC. The IFQ halibut season will be specified by a separate publication in the Federal Register of annual management measures pursuant to 50 CFR 300.62. Classification This action responds to the best available information recently obtained from the fishery. The Assistant E:\FR\FM\01MRR1.SGM 01MRR1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 76, Number 40 (Tuesday, March 1, 2011)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 11139-11161]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2011-4538]


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DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

50 CFR Part 679

[Docket No. 101126521-0640-02]
RIN 0648-XZ90


Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Bering Sea 
and Aleutian Islands; Final 2011 and 2012 Harvest Specifications for 
Groundfish

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

ACTION: Final rule; closures.

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SUMMARY: NMFS announces final 2011 and 2012 harvest specifications and 
prohibited species catch allowances for the groundfish fishery of the 
Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands management area (BSAI). This action is 
necessary to establish harvest limits for groundfish during the 2011 
and 2012 fishing years, and to accomplish the goals and objectives of 
the Fishery Management Plan for Groundfish of the BSAI (FMP). The 
intended effect of this action is to conserve and manage the groundfish 
resources in the BSAI in accordance with the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery 
Conservation and Management Act (Magnuson-Stevens Act).

DATES: Effective from 1200 hrs, Alaska local time (A.l.t.), March 1, 
2011, through 2400 hrs, A.l.t., December 31, 2012.

ADDRESSES: Electronic copies of the Final Alaska Groundfish Harvest 
Specifications Environmental Impact Statement (EIS), Record of Decision 
(ROD), Supplementary Information Report (SIR) to the EIS, the Final 
Regulatory Flexibility Analysis (FRFA), and Supplemental FRFA prepared 
for this action are available from http://alaskafisheries.noaa.gov. The 
final 2010 Stock Assessment and Fishery Evaluation (SAFE) report for 
the groundfish resources of the BSAI, dated November 2010, is 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 FMP and govern the groundfish fisheries in the BSAI. The

[[Page 11140]]

North Pacific Fishery Management Council (Council) prepared the FMP, 
and NMFS approved it under the Magnuson-Stevens Act. General 
regulations governing U.S. fisheries also appear at 50 CFR part 600.
    The FMP and its implementing regulations require NMFS, after 
consultation with the Council, to specify the total allowable catch 
(TAC) for each target species; the sum must be within the optimum yield 
(OY) range of 1.4 million to 2.0 million metric tons (mt) (see Sec.  
679.20(a)(1)(i)). NMFS also must specify apportionments of TACs, 
prohibited species catch (PSC) allowances, and prohibited species quota 
(PSQ) reserves established by Sec.  679.21; seasonal allowances of 
pollock, Pacific cod, and Atka mackerel TAC; Amendment 80 allocations; 
and Community Development Quota (CDQ) reserve amounts established by 
Sec.  679.20(b)(1)(ii). The final harvest specifications set forth in 
Tables 1 through 16 of this action satisfy these requirements. The sum 
of TACs is 2,000,000 mt for 2011 and is 2,000,000 mt for 2012.
    Section 679.20(c)(3)(i) further requires NMFS to consider public 
comment on the proposed annual TACs (and apportionments thereof) and 
PSC allowances, and to publish final harvest specifications in the 
Federal Register. The proposed 2011 and 2012 harvest specifications and 
PSC allowances for the groundfish fishery of the BSAI were published in 
the Federal Register on December 8, 2010 (75 FR 76372). Comments were 
invited and accepted through January 7, 2011. NMFS received 9 letters 
with 4 comments on the proposed harvest specifications. These comments 
are summarized and responded to in the ``Response to Comments'' section 
of this rule. NMFS consulted with the Council on the final 2011 and 
2012 harvest specifications during the December 2010 Council meeting in 
Anchorage, AK. After considering public comments, as well as biological 
and economic data that were available at the Council's December 
meeting, NMFS is implementing the final 2011 and 2012 harvest 
specifications as recommended by the Council.

Acceptable Biological Catch (ABC) and TAC Harvest Specifications

    The final ABC levels are based on the best available biological and 
socioeconomic information, including projected biomass trends, 
information on assumed distribution of stock biomass, and revised 
technical methods used to calculate stock biomass. In general, the 
development of ABCs and overfishing levels (OFLs) involves 
sophisticated statistical analyses of fish populations. The FMP 
specifies a series of six tiers to define OFL and ABC amounts 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.
    In December 2010, the Scientific and Statistical Committee (SSC), 
Advisory Panel (AP), and Council reviewed current biological 
information about the condition of the BSAI groundfish stocks. The 
Council's Plan Team compiled and presented this information in the 2010 
SAFE report for the BSAI groundfish fisheries, dated November 2010. The 
SAFE report contains a review of the latest scientific analyses and 
estimates of each species' biomass and other biological parameters, as 
well as summaries of the available information on the BSAI ecosystem 
and the economic condition of groundfish fisheries off Alaska. The SAFE 
report was made available for public review upon notification of the 
proposed harvest specifications. The 2010 SAFE report continues to be 
available for public review (see ADDRESSES). From these data and 
analyses, the Plan Team estimated an OFL and ABC for each species or 
species category.
    In December 2010, the SSC, AP, and Council reviewed the Plan Team's 
recommendations. The SSC concurred with the Plan Team's 
recommendations, and the Council adopted the OFL and ABC amounts 
recommended by the SSC (Table 1). The final TAC recommendations were 
based on the ABCs as adjusted for other biological and socioeconomic 
considerations, including maintaining the sum of the TACs within the 
required OY range of 1.4 million to 2.0 million mt. The Council adopted 
the AP's 2011 and 2012 TAC recommendations. As required by annual catch 
limit rules (FR 74 3178, January 16, 2009), none of the Council's 
recommended TACs for 2011 or 2012 exceeds the final 2011 or 2012 ABCs 
for any species category. The final 2010 and 2011 harvest 
specifications approved by the Secretary are unchanged from those 
recommended by the Council and are consistent with the preferred 
harvest strategy alternative in the EIS (see ADDRESSES). NMFS finds 
that the Council's recommended OFLs, ABCs, and TACs are consistent with 
the biological condition of groundfish stocks as described in the 2010 
SAFE report that was approved by the Council.

Other Actions Potentially Affecting the 2011 and 2012 Harvest 
Specifications

    NMFS intends to develop a single database that stock assessment 
authors can access through a single source such as the Alaska Fisheries 
Information Network. The development of this database will require the 
cooperation of several agencies, including NMFS, the Alaska Department 
of Fish and Game, and the International Pacific Halibut Commission 
(IPHC). At its October 2010 meeting, the Council's groundfish Plan 
Teams recommended the formation of a total catch accounting working 
group to assist NMFS in developing a methodology to estimate total 
catch of groundfish. While much of the information is currently 
available and will be incorporated into the final 2010 SAFE reports, 
the development of an adequate methodology is ongoing and not fully 
ready for use in the final SAFE reports. NMFS intends to have the 
information available for the assessment cycle in the fall of 2011.
    The Council is currently considering an action to modify the non-
Chinook salmon management measures to minimize non-Chinook salmon 
bycatch. This potential action could impose cap threshold limits, 
sector specific allocations, and area specific closures for BSAI 
groundfish closures. This action is not expected to be in place by the 
2012 fishing year.
    The Council has approved a new program to replace the Gulf of 
Alaska Rockfish Pilot Program (Rockfish Program), which is scheduled to 
expire on December 31, 2011. NMFS is currently developing regulations 
to implement this program. The new rockfish program could alter BSAI 
groundfish sideboards for vessels participating in the Rockfish 
Program. This new program is expected to be in place for the 2012 
fishing year.
    In 2010, NMFS Alaska Region completed a Section 7 formal 
consultation on the effects of the authorization of the Alaska 
groundfish fisheries on Endangered Species Act listed species under 
NMFS jurisdiction. The consultation resulted in a biological opinion 
that determined that the effects of the Alaska groundfish fisheries 
were likely to jeopardize the continued existence of, and adversely 
modify designated critical habitat for, the western distinct population 
segment of Steller sea lions. The biological opinion included a 
reasonable and prudent alternative (RPA) that requires changes to the 
BSAI Atka mackerel and Aleutian Islands subarea Pacific cod fisheries 
to prevent the likelihood of jeopardy of extinction or adverse 
modification of

[[Page 11141]]

critical habitat for Steller sea lions. Separate rulemaking for 
implementation of the RPA became effective January 1, 2011 (FR 75 
77535, December 13, 2010; and 75 FR 81921, December 29, 2010). Changes 
to the Atka mackerel and Pacific cod harvest specifications that are 
required by the rule implementing the RPA are described in the section 
for each of these target species. The proposed harvest specifications 
notified the public of possible changes to the harvest specification 
limits.
    At the October 2010 meeting, the Council and the Scientific and 
Statistical Committee (SSC) recommended separating Kamchatka flounder 
from the arrowtooth flounder complex starting in the year 2011. As a 
result, arrowtooth flounder and Kamchatka flounder have separate OFLs, 
ABCs, and TACs for 2011 and 2012. In the proposed 2011 and 2012 harvest 
specifications NMFS requested public comment on the proposal to 
allocate 10.7 percent of the Kamchatka flounder TAC to the CDQ Program. 
Six comments were received, and NMFS has determined to not allocate 
Kamchatka flounder to the six CDQ groups in 2011. See the Response to 
Comments section below.

Changes From the Proposed 2010 and 2011 Harvest Specifications in the 
BSAI

    In October 2010, the Council made its recommendations for the 
proposed 2011 and 2012 harvest specifications (75 FR 76372, December 8, 
2010), based largely on information contained in the 2009 SAFE report 
for the BSAI groundfish fisheries. Through the proposed harvest 
specifications, NMFS notified the public that these harvest 
specifications were subject to change and that the Council would 
consider information contained in the 2010 SAFE report, recommendations 
from the SSC, Plan Team, and AP committees, and public testimony when 
making its recommendations for final harvest specification levels at 
the December Council meeting. NMFS further notified the public that, as 
required by the BSAI Groundfish FMP and its implementing regulations, 
the sum of the TACs must be within the optimum yield range of 1.4 and 
2.0 million metric tons.
    Information contained in the 2010 SAFE reports indicates an 
increase in biomass for several groundfish species. At the December 
Council meeting, the SSC recommended increasing the ABCs for many 
species in 2011 and 2012 based on the best and most recent information 
contained in the 2010 SAFE reports. This increase resulted in an ABC 
sum total that exceeds 2 million metric tons for both 2011 and 2012. 
Based on the SSC ABC recommendations and the 2010 SAFE reports, the AP 
recommended raising the TACs for more economically valuable species 
that have increasing biomasses such as pollock, Pacific cod, Pacific 
ocean perch, and Atka mackerel in the Eastern Aleutian Islands and 
Bering Sea subarea. Because these increases caused the sum of the TACs 
to exceed the 2 million metric ton limit, section 3.2.3.4 of the BSAI 
FMP required that the TACs be adjusted. The AP recommended a downward 
adjustment of TACs for several species that are not part of the 
directed fishery and that are easily avoided, such as octopuses, 
sculpins, sharks, skates, squid, and Alaska plaice. After receiving 
testimony from the Amendment 80 cooperatives, the AP recommended a 
reduction in Amendment 80 flatfish species TACs and arrowtooth flounder 
TAC to levels that the Amendment 80 fleet believed they could harvest 
given their PSC constraints. The Council accepted the SSC and AP 
recommendations.
    The changes to TAC between the proposed and final harvest 
specifications are based on the most recent scientific and economic 
information and are consistent with the FMP and regulatory obligations 
and harvest strategy as described in the proposed harvest 
specifications. These changes are compared in the following table.
    Table 1 lists the Council's recommended final 2011 and 2012 OFL, 
ABC, TAC, initial TAC (ITAC) and CDQ reserve amounts of the BSAI 
groundfish. NMFS concurs with these recommendations. The final 2011 and 
2012 TAC recommendations for the BSAI are within the OY range 
established for the BSAI and do not exceed the ABC for any single 
species or complex. The apportionment of TAC amounts among fisheries 
and seasons is discussed below.

                             Comparison of Final 2011 and 2012 With Proposed 2011 and 2012 Total Allowable Catch in the BSAI
                                                              [Amounts are in metric tons]
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                                                      2011                                      2012
                                                                       2011 final       2011       difference    2012 final       2012       difference
                 Species                           Area \1\                TAC      proposed TAC      from           TAC      proposed TAC      from
                                                                                                    proposed                                  proposed
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Pollock.................................  BS........................     1,252,000     1,107,000       145,000     1,253,658     1,105,000       148,658
                                          AI........................        19,000        19,000             0        19,000        19,000             0
                                          Bogoslof..................           150            75            75           150            75            75
Pacific cod.............................  BSAI......................       227,950       207,580        20,370       229,608       207,580        22,028
Sablefish...............................  BS........................         2,850         2,500           350         2,610         2,500           110
                                          AI........................         1,900         1,860            40         1,740         1,860          -120
Atka mackerel...........................  EAI/BS....................        40,300        20,900        19,400        36,800        20,900        15,900
                                          CAI.......................        11,280        26,000       -14,720        10,293        26,000       -15,707
                                          WAI.......................         1,500        18,100       -16,600         1,500        18,100       -16,600
Yellowfin sole..........................  BSAI......................       196,000       213,000       -17,000       197,660       213,000       -15,340
Rock sole...............................  BSAI......................        85,000        90,000        -5,000        85,000        90,000        -5,000
Greenland turbot........................  BS........................         3,500         3,700          -200         3,500         3,700          -200
                                          AI........................         1,550         1,670          -120         1,450         1,670          -220
Arrowtooth flounder.....................  BSAI......................        25,900        60,000       -34,100        25,900        60,000       -34,100
Kamchatka flounder......................  BSAI......................        17,700        17,700             0        17,700        17,700             0
Flathead sole...........................  BSAI......................        41,548        60,000       -18,452        41,548        60,000       -18,452
Other flatfish..........................  BSAI......................         3,000        17,300       -14,300         3,000        17,300       -14,300
Alaska plaice...........................  BSAI......................        16,000        40,000       -24,000        16,000        40,000       -24,000
Pacific ocean perch.....................  BS........................         5,710         3,790         1,920         5,710         3,790         1,920
                                          EAI.......................         5,660         4,180         1,480         5,660         4,180         1,480
                                          CAI.......................         4,960         4,230           730         4,960         4,230           730
                                          WAI.......................         8,370         6,480         1,890         8,370         6,480         1,890

[[Page 11142]]

 
Northern rockfish.......................  BSAI......................         4,000         7,290        -3,290         4,000         7,290        -3,290
Shortraker rockfish.....................  BSAI......................           393           387             6           393           387             6
Rougheye rockfish \2\...................  BS/EAI....................           234            42           192           240            42           198
                                          CAI/WAI...................           220           489          -269           225           489          -264
Other rockfish..........................  BS........................           500           485            15           500           485            15
                                          AI........................           500           555           -55           500           555           -55
Squid...................................  BSAI......................           425         1,970        -1,545           425         1,970        -1,545
Skates..................................  BSAI......................        16,500        30,000       -13,500        16,500        30,000       -13,500
Sharks..................................  BSAI......................            50           449          -399            50           449          -399
Octopuses...............................  BSAI......................           150           233           -83           150           233           -83
Sculpins................................  BSAI......................         5,200        30,035       -24,835         5,200        30,035       -24,835
                                                                     -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Total...............................  BSAI......................     2,000,000     1,997,000         3,000     2,000,000     1,995,000         5,000
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
\1\ Bering Sea subarea (BS), Aleutian Islands subarea (AI), Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands management area (BSAI), Eastern Aleutian District (EAI),
  Central Aleutian District (CAI), and Western Aleutian District (WAI).
\2\ The proposed rule split rougheye rockfish TACs by the Aleutian Islands, and the Bering Sea. The final rule splits rougheye rockfish by the Bering
  Sea and Eastern Aleutians District, and the Central Aleutian District and Western Aleutian District.


[[Page 11143]]


 Table 1--Final 2011 and 2012 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]
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                                      2011                                                                  2012
             Species                     Area        -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                           OFL           ABC           TAC        ITAC \2\       CDQ \3\         OFL           ABC           TAC        ITAC \2\       CDQ \3\
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Pollock \3\.....................  BS \2\............     2,450,000     1,270,000     1,252,000     1,126,800       125,200     3,170,000     1,600,000     1,253,658     1,128,292       125,366
                                  AI \2\............        44,500        36,700        19,000        17,100         1,900        50,400        41,600        19,000        17,100         1,900
                                  Bogoslof..........        22,000           156           150           150             0        22,000           156           150           150             0
Pacific cod 4, 5................  BSAI..............       272,000       235,000       227,950       203,559        24,391       329,000       281,000       229,608       205,040        24,568
Sablefish \5\...................  BS................         3,360         2,850         2,850         2,351           392         3,080         2,610         2,610         1,109            98
                                  AI................         2,250         1,900         1,900         1,544           321         2,060         1,740         1,740           370            33
Atka mackerel \5\...............  BSAI..............       101,000        85,300        53,080        47,400         5,680        92,200        77,900        48,593        43,394         5,199
                                  EAI/BS............           n/a        40,300        40,300        35,988         4,312           n/a        36,800        36,800        32,862         3,938
                                  CAI...............           n/a        24,000        11,280        10,073         1,207           n/a        21,900        10,293         9,192         1,101
                                  WAI...............           n/a        21,000         1,500         1,340           161           n/a        19,200         1,500         1,340           161
Yellowfin sole \5\..............  BSAI..............       262,000       239,000       196,000       175,028        20,972       266,000       242,000       197,660       176,510        21,150
Rock sole 5, 6..................  BSAI..............       248,000       224,000        85,000        75,905         9,095       243,000       219,000        85,000        75,905         9,095
Greenland turbot \5\............  BSAI..............         7,220         6,140         5,050         4,293           n/a         6,760         5,750         4,950         4,208           n/a
                                  BS................           n/a         4,590         3,500         2,975           375           n/a         4,300         3,500         2,975           375
                                  AI................           n/a         1,550         1,550         1,318             0           n/a         1,450         1,450         1,233             0
Arrowtooth flounder \5\.........  BSAI..............       186,000       153,000        25,900        22,015         2,771       191,000       157,000        25,900        22,015         2,771
Kamchatka flounder..............  BSAI..............        23,600        17,700        17,700        15,045             0        23,600        17,700        17,700        15,045             0
Flathead sole 5, 7..............  BSAI..............        83,300        69,300        41,548        37,102         4,446        82,100        68,300        41,548        37,102         4,446
Other flatfish \8\..............  BSAI..............        19,500        14,500         3,000         2,550             0        19,500        14,500         3,000         2,550             0
Alaska plaice...................  BSAI..............        79,100        65,100        16,000        13,600             0        83,800        69,100        16,000        13,600             0
Pacific ocean perch \5\.........  BSAI..............        36,300        24,700        24,700        21,812           n/a        34,300        24,700        24,700        21,812           n/a
                                  BS................           n/a         5,710         5,710         4,854             0           n/a         5,710         5,710         4,854             0
                                  EAI...............           n/a         5,660         5,660         5,054           606           n/a         5,660         5,660         5,054           606
                                  CAI...............           n/a         4,960         4,960         4,429           531           n/a         4,960         4,960         4,429           531
                                  WAI...............           n/a         8,370         8,370         7,474           896           n/a         8,370         8,370         7,474           896
Northern rockfish...............  BSAI..............        10,600         8,670         4,000         3,400             0        10,400         8,330         4,000         3,400             0
Shortraker rockfish.............  BSAI..............           524           393           393           334             0           524           393           393           334             0
Rougheye rockfish \9\...........  BSAI..............           549           454           454           386             0           563           465           465           395             0
                                  EBS/EAI...........           n/a           234           234           199             0           n/a           240           240           204             0
                                  CAI/WAI...........           n/a           220           220           187             0           n/a           225           225           191             0
Other rockfish \10\.............  BSAI..............         1,700         1,280         1,000           850             0         1,700         1,280         1,000           850             0
                                  BS................           n/a           710           500           425             0           n/a           710           500           425             0
                                  AI................           n/a           570           500           425             0           n/a           570           500           425             0
Squids..........................  BSAI..............         2,620         1,970           425           361             0         2,620         1,970           425           361             0
Skates..........................  BSAI..............        37,800        31,500        16,500        14,025             0        37,200        31,000        16,500        14,025             0
Sharks..........................  BSAI..............         1,360         1,020            50            43             0         1,360         1,020            50            43             0
Octopuses.......................  BSAI..............           528           396           150           128             0           528           396           150           128             0
Sculpins........................  BSAI..............        58,300        43,700         5,200         4,420             0        58,300        43,700         5,200         4,420             0
                                 ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Total.......................  ..................     3,954,111     2,534,729     2,000,000     1,790,200       199,467     4,731,995     2,911,610     2,000,000     1,788,157       198,926
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
\1\ These amounts apply to the entire BSAI management area unless otherwise specified. With the exception of pollock, and for the purpose of these harvest specifications, the Bering Sea (BS)
  subarea includes the Bogoslof District.
\2\ Except for pollock, the portion of the sablefish TAC allocated to hook-and-line and pot gear, and Amendment 80 species, 15 percent of each TAC is put into a reserve. The ITAC for these
  species is the remainder of the TAC after the subtraction of these reserves.
\3\ Under Sec.   679.20(a)(5)(i)(A)(1), the annual Bering Sea subarea pollock TAC, after subtracting first for the CDQ directed fishing allowance (10 percent) and second for the incidental
  catch allowance (3.0 percent), is further allocated by sector for a directed pollock fishery as follows: Inshore--50 percent; catcher/processor--40 percent; and motherships--10 percent.
  Under Sec.   679.20(a)(5)(iii)(B)(2)(i) and (ii), the annual Aleutian Islands subarea pollock TAC, after subtracting first for the CDQ directed fishing allowance (10 percent) and second for
  the incidental catch allowance (1,600 mt), is allocated to the Aleut Corporation for a directed pollock fishery.
\4\ The Pacific cod TAC is reduced by three percent from the ABC to account for the State 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'',
  octopuses, sculpins, sharks, skates, and squid are not allocated to the CDQ program.
\6\ ``Rock sole'' includes Lepidopsetta polyxystra (Northern rock sole) and Lepidopsetta bilineata (Southern rock sole).
\7\ ``Flathead sole'' includes Hippoglossoides elassodon (flathead sole) and Hippoglossoides robustus (Bering flounder).
\8\ ``Other flatfish'' includes all flatfish species, except for halibut (a prohibited species), arrowtooth flounder, flathead sole, Greenland turbot, Kamchatka flounder, rock sole, and
  yellowfin sole.
\9\ ``Rougheye rockfish'' includes Sebastes aleutianus (rougheye) and Sebastes melanostictus (blackspotted).
\10\ ``Other rockfish'' includes all Sebastes and Sebastolobus species except for Pacific ocean perch, northern, shortraker, and rougheye rockfish.


[[Page 11144]]

Groundfish 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, except for pollock, the hook-and-line and 
pot gear allocation of sablefish, and the Amendment 80 species, in a 
non-specified reserve. Section 679.20(b)(1)(ii)(B) requires that 20 
percent of the hook-and-line and pot gear allocation of sablefish be 
allocated to the fixed gear sablefish CDQ reserve. Section 
679.20(b)(1)(ii)(D) requires allocation of 7.5 percent of the trawl 
gear allocations of sablefish and 10.7 percent of the Bering Sea 
Greenland turbot and arrowtooth flounder TACs to the respective CDQ 
reserves. Section 679.20(b)(1)(ii)(C) requires allocation of 10.7 
percent of the TACs for Atka mackerel, Aleutian Islands Pacific ocean 
perch, yellowfin sole, rock sole, flathead sole, and Pacific cod to the 
CDQ reserves. Sections 679.20(a)(5)(i)(A) and 679.31(a) also require 
the allocation of 10 percent of the BSAI pollock TACs to the pollock 
CDQ directed fishing allowance (DFA). The entire Bogoslof District 
pollock TAC is allocated as an ICA (see Sec.  679.20(a)(5)(ii)). With 
the exception of the hook-and-line and pot gear sablefish CDQ reserve, 
the regulations do not further apportion the CDQ allocations by gear.
    Pursuant to Sec.  679.20(a)(5)(i)(A)(1), NMFS allocates a pollock 
ICA of 3 percent of the BS subarea pollock TAC after subtraction of the 
10 percent CDQ reserve. This allowance is based on NMFS' examination of 
the pollock incidental catch, including the incidental catch by CDQ 
vessels, in target fisheries other than pollock from 1999 through 2010. 
During this 12-year period, the pollock incidental catch ranged from a 
low of 2.4 percent in 2006 to a high of 5 percent in 1999, with a 12-
year average of 3 percent. Pursuant to Sec.  679.20(a)(5)(iii)(B)(2)(i) 
and (ii), NMFS establishes a pollock ICA of 1,600 mt of the AI subarea 
TAC after subtraction of the 10 percent CDQ DFA. This allowance is 
based on NMFS' examination of the pollock incidental catch, including 
the incidental catch by CDQ vessels, in target fisheries other than 
pollock from 2003 through 2010. During this 8-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 an 8-year average of 7 percent.
    Pursuant to Sec.  679.20(a)(8) and (10), NMFS allocates ICAs of 
5,000 mt of flathead sole, 5,000 mt of rock sole, 2,000 mt of yellowfin 
sole, 10 mt of Western Aleutian District Pacific (WAI) ocean perch, 75 
mt of Central Aleutian District (CAI) Pacific ocean perch, 100 mt of 
Eastern Aleutian District (EAI) Pacific ocean perch, 40 mt of WAI Atka 
mackerel, 75 mt of CAI Atka mackerel, and 75 mt of EAI and BS subarea 
Atka mackerel TAC after subtraction of the 10.7 percent CDQ reserve. 
These allowances are based on NMFS' examination of the incidental catch 
in other target fisheries from 2003 through 2010.
    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 category during the year, providing 
that such apportionments do not result in overfishing (see Sec.  
679.20(b)(1)(i)). The Regional Administrator has determined that the 
ITACs specified for the species listed in Table 2 need to be 
supplemented from the non-specified reserve because U.S. fishing 
vessels have demonstrated the capacity to catch the full TAC 
allocations. Therefore, in accordance with Sec.  679.20(b)(3), NMFS is 
apportioning the amounts shown in Table 2 from the non-specified 
reserve to increase the ITAC for northern rockfish, shortraker 
rockfish, rougheye rockfish, and Bering Sea ``other rockfish'' by 15 
percent of the TAC in 2011 and 2012.

                    Table 2--Final 2011 and 2012 Apportionment of Reserves to ITAC Categories
                                          [Amounts are in metric tons]
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                     2011                                   2012
      Species-area or subarea        2011 ITAC     reserve     2011 final   2012 ITAC     reserve    2012  final
                                                    amount        ITAC                     amount        ITAC
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Shortraker rockfish-BSAI..........          334           59          393          334           59          393
Rougheye rockfish-EBS/EAI.........          199           35          234          204           36          240
Rougheye rockfish-CAI/WAI.........          187           33          220          191           34          225
Northern rockfish-BSAI............        3,400          600        4,000        3,400          600        4,000
Other rockfish--Bering Sea subarea          425           75          500          425           75          500
                                   -----------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Total.........................        4,545          802        5,347        4,554          804        5,358
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

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

    Section 679.20(a)(5)(i)(A) requires that the pollock TAC 
apportioned to the BS subarea, after subtraction of the 10 percent for 
the CDQ program and the 3 percent for the ICA, be allocated as a DFA as 
follows: 50 percent to the inshore sector, 40 percent to the catcher/
processor (C/P) sector, and 10 percent to the mothership sector. In the 
BS subarea, 40 percent of the DFA is allocated to the A season (January 
20-June 10), and 60 percent of the DFA is allocated to the B season 
(June 10-November 1) (Sec.  679.20(a)(5)(i)(A)). 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 DFA 
is allocated to the A season and the remainder of the directed pollock 
fishery is allocated to the B season. Table 3 lists these 2011 and 2012 
amounts.
    Section 679.20(a)(5)(i)(A)(4) also includes several specific 
requirements regarding BS subarea pollock allocations. First, 8.5 
percent of the pollock allocated to the C/P sector will be available 
for harvest by AFA catcher vessels (CVs) with C/P sector endorsements, 
unless the Regional Administrator receives a cooperative contract that 
provides for the distribution of harvest among AFA C/Ps and AFA CVs in 
a manner agreed to by all members. Second, AFA C/Ps not listed in the 
AFA are limited to harvesting not more than 0.5 percent of the pollock 
allocated to the C/P sector. Table 3 lists the 2011 and 2012 
allocations of pollock TAC. Tables 11 through 16 list the AFA C/P and 
CV harvesting sideboard limits. The tables

[[Page 11145]]

for the pollock allocations to the BS subarea inshore pollock 
cooperatives and open access sector will be posted on the Alaska Region 
Web site at http://alaskafisheries.noaa.gov.
    Table 3 also lists seasonal apportionments of pollock and harvest 
limits within the Steller Sea Lion Conservation Area (SCA). The harvest 
within the SCA, as defined at Sec.  679.22(a)(7)(vii), is limited to 28 
percent of the annual DFA until 12 noon, April 1 as provided in Sec.  
679.22(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 12 
noon, April 1 or inside the SCA after 12 noon, April 1. If less than 28 
percent of the annual DFA is taken inside the SCA before 12 noon, April 
1, the remainder will be available to be taken inside the SCA after 12 
noon, April 1. The A season pollock SCA harvest limit will be 
apportioned to each sector in proportion to each sector's allocated 
percentage of the DFA. Table 3 lists these 2011 and 2012 amounts by 
sector.

     Table 3--Final 2011 and 2012 Allocations of Pollock TACs to the Directed Pollock Fisheries and to the CDQ Directed Fishing Allowances (DFA)\1\
                                                              [Amounts are in metric tons]
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                             2011 A season \1\         2011  B                       2012 A season \1\         2012  B
                                              2011     ----------------------------  season \1\       2012     ----------------------------  season \1\
             Area and sector               Allocations                 SCA harvest --------------  Allocations                 SCA harvest -------------
                                                        A season DFA    limit \2\   B season DFA                A season DFA    limit \2\   B season DFA
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Bering Sea subarea......................     1,252,000           n/a           n/a           n/a     1,253,658           n/a           n/a           n/a
    CDQ DFA.............................       125,200        50,080        35,056        75,120       125,366        50,146        35,102        75,219
    ICA \1\.............................        33,804           n/a           n/a           n/a        33,849           n/a           n/a           n/a
    AFA Inshore.........................       546,498       218,599       153,019       327,899       547,222       218,889       153,222       328,333
    AFA Catcher/Processors \3\..........       437,198       174,879       122,416       262,319       437,777       175,111       122,578       262,666
        Catch by C/Ps...................       400,037       160,015           n/a       240,022       400,566       160,227           n/a       240,340
        Catch by CVs \3\................        37,162        14,865           n/a        22,297        37,211        14,884           n/a        22,327
            Unlisted C/P Limit \4\......         2,186           874           n/a         1,312         2,189           876           n/a         1,313
    AFA Motherships.....................       109,300        43,720        30,604        65,580       109,444        43,778        30,644        65,667
    Excessive Harvesting Limit \5\......       191,274           n/a           n/a           n/a       191,528           n/a           n/a           n/a
    Excessive Processing Limit \6\......       327,899           n/a           n/a           n/a       328,333           n/a           n/a           n/a
                                         ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Total Bering Sea DFA....................     1,092,996       437,198       306,039       655,798     1,094,443       437,777       306,444       656,666
 
Aleutian Islands subarea \1\............        19,000           n/a           n/a           n/a        19,000           n/a           n/a           n/a
    CDQ DFA.............................         1,900           760           n/a         1,140         1,900           760           n/a         1,140
    ICA.................................         1,600           800           n/a           800         1,600           800           n/a           800
    Aleut Corporation...................        15,500        15,500           n/a             0        15,500        15,500           n/a             0
Bogoslof District ICA \7\...............           150           n/a           n/a           n/a           150           n/a           n/a           n/a
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
\1\ Pursuant to Sec.   679.20(a)(5)(i)(A), the BS subarea pollock, after subtraction for the CDQ DFA (10 percent) and the ICA (3 percent), is allocated
  as a DFA as follows: inshore sector--50 percent, catcher/processor sector (C/P)--40 percent, and mothership sector--10 percent. In the BS subarea, 40
  percent of the DFA is allocated to the A season (January 20-June 10) and 60 percent of the DFA is allocated to the B season (June 10-November 1).
  Pursuant to Sec.   679.20(a)(5)(iii)(B)(2)(i) and (ii), the annual AI pollock TAC, after subtracting first for the CDQ directed fishing allowance (10
  percent) and second the ICA (1,600 mt), is allocated to the Aleut Corporation for a directed pollock fishery. In the AI subarea, the A season is
  allocated 40 percent of the ABC and the B season is allocated the remainder of the directed pollock fishery.
\2\ In the BS subarea, no more than 28 percent of each sector's annual DFA may be taken from the SCA before April 1. The remaining 12 percent of the
  annual DFA allocated to the A season may be taken outside of SCA before April 1 or inside the SCA after April 1. If less than 28 percent of the annual
  DFA is taken inside the SCA before April 1, the remainder will be available to be taken inside the SCA after April 1.
\3\ Pursuant to Sec.   679.20(a)(5)(i)(A)(4), not less than 8.5 percent of the DFA allocated to listed C/Ps shall be available for harvest only by
  eligible catcher vessels delivering to listed C/Ps.
\4\ Pursuant to Sec.   679.20(a)(5)(i)(A)(4)(iii), the AFA unlisted C/Ps are limited to harvesting not more than 0.5 percent of the C/Ps sector's
  allocation of pollock.
\5\ Pursuant to Sec.   679.20(a)(5)(i)(A)(6), NMFS establishes an excessive harvesting share limit equal to 17.5 percent of the sum of the non-CDQ
  pollock DFAs.
\6\ Pursuant to Sec.   679.20(a)(5)(i)(A)(7), NMFS establishes an excessive processing share limit equal to 30.0 percent of the sum of the non-CDQ
  pollock DFAs.
\7\ The Bogoslof District is closed by the final harvest specifications to directed fishing for pollock. The amounts specified are for ICA only and are
  not apportioned by season or sector.
Note: Seasonal or sector apportionments may not total precisely due to rounding.

Allocation of the Atka Mackerel TACs

    Section 679.20(a)(8) 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 4). The process for 
allocation of the ITAC for Atka mackerel to the Amendment 80 and BSAI 
trawl limited access sectors is listed in Table 33 to part 679 and 
Sec.  679.91. Pursuant to Sec.  679.20(a)(8)(i), up to 2 percent of the 
EAI and the BS subarea Atka mackerel ITAC may be allocated to jig gear. 
The amount of this allocation is determined annually by the Council 
based on several criteria, including the anticipated harvest capacity 
of the jig gear fleet. The Council recommended, and NMFS approves, a 
0.5 percent allocation of the Atka mackerel ITAC in the EAI and BS 
subarea to the jig gear in 2011 and 2012. This percentage is applied 
after subtraction of the CDQ reserve and the ICA.
    The RPA implemented on January 1, 2011, (FR 75 77535, December 13, 
2010, and 75 FR 81921, December 29, 2010), requires that NMFS make 
several changes from the proposed to the final harvest specifications 
for BSAI Atka mackerel. The platoon management of Atka mackerel harvest 
inside the harvest limit area is no longer needed because the RPA 
prohibits all retention of Atka mackerel in Area 543 and requires that 
nearly all directed fishing for Atka mackerel in waters 0 nm to 20 nm 
around Steller sea lion sites in Area 542. The harvest limit area 
limits that were in the proposed harvest specification therefore have 
been removed from the final harvest specifications in Areas 542 and 
543. The TACs in these two areas, which were set to ABC, decreased from 
the proposed amounts. In area 543, the final amount is set to account 
for discards in other fisheries since the RPA at Sec.  679.7(a)(19) 
prohibits retention in Area 543. Also the final Area 542 TAC decreased 
from the proposed TAC since the RPA at Sec.  679.20(a)(8)(ii)(C)(3) 
limits the annual TAC for this area to no more than 47 percent of the 
Area 542 ABC.
    Section 679.20(a)(8)(ii)(A) apportions the Atka mackerel ITAC into 
two equal seasonal allowances. The RPA changed the end of the A season 
and start of the B season dates at Sec.  679.23(e)(3). The first

[[Page 11146]]

seasonal allowance is made available for directed fishing with trawl 
gear from January 20 to June 10 (A season), and the second seasonal 
allowance is made available from June to November 1 (B season). Also, 
Sec.  679.23(e)(4)(iii) the RPA applies Atka mackerel seasons to CDQ 
Atka mackerel fishing. The jig gear allocation is not apportioned by 
season.
    Section 679.20(a)(8)(ii)(C)(ii)(2) requires the Amendment 80 
cooperatives and CDQ groups to limit harvest to 10 percent of their 
Central Aleutian District Atka mackerel allocation equally divided 
between the A and B seasons within waters 10 nm to 20 nm of Gramp Rock 
and Tag Island, as described on Table 12 to part 679. Vessels not 
fishing under the authority of an Amendment 80 cooperative quota or CDQ 
allocation are prohibited from conducting directed fishing for Atka 
mackerel inside Steller sea lion critical habitat in the Central 
Aleutian District.
    Table 4 lists these 2011 and 2012 Atka mackerel season and area 
allowances, as well as the sector allocations. The 2012 allocations for 
Atka mackerel between Amendment 80 cooperatives and the Amendment 80 
limited access sector will not be known until eligible participants 
apply for participation in the program by November 1, 2011.

 Table 4--Final 2011 and 2012 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]
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                                   2011 allocation by area                2012 allocation by area
                                                                           -----------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                              Eastern      Central                   Eastern      Central
                 Sector \1\                          Season 2, 3, 4           Aleutian     Aleutian     Western      Aleutian     Aleutian     Western
                                                                             District/     District     Aleutian    District/     District     Aleutian
                                                                             Bering Sea      \5\        District    Bering Sea      \5\        District
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
TAC........................................  n/a..........................       40,300       11,280        1,500       36,800       10,293        1,500
CDQ reserve................................  Total........................        4,312        1,207          161        3,938        1,101          161
                                             A............................        2,156          603           80        1,969          551           80
                                             Critical habitat \5\.........          n/a           60          n/a          n/a           55          n/a
                                             B............................        2,156          603           80        1,969          551           80
                                             Critical habitat \5\.........          n/a           60          n/a          n/a           55          n/a
ICA........................................  Total........................           75           75           40           75           75           40
Jig \6\....................................  Total........................          180            0            0          164            0            0
BSAI trawl limited access..................  Total........................        2,859          800            0        3,262          912            0
                                             A............................        1,429          400            0        1,631          456            0
                                             B............................        1,429          400            0        1,631          456            0
Amendment 80 sectors.......................  Total........................       32,875        9,198        1,300       29,361        8,205        1,300
                                             A............................       16,437        4,599          650       14,681        4,102          650
                                             B............................       16,437        4,599          650       14,681        4,102          650
Alaska Groundfish Cooperative..............  Total........................       19,181        5,389          755          n/a          n/a          n/a
                                             A............................        9,591        2,695          377          n/a          n/a          n/a
                                             Critical habitat \5\.........          n/a          269          n/a          n/a          n/a          n/a
                                             B............................        9,591        2,695          377          n/a          n/a          n/a
                                             Critical habitat \5\.........          n/a          269          n/a          n/a          n/a          n/a
Alaska Seafood Cooperative.................  Total........................       13,694        3,809          545          n/a          n/a          n/a
                                             A............................        6,847        1,904          272          n/a          n/a          n/a
                                             Critical habitat \5\.........          n/a          190          n/a          n/a          n/a          n/a
                                             B............................        6,847        1,904          272          n/a          n/a          n/a
                                             Critical habitat \5\.........          n/a          190          n/a          n/a          n/a          n/a
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
\1\ Section 679.20(a)(8)(ii) allocates the Atka mackerel TACs, after subtraction of the CDQ reserves, jig gear allocation, and ICAs to the Amendment 80
  and BSAI trawl limited access sectors. The allocation of the ITAC for Atka mackerel to the Amendment 80 and BSAI trawl limited access sectors is
  established in Table 33 to part 679 and Sec.   679.91. The CDQ reserve is 10.7 percent of the TAC for use by CDQ participants (see Sec.  Sec.
  679.20(b)(1)(ii)(C) and 679.31).
\2\ Sections 679.20(a)(8)(ii)(A) and 679.22(a) establish temporal and spatial limitations for the Atka mackerel fishery.
\3\ The seasonal allowances of Atka mackerel are 50 percent in the A season and 50 percent in the B season.
\4\ Section 679.23(e)(3) authorizes directed fishing for Atka mackerel with trawl gear during the A season from January 20 to June 10 and the B season
  from June 10 to November 1.
\5\ Section 679.20(a)(8)(ii)(C) requires the TAC in area 542 shall be no more than 47% of ABC, and Atka mackerel harvests for Amendment 80 cooperatives
  and CDQ groups within waters 10 nm to 20 nm of Gramp Rock and Tag Island, as described Table 12 to part 679, in Area 542 are limited to no more than
  10 percent of the Amendment 80 cooperative Atka mackerel allocation or 10 percent of the CDQ Atka mackerel allocation.
\6\ Section 679.20(a)(8)(i) requires that up to 2 percent of the Eastern Aleutian District and the Bering Sea subarea TAC be allocated to jig gear after
  subtraction of the CDQ reserve and ICA. The amount of this allocation is 0.5 percent. The jig gear allocation is not apportioned by season.
Note: Seasonal or sector apportionments may not total precisely due to rounding.

Allocation of the Pacific Cod ITAC

    Section 679.20(a)(7)(i) and (ii) allocates the Pacific cod TAC in 
the BSAI, after subtraction of 10.7 percent for the CDQ reserve, as 
follows: 1.4 percent to vessels using jig gear; 2.0 percent to hook-
and-line and pot CVs less than 60 ft (18.3 m) length overall (LOA); 0.2 
percent to hook-and-line CVs greater than or equal to 60 ft (18.3 m) 
LOA; 48.7 percent to hook-and-line C/P; 8.4 percent to pot CVs greater 
than or equal to 60 ft (18.3 m) LOA; 1.5 percent to pot C/Ps; 2.3 
percent to AFA trawl C/Ps; 13.4 percent to non-AFA trawl C/Ps; and 22.1 
percent to trawl CVs. 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 2011 and 2012, the 
Regional Administrator establishes an ICA of 500 mt based on 
anticipated incidental catch by these sectors in other fisheries. The 
allocation of the ITAC for Pacific cod to the Amendment 80 sector is 
established in Table 33 to part 679 and Sec.  679.91. The 2012 
allocations for Pacific cod between Amendment 80 cooperatives and the 
Amendment 80 limited access

[[Page 11147]]

sector will not be known until November 1, 2011, the date by which the 
applicants eligible to apply for participation in the Amendment 80 
program must file their application. Amendment 80 applications for 2012 
have not yet been submitted to NMFS, thereby preventing NMFS from 
calculating 2012 allocations. NMFS will post 2012 Amendment 80 
allocations when they become available in December 2011.
    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 2011 and 
2012 Pacific cod TACs are listed in Tables 5a and 5b 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).
    The RPA implemented on January 1, 2011 (75 FR 77535, December 13, 
2010), includes two prohibitions for Pacific cod. Section 679.7(a)(19) 
prohibits retention of Pacific cod in Area 543 and Sec.  679.7(a)(23) 
prohibits directed fishing for Pacific cod with hook-and-line, pot, or 
jig gear in the Aleutian Islands subarea November 1 through December 
31.

              Table 5a--Final 2011 Gear Shares and Seasonal Allowances of the BSAI Pacific Cod TAC
                                          [Amounts are in metric tons]
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                                     Seasonal apportionment
          Gear sector               Percent      Share of gear     Share of    ---------------------------------
                                                 sector total    sector total         Dates           Amount
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Total TAC.....................             100         227,950             n/a  n/a.............             n/a
CDQ...........................            10.7          24,391             n/a  see Sec.                     n/a
                                                                                 679.20(a)(7)(i)
                                                                                 (B).
Total hook-and-line/pot gear..            60.8         123,764             n/a  n/a.............             n/a
Hook-and-line/pot ICA \1\.....             n/a             500             n/a  see Sec.                     n/a
                                                                                 679.20(a)(7)(ii
                                                                                 )(B).
Hook-and-line/pot sub-total...             n/a         123,264             n/a  n/a.............             n/a
Hook-and-line catcher/                    48.7             n/a          98,733  Jan 1-Jun 10....          50,354
 processor.
                                ..............  ..............  ..............  Jun 10-Dec 31...          48,379
Hook-and-line catcher vessel               0.2             n/a             405  Jan 1-Jun 10....             207
 >= 60 ft LOA.
                                ..............  ..............  ..............  Jun 10-Dec 31...             199
Pot catcher/processor.........             1.5             n/a           3,041  Jan 1-Jun 10....           1,551
                                ..............  ..............  ..............  Sept 1-Dec 31...           1,490
Pot catcher vessel >= 60 ft                8.4             n/a          17,030  Jan 1-Jun 10....           8,685
 LOA.
                                ..............  ..............  ..............  Sept 1-Dec 31...           8,345
Catcher vessel < 60 ft LOA                   2             n/a           4,055  n/a.............             n/a
 using hook-and-line or pot
 gear.
Trawl catcher vessel..........            22.1          44,987             n/a  Jan 20-Apr 1....          33,290
                                                                                Apr 1-Jun 10....           4,949
                                                                                Jun 10-Nov 1....           6,748
AFA trawl catcher/processor...             2.3           4,682             n/a  Jan 20-Apr 1....           3,511
                                ..............  ..............  ..............  Apr 1-Jun 10....           1,170
                                ..............  ..............  ..............  Jun 10-Nov 1....               0
Amendment 80..................            13.4          27,277             n/a  Jan 20-Apr 1....          20,458
                                ..............  ..............  ..............  Apr 1-Jun 10....           6,819
                                ..............  ..............  ..............  Jun 10-Nov 1....               0
Alaska Groundfish Co